Tuesday, August 27, 2019

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 213

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

SPIRITUAL WARFARE
(continued)
“And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron...” (Rev. 19:15).

At first glance such a scene may seem fanciful and to the natural reasoning it certainly appears incredible. All kinds of ridiculous notions have been promoted from this picture! But as we approach it from the spiritual viewpoint we discover the truth presented is most beautiful and significant. The Holy Spirit always illumines the symbols, and in this instant He brings to mind another scripture that throws light on this one. The book of Hebrews is a book that explores the glories of Christ’s sonship, kingship, and priesthood. It is written to show His superiority over all prophets, priests, and kings who went before Him. It is my conviction that the passage in the fourth chapter specifically has reference to Him, when it says, “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). The title “the Word of God” is the title ascribed to Jesus by John in the vision now under consideration. As I was in meditation upon this beautiful truth it became clear to me that the writer of the book of Hebrews is referring to Christ Himself as “the Living Word of God,” and not to the written word, the scriptures, but to that quickening, energizing Word that lies beyond the sacred page. He says, “The Word of God is LIVING AND POWERFUL, sharper than any two-edged sword.” Then he immediately goes on to say, “neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:13). Obviously the “him” in this verse refers to the Living Word of God just spoken of, signifying that this Living Word is not a book — it is a Person!

A further description is given of this Word of God, revealing the great truth that not only is it living, but it is also a sharp two-edged sword! This adds to the picture of the Christ coming to judge and make war. Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, which according to Revelation 1:6 is a “sharp two-edged sword,” and in our text is used to smite the nations and bring them under His righteous rule. The Greek word here for “sword” is hromphaia which indicates a long Thracian sword or one unusually large and longer than most swords. The same word is sometimes used to describe a javelin, a sword sufficiently light and long to be thrown as a spear. Here the word is used symbolically to represent a sharp instrument of war with which Christ will smite the nations and establish His absolute rule.

The key word here is mouth. “Out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword...” How meaningful this is! It is a sword, yes — but a kind of sword that comes forth out of the mouth. The sword that goes forth from the mouth of Christ is without doubt the sharp two-edged sword of the Word of God! His name is called THE WORD OF GOD. He is the LOGOS. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made” (Ps. 33:6). This is He who was in the beginning. “In the beginning was the Word” (Jn. 1:1). This is the Word that was God. “...the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn. 1:1). In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. This is He of whom it is written, “He sent His Word, and healed them.” This is the Word that is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. In this vision of John this One is represented as being armed with a sword, two-edged and sharp, passing out of His mouth, indicating that His chief force lies in the action of His lips uttering words. His force is truth — truth expressed by His mouth in words. He goes forth to battle wielding only the weapon of Truth! Christ does not come to avenge blood or slay in battle as other conquerors have done. His words smite all who hear them! As someone has said, it will smite them with conviction and bless them with conversion.

The apostle Paul says, “Take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). When the legionnaires of Caesar girded on their belts and fastened their breastplates in position and took upon themselves their helmets and picked up their shields and swords, they were going forth conquering as a conqueror, to travel across the face of Europe for Imperial Rome, and to conquer all that came before them. How does the Christ conquer? By His WORD!

When I speak, or write, I manifest spiritual influences, and the force of these influences is proportionate to the inner power, and their effect is proportionate to the state of reception of my hearers. Words are thus seen to be representatives of spiritual forces, but not merely representatives, but also vehicles of spiritual powers! It is truly amazing! Many times as I write there is a powerful anointing that permeates my being. Even this week as I have given myself to penning these messages, that divine unction has been awesome, at times almost overwhelming, as though I was caught up into another dimension of consciousness and being. The words that I write are in a computer, then transferred to paper, sent through the mail, and read by thousands of the Lord’s people. Then we receive letters, and precious ones write of the effect of those words, how as they read understanding dawned in their spiritual minds, encouragement and strength poured into their hearts, some write of an uncontrollable laughter or weeping with tears of thanksgiving and joy — for in some strange, mysterious way the very words which were written out of the anointing actually become vehicles of the life and power of the Living Word — there is a transference of the anointing, of divine life and glory through the words which are words of God. Oh, the mystery of it! Oh, the wonder of it! The action of spirit on spirit is appreciable by the senses, and could we look behind the veil of nature we would see that the influence exerted through words is as real and actual as muscular force. From this we learn that words are not mere sounds or forms, but are the sheaths or cases of spiritual life, and on this ground we at once see the force of the Lord’s declaration, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Jn. 6:63).

The Lord’s speech is the manifestation and influence of His inner life poured forth upon those to whom He speaks. An incident in the life of Jesus, recorded in Luke, chapter seven, provides a picture in which may be discerned the POWER OF THE WORDS OF GOD. As He approached the gate of Nain there met Him a funeral procession, a widow’s only son carried out to burial. Moved with compassion for the sorrowing woman He bade her dry her tears. The astounded crowd heard Him address the figure upon the bier.

