“Give thanks unto Yehovah for good because His mercy is eternal.”
The writer of this song unto Yehovah was not encouraging the sons of Adam to ‘turn over a new leaf’ and begin functioning in a manner that was pleasing unto the Lord. He did not set forth the prescript for the currying of favour with God through the conduct of man nor was he admonishing the children of Israel as to how they ought to act. He was presenting the natural conduct of all who have the testimony of the Anointed Salvation of God within. The imperative nature of this statement is an indication of the manner of person within and not an obligatory function in order to become something else.
The sense of gratitude is commensurate to the subject. Temporal thanks is offered for those temporal things which are received and often in a gratuitous manner. Should a person approach and spontaneously say, thank you, the obvious question would follow, what was that for? And if that person should persist the hearer would become concerned at this antic disposition and perhaps seek a means of escape. But and when after the ways of man a person receives a kind word, needful substance or a benevolent act the words, ‘thank you’, normally follow in response to the action.
The thanks which is to be rendered here is in proportion to the good which comes from Yehovah God. Some would at this point instruct the hearer that it is time to begin to ‘count your blessings’ and take inventory as to the good which God has given. The natural mind of man will undoubtedly concentrate upon the fond memories or sumptuous fare that they have experienced for this is the way of Adam. But the writer presents the eternal God as the source of an all encompassing good for which thankfulness is due.
The eternal God has not begun granting good things in response to actions for He is not a respecter of persons. Nor has He solicited actions that would give Him cause to act in the remuneration of blessing; this action on God’s part would not be of grace but of debt and Yehovah God owes no man anything. His eternal decree has afore established that every element of His creation come to pass in a cooperative function for the good of His Beloved. He has created that which is crooked and cannot be made straight for the good of them that love Him, for the called, according to His purpose. He has fashioned the False Accuser, the wicked one, and the Destroyer as the bearer of the light and He causes this great Leviathan, that Dragon who is joined unto the eternal purpose of Yehovah, to perform in a manner commensurate to his nature and that for good. He has decreed trials and tribulations for the proving of the faith within and has caused the steps of the righteous to follow the path which He has ordained them to walk. And as He has given unto His people ALL things which pertain unto life and godliness, so also they walk each step unto His glory and honour (II Pt. 3:1).
He has created all things by Himself for Himself and through Himself and by His divine power He has amply supplied everything which is needful for the Beloved as she walks through this waste howling wilderness. He has assigned each of His seed a time of habitation when they should be made subject to the vanity of this world and held captive in the bondage of this corruption. He brings them, under the course of this world and by the tutelage of the god of this world, to the exact time and place where He reveals Himself in His children; when the Spirit bears witness with their Spirit that they are the sons of God. Here He opens their eyes to the truth, which sets them free from the week and beggarly elements of this world whereby Adam strives to prove his worth before God. The breath of Yehovah God teaches His people the statutes, precepts and commandments of God. The Spirit causes them to walk therein according to the nature of the seed within as He gives a vivid demonstration of the inability and hypocrisy of man. This revelation of truth causes the Spirit to groan, awaiting the deliverance from that which has been ordained unto good and as the children grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, they see more and more the impotent arrogance of Adam; thus they learn obedience through all that they suffer and render up the sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father (Gal. 4).
“I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call upon the name of Yehovah” (Ps. 116:17).
The offering up of a sacrifice unto God by the hands of Adam is to bring forth that which is polluted and sickly; truly an abomination before Yehovah God (Mal. 1:6-14). The only sacrifice acceptable unto God is that which is of the house of the first-born, completely perfect without spot or blemish and presented by clean hands with a contrite spirit. “No one shall ascend unto the hill of Yehovah save he who is of clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity nor sworn deceitfully” (Ps. 24:4). Since Adam demonstrated his complete disqualification for this position in the garden, for by him and through his one deed, sin entered into the world and death by sin, the only one who can come unto God is He who is the fulfillment of the Law in all righteousness; His name is Faithful and Truth. He has come forth in manifestation of the perfect sacrifice for sin, slain from the foundation of the world, and He has delivered His people from their sin. His blood has cleansed them from all unrighteousness in the flesh and has presented her holy and without blame before His throne. Therefore His children are living sacrifices acceptable unto God being of the generation of Jesus Christ, “wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6).
Unto this innumerable host it has been granted that they should be arrayed in the righteousness of the ‘Holy Ones’ (saints) by the grace given unto them before man was created and manifested in the fullness of time. And in the fullness of time the Father reveals unto His children who they are, what He has done for them and the reality of their existence in Adam in this world. The eternal work is revealed in time to the eternal seed who offer up the eternal praise unto Yehovah God for His eternal mercy. This is not the song of Adam and no man can learn this praise save those who have been redeemed. They that render up this never ending gratitude to the Lord God Almighty do so from a pure heart in the pure language of the Israel of our God; “And My tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long” (Ps. 35:28).
