“Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead being alone.”
Many lengthy treatises have been prepared of numerous well meaning religionists in attempt to demonstrate the obligatory nature of works as proof of being a spiritual existence. The emphasis is always upon those things which aught to be done as an outward evidence of life with an extensive list of standards and criteria of this ‘proof’ as carnal and flawed as the reasoning. There can be no argument about the union of works unto faith but without the understanding given only by the Spirit to His children there can be neither peace nor comfort in the subject. Devoid of the teaching of the Holy Spirit of God the doctrine of works is completely sensual, catering only to the lusts of the flesh. It is lead by an arrogant presumption and concludes with mandates which are diametrically opposed to the grace of Messiah for His people.
Now faith is the evidence of that which cannot be seen by the eyes of man. Neither can it be explained by his logic nor understood by his reasoning for he is incapable of receiving the things of the Spirit. It is also the substance of the earnest expectation of every child of grace, born from above, that he is a son of God and that at the conclusion of this habitation he shall, in a twinkling of an eye, return to that city, whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:1).
Faith is the confidence and comfort of the redeemed in the perfect will of Almighty God, which is performed in the earth as it is in heaven, for good to the called, according to His purpose. It is not of Adam nor of this world for faith is a gift of God, the evidence of the indwelling Spirit and contrary to the ways of man. Adam was not endowed with it in his formation from the dust of the earth neither could he obtain it by merit or diligent searching; therefore his seed does not inherit this quality and virtue from him. Without faith it is impossible to please God and all men have not faith; “Yehovah said unto Samuel, Do not look upon his countenance or on the height of his stature, for I have refused him, for Yehovah does not see as a man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance but Yehovah looks upon the heart” (I Sam. 16:7). Since faith cannot be seen nor understood of Adam so then the works which proceed from faith cannot be seen of man; howbeit, the religious taskmasters of man not only demand this visual proof but have established this elaborate ruse as the grading standard for spirituality, growth and maturity.
“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said unto him, One thing you are destitute of, sell whatsoever you have and give to the poor and following Me, taking up the cross” (Mark 10:21).
This encounter with the man who came running unto Jesus could have easily been dismissed by the fact that no son of Adam can keep the Law of God, even as it was given unto Israel in type and foreshadow. No flesh shall ever be justified by the deeds of the law for it is the ministration of condemnation and death. Anyone who could have possibly observed the fullness of the handwriting of ordinances could do no better than to show forth that he is a sinner. The Law begins with the singularity of Yehovah God who is to be worshiped and loved with all the heart, all the mind and all the strength of any and all who would approach unto holiness. This cannot be accomplished by the creature whom God has fashioned with a deceitful heart that is desperately wicked and which no man can know (Jer.17:9) and whose mind is filled with the cares of this world and the needs of this body (Ecc. 3:11). (Objection to statements like this are numerous and passionate, but if God did not fashion the heart and mind of Adam after this manner, then by what means did he arrive in this condition, being alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and without hope in this world? Is there a power that is greater than the Almighty?)
Jesus, however, does not upbraid this one kneeling before Him but rather He lovingly engages him, knowing full well every thought, word and deed of this man and every word he was about to say. The gentleman came fully convinced that he had indeed kept the commandments but he also acknowledges that he was in need of and desired eternal life. Even in his delusional ignorance, though completely sincere in his endeavours and full well convinced of the righteousness of his ways, he had an understanding that the labour of keeping the law was insufficient for the portion by law, eternal life. He asked Jesus what things he needed to produce, prepare, commit or show in order to be in possession of, to be holding onto or to be joined unto eternal life. (The question in and of itself is self exclusionary for if eternal life could be obtained by any act, be it by merit, or heritage or obligation or even of default, then it could not be eternal. Eternal life has neither beginning nor end and can only be found in He who inhabits eternity; Yehovah God.)
The child of grace is of that eternal incorruptible seed born of God, therefore he is a son of God. He is hewn from that Rock which is Christ and is one in the Godhead. The child does not become a son of God, for he has the eternal love of God, yet, at the appointed hour, he is born from above, begotten of the Father, into an earthen vessel afore prepared unto glory. Now, being a son of God, he awaits the time when the body of this death is destroyed, the manifestation of the sons of God, when he shall be made like unto the son (adoption) for when He shall appear, they shall be like Him (I John 3:2).
These children have their life in Him and are as eternal as He is so they need not do anything to obtain the portion by allotment (inherit) eternal life. These children have the testimony of the Spirit of God that they are heirs of God and joint heirs with Messiah “if so be that we suffer together that we may be glorified together” (Rms. 8:17). If Messiah had to perform some deed or duty to become the Son of God then they must follow suit but indeed He was the Son from the beginning; “for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder and His name is called, Wonderful Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Eternal Father, The Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:6). He made Himself of no reputation and took on the form of a servant (the Son), He came to do the will of the Father and to speak that which was given Him of the Father. As no prophet came to speak his own words so The Salvation of Yehovah came not to speak the words of a man but the words of the eternal Father. He finished the works in all righteousness having His people in Him.
