“For whom He did foreknow He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
There can never be any question about the extent of the knowledge of God. The fact that He is God demands that there be a superior knowledge and understanding high above that which He has created. Those things which He has created all have a beginning and a designated end, thus they and their attributes are finite. This finite nature is incapable of the concept of an infinite being who alone inhabits eternity. The vastness of the greatness of His power and the extent of His knowledge are unimaginable to the natural mind and so, after this limitation, man attempt to study God.
The philosophies and theologies of Adam, being endowed by the Creator with this restriction of intellect, proceed from this flawed premise to develop systematic explanations of God and His ways. Men have accrued many years of intensive study and deep consideration to obtain certifications and degrees in the study of God. These like the Pharisees of old, desire to be heard for their much speaking as they give their opinions of what God is, what He has done and who they think He should be. This becomes very evident when the subject of predestination is discussed in the sacred lecture halls of Dust University where the limitations of man are applied to God. These discussions are pregnant with the speculative accessions of the nature of eternity, the characteristics of God and a convoluted presumption of what is fair. Since Adam has no point of reference concerning eternity he shrouds the subject in illusive conjecture in such a repetitive manner that soon it is accepted as fact; from here he presents his systematic theology for all to gaze at and wonder.
The wisdom of the Spirit is the understanding of the number of man (Rev.13:18). Just like the friends of Job, the theology of Adam is proclaimed with great authority and carnal logic as it impugns the integrity of Yehovah of Hosts in arrogant speculation, the first of which is to make God a man. Here He may be judged according to a standard that is common and evaluated through traditions and customs which are manifested in ritual and ceremonies. Because of the assumption that the nature of God is limited then it can be asserted that He thinks like a man. If He thinks like a man then He could not see or know a matter before it came to pass and so, the ‘before knowledge’ of God is explained as His looking ahead into time and, seeing those things which would come to pass, made His plans accordingly. Upon obtaining this information, it is purported that God chose the people to properly fit these events so that all things could work together and thus the decrees of the Almighty are predicated upon the events of man; such is abominable before the throne of God.
The infinite sovereignty of the Almighty God has, from the beginning, decreed all things to come to pass according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Himself and which He enacted by the power of His will. These events, without exception, were and are performed by Him, for Him and through Him that the glory be of God and not of man. Adam was created as a participant in the design of God not as the controller of time and events. Each and every son of Adam was created in him, for he was created having his seed in him, and the time of the habitation of their dwelling was fixed before Adam was formed from the dust of the earth. This time of habitation was not a reaction to the events of the time period nor in hope that the creature might alter the events and produce an outcome contrary to that which is determined. All elements of the ‘before knowledge’ of God are irrevocably established, fixed fast and sure by the sovereign will of God so that nothing comes to pass but what He has already decreed that it should be as it has unfolded. Time has nothing to do with the foreknowledge of God except to explain to feeble man that before time was, God has already planned, purposed, decreed and empowered all things and thus it is called ‘before knowledge’. But lest this treatise seem cold and indifferent, there appears much more to this subject than just the foreknowledge of things.
“For being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand, not of works but of Him that calls, it was said unto her, Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated” (Rms. 911).
The purpose of God in this particular time sequence involved the manifestation of the two sons of Isaac and the declaration of their standing in Him. If His love for Jacob or His hatred of Esau was not eternal, then there was a time when God was either neutral to both or had some other feelings about them. This, were it true, would infer that there was a time when, according to action or some external influence, God changed. This would then demand that the God who said that He never changes, had indeed changed. It would also demand that the One whose name is Yehovah, the self-sufficient, self-contained Creator of heaven and earth is indeed not self-sufficient for an outside influence caused Him to alter His original feeling toward one or both of these boys who had not yet been born. This external influence, according to this hypothesis, could not be the God of the scriptures, but must indeed be a force outside of the created cosmos with a magnitude far superior than that which is called God. Thus ‘God’ becomes a god who, like man, is a liar and subject to influences beyond his control. His word is tainted, his promise unsure and the vile corrupt children of Jacob stand every moment of each day in the fear of failure and consumption because of the weakness of this god.
Thanks be unto His precious name that the children of the kingdom have not so been taught of His Spirit concerning Yehovah our God. He is the master of all things and the people that perform them. He has meticulously fashioned each hair of every thread of the fabric of His creation commensurate to His purpose. He has established the time of their habitation wherein they are revealed to perform that which they have been before outfitted to accomplish so that there is neither spot nor blemish in the perfect tapestry. He has empowered all things sufficiently to come to pass precisely as He has ordained and all this is for His Beloved, whom He personally and eternally knows.
God created this world and the universe wherein it hangs for His Beloved (Song 7:10).
