Hebrew Roots/Holy Priesthood/The Status of the Firstborn Sons
The Original Status
Man was placed in the divine order of creation, "a little lower than the angles...crowned with the glory of the Creator's life, and was appointed over the works of the Almighty's hands" (free translation) "You put all things in subjection under his feet .. .. " (Hebrews 2:6-8, as quoted from Psalm 8:4-6), This clearly means that man was meant to be a prince on this earth and rule for God over His creation.
In that original exalted state of having the Father's glory, he had direct fellowship with Yahweh God and walked and talked with Him in the garden (Genesis 2:8; 3:8).
He was in perfect accord, one in heart and mind with the Godhead, and in that fellowship of love and truth the Spirit of God filled him with all wisdom and knowledge in accordance with his progressive level of spiritual growth, as determined by Yahweh God.
Adam was clothed with the glory of Almighty God, which in the likeness of garments of light, radiated from him. When severed from the source of the spiritual light which emanated from him, the glory departed. Man became a creature fallen from his original state, and in his submission to Satan, he lost the status of glory which he had been given and became subject to the spirits of this present darkness.
However, now, through our Messiah, Y'shua the Son of God, the believer has been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" Colossians 1:13
That takes us out of the established order of this world which is ruled by Satan and his demonic powers and places us under the government of King Messiah and His ministering angelic hosts.
The spiritual garments of the Father's glory are evident in the visions of John in the book of Revelation upon the saints who have been restored to the former glory.
The Restored Glory
God Himself is pure light (1 John 1: 5). It is a quality of light which man cannot bear in the full intensity of its strength, He dwells in an "unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see" (1 Timothy 6:16) We look upon the Father's glory in the form of Y'shua and even then John describes himself falling at His feet "as dead", being so overcome by His Presence. Revelation 1:13-18, - v.17
Yet we see in the revelation of the New Jerusalem, the heavenly Zion, that those who ascend to the throne to rule and reign with the Lamb are illuminated with the light of the glory of God Himself by the indwelling of His Presence (Revelation 21:22-23). They are living in a realm of supernatural light. (22: 5) "They shall see His face, and His name shall be in their foreheads." (22: 4)
They shall be completely conformed to His image and likeness and shall be able to look upon Him, in all His glory as one of a kind and see Him as He is. (1 John 3: 2-3)
We look forward in time through the revelation of John, and see the radiance of these sons who have come to maturity, "having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone," and this 'city' (the heavenly Jerusalem) had no need of the sun or the moon to shine in it, "for the glory of God illuminated it" and the "Lamb is its light". "There shall be no night there: they need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever." (Revelation 21:11, 23; 22:5)
The overcomers in Messiah have been transfigured into His divine likeness, and this transformation is the real purpose and destiny of human beings planned from the foundation of the world.
The initial deposit of His glory of the inner man has transcended the mortal and shone through the frail bodies of clay. Like the pitchers of Gideon's overcomers, the outer man of flesh has been smashed to reveal the 'treasure' in the clay vessel for it to shine in the full blaze of its glory and dispel the powers of darkness. (Judges 7, note verses 16-20 & 2 Corinthians 4: 7; 5: 1-5; 1 Corinthians 15:40-45)
The Lamb is the light of this holy city, which has no need of a temple for they themselves have become the embodiment of the glory of God in Y'shua. The spiritual Body of the saints, is His tabernacle.
"Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God." Revelation 21: 3
The city is of pure gold signifying that the entire system of priesthood will be as gold refined in the fire.
As it is written, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2: 9 from Isaiah 64: 4
"Beloved, now are we the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." 1 John 3: 2
"For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth-pangs together until now, .. .. .. " For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God." Romans 8:19, 23 The whole creation is in travail, labouring under the effects of the curse and waiting for its deliverance from its present state of corruption. The very elements are waiting for the birthing and manifestation of the firstborn sons who will again walk as a living conduit of spiritual Life and restore order in the earth.
This remnant of overcomers, birthed from within the kingdom of God throughout the ages, will ascend to the throne and rule and reign with Messiah, a "manchild", who is to "rule all nations with a rod of iron".
"He that overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne." Revelation 3:21;12:5
"At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Yahweh; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of Yahweh, to Jerusalem" Jeremiah 3:17
However, before we can ever rule out there, Yahweh must rule within us to complete His transforming work in our lives. We must become an overcomer. The promise is to " he that overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end, " Revelation 2:26-27a.
"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified." Romans 8:28-30 It is a finished work. In His original predestined plan, those He called in Messiah, have been glorified.
