“Follow after charity and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophesy.”
Many are the philosophies and theologies of Adam concerning the nature and characteristics of God as he would imagine Him to be. These are often noticed in the rituals and ceremonies of man when the members of his society enter into certain stages or enterprises of life. The religious world usually employs the writings of Paul at the wedding ceremonies as an attempt to exhort the new couple unto a loving relationship which will guarantee them a long and happy life together. This is not the teaching which he was inspired to give the church at Corinth.
The church was given to assimilate many of the pagan customs into their practices the result of which was a distorted view of many things. They had concluded that it was improper to judge a man, even though he was in an elicit relationship with his father’s wife. They practiced the remembrance of the death and burial of Jesus Christ as a drunken bash and had entered into a kind of competition with each other as to the exercising of (what they thought were) spiritual gifts. This envy, strife and competition was unseemly for the church of Jesus Christ and Paul rebuked them for each of these demonstration of the carnal nature of Adam and was given to set before them a more perfect way.
Paul indicates that there must be an earnest pursuance after love. This begins with the understanding that love proceeds the follower, the follower recognizes that which he is pursuing and the absolute need for the pursuit. He also sets before the assembly of brethren, in the same manner as the teachings of Jesus to His disciples, that this love is not indigenous to Adam. The love of Adam was demonstrated in the garden in the beginning and is the inherent nature of his children. When they both took and did eat, their eyes being open, they knew they were naked and so they hid themselves. When God came to them and saw the aprons of fig leaves which Adam had made, He asked them how they knew they were naked? Was God surprised at the events which He had foretold? Was all of creation laid waste because man had failed the test? Not in the least! Yet when God approached Adam and demanded that he give an account the same one who was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh; the same one whom God had given unto him for it was not good that man be alone; this same one whom he could not deny was immediately to blame for all that had transpired that moment; “The woman whom thou gavest with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat” (Gen. 3:12). This is the love of man. It is selfish, egotistical and self-righteous with a sole enterprise of self preservation, so when Paul instructs the fellow saints in Corinth to ‘pursue earnestly after love’ he is not speaking of anything which has to do with Adam.
“Love is patient” (I Cor. 13:4)
A description of this love is essential to an understanding of what it is that the children of grace pursue after with such zeal. This begins with an absolute axiom of existence. Love does not become any more than one falls into love. Love is. If it is temporal then it is carnal. If it is contingent upon the actions and abilities of man then it is corrupt and if it built upon the emotions and imaginations of man then it is like the flower of the grass which fades away. The existence of love is essential to the understanding and application of it for it must be the constant since man is not consistent.
This love is not at all passive for it is proven patient by adversity; “My brethren count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations knowing that the trying of your faith works patience” (James 1:3). This trying of this love, which is more precious than gold tried in the fire, is in the furnace of affliction for that is where His people reside. These people have been justified by the faith of the Son of God who loved them and gave Himself for them for “Greater love has NO MAN than to lay down his life for his brethren” (John 15:13). They have access to the peace with God by faith into this grace wherein they stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God; and not only, but they glory in tribulation also, knowing that tribulation works patience and patience works experience and experience hope; and hope does not make His people ashamed to be called the sons of God (Rms. 5:3).
This love is an eternal love which is not influenced by the actions or imaginations of man. It is the eternal love wherewith God loved His seed, the children of promise, for which the blood of the Lamb was shed before the foundation of the world. This love cannot be influenced by time for it precedes time and it was manifested in the sacrifice for sin before the children were even born ere they had done any good or evil that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand. Therefore this eternal love which is solely of God is in the beginning with God and upon His people before they became partakers of flesh and blood and were made subject to the bondage of sin.
“And whether we be afflicted for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer, for your consolation and salvation” (II Cor. 1:6).
This love is personally identifiable in the experience of each member of the household of grace. Each one has had a time, when it pleased the Father to reveal Himself in them, when they were confronted with the commandments of God. This is the time when they were given to know the absolute severity of the righteous judgment of God and their total inability to meet the perfect demands of righteousness. Then they knew the wickedness of their ways and that they are sinful and unclean. This revelation as taught by the Spirit of Holiness comes only to those who have been born from above and., although it is corporately upon the whole house yet it is personally upon each member in particular. This is the common deliverance which is spoken of and the experience that the tribulation speaks to. No one who has not been brought to the place where they feel the pains of hell get hold of them as sorrow and death are all about them has no idea of the forgiveness that is in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah. Anyone who knows not this salvation has not the love of the Father upon them; “because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rms. 5:5).
