“And Abraham said, O that Ishmael might live before You.”
The scriptures have been given by the inspiration of the ‘breath of God’ (Spirit) as a continual testimony of the great things our God has done throughout the history of man that through the comfort of the scriptures the children might have hope (Rms. 15:4). There are many places and events, which man has in vain, attempted to confirm for his own carnal assurance and to prove so that he may gain a level of accomplishment in his quest for knowledge of God but the record was not left for that purpose. The text is solely for the household of faith who struggle in the warfare of the flesh to show that everyone, born from above being made partakers of flesh and blood, has endured the same trials and temptations and, in the flesh, have continued to demonstrate the inherent inability of man to ‘hit the mark’. These all have failed in the strength of the arm of the flesh because salvation is of Yehovah God for His people and is “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, said the Lord of Hosts” (Zech. 4:6).
The names of the people and places wherein the wondrous events of the Will of God come to pass are not given to be points of contention, wherein the academia of man is exalted and praised; nor is there to be any heed given to “fables and endless genealogies, which minister to questions rather than godly edification which is in faith” (I Tim. 1:4). The self-proclaimed learned portion of the religious society prides itself on being able to pronounce these names, having become proficient in the ‘ancient Hebrew language’, setting themselves apart from the common clave and lay people of what is called ‘Christendom’. Thus those who desire a following of religious seekers and the pre-eminence over the ignorant student have established an hierarchy in their respective groups, teaching themselves as the holders of the truth and excluding all who disapprove, “who love the preeminence among them, receives us not” (3 John 1:9).
This is completely of the nature of Adam. The continual striving to rise above the fellow man rather than bearing one another’s burdens is indicative of the way of the flesh and when one is manifested as a ‘babe in the Anointing’ only those taught of the Spirit respond in care, comfort and total understanding of the condition of that individual. The children of the King grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, which is everything that comes to pass for He works all things after the counsel of His own will, and the testimony of the Word is conveyed by the Spirit from faith to faith. The testimony of the scriptures is a confirmation of this teaching, being understood as the only rule for faith and order.
God has ordained the principle that all things be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses (Deut. 19:15). He has given the testimony of the heavens to declare the power of His glory and the firmament to show forth His handy work as all of His creation bears witness to His Sovereign command. He made Himself of no reputation, being the fullness of the Godhead in a body, and took on the form of the Elect Servant of God that He might bear witness to the Father. His works were shown to Him of the Father and His words were spoken unto Him by the Father as He fulfilled all things written of Him in the Law and the Prophets; “This is He that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood, and it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in the earth, the Spirit and the water and the blood and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater for this is the witness of God which he testified of His Son. He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself” (II Jn. 5:6ff).
“These things are good and profitable unto men; but avoid foolish questions and genealogies and contentions and strivings about the law for they are unprofitable and vain” (Titus 3:8)
The teaching of the Spirit is peaceable and profitable unto edification; the scriptures are profitable unto “doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness, that the man of God might be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim. 3:16), while the teachings of man are brutish and self-aggrandizing leading unto contentions and strife. The arrogance of the piety of man proclaims that no man should even attempt to speak the name of God, lest it be taken in vain, while the children of hope know that they cannot call upon the name of Yehovah properly in the flesh until such time as the tabernacle of this dwelling is laid aside and the pure language of the Redeemed of Yehovah is realized. They also have the understanding that as they are now seated together in the Beloved, being raised up together in Him, where they speak the name of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, whose name is Faithful and Truth, without the stammering tongue of Adam. The pride of Adam is obsessed upon every jot and tittle of the old language and esteems those who believe they have attained unto this perfection as being spiritually mature, however, the Spirit has given each and every name by the inspiration of God for a reason; the perfection of the saints, not the praise of man.
A group of the natural children of Israel were given the assignment in time to take by their wicked hands and kill the Son of God. They went about seeking to kill Him but none could move against Him until His appointed hour. The Pharisees, those with self-appointed empirical knowledge of the Law of Moses, rebuked Jesus for bearing record of Himself; He responded to them that His mission was to bear witness of the Father. They could not hear His words for they were none of His and, not having the indwelling Spirit of God, they could only judge matters after the flesh (John 8:15). They asserted that they were free men of the natural lineage of Abraham and therefore they were qualified as the chosen people of God and heirs of His kingdom, entitled to all blessings and fortunes therein. Jesus answered them saying, “Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin and the servant does not abide in the house forever”. He also told them that if they were of the seed of the ‘exalted Father of many’ they “would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39).
These men were well educated and prepared for the arguments of lineage and genealogy and when it came to the righteousness of the Law, they were convinced they were blameless; yet these are vain and unprofitable. Abram was called the ‘exalted father’ on the day when his father, Terah, gave him that name. He also gave names to his two other sons, neither of which is remarkable in any manner. He called his firstborn, ‘the exalted father’ (Abram); his second (Nachor) born he named, ‘snorting’ or ‘breathing heavily’ or ‘snoring’. His third son he named, Haran, the ‘mountaineer’; he died before his father having no children.
