“For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.”
The wise contemplation’s of the gatherer (Maschil of Asaph) are set in a most doleful arena as he laments the apparent success of the adversary and his people in the sanctuary of Yehovah. He is perplexed as to the purpose as it appears that God is angry with His sheep and has cast them off. His petition is that God would remember His assembly that He had purchased anciently; the rod of His inheritance which He has redeemed (74:2). The time point of reference for these occurrences is far before the time of the peaceful reign of Solomon, before the time when King David defeated all the enemies of Israel, before the inheritance of the land under Joshua, before Moses and the law at Mt. Sinai, before Abraham, Isaac and the promise, it is even before the creation of Adam in the garden. This relationship of God and His congregation is before there was the type in the nation of Israel in whom He demonstrated all His wondrous works of long-suffering and protection. These events of old are His eternal love for His people in the eternal unity of God and His seed.
In the presentation of the type of national Israel, wherein the truth was hid like leaven which a women took and hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened (Luke 13:21), it appeared to the eyes of Adam that God was ignoring the atrocities of the wicked and punishing the righteous few. This of course cannot be true for God is not a respecter of persons. He has ordained all that comes to pass as His will is performed in the earth as it is in heaven. None can stay His hand or say unto Him, ‘What are you doing?’ for the counsel of the Almighty God stands as He conducts and accomplishes His good pleasure.
Thusly, every thought, word and deed must be expressly set forth, before the events come to pass, to ensure that all is exactly as He has decreed. Man cannot influence His eternal decree for Adam is a finite created being. Man does not know the purpose, works or means of the Almighty God and nothing he can do can alter His perfect will one iota. The creation and existence of Adam was orchestrated, composed and predestinated to exact conformity to the eternal purpose of God’s most Holy will and Adam was willingly compliant to the minutest detail; not by reason of his cognitive abilities or the strength of his hand, but according to He that works ALL things after the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11). Man was not offered anything and the whole of creation did not hang in the balance to see what would happen when God dispatched His beautiful servant, the serpent, to beguile Eve. Man was created in the image of God, male and female, and completely incapable of being obedient to the commandment of God for the purpose that he might take and eat and be separated from God by trespass and sin; “Wherefore, as by one man, sin entered into the world and death by sin, so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned” (Rms. 5:12).
“And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels afore prepared unto glory,” (Rms. 9:23)
Every child of grace is born from above of an incorruptible seed. Nothing can tarnish the perfection of Holiness of the children of the King. According to His most Holy Law, if something or someone consecrated were to come in contact with something common, then would that sanctified object or person become unclean, defiled and guilty (Lev. 5:2). So, if those born of the Spirit were to be partakers of flesh and blood, which stand guilty before God because of the sin of Adam and the trespass of man, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rms.3:23), then would the incorruptible seed become corrupted. This could never be. They which have the seed cannot commit sin for they are born of God and He cannot deny Himself (II Tim. 2:13). Therefore, in the midst of the throne of God and the four beasts and in the midst of the elders, stood the Lamb of God, as He had been slain, “having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (Rev. 5:6). He was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8) and, finishing His work had entered into His rest (Heb. 4:3) in His kingdom which He prepared for His people (Matt. 25:34).
The father of the flesh, Adam, was dead in trespasses and sin, therefore the children of grace, in the earthen vessels, are fatherless. God, in His Holy habitation (the New Jerusalem Rev. 21:3) is the father to the fatherless and the judge of the cause of the widow (Ps. 68:5). These have the Spirit of the Most High dwelling in them as a testimony to this truth and the Anointing of the hope of glory. The Spirit cries “Father, Father”, groaning in prayers and supplications, waiting for the adoption (being made like the Son) to wit, the redemption of the body. God has redeemed His inheritance “of old” and this hope in the manifestation of the sons of God is revealed when the habitation of this dwelling is dissolved (II Cor. 5:1f). The remainder of the progeny of Adam, being fatherless in him, are of their father, the devil (John 8:44).
God is not persuaded by the conduct of men nor is His favour secured by good intentions. He is not One who can be influenced because He cannot change. His counsel stands fast and sure because He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8); and so, though it may appear to the trammeled eyes of the natural man that God is ignorant to the wickedness of this present evil generation and that His hand falls heavy upon those who delight in His law, yet the eternal truth stands, “I blessed the Most High and I praised and honoured Him that lives forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion and His kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as NOTHING: and He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou?” (Dan. 4:34f). The Lord knows them that are His and He will never leave nor forsake His Beloved, Amen.
