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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

ASHER ‘II’

“And Jacob called unto his sons and said, gather yourselves together that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days...out of Asher his bread shall be fat and he shall yield royal dainties” (Gen. 49:20).

Jehovah God is the Almighty creator and ruler of the universe. He created all things by Himself, through Himself and for Himself. All of His creation came to pass for a specific reason and therefore was fashioned in an exquisitely particular manner so as to render each part unique. Each one was given a time to be born, the limitations of their habitation and a time to die. They were assigned a particular course to walk and a distinct race to run. They were encumbered with burdens to bear and assigned specific labours that, although singular to the individual, are intricately interwoven into the fabric of all aspects of creation. Even though the time signature may differ, neither person, place nor thing can be removed from this magnificent tapestry for they are all part and parcel to each other. He has equipped all components of creation with all necessary elements, skills, knowledge, will and understanding to complete their tasks. He has appointed a specific time for each portion of creation, from the vastness of the universe to the minutest sub-atomic particle, to take the stage of time in the performance of their part in fulfillment of the function for which they were designed. Upon His permission, whereby He ushers in that which is needful and at His direction they perform His grand design to a glorious, pre-determined, end. He therefore infuses the necessary elements and empowers them to facilitate His will. He ‘turns on’ the light of day when needed and empowers the darkness for good. He has decreed prosperity and poverty, comfort and pain, laughter and sadness, familiarity and loneliness, righteousness and wickedness, good and evil and all for His perfect will. He prepares the soil and gives life within the seed. He sends forth such sunlight and water as is necessary to nurture the plant and brings forth fruit for sustenance. This is done because He has placed a basic need in man to eat when he is an hungered. He waters the earth with rain and appropriates the exact measure of snow upon the hills to quench the thirst that has come to pass to every plant, beast of the field, bird of the air and man in his order. “There is a time to every purpose under heaven” (Ecc. 3:1).

He has also assigned performance objectives that cannot be obviated. He told Adam in the garden that in the day that he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would die and indeed Adam did eat and surely he died. He told Abram that his seed would sojourn in a foreign land and by a most wonderful ‘turn of events’, He brought every jot and tittle of His Word to pass. He also told Abram, who at that time had no children of his own, that his seed would be in servitude and afflicted in this foreign land. To facilitate this He caused the hatred of the brothers for Joseph and sent him to Egypt. He equipped Joseph with understanding of dreams and visions and brought him into favour with Pharaoh. He caused the drought to come in the exact severity needed to bring Jacob and his family to Egypt and re-unite them with their lost brother. Then, after establishing these twelve sons of one man into a nation who tended the herds, He raised up a Pharaoh that did not know Joseph. God caused him to forget the wonders that were wrought at the hand of Joseph, filled his heart with fear of the sheepherders in the land of Goshen and, under the false premise of a possible rebellion, hardened his heart against this harmless people. God decreed, enabled and causes all things to come to pass. “And God saw that it was exceedingly good” (Gen. 1:31).

When the conclusion of the time of his habitation had come, Jacob called his children to him and proclaimed prophetic statements concerning each of them and their children. Here in the very captivity that Jehovah had promised to Abram, Jacob’s announcement to Asher was like a two-edged sword. If Asher walked uprightly before Jehovah his provision would be as plenteous as the desire permitted by a king. But if he walked the step of ascension against the throne of God, his robust feast would be to serve the delights of a ruler over him. Jacob was not beating the cadence of a will worshipping drill sergeant in hopes that his son would walk the straight and narrow any more than he was sounding the drone of condemnation to prevent him from going astray. Jacob spoke, by the Spirit of God, to the two rivers of Asher.

When Jehovah God created the earthen vessel of Adam, it contained the entire race of mankind. The Potter fashioned, from that single lump of clay, one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour. These vessels all have common needs of food, water and shelter and this has not changed from the beginning, yet each vessel, has specific needs that are requisite to the assigned labour. These needs are time sensitive, culturally and technologically adapted and limited to the time of the habitations. God had brought hardship and burdens upon this fledgling nation to make them physically strong so that they could endure the years of wandering in the wilderness. He brought them through the Red Sea and to the mount where He met with them and delivered to them the pattern given in the mount. Then He assigned the children of Israel the labour of building the Tabernacle and empowered them with all necessary information, technique and understanding to complete the task. He caused them to utilize the raw materials of the wilderness of Sinai with the tools they could fashion from these elements and once the tabernacle was completed there was never another built, no materials left over and the revealed knowledge ceased.

