“Praise Yah, I will praise Yehovah with my whole heart in the assembly of the upright and the congregation.”
The writer here is not proposing that he has found a way to overcome the wickedness of his natural and Adamic heart so as to be able to praise God aright. Nor has he discovered a manner in which the intentions of man or his conduct may in some way be regarded by Yehovah God as sufficient to meet the demands of His perfect Law. Yet without objection he has declared that with his whole heart, he has properly and sufficiently given the praise due unto God.
Everything God has done gives praise to His power and glory. The creation stands as an open demonstration of the all-inclusive nature of His sovereign authority over everything. The heavens declare His glory and the firmament shows forth His handiwork. The mountains and hills are raised up in protest to His majesty and the valleys quietly show forth His wonders and even the most arrogant and stubborn of all His works, praises the name of Yehovah in the ignorance of his ways. Adam does not like to retain God in his heart and his mind is astir with the cares of this world yet each and every step he takes, every breath he breathes and every thought and intent of his heart is directed and actuated in praise to the Builder and Maker of all things; Yehovah God.
The work which God has done from the beginning is established as His testimony to Himself which is revealed moment by moment in the advancement of time. He has designed this wondrous work in His eternal purpose and by the power of His will, He causes this witness to stand irrefutable before the eyes of man as every jot and tittle function harmoniously together. His power is openly displayed in the might of the wind and the waves and felt in the shaking of the earth yet as He has ordained these as evidence yet; “eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him” (I Cor. 2:9).
The crooked serpent, the great Leviathan and the sin of man are all in complete accord with the purpose of God and thereby they praise His name. Even the wrath of man shall praise His name as the means whereby He has ordained events in time to come to pass yet there is no credit given to man for his wrath. All that is has been created by God, through His word and for His express purpose and no one can stop His hand or correct His intentions. His heart has purposed and so He has done everything for His Beloved for His desire is upon her (Song 7:10). Thus the proclamation of the gospel of God is “sing unto Yehovah all the earth;shew forth from day to day His salvation. Declare His glory among the nation and His marvelous works among all people” (I Chr. 16:24).
“I will call upon Yehovah who is worthy to be praised ; so shall I be delivered from mine enemies” (Ps. 18:3)
Deliverance is the work of God for His people which He finished before the world was founded because of the eternal love He has for His Beloved;for this praise is due unto Him.
He is a jealous God who will not give His praise or glory to another nor does He share this glory with any; “I am God there is none else, I am God there is none like Me” (Is. 46:9). He formed the universe by the power of His word and in and of Himself He alone established and enacted the process of time and the events which occupy each moment;for this praise is due.
He created man and set him upon this earth to show forth His mercy and long-suffering patience. He commanded man to be obedient but he could not that sin might enter into the world and death by sin. He ordained that the seed of Adam wander to and fro upon the face of the earth eating his bread by the sweat of his face until he returns unto the ground from whence he came; “that no flesh should glory in His presence” (I Cor. 1:29). For this praise is due His great name.
Thus the whole of creation’s functions in praise to the Creator as every aspect functions pursuant to His good pleasure. This praise is the return unto God that for which He deserves and although the inanimate objects are not consciously aware of the performance of this praise yet do they praise God. Man however, being a sentient being, is fully aware of himself and is deceived by the pride of his heart concerning his self-worthy. He has been given to think of himself more highly than he ought as he continues his attempt to ascend on high and be like the Most High God. In this he is deservingly guilty and disgraced as his time is occupied in self-preservation for when he knew God, he did not glorify Him as God, neither is he thankful;but is become vain in his imaginations and his foolish heart is darkened. Therefore man loves the darkness for his deeds are evil and he despises the light, lest his deeds be revealed and reproved;even in this is God praised for “God saw everything He had made and behold, very good” (Gen. 1:31).
