“And I saw a new heaven and new earth for the first heaven and first earth were passed away and there was no more sea.”
God created the heavens and the earth by the power of His will and exactly as He purposed. There was never a time when anyone or anything came into existence except by the express intention of God as He spoke and it came to pass. He did not create anything that was equal to Him, anyone who knew His ways or His thoughts and no throne, dominion, power or authority that could approach Him to inquire what He was doing or why. This first creation was adorned with distinctions and divisions. Light and darkness, waters and dry lands, day and night and evenings and mornings; this was the order of God purpose and He called all that He had made ‘exceedingly good’.
In the economy of the creation were many distinctive points of reference. The sun, moon and stars were brought forth in the fourth day to rule the heavens. These were set “in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Gen. 1:14). The waters were divided from the dry land and brought forth abundantly “the moving creatures that had life and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” (20). And finally He formed man from the dust of the earth, “in our image after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every thing that creeps upon the earth” (26). These all testify to the one distinction, that, “I am God and there is none else and there is none like Me” (Is. 46:9).
The precision of the creation is exact in every detail. God did not overlook anything in His design. The minutest of particles stand in perfect conformance with His Holy will and all things come to pass as He intended, commanded and directed. Adam’s disobedience in the garden, the serpents subtlety and the deception of Eve did not contraindicate the ordained will of the Wise and Masterful builder of all things. When the evil wickedness of that sin had grown to the exact portion, God destroyed the heavens and the earth in the flood and Noah and his family emerged into a new heaven and a new earth but not a new creation. Everything that remained after the flood was still of the former compound and elements as the first, therefore it was new only in appearance and not in actuality.
“That in blessing I will bless thee and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven and as the sand of the sea shore and the seed shall possess the gates of his enemies” (Gen. 22:17).
God called Abram out of the land of the Ur of the Chaldeans and from his father’s house. He, Sarai and Lot left that region of the world and came east to a strange and foreign land. After God had separated Lot from Abram, He promised Abram that He would make his seed “as the dust of the earth so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered” (13:16). He then came unto him in a vision and instructed him to “look now toward the heaven and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them, so shall thy seed be” (15:5). After the birth of Ishmael, God changed his name to Abraham, and promised that He would establish His covenant with him and his seed after him for an “everlasting covenant” (17:7). After Abraham took and circumcised Ishmael and all that were born in his house, as an outward sign of the righteousness of faith, God visited Abraham and changed the name of his wife from Sarai to Sarah and promised her that she would bare a son in her old age. He then, after destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, caused Sarah to conceive Isaac at a very old age, “at the set time of which God had spoken to him” (21:2). Then was this promise to him and to His son, Isaac.
The promise of God was for the dust of the ground, the sands of the sea and the stars of the heavens as references to the seed of Abraham. He repeated this promise to Jacob and when God gave a dream to his son Joseph, he referred to his brothers as eleven stars, his father the sun and his mother the moon. This dream was manifested three times as Jacob and his house came into Egypt for provisions and protections. Four hundred and fifty years later, Moses led the nation of Israel out of the land of captivity and to the base of the mountain at Sinai. The people revolted against their God and when the wrath of God was hot against them, Moses was given to recall God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; “I will multiply you seed as the stars of the heaven” (Ex. 32:13). After forty years in the wilderness as Israel was poised to cross the Jordan river, Moses proclaimed; “behold, you are this day as the stars of the heaven for multitude” (Deut. 1:10).
God had sustained His people for forty years as He gave the Manna each day and “He rained down flesh also upon them as dust and feathered fowls like the sand of the sea” (Ps. 78:27). He brought them across the Jordan river and into a land wherein dwelt Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites and Jebusites in the mountains and Hivites in the land of Mizpeh, who “went out and all their host with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many” (Jud. 11:4). But Yehovah fought for His people Israel. He defeated the hosts of the earth and delivered His chosen people by the hand of Joshua, ‘the salvation of Yehovah’.
God continued His promise to His Beloved, David, and therefore he did not number the sons of Israel from twenty years old and younger (I Ch. 27:23). When his son, Solomon, ascended to the throne of Israel, he proclaimed that Yehovah God had kept all His Word and not one word had fallen to the ground, for “Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude” (I Kings 4: 20). And thus it was that when the King of Peace reigned over the nation of Israel, every promise given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had been fulfilled, but still in type.
“For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return, the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness” (Is. 10:22).
The nation of Israel grew and waxed mighty in the merchandise of the world. When the glory and prominence of Solomon was departed, the nation split in twain and the ten northern tribes followed after the sin of Jeroboam. They rejected the types and patterns left as the testimony to the glory of God and fashioned counterfeit facsimiles. They ordained men not of Levi as priests, set their own standards for worship and sacrifices and established false feast days and holidays. She played the harlot with all the nations of the world and was polluted in her own blood.
Judah was no better. When she saw the treachery of her sister Israel, she did not take heed nor repent but did even more treacherously. The prophets prophesied falsely crying peace, peace when there was no peace. The priests bore rule by their own means and the heart of the people were inclined to love these things. She followed the example of Israel in commerce and trade and made alliances with the heathen nations and as she became wealthy she forgot her god. Yet she continued to call upon His name and enter into his temple to perform the sacrifices and observe the feasts of the Lord. They swore oaths by the temple of the Lord, oppressed the strangers, the fatherless and the widows and shed innocent blood while walking after other gods and pouring out drink offerings to the queen of heaven. Every man had his carved images and idols and yet they came and stood before God in His house and like their father Adam, they blame God for their disposition, saying, “We are delivered to do all these abominations” (Jer. 7:10). Therefore the judgment of God was prophesied upon them when He would come and “cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall be desolate” (7:34).
