Wednesday, July 3, 2019

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 211

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 210) by J. Preston Eby.

SPIRITUAL WARFARE (continued)
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war...and he had a name written, which no man knew, but he himself” (Rev. 19:11-12).

It sounds beautiful — our Lord and Captain has this wonderful name and it is just His, a secret name, a title so important, a treasure so valuable that it is not to be shared with any other. But that is not the portrait the Holy Spirit is painting! You see, this “unknown name” is just the reason this great battle of chapter nineteen is about to take place — because He has a name, or a nature, that mankind does not know! No one but those who are part of His many-membered body, made one in Him, know the full and true nature of God’s Christ.

There is a great symbolic battle described in Ezekiel, chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine. In this battle the Lord comes forth and fights against Gog and Magog and gains the victory. The Lord then explains the purpose of His great triumph, saying, “So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel” (Eze. 39:7). If, then, we are going to consider the revelation that the Lord is riding into battle bearing a name that no man knows but He Himself, we shall be obliged to recognize that that is not a good thing — it is a bad thing that His name is not known! The “names” of God and Christ are never mere empty designations. They are expressions of the divine nature and character. The fact that no one has known them and still does not know them except Christ Himself means more than the names are secret. It means rather that no one knows them in their own personal experience. In other words, no human being outside of Christ experientially shares these divine qualities and attributes in the divine nature of Jesus which are represented by His name. For example, men may hear the name “Christ,” but if they have never personally experienced the “anointing” which we have received of Him, they really don’t have the foggiest notion what the name “the Christ” is about!

Therefore, the great truth that the Holy Spirit would make real to us today is that the wonderful purpose of the battle, is that HIS NAME SHOULD BE KNOWN! His name is His nature, and I am certain that every reader of these lines is aware that men in general, and believers in particular, are abysmally ignorant of the true nature of our Lord Jesus Christ! The deepest desire of our Lord is that the seed of God in every man should germinate and spring forth, producing the life and image of God in man.

As brother Elwin Roach once pointed out in one of his papers, The Pathfinder, it is most interesting to note that the only place we find names written upon people is in the book of Revelation! There is one time in the Old Testament, of course, that Aaron’s name was written upon the rod of Levi, which was symbolic of the people themselves, that is, the entire tribe of Levi. Aaron’s name — his nature, his position, his office, his authority as high priest — was written upon the tribe of the priesthood that the rod represented, and now, we see the fulfillment of that type in the last book of the Bible. Let us take a moment and notice the exclusive verses where we read about names being uniquely written upon people.

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I shall write upon him my new name” (Rev. 3:12).

“I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Rev. 14:1).

“His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself” (Rev. 19:12).

“And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:16).

The new name is the new nature of the resurrection power and glory of our ascended Lord. It is not the name Jesus, or Lord, or Christ, or even the name The Word of God. As members of His body we have within ourselves the conscious experience of the reality, power, and authority of all those names and many more. But none of these are His new name! None of them are the secret name that no man knows but He Himself! It is the name or nature of the resurrected, ascended, glorified, enthroned Lord Jesus Christ in the heavens of the Spirit! Many would settle for the name of Jesus which means Saviour, and that is a glorious name, but it is not the name that no man knows but Him, for millions have experienced Him in that name which has been called upon them. This secret name that none of us has fully experienced yet is the name that Paul yearned to know within himself when he cried, “Oh! that I might know Him in the power of His resurrection, and in the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain to the resurrection out from among the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:10-14).

Can it be made any plainer? We have experienced Christ in many of His names, putting on more and more of His nature and character, but that name which is THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION, ASCENSION, GLORIFICATION, AND ENTRHONEMENT — that full redemption in spirit, soul, and body — we do not yet fully know that name! We will know it when we ride with Him upon the white horses! And when that great battle is ended “all shall (fully) know Him, from the least of them, to the greatest.”

HIS GARMENT SOAKED WITH BLOOD
“And He was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood...” (Rev. 19:13).

The imagery of the scene in this passage is rooted in one of the prophecies of Isaiah, wherein we read, “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save! Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone: and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth” (Isa. 63:1-6).

