“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The letter to the church at Ephesus begins with the affirmation of the unity of God and His people from the beginning as they have been chosen in the Anointing. In his obedience to the commission to preach the gospel to the nations, Paul does not attempt to introduce anyone to the Father nor does he attempt to add to the number of those who are one in Him. He continues to confirm the fact that every child, born from above, is one in the Beloved without exception because of the finished work of the Elect Servant of God. There is no duty obligation set upon the church, there is no special unction due to heritage and there are no fear tactics employed to scare the brethren into submission. Rather the message is one of hope and comfort to a people unto whom the Father has revealed, not only Himself dwelling in them, but His grace through the warfare which accompanies this condition.
Paul has presented himself as being bound or knit together in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah for the nations. He is neither shackled nor restricted in his ministry for the truth as he has been made wiling in the day of the power of God to be bold in the liberty wherein he stands. He does not boast of this liberty and lord it over the little flock nor does he demand of them any praise or compensation for, as the servant of the Most High God, he came to serve the children of hope.
He was sent forth to guide the brethren along their assigned paths and to give an understanding of the trials and tribulations which beset them. These he affirms are “according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (3:11) and serve as the testimony of the hope that is within. He bore in his body the evidence of these trials and the hatred of all men to Messiah as testimony to the light of the truth. This daily reminder was given to him lest the pride of Adam should rise up and boast of the works which he had done in attempt to draw praise and glory unto himself rather than God. This is the inherent trait of every son of the dust. Without the sovereign hand of the eternal decrees of God every son of Adam is deceived by the pride of his heart, which is desperately wicked, as he strives to make his habitation among the stars and be like God. This is highly esteemed of man and an abomination before God; “In those days no ruler in Israel; every man did right in his own eyes” (Jud. 21:25)
The evidence of the messenger of Satan was obvious to any who looked upon Paul and many were given to conclude that he had been struck down by the hand of God in judgment. He was well aware of this prejudicial attitude of men for as a Pharisee of Pharisees, he not only was convinced of the truth in this arrogant prevarication but he also preached and lived his life accordingly. The blessings of God, he concluded, were to be unto the faithful and the faithful were protected from all hardships and maladies of the flesh because they kept the commandments. Any and all who were disobedient to the ways of God were marked as the recipients of His wrath either in outward appearance or in calamity of life. This was what he thought Moses taught when he said; “If you will diligently hearken to the voice of Yehovah your God and will do that which is right in His sight and will give ear to all His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you which I have brought upon the Egyptians for I Yehovah will heal you” (Ex. 15:29).
The teaching and lifestyle of the Pharisees was the manifestation of the doctrine of conditionalism in the first century but it was not new. The imagination and superstitions of man had simply made it more elaborate and alluring to the eyes and more convincing to the carnal intellect of man. Paul, however, after beseeching the Lord to remove this ‘thorn in the flesh’ was assured that the grace given unto him was of God and sufficient to that which this same God had imposed upon him for his good. He instructs the church that this is not a judgment of God against him but the manifestation of the love of God who had hedged his way with hewn stones and made his path crooked to prevent the natural tendencies of man, which is, to be exalted above measure.
Thus the cause, which began with the blessings of God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ, who had chosen His people IN HIM from the foundation of the world, and continues until the conclusion of the habitation of this dwelling, is the power of God unto salvation which is for your glory. The trials and tribulations, the bitterness of the poison (wormwood and gall) and the vanity of this existence are that which causes the creature within to groan and thereby the children have hope (Lam. 3:21). This proof of the sonship is contrary to the liking and pleasures of the flesh and the carnal mind cannot understand them but they are common to all who are in Christ Jesus;
“Of whom the whole family, in heaven and in earth, is named”
The completeness of the family is not dependent upon time, ambition or the works of man. The seed is complete in the Father before man was created and manifested in time as appointed. The names of each of His children (a name which no man can know – Rev. 2:17) are graven upon the palms of His hands and the sin of His people in Adam is imputed unto Him. His blood is shed for the remission of that sin and has cleansed the habitation of all ungodliness from the foundation of the world. He who knew no sin became the sin of His Beloved and as the perfect sacrifice for sin (the Lamb of God) was acceptable unto the Father, so the generation of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah was declared before the throne of God. He declared His generation saying, “Behold I and the children whom Yehovah has given Me are for signs and wonders in Israel from Yehovah of Hosts which dwells in mount Zion” (Is. 8:18).
The relationship between the Father and His children is personal yet corporate. The foundation of the kingdom of God stands sure having this seal, Yehovah knows them that are His (2 Tim. 2:19) and He has reckoned the number of the princes of His people and calls them by their names (Ps. 147:4). The sin of each of His children in Adam has been imputed unto Him and each and everyone is cleansed by His shed blood.
