“But Beloved, we are persuaded better things of you and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak; for God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which you have shewed toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister.”
Being persuaded of something is not wishful thinking that a matter will turn out for the better or as one desires. The ways of man are identified by the need for labour, which is the inherent nature that Adam was given of God in creation, and the relentless drive to be occupied in labour all the days of his life; this is the result of the curse given in the garden as God set the station of man and the limitations thereof.
The writer to the Hebrew brethren has full confidence of better things in this matter, not because of the ability or earnest desires of the sons of Adam, but because of the irresistible compulsion which the children of light in the Spirit of God. He has no confidence in the things pertaining to this world for they are temporal and shall soon fade away. He has no assurance in the abilities or the faithfulness of the sons of the dust for no son of Adam can do that which is good, righteous and holy. And he has no comfort in the labours of the world, wherein the objective is to obtain that which cannot satisfy the hunger, cannot quench the thirst and cannot deliver the man from the sin which so easily besets him. Man cannot change his nature or the course of time and since he has neither the mind of God nor His power, he is completely subject to the Will of the Creator and His eternal purpose.
This address is unto those who have a like precious faith in the finished work of the Son of God in the Salvation of His people. It is not intended for whosoever wills to become a follower of this new way or any “who have been once enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift being made partakers of the Holy Ghost”. These, having been entrusted with the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, were never of the faith of the Son of God for they took the types and foreshadows of the heavenly perfection and turned them onto merchandise; they were the epitome of the nature of Adam and his inherent corruption of those things which he does not understand. Thus as God gave the natural representation of the spiritual reality to man, Adam immediately began exchanging the truth for a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. For this cause, God gave them up to vile affections, and even as they did not like to retain God in knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient, being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness and maliciousness, being full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers without natural affection, implacable and without mercy; who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them (Rms. 1:26ff).
The first of two impossibilities is presented here, that these who have and shall continue to fall away from the truth, as presented in type and foreshadow, can never be renewed again unto repentance because of the anti-type. Each and every aspect of the pattern, given to Moses in the mount and manifested in the building of the Tabernacle, manifests the salvation of Yehovah for His people. It is not simply a compilation of rituals and ceremonies used by the diminutive mind of ancient man to control the people and give them a sense of order. The religious life of the nation of Israel did not grow forth out of the teachings which Moses received under the tutelage of Pharaoh or from the customs brought forth by the slaves after 400 years of servitude; God opened the heavens and revealed a better way to Moses and Joshua for He showed them His eternal salvation in an earthly pattern.
The augmentation of this pattern, in any shape or form, was strictly prohibited. When Aaron’s sons ‘turned aside’ and brought ‘foreign’ fire before the Lord, they were both struck dead for God is not tolerant of the arrogance of man and his idea of a better way. The burning of the incense was to be enacted when Aaron consecrated and dressed the lamps in the morning and in the evening “as perpetual incense before Yehovah throughout your congregation” (Ex. 30:8). These two men presumed themselves above the Law and being ‘generous’ (Nadab) and having Aaron as my father (Abi-hu), they falsely concluded that their privileged position gave them protection from God’s Law. Where they obtained the fire or the incense is immaterial for it was both prepared and preformed improperly and when the fire of Yehovah came forth out of the altar they stood before, they immediately discovered that their doctrine was wrong as they, in a moment, stood before the judgment seat of the Lord.
So it is with all who have experienced the power of God for when the seed falls upon the wayside the fowls of the heavens (the minsters of the Adversary) come and devour it; these have no concern or care for the blood of the Lamb for they walk according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2). Other seed, which has fallen upon the stony places, has come upon the adamant stone of the heart wherein is no depth for the cares of this world occupy the mind of man and he is deceived by the strong delusion sent of God. He concludes himself righteous and has no need for the shed blood for he has found his worth in his way. He has no concept of sin, thinks more highly of himself than of his fellow sons of the dust and is both comfortable and content with the time and provisions of his habitation (Zech. 7:12). Making long the robes of his phylactery, he thanks God he is not like the great unwashed of the earth and boasting of his deeds he makes great prayers of many words wanting to be heard of others. He has no need for deliverance for he has delivered himself.
But the seed which falls among the thorns, which is the necessary conclusion of waste of man’s degradation of the types and foreshadows (Is. 5:6) and they rejoice under false pretense, springs up. There is a sign of repentance and great jubilation that the promises, given of old to the fathers, have now come to pass and with great anticipation of a new and better way, there are signs and wonders. This seed springs forth, but they, not being of the prepared good ground, fall away when the customs and rituals of their religious world choke them, bringing them back into submission to the yoke of bondage. The comfortability in what has always been believed and the way it has always been done brings these once enlightened individuals to the place where they trample the blood of the Anointing. The blood of the slain sacrifice was to be poured out around the altar as a buffer that no one approach unto the place of the burnt offering without blood between them and the dust of the earth. All who have been made to taste of this heavenly gift, who have no root in the Beloved, having not been born from above (the generation of Adam) and being captivated and sustained by the delights of the field (Esau), crucify the Lamb to themselves for there is no consciousness of sin and the need for forgiveness. The ways and conclusions of the mind and so the teaching of Adam tramples upon that which is Holy as the logic of man attempts to inter-mingle the dust of the ground with the blood of the sacrifice. He propounds the universal quantity of the blood for all men, calling it common to all, and puts it to open shame by claiming that it has no power unless activated by the will of man.
