Message Five: The Birthright
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  • 2014-07-11,
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RK    Hymns: 310, 542
Scripture Reading: Gen. 25:29-34; Luke 4:16-19; Heb. 12:16, 23
Gen 25:29      And Jacob cooked a stew. And Esau came in from the field, and he was faint.
Gen 25:30      And Esau said to Jacob, Let me swallow down some of the red stew, that red stew there, for I am faint. Therefore his name was called Edom.
Gen 25:31      And Jacob said, First sell me your birthright.
Gen 25:32      And Esau said, I am now about to die. Of what use then is this birthright to me?
Gen 25:33      And Jacob said, First swear to me. And he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.
Gen 25:34      And Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose up and went away. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Luke 4:16       And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and according to His custom He entered on the Sabbath day into the synagogue and stood up to read.
Luke 4:17       And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
Luke 4:18       "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to announce the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away in release those who are oppressed,
Luke 4:19       To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, the year of jubilee."
Heb 12:16      Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one meal gave up his own birthright.
Heb 12:23      And to the church of the firstborn, who have been enrolled in the heavens; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of righteous men who have been made perfect;
 
 
I.     Since God created man to express Him with His image and to represent Him by exercising His dominion over all things, by birth every human being has a birthright—the right by birth to express God and represent Him; however, every fallen person has sold this birthright by being independent of God—Gen. 1:26; 4:16-17; 10:8-11.
Gen 1:26        And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
Gen 4:16        And Cain went forth from the presence of Jehovah and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Gen 4:17        And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city and called the name of the city after the name of his son Enoch.
Gen 10:8        And Cush begot Nimrod: He began to be a mighty one on the earth.
Gen 10:9        He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah; therefore it is said, Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before Jehovah.
Gen 10:10      And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
Gen 10:11      From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-ir and Calah
 
II.   In the Bible the birthright is the special portion of the firstborn; according to the Bible as a whole, the birthright includes a double portion of the land, the priesthood, and the kingship—1 Chron. 5:1-2; Deut. 33:8-10; Gen. 49:10.
1 Chron 5:1    And the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn; but because he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; but he was not to be enrolled in the genealogy according to the birthright,
1 Chron 5:2    For Judah prevailed among his brothers, and from him was the leader, but the birthright was Joseph's) -
Deut 33:8       And concerning Levi he said, May Your Thummim and Urim be with Your faithful man, / Whom You tested at Massah, / With whom You contended at the waters of Meribah -
Deut 33:9       He who said of his father and mother, / I do not regard him; / And his brothers he did not acknowledge, / And his children he did not recognize; / For they have kept Your speaking / And have guarded Your covenant.
Deut 33:10     They shall show Jacob Your ordinances, / And Israel Your law; / They shall put incense before Your nostrils / And whole burnt offerings upon Your altar.
Gen 49:10      The scepter will not depart from Judah, / Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, / Until Shiloh comes, / And to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
 
III.  Before the foundation of the world, God chose and predestinated Jacob to have the birthright—Eph. 1:4-5; Rom. 9:10-13:
Eph 1:4          Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love,
Eph 1:5          Predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
Rom 9:10       And not only so, but Rebecca also, having conceived by one, Isaac our father,
Rom 9:11       Though the children had not yet been born nor had done anything good or bad (that the purpose of God according to selection might remain, not of works but of Him who calls),
Rom 9:12       It was said to her, "The greater shall serve the less";
Rom 9:13       As it is written, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
A.     This birthright, which God intends to give to His chosen people, includes expressing God, representing God, and participating in the kingdom of God—Gen. 1:26; Rev. 20:4, 6.
Gen 1:26        And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
Rev 20:4        And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and of those who had not worshipped the beast nor his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Rev 20:6        Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
B.     In Esau’s despising the birthright and in Jacob’s buying it, God exercised His sovereignty to fulfill the purpose of His selection—Gen. 25:22-26, 29-34.
Gen 25:22      And the children struggled with each other within her. And she said, If it is so, why am I like this? And she went to inquire of Jehovah.
Gen 25:23      And Jehovah said to her, Two nations are in your womb, / And two peoples shall be separated from your bowels. / And the one people shall be stronger than the other people. / And the older shall serve the younger.
Gen 25:24      And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
Gen 25:25      And the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
Gen 25:26      And after that his brother came forth, and his hand was holding on to Esau's heel, so his name was called Jacob. And Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
Gen 25:29      And Jacob cooked a stew. And Esau came in from the field, and he was faint.
