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
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
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them. LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. Isaiah 26:3-12
Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of your life shall be many. I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in the right paths. When you go, your steps shall not be narrowed, and when you run, you shall not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; do not let go; keep her; for she is your life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not into the way of evil. Avoid it; do not pass by it; turn from it, and pass on! For they do not sleep, except when they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble.
Proverbs 4:10-19 MKJV
But to me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you, or by a man’s day; but I do not judge my own self, 1 Corinthians 4:3 MKJV
So let a man think of us as ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. And the rest, it is sought among stewards that one be found faithful. But to me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you, or by a man’s day; but I do not judge my own self, for I know nothing by myself. Yet I have not been justified by this, but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts. And then shall each one have praise of God. 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. 1 Corinthians 4:9-13
To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David. Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it. Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets. For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them. As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. Psalms 55:1-18
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:21-24
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: 1 John 5:10a
“ONE MAN stood before the Lord clothed in the armor of battle, holding forth a round shield with his left arm and a glittering sword with his right, holding the sword straight up in salute to the Lord. This one was a many membered man the company of those who agree with the Lord and who are counted as ones who overcame. This one man then turned and went forth into the world bearing the sword in skill and strength and wielded it in such a way as to break apart the bands of death and confinement by the curse of the fall, to set at liberty all such in the world who were subjected to death. By the skill of their sword and the defence of their shield they removed death all while repelling the attack of enemy spirits who did not want to see mankind delivered from so great a death. As this one man went forward into the earth those of the earth who called upon the Lord and who put their trust in the salvation of the Lord, but who was not delivered from the efforts of vain religion, attacked and maligned this one who delivered men from death and dying. Those who professed they knew Christ but adhered to their bondage in religion persecuted this one who the Lord used to break asunder the bands of death and dying. It was the Lord’s people, those who bore the name of Christ who persecuted the righteous Overcomers. Those in the world who did not know the Lord and who did not know of the salvation that is given to them in Christ were able to be set free from this death, but those who confessed Christ as their Lord but did not relinquish their religious efforts remained in a state of death and bondage and these in this death and bondage persecuted greatly this one whom the Lord called His Overcomer, even this corporate many membered Son of the Most High God.”
Several months ago the statement was made by the Holy Spirit that there would be the thought and the sense of a type of “withdrawal” of knowing the presence of the Lord. This withdraw would seem like the Lord had become intangible in “spiritual awareness” in the life of any person who was waiting for that which the Lord has promised us in this world. Our lives have been set to walk forward into all the promises of the Lord, but His ways are not ours, and instead of walking forward into that bright community of believers who know of the motion of His spirit continually, they end up being “estranged” and “set apart” more and more. Then this withdrawal of His presence on top of this and the Son or Daughter of God ends up being left with faith alone to keep them. Add to this waning of His presence the increased pressures from all sides and one finds that they have come into quite a seemingly precarious situation. There seems to be no answer to how to come into the hope that they have held before them and there is nothing to go back to either. The life of the lowly Overcomer ends up being in a flux, a state of “nothing” overtakes them, they end up being set apart and aside waiting as they have been, but this time without knowing the presence of the Lord, that too seems to have been removed.
The fact of this is rather basic. The Lord has removed the knowledge of His presence to a varying degree amongst those whom He has chosen to overcome all to teach them one valuable and necessary thing prior to the coming of Christ whose vesture is dipped in blood. The thing the Lord is teaching them is that they must have FULLY MATURED FAITH. It is faith, even this mystery of faith, which must grow up in them completely.
This withdrawal of the presence of the Lord is not literal, it is just in the area where the Lord once coaxed us and brought us to know He is in us of a truth. This sense of the waning of His presence is not a “departure” of the Lord from us; it is simply another step in our preparation for maturity. There is a factual physical thing that is in front of us and that is the manifestation of the Sons and Daughters of God. This literal happening will be AFTER the faith factor has come to the full, that faith factor being faith, fully matured. Think of this waning of His presence as being a turn in your pathway into the driveway that leads you home to your eternal house. That driveway is the one that just came off the highway of the expanding “way” of mankind in this hour; we step OFF that highway to step ON TO the driveway that leads us home. This withdrawal of His presence is for us the final stage prior to His coming to glorify His saints. He seems to withdraw His presence briefly so that faith can come to the full, not so we think we are forsaken, but enabled to walk in pure faith with nothing on either side that can distract us. That is the one thing the Lord is now looking for.
Going back to this highway I spoke of, that highway is the course of human history. This highway becomes a definition for us of the pressures of this hour. It holds upon it the curious mix of religions, of international efforts to sustain a standard of living, of the decision process of mankind and of man’s ability to course their own future because they have it in the power of their mind to do so. But along side of this highway are ditches into which many have fallen and are trapped because they have not been able to endure the rate of speed and the requirements needed to course along this asphalt line of human ambition. In our day the ditches are filling up with the lost, those who cannot fathom the overwhelming extent to which this highway demands their obedience to their governmental bondages. Add to this the context of collapsing financial systems and the inability of man to find solutions to the strife of nations and one finds that the highway in this hour is most daunting indeed. It is fraught with peril of every sort and it is known to leave the downtrodden and outcasts aside just as it has done in eons past when history proved that the ordinary person did not have any value to the ambitions of political terrorism. We are in such a time once again, a repeat of human history, except that this time the highway is hitting a dead end, the consummation of the age is upon us and the Lord is drawing this asphalt jungle to a conclusion. Crashing into the end of this highway will be all the attempts by any nation or group to establish their mark in history. Instead the Lord is now bringing the entire thing to judgment at which time He will end it completely. That time has come.