His eternal unity with His Beloved is manifested in the creation of Adam who was formed having his bride in him. God said that He created man in His image, male and female created He them, and so, since all things are created by Him, for Him and through Him then He created all things for His Beloved Bride in Him. She is One in Him and since He cannot deny Himself and so she can neither deny herself nor Him. As God created Adam having Bride and seed in him, so the image of God is revealed in all that He created (Rms. 1:19).
This is the incorruptible seed which is born from above as the children become partakers of flesh and blood, each in their times appointed of the Father. This seed is Holy and righteous before God and because it is the seed of God, the children cannot sin because His seed remains in them (I John 3:9). Yet in the body of Adam all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, “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). Could this Holy seed be a partaker of that which is unclean by reason of death? God forbid! If one be unclean by reason of the dead body and the holy flesh come in contact with that, shall it be unclean? “It shall be unclean” (Hag. 2:13). So God afore prepared certain vessels, formed from the same lump of clay of the dust of the earth (dust of the earth + born of water = clay), for the express purpose of receiving that which cannot be corrupted. He purposed in Himself that those created in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah must first have their vessels cleansed and that by the act of the Lamb which stood as He had been slain from the foundation of the world.
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (I Pt. 1:2).
The ‘before knowledge’ of God designated that those of the election according to grace, whom He has loved with eternal love, have been set apart by His Spirit unto obedience. He has purposed in Himself and by the power of His will causes the obedience of His children in keeping His Law. There is no possibility of failing or falling short of perfect obedience because the seed is incorruptible, hewn from the Great Rock, which is Messiah. The intimacy of this ‘before knowledge’ is based upon seed not deed and as the seed become partakers of the flesh, they are consecrated in the flesh unto perfect obedience. Not that Adam is now able to measure up to the perfection of the holiness of God for he is still the body of this death. He is dust and to the dust he shall return, yet the earthen vessel, the tabernacle of the Holy Ghost, has been ‘set apart’ and consecrated by the ‘sprinkling of the blood of Christ’.
The sprinkling of the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world and manifested in the fullness of time is not a result of the action of Adam in the garden. It is the judgment of God upon the sin that had not yet been committed whereby no flesh should glory in His sight. He purposed and enacted this judgment upon the Lamb for the sin of His people in the same purpose which concluded Jacob in eternal love. The eternal judgment upon the wicked and Esau in eternal hatred was also enacted and concluded. These passions of God are based solely on who these two are and not on what they had, could or ever shall do.
One of these, Esau, is of the seed which was created wicked in the serpent; “Ye are your father the Devil and the lusts of your father will you do” (John 8:44). Unto these is fashioned of the lump of clay called Adam, a vessel fitted for destruction. These are the wicked which are created and reserved unto judgment (II Pt. 2:9). They have been assigned times and boundaries of their habitation (Acts 17:26), their minds are filled with the things of this world so that they cannot find God by searching (Ecc. 3:11) and they walk a path established exclusively for them as they are “estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they are born speaking lies” (Ps. 58:3). Each of this innumerable host of Megiddo (place of crowds) walks the broad path which leads to destruction and every event which comes to pass in their lifetimes is under the sovereign command and pre-ordained will of Almighty God, who by the same power has before knowledge of “them that are sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ” (Jude 1).
Jacob, with all his antics as he lived up to his name “supplanter”, could do nothing to enhance or diminish the eternal love wherein God loved him. His vessel was ordained of old to be the habitation of the seed born from above and he was consecrated for the labours he was assigned. This consecration did not make Adam any better for in him, that is in the Adamic being called Jacob, still dwelt no good. Therefore he was drawn away after the needs and desires of the flesh and his antics demonstrated nothing but a carnal nature. Thus this setting apart unto obedience by the Spirit of God was not because of what Jacob had done but unto what Jacob was called to perform.
When Moses was called up into the mount, God instructed him in the manner in which the Tabernacle was to be constructed; “According to all that I shew thee, the pattern of the Tabernacle pf all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make” (Ex. 25:9). God then empowered chosen men with the wisdom, ability and desire to do all that He had commanded; “The wrought Bezaleel (in the shadow of God) and Aholiab (my father’s tent) and every wise hearted man, in whom Yehovah put wisdom and understanding to know how to do the work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that Yehovah had commanded” (36:1). Thus was the Tabernacle constructed and furnished according as He had caused His chosen people to be willing to do and to perform.
