“And Leah conceived again and bare Jacob the sixth son” (Gen. 30:19)
There is an ever present yet unseen element in God’s creation that He has designed to act as a kind of metronome, beating out the steady rhythm to which all things live, move and have their being. Everything walks to this cadence, perfectly in step never breaking ranks, falling behind or surging ahead. The events His all encompassing, perfect will has purposed to perform are all in exquisite harmony. They move to the designed choreography as one, interwoven together and dependent upon one another, each occupying their place and performing their assignments. This illusive thread is time. It was one of the first components in the tapestry of creation when God spoke the heavens and earth into existence and shall be the last of the elements to be dispatched when all is finished. It is the manager of the stage on which the progressions of the generations of Adam take their assigned places to complete the labours assigned unto them during their habitation on this earth. It welcomes each member of the seed of man in the miracle of birth, ushers them along a predetermined course filled with joys and heartaches, accomplishments and failures and finally dispatches them when the fullness of time has come.
This time can neither be enhanced to accommodate impatience nor slowed to elongate the enjoyments of the pleasures of a moment. It governs the courses of nature as days fade into night, weeks flow into months and years are engulfed into generations. The seasons of the year follow the succession of time as they command the rain, the drought, the calm and the storm. Each has a beginning, duration, magnitude and a conclusion, established by the Sovereign King of the Universe. He has plotted all along this ever present, yet unseen element, called time and He causes all things to come to pass in His appointed time. “And God said, Let there be lights 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).
Before God fashioned His magnificent creation, eternity existed under the designation of ‘in the beginning’. Nothing preceded eternity and there is nothing that could be understood as a measurement of the progression or advancement of time because everything was present tense ‘in the beginning’. Here God created time, set the limitations of this finite entity and caused all things to come to pass within its limited parameters. Man was formed from the dust of the earth at a specific time. God breathed into him and made him a living soul in his appointed hour and every subsequent child of Adam is subject to this demanding governess. There is a time, set of God, for their habitation and all the limitations thereof.
“To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up the planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get and a time to cast away; a time to rend and a time to sew; a time to keep silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecc. 3:1-8)
Man has been assigned a path to walk and labours to be disciplined with until he comes to the point when his quietus he makes and the metronome of time is silenced. Each participant in the progeny of Adam performs these perfectly choreographed parts, in the ballet of creation, assigned to them by the Sovereign God who has orchestrated the score in praise unto His name. He has established, enabled and caused the dance, the steps and particular actors to be in accordance with the good pleasure of His most Holy will. They enter the stage at the appointed moment for a specific purpose and, because they have been precisely and exquisitely outfitted for the parts they have been allocated, they merge into existence without interrupting any other members on the stage. They are made willing to discharge their duties in this elaborate overture without provocation or coercion and they are empowered by Almighty God with sufficient strength and accuracy to conduct themselves with pinpoint accuracy.
Adam, being of the earth and having his mind filled with the things of this world, is ignorant of the progression of time. It ushers him alone in his daily routines until, maybe, he is given to reflect upon what events have already transpired and what time has passed.
He is oblivious to the concept of time when he is conceived in the womb. He is subject to the drill master called time as his bones come together and the systems of the body take shape for a particular time period. And in the fullness of time he emerges from this secluded habitation and his life is made manifest to all other actors. During the stage of development called youth, he has no consideration of time as he is introduced to the nature of his habitation. His metabolism, or internal clock, lets him know when it is time to eat. His anatomy grows in the appointed manner seemingly in growth spurts but in the fullness of time he is the height, weight and shape perfectly designed for him. His emotions appear to dictate when it is time to cry or laugh and when he becomes tired, it is time to sleep. The ‘schedule’ becomes as routine as ‘clock-work’ as the steady uninterrupted beat of the drum counts off the seconds until it is time to die.
As the child begins to grow he strives daily for the magical time when he is old enough to have the same privileges as the older children. He is seemingly conditioned by special events in specific times and seasons. He begins with mother and father, moves on to brother, sister and other children. He matures and interacts with other people and experiences and before long there is an earnest desire for the time when he can become independent of parental restraints and exercise his own initiatives. He anxiously strives to attain unto the next level of advancement as his years pass by and when he arrives at the illusive age of his dreams, he finds that the anticipations are not equal to the reality and responsibilities that weigh so heavily upon his shoulders. Quickly, amidst disappointment and what he concludes are ‘failures’, new goals are set with higher aspirations and performance objectives as he continues to walk the path set for him. People, events, situations and circumstances cloud his days and crowd in upon him and the years progress. Soon he begins to reminisce about the former years and the perceived simplicity of former days. He wishes for a time when he was young and life seemed so new and exciting. Through all this nostalgia and hopeful speculation of better days ahead, moments have compiled into years and still, time marches on. “I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, neither yet is bread to the wise nor riches to the man of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill but time and events happen to them all” (Ecc. 9:11).
“For man also does not know his time...” (Ecc. 9:12)
Can Adam or any of his offspring command and control this metronome? Does he know the inner workings of this exquisitely accurate and precise instrument? Has he the understanding of the purpose for time or the meaning thereof? Can he converse with time to wisely discern its course and duration? Can the arm of the flesh alter time to suit the purpose of man, to change events that have already come to pass? Can the creature correct the conduct and attitudes of pass generations and prevent those things which must shortly be, if indeed all things work together for good to them that love God, to the called, according to His purpose? The vastly wealthy and influential science fiction community has speculated, extensively, about the possibility of altering events through time travel. Many dream of returning back in time to right the wrongs and bring justice to the oppressed. Is this possible? The answer is, unequivocally, No! The contrivances of the imagination of man are extremely popular and highly esteemed amongst the society of his Adamic peers, yet with all of his theories and speculation, he can no more understand time than he can know the mind or the way of God. He cannot even know his own heart for it is desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9).
