“Speak to Zerub-babel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;”
The time spoken of by the prophet had come to an end as the heart of the king was turned to the people of Israel. God had sent this people into the captivity of Babylon for the sin of the people and as He promised He had delivered them to return. He put it in the heart of the evil King Cyrus to provide for them those things which were needed for the safe return to the land and the reconstruction for the Temple. This magnanimous gesture and enormous financial outlay came about according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God who had decreed that the types and foreshadows were not yet complete.
The nation of Israel stands as a type of the dealings of God with His people in the midst of the elements and conditions of His creation. The nation demonstrates over the centuries the inability of the natural man to understand and learn from that which God has placed in plain view for all to see. He separated this people from the nations of the world and blessed them to increase in number, like the sands of the sea, and, through various methods and means, to advance to a military power and financial leading in the world. These came neither by the cunning dealings of man nor by the strength of the arm of the flesh, for as was Jacob, so was Israel the smallest of people, devoid of redeeming qualities.
Jacob swindled his brother for the birthright and deceived his father for the blessing of inheritance. He fled home rather than face his accuser and, entering into a poorly designed and deceitfully executed contract, spent 20 years in servitude to Laban. When, against all naturally anticipated conclusions he entered into another contract with his father-in-law, he became wealthy as the undesirable animals multiplied and became his, he departed the house of Laban amidst accusations of theft; yet the hand of God directed him.
It was by the sovereign leadership of the perfect purpose of God that Jacob’s family grew and that through animosity and jealous hatred that they were brought into Egypt to be protected and nourished. He made them physically strong as they grew into a mighty nation but without an advocate they were lost in obscurity; but this was not the will of God.
He sent unto them Moses and gave them deliverance from the ‘great house’. He led them by the way with the pillar of fire and the cloud by day to the place where He would reveal Himself and give them His law. Yet in the midst of the grandeur of this splendid pageantry of wonders in the heavens and upon the earth, the people were a stiff-necked and rebellious people from the beginning. Nothing that God showed them or gave unto them for their sustenance and protection did anything to change the nature that he had given to Adam when He formed his from the dust of the earth; “for dust you are and unto the dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19).
Now at the conclusion of 70 years of captivity and bondage at the hand of the kingdoms of the north, God has once again delivered this people from their captors and set them in the land which He promised unto Abram. Was there a wholesale turning unto Yehovah for the wonder that he performed? No! Was there even the acknowledgment of the hand of God in these proceedings? Not at all! The people, indicative of every child of the dust, continued to ignore the work which God was doing in their midst and, like the dog to his vomit, returned to their pernicious ways. Personal agendas for prominence and gain gave way to the desire to rebuild the Temple and the peer pressure of the world caused the heart of the people to faint within until an appeal was sent to the King concerning this matter.
Had the seventy years of Jeremiah been completed? What was the intention of Cyrus, King of Persia, those many years ago? Was this politically advantageous to allow these people, who had caused such problems in the Middle East, to resurface and claim their right to the land? Who was this Yehovah that they said they worshipped? Is He not the same God that did not protect them when the armies of Babylon overthrew their kingdom and destroyed His Temple? The exuberance of the prospects had diminished to the doldrums of life and the work had been halted being interrupted for 16 years. Where was the promise? Where is the sign of His coming? Where is our God? What was going on?
“This people say, The time is not come that Yehovah’s house should be built”
God has never left His people without a sign for He knows our frame that it is dust. He has set forth signs and wonders of His great love for His people in the natural world yet the nature of Adam does not appreciate them. He has provided the course of nature for the benefit of the creatures of the air, the sea and the land give such as is needed for His purpose. He sends for the former rains in the areas where the crops that should grow do flourish and He withholds the rain from the areas of drought so that none who are to flourish have perished or that which is destined to destruction have lived.
The adversities which God interwove into the fabric of these events indeed gave evidence of the confusion of strife and contention of the ways of Adam but God intended them for good. He brought forth this people from their captivity in great joy and anticipation of the return and resurgence of the nation of Israel but He continued to humble them through trials and tribulations. He showed them that these events did not come to pass because of their repentance unto Him from their evil ways nor had the diplomatic jousting in the courts of Cyrus manipulated the time or particulars of these events in history. The same God that told Abram to go forth for He was with him and told Joshua to fight the enemies of Israel for Yehovah of Hoists was with him, planned, orchestrated and actuated the deliverance of His people. But just as in all other accounts, the people were not thankful, becoming vain in their own deceits as the pride of the heart deceived them.
