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Eternal Son(s)

John R Gavazzoni

January, 2001 Thousand Oaks, CA

The sons of God have begun their transition unto the full unveiling of their glory. Their glory is the glory of the only begotten Son in them, revealing in turn, the splendor and majesty of the Father to all creation. The truth of sonship shall be made increasingly clear by the Spirit of Truth in this day and that increase of clarity will not simply be a matter of teaching about sonship but will be the actual unfolding of the liberty of the glory of sons of God.

We shall witness a divine intolerance for any confusion or carnal imaginings concerning the nature and origins of this royal and august company. Many who have had an improper association with the true sons will depart from them so that it may be made manifest that they were not of them. Recently I heard within me the words, "You will write some corrective epistles." Being as susceptible to grandiosity as the next fellow, I was at first suspicious of the impression, thinking that the words were coming from the egotistical religious mind which illegitimately dwells in my flesh by the Father's wise permission.

But the thought persisted until I became convinced that I was receiving instruction from the Spirit. The following is sent out with the intent and hope that, like Aquila and Priscilla, I may be enabled to expound this truth "more perfectly" or better, "more accurately" (Acts 18:26). My intent IS NOT to compose some cold, creedal statement and to attempt to intellectually impose it upon others, but to give expression to the delight in my own heart as to the true nature and origin of our relationship to "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Cor. 11: 31).

As I pause in this writing, I fear that what I've written thus far will come across as rather pompous, but I choose to leave it as it is because of the seriousness of the truth we are considering. So on with it. Are we really clear dear saints, that the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, was uniquely begotten of the Father in and from eternity?

Some time ago I was invited to participate in a dialogue during which the question of the nature and origin of Christ as the Son of God entered the discussion. Up to that point, I had appreciated and commended one of the participants concerning his understanding of the truth of the family of God. When suddenly via e-mail, in the boldest of language, he insisted that Christ was not eternally begotten of the Father and that anyone who embraced that idea was claiming that Christ was born twice, once eternally and then a second time of the virgin Mary.

Now I am not one normally given to religious argument but on this occasion something rose up in me with revulsion at the arrogant spirit that I was confronted with and I answered in no uncertain terms that what he thought was enlightened logic was pure nonsense and I expressed the same in rather coarse terms which I will not get into here. I ended up "sticking to my guns" after he asked me if I thought I knew everything and was no one allowed to disagree with me.

After examining my conscience I decided not to apologize but to tell him I was being tough on him because such theological tripe was not worthy of a child of God which I believed he was. I countered with this observation, that if believing that God fathered the Son eternally (that is that the Son always proceeds by divine generation from the very loins of the Father without beginning and without end) meant that we were necessarily saying that Christ was born two times then by that logic we would be saying that Christ was crucified twice since He is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.

If I were verbally preaching instead of writing this I'm sure at this point you couldn't keep me behind the pulpit in a calm and dignified manner but I'd be roaming over the platform, cranking up the volume and punctuating every phrase with appropriate body language affirming in the boldest possible way that IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE ETERNAL FATHER TO BEGET A LESS THAN ETERNAL SON.

The post-apostolic fathers may not have gotten it all right and may have instigated some serious deviation from apostolic tradition, but this they got right, that the Son of God was eternally begotten. That is, His is a birth consistent with the eternality of His Father and our Father!!!
But I would add, though, that, not only does our sonship proceed from Him, but also our creaturehood, but that's a subject for another message.

Much confusion exists because of a distorted understanding of the nature of eternity. Eternity is not an infinite succession of ages back into the past and on into the future. It is from this distortion that men have argued that at some time Christ was created or birthed and so could not have existed before that point on the time line. They do not understand that eternity is not someTHING, it is the God-dimension, the dimension of God Himself who identifies Himself as "I AM."

Everything He does is totally free from the limitations of time and cannot be understood by a time-oriented mentality. As a dear friend of mine, Lenny Antonsson, often says, "We have a problem in that we are always trying to understand God in terms of time." That which is unfolding in the ages has its source in the Primal Origin (Karl Barth) which is the Ageless God.