There is confidence in the speculations of Terah (station) that his first-born son would carry on the family name and have many children but there can be no basis for this speculation. Terah could have no confidence in the future, save in his feeble speculations and hopeful anticipations, and he had no way of knowing the times of habitation or the limitations of any of his sons, especially that his third son would die before him without an heir. Even if the ignorance of the natural mind were to admit a premonition it would also be left with the question of what, if anything could be done to facilitate such feelings. Terah was given a son in his station of life whose name was to be, at first, the exalted father but later changed to the exalted father of many. The name was given to him in anticipatory speculation by his earthly father yet it was assigned by his heavenly Father who indeed “declares the end from the beginning and from ancient times that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure” (Is. 46:10).
Abram truly came forth out of the womb speaking lies, for all men are liars, and he walked “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience”. Yet in the fullness of time, Yehovah God came to him and called him forth out of his father’s house, giving him promises of a better country, and he went forth, not knowing where he went. He was the exalted father, having his seed in him, though the manifestation of the children of promise was yet many years away.
Did Abram shake off the mortal coil and convert his Adamic nature, finding victory over his inherent inabilities in Adam? No, his deeds were made manifest as his fears and anxieties surrounded him daily, yet he continued by the power of the Spirit of God on the course he was assigned. The hand of God was revealed to him at every turn of the crooked path he was set to walk yet his natural eyes could not see and his carnal mind could not comprehend these magnificent manifestations of the love of God for His chosen vessel.
“And Yehovah appeared unto Abram and said, Unto your seed will I give this land and there he built an altar unto Yehovah who appeared unto him” (Gen. 12:7)
Several times the Lord reiterated His promise to Abram while proving that He alone is God. Abram went out of his father’s house at seventy five years of age with the promise of becoming a ‘great nation’ and having a great name. He sojourned in the foreign land, with a brief trip down to Egypt to become very wealthy in cattle, silver and gold in spite of his lies and deceit. After God separated Lot and his family from the body, Abram dwelt in the land for eleven years as the Lord revealed that his seed would be as the dust of the earth, brought about a great victory at the slaughter of Chedor-laormer and met him as the King of Righteousness and Peace. Abram then acts as if he thought God forgot what He said and introduces Eli-ezer as the steward of his house that should be heir. Once again God states that the seed of Abram’s own bowels shall be heir.
God did not reveal all the details unto Abram and after He told him that his people would be in servitude in a foreign land until the ‘iniquity of the Amorites was complete’; Saria convinces Abram that a child by a concubine would serve the purpose of God. This is not what God meant and yet when Ishmael is born, Abram is also convinced that he should be heir. The earnest desire of the exalted father is the same as any child of hope unto whom the Lord has given children. They are grieved when their children show no interest in the matters of grace and although they know that Yehovah knows them that are his, they still plead that these little ones might dwell before the Lord forever.
Thirteen year pass as Ishmael, a man ordained of God to be a wild man whose hand is against every man and every man’s hand against him, grows and matures. During this time God changed the name of Abram to Abraham as He continued to reveal the intricate parts of His magnificent Will and then changes the name of his wife from one of nobility (Sarai) to a noble woman or queen (Sarah) for “She shall be a mother id nations; kings of people shall be of her” (17:16).
To this revelation, the man who is called the friend of God, the one who believed God and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, falls on his face and laughs at the Word of God, saying in his heart, “Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? And shall Sarah bear that is ninety years old?” Twenty five years had elapsed since he left the ‘passion of the clod-breakers’ (Ur of the Chaldeans) and now the promise of God was to be made manifest.
God returned the way of nature to both Abraham and Sarah, giving them both virile seed and, making them both willing in the day of His power, His Word was confirmed by the birth of Isaac. This return of the way of women to Sarah was a two-edged sword for as Abraham journeyed toward the south and sojourned in an “holy dwelling place by the wall” (Kadesh, Shur and Gerar), her beauty was again the excuse that Abraham needed to convince her to prostitute herself to save his life (20:2). When, however, Abi-molech took her with the intent of making her his wife, Yehovah God appeared unto him in dream saying “Restore now therefore the man his wife for he is a prophet and he shall pray for you and you shall live: and if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die and all that is yours” (20:7).
What kind of prophet does such horrible things to his wife, seemingly in deference to the promise of God and acts in such a cowardly fashion, not as a man of faith but as a man full of fear and is blessed of God to walk away from this situation a second time, with “sheep, and oxen, men servants and women servants” and the injured party in the matter gives these things to Abraham and restores his wife? Certainly not one who needs to prove himself worthy of being called a prophet. Certainly not one who is under a duty obligation to be obedient in order to procure the blessing of the Lord?
Only one who has been ordained of God before the foundation of the world to the station of prophet, being perfectly outfitted for the labours assigned and made willing by the Spirit of God within is truly the prophet of Yehovah. His credentials are those which God has given him and his abilities are they which the Lord enables him to do; “for it is God that works in you BOTH to will and to DO”. He speaks not the words of man nor in the wisdom of man expecting the natural man to hear and obey because his message is not of this world. The Word he speaks is Salvation is of Yehovah and Grace unto the cornerstone; he speaks of the power of God to deliver His people.
