Testing of Righteousness

THE TESTING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

BOB JONES & KEITH DAVIS

February 2001

The scriptures teach that gaining understanding will preserve and sustain us and the man who achieves understanding has obtained proceeds of greater value than gold and silver. That is the purpose of this brief prophetic outline…to give understanding of the process many in the body of Christ have been experiencing. With insight we are able to extract every nugget of wisdom and spiritual advancement allowed by the Holy Spirit and also strengthen our hearts knowing His workings will leave us more equipped for our prophetic destiny than before.

THE TESTING OF JOB

Then the Almighty will be your gold and choice silver to you. For then you will delight in the Almighty and lift up your face to God. You will pray to Him, and He will hear you; and you will pay your vows. You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; and light will shine on your ways. When you are cast down, you will speak with confidence, and the humble person He will save. He will deliver one who is not innocent, and he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands. (Job 22:25-30)

Perhaps there could be many purposes expressed for the testing of Job’s righteousness. Clearly, one of the designs of the Lord in this endeavor is to bring Job into a heightened place of relationship and authority as the Lord’s representative on the earth. The benefit for the testing of righteous Job was to establish a greater level of right standing with God along with intimate fellowship in order to make an open show on earth and in the heavens to display the Lord’s righteousness through His servant. Through the “cleanness” of his hands, he will then be able to deliver the one who is not innocent.

It was the Lord Himself who brought Job to the attention of the enemy for the purpose of testing the level of his righteousness with the ultimate mission of taking him to a higher level in God. The hedge of protection provided by the Lord around Job was temporarily removed so the greater purposes could be revealed. Not only was the righteousness of Job announced on the earth but also in the heavenlies as this unique experience testified of the Lord’s ability to sustain a man in righteousness against great opposition. From that place of honor and authority, he is then able to intercede more effectively for those around him.

The understanding is, that the man who returns to God in righteousness, and who is regarded by Him as His friend, is more amply equipped to intercede for the guilty and unrepentant with the Lord’s heart of compassion. His prayers and intercession will be heard in their behalf and because of his righteous cries for mercy, extraordinary grace will be shown to them even when they do not personally deserve it. This sentiment is consistent with that expressed in Gen. 18:23-24 as Abraham intervened on behalf of Sodom from his place of friendship with the Lord.

SURRENDERING OUR WEAKNESS FOR HIS STRENGTH

Now gird up your loins like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. (Job 38:3)

The Lord admonishes Job to be a man and gird up his loins in the strength of manhood without fear or trepidation, for he was about to engage the God of the universe. Again in Job 40:6, the Lord speaks to Job from the midst of a whirlwind calling him to “gird himself like a man”. This expression is one used to denote boldness, courage and valor.

Job’s highest calling was to a position of leadership as a fearless representation of heaven on earth and as such he was to present himself in his full strength only to discover his weakness when compared to the Lord’s greatness. In this place of divine encounter, Job was allowed to see the Lord as He is and discover his own deficiency so he could be girded with the Lord’s strength.

I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:5-6)

We as a church must come to the same place. The Lord recently expressed His desire to deal with the strongholds in us so we can deal with the strongholds in our churches, cities and nation.

The ultimate purpose of Job’s testing was to carry him to a higher plain and sphere of authority before God and a greater level of intimate relationship as the Lord’s intermediary on the earth. The Lord will always have a witness on the earth of His righteousness to testify against an evil and perverse generation calling them to repentance. The Lord Himself is described as the “Faithful witness” and His Spirit in us will also bear witness of His righteousness. It is this marriage between heaven and earth that will release both the kindness and severity of God throughout all generations. The Holy Spirit resting in the hearts of His people will testify of His righteousness and judgements and bring conviction to the world concerning sin.

THE LORD’S SPOKESMEN

Moses was one of the Lord’s great representatives standing before Him as His spokesman in a position of righteousness displaying the Father’s pure judgments. Moses was able to occupy this distinguished position of great honor and responsibility because of the prior years of preparation, purging and refinement that qualified him. Each of these men already possessed a deposit of His righteousness, yet the testing of their righteousness produced a multiplied measure of divine character enabling them to accomplish the high calling of God for their generation.

