Friday, November 30, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 77

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 77) by J. Preston Eby

THE SEVEN-SEALED BOOK
“And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals” (Rev. 5:1).

John the Revelator, as he entered upon the marvelous visions recorded in the book of Revelation, saw a door opened in heaven and heard a voice as of a trumpet speaking with him, saying, “Come up hither, and I will show thee things…”  The door opened in heaven bespeaks of an entrance granted into a realm beyond the flesh, beyond the physical and psychical senses, into the realm of the Spirit.  That is where John entered and that is the character of the things John saw.  He beheld heavenly things — spiritual realities.  He saw a throne set in heaven — he perceived the authority, power, and dominion of the Spirit.  He saw living creatures in the throne, the principle of manifest life in the Spirit.  He saw the four living creatures in the midst of the throne and twenty-four elders round about the throne, the King-Priest ministry of the Melchizedekian Order after the power of an endless life — the ministration of the redemptive power of the divine life unto creation.  It is being seen by a vast company of people that hears the voice of the Lord in this hour that a door has opened in the heavenlies through which those who are obedient shall enter into a state of being and a ministry of unsurpassed and unimaginable glory — in the throne zone!  That is the message of chapter four of the Revelation!

The fifth chapter of the book of Revelation represents a scene in heaven — the realm of Spirit. 

A book is held in the right hand of the Majesty on high, in the hand of Him who sits upon the throne of Omnipotence.  The scene is purely symbolic and spiritual!  God is omnipresent spirit.  God never sat on a throne.  He never held a book in His right hand.  Let us notice — THE ONE ON THE THRONE DID NOT HAVE AN IMAGE!  According to Revelation 4:2-3 all John saw on the throne was colors, beautiful colors.  And yet, John saw One sitting there!  What about this One that sat on the throne, that could be seen, and yet, was not visible to the natural eye?  He had no form, only radiance!  John was not looking into the natural elements when he saw the One on the throne.  The scripture says he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day!  John stood in the very reality of heaven as he was caught up into the highest realm of the Spirit.  The One he saw was spirit.  Do not look, my beloved, at the throne of God as a natural seat sitting there for a physical being to sit on.  Don’t imagine a throne-like chair!  His throne is the dimension of His omnipotent power.  Here seated, as it were, in the splendor of the omnipresent heavenly-spiritual realm John beheld One of many colors.  Even though He did not have a figure, John could see Him in and by the Spirit.  And in and by the same Spirit John could see a book in the right hand of him that sat on the throne!  The book is the symbol of the revelation of Himself in and through a people.

The book was not a book as we know books, but a scroll of papyrus or parchment, written on both sides, rolled up and sealed with seven seals.  The ancient scrolls of Israel were generally sheepskin rolls.  One writer has observed that the book of Romans would require a roll of parchment almost twelve feet long; the Gospel of Mark, nineteen feet; and the Revelation itself would require a roll at least fifteen feet long.  This can give you some idea of the picture we have before us.  Now, when John says that the scroll was sealed with seven seals, it does not mean that the seals covered the outside, but the scroll was rolled up to a certain point, and then at that point there was a seal put upon the very edge so that it could not be opened.  Then it was rolled up again a little farther and the second seal was put on and so on until all the scroll of parchment was written in seven parts, or sections, and sealed at the end of each section, and thus it was sealed with seven seals.  It will be seen that there were six seals on the edge of the scroll, and one seal on the outside fastening the entire scroll, which became the first seal to be opened.

The book is in the right hand of Him who sits upon the throne. 

Stupendous words!  Words of deepest mystery, enshrouding the eternal purpose of God.  The scriptures portray the right hand of God as the hand of strength, power, salvation, blessing, and anointing.  The implication is that the right hand of God is the good hand of God doing wondrous things!  The psalmist confirms this when he says, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy, at Thy right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).  Again, “The voice of rejoicing and salvation in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.  The right hand of the Lord is exalted” (Ps. 118:15-16).  To this the prophet Isaiah adds his inspired testimony: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isa. 41:10).  In the Old Testament, whenever God is portrayed as manifesting His power, it is done so with His right hand or arm.  “Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power” (Ex. 15:6).  “O sing unto the Lord a new song; for He hath done marvelous things: His right hand, and His holy arm, hath gotten Him the victory” (Ps. 98:1).  “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand…Thy right hand shall save me” (Ps. 138:7).  Numerous other Psalms express the same thought.  In the New Testament, after His resurrection and ascension, Jesus was by the right hand of God exalted, and made to sit at His right hand (Acts 2:33-34; Heb. 1:3,13.

This speaks of Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son, our Forerunner. 

He is exalted to the right hand of God!  This is therefore the calling of every son of God!  He is the positive, saving, redeeming force of God in the universe “who is gone into heaven (spiritual realm of government) and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him” (I Pet. 3:22).  There is no greater prize than oneness with Christ.  The inspired apostle exhorted the saints in Colosse, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1).  The message is clear — the elect of God are to SEEK THE THINGS OF CHRIST AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD!  Seek the things of the right hand!  What a word is that!  There are your orders, dear child of God who treasures the hope of sonship.

People tell us that we are too concerned with deep things and with high things. 

Nothing could be higher than the realm of God’s right hand!  Seek it!  Seek it!  Seek it!  That is the word of the Lord to every one who is conscious of being risen with Christ.  Seek to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!  Seek the anointing of His power!  Seek the investment of His authority!  Seek to rule and reign with Christ!  Seek to be victorious in all things!  Seek to be a blessing to creation!  Seek to be His salvation unto all the ends of the earth!  Seek to speak and act and rule by His love!  Seek to do wondrous things in His name!  Seek to reconcile and restore all things and all men to God!  That is what it means to seek the things of Christ at the right hand of God!  Some of the greatest truths of the word of God are the ones that lie hidden like pearls of great price, unnoticed by the careless but available to all who will search prayerfully and diligently in the depths of God.

The right hand of God is not a physical location somewhere in the universe. 

The right hand of God is a realm of power and authority, a position of eminence, a condition and a state of divine being.  Blessed be God!  We now have a share in the REALM OF THE RIGHT HAND!  The apostle Paul tells us that “when we were dead through our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up with Him, and made us sit together with Him in the heavenly places (the heights of His own exaltation).”  This shows that as we come to know the resurrection life of Christ, we are also made to experience the ascension of Christ.  This is a matter of realization, of consciousness, of appropriation!  It is already true in Christ, but it is only true to us as we receive the revelation of it, acknowledge the reality, and experientially lay hold upon it.  We are chosen of God not only to be made alive from the dead and have God’s life, but also to sit in the highest realm of the heavenlies as ascended men!  This is the present truth of God for everyone who has received the call to sonship.  He is causing every son of God to consciously and experientially ascend with Christ and sit with Him in the higher than all heavens — NOW!

It is true therefore  that as we ascend into the high places of God in the spirit, we are reigning with Christ from His heavenly, spiritual throne.  As we truly become overcomers by the ascended life of Christ, we are also given power over the nations to rule them with a rod of iron, and as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers (Rev. 2:26-27).  This rule is given to the overcomers in Christ!  As the life of ascension within us raises up kingdom dominion in our lives we truly begin to reign with Christ in the spirit, and all the worldly powers of man can be broken by the authority within God’s sons!  The will and ways of man are being displaced by the power of the Spirit and replaced by the spiritual life of the kingdom of God.  We are a spiritual people.  And the kingdom of God is the spiritual realm of our Father’s dominion!  Therefore our reign in Christ is a spiritual reign, which is accomplished as we move in and by His Spirit in relation to things in the earth realm.  As the anointing teaches us what we should pray for, and what situations and circumstances in the outer world we should speak to by the spirit, the creative power of God is released to bring change and transformation.  Through that spiritual dominion God’s will is brought to pass on earth as it is in heaven! 

The right hand signifies authority and power. 

Peter referred to this when he declared to the multitude on the day of Pentecost, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:32-33).  Later Peter told the rulers of Israel, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.  Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour” (Acts 5:30-31).  Paul spoke of the mighty power and the awesome authority and dominion and the riches of the glory that is the inheritance of the saints.  He says that this is the very same power that God wrought in Christ “when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named” (Eph. 1:20-21).  The writer to the Hebrews expressed the truth this way, “…when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than angels…” (Heb. 1:3-4).

Scripture could be piled upon scripture showing that the right hand of God is the position of the very highest authority and power in the universe.  And scripture could be piled upon scripture to show that it was the crucified, resurrected, and ascended man Jesus who was raised up to the right hand of the Father!  We have pictured this as a literal throne somewhere in the sky.  But there is no literal throne, nor are there “two Gods” up there seated on a throne!  You see, my beloved, Jesus was and is a man.  Some deny that Jesus is still a man!  They tell us to forget the man Jesus!  They insist that if we still reverence the man Jesus that we have made an idol out of the historical man of Galilee.  But the truth is that “there IS one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Tim. 2:5).  The truth is that “this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool” (Heb. 10:12-13).

