“And the Tir-shatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy thing, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.”
A most wonderful event had come to pass from the hand of the Lord in fulfillment of His word by a most unanticipated source. Evil King Cyrus had been moved upon by the Spirit of God to send forth a proclamation, throughout all his kingdom to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. The purpose of God came to pass according to His perfect will as He turned the heart of the King (Prov. 21:1) and caused the decree to be sent forth. He not only compelled the heart of the King to free the captives and set them at liberty into their own land but He also made him generous and helpful. He opened the treasury of the Kingdom to release the precious items of the temple that had been carried away into captivity seventy years earlier by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. God also made the heart of the people of the captivity who were not given a mind to return generous as they gave to the returning nation of Israel, “vessels of silver, with gold, with goods and with beasts and with precious things” and all this was willingly given. The prophesy of Jeremiah had come to pass and the children of Israel were going home.
This amazing event came to pass with perfect precision. All the appropriate elements were exactly in place with the emotions and mindset of all the actors completely aligned with the will of God. His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. He polluted His people and land and led them into captivity. He preserved the vessels of the temple for seventy years, protected a select group of His chosen people and made them willing in the day of His power to raise up and return, “to go up to build the house of Jehovah in Jerusalem”. He set Zerub-babel, Joshua and Ezra over them, strengthened their hands for the work and caused them to walk according to the purpose of His will.
These chosen and willing people made a registry of all who came forth out of the captivity for the importance of the event. This decree signified the end of the captivity as Jeremiah had foretold (Jer. 29:10) and the coming of Messiah as confirmed by Daniel (Dan. 9:25). The restoration of the nation of Israel and the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple was earnestly sought after and now, in the fullness of time, it had come to pass.
As the registry was being prepared and recorded a family came forth with a problem. The children of the servants of Solomon came and “could not shew their father’s house and their seed, whether they were of Israel” (2:59). These were given a willing heart and skillful hands for the work and had been released from captivity to return but there arose a question about their heritage and offspring. They thought they had a memorial in the mount of salt (Tel-melah) and they certainly had the necessary skills of engravers, craftsman and artisans (Tel-harsa). They assumed they had a blessing and a strong base because of what had been spoken unto them (Cherub, Addan & Immer). They indeed had been drawn of Jehovah, had been marked and identified with His people and they knew the excellence of Jehovah (Del-aiah, Ne-koda & Tobiah) but they could not show the family pedigree in either the ancestors or the children. Therefore were they set apart, not from the work, but from the people of Israel.
There are those who claim the right of heritage by a natural secession. They will bring forth the documents to prove that they are of the house of the Lord and will set forth their works and accomplishments as clear evidence of the right of inheritance. Some will present themselves in goodly apparel and claim the right of blood secession with their works as proof but these are told; “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to father” (Luke 3:8). Others will claim a right of freedom and deliverance because of this connection to flesh and blood and therefore they are blind to the need and the right of this precious provision. They say; “We be Abraham’s seed and were never in bondage to any man…” (John 8:33) but “they are not all Israel which are Israel” (Rms. 9:6).
The right of heritage in the natural world is the right of the prodigy of a family. There are many tests which can be performed these days as man and his science (falsely called) strives to understand DNA and genetics but there is no test of man which can prove that which is born of God. One who is born from above by the power of the Spirit of God is born of mother Jerusalem which is from above. These children are born not of the will of the flesh or the contrivance of the arm of flesh for this seed is an incorruptible seed which Adam could not see were it in plain sight. Those born of the Father have the necessary prodigy for they are the sons of God and they know who Father and the Son but they are not always made manifest to others.
Another group of people came forth, at the registration, who were the children of the priests (Ezra 2:61). There was no question as to if they were of the house of Levi or that they were priests assigned to the service of the Temple but they could not set forth the order of their house. These had been hidden of Jehovah (Hab-aiah) in the thorns and briars (Koz) of the ceremonies and rituals of Israel. They were hard workers who took the name of the ‘witness of the ax’ (Gilead Barzillai) to shew forth their right to the service of the Temple. But these could not shew a written history of their right of secession. They sought diligently to ‘reckon by genealogy but they were not found’. This left them polluted and unfit to participate in the work of the sanctuary but it did not separate them from the assembly.
God had established a governor over the people. He was the one set up to bring the people forth out of the confusion of Babylon, lead them hundreds of miles across hostile lands and people and to oversee the construction of the Temple of the Lord. He came forth out of the confusion (Zerub-babel) with a helper that was commensurate to the task (Ezra) as Jehovah delivered (Jo-shua) His people from their captivity. He was endowed with all wisdom and understanding, equal to the task and adventure that was assigned to him but even he could not discern the relationship of these two groups of people to the nation of Israel. He told the priest that they were not permitted to eat of the provisions of the sacrifices or the shew bread of the holy place until a priest stood up with the lights of the fire (Urim) and perfection (Thummin).
