Sunday, September 30, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 23

 FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 23) by J. Preston Eby|

ONE LIKE UNTO A SON OF MAN (continued)
"And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto a son of man" (Rev. 1:12-13).

It has been said, and I believe it, that Jesus Christ is the greatest man that ever lived. I confess, however, that it is with mingled feelings that I say it. For you see, it is, by the very nature of the case, only a half-truth! The other half, revealed clearly in the scriptures, and made known to us in the power of the Holy Spirit, is this, that Christ Jesus possessed divine powers which every man may share, which makes every man great, which will save the world and deliver every man into the image and likeness of God. It takes the whole truth to reveal Christ’s greatness — the corporate, complete, many-membered Christ is the greatest man who has lived and shall ever live! This is the man John saw in vision while on Patmos! John beheld in spirit a picture, a representation, and what he saw was someone who was "like a son of man" or someone in human form. It was a personage that bore the likeness of a man. Yet this One he saw was something more than an ordinary man! This One had the features and appearance of a man, but there was a glory and a majesty of His person that transcended that of any natural man!

This was the image of true manhood, the new man, the perfect man, man in the image and likeness of God!

With these thoughts in mind let us look a little closer at God’s purpose in man. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness: and let them have dominion…so God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him…" (Gen. 1:26-27). God the Creator was invisible to His creation. But now, creation was about to see what God looked like! As the hands of a great potter God began to scrape together a lump of red clay and to shape a model after the similitude of Himself. He molded and formed His spiritual characteristics, senses, and abilities into an outward form in the lump of clay. He then stamped the likeness of His own divine attributes into the red clay of that which was earthy. There was only one problem with this man — he was but a model out of the earth. He could only express that which was spiritual in the form of a symbol, type, or shadow. But God already had the solution to that problem. Just at that moment God descended within Himself into the deepest depths of spirit-substance and filled His lungs with a breath from beyond the veil — He exhaled that breath of divine life and blew it into the nostrils of the man whom He had formed and man became a zoe psuche — a living soul!

In this procreative act God came down to the clay model and by the infusion of His divine spirit interfaced the visible and the invisible, the natural and the spiritual, the earthly and the heavenly, the human and the divine. He breathed into Adam the spirit-substance of Himself that made Adam higher than the animals, for the very essence that made him live was out of the very life of God Himself. Man, from that primordial beginning, had spirit-substance within him. When God breathed into him, that divine breath of God was the connection between the visible and the invisible. Heaven and earth came together in the person of a man! And now we have a unique creation that has access at all times to both the visible and the invisible. He walks with God in the spirit and can carry on an intellectual conversation with the almighty Creator. He is God’s representative in the earth, yea, in the whole universe; the visible, tangible expression and revelation of the invisible, intangible God! All that God was and all that God could do by the power of His Spirit this man manifested on the visible, physical plane. He was God’s image and God’s glory revealed in an earthly dimension so that God might be seen, touched, and known by creation!

The power which Adam had in the beginning was tremendous beyond the finite comprehension of men who are today dissipated and weakened by six millenniums of sin and death. I know that many claim that God’s proclamation to make man in His image and after His likeness was merely a prophecy, a foretelling of His purpose to be fulfilled in man in ages yet to come. But the record clearly shows, "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him" (Gen. 1:27). Then some say that God did indeed create man in his spirit in the image of God, but had yet to form him into the likeness of God. But the scripture plainly contradicts this notion, too! "This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him" (Gen. 5:1). Adam in his bright beginning bore the image and likeness of God without the sad effects of the fall and banishment from the Paradise of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The astonishing power of that man in the image of God was present in his life, for the first man Adam was made a living soul (Gen. 2:7; I Cor. 15:45). Adam the living soul possessed awesome abilities, authority, and dominion. Before his fall, Adam was able to freely and fully exercise this ability, since it was imparted to him by the very breath or spirit of divine life!

God made a man in the beginning. God has made and is making a new man in Christ Jesus! What was fully manifested and seen in Jesus is potential in every man. Something of that same divine spirit that was expressed in Him in all fullness is also in us. Something of that same divine likeness in which we were created is hidden in all men, for every man is spirit, soul, and body. If the spirit of man did not come from God, from whence came it? If it did come from God, is there not a substance of God in it? Those who deny that the seed of God is in every man must explain to me the origin and substance of man’s spirit! Or prove to me that the unregenerated man has no spirit! The very power of regeneration is the quickening of the spirit of man!

Not the giving of that spirit, but the quickening or germination of that spirit in man!

It has been said that in Jesus Christ the divine and the human meet, but this is also true of every one of us. He is the true humanity who is the Son of man and the Son of God. It is not that He is super-human, but that we are sub-human! But inasmuch as we are human at all we are akin to Him. The first man and the second man are both man. The first Adam and the last Adam are both Adam. Those in the first man are in part what the second man is in perfection. The whole purpose of our lives is to become human in the sense in which He was human; to be changed into the same likeness from one glorious conversion to another, even by the Lord who is the Spirit. We are being transformed into a perfect man, that is, into the PERFECT MANHOOD! Christ is growing up in us, and the whole process of life in Christ is one in which "He must increase, but I must decrease." Paul said it so well, "It pleased God to reveal HIS SON in me," which precisely describes the life of sonship, for the Son of God is the PERFECT MAN IN GOD’S IMAGE! It is as the Spirit of Christ becomes manifest within us that we approach nearer and nearer to the true humanity as it was seen in Jesus, "till we all come to a perfect manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). His possession of our lives will grow, until we are fully "strengthened with power by His Spirit in the inward humanity," being "filled with all the fullness of God" (Eph. 3:16,19).

The people of God today have no greater need than the need to know the power and glory of CHRIST WITHIN. CHRIST is the image of God, the scripture says. I know these words may seem to be incredible, but they are the truth — the very first mention of the "image of God" is applied, not to Jesus Christ, but to our forefather Adam (Gen. 1:26). As we consider the wonderful advent of man created "in the image of God" we can only conclude that this is a spiritual man brought forth out of the very spirit-substance of God Almighty, and bearing His own divine nature, character, power, and attributes. The "image of God" is the nature of God reproduced in man! Thus, man is the true image of God. And Jesus Christ is the image of God because He is the true man, man as he was meant to be! Jesus revealed to lost and fallen men their true origin, heritage, and destiny. He came to show man what man really is, was intended to be, and through redemption (buying back to the original) shall be — THE IMAGE OF GOD! Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, man was he was and man as he shall be. In Jesus Christ you see man as he was in the beginning and as he ever shall be world without end — THE IMAGE OF GOD! Of Him it is written, "Who is the expression of the glory of God — the Light Being, the out-raying of the divine — and He is the perfect imprint and very image of God’s nature" (Heb. 1:3, Amplified). Christ, and humanity in Christ, is like a ray of light that comes from the sun — man, the extension of God, emanates God!

When the Lord lowered man into this gross material realm man possessed, by the spirit, the divine potential to overcome the flesh, sanctify it, transform it, preserve it, infusing it with the qualities of life — holiness and incorruption. Jesus, the last Adam, the Ideal Man, came and demonstrated for us this very principle! This potential in man to rule the natural is shed forth in Jesus’ mighty works — by His healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, casting out devils, forgiving sins, doing miracles, and raising the dead. He transcended by His life, words, and actions all the so-called laws of the material, mortal realm by turning water into wine, multiplying the loaves and fishes, calming the sea, walking on water, by His transfiguration and rising from the dead. The great significance of Jesus’ mighty works will never ring clear in our spirits until we understand that He did not perform as a unique, different, higher kind of man — all His wonderful works were the example and teaching of what is NORMAL FOR MAN IN HIS TRUE STATE AS THE IMAGE OF GOD! As the last Adam Jesus demonstrated all that the first Adam lost — mankind's heritage as the sons and daughters of the Most High! Little wonder, then, that He confidently and joyfully proclaimed to His disciples, "The works that I do shall ye do also; and greater works than these shall ye do!" (Jn. 14:12).

By His resurrection Jesus proved the spirit within to be OMNIPOTENT, all-conquering, all-sufficient. He met and mastered death itself by the law of the spirit of life! He took no drugs to fight infection, inflammation, or viruses. He did not depend upon health food, pure air, pure water, vitamins, or herbs to renew depleted energies. He did not require the skill of a surgeon to heal His nail-pierced hands and feet, or to bind up His wounded side, so that He might remove the napkin and grave clothes and stride out of the tomb as before. Jesus vanquished every material obstacle, overcame every law of matter, conquered every power of corruption and death, and stepped forth from His gloomy grave, crowned with the glory of divine life and everlasting victory — the role model for each and every man and woman of Adam’s race! Jesus’ victory over sin, sickness, pain, limitation, death and the grave was for the enlightenment of every son of God and for the salvation of the whole world! Paul writes, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved BY HIS LIFE (within)" (Rom. 5:10). And again, "If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies BY HIS SPIRIT THAT DWELLETH IN YOU!" (Rom. 8:11). Glory be to God and peace to the fainting hearts! Christ hath rolled away the stone from the door of human hope and faith, through the revelation and demonstration of Life in God, the life resident in the SPIRITUAL MAN! This, my beloved, is sonship!

The truth is that every higher plane of life to which man attains, and especially the highest life in Christ, is the true reality of manhood — there is no becoming of anything of a different order or nature that is not man. MAN IS THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD, and as God changes and matures us from glory to glory there is the quickening and fulfilling of what man by the very essence of his nature is! The more man becomes irradiated with divinity, the more, not less, he is truly man. When I write such a truth it seems to me self-evident, yet we can only know it by the revelation of Jesus Christ. There is a true humanity which Christ came to reveal, and in Him all the unattained possibilities are secured. Man is the son of God! The whole creation is groaning and travailing till man shall be complete, the sons of God unveiled! What is the spirit of such words as these? Is it not an assertion that in the measure our sonship is lacking, man is not truly man? You see, my beloved, that divine life to which the sons of God are called is the fulfillment, not the abrogation or surrender, of our humanity!

The Son of Man! What an awesome term that is!

It is not the Son of God, but the Son of man who has power on earth to forgive (send away) sins! (Mat. 9:6). It is the Son of man to whom is given all judgment and authority! (Jn. 5:22,27). It is the Son of man whom the Father seals! (Jn. 6:27). It is the Son of man who ascends! (Jn. 6:62). It is the Son of man who is glorified! (Jn. 12:23). The Son of man gives life to the world! (Jn. 6:53). The Son of man sits upon the throne of glory! (Mat. 19:28). All of this, and much more, is true of our Lord Jesus Christ, and all of this is true of every son who is a member of the corporate Son of man, the body of Christ! The sons of God are nothing but true men! "Nothing but the true man?" you ask. As if that were a little thing! As if man, with any inflow of divinity, could be, or could wish to be, anything more or different from man! As soon as we understand all this, what a great, clear thing redemption becomes! It is the buying back, the making of man to be himself — the calling up out of the depths of his being and the filling with vitality of that person which is truly HE — this is salvation!

We must see the truth as it is. Man is a son of God (Lk. 3:38) on whom the devil has laid his hand, not a child of the devil whom God is trying to save. The adversary came in, therefore he may be driven out! When he is driven out, and man is purely man, then man is redeemed. The sons of God, to all who think the thought of Jesus, are the quickened, delivered, perfected, completed man. Jesus is Himself the firstborn among many brethren. God came to reveal Himself to men and here came Christ the man, Jesus the man. If you have seen Him, you have seen the Father! No man has seen God at any time, but the uniquely begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath revealed Him, hath led Him out where He can be seen!

In Jesus we see the glory of divine manhood.

We have wondered at the fact that Jesus could do such mighty works, that He could feed five thousand people from five small loaves and two fish, that He could calm the raging sea with a word, walk on water, cleanse lepers, heal the multitudes and raise the dead. It amazes us — and we think of Him as Almighty God, whom He is. But Jesus did none of these things as God! God in Christ was simply a true man again! That, precious friend of mine, is why all the laws of nature and the elements of the world and the powers of creation were subservient to Him! It was to man that God gave the dominion over all the works of His hands! Jesus was a true man, as the world had never seen man. He is the image of God, as the Son of man. The false man, Adam, is weak because of a lost dominion. But this man, Christ, the second man who is also the last Adam, is more real than any other man! Now He seeks brethren who will become in Him the real men of the earth. He could come with hosts of angels to bring His kingdom to pass in the earth. But, no! He doesn’t want angels. Angels haven’t been given dominion over anything (Heb. 2:5-8). Man, not creatures from other worlds, must be God’s kingdom on earth!

Our world today needs the new men that Christ makes.

New men are the key to everything else that must be renewed. Therefore the making of new men is the first priority of the kingdom of God! Only by the making of new men can the Kingdom of Heaven come to earth! Our world desires better schools, a better press, better government, a better business world, a better economy, better living conditions, better health, better institutions, better communities. At every point we are driven to the need for new men — a NEW CREATION! Through two world wars men dreamed and talked of the coming of a better world when nations would lay down their arms and begin to build that better world. More than half a century has gone by since the last World War and it is not only the same old world, it is a much worse world. Old Adam can never build a better world! Getting rid of communism and terrorism is no sign of a new world. That is but the militarism and politics of natural men. We cannot build a new world out of men with old dispositions, old attitudes, old hearts, and old natures. The new world for which all creation groans and travails can only be fulfilled by new men with renewed minds, new hearts, and a new spirit!

