“For we know that if our earthly house of tabernacle were dissolved, we have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
The church at Corinth had experienced a great many crucial moments in the short time it had been manifested. The course of the apostle was set to come into this city, there to find a fellow tent maker named Aquilla, with whom he dwelt. As was his custom, Paul went into the meeting houses every Sabbath day, conversing and discussing from the scriptures that Jesus was Messiah. He entertained questions, gaining the confidence and trust of both Jew and Greek, conveying to all who were given ears to hear, the glad tidings of great joy. This message included the testimony of the finished work of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, having fulfilled all the promises given to the fathers and the mystery of the gospel it also included the affirmation of the resurrection from the dead. This point infuriated many hearers, driving them unto violent behavior, while others were made curious about this subject.
When the Apostle was enabled to speak on Mars hill, he proclaimed the truth of the resurrection “and when they heard of the resurrection from the dead, some mocked and others said, We will hear you again of this” (Acts 17:32). When he stood before the high priest Ananias and perceived that there was a mixed audience in the house, he boldly proclaimed that he was a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee who was being called into question because of his espousing of the resurrection from the dead. This brought forth dissension between the factions of the Pharisees and the Sadducees for the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angels nor spirits but the Pharisees confess both. And there arose a great cry and the scribes of the Pharisees part arose and strove saying, We find no evil in this man, but if a spirit of an angel has spoken to him, let us leave him alone” (23:6ff). And when Paul came before the most noble Felix he refuted the accusations of the certain orator named Tertullus, who was called as an expert witness against him, by saying that the way which the religious leaders and scholars of the day called heresy, so he worshipped the God of his fathers believing all things written in the law and the prophets, and have hope toward God, that they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both the just and the unjust” (24:14f).
The subject matter has not changed nor has the reaction of the natural mind toward this precious truth. Many divers and sundry theories have emerged concerning the resurrection of the dead, covered in the speculation of Adamic paranoia, and have developed into venerated doctrinal foundations upon which assemblies have divided. Paul was well experienced in the effect that this subject had upon the superstitions of man and the confusion which developed because the natural man could not understand this mystery. His message returns to the foundations of the first principles of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah when he addresses the problem in the church at Corinth the first time moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which you also received and wherein you stand by which you are also delivered, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you have believed without just cause” (I Cor. 15:2).
The evidence that was set forth concerning the resurrection of Messiah was first and foremost visual, since “He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve”. The testimony of the scriptures was that the Holy One of God should not see corruption (Ps. 16:10), the type given was the sign of Jonah (Luke 11:29) and God, having ordained further confirmation of His sovereign power over death and the grave, openly manifesting the risen Lord, “after that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at one time, of whom the greater part remain unto this present but some are fallen asleep”.
Now these individuals who saw Him before His ascension were of no special natural abilities for like Mary in the garden and the two on the road to Emmaus, unless the Lord revealed Himself unto them, they could not recognize Him. These two returned to Jerusalem, rejoicing and proclaiming a passionate testimony of seeing the Lord yet when He appeared before the twelve, “they were terrified and affrighted, supposing that they had seen a spirit” (Luke 24:37). The ability to understand this wondrous mystery of the power of God unto deliverance is the hope of every child born from above yet it remains an enigma to the children of the dust.
“Now if Messiah be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection ?” (I Cor. 15:12)
John saw in his vision of the testimony of Jesus Christ, a Lamb standing as it had been slain and that from the founding of the world. Before God had spoken the creation into existence He had completed His work of delivering His people from their sin in Adam. Jesus, who is the firstborn of many brethren (Rms. 8:29), the firstborn of every creature (Col. 1:15) and the firstborn from the dead (18), did not become these things after He rose from the grave two thousand years ago, He was manifested at that time to be all these things. He cannot be the firstborn of every creature unless He is the first to be born of the entire house and as the first, Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, He must precede all who should come after. So is the resurrection John saw the Lamb resurrected (standing) before Adam was yet formed from the dust or ere any had died. He saw the heavenly reality that was manifested in the fullness of time when He who is like God (Michael) stood up to confirm the oath with many “and at that time shall your people be delivered, everyone found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:1).
