OPENING THE ANCIENT DOORS
OPENING THE ANCIENT DOORSCopyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Going from the twenty-third Psalm to the twenty-fourth Psalm is like moving from Jesus to Joshua. In the twenty-third Psalm, Christ is wearing His shepherd's hat. In the twenty-fourth Psalm, Christ is wearing His warrior's helmet.
My opinion is that the "ancient doors" are the hearts of human beings. Why are they ancient? Because they have not changed from the beginning of man on the earth. An additional thought is this: It is in the present hour that God is revealing His plan to live in us, to place His Throne in us. Since this opportunity is available to every one of God's elect both on earth and in the spirit world, some of the recipients have lived for thousands of years.
From the beginning of the creation, people have attempted to conduct their own lives, using their own wisdom, experience and strength. It is only now, it seems, that we are understanding that man is not to live by bread alone but by every Word of God directed to him or her.
We all have a "throne room" in our personality. It was not built for us. When we sit on that throne without the Lord, our life cannot attain to the fullness of righteousness, love, joy, and peace no matter what we accomplish during our time on the earth.
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)
The throne is the human heart. That is the proper throne of God and Christ. We are permitted to sit there with Them when we are willing to live by Their Life.
It only is as Christ, and God in Him, occupy the throne of our personality that what we are meant to be unfolds from now throughout eternity.
Recently I read the life of Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables. Such a marvelous work that has been a great blessing to millions of people. Yet, there was much sadness in Mrs. Montgomery's life, as has been true of other gifted people who have given us such pleasure. She was beset with depression.
Perhaps it is in the present hour that it is becoming clear to us we are not to conduct our own life as we see fit. We are to look to Christ, night and day, for our thoughts, our words, and our actions. To live like this is not as impossible as it may seem to those who never have tried it. All that is required to live by the Life of Jesus, as the Apostle Paul did, is to ask God with utmost sincerity to cause us to live like this.
For how long have human beings sought to live their own life, although perhaps obeying one religion or another. It is perfectly possible, and the norm, for religious people to adhere to the rules and practices of their religion without opening their life to God.
Now we are perceiving that the only lasting good that religion can do is to bring us to the place where we give our life wholly to Christ; for He is the only Way to the Father. Until we are willing to live by the Life of Christ we never will experience the deepest longing of our heart.
The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Psalms 24:1)
"The earth"! To this point in time our salvation has been directed toward Heaven, we might say. It reminds me of the Jewish Calendar. The religious new year of the Jews begins with Passover. After six months, there is what we might refer to as a secular new year. It is the first day of this secular new year that is celebrated as New Year's Day, with the Blowing of Trumpets.
Notice that there is a religious year, and then there is "the year of kings and contracts."
So it is true that we have come to the time when our viewpoint is moving from Heaven to the earth. Previously we have thought that the goal of our salvation is that we might live in Heaven for eternity. We have built up a mythology about our life in Heaven, complete with mansions to live in.
Now we understand Heaven is not our goal. The Kingdom of God is our goal. Our Lord told us to pay our first attention to seeking the Kingdom of God, not Heaven.
Well then, what is the difference between Heaven and the Kingdom of God? Heaven is a place in the spirit world where the Heavenly Jerusalem is located, a city that one day will be installed on a high mountain of the new earth.
The Kingdom of God is not a place. It is the rule of God through Christ, and then through those in whom Christ is living and is being obeyed totally and completely. Could a person be in Heaven and not be in the Kingdom of God? Absolutely. Could a person be on the earth and yet be in the Kingdom of God? Yes, if Christ is his or her Life.
To enter the Kingdom of God we must be born again and then nourish our new inner man by keeping our attention on things above; by presenting our body a living sacrifice; by putting to death through the Spirit of God the acts of our sinful nature; by praying continually and spending some time each day meditating in the Bible.
To enter the Kingdom of God fully we must give ourselves totally to Christ.
As we press into Christ at the present time we discover that He is speaking to us about the earth. While it is true that we presently are at the right hand of God in Christ, our destination is the earth. When Christ appears we shall appear with Him.
The nations and the farthest reaches of the earth are the inheritance of Christ. They also are our inheritance. From now until the present earth and sky are destroyed and a new earth and sky take their place, there will be a battle between good and evil. The power of redemption will operate until all sin is removed from the creation of God and iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to God take the place of sin and self-will.
Seventy "sevens" are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. (Daniel 9:24)
"To put an end to sin." "To bring in everlasting righteousness."
We now are at the beginning of the operation of redemption. Forgiveness was purchased on the cross of calvary. Now it is time for the total removal of the practice of sin.