Adam, however, is a created being. He came into existence in the garden when God breathed into his nostrils and he became a living creature. He obtained his natural life at a certain time, in a certain place and for a certain purpose. He fulfilled that purpose when he hearkened unto the voice of his wife and sin entered into the world and death by sin. Therefore from the beginning man has been occupied with the vain attempt at preserving and prolonging the life he has been given, procreating to continue his lineage and striving to prevent that which happens to all; “Then I said in my heart, As it happens to a fool, so it happens even unto me and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this is also vanity, for no remembrance of the wise more than the fool for ever, seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten; and how does the wise die? as the fool” (Ecc. 2:15). The question of this certain man was a demonstration of the foolish delusion of the pride of the heart of Edom, wherein he is deceived, and the confidence of the assurance of Adam in his worth before God.
“Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, You are deficient in one thing” (Luke 18:22).
There is but one commandment and that is the complete and unaltered devotion unto Yehovah God. The second is like unto and contingent upon the first for if there is no love of Yehovah God in the heart then there can be no love for the ‘fellow companions of the pasture’; “We love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19). This certain man probably could have sold all he had and distributed his wealth to his family and friends and perhaps, given enough incentive like a healthy tax write-off, he could have given to charities and non-profit organizations, but because he was deficient of the love of God shed abroad in his heart, he could not love the brethren. The poor mentioned here is not a reference to those destitute in the world but it is a direct reference to the poor as defined in the Law. The poor of the children of Israel were to be attended to by their brethren and there were even provisions in the statutes for one who was incapable of bringing the proper sacrifice. These demands were not set upon Israel for the nations of the world and there was no special sanctions given for the Canaanite who could not attend to the Tabernacle, for he was not obligated unto it. The children of Israel were instructed; “You shall not afflict the widow or fatherless child” (Ex. 22:22) for “Yehovah preserves the strangers, He relieves the father-less and widow but the way of the wicked He turns upside down” (Ps. 146:9).
God has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom of Light which He has promised to them that love Him (Jms 2:5). These are despised of the world and shunned by respectable people but God has left them as the testimony of His great love for His Beloved. Jesus was not instructing this man to start up a social program and mission to the poor nor was He indicating that all who are ‘out of the way’ as pertaining to material possessions and the comforts of life are His people. He was answering this man’s inquiry by solving the mystery of the missing element; the man could not get what he did not already have for the evidence that he presented testified against him being worthy of the blessing.
The sincerity and performance of this certain man was completely worthless because he did it all without the love of God. He gave the first-born male of his flock that was without spot or blemish, to be sacrificed for his inability to hit the mark. He came daily, from his youth up, to present the daily sacrifice, the peace offering, the trespass offering, the sacrifice of thanksgiving and those required for the Sabbath observances, the feasts of the months of the years, the feast of the years and the feast of the Jubilee, in addition to any oblations that were necessary due to any uncleanness or defilement in his family. He came to Jesus and said that he indeed lived in the law as he kept the judgments, ordinances, statutes and commandments of God (Lev. 18:5) therefore he felt he was entitled to the reward. He wasted his efforts in his endeavours for; “Though I speak with the tongue of men and angels and have not love, I am become as the roaring echo of an empty vessel or the lamenting sound of the striking of a hollow basin of brass; and though I have prophesy and understanding all mystery and all knowledge and though I have faith, so that I could remove mountains and have not love I am nothing; and though I bestow all my goods to feed and though I give my body to be burned and have not love, it is of no profit” (I Cor. 13:1–3).
The doctrines of Adam quickly conclude from these words that it is time to up and be busy for the Lord in the demonstration of a universal charity to all mankind yet the testimony of the scripture does not support such assertions. No man can love another but that love is given unto him and even if his deeds be most benevolent yet there is no sincere love for ones he does not know. However, there is a deep feeling of affection and comradery for one who has been given love to return; this is true in nature but it cannot compare to the love of the brethren.
“A new heart also will I give you and a new Spirit will I put within you and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you an heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36:26).
A new heart is needed in order for the love of God to be shed abroad within. This new heart is not one drawn out after the observances of the ministration of condemnation but is rather an heart that is led by the school-master unto the Anointing. It is taught of the New Spirit that all flesh is grass and the glory thereof is as the flower of the field. The brilliance of the truth illuminates the wickedness of sin and the corruption of the body of this death. This causes the child to cry out to the Father for forgiveness and deliverance.
This is the common salvation that every child that has been made to be partaker of flesh and blood experiences. It is an acknowledgement of the inability of the flesh to measure up to the perfect standard of the holiness of God, the complete ignorance of Adam of his condition and the absolute need of deliverance. This is why the Spirit groans within waiting the deliverance and this is the testimony of everyone who has been born of the Spirit of God.
