“...but while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. She shall bring forth a son and thou shalt call his name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.”
This is by far the most amazing and wonderful event that has ever taken place in time and space. It has been speculated upon by many who would desire to understand it as much as it has been researched by those who wish to dismiss it. It happened only once in all the annals of time and shall never occur again. The virgin birth is both the sign of the end of time and the beginning of time. It is the fulfillment of the prophesies of old and the surety of the kingdom of God to all who believe. It is the manifestation of all types and foreshadows of the law, the judgment of God upon the wicked and the salvation of the elect according to grace.
The consternation of Joseph cannot be imagined by the mind of natural man. It is easier for Adam to grasp the reality of infidelity and promiscuous behavior resulting in pregnancy than it is to accept the power of the Most High overshadowing Mary causing her to conceive. Joseph is an honourable man who had the same mental capacity as every son of Adam yet he was a just man and proper son of the law. He knew he had every right under the standards of the law of Moses to have Mary, his espoused wife, to be taken out and scourged for her indiscretions (Lev. 19:20). He had the duty of the law to find the despot of this heinous crime that had been perpetrated not only against Mary and Israel but before God almighty to the disgrace of the land of His inheritance. He could have also, since Mary was his wife, had her and the adulterer put to death (Lev. 20:10) if the man was married to another. If a man had found her in the city and had lay with her, the law demands that both the man and the woman be stoned to death but if it was outside the city only the man should die (Deut. 22:24f). Either way Joseph must bring Mary before the priest and cause her to drink the waters of separation, which, “if she be defiled and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causes the curse shall enter her and become bitter and her belly shall swell and her thigh rot and the woman shall be a curse among her people” (Num. 5:27). This should have been the conduct of a son of the law of Israel in strict compliance with the handwriting of ordinances and the pattern given in the mount.
But the angel of Jehovah appeared unto Joseph. Amidst all the confusion, disappointment and sorrow that weighed heavy upon the heart of this man, in his attempt to remain just and bring not this condemnation upon himself, God appeared to him with a message. God told Joseph that his wife was innocent of any impropriety, told him that she was still a virgin and to ‘be not afraid to take her to wife’ but the relationship may not be consummated. God did not instruct Joseph to be disobedient to the law. This event was in fulfillment of the law. The Spirit of God, by His Word, made Joseph willing to be disobedient to the letter of the law in the face of overwhelming evidence that Mary had violated the same and spare the life of his wife. God did not explain things to Joseph and show him the ways of God nor did He provide any proof of the mater. Rather this child of grace, in whom the Spirit of God dwelt, was given to believe the Word of God and was caused to walk by faith.
Can you imagine the slanderous comments that these two endured and the apparent shame that they bore? And how do you think they explained what had happened? The concept of virgin conception is contrary to nature and blasphemous to the understanding of creation. It is an affront to God to insinuate that spontaneous fertilization and conception could occur since God had created all things having their seed in them. He had also commanded that man and women should come together and, being one flesh, to be fruitful and multiply. Everything in nature attested to this undeniable fact so for this young couple to stand forth and say that the power of the Most High had come upon Mary and overshadowed her would be regarded as blasphemous and worthy of death. Thus they both, a just man and an innocent women, stood condemned by the social understanding of the law and customs of the people.
Not to mention the fact that Joseph did not meet the angel of the Lord on the street and experience a face to face exchange with Him or have any witnesses to confirm this meeting or Word. No, God appeared to him in a dream. This complicated the matter even more. Joseph must now stand forth and profess that he had heard a word from Jehovah God who had not spoken by the mouth of His prophets for almost 400 years. He must try to convince his family and friends that he has done nothing wrong and that the child in Mary’s womb was to be the Son of the Most High. Joseph thought it best to put her away and hide the shame of the incident but God intended it, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the mouth of the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son. And they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt.1:22; Is. 7:14).
In the fullness of time, in the end of the world, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman and made under the law, shrouded in suspicion of impropriety, accusations of defilement and great affliction to His vessels of mercy, chosen for this assignment, so that His Word might stand. The apex of all history had come to pass. Instead of the fanfare and pomp that the whole world expects and desires, God came in the form of a servant, to perform His will as only He could, quietly as that still small voice. He came not to make converts to His philosophy and change the world. He did not come to convert people to His new religious teachings and usher in a kingdom of peace on earth and He did not come to provide a way of salvation for who-so-ever will accept. He came to fulfill the Law in righteousness and, bearing the cup of the wrath of God, to save His people from their sins.
“Wherefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:9)
The name of Jesus is maligned and tossed about as common as any other name of the children of Adam. Parents give their sons this name in hope of some special dispensation or blessing in the name. Clothing apparel has the name embroidered upon it in hopes that suspicious people will buy the article and receive a blessing. Bumper stickers, billboards, handbills and slogans all trample the precious name of the Lamb of God, intermixing and diluting it with the vulgar ways and customs of man in a bold attempt to disgrace it by bringing it down to the level of man.
