“And Ezra, the priest, brought the law before the congregation, both of men and women and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.”
For the second time, the people of Israel, who had returned to the land of Canaan, were gathered together in the same place on the same day of the year. The first time, was in the time of Ezra when the foundations of the Temple had not yet been laid and there was no city yet built. Nevertheless, the people, whom the Spirit of Yehovah had raised up to go and build the Temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:5) gathered themselves together in Jerusalem as one man in the testimony of a Sabbath, which is the finished work of the oath of God. They did not canvass the land in search of labour to build the Temple, they did not hire out for contractors, architects or project managers and they did not award the contract to the lowest bid; they assembled themselves together in Jerusalem on the Temple mount and there offered up the burnt offering before Yehovah. They were ONE body and members in particular.
Modern theology has attempted to point to occasions like this to show that it is the free will of man that draws him to a place where he may present himself to a gracious God. The theology of Adam desires to prove that man gathers himself together because he is a gregarious being who loves to be with others after his kind. Here in this assembly he will listen to the teaching and preaching of others and decide for himself what is truth. The exercise of this faith is the belief that will then influence his mental process which will direct his conduct and make him a God fearing, moral agent. This effectual faith will in turn affect his family, community and nation and because it is well pleasing unto God, there shall be showers of blessings. The basic tenants of this faith is a weak God who cannot do anything unless permitted by man, a God who reacts to the will and conduct of man and a God whose benevolence and mercy are conditional. The three basic ingredients of this theology are accept Jesus into the heart, commit your ways unto Him making Him Lord and Master of your life and name and claim the right to the promises He has made, holding Him to His obligations. This is highly esteemed before man and abomination before God.
But wait! These people were made willing by the hand of God and were caused to move by God who raised the Spirit up in them in response to the edict of an evil King Cyrus. The heart of this evil King was turned as the rivers of water to be made willing and able by Yehovah God to fulfill His will. THE EVIL KING PERFORMED THE WILL OF YEHOVAH!!!! The hands of these people were strengthened by the liberty of benevolence which the Spirit of God caused those who were not moved to go and build, to willingly offer. These gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work as they were so moved to act by the hand of God who works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11). God worked in them to both will and do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13)
Now these very same people gathered themselves (and no one else) together before the Temple mount as one man. They were a nation of 42,360 people, returning from 70 years of exile, as one man, just as the twelve sons of one man went into Egypt and came forth as one nation. They were one body with many members, each fitly framed together to accomplish the work assigned to them and to meet the needs of each other along the way. Here in the wilderness of a destroyed and forgotten country (forgotten of man) was a type of that church in the wilderness, the general assembly of the first-born.
“And when the seventh month was come” (Ezra 3:1)
There are no incidental actions in the created world of God. He has purposed every thought, word and deed of each and every one of His creation and has so precisely orchestrated all things together so that they work in perfect harmony to His designs. Only by this meticulous sovereign command and control can all things not only come to the pre-ordained conclusion but also work together for good to them that love Him, to the called, according to His purpose. In the fullness of time, He turned the heart of Cyrus to announce his altruistic edict allowing the servant of his people to go free and return to their homeland. The hand of Yehovah God so moved as to humble the haughty heart of this evil man to provide materials, authorizations and protection so that this defeated people may “go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Yehovah God of Israel” (Ezra 1:3). Now this same God for the same purpose and by the same might of His will has moved in the hearts of His people, making them willing in the day of His power, and bringing them to Jerusalem at the beginning of the seventh month.
The first day of the seventh month is the Sabbath of Yehovah. Man is to do no servile work on that day but to offer an offering made with fire before the Lord. This was the first day of the feast of the memorial of the blowing of trumpets; this was an Holy convocation. (Lev. 23:24). This was the type day that signified the Word of Yehovah which, in the end of the world, was to be spoken to His people by His Son (Heb. 1:1). His Son is that Word which became flesh and dwelt among man. He is that Word that did not return void but accomplished all that the Father gave Him to do. He fulfilled all types and foreshadows in the complete righteousness of the reality of the finished work of God. There can be no commendation or accolade given to Adam for his part as this type is set forth. Man was given the pattern in the mount and empowered to build all things in the type accordingly. He has no power to keep the types perfectly and even if he could, no flesh can be justified by the deeds of the types and foreshadows. Therefore, these things are set forth as an example of that perfection that should come and be manifested in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah.
