“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.”
The amazement and wonder that beset the Apostle was not the action only of the churches at Galatia but the swiftness of the event. The turning unto another or more appropriately the ‘laying down with’ is not something that should shock or amaze anyone who has been taught from above about the true nature of Adam. From the beginning Adam has demonstrated the created instinct of being drawn away after those things which appeal to the flesh. There was no choice made in the garden between good and evil for man did not possess that understanding. Eve was deceived by the subtlety of the serpent as she looked, considered and desired. Adam was no stronger than she was as he simply took and did eat but the instinct was present in him as he was with her throughout the entire ordeal and could not prevent the outcome. He saw nothing wrong with what she looked upon, he did not enter into a long and in-depth dissertation of the pros and cons of her considerations and he was not at all repulsed by the desire of the fruit of the tree to ‘make one wise’. This demonstrated the inherent nature of man to be attracted to those things which he concludes are beneficial to the pride of his flesh and therefore worthy of his attention.
The churches in Galatia were not of the natural nation of Israel. Though many Jews lived in the region, the Law was not delivered unto them before the Spirit opened their hearts, minds and souls to the truth in Jesus Christ. Paul was directed by the Spirit to go to this region where he preached the gospel of the completed work in Christ and forgiveness of sin in the shed blood of the Lamb of God (Acts 16:6). He returned to the area and ‘strengthened the disciples’ being comforted in their love of the brethren, fellowship to the truth and the hope which was manifested in them (18:23). Though for a while, the Spirit forbade him to preach in this region (Acts 16:6), both he and Peter wrote letters to the area before and during the first Roman siege of Jerusalem indicating that the work of the Spirit of God was manifested in this sometimes hostile and barbaric region of the world known as Asia Minor.
A band of spiritual marauders had come out from Jerusalem with the intention of introducing the law to these ‘converts’ in the places where the Law was not taught or known. These first century ‘conditionalists’ believed that faith was not enough to please the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for, as they concluded, the Law clearly said, “Hear O Israel and observe to do that it may be well with thee and that ye might increase mightily as Yehovah God of your fathers has promised you in the land flowing with milk and honey” (Deut. 6:3). These had been taught that strict observance meant righteousness and they used the scriptures as their proof. Jesus said that He had not come to destroy the Law or the prophets; “I am not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17). This was enough for these to go out with the best of intentions to help these new followers of the Way to fulfill the Law even as they had been taught of the fathers.
The key element of this ‘keeping the law’ was the tangible evidence of works, especially circumcision. If a person had tactile evidence wherewith they may confirm their conversion, convictions and discipleship the doubts and fears of uncertainty can be dispelled by sight. The wisdom of Solomon spoke to this “for as he thinketh in his heart, so he is” (Pro. 23:7) to show that what a man truly believes shall be manifested in his endeavour to keep the commandments as he is given to understand them. Yet the prophecy of the new covenant speaks on this wise; “a new heart also will I give you and a new Spirit will I put within you and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you and heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and ye shall keep all My judgments and do them” (Ezk. 36:26f). And so these missionaries went forth and still today continue to go forth with the intention of complimenting the gospel of faith with works. Herein is wisdom to know the number of man.
The attraction and the logic seemed irrefutable as the brethren in the churches of Galatia were easily persuaded to ‘lay down with’ another, away from the gospel of grace. Is this condemnation unto them? Well it is certainly not a condoning of their actions but before that Pharisaical nature is manifested which cries out, “I thank thee Lord that I am not as one of these”, remember that the fathers of the children of Israel were in no way exempt from these conclusions. The promise of the blessings given to Abram was of the power and grace of God according to the good pleasure of His will. Abram thought them to be his responsibility to carry out for, as the years passed and no heir was born unto him, he and his wife thought to take matters into their own hands so as to bring about the will of God. Isaac and Jacob were not immune either. Each makes a clear demonstration of the proclivity of the nature of Adam seeking for natural signs and wonders as confirmation of those things which God has said. The nation of Israel, so soon after experiencing the magnitude of the power and glory of God, were drawn to the basic needs of the flesh wherewith they murmured against God. Within only three days of seeing the hand of God part the sea and destroy Pharaoh and his army these people were doubting His sovereignty and condemning His will (Ex. 15:22). Then as Moses was atop the mountain in communion with Almighty God as He gave him His Law and when he was delayed in coming down, the people rose up to play. They committed spiritual fornication as they ‘lay down with’ the image of the molten calf saying, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (Ex. 32:4). This nature can be traced all the way back to the garden and father Adam’s inability to believe without tangible proof. His rebellion against God and his guilt before Him demonstrate the innate nature of the natural man, which is, that which is formed of the dust of the earth, cannot walk by faith for faith is not natural to man.
