“Study to shew yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The natural tendencies of man are toward constant inquisitions unto the advancement of understanding. God created Adam full of curiosity about the things of this world and he has busied himself in exploration and research ever since the first day in the garden. God has put the things of this world in his mind as the exercise of his being so that he cannot find out the work which God does from the beginning to the end (Ecc. 3:10). This exercise or discipline feeds the vanity of his ways and continues his deception by the pride of his heart as he is “ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Tim 3:7). So to infer that the admonition of the Spirit as spoken here is to continue to feed that pride through in-depth studies of words, genealogies and the customs of man is contradictory to the knowledge of the truth.
Copious amounts of time are spent by the sons of Adam in the pursuit of the mastery of “profane, vain babblings and the oppositions of science falsely called”. These exercises are not unto unity and peace but rather unto the identification and isolation of the elite few who possess the intellectual honesty to accept the hidden mysteries. Such men of higher learning have assumed a lofty status in society with the accolades of the professor, the doctor and most worshipful masters but with all their learning they know nothing of the grace and knowledge of God.
It is the Spirit of God dwelling in the children of grace who teaches them all things. The natural faculties of Adam cannot enhance the spiritual understanding of the truth one bit. The absence of physical abilities and mental acuities are the necessary components of those whom the Lord Himself healed as He walked this earth to demonstrate that it is not by might nor by strength but by My Spirit saith Yehovah of Hosts. And so Paul was not instructing Timothy to ‘hit the books’, converse with the aged scholars or reason in himself the things necessary to show himself approved unto God.
Every child of grace, born from above is accepted unto God in the Beloved. They were not assigned any tests to see if they qualified to be called sons nor are they set in a probationary status as they walk this earth to judge if they are acceptable in the Beloved. The eternal seed of God is identical to the Rock from whence it is hewn and one in Him. It cannot sin because God cannot deny Himself or fall short of His glory. The endeavours which the Apostle wrote to his son in the faith to observe were the manifestations of the testimony of the Spirit of God dwelling within him, whereby the Spirit bears witness with his spirit that he is a son of God. It is only according to these testimonies that the vanity and corruption of the flesh are realized.
The child of grace, who in the appointed time of their habitation is born of the Spirit of God and becomes a partaker of flesh and blood, grows in the grace and knowledge of His will. This will is to give His children His Kingdom which is righteous and holy. As the Spirit causes them to grow and mature, they become more sensitive to the contradiction of sin against them. The Law of God is manifested to them whereby sin (the inability in Adam to hit the mark and his relentless pursuit in the same) “might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandments might become exceeding sinful” (Rms. 7:13). Thus they grow to understand how that the body of this death perishes daily while the inward man, is renewed. Paul therefore instructs Timothy to ‘endeavour to stand next to your acceptance in God, a labourer (in his appointed field) who has no cause to be ashamed, cutting straight rows in the Word of truth’.
“But shun profane vain babblings for they increase unto more ungodliness” (16)
The pursuit of excellency in the matters of this world is contrary to the endeavours of the children of the Kingdom of God. The logic of Adam is diametrically opposed to the purpose of God for God has done all things for His Beloved and Adam does all things for himself. The heavens and the earth attest to the wonders of the power of God and shew forth His glory in His handiwork. God has put the things of His creation in the mind of man to prevent him from finding out His works and His ways.
Evidences of the ways of man are clearly manifested in the obsessive competitive nature inherent in Adam. Cain strove with Abel in their offering before Yehovah. Ishmael strove against the child of promise, Isaac and mocked him. Esau strove with Jacob in the womb as they were two manner of people and two distinct nations, separated from the womb. Saul, the desire of the people strove against the Beloved (David) and sought to kill him, knowing the Word of God spoken by the prophet Samuel. The testimony of the scripture is abundant with numerous examples of this constant struggle. Each of these testimonies demonstrate not only the natural competition between people but more so the warfare of the flesh against the spirit so as the Word of God comes to Timothy by the hand of Paul, he cautions him to be aware of the manifestation of this natural malady.
