“But a man may say, You have faith and I have works: shew me you faith without your works and I will shew you my faith by my works.”
The doctrine of the world, which is the doctrine of man, is centered around and saturated with works. Adam was assigned labours in the garden which God had prepared for him to tend and keep and when his lust for knowledge was conceived, God cursed him in a continuation of his labours; “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth unto you and you shall eat of the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face shall you eat your bread till you return unto the ground, for out of it you were taken: dust you are and unto dust shall you return” (Gen. 3:17).
This is the nature of man and the environment in which he lives. His religion is of this world and has all the characteristics of the labours he has been assigned as his manner of life; thus the doctrine of man is to prove his piety and sincerity by the works he performs. The identity of this work is first proclaimed to be the act of believing in an unknown God and allowing him to enter into the heart and forgive sin. This is intended to produce a feeling, which many will attest unto, a euphoria and peace as a wave of contentment crashes over the penitent soul. Others will confirm the veracity of this experience by avowing that they have also had the same feeling and when the initial rush is over, the next installment begins.
Here the disciple of works is instructed to take inventory of the moral and social habits of the life and evaluate them for honesty and truth. When they are found wanting, the subject is tutored to take control over these vices and surrender them unto their god who will give them the victory and subdue the enemies before them. They now are living the victorious life of a follower of their anointed leader as they grow in the importance of their worth. Daily they must remind their god of what they need, what he has promised and what his obligation is to give them. They claim this right because of their obedience to certain principles espoused by their spiritual leaders who have not only arrived at the apex of their glory but in feigned humility have assumed the position of the teacher of others; thus a man will say “I will shew you my faith by my works”
“Wherein times past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2)
Every son of Adam is born with the natural of the flesh. Each one lives according to the laws of this world and the needs of the body for God has put the love of the world and the cares of life in their hearts to occupy them. This occupation is intended to prevent the curious nature of man from discovering the work which God has done from the beginning thus keeping him in the delusion of self-worth and power. The philosophies and rhetoric of the wisdom of man demonstrates this preoccupation and obsession and though there may be a smattering of truth sprinkled about in hopes of drawing nigh unto God, yet the final analysis is the duty faith doctrine of mortal flesh.
The Pharisees were accomplished in the art of this doctrine as they privileged themselves with the right to augment the commandments of the types and foreshadows, neither of which was ever intended of God to deliver anyone from their sin, into a palatable format whereby a man could conclude righteousness from the Law. Saul of Tarsus was raised and educated under such auspices and he was given of God to excel and exceed all others in word and action. He became the standard of excellence in his walk and a teacher in Israel of these traditions of man presented as the doctrines of God. Thus even though the modern Pharisees revel in their abilities to reduce God to a finite study, cataloging and systematizing His nature, His ways and His will, through the confusion of mixing and amalgamation, yet the dead flies are always present in the ointment they intend to a healing balm.
These dead flies are seen with the naked eyes of man but they are not perceived as being unsavory or detrimental to the cause. The stench of death is undetectable to the natural faculties for this aroma is pleasing to the offspring of the dust as the palate of man delights in the savory amenities of the garnish. This condition is inherent to Adam and his seed and will remain unchecked, regardless of any type of religious, moral or social teaching that may be applied. There may indeed be a form of godliness that becomes apparent in the children of darkness as they ‘turn over a new leaf’ and reform their ways but the axioms of creation can never be altered by the creature; that which is of the flesh will never rise above the carnal plain for this is the birthright and blessing of Esau (Gen. 27:39).
Once the blind and ignorant mortal shells are infused with a good dose of carnal religion and a reform is enacted, that is the underside of the rotting leaf on the ground is overturned for all to see, duty becomes the whip that drives the team into action. Bible study, regular attendance of meetings and ardent prayer are presented as the stimulants which will demonstrate to God the sincerity of the petitioner. Those who have been down this road instruct in the compost pile responsibilities of these babes in their daily walk, their effectual fervent prayer life and of course in the preparation and presentation of their experience. Every new convert is then employed in the labours of going out into the highways and beating the hedges to rescue the perishing as they care for the dying, whether they be children of grace or not.
The earthen vessels afore prepared unto glory have been set apart for the purpose which God has ordained for them. He has caused them to encounter certain experiences in the time of their existence wherein they are emboldened with their worth and comfortable with their standing before God. Saul of Tarsus had no question in his mind as to if he were one of the chosen for he had a commission from Yehovah to seek out these heretics and persuade them to repentance; but in the time appointed pleasing unto the Father, he learned the truth.