“Which is not another”
The preaching of faith plus anything is not good news to the child of grace, born from above. These are they who are born of that incorruptible seed which cannot sin and yet they are constantly engaged in warfare within, wherein the law of the mind wars against the law in the members. The satiating of the desires of the natural man through works may calm his fears and alleviate some doubts for a while as he finds solace in his active and full hands. Saul of Tarsus was such a man that kicked against the pricks for many years, but at the appointed time he was taught that true praise unto God is empty hands (Judah) and the cessation of works. God finished His creation and all the necessary works of the intent of His heart and on the seventh day He rested from all His works. The Anointed Salvation of Yehovah came forth and when He had fulfilled every jot and tittle of the Law He said; “It is finished”, “Father into thy hands I commend My Spirit and having said thus, He gave up the ghost” (Luke 23:46). Any message, no matter how it is accompanied, that does not testify to the finished work of Messiah is no good news to a poor sinner who cries out, “Lord be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
Then having completed all the work which the Father assigned unto Him, namely the glorification of the Father in the salvation of His people from their sins, He came forth “with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection of the dead” (Rms. 1:6). After three days, in fulfillment of the year of the tithe (Deut. 26:12), He and the remnant according to grace, His dead men with Him, arose from the grave (Is. 26:19 & Hos. 6:2). They have been quickened together in Him, raised again unto newness of life and are now seated together in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6). These have indeed entered into the Sabbath of the Israel of our God as all these works were finished from the foundation of the world (Heb. 4:3). Therefore if the message is of works there can be no rest; this is not good news to a child of grace.
The church of Jesus Christ has been raised up out of the dust of the corruption wherein she was planted. She was planted so that she should increase her numbers for the generation of Jesus Christ, although incapable of being numbered by man, is indeed known of God from all eternity. She was planted as seed in the dust of the corruption of Adam and his insatiable desire to demonstrate to God his righteousness and worth. She was planted in that good soil afore prepared unto the glory of being the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit which are the peaceable fruits of righteousness. When Her Head came forth, putting on His strength as in the ancient of days and fulfilling the Law in righteousness (Is. 51:9) so She was caused to “awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion, put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem the Holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake off the dust, arise and sit down, O Jerusalem, loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion” (Is. 52:1f). The inseparable, eternal unity of the Head and His body is indeed, good news to the weary traveler in this present evil generation.
The work of Jesus Christ, of redemption, forgiveness and deliverance and of the hope of glory which is the promise of eternal life, is completely separate from and foreign to any dust of the earth and so is His gospel to His people. His absolute sovereignty over all things wherein He has ordained of old the time of habitations, the labours assigned unto all for to be disciplined by and the limitations of every activity and existence is the ‘anchor to the soul’ of the ransomed few; “I am Yehovah, I change not therefore the sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6). This is the absolute predestination of the Supreme ruler of the Universe. Any who would present a Jesus who is not King of Kings and Lord over all has not the good news. Any who would have the labours of the hands of Adam and the logic of a carnal mind does not know the delight of the Law of God after the inward man and any who would add unto the Word of God has the condemnations of the curses as He has promised upon them. Therefore they are ‘anathema’.
“O that there were such an heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it might be well with them and with their children forever” (Deut. 5:29).
The heart of Adam cannot receive the things of the Spirit neither can it know them. Adam is indeed a very religious being but he is of the earth. He does not have the mind of God, though he knows good and evil, and he cannot comprehend His ways. God has fashioned the natural man this way and has put the things of this world in his heart that he cannot find out the work which He does from beginning to end. Some may say this is cruel and unfair but God has ordained it to be so for the express purpose that no flesh shall glory in His sight. Man may in his attempt to please God swear that he will keep (Ex. 19:8), claim that he does keep the law of God (Luke 18:21) and profess that according to the righteousness of the Law he is blameless (Phil. 3:6). This is the strong delusion that he has been given in the natural mind, to believe himself capable and the work of his hands necessary. The Word of God is that there is no such mind in man that can understand the truth.
Adam hid himself in the garden because he knew that his ‘subtle craft was uncovered’. When they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree and their eyes were opened they knew without a shadow of a doubt that there had been a change and they hid themselves. The fear of Adam was not that he was guilty before God but that his deeds had been as revealed as the nakedness of his body. He attempted to make a covering for himself and his bride to conceal from God their exposure. This conscience endeavour to cover themselves is based in the understanding of the need for the atonement but aprons of fig leaves could never accomplish that which the shed blood of the Lamb has sufficiently supplied to every tabernacle of clay wherein dwell the children of light. Nor can the polluted hands of man fashion anything acceptable before God.
However, every child born from above, being devoid of the carnal mind, fears God by a complete and perfect reverence of His Lordship over all. The children of the kingdom know and love their King. They sing the praises of His name for He alone is worthy. He has taken the book and loosed the seals thereof and that which was written from the foundation of the world has been revealed, that is, the new names of the redeemed of Israel. These keep His commandments for they have been born of that incorruptible seed. They do not keep the types and foreshadows which stand in ceremonies, rituals and death. They keep the perfect law of God because they have the testimony of Jesus Christ whose name is Faithful and True. He has finished the work set before Him and has declared His generation and so it is well with Him and His children forever.
