“For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sin against Himself, lest ye be weary and faint in your mind; ye have not yet resisted unto blood striving against sin.”
Many things encroach upon the natural mind each day. The business of the day, the duties and obligations of friends and loved ones and the continual upkeep and maintenance of the body all occupy the thoughts and concerns of Adam. These daily contemplations, with the fears and anxieties which accompany them, are the nature of the children of the dust according to the design of the Creator. They are all part of the things of the world which He has set in their hearts that they should not find out the work which God has made from the beginning to the end (Ecc. 3:11).
The instruction to the children of hope, who struggle with the weakness and infirmities of the flesh, is for an immediate and actively attentiveness to “run the race with patience, looking unto” He who is the “author and finisher of our faith”. This thoughtfulness of the character, nature and accomplishments of the Lamb of God is reserved for those who are kin to the redeemer. The consideration is not of the mental aptitude of Adam nor of the resources of the theology of man but only for those unto whom the light of His glory has shone into their hearts. All others “have no portion, nor right, nor memorial in Jerusalem” (Neh. 2:20).
True consideration is to be in the ‘midst of the Word’ which would indicate much more than an awareness of the ancient text or scholarly mastery of the language and subject matter. Those who have been born from above have the Spirit of God within. He causes them to walk after the statutes of Yehovah God, to keep His commandments and know the Lord. In the time appointed of the Father, when He reveals that He tabernacles in His people (every man in his order) the child within desires the sincere milk of the Word. He is a member in particular in the congregation of the living but he dwells in the vanity of the earthen vessel. Each one as they are made partakers of flesh and blood is brought under the bondage and corruption of the flesh and therefore groans within awaiting the deliverance.
The teaching and leadership of the Spirit of God to the incorruptible seed is to not look on that which is seen for it is temporal, yet the flesh can see nothing else. He causes the affections of the children of hope to be on the things from above as the clay pots are drawn away after the lusts and desires of the flesh. He has not left them to their own devices to find their way to the throne of grace nor does He urge them to bring themselves unto Christ for without Him they can do nothing. Rather He has left the testimony of the scriptures “for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rms. 15:4). This written evidence of the “great cloud of witnesses” which, by faith, have endured unto the end is given “by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished throughout unto all good works” (II Tim. 3:16). And so, in order for one to ‘consider Him’ they must be “children of God and if children, the heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with the Anointed, if so be that we suffer with, that we may be glorified together” (Rms. 8:16).
The subject matter under consideration has been a matter of debate, conflict, persecution and death for all of time. The sacrifice which Abel brought before the Lord was unto His God and according to the wisdom and spiritual understanding which he possessed in the Spirit. He was slain by his brother because he worshiped God aright, in Spirit and truth. This is set forth as an example of the animosity and bitter hatred which exists between that which is of the earth and the Spirit, born from above. The list is extensive of the persecution and torture that the children of light have endured from generation to generation yet it cannot compare with He who first endured. He is Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Eternal Father and the Prince of Peace and He is also the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He is the Creator and sustainer of all that is, unto whom all the cosmos is subject, yet He “being in the external appearance of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the external appearance of a servant and was made in the resemblance of man; and being found in ‘as compromising everything in a person which strikes the senses’ as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:6ff).
The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit neither can he know them so it is physically, mentally and emotionally impossible for Adam to comprehend the concept of God let alone the fullness of His glory. He cannot fathom the heights, depths or wide expanses of His being, His power or the perfection of His Holiness, therefore he cannot know this One who is equal and one with the Father. The knowledge of this One comes by revelation and not by flesh and blood (Matt. 16:17).
This very Jesus, delivered up by the determinate counsel of God into the wicked hands and slain cannot be contained in the edifices of this world or described in all the combined works of all men throughout all the ages. Yet He endured the epitome of contradictions against Himself; the inability of the earthen vessels of His people to hit the mark and measure up to the exacting standard of the Holiness of God. He not only experienced it for His people but He who knew no sin (that is being incapable of not hitting the mark and meeting the perfect standard of Himself) became the sin or inability of His people in Adam. And for this there was a brief moment when the Father turned away from him as He cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46). He being in the outward appearance of a servant was “despised and rejected of men (Adam); a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief”. “He was wounded for our ‘rebellion’, bruised for our ‘depravity’, the chastisement (disciplines) of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes (wounds) we are healed” (Is. 53:3 & 5). His complete perfection and absolute Holiness demanded that He lay upon Himself the wages or punishment of sin which He whose eyes are too Holy to behold iniquity could not look upon when He as the servant, became the inability of the His people. Consider that!
