“I see men as trees walking,”
said the blind man becoming whole
“I see men as trees
on both sides of the River
“I see men as trees
with healing in their hands
bearing fruit each month
to restore these broken lands.”
“I see men as trees walking,”
said the blind man becoming whole
“I see men as trees
on both sides of the River
“I see men as trees
with healing in their hands
bearing fruit each month
to restore these broken lands.”
A further application of the principle of applying the lamb’s blood at Passover is found in the Book of Deuteronomy.
Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him. (Deuteronomy 11:18-22 KJV)
Notice that God commanded his people to write his words upon the door posts of their house, door posts which would have been smeared with the Passover lamb’s blood. John tells us that Jesus himself is the Word of God who was made flesh and dwelt among us. Paul calls Jesus our Passover, so of course, the lamb’s blood represents Jesus’ blood. Now recall Jesus’ testimony when he revealed that he was the bread of life. He said in part,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” (John 6:53-58, ESV)
Returning to the Feast of Passover now, first the people of Israel applied the lamb’s blood, representing Jesus, to the door posts of their houses. Later they wrote Jesus’ words upon their homes. These actions symbolically and prophetically represent spiritual salvation through the blood of Jesus, which reconciles us to God, and then soul salvation by eating Christ’s blood (applying Jesus’ words to our lives) which brings us into the full status of being a son of God.
Now recall what Peter says concerning us, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5 KJV) And consider what Hebrews says concerning this:
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) (Hebrews 3:1-11 KJV)
The passages directly above thus show us that even the houses in ancient Israel prophetically pointed to each of us individual believers in God (Jesus Christ). We become believers when we believe that Jesus died for our sins and shed his blood for our reconciliation with God. We eat his blood (spiritually) when we eat his words, when we assimilate his words into our lives and make them part of us. This is a progressive salvation. It begins in our “most holy place,” our spirits, and moves outward to what is supposed to become our “holy place,” our souls. The final, or third salvation, is the salvation of our bodies which occurs at our glorification, our resurrection from the dead. This can only occur after we each achieve the second salvation (the one of which Paul says, “work out your salvation in fear and trembling”). Jesus Christ has already effected the first salvation, but most people remain in the prison of their unbelief and cannot begin to walk the path of “becoming” a son of God yet.
God guarantees all men the salvation of their spirits, although few have understood this presently. Consider the following verse which I believe irrefutably proves this. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22) Clearly it is the same “all” who die in Adam who shall be made alive in Christ. It makes no sense to say that this refers to two different groups of people or to say that Paul really meant to add the words “who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior” after the second use of the word. (What exactly was it that God said would happen to people who added to Scripture? Look it up if you can’t remember!)
Now look at a couple obscure verses from the Gospel of John. Just before Jesus’ betrayal he said, “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” (John 12:36) In the beginning of his book John said, “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.“ (John 1:12) Both Jesus and John make the point that believing in Jesus as Savior is only the beginning. That is the step that everyone must take before he can even begin to walk on the path to “becoming” a son of God.
So, if believing in Jesus as Savior (putting the lamb’s blood on our door posts) only gives us the initial right to become a son of God, what must we do make it a reality? We must also “drink” that blood… we must write his word on our door posts as well.
Continuing now with the prophetic implications of the festival of Passover…
The English Standard Version renders Exodus 12:6 as 6 “and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.[a]” Footnote a says that the word “twilight” literally means “between the two evenings” which evidently means between the time that the sun begins to set at or about noon and its actual setting at dusk. The Orthodox Jewish Bible confirms this meaning by translating the verse as “And it will be with you for mishmeret (examination, checking for blemishes) up until the fourteenth day of the same month; and kol Kehal Adat Yisroel shall slaughter (shachat) it in the afternoon [before dark].”
This is important to understand because the Scriptures testify that Jesus was in fact crucified on the Preparation Day of Passover (Nisan 14) and that the crucifixion occurred just after noon and that Jesus died right at 3:00 P.M. See John 19:14 and Luke 23:44 and remember that the “sixth hour” means 12:00 noon and the “ninth hour” means 3:00 P.M. Thus the lamb of God who was chosen on Nisan 10 was in fact slaughtered in the afternoon (between the two evenings) on Nisan 14. Since Jesus was our Passover Lamb everything had to occur exactly as prophesied.