Jacob has now called his sons together, in the twilight of his days, to reveal to them what shall come to pass in the last days. Jacob was not giving a pep talk of exhortations and admonitions to his sons trying to urge them to walk pleasingly before God and thus gain His approval. The Spirit of revelation was upon him as he set forth the labours that Jehovah had afore ordered for these men and their families. The applications of which, has the characteristics of the land of two rivers where God established the world and the sons of Noah after the flood (Gen. 10:10). The vessel of mercy and the vessel of wrath grow together in the same field and appear identical to all but the Master of the field (Matt. 13:25-40). The vessel of mercy has that incorruptible eternal seed within which brings forth fruit unto righteousness while the vessel of wrath contains the seed of the serpent.

“Out of Asher”

Jacob does not set forth even the slightest inference of a covenant agreement between him and his sons whereby they agree to be good and he will bless them. Nor is there any reference to an agreement between God and the sons of Jacob for a cooperative effort for the performance of God’s will. Jacob did not transfer any benefits to his sons because he was obedient to God. The nurture and education of the sons of Asher did not make them more suitable than any other for the distinction of being called the chosen people of God and their conduct could never curry favour with God for He is not a respecter of persons. All that proceeded from the loins of his son Asher had already been designated children of wrath or mercy before they came forth into the world. The promise of ‘fat bread’ applies to both the children of Belial as well as the Sons of God. Thus these words are not Jacob’s blessings upon his children for obedience any more than they are his condemnation for wickedness but rather they are of promise.

This promise is in harmony with the seed within, intrinsically interwoven into the lifestyle and nature of the person and effectual to the purpose God intended. The promise of ‘a lusty feast’ (fat bread) cannot be altered or abrogated by conduct unbecoming the recipient of the promise. Nor can that which ‘gives delight to the ruler’ (yield royal dainties) be enhanced or diminished by the social status of the actor. “For being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand not of works but of Him that calleth;” (Rms. 9:11). No influence of man can affect these words spoken by Jacob. Every influence of nature, all the intersection of events and the innumerable interactions of men, ‘work together for good’, to the fruition of the promise according to His purpose.

The child of grace, blessed to walk uprightly before the Lord, is supplied with a ‘feast of fat things’ (Is. 25:6). This feast is not of the dainties of this world for the food of this temporal globe cannot sustain those who hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6). Those who, like Cain and Esau, thrive off the land, whose souls are satiated by the dust of the earth, loathe this light bread (Num. 21:5) and have complete disregard for the water of life. The two are incompatible. The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit and the things of this world are an abomination unto the Spirit of God. This is where the river divides again. The child of grace has a natural man who lusts after the dainties of this habitation. He has no appetite for ‘angel’s food’ (Ps. 78:25), his palate is deaf to the taste of heavenly things and he is not sustained by spiritual nourishment. The son of God within the earthen vessel, the inward man born from above, delights after the meat and drink of the Spirit, which is the testimony of a finished work by Messiah (John 4:34). He finds the waters of the land bitter and the wilderness devoid of bread. The Bread and Water of Life, being the body and blood of Christ, satiates his soul with a feast full of marrow and wine upon the lees, as his heavenly Father also supplies food, drink and raiment (Matt. 6:25). The outward man is perishing while the inner man is renewed day by day (II Cor. 4:16).

This ‘feast’ is prepared by the King in His banquet hall for His Beloved because of His love for Her (Cant. 2:3). He sets forth a table prepared for Her (Ps. 23:5) which the natural man could not approach and the wicked esteem as worthless. The food He has prepared for Her are from His vineyard (8:2) and produce in Her the peaceable fruit of righteousness which is the delight of the King. These dainties are not addendums to the body but indeed they are His body. He and His Beloved are a ‘garden enclosed’ (4:12) and they need nothing from without to sustain, augment or improve them.

Therefore, in the last days, when the fullness of time was come and the Lord roared out of Zion (Joel 3:16), then, when He had offered the sacrifice for sin and all His enemies were under His footstool, His people did eat His body and drink His blood and, they who came forth out of the confusion, walking in the commandments of Jehovah, have been given ‘plenteous (fat) provision (bread) consecrated to (yield) the delight (dainties) of the King (royal)’ (Gen. 49:20). They enjoy this feast the same way they walk, by the faith of the Son of God and they are kept by His Spirit. This feast (His body) is needful for the child during the time of the habitation of vanity that his (Christ’s) faith does not fail. He is sustained at the table of the Father by the Son through the Spirit as the Father sustains the Son for there is no difference.

This nourishment is unto the good works wherein the children are ordained to walk, in Christ Jesus, and the natural man perceives it not. The natural man is ignorant to origin and motivation of these works and although he is a passive participant in the actions wherein the seed walks, he does not and cannot have any affect upon them. He is not the chief or leader of the events of God (Pagiel) for he is the son of trouble (Ocran) (Num. 2:27).