The incorruptible seed never fails to measure up to complete perfection because they are born of God. Having been born from above, the seed of God remains in them and therefore they do not commit sin for how could God deny Himself? (I John 3:9). The perversity and corruption of the flesh could never pollute the inward spiritual because the seed is incorruptible, therefore before time began, the Lamb of God stood as He had been slain. Not only is this incomprehensible to the natural man but it involves the inconceivable notion of an existence before and outside of time. The seed is eternal in Him as He is eternal. He shed the blood as the perfect sacrifice for sin before the act was committed and sin entered into the world, “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rms. 5:8) that the atonement would be upon the tabernacles of each of His elect before Adam was created.
His name is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He has power over all flesh, has created all things by Himself, through Himself and for Himself that he might have the preeminence in all things being the Lord God Omnipotent. He is the Salvation of Yehovah whereby ye must be saved, He is that name above every name unto which every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord and He is the resurrection and the life. In Him His people live and move and have their very being, He has finished the work assigned unto Him (for no man sought after righteousness or could deliver himself from his guilt), He has declared His generation before the Father, calling them by His new name which no man knows and He is seated at the right hand of the Father as the scepter of sovereign power and absolute authority being the “Word of God” (Rev. 19:13). By His right hand He has brought salvation unto Himself for there was no one else worthy.
This One was born of a woman and made under the law. He grew and matured as every child of Adam does. He experienced the physical and emotional changes that occur in the body as He was tempted in all points, in the identical manner as His people are daily and continually tempted, yet without failure. He experienced the weakness, licentiousness, confusion, fears and doubts so that He could be a High Priest who could be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. Jesus was completely the son of man, as the second Adam for He was descendant from no son of Adam, in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. Those that saw Him and viewed the earthen vessel of His dwelling, remarked “Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joses and Juda and Simon; are not his sisters with us? And they were offended at him” (Mark 6:3). This is the One whom the Spirit, knowing the vileness of our nature, directs our attention to, not for amusement or pity but as the champion of our condition and a present help in time of need;
“...lest ye be weary and faint in your minds”.
The manifestation of The Anointing of God as He dwells in His people is a matter discerned by faith. This faith is an evidence of the presence of the Spirit and is contrary to the nature of Adam. When the Spirit communicates the truth to His people and bears witness that they are the sons of God, the understanding is by faith which the flesh does not have. Therefore the carnal mind, reverting back to the instincts of nature in which he can see with the eye but not perceive, hear with the ear but not comprehend and taste of the heavenly thing yet never be filled and he questions if these things be true. The temptation of the serpent directs his mind to doubt the logical nature of this testimony and to draw erroneous conclusions based upon ignorance. The castigations of the children in the market place say, “Where is your God?” and “we have the ancient ones with us” and “What makes you right and everyone else wrong?”. The flesh cannot answer such things without being puffed up and thinking more highly of himself than he ought.
The natural mind listens to the hawking of the contemporary preachers who attempt to ascend into the heavens and bring God down to a level of understanding that is comparable with the cognitive abilities of man. He speaks not of righteousness and judgments for these matters are counterproductive to the peace and welfare of the community. He dare not speak of the depravity of the flesh as the philosophy of humanisms demands “positive re-enforcement” and security in self esteem. He dare not address the inability of the arm of the flesh to do anything without the power and authority of the Sovereign of the Universe first ordaining and then enacting all things, whatsoever comes to pass for this encroaches upon the independent nature of the free will of man. And so the preachers of the doctrines of man speak great swelling words that are soothing to the itching ears of Adam as they delve into science falsely called, endless genealogies, vain philosophies which gender to questions and debates which confuse and do not edify.
