“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
The Spirit of God had impressed upon the servant of God the need for him to relate to the troubled brethren of the called out assemblies in the region of Galatia, his experience. Many religionists of this day have taken this as an example of the liberty of people ‘sharing’ their ‘testimony’ with others as a proof of salvation; no such liberty is inferred save in strict conformance to the subject of the gospel. This called out servant and chosen vessel of Yehovah was not presenting his credentials for the ministry to these brethren as the authority for what he was writing, saying and doing, he was proclaiming the “power of God unto salvation”. As he told the assemblies in Philippi, his desire was to “know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Phil. 3:10) and thus he wrote to these churches, scattered throughout Galatia, “I am crucified with Christ”.
There can be no proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ if there is no understanding by experience of the power of God unto deliverance. This knowledge by experience is all-inclusive, absolute and immutable. This is not meant to infer that the natural Adamic creature can have or discern this knowledge but that nothing can be added to that which was “finished from the foundation of the world” (Heb 4:3) for every child of grace, nor can it be altered in any manner. This deliverance existed in the beginning in Him who is Alpha and Omega, in the everlasting love of the Father for His people. This eternal love for the incorruptible seed required that the earthen vessels, formed by the Potter from a lump of clay and assigned to house this seed during the time of their habitation, must be “afore prepared unto glory” lest the Holy flesh be polluted (Hag. 2:11-14). Therefore the Lamb of God is seen by John as being “slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).
The exactness and precision of the perfect Law of God demands that the blood of the sacrifice be commensurate to the sin of the people both in nature and quantity; that is, a specific sacrifice, first born male without spot (Num. 28), for the sin offering, the peace offering, the trespass offering...etcetera. It also demands that the blood of each sacrifice be handled in a specific manner, some to be poured out, some to be sprinkled and some to be struck on the horns of the altar. There was never any provision for saving or stockpiling any blood, nor was there any permission for the offering or applying of the blood to anyone but the guilty party who brought the sacrifice for his sin. Even when the sacrifice for the nation was offered in the Day of the Atonement, that blood was sufficient for the sin of the people of Israel only and there remained no more sacrifice for sin. Each and every drop of this life of the sacrifice, be it ram, sheep, goat, heifer, bovine or turtledove, was an essential element of the rituals given in the pattern in the wilderness (Lev. 4) which was the pattern of heavenly things (Heb. 8:5). The precious blood of the Lamb of God, which was shed from the foundation of the world, was for a specific number of people, “a great multitude which no man could number” (Rev. 7:9), for their particular ‘inability’ that they possessed in Adam to measure up to the standard of the Holiness of God (sin), before Adam was formed from the dust of the earth (having not done any good or any evil that the purpose of God according to election might stand) and before sin entered into the world. Thus the sacrifice for the inability was completed before the creation of the being that was created incapable of measuring up to that perfect standard. God purposed to create Adam that way that he might perform the labours assigned unto him in the predestined manner so that sin would enter into the world and death by sin. This is the will of God for thus it came to pass.
“And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into the earth” (Rev. 5:6).
John was not given to see an altar dripping with, or the ground all around stained crimson and the garment of the High Priest splattered with blood, nor did he smell the burning of the flesh or see the smoke of the fire for he saw the Lamb standing. The vision of the revelation of Jesus Christ was that from before the foundation of the world the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah stood resurrected from the death of the sacrifice which He had made as the propitiation for the sin of His people. He did not have to wait many thousands of years until things go so bad and so far out of control that He thought it best to come and provide a remedy for His people; every child of grace stood redeemed by the blood of the Lamb before they became partakers of flesh and blood for, as they are one in Him so they stood resurrected in the Lamb.
The pattern given in the mount many years later came to the sons of Jacob as a manifestation that there already existed children of promise and it came to the nation of Israel to demonstrate that God had indeed already set apart a people unto Himself. The shed blood of the Lamb forgave His people of their sin (inability) in Adam so that the vessels, the outer garments and the houses would be cleansed from all unrighteousness and suitable habitations for that which was born from above. Since the Lamb was slain after the fashion of being ‘staked down’ (crucified) as the Redeemer Messiah was lifted up so the Bride was crucified with the Anointed One and drawn unto God not drawn away after the lusts of the flesh (John 12:32).
