His Divine Building Plan in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time – 3 of 3

— Precious or Mature Sons —

The second leg of our three-part journey of “moving onto perfection” (Heb 6:1) is called the son’s portion, but more accurately it should be defined as the mature son’s portion for that’s the ultimate goal at this part of our Kingdom trek. Our quest to be just like Jesus is “painfully beautiful” [1] at this juncture.

The son’s portion is the place where our bonds in Christ are readily perceived by our senses and recognized by our minds (Phil 1:13). Second Corinthians 5:14 tells us that the love of Christ should instruct, control or constrain us.  Therefore, the bonds in Christ are obvious within a believer at this stage when one endeavors to become a mature man (Eph 4:13) or when one shoots even higher to become part of Christ’s pure and spotless Bride (Matt 25: 1-13; Eph 5:27; Rev 21). Remember that both men and women are called to be Adult Sons and the Bride of Christ, because in the Spirit there’s no male or female (Gal 3:28). By the way, the third and hardest leg of the “moving unto perfection” journey is the bridal portion.  For now, please note that sons are chosen to build a house for God’s sanctuary (1 Chr 28:10) while His Bride literally makes up His house. She is the glorious exalted space where He can and will dwell (Rev 21:3).

Let’s keep focused on the full-grown son’s portion. Please note that the magnificent corporate purpose of mature sons being bonded in Christ is to unite via an attractive force, and then to embed this cohesive force into a matrix called the One New Man in Christ, which is a phenomenal truth that will be covered in another article.

The son’s portion is a place where we are moving beyond proving what’s merely good to a more restrained place of proving what’s acceptable, approved or pleasing in God’s sight, so we will no longer be conformed to this world in a greater measure (Rom 12:2).

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

~Psalm 19:14 NASB

We tend to forget that it was partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil that caused man to fall from their exalted state of daily communion with God. When we are working out what is acceptable to the Lord our God in our Kingdom within, God works to rein in our mouths, hearts and deeds to align perfectly with His words, His thought and His works. Incremental solidified change results in transformation, which can be a lengthy process at best unless God does something sovereign. Be forewarned: When God is tuning a person’s life to that which is acceptable in His sight, anything that grieves His heart will surface. Mixture will be sifted out here.

Most believers, if not all, have things to perfect at this level. If you think that you don’t, it’s the quickest signal that you do because having a humble, teachable heart is a preeminent hallmark of a maturing or mature son of God (Prov 2-7). Growing, maturing sons continually endeavor to work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12), according to the righteous and just standards of God’s throne (Psa 89:14). When we declare platitudes, like: I’m already holy, I’m already righteous, I’m already a mature son, I’m already His Bride, or I’m already an overcomer, we need to realize that God is already examining those very areas of our life to see if they measure up. Any one of the above manifestations are heavenly positions that believers have access to “in Christ,” but it’s God’s appraisal of our earthly condition that determines the level of a person’s or a group’s maturity. Ephesians 4:13 tells us that “a mature man” is determined by the standard of the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. Jesus Christ’s fullness is always 100%. Your or my fullness is not. Not yet. I dare you to ask the Lord, “How much of the fullness of the stature of Christ do I have?” Our goal is for these heavenly positions to become walking-talking realities here in the land of the living, but for now, I see too often that these glorious heavenly positions, like being an Adult Son or the Bride, are used as emphatic declarations that keep us unknowingly stunted.

Everyone (both in the Church and the world) recognizes a genuine manifestation of God’s power and any heavenly position manifestly held here on earth. If we’re honest with ourselves, we will see that blanket platitudes are red flags that signal where God would like to refine us. Trite remarks usually indicate areas where we’re protective, defensive, and unwilling to dive deeper into the Way and the Truth and the Life. When someone utters, I’m already such-and-such but their life doesn’t always demonstrate that reality, the only people who buy into their confession are like-minded individuals. Everyone else can discern the fact that your State of Being doesn’t measure up to what you tout. Christ’s Church needs to recognize that our hypocritical assumptions are painfully obvious to the most casual observer.

He began saying to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”

                                                                                                              ~ Luke 12:1b NASB

Most of us are more immature than we’d like to admit. Just remember that if you can not or will not admit the truth of your current condition here on earth, you’ll never be set free in that area of your life because it’s the truth that set us free (John 8:32). But praise be to God that He never denies genuine heart cries! Oh that we might turn, and be healed!