“Young man, I say unto thee, Arise!” The power of the speech of the Prince of Life pierced the realm of the dead! The lad sat up and began to speak. The tender Christ delivered him to his mother, and made effective His command, “Weep not!” Her son was not only brought back from the gates of the tomb, but was restored to her as a gift from the Lord BY THE POWER OF HIS WORD.

On another occasion Jesus had come up to Jerusalem to attend the feast. As He reached the city He came to the Pool of Bethesda and He looked into the pool. There were five porches around that pool. He passed through the porches, and at the last came to a poor man, sick for thirty-eight years, who had been pushed away from the sacred spring. The man was startled as he heard the Voice. “Wilt thou be made whole?” He looked up into the face of a Man who was looking down at him, asking that strange question, “Wilt thou be made whole?” There went right down into his heart a strange sensation, his whole being vibrated like a harp when every string is touched by a master hand. “Wilt thou be made whole?” Gently he explained that he had no man to help him into the pool, but that others, when he was coming, step down before him. Then he waited with his eyes fixed upon the Man who had so strangely appealed to his will. He got ready, for the very next moment he heard the voice of Him who is the Resurrection and the Life say, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk!” And in a moment there came into his body with that Word, power; and he rose, took up that bed, rolled it up and walked home, set free from the bonds of Satan who had bound him for thirty-eight years. Oh! The power of the flaming sword of the

Living Word of God that proceeds out of His mouth!
As the Christ of God is a many-membered body, so is the sword that goes out of His mouth. The word of God is spoken in the world today by the body of Christ on earth, and that word flows forth as the sound of many waters. There are not to be two swords nor an hundred and forty-four thousand swords — not one out of the mouth of the Lord, and the others out of the mouths of His ministers. There is one sword, and it is HIS. Our quotation of scripture, our knowledge of the Bible, and our understanding of truth is not the sword of the Lord! The sword of the Lord is that word which proceedeth only out of HIS MOUTH, and out of ours as we are made one in Him. The sword out of His mouth is the Word of God, His very own Word, of sovereign authority and power that whether spoken to the angels, or to devils, or to the winds, or to the waves of the sea, or to the dead who are in their graves, or proclaims the present and approaching purposes and plans of God, is heard by those unto whom it is sent and commands obedience (Ps. 29:1-11). The sword of the Lord bespeaks of a purified people, holding forth the word of Life in the power of the Holy Spirit, and how we praise God for this company!

The Spirit of God is forming and fashioning a people, a glorious company, from whose lips flash forth that clear word of the Lord which shall cause the traditions and unrighteousness of man to utterly come to naught. It was said of our Lord and Elder Brother, “Never man spake like this man” (Jn. 7:46). “What thing is this, what new doctrine is this? FOR WITH AUTHORITY commandeth HE even the unclean spirits, and they do obey Him!” (Mk. 1:27). “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!” (Mat. 8:27). That which was manifest in Jesus Christ shall also be seen in His many-membered-brethren-company. There are preview glimpses of this even in God’s servants in the Old Testament. With what boldness did Elijah the prophet pronounce unto Ahab the king, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (I Kings 17:1). And that word was fulfilled!

God’s elect has at this time received the “firstfruits” of the Spirit, the “pledge” and “down payment” of that fullness revealed in the firstborn Son of God. We have witnessed the movings and miracles of God on a certain level as the sick have been healed and wonders done in the name of Jesus. Oh, yes! I have seen these things with my own eyes, and miracles have on occasion been wrought through even my word, and the laying on of hands. But it has not been consistent nor constant nor perpetual, only a little here, and a little there, from time to time according to men’s faith and the seasonal movings of the Spirit. All we have experienced up to this time is but a taste, a foretaste, an appetizer, a firstfruit, a small sample of the glory that is coming upon the sons of God! When our hearts are fully prepared for it, the pure and powerful Word of God shall cause His ministers to ride victoriously. Naught shall be able to stand before God’s army of sons bearing the two-edged sword of HIS WORD! Not demons, not sickness, not sorrow, not limitation, not death, not the elements, not nature, not religion, not rulers, not governments, not armies, not organizations, not philosophies, not science falsely so called, not anything! How phenomenal, how glorious shall be the advance of this mighty company of warriors with the sword going out of their mouth!