It is strange that any should interpret this as speaking of Jesus’ sufferings on the cross, yet that is how many interpreters view it. The cross, however, does not reveal warfare, but the great love, reconciliation, and redemption of God in Christ! Furthermore, in the scene above it is not His own blood that is shed in weakness and in meekness and in sacrifice, but the blood of foes trampled in wrath. He is on His way to battle! And “every battle of the warrior is with confused noise and garments rolled in blood” (Isa. 9:5). The language is symbolic, of course. Jesus does not wield a literal sword of steel; His sword is the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. He does not go out physically killing multitudes of people, and soaking His garment with their blood. Rather, His warfare is spiritual, He slays the enemies within man, which appear as the man, but are not the man that God intends. Oh, yes! He slays men, but it is the natural man — the human consciousness, the carnal mind, the ego, self-will, lust, deception, fear, rebellion, bondage, and every sin of the old Adamic man. Wielding His powerful sword of the spirit He comes upon the world of natural, carnal-minded, sinning men, and He comes to judge and to make war! His flaming eyes picture to us the holy passion that burns in His bosom at this moment, now that He is ready to subdue the earth and establish His righteous kingdom in the hearts of all men everywhere!

He wears many diadems, royal crowns, symbolic of victories won in the past. This is not the first time He has won the battle! Spiritually, He has already overcome sin, the devil, death, and hell within Himself. And on His white horse of conquest He has already ridden into the lives of His called and chosen elect, pressing the battle, conquering and to conquer. He overcame, subdued, and conquered all who now ride with Him upon white horses, conscripting them into His own heavenly army. And therefore, many crowns that formerly belonged to them He has already placed on His own head. The battle now revealed before the wondering eyes of the Patmos seer is only the grand climax of the holy war this captain has fought throughout the ages.

The same truth is indicated by the fact that as He rides forth with His army, even before He smites the nations with His sword, His garment is already soaked in blood! This is not the blood of Calvary: for the garb He wears is the garment of battle and of victory. But it symbolically indicates that the Man from Edom, with sprinkled garments as from Bozrah, has judged many an enemy before, all through the age since all judgment was committed unto the Son, while now the final scene has come, in which He shall tread the winepress of the passion of God unto a glorious consummation. And this is also indicated by the sharp sword that proceeds out of His mouth. He shall surely not deign to fight as the princes of this world fight, with their swords and spears (guns in the modern world) in hand. No, He shall simply consume the enemy by the word of His mouth. His Word is His Sword! For it is a word of power! It is a word of judgment! And it is a word of life! It is a word that slays the natural man and quickens the spiritual man! It mutilates the flesh and makes alive the spirit! It destroys the outer man and raises up the inner man! By it the enemies are defeated. By it they are judged. And therefore, He is now come as He was pictured long ago in the second Psalm, for the purpose of treading the winepress of God and ruling the nations with a rod of iron! He shall be Lord of all!

Frankly, I never cease to be amazed at those who profess to yearn for the sons of God to be manifested, who continually quote the scripture about the whole creation groaning, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, because THE CREATION ITSELF ALSO SHALL BE DELIVERED FROM THE BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION INTO THE GLORIOUS LIBERTY OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD — and then when you tell them that the sons of God, who are the armies out of heaven, shall really, truly, actually, factually, completely SET ALL CREATION FREE they get all bent out of shape and call you a heretic, or ask foolish questions like, “What good is it to believe that?” They are still afraid someone might not get what they deserve — eternal damnation! I have no hesitation in telling you that if God is not going to do what He said; if the Christ isn’t going to actually draw (Greek: drag) all men unto Himself; if the whole creation and every creature is not going to be delivered into the glorious liberty of the children of God; if God will not make all men alive in Christ, just as all men died in Adam; if the last enemy, death, and hell shall never be destroyed to never again exist anywhere in God’s great universe; if the devil is going to possess the souls of the vast majority of men forever, and thus be the victor; if God is never going to become “ALL in all” or “everything to everyone everywhere,” which is the meaning of that term; then I fail to see what is the purpose in all the qualifying for manifest sonship, for a glorious ministry in the age and the ages to come, for THERE IS NO MINISTRY FOR THE SONS, AND NO FINAL AND TOTAL TRIUMPH FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD! We may as well forget about sonship; forget about being kings and priests unto God; forget about setting creation free; and FORGET ABOUT BEING IN THE ARMY OF THE LORD, RIDING OUT OF THE HEAVENS OF THE SPIRIT ON THE WHITE HORSES OF UNIVERSAL CONQUEST! If no such army exists, if redeemed men are not in it, and if it shall not ride forth and fight until all flesh everywhere is slain by His sword, then let us content ourselves with our current church programs, and be satisfied that while untold billions are damned to the flames of hell forever God shall at least have His sweet little handful of saints to dance and shout with Him over the hilltops of that glory world above!

