“Thus said Yehovah; cursed be the man that trusts in man and makes flesh his arm and whose heart departs from Yehovah.”
The prophet of the Lord lived in the midst of a very difficult time. The ten northern tribes had been destroyed and carried off into exile in the Assyrian empire. God had sent forth His messengers into the land of Israel to warn them of their iniquity and their impending destruction, but they would not hear. The southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin witnessed these events and rather than repenting of their idolatry and spiritual adultery, they did even worse than the people of the north.
God did not send forth His messengers with the hope that the people of Israel or Judah would hear His warnings and repent so that God would not have to do that which He had said would come to pass. Nor did He hold all events in the balance awaiting the decision of the people. He had, from before Israel was a people, ordained this path for them to walk as the type of the nature of Adam. He was not sending forth an ultimatum before the people in order to get them to alter their ways in the form of exhortation of admonition, He was proclaiming that which must shortly come to pass.
The Word of Yehovah is exact and to the point without contingencies or conditions. This Word is as immutable as God and equally just and pure. There is no subterfuge or deception in His Word as He is not a man that He should lie. Adam occupies himself in writing volumes of works in attempt to explain what God said, yet in spite of all his knowledge he cannot understand nor believe the simple fact that God said what He meant and means what He said. He did not say that if a man were to trust in man, then would he be accursed. What His word was to the prophet and to the people was that man trusts in man because he is already cursed, that is why he has confidence in man.
Adam was formed from the dust of the earth. The make-up of his body is of the earth, earthly and that which sustains him is likewise the same. The air he breathes, the food he eats and the water he drinks are all of the natural creation of God. His body needs these things to survive and his natural instinct is drawn out after them. This labour was assigned to man from the beginning and the curse of God at the expulsion from the garden was; “cursed be the ground for your sake. In sorrow you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to 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: for dust you are and unto the dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:17ff). God made him from the earth, made him subject to the earth and cursed the earth for him and so the Word of Yehovah to His servant is; “man is cursed, therefore he trusts in man”.
This is an all-inclusive statement that is from generation to generation upon all the seed of Adam. The very strength of man is cursed because it is derived from the nourishment that comes from a land which is waxing old as a garment. Even after the earth was destroyed by the flood and God gave man the flesh to eat saying; “every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you even as the green herb have I given you all things” (Gen. 9:3) this meat was still of that which was formed from the dust of the ground. The cycle is closed as it began in the dust, is sustained by the dust of the ground so shall it return unto whence it came. Every child of Adam is made subject to this vanity.
The curse that is pronounced by the mouth of God is not in retaliation of God against the actions of man for God does not receive the face of man nor discriminates upon his actions (Acts 10:34). The curse of man is unbroken in it’s continuity from the first until the last and the actions of man are commensurate to this curse. God placed this curse upon him in the creation by making of one blood all nations that dwell upon the face of the earth and has determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitations (Acts 17:26). Man lives, moves and breathes in this curse without regard for it because it is part of his nature, therefore the temptations of the lusts of the flesh are common to all men (I Cor. 10:13). It was not a result of the one act of Adam whereby sin entered into the world and death by sin (Rms. 5:12) but was part and parcel to the act; an essential element of the events which came to pass. God created man with the curse upon him that his strength should be obtained and sustained by the things created and thus it is limited to the confines of the created arena and it is temporal and so;
“The strong man is detestable for his confidence is in man”.
This trust that Adam has in his fellow man is not restricted to his reliance upon people for companionship, family and comradery but also for the labours and the products that they produce. Every year the farmer trusts that the seed he plants has life in it and that the soil and conditions will be conducive to growth and fruitfulness. The fishermen have confidence in their nets, the ability to locate the catch and the health and usefulness of the hall. The manufacturer relies upon his machinery, the administrator upon his understanding, the teacher upon his wisdom, the student upon his learning, the orator upon his voice, the musician upon his instrument and the affluent upon their wealth. All men have been given to have confidence in that which is prosperous and tangible because God has set the things of this world in his heart. He has endowed each with gifts and abilities which are needful for the labours assigned and which command his attention on the things of life. Therefore;
“He makes flesh the agent of his labours for his heart is continually turned away from Yehovah”.
God has revealed Himself to all nations of this world and has established His testimony in the things created. There is none born unto man who is without excuse because of ignorance before God (Rms. 2:1). His Word has gone and continues today to go forth by the trumpet of the everlasting gospel into all the world and brings forth fruit because the life is in the seed (Col. 1:6). The arrogant pride of man is to think that his strength is in the preaching of words in the ears of man. These ‘evangelical outreach programs’ have enlisted the tools of the flesh as necessary in the fruitfulness of their labours. They need education and the mastery of languages; appearance and presentation are essential in winning the minds and hearts for their cause and the utilization of media forms cause this ministry to reach thousands for their synagogue of Satan but these are the labours that are turned away from the Anointing.