This is not some carnal battle fought with carnal means, but the utterance of the Living Word of Truth and Power which no man shall be able to disannul. Ah, how fleshly have been the swords by which the religious systems of man have conquered! These “Christian” countries have even gone to war with one another, and with other powers of earth. These “Christian” armies have sent millions into a fast hell. Through long centuries the “Christian” nations have been on fire with brawls, party against party, faction against faction. These “Christian” nations have deceit and fraud, oppression and wrong, robbery and murder, in their streets. The “Christian” families are torn asunder with envy, jealousy, anger, domestic disputes and abuse, separation and divorce, without number and without end. And what is most dreadful, most to be lamented of all, are those “Christian” churches! Those churches that bear the name of Christ, the Prince of Peace, yet wage continual war with each other. Throughout the church age this church has attempted to convert sinners at the point of a sword and sometimes by burning men alive. As it has sought to “purify” itself and maintain its so-called “orthodoxy” by ridding itself of those it perceived as heretics, this church has murdered untold millions throughout the earth and become drunk with the blood of saints and of martyrs. It has brought praise only to Satan. It is a false church, a false Christ, a false sword, a false word! This false sword, this spurious gospel, is waging its carnal warfare throughout the nations!

True revival and true worship have all but fled from the harlot systems and can be found only in the hearts of the small remnant who love God and to whom the word of the Lord is precious. All who have studied the history of the so-called church know of the abominations committed by this wanton and worldly system. They have conquered by sorcery, intrigue, murder, war, and torture. They have made all nations drink of the wine of their fornication. And in this “enlightened” hour the lewd harlot of false Christianity stalks the earth still, pontificating about morality and spirituality. False revivals abound. The false sword is wielded. The false gospel is proclaimed from the pulpits, from the printing presses, and over the air-waves. False prophets, false teachers, false shepherds, false apostles, false evangelists, false healers, false miracle workers, and false Christs abound together with all the marvelous works of trickery, deceit, and deception, insomuch that, if it were possible, the very elect would be deceived.

We have heard many so-called Gospels. The world is full of poor deluded souls who are trying to establish their own particular creed of imaginings and mistakes. We try to go to the world, we try to tell them the message, by using all the world’s own methods, to advertise, to appeal to their emotions, to entertain them with music and programs, and if that fails to try to scare them into salvation with threats of judgment, doom, and hell-fire. It only proves our impotence, that we have not left the world very far behind if we can return and employ the world’s ways so easily.

Today, everyone with a little bit of preacher’s “itch” is attempting to get themselves a little congregation, a little following, to build a little kingdom. These all imagine that somehow they are going to go out and storm the world and “take the world” for Christ. But a new day is dawning, a day when the pure and unadulterated gospel of the kingdom must go forth to the whole world. Religionists have tried in vain to lift the world out of its darkness and shame by their ambitious programs and preaching their own ideas and doctrines. It simply would not work. Sin, immorality, sorrow, fear, violence, and spiritual ignorance are abounding more and more and the world has grown steadily worse! The lofty phrases, and text-book prayers, and apologetic platitudes, and time-honored traditions, and powerless preaching, and carnal, man-made programs and drives and crusades of all kinds have utterly failed. Now a new company is to go forth with a burning message of truth direct from the throne, out of the heavens of the Spirit of the Lord, and in the fullness of power reserved for this day. The anointing of the manifest sons of God shall be an anointing WITHOUT MEASURE, the fullness of Christ’s SONSHIP MINISTRY, and the message of these sons shall be a message stripped of all the ineffectual absurdities that have been preached throughout the years. Religionists have side-stepped, and mollycoddled, and back-slapped too long. Their day is done!

The sun is sinking in the western sky of this age of the “in part” realm. A new day is dawning for those who have been quickened from above. A new army is being prepared for this new day, an army of the sons of God perfected in His image, matured in His life, refined in His righteousness, filled with the precious mind that was in Christ Jesus, radiating the effulgence of His glory, demonstrating the omnipotence of His power, and equipped with the sword of His Spirit which is the Living, Creative Word of God. And there shall be an exultant victory! For now the day is fastly approaching when “A-L-L nations shall come and worship before Thee” (Rev. 15:4). “And...all the nations...shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to KEEP THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES” (Zech. 14:16). That word clearly predicts a new day! It cannot be denied by any that throughout this age all the peoples and all the nations that have come to worship the Lord have worshipped exclusively and only in the feasts of Passover and Pentecost! Not one nation has ever come to worship the Lord in the FEAST OF TABERNACLES. Not one! But there is a day, O glorious day! when all the peoples and all the nations of earth shall know the Lord and feast with Him in a new order and a new glory — in the blessing and provision and power of TABERNACLES! Only the manifest sons of God can usher in such a day!