Not that the incorruptible eternal seed of Yehovah was ever ignorant of the truth for that seed has been hewn from that Anointed Rock whose name is ‘full of Faith and Truth’ (Rev. 19:11). This is not to infer that He was ever without truth or faith until such time that He was filled for He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, being the fullness of the Godhead who became flesh and dwelt among His people. The seed is identical to the Father who cannot deny Himself; therefore the children could never fail to ‘hit the mark’ by not keeping the commandments or walking by faith. The seed has not defect so it can never be said that it was once blind but now it sees nor was the seed ever in danger of the condemnation of the Law and so, though the vessel walked according to the course of this world, yet was the seed never tainted or blemished;
“Whoso keeps the commandment shall feel no evil thing and a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgement, because to every purpose there is time and judgment; therefore the misery of man is great upon him” (Ecc. 8:5)
The time appointed of the Father when He reveals Himself dwelling in His people is a moment of awakening and revelation. Immediately Saul did not confer with flesh and blood for not one son of Adam knew what had happened; there was no point of reference for Esau to draw from to assist Saul with the manifestation of the Spiritual life within the vessel. But as the Spirit revealed the truth concerning the nature of the earthen vessel wherein this son of God dwelt, there was immediate action. This testimony of awareness and action was in response to the power of God wherein the Spirit quickened the mortal body, opening the eyes and manifesting the vanity of this habitation.
Every aspect of life, wherein Saul boasted in excellence, was eradicated by the reality of the Holiness of God and the work He had done for this chosen vessel; “Truly, without doubt, I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered loss of all things and do count them dung, that I may win Christ” (Phil. 3:8). This contrition and brokenness was not a work which Adam could do neither was it accepted of God because of the person; it was the work of God upon the Adamic nature of the vessel for which He has demonstrated mercy in that He shed His precious blood before the foundation of the world.
Had God changed the earthen vessel into a spiritual man? No, these things do not exist. God shed the blood of the perfect sacrifice for sin that the ‘kha-matz’ (leaven) might be cleansed from within the house. He then struck the side door posts and the lentil above the opening of the earthen shanties with the blood to identify them as dwelling places of His chosen people and His blood covered them (atone) protecting them from the wrath of God which is continually revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of man, who hold truth in unrighteousness (Rms. 1:18). Thus before Adam was formed from the dust of the earth the vessels of habitation, being of the seed of Adam, were set apart, preserved and protected in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah.
The Spirit within by the light of His glory, shinning in the hearts of His people, reveals the abominations of the creature as He discovers the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy (Ezek. 8:3). He manifests the emptiness of this life and the unprofitable ways of man and gives the understanding of the vileness of the vessel. The child of grace is shown from what they have been delivered as they endure the contradiction of sin against themselves and for this they groan within earnestly awaiting their final deliverance.
The Spirit causes the children to keep the commandments of God and makes evident the life within by the fruits that are produced. These fruits are for the fellow strangers and sojourners in the wilderness of this habitation, for they are the peaceable fruits of righteousness but they indeed are seen by the eyes of Adam. The fruit of the Spirit is love and the demonstration of that love for the brethren, those of like precious faith and the common experience, is seen by the world; “by this shall all know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another” (John 13:35).
The Spirit also gives discernment to the children that as they see the ways of the flesh and the course of this world, they know the bondage and corruption of the inherent inability of man to ‘hit the mark’. This manifestation of sin reveals the truth about Adam and that in the body of this death dwells no good thing. And not only, but the wretchedness of this creature and the uncleanness of his ways are understood as abominations before the throne of God for they are a filthy pile of bloody menstruous rags that have neither merit nor value.
“But will you say, vain man, that faith without works is dead?”
The duty system of the theology of man demands that works be performed to secure a place in the kingdom of God and curry His favour in the daily life; the children of light know that the works of the flesh can accomplish neither. Yet to insinuate that there can be the presence of the Spirit of God within, who causes all who have been created in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah to be complete and perfect in the keeping of His commandments and walking in all His ways, and not be evidence of the same is to infer that there can be mortal life in the natural body and yet no evidence.
Can the natural body exist without the heartbeat being present? Or what of the brain activity or the sounds of the functions of the system, are the presence of these proof of life, however so feeble? Is there a physician who would pronounce a body functional wherein there was no proof of life? How absurd! So it is with the Spiritual life and the faith which accompanies it; the presence of the Spirit is manifested in the proof of the good works that the children of the Kingdom who walk by faith. The faith of Adam? Not at all! The life they live they live by the faith of the Son of God who loved them and gave Himself for them.
Are there any ‘good works’ of Adam? No not one, for there is none good but One, that is God (Mark 10:18) and since He is the only one that is good then His work, therefore, must be the only good work. The work which His hand has enacted, performed and completed from the beginning is the epitome of firm justice as all these are in strict compliance with His perfect will. Nothing comes to pass but by the power of His will and nothing exists outside of the counsel of that same will. He looked upon all that He created and pronounced it exceedingly good (Gen. 1:31) as every aspect of this masterful creation, functions in complete harmony one with another.
The children of light have been created in the Beloved Salvation of Yehovah unto good works, which is also the work of God. The path which they walk during the time of habitation in the flesh and the steps they take have all been meticulously purposed and planned by the Almighty God who lives and reigns supreme. The natural environment (Esau) has been prepared as the servant of the child of promise (Jacob) as he endures his existence in flesh and blood and while the natural beast of the field can neither imagine nor recognize anything good, yet he is a passive participant in the good works which God has ordained.