The Bible says that the earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it..
We must admit that we have been taught that God's goal is to bring as many people to Heaven as possible and, I suppose, Satan then would inherit the earth. This is an incorrect viewpoint. God's goal is to fill as many people as possible with His Presence and will. The result of this will be that Satan, and all that is of Satan, will be removed from the physical creation and confined in the spirit prisons.
This is the coming of the Kingdom of God, the will of God, to the earth. This is what Jesus told us to seek.
For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. (Psalms 24:2)
God founded the earth, and everything in it, including the people, upon the seas. Thus the foundation is unstable. Abraham was looking for a city that has foundations. The foundations of the wall of the new Jerusalem are heavily ornamented with precious stones.
The city that is coming is founded on Christ. Christ, and Christ alone, is the Rock, the only trustworthy, permanent foundation upon which we can build our life. It may take us a while to learn this, and some may never understand. But it is certain that anything not built on Christ will not last!
Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? (Psalms 24:3)
There only is one holy hill. It is Mount Zion. Mount Zion is Christ and all who belong to Christ. All other hills, all other religions, are imitations.
Why gaze in envy, O rugged mountains, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the LORD himself will dwell forever? (Psalms 68:16)
It is fashionable today to say there are many ways that lead to God. This is a kind attitude to take, but it is false. It is impossible to come to God except through Jesus Christ. This is not the truth of a religion, it is a spiritual fact.
I invite anyone who is willing to do so to pray that if Jesus is alive, and is the one Way to the Father, to make Himself, that is, Jesus, known. I did this 67 years ago. I know now that Jesus Christ is alive and is who He says He is.
Some time ago a college student asked me how he could know if there is a God? I said, "Ask Him. He is able to answer you, and will answer you if you are sincere." If you want to know if someone is in the next room, knock on the door.
There are many interesting religions in the world, and each has devout practitioners. But when people are worshiping and obeying Jesus (and this certainly is not true of all who assemble in Christian churches), there is a sense of God's Presence that is not true of any other religion.
Try it out for yourself. I am not suggesting you leave your religion. I am inviting you to ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you. If you are honest, He will do just that, just as He did for me so many years ago.
Now we have a question: "Who may ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place?"
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. (Psalms 24:4)
"Clean hands" refers to righteous, holy behavior. A "pure heart" means that the person's motivations and intentions are sincere and trustworthy, integrity of motive. "Does not lift up his soul to an idol" signifies that there is no person, thing, or situation that the individual adores more than God.
"Swear by what is false" speaks of building our life on what is not true. It is a fact that the world (Antichrist) spirit is one massive lie. The American culture is built on money, and much that takes place is a lie.
Right here we have to make a decision. The current theology in America tells us that believing in Christ brings a "grace" to us that no longer requires that we are upright and truthful. All we do is believe. A righteous, truthful personality is not necessary if we wish to stand in God's holy place, it is claimed.
Or, we can take the position that God has not changed His requirements: We must be a truthful person of integrity of character if we are to stand in God's holy place and ascend Mount Zion.
Which of these two theological positions is true and which is false?
I know that one time the Lord said to me that liars will not eat at His table. Was that really Jesus who said that to me? I am convinced it indeed was, and it makes sense to me.
So we are at a crossroads in America. Either the lawless-grace message is of God, or Christ has not changed and still requires clean hands and a pure heart if we are to ascend the hill of the Lord.
I believe we are in sore need of a reformation of Christian thinking in America. How could we ever have believed that an unholy, unrighteous individual ever could stand in God's holy place by claiming to believe in Jesus!
Believe what about Jesus? That He is God's Son and died for our sins?
The demons know that and tremble.
That He is coming again to exercise Divine judgment upon all who disobey God?
The demons know that and tremble.
So what belief is it that enables us to continue yielding to our sinful nature and remain standing in the holy place?
We are in deception in America, and I don't know if we ever will be able to come to the truth of the Bible. Will God in His mercy open our eyes? Or are we going to have to suffer greatly before we will repent of our love of money, perverse sexual behavior, love of ease and pleasure, and addiction to entertainment?
Each one of us can press into Christ right now and by so doing save ourselves and our loved ones from the sins of our culture.
He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior. (Psalms 24:5)
Do we truly believe that we can keep yielding to our sinful nature and be blessed of the Lord by claiming we believe in Christ? Will God vindicate us if we keep on sinning? Is this what the lawless-grace message is teaching us?
In the Book of Colossians, Paul mentioned that we are going to appear with Christ when He comes.
