But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1Timothy 3:15-16
be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the
God of all comfort, He comforting us in all our trouble, so that we may be able
to comfort those who are in every trouble, through the comfort with which we
ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of
Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. For faithful is the Word, for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we do not believe Him, yet He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. Put them in memory of these things, charging them before the Lord not to dispute about words to no profit, to the subverting of the hearers. Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. But shun profane, vain babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 2 Timothy 2:10-16 MKJV
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Matt 16:21-28
And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him: if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church; whereof I was made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which was given me to you-ward, to fulfil the word of God, even the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints, to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ; whereunto I labor also, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
“Then was the cross raised with the body of Jesus upon it in his suffering passion. I saw towards the left arm of the Saviour a steel ring through which a rope had been attached and by which the cross was raised. As the cross came to the upright position with the Lord crucified upon it, the ropes that were in the steel ring were loosed and removed so that the cross would remain upright and not move from this position. The Lord in agony of the cross was there enduring the process of crucifixion. I saw below the cross and out and away from the cross the leaders of Israel, those men who led Israel according to the institute of the laws of the Tabernacle. These were legally appointed men who were ordained for the ministration of the law through the temple but who had determined in their hearts to crucify Jesus as one who would be known as a criminal. It was these men, ordained of God, who determined to destroy Jesus. This was made very clear to me in this vision and it affected much in the way of the motion of the Holy Spirit while the vision was forthcoming as it was very important for His people to understand that these were anointed men, ministers of the temple, who killed the Lord of Glory.”
The company of Overcomers have entered a very crucial time in the history of the church. We are in the time of waiting, but while the waiting continues the subtle temptations of the hour mask themselves in a greater degree than ever before all in order to deceive the elect. One of the greatest temptations of this hour is extremely subtle, very volatile and can quench the spirit of the Lord in the life of the Overcomer. It is imperative to set the course of our footsteps upon the correct path by true prophecy, but at the same time to be ever more vigilant as to wearing the armour of the spirit and resisting the temptation to be taken in by lukewarm deceptions.
Looking at the life of Jesus in the gospels, we see a pattern emerging. It is necessary to remember that we are indeed following the pattern son. If we have given our lives over to the Lord completely, abandoning our lives whether they be right or wrong in His sight, then the spirit of the Lord will begin to move, over time, in your life to bring you to this place of following Jesus’ pattern. His pattern has not changed. The entire scope of His life is being written as a living epistle in the life of each Overcomer and eventually in each person. For the Overcomer however, a very crucial time has come and it has taken much time for the spirit of the Lord to reveal just how crucial this time truly is. Here is the main part of the pattern we are in now. That is that just as the “anointed ministry” of His day, the leaders and priests of the Jerusalem temple and ministers of the laws of God, attempted to find fault in Jesus life and to take Him captive. They did this to find something in either His character or words or actions which would give them the right to put Him out of their midst as one who was not of God. For some time, these anointed leaders would attempt to find this fault and to use it to put a disclaimer on all Christ pronounced as truth.
This is the exact pattern, right now, of the true Overcomer. We have in our midst one of the most subtle deceptions of all time. That deception is the thought that the Kingdom is happening NOW and that we are in that realm of living in the new creation NOW and that there is nothing more to be done as to the revelation of the Kingdom of God. This thought brings with it the exaltation of the believer to equality with God, the very same temptation that tempted Adam and Eve, “Ye shall be as gods!” was the voice that spoke then, and it is the voice speaking now.
The word of God does state that we are raised up together to sit together with Christ in heavenly places. “And raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus:” Ephesians 2:6-7 Here however is the EXACT place wherein the deception is lying to us. This DOES NOT MEAN that your personal cross is done! The cross IS NOT YET DONE nor can it be while your life in the body of flesh and blood continues! Seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus? That in the ages to come He might show forth the exceeding richness of His grace and kindness? Yes, the first part and the second part are true, BUT IN WHICH VERSE IS THE ELIMINATION OF THE CROSS? The cross, for verse 7 of these scriptures WILL AT THAT TIME BE DONE, for now it is a HOPE in us. The first part, verse 6 IS TRUE, but NOT WITHOUT THE CONTINUAL DAILY WORKING OF THE CROSS. However much you despise my words matters not, the cross must do its complete all consuming work in order for your course in faith to be finished. As long as flesh and blood continues in this natural world, so too must the cross continue.
