Friday, December 14, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 93

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 93) by J. Preston Eby.

BREAKING THE SEALS (continued)
Before moving on in our study to the momentous events occurring under the sixth seal, I would again draw your attention to the fact that almost all the events in the book of Revelation take place in one of three dimensions: HEAVEN, EARTH, and SEA. These are, of course, symbolical and prophetical terms! They represent states of being, life-styles, levels of consciousness, spheres of existence, and dimensions of life within each of us.

Within me, and within you, my beloved, there is a sea-realm, the outer man of the body.

In our intellect, in our soul life, there is an earth-realm. And in our spirit there is a heaven-realm! There are things that are true in each of these realms, in each of these dimensions of our life. Every man on earth fits into one of these three categories — every man! There’s not a man on this planet who isn’t living out his life from one of these three realms. All of God’s processing in our lives, as He conforms us into the image of His Son, takes place only in the realms of earth and sea. Everything that comes out of heaven affects and deals with the earth and the sea!

Fire comes down from heaven and brings corrective, purifying judgments upon those who dwell upon the earth and in the sea. Mighty messengers come down out of heaven and the sea rages and the earth shakes and quakes. Oh, yes! When heaven comes down and touches earth there are voices, and lightnings, and thunderings, and earthquakes, and judgments, fires, blood, hail, and mighty transformations. I can’t think of anything greater that could happen to my body and soul realms! There is nothing more wonderful that could descend in power upon the self-consciousness and self-righteousness of my soul realm, and the lusts and passions of my body realm, to bring change. In the book of Revelation nearly all that happens in the earth and in the sea originates out of heaven! I’ll tell you why that’s important. If you’re trying to deal with your carnal mind, your fleshly desires, your religious hang-ups, or any other thing apart from the life of God out of your spirit, then you are indeed making a great effort of futility!

Heaven is nothing else but the invisible, omnipresent realm of the spirit in which God dwells.

It is the divine spiritual world! We understand that God’s presence fills the expanse of the universe. There is no place where God is not. There is no place you can imagine on this side of the grave, on the other side of the grave, in this visible universe, in other invisible parallel universes, no matter where there is time or space or dimension — God is there! He is everywhere because He is the Source, the Creator of all things. All is “of Him,” “out of Him,” and “in Him all things consist.” The physical cosmos is completely enveloped and permeated by a spiritual dimension. The material universe is the effect of the great Cause, and that Cause is God. There is divine interaction between these two realms for they are related just as a baby birthed out of a mother’s womb is related to its mother, or as the plastic pen I now hold in my hand is related to the crude oil from which it is a by-product. We are surrounded not only by God’s Spirit, but by the spiritual world, by a great cloud of witnesses, by an innumerable company of angels, by the spirits of just men made perfect, and by principalities and powers in the celestial realms.

Heaven is not merely the spiritual dimension outside of us, it is also the spiritual dimension inside of us. That is where each of us touches the spiritual world, or heaven, — within ourselves. When our spirit is quickened by His Spirit the heavenly realm is first opened within us. As we walk with God we are learning to connect with the heavens of God’s Spirit within us. We are being drawn to go deep inside and find ourselves in that most holy place of the spirit, resting upon the mercy seat, beneath the wings of the cherubim, in that perfect, full, holy and glorious place where the curse has never touched. Heaven! When you see heaven in the scripture just think of the realm of the spirit. The closest and most perfect and real dimension of heaven is within each of us. You will never know the true heaven anywhere else until you discover it there!

The more we learn to make our connection with heaven the more we grasp reality and understand the true nature of all things. Once having identified with the spiritual world of the heaven within, in the midst of chaos and crisis; in the midst of loss, collapse, disappointment, and destruction in our outer world; in the midst of any situation or circumstance we are able to translate ourselves immediately to that safe and secure haven of rest. As we dwell in the heavenlies of God’s presence we are heavenly and in heaven. As we consciously enter into the depths of God within we then learn also how to bring that realm out into our outer, conscious, visible world. As men behold the heavenly life expressed through our outer man we become the “gate of heaven” to those about us!

In the book of Revelation the symbolical term “earth” is used by the Lord to represent the soul with all its emotions, intellect, will, attitudes, and expressions. Note some of the symbolic uses of the earth elsewhere in scripture. “Let the earth fear the Lord” (Ps. 33:8). “All the earth shall worship Thee, and shall sing unto Thee; they shall sing to Thy name” (Ps. 66:4). “His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled” (Ps. 97:4). “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth” (Isa. 1:2). “O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord!” (Jer. 22:29). Manifestly the literal earth cannot fear the Lord, nor worship Him. Nor can the literal earth sing unto the Lord. Nor can the literal earth “see” the lightnings of the Lord. Neither can the literal heavens and earth hear the word of the Lord. Obviously these texts refer to the souls of the people living on the earth.

