Chapter #35




The Onyx Stone - The Lord Our Shepherd


ASHER.... A happy heart.... SELF - ASSURANCE.... A place of CONTENTMENT; Without FEAR, A place of personal fulfillment....


ONYX....The NAIL.... that which is driven inwardly (or the SHELL; the personal image.)

JEHOVAH ROHI....THE LORD OUR SHEPHERD....


Psalm 23

I shall not want; I shall not fear....He who leads us to pasture. He who makes us content.

We want to make ourselves content, to determine our own PASTURE. But God is calling us to let HIM be our Shepherd. We find contentment within our being....


EL ROI - The Lord Our Shepherd a denoting of El from the root word ‘ul’ which means “To be strong”. Our Lord is a strong shepherd.

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I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

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We have arrived now at the final Stone on the face of the Ephod, the Onyx, the crowning glory and ultimate meaning of depth on the face of the Ephod. For now I bid you dear reader that as you study the Onyx, you would be so bold as to bow down your head and rest upon the bosom of your Savior the Lord Jesus Christ. Lay your head down and listen intently to the beating of His heart. For this is the Shepherd, the one who tenderly leads His sheep. The Onyx Stone represents The Lord Our Shepherd, as well as many other things of equal value. Leave all your cares with Him there as you take this time now to learn of Him, to know Him in a deeper intimacy than you have ever known Christ before. Realize that it is His heart’s desire to draw you into a oneness with Himself that cannot ever be broken. That He, as your Shepherd will lead you out into pastures of plenty where the waters of life do flow and where you will never want for any good thing.


 In this hour in which we live the world is tossed to and fro as mankind seeks for a way and a means of peace. Warfare and the threat of war is more fearful now than ever in recent history. Man has come to the place of becoming so self sufficient that they know not of their need for the good shepherd to keep and lead them. In the Western Hemisphere, man has become so affluent that he has forgotten God as He is, but people only know Him as He brings prosperity {so called} in natural things. In other parts of the World, man is so perplexed with poverty and hardship that God is forgotten to them.


In this mix of man and the imbalance of our modern day, we find that the religions of the world including much of Christendom, do not have the true “tone” of the shepherd upon them. Jesus loves each one intently and will draw each one to His side as He is the good shepherd, however at this time many are deluded into thinking they ARE walking with the good shepherd when in fact they are not. This is the scent of religion many of the Overcomers smell at this time. The Overcomers know that the shepherd that is followed by the multitudinous systems of man is not the true shepherd for there is a true shepherd and there is a false shepherd. It is my desire with the revelation of the Onyx Stone to show unto you the true shepherd.

My desire in sharing the Onyx Stone is to reveal this unspeakable love of God into which each man in due order will come to abide in eternally. For the Onyx Stone speaks of the Love of God, without measure, but in a perfect order and purpose. However, the “ul” part of the Onyx stone, that part which shows the EL of God also reveals a deeper meaning to us in this hour. For the Onyx Stone upon The Royal Ephod represents “COMPLETE SOLITUDE”. This precious Stone is repeated again and again in the lives of those who would press on in to inherit all things from Father. Those who are called of God to overcome all things will now know Jehovah as the great EL ROI - He who would show Himself strong on behalf of those who are of His flock. Part of a flock, but for a time the trial of loneliness, so that the lamb of God learns no other obedience than that to the shepherd. Complete Solitude represents no sideways fellowship as a part of the trial of life and as a part of our course for overcoming all things.


For I believe that there is a true flock and a false flock in today’s assemblies. I believe with all my heart that the true flock of God is mainly unaware of their fellows in the pastures of His Grace and Mercy at this time. Those of the true flock are INDIVIDUAL Lambs of God who have come to an understanding that the rest of Christendom rejects and that mankind does not have any knowledge of. For the true Lambs of God, those of His pasture, HAVE LEARNED TO LOCK THEMSELVES AWAY IN SOLITUDE WITH THE LORD. So deep has their walk become that they are often NOT SEEN BY OTHERS and they are ONLY SEEN BY GOD. They may have knowledge of one or two or three others, but the realms of fellowship experienced between them by the true flock of God at this time seems to be very few and very far between.


These Lambs of God stand ALONE for a time.


They have a quiet communion of Heart to Heart with El ROI that is not perceived at all by those round about them. Just as Jesus said: “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” John 167:32 It is not just these words of Jesus that we bear witness to, but EL ROI is the one who seeks such who are willing to come into this same aloneness! He sifts through the Hearts to find those who are willing to be COMPLETELY SET ASIDE FROM ALL OTHERS. Those who WILL NOT LEAN UPON MAN’S ASSEMBLY OR MAN’S KINGDOM BUILDING EFFORTS. These are the true flock that Jesus shepherds with His rod and His staff. The crook on the neck of the staff the good shepherd carries is used to direct these Lambs and to bend their necks into the paths of His good pastures which He leads them to.


