|- Ray & Doris Prinzing -
"And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the Ark of His testament; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." [Revelation 11:19].
When the temple, God's living habitation, His overcoming ones, is duly measured, fully judged and stands approved, coming up to the standard of perfection, the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ, then comes the UNVEILING, the temple is opened, and that which is within is then made manifest, and the purpose of God continues its operation throughout the next age.
For so long God has quickened truth to His "hidden ones," sealed it up within them, to work within their own being its transformation. There has been no expression― the time was not yet given for its outflow. But the "little flock" is to receive the kingdom, which "is not meat and drink; but is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the holy Spirit." [Romans 14:17]. This kingdom WITHIN will ultimately swallow up the little flock, and then spread and expand to fill the whole earth.
"And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision." [1 Samuel 3:1]. Indeed, this still describes the situation of these days, the true Word of the Lord, is rare, it is precious, few hear and receive therof, why? because there is no OPEN VISION. There is no limit to the sermons one can hear, but they are discourses that hold little revelation of transforming truth. Creeds, dogmas, traditions of men do not feed the "hidden man of the heart." It requires that illumination of the holy Spirit. HE IS SPEAKING, yes, to His separated ones, those whom He has called apart from the multitudes to become quiet before Him, that He might whisper into their innermost being of His truth. But still― there is no open vision, to see things as they actually are, not wrapped up in signs, symbols, parables, riddles and dark sayings.
"And He said unto them (His disciples), Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all things are done in parables: that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven." [Mark 4:11-12].
He is to be the "Saviour of ALL MEN," the scripture is clear on this, but there is a set time for each rank and order, even as we read, "In Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order." [1 Corinthians 15:22-23]. And His salvation is first ministered unto His FIRSTFRUITS, to His called out. To all others it is but a parable, they have ears to hear the record, but the meaning is with held from them― until such an hour as God sovereignly quickens the understanding to perceive. There is a spirit of slumber upon mankind, and he remains untouched by the truth until that hour of Divine appointment when God awakens him to the truth and inworking of His grace.
People behold these separated ones, they see them gather in little home meetings, or even going no place, they know that people are leaving the organized religious systems, yet they do not perceive what God is doing with these apprehended ones. They are in the world, but the world knows them not. God's inworking of His first fruits is not being done in a corner, it is in full view of all the world, and yet, paradoxically as it might seem, it is a very hidden work, for the world does not see what they see.
The word "open" as used in the beginning of this chapter, is the Hebrew word "parats" meaning to BREAK FORTH, which in itself bespeaks that there has been a restraint, a holding back until the time it could break forth and come into view. How often we feel that we have but glimpsed through a thin veil into some of the glories of God, and yet we could not break through into clarity, because it was not yet time for us to have that revelation. Much preparation work is often needed within before breaking forth into new realms of understanding. Even the words and terms which we use often conceal as much as they reveal, and there must needs be a spirit to spirit communication.
Revelation 10:6-7, indicated that "there should be time no longer" i.e. no more delay, when "the mystery of God is finished (made full)." And then there will be the bursting forth, the unveiling of all that which has been held in secret until this appointed hour.
When the temple is completed, when the secret inworkings of God are consummated, then the TIME PALL that is cast over the earth can be lifted. NEW OPERATIONS WILL THEN SWING INTO ACTION, and the purpose of the ages will unfold its next stage of development.
There is even a set time for the complete revelation of the false systems of this world, for "ye know what with holdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (withholds, restrains) until he be taken out of the way! (Greek, OUT OF THE MIDST BECOMES)." [2 Thessalonians 2:6-7].
There is a TIME RESTRAINT cast over the earth, so that even the mystery of iniquity, which is working in man, cannot fully be revealed for all of its blackness, until that which is in the midst has fully become. What is BECOMING in the midst? "As many as received Him, to them gave He power, (the right, the privilege), TO BECOME the sons of God." [John 1:12]. There is a company that are becoming out of the midst, a first fruits of that new creation species created in His image. But until they have been brought to maturity, all else is held in restraint, for they are to be God's DIVINE COUNTER-BALANCE in the earth, when iniquity runs over the cup.
What is it that actually reveals the false? THE TRUTH. A burst of light will show you how dark it has been. Shadows and grey zones suddenly are exposed when the pure white and bright light come on the scene. Till then one might only wonder, grope and probe, but when truth shines out in clarity, then you know, and that which is false is dissipated by the truth. "And this is the condemnation (Greek, judgment), that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be manifested, that they are wrought in God." [John 3:19-21].
Ah, when God's temple is opened, and the light shines forth in its purity and brilliance, then that which is without, defiled, corrupt, perverted, shall be exposed for what it really is, and corrections will be made. But first, this LIGHT COMP ANY must become from the midst.
