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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Ephraim V

“Hear the Word of Yehovah you children of Israel for Yehovah has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land because neither truth nor mercy nor knowledge of God is in the land” (Hos. 4:1)

The nation of Israel was now split into two separate kingdoms. Judah and Benjamin remained in Jerusalem, the epicenter of the history and culture of the people, and the capital city. This was the city where King David overthrew the Jebusites and dwelt in the strongholds; “therefore they called it the city of David” (I Chr. 11:7). The grandson of David sat upon the throne in fulfillment of the promise which God gave to him and the people of Israel. Although the sons of David did indeed sit upon the throne in Jerusalem for many years yet they, being mortal, neither continued nor remained faithful. The true fulfillment of the promise given is in Messiah, whose kingdom shall have no end. He is the eternal Father who is seated upon His throne in the heavens, as the King of Peace, in complete command of all time and creation. He has overcome all by making all His enemies His footstool, having perfect command and control over the world. Everything comes to pass by the power of His will as He has preserved and protected His people in Messiah. No man can snatch His people from His hand, no enemy can approach those preserved in Him, no thought, word or deed can erase the names written in the book of life of the Lamb because nothing can separate His people from His eternal love. The type is seen in the men David and Solomon; the fulfillment is the fullness of the Godhead who is King of kings and Lord of lords.

The people of the land, now called Judah, had the right to be called true people of God, for the northern tribes, called Israel, had turned their back on Jerusalem and the rightful heir to the throne and willfully withdrew. They severed the political and family ties and, forming a new government, abrogated their portion as the chosen people of God. The doctrines, the covenant, the ceremonies with all the promises belonged to the people who kept the commandments of Yehovah God and walked according to the types and foreshadows. (This is not to infer that the people of Judah kept the Law of God for no man could ever keep it. It was entrusted unto them to be the keepers of the types until the completion of their abomination. This was manifested when Messiah cursed the fig tree and proclaimed the house of Israel desolate; “Behold your house is left unto you desolate and verily I say unto you, You shall not see Me until the time comes when you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:35))

he ‘contention of the people’ seceded from the southern tribes for what may be understood after the wisdom and logic of man as dubious reasons. Nevertheless, the hearts and minds of the people were thus persuaded to believe the accounts given in the media in favour of Jeroboam and to be turned against the true King Rehoboam. The public opinion was so moved to agree with the Word of God as revealed by the mouth of His servant. The determinate counsel of Yehovah God decreed that the kingdom was to be rent from the hand of Solomon and given unto Jeroboam. This was not a reaction to the works of the people for God is not a respecter of persons. Every thought, word and deed had been precisely orchestrated in time and space to bring the nature of the sons of Adam into the forefront as demonstrated; “because they have forsaken Me and have worshipped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do right in Mine eyes and My statutes and My judgments as David his father” (I Kings 11:33).

Even though the ‘blame’ for these things may be laid at the feet of Solomon for his elaborate and philandering ways yet, as is the nature of man, when Solomon loved many women, his heart was drawn away from following Yehovah God. The people did that which was not only right in their eyes but convenient to their ways. They reverted to the gods of the land and, in complete deference to the Law given in the mount, they left off following the pattern of the Shepherd of Israel; they lusted after the ‘flock’ of the ‘stars’ of Ashtoreth and ‘hunting’ and ‘seeking’ (Zidonians) they looked to the heavens and the earth for truth.

Yehovah God took these people from among all the nations of the world, not for any attribute or quality in them, and called them His people. He established this type as the sheep of His pasture with Himself as the Great Shepherd of the fold. He gave them all things necessary from generation to generation as He developed them from three individuals (Abram, Isaac and Jacob) into a mighty nation whom the other nations of the world feared. He gave them Manna and water from the Rock in the wilderness and blessed their flocks so that they had no need to hunt. He guided them every step of the way through the wilderness and brought them into the Land of Promise by the hand of Joshua. As a result of all that God did for these stiff-necked and rebellious people, they abandoned Him for another flock and returned to the ways of the children of Cush, the son of Noah; “And Cush begat Nimrod. He began to be a mighty one on the earth; he was a mighty hunter before Yehovah; wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before Yehovah” (Gen. 10:8)

The people of the northern tribes were also given unto the philosophies and superstitions of the children ‘of the father’ (Moab) in attempts to ‘overcome’ and ‘subdue’ (Chemosh). The natural itchy ears of the carnal man were given to hear the pontifications of the dust in hopes of finding meaning and purpose for their lives. The worship of Chemosh was to the intent of soliciting his assistance in overcoming hardship, resisting adversity and taking command over the situations. This was necessary to give a sense of purpose to the difficult circumstances of the daily routine. He was perceived as the god of this world who could change a person’s station in life from living as one oppressed to living the life of the victor. The followers of Chemosh walked in morality and high-mindedness esteeming themselves above the common rift of the world for they were in control of their lives.

This Chemosh may not be acknowledged today in the manner he was before but his attributes are much the same way as the modern day religious neophytes who teach his doctrine. The ‘feel good’ mentality targets the problem areas of a person’s life and instructs that this is not the way things should be. All a person needs to do (tell-tale sign of the doctrine of Adam) is have faith in the salvation that has been provided and, taking dominion over sin, they can be right with God. The rocky roads will be smooth, the hills shall be made plains and the way may be clear to allow God to do His part. All problems are to be taken to the feet of one they call ‘jesus’ and left at the shrine of his death. (This is the impostor of this world who, even though his name is spelled the same, cannot measure up to the perfect standard of the Holy Child of Israel. He is proud and demanding of labours as he teaches the doctrine of man). By naming and claiming the blessings of God, these disciples of Chemosh learn how to live the ‘victorious life’ as they overcome difficulties by subduing the natural man. Only then will they experience the true meaning of life as they find happiness in the abilities and conquests of their good works. (Nothing new under the sun)

The Scriptural account of the historical events and consequences of the actions of the nation of Israel and Judah give ample evidence of the unprofitable reality of this morose doctrine. There is no other God but Yehovah. No one has power to compete with the Almighty, to question His works or to challenge His will! Solomon was given to be drawn away after the manner of man and the children of Israel were no different. They each went astray in open declaration of the vileness of the creature and the sovereignty of Yah. The deeds of the flesh are evil and could never curry favour with Jesus Christ the Righteous.

Israel also emulated the Ammonites, the children of Lot. These are the very people whom Yehovah commanded His people to neither distress nor become entangled in their ways as they traveled through the land (Deut. 2:19). They were spared from the hand of Joshua when he slew the five kings mightier than Israel and their land bordered that of the children of Israel; “And unto the Reubenites and unto Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon, half the valley and the border even unto the river Jabbok, the border of the children of Ammon” (Deut. 3:16). Even though God commanded His people not to become entangled with the inheritance of Lot, when they did evil in His sight and rebelled against Yehovah God, “the anger of Yehovah was hot against Israel and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and into the hands of the children of Ammon” (Jud. 10:7).