When the Son of God came into this world He testified of His own humanity, declaring, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.  For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel” (Jn. 5:19-20).  The humanity of Jesus had no more authority or power on earth than my humanity or your humanity.  It was the Father in Him and through Him that did the works!  Oh, the wonder of it!  While here in human flesh Jesus manifested a measure of the omnipotence of deity, but clearly stated that the Father would show Him greater works than those that He did.  Now, praise God, HE, the man Jesus, has been raised up to that place where ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH is given into His hands!  And yet the mystery is just this.  Jesus still cannot of Himself express the omnipotence of God!  The Father is still showing Him the “greater works” than those He did while on earth.    The deity still must flow through Him!

If by the spirit of revelation you can see the man Christ Jesus seated in that position of universal authority and dominion, yet that very authority and dominion flowing through Him from a source beyond and greater than His glorified humanity, you will then be able to comprehend what it means to be seated at the “right hand” of power, or on the “right hand” of the Majesty on high!  If Jesus Christ has no humanity, if Jesus Christ is something other than a glorified man, if Jesus Christ is only deity, then the heavenly scene of Christ at the “right hand” of power, or on the “right hand” of God, is meaningless.  It is a misrepresentation and a deception.  Oh, yes, Jesus is God’s “right hand” man!   The power is from God the eternal Father, but it has been ordained to flow unto us by and through our Lord Jesus the Christ.  Aren’t you glad!

John sees a book in the right hand of Him who sits upon the throne.  

This hand holds the book.  A book is to be read, since it contains words of information, instruction, counsel, or revelation.  However, God has no need for such a book, for He forgets nothing, learns nothing, and has perfect knowledge of all things everywhere and of all His works from the beginning of the creation.  This book in God’s right hand is for mankind and for the whole vast creation; it is God’s revelation of Himself that is to be read and known of all men!  It is interesting to note that when Christ “takes” the book out of the Father’s right hand, He does so with His own right hand.  Therefore, when He opens the seals, He does so with the book in His right hand.  This reveals the great truth that one of the fruits of His triumph is the power of His own right hand of blessing and salvation to open the seals of God’s book of destiny, to unlock the mystery of Christ in us, and to bring to the ultimate issue all the events that culminate in the manifestation of the sons of God.  Think about it!

Beloved sons of God, let us be fully aware of this great truth. 

All the sons of God are destined to sit in Christ and with Christ upon the throne at the right hand of God!  There is a people that is possessing the right hand authority and power of God.  “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).  We have been called to share His glory, the very same glory Christ now has with the Father!  It is not robbery or blasphemy to proclaim that we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.  Many in the sonship realm have sought a glory separate from the Lord Jesus Christ.  There is no glory outside of His glory!  There is no sonship outside of His sonship!  There is no life outside of His life!  There is no power outside of His power!  There is no throne outside of His throne!   Jesus Christ is at the right hand of the Father, and all God’s sons are called and chosen and ordained to sit with Him there.  We have a right to take our place in this right hand position and declare the deity of the Father in us!

Multitudes of Christian ministers today are ministering from the lowlands of religious traditions and carnal church creeds and programs.  We have a higher calling in God!  Only as we rise into the heavens of God’s Spirit and minister unto the Lord and for the Lord from the realm of His greater, Spiritual presence in the most holy place of His throneship, shall the blessings and benefits of His heavenly kingdom continue to change us and the world.  Since heaven’s greatest desire is that the sons of God be manifested, let us learn that we are the book in the Father’s right hand and we must be “taken” by Jesus Christ the Lord; He must rip off the seals from that book which we are so that there shall be a revelation of the life of God that is written within.  Father has raised us up into a unique place in this Spiritual temple of the body of His sons.  Our hearts cannot settle for anything less, for we yearn and long and pray and seek His will to be done in earth as it is in heaven.  Nothing else will satisfy!  Those who are called to sonship are experientially ascending in the spirit to the high places in God.  They are recognizing and taking their rightful place on the throne of the Lord, by the Spirit, where they reign with Christ.

Today we are living in momentous times. 

Christ is opening the seals of that book which we are to bring forth the revelation of Jesus Christ in us.  We are living in a period between the ages, and God is initiating a new order and ministry in the earth.  My prayer is that all who read these lines will see in the spirit this new ministry of the kingdom of God in the earth!  When we ascend in the Spirit into the heavenlies where God’s will is revealed to our hearts, and God’s word is put in our mouths, and we worship and intercede and speak from the throne of the Lord, we then begin to defeat all darkness and evil and put every enemy under Christ’s feet by releasing the presence and power of the kingdom of God into the world.  This is a new ministry we are entering at this time, and it is real and very powerful!  Make no mistake about it — sons of God have a tremendous responsibility.  Preaching and ministering according to the old carnal methods and techniques of the church systems will avail but little in this battle against the corrupt kingdoms of this world.  Nor are we called to merely learn deeper truths; we are called to RULE AND REIGN WITH CHRIST!  The world has not yet seen or read the revelation of Christ out of that book in the Father’s right hand; they have only seen and read the creeds, programs, and promotions of the religious systems.  The spiritual ministry from the throne of God out of the heavenly realms of the presence and power of the Lord is the secret to conquering all evil and all darkness!  We are called to possess the kingdom, to take the kingdom, to take dominion over all darkness, sin, and death.  We are first taking the dominion within ourselves, then we shall be able to break the kingdoms of man to shivers, and to rule mankind and all things as if we were shepherds tending a flock of sheep. 

Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power” (Ps. 15:6). 

While it is difficult for us to conceive of God becoming something more than He already is, and as to His nature there can never be any change, yet the Spirit reveals that the right hand of God had not previously been all that it was when the children of Israel triumphantly marched dryshod through the Red Sea, for the prophet speaks of a day wherein the right hand of the Lord “is become glorious in power,” denoting a process in the unfolding of the power of His right hand in the midst of men.  And, while the right hand of God is first and foremost the realm of God’s almighty power and authority, His right hand became glorious in power before the eyes of men when it was revealed in mighty signs and wonders through the person of the man Moses.

Now there has been a wonderful enlargement in the revelation of God’s right hand, for Jesus Christ has been exalted to the realm of the right hand, and there shall be a further enlargement when all the holy sons of God have been also exalted to sit with Christ in His throne in all the power, authority, and glory that that means.  Thus God’s right hand is in fact becoming a people, the Christ, Head and body, a many-membered son of the right hand, and the manifestation of God in this right hand company is becoming even more glorious in power as the appointed hour for the unveiling of the sons of God is fully fulfilled.  These not only declare His word, but have authority and ability to see it established in the earth and in all realms.  As the power of God arises in all majesty in His body of sons, and He is exalted in the people He has prepared, how unspeakably glorious and majestic He will be in the eyes of His creation!

“O sing unto the Lord a new song; for He hath done marvelous things: His right hand and His holy arm, hath gotten Him the victory.  The Lord hath made known His salvation: His righteousness hath He openly showed in the sight of the nations.  All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.  Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for He cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity” (Ps. 98:3,7-9).  This is a prophecy!  Think of it — the nations are ready to worship the Lord, His enemies submit, and sing to His name; the ends of the earth and the whole world turn to Him because His right hand shall do marvelous things, and He shall make known His salvation to all!

Truly, beloved, this RIGHT HAND COMPANY will get Him the victory! 

There is no doubt about it — no devil, no wicked men, no conniving politicians, no hostile nations, no massive armies can stop this company from doing the things God has declared they will do, and because of their ministry, the nations will be joined to the Lord and sing His praise.  As the work of restoration progresses, what harmony, what glorious unity and bountiful blessings and abundant life shall fill the universe, as this order of King-Priests flows together, to gather together into Christ all things in one, till all has been set in array, and God is indeed ALL IN ALL.

How sweet shall be the influence of this right hand company,  the positive force of God’s omnipotent energy, ministering His life, His love, His joy, His peace, His righteousness, and His wisdom unto creation.  How thankful we are not to be numbered among those called to the left hand, to walk in darkness, and be vessels of wrath.  There is no harshness in the ministry of the right hand — oh yes, even the right hand “dashes the enemies in pieces” — but it is the destruction of the negative qualities that there might be life.  These bring correction ministered in love, leading all mankind to the Fountain of Living Water, feeding them in green pastures, causing them to lie down and rest, and not be afraid.  Ah, we would SEEK THE THINGS OF THE RIGHT HAND!

THE BOOK — CHRIST WITHIN
One writer has pointed out that  the seven seals of Revelation are similar to graduation diplomas.  In some parts of the country, when a child completes the eighth grade, he receives a diploma.  Then, upon graduating from high school, he receives another.  When he graduates from college, he receives another diploma.  If he goes on to graduate school and graduates, he receives another.  Thus, diplomas represent specific accomplishments by the graduate.  Much work and varied experiences go into obtaining each diploma!  With each one, the skills of the graduate become more valuable and demand for his accomplishments grow.

