“Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.”
The Word of Yehovah before all the hosts of heaven and to all that is before them before time began was directed unto the great Priest. This was part of the solemn charge given to the “Salvation of Yehovah” as it reveals the exclusive and inclusive nature of the grace of God for His people. No son of Adam was present and there was none other who was worthy to hear, understand and obey the charge.
The word of God was given to the great Priest, who was the fullness of the Law of God, before creation came into existence. Before God gave man a glimpse of the beauty of His holiness through the pattern of heavenly things, the Salvation of Yehovah assigned the solemn duty of obedience to Himself as both High Priest and King; “and he shall bear the glory and shall sit and rule upon His throne and He shall be a priest upon His throne and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (6:13).
He was not according to the type which was given unto the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai for He is the heavenly reality that the type was modeled after. He was not after the tribe of Levi, who, along with his brother Simeon, were “instruments of cruelty” for he was “cursed for their fierce anger for it was cruel” (Gen. 49:5-7). He could not then be of the house of Aaron and therefore could not give attention to the altar. The Salvation of Yehovah was born of a woman of the tribe of Judah (praise) yet He was a priest of God. He was the king of peace and a priest of the Most High God being of the order of him who had neither beginning of days nor end of life. Therefore, being of the priesthood of ‘My king is according to the standard of God ’ (Melchi-zedek) , He is not bound by the oath of the type but rather He is bound of Himself to the eternal promise of God’s love for His people.
The manifestation of Melchi-zedek in the record of the scriptures presents a figure who was a priest unto God before the priesthood was established. He personified the priest/king unto whom the father of the faithful, Abram, would pay tithes. He also personified the peace of God which existed before the Law and the covenants, whereby it is confirmed that no flesh could be justified by the deeds of the law. He was also the ruler of righteousness, according to the standard of God’s holiness, which Adam is completely devoid of. Thus He loved Yehovah God with all His heart, all His mind and all His strength and He loved His brethren as He loved Himself because He is love.
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb. 3:1)
The Word of God was unto Joshua and His fellows that sit before Him. These were not the heavenly host of angelic beings who are the ministering spirits of the Lord unto His people; nor are they mysterious creatures of the superstitions and imaginations of feeble man. These fellows are intimate companions of Joshua. They are the inhabitants of the pasture also known as neighbours and before they became partakers of flesh and blood they were seated together with Joshua in heavenly places being raised up together with Him. As He was declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of Holiness by the resurrection form the dead, they are also declared to be of the generation of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah. As He bore their sin in Adam and removed it before they could be tainted or polluted by the dead body, so they stand without spot or blemish being the incorruptible seed, justified by His faith and cleansed from all unrighteousness of Adam. As His filthy garments, which were the imputed quilt of His people in the corruption of Adam so His Beloved has been granted to be arrayed in fine linen clean and white and thus as He stood being High Priest and the great King of heaven and earth, so He has made His brethren kings and priest unto God.
These companions in the sufferings of the Anointed One all have the same experience in the opposition of sin against themselves. They all have the same corruption and weaknesses in Adam and are proven by the same temptations which are common to all men. They are all led by the Spirit of Yehovah by the still waters and into the green meadows where they can lie down for rest from the labours of this world. They have eternal life in Him yet they have each been assigned a time of habitation, every man in his order. They are all brethren, being born from above and companions in the tribulation and in the kingdom of Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:9). They are all fellow servants that have the testimony of Jesus Christ and being born of the Spirit, they worship God aright in Spirit and truth; “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy” (Rev. 19:10).
The generation of Adam is manifested in the progression of time. One generation is born as another passes away and each is full of worthless labour for there is nothing new under the sun. Nothing man does can add one inch to his stature as he gropes in the darkness of this world. He cannot control the desires of his heart or the words of his tongue. His passion is after tangible things which fade away as he is full of labour to attend to the cares of this life.
The generation of Jesus Christ is not restrained or defined by the parameters of time for they are born of God who alone inhabits eternity. They have each been created in the Salvation of Yehovah unto good works which they are passionate unto them and assured shall be performed. They walk by faith in the light of the Lord as the deeds and ambitions of the flesh are revealed. They see the barrenness of this wilderness as illuminated by His light as it reveals and reproves every labour of man to show that it is of wood, hay and stubble. These each fulfill the time of their habitation in the station assigned, groaning within awaiting the deliverance and the manifestation of the sons of God but they do not walk alone. Yehovah God has assigned the journey of Joshua, who keeps His courts safe and secure, to be among these that stand before Him. He is the Shepherd that leads His flock, the Husband who cares for His Beloved and the Everlasting Father who disciplines and corrects His children lest they become entangled with the inhabitants of the land.
