“But these things are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Anointed the Son of God and that believing you might have life through His name.”
Faith is purported by many as a commodity which can be utilized in time of need but which is unnecessary to the routine of every day life. Others present it as a condiment which can be applied as needed to the preference of the user to the subject or situation at hand to make the difficulties of life more bearable. And there are equally numerous experts who have written and attempted to preach this doctrine to the masses of the children of Adam. The commodity is utilized to alter a life-style and convert the one who controls this influential asset. The condiment as applied soothes the pallet of adversity and explain the difficulties of life with cute catch phrases to deceive the man into false security. If the definition of faith is the proof of that which is unseen and the tangibility of things hoped for then Adam has no right, nor portion nor memorial in the reality of faith.
From the beginning man has been equipped with the curiosity and desire to evaluate the things in the world of his existence in a tactile manner. He is limited to the realm of influences within the parameters of his nature and though he may speculate upon the so called unknown yet he consistently returns home to the frame of reference of his experience. This is the manner in which the Creator intended man to live and so He fashioned the natural man incapable of receiving spiritual matters and filled his mind with the conditions, circumstances and curiosities of this world. Therefore man is devoid of the ability to know that which is not of this existence; faith is neither of this existence nor of the creature and his environment.
In the fullness of time, when everything was exact and proper as determined by the Almighty Sovereign of the Universe before time began, God became flesh and dwelt among His people. He came in the form of a servant and testified to every last jot and tittle which He had afore manifested from creation to this time called the end of the world. Everything spoken and written bore witness to the power and majesty of the King of the cosmos as His creation itself declared His glory and demonstrated His perfect handiwork. They all gave clear representation of there being a wonderful design which was based upon an exquisite purpose of One far greater than the imaginations and speculations of Adam or his children. Now He became a partaker of the same flesh and blood as He had made His seed subject to for the purpose of glorifying the Godhead in the manifestation of the deliverance of His people from their sin in Adam.
The time of His advent was foretold hundreds of years before so that man could not say that these things were new; “I have declared the former things from the beginning and they went forth out of My mouth and I shewed them, I did suddenly and they came to pass. Because I knew that you are obstinate and your neck is an iron sinew and your brow brass. I have even from the beginning declared to you, before it came to pass I shewed you, lest you should say, Mine idol has done them and my graven image has commanded them” (Is. 48:3f).
Therefore it was imperative that there be nothing lacking when Jesus came to the cross. Nothing could have been left undone of all the Law, the prophets and the Psalms for they all spoke of Him. He is every piece of furniture in the Tabernacle, every sacrifice offered, the priest which offered them, the fire which consumed them and the blood of the offering. He is the altar of incense, the burning incense and the smoke which ascends before the throne of God. He is the shew bread, the candlestick and the light which shone in the darkness of the Holy place. He is the coffin of the covenant, the blood on the horns of the mercy seat, the acacia wood and the gold; the budding rod, the tablets of stone and the pot of Manna. There is nothing of the pattern given in the mount that is not a representation of the fullness of the Godhead that dwelt bodily in Jesus of Nazareth as He was nailed to the cross and the same is true of the words of the prophets, the wisdom of Solomon and the Psalms of praise unto God.
“Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you and yet you do not know Me, Phillip? He that has seen Me has seen the Father and how do you say, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:9)
The testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah is that He came to do what not only no other man could do but also that which no son of Adam could help Him with. He came of His own power in the fashion of the likeness of sinful flesh to speak the word given unto Him and to glorify the Father in every work. The extensive preaching, healing and teaching were the complete revelation of the precepts and statutes of God to the world. These bore witness to the Holiness and justice of God while at the same time manifesting the total depravity of man; “And I looked and none to help and I wondered that none to uphold, therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me and My fury upheld Me” (Is. 63:5).
He performed these things openly in the presence of many witnesses who could give account of what they saw. He came to Jerusalem and sat in the midst of the elders and taught as one with authority. He shewed forth His power over the elements of this world and the principalities and powers of the god of this world, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. He made the sick whole, gave sight to the blind and made the lame walk. These all walked in the community of the world and gave a continuous testimony to the one who healed them. Some were a part of the social activities of the day who were shunned and driven off because they were possessed of devils and demons who caused them to act violently and even to live naked among the tombs. There were even some who lived and walked among their friends and families of whom it was witnessed that they were dead.
Many of these followed after Jesus as He walked through the cities of Galilee and even as He turned His eyes toward Jerusalem. They all could envision the up coming return of the re-establishment of David’s throne and the Kingdom of Solomon wherein they would reign over the heathen. They cheered Jesus as He entered the city and hailed Him as the King of Israel. But Jesus scattered these people with His stern teaching of those things which must shortly come to pass. Many left off from following Him when He spoke of eating His body and drinking His blood and He was left with twelve men (one of which was a devil from the beginning) and a few women as the final days approached.
