“Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities, your eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation; a tabernacle not to be taken down and not one of the stakes thereof shall be moved, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.”
The most contested topic of discussion amongst many of the religions of this world for centuries has been the earthly kingdom of Jesus Christ. This has been taught as the focal point of the hope of the children of the kingdom and the motivation whereby they are to conduct themselves in this life. The rebuilding of a structure upon a mound of dirt in the Middle East has been so fiercely contended for with the bitter divisions of anger and strife that wars have even erupted, wherein many people have died. The mammon of the world has made many expositors of this subject very rich as world-wide ministries have developed in the propagation of the finer points of this doctrine for the purpose of converting the sons of Adam from their wicked ways as the climax of history approaches.
Adam looks to one of the hills surrounding the ruins of the city of Jerusalem, which is called Zion, and envisions the Solomon’s Temple, in all its glory, once again being raised up above the kingdoms of this world with one seated upon David’s throne who will rule over the inhabitants of this world. To this end religious, political and military might has been mustard with the goal of retaking the hills, subduing the people of the land and returning the nation of Israel to prominence and fame; but what is Zion?
The word Zion would indicate a barren place wherein the attention of man would find nothing of interest or value for it is a ‘parched place’ or ‘sunny place’ being in the middle of the hills and to the south of the mountains of Jerusalem. It does not have the import of the mount where Abram offered up Isaac (Mt. Moriah), whereon the Temple was built, nor is it associated with the ‘Hill of Corruption’ known as Olivet, wherein the Lord Himself delivered many discourses. It stood as the stronghold of the sons of Jebus but David took this ‘threshing place’ from the indigenous people and called it the ‘City of David’, but more importantly, this is the place of refuge and comfort for the daughters of My people.
Only those who have the perfect righteousness of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah can dwell with the devouring fire, which is the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah. These have been granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints, being born of the Spirit of God of incorruptible seed. The garment which they each have been granted, and therefore are all adorned equally, is the imputed righteousness of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, who, before man was created or sin had entered into this world, finished the work necessary to redeem His people from the sin of Adam, the earthen vessel wherein they were ordained to inhabit. He stood slain from the foundation of the world wherein, He who knew no sin, became the sin of His people, being One in Him in eternity, and shed His blood, the perfect sacrifice for sin, for the remission of that sin.
Yet He was not only slain, for John saw the Lamb, standing as it had been slain from the foundation of the world. The righteous Judge saw the travail of His soul and was well satisfied because there was no other who could save His people from their sin and having struck the posts of the earthen shanties in the land of ‘double entrenchments’ each of His people were identified in their tabernacles of dust. The Lamb standing indicates that He not only finished the work but that he was “declared the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rms. 1:4). Thus having finished the work, He is seated in the place of authority (right hand of God) having taken unto Him His great power and now reigns supreme over all. His presentation as the Lamb, slain and risen, proclaims that he was and is righteous in all that he was given to do and that all that were given unto Him, He lost none, but they were raised up together in Him. In His righteousness He fulfilled the perfect Law of God to every ‘jot and tittle’ and by His faith His people are justified in Him. His faith is imputed unto them as their sin was to Him and His righteousness is the breastplate of the whole armor of God, which He was adorned in by the power of His will and by which each and every child of the redeemed is clothed in the whole armor of God.
Therefore, only the eternal seed of God, born of incorruptible seed by the Spirit of Holiness see Zion in truth. Man looks at it as a conquest of his might in demonstration of his ability and the culmination of his religious superstitions. There are many who boast of the technological and agricultural progress in the region which has converted the sand of the desert into a blooming garden for in this world it is indeed a parched place. The desire of the sons of the dust falls hard after the needs of the flesh and the cares of this world yet they are all for gain, worth and pride; but the kingdom of God is not of this world.
While the religion of Adam strives and contends with fervor and endless palaver for the things which the eyes of man can see (which things fade away), those blessed with the testimony of the Spirit have eyes to see Zion as a city of peace and a quiet habitation. These dwell with the Devouring Fire as the outer man and his works are consumed and their hearts mediate upon the dreadful and tormenting things, knowing that the sin that dwells within them qualifies them for His wrath, but, in Zion, they do not see a fierce people of deeper speech than they can perceive or a stammering tongue which cannot be understood.
“... the city of our solemnities...”
This parched place is the place appointed for the gathering of His people. This parched place is ordained of God for the gathering of the general assembly of the called-out remnant according to grace where the King rules in peace over all things and the Shepard tends to His flock. Every child of grace is seated together in the Anointing in the heavenly places as one in Him even though during the time of this habitation they must dwell in the earthen tabernacle wherein they have been made subject to the vanity of this world. Herein the wilderness blossoms as the garden of God and just as the first garden was properly prepared for the needs of the natural man, so the garden of God for the ‘witness’ (Zion) is thoroughly furnished for the needs of the precious little flock.
