Wednesday, October 31, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 52

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 52) by J. Preston Eby

THE CHURCH IN SARDIS (continued)
“And by the angel of the church in Sardis write…I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Rev. 3:1).

The Holy Spirit says to the church in Sardis, “You have a name — a reputation and recognition by the people — that you are alive. This name that they have relates to their works. They have a name that they live because they are filled with all kinds of activity, but the sentence of the great Judge of all is, “Thou art dead!” Instead of operating in the power of the Holy Spirit who is the life of the body of Christ, like computerized robots they go through the form of flesh-generated programmed activity that appears to the undiscerning eye to be evidence of life. But their works do not originate out of life, but stem rather from a realm of death — the death of the carnal mind and human zeal.

This is a realm in which every son of God is called to overcome in order to reign with Christ!

Those who are truly alive in Christ have works, too! Their works are born of the living energy of God, the living word of God, the living will of God, and accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit! Those who are called to sonship have everyone, without exception, heard the voice of the Lord calling them to totally forsake and utterly abandon all the dead works of religion, in order to serve the LIVING GOD! It means to act and serve and minister spontaneously out of the living power of Christ in our spirit, not out of the carnal programs and promotions of the religious systems of man. The works of the sons of God are the living expression of Christ as life! To know the difference between these two realms of works is what determines an OVERCOMER! It is right here, in connection with this spiritual condition revealed in the church at Sardis, that we are called upon to overcome!

We find a beautiful type of what it means to be an overcomer and qualify for priesthood and kingship in the kingdom of God in the order of the Aaronic priesthood in the Old Testament. There were three primary qualifications for priesthood in the order of Aaron. The first was birth. The second was freedom from blemish. The third was maturity. The very first requirement was that one must be a son of the high priest, a descendent of Aaron. A man might be the brightest and most capable Israelite, but if he was not the offspring of Aaron he was prohibited from serving in the office of the priesthood. Spiritually, the new order of priesthood after the order of Melchizedek begins with the new birth! One must be the son of the High Priest of the Melchizedekian Order, the offspring of the priestly nature of God’s Christ!

God made Aaron high priest in such a sense that his life carried priesthood to all his descendants. The life of Aaron carried the blessing! And, oh, the life, the divine life of my High Priest! Do you think that would carry less blessing than the priesthood of Aaron? Verily, no! The order of the priesthood of the sons of God begins with our being born again of the incorruptible seed of the word of God which is Christ the Lord.

But being born again no more makes one a priest than being born into Aaron’s house made one a priest. Babies, though of the right lineage, were not priests! Right birth was the first requisite — but merely the first step down a long path of preparation and qualification. The second qualification for priesthood is found in the book of Leviticus. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous. Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken…” (Lev. 21:16-24).

One could be a son of the high priest and still not be qualified for priesthood if there were some blemish in him — any kind of disease, deformity, or physical impairment. These natural conditions of the Old Testament order are always the type and symbol of the spiritual in the New Testament; thus, in this case the spiritual purity and perfection of him who would draw near unto God as a king-priest after the order of Melchizedek is prefigured by the physical regulations laid upon Aaron’s priesthood. Though we all have been born again of the Spirit of God, it is only as we possess the spiritual qualities of the wholeness, perfection, and maturity of Christ that we become qualified to minister as a priest in the kingdom of God! As there were dwarfed and blinded sons of Aaron, are there not multitudes of the Lord’s people who are spiritually dwarfed and spiritually deformed and spiritually blind and yet these continually take hold of the bread of God and serve up a garbled mess of man-made tradition and confusion! It is being done in thousands of churches across the land, and flooding the air waves day and night. My deep and earnest prayer is that God will open the eyes of all who read these words to see what it takes to have a pure ministry and a pure word as the priests of God in His kingdom!

It is not my purpose in this message to dwell upon these various qualifications for priesthood, but I would point out one in passing, the twelfth and final blemish which the Holy Spirit has signified as disqualifying one for the priesthood — that of “broken stones.” The Hebrew word here for stones is eshek, meaning testicles. It is the reproductive glands in a man’s body.

Bill Britton once wrote such a pungent and pointed word on this that I would be remiss if I failed to share it with my readers. He says, “A man with broken stones cannot produce life. He can be a husband, but he cannot be a father. What has this got to do with the ministry of the priesthood? God used it as a type of ministry today who preaches sermons, but does not give life. God help us, there are so many in the ministry like that today! They are educated, they are eloquent, they are convincing, but they do not have the ability to produce the life of God in those who hear them. Their ministry is polished, but dead. Their sermons are interesting and well preached, but lifeless. People listen to them, and continue in their old carnal ways, for there is no life-changing power in their words. Their stones are broken, and they are disqualified to feed the bread of God to His people.

“We have had preachers come by and preach for us, only to discover that they had stirred our imagination, fed our intellect, painted pretty gospel pictures with their eloquent words, but produced no new life in us. Sons of God are being birthed in the image of Jesus Christ. It is because a word of life is being planted in the hearts of dedicated and hungry saints! Thank God, there IS a ministry of life in the land, and God is sending them forth with the Holy Ghost anointing! They may shout their message in a loud voice, or they may quietly teach the word in a modulated tone. But they have life to give! And lives are changed, and the image of Christ is appearing in His people.

“Circumstances have nothing to do with this. Jesus could sit on a well in the middle of the day talking to a much married woman, but there was so much life in His words that the entire city was shaken with revival. They could put Paul in prison, his feet fast in the stocks, but before the night was over the jailer and his family had been birthed into the kingdom of God. They could exile John to the isle of Patmos, but the words God gave him are still turning men to God many centuries later. On the other side of the coin, a man can preach to thousands in a million dollar cathedral, with millions watching on television, and produce nothing more than a plastic people following a plastic ministry with broken stones and no life to give. There is nothing plastic or man-made about the real people of God! We have a real Saviour, and He is going to have a real people. He is going to put that people on exhibit in the ages to come, to show all creation what His life has produced in the earth!

“I have met men who wrote books and claimed that their writing had the same inspiration and authority as the writings of the apostles and prophets in the Bible. That is tommyrot! If you read their writings you will find that you receive information, but no real life. I certainly do not claim that my writings are equal in any way to the scripture. But I do believe that I have a right in God to expect to put words in print that have enough of the life of God to change lives, and bring forth more of His life in His people. Someone said to me once, ‘I enjoyed your message, but you were preaching over my head.’ I answered that I was not shooting for his head, but at his heart! I was not trying to bring information and feed the intellect. I wanted to touch the heart and bring forth life! The man called into the ministry of the High Calling, the Melchizedek order, does not have broken stones. What can we say to these things? With such a high standard for the priesthood in these days, who can qualify? Have no fear, for the Holy Spirit is doing His work. We (and all creation) desperately need that priesthood of life, and we SHALL HAVE IT!” — end quote.

There is a dimension of the revelation of Jesus Christ that transcends the speaking of words, the writing of books, and the preaching of sermons. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the need of the hour! Only a present intervention of the divine mind, only a present revelation of wisdom and grace will be able to meet the need. If God does not give a special ministration and the spirit of power and glory to meet the need of the world and all creation, it will not be met. There are no buttons to press that can solve the complex and frightening problems that exist in the world today! The further we move in God the more helpless and totally empty we become, for our nothingness is magnified in the light of HIS GLORY. But I know beyond any shadow of doubt that God is preparing His overcoming company of sons at this very time to bring forth deliverance to the church, the world, and all creation!

Only God can teach us these things.

Only God can accomplish the mighty work within each of us to bring us to the fullness of sonship to God. How awesome are His dealings in this hour! We are truly being stripped, pruned, processed, changed and transformed from glory to glory into the image and life of the Christ! Patiently He is teaching us line upon line, precept upon precept, establishing in us His ways. If we are not in the life of the Spirit, regardless of what way we use, or how we do things, we are still in deadness. That was the problem in Sardis! They had works, and mistook the works for life. “Thou art dead!” the Lord thundered. And it is here that every son of God shall overcome, to walk in the LIFE of the Lord! God has very practical ways to teach each of us these things.

Many years ago when God was drawing us out of the old order forms and traditions of the religious systems, we discovered a new way to have a meeting; that was, to arrange the seats in a circle rather than in one direction. The logic behind this was that in the church systems the pews all face in one direction toward the elevated platform — representing man’s order — the “show” directed from the platform and watched by the “spectators” in the audience. That arrangement seemed to embody the division between the so-called “clergy” and the “laity.” On the other hand, the chairs in a circle represented to us the closeness and unity of the body of Christ — with liberty for each member to participate in a true “body ministry.”

Soon we made a startling discovery!

After we had changed our arrangement of chairs we found that we had just as much deadness as before! You see, the problem was not with the chairs — it was with the people! The secret to life does not lie in any external arrangement nor in some physical thing you may do outwardly in the natural. How chairs are arranged neither promotes nor hinders the work of God by the Spirit. God is greater than all! I know people who have thrown the chairs out altogether and now sit on the floor — as though there is some intrinsic value, some inherent spirituality in sitting on the floor! It has been my experience that God pays no attention at all to how such matters are arranged. However we do it, it is for our convenience, and is neither an inducement nor a hindrance to the Holy Spirit!

The truth is, I have been in some glorious meetings in conventional church buildings, while I have attended some very dry meetings with the chairs in a circle. Conversely, I have witnessed precious and beautiful movings of the Spirit of God when chairs were in a circle, and a great number of horribly dead meetings with the pews facing the platform. Ah, it was the heart condition, the spiritual attitude, the hunger after God and yieldedness to His Spirit, that made the difference — not the seating arrangement! Oh, how we do get the cart before the horse! Some of the brethren in this kingdom word feel that the only gathering together God approves for the sons of God in this hour is in that impromptu meeting where two or three brethren are brought together in a casual way and share with one another in the Lord. Let me tell you something. God really does not care one whit about any of those natural things! Concern about how many gather, when they gather, how they gather, is missing the point altogether. All of the things we do apart from the life of the Spirit are dead. You can refuse to attend a meeting and be just as dead as some who attend meetings. The issue is not a meeting or no meeting — the issue is LIFE! In the meeting or out of the meeting, the man or woman who is of a broken and contrite spirit, God will never refuse, praise His wonderful name!

If we are not walking in the life of the Spirit, the more directions we have, the more deadness we will have. If we arrange the seats in one direction, we will have one direction of death. If we arrange the chairs in four directions, we will have four directions of death. If you attend a meeting apart from the life of the Spirit you will have deadness in a crowd, and if you sit at home in your separation you will have deadness all by yourself. When you are a dead person, no matter what way you arrange yourself, you are still dead. When I am living, regardless of how I am sitting, or how many people are with me, I am still living! It is not a way; it is life! It is not the method; it is the Spirit! There are too many silly teachings among the saints today, and all the ways have been tried in the past. It is not the way, but the life, the Spirit, the priesthood in the Holiest of all. Forget about the way; get into the presence of the Lord and let HIM saturate you! The presence of the Lord is upon mount Zion. Let us ascend in the spirit into the mount, into the high places of God, and there open ourselves, and be filled with Him. A son is one who possesses God and is possessed by God.

Anything else than this is not sonship.

In the religious systems the order, the method, the technique, the organization, the liturgy, the creed is all-important. But in the Melchizedekian Order THE ONE WAY IS THE LIFE OF THE LORD. We now live and move and have our being in the life of the Spirit. This is why there are no patterns, no methods, no precedents of any kind in the New Testament for the Melchizedek Priesthood. Jesus never did the same thing in exactly the same way twice. When He healed blind Bartimaeus He merely spoke the word, “Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole,” and he received his sight. But when He healed the two blind men in the house He touched their eyes in addition to speaking a word. And when He healed the man born blind from birth He spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, then commanded him to go wash in the pool of Siloam.

So, what is the best way to heal a blind man? Should we assume that the power is in the method, someone might go out and form a new “spitting religion”! The only way to heal a blind man would be by spitting on him. But no one can tell you the right way — not even Jesus! What is the best way to preach the gospel? No one can tell you. What is the best way to hold a meeting? Again, no one can tell you. If you were to ask me what the right way is, I would have to say that I do not know. I really do not know what is the right way to do anything! I do not know the right way to meet humanity’s needs, or solve the saint’s problems, or bring people into the present truth. In the Bible you can never find T-H-E RIGHT WAY to minister to creation or to do the work of the kingdom. This is because the New Testament is the dispensation of the SPIRIT! Whatever you do, whatever way you use, wherever you go, it must be by the Spirit.