Add now to this equation what the Lord is doing right now in this very hour. Speaking now just to those who desire to Overcome and follow Jesus, the pattern son all the way through to the end wherein they awake in His likeness, I would say the following; that the Lord has designed your life to be utterly destroyed IN THIS PRESENT WORLD. The Jewish leadership of Jesus day conspired to take Christ and find fault with Him and put Him out of their midst. With cunning craftiness, even though they were true anointed ministry by God’s law, they took Jesus and persecuted Him, scourged Him and crucified Him. They did it all on the false pretence of finding fault in His words which were contrary to that law they claimed they followed. Jesus actions of working and doing miracles on the Sabbath day and of claiming that He was the Son of God with power and of His claim of destroying the temple and in three days building it again was all they needed to kill Him. So now for the Overcomer; there are those “ministries” out there, who are anointed of God, who are indeed part of the five fold ministry to the Body of Christ, BUT WHO CLAIM A PLACE IN GOD THAT IS NOT THEIRS, who persecute the Overcomer.
The Overcomer is made to look strange in this hour and it is the Lord who is making them to look that way. They do not fit in anywhere, they cannot be found in assemblies or gatherings as “normal” Christians, they are instead not able to fit into the mould that modern Christendom has created in protecting their pet doctrines. The Overcomer by the very life they live contradicts all the religious efforts of the Christian masses just as Jesus contradicted all the rites and ceremonies of the law abiding people of His day, contradicting in boldness what they had made into religious ceremony, the keeping of the Sabbath, touching unclean diseased bodies and so on. It was Jesus who touched the lepers and that touch contradicted the law. It was Jesus and His disciples who picked corn on the Sabbath because they were hungry. It was Jesus who did His major miracles on the Sabbath. The Overcomer doesn’t fit into the joyful expressions of the masses of Christendom. They don’t care for the modern day prosperity doctrines. They don’t abide the large numbers of those who claim place as part of the five fold ministry because all these were ordained of men. The Overcomer has an ordination on them just as Jesus did, but it was solely by the Holy Ghost. This is annoying to those who went through the bible colleges and the seminaries or in Jesus case, those who went through the hurdles of becoming the full fledged Israel of God by zealously keeping the law and ordinances and forsaking everything else along the way. Jesus hated that religion, we hate religion, for Jesus and for the Overcomer the attitude of hating religious fruitless works is the same, and for that we are being persecuted.
Right now, at this time, any person who is desiring all that the Lord has for them and who wants to be found hid in Christ in God will be under the pain of persecution. This persecution will come mainly from three areas. From the powers of darkness that are in the “air”, who mimic and imitate the true but whose desire is to thwart your forward walk in God. This relentless attack to stop you from moving forward in your faith comes mainly by the deceptive powers of “thought”, that you are “already” in the perfection of His Kingdom. That you are ONLY a new creation, that there is no more identity with the former and that the former has no hold or power on you. That if you even so much as think that the former old nature life has power on you then you are deceived because that would be contrary to the work Christ fulfilled. The second area of persecution will come from your own mind. The mind is the ground upon which the powers of the “air” can land and upon which they can amass their forces and launch their assaults. The carnal natural thinking mind in this world is your enemy. It is the very place where the knowledge of the Lord is twisted into a grotesque picture of some sort of an ogre for a god. It is the ground upon which your own personal shortcomings are shown to you time and again and thus you are accused by it. The mind has no way or means of ever submitting to the Lord or thinking with His mind instead. The third area of persecution will be from nearly all the people around you who profess the name of Jesus as their saviour. People will drop away from you and leave you (this may be the case for years now) saying all manner of evil against you and in this they persecute you. The true Overcomer will become “despised, rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. The brethren out there will “hide their faces from you.” The incredible loneliness one has in this walk gets even worse when people begin to walk away. That is because you are nailed to the cross.
