THE CREATION WAS MADE SUBJECT TO VANITY AND THE VAIN BUILD WITH IT
Psalm 2 poses a question, and gives the answer:
Q. Why do the nations rage so furiously together, and the people imagine a vain thing?
A. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take council together against the Lord, and against His anointed.
Jesus spoke to religious leaders, saying that they search the scriptures, thinking they will find the key , some formula leading to eternal life. Jesus went on to say that the scriptures are they which testify of Him; Christ, and that they; the leaders, will not come to Christ that they might have life. Jesus came , it says, to lead many sons unto glory. In John’s gospel (17), Jesus , about to return whence he came, said “I am no more in the world”. He said, ” I have finished what you sent me to do”. He said, “Now glorify me with your own self, with the glory I had with you before the world was”. The word “world” is kosmos (κόσμος), the same as our word “cosmos”. Kosmos is the current order of things. It is the vanity into which the creation was made subject, and out of which the creation will be delivered into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Paul, in Romans 8, wrote of this. And this deliverance, bound up in a people who will have made the spiritual exodus, from darkness, into the kingdom of the dear Son, is the restitution of all things, that is, all things in Christ. Jesus, in John 17, praying for the facilitation of this great work, says, “ Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world”.
Consider the saying regarding the flood of Noah’s time, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men”. Again, “world” is kosmos(κόσμος), or the present, vain and fallen order of things. As a point of thought, the Lord had said to Noah, “My covenant is with you, and with every living thing that comes out of the ark with you”. So, the world that then was, overthrown, was delivered into the covenant made with Noah, his wife, his sons and daughters in law, and every living thing in the ark with Noah. It was no subtle rearranging of the order of things, but the destruction of the vain order of things, and the delivering into the household of faith. Everything in the world post flood, came out of the work of faith, in them where the work of faith had it’s work, pre-flood. So, faith destroys vanity. The kingdom which now is, in a people by faith, is kept in store, reserved against the day of judgment and perdition, or utter destruction, of ungodly men. Now faith is the substance of things not seen, and the evidence of things hoped for.
The book of Judges, chapter 9, depicts the Lord’s way, and the vain and fallen order of things. The Olive tree, the Fig and the Vine, as opposed to the bramble. From the Olive tree, we get olive oil. The oil of anointing, the oil by which flour is compounded into one loaf, the oil which fueled the lamp stand of the tabernacle, which lamp stand was a man made effigy of a fruiting Almond tree. The lamp stand, in a figure, gives voice to the Olive tree in a resurrected branch and His generation. The Fig, a fruit that flowers internally. Under the fig, Nathanael received the revelation of Jesus Christ, before Philip called to him. The Vine, every branch abiding in the vine, is fruitful. Every grape in the cluster, a particular fruit in which water is transformed to wine. For the new wine, the best wine, is produced by natural fermentation in the grape, on the vine, and is gathered in the vat by natural seepage, without crushing the grape. No grape is attached to the vine, through another grape. Examine a cluster and see. Every grape, every member in particular, drinks directly and expressly into the vine. The edification of the whole, is the supply of every member enjoined to the vine. Jesus chose the miracle of the wedding at Cana to first show forth His glory. Not in one clay vessel, but in six, the number of man. In distinct, unique and completely separate and autonomous vessels, water was translated into wine, the very best wine. This was not done according to the “way” of man, which is to serve the seemingly best wine first, and then the cheap stuff later, when men have had their wits and senses dulled. The Lord let what was presumed to be the good stuff play out, then He revealed the superior wine. The Olive, the Fig and the Vine, the fullness of the Godhead dwelling bodily, first in the man Christ Jesus, then , in resurrection, in a people begotten to God in Him, and with Him. Now, what of the bramble? the present “way” of things? The bramble imposes it’s rule upon the flesh, punishing it with thorns. There is nothing in that way that is internal. No revelation, no transformation, no increase. Only stupification, laying down of one’s mind, one’s inheritance, one’s birthright, in lieu of a cadre of governors and tutors who corral people as sheep, and as sticks in bundles, with the promise that sufficiently modified, obedient behavior now, will garner some reward in the sweet bye-and-bye. But there is one, and only one hope of glory, and that is Christ in you now. The bramble is the present order of things. It is the vanity in the creation. It is the “way” of which Jesus spoke, saying “It shall not be so among you”:
“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many”. (Mat 20)
If I am in Christ, and Christ in me, I am partaker of Him in whom all the fullness dwells. And I grow into Him, in all things, he who is both greatest, and servant of all. I am not part of a hierarchy, perusing a career path. All of these things, the order of this fallen, vain cosmos, the vanity itself to which the creation was subjected in hope, awaits a delivering into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. The glorious liberty of the sons of God, all who shall attain to it, began with a liberation. That liberation began in one man, one perfect man, who for the joy ahead of Him, endured the cross, despising the shame of it. He went before us, entering into the Holy of Holies. preparing the way, taking away the handwriting of ordinances which were against us, and triumphing over power and principality, mediators and taskmasters, so that nothing might stand in the way of any who would follow after Him. Let us not neglect so great a salvation, purchased to us at so great a cost, by turning again to weak and beggarly rudiments, days, seasons, religious observances, & etc. Follow on, press on, forgetting the things behind, unto mature completion, minding those things which the Lord Himself will make known to you, by His own Spirit who dwells in you.