“But that which bears thorns and briers is rejected and nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned” (Heb. 6:8)
The Law of God is eternal; so are both the penalty for the transgressing of the Law and the forgiveness by the blood of the perfect sacrifice slain from the foundation of the world. God gave His Law in the handwriting of ordinances as the ministration of condemnation unto death and all whose hearts have been opened by the Spirit know that, in Adam, they have fallen short of the required perfection. They see the emptiness of their ways as they once lived and delighted themselves in the brier patch, adorning themselves with thorns as a testimony of their righteousness.
This is the way of man and the way of the earth according to the decree of God (Gen. 3:18). It is also the manner of the people of the land whom the Lord instructed Joshua and the children of Israel to utterly destroy. Joshua was faithful in all that he was given but the individual tribes of Israel could neither destroy the natural man nor drive him from his abode. Therefore Yehovah God left these as thorns and briers to prove His people in the nation of Israel. These natural elements of the land grew up amongst Israel like an infestation to the point where the vineyard of the Lord, the house of Israel, was the brier patch full of thorns.
Was this the work of the Canaanites wherein they overcame the work of God and thwarted His plans? Not in the least! God ordained from the beginning that neither the type nor the manifestation of the type in rituals and ceremonies could deliver anyone from the curse of sin. The curse of the Law of God upon all who fall short of the glory of God is the fire which consumes the way of the forward (Pro. 22:5). That which brings forth thorns and briers being the religion of man and his concept of the truth does not measure up and is rejected being according to God’s curse.
Is the Law of God cursed? Of course not! But the required perfection of the Law stands as the gauge by which all is tested to see if it measures up to the perfection of the way of God. Neither Moses, Aaron nor the children of Israel could keep the Law and as the years passed, wherein there was a vine and fruit, became nothing but thorns and briers by the decree of God. He never gave the handwriting of ordinances as a guide to bring His people deliverance for the keeping of the Law testifies to the uncleanness of the doer. The Law is the unforgiving schoolmaster who demonstrates in the hearts of His people the inability of man, the corruption of this existence and the need for the finished work of the Redeemer.
“For wickedness burns; as the fire it shall devour the briers and the thorns and shall kindle the thickets of the forest and the shall mount up the lifting up of smoke” (Is. 9:18)
The wrath of God in His perfect justice is poured out upon the ungodliness of man every moment of time. This is the Refiner’s fire, the Light of Israel, and the Holy One is the flame that consumes the residue of Edom throughout the time of his habitation. So the old man is daily being consumed as his works, being wood, hay and stubble as the fuel which stokes the fire, causes the earth to burn with fervent heat. The thorns, being the wickedness of their natural ways and the labours of man, are cast into this fire to boil the pot as man continues to attempt to wash himself and make the flesh clean. Yet the deeds of man, the corruption of the types and the people of the land are what God has both decreed and created for the fire of the thorns and the crackling of this fire brings warmth and comfort to the ears of the natural man.; thus “Surely the wrath of man shall praise You and the remainder of wrath You shall restrain” (Ps. 76:10).
“But, Beloved, we are persuaded better things of you....”
Has the writer insinuated that the flesh of the brethren here spoken to has been changed and that it no longer serves as the fuel for the fire? No! The outer man is of the earth and shall continue to be enamored with the things of this world until the time of his habitation is over. He shall continue to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow all his days as his mind is occupied and disciplined by the cares of this world, for God has put it in the heart and mind of man to that purpose. The children of the kingdom, however, have their affections set on things from above.
Adam had a better idea in the garden and his children have continued this endeavour throughout time; yet the only better way is that which is not of this world. The eternal life of the sons of God did not originate upon this globe or spring forth out of the dust of the earth. Their eternal union in the Father, who is their inheritance, has given them the rights and privileges of the Kingdom of God wherein He has blessed them with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places. The shed blood of the Lamb protects His people, as they dwell in the earthen vessels upon this earth, from the wrath of God for it is the seal of His love set upon them. These are the Holy habitation of God who tabernacles amongst His people, whose Spirit causes them to keep His commandments, walk according to His precepts and live by the faith of the Son of God who loved them and gave Himself for them.