These three elements working against your life is where we are at right now. We are not in some sort of complacent area wherein our lives are prospered and we are in total peace and contentment in worldly things. Instead of that we are in the place right now of being impaled upon the cross. These three elements I mention in the preceding paragraph are proof of your crucifixion. They prove that you are marked for elimination from this world. When people walk away from you it is painful to lose them, or if there are fellowships ceasing and if there is the loss of sharing with those you once walked in company with, it is because you are despised and hated and cursed as you hang upon the cross. You cannot move from that position, you cannot take your arms and your legs and walk away from their judgment of you because you are NAILED. You cannot defend yourself because you have no more words to share. You cannot gossip about what is happening because you are in the throes of this cross and are being left there to die. Cursed is everyone who hangs upon the tree! But it is THERE, UPON THE CROSS THAT YOU FINALLY COME INTO TRUE HOLY IDENTITY WITH THE LORD. You no longer have to worry yourself or frustrate yourself with the actions of your brethren who turn away. You no longer have to be exemplary to them of how one should live. These things you need not do because you have entered a new phase in your spiritual walk and that is being identified with Him in His sufferings.
If you are indeed called to be part of the Overcoming company, of those saints who overcome in the seven churches of Revelation chapters 2 and 3. If you are one of these, then you cannot escape coming into this identity with the fellowship of His sufferings. It is part of the reward you will receive. Tremendous peace happens to you once you accept these three realms of persecution that come against you. Once men begin to leave you, speaking all manner of evil against you, once your carnal mind tells you that you can never walk in the spirit, once the powers of darkness that inhabit the “air” do their wicked work to thwart your walk by making sure you are immobile, once that happens, you have in you the revelation from the Holy Ghost that you have suffered the very same things that Jesus suffered. This identity with His sufferings has to take place in you so that the end of your faith may come, which is what we have all been waiting for, even the coming of the Lord and us rising in new bodies of light and glory; first this suffering, then His resurrection power.
I say this now to those of you reading this paper and who are accepting the cross, embracing it and knowing it is the will of God for them. Think it not strange that this is to happen. Taken away from you is the power of “naming it and claiming it”. Instead the reality of persecution and of being nailed and left to die becomes the only means of peace to you and of distilling all the oppositions that were against you in the past of your life. I say to you, that before you can have your new resurrected glorified body, you must first go through the whole gamut of the all consuming power of the cross. Your entire mortification process has now come down to the wire, to the timing of His will. We have come to the end of the age, and for the Overcomer, it means a total impaling, not a total liberty as one would think, but opposite; being completely consumed by the process of crucifixion. The reality of being a NEW CREATION wherein old things pass away and all things become new is done only by this method in your faith. It becomes the measuring rod as to your place and as to your calling. The more you are identified with Christ in this passion, the more you will realize the power of His resurrection.
The end result of this acceptance of the cross working in you will be the power of His resurrection flowing unbounded through you continually without measure. It is not just a lifelong pain of crucifixion that the Lord wants you to remain at, but to come into that place where the resurrection power that was in the blood of Jesus, that power which is HOLY, that same power would flow through your veins and you would experience this flow. That His resurrection in you would be so mighty that you would be one of His Army who would stand at the edge of the valley of bones and you would by the power of His life in you cause these dead bones to come together, joint to joint, and sinew to grow upon those bones and flesh to cover them and to see the body of Christ rise, even those who up till this time have been in carnality and death. To come to this power of resurrection one must first come through the entire process and gamut of the power of the cross. You cannot come to resurrection without the cross. It doesn’t work that way. You cannot state in your faith that you have no further cross to endure because that is short of His best for you. His best for you is His will for you and His will for you is to endure all the power of the cross thus making you completely immobile. Then the resurrection power begins.
This paper is set in the topic of The Mystery of Godliness. It could have been a faith mystery or a seven star mystery as well and in the future it may be expanded on. However, this process described in this writing is a GODLY and a HOLY process. It is the springboard to godliness in your entire character. It is the ocean of Holiness to your entire person within which you may be immersed. It is the avenue least liked but the only way by which the resurrection power of Christ may become your very life. That is the full measure of why the righteous suffer, it is to bring them through all of the cross and into the resurrection power of the risen Lord.
To be continued..............
Kenneth B Visscher