“I will declare your righteousness and your works, for they shall not profit you.”
The ways of God are all-inclusive. He fashioned the earthen vessel from the dust of the earth and breathed in it to make it a living soul. He provided the proper environment for habitation and supplied the provisions commensurate to the needs of the creature. He kept nothing secret as He communed with man, having established his way from the beginning. When in the fullness of time Adam ushered sin into the world, God was neither surprised nor confounded, for all had come to pass according to His will. When He called to man, Adam made full demonstration of the inherent propensities of his nature for by the work of his hand he attempted to show forth his worth before God.
Some would allege that God looked ahead into the future and, observing mans behavior, had a foreknowledge of what his actions would be. Speculations of this type show forth the limitations of the carnal mind as they impugn the integrity of God and His sovereign will. These feeble conjectures accuse the Creator of being subject to the actions of the creature, Yet He has said that the ways of man are not in himself; it is not of him that walks to direct his steps. He has also been acclaimed to have set the time of habitations and the limitations thereof for every earthen vessel, assigning unto each specific certain labours, whereby He causes the ordained events to come to pass. He has also said that He alone is the Eternal One who has turned the heart of the evil king to do His will as He has also turned the rivers of waters to run their appointed course.
He alone is the self-existing One who inhabits eternity where there is no time and having ordained events according to His eternal purpose, to come to pass in their specific order and time, He has commanded by His word every thought, word and deed that ever has or ever will occur. His ways are hidden from His creatures as is the mystery of His gospel but He has shown His power and His glory unto all by and through His creation; “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shews His handywork” (Ps. 91:1).
However, God has set these wonders in both the heavens and the earth as a testimony to His sovereign rule over all His works so that Adam and his children are without excuse before His throne. He has set the things of this world in the hearts and minds of man and given man an insatiable desire for them so that they cannot find out the work which God has done from the beginning (Ecc. 3:11). Thus coupled together with the desire of Adam to prove themselves before God and having the world in their minds, the children of Israel are the manifest demonstration of the delusion of perfection through ignorance. They saw nothing wrong in their actions and commended each other on pretense of holiness but they were indeed; “sons of sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore” (Is. 57:4).
Did God cast them off calling down fire from heaven to consume these brute beast made to be taken out and destroyed? No, He showed forth His long-suffering and patience with them. He gave them a continuing testimony of His perfection in holiness and His immutability, wherein they were not consumed, without diminishing His justice or hindering His love for His people. He then calls them together by the word of His prophet and sets before them the truth concerning their Adamic nature, the beauty of His Holiness and the standard of perfection that He demands.
“You are wearied in the greatness of your ways, you did not say there is no hope, you went and found life in your hands and therefore you were not grieved” (57:10)
Prosperity, in the limited amount of the nation at that time, was sufficient to deceive them that they were walking along the heavenly highway. They were deceived by the pride of their natural hearts to think that the deception of the counterfeit representation of the sin of Israel could not reach unto them. They had the temple mount and the house which Solomon built. They possessed the scrolls of the Law and unto them were the ceremonies and the rituals. Their priests were of the house of Levi and even though there was “a wonderful and horrible thing committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means and My people love so; and what will you do in the end thereof? (Jer. 5:30)”
These were the sons of Abraham unto whom belonged the promises and God had spared them these many years. Certainly God was not angry with them nor was His wrath to be poured out upon them. But the promise of God is sharper that any two edged sword. It presents the blessing of God in a manner that is pleasing to the natural understanding of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but these are tangible things which fade away. The blessings of the Lord upon His people are first and foremost, spiritual blessings in the heavenlies, wherein the adoption is revealed in the Sabbath of the Lord.
The other side of that sword is the revelation of the natural inherent nature of Adam. Herein are the ways of man revealed to be corrupt because Adam, and all his seed in him, stands guilty before the throne of justice. The corporal pollution of the creature renders every thought, word and deed unacceptable before God for it proceeds from a corrupt seed. No amount of prayer or “good intentions” could ever atone for the guilt and thus make the petition or action acceptable unto God. The so called ‘prayer of faith’, that the religion of Adam promotes, is the pathetic plea of an unrepentant son of Adam seeking to make amends with God so as to secure a position in the eternal kingdom. Yet if the seed be not born from above, being the incorruptible eternal seed of God, there can be no obtaining of that which is eternal; in order to have eternal life the beginning must be from the eternal seed.
The wicked cannot approach unto God but first the wicked be made righteous. There can be no peace for the wicked for God has put enmity between the wicked and the Holy. The one is the tare planted by the wicked one while the other is the wheat planted by the Son of Man in the world (Matt. 13:38). The two grow together and only the Master knows the wheat from the tares. The one has no peace for it is not justified by the faith of the Son of God for he is none of His. He has not the Spirit of God and the Word does not dwell within; therefore they cannot hear His words for they are not for the wicked (John 8:38 & 43).