Gen 25:30      And Esau said to Jacob, Let me swallow down some of the red stew, that red stew there, for I am faint. Therefore his name was called Edom.
Gen 25:31      And Jacob said, First sell me your birthright.
Gen 25:32      And Esau said, I am now about to die. Of what use then is this birthright to me?
Gen 25:33      And Jacob said, First swear to me. And he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.
Gen 25:34      And Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose up and went away. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
C.     The shifting of the birthright from Esau to Jacob reveals that receiving the birthright is a matter of God’s predestination and sovereignty, not of our natural birth or endeavoring—Rom. 9:10-13.
Rom 9:10       And not only so, but Rebecca also, having conceived by one, Isaac our father,
Rom 9:11       Though the children had not yet been born nor had done anything good or bad (that the purpose of God according to selection might remain, not of works but of Him who calls),
Rom 9:12       It was said to her, "The greater shall serve the less";
Rom 9:13       As it is written, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
D.     Although Jacob had gained the birthright, he did not enjoy it until he was transformed from a supplanter into a prince of God and became mature; thus, Jacob is an example of enjoying the birthright in his maturity—Gen. 32:28; 35:10.
Gen 32:28      And He said, Your name will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.
Gen 35:10      And God said to him, Your name is Jacob; / Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, / But Israel shall be your name. Thus He called his name Israel.
 
IV.  God had intended to give the birthright to Reuben, the firstborn, but Reuben lost it because of his defilement; the birthright was shifted from Reuben to Joseph, who fled from that kind of defilement and received a double portion of the land—39:7-12; 49:3-4; 1 Chron. 5:1.
Gen 39:7        Now after these things his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph and said, Lie with me.
Gen 39:8        But he refused and said to his master's wife, Behold, with me here, my master is not concerned about anything in the house, and he has put everything he has in my charge.
Gen 39:9        There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great evil, and sin against God?
Gen 39:10      And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her.
Gen 39:11      And one such day he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house were there in the house.
Gen 39:12      And she grabbed him by his garment, saying, Lie with me! But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and went outside.
Gen 49:3        Reuben, you are my firstborn, / My might and the firstfruits of my vigor, / Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
Gen 49:4        Ebullient as water, you will not have the preeminence, / Because you went up to your father's bed; / Then you defiled it-he went up to my couch.
1 Chron 5:1    And the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn; but because he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; but he was not to be enrolled in the genealogy according to the birthright,
 
V.   According to Deuteronomy 20:1-20 and 21:15-17, spiritually speaking, fighting and the birthright are related, for only by fighting can we preserve our birthright:
Deut 20:1       When you go forth into battle against your enemies, and you see horse and chariot, a people more numerous than you, you shall not fear them; for Jehovah your God is with you, He who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Deut 20:2       And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall approach and speak to the people,
Deut 20:3       And he shall say to them, Hear, O Israel! You are drawing near to the battle against your enemies today. Do not let your heart fail; do not be afraid or alarmed or terrified of them.
Deut 20:4       For it is Jehovah your God who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
Deut 20:5       And the officers shall speak to the people, saying, Is there any man who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it.
Deut 20:6       Is there any man who has planted a vineyard and has not partaken of it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man partake of it.
Deut 20:7       Is there any man who has gotten engaged to a woman and has not taken her to himself? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man take her to himself.
Deut 20:8       And the officers shall speak further to the people and say, Is there any man who is afraid and whose heart fails? Let him go and return to his house, so that the heart of his brothers does not melt like his heart.
Deut 20:9       And when the officers have finished speaking to the people, they shall appoint commanders of the armies at the head of the people.
Deut 20:10     When you draw near to a city to fight against it, you shall proclaim peace to it.
Deut 20:11     And if it responds with peace to you and opens its gates to you, all the people found within it shall become your forced labor; and they shall serve you.
Deut 20:12     But if it does not make peace with you, but rather engages in battle with you, you shall besiege it.
Deut 20:13     And when Jehovah your God delivers it into your hand, you shall slay every male in it with the edge of the sword.
Deut 20:14     But the women and the little ones and the beasts and all that is in the city, that is, all its spoil, you shall take as your plunder; and you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which Jehovah your God has given you.
Deut 20:15     Thus shall you do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not among the cities of these nations.
Deut 20:16     But of the cities of these peoples which Jehovah your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not allow anything that breathes to live;
Deut 20:17     But you must utterly destroy them: the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, just as Jehovah your God has commanded you,
Deut 20:18     So that they do not teach you to do according to all their abominations which they do for their gods and you sin against Jehovah your God.