“And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate and spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Yehovah had commanded to Israel” (Neh. 8:1).
Once again the people were gathered to the same place but this time the Temple was completed and the walls were built around the city. The first time was in anticipation of that which Yehovah had promised and the second time was in acknowledgment of the finished work. This time the help (Ezra) of God was not only the priest/king (Heb. -Kohen) of God but he was also the scribe, who recorded all things which He both did and said. This one built a pulpit of wood, made for this purpose, and with him stood two groups of men, six to his right and six to his left. A similar group was arrayed at the crossing of Israel into the land of Canaan. This group stood six upon mount Gerizim (the cutting off) to bless the people and six stood upon mount Ebal to curse them. The six which blessed were Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin (heard, joined, praise, recompense, adding and the son of my right hand). The six that cursed the nation were, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali (build, troop, happy, dwelling, judge and wrestling). These spoke of the ministration of condemnation unto death.
Now with Ezra at the reading of the Law of God stood “the gift of Yah” (which is eternal life), “to hear” (those who have been given ears to hear), “the testimony of Yah” (which is a finished work), “the flame of Yah” (the refiners fire), “the portion of Yah” (which is His inheritance) and “the work of Yah” (the salvation of His people which He completed by His right hand). These stood to the right hand the same side where the Son is seated and the same hand which holds the seven stars, which are the seven messengers of the seven churches.
To the left stood “the ransomed and preserved of Yah”, “He who is like Yah”, “My King is Yah”, “the ambassadors of capacious resources”, “the considerate Judge”, “those remembered of Yah” and the “finished peace and reward”. These are the servants of God who serve Him day and night and the hand of consecration (Lev. 14:15ff).
“And Ezra blessed Yehovah the great God and all the people answered, Amen, Amen, lifting up their hands and they bowed their heads and worshiped Yehovah with their faces to the ground” (Neh. 8:6).
This is not the duty conduct of the natural man as he enters into a venerated building on and appointed day to do his religious obedience in the superstitions of the imaginations of his mind. This is the conduct of a child of grace in reverence before his God and Father because of the love he has for his Master and Redeemer. This conduct is because, according to that eternal great love, wherewith He first loved His people, the “Salvation of Yah” has “built” His Temple (Jeshua, Bani). He tore it down and in three days He built it up again and the gates of hell cannot prevail against. He purged the people of His “right hand” (Jamin) in the “heat of Yah” (Sherebiah) because they are the objects of His eternal love (Akkub). These have been “born into the rest or Sabbath of Yah” (Shabbethai) because they are children of the “Majesty of Yah the King” (Hodijah). This is the “work of Yah” (Maaseiah) for they are not born of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13). Even though they are “crippled” (Kelita) in the corruption of the vanity of this dwelling, yet they have the “help, support of Yah” (Azariah) which is “given, bestowed, endowed of Yah” (Jozabad) because “He is merciful, gracious” (Hanan). This is the “marvelous wonder of Yah” (Pelaiah) to those who are “joined” (Levi) unto Him for they are His inheritance (Deut. 10:9). And since they are His inheritance and he is theirs, then are they joint heirs with Messiah as the Sons of God.
These are all a kingdom of kings and priests unto their God. They have the trumpet of God, which is His Word, which dwells in them richly. This Word is Christ in them the hope of the glory to come. They abide in Him as He abides in the Father and they speak the same glad tidings of great joy as He speaks, which is the power of Yehovah to save His people from their sin. They have the testimony of the finished work of the “Anointed Salvation of Yehovah” and they keep the Law of God. They love Him with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their might (Deut. 6:5) and they love the brethren of like precious faith as they love themselves (Matt. 22:39). This is the testimony to all mankind that they are the sons of God (John 13:35) and it can have nothing to do with Adam for he is carnal, sold under sin.
“And of the priests sons with trumpets…” (Neh. 12:35).