“Thine enemies roar in the midst of the congregation, they set up their ensigns for signs” (74:4).
Throughout generation upon generation, there have been the enemies of the truth coexisting with the children of light. Many may have experienced these ravenous wolves who have crept in unawares into the assembly only to wreak havoc and pain. These have been brought forth by the hand of God, for His good pleasure to prove His saints and manifest His name. He has given to them a very consistent method of operations that is of the earth and carnal. It is based in lies and deception and proceeds in wrath and malice against the truth; “They say in their hearts, Let us destroy them together”.
The nature of man has not changed from the day he was created. Everything that the natural man does is for his aggrandizement and his pleasure as he strives to ascend to the throne of God and, exalting himself as the eagle and making his nest among the stars, be like the most high God. When the natural man of Esau comes in among the little flocks, they appear to be of like precious faith and they are normally very affectionate toward the brethren. They seem to be genuine but they are filled with questions. These questions are about the limited number of people assembled together, the history of the building and congregation, the election according to grace, the eternal unity of God and His people, the warfare within and the sovereignty of God over all things. Those things that were received of old and once delivered to the saints by the men whom the Spirit of God filled with all wisdom and understanding and knowledge in all manner of workmanship (Ex. 31:3) to work in the temple (Zech. 6:15) are reputed by ‘science falsely called’, modern technology and humanisms of every kind. They attempt to “break down the carved works thereof at once with axes and hammers; they have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled the dwelling place of thy name to the ground” (74:6). The very things that the Spirit of God has filled His servants with all wisdom and spiritual understanding are now questioned according to the logic of man and his carnal understanding. The same manner and ‘tools’ which built those things of old are now trying to be used to tear them down.
Once the questions and the confusion that accompanies them are spread abroad, then the theology of Adam is introduced. It sounds good and smoothing to the itching ears of the natural man, it speaks in the language of the people of the land and it attracts many listeners. Soon the synagogues of God in the land (the appointed meeting places) are filled with good intentions of a social gospel for the welfare of man and the advancement of society. Philanthropic endeavours, missionary out-reaches, prophetic conferences, social gatherings and acceptable inoffensive gospel permeate the walls and “we see not our tokens, there is no more prophet and there is none among us that knows how long” this shall endure.
But this enemy is not isolated to those ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing. This enemy is the natural man who is drawn away after the lusts of the flesh and delights in what he can discern by his faculties. He cannot receive the things of the Spirit so he questions whether God is sovereign over sin, Satan and evil. He lusts after the Spirit and desires an eternal existence; therefore he imagines that he will not only continue into eternity but also that he will see friends and family when ‘we meet on that beautiful shore’. (Interesting that in the new heaven and new earth there is “no more sea” (Rev. 21:1) and the only river is the one which proceeds out of the throne of God (22:1) but the songs of the day speak of ‘gathering at the river’, ‘crossing that river’ and ‘meeting on that beautiful shore’?). The natural man cannot fathom the idea that he does not have control over anything in his life so he denies the predestination of all things according to the purpose of God. He raises his tools against the truth, which is the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, in attempt to augment Him to a more appealing and likable character. He impugns the integrity of God as the Serpent did in the garden and he reduces God to a level beneath himself. He, like all the Jewish zealots who invaded the Galatian church, desires to be useful, resourceful and profitable in the works of the law, whereby, he can present himself as just in the eyes of God.
This is the warfare that rages within the body of this death. It brings the child of grace “into the captivity of the law of sin in his members” and manifests that he is “carnal sold under sin”. It is so contrary to and diametrically opposed to the things of the Spirit that when the child would do good, he finds evil is present; when he would refrain from the deeds of the flesh, he finds that the flesh not only performs that which he hates but takes pleasure in the deeds. Thus he knows that it is no more he, the son of God, that does these things, but the sin that swells within him, in the body of this death. Now is heard the voice of the enemy of God and the tumult of those that rise up against Him continually.
“God, how long shall the adversary blaspheme and shall the enemy abhor thy name?”
The frustration of the warfare, which is “not against flesh and blood but against principalities and against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12), manifests the weakness and frailty of the natural man. He is devoid of faith and therefore he doubts and fears all things. He cannot believe that everything in God’s creation, every thought, word and deed of man, the wrath of man, his vileness and corruption are to His praise and glory. It is inconceivable that God has created that which defiles for good, that He has ordained evil as part of His perfect will and that He has sent a strong delusion unto the world that they should believe a lie; and so with the tools of his making in his hands, he pollutes the ointment of the apothecary with dead flies and washes it down with hemlock.