The wheat, however, have peace with God because of the precious perfect blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. These are the contrite in heart because they have been, in the flesh, ‘crushed to dust’ by the promise of God (Gen. 3:19) and His heavy hand upon them. His ‘pressing’ upon them (tribulation) proves the frailty of the frame as the light of His glory, which is the love of God shed abroad in the hearts of His children, reveals the body of this death. Therefore they are humbled for as the Spirit shows them the uncleanness of their ways and their doing that are not good, they are brought low. They find that in their flesh dwells no good thing which causes them to cry out for the mercy of God, who is “nigh unto them that are of a broken heart and saves such as be of a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34:18).
While the eyes of the flesh see the beauty of this world with all its opportunities and possibilities, the spirit within the children of the Kingdom of God desires to be in the presence of the beauty of His Holiness. The arm of the flesh is emboldened by his zeal for the Lord and fears nothing of His righteous justice or the merits of the sin that dwells within while the children of hope know that should He regard iniquity not one should stand before Him clean. The logic of man sees himself as blameless according to his understanding of the Law, while the Israel of our God lies prostrate upon the ground crying, “Be merciful unto me a sinner”
Thus the promise of God to the seed of Adam is; “I will conspicuously make your righteousness known and your unprofitable works”.
“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, doing your pleasure on My Holy day, and call the Sabbath, the Holy delight of Yehovah, honourable, and shall honour Him, not doing your own ways nor finding out your own pleasure nor speaking your own words: Then shall you delight yourself in Yehovah and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth and feed you with the inheritance of Jacob your father; for the mouth of Yehovah has spoken” (58:13)
God made no false offer here to the children of Israel of duties which they may perform in order to gain His approval. He speaks in the same as when He spoke to them by His servant Moses instructing them to keep His Law, circumcising the foreskin of their heart and be no more stiff-necked (Deut. 10:16). The Law was never intended to deliver the flesh from sin, for by the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in His sight. Nor was the afore mentioned circumcision a state of mind or a point of view for it is indeed, “Yehovah your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed to love Yehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul that you may live” (30:6).
God set before the nation of Israel the standard of excellence He demands and His Law requires to show them that the nature of man fails to ‘hit the mark’ (sin). This revelation is unto all flesh, since all flesh shall see the salvation of Yehovah (Is. 40:5), but only those who have eyes to see, behold this condition. The Father reveals Himself in His people in the appointed hour and, like Adam and Eve in the garden having their eyes are opened through the knowledge of good and evil, they behold the truth. They see the great works which He has done and know the effects of His grace upon them but they also see the frailty of this vessel of clay and the vanity of the world; thus as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, they see the bondage of this corruption.
This condition causes the children to cry out for they understand that no one could ever measure up to the perfection of God. The more they grow the more they know that they have no hope to present themselves before the throne as obedient children thankful in all things for what God has done. They desire to do that which is right and God honouring but when they would do good, evil is present. They desire to walk by faith but they find that in Adam there is neither faith nor understanding of the truth, being carnal, sold under sin (being sensual delivered of God to the inability to hit the mark). And so each child asks, like the disciples who walked with the fullness of the Godhead in the flesh; “Who then can be saved?”
“Behold the hand of Yehovah is not shortened that it cannot save; neither is His ear heavy that it cannot hear” (59:1)
Jesus told the disciples that salvation is impossible with man. Adam knows that he must do something for his eyes indeed have been opened. His children know that there needs to be a change as they observe the condition of their world, their environment and their lives but there is none that seek after righteousness. Even the most ardent Atheist is busied attempting to change things even though he will disavow the existence of a divine being. This change is cloaked in the shroud of improvement for the betterment of man and is manifested in philanthropic endeavours of good deeds. Thus the inherent nature of man is revealed in that he is not content with what God has done or the condition wherein he finds himself. He strives to change what God has called good as he attempts to ascend to the throne of God and be like God.
The Spirit of Yehovah does not remove this natural characteristic of the beast of the field. He reveals the truth about the ways of man unto the inner man, but he does not leave His people without hope. The unprofitableness of the fruit of the field to satisfy the hunger of the children with the absence of any living water in the wilderness and the relentless labours of the flesh causes the children to earnestly desire to be delivered from this existence. The trying of the faith within shows that they have been hewn from that Anointed Rock who is the well-spring of living waters and as the outward man is reduced back to the dust from when he came so the inner man is strengthened and refreshed by the Word of God; “And Jesus answered him saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word of God” (Like 4:4).