The next step in God’s great kingdom program is the ruling of the nations with a rod of iron. There are many victories beyond that before God is truly all-in-all! According to the word of the Lord there is yet an age and also ages to come! “That in the ages to come He might put on display the exceeding riches of His grace in...us through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7). We are now standing at a transition of ages; the church age is swiftly drawing to a close and the age of the manifestation of the sons of God is nigh at hand. This is not the end- time as many Christians are wont to think. This is an end-time, but not the end-time. Every age has its “end,” and there are yet ages to come! There was an end-time two thousand years ago when the age of the law was brought to its conclusion, and the age of grace dawned upon the earth. The true and final “end-time” the Bible presents speaks of the final consummation of all ages, the climax and end of all times and dispensations, when God’s plan of the ages is fully fulfilled. All words about THE END-TIME close with Jesus reigning supreme over everything everywhere. “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet. And when all things have been subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be ALL IN ALL” (I Cor. 15:24-25,28).

The word “subdued” means “to line up as a troop or an army in subordination or surrender.” The verb appears three times in the passage above, in verse twenty-eight. Literally from the Greek it reads, “Now when the universe shall be lined up as a troop in subordination to Him, then also Himself the Son shall be lined up as a troop in subordination to the One lining up a troop in subordination to Him, in order that God may be everything to everyone everywhere.” What a word! What a plan! What love! What wondrous love! What a victory! What a glorious consummation! The might of God’s strength which operated in Christ, raising Him from the dead, was sufficient to exalt Him to the highest pinnacle of the universe, thus insuring that all His enemies would be subdued unto Him, that is, reconciled unto Him, that every opposing power would be made subordinate to Him, that all sin and death in every realm and in every man and in every creature throughout all the unbounded heavens would be so swallowed up of HIS LIFE until God would be ALL IN ALL, bless His glorious name! The conquest of Jesus Christ and the armies out of heaven! Truly it is not just for this age, but extends to all ages and all realms. May the truth of it flood our hearts that they may, indeed, be illuminated with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!

This kind of total subjugation to God is that which is now being wrought in the “firstfruit company” of God’s elect. Have you really surrendered yourself to God? This is what God demands. In numerous places, in various ways, in different words, God says the same thing over and over again. And yet, sometimes it seems that we fail to get the message: Yield yourselves to God! Submit yourselves to Christ! Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice! Lay down your life! Present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead! Yield not your members as instruments of unrighteousness but as instruments of righteousness unto God! Put off the old man! Put on the mind of Christ! Come out of the harlot Babylon! Walk in the Spirit! Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ! Again and again, God says the same thing. The first thing a private learns in the army is submission. If we would ride with Christ in His heavenly army, that is the first thing we, too, must learn. And what He now requires of us, His firstfruits, He ultimately requires of the whole creation!

It seems that, usually, we are ready to do almost anything but surrender ourselves to God. I recall the time when the British general came to surrender to Washington. The general began with a flowery speech in which he praised Washington for his magnificent military tactics and the way he had conducted the campaigns. He was eloquently praising Washington when Washington suddenly interrupted him with these words: “Your sword, sir!” Similarly we come to offer God the flattery of our lips, the praise of our hymns. And God is saying to us, “Your sword, sir!” Surrender is what God wants! Total surrender of all our will, our ways, and our lives! It is, in fact, during the process of conquering us and taking from us our fleshly sword that His garment becomes soaked with blood! But, praise His name, He will conquer us, take our fleshly sword, conscript us, retrain us in the ways and tactics of spiritual warfare, and raise us up to ride with Him in His army. Oh, the wonder of it!

The following words by George D. Watson will help us see the unsurpassable beauty and majesty of what it really means to be SUBDUED UNTO GOD. “Before God can launch us out into the breadth and sweetness of His service, and entrust to us great things for Himself, we must be perfectly subdued in every part of our nature to His will and the disposition of His mind. We must be subdued in our hearts, in our wills, in our words, in our tempers, in our manners; subdued through and through so thoroughly that we will be flexible to all His purposes and plans. We must be subdued so that harshness, severity, criticism, sluggishness, laziness, impetuosity, and all wanting our way, even in religious matters, must be subdued out of us. Conversion will not finish this work.