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed are you Simon Bar-jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed unto you but My Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 16:17)
God had established many things to bear witness to the coming of His Anointed and the things He would say and do. He gave the teachers of the Temple notice when a twelve year old boy stood asking questions and giving answers; “And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers” (Luke 2:47). However instead of a child prodigy being taken up by the public and put on display, He was hid away with His family for another eighteen years until the time of His ministry had come. He walked into the gathering place of the people (synagogue) and called for the books to read. He read the prophet Isaiah and proclaimed that He was the Messiah who should come and fulfill all things written. He then went out and did exactly as he had proclaimed leaving not one jot or tittle undone. When He had once again confronted the religious leaders of the day and rebuked them for their ignorance and unbelief He asked this of His disciples who had been with Him for three years; “Who do men say that I am?” The popular opinion polls demonstrated that people at large thought He was one of the prophets but all acknowledged that the works which He did were of God. Peter, however, was given of Yehovah God to proclaim that Jesus was the Anointed Son of the living God.
Everything Jesus did magnified the Father and nothing Jesus did gave faith to anyone to believe. Many followed after Him because they did eat and their bellies were filled. Others followed after Him in anticipation of the overthrow of the Romans and the elevation of Israel to world power and dominance. But with all the truth which the Messiah manifested before the eyes of the people, they all fled when the fullness of time came. Jesus told His disciples that he must needs go to Jerusalem and suffer many things. He even told them that He must die and to this the same man, Peter, rebuked Him and said, “Be it far from you Lord, this shall not be unto You” (Matt. 16:22).
Peter was given to say these things because he sought after the tangible manifestation of the things of God. The same man who was given to testify of the truth was now given to manifest the adversity of the natural man to the wonders of God. Jesus thus said unto him, ‘Get behind Me adversary, you are an offence unto Me for you do not have any understanding of the things that be of God, but those that be of men’ (16:23). This was not because Satan had taken up residence in the chosen vessel called Simon Peter; it was and is because the natural man with all his intentions, passions and actions is devoid of the knowledge of the purpose and ways of God. The Anointed Elect Servant of God came to manifest His death and resurrection for the sin of His people, therefore His name is Jehoshua, the salvation of Yah and when these events came to pass no son of Adam understood them.
“And behold there was a great earthquake, for the Messenger of Yehovah descended from heaven and rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it” (Matt. 28:2)
What an amazing week it had been; it began with the triumphal entry when all would take the man Jesus and make Him king and yet four days later, he hung on the stake, condemned and crucified. This was the fulfillment of the Passover wherein the Lamb was taken of the tenth day and slain of the fourteenth. The sign which was given to this evil generation was the sign of Jonah wherein Jesus would be in the heart of the earth, three days and three nights. He had plainly told His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and be betrayed and crucified. Then after three days He and His dead men with him should arise (Is. 26:19). All these things were clearly set forth in the Law and the prophets but as the testimony proclaims, the flesh is unprofitable.
The disciples were gathered together for three days. The first was a Sabbath because it was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:6). This is why the body was hastily prepared and laid in the tomb lest these Jewish disciples be unclean for the Sabbath. The next day they could not come to the tomb and anoint the body for; “He that touches the dead body of any man shall be unclean for seven days” (Num. 19:11). Once again they would not be able to observe the Sabbath and therefore the attempt of the women to come to the tomb to anoint the body with spices and ointments of odours was on the first day of the week, which was also the Feast of the first-fruit. Here the priest must wave the sheaf of the first-fruit; “and he shall wave the sheaf before Yehovah to be accepted for you on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it” (Lev. 23:11). And so it was “in the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre” (Matt. 28;1).
This earthquake was not mentioned among the people and it would appear that it was localized at the tomb site. The keepers of the watch ran for fear as the Angel of Yehovah descended and sat on the great stone that had been rolled away. The women wondered among themselves as to how they would get into the tomb to anoint the body and when Mary saw the stone rolled away she ran and told Peter and John. They of course did not believe her report and had to run and see for themselves. They heard the account of the angel that Jesus had indeed kept His word and had risen from the grave but “as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead” (John 20:9). Why did they not know? Was Jesus remiss in telling them plainly that these things must come to pass? Of course He wasn’t. The fact is that no amount of preaching, telling or shewing can convert the natural man into the belief of anything.
