Who Is My Brother?

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Hi V____,
Thank you for your question. I am pleased to see that you understand that Joseph’s brothers are indeed his brothers and are not to be considered as heathen, even though they hate him more than the heathen or Gentiles do.

Act 3:13  The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.

That is the point that Steve and I were making Sunday. Neither our brothers in Christ nor our brothers in Adam, who is the figure of Christ, are to be in any way disdained. And here is why, as Steve pointed out:

Luk 3:38  Which was [ the son] of Enos, which was [ the son] of Seth, which was [ the son] of Adam, which was [ the son of God.

Gen 9:1  And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Gen 9:8  And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
Gen 9:9  And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

So while Paul knew that Abraham had been chosen out of Noah’s apostate children, he still realized that all men were his brothers and were descended from their Creator through Adam and Noah.
You are exactly right spiritually speaking. The spiritual Gentiles are not spiritual brothers in Christ. What Steve and I were both saying is that we must never forget that all men are our brothers and sisters as being God’s children and “offspring.” As God’s spiritual children, we will be hated by many who consider us to be their enemies, while we consider all men to be our brothers through these verses of scripture:

Gen 3:20  And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

Act 17:26  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Act 17:29  Forasmuch then as we [ Gentile unbelievers] are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
Act 17:30  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

While we are all God’s offspring we are also all commanded to repent:

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

I apologize if our answer in any way sounded as if we did not think that there was an advantage to knowing Christ. Of course, there is a great advantage to knowing Christ. It is a matter of life and death:

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

But if we claim the name of Christ and call ourselves sons of God and do not do the things Christ says to do, then our circumcision is counted for uncircumcision; our son of God status is counted as the seed of the serpent status, and we are worse off than a person who had never known Christ.

Luk 12:47  And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Luk 12:48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [ stripes]. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. 

You have already quoted to me the verses in Joh 8 where Christ acknowledges that “those Jews which believed in Him were Abraham’s seed,” ‘brothers in Christ,’ and yet in the same breath Christ says “If you were Abraham’s children you would do the works of Abraham.”

Joh 8:37  I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
Joh 8:38  I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
Joh 8:39  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

It was in the same sense that both Steve and I were speaking. We must realize that “all things are of God,” and therefore to be appreciated as “beautiful in its time.” So also we should see all men as God’s offspring and in that sense our brothers.
This Biblical and Christlike attitude in no way denies that the seed of the serpent has not been in us all at our appointed time, nor does it deny that we have brothers in Christ who really are not brothers in Christ. Both are true in both cases and our heavenly Father is not the least confused with Christ’s apparent contradiction when He said “I know you are  Abraham’s seed… If you were Abraham’s seed…”
Samaritans were so hated in Jerusalem because Jeroboam had set up a golden calf in Samaria and had instituted a feast in the eighth month. In other words Samaritans were hated because they were considered apostates. If we call those who are apostates our brothers, should we not also consider Adams children who have never known about the true altar in Jerusalem, our brothers also?
As Steve pointed out, we are all of Adam, and we are all of Noah. God had a covenant with both of them long before his covenant with Abraham. Being a son of God and having brothers in God is a matter of constantly being called out of whatever was before. Adam, Abel and Seth before the flood; Noah was called out of Seth’s apostatized seed; Abraham was called out of Noah’s apostatized seed; Isaac was chosen over Ishmael’s rejection and casting out; Jacob was chosen over his twin brother. Finally we come to Christ, and in Him we are all called to repentance and to recognize that God loves all of His creation and is actually in the process of making all men brothers and sons in Him. That is what Steve and I were teaching. I apologize if it came across in any other way.
I personally would prefer a brother in Adam as my neighbor over a ‘brother in Christ’ who has two horns like a lamb, but speaks as a dragon. I know the difference because I have been both.

Eph 2:1  And you [ hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Tit 2:11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

So who do we consider to be our brothers? The answer is that God is calling all men to be our brothers, and we must love them all for that reason. But that calling is an ongoing process which will continue until Satan himself emerges purified from the lake of fire. Until that time our only true brothers in Christ are:

Mat 12:50 For whoever shall do the will of My Father in Heaven, the same is My brother and sister and mother.

Your brother in Christ,
Mike

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