The name of the Lamb of God is Jesus or Jehoshua, the salvation of Yehovah. He is great and the Son of the Highest and Yehovah God has given unto Him the throne of His father David. He reigns over the house of Jacob (the children of promise) for ever and of His kingdom there is no end (Luke 1:32). He glorified the Father in all He has finished and He has authority and dominion (seven horns) over all flesh (John 17:1). He has done all things after the counsel of His own will with complete understanding (seven eyes) of all things being God. He has completed the work set before Him having His reward, His generation, with Him and He has declared the name of Yehovah in the land of the living before the congregation of the redeemed of God. He has the seven stars in His right hand which are the seven Spirits of God, the messengers (angels) of the churches of God who proclaim the everlasting gospel, which is the power of God unto deliverance;
“Thine Yehovah the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all in heaven and in the earth is your dominion, Yehovah and You have exalted Yourself above all. Both riches and honour are of You and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might and in your hand to make great and to give strength unto all” (I Chron. 29:11).
All things, whatsoever come to pass, are by the will of God for His Beloved. His desire is upon her for she is bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. She is one with Him as the Father and the Son are one (I Cor. 12:12) and therefore, being crucified with Him yet she lives. She lives because He lives and as He was raised up so she, being quickened together with Him, is raised up together with Him. If He be not raised from the dead, then she is still dead in trespasses and sin and her faith is in vain; but thanks be unto God that He is risen from the dead “and become the first-born of them that slept” (I Cor. 15:20).
The Father saw the travail of the soul of the sacrifice which He provided for (Gen. 22:8) and was well pleased, therefore is He exalted above all things in the heavens and in the earth and is seated at the right hand of the Father in His throne. His Beloved is also seated together with Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6) yet, until the time of this habitation be over, she also continues to dwell in the body of this death. She has been made subject to the vanity of this world and the bondage of this corruption by the Father according to His love for her, “not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected in hope” (Rms. 8:20). This hope is the anticipation and expectation that in the fullness of time, when the habitation of this dwelling is dissolved, the manifestation of the sons of God shall be revealed. Therefore, because she has part in the first resurrection in Him before the foundation of the world, and because she has the testimony of the Spirit within so she earnestly awaits the adoption, the redemption of the body, whereby she shall be like Him.; “Beloved now are we the sons of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him” (I John 3:2)
Each child of God, born of the Spirit and partaker of the earthen vessel, has an assigned time of habitation and labours to be performed. This includes the daily routines of life, every trial and tribulation which the Father has decreed profitable by His love and every good work they have been created in Christ Jesus unto. These are all dutifully accomplished by the will of God as He has given them life, breath and all things. He has blessed His people with strength, wisdom and spiritual understanding as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will; “according to His abundant mercy” wherein He has “begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Pt. 1:3). They do not live by the power of the arm of the flesh nor are their fruits the result of the labours of Adam for it is God who works in them both to will and do His good pleasure and they are “His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).
During the time of their journey in this foreign land, the Spirit manifests the weakness and frailties of the flesh as it is drawn away after the appetites of its nature and the allurement of “this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4). These lusts and desires are contrary to the delight of the inner man but, that no flesh should glory in His sight, God reveals the vileness and corruption of Adam in the very labours of this life He has assigned. These trials and tribulations whereby it is manifested that the tents of Kedar are black being carnal sold under sin (Rms. 7:14). And so, though they live the time assigned unto them upon this earth in this present evil generation, they live in the flesh but not by the flesh. God has left them in the world even though they are not of the world (John 17:16) and has sent His Spirit to lead them along the appointed path. This is a testimony to them that they are sons of God for whosoever has not the Spirit is none of His, yet the flesh cannot perceive the Spirit nor know His ways. Thus the life they live in the flesh they live by faith and not by sight.
“While we look not at the things which are seen but at things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen, eternal” (II Cor. 4:18).
The eyes of the flesh are distracted so easily by the wind and the waves which cause the anxiety and fears of man to grow, seemingly, uncontrolled. The nature of Adam is to look at the reflection in the mirror and as soon as he is turned away to forget what he has seen. He forgets the signs and wonders God has given in His creation, as the heavens declare the glory of the Lord, and follows after that which is right in his own eyes. He knows not the way of Yehovah; he has not the mind of God and cares not for but for the things which are tangible. The promise was given and confirmed by an oath to Abraham and yet he feared for his life when he thought that Abimeleck would kill him to take Sarai to wife. The children of Israel saw the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night yet they trembled before the army of Pharaoh. They stood at the base of the mountain as it was engulfed in flames and quaked at the presence of Yehovah God but when they lost sight of Moses, the people rose up and played. David had been anointed of Samuel, King over Israel and the hand of God was openly manifested in his defeat of Goliath. He was constantly delivered from the hands of his enemies and the relentless pursuit of Saul yet “David said in his heart, I know I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in the coast of Israel, so shall I escape out of his hand” (I Sam. 27:1). This is the frailty of man who has not faith and is governed by the carnal (in)abilities he has been given but the Israel of God is not of Adam. The children of the kingdom of light, however, walk in the light of the Lord (Rev. 21:24).
