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Isaiah 51:1

“Hearken unto Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek Jehovah.”

It is one thing to ask if a person is listening to you when you are speaking. It is another thing to command the attention of the listener under the color of authority and power. These are two of the ways in which the prophet presents the Word of God by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. His message is addressed to those who are to hear, those who must hear and those who can and do hear.

The first word speaks to the general ability to ‘perceive by the ear’. In some cases those who cannot hear are given ears to hear. These that have ‘ears to hear’ are commanded to hear. In other cases those who can hear are made deaf or dull of hearing “lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their hearts and should be converted and I (Christ) should heal them” (Matt. 13:15).

The second word is the commandment from the King, the word of authority and the edict calling for the people to ‘listen to me’, ‘give me your attention’ and ‘hear what I am saying’. It is the word that has gone forth into all the world and, as the Spirit told the prophet Ezekiel, “whether they will hear or whether they will forbear” (Ez. 2:5) is immaterial to the power of the word, the authority of the speaker or the outcome of the intent.

But there is a third word that is used and here is translated ‘hearken’. It carries with it a special condition of the hearer and direction of the word. It addresses those who can hear, are reconciled to the speaker, agree with the speaker and the word and are obedient to the commandment. Anyone who does not meet these criteria is immediately excluded from the intent of the message. Those who have not been born from above and have life cannot hear the Word of life (John 6:68). Those who are not of the fold of God have no right to the Word for it is not intended for them and they cannot hear them (John 8:43). Those whom God has not reconciled unto Himself are not agreed with Him and cannot walk together (Amos 3:3) and those who are not One with the Father are not and never can be obedient to His Word. Only those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ, “who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but took on Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in the fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:7) and His finished work are obedient in Him and keep the commandments of God. Not according to the flesh and the power of the arm of the flesh, nor by the will of Adam but by the power of God within them whereby His Spirit causes them to walk according to His statutes. These, therefore, that meet these conditions and requirements are called upon here to “hearken unto Me”. All others are excluded.

This elite group of people, these chosen few, the remnant according to grace, follow after righteousness and seek Jehovah even though after the flesh they know it not. When Jesus addressed the Samaritan woman by the well, she said that the Jews say that you must worship God in the mountains of Jerusalem while her people said that worship must be done in the mountains of Samaria. Jesus did not rebuke her for being a pagan who had been taken in the sin of Jeroboam and attempted to worship God in a false temple filled with impostor priests on contrived holidays and the strange blood of polluted animals, rather He said, “ye worship what ye know not” (John 4:22). He told her she was worshiping God in ignorance. She was a child of grace, a vessel of mercy, though she knew it not, and she was following after righteousness. Not the righteousness of the Pharisees who claimed that, according to the righteousness of the law they were blameless (Phil. 3:6) nor according to the righteousness of the braggart who told Jesus, “all these things have I kept from my youth” (Matt. 19:20) but the spotless perfection of the standard of the Holiness of God.

“Hearken unto Me My people and give ear unto Me O My nation” (51:4).

He now expands this select group from individuals to a collective assembly of His people. This is the nation of Jehovah. It is not exclusive to those born of the man Jacob or who reside in the middle east for it is an innumerable host of every kindred, every nation , every people and every tongue (Rev. 7:9). They are all of One mind. They all speak the same thing in the tongue of Zion. They all reside in that city not made with hands that is eternal in the heavens called Jerusalem. They are all reconciled unto God and everyone is obedient to His Word. They live by the Word which dwells in their hearts and they hunger and thirst after righteousness. The Spirit within testifies of the glory of Jerusalem, My home, and the children long to be delivered from this habitation and to be clothed upon with that fine linen bright and white, which is the righteousness of the saints. This is where their affection lies, his is the food for their soul and the covenant of God wherein they dwell. The law has proceeded from Him and judgment has rested upon His people because the Light has come, even the glory of His people Israel. This is the light of the world that reproves man of his wicked deeds and causes the children of light to walk in the light. God has set for the the standard of His Holiness and the nature of character. He has done all these things and there is none that can stay His hand or prevent His will. All that has happen has been foretold of old before it came to pass. All that has come to pass has done so by the command and will of the Sovereign Almighty God according to the good pleasure of His will and He will not share this glory with another. He has brought His righteousness nigh and His salvation has gone forth. His Word has accomplished all that He intended and completed the work in righteousness, therefore, He is set down at the right hand of the Father and all His children are seated together with Him in the heavenlies.

To these and these alone, He says, lift up your eyes to the heavens and look upon the earth below for the heavens have faded away. When He came forth from the tomb, having the righteous souls preserved within Him, He and His Bride came forth to a new heaven and a new earth. Old things had passed away and behold all things were new. The burden and condemnation of the handwriting of ordinances was abolished, being nailed to His cross, the old man was crucified and His children were set at liberty. The Jubilee had come. All debts were paid, the captives set free and the land returned unto the heirs of the covenant for the Salvation of Jehovah shall be forever and His righteousness shall never be abolished.

“Hearken unto Me ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law” (51:7).

The children of the King know what the standard of perfection is in the righteousness of God. Man obtained the knowledge of good and evil in the garden but, being dead in trespasses and sin, his deeds are evil and he dwells in darkness. The children of the light, walk in the light of Jehovah and the deeds of the flesh are exposed so that they cry out, “O wretched MAN that I am”. They know that in them, that is in their flesh dwells no good thing and that the flesh cannot and shall not be a part of the inheritance of God.

These are the children of the New Covenant. They have had that heart of flesh, upon which the covenant of death and condemnation was written, removed and the heart of flesh put in them. This heart is sensitive to, passionate for, and zealous of the brightness and purity of God for in them the fullness of the Godhead dwells. They love Jehovah God with all of this heart and with all their soul and with all their might and they love one another. This love is because of the common ancestry being born of God. It is because of the common experience of the deliverance from the house of the strong man and the common experience of the trials and tribulations which they encounter in the flesh. They love one another because He loves them and they love Him because He first loved them with an everlasting love.

This is that perfect love that casts away all fear therefore He says unto His people; “Fear not the reproach of men neither be ye afraid of their revilings” Man may be granted the permission by the sovereign ruler of the universe to wield the rod upon the back of the child of grace. He may be assigned the duty of bring trials and tribulations as an instrument of God’s will but he has no power in his hands over any child for their destruction. He may lay in his bed at night devising wickedness against the poor and afflicted in this world but he soon finds that in the morning it is not in his had to perform that which he intended. And further more, after he has perfectly accomplished all that God has set for him to do, God shall revisit him and judge him for lifting his hand against one of God’s little children. Fear not him that has power over the flesh for, brethren, if he be given to end this existence, as God has ordained, he will have set us free from the body of this habitation and we shall inhabit that house not made with hands which is eternal in the heavens.

This should be comfort to the children who long to go home.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
February 5, 2012