Another important aspect of this crucifixion is that Jesus’ legs were not broken whereas the others crucified that day had their legs broken in order to quicken their death. John, an eyewitness, testifies,
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. (John 19:31-37 KJV)
John references Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, and Psalm 34:20 with respect to none of Christ’s bones being broken. Also notice that John specifically tells his readers that he saw these events, that he speaks the truth, and that all these things occurred in a particular way so that “the scripture should be fulfilled.” He says these things as if he were testifying in a court of law for one reason… that we might believe!
Moses next commands concerning the Passover, “And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.” (Exodus 12:7 KJV) Concerning this blood God says, “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:13) Then when Moses instructed the elders of Israel concerning this command he said,
Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. (Exodus 12:21-27 KJV)
Consider the application of the blood of the Passover lamb upon each home. First one had to splash blood upon the lintel of the door which is the load bearing beam across the top of the door. Next he had to apply the blood on each of the two posts that supported the lintel. Walk over to a door and do this. If you put the blood in the middle of the lintel and then draw your hand to the left doorpost at about your shoulder’s height and apply the blood, and then move your hand over to the right doorpost and do the same, you will see that you have just created an imaginary “cross.” Now remember that God commanded every person to make this sign of the cross with the Passover lamb’s blood upon their houses so that the death angel would pass them by, so that they would be “saved” from death. Clearly this prophetically speaks of applying the blood of Jesus to our sinful souls (the doors of our lives) so that we too will be saved.
I call this series “revisited” because I have written on Passover and Second Passover several times before on my site at http://www.zedek.us. However, I am expecting new revelation this time for some reason. It amazes me that the Christian Church has almost no understanding that Jesus Christ was God’s Passover lamb who was slain for the sins of the world. The Church has even less understanding concerning this passage, “Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Cor. 5:7-8 ESV) I believe we have now entered a season of tribulation wherein if we do not actively “celebrate” this festival, we will be severely and seriously chastised, perhaps even tortured and killed.
This series will focus on the first, not the second Passover. Second Passover is a little understood and rarely recognized or even thought about feast of our LORD. The first reference to this festival occurs in Numbers 9.
And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season. In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it. And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, that they should keep the passover. And they kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at even in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel. And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day: And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the LORD in his appointed season among the children of Israel? And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD. The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it. (Numbers 9:1-12 KJV)
Before we try to begin to understand Second Passover, though, let us seek wisdom concerning the meaning of First Passover. Remember, all Biblical historical events are also divine parables which portray spiritual truth which is not readily understood in the natural, historical level. The LORD designed Scripture this way so that only the diligent, only those who seek eyes to see and ears to hear can ever come to understand his ways.
Recall that God instituted the Feast of Passover just before executing his tenth judgment upon Egypt in the days of Moses. Exodus 12:29 explains this final plague: “And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.” The rules for keeping Passover are also found in Exodus 12. We must understand these rules for they foretell spiritual truth for this hour.
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. (Exodus 12:1-6 KJV)
First notice that God changed the times of the year for Israel just before the exodus. Rosh Hashanah, the first day of Tishri (Tishrei), would not longer be their new year’s day. God changed that to the seventh month, the month of Abib (Aviv), or Nisan (Nissan). Nisan begins at evening on March 11 this year and the time for slaughtering the Passover lamb is between noon and evening on March 25 (Nisan 14) this year. Notice in verse 3 above that the people were commanded to choose their sacrificial lamb on Nisan 10. Although the writers of the Gospels do not give us the date we can count the days to Jesus’ crucifixion, which occurred on Passover Day (Nisan 14), from the day when Jerusalem welcomed her coming King (Matthew 21:1-11). This day is traditionally called “Palm Sunday” and his coming into Jerusalem is called “the triumphal entry.” Mark 11:11 says that “it was already late” when Jesus entered Jerusalem. I believe it was after the evening time. Thus, if we count backwards from “Good” Friday, the day of his crucifixion which occurred on Nisan 14 (Passover Day), then the people of Jerusalem “chose” their Passover lamb on Nisan 10, exactly according to Scripture. Here is the counting: Sunday evening to Monday evening is Nisan 10, Monday evening to Tuesday evening is Nisan 11, Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening is Nisan 12, Wednesday evening to Thursday evening is Nisan 13, and Thursday evening to Friday evening is Passover, Nisan 14, the day upon which our Passover was crucified, the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)
The Ephod – Part #2 – The Overcomers Outward Appearance
by Kenneth B. Visscher
And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and an embroidered coat, a miter, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
Exodus 28:4 (please read the rest of the chapter)
But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.