“He (God) has made everything beautiful in his time. He has also set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end” (Ecc. 8:17).
Time is the creation of Almighty God. He gave existence unto time and His Sovereign Will causes it to be obedient to the performance of the labours, according to the purpose that He has purposed throughout all the land. The singularity and immutability of God demands the same of His servant time. There are no alternate times or existences and nothing can change time save the Creator.
He made the sun stand still for a whole day as Jehovah fought for Israel (Josh. 10:13). He moved the shadow in the dial of Ahaz backward ten degrees when the prophet Isaiah prayed unto Him for King Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:11). He came forth to redeem His people in the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4) and finished the mystery of God and the gospel when time was no longer (Rev. 10:6). He exists before time, is not influenced by time and is the Commander and Chief of time; “I am Alpha and Omega, first and last” (Rev. 1:11).
He established a covenant with the day and the night, securing the path of their courses, bringing them to pass in their season. The power of His Will causes the continuation of the day, night and the changing seasons as a standard of measuring time. These exist and consist, night into day and return unto night, as a testimony to His immutable covenant with David (Jer. 33:21). Jehovah God promised that He would build David an house and he would not want for a man to sit upon his throne, forever. God promised to raise up his seed after him who would be the Son of God and that His throne, kingdom and house would be eternal (II Sam. 7:11-16). Now if the covenant of day and night might be broken, then the Word of God is of none effect and His promises are not established fast and sure. Yet the covenant continues and His Word is performed; “I Jehovah have spoken, it shall come to pass and I will do. I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent according to My ways” (Ezk. 24:14).
It is of no surprise, then, that those who are born of the seed of the serpent, dream about going back in time and changing the events of days and night. Like Lucifer, who desired to ascend against the throne of the Most High and said in his heart, ‘I shall be like God’, those who are his children do the works of their father and despise the covenant of the Beloved. They advertise products, like children piping in the marketplace, which claim to add days and years unto the lives of the users and take years off their appearance. They caution against early deaths because of diet and life-styles while all the while, pontificating wild prognostications of the future and altering the records of the past. “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land, the prophets prophesy falsely and the priest beat rule by their means and my people love so and what will ye do in the end thereof?"(Jer. 5:30).
They blaspheme the covenant of the Beloved in their religion by preaching that the free will of Adam can change the Will of God if he so chooses. Thus the house of the Beloved is not a fixed number born of the Spirit but ‘who-so-ever will’, after the power and will of the flesh, add themselves to the family. The precious blood of the Lamb was not spilt for the all inclusive sins of His people but was set in a basin for the wicked to come and wash their filthy garments in or is flowing from a fountain in a public bath house being sufficient for all but efficient to only those who decide to accept. “Woe to them that sew pillows to all armholes and make kerchiefs upon the head of the stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of My people and will you save the souls alive that come unto you? Will ye pollute Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die and to save the souls alive that should not live by your lying to my people that hear your lies? Wherefore, thus saith Jehovah God, Behold I am against your bands wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly and I will tear them from your arms and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make fly. Your kerchiefs also will I tear and deliver My people out of your hands and they shall be no more in your hands to be hunted, and ye shall know that I am Jehovah” (Ezk. 13:18ff).
But the attempt to corrupt the eternal love of the Father for His children does not end there. Instead of a child of grace not being able to do anything without the Anointing of God (John 15:5) the doctrine of the world teaches that Adam has the power, in and of himself, to be anything he wants to be. (Some have tried to flavor this hemlock with many dead flies and called it refreshing and delectable. They introduce the Spirit of God first and say that when He has begun the work, man then has the responsibility to bring himself to God and become obedient to His will.) If Adam desires to be affluent and prosperous, he needs to work hard and be obedient to a set of standards contrived by man. If he desires a blessing from God, he needs to be obedient to His ‘moral law’ and do good works. If he receives what he perceives as a blessing it must be because God has seen his works and has demonstrated His approval in respect of the man. But if there is any disobedience, this same ‘God of love’ will withhold His blessings and bring adversity upon the tardy and delinquent knave. If the disobedience is not corrected, this son of God for whom the Lamb shed His precious blood may, indeed, loose his temporal salvation as he falls from grace with God. The hordes of carnal task masters attempt to whip the flocks of goats and swine into a labour frenzy whereby they may present themselves as sheep, demand of God all His good and precious promises and be successful soldiers of the cross. Leah was given to believe this doctrine and to live her life accordingly. She thought she could change her status with Jacob and win his love by her labours and fruitfulness.
“Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him” (8:6)
Leah had conceived and bore Jacob his fifth son, Issachar. She conceived, again, endured the nine month gestation period and delivered the child at the appointed time. After the allotted time, Zebulun was weaned and momma Leah began, once again, to enjoy the wonder of life as he developed and grew. The length of time that elapsed between the births of Issachar and Zebulun is not given but there are many things which may be profitable for consideration. During the time of her pregnancy, Jacob’s conjugal visits, with Leah, diminished or were suspended completely. His marital attention was solely for his wife, Rachel, without the distraction of any ‘obligation’ to his wife of custom, Leah. Although Rachel was not ‘happy’ with her sister’s fertility and the impending birth of another child, of a certainty, she was pleased to have Jacob all to herself.
