“I therefore the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called.”
The messenger of Jehovah has assured the brethren of like precious faith that they are the same as everyone for whom the precious blood has been shed. There is no class system in the generation of Jesus Christ for every member of His body is fitly framed together in the unity of the Godhead. There is no special dispensation due to heritage or berating according to past, present or future conduct in the flesh for in Him the Body is one as the dwelling place of Immanuel.
This is not a dwelling place fashioned after the similitude of Adam for Adam was fashioned in the image of God. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in His children in the earthen vessels afore prepared unto glory but God is not a man that He should be limited to the confines of His creation. The eternal seed in Him as the Beloved in the beginning, is the type set forth in the creation of man having his seed in him and his bride with him; therefore all that proceeds from the natural seed is of the earth, earthly and all that is of the spiritual seed is spiritual. The natural follows the progression of time from one generation to the next and is limited being finite. That which is born from above is spiritual and is eternally infinite in the Father. The mystery, which was hid from the beginning, is that His seed is planted in time in the ground which has been prepared to receive the seed. This ground is in every kindred, nation tribe and tongue of this world, throughout the ages, where the sower has planted His seed. Therefore there is neither Jew nor Greek, male or female, bond or free in the Anointed salvation of Yehovah (Gal.3:28).
Having this indwelling of God manifested in their lives, the brethren of Ephesus were confronted with the various and sundry philosophies of man. This is the confusion they had which Paul is addressing for they are his ministry as he explains to them the love of God. This love is not shrouded in confusion and speculation for God is not the author of confusion. Rather the love of God casts away all fear as He reveals Himself to His Beloved. The vain philosophies of man are identified by the complexity of their teachings and the passion of their presentation as they beguile the hearer as the serpent deceived Eve in the garden. The “simplicity of the gospel” is consistent from the beginning and never changes. The love of God for His people is as eternal as the Godhead and equally all inclusive unto all who are joined in Him.
Therefore as one joined unto God, Paul encourages, instructs and admonishes the brethren of like precious faith to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith they have been called. He is not giving instructions in good business practices or exhorting the little flock unto proper moral behavior in the community (these things have their place in the life of a child of grace but cannot alter the nature of Adam or his inherent mannerisms). He was speaking to them concerning their ‘station in life’ and places this in contrast with their manner of life before God revealed Himself dwelling in them.
“Wherein times past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit which now works in the children of disobedience” (2:2).
The way of life for the children of Adam is concentrated and enveloped in the care of and maintaining of the flesh. The cares of this existence occupy the hearts and minds of the children of the dust all the days of their lives and they are drawn after these lusts on a daily basis. This is the course of this world which leads directly unto the grave and the return unto the dust from whence Adam came. All who are born of man walk this path being blinded to the truth of the reality in God, but in the time appointed, the Father opens the eyes of the blind to see their station in life in Adam. These are not aliens from the commonwealth of the Israel of our God even though they are not born of the blood line of Abraham. They are strangers in the land and sojourners in this world and even though for a time, the god of this world (the prince of the power of the air) blinded their minds in unbelief, “lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Cor. 4:4), now has the Son of Righteousness risen in their hearts which healing in His wings.
The manifestation of the presence of the Spirit of the Most High in the lives of the redeemed of Yehovah causes the child to cry out for mercy to the only one who can grant it. They cry out because now they know the wretchedness of their ways which were occupied in the “fulfilling the desires of our flesh and of the mind and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (2:3). This station of life and the manner of lifestyle which accompanies it is unacceptable before God for it seeks to establish and promote the worthiness of the righteousness of man to God. But and when the glory of God is unveiled the children then hate themselves for they are given to “remember your own evil ways and your doings that were not good and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations” (Ezek. 36:31). Every son of Adam walks in and loves the darkness of this vanity but the children of hope groan within waiting to be delivered from it. The church at Ephesus was experiencing this condition and the brethren desired to know what things they might do to overcome this contradiction against themselves.
The unity of Paul in Christ, being knit together as one, was the authority whereby he sternly instructs the brethren to conduct themselves after the station in life wherein they had been called. He was not giving them social or business incentives whereby all who call themselves ‘christian’ may join together and help one another nor was he instructing them to ‘keep God in their daily lives’. He was giving them the contrast between the manner of life wherein they walked in the past and the manner of live that they walk in now.