Lot and Abram had the same ancestry, even back to Adam. The children of Israel were, by nature, of the same people as the children of Ammon and thus they followed Milcom, ‘the great king’. Not Yehovah, the Great King over all the earth (Ps. 47:2), but the great king of the people which is the insatiable desire of the flesh that ‘rules’ (Molech) over the earthen vessels.

Every inhabitant of the world seeks that which is of the earth to sustain their particular vessel that was formed from the dust of the earth. It is this obsessive care of the vessel which drives the Adamic nature with intense passion, consuming his time with the desires of the flesh. This great king is the world that God has put in the hearts of the sons of man, “so that man cannot find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end” (Ecc. 3:11). It is the temporal law of the mortal members which enables the sons of Adam to labour for their bread and strive with each other. This passion is also, for one born from above, that which wars against the law of the mind, wherein he delights in the Law of God, and brings him into the captivity of sin, which is in his members (Rms. 7:23). This ‘great king’ of the land brings the earthen vessel into the captivity of the law of inability in the members as a demonstration of the vanity of this existence. The children of Ammon are not some hideous race of people from ancient times, they are the mirror image of the house of Edom; which is Adam.

This lewd nature of the baser sort is not given to seek truth or justice and it does not follow after righteousness. It is Esau, the cunning hunter and master of the fields, who has little concern for the astrology of heaven, even though God has set these lights in the heavens to rule over day and night (Gen. 1:18), for he lives by the provisions of the field. These provisions obtained by the labours of the ruling nature of Adam are too precious to be poured out as drink offerings to the Queen of heaven or to be wasted in foolish rituals; these actions are reserved for the intellectual and enlightened few. It is of the common clave of the world which daily strives for food, raiment and shelter. It is the instinctive drive for survival simply trying to carve out a living and maintain existence. It has no interest in cultural refinement and little time for the self-appointed religious elite of society who have overcome the world. It has no use for elaborate ceremonies or flamboyant rituals for this nature lives by the sweat of its face.

This instinctive behavior of Adam is common in the people of Canaan who gave lip service unto the Great King over all the earth, but not in truth. They worship the trees, the rocks and the sky for agreeable weather and abundant crops believing in the fates, good fortune and hard work. They acknowledge a type of ‘supreme being’ who controls all things, calling it ‘mother nature’, unto whom, even today, they bow the knee and worship. Here again is wisdom to know the identifying characteristics of the doctrine of man who is given to follow the carnal mind, in pursuit of that which cannot sustain, changing “the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Rms. 1:25).

How amazing that even though God had provided all things necessary for the people of the nation of Israel for so many generations, yet when He who restrains the will of the man grants liberty to that nature, it immediately demonstrates its complete ignorance of His bounty or His being. When the religious commodities of man fall short of their anticipated goals the nature of man reverts to the basics; hard work and determination. This is so naturally appealing to the primal needs of man that this teaching sweeps through and carries away a great multitude who are given to believe the lie; “And He gave them their request but sent leanness into their soul” (Ps.106:15). There is indeed a famine in the land, which is Adam; “not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Yehovah” (Am. 8:11)

Though the hearts of the people were drawn out after these various demigods, yet these were not arbitrary selections; God had set these things in their hearts and filled their minds, as He has with every son of Adam, to seek out the things of this world. He has given the natural heart to be deceived by the pride and, being given a strong delusion, to believe the lie that father Adam believed in the garden. The eyes of man shall forever search the heavens in hopes of finding out the works which Almighty God has done from the beginning, but his search is in vain. The hands of man shall continue to produce those things which the body needs, saying, “And I will say to my soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry” (Luke 12:19).

The natural man shall never discard the penchant to worship that which is either tangible or contrived of his limited superstitions for therein is he sustained. Man continues to search the vastness of space speculating about the existence of other beings; the finding of which would prove that God has lied for His testimony is not true. The beautiful ‘organic’ garments of the garden were the beginning of man’s attempt to cleanse himself and present himself as a noble beast. Morals, fidelity and integrity are the adornment of the flesh that boasts of his superiority to his fellow man and his blamelessness before whatever standards there may be; “God, I thank You that I am not as other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week and I give tithes of all that I possess” (Luke 18:11). Even in the simplicity of ignorance man ascribes honour and respect for that which he does not know yet in all his wisdom he cannot know God. The people worshipped idols carved from trees and images chiseled from stone. They committed whoredoms in the groves and sacrificed in every high place for so it seemed good in their demented sight to do. Solomon did it as his heart was drawn after his many wives (I Kings 11:4); the nation of Israel followed suit as did the nation of Judah who was more treacherous than her sister; “and I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear but went and played the harlot also” (Jer. 3:8). Is Adam any different today? Can modern technology, advanced training and education or the latest ‘age of enlightenment’ improve the lascivious nature of man? Shall he ever be more than dust? Not unless there is a power greater than the Almighty that can alter the work He has done!

“Howbeit, I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David, My servant’s sake, whom I chose because he kept My commandments and My statutes”

The Wisdom of Solomon drove him to seek out the sensual pleasures of the flesh in this life. The conclusions he reached, after giving his heart to all that is pleasurable to a man, brought him to the realization that both the short-lived joy and prolonged sadness were without value. The labours of life in the pursuit of happiness added nothing to the man nor did the pursuit of these matters ingratiate anyone with goodness, righteousness or peace. The path Solomon walked was severely depressing to his mind and grievously painful to his soul; “Vapours of breath, said the preacher, all emptiness. And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge, he gave good heed and sought out to set in order many proverbs. The preacher sought to find out acceptable words and wrote uprightly, words of truth. The words of the wise are the driving force by the masters of the congregations, given by one shepherd, and further, by these, my son, be admonished: there is no end of making of many books and much studying wearies the flesh” (Ecc. 12:9f) (Not a verse conducive to the scholastic endeavours of man!!)

Solomon was a child of grace who stood as a type of the Anointed King of peace in all wisdom, power and glory. He was the fulfillment of the kingdom where all the promises of God came to pass, and the borders of the land were achieved; in Adam, however, he followed the concupiscent and lascivious nature inherent to the species. The incorruptible seed within caused him to see and understand the reality of the trivial and transitory nature of the pleasures of life. These delicacies drew his natural heart away from the truth as he lived sumptuously in wealth and loved many women; he most certainly reaped what he sowed.