Regeneration brings a mighty change within humanity — the destruction of the Adamic creation and the establishment of the Christ within. This reality was accomplished by Jesus on the cross and through His burial and resurrection, but is made experiential in each of us through the present inworking of God. In one of his inspired writings along this line Paul Mueller says, "Only God can remove this ‘man’ from us. This is His battle, not ours! By the Spirit, we know the Lord is now focusing on this ‘man’ who is the cause of the manifestation of all evil and darkness. When once we are free of this carnal nature, there will be nothing within us that can respond to the devil’s evil thoughts. Then the seed that we are shall be pure seed, identical to the Christ Seed, which shall be planted among men to establish the new creation of Christ in the earth. So shall the kingdom of God be manifest with power in all the earth, and then in the universe, that God may be all in all. And when this carnal, sinful nature is eventually removed from all mankind, Satan will have no place anywhere on this earth to plant his evil ideas and see them fulfilled. He will be a defeated foe! Then the cause of all the world’s problems will no longer exist, and mankind will live the Christ Life with peace, joy and victory.

"The new order of the fullness of the kingdom of God will be free of the carnal nature, which is the man of sin, the real anti-christ. And God is now beginning this new creation order with you and me. He will no longer tolerate the evil that has been promoted in the world by the Adamic man. The Lord is not only revealing the manifestations of this evil ‘man,’ He also is going right to the heart of the matter. The Lord will take him out of us root, stock and branches, and eventually out of all others, so that he will never again trouble the world. The true interest and purpose of the Holy Spirit of God for His elect in this hour is not the results and effects of all the evil in the world, but rather with the cause of all evil. The Spirit of God is now dealing with the cause of all unrighteousness! And all who are in harmony with His Spirit are also in full agreement with the work of the Spirit of God for this great day" — end quote.

When the patriarch Jacob was fleeing from the wrath of his brother, Esau, he went out of Beersheba, on the border of the desert, and walked alone toward a land far to the north, carrying his staff in his hand. One evening, just about sunset, he came to a place among the mountains, more than sixty miles distant from his home. And as he had no bed to lie down upon, he took a stone and rested his head upon it for a pillow and lay down to sleep. We would think that a hard pillow, but Jacob was very tired and soon fell asleep. And on that night Jacob had a wonderful dream! In his dream he saw a ladder whose steps reached up to heaven from the earth where he lay; and angels were going up and coming down upon the steps.

And above the ladder, he saw the Lord God standing.

And God said to Jacob, "I am the Lord, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac your father; and I will be your God, too. The land where you are lying all alone shall belong to you and to your children after you; and your children shall spread abroad over the lands, east and west and north and south, like the dust of the earth: and in your family all the world shall receive a blessing. And I am with you in your journey, and I will keep you where you are going and will bring you back to this land. I will never leave you and I will surely keep my promise to you." In the morning Jacob awaked from his sleep and he said, "Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it! How awesome is this place! I thought that I was all alone, but God has been with me. This place is none other than the house of God; it is the gate of heaven!"

The Lord Jesus makes a striking reference to Jacob’s ladder in His address to Nathanael as recorded in the gospel of John. "And He saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man" (Jn. 1:51). What did this statement mean? It could mean nothing else than that the Lord Jesus regarded Himself as the fulfillment of that which had been symbolized in the patriarch’s vision of the ladder set up between earth and heaven. Spiritually understood it means that Christ is the ladder — the connecting link between earth and heaven, between man and God, between flesh and spirit, between humanity and divinity. The Son of man is Jacob’s ladder! Christ is, within Himself, where earth and heaven meet! Nothing ascends to God, and nothing comes from God, but in and through Him. From earth to the Father’s throne in the heavenlies the word is, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." And from heaven to earth the word is, "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…" (Heb. 1:1-2).

"If you have seen me, you have seen the Father."

No man can come to the Father, to see and know the Father, except by the sonship that is in Christ. It is through what Jesus was and is, by apprehending the spiritual reality manifest in Him, by laying hold in faith upon the life that He is, that we penetrate the inmost heart of all existence and experience union with God. The angels of God — the messengers of heaven — have been passing to and fro between the heart of God and the heart of man in all ages. There is that within the spirit of man which will not let us rest contentedly in what is only of the earth, earthy; our angels do always behold the face of the Father; our yearnings and aspirations are ever ascending heavenward, reaching out for the kingdom of heaven. From the side of God the traffic has been no less constant. The shining ones are ever streaming down, the word of God is ever being spoken out of the heavens, the anointing is ever being shed forth. And now God has come to earth in Christ, and Christ is bringing us to the Father — many sons brought to glory! It is in Christ that heaven and earth meet, and the meeting place is man. Heaven is opened and the angels of God are ascending and descending upon the Son of man!

It is here in Christ, the Son of man, that man’s true home, long shut to him, is now opened, and all that man has lost is restored in and through the second man, the last Adam, the Son of man. Heaven, the realm from which the spirit of every man was birthed, is again opened to him. Lowered into this gross material realm, by the flesh of the first man Adam, heaven was closed and man was shut out of the Paradise where heaven and earth merge, shut up in bondage to his outward nature and consciousness, and heaven and all spiritual things of the celestial world were lost to him. But now, praise God! Heaven has been opened to man, and again he can see that bright world of Life and Light and Love, from which he has so long been banished. In Christ he is made a new creature, quickened from above, to know again the presence of God and be conscious of heavenly companions, angels of God, ascending and descending upon him.

Jacob’s Bethel is Adam’s garden of Eden, and both are our life in Christ. Oh, yes — it is a wondrous thing that in Christ, the ladder touching the earth beneath and the heavens above, we should in spirit hold direct and conscious communion with the saints of all ages, for truly the veil is rent and we are now come "unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel" (Heb. 12:22-24).

We have found the gate of heaven!

The gate of heaven is Christ, the Son of man! He is the ladder that brings us to the Father and to His throne in the heavenlies! God is seen and revealed at the top of this ladder! The inhabitants of that heavenly, spiritual world ascend and descend upon us in this realm where heaven and earth meet! If this realm seems dim to you, my friend, then know of a certainty that the old carnal man of the flesh must pass away and you must find your identity in the new man of the Spirit. This is the path of our transformation! As we ascend in the Spirit, we are using Christ, the ladder, to approach our Father and His throne and His world. When we ascend in the Spirit to the highest heavens, we see that it is our home where once our spirit did reside, and it is the world regained for us by the Son of man who came down from heaven. "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (Jn. 3:13).

Can we not see by this that Christ is our access, our ladder! Take advantage of the glorious privilege we have in Christ! Upon the Son of man we may ascend into the very presence of the Father and there learn of Him all that pertains to His will for us. There we can experience communion, by the Holy Spirit, with all the saints of both heaven and earth! We are all one spirit in Christ! The open heavens are before us! As we ascend in the Spirit, we see the throne of God and the dominion of His kingdom that is coming to earth. We also hear the new word of the kingdom that the Father would teach us, His sons. It is there that we see all things as they really are. It is there in Christ in the Spirit that all mysteries are revealed. We are changed as we ascend, and we are made ministers of His kingdom as we descend! The glory of God in Jesus Christ shall fill us to overflowing, transforming us within and without, and setting creation free!

Oh, what unspeakable glory it would have been to have stood with John that day on lonely Patmos to behold this One like unto a son of man — this greater than man MAN — the Christ of God! May the Holy Spirit give us wisdom and understanding to see that when the Bible speaks of "the Son of man," it is not referring exclusively to our Lord Jesus the Christ. The deeper truth is, all the growing and maturing sons of God are also part of the "Son of man" company, for they are bone of His bones, flesh of His flesh, spirit of His spirit, the body of Christ. They are also the completeness of Him that filleth all in all! This One that John saw in the midst of the candlesticks is the Christ, the complete Christ. It is Jesus the glorious head with eyes as lamps of fire complete with all His many brethren all the way down to His beautiful feet burning as though in a furnace of fire! And when the voice of this glorious One rang out, it was not the voice of the man of Nazareth whose voice thrilled the thousands by the sea of Galilee, but the voice as the sound of many waters — many peoples — many sons brought to His glory!

With what eloquence did George Hawtin write of this One: "Was not Jesus the Alpha formed within the womb of Mary to come forth in manifestation as Christ, the head of the body? Should it then seem strange that the body of Christ, the Omega, should be formed in the midst of the church woman? Was not this the thing that John was seeing by revelation? John, who had known Jesus so intimately while He was here on earth, could plainly see the identical likeness, but his spirit told him that this revelation of Christ’s glory was something far beyond anything he had ever known. This was the Christ in His fullness, the Alpha and the Omega together, the First and the Last in one, Jesus of Nazareth the Head, one body with a vast family of sons, all speaking with the harmony of a mighty symphony, for the voice he heard was as the sound of many waters."

Those who are called of God to sonship, as members of God’s corporate Christ, are seen in the Spirit as the Son of man company. All that Jesus spoke of the Son of man is true of these as well as of Him! A whole year of articles could be spent exploring just that one awesome thought, but we cannot dwell there. A dear friend in California shared the following experience which beautifully expresses the truth of which I now speak, and points clearly to the reality of that One whom John beheld in the midst of the candlesticks. "Several months ago as I walked about performing my daily tasks, as I lay upon my bed at night, in times of prayer and meditation before the Lord, or caught up in feverish activity, there began to break upon me the vision of a heavenly man. There in my mind’s eye, I was beholding with unbelievable realness, the form of a man — gigantic in size — silhouetted against the dark heavenly background. The sky around him was extremely dark, and it was as though I could see through him, for the dark sky could also be seen behind him. But there, etched against the sky, outlined with a brilliant light, was that form, daily impressed upon me, constantly with me, and I began to cry out with much depth of feeling, ‘Oh, God, what is it?’ Somehow, I was made to know that in some measure I was beholding the resurrected Christ! I am certain that it was only a glimpse of that which is later to be revealed to all those of us who wait for His appearing, but it was a glimpse that lifted my sights to look beyond that which we see in the immediate earth-realm.

"As that vision was daily presented to me, I began to know within the depths of my being that that was a resurrection body — and that it was, in fact, the body of Christ which arose from the grave in a glorious victory over death. More than that, I was made to know by the Spirit that somehow, in some mysterious manner, that it is THAT BODY — that very same body that arose from the grave and ascended to the Father — that we are being fitted into! How earthy we have been, for we have looked at the divided, carnal, worldly, un-unified camp of believers on the earth and have said, ‘Behold the body of Christ.’ Never have I been more convinced of anything than this: verily we are the body of Christ in that we are the materials that are being fitted into that glorious body! But THAT MAN, the GLORIFIED MAN in the heavenlies, is the body of Christ, and it is as we are fitted into that Man that it can truly be said, ‘Ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.’ The place that He has gone to prepare is the place IN HIMSELF — in that glorified, resurrected body!"

The mystery of Christ! What could be more solemn or sacred than that? The mystery is just this — as we eat His flesh and drink His blood the resurrected body of Jesus is raised up within us as the new and glorified Son of man! God is preparing a body, a perfect man, the Son of man company to minister to the multitudes of earth as ONE NEW MAN in the fullness of God! John saw this corporate Son of man, which is Jesus in and through His many-membered body, even His own resurrected and glorified body raised up within us, in the midst of the seven churches. That shows that this body of the matured Christ is gathered out of the church, out of the church age, and truly stands "in the midst" of the churches, but yet not "in" the seven churches! There is a deep mystery here. It is completely impossible to portray a divine image in the mirror of human words. Earthly illustrations can but dimly describe things that are celestial and divine.

But can we not see here the very same picture we see in chapter twelve of the Revelation of the manchild birthed by the woman? The manchild is of the woman, from the woman, out of the woman, yet not the woman! In like manner, the "Son of man" is "in the midst" of the churches, but yet is not the churches! Just as the woman goes into the wilderness while the manchild is caught up to the throne, so the seven churches bear the glory of the seven golden candlesticks in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, whereas the "One like unto a son of man" dwells in the radiant glory of the resurrected, ascended, and enthroned Christ of God! His is the glory of the Shekinah that shines in the Holiest of all! Do you see the contrast? The seven golden candlesticks have a flickering flame of fire from the oil within. But the One like unto a son of man has a countenance as the sun shining in its strength in the blinding light of which John fell at His feet as dead!

Christ is standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks representing something.

The positioning of the candlestick in the Tabernacle in the wilderness has some relevance. You will notice that the candlestick was not in the Most Holy Place, but was located in what was known as the Holy Place, which is the area of the Tabernacle just before the Most Holy Place. This positioning of the seven-branched candlestick gives us some special truth about the church of this age. The church does not dwell in the Holiest of all — the place of all fullness. It does not walk in the realities of the third compartment of the Most Holy Place, nor in the blessings of the third feast of the Feast of Tabernacles, nor in the power of the third day of Full Resurrection Life. Look around you at the church world — can any deny that this is the truth? The church age has remained in the second compartment of the Holy Place, where the candlestick dwells; in the second feast, the Feast of Pentecost; and in the second day which falls short of Perfection!

It is not that the way into the Holiest has not been opened and available during the church age; it is, rather, that the church has not risen up to enter in! "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…" (Heb. 10:19-22). Believers of the church age have with one accord sold themselves woefully short of all the great provisions of God! Christ has entered into that which is within the veil, the absolute fullness of God! He has opened up the way for men to enter into a full and complete salvation, even the realm of sonship. Jesus is the apostle of our faith. He is the sign Son, the firstborn, the pioneer and forerunner who has entered in for us. All who are to come to sonship shall follow Him through the veil and come into that wonderful fullness of the resurrected, ascended, glorified, and enthroned Lord! Millions prefer to remain in the dim flickering light of the candlestick in the Holy Place before the veil, but a people has risen up in this great day of the Lord to follow the One like unto a son of man into the radiant glory of the Holiest of all!

It is now time, above all times, for us to mightily stress these truths!

I see no possibility of any long delay until the hour of the manifestation of the sons of God becomes a reality in the earth. This manifestation is the glory, not of the indwelling Spirit as the oil in the candlestick, but of the blazing Shekinah over the mercy seat in the Holiest of all; the glory of the fullness of the Feast of Tabernacles; and the resurrection life and power of the Third Day (Hos. 6:2; Lk. 13:32). The realm of sonship is an entirely new realm beyond the attainments of any in the candlestick realm!