Wade Taylor writes: “Our ‘willing obedience’ is the determining factor in our becoming an overcomer. Being an overcomer is not that we do. Rather, it relates to the intent and issues of our heart, which determines our actions…. as long as we walk in submission and obedience, it can be said that we are an overcomer.” [2] I agree, except I’d extend this statement to include holiness, righteousness, mature sons, the Bride, etc. For this article, let’s just say that our willing obedience to the One who sits on the throne and unto the Lamb is the determining factor in our becoming a mature son.

Two chief characteristics of a son of God is that they serve God with a whole heart (1 Chr 28:9) as well as keeping God’s commandments (Prov 7:1-2: 1 John 2:3-6; Rev 14:12). We are not talking about something yucky and legalistic, but a State ofBeingthat resonates at the same frequency as the Word of God – Jesus. Please be encouraged, because this is a divine work of sanctification that’s done not by your might or your power, but by His Spirit (Zech 4:6). All that God requires from you and me is that we put our best foot forward in obeying His Word and surrendering to His Spirit. Thankfully, the Lord our God will give us all the grace that we need (2 Cor 9:8; Heb 4:16).

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

                                                                                                     ~ Philippians 1:6 NASB

Even though the son’s portion came in the Fullness of Time when Jesus came to earth and purchased it on the cross (Gal 4:4-6), we must experientially appropriate the redemptive gift of sonship the same way that it was acquired. Our journey of “moving unto perfection” is a crucifixion process (much more will be shared in another article). Dying daily is the only way we actually develop into mature, full-grown sons of God (Matt 10:37-39, 16:24; Mark 8:34, 10:21; Luke 9:23, 14:27). The wisdom of God insists upon our permission to crucify our sin nature, and He will only complete the work of co-crucifixion with Christ with our approval. Volunteering freely in the day of God’s power is a continual daily sanctioning of “not my will, but Yours be done” (Matt 6:10). Paul shows us the culmination of being an Adult Son is living a crucified life:

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

                                                                                                         ~ Galatians 2:20 NASB

Remember from our previous “Burnt Offering” teaching that it’s the Good Shepherd of our souls who chooses the best sacrifice that will go on His Altar, not us. So when you find yourself in a miserable place where you just want out (you wanna run for all your worth), just stop, take a breath, stand, and keep your eyes focused on the prize – the Author and Perfecter of your faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross (Heb 12:2).

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (encounter various trials); Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting nothing.

                                                                 ~ James 1:2-4 KJV (additional comments mine) 

When you focus on the Way and the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), He revelatory leads you beside the still waters around the Tree of Life, which will enable you to recognize and process the grueling situation(s) you find yourself in according to His Kingdom come. As you keep focused on Him when you encounter various trials, the Lord our God will restore your soul (Psa 23:3). He will guide you in the paths of righteousness for His Name sake (Ps 23:3), and He will prepare a feast of goodness, kindness and love before you in the presence of your enemies (Psa 23:5). And thus, you are well on your way on the path of life (i.e. righteousness) where one of the most arduous tests is overcoming evil with good (Rom 12:21):

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? … Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

                                                                          ~Matthew 5:44-48 NASB (emphasis mine)

 

Only the highest caliber of saints allows their sin natures to be completely crucified. Through the ages, saints who’ve endured the cross to live in this high and lofty place of common union with the Most High God have been few and far between. People like Enoch, Moses, the Apostle John and Paul were totally separated from the world, which allowed them to live an overcoming life in a crossover place with God, so sacred and beautiful that it begs description. Even though resurrection life (complete crucifixion of worldly and fleshly passions) is not a new grace, it’s been preferred by and fixed on by a small number of extremely devout saints.  One of the new things that God is going to do in our day is to extend this crucified life grace (authentic death, burial, resurrection life reality) to a large company of believers:

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

                                                                                                              ~Phil 3:10-12 NASB

We must remember that difficult crucifying circumstances are the painfully beautiful agents that form you into His very image where you are filled with tangible effervescent joy, unwavering powerful love, profound life-giving wisdom, et cetera. “All of you, for all of Him.” It’s really quite a bargain.

