“And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation and in a sure dwellings and in a quiet resting place.”
When Noah and the eight stepped from the ark, they came forth unto a new heaven and new earth. The old heaven and old earth had been destroyed by the wrath of God through the medium of the deluge and when God began to replenish the earth, He did so in the land of Shinar, the country of two rivers. This has not changed since that time as the Word of God has promised that he would never again destroy the earth after this manner. This country of two rivers has been searched for by many theologians and scholars as they attempt to validate the veracity of the Word of the One whose name is Faithful and true, however, the testimony of the scriptures indicates that these two rivers are not natural bodies of water as man might imagine.
The two rivers set forth in the scriptures are that of the reality of the truth and the illusion of that which is false. Those things which pertain to the truth are seen as the manifestation of the eternal beauty of the Godhead while the illusion is of the earth. Herein are many deceived as they look unto the visible and tangible as testimonies of the spiritual because the natural man is incapable of receiving the things of the spirit. Therefore his eyes are drawn after the wonders of this world as his heart postulates theories and speculates upon superstitions in his attempt to find out the work which God has done from the beginning.
The two rivers flow side by side as they proceed through the stages of time. The one is boisterous and wild as it attracts the natural senses of Adam while the other is innocuous and calm. Try as they will, the inhabitants of the first river cannot affect the second river in any manner though there is considerable effort spent in this endeavour. The children of the second stream have no dealings with the first river for it is of the earth, carnal and unclean but the two rivers flow side by side for the duration of the time of this habitation. The condition and passions of the first river are formidable as they are manifested on all sides of this dwelling yet they are limited, weak and frail in ability while being ignorant and corrupt in intentions, therefore does the Spirit within groan waiting to be delivered from the coexistence with the second river.
The Word of God through His servant Isaiah has come forth to Judah and Jerusalem. He has set forth the existence of these two opposing rivers in that Isaiah speaks to the righteous and the wicked together. He is not addressing the evil doings of the world in order to justify the children of Israel by reason of comparison and he is not setting forth a grading of sin. He is, however, making open declaration of the simultaneous existence of the wickedness, corruption and abominations of Adam in stark contrast to the perfection of Holiness in the inner man. The rebellious house is Adam while the children of obedience have been born from above and in the time appointed of the Father, the realization of the existence of these two rivers is made known as Yehovah pours out His Spirit upon His elect children.
He has been given to foretell of the destruction at the hand of the river of the king of Assyria who “shall pass through Judah, he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach to the neck and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of the land” (8:8). He also speaks of the weakness and limitations of the river of Egypt, which shall be beaten back of Yehovah from the channel to the streams so that the children of Israel may be gathered together as one (27:12). Yet at the same time he is given to prophesy about a peaceable habitation for Israel; “then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of the mighty man and the sword not of a mean man shall devour him, but he shall flee from the sword and his young men shall be discomforted. And he shall pass over his strong holds in fear and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith Yehovah, whose fire is in Zion and His furnace in Jerusalem”( 31:8).
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me besides the still waters” (Ps. 23:2).
The habitation of the redeemed of the Lord is in His pasture where He is the good Shepherd. There are no wolves in this field and the evil beast has been removed (Ezek. 34:25). He is the only shepherd, His sheep hear His voice and follow him and dwell safely in the wilderness which is desolate to the world. He has prepared this pasture for His sheep as He leads them through the barren wilderness of this world wherein there is “a famine in the land, not of bread nor of thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Yehovah” (Amos 8:11). The land of plenty which enticed and sustained the natural man is destitute of those things which delight the soul of the inner man and the land of blessings unto the fold of God are disregarded and cast off by the world.
The false river of the counterfeit is not in this pasture for nothing that defiles can enter therein and all who love and make a lie are without. This pasture is not some mythological sanctuary in the next dimension any more than the peaceable habitation (tranquil beautiful pasture of rest) is the speculative future home of the children of grace. This pasture is where the footsteps of the flock lead His sheep beside the Shepherds tent where He feeds them (Song 1:8). It exist at the same time when the children of the Kingdom find themselves as strangers in this world. They are in the world but they are not of the world for the world is full of labour and confusion. Solomon in all of his glory stated that the world was full of labour which did not satisfy for it was worthless. He also stated that this condition, which is the natural status of every child of Adam, was painful to his soul.
