Sunday, October 14, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 35

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 35) by J. Preston Eby

THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS (continued)
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7).

The closing verse of the message to the church in Ephesus includes the admonition common to the message to each of the seven churches, to hear what the Spirit says! Then it gives a promise to "him that overcometh." The implication is that those who overcome would be few in number because it says, "To him that overcomes…" It is on a singular and individual basis! No church as a whole would overcome all the conditions typified by those things the Lord condemned in each church. Only a few individuals scattered throughout the churches would truly overcome all things!

One of the most important truths God’s elect can understand in this hour is that there are no "groups" entering into the fullness of God. If you are part of a church, prayer group, Bible study group, or any kind of corporate expression with the vision of sonship and the kingdom of God, not one of you will enter in as a group. All groups or congregations of saints are typified by the seven churches, not by the overcomer! Only "him" that overcometh will receive the promise! All groups are composed of people on different levels of understanding, growth, righteousness, obedience, and faith. The overcomer is that person or persons in the group who pays the price to apprehend the life, kingdom, and glory of God!

"Overcome" — that is a fighting word; it subdues, conquers, vanquishes, prevails, and comes off the victor! "Overcome" means victory. Now "victory" is a word that thrills! Everybody longs to win. If we play even the most trifling game, we prefer to come out victors. This is all the more true when the conflict is a matter of life and death. We are interested in those who win the battle rather than in those who lose. If you do not believe this, go out tomorrow and tell your friends how you struck out and lost the game. You will not be half through your story before those friends turn from you to listen to some man with a sparkle of joy in his eye to tell how he won. We all wish to win!

And the glory of this message is that it points the path of victory for every one of us!

Though there are seven churches in the book of Revelation, there is in fact an eighth church, though not designated as such. This church will be the overcomer’s manifestation! Throughout scripture and the book of Revelation there are references made to many groups. At times they are called overcomers, or firstfruits, or 144,000, or manchild, or witnesses, or woman, or bride, or city, or great multitude, or harlot, or Mystery Babylon, or beast, or false prophet, or something else. Groups are made up of any number of individuals sharing the same interests, values, experience, purpose, hope or attainment. One may suppose that he has come out of all groups and is walking with the Father alone, but if there are others who share his revelation and experience he is part of a group! Yet, membership in the company of the overcoming sons of God is an individual matter! "To him that overcometh…"

To each overcomer there is an "I will give…" each promise to the overcomer is a spiritual reality of the kingdom of God! Those who will hear this word to overcome and then overcome will attain to a new and higher reality of the kingdom in their lives. The promises are not to those who hear about overcoming, or those who believe in overcoming, or those who talk about overcoming, or those who try to overcome, but the promises are to HIM THAT OVERCOMETH! Many have heard and have thrilled at the concept of overcoming and its promises, but the promises are obtained as we overcome.

Have your read Hugh Price Hughes’ story called "The City of Everywhere?" He arrived in that city one cold morning. As he got off the train, the station was like any other station with the crowds and redcaps, except that everybody was barefooted. They wore no shoes. He noticed the cab driver was barefooted. "Pardon me," he asked the driver, "I was just wondering why you don’t wear shoes. Don’t you believe in shoes?" "Sure we do," said the driver. "Why don’t you wear them?" asked the man. The driver replied, "Ah, that’s the question. Why don’t we wear shoes? Why don’t we?" At the hotel it was the same. The clerk, bell boys, everybody was barefooted. In the coffee shop he noticed a nice-looking fellow at a table opposite him who also was barefooted. He said, "I notice you aren’t wearing shoes. I wonder why? Don’t you know about shoes?" The man replied, "Of course I know about shoes." "Then why don’t you wear them?" "Ah, that’s the question," said the man. "Why don’t we? Why don’t we?"

After breakfast he walked out on the street in the snow but every person he saw was barefooted. He asked another man about it and pointed out how the shoes protect the feet from cold. The man said, "We know about shoes. See that building yonder? That is a shoe manufacturing plant. We are proud of that plant and every week we gather there to hear the man in charge tell about shoes and how wonderful they are." "Then why don’t you wear shoes?" The man replied, "Ah, that’s the question!"

Let me ask you today, Don’t we believe in overcoming?

Do we not know the wonderful promises made to him that overcometh? Of course we do! We know about overcoming. We believe in overcoming. We talk about overcoming. We read about overcoming. In fact, we gather together weekly or from time to time and listen to great teachings and sermons about overcoming. Yet many seem to be plagued year after year with the same problems, weakness, fears, confusions, lack, limitations, and failures. Many never seem to overcome. Why don’t we overcome? Ah, that’s the question! Why don’t we overcome? Why don’t we?

"Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world," said Jesus in the hour of His passion.

"Overcoming" is a big word! It means there is something to come over, and getting over it is a divine thing. Even the Lord Jesus was made perfect through the things that He suffered, through blessed obstacles and divine agonies. Sometimes we are asked why God permits so much evil. "Permits?" Why, He sends it! The old mystic was right who said, "There is no doer but God." Not one of the ills of life could ever touch you if He did not open the door. No matter how malignant your assailant might be, when anything has come to you which your soul pronounces unwelcome, praise God and go on — and then you have overcome! The evils, as we call them, of life are often not evils at all. We mix up evil with wickedness or some other negative and talk as if the two were the same. They are not! Evil is a larger term, and pain may be included in it. When we understand the ways of the Lord, we would not have suffering, trial, trouble, tribulation and pain expelled from life for all the glory that imagination can conjure up!

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing had happened unto you"
(I Peter 4:12).

"Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried…be thou faithful…and I will give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10). "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen the brethren" (Lk. 22:31-32). If we can realize that God ordains trouble, trials, and tribulations to bring forth the gold of His divine nature from these earthen vessels, we can rejoice, as David, in our afflictions and trials and exclaim with him, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Thy Statutes" (Ps. 119:7).

One of the fundamental laws of creation is that an opposing force is necessary for growth and to produce strength, stamina, and endurance. Any living thing that grows up without any opposition is weak and powerless. God’s sons must be strong and powerful, and anything that desires to be strong, or anyone, must wrestle with a force that is contrary to them. A plant that grows in a greenhouse sheltered from the winds and rains, pampered and protected day after day, may grow large and beautiful, but it is inherently weak, and if suddenly exposed to the elements will quickly wither and die. Any man who wants to build muscular power to be strong to overcome an opponent, must spend weeks and months and years in vigorous training doing heavy exercises, lifting heavy weights, using the opposing force of gravity to develop his strength. There is a great and magnificent future ahead for the sons of God, and a great work our Father has for us to do in the age and the ages to come, and He is now preparing us and making us ready for the high and holy place He has for us. Can we not see that ALL THE OPPOSING FORCES WE NOW ENCOUNTER, and OUR RESPONSE TO THEM are working together for our good — to develop the strength, character, understanding, compassion, wisdom, faith and power we must acquire?

Sometimes it would seem as though life had no meaning at all; it is only a chaos, and the best that you can do is not to think about it or try to figure it out. Precious friend of mine, do you know what your life means? It means that this present time and experience is a school, and God has put us here to learn lessons for eternity, and all that has befallen you is fitting you to fulfill your place in the kingdom of God. God has something to do in His wonderful universe and He is preparing His sons and daughters to do it!

We are put here to live something out for God, to walk something out with God.

Paul Mueller has written, "The principle purpose which is uppermost in the mind of the Father at this time is the growth and coming to maturity of His chosen remnant. Every other purpose under heaven is secondary to this greater purpose during this exceptional time. Therefore, it is essential that all who are members of this Christ body, the sons of God, should concentrate on their own spiritual maturity. Strive not to do the religious works of man, but seek rather for the fullness of Christ in your own heart and life. There is no other purpose under heaven that can equal this grand and holy purpose of the Father! Put away all the desires and appetites of the world and of the flesh, and seek only to please the Lord.

"If you really care for the masses of the world who know not God and His wonderful grace and mercy, then you will seek for His fullness in your life. If you have really heard the groans of a creation that is suffering under the burden of sin and shame, you will cease all your religious activity, which is really only the works of the flesh, and will follow hard after the Lord. Let us seek to please God as Enoch did, and we will witness a glorious manifestation of His life that will set every captive free. God, in His great wisdom, has linked all of creation’s needs and travails with the glorious transformation of the bodies of the sons of God into bodies like unto Christ’s body. And it is possible that when this glorious transformation does occur, the stones, the trees, shrubs, and grass of the field, as well as all animal life, will lift their voices in praise to Him who has fulfilled His word and satisfied the inherent hope within every created thing" — end quote.

Our wonderful heavenly Father is working out a great purpose in His sonship company in this hour. When God first called us into the move of His Spirit in the days of the Latter Rain outpouring, we were used by the power of the Spirit to see miracles wrought. We saw tumors disappear before our eyes, ruptured discs instantly healed so that people who were bed-ridden rose up and went back to work. Multitudes of people received miracles and the baptism in the Spirit by the laying on of our hands. Angels appeared in the meetings, and mighty signs and wonders took place. Then — just as suddenly as the miracles began, they ended — the river stopped flowing and we saw that it was not working like it did.

Nothing had changed in our life, we had not lost our faith, we had not disobeyed the Lord, we had not gone into error, we had not backslidden or fallen into sin. I went to the Lord and I said, "Father, how is it that it is not like it used to be? What is happening?" After some time of searching the mind of the Spirit about this, the Lord clearly answered, saying, "Son, I have shown you my power that you might know me in that measure. But many have misused my power, and disgraced my name. Now I am doing a new thing. I will withdraw my power for a season that I may call my chosen ones aside and speak to them in the deepest part of their being. I must put my hand of dealing upon them as I did upon Moses, David, and my Son Jesus. I will call them into the wilderness of testing and I will deal with them there.

I will purge, purify, instruct, mature, and perfect my sons for the day of unveiling.