The heart of man is detestable and his carnal mind is enmity with God. His ways are earthly and the results he desires are those which are tangible and therefore temporal. The evidence of the heart of man is demonstrated in the garden where, having his eyes opened and seeing his sin, Adam had confidence in the labours of his hands. He fashioned aprons from fig leaves and strove to hide himself from the all present, all knowing and all seeing God. His heart did not cry out for mercy because he knew he stood guilty before the throne of God and his mind did not conclude that his only recourse was to turn unto God and confess his transgression because his mind was filled with the things of this world. There was never a time when the heart and mind of man was toward God and then he turned away. IN the ignorance of that which was either good or evil, Adam followed after his natural instincts and hearkening unto the voice of his wife, he did take and eat.
“For he shall be like the heath in the desert and shall not see when good comes; but he shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land and not inhabited” (17:6).
When God confronted Adam in the garden, He did not admire the work of his hand. He did not commend him for his efforts and then use what he had done to show him his error. God striped Adam and Eve of their fig leaf aprons and; “unto Adam and his wife did Yehovah God make coats of skins and clothe them” (Gen. 3:21). He took away the works of their hands and gave them a daily reminder of their nakedness, their guilt and their banishment from His presence. The cursed strong man became striped naked and destitute in the wilderness.
This now is the habitation of mankind and as the record indicates there was no objection from Adam and Eve nor were they permitted to remain in the place God had prepared for them. They were cast forth to go to and fro upon the earth all the days of their lives, to eat their bread by the sweat of their brow and to perish in an uninhabited land where the life of the natural body is drawn out by the labours of the day. The labours assigned of God are for the discipline of man to keep him from finding out the things of God. Man labours in attempt to establish himself and leave a legacy; “and they said one to another, go to, let us make brick and burn them thoroughly and they had brick for stone and slime they had for mortar. And they said, go to, let us build a city and a tower whose top unto heavens and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:3f). This is a great evil which the Preacher saw under the sun and it is common to man. God brings one into this world at his appointed time and has equipped that one with all necessary tools and conditions to give him riches, wealth and honour “so that he wants nothing for his soul of all that he desires. Yet God does not give him the power to eat thereof but strangers eat it. This is worthless and it is an evil disease” (Ecc. 6:3).
The salt land draws out the moisture of life as the days pass in the land that changes nomadic residents from generation to generation. One man is born as another dies and as soon as they come forth from the womb they begin their journey to the grave. Man is deceived to see the dust of the ground as his strength and he is confined to live out his life in the delusion of grandeur as he walks each assigned step of the path he is appointed unto and plays out his part in the production called life.
“Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun, because, though a man labour to seek it, yet shall he not find. Yea, farther, though a wise think to know yet shall he not be able to find” (Ecc. 8:17).
In the midst of all the labours assigned unto man and because of these very endeavours, man cannot see the good which God is performing. The heavenly Father has ordained that all things work in complete harmony with one another for good to them that love Him, to the called according to His purpose. Since the natural man cannot love God, because that is a spiritual matter and he is incapable of such glory, he not only cannot see the good that God performs for His people but he could not appreciate it if he could see it. Man has looked upon the chief cornerstone of the foundation of that building not made with hands and he has discarded Him as being unsuitable for his earthly labours. He looked upon the Lord of glory and knew Him not; therefore, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, he took and by wicked hands did slay the sacrifice of the Lord.
Even the children of hope, in Adam, cannot see the good. Abraham and Isaac could not see the good of going into the mount without the sacrifice until God revealed the Ram caught in the thicket. Joseph could not see the good of him being sold into bondage and Jacob could not see the good of the drought. Moses could not see the good of his being ostracized by his kinsmen and certainly Job could not see that his end would be better than his beginning. Yet in every one of these examples God demonstrated His love and the good which He has ordained for His Beloved which the natural man cannot see.
“Blessed the man that trusts in Yehovah and whose hope is Yehovah” (Jer. 17:7).
Just as the strength of man is cursed from the beginning and manifested in the garden because his confidence is in man so the strength of the blessed man is from the beginning for his confidence is in Yehovah. This not to insinuate that there is some sort of second blessing received or a special dispensation granted because a man trusts of God. It does mean that the knee is bowed in a completely obsequious posture before the Name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9). This is not a position that represents a goal to strive for and achieved or an obedience to be observed. This is the posture of every child of the creation for “we all shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ, for as it is written, As I live, saith Yehovah, every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God” (Rms 14:11).
It is also the position of the child of grace to whom the Father has revealed Himself in. When the light of His glory shines forth as the sunrise with healing in His wings, then the heart is made contrite before God and the spirit is broken. Even thought the pride of Edom and the desires of the flesh still war against the inner man yet that New Creature is bowed before his Master as a good and faithful servant. He knows that the arm of the flesh is weak and that the wisdom of man is foolishness before the all wise God. He experiences daily the contradiction of the desire to do good and glorify the Father in all his ways and the inability of the flesh. Therefore his confidence is in the anticipation of the time of the manifestation when that which is temporal shall be dissolved and that which is eternal shall be manifested.
