Friday, August 5, 2005

The Story of Inheritance

Inheritance — we find it in the Old Testament from beginning to end. In Genesis 1, we see that every thing is to reproduce after its kind. That is, each generation receives its character, nature and destiny from the generation that precedes it. Dogs give birth to dogs; cats give birth to cats, and so on.

Man, though a different class of being, is told to be fruitful and multiply — to reproduce and pass on the inheritance. What is that he is to multiply upon the earth? The image of God. For that is how man was created. So we might even say that God reproduces after His kind. Man is not God, but He is a divine creature — made in the image of God and given the very breath of God in his mouth. This cannot be said of any other creature, not even the highest order of angels. Man (Hebrew, Adam) is the only creature who is called “son of God” (Luke 3:38). That is why it is just as important that Jesus is called “Son of Man” as He is “Son of God.” And that is why He is called the Second Adam.

We find inheritance also in the very last chapter of the Old Testament, Malachi 4. There the promise is given of one who will come in the spirit of Elijah, whose purpose will be to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers. Anytime you see the word “father” or “fathers,” you can know that there is an inheritance involved, for inheritance is the very essence of fatherhood.

From the beginning, God has desired to see the whole world filled with an inheritance that comes from Him. That is why He commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and have dominion over all things. From the beginning, the adversary, satan, has desired to stop that inheritance from filling the earth. In between Genesis 1 and Malachi 4, we see the conflict.

That is why there must be those who come in the spirit and power of Elijah. John the Baptist fulfilled this role in the New Testament by heralding the kingdom of God and the need for repentance. He pointed us to Messiah — the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus has already done all that is needed — He has won the victory. All that is left is repentance, the turning of the heart — fathers to their children, children to their fathers — and Man turning his heart back to the Father. In this way, the inheritance we be complete, and the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God.