As we consider all we see in ( Acts 6 ) I can see well the struggled to allow the very Spirit within us to be in control of our actions. The understanding of all these things is a part of every person’s spiritual education. That, not just at this time but as far back as when the Church was in its youth.
As we look at the apostles seeking to make decisions, the picture of a stolen birthright comes into play. We first see that picture revealed in ( Genesis 25:20 ) with the birth of twins to the wife of Isaac. I’ll be making some comments about this and, how it relates to the early Church. You can study behind me and even see far beyond what I might teach.
I’ll start this by looking at Rebekah, the wife of Isaac. We see that she was barren, Isaac prayed for her and she had twins. We see in ( Genesis 25:22 ) that the children struggled together within her. In ( Genesis 25:23 ) God told her she had two nations within her and that they would be seperated from her bowels, the elder would serve the younger.
If we go back in Genesis where Abraham sent his elder servant to get a bride for his son Isaac. ( Genesis 24 ). In the picture we see in that chapter; Abraham is ( God the Father ), The elder servant is ( the Holy Spirit ), Isaac his son is ( God the Son ) Jesus Christ. and, Rebekah is ( a type of the Church ). The Elder servant went and found a bride for Isaac. After some time he brought her to that son, Isaac. I just wanted to mention that because that journey, bringing that bride to the son is a picture of the Churches journey to the rapture.
In ( Genesis 25 ) we see where the two sons were born. Esau was born first. He is a type of ( flesh of man ) and Jacob was the second born. He is a type of ( God’s Spirit within each believer ). As you continue to read in ( Genesis 25 ) you will see that ( Rebekah ) helped ( Jacob ) steal the birthright from ( Esau ). Many people overlook this fact but, ( Rebekah ) being a type of the Church is totally responsible for the strength of the inner man. ( The Church ) seeks continually to steal the birthright from our flesh, to feed and make the inner man the strongest, to create a situation where ( the elder ) serves ( the younger ) in the sense that each of us are born in our flesh first and, we are born again second, being the younger.
As we continue to mover foward in ( Genesis ) we see that we follow the family of ( Jacob ) and not ( Esau ). The reason; because it’s the spirit that matters and not the flesh. In the next few chapters of ( Genesis ) we watch as the battle between these two sons unfold.We see both men began to build families. However, we still follow the family of Jacob in the end. As a matter of fact, the twelve tribes of Israel come from Jacob’s family.
Let’s not forget that the Lord told ( Rebekah ) the elder would serve to younger. As we continue to read we see that Jacob actually had twelve sons. In ( Genesis 37 ) we see once again that Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, being the youngest at that time tells his brothers about a dream he had. In that dream, they had to submit unto him. His brothers hated him because of that fact. However, that dream did come to pass.
As you study through ( Genesis ) you will see that ( Joseph ) is a type of Jesus Christ. He became the savior of Egypt and, in turn also the savior of Israel. If you will notice here, he was the savior of Egypt first, then Israel. When Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to get food, Joseph learn’s he has still a ( younger brother ). A brother that he actually knows nothing about.
Now, let’s consider something here. The Lord told ( Rebekah ) ( the elder would serve to younger ).
How does all this tie to ( Acts 6 )? Do you remember that, actually at that time it was only eleven apostles? Although ( Genesis ) is just a picture of the Church as it unfolds, we still see that same picture. In the minds of the brothers of Joseph, it was only eleven brothers; Joseph being dead. They were now servants to him but, they didn’t know it.They sill have a younger brother, Benjamin, which actually made ( twelve brothers ). They would spiritually be servants to him, they just couldn’t see it. As a matter of fact, Joseph instructed them to go and get that younger brother.
In the minds of the eleven apostles, they were servants of Jesus Christ and, that was exactly what they should have been. However, they could not see the next person that they would have to be subject to. As you study through ( Genesis ) you will see that the youngest son born to Jacob was a man named ( Benjamin ). He was born (came into being ) after Joseph’s brothers had sold him to Egypt. Can you see a picture of Israel crucifying Jesus there?
After Jesus Christ was crucified, what came next? The Church was born. Now, the next apostle that Jesus Christ will call, we will see in ( Acts 9 ). His name was ( Saul ) who later became the ( apostle Paul ). Guess what tribe of Israel that the Apostle Paul was from?
( Philippians 3:5 )
Circumcised the eighteth day, of the stock of Israel, ( of the tribe of Benjamin ), an hebrew of the Hebrews; touching the law, a pharisee; ( Also ) this is what the Apostle Paul Said about himself:
( 1 Corinthians 15:8-9 )
And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time, ( 9 ) For I am the least of the apostles, that I am not meet to be called an apostles, because I persecuted the Church of God.
