“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people saith your God.”
There should be little question about the imperative nature of this command from Jehovah God. The word was dispatched from the throne of the King in recognition of a need. Authority had been ascribed to the messenger according to the urgency of the matter, to proclaim unto a particular people a specific message. The King has spoken emphatically by repeating His command and His word was definitive and complete.
Because the King has decreed that comfort be proclaimed to this group of people it must be concluded that they were discomforted and could not rectify the situation on their own. The fact that He speaks in a specific manner would seem to indicate that those experiencing this discomfort were not aware of the cause or reason and since He has dispatched His messenger to bring these ‘glad tidings of great joy’ the people could not have figured out the problem. They knew that a problem existed and it disturbed them. They felt as though no one understood their condition as they groaned within themselves seeking to be delivered. They had no strength to combat this unknown enemy, they found no rest no matter where they turned as they languished in darkness. No matter how hard they tried to comfort themselves, the situation continued as the path they walked led them farther into the valley of the shadow of death.
Was this a surprise to the King? Had He returned home one day from His crusade to find new applicants for His employment? Was He too busy knocking on the doors of others hearts, hoping they would open unto Him, that He was ignorant of the plight of “MY PEOPLE”? Or perhaps he was organizing the marriage feast for His Bride and in His preoccupation with the guest list and seating arrangements, the condition of His People had deteriorated because He was not paying attention? These are the arguments of those who espouse the doctrine of the permissive will of God. The world is allowed to meander along under her own power as the people follow the devices and intents of their hearts until such a time when God has no other choice but to intervene and put things back on course. This is blasphemous as it denies the sovereign majesty of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Jehovah God purposed in Himself the course that the universe was to follow and He created it accordingly. Then He empowered every portion of that creation, from the sub-atomic particles to the massive planets, to work together in complete harmony in accordance with the purpose for which He created them. He fashioned the earthen vessels, afore prepared unto glory, wherein His seed would tabernacle, assigned it a time of habitation and appointed a definitive race to be run. He designed the course with sufficient trials and tribulations to lead His children to cry out unto Him in the day of trouble. This trouble was ordained and empowered by the power of His will and at the exact moment when the troubles had reached the limits of their intended purposed for His people, being sufficiently discomforted, He dispatched comfort to them.
Some would say that this is unjust and that it portrays God as sadistic and they are welcome to their opinions. Those who have been taught by the Spirit of His Holiness, understand that it is according to His eternal love that He draws His people, through the wilderness and into the valley of Achor to demonstrate to them in a very personal manner that He is God and there is none other. He and He alone is sovereign over every thought, word and deed. Adam does not know this and he cannot be taught it, so, he exists in constant conflict with the inner man who knows that the flesh is unprofitable. Never can these two be reconciled and as the child of grace grows in the grace and knowledge of His will, they see more and more of the corruption of the flesh. They feel their unworthiness before the perfect beauty of His Holiness and they find no rest in the habitation of this dwelling. Only after the time when it pleases the Father to reveal Himself in them do they begin to recognize the cause of the warfare. Only as the light of His glory grows brighter to them do they realize the magnitude of this wretchedness and cry out for deliverance. Now as Jehovah daily reveals His love to His elect family do they understand the vanity of this world.
The word sent forth of Jehovah God is not sent by the hands of man. Man can only speak as he is given to speak but he cannot proclaim the word of the King with a carnal tongue. Many a man has attempted to present himself as the mouth-piece of God as he pontificates the wisdom of Adam. Only the Word of God can speak the Word of the King and only the children of the Word can hear that Word. (Faith indeed does come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God for the time is come and is now that the dead, in Christ, hear His voice and live.) The comfort of Jehovah is sent forth by His hand since He alone can give comfort and so the command to “Comfort, comfort My people” is from the Master to His Anointed servant to His elect family in the time of their discomfort. He has sent forth the Comforter to indwell His people so that they may be comforted in all trials and tribulations. They may then in turn comfort one another in any kind of trouble with the same comfort wherewith they have been comforted (II Cor. 13f). This is the common salvation of the elect family.
