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Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 10/31/2010
The Doctrine of The Open Door. Part 9.

Our tenth point in the doctrine of the Open Door. Point 10, The Mechanics of the Open Doors.

One of the most informative passages in the word of God concerning the “Open Door Doctrine” and the mechanics of the open door is found in Act 11.  Peter and the rest of the Apostles, and the brethren received the news that the Gentiles had received the word of God meaning that God was now accepting all races and nationalities without having to convert to Judaism. (ACT 11:1)  This meant that many of the Hebrew Scriptures and the Talmud were for the Jews only and not for the Gentiles or for the other races for that matter.

The Gentiles had been accepted by God without conformity to the traditional ceremonies and rites of the Jewish religion. The cultural, religious, and social practices and beliefs of the Jews were for Jews only and not the Gentiles.

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (JOH 1:17)

Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. (ACT 11:1)

Then as usual, whenever God opens up a door it is always a door founded upon grace and therefore in verse, these doors will always be accompanied or followed by the inevitable opposition from legalism. That’s because as GAL 4:29, But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.

And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him, saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” (ACT 11:1-2)

So in verse 3 there is criticism of Peter, so Peter begins to relate various factors in the open doors God provided for him as he came into contact with the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius.

But Peter began {speaking} and {proceeded} to explain to them in orderly sequence, saying, (ACT 11:4)

I love the word orderly because under Point 8, How to know the doors that God opens up in your life, I quoted the very simple principle of 1CO 14:33, God is not God of confusion but of peace or prosperity.

So the orderly sequence is a manifestation of the divine order of things concerning the open doors from God, DEU 32:4, “The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.”

 

So we begin with the fact that:
a. God will open doors through prayer, LUK 11:9, “knock, and it shall be opened to you.”

praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery doctrine of Christ. (COL 4:3)

Therefore in verse 5, we have God opening up certain doors in our life by means of directing us through prayer.

“I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, a certain object coming down like a great sheet lowered by four corners from the sky; and it came right down to me,” (ACT 11:5)

Guidance through prayer is authentic only when a believer is confronted with a situation which is not specified by some direct command in scripture.  For example, a believer should never pray about marrying an unbeliever. 2CO 6:14 commands no marriage is to be contracted between a believer and an unbeliever. However, the believer should use prayer in the doctrine of finding and marrying the right one for your life or, if you will, the doctrine of right man and right woman. So the open door of prayer is our first found in this passage.

  1. God will open doors through objective thinking of Bible doctrine. We have divine instruction concerning the doctrine of the open door through observation, concentration and objective thinking in the mind — verse 6. In ACT 11:6 Peter says, And when I had fixed my gaze upon it and was observing it [responding to the open doors that God sets before you depends upon observing what it is that is set before you.]

In other words, counting the cost. In ACT 11:6, I saw the four‑footed animals of the earth and the wild beasts and the crawling creatures and the birds of the air.  When you are observing certain situations set before you, don't be subjective, if you are, you will be so concerned about yourself, and you will miss out on the open doors of opportunity. The difference between these two forms of thinking is the difference between facts [objectivity] and opinions [subjectivity].  Objectivity means to be uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices, or to be open-minded and not self-centered. Subjectivity means to proceed from or taking place in a person’s mind rather than the external world: It means existing only in the mind; imaginary or unreal, especially because of hypersensitivity and insecurity.

  1. Then there are the open doors that God sets before you through direct guidance through the Word of God, verses 7-10.

“And I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Arise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘By no means, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But a voice from heaven answered a second time, ‘What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.’ And this happened three times, and everything was drawn back up into the sky.” (ACT 11:7-10)

This is the principle of guidance when facing the open doors that God sets before you through perception and recall of doctrine, verses 7‑10. Peter was guided through divine revelation, which today is the Word of God and only the Word of God.

  1. Then there are the open doors that God sets before you through what is known as providential circumstances e.g. the people we meet.