In this hour God is moving by His Spirit among those who are being drawn by the Spirit of the living God into the unseen and eternal realms where they hear what the Spirit is saying. The words that these are hearing in the Spirit are the teaching of the Holy Ghost, and the teaching is for the training and equipping of the army of the Lord. God is making His sons aware and causing them to become familiar with the instruments of war they must use in this spiritual and heavenly warfare. He is especially training us in the use of our sword — the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God! We have spent years reading and studying the Written Word, and we still do. We also gathered with the saints to hear the preaching of the word and the utterances of the prophetic word. Nearly seventy years have passed since the Lord began to “call out” those who He would lead into higher realms and deeper depths of His purposes. Yet there are brethren who still argue over the scriptures and try to bind God between the covers of the Holy Book. There is the Written Word of God which we hold precious and sacred. As we have discovered in our present study of the book of Revelation, we know that deep beneath the surface of the Written Word there is a gold mine of divine, living truth. And we know that there are not enough books in the whole world to contain the thoughts and ways and works of our Father! We must ever remember that there is the Word that was with God in the beginning. And there is the Word that was God in the beginning. That Word was before the Sacred Page, and He is also beyond the Sacred Page. There is the Word which is God, whom we know and love and serve. Only the Spirit of God can divide the two — then take THE WORD and reveal HIM to us!

My beloved, we once knew Him who is the Word in that long ago before the beginning when we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy. We knew Him as one brought up with Him, and we rejoiced always before Him. Then, being lowered into this gross material realm, we had to be brought to know Him again, and were first introduced to Him by the Written Word, the Sacred Page. But now we seek to know Him again beyond the Sacred Page, for that is where we find our destiny and our inheritance in the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The Word which is God, is the Word which the sons of God shall shout from atop the holy mountain of the Lord! This is the Word, even the sword, which shall smite the nations. This is the Word that shall set creation free. This is the Word that shall bring forth the New Creation, the New Heavens and the New Earth. This is the Word which shall fill all things with Himself. It is through this Word that we have life for the ages!

All this shall be accomplished by the sword of Him that rideth on the white horse, because the Word of God is LIVING, AND POWERFUL, AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD! “These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges...” (Rev. 2:12). Do you know what it means that it is a two-edged sword? In the first century there were three primary swords that armies used when they went into combat. There was one sword that was a big, heavy, cumbersome thing, you could only use it with two hands, and you usually rested it on your shoulders, for it was that heavy. You went into combat and you would swing at the enemy with that sword with both hands, you could almost club them to death with it, it was so heavy, and it would cut right through the metal of their armor. The problem with that was, in the first place, it was so heavy that it got you tired; secondly, if you took a swipe at somebody and missed, you were very vulnerable to a counter attack.

There was a second kind of sword, the kind we usually think of, a sword with a point at the front and one side of it had a sharp edge. You would take that into battle and try to whack the enemy with that one side, pull it back, and try to strike them again. Then someone thought of the idea of sharpening both sides — it was as revolutionary in the days of Rome as the atomic bomb was for us. When a legion went into combat with a sword that had a blade on both sides they had an incredible advantage — the soldier could cut from all directions, forward and backward. Now that’s what the writer to the Hebrews had in mind when He wrote about the Word of God being living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword of man. The Word of God is alive! The Word of God is powerful! The Word of God is sharp! How effective it is! Without the Word of the Lord man is like a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there. Man’s sword is a sword of death. It kills. But God’s sword is living — it cuts away and kills what needs to be killed in order to make alive. It is a living sword — yea, a life-giving sword! Isn’t it wonderful!

Let us now consider something further about the word of the Lord. There is a significant statement about the word in Psalm 105:8. “He hath remembered His covenant for ever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations.” “Word” in this passage is from the Hebrew word dabar, the meaning of which indicates “an arrangement of words.” It speaks of words that are set forth in order, not merely a conglomeration of words, nor any single word or group of words having no structure, message, or purpose. Dabar denotes an arrangement of words set in order that declare a message having substance, which can be understood and appropriated. It is significant to note that this word dabar is translated “promise” later on in the same Psalm. “For He remembered His holy promise, and Abraham His servant.” What is a promise? It’s a word! When a man makes a promise he gives his word. Therefore this word which God remembers and which He commanded to a thousand generations is HIS WORD OF PROMISE!

Hebrew is an extremely fascinating language. I studied Hebrew for a couple years and then made an effort to study Greek, but in my love of language I am partial to Hebrew. I would love to speak it fluently! I learned some interesting things about the Hebrew language. Early in my studies I purchased a Hebrew clock which I hung over my desk in my office. The “numbers” on the clock are letters of the Hebrew alphabet beginning with “aleph”, or “A,” then “beth,” which is “B,” and so on. I couldn’t understand it, and not yet being familiar with the Hebrew letters of the alphabet, I could still tell time by this clock because I knew where one o’clock, or three o’clock, or any other hour is on the face of a clock. What I couldn’t understand was why they didn’t have numbers on the clock — one, two, three, and so on. Soon I learned that Hebrew, like Greek, and Latin, and many other languages, is a numeric language. In a numeric language they don’t use numbers! We all know what Roman numerals are. In a numeric language a value is ascribed to each letter of the alphabet, therefore “numbers” as we know them are unnecessary, they simply use the letters of the alphabet as numbers. Hebrew is like that, so when I learned that “aleph,” which is the letter “A” in the Hebrew alphabet, is “one” I then understood why “aleph” was where the “one” would be on the clock. Knowing the numerical value of the Hebrew characters enabled me to be able to actually read the clock, not just tell time by my previous knowledge of telling time.