It is not only that the man is bowed down before Almighty God but it is the strength of man, that strong man in the great house who is subservient to the Master’s will. Man cannot rise up but first Yehovah God breathed into his nostrils and made him a living soul. The wisdom and spiritual understanding of the inward man is, not only without the power and will of God he can do nothing but that all that he is in Adam is because of that same purpose of God. The Spirit of God within teaches him that this earthen vessel was afore prepared exclusively for him and equipped with all necessary attributes and abilities commensurate to the labours assigned unto him. He is shown daily that the work was not initiated by Adam, it is not performed by the will or strength of Adam and it shall not be hindered from being completed by the weakness and corruption of Adam. The Master began, executes and shall finish that good work which He has afore ordained and everything that comes to pass in the life and times of the children of hope, as they are partakers of flesh and blood, happen is expressly in accord with the eternal will of God.
“This is the Word of Yehovah unto Zerub-babel, saying, not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith Yehovah of Hosts” (Zech. 4:6).
It is in the mind and purpose of He who inhabits eternity to have begun a good work in each of His beloved children during the time of their habitation. Their confidence is in the fact that this is the immutable will of the creator of the universe and none can stay His hand. They know that His works are all truth and just and that nothing could ever fail that he has purposed to be done. He is their confidence because of His eternal love for them. He has done all things from the beginning for His Beloved for His desire is upon her.
He laid down His life for His seed before they became partakers of the sin in Adam. He created the heavens and the earth for His Bride and he destroyed it by flood for her good. He raised up the kingdoms of this world for the protection of His chosen race, that remnant according to grace, and He tore them down for the same reason; nothing in this world is or can be detrimental to the bride. He has made her subject to the vanity of this world not willingly for her delight is in the presence of the Bridegroom. She has been made subject by reason of the hope, the expectation of that time when she shall be delivered from the body of this death.
Adam is the passive yet willing participant in the growth and maturation of the children. He desires the eternal life and peace with God but he has not the one and cannot earn the other and as he inhabits the parched wilderness of this world, wherein everything is full of labour; the child of grace labours to enter into the rest of the Lord.
“For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters and spreads out her roots by the river and shall not see when the heat comes but her leaf shall be green and shall not be careful n the year of the drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” (Jer. 17:8).
The tree of the Lord which is the tree of life has been from the beginning. It was seen in the garden and although man was told that he could eat thereof, yet was he not interested. This tree is represented throughout the testimony of the scriptures as the tree which Yehovah has planted in the wilderness of this world. There is the oak tree because it is a strong and hardy tree, the cedar for it’s firmness of root, the shittah or acacia for the scourging of chastisement, the myrtal because it springs up and grows rapidly and the oil tree for the fatness wherein the children dine upon a feast of fat things. It was also represented by the tree which He placed in the desert place; the fruit bearing fir, the firm and enduring pine and the erect, tall and straight box tree (Is.41:19). These represent the house of the Lord as manifested in this world.
These are the trees which Yehovah has placed in His appointed location according to the intent of His heart. As His children grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, they live and are nourished by the river of water which flows from the throne of God in the midst of that city whose builder and maker is God (Rev. 22:1). They drink of that water which if a man should drink thereof he should never thirst again for it proceeds from “a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). This water flows out of the innermost part of the man and the fruit of the tree is ‘the therapeutic service of one to another in the multitude of the family’ (healing of the nations).
This is the peaceable fruit of righteousness which the natural man has no right unto and no memorial in. It is the evidence of the Spirit within. Every member of the body is a branch attached to the vine which brings forth fruit in its season. These branches are not to be pruned or dressed by the wisdom of man for he knows not where the vineyard of the Lord is nor how it lives, which is by faith. Yehovah God is the husbandman of His vineyard and He has prepared each branch for the fruit it has been ordained to produce. He strengthens the vine for He is the life of the branches. He supplies the every need of the branches as they, in the time appointed, bring forth that which He has designed them unto. These branches serve one another for the body (vineyard) is one as the Godhead is one and when the time of production is finished and all appointed fruit has been brought forth and harvested, then the loving hand of the Master comes and takes the branch away. This is the hope of the manifestation of the sons of God when the time of this habitation is over.
Adam is cursed for his appetite is carnal, sold under sin, and his attention is on that which can be seen. He is destitute and stripped naked before the judgment seat of God because his confidence is in the flesh, therefore he dwells in the parched wilderness where the outward man perishes daily. But and when the labours of this servitude is over, then shall this tabernacle, the body of this death, be put off and laid aside “and there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it (Jerusalem) and His servants shall serve Him” (Rev. 22:3).
“Behold the strong man who made not God his place of safety but trusted in the abundance of his riches and strengthened himself in his wickedness; but I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the mercy of God for ever” (Ps. 52:7).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
February 15, 2015