“Shew me Your ways, Yehovah; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You do I wait all the day long.”
The child of grace is as eternal and perfect as God the Father yet they are manifested in a progress of stages and conditions in life. They are one in Him as the seed for whom He has an eternal love. According to this love He has created the heavens and the earth for His Beloved and He causes all things that are made to work in harmony one with the other for good, to them that love Him, the called according to His purpose. He has ordained a time when the seed, being born by the Spirit from above, is planted in an earthen vessel afore prepared for them as they become partakers of flesh and blood. These tabernacles, being formed from the dust of the earth, have been sanctified for this specific purpose and contain all necessary elements commensurate to the time and labours assigned unto it. They have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, and have been made a proper habitation for the incorruptible seed. This arrangement exists unnoticed until such time, when it pleases the Father to reveal Himself dwelling in His people. For some this is early in life, as was with Samuel and John, while for others it may be as the time of habitation is ending, as was the thief on the cross. This conversion or awakening happens in the appropriate time when, according to the purpose of God, the fullness of time has come and even though the child is growing and maturing from conception onward yet there is no awareness until the revelation.
This is when the Spirit begins to reveal the corruption of the natural man and the vanity of this world, though there may have been a ‘kicking against the pricks’ from the beginning. The child continues to grow in the grace and knowledge of His will as the Spirit teaches them all things causing them to walk in the light of Yehovah. This maturation also involves a continual manifestation of the glory of the righteousness of God as the Spirit bears witness that this indeed is a son of God and, commensurate to the revelation, the vileness and corruption of Adam. It is here that the child begins to remember their evil ways in man and that their deeds are of no good and with the awareness, begins to hate themselves for their rebellion against God and the abominable ways in Adam. The chastening hand of the Father teaches, admonishes and edifies the body by and through this continual education and discipleship.
Herein is the constant prayer then of the children of hope to ‘make me to know the journey; exercise and train me in the way of life of the traveler and cause me to go in the firmness, stability, surety and faithfulness, Yehovah God for you are my deliverance for I earnestly look and eagerly await You all day’. Complete and total obedience, submission, hope and confidence in the immutability of Almighty God who keeps His covenant with His people; “therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6). The path is fixed and the course is laid in as each traveler walks the steps ordained of God. His Word is the light upon the path and a lamp upon the feet and His Spirit directs each step; “according as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:4ff).
“Son of man, shew the house unto the house of Israel that they may be ashamed of their iniquities and let them measure the pattern” (Ezek. 43:10).
The commission of the servant of God was not to shew those who were blind the wonders of the bricks of the temple in Judea. He sent forth His servant to proclaim the power of God unto salvation to the house of Israel, yet “they are not all Israel who are of Israel”. God had spoken judgment against the nation of Israel for their departure from the Law that He gave them. This was not to infer that there was a time in which these people were justified being in complete compliance with the handwriting of ordinances and then went astray, for by the deeds of the law no flesh can ever be justified before Him. But according to His great love for His people He told Isaiah that He would not destroy the whole for there was in the midst a blessing (65:8); “even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Rms. 11:5).
God sent forth His messenger to show His people the wretchedness of their ways and the vanity of this world. He commissioned His servant to show they who have eyes to see and ears to hear the beauty of the house “upon a very high mountain” and the wonder of the “man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass with a line of flax in His hand and a measuring reed who stood by the gate” (Ezek. 40:3). He did not send forth His servant to show forth the plans for the rebuilding of an edifice in the sands of Palestine by the feeble hands of man for his glory nor did He spread out the ‘blue-prints’ for a renovation of the old structures. He gave a vision unto His servant of a finished structure, whose Builder and Maker is God, which he was to show unto the pilgrims and sojourners of this world.
The beauty and splendor of this Temple was to be shown unto the children of grace that they might see their rebellion in Adam. The historical setting was to the fact that the nation of Israel desired to be like all other nations and to have a king rule over them (I Sam. 8:7). It is also a reference to the magnificent edifice of David which his son built, upon which the glory of God descended, but Solomon loved many woman and his heart was drawn away from God therefore that structure was destroyed. That which was built of man is temporal and fades away but this Temple was finished and eternal in the heavens.
The wonder of this vision is unto the eternal perfection of the finished work which God has done, the inability of man to know or find out the works which He has done from the beginning and the absolute dichotomy of the nature of man and the Holiness of God. The children of hope are continually caused to see the vileness of their ways in Adam, they are humiliated and brought low before the throne of grace for the wickedness of the ways in the flesh and thereby do they know the extent of the proportion of the greatness of the Israel of our God. The measurements (pattern) of the latter house is so far more glorious than the reality of the works of man that the splendour of man’s work is dark, drab and dull in comparison; “And not only, but ourselves also which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of our body, for we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope for what a man sees, why does he yet hope?” (Rms. 8:23f).
