“Friend, Have You Met My Big Brother?”
By Vincent J. Neptune
“For those He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, so that He would be the Firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8: 29)
If someone was to ask me what is my most precious, most intimate, most profound knowledge of God my Creator...I would answer that it is the knowledge that God is not merely my Creator - but that He is my Father.
Family and friends, I say to you, before God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, that there is no more blessed thought or knowledge or truth or reality in my heart than to know that I am an offspring, a son, of God.
God, the great God - Yahweh of armies, the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent One whose awesome works of creation testify to His might and power and glory - the infinite and invisible Spirit in whom we all live and move and have our beings - the great God, the mighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of the universe - the glorious Creator Himself - my Father!
What a truth!
And in the knowledge of the great God our Father, comes with it the knowledge that I am a son of God - even as Adam, the human progenitor of the human race, was "the son of God” (Luke 3: 38)…. and even as Jesus Christ, the Firstborn, the Human Redeemer of the human race, is the Son of God. And that, along with and through Jesus Christ the Firstborn and Lord of all, the Son of sons, we are all, collectively, the sons of God!
It is astounding and heartwarming and exciting to intellectually acknowledge and to spiritually and intuitively know and understand - that God, the great God - even the King of all glory, thinks of me as His son - that in my Father’s eyes, I am of infinitely higher esteem than earth, wind, water, fire....that I am much more important and glorious and exciting and much more reflective of the glory of my Father than the brightest star - much more awesomely and honorably made than a thousand galaxies and all that is in them!
What a truth!
It is written:
“[Yahweh] your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3: 17)
Can we see through the eyes of our hearts - Yahweh our God, the Almighty Father rejoicing over us with gladness – quieting our fears and soothing us with His LOVE....indeed, rejoicing over us, His CHILDREN, with happy songs?
If you can see this you are indeed blessed; and if do not yet see but you are but willing to believe this, you will be blessed.
Brothers and sisters, as I drink in this glorious truth, I recall the words of praise that our elder brother David the man of God offered up to God our Father:
“O [Yahweh], our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world! Your praise reaches up to the heavens; it is sung by children and babies. You are safe and secure from all your enemies; you stop anyone who opposes you.
“When I look at the sky, which you have made, at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places — what are human beings, that you think of them; mere mortals, that you care for them? Yet you made them inferior only to yourself; you crowned them with glory and honor.
"You appointed them rulers over everything you made; you placed them over all creation: sheep and cattle, and the wild animals too; the birds and the fish and the creatures in the seas. O [Yahweh], our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world!” (Psalm 8)
It is a most awesome thought! That above all the creations of God - I am God’s son! And as I look around at the material universe - the earth, and the heaven and heavens of heavens - at constellations and galaxies stretching outward and outward....I see in all of these but masterfully created things – cosmic ornaments and structures in the vast universe that God has created for His universal family, of which every rational being - spirit and human - belong!
As saints, we are the sons of God in a very special sense – in the sense of which the immortal spirits are the sons of God, although we have not yet received the physical transformation of our bodies from mortal to immortality. And as saints and sons of the light, we can appreciate the words of our beloved brother Paul when he writes (Romans 8: 18-19):
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.”
However, we often fail to recognize that every other human being are also sons of God, since we are all His offspring. The apostle Paul proclaimed this wonderful truth to an audience of idol-worshippers who venerated and believed in a pantheon of gods and goddesses, and knew nothing of the one true God and Father Yahweh, and His Son Jesus Christ. These men were, in Christian parlance, “unsaved.” Yet quoting their own poet, Aratus, our brother Paul declared, in part:
“For in Him (God) we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘for we are His offspring.’ Being God’s offspring, then, we shouldn’t think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image fashioned by human art and imagination.” (Acts 17: 28-29)
And so it is an awesome thought to acknowledge that God made me (and all of us) in His image and likeness – His offspring - a son of the God - a spiritual but finite duplicate of the infinite Spirit Himself! And it is an even greater thought for me to acknowledge the work of the Redeemer, the Man Christ Jesus, who has reversed the death sentence that we inherited from the first man, Adam, by redeeming us from death by dying in our place and through the power of His resurrection giving to us an even greater legacy – an inheritance into the spiritual kingdom as immortal spirits, equal to the spirits, the angels, in heaven.
