Spiritual, Natural, Then Spiritual Again
Picture it if you will, the scene in ancient Israel around the Tabernacle in the wilderness, if you were a sojourner descending the hills to the valley where the Israel tribes were gathered around this Tabernacle, each family in their own tribe and in their own tent. You would see the group massed together unto this facility which was ever so strange to look upon. Made up of walls of badger skins and with fires consuming sacrifices and with Priests dressed in the strangest of garbs. Above the tent of this tabernacle in the middle of it stood a pillar of spiritual fire burning in a natural world by night, a cloud of smoke by day, the person of God of the holiest place in the midst of all Israel. The question would arise in your mind more about this pillar than of any other thing in this curious mix of Old Testament typology. Immediately you would be drawn to this structure, to this fire, to this pillar of smoke and cloud. It is there that you would inquire as to who the Lord is.
The pattern first given by the Lord is “spiritual” followed by “natural” then ending spiritual again. Spiritually God is seen as the flames of fire in the sword which kept the way of the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of Eden, later by Moses in the burning bush, and then after as the pillar of fire and cloud of smoke. The pillar also was not silent, it raged with a sound of a massive torrent of power and quaking fear, the sight was most terrible to look upon and from this extensive pillar issued forth thunders and lightning and great noises that shook the earth and the sky above it. It was a display of the person of God in great power and in fearful strength. Such was this pillar, it was the manifest mind of God in the perception “to us” of fire and cloud of smoke. This same thundering voice from the pillar once again thundered above the crucified body of Jesus some 1500 years later once the atonement was complete and it will thunder yet once more when the Lord reveals His Holy Army. The sound of it will cause all the systems of man to collapse forever because His voice will cause the shaking collapse to happen, it is before us yet, one more time of the great thunder of God from the pillar which is His person. In the sight of God, it works the same way through all time and has the same results.
So spiritually the fire appeared, but then naturally it was manifested first in the Tabernacle Moses set up, then later in the temples built by Israel’s Kings and then by the church built and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost in the age of the church. This is the “natural” view of the person of God through a people, a building made by His pattern, a noteworthy mirrored image of who He is in truth. The souls of men who are built into the pattern’s of the earthly tabernacle which we now define as the natural expression of the Lord are built into Him by these men partaking in His great thunder, His voice that now speaks faith into their hearts. A natural expression of God accepted by the faith He delivers unto each soul who believes. They become then the ensample of God to man, through them God lives and moves and has His being.
The Lord has taught me that the greatest “natural” tabernacle in a corporate expression is found in Acts 15. “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:14-18. This is not a tabernacle for all mankind to BE part of, it is a tabernacle that is made up of those who have been in great tribulation, whose lives have been cast into the mire of trial by faith and who have lost their identity with anyone or anything in the world of men. This fallen down tabernacle IS THE OVERCOMING COMPANY, THE ARMY OF THE LORD. Note that God takes out of the Gentiles a “people for His name”. It is a group OF OBEDIENT ONES. Ones who bore the all consuming power of the personal cross in their lifetime, ones who were subjected to the bondages found by laws and ordinances in the world of men. They are found not as a structure in typology as Moses tabernacle was, but only as a thin walled broken down tent. They have neither form nor comeliness nor does anything they have in their life represent the image of their creator in any real substantial form. Theirs however is a matter of “heart”, for their hearts are fully surrendered to the Holy Ghost. They are ones in which the reins of their hearts are fully surrendered to the control of Christ. They bear the marks of crucifixion; the outcome of surrendering the reins of their heart meant that the Lord first took them to their own Calvary, to their own denial of self. It is through these that the Lord will restore all things. They exemplify the full measure unmeasured of the Ancient of Days, even the Father in full glory and in full power and more, in the full heat of His fire. All mankind will stop in their tracks when this fallen tent is set up again for all the systems of man will collapse in one hour when this takes place. At that time all nations will gather themselves to this little group and they will be delivered into the everlasting Kingdom of the Lord.
We have now come to the time where the spirit will be once again as the natural is consumed. For the Lord has drawn now to a close the natural building of tabernacles or the body of people called the church, they have now also been taken aside unto greater judgment and some have fallen away, some remain. We now come to an expression of God that is greater than the fire in the sword keeping the way of the tree of life in Eden, greater than the fire that did not consume the bush that Moses saw, greater than the tabernacles built with the witness of His pillar, we come now to an expression of God found in a people who have abandoned all that is natural in this natural world. They have taken on fully the expression of their Lord in all parts of their being, they are found as ones who have overcome this world and all that is within it. Now in them will the spirit of God be found and NOWHERE ELSE. The Lord has now left all the former expressions to culminate them in an obedient people who have lost completely their identity with this world. They no longer are seen as individuals, they are seen as ones who are filled only with the spiritual fire of their Heavenly Father. God has now become their Father in complete unity with them, they are obedient sons and daughters and they are not short of His full measure of person in their spiritual lives.