“We must be subdued, not merely in our opinion, not merely think ourselves subdued, not only subdued in the esteem of our friends and fellow workers, but subdued so perfectly that the all- seeing eye of God can look us through, and the omniscient One knows that we are subdued. God must conquer the man that He can trust with His great thoughts and plans. The Holy Ghost must saturate us with a divine conquest, before He can use us to conquer other souls. The Lord will begin to subdue us with gentle means; and if we sink lovingly and promptly into His mind, the work will be done; but if we have flint or iron in our nature, and it is necessary, He will use heroic means and put us between the millstones and grind us to powder, until He can mold us without any resistance to His purpose. We must be so subdued that we can hold our tongues, and walk softly with God, keep our eyes upon Jesus, attend to our own work, and do God’s will promptly and lovingly, glad to have a place in His Kingdom.

“Oh! it is grand to be absolutely conquered by the Holy Ghost, and swing out a thousand miles from everybody and everything into the ocean of God’s presence. When we are subdued in the sight of God, He will work miracles in us, and power in experience, in healing, in finance, in service, in gentleness, and in sweetness of the inner heart life; miracles of grace that will astonish us and surprise our friends, and utterly amaze our enemies, when they come to know the magnitude of what God has wrought. Let us get subdued in every way, in everything!” — end quote.

Oh, the ineffable glory to be revealed when ALL RULE AND ALL AUTHORITY AND ALL POWER AND ALL ENEMIES AND ALL THINGS SHALL BE SUBDUED UNTO CHRIST AND GOD SHALL BE ALL IN ALL! That is the goal of the Rider of the white horse and those blessed ones who ride with Him. What expectation this evokes in our hearts!

A little seed is the beginning of a great tree. A mustard seed becomes a tree in which the birds of the air can nestle. That great day when Christ shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father, and God shall be All in All — that is the great tree of the kingdom of God reaching its perfect consummation and glory. Ah, beloved, let us take the seed of that glory into our hearts and let us bow in lowly surrender and humble submission, saying with a broken heart and contrite spirit, “Amen, Lord; this be my one thought, this be my life — to yield myself to the unutterable yearnings of the Holy Spirit that I may not rest, but ever keep my vision set on that day — the day of surpassing glory, when in very deed God shall be ALL IN ALL.” God help everyone who reads these lines, God help us all to yield ourselves to Him, that we may be in the fullest and total sense the FIRSTFRUITS OF HIS KINGDOM. This is the beginning, the power, and the glory, of the kingdom of God! Amen!

HIS NAME — THE WORD OF GOD
“And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God” (Rev. 19:13).

My heart leaps within me for joy as I contemplate this beautiful theme of His Name — The Word of God. It is an instructive thing to know that God has never been silent. God’s a talker! This truth is basic to spiritual understanding. Had God remained silent, we would either not exist at all, or our situation would be desperate. If God is a talker, then we had best be listeners. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son...by whom also He made the worlds” (Heb. 1:1-2). “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...all things were made by Him” (Jn. 1:1-3). “And God said, Let there be...and there was” (Gen. 1:3). God has always been a talker, but the writer to the Hebrews tells us that all God has ever spoken is now embodied in Christ. “God hath spoken unto us by His Son.”

The Amplified Bible says, “But in the last of these days He has spoken to us in the person of a Son...” The Greek text, however, reads simply, “God has spoken to us IN SON.” IN SON! Or God spoke to us in One who has the character that He is a SON, revealing the realm and relationship of sonship to God. It means more than the idea that God spoke through His Son; it signifies that God spoke in son, that is, SONSHIP IS THE MESSAGE! God spoke through Christ’s Sonship. “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Sonship is the revelation of the Father. Therefore, it was more than the words that Jesus spoke; it was the life He lived! HE was the message! HE was the word!