[This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men.
For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth.
[No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.
And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,
So that no mortal man should [have pretense for glorying and] boast in the presence of God.
But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin].
1 Corinthians 1:24 – 30
One of the things about my life is that is looks so weird, so different, so abnormal from those in the world. Here I sit, all these years, a strong large man on a disability pension and with no outward show of labor or work that people in the world would approve of. A man that has been set aside even from his teen years, and now, close to 4 decades later, that setting aside has not changed. I have not been allowed to be “normal” as the world says. Was this a matter of my own choice or did God “command” this of my life?
When my life is compared to others, I look totally unsuccessful. My physical appearance and my talents and abilities just simply do not fit in with what the world would term “normal”.
When you view the image of the High Priest in the photo above, he looks absolutely weird and strange to natural thinking. But the garments of the High Priest were full of symbolism and truth which effect us to this very hour. It is not the garments the High Priest wore that effects us, but the symbolism and truths as foundational principles displayed by it that effects us. The priest was separate, weird looking to the world, but separated unto God. Just like my marriage.
By all outward appearance, the true overcomer looks weird to the world. They GLORY in the Cross of Christ, which they share in. They do not run with the same excess of riot as do the people in the world with massive parties and immoral acts. 1 Peter 4:4. They spend their time working out their lives to OBEY the Lord and the principles found in His word WITHOUT becoming “religious” about it. The overcomer in this hour is a real, down to earth person who’s head is not stuck up in the clouds and who does not allow their lives to become exalted by anything other than the workings of their own personal crosses. They do not try or attempt to gain standing or wealth or riches in the earth nor do they try to make a name for themselves. They care not about reputation in business nor about the day to day life of the world as it relates to them. They have shut themselves apart unto the Lord and they do not try to escape His dealings in their lives. Plain and simple, they look weird. They are like my wife. They are OPPOSITE to what her family would approve of. Instead of looking to gain earthly wealth, they are busy standing still, waiting for God to work His purposes out IN THEM. They have no ulterior motive, no final goal other than to be found In Christ with His righteousness and they offer to God nothing more than their very lives. The world is busy saving and working for the future, the overcomer knows that there is no future outside of obedience to God alone.
The overcomer does not fit into a church system or denomination. They may be there for a time, but eventually they will not be a part of a system as they will be that square peg that won’t fit the system’s round hole. An overcomer will be the first one to admit they are not worthy of the Lord. They never boast of their standing in God or the promise Christ makes that they will rule and reign in Him. The overcomer, rather than rejoicing in the fact that they will be granted to sit and rule with Christ upon the Eternal Throne is much more interested in allowing God to deal with their hearts and lives and to obey His every desire for them while they traverse this earth. The overcomer knows that this world is not their home, but at the same time they live in the reality of it, in the nitty gritty of it, paying bills, keeping house or job, set to the task that is before them. They do not live as a part of the world but like the High Priest, they live separate from it.
The overcomer will also be like Daniel in the Old Testament, a prophet showing forth the end of this 2nd world creation. Daniel was SUPPORTED by Babylon. Allot of the sons of God I have seen, myself included, are so wounded, so disabled, so hurt and broken that they are actually not able to fend for themselves as relates to the work the world requires for a person to make ends meet. Some of them are carpenters, plumbers, seamstresses, housewives, secretaries. None of them have high standing or seek political office. None of them fit the groove of the world as to making things “better”. They have their gaze fixed on the NEW WORLD that God has promised, the 3rd world of scripture, the New Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. They are born out of time, before their time. They have no idea how or where to gain wealth here and now as they do not live here and now. They do, but they don’t! They are in HOPE for the final work that God has promised wherein God will be ALL IN ALL. That is where their vision is before them and their appearance is set with faces like flints to that final goal.
