The Onyx Stone - Bursting Through Barriers
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....
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.
“It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. “ Job 28:16
“I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.
For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.”
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
1 Cor 2: 7 - 9
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”
When one speaks of “nobility” one thinks of a person who has rank in society and is in a high place, like a lord or a king. Someone who represents a political power and wears the symbolisms of monarchy. We say they are “noble”. In this study of the Onyx Stone upon the face of the Ephod I will show you that the Overcomers at this time have NO nobility as relates to them being seen by their fellow man, but an infinite nobility as relates to the Spirit of the Lord that is in them. For the Onyx Stone to be placed upon the Ephod must first be found in the depths of the earth, hidden, out of view so that the striations of this precious Stone are not seen in the open sky or by the eye of man. For the Onyx speaks of A HIDDEN WORK, DEEP IN THE EARTH, OR THE SOUL OF THE OVERCOMER. But that is not all, for this hidden work, represented by the Onyx Stone, is also a physical motion of “Spirit” within us by God Himself who works His master plan into each and every overcomer. The Spirit of the Lord, in the heart of the Overcomer and represented by this Stone, speaks of God - BREAKING UP OUR FALLOW GROUND, so that the treasures of righteousness can be revealed. God works in the life of the Overcomer to “BREAK THEM”. A brokeness where we still possess our human will and desire, but we lovingly yield that will to the Lord in us.
All the workings of the Spirit of God in our lives, all the motions of His Spirit, all His words to us, lessons to us, steps He makes us take, situations He places us in, circumstances that are beyond our control, lack of money, rejections by our fellow man, alienation from denominational systems, rejections of every kind, scourging, breaking, hatred against us, all of this works in us TO BREAK US IN OUR WILL. For the Lord wishes us to walk in a BROKEN HUMILITY. As an Onyx Stone not seen, buried in the earth. We find ourselves in this hour, with the desire to be ONE with God, but instead we are overcome with multitudinous realms of deep crushing depression, misunderstood by friends, family and neighbors, failed relationships sometimes in marriages and in fellowships. Hated by the religious, scorned by the masses of humanity and not partaking of the excess of riot that is happening in the loose society that is round about us.
But oh!! the treasure that is there in this crushing experience!! For it is here in having everything go wrong in our lives that we discover Jesus inside our heart! It is there, when we find our lives gone into the ditch that we find Jesus sitting in the ditch with us. We would fain think ourselves mighty overcomers. That we have such a high and a holy calling, such a majestic future upon the Throne of Glory, that oneness of God that is the envy of everything created. And instead of all that being prominent, we find ourselves at this time overcome with sorrow, depression, despondency, realms of flesh rather than power of Spirit, natural affection rather than heavenly affection, misunderstood, dumfounded, alone and cut off, and worst of all, we often hate ourselves. We carry this magnificent truth of the restoration of all creation, but find that our tongues have been cut out and we have no one to declare this treasure to. We think we can ascend so high in God as to be one with the knowledge of His will, but find instead that we are struck down in the mire of the nitty gritty of every day life, paying bills, sorting out the pattern of our life and attempting to care for our families and homes in the midst of the malay of debt and a shortage of money.
But dear Overcomer! It is there, in the midst of the lowest depth of despair, the greatest time of darkness and depression, it is there that we discover God! There, in the silence that sweeps over your soul, in the crushing weight of personal circumstance and rejection by others of our earthly talents, in the midst of that we come face to face with our redeemer. This is a “secret” place. Hidden from the view of all seeing eyes. It is the Onyx Stone buried in the earth, but that it has to be found, raised up, set in it’s place upon the Royal Ephod, given it’s highest Glory by being openly displayed upon the chest of one who represents God to man and man to God. That the Onyx, at the bottom of the Ephod becomes the most prominent stone of all. Because dear Overcomer, your life, like the topology of the Onyx Stone, is hidden away, buried in the circumstances of the earth, bound by the weight of the soil that crushes you with its force, yet you are to be discovered, placed in your proper setting, and GLORIFIED. Look hard at the depth of your personal despair, the vanity of your life. Look deep into the vanity and see there The King of Kings and The Lord of Lords. For He first descended into the lowest hell. He first preached to the spirits in prison. He is there in the midst of your clamor, your aloneness, your solitude. He is there and when you view Him He will move in a motion of Spirit to break the bars of iron and cut asunder the cages of brass, He will RAISE YOU UP WITH HIM and cause you to sit in Heavenly Places with Him for He alone fills the range of Hell to Heaven. Of your depression and sorrow to infinite Joy which is your strength in God.
