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Genesis 15:1

“After these things the word of Yehovah came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am your shield and your exceeding great reward.”

The promise of Yehovah God came to His servant Abram in separate stages but it outlined the purpose of God according to election. The Lord promised Abram that he would have an heir that would be of his loins and, although she was barren, he would be born unto Sarai, his wife. God told him that he would be the father of many nations and as a token of that promise, He changed his name to Abraham. He told him that his people would be “as the dust of the earth” and that they would inherit the land wherein Abraham was a stranger. Then after the battle of the kings, wherein Abram was blessed of the Most High God, “possessor of heaven and earth” to overcome his enemies, this vision was sent to reaffirm the promise of God and to expound on the extent of His Word.

These things came to Abram because he was a chosen vessel of God wherein dwelt the incorruptible seed, born from above. The seed of Adam, the earthen vessel formed from the dust from the earth, was as fearful and uncertain about life as his seed is today and so when Yehovah God spoke to His servant He began by saying, Do not be afraid because Yehovah God was not only his defense but also ‘your hire is becoming abundant’. The God who had set the time of the habitation of Abram and had established the limitations thereof was protecting His chosen vessel as He increased and multiplied his rewards or the banquet of his labours. Time and chance was happening to Abram as God revealed. Himself in him and caused His servant to grow in the grace and knowledge of His will

This fear is inherent to the nature of Adam and is exacerbated by all that he sees, hears and imagines because he cannot explain or understand these things. The winds and waves were nothing uncommon to the fisherman Peter, but when he was bid of the Master to come and ‘walk on the water’ the very things that made up his station in life became a dreadful fear unto him as he cried out, ‘Lord save me’. Even though God had spoken to Abram calling him out of the land of the Chaldeans, instructing him to leave his father’s house and guiding him to the land of Canaan, yet now, this child of the dust was afraid.

God did not come to Abram because he was a good prospect to be obedient and faithful to the instruction God would give him. He did not choose him because he was great or mighty and it was not because of any belief that Abram exhibited towards God. God came to him because he was chosen of Yehovah as a subject of His grace, unto whom, in the time appointed of the Father, God revealed Himself dwelling in him. This is founded fast and sure in His eternal love for His children, manifested during the time of their habitation in the flesh because “the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal (the shed blood of the Lamb), the Lord knows them that are His” (II Tim. 2:19).

Therefore Abram, the vessel, was afore prepared unto the glory of housing the seed which was born of the Spirit; a child of God. The eternal incorruptible seed is the object of the love of God, who, before the foundation of the world, shed the blood of the Lamb as the atonement and propitiation of the sin of His Beloved in Adam. The seed cannot be contaminated, blemished or corrupted because it is hewn from that Rock whose name is Faithful and True. The seed is eternally righteous and pure in Him, therefore God put to the account of His righteous son Abram, faith, which was revealed and manifested when he believed God.

The promise that God gave was a continuation of the promise He had been revealing to Abram through the every day occurrences in his life. Now that He had isolated him from Lot and given His blessing unto him through the manifestation of My King of Righteousness (Melchi-zedek), Abram, like Peter many years later, speaks out of pure Adamic ignorance and asks if his steward of the house, Eliezer of Damascus, will be his heir? God confirms that the heir shall come from his own bowels and then brings him forth abroad and gives the next installment of the promise.

“Look now toward heaven and tell the stars, if you are able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall your seed be” (15:5).

Yehovah God told this aged man who had no children and a barren wife that he would be the father of so many children that they would constitute a number “which no man could number”. This indeed was a hopeful prospect for Abram, who indeed is the father of many nations, but God caused “an horror of great darkness” to come upon him and continued with the revelation of this promise. He gave him this experience of “intense terrible blackness’ as the setting for the confirmation of His promise. He did not send an heavenly choir or an angelic messenger or some silver tongued preacher to confirm His oath; He caused the natural man of the flesh to tremble because of the uncertainty of the darkness as He said to His Beloved child, ‘Do not be afraid; Know with certainty that your seed shall be a stranger in a land not their own and shall serve them and they shall afflict them four hundred years’ (13).

How could these things be? How could God lift his hopes in giving him a promised land and then proclaiming that he would have an enormously large family that was going to suffer for four hundred years? This is indeed one promise and it stands in type of the experience of every child of grace as they become partakers of flesh and blood.

God manifested His promise in the manner of the country of two rivers (Shinar). The one represents the natural seed (dust of the earth). Herein the nation of Israel stands as the natural man with all his weaknesses and frailties. These sons of Jacob and Israel demonstrate that the flesh is incapable of being obedient to the commandments of God unto life and disinclined to heed the warnings and admonitions given by God. Even though to this people God gave the handwriting of ordinances with all signs and wonders in the heavens yet, having eyes to see, they saw not and having ears to hear they heard not. This is the inherent nature of Adam.