The Anointed Salvation of Yehovah God is peace and tranquility to the stranger as he wanders through this barren wilderness. The lust for knowledge and power after the outward man which perishes causes the natural man to think more highly of himself than he ought and to glory in his flesh. The grace of God, according to His eternal love, chastens His children as they suffer amidst trials and tribulations. God created man this way, having the pride in his heart wherewith he labours for self indulgence, self preservation and personal gain. He knows the frame that it is dust, He ordained the emotions and the feelings and He empowers the lusts of the flesh whereby His sons are drawn away. This is the subjection to vanity which is contrary to the Spirit but has been established that His people might have hope. Those who have been given to believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as the propitiation of their sin and the perfect completed sacrifice for their sin are also given to suffer as they wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Adam desired to show himself sufficient before God. He demonstrated his understanding of his power, his ingenuity and his worth as he attempted to clothe himself and the debate with God. But God is a jealous God who does not share His glory with another and He is not a respecter of persons. He ordained the path of man which, from time to time, results in the praise of man by his fellow man. God sends forth prosperity, achievements and prosperity, each in its season, which tempts Adam with the desire of his heart. Herein the pride swells, Adam feels himself important and the knowledge puffs up (I Cor. 8:2). This feels good to man as he envisions himself someone and thinks he knows his place in the world and his value to God.
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of Him, for whom the Lord loves HE chastens and scourges every son He receives” (Heb. 12:5).
When the hand of God lifts up the nature of Adam and reveals the corruption of this wretched man, He also brings forth His hand for correction and discipline; this is the way of the Almighty and none can stay His hand. His hand is heavy and the blows are strong as He demonstrates His love for His people. No flesh shall ever stand in His presence and glory in His sight as there shall be no residue of Edom left. He has decreed the infirmities of the flesh to show His beloved that they inhabit a tabernacle that shall not continue. He empowers the fear and doubt that the children walk by faith and not by sight for that which is seen is temporal and He conducts the chorus of the children of this world in their daily song and pipe concert which calls to the natural man to demonstrate that this world is not their home. He raises up the presence and nature of the instincts of man to manifest that he is finite and can do nothing without the decree, the power and the liberty of the Lord and Master.
These daily temptations are common unto all men. The children of this world call it self motivation and self disciplines which those who are experiencing must harness and redirect into a positive influence in their lives. The child of grace however, after being drawn away after the desires of the flesh and when that lusts has conceived it brings forth the manifestation of sin, laments this condition. When the Spirit shows them the vileness of their ways and they abhor themselves for their wickedness, He then speaks to them in that still small voice. “And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet shall not you teachers be removed into a corner any more, but your eyes shall see your teachers, and your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left hand” (Is. 30:20).
“You have not resisted unto blood, striving against sin”
The corruption of Adam and the sin that dwells in his flesh prevent the acceptability of his sacrifice for his sin. The sacrifice must be the first born of the flock and without spot or blemish. Jesus is the only begotten of the Father who kept the law in righteousness; therefore He is accepted as the perfect sacrifice. His shed blood is pure and it cleansed His people form their sin. It is sufficient for the inability of all His people and has been struck on the door posts of all their dwelling places as the covering (atonement) that the judgment of God Passover them. His blood stains the coffin of the old covenant and secures the mercy of God upon His dear children. And in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son to be castigated and ridiculed, hated and mocked, betray and abandoned that His salvation of His people be not of works of righteousness which they had done, nor by the power of the arm of the flesh or by the combined might of the forces of man, but of God. Whom He loves He treats as His children as He daily demonstrates His love by His pruning of the vine, purging of the dross and discipline of His little children
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God” (I John 3:1).
The presence of the warfare within and the heavy hand of the chastisement of God are ever evidences that His love is upon His people. These chastisements grow as the sons grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, contrary to the idea of progressive sanctification, and with the increasing manifestation of the wretchedness and corruption of the flesh. Do not think it strange that you fall into diverse temptation knowing that the trying of your faith works patience.
Your servant in Christ
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
June 8, 2014