Since God is neither the respecter of persons nor influenced by the actions of man, but rather is the author of all things, whatsoever comes to pass, He has integrated the weakness of man with his inherent inability to make an open declaration that no flesh shall ever glory in His sight or say unto Him, Lord see what I have done. Adam presented himself in the garden before God with the works of his hands, being the best course of action he could conclude to stand before Almighty God in the guilt of his actions. Yehovah God did not accept the best endeavour of the first man neither was man absolved from his trespass and sin for “unto Adam and his wife did Yehovah God make coats of skins and clothed them” (Gen. 3:21).
Abram / Abraham represents the degradation of man through many generations in which the manifestation of his corruption has built on those actions in the garden, still convinced that by works of righteousness which we have done, we may present ourselves as being resourceful and profitable before God. He could not hear the word of God nor find comfort from his natural anxieties in His promises. Yet as a child of grace, he was the friend of God who walked by the faith of the Son of God who loved him and gave Himself for him.
“For unto us a child is born unto us a son is given and the government is upon His shoulders and His name is called Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:6)
Though all the works of God were finished before the foundation of the world, yet He decreed a time in which each should be made manifested, line upon line and precept upon precept. Five hundred years before the advent of the Son of God, His name was fixed in the heavens as the Wonderful Counsellor who by the counsel of His own Will brings to pass the intent of His heart saying, “the whole land shall be desolate, yet will I not make a full end; for this shall the earth mourn and the heavens above be black, because I have spoken, I have purposed and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it” (Jer. 4:27). And again He said; “I Yehovah have spoken, it shall come to pass and I will do, I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to your doings, shall they judge you, said Yehovah God” (Ezek. 24:14).
His name has forever been the eternal Father who, like Abram, had His seed in Him but was not yet manifested, for before man was formed, the earthen vessels that the incorruptible seed should be planted in, His children are One in the exalted Father. It is the Exalted Father who made Himself of no reputation as the perfect sacrifice for sin and was slain on the altar of God, not made with hands, from the foundation of the world. That shed blood was for His Beloved who are assigned the station in life of being made subject to the vanity of this habitation and bondage of this corruption, that the Holy seed be not polluted by the dead body (Hag. 2:13). He purged out the leaven from within the house, thus afore preparing the vessel for the glory that should be revealed, and covered the vessel with the blood (atonement) struck upon the outer door posts that the wrath of God come not upon His Beloved though she be covered in the dust of the earth (Is. 52:2).
This Lamb of God was slain and resurrected before Adam was formed from the dust of the earth that His people might have Peace with God, being justified by His faith. They are the children of the Kingdom of Light who always walk in the Light of Yehovah which is His Anointed; “I am the Light of the world. He that follows Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). They follow the voice of the Shepherd and keep His commandments for another’s voice they shall not hear and though they see the law in their members, which is the law of the natural man which wars against the law of their mind, wherein they delight in the Law of God, yet they know that nothing can separate them from the love of God for it is everlasting.
The child born as a sign unto His people and the Son given, is seated in heaven ruling over the kingdoms of this world as both King and Priest in the eternal government of God’s creation (Zech.6:12f). He has builded His Temple, which is His body being raised again from the dead as the Lamb which John saw standing from the foundation of the world, and neither the gates of death nor the grave can prevail against He who has overcome the world. Nothing can come to pass which would harm the Beloved for she is His delight and He has created all things for His pleasure and nothing can separate Her from His eternal love.
Since, therefore, He reigns supreme over all that He has created, by Himself, through Himself and for Himself (for His Beloved), then all things are functioning and coming to pass in the precise order and intensity that he has decreed good for them that love Him. Since He has loved His people with an eternal love and they love Him because He first loved them, there can be nothing but peace in His sovereign command. This is a peace which exceeds and evades all the understanding of man and it keeps the hearts and minds of the Beloved in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah.
Abraham the man could not understand the purpose of God or know His ways. He did nothing to overturn or inhibit this perfect will and all that he did was in complete accord with God’s eternal decree. He failed as a man to measure up to the perfect standard of the righteousness of God but the eternal seed within walked in the statutes of God and kept His judgements to do them (Ezek. 36:27).
The Eternal Father became manifest as the Elect Servant who came to do the Will of the Father. He spoke the Word which was given Him of the Father and did the works which He was assigned. He fulfilled the Law in Righteousness and all that the Father gave to Him, he did not lose a one but raised them up together with Him declaring the generation of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah;
“Behold I and the children which You have given Me for signs and for wonders I Israel from Yehovah of Hosts which dwells in mount Zion” (Is. 8:18)
Only He can declare His generation for He alone knows His people. He calls them by the name that no man can know and He leads them in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He has decreed the failures and inability of Adam which cause the children to groan within and cry out to the Father for deliverance and though they have been made subject to this vanity, yet they have been made so in hope. Hope of the life to come when they shall be absent from the body and preset with the Lord; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
May 20, 2018