The Spirit is original, He is never static; His way is always fresh and new and transcendental! He may never repeat what He did yesterday, or the way He did it. In these last years, wherever I have gone, I have never paid any attention to the way. Regardless of the way people meet, or don’t meet, or minister or serve the Lord, it does not mean anything. The real question is this: Is there the life of the Spirit? Is there the unveiling of Jesus Christ? What is GOD doing? And how is HE doing it? I look to see what God is doing, rather than trying to introduce some “order” for God to move in.

May the Lord have mercy upon all who cherish the beautiful hope of sonship that we may be delivered from anything other than the LIFE of this calling. We are learning this one lesson — the priesthood of Melchizedek is known only by the OUTFLOW OF HIS LIFE. Our Lord Jesus is the High Priest of this order, and you cannot have a High Priest without a priesthood. The sons of God are being apprehended to be kings and priests unto God! Melchizedek was a king-priest, and the Lord Jesus Christ is both king and priest. The only thing we are told about this priesthood is that it is not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless Life! (Heb. 7:16). The order of Melchizedek is the order of the ministration of LIFE! The order of Melchizedek is not the same as the so-called New Testament Church order. It is more than that, it is something of life, the order of life, the power of life, the order brought forth by the power of incorruptible life, something living, something divine, something sovereign, something transcendental, and something that operates by the POWER OF GOD WITHIN. It is not an order of gifts, positions, offices, or external structures. It is LIFE FULL AND ABUNDANT! We are conscious that God is bringing something new and glorious into being. He is bringing something into this earth that is far, far beyond anything we know. He is birthing a manchild, a priesthood, a kingship, a new order. It will make right everything that has been wrong! It will make everything as God has ordained it to be! It will bring righteous judgment, it will bring mercy, and deliverance, and power, and glory to creation beyond our fondest hopes or our wildest dreams. It will set creation free! There will be life for all.

And God will be ALL IN ALL!

I HAVE NOT FOUND THY WORKS PERFECT
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, for I have not found thy works perfect before God” (Rev. 3:2).

We find the Lord speaking to the church in Sardis, this church which is still filled with the ways and energy of Adam. The name Sardis means “red ones” and according to Webster’s dictionary refers to the sardius or sardine stone which is a very hard, deep orange-red variety of chalcedony used in jewelry, etc. Some teachers believe that the word actually means “those who have escaped” or “things which remain” but in my study of the etymology of the word I have found no evidence to support this interpretation. The name Adam means “red earth” and therefore carries a similar connotation with Sardis. Sardis speaks of Adam, the Adamic nature, the flesh. Sardis was a church which, except for a “few,” the “remnant,” who are the “overcomers” in it, still operated out of the carnal mind and nature — the living soul (I Cor. 15:45). They had experienced a measure of the life of the second man, who is the last Adam, who is Christ the quickening spirit, but they had not grown up into His fullness. This church, those in THE SARDIS CONDITION, is very prominent in the world today!

“For I have not found your works perfect before God.” Wuest translates this as, “I have found no works of yours that have been brought to a state of completeness.” The words “not perfect” mean “unfulfilled, immature, incomplete.” They had stopped short, they had not gone on to maturity; after aiming at the goal of the fullness of Christ, they had grown careless and never attained it. Something was started in them but had not come to full fruition and was now about to die. They had become content in this “in-part” realm, and in this state of limitation and immaturity and incompleteness had made them a “name” that they were alive. They were little spiritual children playing church, doing childish things with great flourish and pretense, and were having a wonderful tea party! They were all excited about the little bit of Christ men could see shining through them, and hoped that one day God would build them a bigger and more glorious play house in the sky where they could romp and frolic forever and ever in Father’s wonderful love!

Some today are proclaiming that since by faith we have entered in to that which is within the veil, into the Holiest of all, now all that is necessary to bring forth the manifestation of the sons of God is for us to come out from that glory behind the veil and begin to minister and manifest out of that realm. That is a beautiful thought — yet it is my conviction that until we have truly experienced within ourselves all the holiness, wisdom, glory, life, incorruption, and power of that realm beyond the veil we can only come out and manifest whatever measure we have attained to. I know a lot of precious, wonderful, and highly esteemed (by me) brethren in this word of the kingdom, but the reality is that I have yet to meet one who has appropriated the full glory, life, and power of that Most Holy Place!

Of those who by faith have entered in by the blood of Jesus I know not one who manifests much more than we have already known and experienced in the Outer Court and the Holy Place, or in the feasts of Passover and Pentecost. Most are still meeting in the same kind of church meetings, singing the same songs, speaking in tongues, prophesying, preaching, dancing, laying on hands, moving in gifts, passing offering plates, and making announcements; some prayers are answered, there is an occasional healing, miracle, or deliverance, a few souls saved, and some people blessed and encouraged in the Lord. That is all very wonderful! But may I remind you, my beloved, that we have had all these things for many, many years in the Holy Place and in the feast of Pentecost! There is nothing new there. There is nothing different, greater, or higher in any of it! I have yet to meet the man or woman who is ministering out of the higher realm of fullness and immortality — manifest sonship!

I do not for one moment despise or reject any of the aforementioned things, for they are truly Father’s provision for His people in the in-part realm — the realm where our works are not perfect, complete, and mature in the stature of fully manifest sonship. We still know in part, and prophesy in part, until that which is perfect is come — the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ! I tell you this in all sincerity and truth. We have had all these wonderful blessings for two thousand years and they have not set creation free! They have not brought all nations into the kingdom of God! They have not restored all things and all men to God! The whole world still lies in the darkness of sin, sorrow, hatred, war, greed, fear, sickness, pain, poverty, and death, and the saints of God are not yet fully released from carnality and death.

Should we step out from behind the veil and presume to call ourselves manifest sons now unveiled to deliver creation from the bondage of corruption, we still will not manifest anything more than we have personally appropriated and experienced within ourselves. Some will despise me for saying it, but of those I have seen who assert that they are now manifesting and ministering out of the realm of the Most Holy Place, I have yet to witness one who, apart from having some deeper truth and higher revelation, is moving in any realm beyond the feast of Pentecost! That is the plain, unvarnished truth, my brethren. These words are not intended to belittle, disparage, or ridicule any precious brother or sister in Christ, but my deepest prayer is that all who read these lines will be given the spirit of wisdom and revelation to understand that the salvation of the nations and the deliverance of creation DEMANDS a glory greater than any glory we have yet known or experienced!

If there is no greater glory to come, if there is no greater revelation of Christ in His elect, if manifest sonship is just “more of the same,” then sonship is a farce and the world is without hope now and in the ages to come. Oh, yes! There is a glory yet to be revealed in us, my beloved, and we would not look back, but set our faces as a flint and press forward to lay hold upon the REAL THING God will do in this day. I cannot, dare not, settle for any “watered down” version of manifest sonship, for the stakes are too high; nor shall I engage in the zealous presumption that I am already something I have not yet fully appropriated in spirit, soul, and body!

I have observed in the ministry of the firstborn Son of God that there was never a problem He faced that He could not solve, never a need that He could not meet, no victory He could not win, no sickness He could not heal, no devil He could not cast out, and no realm of revelation, relationship, or being in God that He could not possess. The supreme evidence of this is when He rose from the dead! Some of us speak of the exploits we have done in Jesus’ name, but we seldom mention all the times we have failed! Some of us fast and pray and wrest an answer from the Lord, and then run squarely into another problem we can’t deal with at all. If Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son of God, needed the fullness of the power of God, which is the seven spirits of God, the Spirit without measure, then we His younger brethren must have it too!

In the realm of that which is in part, in limitation, one cannot meet every need that arises. “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts” (I Cor. 12:29-31). Does it say in I Corinthians 12:8, “To the whole church is given the word of wisdom?” or, “To the whole church is given the gift of healing?” No, it says, “To one is given,” to one member of the body of Christ. Then, “to another is given the gift of faith, prophecy,” etc. In other words, there is a distribution so that everyone does not have all the gifts. How can you meet every need if you don’t possess all the power and wisdom and ability of the Holy Spirit? And how can you meet every need, even in the area of the gift you do possess, if the gift itself is by measure? You can’t! And that is why we feel so helpless sometimes. You can try, you can fast and pray, you can think positively, you can confess and claim and step out in faith and boast of your inheritance in Christ, but you still can’t meet every need, solve every problem, speak to every situation, bless every life — in the gift realm! In that realm it is always a word here, a miracle there, a healing someplace else, a failure here and a success over there.

Who can stand and deny that this is the truth!

The ministry of Jesus was not in the gift realm, it was not in part, it was not by measure, but His ministry was the ministry of a MANIFEST SON OF GOD in all the power and wisdom and glory of the Father! The great secret to the ministry of Jesus was that it was not in limitation but in fullness. It was not a gift in the church realm, but the incarnation, the embodiment, the personification of THE FULLNESS OF THE FATHER. This is the realm of sonship. Sonship is not the church restored to the glory of the early days when the apostles walked the earth; sonship is the manchild, a people birthed out of the church in the full stature of Jesus Christ the Son of the living God. Each one of these sons of God is exactly like the firstborn Son! And that is just why creation is not groaning for another gift of healing, or another gift of miracles, or another gift of faith, or another apostle, or another prophet, or another evangelist, or another revival.

Creation is in pain and travail waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God!

Only the sons of God will possess within themselves the full measure of the power of the kingdom of God as did Jesus! Only the sons of God can deliver the creation from the bondage of corruption. Jesus is not the firstborn among many Christians, or among many believers, or among many saints, among many church members, or among many ministries — He is the firstborn among many brethren! The brethren are like Him. Each and every one is like Him! God is not bringing many gifted saints to glory, He is not bringing many apostles to glory, He is not bringing many prophets to glory, He is not bringing many teachers to glory, He is not bringing many musicians to glory, He is not bringing many preachers to glory, but He is bringing many SONS to glory! Aren’t you glad!

Sonship is glorious beyond anything our eyes have seen or ears have heard.

Jesus Christ is the firstborn Son of God. And now all His brothers are empowered to follow Him to maturity. All will follow His steps, becoming what He is. The spiritual life of every son of God has the same origin as the firstborn, for all are born of God. We are being perfected by the same process, and will ultimately achieve the same result. Jesus Christ was the personification of the Father within Himself, and so shall we be. The holy nature of Jesus is ours to be raised up within us. The works that He did, we shall do as well. The authority of Jesus Christ, even the dominion of the ages and all things, He will share with those who come to the measure of the stature of His fullness. Jesus possesses the totality of God’s substance, and this is the heritage of every manifest son of God. The present resurrection, ascension, and enthronement of Jesus is a portrait of our destiny! This will be a company of whom it is not said, “I have not found thy works perfect, complete, and mature before God.”

The sons of God are destined to inherit all things.

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7). The sons of God are selected by the Father to become the dispensers of life and blessing to all created realms. Thus creation groans in sympathetic birth pangs, longing for their arrival! From powerful angels in heaven, to worlds in the farthest galaxy, the universe resonates with anticipation of the glorious unveiling of the sons of God. The sons will share the fullness of the glory of their Father. They will grow up into the attributes of God as a permanent state of being. The sons of God will partake of Godlikeness, and a spiritual inheritance that is incomprehensible to natural men, even religious men, saved men, and Spirit-baptized men. This celestial race of beings shall be endowed with all the authority and capacity of God.

Immortal omnipotence will flow from them as the light rays from the sun.

In the days before us, those who have attained to sonship will be displayed in the blazing glory of immortality. This climatic finale is a fast approaching certainty. From the difficulties, struggles, testings, and processings of this present time the son company will burst forth into everlasting splendor, streaming glory, wisdom and power as a shower of stars. With Jesus as the Captain, this reigning government of God shall invade the bastions of darkness and by war, yea, by spiritual warfare they shall take the rule from the kings, presidents, and prime ministers of the earth. These are celestial kings and priests, trained and tested in conquest! They are invincible in the nature and power of the Father. Nothing shall confound them; all will succumb to their sway. This company of sons is the final world government — it will never be overthrown! They will subdue every enemy, and be the fountainhead of every blessing! They are the solution that God has ordained for the travail of earth’s teeming billions. God’s sons will enter into His state of being — they will become what He is in an unchangeable personal possession.

This is the destiny of God’s Christ, Head and body!

For many years now there has been a great moving of the Spirit of God across the land and around the world. It has manifested itself through many movements on various levels. We have witnessed great healing meetings, evangelistic crusades, baptism in the Holy Spirit, prophetic ministries, sign-gift ministries, apostolic ministries, five-fold ministry, gifts of the Spirit, impartation through prophecy with the laying on of hands, revelatory ministries, and much more. And I have rejoiced with joy unspeakable to be a partaker in this glorious visitation of God! But I testify to you today that not one of these ministries, nor all of them put together, has come within the range of the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! No matter which of the healing evangelists, or which of the miracle workers, or which of the prophets you watched; and no matter which church or movement with all its ministries and gifts and outreaches you observed; it did not measure up to the ministry of THE SON OF GOD.

