a book by Ephraim and Rimona Frank/ 2010 233pgs
by F.Scott Nickerson

After having received this book some years ago, I had a chance to sink my teeth into it this Summer and discovered an engaging account of the story of redemption from creation to Revelation. Ephraim and Rimona revealingly chose to follow this sweeping story of redemption by tracing the theme of the firstborn factor in the bible.  I found this to be an excellent way to understand and picture the essence of the redemptive plan for humanity and the world through the lives of the many characters and stories of the bible. In this book we learn that redemption is not about a theology of salvation but is manifest through individuals, families, and a chosen nation. A Holy God, separate and unique in all the universe, has chosen to focus his plan to rescue the world thru a faithful man named Abraham and his progeny. The authors suggest to us this demands a thorough investigation of the scriptures to find out how this plan evolves and what this means for us today.

Firstborn factor follows these characters and sheds light on the details of their stories to bring into focus eternal redemptive and judicial patterns. It reveals that biblical redemption is powered by this firstborn factor. That is, it is guided by the flow of a divine role through people who have this redemptive factor. People who have this factor fulfill the role of establishing God’s Kingdom upon the earth. One could say that they are instrumental in carrying the torch of faith and obedience so that all who hear and believe may follow the ancient path with its covenants that contain statutes, ordinances, judgments, precepts and testimonies. For it is these things that are the building blocks that faithful people employ to build God’s Kingdom.

Yet in order to take on this role of the firstborn, there are qualifications that must be met. This book examines these prerequisites and God-given duties that are assigned to the firstborn.  From the beginning there are two positions that have left their mark on biblical redemptive history – that of kingship and priesthood. A large part of the book deals with the lives of the forefathers and the generations that followed, showing how bitter conflicts over birthright inheritances reveal patterns that are later manifest in Israel as a nation. The kingly and priestly functions that together make up the office of the firstborn were separated from each other, thus dividing the birthright which eventually lead to the split into two kingdoms and the banishment of the House of Israel(Ephraim) and temporary exile of the House of Judah.

The book and story of redemption reaches a high point with the story of the Firstborn Kinsman Redeemer, Yeshua, who was the epitome of the role of the firstborn and fulfilled perfectly all of YHVH’s kingdom principles. Yeshua, being the ultimate firstborn, has the authority to impart His Spirit into the hearts that are called and chosen by His Father. This new heart, empowered by His Spirit, enables us to build His Kingdom one heart at a time.  This “process” eventually leads to the full restoration of YHVH’s Kingdom.  This is the promise that Peter mentions in Acts 3:20-26 about “the restoration of all things, about which God spoke by the mouths of His holy prophets from ancient times”.

From the book, pg221:

It was always YHVH’s intent to restore His rule to His firstborn nation Israel, and to do so in the land that he had promised. In our day this process of restoration is taking place both naturally and spiritually, with the establishment of the State of  Israel on the one hand, and the setting up of YHVH’s kingdom in the hearts of many Israelites on the other hand. Yeshua told His disciples to “seek the kingdom of Elohim…for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom”

In conclusion, the authors write:

As remote to the modern mind as the ideas and concepts discussed in this
book may be, a closer examination by those who have been following
history, especially that of the past century, reveals that these seemingly
archaic principles form, in fact, the grid into which fit most of the significant events. In other words, YHVH’s unseen but ever-progressive plans are the prime cause which sets in motion all that has been occurring for the sake of His elect and in support of His ultimate purposes for humanity as a whole.

That which was sown in the beginning has never been uprooted. It is now
coming to fruition. Life’s realities continually reveal the omniscience,
omnipotence, and omnipresence of the One who was, who is, and who is to
come. Thus, those who are called by His name, Y H V H (Yah-Hoveh, the
Eternal and Living One, Who Is the Present Presence), must live their lives
before Him in a way that is congruent with the nature of the One Who is so named.

None of us is exempt from His evolving plan. We do have the choice,
however, whether to participate willingly and intelligently, or to remain
passive and oblivious… Howbeit, this train is unstoppable; it is on the way
to its predetermined destination.

In this book I have seen God’s Grand Master Plan of redemption unveiled using the principles of the firstborn, with its birthright and inheritance factors.  From individuals called into a covenant relationship with YHVH, it is shown how God strategically uses families, communities, tribes and nations to bring forth His Kingdom upon the earth. We see that His Master Plan involves His chosen firstborn nation Israel, to whom He has given covenant responsibilities, and into which all called out believers in Messiah Yeshua are engrafted. This book challenges me to continue to take on the mantle of the assembly of the firstborn and become more like the ultimate firstborn example in our Master Yeshua.  Perhaps it will do the same for you.

The PDF of this 233 page book may be downloaded for free HERE

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