“The living God has taken my judgment away and the Almighty has made my soul bitter. All the while my breath is in me and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, My lips shall not speak wickedness nor my tongue utter deceit”.
Thus begins the final discourse between Job and his three assailants.
Bildad, who appears to be the most honest of the three, is struggling with a very deep concern. He has heard Eli-phaz twice make the comment that man, who is born of woman, cannot be just before God and Job himself has stated the same. Now, unlike his two compadres, Bildad does not try to reinforce his original argument but rather he is given to concentrate on this illusive concept; “How then can man be justified before God or how can he be clean born of woman?” (25:4). Bildad had not yet been taught by the revelation of the Spirit, that mortal man and the eternal spirit are not one in the same and many struggle with this same dilemma today. Man that is born of woman is mortal and from the very moment of his conception, he begins his journey to death. This is the race that is set before him and the labour assigned to him. It has limitations and boundaries that cannot be altered in any way and unto man is given the exact amount of power, intelligence, will and skill to accurately complete this arduous journey. It does not matter if the earthen vessel is afore prepared unto glory or outfitted for destruction for the assignments are particular to the individual and the tabernacle of the dwelling is commensurate to the task at hand. Man cannot do anything that could possibly change his state from mortal to immortal any more than he can establish his way, direct his footsteps or set his time of habitation. Since therefore, man is unclean and predestined to walk in accordance with the will and purpose of the Almighty, who can be delivered from the just wrath of God; “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”?
The question Bildad asks is very complex yet of great sincerity. He cannot understand how a mortal man with all his frailties and imperfections can stand before the throne of the Most High God and be equal to Him. He not only wants to know if a man can be pure and just but how this can be accomplished since at his best, man is nothing more than a maggot feeding off the death and decay of this world. It would appear that there has been some enlightenment here because of the personal nature of his question. He understands mans condition and his posture in reference to the perfect Holiness of Almighty God. He knows that God alone is the standard with which to be compared and he knows the necessity of this comparison yet his thoughts remain on the temporal plane and his reasoning is carnal.
The scriptures have concluded all under sin that no flesh should glory in the sight off God. Adam failed to measure up to the standard of Holiness that God required and all of his house failed in him; “Therefore by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” (Rms. 5:18). No descendant of Adam can be made just by any works or good intentions that they may have and therefore all earthen vessels, formed from the same lump of clay, are found to be dead in trespasses and sin. The vessel afore prepared unto glory is shaped in iniquity and the life is conceived in sin the same as the vessel outfitted and reserved unto the day of judgment. Yet God, who is rich in mercy, righteous in everything and immutable, because of His eternal love for His people, not only requires perfect Holiness but also required that the One who is perfect (and that is only Jehovah God), become the imperfection of the vessels of His seed and cleanse them from all unrighteousness. Christ told the Pharisees that they were obsessed with the cleaning of the outside of the outside of the plates and cups and the white washing of the sepulchers but inside was death. He cleansed the inside of these vessels by the washing of His blood and therein dwells life. His tabernacle is with man in the temple of the Holy Spirit, the habitation of God, Christ in you the hope of glory.
The seed never failed to measure up to the Holiness of God because they are His seed and He cannot deny Himself. They were never in jeopardy of judgment or in fear of eternal separation from Him but they could not be polluted by coming in contact with an unclean vessel. A ‘fit man’ was needed to take the sin from the camp into the uninhabited land where it could never be called into account again. On this day of the Atonement, the sin of the entire house was imputed to the innocent goat by the imposition of hands and the confession of sin and when the ‘scape-goat’ was removed from the camp, all were made just and the camp was clean. This justification was by the free grace of God through the work of His right hand and His people were made just in a completely passive way. They were not justified by any works of righteousness which they had done any more than they were made unclean by any work that they had done. God created man incapable of keeping His law and the actions of Adam and his household exemplified that quality. If they had been righteous there would have been no need for the atonement. If they could make themselves righteous then there would be no need for the ‘fit man’ or the propitiation. But the impossibility of the one demanded the presence of the other in order for there to be the making of them just. This was not for the seed within for they which are born from above cannot sin because His seed remains in them. It was entirely by the faith of the Son of God in the completion of the work set before Him, the sufficiency of the sacrifice and in the acceptance of the sacrifice by God. The seed is and shall always be Holy and while partakers of flesh and blood the vessel afore prepared unto glory is cleansed and made a proper tabernacle for the precious incorruptible seed.
