“Let not then your good be evil spoken of, for the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
The natural Adamic tendency of making an outward demonstration of belief by tangible proof was not abated with the problems in the churches in Galatia. The problem came to light in the church at Jerusalem when “certain men which came down from Judæa taught the brethren saying; Except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1). In the midst of the splendour of the saints being called forth by the Word of God unto faith in Jesus Christ, came the manifestation of the ways of man. This grew to the point that when there was “no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about the question” (15:2). Even the edict from the elders of the church carried with it a reference to the ways of the Law yet for the most part they agreed that there should not be a yoke placed upon the Gentile believers “which neither our fathers nor we are able to bear” for salvation is by grace.
The letter to the church at Rome speaks well to the ritual of circumcision in attempt to demonstrate that this act makes the participants debtors to the whole Law, in bondage under the law and condemnation. The child of grace is indeed circumcised. His heart has been circumcised by the Spirit of God but not with the hands of man. The heart of stone has been removed and an heart of flesh has been given wherein the true Law of God is written. This is that Law that the Gentiles have not being part of national Israel or indebted to the Mount. God has placed His Law in the heart of every member of the New Covenant and in a time appointed of Him, He reveals Himself to His Beloved people. The true Israel of our God not only has the Law and that not by the handwriting of ordinances or repentance of dead works, but by the indwelling of the Spirit of the Most High, but they keep that Law perfectly. Not one child of the Kingdom of God can ever violate the Word of the King because His seed remains in them, therefore they cannot sin.
Everyone born of that incorruptible seed is made partakers of flesh and blood, each man in his order, in a vessel fashioned by the potter from a lump of clay and afore prepared unto this glory. This work was accomplished before the foundation of the world and it was conditional upon the faithfulness of the Son of God who cannot deny Himself. Therefore being justified by that immutable faith of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, the house of the redeemed enters into the existence of this habitation in complete peace with God. Yet this forgiveness is not a license to lasciviousness or the freedom for complacency toward sin. The Spirit groans within the child of grace because they have been made subject to the vanity of this world. The flesh is in constant warfare and contention with the Spirit because Adam desires the life and communion with God. The Spirit knows that this is a foreign land where in the water is bitter and the food cannot satisfy. That which is of the flesh cannot receive the things of the Spirit and that which is born of the Spirit cannot be tainted by the world.
This entire message, being of course general to the household of faith is indeed personal to the individual. The corporate inclusion is not at the expense of the intricate necessity of the individual members, whom Paul calls Brethren. These are brethren because they have the same Father God and Lord Jesus Christ and they have all been born of that heavenly Jerusalem, the mother of us all. These all have a common experience, being chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, a common vocation for they have been created in Christ Jesus unto good works, a common deliverance from the wrath of God and a common course for they all walk by faith. Because of these manifestations of the eternal love of the Father for His children, they love Him and each other. They are to walk circumspectly in this world, redeeming the time, and obedient to all that God has ordained.
The work which God has made from the beginning to the end is done for His Beloved. He has ordered the time of their habitations and the limitations thereof for His children and their walk in this wilderness. He has created all things by the Word of His power, through the purpose which he purposed in Himself and for His glory and honour. He has glorified His Bride in all that He has done with the same glory that He has in Himself. Therefore has He ordained all things to work together for good to them that love Him, to them that are called according to His purpose (8:28). Each of His sheep has their place in His pasture. Each is an acceptable sacrifice before the Lord for they have neither spot nor blemish and each is the servant of others. Jesus said that he who would be greatest in the kingdom must be the servant of all and He indeed is the greatest. His children are to love their neighbour (of the pasture) in the same manner in which He loved them and gave Himself for them. Adam does not agree.
“For I say, through the grace that is given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith” (12:3).
The body of Jesus Christ is a singular unit which functions in complete ant total harmony, and it is made up of members in particular. Each of these members have been made subject to the vanity of this world in hope of the glory in Christ Jesus. This vanity is manifested in the pride wherewith Adam has been deceived (Ob. 3). It is demonstrated as the Spirit, He who lets, empowers the carnal mind to contrive and the arm of the flesh to move as the Will of God is performed. As these children grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, they are given faith commensurate to the station and function. This is not a different faith for it is the faith of the Son of God who loved His people and gave Himself for them. It is not a faith without power for it is the fruit of the Spirit of the Almighty God but it is dealt to each in a measure necessary to the purpose. And so to each member of the body is given (assigned) a station and a function which is not of man nor by the will of the flesh, yet the body is one as He is one.
Adam desires to be a part of this blessed contingency. He desires to exalt himself as the eagle and make his nest among the stars of heaven. He imagines that God is a man such as he with whom he may reason. He established guidelines and standards which appear, as the Mother of all harlots, very similar to the pattern given in the mount. She is “arrayed in purple and scarlet colour and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication” (Rev. 17:4) and Adam is her father. He sets about to establish his righteousness by those things which he has abstained from and those things unto which he dutifully adheres. He does not need the list from Mt. Sinai of those things which he can and cannot eat for he has developed his own set of standards wherewith he not only judges himself holy but judges those about him unholy. He cares nothing for the leadership of the Holy Spirit as He teaches His little children for Adam knows what to do and how to perform it. God has put it in his heart to be continually fashioning aprons of fig leaves and more so when the Spirit testifies to the contrary. The heart is indeed desperately wicked, who can know it?