What a truth!
In context of this awesome truth, our brother Paul wrote to the saints (Hebrews 12:18-29):
“For you have not come to what could be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, gloom, and storm, to the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of words. (Those who heard it begged that not another word be spoken to them, for they could not bear what was commanded: “And if even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned!” And the appearance was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.”) Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels in festive gathering, to the assembly of the Firstborn whose names have been written in heaven, to God who is the Judge of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which says better things than the blood of Abel.
"See that you do not reject the One who speaks; for if they did not escape when they rejected Him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven. His voice shook the earth at that time, but now He has promised, 'yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven.' Now this expression, 'Yet once more,' indicates the removal of what can be shaken-- that is, created things-- so that what is not shaken might remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. “
And it also touches me to the depths and core of my being to acknowledge in the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the First and the Last, the King and Ruler of the universe, to whom every knee must and will bow and worship, who is seated on the throne of the Father high above every principality and power that is known and can be named - that I am His little brother!
What a truth!
Our elder brother John the apostle, in view of this great and marvelous truth, could not help but exclaim:
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we are called the sons of God. And we really are!” (1st John 3: 1)
Yes....behold what manner of love the Son of God has bestowed on us, that we are called the sons of God - the brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus Christ! And we really are!
What a truth!
The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
And through Christ Jesus, we, the sons of God!
What a truth!
As it is written:
“For as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God.” And it is written that we are born thusly, “not of blood or the will of the flesh or the will of man – but of God!” (John 1: 12-13)
Beloved, can your heart take in the profundity of the honor bestowed upon us, that we are the sons of God - that the Creator is our Father and we His children? And that the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the universe, is our Big Brother?
What a truth!
And can our hearts contain the power and nobility of the gracious words that our Big Brother spoke to our sister, Mary, when He told her:
“Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father – to My God and your God! (John 20: 17)
What a truth!
Jesus' God is our God and Jesus' Father is our Father, and He is our Big Brother, the Chief Son and the Firstborn of us all!
Can you, my beloved family, relate to the nobility in the words of our elder brother, Peter the apostle, when he wrote:
“As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2: 16-17)
Yes, slavery in Christ = freedom, and with it the responsibility to use our freedom honestly, diligently and with brotherly love. And so we are to honor all humans because they are also sons of God, for they are His offspring through Adam as we all are. And we are to love the brotherhood, our family members who have been redeemed through their repentance and faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ - the other saints of God worldwide who like us are now mortals in the flesh but immortals in the spirit, eagerly awaiting the redemption of our bodies when we are raised from the dead and transformed from corruptible to incorruptible, from mortal to immortal, whether indeed we are asleep in the earth at the time of His coming or alive.
“Beloved, now we are the sons of God!” (1 John 3: 2)
What a truth!
It is this good news, this astounding reality of the kingdom of God - filling the mind and overflowing in the heart of our brother and loyal apostle of our lord Jesus, Paul of Tarsus, that brought him to his knees in wholesome awe and gratitude and adoration, as we see evident in his choice and magnificent words to the saints (Ephesians 3: 14-21):
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
Brothers, sisters, and friends: can you now – if you had not before - begin to grasp the immensity of that which we are part of – of the Kingdom of God the Father and the Son - i.e. the Kingdom of the family of God?
This is the heart of the Good News (gospel) of the Kingdom of God that has been preached into all the world. Satan, a son of God and the god of this world, has been doing his very best, aided by his legion of evil spirits (demons, devils) and those evil humans who serve him, to keep us saints and sons of the most high God and our lost human brothers from fully understanding who we are – that we are sons of the living God, and that although we were doomed to die because Adam, the mortal father of all humans, surrendered his dominion of the planet to Satan through his sin of idolatry (thusly, Satan became “ the god” of this world) - we now have the opportunity, through the incomputable sacrifice of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, to not only be redeemed from death, but to become a citizen of the spiritual kingdom of which Satan is no more, since Prince Michael the archangel and the celestial army have already cast him and his demons out of heaven. Satan is doing his very best to keep that knowledge from us!