The partakers of flesh and blood have been given to experience the folly of this world and to walk according to the god of this world. They have found themselves pleasured by the desires of the flesh and accomplished in the endeavours which do not profit, but it is not until the Father pours out His Spirit upon them that the point of reference, which is the absolute Holiness of God, is made manifest. Then the works of righteousness are revealed and the effects are understood in comparison to the lasciviousness and evil concupiscence of the flesh. Without this registration the sons of Adam see their own morality as sufficient before God as they parade about in the latest line of botanical clothing.
This point of reference does not entitle the awakened child to point the finger of judgment against the rest of the world in aspersions and anathemas and the record of this testimony was never intended to be addressed to the inhabitants of this world. The record is given “for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rms. 15:4) so it is not intended as a railing accusation against anyone; for “such were some of you” (I Cor. 6:11). The labels of ‘Arminian’, ‘Calvinist’, Papist’ or ‘Protestant’, infidel, barbarian or heathen are all contrived by the carnal ways of man in order to judge one unworthy while esteeming one’s self as consecrated. These labels have no place in the heart and mind of pone who has been taught of the Spirit to know that the chiefest of sinners is a chosen vessel of the Lord who was set apart for the work which God had assigned unto him personally. And when a child of the kingdom is awakened by the grace of God to see the wretchedness of his ways, he is not found to be comparing himself as the Pharisee to others but rather he is found prostrate before the Lord, not lifting his eyes unto the heavens as he beats his breast and cries out, “be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13)
“And it shall come to pass afterward, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28).
The word of God promised that there would be a pouring out of the Spirit as required by Isaiah in order for the effect of the works of righteousness. This pouring out was testified unto by Peter on the day of Pentecost after the resurrection of Messiah from the dead. The children were with Him in His death and burial and were raised up together with Him in the first resurrection. After the manifestation of this wonder, the mystery of the gospel was made evident as the Spirit of God was poured out upon all flesh and there were signs and wonders in the heavens. This was the manifestation of the church of the First-born in the wilderness of Jerusalem which is of the earth, but Wisdom, crying in the chief place of concourse, in the opening of the gate and in the city she utters her words, “How long simple ones will you love simplicity (being deceived to believe that righteousness is of the law) and the scorners delight in their scorning and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at My reproof, behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you I will make known My words unto you” (Prov. 1:22). The Spirit is poured out unto all the election according to grace who have been raised up together in Him and it is poured out to every man in his order when it pleases the Father to reveal Himself unto them.
The Spirit is the One who teaches all things and leads in the paths of righteousness. He is the Comforter who testifies to the spirit of the children of hope that they are the sons of God. His communion is from faith to faith as He instructs and equips “with all wisdom and spiritual understanding that you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; “( Col. 1:9).
The testimony of Isaiah is that in the end of the world, in the fullness of time, God did show forth His salvation and all flesh saw it together. He brought forth His judgment upon this world as Jesus said, “now is the judgment of this world come, now shall the prince of this world be cast out” (John 12:31). He saw Satan falling like lightning as He gave power over the devils to His disciples and He testified to that “great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea and the third part of the sea became blood” (Rev. 8:8).
Isaiah also testified that in that day, which is the acceptable year of Yehovah, the rebellious house of Adam was destroyed as the old man was crucified with Christ that the body of this death might be destroyed, that there was also a place of peace for His people. These two dwell together as the two rivers flow side by side.
“By the river of Babylon, there we sat down and truly we wept when we remembered Zion” (Ps. 137:1).
This world is Babylon, the confusion by mixing. The wars and rumors of wars exist daily, the earth is heaving and reeling on the precipice of destruction and the eyes and hearts of man look to the skies for signs and wonders. These are the signs of the times in which the children of the Israel of our God find themselves and for which there is much sorrow and pain. But the cry is also that they do not forget their homeland. The land where they have their expectations and peace which is Jerusalem. Many think this to be a place that man will rebuild with his hand and tools in preparation for the return of Messiah and the establishment of His earthly kingdom but the captives in the foreign land had no such aspirations. They remembered the coming of peace (Jerusalem) the city of our God. This Jerusalem cannot be built by the hands of man for Abraham sought that city whose builder and maker is God. This city of our God cannot be polluted by the filthy hands of man, the corrupt mind of his imaginations or the primitive manner of his tools, for unto her it is granted that she be arrayed in fine linen clean and white which is the righteousness of the saints. She has been made ready by the shed blood of the Lamb of God who gave His life for the sin of His people and she has not been blemished by the people of the land or the corruption of Adam, therefore the peaceable habitation, that tranquil pasture of rest for the people of the Lord is not of this earth but is Jerusalem which is from above.
