“And the Messenger of Yehovah protested unto Joshua, saying,”
The Messenger of the Lord received the testimony of the High Priest as He stood before the Yehovah in His filthy garments. This Messenger had all the evidence necessary to accurately present the witness of the finished work having not followed after cunningly devised fables as He declares the power and the coming of the Lord but was an eye witness of His majesty. He witnessed the presence of the High Priest and His attire. He heard the adversary’s words of opposition against Him which constituted a proclamation by Satan that Joshua was indeed the truth for darkness opposes the light. (This is the same witness that the evil spirits gave when Jesus walked the earth in the end of the world, yet this testimony is neither needed nor regarded by God. The adversary is rebuked as the evil spirits were rebuked and commanded to keep silent – Luke 4:35).
He also heard the Word of God in this rebuke of the adversary which confirmed the obvious nature of the work of Joshua as the brand plucked out of the fire. He saw the High Priest stand before Yehovah which indicated that the sacrifice was correct and His labours were acceptable before the Mercy seat. He could also attest to the change of raiment which was given to Joshua. This cloud of witnesses, presented in open court before the Messenger, was the proof of the validity of the office of High Priest, the faithfulness of the holder of the office and the completion of the work set before Him, but the testimony was not finished.
After Yehovah rebuked the adversary, where did he go ? He could not depart and walk to and fro upon the face of the earth for all these events were finished before the founding of the world. Did he leave the presence of God sulking for his embarrassment ? Where could he go since the all encompassing nature of the Almighty God leaves no place where He is not ; “whither shall I go from Thy Spirit ? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence ? If I ascend up into heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in the grave, behold You. If I take the wing of the morning to dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea ; even there shall Your right hand lead me and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me, truly, the darkness does not hide from You ; but the night shines as the day and the darkness and the light both alike ” (Ps. 139:7ff).
No, he had not yet been dismissed by the Master to attend to the labours he had been assigned. This infallible testimony to the atonement of the Israel of our God was not yet fully manifested for all intended parties to see and so when the Messenger protested, His word was for all to hear. The adversary and his seed were full well assured of the deliverance of those for whom the precious blood was shed before the events in the garden even transpired. Satan did not disrupt the creation of God to make it without form and void nor did he have hopes of destroying the kingdom of God in the garden. He knew that his part in the pageantry was to deceive the woman through a lie, and when she gave to Adam and he did eat, then sin was to enter the world and death by sin. His advent as the serpent was to prove the heart and mind of man before Adam had the knowledge of good and evil and he performed this duty exactly as it had been ordained to come to pass having the testimony of his station in the realm of God. He knows who Yehovah is and has been aware of the fullness of His sovereignty since the day he was created. He knows that he is the father of all lies and that although his heart was exalted to desire to be like God, he is just a man ; “Thus said Yehovah God, Because your heart is lifted up and you have said, I am God in the midst of the seas, yet you are a man and not God, and though you set your heart as the heart of God...Behold, therefore, I will bring strangers upon you, the terrible of nations, and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and they shall defile your brightness ” (Ezek. 28:2ff).
Joshua stood as both the Son of God and the Son of man that He might fulfill the law in all righteousness and abolish sin and death in the flesh. This is the fullness of the eternal power of God unto deliverance whereby light and immortality have been revealed unto the peculiar nation ; the chosen people of God. The word of the Messenger of Yehovah was a solemn charge to meet and maintain the standard of the perfect Holiness which Yehovah God demands of everyone of His servant. Since there was no one to intercede and no one who sought after righteousness, Adam not yet being formed of the dust of the earth, Yehovah God made Himself of no reputation and took on the form of a servant, that He might redeem His people from all iniquity that was decreed unto the flesh before he was formed and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14).
