Despising the Birthright
Issue No. 226
Genesis 25 tells the story how Esau sold his birthright for a single meal. Verse 34 concludes, “Thus Esau despised his birthright.”
Hebrews 12:15, 16 comments on this:
15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.
We are not told how Esau obtained a root of bitterness in his life. But the comment in Hebrews 12 is found in the context of the discipline that comes with being a Son. It is plain from Gen. 26:34, 35 that Esau was undisciplined,
34 And when Esau was forty years old he married Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite; 35 and they brought grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
Because Isaac had a good relationship with God, we can assume that Isaac knew the will of God in this matter, and that Esau deliberately violated the word of the Lord. (Of course, there is a difference between the will of God and the plan of God. Esau violated the will of God, but it was always in God’s plan for him to be the way he was.)
The Story of Joseph
There is another important example in Scripture which teaches us a lesson about selling the birthright. It is the story of Joseph being sold as a slave into Egypt. Joseph was the embodiment of the birthright ever since his father gave it to him. 1 Chron. 5:1, 2 reads,
1 Now the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel (for he was the first-born, but because he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; so that he is not enrolled in the genealogy according to the birthright. 2 Though Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came the leader, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph.
Thus, when Joseph’s brothers sold him, they were actually despising and selling the birthright itself.
Reuben had been the one who lost the birthright for his immoral actions, so one would think that he would be most eager to get rid of Joseph. But he counseled his brothers to merely throw him into the pit, “that he might rescue him out of their hands, to restore him to his father” (Gen. 37:22). As the oldest son, he felt responsible, but also it is likely that he did not want one more sin on his conscience.
It was Judah’s idea to sell him as a slave. I believe that Judah was motivated by the belief that he would be given the birthright in place of Joseph. We are not told about the conversations that must have taken place daily within the family. But we do know that a short time earlier, the next two oldest sons, Simeon and Levi, were disqualified from receiving the birthright because of their cruelty, anger, and violence (Gen. 49:5-7). This was manifested when they massacred the town of Shechem in Genesis 34.
Judah was the fourth son and no doubt felt that he had the right to receive the entire birthright. But Jacob had divided the birthright into pieces, something that his fathers had not done. Jacob gave the dominion mandate to Judah, the priesthood to Levi, and the fruitfulness mandate (i.e., Sonship) to Joseph. From that point, the fruitfulness mandate alone was called “the birthright.” It was really a stripped-down version of what Jacob himself had gotten.
Judah felt that he could have it all—with the exception of the priesthood, which was to be given to Levi—if Joseph could be removed from the household. And so Judah must take the responsibility for selling Joseph for 20 pieces of silver. Gen. 37:26-28 says,
26 And Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then some Midianite traders passed by; so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt.
When Judah sold Joseph as a slave, he did not realize that he was selling the birthright itself, for though Judah was given the Scepter, he could only enjoy the blessings of the birthright if he were united with Joseph. But in selling Joseph, he would have lost the Scepter as well for his sin, even as Reuben had lost the birthright for his sin.
The only reason Judah retained the Scepter was because he repented in his well-known speech that is recorded in Genesis 44:18-34.
Two Prophetic Precedents
This whole story set two prophetic precedents (or “types”). The first was the prophetic type where Judah (Greek: “Judas”) betrayed Jesus and sold him for 30 pieces of silver (Matt. 27:3). They did this to “seize His inheritance” (Matt. 21:38). So when Judas sold Jesus to the religious leaders of Judah, according to the prophetic type set forth in the story of Joseph, Judas played the role of his ancestor Judah, while the religious leaders played the part of the Ishmaelites.
Hence, Paul says that Hagar is the physical city of Jerusalem, and is in bondage with her children, who are Ishmaelites, the children of the flesh (Gal. 4:25).
In attempting to usurp the throne from its rightful Heir, the nation of Judah forfeited its right to hold the Scepter. In fact, since Jesus was the King of Judah, the Scepter was His, and the only way anyone else could wield authority was if they derived that authority from Jesus Christ.
The other prophetic type has to do with the birthright itself, for Joseph was a type of Christ in His second appearance. Of the two prophetic types, this one is the stronger, because in His first appearance, Jesus came of the tribe of Judah. Only in His second appearance does He come of Joseph, with his robe dipped in blood (Gen. 37:31; Rev. 19:13).
This is also supported by the fact that Joshua (Yeshua), who led Israel into the Kingdom, was of the tribe of Ephraim, not of Judah. It shows that Jesus Christ would have to manifest through Joseph (Ephraim) in order to bring about the Kingdom of God on the earth. His first appearance through Judah only laid the foundations for the second work of Christ through Joseph.
Again, this distinction is set forth by the fact that Judas sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, while Joseph was sold for just 20 pieces. The sale of Jesus in the New Testament was not the final fulfillment of this prophetic type.