There is however a special praise that is more than the lifting up of empty hands in acknowledgement of the Lord and giver of all things. This praise is an inherent attribute which is translated into the presence of being. When Moses went into the mount and stood before Yehovah God, the glory of God caused the face of Moses to shine and glow. The children of Israel saw his face and were afraid of him because he had been with God. The testimony of the shinning face gave Moses the credibility to stand before the people and proclaim the Word of God yet the people could not steadfastly look upon his face because the glory faded away;therefore there was a veil placed over his face when he finished speaking with the people.
The children of the Kingdom of light, however, glow from the nature within as the fullness of the Godhead dwells in them. Their praise of the Father is by reason of the seed within, which being hewn from that great Anointed Rock, cannot deny the Father. The hands of man may be raised up in contrition and the emotions stirred to give an outward show of remorse but only the seed within can shine forth in praise of He who alone is worthy of praise. When John saw the revelation of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, he saw no man who was able or worthy to stand before the throne in eternal worship of he who sat upon the throne saying, “You alone, Lord, are worthy to receive glory and honour and power, for You have created all things and for Your pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).
He then saw that no man in heaven, nor in the earth, neither under the earth was able to open the book or to look upon it and open the seals thereof. Yet there appeared the Lion of the tribe of Praise (Judah)who came and took the book from the right hand of He who sat upon the throne and the hosts of heaven fell down and sang a new song of praise unto the Lamb, saying, “You are worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof for You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every kingdom and tongue and people and nation, and have made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign upon the earth” (5:9).
This is not a song which Adam may sing for he has not the tongue of the pure language to call upon the name of Yehovah, to serve Him with one consent (Zeph. 3:9). Nor is there any son of the dust who seeks after righteousness or delight after the Law of God for the mind of man has been fixed upon that which is temporal as he takes his rest in the labours of his hands. The Lamb is worthy to be praised because of who He is and what He has done for He has finished His work in righteousness and all His enemies are His footstool; “worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing and honour and glory and power unto Him that sits upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (5:12ff).
And again he heard a great voice in praise of the Lord God omnipotent who lives and reigns supreme over all the kingdoms of this world as He judged the great whore; “for true and righteous are His judgments”. The hosts of heaven and all of creation acknowledge the right and power of the King in proclamation that the Lord, He is God, and He has completed whatsoever His heart intended to do and He has taken His great power unto Himself and rules over all flesh. This is the praise of God in the lifting up and casting forth yet it cannot compare with the light of His glory shinning through His people.
“And you shall love Yehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Deut. 6:5).
The requirements of God are as absolute as His will. There can be no shadow of turning or hint of rebellion in the love of Yehovah your God. Adam demonstrated the inability of man to love God and keep His commandment in the garden and his seed has continued the family traits from generation to generation.
God demands perfect obedience which can only come from perfect love. His love for His Beloved is eternal and immutable therefore He loves His people the same. The greatest commandment is not the goal of the children of God to strive for;it is the standard of excellence wherein they live. They love Him because He first loved them and because they have this love of the Father, they love one another. No one can manufacture this love and it cannot be demonstrated through natural means. The love of the Father has been manifested in that He has granted the Bride to be arrayed in the righteousness of the saints and although the religionists of the times will claim it so, the eyes of man cannot see the beauty of this wedding garment for it is not of this world. Thus the children show forth the praise of the Lamb being clothed upon in His righteousness and they keep His commandments in the love of the brethren of like precious faith for the common salvation they have hope in.
The love of God is reserved for the election according to grace. It is the life of the body, the testimony of His presence within and the evidence of the body to the world; “by this shall all men know that you are My disciples, that you have love one for another” (John 13:35). As the inner man is strengthened by the Spirit of God so He walks in the light of Yehovah shinning forth as a city set upon a hill and though the natural eyes are blind to the glory within, yet the pilgrims and strangers in the barren wilderness of this world come to the light for they are of the light.
These all have the same testimony as the blind man;once they were blind but now they see. They understand that it is not by might nor by strength nor by the will of man that they love the Lord with their whole heart for thy have been taught that within their flesh dwells no good thing. They know that they are unlovable in Adam because the Light has shown them the uncleanness of their ways which causes them to judge themselves worthy of the righteous judgment of God. They see the disgrace of their face and the shame of their guilt in Adam as the Spirit bears witness with their Spirit that they are the sons of God. They all speak of the heavy hand of God that presses down upon them as they identify one with another;in the sincere hope of being delivered form the vanity of this world and the bondage of corruption of this body. Thus they testify from faith to faith, that they are weak in the flesh and have no hope in this world.