We kept saying, “We have the same anointing, the same Holy Ghost, the same power, and we can do all the works Jesus did, and greater!” And as confidently as we asserted, as hard as we tried, as much as we wanted to believe it, and as faithful as we were, it just wasn’t true! We had the same anointing alright, and the same Holy Spirit, and the same faith, and the same power, but — we had it by measure — not WITHOUT MEASURE, as Jesus did! “For to one is given by the Spirit…to another is given by the Spirit…” And that is just the difference between the church realm and manifest sonship! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the church and I’m not belittling anything we have had or done. But my heart is desperately crying out for something more, for a greater, grander, more complete and glorious unveiling of Christ in the earth, and I certainly know that this sin-cursed world is crying out for something more!

Oh, yes!

It is true, we are the body of Christ, and members in particular, and every joint supplies in a different way and measure. But let me tell you something. Within the DNA of each cell of your body is contained the complete blueprint of everything you are, of the totality of your being. That is why scientists today are able to clone animals and eventually human beings. You see, they take the DNA from one cell of the parent animal and from that one cell they raise up another animal exactly like the one from which it is taken. The bone, skin, flesh, internal organs, senses, everything is constructed from the blueprint in that one cell. Now, every human life begins when the sperm of the father unites with the egg of the mother. That union produces one cell. Within that one cell is contained the blueprint for all that that new person will ever be! That cell then divides into two, the two divide into four, the four into eight, and so forth, until by the time you become an adult you contain within your body some sixty trillion cells!

The mystery is this. There are cells that through this process have become hair, some have become eyes, others have become blood, etc. The different cells make up all the various parts of the body. Yet — the original blueprint of everything you are is contained within each of these sixty trillion cells just as it was within the original one cell at the time of your conception! That is how cloning works. The DNA from one cell is used to construct another organism which is a precise copy of the original. That means, that within my body is the potential to raise up sixty trillion Preston Ebys just like me! Herein lies the secret to manifest sonship. Although we are currently “members in particular” of the body of Christ, mere “parts” of the whole, functioning “by measure” within each of our gifts and callings, yet within each one of us is contained the blueprint of the totality of Christ and there is the potential to raise up out of our spiritual DNA the reproduction of ALL THAT CHRIST IS!

Can you not see the mystery?

The manifest sons of God are those who out of the Christ life within them grow up into the fullness of Christ, not in measure, but in the fullness of Himself. These become perfect reproductions within themselves of Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son of God! These sons are individually exactly like Him in the totality of His mind, wisdom, understanding, nature, glory, and power! With these sons it does not take a whole body of people, as in the church, to equal Christ — each one equals Christ. That, my friend, is the difference between the church realm and MANIFEST SONSHIP. When you have 144,000 of these sons you have 144,000 actual reproductions of Jesus — not 144,000 “parts” that “corporately” reproduce Him.

Oh, the wonder of it!

With what joy and holy wonder do I tell you today that this is the power that will again be manifested on earth through the ministry of Christ’s many brethren, the sons of God! What a calling rests upon the firstfruits! How humbly we should seek God, how fervently we should cry out to the Lord, that His work be completed in us to bring this sonship ministry to pass in the earth! How we praise God for the in-part ministry of the church realm — it has been glorious beyond words. But none can deny that the ministry of Jesus has not been fully duplicated even through the millions of believers and thousands of ministries in all the power and glory of the kingdom of God! Who among us can raise his hand to tell me that in him, or in his prayer group, or in his church, or in his movement, the miraculous sonship ministry of Jesus has been reproduced in all its fullness and power? Were we to make such a claim we would all be found liars. After two thousand years of the meticulous formation of the body of Christ, creation still groans and travails, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God who shall deliver creation itself from the bondage of corruption.

The greater ministry of the sons of God will allay every disturbing element; break the power of sin and death; put down every wrong; silence every clamoring tongue; calm every raging sea; touch every inflamed sore of society; unite into harmony every quarrelsome crowd; heal every excruciating pain and suffering; pilot every soul into the harbor of rest; banish all fear, malice, bigotry, and hatred in the melting fire of divine love; bind every demonic power; heal every sickness, disease, and torment; fill to the full every lack and void; impart life more abundant to all men everywhere; and give joy unspeakable and full of glory until the whole earth is full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea, and all creation pulsates with the scintillating life and light and love of God!

The spirit of sonship is the power of God manifest first in the personal lives of His elect, then in the world around us, unto all time and the ages of this world, then in the whole universe. The life of sonship is the power of God that changes everything in its reality, function, and influence, as determined by the Lord in His great and glorious program of creation, redemption, and the restitution of all things. The power of the spirit of the Son within us shall eventually change us not only in spirit, but in soul and body, from human to divine, from earthly to heavenly, and from mortal to immortal; then it shall in like manner change the world around us, including all the nations of men, and nature itself, and then it shall change the vast universe unto the endlessness of infinity. The elect of the Lord today are experiencing the power of the spirit of sonship within; it is the power of Christ that is consuming everything within us that is foreign to His nature and life. Christ is taking His throne and is now reigning in our lives!

And He must continue to reign in us until He has put every enemy under His feet!

Jesus rose from the dead and appeared on earth in the sight of men in the body of His resurrection, which is the spiritual body of incorruption and immortality. With this clear and obvious demonstration of the power of sonship life, all doubts and fears were removed from the minds of His disciples. Now they knew that He was the very Son of the living God and the King of kings and Lord of lords! Now they knew the reality of His message of life and glory. In Him they saw the fullness of sonship to God! Again, in the end of this age, and in the beginning of the age now dawning, Christ’s many brethren shall come to the full measure of the stature of the firstborn Son. In them Christ shall come with power, even the power of His resurrection. Then shall creation see the manifestation of the sons of God, just as Jesus’ disciples saw Him manifested in all the glory and power of His resurrection. Christ was revealed to His disciples, and He is still revealed only to His disciples, His very own brethren. But the manifest sons of God shall be revealed unto creation. Christ in us is now our hope of glory, but Christ revealed in His many brethren is the hope of the groaning creation! Christ is now our life, but His life in His sons shall become the life of creation, delivering all men from the bondage of corruption, raising them up into a place in the liberty of the children of God (Rom. 8:19-21).

To be continued…

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 51

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 51) by J. Preston Eby

THE CHURCH IN SARDIS
And by the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars…” (Rev. 3:1).

Throughout the early years of my walk in God I did not know that God has seven spirits! Although I had received the baptism in the Spirit at the age of twelve, read the Bible through at the age of fifteen, and had been in ministry nearly all of my life, I had never seen anything about the seven spirits of God. We all knew that “there is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling” (Eph. 4:4). We all thought that when we received the one Spirit, that was the beginning and the finish of it! We spoke in tongues, prophesied, did a few miracles, danced in the Spirit and rejoiced with joy unspeakable, and that was it!

This is all we knew God had for us this side of heaven.

The Lord Jesus proclaims that He is the One who has the seven spirits of God. Before the throne are seven lamps of fire burning, which are the seven spirits of God (Rev. 1:4; 4:5). In the midst of the throne is a Lamb, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God (Rev. 5:6). Since this is so, let me ask you. Are there seven spirits of God? If you say that God has seven spirits, you seem to contradict the truth that there is but one Spirit! If, on the other hand, you say that the Spirit of God is not seven spirits, you are disagreeing with the very words of the Lord Jesus to John! Is the Spirit of God, then, seven or one? If God says there is one Spirit, then there is one Spirit; if God says there are seven spirits, then there are seven spirits.

That is the mystery.

Through the Spirit of God in the body of Christ the visible creation is brought into contact with the invisible God. By the living Spirit of God within us God manifests Himself in His perfection of life and love and power. If God fills all things, as various scriptures state that He does, then all things are containers of Him. All of creation contains within it the seed of God, the essence of God. But only those who are made in God’s image and likeness can contain and express GOD AS A PERSON. A person cannot manifest as a person through anything else than a person. You may appreciate a cat, a bird, a stone, an ocean, or a rainbow for what they are, but you can’t fellowship with them. I can fellowship with you, and you with me, because we share the same quality of life.

The heavens and the earth declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork.

We can view their marvels through the telescope, and stand in awe before their magnificence, but we do not say, “That is God.” The greatest wonder of the ages is when we can look at another personality and say, “There is God!” Creation can declare the glory of God, but only personality can declare the person of God. Did not our brother Paul have this in mind when he wrote, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts” (Gal. 4:6). Sonship is the criterion for union with the personality of God by the Spirit. For God to manifest His personality through a star, a mountain, or an unregenerated human, would be like me trying to manifest my personality through a tree, a dog, or a horse. There we have different natures! There is no compatibility between these natures. Therefore God appeared to be on the horns of a dilemma when man, the image of God, the connecting link between the invisible God and the visible creation, fell into sin, darkness, and death. In this state of man’s alienation from God in his mind and by wicked works there ceased to be the compatibility between the nature of God and the nature of man. This is why we must be re-generated by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, our spirit quickened by His Spirit, so that we become containers of Him — of the very PERSONALITY OF GOD BY THE SPIRIT.

Can you not see the mystery?

We have been made containers of God and God intends to be our only content. Bottles are made to contain liquids of various kinds, cans contain food, tanks are designed to contain water and fuel, electric wires contain electricity. When we look at these we realize that each of these containers is “peculiarly made” to contain a specific substance. Sons of God are “peculiar” containers, for we have been brought forth by our Father to contain a specific substance — the Spirit of God! If we do not know God as our only content, we become a meaningless contradiction. Matters not how much of the wisdom of the world we absorb, nor to what heights of human recognition or accomplishment we may attain; we are still void and meaningless, since we have been purposely generated by our heavenly Father to CONTAIN GOD AS OUR SOLE CONTENT; to reveal HIM as the personality of our life! As it is written, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be KNOWN BY THE CHURCH the manifold wisdom of God, according to the purpose of the ages which He purposed in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 3:9-11).

Seven, in the scriptures, is the most sacred number of the Hebrews.

This number is used more often than all other numbers, save the number one. It is the number denoting spiritual perfection and completeness. In this connection it is interesting to note that in the title “Holy Spirit” the word “holy” comes from a root meaning “whole.” Hence, the Holy Spirit is the Whole Spirit! The seven spirits of God, seven denoting spiritual perfection and completeness, are likewise a figure of the “Holy” or “Whole” or “Complete” Spirit! When we understand that the number seven conveys the idea of unity and completeness, rather than diversity, then we can with unclouded vision see that the seven spirits of God are the sevenfold, intensified Spirit of the Lord — the absolute FULLNESS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD!

An object lesson of this truth is referred to in these words, “And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God” (Rev. 4:5). In the Old Testament, the structure of the lampstand (candlestick) in the tabernacle of Moses was quite unique: below was one lampstand, above there were seven branches, and in each branch there was a lamp (Ex. 25:31-37). It was one lampstand, yet it had seven lamps; there were seven lamps, yet it was but one lampstand. Therefore it is correct to say that there is one lampstand, neither is it wrong to say there are seven lamps! Without question, the Lord is one Spirit; but He is also called “the seven spirits,” that is, the sevenfold, intensified Spirit of the Lord!

The fullness of the personality of God, with all its attributes and powers, is THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD. As we have previously noted, the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne of God are the seven spirits of God. The seven horns and the seven eyes of the Lamb upon the throne are the seven spirits of God. John saw One sitting upon the throne, and He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne in sight like unto an emerald. A rainbow is one, but it has seven colors, and the seven colors of that glorious rainbow represent the sevenfold, intensified fullness of the Spirit of God!

When the fullness of these seven spirits of God is realized in the manifest sons of God then shall be fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, saying, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles (nations) shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isa. 60:1-3). In that day it shall also come to pass that “the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun (the glory of Christ) shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of His people, and healeth the stroke of their wound” (Isa. 30:26). God’s promise is the sending forth of the glory of God’s Christ, not in the single light of the man Christ Jesus (Mat. 4:13-16), nor yet in the double portion of the Spirit, the former and latter rain in the first month, but AS THE LIGHT OF SEVEN DAYS CONCENTRATED IN ONE. This sevenfold intensified fullness of the Spirit of God shall be revealed upon the Lord’s people whose “wound” has been healed, whose “breach” has been bound up — those who have been fully redeemed within themselves, completely restored to the image and likeness of God!

