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Zephaniah 1:7

“Hold thy peace at the presence of Jehovah God for the day of Jehovah is at hand.”

The Word of God had come to His servant Zephaniah. This man was ‘hidden of Jah’ in the ‘blackness’ of his earthen vessel (Cushi). He was the son of the ‘great Jah’ (Gedaliah), he had heard the Word ‘spoken of Jah’ (Amariah) and he was a descendant of the ‘strength of Jah’ (Hizakiah). His heritage is from the ‘foundation of Jah’ (Josiah) and he was ‘brought up’ with the King of Praise (Judah) from the beginning. Now at the appointed time he was revealed to the nation of Israel to proclaim the coming of Messiah both as the savior of His people and the avenger of the righteousness of God.

The Anointed of God was sent forth into this world to gather His people from the nations where they had been driven and to save them from their sin. All that the Father had given Him to redeem came unto Him when He spoke and they lived again (Ezk. 37:11). He told His disciples that the time had come when the dead would hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live (John 5:25). And so all that the Father had given unto Him, he had lost none but had raised them up in the last days to be seated together with Him in the heavenly places.

He came not to deliver national Israel from the oppression of the Romans nor did He come to establish an earthly kingdom where the sons of Jacob would rule the world. He came to reveal the mystery of the gospel, fulfill the law in all righteousness and abolish the handwriting of ordinances. In order for Messiah to fulfill the law in all righteousness, He must not only suffer the wrath of God for the sin of His people and appease the justice of God against sin but He must also execute the judgment of God against all unrighteousness. He came forth not only to conquer sin and overcome the world for His elect but also to overcome the wicked one and his seed as the Righteous Judge of all things.

Zephaniah is the great grandson of King Hezekiah (strength of Jah). Like a treasure hidden in a field he was ‘hidden of Jah’ in the midst of Judah during the time of the wicked kings Manassah and Amon (II Kings 21). The northern ten tribes of Israel had been taken into the captivity of the Assyrians and her treacherous sister Judah was even more wicked than she (Jer. 3:8). Contemporary with Nahum and Jeremiah, the Word of Jehovah God announced that the ‘day of the Lord is near’. He continues to call for the repentance of the people but “seeing they see not and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand” (Matt. 13:13).

When Joshua led the people of Israel into the land of promise, he commanded them by the Word of the Lord to utterly destroy all men, women, children and beasts as they took the territories of their inheritance (Deut. 7:2). Joshua is the only one who was enabled of Jehovah to utterly destroy the people of the land (Jos. 8:26). The remaining tribes were forced to live with these people among them (Jud. 1:18-36) and, eventually, the people of Israel gave their sons and daughters to be wed with these people and to adopt the customs of the lands. They committed fornication with the Canaanites and the land of Israel became the land of ‘confusion by mixing’ (Babylon). This is the abomination that made desolate the nation of Israel (Jer. 7)

Joshua, however, was not limited by the power of the Spirit to have to endure such pollution of his land. He came and utterly destroyed the people of the land, the kings more mighty than he and subdued the land, When the righteous Judge of God came forth to execute the law of God He did not spare nor have mercy on the wicked. He “utterly consumed all from off the land”. Every man, woman, beasts, fowls of the air, fish in the sea and the “stumbling blocks with the wicked” were engulfed in the fire of the wrath of God in perfect righteousness. Christ came to preach the day of deliverance to the redeemed of God and to call forth the accounts due of the wicked.

No son of Adam is able to stand in this day of the Lord to endure the wrath or to plead his case. No one is given the opportunity to explain their mitigating circumstances or to give cooperating testimony for another as the books are opened and each is judged by the works done. The children of the seed of the serpent do the works of their father the Devil and, as they were created wicked and go estranged from the womb speaking lie, they stand guilty before the throne. Their lewdness proceeds from their wickedness and they do by nature those things that are abominable unto God. They claim to have done works of righteousness in prophesying, casting out demons and doing many wonderful works (Matt. 7:22) but these are ‘workers of iniquity’ who are not of the household of the redeemed. These are cast forth into outer darkness where the worm never dies and the flame is never quenched (Mk. 9:44).

The child of grace is adjudicated perfect by the deeds of the head of the family and, since they have the testimony of a finished work by Messiah and keep the commandments of God by the power of the Spirit within, they have entered into the rest of their God and into the land of their inheritance. The deeds done in their flesh have all been paid for in the blood sacrifice which God has provided and they are ignorant of the ‘good works’ that they have been ordained unto in Christ Jesus. Therefore the commandment of the messenger of God is to “hold thy peace at the presence of Jehovah God for the day of Jehovah is at hand”.

This word came to Zephaniah about 630 years before the manifestation of the kingdom of our God which lie buried in the field of the nation of Israel. She appeared to be asleep and covered with the dust of the earth until such time as the Word came to Her and commanded Her to awake, stand up and shake off the dust (Is. 51:1). At the same time He commanded the daughters of Babylon to “come down and sit in the dust…sit on the ground” (Is. 47:1) as He made every mountain low and exalted every valley. And this day was at hand and soon to be made evident to all flesh as all nations saw the salvation of Jehovah God.