The former of these lifestyles which was in ignorance was for the promotion of self. It was attracted to that which was temporal, which fades away, and was self centered, egotistical, boastful and arrogant. This way of life is driven by the pride of the heart of man as it seeks to make its home in the cleft of the rocks for protection and to exalt itself against the throne of God. Herein dwell the thoughts and imaginations that desire long life, the accumulation of wealth and the prosperity of this world and until such time as the Father reveals the errors of this mindset and the vanity of the ways of this world, the children of the dust are busied in conduct according to their station in life.
The children of the King, however, having their eyes opened, see the worthlessness of this life. They understand that this world is not their home and as the Spirit reveals their affections for the things from above, they slowly begin to experience that the waters of this world cannot quench their thirst and there is no meat in the desert. These have been separate from the natural man from the beginning and though they may kick against the pricks for a while yet in the fullness of time they begin to understand that the way of this world is unto death. As they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will the Spirit manifests that they are a peculiar people who are engaged in a struggle, within themselves, against all that they are in the flesh. They find that there are few, if any, who can empathize with them as to these feelings and even less that, understand the dichotomy of their being. But God, who is rich in mercy for His children, from time to time, reveals one or two, here and there, who have had the same experience and know the reality of this warfare. These are given to sit together in peace and to help each other as they bare each others burdens and guide one another through the land.
These have a station in eternal life that is contrary to the natural temporal station of the flesh. They keep the Law of God perfectly in their head, who is the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah. He has fulfilled the Law in all righteousness and has cleansed His people from their sin in Adam, He is set down at the right hand of the Father and He make intercession for His children as they are in the world but not of the world. His instruction in all righteousness unto them is that they love Yehovah God with all their hearts and with all their minds and with all their strength and that they love one another. The children keep this commandment because they are born from above and His seed remains in them and as they are taught of God, so they see the vileness of their ways in Adam.
“With all lowliness and meekness with long suffering; forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace” (4:2).
The ways of this world are identified in their ostentatious manner and self promoting style. The doctrine of this life style is the same and the theology is likewise. There can be no acknowledgement of the sovereignty of God over all things, whatsoever comes to pass, or His Lordship over the minutest details of this world because these exclude the need for and reliance upon the abilities and conduct of man. Thus self esteem is promoted along with personal accomplishments as the ego is stroked and the pride gorged.
The children of the kingdom are taught from above that each has a place in the body of Christ. This place is particular to each member and essential unto the whole of the body. Each member supplies the needs of the other members and all give praise and glory unto the Lamb who alone is worthy. They are taught that their station in life is to lift each other up in the love of the brethren and to edify the body. This cannot be accomplished in the attributes and limitations of the flesh but they are all finished in Christ.
The essential nature of every part of this building is demonstrated in it being fitly framed together. There can be no missing timbers or absent stones in this building which is built upon the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone and there can be no waste in the production. Jesus told the Pharisees that He was the builder of the Temple of Yehovah and all the work which the Father gave Him to do was accomplished before the foundation of the world and manifested in the last days. Therefore the church of Jesus Christ is the New Jerusalem the city of the Israel of our God wherein nothing can enter whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb. These all have the testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah upon them as they walk in the light of the Lord.
Yet during the time of this habitation, these prisoners of hope endure many trials and tribulations, which the Father has decreed essential in the trying of the faith within. As the Spirit reveals to each one that their brethren are enduring the same hardships and sorrow for each has been chosen in the furnace of affliction, then they are given to understand that there is nothing new under the sun. The tribulations of this existence are the same that Abel endured in the beginning and shall be the same unto the end for “there has no temptation taken you but such as is common to men: but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear” (I Cor. 10:13).
If therefore there is nothing that is new and all things remain, then each child of the Kingdom of our God, experiences the same things and with this experience is the understanding that the station in life for the citizens of Jerusalem from above is to love one another as He loved us. This love is greater than the carnal love of an husband for his wife, even though he is to love her as he loves himself. It is the love of the brethren above the love of self for “greater love has NO MAN than to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). This love was manifested in that He who knew no sin became the sin of His people as He redeemed them from the house of the one, who is stronger than they, delivered them from their inability in Adam and has cleansed them from all unrighteousness. The station in life of the redeemed is ‘forgiven’ and the way of life is the love of the brethren in all lowliness and meekness with patience, forbearing one another in love.