There is another truth beyond this of far greater significance. Not only does each letter of the Hebrew alphabet have a numeric value, but each possesses within it a spiritual connotation. In other words, there is a spiritual value ascribed to each letter of the alphabet in addition to the numeric value. One letter will carry a value such as righteousness, another bears the value of faithfulness, another carries the value of the self-existent One, the One who is, etc.. Thus, when one speaks or writes in Hebrew the letters in each word that he speaks or writes contain within them the essence of the spiritual qualities which characterize the meaning of that word. This truth is referred to by the Psalmist when speaking of the Lord, he said, “He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names, great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite” (Ps. 147:4-5). The “number” of the stars denotes the numerical value; their “names” denote their spiritual value, for the name signifies the nature. In Isaiah 40:25-26, God said, “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by numbers; He calleth them all by names, by the greatness of His might.” What a mighty God we serve who can conceal within the name of every created thing the spiritual essence, nature, and destiny of that thing! Truly He IS infinite and of great might!

In the opening verse of the Bible we read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Now God chose the Hebrew language to record that! The Jewish scholars believe that Hebrew was the original language, the divine language, before any other language existed. I don’t know whether that is true, but I do believe that in His omniscient wisdom and by divine design and purpose God arranged to have the original scriptures of the Old Testament recorded in Hebrew and the New Testament books written in Greek. For this reason I am a believer in what is called the “verbal inspiration” of the scriptures. That means simply that God inspired the Bible writers word by word, He ordered the precise arrangement of every word and every sentence to reveal within them not only the surface meaning of the words, but within their divinely ordered arrangement may be searched out His hidden or secret wisdom. Within His word God has given us a power. We could get hung up, as the fundamentalists do, on the idea that God verbally inspired this word, and make a holy relic or a religious idol out of the Bible. That’s not the purpose of God at all! In fact, the fundamentalists who challenge the cause of “verbal inspiration” never get into the inner essence, life, and power of the word — they are stuck on the external surface meaning of the letter that killeth! The great truth the Lord is revealing to us is that when He speaks, contained within that word are all the characteristics of His wisdom and power which the word represents. Therefore, resident within every living word of God is all the wisdom, energy, potential, glory, and power of God necessary to bring that word to pass! That, precious friend of mine, is why the Lord can confidently assert: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it” (Isa. 55:11). Notice — the Lord does not say that HE will accomplish that which He declares by His word, but IT, that is, the word itself, shall accomplish that whereunto He sends it! The power is in the Word!

On the natural level every letter of every word in the Hebrew language has a spiritual value, so that when you put those words together they have spiritual meanings according to the characters that are in those words. That is a divine and beautiful science, only designed by the mind of omniscience, but if we stop there in the external form of the “letter” of the Word, we miss the point altogether! The deeper truth is that God is pointing to a spiritual reality beyond the outward “science,” and when He speaks any living word to us there is contained within that living word all the energizing life, knowledge, wisdom, glory, and power to accomplish all that it promises. God Himself is in His Word to perform it! That is the mystery. The creative energy in every living word that proceeds out of His mouth is the power of His own divinity. Just as the power of life that forms the giant oak is resident in the tiny acorn which falls into the ground, so is the creative power of divine life resident within every word we hear from our heavenly Father. And that, my beloved, is the promise of God’s word! That God “remembers His promise” means infinitely more than the notion that He doesn’t “forget” His verbal assurance, pledge, or vow. The assurance that God will do all that He says lies not within the form of the words we hear, but the guarantee is found in the divine ability and power residing in the word. Can you not see the mystery?

How many who read these lines have ever questioned a word of the Lord? Have you ever doubted a word of the Lord? Have you at sometime perhaps disobeyed a word of the Lord? The reason for this was because we did not comprehend the power that was in that word! Our failure to perceive the living essence that was in the word, in which essence was contained everything necessary to bring it to pass, was the root of our unbelief and weakness. Oh, yes! When the word of the Lord is quickened within our hearts by the Holy Spirit we have only to say “Amen” and proceed to walk in that word and the miracle of the living power in the word will unfold just as naturally as the budding of a plant, bringing to fruition all that the Lord has spoken. The miracles of God are the simplest things in the world! Simple trust and obedience, stepping forth in faith to embrace and walk in the promise of God, releases the power of the word to perform it. Our faith and obedience are just like supplying water and sunshine to a seed that has fallen into the ground, causing it to germinate and spring forth, releasing the power of its life within!