The other river is representative of the sons of God (stars of heaven). Both groups are of an immense number but as the dust of the earth is tangible and could, theoretically, be counted, yet the stars of heaven are beyond finding out. So it is that the children of faithfulness are a number which no man can count. Unto these the promise of life is not contingent upon obedience or the observances of outward works or inward intentions. These keep the law of God because of His Spirit within and they are obedient to His ways because they are born of God. They are eternal and the cares, effects and vanity of this world cannot alter them or separate them form the Father in any manner.

The next part of the promise of God relates to both rivers. The natural nation of Israel was strickened with the famine of the land and driven into Egypt. Here God had prepared a way and the means of escape for His chosen people that they should be delivered from the great catastrophe that He had brought upon all nations. Here also the seed, hidden within as leaven in a measure of meal, was transported in the earthen vessels into the land of ‘double entrenchments’ (Egypt) to live under the tutelage of ‘the great house’ (Pharaoh). The natural nation was given a land to live in which was not theirs, they lived in houses that they did not build and they ate of the food which they neither toiled nor laboured for. God had properly equipped this people with a skill that met the need in the land, for it was abomination for the Egyptians to tend to flocks, as He indeed blessed the nation with all necessary natural elements commensurate to their station in life. He had sent His appointed deliverer before them to prepare a place for them and gave him an heart to forgive, shew mercy and receive them into the abundance of the land. The intentions of the brothers were unto evil but God had ordained them unto salvation therefore He gave Joseph to embrace his brother and absolve all guilty parties.

Here also the seed did dwell in the earthen vessels waiting the manifestation of the fulfillment of His promise of deliverance. When the time period appointed of the Father had come and He had raised up the ‘great house’ (Pharaoh) in hatred for the ‘other or next brother’ (Joseph) and with animosity and fear to the people of the ‘savior of the land’ (Zaph-nath-pa-a-ne-ah) the afore promised subjugation began. Four hundred years of servitude and affliction was set as a blessing to both rivers. To the natural man these came into the land twelve sons of one man but they left as a great nation of people. God gave them to be “fruitful and increased abundantly and multiplied and waxed exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them” (Ex. 1:7). They came down to Egypt with little short of nothing to eat and were strengthened and revived by the abundance of the land. Thus the natural blessings of God upon His people were the basis for the fear that was felt in the ‘great house’ and the four hundred years of servitude that followed.

This subjugation to the ‘great house’ caused the people to cry out unto the Lord for deliverance and was no doubt the cause for many questions and concerns about the validity of the ‘promise’ of God. Abram had no children and inquired of Yehovah ‘How can these things be’ since he was nearly an hundred years of age? Sarai laughed and asked; “Shall I, which am old, of a surety bear a child?” Isaac entreated Yehovah for his wife. Rebekah, who was barren as he too wondered about this promise of lineage; Jacob doubted and fear all his life; Joseph wondered how the promise of the vision of God could come to pass as he was taken into Egypt and now his children also wondered; Where God was and if they should be delivered? This is the same question asked by the disciples when Jesus showed them the ‘signs of the times’; “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled” (Mk.13:4). This was the natural reaction of the sons of Adam in their appointed station of life which was part of the blessing given to Abram many years earlier.

This represents the condition of the incorruptible seed also. God has afore prepared the ground wherein the seed is to be planted (every man in his order), which is the earthen tabernacle afore prepared unto this glory. God has made the seed subject to the fears of the ‘great house’ not because of anything which the seed had done but because of who the seed is. The nation of Israel did nothing to deserve the wrath of Pharaoh (rather Joseph had saved Egypt and made her great) and his paranoid delusion was completely unfounded yet God had put enmity in his heart for Israel. The holy seed cannot fall short of the glory of God, who is not a respecter of persons and does not reward or punish in response to actions, therefore there is no guilt here on the part of the sons of God to warrant the subjection to vanity. The natural mind of man will inquire; “Master who did sin, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” (John 9:1) but the ways of God are not controlled by the actions of His creation, therefore as He has purposed in His heart and spoken by His Word so the seed was made subject to the vanity of the ‘great house’ “not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected in hope” (Rms. 8:20). The natural persecution and subjugation of the sons of Jacob represents the persecution of the law in the members of Adam which wars “against the Law of my mind and bringing me into the captivity of the law of sin, which is in my members” (Rms. 7:23).