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet and shew My people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sin” (Is. 58:1)
The sound of the trumpet is the voice of God. No man can imitate that sound though Adam continues to try; therefore if a trumpet gives an uncertain sound it cannot be the voice of Yehovah God. The voice of God can only be heard by His sheep who hear His voice and follow Him. The voice of another they will not hear and the world shall not hear the voice of God; “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you cannot hear My words” (John 8:43). Therefore the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18).
Again the commission of God unto His servant was to call out and proclaim, without holding back or any restraint and bring to the forefront, as God did at the mount, the rebellion of Adam and the inability of the children of promise to hit the mark in the flesh. There can be no preaching of the gospel of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah if there is not the endless reciting of the inability of every child of the dust of the earth to hit the mark of perfection as demanded by the righteousness of God. This must be joined together with the constant attempts of man to prove himself before God being adorned in his apron of fig leaves and, never confessing his guilt before Him, desiring to shift the blame to God Himself.
When God opens the eyes of the blind and they begin to see the vanity of this world, they are not left to ask, Why am I thus? The Spirit teaches them the statutes and precepts of God and their hearts are drawn out after His ways. They cry out unto their Father to teach them His ways and to give them wisdom and spiritual understanding of the His truth while Adam will arrogantly ask, What is truth? To him there are no absolutes as he lives by sight and is drawn after the desires of his heart. He has been assigned his bread by the sweat of his brow and to be heavy laden under the labours of this life. Thus his confidence is in what he can do and his assurance is after his own understanding.
The children of the light have tried to live after this deception for many years only to find that it is the wood, hay and stubble which fuel the fire. They are taught by experience that in their flesh dwells no good thing as the true and living Word of God pierces even to the dividing point of joint and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. They know that they have a wicked heart in Adam which they can neither understand nor control and thus they groan within waiting to be delivered from the body of this death. They find that they have many acquaintances in this world through family and the fair weather friends but for the most part they feel themselves alone as strangers in a foreign land. They cannot hear the tongue of their nativity nor sing the song of the homeland for they find themselves as captives in bondage, full of sorrow being sold under sin.
This is the common experience of every child of grace whom the Lord has revealed Himself dwelling in. When by His grace, two or three of these travelers are joined together, they all have the same experience, the same heartache, the same temptations and the same failures. The street hawkers of the religion of this world love to prance about in grand processions with banners, sonnets and numerous followers singing the exploits of how they have overcome sin to live a victorious life by their anointing. They thrive in these processions and are rejuvenated by the confusion of their doctrine as they march off to the Zion of their hopes while the true children of hope feel like sparrows on the roof top, a pelican in the wilderness and an owl in the desert; all alone.
From time to time, the will of God has ordained that even the children, who have been made subject to this vanity, are drawn after the allurement of this world. Adam is a gregarious being who is not at peace when he is solitary for too long and the earthen vessel of the children of hope is of Adam. But and when the temptation has conceived and brought to light the inability of man, then is seen the beauty of Him upon the mountain that publishes glad tiding of the power of God unto deliverance.
“But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of Yehovah and of judgment and of might to declare unto Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8)
The hirelings of this world have been blessed with silver tongues to soothe the itching ears of the sons of Adam who come daily for either to hear or to tell something new. God has given them over to believe the lie of their worth before Him by sending them a strong delusion. But and when, in the time of need, God sends forth His messenger to speak truth, He is indeed the messenger “in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell upon the earth and to every nation, and kindred, tongue and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of judgment is come and worship Him that made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of water” (Rev. 14:6-7). Since God is Spirit and they that worship Him must do so in Spirit and truth, this message can only be intended for those who have the Spirit of God; “Now if any man have not the Spirit of the Anointing, he is none of His” (Rms. 8:9). Without the Spirit there is no way, nor truth nor life.
The message and the messenger are one. The deliverance from the inability of Adam is of Yehovah God by the power of His will unto all whom He has loved with His eternal love. This deliverance is from the beginning and is experienced in the fullness of time according to His good pleasure. Man has no active part in the matter since man is not eternal. He has no power over his natural birth, as he is a passive participant, and he is completely reliant upon many variables and conditions over which he has no control. The union of living seed and the forming of the body are completely unknown to man as he develops over the appointed time until the time of manifestation. Here the babe comes forth out of the womb and the experience of life is revealed though it has been present since conception. Man “knows not what is the way of the Spirit nor how the bones are formed in the womb of her that is with child; even so you do not know the works of God who makes all things” (Ecc. 115).
