Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
The Body of Christ
All the sons of Adam shall one day become the Sons of God; this was God’s purpose for creating man in the first place. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But these spiritual births will take place in several successive phases. There will be a firstborn group of Sons, then a second-born group, and so on. Every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Those that complete their spiritual gestation now, during this present dispensation, will become the firstborn Sons. This first generation will attain a higher destiny than their later-born siblings. The firstfruits, (Overcomers), will enter into the most intimate and secret habitation of God. The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. They will be taken for the highest possible calling. They will become God’s closest companions. For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine, both man and beast: on the day that I smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself. The firstborn Sons will obtain a better resurrection. The firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. They will be stamped with double honor. He shall acknowledge … the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he has: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his. There is an incalculable, permanent, double portion blessing reserved for this firstborn group. Ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God. … For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
When all the firstborn Sons of God are complete, they will be assembled into a unified, ruling counsel. This corporate congress is called the “Body of Christ.” Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Christ is the Greek word Christos, which means, “anointed.” Jesus was the first to become anointed as a Son of God. He was the first to obtain a position in “Christ.” And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. But all the firstborn Sons of God will follow Jesus’ example, and obtain this same standing for themselves. The general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, … the spirits of just men made perfect. Christ is not a person, it is a group. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. The goodness of God invites you to join this divine group, and partake of the heavenly splendor of Christ. For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. Whenever the Christ is made visible, our life, then also you with Him shall be manifested in glory.
The knowledge of the many-membered Christ is the awesome news of Christianity. You can become a spiritually begotten Son of God, just like Jesus. If you do it now, you will attain a place in the firstborn Body of Christ. This is God’s preeminent message, offering all his wealth to the Sons of his own loins. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. The present work of every Christian should be to gain the spiritual maturity necessary to function as an individual member in the Body of Christ. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. Every person who claims to believe the Bible should be striving for this ultimate goal. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ. Every other desire, and every ruse of denominational-ism, is a paltry pittance that pales in comparison. To attain to the Body of Christ is the supreme mission. When you are launched on this quest, every other contest becomes an unworthy, unsatisfying chore. God has chosen to make known how glorious are the riches of this open secret among the heathen, namely, Christ in you the hope of your glorification. As a son of Adam you are now challenged to become a Son of God. As you begin this process, turn to the Holy Bible and the Holy Spirit. Avoid the brokers and beliefs of Organized Christianity, as they are empty and unprofitable. Leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.
To begin your trek to spiritual maturity, simply ask Jesus Christ for a seed from his spirit life. When you receive the seed of “Christ,” your spirit becomes a newly conceived Son of God. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life. This new spirit Son will then be matured inside your physical, sinful, Adamic body. If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Your body of flesh and the carnal mind are only fodder for your spirit; they will inherit nothing from God. For this ye know, that no whore-monger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ. The spirit Son of God within you is matured as he extends his sway over the body, and destroys your fallen carnal nature. Now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Every Adamic failing must be neutralized, defused, and rendered inoperable, by the maturing spirit of Christ within you. Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. While pursuing spiritual maturity, turn your eyes away from the physical, temporal glitter of the earthly realm. The things above be constantly setting your mind upon, not the things on the earth. Every lust for the good or evil of the natural world must be abandoned in favor of spiritual vision. That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
As you choke off the energy that demands human prestige and felicity, your spirit will blossom into the deep satisfaction of new spiritual understanding. What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Setting your sights on the acquisition of Christ will bring bitter battles to your life. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. To succeed in these, spiritual victory must become your only goal. Let the earthly realm become dross. Let faith surpass the constant fears of terrestrial life. Nothing must stand in your way. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. As the fire of God’s forge blows upon your daily affairs, the mettle of Christ will be brought to perfection. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Trials serve to focus your passion and prove your resolve. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the off-scouring of all things unto this day. Every tribulation is sent from your Heavenly Father for your good. They verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Through your encounters with travail your spirit will become strong. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Affliction is the only experience that can generate the persevering substance of a begotten being. By your endurance shall ye gain your lives for a possession. (Emphasized). Those who will enter the maturity of Christ, will first prove themselves the greatest spiritual warriors who will ever exist. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. The Sons of God are described as the Overcomers of the Revelation. They are empowered by the grandeur of a new spirit birth. For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world. These Sons are steadfast, and found in the tireless pursuit of perfection, as the last pulse of their veins goes silent. He that overcometh, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations. To these overcoming Sons go the spoils of war. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. They will enter into a heavenly realm. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment. They will become immortal beings, each a new source of autonomous life. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life. By triumph in war, these Sons will become a new habitation for the divine character of God. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, … and I will write upon him my new name. These glorious Overcomers will become the rulers of the ages to come. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.
While the apostle John was in exile on the island of Patmos, he saw a vision of the firstborn Sons, the unified Body of Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet. This celestial group will be girdled with divinity. Being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. They will be adorned with wisdom as an unfading virtue. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow. They will see all things from the perspective of God, casting light into every darkness. His eyes were as a flame of fire. They will dispel every foe with the brilliance of eternal truth. Out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. This corporate assembly will be composed of many individual members. His voice as the sound of many waters. Each will have been fashioned in the heat of earthly travail. His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace. These are the firstborn Sons of God, the soon coming lords of creation. Yielding up poverty, they will come to riches. Turning from human decay, they will put on perfection. Relinquishing weakness, they will ascend to power. Whoever conquers will come into possession of these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son. Amen.