"There shall be a handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon..." (Psalm 72:16).
The 72nd Psalm is a prophetic vision of the dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the corn, in the earth, upon the hill. Except the corn fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit (John 12:24).
The fruit of His death has produced a mighty harvest of spiritual trees, whose branches spread like the forests of Lebanon that sway in the wind. Christ now has "dominion from sea to sea…" (Psalm 72:8) The Cross was planted in the earth on a mount called Calvary. The prophets called it "the holy hill of God." Here, on this holy mountain of God, a handful of corn was placed into the grave. That seed died and took root out of dry ground, and a resurrection blade sprang forth. Today, we see the full corn, as resurrection power continues to bring forth a glorious harvest. Surely, the fruit of His death, burial and resurrection has become like the "fragrant wine of Lebanon" (Hos. 14:6,7).
We, the children of God, are also that handful of corn, in the earth, on the mountain. We must go with Him to Calvary, die, and be raised with him in dominion power. This prophecy deals with seed that is taken to the heights to die, that it might bring fourth much fruit. It is a glorious vision of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and its effect on those who understand its workings. You can understand this prophecy if you keep in mind: corn - in the earth - on the mountain - much fruit.
"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or, who shall stand in His holy presence? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart…" (Psalm 24:3-4)
From the very beginning God has been calling holy men to the mountain of His presence to hear from heaven and to prepare them for a great new work.
God called Abraham to a mountain to prove him, to prove in his spiritual eyes and bring him into close union with Himself. It was there that Abraham received the knowledge of who God was: "And Abraham called the name of the place Jehovah - will provide" accordingly they say to this day, "on the mound Jehovah will provide'" (Genesis 22:14, Hebrew Bible) How simple the revelation he received - that the secrets of God are revealed only in His holy Presence, to obedient servants who are willing to put the knife to all that is dear to them in life.
Moses was drawn by God to Mount Horeb, where he received his call to lead Israel out of bondage. And every time God wanted to speak to his people, Moses was conducted back to the mountain of His holy presence.
"And Moses went up the mount to God, and Jehovah called for him from the mountain." (Ex. 19:3, Hebrew Bible).
It was on the top of the mountain where the Lord first met Moses, it was on the same heights the Law was given to him, and it was there God brought him into the full fellowship of eternal life. Moses walked with God on the top of the mountain. He lived in the very presence of the Lord, on His holy hill. And when he came down to labor among men, his face was aglow with the very presence of God.
John was carried by the Spirit to a great and high mountain to commune with God and it was there he was given a glorious vision for the church of the last days. John said,
"The spirit carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God" (Rev. 21:10,11)
Peter was on the mount, in the presence of God, when hear heard the voice of the Lord. "And this voice which came from heaven was heard, when we were with him on the mount" (II Pet. 1:18)
Elijah was on a mountain when he heard the still small voice of God, and caught a vision of His holy presence.
Here is overwhelming evidence that man must shut out the world and go to the holy hill of His presence to hear from God. Peter heard from God when he was "with him on the mount"
That mountaintop is not easily reached. You enter through the secret closet and you stay, willing to risk everything to be alone in God's holy presence until your soul is on fire. It is reached by coming back every day, going higher each time, over rocks and precipices of opposition - and there is no turning back until the summit is reached. No one gets to the summit of God's presence with one hour devotions. It must become a way of life. The soft and lazy never do get there - it is only for the devoted and determined.
The revelation of Christ is too vast to ever be fully comprehended. But those who are shut in with God in prayer gain an ever-growing apprehension of Christ as the Holy Spirit reveals Him in the heart. Where is the burning bush of revelation? Where is the power of Jehovah manifested? Where is the place of vision for the church in these last days? It is on the mountaintop of his presence. It is where men and women of God go who have gotten so desperate to hear from heaven, they have shut down all human activities to seek His face, and they refuse to come down to minister until they are under His divine glow.
"And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of His ways..." (Isa. 2:3).
"I will conduct them to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer..." (Isa. 56:7, Hebrew Bible).
The message of the Holy Spirit to all men of God today is, "Get back to the Mount - get back into His holy presence." Many are now hearing that call and are making time for prayer and seeking after God. Others go about their covetous ways, too busy with kingdom details to climb the holy hill.
Isaiah saw both the glory of an awakened ministry and the tragedy of blind watchmen, asleep. While some watchmen shake themselves and go back to the mount of God to hear a fresh word from heaven, others will be lost in the stupidity and dumbness of endless activities and self-advancement.
"His watchmen are blind; they are ignorant, they are dumb dogs that cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber…yea, they are greedy, never getting enough; shepherds that cannot understand; they all look to their own way, every one to his own gain, from his quarter..." (Isa. 56:10,11).
Isaiah said they got that way, so self-centered and preoccupied with the works of their own hands, interested only in what they are doing, spiritually dead - because "they forsook the Lord and forgot his holy mountain" (Isa. 65:11).