To every member of God’s elect there must come a time when the truth of the power resident within the word of God to us dawns as the morning on the meadows of our consciousness. With all confidence I tell every person who reads these lines that prophecy (prophetic utterance) is not fulfilled simply because God foreknows what is to happen. God does indeed know all things, for “known unto God are all His works from the foundation of the world.” Truly He knows the end from the beginning and nothing is hidden from Him! The grossest darkness is bright as the noonday sun to the all-seeing eye of the Lord our God. We could say that because God knows what will happen He is able to speak beforehand precisely what will come to pass and therefore that is prophecy. That seems altogether logical to the natural mind. But I do not hesitate to tell you that that is not the reason prophecy comes to pass! Prophecy is not fulfilled on the basis of God’s foreknowledge. Prophecy comes to pass because the life of God, the ability of God, and the power of God are in that word to perform all that it speaks. Again I say that the word of God is not just a spoken foreknowledge, for the word of God is itself CREATIVE ENERGY!

“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” (Jn. 1:1-4). God did not say, “Let there be light,” because He knew there would be light; rather, He said, “Let there be light,” so there would be light!” And the power that created the light was The Word. That is the difference. We stated above that there must come a time when every one of God’s called and chosen elect is thoroughly possessed of the understanding of this great and eternal truth concerning the power resident in the living word of God. This is unerringly true because we are called to be the proclaimers of His Word. As the sons of God go forth into spiritual warfare to smite the nations, the Living Word of God is our sword!

Let me give you an example of how we are called to rule and reign over the nations at this present time. In 1983 the Lord spoke to me in a dream. In the dream I was standing on a wide boulevard at a busy intersection in the city of Moscow, Russia. At this intersection was a large vacant lot, and erected on this lot was a tall pole on the top of which was affixed crucifixes and religious emblems of the type used by the Russian Orthodox Church. I stood in transfixed wonder, astonished that in a nation ruled by an atheistic government which harshly suppressed all outward expressions of religious faith, this religious symbol should be planted in such a prominent spot with no connection to any nearby church edifice. As I marveled, I turned and saw to my left a vast throng of people coming, marching down the boulevard. The street was completely flooded with this crowd of demonstrators, and those at the head of the parade (who I presumed were priests) held out in front of them a great number of crucifixes and religious emblems identical with those on the pole. Again I was amazed that in an atheistic nation where public demonstrations were prohibited, this multitude of people should be uninhibitedly parading their religious symbols through the thoroughfares. At that moment I started across the side street, but the demonstrators turned toward me and I found it necessary to run in order to keep from being trampled.

Immediately the scene changed. I was in the same city, but found myself in a storefront building. There was nothing in the large room where I stood except a number of folding chairs. I was aware that this building was used by certain believers who met for prayer, counsel, preparation and planning; for from this place teams of ministry were sent forth throughout the length and breadth of Russia. Suddenly I was transferred to a small room at the back of the building. The room was furnished with only a single cot with a small table at its head, upon which lay a book with a dark purple cover, and embossed across the front in gold letters was this title: THE UNITED STATES IN PROPHECY. The next scene was back in the larger room where several people were now congregated. I knew that a meeting was soon to begin, with prayer and a strategy session for sending out the ministry teams. In connection with this activity I was shown a massive intervention of God’s power accompanied by a dramatic move of the Holy Spirit across Russia by which the whole nation would be stirred with the manifestation of the glory of God. With this electrifying knowledge planted within my consciousness, I awoke.

Immediately the interpretation of the dream flooded my spirit. It was clear that a new condition of RELIGIOUS LIBERTY was to come to the people of the Soviet Union. Remember — this was 1983! At that time Yuri Andropov was in power and Mikhail Gorbachev was unknown to the Western world. We had not yet heard the words GLASNOST and PERESTROIKA. And the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union was the farthest thing from anybody’s mind! In 1984, first at a Convention in Daytona Beach, Florida, I commenced to proclaim the word the Lord had given me; following that in meetings in El Paso, Texas and in other parts of the country. The Spirit revealed to me that religious liberty (typified by the pole on the vacant lot) was coming to the Russian people and that the advent of religious liberty would be followed by a revival of religion (represented by the parade). This we have seen come to pass! Late in 1989 as I watched the NBC Evening News, suddenly — THERE IT WAS! The reporter was giving a report from Moscow. Down the broad avenue I saw them coming — a vast throng, literally hundreds of Christian believers marching on foot...at the forefront of the crowd marched the Russian Orthodox Priests holding out the crucifixes and icons — the exact scene I had witnessed in my dream six years prior! I shouted through the house to Lorain, “Honey, come, look! That’s it! There is the procession I saw in my dream!”