As it is written (Revelation 12:7-12):
“Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was thrown out - the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah have now come, because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown out: the one who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death.
‘Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the earth and the sea, for the Devil has come down to you with great fury, because he knows he has a short time. ‘”
Family and friends, this is why our brother Paul, a commander in the army of God on earth during his mortal time, wrote (2 Corinthians 10: 3-6):
“For although we are walking in the flesh, we do not wage war in a fleshly way, since the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”
Notice, the battle is for our minds, because the mind is the nexus from which we choose our destiny, whether to believe in the Son of God, or to believe in another of a thousand and one false religions and teachings that divert and pollute and contaminate and confuse our minds and contrive to keep us from coming to an accurate understanding of these great and needful truths of who we are and what is truly going on in our world! They generate false arguments, teachings and false science against the knowledge of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
This war for our souls is what kept the apostles and prophets of old unyielding in the face of great opposition, trials and tribulations – kept them strong in the face of persecution, slander, imprisonment, beating, and murder – and which is what led the Lord of glory and Prince of life to surrender His life on the cross of Calvary to redeem us back to life through the power of His resurrection. This ministry is what kept the sons of God on earth pressing forward in the face of the greatest and most severe opposition!
Paul (2 Corinthians 4:1-7)
“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not give up. Instead, we have renounced shameful secret things, not walking in deceit or distorting God's message, but in God's sight we commend ourselves to every person's conscience by an open display of the truth. But if, in fact, our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. Regarding them: the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
"For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves because of Jesus. For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness’ - He has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God's glory in the face of Jesus Christ. Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us.
What a truth!
The beloved apostle Peter, also an elder brother and commander in the heavenly army on earth, in context of these great truths, wrote to the saints:
“So rid yourselves of all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the unadulterated spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it in your salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good. Coming to Him, a living stone -- rejected by men but chosen and valuable to God-- you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
"For it stands in Scripture: Look! I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and valuable cornerstone, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame! So the honor is for you who believe; but for the unbelieving, The stone that the builders rejected-- this One has become the cornerstone, and a stone that causes men to stumble, and a rock that trips them up. They stumble by disobeying the message; they were destined for this. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
"Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against the soul. Conduct yourselves honorably among the people of the world, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do evil, they may, by observing your good works, glorify God in a day of visitation.
“Submit to every human institution because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority, or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For it is God's will that you, by doing good, silence the ignorance of foolish people.
"As God's slaves, live as free people, but don't use your freedom as a way to conceal evil. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor. (1 Peter 2: 1-17)
Yes, my friends: the honor is for you who believe.
Paul (Romans 2: 7-12):
“....eternal life to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and indignation to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth, but are obeying unrighteousness; affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. There is no favoritism with God. All those who sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all those who sinned under the law will be judged by the law.”
The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth to reveal the Father to His lost sons. And He sacrificed His life to give as many as will believe in His name, the power to become the sons of God – to as many as believe on His name. And He has promised that none who comes to him He will cast out. The opportunity is freely given to as many as would believe, and believing, receive it.
The honor is for you who believe, and for you who honor the Son of God, our Redeemer, our Kinsman, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mathew 9: 35-38:
Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
Let us, today, the sons and daughters of the Light, awake from our sleep and show to our lost brothers and sisters in the world the pure and untarnished glory of our great and awesome God the Father in the face of the Lord Jesus Christ. And for those who do not believe, we urge you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, for there is no salvation in any other name given among men through which we may be saved.
In Jesus' Name,
(A son and servant of God and Jesus Christ's little brother).
What a truth!
“As God’s slaves, we are to live as free people, but we are not to use our freedom as a license to promote or conceal evil. In our daily conduct, we must remember to honor everyone, to love the brotherhood, to revere our great God and Father, and to honor the King of all kings, Jesus Christ the Lord!”