Ministers of God - we had better listen to the warning of the prophet Isaiah. He warned, "The Lord…shall call his servants by another name" (Isa. 65:15). He will burn out and cast down all who refuse to return to the secret place, and He will raise up a new people.
The Spirit is raising up and army of "mountain men", who will spend time alone with God, shut up in His holy presence, eating and drinking, hearing His voice, getting new vision, and returning with joy to deliver "those who wail because of broken spirits" (Isa. 65:13,14). Oh, yes!
They shall return - but with power and dominion.
Certainly, God's heart must be gladdened by those who have set themselves to fast and pray and spend time in His presence. Yet how grieved He must be at the sight of so many prayerless, unsanctified, self-centered ministers who have little or no time to be alone with Him.
I meet some of these busy ministers in my travels, and my heart too has been broken. Not that I am one step ahead of them in spiritual maturity, but what is happening is so obvious to congregations, something must be done. And God is about to do it!
The late Austin Sparks wrote: "Oh the horrible display of human flesh in the realm of divine things! Oh, the reputations made in the realm of what is of God! Oh, how men delight to have a place in the church!" He added, "There are two classes of Christians in the church now. Those who have so organized Christian activity as to have made it all a matter of tremendous business to be maintained by drive and its own momentum: which unceasing activity is itself thought to be life and power: with the result that there is little time or interest in the matter of spiritual depth.
"Drive and ambition for God rides rough-shod over quiet waiting upon the Lord. They are so involved, so committed, driven - that the unhurried still small voice of the Spirit has no chance of being heard. Their fury and zeal for Christ has not come under the flaming eye of his presence.
"The other class is comprised of those who are so settled in tradition and a fixed position in doctrine and practice they make it almost impossible for the Holy Spirit to lead them into a fuller revelation of Christ."
Jesus was as busy as any modern day preacher or evangelist. He ministered to thousands, and was available to all of them. Yet He took time to forsake all the activity and get alone on the mount with His Father.
"And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went into a mountain apart to pray, and when evening was come, he was there alone..." (Matt. 14:23).
And you tell me, dear minister friend, you don't have time to walk away from it all and get alone with God. But you must get away! Away from the people! Away for awhile even from family. Get alone, shut in with God, and once again hear from heaven, or be left to your own devices. Christians, the prophets warn that trouble and despair will weaken the hearts of those who forsake Mount Zion. We must cry out, "Bring us back, O Lord; turn us, give us a heart to once again fast and pray.
Make us intercessors - reveal Yourself to us."
It is on the mount, Ezekiel said, that you will see the sin of your heart exposed, and be humbled. "And there, ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed…and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen..." (Ezk. 20:41-43).
Beloved, our Lord is going to require humiliation, and the deglamorizing of ministers and evangelists. All self importance must go. The corn must die, He must bring us back to His mount to break down everything that is of self - our reputations, our own dignity, all desire for recognition. He must sanctify us before the eyes of the world.
His refining fire is going to awaken new and godly principles in us. We have been too long dead to the godly principals needed to save the church from chaos. No longer will the Lord be satisfied with a general goodness in His house; He now seeks the fire of holiness in the heart.
Most of us started out with God on the holy mount. We exulted in His presence and were fruitful. But the affairs of this life entered in, drawing us away from that presence, leaving us dry and unfulfilled. We came down from the mount to merely exist in the valley of depression.
Most ministries began as a handful of corn, In the earth on the mountain.
It was a small beginning, and its founder was one who, like Paul, died daily. The presence of the Lord was more important than the work itself. Much time was spent alone with God in the secret place. Direction came mostly by hearing the voice of God in prayer. It was a ministry born in prayer, fasting, humility, and faith.
But now, when the fruit of Lebanon fills the hillsides and all the valleys, and all the fatness, and the wine vats are full and overflowing - and all are rich , increased with goods, in need of nothing - boredom, restlessness, dryness, sets in. The mountain of His presence is ignored and the ministry that started out as a small handful of corn on the mountain, loses reason to exist.
A ministry may have a history of devotion to God, and can be a true expression of His grace and power, yet God is not obligated to preserve it if it is no longer and instrument of His actual presence. God has raised up many works that later passed out of His divine purpose. The Lord removed the candlestick of his presence from the churches of John's Revelation, because of a loss of fresh love for Himself. God will not support an abstract presentation of his holiness. If the man at the top is not shut in with God, drawing on the energy of his actual presence, that ministry is a contradiction at its center and cannot continue as the instrument of God to deliver His message to the world. How important it is that all ministries and leaders get back to first love, intense prayer, and fasting.
"The corn is wasted…the seed is rotten under the ground…the corn is withered..." (Joel 1:10,17).
Joel foresaw the moral decay of those who forsook Mount Zion. Rotting seed speaks of moral decay, a spirit of degeneration. When the seed won't die, it rots away. If we refuse to die to sin through the power of the Cross, it will leave us in a condition of progressive immorality.