“God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew” (Rms. 11:2).
The remnant according to grace is not accounted as seed because they were of the natural seed of Abraham, Isaac or Jacob. They are not all Israel who are of Israel neither are they the sons of Abraham by the circumcision of the flesh (9:6ff). The nation of Israel is part of the pattern of heavenly things that God set forth. Even though, the nation apostated and was destroyed, yet the ‘whole house of Israel’ has been raised (Ez. 37:11) in the declaration of the generation of Jesus Christ and the ‘Israel of God’ stands delivered (Rms. 11:26) in the new covenant. This is not a remake of the old covenant, which has never been kept by any son of Adam, which the covenant in the wilderness stood in types and foreshadows. This new covenant is the manifestation of the eternal unity of God and His people, whom He foreknew. These are the children of Abraham, not of the will or power of the flesh, but according to grace in whom the Godhead tabernacles. These have been known (by intimate experience) of the eternal Father from the beginning, before err Adam was formed of the dust of the earth. They are each assigned a time of habitation in economy of God’s creation wherein they become partakers of flesh and blood. The earthen vessel, being afore prepared unto glory by the shed blood of the Lamb, who stood as He had been slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
Abraham was born twice, first he was manifested of water and then of the Spirit. He had his existence in Adam, which has not faith, and his eternal life in the Spirit, wherein is the faith of Messiah. He is the father of many nations. His offspring, in Ishmael, Isaac, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah (Gen. 25:2) have indeed become as the dust of the earth, sands of the sea shore and the stars of the heaven which no man can number or explain. They have been set as the boundary of the sea (Jer. 5:22) which represents all the peoples, multitudes, nations and tongue of the earth (Rev. 17:15) and no man can number or proclaim the sum thereof.
In the anti-type, however, Abraham represents the Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and the Prince of peace (Is. 9:6). His generation is eternal and He knows His people. He has numbered the host of heaven and calls them by their name (Ps. 147:4) but this exalted throng, redeemed from the nations of the world and clothed with white robes, still cannot be numbered by man (Rev. 7:9). He has established the ordinances of the sun, moon and stars (Jer. 31:35) which cannot depart from before Him as they type of His Beloved who has been raised up together with Him and is seated with Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6). He has measured the waters in the hallow of His hand, meted out the heaven with a span, comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in a scale and the hills in the balance (Is. 40:12) in testimony that Yehovah knows them that are His (II Tim. 2:19). He is the good shepherd and the door of His sheep. He calls them by their name, which no man can learn, for it is the name of the Father which is written in their foreheads (Rev. 14:1). His sheep know His voice and a stranger’s voice they will not hear for that is not the voice of Zion (John 10:5). They have ears to hear the sound of that certain trumpet, which is the trump or voice of God, and they are drawn to Him by the hand of the Father (Jer. 31:3). They are faithful because He is Faithful and True and they live, move and have their being in Him. “Even so then, at this present time also, there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Rms. 11:5).
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away and behold all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17).
God’s people are not under the bondage of the law for by the deeds of the law no flesh is justified before God. They have not been called to the weak and beggarly elements of this world and are not enslaved to observances of days, ceremonial washings, dietary restrictions, geographical limitations or national heritage. The handwriting of ordinances, which is contrary to the children of the Living God, have been nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14) and, with the old man, have been “crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin, for he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rms. 6:9).
Edom, the dust of the earth who ascend as Satan (Is. 14:13), has set his nest among the stars in attempt to appear as one of the elect (Ob. 4). He is consumed by the fire of the house of praise (Judah) and the flame of the house of the ‘subsequent’ son, (Joseph) who is the ‘son of My right hand’, Benjamin (17). The sun, moon and stars have all lost their light and shine no more in the great day of Yehovah. They, being created, have no light in the presence of the Lamb who is the glory of God which is the light to lighten the nations and the glory of they people Israel (Luke 2:32). The seven stars of the fool (Orion) which catch the attention of the eyes of Adam (Amos 5:8) have all lost their light as the seven stars in the right hand of He that sits upon the throne, which are the seven churches of Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:20) represent the completed work of the oath of God and His glory.
The messenger with this everlasting gospel has proclaimed His glad tidings of great joy to all His elect and has said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5). No longer are His people tossed to and fro by the angry waves of this world for they have the Word of God which stands on the immutability of His counsel. This hope is an anchor for their soul, both sure and steadfast, which enters into the Holy place of God (Heb. 6:19). No more are they taught, every man by his neighbour saying, know the Lord, for they are taught of the Spirit of God who tabernacles within each man.
The first heaven and the first earth are indeed passed away and behold all things are new. The children of the living God are those precious stones, hewn from that great Rock which is Messiah. These are the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:10f) which is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ the chief corner stone. The names of His people are engraved in the palm of His hands an her walls of salvation are ever before the face of the Father (Is. 49:16). The dust of the earth will not be found there for all men are liars and everything that loves and makes a lie is without the gates. The works of Adam, which are esteemed as great in his sight but filthy menstrual rags in the presence of God shall in no wise enter in the city of God for they are abominable in His sight. There is no temple there for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of the church. There is no need for the sun (the type of Jacob) the moon (Rachel) to shine in it for the glory of God lightens it and the Lamb is the light thereof. There is no more curse, there is no night there and they need no candle, neither the light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light (not the wisdom, commentaries or seminaries of man) and they shall reign for ever and ever. This is the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham (the father of them that believe) Isaac (the child from the dead) and Jacob (the child of promise) whom God loves.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherein Christ has made us free and be not entangled with the yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1)
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
February 16, 2014