Two Peoples Called as Priest
Mankind, since the fall of Adam has grown further and further away from their Creator and while there has been interludes of spiritual revival still there has been no point in world history, since the flood of Noah, that man in their thinking is so far removed from Him. God however, has not turned away from man but has given them witnesses of His glory and majesty. In this offering the author, Steve Lampman, refers to these witnesses as “priests”. A priest is one who represents God to man and man to God.
In this first work “Two Peoples Called as Priest” Mr. Lampman considers Israel having been called as God’s priest to humanity and her failure. Because of disobedience God set them aside for a period of time and called unto Himself another people, the church of Jesus Christ.
In the five-part series of this first work steve concludes that for the church not to fall, as did Israel, it must maintain its respect and worship of God as He intended. Anything less, steve concludes will lead to disaster.
In an attached work, author Dr. Lian Kim addresses how man in spiritual darkness turns away from spiritual truth to a spirit of darkness and deception. This darkness and deception is found in man created religions. While the creators of these religions may have had good intentions their teachings lead people deeper into spiritual darkness.
May you, the reader be drawn closer to God by these two works.
Weekly Devotional 7-30-18 Two Peoples Called as Priest
The calling of Israel as recorded in Exodus19:1-6. “1In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain. 3And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4’You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
The calling of The Church in Matthew 16:13-18, 28:16-20, Acts 1:4-8, 1st Peter 2:5-10.
Matthew 16:13-18; “13When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ 14So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’15He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ 16Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ 17Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’”
Matthew 28:16-20; “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”
Acts 1:4-8; “4And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; 5for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ 6Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’”
1st Peter 2:1-10; “1Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’ 7Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” 8and ‘A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.’”
The Israelites were chosen, and the church has been chosen as God’s priests, as God’s representatives to the rest of humanity. In that calling they were to be holy, set aside to righteousness, purity of heart, mind and practice. Israel failed in these things and God set them aside for a time. He will reestablish them in their priestly purpose (see Jeremiah 31:31-33) after the church has fulfilled its purpose and has been taken up into heaven at the beginning of the Tribulation which is the last seven years of this present dispensation. Until that time, the church is God’s priests or representatives to humanity.
But like Israel, not all who are of the church are faithful to their purpose or the priesthood to which they have been called. To this part of the church Jesus said, “15I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked–18I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’” (Revelation 3:15-22).
We should be ever mindful that our calling is a holy calling and we are called to be faithful to it.
Weekly Devotional 8-6-18 Two Peoples called as Priest; Part 2
Last week we considered that Israel had been chosen by God to be His priesthood to the rest of mankind. We considered that not being faithful they were set aside for a time. We also considered that God did not leave Himself without witness. He called unto Himself another people, the church. The church was to take up the mantle and be priest to all of humanity. Both Israel and the church were called to be a holy people, set aside to righteousness, purity of heart, mind and practice. As mentioned, Israel failed becoming more like the nations around them, worshipping imagined Gods rather than true God.
It seems that the church is going in this same direction. More and more, the church is replacing true God with an imagined God. This is certainly true of the professing church, but alarmingly it is also becoming true of the possessing church. Like Israel, many of the church have lost their perception of the holiness God, liking Him to man. The church, however, must never measure God by man. God alone stands in perfection and true Holiness. In truth He is the measurement of these attributes. It is He who called Israel as priest, and it is He who has called the church to priesthood.
As a priest, all who truly are of the kingdom of God, are to represent Him as He is and not some distorted consideration of Him. Our mightiest influence is felt when we are different from the world. Our power lies in being different. Our influence will rise with the degree of our separateness from the world. It will diminish in effectiveness when that difference diminishes. We must strive to be different than the world.
The Apostle Paul had set his son in the faith, Timothy, as pastor over the church of Ephesus giving him this consultation; “1But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.8Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
10But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra-what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them” (2nd Timothy 3:1-14 NKJB).
Paul’s caution to Timothy is our Lord’s caution to us. There will be many of the professing Church who for various reasons will turn away from truth interjecting things that profit them but does not profit the true church or the kingdom of God. Unwittingly, many of the possessing church are being drawn into this darkness.
Perhaps we of the processing church should seriously apply the words of Jesus found in a letter He had directed the apostle John to deliver to churches of his day; and by extension to the entire church throughout these many centuries. In this letter Jesus focused on certain issues highlighted by issues found in a church located in a city called Sardis. Consider; “1And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’” (Revelation 2:3-6 NKJB).
Perhaps we should protect the integrity of the church along with our own integrity by taking seriously Paul’s introduction and caution to the churches of Galatia. Consider: “1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), 2and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. 6I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:1-9 NKJB). Should we take Paul’s Holy Spirit inspired words seriously and apply them to ourselves? Certainly.