Can you see the scripture here ( the first shall be last and, the last shall be first )?
You will never see where Israel or the sons of Jacob were subject to Benjamin in the Old Testament because the ( Church was hidden in the Old Testament to a great degree.With that being said, can you see how the very fact that had to go and get their younger brother points toward the Church and their relationship with it? We still see that Israel would not be blessed by Joseph unless the younger brother was in the picture, Also, notice that The brothers of Joseph do not recognize him in Egypt. It’s not until they bring their younger brother that he truly reveals himself to his own brethren. Can you see a picture of the ( rapture ) and tribulation in that picture, the way things will be in the end?
Now, I say all this, recognizing that ( Benjamin ) is actually the younger brother. It’s so much to teach here! First of all, if you will notice in all the apostle Paul’s writings, he continues to impress upon the readers that he is an apostle. You can read his desire to prove that point in almost the beginning of every letter he wrote. If you remember the phrase ( the elder shall serve the younger ) ( Romans 9:12 ) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
The is referring to ( Esau and Jacob ). However, that picture continues to be true all the way to the Church. The last apostle chosen is the apostle that Jesus Christ chose to give ( the mysteries ) concerning the Church.
( Ephesians 3:1-8 )
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, ( 2 ) If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given me to you-ward: ( 3 ) How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; ( as I wrote afore in few words. ( 4 ) Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ ) ( 5 ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophests by his Spirit; ( 6 ) That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: ( 7 ) Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. ( 8 ) Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
( The Church is the last )! Can you see how difficult it could be for ( the Jews ) ( the other eleven apostles ) to except this fact? Jesus Christ himself had told ( the twelve ) at that time this:
( Matthew 19:28 )
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
If we consider this whole picture, it appears to the ( eleven apostles ) they have lost their birthright; having to except the teachings of ( Paul ), which is ( the younger ). They, at that time were expecting Jesus Christ to return and set up his kingdom at any time. What the ( Apostle Paul ) was teaching concerning to concept of the Church had to be revealed unto each of them by God’s Spirit. We know according to ( Ephesians 3:5 ) that they will come to that knowledge and, be used by God’s Spirit. ( Which in other ages was not made known into the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
The Church is a vessel! We are placed in that vessel when we believe on Jesus Christ as our savior. The Church had its beginning on the day of Pentacost and, it will end at the rapture. Jesus Christ will keep his promise to his apostles at the end of this age. At the time we are studying in ( Acts 6 ) they were just having a hard time understanding it all. When Jesus taught them that ( the first shall be last and, the last shall be first, he meant it. ( Matthew 19:30 ) But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
If you will notice; this verse is just two verses beyond the promise to make them judges. Therefore, they actually didn’t lose their birthright in that sense, it just wasn’t time for it yet.
I’d like to make one more point here before we move on. In the Old Testament it was all about the Nation of Israel. God the Father spoke to them by his prophets. Basically, it was the same in the Gospels. However, now God the Father is speaking to the Nation of Israel by his Son, Jesus Christ. In both of these circumstanses, the Nation of Israel rejected what God had to say to them. They rejected the prophets and, now as a nation, they are rejecting the son. I know I’ve made this statement before however, it is a very important thing to remember.
( Matthew 12:31 )
Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Here, God the Son has just been accused of commiting blasphemy against God the Father. Jesus Christ, looking right into the eyes of the man, a pharisee of the Jews that accused him of blasphemy and, said this. Therefore, let’s consider what has happened. Blasphemy is total rejection. The nation of Israel totally rejected; God the Father, now, they are totally rejecting , God the Son. As we live now, God the Spirit speaks to us. At that time, that Spirit was just before being revealed even to the Nation of Israel.
In reality, there is nothing else left to give. What Jesus Christ is telling them; I’m sending God’s Spirit among you, God’s forgiveness goes beyond you rejecting Him and, the fact you reject me but, if you reject God’s Spirit, there is no where else for you to turm, that’s it! For the nation of Israel and, for every person on the face of this earth. ( the last ) ( the Church ) is where God’s power to saved is revealed. The nation of Israel, the apostles, the pharisees, every person must surrender it’s birthright to the last chosen apostle, the least of all apostles!