The Spiritual man is the prince and leader of the host of those blessed to walk uprightly before Jehovah. Yet with every step the strife and conflict of his elder brother exists. He is encamped around the tabernacle of God and is aligned in the procession of the tribes between Dan and Naphtali. The ‘Judge’ (Dan) is the schoolmaster that leads the house of Asher unto the redeemer as he travels in a constant warfare, wrestling with the flesh (Naphtali) being a partaker of flesh and blood. This judge reproves the flesh of sin that the child of Asher shall walk by faith and not by sight (Gal. 3:24) but he is not brought to Christ because he has walked uprightly. He is content in the station he has been assigned and he walks according to his birth-right which entitles him to the Kings table and his house. He is happy in the surety of Messiah’s finished work and the immutability of Jehovah’s decree wherein he walks. Yet he is at odds with the flesh, which is contrary to his ways and his nature the entire time of his habitation.

It is not easy to understand how this contradiction of sin against one’s self is for good. The child of grace does not sin because the Holy seed remains in Him and he cannot sin because he is born of God (I John 3:9). The indwelling of the Spirit in a body that is dead because of sin is an irreconcilable paradox. The conflict is fierce and as contradictory as darkness is to light yet it is not carnal; “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh” (II Cor. 10:3). This wrestling is not against man and society but it is with the principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness (Eph. 6:12) and every imagination and thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (II Cor. 10:5). It is against the nature of Adam that would sew fig leaves together as aprons in attempt to make his own covering (atonement) for his transgression and shame, expecting God to accept it as equal to His demands and then try to justify himself and accuse God (Gen. 3:7-12). This is spiritual wickedness on high. It mimics the conduct of Satan who would be like God because when man did eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he indeed became as God, to know good and evil (Gen. 3:22).

Therefore this constant conflict reminds those born of incorruptible seed that they are not of this world, they were not born of the flesh and that flesh and blood shall never inherit the kingdom of God. It is the captivity of Babylon upon the citizens of Zion who long for their return to that New Jerusalem wherein is peace (Ps. 137:1). It will last as long as the time of the habitation in the earthen vessel and yet it shall never overcome the inner man. It is ordained of God for good to His people; “Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall, my soul has them still in memory and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope” (Lam. 3:19). The child of grace is saved by hope (Rms. 8:24).

As for the other river and the wickedness thereof, those who walk accordingly, that is, “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2) have the same promise. They have been granted a stout provision that is the delight of another king called Molech, Abaddon, Apollyon and Satan. They are satiated with the work of their father the devil, they live deliciously in the merchandise of this world and they thrive on the carnage of the counterfeit representation of the types and patterns given in the mount (Rev. 18:7-15). They perform great deeds as skilled entertainers of the children of darkness for all the world to see. They compile numerous philanthropic escapades to perform their alms to be seen of many and seek the shallow praise of men. These have their rewards. They wallow in Adamic platitudes, bathe in the mediocrity of life, extol the virtues of vanity and rejoice in the weakness and frailty of these earthen vessels. They have concluded themselves holy and fit for the presence of God being deceived to believe that they are in control of their path, their steps and destiny of their lives. King Molech, the prince of the power of the air, is delighted with their conduct for they do his work. He thinks himself a god (Ezk. 28:2) and they think accordingly. He thinks himself to have power to order and cause his will to come to pass but he is but the servant of the Most High.

Those who walk these broad roads that lead unto destruction are not isolated unto themselves. They are important elements of life or threads in the tapestry for the good of the elect. This is manifest in type since Pharaoh, even though he persecuted and oppressed them, was an essential player in the development of the nation of Israel, (Gen. 42:13). The King of Assyria was the instrument in Jehovah’s hand against this hypocritical nation and against the people of His wrath, “howbeit he (the king of Assyria) meaneth not so neither doth his heart think so” (Is. 10:6). This was the means that Jehovah has woven into the fabric of life to scatter His remnant into all the lands as He said He would do (Deut. 30:3) and there they remained until He gathered them together again (Joel 3:2; John 12:32). Even the evil which the brothers of Joseph intended against him to remove the pesky dreamer from their lives was meant of God for good for the house of Israel (Gen. 50:20). The scriptural evidence is abundant and while the reason and the purpose for these events is known only unto God, yet the truth is that evil, wickedness and the conduct of the wicked are necessary components of the will of God.

“Out of the tribe of Asher, Sethur, son of Michael” (Num. 13:13).

