And He said, “Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God or with what comparison shall we compare it?”
The Messiah of God is exclusively to the glory of God. His words and all His actions are for the praise and honour of the Sovereign of the Universe as He manifests the invisible things of God in Himself. He did not come to be a great political or social leader, He did not bring any new and exciting philosophy and He did nothing to bring attention to Himself as a man. He said that His words were those given to Him of the Father to give to the children and that all He was shown of the Father to do He came to do as it was appointed of Him. He, being equal with God, made Himself of no reputation and as the servant of God and being fashioned in the likeness of sinful man, became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Many the pundits of the theology of Adam attempt to explain the kingdom of heaven in a different manner than the kingdom of God even though the written testimony appears to make them the same. How can there be a kingdom in which the King of Kings rules which is in any manner different from the kingdom of His creation, namely heaven (Gen. 1:1)? Yet as the scholars ponder and discuss such maniacal issues in attempt to demonstrate their finite understanding of the infinite Godhead, the Spirit gives all wisdom and spiritual understanding to the children of the King. They rejoice to hear that the King reigns supreme over all His creation wherein He has done whatsoever is the intent of His heart and nothing comes to pass but by the power of His will.
The question then is unto what shall this kingdom be likened? Again the feeble and limited carnal mind of the creature has not the faculties to ascend to the foot of the throne of God and imagine the wonders of His infinite ways nor a point of reference whereunto he may liken this kingdom The Lord Himself declares what His kingdom is likened unto and, even though His kingdom is not of this earth, He uses an earthly example for man to consider. Immediately the professors of religion and self-proclaimed masters of the ancient languages point out that the mustard seed is not “the least of all seed”, though indeed it is very small. They impugn the integrity of the Word of God and like the Pharisees of old seek to catch Jesus in His own words. However the comparison that is given is that from a very small seed grew up an enormous tree and Jesus in no wise was giving a lecture on horticulture.
Thus the kingdom, which God alone has created and reigns supreme over, had become “the greatest among all the herbs” or fruit bearing tree. To intimate that this had come to pass without His consent or apart from His knowledge is to again cast a loathsome aspersion against the Ancient of Days and His Lordship over all His work, but such is the attitude of the doctrine of man. Unto this great tree came all the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field to lodge under and in the branches thereof. Must the question again be entertained how these creatures came to dwell under the splendour of these masterful branches? Or may we continue to stipulate that Almighty God purposed the tree to grow in such an manner that made the environment of the conditions right to house, feed and protect the certain creatures He had created and afore decreed should dwell therein?
“Behold the Assyrian a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches and with a shadowing shroud and of an high stature and his top was among the thick boughs (Ezek. 31:3).
The kingdom of heaven contains all things whatsoever is created and these all have been created by Him, through Him and for His good pleasure. Thus the “step” or ‘one who is ascending’ (Assyrian) is contained in this magnificent creation. He indeed was a great tree which pushed his top (wool – thus representing the works of righteousness of his hands) to the top of the boughs. He, like the prince of Tyrus (the rock), has his heart lifted up and has said, ‘I am God and I sit in the seat of God in the midst of the seas’ (Ezek. 28:2). The pride of his heart, like that of all Edom, has deceived him as he dwells in the clefts of the rock (protection of Tyrus). He desires to exalt himself as the eagle and make his nest among the stars (Ob. 4). He has the heart of the ‘light bearer’ (Lucifer) that would ascend to the heavens , exalt his throne above the stars of God and sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the side of the judgment; “to ascend above the heights of the clouds I will be like the most High” (Is. 14:12f).
This is the god of this world as he is represented in the kingdoms of Egypt (Ezek. 32:18), Assyria (31:3), ‘the great house’ (Pharaoh – 32:2), Mt. Seir of Edom (‘red shaggy’ Idumea or Adam – 35:15), Israel as Samaria and Jerusalem (23:4) or Babylon (24:2), he and the kingdoms of this world are all the many branches of this great ‘herb’ which was created by, through and for the glory of God. Though the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field are the representation of the many trials and tribulations of the habitation of this dwelling, the fowls are the devil and his appointed minions (Lk. 8:12) while the evil beasts are the ‘would be’ hireling shepherds of this world who would hunt the flock for their own but who cannot feed the sheep.
“Behold the fowls of the air, for they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?” (Matt. 6:26).
The course of God’s creation includes all things, even the soaring of the fowls of the heaven to their appointed destination. This is true in the nature of the winged creature of the air, the course and conduct of the Devil and his fallen messengers and the ways of man. There is a season to everything under heaven and a time to every purpose. God has brought forth the fowls of the air and has assigned them to rid the land of the word as it lies on the unprepared ground (Matt. 13:4). He has appointed them as messenger of relief to His servant to bring him “bread and flesh in the morning and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of the brook” (I Kings 17:6) and He calls “the ravenous bird from the east” (Is. 46:11) as His counsel stands and He does all His pleasure. Now as He has appointed such careful consideration to these which are of the kingdom of this world and are the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience, how much more care, love and watchfulness is upon His children as they are partakers of flesh and blood.