There is a Day of the Lord, the Day of eternal Light. In that Day---a Day that uniquely intersected with time in the coming of our Lord--- Christ is birthed and lives for the pleasure of the Father in all things. In that Day He is glorified by the Father and the Father is glorified in Him. In that Day, His birthing and His glorification all occur in the eternal instant.

This Day of the Lord, the Day the Father spoke of when He said, "Thou art my Son, this Day have I begotten thee" (Heb. 1: 5), that Day has broken through into the ages and continues to break through bringing forth in time, space and matter that which already IS in God and by grace all creation is brought to share in the eternal Reality as the Word is made flesh and dwells among us.

The sons of God are beginning to understand that their sonship does not have its origin at an altar of repentance or in an evangelistic counseling room or, as in my case, beside my bed as a young teenager grasped by the Spirit of grace. That moment, whatever form it took in each of our earthly lives, had its Primal Origin when the Eternal Father birthed the Eternal Son and we shared that birth in Christ as seeds within the Seed before the foundation of the world and were chosen then to be holy and without blame before Him (Eph. 1:4).

In that eternal moment of the eternal Day of the Lord we were predestined in love to adoption of sons by Christ Jesus (Vs 5) and in the corridors of time that eternal generation became regeneration. That which is regenerated was once generated. That which is born again was first born. That which is born from above came from above. It is not a matter of two separate, contradistinctive occurrences, but the reproduction of the eternal in time so that to us, seeing and experiencing it in the space-time continuum, it is regeneration and rebirth.

For each of us, there are those wonderful moments when God brings time into alignment with eternity and what IS so eternally becomes so in the confines of time. It becomes clearer when we realize that we are the children of God AND the creation of God. We are the fruit of His loins in Christ and the work of His hands also in Christ. Both must be affirmed for that is the Father's will. "Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures" (James 1: 18).

He birthed us of His own will and by that same will created us. That is, His eternal sons were given an individuality within the dimension of the created and made to be part of creation itself, formed of its dust, to be a kind of firstfruits to subdue all creation by the glorious love of the Father. We are children of God, actually born of Him, but we are also creatures created by Him who have a time-space existence along with all of His creatures and subject to that to which He has subjected all of creation.

So what is the relationship between these two dimensions of our being? It is this:--- and I hasten to say that my thoughts, understanding and words will be sorely inadequate and I welcome the contribution of more gifted brethren--- that the eternal must enter the cocoon of the temporal, there to be change (metamorphosed, transformed) taking to itself fully the elements of the temporal/created without losing its essential and spiritual eternality, and by so doing metamorphose the temporal and transform it by making it share fully the nature of the eternal so that what results is a NEW CREATION whereby the created/temporal is swallowed up unto full assimilation by the begotten/eternal.

Now the eternal, unbegotten Father, through His eternally begotten Son(s) both enriches His own glory and makes us to share in that richness. Here is the heart of the gospel and the meaning of grace: God does not call from afar to us demanding change that will make us fit to dwell with Him. But, wonder of wonders, He Himself effects the change by becoming flesh. He changes but not really, for the Word became flesh but in so doing did not cease to be the Word.

God initiates and consummates the change from within Himself. The Word became flesh that we might become the Book of Life with the nature of the Word written on every page. Somehow, beyond my ability to explain, all of creation will be infused with the Spirit of Sonship when the sons of God come into their own. Christ took on my createdness so that my createdness might be raised up into His Sonship and, in Him, my own sonship. Glory, glory, glory, the glory of His grace.

Though I have attempted to present this with some theological structure, I have marveled at how this understanding of our life in Christ before the foundation of the world has arisen by Spirit-given intuition from within many saints who would never fancy themselves to be theologically astute. My wife Jan is one of those. She just knew it because she knew it. But it is backed by scripture and by Spirit-enlightened reason.

It is my hope that those who read this may be encouraged to know that this is the manner of sonship that is being worked out in us as we struggle with what seems to be an intolerable ambiguity of spirit and flesh mixture in our daily lives. We cannot say it better than the beloved apostle and when we read his exclamation we catch his spirit of wonderment: "Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God....." (1 Jn. 3:1).

Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.

John Gavazzoni

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John R Gavazzoni
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