This contradiction of sin in him was neither halted nor assuaged by the hand of God who blessed this servant to experience it to the fullness so that he might give testimony to the vanity whereunto the children of the Kingdom have been made subject. Again, Solomon represents the Son of man who was tempted and tried in the same manner as His children are in the flesh; yet without sin. He knew no sin, being completely capable to ‘hit the mark’ yet He experienced the consternation and bitterness of the sin of His people against Himself. He is, therefore, able to lift and support His people being touched with the feelings of their infirmities; “for in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to ‘bring aid’ (succour) to them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:18)

The sons of God are each given this same experience, though not to the same extent. The Spirit within teaches, by manifesting the barrenness of this world and revealing the spiritual apathy of Adam to the truth, that the body is dead because of sin. He demonstrates that the carnal nature of the natural mind is separated from God, oblivious to the glory of His presence and incapable of receiving the things of the Spirit. He teaches the children as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, that the strength of the arm of the flesh, wherein Adam has complete confidence, cannot control one thing of creation; “which of you by taking thought, can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matt. 6:27)

The disclosure and understanding of this reality is because the fullness of the Godhead dwells in His people giving them the spiritual point of reference. This manifests the distinction between that which is perfectly eternal and that which is mortally vile. The light of His glory shines in the hearts of His people revealing and reproving the works of the flesh, exposing the darkness of evil in the world. This experience is troubling to the creature within, for as the abomination in Adam before God is revealed they conclude that they have no hope. Thus, they cry out, Be merciful to me a sinner! They are well assured that if the Lord should treasure up in His memory the guilt and rebellion of the flesh, none should stand before Him, yet the Spirit bears witness with their Spirit that they are the sons of God; “It is the mercy of Yehovah that we are not consumed because His love does not fail” (Lam. 3:22).

Indeed, this experience is contrary to the recruitment posters and advertisement pitches of the doctrines of Adam. The premise of being ‘happy in the Lord’ was not known to Solomon as he struggled with the affliction and misery; the ‘bitterness of the curse’ and the ‘poison of the head’. He knew that Almighty God did all these works in him as he said, “my strength and my hope is perished from Yehovah” but these were decreed necessary “for the earnest expectation of the creature waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rms. 8:19f). “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope” (Lam. 3:21)

Can the actions of the Adamic creature cause the love of the Father to depart from the eternal seed? Does the assimilation of the natural passions into the observance of the ordinances and statutes of God, polluting even the types, deprive him of his eternal vital unity in the Beloved? In other words, did Solomon ‘fall from grace’? Can the eternal love of the Father for His seed be touched in any manner by the conduct of a mortal being who has been made subject to vanity? Can the eternal covenant of God be abrogated because the man, fails to ‘hit the mark’? Did Adam fail, being created to usher sin into the world though the conduit of his disobedience that death by sin might reign upon all his seed, so that no flesh shall ever be just in the presence of God?

Or does each and every seed born unto man have a station in life and a burden of labour, assigned by the Lord God Almighty, essential in the facilitation and fulfillment of His perfect will? God is the sole source of life, breath and all things necessary for the conducting of His way in the kingdoms of man. He has made every man of every nation of the world, from generation to generation, of one blood to dwell upon the face of the earth. He has determined the time of their habitation before their manifestation in time and has set the bounds of each habitation. He is sovereign over the affairs of man, giving the rule of the kingdoms to the basest of men. He is the orchestrator, coordinator and mover of each and every piece of the production and “none can stay His hand or say unto Him; What are You doing?” (Dan. 4:35)

Since He has created all things for His good pleasure (Rev. 4:11) and since He works all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11), which no man can refuse, shall not all things then work in complete compliance to the purpose which He purposed in Himself? The pugnacious impudence of man rejects such beauty because he presumes that the sovereignty of God deprives him of his free will. The children of hope are assured that it is He who works in them BOTH to will and do His good pleasure, because they have been painfully taught that the flesh does not even know the Will of God. They are comforted that the hearts of the rulers of this world are in the hand of God as He turns them whithersoever He wills. The wicked one is His obedient servant; the inhabitants of this world are accounted as nothing and the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. The Spirit bears witness that Yehovah is on the side of His Beloved wherein they proclaim; “I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” (Ps. 118:6)

It was the love of God for Solomon that gave him the wisdom, power, fame and abundance; it was also His loving hand which chastened him. The desire of the Beloved is for His bride and He has done all things for Her. His love for His children is the same as the love of the Father for the Son, who was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquity; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed. He is in the Father as the Father is in Him and they are one; so is His body and His Bride, for they are “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”.

Nothing, not even man’s demented theology, could devise a point of separation in the unity of the Godhead, who is all in all, for His unity is complete and all inclusive. Nothing can be imagined or enacted in all of time and existence that could cause the purpose of God to be altered for He has purposed all things in Himself and He cannot deny Himself. So nothing in all of creation, in heaven or in the earth, visible or invisible, whether they be thrones, principalities, dominions or power, separate the sons of God from the eternal love of the Father; “I pray for them: I do not pray for the world, but for them which You have given Me; for they are Yours and all Mine are Yours and Yours are mine and I am glorified in them” (John 17:9).

The way of man, also, is not in himself, for it is not of him that walks to direct his steps. The path God assigned unto Solomon had no bearing or influence upon his eternal abode as a son of God. His conduct did not make him a son nor can it cause the Father to disown and abandon him. All His children have been predestinated to be ‘with form’ to the image of the Son who was tried and tempted in every way, like unto His brethren, yet without the sin of Adam. (It is worthy of note here that the earth was formed void and without form but the sons of God have been ordained from the beginning to be ‘with form’ (conformed) to the image of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah.) The children of promise then must become partakers of flesh and blood to experience the vanity of the flesh, the evil of the world and the contradiction of sin against themselves being ‘he who endures with God’ (Israel). The flesh does not endure neither is there any good in it but as the outer man perishes, the inner man is strengthened by the Spirit to know the fellowship of His suffering and the power of His resurrection.

Conversely, the conduct of the natural being, either in pretense, intention or form, cannot have any adverse effect upon the blessing which the Father has bestowed upon His children. He entrusted Himself with the children given unto Him to redeem from the curse of the Law because there is none other worthy or capable. Each and every one, being one in Him, have been raised up together in the first resurrection, which is Christ. These have been blessed in Him with all spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:3) and have been given all things pertaining to life and godliness, “through the knowledge of Him that called us to glory and power, whereby are given unto us exceedingly great and precious promises that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Pt. 1:3). The Father has also given unto those preserved in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah their daily bread for He knows the needs of His children in the flesh; How could anything hinder that love?