He has built His Temple, which is His body of members in particular yet completely joined together as one. His called out assembly is protected and preserved in Him in His death and burial and being quickened together with Him has been raised up together and been made to be seated in Him in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). These are all they whom He foreknew and the whole of they who are predestinated to be conformed to the image of the Son. They each have a time of their habitation when they are made partakers of flesh and blood and yet they are all glorified in Him as He is seated at the right hand of the Father. They have each been made subject to the vanity of this flesh during their sojourn in this wilderness yet they have an habitation eternal in the heavens. They each occupy an earthen vessel formed form the dust of the earth yet they all have an eternal tabernacle not made with hands.
When God created Adam in the garden He made him in His image; male and female created He them. Adam and Eve were, in the beginning, joined as one in representation of the Godhead. The reality of the heavenly then must be that the Bride was in the Beloved in the beginning and since Messiah is Alpha (beginning), the church was in Him. This election according to grace was never apart from Him and nothing can every separate her from Him.
God also created Adam having his seed in him, in the beginning. This seed was divided when God separated Eve from Adam yet it was still all the seed which God had given to man. This also represents the image of God who, having His seed in Him in the beginning has known them and called them by name. He fixed a finite number of combinations unto the seed of man wherewith the earthen vessels necessary to the eternal purpose may be manifested. There can never be one that is not according to the purpose of God nor one that exceeds the intent of His heart for all things (including man, woman and child) are created by Him, through Him and for Him. So it is with the reality of God; the eternal seed has the eternal immutable love of God and although the host cannot be numbered by man (Rev. 7:9) the Salvation of Yehovah knows each of His people for whom He shed His precious blood; “by this therefore shall all the iniquity of Jacob be purged and this all the fruit to take away his sin” (Is. 27:9).
“Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of in heaven, and in earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9)
The whole family is also called by that name which is above every name, Salvation of Yehovah. The wall of the New Jerusalem is built of the precious living stones which are the redeemed of Yehovah. These walls are salvation (Is. 60:18) for these precious living stones have been delivered from the inability of Adam, the uncleanliness of his ways and the bodies of this death. This is the Tabernacle of God wherein is no need or sun, moon or stars for the glory of God is the everlasting light which lightens it and the Lamb is the light thereof (Rev. 21:23). The names of each of these stones of this Tabernacle are written in the book of life of the Lamb who stood as He was slain from the foundation of the world.
This was not as Israel of old who called themselves by the name Israel and were come out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of Yehovah and make mention of the God of Israel, neither in truth nor in righteousness. For they call themselves of the holy city and stay themselves upon the God of Israel (Is. 48:1) yet they draw nigh with their mouths but their hearts are far from the Lord. These have handled the truth in unrighteousness and yet claim that they are the chosen people of God. They pride themselves upon their keeping of the law but they do not know that by the deeds of the law no flesh is justified in His sight. This is the natural man who strives to be like the Most High yet he seeks glory unto himself not the glory of the great King over all the earth.
Paul said that his tribulations were for the glory of the brethren and the edification of the church. He bowed his knees before God not as a gesture of piety or a show of reverence for man to observe but rather he was humbled and made low because there is no other name in heaven or in earth whereby one must be saved. This he did in testimony to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as he confessed his own sinfulness and weakness before the One who is the Lord God Omnipotent who lives and reigns supreme over all His creation. This God is the Lord and Master of the Hosts. He has declared the end from the beginning, calling those things which are not as though they have already been. He has complete control and command over His creation and because of His great love, wherewith he loved His people, He orders, empowers and enacts all things, whatsoever comes to pass, by the counsel of His own will. The Apostle is taught not of man but by the Spirit which dwells within and thus he makes his petition for the church;
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man”.
This is indeed the work of God for His people. The natural man cannot know the things of the Spirit and could never properly teach the ways of God. The creature strives to know the things of this creation as God has given him to seek and to observe yet he finds only mystery upon mystery. He has rejected the notion of the creation and thereby has dismissed the Creator. He reasons within himself using the impotent tools given unto him to explain his environment and his conclusions are as carnal as his abilities.
The Apostle has been taught of the Spirit of God that the members of the new covenant are not inhibited by the limited teachings of Adam. Each participant in the new covenant has been sprinkled with clean water and made clean from all filthiness and idolatry. They have been given a new heart as the spirit of God dwells in them, causing them to walk according to the statutes of God. This Spirit teaches them all things pertaining to life and godliness and they have no need to teach each other his neighbour saying, Know the Lord, for “they shall all know Me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, said Yehovah, for I will forgive their iniquity and will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34).
So it is that the petition is made to the Lord of glory that by the power of His Spirit He would grant not unto the outward man who lusts against the spirit, but unto the inner spiritual man, who delights after the law of God, that he would be strong and mighty.