I speak now spiritually, for these who are thus joined to the Father in such a way are no longer able to comprehend it than their feeble minds can understand. They look at their lives and they are buried in flesh, buried in the carnal ambitions of their fallen nature. It does not look to them like they have changed, that they are worthy of this greater calling to manifest God without measure, instead they feel completely disqualified. They know not in themselves that this measure of God which was instituted to this creation by former natural expressions would now be seen without measure in their lives. Instead they don’t feel God anywhere, the expression of His person seems distant as to “experience”, but NOT in their faith. For this group I speak of who will march as His Army in the days to come have been reduced to faith alone, just as ancient Israel was with their tabernacle experiences, they built, maintained and lived around the tabernacle BY FAITH. So it is with us, it is BY FAITH. The Lord has worked us out FROM the natural expression of His person to believing He IS by FAITH and that alone is what God is looking for. It is through them that the full measure of His spirit will break forth out upon this natural creation to draw it up (suddenly) into His everlasting deliverance and dominion.
When the candidate for the full expression of His person is found in a state of “just faith”, they are usually quite destitute and poor in spirit. They know not anything much of the higher things of God, they are not usually filled with much knowledge, they just know when something is or is not of God. They are actually buried in the world of man, they are there working out their daily living, paying bills, being parents or guardians, taking charge of things they would rather not do. Their lives are surrounded in the futile expression of daily chores, the miracle of being free of any constraint is not known to them, they instead know heartache, loss and the burden of life. When they look in the mirror, they are not impressed for what they see discourages them, they know not how God could ever use such a person for ANYTHING. This dear reader, is the Tabernacle of David (a thin walled tent), fallen down.
Ah, but the spiritual is coming again! The Lord is coming to lift up those thin walls, to erect this tent and to fasten it secure with stakes and poles and to make it strong enough FOR ONE MORE PURPOSE. To hasten to its raised walls all the residue of the nations! This is the current state of the Army of the Lord. They are not powerful shiny armoured people, they are broken down hurting and bleeding inside, who are as it were lost in the ditches of toil off of the highway of holiness. They are found in the earth with no semblance of spirituality at all but rather as a group of people who seem destitute in their every day daily life and separated from all others. But it is TO THESE that now the spirit of the Lord will come. Spiritual first, the fires we read about in Eden, in the tabernacles and in the church, seen in structure, seen in typology, but now will it be spirit again. For this is the Lord’s way, He will take the broken ones in this fallen tabernacle and will fill them only with all of Himself. Gone from them will be the thought of unworthiness or discord, they will stand strong because the Lord will make them stand; spirit again to this natural world of men, the only place available by which the Lord will move to restore all things.
I will describe these ones in this fallen tabernacle that God will set up once more as the expression of His fire. Do you wish to be part of the Army of the Lord? Do you long to be a manifested son or daughter of God to set this creation free from the curse of Adam’s fall? If so, then you must become a flame of fire, an identity with God that cannot be duplicated, it is singular in purpose and in heat and in power. You must become the flames off the edge of the blade of the sword keeping the way of the tree of life in the midst of Eden. You must be tender enough to be heard as the voice of God which consumes not the green bush. You must be powerful enough to be lost forever in the pillar of fire. Your life must be a baptism to those who do not yet know God; you must baptize them in holy fire. YOU MUST BE THAT FIRE. And you can only be so when you first partake of it. The articles to follow will show you what I have learned from the Lord concerning the sea of fire which is the very person of The Ancient of Days, but now to come in a people known as His Holy Army.
“Then the Angel with his hand upon my shoulder supported me yet again under my right arm. I was carried then over the paved work beside the molten sea up very near to the fire which enfolded in upon itself and near to the river of living waters. Very close was I brought to the fire which I feared and which was very loud with the sound of a great tempest. The heat of this fire I could feel upon my face as I was brought very near to the fire and very near to The Throne upon which sat The Ancient of Days, even God Almighty, the great I AM THAT I AM that Moses knew. Above the entire expanse of the heavens was the terrible crystal. The expanse of this crystal spread itself over the whole of the heaven, there was not outside of its expanse anything that was under the heaven. It was indeed the firmament which stood as crystal above the heaven and above the Head of The Ancient of Days. The fire which enfolded in upon itself then began to expand and to grow and to turn in upon itself in the upper portions thereof. As the fire began to turn upon itself in this greater measure I saw that above the Head of God the fire shot up as a pillar of fire. Like a fearsome blowtorch it did strike the terrible crystal. With greater and greater intensity the fire spread itself out under the crystal sky in every direction, covering eventually and entirely the whole of the terrible crystal. As the fire from this pillar of fire began to grow and expand and fill up the sky above it thickened and became very molten. Then the fire began to rain down as tongues of fire and as stones of brimstone. Down upon the heavens themselves did this fire and brimstone rain, then down upon the earth below and upon all creation below the heavens, so did this fire and brimstone as a mighty rain of the wrath of God fall upon creation. Everything in the heavens above and in the earth beneath was consumed by this fire. Every living thing was consumed by the fires of God’s wrath. All that was in the heavens passed away with a great noise as the sound of many thunders. All that was in the earth and all the soils and the elements in the earth melted with this fervent heat of the fury of God’s jealousy. When the fires were completed, there was nothing left but the pillar of fire above the Head of God, the fire below enfolding in upon itself, the river of living waters and He from whose face the earth and the heavens were consumed and passed away and no more place was found for them. Nothing survived the fire.