Deut 20:19     When you besiege a city for many days, battling against it to capture it, you shall not destroy its trees by putting an axe to them; for you may eat of them, and you shall not cut them down. For is the tree of the field a man, that it should be besieged by you?
Deut 20:20     However, a tree that you know is not a tree for food, you shall destroy and cut down, so that you may build a siegework against the city, which engages you in battle, until it falls.
Deut 21:15     If a man has two wives, one beloved and the other despised, and both the beloved and the despised have borne him sons; and if the firstborn son is of the despised woman;
Deut 21:16     Then in the day when he gives what he has to his sons as his inheritance, he may not make the son of the beloved woman the firstborn instead of the son of the despised one, who is the firstborn.
Deut 21:17     But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the despised woman, giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the firstfruits of his vigor; the right of the firstborn is his.
A.     Since we preserve our birthright by fighting, if we do not fight, we will lose our birthright, even as Esau lost his birthright—Heb. 12:16-17.
Heb 12:16      Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one meal gave up his own birthright.
Heb 12:17      For you know that also afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place for repentance, even though he sought it with tears.
B.     As we are fighting for our birthright, we must learn to trust in the Lord, not in ourselves, and realize that we are fighting for what He has given us—Josh. 1:2-9.
Josh 1:2        Moses My servant is dead; now then arise, and cross over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, to the children of Israel.
Josh 1:3        Every place on which the sole of your foot treads I have given to you, as I promised Moses.
Josh 1:4        From the wilderness and this Lebanon even to the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.
Josh 1:5        No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you nor forsake you.
Josh 1:6        Be strong and take courage, for you will cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give to them.
Josh 1:7        Only be strong and very courageous, being certain to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Do not turn away from it to the right or to the left, that you may have success wherever you go.
Josh 1:8        This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall muse upon it day and night so that you may be certain to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have success.
Josh 1:9        Have I not commanded you? Be strong and take courage; do not be afraid or dismayed. For Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go.
C.     It is our duty to fight, but we can fulfill this duty only by faith in the Lord, believing that He has ordained us to fight and that He will fight for us—23:3, 10; Eph. 6:10-11.
Josh 23:3       And you have seen all that Jehovah your God has done to all these nations because of you, for it was Jehovah your God who fought for you.
Josh 23:10     One man of you chases a thousand, for it is Jehovah your God who fights for you, as He has spoken to you.
Eph 6:10        Finally, be empowered in the Lord and in the might of His strength.
Eph 6:11        Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the stratagems of the devil,
 
VI.  The book of Ruth shows us how Boaz (a type of Christ) redeemed both Ruth (a type of the church in redemption) and her birthright—1:16-18; 2:1; 3:2, 9-11; 4:1-17:
Ruth 1:16       But Ruth said, Do not entreat me to leave you and turn away from following after you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you dwell, I will dwell; and your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
Ruth 1:17       Where you die, I will die; and there will I be buried. Jehovah do so to me, and more as well, if anything but death parts me from you.
Ruth 1:18       And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she ceased speaking to her about it.
Ruth 2:1         Now Naomi had a relative of her husband's, a man of great wealth, from Elimelech's family; and his name was Boaz.
Ruth 3:2         And now is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you have been? Behold, he is winnowing the barley tonight at the threshing floor.
Ruth 3:9         And he said, Who are you? And she said, I am Ruth, your female servant. Spread your cloak over your female servant, for you are a kinsman.
Ruth 3:10       And he said, Blessed be you of Jehovah, my daughter. You have shown your latter kindness to be better than your first by not going after the choice young men, whether poor or rich.
Ruth 3:11       And now, my daughter, do not fear. All that you say, I will do for you; for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman.
Ruth 4:1         Then Boaz went up to the gate and sat there. And just then the kinsman of whom Boaz had spoken came by. And Boaz said, Turn aside and sit here, friend. And he turned aside and sat down.
Ruth 4:2         And he took ten men from among the elders of the city and said, Sit here. And they sat down.
Ruth 4:3         And he said to the kinsman, Naomi, who has returned from the country of Moab, has put up for sale the portion of the field that belonged to our brother Elimelech.
Ruth 4:4         So I thought that I should disclose this to you and say, Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you can redeem it, redeem it; but if you cannot redeem it, tell me so that I will know; for there is no one to redeem it ahead of you, and I am after you. And he said, I will redeem it.
Ruth 4:5         Then Boaz said, On the day you buy the field from Naomi's hand, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead man, in order to raise up the dead man's name upon his inheritance.