The church of Jesus Christ will one day move out of the darkness of tradition, bondage, carnality, immaturity, and limitation and move into the bright light of the fullness of the glory of God. The history of the church is a history of darkness and sorrow and bitterness. But, thank God, rays of promise are even now beginning to break forth from the heavens, and there is a small company of apprehended ones that is even now rising up into higher realms of the Spirit to drink in the intoxicating freshness of the morn! To them God is witnessing that He shall bring forth a light that is sevenfold in its intensification, so that there will be nothing hidden from it, and its heat and brightness will consume and destroy everything that opposes. Nothing short of this will lift up this sin-cursed world out of the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.

Paul certainly had the realization of such an incomprehensible fullness in mind when he wrote to the Ephesians, “May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory…that you may be filled through all your being unto all the fullness of God — that is, may have the richest measure of the divine, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself” (Eph. 3:16,19, Amplified). What a word! We have no problem believing that the firstborn Son of God is the One who has the seven spirits of God, or the fullness of God by the Spirit (Rev. 3:1). In the days of His flesh this firstborn Son of God said that the Father had given the Spirit to Him without measure (Jn. 3:34). And now the Lord is teaching His elect that we also have the fullness of God in our spirit, for God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, and he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

There is a strange situation in the church at Sardis, the church to whom the Lord revealed Himself as the One who has the seven spirits of God. Though the church at Sardis had the reputation of being a LIVE church…it did not appear that way to the Lord. “Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead,” the Lord said, and even the little life they had was close to death. The question follows — Why would the Lord show Himself to this church, as One full of light, and resplendent with glory? Because that is what every son of God must see if he is going to spring forth in LIFE! “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

He shines forth in the darkness, that He might cause the darkness to flee away.

It is not Christ in heaven that we see — it is Christ in the midst of the candlesticks. It is Christ in the midst of each one of us, Christ in our spirit, who shines forth in the glory of God! Until we see the mystery of the Christ within, the One who is closer to us than the air we breathe, the One who is closer to us even than the blood coursing through our veins, the very Christ within our spirit who is our life — until we see that it is this Christ who has the seven spirits of God, we cannot arise and shine in the glory of the Father! Oh, yes, the Light has come, the darkness is past, God has lighted our candle, and the true light now shines! Christ is arising, standing up within His called and chosen elect, and He reveals His glory out of our innermost being. From there — from deep within — He addresses all our folly, all our dead works, all our forms of godliness, all our soulish activity, all our carnal perceptions, our natural reasonings, our human understanding, and our fleshly zeal.

Christ in our spirit steps forth from the Holiest of all within each of us to shine into all the darkness of our outer life, our limitation, fears, and self-effort, causing us to realize and know at last that our inner son, the Christ within, has the seven spirits of God! We can now live out of that glorious realm and walk with Him in white — walk with Him as Light! This reality is the root and fountainhead of our sonship life of victory, wisdom, power, and glory! This is why the Lord Jesus appears in the midst of the church at Sardis revealing Himself as the One having the seven spirits and the seven stars! This is the wonderful purpose of Christ’s message to the church at Sardis! Though outwardly we may have a name that we live, and are dead, we may turn from all the death of the outer realm of soul and body, of the world and religion, turning to Christ in our spirit, that we might truly see the One who has the seven spirits of God!

Aren’t you glad!

A NAME THAT YOU LIVE, BUT ARE DEAD
“I know thy works, that thou hast a name that livest, and art dead” (Rev. 3:1).

It is evident in the letter to the church at Sardis that the world was invading the church. The church became very much like the city around it. Society should be influenced by the people of God; God has designed that the body of Christ be filled with His power and holiness, to change and transform the world! But the sad truth is that often the church becomes influenced by the world. Amid all the fiery admonitions found in the epistle of James is the counsel that worldliness is the enemy of God (James 4:4). The blessed Holy Spirit warns every saint who cherishes the beautiful hope of sonship to flee worldliness. Some have mistakenly thought that meant to flee the world, so they hide themselves away in wilderness retreats, remote areas, jungle farms, or mountain monasteries, in physical separation from the world system.

It is not the world we must flee from, but worldliness.

Our Lord Himself has taught us that we are in the world, but not of the world, and in the loving embrace of His final earnest prayer for His own He petitioned the heavenly Father, “I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (Jn. 17:15-16). How our glad hearts rejoice in the sacred knowledge that “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Oh, let us always remember that the people of God are to influence the world, not the other way around. The saddest event of all is when it is not a saint, or a number of saints, that is influenced by the world, but a whole church is captivated by the world and its light goes out.

This is indeed the present condition of all the church systems of man!

In the kingdom of God everything moves out of the energy of the Holy Spirit. We must see beyond the vessel and apprehend the Life within. This reminds me of an incident after the end of World War One. The famous desert fighter, Lawrence of Arabia, brought several Arab leaders to Paris to represent their interests at the Versailles Peace Conference. Those sons of the desert were filled with astonishment at the sights of Paris, but nothing intrigued them quite as much as the running water in their hotel rooms. In the desert water was such a luxury and here in their rooms it seemed to be free and never ending, at the turning of a tap. When it was time to leave Paris, Lawrence found those Arabs removing the faucets, believing that those magic instruments would give them water at will in their native Arabia. Only with great difficulty did he finally convince them that the faucets were no good if detached from the water supply. “No good if detached!” What a word is that! Oh, let us give earnest heed to this tremendous statement! It reveals to us that any outward activity apart from the flow of HIS LIFE is dead and utterly worthless.

A faucet without a water connection!

The Holy Spirit says, “You have a name — a reputation and recognition by the people — that you are alive.” You mention the church at Sardis and the response is, “Wow — things are happening down there, that church has everything; you walk through the door and your hair stands up on end. They are alive; their pastor is a live wire bubbling over with zeal and dripping with charisma. They have interesting guest speakers and beautiful special music. They’ve got every kind of program going; why they’ve got a bus ministry, a youth program, a ball team, a senior citizens outreach, a home for unwed mothers, a coffee house ministry, an outreach to addicts and homosexuals. They’ve got a choir that will send chills down your spine; and, man, you walk in the door and they’ll have you busy doing something in no time at all!”

Ah, they have a name that they live because they are filled with all kinds of activity, but God sits back in His high and holy place and sadly fills out that church’s death certificate. “Thou art dead!” Instead of operating in the power of the Holy Spirit who is the life of the body of Christ, like computerized robots they go through the form of flesh-generated programmed activity that appears to the undiscerning eye to be evidence of life. The name that is lived is being lived before people. “Thou hast a name…” among the people. “Thou hast a name…” among the church systems of man. “Thou hast a name…” at the local Ministerial Association. “Thou hast a name…” on the church page of the newspaper. “Thou hast a name…” before the affluent, the intellectual, and the influential of the community. “Thou hast a name…” at the Kiwanis Club and the Rotary Club. “Thou hast a name…” with the mayor, the city council, the sheriff’s department, and social services. Everyone esteems you highly!

“But — THOU ART DEAD!”

The carnal Christians in the church at Sardis had a name that they lived, yet in fact they were dead. They were dead, but still they assumed the appearance of life! Human nature does not want to face the ugliness of death. We have invented a new vocabulary to discuss death. The people of previous centuries talked quite frankly about death. They spoke of the body as a corpse. Today we call the corpse “the deceased,” or the “loved one.” He is not dead. People do not die, they “pass on” and make their great “transition.” The deceased is not in a coffin, he is in a “slumber room.” He was probably reading a book when he went to sleep! Morticians, with lipstick and rouge, are busily engaged in transforming the dead into perennial members of a horizontal cocktail party. “He looks so natural, doesn’t he?” Every effort is made to “dress up” death so that it appears as life! And spiritually, that is what the believers in Sardis were doing. They were dwelling in a realm of death, the death of the carnal mind, but with their religiosity they had painted themselves up and made a name for themselves that they lived!

I am sure that all who read these lines know what a taxidermist is.

A taxidermist is a person who stuffs dead animals and makes them look like they did when they were alive. No doubt we have all been to museums where they have displayed stuffed foxes, elephants, or buffalo. We have been in someone’s home and have seen their fishing or hunting trophies — a fish or a deer head mounted on the wall. When you look at these they look exactly as they did when they were alive. You almost expect to see them move at any moment! The scales are all in the right order, the fins and tail look so very powerful, the eyes are open. The deer appears so graceful and majestic with startling innocence in his eyes, standing at attention. There is only one problem — he is not alive! There is no life on the inside. No matter how good he looks, the fact is he is dead! Multitudes of the Lord’s people are like these animals. I’m not talking about dead people who are stuffed like mummies. And I’m not talking about the people out in the world who are dead in trespasses and sins, alienated from the life of God in their minds, and therefore dead to truth, dead to reality, dead to God. Oh, no! It is to the saints in the church at Sardis that the Lord speaks when He says,

“Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”

You see, my beloved, it relates to works — for the Lord prefaces His remark in this way: “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” Works are the expression of life — movement, activity, performance, accomplishment. These saints are busy, active, involved, working, doing great things for God! But their works do not originate out of life, they are neither ordained nor energized by the Spirit, but stem rather from a realm of death — the unquickened soul, the Adamic mind, the natural man, carnal understanding and human zeal. By all these wonderful works done in the name of Christ, and accomplished for God, these have a name that they live, that the very life of God is manifested out of them. Yet they are dead!

Their works are dead works!

This is a realm in which every son of God must overcome in order to reign with Christ! Now, do not misunderstand me! Living people have works, too! Their works are born of the living word of God, the living will of God, and accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit! Some kingdom people will not witness to anyone, some people will not do any good works to bless others, some who call themselves sons of God hibernate in their own little sonship kingdom with no expression of the life of Christ to anyone. Others release their children to go out in the world and live like the devil with the notion that if GOD is calling them He will somehow reach out and touch them by His sovereign power. There is no reign of wisdom, responsibility, righteousness, or power through the lives of these folks. But if our sonship is worth a hill of beans there will be an expression, a ministration of the Spirit of wisdom, counsel, grace, salvation, deliverance, glory and power flowing out from us!

To know the difference between these two realms of works is what determines an OVERCOMER!

It is right here, in connection with this spiritual condition revealed in the church at Sardis, that we are called upon to overcome. As I have mentioned repeatedly in recent writings, in Christ’s messages to the seven churches it is not so much “cigarettes and whiskey and wild, wild women” that we are called upon to overcome, although those realms, too, will be overcome, but the emphasis in the letters to the seven churches concerns the spiritual conditions within the church realm. Those who are called to sonship have every one, without exception, heard the voice of the Lord calling them to totally forsake and utterly abandon the dead religious works of the old order church systems in order to serve the LIVING GOD! It means to act and serve and minister spontaneously out of the living power of the Christ in our spirit, not out of the carnal programs and promotions of the religious systems of man.

Hear, oh man of God, and give earnest heed, ye sons of God!

“For if…the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood (life) of Christ…PURGE YOUR CONSCIENCE FROM DEAD WORKS TO SERVE THE LIVING GOD” (Heb. 9:13-14). He who writes these lines testifies to those who read them that no one can serve “the living God” with “dead works.” Dead works are the fruit of the flesh seeking to serve God and they have no spiritual life in them, no life from the living God. Some think that “dead” means “sinful” works. These certainly would be dead weight upon the conscience. Yet here “dead works” are not gross sins or evil of the flesh, but the good of the flesh attempting to serve God through outward, empty, meaningless religious observances, self-invented works whereby men think to please God.

Dead works are produced out of a polluted conscience.

The polluted conscience dictates that this or that must be done to appease God, to please God, or to serve God. But they spring not from a spirit that is alive, and able to produce life; they are dead works brought forth out of the death of the carnal mind. They spring not from the fount of all life, and therefore are dead and obnoxious to God. It is the conscience that must be cleansed from dead works! The polluted conscience will feel better, it will feel justified and spiritual, after performing dead works; but it is a false reading, for a polluted conscience is as faulty and dangerous spiritually as a malfunctioning altimeter would be for an airplane pilot! It is the blood of Jesus that purges the conscience from dead works. Can you not see the mystery?

The blood of Jesus is the life of Jesus!

“Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, ye have no life in you.” It is the power of Christ’s life within that purges the conscience from dead works, so that we may serve the LIVING GOD! A conscience fully cleansed by the blood of Christ is freed from that inner gnawing demand to participate in the activities of the carnal church systems of man. Those who are called to the kingdom in this hour live in the dispensation of the Spirit — the spirit of sonship which has been sent into our hearts. It is the dispensation of the inner life, in which we are brought into the inner sanctuary, the secret place of the Most High; and the inner sanctuary is found within us, in that secret inner place where none but God’s Spirit can search out. In that hidden depth is the house God has prepared for Himself; there, in the mind of Christ in the new man of the spirit, God reveals, in a way that sense and reason cannot apprehend, the works of the living God by which the kingdom of God shall be brought forth in the earth.

It is indeed wonderful!

