| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 28 - Page 89 of 217 Index | Zoom | |
Three "Adoptions" and three Spheres of Blessing.
pp. 221 - 223
Covenants, Dispensations, Ages and Callings, with their associated doctrines, walks
and peculiarities, testify to the fact that there are several spheres of blessing, viz., the
Earth, the New Jerusalem and the Heavenly Places of Ephesians. These spheres are
clearly indicated by name and characteristics in the Scriptures.
The Earth, both during the millennial reign of Christ and afterward, is to be blessed
and inhabited by a redeemed people. The O.T. Prophets abound with references to this
sphere, while such passages in the N.T. as "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in
earth as it is in heaven" confirm the literality of these predictions. Associated with this
earthly sphere is a city, Jerusalem, which is to be the centre of rule and light to all the
nations of the earth.
One of the finest demonstrations of the fact of these three spheres that Scripture
provides, is the use of the word "adoption", which means the "placing as a son", and
includes the idea of the making of a will and appointing the heir. It also includes the idea
involved in the Scriptural meaning of the Firstborn. It is manifestly impossible for a man
to have three first-born sons, unless, like Abraham, he has had three families; and if
Scripture reveals three different callings that have the "adoption", it will be a clear proof
that there must be at least three different spheres of blessing.
In the earthly sphere, the adoption pertains to Israel.
"My kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertaineth the
adoption" (Rom. 9: 3, 4).
It is impossible to speak of a "spiritual Israel" with this plain passage before us, so we
are compelled to interpret literally.
In the second sphere, the adoption pertains to both Jew and Gentile who walk in the
steps of the faith of Abraham--the father of all who believe. These are severed from the
Jerusalem which is below, and find their calling and sphere of blessing in the Jerusalem
that is above.
"To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons"
(Gal. 4: 5).
"That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that
we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" (Gal. 3: 14).
"If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise"
(Gal. 3: 29).
"Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all" (Gal. 4: 26).
The epistle to the Hebrews (which some, with good reason, believe was written at the
same time as Galatians) speaks of "birthright", "the heavenly Jerusalem", "the Church