The first example of this common trait of man is ‘worthless walking’ (profane vain babbling) which refers to the outward demonstration of piety through righteous works of the arm of the flesh. The saints of God have been granted because of their kinship in Him to be adorned in fine linen, clean and white; this is the righteousness of the saints (Rev. 19:8). This is undiscerning to the natural eye for it is the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Since the eyes of Adam see only those things which are temporal which his mind interprets after the carnal point of reference so he cannot see the fine linen clean and white. Thus it is improper for the children of promise who walk in the light of Yehovah to attempt to make a showing of this in the flesh. It is also impossible because man loves the darkness for his deeds are evil. The earthen vessel performs the will of God as the Spirit within cause the children to walk according to the statutes of God but there is no praise given to the axe nor can the saw magnify itself ‘as if the offshoot was not wielded by another or as the branch was not wood of the tree’ (Is. 10:15).
Adam is quick to shew forth his feeble acuity by the demonstration of the modicum of knowledge he has acquired through his research and studies. He will vehemently defend his position through “endless fables and genealogies, which minister questions rather than godly edification which is in faith” (I Tim. 1:4). The need to engage in these activities is inherent in every sons of Adam and so the Apostle warns Timothy of these temptations as they feed the unrighteous appetite of man.
He further advises his fellow labourer that this form of Adamic theology “will eat as a canker”. This is a reference to the cancerous nature of the increasing of ungodliness which is the result of the wisdom of the flesh. Man has been given strong delusions from Yehovah for the purpose that he should believe a lie. He does not know the truth for the truth is the way of God, therefore he leans on his own understanding. He is truth and the works of His hands are verity (firmness) and judgment and His commandments are confirmed (Ps. 111:7) therefore His name is Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11). He is the Way the Truth and the life while men delight in and are skillful in the practice the art of lying; therefore shall no residue of Edom remain (Ob. 17 for Esau is Edom) nor enter into the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:15).
“Who concerning the truth have erred, saying the resurrection is past already and overthrow the faith of some” (18).
A most venerable agent of this cancerous growth is the fears and speculations of man as he attempts to explain the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. The resurrection is as all inclusive as salvation, is a finished work of God from the foundation of the world and is manifested numerous times. John saw the Lamb standing as it had been slain. His people, being eternally joined together in Him are raised up together with Him and are seated in the heavenlies. This was manifested in the fullness of time when God sent forth His Son, born of a woman and made under the law. He was crucified, His Beloved with Him, and after three days His dead men arose with Him (Is. 26:19). The Apostle confirmed this when he said that he was crucified in Christ nevertheless he lived and he also looked forward to the resurrection of the dead when he would be made perfect. Discussions and disputes of this mystery have resulted in anger, accusations and divisions rather than edification and peace.
The preoccupation with particular points of the resurrection is based largely in speculation and conjecture. Paul said that the resurrection was a mystery because it could not be understood by the limited mind of nature. Life and death cannot be accurately explained by man and even if one were to return from the dead, man would not hear his testimony. Thus belief in the resurrection is by faith and that a gift of God, not of works, research, study or in depth analysis.
A good number of self-proclaimed professors have ostracized those who do not agree with their positions on the resurrection as heretics and banished them from the fellowship of the assembly. Many have considered the subject matter in sincerity only to find their questions to be cause for scorn and ridicule by those who profess themselves masters of the doctrine. The Apostle Paul encountered men like this; “and when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked and other said; We will hear you again of this” (Acts 17:32). He affirmed the teaching of the master in Israel that there “shall be a resurrection of the dead, both the just and the unjust” (Acts24:15) for which he was “called into question” before the high priest Ananias. These men which he spoke of to Timothy however, Hymenaeus (belonging to the god of marriage) and Philetus (beloved) sought to subvert and destroy the faith of some by teaching that ‘the resurrection’ had past already.
Jesus told Mary at the tomb of her brother Lazarus; “I am the resurrection and the life”. All who are born from above believe that Jesus is Messiah, God in the flesh, therefore they believe in the resurrection. Because the Son is equal with the Father who inhabits eternity then is He the eternal resurrection and the eternal life. Since time is part of the creation of God and therefore not eternal, there can be no proper reference to the resurrection as an event in time for time cannot control its creator. Jesus did not say ‘I was the resurrection’ or ‘I shall be the resurrection’ and when Mary spoke of the resurrection at the last day, He corrected her by saying “I am the resurrection”. He invokes the name of Yehovah, ‘I am’, who is above all things and assigns the entirety of the matter to Himself. Since He is the Alpha, beginning, and has the preeminence over all, He is the primary or first resurrection. Therefore all who are in the Beloved Lamb of God who stands as He had been slain from the foundation of the world have part, portion and memorial in the first resurrection, which was manifested at the end of the thousand years from David to Christ when all His dead men arose in Him; upon these the second death has no power (Rev. 20:6).
“Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure having this seal; The Lord knows them that are His. (19).
The creation of God of all that is in the heavens and the earth is in complete accord with the thoughts and intents of the heart of God. It functions by the power of His eternal immutable will without the assistance of anyone else. Nothing precedes Him to give Him counsel for He is Alpha and Omega. Nothing exceeds Him to call into questions His actions for He is God and there is none other. He is the Rock on which His house is built and the Rock of the deliverance of His people.
In his vision by the river Chebar, wherein the prophet Ezekiel saw “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yehovah”, he saw the foundation of God. This base beneath the living creatures was represented as a wheel in the middle of a wheel, full of eyes, which moved in complete harmony and never turned. This is the immutability of God which is firmly established from the beginning. Since all His work is finished from the beginning and He has entered into His rest, nothing may alter, tarnish nor diminish the foundation in any manner. Therefore the foundation of God stands sure.
This is the firm foundation upon which His church is built. He is the chief cornerstone for He is the Anointed one, Son of the Living God and the stone that is disallowed by the builders of this world. The Rock of this foundation is that great Rock which casts the shadow in the weary land (Is. 32:2) against which even the gates of hell shall not prevail (Matt. 16:18).
The King of Kings has sovereign authority over all His works. He has performed His desire according to His determinate counsel and has placed His seal upon it. This demonstrates to all who is the builder and makers and that all has been completed pursuant to designs and specifications. He has placed this seal, which is His name, in the forehead of each and every one of His redeemed (Rev. 7:3). He has assigned them to endure great tribulation for the trying of their faith and they have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple (which is His body) and He that sits on the throne shall dwell among them” (7:14).
According to the absolute sovereignty of His authority over all His creation and the indefatigable power of His will, He is upheld by and of Himself. This is the all-inclusive nature of the character and purpose of God. His children are the sole benefactors of His love, mercy and grace for His desire is upon them as His Bride. The joy set before Him is the representation of His generation before the throne and the proclamation, “Behold I and the children whom Yehovah have given me for signs and wonders in Israel from Yehovah of Hosts which dwells in mount Zion” (Is. 8:18). For this joy, He “endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). He made Himself of no reputation for those whom He foreknew as one in Him “that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13). His blood was shed for the forgiveness of the sin of His people in Adam “that they may be one as you Father in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that You and sent Me” (23).
This eternal love which caused the Son to die upon the cross and for which He was “declared the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection of the dead” (Rms. 1:4) is neither carnal, common nor with respect of persons. He has set a seal upon His heart and upon His Holy arm for His Beloved. His love is as strong as death and His jealousy for her is cruel as the grave; “the coals thereof are coals of fire most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love; neither can the floods drown it: if man would give all the substance of his house (Adam) for love, it would utterly be contemned” (Song 8:6).
Therefore the comfort to the child of grace as they travel through this waste howling wilderness of this present evil world is that Yehovah God knows them that are His. And as they endure the contradiction of sin against themselves, growing in the grace and knowledge of His will, the Spirit ever revealing the vanity of this existence and the bondage of the corruption of this habitation, they are assured that nothing can separate them from that love. The Spirit bearing witness that they are the sons of God they have confidence that He who has begun this good work in them shall perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ when the habitation of this dwelling is dissolved. Then shall each man in his order be manifested as a son of God for when they shall see Him they shall be like Him.
There is resurrection for all men; the unjust unto eternal torment and destruction and the just unto the eternal life in Him. Jesus Christ is both the judge and executor of His righteous wrath and vengeance against all unrighteousness of man and the rest and peace of His Beloved election according to grace. This remnant shall forever be with Him in that city whose builder and Maker is God “and they shall see His face and His name in their foreheads” (Rev. 22:4).
“And there in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither works abomination, or a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (21:27).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
December 14, 2014