Let’s shift for a moment, back to our study of the dispensation of the fullness of times. In order to be complete, we need to thoroughly understand the picture that God is painting. Remember that the Biblical pattern for each new dispensation is first a precious son volunteers to become a worshipful, sacrificial burnt offering; then gradually a new dwelling place for God is built. This means we need to look more into what God says about a precious or mature son.

Almost every time the word “son” is used in the New Testament, it comes from two Greek words:

[1]  teknon = babies or immature sons,

[2]  huios = mature sons (used in Revelation 21:7)

Immature sons of God – teknons – tend to go after their own heart’s desires, and are less likely to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. So basically, a mark of the spiritually immature is that they have not yet learned to act only on the Spirit’s leading. Another mark of spiritual immaturity is most often teknons react, or respond, emotionally or intellectually to various trials they face as well as seeking to protect themselves; therefore, they are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 3:7). We can only come to the knowledge of the truth by applying it. Character is forged by facing difficult circumstances, not running away from or hiding from the truth. Truth must be allowed to have its way in our lives if we are going to mature. The Hebrew pictograph for the word “humble” reveals that humility comes when we destroy our walls of self-protection. While the Hebrew pictograph for the word “pride” tells us that we are in pride when we lift ourselves up in our own strength.

God’s Kingdom focuses on growing and maturing sons (huios). Physical growth for people is a function of time. Intellectual growth is a function of learning. While spiritual growth is a function of obedience.  If Jesus was a mature Son (huios), yet He learned obedience by the things He suffered (Heb 5:8), then we should expect to have to walk in the same manner as He did (1 John 2:6):

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for          obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? I am speaking in human term because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in  sanctification (holiness).

                                                                ~ Romans 6: 16,19 NASB (emphasis mine)

From these verses we see a pattern where obedience to God’s divine will results in our righteousness, which results in our holiness. We’ll discuss this process more in another article. For now, please allow me to pull out some prevalent Biblical themes with regard to mature sons of God without doing an exhaustive study. Mature or Adult Sons:

[1]  Are heirs of God’s Kingdom (Rom 8:17; Gal 3:29; Heb 11:8-10).

[2]  Serve God with a whole heart and willing mind, i.e. soul (1 Chr 28:9).

[3]  Are chosen to build a dwelling place for God’s sanctuary (1 Chr 28:10).

[4]  Hear, treasure, and observe God’s commandments (Prov 1:8; 2:1; 4:1; 5:7; 7:1,24).

[5]  Love their enemies and they pray for their persecutors (Matt 5:44-45).

[6]  Are continually led by the Spirit of God (Rom 8:14).

[7] Are the pool from which the overcoming bridal company is drawn from (Rev 21:7).

However, all mature sons are not necessarily part of the pure and spotless Bride (Matt 25:1-13; Eph 5:27). One does not guarantee the other. There are wise virgins and foolish virgins within the church. To be part of Christ’s Bride, one must literally go through their own close and personal baptism of fire (i.e., complete crucifixion) where the All-Consuming Fire who sits on the sapphire throne (Ezek 1:26-27, 10:1; Heb 12:29) righteously judges our earth. On this side of heaven in the land of the living, God will be testing the quality of each bridal candidate’s works by fire (1 Cor 3:12-15), so she can be properly clothed for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with bright and clean fine linen, which is a robe of righteousness (Isa 61:10-11), or as Revelation 19:8 tells us that this fine linen is literally the righteous acts of the saints.

Please do not dismiss this truth lightly. Becoming part of the Bride of Christ is not a salvation issue, it’s about the most intimate, eternal relationship with the King of kings. It’s an eternal reward issue where no one will be exempt. True Christians will either be found by the Judge of heaven and earth, the King of the Ages, to be a wise virgin or a foolish one and I wouldn’t just assume that you are counted in the wise column. Too much is at stake to assume and presume anything; and unfortunately, Christ’s Church has taught us for decades that everyone who is part of the church is part of the pure and spotless Bride. This is not a Scripturally accurate picture. (Please refer to the “Here Comes The Bride http://www.sapphirethroneministries.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/here-comes-the-bride/  article for greater clarification.)


[1] Term coined by Dani Meeker Chambers. Received in a text on 01-06-2012.

[2] Make the Right Choices by Wade Taylor wade@wadetaylor.org, The Elijah List (www.elijahlist.com) email info@elijahlist.net, December 04-2011

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