Ah, dear heart, Look at His sonship, and then look at the whole realm of sonship; look at all the enChristed ones who make up the vast family of His “many brethren,” and IN THEM you see the message God is sending into the world! When you see the sons, at last you see what God is like. In the publishing world, it is sometimes said that a particular book is a definitive work. In other words, the book is a standard by which all future work will be judged or compared. Sonship is the definitive revelation of God, the standard for all time. Jesus is the firstborn of this Word Company, and the pattern and prototype of all that it says. He is uniquely and supremely THE WORD. If someone asks what is revealed in this definitive revelation, we could say, it’s all in the little preposition “with.” He is “God with us,” in union with us, one with us. It’s more than simply being present. That is the mystery!

The Greek term for “Word” in our text is logos. There are two primary Greek words from which our English “word” is translated — rhema and logos. When you study the scriptures you have to get beyond the surface or “letter” of the word and find its true spiritual meaning, intention, and reality — the “spirit” of the word. The “letter” is the outer shell or husk, whereas the “spirit” is the inner kernel, the nutritional substance. Jesus said, “My words are spirit and they are life” (Jn. 6:63). Jesus was talking about the “spirit” of the word — its inner life and power! When we talk about the spirit of the word, we are talking about the “logos” of the “rhema.” The rhema signifies a word expressed or spoken, whereas the logos denotes the inner power, intention, reality, and revelation of that word. If someone was making you a proposition and you just weren’t interested and were perhaps even annoyed by it, you might tell them, “Go jump in the lake.” The “rhema” of that word would be for them to find a nearby lake and literally jump into it. But the “logos” of that word (the inner meaning, true intention) is for them to stop trying to convince you and just leave you alone. The outward understanding of words does not really convey the true inner meaning. Nowhere is this more true than when you begin to try and understand spiritual truth that is being expressed in human terms. And this is just the reason most Christians and nearly all preachers have completely missed the true meaning and message of the book of Revelation! They focus on the letter of the word and never uncover the spirit of the word!

Nobel laureate professor of biology at Harvard University, the late George Wald, may have provided us an insight into the wonder of life in an essay he wrote entitled “Life and Mind in the Universe.” He wrote, “It has occurred to me lately — I must confess with some shock at first to my scientific sensibilities — that both questions (the origin of consciousness in humans and of life from non-living matter) might be brought into some degree of congruence. This is with the assumption that mind, rather than emerging at a late outgrowth in the evolution of life, has existed always as the matrix, the source and condition of physical reality — the stuff of which physical reality is composed is mind-stuff. It is mind that has composed a physical universe that breeds life and so eventually evolves creatures that know and create science, art, and technology-making beings. In them the universe begins to know itself.”

That is science, not theology, speaking. But it is also theology! “In the beginning was the Word (logos)...and the Word was God...all things were made by Him!” “Logos” is the Greek word for “logic,” “intellect,” “word.” Hundreds of years before John penned those words the Psalmist wrote, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” (Ps. 33:6). And before that we find the opening sentence of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). That is the traditional reading. But there is a problem here. The Hebrew word bereshit in its simple sense translates as “In the beginning of.” But there is no object in the Hebrew text for the preposition “of.” So we would have to read it, “In the beginning of God created the heavens and the earth.” Yet — that doesn’t sound right, does it? So let me ask, “In the beginning of what?” The compound nature of “Bereshit” holds the clue to the meaning of the statement. The ancient Hebrew text has the “B” of “Bereshit” written twice the size of the remaining letters of the word. And that has significance! A more accurate rendering of the verse is “(B) With (reshit) a first cause God created the heavens and the earth.” And what was that “reshit,” that first cause of Bereshit? The apostle John gives us the answer: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM; AND WITHOUT HIM WAS NOT ANYTHING MADE THAT WAS MADE. IN HIM WAS LIFE; AND THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF MEN.” Oh, yes! The “first cause” is said to be “the Word.” “And God said, Let there be...and there was.”

By the logos, the will, intent, inner power, reality, and revelation of His word God created. It was not merely a rhema, a spoken word; no, it was the inner kernel, the divine substance, the inward will, the purpose, yea, the very heart and nature of God that spoke all things into existence! It’s as though He spoke Himself into manifestation outside Himself! Ah, this solves the puzzle of the origin of sentient life able to be aware of its own existence and to explore the very mysteries and powers of creation, as well as the ability to know and fellowship and participate with the Creator! We are the offspring of God, a word out of The Word, and therefore we have mind and conscious being and spiritual identity, for we are an emanation of the One who brought us forth into being. Speech originates in thought, thought is consciousness, words are thought converted into sound, and creation is that sound converted into substance. Truly, we are created by the Word! Oh, the wonder of it!