The complexity of this quandary is in the understanding of the nature of Adam, the qualities of the outer man and the separation of the inner man from his earthly tent. The old man of the law has been crucified with Christ and his former way of life, the handwriting of ordinances, is now dead with Him. Adam was formed from the dust of the earth and he lives, moves and breathes by the power of God and his delight is in the things of this world. The body is dead because of sin and to the dust of the earth it shall return: “for we all must die, and as water spilt on the ground which cannot be gathered up again:” (II Sam. 14:14). The outer or natural man is dying, perishing daily, and the lusts and desires that he has are as temporal as his existence yet he is subservient to the inner man who is renewed day by day. He knows that he is corrupt and that his heart is desperately wicked because in Adam he received the knowledge of good and evil. He cannot control his tongue and his thoughts betray him. Because of the presence of the light within, he knows his wretchedness and the need for deliverance but he thinks he can resolve the matter as Adam did in the garden. The natural man desires to do good but does not and cannot receive the things of the Spirit for they are of a foreign tongue to him and he has not the ears to hear. The natural man cannot keep the commandment of God for when he would do good evil is present, the evil that he would not performed is committed daily and the good that he would, do that he does find how to perform.
The Spirit has been made subject to the vanity of the flesh and cries out for deliverance. The Spirit within causes the child of promise to keep the commandments because of the Faithfulness of the Son who fulfilled the law in all righteousness and finished the work given unto Him. The Spirit reveals the truth to the inner man who delights after the law of God which is contrary to the outer man.
The outer man thinks himself in control and his arm strong enough to command and order his affairs but as Job asks Bildad; “how hast thou helped without power and how is the arm saved without strength? How have you given counsel without wisdom and plentifully declared the thing as it is?”. Job begins to answer Bildad in a very personal manner. He is refuting the doctrine set forth by directing his questions specifically to Bildad. He is asking the same question that Paul asked the Corinthian brethren; “what do you have that has not been given to you and who makes you to be different?” How is it, Bildad, that you know that you are a sinner in need of cleansing? How do you know the standard of Holiness, demanded by God, is unattainable by mortal man? “To whom hast thou uttered words and whose spirit came from thee?” Job is given to speak not to the man Bildad but to the child of grace who is feeling the hand of Jehovah upon him. His pride and arrogance has been stripped from him and he is speaking from the heart.
Job does not present to him a way that he may appease the pricks in his heart but rather proclaimed the truth of the gospel, “Say to them of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not, behold thy God will come with vengeance, a God of recompence and He will come and save you” (Is. 35:4). Job was not going to compromise the faith that he had been given, not as though he had any power over this imputed faith, and he was not going to try and justify Bildad or anyone else by recanting what the Spirit had given him to say. His integrity was impregnable because it was not of Adam and His righteousness held fast because it is the immutable righteousness of the Son of God unto the sons of God. God had given him the Spirit within who had taught him in all wisdom and spiritual understanding and therefore he did not lean upon his own understanding but in all his ways he acknowledged the majesty and power of the Almighty. He accurately and consistently proclaimed that God has ordered all things from beginning to the end, that He alone is power and might and that all the intents of His heart are accomplished by the power of His own will. This came not from Adam nor of the teaching or the doctrines of man and if God had decreed that Job should stand alone before all his enemies who should rise up against him as unrighteous, the breath of the Spirit within him would not permit him to speak unrighteousness, injustice, slander or deceit concerning the wonders of the Lord God Almighty. The testimony of God was that His servant Job spoke rightly concerning these things and was accepted in the Beloved (42:7-9).
Mortal man cannot and will not ever stand before the throne of God until such time as the vessel, afore prepared unto glory, is changed. In a moment, a twinkling of an eye, this mortality shall be swallowed up in immortality and this corruption shall have put on incorruption. When the time of this habitation is over and the temporal tabernacle is dissolved, then He shall appear a second time unto His saints, without sin. Each man in his order, shall be present with the Lord and shall have that building not made with hands. Then we shall be like Him. God has predestinated those whom He loved and foreknew to be conformed unto the image of His dear Son; “Brethren now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be. But we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is” (I John 3:2). This is the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body, when we shall be ‘made like the Son’.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 9, 2012