"When they are prepared for it I will move again in a power a thousand times greater than you have ever witnessed! I will fill them with my glory and they will not go haywire. They will not get exalted. They will not use the power to their own ends. Neither will they use and abuse my people and fleece the flock. They will not build a kingdom around themselves. They will not drag my name down into the mire of carnality, flesh, sin, and shame. They will not touch success and then forget about me. They will obey me in all things for they shall be my sons in whom I am well pleased. They will be a people that has been cleansed and qualified BEFORE I commit the omnipotent power and authority of my kingdom into their hands. They will be my very own sons made perfect in me. They are going to do wonders, but such as you have never seen before! All nations will be moved by their word, and all things upon earth will be transformed by their touch. Through them my kingdom will come in power and demonstration and creation shall be set free." And I cried, "Oh God, let it be so!" The Lord has been faithful to His word. Today I see a vast company of sons in preparation throughout the extremities of the earth! His work in us is deep, powerful, and effective!

The hour of manifestation draweth near!

There is a difference between learning about and learning. I can learn about football or baseball. I can learn why the referee whistles offside or penalizes a player for clipping. I can learn all about curve balls, strikes, stealing bases, home runs, and outs. I can enjoy watching it. I’ve learned about it. But when players learn a sport, that’s very different. They do more than memorize rules and understand strategies. They learn it with mind and body through grueling practice and experience. Reflexes are tuned, muscles trained, body coordinated. Their learning goes on. No player becomes master of a sport in one or two practice sessions. The elect must learn Christ! "But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus" (Eph. 4:20-21). Such learning goes beyond rules, doctrines, or revelations! It’s a process of putting off the old nature and putting on the new. It’s a process of being transformed by the renewing of our mind. It’s a process of learning obedience through the things we suffer. It’s a transformation into God’s likeness! It’s more than learning about Christ.

It’s becoming like Him!

The overcomer is one who STANDS TALL IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD. No weight on earth, however heavy, shall be able to hold down or bend earthward those who "come up over" all things. Though the weight of influence and earthly love should cling to these sons of God; though the pressures and problems and perplexities of life should crowd in upon these; though the fear of man and the desire to please man should strive to impede their way; though adversity, calamity, sorrow, tragedy, reversal, and trouble should howl at their heels, none of these weights shall be able to hold down, overcome, discourage, intimidate, upset, frustrate, perplex, or in any way affect those who dwell in union with the Christ who has overcome the world! Though all hell should strive to turn these downward, it shall not prevail; though every foe and earthly friend should conspire together, it shall make the sons of God keep their faces more prayerfully and constantly looking unto Him, their forerunner, as they follow on to know, experience, and appropriate His glorious triumph as their very own!

If you would know the fullness of the spirit of HIS MIGHT within you, if you would have His mighty power at work in and through you, then bow very low in reverence before the holy presence that dwells within you, that asks for your surrender to His guidance and will in even the least of things. Live as one given up to a power that has the complete mastery over you, that has complete possession of your inmost being, of your will, mind, emotions, and desires. Seek not, dear one, to use the spirit of His Might within you; let the spirit of might have possession of you and you shall surely stand in your lot among the overcoming sons of God! This Spirit is given to them that obey Him (Acts 5:32).

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14).

In the Belgian Congo, the weather was hot and dank. No breath of air stirred; leaves hung from the trees as though they were weighted. In the garden not far from the missionary home a small boy played under a tree. Suddenly, the father called to him: "Philip, obey me instantly — get down on your stomach!" The boy reacted at once, and his father continued, "Now crawl toward me fast." The boy again obeyed. After he had come about half way, the father said, "Now stand up and run to me." The boy reached his father and turned to look back — hanging from the branch under which he had been playing was a fifteen-foot serpent. In like manner, my beloved, OBEDIENCE TO THE FATHER is the route to victory over that ancient serpent, which is the devil and satan, who lurks and slithers about in our own carnal mind. If you have received the call to sonship, the voice of the Father is speaking in your land! He is speaking from deep within you, out of the holy sanctuary of your spirit, and you hear His voice every day.

They err who want the fullness of the Spirit and power of God before they obey.

Obedience! It is a tender listening to the voice of the indwelling Spirit and faithfulness to obey every word that He is speaking from within our inner temple that prepares the hearts of God’s sons for the fullness of God! When God commanded Israel to build Him a holy place, that He might dwell among them and be their God, He said to Moses, "According to all I show thee, the pattern of the dwelling, even so shall ye make it." And so we find in the last two chapters of Exodus, eighteen times the expression that all had been made "as the Lord commanded." It was in a house thus built, to His mind, the perfect expression of His will, that GOD CAME TO DWELL. And when the greater house, the true temple of God, came and stood in the earth His declaration was, "Lo, I come to DO THY WILL, O God! In the volume of the book it is written of me." God comes down to dwell in fullness in THE SONS OF OBEDIENCE!

I recall reading, years ago, about a man who had been traveling across America. He came to a wide river and could see on the other side the lights of a city. In order to get there to spend the night, he had to cross this strange and frozen river which was several hundred yards across. He began to walk carefully, one step at a time, until he got ten, twenty, thirty yards out over the river. At that point, being filled with fear he got down on his knees, feeling his way with his hands, afraid that at any moment the ice would give way, plunging him into the black and icy waters beneath.

Finally, his fear so overcame him that he laid himself out flat upon the ice and began to inch along, his heart pounding within. As he reached the middle of the river he heard singing coming from behind him and from one side. Hearing the crunching hooves, he saw a large wagon filled with logs pulled by four horses coming from behind him and about fifty feet to one side, galloping along across the river while the driver sang loudly. As they passed by, he, of course, got up and walked confidently the rest of the way! Ah, just as the wagon load of logs was the proof the traveler could safely cross the river, so the firstborn Son of God, who overcame all things, who was perfected, who pleased the Father, who manifested the glory of God, who conquered sin, death and the grave, and is set down with the Father in His throne, is Himself the living proof that EVERY SON OF GOD CAN OVERCOME ALL THINGS AND MAKE IT IN TO THE FULLNESS OF GOD! Jesus victoriously strode across the sea of sin, sorrow, limitation, and death and with a shout of triumph stepped onto the other side. Be encouraged, my brother, my sister, for He is the forerunner for all who stand tall in His faith and arise to "go over to the other side."

GOD’S SCHOOL FOR OVERCOMERS
So many Christians today are satisfied with merely an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour. Their eyes are blinded to eternal values, and any efforts to lead them on to higher ground are rebuffed and resisted by a human reasoning which asks why one should waste time on them since they are saved. But our initial salvation, while it is the most astounding miracle of the ages, yet is the birth of a mere spiritual infant. There are many further steps which must follow this birth if one is to come into all the glories and the full heritage which is prepared for those who follow on to know the Lord. And not one of us has come all the way up to our full privileges in Christ! There is great glory and heavenly wealth awaiting those who become fully equipped unto God’s ultimate purpose. Salvation is nothing more than an awakening to a never-ending heavenly God-kind of life. Then the recipient may become a heavenly billionaire, or remain a heavenly pauper. Our initial quickening (salvation) is a free gift through unmerited mercy and favor. But heavenly attainments of wealth and glory and power are given to those who have salvation, and then go on and grow up "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

The first three chapters of the book of Revelation, which are devoted to the overcomer, reveal through the seven overcoming promises the seven steps through which an overcomer grows in his walk of sonship to God. Each step represents a new level of spiritual maturity available to each member of the elect in his own lifetime. Each of the seven churches represents areas of short comings or testings which must be dealt with in our lives. It is only as we overcome in each area that we will apprehend within our lives the reality promised to those who overcome. The promise simply speaks of an attainment of the life and glory of God in our experience till we find ourselves seated with Him on His throne (Rev. 3:21). Once the seven promises are fulfilled within us, the victorious believer is then complete, mature, and has attained the first resurrection.

You have watched a violinist playing an exquisite sonata, seemingly without any effort at all, drawing his bow gently across the strings and bringing out of the instrument a depth and poignancy of tone that makes your soul tremble. You pick up the same bow and draw it across the same strings, and it will sound exactly like the hair of one animal being scraped over the entrails of another. It simply means that musical skill does not come naturally. You have to work and struggle for years in order to play a violin effortlessly and beautifully.

Nor does perfection in the image of Christ come naturally!

According to the laws of nature, it is necessary to grow gradually by stages in order to attain perfection. In this way alone can we make ourselves ready and fit for the destiny for which we have been created! Sudden or hurried progress leaves us weak and imperfect. The oats which grow in a few weeks in Texas do not yield the same nourishment as the wheat which takes six months to ripen. The bamboo grows three feet daily in tropical climates and shoots up as high as one hundred and eighty-five feet, but it remains empty and hollow within. It cannot compare in strength and durability to the tree which grows over hundreds of years. Slow and gradual progress, therefore, is necessary for perfection. God has given us a life-time to be conformed into the image of His Son and that is how long it usually takes! Time is one of God’s agents. He knows how to use it! He won’t put authority upon a life that hasn’t been subjected to time. Jesus was thirty years old before He started His ministry. Moses was eighty.

As someone has pointed out, wouldn’t it be a sad thing to tell a child in the first grade, "Today we’re going to study trigonometry?" The teacher must begin instead by saying, "If you had one apple and I had one apple, and we put those apples together, how many apples would we have?" God reveals to us only that with which He can trust us, and He reveals to us what we need to know in and for our day of manifestation. Jesus said that ALL THINGS are possible by faith. Now, do not go out and expect to flap your ears and fly to the moon! There is an order of things. God has a law of development. He does not create a great Sequoia tree overnight. The giant Redwoods of California were not made in a day. God causes them to grow slowly. And so God would cause us to develop and grow in grace, faith, love, wisdom, understanding, and power!

Psalms 120 to 134 are called Psalms or "Song of Degrees."

