“A prayer of the afflicted when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before Jehovah.”
The afflicted servant of Jehovah endured the contradiction of sin against Himself. He who knew no sin became the sin of His people and by that sin stood guilty before Almighty God. He alone knew that His days were like a declining shadow and that in His flesh there was no glory. But He also knew that Jehovah God was from everlasting to everlasting and that His truth, mercy, grace and love were from generation to generation. He was the perfect sacrifice and His precious blood forgave the debt owed by His children, fulfilled the justice of the Law and delivered His people from their sin. He cried unto the Father when He bore the guilt and the shame.
The immutability of God and His Word is essential to the children of grace. This continuity, cooperation and consistency means that from Genesis to the Revelation there is no private interpretation of the scriptures and that there can be no contradictions so when the ‘afflicted one who was overwhelmed, poured out his complaint before Jehovah’ He spoke as every one of His children speaks when the pains of death get hold of them, the wretchedness of man or-whelms them and the vanity of life causes them to groan within themselves. The law of God is the same, the contradiction of sin is the same and He was tempted in all points like unto His brethren yet without sin. His cry is their cry in the day of His trouble because the indignation and wrath was upon Him and He was lifted up and cast down for His people.
Three thousand years ago, the Spirit of the Lord said that the appointed time had come for pity and grace to be shown for Zion. He did not say that the time was come to pity Israel or be gracious to the Jewish people, He said Zion. The city of our God is pitied by God because of His union and love for His Bride. He alone knows the condition that she dwells in for He made her a partaker of flesh and blood. He has made her subject to the vanity of this world according to the good pleasure of His will and that for good. He knows that she inhabits a weak carnal shell drawn away after the lust and desires of the flesh. This is the captivity to the bondage of corruption that leads the prisoner to groan as he awaits the manifestation of the sons of God. Three thousand years ago the Spirit declared that Jehovah God looked down from His high sanctuary, that same sanctuary not made with hands wherein the sacrifice of the blood of the Lamb was poured out before the throne, and now the fulness of time had come for favour to be shown unto Zion.
“For thy servants take pleasure in her stones and favour the dust thereof”
Three thousand years ago, David had finished putting all his enemies under his feet. He had ended the wars and the bloodshed and the kingdom was at peace. He had assembled all the structural members of the Temple to be built and relayed the pattern to his son. Now Solomon, the King of Peace, was upon the throne, the kingdom was at it’s fullest extent and the temple was built. Many people were amazed at the stones of that building and the glory of it’s beauty but that building is gone. God had promised David that his son would rule after him and that God would establish his throne forever, IF he kept the commandments of the Lord and followed after him with his whole heart. Solomon the man did not follow after God with his whole heart as his father David did, the kingdom was rent from him and divided in twain and the kingdom of Israel does not exist today. So the demonstration of the type, which was temporal and could be seen, is not the reality of fulfillment and the stones of Zion are not made of clay, rocks or minerals of this earth.
The disciples were caught up in this same thinking when they came out of Herod’s temple and spoke of how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts (Luke 21:4) but Jesus said it was going to be destroyed and it was. After His resurrection they again came to Him and asked if He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel, thinking in earthly terms as Adam, and He said to them that it was not for them to know the times or the seasons which the Father has put in His own power. They were looking for the goodly stones of an earthly Temple where Jesus would reign in an earthly kingdom, even though He said; “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).
The servants of Jehovah do not look upon, gaze at or wonder about the stones of Zion, they take pleasure in them. These are the stones that are hewn from that great Rock that casts an immense shadow in the weary land for His people, and that Rock is The Anointed. The stones of Zion are living stones, having eternal life. They are elect and chosen precious before the Lord because of His eternal love for them. These did not begin when Messiah came to earth and selected a few disciples, the seed is eternal and they have been dwelling in afore prepared earthen vessels, groaning within themselves, from the creation of Adam. They delight in the fellowship of another who knows the songs of Zion, speaks the tongue of the homeland, knows their wretchedness in Adam and longs to be free from this bondage of this corruption. These have the same love that the Father has for the Son and the Son for His people because they are one in the Godhead. The evidence of their being the disciples of Messiah is their love for one another (John 13:35). They love one another because He first loved them and the Spirit of God causes them to walk according to the statutes and commandments of God. This pleasure is solely and exclusively in the stones of Zion and for none other. It is not for the sands of the sea shore or the rocks of the mountains. It is because the children have the testimony of Jesus Christ and they keep the commandments of the Lord; “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment and the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbor (the fellow companions of the pasture) as thyself. On these two commandment hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt.22:40).