When Mary, out of whom Jesus had cast seven demons, returned to the grave site, Jesus met her as she paced about. She did not recognize the one she loved even when He spoke to her but when He opened her eyes and revealed Himself to her, then she called out Rabboni, which is to say, my Master (John 20:16). Even the spoken word into the natural ear did not convert the natural mind and when she came to the other disciples and told them all things that had happened, they were still slow to believe; “and their words seemed to them as idle tales and they did not believe them’ (Luke 24:11). The others at the tomb which entered in, saw the Messenger of Yehovah and heard Him proclaim that Jesus had risen from the dead. These “went out quickly and fled from the sepulchre for they trembled and were amazed neither said they anything to any for they were afraid” (Mk. 16:8). He then appeared to the two on the road to Emmaus “as they walked and went through the country and they went and told the residue, neither believed they them” (16:12).
These events were indeed spectacular as the end of the world had come and God had shown forth His salvation but though all men saw it together, yet no man understood what he saw. As the two on the road to Emmaus, “communed and reasoned together” Jesus came unto them and asked what manner of communications that they had one with the other. They were amazed at His apparent ignorance and they told Him all things that had happened to this one whom they “trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel and besides all this, to-day is the third day since these things were done”. They were well aware of the words but the words had no meaning even when “Certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre and found even so as the women had said, but Him they saw not”. Jesus then beginning at Moses and all the prophets opened unto them the scripture but even this did not cause them to believe that He was risen.
He appeared unto the disciples and “upbraided them for their unbelief” (Mk 16:14) for many worshipped Him yet some doubted (Matt. 28:17). Thomas was defiant toward the testimony and swore he would not believe until he saw the risen Lord. When Jesus appeared and spoke to Him then he, seeing, believed and was rebuked of Jesus. When He appeared many thought Him to be an apparition and still did not believe (Luke 24:36). Jesus asked for something to eat, “for a spirit has not flesh and bone as you see Me have”. They gave Him broiled fish and honey-comb and He did eat. It was not until Jesus opened their “understanding that they might understand the scriptures” that they believed what they were seeing and experiencing.
“But without faith it is impossible to please; for he that comes to God must believe that He is and He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
Every child of grace, born from above, has the indwelling of the Spirit of God. The fruit of this Spirit is faith and without faith there is no belief. This faith is a gift of God to His children as they are partakers of flesh and blood in the habitation of this dwelling. The sons of God live by the faith of the Son of God who loved them and gave Himself for them and they walk by that faith daily through this waste howling wilderness. They are delivered from the sin of Adam and the bondage of the Law by the grace of God through the shed blood of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world; “and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8).
Unto this election according to grace is it given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God each in his appointed hour. When it pleases the Father to reveal Himself dwelling in His people, then are they “given, on behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him but also to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29). They having their eyes and understanding opened with all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Col. 1:9) know that which the natural man could never know for he is incapable of receiving the things of the Spirit neither can he know them. Peter was given of the Father to proclaim that Jesus was the Anointed, the Son of the living God and John wrote the testimony of the things which Jesus both said and did for the same reason. Not that faith may be imparted by the reading of words, the speaking of the tongue of man or the mediums of this world; but that by the testimony of faith unto faith comparing spiritual things with spiritual things, the children may know that the Anointed Son of God did come and finish all that was given to Him to do. This is a comfort to the sons of God who are “sanctified By God the Father and preserved in Christ Jesus” for herein is the love of the Father manifested. The testimony is a finished work wherein God has seen the travail of the soul of His Elect Servant and was well pleased. It certifies that because of His faithfulness in completing all the work set before Him He has brought many sons unto the glory that he has in the Godhead and they are seated with Him in the heavenly places at peace with God.
The evil beast of the field of this world hates this testimony as does the prince of the power of the air. The flesh and blood of the children of the dust shall never inherit the Kingdom of God for they are dust and to the dust they shall return. The flesh is enmity against God and wars against the Spirit desiring eternal life and though for a moment, the children have been made subject to the vanity of this world yet they know that He has overcome the world. He is the Anointed Son of the Living God and He is seated in the heavens. His Spirit dwells within the seed causing them to walk according to His perfect statutes and keeping His commandments, therefore do all men hate the children who walk in the light of Yehovah.
Wisdom and understanding which is obtained from research and mediation on the writings of man cannot impart faith or give eternal life. Jesus told the Pharisees to “search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me and you will not come unto Me that you might have life” (John 5:39). The Father draws His children unto Himself and they follow Him for they are the sheep of His pasture. No man can come unto the Father but by the crucified and risen Lord. He is the first resurrection and in Him are all of His children raised up and presented before the Father when He declared His generation; “Blessed and Holy he that has part in the first resurrection on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priest of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:22).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
November 1, 2015