Many priests could minister in the Holy Place, where stood the candlestick, the table of showbread, and the golden altar of incense. But only one man, the High Priest, was called to minister in the Holiest of all where dwelt the ark of the covenant and the glory of the God of Israel. Under the old, Pentecostal, church order men ministered by the light of the indwelling anointing in the dimness of the Holy Place realm, to call out a people for the Lord’s name, to walk there in the light of the Pentecostal anointing, to eat of the bread of Christ upon the table of showbread, which is the word of God, and to offer up the spiritual sacrifices of praise and worship at the golden altar of incense before the veil.

The candlestick identifies the church with the Holy Place, for it was there that the candlestick gave its light. So you see, when we enter by the church into the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, we come into a new spiritual dimension where the lampstand begins to enlighten us, so we have a new illumination or quickening by the Spirit and the Word. The Lord did indeed light our candle and enlighten our darkness with the anointing of Christ! Now, we see new and glorious things while darkness abounds throughout the world. Christ has lit our candle, which is our spirit, with His glory to dispel the darkness within us and around us. He has also bid us enter, in our great and glorious High Priest, into that which is within the veil! And He is arising upon us, as we enter in Him beyond the veil, in the brightness of His life until we shall be totally transformed from the light of the candlestick into the brilliance of Him who walks in the midst of the candlesticks, whose countenance shines as the noonday sun! It is in this light that we are being brought from limitation into fullness, from the earthly into the heavenly, and changed from the corruptible into the incorruptible, from mortality into immortality!

The Holy Place of the candlestick is a unique position: at its entrance it touches the Outer Court, and on the other side it touches the Most Holy Place. In the Outer Court we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus at the brazen altar of sacrifice, and thus brought to a personal reconciliation to God. The Outer Court is a personal experience! It is where the sinner meets God one on one and first experiences the Lord as salvation. From there we go on into the Holy Place, into the fellowship of the church, as the corporate candlestick, where we are enlightened by the Spirit, strengthened by the showbread, and brought to a spiritual life of communion, prayer, praise and worship upon the golden altar of incense. Here, our understanding is enlightened that we have come beyond the Outer Court — yet we can still touch it. We have not as yet experienced the surpassing glory of the Holiest of all realms beyond the veil — but we can also touch it, and can enter only from the Holy Place. As we then pass in our High Priest beyond the veil we step beyond the old, Pentecostal, church order to enter from glory to glory into the fullness and power of the GLORIFIED AND ENTHRONED CHRIST! This is the throne realm that John beheld when he was caught up in the Spirit from the candlestick realm and saw a throne set in heaven, and One sat upon the throne. It is here that we reign with Christ in the kingdom of God!

In the new order of the kingdom of God the elect shall bring Life to the whole creation by the power of His resurrection. God has determined to fill the earth with new creation men — matured into the likeness of Jesus Christ! God gave Adam, the first man, the power to multiply and reproduce himself. It was through Eve, his wife, that his image was reproduced and birthed into the world. In like manner, the same power has been given to the second man, the last Adam, to reproduce Himself in the earth. And God has given this second man a wife — the church — that through her His image might be reproduced and birthed into the world. But that which is birthed is not the church — it is the very image and glory of the Christ of God! Little does this world know the glory that is about to come. A manchild is ready to be born!

A Son of man is ready to appear in the midst of the golden candlesticks — the churches!

This child, this One like a son of man, shall overcome all enemies, and put both sin and death forever under his feet! He shall be caught up to the throne of God, to the realm of irresistible authority and omnipotent power! The powers of the heavens shall be shaken, thrones will topple, and the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunken man! No remote corner of the earth will remain untouched by that which God is doing! God’s MAN IN HIS IMAGE shall take the kingdom, and shepherd all nations with a rod of iron! The earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord! The knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea! The curse shall be broken! All flesh shall see the salvation of the Lord! All nations and all kindreds shall come and worship before Him! Creation shall be delivered! Sorrow and sighing shall flee away! Pain and tears shall be wiped away from off all faces! Prisons will become schools and policemen will become teachers! Morticians, funeral homes, caskets, and cemeteries will all become relics of the past! Righteousness and peace shall fill the earth with joy and gladness! The nations shall beat their swords into plowshares and nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more! This shall come in spite of all the unbelief of men with little mediocre minds and in spite of all their efforts against it! It shall come by the power of the Spirit of God and the authority of His sons! The mouth of the Lord hath spoken, and none can nullify it!

He hath purposed, and He will bring it to pass!

For two thousand years the church has been unable to deliver creation from the bondage of corruption because it has dwelt in the twilight zone of weakness, carnality, sickness, sin and death. But the sons of God shall partake of the fullness of Christ’s resurrection life and power and glory, to become the flowing of His abundant, torrential and overflowing River of Life! The sons of God, or the Son of man company, are not just "men" after the flesh; they are men and women of God who have followed on to know the Lord, becoming spiritually mature "men" in the Spirit. They have become part of that spiritually masculine "manchild," whether male or female after the flesh. Flesh and blood has nothing to do with this! These have all been gloriously changed and wondrously transformed into the image of Christ the Lord!

Those who have spiritual insight can see the activity of Christ in His sons! They have heard the voice as of a trumpet, and have turned to see this One in the midst, and they are beholding the glory of Christ in the Spirit! Today, in this very hour, He is walking in the midst of the churches with eyes of discernment as a flame of fire, His feet of judgment burning like brass in a furnace, His voice of revelation speaking as the sound of many waters, and His glory upon His countenance as the sun shining in its strength. And we are there with Him, and in Him, by the Spirit! As the Lord walks in the midst of His people, He is proclaiming His Headship, His Lordship, and His Kingship. He is preparing a people to rule and reign with Him in His kingdom and bring that kingdom to pass in all the earth with power and great glory! Hallelujah!

To be continued…

Friday, September 28, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 22

 FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 22) by J. Preston Eby|

ONE LIKE UNTO A SON OF MAN (continued)
"And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto the Son of man" (Rev. 1:12-13).

The King James Bible, as quoted above, says that John saw one "like unto the Son of man," but that is not how the Greek reads. There is no definite article in the Greek, it does not say "the Son of man" but "one like a son of man." Practically every translation available translates the Greek text correctly as "a son of man" instead of "the Son of man." Let us note that what John saw was a vision, a picture, a representation, and what he saw was someone who was "like a son of man" or someone in human form. It was a personage that bore the likeness of a man. Yet, this One he saw was something more than an ordinary man! He saw One in such surpassing majesty that words almost failed him when He tried to describe what he saw! This One had the features and appearance of a man, but there was an aura, a stature, a glory, and a majesty of His person that transcended that of any natural man!

As the spirit of revelation and understanding floods our minds we see that there is an individual as well as a corporate sense of this "one in the midst" of the candlesticks. We know that Christ is one, even Jesus Christ; yet we know that Christ is also many, even the body of Christ. In like manner there is one Son of man, even Jesus; and there is also the many-membered Son of man, even the sons of God. This One like unto a son of man is preeminently none other than our Lord Jesus Christ who has been raised from the dead and glorified with that glory which He had with the Father before the world was. Yet this One is also all the holy sons of God who are conformed to His image, filled with His fullness, bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh, word of His word, life of His life, and spirit of His spirit!

Understand this and you will understand a great mystery.

Spirit is that aspect of God by which He is able to individualize Himself. As Norman Grubb once pointed out, the word "individual" comes from the Latin individuus which means un-divided. Most people seem to think that it means the exact contrary! It suggests separateness to them, as though being separate or divided from every other human being makes them an individual, but they are mistaken. Individual means un-divided, showing that each human person is undivided from humanity in that he is a perfect expression of what humanity is. Thus, in the higher realm of spirit life God has the power of individualizing Himself, that is, the bringing forth of another expression of what He is without, so to speak, breaking Himself into parts. God individualizes Himself as the new man within us, Christ; and so, when we are regenerated we are actually an individualization of God! God can individualize Himself in an infinite number of distinct beings, or units of consciousness and expression, and yet not be in any way separated or divided. God can do this because He is spirit and life. Inorganic matter cannot be individualized! It can only be broken up. Thus, if you were to tear off half a page of this article, and then tear that into small pieces, you would have divided up the page. The remnant of the page would be smaller by the amount of paper torn off; and the whole page would be the sum of all the fragments. This is division — not individualization! Spirit, however, can be individualized; it can be produced into another form without in any way subtracting from, or diminishing, the original. This capacity of God is the process by which He is bringing forth a vast company of sons in His very own image! So your real self, the Christ within, the spiritual man, the new creation, is in all truth an individualization of God! This does not mean, of course, that you are an absurd little personal god. You are an individualization of the one and only God who was first individualized in the person of Jesus Christ. The Christ man within you is not "another Christ" or "another God," but the manifestation of the life, mind, will, nature, power, and glory of the one and only true and living God — our Father!

Come with me back to Galilee two thousand years ago.

This man Jesus is quite a preacher. He is considered by many to be a prophet. Rumor says that He even does wonderful miracles. But wait a minute! What makes Him so special? "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers," men ask. The hometown folks have known Him since He was in diapers. They’ve seen Him play and heard Him cry. They’ve seen Him with sweat-drenched clothes and dirt under His fingernails. Isn’t He just an ordinary guy from an ordinary family? "Isn’t He the son of that carpenter? Isn’t His mother Mary? Come to think of it, didn’t she get pregnant before marriage? Aren’t His brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?" they ask. "And don’t His sisters still live in town? No doubt about it: this man is as human as anyone; He’s nobody special." The people are right that Jesus is as human as anyone. But they’re wrong to think He’s nobody special! They look so hard at Jesus on the outside that they fail to see who He is on the inside! They look so hard at Jesus as a man, that they don’t see Him as God! Let’s not repeat that same mistake. But let’s not make the opposite mistake either. Let’s not look so hard at Jesus as God that we don’t see Him as a man!

The following has been widely circulated, I do not know who the author is, but it states some wonderful things about the Son of man. "Almost twenty centuries ago there was a Man born contrary to the laws of life. His death was contrary to the laws of death. He lived in poverty; He possessed neither wealth nor social prestige. In infancy He startled a king; in childhood He puzzled doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as pavements, and hushed the sea to sleep. He had no cornfields or fisheries, but He could spread a table for five thousand and have bread and fish to spare. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His service. He never wrote a book, yet all the libraries of the country could not hold all the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all the songwriters combined. He never founded a college, but all the schools together cannot boast of having as many students. He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun; and yet no leader ever had more volunteers who have, under His orders, made more rebels stack arms and surrender without a shot fired. He never practiced psychiatry, yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near. When He died few men mourned. But a black crepe was hung over the sun. Though men trembled not for their sins, the earth beneath them shook under the load. All nature honored Him. Corruption could not get hold of His body. The soil that had been reddened with His blood could not claim His dust. Death could not bind Him. The tomb could not hold Him.

Behold what manner of man is this!"

One day in an humble home by a dusty street in the village of Nazareth God supernaturally inseminated a young virgin girl by the name of Mary, and Jesus, the only sinless human since Adam, was born into this world. It is hard for us to realize that in that babe was the life-energy that held the universe together. It is difficult for us to realize that as that boy, the firstborn Son of God, grew in stature, the wisdom and the knowledge which was within Him would confound the wisest theologians; that the miracles He was to perform and the things He would declare, as He walked the earth, were to become living words whose vibratory capacity would change the minds of men, transform their lives, and alter the whole course of history and nations. Here is one who is perfect in thought, perfect in word, and perfect in deed. The fact of the matter is, He is the first perfect man who has ever been on this earth! Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Perfect Man.

                                     The sons of God who come to the measure of the stature
                            of the fullness of Christ are perfect men, and also the Perfect Man!

A lecturer was once talking about man’s imperfection. He wanted to enforce his point, so he asked rhetorically for anybody in his audience who had ever seen a perfect man to lift his hand. No hand went up. Encouraged by this fact, he asked the question the second time. "Has anyone here ever seen a perfect man?" Still no hand was raised. After he had asked a third time, way back in the rear a little timid fellow lifted his hand. Surprised, the lecturer asked, "Have you seen a perfect man?" "I haven’t exactly seen him, but I’ve certainly heard a lot about him," the little fellow replied. "Who in the world is he?" "He’s my wife’s first husband." No doubt he had heard a great deal about him! But if he had met him, I think he would have found out that he was not perfect. The first perfect man who lived on this earth is our Lord Jesus Christ. And wonder of wonders — Jesus was normal, the only normal person who had ever walked this earth!

My brethren — what a mystery the young child Jesus must have been to Himself! I suppose He was about thirty years of age before He was at all able to satisfy Himself as to who and what He actually was. The child Jesus must have made the discovery early in His life that He was like no other child in all Israel. "All seek their own," says the scripture, in condemnation of all the children of men. All were walking after their own desires and interests, after their own passions and lusts, after their own thoughts and ambitions. But the child Jesus must have seen and felt within Himself, with a holy wonder, and a divine joy, that, while all around Him, young and old, were doing their own thing, far deeper in His heart than His own things were the things of God, and the things of His neighbor. So early was this the case with Him that, at twelve years of age, He was able to say to His mother, "How is it that ye sought me?

Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?"

Jesus Christ, the second man, the last Adam, was the first perfectly obedient man. It is written of Him in His youth, "And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Lk. 2:52). The expression "increasing" means to CUT A WAY THROUGH AS A PIONEER. Jesus lived making decisions as no other teenager ever had. He hacked a way through the jungle of selfishness and sin, amidst a people who lived under the curse. He made decisions and choices based on light and truth, the first of His kind. Isaiah had prophesied this learning process centuries before: "The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back" (Isa. 50:4-5).