Just as Y'shua underwent trials and sufferings to bring Him to perfection as the author of our complete salvation, so also must those who are called, be purified and perfected.
“I consider that our present sufferings (the process of being conformed to His image) are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18-20).
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things which are seen .. .. .. " (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) -- while we continue having our eyes firmly fixed on the hope set before us, of entering into His glory and receiving the prize of the high calling of God in Y'shua the Messiah, as our eternal reward.
For this, we "... press toward the mark " Therefore let us, as many as be perfect, - of a mature mind-set, diligently press on with the full assurance of the hope set before us, and let us go on to perfection!
"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Messiah Y'shua ... I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Yahweh in Messiah Y'shua" Philippians 3:12-14.
The Restored Order
"For you have not come unto a mount that might be touched (natural order)… But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, " Hebrews 12:18, 22-24a
An assembly - a group of 'called out ones' who are destined for the glory of His Presence dwelling in them corporately, a Shekinah-glory-filled structure of people who become transformed by the illumination of His light. Revelation 21:22-23; 22: 5
This is a revelation of the completion of the building of His temple of living stones constructed as a dwelling place of God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:21,22
John, by revelation in a vision, describes this glory as being like precious stones illumined by His radiance in Revelation 21 and verses 10-23 -- glory beyond description -- this is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:18
We are to become a "kind of firstfruits of His creatures" In Messiah, which are purposed to come to the fullness and be reaped at the end of the age. James 1:18; 1 Corinthians 15:23
We are to be like Y'shua. Being transformed in the image of Y'shua, is all about being restored to the firstborn calling (see Romans 8:29; 12:2; 1 Corinthians 15:49).
They are those who have responded to the call and have come up to Mount Zion within the veil as His priests of the new order, having become part of that spiritual city, the New Jerusalem to be manifested from above with authority over the earth. (Mt.Zion was the place of David's Tabernacle) Revelation 21;1-3, This is the temple of living stones which He will dwell in for all eternity - Revelation 21: 7, 10-21, 22
"And they shall reign for ever and ever" Revelation 22: 5b
The Restored Priesthood
The foundations of the city in Revelation 21 are likened to the twelve precious stones of the High Priest's breastplate, which represented the twelve aspects of the Father's glory which were destined to shine through each of the twelve spiritual fathers of Israel. (Exodus Ch.28 - verses 17-21; 39:10-14; Rev. 21:19-20)
Each tribal head when they had overcome their fleshly natures, manifested a divine characteristic in their personality of the Father's nature and also each had an aspect of the twelve foundational administrations of His government, for the kingdom.
This was enacted in the natural, by the order in which the tribes camped around the Tabernacle, with each tribe demonstrating the banner relative to its function in the government of the kingdom.
The precedence of the ministerial function was acted out in the order in which they broke camp and the order of procession in which they journeyed. (Numbers 2: 1-34; Numbers 10:14-28; Revelation 21:12-13)
For example, Judah the kingly tribe whose focus was praise and worship, was first, followed by Issachar whose main focus was intercession and setting truth in place; then Zebulon, the outreach ministry.
The heavenly city is set on the foundation of the functions of the restored ministry of the original Mechizedek-type priesthood, each manifesting its own unique and glorious light as of precious gemstone reflecting the glorious orb of light of the One who dwells in the "unapproachable light" of eternity. The city is set out according to the encampment order of the tribes of Israel, His nation of priests.
The "apostles of the Lamb" are the actual foundation stones of the city, as it rests on the foundation of Messiah's full revelation of the plan and purposes of Yahweh God, revealed in the "new" covenant. And, the city was measured according to the measure of a 'man', which is equivalent to an 'angel'.
The measure of those who dwell in this city is that of those who have been restored to their position with Y'shua, as He predicted, of equality to the angelic hosts in incorruptibility and immortality. (Luke 20:36; 1 Corinthians 15:43-45) It comes to a measure in numbers of 144 cubits, a cubit for a 'man'.
The City is twelve thousand furlongs (stadia) long, high and wide which is a cube as was the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon. Also the altar of Ezekiel 43:16-17 which is for the Millennial period is twelve cubits long and twelve cubits broad, following the same pattern for the priesthood of that period.
The overcomers, the holy Melchizedek priesthood, form its structure and dimensions, being based on the concept of twelve thousand to each tribe, comprising the 144,000 of Revelation 7:4-8.
The gates to the City are of a single pearl. This single pearl is the pearl of great price of the calling of Yahweh God to be part of the firstfruits, firstborn company of overcomers. (Matthew 13:46)
The privilege of such a high calling and such an honour, demands our life, our all!