This tribulation is common unto all who are born from above because there is enmity between that which born of the flesh and the Spirit from above. This affliction is the manifestation of the love of God for His people for whom the Lord loves He chastens. He openly declares to each of His Beloved the wretchedness of the flesh and the arrogance of his ways as the Spirit reveals the spiritual wickedness in the exalted places of the heart and mind of man. He shows His people that their heart is desperately wicked and none can know it. He shows them that the imaginations of that heart are of the earth and He causes the natural man to be drawn after the needs and delights of the flesh. And so Adam follows after the flesh yet the Spirit pursues earnestly after love.
The love of the Father for His children caused Him to make Himself of no reputation, to take on the form of a servant in the likeness of sinful man and to endure the contradiction of sin against Himself (Phil 2:7). He brought no glory to Himself as He endeavoured in all that He did to praise and glorify the Father by finishing the labour that was assigned unto Him for there was no other qualified to save His people. He sold all He had and bought the field for the treasure that was hid in that field. He sold all and bought that pearl of great price as He ransomed His people from the wages of sin. He came forth and for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despised the shame and is set down at the right hand of the Father where He makes intercession for His Beloved (Heb. 12:2). He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities and He alone is able to comfort His people in all tribulation (which works patience) that they may comfort one another in any kind of trouble. The love of man knows none of this.
Love therefore is kind, in that it is personal, it is not jealous of other members for all have the same love, it does not boast in itself for all is for the Beloved and it is not inflated like the heart of man. The pride of man has deceived him to think more highly of himself than he ought and to seek that which is not his. He desires the up-most position, even at the expense of others, and his imaginations exalt him to unrealistic heights of splendour and grandeur. His appetites are justified by his perceived right to happiness and therefore his love behaves itself in unseemly manners. This deviation and perversion is justified by freedom of expression and right of indulgence as the natural man has exchanged the glory of God’s creation into the cesspool of his lasciviousness.
“Love does not seek her own, is not easily provoked and thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth” (13:5)
Man is completely occupied with self preservation and indulgence. His ways are dark and he loves the darkness. He despises the light and receives the praise of his fellow man for his accomplishments in the ways of this world. These are the qualifications of Adam and so, as the Spirit enables, the love which is spoken of here is not of man.
The craving and sustenance of all who are born of God is for the truth. He is the bread of life for His people who live by every word which proceeds from the mouth of the Father. He is the Way the Truth and the Life and He has come forth upon that white horse, “called Faithful and True and in righteousness He judges and makes war” (Rev. 19:11). He has come forth in this the acceptable year of Yehovah and has poured out the vials of His wrath upon the ungodliness of man. He has trodden alone the wine press of the fury of God “for the day of vengeance is in mine heart and the year of the redeemed is come” (Is. 63:4). Therefore His Beloved praises His name as His love is upon Her and Her love is upon Him.
He has done all for the Beloved. His blood has atoned for the sin in Adam and has covered all things. She lives by the faith of the Son of God as the evidence of the Spirit is manifested in the faith wherein she walks day by day. Her earnest expectation is to be delivered from the body of this death, to lay down this tabernacle and for the manifestation of the sons of God. This love does not end when the time of this habitation is over for it is the eternal love of God (Jer. 31:3). This love leads the sheep and draws His people, therefore they run the race with patience, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of their faith, as they earnestly pursue after love and desire spiritual things, having their affection set on things from above. They are strangers and sojourners in this foreign land and they long to return to that springing forth of peace (Jerusalem). They earnestly anticipate when their eyes will be opened and faith shall be made sight, to see Him in the beauty of His holiness. They hope to hear the songs of Zion which NO MAN can know and to speak with the pure language the name of the Beloved.
“…but rather that you may prophesy” (14:1)
Much more precious that the ability to speak in another tongue and much more perfect that all understanding of all mysteries and all knowledge yea even more than all faith, whereby you may move the mountains and say to the tree, be planted in the sea; is the ability to speak as divinely inspired. This is not the pompous endeavours of some to predict the future events or to pretend to rightly divide the word as to what things must shortly come to pass. This is the ability, through experience, to be able to speak concerning the ways and purpose of God as He reproves and admonishes or comforts and exhorts His people. This cannot be learned in the classroom or through the lengthy orations of man and the writings of this world are inadequate to set forth what a child of grace has experienced. When given to write of the common salvation Jude was speaking to those who are “sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ called”. Only these have the like precious faith which has taught them the agony of the warfare within and the vanity of this world. When Adam attempts to mimic this, he falls short not in rhetoric but in application. He, unless taught of the Spirit of God and given to believe, cannot reckon his deeds as menstruous rags before the holiness of God. He cannot see his intention as being an abomination or his sincerity as being repugnant in the presence of perfection. Therefore his doctrine is like unto his practice and herein is wisdom to know “the number of the beast, which is the number of man” (Rev. 13:18).