This was not a curse or banishment. The duties assigned to the priests all pertained to the Tabernacle, the Temple and the sacrifices. Everything they did was centered in the daily observance of the handwriting of ordinances and in return they ate the meat of the sacrifices, drank the wine of the pour offerings and ate the shew bread as it was changed. This meant that they were in servitude to the ministration of condemnation and death and to be set at liberty from these weak and beggarly elements was a blessing from Nehemiah (The comfort of Jehovah) who was the governor (Tir-shatha). Their inability to reckon their genealogy after the manner of man did not exclude them from the assembly or make them unsuitable for the work they had traveled over 1000 miles. They had been hidden by Jehovah from the thorns and briars that had become the sacrifices of Israel (Is. 32:13), they came from the regions of the Rock and had the testimony of iron (ax). But their genealogy was sure in the book of life of the Lamb of God and the priest who bore the Urim and Tummin testified to that in the day when He decaled His generation.
These two items were part of the holy garments that the High Priest Aaron wore in the service of the Tabernacle. There were placed over the heart of Aaron (bringer of light) in the two pouches of gold of the ephod which hung over the shoulder of Aaron. These were placed in the breastplate of judgment with the names of the children of Israel as he entered into the Holy place as a memorial before Jehovah continually and were given of Jehovah God to rightly discern matters of judgment (Ex. 28:30). After his death, each of his sons, who were set apart for the work of the ministry, wore the ephod and the pouches of gold wherein sat the Urim and Thummin as they continued to set forth the righteous judgment of God to His people. This account and the corresponding account in Nehemiah (the comfort of Jehovah) are the last reference to these items. And there is no record that this priest ever came forth with these divining methods to resolve the issues but this again is type and not fulfillment.
No man can rightly discern the mind of our great God for His thoughts are not the thoughts of Adam and His ways are not the ways of flesh and blood. No objects of the world can accurately depict the beauty of the Holiness of God nor the righteous judgment of His Law. Therefore He sent forth the Son who was chosen in the furnace of affliction and tried in the fire of the refiner. He had no wood hay or stubble to be consumed by the refiners fire for in Him was no guile or iniquity but when He who knew no sin became the sin of His people, the fire of the judgment of God was set upon Him in full force. When He arose from the grave John saw Him with His eyes ablaze with the fire and His feet as they had been brazened in the fire. He was made perfect (complete) in all that He suffered and as the High Priest of God He alone is the one who can properly present His people and declare their righteousness.
From before the foundation of the world the register of the names of the children of life have been recorded in the book of life. John saw this book in the heavens and he also saw that there was no man worthy to open it or look upon it. This book, which was sealed with seven seals, was opened by the only one worthy to open it because He had been slain and risen again from before the foundation of the world. The sin of His people and and every thought, word and deed of His people were imputed unto Him as the Righteous Judge laid upon Him all that pertained to His family. Nothing was laid upon Him that did not pertain unto the genealogy of Jesus Christ as He offered up the sacrifice for sin once in the end of the world (Heb. 9:26) for that life (eternal) has no application on those who are not of the house of the first-born. Only He is able to declare His generation before the throne because they are one in Him, given Him of the Father and engraved upon the palms of His hands. Each and every name of the house of the first-born is engraved upon the garments of the High Priest who has entered into that sanctuary not made with hands as He brings forth the exact amount of blood commensurate to the sin of His people. He stood forth in the congregation of the living (which is not of this world) and, knowing the exact number thereof, He called the host by name as said; “Behold I and the children whom Jehovah hath given me for signs and for wonders in Israel from Jehovah of Hosts which dwells in mount Zion” (Is. 8:18).
Man loves his genealogies, traditions and customs and he is prone to judge matters and people according to these vile corrupt means. The more elaborate the tradition the greater the magnitude of the presumed truth is applied. The more this presumed truth gains acceptance among other men and is substantiated by the recorded history of Adam the more it is sounded forth as undeniable, irrefutable proof and full assurance. The simplicity of the gospel is dismissed as foolishness and the sovereignty of God over all is labeled tyrannical as that which is highly esteemed of man is accepted as and taught as fact.
The testimony of Jesus Christ is in the Father for His people. He knows them that are Him as they are one in Him and they dwell in the palm of His hand. They are safe and sure and no man can pluck them out of His hands. They have the distinguishing marks of the name of the Father in their foreheads (Rev. 7:3), thy have been drawn by the love of God (Jer. 31:3), they are made willing to perform the work assigned to them (Ps. 110:3) and they shall complete the work impeccably. It is Jehovah God who works in His people both to will and do His good pleasure and He who has begun that good work shall also complete it unto the day of our Lord. His people are all the servants of Solomon (peace), they have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places and they have the testimony of the Rock dwelling in them. They shall never receive the mark of the beast of this world, they cannot hear the voice of the stranger and they shall never be separated from the love of God.
The refiner’s fire is sometime hot. It is not a fast burning flame for it lasts from the time of the birth of the flesh until the end of the time of the habitation in this tabernacle. Sometimes it appears to burn brightly because it has come across exceptionally dry fuel. It consumes all the wood, hay and stubble (confidence of man, self righteousness and all of Adam) that are of the house of Esau (Edom) and it reveal the gold, silver and precious living stones within in the fullness of time. Therefore, he that endues unto the end shall be delivered and shall stand forth in the shinning brilliance of the perfection of the Son as He had been tried in the fire. The Tir-shatha of the house of the Israel of our God has come forth as the High Priest with the perfection of the lights of the fire and He has enabled His people to eat of that Most Holy thing, His body and drink His blood
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
April 28, 2013