Notice well He did not say to His servant; ‘go tell everybody that everything’s gonna be alright’, He said “comfort My people”. Herein we know that this is the Messiah who was sent forth. He alone endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself. He alone was made complete in all that He was tempted in all points, like unto His people, yet without sin. He, being the Word made flesh, is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart for He has experienced all passion and fear. He suffered in the form of the Servant and so it is that He alone can give comfort to His people for whom He suffered, bled and died.
But He can not give any comfort being dead and there is no consolation if He remained the sacrifice for His people. His resurrection from the dead, by the power of God, is the foundation of the hope of glory for His elect family. His resurrection is the comfort of His people because it is the testimony of the completed work accepted of the Father. His ascension upon high is the manifestation of His Lordship over all and His victory over sin and the grave. He came forth as both the prince of peace and the everlasting Father, fulfilled the will of God and is set down at the right hand of God.
“Speak comfortably to Jerusalem and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished...”
This comfort is directed to those who have sprung forth of peace (Jerusalem). Messiah came forth as the Prince of Peace, His seed was with Him and His work before Him. They came forth from the Father’s house at peace with Him and became partakers of flesh and blood. This flesh and blood was at enmity with the Father and His Holiness and thus the warfare began. This warfare was no accident. Rather it was appointed of the Father so that there would be no confidence int he flesh and no flesh could glory in His sight. He ordained the conditions of the struggle, the intensity of the conflict and the duration of the warfare for good unto them that love Him, to the called, according to His purpose.
This struggle begins as the earthen vessel is formed in the natural womb. Here, before natural life is manifested, two manner of people struggle together. Once the natural life is made manifest the struggle continues until such a time as it pleases the Father to reveal Himself. Then the ‘kicking against the pricks’ intensifies as the creature, that inward man who delights after the law of God, groans within himself waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. With this revelation comes the realization of the law of God and it’s demands, the guiltiness of Adam and the bondage of corruption. The creature knows the perfection of Holiness of the Father and also knows that in Adam they have fallen short of the glory of God. This is when the Spirit speak comfortably to the daughters of Zion and tells them that this is the will of Almighty Sovereign God.
“cry unto her...that her iniquity is pardoned”
This is the glad tidings of great joy, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God unto deliverance. Jerusalem, the mountain of God, that glorious city set upon the hill, is not condemned because of the sin of Adam. Nor is she condemned because of the law of death and condemnation. She is set at liberty because the earthen vessel that was afore prepared as her tabernacle was, before the foundation of the world, washed in the blood of the Lamb and cleansed from all unrighteousness. This house was struck with the blood on the door posts and the leaven was removed from the house so that when the Messenger of death, that Angel of the judgment of God, saw the blood He passed over the house and the children inside were delivered. God did not set their sin and iniquity aside to be called into account in the wilderness for when He saw the travail of the soul of His Servant and the shed blood, He also knew that His appointed fit man had taken the sin of His people into that uninhabited land. He also knew that the blood of the sin offering had been struck upon the crown of the altar and mercy was granted because of the covenant of the coffin (ark) had been fulfilled. Now the testimony stood finished as Messiah comforted His people and proclaimed their name before the throne; saying “Behold I and the children which thou hast given Me”.
“cry unto her... for she hath received of Jehovah’s hand double for all her sins”
The house of the redeemed stood condemned in Adam and in the law. Sin came into the world by the act of one man and death by sin. Yet this death reigned from Adam to Moses even though no one could fall short in the same way that Adam did. But when the law came, God revealed how exceedingly sinful falling short of the glory and holiness of God really is. Thus the children of God stood condemned in the action of Adam as he attempted to be like the most high and in the impotence of the earthen vessel to keep the law of God, being separated from God in trespasses and sin.