The harder man struggles to show his worth before God the more the still small voice of God manifests the righteous of man, showing that “we are ALL as an unclean thing and ALL our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; we do fade as a leaf and our iniquity, like the wind, has taken us away” (Is. 64:6). The understanding that the guilt in Adam has separated the flesh from the glory of God enables the subjects of grace to acknowledge their sin which is ever before them (Ps. 51:3) and to cry out; “God, be merciful to me a sinner”
The long-suffering mercy of God brings His people into the wilderness wherein there is a drought of hearing the word of God; this is the flesh. He shows them the worthlessness of the habitation of this dwelling and the unprofitableness of the labours that have been assigned to the flesh during the time of this habitation. He then makes an open demonstration to His children, every man in his order, of the blood on their hands, the guilt of their fingers and the lying nature of their tongue as it mutters perverseness. The coverings that they have made for themselves are the silk of the spider’s web which cannot cover their nakedness or hide the violence in their hands. Their feet run to do evil and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of guilt as wasting and destruction is the path which they walk. There is neither peace nor judgment in their goings as they have made the crooked path their way; “Therefore judgment is far from US, neither does judgment overtake us; we wait for the light but behold obscurity: for brightness we walk in darkness” (59:9)
How easy it is to point the finger at these foolish people and to judge them strickened of the Lord for their sin; this is the conclusion of the thoughts of Adam. But observe O ye that judge (every son of Adam) for as long as the children inhabit this earthen vessel they will have the passions, the thoughts and the conclusions of Adam; “And do you think, O man, that judges them which do such things and does the same, that you shall escape judgment? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rms. 2:3)
“And He saw that NO MAN and wondered that NO intercessor, therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him and His righteousness sustained Him” (59:16)
God has concluded ALL under sin without exception. His hand is all powerful and He alone has the authority to do that which His heart desires. He has created the good and the evil and by the standard of His Holiness, He has established that which falls short of His glory and that is ALL FLESH. His love for His people is eternal and nothing can separate them from Him nor can any remove His Beloved out of His hands. He needs no help and receives no counsel from another as He has decreed that His incorruptible seed should be partakers of corrupt limited mortal flesh. He, by the power of His will, made Himself of no reputation and taking on the form of a servant, He came to deliver all that the Father gave Him. This is His salvation according to His righteousness for His glory which He shall not share with another.
The Lord brings His people to understand that without the Ark they shall perish in the righteous judgment of God against the wickedness of Adam. He shows His children that they are not of the land of their father, Adam, for it is fraught with idolatry, envying and strife. He reveals that there is nothing of profit unto the sons of God or God Himself in the land as He delivers them into a place of double fortifications for their protection causing them to wait His deliverance; “in your patience possess your souls” (Luke 21:19). He then brings them into a place wherein they find themselves trapped with no strength to fight and no one to help. He causes them to stand still and see the salvation of Yehovah as He reveals His cloud by day and pillar by night leading them where the logic of man has abandoned as of no help. He brings them to the base of His Holy Mountain, not to show them types and foreshadows, but to reveal His Law unto them. Here they fear and tremble at His greatness and giving them His precepts and statutes He makes it clear that while they are required to live in the Law they cannot keep any of it after the arm of the flesh. The Law is the ministration of death to Adam and the ministration of life to hem that love Him, the called according to His purpose.
He brings His Beloved children to the places where there is no hope and all that they held as proper is understood as being putrefying filth before the Lord; here He teaches them “Salvation is of Yehovah”. He makes an open demonstration of the sin that dwells in them and by His love, He declares their righteousness in Adam non-existent. Yet the Spirit bears witness with the spirit within that it has been granted unto the Beloved to be adorned in fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints. This imputed righteousness of the Anointed salvation of Yehovah is eternal and there is no other name given unto me in heaven or in the earth, whereby the Redeemed of Yehovah are delivered.
The Sabbath of the Lord is not some venerated day or the trans positioning of that day to another. It is from the beginning for when He finished His work on the seventh, He rested; “for we which have believed do enter into rest as He said, as I have sworn in My wrath, they shall not enter into My rest, although the works were finished from the foundation of the world” (He. 4:3). The testimony of His salvation is a finished work and the manifest token of the righteous judgment of God is that the patience and faith of His people grows exceedingly in all their persecutions and tribulation which they endure; “And you shall be hated of ALL men for My name’s sake, but he that shall endure unto the end shall be saved” (Mk. 13:13).
The blessing and the promise of God is the manifestation of His love for His peculiar people. Salvation is always before Him as the walls of the New Jerusalem and He has wrought all their works for them. His chastening hand is upon them, crushing the clay into dust and humbling them as the outer man perishes.
“Therefore thus Yehovah God speaks: Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel and will be jealous for My Holy name. After that they have born their shame and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against Me when they dwelt safely in their land and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; The shall they know that I, Yehovah their God, which cased them to be led into captivity among the nations: but I have gathered them unto their own land ad have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide My face any more from them, for I have poured out My Spirit upon the house of Israel, said Yehovah God” (Ezek. 39:25ff)
This is the promise of the Lord God Omnipotent who has spoke and caused His Word to come to pass.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 17, 2017