“You are in possession of my reins: You have covered me in my mother’s womb.”
Anyone who has ever seen or ridden a horse knows what the reins are and the purpose for them. The mighty animal is turned whithersoever the rider intends by the application and use of this small device but only if that beast has been broken and trained. If one was to attempt to adorn an unbroken wild horse with a bit and bridle and then to mount it, they would soon find that the nature of the animal is quite contrary to this imposed situation. But if the mount was properly disciplined and aware of the rider and his means for control, then the animal has been made amenable to its station in life and the labours assigned to it. There is also, of course, the necessity for the rider to be properly acquainted with the horse, familiar with his manners and educated in the proper use of all equipment; and so, all things must work together in harmony for this particular purpose to be accomplished.
The modern application of these principles demands that the rider become the student of other riders so as to be well instructed, rightly dividing the intentions and the use of all things. Endless hours of well meaning lectures are given instructing the listener how to take control of his or her life and take dominion over the unpleasantries and discomforts to the end that they may master the control of the untamed nature of Adam. They are discipled in the understanding of the natural man through the psychology of the circumstances of the environment of this world in society and the subjugation of man through denial of the flesh of feigned humility. The natural man is studied in his element in attempt to find a natural remedy for his condition and, although many follow after these great swelling words of admonitions and exhortations, yet man continues unabated to the finish line.
The truth, however, remains that those things which are of this world can never rise above the natural order and plain of this existence, for that which is of the earth is earthly. The natural man cannot evolve into a supernatural being (no matter what amount of education and wealth is thrown at him) for God has made him finite and has put the things of this world in him mind. He cannot receive the things of the Spirit for he is incapable of comprehension and “ let favour be shewed to the wicked, he will not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly and will not behold the majesty of Yehovah” (Is. 26:10).
Though the pedagogy of man is purported to be for the betterment of society yet neither Adam nor his children have ever been able to control the thoughts and intentions of the heart (which is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked – Jer. 17:9). No man can tame his tongue for it is an unruly evil full of deadly poison and a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members that it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature, the fire of hell (James 3:6 & 8). No man can control the steps of his walk; for the way of man is not in himself; it is not in him that walks to direct his steps (Jer. 10:223); and so the children in the market places dance and sing to the chorus of works of the anthems of humanisms while the pilgrims of Zion are grieved because they know that in their flesh dwells no good thing. These are taught that they have not the power to correct this deficiency or rectify this painful dilemma, thus they ask, Lord, if greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world, why then am I constantly drawn after the delights and pleasures of this world ? Why do I envy the wicked in their prosperity and strive so hard for the dainties of this world which I know do not satisfy and cannot sustain ?
“Let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just; for the righteous God tries the hearts and reins” (Ps. 7:9).
When God formed Adam from the dust of the earth he was a functioning mechanism. When God breathed into him the breath of life, he became a living being. Everything he was came from the designs of God’s heart and everything he had was sufficiently provided by the hand of the Creator. Since God is the same yesterday, today and forever, is it proper to conclude that what He did in the beginning is what He does now and ever shall do ? The immutable nature of God, which is the surety of the sons of promise, demands that he has not changed, nor has His work which He has done form the beginning. Every thought, word and deed was meticulously ordained for Adam to perform as God brought them to pass by the power of His own will. From the founding of the world, God has hedged in the way of each child of the dust, assigning the time of their habitation, the labours each particular child is to accomplish; the order and magnitude of each assignment, the interaction with other inhabitants of the earth in a cooperative cohesive manner and the limitations or boundaries they should both attain unto and not exceed.
Thus the Creator is in full possession of the seat of every emotion that was given to Adam and is passed on from generation to generation. He has decreed the emotional roller coaster that transpires daily in the feelings of a person as the means whereby the heart of man is revealed. The outer tabernacle is of dust and is being consumed moment by moment in the furnace of affliction. This fire is manifesting the work of man; “ for the day shall declare I, because it shall reveal by fire and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (I Cor. 3:13). This fire is, unto a child of grace, the manifestation of the love of the Father as He, the Refiner, consumes Edom in the flame of praise unto His name and this flame shall not fall short. It shall consume the residue of Edom so that none shall remain; the end of which is the revelation of the precious living stones within.
The wickedness of the wicked is first revealed in the time when it pleases the Father to reveal Himself in His people. His Spirit opens their eyes to the vanity of this world and the uncleanness of their ways as He shows them the way they have been walking after the course of this world in the satisfying of the flesh. He sets before them the types and foreshadows of the law of commandments, which is the ministration of condemnation, and causes them to know that without free grace they are lost. The confidence they held in the deeds of their hands and the intentions of their hearts is manifested to be the hope of a fool as they understand what sin is, what the demands of God are (perfect holiness) and how that they fall completely short in Adam. Thus the child of grace, taught of the Spirit is found prostrate upon the ground and, not willing to lift his eyes unto heaven, he beats upon his breast, crying out, “ God, be merciful to me a sinner !” (Luke 18:13).