The Spirit of Yehovah God dwells within them causing them to walk after the statutes of the perfect Law of God. They keep the commandments of God because they are identical to the Rock of their deliverance from whence they were hewn; therefore they cannot deny themselves. They do not demonstrate the hereditary nature of Adam in the daily commission of evidences to their inability to measure up to the perfect standard because His seed remains; “he cannot sin because he is born of God” (I John 3:9). They are not controlled by the elder brother, the first Adam for he has been made subservient to the younger. His inabilities cause the creature within to groan in anticipation of deliverance and his pension for the things of this world are a constant reminder to the inner man that this world is not his home; he longs for that city made without hands, whose builder and maker is God. The first man lives, loves and has his being by the power of God according to the laws and subsistence of this world while the children of the King are sustained by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God as the water of life flows from within.
These walk by faith, “esteeming the reproach of the Anointed greater riches than the treasures of Egypt”. They live by the faith of the Son of God and by grace they are delivered through faith, not of themselves, for it is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8). They are delivered from the inability in Adam, delivered from the wrath of God which is manifested against all ungodliness of men, delivered from the blindness of this existence when it pleases the Father to reveal Himself in them and, when the time of this habitation is over, they are delivered from the body of this death. Though they be sons of God and heirs of the promise, yet they are made complete in all that they suffer for it is granted unto them, not only to believe but to suffer for the name of Jesus and this suffering is a manifest token of their sonship; “These are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14). This is the fellowship of His sufferings which the Apostle desired.
The power of God unto deliverance is a reality, an experience and an expectation for the children of the Kingdom of God. The blood was shed for the actual children for their inability in Adam not for children in prospect. The children that were given unto the Redeemer are for signs and wonders in Israel from Yehovah of Hosts, which dwells in Mt. Zion (Is. 8:18) and He has lost none of those whom the Father gave Him. He bore them all along, He became the sin of His people and He has raised them up in the last days. They that have been delivered, being raised up in Him, unto newness of life and they shall be delivered unto the tabernacle not made with hands which is eternal in the heavens, for he that endures unto the end shall be saved (Mk 13:13).
“Behold, God is my deliverance, I will trust and be not afraid. Yah Yehovah is my strength and song He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation and in that day you shall say, Praise Yehovah, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people and make mention that His name is exalted. Sing unto Yehovah for He has done excellent things and this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, inhabitants of Israel, for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of you” (Is. 12:2ff).
The Apostle Paul was not accrediting himself to the churched in Galatia; he was verifying the truth of the gospel. The preaching of the death of Jesus upon the cross is foolishness to those who are ordained unto destruction and insufficient to the whole of the gospel. The cross was the manifestation of the shed blood of the Lamb but the empty tomb was where Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rms. 1:4). Only the Deliverer could deliver those in need of deliverance and only those worthy of being delivered can be delivered. Thus God who is my deliverance has become my deliverer and the children of grace, upon whom the eternal love of the Father resides, are delivered daily. The ordained will of God had stripped Paul of all his accolades in the flesh that he might have hope. He was given to count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus that he might be found in Him and know the power by which He was raised from the dead. Only then could he also know the “fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Phil. 3:8ff). He could only have hope in the resurrection of the dead if he was a child of grace in a chosen vessel who had an experiential part in the first resurrection and he could only have the hope of deliverance from the body of this death if he had the hope of glory within.
“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over Him, for in that He that died, He died unto sin once but He that lives, He lives unto God. Likewise reckon also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rms. 6:8ff).
The redeemed of the Lord live not unto themselves or to the thrones, principalities and powers of this world. They are subjects to the Lord and Master over all as heirs of God. His Kingdom is not of this earth and flesh and blood have no right, nor portion nor memorial in the New Jerusalem. Only they who have peace with God may enter into His courts with praise and come before His presence with thanksgiving. They are hated of all men for His name sake, they groan within as they endure the contradiction of sin against themselves, waiting to be delivered. This is the testimony of the Spirit from faith to faith, this is the anchor to the soul and this is the assurance of salvation which the natural man cannot know though he searches for it daily.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
December 7, 2014