Each Psalm represents a degree or step up the ascending pathway to Jerusalem and the house and throne of the Lord. The people of Israel sang these songs as the caravans of pilgrims made their way up the mountains to attend the feasts of the Lord in Jerusalem. On what we know as Palm Sunday Jesus began the ascent to Jerusalem. It was there that as He drew near and saw the city He wept over it, saying, "Would that thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!" (Lk. 19:41). One still "ascends" to Jerusalem, because Jerusalem is a city set on a hill, and from all points of the compass you have to climb to get there. To the spiritual Holy City and the true House and Throne of the Lord one ascends also in a spiritual sense! This spiritual ascent from the lowlands of the flesh, the natural mind, and the human consciousness is being fulfilled in the lives of the Lord’s people today. In this wonderful hour at the junction of the ages, a company of chosen ones is ascending in the Spirit up to the realm of perfection and glory and life.

Seven churches speak to us of different dimensions of growth which all the Lord’s elect must pass through. The Greek word for church (ekklesia) means "the out-called" and speaks of people coming out of one realm to come into another realm; a people coming out of one world to enter another world; a people coming out of one mind to possess another mind. Seven churches are seven stages of moving out of one realm into another, out of one state of being into another state of being. The reason the Lord selected those seven churches is because He worked out in them the mystery of the overcoming life, giving us seven promises whereby we can be more than conquerors through Him. You will see in these churches the unveiling of Jesus Christ! You will also see the veil that hides Him in these churches! And you will see the process by which the veil is removed that HE might be revealed in all of His splendor! This is what is being dealt with all through the book of Revelation — the book of the Unveiling. God is dealing with the veil and un-veiling of Jesus Christ! Here you see seven stages of the rending of the veil in the hearts of the saints in order to reveal Jesus Christ in His body. Seven is the symbolic number of completion — representing all it takes to complete the process!

The seven promises to the overcomer represent seven steps of ascent to the throne of God!

The first promise is, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7). The final promise is, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne" (Rev. 3:21). Thus the ascent is from the tree of life to the throne of God! Our first need, we learn from the promises, is Life. All subsequent promises of transformation and attainment mark the upward path to glory. None of them are attainable until we have Life. And we cannot reach the throne until we have passed through them all in succession. Each reward is greater than the preceding one!

Each step in the process of overcoming brings us closer to the authority and power of Christ’s throne. We now see a new generation of Israel’s pilgrims walking these steps to glory! They are the firstfruits, the pilgrims of the new order of the kingdom of God. They are nearing the highest step of the seven, and will soon make their grand entrance into the full glory of God’s Christ. Each promise to the overcomer reveals a definite and powerful step in the realization of Christ in our lives. All who are apprehended of the Father unto the fullness of God are diligently walking up that ascending pathway. They are daily applying themselves to this walk! By the strength and power of the Christ within, they are walking upward one step at a time. As we walk up the ascending pathway to the throne, we experience within ourselves all that each promise to the overcomer embodies. When we have arrived at the last step, we will then have experienced within ourselves the authority, power, and dominion of God’s omnipotent and universal throne!

We will be able by the Spirit of God to rule over all things as sons of God!

Ray Prinzing has aptly expressed this truth thus: "The overcomer’s path is one of progressive development that there might be adequate preparation for the next step, and sufficiency for the situation. If we are now yielded to the Spirit of the Lord, and God is having His way in us day by day, at the appointed hour He always has His people fully prepared for what unfolds. This is why we have the pressures of today, that they might be instruments in His hands, to develop and train us, so that when the greater battles arise, we’re conditioned and ready for them. He instills the inner call and longing, urging us to go on to perfection. It becomes a paradox, for while He is our peace, and rest, etc., yet in another sense He will not let us rest, but steadily motivates us to go on into His fullness. He builds up an internal pressure that demands we respond, for He causes the vision to be so compelling that we must give heed and follow Him. What force, what pressure is urging us onward today! How unique that HE sets us on a quest to come into more of Him, even while all the time HE IS WORKING IN US to make it become a reality.

"He says, ‘You will seek me, inquire for and require me (as a vital necessity) and find me; when you search for me with all your heart’ (Jer. 29:13, Amplified). Yet we say, He has never been lost, we are not seeking to find a lost God. He is only prompting us to search Him out because of what this works within us as we seek Him. And all the time He is RIGHT THERE, and states, ‘I will be found of you, says the Lord’ (Jer. 29:14). Bless His wonderful name! Thus, prevenient GRACE takes from man every vestige of credit for the act of coming — it all originates with God! ‘DRAW ME, we will run after Thee’ (S.of S. 1:4). Run is a response to His drawing! He makes us so thirsty that we become desperate for Him. ‘As the hart panteth after the water brooks so pants my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God’ (Ps. 42:1-2). How well the Psalmist knew this INNER URGING. It was not yet in all of his brethren, hence they could not understand him. Why must he be so insistent about seeking after God? Why can’t he be satisfied with the usual religious fare? BECAUSE GOD FIRST — God first put this desire deep within his being, and God will not let him be satisfied with anything less than His divine fullness and reality" — end quote.

God’s highest purpose is for every son of God to come to the full stature of Christ during the years of this life here on earth in the flesh! The term of our life in this present mortal condition is given: "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away" (Ps. 90:10). Thus our years in this corruptible form is set by God at seventy years. But what is the purpose of our seventy years of earth-life? Paul attempted to answer this question when he wrote, "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" (II Cor. 4:16). Seventy years are determined as the average life-span of man in the flesh for the purpose of bringing the carnal man of sin and lack and limitation to an end, and of raising up the spiritual man to the maturity and perfection of Christ.

This is a day of instant things. In this fast-paced, fast-food society, we are used to having things as we want them, when we want them. Everything is instant. We can walk into a room and get instant light, heat, or air conditioning by flipping a switch. We get up in the morning and drink instant coffee, eat instant oatmeal, instant soup, instant mashed potatoes, and instant other things too numerous to name. If it isn’t instant, then we turn on the microwave. All too often we expect instant results in our spiritual life — instant perfection, instant power, instant maturity, instant sonship! But, dear one, God doesn’t believe in shortcuts! Haste in the high and holy things of the kingdom of God is freighted with grave danger. As George Hawtin once pointed out, when the almighty Creator plants a redwood tree in the womb of mother earth, He is looking forward in infinite wisdom and patience perhaps five thousand years to a day when it is a towering monarch in the forest. Think it not strange, then, that He would spend the entire span of a man’s brief life-time in bringing to perfection a saint who is to rule the world as a son of God, bringing life and order out of the dreadful death and chaos that everywhere reigns upon earth. The wonder is that it does not take much longer. Let us, therefore, not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.

This is the only God-ordained method by which all creation shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption! Seventy years are determined for the fulfillment of this purpose in each one of us and it is ample time for the process to be completed! I do not see that one must be re-cycled again and again, as the pagan doctrine of reincarnation asserts. Certainly God deals with humanity beyond this life, but SEVENTY YEARS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH TO COMPLETE THE WORK IF WE YIELD TO THE DEALING HAND OF GOD. Of the firstborn Son it is written, "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him. And he went down with them (Mary and Joseph), and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Lk. 2:40,51-52). It took Jesus only thirty years to attain to the full stature of sonship to God! In thirty-three and a half years He had not only demonstrated the sonship life and ministry, but had overcome all sin, every device of satan, and the power of corruption and death itself, and ascended to the universal throne of His heavenly Father!

Although we see the seventy year span of this life-time as being provided to bring forth a matured and perfected son of God, nevertheless, we know that our God is omnipotent and not bound by time or any of the other restraints that man would place upon Him. If our mighty, omnipotent Father chooses to bring a person to the maturity and perfection of sonship in a few years or a few days, that is His prerogative to do so. Since we are living in the days when the Holy Spirit has sovereignly and supernaturally sent forth the call to sonship, and is accelerating His dealings and purpose, it is altogether possible that the Lord will set apart individuals for this sonship calling who will be brought to maturity at a much faster rate, just as He did with His firstborn Son. The Lord is well able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we may ask or even think without consulting us or conforming to ideas and doctrines we may have. On the other hand, God can reach out beyond the grave and bring back by resurrection those who have walked with Him as sons in this life, but who went by way of the grave because the hour of manifestation had not yet arrived. We cannot put God in a box! But regardless of the time involved in our perfection and transformation, it is a process, and not performed apart from Father’s dealings in our lives and our growth and development into Him!

How gracious and wise is our God in all of His ways! The Bible is literally packed full of mysteries, parables, types, shadows, and allegories, which are only unfolded by the Holy Spirit to THOSE WHO FOLLOW ON TO KNOW THE LORD. Jesus once spake a parable which holds a revelation of unspeakable glory for all who would be conformed to the image of God’s Son. The parable occupies just two short verses, but its message is a thing of tremendous importance to those who yearn to grow up into Christ. Jesus said, "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these""(Mat. 6:28-29).

Consider the lilies!

What gives exceptional meaning to this object lesson from the lips of Jesus is, that He was not only the author of the parable, but the creator of the lilies. It is like an inventor describing his own machine. He made the lilies and He made man and He makes the New Creation — all on the same broad principle. All together, lilies, men, and sons of God, He gives life and causes to grow and develop into beauty and maturity. So Jesus points to the miracle of nature in the plant kingdom to teach us how to live a free and natural life in Christ, a life which God will unfold for us, without anxiety or effort, just as He UNFOLDS THE FLOWER.

These wonderful words of Jesus were not uttered to inspire us to become horticulturists; we are not to consider the lilies simply to admire their beauty, to wonder at the delicate strength of stem and petal. The thing we are urged to consider is — HOW THEY GROW! Without anxiety or effort the flower blooms into loveliness; without weaving or press the leaves are formed; without artist’s paint or brush the flower is tinted with exotic hues; without toiling these complex tissues spun themselves; without any effort or struggle they slowly came created from the loom of God in their "greater than Solomon" glory. Oh, the wonder of it! The lily has only to remain where it has been planted, drink deeply of the rain the Father sends upon it, and the sun He shines profusely day by day. Trusting and resting in the Father’s care the lilies grow. Consider this, O child of God, concerned that you might not be able to attain the beautiful stature of God’s Christ. Consider the lilies — HOW THEY GROW!