This heavenly vision of the finished work of God was given to Daniel by the Lord concerning the manifestation whose time was appointed to be long, “and he understood the things and had understanding of the vision” (Dan. 10:1). He saw that which was already finished and gave a testimony for the brethren that they might have hope this is not for the sons of Adam for they look upon that which can be seen and thrive on that which can be reasoned and evaluated. The gospel of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah is of faith and that cannot be seen neither can it be proven. Jesus confirmed the prophesy when He said, Truly I say unto you, the hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live for as the Father has given life in Himself so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself and He has given Him authority to execute judgment also because He is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and they shall come forth they that have done good unto the resurrection of life and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:25).
The reality of the Lamb as affirmed in the vision of the prophesy, the proclamation of the Word that became flesh and dwelt among His people and the manifestation of the power of God according to the spirit of Holiness by the resurrection from the dead was confirmed and cooperated by the eye witnesses of His majesty and yet there were some who said that there was no resurrection from the dead. As the question of the type of the natural vineyard is asked again, “what more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it?” (Is. 5:5), the answer must unequivocally be, nothing, for unless the ability is given, which is not inherent to the natural man, to believe something as unfathomable as the resurrection of the dead. And so, in fulfillment of the type as given concerning the feast of the ingathering, the leaven of the flesh is evidenced as carnal logic festering in the compost of natural reasonings should bring forth the fruit of speculation and doubt among the brethren to undermine the foundation of hope in Messiah and the eternal security of all who are preserved in Christ Jesus. Thanks be unto God that this plague, which is from head to the soles of the feet, cannot overcome the faith of the Son of God.
“And if Messiah be not raised, your faith is unprofitable and you are yet in your sins” (I Cor. 15:17).
The arguments and disputes concerning the resurrection are immaterial if there is no resurrection from the dead and if the Lamb is not standing from the founding of the world, then there is no resurrection for those who came before His natural advent. Many have speculated that these have slept in another place and time awaiting the advent of Messiah when they could join Him in the resurrection. This concludes that the resurrection is a separate event, isolated, in time, at the end of the offering of the perfect sacrifice for sin. But, and if such were the case, then how was the holy flesh protected from the body of sin if no blood had been shed to prepare the earthen vessel to receive the seed planted within? If the blood had not been shed then how were those who came before covered in the atonement, sanctified unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of the Anointed the sealing of the covenant? All these things were given unto Moses in the mount as the pattern of the heavenly reality demonstrated in the type of the handwriting of ordinances of the feasts and ceremonies, but they stood complete in heaven.
The Lamb of God standing as He had been slain is the testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah which is the spirit of the proper discerning of the hidden things (Rev. 19:10). Since He is the irrefutable evidence of the work which God has done from the beginning, to deny the resurrection is to deny Him for He said, I am the resurrection and the life”. Did He say He would be the resurrection and the life or that He was? Indeed He is the same yesterday, today and forever, therefore the resurrection is not only some future event for all to look forward unto, when He shall come a second time without sin, but it is that which is and was and shall be again.
The election according to grace has always been and ever shall be predestinated to be conformed to the image of the Son. They are manifested to be the sons of God according to the spirit of Holiness by the resurrection from the dead for they have been raised up together in Him and made to sit together in Him in the heavens (Eph. 2:6). These are the children, given of Yehovah of Hosts which dwells in mount Zion, for signs and wonders in all of the Israel of our God (Is. 8:18); indeed they are the fellow companions of the Joshua “that sit before Him for they are men wondered at” (Zech. 3:8). If there is no resurrection, because Messiah is not raised form the dead, then there is no Anointed salvation of Yehovah. If He does not exist then there is no eternal seed and no sons of God, for faith must rely upon that which can be seen, the testimony of God is false and He, if He exists, is a liar like unto all men. All who have such hope in this world, concerning Jesus Christ, have followed after cunningly devised fables and they are indeed, of all men, most miserable (I Cor. 15:19).