The writer to the Hebrews impresses upon us the intense reality of Christ’s humanity — His being made like unto His brethren, His partaking of flesh and blood in like manner as ourselves, His being tempted in all things like as we are. He leads us in spirit down into Christ’s humiliation in the flesh, and speaks of the wondrous mystery of the agony there, as the second man and the last Adam was prepared and perfected for the redeeming, restoring, and glorifying work He came to do. Let us enter upon this holy ground with hearts bowed under a consciousness of our ignorance, but thirsting to know something more of the great mystery of perfect manhood which is manifest sonship, first revealed in the life of Him "who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; though He were a son, YET LEARNED HE OBEDIENCE BY THE THINGS WHICH HE SUFFERED; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him" (Heb. 5:7-9).

There is nothing on earth that will increase your faith and add to your confidence in this walk of sonship to God like the knowledge that manifest sonship is nothing more nor less than perfect manhood! When God said in that long ago beginning, "Let us make man in our image and after our likeness, and let them have dominion," it seems that God made a mistake. When He made him out of dirt — the dust of the ground — and made him with the kind of human body we have, flesh and blood, spirit, soul, and body, with all the appetites, desires, and weaknesses we have, all the frailty, all the ability for twisting, warping, and spoiling things; when He created us like that and then thought that in such a physical, human, natural, dirt-body His image, glory and dominion could be manifested — it seems that God was mistaken! Could that human creature limited like us rule the world and nature, the universe and principalities and powers, and all things?

The first man indeed was turned aside, so God said, "I will invade humanity and come down in the person of my Son, limit myself to a human, physical body just like man has, with all its appetites and passions, with all its possibilities of suffering hunger, weakness, and death, and I will demonstrate the character, the life, the love, and the power of God on the human level." The sonship of Jesus was God manifesting Himself within the limitation of a human body! Christ could not fly, He had no halo, He could not see further than anybody else, He could not run faster than the other young men in His day, He got as tired as anybody else, He got hungry, fell asleep, they could spit on Him and finally kill Him. Yet in Jesus Christ you have the perfect manhood and that perfect manhood is MANIFEST SONSHIP! It is the perfect manhood expression of God, which is what Jesus called THE SON OF MAN.

It is man in the image and likeness of God!

What is the importance of the incarnation? It means that the Spirit of God, the Word of God, God Himself, can live and express Himself in a physical human body. When God invaded humanity in the body of Jesus Christ, took upon Himself human nature and limitation, was made in the likeness, not of glorified flesh, but of sinful flesh, and for thirty-three and a half years lived, walked, worked, slept, and died in that body, manifesting God on the level of manhood, it meant that God can, by His Spirit, come in and as our spirit live in these human bodies of ours, living in us, loving in us, working in us, fulfilling righteousness in us, overcoming all weakness, limitation, sin, and death, ruling over all things through us, and manifesting the fullness of Himself, even though we are compassed about with infirmities, for He Himself was tempted in all points like as we are. Even though we suffer being tempted, He Himself learned obedience by the things He suffered. Even though we suffer in the weakness of our flesh, His back was beaten, His brow was crowned with thorns, His hands and feet were nailed to a cross, His side was thrust through with a spear, and He shed His blood. Yet, dying on the cross in agony with the spittle running down His face, and the mockers standing about jeering, God was living, loving, forgiving, healing, redeeming, reconciling, restoring, and manifesting in the man Christ Jesus!

Being mocked, God is living in Him.

Asleep in the back of a boat, God is living in Him. Hungry, and He goes to a tree and finds nothing to eat on it, God is living in Him. Thirsty, crying for water upon the cross, God is living in Him. Dying, God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself. Do you see what God did? He revealed that He is at home in human bodies, for man is the image of God! "The tabernacle of God is with man," — not with angels, not with spirits — with man! "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." "Let the word of Christ dwell in you" (Col. 3:16). "The Father and I will come and make our abode — be at home — with you" (Jn. 14:23). Not to be a visitor, not to be a foreign power coming upon us and overwhelming us, making us do things we can’t control. Oh, no! The Spirit will "abide" with you forever, that is, as the Greek meaning indicates, He will dwell, settle down, be at home, to live naturally in you and as you! The Spirit will dwell in you without conflict, to flow through your mind normally and naturally. The word of God shall flow out of your mouth automatically and spontaneously. The works of God shall be manifest through you without fanfare, hype, or theatrics — in an ordinary, natural way. It seems much so-called prophecy cannot come forth unless the speaker starts to shake or change his tone of voice. Don’t you know that God was speaking through Jesus all the time? People try to heal the sick and cast out devils by creating some kind of an "environment" for the power of God to work, and by shouting commands in the name of Jesus, as though authority is in the volume of the voice! Don’t you know that because Jesus had authority He could but whisper, "Come out," and the spirits obeyed His command? When God comes to dwell in us and we know that Christ is our life, it is not something foreign that has invaded us, it is the image and likeness of Him who dwells within our spirit finding expression through us normally and naturally as the tabernacle of His life, nature, power, mind, will and glory. Hallelujah!

Paul did not say, "For me to be spiritual and get into the 144,000 is Christ."

He said, "For me to live is Christ!" (Phil. 1:21). Living for Paul did not mean those supernatural moments when he was seeing visions, hearing voices, falling out under the power, and being caught up into the third heaven. It meant for Paul to walk from one town to another on the dusty roads with Christ walking in him and as him. It was speaking to people the mind, will and word of God, manifesting the love of God, and demonstrating the power of God in a normal expression of life. The image of God was not seen in Christ just on the mount of transfiguration, it was seen in Him sitting at meat with sinners, speaking the wisdom and love of God while eating a steak and drinking wine. Jesus was no more the Son of God when He ascended in a cloud than He was when He stooped and wrote with His finger in the dirt and, turning to the adulteress beside Him, said calmly and compassionately, "Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more!"

Sonship will be most truly and fully fulfilled in us when God can feel at home in us, without any strain, pretense, showmanship, or abnormality. When we are able to be divinely human and humanly divine we will know the power and glory of manifest sonship! The Christ of God can live in us, manifest His life, love, and power in us at the office, in the home, at the store, in the field, at school, on the airplane, in the street, in every relationship of life. Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding reception, healed blind Bartimaeus while walking down the street, multiplied the loaves and fishes during the course of a meal, healed the lame man in the synagogue, saved and delivered the Samaritan woman while sitting at a well, calmed the storm while riding in a boat, raised the daughter of Jarius in private in her bedroom, raised the son of the widow during a funeral procession — He never preached the gospel of the kingdom or did His mighty works during a "spiritual meeting" or by in any way acting "religious." Christ lived normally, He demonstrated God naturally in every facet of His life, and simply went about "doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him." That, my beloved, is sonship! That is perfect manhood!

That is the Son of man!

It all goes back to the creation of man. Jesus said, "The Father hath given Him (the Son) AUTHORITY. . .because He is the SON OF MAN" (Jn. 5:26-27). One might think it should have read, "because He is the SON OF GOD," but it doesn’t say that. The awesome and universal authority of the Son is rooted in the fact that He is the SON OF MAN. Why was it necessary for Jesus to be the "Son of man" to have authority on earth? That man should bear the image of God and have dominion over all things is the first announcement of God’s intention regarding man, and locked up in that wonderful declaration is a universe of meaning that does not reach the eye and that the mind has never understood. We must re-establish and re-define the purpose of our existence. Why are we here? The purpose of God in man has been blurred, distorted, and hideously mangled by the carnal teachings of the church systems!

Oh that men would awaken to the truth that God has provided the answer to humanity’s dilemma! "Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that MAN whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31). I hope that we all have become aware that that MAN by whom God shall judge the world in righteousness is a corporate man. "But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. . .for the perfecting of the saints. . .till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST" (Eph. 4:1,12-13). "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that ye shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life" (I Cor. 6:2-3).

God in His great purpose of redemption and restoration is raising up A MAN, the MANY-MEMBERED CHRIST OF GOD. He is preparing an instrument, a channel through which to rule, deliver, and bless. God has a MAN to fix creation’s problems! You see, beloved, when God injected Himself into the history of this world to save, lift, redeem and restore it, He could not do it as God. He had to do it as man. That is why God was manifest in the flesh, because anything that is done in a governmental way on this earth must be done through man. "Let them have dominion…" is God’s own sovereign edict and delegation of governmental authority. Man’s rulership of the earth and the heavens is built into the constitution which He framed for creation. For God, as God, to do the job would be unconstitutional! Man is God’s constitutional agent. To man has been given the stewardship of the earth and of the heavens! That is why there is now a perfected MAN reigning in the heavens! God remains the owner, but man is the manager and overseer — the judge, ruler, priest, and king! Jesus Christ had to come in the form of man, in the likeness of flesh, being made in all things like unto His brethren, because nothing happens on this earth except through man. The Captain of our salvation, the High Priest of our profession, The Head of the Christ-body, the firstborn Son of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords IS THE MAN CHRIST JESUS, not the God Christ Jesus; He is the SON OF MAN, not God the Son.

Now for Jesus to have anything to do with this dominion He had to become a man, for the dominion was given to man, and in order for Him to receive the kingdom, He had to be a man. As the eternal Word of God He could have nothing to do with this dominion, though it was through Him that all these things were made. But become a man He did, and through His life of obedience to the Father, by His holiness, His purity, His grappling with sin, pain, limitation, and death, and triumphing over it, He qualified to receive the kingdom and to be the ruling head of it, the King of glory. The man in God’s image has a divine and royal destiny to exercise authority and dominion in this world and throughout the unbounded heavens. He is to be lord and head of all! All that happens in the cosmos must take place under the direction of man! God created all things and then man in His image and likeness, as the connecting link between God and His creation, that through man in His image and likeness the invisible God might be seen and known and touched by the visible creation. The face of God would be revealed for all creation to behold, in the face of man! The likeness of God would be made known to the entire universe in and by man. The love, grace, wisdom, knowledge, power, and glory of God would be exercised toward every creature and world and order throughout the vastnesses of infinity through the man in the image and likeness of God!

Jesus is the altogether lovely One.

When He walked this earth in human form He was altogether unlike anyone who had ever lived since Adam was banished from Eden’s fragrant garden. He was quite different in so many ways — many that perhaps you have never thought about. For example, did you ever notice that Jesus never withdrew a word or modified a statement in His whole life? Which of us can say the same! He never apologized for anything He said. Which of us can make the same claim? There was no misstatement, no half-truth. What He uttered was truth itself because HE WAS THE INCARNATE TRUTH. Did you ever notice that Jesus never sought advice? Even Moses the lawgiver had his counselors; and Solomon, the wisest of them all, had those from whom he sought counsel and advice. But Jesus had none! In fact, He never went to any school of higher learning. That which He had received of His Father He gave unto us. Occasionally, someone had the impudence to offer Him advice which was peremptorily refused on every occasion. Yet, does not the Bible say that in the multitude of counselors there is wisdom? Yes, when one is as ignorant as we are, so ignorant that we have no earthly cure for our ignorance, then, indeed, we need counselors! The Holy Spirit has now been sent into the heart of every son of God called to sonship as the "comforter" or "counselor," even the spirit of truth, who is leading us into all truth! Jesus is the pattern, the prototype of this sonship!

Jesus never confessed a sin.

This is absolutely astonishing! It is axiomatic in the spiritual realm that the holiest of men have been those who were most conscious of their sin and guilt. Job was brought to absolute desperation when God appeared to him. Isaiah abhorred himself when he saw the living God, and said, "I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips" (Isa. 6:5). Peter said, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man" (Lk. 5:8). And Paul said, "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (I Tim. 1:15). Jesus confessed no sin for one simple reason: unlike any one of us He had none! He is the perfect man, the pattern and prototype of every son of God who is being conformed into His image!

Further, Jesus never bothered to explain any of His frequent ambiguous conduct. When word was brought to Jesus that Lazarus, His good friend, was sick, what did He do? Did He rush to his side to help him? No, He remained right where He was for three days, while Lazarus grew sicker and sicker and died. Then belatedly, He appeared and His appearance evoked from the broken heart of Lazarus’ sister these reproachful and heart-rending words: "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died!" No explanation. No apology. Not a word! "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" And then those immortal words before the tomb: "Lazarus — come forth!" Jesus just allowed time and the unfolding plan of God to justify all that He did. He had no motive to gain the sympathy, understanding, or adulation of men. Jesus was asleep in the back of a boat in the midst of a storm with waves breaking over the railings, filling the ship. "Master, carest Thou not that we perish?" cried the distressed disciples. No word of explanation, just the command, "Peace! Be still!" and the waves ceased their raging.

Jesus never asked and never permitted prayer for Himself.

You may recall the time in Gethsemane on the night before His crucifixion. He gathered together His apostles and asked them to pray. But note well, my friends, His words! "Watch and pray (for yourselves) that YE enter not into temptation." Why did He not ask for our prayers? Why did He never permit anyone to pray for Him? Why did He not even pray with His disciples? Why did He always go off to pray alone? Very simply — He did not need anyone’s prayers! He did not need them and He did not want them. Why? Because this Jesus of Nazareth is THE PERFECT MAN, MAN IN THE IMAGE OF GOD! As the Father hath life in Himself, so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself. It is a deep mystery, beyond the comprehension of babes in Christ, but all these attributes of Jesus are the marks of sonship, the sign of the Son of man, the evidences of spiritual maturity, the very destiny of every elect saint who grows up unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ!