Under Moses, the age of priesthood was 30 years (Lev. 4:3). But years later, “the last words of David” lowered the age to 20 years (1 Chron. 23:27). Jesus died under the jurisdiction of Moses, and so both he and John the Baptist were 30 when they began their ministry. But in the prophesied Davidic Kingdom that is coming, the prophetic age of the Melchizedek priesthood is just 20.
I believe that is why Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver. The Scepter of Judah was sold prophetically for 30 pieces of silver.
Joseph was sold for 20 pieces, because it provides us a clue that the birthright was to be sold at the time of the second coming of Christ, not the first. This is the greater fulfillment of the prophecy of Joseph. It speaks of the time when the story of betrayal played out for the third time in history.
The first time was when Absalom usurped David’s throne with the help of Ahithophel, David’s counselor and friend who betrayed him (2 Sam. 15).
The second time was in the New Testament, when the religious leaders, playing the role of Absalom, usurped the throne of David from its rightful Heir, Jesus Christ, with the help of Judas, who was Jesus’ disciple and “friend” (Matt. 26:50).
The third time was in 1948, when the same people who usurped the throne of David also usurped Joseph’s birthright by naming their state “Israel.” In doing so, they illegally usurped the name given to the sons of Joseph. And once again, Christ was betrayed by His own disciples and friends, the Evangelical Church.
The essence of this betrayal took place over 20 years, from 1947 to 1967. In 1947 the Palestinian resolution was passed, creating a Jewish homeland (not a “Jewish State”). But the 1967 war created a de facto Jewish State and made it impossible to reverse the course. Christians were ecstatic not knowing that they were setting up many Jewish people for destruction (Is. 29:1-6 and Jer. 19:10, 11).
The Church Sells its Birthright
In 1948 the Lord began to pour out His Spirit upon the Church in a new movement called “Latter Rain.” They did not realize it, but this was a very important year in the history of the Kingdom of God. It was the end of 6 x 414 years from the fall of Babylon in 537 B.C.
Taking it back even further to the roots of the Babylonian captivity, the year 1948 was precisely 8 x 414 years from the beginning of Israel’s first captivity to the king of Mesopotamia (i.e., Babylon) in Judges 3:8. This is one of the last dates given in the Book of Jasher, as I explained in my book, Secrets of Time.
That first captivity was for a mere eight years, but it established a long-term prophetic pattern of 8 x 414 years. The first two 414-year cycles ended with the fall of the original city of Babylon in 537 B.C. Another 6 cycles of 414 years ended in 1948. Babylon was due to fall then.
With the Latter Rain movement, which brought forth the revelation of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Sonship movement, the potential time came to end the Babylonian captivity altogether and for the Church to claim the birthright of Joseph.
Joseph’s birthright is about Sonship, for Jacob blessed him with the words, “Joseph is a fruitful Son” (Gen. 49:22). Thus, 1948 is really when the modern Sonship movement began. However, most of the people remained ignorant of the Jewish connection with Edom, and so when the Israeli state was formed, they considered it to be the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies of Israel.
Thus, they generously supported it and thus gave away the birthright, which is the fruitfulness mandate. In calling this new state Israel, they recognized them as the inheritors of the birthright, for Israel is the birthright name given to Joseph and his sons (Gen. 48:16).
Then they wondered why the Sons of God did not manifest as they expected. The simple fact is that they gave away the right to be the generation that would see the manifestation of the Sons of God. They gave it to people who were not even believers in Jesus Christ, people who had no business claiming the throne of Judah, much less the birthright of Joseph.
In other words, the Church sold the birthright, even as Esau had done many years ago. The Church despised its birthright, and this has disqualified them from Sonship. In betraying Christ in the matter of the birthright, the Church has assumed the modern role of Judas—unknowingly, of course, but ignorance is only a partial excuse.
I showed in my book, Who is a Jew? that the Church is modern Judah. When the religious leaders of Judaism usurped the throne of Christ (as Absalom), they also broke the law of sacrifice in Lev. 17 by not bringing the blood of the Sacrifice to the true Temple (our bodies). They refused to sprinkle the blood of Christ upon the altars of their hearts. Thus, they were “cut off from among their people” (Lev. 17:4).
Jesus’ disciples (other than Judas) did what was required of them, for they recognized that Jesus was the rightful Heir of the Throne of David. Thus, the believers were the only ones remaining to continue the tribe of Judah. This is why Paul tells us in Romans 2:28, 29 that the true Jews are not those who claim it by an outward circumcision, but rather those who have the circumcision of the heart. To be of the tribe of Judah in the sight of God, one must be a Christian believer.
To this greatly reduced tribe of Judah were added many others from other parts of the world, as they came to put their faith in the King of Judah. There is no such thing as a Judahite (i.e., “Jew”) who does not believe that Jesus is the Christ. But, of course, man’s definition of terms may say otherwise.
