Throughout Scripture there exists many patterns, but we must first put on the right “lens” that we would see them. One of many such patterns is “the first and the second”. We see this pattern repeating throughout the Bible, cover to cover.
In the history of man, the first son was the chosen son. Yet God reversed this such that it would be the second son that was chosen over the first. Abraham’s first son was Ishmael, but God chose the second son Isaac.
Not by the natural way in Hagar, but the supernatural way through Sarah. “But he [Ishmael] who was of the bondwoman [Hagar] was born according to the flesh, and he [Isaac] of the freewoman [Sarah] through promise” (Galatians 4:23).
The contrast is man’s ways versus God’s ways. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).
Isaac’s first son was Esau, but God chose the second in Jacob. Jacob’s first son was Reuben through Leah, but God chose Leah’s last son in Judah. Not the first son by man’s ways, but the second by God’s.
Saul was the first King, who looked the part outwardly according to men. But God chose David as the second King, who was right inwardly according to God, and whose throne would last forever. David’s first son was taken because of his disobedience, and then God chose the second son Solomon out of His grace.
The first is always man’s idea, the second is always God’s.
Adam was the first, but Jesus was chosen of God. “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). The first Adam was given life and chose death, the second Son Jesus chose death that He would give life.
“The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47). The first son Adam ushered in death, the second Son ushered in eternal life. Death was chosen in the first garden called Eden, and eternal life was chosen in the second garden called Gethsemane.
Adam chose his will, and Jesus chose the will of the Father. Jesus prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).
The second always leads the first. The second becomes the ideal that the first was supposed to be, and then the first becomes drawn to the second.
The nation of Israel was His firstborn, and the Gentiles came next. “I say then, have they [the Jews] stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles” (Romans 11:11).
This does not elevate Gentiles to first, it only uses them to draw His first love back to Himself. Paul said, “…you [Gentiles] do not support the root [Jewish], but the root supports you” (Romans 11:18). The second must always remain humble to the first. Never be prideful just because you have learned the lessons from those who have gone before you.
It is the pride in the nation of Israel that resists all that the Lord Jesus Christ would be to them. The same is true with most men in the Church today. Just as the Gentiles will make the Jewish jealous for Christ, so women will make men jealous for the Lord Jesus. “For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God” (1 Corinthians 11:12).
The second is there to make the first jealous, that the first would become what they were always meant to be.
The first covenant of the Law shows what you can never do. The second covenant in Christ shows that He alone did it all for you. The first covenant sought to have you put your mind on God, the second covenant is where He puts His mind in you. “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. For this is the covenant that I will make …says the Lord: ‘I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts…’” (Hebrews 8:7,10).
Your first birth is in the natural and your second is in the spiritual. “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual” (1 Corinthians 15:46).
Your first name is by man, your second name is by the Lord. The Lord Jesus said, “…I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it” (Revelation 2:17).
The first is by man, the second is of the Lord.
This pattern is everywhere. The old earth and the new earth. The old man and the new man. The natural birth and the spiritual birth. The first death, and for some the second death. When once we put on the “lens” that we can see, revelation will proceed. The greatest revelation is what changes you.
If you want to grow in your faith, you must stop elevating the first, and instead step into the second. “…put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). The first is natural and the second is spiritual. Natural weight can never be lifted in the spiritual realm.
You cannot fix your flesh, only crucify it such that the Spirit of Christ would reign in you. Your effort to perfect the natural is the hindrance to all that your spiritual was meant to become. So long as you focus your efforts on putting your mind on God, He cannot put His mind in you. Again the verse, “I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts…’” (Hebrews 8:10).
Yield yourself unto a mighty God. Surrendering always precedes victory, not your victory, but His victory in you. Let Him have His way with you.
Blessings to you,
I will never forget hearing about this “lens of the second” from Chaplain Donald Warrick probably around 2011. He was speaking to me in his office inside the state prison at CRC in Norco, CA. I will never forget the simplicity in his message to me that day, that “it is always the second son”.