Exactly as the Lord said, much of what is happening spiritually in Russia today is taking place within the precincts of religious Babylon. The Russian Orthodox Church has had a dramatic influx of people and increase of priests and seminaries, and restoration of power and prestige. Thousands of new churches have opened representing many denominations and groups. The Lord has opened doors — tremendous avenues for the gospel of salvation. Teaching services in Russian churches are now diverted to evangelistic messages in deference to the masses of unbelievers (most first-time attenders) flooding the meetings. Invited by friends or attracted by a printed invitation, many Russian people come to churches seeking an answer to their great spiritual hunger. Evangelical churches are filled with new inquirers, and many newcomers are converted to Christ. Most have dramatic and emotional experiences — all are life-changing. Excitement permeates Russian churches as believers have the joy of leading unbelievers — people who have never been exposed to spirituality or prayed before in their lives — to the Lord. And there is a very significant revival in the cities, especially among the youth. But for the most part this is all an elementary move of the Spirit in the feast of Passover set within the context of the church systems of man.

The sovereign move of God in miracle working power that the Lord showed me in 1983 HAS NOT YET BLOSSOMED — but the seeds of it are planted and it looms upon the horizon. According to the word of the Lord there was to be a revival of religion first, then the mighty move of the Spirit of God! Since 1984 I have had a ministry to Russia in and by the Spirit and through that saw the collapse of Soviet Communism there just as the Lord had moved me to proclaim. Everything that has happened there has been according to that word of the Lord and the proclaiming of it! That is what it means to be given power over the nations and to reign over them out of the heavenlies! By prayer, by faith, and by the revelation and proclamation of the word of the Lord we have heavenly governmental power and authority to change things! The sons of God are beginning to reign in the heavens of God’s Spirit, and earth is being impacted by their authority and dominion! When the present distress in Russia has run its course, there will be an unprecedented, sovereign move of God in that country that will bring the glory and honor and power of the kingdom of God in a new and higher dimension, and bringing multitudes into living relationship with God beyond the religious systems of man through the power of the Holy Spirit! I was made to understand that the book I saw — THE UNITED STATES IN PROPHECY — indicated that American ministries were destined to play a pivotal role in this move of the Spirit in Russia. But beyond that, America represents to the whole world the concept of LIBERTY, and God is about to PROCLAIM LIBERTY to the former captives of communist ideology, sin, darkness, ignorance, bondage, helplessness, poverty, sorrow, and death throughout Russia!

The groundwork is being laid. The preparation is in progress. The stage is being set. And regardless of what events, positive or negative, may yet transpire, the mighty God, in due time, will utter His voice from the heavens and great shall be the sound of abundance of rain. Can you comprehend, dear reader, what effect you can have upon creation by REIGNING FROM THE HEAVENLIES? There is no need to board a great airliner and fly to far-away nations with strange sounding names and quaint customs in order to bless the world. I have never set foot on the soil of Russia, yet I do not doubt for one instant that the faith and prayer in my heart and the declarations of God’s word through my mouth aided in some mysterious and divine way the amazing events that have unfolded and are unfolding in that distant land. THERE IS POWER IN THE SPOKEN WORD OF THE LORD! GOD’S SPOKEN WORD IS THE MIGHTY

SWORD OF THE SPIRIT!
Let me tell you something. What has happened in the former Soviet Union has nothing to do with me personally any more than anything God does through you has anything to do with you. It is the work of God! Yet I ask — did God show me, and did God have me declare, the manifestation of His kingdom power in Russia because He knew it was going to happen, or did He have me declare that word SO IT COULD AND WOULD HAPPEN? Ah, He gave me a word to declare so that by the power of the Lord in the word would be unleashed a mighty river of life, the omnipotence of God to bring it to pass! That is the great truth the Holy Spirit would make real to your heart today. It is my deep conviction that if I had never declared it, it would not have happened! Granted, the Lord could have proclaimed it through someone else — the result would have been the same. For it has nothing to do with me, or you, or anyone else — it has everything to do with the POWER IN THE WORD!

God is in His Word in all His ability, omnipotence, majesty, and dominion to move upon men and nations. No word of God can fail! Here is the power of the kingdom of God! Here is the power of the sword that goes out of His mouth! It is almost possible to hear the thrill of Isaiah’s voice as it comes ringing over the centuries: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: SO SHALL MY WORD BE THAT GOETH FORTH OUT OF MY MOUTH: IT SHALL NOT RETURN UNTO ME VOID, BUT IT SHALL ACCOMPLISH THAT WHICH I PLEASE, AND IT SHALL PROSPER IN THE THING WHEREUNTO I SENT IT. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains (strong kingdoms) and the hills (smaller kingdoms) shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees (peoples) of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn (evil men) shall come up the fir tree (fragrant ones), and instead of the briar (vicious, violent, vindictive men) shall come up the myrtle tree (peace loving, righteous ones): and it shall be to the Lord for a name(the shining forth of His nature), and for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Isa. 55:8-13).