When John saw the revelation of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, he witnessed the house of the redeemed, as the body and bride of the Anointed, all gathered together in the Beloved; he did not see an innumerable host standing on a hilltop in Palestine. The witness of God to His people is that the Christ and all His saints are together in the witness of the eternal covenant of God with His people, which He purposed, enacted and completed in Himself without the presence of assistance of Adam. This gathering was not unto a final conflict to abolish sin and depose the Wicked one nor was it for the purpose of a world-wide evangelical movement to convert the obstinate sons of Adam and convert them unto the truth. The sole purpose of the gathering of those for whom the blood was shed, was to the praise and honour of His name for He alone is worthy and the place of that gathering is in Him the eternal abode.
This is that city that has foundations whose Builder and Maker is God. It is Wisdom who has hewn out seven pillars for the foundation of the Temple of Yehovah wherein He dwells with His people, whose chief corner-stone is the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah. This is Jerusalem from above who is the mother of the children of grace for in her and from her shoots forth the peace of His people. Man ‘misses the target’ as he shoots forth his works with the best of attentions by the arm of the flesh but the Faithful One cannot fall short. He is the One who has drawn His bow and pointed His arrows toward the corruption of man; “for the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinks up my spirit as the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me” (Job 6:4).
God has established His righteousness as the perfection of Holiness and He will not accept anything that falls short of this glory. He looked and saw that there was no man nor any that could intercede for His people as they should be made partakers of flesh and blood. He gave Himself the sacrifice for sin, covering (atone) His Beloved in the blood of the sacrifice so that the incorruptible seed be not corrupted when it came in contact with the body of this death (Hag. 2:12). His people thus identified, preserved and protected experience the vanity of this existence as they walk as pilgrims in this foreign land called Babylon, wherein the affections, superstitions and ideologies of man are mixed together into systemic confusion and bewilderment. This is a place where there is no rest for man who has been assigned to labour for his bread and no peace but the witness (Zion) is a peaceable habitation for there the King of Peace reigns supreme.
Some may ask if He does not reign over the kingdoms of this world and of course He does; “I blessed the Most High and praise and honoured He that lives forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion and His kingdom from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants if the earth are reputed as nothing and he does according to His will in the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay His hand or say unto Him, What are You doing?” (Dan. 4:34f). God has created all things for His good pleasure which is solely upon His Beloved. Nothing comes to pass but by the power of His will as His creation stands as the testimony to His might and glory; sin, the wicked one and the darkness which covers the face of the deep are His good pleasure for all that exists is by Him, through Him and for Him. He has hid Himself from the natural eyes of man and filled his mind with the cares of this life so that none of Adam’s seed can see the beauty of His glory for as the Refiner’s Fire constantly consumes the dross of corruption, the works of man and the residue of Edom, trying and proving the faith within of the precious living stones, so man continues to strive to show his worth in his attention and maintenance of this world. The children of grace, however, know that this world is not their home nor the body of this death their eternal habitation.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9).
When the Salvation of Yehovah became incarnate and dwelt upon this earth, He was born of a woman and made under the Law. He took upon Himself the form of a servant and was fashioned in the likeness of sinful flesh, yet without sin. He was faithful in the work before Him for He could not fall short of that which was finished in the beginning. He was tempted in all points like unto His people and enduring the contradiction of sin against Himself, became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. This is the manifestation of His righteousness in time and the glorious apparel of His Beloved Bride.
This man has been ascribed the honour of Adam as a great teacher and the founder of a new religion because the eyes of man cannot see the beauty of His glory. He had no form or appearance that drew attention to Himself, as the pictures and paintings of man assume, as He grew up in an innocuous place and bore about the suspect of a tainted heritage, therefore He was despised and rejected of men. The religious leaders were amazed at His understanding of the Law asking, “how does this man know letters having never learned” (John 7:15) and later demanded to know by what authority He taught this doctrine of forgiveness of sin and performed the mighty works. They having eyes to see could not perceive the truth that stood before them and having ears to hear they could not understand His words for they were not for them.
The children of the Kingdom of Light behold the testimony of the finished work as they see the shooting forth of that peace which is beyond all understanding as the place of their eternal abode. They cannot see these things by the natural eye even though Adam would see a sign yet by the testimony of the Spirit, from faith to faith, they have the hope of glory which is Christ. This hope is the earnest expectation of the imminent return to Jerusalem their home wherein the Father, having prepared dwelling places for each, shall welcome them home by removing the natural obstructions. Then shall they see the beauty of His Holiness and with the pure language speak His Holy name; yet this hope is not limited by time.
“But there the glorious Yehovah is unto us a place of broad river streams wherein shall go no galley with oars neither shall gallant ships pass by”
Yehovah God is unto His people a broad river of streams that carry the living water wherein if a man should drink thereof he should never thirst. The waters of this world are bitter to the children of the King and cannot satisfy their thirst for righteousness but unto whosoever believes in Him there is a river of living water flowing from his belly. This water proceeds from the throne of God in the Holy city and on either side the trees bring forth their fruit in seasons. The leaves of this tree is for the healing of the nations which would indicate that this healing is here and now for when the body of this death is put off, there will be no need for any healing. Thus the river of life, being the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, sustains the eternal life of His people and the tree of life, which is the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, heals the pain, anguish and fear that the children have in the trials and tribulations of this existence.