The path which the children walk may be diverse by time and geographic location but the path is the same. Each walks for a time ‘kicking against the pricks’ until the time when he is awakened unto righteousness. Then the path is illuminated with the brilliance of the commandments and by them the children know their sin in Adam. This sin is shown to be exceedingly sinful as the school-master leads them unto the Anointing. As the light of His glory shines brighter and brighter in the heart of His beloved, they see how vile they are which causes them to cry out for the Father and His mercy. His love leads them into the valley of the shadow of death and causes them to lie prostrate upon the ground crying out; “Be merciful to me a sinner”. Then the warfare begins.
Those things which were a delight of the world are seen to be adversarial to the life of the Spirit. The conversation (life style) of the inhabitants of the market-place wherein was found comradery and joy is a daily reminder of the vanity of this world and a vexation upon the soul. The children of the Kingdom of God desire more and more to be absent from this body and present with the Lord. They see the vileness and hypocrisy of their heart and hope that the brethren never see how wretched they are. But and if they all be born from above, they have all the same experience as they see the outward man perishing and the inward man being renewed daily. This common experience is the common salvation and the hope of glory within; “for we are saved by hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for what a man sees, why then does he yet hope for?” (Rms. 8:24)
“But he that prophesies speaks unto men edification and exhortation and comfort” (14:3).
The edification of the children while they are partakers of flesh and blood is the unity of the body. To know that every member of the body has experienced the same trials and tribulations as they walk the path of the footsteps of the flock is a comfort to the weary traveler. To know that there is no temptation come unto you but such as is common to every son of Adam lifts the children up and identifies them as brethren. This cannot come from the experience of man for at his highest realm he cannot ascend above God’s creation and the station he has been placed in and so it is when given to listen to the hirelings and street hawkers of the modern religious system. There is no comfort for there is no understanding of the loathing of our ways and the abomination of our iniquities. Though the trained and well rehearsed charlatans of the stage weep and swoon yet they draw nigh with their mouths but their hearts are far from God.
God has blessed His children with these trials and tribulations as He demonstrates His love; “for whom the Lord loves, them also He chastens”. Man cannot teach this enigma unto his fellow inhabitants of the dust for the natural man cannot receive the beauty of this holiness. The church of Jesus Christ does not need someone to write unto them about their labours of love and the love of the brethren for they are all taught of God (I Thes. 4:9). And this is the evidence of the children of light for “by this shall all men know that you are My disciples, that you have love one for another”.
The children of like experience are the only ones in this world who can identify with the wrestling of this struggle. They alone have the testimony that their Elder Brother not only endured the same but has overcome the world. He has been tempted with the feelings of our infirmities in Adam yet without sin and He has overcome them by the power of His blood. He is the suitable High Priest of our profession who has completed ALL that the Father has given Him and is seated in heaven as the Lord God Omnipotent who reigns over all. This finished work is the surety of the soul that He has not left the labour or the course up to His children to find their own way because; “O Lord I know that the way of man is not in himself, it is not of him that walks to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). To the assembly in Corinth, the Apostle declares that it is far better to speak of how great things God has done for and to His Beloved than it is to show off special abilities for the amusement of men. Faith, hope and love all abide but the greatest of these is love and every child of the Israel of our God walks in the light of the Lord which is the love He has for His Bride. Man tries to copy this love but the counterfeit facsimiles pale in comparison for the glory of the latter far exceeds the glory of the former (Adam).
“Love not the world neither the things of this world. If a man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15)
The wisdom of man demands that God loves everyone and that those who believe they are His children should do the same. God does not love everyone; He loves only His Beloved. His Beloved is of every kindred, tribe, nation and tongue of this world and thereby, in answer to the arrogant Zionism of religion, God so loved the world. God is under no obligation to love those for whom He has decreed His eternal hatred and He has not laid that burden upon His people. He alone has assigned that hatred upon the wicked for they are of this world and as such He has instructed His people not to follow after the love of this world. He has taught them that in Adam they are drawn away after the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life for this is the nature of man and the way of the world.
The love of the brethren is sacred and precious. Many seek after it, many feign it to all men but few there be that find it. This is the remnant according to grace.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
January 17, 2016