This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to them-selves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. 1Timothy 3:1-13
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Hebrews 11:1-3 (Underline mine)
But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. Hebrews 11:6 AMPLIFIED
My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love. Song Of Solomon 5:4-8, (Underline mine)
And he went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, persuading and arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God. But when some became more and more stubborn (hardened and unbelieving), discrediting and reviling and speaking evil of the Way [of the Lord] before the congregation, he separated himself from them, taking the disciples with him, and went on holding daily discussions in the lecture room of Tyrannus from about ten o’clock till three. This continued for two years, so that all the inhabitants of [the province of] Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, heard the Word of the Lord [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God]. And God did unusual and extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, So that handkerchiefs or towels or aprons which had touched his skin were carried away and put upon the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Act 19:8-12 AMPLIFIED BIBLE
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. 2 Timothy 1:13-14
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:25-30
“Then there was brought understanding, and wisdom and counsel from the Lord and there in the spirit saw I a singular member of that company gifted to men whom the Word declares as the ministry to The Body of Christ. These are often referred to as “The Five Fold Ministry”, of who are called Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists and Pastors given to bring the Body of Christ into the full measure of faith and into perfect unity. I saw but one member of this company, no person in particular, but one member represented to me by the spirit of the Lord. As this was presented to me the awareness came of the extreme jealousy that the Lord has over His heritage that He longs for and works towards bringing each soul He has redeemed by His precious blood into full union with Himself. The emphasis of the spirit however was that the Lord is CLEANING UP those who would minister His word to His Body. Those of this same fivefold ministry company. The one that I saw, representative of this company of ministers in this hour, had the pure word of God in their hearts like a burning lamp of fire, bright, non extinguishable and not contaminated by their own flesh. But along side of them upon the ground was a sack, full of doctrines, theories, experiences, misplaced judgments, personal ambitions and pride. The sack was held in the left hand of this one who represented the company of ministers and was being dragged along the ground with them. Instead of ministering JUST from the light that was in them, they also ministered from the sack, their own doctrines and words which were not part of the true light that was in their inner parts. As they ministered to the Body of Christ in the world of men, the Body would become damaged in areas and divided and brought to a “vain” humility, not a “true” humility in brokenness. The Lord above this beheld this sack and the iniquity in His ministers and He judged them so that the ministers who had the sacks lost the sacks and the ministers who were over the people became one with the people so that the divisions would cease and the work of ministry would not be hindered by pride. Such was the Lord’s judgments at this time. He is currently judging those who have been given to the Body of Christ to correct, cleanse and make them one with the true light that does shine within them so that they sin not in pride against the Lord or against His purposes for this very hour.”
“Thus says the Lord Jesus Christ unto mine own, even those who have come to know me and to those who know my voice when it does speak unto you. I stand holding forth the candlestick of the Laodicea church to those who would overcome and be illuminated by the light of this candle. My spirit has moved until now to separate each of you fully unto myself so that my image can be firmly created new upon you and for you to be able to mirror perfectly my person within your own lives. The works of faith you have done up until this time have been created by me to perfect that which concerns your own salvation and the salvation of those whom you care for as family and friends. Yet from the midst of all others, even those that have been the closest to you in your lives upon the earth I have worked to separate you and to seclude you, even unto myself. As the Father and I are one, so have I worked to make you one. To do this I had to bring hard circumstances into your lives and judgments whereby you would come apart unto me and you would learn by these testings to fix your gaze steadfastly upon me alone, the author and the finisher of your faith. It was not in my plan to have you abide anywhere else but in total communion with me, but there were times when you would wander or look away unto other people or things or the riches of this Laodicea church that were not in my perfect will for you. In your looking away you were for a time blinded from seeing me. Your eyes were not salved with my eye salve to heal your blindness. During those times my spirit did move within you to bring you to a place where you would not find comfort in looking away unto other things or people, but I would work to bring you to a place where you were uncomfortable and where you were almost fainting at the hardness of your trials. It was in those times that you knew you were shamed in nakedness before me. Some of the trials that came to you seemed to be as waves of the sea in which you thought you would drown. These billowing waves were designed by me to teach you to trust me alone as I was always