When it pleases the Father to reveal Himself dwelling in His children, it is necessary that the commandments rise up against them to show them that salvation is of Yehovah by grace through faith and that a gift of God. When the child is given this understanding of his condition in the flesh, he knows that no good things dwells in him and that he can do nothing to correct this deficiency. He is then taught by the Spirit of the eternal love of God which is specific unto the children of promise of the Israel of our God. He knows he is a stranger and pilgrim in a foreign land, he cannot drink the waters of this world for they are bitter, the food cannot satisfy and there is no place of comfort or peace in this world. He knows that the bed is too short for stretching upon, therefore there is no rest and that he cannot cover himself in the cloth (there is no atonement). He feels himself like the pelican in the wilderness where there is no fish, and as a sparrow on the rooftop he is alone; therefore he longs to return to his Father’s house where there is the coming forth of peace, Jerusalem.
As it also pleases the Father, these lone pilgrims may meet and two or three may be gathered together in His blessed name. Here they speak of how great things God has done and they lament over the sin which does so easily beset them. They have a common testimony of their wretchedness in the flesh and the hope of glory within and they love one another because His love is shed abroad in their hearts. They are given to weep with them that weep and rejoice with them that rejoice and even though there are not many wise men after the flesh and not many mighty and not many noble (“for God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty and base things of the world and things which are despised has God chosen and things which are not to bring to nought things that are , that no flesh should glory in His presence” – I Cor. 1:26) yet do they gladly look upon the needs of others more than the needs of themselves. They identify one with another in the common salvation of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah. They are members in particular and fitly framed together as they lament the wormwood and the gall of Edom and they bare one another’s burdens; this is wherein the certain man was deficient and why he went away sad for he had great possessions.
“But as touching brotherly love you need not that I write unto you for you yourselves are taught of God to love one another” (I Thes. 4:9).
If one is not born from above then the Spirit of God does not abide in them. If they have not the Spirit of God, then they are none of His and His love is not in them. There is nothing they can do to merit this love, there is no open enrollment period for new applicants into His love and there is no universal invitation for who-so-ever wills. But, unto the children of the incorruptible seed, this peculiar people, holy nation and precious remnant according to grace, there is the revelation of the love of God in them. The Spirit bears witness with their Spirit that they are the sons of God, He chastens all whom He has redeemed and the light of His glory shows them; “Behold I am vile”.
These have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of His people of every tongue, every nation and every tribe. He is not a respecter of persons, and thus, being justified by His grace, they are made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. They have been taught by the Spirit that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, they “should live discreetly, righteous and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:12ff).
The maintaining of these good works, which do not originate in man nor are they initiated or activated by the thoughts and intents of the natural heart, is a result of the same power and authority of that which begat them and called them by His grace. The foolish questions, genealogies and contentions, striving about the law are unprofitable and empty to the nurture and admonitions of the Spirit who causes His children to walk by faith. The result of these good works are the peaceable fruits of righteousness which are sown in peace for the “wisdom that is from above is first pure, the peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (Jms 3:17). This is the fellowship of the Spirit in the common deliverance of His people from their sin and it is the song of the redeemed. No man can teach this song unto another and all who have had the experience have no need that another teach them or lead them into the truth.
The provisions of the New Covenant are manifested in the fact that the rightful heirs, being made subject to the vanity of this existence, despise their nature in Adam, are hated of all men for His name’s sake and, being weary of the vanity of this world, desire to return to their Father’s house. They are lead by the voice of the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the covenant; by the footsteps of the flock unto the Shepherds tent beside the still waters to the table afore prepared for them in the presence of their enemies; here they can feed. They hear only the voice of the Shepherd and they follow Him and though the natural ear is tempted by the Sirens of the “strange woman, whose lips are as the honeycomb and her mouth smoother than oil” (Prov. 5:3) yet will they not hear that voice nor follow after the stranger.
These of the general assembly of the house of the first-born are drawn by the hand of God unto the Apostle and High Priest of their profession, the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having their hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and their bodies washed with pure water. They hold fast the profession of faith without wavering and they consider one another to provoke them unto love and to good works (Heb 10:22). They are His workmanship created in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah unto good works, which God has before ordained that they should walk in (Eph 2:10) and they walk in the light of Yehovah. Every good work that they have been ordained unto comes to pass in the appointed hour as a guide to the fellow travelers who are strangers and sojourners in a foreign land.
“But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:20).
There can be nothing contrary to the testimony that all men shall know the disciples of Yehovah by their love one for another. All who stand before the throne and proclaim the works they have done, preaching the gospel, healing the sick, casting out devils “and in Your name done many wonderful works?” shall not enter into the kingdom of the Redeemed. The Israel of our God shall perfectly perform all the good works they have been created unto, for we are His workmanship. They shall give testimony of the grace of God as they keep the commandments of God by loving one another because of the finished work of the Redeemer.
Let the world rail about the works Adam desires to see and the standard of perfection he demands, The children of hope have the fruit of the Spirit and the assurance of that hope for the mouth of God has commanded; “Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34).
Who-so-ever is born from above, has the assurance of faith and this testimony. This faith, which is the faith of the Son of God who loved His people and gave His life for them, is evidenced in their love for the brethren of like precious faith. The assurance of faith is the evidence of things unseen and the substance of things hoped for therefore there can be no assurance in the flesh, for what a man sees, why then does he have hope?
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
May 1, 2016