The words of this beautiful passage of scripture cast a ray of eternal hope across the gloomy pages of human tradition and ritualistic religion with its static creeds, outward ordinances, empty ceremonies, and carnal methods and programs that for centuries have blinded men’s minds and made their feet to stumble and lose their way so that they have become lost to the glorious and eternal reality of the life of God in the spirit. Oh that men might know that it is the Holy Spirit alone who makes men alive, and it is the Holy Spirit alone who must lead us into all truth and bring to fruition the purposes of God in our lives. Oh that men might know that we are the servants of THE LIVING GOD! Our spirits have been quickened by His Spirit that we might live His life. The works done by God’s called and chosen elect are works that spring out of His life within! That is how we serve the living God. No man can know the fullness of His presence nor the greatness of His power until his conscience has completely and forever been cleansed from dead works.

How vain have been our strivings about externals and our insistence upon little technicalities which we in ignorance deemed so very important! How often my own heart has been saddened as I have listened to brethren wasting their time contending over baptisms, communion, foot washing, sacred names, meats and drinks, holy days, sabbaths, fleshly Israel, dress codes, long hair, short hair, women preachers, so-called New Testament church orders, and petty doctrines of every kind, and when they were through with all their pietistic wrangling, they had accomplished nothing but to prove that they knew everything about the dead letter of the word and absolutely nothing about the LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT!

When I consider the vastness of God’s great plan and the awesome majesty of His wonderful purpose of the ages, my soul grows weary with the petty quibblings of earth-bound, tradition-ridden men who are never able to deliver themselves from the externals of religion, and as a result are not able to see the ALL-SUFFICIENCY OF HIS INDWELLING LIFE. Men do not need any external ordinances, ceremonies, or regulations of any kind. THEY NEED THE INDWELLING CHRIST! They do not need to know doctrine.

They need to KNOW HIM as their INDWELLING LIFE AND LAW.

When I know God as LIFE, then I will discover the LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE. That is the only law for a son of God! Then, when the SPIRIT OF LIFE WITHIN leads me to eat, I will eat. When the LIFE prompts me to drink, I will drink. When the LIFE anoints me to fast, I will fast. When the LIFE quickens me to sing, I will sing. When the LIFE commands me to speak, I will speak. When the LIFE orders me to be silent, I will be silent. When the LIFE stirs me to go, I will go. When the LIFE tells me to stay, I will stay. When the LIFE directs me to work, I will work. When the LIFE guides me to rest, I will rest. When the LIFE impresses me to wait, I will wait. When the LIFE draws me aside to a season of separation, I will turn aside. When the LIFE speaks that I should go here or there, I will go. When the LIFE urges me to give, I will give. You see, my beloved, with Christ there are no regulations, no rules, nothing to do by rote, only the indwelling commandment of HIS LIFE. In this kingdom of the Spirit today it is not a matter of law, or ordinances, or traditions, or observances, or regulations, but wholly a matter of the indwelling Christ. Each of God’s elect is learning the new way of the kingdom, living by the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus!

As long as the Christ within directs by His law of Life you are safe — for Christ today is the present, instant, up-to-date, indwelling LAWGIVER. Aren’t you glad! The words of Moses the prophet are fulfilled in the sons of God today: “The Lord thy God will raise up a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, LIKE UNTO ME; UNTO HIM SHALL YE HEARKEN” (Deut. 18:15). Christ is today’s real Moses, and we are His followers. God has raised up Christ! A greater than Moses is here! Christ is today’s real Lawgiver, not Christ in the Bible, not Christ in heaven, but Christ in the midst of us. “The Lord thy God shall raise up a prophet from the midst of thee.” This prophet is within us and we are learning to do all things in His presence, at His word, and by His life. There are no regulations today, just the real Moses, Christ in our spirit with His glorious Law of Life. There are no external rules, observances, traditions, ordinances, or ceremonies — just the indwelling life. As long as I am following my Lawgiver today, as long as I am one spirit with my Christ, whatever I do as a product of His indwelling life is both the will and the work of the Father. Whether it is building furniture in a shop in Nazareth or feeding a multitude by the sea, it matters not; for a son of God lives only and always by the indwelling life, a state of being. In this kingdom of the Spirit there are not secular things and spiritual things.

There is only the will of God by the Spirit!

This is a great and surprising revelation to many. Some will tell you that life is in keeping the commandments, another that life is in using the correct form of the sacred name, another that life is in keeping the sabbath, another that life is in attending meetings, another that life is in taking communion, another that life is in winning souls, or in water baptism, or speaking in tongues. But life is none of these things! It is more than all. Life is not to have an experience, or do this, or that, or the other — life is the living power of Christ within! Plus nothing! Can you grasp the power of that, my beloved? The works of a son of God are the works dictated by the law of Christ within whether that be working or waiting, or winning or losing, or suffering or recovering, or living or dying. We feel helpless beside a truth so great and eternal! In union with Christ His will is done as naturally as breathing. If you are struggling to know His will, and laboring to do His works, then sit at His feet like a little child and learn the simple truth that God’s will may be done as much by hewing stones, or sweeping floors, as by preaching or prophesying or doing miracles. God’s will is THE LIVING OUT OF HIS LIFE! Seek not a dream, or vision, or great revelation of what you should do. Start where you are…LET HIM LIVE THROUGH YOU right there…His will shall begin to be done in you today!

Oh, yes!

For Jesus, the firstborn Son, the will of God began in the mundane things of His everyday life in the dusty mountain village of Nazareth, the place of no good thing. It was there, for thirty years, that He learned to live by the Law of the Spirit of the Life of the Father within. As that life grew in Him the day came in the fullness of time when the Life led Him to Cana of Galilee. The Life led Him to the Jordan. The Life led Him into the wilderness. The Life brought Him out of the wilderness in the power of the Spirit. The Son of God was manifested! Yet, the truth of the matter is that He was every bit as much the Son of God while He fashioned a plowshare with His rough hands, and spoke mercy and comfort to His sorrowing neighbor, as when He laid His hands of power upon the blind and deaf, held the winds in His fist, and commanded the waves with the voice of omnipotence.

Did you ever stop to think that when Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son of God, came into this world HE WAS THE ONLY LIVING MAN IN A WORLD OF DEAD PEOPLE? The whole world lay in the hands of the wicked one and death reigned over all the earth realm! No wonder the scripture says that flesh is a stench in the nostrils of God, because spiritual death sends forth its reek and stench. How the soul of Jesus must have recoiled at the state of death that was rampant over the earth! We, too, the walking dead, walked according to the course of this world, we are told. When Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, came into this world to reveal the Life of God, He came outside the existing religious systems. He spoke the words of God and did the works of God and manifested the nature of God. What an appalling shock to the established religious order to have this strange man, speaking as one with authority, suddenly appear in their midst not as a Pharisee, a Sadducee, or a priest of the order of Aaron, but in the power of the Spirit of God!

Sunday after Sunday thousands of ministers stand in their pulpits to preach dead sermons while untold millions of church members sing the same songs, repeat the same prayers, go through the same motions, observing lifeless forms, meaningless rituals, and empty ceremonies. I tell you frankly that that is the way to spiritual stagnation and perpetual immaturity, but it is not the path to sonship and the fullness of God, or life in the Spirit. Oh! There is no death anywhere more horrible than that to be found in dead religion. It is the land of the living dead, a land filled with zombies, having the outward appearance of being alive, and yet dead. There are but two kinds of people: the dead and the alive. If you have not been made alive by His transforming power, you are still dead no matter how rosy your religious cheeks may appear. If you have been made alive may I tell you that, as assuredly as Lazarus knew that he had been raised from the tomb, so also you know that you have been quickened by God, made alive, and you walk in newness of life as a son of God in the land of the living.

You will understand a great mystery when you understand that the soul is instinctively religious.

The human soul, apart from union with the spirit, loves to appear and act spiritual just as a little girl loves to play house with her dolls and toys and pretend she is mothering her babies and keeping the house. The glorious Christ within, who has the seven spirits of God, is none other than the Word of God Himself. He arises out of our spirit, entering into mind and heart to take away the defilement and death of the outer life. He stands up in our inner sanctuary to remove, not the iniquities which separate between God and the sinner, but some dead thing by which the people of God are defiled.

Sadly the great apostle wrote to young Timothy about those “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (II Tim. 3:5). Then he added, “From such turn away.” The “form of godliness without power” is an abomination, but the FORM OF GODLINESS WITH POWER is a mighty thing! Not a form of religion, but the FORM OF GODLINESS or God-like-ness. Without a form you have no power. The “image” and “likeness” of God is a form! If you have some gunpowder, it may be a pound weight, and scatter it in a plate and set fire to it, there is no power to it: but ram it into a cannon, put a bullet there, and you had better stand out of the way of the power, for it is very real! The sons of God are being prepared, pressed, and formed in the processings of the Father, not as power dispersed, but as power concentrated. Through His faithful dealing with us His nature, glory, and power are being built into us, intensified within us, formed in our lives for the hour of unveiling. He cannot dwell “loosely” within us, only casually experienced. Through the unique experiences He brings into our lives His life is being meticulously pressed into every facet of our being until HIS FORM becomes all that is seen in every circumstance and situation.

Forms without power are forms without Christ. Forms without power are a curse.

All forms of prayer and praise and religious activity which have no power in them are abominations. The church that has a form without a power ought to have been buried long ago, and all who are in contact with them are defiled by death. Under the law it was defilement to touch a dead thing! Power goes into form; form does not always contain power. Empty forms are dead carcasses that defile; living forms embody and express all the power of the indwelling life. The only form that does contain power is the FORM OF CHRIST as He is formed as truth and reality in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. All forms which are not His living form in us are dead forms and men are defiled thereby.

There is only one form in the whole universe to be desired, and it is the one created by God Himself. Millenniums ago the great king Nebuchadnezzar gazed in transfixed wonder upon this form and cried out in astonishment, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Dan. 3:24-25). Ah, there is the form! Paul, by the wisdom given him, penned these words of truth, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Phil. 2:5-6). Think diligently of what the apostle has told us in speaking thus: “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until CHRIST BE F-O-R-M-E-D in you” (Gal. 4:19).

The church in Sardis has a name that it lives, but is dead.

The church of today is like an autumn leaf, dry and dead but retaining its form and structure. Death has come to man on all levels through the eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree is the tree of death! This tree of death stands in stark contrast to the tree of life! The tree of life is Christ, for “in Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” “When Christ who is our life shall appear…” “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath the life of the ages.” The life given men by the tree of life is a higher kind of life than the masses of men upon earth know today. It is divine life, incorruptible life, eternal life, God life, the life of the Spirit. The tree of life in Eden was nothing else than the life of God in man’s spirit made available to man simply for the taking.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, on the other hand, is not life, but death.

The truth of this can be seen in the very ingredients of the fall! When Adam sinned, of which tree did he eat? Why, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Hear this! The elements of that tree were not only the element of evil; they were the elements producing a knowledge of both good and evil! The tree ministered to man a knowledge of good as truly as it ministered to him a knowledge of evil. Thus, the fall of man introduced him into a realm of duality, of admixture: good and evil. The fallen man is both good and evil! How prone we have been to declare the unregenerated man only evil! It is true that the element of evil in some men predominates, but it is also true that the element of good in other men predominates. The good in man has not been corrupted to the point of non-existence. It is for this reason that the philosophers and psychologists have discovered that within man are some “illustrious virtues” and “innate goodness” and have reached the mistaken conclusion that the nature of man is good. They have merely discovered that within fallen man there is still the principle of good which naturally causes us to want to do good.

The problem is that when man came into the knowledge of good and evil he did not come into a better condition. Man came to know “good and evil” but he didn’t come to KNOW GOD! He now possesses a knowledge of the good and of the evil, but he does not possess the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD! Man passed into the knowing of good and evil but he did not BECOME HOLY! He merely added evil to his good producing a mixture of the two, but in so doing he forfeited THE LIFE AND GLORY AVAILABLE TO HIM IN THE TREE OF LIFE!

He chose good and evil — but missed Life!

The knowledge of good and evil concerns itself only with external behavior, judging all things on the basis of whether they are “good” or “evil.” Man, as long as he walks in this consciousness of the fall, the knowledge of good and evil, can understand and judge only within this framework: is a thing good or is it evil? He then presumes that if a thing is “good” it must be acceptable and godly. Nothing could be farther from the truth! If “good” was acceptable with God then man could surely be justified by “the works of the law.” The law is good! But the “good” of man is the good of the creature — not the good of the Creator!

It is the good of the soul, but not the good of the Spirit!

