Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 09/05/2010
The Doctrine of The Open Door.
The kinds of people and methods God can use and why we should always be ready and available to the Doctrine of the Open Door. This means that we must all have an understanding of the Sovereign will of God and the free will of man as it relates to the open door of opportunity. These doors can refer to those doors that the Lord opens, and at times, those doors He closes.
The Doctrine of the Open Door and how it relates to the glorification of God as He uses all kinds of people, whether believers or unbelievers. For example, under these principles of the open door, the Lord can and will use individuals like Cain, the first murderer, who murdered his brother Abel, and this opened up the door for God to introduce capital punishment and the laws of establishment into the human race, namely freedom to live and let live.
The first law found in the divine establishment is the principle of freedom manifested by respect for the sacredness of life. For we read in 1JO 3:11, For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have really loved. Life is a journey, and love is what makes that journey worthwhile.
For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous. (1JO 3:11-12)
God used the jealousy of Cain to reveal what hatred and anger produces in an individual. To protect the real principle of freedom as found in Divine Establishment #1. So through one act of murder, God opened the door for freedom to exist.
Next we see God using the evil sinful decisions of Abraham to establish the sacredness of marriage and the respectfulness that should exist between the husband and the wife. For example, in GEN 12:11, And it came about when he [Abraham] came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman;”
As they drew near to Egypt, which represents the cosmic system, Abraham said to his wife, Sarai, "Look. We both know that you're a beautiful woman.” Be careful ladies when the overflowing compliments of flattery or the boxes of lady Godiva chocolates or the red roses for a blue lady start to come your way.
His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords. (PSA 55:21)
This is why we read in EPH 5:25-27, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.
The Church, in all of her glory, is the future bride of Christ, and as such, has the ultimate divine orgasm through union with her bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is known as the doctrine of common and efficacious grace. The open door of salvation was provided for her by means of the proposal from the Lord Jesus Christ, which proposal is for all, or whosoever. This is why the Lord Jesus Christ said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” (JOH 10:7)
“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (JOH 10:9)
There is the divine proposal. The divine proposal is to everyone and anyone. For JOH 3:16b invites whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. The doctrine of the open door says in MAT 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”
Now, that is the divine proposal in the spiritual real, and so, just like the thief on the Cross, what kind of people can God use and why should we always be available to the doctrine of the open door or the doors that the Lord opens? Because for many 2CO 6:2b, Behold, Now is “the acceptable time,” Behold, Now is “the day of salvation.”
Back again to GEN 12:11, And it came about when he [Abraham] came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and it will come about when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Pease say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.”
Notice the word me.
And it came about when Abram came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. (GEN 12:14)
In fact, the Hebrew words mean she was stunningly beautiful.
And Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. Therefore he treated Abram well for her sake; and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels. But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. (GEN 12:15-17)
Everybody in the palace began to get seriously sick. Cosmic believers not only make God want to vomit but become detestable to others, especially when they use the name of God in vain.
Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.” (GEN 12:18-19)
Now, remember Sarah also lied. Now, this in no way tells us that there is no forgiveness with God, in fact quite the contrary. Don't ever buy the lie that Sarah was justified or vindicated because she was simply obeying her husband. A number of passages tell us that God would have honored Sarah in such a way that while disobeying her husband, she obeyed God.
We must obey God rather than men. (ACT 5:29)
Sarah didn't have to do anything, PSA 46:10 tells us, Be still, and know that the Lord is God.
Or as David said 1SA 17:47, for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands.
Sarah could have said what Moses said in EXO 14:13, But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the deliverance of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today;”
The point is neither one of them had to lie.
So, what kind of people can God use and why should we always be available to the doctrine of the open door or the doors that the Lord opens? The Lord can use liars, deceivers and wimps, like Abraham and Sarah acted like. And not only that but the Lord opened the door of forgiveness, power, and strength, so much so that both Abraham and Sarah finally ended up walking through the open doors and eventually made God's hall of fame in Heb 11. For we read in the book of Hebrews that
By means of doctrine resident in his soul, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. (HEB 11:8)
By means of doctrine resident in her soul even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised; (HEB 11:11)
They both made God's Hall of Fame instead of the cosmic wall of shame.
So, in GEN 12:20, And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him [that is Abraham]; and they escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him.
Let’s note some principles:
1. This was an evil act on the part of Abraham, revealing the love, longsuffering, and patience of God concerning the kind of people God can and will use, just like he used Pharaoh.
2. This place was an open door for Abraham and Sarah to go through and reveal to Pharaoh and the Egyptians the courage a man and a woman of God have who follow TLJC, Jehovah Elohim, the Lord God.