From the earliest dawn of history there have been means of communication between men. At one time smoke from fires was the way one group connected to another, sending signs and symbols to communicate their message. Then progressively they used flags, riders on horses, books, the telegraph and then eventually radio, telephone, and television. Now it is fax machines and computers and even wireless means of communication with much of our international communication coming via satellite. But God has been into wireless communication from eternity via His Living Word! His satellite of love, wisdom, and power sends messages to us, but our dish has to be pointed in the right direction in order to receive His message! We have to point our hearts, our minds, our paradigms, our attitudes in the right direction, toward spirit and away from flesh, toward God’s speech and away from man’s words.

An abundance of scripture points to the fact that Christ, the Word, was before Bethlehem. He is just as real in the Old Testament as He is in the New Testament. The great difference, of course, is that in the New Testament He became flesh. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” The Word did not become a philosophy, a theory, or a concept to be discussed, debated, or pondered, but a Person to be seen, heard, touched, handled, known, and experienced! “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” That’s how Eugene Peterson describes this event in The Message. Others have rendered it to say that Jesus “tented” among us. That’s what happened when Jesus came into the world, the Living Word of God moved into our neighborhood and set up camp!

How could the Word become flesh? How could God become a man? The literal here has it, not that the Word “was made” flesh, as we have it in the King James Bible, but that the Word “became” flesh. There is a vast difference between these two propositions! If I say, “The wood was made into a chair,” it denotes an action upon, an action from without; some person or force beyond the wood acted upon the wood and the wood, by no involvement on its own part, was made into a chair. If, on the other hand, I say, “The young man became a doctor,” it denotes an action on the part of the subject. Nobody outside of the young man forced him and somehow “made” him a doctor, but he himself went to medical school, studied, burned the midnight oil, passed the exams, fulfilled his internship, and thus became a doctor. “Was made” bespeaks of an action upon the object from without, whereas “became” bespeaks of a personal accomplishment from within.

How could He who was God become a man? Look again at this statement by the inspired apostle: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:1,14). It says, “In the beginning was the Word,” and it does not say, “In the beginning was Jesus,” because Jesus wasn’t in the beginning. It was not until the Word became flesh that He was Jesus. The Son of God is not the Word — the Son of God is “the Word made flesh.” The passage quoted above tells us that only after the Word became flesh did we behold the glory of the Son, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. The truth is just this — In the beginning was the Word — and there was no Son of God until the Word became flesh. People talk about the “eternal” Son of God. The Bible speaks of no such thing. The Word is eternal, not the Son. Of the Son the Father says, “Thou art my Son, this day have I BEGOTTEN THEE.” Nowhere do we read that on a certain day the Word was begotten. No! The Word was “in the beginning.” But when the Word becomes flesh — then you have the Son! The Son is the Word, yes, but the Son is more than the Word — the Son is the Word in another form — made flesh! John speaks of the eternal Word of God and then shows how the Word became flesh. From that moment on he never speaks again of the Word, he calls Him Jesus. Isn’t that amazing? Before Bethlehem He was the Word, He was God; but when He came to Bethlehem and took upon Him flesh He became Jesus, the Son of God. This is precisely the message the angel gave to Mary that blessed day in Nazareth, “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest...” (Lk. 1:31-32).

Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Also He said, “My Father worketh hitherto (has always been working) and I work.” He and the Father were working long before Bethlehem! As we have already pointed out, He was working in the very first verse of Genesis. The prophet Micah prophesied that the Christ would come forth from Bethlehem but that “His goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” His footprints were manifested in this world through long millenniums before the prints were made in His hands. Not only is Christ referred to in the first verse of Genesis, but there are also many evidences of His presence throughout the Old Testament.