“Behold the fowl of the air, for they do not sow neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not better than they?” (Matt. 6:26)

The corruption and natural wretchedness of the created being cannot remove any of the sons who have been eternally engraved upon the palm of the Redeemer (Is. 49:16). The vileness of the way of man cannot overreach the measure of blood shed for the forgiveness of sin of Jacob (Is. 27: 9) and the rebellious treachery of Adam cannot separate the children from the Father; “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall ANY pluck them out of My hand” (John 10:27f)

Were these children raised up in the Lamb who stood as He had been slain from the foundation of the world? If this be true, then they have been forever seated together with Him as He is seated in the Godhead. Has there ever been a time when the Anointed One has been without His body, His Bride or His seed? If that were so then at some point He changed from being without the seed and then being with the seed. Such a premise is unthinkable for He has said that he is the same yesterday, today and forever. His seed is inseparably in Him as His children; they are the members, in particular, of His body, which is one, and the walls of the Holy city being delivered; “but you shall call your walls salvation and your gates praise” (Is. 60:18).They are the tried, precious living stones of the foundation, Jesus Christ the chief corner, of that building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, whose builder and maker is God (II Cor. 5:1)

This Holy city is not the Jerusalem which is upon the sands of Palestine, which is in bondage to the religious and political entities of this world. It is neither of this world nor contrived after the imaginations of man. It is without spot or blemish, the perfection of the Holiness of Yehovah God, without the assistance of the hands of flesh or constructed of the weak and beggarly elements of this world.

Were they raised up in Him at the manifestation of His resurrection? The Father gave the seed unto the Son to redeem them from under the curse of the Law. He fulfilled the Law in all righteousness and, in His flesh, He blotted out the handwriting of ordinances, which was against His people, nailing them to the cross. His people were with Him like Eve was with Adam in the garden and when as for a brief moment the Father could not look upon Him as He became the sin of His people, yet He could never leave nor forsake His children; “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Is. 49:15).

Thus, in the like manner of His resurrection from the grave, so His people, being one in Him, arose in Him; “and the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints which slept arose and came out of the graves after His resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared unto many” (Matt. 27:52). This is the manifestation of the work of God, though all these works were finished from the foundation of the world (Heb.4:3)

Shall every one of the redeemed of the Lord, each in his order, be delivered from the body of this death when the time of this habitation is over? This is the hope of the strangers and sojourners in this weary land; “if in this life only we have hope in Christ we are of all men most miserable; for as by man death, by man also resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, but every man in his order; Christ the first-fruits, afterward that are His at His coming” (I Cor. 15:20).

He knows the frame of the earthen vessels, that they are dust (Ps. 103:14) and before the petition is made has supplied the needs of His children to sustain and maintain them throughout their journey. He has multiplied grace and peace through the knowledge of God and of the Salvation of Yehovah our Lord, “according to His divine power has given unto us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue” (II Pt. 1:3). This is the covenant of God with His people for whom He created all things causing “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rms. 8:28)

So, was every thought, word and deed of Solomon ordained for good? Were each of his steps ordered by the eternal decree of God in the performance of His good pleasure? And was the outcome the proving of the nature of Adam or the power of Solomon to override the Will of God?

Solomon did not mess up the plan which God had devised for an earthly kingdom nor did he thwart the purpose of God in the salvation of Israel. Rather, Solomon set for another example of how the ways and means of man are not the ways of God neither are the best intention of man conducive to righteousness and holiness; yet are they all contained in His perfect will. He was given to walk a path that brought him fame and fortune because of the gift which God gave him yet because these things were of the earth, so his delights and his rewards were earthly. The blessing of God showed him the truth of this existence and, as his curiosity expanded, his passions inflamed, and his disciplines unbridled, so he followed the natural course of man which grieved his soul.

God’s purpose to protect Judah as Israel apostated is evident despite the corruption of the people. The fulfillment of the utter disgrace and corruption of Judah, the type, had not reached its zenith nor had the time appointed of the Father come to pass. The nation of Israel was the main character, led by Ephraim, in the exhibition of the next installment in the saga of man. Rebellion, deception and public opinion were manifested as the counterfeit representation, once again took center stage in the continuing pageantry of the wickedness of man.

“And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom of David return to the house of David” (I Kings 12:26)

It is evident that Jeroboam knew of the promise which God gave unto David for it was generally understood that the family of David would reign over Israel. This promise was given by the patriarch of the family in Egypt when Jacob proclaimed the promise unto his son saying, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and unto him shall the people be gathered” (Gen. 49:10). This was a part of the family history which each member knew and recited to his family. The oral history was an important part of the rearing of the children as the wonders of Yehovah for His people were recalled and how these shaped and molded each family of the tribes of Israel. It was passed down from generation to generation continually rehearsed in the ears; “and you shall shew your son in that day, saying, because of that which Yehovah did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt” (Ex. 13:8).

When the King of Peace, Solomon, became king over Israel, he ‘unto who, tranquility or peace belongs’ (Shiloh) rehearsed the promises again before the whole congregation by saying; “Blessed be Yehovah, that has given rest unto His people Israel. According to all that He promised, there has not failed one word of all His good promise which He promised by the hand of His servant Moses” (I Kings 8:56).

Had God’s Word changed from the blessing He gave to Abram unto the blessing He gave to David? Has it changed since unto the time He speaks to each of His Beloved children? Is He immutable? Is His Word the very breath that comes forth from the Almighty God? Could that Breath (Spirit) ever betray the purpose of the Word who became flesh and dwelt among His people or deny that He is the fullness of the Godhead? Such foolishness!

The contention of the people (Jeroboam) was not ignorant of the heritage of the nation, nor was he ambivalent to the predicament he found himself in. He knew that the people of Israel were well groomed in the traditions and customs of their forefathers and being creatures of habit in Adam, soon would, individually at first, return unto Jerusalem to pay homage to their God. He was not intimating that this was a God-fearing nation for God had told them from the beginning that they were a stiff-necked and rebellious people. He was assured, however, and that given to him by God, that the superstitions of a people as exemplified in their customs and practices could be supplanted by a decree and augmented by the edict of the King. The subsequent history of both nations give ample evidence that as their rulers acted, so the people followed for this was a people; “Wherefore Yehovah said, Forasmuch as this people draw near with their mouths and with their lips do honour Me, but have removed their hearts far from Me and their fear toward Me is taught by the precepts of men, therefore, behold I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and wonder for the wisdom of their wise shall perish and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid” (Is. 29:13).

Faith is the gift of God and the evidence of the presence of His Spirit. No man controls the Lord God Almighty and no act of man can bring about faith or command His Spirit. It is the work of God that His people believe on He whom He sent (John 6:29); it is given unto His people to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven (Matt. 13:11); it is “given unto them in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29) which works patience (James 1:3). Faith is not exercised by the will of man nor strengthened by use. Faith is not inherent to the sons of Adam for all men have not faith (II Thes. 3:2). Faith is inherent to the incorruptible seed and is proven by fire “in heaviness and manifold temptations: that your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tried by fire, might be found to praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (I Pt. 1:6f).