The Spirit knows and rejoices in the height and depths of His love for His people and those born of the Spirit are taught accordingly to, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon them that they should be called the sons of God” (I John 3:1). He knows that the accuser of the brethren has been cast out and that “there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rms. 8:1); He knows that the King is seated upon His throne ruling and at rest and that His saints who have been risen together with Him are seated together in Him in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6); He knows that the time of the habitation is short and He awaits the moment when, in a twinkling of an eye, He shall be “delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rms. 8:21).
Herein is hope but while in this present evil generation and abiding in this clay pot, the children of the kingdom are grieved that the precious name of the ‘Anointed Salvation of Yehovah’ is blasphemed and hated. This is the name highly exalted by God above every name (Phil. 2:9), “neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name given among men, whereby ye must be delivered” (Acts 4:12). It is also the name unto which every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord. Even though the natural man and the children of the wicked one are repulsed by the notion and dismiss the concept, yet because the King is on His throne, His Word has come to pass and He shall perform all His good pleasure.
He is King and therefore He is sovereign. He does not share His glory with another and His authority is autonomous. He asks counsel of no one. He has no need of delegation but rather He assigns the works to be done to those whom He has appointed and created for such purposes. His rule is over His kingdom and, contrary to the teachings of the pending war in the ‘city of the place of crowds’ (Armageddon), the gates of hell shall never prevail against the habitation of the Israel of our God. IN this habitation dwells nothing that loves and makes a lie or that defiles in any manner. All men are liars and God is not a man that He should lie, thus there remains none of the house of Edom in the New Jerusalem, city of our God.
Yehovah is the great King over all the earth. The inhabitants are accounted as a flying infestation (grasshoppers) before Him as His will is accomplished and the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. He is the King of His people and they are the sheep of His pasture. Therefore they cry unto Him that He will never forget that the wicked blaspheme and the foolish despise His name. They pray the He will never forget the voice of the enemy, who has surrounded the camp of Israel, calls for the songs of Zion in the foreign land and speaks with the language of Ashdod. This enemy is the inveterate foe of the peace of the house and he is the flesh and blood which the children inhabit.
“Do not give the soul of your turtledove unto the beasts and do not forget the congregation of your poor for ever” (74:19).
God does not share His glory with another and He will never forsake His ‘turtle dove’, which is a term of endearment for His beloved bride, to a stranger. Abram feared the actions of man who might have killed his body to take his wife and so he lied about her and surrendered her to his lusts. The Supreme of the Universe has no adversary equal to Him, nothing can quench His love for His Bride and no man can snatch Her out of His hands. He is the same and His love is unchanging, therefore the children of promise (Jacob) are not consumed. He is the fullness of faith and has accomplished all the works set before Him to redeem His people, cleanse them from all unrighteousness in Adam, translate them out from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His light and, declaring His generation, present them before the Father. He has left them as a poor and afflicted people, strangers in a foreign land and sojourners in a barren wilderness and causes them to walk by faith not by sight. They are reclined in the Beloved as He comes forth out of the wilderness like the pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the powers of the merchants (Song 3:6). She is undefiled, without spot or blemish and He has brought her into His banquet house where His banner over her is love. His left hand is under her head and He embraces her with His right hand (Song 2:6) and as He is one in the Godhead so she is one in Him (I Cor. 12:12).
His precious blood was shed for His people and their inability in Adam. The sacrifice was presented in the end of the world and accepted of the Father; there remains no pool of blood for ‘whosoever will’ to wash their sins away. He has put sin away and the horns of the altar are stained with the blood of the sacrifice for the time of the nations has come and all Israel stands delivered. There cannot be any ‘second chances’ for the salvation of another flock who as a ‘stiff-necked and rebellious people’ rejected the signs of the covenant for there remains no more sacrifice for sin (Heb. 10:26).
“Do not let the oppressed return ashamed. Let the poor and the needy praise thy name”
Only those who have the common salvation experience of like precious faith have been given that pure language whereby they call upon the name of the Lord; these alone trust in Him in His adjudication of the wicked; “It is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). “I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations, therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever” (Ps. 45:17).
God is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He has redeemed His people and delivered them from the curse and the wrath. It is He that works salvation in the midst of the earth as in the fullness of time, when it pleases the Father, He reveals Himself in His people.
“Yehovah is in His Holy temple. Yehovah’s throne is in heaven. His eyes behold and His eyelids try the children of men. Yehovah tries the righteous but the wicked and him that loves violence, His soul hates. Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone and an horrible tempest; this is the portion of their cup” (PS. 11:4f).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
May 25, 2014