Everything grows without trying, and, on the other hand, nothing can grow by trying!

No man by taking thought has ever added a cubit to his stature, nor has any son or daughter of God ever approached nearer to the stature of the Lord Jesus by working at it! Jesus did not become the Son of God by working — He became the Son of God by growing! Any who thinks to reach this blessed height by anxious effort is really departing from it. Christ’s life unfolded itself from a divine seed, planted centrally in His nature, which grew as naturally as a flower from a bud. Only life can do that! For a seed to germinate, sprout, grow, change, develop into a plant of beauty and grace requires the power of an indwelling life. Therefore the man who has within himself this great power — the life of Christ — contains within himself all that is needful to become a son of God! The man who does not have this life active in him cannot be transformed, but the man who has it must be. The life must develop out according to its type; and being a seed of the Christ life, it must unfold into A CHRIST. The end of the growth process is perfection, the mind of Christ, the character of Christ, the power of Christ!

Do not worry, dear ones, as to whether you seem to be making progress or not.

There is nothing in the world that grows so fast that you can see it grow! Let God be the judge of how much or how little you have grown. Your duty and mine is to abide in Him, resting in faith, pressing patiently toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ. Rising spontaneously from the dust of earth, shaped into beauty by secret and invisible fingers, the lilies develop we know not how. But we do not doubt it. Every day it is done; it is nature, it is GOD. We are spiritual enough at least to understand that! But when the Christ-life within us rises slowly above the thoughts of the carnal mind, pushing up its pure nature in the teeth of the desires of the self-life, bursting forth into manifestation through the hard clods of the flesh, shaping itself mysteriously into the image of Christ, we often imagine that our own efforts and zeal have contributed substantially to the process! A strong will, we think; hours of prayer, days of fasting, faithfulness to the Lord’s work, Bible reading, study, and sheer determination — these account for our growth. Not so! Spiritual stature is not the product of anxious work, self-command, self-denial, or self-control. We confess that the growth of the little lily IS A MIRACLE, spontaneous, instinctive, uncompelled, but somehow we must fret and toil and spin. Ah, Christ in us is not formed by great effort, but by a great POWER! It is the power of His indwelling Life!

Yes, there is a realm of "doing," where, like Christ, we must be about our Father’s business, working the works of Him that sent us. But these are works which are the RESULT OF HIS LIFE IN US, not a means to His life. Christ is the cause, works are the effect. It is when men try to make works the cause of their becoming spiritual that they have missed the mark. There is no work on earth that can make you spiritual! But His life in us will surely manifest itself in righteousness, love, mercy, compassion, giving, blessing, touching creation. Become still, my beloved, before the God of all grace and glory and you will soon learn that you do not need to go out in search of the conditions and elements of your growth in Christ; they, rather, WILL COME IN SEARCH OF YOU!

A dear friend of ours in the city of Detroit shared this meaningful experience with us some years ago following a message I brought along this line. She said, "I will never forget my first day in school in a rural community in the South. I arrived alone, but refused to go inside. I didn’t think that I would enjoy school, and was quite certain that I didn’t need an education. In my childish mind I made a firm decision not to go to school at all. Quickly I passed by and went straight to my grandmother’s home. Grandmother, surprised at seeing me, asked, ‘Why, Veta, what are you doing here? Didn’t school start today?’ I actually felt that I was in command and could carry out my plans, so I replied with finality, ‘I have decided not to go to school!’

"Grandmother was a wise old woman, and appeared to respect my decision. She didn’t scold, but sadly said, ‘I’m so sorry to hear that, Veta. I’m really disappointed that you aren’t going to school. You see, grandmother needs someone to write letters for her, and I had hoped that you would go to school and learn to write. I thought you would be the one to write the letters for me.’ I loved my grandmother very much, and her words impacted my childish mind. I changed my mind, deciding to go to school just long enough to learn how to write. I left grandmother’s, made my way back down the road to school, arriving late, of course, and walked in with my hat and coat on for I was certain that I would be there for only a short time.

"The teacher was very understanding and quite gentle with me. Later, I found myself at the blackboard, chalk in hand, the teacher’s hand upon mine, showing me how to make the number 2 along with the letters of the alphabet. After some minutes I asked the teacher when would we get on with the writing. Suddenly the whole prospect loomed menacingly before my mind and irritatedly I inwardly shouted, ‘If we don’t go faster than this, I’m going to be here ALL DAY!’ And I was, of course. I went back to school the next day, and the next, and the next for many years to come! I became a star student, and a joy to my grandmother."

So, God omnipotent and omniscient, has established here upon earth a School for the training of those destined to be the future rulers of the universe. This school is known as "the church." None shall ever rule upon the throne of the Father who has not graduated from this School! And what a great Teacher we have! One begins in God’s School of Kingship and Priesthood in the very first grade. We start with the ABC’s. God opens the class and says, "Now children, we are going to learn how to rule. To rule means to govern, to control, to be master over that which is ruled. You can never rule anything until first you overcome it within yourself. To overcome means to ‘come up over’ that which is over you! When, within yourself, you rise above the circumstance, the problem, the fear, the habit, the limitation, so that it no longer dominates you, you are then ready to control it, to no longer be the victim of circumstances, but the master of them." So, the nitty-gritty of everyday life is the classroom where God teaches us by experience how to overcome, how to reign, how to bless, how to love, how to redeem and restore, how to have compassion, how to use power with understanding and wisdom — how to be a King and Priest in His kingdom!

Every child of God called to sonship is now in school! We may feel that we have graduated from school long ago, but that is a mistake; we hadn’t even started to school at that time. When you received the call to sonship and departed from the comfort of the religious norm, and went out in the world on your own, you really then, started to school. When God drew you out of the religious systems of man and separated you unto Himself you may have felt you "graduated" into a new realm — and you certainly did! You graduated from kindergarten! And immediately you were enrolled in the first grade of God’s SCHOOL OF SONSHIP. In this school there are several courses taught, but every student must major in overcoming, which is the hardest course to master and finish known in any curriculum in the world today. This matter of disciplining one’s thoughts, desires, emotions, habits; of training one’s soul and body to function on the level of the mind, wisdom, nature, and power of Christ is of the greatest importance and spells the difference between success and failure in the Kingdom of God. To finish this course marks the difference between being in the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus, or remaining a babe in Christ, a nominal citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven.

God will never give up on us! He is investing in us with every intention of receiving a harvest and expanding His kingdom. Our all-wise Father sees our potential. He knows our capacity to grow and develop. He is keener at discerning it than we are! He is also well aware of our weaknesses, and is ready to help. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," said Paul. The children of God make a lot of mistakes, for children are children, both naturally and spiritually. Our ability to learn from our mistakes is part of what God uses to build character in us. In the book of Revelation we read that it is the overcomers — those who don’t leave God’s school or resign from His purposes — who ultimately are given power in His kingdom. Have you made costly mistakes? Have you been stumbling and seemingly wasting God’s time? Don’t resign! Don’t leave God’s school! His investment in you is too great! He will see you through! Regardless of how difficult the lessons, graduation day is coming! The positions in His authority and glory are waiting! Learn the lessons that will help you to better serve in the kingdom of God. As you do, great heavenly wealth and power and opportunity to bless and restore all things lie ahead for you. Through you creation will be lifted, redeemed, restored to life and liberty and glory — and that’s just the beginning!

Let us learn our lessons well — and let us never presume that we have attained to something in God that we have not yet qualified for. And never let us grasp after a place or position the Father has not conferred upon us. There is no need to DECLARE OUR SONSHIP — the Father Himself declares His sons! "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased…hear ye Him" the voice from heaven said and will say again. Some have grown weary of waiting for the manifestation God has promised, so they have decided that what they term "classical sonship" was mistaken, and have "watered-down" the hope and settled for a lesser reality, and are calling themselves sons on a lower plane than God has called us to. Some are trying to tell us that if we get out and do all the religious things we used to do, moving in Passover and Pentecostal power, saving souls, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, blessing lives, touching humanity — that is manifest sonship. NO IT ISN’T! That is all good, there is nothing wrong with saving souls and blessing mankind! But we have been doing that for two thousand years and it has not brought the kingdom into all the earth, saved the nations, or delivered creation from the bondage of corruption. It has not eradicated sin, sorrow, and death from the planet! THAT IS NOT SONSHIP! These anxious souls just cannot wait for the Father’s appointed time. The place that God has called us to will be in His time, not ours. "The heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father" (Gal. 4:1-2).

Some of us have been in school for a long, long time and have moved through many levels of God’s teaching. We have been passing from grade to grade, from realm to realm, from experience to experience, from discipline to discipline, from dimension to dimension in God. We have moved through the tabernacle with all of its furnishings and compartments, and we have now come to the Holiest of all. We have partaken of the Lord’s feasts one after another, and He has now brought us to the feast of tabernacles. We have arrived at the threshold of the third day. God still has plenty of time to finish His work, for His plan is a plan of the ages. We have passed through ages within ourselves. God has brought us from Abraham to the Manchild in our brief life-time, for the ages are within us.

It is vital and necessary for us to grow spiritually from faith to faith, from one dimension of faith to another, for the salvation we seek is revealed in that manner. "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed FROM FAITH TO FAITH: as it is written, The just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17). There are steps of spiritual progress in our walk unto the fullness of salvation. With each step of spiritual progress we take, the salvation we have been promised is revealed to us "precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little" (Isa. 28:10) until we shall stand complete in Him and as He is.

GREAT CHANGES ARE TAKING PLACE NOW IN THE LIVES OF GOD’S ELECT.

We are being changed "from glory to glory" by the Spirit of the Lord! We are not of those who come to a certain understanding of God and His purposes and then settle down in that spiritual "place," to await a change that will come some day. Our change will certainly be consummated at a time yet to come, but the changes must take place progressively within us NOW! Each step that we have taken in God has made us the more mature and victorious believer that we are now in the kingdom of our Father. We cannot hope to be transformed in that "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" appearing of Christ if we fail to take any of the revealed steps of spiritual growth, which are revealed to us by the Spirit in the glorious promises to the overcomers out of the seven churches, and are necessary for our complete and total transformation. Each step of spiritual growth in God is an indispensable and essential part of our full salvation!