No amount of good intention, habitual activity or self deprivation through neglect of the body or any philanthropic endeavours could ever make the vile corrupt wretched man into anything other than “spots and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceiving while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin: beguiling and unstable souls; an heart they have exercised with covetous practices, cursed children” (II Pt. 2:13f). Many may object and claim that this passage is out of context because it was speaking of wicked men who came in among the brethren, but the question must be begged as to what is the condition of the natural man which led the Apostle to cry out; “Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death” (Rms. 7:24). The only difference between the men that Peter spoke of and the man Paul spoke of was that the one was blind, and his sin remained while the other has his eyes wide opened, causing him to loathe himself for the uncleanness of his ways. The child of grace is appalled at the vileness and corruption of the flesh and he cries out for mercy because he finds that all he can do cannot purge the conscience of sin. The natural man is at home in his terrestrial element thriving on self esteem and his zeal for his lord.

Jeroboam was deceived to think that the political differences and geographic boundaries on a map could keep a person from the true worship of God or that the building of a counterfeit representation could propagate spirituality. The assumed power of man in this world (for every man thinks more highly of himself and his abilities than is true) is completely inert toward spiritual matters. No man can, by edict or show of force hinder, disrupt or halt the Spirit within a child of grace from crying to the Father nor can a political system with the varying threats of sanctions, retribution and possible death, dissuade the children of the King from worshipping Him in Spirit and truth.

Conversely, the myriad of religious icons, shrines and monuments that man has constructed, to remind him that he should do homage to his gods are completely worthless. The Temple in Jerusalem, wherein God manifested His approval for the type by filling it with His glory was not to be the object of worship. The concept for the Temple was indeed placed in the heart of David yet he was forbidden to build it being a man of war. The building was realized by Solomon and the glory of the edifice was beyond any in the world. But the materials used were of the earth and the labour was by the arm of the flesh. These, being temporal, fade away and the glory thereof is gone. The Temple of Yehovah, however, is that building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; His glory can never fade.

Jeroboam was given to conclude that an alternative means and more convenient method could appease the perceived religious obligation of the people for the satisfying of the requirements that God had given in the pattern given in the mount. He copied the antics of Aaron in the wilderness and fashioned two golden calves, calling them the gods of the people, for the people to worship. He placed one in the ‘house of the Lord’ (Beth-el) and the other in the house of the ‘judge’ (Dan). The people followed the instincts of their hearts and went out after these, just as the fore-fathers did in the wilderness. The tangible representation of a counterfeit facsimile was sufficient for the natural religion of the nation of Israel and this disclosed the guilt of the people.

Solomon, as commissioned and empowered of Yehovah God, had built and completed the Temple of his father David in seven years. He laid the foundation in the fourth year of his reign and he reigned in Israel for forty years. This would indicate that many of the people alive at the time of the division were eye witnesses of the glory of Yehovah that descended and filled the Temple; “and it came to pass when the priests were come out of the holy, that the cloud filled the house of Yehovah, so that the priests could not minister because of the cloud, for the glory of Yehovah had filled the house of Yehovah” (I Kings 8:10f).

These eye witnesses heard the words which the king spoke concerning the faithfulness of their God and the mighty works He had done over the years and they rejoiced in the tangible culmination of the promises. Yehovah confirmed that He alone was the God who keeps the covenant with His people; therefore, He is faithful. He demanded the complete observance of the Law in perfect obedience to every word He spoke and an exacting justice for offences. The people knew that the name of Yehovah was in this place, His eyes were upon His people and His ears open to their supplication; “And You hearken to the supplication of Your servant and of Your people when they shall pray toward this place. You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place and when You hear, You forgive” (I Kings 8:30).

And when Solomon finished the dedication of the Temple in the brilliance of its glory, he delivered a lengthy admonition to the people, wherein he made continual reference to the proper course of action WHEN they transgressed and sinned before God. There was never any speculation of whether the people would transgress the Holy Law as God gave the law and commandments to prove the sin of the people and when Solomon finished his prayer before God, he offered a sacrifice of peace offering, which he offered unto Yehovah, not for the peace which the people had gained but for the peace which God had given. He then hallowed the middle court before the house by offering burnt offerings “because the brazen altar before Yehovah was too little to receive the burnt offerings and the fat of the peace offerings”. This he did in plain view as a memorial to the Lord God Omnipotent who lives and reigns forever; “And at that time Solomon held a feast and all Israel with him in a great congregation from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt before Yehovah our God, seven days and seven days (fourteen days) and on the eighth day he sent the people away and they blessed the king and went unto their tents full of joy and glad of heart for all the goodness that Yehovah had done for David His servant and for Israel his people” (8:65f).

In a few short years, these same people forgot the goodness of Yehovah God, “like unto a man, beholding himself in a glass; for he beholds himself and goes his way, straightway forgetting what manner of man he was” (James 1:23). The land made them fat in the abundance of the land, they had neither war nor enemies and their hearts were drawn back to the golden calves of the wilderness. The splendour of the glory of the Temple building, filled with the brilliance of the glory of the King of the Universe was quickly replaced with a cheap facsimile for a temple, two idols in remote cities, false priests and mock feast days; “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means and My people love it so; and what will you do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:30)

How could those people turn their backs on God and forget the mighty works He did for them? What about the daily reminders of His power and glory, how could they see the smoke of the sacrifices and forget the glory of God? They were given to walk this path in demonstration of the ways of every son of the dust. There is no personal incrimination against them for being weak, lacking faith or just being stupid for they are but a microcosm of the whole of man. May the Spirit grant His children to remember that it is by grace alone that the unbridled passion of man is restrained according to the purpose of God for the capabilities of the creature are unimaginably horrific. Man may profess that the species is evolving into a higher life form but indeed the creature, the outer man, is in a continual digression.

“I know Ephraim and Israel is not hid from Me: for now, Ephraim, you commit whoredom and Israel is defiled” (Hos. 5:3)

Ephraim had the blessing of Jacob as the first-born of the family and now he had been elevated to be ruler over Israel. He had the right, the portion and the memorial as the head of the house of Israel as the patriarch of the family because of the lechery and indiscretion of Reuben (I Chr. 5:1). The events of time and the prevailing attitudes of the people came together to cause the separation of the tribes into two distinct countries, each with its own path to walk. But the natural lineage does not qualify either of these nations as the sons of God for only those born from above are truly children of the Most High; “Which are born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh or the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13)

The earthen vessel of each person (every man in his order) is fashioned from the same lump of clay, being of the seed of Adam, and manifested in the appointed time. They are properly prepared and outfitted to house the seed assigned unto them, whether this be the created seed of the serpent or the eternal incorruptible seed of God, and to perform the labours given of God. They occupy space in time, each functioning in perfect harmony with the purpose of God; therefore, He has called it good. The seed of man is corrupt and temporal; his mind is occupied in the things of this world and cannot receive the things of the Spirit. The earthen vessels, like wheat and tare, cannot be discerned by observation. Natural heritage, outward appearance or chaste behavior does not identify the presence of life within neither do charitable acts or a benevolent attitude indicate that one is a child of the Kingdom of Light. No man can tell which vessel contained the eternal seed or the wicked seed, save by the fruits produced; “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire; wherefore by their fruit you shall know them” (Matt. 7:18).