I beheld God upon His Throne after this. And I saw Him open His mouth.
And He spoke, and He said.“Behold, I make all things new”. “
The Second Death
Understanding the lake that burns with fire and brimstone or the sea of glass mingled with fire or the fire of God itself is not easy except if one first speaks of the results. The result of that fire is the end conclusion of the fire. It is the reason for the fire. One of the most incredible promises Christ ever uttered to those that heard Him is found in the gospel of Mark. “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” Mark 9:42-50
Now this is a very strange conclusion to a rather volatile and nasty piece of advice from the saviour! He said for us in the end of this series of words He spoke that we were to have “peace” with one another! In our day we don’t have much peace! Instead we have horrible divisions of every sort, a malay of delusions, a crucible of strife. The reason we have so much delusion, division and strife is because the first part of this passage is not being obeyed by us. If you read the first part of the passage, you will realize that this speaks of “an act of obedience on our part”. Obedience the Lord requires OF US. We CUT OFF from ourselves anything that is an affront to the Lord and to His holiness. Now that does not mean that we literally cut away our natural physical body, it is a spiritual photograph of a grand illusion based in human pride. We cut off from ourselves the pride of life, of the eye, of our works and efforts in prideful flesh. Yet I say again, this is one of the most incredible promises to us by the Saviour! When we obey, we enjoy the fruit of this promise and that is we get a “worm” which won’t die and a “fire” which will not be snuffed out! If you will, the flesh nature in your life, that part of you which you inherited from your father Adam will be subject to the worm and the fire UNTIL IT IS NO MORE. Hence the grandiose promise of promises, WE WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE NO MORE FALLEN ADAM NATURE.
The worm, the fire, the fire of God, all works the very same thing in us. It all has the very same conclusion, THE END OF THE NATURE OF FLESH INHERITED FROM OUR FIRST PARENTS. Jesus promise in these verses is that NOTHING CAN STOP THIS DEATH FROM HAPPENING TO OUR FLESH. IT WILL HAPPEN UNTIL DEATH COMPLETELY DIES. This then is the definition we are seeking after. Is it not a source of frustration to one longing to be in obedience to the Lord? They find instead their lives being led into lukewarm stances by flesh that does not want to die but wars against the Lord’s greater purposes. Jesus remedied this by this very promise, the worm will eat that corrupt body laying in a grave and the fire will burn any motivation left that that dead rotten body may still have in it and the worm and the fire CANNOT STOP UNTIL IT IS ALL CONSUMED!
Not one single soul from Adam and Eve down through all history is exempt from the worm and from the fire, not one single soul is exempt from THE SECOND DEATH. Do not think of the second death as a spiritual death. We have been taught in the past that the second death follows the death of the body, that the second death is the death of the soul of a person in everlasting torments in eternal hell fire. NOT SO. There IS NO SUCH THING as a person being found eternally separated from Christ. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. Why? Because THE WORM DOES NOT DIE AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED. The second death is not the death of the soul, it is the death of all that which encapsulated the soul and separated that soul from God. For the second death has a twofold purpose. It is to kill death in ourselves and it is to restore us unto the Lord in full favor and in eternal everlasting life. The second death has power to do both to any person and NO person is exempt from it. We are restored unto the Lord because death cannot be found anymore in us. It perishes in the process of the second death. The second death is the death of death. It is where death dies. And that is all that dies for the worm and the fire can only eat that which is subject to death! The second death therefore is the culmination of a human life being delivered from all that held it bondage in the death that Adam, their forefather, died in. Once death dies, only life remains. The soul is completely restored.
The process of second death comes by one of three methods or by a combination of these three working simultaneously in our lives. In all cases it is by the fire of God. Note that this fire is not subject to our scrutiny or our ability to live in rebellion. The more we rebel against the Lord’s working to place that worm in us and that fire which cannot be quenched in us, the more He turns up the heat of daily trial. In some cases people may not any longer feel that fire working in their lives because they resisted the Lord, hence the third means comes to them later. But know this; NO ONE will be without one of these three methods!