As we consider this: what do you consider your bitthright? If you’ll go back and study ( Esau and Jacob ) you will notice that actually Esau gave up his birthright but, Jacob still had to steal it. As member of the body of Christ, ( the Church ) we have the very same problem. When we surrender ourselves to Christ, at that point we walk inside the ( Church ) the vessel Jesus Christ died for. We are not our own, we’ve been bought with a price. That price is the blood of Christ! When we are born again, just like Esau, we see a spiritual need in our lives. Esau seen a physical need in his life, we see a spiritual. Just as Jacob had to steal the birthright from Esau, we have to take over our flesh by force, stealing our will and yielding it to the spiritual aspects of our lives.
If you will study through ( Genesis 27-33 ) looking especially at ( Genesis 32:22-32 ) you will see where Jacob would not let go of God’s spirit until he blessed him. This is a type of any person totally surrendering themselves to God’s will. Once this happens to Jacob; you will notice that he and Esau come together once again. The whole picture is one of our spiritual battles we have within our own flesh.
Once we are ( born again ) our birthright becomes our ability to be just like Jesus Christ. That right is born into us by God’s own Spirit. As we study through ( Acts 6 ) we see this very thing happening to the apostles. They, just like us struggle with the leadership of God’s Spirit and make good and bad decisions. I say all of this to simply show a Biblical picture of the struggle we all have. However, just like Jacob, we must submit ourselves to that Spirit to grow spiritually, if not, we will make unwise decisions all our lives.
Therefore, in reality when we are born again, we give up our physical birthright and surrender ourselves to another birthright. When we ask the question whether we can be stolen again; yes it can!. Here, we are not speaking of salvation but rather to whom we yield our members to. Once we are born again and begin our spiritual journey we begin to yield ourselves to God’s will. The question might be; are you doing that if you say you are born again? Are you even seeking to do so?
In the picture we are presenting; it’s a matter of spritual groweth. If we begin to grow spiritually, then begin to once again yield to the will of our flesh then we can say that our spiritual birthright is trying to be stolen. The goal of every person that confesses Jesus Christ as their savior should be to be more and more like him each day. I personally believe that, as we look at ( Acts 6 ) that was the desire of the apostles. There are many people that believe that you can fall from grace. That is, once you are born again, you can be lost again. However, the teaching has nothing to do with being lost again. It is all about how you stand before your judge, Jesus Christ one day. If your desire is to hear him say to you on the day ( well done my good and faithful servant ) then you must surrender yourself to his will.
As we seek to spiritually relate, Jacob and Esau, The leadership of the Nation of Israel and the apostles, that is in a physical and spiritual sense and, also our own physical and spiritual abilities as it relates to ( the world ) and ( our eternal lives ) what birthright would you rather build upon. Consider: no matter how much Jacob or Esau gained while living here, to whom does it belong now? If the apostles gained physical control of the Nation of Israel, to whom would have that power now? If I, in my flesh gained the whole world, once I’m dead, to whom would it belong to?
Can you see how that our ( spiritual birthright ) is a far more precious thing than anything we will ever gain here? That aspect of our spiritual walk is a complete different study but, one that each believer needs to understand. Far too often we treat our day of salvation as ( the total of all we are ) which is a complete false satatement. As a matter of fact; that is all we might be taught in the average local Church. Consider this statement: While we might be taught ( right living ) in our Churches, there is a great difference in ( Spiritual living ) and simply living good clean lives!
Seemingly, we seek to live lives that are pleasing to man but, we seem to neglect the nurturing power of God’s Holy Spirit. As we continue in the ( Book of Acts ) we will see the apostles as they grow spiritually. We will see major changes in what they teach and, how they grow spiritually. In the next few chapters we will see a great change in the leadership role. Many people never think about this fact but, the original eleven apostles basically stayed around Jerusalem and, in Israel. We well learn that ( the twelveth apostle ) was the one that carried the gospel to the Gentiles.
In closing; you were giving a birthright the day you were born into this world! You can gain many things and, possibly become very rich or very satisfied with you life just as it is. However, when we are born again, we give up that birthright and except a God given, God inspired birthright to become just like Jesus Christ. Look at these verses:
( Romans 8:28-29 )
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ( 29 ) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
I realize that it’s a lot said in those two verse, a study for another day! However, we see there that we are to be conformed to the very image of his son! That change begins on our day of salvation. As we grow more like him each day, we mature spiritually. When we stand before him, we will be like him!
When we, as born again believers revert back to seeking to please our flesh, it’s a picture of ( seeking to steal our heavenly birthright back from the one that died for us! We are seeking to be like ( Israel ) desiring to go back to Egypt. And that my friend is not a wise thing to do!
2 Timothy 1:7