“...which is the anointed head, from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, making increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
The church at Ephesus was experiencing serious growing pains which caused them to question many things. The question of identity was addressed by the teaching of the Spirit through the Apostle for the benefit of the assembly. They knew they were not of the ‘natural’ branch because they were not of the nation of Israel. They had not been raised up under the tutelage of the law, they did not dwell in the land of promise and they were well aware of the fact that they had no claim to what was called ‘the promises’, but within each and every one of these, unto whom the Lord had revealed Himself, there was an unexplainable hope. It was this hope that bound them together as they sought out others who were of ‘like precious faith’ and it was this hope that caused their questions.
The Apostle knew that these people had been living under the auspices of what was called ‘paganism’, with the various rituals and ceremonies, some of which were considered ‘barbaric’. They knew nothing, after the flesh, of Yehovah God and they were not seeking His approval through obedience to His statutes for they were all their lives walking “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” (2:2). Yet these few had been assembled together being set apart by the Spirit of God when He revealed Himself in them.
The Apostle was sent unto them for guidance and instruction as one who had experienced the same things that were happening in their hearts and minds as a manifestation of the mystery of the gospel. He explains to them that he is joined unto this anointing and has been sent forth to proclaim the mystery unto all men; “to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heaven might be known, by the church, the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by His faith” (3:10f).
He describes the wondrous work which God has done and identifies Yehovah God unto them as their loving Father. He professes Him as the Sovereign ruler over all things and properly identifies Him as the fullness of all that is, was or ever shall be. These teachings were contrary to the religious order that these people grew up under yet the words set before them were the sure sound of that certain trumpet for they agree with the experience in their lives.
The singular unity of the Godhead was essential in the development of this discourse unto these children of the kingdom. God has done His work by Himself, through Himself and for Himself without the assistance or advice of another. There is nothing greater than God, He does not answer to anyone save Himself and there is none who can stay His hand, overrule His mandates or alter the course He has decreed to be needful. He has done all things in truth and is faithful to His word for as He has desired in His heart, he has spoken and as He has spoken “shall it not come to pass?” (Ezek. 24:12)
Having identified Yehovah God and His work in these peculiar people, the Spirit sets forth the mystery of the body. He knows that the law which is found in the natural members is contrary to the delight of the inner man and he knows the groaning that is within each of these who have been awakened unto life. Paul is given to use this natural example of the body as teaching tools of the reality of the body of Christ. In the same manner that God has supplied all things necessary for the continuance of the natural body in this world so also He has supplied all things for His spiritual body. Yet as the natural needs are attended to in the natural body through natural things causing it to grow up into the mature form of Adam that which is supplied for the church is not of this world for it is unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Anointing.
This anointing, which Yehovah God has given by His Spirit is upon the head of the body. It is the sign given by the Father upon the Son that He is indeed, sent of God to perform a work, empowered by God to finish that work and authorized as the representative of the Godhead. Jesus stood up in the meeting place (synagogue) and when the book was delivered unto Him He read “The Spirit of Yehovah is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captive and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Is. 61:1). He made Himself of no reputation and took on the form of the servant in the likeness of sinful man that he might manifest the work which God had done from the beginning. There was none other who was authorized, qualified or able to redeem His people therefore He brought salvation to Himself by His right hand. He was clothed upon with the breastplate of righteousness and an helmet of salvation was upon His head; He was clothed upon with the garments of vengeance for clothing and was clad with zeal as a cloak (Is. 59:16f).
According to His righteousness He has completed the work set before Him. He has delivered His people from their inability in Adam, He has prepared the earthen vessels for the seed that should be planted within and He has declared His generation before the Father. His anointing was unto righteous obedience and His faithfulness sustained Him; therefore the Father has apportioned Him greatness and the spoils of the enemy for He saw the travail of His soul and was well pleased. He has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name that at the name of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, every knee should bow, of things in heaven and in the earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:9f).
This Anointed One is the “image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature: for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or power; all things were created by Him and for Him and He is before all things and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all He might have the preeminence” (Col. 1:15-18).
Since this head has been anointed by the Spirit of God, the whole body, every member in particular, is anointed in Him. As the oil of the anointing was placed upon the head of Aaron it flowed downward unifying all parts of his body in his appointment. The beauty of this is seen in that of the brethren dwelling together in the unity of love and the fellowship of the truth (Ps. 133:1). This unity cannot be any different from the unity of the head which is one in the Godhead which is the fullness of all that is for by Him were all things made “Hear Israel Yehovah our God Yehovah is one” (Deut. 6:4).