In the garden of Eden we have two revelations from two kinds of trees. First, life is the nature of God, whereas good is the nature of man. Second, life is good, but not all good is life! The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil show us that on the highest level life and good are definitely different; life is neither good nor evil. Life, good, and evil ARE THREE DIFFERENT AND INDEPENDENT THINGS. The good of God can only be experienced through participation in the life of God. Evil mingled with good produced death. And even before man fell, all of his good, of itself, could not give him life. There was no life in good, just as there was no life in evil. Only the tree of life possessed the power of life! If man had been partaking of the tree of life he could not have fallen.

Can we not see by this that “good” and “life” are things which pertain to two different worlds!

Just as evil is something other than life, so also is good something other than life. Just as evil is not life, so also good is not life. Evil and good, though different in nature, are really of the same world for they come from the same tree. Neither one contains life or is life! Thus in the scriptures, good and evil are not two trees, but one tree. Life is in another tree, being something of another realm, from another world, pertaining to another kingdom. This is how it is that a man, by his own determination and effort, can improve considerably in his character and actions and yet still be entirely VOID OF THE LIFE OF GOD! He can be upright, honest, truthful, caring, compassionate, influential for good in the world and yet have no more spiritual understanding or life than a dog or cat. This is because his goodness is completely apart from life! It is of his own good human effort, and not a product of indwelling life.

All who dwell in THE SARDIS CONDITION are those who suppose that good is life!

Oh, how “good” religion is! How “good” are their doctrines, their rules, their morality, their standards, their causes, their programs, their ordinances, their organizations, their charities, their rituals, their forms, their works! How it all soothes the human conscience, giving the illusion that the living Christ is being served! They have a name before men that they live, but they are dead. Only the power of Christ in our spirit is the light of men and the light of the world, and all who follow Him will not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.

How I rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory that for the called and chosen elect of the Lord who have been born of the Spirit, there is no longer merely the two realities of good and evil; there is now within our being the very LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS! He who is in union with the tree of life has the power to offer that to others of which they can eat and live. Amid all who surround him he becomes a tree of life, of which they can taste and be refreshed. He is in his circle a center of life and of blessing, and that simply because he abides in Christ who is the life.

The sons are of that company which has discovered a realm of life, reality, and glory that transcends all the good of man. This dimension of life is the kingdom realm of God! This is where the difference lies between the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. The tree of knowledge (doctrines, rules, commandments) can only impart to men a knowledge of good and evil. The power of Christ in the manifest sons of God shall reveal to all creation the power of incorruptible life! Creation shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the sons of God!

God has through the years given us a foretaste of how the kingdom of God works in the lives of men by the power of life. In fellowships we have been associated with a number of people were brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Some of these dear ones had deep problems and powerful habits in their lives. Some, for instance, were smokers. Knowing that such habits and bondages are a hindrance in the lives of those who would truly be overcomers in the Lord, we could have told these people, “You must stop smoking. You can’t be a member of this fellowship as long as you smoke. You can’t function in our meetings until you get deliverance. You can neither teach, prophesy, or assume any role of ministry until you become an example to others. Smoking is a sin and will destroy your spiritual life.

Forget about the high calling of God until you get delivered!”

We could have counseled these dear ones thus, but we would have only been offering them some fruit off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! So instead, we offered them fruit from the tree of LIFE! Rather than condemning them for their habit, we blessed them and encouraged them in the Lord. We received them. We loved them unconditionally. We got them into the word of God. We ministered the life of the Spirit to them. We shared the truths of sonship and the high calling of God with them. We unveiled the mysteries of the kingdom unto them. We withheld no good thing from them. And guess what happened! To my knowledge, within a very short time every one of them was delivered from their cigarettes!

Their deliverance, therefore, was the product of life, a working of the growth of divine life in them. Death became “swallowed up” of life! The Son of God came that men might have life. He did not come to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. The sons of God are arising for the very same purpose, in the very same ministry — LIFE! The world is condemned already. The last thing creation needs is some preacher out on a street corner screaming about sin and death and hell. Cursed fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! The whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. Deliverance is arising! God is purging a people from dead works, and raising up sons of God in this new kingdom Day who serve the LIVING GOD! A flood of Life, Light, and Love is about to break forth upon the nations!

It is indeed wonderful!

To be continued…                                                                

Monday, October 29, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 50

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 50) by J. Preston Eby

THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA (continued)
“And he that overcometh…to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers…” (Rev. 2:26-27).

The imagery here is drawn from Israel’s conquest of the land of Canaan. To overcome means to conquer — that is the meaning of the word “overcome” in the Greek text. At the time Israel entered into their new land of promise it was occupied by seven “ites” — seven nations greater and mightier than they, seven nations that were exceedingly vile and corrupt, which they had to conquer, subdue, break to shivers, dispossess, rule over, and destroy! In the hidden language of the Spirit, the symbol of “land” has the meaning of “inheritance.” The land of Canaan which Israel possessed is a figure of the true land — our inheritance in Christ! Our new land in this new day of the kingdom of God is the fullness of Christ! Our spiritual inheritance is in Christ, and the full possession of our spiritual inheritance means everything Christ is experientially realized within ourselves!

The great mark of Canaan was that the land had to be conquered and that God gave such glorious victories over the strong, entrenched enemies. There is warfare in Canaan! There are giants in Canaan! There are seven great and mighty nations that must be subdued in Canaan! If we are going to possess the kingdom we are going to have to fight for it. The powers that are there will contest every foot of it; as soon as we start to posses our inheritance in God, we will come face to face with them. In that land of experiencing the fullness of Christ within ourselves we find great strongholds of hindrances, problems, weaknesses, bondages, discouragements, fears, misperceptions, carnal ideas and religious conceptions, fleshly desires, habits, sin, sickness, and death — all entrenched enemies of the realization of the mind, nature, victory, and power of Christ. But God has promised to drive out all these enemies from before us, giving us dominion over all these nations with rest, blessing, abundance, glory, and power in the land of our inheritance!

What are some of these nations the Lord has promised to deliver into our hands as we enter in to possess our spiritual land of promise?

Let us look at these seven nations!
The first is the Hittites. Hittite means terror, coming from a word meaning to prostrate or break down by confusion and fear. Terror is the emotion people feel when facing the unknown or when threatened, as Israel was when they took the first step to conquer their land. It is the emotion we come face to face with when we hear the doctor announce, “You have cancer,” or the stock market falls a couple thousand points right when we are ready to retire. There is also spiritual terror inflicted by what Lynn Hiles calls terrorist preachers. When I was a boy, the churches in which I was raised painted such a picture of God as One who is so exacting, demanding, judgmental, and vindictive, that if you went to bed at night with one little unconfessed sin in your life, not under the blood of Jesus, and should the “rapture” take place during the night, you would be left behind! I tell you that in those days I could not truly love God for being afraid of Him! The coming of the Lord sent no thrill of glory through my soul; the very thought of His coming struck terror in my heart! God was so high and holy, so awesome and exacting, so stern and demanding that I was sure I could never be quite ready to stand before His fearsome presence. How my ransomed soul exults with joy unspeakable and full of glory that God has driven that false Hittite religious spirit of terror out of my land so that I now may KNOW HIM AS HE REALLY IS! Do you think we should be afraid of someone as gracious and merciful as our heavenly Father? Should we cringe before Him like a dog that expects a kick? What has God done to us that we should be afraid of Him? God so loved the world that He gave His Son for us!

God is Love!

It is a fact that most fear has its root in the unknown. People fear what they cannot see, or what they do not understand, or what they imagine to be. It’s no wonder, then, that since religion deals with an unseen world — with spirit beings, the hereafter, eternity, future punishments and rewards, heaven and hell — that people’s fears play a very important role in most of the world’s religions. You must admit that fears of pain, suffering, or death; fears of coming judgment, tribulation, or wrath; fears of spiritual punishment and unknown, unnamed torments in hell; all of these fears virtually dominate most of the religions on earth!

Those who are God’s called and chosen elect in this great day of the Lord are now being delivered from all fear and terror, for they understand by the deep inner revelation of the Spirit that all things are in our Father’s hands and all that happens in our lives is part of His wise purpose for our growth and development in Him. He is in control, no matter how dark or hopeless things seem, and He will bring us forth triumphantly as we commit our way to the Lord and trust also in Him. Now together we can raise our voices in blessed chorus with the Psalmist and joyfully sing, “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears!” (Ps. 34:1,4). The writer to the Hebrews adds, “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Heb. 13:5-6).

Even in the “valley of the shadow of death” He has promised to be with us, and even there we shall “fear no evil” (Ps. 23:4). Those in whom the spirit of sonship is revealed fear no evil! We do not fear the wrath of men! We do not fear sickness or tragedy! We do not fear death! We do not fear judgment! We do not fear hell! We do not fear the antichrist! We do not fear world government! We do not fear tribulation! We do not fear the beast! We have no fear of the “end time”! We have no fear of economic collapse! We have no fear of terrorists! We have no fear of conspiracies! We have sought the Lord, He has heard us, and has delivered us from all our fears by the revelation of His mighty power working in us!

By this you can know a son of God!

We all learn the spiritual lessons our Father teaches us in different ways, but He has a wonderful teaching strategy for each of us. More than forty-five years ago a young prophet and his wife came to the church I was pastoring in Florida. One night in our home this brother’s wife went into a trance and through visions and prophecies began to reveal some awesome things. Some of them concerned murders and other terrible events that had happened far away. Times, locations, and names were given. Others concerned folks right in our church. Secret sins, including homosexuality, and even murder, were revealed in the lives of some of the saints. This continued into the early hours of the morning. It really got scary! We were told that a certain one of these people somehow knew that we had learned about his dark secrets, and that he would be coming after us. We fled out of the house in terror and spent the rest of the night at another location!

Upon returning home the next day, as soon as I pulled the car into the carport, I noticed that someone had opened the trap door overhead into the attic. My blood ran cold. My hair bristled. Fear seized me more than ever. I just knew someone was up there and they were waiting to murder me! Things got even more bizarre before the Lord intervened. Then powerfully the word of the Lord came to me, thundering within my spirit, “I HAVE N-O-T GIVEN YOU THE SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF LOVE, AND OF POWER, AND OF A SOUND MIND!” At once I saw all this for what it truly was. It was a delusion! It was not of God! And through this traumatic experience the Lord taught me one of the fundamental principles of His kingdom and life, laying it as a line, a foundation in my walk. Isn’t our Father a wonderful teacher! Every son being brought to maturity will learn some of the most valuable lessons in God’s unique laboratory and on His peculiar field trips! The principle the Lord laid in my life that day was just this: I HAVE NOT GIVEN YOU THE SPIRIT OF FEAR. Any message that genders fear, is not of God! You can take that to the bank, my brother, my sister, and you can judge all things, experiences, teachings, and ministries by that truth!

There are some preachers in this sonship-kingdom word, sad to say, who specialize in preaching fear instead of the victory and glory of Christ! They wildly speculate about world events, conspiracies, world government, the antichrist, the mark of the beast, great tribulation, etc., supposing that every national or world crisis portends the end. With each new election, or change, they suspect a vast conspiracy. They live on the brink of Armageddon. I have known precious brethren who out of fear of the world government takeover, or the Y2K delusion, sold their homes and moved to some remote area or some “safe” place. Their lives would have been better, happier, and more productive if they had stayed right where they were. It wasn’t the word of the Lord that sent them to their wilderness; it was the spirit of fear! It was the false spirit of the Hittites — one of the enemies we are now called to conquer as we possess our new land of the fullness of Christ!

For years preachers warned us that the Communists had a plan and time-table for world domination, and we were told that they were ahead of schedule. What fear this struck into men’s hearts! But it was not the word of the Lord, it was the word of the Communists! And the word failed as Communism collapsed in Russia and Europe. The preachers didn’t take time to hear from God, they just accepted the word of the Communists, inserted it into their erroneous theories about the “end-time,” and proclaimed it as truth. In this new day God is delivering His elect people from all this carnal and soulish sensationalism! There is a beautiful prophecy of king David that is addressed directly to those who have faith and confidence in the wonderful promises and plan of God, and of these he declares, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. THEREFORE WILL WE NOT FEAR, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof…” (Ps. 46:1-3).

We will not fear!” declares the prophet.

WE WILL NOT FEAR though the earth (social order) be removed! WE WILL NOT FEAR though the mountains (strong kingdoms, empires) be carried into the midst of the sea (brought down by raging, surging masses of humanity)! WE WILL NOT FEAR though the waters (peoples) be troubled! WE WILL NOT FEAR though the mountains (governments) shake! No place to hide, there, no “safe area” unto which to flee — but — WE WILL NOT FEAR because GOD IS OUR REFUGE! Aren’t you glad! As the Lord said to Israel when they entered their new land of promise, “Let not your heart faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, TO SAVE YOU” (Deut. 20:3-4).