The grace of God to His people is also governed by the fact that He knows their frame, that it is dust, for He created them so. He does not lay upon one whom He has decreed to be weak those things which are for the testing and perfecting of those strong. He has placed in His body, during the time of their dwelling in the body of death, those whom he has dealt little faith and He has brought them among His two or three gathered together in His name for the good of the whole. Each and every one of the election according to grace is both weak and strong in the appointed hour, for the intended purpose of God and they can and do quickly find their places reversed as He, according to His love, shows the weakness and corruption of the flesh which has not faith.
Adam earnestly desires those things which sustain his being. Food, drink and raiment are essential to the continuance of man and are of this world. The Kingdom of God is not of this world. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom and the kingdom of heaven is not of meat and drink. It would be profitable to return to the passages of the Law and rehearse the dietary limitations that God set upon His people but not for observance. The things pertaining to the ministration of death cannot make the doer thereof perfect and by the deeds of the types and foreshadows no flesh is justified in His sight. The meat and drink here mentioned is not limited to those handwriting of ordinances, which were nailed to the cross and crucified with the Messiah, but pertain to all things which Adam deems needful for his existence.
The child of grace, as taught by the Spirit of God, knows that there is One God and there is no other. The idols and gods of this world are the product of the imaginations of man. The superstitions of the mind are based upon the limited understanding and speculations of a being in whom dwells no good thing. So when the church at Corinth wrestled with the question of eating meat offered to idols, once again, Adam thought more highly of himself than he ought. On one hand he claimed to be righteous because he was of a clear conscience to eat and on the other he claimed himself pious because he abstained. But the Spirit testified that the food of this world, which is for the sustaining of the body of this death, is not for the condemnation of a brother or the elevation of another. The “Beloved of God called saints” at Rome, struggled with the question of meat and drinks as well as the observances of days. The Spirit testified that as the Lord leads His people is His business and no one else.
“Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God” (14:22)
The Word of God is as singular as He for He is the Word. His faith is the faith of His people and as He instructs those of like precious faith in their walk along the path He has ordained is between he and His Beloved. Does this mean that the doors are open to whosoever wills to come in and join in unbridled ecumenisms? Not in the least. The writing is to the redeemed of Yehovah. It is for the Israel of our God for whom the blood of the Lamb was shed from the foundation of the world. It is not for the inhabitants of the world, the people of Canaan or whosoever loves or makes a lie (God be true and ALL MEN liars). This testimony is for those who have been born from above. It pertains to those who are born of incorruptible seed and the two or three who can walk together because they are agreed (Amos 3:3). This agreement is not of mutual consent or compromise in Adam but of the immutable, incorruptible and perfect Lord God Almighty. The brethren are of the house of the firstborn and the neighbours are those who walk in the footsteps of the flock to find rest and nourishment at the Shepherds tent.
All men have not faith and if the disciples had faith the size of a grain of mustard seed they could have moved mountains and replanted trees in the midst of the see. The proof that no mountains have been moved and that there are no groves or orchards growing in the midst of the sea is evidence that in Adam there is no faith for faith is the gift of God.
The faith of the child of grace is individual and particular. It does not vary one iota from member to member as they all have “like precious faith” but it is particular to the needs and circumstances of each member. The Kingdom of God, the kingdom of His dear Son, the Kingdom of heaven, the Kingdom of Light and any other manner in which the Spirit describes the Kingdom wherein the King of Kings and Lord of Lords has taken His great power unto Himself and has reigned is not of those things which pertain unto Adam. His Kingdom is Spiritual and the subjects of that Kingdom are born of the Spirit of God. They are taught of His Spirit and He causes them to keep His commandments.
“...and if any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (13:9).
The children love the Father because He first loved them. He tabernacles in them and they in Him. Therefore they love each other as He has loved them. They cannot fail to keep His commandments because His Spirit teaches them all things and causes them to walk according to all His statutes. The Kingdom of God is righteousness which is the fine linen, clean and white, wherewith the Bride has been granted to be adorned. The Kingdom of God is peace because of the finished work of Messiah for all whom the Father has given unto Him. These have been eternally joined unto Him, therefore they are those precious living stone hewn from that great Rock, and that Rock is Anointed (Christ). The Kingdom of God is the rejoicing in the Holy Ghost where the children without Edom, sing the praises of their God in that pure tongue. These are they who have been quickened together with Him, raised up in Him (for He is the resurrection and the Life) unto newness of life and are seated together with him in the heavenlies. They see Him in the beauty of His Holiness, call upon His name The Word of God, and upon bowed knee profess that He is Lord.
“And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven saying, Alleluia, Salvation and glory and honour and power unto the Lord our God, for true and righteous are His judgments. He has judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication and has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand” (Rev. 19:1f).
The Kingdom of our God is not of this world, flesh and blood and all things connected to Adam cannot be found in it and it is not in what Adam does or abstains from. The brethren dwell together in the unity of the Spirit because of a finished work and they live in harmony being eternally and inseparable joined together in the Godhead. The little children are admonished to beware wherein they think they stand and have their confidence for therein they shall fall as God, in demonstration of His love for His children, chastens each and every one. Those to whom He has dealt a light measure of faith are as beloved of Yehovah as those to whom He has dealt a great measure. The love of the brethren is unto edifications in hope of deliverance and the manifestation of the sons of God.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
July 27, 2014