Can you imagine Jesus, on the road to Samaria, sitting down on a rock by the wayside, calling to Peter, James, and John, saying, "Boys, I want you to come over here and pray for me. I really need to be ministered to today, I need help, I need your strength. Ever since we left Galilee the old devil has really been after me. This depression has hit me, and I want you to lay your hands on me and rebuke this thing. It started last week when the Father showed me that someone is going to betray me. I’ve been so upset ever since, Satan wants to use that to beat me over the head. Some other things have been bothering me lately, and this head cold isn’t helping any. If I don’t get the victory soon, I won’t be able to minister in Samaria, but I know it’s just the devil fighting me!" Do you think those disciples ever had to encourage Jesus, lay hands on Him, counsel Him, pray for Him, or minister to Him? Jesus said, "The SON OF MAN came not to be ministered to, but to minister…" Ah, there is the reality of the Son of man who is the Son of God! He did not come to receive life, but to give life! He had life in Himself even as the Father had life in Himself. Within that life, yea, that indwelling life, was every element of faith, victory, righteousness, wisdom, knowledge, and power He could ever need! If He needed courage, the courage was in the life! If He needed strength, the strength was in the life! If He needed wisdom, the wisdom was in the life! If He needed power, the power was in the life! This is a nature and a life that is not dependent upon anything without, for it is self-existent life requiring no sustenance; it is not derived from another, does not draw from anything, is abundant, unchanging, inexhaustible, all-sufficient life! This is the life of sonship, this is the stature of the son of man, man in the image of God! This is the goal of all who are appointed of the Father to be conformed to the image of the Son, to reign with Christ in the kingdom of God!

How could anything less than this reign with Christ upon His throne!

My spirit rejoices today in thankfulness to my Father in heaven that many years ago He let me hear a secret from His own heart, a secret that few in our generation have understood. When He breathed into my listening heart, my whole being was charged and my entire life and ministry changed, for I could never be the same after hearing His words: JESUS IS THE PATTERN SON! JESUS IS THE IDEAL MAN! EVERY SON OF GOD SHALL BE AS HE WAS AND AS HE IS!

                                                       "For whom He did foreknow, 
                                He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son,                               that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29).


LIKE HIM? IN EVERY WAY? CONFORMED TO HIS IMAGE? IN ALL THINGS? EXACTLY LIKE HIM? Oh, our Father! Be pleased to open the eyes of Thy children that they may see to what a high and holy calling Thou hast called them in Thy Son! Ah, if Jesus did not change, then these sons must come to the place where they do not change. If Jesus never apologized, because He never misspoke or did any wrong, these sons must also come to the place where they do not offend in word or deed. If Jesus received all His wisdom and knowledge from the indwelling Father, these sons, too, must receive all wisdom and knowledge from the Father within. If Jesus did not sin, these sons must not miss the mark. If Jesus never needed to be encouraged, these sons must become so triumphant in His life that they encourage all men, but need not to be encouraged themselves. If Jesus did not need to be prayed for or ministered to, these sons in His likeness, grown up into the fullness of His stature, reigning upon His throne must also have reached that place where they need not to be continually ministered to, but they minister and pour out their lives for all. If Jesus always had victory, if Jesus always was full of faith, if Jesus always did the will of His Father, if Jesus lived every moment by the life of the Father, then these sons must also live victoriously by the indwelling life of the Father!

THE PATTERN SON. THE IDEAL MAN. THE PERFECT MANHOOD. THE SON OF MAN.

How awesome! "LIKE HIM." What a challenge! What were the strong points of this Pattern Son? He didn’t have any — not a one! To have a strong point you must have a weak point, and Jesus did not have any weak points! Other men are noted for some one faculty or talent. Moses was the meekest of all men. Job was the patient one. Abraham was strong in faith. But Jesus was altogether lovely in every way. . .the meekest, the most humble, patient, loving, gracious, courageous, firm, wise, powerful, everything. Consider, my beloved, the incomparable symmetry of the perfections of Jesus Christ. What a balance He had! What fullness! And this glorious Personage is not something unique in the universe, He is the pattern by which your life and mine is being designed! He is the firstborn of an entirely new race of men, the SONS OF THE LIVING GOD! Christ is being raised up in us and we are putting on His image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord!

Let me present to you this glorious company of overcomers, the new creation man, the perfect man, the ideal man, the many-membered son of man in the midst of the candlesticks, even those who have life in themselves. These are they who have discovered the river of life flowing from deep within their own beings, life full, abundant, and triumphant! They are never discouraged by any situation, nor upset by any circumstance. They are constant — not up one day and down the next. You do not find them standing in prayer lines. They are always encouraging others, but never seem to need encouragement themselves. They continually pray for others, but never seem to have prayer requests of their own. They minister to many, but do not stop to be ministered to. They are not offended by what others say and do. They love and forgive and esteem everyone. They speak the best of all men, for they know the value of all men is Christ, for He is the Saviour of them all. They are not depressed or burdened. They are not fearful, worried, or confused. They are not upset or angry with anyone. They don’t quit when the going gets rough. They do not tell you how the devil has been fighting them, in fact, they don’t talk about the devil at all, for the dragon has been cast out of the heaven where they dwell! They don’t talk about their problems. They do not wear sad or sorrowful countenances, regardless how dark things seem. The word of Christ dwells in them richly. They have been given a new song, even praise unto their God! They glorify God in all things, for they know that He is in control. They walk daily in wisdom and understanding, in confidence and faith, in conscious awareness of the Father’s plan and will; they always have the victory, are always positive, ever rejoicing in the Lord! They walk tall and strong. They walk straight. They are constant.

They press forward toward the goal, rejoicing in expectation of the glory of God!

How can one minister deliverance to another if he is bound himself? How can one furnish encouragement if he is himself discouraged? How can one impart joy when he is sad? How can one supply faith when he is fearful? How can one lift another when he is himself bogged down in the slough of despondency? How can peace be bestowed by a soul filled with anguish? How can righteousness be communicated by one with an evil heart? How can victory be given by the defeated? How can strength be ministered by the weak? Oh! The world so desperately needs NEW CREATION MEN! All creation groans for the manifestation of the SONS OF GOD! You will not see many of these kind of people in the candlesticks, but if you look carefully, you will see them arising in the midst of the candlesticks!

How totally inadequate do our words become in the light of truth of such wonder as this! Jesus is the prototype of what God intends man to be. He is God’s finished product, God’s ideal man. What a man! Sinless man. Perfect man. Diseaseless man. Unlimited man. Deathless man. Anointed man. Crowned man. God-man. What a specimen! There is nothing ordinary about our Christ. Everything about Him is superlative. His perfection is far beyond all question. Yet He was a man. What infinite strength out of incredible weakness! Jesus is man par excellence living and walking in the Kingdom of Heaven! He came to earth and walked among men in their realm, but at the same time walked in the realm of the heavens of God’s Spirit. He was a spiritual and heavenly man who walked among earth-bound men. He had dominion over them. They planted their smartest lawyers and most learned theologians in the crowd and tried to trip Jesus up — He made fools of them. They tried to throw Him over a cliff and destroy Him — He just walked through their midst and went His way. Never man spake as this heavenly man spake! Never man lived as this man lived!

Never man did the mighty works that He did!

Our Christ is the most powerful among the powerful, the mightiest among the holy and the holiest among the mighty. With His nail-pierced hands He has lifted empires off their hinges. With the same nail-pierced hands He has lifted prodigals out of the hog pen. Our superlative Christ has turned the stream of time into new channels. HE MAKETH ALL THINGS NEW! Whatsoever He touches, whatsoever touches HIM, becomes new. This is the Son of man with power; what every man should be and ultimately will be! One can never comprehend the length and breadth and height and depth of God’s great plan of creation and redemption until he first understands that Jesus Christ is the revelation of the value of every man. In the mysterious mists of Eden God breathed into man the breath of His very own divine life and prophesied of this man that he would bear the image and likeness of Himself, and in due time would take his place in the Father’s great kingdom with dominion over all the works of His hands. Yet today, under the curse of sin and death, sin-cursed and sin-broken, sick and weak, murderer and prostitute, proud and arrogant, mean, vindictive, and tyrannical — all that is humanity!

But is that the value of mankind?

What is the value of human life? JESUS is the value! The price that is paid for an object reflects its value. The price God paid for humanity was His own Son in the image and glory of the Father. God saw beneath man’s tattered garment and marred image His own omnipotent potential buried there. Love pierced through the gloom and roughness and saw a diamond in the rough, but a diamond sure enough! It was in that divine spark within man’s spirit, which came from God, and capable of being renewed, that we find the reason for the cross. The cross reveals the value of every man, and Jesus is the image of redeemed and restored men!

This is exactly what the Lord Jesus taught and demonstrated so wonderfully through His sonship ministry. He spoke the words of compassion and power into the souls of all marred creatures and called them beloved children of God. He didn’t call them sinners, or condemn them. He saw them as they were meant to be, as they are in the eyes of the heavenly Father. That was the value of their lives! He healed their diseases, forgave their sins, raised their dead without any conditions, and lifted them up from the mire and defilement and set them on the pathway to holiness and restoration to their lost estate that they might live again as sons and daughters of the Most High.

It would do us all a world of good to take inventory of our attitudes - how we see men.

I fear that we would be both surprised and disturbed to see how often we view men out of our carnal minds rather than with the eyes of our heavenly Father — the prodigal’s Father! Oh mystery of mysteries! Jesus went to the cross not only to take away our sins, He went there for the good in man, to redeem it and restore it into the image of God again. The deepest mystery of all is that God is multiplying Himself in man, and is bringing Himself into a new dimension. There is a MAN seated upon the highest throne of heaven. Not an angel, not a cherub, not a spirit, but a MAN! That man still is clothed in the body that walked along the shores of Galilee, for the cave of Joseph of Arimathea is empty, although that body has been spiritualized by the power of incorruptible life.

The dwelling place of a son of God is in the Father and the dwelling place of the Father is in the sons. The sons are the out-raying of the Father’s substance and the perfect imprint of His nature in human form. I never enjoy trying to see pictures where no picture exists, but it is plain to an understanding born from above that ultimately all men will be manifest sons of God, for the man Christ Jesus, who is the Son of the living God, died and rose again to redeem and save and restore all men to God as His very own children. That will be the glorious consummation of God’s ages-long purpose to make man in His image and after His likeness. Nothing short of that can suffice.

Only then will God be ALL-IN-ALL!

The kind of man God wants is exemplified in His firstborn Son, Jesus. If we want to know what all men will eventually be like, we have only to look at Jesus! The manifest sons for whom all creation groans are but a firstfruit of God’s great purpose of the ages! Jesus is the Alpha, the beginning, and we, the sons of God, are the firstfruits of His harvest. God has begun a work in us and He will bring it to completion! He has also begun a work in all creation, and He will finish and successfully consummate it to the praise of His glory. Not only did God have this plan in the beginning, but the very minutest details were all figured out before He ever began. "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the ages." God knew from the beginning what He was going to do, the blueprint was complete in every detail. Only fools begin to build without a blueprint, or without the ability to finish what they start. God is no fool! He is wisdom itself, the infinite mind and omnipotent power behind all things. Nothing has been left to chance! God has planned everything step by step. He has a timetable that He goes by. Things happen at exactly the time He wants them to happen, and precisely the way He planned for them to happen.

Jesus was born when the fullness of time was come.

He was manifested to the world, fulfilled His sonship ministry, died, rose, and ascended to the throne of the majesty on high right at God’s appointed time. He will be revealed in the fullness of His glory in His many brethren, the manifest sons of God, according to God’s timetable. Only God knows that day and hour, but there is a specific moment in the Father’s plan in which the sons will be revealed. Your faith will not bring it even one second before the time! Should your faith seem to hasten the day of manifestation, it will only be because the Father gave you a greater faith to bring it sooner than it would otherwise have come. GOD is the one in control! There was a time appointed for you to be born. God knew all about you before the beginning of the creation, because you are part of His plan. You were chosen to be in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). God knows all about your life; He knows when you sit down and when you rise up, when you go out and when you come in. God had a blueprint for your life even from the foundation of the world. He has orchestrated every event of your life. God chose your parents, the places you would live, the people you would meet, the experiences you would encounter, the difficulties and trials you would face, the blessings you would receive. It was God, my brother, my sister, who arranged with infinite care the very moment of your conversion and the circumstances that set the stage for it! It was God who exposed you to every saint of God, to every ministry, to every revival, to every moving of His Spirit and manifestation of His power that influenced your growth and development in Him and shaped your life from realm to realm. It was God who organized the precise events by which you first heard the message of sonship and the kingdom of God! It was God who touched the strings of your heart and brought forth the melody of His truth from your inward parts!

Not one little detail of these happenings was by accident.

I tell you the truth when I say that had I sought for a million years to find God, to know Him as I know Him, and His great plan and purpose, I never would have found Him! Raised as a boy in a strict Pentecostal home, way out in the country from a small town in south Alabama, I tell you that out of the billions of people on this planet, and the world of religious confusion, and the darkness of the carnal mind, the odds of me finding the reality of sonship to God on my own are less than the odds of me winning the Texas Lottery! The odds of winning the lottery are one in eighteen million. The odds of me finding my heavenly Father and the truth of His great, eonian plan and purpose are one in billions! Daily I praise God with joy unspeakable and full of glory for the way HE has led and directed my path, for all the things HE set in my way, and brought into my experience, to bring me to Him, to give me an understanding that I might know Him as I know Him, to unveil Himself to me, to teach me His truth and His ways, to reveal His kingdom and His glory, to be a Father to me that I might be a son to Him. Oh, yes! I praise and thank and glorify His glorious name for it is HE, and HE ALONE who has brought me to this hour! And it is the Lord Himself who has brought you to this day!

This is the day that the Lord has made!

The light of His countenance has shined upon us! God is raising up HIS MAN in the earth in this hour! There is One standing even now in the midst of the golden candlesticks, and He is like unto a son of man! This is God’s Christ, the many-membered Son of Man! Truly the Father is bringing us into new dimensions of faith, wisdom, understanding, discernment, love, authority and power — the image of God! We know that we are on the threshold of a divine breakthrough into higher realms of life and glory! I hear the voice of this Man today as the voice of many waters, and I behold His countenance shining as the sun! The glory of the Lord is arising for the whole world to see, and the kingdom of God is coming with power and great glory! May your heart be encouraged this day to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord in every challenge that lies before you!