“But now is Messiah risen from the dead, being the first-fruits of them that slept.”
Because of the Resurrection and the Life, being Jesus Christ the Righteous, they that have been planted in the corruption of the natural earthly body come forth out of their graves, in the time appointed of the Father, and are manifested during the time of their habitation. They have been raised up in the first resurrection, they are raised up in the fullness of time and they shall be delivered form the body of this death when the time of their habitation is over. This is the manifestation of the fullness of the resurrection wherein the children, being predestinated to be conformed to the image of the Son, learn obedience, like unto the Son (Heb. 5:8), in all that they suffer, being made subject to vanity.
Since He is Mighty God and the eternal Father, there is nothing that He needed to be taught or learn, neither is there any to teach Him, yet He made Himself of no reputation and He Himself likewise partook of the same as the seed. He was fashioned like unto sinful flesh and ordained to be made partaker of that flesh. He fulfilled the Law in all righteousness, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments in ordinances, overcame the flesh before Adam was formed so that He might be the first-fruits unto the Father but now is made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (II Tim. 1:10)
The feast of the first fruits was observed in the 17th day of the first month when the sprouts were just peaking through the soil. These shoots came from good seed that had life within and, in testimony to God that He indeed gave that life and the impending increase, they were waved before the Lord as an offering of thanksgiving to His grace and goodness. Messiah stands before the Father as the first-fruit of many brethren and first-born of His body. He represents His house as the chief or principle one who has the preeminence over the house and as He is faithful so they are accounted faithful in Him. Since He took upon Himself the inherent inability of His people in Adam and the uncleanness of the ways of man they have neither spot nor blemish by reason of contact with the unclean thing. Since He alone could become the sin of His people and He alone could remove that sin as far as the east is from the west, so “there is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Rms. 8:1).
These all stand in the Lamb before time and yet as they have been made partakers of flesh and blood they earnestly anticipate when they shall once again see Him as He is. They are seated together in Him yet they have been made subject to the bondage of this corruption which looks upon that which can be seen. They are taught of the Spirit that they are carnal sold under sin in the body of this death but they are not cast down for as the flesh looks upon the things of this world, which fade away, the children of the kingdom of light perceive with the eyes and the senses ‘and observing’, give attention unto ‘and cherish’ the fact that if this dwelling tent upon the earth is destroyed, as the outward man perishes, they already have the uppermost building of God which is lifted up.
This is not a building that is made of the components of this world, devised and conceived by the limited intellect of man or constructed by the feeble polluted hands of the arm of the flesh. It is the eternal house of God in heaven wherein dwells the fullness of the Godhead. This is the city that Abram looked for whose builder and Maker is God. It is that Temple which the Lord Himself is the chief stone of the corner of the foundation, the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, set and finished by the hand of He that comes forth out of the confusion (Zerub-bable), fitly framed together of living precious stones, being lifted up as the Holy habitation of our God. The walls of this building are the salvation of Yehovah, the gates are praise unto Yehovah and the gates of the grave shall never prevail against it. It is not of the weak and beggarly elements of this world nor is it confined to the ministration of death, “but you are come unto mount Sion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and to the innumerable company of messengers, to the general assembly and the church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect” (Heb. 12:22). Though concealed and hidden in the field yet is this the Israel of our God.