Many other religious people use this name and claim that it is the name of the redeemer, yet they refer to an historical figure of a man that is not the one spoken of by the Messenger of God. The Word of God states that His name is Jesus, the salvation of Jehovah, because He came to save His people from their sins. Since this salvation is of Jehovah it must be as eternal as he is. If the salvation is not completely of Jehovah then this man is not the salvation of Jehovah and his name is not Jesus.
Since the proclamation of the Angel of God is that this salvation of Jehovah is for His people it must be for a select assembly that God, who does not change, knew before the world began, or it is not eternal. If it is the eternal deliverance of His people then there must have existed a need for deliverance before there was a manifestation of this people here on earth. So that in Jehovah God, the ever present, self sufficient inhabitant of eternity and sovereign over all, came forth to manifest that from before the foundation of the world, He had a people not yet partakers of flesh and blood, who had been forgiven of sins that had not yet taken place. He came forth as the Son to do the will of the Father to make known the redemption of His people from the bondage of the eternal Law of God and their entrance into His rest, though all these works were finished from the foundation of the world (Heb. 4:3).
The Angel of the Lord told Joseph that the name of this child was ‘the salvation of Jehovah’ because He had already saved His people from their sins. If He had not yet delivered His people, then there was a group who had lived and died, who stood guilty before the throne of God as they awaited the work to be completed. But since John saw that Lamb, standing as it had been slain from the foundation of the world, this child was come to manifest that which was already finished. John also saw the souls of them that had been slain for the Word of God and unto them was given the righteousness of the saints as they waited for the manifestation of the vengeance of God (Rev. 6:9ff). Therefore there was no question as to whether or not He would succeed or that these things would come to pass since this faithful witness bore the testimony of a finished work.
Now the Father is Jehovah God and His name is ‘Jealous’ (Ex. 34:14). He is self contained and all sufficient and He will not give His glory to another or give His praise to graven images (Is. 42:8). He is beginning and end and all things exist according to the purpose which He purposed in Himself. All things consist by the oath and promise which He swore by Himself since there is no greater (Heb. 6:13). He is subservient to none and cannot fashion anything above Himself for there is no greater than He, therefore, since He alone is Almighty, He exalted Himself to a name above every name. He looked and He saw that there was none who sought after righteousness or was worthy to bring salvation unto His people, therefore He brought salvation by His arm and His righteousness, it sustained Him (Is. 59:16). He made Himself low and of no reputation and took on the form of a servant, anointed in the Spirit of God, to His Will because no one else could do the work. He performed all the intents of His heart, in the fierceness of His anger (Jer. 30:24) and the fullness of the wrath of God, to the perfection of the counsel of His will. He put an end to the daily sacrifices of the types and foreshadows, confirmed the oath with many (Dan. 9:27) and brought forth many sons (those born of that incorruptible seed, the seed that should serve Him and be accounted for his generation) into glory (Heb. 2:10).
Now He has given the Son a name which no man knows but Himself (Rev. 19:12). It is the name which is far above all principalities and power and every name that is given among men (Eph. 1:21). He has given this same name, which is the name of the Father, unto those who have been granted to be adorned in fine linens, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints. This name is engraved upon palms of His hands (Is. 49:16), in white rocks (Rev. 2:17) and in the forehead of those sealed in the finished work (Rev. 7:3). His name is Faithful and True and His children praise Him by His name. They have been saved by that name that is given among men where by they must be delivered (Acts 4:12), they worship God aright and call upon His name, not with the corrupt tongue of Adam, but with that pure language of the children of Zion and they serve Him with one consent (Zeph. 3:9). The children of the King know His name for it is Father and when the Spirit causes His children to groan within they cry out ‘Father’. They know that His name is ‘Jah’ and that he sits upon the circle of the earth and rules over every thought word and deed. They are taught of the Spirit of God as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will and they all speak the same thing because the mind of God is in them.
Let the theologians and scholars of the world rant and rave about the name of God. Let them speculate about the origin of the word in the ancient language and pontificate about the sanctity of proper pronunciation. Adam cannot and never will speak the name of God aright. But, dear brethren, every child of grace, born from above and made kings and priests unto their God not only knows His name, for it is their name, but knows how to call upon the name of the Lord in Spirit and truth. They properly call upon His name and perfectly pronounce that precious name which is above every name, because it is the Spirit that makes groanings and utterances which cannot be heard in intercession before the throne of grace for His people. The stammering and unclean tongue of Adam cannot praise God or speak the Holiness of His name for he is carnal sold under sin, his tongue is “not framed to pronounce it right” (Judge 12:6) and the body is dead because of sin. But that inner man who delights after the law of God, that spiritual man born of God knows the name of his Father and he cries out to his Father as the Spirit bears witness.
Many call upon Jesus in hopes that He will save them and others are instructed to call upon Him because a way has been provided unto salvation. This is not the Son of God who became flesh and dwelt among us and we have not so learned Jesus. The salvation of ‘Jah’ has entered into the sanctuary not made with hands in the end of the world and has finished the sacrifice for salvation acceptable unto God. He is glorified with the Father with the same glory that he had before the world began and He has glorified His people in Him. He is one in the Father and the Holy Ghost and His people are One in Him. The body is One as He is One, herein is the perfection of the beauty of His Holiness.
“And He had on vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:16).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
July 14, 2013