“O that they were wise, that they understood this that they would consider their latter end!” (Deut. 32:29).
God has made the wisdom of this world to be foolishness before Him (I Cor. 3:19). He has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; the base things of the world and things which are despised, He has chosen and the things which are not to bring to nought the things that are, so that no flesh should glory in His sight (I Cor. 1:27ff). He has closed their ears that they cannot hear, blinded the eyes of man so they cannot see and He has made their hearts fat; “lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and convert and be healed” (Is. 6:10). He has purposely made the natural man this way because “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 15:50). Yet He has also given the natural mind to contrive many ways to explain life, death and the essence of eternity. His rituals are as elaborate for life as they are for death and as various are the imaginations of the carnal mind so are the explanations of the latter end.
Some believe that life ends in oblivion as the ‘life force’ simply ‘winks out’ of existence. Others believe that they are absorbed into the cosmos and become a continuation of the energy of the universe. Yet the religious mind of Adam has contrived many ways in which he thinks to appease God and earn his way into eternal bliss; the keeping of the law of God is foremost in this opinion. He envisions that works of righteousness which he has done shall assuage the justice of God. By this he impugns the perfection of holiness which is the essence of the Godhead with the impudent assertion that God is a respecter of persons. His finite mind cannot comprehend how God would give such and elaborately detail of rites and ordinances that could never be kept of man. How could God ever find someone guilty of not keeping His Law if He created them incapable of keeping it in the first place? Yet the very nature of the Law demands that whosoever is under the Law and obligated to keep it is already concluded to be a sinner. “Knowing this, that the Law was not made for the righteous man but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and the sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust” (I Tim. 1:9ff).
Therefore the handwriting of ordinances was given to demonstrate to those quickened in Him the vileness of sin. The Law of commandments, being Holy and Just, which was ordained unto life, is found unto death, for sin, taking occasion by the commandments, deceives and slays the keeper in guilt before God (Rms. 7:10). God intended that the Law never be kept by the natural man for only those born of God can keep His commandments for only they have the Spirit of the Most High dwelling in them. When in the fullness of time, God reveals Himself dwelling in the vessels of mercy, then the deception of being blameless by obedience is replaced with guilt by nature and impudence. Adam stood guilty before God in the garden for that he hearkened unto the voice of his wife and did eat and that he attempted to hide the matter from God. He fashioned his understanding of the atonement, lied before the omniscient Master of the universe and then had the audacity to try and place the blame on Him. The Law, given to Moses and the nation of Israel as the type of the spiritual heavenly thing, was an explanation by the habitual practice of traditions that Adam is carnal sold under sin.
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (I Cor. 10:11f).
The record left unto those who have been given to flee from the wrath of God and stand fast in the perfect liberty of grace, is that they still dwell in the booths of captivity. This is why the Spirit within groans awaiting the deliverance from the body of this death and the manifestation of the sons of God. The light of His glory shines bright in the heart of the children as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, they see more and more the wretched man that they are in Adam. They are given to experience the contradiction of sin against themselves, the weakness of their infirmities and the vanity of this world. They see the apparent comfort of the wicked and ask, “Lord, how long shall the wicked triumph? How long shall they utter and speak hard things and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?” (Ps. 94:3). This is not a cry of concern for the world; it is the cry of the child of grace who in the struggle asks, “why am I thus”.
The love of the Father is manifested for His children in that He has left them a testimony of those who have traveled the path before. He reveals that these trials and tribulations and the temptations wherein they are drawn away after the lust of the flesh are common unto all who are partakers of flesh and blood. There has never been a child of the Kingdom who has not found the waters of this land bitter, found that there is neither bread nor meat to sustain them and found themselves, their ways and their beliefs contrary to the people of the land. Yet at the same time they have found that this Adamic nature through the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life desires those things which are offensive to the King and His Kingdom; “but God knows the hearts, for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).
Take heed therefore, you who have this precious faith and the hope of glory, for wherein we think ourselves confident and sure is the very arena wherein the hand of the Lord shall bring us down to show us our weakness in Adam. As long as we inhabit the tabernacle of this dwelling, we are susceptible to the vanity of the world wherein we have been made subject. We have in the flesh this need for tangible proof and the feeling of accomplishment and worth. In these feelings we are drawn away and when that lust has conceived it brings forth the manifestation of death.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1).
This liberty is neither of the will of man, nor by the works of his hand. The true gospel of Jesus Christ proclaims it to; “Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit saith Yehovah of Hosts” (Zech. 4:6). Esau/Edom/Adam is the elder and he has been made servant unto the younger Jacob, the child of promise. If we stand, we stand by grace alone and that by faith which is the fruit of the Spirit and the gift of God. Adam is constantly drawn away after the delights of his heart and though the path we walk may indeed lead into the valley of the shadow of death, yet this is a demonstration of His love for His people, who fear no evil, for His rod and His staff comfort them.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) chet Dirkes
July 20, 2014