The Father also designed that when the time came to open the seven-sealed book, there would be a careful process connected to exposing the contents.  The process is the full disclosure of all that Christ is!  Christ Jesus possesses every power that the Father has, for the deity in Jesus is the almighty Father!  However, the full glory and authority of Christ has been hidden beneath the veil of our flesh, for we are the body of Christ and the temple of God.  The restoration of all men and all things to God requires the full disclosure of Jesus Christ in and through His body on earth.  So, the opening of each seal is connected to a brighter and clearer revelation of all that Christ is!  As each seal opens, more of Christ is seen!  This is the revelation of Jesus Christ!  Can you not see the mystery?  The seven seals are similar to seven diplomas.  As each diploma reveals more about the accomplishments and worthiness of the graduate, so each broken seal reveals more of the glory, wisdom, love, and power of God’s wonderful Christ, Head and body!

Even though John does not call the seven-sealed book the “book of life” in chapter five, he clearly refers to this book as the “Lamb’s book of life” in other places in the Revelation.  John calls it the “Lamb’s book of life” because it is the only book the Lamb receives in the whole book of Revelation!  Notice: “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb…” (Rev. 13:8).  “…the inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast” (Rev. 17:8).  “Nothing impure will ever enter it (New Jerusalem), nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:7).  Can we not see by this that the “Lamb’s book” is the very book the Lamb receives from the right hand of God!  And it is the very book of HIS OWN LIFE WRITTEN IN A PEOPLE!

Four ministers were once discussing the various translations of the Bible. 

One liked the King James Version because of its majestic English; another preferred the Revised Version of 1881 because of its literal translations of the original language; the third chose James Moffatt’s translation for its up-to-date vocabulary.  The fourth minister was silent.  When pressed to express his opinion, he said, “I like my mother’s translation best.”  The others were surprised.  “We had no idea that your mother had translated the Bible.”  Oh yes,” he said, “she translated it into life, and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw!”

Ah, Jesus never carried a copy of the Old Testament when He taught the multitudes.  I have in my library many Bibles including the Literal Bible, the Comparative Bible, the Analytical Bible, the Emphasized Bible and the Amplified Bible.  But Jesus Himself is the EXEMPLIFIED BIBLE!  He is the PERSONIFIED BIBLE!  He is the true picture of His Father, the Living Word of His Father.  He is the full and complete revelation (unveiling) of His Father’s life!  Jesus in His humanity upon earth was the very first chapter of this marvelous book of the Life of the Lamb!  And now the Lamb of God, living out His life in us, is the completion of the Book!  Through that blessed company conformed to His image the world shall now, at last, read “the rest of the story”!

Many years ago the Indian Christian Mystic, Sadhu Sundar Singh, penned these illuminating words: “When I was in Palestine last month I thought about many things and one thought that came to me was that our Lord did not write anything.  It would have been a great thing if Jesus Christ  would have written the Gospels Himself, but He did not write a single word, neither did He ask His disciples to write.  He did not say to them, ‘I am going to dictate, take down notes.’  The writers in the Bible did not get inspiration by taking down notes but by living with the Word of Life.  That is why our Lord did not ask His disciples to write anything!  He says, ‘My words are spirit and they are life.’  It is easy to write words in book form but it is difficult to put the spirit into words!  His life and spirit can only be put into the hearts of people and not into the pages of books.  Jesus Christ knew that He was going to work on the hearts and not only through the pages of books”   — end quote.

I do not know how or why Christians came to the conclusion that the Lamb’s Book of Life is a literal book in some far-off heaven somewhere.  It is the book of the life of the Lamb.  Even the most die-hard literalist has enough sense to understand that the Lamb is not a four-legged woolly little creature romping through the pasture squealing, “Baa…baa…baa!”  We could preach on the “lamb” of God in any church in America and everyone would agree that this lamb is not a barnyard animal.  If the “Lamb” who opens the “book” is not a four-legged lamb, it should not be difficult for anyone to understand that the “book” is not a two-covered book!  People do such sloppy thinking about such divine and exalted things!    

“And another book was opened, which is the book of life” (Rev. 20:12).  The book of life is called “the book of the life of the Lamb” (Rev. 13:8).  If I were to give you a book entitled THE BOOK OF THE LIFE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, you would understand at once that it is a biography of the life of the first president of the United States, George Washington.  That book should contain everything you always wanted to know about George Washington!  Every detail of his life would be there.  The portrait of his character and accomplishments would be drawn there.  In the same way, THE BOOK OF THE LIFE OF THE LAMB is the autobiography of God’s Lamb, the expose of who He is, what He is like, what He does.  Everything you ever wanted to know about the Son of God is contained in this wonderful book of the life of the Lamb!  It is not a literal book, of course, for the sons and daughters of the Most High are the living record and revelation of the life of the indwelling Lamb!  It was to the apostle Paul that the revelation was given that the book of life, the book of the life of the Lamb, the book which draws the portrait of the life, nature, character, and accomplishment of the Son of God — IS A PEOPLE!  “Forasmuch as Y-E are manifestly declared to be THE EPISTLE OF CHRIST ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (II Cor. 3:3).

The Lamb is our Lord Jesus Christ! 

The Lord Jesus is seen by John approaching the eternal Father to receive from His right hand the book that is sealed but is now to be opened.  What this book is, becomes crystal clear when in holy contemplation we consider what it is that belongs to the Father, is then given to Jesus Christ, is subsequently opened by Him, and through that opening becomes the revelation of Jesus Christ!  That is the mystery.  When our divine and wonderful Christ communed with the Father in His holy prayer in Gethsemane just hours before He offered Himself as “the Lamb slain,” it was concerning this very scene John beheld in figure on Patmos, that Jesus held discourse with His Father in heaven.  I will quote the passage.  Dear saint of God, read reverently and prayerfully and the blessed Holy Spirit of truth will flood the passage with light.

“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.  I have manifested thy name (nature) unto the men which thou gavest me…thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.  Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name (nature) those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their  word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one… Father I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (Jn. 17:4-11,18-24).

Can you grasp the fact, dear reader, that our Lord, when speaking of those who were the Father’s, who are now given to Him, who are also given the same glory that is His (at the right hand of God!), and who are destined to be the revelation of that glory to the ends of the earth — can we not see that these indeed are the book in the Father’s right hand, given to our Lord Jesus Christ!  Opened by Him these are they who bring to pass in the earth the revelation of Jesus Christ!  The revelation was given to Jesus (Rev. 1:1) when He came to earth to reveal the Father.  Now we are given to Him, bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh, and He is raised up within us to reveal through us the Father in the sons.  Oh, the wonder of it!

A further confirmation that this is precisely the meaning of the seven-sealed book is found in the events that transpire as soon as the book is taken from the hand of the One upon the throne — a paean of praise breaks forth as the four living creatures (kingship) and the twenty-four elders (priesthood) cry in rapturous exaltation, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10).

The following words from brother Paul Mueller shed precious insights into this wonderful Book of the Right Hand.  “The fact is, the Bible as we now know it will one day become obsolete for us.  The blessed book that we carry around, study and sometimes memorize, is to be imparted into our lives so that we are truly epistles…known and read by all men.  This is not to downgrade the Bible or to denigrate its effectiveness, authority, and inspiration.  The book we call the Bible is, for the most part, the inspired word of God, and we are truly and deeply grateful for all it means to us.  However, our respect for the Bible will not alter the great truth that it is God’s intention that we become His living word.  Every truth that has been given by the Spirit will eventually become a part of our lives, so that we will not need to turn to chapter and verse for guidance and truth, but rather, that truth will be written and engraved upon our lives so that we do by nature all the truth the Bible contains to the glory of God.

“The laws and covenants of God were not intended to be repeated on the pages of the book we call the New Testament.  The old covenant clearly states that the next time the Lord writes His laws and covenant, it would be upon the hearts of His elect and chosen ones.  The highest fulfillment of anything is to become that which it contains and reveals.  When we have fully become the promised living epistles, manifesting the very Life of Christ, we shall then be able ministers of the new covenant!  Then the law shall go forth of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Mic. 4:2).  It will not be the dead letter read from the pages of a book, but the living, anointed truth of God coming forth from lives that have been transformed by the power of that word!  Many nations shall then desire to come up to the house of the Lord, where dwell those living epistles.  Then shall they learn the ways of the Lord from kings and priests who express the experiences of the Spirit.  Then, many peoples and nations shall walk in the paths of the Lord, for they will have witnessed the grand fulfillment of the new covenant within an anointed and holy people.