Amos is another example of one called by the Spirit to foresee the judgement of God and stand before His Presence and intercede on behalf of His people.

Thus the Lord GOD showed me: Behold, He formed locust swarms at the beginning of the late crop; indeed it was the late crop after the king’s mowings. And so it was, when they had finished eating the grass of the land, that I said: “O Lord GOD, forgive, I pray! Oh, that Jacob may stand, for he is small!” So the LORD relented concerning this. “It shall not be,” said the LORD. (Amos 7:1-3)

The Lord has identified those who occupy this unique position as “His friends”. What an incredible honor to be called the friend of God, yet also a great responsibility that goes with this commission of intercession and leadership.

Daniel was described in the scriptures as one greatly beloved because, at least in part, of his heart for the nation and his willingness to stand in the gap for his people. He humbled himself and presented supplications on behalf of those in his age and the prior generations with a heart of repentance and foresight for the seasons ahead. The Lord’s friends are able to stand in this post because of the refinement that has taken place in their lives that enables them to occupy this privileged place in God. Intimate fellowship results from the testing of righteousness allowing one to peer into the very heart of God to obtain understanding of His nature and character. In this manner, divine purposes are birthed in the earth through words anointed with Spirit and Life expressed from this position of righteousness.

THE LORD OUR MEDIATOR

Principally, the Lord is looking for a righteous agent on the earth to stand in the gap on behalf of a sinful generation. The Lord Himself is the perfect mediator between God and man establishing for all generations the righteousness of God. That virtue is now being imparted to those in the church established in righteousness as His delegate in the earth standing in the gap on behalf of this evil generation.

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6)

If there is a messenger for him, a mediator, one among a thousand, to show man His uprightness, Then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom’ (Job 33:23-24) 

The Father has chosen the church as His instrument to unfold His great redemptive plan. To fulfill our highest purpose, we too must discover that cherished and honorable position as “the Lord’s friends.”   When thus seated with Christ in the Heavenlies, we become an expression of His intercessory role calling upon the Father for mercy in the midst of judgement. When this is achieved, we have the Lord’s promise for restoration and salvation for man; His flesh shall be young like a child’s, he shall return to the days of his youth. He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him, he shall see His face with joy, for He restores to man His righteousness. (Job 33:25-26)

WHEN THERE IS NO ONE TO STAND IN THE GAP

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 22:30-31)

If there was no agent to stand in the gap, then mercy and grace could not be found. When a righteous representative of God is able to enter His Presence, it pleases the Father to hear intercession on behalf of the lost. It is because of the righteousness of Christ established in us through the Spirit of Christ that will enable us to come before the throne of grace to obtain mercy and help in time of need.

Resident in the Father’s heart is both mercy and justice. Justice calls for the judgements of God to be established in the earth. Yet, His heart also yearns to release mercy when His representatives stand before Him in this mediatorial role reminding him of His longsuffering and lovingkindness.  “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave {the guilty} unpunished. (Exodus 34:6-7)

ESTABLISHED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS

The testing of Job produced multiplied fruit and prosperity considerably higher than he possessed in his previous condition. Although unpleasant and difficult, the end result was abundant blessing and favor, far greater than he could have ever demonstrated were it not for the testing of his righteousness that is of greater value than refined gold. Through this process we can eventually emerge perfect in the Lord’s sight through His redemptive process in our spirit, soul, and body.

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)

Those with the unique distinction as “friends” are the ones who have come to possess His divine nature and holy character. It is the role of the Lord’s divine friends to remind Him of His great promises to each generation and stay His hand of judgement that the whole earth may be filled with the knowledge of His Glory. It is always the enemy’s desire to boast that the Lord was able to bring the people out but not carry them in. The Lord’s friends continually petition the throne of grace with the promises of God and the expression of his divine attributes of loving kindness and mercy.

The friends of God will occupy this place of intercession on behalf of the people, not because of any merits of their own but because of His great compassion. From this position of favor we are allowed to intercede for others calling upon the grace of God to grant a heart of divine repentance to the lost leading to the knowledge of the truth and escape the snare of the devil having been held captive by him to do his will…as it was with Job.

It came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. (Job 42:7-8)