From the beginning, man has been in a continual loop whereby he repeats every natural trait and attitude that have always been from generation to generation in demonstration that we are all of one blood. The constant manifestation of the natural blindness to the mercy of God, together with the arrogant disposition of the mind and the knowledge of good and evil gained in the garden have deceived the sons of Adam into believing that they have worth before God. The apron of fig leaves passed on by our father has given the delusion of a guiltless impenetrability by the righteous judgment of God as each is drawn after the desires of the flesh which cannot satisfy. And so when the nation of Judah was brought forth again out of captivity by the outstretched hand of Almighty God, they were blind and indifferent to His greatness.
Not only had God turned the heart of the king and delivered His people but He had also provided all that was needful for the resettlement of the land; yet in the presence of public opinion, the people halted the work and for 16 years waited in apathy until the Word came unto the prophet. The Word was unto he that ‘grows or shoots forth out of confusion (by mixing)’ who was the son of ‘one desired of God’ who was the ruler over the house of praise. With him was the salvation of ‘Yehovah’ the son of the ‘righteous Yehovah’ who was the high priest. These two stood with the people in representation of the heavenly reality of the true Israel of our God.
The children of the kingdom of light have been made partakers of flesh and blood. They have experienced each and every wind of doctrine and corruptions of the flesh which has been given them which may for a moment grant comfort and solace but no peace. When, in the fullness of time, the Father reveals Himself in His people, their eyes are open to the truth. They see that those things wherein they had confidence were as a festering pile of dung and where once they thought themselves alive, they now find that they have been slain by the Law of God. These have come out of the inability of the confusion of man’s philosophies and convictions, which have been mixed together with the opinions and pleasures of the flesh, resulting in a festering pot of ointment which to the world may appear soothing, but there is death in the pottage.
These are not left to find their way or to grope about to find the truth. They have One who came forth out of the confusion of the religious, moral and philosophical calamity called Israel. He came into this world to do the will of the Father and to deliver his people from their inability in Adam. His work was the manifestation, in time, of that which was finished before the founding of the world as He demonstrated the simplicity of the gospel. He took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh in identification of His brethren, and was tempted in ALL points, like as to we are, yet without sin. He fulfilled the Law in all righteousness and nailed the handwriting of ordinances upon the tree, taking them out of the way. He is Zerub-babel for He came forth out of the corruption, decay and desolation of natural Israel to manifest the true Israel.
He is the head of the body and as He has done so is done to and by the body. He proclaimed the liberty of grace and the love of God for His Beloved yet He also set forth the power of God over sin. His death was the required payment for the inability of His people in Adam and His resurrection showed the approval of the Father for the travail of His souls. Therefore He is seated at the place of authority of the Father and has been given all power over all flesh. He alone is worthy to be praised (Judah) for He has overcome the world.
“I will shake heavens and earth and I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms, destroy the strength of the nations, overthrow the chariots and those that ride in them and the horses and their riders shall come down”
The Word of Yehovah came again, exactly as it had come before and shall ever come to His appointed servants proclaiming the power of God unto salvation. He announces for all to hear (yea only he that has ears to hear will hear) that it is He and He alone who can and has overthrown all the wickedness of this world. He alone is the Creator of all things for His good pleasure and He alone has the right, the power and the will to overcome the devices of man, the ways of the wicked ones and the vanity of this world.
He proclaimed unto His servant Joel that the heavens would shake when his army be manifested in the “day of darkness a day of clouds and thick darkness as the morning spread upon the mountain: a great and strong people, there has never been like unto and shall never be any more after, to the years of many generations” (Joel 2:1). It is in these days and at that time that the Spirit of the Most High was to be poured out upon all men as Yehovah shows forth signs and wonders in the heavens. Some may say that these days are yet to come but Peter announced that this was fulfilled in the day of Pentecost after the resurrection of Messiah. Indeed the day of the Lord has been manifested and all flesh has seen it together. The good news unto all nations is a light to lighten the nations and the glory of His people Israel but it is also when the wrath of God was manifested as being poured out upon the ungodliness of man.
Joel stated that before this great army went a consuming fire; the same fire that engulfed the mount where Moses received the Law. This is the furnace of affliction wherein the Refiner’s fire consumes the wood, hay and stubble of Edom and the lake of fire wherein the wicked one and his messengers reside. Just as the elect are seated in the heavenlies in Messiah, yet in the flesh they perceive it not, so the wicked were cast into the lake of fire and perceive it not. The redeemed of the Lord have been marked with the blood of the Lamb, shed from the beginning, so that the angel of death shall pass them over. But the wicked are naked before the throne of God and His wrath is a consuming fire upon all whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb.