there to teach you from these things and to cause you to set your eyes once more upon me. My hand also moved to separate you from those who you once thought were the closest to you, your family and friends you thought you were in unity with would forsake you or cast you out or turn from you and not keep company with you because they became repulsed at the sight of you. These were all trials by which I tried you and made you to suffer with me in this same fellowship. All of these things I did and brought to you so that you would stay true to your cross and not wander far from me. My will was to bring you to that place of keeping your gaze steadfast only upon me as I worked to cleanse you of your own way. These things have I done. Now in this time I bring to you yet another word, for my will and my way shall be accomplished in each one who has called upon me in truth and who have given their lives over unto my keeping. I come now says Jesus to finish my work in you and to prepare you for my coming. When you look at yourselves you will see that you are distanced one from another because I refused to allow you to relate to each other by your own strength of arms, but rather that you would learn first to relate to me the fount and source of your life, then and only then would I bring you back into a unity and a fellowship with each other that is of me. Your estrangements from one another in my body were set there by my hand to teach you to walk in pure faith when nothing else gave support to your belief in my workings in you. As you did this I did strip you, purge you, cleansed you again and again of all these things which were contrary to me. Yet now do I search your inward parts with this candle. Now in this time I do bring you to be joined one to another again into an Army which cannot do but what its commander asks of it to do, and to be joined because the commander of this Army did the joining. You cannot join yourselves to each other by your own strength, I must do it and it must be according to the timing of my purpose for each one and by the strength of my spirit in each one. This now do I do says Jesus, I bring you into company with each other out from your seclusions and into your unity in like precious faith with those who have suffered and overcome in the same way. This is so that there will be no mistake for the identity of these ones in unity for any other company, so that no further disgrace to my name would be made as do those who say they know me but their hearts are far from me. I am doing this reunion of your souls over time in such a way as you would not notice it except that my spirit would quicken it to you. First my sword did divide you apart, and then I taught you to walk in faith, but now I join you again says the Lord. Do not do this by your own endeavour, but allow me to do this by my spirit in you so that your unity may be perfect and in full one accord with your Father. Hear well this word my people, for I am coming for a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. In you shall be the full measure of my person both by my face and my word built up in you so that the world can be saved from their tribulation and brought into the Kingdom of God. My calling upon each of you is high and it is holy and it will accomplish that whereunto I sent this call so that you would obey me in every detail. It is my will to end all the ways of man so that I may bring my Kingdom to this world so that men may abide in it and know of my restoration. Thus says Jesus to comfort His people even in this day of His appearing.”
Continuing on now in the second part of The Mystery Of the Faith. We find ourselves still being brought to areas of seclusion and separation, leaving the judgment of other people up to the Lord alone and not allowing our lives to become judgmental towards those who we have parted company with. This is a necessary step in our overcoming, to not judge those who are parted from us. Even if those who have parted from us are deceived, we learn to judge them not but to commit them and the circumstances they brought into our personal lives unto the Lord. The entire place of trial and testing for the Overcomer has one common identity and that is that we have all endured much stripping and scourging and cleansing being processed away from any ambition as to personal will or our own strength. To get this purging process done in us the Lord would often allow us to fall away into something outside of His perfect will for us, this would expose the giants in our land and things which were hidden from view so that we could repent further and be cleansed further. As the purging, stripping and cleansings continued we in naked faith would come to face the Lord again trusting in His word that His grace was greater than any sin our flesh man may have committed. No matter how horrible the deceptions or the discord, greater was the grace to deliver us out of it. We are a people who were set apart unto the Lord, but we continually seemed to get in trouble, at least in the earlier parts of our daily walks, until we learned again and again to walk perfect with no variableness or shadow of turning in our faith. Even then as mature ones we would feel the burden of being set into almost insurmountable testings, but through each thing the Lord did deliver us and cleanse us of all the taints that were found in our lives effecting that which was born of His spirit.
Through time and tribulation we learned that there was nothing in this world that appealed to us or kept us secure or held us as false wealth or glory. We learned not to associate earthly wealth or lack thereof as being a sign of the Lord’s approval or disapproval. Our faith alone became the sanctity of our walk in this world, not what we had in our natural lives but what we had in faith that was the key thing that the Lord was looking for, that part of us which honoured him in pure naked faith and not in any outward circumstance. In these things we matured.