The Living stone, which is Jesus Christ the Righteous, is the chief corner stone of the foundation of the Temple of Jehovah and is disallowed indeed of man (I Peter 2:3). He does not fit into the buildings of this world, His beauty and glory cannot be seen and He is cast aside as foolishness according to the logic and intellect of man. He is hated of all men and His works are completely ignored, so, is it any difference for the living stones of the walls and foundation of that Holy city called Jerusalem? Not at all. They are hated of all men for His name sake and their songs of deliverance (the gospel) are esteemed as foolishness. This world is not their home and their affections are set on things from above, yet as they take pleasure in one another, they show favour to the dust.
Each child born from above, knows the wretchedness of Adam which God formed from the dust of the earth. He knows the warfare within and hopes that none of his brethren ever find out how deplorable he really is. But each child has the same experience. They have all been held captive in that strong man’s house, they have each been translated from that kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light and they all know the condemnation of death that stands against them in the law (Rms. 7:9). They have a hope in the experience of the common deliverance by the hand of Jehovah God and the forgiveness of His mercy. They are fellow companions of the tribulations of Christ and have all experienced the temptations that are common to all men. Herein are they able to bear one another’s burdens and weep for each others oft afflictions for they have all walked the same path. They have all had the same experience and when the mystery of God was revealed as finished (Acts 11:18; Rev. 10:7) and the mystery of the gospel confirmed, that all nations should be partakers of the same Spirit, people of every nations, and kindred and people and tongue, stood before the throne and before the Lamb (Rev. 7:9) and feared the name of Jehovah and the kings of the earth had reverence of His glory. This was when God revealed from heaven that He had built Zion, that city set upon the hill, against which the gates of hell can never prevail. Herein did He appear in His glory, the same glory that He had in the beginning, and as the smoke of that sweet smelling savor, in the sanctuary not made with hands, ascends continually before the throne of grace the prayers of the destitute are heard and not despised.
“This shall be written for the generation to come and the people which shall be created shall praise Jehovah”
The testimony of the gospel is a finished work. It is a work that does not include Adam in any capacity except that from the same lump of the dust of the earth, God fashioned one vessel for the seed of the serpent, outfitted for destruction and one for the seed of the woman, afore prepared unto glory. He looked down from His high sanctuary. He beheld the earth and heard the groaning of the prisoners. He let loose those who had the ministration of condemnation against them, where unto they were appointed unto death and He declare His Holy name unto His people in the congregation of the living. In the assembly of the saints of Jehovah He proclaimed His name above every name, sealed His people with the Father’s name and called them His own. He did not need the help of a mission society and He did not commission anyone to take His place. The Messenger with the everlasting gospel proclaimed the Word when the porter opened the gate. Then the sheep hear His voice and follow Him as He leads them out. He calls unto them saying, “Come ye out of her and be not partaker of her sin” and they follow Him into the pasture where the other sheep of His fold feed and rest (John 10). He is the gate and praise unto God. He is the door of the sheep and He gathered His people together in the harvest of the last days. He told the disciples that the fields were “white unto harvest” and in the fulness of time, the angel of the Temple cried out, “thrust in thy sickle and reap for the time is come for thee to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe” (Rev. 14:15). He has taken His power unto Himself and He has reigned. All the kingdoms of this world are the kingdom of our God and the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rms. 15:4)
Brethren in hope of glory, there can be no patience without the trials and there can be no comfort without tribulations. Hope is unseen and the redeemed of Zion are saved by hope.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
February 17, 2013