After the weaning of Issachar, which could have been a number of years, and the time of her purification, sexual relations between Leah and Jacob resumed. The length of time that had elapsed or what events had transpired during this phase of the lives of this growing family of increasing interest is, once again, not given but some things are quite certain; Rachel was still barren and Leah was still very fruitful. It matters not whether it was her first time with Jacob after her separation or a multitude of encounters had transpired, God had ordained that the time had come to pass that she should conceive and it was so. Once again the props on the stage had been appropriately arranged, the backdrop of the set was furnished, all players were performing properly and the fullness of time had come for the sixth son of Jacob to experience the manifestation of his entry onto the stage and begin to play his part in the production of life.
To attempt a proper perspective of the passage of time some considerations, though speculative, are in order. Jacob first saw Rachel by the well and identified her as his wife (Gen. 29:11). He presented his proposal to Laban and agreed to serve seven years for Rachel. Yet at the end of the contracted time, he was deceived and mated with Leah because of the custom of the land. Even though he agreed to an additional seven years of servitude for his wife Rachel, he immediately took her to wife and Leah began bearing children.
If a minimum of two years between the births of children were stipulated to (Leah’s six children and the four by the handmaids) Rachel may have waited more than 20 years for God to open her womb and give Jacob a proper heir. That means that if she was 18 years of age when she first met Jacob she would now be 38 years of age or more and completely barren.
The impatient nature of Adam, which cannot be still and know God, is not quieted in a child of grace when they believe that God has spoken a word of promise to them. This impatience grows stronger and is accompanied by doubts and fears even more when He has not answered a specific prayer in what is thought to be an ordinate amount of time. Here was one who had heard the promise of her God. She had been married to the child of promise and knew the word of God unto her grandfather-in-law, Abraham, and her father-in-law, Isaac.
She had prayed, believing that the promise was unto her. Many times she connivingly tried to bring the promise to pass by her means and according to her time schedule. She had wept for more than 20 years and still God’s answer was, in a deafening silence, ‘it is not yet time for you’. For 20 years (more or less) she has seen the joy in her sister as she has conceived and brought forth child after child. Her attempts to ‘rectify’ her predicament were proven to be vain as she held the children of the handmaid in her arms and knew that they were not hers. She heard the names of Leah’s five sons echoed about the homestead and understood the meanings and circumstances of each one. These bore testimony to the proposed ‘truth’ of Leah’s conditional philosophy for apparently, her god had seen her plight, heard her prayer and had blessed her obedience and faithfulness. No words could tip the scales to Rachel’s favor for the ‘proof‘’ was all about her, the testimony was spoken daily and her God was silent. There was no comfort to Rachel after the flesh and there was no peace for despair and depression had taken up residency with her as constant companions.
How many long hours were spent in anguish and sorrow as she pleaded to Jehovah God to give her what she desired most? How many tears were shed as the vexation of her soul was enhanced by the every day activities about the house and how the bitterness and competition with Leah must have grown as Rachel was being properly prepared for her time. Do not think these suppositions to be extreme because; “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye able but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear.” (I Cor. 10:13).
“And Leah said, God has endued me a good dowry, now will my husband dwell with me”
The heritage of Jehovah continued to be demonstrated to Jacob as the reward of the fruit of the womb (Ps. 127:3) was granted to Leah but no matter how many times God sent forth this shower of blessings upon her she was incapable of coming to the knowledge of the truth. Neither blessings of increase and prosperity nor the hardships of privation and pain can give sight to one who is blind or understanding to one who is ignorant. Neither affluence or poverty nor comfort or tribulation can turn Cain into Abel, Esau into Jacob or transform tares into wheat. The wheat was planted wheat in the seed and the tare was sown as tare by the evil one. Circumstances, education or economic conditions do not convert goats into sheep and nothing performed by the creature or to the creature can change the predestinated purpose which God has set for either a vessel of honour or a vessel of dishonour.
The providence of Almighty God had indeed ordained that Leah be exceptionally fruitful resulting in many children but these abundant blessings are not merited by her conduct. The station in life assigned to her demanded that she be one of the builders of the nation of Israel. The will of God established the course, His purpose included every contingency and the Creator fashioned her to meet the need as He made her body suitable for breeding. God had abundantly blessed her as it seemed good in His sight so to do. She is absolutely necessary to the purpose which He has purposed in Himself and she willingly performed her labours, but these attributes and residual benefits do not qualify her as THE bride of Jacob. She hoped that this child would endear herself to him and elevate her to an honourable status of habitation yet an innumerable host of children could not make her husband love her. The true love of the perfect husband is singular to his bride and no one else. His desire is upon her and she delights in him. There is no room for another.
The concept of the doctrine of rewards is cumulative and progressive. The quality of the blessings to be received is commensurate to the sum of the works. The works, although judged by the magnitude and splendour of the latest performance, are the sum of all labours. This is why the zealous assembly, in their endeavours to enter into the kingdom of God, regaled a laundry list of accomplishments as qualifications of their worth. “Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt. 7:22). There can be no dispute of the tangible commission of work on their part. The viability of the work should not be called into question either as they indeed did cast out devils in the performance of MANY wonderful works. Just like Leah, they believed that evidence of their worthiness was manifested in the productivity of their labours.
Leah has engaged in a plethora of works and she has the children to set forth as proof that God was well pleased with her. Yet each time she was blessed of the Lord with another conception, she concluded that this, finally, was the culmination of all her labours and Jacob would now love her. She had dwelt with him, as his wife, for over twenty years. Nothing is indicated or inferred that she was mistreated or shunned by Jacob for all her outlandish activities. To the unilluminated blind eye of the natural man, Leah appears to be the preferred partner for the sovereign God of the universe, has now given her, what she called, an ‘agreeable gift’.