To be continued…

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 21

 FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 21) by J. Preston Eby


ONE LIKE UNTO A SON OF MAN
On an outwardly dismal day on far-away Patmos the blessed apostle John sits in holy contemplation. Suddenly the earth seems to sink away beneath his feet. The horizon recedes. John’s spirit seems to be liberated from the shackles of time and space. He is taken out of contact with the physical world about him: he is "in the spirit." He sees, indeed, but not with physical eyes. He hears, but not with physical ears. He is in direct contact with the spiritual realities of the heavenly world! He is alone…with God! He is wide awake and every avenue of his spirit is open to the direct communication coming from God in the spirit. John is told, "Write the things that thou seest in a book." Now, isn’t it interesting that he not only wrote the things he saw, but also the things he heard. So the "seeing" is not seeing with the natural eye, it’s seeing in the realm of the spirit! You can "hear" in the realm of the spirit and in hearing you see, that is, you understand.

"I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me…" (Rev. 1:10,12).

What kind of turning did John do?

Did he physically turn around? John was in the spirit, so his turning was a spiritual turning! His turning was an inward turning! It doesn’t mean he physically turned around, it means he turned from beholding things in the earth realm to beholding things as they are in the heavens of God’s Spirit. John began to hear by the Spirit and see by the Spirit — his perception and vision raised to a higher dimension. His eyes and ears were opened to all things spiritual and heavenly! He turned in the same way we mean when we say that someone has "turned to the Lord." We don’t mean they changed the position of their body or tilted their head in a certain way to gaze into the sky. It is a spiritual turning, an inward change. John was changed in his spirit, lifted into a new awareness, quickened to hear and see the things that come from the Spirit of God! I have turned many times during the years of my walk in God. More than fifty years ago I first heard the Voice that John heard, and I turned from my Pentecostal realm to see the Voice, to embrace a new experience and dimension in God! Since that blessed day, each time we have heard the Voice out of the Lord’s on-going revelation of Himself, we have turned to hear as we are supposed to hear, and to see as we are supposed to see.

I am terribly at a loss for words to express the glory of what John heard and saw when caught up into the Spirit. He heard a voice as a trumpet, and said, "I turned to see the voice that spake with me." "Turned" is the same word which is translated converted in Acts 3:19. There is a conversion that takes place in our lives before we can see the voice that speaks with us! There is a turning from all that is not the Lord Himself! We are not just turning or being converted from the ways of the world, or from religious traditions and forms of godliness. In the life of every son of God there is coming a turning even from those legitimate things God has given us — from seeking and glorying in our ministries, our gifts, our callings, our positions, and our blessings. We are being turned to the Lord Himself! It is when we behold Him in the Spirit and by the Spirit that the great work of God is finished in us to transform us into His image and glory! "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Cor. 3:18).

"And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks, and in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of man" (Rev. 1:12-13).

The candlestick realm is the church realm! THAT’S WHERE THE MESSAGE IS! The message is not out there, not from Christ in some far-off heaven somewhere, not from an angel from heaven, not from Christ outside of us. The message is within. The voice of the Son of God is the voice in the churches, within those in the churches who are walking in the Spirit and seeing and hearing by the Spirit. Weren’t nearly all of us in the churches when first we heard the Voice? It’s among us! It’s in our midst! The kingdom of God is within you! The Spirit of the Son is within you! God dwelleth in you! The Holy Ghost is within you! The word of Christ dwelleth richly in you! The anointing abideth within you!

The voice of the Son of God is heard from within!

Have you ever turned to see a voice? John turned to see the Voice! He didn’t turn to see the man, or the woman, or the prophet, or the angel — he turned to see the Voice that spoke to him. Until we grasp the eternal importance of the voice of the Son of God we will never turn to see the Voice — not the vessel the Voice speaks through! God has spoken through men and women and angels and jackasses and clouds and bushes that burned and were not consumed. God is bringing us to the place where we do not demand to hear God speak in a certain way or through a particular vessel, but our sole and all-consuming desire is to hear the voice of the Son of God and see Him in His revelation, whatever it be. When God speaks it matters not whether He speaks through a man or a woman, or through a white man, a black man, a Chinaman, or through a jackass. It makes no difference how educated or uneducated, how polished or unpolished, how desirable or undesirable the instrument. There are people who refuse to receive the word of God unless it comes through a particular apostle, prophet, writer, or ministry. If you are not approved by their organization, their board, their apostle, their bishop, or their little religious clique called a "fellowship," they will not receive the word of the Lord from you. You must have the right credentials! Only their ministry is the chosen vessel, and if God wants to speak He will speak through them. He can’t speak through anybody else! I have no hesitation whatever in telling you that such an attitude is immature, carnal, sectarian, fleshly and devilish. All who are truly walking in the Spirit as sons of God are keen in their hearing, listening for the voice of the Son of God, for whosoever hears the voice of the Son of God shall live and not die, saith the Lord.

The sons of God also are able to see.

"And I turned to see the voice that spake with me." And what a surprise! "And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks." We would expect John to see a person — but when he turned he saw seven golden candlesticks. "And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of man." These are wonderfully significant words! The One John saw was not seated on a golden throne in heaven, He was not standing in a rainbow before a waterfall, He wasn’t standing on a mountain top, He wasn’t standing in the doorway of a great cathedral. Oh, no! He was standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks! Would to God that all His people everywhere really knew where this One is! He is standing in the midst of the churches. He is in the midst of the Lord’s people, in the midst of the body of Christ. And He is right there in the midst of you, my precious brother, my sister.

"God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; He judgeth among the gods" (Ps. 82:1).

The seven golden candlesticks are the seven churches, and a Voice was speaking out of the midst of the seven churches. It is necessary to see the church before you can see Him who is in the church. There are some people who have no use for the church. They say that God has called them out of the church. I understand what they mean, but they are wrong. I have been called out, too. Many years ago I received the distinct and powerful call to "Come out of her…that you be not partaker of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues" (Rev. 18:4). That is the Spirit’s unmistakable call to come out of Babylon! Babylon, among other things, is the religious system that calls itself "the church." It is not the church! The church is the body of Christ! Babylon is an imitation, a usurper, an impostor, a harlot man-made system that masquerades as the church. Oh, yes, we have been called out of Babylon, but we are still in the body of Christ! If you have truly been called out of the church, then you are severed from Christ! I esteem the body of Christ. I honor the body of Christ. I have a great love for the body of Christ, which is the church. The Lord Jesus Himself loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing.

Come now, my beloved, and let us SEE THE CANDLESTICKS — for when you see the candlesticks you will also see one like unto the son of man in the midst of the candlesticks. Come, and let us behold where He dwells! Would you not think it strange should someone come to your house, get out of their car, put their hands over their eyes, grope their way up the walk to your door, knock at the door, and when you answer the knock they should say, "Oh, I don’t want to see your house — I just want to see you!" Wouldn’t you think that a little peculiar? Wouldn’t you secretly consider that person a little "flaky"? Some of God’s people are just like that! They don’t want to see what God dwells in. They avoid all contact with the candlesticks. They want to hear the Voice without seeing the candlesticks! It can’t be done, my friend. Here I am, 67 years of age, short, gray, and bald. Sometimes I wish I was 30 years old and tall, dark, and handsome! But I can’t do anything about that. I’m sure I could make a few improvements on this house I live in. A face lift, a toupee, and some "Just for Men" hair color might take ten or fifteen years off of my appearance. But it would still be the same old house. And if you want to meet me, or hear me speak, the voice you hear will come out of this tabernacle that you see. This is where the voice resides. This is where the life is. In like manner, there is no way that you hear the voice of the Son of God apart from the tabernacle — the body —

He lives in!

We may not like some things about the present state of that body, including our own condition, but it is His body, nonetheless. Someone says, "Oh, I don’t want to see the man, I just want to see the Lord!" It is true, we know no man after the flesh, that is, on the natural level, after the carnal consciousness. But let me make it very clear — you have to see the man in order to see the Lord! I can only see Christ in you by seeing you. And I can only hear Christ out of you by hearing you! "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men." Another says, "If I could find a perfect church I would be a part of it." Well, then it would no longer be a perfect church — you would mess it up! God is bringing us to the place in this important hour where we are willing to look at each other in spite of our weaknesses, mistakes, errors, spots, blemishes and wrinkles until He finishes His work in us and gets rid of them out of our lives. Ah, yes, the Lord whom ye seek is coming swiftly to His temple as a refiner’s fire and fuller’s soap, and He shall purge and purify the priesthood of His house! In the meantime the Lord is still speaking out of His temple and it is impossible to hear the Voice without seeing the candlesticks! We must be able to hear the voice of the Son of God even if there are imperfections in the vessels. In the midst of the church, which is His body, there is One like unto the Son of man. If we look with the pure, anointed eyes of the Spirit — we will see Him!

"And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks" (Rev. 1:12).

It is of special interest to note that the seven candlesticks are not merely candlesticks — they are "golden" candlesticks. The seven-branched candlestick of the tabernacle was constructed according to the word of the Lord given to Moses. It was made of pure gold, of a solid piece weighing a talent. Since gold is symbolic of deity, or the divine nature, this candlestick would absolutely have to be something emanating from God. In fact, it would have to be God Himself represented in the candlestick because it was made of solid, pure gold. It was not made of shittim or acacia wood overlaid with gold, as other parts and furnishings of the tabernacle were, which symbolized human flesh overlaid with divine nature, or anointed with the Holy Spirit of God, for the pure gold represented God Himself who was going to be the "lightbearer" or "candlestick" that would illuminate our tabernacle or body. This piece of furniture must absolutely be something beyond our human nature, beyond our outer, physical, fleshly being or our soulical life. Yet it must be something that would dwell in our tabernacle and give us life, illumination, and power with God!

There is no doubt about it — the golden candlestick represents our regenerated spirit! The church is not made up of outward, carnal, fleshly people — the body of Christ is composed of men and women who have been quickened, raised up, made alive in their spirits by the life of God Himself! "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly" (Prov. 20:27). "For Thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness" (Ps. 18:28). "In the beginning was the Word…that was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (Jn. 1:1,9). We know that our mortal bodies have not yet been quickened and glorified, and our souls are still in the process of being quickened and transformed, but in our spirits we have already been quickened, made alive, raised up and made to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus! Now, we also know that there were problems in the seven churches of Asia in the book of Revelation! There was sin, carnality, error, pride, and a number of negative conditions. The Lord admonished and rebuked the churches for these conditions! So — how could "pure gold" and only pure gold serve as the symbol of the seven churches? The answer is quite simple. The candlestick is not the symbol of the outer man of soul and body, which are merely human and mixed, weak and polluted. The candlestick is the symbol of the inner man, the new creation man, the Christ man after the Spirit! That is where Christ dwells within us and lightens our candle!

That is where the light of God and the life of God are in us!

May the Lord enable all who read these lines to see clearly by the spirit of wisdom and revelation that our spirit and God’s Spirit are truly ONE SPIRIT. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Cor. 6:17). Often we try to understand the truth of God on a carnal level. We must see as God sees! For instance, the scripture says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away, and behold all things are become new!" (I Cor. 5:17). When we look at our lives and find old things that have not passed away, we might conclude that we are not in Christ, and we are not a new creation! Would we not have to be perfect to fulfill this scripture? Another scripture that will kill us, when understood with the natural mind on the outward, human level, is, "He that is born of God does not commit sin." According to this passage it is impossible for a born-again person to sin! So immediately I come under condemnation. I must not be born again! How could I be born again, because I certainly do miss the mark! And not only does it say that he that is born of God does not commit sin, but it adds, "Neither can he!"

We must have a revelation that he which is born of God is our spiritual man. It is the inner man which is "renewed after the image of Him that created him." My body is not yet born of God! My soul is not yet born of God! But deep in the inner recesses of my being my spirit has been born of God! You see, my beloved, it has nothing to do with my outward, human, fleshly life. It is not the Adamic life that has been born of God! It is Christ who has been born again in the womb of my life, and it is Christ who is now my life. If any man be in Christ he is a new creation! That’s where the new creation is! My outward human weakness, failure, carnality and defeat have nothing to do with this inner reality. Christ in me is my hope of glory! My spiritual man is who I am. Christ is being raised up in us! Christ is complete. Christ is pure and holy. Christ is sinless. Christ is my regenerated spirit! My regenerated spirit is a new creation. In it, old things are passed away and all things have become new! My regenerated spirit is born of God, it does not sin, neither indeed can it! THAT IS WHO I AM. THAT IS WHO YOU ARE! And that is the "gold" of the GOLDEN CANDLESTICK!

"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).

The apex of history was the day John saw Christ as He really is! Let us consider with holy reverence how this mighty One who stood among the candlesticks, proclaiming, "I am Alpha and Omega," was something more than the gentle and lowly Jesus of Nazareth. John states with great clearness that he, being turned, saw one LIKE UNTO A SON OF MAN. Now, the King James Bible, as quoted above, says that John saw one "like unto the Son of man," but that is not how the Greek reads. There is no definite article in the Greek, it does not say "the Son of man" but "one like a son of man." The Diaglott reads, "and in the midst of the Lampstands one like to a Son of Man." Young’s Literal says, "and in the midst of the seven lamp-stands, one like to a son of man." The Amplified Bible renders, "and in the midst of the lampstands one like a Son of man." The Concordant Literal New Testament translates, "and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like a son of mankind." The Wuest Translations reads, "and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man." We could go on and on, practically all translations consistently translate the Greek text correctly as "a son of man" instead of "the Son of man."

Now I know this fact will dismay a great number of preachers, teachers, and writers who, like me, have taught that since Jesus is "the" Son of man, this one "like unto the Son of man" is His many brethren, conformed to His image. There is truth there, but our truth must be pure, focused, and undistorted! So what is John really seeing, and what is he really saying? Let us take note that what John saw was a vision, a picture, a representation, and what he saw was someone who was "like a son of man" or someone in human form. It was a personage that bore the likeness of a man — head, hair, eyes, mouth, hands, legs, feet — all in the form of a man. Yet, this One he saw was something more than an ordinary man! He saw One in such surpassing majesty that words almost failed him when he tried to describe what he saw. This One was great, grand, illustrious, brilliant, radiant, awesome, imposing, overwhelming, glorious, and sublime! He had the features and appearance of a man, but there was an aura, a stature, a glory and a majesty of His person that transcended that of any natural man!

Who was this remarkable person whom John saw that day on Patmos and describes so vividly?

Was not this person the same One who took Peter, James, and John up into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them? For at that time His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light, "exceeding white as snow" (Mat. 17:2; Mk. 9:3), much the same as they appeared when John saw Him in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. Yes, this is preeminently none other than our Lord Jesus Christ who has been raised from the dead and glorified with that same glory He had before the world was, and who dwells in the light which no man can approach unto. Saul on the Damascus road and John on the isle of Patmos beheld the glory of the Son of God out of the realm of the Spirit, and it blinded Saul’s eyes and caused John to fall at His feet as dead. How do we know this is Jesus Christ? After seeing Him in His glorified body, and falling at His feet as dead, this One identified Himself to John with these words: "Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Rev. 1:17-18).

After all — this is the revelation of JESUS CHRIST!

It will greatly aid our understanding to see that there is an individual or personal, as well as a corporate sense of this "one in the midst" of the candlesticks. We know that Christ is one, even Jesus Christ; and we know that Christ is also many, even the body of Christ. In like manner there is the one Son of man, even Jesus; and there is also the many-membered Son of man, even the sons of God. Each of these, in a unique way, walks "in the midst"of the candlesticks! It will be a great blessing to your heart to understand how the Lord Jesus, the Son of man clothed in the garment of His priesthood, with eyes of discernment like flames of fire, with burning feet of judgment like unto brass heated red-hot in a furnace, and the two-edged sword of His living word flashing out of His mouth, walks in the midst of each of us and all of us whom He has redeemed!

The seven-branched candlestick of the tabernacle was made of a talent of beaten gold.

It was the lightbearer of the holy place! There was no other light, either natural or artificial, in that holy place. The light of the outer court was the natural sun, and the light of the most holy place was the blazing Shekinah — the glory of the God of Israel! But in the holy place the light originated from an indwelling oil, the light came from a silent and fragrant power within the candlestick. In the midst of this precious, beautiful, and perfect light-giver stands a glorious One in the likeness of a man. This One is walking in the midst of the candlesticks! (Rev. 2:1). The throne is not seen. It is Jesus and the churches alone with each other. It is Jesus under the figure of the priesthood of old that was responsible for the state of the candlesticks. Here is the Lord Himself, the high priest of our profession, and those who walk with Him in the Spirit, tending, trimming, replenishing the lamps!

Aaron, he and his company, under the old covenant, were appointed to look after the seven-branched candlestick, and this they were to do throughout their generations. They were to order the lamps, evening and morning, which were to burn continually without the veil of the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation. And these outward things served till the seed Christ came in His new covenant, who abolished all those outward tabernacles and candlesticks and lamps and lights in the outward worship, and the outward priesthood as well. And in the generation of Christ in the new covenant, the members of His body have become the temple of the living God, and the candlesticks and lamps and lights of the holy place of the Lord! In the book of Revelation He calls the seven churches the seven golden candlesticks, which is a perfect number, the completeness of the redeemed of this age. And Christ, the high priest, doth enlighten the candle, which is the spirit man, in the candlestick. And Christ walks in the midst of these candlesticks in His heavenly fine linen, and heavenly golden girdle; and His hair as white as wool and snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass, as if they were burning in a furnace; and out of His mouth goes a sharp two-edged sword; and His countenance is as the sun shining in his strength. Here is Christ, walking in the very spirits of new creation men, whose spirits He has lighted with His holy and divine and eternal fire, who are destined to be transformed not only in spirit, but also in soul and body; here He exercises His offices, for He is a king to rule in their hearts, and a priest to reconcile all things within them to the nature of God, to save the soul and redeem the body, that He may offer His people to God without spot or blemish!

It was not the candlesticks themselves, which had called unto John. It was the One in the midst like unto a son of man. How intimate, how strengthening, how illuminating that expression — "in the MIDST." The voice of God called to Moses "out of the midst" of the burning bush, and later "out of the midst" of the cloud. The fourth man walked free with the three Hebrew children "in the midst" of the fiery furnace. God dwelt "in the midst" of the camp of Israel. God dwells "in the midst" of Zion, and He that dwelleth "in the midst" of thee, is mighty! It is the place which Jesus took as the Master of His disciples. It is the place He took after He rose from the dead. It is the place which He occupies as the Spirit sent down from heaven. He is the Lamb "in the midst" of the throne, and of the elders, and of the four living creatures!

The tree of life is "in the midst" of the paradise of God!

"Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Mat. 18:20).

My beloved brethren, I am as much opposed to religion and man-made, organized, carnal minded, fleshly religious systems, as any man alive today. This has been my passion since that blessed day when the voice of Christ bade me "Come out of her." At the same time I recognize the church as the body of Christ! I thank God for the church, the seven golden candlesticks! Many of the Lord’s people have confused religious Babylon and the church. So many groups today, even "sonship" and "kingdom" groups want to perpetuate the system of Babylon. All who are truly called to sonship and coming into that sonship have ears to hear what the Spirit saith to the churches! The leading of the Lord in our lives has been two-fold. First, we seek to fellowship with all the Lord’s precious people, regardless of what level they are on. They are all HIS, and if we can touch them and bless them in any way, that is our joy.

That is how the firstborn Son of God walked!

Second, we cannot, dare not fellowship the Babylon system. The Spirit of the Lord has drawn a clear distinction between the Lord’s people and the system so many are involved in. This is clearly revealed in the book of Revelation! There were seven carnal churches, yet the Lord walked in the midst of them! Then there was that great city, Mystery Babylon the Great, out of which He called His people and which He burned and destroyed with fiery judgments! We can and will fellowship any redeemed child of God — but we will not fellowship their carnal systems! As a result much of our fellowship is limited to a "one-on-one" basis, and with small groups of saints, after we get past those who won’t fellowship us because they perceive us to be heretics! At the same time we are not opposed to meetings or gatherings of the saints. The Spirit does indeed move upon some to meet, worship, and share together. And, when such gatherings are by the Spirit, and not controlled by either the spirit or system of Babylon, we are happy to partake.

And we do!

On the other hand, we do not put a premium on meetings. My walk with God would in no way be hampered if I never attended a meeting! I would not fall into sin or error, or backslide. My spiritual growth is not meeting oriented. I do not have to attend gatherings in order to stay spiritual and follow Christ into sonship. But when gatherings are appointed of the Lord, on a regular or occasional basis, there is a mutual benefit derived from the presence and power of Christ "in the midst." We condemn none who attend meetings, nor do we condemn those who don’t. Nor do we praise either group. We have learned from many years of walking in the Spirit with God’s people that the Lord deals with every man in His own unique way and according to His purposes for our spiritual growth and development — and His will for us in these areas is subject to change from time to time!

To know the Father’s will for our walk today — that is the issue!

And then to abide there with no condemnation either to ourselves or to others whom the Lord is leading differently. Often those who sense they have grown beyond the need for gatherings look down their noses at those who still find the need to meet. In like manner, those who are part of active church groups look with disdain upon those whom the Lord has called into a walk of separation, whom they cynically characterize as "Lone Rangers," who have "left the body," and are "spiritual elitists" who are "no good to anyone." Let me go on record — so far as I am concerned both groups are yet carnal and think as men, not discerning the Lord’s body! We are called to love one another, to discern by the Spirit the Father’s purpose in each one, to esteem each better than ourselves, and to release all our brethren to God for His sovereign dealings in their lives, whatever His plan for them is! Anything less than this is not sonship or kingdom! I refuse to take sides with either group, but seek to edify all the Lord’s elect, to present every man perfect in Christ. And I will fellowship with both! Furthermore, I can tell you by personal experience and by the wisdom of the Lord that there are sons of God in both camps who in their growth in the Spirit, in their love, in their righteousness, in their humility, in their maturity in the ways of God, and in their effectiveness in the kingdom of God are not one whit behind any man or woman of the other persuasion! No one way of doing things has a corner on God’s purposes in this hour! Get off your hobby-horse, my brother, my sister, and discern by the Spirit what GOD is doing! Oh, yes, I have a witness in my heart that CHRIST IS IN THE MIDST OF THE CANDLESTICKS! This is what the revelation of Jesus Christ is all about — it is the revelation of God’s Christ personally, corporately, and universally!

In chapters two and three of the Revelation we see seven conditions within the seven churches, good and bad, positive and negative, commendable and reproachable. The Lord is in the midst of every one of these conditions! He walks in the midst of the churches, in the midst of their love, strength, patience, righteousness and faithfulness, and also in the midst of their weakness, faults, failures, carnality and rebellion. The Lord is there in the midst of every condition! Aren’t you glad the Lord walks in the midst of our condition? Thank God! If He didn’t get into the midst of our condition we would be of all men most miserable and altogether hopeless.

The Christ of God walks in our inner being.

He is walking to fulfill every promise made to every generation. We are a portion of the church age and we are a portion of the seven golden candlesticks and He who walks among them! We have an identity in these same situations today. None of the seven churches are out of existence — they represent the seven-fold condition of the church throughout the age. Every generation has had these same conditions mentioned there manifest in them! Just search them out. They are there! The identifying marks of each church is still in the earth today, and most of us could quickly identify them! The negative conditions represent conditions of carnality and error, of fragmentation and separation from the life of the Spirit! They are things that must be overcome. The positive conditions are blessings and privileges and attainments that must be apprehended!

Christ is walking up and down in the midst of the candlesticks. These candlesticks are the light of the Lord in the churches! They are the seven-fold spirit of God, the seven lamps that burn before His throne. This light is what is walking up and down in the midst of the candlesticks. To walk up and down means to be present in light form among us! He walks in spirit form, and the seven angels are His lighted word, the anointing of life in the midst of His people. HE IS WALKING! He has the keys of death and of hell! He is loosing the prison houses and setting the captives free!

He is walking!
He is walking in bright clothing,
In the garden of my heart;
And the spices of His presence
Cause refreshing scents to start!
And His Spirit winds have blown them,
To the ends of all my earth;
Walking, talking, living message,
Of the New Creation Birth.
— Irene Lindsey

Thank God for the One in the midst, yet we must avail ourselves of His wonderful presence and power! A message comes to mind — it is the story of the house of the heart and the various rooms in the heart of one who has come to know the Lord. There was a particular room at the bottom of the stairs, right off to the side. There the Lord said to this believer, "Here I will meet with you each morning." The believer said, "Lord, you would take time to meet with me every morning?" And He replied, "Yes, I will meet you right here in this room." And so, morning after morning, just as the sun was rising, they held their intimate communion, that blessed fellowship. The believer grew in the knowledge of the grace and ways of God and his spirit was enriched and his life blessed. But then, in the press of things through the tyranny of the urgent, there came a morning when he overslept. He had to get to the office and rushing down the stairs he forgot about the meeting. It grew to be a habit. Weeks and months went by and that quiet time was forgotten. Then one day as he reached the bottom of the stairs in his usual hurry to work, he noticed that the door was ajar and the light was on. He stepped inside to see what it was. There was Christ, sitting, waiting for him. He said, "Lord, what are you doing here?" The Lord said, "Have you forgotten that I told you I would meet you here every morning?"

He said, "Lord, you mean that you have been here every day waiting for me?"

Beloved, have you heard your Lord’s voice calling you to come apart with Him, to leave everything and every one that hindered you, and come into a higher place of revelation and separation unto Himself? Have you kept your Lord waiting while you fulfilled the demands of the world, or while you pampered your flesh, or while you did something that you wanted to do, instead of doing what He wanted you to do? Have you heard Him chide you because you neglected Him, because you were not giving yourself to intimacy of fellowship and communion, because you were not seeking His presence and glory, because you were not ascending into the heights of His Spirit to know Him in His fullness?

When you heard His voice in these and other ways, have you risen up eagerly and quickly and hastened to your Lord? Or have you asked Him to wait for a more convenient season? Did you have some "church work" which you felt was very important because some souls were looking to you for help? Did you tell your Lord to wait until you could leave them, or finish what you were doing? Many times, it is so! Not always in words do we tell Him to wait, we just go on with our "work," fulfilling the responsibilities thrust upon us. We are going to respond and obey, we are going to arise and commune with Him, we are going to seek Him with all of our heart, we are going to follow hard after Him, we are going to pursue the vision and lay hold upon the prize of the high calling, we are going to be sons to Him, but not until a more propitious moment when we have finished what we are doing!

I do not hesitate to tell you, precious friend of mine, that it is alone with the Lord; it is when the clamoring voices of this world and of our own minds have been silenced; it is when the strife and opinions of the flesh have ceased; it is when all our religious works have been abandoned; it is when earth has receded and heaven and eternity have drawn near enough for us to see the unseen, that the voice of the Lord is heard in our spirits and His presence is known and His beauty appears. It is in such separation and communion that we tread the courts of the Lord, that the fragrance of His life envelops us, that we are strengthened and equipped to fulfill the will of the Father in this new day of the Lord! Our Beloved is calling us to that secret meeting place within ourselves, until in union with Christ we arise to express and manifest the glory of His kingdom in the earth!

