Open, Unto The Lord
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: we have a strong city; salvation will he appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth faith may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in Jehovah for ever; for in Jehovah, even Jehovah, is an everlasting rock. For he hath brought down them that dwell on high, the lofty city: he layeth it low, he layeth it low even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down; even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. The way of the just is uprightness: thou that art upright dost direct the path of the just. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Jehovah, have we waited for thee; to thy name, even to thy memorial name, is the desire of our soul. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee earnestly: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Isaiah 26:1-9 ASV
IN THAT day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; [the Lord] sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the [uncompromisingly] righteous nation which keeps her faith and her troth [with God] may enter in. You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]. For He has brought down the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city; He lays it low, lays it low to the ground; He brings it even to the dust. The foot has trampled it down--even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. The way of the [consistently] righteous (those living in moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relationship of their lives) is level and straight; You, O [Lord], Who are upright, direct aright and make level the path of the [uncompromisingly] just and righteous. Yes, in the path of Your judgments, O Lord, we wait [expectantly] for You; our heartfelt desire is for Your name and for the remembrance of You. My soul yearns for You [O Lord] in the night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You earnestly; for [only] when Your judgments are in the earth will the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God). Isaiah 26:1-9 AMPLIFIED BIBLE
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. Proverbs 16:2-6 KJV
And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God. But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us. Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. Micah 3:1-12 KJV
Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. Micah 3:4 KJV
“I saw the Apostle of old, his face, arms and hands as he sat to write the epistle down. As he wrote the writing was simple, but it was but a mystery to those who knew not how to walk by the Spirit but was to those who lifted up men rather than God a text which had no revelation to them. Some lift up others and to them the epistle written had no bearing. But to those of the Spirit the Lord was open to them and above them and they wrestled not with His Word or the words that the Apostle of old was writing. To them there was no mystery, no misunderstanding, the word was open unto them.
The day we are in is a day of famine, darkness, of darkened clouds and of no open vision or revelation - OF THAT WHICH IS TRUE. We are in a day where there is much “Thus saith the Lord” happening, many visions, many ministries in untold numbers, masses of people flocking to every tent crusade and ministry that comes to town. Everywhere the believer is assailed upon by those who supposedly carry prophecy and special revelation from the Lord or healing gifts when in fact the sound of their voice is garrulous, fore-boding in the sense that to miss their words is to miss the Lord. Then their words come forth in an effort to convince the believer that the path is no longer strewn with debris and fraught with temptation for it is all a done deal, a realm of completion by Jesus that gives us all this wealth and prosperity and in the end a golden mansion in glory.
The day we are in is a day of famine. Not so much in our part of the world in natural foods, but in “hearing the word of God”. It is a day of darkness, because the light that men think they walk in is a deluded light, a light that is remote and distant yet is easily commanded by the will of men who love to glow in this light which comes with little or no effort on their part. It is a day of darkened clouds but men think that the sailing is clear, the way is plain, that there is before them only the need to take in all that is out there in the way of ministry and doctrine and it will “do the work” and “I will be prepared to enter the Kingdom when Jesus comes!” Little do they know that they are under a darkened cloud, a cloud that is full of water but cannot rain. No revelation, other than the revelation that tickles the ears. No light, other than the light that gives them a nice warm fuzzy glow. No hard paths to sail upon, when in fact the way is fraught with danger and peril and much in the way of forsaking the life of “self”.