So much for the Hittites! God is giving us the victory!

Next we meet the Girgashites. The Girgashites were known only as the offspring of Ham which means dark. Spiritually it means to be ignorant, without understanding, or having a false understanding. It speaks of the carnal mind of the natural man who “receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.” All of us have battled with our human perceptions and the reasonings of the carnal mind! And nowhere more than in the area of the word of God. Well do I remember back in the days of the great Latter Rain outpouring when a friend said to me, “Preston, I now know what the New Jerusalem is.” “What do you mean?” I asked. He replied, “WE are the New Jerusalem!” And immediately my carnal mind with its dead letter-of-the-word literalistic understanding, sighed, thinking, “Oh, brother, I’ve heard it all now!” Very shortly thereafter the mighty winds of divine revelation blew in quickening power into my own life, and in one blessed moment a whole storehouse of my old, carnal-minded, literalistic, religious interpretations put on the scriptures were swept away like chaff before a summer breeze.

At last I understood!

The carnal mind is exceedingly dark and there is not one micro-milligram of spiritual understanding in it. Only those who have met this kingdom of the carnal mind and have defeated it are sons of God empowered to reign with Christ in His kingdom! I have observed through many years that in the vast majority of cases, when one is apprehended and receives the call to sonship, the very first carnal-minded tradition that is swept away is the old-order doctrine of the rapture. It’s as though that one false teaching is somehow the key or the gateway out of carnal understanding of the scriptures into the spiritual life and revelation of the kingdom of God! People who cannot within their minds cross that barrier never progress into the depths and heights of God. It is a deep mystery, but it is a divine truth that once one has slain that Girgashite giant, many others then fall in quick succession before him!

In our day when Bibles can be bought at Wal-Mart and almost any department store, and sermons can be heard any hour of the day or night, practically no one, the preachers in particular, is hearing the word of God! Multitudes read the words of the Bible but do not hear them! Intellect may grasp what is written there…but that is not a hearing. Hearing the word of God will work transformation in a man! A true hearing of the word will reveal the Father’s heart and uncover His ways and give understanding of His purposes. Hearing the word by the Spirit will bring obedience to the word — the obedience of faith — and things will begin to happen!

Taken by the Spirit to the valley of dry bones, Ezekiel was asked, “Son of man, can these bones live?” “O Lord God,” was the prophet’s response, “Thou knowest.” He was then told to prophesy to them: “O dry bones, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD!” The prophet obeyed, and as he declared to them the word of the Lord, they came together, bone to its bone. Covered first with sinews, then with flesh, those lifeless bodies were also quickened by the breath of divine life which entered into them (Eze. 37:1-10). The quickening of the dry bones was effected by their response to the Lord’s word! As they kept hearing what He was saying to them, the Holy Spirit kept working within them until they were made alive by His breath and stood up, an exceeding great army. In like manner, as we keep hearing and keep responding to the living word the Spirit is speaking today, the army of the Lord shall stand up in the earth and we shall possess all of our inheritance in Christ! Oh, yes! When the giants of the darkened carnal understanding are slain within us, the Girgashites are cast out and we possess more of our spiritual promised land!

Oh, ye sons of God — HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD!

Then we meet up with the Amorites. Amorite means publicity, prominence, or exalted. Amorites were mountaineers and lived in the high places. This speaks of spiritual pride and every thought and high thing in our lives that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. It includes all vain imaginations. It is very true that once we have conquered fear, becoming full of faith, confidence, and vision, and have slain the giants of the carnal understanding of the word, being quickened to spiritual truth — the very next formidable enemy we encounter is spiritual pride! I have seen many young saints in this walk of the kingdom become all puffed up with spiritual pride over their call to sonship and the abundance of revelation they have received. They walk around with a super-spiritual attitude looking down their noses at all the poor spiritual slobs who don’t understand who they are, or know what they know! Just this week I received a letter from a brother, at the end of which he signed his name and then wrote in parenthesis, “a manifested son.”How I wish it was true!

God’s true people are an humble people, and there is no place in the kingdom of God for an exalted spirit of self-importance because of our calling in God. That is not the spirit of sonship! Believe me, my beloved, it is all by His matchless grace! The words of the wise man are true for every son of God, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). “Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (I Pet. 5:6). Pride is a kingdom within each of us to be overcome!

Away with the Amorites!

The Canaanites are the next kingdom we encounter in the land. Canaanite means a peddler, trickster, or trafficker. This bespeaks of the spirit of charlatanism, showmanship, gimmickry, pretense, and religious racketeers! It is the misuse of the anointing and revelation one has received. Ah, what a temptation that is! The Canaanites are the harlot spirits of the fleshly religious methods of Mystery Babylon. These Canaanite preachers are always peddling something, hawking their wares — some little gimmick to get you to follow them and send them your money. This is the “business” side of religion! The church systems are full of Canaanite preachers and programs and most churches today are of the Canaanite spirit. So-called Christian television and radio are the strongest Canaanite spirits of all and if you are a son of God I do not hesitate to tell you that you have cleansed yourself from following after these religious hucksters! We have all met these Canaanite giants through the years and sometimes bought of their wares.

But no longer!

Above all, we have met this Canaanite spirit right within ourselves, in our very own land, for every ministry the Lord raises up, on whatever level, faces sooner or later the temptation to use the anointing of God, the revelation of God, or the power of God, and to use God’s precious people for his own profit and ends. Oh, yes! You will never go anywhere in God without meeting up with one of these giants! Thank God, most of us have encountered that nation in our land and by the power, wisdom, and understanding of the mind of Christ we have thrown down their altars, cut down their groves in all their high places, and have burned all their images within ourselves that they might not any longer turn our hearts from wholly and only following Christ into the land of our full inheritance in the Spirit!

The next nation, the Perizzites, are an open or unwalled country. They are defenseless, those who have no spiritual immune system, who dwell in a spiritual land of weakness, doubt, indecision, vacillation, limitation, inferiority, and condemnation. These are always upset, worried, offended, confused, discouraged, distressed, beaten down and full of trouble. Everything goes wrong for these folks! Their lives are one disaster after another. Those who are constantly battling within themselves this inner condition of the Perizzites have not yet learned this one simple but sublime truth — you have within you the self-existent Life of God! How many weak and weary saints are constantly running around from meeting to meeting, from revival to revival, from preacher to preacher, from prayer group to prayer group, seeking Life. These dear souls always stand in need of some “blessing.” They need you to pray for them, encourage them, counsel them, and help them on an on-going basis.

You can always spot a person controlled by the Perizzite spirits, because his whole world is on the outside. He has no defenses, no strength, no ability in Christ of his own, but is totally dependent upon what others can and must do for him. If he gets fed, someone else must feed him. If he gets clothed, someone else must provide the garment. If he gets bathed, he must borrow someone else’s water. He cannot solve any of his problems for himself, they must all be ministered to from without. He gets no word from God out of his own spirit; others must teach, counsel, prophesy, and guide him. Thus we see that there are three basic characteristics of those in the Perizzite condition. First, they have more problems than most other folks. Second, they are dependent upon others to meet their needs and solve those problems.

Third, when they have a need they let it be known until someone comes and meets it!

The Perizzite spirit causes people to have the victory when everything is going good, or when they are struck with some ecstatic experience, some special blessing; but as soon as the blessing wears off they are so weak they can’t make it without another spiritual “fix.” What’s wrong with these folks? I will tell you! Their source of life is on the outside! They have not been awakened to that all-sufficient, omnipotent, self-existent life that dwells within their spirit. They are unable to appropriate the power of the Christ within for themselves. Their senses have not been exercised to discern that truly “greater is He that is within you, than he that is in the world!” They have not developed to that point of spiritual maturity where they know Christ to be the substance of their inward life, their all-in-all, sufficient to answer every question, meet every need, solve every problem, deal with every situation, overcome every obstacle, conquer every enemy, and transcend every problem within and without.

God is raising up a people who know that THEY HAVE LIFE IN THEMSELVES!

These are they who have battled the spirits of the Perizzites and overcome them, and occupied their land. Oh, yes! Let me present this glorious company of overcomers, even those who have life in themselves. They are strong. They are full of faith and the Holy Ghost. They have discovered the river of life that flows out of their innermost being, life full, abundant, overflowing! They are never discouraged by any situation, nor upset by any circumstance. They are constant — not up one day, and down the next. They seldom have prayer requests. They are always encouraging others, but never seem to need encouragement themselves. They minister to many, but do not stop to be ministered to. They are not offended by what others say or do. They are not oppressed or burdened. They are not fearful, worried, or confused. They don’t quit when the going gets tough. They don’t talk about the devil, or how he has been after them. They don’t magnify their problems. They are not sad, sorrowful, or downcast, regardless of what happens. They always have the victory. They love all men unconditionally, and manifest toward all the spirit of reconciliation. The word of Christ dwells in them richly. They have been given a new song, even praise unto their God! They walk in wisdom and understanding, in confidence and faith, and rejoice in expectation of the glory of God. Their consuming passion is to see God’s kingdom purposes fulfilled in the earth.

What is the secret to these people’s victory?

I will tell you! THEY HAVE LIFE IN THEMSELVES! The firstborn Son of God said, “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself” (Jn. 5:26). LIFE IN HIMSELF! That is self-existent life, a life not derived from any source, not drawn from without, not dependent upon any substance — inherent life! Therefore Jesus could say, “I am the Life!” No man before Jesus could say that. May I reverently add, that just as the Father has life in Himself, and just as the Father has given the Son to have life in Himself, so has the Father given to the sons to have life in themselves! That is the power of sonship to God! Once the Spirit of God has quickened our spirit; once we are joined to the Lord as one spirit; once the spirit of Christ dwells within us as the spirit of sonship — we too have life in ourselves!

Jesus did not come to receive life, for He was life.

Jesus did not come to receive life, but to give life. Within that life was contained all the fullness of God! If He needed understanding, the understanding was in the life which was within Him. If He needed wisdom, the wisdom was in the life which was within Him. If He needed power, the power was in the life which was within Him. He possessed a nature and a life that was not dependent upon anything without, nothing could hinder, quench, or destroy that life, nothing could add anything to that life, for it was self-existent life, all-sufficient life, inexhaustible life, incorruptible life! This is the life of sonship! Once we discover this life, appropriate this life, and by it swallow up all limitation and death, we have conquered the Perizzite spirits within ourselves and are now living and resting in this wonderful new land of victory!

The next nation with which each of us contends on our march into our spiritual land of promise is that of the Hivites. Hivite means a village or encampment. It refers to that which is organized as a society — the systems of this world — doing things the world’s way! Every little “organized fellowship” which establishes some “order” to which we all must conform apart from the sovereign and spontaneous flow of the life of the Spirit, becomes one of the villages of the Hivite kingdom! This spirit of organization, exclusiveness, control, and sectarianism may be found within the flesh of each one of us and we will surely meet up with this enemy before we have fully possessed our land of the fullness of Christ.

Every man-made religious system is a Hivite village or encampment!

The Hivites are sons of Canaan, the peddler and huckster, and also speaks of external forms of worship. It is impossible to worship God externally! Oh, yes, one may go through the physical motions of singing, shouting, raising the hands, swaying, dancing, or prostrating the body, but that does not mean he is worshipping. One can appear to worship externally, and it be a sham, a fa├žade, for God is a Spirit, and they that worship the Father must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The “villages” of the Hivites take many forms, but it is always what man does and builds “for” God rather than the work of God by the Spirit!

The last of the seven nations we are called to conquer within ourselves is the Jebusites. It is interesting to note that the Jebusites occupied Zion, the stronghold of Jerusalem, and they were not dislodged from there until David conquered them long after the days of Joshua. There David established his kingdom and he reigned from mount Zion gloriously. The conquest of the Jebusite kingdom represents the final battle for possession of the land, which then qualifies us to rule and reign in the kingdom, and upon mount Zion, with the son of David, the Lord Jesus Christ! And notice, now, the final promise to the overcomer, following the final step in his overcoming in the messages to the seven churches, “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). That is the promise to those who conquer the nation of the Jebusites within themselves!

Jebusite means a threshing place.

Ah, this is the place where we encounter trials, testings, troubles, tragedies, reversals, problems, strippings, cross-currents, and all those traumatic experiences by which we are made strongest in the Lord! This is the “much tribulation” through which we enter the kingdom of God! A lot of people are reluctant to face the warriors of this fierce kingdom! These warriors may be temptations, lusts, habits, sickness, accidents, loss, marital problems, troubles with our children, the boss, or other people, financial disaster, or a thousand other seeming tragedies that come our way for our processing. Each of these battles is tremendously important, for this is the final victory that prepares us for the throne!