“Jehovah hath prepared a sacrifice”
(Jehovah has established the slaughter)

When the Angel of the Lord commanded Abraham to take his son Isaac up to the tip of mount Moriah and there sacrifice him unto the Lord, he was made faithful by the same Spirit of the Most High God. Yet at the time when the knife drew high over the young lads body, the Angel stopped Abraham and the promise of God was revealed that He should provide Himself a sacrifice (Gen 22:8). From the beginning of time the Lamb of God stands as He had been slain. He alone is the acceptable sacrifice for the sin of His people and He has been ‘established’ firm and sure from the foundation of the world. Now if the sacrifice is established, accomplished and finished from before the creation of Adam, in whom ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ then Adam must have been created to fall short in disobedience before God in the garden. Before any having been born or doing any good or any evil, which the purpose of God might stand according to election, he divided the night from the day, the light from the darkness and the seed of the serpent from the incorruptible seed from above. The exact amount of blood contained in the Lamb of God was commensurate to the degree and extent of the sin of His people so that the perfect demands of the Righteousness of God were satisfied in Him. The blood of bulls and goats stood only in type as the sin of the nation of Israel was atoned for year after year as the High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies every year. But Messiah is entered into a better sanctuary not made with hands that is not of this world. He has come forth ‘in the end of the world’ with His precious blood “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26). He has removed the sin of His people as far as the east is from the west, into the uninhabited place, and the most minutest of detail or hint of sin shall never be called into account before that throne of the Judge. Before the act was committed or the thought and desire contemplated the sacrifice, established firm and sure was completed.

“He hath bid His guests”
(He has consecrated His called out)

There were a group of people that were invited to the great feats of a certain man. This invitation of the kingdom of heaven was to the marriage feast of the Son of the certain man and was a long standing invitation. He sent forth His Servant (notice He did not send out an armada of missionary ambassadors to invite any one) to those deemed worthy to signify that the time had now come for the assembly to gather. He is the Angel with the everlasting gospel that proclaims the good tidings of great joy upon the high mountain of Jerusalem and Zion. Those bid (invited) were not interested as their desires were for the things of the world. Their affections were for the ground where Babylon sits, the labours of man in the oxen they worship and the confederacies with the people of the land. The beautiful people of the prestige and wealth of the world esteem the invitation of the Servant to come unto Him for rest, peace and sustenance as foolishness and reject these words for they have not ears to hear.

Again in the land of Shinar there is the representation of the true and the counterfeit. The people of the land desire the field or the dust of the ground from whence the earthen vessel was formed while the wise had purchased the field for the treasure that was hid within. The seed of the serpent desires the oxen for a sacrifice upon their altar of earth and stone while the sacrifice of God has entered into a sanctuary not made with hands and has presented the perfect sacrifice once in the end of the world. Those unto whom God has revealed His goodness and longsuffering to have left their first love and have been wed unto another. They have forsaken the wife of their youth and have been given ears to hear the voice of the strange women who beckons unto them inviting them to her bed of death (Prov. 5:5). The Bride of Christ is one brought up with Him (Amon) and she is faithful as He is faithful. Her desire is upon Him and She is His Beloved. She is Wisdom and She has ever been in Him and with Him (Prov. 8:30), therefore He created man in His image, male and female created He them.

The wrath of the Master of the house is against all these who turn the back and shoulder to Him and He has rejected them. He has called forth His assembly of those whom the world rejects. He has set them apart, identified them with the name of the Father in their forehead and sealed them with His blood. His servant gathers together those who are poor in the Spirit and incapable of works. These are blind and need to have their sight restored when their sin is removed (John 9:40f). When Adam took and ate his eyes were opened as he knew good and evil and death came upon him and all his seed. The humble children of grace are blind to their condition until the Spirit reveals the need in them. Then they know they are blind and cannot see the truth. Herein do they cry out to the Father, “Lord save me lest I die”. These are counted worthy of the banquet seats and are thankful to see the banner of love above them.

“Many are called but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14)

The Master also brings forth out of the world those who are of the mystery of the gospel. Those who are in the highways and hedges are not of the cities and villages of the nation of the proclaimed people of God. These are of every kindred, nation, tribe and tongue and they are shown by the Servant the urgency and necessity of their presence at the feast. The feast cannot begin without all who are ‘consecrated’ to be in attendance and not one shall be absent. A seat has been prepared for each and every one of these ‘consecrated’ guests and He has called them out of the Babylon, Israel, Assyria, Egypt and the world and has adorn them in fine linen clean and white. This is the righteousness of the saints and the wedding dress of the Bride of Christ, Jerusalem from above, the mother of us all. The feast was prepared in the day of Zephaniah and the invitations were being proclaimed yet those bid did not come. Jehovah God has consecrated His called out assembly and they have come forth as the wise virgins with the oil of the anointing in their lamps. He has welcomed them in and has closed the door. None are adorned in strange apparel Matt. 22:12). The armies of heaven of heaven and all those slain for the testimony of Messiah are adorned in the garments afore prepared for the Bride which is the imputed righteousness of Him whose name is Faithful and True.

Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
June 2, 2013