It is through the barriers of flesh and carnality that our footfalls must traverse. We must walk THROUGH THEM NOT AROUND THEM. Those things in our own persons that are realms of personal disgust. Areas our flesh loves and relishes which to our soul are realms despair and death. And in the times when the flesh rages in you and you long to be free of its bindings and its influences that you come to the Lord with abandonment, pleading for God to arise in you to put down your carnal war. The things that oppose God are the very things that you hate the most, for they oppose your real personal desire to “please the Lord” in all you think, say and do. And when you would do good, evil overtakes your thoughts, rejections cause you to succumb to despondency, and you end up closing your mouth rather than opening your mouth and declaring the wondrous things of God to those round about you. Those round about you then ignore your life. And when you look in the mirror, you are filled with self disgust. How can it be that one who knows the call of God to overcome ends up in such a place of hopeless condition? We, with the great Apostle Paul say : “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Romans 7: 18 - 20
Now comes the REVEALED difference. For the Onyx is finally discovered. It is dug up out of the earth and the dirt and clay are brushed off. Sort of like making a mistake, falling down on your face, but the Lord is there to pick you up, dust you off and help you to learn from your error. The beauty of the Onyx is now seen. Held up to the light the streaks of brown to black become apparent. The Stone is seen for the hidden treasure that it is, for within it lay the attributes of THE POWER OF GOD. For you see dear Overcomer, you cannot be found as one triumphant in God if you first have not been crushed. If you life has not been taken away from you by the circumstances of health and society in general, you cannot be discovered as to your true value. Beset by every kind of malady, both in body sickness and disability and in rejected faith, you find yourself also beset by personal iniquity and the fact that you cannot “be” Holy as you would. Instead realms of rebellion against God are discovered in you. And God then works to break your staff of life in the midst of you so that the rebellions of personal iniquity may be destroyed. For your true desire, to be one with God, is God’s desire! And God is the one who must so arrange your life as to bring that desire forth THROUGH CRUSHING BROKENESS. God seems for a time to become your enemy, because the Holiness He demands you find impossible to be!
This crushing I speak of comes by the means of FALLING SHORT OF THE GOAL. The goal of course is to be ONE with the Lord. But in our perceptions of God we find ourselves woefully short of that which we desire the most. When we would do good, evil is present with us. Then we find ourselves forced into an interplay of faith verses evil. The mixture of the Tree of Life verses the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The fall of our father Adam becomes the stumbling block to our true hearts desire. The Holiness of Christ becomes an offense to our carnality! What a place of mixture for one who knows the call of God to overcome and instead be found horribly short of fulfilling that call! And God so arranges circumstances as to have our will circumvented, whether we like it or not!
But it is in this shortfall that we begin also to learn OBEDIENCE. For we learn to SEPARATE OURSELVES from any influence, including that of our own flesh, so that God is the one we come before to be corrected. We learn in this obedience to fix our gaze ONLY upon the Living Christ, raised up who is at the right Hand of God. We come to Him there, and wait with obedient patience for God to work in us the separation of flesh from spirit, carnality from the mind of Christ. We care not if there be any other soul on earth standing there with us, we care only that we be found before God, even if you are the only one beside Jesus who knew that this abandonment to God was key to being found obedient. This obedience we now learn is the kind of obedience that would carry one through the entire impaling and death experience of the cross. No matter what it takes, we abandon our lives completely into Christ’s capable hands, only to find that we are impaled upon our own calvary, and are dying upon our own cross. That in the end, death will be complete. Death to all this malady that we found ourselves overcome by. We change from “hating” our negativity, to “embracing it”. We begin to “glory” in our circumstances. We begin to have joy in our sorrow, peace in our tumults, hope in our realms of being distant from our true desire for oneness with God. We once again join that great Apostle of our Faith - Paul in saying: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14. This horrific instrument of death, the cross, now becomes a joy and a glory to us, for the dust and the clay that surrounded the Onyx Stone is being brushed off, it’s beauty is being seen for what it is, and it is being given the honor of holding the lowest place on the Ephod, but the Crowning Glory of the Highest Type and Shadow that is upon the entire face of the Ephod. It has the greatest depth of meaning. The Onyx Stone is the bore hole that the cross is dropped into so that you natural life of carnality and estrangement from God can be impaled and crucified. This stone appears as the base of our estrangements from God because of iniquity, and the height of the Highest Glory and Glorification because of “learned obedience” through suffering.
It is only through this Stone that we learn true Joy and Happiness. True Glory in God. True eternal peace. It is here that Asher is full of self assurance, that His carnality will be GONE, that His life He longs for as an overcomer will be ETERNAL. The only place of contentment for Asher is knowing EL ROI. And in knowing EL ROI as the shepherd that brought him to this place of self crucifixion with gives place to Glorious Resurrection. For Asher represents coming forth in Glorified Bodies that will never die, that will be eternally raised, that the pain and suffering of circumstance and crushing are the avenues that led to Glory and Eternal Reward. That the Glory of Asher’s future far outweighs and transcends anything that caused him frustration and harm in the first part of his earthly existence. Happy is Asher, for he now finds himself one with God. Asher has no more fear. No dread. No sorrow. No misguided step. No earthly bindings. No money problems. No fleshly problems. No crushing problems. Asher is RESURRECTED. He is GLORIFIED. He CANNOT DIE. For the first part of his futility lent place to the end part of TOTAL FREEDOM.
♦ Asher came into the world bound by circumstance, HE LEAVES THE WORLD FREE FROM DEATH.
♦ Asher came into the world hidden and unseen, HE IS REVEALED TO THE WORLD AS ONE WITH JESUS AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD.