The promises of God are vast and varied. Some of them are free and can be obtained very easily. That is why so many people receive them! But if you would be a king and priest in the kingdom of God and receive the power to bless and deliver creation; if you would learn the life and authority of the government of God in preparation to take the kingdom and reign with Christ, then that is a different thing altogether. You must become a follower of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. It takes patience to attain any worthy goal. It takes endurance too! No man having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom of heaven. We do not attain sonship by a single bound. Neither do we qualify to reign with Christ in a moment of time. It is not something you receive one night at the altar. We have need of patience. We must through faith and patience grow up to the spiritual age of thirty. We are becoming mature ones through experience.

Only such can serve as the king-priests of the Most High!

To be continued…

Saturday, October 13, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 34

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 34) by J. Preston Eby

THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS (continued)
"But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate" (Rev. 2:6). "So thou hast also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate" (Rev. 2:15).

When the Lord was showing John on Patmos what the seven churches would be like, He commended the church at Ephesus because they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which the Lord also detested. In Pergamos, the third church, these deeds had become accepted doctrine, which the Lord also hated. When a name appears in the scriptures its meaning sheds light upon the spiritual reality behind the name. What are these Nicolaitanes? We understand when we know what the name means! Nicolaitane comes from two Greek words: nikao, which means "to rule over" or "to conquer," and laos, which means "the laity" or "the people." Put these definitions together and you get a domineering ruling class within the body of Christ whose main agenda is to get the upper hand, conquer, subordinate, and subdue those who they consider "less gifted," "less knowledgeable," or "less qualified" than themselves!

In the religious world there are those called "clergy" and there are those who are called "laity." These are titles that have come to us from religious Babylon! What were the "deeds" of the Nicolaitanes? They were exalting the "clergy" over the "laity"! The clergy class were dominating the laity, the people. The clergy exalted themselves whereas the laity were abased. The clergy became the authority, the power, the lordship in the church. They became the fountain of all truth, they had the last word, they called all the shots. The rest of us poor folks are just "laity," the dumb sheep that just follow and do what we are told.

When there is a great move of God there always follows a move of man. I have been blessed by God’s grace to be a part of some great moves of God that came into the earth in former years. These were sovereign moves of the Holy Spirit, and He moved upon those He chose to move upon. What glory there was! What power! What manifestations of the Spirit! What revelation of the Lord in the midst! What discernment by the Spirit! What liberty for the Holy Ghost to work! What love and respect for one another! It was God overflowing men beyond themselves.

Well do I remember the day when the revival reached a certain point and a meeting was called. Some of the spiritual leaders had reached the conclusion that having begun in the Spirit we now needed to be made perfect by the flesh. Oh, that’s not how they expressed it! They had reached the conclusion that because of the increase in the work of God we needed a little more cohesion and structure. It was imperative upon us to take some measures to "protect" the work of God from certain extremes, from the immature, from false doctrine, and from the wolves. In that decisive moment the long arm of flesh reached out in the name of the Lord to put its clammy hand to the beautiful work of the Spirit! As this effort was organized the deeds of the Nicolaitanes became the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes and a new man-made "order" was inaugurated. I do not hesitate to tell you that I fled from their midst as fast as my legs would carry me, never to return! Today there is barely a flicker of the revelation and glory of those former days.

Man seeks by the wisdom of the carnal mind and by fleshly means to protect and control the move of God — supposedly to keep it pure, to safeguard it, to preserve and maintain the status quo, and to keep out all who are not worthy. As soon as man puts his hand to the move, the Spirit flees, the anointing lifts, and the glory departs! Soon there is no life anymore — everything becomes organized, structured, controlled, systematized, just a going through the motions of what was once a beautiful flow of life and light and power. This concept of the "authority" of God’s ministers shows up after every new moving of the Spirit of God in the earth! It is showing up now among sonship and kingdom people! The phraseology changes from time to time, but the basic concepts remain the same. But whatever the phraseology or methodology, it is still THE DEEDS AND DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITANES!

Where, then, is safety to be found? Safety lies only in such a recognition of the absolute folly of the control of leaders and the utter apostasy of the religious systems of man as will lead us to pass by all merely human authority, tradition, and methods to seek only and always the divine illumination and sovereign guidance of the Holy Spirit of God! Nor do we exclude ourselves from the list of those who should not be followed. We are human as the rest and our works are not yet perfect before God, though we follow after, if by any means we may apprehend that for which also we have been apprehended of God. We do hope that all who read these lines may be able to grant us this one grace — the highest compliment that we can crave — that the burden of our message is to point all men to a personal, living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and to the infallibility of the mind of Christ within each one who has received the spirit of sonship!

The following prophetic utterance given through sister Alma McClure speaks directly to our hearts. "O, look not ye to another, saith the Lord, the holy One of Israel! You are MY sheep; you have been purchased by MY love and sacrifice! I am the Good Shepherd, who has loved you with an everlasting love! LOOK TO ME! For I am a jealous God, and I will not share my glory with another! Why do you look to man, and heap upon him honor and glory? Why do you look to your human pastors, preachers, prophets, and writers as though they were the source of your salvation, your sustenance, your life? Why do you look up to them with reverence, with praise, with pride in them, and swoon at their feet, calling them wonderful, marvelous, mighty men and women of God? Why will you follow after men, rather than after ME? Why will you be blinded by their personalities, their eloquence, their own soulish enthusiasm, which you accept as my anointing?

"O my people! You are MY PEOPLE, and the sheep of MY PASTURE! Return, return unto ME! You have your eyes on those who are or should be MY SERVANTS! You do not even realize that your eyes, your thoughts and your hearts are not centered and focused on ME! You think you keep your eyes on me, but so often, in reality, your eyes have strayed off-center, and although you are aware of me, and your songs contain my name, and your words include praise to me — yet you have let some man or woman step in front of me! You look to the man to speak for me, and have your eyes on him!

"Know you not that when you give glory to man, you are not only opening yourselves for deception, but you are setting that man up for a fall? You are placing that one in a dangerous position, for the Lord must cause that one to come down from his pedestal! Any spark of pride that may be hidden in his heart will be fed and grow dangerously by YOUR praise and exaltation of that man or woman! Awake, thou that sleepest, and return unto ME! I, alone, am your Good Shepherd! Come to ME, and I will feed you with the bread of life, and honey out of the Rock! I shall give you the water of Life, and cause that water to be a living well within you, springing up to satisfy your thirst, and to flow out to bring life to needy souls around you! O, come unto ME, and I will give you all that you need! I will raise up faithful shepherds, who will feed you, and will take no glory for themselves. They will continually point you to ME, and you will no longer say, ‘Isn’t this man (or woman) wonderful!’ But you will see only ME, and say, ‘Wonderful, wonderful Saviour, Redeemer, the Most High, who is King of my life!’ And you shall worship ME, in Spirit and in Truth!"

Those seeking power want to control, to rule over others.

They want to take charge and get their way. They’re not interested in leading by example, by humility, love, counsel, mercy, goodness and the anointing of the Spirit. They manipulate and maneuver to be in a position of authority so they can control others and coerce them to get in line with their vision. Though some accomplish this as masters of deceit, hiding the real truth behind a fa├žade of pious words and pretended spirituality, their domineering spirit becomes evident when those who are supposed to follow don’t, but go on to follow the leading of the Spirit. "Anathema!" cries the ruler. "Rebellion!" cries the tyrant. "Zap!" goes the whip. Power people have little tolerance for people who persist in seeking the mind of the Lord. The religious ranks are swollen with these power grabbers! Authoritarianism is not confined to denominations. It simply appears wherever and whenever prideful, though sincere, men are in authority. Though it has recently resurged under various titles and guises, such as "shepherd," "bishop," "set man," etc., it is an error that will sap the life of God’s saints wherever it gains control. From generation to generation it surfaces under different names, but its three basic tenets remain the same: (1) When we speak, it is God speaking. (2) To resist our authority is to resist God’s authority. (3) Those resisters must be marked as independent, rebellious, and divisive; and must in turn be withstood and publicly denounced and humiliated.

There are precious life-giving ministries in the body of Christ! God is raising up faithful under-shepherds who care for the Lord’s people and serve the elect of God. These minister in the Spirit and by the Spirit in love, humility, and grace. Some of the so-called "offices" have been greatly abused! In both the Old and New Testaments the word for "shepherd" and "pastor" is the same word in Hebrew and Greek. A pastor is simply a shepherd, and a shepherd is a pastor, both naturally and spiritually. The Spirit of God has dealt with me deeply and consistently through many years that the Lord’s people should purge their conversation, purify their terminology, and remove from their thinking processes the multitude of unscriptural expressions carried over from Mystery Babylon. We have both parroted and coined a great many terms that have been so misleading and have led us astray from the way of the Spirit.

We, like the babes in the harlot’s house, often refer to a minister of the gospel as "the pastor" of our church, or some other congregation of saints. To hear all the Christians today constantly talking about "our pastor," "their pastor," "your pastor," "my pastor," and "the pastor," one would certainly be led to believe this position of "the pastor" must indeed be one of the cardinal doctrines and most highly acclaimed offices in the New Testament! The fact is, precious friend of mine, the term "the pastor" is entirely foreign to the Word of God and non-existent in the early church! It is an extra-biblical term! There was no one single man in the whole New Testament writings who ever occupied a position called "the pastor." Not one church raised up by the first apostles had any such ministry as "the pastor." Oh, yes, there were "pastors" plural (Eph. 4:11) mentioned only once in the whole New Testament, but no single minister of God was ever elevated to the position of "the pastor" of an assembly!