“Because I have born him (Jacob) six sons”
The cumulative nature of her works and thus her worthiness, were qualified with the fact that these children were sons. She was building her legacy through the house of Jacob one child at a time in the land of Padan-aram (the field where Esau prospered) and she thought that the number six was the apex of accomplishments. This gift was not this particular child that was born unto Leah, it was the fact that six children had been brought into this world by her. Her accomplishments were typified by the number six. This is the number of man (Rev. 13:18), the day in which man was created and the number that falls short of the completion of number seven. She rejoiced in the expectation that these six sons would elevate her to an ‘exalted dwelling’ with Jacob, therefore she called his name (Zebulun).
This is a plain and simple doctrine that establishes goals, thrives on ambition and rewards achievements. It is self motivating, catering to the natural passions of the flesh as it serves as a role model for the natural man to follow. Leah felt that she had earned the right to be preferred over barren Rachel. Even though she draws nigh unto God with feigned lip service in gratitude for the blessings, she states these were obtained as a result of her perseverance. She had, in her estimation, endured trials and tribulations as she brought forth six children which qualified her as Jacob’s true wife.
Many are given to believe this lie and to spend their lives in attempts to obtain a status that comes only from birth. They are convinced that they can improve their lot in life and be successful though endurance, hard work and positive reinforcement. Man that is born of woman is brought forth into this world with his nature complete and his labours before him. No amount of training or education can change the course that is given to each member of the human race; “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good that are expert to do evil” (Jer. 13:23). God has afore ordained which earthen vessels are to be assigned certain performance criteria. He has fashioned of the same lump of clay, one vessel unto honour and one unto dishonour; “and hath made of one blood all men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitations” (Acts 17:26). He has given unto each one all things that pertain unto life, making them unique one from another and suitable for the labours; “For who maketh thee to differ and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Why dost thou glory as if thou didst not receive it?” (I Cor. 4:7). He has also properly prepared these houses of Edom for either the habitation of the seed of the serpent or the incorruptible seed of God. So then man is born unto the dwelling that properly suits him according to the will of God.
Rachel was born the wife of Jacob and in the fullness of time it was made manifested at the well. Leah was born to be the child bearer for Jacob and to live with him as a wife but she could never be Rachel. Nor could she ever have the preferred dwelling that Jacob and Rachel enjoyed.
“Jehovah, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth or ever thou hast formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Ps. 90:1)
There is an “exalted dwelling” (Zebulun) and it is not of this world. It cannot be found in the sands of Palestine, the cathedrals of Rome, the classrooms of higher learning, the test tubes of the laboratory or the brick and mortar structures of mans creation. It is not built of the dust of the earth, sustained by the mammon of unrighteousness or nourished by the fruits of the fields of Cain or Esau. It cannot be earned by labours or intentions and the inhabitants of the earth are not welcomed. They have no portion, no right and no memorial in this grand and glorious abode (Neh. 2:20).
The only condition for living in the palace of the king is to be a child of the King. His children were in Him from before this temporal world was formed. He has a personal experience with each of His seed when as yet they were hidden in Him. “Your eyes saw my embryo and on your book were all of them written. Was not the day they were formed one among them” (Ps. 139:16). This personal experience is not of projection based upon the actions and merit of the residents of some advanced knowledge attributed to God. It was the oneness of God and His people and since Jehovah God is eternal the personal relationship has no beginning and no end.
This palace of the king is that city that has foundations whose builder and maker is God. This magnificent edifice has seven pillars which Wisdom has hewn out of the Rock of Ages and it cannot be polluted with the tools in the hands of Adam and his children. It is built upon a Rock that cannot be moved and neither wind, nor waves nor the gates of hell can prevail against her. She is made up of particular members that are fitly framed together growing up to an Holy habitation of Immanuel. These members are properly equipped to supply the needs of each other as they endure the contradiction of sin against themselves. These are those born of that incorruptible seed, born from above, born of God and are therefore the sons of God. These sons have been predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son in all His glory, therefore there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus for they are One. He and His people are One as He and the Father are One. He dwells in them as the Father dwells in Him and there can be no separation, distinction or isolation for He cannot deny Himself.
This ‘exalted dwelling place’ is that Holy city of peace that was observed by John descending from heaven as a bride adorned for Her Husband. This New Jerusalem was built on the foundation that no man can lay and that Rock is Anointed of Jehovah. He is the Rock that is disallowed by the master builders of this world yet the stones which are hewn from Him are living stones, precious, tried and true. The walls of this honoured abode are the Salvation of Jehovah. This Salvation came forth to save His Bride from the sin in Adam. He came, sold all He had and bought the field that His treasure was hid in (Matt. 13:44). He redeemed Her to Himself, washed Her garments in His blood, presented Her to the Father without spot nor blemish and made Her kings and priest unto Her God.
The duty of the husband is to provide a dwelling place for his wife and children. The word for dwell (Heb. ‘ma-ohn’) and the variations thereof, indicate to dwell, abide, sit, remain, and to marry or to perform the duty of marriage. The testimony of the scriptures sets forth many examples, in type, of the dwelling place prepared for the bride as she travails this region of woe. Thus the Beloved has performed His duty in afore preparing an earthen vessel for the Bride to inhabit during the time of Her habitation, and a place where She dwells in the Holy mountain of the Zion of our God (Joel 3:17). The incorruptible seed is born from above and becomes partaker of flesh and blood in a vessel formed from the same lump as the vessel of dishonour, yet this vessel has been swept and made clean of all leaven. Thus she is not polluted as she inhabits the tabernacle of her dwelling.