♦ Asher came into the world bound by physical maladies and sickness, HE LEAVES THE WORLD IN A BODY GLORIFIED AND RAISED FROM THE DEAD WITH THE BLOOD OF JESUS PUMPING IN HIS VEINS.
♦ Asher came into the world abiding in 1st death and hopelessly lost in sin, HE LEAVES THE WORLD HAVING NO HURT ON HIM BY THE SECOND DEATH AND IS ONLY HOLY AS GOD IS HOLY.
♦ Asher came into the world not having a name or a place, HE LEAVES THE WORLD AS HE WHO IS NOW PERFECT IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.
♦ Asher came into the world as one bound to the world and its ordinances, HE LEAVES THE WORLD AND IN DOING SO SETS CREATION FREE FROM THE FALL OF ADAM AND THE DESTRUCTION OF DEATH.
Asher may have left this world bound to a wheelchair or a sick bed, but that is not his end, for his end is GLORIFIED FLESH PUMPING THE VERY BLOOD OF JESUS IN HIS VEINS.
But that is not all I see in the Onyx Stone upon The Royal Ephod. I see GOD, in topology, AS THE ONYX STONE. For when you see the Onyx Stone, you see God in such identity with His people that He is ONE WITH THEM IN THEIR SUFFERINGS. That they finally come forth IN THE VERY IMAGE OF HE WHO CREATED THEM. In other words, when one views the Onyx Stone, ONE SEES THE LORD ALONE GLORIFIED IN REALMS OF GLORY AND ETERNITY IN ONENESS WITH HIS OVERCOMERS.
The Onyx Stone in the economy of God’s great plan for the ages holds a very significant place. For it is this stone that is given the right to become later the Urim (lights) and the Thummim (perfections) upon the shoulders of the High Priest as part of the shoulder assembly of The Royal Ephod. Upon those two stones is engraved the names of the 12 sons of Israel. The Stones are held in “Ouches of Gold”. Pouches wherein they remain hidden even though they display the names of the Sons of Israel. Now according to some of the interpretations of historians and some versions of the scriptures, the Urim and Thummim Stones were emeralds, not Onyx Stones. They may be correct, but God was far more correct in having the stones written down as ONYX STONES in the pages of His Holy Book because they remain on the shoulders of the Ephod as HIDDEN.
They were left in these golden pouches and were removed when Israel had an inquiry to make of the Lord. From that hidden place, into the hands of the High Priest they were held. The question was asked. The Stones if they glowed would be an affirmation to their query. If they dimmed in their luster they would know that Jehovah was against their request. This is none other than ONYX STONES. For these stones are THE STONES OF WITNESS.
Look upon the face of God dear Overcomer. See in His features the desire GOD HAS FOR YOU. And to bring that desire about He must first subject you to the bondage of earthly decay and the crushing weight of the soils of this fallen creation. You are hidden dear ones. Hidden from view by the light of day and the eye of man. Only God knows you are there. And only God can cause the miners in clay to discover you and your beauty and to place you set in Gold upon the face of the Royal Ephod and in the ouches of Gold to bear witness to the perfect will of God. You who are bound by your illnesses too numerous to number. You who are bound by maladies of earth and circumstance. You who are bankrupt, broke, without money or employment. You who are overcome with fear and dread of how you will provide for yourself in this present world. See in the face of God the TRUE NOBILITY. That HOLY PART which He is creating INTO YOU as part of His very image.
Ahhhhh! THE ONYX STONE!! How marvelous its final outcome! How situated it is in such perfection upon the Ephod that all Israel dare not speak to God without consulting its power and place in His Will. How deep and dark it first lay in the soil of this fallen creation only to be seen later as ONE WITH GOD.
Dear Overcomer. The next time you are beset with a test. The next time you are constrained by a trail. Think of the Onyx Stone being found in the earth, and set into the face of the Ephod and into the ouches of Gold as the Urim and Thummim. YOU are that STONE. YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE IS THAT STONE. YOUR SORROW IS THAT STONE. YOUR HURT IS THAT STONE, YOUR REJECTION IS THAT STONE. YOUR DISEASE IS THAT STONE. YOUR LONELINESS IS THAT STONE. YOUR SOLITUDE IS THAT STONE. YOUR CRUCIFIXION IS THAT STONE. YOUR DEATH TO THIS WORLD AND THE PROCESS OF 2ND DEATH IS THAT STONE. YOUR HOPE IN GOD AND IN YOUR FUTURE REALM OF ETERNAL LIFE IS THAT STONE. YOUR STANDING IN GLORY AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD WITH JESUS IS THAT STONE. YOUR GLORIFIED BODY ETERNAL IN THE HEAVENS IS THAT STONE. YOU DEAR OVERCOMER ARE THAT VERY SAME STONE!!!
For this is a simple conclusion. God is taking you into His very hands as a Stone of witness, one with the cornerstone of our faith, that which in time will shake this world to the very core as God does come to judge the world and to free it’s captives. Our oneness with Asher and with God is in the very revelation OF THE ONYX STONE.
To be continued.....................
Kenneth B Visscher