“Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”
The import of this principle is demonstrated in that the Holy Spirit repeated it three times in the written testimony. Paul makes mention of this to the church at Rome and Galatia and James sets it forth to the twelve tribes scattered abroad. Thus in the mouth of these three witnesses is this precious truth established for our consideration.
The teaching of the Holy Spirit is unto and upon those who have been born from above and endowed with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Therefore when man attempts to explain his carnal understanding the truth of the scriptures becomes a haze of confusion and conjecture. Adam needs something tangible as proof to his carnal mind of his worth and accomplishments so that he may stand before his maker and extol his diminutive virtue.
Abraham did not believe God in order to become righteous and God did not esteem him thus because of the will or work of the arm of the flesh. God is a jealous God. He does not share His glory with another, especially with the flesh of man, for in His sight no flesh shall glory. Yet the philosophy of Adam insists that the avenue to righteousness is to simply believe God. This venture places the action in the heart and will of man and the reaction in the auspices of God. Thus the Apostle Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote to the church of Jesus Christ in errant when he said, “For if Abraham were justified by works, then he has to glory, but not of God”. Indeed, if the action originated in Abraham, who according to the good pleasure of his will and by the power of his arm, believed God, then God owes him wages for the work that was performed. If Abraham, being dead in trespasses and sin, were able to raise himself up out of the dust of the bondage of corruption, to present his boon before the throne of God in petition for redress of his condition and make application for righteousness, then he has no need to be delivered and has no part in the deliverer who cane to seek and to save that which was lost. Abraham must then be lifted up to a position above the Most High God for he has accomplished that which God cannot, for God needs the catalyst of belief in order to deliver.
“But we have not so learned Christ”
Belief is the necessary conclusion of the presence of faith. Faith is the fruit of the Spirit that indwells the child of grace. This fruit is nurtured for by the Husbandman of the Vineyard and in the fullness of time, it is manifested in the life of them that believe. Without this faith there can be only a carnal acknowledgment of the superstitions and imaginations of the carnal mind because the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit neither can he know them. Thus, since Abraham believed God, who is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth, there must have been the presence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, thus the fruit of the Spirit and, in the fullness of time and the maturation of the fruit, this manifestation in belief.
This manifestation came, at the time appointed of the Father, when He was pleased to reveal Himself in Abram, while he was in his natural father’s house, in the Ur of the Chaldeans. The Word went forth from the mouth of God by the power of His Spirit to a child of grace, separated from the womb of Jerusalem, the mother of the elect, dwelling in an earthen vessel afore prepared unto glory. The time had come for Abram, who had ears to hear because of the life within, and so, when the Word of Yehovah had come forth, he believed God.
He believed without proof of destination, for he went out not knowing where he went (Heb. 11:8). He had the Word of God without tangible evidence of the promise and no map to find this ‘promised land’. He went out to a city that had foundations whose builder and maker was God and he was obedient to this calling, by faith.
How came this belief, by proof of logic and persuasion or reward of merit? No, by faith, which is the evidence of things that are unseen and the substance of things hoped for, given by the Father to His children. This hope is not a wishful dream of a better life or future rewards for a job well done. It is an expectation and anticipations of the deliverance from the vanity of the habitation of this dwelling and a manifestation of the sons of God (Rms. 8:19). It is the longing of the strangers and sojourners in a weary land to hear the songs of Zion, to hear and speak the pure language and see the Beloved in the beauty of His Holiness. It is the realization, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, of the body of this death, the worthlessness of this world and the remembrance of the Father’s house. It is the earnest desire to be absent from this body and to be present with the Lord. This is only possible because of the eternal life within and Adam has no part, nor portion nor memorial, for he is of the earth, earthly.
“...accounted unto him for righteousness”
The modern religionists of the persuasions of Adam have devised the notion that this belief was accounted unto Abraham unto righteousness. In other words, Abraham was either devoid of or deficient in faith until he believed. Therefore all that is necessary to curry favour with God is just believe. Once the novice has conjured up this belief, without the presence of the Spirit or the life within, then they are enabled to receive the provisions of the salvation provision and the Righteous Judge of the Universe will accept their work and forgive them. Then they become the children of God. This is contrary to the testimony of the Holy Spirit.