He has declared that He will consume the fowls of the air, the beasts of the fields and the fish of the sea as his judgments are made known unto all the nations of the world (Zeph. 1:3). He has established their goings and the ways of their manners and in His appointed time, He takes away the fowls of heaven , the beasts of the field and the fishes of the sea (Hos. 4:3).
As the King and Shepard over His flock, He has made a covenant of peace between His people and God as He removed their sin in Adam and satisfied the demands of the Perfect Law. In His covenant of peace with His flock, He is established the one Shepherd over them, even His servant David who shall feed them and He “will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land and they shall dwell in the wilderness and sleep in the woods” (Ezek. 34:25). And as to the ‘mighty one’ whose shaggy wool has shot up to the top among the thick boughs, He has delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the nations, the god of this world; he shall surely deal with him. (31:11). This is the kingdom of God and of His creation.
“Upon his ruin shall all the fowls or heaven remain and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches, to the end that none of the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top (shaggy wool) among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water, for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether part of the earth in the midst of the children of men with them that go down to the pit” (31:13f)
God has manifested His power and might through and upon the wicked ones of this world from generation to generation for the demonstration of His Kingship in and over His kingdom. For this very cause He raised up Pharaoh, turned the heart of evil king Cyrus and afore appointed the wicked hands to take the sacrifice and slay Him on the tree. Although indeed God is the ultimate arborist and the life cycle of the trees in nature do proclaim His majesty, yet these trees represent the arrogant nature of men and the kingdoms of this world.
The nations of people have been assembled by division as God scattered all mankind across the face of the earth and separated them by language (Gen. 11:9). Within these subdivisions, God raised up leaders, scholars and teachers as the civilizations thrived and flourished and while the history of many of these nations remains an enigma yet their existence and their necessity must all be attributed to the purpose and will of God.
This very nation, Assyria, at their appointed time served as the rod of God’s anger and the staff in the hand as His indignation against the ungodliness of Israel (Is. 10:5). This does not exonerate the people or justify the action but rather demonstrates that He is King over all. He put these things in the hearts of all mankind to do His will as He has ordained and there is none who can stay His hand or say unto Him, What are you doing? He established the nations, organized the governments and raised up the basest of men to sit and rule over the kingdoms of this world (Dan. 4:17). He has also set the path that these men and their empires must walk, the extent or boundaries of their conquests and influences and has assigned unto each a labour to perform. When that labour has been completed and the arrogant heart of the tree has been lifted up in attempt to bring praise unto the trees of the forest, then like every child of man, they are brought down as the time of their habitation concludes. They are lifted up in the pride of life through accomplishments as they strive to “make a name” (Gen. 11:4) and by the pride of their hearts they have been deceived. The times of habitation and the limitations thereof, with all ‘successes and failures’ are again the constant confirmation that these are of the kingdom of heaven, created and controlled by Yehovah God.
There is not a man formed from the dust of the earth and born unto woman that is not delivered unto death. God fashioned Adam from the dust in the beginning and told him that being dust he should return to that dust (Gen. 3:14). Thus shall all return to the nether part of the earth, the lowest or beneath the ground. Everyone of the children of men, the earthen vessels afore prepared of the same lump of clay, whether unto honour or dishonour, must “go down to the pit” from whence it was dug; “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecc. 12:7). And thus when the rich man died he was buried (Luke 16:22).
“Yehovah, you have brought my soul from the grave; you have kept me alive that I should not go down to the pit” (Ps. 30:3).
The child of grace, born from above not by the will of man or with the assistance of the arm of the flesh has never been destined for the pit. This is the incorruptible seed which is hewn from that Rock which casts a great shadow in a very weary land (Is. 51:1). It is that Rock which follows after the delivered people as they sojourn in this wilderness where there is no water (Ex. 17:6), the Rock of foundation upon which the whole building is fitly framed together and the Rock of our deliverance (Ps. 95:1). This Rock is the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, the chief corner stone of the building, the rock of offense and the stumbling block to the children of men. He is despised and rejected of man as being unacceptable for his use but this Rock is become a stumbling block and a Rock of offense to the house of Israel and the builders of this world. He is the Rock unto which the children cry lest they “become like them that go down to the pit” (Ps. 28:1). His immutability and faithfulness is the foundation fast and sure for the hope of His people and the anchor to their souls.
