“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Jesus gave Nicodemus an in-depth expose of the natural inherent deficiencies of Adam when He set before him his own personal dilemma. The natural faculties of Nicodemus could not accept the testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah even when He gave a natural explanation of the truth. He also could not comprehend the essential element of the birth from above for this was a spiritual matter. This inability of man is because the necessary elements of belief were absent from the beginning in that which God formed from the dust of the earth. He was not created with the Spirit of God dwelling within him, he is completely devoid of the evidence of the Spirit as he was assigned the labour of ushering sin into the world. The subsequent seed of this one, Adam born of water, continues in this state, dead in trespasses and sin, from generation to generation.
Since, therefore, the man Nicodemus was incapable of understanding and believing this testimony of the works of God, Jesus asked him how then could he ever expect to believe that Spiritual Manna sent from above? Jesus told him that all his learning was useless and his labours in righteousness insufficient for only He that came down from above could ever ascend up into heaven. Earthly accomplishments and attributes were of no value before the throne of God for only those born from above could ever see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus sought an earthly kingdom wherein he would be rewarded for his intense labours in keeping the Law of God.
Jesus eliminated all the intentions and works of man because He is the only one whereby you must be delivered and His work is the only acceptable labour before God. Nicodemus knew he was in need of deliverance yet he was convinced that his fleshly deprivations together with his obsessive obedience to the customs and traditions had earned him the right to enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus presents a systematic demolition of his hopes, dreams and aspirations. He demonstrates from the very scriptures that Nicodemus was purported to know, that He was the Son of man and the Son of God. He did not condemn the inquisitive servant nor rebuke him for his actions, rather He spoke to him as a Father would His son.
(It is noteworthy to observe that Jesus identifies Himself as the Son of man when He came down from above. He did not become the Son of man when He became incarnate in Mary’s womb.)
The lifting up of the serpent in the wilderness was because of God’s love for His people. His wrath “is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and the unrighteousness of man, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rms. 1:18) but His deliverance is revealed only to those who have been ordained unto eternal life (Acts 13:48). God did not instruct Moses to lift up the serpent tried by fire for everyone who had been bitten but only for those who had been bitten and believed. They who believed did so by grace through faith and that not of themselves for it is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8). Therefore God gave His only begotten Son that whosoever had been born from above by the Spirit of God should not perish. These did not obtain life which became eternal; they have eternal life because they are born from above.
God did not need to send His Son into the world for the purpose of condemnation, the world stands condemned in Adam. When Adam took and did eat, sin “entered into the world and death by sin and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned:” (Rms. 5:12). This one deed by this one man manifested that every child of Adam would forever be like unto their father, dead in trespasses and sin. He was created incapable of measuring up to the standard of the absolute perfection of God and he acted accordingly. Since all these works were finished from the foundation of the world then Adam stood a sinner from the beginning.
“But God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rms. 5:8).
John saw the Lamb of God standing as He had been slain from the foundation of the world. The blood had been shed for the remission of sin which had no commission as yet in Adam and the earthen vessels had been washed before the children became partakers of flesh and blood. These were marked with the blood and the name of the Father in their forehead so that they who HAVE eternal life should not perish, nor be defiled or polluted because of the sin in Adam. The body of this death did not become separated from God as a result of the rebellion of Adam against God, that which is of the earth was never alive unto God; “for they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to BE carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded life and peace” (Rms. 8:5). Therefore the children were never in danger of the wrath of God or the wages of sin.
The Spirit then, dwelling within each child of the kingdom of God. “What? Do you not know that your body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost in you which you have of God, and you are not your own?” (I Cor. 6:19), reveals the Word of God as that two edged sword. The one side is the condemnation that already exists in Adam. This is made manifest in the ministration of condemnation, which is the handwriting of ordinances wherein Nicodemus thought himself blameless. Herein the Law reveals the exceeding sinfulness of sin and bears witness against the inability in Adam to ‘hit the mark’. Even today there still remains the inherent deceived quest of man to keep the Ten Commandments in order to curry favour with God. There are many who will stand and boast before God, “all these things have I kept from my youth up” (Luke 18:21) while many more thank God that they are not like those who have broken these sacred commandments (Luke 18:11f). Even those who call themselves by the name of Yehovah are subject to turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto they desire again to be in bondage (Gal. 4:9). Those who have been born from above know their wickedness as the creature groans within waiting the manifestation for the Sons of God.
The other side of the sword is the judgment of God against all unrighteousness. The Spirit then conveys from faith to faith the wretchedness of the body of this death and the righteousness of God. This is that warfare of the law within the members which follows after the things of the flesh and the law of the mind which delights after the Law of God. The vanity of this existence is made manifest by the life within and that life declares the guilt before the throne. They who have been born anew have struggled together in the womb from the beginning as these two manner of people ARE separate and distinct one from the other.
