“Hear the word of Yehovah, nations, and declare in the isles afar off and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd, His flock.”
The word of the Lord came to his servant in the midst of a most difficult time in the history of Israel. The ungodliness and wickedness of Adam was in full blossom as the Lord brought forth His judgment against the sin of His people. He raised up the King of ‘confusion by mixing’ (Babylon) and brought forth the ‘clod breakers’ (Chaldeans) as the chastening hand of His righteous indignation against the imaginations of the heart of man. The actions which evident this corruption were laid bare before all nations as the wonder and splendour of the kingdom under Solomon became a tribute paying servant to the people of the land: “And the kings of the earth, who had committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her and lament for her when they shall see the smoke of her burning” (Rev. 18:9)
Yet this was the people whom He had chosen from all the nations of the world to set His name upon and shew forth His love; “Yehovah your God has chosen you to be a special people unto Himself above all the people upon the face of the earth. Yehovah did not set His love upon you, nor choose, because you were more in number than any people, for you are the fewest of people, but because Yehovah loved you and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, has Yehovah brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of the bondman, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt” (Deut. 7:6). This land was the inheritance which Yehovah polluted and corrupted as He gave this people over to the lusts of their hearts to do that which was right in their own eyes (Is. 47:6). He made an open shew before all the world of the total depravity of the nature of Adam for neither the manifest demonstration of the provisions and care of Yehovah for His people nor how many wonders were wrought in their sight or how many times Yehovah God delivered them out of the hand of their enemies, the children of natural Israel could not repent of their wickedness and turn unto the Lord. Moses and Jeremiah were both given of the Lord to admonish the people to ‘circumcise the foreskin of their hearts’ (Deut. 10:16 & Jer. 4:4) which cannot be done with the hands of man or the tools of his inventing for unless Yehovah your God “circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed to love Yehovah your God with your heart and with all your soul, that you may live” (Deut. 30:6) the status of every son of the dust cannot be altered. They, like Adam in the garden, could not obey the commandment of God, keep His word or walk in the light of His countenance; and it is no different today.
The commandment of the Lord God Almighty was that every nation, every kindred, every tribe and every tongue of the world should both hear and declare the truth of the sovereignty of Yehovah over His creation. This was not a ‘whisper down the lane’ concept where stories were to be told from generation to generation only to grown or be diminished with the telling; this was an open report of eye witnesses to how great things God has done. The Word came forth from the mouth of God and all for whom it was intended to hear the Word. These were not only given to ‘yield unto’, ‘be obedient unto’, ‘give earnest attention unto’, ‘listen to’, ‘understand’ and ‘agree’ (hear) but were also given to ‘acknowledge’, ‘confess’, ‘avow’ and ‘to be conspicuous’ in the making of this report. The Word was gone forth to those who had ears to hear as the Spirit of the Most High filled them with all wisdom and spiritual understanding to make known unto them the mystery of the gospel which is the testimony of the truth. Adam is devoid of the truth by nature and he is incapable of speaking the things which pertain unto holiness and thus came forth the final Messenger, “having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth and to every nation and kindred and tongue and people, saying, Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment is come and worship Him that made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of waters” (Rev. 14:6).
Here, almost 500 years before Messiah would stand upon the mount to give, what man calls the ‘great commission’, the commandment of God was for the proclamation into all the world by all nations of the world of the power of God unto deliverance; the gospel. The mystery which was hid from the beginning was that all nations should be partakers of the same promise of the Spirit of God. Therefore this was not limited to some Zionistic regions of Judea or the old kingdom of Israel. This testimony was to be openly set forth within the borders and coasts of far off countries or as Messiah said, “You go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
These ‘tidings of good news which shall be to all people’ (Luke 2:10) was not limited to the friendly confines of the ‘promised Land’ or to the outer regions of some undiscovered country. This confession has no restrictions imposed upon it and no pre-certification or pre-qualification needed for it is intended for and comes unto those who have been appointed and reserved unto damnation as well as they who have been ordained to believe unto life. To the first the preaching of the cross is foolishness and they cannot hear His word; to the latter it is the testimony of the power of God unto salvation because of His eternal love for His children. It cannot be conveyed by the power of man for his words are inadequate and his spirit ignorant nor is it reliant upon the faculties or abilities of the hearer for “truly, truly I say unto you, The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25).
When this commission came forth to the servant of old and he objected before God for his inability, the ‘fiery serpent’ of God touched his lips, revealed his sin was forgiven and iniquity purged and gave him the Word of God (Is. 6:6). When the elder servant, Moses, complained that he could not speak for he was of ‘uncircumcised lips’, Yehovah God provided the ‘bringer of light’ (Aaron) as his mouthpiece to stand before Pharaoh and proclaim the truth. And even before ‘Whom Yehovah has appointed’ (Jeremiah) was formed in the belly, he was known of God who had already ordained him a prophet unto all nations (Jer. 1:5) and thus the commandment to preach the gospel is those whom the Lord has ordained, empowered and enabled.