All who are of this anointing are sons of God working in the good works they have been created unto and God is not unrighteous to forget these works and labours of love. Has He simply left an outline of things to be done relying upon the intuition of the flesh to fill in the blanks? Let the fools rage! God has ordered the steps of the righteous man and placed him upon a path that is both hedged in with hewn stone and lined with thorns and briers. He has opened the eyes of these pilgrims as they walk the path to see, by the light of His glory, the uncleanness of their ways in Adam, the unprofitableness of the religion of man and the path on which they walk. While the nature of man is to look ahead, striving to see around the corner, the Word of God is the lamp upon the feet and the light upon the path; thus with their head bowed low before the sovereign God who causes all things to come to pass for good to them that love Him, to the called, according to His purpose, the children of the King walk by faith a better walk than Adam. They are not swift to shed blood for there remains no more sacrifice for sin. They are not swift to anger for they know their ways and the frailty of the frame which they inhabit and they do not oppress their fellow inhabitants of the flock for they know that in Adam, who is dead in trespasses and sin, they are all fatherless. They have been taught that they are strangers in this land and they see the law in their members, waring against the law in their minds, bringing them into the captivity of the law of sin, which is in their members (Rms. 7:23).
The love of God is the basis for the existence of the children of hope as they walk this world. He has ordained that each of His children become partakers of flesh and blood to shew forth His name as a testimony to Adam and the world. As they shew forth this love, one to another, because He first loved them, they manifest the full assurance of hope unto the end. They love one another because the love of God is shed abroad in their hearts and each has the same experience of deliverance in the time appointed of the Father; thus each minsters to the other without any reliance upon the flesh as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His perfect will. They neither faint nor are weary for the good works they have been created unto do not need the strength of man or the resources at his disposal to accomplish the work which God has done in them and ordained that they should do for they are His workmanship.
“Wherefore God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise, the immutability of His counsel, confirmed by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie we might have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (6:17)
The second impossibility is presented and He is eternal. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and his inability to change is the basis for the hope and security of His people. There can be no question of this axiom of truth that God cannot change although the mind of man, which cannot comprehend God or His ways, denounces this truth as he makes God like unto man so he can better get a grip on this concept. It is not only a matter of the fact that He will never change but that He is incapable of change. He cannot look back upon those works which he finished from the foundation of the world and make any amendments or adjustments for the actions of man or the passage of time for He is not a respecter of persons. His Word is established firm and sure and all which He created by the power of His Word has been declare exceedingly good for it conformed to the purpose of His will. His Word is in Him and is God from the beginning and when He became flesh and dwelt among His people, He manifested the fullness of faithfulness and truth in that He spoke all that the Father gave His to say, finished all the work which the Father gave Him to do and fulfilled the Law in all righteousness for His people. This is the Lamb of God who came into this world to seek and to save His people from their sin and, being rejected of man as unsuitable, He manifested the eternal love of God for His people. Since neither God nor His Word can change, the two being One, His will is done on earth as it is done in heaven. No man can stay the hand of God or upset the purpose which He purposed in Himself to do for He has ordained and established the end from the beginning and from ancient time that are not done, saying, “My counsel shall stand and I will do all MY pleasure” (Is. 46:10).
This promise stands both sure and steadfast by the power of His sovereign will over all of time and creation for an anchor of the soul. It is not the confidence of the flesh or the means by which Adam is praised for it is not of this world. It has not entered into the sanctuary made with hands, which building has been destroyed and lays waste, and it is not based upon the intentions, passions or persuasions of man. The promise of God is because there is no mediator between God and man save Jesus Christ the righteous and there is none to help for no man recognizes the need for help. The overwhelming comfort and assurance for the children of Light is that He brought forth the deliverance of His people before the transgression was enacted that the incorruptible seed might remain without spot or blemish; that He provided Himself the sacrifice for sin and His blood was poured out in measure that all the iniquity of the sin of Jacob might be cleansed; that this sacrifice was complete and accepted of the Righteous Judge, being the perfect sacrifice for sin and that all His people were one in that sacrifice being raised up in Him unto glory.
Jesus Christ, The Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, is the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace, by whose stripes His people are healed. The blood of this sacrifice was poured out upon an altar not made with hands, eternal in the heavens where Adam cannot enter. Not one for whom the blood was shed shall ever fail to be numbered among the Beloved and not one shall come unto the father for forgiveness for whom there was no blood; This is the better covenant than the one made in the wilderness, which covenant man could not keep. It is a better promise than the inheritance than the land of Canaan, a better life than in Adam and a better hope than the arm of the flesh.
The confidence of the Beloved is in the fullness of the Godhead who lives and dwells in each of His people. There are no thorns or briers in the Vineyard of the Lord for He is the Vine and His people the branches which bring forth the peaceable fruit of righteousness for His people; these are the things which accompany salvation.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
July 22, 2018