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was not fooled by a city in the earth, though it bore His name. But Enoch stands at the threshold of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, in the depiction of the outer courts which the book of Jude is, and Enoch speaks of his city and ours, a city built not of the fallen vanities, but a city descending. Abraham by faith, recognized he was a stranger in a strange land. And so, by faith, Abraham sought a city where righteousness dwells, a city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and not as foolish Lot, who chose a city built upon the fallen vanities of his age, thinking that by making himself a judge among them, he could thereby change them. Joseph, by faith, embraced the revelation of Christ in him, and spoke of it, his brethren hating him for it, the revelation being superior to the patriarchal order of birthright and blessing. Jacob, his first father, rebuked Joseph, saying, “Shall I and your mother indeed come and bow ourselves down to you?” But Jacob thought upon the matter, and in his last days, blessed Joseph, saying the blessings of your father exceed the blessings of my fathers. (for Joseph, in a figure, was made a partaker of the resurrection, being raised up out of the pit, both in the wilderness, and in Pharaoh’s house). Joseph, raised in a figure, was no longer Jacob’s son. But Jesus was not raised in a figure. He is raised, and is glorified, and David called him Lord. The resurrected , glorified Son of man is no more David’s son, than He is Mary’s son. He WAS the son of David according to the flesh, as He WAS the son of Mary, according to the flesh. But He IS the Son of God, according to the Power of resurrection, made a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek. The first man Adam, is of the earth, earthy. The second man Adam is the Lord from heaven.
Jesus is not building again, the things He destroyed. He is not engaged in a subtle rearranging of the present order of things. The foundation of the city Abraham sought, and found, is the foundation that man can not lay, and is already laid. The foundation is Christ in you, which foundation is utterly rejected by the builders in vanity, both then, and now. And this thing I will say emphatically. At no time did the lamp stand of the tabernacle of Moses ever enter into the Holiest place. Never once. But the true resurrected Almond branch of Aaron, now rootless, yet alive, entered once, with no ritualistic reenactment ordained, for the eternal does not repeat itself. Rootless, being self sustaining according to the eternal power of the resurrection, drawing nothing from the earth, but ever sustained by the glory of an inexhaustible, internal supply. This raised branch a figure of a people to come, a people declared in the closing chapter of the Book, to have no need of light of sun or moon, and no need of light of lamp stand, because the Lord God almighty and the Lamb are the indwelling, internal light of this people. The city descending is not real estate or edifice. It is a people, and a house, as Paul said, “not of this building”. It is the temple and habitation of God by the Spirit. And that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit, suitable for the building of a spiritual house. That which is born of the flesh , is flesh, and is profitable for nothing.
The lamp stands of Revelation 2 & 3 answer to the lamp stands of the tabernacle. They depict churches, assemblies, but not geographically. They are spiritual depictions of gatherings of believers. These gatherings are distinguished from one another by the various things they hold to, that do not agree with the doctrine of Christ. The one like unto the Son of man, like the raised rod of Aaron, are a people, true Hebrews, true inward Jews, who have crossed over Jordan, to the “other side”, and stand , in faith , testifying of the things which they see in the resurrected and glorified Christ, seeing Him as He is, not merely as He was. No assembly depicted in Revelation 2 & 3, as an assembly, enters into the Holiest; that which is prefaced by the words, “Come up here”. But out of each assembly, regardless of distinction, will have come individuals who have ears to hear, and who did hear, what the Spirit says in the gatherings. Consider the twelve spies, sent by Moses, to cross into Canaan, and bring back to the people, the report of the land. These brought back, not only the report of the land, but the substance of it, one cluster of grapes born on a pole between two men, they brought back Figs, pomegranates. Of these twelve, though all were made eyewitnesses, only two convinced the people that the time to take the land was now. Ten cast fear upon the people, describing the difficulty of what would be entailed in taking the land. Joshua and Caleb said it was obtainable because “the Lord is with us”. The ten, not recognizing this, said “the people of the land are too great for us”. Those ten, because of unbelief, perished in the 40 year march in the wilderness, together with them they had dissuaded. Joshua and Caleb, with a generation born in the wilderness, entered the land. Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. Paul, seeing these truths spoke of them, not for a time and people to come, but in his time and to his people, and so , the admonition is not new:
“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world”.
The book of Revelation describes a people taken from among a people, A holy nation, and the nations of them that are saved. Individuals who overcame, and extracted from themselves, the communal thinking of the assemblies. It describes those , who like Elisha, cross Jordan in faith, see Elijah in resurrection, and return to witness to it, an Elisha not content to dwell among any school of the prophets. To read Ephesians 4, and to read the account of the relationship between Elijah and Elisha, from start to finish, is enlightening. The gifts and callings are in a living, resurrected Lord. The word “holy” means set apart. Holy of Holies is “Set apart from the set apart”. This message is not new. The nations of them that are saved are as the tribes of them who were saved by coming to Joseph, who went before them in faith, believing the revelation of Christ in him.
Our Exodus is Spiritual. Our journey, the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. Our hope, far more than to be with Him, but to be both with Him and Like Him. Our journey is in Him, from start to finish, as it says, we have been translated from darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son, and we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings , in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.
Even in the flesh, I did not live my life in a crib, and one day wake up a man. I grew into a man. I grew into the fullness of what I received in a measure, the day I was conceived in the womb. Everything I grew into, I received at conception. And when I realized I was a man, I put away childish things. I am no longer numbered among those who are children playing in the market place, children playing church.
This spiritual exodus is available, obtainable, and doable in all who believe, in spite of the appearance of obstacles. It is doable because the Lord is with you. The Kingdom of Heaven suffers energetic assault, and the energetic take it by force. Jesus said, “Tarry at Jerusalem until you be endued with power from on high”. The Spirit is come. There is no longer a reason to tarry. Jerusalem beneath is impotent and it’s house desolate.
2 PETER 2
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned with an overthrow, making an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
And her prophets have daubed them with untempered [mortar], seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken. [Eze 22:28 KJV]
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, [Rom 8:20 KJV]
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, [Eph 4:17 KJV]
For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. [2Pe 2:18 KJV]
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.