An overcomer may speak of themselves just to make a point, but they love to speak of the Lord. The problem is they don’t have very many they can speak to. Most of the christian world, which I call christendom has rejected them and cast them off.
An overcomer may be asked by God to walk through severe and hurtful deception. They may become wired by a wrong spirit for a time! God ORDERS the enemy of their souls to take them at times TO DEAL WITH PERSONAL PRIDE AND EGO.
They may be led by spirits of deception down a garden path. BUT IT IS NOT PERMANENT. In time they will humble themselves and the spirit of truth will show them the error of their way and they will OVERCOME IT BY REPENTANCE. Then they will have an even sharper sword, even stronger armor and even a more firm stance in faith than they ever had before! It is the heart God is dealing with in the overcomer, and sometimes they can be led wrong, to learn to be led right! An overcomer will learn DISCERNMENT that christendom and the world can never understand.
An overcomer will know they are a Priest of the Lord, even of the Melchizedek Order. The High Priest of Jesus day, Caiaphas knew that Jesus was indeed the Christ. After he delivered Christ to be crucified he wrote a letter to the Jewish leaders of his time and ordered that the sacrifices and oblations done in the temple at Jerusalem be stopped – for he had “killed” the final sacrifice. The High Priest has DISCERNMENT. By faith we know we are of the Melchizedek order – BUT WE MAY NOT ACT OR FEEL LIKE IT. Because God is still purifying our hearts.
My wife and I home educated our 3 sons for 14 years. Anyways, we joined up with the families in this area many years ago who were also home educating their children. There were in our area alone around 100 families.
Well, we found out very quickly that we did not fit in with the home education group! The same thing happened to us there that happened to us from denominational churches and from christendom in general. They REJECTED US. We were CAST OUT. Family and all.
My sons ended up with NO FRIENDS, NO AQUAINTANCES. But you know what happened? The Lord spoke to each one of them and they knew that this was “OK”. The Lord had separated our entire family unto Himself. They became friends with others who were rejected and cast out to this very day!
We look weird to others, that is how it is. But that is where and how God deals with us.
I am only speaking to you of the breastplate of this Priest you see above, the Ephod as it was called. The rest of the garment is rife with meaning, but I only want to touch that one part. Think not that this is just “history”. It is not just history. By understanding the foundational truths found in this study, we will know why we walk the way we do as overcomers and how it is we walk this way IN THIS VERY HOUR WE LIVE IN.
So don’t think yourselves strange if you don’t fit in with the world, that was the first thing the garment of the High Priest did, it separated him from the world and the religious. An overcomer is NOT religious, they are REAL.
Kenneth B Visscher
The Ephod – Part #1 – Being withstood by the Prince of Persia
by Kenneth B. Visscher
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
I know that just a week or two previous I said I would publish my thoughts on The Royal Ephod. The Ephod being the breastplate that the High Priest wore in Ancient Israel.
The honest truth is that the Lord has given me a very deep insight into His word and understanding into many things that most people “overlook”. The understanding since I was delivered of this deception in 1989 has grown phenomenally and has been to me both a help, but at the same time – a hindrance. Things such as what I see concerning the pattern of doctrine that is written for us in scripture as well as types and shadows, and bringing this down right to where we walk in present day, these are the things the Lord has given me – like the Ephod – which shows so much revelation for this hour that it boggles my mind.
But at the same time there is a horrible warfare going on in my thinking. This warfare is like an overwhelming scourge at times. Hard to understand, but it seems as though all that is carnal in my natural thinking, and all that is in the Heavenly sphere in the realm of principality and power is set to not allow me to share these truths. At the same time I seek God for true humility to do so that the Lord alone would be glorified. So on the one hand I am in deep communion with the Lord, beyond what words can express, and on the other side I am under severe spiritual attack to “not” share the depth of God as I know it.
At the same time we draw closer to God. But God is clouded in clouds of thick darkness and a great tumult is before Him as we approach His Throne.
Psalm 18:11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
Joel 2:2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
Zephania 1:15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
When I began the blogs concerning the Ephod, I came under such heavy assault that it nearly killed me – literally. The oppression in my mind was such that I prayed every second breath for my life on the earth to end. Yet at the same time my spiritual man was standing strong in armor and in victory in spite of the horrendous shakings which were round about me – all because I wanted to share just a little of what the Lord has given me. All hell seemed to be arrayed against me giving forth any such “clear” word. The struggle that ensued was beyond what I can even type down as words.