Only one who has been taught of the Spirit of God has this point of reference to His holiness. This is the light of His glory which shines forth in the heart of His Beloved children and illuminates the cage of unclean birds that are entertained as guests of Adam and welcomed as family in the house. This revealing light does not give a full illumination of the whole person of Adam all at once; nor does it give a complete disclosure of the thoughts and intention of the natural heart or the ways of the god of this world. The light is given in measure as the inner regions of the mind and emotions and the doleful inadequacies of this earthen vessel are made evident. The light shines forth in the wonder of deliverance as a new world is opened up before the pilgrims. They see and just as the man who was born blind, there is rejoicing for “ all I know is once I was blind but now I see”. Then these chosen vessels are shown how great things they must suffer for His name’s sake as the reality of this existence is made known. God’s chastening hand is laid upon the tender child to show them that this heart of man cannot be trusted and that the time of this habitation is a sojourn into the land of hypocrisy and delusion.
The Word is revealed unto the strangers in this foreign land as He is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart of man. He proves what manner of person dwells within the earthen vessel by first showing what manner of being the tabernacle of this dwelling is; thus, before the schoolmaster began instructing, there was confidence and assurance. After the lessons are begun and the equations no longer balanced and the experiments failed, the student, though he be heir of all as a son of God, is given to understand that this world is full of unprofitable labours. Wherein he was alive in his carnal ways before the commandment came, in the ways of this world after the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience, when the Word was revealed the commandment revived and the truth is known, the only conclusion is guilt before God. The student knows that the just demands of God cannot be met by the limited and weak hands of man, therefore, as God proves the mind and manifests the seat of emotions in man He gives His testimony as His Spirit bears witness to His Beloved that they are the sons of God.
There can be no assurance of faith until the Spirit teaches that man does not have faith. There can be no anchor for the soul until the Spirit demonstrates that the way of man is tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine for Adam is completely unsure in all his ways. There can be no love and appreciation for the finished work of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah until the need for deliverance (sin) is openly manifested in every aspect of the natural existence and there can be no surety in the conquering of the wicked one until he is completely known to be full of all wickedness, the father of all lies and a murderer from the beginning; “ and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto death” (Rev. 12:11).
“His archers compass me round about, He cleaves my reins asunder and does not spare; He pours out my bitterness upon the ground” (Job 16:13).
This is the testimony of a man whom God declares as being complete and upright and one who fears God and turns aside from evil. He was a child of grace born from above by the Spirit of God and there was neither spot nor blemish to be found in him. He was a citizen of the Israel of our God and he was protected and preserved in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah. The adversary was brought before the presence of God to make railing accusations, not against Job, but against the fact that God had blessed him and was protecting him. God knew that there was nothing that could separate this beloved child from the love of his Father and He proved it by sending forth the adversary. He gave him permission and authority to take all that His servant had and to even touch his earthen tabernacle but Satan had no authority over his life, for it was hid in the Anointing; “ for you are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).
Did God leave Job to find his way in this matter ? No, He promised never to leave or forsake His Beloved, therefore the Spirit taught Job to proclaim that this was all in complete keeping with the purpose of God, brought to pass by the power of His will. He knew, and that not by the natural mind, that God had turned him over to the ungodly who hated him. He was at peace that God had made him His mark and that His shooters were trained upon him to divide asunder the seat of his emotions (Heb. 4:12) , which the Lord was in complete possession of. He was confident that this matter would engulf the expanse that was set for it, without exceeding the prescribed boundaries, and that his bitterness, being ordained of God for good, was to be poured out like water for all to see; therefore Job had hope. (Lam.3:19f)
To the natural man this is a hopeless situation that demands the immediate attention of every miserable comforter who feels led to utter foolishness as if it were needed. The hemlock potions and dead fly ointments are plentiful as Adam is instructed by his fellow companions of the dust on how to fix their incurable wound. Adam speaks within the confines of his own experiences with tried and true remedies that could no more mend a wound than give comfort to the soul.
To the child of the King, though, it is the testimony that the emotions and feelings of man cannot be trusted; this wisdom is of the Lord. He gives His children the trials and tribulations which cause them to cry out to Him for deliverance from the body of this death. But this is not the end of the hope “ for if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (I Cor. 15:19). The Spirit bears witness to the weakness and unprofitableness of the flesh and to the surety that this tabernacle must be put off. He openly demonstrates that the outward man is perishing through disease and the entropy of time. He instructs daily that the carnal being is deceived by the pride of his heart and drawn away after the needs and passions of the flesh, but He also gives the understanding that when the time of this habitation is over and this tabernacle has been dissolved by the Refiner’s fire, there remains a dwelling place, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
The hope of the child is that when this journey is over and the bondage of time and corruption have been released, then shall they each, every man in his order, return unto the Father’s house where they shall see Him in the beauty of His holiness and call upon His name in the pure tongue; “ and after this hide is ripped away, yet of my flesh I shall see God: whom I shall see for myself and mines eyes shall behold Him and not a stranger; my reins being exhausted within me” (Job 19:26f).
“Thus my heart was grieved and I was pricked in my reins. I am foolish and ignorant as the beast before me” (Ps. 73:21).