As I have pointed out many times before, this journey to the throne of the universe begins in that small and undistinguished place where you are. The kingdom of God is within you. The in Christed who are to reign with Christ from sea to sea, then from planet to planet, and finally from galaxy to galaxy, are being prepared to rule. Think not in your heart, precious friend of mine, that you may pass your life here careless, indifferent to the dealings of God, suddenly to awake one fine morning to find yourself sitting with Christ governing the universe, because such a thing will not be. Begin today to MAKE WAY FOR THE KING! This present time is but a proving ground for those who through grace will reign with their Lord over the endless vastnesses of infinity. He is raising us up to sit with Him in the higher than heavenlies. And the place which He is preparing for each one is not only a world to come, and a kingdom of Life and Light, but a place in Him, bone of His bones, flesh of His flesh, spirit of His spirit, mind of His mind, nature of His nature, life of His life!

Years ago an IBM junior executive made a mistake that cost the company several million dollars. IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson Sr., summoned him into his office. Assuming the worst, the sullied young executive said, “I guess you want my resignation?” Mr. Watson replied, “You can’t be serious. We’ve just spent millions of dollars educating you!” God is the founder of the most important enterprise of all — the kingdom of God. God is now in the process of hiring, educating, and developing His management team. He is training us to become powerful rulers in that kingdom in the day when He initiates the next phase of the kingdom of heaven on earth. How much has God already expended on your training and education? God has made a supreme investment in us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Without that price, none of us could even enter into the kingdom of God, much less attain the high-ranking positions God has waiting for those who overcome — who graduate from His School of Dominion. God doesn’t stop there. He invests in us daily through His guidance and processings, through His teaching and training, and the continuous deep and vital dealings of His Spirit.

By these we learn to rule!

God will never give up on us! He is investing in us with every intention of making a profit 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! Often when He initiates a training session in our lives, we think He has forsaken us, or that He hates us, or is punishing us. He is well aware of our weaknesses, and is ever ready to help! The children of God make a lot of mistakes, for children are children. Our ability to learn from our mistakes is part of what God uses to build character in us!

It is the overcomers — those who don’t leave God’s school or resign from His purposes when the lessons get hard and the going gets tough, who ultimately are given power in His kingdom. Have you made costly mistakes? Did God send a difficult test your way and your reacted badly, or failed it? Have you been stumbling and seemingly wasting God’s time? Don’t resign! Don’t lose hope! Don’t drop out of God’s school! His investment in you is too great! He will see you through! 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 lie before you in the age and the ages to come. Through you creation will be lifted, redeemed, restored to life and liberty and glory — and that’s where the real profit begins!

If you truly are being prepared to fulfill your sonship, then the Father has brought you out of the nursery of man’s comfortable religion and He has drawn you into His School of Dominion. The curriculum of this school is a very difficult one! It just means this, that God is going to thrust us into the most difficult situations. A situation is only difficult if we are unable to cope with it. When we find the thing altogether beyond our measure; beyond our understanding, wisdom, and strength, then we are in difficulty. And that is the sort of thing the Lord does with people who aspire to be sons! He places them in difficult circumstances, His objective being to get their spiritual senses exercised so that they may experientially gain HIS understanding, wisdom, and strength! It requires no genius, experience, testing, or stretching to remain as we are.

But it takes some processing, growth, and development to be a son!

A son is one who is in the way of having substance within himself. Children must have everything done for them, and they live in the blessing of that to which they have contributed nothing. Spiritual children live on the benefits of what Christ has done for them and continues to do for them. They also draw upon the abilities, accomplishments, experience, faith, prayers, ministry, knowledge, strength, and wisdom of other saints. Everything comes to the child from the outside, and nothing has been done by the child itself. There is nothing wrong with that! We all love children! But these are the marks of infancy — not maturity. Sons have come out of the realm where everything is done for them! They are no longer living off of other people’s prayers, encouragements, prophecies, strength, and revelation, for the ability of God is being raised up within them by the indwelling life of the Spirit. What the son needs is BEING PRODUCED IN HIM and he is more and more walking in his own reality of the Christ within. His spiritual senses have become exercised, and he is possessing his new promised land of inheritance in Christ!

To deal with us and bring us to this state of maturity, the Lord puts us in difficult situations so that we can face the reality of His purpose in us and grow up! God says, “I will compass you about, hedge you in, shut you up, strip away every prop, remove all that you have depended upon, trusted in, and drawn your substance from; then I will precipitate you into the fiercest trials, tribulations and testings, I will make the furnace seven times hotter, and I will grow you up into sonship!” All our nice, comfortable line of things fall away at once and we find ourselves in a realm with which we cannot cope, not unlike the boy who cannot swim and is thrown into the river by his buddies.

We have been in the habit of asking questions and getting them answered, but when we enter into the battle with the Jebusite kingdom, suddenly no one can answer our questions; no prophet gives us a word, no word of wisdom is forthcoming to give us direction, no one’s prayers avail anything, the rivers all run dry, the food we have eaten becomes stale and unpalatable, the heavens are as brass, and God seems a million miles away! We are separated from all that has sustained us. Do not despair, dear one! For a season it seems that we will perish in the swirling waters — but our wise Father knows that before we go down the third time we will learn to swim! God has shut us up to the fact that from this point on everything must become ours EXPERIENTIALLY OUT OF THE CHRIST WITHIN. It is no longer something that is ministered to us, but a work that is done in us.

To truly come through to God’s full and intended place on mount Zion, we must know the Lord for ourselves in an inward way by the Spirit. It is often necessary for the Lord to suspend all external helps and render all others incapable of coming to our rescue, flinging us wholly upon Himself, that we may prove Him, know Him. This is not a permanent condition, but one we all pass through as we climb the rocky slopes of Zion and do battle with the stronghold of the Jebusites. It is a threshing place! It is there that Christ becomes ALL to us! When we have conquered in this realm, we are then ready to sit upon the throne! We now have power over all the nations and have broken them to shivers as the vessels of a potter. We rule with a rod of iron — the very strength of God in the right hand of our sonship! Aren’t you glad!

To him that overcometh…I will give the morning star” (Rev. 2:28).

THE MORNING STAR
We are becoming overcomers by the power of the Christ within! When we have fully overcome all the “nations” that have occupied our land of promise, we shall be given “the morning star.” The morning star is that concentrated spiritual light and glory of Christ in His called and chosen elect which brings forth the dawn of the new kingdom day for all mankind. The sons of God, who have been given that morning star, which Christ within us is (Rev. 22:16), are themselves the herald of the new day which brings that glorious arising of the light of God to dispel all the night of darkness of man’s disobedience and unbelief, flooding the world with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. It is therefore imperative upon every one who has received the call to sonship to put forth every effort, spiritually speaking, to conquer every enemy in our land, grow up in Christ, and rule over all things by the life of Christ within. Then we shall receive the morning star! Then creation shall know that the dawn approaches, that the kingdom of God is coming in power, releasing the creation from its long and painful bondage to sin and death.

The appearance of Christ within His elect as the morning star is a most glorious manifestation of the Lord! It is amazing how one fresh word of revelation from the Lord can change the whole course of our understanding and give us renewed hope and a fresh vision of our Father’s purpose in us. I have been inspired and encouraged with this precious truth! It is my deep desire that all who read this message shall be encouraged in their forward walk in Christ. Every person understands what the morning star is. The morning star appears at the darkest part of the night — just before the dawn! It is not the dawn, but it proclaims the approaching dawn. It comes at the hour when the night is disputing with the morn. It is seen and greeted only by a few who are watching for it. The rest of the world is asleep.

But they will soon be awakened by the arising of the Sun of Righteousness!

The morning star is promised to all who overcome, especially to those who conquer all the enemies within their land which prevent them from possessing their full inheritance in Christ. Inasmuch as Christ declared Himself to be “the morning star” and He promised to “give” this morning star to all who overcome, it is obvious that something unique and special of Christ is imparted to the Lord’s faithful overcomers. This is a “coming” of the Lord you will seldom, if ever, hear anything about from the preachers and teachers of the church systems. The televangelists, who love to flaunt the “rapture” before their undiscerning audiences, know nothing of this coming of our Lord as the morning star. But the giving of the morning star involves an impartation of the Christ! On the individual level it is Christ arising out of our spirit to enlighten the darkness of our soul, announcing the dawning of God’s glorious day that shall fill the whole earth which we are. The morning star is the glory of the Christ within arising out of our darkness which is ending, giving a vision of the dawning of the full day.

Someone once wrote, “At 4:00 A.M. I awakened and looked out my window which was half covered by frost, and half was clear, and there I saw the bright morning star. As I lay there for a while beholding the brilliance and beauty of that star, I slipped away into sleep. When I awoke again the brilliance of the sun flooded my room.” Is it not thus with God’s Christ, with God’s Day? Now we see Christ, the bright and morning star, the firstfruit, the forerunner, the prototype, the sample and first specimen of what God has purposed and planned for each and every man and woman of Adam’s race. And now Christ is coming in His overcoming elect, making them corporately what He is individually — the firstfruits, the forerunners, the prototypes, the sample and first specimen of what God intends for every man. The bright and morning star! That is what Christ gives the overcomer! The star of hope that tells us the long night of sin and death is almost over, and the Day is not far hence.

There is a remnant of God’s people over the whole earth in whose hearts the morning star is beginning to arise. This remnant have fixed their eyes upon Jesus, they are looking away from all the darkness of this world, from the chaos of sin, sickness, pain, rebellion, crime, drugs, war, terrorism, hatred, injustice, fear, and death stalking the earth; and they are looking away from the seeming hopeless carnality of the church world, away from everything to the everlasting hills of God. There is to be a restoration! The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it! His prophets have beheld it in the Spirit!

Praise God, we are living in the times of this restoration!

It is the greatest day in the long history of man! I know it’s at hand because I see a people being pressed and processed into the very life of God. Not only you and me, but all creation as well will thrill to what God brings about in this glorious restoration! Everything hinges on that body of sons that is to be manifested in the perfect state of the image and likeness of God. And those who receive of this victory and glory, filled with the mind of Christ, conformed to the image of the Son, with a full and complete triumph over sin, carnality, limitation, and death — these make up that blessed company to whom is given the morning star. Flooded with His life and light they become the herald, the harbinger of the near-approaching dawn.

We have passed through a time of great darkness.

It has been a long night of travail — yearning, waiting, longing. Darkness has blinded the minds of men, a deep sleep has been upon the Adamic race, the death of the carnal mind has kept earth’s inhabitants in the regions of the shadow of death. But let it be shouted from the housetops — THE LIGHT IS COMING! THE MORNING IS APPROACHING! It is time to cast off all works of darkness, now to be clothed with the armor of light. CHILDREN OF LIGHT, STARS AND SUNS, WE ARE TO BECOME. Birthed into the new age, to bring forth the glory and triumph of His kingdom. Thank God, the morning star is piercing the sky darkness! Thank God, a few of His chosen ones have arisen to behold the glories of the dawn and to drink in the intoxicating freshness of the morn!

One of the reasons there is darkness today is because of the false doctrines and dark traditions of the church systems of man. No wonder God’s people are full of unbelief, filled with doubts, overwhelmed with fears, and walking in the carnality of the natural mind. No wonder they magnify the works of the devil and declare him more than they declare the power of God. They know not the DAY in which we are living, because of the darkness of their minds. They receive death and they feed on darkness all about them. But God has raised you up, my brother, my sister, as a light this very day, that you might dispel the darkness and remove these heavens that men have been dwelling under and establish something completely new in the earth, a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness! Bring forth in your life a new likeness, the image of God, that you may declare HIM that is supreme throughout all the earth and that He may reign in every heart.

Behold the dawn!

Let us not sleep as do others. We who have received the love of the truth are heirs to a higher calling. We have privileges, and we have duties to perform. We must be about our Father’s business. It is time to take the kingdom. It is time to cross over this Jordan and conquer all the nations and every enemy that stands before us. He who conquers shall receive the morning star. Christ in all His glorious and eternal fullness shall be given to this one! He shall then, upon mount Zion, herald the dawn for all mankind! It is time to look up, time to arise and shine. The day is at hand. The night is far spent. We must go forth and lead the way for all who will follow.

Glory to God for the morning star!

I awoke, and the night was passing,
And over the hills there shone
A star all alone in its beauty
When the other stars were gone.

For a glory was filling the heavens
That came before the day,
And the gloom and the stars together
Faded and passed way.

Only the star of the morning
Glowed in the crimson sky;
It was like a clear voice singing,
“Rejoice, for the Sun is nigh!”

O beloved! A star is shining,
Arising in God’s sons —
It is Christ with a voice of singing,
“Rejoice! for today I come!”

To be continued…