This ‘blessing’ of the promise of God is to manifestly demonstrate the weakness and frailty of the natural man and the hope of salvation in the “prisoners of hope” (Zech. 9:12). This is the “manifest token of the righteous judgment of God” (II Th. 1:5) without and the earthly representation of the life of a child of the kingdom of the Israel of our God while he is a partaker of flesh and blood. The promise given to Abram was that this servitude would be for four hundred years and when that time had been fulfilled; “And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years (the thirty years that Israel dwelt in Egypt before the oppression began), even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the host of Yehovah went out from the land of Egypt” (Ex. 12:41). This was indeed a literal four hundred years but it is a type of the duration of subjection that God has given to His seed. The number four represents the expanse of a matter as well as the limitation of all things. The curtains of the Tabernacle were of a certain measurement and the edges were ‘enfolded’ upon themselves to demonstrate the nature of God as these showed the “breath and length and the depth and height; and to know the love of the Anointing, which passes all knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:18). The messengers of God held the “four winds of the earth that the wind should not blow on the earth, or on the sea nor on any tree” (Rev. 7:1) as a manifestation of the all inclusive nature of the decree and commandment of God. The earth was destroyed by forty days and forty nights of the deluge, Moses was forty years in preparation to go to Egypt and deliver Israel and Israel wandered for forty years until “the sin of the Amorites was full”. (These ‘sayers’ {Amorites} are the pride of the heart of man whereby Adam is deceived, the hidden secrets of his errors and the arrogant presumptuousness of his nature.) The four hundred years, therefore represent the duration of time and all encompassing nature of events deemed necessary of Yehovah to cause His beloved to be made perfect in all that He endures; “For though He were a son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him” (Heb. 5:8). Thus the contradiction of sin against Himself is the carnal nature of Adam which every child of God is made to be sold under and the cry of Israel is the groaning of the Spirit waiting to be delivered from the body of this death; “For the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rms. 8:21)

“So shall your seed be”

The children of God are those who are born of the Spirit, born from above. These are they whom the Father gave unto the Son to redeem from under the curse of the Law. They are sanctified by God as the Holy Seed, eternally joined unto Him as Levi and “preserved in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah” (Jude 1). These become partakers of flesh and blood (every man in his order), in a vessel fashioned from the same lump of clay as all of Adam’s race and manifested in the time of their habitation. No man can identify them, tell them or count their number, which is a remnant. These are they “which are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (john 1:13). They are eternal and inseparable from the Godhead being one in the Anointing.

The Spirit of God bears witness with the Spirit of the children that they are sons of God and the flesh cannot comprehend this. The Spirit compares spiritual things with spiritual things but the natural man cannot receive these wonders neither can he know them. These children have a promise of a city not made with hands wherein no man shall ever enter, a tabernacle no made with hands eternal in the heavens and a New Jerusalem wherein nothing shall enter that loves or makes a lie. These, being joint heirs with the Messiah, have their inheritance, which is the fullness of God Himself just as Abram and his seed had their natural inheritance in him. As all Abrams seed was in him and constituted a mighty nation so the incorruptible seed is eternal in Messiah. When God manifested the fulfillment of His promise in type, under the ‘King of peace’, Solomon, saying, “Bless Yehovah that hath 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 Moses His servant” (I Kings 8:56) so is it in the true King of Peace for all the sons of God. They have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenlies in the Anointing (Eph. 1:3) and having been raised up together with Him they are indeed seated together in heaven in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah (2:6). They have been given “all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding 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. 1:4). This is the hope, by which the children are delivered, that is sustained by the subjection to vanity, “which according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Pt. 1:3f).

And when the time of this habitation is over and the tabernacle of this dwelling is dissolved, then shall the manifestation of the redemption of the body be revealed. This is the adoption whereby the heirs, though sons of God, are manifested to have been made like the Son; for when He shall appear they shall be like Him for they shall all be changed. The corruption of the body of this death shall have “put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (I Cor. 15:54).

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world does not know us because it knew Him not. 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; for we shall see Him as He is” (I John 3:1f).

The hope of the promise of God is manifested in the paradox of the experience of the children; they are drawn away after the lusts of the flesh in Adam and are caused to groan in travail waiting to be delivered. It may be speculated upon as to when the cry of the children of Israel began or when they began to seriously doubt the promise of the “land flowing with milk and honey” but there can be no question that in the fullness of time, when all necessary elements of persons places and things were fulfilled, God came to Moses, “And Yehovah said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land unto a good and large land, unto a land flowing with milk and honey…” (Ex. 3:7). He then manifested in the sight of all nations His sovereign power over all things and His salvation as He parted the seas and drowned the armies of the ‘great house’. The people, however, were still forty years from entering into that land and when they did enter into it, they fought to conquer it and could not drive out the inhabitants of the land. This is natural but the promise is spiritual.

God has brought His people out of the bondage of the corruption of this ‘great house’ in that Christ has abolished the law of types and foreshadows, which is the ministration of condemnation and death, in His flesh. But He has not returned them to the weak and beggarly elements of this world. He has not brought them into a land wherein dwell the Canaanites but His promise is that He “will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them: and I will plant them upon their land and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith Yehovah your God” (Amos 9:15). This is what John saw in the revelation of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah (Rev. 22:1ff). This is the surety of His promise, the comfort to his people and the hope of the Israel of our God. Though for now they are “strangers scattered throughout” yet are they “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah” (I Pt. 1:1).

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations, knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:3).

Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 20, 2015
Snow Hill Assembly