We should earnestly meditate upon the words of the apostle Paul wherein he writes, “If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:13). According to Paul it is only through the spirit that one can bring to death the deeds of the body. There is only one way to deal with both the soul realm and the body realm, the earth and the sea, and that is to deal with them out of heaven, in the spirit and by the spirit. It is impossible to conquer and subdue the activities of the soul and the body by any effort that originates out of those realms. They have no power to either reform or transform themselves! But if you through the spirit, which is the power and authority out of heaven, put these realms into neutral, out of gear, you shall then live by the spirit and in the spirit. Paul continues, “For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Aren’t you glad!

Even though we may have been saved for many years, we must now ask the Spirit of God to lift the veil that is upon our minds and reveal the truth of whether we are presently living in the realm of the body (sin, sensuality), the soul (carnality, self-will, intellect, emotions, etc.), or the spirit (life, light, love, victory, peace, joy, righteousness, power, etc.). With reverent heart let each of us ask the Lord to search us in order to be clear where we are. Frankly, many of the Lord’s precious people are wandering day after day in the wilderness of the soul! In the morning they may have joyful countenances, but ere long the pressures of the day take their toll and they become irritable, frustrated, upset, anxious, and dismayed.  Yesterday it seems they were in the heavens, but today they are making their bed in hell, discouraged, fearful, depressed, and defeated.  Yesterday they were full of faith and courage, ready to believe God for exploits, but today they are disheartened with their walk in God, and full of doubts and questionings. They are continually wandering about in the soul, the wilderness, without rest, circling in the same rut day after day, getting nowhere. Like the children of Israel, they may have been walking with God for forty years, but are still going around in the same vicious circles, with no improvement and no progress, never possessing their promised land of righteousness, peace, joy, and power. Why? Because they are living in the soul, they are earth-dwellers! The soul is barren and desolate, there is no life in it. Those who live in the body realm are still spiritually in the bondage of Egypt, under the taskmasters of Satan’s kingdom; but when we are in the soul we are with the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness!

The word of God must pierce us so that we may know how to press on from the soul into the heaven of our spirit, where Christ dwells. We must know how to bring our body and our soul into the holy place of the spirit so that the whole man may live in His sight! Only God can teach us these things, and He does so as we sit at His feet in adoring fellowship and communion. Flee, my brother, my sister, from the desolate wilderness of your soul as you would flee from a bear in the forest and you shall find blessed refuge in the promised land of the spirit, for there is a realm there within you, closer to you than the air you breathe, closer than the heart that beats faithfully within your breast, as continuously available as the blood coursing through your veins, a sacred sanctum within your spirit where the things of earth do not rule or have any power.  Christ dwells there as Life! Dear reader, ponder if you will this marvelous truth: CHRIST is not depressed, driven, anxious, upset, worried, confused, fearful, frustrated, weary, weak, nor defeated — and CHRIST IN YOU IS NOT EITHER! Tap the infinite resources of the Christ within your spirit and the promised land is your land!

There is a people rising from the barren dust of the wilderness of the soul and soulical religious activities to sit together with Christ in the heavenly places of the spirit. God dwells in your spirit, dear one, and God in your spirit is both infinite and eternal, and therefore in finding all that is available in God one must be prepared to go ever onward and upward into the vast expanses of the Spirit of God. It is not enough to experience a heavenly realm now and then in the blessing of a gathering of saints. That is not dwelling in heaven! If God is infinite, there is no limit to the experience we might have with Him in union with Him in the spirit. And if God is eternal, there is no end to the measure of grace and glory into which He would lead us by the spirit.  When our astronauts began their explorations to the moon, it was not sufficient that they should have entered a rocket and pushed through the atmosphere for an hour or two. True, they were in space the hour they started. But space is vast — and they must go on, and on, and on, and on…even to the surface of the moon. If God permits, man will go to Mars, and eventually from solar system to solar system, then from galaxy to galaxy, throughout the unbounded heavens!