The generation of the Salvation of Yehovah is the generation of the first-born among many brethren and the first-born from the dead. He was slain for the sin of His people as the Lamb of God that took away their sin by His shed blood. He was accounted worthy to be raised again when the Father saw the travail of His soul and was well pleased. Therefore was He delivered for these transgressions and raised again for the justification of the election according to grace.
Here then is the first resurrection and all who have part in the same, the second death shall have no power over them for they have passed from death unto life. When then, in the fullness of time it pleases the Father, He reveals this life in them and shows them how great things they must suffer for His name’s sake. Then He shows to these children the wretchedness of the flesh, the vanity of this world and the filthy rags of self-righteous works which the heart and mind of Adam have deemed appropriate to be presented before the throne of grace.
Yet here stands Joshua before the throne having His filthy garments removed. He has endured the temptations of the flesh and the contradiction of sin against Himself. All these fellow companions in the suffering of the Anointing and the tribulation of the Kingdom must therefore endure the same for it is God who has predestinated them to be conformed to the image of His Son. When the bitterness of failure and the anguish of frustration is seen in Adam in that he cannot utterly destroy the people of the land but rather strives to be like the other nations of the world, then the Spirit within reveals that this outward man is perishing daily; “And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall, my soul is in remembrance of these and is humbled in me. This I call to my mind, therefore I have hope” (Lam. 3:28ff).
The eternal unity of the incorruptible seed in the Beloved is the fullness of the glory of God and these are;
“Men to be wondered at”.
This is not to infer that these were grotesque beings of objectionable features, but rather that they are a wonder to behold. These are the same sons of God which Paul spoke of to the church at Ephesus when he indicated that the election according to grace experienced in time is that which has already been. Those whom God has foreknown as His eternal seed have been in Him from before time began yet in time they are made partakers of flesh and blood. Here they sit in darkness for a time appointed until the Lord reveals that they have been quickened together with the Anointed and have been “raised up together and made to sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6). As the first-born of many brethren these are set for signs and wonders in the Israel of our God, first as he declared His generation before the Father saying; “Behold I and the children are for signs and wonders in Israel” (Is. 8:18) and then as He came in the end of the world to make evident that which was finished before the founding of the world.
The fellow citizens of the Kingdom of God were with Him in the beginning and as His journey is among them, so they are coming up out of the wilderness leaning on the Beloved (Song 8:5). He has promised that He would never leave nor forsake her and since He is the one who laid the corner stone of the foundation and by His hand the house is built (notice not waiting for man to build it) so by His hand shall all be gathered together unto the completion of this manifestation.
These intimate companions have been redeemed of Joshua and made kings and priests unto God. Not so that they may reign upon this earth to judge the inhabitants; they have been made a kingdom of priests for they are the same as the Branch. He is the great Priest of God and the king according to the standards of God and the house is like unto the head. As in Adam all have sinned, yet the commission was not after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, nevertheless, by one man sin enter into the world and death by sin; thus all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. By the faithfulness of God in that He cannot deny Himself so He is great Priest of the Salvation of Yehovah, so all His seed are one in Him; “for as the body is one and has many members and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ” (I Cor. 12:12).
Therefore His eternal incorruptible seed is accounted as children and as children, sons of God and heirs of the Kingdom, being joint heirs in the Anointing, which the Father has given unto them. And all that the Father has given Him He has lost none but has raised them up in the last days so that they stand as the testimony of Jesus Christ; for the testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah is the proper interpretation of hidden things (Rev. 19:10).
“Now we have received not the spirit of this world but the spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given of God; which things also we speak not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things” (I Cor. 2:1f).
The hidden things of God cannot be seen nor understood by the natural man. He has filled the hearts of the sons of Adam with the desires of this world and draws them away after the cares and needs daily. He has also filled the mind of Adam with the delights of this existence and the pursuit of prosperity and prominence among his fellow man. Thus the natural man cannot find out that which God has hid from the beginning nor can he receive the things of the spirit.
The child of the kingdom, however, has the Spirit of God who teaches them all things. He has given them all things which pertain unto life and godliness and He leads them in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. This same Spirit, which is the fullness of the Godhead, reveals the righteousness of God, from faith to faith as the just live and walk by faith. Now faith is the gift of God and the evidence of the Holy Spirit for all men have not faith, so when a child of grace is given to compare spiritual hidden things with spiritual hidden things it is not through the vain jangling of man with great swelling words which gender unto confusion.