When Moses set apart the twelve men who were ‘heads of the children’ to enter into the land of promise and spy out the land, each man was chosen as the best representative of his tribe. This was a joyous occasion filled with anticipation and the tribe of Asher was blessed of Jehovah to set forth their champion, Sethur. But this man had a secret (Cethor) which no one knew. He was indeed the son of one ‘who is like God’ (Michael) but his eyes were of the world. He saw the abundance of the fruit of the ground but not the provisions of the Lord and giver of all things. He espied the people of the land and the strongholds where they dwelt yet he had not been given the gift of faith by the Spirit to know who the ruler of the earth is and to trust in His promises. Although he appeared to the naked eye to be the epitome of those who walked uprightly before the Lord yet his secret was concealed from his brethren, his nation and even from Moses. Even though he was of a good family and the son of one ‘who is like God’ (Michael) yet his heritage could not cause him to walk by faith. Therefore he reported that the army of Israel, the force of the Almighty God, was “not able to go up against the people for they are strong” (Num. 13:31).

Did the nation of Israel reject this blasphemy and stand firm upon the Rock? Had they learned anything from the plethora manifestations of the wonders of God which they had seen, heard and tasted in the wilderness? NO. The abundant proofs in the plain view of all flesh, though they were the demonstration of the power and majesty of God, could not cause the natural man to receive or understand the things of the Spirit. In a very short period of time, God had revealed Himself as a cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night, the sound of trumpets, quaking earth, flowing water from the Rock and manna from heaven and the people did not believe. Can any Arminian Missionary top that with all their tricks, charades and double talk? Then they cannot convert one son of Adam nor cause him to believe. Only one born of the Spirit, having the fruit of the Spirit, which is faith, is entitled to the gift of God to believe.

“And the prince of the tribe of the children of Asher, Ahihud, son of Shelomi” (Num. 34:27).

The inheritance of the promise of God is not a reward for proper behavior. It was assigned to the children before they were born and was not realized until they had been in captivity, wandered in the wilderness, fought the battles and overcame the enemies, by the hand and under the leadership of Joshua (the salvation of Jehovah). The promise was given by Moses before the conquests had even begun. The Word of Jehovah told Moses the names of “the men which shall divide the land unto you, Eli-azar (the help of my God) the priest (assigned to the service of the sanctuary of the tabernacle of God and the son of the bringer of light {Aaron}) and Joshua (Jehovah saves) the son of Nun (the continuing son)” (Num. 34:17). Yet the decree of God did not stop there with a simple revelation. He revealed to Moses the names of the princes of each tribe who should lead their families into the land assigned unto them before the foundation of the world. (God told Abram that this was the land of promise not that it would become the land of promise and that was over 500 years before He told Moses who these men should be.)

The prince, captain, leader of the branch (tribe) that has been blessed to be ‘happy’, walking upright in all the commandments of God, is the ‘brother of majesty, glory, honour and beauty’ who is the son of ‘my peace’ (Shelomi). Was it not absolutely wonderful that this man received the parental care and upbringing, the best education and training that he did to make him this magnificent person, suitable for service to Jehovah? Certainly, he was not simply born that way! He must, of course, have risen through the rank of candidates, passing many tests and bringing copious character references that would endear himself to Moses for such a position! Had he not been many years in public service winning the hearts and minds of his brethren so that when the time came he would be chosen of the populous as the captain of the tribe??? And as ridiculous as this sounds, for no man chooses his parents, culture and social status or his up bringing, yet Adam’s religion preaches loudly that the blessings which come upon a person are dependent on these very same principles. Shelomi was raised up to be the leader of the tribe of Asher in the same way and for the same purpose that Pharaoh was raised up to be the leader of Egypt. He was the ‘honor of my brother’ (Ahihud) before he had done any good or evil that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand, not of works. He was the ‘son of my peace’ by no merit of his own and his station in life was not in reward for his commendable behavior. “For who maketh thee to differ and what hast thou that thou hast not received” (I Cor. 4:7).

Now the promise and fulfillment in type are made evident in the nation of Israel and this man, Shelomi, was a sinner like every descendant of Adam. But in the anti-type, Jesus the Branch, who is the champion of our faith, has been revealed “in the eyes of all nations and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God” (Is. 52:10). He is the ‘Prince of Peace’ and He has brought forth peace for His people. He is their inheritance for they are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Rms. 8:17). Some would say that there are conditions in these verses that would eradicate the notion of inheritance by grace, but the Spirit reveals that, unto whom it is given to believe in Him, the same are the sons of God. Since these are the sons of God they have a common salvation and since it is common, like the church in Jerusalem, they have all things in common. So the suffering together with Him is not a condition unto Sonship but a proof of Sonship. Thus the Sons of God are glorified together in Him as one. Since the tribe of Asher is situated between Dan and Naphtali in the land of their inheritance shall they not wrestle with the same contradiction of sin against themselves as Christ did?

“Hear now, Yeshua the High Priest, you and your friends who are seated before thee for they are wondrous men. Behold I shall bring forth My servant the Branch” (Zech. 3:8).