I would draw your attention to the verse written above from The Song of Solomon because it is right on time for this hour. The verse set in motion is one any Overcomer can identify with because their very lives seem to be offered up upon the altar of sacrifice all to this hope we have that the Lord will appear in us in glory and give us the fullness of our inheritance. It seems that rather than finding great realms of peace and comfort in the hope laid before us, we end up often questioning where the Lord is in our faith, where is His location? Where does He dwell? Why is it that I have been faithful to wait for the Lord yet the Lord seems almost to not be present to me or that I am even aware that His presence is in me? Instead I am often overcome with the cares of this world and my life is not a joy to me, but a burden, that which I wanted out of life I did not attain, those things I desired I did not have. More so, the communion I felt I deserved because I was faithful to the Lord I do not have, the Lord seems distant from me. Heaven is as brass, there is nothing above me in the air that even resembles His spirit, where is the Lord whom I love and my beloved who I long for? This is the present condition of the Overcomer AND IT IS RIGHT ON WITH HIS TIMING.
So breaking down Song of Solomon chapter 5: 4-8 let us see where we are in this present hour in the Lord. “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved;” The Lord was the one we waited for, we were in our chambers waiting His presence, His love to take us, His promise to come and make us one with Himself. We thought He was coming, we thought He was near, we yearned for Him, made haste to meet Him and to be ready for Him, we did all we knew to do to be correct and right for Him. “And my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.” There we are, filled with the graces of the Messiah, and His love permeates us and keeps us, our hands are full of His mercy, grace, truth and we long for all the fullness of the Lord to come and to take us and to fill us and to measure in us His person with nothing to mar or detract from who He is IN US. “I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.” Instead of finding the Lord coming to us and being there ready to take us HE IS ABSENT. We open the door, BUT HE IS NOT THERE. We seek Him, BUT HIS COMING IS NO SOONER MEASURED TO US, We cannot find Him even though we try, the coming of the Lord to take us fully unto Himself has not yet been. We call upon Him but all we have is bare faith, no word, no voice, no answer. Such is the present condition of the Overcomer in this very hour. Something repeated many times unto us.
Then we come to the most difficult thing to understand. Our desire is towards the Lord, our thoughts are only upon Him, He is the object of our affection and desire and the one whom we worship and adore. Our faith is upon Him completely and only upon Him. He in sovereignty gives us the fivefold ministry to minister unto our needs while we wait for Him, but then a most disparaging thing comes instead and a hurtful thing rises and we find ourselves in great tribulation because of it. NO ONE is exempted from feeling this sort of betrayal. We enter the fellowship of Jesus sufferings IN BETRAYAL by those whom we trusted the most, the fivefold ministry whom the Lord is using to cleanse us of looking away in any other direction. He allows those ministries to minister to us from their sack, their own added on theology, so that we learn that if we gaze anywhere but on Christ Himself we will become insipid and weak and will not finish our course in faith appropriately or in the proper time. The next part of the Song of Solomon scripture comes into view. “The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.” The fivefold ministry are the watchmen. Rather than to bolster us in our faith, they smite you, they wound you AND THEY TAKE YOUR VEIL FROM YOU. This veil represents your pure virgin longing for Christ alone, your patient waiting for Him to come and fulfill His promise to you, and that coming seems to have failed! Instead of being built up in the most holy faith and encouraged and comforted and edified by the fivefold ministry, one is run through, WITH BETRAYAL. Indeed, this is part of the Lord’s working in us in the last stages of His judgment of our persons, SO THAT WE WILL BE THROUGHLY JUDGED IN EVERY AREA, EXCHANGING THAT WHICH IS JUDGED FOR THAT WHICH IS THOROUGH AND ENTIRE AND LACKING NOTHING. This is indeed a miracle of the Lord in us.
This writing may be a bit hard to be understood so let me simplify it. The Lord is going to teach you to trust NO one or NOTHING except JESUS ALONE. That is the crux of the entire matter. The unity of the faith that the ministry of the gospel is to bring to us MUST be done by the Holy Spirit alone in each one, and HE must do the joining together of every perfect part unto the edifying of itself in love. EVEN THOSE YOU TRUST WILL FAIL YOU SO THAT YOU CAN LEARN THAT THIS IS THE LORD’S WORK ALONE. But work it He must and work it He shall. NOTHING IS DIFFERENT, the hope is the same, the time of His coming IS HAPPENING RIGHT ON COURSE and the Lord will appear in exactly the perfect time and it is your faith that will deliver you unto His very appearing! This I have from the hope of His word in me!
To be continued………………..
Kenneth B Visscher