So little of His presence has been realized by those Christians who fill, Sunday after Sunday, the pews of the harlot church systems, that even many who are baptized in the Spirit have more fear of the power of the adversary than they do have of the knowledge of the majesty and presence of the King of Glory. His presence is not always best known in the realm of soulish worship, with its clapping, dancing, and shouting, which excites a religious fervor that in most cases does not proceed from the Spirit. Praise God for the reality of rejoicing in Him, but many have discovered that they thought God was only in the Cathedral, so He called them out from there. We thought God was in the great revivals with signs and wonders and miracles, so He separated us from this. We thought the presence of God could be conjured up by much singing, clapping, and shouting, so He sent fiery trials, stripping, and separation even from this. We so enjoyed and sought the atmosphere of worship until we discovered that we had become worshippers of worship, rather than worshippers of God! So He brought a dealing even in that realm. Finally, isolated and all alone, then He says, "Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art…" (Gen. 13:14). "I am with you IN THIS PLACE, perhaps obscured by the shadows, but I am here in the midst of you, working within to conform you to my image, and bring you forth in my likeness." Though we share an existence apparently filled with nothing but the mundane happenings of the routine, YET CHRIST IS PRESENT AND ACCOMPLISHING GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS WITHIN! Stripped of all the religious crutches we have leaned upon we find that the great work of God in sonship is performed in that most holy place within — in our very state of being! God reveals Himself to the humble in the lowliest of disguises, but the proud who never look beneath the surface, fail to find Him even in the greatest of His manifestations.

We see the Head of God’s Christ supremely victorious, waiting until the body comes to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, unto a perfect man, so that His enemies become His footstool. The Head is victorious, triumphant, and crowned! But this glorious work He began will be carried forth until His whole body, even the feet, shall rise to the place of authority and power that He has. Now in these appointed days there is coming forth a body of people, raised up by the Holy Spirit of God, that is not content to let Satan and the carnal mind rule here on this earth. These are crying out for deliverance from every enemy and all the bondage of corruption within themselves. These cannot be satisfied until they see the kingdom of God coming with power into the earth! They know not how this can be done, for it truly looks impossible! None of the religious or revival realms of the past have accomplished this. But having heard from heaven they gladly embrace the hope! The Spirit of God is now revealing truths that have been hidden from ages and from generations. Hope is springing up in the hearts of the saints, God’s called out ones, and they are seeing that we can follow Jesus into that which is beyond the veil, into the Holiest of all, into the fullness of God. These are looking not to die, but to live; not for eventual victory in heaven, but for victory right here on this earth.

I know that some say that we are not passing through the tabernacle in our experience, moving from the outer court to the holy place, and on in to the most holy place. They tell us that we are already in the most holy place and that all that remains is for us to come out from behind the veil to be revealed and minister to the lower realms. But let me tell you something. No priest could come out of the most holy place until he had passed through all realms of the tabernacle and entered in beyond the veil. All of this represents an experience in our lives! We can’t leave the outer court until we have thoroughly experienced the outer court! Nor can we go beyond the holy place until we have completely appropriated the reality of the holy place. So-called "positional truth" won’t do here! Now I know God has given us boldness to enter in beyond the veil into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus, but I can assure you that I have yet to meet the brother or sister who has fully experienced and appropriated all that the most holy place is! Do me a favor, my brother, and don’t come back out of there until the most holy place is what you are! Should you come out in your present state of limitation you will have little to add to the lower realms, nor will creation be set free.

And that is the truth!

Ricky Evans has shared this pointed and challenging word: "We have no desire to argue with any who feel they have already come into fullness. Yet, if what they have is fullness then we are greatly disappointed. We do have a desire to come into the reality of full sonship as displayed by our precious Lord. He showed us what it really means to walk in the Spirit without measure! All others have shown us what it is like to walk in the Spirit by measure and we have seen, in our own lives as well as others, what sad failures we can be in the realm of measure. Oh, but our wonderful Lord would not have us sit down in defeat. Oh no! He showed us in His humanity that we can indeed move from measure to fullness and live a life of victory free from all failure by walking in the measure we have and increasing our capacity for more of the life of God which dwells in us.

"There are many today who have learned all the right terminology of "kingdom" and "deeper" teachings, and have assumed they have arrived at such a place in their walk. They assume themselves to be in Tabernacles, in the Third Day, and behind the veil, because they have read the books and heard the tapes. They have had an emotional stir which has caused them to think they have entered into the depths of a new dimension. But friend, all the knowledge and emotional stirring means absolutely nothing as far as the reality of our growth in God! You may go to a football game, or a baseball game, and you may know all the statistics of the players involved. You may know all the rules of the game. You may get caught up in the emotions of the players, the excitement of the crowd — but that will not make you one of the ball players! If you were to be actually put into a uniform and placed in the game you would quickly find all your emotional excitement and all your knowledge does not mean you can actually play the game."

And so it is in the kingdom of God!

Can our finite minds comprehend even in a measure what this shall mean, to walk in that state of being that the resurrected, ascended, glorified, enthroned Head-Christ is now in? That is what the most holy place represents! Even in the days of His flesh the firstborn Son of God had absolute dominion over the elements, the beasts, the birds, over the most powerful devils and the worst diseases. And finally He was victorious over death itself, the last enemy to be destroyed for each of us. Some claim now to have already conquered physical death, while they are still afraid of a mad dog, fasten their seat belts on the highways, and continue to eat three meals a day to keep themselves alive. Precious friend of mine, death is the last enemy to be conquered! But fall it must, before the mighty power of God working through the inChristed, His body. And Jesus said that the works He did, we would do also, and even much GREATER WORKS (Jn. 14:12). This power is not offered to us for us to gratify our carnal appetites for bread made from stones, nor for sensationalism, nor for financial gain, nor to build a kingdom for ourselves. Jesus was tempted with all these things, and He overcame them. And so will all those who today follow the Lamb to the heights of mount Zion! What a destiny! How marvelous the plan of God! How glorious the path of those who walk the path of sonship to God! There is "One in the midst" and He that is in the midst of thee is mighty! The "One in the midst" is the One who speaks to the churches, the One who by His word and power raises up the overcomers to the realm of His throne!

Although He is spoken of as "one like unto a son of man," yet this glorious One identifies Himself as Jesus, who is, indeed, THE SON OF MAN! Jesus constantly referred to Himself as "the Son of man." This expression occurs over eighty times in the Gospels, and the intriguing thing is that it is always on the lips of Jesus. Stephen used it once (Acts 7:56), and the people once asked whom Jesus meant by it, but these are the only recorded occasions when anyone used it of the Lord other than Jesus Himself. But He used it constantly.

It is found in all four Gospels.

Most Christians read right over that, thinking it means Son of God, though it says He is the Son of man. This does not mean that He was a descendant of Adam, the fleshly man, nor even that Mary in some mysterious way contributed to His genetic makeup. Someone says, "But don’t the scriptures say that Christ is the seed of Abraham and the son of David? How could He be the seed of Abraham and the son of David if He was not the offspring of these men?" The answer is very simple. The inferences in scripture that Jesus was the seed of Abraham, or the son of David, do not speak of Jesus’ flesh or human life! All who are "in Christ" are classified as being the "seed" of Abraham (Gal. 3:29), though their outer human substance was in no way derived from Abraham! To the Jews, who piously traced their lineage back to Abraham, Jesus said, "If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. Ye are of your father, the devil." He certainly was not appealing to their flesh in denying their relationship to Abraham! He meant that they were not of the nature, the faith, the righteousness, the spirit of Abraham! And when He told them they were of their father, the devil, He did not mean they were physically begotten by the devil personally and physically planting a demonic sperm in the womb of each of their mothers! He wasn’t talking about flesh at all! John the Baptist was Elijah, according to Jesus, but I do not see that he was physically or humanly Elijah. He came in the power and spirit of Elijah! We are seeing spiritual realities and relationships here — not natural!

In solemn truth we may search the Bible through and we will not find that the "second man" was in any way derived from the "first man." Jesus was not conceived by the union of divine sperm with Mary’s human egg. Mary’s life was Adam’s life, and if Mary contributed anything at all to Jesus’ life He would then have been from the fallen Adam and would have Himself been of the first man Adam. By that one man Adam all were made sinners, and in Adam all die and are dead. Jesus would, therefore, have needed a Saviour instead of being the Saviour! Nothing is more certain than this — Adam cannot redeem Adam! The fallen cannot perfect himself to redeem and restore himself. The very thought is an absurdity! I have heard men say that when Jesus says, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last," He means that He Himself was both the first man Adam who sinned and the last man Adam who redeemed. I do not hesitate to tell you that this is not only an improbability — it is an impossibility!

The supreme evidence for the virgin birth is Jesus Himself.

He is a fresh start! He is a new kind of man! The first Adam came into the world by the creative act of God. So did the second man, the last Adam! The only difference is that the first man came from the hand of God whole, as a full grown adult, whereas the second man was formed as an embryo, then planted in the womb of a woman to develop and be born into the world as a baby. "The second man is the Lord from heaven." Jesus said, "The Son of man came down from heaven." In the natural, people do not come down from heaven in a physical body, so we can’t imagine Jesus coming down from heaven like that! And of course, He didn’t; He came down through Mary. Mary was a surrogate mother! Today there are so-called "moral" or "ethical" questions about the use of surrogate mothers, but really there is no moral issue at all. God Himself used a surrogate mother for His own Son and sanctified it in the eyes of the whole world! This was God acting for man. It was not man acting for God. This was God taking the initiative. This was God stooping down to man, not man reaching up to God.

In Jesus Christ, God entered into human life in a new way!

The first man is of the earth, earthy, the record states; the second man is the Lord from heaven! The first man fell by sin, marred his image, lost his dominion, forfeited his inheritance, becoming a poor, miserable, degraded creature, in his consciousness ignorant and godless, the impotent plaything of circumstances, and weak and helpless to the last degree. The second man knew no sin, was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and walked even upon this earth in a realm higher than the heavens. Have you never wondered how the second man became the Saviour of the first man if He Himself was the first man? How could the fallen man become the Saviour without a Saviour? If Jesus was like us in that He needed a Saviour, but was somehow able to save Himself without a Saviour, and then save others, then mankind really needed no Saviour at all, for they could have, like Jesus, simply saved themselves!

Such reasoning is spiritual tomfoolery and theological drivel.

What, then, does Jesus mean when He calls Himself the "Son of man"? He means that He was born from the realm of true manhood, formed in that state of being in which the first man dwelt before he sinned. Jesus stepped right out of that prophetic, spiritual, creative dimension where the word of God proclaims, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." He was the second man to be fashioned in that realm of true manhood which is the image and likeness of God in a physical manifestation. He is the second representation of God; He is the last Adam because the image of God as seen in the first Adam, disappears in Christ! His image and representation of God actually destroys the image as represented by the first Adam! The first Adam becomes superfluous and obsolete. Because the second man, the last Adam replaces him! Being the second man of GOD’S MANHOOD CREATION, He is called "the Son of man" or the offspring of GOD’S MANHOOD IDEA. The first man Adam stepped forth out of the Creative Mind of God’s Idea of Manhood, and Jesus was the second man to proceed out of that Creative Manhood Idea of the Father. As the second man He is thus the SON OF MAN, the second of an Order, the second revelation of the image and likeness of God in man, birthed from the Manhood Mind of the Father! This man, being tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin, is THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD RESTORED IN MAN! From that position of sharing our humanity, while not inherently partaking of our sin and death, He became the perfect sin-offering for us all.

He also became the new Federal Head of the race of redeemed mankind!

What is an image? An image is something which is formed, a representation of something, a likeness. A true image would be that which correctly depicts the appearance, form, substance, nature, character, and being of whatever it stands for. A true image of God would have to be a true expression of who and what God is! Today we have many false images of God! These, whether idols, concepts, ideas, actions, or theological creeds are manufactured out of the carnal minds of men according to their own darkened understanding. So we have in carnal-minded men a distorted image of God! Many preachers portray God as vengeful, vindictive, unforgiving, unmerciful, judgmental, demanding, laying heavy yokes upon His followers, taking away our salvation the moment we slip or fall into sin, consigning all who die outside of Christ to unending torture in hell fire, and many other hideous, monstrous images. But, blessed be God! Jesus Christ brought a true and correct image of God, by faithfully walking out the true and divine manhood.

Jesus expressed the concept of true manhood when He said, "I and my Father are one." The Jews took up stones to stone Him, for they perceived that He was calling Himself God. They were unable to discern the image, the divine state of true manhood. The Jewish leaders felt He had no right to take this position, but here is something vitally important to understand. He was not going around telling everybody He was God to exalt Himself in any carnal way. He was teaching man and restoring the knowledge of man’s true relationship to God and His purpose. By teaching that God and man are really one, He was showing that the value of every created person was GOD HIMSELF. It didn’t matter that the truth of our real nature had been hidden, covered, and buried beneath the load of sin and its consequences. What is happening in this hour is that a great light is dawning in the consciousness of man by regeneration, the quickening of the Holy Spirit, lifting people's eyes beyond what they can see to discover the reality of Christ within, to identify with that holy thing which is called the Son of God, and which is just as truly the SON OF MAN!

It was in MAN, the highest of God’s creations, that God placed the "invisible things of Himself" for display. Now we are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ — the image of God that Christ gave. All the holy sons of God are becoming the image of God in the earth to reveal the heart, wisdom, nature, power, glory, and love of God to every order of the universe, worlds without end. Through these manifested sons all realms shall be blessed to see and touch and experience the image of God! This is the only way the visible can behold the invisible! ALL shall come to know Him! THIS IS THE PURPOSE OF GOD IN MAN!

To be continued…