He was appointed with the transgressors as He who knew no sin became the sin of His people. His people where concluded in sin in Adam for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But Yehovah “brought me up out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay and set my feet upon the rock, established my goings and He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto out God. Many shall see and fear and shall trust in Yehovah” (Ps. 40:2f). He bore the sorrows of the election according to grace and was “counted with them that go down to the pit” for God had laid Him in the “lowest pit in darkness and deeps; Thy wrath lies hard upon Me and you have afflicted me with your waves” (Ps. 88:4 & 6). He is the man who has seen affliction (Lam. 3:1) and who was acquainted with grief and sorrow. The chastisement of our peace was laid upon Him and by His stripes we are healed (Is. 53:5)
But the Father could not suffer His Elect Servant to see corruption for He was without spot or blemish in Himself. He is God and He cannot deny Himself therefore being true to His Word in the fulfillment of His will by the power of His purpose He was delivered from the grave and “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rms. 1:4). He came into the world having His people with Him and His work before Him. He completed all the work that was assigned to Him and, delivering His people from their sin, lost none that the Father had given Him but raised them up I that last day. His dead men arose in Him after three days, and by the Word all Israel is quickened and delivered; “Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves and bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall now that I am Yehovah when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your grave, and I shall put My Spirit in you and you shall live and I shall place you in your own land. Then shall you know that I, Yehovah, have spoken and performed, saith Yehovah” (Ezek. 37:12f).
“There is Elam and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword. Which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land of the living yet have they born their shame with them that go down to the pit” (Ezek. 32:24).
In the beginning, God had His chosen people and the seed wherein His love dwelt. He also had an eternal hatred for the children of disobedience who were outfitted for destruction. These stand ‘hidden in eternity’ (Elam) yet known unto the Father. They are not revealed in any nationality of man. Their actions and way of life are after the ways of the earth as are all who are drawn away after the desires of the flesh. They are not distinguished by grotesque appearances or outlandish mannerisms for they all walk a broad path in the city of wide street (Rehoboth) and thrive in the place of the crowds (Megiddo). These are the children of the ‘exalted shaggy’ of ‘Edom/Adam’. They rejoice in the works of their hands and boast themselves against the King who sits upon the throne. They are every child of Edom whose heart is lifted up within and who is deceived by the pride of Adam.
This is not a group of miscreants and sinners for whom the redeemed of the Lord may gloat over and profess; “God I thank thee that I am not as other men” (Luke 18:12). This is the natural man who wars against the Spirit in every child of grace as they have been made subject to vanity. He is of the earth. His attention is upon the needs of the flesh and his admiration is upon the work of his hands. He cannot see the wonders of the kingdom of God nor appreciate the beauty of His majesty and power neither can he know them.
The flesh lusts against the Spirit as the Adamic nature desires eternal life and peace with God. But these are contrary one to the other, “so that you cannot do the things you would” (Gal. 5:17). When the mind of the children of hope seek to do good and show forth their zeal for the Lord, they find that in them, that is in the flesh, dwells no good thing, for when they would do good, evil is present. They are grieved by this weakness and vanity of the flesh and groan within waiting for the deliverance from the body of this death.
Adam does all he can for the good of this tabernacle even though it is appointed for a man to die once and after that the judgment. He strives for a long life filled with many adventures and accomplishments for which his doctrine teaches shall be great rewards, but he is temporal and his life but a shadow. The glory of man is grass which withers in the light of the sun and is cast aside as trivial with the passing of years. With all his endeavours man thinks and portrays himself of some worth to God and would even contend with the Almighty in the tally of his works;, saying; “Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in your name and in your name cast out devils and in your name done many wonderful works? And then I shall profess unto them, I never knew you. Depart from Me you that work iniquity” (Matt: 7:22). But Yehovah God is not a respecter of persons neither is He persuaded by works of the polluted hands of man.
The child of grace knows as he is taught by the Spirit that this tabernacle is but for a few days for shortly he must put it off. He knows that to be absent from this tabernacle is to be present with the Lord and that when the tabernacle of this dwelling is dissolved he, every man in his order, has a tabernacle not made with hands which is eternal in the heavens. This is the adoption and the hope of the redeemed of Yehovah.
“And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes and you shall keep My judgments and do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers and you shall be My people and I shall be your God” (Ezek. 27).
The covenant of peace is the decree of the King of Kings whose good pleasure is to give His children the Kingdom. He has redeemed them from the house of the strong man and reconciled the contradiction of sin in them unto Himself. He has given them the testimony of the completed work. They keep the Law of God because He works in them both to will and do His good pleasure. They love Him because He first loved them and they love one another in Him. They all have the common experience and deliverance in His salvation and they all rest in the knowledge that; “The Lord God Omnipotent reigns” (Rev. 19:6).
“Unto what is the kingdom of God like and whereunto shall I resemble it?” (Luke 13:19).
Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
October 5, 2014