PART VII – TRANSACTIONAL ASPECTS OF THE LAMP-STAND MODEL
Subpart B – SANCTIFICATION
Article 2 – Deliverance
Section (d) – The Rejoicing of the Mighty Man
By Daniel Irving
THE REJOICING OF THE MIGHTY MAN
i. God’s Glory in the Soul’s Repentance as Cause for Heaven’s Rejoicing
Recall the Lord’s words concerning the penitent sinner:
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over 99 just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7
The object of God’s sacrifice is the repentant heart. This is where His mercy resides; at the place of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Repentance is the fruit of His Son’s labors. Therefore heaven rejoices when the sinner repents from the heart. Only now can God reveal His kingdom to the hearts of men. In fact, God Himself rejoices over the repentance of His elect. For recall the parable of the repentant prodigal son:
It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. Luke 15:32
The KJV translation is a bit misleading, as the Greek word translated “was meet” is deh-on’, which means “must.” We find the word used elsewhere in such verses as:
Mat 17:10 “. . Elias must first come”
Joh 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
II Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ . . .
While the word is sometimes translated “should” or “ought”, it is the universal word translated “must” in the KJV. Therefore the statement of the father is “WE MUST MAKE MERRY, AND BE GLAD.” Why is this? Why does God consider it a necessity to rejoice and to kill the fatted calf upon the sinner’s repentance from the heart? The parable itself states the reason! The f
thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. Luke 15:32
There has been a resurrection! The Feast of First Fruits must be celebrated. For Christ died that we might be raised again in Him. And as a symbol of that death given the sinner (that his dead soul might be raised into newness of life) it is necessary that something be killed and its life ministered to him that would live again. Christ’s work upon the Cross is made effectual via repentance. The Cross of Jesus Christ gave glory to the Father. The heart’s closure with the Cross at repentance glorifies God again as He is able to manifest His holy image through the soul’s apprehension of the glory of Jesus Christ.
ii. God’s Answer for the Weakened Condition of the Lowly-Penitent; Holiness
The prophecy of Isaiah speaks to those of Israel coming into the apprehension of their true estate. The Spirit of God says to them:
“Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee,” saith the Lord, “And thy redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” Is. 41:14
Why would God’s people be referred to as a “worm”? Consider the prophesying of Job:
How then can a man be just with God? Or how can he be clean who is born of woman? If even the moon has no brightness & the stars are not pure in His sight, How much less man, that maggot, & the son of man, that worm! Job 25:4-6
Job is lamenting the pitiable condition of man when entering into the judgments of God. If even the moon and stars have “no brightness” in the eyes of God, how then can man be considered anything more than a “worm” in respect to God’s judgments? Recall that Job continuously pled with God to remove his gaze from him. Job had no answer, and no hope for an answer before God. Therefore Job called upon the analogy of a worm as descriptive of his condition before the judgments of God. Through the prophet Isaiah, God now calls upon this metaphor again and reaffirms to Jacob that “yes, you are only a ‘worm’”, however, ‘“I will help you,” declares the Lord,’
The Lord identifies those to whom He is speaking as; “you men of Israel.” God is telling His people not to fear what is coming. As His covenant begins to be established and the kingdom of God begins to encroach upon our normal experiences of life and the natural order of this world, this will bring upon us many things we are apt to fear and so would bring us into danger of withdrawing from the path God sets before us. But we are solemnly warned against withdrawing from the things of God:
‘BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.’ But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Heb. 10:38-39
While the promises of prophecy belong exclusively to the Firstborn of God as “My righteous one,” we have a part in the promises of prophecy through the presence of Christ within us. Therefore “My righteous one” is (by definition) not the one that would shrink back. Christ is that “righteous one,” and He lives in us through the means of faith. Recall Paul’s words:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20
There is only one “Righteous One”. ie. “Jesus Christ, the righteous”. How does this “righteous one” live? According to Paul, He lives within the believer by means of faith. By this means, we are in Christ and He, in us. We become co-heirs to the promises. Therefore Paul writes:
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. Rom. 8:17
Therefore the promises of God are brought to “you men of Israel” through faith in Jesus Christ upon whom all the promises of God are made. The apprehension of this great truth shall itself be sanctifying as stirring our faith to endure for the sake of God purposes.