The problem is, in the year 1948 the Church (Judah) became a Judas, a betrayer of Christ, in the controversy around the birthright and the name of Israel. Jesus is the Heir of Joseph’s birthright, for His robe is dipped in blood (Rev. 19:13), even as Joseph’s robe was dipped in blood (Gen. 37:31).
Regardless of who the Church believes is the rightful Heir of the birthright, I myself have joined the company of disciples that recognizes Jesus Christ as the Heir of Joseph. In the year 2000 Pope John Paul II made a trip to “Israel” and FOR THE FIRST TIME called them by that name. This was no accident. It was the moment when the Roman Church joined with the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches in selling the birthright to non-Christian people.
In a way, this is what has delayed the manifestation of the sons of God, to say nothing of the second coming of Christ. The controversy still has not been resolved. The usurpers have not yet been judged, nor have the Scepter and Birthright been forcibly taken from them. David has not yet returned, nor has Absalom yet died in battle.
But the day is fast approaching when the prophecy will be fulfilled, and the biblical story repeated. Then the Israeli state will cease to exist, and men will understand that the Jews are neither Judah nor Israel in the sight of God. They will come to see that only believers in Christ are recognized by God as Judahites. They will also come to see that only the Sons of God are recognized by God as Israelites. They will begin to see these terms applied according to the provisions of the law, rather than according to mere ethnicity or genealogy.
The Sons of God Separated
In the evening of April 8, 1985, as I was in prayer, the Lord suddenly came upon me in a powerful way, saying,
“Oh, My people, had you but listened to My prophets whom I sent to you. But now this day have I separated you from them. No more shall you hear their loving voice calling to you. You are cut off. You have cut yourselves off from them and from Me. They shall be fed and find pasture. You shall be left desolate with your house.
. . . Come out of her, My people. Be not partakers with her of her plagues.”
My first thought was, “I wonder what got Him so upset!” The next day, the Church aborted the Manchild in the 70th Manchild generation of the Church. I told the full story in my short booklet, The Prophetic Roots of Modern Abortion ($1.50).
In the month afterward, I began to understand what the Lord meant when He said, “But now this day have I separated you from them.” This separation took place the night before the Church aborted the Manchild. God was separating the overcomers from the Church in order that the overcomers might not be implicated in the decision of the Church to reject the manifestation of the Sons of God.
Up to that point, the overcomers had still been part of the Church (in the eyes of God). In other words, the “barley” company was still sown in the same field as the “wheat company.” But the law says in Deut. 22:9,
9 You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest all the produce of the seed which you have sown, and the increase of the vineyard become defiled.
This law made it mandatory that God would some day separate the barley from the wheat and put them into two distinct “fields,” or companies. In this way, the decisions of the Church would not be binding upon the overcomers (who were always “outvoted,” as it were).
This prophetic separation meant that God had reached His verdict that the Church would not bring forth the Manchild, but that He would begin to work with a smaller body of people called Overcomers, bringing them to the place of manifestation.
Of course, we are not talking about individual people here. I am speaking of the Church as a body, which is now distinct from the Overcomers as a body. There are still individuals who may be transferred from one “field” to another. A “wheat” person may become “barley.”
And so, the birthright was sold in 1948, and with it went the right to bring forth the manifested Sons of God. That birthright was usurped by unbelievers who began to call themselves Israel, with the help of large portions of the Church.
In 1985 the Church still had not repented of its role as Judas, and so God created a new “field,” a distinct classification of people that were called out of the Church. (This does not mean that all of these people must leave an organization called a Church. Organizations are not the Church; the people are the Church, whether they are members of an organization or not.)
My understanding is that since 1985 the Lord has begun to work with a generation of overcomers who will actually see the manifestation of the Sons of God as prophesied in Romans 8:19.
19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing [unveiling, manifestation] of the sons of God.
I believe we are the generation that will see this happen. Not every individual, of course, for people living today are of all ages, and many have died since 1985. But that does not matter, because in the end, the dead will be raised at the Feast of Trumpets. To them is the promise given to Caleb and Joshua, the overcomers of their day, that they would be alive to cross into the Promised Land (Num. 14:22-24).
So also it is with the overcomers of all past ages. They must be raised first, as Paul says in 1 Thess. 4:16, because they must be alive on the earth to fulfill the pattern of Caleb and Joshua at the time of our own Jordan Crossing.
These will join the living overcomers—those who are “alive and remain” (vs. 17). Together, they will be clothed with their “tabernacles” (tents) from above (2 Cor. 5:1-4) on the first day of Tabernacles.
I believe also that Christ the Head will come upon the Body of overcomers in the middle of Tabernacles, in order that this New Creation Man might be complete and qualified as a priest unto God.
They will be caught away on the 8th day of Tabernacles and then return to begin their ministry for the next thousand years. This return is the actual manifestation of the Sons of God to the creation. This is what creation presently is eagerly awaiting.