PREDESTINATED UNTO SONSHIP
This sonship fulfills the desire of God’s predestination. Ephesians 1:4-5 tells us that before the foundation of the world God predestinated us unto sonship. When I was young, I loved these verses, but I thought God had predestinated me unto heaven. Then I thought I was predestinated unto salvation. Many of us may have thought the same thing. Many times when we read the Bible, we read something from our mentality into it. The Bible does not say that God has predestinated us unto heaven or unto salvation. It says we have been predestinated unto sonship.
God made a firm decision before the foundation of the world to make you a son. Every chosen one is a sinner, even an enemy to God, but God has the redemptive ability to make you, who are a sinner and an enemy of His, one of His sons. This is the wonder of wonders. God has made us, who were His enemies, His sons.
John says that all those who receive Him, that is, believe in His name, will be given authority to be children of God (John 1:12). These are born of God. He came to be the tabernacle (1:14), desiring that we receive Him and thus be born as sons. The intention of the Lord Jesus, the tabernacle, was that we be born as sons to be the components of the coming temple (John 2:19, 21-22).
SONSHIP IN ROMANS 8
In Romans 8 Paul is strong in this matter of sonship. Romans 8 says, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (v. 14). God has not given us a spirit of slavery but a spirit of sonship (v. 15). His Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are the children of God (v. 16). The entire creation is eagerly expecting this sonship of ours (v. 19). God is now conforming us to the very image of the Firstborn, Christ (v. 29). We are His brothers today, but not fully. We are in the process. When we are conformed to the image of the Firstborn, we will be His very expression in a corporate way.
A CORPORATE EXPRESSION OF GOD
In Revelation God sitting on the throne looks like jasper (4:3). Then in 21:18 John tells us that the wall of the city was made of jasper. These two verses tell us that the New Jerusalem will look like God. The city will be a corporate expression of God.
That God will have a corporate expression is also indicated in His creation of man. Before the ages God predestinated us unto sonship. Then He created man in His own image, according to His predestination, with the intention that one day this created man would be His corporate expression. That day is not here yet. When the four dispensations are over—the dispensations of the Patriarchs, of the law, of grace, and of the kingdom—God’s work of conforming us to the image of the Firstborn will be completed. Then we will be a living corporate entity, bearing the image of God.
The New Jerusalem is the aggregate of all the sons together as a corporate expression. It is a composition of all the dear saints redeemed by God in all the dispensations, both of the Old and of the New Testaments. They together will be the components of this holy city, the aggregate of the divine sonship, expressing God corporately to fulfill His heart’s desire, as indicated in His creating man in His own image. Revelation 21 and 22 are the fulfillment of Genesis 1:26—God having a man in His image.
(The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)