And what of this fruit? In the last days many shall stand before God and proclaim the fruits of their labours which they have done. None of these works are disputed as to the commission but the actors are rejected as workers of iniquity and cast into outer darkness. These labours and the fruits they produce are commensurate to the seed; the natural seed of man produces that which is of the earth. The seed of the serpent, obedient to the will of God, roams to and fro upon the face of the earth. He and his ministers are “false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ; and no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great things that his ministers also be transformed as ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (II Cor. 11:13f).

Judas Iscariot was one such as this. He went forth with the seventy and did many wondrous works. He preached the kingdom of God healing the sick and was with them when the group returned rejoicing, saying, “even the devils are subject to us through Your name” (Luke 10:17). But he was a devil from the beginning, ordained of God a son of perdition, who should betray Messiah and deliver Him unto wicked hands to be slain (Acts. 2:23). He walked with Jesus and the disciples and none, save Yehovah incarnate, knew that he was not of the remnant according to grace for the seed within is not discernible to the natural eye. And when “Jesus answered, ‘He it is, to whom I shall give a morsel when I have dipped’. And when He had dipped the morsel, He gave to Judas Iscariot of Simon; and after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said unto him, ‘What you must do, do quickly’. Now no man at the table knew for what intent He spake this unto him” (John 13:26ff).

Was the thief on the cross excused from good works? Is he the exception to the rule that every child of grace is the workmanship of the Father, created in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah unto good works, which God had afore ordained that they should all walk in them? (Eph. 2:10). What sentient person would conclude that the actions of Saul of Tarsus were good works, as he imprisoned, tortured and gave his consent to the death of many children for whom the precious blood was shed? Yet each step that these people took was ordained of old and empowered of God.

Perhaps the good works spoken of and the natural conclusions of man do not agree in this matter? The fruits of unrighteousness, which are the works of the flesh, are “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling and such like; of the which I tell you before as I have also told you in past time, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:20). These are the outward manifestation which can be seen of man. They are the evidence of the Adamic nature, but the fruit of the righteousness is not seen of man.

The Lord had a controversy with the nation of Israel as the nature of the people was set at liberty and their sin and rebellion unleashed. He was neither unaware of these events nor passive as they came to pass. His will is irresistible, and none can stay His hand for as He intends in His heart, so He does in the kingdoms of this world. The glory of Israel was accomplished under Solomon and now that glory must fade away and give way to the true glory and brilliance of the Prince of Peace, whose kingdom shall have no end.

“So, he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, which conceived and bare him a son” (Hos. 1:3)

Yehovah God delivered the people of Israel into bondage, as He had decreed, because of their manifestation of the Adamic nature and after an assigned time of bondage and servitude He returned unto them showing forth His loving kindness. He did not do this because of the righteousness of the people, for there is none righteous, nor because He needed to keep a testimony in the earth, for the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. He established and empowered the ways that a man should go, exemplifying his predisposition to the things of the world and, being drawn away in the lusts of his ways, he is then delivered into captivity and bondage. This was the way of the nation of Israel which was repeated throughout their history as a wheel turning round and round. Yet God never abandoned this people. He gave them over to their captors for a time which He decreed to be necessary for the affliction of their souls and in the appointed hour He returned unto them a cry for deliverance. He heard their cry, delivered them from their bondage as an example of His long-suffering mercy and patience; this is the cycle of the nation of Israel and the pattern of the natural man.

God, the Father of all, has scattered the seed of man throughout all the world, from generation to generation. In the fullness of time, He sent forth His salvation (Hosea) into the epitome of the corruption of man (Israel), saying, “Go, take a wife unto you of whoredoms and children of whoredoms, for the land has committed great whoredom, departing from Yehovah”. He did not authorize His servant to take a prostitute to wife or to become engaged in any perverse behaviour. The nation of Israel was acting out the effects of spiritual whoredoms and adultery because, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge because you have rejected knowledge I will also reject you, that you shall not be a priest to Me: seeing you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will also forget your children for as they were increase, so they sinned against Me” (Hos. 4:6).

God sent Hosea into the land of Israel to take a wife whose heart was not sensitive to the Law of God. And so, the servant of God went and took Gomer, (complete) daughter of the Diblaim (two fig cakes). She bore him a son, Jezreel, (sown of God) as the Lord commanded, for the fullness of time had come for Yehovah to avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu (he is Ya). This was a valiant man who, at the word of Elijah, committed great atrocities. He killed the seventy sons of Ahab and destroyed all that pertained to the house of Ahab. He ordered Jezebel to be thrown from the upper window; he slaughtered the prophets of Baal and broke down the images of Baal and burned them. Howbeit he did not depart from the sin of Jeroboam and he had no regard for the Law of God (II Kgs.10). He kept the two golden calves, sacrificed in the false temple under the leadership of the self-appointed priests and observed the man made holy days for this was the sin of Jeroboam whereby he made all Israel to sin.

The two fig cakes are manifestation of two fig trees, sown of God. The one is a natural tree which produces fruit that is evil; the other is a spiritual tree which produces fruit that is good. The natural tree was in the garden in the beginning and was planted by the rivers of Eden. Although God had created this tree as pleasant to the sight and good for food and had given man permission to eat of the fruit of this tree, yet man thought it better to use the leaves to fashion aprons to hide himself and his deed from God. That which God had given to sustain the life of the man, man used as a covering for his sin. Adam changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator. Having his eyes opened by the knowledge of good and evil, he followed the logical conclusions of his limited mind and boasted himself before God; so did Jeroboam and the children of Israel.

This tree is temporal and carnal, and the fruit thereof is after its kind. The tree and the nature it represents, like Esau, possess the eternal hatred of God, because it seemed good in His sight so to do. He has no mercy for these and there is no sacrifice for sin because they are not His people. They dwell in the vessel outfitted for destruction; they are blind to their inabilities, their sin remains unremitted, and their works are of their father, the Devil. Their way is through the wide gate unto the city of wide streets (Rehoboth) which lead unto destruction; “many there be that go thereat” (Matt. 7:13).

