In our previous study we learned that God is in the process of expanding His Family that God is actually reproducing Himself through human beings!
Exactly how is God accomplishing this miraculous feat? When can we become members of His Family? What is it like to have a spirit body? And what will you be doing forever as a member of God's Family? This exciting study reveals the answers!
But first, be sure to get your Bible, a pen and paper. Look up the scriptures given in answer to the questions and then write them in a notebook for later review.
As we learned in last month's Bible study, God uses human reproduction to picture the process by which He is reproducing Himself. Recall that Jesus told Nicodemus we must be "born again" to enter the Kingdom, or Family of God (John 3:3-8).
Each human since Adam and Eve started from a tiny ovum, the size of a pinpoint, produced in his mother's body. But unless the ovum is fertilized by a life-giving sperm cell from the human father, with in a short time it dies. A human life can only begin when that sperm cell impregnates the ovum.
Spiritually speaking, each human mind is like an ovum. Each of us was born incomplete — able to live only a relatively short span of years. We were made to need the impregnating spiritual life of God's Holy Spirit in our minds so we can begin growing spiritually before being born of the Spirit and living forever!
1. Are true Christians already, during this life, children of God? I John 3:1-2. Have they already inherited the Kingdom of God, or are they only heirs to it? Romans 8:14-17.
Although they are now the children of God, Christians are as yet only heirs — ones who shall inherit the Kingdom of God. Why only heirs? Because they are now only Spirit-begotten (impregnated) children. It is when they are born of God that they become members of the Family of God.
2. But must the spiritually begotten child of God grow spiritually before being born of God, much like a newly begotten human baby must begin to grow physically in its mother's womb until it is large enough to be born? II Peter 3:18, I Peter 2:1-2.
After God the Father begets one by imparting His spiritual life to the person's mind upon true repentance and water baptism, that person must begin to grow in spiritual character. This growth comes through Bible study, prayer and walking with God in obedience to Him.
And so all Spirit-begotten Christians are now the unborn children of God the Father in the same sense that an unborn human fetus is the child of its human parents.
3. When will the Christian's spiritual birth take place? I Corinthians 15:50-53, I Thessalonians 4:15-17. Will those thus resurrected be like God? I John 3:2. Of what is God composed? John 4:24. Are they therefore to become composed of spirit at the resurrection? I Corinthians 15:42-49. Compare this with Philippians 3:20-21.
When Jesus Christ returns to the earth, the Spirit-begotten sons of God who have died down through the ages will be resurrected, or instantly changed if a live, into spirit beings. And God's own offspring will then have eternal life with in themselves — just like Jesus Christ their elder brother!
4. To what did Jesus compare one who is born, not just begotten, of the Holy Spirit? John 3:8.
When you are born of the Spirit of God, you will be invisible to mortal eyes like the wind unless you choose to be seen. The effects of the wind are easily discernible, but the wind cannot be seen.
5. After His resurrection, was Jesus, with His spirit-composed body, able to suddenly appear and disappear? Luke 24:36-37. Was He able to pass through walls? John 20:19, 26. Can one composed of spirit transform himself into mortal flesh and bone when necessary, and even eat? Luke 24:38-43.
6. Are spirit bodies capable of traveling through space at incredible speed? Compare John 20:17, 19-20 with Matthew 28:9, noticing that Christ traveled to the Father in heaven and returned to earth on the same day!
7. Was Jesus "glorified" again after His resurrection? John 17:4-5, Hebrews 2:9. Had He previously given His disciples a fleeting glimpse of this glorified condition? Matthew 17:1-2. How do Christ's and the Father's glorified bodies appear today? Revelation 1:13-16.
To be glorified means to be given great power and brightness. Christ's glorified face and powerful spirit body radiate light as the sun in full strength, with eyes blazing like flames of fire!
8. Will God also glorify all of His Spirit-begotten children at the resurrection by giving them this same great power and glory? Romans 8:17, Colossians 3:4. What other scripture gives us an idea of this glorified condition? Daniel 12:2-3.
9. What will they begin to do after becoming part of His spirit Family? Revelation 3:21, 2:26, 5:10, 20:4-6.
The Kingdom of God is a ruling Family. And those who become a part of that Family are destined to rule the earth with Jesus Christ for 1,000 years. They will become kings and priests, various administrators and administrative assistants in the world-ruling Kingdom of God!
Thousands of millions of people will learn to live God's way and be born into His ruling Family during this period. Then, after the Millennium, still more thousands of millions of people who died not having known God's way of life will be resurrected from the dead and given the opportunity to become sons of God. This period of judgment (Revelation 20:11-13) apparently will last 100 years (Isaiah 65:20). These people will be added to God's Family at the end of God's plan for physical mankind.
It has been estimated that 40 thousand million people may have lived since Adam until now. It would be difficult to accurately estimate the number of people who will yet be born and then ultimately enter God's Kingdom during the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment periods.
But let's say that 200 thousand million are ultimately born into the God Family. Since God is always busy working, creating and sustaining what He has created (John 5:17), He knows His sons could not be happy unless busy with work and productive activity. And so what could possibly keep this incredibly huge Family of God busy for eternity?
10. Just how great is the authority Jesus Christ has already inherited? Hebrews 1:1-2, Matthew 28:18. Will those who are born into God's Family share in that inheritance as co-owners and corulers with Christ? Romans 8:16-17, Revelation 21:7. Does the Bible clearly show that God's government will expand for all eternity? Isaiah 9:6-7, Revelation 22:5.
The Moffatt translation renders "all things" in Hebrews 1:2 as "the universe." Believe it or not, you were born to rule! Incredible as it may sound, your ultimate potential and that of every human being is corulership of the universe with Jesus Christ and God the Father! It's mind-boggling and breathtaking — yet it's true.
But is there really enough out there for that many spirit beings to rule?
Astronomers estimate there are more than 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 [40 sextillion] stars in the universe, a figure virtually impossible to comprehend. If the previous estimate of 200 thousand million sons of God is accurate, that means each member of the God Family would be responsible for maintaining and developing 200 thousand million stars and their attendant planets — a galaxy twice the estimated size of our own Milky Way galaxy!
This is your awesome potential — the glorious destiny God has in store for those who seek to do His will and follow His way. A never-ending future filled with exciting challenge, scintillating interest and eternal happiness and joy!