God has set enmity between the flesh and the Spirit and try as man will, there shall never be peace. The flesh desires to be found worthy before God and be granted eternal life. The spiritual man, who delights after the Law of God, earnestly desires to be delivered from the flesh for Jacob and Esau are not compatible. Though the outward evidence of the cunning and skill of Esau be open and appreciated by fellow inhabitants of the land yet the life within and the testimony of God is concealed. The children of the Kingdom therefore experience the pressing and the proving by the flesh upon them as this light affliction, which is but for a moment, works in them an exceeding weight of glory that shall be revealed.
“...in the assembly of the upright and the congregation”
The testimony of the love of God for His people is not for the world;nor is it for the natural man. The testimony is for the called-out assembly that God has gathered together in His name having been identified by the blood of the atonement upon the booths they dwell in. These have a common pilgrimage during the time of their habitation in the bondage they have been placed under and they each have the name of their Father in their foreheads. This is an intimate circle of familiar company built upon a sure foundation;Jesus Christ being the chief of the corner. The testimony is not for the building built upon the dust or the sand of the earth as this structure is influenced by the effects of time. The building, whose builder and Maker is God, is not of this world and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The members of this building are a gathered familiar intimate circle, born from above of incorruptible seed, being the righteousness of God. They have been clothed upon in the righteousness of the holy ones, being the imputed righteousness of Messiah and have been scattered as seed into the earthen vessels. These, every man in his order, are made partakers of flesh and blood for a season as they are made complete learning obedience in all that they suffer. These alone have the light of God which illuminates the wretchedness of man, causing them to cry out to the Father, in anticipation of being delivered from the body of this death. They have been predestined of God to be conformed to the image of the Son;therefore they have the fellowship of His suffering the contradiction of sin against themselves. These only have the testimony of the Spirit within as they experience how great things God is doing in their lives and thus they alone can shine forth the glory of God and praise His name aright.
The natural man asks what must he do to work the works of God. He brags that he has done all these things from his youth upward and his hands are full of the lapels of his robes as he thanks God that he is not like unto these sinners and commoners. He knows nothing of the pains of death or the sorrows of hell for he is walking the heavenly highway, living the victorious christian life and singing victory in jesus.
The child of grace knows the uncleanness of his ways as he lies prostrate upon the ground, not worthy to lift his eyes unto heaven, crying “Lord be merciful to me a sinner”. He knows that Yah is gracious and full of compassion and He will not abandon His Beloved to the dogs. This is the work of God in the lives of His people and His works are great. Those who have the right, portion and memorial in these great works seek the truth as they have pleasure in all His works. These delight after the law of God and as prisoners of hope, they look for the time when He shall return unto them a second time, without sin.
“And as they were afraid and bowed down faces to the earth, they said unto them ; Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)
The theology of Adam looks for the goodness of God in man. The doctrine of man is revealed by the attention to that which can be seen and the emphasis on that which can be proven to the intellect of Adam. Thus the labours are tangible and the responses elaborate but this is not the testimony of faith.
The praise which flows from the children of the King is because of the divine nature within. The glory of God shines forth in their hearts to the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah and the natural man cannot comprehend such things. The children are the workmanship of God and He has worked all their works in them. They have been created in Christ Jesus unto good works and the praise of God is manifested in them.
The world seeks to find evidence life among the dead and delights in the aroma of the perishing body;yet, man does not know what true life is. The abundant eternal life in Messiah is the testimony of praise unto our God and the gate to the New Jerusalem. He alone is worthy of all praise as Creator of all things, redeemer of His Beloved and the Almighty ruler over all the kingdoms of this world.
“I will give You thanks in the great congregation: I will praise You among much people” (Ps. 35:18).
Your servant in Christ,
May 7, 2017