“And behold, at that moment three men appeared before the house in which we were {staying,} having been sent to me from Caesarea.” (ACT 11:11)

Three men had arrived even while Peter was still on the rooftop. They had left Caesarea and had made the day’s journey to Joppa, and to the house where Peter was. Now, these three men appearing before the house where Peter and some of the other believing Jews were staying, is what we call providential circumstances. Providential circumstances are when God brings in people or situations to guide and direct you to the proper open door. Providential circumstances means divine intervention by God by using people and circumstances to reveal His will. We are to test a providential circumstance. It must not conflict with the statements, doctrines, and principles of the Word of God.

  1. Then there are the open doors that God sets before you through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

“And the Spirit told me to go with them without misgivings. And these six brethren also went with me, and we entered the man's house.” (ACT 11:12)

The Holy Spirit never guides the believer apart from the Word of God. The Holy Spirit cannot guide apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit and knowledge of doctrine. 

  1. And that brings us to a unique open door that God sets before you which is the door of divine guidance through comparison of scripture.

“And he reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying, ‘Send to Joppa, and have Simon, who is also called Peter, brought here; and he shall speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as {He did} upon us at the beginning.” (ACT 11:13-15)

God will open doors up through fellowship and comparison of spiritual data with other believers. The similar phenomenon of Pentecost in Jerusalem confirmed the fact that Gentile believers were just as much “Church” (body of Christ) as Jewish believers.

For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (EPH 2:14)

  1. There are also the open doors that God sets before you through remembering the doctrines you have been taught.

“And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” (ACT 11:16)

Peter remembered what the Lord Jesus Christ Jesus spoke in Acts 1:5.

for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
(ACT 1:5)

The memory of scripture contributed considerably to his ability of going through the open doors that God sets before him. Peter remembered it at the proper time, and therefore was guided by it.

  1. God will even open up doors through disaster. Let me illustrate this with a passage that I would entitle: “You think you have problems.”

Thus says the Lord, “A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation {and} bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; She refuses to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.” Thus says the Lord, “Restrain your voice from weeping, And your eyes from tears; For your work shall be rewarded,” declares the Lord, “And they shall return from the land of the enemy. “And there is hope for your future,” declares the Lord, “And {your} children shall return to their own territory.” (JER 31:15-17)

Nebuchadnezzar was king of one of the finest armies of his day. When an army conquered a city they received their pay by how much they took in booty or plunder. He moved his army to Ramah which is north of Jerusalem and sent his generals to take the city, and they did. When it was all over many of the people were taken into slavery or slain. Many children stood by and watched as houses were burned, parents were tortured and massacred. Some of these children had learned doctrine in their homes, the principle of DEU 6:5-9 was followed...more back then, than now!

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (DEU 6:5-9)

When the city was completely destroyed Nebuchadnezzar’s army lined up children and teens and marched them from Jerusalem to Ramah. If the children had to be carried or could not walk the child was destroyed right in front of the mother. All this was because the people had rejected the Lord and His word and He gave them over to their own wishes and desires.

All this is background for Psa 119 also fulfilled in MAT 2:17-18, when the real message behind Jer 31 was revealed. After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.” And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. He gathered together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he {began} to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. And they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet.” (MAT 2:2-5)

Therefore in MAT 2:8, he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found {Him,} report to me, that I too may come and worship Him.”

So in MAT 2:11-18, they found TLJC, And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned {by God} in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” And he arose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed for Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod, that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “Out of Egypt did I call My Son.” Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its environs, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the magi. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, “A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, Because they were no more.”

In JER 31:15 this was all behind the phrase, “Thus says the Lord, ‘A voice is heard in Ramah,’”  However, even though they had forsaken him, He still had not forsaken them, as stated in 2TI 2:13.  If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself. (2TI 2:13)  A voice was heard in Ramah
Not just an ordinary voice but screaming, pain, shock.
lamentation and bitter weeping. Lamentation means a crying out of grief, regrets, crying, from those who had neglected and rejected the provision for catastrophe. When it says inJER 31:15 Rachel is weeping for her children; She refuses to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more. Rachel refers to the mothers of the children of Israel weeping for her children, because they were being massacred. Now, remember this is all the background for Psa 119, so make sure you get the picture because we will see how God will even open up doors through disaster.