He has come forth as the One riding the red horse and in judgment He has overcome the world. He has power over all flesh (John 17:1) and He has taken that power and has reigned (Rev. 11:17) therefore He alone is worthy of all praise and honour, glory and power.
“...And I will make you as a signet for I have chosen you says Yehovah of hosts”
The signet is the sign of authority and of the rightful heir. The King uses it to seal his work and affirm his word. Many come and pay homage to the ring or even kiss the ring in a sign of servitude but no one but the king and his heir has a right to the signet.
God has made those whom He has brought forth out of the confusion by His salvation as a signet for they have been sealed. They are the children of the King and as children are the heirs of God and joint heirs in the Beloved. He has set His seal upon them like the blood upon the door posts for that blood was shed for them. They have also been further identified by being sealed with their Father’s name in their foreheads, given the pure language whereby they call upon His name aright (Zeph. 3:9) and as children enduring the proving of their faith, they cry out, Abba, Father. These calling upon His name are delivered because they are sons of God, born from above, preserved in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah and called.
The prophet proclaims that God is to be sought after for this is the labour which God has assigned unto man yet He is not found through the devices and good intentions of man. I am found by them that did not seek after Me is the Word of God (Is. 65:1) and Jesus told His disciples, “You have not chosen Me, I have chosen you” (John 15:16). Since the natural man cannot understand the things of God, for His ways are not the ways of man, then to seek after God with the mind, imagination and superstitions of man is to seek that which cannot be found. To attempt to hear and understand the Word of God without the ears to hear is to try and cure the deaf through sound and to show the Savior unto man is to ask the blind to read or the lame to walk. Such were the people whom Jesus came to and as the ears of the deaf were opened they heard the truth and understood the lie, which is the number of the man. As the lame walked and were no longer needing for one to help them and tend to them, they rejoiced in the forgiveness and mercy of God but they soon learned the cruelty and contentions of life and as the eyes of the blind were opened to see, they saw the beauty but endured the spurn of man.
Thus the signet is the testimony that one truly is a son of the kingdom and when he endures the tyranny of the throne, he also reminded that the powers that be are ordained of God for good. When the strength of the arm of the flesh seems insurmountable, he is shown that the race is not to the swift nor the victory to the mighty. And when the events of this world appear to be traveling head-long for destruction and chaos, he is reminded, by the testimony within, that God sits in heaven and rules over the kingdoms of this world.
He that came forth out of the confusion was the ruler in the land of praise for His desire is upon Yehovah. His delight is in the Law of Yehovah and His love is upon the Beloved. Therefore He has overcome all things by the power of His will for the Beloved. He has given this testimony unto His children and they are comforted in the truth that “the foundation of God stands sure” for there is no other foundation which any can lay save Jesus Christ the righteous; “having this seal” where in He has engraved the name of His Beloved upon the palm of His hand and they are engraved upon the breast plate of righteousness, which is the fine linen clean and white adorning the Bride of the Lamb; “Yehovah knows them that are His” (II Tim. 2:19).
“I write unto you little children because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write unto you fathers because you have known Him from the beginning. I write unto you young men because you have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you little children because you have known the Father” (I John 2:12)
The world is full of darkness and confusion and man loves the darkness. The deeds of man are dark and no man will ever come to the light for then would the deeds of the flesh be revealed and rebuked. Yehovah God has brought His people unto Himself through the darkness, through the valley of the shadow of death and out of the confusion. He has delivered them from the sin of that great whore and translated them into the kingdom of His light. The children do now bear the image of the earthly and through that they seal the seal of man and his curse. They know as the Spirit reveals their uncleanness in Adam and their desolation because of abomination and every one shall be overcome by the desolation of all from the same parent (brother).
The children of light, however, walk in the light of Yehovah being enlightened by His glory. They bear the image of the heavenly, though for a time it does not yet appear what they shall be, they know that when he appears they shall be like Him and, having their desires set upon the things from above they earnestly look forward to returning to their Father’s house. Though for a while they are made subject to the vanity of this world and the impotence of the flesh, yet they know that the great King over all the earth, knows them by name, has shed His precious blood for them and shall return a second time without sin for them that look for Him.
“Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come blessed of the Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34)
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
August 20, 2017