Once again this is not something left up to the imaginations of the heart of man or the power of the arm of the flesh. These are priests of the Most High God, who are joined unto Him and consecrated for the work of the ministry. These all have the mind of God and speak the same thing. They proclaim that He is the God who remembers His covenant with His people and they praise His name for the “remembrance of Yah” (Zechariah). They know that they have been “given of Yah” (Jonathan) all things that pertain unto life and happiness and that “Yah hears” (Shemaiah) the prayers and cries of His children. “Yah has given” (Mattaniah) the gift of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit to those He gave unto the Son to redeem. All that the Father gave to Him He lost none and they have been raised up together with Him to be seated in the heavenlies, in Him (Eph. 2:5f).
These are His children hewn from that great Rock. He is the One who thought it not robbery to be equal with God as he and the Father are One. His children, His Bride, His Body is One in Him as He is One in the Father, therefore they are :he who is like Yah” (Michaiah). They “remember and are mindful (Zacur) of all His marvelous works and He has “gathered together” (Asaph) His harvest into His barn. Therefore, where two or three are gathered together in His name, there He is in the midst (Matt. 18:20).
“And his brethren...” (12:36).
This is the generation of Jesus Christ, the Israel of our God. They know that the “Yah hears” (Shemaiah) the cry because of the groaning of the Spirit within as He awaits the manifestation of the Sons of God. They know that they can do nothing without Him and they seek the “help of Yah” (Azarael). Yet they are the manifestation and the reality of the “eloquence”, “wealth” and “compassion” of Yah (Milalai, Gilalai, Maai) that “God has given” (Nathaneel) for the “praise” (Judah) of His “grace” (Hanani). This is the common faith, salvation and experience of the household of the redeemed. This is the risen body of Israel (Ez. 37:11) who has awaken, shaken off the dust of Adam and is seated with her Beloved (Is. 52:1).
“So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God and I and the half of the rulers with me” (Neh. 12:40)
With the “comfort of Yah” (Nehemiah) stood two companies that gave thanks unto God for all He has done. And the priests “whom God has raised up” (Eliakim) are the “work of Yah” (Maaseiah) “from the right hand” (Miniamin) of the one “who is like Yah” (Michaiah). These all have their “eyes unto Yah” (Elioenai) because “Yah remembers” (Zecharaih) his people and He will never leave them nor forsake them. This is the “grace of Yah” (Hananiah) which is portrayed in the sounding of that certain trumpet which gives a sure sound for the congregation of the living who have ears to hear the glad tidings of great joy.
The second company was that of singers who sang of the “work of Yah” (Maasiah). They sing because of His great love and “Yah hears” (Shemaiah) those whom “Yah has helped” (Eleazar). They whom “God has graced” (Jehohanaan) have been lifted up by His “strength” (Uzzi) because “Yah is my king” (Malchijah). He is eternal (Elam) and He cannot change. He is the same yesterday and forever therefore His “treasure” (Ezer) in earthen vessels, the sons of Jacob, are not consumed because of the weakness and frailties of the flesh. He cannot deny Himself, His Bride, His church or His Body for they are One, sealed and preserved in Him.
“...with Jezrahiah overseer.” (12:42)
Nothing is left up to man. His heart is desperately wicked and his mind is filled with the things of this world. His body craves the things of the earth for sustenance and protection. He does not direct the steps he takes, he has no control over the time of his habitation or the limitations thereof and he cannot control the tongue in his mouth. For One who is born from above, this Esau is servant to Him all the days of his life.
The captain of all is Messiah. He has preeminence over all His creation, for all things were created by Him, through Him and for Him. He has preeminence over the Church for He is Her Lord and husband. Therefore, the “appearance of Yah” is the commissioner, overseer and sovereign ruler over all things whatsoever comes to pass. He commands and controls all things to the glory of God and for the good of His Beloved.
God had assembled a specific people together, at a specific time, in a specific place, for a specific purpose, each endowed with specific qualities and aptitudes that worked together in complete and perfect harmony. This is the great cloud of witnesses that testify to the saints of God of His absolute sovereignty over all things to the praise of his name and the glory of His people Israel.
“Also that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced, BECAUSE GOD HAD MADE THEM REJOICE WITH GREAT JOY. The wives also and the children rejoiced so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off” (Neh. 12:43).
Brethren, “rejoice evermore” (I Thes. 5:16).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
October 13, 2013