The sons of Adam are continually drawn away after the needs of the flesh and the concerns of life; this is the nature of all that are born of woman. The seed of the serpent walks in the lusts of their father, who is a murderer from the beginning and in whom there is no truth; he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). These two have unity and peace between them for they are sensual, lovers of pleasure and men rather than truth. They find the labours of life agreeable taking great pleasure in the challenge of achievements, overcoming adversities and striving for the accolades of man. They are cunning hunters and masters of the field as they live and thrive in the darkness of this world. The fruit of this tree cannot sustain, and the withered leaves cannot cover; “I will surely consume them said Yehovah there shall be no grapes on the vine and no figs on the tree and the leaf shall fade and what I have given them shall pass away from them” (Jer. 8:13).

The sons of Israel are represented as baskets of figs set before the Temple of Yehovah in the days of the prophesy of Jeremiah. The baskets have been prepared of the Lord, being the earthen vessel, which perishes, as the receptacle wherein the figs dwell. In the one basket the figs are exceedingly evil. These figs cannot be eaten because they are so evil. God “removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, as a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all the places whither I shall drive them. And I will send the sword and famine and pestilence among them till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers” (Jer. 24:8ff). But lest one should think more highly of themselves than is proper, it should be noted that both the evil and the good figs were in baskets; “does not the Potter have power over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonor?” (Rms. 9:21)

Not one of the sons of Jacob lived a clean and righteous life for they were all subject to the ways of the flesh. Not one of them could be obedient to the statutes and precepts of the ‘pattern given in the mount’ for by the deeds of the law no flesh shall ever be justified in His presence; “Not as though the word of God has no effect, for they are not all Israel which are of Israel: neither because they are of the seed of Abraham are they all children but in Isaac shall your seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed” (Rms. 9:6ff).

There is enmity between the seed of the serpent, and the seed of the woman, which is Anointed. The ways of man and the works of the devil are congruent and are therefore appealing to the inhabitants of the earth. The ways of light, however, have no fellowship with the darkness of man and though the light shines forth out of the darkness, yet the darkness does not perceive the light. Those whom the Father reveals Himself unto, as the fullness of the Godhead dwells in His people, demonstrated far more attributes of reprobation than the evidence of keeping God’s Law, because the ways of man are visual in the habitation of this dwelling. Every vessel, afore prepared unto glory, is not delivered from the Adamic nature, for each still needs the things of this world for the continuance of the flesh. Yet the Spirit within and the light of His glory, shinning in the hearts of His people illuminates and reveals the corruption and vanity of the way of this temporal being. This existence without worth, in that nothing of the physical existence adds anything to God or Holiness, is the contradiction of inability that grieves the Spirit within. The absence of control over time and events causes the flesh to strive more earnestly in the attempt to shew worth before God and every child of the kingdom must endure this subjection to vanity; “Wherein in times past you walked according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath even as others” (Eph. 2:2).

“Hear this O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of Yehovah and make mention of the God of Israel, not in truth nor in righteousness; for they call themselves of the holy city and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; Yehovah of Hosts His name” (Is. 48:1)

Though the nation was called the people of Yehovah and boasted that they are chosen of God, yet the people lived, moved and breathed after the inherited nature of Adam; loving the darkness because their deeds are evil. Their guilt in Adam was continual from generation to generation and no one either desired to or had the power to change it; “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? May you also do good that are accustomed to doing evil” (Jer. 13:26). Nothing could change the nation of Israel from being who they were, and nothing can change Adam from standing guilty before the Lord.

The tree and the evil fruit thereof were center stage the day Jesus came to it seeking food. The tree gave the impression of being fruit bearing and when the Lord came unto it, He found none. Was He mistaken to think there might be fruit, or did the eternal purpose of God decree that this real tree should represent the barrenness of the people of Israel? It was according to the will of God that the famine was upon the land, “not a famine of bread nor of the thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Yehovah” (Am. 8:11). It was His will that He created the people of Israel hard hearted, stubborn and rebellious from the beginning as He told Moses when He brought them out of Egypt (Ex. 32:9) yet He kept His word and manifested His promises. Did this produce a revival amongst the people; a great throne of converts who had ‘seen the light’? No! The long-suffering of the Lord, which leads unto repentance cannot be seen of the natural man and is repulsive to the children of the god of this world. And in the fullness of time, when the types and foreshadows were complete, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman and made under the Law, that he might give open testimony of the salvation of His people.

The nation of Israel was devoid of knowledge, “a rebellious people, lying children that will not hear the law of Yehovah, which say to seers, See not; and to prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things (flattery), prophesy deceits, get out of your way, turn aside out of the path and cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” (Is. 30:9f). Thus, when the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah came to the fig tree, the same tree that was worthless in the garden to help Adam and could not cover the nation of Israel, He, finding it barren, cursed it saying, “And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of you hereafter forever: and His disciples heard” (Mark. 11:14); “and in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots; and Peter calling to remembrance said unto Him, Master, behold the fig tree which You cursed is withered away” (21).

The theology of man continues to revive the doctrine of the continuation of this tree. The labours of the arm of the flesh are espoused as being necessary in finding favour with God and securing the heavenly abode. The adherence to the carnal interpretations of the law at Sinai and their meanings according to the understanding of man is the way of the Pharisee. By this a man can not only keep the law but according to the righteousness found in the law, they can be blameless (Phl. 3:6). Thus, the flesh boasts of keeping all these things from youth upward as the deception of the garden continues for the children of destruction; they have been made wise and are become like God. God has given them to believe the lie and to be deceived; to walk in darkness and pontificate that God will not see their sin nor hold their guilt against them; “Understand you brutish among the people, and fools, when will you be wise? He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye, shall He not see? He that chastens the nations, shall He not correct? He that teaches man knowledge, Yehovah, knows the thoughts of man, that they are vanity” (Ps. 94:8f).

Jeroboam as Ephraim, built the new Temple that the people could appease their religious fervor. He set up the old land marks of the golden calves and made the worship of god easier and more convenient. He promised a lighter burden upon the people and prosperity for all but “Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit, though they bring forth, yet will I slay the beloved of their womb. My God will cast them away because they did not hearken unto Him and they shall wander among the nations” (Hos. 9:16).

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is nigh: so likewise, when you shall see all these things know that it is near at the doors. Truly I say unto you; This generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled” (Matt. 24:32)

The fig tree has been since before the foundation of the world and it was manifested in time and space “that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”. The broad leaves could not cover Adam in the garden in his guilt nor could they convince God that nothing had happened. The promise of the land to the children of Israel was of a prosperous land; a good land of wheat, barley, vines of grapes and figs, pomegranates and oil and honey which the spies confirmed after their incursion into the land (Num. 13:23); yet this could not change the fear of the natural mind. There were no figs in the wilderness but the promise of Moses was that Joshua was to lead the people into this land which Yehovah God had promised; “Beware that you do not forget Yehovah your God in not keeping His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day, lest when you have eaten and are full and have built goodly houses and dwell therein and your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied; then your heart be lifted up and you forget Yehovah your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness (fiery serpents, scorpions and drought where no water) who brought forth water for you from the rock of flint: who fed you in the wilderness with Manna, which your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and that he might prove you, to do you good in your latter end; and you say in your heart, My power and the might of mine hand has gotten me this wealth, you shall remember Yehovah your God, for He that gives you power to get wealth, that He might establish His covenant which He sware unto your fathers as this day. And it shall be, if you do at all forget Yehovah your God and walk after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish, as the nations which Yehovah destroyed before your faces, so shall you perish because you would not be obedient unto the voice of Yehovah your God” (Deut. 8:11ff).