So time was allowed to pass. My time was spent just waiting on the Lord for His light to sear through these attacks so that I could share, even just simply, this depth of the Lord shown. Not just in the Ephod, but truths seen in Christ’s tomb and resurrection, and as He stands “Christ Jesus” by the right hand of God (and the vision of seeing Him there). Things such as the Tabernacle of David which has fallen down. The company of Sons and Daughters who will very soon receive glorified bodies, the New World that is to come and on the list goes. Time was spent as I wondered about how to share this with some calm around the “spiritual” storm.
The answer came very sweetly and calmly, like a gentle wind or breeze upon my soul. And that answer was to “share” as He gave me these things, as I AM, a living WHOLE STONE which is but one part of the “many stones” that forms the altar upon which God will lay the weight of the sacrifice.
And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them.
Thou shalt build the altar of the LORD thy God of whole stones: and thou shalt offer burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD thy God:
So share I will, quietly, amidst the storms surrounding my life and my thinking. Sharing as He has given me His word, His truth, as He sees fit. I am going to expose the depth of God as revealed to my heart IN SIMPLICITY, so that all who read these blogs may understand.
I ask all of you to forgive me for being so slow at this. My heart is overwhelmed and my life is seemingly set aside, but it is all for a purpose. So I want to share this testimony of the Ephod, so that we all who read it can understand, and overcome, and rule and reign in life by Christ Jesus.
My next blog will begin that very study.
Kenneth B Visscher
Nothing occurs in Scripture by accident or by chance. Paul lists the articles of spiritual armor found in Ephesians 6:13-18 in a particular order for a certain reason. The first article is the girdle of truth (justice) and the second is the breastplate of righteousness. These two accouterments should form the foundation of every Christian’s life just as righteousness and justice form the foundation of God’s throne. The reason for this is because, ultimately, God will become enthroned within each one of us. Therefore the foundation of our lives must be the same as his. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God?” The foundation of God’s temple is truth and righteousness.
As I shared the first two parts of this series with my family on Sunday, November 17, I said that I see righteousness and justice as the two sides of the same coin. I used to always view righteousness as the heads side and justice as the tails side. As I shared my views on the armor of God, though, it occurred to me that perhaps truth (justice) was really the heads side. I considered this because I believe one can never find God and repent of his sins unless he has some inner hunger for truth. So long as a person does not love the truth he will call evil good and good evil. And so long as a man cannot even recognize truth he cannot repent. He cannot repent because he has nothing to repent of. He has thus committed the “unforgivable” sin because he will not (cannot) believe in Jesus in that condition because he has no reason to seek his salvation. Therefore a hunger for truth has to be the first condition of one’s soul before he will ever seek salvation, before he can ever respond to the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. The gospel cannot be good news to him if he sees no need for it.
So, as we considered the analogy of the coin one of my daughters suggested that perhaps a better analogy would be that of a precious stone where each of the facets represents some aspect of these two foundational concepts of truth and righteousness. We saw that truth is like faithfulness which is like justice which is like God’s Law since justice is the application of God’s Law among men. We also saw that righteousness is like lovingkindness which is like mercy which is like grace which is like love. Then we considered Psalm 119 and the many words God gives us there for his Law, words like statutes, commandments, precepts, testimonies, rules, and God’s “word.” Reconsider a few verses from that majestic psalm to see how these new words tie into our foundational spiritual armor.
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is the truth. (Psalms 119:142 KJ2000)
The righteousness of your testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. (Psalms 119:144 KJ2000)
You are near, O LORD; and all your commandments are truth. (Psalms 119:151 KJ2000)
My tongue shall speak of your word: for all your commandments are righteousness. (Psalms 119:172 KJ2000)
Now, as we continue thinking about facets of precious stones and as we prepare to shod our feet as God’s overcoming warrior, let us consider Isaiah’s prophecy:
Awake, awake; put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for no longer, there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean. (Isaiah 52:1 KJ2000)
The first beautiful garments we put on are the garments of truth and righteousness. Our armor is not the bulky metallic garb the knights of the middle ages wore. Our garments glow now unseen, but one day will shine forth as multitudinous light beams as from myriads of prismatic jewels. Our foundational garments insure that nothing unclean shall ever enter into us, we who comprise Zion, the holy city, New Jerusalem. But now we who wait for this manifestation of glory comprise those whom Isaiah describes next.