The propitiation for sin in Jehovah’s salvation is the deliverance from the inability to hit the mark of perfection and forgiveness for the act of failing in the attempt. God does not elevate the dust of the earth (Adam) to perfection or Holiness. He has cleansed the dwelling so that Holy flesh (that inner man which bears the image of the heavenly) shall not be polluted when it comes in contact with a dead body (Adam) (Hag. 2:13). He has removed the heart of stone, that requirement of weak and beggarly elements to please God by keeping the handwriting of ordinances engraved in stone, and has put in an heart of flesh (no blood) wherein He has engraved His Word. He has placed His Spirit within this cleansed vessel which causes the children of Jacob to walk in the light of Jehovah (Is. 2:5 & Rev. 21:24). He has enlightened them to the truth and has set them free from the demands of Sinai, He has revealed to them a finished work and has set the testimony of the same as the anchor of their soul. He has comforted His people with a witness of His faithfulness whereby they are justified and have Peace with God.
Therefore the appointed warfare is accomplished and their iniquity has been pardoned. They have been quickened together with Him and raised up to be seated together with Him in the heavenlies. Yet while they continue in the habitation of this separation, they are comforted by the hope of deliverance which they patientl y await. They look forward to the time when the habitation of this dwelling is dissolved and in the adoption, the sons of God are revealed.
There is hope in that which cannot be seen but which must shortly, in a twinkling of an eye, come to pass. There is comfort in that which is finished in the Lamb which stood as it had been slain from the foundation of the world. But if these truths be only doctrine and not practical then they are as worthless as the world they emanate from. We have seen in this last year many catastrophes and tragedies that draw our attention to the winds and the waves. The forces of nature destroyed many things, crazed people ravaged peaceful towns with horror and death and our country is portrayed as being poised upon the precipice of a fiscal cliff ready to plunge into the abyss. These events in our world are the things which can be seen and they are therefore, temporal. They indeed are tragic and the loss and grief cannot be minimized, but they are the grass of the field which fades away because God blows upon them. The pain and suffering of this present evil generation a for but a moment yet they display the will of a Sovereign Almighty God who has orchestrated all things together for good to them that love Him. To the called, according to His purpose, the vanity and corruption of this habitation work harmoniously together to the praise of the Creator and a testimony to His sovereign will. Nothing, not a thought, word or deed, comes to pass but for good to them that love Him.
The only way this can be true is if He alone is the Master of the universe and all things exist and consist for Him. His kingdom did not originate in this world and is not dependent upon the inhabitants of this globe to promote or preserve it. The government of His throne is upon His shoulders and He is the King of all kings and Master of all lords. He is the ruler of the house of Jacob and He causes each member of that house to walk in His light. Since He is the Light of the World (both Jew and Gentile) His people walk in Him and since His desire is upon them He has ordered all things fast and sure to come to pass because of His eternal love for His Bride, His Jerusalem.
Pain, loss, anguish and suffering in Adam cause the creature to groan within, patiently waiting the manifestation of the children of light. If asked, none of the children while partakers of this flesh and blood, would ever ask for more hardships, trials and tribulations yet God demonstrates His love for His little flock in these very things. When they come to pass, our eyes are drawn aside after the boisterous winds, the formidable host or the impending disappointments. This shows us the weakness and frailties in Adam since there is nothing we can do about them, even though we are prone to try. Herein we demonstrate our nature in Adam for we cannot be still and know that He is God
Brethren, all flesh is grass and the glory thereof is as the flower. God gives these to whom He will. They may flourish for a season but He blows upon them and they fade away. We see the evidence of this every day. But the children of the King are not sustained by the glory of man. They have been glorified in the Son with the same Glory He has in the Father and when they are absent from this body, they shall be present with the Lord in a body not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The light afflictions, which are but for a moment, cannot be compared with the eternal weight of glory that shall be revealed. Herein is hope.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
December 23, 2012