But in the meantime, "Let them both grow together until the harvest..." [Matthew 13:30]. The tares and the wheat, the false and the true, both are there, growing, coming to maturity, but the full expression does not come until the end of the ages, harvest time. Methinks that we are rapidly approaching the ending of this age, and therefore there are more and more signs of the uncovering and exposing, both of the wrong and the right."
And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned." [Isaiah 29:11-12].
Perhaps we could paraphrase this with present day experience. The revelation is sealed up in God's separated remnant, and one who hears the words of this revelation, comes to one that is spiritually growing in God, and says to this one, tell me the meaning of this revelation. But the answer comes back, I cannot tell you, I cannot find words to explain it, it is sealed up within my heart. So they go to another, and ask for help, but this one answers, I'm sorry, I am not learned in these things, it is like a foreign mystery to me, I cannot make any sense out of it.
A solemn experience indeed, to have the Spirit of God quicken a precious truth to your heart, and find He has so sealed it up within that you cannot find words or phrases to convey it to answer another. To all outward appearances you are dumb, not spiritually developed, a nobody. But just let another with the same revelation come to you, and there is that heart to heart flowing, that spirit communication, you know that they know, and they know that you know, and you rejoice together in the vision. But even so, it remains sealed within you both, to work in you of His purpose, until that hour when the temple shall be opened, and the truth flows out as a stream of life to quicken others.
"He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: ...as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare His generation?" [Isaiah 53:7-8].
"In His humiliation, His judgment was taken away." That is the path upon which God also has led His chosen ones. In that experience wherein they are stripped of all outward signs of gifts and graces, sprititual reputations are gone, and the work of the cross goes ever deeper and deeper to remove the last vestiges of our carnal mind and self-life, God's remnant find that they are indeed "dumb," and cannot open their mouth to either declare their own defense in judgment, or their generation and standing.
But the hour comes, when "every man's work shall be made manifest: FOR THE DAY SHALL DECLARE IT..." [1 Corinthians 3:13]. The temple shall be open, the new day of the Lord shall dawn in brilliance and glory, and the secrets shall be revealed, the hidden shall be manifested.
Until that hour let there be an end of all self-assertion, of self defense, that we might remain surrendered to God, upheld by a spirit of LOVE, while He completes His work within, and we are fully conformed to His image. Then when the manifestation of the sons of God comes forth, it will only be the image of THE SON which shall be seen, to His glory and praise.
But there is One "that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth." [Revelation 3:7]. When He opens the door, and the exposing begins, many would like to try and close that door and remain hidden, but the door shall remain open. Yet when He closes a door, it also remains closed, and no man shall open it. Praise God, when He has cast our sins into the sea of forgetfulness, to be remembered no more, and closed the door on the past, it shall remain closed. No one will dredge up a past fault and use it to accuse us before the Father, what He removes and takes away is gone, the door is shut, and remains so.
"Then said the Lord unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. ― Then brought He me by the way of the NORTH GATE before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord: and I fell upon my face." [Ezekiel 44:2, 4].
How often in the past has the Lord come into our midst, to bless and work the wonders of His grace, but the door seemed to remain open, and soon man (the flesh) entered in and corrupted that which was wrought, and so the glory of the Lord departed, and we were left with nothing but the programs and works of man. But now, in this new temple, the door is opened, the eastern gate, waiting for the dawning of His new day, and the coming of the Sun of Righteousness. He shall enter into His temple, fill the temple with His glory, and the door shall be shut― no flesh, no works of man shall follow, to come in and disrupt, destroy, and bring its death. HE shall remain within, King of kings, and Lord of lords, to fill our being with His glory. No man shall open that door and cause the glory to be dissipated.
God has used many gates, entrances, means of speaking and coming in to bless His people. Be it prophecy, speaking in other tongues, singing in the spirit, etc. and then man has come along, used these same things and in his own spirit, not motivated by the Spirit of God, and corrupted that which had been wrought, so that the glory of God lifted from us. But we read that "THERE IS A PATH which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen: the lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it." [Job 28:7-8]. Yes, God has away by which He will sovereignly move into these apprehended ones, and they will be filled with His glory, and nothing else shall gain an entrance to come in and defile His elect. "But he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." [1 John 5:18]. Praise God!
God made a way, an entrance through the Red Sea, and led His people out of Egypt. The Egyptians tried to follow on through by the same way, but God shut that door, and ended their pursuit.
Returning to the thought of the temple, we also read that there is yet another door which is opened, the NORTH GATE, and through this gate there is entrance in to receive the blessing of His glory that fills the house. Much could be said about the "north gate," but suffice it for now to point out that the "left side" in Hebrew is also considered to be the north side, since the directions are taken from facing the East, the dawning of the new day. The left side of our Lord bespeaks of that RIVEN SIDE, where the spear was thrust in, and which opened the way for HIS LIFE to flow out for mankind. Since all shall have to come in by HIM WHO is THE WAY, no more will anything enter to defile the temple, but they can all freely come to receive of His life and glory.