But she is forever seated together with Him in heavenly places. Here she dwells in the secret place of the Most High for ‘Jah’ is her habitation and she is protected in Him (Ps. 91). She is ‘joined together in the tabernacle of peace’ (Ps. 76:2) because Jehovah God is her dwelling place. He dwells in her and she abides in Him. He cannot leave nor forsake her and nothing can separate her from His eternal love for her (Roms 8:37f).
In the beginning God planted a garden eastward in Eden where he put the man that He had created. The garden was suitable for Adam and Eve before their eyes were opened and they knew good and evil. Once sin had entered into the world by the action of one man, they were covered with the hides prepared for them of God and expelled from the garden. They were forbidden to return to the garden ever again as the Cherubims protected the tree of life with the flaming sword to the east of Eden (Gen. 3:24).
Abram was called of God to leave the house prepared by his father for his mother and family and to go out to a place prepared for him (Gen. 12:1). The father of the faithful went out by the power of the Spirit to a place unseen and he sojourned in a foreign land for he sought that city that has foundations whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10). He left his home and kin for a land that he should inherit as a type of that Promised Land and by faith he endured his entire life without obtaining the physical manifestation of the promise. But when the time of his habitation was over, he obtained a better tabernacle not made with hands, prepared for him and eternal in the heavens.
The children of Jacob were separated from their mother’s womb and designated as two manner of people and two nations. The one was afore prepared and outfitted to dwell in the field. He is the federal head of all the inhabitants of this world who have been formed from the dust of the earth. Esau was a cunning hunter and was sustained by the fruit of the dust of the ground. Jacob was given no permanent dwelling place. He was granted to dwell in the tent of his mother. Yet he had a place afore prepared for him in the field (Padanaram). He and his bride dwelt in temporary tabernacles as a type of the church as she inhabits the earthen vessels, afore prepared unto glory, during her time of partaking of flesh and blood. Even now, in the day of Jehovah, His people, “go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zech. 14:16).
“How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, thy tabernacles O Israel” (Num. 24:5).
David desired to build a dwelling place for God when he was King of Israel. God told him that he could not build a temple unto God since He dwells everywhere and cannot be contained in a building or by man, yet He would raise up the seed of David after Him who should indeed build the house of the Lord. Jehovah also told David that He would fashion him an house (II Sam. 7:11). The type was seen in Solomon who constructed the Temple of the Lord and placed the throne of David within but the fulfillment is when the Anointed salvation of Jehovah came forth, born of a virgin and built His church.
This ‘called out assemble’ is not constructed by the hands of Adam and the materials are not of this world. David, the beloved, assembled all the components of the temple that his son was to build. He gave him the plans and specifications that the Lord had laid upon his heart and, just as Moses in the wilderness, he instructed Solomon to be sure he followed the pattern exactly (I Chr. 28:11). Just like the tabernacle in the wilderness, each piece of the building was representative of the nature of the perfect justice and holiness of God. Moses had no option to introduce anything into the construction of the tabernacle that was not expressly commanded of God upon the mount and Solomon was under the same restraints. Thus the type of the building not made with hands was covered in gold to represent the brilliance of the glory of God. It was constructed of white marble stones which represent the living stones of the New Jerusalem who are all arrayed in fine linen clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints. But whereas the type contained an altar covered with the blood of the sacrifices and an Holy place where the High Priest entered once a year with the blood of the atonement, the Jerusalem which is from above has an altar which no man can approach whereon the Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world. There is no Ark (coffin) of the Covenant in the Holy place because the covenant has been completed and fulfilled. The testator has died and the terms and stipulations of the covenant have been actuated. Judgment has been made manifest upon the violators of the oath and His people stand exonerated in the testimony of Messiah who has fulfilled the law in righteousness. The way into the Holiest of all has been made manifest by His death and resurrection and the oath of the new covenant stands in the immutability of God who has sworn by Himself. The furniture of the tabernacle all depict the Anointed One who is the Temple of God (John 2:19). He is the foundation, the walls, the living stones, the streets of gold and the tree of life “which bare twelve manner of fruit, yielding her fruit month to month and the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations” as the mystery of the gospel is made manifest (Rev. 22:2).
This dwelling place which is Emmanuel, the habitation of God with men” is a place prepared of the Beloved for His Beloved. She has descended from heaven as a Bride adorned for Her Husband and it is granted unto her to be arrayed in fine linen pure and white. She is the “many mansions” in the Father’s house and she is the place that the Beloved has prepared for her. He came and found her as she had been scattered into all nations of the world. He gathered her as an husbandman gathers his wheat harvest into His barns and when He had shed His precious blood for Her atonement, He said, “I go to prepare a place FOR YOU” (John 14:2). He performed His marital obligation for His Beloved Bride for He is her dwelling place. She was prepared by Him, “as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2) so that She would abide in Him, remain in Him, be seated together with Him in His fathers throne and be the Holy habitation of God.
“Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me” (John 15:4).
Jacob when out from his mothers tent and into the field (Padanaram) to find his wife, Rachel, by the well (Gen. 29). He identified her as his wife and made an open demonstration of his love for her to the entire nation. He agreed to serve Laban for seven years (a completed work) as a dowry for his daughter but this contract was violated by Laban. Leah had no part in this accord even though Jacob took her to wife and treated her accordingly. Her station in life was of custom and tradition and she represents the natural nation of Israel who “draw near with their mouth and with their lips do honour me but have removed their heart far from me and their fear of me is taught by the precept of men” (Is. 29:13). Leah is given to believe that because she is wife to Jacob and performs these good works by the imaginations of her heart, coupled together with her productivity, that these are sufficient to elevate her to the exalted dwelling with Jacob. After all, would God bless her thusly if she were not a righteous and virtuous woman deserving of praise?
The world desires a better dwelling place than the vessels of clay. There is a constant barrage of gimmicks and products that promise to change the outward appearance of the body and improve the quality of life. Elixirs, potions and certain obediences are the remedies for a longer and more abundant life. This is also the case in Adam’s theology. It begins with the conviction that man has the ability to change the state of affairs and improve his condition by the strength of his own arm and will. This coupled together with an impudent arrogance that reduces Almighty God to terms and qualities that represent the creature more than the creator, make attaining unto a more honoured and exalted dwelling depend either solely upon the merit of man or a cooperative effort with God. Adam cannot receive nor understand the Sovereign nature of God and will never accept the fact that the creator of the universe has the right, the power and the will to do as He sees fit according to the good pleasure of His will. He owes nothing to any man and is not a respecter of good intentions, swelling words or feigned obedience “after the commandments and doctrine of men; which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will-worship and humility and neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh” (Col. 2:23). He is obligated only to the perfection of His will, the immutability of His Word and His eternal love for His Bride. Because she is eternally One with Him and He cannot deny Himself, he cannot deny her.
The convictions of Leah and the nature she was given by the Creator encouraged her to continue to live her life convinced that she could earn the coveted place of the exalted dwelling with Jacob. Nothing could dissuade her from this lifestyle nor discourage her from continuing on the course which she felt she was in control of and by which she believed she was achieving her goals in life. God had given her this strong delusion that she should believe this lie. He enabled her to call that which is abominable before Him as good and holy and to fulfill His will in all things. Man acts according to the nature that God has given him and exhibits the family traits of the father of the seed that is within. The seed of the serpent does the works of their father the Devil, who is the father of all lies and a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). The seed that is born from above does not commit sin because His seed remains in them (I John 3:9).
“Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea and he shall be a haven for ships and his border unto Zidon” (Gen. 49:13).
The exalted dwelling is part of the mystery of the gospel. Zebulun is ‘settled down’ and ‘tabernacling’ or ‘residing’ at the haven or coast of the sea. The dwelling is not part of the sea but rather abides at the boundary of the sea shore where the ships and galleys unload the catch of the sea. When Jesus prayed in the garden, He said that the children that the Father had given to Him were in the world but not of the world. Zebulun, that preferred place of rest, is not in the sea yet He has called forth His people from the sea. To the elect according to grace that were hid in the type of the nation of Israel, that great whore who sits upon many waters (Rev. 17:1) He said, “Come ye out of her My people, that ye be not partaker of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues” 18:4). To the nations of this world, the Gentiles who have the law of God written upon their heart (Rms. 2:14), he said, “wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean and I will receive you” (II Cor. 6:17). He called unto His sheep which, having ears to hear, hear His voice, and they follow Him. “And the coast of the sea shall be pastures and meadows for the shepherds and the fold of the flock and the coast shall be for an house for the remnant of Judah. They shall pasture upon them (the coasts) in the houses of the migration (Ashkelon) and in the evening they shall lie down for Jehovah their God shall attend them and turn back their captivity” (Zeph. 2:6f).
The kingdom of God is not of this world. He has not set up a satellite embassy on pontoons in the middle of the sea for all those who want to be rescued from peril and save Adam’s hide. His is a city that is set upon the hills and is built upon that Rock. It is Zion, the city of our solemnities and Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down. Not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. But there Jehovah will be majestic for us. A place of broad rivers and streams on both hands and in it shall go no ship with oars (Is. 33:20f). There are no angry or proud waves and no blowing wind to drive them about. The technology and innovations of man has no place there for they pollute the river that flows out of the throne of God, that river of life with water that should one drink thereof, they shall never thirst again (John 4:14).
This sea represents every “peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues” of this world (Rev. 17:15) and of course it must needs be that the sea is as the land of Shinar (two rivers). The wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest whose waters cast up mire and dirt (Is. 57:20) but the just are as a sea of glass before the throne of God like unto crystal (Rev. 4:6). The sea contains the fish (men) that Jesus told His disciples they would catch as they sounded forth the trumpet of God, the gospel of salvation. The wicked and “all they that handle the oar, the mariners, the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships” (Ezk. 27:29). These have made great merchandise of the catch and have lived sumptuously being made rich by the great city, that Mother of Harlots who sits upon the many waters (Rev. 18). The redeemed of the Lord travel upon the waters in Solomon’s navy. It is a ‘noble’ (Hiram) navy that is comprised of the servants of Solomon. They bring back the gold tried in the furnace (Ophir), precious wood (‘almug’) for the pillars of the Temple and precious stones (I Kings 10:11). The wicked build ships to demonstrate their ability and feigned command of the sea. They travel in ‘galley with oars and gallant ships’ (Is. 33:21) to seize upon all that they are given to take in, hereby do they prosper and this is their merchandise wherein they sin (Ezk. 28:16).
“They that go down to the sea in ships that do business in great waters, these see the works of Jehovah and His wonders in the deep” (Ps. 107:23). In the vast expanse of the sea the sovereign power of the Creator is demonstrated daily to the wonder and amazement of natural man. His Word commands and controls the mighty waters and the angry waves to do His will. The anger of the waves stands in type of the anger of man that is tossed to and fro, but the wraths of man thank Him and the residue of the wraths He girds upon Himself (Ps. 76:10). He has afore established the actions of the waters, the course that they travel and the magnitude of their strength. His decree has gone forth from everlasting to the ‘lifted up’ waves, “hitherto shalt thou come and no further and here shall thy proud waves be stayed” (Job 38:11). He rebukes the wind and the seas obey His voice (Mark 4:14). The anger, wrath, emotions and passions of man are perfectly ordained and controlled according to the good pleasure of His will. Not one thought word or deed neither exceeds the boundaries nor fails to achieve the limits that His perfect will has set for them to accomplish. “And He said unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm” (Matt. 8:26).