This natural brute beast which is perishing daily has the subtlety of the serpent with respect to these works. He being carnal, proceeds from the flawed pretense of possessing the power and having the right to perform in such a manner as to catch the attention of God and manipulate Him into an action. He thus concludes that his acceptance of the provision will entitle him to access into the salvation of Yehovah; yet there is no such provision. The salvation of Yehovah was finished before time was enacted, therefore it proceeds time, and it was sufficient for the purpose. God did not make a way unto salvation for man to find nor did He provide a potential for the deliverance of whosoever wills from the calamities and maladies of this life; the Lamb of God stood, having completed the measure of all things required to purge the iniquity of the children of promise and to cleansed them from their sin in Adam.
Still the taskmasters of the land of double bondage and confinement insinuate, like the serpent in the garden, you are not surely alienated from the God and without hope in Israel being dead in trespasses and sin. And as the whip of duty is applied the conscience and pride of man is the target for questions like ‘How’s your prayer life? How is your walk with God and have you spent any time in the Word today?’ As the pious Pharisees the natural mind is asked what would Jesus do if He came to your house and saw what you were doing would you be ashamed and amend your ways? Thus those children of hope are brought into the captivity of inability as they bow the head in the weariness of their labours under the heavy burden of duty.
“But thanks to God which has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:57)
As the children of light grow in the grace and knowledge of His will they see the impotence of man to deliver himself from the bondage; they also realize that the natural man not only enjoys this inseparable connection to his nativity but seeks to justify himself in his ignorance. While he strives daily to maintain the fig leaf clothing he has fashioned for his audience before God and muses upon his arguments for acquittal for his alleged offenses, seeking no defense of guilt but rather a dismissal because it is God’s doing, he cannot see that he is perishing moment by moment. This march back to the dust from whence he was formed is shrouded by the illusion of holiness, self-righteousness and the ultimate championship for the cause; the Spirit teaches His children otherwise.
The champion of the faith by which the children are delivered came forth upon the white horse, conquering and to conquer, all the enemies of the truth. The Word proceeds from the mouth of this warrior messenger of Yehovah as the power of God unto deliverance is preached throughout all the world along with the righteous judgement of God, for they are the two sides of the same sword. He who is God has stood up for His people and worked all their works for them leaving them with no obligation before the perfect holiness of God and He has established each of them as His workmanship. He works His work in each of His children and none can stay His hand or say unto Him, What are you doing? For He alone is the great King over all the earth.
He is the author and finisher of the faith of His people who walk by faith and not by sight. These individuals, every man in his order, are mindful of the good works which God has done and is doing after the good pleasure of His will in and through their lives; they are also made painfully mindful of the false works that they experience in the body of this death. Though the race is run and the path completed in the perfect law of liberty, whereby they have been made free in Him, yet the events of time must come to pass in this life. Though the body is dead because of sin and the sin has been cleansed yet the children must experience the warfare of the law in the members against the Law of the mind. Thus there still remains, in this life, the sting of death which has been swallowed up in the victory of the Beloved; “therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (15:58)
“A faithful saying and these things I will that you affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be thoughtful of the good works that have been set over them. These things are good and profitable unto men” (Titus 3:8)
The good works of the children of the Kingdom of light are performed, each in their appropriate time and manner being sufficient to the needs in quantity and quality for the called out assembly of the first born. Neither can the mind of man imagine such things as are needful to the pilgrims nor can the polluted hands perform that which the Father has decreed beneficial and profitable to His people. The Spirit causes the works of love to be performed in the time of need because of the life within and indeed they have manifestations in time and space as a testimony to His people and to the world. The love of the brethren is the proof of the love of God for wherein Adam there is nothing for God to have loved that He should have made the propitiation for sin so also in Adam none of His children have anything lovable for the brethren.
The Spirit brings to mind the trials and tribulations which every member of the body endures in this life. He gives the understanding that it is the hand of God that presses down upon this frail shell, reducing it back to the dust from whence it came, to shew forth His love for the seed within and it is He which causes them that are in great tribulation to comfort those who are in any kind of trouble. This comfort however, is not in the form of feigned concern and shallow instruction, for it is indeed an identification of the suffering and persecution which only the sons of God endure. Thus the prayers of the holy ones are made for the grace of God to be manifested to those whom he has appointed unto the manifest token of His righteous judgement, wherein they have been counted worthy to suffer for the kingdom of God.
There is no respect of the person as these necessary good works are enacted for the brethren nor is there any compulsory obligation whereby the children are coerced into obedience; the children walk by the power of the Spirit as the good works are manifested in the time of trouble in evidence of the life within. The foolishness of man concludes that unsubstantiated belief is all that is needed in obedience before God but indeed eternal life is the first prerequisite for if there be no life there can be no action.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
July 15, 2018