"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." [Zechariah 13:1]. A fountain OPENED― as long as there is one sinner that needs this cleansing, He remains, "Jesus Christ (Saviour Anointed), the same, yesterday, and today, and for the age." [Hebrews 13:8].
When the temple is opened, "there was seen in His temple the ARK of His testament..." All of the Christ now within His elect shall be revealed, seen in His temple. He is The ARK of the testament, the Centre of our testimony and victory, and it is to Him that we shall bear witness, of His salvation, His fulness, His life.
"Jesus was made surety of a better testament...wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." [Hebrews 7:22, 25].
A BETTER TESTAMENT. The word "testament" used here comes from that Greek word which means A FULL ARRANGEMENT. The first testament, covenant, was of signs and symbols, pointing to the greater which was to come. Also it was based upon man's works of fulfilling the laws and commandments, to obey and live. But it was weak, because of the flesh of man, and while God kept all of His part, man surely failed on his part. Therefore there was a NEW testament to be brought forth, this is a FULL ARRANGEMENT, complete in every respect, God providing the whole― imparting His life first, so that man is able to fulfill the will of God. The old order was DO― and live, but the new order is LIVE HIS DIVINE LIFE, and thus do.
Therefore, "Our sufficiency is of God; Who hath made us able ministers of the new testament..." [2 Corinthians 3:5-6]. Why haven't people understood the magnitude of His redemption and victory? Because the temple has not yet been opened, nor the clear message of the full arrangement yet been proclaimed. Even those having glimpsed of these precious truths find it most difficult to convey to others what they see, because it is sealed within them. But as we are brought into HIS FULNESS, to find our total sufficiency in Christ, there shall be an able ministering of this new testament, and a clarity of proclamation which will draw others unto Him. It will not be man's zeal trying to cause another to believe, but it will be the revelation of HIM Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. HE is the FULL ARRANGEMENT PERSONIFIED.
"I will give you pastors according to Mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding ...in those days, saith the Lord, They shall no more say, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more." [Jeremiah 3:15-16].
First He must take them one of a city, and two of a family and bring them to mount Zion. These shall comprise His first fruits, conformed to His image, brought forth in the likeness of His new creation fulness. They are to be His ABLE MINISTERS of the new testament― pastors that will feed with knowledge and understanding― as Paul said, "warning and admonishing everyone and instructing every one in all wisdom, (in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature― full grown, fully initiated, complete and perfect ― in Christ." [Colossians 1:28, Amplified].
Then they will no more remember the former dispensation, typified by the Ark of the first covenant, with all its types and symbols. The new Ark is personified in Christ, not a shrine to be visited, nor a form and ceremony to be ritualized― HE IS LIFE, HE IS TRUTH. This is the Christ that shall be revealed in His christed ones! The Ark of the Covenant of the Old Testament did symbolize His presence, for He said, "I will dwell beneath the wings of the cherubims." (see 1 Samuel 4:4) .And wherever the Ark was, thither the people went to worship Him. But when He FILLS THE WHOLE TEMPLE OF THE HIMSELF COMPANY ― wherever a "chamber" of His temple is ― THERE IS HIS PRESENCE with the possession of and the ministry to execute that FULL ARRANGEMENT.
Christ is to become such a reality in His people, that as the temple is opened, HE IS SEEN IN THEM. With a view to this, the Psalmist prayed, "Arise, O Lord, into Thy rest; Thou, and the ark of Thy strength." [Psalm 132:8].
Man is to become God's dwelling place, the place of His rest, and it is from this company that the Ark of the testament is to be seen. Paul also held this vision, and declared, "It pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace, TO REVEAL HIS SON IN ME..." [Galatians 1:15-16].
How long have we sung: "Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, All His wonderful passion and purity. O, Thou Spirit Divine, all my nature refine, till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me." There shall be a complete fulfillment of this prayer. He is measuring His temple, bringing them to full specification, and then shall they be manifested, and He shall be seen in them, to be glorified among the nations.
THE TEMPLE-CONCEALED, REVEALED
Through the long, long hours of preparation
The temple has been concealed,
To wit, the mystery of God
Transforming each chosen clod
By love and discipline's rod.
While creation hath groaned through its weary night,
Beneath the darkness hath reeled,
To wit, time's pall has been cast
O'er those in sin's grip amassed,
Vanity's bondage holds fast.
And those in whom the Spirit of God has moved,
In them the truth has been sealed,
To wit, their lips have been mute,
Accused-they cannot refute
But God works His purpose with infinite care,
And those He hath bruised, He healed,
To wit, His own they become,
His image their total sum,
And waiting for dawn to come.
When appointed seasons and times have their end,
The mystery of God doth reveal,
To wit, His fullness doth dwell
In these anointed to tell
Love's vict'ry o'er death and hell.
Writings in This Series: