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The Daily Word of Righteousness
A Basic Concept, #11
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:21)
Of all the aspects of redemption, union with God through Christ is the most important. To love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength is the first and most important commandment. To be in the image of Christ is not enough. In fact, image apart from union is Antichrist. Satan desires to be "like the most High" but he has no intention of coming into union with God.
Satan desires to be independent of God. Satan labors night and day to convince people that they should be their own god. Satan knows that man is nothing but dust unless he is in union with a spiritual reality. Satan understands that the individual who does not come into union with God will automatically come into union with Satan and worship Satan. There is no middle ground!
Thus we have the two immediate Divine objectives—that God's elect be in the image of Christ in moral nature, in character, and finally in body; and that God's elect be in perfect union with Himself through Christ and with one another.
None of the eternal purposes of God can be accomplished apart from bringing the elect, the Church, into the image and union God is seeking.
God's Purposes for His Elect
We have stated that in man there is a memory of Paradise—the garden that was located on earth in the country of Eden. Every human being desires to dwell in the Paradise of God, including God's elect. To be where there is only joy and peace is our heart's desire.
It is God's desire also that the people who are His inheritance dwell in love, beauty, joy, and peace. But God has an additional desire for His elect.
It was an ordinance of the Law that the firstborn of man and animal had to be redeemed because it belonged to the Lord.
Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine. (Exodus 13:2)
The tribe of Levi was selected by the Lord from the tribes of Israel to be His firstborn.
And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine; (Numbers 3:12)
So it is true that God's elect, His Church, is His firstborn from among mankind. The elect are God's inheritance and He is their inheritance.
And the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel. (Numbers 18:20)
The members of the royal priesthood are God's special inheritance and God is their inheritance. Each member of the elect will enjoy the environment of Paradise. But the elect have a far higher calling than to dwell in Paradise: the calling of the Divine elect is to be with God and to be a part of God through Christ to the ages of ages.
To be continued.