Ruth 4:6         And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, or else I will mar my own inheritance. You redeem for yourself what I should redeem, for I cannot redeem it.
Ruth 4:7         Now such was the custom formerly in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging that to establish any matter a man would draw off his sandal and give it to his neighbor; this was the way of attesting it in Israel.
Ruth 4:8         So when the kinsman said to Boaz, Buy it for yourself, he drew off his sandal.
Ruth 4:9         And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, You are witnesses today, that I buy from Naomi's hand all that was Elimelech's and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's.
Ruth 4:10       Furthermore Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, I acquire as my own wife so that I may raise up the dead man's name upon his inheritance and the dead man's name may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his place. You are witnesses today.
Ruth 4:11       And all the people who were in the gate and the elders said, We are witnesses. May Jehovah make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, the two who built the house of Israel. And prosper in Ephrathah, and gain a name in Bethlehem.
Ruth 4:12       And may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the seed that Jehovah gives you by this young woman.
Ruth 4:13       So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in unto her, and Jehovah made her conceive; and she bore a son.
Ruth 4:14       And the women said to Naomi, Blessed be Jehovah, who has not left you today without a kinsman; and may his name be famous in Israel.
Ruth 4:15       And he will be to you as a restorer of life and a sustainer in your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.
Ruth 4:16       And Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and she became his nurse.
Ruth 4:17       And the women neighbors gave him a name, saying, A son has been born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
A.     The birthright includes the right and position to enjoy Christ with the privileges to be a priest to bring man to God and to be a king to bring God to man—Eph. 3:8; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 5:10.
Eph 3:8          To me, less than the least of all saints, was this grace given to announce to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel
1 Pet 2:5        You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Pet 2:9        But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Rev 5:10        And have made them a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign on the earth.
B.     Boaz treasured the God-given birthright and was concerned not only for his own birthright but also for that of others; he paid the price to redeem his kinsman’s inheritance and married his kinsman’s widow—Ruth 4:1-17.
Ruth 4:1-17    (be omitted.)
C.     It was due to Boaz’s compassion on the poor and weak Ruth and his redemption of her birthright that David, the king who established the kingdom, was brought in—v. 17.
Ruth 4:17       And the women neighbors gave him a name, saying, A son has been born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
 
VII. In Matthew 21:28-31 we see the shifting of the birthright from Israel to the church:
Matt 21:28      But what do you think? A man had two children. And he came to his first son and said, Child, go today and work in the vineyard.
Matt 21:29      And he answered and said, I do not want to; yet later he regretted and went.
Matt 21:30      And he came to the other and said likewise. And he answered and said, I will, sir; yet he did not go.
Matt 21:31      Which of the two did the will of the father? They said, The first. Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and the harlots are going into the kingdom of God before you.
A.     In Luke 15:1-2 and 11-32 the Lord likened the leaders of Judaism to the firstborn son and likened the tax collectors and sinners to the second son, but in Matthew 21:28-31 the Lord likened them in the opposite order.
Luke 15:1       Now all the tax collectors and sinners were drawing near to Him to hear Him.
Luke 15:2       And both the Pharisees and the scribes murmured among themselves, saying, This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.
Luke 15:11     And He said, A certain man had two sons.
Luke 15:12     And the younger of them said to the father, Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me. And he distributed to them his living.
Luke 15:13     And not many days after, the younger son, having gathered everything together, went abroad to a distant country and there squandered his estate by living dissolutely.
Luke 15:14     And when he had spent all, a severe famine occurred throughout that country, and he began to be in want.
Luke 15:15     And he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed hogs.
Luke 15:16     And he longed to be satisfied with the carob pods which the hogs were eating, and no one gave him anything.
Luke 15:17     But when he came to himself, he said, How many of my father's hired servants abound in bread, but I am perishing here in famine!
Luke 15:18     I will rise up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.
Luke 15:19     I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.
Luke 15:20     And he rose up and came to his own father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion, and he ran and fell on his neck and kissed him affectionately.
Luke 15:21     And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
Luke 15:22     But the father said to his slaves, Bring out quickly the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
Luke 15:23     And bring the fattened calf; slaughter it, and let us eat and be merry,
Luke 15:24     Because this son of mine was dead and lives again; he was lost and has been found. And they began to be merry.
Luke 15:25     Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing,
Luke 15:26     And calling to him one of the servants, he inquired what these things might be.
Luke 15:27     And he said to him, Your brother has come, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has received him back healthy.