Yet “the heavens declare the glory of the Lord and the firmament shows forth His handywork” (Ps. 19:1) as “the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seem, being understood by the things that are made, His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rms. 1:20). God does not need the words of the mouth of the creature nor the explanation of the feeble mind according to the carnal reasoning of man to give account of His majesty for He is the great King over all the earth. He has given His testimony to the nature of man and the glory of His Holiness in every moment of every day of time and He is in no need for any assistance in ‘getting the word out’; “And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40).
The testimony has always been and shall forever be “I am God none else, God and none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times that are not done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure: calling the ravenous bird from the east, the man that executes My counsel from a far country: truly I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do” (Is. 46:10). This is the word unto all nations; “Say among the nations, Yehovah reigns, the world also is firmly established that it shall not be moved; He shall judge the people righteously” (Ps. 96:10) and it is the word of comfort to His people; “say unto the cities of Judah, Your God reigns” (Is. 40:10).
There can be, therefore, no alterations or amendments in the commission which Messiah gave upon the mount as He ascended back on high for the testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah is singularly all inclusive and immutable. He is the Word which was in the beginning with God for He is God yet He became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1). He came not to speak His words or to present His views on the Law and the prophets but rather, “these words which I have spoken unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms concerning Me” (Luke 24:44). He came not to do His will but the will of Him that sent Him as the son which was given, being the eternal Father (Is. 9:6) made Himself of no reputation and took on the form of the servant of God being fashioned in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:7).
This is the work of Yehovah God and it is marvelous to behold. Man cannot conceive or imagine such things for he is incapable of knowing his own corruption, limitations or mortality. His mind is filled with the things of this world and his conscience has been seared so that when he knew God he did not glorify Him as God neither was he thankful. Neither father Adam nor any of his seed seek after righteousness for he does not know his guilt before God; therefore God made bare His Holy arm and brought salvation unto Himself.
“...He that scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd, His flock”
The history of the nation of Israel has been and shall continue to be presented as a horrible failure on the part of the people to live up to their part of the deal that God made with them at Sinai; this is simply not the case. God intended a stiff-necked and rebellious people to keep His law and be righteous in His eyes as mush as He anticipated Adam being obedient to His word. He foretold Adam that in the day which he ate of the fruit he would surely die for Adam was ordained of old to be the father of children “having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls and heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children, which have forsaken the right way and are gone astray following the way of Balaam of Bosor who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (II Pt. 2:14). This was not a mistake nor did the wicked one creep in unawares and destroy what the Almighty had created making it without form and void. This was the decree of old for if Adam did not fall by his one act and by that act sin did enter into the world, then why was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If the thoughts, intentions and desires of Adam and his wife were not eternally ordained before they came to pass then the blood was shed in vain until such a time when the deed validated the sacrifice and produced the object for which the cleansing would be necessary. NO! For before any good or any evil was performed, that the purpose of God, according to election might stand, Adam perfectly performed the labours assigned unto him and the children of Israel did not keep that which they avowed they would keep. Moses shattered the tablets upon the mountainside before the eyes of Israel could look upon the handwriting of ordinances in testimony that by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Rms. 3:20).
The eternal purpose of the love of God for His people of every kindred, nation, tribe and tongue of this world, from generation to generation, is that they should be made partakers of flesh and blood and be made subject to the vanity of this existence. His Spirit communicates with them that they are the sons of God and makes and opened declaration of their guilt, rebellion and wretchedness in Adam before the Holiness of God. His Spirit makes them understand from the depths of hopelessness that ‘salvation is of Yehovah’ and that in Adam they have no right nor portion nor memorial in the body and blood of Christ. Herein does the Father ‘winnow’, ‘scatter’ and ‘disperse’ His children as He demonstrates the difference of light and darkness between that which is of the flesh and that which is of the Spirit. He causes the creature within to groan, by reason of this infirmity and the warfare that ensures, waiting to be delivered from the body of this death.
Yet He does not leave His little flock in such despair for He has given them the Comforter who teaches them and leads them in all truth; therefore they know the truth and the truth sets them free. He has set their affections of things from above as they long to return to their Father’s house and sing the songs of Zion. This is testimony to the fact that they are strangers and sojourners in a foreign land for as a shepherd leads his sheep, so the Beloved (David) makes them lay down in green pastures, leads them beside the still waters, feeds them at the table prepared for them and restores their souls (Ps. 23). This table is in the banquet house of the Lord where His banner of love is above His Beloved Bride. The footsteps of the flock lead all the sheep to the Shepherds tent where they may feed and find rest and it is by His Spirit that they are drawn; “Yehovah has appeared of old unto me, Truly I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you” (Jer. 31:3).