Now, God has made us partakers of His Holy Spirit, and that simply means He has called us to explore the inexhaustible sphere of the deep things of God and the infinite summits of His glory, wisdom, power, and holiness.  Our spirit has been quickened by His Spirit for this very purpose: “that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (I Cor. 2:12). The natural mind cannot discover these things, hence the Spirit of God is sent into our spirit to reveal them unto us and to search out and explore “all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:10).

 For those who live in heaven everything is in the spirit. 

We walk in the spirit, pray in the spirit, worship in the spirit, speak by the spirit, and do all things in and by the spirit. This is sonship!  We find that as we live and walk after the spirit, judgment is brought into our lower realms of soul and body, and we have not to do anything about it. It is all accomplished out of a heavenly realm, by the spirit! There is no other way. If we go around preaching death to self, the need to crucify the flesh, to kill the old man, to reform and change the old Adamic nature, then we’ve missed the whole book. None of that is of any value at all! It is heaven that comes down and fills the earth with glory and stills the raging waves of the sea! My brother, my sister, nothing will ever happen in your earth or in your sea until there is an administration of life out of your heaven. This comes by seeking only and always HIS PRESENCE IN THE SPIRIT. Read the book! It’s all there. THIS IS THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST!

THE TWO HEAVENS AND THE TWO EARTHS
Now we come to a most important point. While everything in the book of Revelation takes place in the realm either of heaven, earth, or the sea; and while we have explored these from the vantage point of three dimensions of consciousness and life in which men walk, there is yet a further truth which is vital to our understanding of the visions John saw relative to these realms. The reality is that there are TWO SETS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH!  There are, indeed, TWO CREATIONS, TWO WORLDS, AND TWO HEAVENLY UNIVERSES!

First, let us inquire as to what we mean by a “heaven and earth.”

These are the two realms first mentioned in the Bible. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). The symbolisms of scripture are always appropriate and fitting.  The literal heavens and earth bear a certain relationship to each other which well illustrates the operation of the spiritual heavens and earth. The heavens, for example, control earth’s tides, atmospheric conditions, day and night, and seasons. The heavens rule and the earth is ruled. Heaven influences earth, but earth in no way affects heaven. From the very first pages of scripture, the sun was spoken of as the ruler of the day, the moon and stars as the ruler of the night.

Now notice that it is both the things of the heavens and the earth that are affected by the events occurring under the sixth seal! “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth…and the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places” (Rev. 6:12-14).

The natural sun is the brightest luminary in the natural heavens.

And to help us in correctly interpreting the meaning of the spiritual sun, we find that God made “the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night” (Gen. 1:16). Here we first have the idea expressed of both sun and moon being rulers. Then we find that God, the supreme Ruler, is called in the Word a “Sun.” “For the Lord thy God is a SUN and a shield” (Ps. 84:11). Also, our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings, is called “the SUN of Righteousness” (Mal. 4:2). He rules. Furthermore, we find that in reference to this principle of the sun and rulership we read, “He that RULETH over men…shall be as the light of the morning, when the SUN ariseth” (II Sam. 23:3-4). Then we find David the king called “the LIGHT of Israel” (II Sam. 21:17).

Concerning saints who are ordained as kings and priests in the kingdom of God we find that they are compared to the sun: “Then shall the righteous SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father” (Mat. 13:43). Of these same ruling members of God’s elect Jesus says, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations and he shall RULE them with a rod or iron” (Rev. 2:26-28). Then He hastily adds: “And I will give him the MORNING STAR.” That is, I will give him power over the nations — rulership — and I will give him the position as the morning star to give direction to mankind, to announce and proclaim the new day of the Lord! Now consider these meaningful words of Daniel the prophet wherein he foretells the manifestation of the sons of God, saying, “And they that be wise shall SHINE AS THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE FIRMAMENT; and they that turn many to righteousness as the STARS for ever” (Dan. 12:3). Then we find in Daniel 4:26 that “the HEAVENS DO RULE.” God’s heaven is His throne. “Heaven is my throne” (Isa. 66:1). The heavens of God’s Spirit in the symbolic terminology of prophecy is the seat where the sun, the mighty God Himself, sits and rules! And as God’s heaven is His throne, so the prophetical heavens include all the governmental realm through which God rules, and He is Lord of all.