“For we that are in tabernacle do groan, being burdened ; not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life”
The earnest expectation of the children is magnified in the burdens of this world and the labours of this life as they are revealed (Ps. 137). The light of the Sun of righteousness, rising with healing in His wings, reveals the bondage of corruption of this tabernacle and the uncleanness of this abomination before God thus the children cry out to the Father to be delivered. This is the same healing that comes from the leaves of the tree of life planted by the river of living water which flows from the throne of God (Rev. 22:2) and out of the belly (inner most part or soul) of all who believe (John 7:38) as the inner man is renewed daily. It is the peaceable fruit of righteousness which each seed is ordained to produce and the good works created in the Anointed salvation of Yehovah that they are each passionate about, for the edification and comfort of the fellow companions of the pasture.
This expectation is not to return to the man as he was in the garden before God made a covering for him or to occupy eternity in the limitations of this mortal body. The seed was planted in a perishable body perfectly prepared of the Lord. That body, each particular to the seed within, serves the seed (the elder shall serve the younger- Gen.25:23), as it grows in the grace and knowledge of God‘s will yet the seed is not improved upon by the ground wherein it is planted. The seed is exhibited by the testimony within and the disdain for that which is without that it is not of this world as the children are taught that they are strangers and sojourners in a foreign land. Although the natural ways of this world are pleasing to the outward man yet the field can produce nothing that satisfies the inner man who, delighting after the Law of God, hungers and thirsts after righteousness. The seed has been planted in the vessel of clay but it is raised up in an incorruptible spiritual body there is a natural body and there is a spiritual body” (I Cor. 15:44).
This spiritual man is the Temple of the Holy Ghost as the fullness of God dwells within. The prophecy was given as a sign unto one who ‘has possessed’ (Ahaz) that a virgin would conceive and bear a son and shall call His name Emmanuel. This sign was given in the midst of a battle between the houses of the beloved (David) and ’the step‘ (Syria) as proof that Yehovah God is indeed in complete sovereign control of all things. In the fullness of time, God sent forth His messenger to the virgin Mary, and “all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Yehovah by the prophet” (Matt. 1:22). She called His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted means, God with us, and thus in the revelation of Jesus Christ, John saw that the dwelling of God is with men (Rev. 21:3). The children of God are the incorruptible seed which are heirs of God and joint heir with the Anointing unto whom God has given His kingdom. They do not stand before Him naked or unclothed but rather, just as the Head, they have been given a change of raiment for this mortality has been clothed upon in immortality and this corruption has been clothed upon in incorruption.
“Now He that has wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who has given us the earnest of the Spirit”
Let the world dance and sing and make merry, the resurrection and especially the hope thereof cannot be proven. It cannot be explained for it is a mystery and since the natural man has no point of reference to eternity or the holiness of God, he therefore cannot understand the glory that shall be revealed. No one can earn, merit or procure eternal life and flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God. The children, being heirs of God, have ‘the pledge’ or promise of the Holy Spirit and since God is not a man that He should lie nor the son of man that He should repent and since He has loved His people with an eternal love which nothing can disannul and since He is the same yesterday, today and forever, therefore the sons of Jacob (children of promise) are not consumed. This pledge is reserved unto all who are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Eph. 1:13)
The testimony of the Spirit is that two-edged sword which proceeds from the mouth of God. It is the testimony of the truth as its light shows forth the condition of the outward man in his daily march back to the dust. Yet it also gives the children the hope of the adoption in that when the time of this habitation is over, they shall be made like Him and sees Him as He is. In the Father‘s house ARE many mansions was given to them as the assurance of faith and when the prescribed fruit has been produced by each seed for the edification of the pilgrims in the wilderness, then shall every man in his order, “put off” their tabernacles (II Pt. 1:14) and, being absent from the body, stand present with the Lord.
The illusion of time shrouds the truth of eternity but when time is no more, then shall we behold Him with untrammeled eyes, who alone is worthy. The spirit of prophecy is the understanding of hidden things and we have this treasure hidden in earthen vessels. As the Refiner‘s fire consumes the dwelling tents upon the earth, the outer man perishes, until the time when the children shall be absent from this body and present with the Lord.
“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain. Be also patient, having your hearts established, for the coming of the Lord draws nigh” (James 5:7).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
April 16, 2017