Then God instructed Moses as to the workings of the Tabernacle beginning with the men who should work in the tabernacle. Aaron (the bringer of light) was chosen of the tribe of Levi (joined) and set apart for the work. His seed in him was designated for this work from generation to generation. They were all provided with garments specifically prepared for this work and under the penalty of death, they must be so adorned in the work; “and this is the thing that you shall do unto them to hallow them to minister unto Me in the priest’s office:” (29:1). Before these men could perform the work assigned unto them and be obedient to the commandments of God they must be hallowed or consecrated, dedicated, set apart (Heb. – ‘qedash’) which was exemplified by the sprinkling of the blood of animals. First these sons of Levi, brought forth a sacrifice for their sin and after laying hands upon the bullock, signifying the imputation of sin unto the animal, they killed it at the door of the Tabernacle. Then the blood of the slain sacrifice for sin was placed upon the horns of the altar and the remainder was poured out beside the bottom of the altar. Then a ram was taken and after the imputation of hands by the sons of Aaron, it was slain and the blood was sprinkled round about upon the altar. Then another ram was slain and the blood was put upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron and his sons, upon the thumb of the right hand and upon the great toe of their right foot and sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about. “And you shall take the blood that is upon the altar and of the anointing oil and sprinkle it upon Aaron and upon his garments and upon the garments of his sons with him and he shall be hallowed and his garments and this sons and his sons; garments with him” (Ex. 29:21). They could not do the work of the sanctuary unless they were of the joined seed (Levi), the house of the ‘bringer of light’(Aaron), adorned in garments afore specifically prepared for them and hallowed by the sprinkling of the blood of the noble strength (ram).
The subject of the sprinkling of the blood as seen in the types is the illustration of the consecration of all that pertains to the work that Yehovah has assigned to His people. The fulfillment of that type is the work which the children have been created in Christ Jesus unto as “they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of Yehovah and ye shall know that Yehovah of Hosts has sent Me unto you” (Zech. 6:15). They are of the eternally joined seed in the singularity of the Godhead. They are of the generation of the Light of the world and they, through the sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, have been sprinkled with the shed blood of the Lamb of God who delivered His people from their sin.
“...to be conformed to the image of His Son that He might be the firstborn of many brethren”
The generation of Jesus Christ is the general assembly of the called out assembly of the firstborn (Heb. 12:23). As He has made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of the servant so all His brethren are servants of Yehovah and of each member of the pasture also known as their neighbours. The predestination of the consecrated of the elect according to grace is not simply of the ‘whom’ but also of the ‘what’. Each one of His brethren has been before ordained to be the servants of the most high and to endure the contradiction of sin against themselves. They shall all be hated of all men for His name sake and they shall experience trials and tribulations which cause them to despise the flesh and, groaning within, to long for the manifestation of the Sons of God. They walk through this waste howling wilderness in which there is a drought, not of want of bread or thirst of water, but of hearing the Word of God, by the faith of the Son of God. They run with patience the race that is set before them looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of their faith and they pray by the Spirit with groanings and utterances which cannot be heard, “Thy will be done”.
God has assigned to each of His children during the time of their habitation the work of the ministry of reconciliation. Not that they would go out and attempt to reconcile the world at large or Adam individually unto God. God has reconciled the world unto Himself in that all who are born anew by the power of the Spirit have been reconciled to Him in the Anointed One who came forth having His reward with Him and His work before Him (Is 40:10). He fulfilled the Law in all righteousness and became the sin of Adam in His people that their iniquity should be forgiven, their trespasses absolved and their sin removed as far as the east is from the west. All whom God knew before man was created, before the clock of time began to tick and before sin entered into the world through Adam’s transgression have been completely established firm and sure with all necessary elements synchronized and harmonized in the eternal will of God.
He has ordained the rising up and the falling down. He directs each step along the path He has assigned and He has hedged in the way with hewn stone (Lam. 3:9) that the traveler may not go astray. He has placed His servants in the station of life appropriate unto their needs and congruent to the labours they have been assigned unto. He has not laid upon them a yoke that cannot be born for He is their strength and present help in the time of need. He has not called them a labour that they are not properly equipped to perform and since He never leaves them nor forsakes them, it is God who works in them both to will and do His good pleasure (Phl. 2:13).
The word ‘absolute’ need not be attached to actions such as these for nothing less that the all inclusive, all encompassing and all fulfilling will of God is done in the earth as it is in the heavens. None may stay His hand or say unto Him, “What are you doing”. His Word is sure and His counsel stands without coercion, duress or influence as He speaks and it has come to pass. He is not a respecter of persons nor does He react to either the so called good that one may do or the evil which is always present in Adam.
“Therefore brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now out Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God even our Father which has loved us and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and stablish you in every good word and work” (II Thes. 2:15).
The generation of Jesus Christ, the house of the redeemed of the Israel of our God is named Priests of Yehovah (Is. 61:6). He has made them kings and priest unto God the Father (Rev. 1:6) not by the blood of bulls and goats but with His precious blood which He shed before the foundation of the world and made manifest in the end of the world (Heb. 9:10ff). It is by the power of His will according to His great love, wherewith He has loved us, that the children should both serve and build in the Temple of the Lord. Herein have they been predestined to be conformed to His image and when He shall appear unto those who look for Him a second time without sin unto salvation (Heb. 9:28), then shall they put off the tabernacle of this dwelling and being clothed with the tabernacle not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, they shall be like Him.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 7, 2014