But prior to this final judgement and the ending of this age, the Lord is causing His Overcomers to turn off this highway completely and to come aside unto their true spiritual home. For now, they are going past the multitudes that have fallen into the ditches which seem to have no hope, they are bypassing all the efforts of mankind upon that highway, they are simply coming aside onto this “driveway” by which they will traverse the last few steps to their eternal home. This turning aside onto this driveway is the “faith” that singles the Overcomers out from all others. As stated, the presence of the Lord seems to wane, but that is because the turning aside to come home is fraught with much danger. When we leave the highway we are under various modes of “attack”. Those upon the highway who are busying themselves with their own ambitions do not like the thought that there are some who will not take part in their efforts, even if these efforts mean their destruction. These attacks which come are meant to do us harm but instead they lay open our faith and we find that we have no other support EXCEPT the faith that the Lord requires of us to enter into His promises. We leave now entirely this present evil world, we come aside towards our eternal home, and while we do so we are assaulted by the forces of darkness who do not like to lose us as their prey.
All of this has a purpose. The Lord is revealing to us in faith, that we are a “peculiar people.” This is not exalting one group over another. The Lord is abasing the Overcoming Company by this withdrawal of His presence so that this Overcoming Company can recognize their purpose and calling. It is not to be overwhelmed with rewards and payments for past sufferings. It is not to just fight back against the onslaughts of spiritual darkness. The purpose for the present trial is so that we can know we are “intercessors” for both the Body of Christ AND MANKIND. This turning off of the highway is a prophecy to the world that the highway cannot continue, that it must now come to its demise hitting the dead end in the form of final judgment. For the Overcomer, turning now off of this highway and living purely by faith alone, a requirement has come. And that is to intercede and seek repentant forgiveness on behalf of mankind who has disobeyed God’s law and have run rampant after the appetites of the flesh and of proud ambitions. Men who spent their lives making a name for themselves are the modern day “giants” that were once seen in the first world prior to the flood of Noah. In our day this is all going to end very suddenly. In a moment their ambitions will collapse, the highway is heading right into an abrupt end.
Here is the will of the Lord in The Mystery of the Faith for this hour. That the Overcomers who have turned off the course of human history, would now seek the Lord to repent on behalf of mankind, to turn as it were God’s wrath away from consuming the nations in a moment. For the Lord’s wrath has also come to the full and the error of man in rejecting God and His commanded law has now reached the summit. We intercede and therefore place ourselves in front of the Lord’s wrath rather than mankind who did this serious error in abandoning their Creator. It behoves us now at this time to do this intercession.
How do we do this intercession in a practical way? Do we just go hide ourselves away and ignore the fact that mankind is on the road to a dead end? Do we just believe we are special and that no one else need apply to this grand position we think we are in? We must become servants so to speak, to intercede as priests would intercede for the trespass of his people. We intercede on behalf of all the nations and souls in the earth so that the Lord will move and bring all things to nothing, yes, but for the express reason of restoring mankind into the Kingdom of God. In naked faith we hold true to our personal cross as a part of this intercession. As one does this, the Lord will move in the earth and will begin to reveal His Kingdom to us. “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 22:30-31. This time however the Lord WILL FIND one that will stand in the gap, even the corporate company of Sons and Daughters who have agreed with the Lord and are thus defined to Him as ones who have overcome. Overcomers are not people who are in a sinless perfect state. Overcomers are people who agree with the Lord about who they are as sinners, as righteous and as a people He has justified. Sinners because we accepted the conviction of the Holy Spirit and that we fell short of His standard. Righteous because we accepted the fact that the spotless lamb of God was our righteousness. Justified as people who fear no court of law before His throne because we did not shirk the workings of the cross. Fully identified with Christ in both His sufferings and in His honor, we come forth as those who will intercede for mankind.
I believe this is what the Lord has been bringing us to. That place where we minister to God the things that pertain to God, righteousness, holiness, justification; and we minister now to mankind the practical outworking of all this faith by intercession, standing in the gap and seeing the fulfillment of all the Lord has promised us. This is not to be just a thought we have, but an actual step in faith, one we carry forward and see fulfilled as the Lord works out His purpose in this hour. In no wise do we ever think we are elevated above our fellow man. Rather than that, we become those that serve our fellow man by prayer, obedience continued and trusting implicitly that the age of His Kingdom has indeed come. Mankind is going to go through a bit of a painful time, but then afterwards the joy of His Kingdom will be given to all; no one will be left out once all the corrections are completed.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. So how is it I can say that mankind will still enter the Kingdom of God? Because Christ will complete His redemptive work! “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” 1 Corinthians 15:23-25. Even though these verses are lifted out of context, the import of them is still sure, Christ will REDEEM mankind, the Overcomers as Melchisedek Priests will intercede and God will not impute iniquity on any single soul, His Kingdom will overtake all. Right now we are at the point where the Lord by the Holy Spirit will call us to this intercession to remit and remove the separations of man from his creator and to see The Mystery of the Faith honoured in they that have truly overcome all things. This is what we do on the road home.
To be continued………………….
Kenneth B Visscher