This is the city built upon that Rock, which is Anointed, against which the gates of hell and the grave cannot prevail upon it. It is that building, fitly framed together which grows up to the Holy habitation of God, whose foundation is the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, the walls are Salvation comprised of the living stones of the Redeemed and her gates are Praise unto our God.
This is the Israel of our God which man cannot see, the wicked one and his messengers cannot enter and wherein the lights of this world do not shine. The weapons of man’s warfare are neither found in the river of life nor could they conquer it should they ever find it for the arm of the flesh is completely impotent in the city of our God. The precious stones cannot be made merchandise of for they are preserved and protected in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah and the wares of the world, being filthy menstruous rags, in the beauty of perfection. The children of Israel made merchandise of the precious types and foreshadows of the Law as the great harlot full of blasphemy against Yehovah was arrayed in “purple and scarlet colours decked with gold and precious stones and pearls having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of fornications” (Rev. 17:4), but the Israel of our God is His Beloved Bride, who is one in Him. She could never leave Him nor forsake Him because His incorruptible seed remains; therefore, “whosoever is born of God does not commit sin, for His seed remains and he cannot sin because he is born of God” (I John 3:9).
“For Yehovah is our judge, Yehovah is our lawgiver, Yehovah is our King; He will save us”
The only one who could ever be a righteous judge is the only one who is righteous. Yehovah God is the Law and His word is without reproach. As He speaks so everything comes to pass by the power and the good pleasure of His irresistible will. He has decreed before man was created that the blood of the covenant must be shed and when He became the inability of His people in Adam, before Adam was formed from the dust of the earth, he established that man was never created being capable to be obedient unto God. How could God demand the blood that cleansed the children of promise from their iniquity, before time began, if the guilt and rebellion was subject to the outcome of Adams action in the garden. Was this because of God’s ability to ‘look ahead and see what man might do’? If so then how great a god is He that He could not stop the serpent from tempting, stop the woman from being deceived and the man from hearing the voice of the woman? Why even present the tree of the knowledge of good and evil if God had no power to prevent man from taking and eating? Or was it because God had ordained this to be the path that man should walk so that no flesh should ever glory in His sight?
The sovereignty of God over all His creation means that he alone appointed the times of the habitations of the sons of Adam, which He made of one blood, and established the boundaries of each habitation saying, thus far shall you come and no farther. He assigned the labours unto man to be performed in the appropriate moment and as He has ordained that the wrath of man shall praise Him so he has also restrained and prevented the remainder of that wrath. He is the giver of the law that governs man in his life and directs each step of the way. He has placed each man upon a path and has hedged in the way with thorns, briers and hewn stone so that man cannot see that which is about to come to pass. He has also spurred the curiosity of man to search out those things which he cannot find out and occupied him in the exercises of futility so that he cannot find out the work which God has done from the beginning (Ecc. 3:11).
He is also the Great King over all the earth. He has set the courses of the globes in the heavens. He sits upon the circles of the heavens, dwells in the thick darkness of the clouds and rules over His creation to the minutest detail so that all things may work together for good to them that love Him, to the called, according to his good pleasure. The inhabitants of this globe are reputed as nothing before His will as the praise of the heavenly hosts rings out that he alone is worthy of honour, glory, power and praise. He has taken unto Himself His great power, for there is none greater, reigning supreme over all the earth. Neither thought, nor word nor deed exists that is not implicitly commanded and controlled by the power of He who is the Lord God All Powerful, All Knowing and ever present; and He will deliver His people.
Not one drop of that precious blood of the Lamb was spilt in vain and there remains no more sacrifice for sin. He has taken away the guilt of His Beloved in Adam and has taken her unto Himself without spot or blemish. He delivered her before Adam was made, He delivers her in the time pleasing to the Father and when the time of this habitation is over, he shall deliver her from the body of this death and the vanity of this world. The manifold token of the assurance of faith is that His people should suffer in the waste howling wilderness and emptiness of this world; for whom the Lord loves, them He also chastens.
His love is eternal and cannot be broken. Nothing can separate His people from Him nor snatch them out of His hands. Justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne where the redeemed of Yehovah stand and sing His praises. Truth and mercy go before Him for His precious flock who are blessed to hear that joyful sound of the Shepherd’s voice, saying, This is the way, walk in it. They walk in the light of the Lord with their heads bowed down for He is the light unto their feet and the lamp upon their path; they walk by the faith of the Son of God who loved them and gave Himself for them as they return to Jerusalem from above the mother of the Faithful.
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and we wept when we remembered Zion” (Ps. 137:1)
This world is the epitome of confusion by mixing and the pilgrims know it is not their home. The children cry out to the Father as they are given to remember the witness for they know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord. Every man, in his order shall return as the veil is lifted and the beauty of Jerusalem revealed. Then we shall see Him as He is and we shall be like Him.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
February 25, 2018