Confirming the Exaltation
of the Firstborn
IT WAS A TIMELY DISCOVERY
when it was realised that the Greek word 'katabole' could not
possibly signify foundation, as rendered by the translators in
the Authorised Version. It certainly aided our insight into the
Scriptures around Genesis 1:1. Particularly, it gave some light
to show that the "was" of verse 2 of the Authorised Version was
not a proper rendering of the Hebrew, for it was not the
substantive verb, that is "BE". Rather was it a causative
formation of the Hebrew word "BECOME", that is, "cause to
become", and this could be rendered clearly by the shorter
"become" or "became".
However, due to extreme
caution, thoroughly commendable from some standpoints, full
exploration was prevented, and so we have been prevented from
going forward in our investigations of this final insight. We
have thus lacked discerning the full correspondence which lies
around other statements of God's word, and elucidate the
position to a fuller understanding.
We have really marked time,
resting on the idea that the Scriptures did not explain further,
whereas they do require a fuller discernment regarding the
connections with the disruption. True it was that the position
first adopted seemed to be substantiated by the judgment that
the Greek term 'kosmos' referred to the earth, whereas its width
of meaning denominates the SYSTEM, and so the disruption should
be referred to the limits of the universe.
The topsy-turvy strata of the
earth appeared to confirm us in the idea of the reference to the
earth. So the wider implications were suppressed, though to be
sure they were in the case. The earth pressed itself into view,
for it was so close, being right before us. We failed to note
that it was but part of the case.
The reference at Ephesians 1:4
ought to have warned us, for there 'katabole' is used in such an
important way and sense. It is dealing with what is a pivotal
thought in God's ways with the universe: it is a carrying
forward from an interruption. This position has long been a
matter of consideration with some, for they were appreciating
that the details were knocking for fresh and deeper attention.
The passing of time deepened
the strength of the idea. The choice of believers demanded
something actual, and could not rest upon a cause which was a
chance happening. Moreover, the details of the prayer in
Ephesians one, they also mention details which indicate that we
had before us a major matter, and one which indicated a vital
position around the chosen believers. The prayer was for wisdom
and revelation in their realisation of Him. This prayer was
persisted in, and through many years! Our God was not unheeding!
God was promoting the prayer,
and He was also giving the humility for the persistence of the
believers. He did not suffer them to give up. Rather did He lead
the investigation and enquiry into His word, and this until they
began to see, little by little, that disruption was a matter
amidst the obedience of the Firstborn, and that it indicated
that the Firstborn was not accepted as the Head of the
creation which He had figured in bringing forth. His Father's
exaltation of Him was queried.
A correct view of the bearing
and relationship of creation to the Firstborn is required. We
must on the one hand see Him in His distinctiveness, that it
required Him really and truly to be separate from the remainder
of creation, and not One Who was the inclusive measure of it.
When we appreciate the truth
of this, we are able to see how vividly the Philippian epistle
speaks when noting that He emptied Himself. This He was able to
do, and yet leave Himself in His solitary personal position,
still carrying out that which His Father had laid upon Him, and,
indeed, He was taking all to its completion, even as He had done
from the first glory which His God and Father had exalted Him
to, when placing creation into Him. He entered into all the
realities of it, coming to stand as the One in Whom creation had
These thoughts should not be
entered into lightly, either to accept or to reject. Let it be
realised that we remember that there are centuries lying behind
the understanding current, and we need both prayer and God's
spirit in order to realise and understand. We cannot give glory
to the Son, but our wrong understanding may well cloud it over.
This we aim to avoid.
There is a number of matters
to which we must have regard when reflecting upon God's creation
and the requirements laid upon the Son by His God and father.
They do not admit anything but that all shall be done orderly
and with due concern. Thus, when we read that through Him the
eons were made, this must give us concern to see the point to
which this can be attached. Certainly it is no afterthought.
Rather must it be amongst primary matters, and have due relation
to all other things.
