“And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father has put in His own power, but you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth”
The preoccupation of the disciples with an earthly kingdom can be seen in many places. They, like the disciples of John, were well convinced of the stories and myths that arose from the popular teachings, of an earthly kingdom where the nation of Israel would reign over the nations of the world, with Messiah upon the throne of David. John had seen the Spirit of Yehovah descending like a dove as Jesus came out of the water, in testimony of His Sonship and His duties as the Lamb of God which took away the sin of the world, but neither he, nor his disciples, could rectify the actions of Jesus’ earthly ministry with the teachings of the elders concerning the return of Messiah.
John had been imprisoned by Herod for his preaching against the tetrarch concerning his indiscretions with his brother’s wife and when John heard of the works which Jesus did, he sent two of his disciples to speak to Him. This son of the priest, Zechariah, knew that Elijah should precede Messiah and, although the Messenger of God told his father that his son should “go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Lk. 1:17), John was well aware that he was not the reincarnation of the prophet. When he was asked of the Pharisees, Are you Elias? He said, I am not. They asked him, Are you a prophet? And he answered, No (John 1:21). So when he baptized Messiah in the Jordan River and saw the Spirit descend like a dove and heard the words, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17) it was not sufficient to overrule the traditional understanding that Elijah must come first.
Jesus Himself even bore witness to John saying that he was more than a prophet, yet John never bore witness to himself as a prophet; but not only a prophet but that “among those born of woman there is not a greater prophet than John the Immerser” (Luke 7:25). But since Jesus was not operating and performing according to the teaching of man which had proclaimed what Messiah would do and say, John concluded that Jesus must not be Anointed of God; thus he instructed his disciples to ask “Are You He that should come or do we look for another?” (11:3) or ‘Are you Elias and do you precede Messiah?’
When Jesus asked the disciples, Who do men say that I am?, they responded that many thought that He was Elias or one of the other prophets, who should precede Messiah; but when the Spirit gave revelation of the truth to Peter, he answered and said; You are the Anointed, Son of the living God. Nothing done or said after the manner or means of the flesh could have revealed that to Peter, even the works which Jesus did; only the Spirit of the Father which is in heaven could make him know and cause him to give testimony of this truth.
If Jesus were Elijah, He would have identified Himself as such and directed the disciples to reveal to John that he should look for the Messiah when he returned; instead He gave the evidence of the written word of the prophets who Messiah was and how he should be identified when He appeared. In the same manner when the disciples of Jesus saw the things which He did and heard the Word, they concluded, from traditional teachings and expectations, that He had come to set up His earthly kingdom in which the nation of Israel would rule. So as Jesus spoke to them “of the things pertaining to the kingdom” they assumed that this major social, political and religious event was at hand. Thus they asked Him, “Will you now restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
These men, who had been with Jesus these three years, witnessing the mighty works He had done and hearing the Word of life, could not differentiate between the earthly manifestations of type and the heavenly reality of truth. The kingdom of Israel, under Solomon, was the greatest it would ever be, possessing the land from the “from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates” as God had promised Abram (Gen. 15:18). The land was at peace as the whole world came to see the beauty of the works which Solomon had built and to hear his wisdom. This was the kingdom of legend that the disciples had in mind when they asked Jesus if he would AGAIN restore the kingdom to Israel. They knew that the prophet had foretold that the glory of the “latter house shall be greater than the glory of the former” (Zech 2:9) but the latest Temple was built by Herod and such abomination certainly could not be compared to Solomon’s Temple (John 2:20). Since, therefore, neither the structures nor the wisdom could endure the passage of time, the expectation of the disciples was that all would be made new in a magnificent display of majesty and power as Messiah established His earthly kingdom where He would sit upon David’s throne to rule as the Great King over all the earth.
“...it is not for you....”
Jesus did not enter into a long dissertation with His disciples, attempting to explain the intricate details of the kingdom or to show them the fallacy of their conclusions. He had told the Pharisees that His kingdom was not of this world, for if it were, then His subjects would rise up to fight for His kingdom with the established authorities (John 18:36). He made no attempt to persuade the people of the land to defect and join His Kingdom, He sought no assistance from the governments of the land and He rebuked those for whom His word of life and truth was not given, “and He said unto them, You are from beneath; I am from above: You are of this world: I am not of this world” (8:23)
These could not understand the word He spoke for they could not hear the truth. They could not hear the truth because their ears were stopped to prevent them from hearing as Elias had prophesied; “lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their heart and should be converted and I should heal them” (Matt. 13:15). The power of God prevented them from hearing and believing (which is the work of God that they should believe on Him whom He sent) because that, before the foundation of the world, there was an exact amount of blood shed that was commensurate to the sin and iniquity of the children of promise. Anyone who could see, hear and understand unto belief, without the power of God, would then need to be healed by some other means apart from the blood for there remains no more sacrifice for sin (Heb. 10:26). Thus the Word was not for them first because the blood was shed and applied, the work finished before Adam was fashioned and second because they were not born from above; therefore they had not the Spirit. Since they had not the Spirit and were none of His, it was not given unto them to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.
