THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
Sons of God #1
September 27, 2009
Adam was formed from the soil of the earth and the breath of life was breathed into him. He was the
son of God, for he came into being by a direct act of the Lord God (Genesis 2:7; Luke 3:38). No man
born after Adam, except the second Man, the last Adam, Jesus, has ever been called a son of God. As the
firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15), Jesus came to this earth and took on the form of man
(Philippians 2:5-8) through a direct act of God (Luke 1:35). Jesus is the Son of God.
With the formation of Adam as the first son of God among his race, we are given a glimpse of God’s plan
for mankind, and that is to bring forth many sons of God. When John was caught up in spirit to see and
hear mighty things, especially about New Jerusalem, he heard the loud voice of the One sitting on the
throne declare: “He who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will
be My son” (Revelation 21:7).
The Lord has declared the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), and He has expressed His heart
to have sons, in fact, to bring many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10). God’s purpose of being all in all
new will be achieved through bringing mankind into sonship.
In fact, the second coming of Christ is all about sonship. When the Son of God came to this earth the
first time to die for the sin of the world, He came as the legitimate leader of the tribe of Judah
Revelation 5:5). Judah’s father, Israel (Jacob), blessed his son: “The scepter shall 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” (Genesis 49:10 NASB). When the Son of God came to the earth over
2,000 years ago, He rightfully took the scepter of Judah to become the King of Judah. The Father has
declared: “I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain” (Psalm 2:6), and all who
believe on Jesus have been grafted into His kingdom as a true Judahite [Jew] (Romans 2:29), the good
fig tree (nation) bearing the fruit of the kingdom (Matthew 21:43).
But this is only half of the equation, so to speak, for Jesus must come a second time, but this time, not
in reference to the scepter but in reference to the birthright promised to Joseph and passed on to his
sons (1 Chronicles 5:1-2). He comes as the antitype of Joseph. Israel (Jacob) blessed his son: “Joseph
is a fruitful bough [literally, son], a fruitful bough by a spring; its branches run over a wall”
(Genesis 49:22 NASB). In Hebrew, the word translated as bough is ben , which means “a son, as a
builder of the family name.” In this case, the family name is associated with Israel , not Jacob the
supplanter but Israel, the one who came to acknowledge that God rules .
Scripture tells us that Christ will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin ;
however, there is a part B to His appearing, and it is to those who eagerly await Him (Hebrews
9:28). But who are the ones who eagerly await Him? Is it the entire church of our day? Are all His
people eagerly looking for Him to come? Are all like the Thessalonians that were waiting for His Son
from heaven (1 Thessalonians 1:10)? Or, are some indifferent to His coming or even mockers who say:
“Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues
just as it was from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:4 NASB)? Surely, it cannot be this last
group, for they have no eager heart to see the Lord. In fact, they would rather not see Him come and
disrupt their lives, just like a host of religious leaders 2,000 years ago with His first appearing.
This issue of the hour, which is getting very late, pertains to this matter of sons of God. When He comes
the second time, Jesus is coming to bring forth sons of God who will rule and reign with Him during the
millennial Kingdom or Tabernacles Age. He is coming for the heirs of the kingdom of God, the ones
counted worthy to inherit the kingdom, the ones who have been trained to be placed as sons that can be
entrusted with the Father’s business, not only in the oncoming eon but in all subsequent ones, the eons
of the eons . He is coming for those who eagerly await Him, even long to see Him, the love of their life.
In chapter eight of his Romans epistle, Paul expresses the very heart of the matter.
(14) For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (15) For you
have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of
adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (16) The Spirit Himself testifies
with our spirit that we are children of God, (17) and if children, heirs also, heirs of God
and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified
with Him. (18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be
compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:14-18 NASB)
Becoming a son of God is about reigning with Christ as a son. Sonship and rulership go hand-in hand.
To become a son, one must first become a child of God through justification by faith and receiving an
earnest of the spirit. All who believe on Jesus are grafted into the good fig tree of Judah and come under
the reign of the King of Judah, not on the basis of works or genealogy but on the basis of faith and
receiving a new life from above. As John declared: But as many as received Him, to them He
gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who
were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John
1:12-13 NASB). God alone gives life to His children, just as He did to Adam. He has planted His seed in
all of His children. John tells us that God’s seed abides in one born of God (1 John 3:9).
But notice that sonship is about suffering while occupying bodies of death (mortal, corrupt). We start as
children, but a child cannot be an heir of the Father’s kingdom, entrusted to carry out the Father’s
business. Training of a child of God comes through suffering and, we need to add, discipline (Hebrews
12:4-11; Revelation 3:19). Our carnal flesh must be disciplined. It must die daily, which was Paul’s
testimony (1 Corinthians 15:31). But it is even more than this, for there are the sufferings of Christ.
After all, Paul sought to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of
His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I (he) may attain to the
resurrection [out-resurrection] from the dead (Philippians 3:10-11 NASB). As I have written often,
Paul sought to rise from among the dead in the out-resurrection or first resurrection that is reserved for
the troop of the anointed first fruits (1 Corinthians 15:23), which speaks of the sons of God.
But, Paul was not alone, for Peter wrote of the sufferings of Christ as well.
(12) Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you
for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; (13) but to the
degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the
revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. (1 Peter 4:12-13 NASB)
A child growing up to be a son is one who follows the spirit of God and brings glory to God. Such a one
will be reviled for the name of Christ in a world that is increasingly antichrist. But the suffering and
reviling is worth it.
The sufferings of today might seem painful and, at times, overwhelming, but we need to be encouraged
through Paul’s word that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Sonship is about coming to glory. Again, as Paul wrote:
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond
all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:17 NASB). Let us grow up to be sons!
The Upward Call: #03-09167
by: Stuart H. Pouliot