I find it appalling to sit through a charismatic worship service where hundreds lift their voices loud in praise, and dance and shout in the name of the Lord - only to find many of them in my prayer line after, confessing they are hurting, perplexed and hooked by the power of a secret lust. In the midst of a revival of exuberant praise, there is still a passive attitude regarding sin, an accepting of compromise, a consenting to a life without victory and total dominion over evil. Too many saints are standing up to praise but not standing up to take authority over Satan and the evil lusts that still bind them.
We become increasingly immoral the longer we are out of His presence. We can become so preoccupied with the demands made on our time, we backslide. We lose our joy, we become irritable and restless, and lose our sense of direction - because we put off our appointment to get back to the secret closet and be renewed by our Lord's glorious presence. Satan will attempt to weaken us by keeping us out of the Lord's holy mount.
Unless we all soon get back to the mountain and come into His glory and presence, we will grow increasingly disobedient and sinful. Worst of all, we will be stripped of all opportunities to be fruitful in God's work. And once we ware barren and out of His presence, Satan can more easily convince us we are lost, or worthless.
The church and the ministry today lack a true inward revelation of Jesus Christ. We have been focused on "our work" rather than on Christ. We preach almost everything but Him. We preach truth, without life. When Christ is truly unveiled to the heart, all interests are changed and purified. The man or woman of God who spends time on God's holy hill begins to realize, as did all who were shut in with Christ - that no ministry, no church, no fellowship has a right to exist before God except as it is a true expression of Christ's presence on earth. Nor do we have a right to call ourselves Christians if we refuse to spend time in his holy presence each day, seeking not a new revelation, but a full revelation of Christ. Otherwise, it is some "thing" we are devoted to - some work for God - some testimony - rather then to Christ Himself. It is because Christ has been too ill-defined that so many Christians have not come to a fixed place in Him. They have been evangelized, but not taught to stay in the presence of Jesus until they become Dominion Saints. We are devoted to the idea of faith but not to the prayer and Bible study that produces it.
No wonder so many are divorcing. No wonder so many are tossed by every wind and wave of false doctrine. No wonder there is so much immorality and complacency among God's people - so much hurting - so much despair. We have denied ourselves the knowledge and revelation of who Christ really is, simply by not stepping aside to listen. We have Christ in us as a lodger, but unknown to us is His power and dominion. How desperately we need a new unveiling of Christ to our inner man.
Here is the rest of the prophecy of Psalm 72 concerning what God will do for those who return to the mountain of His presence.
He will reveal the glory of His peace.
"The mountains shall bring peace to the people..." (Psalm 72:3).
He will fall upon our souls like soft rain on newly mowed grass, taking away all dryness.
"He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth..." (vs. 6).
He will empower us to take dominion over all the powers of darkness.
"He shall have dominion also from sea to sea…his enemies shall lick the dust..." (vs. 8,9).
He will deliver us from pressing needs and physical burdens.
"For He shall deliver the needy when he crieth, the poor also, and him that hath no helper..." (vs. 12).
In His presence, we shall die to self, and be raised in newness to be fruitful and joyful!
"In His presence there is fullness of joy and pleasures evermore..." (Psalm 16:11).
"I will save you from all uncleanness, and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine on you… And I will multiply the fruit of the tree…and increase the field..." (Ezk. 36:29,30).
"I will heal their backsliding…his fragrance shall be that of Lebanon…his branches shall spread…they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine..." (Hos. 14:4-7).
"Ye shall utter a psalm, as in the night when the feast is solemnly proclaimed…with the exultation of heart, as one steppeth to the notes of a flute...Ascending Jehovah's mountain unto Israel's Rock [Christ]" (Isa. 30:29,30).
"O send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me; let them bring me unto the holy hill, and to thy presence…then will I got unto the altar of God my exceeding joy..." (Psalm 43:3,4).
So then, brothers and sisters in Christ - flee like Lot who "escaped for his life to the mountains," from this wicked world (Gen. 19:17). Flee to that high Rock, which is Christ. The banner is lifted on the mountain, calling all God's chosen to a feast of good things in His presence. Don't miss what God is about to do. The veil is coming off and a glorious revelation of Christ is near.
"And in this mountain shall the Lord make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines...
And he will destroy in the mountain the face of the covering of all people and the veil that is spread all over all nations…and he will swallow up death in victory and the Lord will wipe away tears from their faces and the rebuke of his people shall he take away...
For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest..." (Isa. 25:6-11).
What has stripped the seeming beauty
From the idols of the earth?
Not a sense of right or duty,
But the sight of His matchless worth.
Not the crushing of those idols,
With its bitter void and smart:
But the beaming of His beauty,
The unveiling of His heart.
'Tis that look that melted Peter,
'Tis that face that Stephen saw,
'Tis that heart that wept with Mary,
Can alone from idols draw-
Draw and win and fill completely,
Till the cup o'erflow the brim;
What have we to do with idols
What have companied with Him?