“And you shall know that I am Yehovah when I have wrought with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, house of Israel, saith the Lord God.”
There are three key points in the history of this nation that God instructs His prophet to bring to mind. This Word of Yehovah came to His servant in the seventh year of the captivity of the last remaining tribes of Israel in Babylon when certain elders came to inquire of Yehovah. As these men sat before the prophet, God did not wait to hear what they had to say as He sent forth this word of rebuke. He instructs His vessel to speak the truth and “cause them to know the abomination of their fathers” (20:4).
The first historical point of reference that God brings forth is the day of deliverance when He brought the nation out of the land of bondage. The second event is the time spent at the base of Mt. Sinai when God delivered His Law and the people constructed the Tabernacle and the third event is when, after the death of Moses, Joshua brought the children of Israel across the Jordan and gave unto them their inheritance. According to a natural reckoning of time, this first event took place about one thousand years before this meeting and all three events came to pass in about 50 years. Therefore none of these men could have possibly been alive when they happened, be involved in the cause or effect of these magnificent wonders or have any influence over their outcome.
The first event that the Spirit of God refers to is the deliverance from Egypt. God had promised Abram that his seed would be a stranger in a land that was not theirs where they would be afflicted for four hundred years; “and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge and afterward shall they come out with great substance” (Gen. 15:14). Now in the fullness of time in accordance with the promise of God in the process of time that the children of Israel groaned by reason of the bondage and their cry came unto God by reason of this bondage. The oppression of the King of Egypt and his taskmasters caused these people to cry unto God and there is no indication that they were doing so when Pharaoh was kind to them and the situations were pleasant.
Yet in these most disturbing and painful conditions, these sons of Jacob were actively involved in the spiritual whoredoms of Egypt (Ezek. 23:3). The labours assigned unto them did not draw them closer to Yehovah God nor did the hardships soften their hearts before Him. They followed after the customs and practices of the people of the land and even in the midst of signs and wonders could not see to believe in Him. The cry came at the appointed hour as the means ordained of God to begin His deliverance of His chosen people. He did not choose them because they were many for they “were the fewest of all people”. He chose them to be the manifestation of His great power and His immutability. He did not set His love upon this people out of any obligation assumed, perceived or inferred even though they represent, in type, the seed whereon His eternal love abides. He gave His Word unto Abram as He had predestinated this natural families history to come to pass and when the time had elapsed and the conditions were in order; “Yehovah brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of the bondman from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt” (Deut. 7:8).
Throughout this magnificent and wondrous period in time when the power, majesty and glory of God was made so evident that all the world could see, there was death in the pot, for there was rebellion in Israel. “Then I said unto them, Cast ye away every man the abomination of his eyes and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am Yehovah your God. But they rebelled against Me and would not hearken unto Me. They did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt” (Ezek. 20:8). The mighty works of God are seen with the naked eye and dismissed. Even as the power of God over the forces of nature and the gods of this world is clearly manifested to the natural senses of man for the children of Israel in Goshen could smell the stench of the land, hear the thunder and see the hail of fire as it smote the land before them yet this could not impart faith unto them to believe. Even when they heard the cries of the mother’s of Egypt as their first born children and cattle were eliminated before their eyes by the Messenger of Yehovah, yet they could not believe and in their unbelief was rebellion against their deliverer;
“But I wrought for My name’s sake that it be not polluted before the heathen among whom they were, in whose sight I made known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt” (20:9).
The second of these events, which was completely contingent upon the first as the children of Adam were made passive participants in the work of God, comes to pass in the wilderness. Here after crossing the sea on dry land and seeing the armies of Pharaoh destroyed before their eyes, these delivered people murmured against God and His anointed servant. The rebellion of Egypt had not been purged by the awesome display of the power and might of the Lord God Almighty. Neither had the abominations of the eyes been dispatched as they desired water and food in the desert. The natural instincts to satisfy the needs of the earthen vessel were more enticing to these chosen people than the glory of Yehovah God. Even as they contemplated returning to the land of captivity, God supplied the water from the Rock, and that Rock was ‘Anointed’ (Christ), and the bread of life which they knew not and called it ‘manna’.
He then led them through the wilderness to the foot of the mountain by the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. There was not a place that they could go or look where they could not see the hand of God around them. Here He gave them His Law; “and I gave them My statutes and shewed them My judgments, which if a man do them, he shall even live in them. Moreover I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them that they might know that I, Yehovah, sanctifies them”.