Babylon preaches a false peace when there is no peace and boasts of the strength of the arm of the flesh. The doctrines of Adam rule here as the limited mentality of a corrupt imagination attempts to understand the things of God and explain them to their fellow natural brute beasts. The rebellious house is told that it is a manner of acceptance and surrender that will bring the mercy of God to the beckoning call and that the more sincere the motives the more acceptable the labours of Cain will appear before God. The natural man thrives on this teaching and the warfare is intensified as the Spirit within knows the futility and vanity of the ways of this world and the children of the dust, therefore He groans within, waiting to be delivered from this tabernacle of clay in the time when the sons of God shall be manifested.
“But God, who is rich in mercy for His great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ (for by grace are you saved) and has raised us up together and made to sit together in heavenlies in Christ Jesus that in the age to come He might shew forth the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us through Christ” (Eph. 2:4).
The whole house of the redeemed was crucified with Messiah being eternally one in Him. Their deliverance from the wrath of God in the day of judgment, the blood that sanctified them, the blood which sealed them and the atonement were all accomplished by their Head which is Christ and they were always in Him for He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you, even unto the ends of the world” When He came forth from the grave into a new heaven and a new earth, the seed was His reward. He testified to His generation saying, Behold I and the children whom You have given unto Me are for signs and wonders in Israel. His Beloved came forth with Him, He poured out His Spirit upon His people and at the same time it was revealed that the wilderness became a flourishing field and the waste lands blossomed as the rose. The children understand the vileness of their ways and are ashamed of their wickedness and uncleanness before God yet at the same time there is the habitation of peace, which is Jerusalem from above.
Adam has no place in this abode and the Spirit cannot be polluted in the dust of this earth yet the elder, the earthen vessel, is prepared as the servant of the younger (howbeit, that which is natural is first manifested even though that which is spiritual is eternal). The two seeds coexist together; one is of the earth and is drawn away after the earth. The other is in the world yet not of the world, their affections are set on things from above and they long to leave the confines of the vanity of Babylon. These two rivers flow side by side but never merge and all who have part in the primary resurrection have the testimony of the river of life.
This river flows from the throne of God in that city from above. This is not a mythological place of utopia that may someday be a reality but it is a reality for every child of grace here and now. This river feeds the tree of life, which yields twelve fruits every month and whose leaves are fro the ‘therapy’ of the nations. This therapy is not needed once this tabernacle is laid aside and the spiritual body is manifested so it must be during the time of this habitation that the strangers and sojourners in this foreign land need and receive therapy from the tree of life. This life is The Anointed Salvation of Yehovah who said He is the way, the truth and the Life and it sustains and maintains the children as they travel through this barren land.
The waters of the river of Babylon cannot quench the thirst nor sustain the soul in the waste howling wilderness of this world for the waters are Marah (bitter). The water of the river of life is living water that is unto whosoever believes in Christ; “In the last day, that great of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He that believes on Me, as the scriptures have said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this He spake of the Spirit which they that believe on Him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:37). This is the Spirit which He shall pour out upon His people “then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness and righteousness remain in the fruitful field; and the work of righteousness shall be peace and the effect of righteousness, quietness an assurance forever” (Is. 32:16f).
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, give I unto you; let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
The peace which passes all understanding is foolishness to the natural man. Adam cannot understand how these things could be and has concluded that the simplicity of the gospel is weak and flawed. The peace which the Beloved has is because of the faithfulness of their Elder Brother who has finished the work in all righteousness and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Now is Christ risen from the dead and all His children are in Him seated in the throne of God. They are not dis-embodied souls waiting for the time when Adam is reconstituted from the dust of the earth as the eternal tabernacle. They are the body of Christ, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh without need of the blood for He is the life of the body. They have been raised up in Him and have a peaceable habitation being justified by His faith they have peace with God. The testimony again is of the finished work, they keep the commandment of God and they love the fellow inhabitants of the pasture with them. Together they are fellow companions in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ until the time of this habitation is over. Then the earnest expectations shall be made manifest as the body of this death shall return unto the dust and being absent from this body, the redeemed of Yehovah shall be manifested.
God has commended His love to His people in that he has died for their sin in Adam and continues to show them the wickedness of that way. The comfort is that this is the way of the footsteps of the flock which lead to the shepherd’s tent wherein is peace and rest.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
April 17, 2016