The Branch of Jehovah came forth in the form of a servant. He came forth, in the fullness of time, to fulfill the law as the willing and obedient sacrifice and the servant of His people. He, who “in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men and being found in thee fashion of man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phi. 2:6f). This Branch is the Man Jesus who is Anointed. His servitude was not to do His will but the will of the Father which sent Him. He spoke the words that the Father gave Him, performed the work that was assigned specifically for Him to finish and He, for the glory of the Father and praise unto His name, walked the path that was set before Him, despising the shame. He completed His work, for there was no man who was able or desirous to do the work, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. His testimony is a finished work wherein He is at rest. Thus is He Lord of Sabbath (Shabbot -rest). He is the head of all even His church. He is the vine and His people are the branches. He walked in the power of the Spirit of God and His children walk the same way. They have one mind, they speak the same thing, they have the same Spirit within and are of the same Rock, and that Rock is Christ (I Cor. 10:4).

This Branch, as the servant of the Most High, was a perfect servant. He never varied from the assignment nor altered the task in any respect. He came forth into this world without sin and became partaker of flesh and blood. He lived a sinless life, being tempted in all points like unto His children, always measuring up to the perfect standard of the Holiness of God. An absolutely essential part of this perfection was that He should become the sin of His people. He became the inability and consistent attempt of His people to hit the mark of righteousness. He stood before the throne of God in filthy garments, the imputed sin, and Jehovah removed HIS iniquity. He was blessed of God to have His transgressions forgiven, His sins covered and Jehovah did not impute iniquity unto Him because there was no guile found in His Spirit (Ps. 32:1). Therefore, a change of raiment was given unto Him, a clean and brilliant garment which is His righteousness and a pure diadem was set upon His head.

“Thus said Jehovah of Hosts; If thou wilt walk in all My ways and if thou wilt keep My charge, then thou shalt also judge My house and shalt also keep My courts and I will give the places to walk among these that stand by” (Zech. 3:7).

The federal head of His body, the Branch, the Vine, the Root, was commanded of God to walk perfectly in all things, which He does since He cannot deny Himself. Since He cannot ever deviate one iota from keeping His own law, His commandments and statutes, for there is no variableness or shadow of turning in Him (Jms. 1:17), therefore He is ever faithful to the charge of God. He is One with the Father and the Spirit and His people are one in the Godhead. They walk as they are blessed to walk. They have the testimony of the Anointed of God to the finished work and they love one another. They have been clothed upon with the same brilliant garment and are seated together with Him in the heavenlies. God has not laid the charge to them to keep His commandments because it is finished in Christ and He and His bride are One. Yet during the time of this habitation, God works in them both to will and to do His good pleasure and they are not hindered by the weakness or frailty of the flesh.

“And of Asher he said, May Asher be blessed with children and be acceptable to his brothers and dip his foot in oil. Your latches are iron and bronze and as your days so your strength” (Deut. 33:24).

The sons of Asher, with few exceptions, are yet another enigma of the scriptures. Attempting to trace the conduct and achievements of the natural sons of Asher would be a short study in the nature and characteristics of Adam with all his frailties and weaknesses. But if the ‘sons of Asher’ refers to those who are caused by the indwelling Spirit to walk uprightly before the Lord then is the study resplendent with richness and beauty. Since only those who are born of an incorruptible seed can keep the commandments of God and thereby walk up-rightly before Jehovah, then are they all sons of God. These are the blessed children of Asher, who is the Anointed of God. He walked perfectly in all that He was commanded as the head of the house and the entire house walked the same way in Him. It is inconsistent and irreconcilable to infer that one born of the incorruptible seed could fail in any way to keep the whole law of God. Such a miscarriage infers that the incorruptible seed could indeed be corrupted. It presumes that God is flawed and failed to keep Himself obedient to Himself. It blasphemes the purity of God because He said He had finished the work, which would therefore be a lie. To allege that a child of promise could in any way fall short of the glory of God is to impugn the very nature of the glory and holiness of God. Adam calls it back-sliding or falling from grace. He teaches that unless the child keeps himself obedient, since God’s not going to do it for him, there will be blessings with held and that there could even be a loss of temporal salvation (we know of no temporal salvation).

“Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin because His seed remains in him. He cannot sin because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest and the children of the devil. Whosoever does not do righteousness is not of God, neither he that does not love his brother” (I John 3:9f). These children of the Holy seed are brothers and accepted one of the other because they have a common origin, common ancestry, common deliverance and a common dwelling place which is eternal in the heavens. They are not acceptable to and of each other because they walk uprightly for then would they be respecter of persons and influenced by actions. This is not the nature of the Father and as He created all things “after his kind” so His children act after the characteristics and nature of their kind. He is not a respecter of persons (Rms. 2:11) since none can be or act in any other manner than the way they were created. They cannot perform any other task but that which has been assigned unto them and they cannot exceed the limits of time, ability or status in any way. No man can change the time of his birth, the composition of his body or add one inch to his height (Luke 12:25) for all has been given him of the Creator. Each life that enters the stage of time enters at the appointed hour in either an earthen vessel afore prepared unto glory or in an earthen vessel outfitted for destruction. The incorruptible seed cannot be tarnished by the corruption of the flesh and so God has prepared these earthen vessels (the habitation of this dwelling) afore appointed unto this glory. He has removed all leaven from within the house (Ex. 12:15). He has cleansed the inside of the house of all unrighteousness by the shed blood of the Lamb who stood as He had been slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).

He has also ordained them unto good works as they have been created in the Anointed salvation of Jehovah (Christ Jesus). They have the same anointing as their Elder Brother, they are dressed the same way and they perform the same works. The Father anointed His Son with the Spirit for the preaching of the power of God unto salvation. His feet were shod with the preparation of the gospel and called beautiful upon the mountain of God because He proclaimed the power of God unto salvation. The labour that He has assigned the children is no different than the work that he gave His Son to do which is the ministry of reconciliation; “to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (II Cor. 5:19). Therefore the children of Asher are acceptable of their brethren and their feet are anointed (dipped) in oil. Just as Mary anointed the feet of Jesus as He went to the cross and completed the sacrifice for sin once and for all in the end of the world (Heb. 9:26) so He washed the feet of His disciples and anointed their feet in preparation to the preaching of this word of reconciliation. His feet must needs be anointed before He could complete the sacrifice of Himself for sin. Their feet must be anointed the same way, being shod with the preparation of the gospel, the good tidings of peace. God told Moses to put off his shoes because he was standing upon Holy ground. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples because they were standing on corrupt ground and must needs be made clean.

This anointing is non negotiable. It cannot be bartered for or forfeited in any way. It is fixed from all eternity upon all who are born of the Spirit and is more established than the ordinances of the heavens, for they shall fade away. It has the impenetrable hardness of iron and the strength to endure through all trials and tribulations. It has been tried in the furnace of affliction by the Refiners fire and the fuller soap and appears as brazen as the feet of Messiah (Ez. 40:3; Dan. 10:6; Rev. 1:15). The strength of these feet dipped in oil is commensurate to the days of habitation in the earthen vessel. It is the anointing of the Holy Spirit whereby the power is revealed and nothing of this earth has any effect upon it. Therefore the latchets of the shoes of those who walk uprightly before the Lord are like iron and appear as brass for herein is faithfulness manifested. God has not assigned more labour unto His people during the time of this habitation than He has provided strength to complete the good works. Nor has He granted a greater anointing than that which is needful for the labours (Rms. 12:3f). Since the Spirit within cannot change, being One with the Father and the Word, so the child of promise cannot change. There can be no shadow of turning and no appearance of evil. There can never be any ‘back-sliding’, ‘temporal disobedience’ or ‘falling from grace’ for this would be consummate to failing to measure up to the standard of the Holiness of God, and that is sin.

The children of Adam can never walk up-right before the Lord and the children of Asher shall never fail to walk up right before Him. “Blessed are the undefiled in the way who walk in the law of Jehovah. Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, seeking Him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity for they walk in His ways” (Ps. 119:1ff).

“This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher, according to their families, the cities with their villages” (Josh. 19:31).

The boundaries of the territory of the inheritance of the children of Asher involved not only the geographic identifiers of mountains, streams and valleys that divided one area from another, but also the other tribes as they were situated around Asher. The tribe of Dan inherited the area to the north, the tribe of Naphtali was to the east, the tribe of Issachar dwelt on the southern tip and the great sea was to the west. One of the beauties of the types set forth here is that from the rising of the sun to the end of the sea those who were blessed to walk uprightly before the Lord are tutored and schooled by the ‘Judge’ (Dan) on the one hand and the ‘Recompense’ (Issachar) on the other hand. These stand as two impenetrable hedges to guide them on the path that has been set before them. The entire walk of life that has been assigned unto the children of Asher while in the habitation of this dwelling is beset with the conflict of the struggle within (Naphtali).

The Law of the Judge reminds those, whose understanding has been enlightened, of the ever present fact of sin. Through the commandments this inability is revealed as exceedingly sinful which causes the burdened sojourner in a weary land to cry out for mercy and deliverance. This is the school master that brings the strangers of this world to Christ (Gal. 3:24). He reveals that no flesh can be justified by the deeds of the law. He gives the wisdom to know that in the handwriting of ordinances and the ceremonies given in the mount are works of righteousness which appear as filthy rags before God. The manifestation of this dilemma is given only to the children of God, the sons who then cry out to the Father for help. They do not cry out to become children for they have been born not of the flesh nor of the will of man. They have no power or strength in their earthen vessels to appease the standards of God, therefore the saints must be justified by faith. This is the imputed faith of the Son of God, who loved them and gave Himself for them. Therefore being justified by this faith they walk according to that same faith (Hab. 2:4).