And then Paul added:
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. (Colossians 3:5,6)
Have we not been greatly deceived, we who are trusting in lawless-grace to keep us in good standing with the Lord? Either contemporary preaching is correct, or Paul is correct. Which preachers do you think have heard from God?
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah. (Psalms 24:6)
It seems to me that current "ticket" doctrine produces a static Christian experience. When we "accept Christ" we have our ticket to Heaven. There does not seem to be an emphasis on seeking God. However, the true Christian discipleship includes seeking the face of Christ night and day. We continually are to be seeking the face of Him who "hides Himself."
Since we always are making mistakes, getting off the track, blundering along, we absolutely must seek God with all our heart at all times. Not to do so is to end up in a spiritual wasteland, although we have "accepted Christ."
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. (Psalm 24:7)
The above reminds us of "Behold, I stand at the door and knock," doesn't it?
We indeed have come to a great moment in the plan of redemption. This forward step is prefigured in the seven celebrations of Israel. We have been at the fourth step, Pentecost, for a century. Now it is time to advance to the spiritual fulfillment of the final three feasts. They are the Blowing of Trumpets; the Day of Atonement; and Tabernacles.
The Blowing of Trumpets, announcing the new secular year is fulfilled in us when the Holy Spirit announces the coming of the King to us to begin the construction of the Kingdom of God.
The Day of Atonement is the reconciling of us to God and He to us. Line upon line, command upon command, the Holy Spirit shows us the sins and self-will in our adamic nature. We must confess and turn away from the darkness that has been pointed out to us, as the Lord assists us.
We are not reconciled to God in a moment. The program of atonement lasts throughout our lifetime and, I have no doubt, after we pass into the spirit world. It is an eternal judgment on the sin and self-will that are in us.
I myself began this program in around 1950. Here it is 2012, and occasionally some area of darkness is uncovered. I have learned through long experience to immediately deal with the darkness, confessing it to the Lord, denouncing it as evil, and renouncing it, determining right then that, with Jesus' help, such behavior or attitude will never again be true of meno, not for eternity!
We are not possessed with endless sin and self-will. The work of atonement may take a while, but eventually it will be finished. We will be free from all the compulsions of our sinful nature. Whew!
You can think of this process as our entering our land of promise. City by city falls before us as the Lord leads. We do not do, as did faithless Israel, make some progress, and then quit the battle because it is rigorous. We persevere until every enemy, from the kings to the smallest demon, has been driven out and we can find rest in our inheritance.
It may be noted that not only do we find rest in God, God also finds rest in us. In fact, the whole purpose of the plan of redemption is that God might have a resting place. God does not find rest in us when there is sin and self-seeking in our personality.
Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? (Isaiah 66:1)
The "house" that we build for God is our own personality, in which our redeemed body plays an important role. In fact, the purpose of the gifts and ministries given to the Body of Christ is to build the eternal Tabernacle of God, which comes down to earth as the new Jerusalem. This is Mount Zion.
The 68th Psalm talks about Mount Zion and the gifts and ministries given to the members of the Body of Christ. Then about the purpose the Holy Spirit has in mind in giving these gifts:
Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led in procession a body of captives, Thou hast received gifts consisting of men, yea even the rebellious, that Yah Elohim might settle down to rest. (Psalms 68:18Rotherham)
Can you see why the Day of Atonement must come before the spiritual fulfillment of the celebration of Tabernacles? "Tabernacles" is the coming of the Father and the Son to make Their eternal home, Their rest in us. The spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement obviously must come first. The "rest" in us that God is seeking can be made ready only as our sin and self-will have been confessed and renounced.
We can understand from all this that the day in which we are living indeed is momentous. All that has gone before in the history of the world has been for the purpose of creating a dwelling place for God, beginning with the Firstfruits of His Church, then spreading to the remainder of the Church, and finally to every saved person who is qualified to be a citizen of the new world of righteousness.
Who is it that is asking that we lift up the gates of our personality that He may enter us? It is the King of Glory. But exactly who is the King of Glory? He is the Lord Jesus Christ, and God in Him.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. (Psalms 24:8)
Right here is the issue. For two thousand years the Lord Jesus has been our Shepherd. He is the One who seeks out the lamb who is in danger. He is gentle and meek, and loves little children.
Now He is changing from a shepherd to a warrior. May I add that when Christ is our shepherd He is all shepherd. But when He is God's warrior He is all warrior. He is not half-shepherd and half-warrior.
The demons understand this only too well and tremble at the thought!
We are at the beginning of the war between good and evil. The evil has been entrenched in the creation from the days of Adam and Eve. The Good has been biding His time.