“Thus said Yehovah of hosts ; If You will walk in My ways and if You will keep My charge, then shall You judge My house and shall keep My courts, and I will give You places to walk among these that stand by”
If ever there was a place for conditions, here it is. The charge from God is to Himself and witnessed by Himself, since no man is capable or worthy, of the testimony of His immutability and faithfulness. The condition is, therefore, that if God failed to ‘ hit the mark ’ and measure up to His standard of holiness, then He is not God. If he is not God then there is none to deliver and the sons of promise are lost being dead in their sin. The charge is a testimony to the perfection of Holiness of Yehovah God and is the anchor to the soul of the full assurance of faith in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah.
This is the same charge that was set before Adam in the garden, which charge he clearly demonstrated that man cannot keep (Gen. 2:16). It was set before Abram when God said unto him, “I am Almighty God, walk before Me and be complete ” (Gen. 17:1). Abram the child of grace walked in the light of Yehovah as he believed God and it was accounted unto him for righteousness. He walked as do all the peculiar people of the Israel of our God while Abram the man failed miserably to keep the commandments of God, giving open testimony to his pedigree in Adam.
When God revealed Himself before Moses as the God of the fathers, Moses hid himself, “for he was afraid to look upon God ” and then argued with the station that God had assigned him sighting his lack of ability and a full blown skepticism of the outcome. Moses was not a man of faith, for all men have not faith ; he was a child of grace who lived by the faith of the Son of God.
After God had shown the right hand of deliverance to the nation of Israel in the crossing of the Dead Sea and the annihilation of Pharaoh’s army, He brought His people into the wilderness wherein there was no water ; “and the people murmured against Moses, saying, what shall we drink ?” (Ex. 15:24). Moses cried unto Yehovah who showed him a tree which, when he cast it into the waters, made them sweet ; “there He made for them a statute and an ordinance and there He proved them ”. This same charge was given unto this nation in the handwriting or ordinances, the beginning of the principles of Jesus Christ. The results were the same as before as the delivered remnant according to grace kept the commandments of God while the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit.
When God met with Moses at the base of Mt. Sinai and gave the Law unto Israel the people were told that IF they “obey My voice indeed and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people for all the earth is Mine ” (19:5). The people responded with full confidence in the arm of the flesh that they would indeed do all that the Lord had commanded, saying, “all the words which Yehovah has said, we will do ” (24:3) but when Moses tarried upon the mount, the sound of war was heard in the camp as “the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play ” (32:6).
The testimony and proof of the inability of the natural man continued. When the forty years in the wilderness came to an end Joshua commanded the people as they prepared to cross the Jordan River into the promise land. The Reubenites, the Gadites and half the tribe of Manasseh assured him that, “all that you have commanded us we will do and whithersoever you send us, we will go. According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto you: only Yehovah your God be with you as He was with Moses and whosoever that rebels against your commandment and will not hearken unto your words in all that you command him, he shall be put to death ; only be strong and of good courage ” (Josh. 1:16). This alone should have been sufficient evidence for the man Joshua to leave the people and seek another way, for, even through the forty years, in which this stiff-necked and rebellious nation of people had murmured against Moses, Aaron and Yehovah God, they failed to circumcise their male children. They hated the Manna, desired meat and wished that they were back in Egypt in perfect testimony to father Adam. They were unhappy with their condition, dissatisfied with their provisions and discontent with the station in life God had assigned them. Even after Joshua had utterly destroyed the five great kings of the land, the people could not drive out the inhabitants of the land as God had commanded yet they made confederacies and alliances with them and their hearts were drawn after the gods of the land.
King Saul, the reigning desire of the people, demonstrated the ignorance and inherent inability of man when he improvised the commandment and heeded the voice of the people. Samuel confronted him on the matter and when Saul protested saying, “I have obeyed the voice of Yehovah and have gone the way which Yehovah sent me and have brought back Agag the king of the Amalikites and have utterly destroyed the Amalikites, but the people took of the spoil...to sacrifice unto Yehovah your God in Gilgal ” (I Sam. 15:20). Samuel rebuked the logic of man and the ambitious pride of his heart, saying, “For to rebel is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness iniquity and idolatry ; because you have rejected the word of Yehovah, He has also rejected you from king ” (23).
Although there is no record of this charge being given to David, yet the Spirit of Yehovah was upon him and he was a man after the heart of God (I Sam. 13:14). Thus David becomes the standard of obedience before God though the antics and frailties of Adam are clearly manifested in his life. He speaks to his son, Solomon, upon his death bed saying, “keep the charge of Yehovah your God to walk in His ways and keep His statutes and His commandments ” (I Kings 2:3). This was in response to the promise which God gave David saying, “And when your days be fulfilled and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, which shall proceed out of your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom...And your house and your kingdom shall be established for ever before you and your throne shall be established for ever ” (II Sam. 7:12-16).
“Blessed be Yehovah God of Israel, which has spoken with His mouth unto David my father, and has with His hand fulfilled...and Yehovah has performed His word that he spoke, and I am risen up in the room of David my father and sit upon the throne of Israel as Yehovah promised and have built and house for the name of Yehovah God of Israel ” (I Kings 8:15).
Had Solomon found a way to keep the Law of God after the natural man ? Not at all ! Nor had the time come when the polluted hands of the children of Adam could offer up any works acceptable before the throne of God. Solomon stands as the type, which is the patter of heavenly things. He could not hit the mark nor prevent his continual efforts which demonstrated that he could not measure up to the standard of excellence that Yehovah demands. He is the type of the King of peace unto whom the promise of David is fulfilled but he is also the epitome of the nature of man. The evidence of this is seen in that his wisdom, which God gave him, led him to seek out the pleasures of the heart of man and he held nothing back in this endeavour. The result was just as God had ordained and foretold ; he loved many women who turned his heart from following the Lord. He forsook the commandments, augmented the statutes and polluted the ordinances by the desire and intentions of his heart.
When the Temple was finished and the proclamation made, the promise was manifested in the flesh but it could never be fulfilled in the flesh for there is none righteous. The testimony of the completed work is found before the founding of the world when the Messenger of Yehovah protested before Joshua. No son of Adam has ever keep the Law, though some have boasted “all these have I kept from my youth up ” (Lk. 18:21). Many feel that they have obtained the blessings of grace through the keeping of the ordinances and have been lifted up in self-confidence being convinced that touching the righteousness which is in the law, they are blameless (Phil. 3:6). Yet the testimony of the scripture and the experience of the prisoners of hope is that by the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified, for by the law came the knowledge of sin (Rms. 3:20).
The Temple built by the hands of man stood as the type of that Temple of God which is the body of the Anointed. He told the Pharisees that, three days after they tore down the Temple of His body, He would build it up again and the gates of hell could not prevail against it. Thus the kingdom of God, which is not of this earth, was seen in type in the nation of Israel at it’s apex but the body of Christ is the Temple. Solomon had not kept the commandments nor found righteousness in the Law for there is no man capable but the Son of man did.
The promise to the Beloved is fulfilled in the King of Peace who is seated upon the authority of God. He rules over all the kingdoms of this world for He is the great King over all the earth. He has appointed a place for His people Israel where He has planted them and shall be moved no more ; Jerusalem from above.
“Yet Yehovah testified against Israel and against Judah, by the prophets and all the seers saying, Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and My statutes according to all the Law which I commanded your fathers and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets ” (II Kings 17:13)
The testimony of God still remains upon the children of Adam. No one has been exempt from keeping the Law of God even though man is inherently incapable of doing so. God laid the charge of keeping His precepts and statutes upon the whole of His creation, all of which functions according to the good pleasure of His perfect will. His judgment is upon the sons of Adam because they are a rebellious people from the beginning, and the mind of man will then say, Why does He yet find fault for who can resist His will ?
The ignorance of the natural mind has thus concluded that he can hide his inabilities from God and justify himself in the labours of his hand. The whole of the conclusion of the matter, however, is that it is the end of the totality of the Word applies to all men ; love God and keep His commandments (Ecc. 12:13). Thus every child of Adam stands guilty before God for failing to measure up to His standard of perfection unto which no man is able and the Refiner’s fire is consuming this remnant of Esau that no flesh should glory in His presence.
But the High Priest of the profession of His people is the deliverance of Yehovah. He has placed upon His immutable faithfulness to keep the commandments which He has spoken for the righteousness of His children which are of the incorruptible seed. He cannot change or deny Himself therefore His people are preserved in Him. As the Beloved, He has utterly defeated the enemies of the Israel of our God. He has overcome the world and placed all spiritual wickedness in high places under His feet. As His work is finished, so he is set down at the right hand of the Father and the King of peace has been raised up and just as the change of raiment replaced the filthy garments so the King of peace has replaced the warrior King who went forth conquering and to conquer.
His Kingdom is eternal and has been manifested in type upon this earth. When David slept with his fathers and Solomon was raised up, his kingdom was not established forever, nor did he walk in the commandments of God. The Anointed Servant of God, however, who built the Temple of Yehovah and bears the glory thereof, is seated upon that throne as a priest “and the counsel of peace shall be between them both ” (Zech. 6:13). This remained from the time of David unto the end of the world when God sent forth His Son into the world to make manifest that which was finished from before the foundation of the world,
Do the words of the prophets then have no more application today ? These things do not exist, for the Word is the same yesterday, today and forever. All glory and honour belongs to He who was and is and is to come again to gather home each who waits for Him, every man in his order when the time of the habitation is over. Then shall the sons of God be manifested and the glory of God seen unto those who love God and keep His commandments.
Has God changed His demands so that now the Holy Ghost makes it possible for the sons of Adam to keep the commandments ? These things do not exist ! The Law of God is as immutable as He is and the seed of Adam is devoid of will or strength ; “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law ” (Rms. 3:28). His people are His workmanship, created in the Anointed unto good works and He has done all their works for them. As he has kept His law, so that not one word has fallen to the ground but all has come to pass, so He has anointed His children with His Holy Spirit. He has removed the obstacle of inability, the heart of stone, and replaced it with a heart of flesh. His people love Him because he first loved them and they, having eyes to see, walk in the light of the Lord. This light illuminates the wilderness of the valley of the shadow of death as the redeemed are shown their inability in Adam ; thus they know that without Him they can do nothing.
“But this the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel ; after those days, said Yehovah, I will put My Law in their inward parts and write it upon their hearts and I will be their God and they shall be My people ” (Jer. 31:32).
The only condition which remains is that there be an incorruptible seed born from above. God has not invited anyone to join into His covenant nor has He offered anything to whosoever wills. He has taken His seed, in which is neither spot nor blemish for they are born of God, and has revealed His presence and power in them. Because of this they delight in the Law of God after the inner man who is growing in the grace and knowledge of His will. This irresistible and immutable will of the Father is to give His children the Kingdom of God which He has prepared for them. He who is like God (Michael) , the great prince has stood up and has confirmed the covenant unto “every one that shall be found written in the book ” (Dan. 12:1). He is the Salvation of Yehovah who has fulfilled the Law in all righteousness and as the head of His family and their first born of many brethren, so the entire house is justified in Him, thereby having peace with God.
He has not laid upon the children the same burdens which neither the children of Israel nor any child of Adam could ever keep nor has He called them back to the weak and beggarly elements of this world. He has set their affections for the home land as they earnestly desire to put off the confusion of Babylon and rest in the peace of Jerusalem.
These each have this testimony of Jesus Christ and they all keep the commandments of God for they are the Israel of our God. Thus He is not ashamed to call them brethren as He declares His generation, saying, “Behold I and the children whom Yehovah has given unto Me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from Yehovah of Hosts which dwells in Mt. Zion ”” (Is.8:18).
“Hear Israel, Yehovah our God Yehovah is one and you shall love Yehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might ” (Deut. 6:4).
This is the blessing of identification for the redeemed of the Lord not a condition to become a child of grace or obtain His blessings. It is also the identification of guilt of the natural man who loves himself and the things of this world.
Your servant in Christ,(Elder) Chet Dirkes
March 12, 2017