The unity of the Godhead cannot be altered in any way. Nothing can be added unto God and nothing can be taken away from Him for He is the consonant unity of all things in Him. The body of Christ is complete in the same manner. All who have been ordained unto eternal life believe and as many as were ordained unto eternal life have been gathered together in the church, the bride of the Lamb. This unity was complete in the beginning and proceeded from the Father in the manifestation of time. They have been sealed by the Spirit and they have the Father’s name in their foreheads for they are known of Him and whether they be Jews or Greek, bond or free, male or female in their natural station in life yet are they all one in Him because;
“There is one body and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, One faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all. Though all and in you all” (4:4).
The divisions and schisms of man are given of God to separate man from himself but the body of the Beloved is one. There can be no difference between the first and the last for there is only one generation of Jesus Christ. There can be no one greater than the other for each member of the body is necessary to supply the needs of the others in the inter-cooperation of the whole. They which came before in time are no different from the last one to be manifested and those who come last are not inferior to the first. God has set the time of habitation and manifestation of His seed commensurate to His will for His glory and honour and although each has a specific place in the body yet all have but one station in life.
God has given to His messengers the ministry of reconciliation; not that they are to go out and attempt to reconcile others unto God but to proclaim that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them”. This is the word of reconciliation for the ambassadors of the Anointing. These representatives are not to be out in the attempt to cause a revolt or uprising against the government of the land and they are not authorized to overthrow the king of the land. These are the representatives of the country of their home and to provide a haven of rest for every citizen of that land as they travel through this foreign land. They are set forth to proclaim the greatness of their King and when one weary traveler hears the songs of the home land sung in a familiar voice, he is drawn to sit with them to speak of how great things God has done. This is the fellowship of the mystery of the gospel.
The common denominator in all this is the singularity of God. There is one body and it is the body of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah which the One Spirit has anointed to preach the glad tidings of good news. There is one hope of the household of faith and that is the final deliverance from the body of this death. All who are part of this body have the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ as an evidence of the indwelling of the Spirit. They have like precious faith because it is the faith of the Son of God who loved them and gave Himself for them. This faith is the power by which they live their lives and by which they walk in the light of the Lamb for these things cannot be seen with the natural eyes of man.
This same group has one baptism and that in the death burial and resurrection of the Messiah of Yehovah. He is Alpha (first) and He is the resurrection therefore all who have been raised up together in Him and caused to sit together in the heavens have had part I the first resurrection; upon which the second death has no power. God sent forth His Son, born of a woman and made under the law, as a manifestation in the end of time of the work that was finished before the foundation of the world. John testified to this when he saw the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Lamb who stood as He had been slain from the foundation of the world.
Therefore all who are in Him as the eternal seed and have the eternal love of the Father have been resurrected in the Lamb from the foundation of the world. These have the testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Jesus Christ and they keep His commandments. They have been sealed by the messengers of the Lord, they have the name of the Father in their foreheads and they have each been assigned a station in life for the good of the body and the praise of the one God and Father of all. Unto these the Apostle of the Lamb has admonished that they walk in a manner suitable to their station in life in the love of the brethren who each walk the same path of trials and tribulations. Paul instructs them to uphold the brethren in patience and this patience comes from divers temptations as the trying of your faith works (exercises) faith. Since the faith is the same and the trials are the same then the patience which is manifested must be the same generation to generation.
God is the Father from whom all things proceed. Nothing is above or beyond Him and everything, visible and invisible, exists and consists by the power of His will. He fashioned the darkness and made man love it. He made the serpent crooked and set him as the prince of the power of the air, yet he is completely subservient to the Lord God Omnipotent. He created the lying spirit and sanctioned it to go forth into the mouths of the prophets of Ahab, there to speak a lie and to succeed in the deception unto the death of Ahab; “I Yehovah do all these things” (Is. 45:7). He is the great King over all the earth, His Word is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart which man cannot know and He alone command and controls the hearts and minds all His creation to His glory and honour.
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (4:7).
God has not left His beloved people to fend for themselves. His Spirit reveals the vanity of this world, the warfare within and the worthlessness of this existence yet unto each He has also given grace. This grace is needful for the sheep of His pasture to endure unto the end as they are preserved in Jesus Christ and called. This is the grace of God by which these are delivered through faith and that not of themselves, for it is the gift of God and this grace is commensurate to the evils of the day.
Paul petitioned God three times to remove the thorn in his flesh, that messenger of Satan which was sent to buffet him but the word of God was, “My grace is sufficient for you” . Now if this one who was less than the least of the saints received sufficient grace to endure unto the end how much more so is this grace unto His children?
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with you all, Amen” (Rev. 22:21)
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
August 14, 2016