There is a remarkable statement occurring in the record of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden: “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden” (Gen. 3:8). The expression for God is rather unusual — “The voice of the Lord God.” Then, to add to the strangeness of the verse, it is stated that “the voice of the Lord God walked in the garden.” Now, it is very unusual to have a voice walking! It reminds us of the old play on words, “Did you ever see a board walk or did you ever see a horse fly?” However this statement is not so unusual when we discover that the One who is the Living Word of God identified Himself as the “alphabet of God.” He said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end (of the alphabet)” (Rev. 21:6). Four times in the book of Revelation Christ so identifies Himself as the complete alphabet of God! No wonder John was able to say of the One riding the white horse of conquest, “...and His name is called The Word of God!” As you know, words are formed from the alphabet. Every word in human language is formed from the letters of the alphabet. The voice is the word made articulate. The alphabet is translated into a word, and the word is energized into a voice. Christ is thus the voice of the Lord God. Time after time throughout the Old Testament we read the prophets saying, “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying...” They were hearing the Christ!

Have you not noticed how we often connect the word word with certain people? For example, the boss is the person who has the what? The final word. The news reporter is the person we ask, “What’s the latest word? We introduce a world-famous designer by saying something like, “Here’s the woman with the word about fashion.” To connect someone with the word word is to suggest that such a person has expertise and, therefore, authority. We pay careful attention to people with expertise and authority. Now the scripture goes one step further. John, both in his epistles and in the Revelation, reveals the great truth that our Lord not only has the Word, but that He is the Word. That’s a giant step! But that’s exactly what the Holy Spirit would make real within our hearts. In the Old Testament the prophets heard the Word, received the Word, had the Word. But Jesus didn’t merely have the Word — He is the Word! He is the Truth! He is the Life! He always has been. He always will be.

Our hearts respond with reverence when we read John’s first encounter with Christ in his visions on Patmos. “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man” (Rev. 1:12-13). There was a voice walking in the garden of Eden, and John turned to see a voice on the Isle of Patmos. The voice of the Lord God in the Garden, which Adam saw, and the voice on Patmos, which John saw, are identical. The steps of The Word of God, the Christ, can be followed through the scripture record all the way between Genesis and Revelation. In Genesis, chapter eighteen, Abraham served dinner to the Lord who came and talked with him. Jacob wrestled with a Stranger at night, but at dawn he found out that it was Someone more than just a man. When the wrestling was over and after he had been blessed (through words) by this Being, notice what Jacob said: “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” It is a deep mystery, but Jacob wrestled with God, He touched God, he saw God, and he talked with God face to face! It was Christ, the Word, who from the bush on mount Horeb spoke to Moses, saying, “I AM THAT I AM...thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

It is a glorious tribute to our Lord Jesus Christ to measure the time of our calendar from His birth in Bethlehem, but actually the expression “Before Christ” is blatantly inaccurate! You cannot get before Christ in time! He stood on the threshold when time began as “The Ancient of Days,” and now He is revealed as who He is — THE WORD OF GOD that liveth and abideth forever! Yet, it is not enough to know that Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God. Even the devils know that, and tremble! We also have the word logos used in I Peter 1:23, “Being born again by the Word of God...” As sons we are not born of the Son, we are born of the Word who became the Son. Can you not see the mystery? Just as the Word became flesh to become Jesus the Son, so the Word must become flesh within us, that is, become substance — reality, concreteness, solidity, form — thereby revealing our sonship! To be born of the Word, we shall speak and emanate truth because we have become truth. That is His name because that is WHAT HE IS!

You see, my beloved, you came into this world out of the bosom of the Father. Before the Creator formed you, He knew you. He didn’t know you in your present physical form as Joe Smith or Sally Brown, just as He didn’t know the Word as Jesus of Nazareth until the Word became flesh. He knew you as spirit. Paul states it so clearly when He says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love...having predestinated us unto placement as sons by Jesus Christ unto Himself” (Eph. 1:3-5). Never doubt this reality for a moment — the only way God could have known you, loved you, chose you in Christ, and predestinated you to sonship before the foundation of the world is that you truly existed in and with Him before the appearing of the worlds. Nothing can be plainer than that! The question follows — If we were chosen “in Christ” before the foundation of the world — whom or what were we chosen in? Who was He then? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The truth is just this: If we were chosen in Christ before the world began, then we were chosen IN THE WORD! To be “born of the Word” is to be a word out of The Word!