Lord, help us to remain faithful to you, and no matter the cost, help us to be faithful in your church.
Weekly Devotional 8-13-18 Two Peoples Called as Priest; Part 3
In our last two offerings, we considered that Israel had been called by God as priest to the rest of humanity. We also considered that this mantle has been passed to the church, a called-out assembly of people from among humanity. We considered that Israel failed to live according to the requirements of their priesthood and were set aside for a time. We considered that much of the church has replaced true God with a god of their imagination. Many of the church measure God by human standards having lost the truth that there is none like God. He is the measurement of perfection and true holiness. Having lost this perception of God, many of the church now live by human standards. They have begun to say, “Did God really say?” questioning the validity of the Bible. In doing this they have cast aside the standards of God and setting their own standards, standards that are flawed because of sin and the influence of Satan.
Questions that arise from this are, can this be reversed? Can the church return to a proper perception and worship of God? Can the church once again properly wear the mantle of being priests of God? The answer to these is not unless we as persons of the church recognize that displacing God as being the measurement of perfection and holiness is sin. Upon recognizing this sin, we must confess (agree with God) that it is sin, repent of it (turn from it) and ask Him for His forgiveness. Only this will reestablish us as being His priest to the world. The Lord’s apostle, John, for instance was inspired to write, “6If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1st John 1:6-10).
If we truly want to live up to our calling as priest, this must be the path we follow. Secondly, we must be securely attached to Jesus, our Lord. Speaking of this Jesus said, “1I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be My disciples” (John 15:1-8). We cannot walk in our own strength believing we can fulfill our calling as priest and be successful. We must be nourished and strengthened by the only true source of spiritual power: Jesus Christ, God the Son.
Equally important is that we must always keep in mind that we are in a war. This war is not of the temporal, but the spiritual. It is a war against Satan. It is also a war against our old nature. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians wrote, “16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithful-ness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-25).
If therefore we truly want to return to our calling as a church or as individuals, we must recognize God for who He is, we must recognize sin, repent of it, lean on Him for our strength and fight against Satan and our old nature walking in the Holy Spirit so that He may release His power in us.
Weekly Devotional 8-20-18 Two Peoples called as Priest; Part 4
In the last 3 issues of our weekly devo-tionals we considered that Israel had been called as God’s priests to the rest of humanity and that because of a lack of true devotion they were set aside for a time. Further, we considered that the church now wears that mantle. The church is now God’s priest to the world. As demonstrated by God setting aside Israel for a period being a priest is not a light calling, it comes with great demand. Israel was to be separate from the world and the church is to be separate. Israel was to be a holy people and the church is to be holy.
As we read the record of Israel, they failed because they did not esteem God for who He is. We should take notice that God has not changed. What He demanded of Israel, He demands of the church. Israel lived by having one foot in the kingdom of God, heaven so to speak, and one foot in the world. They wanted what God could give them, but they also wanted what the fallen world would afford them. However, God would not have that. In calling Israel as His priest, He said, “5Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6a). His calling of them was conditional.
The church’s calling is no less dramatic. No, the church is not under that same covenant, but none the less as far as priesthood, the principles of that covenant are applicable. The church is to obey the directives of her Lord. Under inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul instructed the Corinthian church and indirectly us, “14Do not be unequally yoked together with unbe-lievers. For what fellowship has right-eousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with dark-ness? 15And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16And what agree-ment has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.’ 17Therefore ‘Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord’” (2nd Corinthians 6:14-17a). So yes, like Israel, the church is to be separate from the world. As far as practice, this is our beginning of being a royal priesthood.
In consideration of what was accom-plished by God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Peter instructed the dispersed of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia which were the scattered churches of his day thusly; “13Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1st Peter 1;13-16).
From Peter’s instruction we learn of another step of being God’s priest. We are to bind up our minds with the understanding of the grace of God. This binding is to move us forward to being obedient children of God toward spiritual maturity and rejecting our former way of life. We are to be holy as He (God is holy) in all of our conduct. This is not a simple task. It takes effort.
If we would be worthy priests we must renounce the sin that so easily seeks to interfere with our fellowship and we must put on the whole armor of God. Concerning this, Paul wrote; “11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:11-18).