3. Abraham had just learned the principle of GEN 18:14, “Is anything too difficult for the Lord,” and therefore should have been able to go through this open door of overcoming the odds.
Later on Moses, who went through the open door of being the underdog himself would make statements like those found in the book of Leviticus.
“But you will chase your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword; five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword.” (LEV 26:7-8)
These passages and many more reveal the kind of people God opens up the door for. So, why should we always be available to the doctrine of the open door or the doors that the Lord opens? Because you never know who is really saved or has become saved through you living in your ambassadorship. The point is that God can use the evil of lying and turn it into divine good through “opening up” an open door for those who desire to go through it. Not only that but Abraham repeated this same sin or form of evil again in GEN 20:2-3, And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married.”
God opened up the door to have victory over his previous evil but instead, Abraham repeated the same act all over again. This reveals the kind of people God uses and why we should always be available to the doctrine of the open door or the doors that the Lord opens? He went through the wrong door of selfishness and fear but later on became an example of the patience and longsuffering of God. So much so that Abraham is called the father of our faith.
So Abimelech had not yet slept with her, hadn’t so much as touched her.
“Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” (GEN 20:5)
Notice that Abraham even caused Sarah to lie.
Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. (Gen20:6)
Then the Lord said in GEN 20:7, “Now therefore, restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.” So Abimelech arose early in the morning and called all his servants and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were greatly frightened. Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, "What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.”
Notice God still protected his man Abraham, the prophet, which falls under the principle of Do not touch God's anointed. The Lord said to Abimelech If you don’t give her back, know that it’s certain death both for you and everyone in your family. Abimelech called in Abraham and said, What have you done to us? What have I ever done to you that you would bring on me and my kingdom this huge offense? What you've done to me ought never to have been done. Here is an unbeliever who operated with more integrity than two believers, both Abraham and Sarah. God opened up the door of integrity, but Abraham refused to go through it.
What kind of people can God use and why should we always be available to the doctrine of the open door or the doors that the Lord opens? People who understand the importance of forgiveness. These are the kind of people God can use and why we should always be available to the doctrine of the open door. For you never know when that door will open.
And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What have you encountered, that you have done this thing?” And Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely there is no fear of God in this place; and they will kill me because of my wife.” (GEN 20:10-11)
Abraham chose the door of fear, presumption, and self-justification rather than the open door of fearlessness and believing the best about others.
“Besides, she actually is my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife;” (GEN 20:12)
This is the self-justification of Abraham once again.
Here Abraham is revealing the kind of people God can use and why we should always be ready to speak up to everyone who asks us to give an account for the confidence that is in us. We should do it with gentleness and reverence, always with the utmost courtesy. We should always be available to the doctrine of the open door or the doors that the Lord opens up for us?
As a perfect gentleman, the Lord opens up the doors for His future bride. Right now, we are in the engagement stage, His bride to be. But, in the future, we will be the bride of Christ forever and ever. This is why the apostle John wrote in REV 19:7, Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.
Now, it’s taken almost 2,000 years for this bride to dress up and make herself ready. What is she dressed up with? Well, in REV 19:7-8, we are told, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Notice, she dresses up herself with her righteous acts, not the imputed righteousness which all believers possess, but experiential righteousness which is a reflection of the works of EPH 2:10.
EPH 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (EPH 2:10)
And so, he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” (REV 19:9)
So, back in GEN 20:12 again, Abraham tries to justify himself when he says “Besides, she actually is my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife;”
This is the self-justification of Abraham once again. Again Abimelech went on to Abraham, “Whatever were you thinking of when you did this thing?”
And it came about, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, “This is the kindness which you will show to me: everywhere we go, say of me, ‘He is my brother.’” Abimelech then took sheep and oxen and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and restored his wife Sarah to him. And Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; settle wherever you please.” And to Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; behold, it is your vindication before all who are with you, and before all men you are cleared.” And Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children. (GEN 20:13-17)
So, what kind of people can God use?
Well even Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who forced her Egyptian maid Hagar to have a male child through Abraham because of her lack of faith. Remember when we studied Sarah it says;
By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised; (HEB 11:11)
That is quite a statement....even Sarah.
Even a woman can become spiritually mature and glorify God if she is willing to follow TLJC and go through the open door or the doors that the Lord opens. The Holy Spirit did through the writer of the book Of Hebrews. You look in this chapter and you will not find the phrase “even Abel, or even Enoch, or even Noah, or even David” but here it says even Sarah, insinuating evensomeone like Sarah can reach spiritual maturity and glorify God.