Oh, yes! GOD IS BRINGING FORTH A WORD COMPANY, and He will perfect that which concerneth them, bringing it to a successful conclusion at His appointed time. His elect, His chosen, His sons are to be a certain kind of firstfruits of Himself. God is causing His Word to become flesh, substantial, to take form, to be real and powerful within us so that we do not merely speak the words of God, but that our name, as His name, should be called The Word of God! He will finish the WORD, He will complete and fulfill His WORD by bringing forth a WORD COMPANY, a seed through whom all the world shall be blessed. Ray Prinzing often said, “The message and the messenger must become one.” It is not just a word which he speaks, it is WHAT HE IS. And when we become a manifestation of the Logos, it is because from this Word we are born.

Ah, this is why HE who IS the Word of God comes riding out of the heavens of God’s Spirit upon a white horse in righteousness to judge and make war — and the armies which were in heaven follow Him, they also ride upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. Those comprising this glorious army HAVE THEMSELVES BECOME THE WORD OF GOD. They are the Word Company! God fights His battles by His Word! Not just a verbal declaration, but a Living Company who were chosen “in the Word” before the foundation of the world! Yet they do speak out of their state of being! Oh, the mystery of it!

God is equipping His elect sons by revealing the power of words — the Word. Thus saith the scripture: “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? THE WORD IS NIGH THEE, EVEN IN THY MOUTH, AND IN THY HEART...” What word? “The word of faith which we preach” (Rom. 10:6-8). It is the word of power, the word of salvation, the word of the kingdom, the word of life over death. When you realize how powerful words are, by virtue of believing words that are God in you, and which can change and transform you, then you will understand just how “at hand” the kingdom of God really is. You see, the Logos — the speaking — is God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God.” And the Word still is God! So when Jesus appeared on earth all He had to do was say, “Be made whole,” and the power of the word worked, for His word was God in expression and manifestation.

The essence of divine words is God. This is not so difficult to understand when you realize that everything in life is moved by words. There isn’t anything that isn’t done by words. The method of educating our children is with numbers and letters. With numbers and letters, configured in various forms, you raise the educational and functional level of a human being from nothing at the time of birth, to become a surgeon, a politician, an architect, a nuclear physicist, or accomplishment in a vast number of fields. We have surgeons that perform heart transplants. They are people just like you and me. The only difference is the words of letters and numbers that are ingrained within their thinking. The combinations of that learning, the disciplines of those sciences of mathematics, medicine, politics, etc., have given to them a different personality and potentiality. They have a consciousness that enables them to open you up and change out the organs of your body. Let me ask you something — would you let me open up your rib cage and take your heart out? Of course not — and I wouldn’t ask you to! And you know why — you know the knowledge contained in those words and letters which produce that skill are not in me! The words and letters used in medical school have not trained me to be a doctor.

The greatest doctor started out as a baby with no knowledge, no ability, no accomplishment, no skill. He started out with nothing in his head — just like you and me! The only difference is that someone took the time and expended the energy to instruct him and put the knowledge of medical science into that person who by the assimilation and experience of that knowledge became that reality. You see, Jesus said that the kingdom of God is no more a mystery than a man planting seed in soil. He said that if you would plant the seed in the ground and water it, while the sun shines upon it, it will produce a plant that you can neither understand nor explain. He said, “So is the kingdom of God.” If you will just take the time and effort to plant the Word of God in your mind and heart, and water it with the Spirit by exposing yourself to His presence, and give it the light of inspiration, it will grow of itself and make you something you weren’t! You will grow up into the WORD COMPANY!

Brother Carl Schwing expressed this same beautiful truth when he wrote: “The knowledge of the truth, brings forth the reality. To behold the truth, is to become the truth. To become the truth, is to establish the truth. WE MUST LIVE BY EVERY WORD OF GOD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF THE LIVING GOD! And those words are not just words for the speaking...they give life... they are life...they create life. The Word of God is the continual progression of God...leading ever into the fullness of Himself. Even as He has no beginning or end, so it is with His Word...ever progressing, ever expanding, ever increasing...and it is, my brothers and sisters...the incorruptible seed which fell into the fertile ground of our quickened spirits, to blossom forth as the sons of God...that they might become the Living Expression of His Word...the Word that will give life to all that was, and is, and is to come. Speak, O Spirit of the Mighty God, and bring the ‘many membered’ Word together...breathe upon them till they rise up as a mighty Son-Company unto Thee. Give birth, Thou Eternal One, to the Everlasting Gospel...that Thy Sons might stand in the presence of Thy person and proclaim that Gospel ages without end. Hallelujah!”

To be continued…