God declares to the worm, “I will help you.” There is help for the worm. There is help for frail humanity that has fallen short of God’s glory. For God has established His glory through One; His Righteous One. How is it that there is “help for a worm” from the creator of the all things? Consider this prophesy spoken by the Spirit of Christ:
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn; They shoot out the lip & shake their head, saying “He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him; let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. Ps. 22:6-8
Who is describing Himself as a worm? God Himself has assumed our humanity in the Person of the Lord, Jesus Christ. What does this mean, except the power of God assumed the place of the most lowly of men in order to turn weakness into the power of God.
. . who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Phil 2:6-8
God is telling Jacob “I will help you.” He calls Jacob a “worm,” which Job (in anguish) professes is all that he amounts to in the wake of God’s judgments. Yet this is the form that God assumed and took upon Himself when He came to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
Paul understood this powerful relationship between weakness and the power of God quite well, for when he entreated the Lord for the removal of the “thorn in the flesh”, the Lord told him that His grace was sufficient for him, and that “Power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore it becomes easy to see why Paul endured the trials he did. He knew that the secret of God’s power was “the worm,” ie. that lowly place of man which Christ assumed in order to redeem men. Therefore Paul writes:
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. II Cor. 12:9-10
O the paradox that is presented by the mystery that is the kingdom of God! God, Who will not give His glory to another, has provided that His glory should rest upon “the worm.” The glory of the Spirit of God bestowed upon the base and the afflicted of humanity. This is the place of the Cross.
For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. II Cor. 13:4
iii. The Rejoicing Spirit of the Mighty One Filling the Weak
The prophecy of Zephaniah declares:
The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing. Zeph. 3:17
Indeed, the context here in Zephaniah’s prophecy is the “might” of the Lord Jesus Christ. How is He “mighty?” The Lord’s “might” is true and spiritual, and profoundly unlike what we would consider to be “might.” For Paul prayed for the Colossians that they would be:
Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience, & longsuffering with joyfulness; Col. 1:11
It would seem that the Lord’s might, is a strength unto divine-righteousness! The power of the indwelling Christ, is the power of to save. It is the power to bring the nature of God into the creature so as to allow the creature to share in the indestructible life that is Christ. While we tend to think of “might” and “power” in terms of the power to “destroy”, ie. as a “destructive” agency, this is not the essential meaning of the power of God. His “might” is creative, regenerative, and restorative, and nurturing.. Therefore when Paul tells the Ephesians . . .
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, & in the power of his might. Eph 6:10
What is Paul telling them to do? He is telling them to put on the weapons of the “mighty warrior” that is “Christ in you”, ie. such things as; the knowledge of salvation, faith, righteousness, God’s word, truth, and the Gospel of God. These are what make up our spiritual armor. But as to the flesh, what profit is that? When we are strong in the flesh, then we are the most weak spiritually. If we would have spiritual strength; strength of a type that is effective to win spiritual battles; strength of a type that will bring the kingdom and righteousness of God, we must not look for it in fleshly means:
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; II Cor. 10:4
For recall that after Paul prayed for his physical infirmity to be taken away, we are told:
And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Cor. 12:9
The mighty-nature of the Spirit of Christ within the believer is not rightly-apprehended by the carnal-mind. In fact, the natural man does not even seem to recognize the power of Christ when it is within himself for the effectuating of salvation. Consider Paul’s words to the Corinthians:
Since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. II Cor. 13:3
 G1163 dei die, deh-on’ Third person singular active present of G1210; also δεόν deon which is neuter active participle of the same; both used impersonally; it is (was, etc.) necessary (as binding): – behoved, be meet, must (needs), (be) need (-ful), ought, should.
 Mat 19:17 “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.”
 I John 2:1
 See commentary on Isaiah 45:11 “& you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.”
 II Corinthians 12:7
 II Corinthians 12:9
 Paul makes list of his trials at II Corinthians 11:23-28.