God somehow sees as as His little children and He loves to see us that way. We might think we are very mature and wise and that we have strong will power and clever schemes but in the eyes of our Heavenly Father we remain His little children whom He loves dearly.
Jesus emphasized that the kingdom belongs to the little children and unless we become like one of those little ones we could not inherit the kingdom.
The Apostolic Reformation has come to re-establish the role of the spiritual fathers and to turn the hearts of the sons to the fathers so that they can come into their full spiritual inheritance. My little children
Apostle Andre Pelser?s farewell address to Harvester Church, before the European Apostolic Tour in November 2002
Little Children is the name transferred to that intimate and reciprocal relationship formed between men by the bonds of love, friendship, trust, just as between parents and children
Apostles use this term because they know by their instruction they nourish the minds of their pupils and mould their characters.
The opposite would be children of the devil: those who in thought and action are prompted by the devil, and so reflect his character
Romans 8: 15, 23
One of the most beautiful apostolic descriptions in John?s epistles of people who have received his apostolic doctrine is: ?My little children.? Paul also describes Timothy in such a fatherly way by calling him, ?my son whom I begot in the Gospel?. Jesus said the will of the father is to keep those who were committed to him so that none of them would be lost. There is a sense of family in the apostolic move that was predicted by the prophetic move: ?the hearts of the sons will return to the fathers.? There is a definite move of the spirit in this regard as true sons are returning to spiritual fathers because without that connection the apostolic move will not be released. One of the marks of an apostle is that he is a father.
The opposite of a true son in the faith is an orphan. An orphan is someone whose father has died. Some fathers birth sons in the faith but they fall in sin and the bible describes them as being dead in their sins while they live. Therefore a true father is someone who overcomes sin in his own life for the sake of his spiritual children unless he himself becomes a castaway.
An orphan can be adopted as a true son according to Roman law and there is no difference between a son born in the household and an adopted son. I heard an adopted son speak at his father?s funeral the other day (Melville Muller?s adopted son, Steven.) He wept at the funeral when he acknowledged that he was never treated as an adopted son but as a real son in the household. The entire family accepted him and treated him that way. It brought tears to a lot of people?s eyes.
We are all adopted sons into the household of God. The spirit of adoption in us cries, ?Abba Father!? and then the process of adoption begins. Jesus Christ made it possible for us to be adopted. He paid the price to purchase our souls from the enemy. The price was his own blood that he shed on Calvary. If anyone believes in Him they will not only be saved but also adopted into the household of God.
We can choose whether we want to be adopted sons or remain fatherless in this life.
ADOPTION ? the act of taking voluntarily a child of other parents as one?s own child; in a theological sense, the act of God?s grace by which sinful people are brought into his redeemed family.
In the New Testament, the Greek word translated adoption literally means ?placing as a son.? It is a legal term that expresses the process by which a man brings another person into his family, endowing him with the status and privileges of a biological son or daughter.
In the Old Testament, adoption was never common among the Israelites. Adoption in the Old Testament was done by foreigners or by Jews influenced by foreign customs. Pharaoh?s daughter adopted Moses (Ex. 2:10) and another pharaoh adopted Genubath (1 Kin.11:20). Furthermore, there is no Hebrew word to describe the process of adoption. When the Pharaoh?s daughter adopted Moses, the text says, ?And he became her son? (Ex. 2:10).
By New Testament times, Roman customs exercised a great deal of influence on Jewish family life. One custom is particularly significant in relation to adoption. Roman law required that the adopter be a male and childless; the one to be adopted had to be an independent adult, able to agree to be adopted. In the eyes of the law, the adopted one became a new creature; he was regarded as being born again into the new family?an illustration of what happens to the believer at conversion.
The apostle Paul used this legal concept of adoption as an analogy to show the believer?s relationship to God. Although similar ideas are found throughout the New Testament, the word ?adoption,? used in a theological sense, is found only in the writings of Paul (Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4).
In Ephesians, Paul?s emphasis was that our adoption rests with God, who ?predestined us to adoption as sons? (Eph. 1:5). In his letter to the Romans, Paul used the term to describe Israel?s place of honor in God?s plan (Rom. 9:4). However, Gentile believers have also been given the ?Spirit of adoption,? which allows them to cry, ?Abba, Father? (Gal. 4:6).
God?s adoption of the believer also has a future dimension, the assurance that the believer?s body will be resurrected (Rom. 8:23).
In Christ there is no longer a difference between Jews and Greeks: the middle wall of partition has been taken away and everyone, Jews and Greeks, have to accept Christ as their sacrifice for sin in order to be reconciled to God.
Most bible commentaries only describe the process of adoption between God and believers. But we need to understand the apostolic dimension in the process as well.
The Marks of True Sons
Honor your father
True sons know who their spiritual father is. Very few sons have their natural fathers as spiritual fathers as well. I had that privilege. In Christ you can have many teachers but only one father. Paul says he begot Timothy through the Gospel. That is the apostolic process of adoption. As God accepts us as sons through Jesus Christ we also need to be adopted in the faith by spiritual fathers. The traditional church only recognized someone as a spiritual father after they died. They only honored the fathers of the faith long after they passed away. All they could draw from them was in their writing. But through the re-introduction of the apostolic move in our generation during the 1990?s God has opened up a new and living way for us to draw on the grace of God that rests upon apostles in this life. We can now receive impartation from spiritual fathers before they pass onto the next life.
If an apostle is married we need to accept our spiritual ?mother? as well because they are one and we need to learn how to honor her. The only commandment in the Old Testament that had a promise linked to it was the commandment to honor our mother and father so that we might live long on the earth.
God chastises the sons whom he loves. If we do not accept His chastisement we are not true sons. Divine chastisement works godly repentance in our hearts that leads us to repentance. We cannot even repent unless God allows us to. It is unnatural to repent. The flesh and the soul hate it. It is a spiritual activity and the fleshly mind is always in enmity against the spirit.
Walk after the Spirit
The two are always opposing each other. We cannot do what we want t