It is interesting that Paul included prayer and supplication for all the saints as being part of the armor of God (vs. 18). Does he not have in mind that the warrior is to take his mind off self? Is this not a sure sign of maturity? If you and I want to be seen by God as being faithful in our call to priesthood, we must allow ourselves to be led by His Spirit. We must hedge ourselves about with His armor and certainly we must act as priest, God’s represent-ative to people and representative of them to God. This starts in the house of God. We are called to be watchful over them in prayers and supplication. By putting on the armor of God we are protected against the attacks of the powers of darkness. Being in an attitude of prayer for our fellows we demonstrate love for them, an absolute necessity of being a faithful priest. Israel lacked this love and failed. The love considered is not some shallow feeling, but is a deeply rooted concern for others, the objects of our love. Paul addressed this in his first letter to the Corinthians, consider; “1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never fails” (1st Corinthians 13:1-8a).
If we are then to be faithful priests, let us renounce the sin in our lives (1st John 1:5-10), abide in Christ (John 15:1-10), put on the armor provided by Him (Ephesians 6:11-18), and let us love with the Love of God” (1st Corinthians 13:1-8a).
Weekly Devotional 8-27-18 Two Peoples Called as Priests; Part 5
In closing out our consideration of Two Peoples Called as Priests we will consider why God called Israel as His priest to humanity, and for a time their replacement: the church. As we delve into this please consider this short devotional by A.W. Tozer. “Let a flood or a fire hit a populous countryside and no able-bodied citizen feels that he has any right to rest till he has done all he can to save as many as he can. While death stalks farmhouse and village no one dares relax; this is the accepted code by which we live. The critical emergency for some becomes an emergency for all, from the highest government official to the local Boy Scout troop. As long as the flood rages or the fire roars on, no one talks of ‘normal times.’ No times are normal while helpless people cower in the path of destruction.
In times of extraordinary crisis ordinary measures will not suffice. The world lives in such a time of crisis. Christians alone are in a position to rescue the perishing. We dare not settle down to try to live as if things were ‘normal.’ Nothing is normal while sin and lust and death roam the world, pouncing upon one and another till the whole population has been destroyed.”
Because the world is in peril we must prepare ourselves so that we might be faithful priests. God has given us His written word, the Bible, and His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to indwell us. It is He who leads us into truth and equips us so that we might be effectual. However, we have a part in this. We cannot sit idly by and expect that men will be rescued. First, we must involve God in all that we do. Our battle is not against “flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12); Spirit beings that are far stronger than us and if we come against them in the power of our flesh, we will not be successful against them in our own battles or the battle that is going on in the life of those to whom we have been sent.
Second, we must be clean vessels. We must not have unconfessed sin in our lives. We must deal with it. Entertaining sin blocks the flow of God’s grace in and through our lives (See 1st John 1:5-10). And, undealt with sin grieves the Holy Spirit (See Ephesians 4:17-32). We are to be imitators of God, walking in love and in resistance to the lust of our old nature (Ephesians 5:1-17). Paul wrote that “The Lord knows those who are his,” and to “let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2nd Timothy 2:19b).
Third, we must be attached to Jesus Christ. He is our spiritual life source (John 15:1-8).
Fourth, as Paul instructed Timothy, we are to be diligent to “present ourselves approved of God, as a worker who does not to be ashamed, rightly understanding the word of truth” (See 2nd Timothy 2:15).
The priesthood is not a simple life.
Lord help us in our call.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scripture usage is from the NKJB
About the Author
It was by the grace of God that Steve was brought to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It was by God’s longsuffering that he has been sustained in that faith. Steve became a Christian on November 7, 1961 when as a young marine on liberty he came upon a street meeting held by Open Air Campaigners for Christ in the city of Los Angeles, California. For the remaining three years of his enlistment, after coming to faith, Steve immersed himself in various books and studies concerning his relationship with Christ. During those three years, he worshipped at Granada Heights Friends Church in La Mirada, CA on Sunday mornings, and the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles, CA in the evenings. Steve was encouraged by three families who were members of Granada Heights Friends Church and nurtured his faith. To these three families he will forever be grateful. Those three years were a tremendous blessing to Steve. It was the foundation gained in those years that sustained him through several tumultuous years during which he walked away from a faithful walk with the Lord and lived as a prodigal son. But thanks to God, Steve was still a son. Like the prodigal of Luke 15:8-22, he was never disowned by the Father. In 1985, after living a life of riotousness that almost destroyed him, Steve surrendered to the authority of God and has since been in the service of his Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ. Steve readily acknowledges that it was, and is, only the grace of God that allowed him to remain alive during those years. It is by God’s love that Steve was brought back to fellowship with Him. This grace and love, Steve believes, is best spoken of in Romans 8:28-29. “And we know that all good things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose. 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. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and who he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” It is confirmed in this passage that each child of God is being conformed (being changed) to the image of Jesus Christ. First, however, God calls that person out of the world into a loving relationship with Himself, making him a son. He justifies that person so that they may have fellowship one with another, and also that justification makes it possible for him to eventually be in the very presence of God.