“Each kingdom ruler will be like streams of water in a dry place, and like the shade of a great rock in a wearisome land.  The presence of Christ will flow out of their lives like streams of water gushing from an overflowing fountain.  The glory, power, and life of the Spirit will be so manifest that all who had ears but could not hear will then hear and understand the truth of God clearly.  Eyes that once were blinded to revelation and reality will be opened by the power of the Spirit that is flowing out of the elect.  The minds of those lacking true judgment and the ability to apprehend will then be able to comprehend fully God’s abundant, redemptive love for them, as well as His living truth.  Then the tongue of the stammering will be quick to speak plainly.  The multitudes will receive the anointed message of Life coming from those living epistles”   — end quote.

How tragic that the people of earth for the most part have never read this beautiful epistle of Christ, this glorious book of the life of the Lamb.  They have poured over the books of religion, the commentaries of learned scholars who write out of carnal minds with the words of man’s wisdom, the books of hypocrisy, the books of forms of godliness that deny the power thereof, the books of dead doctrines, empty rituals, lifeless ceremonies, and man-made rules and regulations of self-righteousness.  But precious few have ever seen the BOOK OF THE LIFE OF THE LAMB!  Oh!  What a wonderful gospel shall fill the earth beneath and the celestial realms above when God fully opens His holy book of Life!  The book of Life is that blessed company of the sons of God in whom the life of the Lamb is fully and eternally formed!  This book is being carefully written word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, page by page, and chapter by chapter in the nitty-gritty of our daily experience with God  until the full revelation of the Christ shall be written therein.  Time’s clock is striking the hour for the manifestation of the sons of God, the opening of God’s book of life people, and what a manifestation it shall be!  That book is being opened within us even now, for it is the spirit that giveth life.  As Christ in our spirit is opened within ourselves, the life of the Lamb is released to swallow up all sin and death.

God has a message for the world — the revelation of Jesus Christ! 

The message is being written in flaming words of glory upon the pages of the lives and hearts and minds of men and women who are dying to that impudent and death-dealing devil of self, in order to walk and live by the spirit of HIS LIFE.  I am terribly at a loss for words to express the glory of God’s book of life company, but I can assure you that once it is fully ready, prepared, and finished, it shall become the world’s “best seller” throughout the ages to come!  As the pen is mightier than the sword, so this book, above any that has ever been written by the finger of man, shall alter the course of history, and the dark covering that has been cast over the minds and hearts of the people for ages and dispensations will be completely destroyed by the flood of transforming light and wisdom and knowledge and glory and power shining forth from the living pages of God’s eternal and incorruptible BOOK OF LIFE!

When John sees a book written within and without and sealed with seven seals, he is not talking about the Bible.  He is not even talking about the book of Revelation.  Nor is he seeing what many teachers describe as the “title deed” to the earth.  He is talking about the book within that has been sealed, like the little Shulamite maiden who was a fountain sealed (Song of Solomon 4:12).  It is the book within, the book of Christ in us, the book of the law of the spirit of life that has been sealed!  John saw the new covenant that God would make with the house of Israel whereof He says, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts” (Heb. 8:10).  That’s what John saw!  He perceived in spirit that which is being written within.  He saw where you find the performance of the new covenant — not in your own strength, not in your self-effort, not in your fleshly ability, not in your religious conformity,  but by the Life within.  He discovered that God’s elect is becoming living epistles, not of the letter, the outward, but of the spirit, the inward, because there is Life!

The reason the “word” of God has bound and killed more people spiritually than it has helped is because it has been legislated outwardly.  To these the “word of God” is a book full of laws and commandments to be imposed on those who would live godly.  Religion makes godliness a law rather than a life!  “God said!” they thunder from their pulpits high upon the craggy pinnacle of mount Sinai, and then lay an outward rule and observance upon the people extracted from an outward book.  To people who have been through the trauma of divorce they advise, “You can never be remarried; God says, I hate adultery, and you can only please God by remaining single the rest of your life.”  They kill people with the letter of the Word, not seeing the spirit, the compassion of God, the love of God, the heart of God.  People have been forced to go to the world to find some judgment because they couldn’t find it in the church.  They have been compelled to go to the counselors of the world to find some understanding because the preachers had no grace, no mercy, no wisdom from the Lord.  Christian ministers of the grace of God LEGISLATING THE LAW!  What an enigma!  What a travesty!  “But the Bible says!” you contend.  You hypocrites!  You don’t even know what the Bible says!  You know the letter that kills!  You have never perused the pages of the blessed Book of the Life of the Lamb — the spirit that gives life!  The New Testament is not that black, leather-bound book we call the Bible.  The New Testament, the true Bible, the Living Epistle of Christ is the law of His life written upon the fleshy tables of the heart.

You, precious child of God,  are the epistle of Christ, you are the book of the life of the Lamb, and every day God is writing in your book!  He’s not writing for nothing — for your book is to be opened!  And there is only One who is worthy to take the book and loose the seals thereof, and that is the Lamb in the midst of the throne.  The Lamb!  Oh, the wonder of it!  The book is the book of the life of the Lamb.  The opening of the book is the unveiling of the life of the Lamb, the revelation of His life written and engraven in the minds and hearts of those who share His nature.  He is the One who is worthy to take each one of us and open us up!  And it is only through Jesus Christ our Lord that we can be opened up as the Book of the Life of the Lamb!

Multitudes of God’s people would rather remain a closed book. 

We wish to stay closed because of our unique personality, we are shy, reticent, humble, immature, inexperienced, or burdened down with sin-consciousness and condemnation.  But I declare unto you, my beloved, that when God has finished writing in you, when He completes within you that living epistle which He knows is capable of being read and known of all men, then He will open you up!  As God breaks and removes the seals from off of us, not only will great and mighty things take place in our own experience, but things will begin to happen in the outer world.  Why is there such darkness over the earth, and gross darkness over the people?  Because the very light of God is concealed within us.  Although we are the light of the world, the light is shut up.  Although we have within us the mighty River of Life, we are a fountain sealed.  God must work mightily in us to release the light of our lives that His glory may arise upon His people and be seen upon them.  And when that hour arrives nothing can stop God’s judgments from coming into the earth.  And when His judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.  Aren’t you glad!

The seven-sealed book is not a record of past or future events in the outer world. 

It has nothing to do with wars between nations or judgments poured out upon the nations of earth.  A  book of world events would not be the revelation of Jesus Christ!  A book of human events would not be of such a nature that no one in heaven nor on earth  nor under the earth would be able to open the book or even to look thereon.  Nor is it a book of “last things” in the destiny of the world, as all futurists proclaim.  The vision of John shows that the seven-sealed book has its own contents.  The revelation we are given indicates that the seven-sealed book symbolizes something that only Christ can handle.  Therefore it must be a book of spiritual reality!

The main purpose of the vision in chapter five of the Revelation is to focus attention on the seven-sealed book.  In this book we have the beginning of the revelation of Jesus Christ!  It is the revelation of Himself released through His mighty spiritual work of transformation in His called and chosen elect.  The breaking of the seals is the solemn and judicial way in which the Lamb nature establishes His rule and reign in those who have been purchased by His blood.  It is the processing of God whereby the life of the Lamb is uncovered and unfolded within us.  This is a book within a book.  Literally, in the book of Revelation, the seven-sealed book is a symbolic book within the book John wrote of his visions.  However, spiritually this means that John was brought to the place where he could see the intention of God written in the nature of a people.

There are seven seals upon this book. 

The number seven denotes that contained within this book is the totality of God’s character and the complete revelation of His will and purpose.  As these seals are loosed in God’s people they begin to experience the fullness of all that God is.  There has never been an expression of God at this level in the earth at any time except in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, for it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.  But now there is a people, His body, the completion of Him, that has been sealed unto the day of redemption, and when God has loosed in them all the seals there will be brought forth in the earth a many-membered expression of God at the same level of God’s fullness.  You will know Him no longer by measure, you will see Him no more through a glass darkly, or as a reality beyond or outside of yourself.  He will no longer be a mental image, a good feeling, an ideal, a philosophy or doctrine.  You will know Him even as you are known by Him and will see Him face to face.

A remarkable prophecy was given by a saint of God in the year 1619.  A portion of this prophecy confirms the truth I now share.  It says, “There shall be a full redemption of Christ.  This is a hidden mystery not to be revealed or understood without the revelation of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is at hand to reveal the same unto all holy seekers and loving inquirers.  The completion of such redemption is withheld and abstracted by the seals of Revelation.  Wherefore; as the Spirit of God shall open seal after seal, so shall this redemption come to be revealed, both particularly and universally.  In the gradual opening of the mystery of redemption in Christ, does consist the unsearchable wisdom of God, which will continually reveal new and fresh things to the worthy seeker.  The unsealing of the living testimony (perfected remnant of believers, the manchild, the literal sons of God’s people), along with the ark of God (Jesus Christ), must begin the promulgation of the everlasting Gospel of the Kingdom.”  What a word!

To be continued…

Thursday, November 29, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 76

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 76) by J. Preston Eby

THE FOUR LIVING CREATURES AND THE TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS (continued)
“And the four living creatures rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (Rev. 4:8).