Luke 15:28     But he became angry and was not willing to enter. And his father came out and entreated him.
Luke 15:29     But he answered and said to his father, Behold, so many years I have been slaving for you and have never neglected a command of yours, and you have never given me a goat that I might be merry with my friends;
Luke 15:30     But when this son of yours came, who devoured your living with harlots, you slaughtered for him the fattened calf.
Luke 15:31     And he said to him, Child, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
Luke 15:32     But we had to be merry and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life, and he was lost and has been found.
Matt 21:28      But what do you think? A man had two children. And he came to his first son and said, Child, go today and work in the vineyard.
Matt 21:29      And he answered and said, I do not want to; yet later he regretted and went.
Matt 21:30      And he came to the other and said likewise. And he answered and said, I will, sir; yet he did not go.
Matt 21:31      Which of the two did the will of the father? They said, The first. Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and the harlots are going into the kingdom of God before you.
B.     This indicates that the Jews were the firstborn of God (Exo. 4:22) and had the birthright; however, because of their unbelief the birthright was shifted to the church, which has become God’s firstborn (Heb. 12:23).
Exo 4:22        Then you shall say to Pharaoh, Thus says Jehovah, Israel is My son, My firstborn.
Heb 12:23      And to the church of the firstborn, who have been enrolled in the heavens; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of righteous men who have been made perfect;
 
VIII.     For the believers in Christ, the lost birthright has been recovered in the New Testament jubilee—Luke 4:16-19:
Luke 4:16       And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and according to His custom He entered on the Sabbath day into the synagogue and stood up to read.
Luke 4:17       And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
Luke 4:18       "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to announce the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away in release those who are oppressed,
Luke 4:19       To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, the year of jubilee."
A.     The jubilee is “the acceptable year of the Lord,” the fulfillment of the jubilee in Leviticus 25.
Lev 25           (be omitted.)
B.     In our fallen life we lost everything, including our birthright and status, and we became slaves in captivity; we lost the right to enjoy our portion of Christ as the good land—Deut. 8:7-9; Col. 1:12.
Deut 8:7         For Jehovah your God is bringing you to a good land, a land of waterbrooks, of springs and of fountains, flowing forth in valleys and in mountains;
Deut 8:8         A land of wheat and barley and vines and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive trees with oil and of honey;
Deut 8:9         A land in which you will eat bread without scarcity; you will not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron, and from whose mountains you can mine copper.
Col 1:12         Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you for a share of the allotted portion of the saints in the light;
C.     The proclamation of the jubilee, the real and whole gospel, is a proclamation of release from slavery and of the recovery of our spiritual birthright; our lost birthright has been redeemed, recovered, and restored—Luke 4:16-19.
Luke 4:16       And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and according to His custom He entered on the Sabbath day into the synagogue and stood up to read.
Luke 4:17       And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
Luke 4:18       "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to announce the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away in release those who are oppressed,
Luke 4:19       To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, the year of jubilee."
D.     We need to spread the jubilee—the gospel of the New Testament, the proclamation of the release of the captives and of the recovery of the lost birthright—9:1-6; 24:47; Acts 26:18:
Luke 9:1         And He called together the twelve and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases.
Luke 9:2         And He sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Luke 9:3         And He said to them, Take nothing for the journey, neither a staff nor a bag nor bread nor money, nor have two tunics apiece.
Luke 9:4         And into whatever house you enter, remain there and from there go out.
Luke 9:5         And as many as do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
Luke 9:6         And they went out and passed through village after village, announcing the gospel and healing everywhere.
Luke 24:47     And that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
Acts 26:18     To open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.
1.      As revealed in the Gospel of Luke, the mingling of the divine nature with its attributes and the human nature with its virtues to produce the highest standard of morality is for the New Testament jubilee—1:35.
Luke 1:35       And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore also the holy thing which is born will be called the Son of God.
2.      In this jubilee we are freed from all bondage—the bondage of sin, Satan, the world, and the self—and we are freed into the full enjoyment of our lost birthright, the right to enjoy the Triune God in Christ—2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 3:16-17.
2 Cor 13:14    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Eph 3:16        That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,
Eph 3:17        That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
 
IX.  Hebrews 12:16 warns the believers not to be like “Esau, who for one meal gave up his own birthright”:
Heb 12:16      Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one meal gave up his own birthright.
A.     Esau’s birthright as the firstborn son of Isaac was the double portion of the land, the priesthood, and the kingship.