These that do business in great waters also have the experience of the trials and tribulations of the path that is set for them by the chastening hand of a loving Father. He brings forth His children from the apparent safety of the land into an arena devoid of the comfort and confidence of Adam. Here they can see no land and are confined to the limitations of the vessels that brought them forth. They react to the power of the waves and are caused to “reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man and to be at their wits end”. They are taught by the Spirit of God, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding that man is without strength and understanding of the awesome wonders of God. It is given to them to believe that it is “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith Jehovah of Hosts” (Zech. 4:6) that we live and move and have our very being. He then brings His people out into the confusion and corruption of the world and the ministration of death to a place where they are helpless. Herein they walk by His faith (Hab. 2:4). He causes them to cry out in the fear of Adam; “Master carest not that we perish?” (Mk. 4:38). Through these trails and manifold temptation, the proving of the faith within, they add to that faith, virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly love; and to brotherly love charity, for if these things be in you and abound, they make you neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Pt. 1:5ff). Herein do they wait upon the Lord as they endure to the end. He brings these chosen few through the storm that He has afore prepared expressly for them, for good, and returns them at the appointed time to the realization of the haven of their desire, that exalted dwelling. He has removed all sorrow, wiped away all tears and they are made glad that they are safe and quiet. Herein do they trust in Him.
“They thank Jehovah for His mercy and His wonders to the sons of man” (Ps. 107:31)
This is the course of the children of grace, the steps of a righteous man, who are not of this world. They are in the world but they are not of the world (John 17:16). As a result of the path they walk and the tribulation they experience, they praise His precious name not according to the flesh. Adam is neither quiet nor thankful by nature and the more difficult the walk the harder he struggles to demonstrate the power of his might. He does not know instinctively how to be still and he cannot worship God aright for God has filled his heart with labours (Ecc. 3:11).
God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth (John 4:24). Adam is of the earth, earthly and he is by nature sinful and unclean. The Spirit within enables the seed, born from above, to be still, to hear that ‘still small voice’ and to follow the voice of the Shepherd. The natural man cannot hear this voice as he is drawn away after the lusts and desires of the flesh. This contradiction and constant warfare within is the daily walk that the Bride experiences while she inhabits the earthen vessel with the Adamic nature. The wisdom of God leads His people forth into these trials and temptations as the Refiner’s fire, to remove the wood, hay and stubble of the earthen vessel and to reveal the gold, silver and precious stones within in the inner man. They are brought forth from the haven to experience the fear and terror of Adam so that they may properly offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the God of Israel in the haven of their rest. Here they declare His works with rejoicing (Ps. 107:22).
When the sons of God have the mutual ‘higher educational’ experience of the weakness of Adam, the helplessness of the arm of the flesh and the constant attempt of the natural man to usurp authority over God, they are enabled, not according to vain theologies and science falsely called of man but according to the fullness of the Godhead within them, to lift up the name of Jehovah God in the assembly of the living and praise His name aright. Herein do they speak of “how great things” He has done (Luke 8:39). They have fellowship in His suffering, being made conformable unto His death, and know the power of His resurrection (Phl. 3:10) being raised up together with Him.
These then perform aright the good works they have been created in Christ Jesus unto which they accomplish flawlessly according to the power of His will. He has redeemed a people zealous (passionate) of these good works who have their affections set on the things from above. They maintain and fulfill all that He has ordained them to do, “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and do of His good pleasure” (Phl. 2:13).
When Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John to His side, He told them that he would make them “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). He told them that He would send them out into the great waters in ships to do His business and to preach the gospel of salvation to His people. The sons of Zebedee were already experienced fisherman for commerce and sustenance. When He called unto them, they left their nets and their father and followed Him. They had ears to hear and as the sheep of the Lord and, understanding the words of the Master, they followed Him. He had given them a natural experience of fishing the sea of Galilee that properly prepared them for the work of the ministry of reconciliation wherein God has reconciled the world unto Himself. They knew that it was hard work that required patience and oft-times they toiled all night and came up empty. Yet they also knew that at the Word of the Master they would let their nets down and be blessed with such a great multitude that they should not be able to bare the abundance (Luke 5:5ff).
Contrary to the modern missionary ideology, true ‘fishers of men’ act only according to the leadership and direction of “thus saith Jehovah”. According to His Word, they let down their nets at the appointed time and in the appointed place where He has prepared the results. They confess that they are not sufficient for such abundance and also to weak to draw in the nets but they are made willing and able in the day of His power. They are also given a discerning ear and seeing eye. They know when the net is opened to keep that which is good and cast back that which is unclean. The example of the Law of Moses set forth the type of the clean and unclean fish of the sea (Lev. 11). “Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea and gathered every kind, which when it was full, they drew to shore and sat down and gathered the good into vessels but cast the bad away” (Matt. 13:47f). The laborers in the Word hear the sure sound of that certain trumpet and know the fish by their fruits. They do not call that which is good, evil and that which is evil, good (Is. 5:20) in their doctrine and order. They do not venture out as the scribes , Pharisees and hypocrites who compass sea and land to make one proselyte and when he is made, they make him twofold more the child of hell than themselves (Matt. 23:15). They are moved when the Spirit speaks. They walk where the Spirit directs. They speak the Word of God and are indebted to no one, working with their hands in the fields that God has given them. They do no forget the fatherless, neglect the cause of the widow or oppress the stranger for they themselves are strangers and sojourners in a foreign land.
The scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites go forth in their galleys with oars. They have been trained by man in the arts of the mariner and the skills of navigation by the hosts of heaven. They pay homage to the queen of heaven to lead them and give sacrifices to the sea for the impending catch. When they draw in the nets, they cast forth that which is clean in the same way that the builder of this world rejects the tried and precious stone that is the chief of the corner stone and the Rock of offence to them that perish. Yet they keep the draught of unclean fish to fill their coffers. This is the merchandise that gains them wealth and prestige in this world and they have their reward. They crow like Leah, ‘God has given us a good dowry, therefore we are worthy of that exalted dwelling’.
“. . .and his border unto Zidon”
Zidon is the border of the hunting grounds, or better, the fishing area. Zebulun dwells as the remnant of the house of Praise (Judah) on the coast of the sea and unto him has been given the ministry of the kingdom. The Embassy of the Kingdom of God is His called out assembly of people here on earth. It is a place where those who, in the fullness of time when it pleased the Father to reveal His Son in them, have come forth to the good news of glad tidings, which is the power of God unto deliverance, and find rest. They find two or three gathered together who give the testimony of salvation by grace, offer up the sacrifice of praise and long for Jerusalem. They rejoice in the finished work of their Elder Brother and keep the Sabbath of Jehovah. They keep the commandment of God to love one another, with one accord, even as He has loved them, for they have the mind of His Anointed in them. He is equal with God but took on Himself the form of a servant and humbled Himself for His Bride. So the members of this Zion of God are servants one to another. And they are ready at any time to give an account of the hope that is within them. This hope is Jesus Christ and they are saved by hope.
“Of Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon” (Num. 1:9)
The head of the house of the ‘exalted dwelling’ is the Father and He is God (Eliab) and the ability of the house is the ‘strength’ (Helon) of Jehovah God. He is the Everlasting Father who created all things by the power of His will. All things are for Him, by Him and through Him and he has orchestrated all things for good to the elect family, to the called, according to His purpose. He is the protection and defender of the family (Eli-zaphan Num. 34:25) and by Him their hands are skilled in the art of war with the instruments (I Chr. 12:33). But the weapons of this warfare are not carnal after the imaginations and abilities of Adam. They are not fleshly and sensual and are not to enable the beloved to establish a kingdom here on earth. The weapons of the warfare are mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:4). The remnant of Judah that dwells and feed on the coasts of the sea does not wrestle against flesh and blood. They wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12) and they fight the warfare of the Beloved. He has uttered His voice before His army, for His camp is very great and strong that execute His Word. He has roared out of Zion in vengeance against all the wickedness of the inhabitants of the world; “who can stand in the day of His indignation and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire and the rocks are thrown down by Him” (Nah. 1:6).
His army is not sent forth to conquer the world but to overcome the world. He came forth conquering and to conquer but they to overcome the world. Yea, they have overcome the world because they are of God and greater is He that is in them then he that is in the world (I John4:4). They have been born from above and His seed remains in them, therefore they have overcome the world and the victory is by the faith of Him who loved them and gave Himself for them (I John 5:4).
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death upon them has the light shined” (Is. 9:2)
From before the foundation of the world the Father has possessed a seed that should serve Him and be accounted for the generation of Jesus Christ (Ps. 22:30). He has prepared earthen vessels for this seed to become partakers of flesh and blood and He has cleansed that dwelling of all unrighteousness. Not that He has made the flesh of Adam righteous but that He has swept the house and removed the leaven from within the house (Ex. 12:19). He has also removed the leaven from within the territory of the nation of His people (13:7) Thus Holy flesh, the inward man, is not polluted by coming in contact with that which is dead (Hag. 2:12f) for the body is dead because of sin (Rms. 8:10). He has taken the sin of His people into the uninhabited land (Lev. 16:10) where it shall never be called into account again (Jer. 31:30). When His children are then born from above by the power of the Spirit, He causes them to walk, for an appointed time, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2). But He does not leave them there. The Light shines forth out of the darkness and even though man does not perceive or comprehend the light, His children are translated out of the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light. Though for a while they grope about as blind men, yet He opens their eyes to see the Light of His glory. Though for a while He causes them to walk in the land of the shadow of death, the legal and ceremonial ministration of condemnation and death whereby they are slain by the commandments, yet He reveals Himself in them and delivers them from their captivity to sin.
He came to a stiff-necked and rebellious people with the outstretched arms of long-suffering mercy, yet they turned the shoulder to Him and would not. Those invited to His table refused as they would rather the dust of the ground, the sacrifice of man and the wife of the strange woman (Luke 14:18-20). They, with one consent, hardened their hearts and turned from the Lord because His word had no place in them. They could not hear the glad tidings of great joy because they were of the seed of the serpent (John 8:37ff). They believed not because they were already condemned (John 3:18). Though their abominations they had become unto Him as Sodom and the inhabitance like Gomorrah (Jer. 23:14) and their house was left to them desolate. They thought they were righteous, they knew they were not blind and their sin remained in them (John 9:41) and their abominations made their house desolate.
But He has brought forth His people into the perfect liberty of His light. They see both the glory of His righteousness and the wretchedness of the body of this death. As they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, the house of the children of promise (Jacob), walk in brilliance of the Son of Righteousness (Is. 2:5). They no longer squint their eyes to the blazing sun of the demands of the law of handwriting of ordinances and the reflections of the lesser light of types does not illuminate the streets of the Holy City. The glory of God lightens that beloved place and of the Lamb is the Light thereof;
“And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. The gates of it shall not be shut at all by day for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it and there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defiles, neither works abomination or makes a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:23ff)
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
June 18, 2013
The Banner of Hope
Volume 7, No. 2.