“Therefore all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of that Lamb, which was slain from the foundation of the beginning of this world” (Geneva 1599)
As the business of eschatology grows and the attention of the masses is drawn after those who presume to decipher the signs of the times, the revelation given to John becomes a most confusing document. The ideas and speculations of these religious pontificators are most lucrative as the mind and imagination of man is shakened, stirred and provoked unto the desired effect of an outward demonstration of contrition and repentance. Many point to the number of ‘converts’ as the proof of the blessing of God in their message as they press for the mark of the approval of man rather than God.
The Spirit caused the vision of heaven to come to John not as a current events forecast for the evening news. He did not intend that the world would flock to John and make him a celebrity as he spoke of the end times for the Word of God is not unto that purpose. The Word is the truth and when He became flesh and dwelt among men, He demonstrated the truth in those things which he both did and said. He gave the meaning of the patterns of the types and foreshadows as He fulfilled all the Law in righteousness and when He had made the final declaration of the finished work, He set in His called out assembly, the gift of the proper interpretation of hidden things. He did not call for the old Hebrew masters, being teachers in all Israel, to unravel and explain His meanings as He spoke to the inhabitants of this world in parables and dark sayings. Those who had not been given ears to hear heard the sound of waves passing over their autonomic sensors as their cognitive abilities deciphered the words which Jesus spoke but they had not the ability to understand the meaning thereof. This was and is because His word is not for all mankind; “it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven but to them it is not given” (Matt. 13:11).
This remains the same today as the Spirit speaks to His children concerning the wonders and love of the Father. The natural ear may hear the words proceeding from the mouth of a speaker and they may even know the language which is spoken but if they have not the Spirit of God they are indeed of the rebellious house “which have eyes to see and see not; they have ears to hear and hear not” (Ezek. 12:3). Yet when the Father opens the eyes of His children, who for a time are kept in blindness until the awakening, and opens the ears to hear and understand His word to them, then these hear and know all things comparing spiritual with spiritual things; even when the truth is spoken by an ass ridden by a foolish man.
God gave this revelation of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah to His servant for the comfort and edification of the brethren. He is not the author of confusion and He does not leave His little flock to wander about aimlessly hoping they might find a crumb of hope and a smattering of truth along the way. The Spirit teaches the children all things which pertain unto life and godliness as they walk the path, run the race and perform the labours of this habitation and so when He sets forth a word concerning a beast which rose up out of the seas, He is not setting forth a scary tale to keep His children in line. This is not the precious truth of the shed blood of the Lamb from the foundation of the world !
God has given the identification of this beast when He said that the number of the beast is the number of man (13:18). Since the seas represent every kindred, nation, tribe and tongue of Adam upon this world (17:15) the beast has come up out of the lineage of man from generation to generation; “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and power was given him over all kindred and tongues and nations, and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him”.
This is the evil beast of the field which has an inveterate hatred for the children of hope, voraciously desires that which the children have and desperately seeks after it with tears. This is Esau who is Edom. He is the one whom God has an eternal hatred for because he is a vessel outfitted for destruction, a man of the field and of the earth, earthly. God has afore appointed him a life that is in servitude to the children of the Kingdom of light and has consigned him to a life of labour for that which cannot satisfy. He is deceived by the pride of his heart (which is desperately wicked) , his mind is full of the things of this world and the cares of his being (so that he cannot find out the work which God has done from the beginning) and he is tangible, thus he is finite and shall fade away.
This evil beast has overcome the children not by might or by strength but because the Creator has made the creature subject to the vanity of the man. He has confined the inner man to the weaknesses of the flesh who, being carnal, is sold under sin. The holy seed within cannot control the outward beast as he is drawn away after the needs and cares of the flesh, he cannot contain the wicked thoughts of his mind or the uncleanness of his intentions and he certainly has no control over the habitual fact that the natural man returns to the filth of his ways like a dog to his vomit. Thus the beast is given the victory over the inner man as the seed born from above grows in the grace and knowledge of His will.
“Now I say, the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ from a servant, though he be lord of all, but is under the tutors and governors until the time appointed of the Father” (Gal. 4:1).
The Law is the schoolmaster that brings the children to the Anointed One and these same children of the Israel of our God are made subject to the bondage of this corruption until the time of this habitation is completed. The outward man is perishing and the more that he is the more obvious his vileness as he gives forth the odours of death. The inner, spiritual, man is renewed, being strengthened by the power of the Spirit within as he gives forth the sweet smelling savour of the eternal life in the Anointed. The seed has been planted in the corruption of the body of this death that it may germinate, spring forth and bring forth fruit unto righteousness. This is the peaceable fruit which is of the tree of life in the Holy city; this is for the healing of the nations (22:2). Though these two be antagonists one unto the other, yet it has been decreed to work together for good for the Beloved, that the one abide in the temporary housing of the other even though the flesh shall never be elevated unto the Spiritual nor the Spiritual corrupted by the weakness of the flesh.