How then say the divines of Adams fabricated theologies that there is a second or additional blessing for doing what the Spirit causes the redeemed to perform? “And I have given My Spirit within you and I am causing you to walk in My statutes and ye are observing My judgments and have performed them” (Ezk. 36:27) And since this faith is the imputed faith of the Son of God through the power of God, what can diminish or tarnish the faith and the walk? “Lo I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O My God, truly thy law is within My heart” (Ps. 40:7f). If the Son was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, having all the sin of His people imputed unto Him, so that He who knew no sin became sin for His people, how shall His people not also be obedient having His faith and righteousness imputed unto them? “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).

This perfect and just law requires a recompense for sin, which is death. This debt can only be satisfied by the shedding of blood; “it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17:11) and “without the shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb. 9:22). But the blood of one who has sinned is insufficient as the payment of the wage since it is polluted with sin. If there is no sin then there is no need for the recompense and if there is sin then there is no blood to satisfy the just demands. The tribe of Issachar, the recompense, reminds the redeemed of the Lord that they are not their own for they have been bought with the price of the precious blood of the Lamb of God (I Pet.1:19). This is the Lamb of God in whom is neither spot nor blemish. This is the Lamb that stood as it had been slain from the foundation of the world. This is the sacrifice that was manifested in the end of the world to take away the sin of His people and to cleanse them from all unrighteousness. This is the Lamb whose book of life contains all the names of the elect according to the foreknowledge of God, written from before the foundation of the world and these are the names that are engraved upon the hands of the redeemer. This is the Lamb who knew no sin but by the imputation, became the sin of His people. This is the Pascal Lamb who bore the judgment of God against Himself and by His stripes they are healed. He was delivered up for the offences of His people and was raised again for their justification, therefore being justified by His faith they have peace with God (Rms. 4:25f).

While they inhabit this low land of Canaan, the land of humility, Naphtali residing to the rising of the sun, reminds them of the daily experience of the conflict of Jacob and Esau. These two nations and two manner of people were separated from their mother’s womb and the conflict shall not be completed until the tabernacle of this dwelling be dissolved. The elder Esau and the younger Jacob were in a struggle while they were in the womb. Neither can be shown as the antagonist and all things in the womb were equal yet one was ordained of old to be the vessel of wrath and the other a vessel of mercy. The one was contrary to the other as the seed of the serpent is to the seed of the woman, which is Christ. Naphtali is the wrestling between the needs and desires of the flesh with the law that is in the members and the affections and desires of the Spirit with the Law of God. This is coupled together with the weakness and frailties of the natural man and the worthlessness of this habitation. Not that the habitation assigned of God to each member of His creation is of no value but rather that nothing in the creation or in the activities of the members can add any profit to or depreciate the God given worth. He has created the greater lights to rule the day and the lesser to rule the night. Nothing can make the greater lights any greater and nothing can diminish the lesser lights. So it is with the habitation of this dwelling. Esau did not become great because he was a man of the field, living off the land and Jacob did not ascend to the position of a child of promise because he was a simple man that dwelt in tents. The worth of the thief on the cross as one redeemed by the blood of the Lamb was not tarnished or reduced because he spent his life as a thief and malefactor and the benevolent philanthropic endeavours of King Cyrus could never elevate him above a vessel outfitted for destruction and of his father the devil.

The tribes of Israel were always stationed, directionally, with their first point of reference to the rising of the sun. The door of the tabernacle was facing the east and the rising of the sun in type of the rising of the Son of God with healing in His wings. So the navigation of the events and times of the day was measured from east to west or from the rising of the sun to the great hinder sea. The boundary of the tribe of Asher was this great sea. This stood in type and foreshadow of the mystery of God which was revealed in the end of the world. This mystery of the gospel was as Jesus told Nicodemus; “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16). He was not speaking of some vague universal all encompassing love for any and all. He was pointing out to a teacher of Israel that the chosen of the Lord were not only of national Israel. He was rebuking Nicodemus for not knowing that the children of the ‘Exalted Father of many’ (Abraham) were of every kindred every tribe and every tongue. The redeemed of the Lord are “a great multitude which no man could number of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues” (Rev. 7:9), and the waters that the great whore sat upon “are peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues” (Rev. 17:15). So the great sea to the hinder represents that those who are blessed to walk uprightly and those who walk in darkness abide together throughout all the earth from generation to generation. They are not of any particular nation of this world, “For they are not all Israel which are of Israel” (Rms. 9:6). Neither are they “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16) who have undergone ritual or ceremony or have devoted their lives to a form of humility in the denying of the flesh (Col. 2:18-23), “but the children of promise are counted for the seed” (Rms. 9:8).