The disciples, however, were not like the Pharisees of which the Lord spoke to; they were given to believe and to know because they were chosen before the foundation of the world to be a peculiar people in Him. The generation of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah is an eternal incorruptible seed unto which the Father has assigned a time of habitation in an earthen vessel afore prepared, every man in his order. This time of habitation is set with such limitations as are decreed of God necessary that they should be conformed to the image of the Son; who made Himself of no reputation and became a servant, enduring the contradiction of sin against Himself. They have been made subject to the vanity of this existence and the Adamic nature that they might know the corruption of the creature and the futility of life, by reason of the hope of glory and the comfort in the Lord God Omnipotent who reigns supreme over all His creation.
It is this Adamic nature that seeks to know the mysteries of God’s work yet God has filled his mind with the things of this world, preventing him from finding out the work which He has done from the beginning; so when the disciples desire after the carnal nature to know when and how the tangible earthly kingdom was to be established, Jesus said, It is not for you. He did not say that is was not for them to know for it is impossible for a limited creature of time understand the eternal things of God. When Paul was lifted up into the third heaven he saw magnificent things of the eternal abode of God yet he could not describe these things for he, being caught up into paradise, “heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (II Cor. 12:4).
These things were so because it is not for man to see the beauties of His Holiness with the eyes of the flesh, nor is it for man, who speaks in the language of Ashdod, to sing the praises of our God. Yet when the tabernacle of this dwelling is dissolved being put off and returning to the dust, then shall His children be like Him and see His in the beauty of perfection; then shall the tongue of the people speak pure language and call upon His name aright (Zeph. 3:9) and sing His praises for evermore. This is how the children call upon the Father when they are grieved because of the emptiness of this existence and the bondage of this corruption. They know the Father’s house and cry out to Him in the tenderness of a child seeking mercy and comfort but the man is oblivious to these things all the days of his existence; “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, for such is the kingdom of God” (Like 18:16).
“...the Father has put in His own power”
From the beginning the creature desired to be like God. Eve saw that the tree was good for meat, pleasant to the eyes and a tree desired to make one wise, and she took of the fruit thereof and did eat and gave to her husband there with her. This is the nature of man who cannot be satisfied with the provision which God has given him nor the station assigned. He seeks to improve his lot and advance his position, striving to be like God, even to ascend to the throne of God and present himself as God.
The creature shall never approach the majesty and wonder of the power of God. He is subservient to His will and a part of His grand design wherein all things work together in harmony, one with another, for good to them that love Him, to the called, according to His purpose. He turns the heart of man like the rivers of waters withersoever He wills and has put it in their hearts to fulfill His will and give the kingdoms of this world unto the beast until the words of God shall be fulfilled (Rev. 17:17). Man has no power of his own whereby he may change that which is predestined or alter that which has been established; he cannot even control the thoughts of his mind or the actions of his tongue, and his nature has not changed from the beginning. He continues to strive to seek out and to know the hidden mysteries of the universe and, denying the God who created, he stands, as Elihu (Job 33:6), in God’s stead to his fellow prisoners of the dust. He does not have the mind of God or the power of God or the wisdom to know that he is devoid of all things save what Yehovah God has given him.
The hidden things are kept secret for they belong unto Yehovah God; yet He has revealed unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of His law (Deut. 29:29). Neither the Law of God nor the keeping of it by His children are discernible by the natural abilities of man for they are taught to His people by His Spirit, from faith to faith, who causes them to keep them without deviation or failure. His children, walking by faith, acknowledge and are resolved in the matter that the great King is seated upon the throne and rules over each and every thought, word and deed of His creation and they know that His kingdom is everlasting. It neither had beginning of days nor shall it ever end. The sign of this promise was that a child is born and a Son is given, being the manifestation of the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form, “of the increase of His government and peace, no end upon the throne of David and upon His kingdom, to order and establish it with judgment and justice from henceforth and forever; the zeal of Yehovah of Hosts has performed” (Is. 9:7). This promise, given in the present tense, was five hundred years before realization for He is the eternal Son by whom all things were created. His work is finished in Him before the world began yet it is manifested in the appointed time from generation to generation.
“But you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you”
The philosophies and religions of the world have many characters called jesus but none of them is indeed the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah who came to save His people from their sin. This same Jesus is One with the Father, being made flesh to manifest the surety of the Promise of God and the immutability of His Word. It is He who, being Alpha, spoke and all creation came into being. It is He who has done all the intent of His heart and He who has said, “I Yehovah have spoken, it shall come to pass and I shall do; I will not go back neither will I spare neither will I repent; according to your doings they shall judge you said the Lord God” (Ezek. 24:14).
And so when this same Jesus said to His disciples, “You shall receive power”, were there any conditions of duty or obedience set? Where there any tests that should be completed whereby they might prove themselves worthy of this great blessing of God? No! They were to be still and wait for the Holy Ghost to come upon them in a manifestation of the promise of God and a demonstration of His power. Was the Holy Ghost unknown until then? Was He waiting in the wings for His queue to enter onto the stage and perform His part? These things do not exist; for if Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead then the Spirit or Breath of God must be present in the unity of the Oneness of God. The Spirit was seen of John at the baptism in the form of the dove and Jesus Himself testified that the Breath of God had anointed Him to preach the power of God unto salvation (Luke 4:18).