The wisdom which is given of God is to know the number of the beast, which is the number of man. The pride of the heart speaks great swelling words but not of it’s own accord, for the whole of creation stands and functions in complete obedience to the Master who has before ordained the fullness thereof. The natural man is given itching ears to hear these soothing words until the time of awakening when the Father opens his eyes and gives him ears to hear. Then the words he hears are discerned by the presence of the Spirit within as the hollow echo of the crashing waves or the loud clang of cymbals as he is given to understand that this trumpet gives an unsure sound; yet they continue to call to the natural man. It is then he begins to realize that he has been envious of the foolish because of their apparent success and prosperity in this world. He looks upon that which he aspired after and although after the desires of the natural man he is drawn out yet he knows that this is the hand of God pricking his ‘ gut feelings ’ (the reins are referred to as the seat of emotion but literally mean the kidney – thus the concept of a gut feeling or instinctive conscience).
This allurement after the ways of this world and the desires of the flesh causes the Spirit within to groan and to earnestly await deliverance. Where once there was comfort in comradery with the people of the land now there is a marked and distinctive difference. Where once there was success in the accomplishments of the labours of the hand now there is the deep understanding of the worthlessness of all activities in this world and where once there was assurance in self worth before God now there remains the guilt of sin and the impotence of man. The child knows the uncleanness of the ways of the beast before him as revealed in the light of His glory; “ nevertheless, I am continually with You as You hold me by my right hand” (73:23).
“Yehovah, examine me and prove me; try my reins and my heart” (Ps. 26:2).
Messiah made Himself in the likeness of sinful flesh as He fulfilled the law and condemned sin in the flesh; “ that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Rms. 8:3). The examination of the mind of man reveals only that it has been filled with the wants and cares of this world. When the philosophers and theologians exhort the sons of Adam to change their affections from the temporal to the eternal they openly demonstrate the lack of understanding between that which is natural and that which is eternal. To examine the ways of man and his inherent proclivity toward that which cannot sustain is to study the redundant cycle of humanity; for there is nothing new under the sun. Whereas the surety of the promise of God is based completely upon the truth of His immutability, the way of man is established in the fact that he cannot change anything which God has created. He is a creature of habits who follows after his instincts for sustenance and shelter with complete disregard for anything but himself. It is therefore improbable that the writer is petitioning God to shew him that he is a failure through the weakness of man as a testimony to his worth before God.
The blessing of God, wherein He has given His children all things pertaining to life and godliness, is the manifestation of the vileness of the flesh as compared to the absolute sufficiency in Yehovah God. When the heart of man is revealed, the child cries out for mercy, for he is taught of the Spirit that the Father is “ gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger and of great mercy” (Ps. 145:8). The natural man is ofttimes made to feign this feeling and in an open display of self-imposed humility, he parades his zeal for his gods through false contrition and fleshly reforms. The child of grace, however, is made ashamed before his God for the sin that dwells in him as he is brought low before the throne of grace.
The passions of the flesh seek the approval of the fellow inhabitants of this world for herein is a man esteemed to be holy. The hope of a son of God is to be freed from the bondage of this corruption and to return to the land of peace. The examination of Yehovah God of the earnest desire of His children is not to see if they love Him or if they want to come home; His trying of the faith within is to show the children that they are strangers and sojourners in a foreign land. He reveals to them by His still small voice that He is the Lord God Almighty who is seated upon His throne in absolute complete control over all things; and further, that all the feelings, aspirations, intents and endeavours of man are after the good pleasure of His will for the Beloved. He makes His little ones know that He is the only One qualified to search the heart and give to unto every man according to his works (Rev. 2:23). He gives them comfort in that He has afore prepared this place for His children to take their residency in this world, covering them in their mother’s womb, and that nothing can come to pass which can diminish His love or tarnish the beauty of His bride who is adorned in the righteousness of the holy ones (saints).
Man may tinker in his laboratories in attempt to re-create life but he does not know how the bones come together in the womb. God has searched all things and He knows His people. He has complete and perfect understanding of where they dwell for He has prepared the earthen vessel specifically for them and is acquainted with all their ways. He has seen their members when yet they were without form being made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. He established their way as they intermingle and coalesce in the fabric of time and as He has set a path for them to walk and labours for them to be disciplined in, so He has revealed His grace, mercy and love by showing them what a wretched man they are.
The heart of man stands condemned before God for the sons of Adam are cursed children whose eyes are full of adultery as they cannot cease from sin. The heart of the redeemed of the Lord is precious in His sight. There is not wicked way in them for they are born of the incorruptible seed and “ whosoever is born of God does not commit sin for His seed remains in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God” (I John 3:9). The Spirit teaches this to the children, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things, as they endure the contradiction of sin against themselves while growing in the grace and knowledge of His will; herein is Wisdom speaking to her sons.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and upbraids not (severely rebukes) , and it shall be given him; but let him ask in faith not wavering; for he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For do not let that man think he shall receive any thing from the Lord” (James 1:2ff).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
February 19, 2017