“He that believes on Him is not condemned but he that does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (3:18).
No one can lay a charge against the elect of God for they are the righteousness of God. They have been clothed in fine linen clean and white which is the righteousness of the saints. This garment is the change of raiment that signifies that the sin of Joshua has been removed and therefore it is the imputed righteousness of Christ. This is how the children, the Bride of the Beloved, have been granted to be arrayed. They have been given to shake themselves from the dust (Adam), have put on their beautiful garments (Is. 52:1) and are seated together with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). They are hewn from that great Rock and are one as the Godhead is one therefore they can not deny themselves. They believe by the faith of the Son of God who loved them and gave Himself for them. They walk by that faith and being justified by faith they have peace with God.
The accuser of the brethren has been cast out for “now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of His Anointed” (Rev. 12:10). Satan is the father of all lies and his children perform his works. He is “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2) and the “god of this world” who “has blinded the minds of them which do not believe, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Cor. 4:4). He does not have the Spirit of God, he is devoid of faith and therefore neither he nor his seed believe. He is created of God and does not have eternal life. He is perished in that eternal destruction of the lake of fire where the flame is never quenched and the worm never dies (Is. 66:24).
In the same manner as the children of God cannot deny that they are the sons of God so his children cannot deny that they are of the seed of the serpent. Just as those who are born from above cannot commit sin, for His seed remains in them (I John 3:9), so the seed of the serpent, “as brute beasts, made to be taken out and destroyed, speak evil of things they do not understand and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day times. Spots and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls, and heart they have exercise with covetous practices; cursed children” (II Pt. 2:12ff). The nature within dictates the works that are manifested and the freedom of will enables the subject to act accordingly.
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may you also do good that are accustomed (expertly skilled) to do evil” (Jer. 13:23).
The condemnation of all mankind is the fact that Adam cannot change who he is. He cannot change the creation of God or the seed in him. Fashioned by the Potter’s hand from the same lump of clay is either a vessel unto honour or a vessel unto dishonour for the Master’s work. Since the vessels are no more than dust of the earth born of water they cannot be distinguished by their outward appearance but as they are of the earth they are both indeed earthly. Since these vessels are both of the earth, they have the same limited natural tendencies, appetites and aspirations which sustain them through the days of their assigned habitations. These components are temporal and although they are pleasing to the flesh, yet they cannot purge the conscience of the one convinced of sin by the Spirit within for though the light shines forth in the darkness, yet the darkness perceives it not (John 1:5).
Nicodemus was educated and indoctrinated in the art of the re-make of Adam into an acceptable vessel before God. He believed that he had a special dispensation with God for he was born of Abraham, a covenant relationship in Isaac and Jacob and a right to the kingdom by virtue of his righteousness. Jesus told Nicodemus that the light which had come into the world, which indeed was Anointed of God, was incomprehensible to the carnal man. He further said that since man loved darkness rather than light, Adam by nature hated the light and would never come to the light of his own free will. The very deeds wherein Nicodemus and Saul of Tarsus thrived and excelled were absent of the light and as the light shone forth in their hearts, being chosen vessels of God having the eternal incorruptible seed born from above, these works of righteousness were revealed as filthy polluted rags.
This is therefore the condemnation of the one and the contradiction of sin against the other. The difference is that to the one the concept of guilt is foolishness as he has concluded in his heart that there is no God and therefore no sin. “And of the Pharisees which were with Him heard these words and said unto Him, Are we blind also?” (John 9:39). These have had their consciences seared so that they call good evil and evil good. These will stand before the throne of God with an argument for God, saying Lord, Lord, in attempt to shew the validity and worthiness of the labours they have performed and as in the days before, when there was no king in the land, these are drawn away after the lusts of the flesh to do that which is right in their own eyes. These are the vessels afore outfitted for destruction, the wicked that God has created and reserved unto the day of wrath and the workers of iniquity whom the Father never knew (Matt. 7:23). These are the subjects of the kingdom of darkness who love the darkness because their deeds are evil.
To the other this is the bondage of the corruption of the habitation of this dwelling which shall soon be dissolved. These are the vessels afore prepared unto glory wherein the fullness of the Godhead dwells. The Spirit of God has revealed unto them the truth as the Son of Righteousness has arisen unto them with healing in His wings. They have the truth, which is Christ in them the hope of glory, and the light, which manifests the wretchedness of their corruption, and the life. As they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will they understand more and more the vanity of this world, the impotence of the arm of the flesh and the utter futility in attempting to change Adam. The Spirit teaches His children that this world is not their home, Adam has been created to serve and that very soon these things shall fade away like a garment and be rolled up like a scroll (Is. 34:4) as the beauty of His Holiness is manifested in the children of light.