B.     Because of Esau’s profaneness in giving up his birthright, the double portion of the land was given to Joseph (1 Chron. 5:1-2), the priesthood was passed to Levi (Deut. 33:8-11), and the kingship was assigned to Judah (Gen. 49:10; 1 Chron. 5:2).
1 Chron 5:1    And the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn; but because he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; but he was not to be enrolled in the genealogy according to the birthright,
1 Chron 5:2    For Judah prevailed among his brothers, and from him was the leader, but the birthright was Joseph's) -
Deut 33:8       And concerning Levi he said, May Your Thummim and Urim be with Your faithful man, / Whom You tested at Massah, / With whom You contended at the waters of Meribah -
Deut 33:9       He who said of his father and mother, / I do not regard him; / And his brothers he did not acknowledge, / And his children he did not recognize; / For they have kept Your speaking / And have guarded Your covenant.
Deut 33:10     They shall show Jacob Your ordinances, / And Israel Your law; / They shall put incense before Your nostrils / And whole burnt offerings upon Your altar.
Deut 33:11     Bless, O Jehovah, his might, / And the work of his hands accept; / Wound thoroughly the loins of those who rise up against him / And of those who hate him, that they may not rise up again.
Gen 49:10      The scepter will not depart from Judah, / Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, / Until Shiloh comes, / And to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
C.     Hebrews 12:23 speaks of “the church of the firstborn”:
Heb 12:23      And to the church of the firstborn, who have been enrolled in the heavens; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of righteous men who have been made perfect;
1.      We Christians, born of God, are the firstfruits of His creatures that He has reaped in His creation—James 1:18.
James 1:18    He brought us forth by the word of truth, purposing that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
2.      In this sense, we are the firstborn sons of God; hence, the church, composed of us, is called the church of the firstborn—Heb. 12:23.
Heb 12:23      And to the church of the firstborn, who have been enrolled in the heavens; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of righteous men who have been made perfect;
3.      As the firstborn sons of God, we have the birthright; this includes the inheritance of the earth (2:5-6), the priesthood (Rev. 20:6), and the kingship (v. 4), which will be the main blessings in the coming kingdom and which the profane, world-loving-and-seeking Christians will lose at the Lord’s coming back.
Heb 2:5          For it was not to angels that He subjected the coming inhabited earth, concerning which we speak.
Heb 2:6          But one has solemnly testified somewhere, saying, "What is man, that You bring him to mind? Or the son of man, that You care for him?
Rev 20:6        Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
Rev 20:4        And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and of those who had not worshipped the beast nor his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
4.      Eventually, this birthright will be a reward given to the overcoming Christians in the millennial kingdom—22:12; 11:18.
Rev 22:12      Behold, I come quickly, and My reward is with Me to render to each one as his work is.
Rev 11:18      And the nations became angry, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to give the reward to Your slaves the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear Your name, to the small and to the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.
D.     Today what we are privileged to enjoy in Christ is the foretaste of the blessings in the coming kingdom—Eph. 3:8; Rom. 5:17; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9:
Eph 3:8          To me, less than the least of all saints, was this grace given to announce to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel
Rom 5:17       For if, by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
1 Pet 2:5        You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Pet 2:9        But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1.      If we do not enjoy Christ today as our good land, we cannot enter into His rest in the kingdom and inherit the earth with Him—Heb. 4:9.
Heb 4:9          So then there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
2.      If we do not exercise our priesthood today to contact the Lord and prayerfully minister to Him, we cannot fulfill our priestly duty in the kingdom—1 Pet. 2:5, 9.
1 Pet 2:5        You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Pet 2:9        But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
3.      If we do not exercise our spirit with the God-given authority to rule our self, our flesh, our entire being, and the enemy with all his power of darkness today, we cannot be Christ’s co-kings and rule the nations with Him in His kingdom—Rom. 5:17, 21; Rev. 2:26-27.
Rom 5:17       For if, by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Rom 5:21       In order that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rev 2:26        And he who overcomes and he who keeps My works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations;
Rev 2:27        And he will shepherd them with an iron rod, as vessels of pottery are broken in pieces, as I also have received from My Father;
4.      Our enjoyment of Christ and the practice of the priesthood and kingship today are the preparation and qualification for our participating in Christ’s kingdom in the coming age—1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 5:10; 20:4, 6.
1 Pet 2:5        You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Pet 2:9        But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Rev 5:10        And have made them a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign on the earth.
Rev 20:4        And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and of those who had not worshipped the beast nor his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Rev 20:6        Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
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