There is a good reason for this! You see, the truth is that in every case in the Greek New Testament where the word for pastor (poimen) appears in the singular accompanied by the definite article (the), it is used in reference solely to our Lord Jesus Christ! Thus, He alone is THE PASTOR of the flock, THE SHEPHERD of the sheep! The sweet singer of Israel stated it so aptly in his lovely Psalm when he sang out by the spirit of inspiration, "The LORD is MY SHEPHERD!" That is the same as, "The LORD is MY PASTOR!" But tell a so-called pastor that today, and he will charge you with rebellion! Can we not see by this that any man who takes to himself this title "the pastor," thereby usurps the headship of our precious Lord! And those groups who have plural ministry, but one among them is designated "the senior pastor," "head elder," or some other such title, usurp even more blasphemously the position of the Lord Jesus, since these terms are the spiritual equivalent of "Chief Shepherd." And the Lord alone is the Chief Shepherd! (I Pet. 5:4).

I instructed the brethren among whom I labored in years past that they should never call me "the pastor" or "their pastor" because the Lord alone is The Pastor! I may be "a pastor" but I can never be THE PASTOR! The saints were taught that if one came inquiring after "the pastor" they should be told that the pastor is the Lord. If they were asked, "Who is the pastor here?" they should reply, "The Lord is the pastor here!" Should the inquirer press the point they could then explain that brother Eby is one of the ministries in the body, but THE LORD IS THE PASTOR. God’s people, even the called out elect, have been so saturated, so thoroughly brain-washed in the errors of the carnal church systems of man, until we speak by rote the ridiculous absurdities assimilated in the pews of religious Babylon. How astounded we are when once we learn the truth and discover that the cherished teaching or hallowed practice we have unwittingly assumed to be godly and spiritual is not only unfounded in the Word of God, but is an abomination in the sight of God!

My beloved, if ever you hope to reign with Christ YOU MUST BECOME SUBMITTED TO THE AUTHORITY OF GOD IN THE SPIRIT — THE SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL. And I’m not talking about coming to El Paso and submitting to my ministry, or to any other man, or group of men. It is amazing how "man" conscious even many who have received the call to sonship still are! They are looking for a man, a leader, a star, who can bring them into the fullness of Christ, into immortality and the kingdom. There is such a man, my friend — His name is Jesus! Certainly we should walk in love and humility with our brethren, "submitting ourselves one to another in the fear of God" (Eph. 5:21). But there is only ONE HEAD of the body — the man Christ Jesus! Some time ago I was speaking at a Conference and it had been announced that I wouldn’t be able to be there. At the last minute the Spirit spoke to me that I should go. When I walked in one of the brethren said, "A lot of people who didn’t come because they thought you wouldn’t be here are going to be disappointed." I replied, "That’s good for them!" They shouldn’t be following a man — they should be gathering together unto HIM!

There are men in this word of the kingdom who would lead you to believe that they alone have the words of life, they among all God’s prophets have the true, deeper, spiritual, mystical revelation that will lead the sons to perfection and immortality. Not discerning the Lord’s body, elevating their word and their ministry above all the Lord’s brethren, they draw disciples after themselves. But I tell you the truth and I lie not when I say that no man can minister to you that which he himself does not possess. If a man tells you that he possesses the secret and the truth by which you can save your life and possess physical immortality, yet he himself has neither stopped nor reversed the aging process, only a fool would commit his life into his hands. Ah — there is ONE, my beloved, who HAS STOPPED THE AGING PROCESS, WHO HAS CONQUERED DEATH, WHO IS ALIVE FOREVERMORE, and this One holds the Key, He knows the Secret, He Himself IS the Truth, and I must tell you today HE, AND HE ALONE, HAS THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE! All true ministries in the body of Christ bear one signal mark of distinction: they do not draw followers after themselves, they point all men to the Lord; they do not set themselves up as the last word, the only truth, they do not ask you to submit to them, or follow them to the exclusion of the other ministries in this present truth, but they present you unto HIM WHO IS THE HEAD OVER ALL THINGS TO THE CHURCH, WHICH IS HIS BODY.

I speak the truth when I say that the greatest need in this hour is for the called out people of God to truly KNOW THE LORD FOR THEMSELVES. Let all who treasure the beautiful hope of sonship seek God, and walk with God, and know God, and hear from God, and submit to Him in all His ways, yielding to His will, obeying His word, and God Himself will be your Father and you will sup with Him, and He with you. Ask the guidance of the Holy Spirit, thrust yourself in utter abandonment upon His love and care, and before you realize it you will find yourself digging deep in the storehouse of God’s treasures of wisdom and knowledge and sitting with Him at His banqueting table. He will spread a table before you in the presence of your enemies, He will lead you through green pastures; He will reveal to you fountains of living water flowing from within; He will cause you to rest beside cool, still streams; and HE, the Great Shepherd of the sheep will abide with you and your cup will overflow with the unspeakable riches of His grace and the wonder of His glory, wisdom, and power!

Clearly, the most faithful under-shepherd is not the Great Shepherd of the sheep.

Under-shepherds do not lead the flock! Every flock has only one shepherd. The under-shepherds bring up the sides and the rear to make sure that every sheep follows the shepherd! Those who are closest to the Lord, who know Him best, and are more deeply conformed to His image, can only direct the searching soul to the Lord. They can never satisfy the hunger of the heart that is going out after Him. How we praise God for all the help we have received through every chosen vessel that He has used to draw us onward toward Him, and into a deeper relation to Himself. With what gratitude to God do we remember those whom He has used to point out to us a nearer approach to the reality of God. How tenderly we look back upon every faithful servant and child of His, who brought us new light, who stirred within us a deeper hunger for God, who opened to us an understanding of His great plan and purpose in us, who provoked us to holy jealousy and emulation through their godly lives.

How we praise God for those who warned and instructed us through the exhortation and admonition that they gave in the hour of need, or in times of weakness or immaturity. How our hunger for Reality, abandonment to God’s will, and desire to follow the Lamb all the way to mount Zion, have been increased as we have seen that mysterious light which radiates from the spirits of those who have soared with Him into the heavenly heights. While we thank God for every instrument He uses in our lives, how little one or all of these precious ones can be, compared with our Beloved, if in any way they take His place and draw us to themselves rather than to Himself. We must esteem every servant and instrument of God "exceeding highly in love for their work’s sake," but we must never permit them to usurp the place of the Good and Great Shepherd in our lives and affections. Therefore the elect of God in this hour have no desire for an under-shepherd to lead them; and when they do not yield to them, they appear as though they were a stranger. But that is not it at all — it is that the Lord Himself is becoming ALL to us!

The following confirmatory words are from Elaine Cook. "During the summer there are always numerous ‘gatherings’ being held. Some have ‘stars’ that you simply must hear! I was praying about this and the Lord answered me. ‘In those in whom I am now coming forth, there are no ‘stars’ so-claimed by men. It is a meek and lowly people — so hidden away and obscure that their names have never been heard in ‘the spiritual market place.’ They are not known for special giftings or mighty prophetic words, but they know Me. This is the standard for My ‘mighties’ of this day — they that know Me! It matters not at all if they are known and acclaimed of man, or even if their brethren know them not. ‘The Lord knoweth them that are His.’ ‘And I know who is paying the price to receive the glory of My nature.

"‘My church does not yet realize that they must become nothing before they can have My true power working in them. The power of gifts is not from the nature of man. It is from the gift that I have given unto the man. I am preparing those who look not for outward gifts to show their spirituality, but whose nature is like Mine because they have been submissive to letting the fire do its work until the strength of the natural man has been utterly subdued. These are My Man in the earth — even that man that is as the fine gold of Ophir. Look for no other man to arise but this one. You shall know them by the nature that has been inworked into them at great cost’" — end quote.

We are still speaking of the deeds and doctrine of the NICOLAITANES — those who would subvert you, rule over you, and control your walk in God. The true church is made up of people who have been quickened by the Spirit and made alive in Christ — not denominations, meetings, or programs. These people can have fellowship one with another, but their spiritual walks are individual paths, sovereignly directed by their heavenly Father. Today, the hierarchical structure of the church systems has grown into a monster that exercises a lordship over the souls of men. When one bows down to a code of limited doctrines, worldly organization, and hierarchical domination, he despises God’s ever-expanding revelation, denies the leadership of the Spirit in his life, and forfeits his own spiritual inheritance.

Walking out your spiritual life under the domination of Nicolaitanism is the repudiation of one’s walk in the liberty and power of the Spirit of God within. The control from the pulpit, the structured programs, orchestrated worship, and formulated creeds are the cataracts of spiritual vision. They make you blind to the on-going purposes of God and the unfolding glory of God! Yielding to their authority is the numbing of the mind of Christ within you. It is your acceptance of serfdom and your abdication of sonship. When you bow to the puppets of Babylon you can never move beyond the little patch of salvation that they control! Under the dominion of "lords" you disavow your submission to Christ the Head, relinquish your personal responsibility to the Father, cast away your spiritual birthright, and sell your soul into servitude. Still, most Christians today prefer the comfort of vassalage in the great slave camps of Babylon, rather than to walk freely with God and develop into spiritual kings and priests. This domination produces children who never grow up! As babes at the breast they are ever dependent upon a suckling church. Thirty years later they will be sitting in the same pew, believing the same things, going through the same motions, standing up when they are told to stand, sitting when they are told to sit, singing when they are told to sing, clapping when they are told to clap, and getting all their life from the actors on the platform.

They never learn to feed themselves or stand tall and strong in the kingdom of God!

THAT, my beloved, is why the Lord hates the deeds of the Nicolaitanes! That is why I hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes! That is why every overcoming son of God hates, detests, abhors, and loathes the deeds of the Nicolaitanes! To the saints in Pergamos the Lord said, in regard to them that held the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, "Repent, or I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth" (Rev. 2:16). The "sword of the Lord’s mouth" is His anointed, living WORD! The Lord Himself is now arising in us to fight against the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitanes by the word of the Lord! Through the power and might of HIS WORD, the Lord will destroy the evil influences of these "blind leaders" and will bring deliverance to His people. But, in the meantime, all true sons of God will have OVERCOME THE DEEDS AND DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITANES! Not one of God’s sons will be found in the bondage of man’s spiritual domination, for they will have overcome that bondage, as we read, "He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; TO HIM THAT OVERCOMETH WILL I GIVE TO EAT OF THE HIDDEN MANNA…" (Rev. 2:17). Indeed, God has "hidden manna" for His overcomers who are able to overcome the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. This ‘hidden manna" is new spiritual food that is reserved only for those who dwell in the Most Holy Place of His Glory! Therefore, the overcomers who overcome the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitanes are seen worshipping WITHIN THE HOLIEST OF ALL.