The general interpretation of this scene is that it is up in heaven in eternity — but the passage says that “they rest not day or night.” Day and night are not associated with heaven — they are conditions on earth! “And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:2-5). I think most believers are very careless readers of the word of God, for in reality the scene John beheld in the spirit portrays no such thing as people imagine and the meaning is opposite to what has been taught. The four living creatures, as we have seen, represent kingship — those who rule and reign with Christ in His kingdom. The sons of God, God’s kings and priests, are those who shall rest neither day nor night in the earth as we trumpet the complete, perfect, and full knowledge of the glory of the kingdom of God and establish His holiness in every heart of man unto the ends of the earth. It is a symbol — not some weird animalistic creatures around a throne in some far-off heaven somewhere monotonously repeating again and again, for ever and ever, the words “holy, holy, holy,” but within themselves they proclaim by their very nature, spirit, ministry, and kingdom authority HIS HOLINESS!

“And when those living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne…the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever…saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power…” (Rev. 4:9-11).

The twenty-four elders, who represent priesthood — God’s kingdom of priests — now take John’s attention. Here they are seen prostrating themselves before the God of the throne which is enshrined in its emerald rainbow of life, light, and love. Now notice the word “when.” “When those living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne…the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him…” The “when” of verse nine indicates that the chanting of “holy, holy, holy,” by the living creatures is periodic and not constant. I would point out that the twenty-four elders are seen falling down in adoration before the God of the throne four times. Two of those times they do so alone — here, and in chapter five, verse fourteen. Two other times they fall down in accord with the four living creatures in chapter five, verse eight, and in chapter nineteen, verse four.

Inasmuch as the twenty-four elders fall down and worship whenever the living creatures cry, “holy, holy, holy,” it should be clear to any thinking mind that they are not constantly repeating the phrase through an endless eternity. Such a practice would have the elders falling and standing and falling and standing without end, which is absurd. And it certainly would contradict the words of Jesus when He taught us, “Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Mat. 6:7). These are not literal scenes in any event, but beautiful symbols which convey to us the great truth that in the lives of God’s sons who are called to share Christ’s throne there is no spirit of self-importance, no grasping after power for power’s sake, no lifting up in pride, no sense that we have attained to this place by any works that we have done or by any self-effort on our part, but we are keenly aware that He has called us and chosen us by His grace alone, and HE it is who is worthy, and we have been made kings and priests to show forth the virtues and excellencies of HIM who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light and by His mighty hand exalted us to His throne of glory. What a word!

“And when those living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne…the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat upon the throne…and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord!” (Rev. 4:9-10).

All the overcomers are receiving crowns according to their degree of overcoming, the inworking of God in their lives, and their spiritual maturity. There is an incorruptible crown (I Cor. 9:25), a crown of rejoicing (I Thes. 2:19), a crown of righteousness (II Tim. 4:8), a crown of gold, of divine nature (Rev. 4:4), a crown of glory (I Pet. 5:4), and a crown of life (Rev. 2:10). Each one of us, as we overcome, are receiving these crowns as a result of our spiritual growth and attainment in Christ. These are not, nor shall they ever be, literal crowns upon our heads, but speak of virtues, powers, and spiritual realities with which our lives are crowned, which are the very state of being out of which our kingdom authority flows. But when we realize by whose sacrifice, purpose, strength, and power we received these crowns, we will gladly cast them before His throne! It is beyond our human strength or ability to receive any one of these crowns. Only by the sacrifice of Jesus, the calling of His grace, the predestination of His purpose, the inworking of His life, and His great faithfulness to keep us and finish His work in us, could we ever have received these crowns. So we joyfully and respectfully cast them before His throne!

“And the four and twenty elders…cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:10-11).

It is wonderfully significant that it is the twenty-four elders who magnify God in respect to creation. Before we consider that thought, let us meditate for a moment upon God as Creator. It is my conviction that our God is spontaneously creative, not systematically creative. What I mean by that is that God does not employ a program in His creative activity. God is a God of spontaneity. God moves and acts not by system, but by the creative power and flow of His life. The life of God is the creative instrument of His nature.

Everything that God creates is unique. He is a God of unlimited diversity, infinite variety, and inexhaustible capacity. We see this in the natural, physical, material creation. Scientists tell us that in the visible universe there are more than two hundred billion galaxies. They may be correct that there are that number of galaxies in the visible universe, but there are far more galaxies than that! You see, my beloved, not only is the creation co-extensive with the Creator in the sense that God has always been creating, but the creation is co-extensive with Him in His infinite Being. In other words, the only reason that the scientists believe that there are two hundred billion galaxies is simply because that is as far as they can see!

No man can see any further than the scope of his vision. God is infinite — unending, unlimited, unbounded, inexhaustible, and unmeasured. Not only is there no “place” where God is not, but God IS INFINITELY whether there is any “place” there or not. God creates out of the infinity of Himself. I don’t know how many galaxies there are, because there is no end to them. You would never find the outer extremities of the universe, because God created all things out of Himself, He upholds all things by the word of His power, He fills all things, and if you were to discover the limit of His creation, you would discover the limit of God Himself. Not only does God always do everything that He does, He also does everything that He does everywhere He is. God is infinite. If God does not create to the extent of His infinity, then there would be some “place” where He is not Creator. So there is no limit. There is no end to the creation simply because there is no end of God!

What an incredible field for diversity! Scientists know that even within the visible part of the universe stars are still being created. They are still coming into existence throughout the immensity of what we call space. The apostle Paul tells us that there are no two stars that are equal in their glory (I Cor. 15:41). Think of that! With my human brain I can’t conceive of creating even two hundred billion trillion stars, making every one of them different, giving each of them a name and a glory that is unique from any other glory, and then realize that infinitely there are galaxies without number and without end, each with its own name and glory. It staggers the imagination!

Even in our little solar system each of the nine planets are very different from the others.

You would think that if the scientific theories of origins were correct they should all be quite similar. But they aren’t! How many snowflakes do you suppose have ever fallen upon the earth? They tell us that no two snowflakes have the same design! More than six billion people walk the face of this earth today, and there are no two fingerprints that duplicate. No two people are identical either in their appearance or in their DNA. Everyone is unique. God sets it all in motion by a word. When God speaks the superlative comes into existence. God is a God of unlimited diversity, infinite variety, and inexhaustible capacity. Behold the majesty and the glory of the almighty Creator of all things!

According to the very first statement in the gospel of John, that kindly Nazarene, that gracious Galilean, that wonderful Teacher and Healer who walked the paths of Galilee and sat beside its shores, was none other than the living God, the Creator of all things. John goes on to say that by Him were all things made and without Him was not anything made that was made. He is the Creator of all! He is the architect of the cosmos! He is the fashioner of the galaxies! He is the designer of suns, the artificer of planets and moons. He is the framer of the vast eons of time. The eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God was born a wee baby; He visited this blue-green orb which He had delicately fashioned and spun off into its orbit.

The creation is God’s just because all things were created and made by Him and therefore belong to Him. In the light of this truth I would like to reaffirm something that the world at large, and many believers, seem to have forgotten: THIS IS GOD’S WORLD! Long before time began, long before a single heavenly body inhabited the vast regions of space — GOD WAS. God has always been Creator. This creation we know is not the first thing God ever created, nor will it be the last. Yet this particular creation did not always exist! Long before the worlds were made, long before the billows rolled across the boundless seas, long before the mountains thrust their towering, snow-capped peaks up through the clouds, long before there was one flower, or the song of any bird, or the roar of any beast, long before there was any light, or the glory of daybreak, or the beauty of the sunset…yes, long before there was anything at all of this present creation…THERE WAS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. Then the blessed word of God rolls back the curtain of antiquity and shows us God at work, creating all that is, and all that ever was. The very first passage of scripture establishes for all time and eternity the ownership of this world and the heavens above: “In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth.” He made it, and it is His! No one can take it from Him. It was then that God wrote His signature of ownership — a signature that reaches from the earth to the farthest outposts of the cosmos.

The Psalmist David was perceptive in the Spirit when he wrote these immortal words, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Ps. 24:1). Does the earth belong to the devil? Does the world belong to the devil? Do they that dwell in the world belong to the devil? Does anything on the earth belong to the devil? Did any of it, even before Calvary, belong to the devil? Not in David’s day, it didn’t! “The earth is the Lord’s!” “And the fullness thereof!” “The world is the Lord’s!” “And they that dwell therein!” Who do you belong to? Who do the nations belong to? Who do the wicked belong to? Who do Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein belong to? IT IS ALL THE LORD’S! The devil doesn’t own one square inch of it, nor does he own one poor wretched human on it. Isn’t it wonderful!

There is an understanding that has been quickened in the consciousness of the “called out ones” to know that ALL the earth — is the Lord’s. Not just a tree or two, not just a mountain or two, not just a nation or two, not just the church, not just those apprehended to sonship, but all the earth is the Lord’s and the very fullness thereof. We are His whether we know it or not, we are His whether we like it or not, whether we desire to serve Him, or whether we are presently in rebellion against His will. God has everything and everyone in the palm of His almighty hand! He is Sovereign! Job said, “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath (spirit) of all mankind” (Job 12:10).