Once again the two rivers are seen. They look alike and are indistinguishable to man yet God knoweth them that are His. When He gathered together His wheat into His barn at the harvest of the last day, for indeed the field was ‘white unto harvest’ (John 4:35), it was the manifestation of Immanuel, the tabernacle of God with men (Rev. 21:3) and it was from every kindred, tribe, nation and tongue. These are they whom God has quickened together with Christ and has raised them up together with Him and made them sit together in the heavenlies in Him (Eph. 2:5f). He also gathered together the tares from the same field, “and gather the clusters of the earth for her grapes are fully dry” (Rev. 14:18). This great sea of every kindred, tribe, nation and tongue, stood before the great white throne of God for “the sea gave up the dead that were in it” (Rev. 20:13). These have been judged of God by the same standard that the elect were justified and they were found wanting. Therefore He cast them into the “great winepress of the wrath of God” (Rev. 14:19).

Thanks be unto God for He is the Lord of the wind and the waves. He has set the boundaries of the waves of the sea, saying to the angry waves (thrones, dominions, principalities, powers, spiritual wickedness in high places and every action of that crooked piercing serpent), “hitherto shalt thou come but no further and here shall thy proud waves be stayed” (Job 38:11). He rebuked the wind and the sea and when they obeyed Him, men, even His own disciples, were astonished (Mark. 4:41). The signs and wonders that came to pass before that great Day of Judgment, when that abomination which made the house of Israel desolate was destroyed, included the roaring of the sea. The Spirit of God was poured out upon His people as the word of the Lord according to the prophet Joel came to pass at Pentecost and they that had ears to hear were pricked in their hearts. The mystery of God was revealed as that same Spirit stirred the hearts of as many as were ordained unto eternal life and they believe. And that same Spirit stirred and enflamed the hearts of the wicked to fulfill His will and give the kingdoms of this earth to the beast, until the words of God were fulfilled (Rev. 17:17). He rules and commands over the darkness of the deep waters. He has given His people “to do business in these great waters and to see the works of Jehovah and His wonders in the deep, for He commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind which lifteth up the waves thereof” (Ps. 107:23f).

“Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor the inhabitants of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Chelbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob. But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land for they did not drive them out” (Jud. 1:31).

The land of Asher is also a land of two rivers where those who are blessed to walk uprightly before Jehovah dwell with the inhabitants of the land. They cannot rid themselves of the remnant of Adam as long as they inhabit the earthen vessels. They find themselves strangers and sojourners scattered throughout a weary land. But this land and the indigenous people thereof have been carefully prepared for the sojourning of the children of light during the time of their habitation. This land is a fertile (Ahlab) land for hunting (Zidon) as God provides the needs of the flesh. It is also a most excellent place (Chelbah) of lying, deceit and treachery (Achzib) which caters to the pride of life and exacerbates the ever present ego of man to prove his worth and abilities. This constant reminder brings the joy of Jerusalem to mind because it manifests the vanity whereunto the child has been made subject. There are wide open places (Rehob) which give the appearance of the absence of discipline and restraints for it seems that the wicked prosper very well and the foolish rule very poorly but in reality the land is ‘hemmed in’ (Accho) by the time and limitations that the King has decreed.

These are all for the good of the loved of Jehovah according to His good pleasure, though they do not appear that way to the lonely pilgrim. The dichotomy of the enclosed garden of the Lord (Songs 4:12) and the garden (Aphik) of death of this world dwell side by side because He has so ordained it for good. The body of this death causes the weary traveler to cry out while the Bride finds rest in he Beloved. The alliance (Hebron) of the earthen vessel with the inhabitants of the land causes the creature to groan within himself awaiting the deliverance which shall come to pass because of his eternal ‘union’ (Ummah) with God and His eternal love. Every child born from above, when they become partakers of flesh and blood, must endure this affliction and warfare but in all these things they are more than conquerors through Him that loved them (Rms. 8:37) for this is the will of God. Each one has a path to walk and a race to run but it is not for them to find their way in life, nor provide their strength and sustenance, nor to be powered by their own might for they walk by His faith and are strengthened by His Spirit.

“O house of Jacob come ye and let us walk in the light of Jehovah” (Is. 2:5).

“And I saw no temple therein for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun neither the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it” (Rev. 21:22ff)

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord walk ye in Him” (Col. 2:6).

Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
August 2012

Banner of Hope
Volume 6, No.3
August 2012