There is no effort to the Overcomer in understanding or walking in the mysteries found written in the epistles if they do but one thing. And that is if they gaze with their faces upwards upon the Lord Jesus Christ alone and upon no other person, ministry or gathering. The gathering of the people is first an individual gathering, a gathering of one in a closet of prayer wherein they look up unto the Lord Himself and they do not look sideways at any other person or any other circumstance. For overcoming begins in the solitude of the prayer closet and it ends there as well. It never ventures out into the hallways marked by the masses passing by, nor into the broader rooms of the house wherein men are free to roam and enjoy the sights. The overcomer is a slave, a prisoner of his bondage. One bound to the closet and bound to looking upwards unto the Lord alone for the entire span of their life. They do not look one way or the other for they know if they do, they will cease, if even for a moment, from gazing perfectly upon Jesus alone. To them, that is the greatest danger of this day and they know it full well. The Overcomer is joined then unto those of like precious faith when they first learn to gaze upon Jesus alone, then Jesus – alone - fits them perfectly into His Body. He sets them into that perfect place and the Overcomer then walks in that place speaking truth and enjoying the full measure of the Lord in their faith. They will never enjoy the masses of “numbers” that comes of great gatherings around great self proclaimed preachers. Rather they know full well the fellowship of His sufferings and they find the solitude of the cross to be their portion. It is there that they commune face to face with the Lord Jesus and it is there that true communion becomes their daily portion. The bread is broken and the wine drunk first in the solitude of the closet of prayer.
So we have in this hour masses of men and women who are following every voice that comes along ministering the word and preaching the gospel and prophesying of the things of the Kingdom of God, while these masses at the same time are mulling about in groups and gatherings and in functions and plans, all the while not realizing that it is the solitary place that offers the reward of righteousness and the gift of overcoming grace. It is not that the preachers and prophets and teachers sent to the body are necessarily giving wrong advice or wrong words all the time, it is just that the words that they share do not come by a life sacrificed in the furnace of affliction, overtaken by the woe of conquering the stubborn resistant will while spending their time alone in the closet of prayer. And most of all, their words are not words that come by being first OPEN UNTO THE LORD. Theirs is a gospel of convenience, not one borne of suffering silence.
The words then become “rote doctrine”, words that comply a person into what they think is an obedient walk, words and doctrines that sound so perfect and prophecy, so powerful and sweet, visions, high and grand, but they are words that endanger one from not viewing the Christ alone. When one becomes enthralled with the gifts of the Lord found in other vessels, then they can easily fall into the temptation to heap these gifts unto themselves, hoping for a better teaching and a better prophecy, all the while they are only itching their scratchy ears. Should you be enthralled with the things of the Lord found in any other person, you are in very great danger of heaping to yourself masses of teachers because you love to hear what will give you a continued lukewarm walk. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2Timothy 4:1-4 KJV
This falling away to be
deluded by the massive army of preachers prophets and teachers is happening TO
THE OVERCOMING COMPANY. Those who should know better are being tested in this
right at this very moment. They are accepting the ministries of men and what
men teach and prophecy and their testimonies rather than to continue to test
every word, being “instant in season and out of season”. The word of these who
comes to them is believed and not tested, accepted and not placed through the
washing of the water of the Word to see if the Lord truly did speak it or not.
The test is simple. If your eyes fall upon the ministry alone, then don’t
listen to it. But if the ministry makes your eyes to fall upon the living
Christ, then that dear Overcomer is true, fruitful ministry.
Not only would the true ministry be simplistic in preaching and not garrulous in prophecy, but they would also be clear in their teaching and scripturally sound in their doctrine. Never once would they draw attention to themselves or their calling but in this darkened day they would place the listener’s eyesight upon the true location of the Lord by the Spirit with no question as to His perfect will. They would not allow a non existent duality, but instead would clearly point to the refuge of lies that the flesh nature relishes and would teach one to put it down by the bearing forth of their personal cross.
One of the most amazing deceptions of our day is that the preaching of the cross is almost non existent. Turn on any televangelist or go to any gathering of people in a congregational church and the cross is mentioned that Jesus bore, but not the life of the cross we are now to bear also. Instead we have ministry telling us how wonderful this done deal is and how we are now able to prosper and become rich and full and increased with goods because that is how God chooses to bless us. I fail to find in the scriptures anywhere that the preaching of the cross is ended UNTIL the day of the restitution of all creation. Until that happens, the cross is still to be borne, still to be picked up and chosen rather than a rebellious will, still to be cast upon by the body of sin and iniquity which we are still putting down day by day in our daily walk.