There is in the lives of the Overcomers a quiet solitude and communion with the Lord that is SIMPLE - QUIET - AND WITHOUT CONTROVERSY. This is deep inside, a place in this world of massive population which is totally off this sphere of the earth, outside of its atmosphere and is a place of complete loneliness with the Lord. The Overcomer there learns to lean upon no other voice but the voice of the good shepherd. This solitude is witnessed to by other Overcomers only in Spirit, it cannot be shared in total depth as it is such a lone place outside of all other spheres of influence or sharing as man would share with man. There is communion with those of the same heart, but the Onyx Stone speaks of this SOLITUDE that is beyond human comprehension. It is the communion of the deep things in God calling to the deep things in the heart of the Overcomer. It is indeed the deep calling unto the deep in the soul - the seat of emotion.

It is there that we learn to commune with God in the HOLY OF HOLIES.


John, the beloved Apostle of Jesus said: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7. This is a very true experience for any person who desires to walk in complete truth, however, this does not mean it will be LARGE NUMBERS. For the true walk of the Overcomer is very lonely, one or two others may be their friends in the faith, but in the communities where they live and in the world in which they are a part of they do not fit in. They have not a place and a name that is theirs alone. They are not respected by the general populace. They are mocked by Christendom’s masses as being “deceived” and as not adhering to the commandment of Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” However, the Overcomer has learned that their assembly is NOT UNTO MAN, or MAN’S SYSTEMS. But their assembly is UNTO GOD. And in this hour, there is very little assembly that is JUST UNTO GOD.


Not only so, but the true lamb of God who would overcome all things will not easily be recognized or accepted by their family members or relatives. Very few indeed would know of them or their calling and most of them would not recognize the Spirit of the Lord upon them as to their calling in solitude. God said to the children of Israel through Jeremiah 3:14. “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:” Now, what is Zion? It is the place of God’s dwelling. It is the Kingdom Of His Anointing. But that anointing WILL NOT BE RECOGNIZED BY NEARLY ALL FAMILY MEMBERS. Those who overcome may be part of family functions and situations, but they will NOT FIT IN. They will not be recognized as “normal” by even their own parents or spouses. So then, only one or two of a family will come to this anointing spoken of by the Lord in these verses, this anointing which leads to a sole walk in loneliness.

 

The Onyx Stone means “The Nail”. Now some of a scholarly order have said that it denotes the color under a finger nail, that kind of nail. But I do not see it that way. It is true that the Onyx can be colorful, but it is mainly pale green. This stone IS NOT MENTIONED IN THE NEW JERUSALEM. Yet it is this stone that is the crowning achievement in our understanding of the topology of the Ephod. For this stone represents to us the vehicle, the means by which we together become a congregation of people who form The New Jerusalem. For no one can have the attributes of the Jasper or Sardine Stones in the New Jerusalem without first partaking of the in-working Spirit of God which brings them to SOLITUDE.


The Lord, when He moves in the life of an Overcomer, draws them into a depth of fellowship that others cannot comprehend around them, only those of the same depth of being drawn can relate to this. The separation of the Overcomer, being separated unto God by the Holy Ghost, comes by one means only. And that means is via the crucifixion. There is no other means. A person who is overcoming all things has been crucified. They bear the marks of the cross upon their person. They have no ambition or motivation that has not been effected by the cross. There is no denominational fellowship on earth that can comfort this calling which costs them everything. There is no communion of human heart to human heart that can identify with this except for those very few that know of this lonely path. For the pain of impaling with nails upon the wooden cross beam becomes the means and the vehicle whereby the Onyx Stone is worked in topology into the life of that one who is thus crucified. But it is IN this separation of the cross, IN the hanging up of the flesh of your body between the Heavens and the Earth that COMMUNION BECOMES EVER SO INTIMATE. It was this communion which enabled Jesus to bear His cross all the way through to the end of His physical life in the World. And it is this cross, worked into the Overcomer, which will separate them unto a fellowship of sufferings that only a few are blessed to know.


The communion that is found in the heart of the Overcomer represented by this Stone is something that is more precious than all the wealth of the World and all the popularity that some earthly denominational ministers enjoy. The Overcomer learns “contentment” with their lot in life because of this inner communion. The pain of crucifixion comes which leads one so impaled to ONENESS with God which is the TRUE TREASURE, and at the same time they experience SEPARATION from their fellow man who may only be practicing false religious unity. This realm of separated communion in Spirit with God is indeed the TRUE RICHES which the World cannot ever know. It is a communion with the fellowship of Jesus sufferings that the Onyx Stone upon the Royal Ephod brings in type to the Overcomer. And in this communion of sufferings, the Overcomer is not able to share with any other person on the earth, even those who are also Overcomers, for it becomes a lamb with its shepherd, a communion of one to the other that no one else is a part of. A place of intimacy that is personal and alone. A place that is to be greatly envied by those who truly love God and desire to be closer to God in His love and His Spirit. Each Overcomer has this individual intimacy with the Lord, and to each it is unique.