This war is fierce beyond all comprehension. It is "no holds barred." Satan will employ every device in his arsenal to tear down every believer that he thinks is a danger to him. This is no place for foolish, half-hearted, casual Christians, of which we have an abundance in the United States.
There is a remnant today. They are overcoming the Accuser by the blood of the Lamb; by the word of their testimony; and by loving not their life to the death. They are totally committed to Christ. They are learning to live by His Life. They follow Him wherever He goes. They obey Him at all times in the smallest details of their existence.
There are such Christians today. I do not say there are many. But there are some; and you can be one if that is your desire. Count the cost. It will cost you everything. Then count the cost of not being one of the Lord's Firstfruits who attains to the first resurrection.
Audrey and I watched a television episode the other day. A lady was in the process of giving birth. She was screaming. The baby was partly out. The nurse was saying, "Push. Push. Push."
Then the lady stopped screaming and said, "I've changed my mind."
When you are in the midst of being redeemed from sin and self-will, and you find the process demanding, do not change your mind. Remember Jesus said that a woman travailing in birth has pain. But when the baby is delivered she remembers the pain no longer but has joy that a man has been born into the world.
Don't quit in the middle of the process. The "baby" finally will be born and you will not remember the pain any longer. "Christ" will have been born into the world.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. (Psalms 24:9)
Jesus is standing today at the door of your heart. He is knocking. He never will open the door. You and I have to open the door.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:20,21)
The redactors of the text have separated these two verses, not realizing they compose one thought.
Notice that the above promise is to the Laodicean Church, the church that appears at the close of the Church Age. It is the church of the rights of people. It is the church of those who are lukewarm, who think they have need of nothing. This is what we see in America today, isn't it?
"If anyone hears my voice." Notice the promise is to the individual. This is true also of "him who overcomes." Christ does not speak to the whole Church but to individuals.
"I will come in and eat with him and he with me." Christ eats from our obedience and worship. We eat from His body and blood. It is by eating His body and blood that we learn to live by His Life.
The sixth chapter of the Gospel of John tells us of the importance of the body and blood of Christ. They are our resurrection Life. It is the body and blood of the Lamb of God that will draw us up to Him when He appears in the sky.
Whoever lives by the body and blood of Christ lives by Him as He lives by the Father.
Whenever we come to a choice between two alternatives, one we are pretty sure is of God, and the other is a burning desire of our fallen nature, and we choose the alternative that we believe is of God, we are fed in the spirit world with the body and blood of Christ.
Every time we choose to do God's will rather than obey our sinful nature, we are fed in the spirit world with the body and blood of Christ. This is how we learn to live by His Life instead of our own.
It is he who overcomes sin and self-will who is given to eat from the Tree of Life, the Tree of Life being the Lord Jesus Christ. Eventually we ourselves become trees of life planted by the River of Life. Through us eternal life will come to the dead sea of mankind.
All that we truly desire is found in the body and blood of the Lamb of God.
As we keep overcoming and keep eating the flesh of Christ and drinking His blood, we become qualified to sit with Christ on the throne of our own life, just as Christ, having overcome, is seated with His Father on the Father's Throne.
The Father's Throne is the heart of the victorious saint. Christ sits with the Father on that Throne. When we live in victory we sit with the Father and the Son on the throne of our own personality. Can you think of anything better than that?
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." (John 14:23)
The above is the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. It is the "rest of God," spoken of in the fourth chapter of the Book of Hebrews.
Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almightyhe is the King of glory. Selah(Psalms 24:10)
The purpose of our salvation is to provide an eternal throne, a home, a resting place for the Lord Almighty. He is the King. Our task is to work with Him as He brings all the creation, including ourselves, under the rule of His iron scepter of righteousness.
The world fights onward, hoping one day to find peace and contentment. It never shall find peace and contentment apart from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Religion fights onward, hoping to please God by building His Kingdom without waiting to hear from Jesus what He wants done.
The true saint fights onward, seeking through Christ to overcome all that would hinder the accomplishing of the will of God in his own life.
All of life, it seems, is a battle. The fighting never seems to end. But it shall end some day. God knows exactly what He is doing. Christ listens to His Father and obeys Him implicitly.
All each one of us is required to do is to wait patiently on Christ and obey Him at all times, in all situations. If we do that, then, when God has put all of Christ's enemies under His feet, we shall share with Him all that God has given to Him.
Have peace. No one can harm you if you do what is good. You will save yourself and your loved ones if you walk humbly with your hand in the hand of God. No matter how tumultuous the future becomes in America, just remember that God still is in control.
If you make the Most High your dwellingeven the LORD, who is my refugethen no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. (Psalms 91:9,10)