Amidst the thunder and lightning, the smoke, the fire and the earthquakes and the sound of trumpets which sounded long and grew louder and louder added to the already magnificent wonders, even though they said they would do all that God commanded, yet there was rebellion in the hearts and minds of the children of Israel. Even though they had reacted with all good intentions, “and all the people saw the thunderings and the noise of the trumpets and the mountain smoking and when the people saw it they removed and stood afar off” (Ex. 20:18) yet there was death in the pot for the natural man was present. He could receive the natural presentation of the spiritual identity of Yehovah God nor understand His works. “But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes, they despised My judgments, which if a man do he shall even live in them, and My Sabbaths they greatly polluted” (20:13). Testimony upon testimony was presented before these people, which represent the natural man in every child of Adam, and they did not, because they could not, repent nor believe. Just like Pharaoh who saw and experienced the mighty wrath of God and his heart grew only harder, so the natural man, in the presence of irrefutable proofs and splendorous demonstrations of His existence and power cannot and will not turn unto Him.
“But I wrought for My name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen in whose sight I brought them out” (20:14).
The grace and mercy of God is not a reward to the creature for obedience. Observance and compliance is not presented to the sons of Adam as a means to obtain mercy or to find forgiveness for the nature of Adam which is sinful and unclean. God never waits upon the action of any of His creation in order for His reaction so that he can work everything together for good. His purpose stands the same from generation to generation because there is no variation, variableness or even the shadow of turning in Him (James 1:17). His will was performed in the creation of man and in his fall. His purpose is manifested in the antediluvian conditions of man, the destruction by the flood and the restoration of the new heaven and new earth under Noah and his sons. And His love and mercy are upon the election according to grace is in the same manner that His wrath is upon the children of disobedience. Man’s nature is part of the will of God not a deterrent or agitator of it to it.
God was also not afraid, as some have alleged, of what the ‘heathen’ might think or what might be said among the nations of the world. It is He who has created the wicked and reserved them unto the Day of Judgment. It is He whose Word pierces even to the dividing point of bone and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12) and it is He who has caused their filthiness to be in their lewdness so what should it concern Him what they are saying about Him? And to whom shall they speak these anathemas against the creator? Yehovah God is not like the gods of mythology who need the approval and worship of man in order to exist and continue, He is and neither belief nor unbelief adds or detracts anything from His standing as Almighty God. Therefore He works all things after the counsel of His own will, including every thought, word and deed of His creation.
God did not give His Law as an alternative method of salvation. His Law demands perfect obedience from one who is without sin that He might be the acceptable sacrifice for sin. His Law condemns each and every son of Adam in its legal proclamation and demonstrates complete futility in obedience because each act of compliance only served to manifest the sin of the actors; “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight for by the law came the knowledge of sin” (Rms. 3:20).
Thus in the type the law is called the ministration of condemnation and the ministration of death; “which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices that could not make him that did the service perfect as pertaining conscience” (Heb. 9:10). Thus a stiff necked and rebellious people were given the ministration of condemnation that it might be revealed unto them their total depravity in Adam and their absolute inability to keep the Law of God and live.
The only man who perfectly kept every jot and tittle of the Law and fulfilled it in all righteousness was the Son of Man, the second Adam. As in the first all the seed of Adam were concluded under sin by reason of his one act, for all have sinned, so in the second Adam the seed is righteous by reason of His obedience. The first Adam was created finite and was separated from God in disobedience, having not the knowledge of good and evil. The second Adam is eternal yet manifested in time. He was the fullness of the Godhead as the Son of God and He dwelt bodily among His people. He is the life of the world and being equal in God He could be nothing but obedient for He could not deny Himself. Thus all His people are alive in Him and adorned with that fine linen, clean and white which is the righteousness of the saints (Rev. 19:8).
“Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me in that they have committed a trespass against Me” (20:27).
The third event took place forty years later when God by the hand of Joshua brought the nation into the land He had promised. Even though all that He was grieved with fell in the wilderness during these forty years (Heb. 3:17) yet the nature of Adam was not removed, purged or altered in any manner. God had once again gave a clear and open demonstration of His presence and power in the eyes of the entire nation along with the fact that the Manna, the cloud and the pillar had not ceased during the forty year wandering, as He brought them to the border of the land flowing with milk and honey. He brought His servant Moses up into the mount one last time and told him; “behold you shall sleep with your fathers and this people will rise up and go a-whoring after gods of the strangers of the land whither they go among them and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them” (Deut. 31:16). Even after the years of conquest under the leadership of Joshua wherein they defeated 31 kings greater than they were, the nation of Israel followed after the manners and customs of the people of Canaan. They gave their daughters for wives unto the indigenous people and took their daughters for wives for their sons. They assimilated the vulgar practices of the pagan religions, even to the point of making their sons ‘pass through the fire’ (of Molech) and had polluted themselves in all their idols, even unto this very day, over one thousand years later (20:31).