God kept the mystery of the gospel hid from the beginning that all men should be partakers of the same promise, covenant and Spirit of God. Not that every son of the dust should be a vessel afore prepared unto glory but that the notion that one race of people are the chosen people of God is erroneous. Salvation indeed came first to the Jews but the testimony of the Messenger and the High Priest and the fellow intimate companions seated before Him in the heavens is that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever belies in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3; 16). This is not an invitation for the sons of Adam to believe on Him and thereby obtain eternal life. It is a declaration of the generation of Jesus Christ unto all the house of the faithful who believe in Him because they have eternal life. Anyone who obtains something has a beginning to whatever they have procured or received, but the sons of God have eternal life because they are the eternal incorruptible seed; “beloved now are we the sons of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is, and every man that has this hope in him, purifies himself, even as He is pure” (I John 3:2).
Thus the Spirit of God teaches the children of God the truth of God whereby they have been set free from the bondage of death. The Spirit causes them to walk in the ways of God and to keep His commandments and shows unto them the hidden things of God and though these may be infirmed after the natural faculties or inhibited by physical, mental or emotional defects yet it is the Lord who knows them that are His and they shall all be taught of Him. Thus the house of the children of promise walk in the light of the Lord and keep His commandments, having the testimony of the proper interpretation of hidden things.
“For behold I will bring forth My servant, the Branch”
This is not the introduction of a new player in this presentation; it is another manifestation of the all-inclusiveness of God and His works. When the type was set forth and the rods were placed, each with the name of the heads of the tribes of Israel engraven upon them, at the door of the Tabernacle, God caused Aaron’s rod to show forth. First it budded, then it blossomed and finally it brought forth almonds. This happened for all to see the fact that this rod grew. It did not become another rod or replicate into many rods; the same rod brought forth, in the proper order of the stages of life, the manifestation of the life within. No one thought there was anything special about the rod which Aaron carried until such a time when it pleased God to show forth that which was hidden.
So it is with the fruit of God’s vineyard. He causes every branch to bud, every man in his order, to manifest the life within. He causes the buds to flower in anticipation of the fruit that shall follow and in the appropriate season, the fruit of the harvest is brought forth. Every branch that brings forth fruit, He prunes and chastens unto the fullness of that determined and when the time of fruit bearing is over, he takes away the branch. Now no branch can bring forth fruit unless it be in the vine. If the vine be natural then the fruit is natural. If the source is corrupt then the fruit follows suit.
But and since the Anointing is the source, the root, the vine and the Branch, then the fruit that is produced is the peaceable fruit of righteousness. God has made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant. He had no comeliness that we should be drawn to Him after His appearance and His station in life was lowly yet He grew forth out of the possession of the Lord (Jesse). He came forth out of the confusion (Babylon) and being the High Priest of God, waved before His the first-fruits of the harvest. Nothing was added between the planting, the waving of the first-fruits and the harvest but there is manifested in all who grow in the grace and knowledge of His will, the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance; “against such there s no law” (Gal. 5:22).
The church is not growing in number for the Beloved was in Him from the beginning. Just as the seed in Adam has a finite number which no man can number, so the seed in the first Adam has a fixed number which no man knows. The seed of the Lord has been planted in the corruption of this flesh because God has decreed that it should grow up unto the stature of the fullness of the Anointing. He has predestinated His children to be conformed to the image of His Son and thus they are given the manifest token of the righteous judgment of God; that they might be counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which they suffer (II Thes. 1:5). This light affliction, which is but for a moment, has been decreed of the Father necessary for each seed that it should have no confidence in the flesh. It also has been ordained as beneficial as it works a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; “while we look not at the things which can be seen, but at the things which cannot be seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (II Cor. 4:17f).
“Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, laying aside every weight and the sin which does so easily beset us and running with patience the race set before us, looking unto Joshua, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:12).
Herein is the assurance of salvation for each child of the kingdom and the anchor for the soul. It is not in how we feel or what we do; it is all in what He has done according to His eternal love for His people. He has finished the work set before Him and the Israel of our God is His workmanship, created unto good works in Him. He is ‘ My King according to God’s standard’ and He is the ‘Anointed Salvation of Yehovah ’. He is the Rock of Salvation and the confidence of the hope of glory. Wherefore comfort ye one another with these words in tribulation and distress, bearing one another’s burdens. And you who have been comforted in tribulation, comfort them which are in any trouble, even as He has comforted you.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
March 19, 2017