So, she refused to be comforted for her children because they they are no more. But in spite of all these disasters notice our next verse.

Thus says the Lord, “Restrain your voice from weeping, And your eyes from tears; For your work shall be rewarded,” declares the Lord, (JER 31:16)

God has a plan to take care of one of the worst disasters that ever existed. And God’s plan does not include emotional breakdown, so He calls their attention.

“Your work” refers to believers who were caught up in the disaster (and many had been). Even though they have gone through literal hell they are still alive which means God still has a plan for their lives. All this is to say you think you have problems?

So, “Your work” refers to being alive in shock - this by the way was prophecy - it didn’t happen until 10 years after Jerusalem.

JER 31:16 Thus says the Lord, “Restrain your voice from weeping, And your eyes from tears; For your work shall be rewarded,” declares the Lord, “And they [the younger generation of Jews] shall return from the land of the enemy.” (JER 31:16)

One of these boys was a boy by the name of Ezra (Maybe in his early teens). He had seen all this suffering and Psa 119 is his story, he had seen all these disasters and came through and survived by way of the Word of God. Psa 119 is his poem song, his file (or his acrostic) to us for disasters of life.

An acrostic is a poem or series of lines in which certain letters, usually the first in each line, form a name, or a motto, or a message when read in sequence. Psa 119 is his file to show us how he could take shock, torture, abuse and be victorious because of the doors God opens up even in times of disaster. In one and a half files from the acrostic Psalm 119, verses 65 to 75, he gives us the divine perspective and some spiritual insight which has to the doors God opened for him during his time of disaster.

We are going to look at a passage written by a person who survived disasters that are almost unbelievable.

“And there is hope for your future,” declares the Lord, “And {your} children shall return to their own territory.” (JER 31:17)

Jeremiah taught this to Ezra, a young man in chains, as he was marching out of the city. He was used as an open door for his people inside of the prison of slavery, while Jeremiah was used as an open door for those outside the prison of slavery. The point being that sometimes God delivers us in a disastrous decision while other times God delivers us from a disastrous decision.

For not only is PHI 1:29 true, For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. But also 3JO 1:2, Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

So in JER 31:17, Jeremiah says, “And there is hope for your future,” Ezra no matter what you go through there is hope. The same is true for everyone of  you.

“And there is hope for your future,” declares the Lord, “And {your} children shall return to their own territory.” (JER 31:17)

What was Jeremiah thinking and saying when all this was taking place? Well in LAM 3:19, Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness.

Jeremiah is recording for us in the book of Lamentations as the chain gang is walking by. He sees Ezra and others walking by.  Surely my soul remembers [that is his afflictions] And is bowed down within me. (LAM 3:20)  Notice what is his deliverance. LAM 3:21, “This [word] I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.” He has hope and confidence as he operates in the faith-rest drill under maximum pressure. Every single one of us at some time will have only the “word” as our only hope during times of disaster.  The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. (LAM 3:22)  Ezra will be under intense treatment but the Lord will always be ready with compassion.  {They} are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness. (LAM 3:23)  For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy {comes} in the morning. (PSA 30:5)

These are promises which Ezra will need each morning.

 

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, Therefore I have hope in Him.” (LAM 3:24)

Hope is the Hebrew word yachal = to have faith rest under pressure.

 

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.” (LAM 3:25)

 

“Seeks” = darash = to continue under pressure; to overcome obstacles.

 

{It is} good that he waits silently For the salvation of the Lord. (LAM 3:26)

“Waits silently” in the Hebrew is the Hebrew verb duwmawn = to be silent, no murmuring or complaining, PHI 2:14, can only be done through doctrine.

“{It is} good for a man that he should bear The yoke in his youth.” (LAM 3:27)

The yoke refers to the burden, oppression, the time of suffering, as GAL 6:5 says, For each one shall bear his own load. And when he says It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his youth - the word youth is the noun neurah = times of freshness, vigor or energy which makes bearing of burdens easier. Many believers wonder why tragedy comes when they're doing good and the answer is found in one word...

GRACE!