Is this yet another anti-Semitic bash against these poor and much maligned people? NO! It is a testimony to the inability of every son of Adam and the cause of the warfare that the child of grace experiences, seemingly, without end. The revelation of the awesome wonders of God is not for the purpose of reforming the Adamic nature. He reveals Himself to His people to show them that they are not of this world and neither is His Kingdom. Here is what the apostle spoke of when he said that he found a law in his members (Adam) which warred against the law of his mind, wherein he delighted after he Law of God and this is why he earnestly desired to be delivered from the body of this death. This is why Peter said that he must shortly put off this tabernacle as he was shown by the Lord and why each and every child of grace groans within awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God. Adam is of the earth, earthly and his nature is stiff necked and rebellious before God, He cannot rest in the sovereignty of God as he continually attempts to exalt himself as the eagle and make his nest among the stars (Ob. 4) nor does he find comfort in the sufficiency at the hand of the Creator. He worries about the events of the day as if he had any control over them, anticipates and speculates about the future and is completely ignorant of the many signs and manifestations of the nature and splendour of God.
“And I will purge out from among you the rebels and them that transgress against Me. I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn and they shall not enter into the land of Israel and you shall know that I am Yehovah” (20:38).
The land of the Israel of our God is not the sand and dust of the ruins in Palestine. It is that building not made with hands whose builder and maker is God. Herein dwell none but the righteous whose glory is the glory of the Father and the light of the Lamb. These are they who have been written in the book of life of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world. They are of the incorruptible seed who have not defiled themselves with woman and have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. Nothing can ever enter into this Holy city which is of Adam for he loves and makes lies. Nothing can enter in that defiles or is unclean and none of the inhabitants have either spot or blemish.
During the time of their habitation in this tabernacle, when the children are made partakers of flesh and blood, there is a refinement by the Refiners fire. Herein the wood, hay and stubble of the vanity of this world is purged from off the child, as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, until the day when they stand before the Father’s throne in that tabernacle not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Edom is that stubble and his works are wood, hay and stubble (I Cor. 3:12); these all shall be consumed by the fire. The flame of the fire is in the house of the ‘other brother’ (Joseph) and the house of the ‘supplanter’ (Jacob). There is no flame in the house of the Redeemed for there is no dross to consume or imperfections to cleanse.
This work of God is from the beginning yet when it pleases the Father to reveal Himself dwelling in the earthen vessel and the light of His glory shines bright, then there is a reckoning. It is the understanding of the vileness of sin and the need of deliverance. It is the glaring revelation of the guilt of the subject to the very law wherein they think themselves guiltless and it is an abhorrence filthy garments of this outer man. Only when the truth is revealed is the acknowledgement of the wretched man realized and the bondage of corruption understood. This is the experience of all the house of Israel.
“And there shall you remember your ways and all your doings wherein you have been defiled and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that you have committed” (20:43).
The gospel of the Anointed Salvation of Jesus Christ and His people is not only the deliverance from the just penalty of the Law and the wrath appointed thereto, but a recognition of the impotence of the flesh, the limitations of the mind and the wickedness of the heart. As the Spirit reveals these things to a sinner in hope of glory there can be neither boasting in the flesh nor arrogance of obedience before God. Herein is the man brought low and revealed to be nothing but a vessel fashioned from the dust. Jesus told His disciples that “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He emphasized the fact that in Him His people live and move and have their being while demonstrating the daily vanity of this existence. He also told them that faith is not an attribute of Adam and that without faith it is impossible to please God, for the “just shall live by His faith” (Hab. 2:4).
And so the child of grace, redeemed by the precious shed blood of the Lamb of God who came to save His people from their sin, every moment of every day, experiences the revelation of the Spirit of Holiness which shows them that they are “carnal, sold under sin” (Rms. 7:14). This spiritual understanding magnifies the corruption in Adam as the Spirit within rejoices in His goodness and the flesh without is blind to the wonders of His work. As God reveals His blessings and the fulfillment of His Word, the “isles are glad” but the people of the land remain in ignorance. The children of the Kingdom remember the teaching and ‘springing forth of peace’ (Jerusalem) as they sojourn in this foreign land and endure the contradiction of sin against themselves. The natural man strives to hold onto his aprons of fig leaves and never ceases to bring forth the fruit of the land as a sacrifice unto the King but in the Holy mountain, “there will I require you offerings and the first fruits of your oblation with all your Holy things. I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out of the people and gather you out of the countries wherein you have been scattered and I will be sanctified in you before the nations. And you shall know that I am Yehovah, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel into he country the which I have lifted up My hand to give it to your father” (20:40ff).
“Sing unto Yehovah, all the earth, shew forth from day to day His salvation. Declare His glory among the heathen His marvelous works among the nations, for Yehovah is great and greatly to be praised. He also is to be feared above all gods, for all gods of the people are idols but Yehovah made the heavens. Glory and honour are in His presence, strength and gladness are wherein He stands” (I Chr. 16:27).
This is the Lord’s doing and marvelous are His works. The testimony of assurance is the presence of the rod, which is the token of the covenant, and the absence of confidence in the flesh. The deliverance from the great house of bondage, the revelation of the Law and the inheritance of the Kingdom are not of this world and Adam cannot see them. God is not a respecter of persons. His work is all for His name’s sake and she is His Beloved.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 28, 2014