Amy Semple McPherson was a woman mightily used of God in the early part of the twentieth century. Many remarkable prophecies came from her lips and some of them are as timeless as the prophecies of the scriptures. Here I would share a few that have special significance for God’s elect in these days. These prophecies cover the entire period of church history, from the days of the early church all the way to the manifestation of the sons of God.

THE SIEVE OF THE LORD.

Behold, two hands — strong hands — hands of the Lord; and in His hands is a sieve. He is sifting, sifting, sifting His people. Once they were small, and but as dust — then could God use them, but when they ceased to be small and helpless, when they gathered themselves together in separated lumps, they became big and hard and unyielding, and the Lord wept over them. He could no longer mold or shape or fashion them. There were the lumps of unbelief, and the lumps of pride; those lumps of self and doubts and fears; those lumps of formality and ceremony; God could not put them into the body. He could not form them into that glorious body, for they were no longer yielded and submissive in His hands. Once they were small, but now harder and harder and wider the lumps had grown, until they were blind, deaf and dumb and slow of understanding. Then were formed the lumps of organization and Catholicism. Oh, the stiffness and hardness of those lumps! "I must break them; I must smite them with the hammer of my Word. I must have a broken, sifted people through whom I can have my way. I must separate a peculiar people unto myself."

THE GREAT SIEVE.

Behold the hands of the Lord. He put the broken lumps into the great sieve He held in His hands. The sieve had large meshes, and as He did shake and begin the work of separation, many of the smaller lumps and dust went through the sieve. Many hearts were broken and contrite under His dealings; but the bigger lumps of doubts and fears and unbelief, He had to throw them away. He loved His people, but those who would not become broken, He had to throw aside. Many went through the sieve in those early days. Many of the smaller lumps passed through the coarse sieve, but they were still hard and lumpy.

THE SECOND SIEVE.

So He made another sieve of smaller meshes, and put in His people, who had passed through the first sieve. He shook them and tried them, separated them and sifted them. Many rebelled and refused to go through, so He had to lay them aside. But some went through this second sieve, and precious were they in His sight. Those who went through the sieve had to go through the world. They had to let go one of another; they had to let go of themselves and of the opinions of people. Those who passed through the sieve had to let go all foolishness and pride. O, that sifting — that separating! The Lord gathered them in His hands. There were still a few little lumps. They were still His people; but those who would not believe and be broken, He had to throw aside.

THE FINE SIEVE.

Those who had gone through the sieve were not sifted fine enough, nor little enough to be molded, so the Lord made for Himself a still finer sieve. Who can understand the plan of the Lord? Into the finer sieve He put His people, and He is sifting and trying people, who will let Him have His way. All doubts and fears must be eliminated. All selfishness, the old nature, all desire for earthly honor, popularity, and recognition, must be taken away. All hardness, stiffness, and stubbornness must be taken away. All flesh, even good flesh, must be left behind. All selfish ambitions, all gossip, all earthly, idle words, and foolish communication, all falseness and shallowness, and desire for earthly leadership, must be gathered together and cast out. His people He will try again! He will sift them the second, the third time. The fourth time and the fifth time shall He sift His people. Ah! He shall have a people who can go through the finest sieve — pass the finest test, whose hearts are broken, whose spirits are mellow and yielded and who are abandoned to His will. He shall gather them together; not a grain shall be lost. But He shall gather His people together from the East and from the West, from the North and from the South — from the uttermost part of the earth He shall gather them in. He shall hold and mold them in the palm of His hand as fine dust. Once the lumps were large. They were big and great, but He could not use them. His people are a peculiar, sifted, tried people, who are as the dust of His glorious feet; and with that dust He shall form a body, even as He did from Adam in the beginning, so shall He form this body. They shall be yielded in His hands; they shall be pliable under His dealings. He shall make them into members of the body and fasten them together with cords of love.

FORMING THE BODY.

The Head shall be joined to the neck — the neck to the shoulders. The arms shall take their places in the sockets, and they shall not be stiff, but shall be oiled, and soft and mellow with the Spirit. Their breasts shall be of Faith and Love, and shall be full. All the parts of the Body shall be in their places. The spine shall be formed together, and the loins shall be formed and rest in their sockets. From yielded dust shall be formed strong limbs — legs and pillars of marble, not to be removed. Of the humble members shall He form the feet; they shall be humble, and bear about the other members, yet without feet the body could not walk.

GIVING LIFE TO THE BODY.

Then shall He breathe upon this body — upon His yielded, slain people. He shall breathe life into the nostrils. They shall walk not by flesh, but by the Spirit of the Lord. They shall be strong and do exploits! From the Head shall grow the long hair of separation and praise to God — not one missing.

COMING TO THE BODY.

Soon He cometh! Ah, soon He cometh — this King of glory. His sifted, humble, tried people shall He take by the hand, and stand them upon their feet — many members, one Body, and catch them up to reign with Him upon His throne!

HE THAT HATH AN EAR
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches…" (Rev. 2:7).

Some years ago Harvard astronomers dialed outer space and have been listening for an answer. Their ear, eighty-five feet in diameter, is a receiving dish located near Boston. According to a column in USA Today, this endeavor is the most extensive search ever conducted for intelligent life in outer space. The project is using a sophisticated, computerized radio receiver that allows the scientists to listen and to analyze 128,000 frequencies at once, twenty-four hours a day. Whether this project is still running I don’t know, but listening for intelligent messages from the heavens is an exercise that EVERY SON OF GOD IS ENGAGED IN EVERY DAY! Jesus said, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith." So what was the Lord saying? Each person has two ears — one on each side of his head. But He wasn’t talking about a natural ear! He was talking about a spiritual ear! He was talking about an individual who has the ability to hear what the Spirit is saying from the heavens of God’s Spirit! We can all hear what man is saying, but only one with a spiritual ear can hear what the Spirit is saying! How important it is that we HEAR ARIGHT!

I am reminded of the story of the man who found himself one day in total, abject poverty. Having nothing to eat and no place to spend the night, he knocked on the door of a very big house, in the rich suburb, confident that here he could get a free meal. When the man answered the door he said, "Sir, I’m hungry. Can you give me a meal?" The man said, "No, I will not do that. What I will do is give you an opportunity to earn it. Wait here." A few moments later the rich man came back with a can of paint and a brush and said, "Here you are. You go around the back of the house. You’ll see a porch there. I want you to paint it. When it’s finished you come back here, ring the bell, give me the paint and the brush and I’ll give you a meal." Only a very short time elapsed. The front doorbell rang. The rich man answered it. There was the poor man saying, "I finished the job, now can I have my meal?" The man said, "You have painted the whole porch already?" "Yes, the only thing is, sir, it wasn’t a Porche — it was a Mercedes!"

How often have heard the Lord like that! Because of our dullness of hearing, our lack of spiritual understanding, we misinterpreted the will of God and went down a path not of His bidding. Many of the Lord’s people are like the story I read about Jack Harris. Jack became convinced he was losing his hearing. He went to a specialist, who gave him a thorough checkup. The doctor pulled out a gold watch and asked, "Can you hear this ticking?" Harris said, "Of course." The doctor walked to the door and held up the watch again. "Now can you hear it?" Harris concentrated and said, "Yes, I can hear it clearly." The doctor then walked out the door and into the next room and said, "Can you hear it now?" Harris said, "Yes." The doctor said, "Mr. Harris, there’s nothing wrong with your hearing. You just don’t listen."

It is true — at times we just don’t listen to the Spirit because we are tuned in to our soul, to our own desires, to the voices of strangers, to the world, or to our own natural understanding. The carnal mind is exceedingly dull and spiritually retarded so that truth cannot penetrate! The carnal mind is exactly like the man in a story I read once which told of an Englishman who long ago went on horseback to a certain village to collect a sum of money. As he was returning with his gold tied to his saddle, he stopped at the roadside at noon to eat his lunch. With him was his faithful dog who was his constant companion. He untied the sack of gold and set it beside him that it might not be out of his reach at any time. After he had eaten, he fell asleep for a few moments. Then he mounted his horse and continued his journey. But he forgot his gold. The dog began to run in front of the horse and bark and turn back, but the man went on his way. Then the dog began frantically to snap at the horses heels and turn back. But still his master did not understand. At last he decided that his dog had gone mad. With great reluctance he turned in his saddle and shot the dog through the head. The faithful beast looked at him with questioning eyes; then he dropped in his tracks, and the man went on his way.

Oh, yes! That is just the spirit of religion and the carnal mind! It views the voice of the Spirit and the revelation of Truth as some kind of "madness" and often through history the church systems chose to "shoot the messenger" rather than get off their horse, get down on their knees, and search out what the Spirit was saying, and regain their inheritance!

The Lord is speaking to His called out, yet not everyone is hearing it. So the admonition comes, "He that hath an ear, let him hear!" Yes, let him know that to overcome in this area of hearing is to receive all the promises, to gain the inheritance. As Ray Prinzing has often said, you cannot live on a borrowed revelation. The Spirit must personally quicken it to you, that it becomes life in your own heart, and light upon your pathway, if you are to walk it out and receive within yourself the promise it contains. May we continually be able to say with Samuel, "Speak, Lord; for Thy servant heareth" (I Sam. 3:9). Then we will be established in the new purposes of God! When the Lord says, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches," in the minds of most people this is interpreted as saying, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Bible says." You are not going to hear what the Spirit says as long as you are only Bible-oriented. We thank God for the scriptures, for they testify of Him and of His great plan and purpose, but we will never hear what the Spirit is saying until we become SPIRIT-ORIENTED!