A true Overcomer is one who silently bears their cross in the closet of prayer and does so not out in the open, but as one who may not be perceived at all by their fellow man. Such a one bearing this kind of a cross never seeks their own but rather seeks to walk in the love of God in such self sacrifice as to minister His word through the expression of their lives laid down. No self promotion or self aggrandizing is necessary to them because all they need is the cross. And that kind of life has the Lord upon them and UNTO THE LORD they are seen. The epistle mysteries do not even have to be deciphered, it is contingent upon them by the Lord who utters His full expression upon those who die to this present evil world. Such is the testimony of an Overcomer.
The Lord Jesus Christ to this kind of a true Overcomer is never relegated to the same base human emotions or base human frailty that men find common. Rather, the Lord Jesus Christ is seen as HOLY and PERFECT and with NO INIQUITY. He is never seen as trying to make his life a personal god or lord unto Himself, FOR HE IS ALWAYS LORD. He was Lord from the beginning. The true Overcomer will not relegate the temptation of personal iniquity to Jesus because to do so would be to equate Jesus with personal sinful choice. And Jesus was without sin, without the ability to fall into anything fraught with the base human will of man in his unregenerated state!
False preaching, teaching and prophecy will relegate Jesus to being tempted with sin as though He were a god unto Himself. True preaching, teaching and prophecy will show that Jesus was tempted in all points like us, but that He did not fall into them FOR HE WAS THE SINLESS SON. I dare say that there is much going about the sonship circles in this day that has false preaching, teaching and prophecy to it! Many have declared Jesus with being tempted to becoming a god unto Himself.
When one aligns themselves to obey the scriptures and to “come out from among them”, the “them” being all those who hold this erroneous view of the Christ, then the full expression of the subject of these studies comes to bear upon them. The epistle mysteries are mysteries no longer for the face of the Lord, seen by the faith of the faithful ones becomes the full revelation needed for all such things to be openly seen. Understanding of the purpose of the Lord and the fortitude to stand alone when all about seems to be shaken apart becomes the Overcomer’s portion.
Believe me when I say unto you, that if you are heaping loads of teachers, preachers and prophets unto yourself so that you can feel better equipped for the day, then know that there is a vast supply of teachers, preachers and prophets that are more than willing to tickle your ears. You won’t be able to exhaust that supply. You can heap mountain loads of these ear ticklers to fancy your suit for whatever measure is needed to give you a sense of security.
The only true security in our day is to admit that this is a day fraught with the full measured increase of iniquity, a measure unbounded, and that your only safe recourse is in the closet of prayer alone with the Lord Jesus there. And should a ministry speak unto you it would be that you would look UNTO THE LORD and looking UNTO THE LORD would find all you need in Him alone. Any ministry in this day that speaks must only point you to Jesus, nothing else will do. It is then that these epistle mysteries the Apostle Paul wrote of become a simple matter of your character, a way of the life of faith and of prayer and of waiting upon the King. The expressions which can have no physical words become written epistles upon your heart and you awake with no mystery and no misunderstanding as to what the will of the Lord is.
In this study it is necessary for this truth to be laid out this way, that the Lord must be gazed upon alone and that He must be exalted in your own personal eyesight. That you have your eyes upon no other person, myself included, that your only view be Jesus and He alone in that exalted place at the right hand of God. Once you purpose that in your heart, you need not scratch the ground for morsels of food to feed your spirit, all that He is will be your daily portion. And you need never exalt or emulate a ministry or a person who claims to have the “word”, for you will gravitate to that one because that one will only show forth the King and His glory which He has alone as the firstfruits of those whom He will raise again. Then that true ministry will be to you a confirming voice, a voice crying in the wilderness, but a voice that is completely true. And no deceptive voice will ever overtake you as you learn to look unto your master alone. Indeed, you will be open, unto the Lord.
To be continued…………………
Kenneth B Visscher