Purpose is fully and wholly
related to the eons. Correspondingly, creation in its entirety
must have its connection with the eons, and, indeed, to the
fullest of reality. Similar thoughts are required to relate to
the Firstborn in His relationship to creation and He must be
separate from it. Yet He must be made to possess creation within
Himself, ere He brings it out in His creating. Only in this way
could creation come to be through Him. Were creation
brought forth contemporary to Him, then it could hardly be
The detail to which we move is
this: within the Firstborn, and the activity required of Him,
there was that which would give rise to every problem of the
eons and of creation. All was created through Him. Any further
requirement needed to be provided, the provision made for it,
and this called for the eons. Here the thought of the disruption
emerges. The disruption made the need for the eons.
How it is when we entertain
that creation was put into Him, promoting His exaltation, for in
this way He became the Image of the invisible God, and so the
Creative Original, that we see that the Firstborn was not so as
to His beginning.
Creation is a question to
itself, and a first point to avoid is thinking in terms of
philosophy, that is, as to creation being a thing in itself,
potential in God. That is not the Scriptures. Creation rests
absolutely upon God. He did create it, for it was not half
existent ere He brought it forth. In Him were the invisible
attributes capable of creating, and His Own nature supplied the
material, that is, spirit.
With these details in mind, we
are able to understand that creation was out of God into the
Firstborn. Into Him were put the needed invisible
attributes, as well as the spirit required. To this we need to
add such details as to the order of beings to be brought forth,
and their offices.
In this way we are able to see
that there came to be the point when the Adversary was created.
It was this one who raised all the opposition to the headship of
the Firstborn which was conferred upon Him in His exaltation.
Now the Firstborn was well aware that He was producing such a
one, and He knew, too, what it meant for Him, in every sense,
even in the respect of losing the values of His exaltation. Yet
He had been obedient thus far to His God and Father, and that
was the essential matter. This still left Him as the Creative
Original, though the glory of it, in the matter of headship was
denied to Him by creation itself, led by the Adversary! But God
preserved, by His selection of believers, the headship to His
Son. The Glory of His exaltation was confirmed.
Outwardly there is no possible
means of redress. The Psalmist saw this forlorn part (Psalm 8)
in a sense. What is a mortal? Thou has graced to him much in the
way of authority, even for a son of humanity (Adam). For such a
one there did not appear to be any advance from the inferiority
of mortality. This is the thought taken up in the Hebrew
epistle, yet the epistle sees mortality as precluding any glory.
Because of death, everything seemed impotent. Yet the
immortality of the celestials, that also afforded no recovery.
Yet the resources of God were such that He was well able to
cover all the details which ensued from the disruption. Though
that had seemingly destroyed the glory of the exaltation of His
Firstborn, yet He has secret wisdom which will honour His Son's
Out of God's provisions around
the disruption, He will make an allotment to the Firstborn, and,
from this allotment, the Son will carry forward whatsoever His
Father had planned, for the Son will lead that allotment of
believers forward in order to administer with Him in that future
administration when He is to head up all in the celestials and
all on the the earth. The Son is the Head and this is the
full assurance the consummation. Thus we come to realise that
the disruption was a planned matter and the glory of the Son was
reckoned as fully able to bring to realisation the consummation.
From this allotment, the Head will operate to this end, yet with
the celestials as the major centre for those of His allotment.
Truly then our prayers for the
realising of the glory of His allotment being shown forth will
have come to fruition. The wisdom, the righteousness and the
love now being shown forth to us, as the complement of the Son,
this, in a sense, is our delight, encouraging us despite the
meagre fellowship existing within the circle of believers on
such themes. Amidst it all, we thank our God.
In concluding, we would stress
that this understanding does, indeed, put our salvation into its
proper aspect. Let it not be misunderstood when we remark that
the personal aspect of it is but incidental. The real emphasis
of our salvation is that we are chosen by the Father, in order
to confirm to His Son, His headship of the universe, until the
full display comes to be, when God is All in all. Meanwhile, we
are that body which does affirm His headship to Him. This is the
Father's view and outlook. The outlook of Christ Jesus is to
bring creation to the position where it finds His God to be its
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