This is the fig tree of the nation of Israel; the leaves have withered and have faded away (Is. 34:4). The vine has been destroyed because of the wild grapes (Is. 5:6), new vine is dried up, the oil languishes, the vine is dry, and the fig tree grows feeble (Joel 1:12). The earth is full of sorrow, fading away, the world is exhausted and fading away, the haughty people of the earth grow feeble for the earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof (Is. 24;4) and the mighty wind has shaken for the tree has cast her untimely figs (Rev. 6:13).

The other fig cake is produced from the true fig tree which is planted by the rivers of the water of life. The fruit of this tree is completely incompatible to the natural man for it nourishes the soul and feeds the inner man who lives by every word that proceeds from the Father’s mouth. The leaves of this tree are for the healing of the nations who are seated in the Beloved in the heavenly city but are partakers of flesh and blood. This is the Israel of our God whom He calls ‘My people’ (Ammi); “hearken unto Me, Jacob and Israel, My called: I am he, the first and also the last. Mine hand has laid the foundation of the earth and My right hand has spanned the heavens, I call unto them and they stand up together” (Is. 48:12).

The promise of peace in Israel is that each man will sit under his vine and under his fig tree. This was manifested when Solomon, the king of peace, began to reign. The promise of God to Abram, Isaac and Jacob as revealed to Moses and David was realized in the fulness of the kingdom of Israel; “for he had dominion over all on this side of the river from Tiphsah even to Azzah over all the kings on this side of the river and he had peace on all sides round about him. And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan to Beer-Sheba all the days of Solomon” (I Kings 4:24). This type of peace and prosperity is testified to the children of the true Kingdom as they have peace in the Beloved Messiah for He has made all His enemies His footstool as He rules over all. The vine that the Ammi of Yehovah dwell under is Messiah for He is the vine and His people are the branches (John15:1). The fig tree is the Beloved (Song 2:13) and the fruit is ‘life’ of the ‘strength of Yehovah’ over the plague of leprosy, which is sin (II kings 20:7).

This tree is planted by the rivers of waters which proceed from the throne of God and the Lamb (Rev. 22:1). It is the tree of life and the river is of living water which flows from the inner man as he brings forth his fruit in his season, which is the peaceable fruit of righteousness. The leaves of this tree are for the healing of the nations and his leaf shall not wither and whatsoever he does shall prosper (Ps. 1:3). Thus, in the fulness of time, when in one day the iniquity of the land was removed by the shed blood, when He made the stones of the alter chalkstone that are beaten asunder (Is. 27:9), Yehovah of Hosts called every man His neighbor under the vine and the fig tree (Zech. 3:10)

In the place where the sons of man, proudly clothed in their regal splendor, claim to have found the people of the Lord, there is Adam, visual, tangible, sensual and mortal; but in the place where the religious pundits conclude that the lowly, meek, afflicted and humbled people, could never be the redeemed of Yehovah, there is the Israel of our God. “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sands of the sea, which cannot be numbered, and it shall come to pass in the place where it was said unto them, You are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, The sons of the living God” (Hos. 1:10).

Yehovah has left unto Himself, preserved and protected in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, those whose knee shall not bow before Baal and in whose mouths no guile is found. This is the inner man born of the incorruptible seed who cannot sin because the seed of the Lord of Hosts remains within (I John 3:9). He is strengthened by the indwelling fulness of God, who causes the children to walk in the light, which is the glory of God and the Lamb, while the outer shell returns to the dust from whence it came.

Nothing can change that which is earthly into spiritual nor can the corruption of Adam approach unto the incorruptible spiritual fruit. God formed these two together and causes them to cohabit, but they are never joined as one. The good figs of Jeremiah’s vision were also contained in a basket, which is the earthen vessel, but before man was formed, God had afore prepared these vessels unto glory. Before the inability of Adam was made manifest in the creature, for as by one man, sin entered into the world and death by sin, the precious blood of the Lamb of God was shed. The leaven was cleansed from within the borders of the vessel and the house was cleaned so that the seed would not be corrupted by means of the dead body of Adam.

These have been separated from the beginning and although the natural appears to be the older and was first in manifestation, yet it is ordained of God that the elder shall serve the younger. The vile wretchedness of the natural man could never curry favour with the perfect Holiness of God nor could he separate His people, the inner man, from His love. He has, however, been perfectly suited for the seed within to give a good testimony to the inability of man and to cause the children to cry out to the Father; “Yehovah has appeared unto me from old saying, Truly, I have loved you with an eternal love, therefore, with loving kindness have I drawn you” (Jer. 31:3).

He drew Ephraim with the cords of man (a crooked path hedged in with hewn stone – Lam. 3:9), though he did not know it, and brought him to the place where Ephraim and Israel were one. When Israel was a child Yehovah brought him forth out of Egypt, but he went after another lord (Baal) and burned incense to graven images. He taught Ephraim to go, taking him by the arms; but they did not know that it was Yehovah that healed them. He led them through the wilderness, in the land of great drought, and according to their pastures, so they were filled, and their heart was exalted, therefore they have forgotten Yehovah God. This is the overwhelming evidence against the sons of the dust of their guilt in their father Adam and their inability to believe in the Son of God.

The children of God cannot forget their Father. He is the Rock from whence they were hewn and although they are encumbered with the dust of the pit from whence they were dug, yet they hear His voice and follow Him. They are one in the Beloved as He is one; the fullness of all things. As the fruit cannot exist apart from the vine so they abide in Him and bring forth the peaceable fruit of righteousness. He is the head of the body who has put on righteousness as a breastplate and salvation is His helmet, therefore is the body protected in the whole armor of God.

IN the last days all things written in the Law, the Psalms and the prophets was fulfilled as the days of vengeance were manifested. The salvation of the Lord was seen by all flesh as His judgment was enacted and consummated upon the perfect sacrifice for sin. He became the sin of His people, that they might be made the righteousness of God (II Cor. 5:21). This is the Israel of our God who shall endure unto the end, and be delivered in Him.

Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
January 2018

Banner of Truth
Volume 12, Number 1