“But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought by God” (3:21).
Jesus told His disciples, “I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). Many have been led by the logic of man into many diverse religious practices which are proclaimed to be the truth. Translations, commentaries and lengthy arguments surround every claim of man as he strives to prove himself correct and proper before God. The Spirit of Holiness, however, does not need the props, scripts or the performers to set forth the truth for He is truth. Man’s theology presents the truth as a separate entity which may be observed or ignored. Jesus said ‘I AM’ which being the name of Yehovah God identifies Himself as the all-inclusive, self-sustaining unity of all things as one, God. He cannot be dissected into separated parts for the analysis of man for by Him, through Him and for Him are all things made. All His ways are verity and truth and His judgments are without reproach, therefore, since He has fashioned a vessel, washed in the precious shed blood of the Lamb, wherein He has made His seed to be partaker, shall their ultimate destination be conditional upon their performance? God forbid!
Rather let it be said that their performance is because of their nature in Him. The bird flies upon the breezes because that is how it was created. Likewise the fish swims in the waters, the cattle grazes in the field and the grass of the filed to wither and die. So the nature of the created dictates the conduct they perform for God has fashioned them commensurate to the duties assigned unto them.
The children of the kingdom of the Israel of God have been created in Christ Jesus unto good works. These works are neither the labours of the arm of the flesh nor of the intent of the heart of man. The lifting up of a polluted hand could only tarnish the work and the limited feeble intentions of man do not know the mind or ways of God (Ex. 20:24f). Therefore, these works are of the Spirit of God by the children of the incorruptible seed unto the praise and glory of God. This is their nature and the power of God in them, “for we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has afore ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Since it is God who has spoken and by the power of His will performed the intent of His heart, shall not those who do the truth come to the light?
He has translated His children out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of His dear Son. They see therefore the ways of man and the fact that the outward man perishes daily. They know that they have been born into this world en route to their death but rather than the fear of death and the judgment, they have the hope of glory and the anticipation of the manifestation of the sons of God. They have been made to see the rebellion and stubbornness of Adam which wars against their souls as they endure this contradiction of sin against the Holiness of God, which causes the children to call out for their Father.
Jesus did not give a neo-evangelical message to the masses to go out and make converts for the kingdom of heaven. He spoke of a very exclusive kingdom which was not to be bought with the gold and silver of this world nor earned by the works of righteousness which Nicodemus or anyone else could ever do. This kingdom is not of this earth for if it was, the subjects of the kingdom would rise up in judgment upon the earth and slay the inhabitants thereof.
This kingdom is from above and the inhabitants are native to heaven. They have come down from heaven being born from above by the Spirit of God to be partakers of flesh and blood for a time appointed of the Father. They have been assigned trials and tribulations which reveal the vanity of Adam and his constant endeavours to prove himself righteous before God. They have been made subject to this vanity in the anticipation of deliverance from the body of this death.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in you will perform until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6)
The work which God has assigned unto His Beloved as they travel through this waste howling wilderness is not something that is amiss in Him nor deficient in His creation. It is the manifestation of the love of the brethren and the worship of God aright. This is the Law of God and the greatest of all commandments. They who are subjects of the Kingdom of God walk in the light of Yehovah and the glory of His Lamb. They have the testimony of the finished work of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah and they perform, without possibility of failure, the complete and perfect Law of God.
They cannot fail for it is He who works in them both to will and do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). They have the Word of God dwelling in them which shall not return unto the Father void but has fulfilled all that He has decreed (Is. 55:11), they live and move and have their very being in Him and their affections are on the things from above. They take each of the steps assigned unto them along the select path chosen specifically for them as they run with patience the race set before them, looking unto the Salvation of Yehovah, the Author and Finisher of their faith; “House of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of Yehovah” (Is. 2:5).
Nicodemus could no more understand or accept these things but first they be given unto him by the power of God unto deliverance. He is no different than any son of Adam in his doubts and fears or in his experience of grace. Those things wherein he boasted in Adam were soon seen as worthless before the Holiness of God and those things wherein he was completely deficient in Adam were manifested, from faith to faith, by the Spirit within. Man has white-washed the outside of the sepulchre but there is death within. The child of grace has a blood mark of identification on the sepulchre of the body of this death but there is life within. This is the inner spiritual man, that chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation and a peculiar people who are the children of the Kingdom of God and that not of this world.
“And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it (New Jerusalem) and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour unto it; and the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day and there shall be no night there; and they shall bring the glory and the honour of the nations into it and there shall in no wise enter into it any things that defiles, neither works abomination or a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21: 24).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
January 11, 2015