Nothing can overcome the children of light or triumph over them. They have not been called forth to champion a cause and rush forth into battle to overthrow the kingdoms of this world or the prince of the power of the air. Though for a time they walk according to the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience, yet the Father will not leave His children nor forsake them. He has appointed a time in which they shall kick against the pricks as He draws them with the cords of men unto the place where He reveals Himself unto them. He has clothed His people with the full armour that they may be able to withstand the adversaries and has covered their head with His salvation and in all the trials and tribulations which He has ordained by His love, they are “more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rms. 8:37)
David, the Beloved, slew the giant and has ‘exposed the splendour of the winepress’ (Goliath of Gath) when He himself tread the winepress of the wrath of the fierceness of God for His Beloved (Is. 63:3). He has rebuked the wicked one, cast forth the accuser of the brethren and shed His precious blood for the remission of the sin of His people in Adam. He is clothed upon in His glory for He has triumphed over all principalities and power both in the heavens and in the earth and under the earth and there is none that can stay His hand or say unto Him, What are you doing ? He preserved all that were given unto Him and, having raised them up in Him (the first resurrection); He has declared His generation before the Father. He is the Lord God Omnipotent who is seated in the throne of God and, having all His enemies under his feet, He rules in absolute sovereignty over the kingdoms of this world. Thus He alone is worthy of all praise and honour for He has overcome the world.
Those He knew, being the eternal incorruptible seed joined in the Beloved as Eve was in Adam, have been each assigned a time of habitation when the children should be made partakers of flesh and blood. These have been delivered into the confusion by mixing (Babylon) of time and chance which happens to every son of the dust. The Spirit reveals the barrenness of this wilderness for there is a famine in the land, “not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water but of hearing the words of Yehovah” (Amos 8:11). While the philosophy and doctrine of man ardently teaches that this famine may be obverted and suppressed by more workers in the field offering refreshing drinks of hemlock of good intentions, being adorned in the blood soaked rags of works of righteousness and attempting to apply the salve of dead flies yet it is according to the will of the Ancient of Days that His people go forth into the exile of this foreign land. Here they wander as strangers and sojourners being made subject to this vanity by reason of hope.
The natural man is the captor who loves to sing and dance to the songs of the children of the marketplace. He taunts the prisoner of hope within saying; “Sing us of the songs of Zion” (Ps. 137:3) but his affections are secure in the things of this life. He has been given the victory of this time as the children of light are held in the bondage of this corruption; for as he is drawn away after the flesh so the seed is given to cry out unto the Father.
The Spirit teaches the children the perfect will and holiness of the Godhead as he illuminates all things. The light of the glory of God manifests the corruption of the beast and the uncleanness of his ways and daily the inner man understands the number of the man. He finds that in his flesh dwells no good things and the good that he would do is deficient for the lack of ability in Adam. This is the contradiction of sin and although Adam and his teachings claim that it can be overcome like the famine, the child, through many trials and failures in the flesh, finds that without the Anointed power of God, he can do nothing.
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him”
The indigenous inhabitants of this world are the descendants of he who was formed from the dust of the earth. God has reputed these inhabitants as nothing as His will is performed in the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth (Dan. 4:35). These inhabitants are as a ‘winged infestation’ (grasshoppers) in comparison to the wonder and power of the great King over all the earth who has “stretched out the heavens as a curtain and spread them out as a tent to dwell in: that brings the princes to nothing and makes the judges of the earth worthless” (Is. 40:22). Yet He has prepared each of these pestilent creatures according to His purpose and placed them in a time slot of His creation as an intricate portion of His perfect will. He has assigned them the labours to perform which are necessary to the means which He has ordained for the good of them that love Him. Unto these He has afore prepared the earthen vessel which is specifically suited for particular duties of as a chosen vessel but these are still formed form the dust of the earth. They are full of sin, which the Spirit makes evident as the seed grows within, and are a stiff-necked and rebellious people from the beginning. The Spirit reveals this sin, corruption and bondage, moment by moment, as the two manner of people are made evident and the more He shows forth this most unpleasant and disgusting condition to the incorruptible seed, the more the children cry out to the Father for deliverance.
The beast is of that woman called Babylon the great. She is full of blasphemy and adultery and the blood of the saints is upon her. Her confusion is appealing to her as her natural habitat and the bitter waters of Marah quench her thirst daily. She has been given a seared conscience wherein she has dismissed the Holy One of Israel and defiled herself with the sufficiency of this world. The beast is also full of blasphemy against God. He is like unto the dragon, that piercing serpent called the Devil, for his heart is lifted up. He loves the works of darkness for therein his deeds are hidden but as sin was found in the heart of Lucifer so is the beast deceived by the pride in his heart to think more highly of himself than he ought.
The beast has the incurable wound of sin and death yet he lives and the world wonders after the beast. The itching ears of the natural man who strives to speak and hear something new, are soothed by the great swelling words of blasphemy which the beasts speaks against the Holy child of Israel and His finished work. His logic is suitable for the natural man, his evidence is compelling for it is tangible and tantalizing and his conclusions bring praise and honour unto the creature rather than the Creator. This the inhabitants of the earth follow after their fellow companions of carnality, lifting up those who love the preeminence and do many wonderful works.
“... whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.”
Every son of Adam is accounted for in the books written and sealed before the throne of God. Nothing can be added to these books for each and every thought, word and deed have been recorded from the beginning as He who calls those things that are not as though they had already been stands alone as God. Actions may appear to be the result of the combination of nature and nurture but indeed not one thing comes to pass in the confines of creation that the Creator has not purposed and performed according to the good pleasure of His will. Before man was created and the course of time enacted, a record stood of every child of grace that should be made partaker of flesh and blood. The name of each was engraved in the palm of the Lamb as He shed His blood for the inability that Adam was to be created with and the actions which should follow this natural, God given, inability. This blood was specific to the sin as each sin, both in nature and in commission, which was imputed unto He who knew no sin. The blood was in measure commensurate to the quantity of sin for “by this shall all the iniquity of Jacob be purged and this is all the fruit to take away his sin” (Is. 27:9) and it was equal in quality to the corruption of sin, being the perfect sacrifice for sin (Lev. 22:21).
The blood of the Lamb of God was shed for the ‘release from bondage’ (remission) of the righteous demands of God against sin (for the wages of sin is death) and for the covering of His people (atonement). It cleansed the tabernacles by removing all leaven from within and identified the people of Israel as the chosen people as the judgment of God is poured out against all ungodliness of man. And for each one that this precious blood was shed, there is a name graven in a book called the Book of life, for that blood was shed that they might have eternal life. This book was completed before the blood was shed and sealed after the blood was shed. The blood was shed when the Lamb was slain, and that before the foundation of the world, and the book was sealed. NO MAN may look upon this book nor open the seal thereof “and I wept much because NO MAN was found worthy to open and read the book, neither to look thereon: and one of the elders said unto me, Do not weep, behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has prevailed to open the book and to loose the seals thereof” (Rev. 5:4).
This was not a dead animal laying on the ground that someone had to revive in order for this wondrous event to transpire; this Lamb stood as He had been slain and that from the beginning. Before the children were born from above into the temporary tabernacles the blood of the Lamb sealed them, covered them and the Lamb stood protected and preserving them in Himself. These are His sheep and they hear His voice. There are many others who call unto them wanting them to follow after the tantalizing trinkets of this world but another man’s voice they shall not hear. They are the walls of salvation which are ever before the Father and their names are indelibly engraved in His hands. No one put them there and nothing they have ever done merited their dwelling there but “he that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps. 90:1). Thus the children are inseparably joined unto the Godhead and being clothed upon in the righteousness of the saints, they are preserved in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah.
“I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me; for I delight after the Law of God after the inner man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into the captivity of the law of sin which is in my members.” (Rms. 7:21f)
John saw the sad reality of the nature and course of the natural man. But the Spirit did not leave this vision in despair for when He indicated that no man could buy or sell but who had the mark of the beast or the number of his name, which is the number of man. Every son of Adam deals in the marketplaces of this world to accommodate the needs and desires of the flesh. Since no one can buy or sell unless that name and number are affixed, every son of Adam must have the identifying marks of the beast upon him. The child of the kingdom however is given the understanding of this station in life and the condition of the earthen vessel they inhabit; He also gave hope to the children; “here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of man”. God did not leave His people subject to the vanity of this world without instruction in righteousness, doctrine and rebuke as taught by the Spirit and confirmed in the testimony of he scriptures. The called out assembly has been granted the gift of the rightful discernment of the hidden things (prophecy) , which are the spiritual things of God hidden from the natural man, and the “testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10). This gift is for the edification of the body as they grow together in the grace and knowledge of His will. These things cannot be taught of man for they are spiritual yet even as the ass which Balaam rode was empowered to speak the truth, so also the Spirit causes the truth to be spoken in the proclamation of the gospel of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah; “If any man has ears to hear let him hear”
The redeemed of the Lord have overcome the beast by the power of the blood of the Lamb and though this light affliction, which is but for a moment, be upon them, as the chastening hand of a loving Father, yet it cannot be compared with the eternal weight of glory that shall be revealed. The outward beast of Edom is being consumed by the Refiner’s Fire as it is perishing daily. The wood, hay and stubble is being consumed as the inner man is strengthened by the power of God unto salvation. Thus these “sing the song of Moses, saying, Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are all Your ways, King of the Holy Ones” (Rev. 15:3)
“And I will make with them a covenant of peace and I will cause the evil beast to cease out of the land and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods” (Ezek. 34:25).
The covenant is not an agreement between God and a people it is the promise of God that he will be their God and they shall be His people. He has been faithful in all that the Father gave Him to finish and is seated on the right hand on high; “therefore being justified by His faith we have peace with God”. The Prince of Peace has declared that He has overcome the wicked one and the world. He has appointed a time when His people shall be free from the evil beast. And when the time of this habitation is over and this tabernacle is dissolved, they each have a building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. This is the covenant of Yehovah God of Israel who lives and reigns eternally sovereign.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
February 5, 2017