This witness to the power of God unto deliverance is set forth as the way of life for three groups of people (Israel, house of Aaron and all who fear Yehovah), which indeed are but one. This singular entity, also known as the “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and to an innumerable company of messengers, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which is written in heaven” (Heb. 12:22f), is comprised of each and every member for whom the blood of the Lamb was shed. There cannot be any for whom this blood has not been accounted, for the Bride is complete and Holy as He is Holy. She has been cleansed of all unrighteousness in Adam and, by the stripes of the Elect Servant of God, she has been healed of the incurable wound in man. The blood of the sacrifice has identified her abode of flesh and blood in the presence of the righteous judgment of God as a vessel afore ordained and prepared unto glory. These vessels have been marked and sealed suitable for use by the eternal decree whereby God established the time of habitation for His seed. They have been properly outfitted with all things necessary for the work He has ordained for them to accomplish and they have been assigned such tribulation as is needful for the good of the Beloved.
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Eph. 4:7)
All things necessary are contained in the creation of Yehovah God. He has left nothing out and He does not look to another to fill in the gaps or supplement that which may be perceived as missing. The Israel of our God are they who endure with God, the house of Aaron are they who have and walk in the light and they which have the respect and reverence for He who “sent redemption unto His people, He that has commanded His covenant forever: “Holy and reverend is His name” (Ps. 111:9).
Each seed has a place in the body and without each particular part the body is incomplete. There cannot be any lacking nor any excess in the body of the Anointing for she is bone of bone and flesh of flesh of the Godhead, who is complete and One. Each part must also function in accordance with the design of the member and the need of the other members of the body. Thus to each the Father has given not only all things necessary which pertain unto life and godliness but also all things necessary for the health and growth of the body. This is the same grace of an immutable God whereby, through faith, they have each been delivered in the Beloved and made acceptable before the throne of grace; “but now many members yet but one body and the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need for you nor again the head to the feet I have no need for you, no, much more these members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary. And those of the body which we think are less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour and our uncomely have more abundant comeliness” (I Cor. 12:20ff).
Not one member of the body can fulfill that which has been assigned unto another member. They cannot endure such things as are appointed unto another nor can they bring forth the fruit (though there can be none other than the peaceable fruit of righteousness) that has been ordained of old through a particular branch of the vine (Matt. 13:8). Each is given that which is needful and necessary to accomplish all which God has predestined for good; “and these all, having obtained a good report through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided some better things for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Heb. 11:40).
The salvation of the redeemed of Yehovah is the same yesterday today and forever for it is the salvation of Yehovah. The grace which He gave to Abel is the same as He gives unto His children today and the temptations which Job endured are such as are common to man, for there is nothing new under the sun. Sin is today as evil and wicked as it was when God destroyed the earth in the deluge and the way of man is no more in himself today than it was when he was created; “I know that the way of man is not in himself; not in man that walks to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). Therefore the sacrifice of thanksgiving is the same as the grace which has been given. They are eternal and unaffected by the ways of man. Nothing done in this existence can separate the children from the Father, no man can snatch them out of His hands and nothing can undo the eternal love wherewith He first loved His people; ”Yehovah has appeared unto me from old. I have loved you with eternal love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you” (Jer. 31:3).
“I will sing of the mercies of Yehovah forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations” (Psalms 89:1)
The mercy of God is equal to His love for His people for “as a father has compassion for his children so Yehovah is compassionate to them that fear Him” (Ps. 103:13). His love and compassion both have neither a beginning of time nor end of days for they are eternal. The love of God is not based upon the behaviour or obedience of His seed, which is equally eternal in Him, for it is an incorruptible seed. They can be nothing but obedient in Him and keep His commandment for His children love Him because He first loved them Yet it is pleasing to the Father that He should plant each seed in the weakness and limitation of time to experience those things which are essential according to His eternal will.
According to His love He has covered the inabilities of the man He would create before He formed him from the dust of the earth. The blood of the Lamb was slain to redeem them who would be made subject to the law and the impotent nature of Adam and that sin was removed as far as the east is from the west. Not only is the inability removed but also the actions which follow accordingly, the rebellion and the stubbornness of Adam. Therefore the compassion of God upon His people was pro-active not reactive. He does not have this pity upon His children because they have done the best they could and have fallen a bit short; He has this tender affection because these are His children. He has decreed all that should befall them according to His goodness and has with these afflictions provided a means of escape that they may be able to bare (I Cor. 10:13).
The shed blood is the remission for this inherent inability in the family of man and a covering for the tabernacle of this dwelling. The interior of the house has been swept clean of all leaven and the blood of the sacrificial Lamb has been struck upon the door posts as an identifier that the seed dwells within. He knows the frame and remembers that we are dust (Ps. 103:14) in complete accord to the intent of His eternal immutable purpose, which He purposed in Himself in the beginning. He has afore prepared specific earthen vessels by the blood of the Lamb for the glory of being the tabernacle of the Spirit of God in His seed; “What do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, in you, which you have of God and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are (both) God’s” (I Cor. 6:19).
The work which God has done form the beginning, being finished in His Anointed Salvation, is according to His love and tender affections for His people and this work comes to pass because of His kindness, goodness and faithfulness, which is also according to the good pleasure of His will. He cannot amend His eternal will nor change that which He has decreed. If He could deny Himself and alter His eternal purpose then the promise is of no effect and the sons of the children of promise stand in jeopardy of being consumed for their inadequacies. But Yehovah “has not dealt with us after our sin nor rewarded us according to our iniquity” (Ps. 103:10); for indeed “if You Yehovah, should mark iniquities, Yehovah who shall stand” (Ps. 130:3).
If the conduct of one for whom He shed His precious blood could negate the power and purpose of the blood, then His work is in vain and His word of no effect. If the work of the creature is greater than the work and the will of the Creator, then the Creator is servant to the limited and vile passions of man and indeed he is no god. This is the theology of the nature of man but Yehovah is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that He should change; He has said and shall He not do? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good? (Num. 23:19).
Therefore, give thanks unto Yehovah; let Israel say, the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent for He is not man that changes (I Sam. 15:29) for His goodness is eternal.
“I called upon Yehovah in distress; Yehovah answered me in a large place” (118:5)
This distress that the writer speaks of is the vanity of this world experienced by the prisoners of hope as they are made partakers of flesh and blood. God has ordained that each member of the eternal seed be confined to an earthly habitation in an appointed time and for a precise duration, for good. He has assigned a time of endurance wherein the incorruptible seed should experience the warfare of the body of this death as it lusts after the eternal life of the Spirit. The carnal desires of the law of the members wars against the law of the mind of the children of grace which delights after the Law of God; “bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Rms. 7:23). For this cause the Spirit groans within, being made subject to this vanity and dwelling for a season in booths. Yet this subjection is unto the earnest expectation of being delivered from the earthly tabernacle, to wit the adoption, in the manifestation of the sons of God. And so by reason of this ‘straightness’, wherein God has caused His people to dwell, all who have been predestinated to be conformed to the image of the Son, call upon the name of Yehovah as a child calls upon the Father.
The opposite of this confinement is the wide expanse of the all-inclusive God. He is the fullness of all things and nothing exists above, beyond or outside of Yehovah God. He has created all things by His word and set them in proper order to perfectly facilitate and actuate His perfect will. Time and chance happen to each creature because the will of the Creator has interwoven every thought word and deed into the fabric of His handiwork which comes to pass in the fullness of time. Not one thread is incomplete or out of place as the beauty of the tapestry is revealed day by day from generation to generation.
And thus the limitations and restrictions which have been imposed upon the seed by the eternal compassion of the Father are for the trying of the faith within, being the evidence of the Spirit, and the “perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the statute of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13).
The children do not volunteer to be made subject to these limitations and unprofitable confinements. While the vanity is the same, for all is vanity, yet the experience of each of the children in the time of their habitation is specific unto themselves. The Father has made them subject by reason of His kindness and has given each child a manifest token of the righteousness of God wherein they are counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which they suffer. They are given, in behalf of the Anointing, not only to believe on Him in whom they have not seen, but to suffer for His name’s sake; all having the same conflict (Phil. 1:29). He has blessed His Beloved children to see and know the truth first of the corruption of the flesh and also of the hope of glory. This earnest expectation of the manifestation of the sons of God draws the children to cry out for the Father who shall deliver the creature “from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rms. 8:21).
“Yehovah on my side, I will not fear what man can do unto me”
The ten spies of the nation of Israel crossed over the river and espied the country. They saw that the testimony of Yehovah God was true and indeed the land flowed with milk and honey. They even returned carrying the tangible witness of this truth but the children of Israel were not given to hear or believe. Joshua and Caleb stood and pleaded with the people saying, “The land which we passed through to search is an exceeding good land. If Yehovah delights in us then He will bring us into the land and give it to us; a land which flows with milk and honey; only do not rebel against Yehovah neither fear the people of the land for they are bread to us. Their defense is departed from them and Yehovah is with us” (Num. 14:7ff). This is the type which demonstrates the stubbornness of the flesh and the inherent inability, for all men have not faith.
The reality, however, is that “the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal: The Lord knows them that are His” (II Tim. 2:19). Yehovah has worked all the works of the Beloved for her (Is. 26:12) and it is He who works in her both to will and perform His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). He has created the seed in the Anointed Salvation unto good works which they shall perform perfectly and, as He has finished all His work and is seated at the right hand of the Father, so are His people raised up in the first resurrection and caused to be seated in Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6). They cannot deny the Father, they cannot fail to hit the mark of perfection being hewn from that Anointed Rock and they cannot commit sin because the incorruptible seed dwells within (I John 3:9).
He has given unto His people all things pertaining to life and godliness and “all things work together for good to them that love Him, to them who are the called according to His purpose; for whom He did foreknow, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born of many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate He also called and whom He called, them He also justified and who He justified, them he also glorified. What shall we say to these things? Since God is for us, who can be against us? He that did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us ALL THINGS?” (Rms. 8:28ff).
The eternal unity of the Father and His children is the eternal love of God for His people; therefore the Israel of our God offers up the eternal sacrifice of thanks giving for all things because “The Lord God omnipotent reigns” (Rev. 19:6).
“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God” (I Thes. 5:18)
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
November 27, 2016