Paul was not asking God to make Adam strong and formidable so that he might be a powerful witness for the kingdom of light nor did he intend that man should take up the standard and champion the cause of God and truth. Man does not know the truth, for all men are liars, and the Omnipotent God does not need any help from the creatures He has created according to His eternal purpose. The outward man is perishing moment by moment as he walks the path back to the dust from whence he came but the inner man is renewed daily by the power of God within. The prayer is therefore directed unto God for the child of grace, born from above and growing up to the mature spiritual man;
“...that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith...”
The natural man walks by that which he understands and speculates about commensurate to his nature. Faith is not an inherent trait of Adam and without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is however a gift from God and the fruit of the indwelling Spirit. All who have been born of the Spirit live by the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us and this faith cannot be seen nor imagined by the sons of the flesh. But unto each of His children, every man in his order, has God given a measure of grace according to the gift of the Anointing (Eph. 4:7) sufficient for the time of their habitation. This grace is by faith which is the evidence of things which man cannot see and the substance of the earnest expectation of the children to return to their Father’s house in the manifestation of the sons of God; this is the hope of glory, the Anointing in you.
God does not want someone to accept Him, give Him their heart and welcome Him into their heart; He has given a new heart to His people. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in His people for they are One in Him. They have been sealed by the Spirit (Rev. 7:3) and have the name of the Father in their foreheads (Rev. 14:1). The house of the children of promise (Jacob) walks in the light of the Lord (Is. 2:5); “The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it” (Rev. 21:24) and the Lamb is the light thereof. This is the generation of Jesus Christ.
The redeemed of the Lord are set apart by God the Father and preserved in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah (Jude 1). These are the called that have been quickened together in Him in whom the Father has revealed His presence and His love. This is the eternal love of Almighty God for His people which is not based upon merit or performance. No amount of begging or earnest petition may secure or procure it from Him for; “God commended His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rms. 5:8). Thus the prayer for the brethren continues;
“...that you being rooted and grounded in love might comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height and know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge...”
This is the promise of God for His people. He has “made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth ad has determined the time before appointed and the bounds of their habitation, that they should seek the Lord, so then they might feel after Him and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:26). But unto His children he reveals Himself dwelling in them at the time when it pleases Him. He opens the eyes to see Him in the beauty of His holiness and as the light of His countenance shines brighter and brighter into the heart so the wickedness of the ways of Adam are revealed. The child knows the uncleanness of his ways and the abominable labours of his natural hands. He is brought low by the conviction of the Spirit and the very standard wherein he found comfort in his own righteousness in Adam becomes his adversary and executioner; “for I was alive without the law once but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died, and the commandment, which was to life, I found to be into death” (Rms. 7:9).
Each and every child of grace has the same experience in this common deliverance. Each knows the wretchedness of his man and each is daily confronted with the lechery of his ways. They know that the love of God is the root cause for His grace for in them, that is in their flesh, dwells no good things and they hope that no other brethren ever sees this corruption in them.
Yet this is the tie that binds. The common experience that each of the redeemed have in this habitation is the manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that they are counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which they suffer (II Thes. 1:5). The fulfillment of the second commandment, which is like unto the first, is the love of the brethren. This love is not based upon merit or performance for each child has the same testimony and cry before the throne of grace; “Be merciful to me a sinner”. Adam cannot teach this for he is still parading about in his apron of fig leaves attempting to shew forth his worth before God; “but as touching brotherly love, you do not need that I write unto you for you yourselves are taught of God to love one another” (I Tim. 4:9). And so the children, “which are born, not of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God”, love each other as they love the Father, by nature; thus they have the testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah and they keep His commandments.
The Spirit then teaches them all things of the vast expanse of the power, wisdom and majesty of God. His ways are wonderful and beyond finding out of the natural man yet God reveals Himself to His people and thereby does the peace which passes all understanding keep their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
“...that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.”
The fullness of God is the all inclusive nature of all that is joined together as one. He is consistently immutable and complete in Himself. He is God and there is none other and He dwells in His people; “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God with men and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people and God Himself shall be with them, their God. And He shall wipe away all tears from their eyes and there shall be no more death neither sorrow, nor crying neither shall there be any pain, for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:3). He has come to His people and He abides in them. He has given the Comforter who teaches them all things and leads them in the way they should go and He has given the testimony of the Spirit that they are the sons of God.
Adam is looking to the things which he can see, touch and feel to explain God and though he may wander to and fro upon the face of the earth, he shall never find Yehovah God or His salvation. “I am sought of them that asked not; I am found of them that sought Me not. I said, Behold Me, behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by My name” (Is. 65:1) but “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me” (John 10:27).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
July 24, 2015