God has indeed dispatched the wicked one to sift His people as wheat as He did with Peter. This is to remove that which every wind of doctrine may carry off and that the trust be not in the arm of the flesh yet the blessing within is not harmed. Though the wicked one is authorized of God to remove all wherein Adam has confidence and security and to bring to bear all that a man may hold near and dear to his heart yet he cannot touch the life of the children of hope. These children are precious living stones hewn from that great Rock in the wilderness, which is Anointed and One in God. Since He cannot deny Himself so they cannot deny Him for they are One in Him as He is one in the Anointed One; “For which cause we do not faint; but as our outward man perish, yet the inward is renewed day by day” (II Cor. 4:16).
“For Yehovah has redeemed Jacob and ransomed him from the hand stronger that he” (Jer. 31:11).
The salvation of Yehovah (the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world) stood resurrected, as He had been slain, from the foundation of the world. This must mean that the sin of His people in Adam, who had not yet been formed form the dust of the earth, was full and complete; that the wrath of God was Holy righteous and just and the blood of the sacrifice for sin was sufficient: “by this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged and this all the fruit to take away his sin” (Is. 27:9). The children of promise, though they be supplanters in this world and devise wicked plots to deprive their kin in Adam of their right to this world, yet they have been bought with a price and that the precious blood of Messiah. Their kinsman redeemer has stood up when there was none to help and has declared their inheritance in Him. He has raised up seed to Himself that they should be “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that you should shew forth the praises of Him that called you out of the darkness and into His marvellous light” (I Pt. 2:9). Thus before the sons of God became partakers of flesh and blood and went forth from the womb speaking lies, even before any good or any evil was conceived or committed, God commended His love for His Beloved in that while they were yet sinners, The Anointed died for them (Rms. 5:8).
Though they be despised and hated of all men in this world for the name of Christ yet they are beloved of the Lord. His desire is upon them as He has done all things for them. He fulfilled the Law of God in all righteousness and she has been granted to be arrayed in the righteousness of the saints. She has been delivered out of the darkness of this world and although she is in the world, she is not of the world. In the same manner that Jesus prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail, so He has prayed for His Beloved that she should be kept from the world. Therefore nothing can separate the son of God from the eternal love of the Father, for they live by faith, walk by faith and are kept by the faith of the Son of God who loved them and gave Himself for them. And “as it is written, For Your sake we are killed all the day long: we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rms. 8:36).
Jacob was a frail weakling who dwelt in his mother’s tent, yet he was the child of promise whom God loved. The Father has not called upon the children of hope to march into the camp of the enemy and vanquish the foe, for he, like Esau, is the one stronger than Jacob. He has given them His Word, His Promise and His love; “Behold the hour is coming and is now that you shall be scattered, every man to his own and shall leave me alone, yet I am not alone because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken unto you that in Me you might have peace. In this world you shall have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:32). And He has created the strong one to be servant to the child of promise even though it does not appear to be so to the natural mind. The doubts and fears which perplex the mind of Adam along with the insatiable desires for the needs of the flesh appear to be the master while the delight after the law of God appears timid and shy. The seed according to the dust dwells in an environment that is suitable to his needs but the children of the Israel of our God are strangers and sojourners in a foreign land, therefore the business and dealings of this world are palatable to the flesh while they are strange and unnatural to the children of hope.
“Therefore they shall come and sing in the heights of Zion” (Jer. 31:12)
The man approached Jesus and asked if he could works the work of God. Jesus responded and said that the work of the Father is that His children believe, for faith is a gift of God. So it is that because God has redeemed His people and paid the price to buy back that which is His, that His people return unto Him singing the song of the redeemed. This is that song which no man can learn save them that have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. They come unto the Father by the intercessory work of the Faithful Son who draws them by His love. They walk the path which is appointed unto them, for Tophet (place of fire) is ordained of old (Is. 30:33) and although the path is crooked and hedged in with hewn stone (Lam. 3:9) yet the footsteps of the flock lead the weary traveler directly to the heights of Zion, which is the Shepherds tent.
Adam has no place here for upon the mount of God there can be nothing that loves or makes a lie or anything that would defile the fine linen, clean and white, of the righteousness of the saints. There is nothing of this creation there for the heights of Zion is the New Heaven and the New earth wherein the New Jerusalem is found, that city whose builder and maker is God. This is the tabernacle not made with hands which is eternal in the heavens, the place prepared for the citizens of Zion.
It is according to the eternal love of God that He winnows His people to separate the husks from the wheat just as the Refiner’s fire consumes the wood, hay and stubble of Edom. These purging actions are not agreeable to the mind of man as they are inconceivable as a demonstration of love yet the testimony is forever that whom the Lord loves them also He chasten and scourges everyone who is a son; “Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, Yehovah knows them that are His” (II Tim. 2:19).
“Earth, earth, earth, hear the word of Yehovah” (Jer. 22:29).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
June 5, 2016