Sing, O barren, you that did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you that did not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, says the LORD. Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations: spare not, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes; For you shall break forth on the right hand and on the left; and your descendants shall inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. Fear not; for you shall not be ashamed: neither be you confounded; for you shall not be put to shame: for you shall forget the shame of your youth, and shall not remember the reproach of your widowhood any more. For your Maker is your husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD has called you as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when you were refused, says your God. For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you. In a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you, says the LORD your Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, says the LORD that has mercy on you. (Isaiah 54:1-10 KJ2000)
Now we live in days as were the days of Noah and these are the days in which God will do his work, his very strange work, a work next described, again, by Isaiah.
O you afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires. And I will make your pinnacles of agates, and your gates of carbuncles, and all your walls of precious stones. (Isaiah 54:11-12 KJ2000)
Thus we can now see the first two pieces of Christian armor as actually representing particular facets of the precious stones God is molding each of us into. Let us not neglect so great a salvation, for this is the preparation for the next piece of armor we must now don.
In the last post we saw that the first article of armor which God’s warrior must don is truth. After putting on the belt of truth Paul then tells us to take up the breastplate of righteousness. In order to understand this we need to see the relationship between truth and righteousness.
The Bible uses other words to convey the idea of truth, most notably the words justice and law. Many posts on this blog point this out, but following are a few verses which show this:
And justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. (Isaiah 59:14 KJ2000)
Isaiah here links justice with truth and righteousness with the word equity. He continues this linkage in the very next verse, saying,
Yea, truth fails; and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. (Isaiah 59:15 KJ2000)
The implication is clear, when truth fails no justice exists. This, of course, explains the present condition in the world. Another verse showing the equivalence of the ideas of truth and justice is
Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in its broad places, if you can find a man, if there is any that executes justice, that seeks the truth; and I will pardon it. (Jeremiah 5:1 KJ2000)
Jerusalem and Judah fell to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon 2600 years ago because God’s people then failed to seek truth and execute justice. Today in Mystery Babylon, the hidden power of wickedness that rules the world, we see the same thing. No one seeks the truth and justice cannot be found. The core of virtually every center of power in the world, religious, political, legal, business, and entertainment, has been corrupted by the satanic spirit which rules the kingdom of men. Men loved the lie instead of the truth and must now eat its fruit. But the difference between Babylon of 2600 years ago and Mystery Babylon today is that now it is Babylon’s turn to fall.
God has prepared his army, an army of overcomers, who have surely belted their loins in truth. They live only for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and unlike those who routinely take this oath in courts of law, these men and women mean it! Because they covered their procreative powers in truth they will be able to administer justice in God’s Kingdom, which is at hand.
Hand in hand with this first article of spiritual warfare stands the second, righteousness. Righteousness and truth, or righteousness and justice are integrally connected in God’s Word. First consider some verses linking truth and righteousness:
And in your majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and your right hand shall teach you awesome things. (Psalms 45:4 KJ2000)
And justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. (Isaiah 59:14 KJ2000)
And you shall swear, The LORD lives, in truth, in justice, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory. (Jeremiah 4:2 KJ2000)
And now consider verses which link justice and righteousness.
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him. (Genesis 18:19 KJ2000)
Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, to set you on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore he made you king, to execute justice and righteousness. (1 Kings 10:9 KJ2000)
He loves righteousness and justice: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. (Psalms 33:5 KJ2000)
And he shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. (Psalms 37:6 KJ2000)
72 Give the king your (B)justice, O God,
and your righteousness to the royal son!