The process of second death comes by either
1) Taking up your cross daily and following Christ as in the day of Passover.
2) The baptism of fire by the Holy Spirit as it was on the day of Pentecost.
3) The lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
Now in the case of the nominal Christian believer, if they are very basic in their faith and in their trust in the Lord not really growing all that much, not really moving forward in the things of the Lord over time, they will learn to take up the cross daily. Or if you will, they will endure trials and testings which is the same thing. This can also be for any Christian who is following harder after the Lord, they can be more zealous to take up the cross daily to follow Christ, more in tune with what they believe in their faith to be His will for them. These usually move on from a Passover salvation experience into the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit as demonstrated by the Pentecost feast day. They come forward partaking of that baptism of fire by the Holy Spirit.
The cloven tongues of fire upon the heads of the early church were placed there as a part of the promise of Jesus, that the fire would not be quenched. But it was prophesied by John the Baptist nearly 4 years earlier. John said “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Matthew 3:11. In the original words John spoke, the words “and with” were not present. John would have said it this way. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the HOLY GHOST FIRE.” Note that we have now come full circle in our understanding. That God, who began with the expression of His person as fire in the flames of fire off the blades of the sword, in the bush not consumed and in the pillar of fire, now is seen as HOLY GHOST FIRE. Rather, seen as the person of God IN SPIRIT INSTILLED AS FIRE IN THE BELIEVER IN PENTECOST. The outcome here is the same as taking up the cross daily; it kills death in the soul. A believer in Christ now may have both of these working in their lives, taking up the cross daily, and the baptism of fire. But note that in the three items I listed above, I did not mention the Feast of Tabernacles. NO ONE has come to that feast yet, if they say they have, THEY HAVE NOT: IT IS STILL BEFORE US. For that feast is the feast of a dividing line. It draws a line through the world of men separating those who will enter full victory from those who will have victory placed upon them in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. It is a feast which totally constricts the flesh and releases the spirit. That feast when fully come will END the burning process of fire in us and MAKE US into that fire as flaming brands ready to go forth to consume the world of man. A spiritual flame removing a natural existence in man’s world bringing it all to fruition. The feast of Tabernacles will reveal the Army of the Lord and will expose those not yet found in obedience in the world of men. That feast will signal the Kingdom of God in the earth and the cleansing of His fire to clean the nations up so that they can enter into it.
Now to the Overcomer the promise is given. And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. Revelation 2:8-11. The Smyrna name is rather unique in that it has the same root meaning to those attuned to the spirit. For it is the same as is found in the apothecary commanded to the Israel priesthood, the substance of Myrrh was given as part of it and part of the name for Myrrh and for Smyrna hold the same valuable lesson to those who would overcome all things. That is that these names mean we will experience bitter experiences, trials and tribulations in life which can be very hard indeed and which come to us by a plethora of lies and an illusion of holiness. Bitterness in life which comes by such experiences; to those that endure this, who overcome in it, who know the fire of God in it, to them is the promise of NO HURT in the “process” of second death. This verse does not say they are exempt from second death, it says they are delivered from the hurt of second death. Whatever is the hurt of second death? The only way one can be hurt from the second death is if they love their carnal life in this world. If one loves the world and the things in the world, then they will feel the hurt and the sting of the second death. But if one dies to this world by their daily trial, they won’t be hurt by it.
These who are not hurt by the second death are also the
same who have truly entered into the feast of Tabernacles and who know the
culmination of the fire of God in their lives. They are not overtaken any
longer by death but they become a flaming brand OF LIFE. They MINISTER THE
SECOND DEATH TO HUMANITY. They, as flames of fire feed that fire to the flesh
so the flesh can die. THEY ARE MINISTERS
OF THIS FIRE SO THAT ALL MEN CAN BE FREE. They set all creation free - by
this fire - from death. Note this well dear reader. The only ones who can
minister the flame of fire to humanity and who can deliver creation from death
must be those who first ended death in themselves and therefore received
glorified bodies, entering the eternal glorified state and physically seen in
the world they walk and move and talk as deathless ones. THIS IS NOT YET HAPPENING BUT IS TO HAPPEN IN THE DAYS AHEAD. Remember
what I wrote in the chapter above about first the spiritual, then the natural,
then the spiritual again. The glorified Army of the Lord will be in physical
bodies that cannot die. These alone will be the flaming brands delivering the
rest of humanity and creation from death making death in them die. The only
choice you have to be part of that Army is the choice to accept now fully the
fire of God working in every part of your being in bitter experiences, in the
trials and tribulations of this life, and by that you will first have death die
To Be Continued...........
Kenneth B Visscher