The prophet Daniel penned these inspired words: “The Most High…liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?” (Dan. 4:34-35). God is saying to us that He is sovereign. Another way to express that truth is: God owns the earth and everything in it — He does what He wants to do and nobody can stop Him from doing it. In particular He is sovereign with what He does with the earth. God does not have to ask anybody’s permission to do anything He wants with any part of the earth or anyone on it — and none can hinder or resist Him!

If the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, then we need to somehow come to understand that God has never at any time dealt with satan on a percentage basis. God never did tell satan that he could have ninety percent and God would be satisfied with ten percent. Neither did God ever say that satan could have ten percent and He, God, would settle for ninety percent. WITH GOD IT IS ALL! ALL belongs to Him! First, because He created it, and second, because He redeemed it. Just as you may temporarily leave a valuable watch at the pawn shop and later return to redeem it, so God assigned to satan a temporary and limited sphere of influence over the creation, for the outworking of His wise and wonderful plan, but HE HAS NOT CEDED OR TRANSFERRED OWNERSHIP OF EVEN ONE INCH OF IT TO SATAN FOR A POSSESSION. The reality is, after giving the adversary a limited lease and sphere of operation, God came down in the Person of His Son and redeemed the world and everything and everyone in it! In the same way that you get your watch back from the pawn shop when you redeem it, so God gained full control of the whole world when He redeemed it. To say that there is any part of God’s creation that satan now sovereignly controls or that he will possess forever is a blatant repudiation of Christ’s redemption and a horrible blasphemy against God.

The scriptures clearly reveal how ownership is the central factor in both creation and redemption, the link that binds them together. Two things are inherent in ownership — purpose and responsibility. Do you know that if a person makes or buys anything He surely has purpose in mind for it? And is it not equally true that when a person makes or buys a thing he then assumes the responsibility for it? The man who purchases a good hunting dog has a definite purpose in owning the dog, and if he is not a hunter he will not buy it. With ownership of the dog there comes the responsibility for the dog, to feed and care for it and treat it humanely. You have, I suppose, sometime bought something? As you have paid your money for it and it was delivered to you did you not have a plan for it? And are you not now responsible for it?

More than forty years ago Lorain and I bought a house in Sarasota, Florida. It was a lovely little two bedroom white frame house, entirely adequate for that time. Some years later the Lord led us to Mississippi to live and minister among a group of saints, and we were there for almost two years. During this time we rented out our house in Florida. The original tenants left, and we rented the house to a man and his wife and grown son, none of whom we had previously known. It is almost unbelievable what those people did to that house within the space of a few months! If you have had rental property you will believe it! Evidently they didn’t sweep those beautiful hard wood floors even once, the dirt was ground so deeply into the wood until the entire finish was ruined. Windows were broken, the holes stuffed with plastic or rags. Water had been allowed to run over the kitchen and bathroom floors, loosening the tile. The furniture was demolished, sofas and chairs propped up on bricks with great gaping holes staring insultingly at us. On and on the disaster went! The place was completely “trashed.” Needless to say, because we were the owners, it didn’t take us long to swing into action! The tenants were promptly given notice and evicted. Then followed the long, tedious and expensive process of restoration. Ah, because we owned the house we had purpose for it and responsibility to it. On the basis of that purpose and responsibility we were willing to spend the money that had to be spent, and expend the energy involved in long days and weeks of hard work until all was restored to its original beauty and usefulness!

We are not in this life as the result of our own scheme or plan. We did not make ourselves, therefore we do not own ourselves! The Psalmist declared, “Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture” (Ps. 100:3). God is responsible for our existence, for it was He who issued the grand fiat: “Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness.” It was God who sent us here! It was God who planted the garden eastward in Eden and put man in it! It was God who drove the man out of that garden! You see, my beloved, GOD IS RESPONSIBLE for our existence here in the flesh, lowered into the realm of vanity, sin, and corruption. Oh, yes! God is responsible! The whole human race is God’s responsibility because He is both Creator and Owner. We are here because of our Father’s plans, desires, purposes and will, just as your children are in this world because of your plans, desires, and will. God is a God of principle! Having begun a work, He will assume responsibility for it, care for it, and finish it and not throw it aside because it was marred by sin and death. This, too, was part of His plan!

While men are busy blaming others for the world’s problems, and the devil for their own, God Himself as Owner of all takes His great responsibility for all, and therein lies the foundation of the whole scheme of creation and redemption. Romans 11:36 says from the Diaglott, “Because out of Him, and through Him, and for Him are all things. To HIM be the glory for the ages. Amen!.” The Amplified Bible beautifully renders this, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him. To Him be glory forever! Amen.” To say the least, it will give us great peace of mind and heart if we can see and understand that God as Creator and Owner takes responsibility for the world today! God is responsible for every human being that has ever lived, is living, or ever will live. God is responsible for every nation, every government, every empire that has risen and fallen, and every condition and circumstance of all mankind today and in every time and place since the foundation of the world. And because He is responsible and has great and eternal purpose for His creation HE WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

This great truth is what makes our text so utterly awesome! “The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him…saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: FOR THOU HAST CREATED ALL THINGS, AND FOR THY PLEASURE THEY ARE AND WERE CREATED.” It is deeply significant that the twenty-four elders are the ones making this wonderful declaration. The twenty-four elders are God’s Royal Priesthood! It is this Royal Priesthood that is proclaiming that God created all things for His pleasure, and therefore He brings forth the glory and the honour and power of His kingdom. The seed of this beautiful thought is found in the words of the Lord to Israel when they stood before mount Sinai. “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: FOR ALL THE EARTH IS MINE: and ye shall be unto me A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and an holy nation” (Ex. 19:5-6).

I have often characterized the above passage as the GREAT DIVINE SANDWICH. A sandwich is two slices of bread between which is placed meat, fish, cheese, or the like. Three items are necessary to make a sandwich: two outer items — two identical slices of bread — and in between another, and different, item. Such is the structure of this passage! There are two statements of like nature surrounding and enclosing another and different kind of statement. Notice the two outer statements: (1) Ye shall be a PECULIAR TREASURE unto me above all people (2) Ye shall be unto me a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and an holy nation. Then “sandwiched” in between these two wonderful promises is this remarkable word: FOR ALL THE EARTH IS MINE! Can we not see by this that the purpose of God to establish in the earth a Royal Priesthood is rooted in the great fact that ALL THE EARTH IS HIS! That all the earth is His answers the why of priesthood. “Because all the earth is mine…YE SHALL BE UNTO ME A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS.” The message is clear — God is preparing a priesthood because He owns the earth, the whole world, and all that dwell therein! The priesthood is His instrument that reaches out with one hand and takes hold of God, reaches out the other hand and takes hold of humanity, and by virtue of the priestly ministration brings the two together into oneness. The Royal Priesthood is the ministry of reconciliation to restore all things and all men back into God again!

I believe that God loves all lost men and women.

There are lost men in jails and prisons and mental hospitals. They are in saloons and brothels and in sickness and pain and sorrow and ignorance and sin and death and judgment and hell, and God loves them all with an undying love. He still remembers them and remembers His Son on the tree, suffering and dying on their behalf, pouring out His wonderful life for them all. And in the redeemed body of this resurrected and glorified Son He now prepares a Royal Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek to restore all mankind back into the image of God. “Because all the earth is mine, ye shall be unto me a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS!” is the word of the Lord. The earth, the world, and all that dwell therein belong to God first because He made them, and second because He redeemed them, and now He is sending forth His many-membered body of priests to reclaim for Him that which He has created for His pleasure.

Because all the earth is His, and because Jesus is the redeemer, God is raising up the body of Christ, a royal, kingly priesthood, sons of the God of heaven to reign in mighty spirit power and authority over the earth, not to be little human dictators, but with an irresistible outflow of life and light and love, touching God with one hand, and humanity with the other, bringing the two together, that God may indwell all men by His Spirit and live and rule in them in power and great glory. The kingly nature in us is not to dominate other men’s lives, but to deal with and break the power of self-hood and rebellion and sin and death and the devil that men may be quickened to God. Kings have power and authority, priests reconcile in mercy and love. God’s Royal Priesthood shall reveal to all realms the awesome POWER OF GOD’S LOVE AND GOODNESS, until all men bow low before Him and with worshipful wonder and joy proclaim, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure we are and were created!”