2 May he (C)judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice!
3 Let the mountains bear (D)prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness!
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the children of the needy,
and crush the oppressor! (Psalm 72:1-4, ESV)
And my personal two favorite verses,
(AH)Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
(AI)steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. (Psalm 89:14 ESV)
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. (Psalm 97:2, ESV)
Many more verses link the words and themes of righteousness and justice, but let me finish this idea here with a few more.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path… (Proverbs 2:9, ESV)
Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness. (Isaiah 1:27 ESV)
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:7, ESV)
Thus we see that the concepts of justice and righteousness are linked, virtually twins, in the mind and sight of God. I like to say that they are like the two faces of the same coin, or the two rails of the one railroad track which leads to us to the very foundation of God’s essence (so much as we can understand). Justice relates to man’s dealing with man, showing why it must cover our loins. Righteousness relates to God’s standard for all things and to our relationship to him. He declares us righteous because of Christ’s death and resurrection for us and our faith, by his gift, in that work. As God works his righteousness into us by writing his law on our hearts we in turn walk in justice and mercy in the earth (Note: in the Scripture mercy is a synonym for righteousness and the Law is a synonym for justice) . This is why the second article of armor we must put on is the breastplate of righteousness. First the natural, then the spiritual. We will never find God if we do not love the truth (justice) in the natural here on earth and appropriate it for ourselves. Likewise, we will never grow in God if we do not define that truth (justice) by his standard of righteousness. So, we first don the girdle of truth (justice) and then quickly put on the breastplate of righteousness that we may actually apply that righteousness on earth. True justice is God’s righteousness made manifest in the natural world of men.
Note: this doctrine here is the essence of the “teaching about righteousness” spoken of in Hebrews 5:11-14.
While reading some of prophet Ken Visscher’s writings recently I was reminded of the critical importance of properly wearing our spiritual armor. Paul teaches about this as follows:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 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. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ephesians 6:10-18 KJV)
First, notice that the purpose for putting on our spiritual armor is “to be strong in the LORD and in the power of his might.” We are not strong in or within ourselves. Even our own righteousness and good deeds are as filthy rags in God’s sight. This purpose reveals the attitude in which we must approach our warfare. “Not by man’s might, not by man’s power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD. Let us confess, then, that we do not don nor maintain our spiritual armor by the strength of our human might. Le us allow God to dress us by “putting on” our armor in faith. We cannot see the clothing of our warfare. We can only believe we wear it and that it protects us by faith. Without faith no one can please God.
Second, consider why wearing this spiritual armor is even necessary. It is so that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. God calls Christians to spiritual war, not physical war, and yet for much of the 2,000 years since Christ people who claim they serve him have tried to implement his kingdom through carnal means. Thus Christians formed natural alliances with national governments. And now Christianity en mass appears as the harlot who rides the beast (of men’s governments inspired and empowered by the devil and his spiritual wickedness in high places). Harlot Christianity committed adultery with Babylon, and Babylon (men’s satanic governments) have now begun to torment and persecute her.
Instead, she (and all within her who call themselves Christian) should have donned and remained clothed in the armor of God. Paul first instructs us to put on the girdle of truth. God designed this girdle to protect our most sensitive area, our loins, our center of procreative power. Why do we first dress ourselves in truth? Jesus said, “Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.” (John 17:17) God’s word, God’s truth, sets us apart for his use. Until we acknowledge God and his Word (Jesus) and that his word spoken through the Scriptures is truth we cannot serve God. Nay, we cannot even walk or talk in his name. God established truth, therefore, as the foundation for everything one does in his name. When we put on truth we determine that we do not serve lies or the father of lies.
Concerning those who persecuted him Jesus said, “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44) John went on to add,
I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son. Whosoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father: but he that confesses the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:21-23 KJ2000)
The word translated “denies” above is from the Greek word αρνεομαι arneomai (ar-neh’-om-ahee). That word literally means “to contradict.” Thus John tells us that a liar is anyone who contradicts the Father and his Son, Jesus. In fact he calls such a one an “antichrist.” Anyone who contradicts Jesus in his thoughts and actions cannot have a relationship with God.
Anyone, however, who confesses the Son (Jesus Christ) also has a relationship with the Father. The Greek word for confess is ομολογεω homologeo (hom-ol-og-eh’-o) and means “to speak the same word as.” This means that one really “confesses” that Jesus is LORD and Savior only if he also speaks the same things that Jesus speaks. What does Jesus speak? He speaks truth and only truth. This is why the girdle of truth must be the first piece of armor every Christian puts on.