Christ and His army of sons come riding out of the heavens on white horses and they come to judge and make war. In the vision John saw this judgment and warfare activity limited to “the sword of their mouth.” There are no other implements of war seen in the vision! In other words, this spiritual warfare is performed entirely by the spoken word of God through their lips! And it is not extreme to suppose that only the word of the Lord would have the power to carry out the warfare! Any individual who sought personal revenge, or a demonstration of human ability, or the effort to fight the battle by the same tired old methods of the carnal church systems or the militant nations of earth, would be powerless to perform any such supernatural activity of warfare. Anything less than the redeeming power of God’s word would not have the motivation of love, and therefore the originator would not be God, and the goal would not be deliverance, salvation, blessing, and restoration. Thus it can be seen that it will be only through enlightened, matured, and perfected sons of God that the words of God in LOVE-JUDGMENT can be spoken! For in them alone will the nature of the Father be unmixed with the nature of man! Aren’t you glad!

TREADING THE WINEPRESS
“Out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev. 19:15).

The following quote is from brother Elwin Roach, taken from his Pathfinder publication, in which he has given a very inspirational insight into this process of the winepress.

“Treading out the winepress is similar, if not the same, as ruling with a rod of iron. ‘And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power (Gr. exousia, authority) over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father’ (Rev. 2:26-27). The rod is used to break people like a potter breaks his vessels. The afflicted are pressed and broken in order to bring forth something much greater, life from the world of death. Those broken to shivers are the marred and cracked vessels who are unusable and unfit for the glorious kingdom of God. They are not able to hold the simple water of the Word or the wine of the Spirit. It is difficult to repair cracked vessels of clay; but it is a simple matter to break them to shivers, that is, to crush them completely, grind them to powder, cast them into the Potter’s field to be weathered, worn, and reduced to pliable clay. When the time is right, they are then RE-FORMED in the Potter’s hands, and all are made new as Revelation 21:5 says they will be.

“As it is with the re-forming of the Potter’s vessels, the treading out of the winepress brings forth a higher, everlasting form of life. For instance, ripe grapes are full of sweet juices. They possess beauty and sustenance. They are pleasant to the eye and taste. A burst of energy can be had when grapes are eaten; but the true life, the higher life of the vine is not known until the inner juice is released. That releasing is due to the crushing of its fruit, and seemingly a spoiling during the fermentation process. But there is no spoiling! There are no values lost! To the contrary, much is gained! The life of the vine in that fruit is released and manifested in that process of bruising and dying. There is a marvelous transformation and resurrection. Abundant life comes out of death. Now we know why wine is called spirits. The inner spirit/life has been released as the essence of the fruit is transformed. Many may appear as though they are rich and full of life, like plumb, religious grapes, yet they will never drink of the new wine of the kingdom without the treading out of the winepress, or being vessels broken to shivers and re- formed.

“We should note that neither the treading out of the winepress nor the breaking of vessels are in vindictive vengeance. There is no anger of any sort, and neither is it a cold, uncaring, retribution to someone who ‘deserves’ God’s harsh, legal ‘justice.’ By no means is this rule of iron and this treading of the winepress done in malice or without heartfelt feelings of love. Those rulers have no need to see anyone suffer, although there is often great suffering on the road to correction and change” — end quote.

To this beautiful word I would add only this comment. Most commentators view the entire scene of the riders on the white horses as wrathful, vindictive judgment upon the world. It is not! It is corrective, redemptive judgment. The great purpose of Christ’s conquest is to bring the nations, all of them, and all of the people who have ever been, or are now in them, under the righteous rule of the Lord and His kingdom. He doesn’t come to destroy the nations — He comes to RULE THE NATIONS! What a difference! And that rule brings with it judgment unto victory. He comes, not in anger, with a murderous, destructive spirit to destroy men, but He comes in righteousness to judge and make war! It is His righteousness in manifestation to produce righteousness in the men of earth. Oh, how wonderful it is!

He breaks the nations to shivers. The beauty of it is that the prophet Jeremiah tells us that when the vessel is marred in the hands of the potter, he then smashes that vessel and makes it again another vessel as it seems good to the potter to make it (Jer. 18:1-6). This is re-demption, re-conciliation, re-generation, re-creation, re- birth, re-surrection! And then, finally, the winepress. The treading of the winepress is described as “the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” Sounds awesome, fearsome, violent, and savage, does it not? Yet — why do men tread out the grapes in the winepress? Not to destroy them, certainly, but to crush them in order to release the inner life. And it takes determination, relentlessness, fierceness, passion, and yes, violence to fully crush the grapes and shed forth the juice! The word for “wrath” in the Greek text simply means passion. Oh, yes! God is absolutely passionate, relentless, determined, even violent when He moves in judgment to break and redeem and remake men into His image! What a mighty God we serve! He will not turn from His work of judgment until He truly RULES in the heart and life of every man and every nation on earth! Blessed be His name!

To be continued...