Nature serves as the type for that which is spiritual. The seed, born from above, is separated from the womb as Esau was from Jacob; one a child of promise the other not. These were two manner of people from the beginning without any consideration of merit: “for being not yet born neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calls” (Rms. 9:11).
The growth and development of this spiritual life is according to an individual plan that the Father has assigned to each of His people until the time when the disciplines and controls, which He has incorporated into each life, brings the child to the point of the awareness of life. The path is crooked and narrow but the Father has “enclosed my ways with hewn stone” (Lam. 3:9) so that His sheep do not go astray. He has chosen them in the furnace of affliction that the wood, hay and stubble of Edom may be consumed and He has assigned His law as the school-master to bring His little ones unto the Anointing, that they may be justified by faith (Gal. 3:24). Once faith has been revealed as the evidence of the indwelling presence of the Spirit, then the Lord blesses each child with the understanding of His Holiness and their corruption in Adam. The Law is seen as an indomitable foe and the requirement of perfection unattainable by the arm of the flesh. The attributes of man, wherein the sons of Adam find great comfort and security are quickly dispatched as an abomination before God: “and you who were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein time past you walked according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all has out conversation in times past in the lust of our own flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherein He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ (by grace you are saved) and has raised up together, and made sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus; that in the age to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:1ff).
Thus according to this great love and the mercy He has for His Beloved, while they are partakers of flesh and blood, His Spirit declares unto them their trespasses, rebellion, inability and guilt in Adam, that they may know the salvation of Yehovah. They are made to drink of the bitterness venom (wormwood and gall) they are reminded of the subtilty of the serpent, the wickedness of the heart of man and the sin that dwells within; “remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall; my soul has the remembrance and is humbled in me. This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope” (Lam. 3:19f).
“Finally my brethren rejoice in the Lord” (Phil. 3:1)
These events are assigned by the loving hand of the Father which is in heaven. He has finished His work and His sovereign will ensures that all things come to pass according to His purpose. He has interwoven His ways and the means into the fabric of life so that nothing may happen contrary to the intent of His heart as the beautiful tapestry of creation unfolds upon the stage of time. The children of the Kingdom of the Israel of our God have been and are continually taught of the Spirit all things which pertain unto life and godliness as they are brought to leave the cares of this life and set their affections on things from above.
These events in life include the very things wherein man has been deceived to have confidence in the flesh; be it by lineage, achievements or zeal. But these things are cast aside as the Spirit reveals that it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). The brighter the brilliance of His glory is revealed unto His people the more vile and putrid the works of righteousness by the hands of man are seen and the more His people understand how repulsive and unacceptable these works appear before the perfection of Holiness: “But we are all as unclean and all our righteousness as filthy rags and we all do fade as a leaf and our iniquities like the wind have taken us away. There is none that call upon Your name, that stirs himself up to take hold of You for You have hid Your face from us and has consumed us because of our iniquities” (Is. 64:6f).
This growth and maturation in the Lord seems as unpleasant as any natural discipline and oft cause the recipient to wonder of his status before the Lord. This purging of the confidence of the flesh is not agreeable to the sons of Edom but they serve a far greater weight of glory which shall be revealed. The Lord blesses His people in this refinement to count ALL things completely and violently damaged “for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I suffer the complete and violent damaging of All things and do count them as dung, that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8).
To this end, the messenger of Yehovah God is sent forth to shew His people their inabilities on Adam as He reveals Himself in them. He stirs up the remembrance of their ways and their doings and brings the arm of the flesh low as they walk by faith.
The earnest desire of these sons of God is to be delivered from the body of this death and to be “found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith”.
This is the clothing of fine linen clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints, that the Bride has been granted to be adorned in as She has been made ready for her Beloved. She has been raised up together in Him and is now seated with Him in the heavenlies, even though it is not apparent at this time; “brethren now are we the sons of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is” (I John 3:2).
Thus the testimony of all unto whom the Spirit is continually revealing the wretchedness of the nature of Adam is the hope “that I may know Him, the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Phil. 3:10f). The hope by which the children are delivered by is not according to what they must do or what they may do but according to who they are in Him. Even though they know they have not already attained, either were made perfect (which is according to all that they must suffer) yet they ‘press on’ earnestly seeking that which is from above. They are given to no longer care about the things of this life and to leave them behind as they “press toward the mark”. This is the same mark that the Spirit has openly demonstrated that Adam cannot attain unto in the flesh because of sin. It is the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
“Let us therefore as many as be perfect be thus minded and if there be otherwise minded God shall reveal even this unto you” (Phil 3:15)
Your servant in Christ,
Elder) Chet Dirkes