In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son to manifest the finished work which He alone had done. Before time began, He saw there was none other and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore He brought salvation unto Himself by His right hand and His Holy Arm. He made Himself of no reputation and in the form of the Elect Servant of God and in the likeness of sinful flesh He came to do the work of the Father and bear witness to His glory. When, in the end of the world, He had finished these things, He was to return unto the Father and be seen no more, but He would not leave His people alone. The promise of God was that He would send the Comforter; “And I will pray the Father and He shall send you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:16).
Jesus had come in the fullness of time to fulfill all things written in the Law and the Prophets. This being completed He departed and yet He remained in His people, for He promised that he would NEVER leave nor forsake them, as the fullness of the Godhead in the Spirit. The Tabernacle of God is with men by His Spirit as the proof of the new covenant. His Spirit bears witness with our Spirit that we are the sons of God for it is not for Adam to know. His Spirit teaches His children all things pertaining to the children for the mind of man cannot comprehend such beauty and His Spirit causes His children to keep His commandment and walk in the Light of the Lord both of which are foreign to the nature of man, “according as His divine power has given unto us all things that are unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue” (II Pt. 1:3)
The Spirit of God was manifested for the eyes of man to see and the results were manifested that all flesh should see the power of God. He came in the form of cloven tongues of fire for our God is a refining fire reproving and rebuking the works of man and consuming the residue of Edom. He is the testimony of God to His children that they are strangers and sojourners in this world and His covenant is upon them. They see the corruption of this world and the wretchedness of man because the Spirit has opened their eyes to the Truth. They see the darkness of man for the light has revealed it and they know that there is nothing in this world that can sustain them for they live by every word which proceeds from the mouth of the Father. Thus the Spirit teaches His people concerning His Kingdom, which is not of this world, and gives them comfort in tribulation; therefore they have hope and rejoice because He has taken His great power and has reigned (Rev. 11:17).
“...and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth”
The great Rock which crushed and decimated the image which Daniel saw was indeed the Rock of our salvation and He is Anointed. His Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, shall not be left to another people for it is the Kingdom of Light for the children of Light. It crushed and consumed the image of man, which are the kingdoms of this world, for it is a stone cut out of a mountain, not with the polluted hands of man nor by the intuition or imagination of the political pundits or social celebrities of man, which filled the earth and shall stand forever (Dan. 2:35-44).
Once again the testimony of the mystery of the gospel, which was hidden from the beginning and for which many earnestly sought, was proclaimed in the Word of God through His servants, years before the manifestation in time. Now, in the fullness of time, the Word of God, being the Promise of God, was made evident and all flesh saw the salvation of Yehovah together. He poured out His Spirit upon all flesh “and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions: and also your servants and upon your handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit” (Joel 2:28). The gospel went forth by the power of God through the work of His Spirit in His people, whom He made willing in the day of His power, “for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof you heard before in the word of truth of the gospel; which is come unto you as in all the world and brings forth fruit as in you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth” (Col. 1:6).
The Promise of God is that His people stand for signs and wonders in Israel as a testimony of His great power, His eternal love and His never ending mercy for His Beloved. The commission was given, the subjects were properly equipped and when the power was given, they were obedient to His Word. There is no praise of man for he is but the instrument in the hand of the Master and though he be a saw, hammer, cradle or a hearing ear that helps bear the burdens of another, he is nothing before the throne of God save a necessary ingredient in His wondrous work.
The outer man is perishing as he walks his assigned path back to the dust. He is broken and crushed by the hand of God which is heavy upon the earthen vessel for the purpose of pulverizing it back to dust (Tribulation). The fire of God is consuming the wood, hay and stubble of the works, ways and means of men unto the consumption when nothing shall remain but the gold, silver and precious stones of the inner man. Though this outer shell has no love of the things of grace for his appetite is for the temporal and tangible things of this world, yet the testimony of the creature within shall always be that salvation is of Yehovah for at the name of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, “every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and things in the earth and the things under the earth, every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9).
Yehovah God is the self-sufficient One who is in need of nothing. He is not a respecter of persons nor is He persuaded by the actions or intention of the creatures He has created. He does not need man to bear testimony to His existence or His majesty yet, as He has ordained, all of His works, including the vessels formed from the dust of the earth, bear witness to His glory. Each of His seed have been planted in the corruption of the flesh for a time of habitation until such time when it pleases the Father that they shall hear His voice and awaken unto the eternal life He has for them. Then shall they bear witness of Him and speak of the hope of the common deliverance they have because of the shed blood and His eternal love. They shall also speak of the nature of the body of this death as they are shown the uncleanness of their ways. Then shall they know from what they have been delivered and for what the blood was shed.
The Messenger of Yehovah is the eternal gospel and He alone proclaims life unto His people; thus “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD of God”. And when the power of God is come upon the people of God by the Spirit of God, they indeed bear witness of the power of God concerning the Salvation of Yehovah throughout all the world.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
June 10, 2018