All who have received the call to sonship have also received a vision of their destiny in God, of what they are being prepared to do for creation. They are here by divine appointment. They have been born for this hour. They have been called and chosen and are being made faithful. They have been drawn out of and separated from all the religious realms that they might learn the higher ways of the kingdom of God. The message of the hope of sonship and the high calling of God in Christ Jesus is going forth in power in this day and circling the globe as thousands of the Lord’s people are heeding the call to this unique walk in the Spirit. God has removed from the hearts of these the foolish desire to “fly away” to some far-off heaven somewhere, as He unfolds within their ransomed spirits the heavenly knowledge that God has created all things for His pleasure, and all the earth is His and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein; and for this sublime purpose He has ordained a priestly people!

The good pleasure of God is that which gives Him satisfaction; it is also His delight, His desire, His enjoyment, His contentment, His fulfillment, and His purpose revealed and fulfilled! When the twenty-four elders, God’s priesthood company, say of Him, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created,” they are proclaiming a fully restored creation! Therefore we may be absolutely certain that the same merciful and loving Father would never plan to destroy this world and send billions of people screaming into the torments of hell fire forever and ever. Such false doctrines come out of the carnal mind of man which is never able to receive the things of the Spirit, and are contrary to the wonderful truths of God and His wise and glorious purposes for the works of His hands. God will not fail and because of some unfortunate and unforeseen circumstance beyond His control, lose the very thing He made FOR HIS PLEASURE!

As a priest of the Most High God I claim this earth for God, for He made it. I claim this earth for God, for Jesus has ransomed it with His blood. I claim this earth for God, for the earth is the Lord’s. The sea is His, for He created it. His hands formed the dry land. I claim everything that comes out of the bowels of the earth for God, “for all the gold and the silver is His.” I claim every man in El Paso, and in Miami, and in New York, and in Calcutta, and in Manila, and in Moscow, and in Beijing, and in the whole wide world for God, for “it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves,” and he made us “for His pleasure.” I am not willing to cede even one thing or one person to the devil, as some wickedly do, for this is my Father’s world and I am an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ. He that overcometh shall inherit all things! This world and everything in it and every man upon it is part of my inheritance! I am asking my Father for my inheritance even as He has instructed me I should: “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (nations) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shall break them with a rod of iron…be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth!” (Ps. 2:8-10).

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
The call of God in this hour is for a people to move from the candlestick realm to the throne room. This is the Father’s great purpose for His called and chosen elect in this new Day of the Lord! Years ago Douglas Wilson penned words that are just as fresh and meaningful for us today. The next several pages of this message is taken from his article titled JOSHUA AND CALEB. May God bless it to your heart!

In all the time that Joshua, Caleb, and the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, their next realm, their next age, was just a short distance away from them. Had they gone directly from Egypt into the promised land, it would not really have taken them very long to get there. It has been said that it was a journey of eight to ten days. And naturally, the wilderness was even closer than Egypt to the promised land! The coming age, especially for Joshua and Caleb, was not some place a long way off, but it was so very close by. It was of very easy access, yet they could not get into it.

At least some of us are realizing in this hour that the next age, or the next REALM IN GOD of which we speak, isn’t in some far distant place, but it is close by. And yet, here we are, apparently unable to enter into it! We find ourselves to be a people unknown to ourselves. We are one type of people, living in one type of age or realm, being prepared for another age or realm that is just over the line, so to speak, from us. Actually it is no farther from us now than it was from Israel when they were in the wilderness! Yet we are prevented from entering in. This we know — Caleb and Joshua had to wander in the wilderness for forty years until all the unbelievers died. After that they could enter in. We had always been taught that all who came out of Egypt, except Joshua and Caleb, had to die before the rest of them could enter into the promised land. But this did not bear witness to our spirit, so we began to read and discovered it was not so. It did not work out like that at all. All of those who could not go in were the soldiers, the men in the army, who were over twenty years of age, and who would not believe that they could take the land. All those who were under twenty years of age, and the women, lived on, just as Joshua and Caleb did. It was these soldiers who had to die in the wilderness! They were the unbelievers who were under God’s orders to take the land, and they refused to do it, saying they could not, and thus declaring that in their judgment, God was a liar.

God described to the children of Israel the land into which He would take them.

It was a land flowing with milk and honey, a land of hills and valleys that drinks water of the rain of heaven, a land which the Lord cared for, a land in which He would bless their seed, and prolong and multiply their days as the days of heaven upon earth! They would be placed in a land, a realm, a dispensation about which they knew nothing and that would be entirely different from anything they had known before. He commanded them as to how they should live and walk in the land, and what kind of people they would be unto Him. Now multitudes of people today will not believe we can have days right now that are as the days of heaven on earth! They cannot believe it, because they are looking for heaven away off somewhere amongst the starry skies. The people to whom God was speaking these words, were a people of one type and of one dispensation, and He was telling them something about the kind of people they were going to be, and the kind of land in which they were going to live. It was a realm of which they had no knowledge. God told them that their future home was to be nothing like the land of Egypt they had left. The valley of the Nile was the richest known spot on earth. It is so yet today. But God told them their future home was not so, for in Egypt they sowed their seed, then tread on the water wheel, in order to water that seed. But in the promised land they would have rain from heaven! It was to be an entirely new realm, with entirely new conditions and circumstances. It was to be a new age, a new dispensation, a new realm in God, and God was right then getting them ready to go in and take it and occupy it. It was to be as heaven on earth!

That was all in the natural, earthly realm. God was preparing a people for another realm, another age, another dispensation in this realm of flesh. This is a type of what God is doing today! Most of us have no conception of what God is doing in our lives and bodies. Just because we cannot see or feel something being done, is no sign that God is idle and doing nothing within us. We often think that there has to be a lot of external manifestation taking place for God to be doing something. But on the natural plane, termites can invade a building and work, and unless the building is inspected, no one will know of that work until the building is so weakened that it falls. Just so, we have little conception of that which God is doing in the lives and bodies of those people He is working with and that He is preparing as HIS SONS for that age which is to come. There is so much that we don’t understand at this time, but we do know that God is working, preparing an elect company to bring deliverance to the whole of the groaning creation in the age and the ages that lie before us.

As we approach the new age of the kingdom of God there are many Joshuas and Calebs in the land today, being prepared to enter into the coming age, the promised land of this day. Though they will enter the same land, their training and their present lives are completely different, for they have a different destiny in the land to come. Shall we say it like this? Caleb was of the people. He was out in the multitudes in the camp. Caleb had absolutely nothing to do with the tabernacle. He had nothing to do with the ministrations of the priests. He had nothing to do with the ministry of Moses in any way. But Joshua is referred to as the minister of Moses. And in the first chapter of the book of Joshua we find God telling Joshua that Moses is dead, and that he was now to arise and go over Jordan, and that as God had promised the land to Moses, so would He give it to Joshua, and every place where the sole of his foot trod, was his.

As we have said, we too are in a time of preparation.

A people is being prepared for the coming age, and those who are being prepared particularly, are not the Calebs. To a certain extent the Calebs are being prepared, in that they possess a different spirit and they see and know that something different in God is coming. They are willing to wait, even in the midst of unbelief, God’s time to enter into the next age or realm in God. But all their preparation is to bring them to a place in which they can wait in faith, for they are a kind of people who will inhabit the land. But for the Joshuas there is something else! In Exodus 33:8 we read, “And it came to pass that when Moses went out to the tabernacle, all the people rose up and stood every man at his tent door and looked after Moses till he was gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle. And the Lord talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he (Moses) turned again into the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, DEPARTED NOT OUT OF THE TABERNACLE.”

Moses was taken up with the work and care of overseeing that vast multitude of people.

God had told Moses to move the tabernacle outside the camp, and so when the people saw Moses going out to worship, they would also stand and worship, every man in his tent door. When Moses passed through the tabernacle door, then the cloudy pillar would descend in order to seal off the tabernacle so that God and Moses might commune together. Moses was the one lone man who had access to the Holy of holies whenever he desired to go into it. He was above the high priest in this, for he was the friend of God, and he had need of God’s communion frequently. God did not speak with Moses as He would with the high priest, but as to a friend. And the people saw the cloudy pillar come down and when the time together was finished, the cloudy pillar would rise and Moses would come again into the camp. He would have to go back into the multitude in the camp, to judge them and to watch over them, to be their leader, fulfilling the work that God had given him to do.

But God had His hand upon a young man, Joshua, and that young man did not depart out of the tabernacle. The time came when God commanded Moses to lay his hands upon Joshua and impart to him the very same spirit that he (Moses) possessed. God gave unto Joshua the very same promises and the same powers that He had given Moses. No man could stand before him! Wherever he placed his foot, that was his! God told him that just as He had been with Moses, so would He be with Joshua. Joshua was to be strong and of good courage. He was not to fear, for God was with him, even as He had been with Moses.