You can hear with the natural ears, you can hear words, you can hear the sounds, and it all makes sense and seems right. But there is another ear, an inner ear, a spiritual ear, a hearing in the Spirit, and he that hears with this ear will truly hear what the Spirit is saying! You must have this spiritual ear quickened, and I’ll tell you why. Sound is vibration. The air around us is a gas. The sound that we hear is waves that make the air move and strike our ears. Sound waves are caused by the vibration, or shaking of something. It is the vibration that strikes our ear, is transmitted to the brain, and then interpreted as sound.

That’s how you hear with the natural ear.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old hypothetical question, "If no man is in the forest and a tree falls, does it make a sound?" In other words, is the vibration itself sound, or is it the interpretation of the vibration by the brain that makes it sound? We were visiting some friends in Arkansas a while back. There was a little plaque on the wall in the bedroom where we stayed which said, "If a man speaks in the forest, and there is no woman to hear it, is he still wrong?" And you know, the funny thing was that all the ladies in the house were laughing about that, they thought it was so cute; somehow they perceived it as a "put down" to the man. I read it and said, "How can that be a put down of the man? Because with some women, men are always wrong; and if it’s asking if a man speaks and there is no woman to hear it, is he still wrong, it seems to me that it should be a put down to the women!" You see, it’s a matter of perception! So we had a little fun with that! What I’m saying is that sound as vibration reaches the ear and is then interpreted as sound. That’s how it works. You see, things that fall upon our natural senses, upon the ear, for instance, are understood and interpreted by the brain. But in the spiritual world, when we hear the living word of God, we don’t hear it with the outer, natural ear at all, for if you hear it with the natural ear it will go to the brain and be interpreted by the carnal mind, by our natural, human understanding. It will be just a dead letter of the word. The living word of God is received only by the inner, spiritual ear, and then the spirit transmits it to the mind in purity, because the word of God is pure. When the vibration is natural and is transmitted to the brain by the nerves from the outer ear, we receive a carnal understanding of what is transmitted. But when the vibration is spiritual and is transmitted to the mind by the spirit, then the word becomes life and light! "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." Hallelujah!

Tony Salmon, in one of his sermon tapes, shared a beautiful illustration of this truth. He said, "I wanted to bring my dog whistle to the meeting tonight to illustrate a point. When you have a dog whistle and blow upon it there’s a sound produced on a frequency that the human ear cannot hear. Now, a person who doesn’t understand this would open that whistle and blow it and say, ‘Aha! I can hear it!’ You see, when you blow the dog whistle there is a superficial sound made which you can hear. Air is rushing in and there is sort of a whistle. Some people think, ‘Ah, I can hear that. I can hear it as good as the dog can!’ No, you can’t. You haven’t heard the high frequency — you’ve heard a lower frequency. There is a sound that humans can hear, but if there is a dog here and I’m blowing the whistle, we’re hearing one sound and the dog is hearing another sound.

"This is a little scary, but this is reality.

The sound we hear is reverberating on a lower wave at a lower vibration, and the limited ability of our ears can hear that; but what the dog hears is something completely different because the dog’s ears are tuned to a higher frequency or vibration. Now, hear me — what we do in this gathering is blow a trumpet. I find in many meetings that the people who are getting the most excited and are saying, ‘Yes, I hear, I hear, I hear that word,’ are merely hearing the wind that’s rushing through the whistle — they really haven’t tuned their ears to hear the higher tone of the Spirit! My desire is that when we speak and blow the trumpet that you will go home saying, ‘I have heard the voice of my Beloved.’ Don’t you know that when the voice came to Jesus saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,’ there were some who were tuned in to hear the voice of the Father and they said, ‘God is speaking.’ But others said, ‘No — it just thundered,’ because they were further away or lower down in the spirit and could only hear the wind rushing through the whistle, as it were. When Moses was up on the top of the mountain He saw God face to face and God spoke to him there; but at the bottom of the mountain the people heard only the longer sound waves coming down and all they heard was thunder!" — end quote.

I speak the truth with all soberness when I say that the Spirit is saying something in this hour! What the Spirit is saying cannot be heard with the outer ear of the fleshly mind of human understanding. When the word of God comes to you, my brother, my sister, can you hear what the Spirit is saying, or do you hear only the words of the vessel it may flow through? Vast multitudes of believers, even those who have received the word of reconciliation, sonship, and the kingdom, attend meetings and go away saying, "Oh, that was a good message, I really enjoyed that." But did they hear what the Spirit was saying? Did the Spirit say something to them? Was there a word beyond the spoken words that penetrated to the spiritual ear and spoke as the oracle of God to the inner man? When this happens, this is the revelation of Jesus Christ!

The church in scripture is always feminine. The church is called a bride, it’s called a wife, it is espoused to Christ, and is the body of Christ in the same way that Eve was flesh of Adam’s flesh and bone of Adam’s bones (Eph. 5:21-33). The church is the soul of God. The church is the woman, the womb-man where the seed is planted to bring forth new life. Reverently now I would draw your attention to the word selected by the Holy Spirit in speaking of those who have the inner ear, who truly hear what the Spirit is saying. "HE that hath an ear…" Notice it is HE, the term used is masculine. Now the Spirit is speaking of sonship! He is speaking about growing up unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. This truth is made crystal clear where the Lord speaks to the overcomer, saying, "HE that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and HE shall be my son" (Rev. 21:7).

There is as much difference between the church and the overcomer as there is between the bride of Christ and the manifest sons of God! The church of chapters two and three of the Revelation is the woman, the womb-man where the seed is planted to bring forth the manchild of chapter twelve. It is the woman of chapter twelve who, in fact, bears the manchild. The woman is glorious beyond description, clothed with the sun of Christ’s glory, with a crown of twelve stars of divine government on her head, and the moon of the cold reflective light of outward laws, rituals, ceremonies, and ordinances under her feet. This woman is typified by the two churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia against whom the Lord spoke not a word. What a beautiful and splendid woman she is!

However, sonship is the hope of all creation!

It is the hope dearest to the heart of God. He has irrevocably purposed to rule the world by sons upon whose shoulders will rest the government of the world. The nations of them that are saved will walk in the light of the bride-city, the New Jerusalem, but they will be governed by the throne in the midst of the city which is the sons of God. "To HIM that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne" (Rev. 3:21). In the ages to come the whole universe will be ruled by sons of God who will deliver the creation from the bondage of corruption. No promise of world rule was ever given to the church in the whole book of Revelation! The promise is reiterated again and again to the overcomers who are the sons of God (Rev. 21:7).

The church, the bride of Christ, and the overcomers, the sons of God, make up the vast family of God, and at the head of that vast family stands Jesus Christ, the firstborn of the new creation, the firstborn from the dead, the firstborn of every creature, the firstborn among many brethren. The mother and her sons, with Jesus Christ the Head, are but one family, the cherished wife of the Lamb, beloved of Christ as His own soul, and the sons of God who shall rule the creation of God in a harmony surpassing the sweetest symphony the earth has ever known.

Moses served as a wonderful example and pattern of hearing the voice of God.

When Moses was gone into the tabernacle, then he heard the voice. It is not said that the voice began to speak; rather the contrary is implied. The voice would seem to have been speaking all along, but it was only now that Moses heard it. Why did he hear it now? It was because now for the first time he had put himself in the attitude of hearing. It was when he entered into the tabernacle, it was when he consciously and deliberately and purposefully entered into the presence of God, that there woke within him the conviction that God had all the time been speaking with him.

It must be the same with us!

Often we are crying in the silence of the night that no divine voice has visited us. Ah, but have we only listened for it with the ear of sense? If so, it is no marvel that we have missed its music! The voice of God cannot be heard by the ear of sense; its tones make no impression, set up no vibration, on the surrounding air, they stir not the waves of the earthly atmosphere. Its accents are too still and small to be caught by the natural ear; they are speaking incessantly, but they are drowned by the thunder, the earthquake, and the fire. If we would hear them we must enter the inner tabernacle, we must open the inner ear!

Have you not read the words of Jesus wherein He taught that miracles are only wrought by faith? Why are miracles only wrought through faith? Not because God is narrow or limited, but because truth is broad and unlimited. The eye cannot see music, the ear cannot hear colors; neither can the natural receive the spiritual! The Holy of holies is the domain of the spirit, the audience-chamber of the soul. Within its holy temple there is heard the voice of God, the voice of the Spirit. Here the mystery of life is unveiled. When we enter into the secret of God’s pavilion to speak with Him, there breaks upon our hearts the wondrous revelation of all that God doth speak!

When Jesus taught the people He emphasized the need to hear His word.

To John on Patmos He said, "He that hath an ear, let him hear." The great mystery is that not one of us can create within ourselves the hearing ear! The wise man wrote these words of truth and understanding: "The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them!" (Prov. 20:12). That is why the Lord said, "He that hath an ear, let him hear." If you have a spiritual ear, then the Lord Himself gave it to you! You can no more create your own spiritual ear than you save yourself, heal yourself, or manifest yourself as a son of God. This is the calling and the work of God! I trust you are as blessed by this truth as I am. It is thrilling to realize that if we, as God’s elect, have a hearing ear, it is only because HE called us, chose us, ordained us, predestinated us, quickened us, and gave us the hearing ear!

Perhaps the most important truth you should know at this time is that you have an ear to hear.

It is doubtful that you would be reading this writing if you didn’t have an ear to hear! Not only that, but we have within us all the divine faculties necessary to attain to the fullness of Christ. His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain to life and god-like-ness! There is nothing lacking of the divine resources in our lives. We have that inner, spiritual ear to hear. Now listen and hear what the Spirit is saying to His elect in this new Day! We do this by renouncing the self life of the Adamic mind and nature, by turning a deaf ear to the world and the things of it, and tuning our spiritual ear to hear His voice, declaring the pure word of the Lord.

To be continued…