This communion of suffering one comes into with the Lord enables the full expansion of God in them so that God is free to motion through the Overcomers life to do His perfect will. Not just His will IN you but that Will which is according to His perfect purpose which is to reconcile all things back into Himself. “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18,19


Hear this Oh Overcomer, you who lay separate in your heart from all others and from anything other than God Himself! Listen intently to my words! God CONFINES YOU TO TOTAL SEPARATION “FROM” ALL OTHER THINGS AND “UNTO” GOD HIMSELF. And you find yourself in this restricted place of a lonely path, straight, narrow, but oh how the communion is sweet! But know this. The Lord MUST do this SO THAT HE CAN BE REVEALED. For the Onyx Stone speaks of God being seen WITHOUT MEASURE in the life of one so restrained by the Holy Spirit. The one who would conquer all things is separated UNTO GOD but God MOVES WITH NO RESTRICTION in their lives and surrounding their lives. Unbounded, the Spirit of the Lord has free course to do BY HIS SPIRIT all that is the Will of God around that person.


Not only so, but as the Overcomer traverses the earth and walks forward they become A STANDARD BY WHICH ALL OTHERS WILL BE MEASURED. They become to some a “stench”. A stench of death to they who are in rebellion, or a “fragrance”, a fragrance of life to those whose Hearts are being measured by the Lord.


“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-16.


The deeper the Overcomer communes with God in the secret place of their heart, the deeper the course of God’s Spirit through them. The staff of the shepherd is seen in their lives and they become envied or hated by those round about them. Some go closer to the Lord out of this envy, some become opposed to God and to the freedom of life that the Overcomer displays. The religious are often offended at the Overcomer’s ability to live in abandonment to God and the same religious are offended at the manifestation of God’s unbounded Spirit in them.


I call the Onyx Stone the Stone of “Standing”. It is the same stand we read from Paul’s Words, that great Apostle of the Faith that brought this gospel to the Gentiles. For He, in describing the armaments of our warfare and the Armor we must wear said in the end - “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13. This is the ‘stand’ which offends so many, and seems to bless only a few. That we stand completed in God and that God is UNBOUND in us and THROUGH US.

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This annoys the religious.

This annoys the contentious.

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It becomes a refuge to those who are in true need of God.

This stand compels the hungry to run even harder to be one with God.

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Because of the fragrance of the Lord upon the Overcomer, and because of the topology of the Onyx Stone upon them, people around that Overcomer always seem to come to a decision. They show forth their lives as either “religious” in their contentions or “hungry” for more of what you are displaying of the Lord in your life. For when you are confined by God, you are as Asher, “A happy heart.... SELF - ASSURANCE.... A place of CONTENTMENT; Without FEAR, A place of personal fulfillment....”. You have a joy in God that nothing in the world can rob you of. Not that tribulations are not grievous to endure, but in the midst of them that hope and joy from this inner communion with God keeps you. Jesus was an example of this.


He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:” Isaiah 53:11.


Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2


So the Onyx Stone represents this confinement unto God, but it also represents God without confinement THROUGH THE LIFE OF THE OVERCOMER.

But that is not all.

For Job describes the Onyx Stone this way:

But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.

The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.

It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.

It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx or the sapphire.

The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.” Job 28:12-17


Wisdom and the place of understanding are of more value than the gold of Ophir or the precious onyx. But at least the gold of Ophir and the precious onyx are mentioned IN the value of wisdom and understanding. These are the TRUE riches. Part of the PRESENT inheritance enjoyed by those who seek God’s face and His righteousness to be their portion. Ophir meant “fruitful valley”. It is in the pressures of trial and temptation that the Overcomer begins to walk in the fruitful valley. And the fruit of this valley is wisdom and a place of understanding which cannot be bought with money or gained by mere price. Even though wisdom and understanding are comparative costs as relates to the gold of Ophir and the onyx, nevertheless, the onyx is still shown for its incredible value.


The fruit of being confined and hemmed in with God will be WISDOM and the branches that bear that fruit will be UNDERSTANDING. Those are so vital in this hour! For this is the hour of MUCH CONFUSION IN THE REALM OF THE SPIRIT. For the Mystery of Iniquity is coming to the full. Mankind is reeling to and fro under the weight of their own apostasy and is staggering under the weight of the increased burden of iniquity. Congregations of Christendom are not alleviating this pressure on mankind because the religiosity of their numbers only adds to the confusion. Not only so, but the image of Christ is still marred more than any man. Isaiah 52:14. There is such a varied view of Jesus that any newcomer to the realm of Christianity will be instantly overwhelmed by such a flux of various slants and types of the expression of Jesus in their assemblies.


So then the Onyx speaks of God, calling OUT a people UNTO HIMSELF. Out from the systems, out from the marring visions of Jesus, out from the confinements of Christendom which will never bear fruit unto wisdom and understanding. Out of all this God is bringing forth His Overcomers. They come forth bearing the marks of crucifixion. When they are looked upon, they are despised for they are wounded in their hands and in their feet. They are not accepted but by those who know of this depth of suffering. And they are never understood by their family members or those of the world around them. These bear the suffering marks of being shepherded by the chief shepherd, but oh how precious the footfalls of their experience!

To Be Continued............... Kenneth B Visscher

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