The accounting toward Abraham was because of righteousness and not unto righteousness. This accounting or reckoning is based upon the reality of the existence of that which is counted. There cannot be a counting or reckoning of something that does not exist and the matter reckoned must be commensurate to the action it produced, therefore his faith is counted to righteousness (4:5).
This reckoning of belief is the imputation of the righteousness of the faith of the Son of God. As He is full of faith so are those who have been born from above and clothed upon in the fine linen pure and white. They do not stand in the skins that God clothed Adam and Eve with for therein is death They are covered in the perfection of the Holiness of God and their sin in Adam has been removed never to be accounted again (Jer. 31:34). Before any action takes place, whether it be obedience in faith unto belief or the performance of the good works whereunto they have been created in Christ Jesus, the children of the ‘bringer of light’ (Aaron), who have been made kings and priests unto God, must be clothed in “the holy linen coat and he shall have on the linen breeches upon his flesh and shall be girded with the linen girdle and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are the holy garments” (Lev. 16:4ff). No priest of Yehovah God has ever stood before Him not being clothed upon in ‘“fine linen, pure and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints” (Rev.19:8). Abraham believed God being clothed in righteousness not to get a new suit of clothing.
Then Aaron took the two he-goats for a sin offering and presented them before Yehovah God. The lot of Yehovah fell to one for the sacrifice of the blood and the other to the sacrifice of imputation and removal. When Aaron had made an end of reconciling the holy, the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, he laid his hands upon the head of the live goat “and confessed over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat” (16:21). The goat became unclean because of the sin of the people. He who knew no sin became the sin of the people and was taken out of the camp into the uninhabited land. There according to the covenant of God with His elect according to grace, they would never be imputed, reckoned and counted again. The nation of Israel, in type, was accounted righteous by the law and the goat was accounted guilty. Abraham was accounted to righteousness because his sin was imputed upon the Lamb of God, who knew no sin, took away the sin of His people.
“...because He poured out His soul unto death and He was accounted with the transgressor and He bare the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors” (Is. 53:12).
The imputation of the sin of His people unto the Lamb of God must be exactly commensurate to the righteousness of God imputed unto the redeemed of the Lamb. Not one sin was omitted from the atoning power of the blood of the goat whom Aaron slew first (Lev. 16:15) and not one sin was forgotten or dismissed from all that was laid upon the authority (head) of the scape-goat, so, all for whom Messiah made the atonement for are covered and every drop of that precious blood satisfied the righteous demands of the Law of God. He entered into that sanctuary not made with hands and made the sacrifice for sin in the end of the world (Heb. 9:26). And then He took and delivered His people from the inability, rebellion and guilt in Adam because He is the only ‘timely, ready, fit’ man who could complete the law in righteousness.
The man who performed the sanction of the removal of the living goat must be without blemish lest he be unsuitable for the work of the ministry. His sin must be forgiven lest he add to the sin imputed to the goat which would result in an unbalanced account. The sin covered by the blood would not be the same as the sin removed and this is abomination before Yehovah (Pro. 20:10). He fulfilled the requirements of the law of God and was made unclean in his obedience. Therefore he must wash his clothes, bathe his flesh in water before he may come into the camp. He must present himself before the priest, after he returned from completing his assignment. He had to make an open show of his having been obedient in all things and having been cleansed before he could return unto the people. When he did return, the people knew that the law was completely satisfied.
And so, after the Son of Man had become the sin of His people, wherein He cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (for He is “of purer eyes than to behold evil and can not look upon iniquity – Hab. 1:13), and shed His precious blood for the sin of His people, He made an open show of His faithfulness in His resurrection from the dead. He was “declared the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” and His children “have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among many nations, for His name sake” (Rms. 1:4).
Abraham did not believe God to become righteous or to have anything added to his righteous account. He believed God because the Lamb of God stands, as it had been slain, from the foundation of the world. His belief was because he is a child of the King who, having ears to hear, heard the Word of God and was obedient to the faith, by the power of God for His name sake. Abraham is the father of the faithful who desire a better country, that is, an heavenly country, wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He hath prepared for them a city” (Heb. 11:16).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 1, 2013