OT = ECC 9:2, It is the same for all. There is one fate for the righteous and for the wicked; for the good, for the clean, and for the unclean; for the man who offers a sacrifice and for the one who does not sacrifice. As the good man is, so is the sinner; as the swearer is, so is the one who is afraid to swear.\

NT = MAT 5:45b, for He causes His sun to rise on {the} evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

The whole subject of Psa 119 is based upon the doctrinal principle that God is just and righteous and because of this God is perfect, His plan is perfect, and His solutions are perfect. So, in Hebrew writings, there is what is known as Acrostic Psalms where the first word in a sentence begins with a Hebrew letter representing a principle of doctrine or meaning that allows us to understand the correct interpretation of what the verse is about to say.

The first letter in the Hebrew alphabet is the letter aleph and when we have an acrostic Psalm we call each letter a file. The first file is the ALEPH file which represents an OX in the ancient world which meant prosperity or how to be prosperous.

Therefore, in Psalm 119 the first file or letter in the Hebrew alphabet, aleph, begins the first eight verses, 1-8, and every verse begins with the letter aleph and therefore each verse represents prosperity or how to be prosperous. For example, notice the first eight verses describe for us “knowing the Lord and His word” which is the true basis and the means of true prosperity.

Therefore, the first eight verses are classified under the category of “aleph file” which tells us how to be prosperous according to divine viewpoint or the mind or thinking of our Lord Jesus Christ. His desire is that your human spirit becomes a filing cabinet containing the aleph files. Let’s just read the passage as an example of this principle and see if you notice the consistency and correlation of each verse to the others. And I will make the first question of this short exam easy under the principle of phonetics.

“How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all {their} heart. They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways. Thou hast ordained Thy precepts, That we should keep {them} diligently. Oh that my ways may be established To keep Thy statutes! Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Thy commandments. I shall give thanks to Thee with uprightness of heart, When I learn Thy righteous judgments. I shall keep Thy statutes; Do not forsake me utterly!” (PSA 119:1-8)

Notice the consistency and correlation of each verse to the others.

The aleph file then means that the first word in each verse must begin with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet which is A or aleph which looks like this (a).

How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the Lord. (PSA 119:1)

The first word is the sentence is Ashreey ( yr}a^ ) which is translated Blessed and notice it begins with a(the letter aleph). So the writer is saying to us this is one of the means of true prosperity, especially in times of disaster. Here is an open door or as 1CO 10:13 says, the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it which is, as this verse says, walk in the law of the Lord.

How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all {their} heart. (PSA 119:2)

The first word is the sentence is also Ashreey yr}a which is translated Blessed and notice it begins with a (the letter aleph).

They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways. (PSA 119:3)

The first word is the sentence is Ap (‏[a) which is translated Also and notice it begins with a(the letter aleph).

Thou hast ordained Thy precepts, That we should keep {them} diligently. (PSA 119:4)

 

The first word is the sentence is Ataah (hTa) which is translated Thou and notice it begins with a (the letter aleph).

 

Oh that my ways may be established To keep Thy statutes! (PSA 119:5)

 

The first word is the sentence is Ach-lay (ylja) which is translated Oh that it begins with a (the letter aleph).

“Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Thy commandments.” (PSA 119:6)

The first word is the sentence is Aaz (za) which is translated Then also beginning with a (the letter aleph).

“I shall give thanks to Thee with uprightness of heart, When I learn Thy righteous judgments.”

(PSA 119:7)

The first word is avdk (da‎) which is translated I shall, it begins with a (the letter aleph).

“I shall keep Thy statutes; Do not forsake me utterly!” (PSA 119:8)

The first word in this sentence is the word ayth (Áta)), A phonetic sound which is untranslatable, it’s almost like a sigh meaning as we would say in the English language Ahhh.

Notice, every single verse talks about the means of true prosperity; which is perception, metabolization or application of the word of God.

In Verse:

1 - His law.
2 - His testimonies.
3 - His ways.
4 - His precepts.
5 - His statutes.
6 - His commandments.
7 - His judgments.
8 -His statutes.

Every single verse talks about the means of true prosperity which is perception, metabolization or application of the word of God.

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