“CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN.”

(Hebrews xii. 23.)

THIS church belongeth to the Firstborn, who has complete control and full jurisdiction over it. This church is “the general assembly,” and the members of this assembly have all their names written in heaven. The head of this church is the image of the invisible God. He is also the firstborn of every creature. (Col. i. 15.) “He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.” – Col. i. 18. From these Scriptures, if they stood alone, we could consistently say, The Firstborn’s church. There can be no other church, though men may claim that there be many churches. The choice that God made for his saints was in Christ, the Firstborn, before the world began. Notwithstanding this choice precedes creation, yet it embraces many things of the created worlds. The first of all things in relation to the created worlds is the great King, the beginning of the creation of God. (Rev. iii. 4.) When we speak of the church, it signifies that creatures are made lively stones within her borders. That the church is composed entirely of heavenly materials, so to speak, cannot be established by Scripture. It is a spiritual house, but made so by the Builder out of earthly materials. If the church were altogether of heavenly materials, where would there be redemption for lost sinners of Adam’s race, who are of the earth, earthy? In speaking of the spiritual house of David’s Son we sometimes lose sight of the individuals who compose this house. What I mean to say here is, that the man born of the flesh is sometimes eliminated when “counting up the Lord’s people.” In fact, the Lord’s people, who compose the church, are his saints, who have been sinners of Adam’s race. These dead sinners are made alive to God and polished by his mighty hand, and thus become qualified to be called spiritual children. It is only through their Head that the children are heirs of spiritual things. Only in the line of durable, eternal life can any one enter into the joys of the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God; though in entering into these eternal joys the original individual remains, is preserved from final ruin, saved from the consequences of reigning sin, and is Abraham’s seed, and heir according to the promise. My attention was called to Heb. xii. 23, first part, by a leading worldly preacher, who is a “creed-smasher” and who misquoted a portion, making it read, “Church of the firstborns.” In commenting upon this word “borns” he said, There are firstborns and there are afterborns. Thus he eliminated the Head as the chief subject in this sentence. In adding the one letter “s” he has changed the meaning of the apostle’s teaching, and by doing this, perhaps he will mislead thousands who read his published sermons. This popular “Divine” is condemned by the apostle Paul in Col. ii. 18, 19, which reads, “Let no man beguile you of your reward, in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God."I am at a loss to tell why men will palpably misrepresent the Lord by changing the Scriptures, and in this try to curtail God’s power over the work of his hands; they would rob the Lord if they could. Perhaps they are taken captive by the devil at his will. I feel to say that it is certain in regard to such men, that they are walking “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” – Eph. ii. 2.

This is yours, editors of the SIGNS, use or reject it.
In hope of immortality,
J. F. BEEMAN.
Tiawah, Okla., Sept. 9, 1913.

Signs of the Times
Volume 82, No. 3
February 1, 1914