It was necessary that Moses leave the tabernacle and return to the camp, but it was necessary that His servant Joshua remain in the tabernacle for special training. As we understand it, Joshua was constantly in the place of ministry unto the Lord. He was continually in the place where the priesthood operated. He was in that place where the people were bringing their offerings for sin and where those offerings were being sacrificed. He remained in this place day after day, and year after year, absorbing all that went on in the tabernacle. God had given Joshua a privilege and a work which had been denied Moses. He came into a place that Moses never possessed! Moses had led the people out, but God now provided a young man, Joshua, the son of Nun, or the son of perpetuity, to perpetuate and carry forth into new dimensions all that had been started in Moses. This Joshua was to lead the people into the promised land! He was to give to every man his inheritance! For this reason, Joshua COULD NOT LIVE A LIFE LIKE CALEB. He could not be just one of the people, another face in the crowd, another pebble on the beach, living the same way, doing the same things. He must know the mind and the will and the purpose and plan of God! He could not have just a vague knowledge of it, He must acquaint himself with each and every detail of it. He must know the boundaries of each tribe, what they were to get, and what they were to do. It was his place to give out the inheritances to all the people of Israel!

In this we find a true type of those sons of God whom God is preparing today!

We have seen this for some time, and we know by personal experience it is true. This class of people is greatly misunderstood, criticized, and condemned, because they are not doing a great number of wonderful things. They are not generally performing great healings and astounding signs, wonders, and miracles. They are not out conducting great crusades, no vast throngs are following them, and the fact of the matter is most of the people stay away from them! Such people are not participators in the activities of the rest of God’s people, even those who will become inhabitants of the land. They are not Calebs, not out in the camp with the tribes. Perhaps not even going out to gather their supply of manna for that day! God has separated this company of people from all those things.

Rather, they are of the class of people who are in the tabernacle, DWELLING IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD, LEARNING OF THE WORK AND THE POWERS OF THE AGE TO COME! God had a Moses to go out and minister to the multitude in their wilderness walk. Moses and the judges were to minister to the people and all their fleshly needs. But none of this was for Joshua! He never did have any ministry such as this! For forty years Joshua spent all his days in the tabernacle. Moses, who ministered to the people, would often come in to commune with God that he might receive the message and the word of God, so that he might go back out and minister to the people.

But Joshua stayed right there in the presence of God!

He was absorbing the very life, power, wisdom, knowledge, and Spirit of God, so that when the proper time came, God could say to him, “Moses my servant is dead, now it is time for your ministry.” At that time Joshua would rise up, for all the ministry of preparation would be over. All the work and ministry of the man Moses was now finished, for the people were now at the borders of the promised land, the new age and realm in God. It was time for the children of Israel to enter the promised land! It was time for the people of Israel to receive their inheritance! It was time for the fullness of God to be revealed! Now was the work of Joshua to come to pass! He was to bring them into that land, a land of rain and one that flowed with milk and honey. A land entirely different from the Egypt they had left. Now all the tedious training of Joshua would begin to bear fruit! All the years of loneliness and application to the plan of God would lead that vast multitude into a new land, into a new age, and give them their full portion!

Knowing that human nature in that day was just like human nature of today, we see the possibility of some saying, “How is this? How and why is Joshua being elevated up over all the rest of us? He has done nothing but sit out there in the tabernacle for forty years! He never healed anybody. He never prayed anybody through to the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He wasn’t out holding crusades and saving souls. He wasn’t even part of a recognized ministry! He never preached any marvelous sermons. He just spent his time in the tabernacle.”

All through those forty years, God was getting a man ready to bring the people far beyond what they were receiving from the hands of Moses and the judges — INTO THEIR INHERITANCE! Moses and the judges were merely preserving the people in their wilderness condition. God had Moses and the judges to take care of the natural things for the people in their carnal state of being, to continually bless, encourage, and revive them lest they faint in the wilderness. Some of us are well aware of these facts. Even though we did possess such ministries in the past, yet at this time, many of us are not functioning in the ministry of a Moses, nor in the ministry of any of the gift realms where men minister very much unto the people in their natural, fleshly realm of healings, material needs, blessings, revivings, etc. It seems we are set far apart from the multitude of the people, and from the accepted type of ministry, and most Christians do not want much to do with us! But with this company of people, God is working and preparing them for a future ministry and work.

As we stated, God has people, many of them, who are ministering unto the multitudes the things of the natural realm, the loaves and the fishes. But there is another class of people, and God is dealing in a different way with them. They are being prepared to know the plans and purposes of God, not just for this age, but for the ages to come, that they might lead the people into the full inheritance God has for them. There must be someone who will be capable to lead the people in, and get them established in that greater glory which God has prepared for His people. Caleb put in his days with the rest of the people, Moses and the judges put in their days maintaining the people in their wilderness state, but Joshua remained always in the tabernacle, absorbing the mind and life of God for the inheritance to come!

Joshua was an entirely different man!

As we meditated upon these things, we saw clearly these two different classes of people. There are those who are in the multitude of all God’s people, yet God has done something in them to give them a spirit that is different from the rest. They have received a glimpse, a taste of the glories of this higher realm and know that it is something marvelous beyond where they are living. They have tasted of the powers of the world to come, and know they shall enter into it. But they are still like Caleb, willing to stay in the multitude and put up with all the slanderous reports about the land or the age to come, and wade through the unbelief all around them and just wait for the day of entering in.

At the same time, however, God has the Joshuas placed off somewhere in the tabernacle, in the presence of God. It doesn’t have to be in four walls, or certain kinds of meetings, but just in the presence of the living God! Apparently they are doing nothing, but they are absorbing the spirit and the life and the knowledge and the wisdom and the purpose and the plan of God. How important this is! When Moses’ ministry is over and done, when all the natural ministry of the church orders and religious systems is finished, then God will lead out the Joshuas, having completed their training, and they shall lead the people into the next realm in God, into the next age!

We are sure that we are in such a position now.

We are in one age, and we are being prepared for something, though we have only caught faint glimpses of the glory and wonder of it. We do not understand all the workings of God, because we do not know exactly what we are going to do in the future, how it shall be done, or even what we are going to be. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be” (I Jn. 3:2). Therefore it is sometimes hard to understand the training we are receiving, for our training depends entirely upon what we are to be in the next age or realm in God. So we cannot question God concerning the “whys and wherefores” of all we are experiencing in our lives in this hour, and in the lives of others.

The new age was not very far from Joshua and Caleb. It was just over the line, just beyond Jordan, and so it is in this day. This new age lies before us, and the glory of it is beginning to be made known unto us by the Spirit. Caleb and Joshua knew the way into the promised land, for they had visited it in a fleeting moment, yet they were forced to await the proper time to enter. Caleb must needs remain with the multitude, and Joshua must be prepared to take the whole multitude into the coming age. We have a wonderful experience ahead of us in the Lord, and we are grateful for it. It is not of our choosing, but of His, and we know He will perfect that which concerns us! — end quote.

That is a powerful word from the pen of Douglas Wilson. He has passed on, but he will stand in his lot in the day of manifestation. As I read this, I was reminded of a story out of history. Several centuries ago, the Emperor of Japan commissioned a Japanese artist to paint a bird to be put on display in the Emperor’s gallery. Months passed, then years. Finally, the Emperor went to the artist’s studio to ask for an explanation. The artist set a blank canvas on the easel and in fifteen minutes completed the painting of a bird that became a masterpiece. The Emperor asked why there had been such a long delay. The artist then went from cabinet to cabinet; he produced armloads of drawings of feathers, tendons, wings, feet, claws, eyes, and beaks of birds; these he placed one by one before the Emperor. The Emperor nodded and left the studio. He understood. The exquisite beauty of the painting completed in fifteen short minutes was merely the result of long years of research, preparation, and work!

Our Father shall have a glorious firstfruits company of sons in His own image which He shall put on display before the entire universe as the revelation of His own bountiful grace and matchless glory! The day of that unveiling shall surely come, and will not tarry. In the meantime, and to that end, the blessed Holy Spirit of God is patiently and unrelentingly operating in the lives of His apprehended ones so that we may be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. This conformation cannot take place in an instant, nor by a superficial experiencing of God. It does not happen in a single “experience” one night at an altar, nor can it be imparted by prophecy with the laying on of hands. The hour of our quickening unto God and His great plan was no more than the declaration of the divine purpose; it is just the beginning of the long work. The whole process is a detailed and painstaking progress “until Christ be formed in you.” When the work is fully finished, the day shall then arrive when there will come to us a new and living and powerful moving of His omnipotent Spirit and the completed work will flash forth in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; the grand and glorious portrait of God’s Christ, exquisitely wrought upon the canvas of our lives, that He might display in the ages to come the transcendent riches of His grace and goodness…for we are God’s own handiwork, created in Christ Jesus! (Eph. 2:7,10).

The new, with its glory, shall come to the fore,
Proclaiming the Kingdom is nigh at the door.
Yet, strange the confusion as some try to stay
Entwined with the old, though it’s passing away.
While some try to mix the old with the new,
To be torn by the strife, and the rending in two.
For saviours shall come and His fullness declare,
With beauty for ashes, and treasures most rare.
What ages have veiled as the old order reigned,
Shall burst into view at the time He ordained.
Ray Prinzing

To be continued…