Paul identified himself as one who was joined to this Anointing by the will of God. He was not dispatched to preach the gospel in any other manner than the Head had done nor was he to add anything or detract anything from the glad tidings of great joy concerning the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah. Being a child of grace, born from above and of the Father, he was joined unto God and nothing could ever separate him from that union. Being ‘sent forth with orders’ to ‘preach this good news’ with a ‘proper interpretation of the hidden things’ for the oversight and guidance of the flock, he was inseparably joined to those of like precious faith who were his joy at the coming of the Lord. He had the same experience as every child of the kingdom, he lived by the same faith and he was delivered by the same hope, which is “the Anointing in you the hope of glory”.
The fact that the Head was Anointed, which caused the whole body to be also, means that whatsoever the Head has experienced so has the body. He came forth having His seed with Him and His work before Him and as He was tempted and proven so also was the seed. The same way He came unto His natural people Israel and they rejected Him so the children are hated of all men for His name’s sake. As he was betrayed, crucified and buried so His seed is dead in Him but as he was raised again and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness by the resurrection from the dead (Rms. 1:4) so also His people have been quickened together in Him and raised up in the first resurrection are declared to be the sons of God. As it is appointed once to die and after that the judgment, so also He gave His life a ransom for many; He despised the shame and became the curse for His people that in Him they should die no more. He has taken the cup of the fullness of the wrath of God and has drunk it for His people as He endured the contradiction of sin against Himself; “Surely He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted; but He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:4).
The Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, “being the brightness of glory and the express image of His person and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He has by Himself purged our sin, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3), has blessed his people with all spiritual blessings in heaven in the Anointing according as he has chosen them in Him before the foundation of the world that they should be holy and without blame before Him in love. He demonstrated that love by preparing earthen vessels as habitations for His children and making them subject to the vanities of this world. He has appointed the time of habitation with sufficient trials and tribulations necessary to prove the frailty of the flesh and the faith within. He has caused every one of His people to walk the same path through the barren wilderness, which is the footsteps of the flock, and which leads to the Shepherds tent where He feeds them and sustains them. This is the common experience of those who have the common salvation as they endure each temptation which is common unto men. Unto these He has also ‘reached out’ and given gifts which are needful to the saints. He has not exalted any singular person above the Head nor has He made one member of the body more important than another. He has caused the entire body to walk together in perfect harmony as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will; “That they may be one as we are” (John 17:11).
“Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)
The eternal unity of the Godhead causes the whole of creation to function as a single unit as the power of His great name is revealed. The minutest particle is in complete harmony with the mighty planets as the heavens declare the glory of Yehovah. There cannot be so much as a speck which acts independent of the decrees of old or function contrary to the ordained will of Almighty God; therefore creation walks together being joined together as one.
The same may be seen in the habitations of the creatures; man cannot live beneath the waves of the sea and the fish cannot survive in the habitation of the air for God has made the habitations agreeable to the nature and abilities of the creatures. The vain thoughts of man have concluded that man has evolved out of the slime pits and become the wonder that he is today but the testimony of the Spirit is that God fashioned him from the dust of the earth. He then made him a living soul by breathing the breath of life into his nostrils, made him a garden to live in and assigned him a task commensurate to his abilities. Man does not live outside the environment he was created for and he cannot attain unto anything contrary to what he is joined unto.
Within the society of man, God has placed two manner of people and two nations, separated from the beginning. These two are contrary one to the other so that they cannot agree. The first is natural and of the earth. His passions and desires are for those things which are natural and pertain to the continuance of the flesh. Every member of the first manner of people acts according to the nature and characteristics of the head of his family. This nation is drawn away after the things of this world which can only satisfy for a moment and soon must be replenished. This is the vanity of the labours of this existence in Adam.
The other man and nation is spiritual, whose affections are on things from above. Every member of this manner of people has been hewn from an Anointed Rock which is the God of their deliverance. They are all born of their Father of an incorruptible seed which cannot fail to ‘hit the mark’ because they are the eternal seed of God. They are sustained by the Bread of Life and have rivers of living water flowing from within. The light of the glory of the Father is within their hearts showing them the vileness of the body of this death. They endure the contradiction of the inability of the flesh against themselves and groan within because of the carnal nature which is sold under sin. They do not have their beginning, as the first, in of the dust of the earth for the second is eternal. They are not the bone of bone and flesh of flesh of Adam, they do not have common heritage, one being born of the will of the flesh the other being born of the Spirit and they are not of the same country. Adam is of Canaan where he is constantly humbled by the labours assigned unto him (Ecc. 1:13). The children of the Kingdom are of Jerusalem from above, the mother of them all (Gal. 4:26). These cannot walk together with the first Adam because they do not agree, not being joined one unto the other.
“...compacted together by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part…”
Each member in the household of grace is needful as a particular member of the body. Each has been given certain things which are necessary for the other members of the body during their time in the habitation of this dwelling. These gifts are the fruits on the trees on either side of the river which flows from the throne of God, which are the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and the leaves thereof are for the healing of the nations (Rev. 22:2). Each leaf brings forth, in the time of need, that which is essential for the brethren as they ‘render a service’ (healing) unto each other. The needs of the members in particular are all the same for they are all experiencing the manifest token of the righteous judgment of God. Some may be manifested as burdens which must be born, or the restoring of a brother taken in a fault or the lifting up of feeble hands or the comfort and patience of the scriptures but they all are of the same Spirit and unto the same end; the edifying of the body in love. This is the love of the brethren.
When the mind of Adam is unleashed upon these precious truths, the result is exhortations and carnal admonitions to be busy and do good works. The testimony of grace is that the good works which the children have been created in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah unto are performed in complete ignorance to the natural man (Matt. 25:37). He cannot recognize the need and he does not have the methods, materials or know how necessary to meet the need for God has blinded his eyes to the truth. These good works of the body are the same as the works of the Head which are “truth and judgment and all His commandments are sure” (Ps. 111:7). Adam has no part in these things but as a passive participant; “Shall the axe boast itself against him that hews therewith?” (Is. 10:15).
God has not only supplied those things which He has ordained necessary for the growth and building up of the body but He has done so in measure. Just balances are in the hands of Almighty God and the imbalance of man’s justice is not found in the perfection of His church. The measure of each gift is effectual in the work it has been assigned unto and nothing is wasted. He has given to each grace according to the measure of the gift of the Anointed and this measure is exact, alive and effectual unto the perfecting of the holy ones, for the work of the ministry and the building up of the body of the Anointed.
Neither Aaron, nor his sons nor their sons after them could do any of the work of the Tabernacle in the attendance unto the altar unless they were first born of the child of promise in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They then must be born of the tribe of the ‘joined’ (Levi) whom God has kept unto Himself as the keepers of the testimony; also of the house the ‘light bringer’ (Aaron) and of the house of them whom ‘God has helped’ (Eleazar) whom God has ordained “chief over the Levites having the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary” (Num. 3:32). Only these have their courses established for them and in the time of their service, they perform these services which stand as the type of the church. The fulfillment of this earthly type was perfectly maintained and intrinsically regulated by the same Anointed One who gave the pattern of heavenly things. He has sanctified His people unto obedience by the sprinkling of His blood for the growth and lifting up of the assembly until they all come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God unto the complete man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Anointed. He has redeemed unto Himself a people zealous of good works, equipped them with every good and perfect gift which is from above and comes down from the Father of lights with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning for His Beloved (James 1:17).
“...making increase if the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
No one can add any to the number of the redeemed of the Lord. The blood was shed in measure commensurate to the sin of His people and “by this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged and this is all the fruit to take away his sin;” (Is. 27:9). Therefore there remains no more sacrifice for they who sin willfully for they crucify the Anointed One unto themselves afresh and put the blood of the covenant to open shame (Heb. 6:6).
The Bride is complete in Him, lacking nothing. Many will espouse and pontificate upon their speculation of what is wrong with ‘the church’ today. These are not speaking of the Church of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah for she is perfect, without spot or blemish. Unto her it has been granted that she be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white which is the righteousness of the saints. This is the imputed righteousness of the Anointed Head in testimony of the finished work. If there is anything amiss in the body, then there is something wrong in the Head. If the Head is not pure then the anointing of the Spirit is ineffectual and there is a power greater than God. The Beloved of Yehovah have not so learned the Anointing.
The body is growing in the grace and knowledge of His will as the members endure the vanity of this world and the contradiction of sin against themselves. These trails and tribulations work patience, and patience experience and experience hope and hope does not make her children ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to them (Rms. 5:3).
The body is built upon the solid foundation of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah who can never change. Nothing can prevail against this building whose walls are salvation and whose gates are praise unto our God. Adam has no entry and Edom is excluded therefore the polluted hands of man cannot harm or tarnish the beauty of His Holiness.
“This I say therefore and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as the nations walk in the vanity of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Eph. 4:18).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 11, 2016