All the above constitutes the heavens of God’s Spirit! But now there is another heaven of rulership which is not that of God by His Spirit. It is the rulership of men, including even the basest of men. This natural governmental realm is demonstrated quite clearly in the words of the prophet Daniel to king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, “thy greatness is grown, and REACHED UNTO HEAVEN” (Dan. 4:22). He had just become the most exalted monarch of earth, the greatest ruler among men: the SUN of that “heaven.” The prophet Isaiah, describing the casting down of earthly kings from their thrones, says, “THE LIGHT IS DARKENED IN THE HEAVENS THEREOF” (Isa. 5:30). This statement is most meaningful when compared with the words of Jesus when He foretold the removal and destruction of all the rulers and governmental powers of both Judaism and the entire pagan world, saying, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the SUN BE DARKENED, and the MOON SHALL NOT GIVE HER LIGHT, and the STARS SHALL FALL FROM HEAVEN, and THE POWERS OF THE HEAVENS SHALL BE SHAKEN” (Mat. 24:29).  These words of our Lord signified the complete dissolving, darkening, and abolishment of all the governmental orders of His day! Those were the “heavens” that passed away!

The sun in prophecy is the most exalted ruler of any order, the moon the second or lesser, and the stars are other governmental authorities and powers.  The heavens are the thrones which these rulers occupy, whether the rulers be men, spirits, powers, organizations, ideologies, or some other entity. The earth is that which is ruled by the heavens — that which looks to the sun, moon, and stars for its light and direction. There is an order of human government now, but all these are soon to pass away, be darkened, fall from heaven, and a new order shall be inaugurated. In this new day of the kingdom of God the manifest sons of God shall arise in the power of Christ’s resurrection and glory to constitute the heavenly bodies that shall rule the earth in the wonderful age now at hand! We are being made to know that all that has been giving light in the past, and that has ruled in the past, is going out and shall be darkened forevermore. The glorious Christ company shall take the place of all the former sun, moon, and stars. A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH — oh, the wonder of it!

Let us now further pursue this thought of the two heavens and the two earths.

I know of nothing that will so thoroughly awaken the fathomless depths of wisdom and understanding than the blessed knowledge of the sacred mystery that Christ saves men right now from “this present evil world.” And while you, dear reader, may be one of those waiting with rapturous expectation to be whisked away and “evacuated” off this earth to spend eternity in some far-off heaven somewhere, Peter expresses with urgent and profound aspiration the true desire of all sons of God who groan for the deliverance of creation from the bondage of corruption and the triumph of the kingdom of God in all realms, saying, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found in Him in peace, without spot, blameless” (II Pet. 3:13-14). It is an incontrovertible fact that the vast majority of Christians today is not looking for the same thing Peter was looking for — NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH!

Peter also said in this connection, “The heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (II Pet. 3:7). But Peter had prefaced these ominous words with the following illustration from the world of Noah’s day which was destroyed in the flood. “By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (II Pet. 3:5-6). The heavens and earth of old perished, Peter says, but he does not mean the literal earth we walk on or the literal heavens whose sun, moon, and stars still shine upon us every day and night. Oh, no!

When righteous Noah stepped out of the ark that bright morning he stepped onto the soil of the very same earth that existed before the flood, and at night he gazed into the star-spangled splendor of the same heavens above. Yet — all was changed!  The old order of things was gone, and a new order, or a new heavens and earth, would now be manifested. Was it not a new heaven and a new earth by being purged through the overflowing waters of the flood from the wickedness and corrupt order that previously polluted the earth? With what joy and satisfaction do we now entertain the precious promise: “For behold I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isa. 65:17). Hallelujah! What a wonderful thing that God will so thoroughly cleanse our own little world and the whole vast cosmos that even our minds will be purged from the remembrance of it! God will make such a good job of His work, that the past will be completely obliterated and never thought of any more! God shall not end this present evil world and call forth the new by destroying either His creatures or His creation. Not one thing, not one precious person shall be lost! He shall bring this world to an end and establish new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness by MAKING ALL THINGS NEW — changed, purified, and transformed by the fire of His Word! “And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Rev. 21:5). Not all new things, but all things NEW! That is the wonder.

Here we have the two heavens and the two earths — the OLD and the NEW! 

With astonished wonder the Seer of Patmos beheld this scene in spirit and cried out, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…” (Rev. 21:1). You will understand a great mystery when you see how it is that whatever has ruled or does rule your life apart from the spirit is your “old heaven.” Of a truth I tell you that the thing that rules or motivates or controls you in either soul or body, in mind, emotion, desire, will, or physical expression and activity, constitutes the “heavens” over your life! If Hollywood with its glitter and entertainment, its values, standards, and spirit rules you then the heaven over your head is Hollywood. If you “eat, drink, and sleep” sports, then sports are the heavens that rule you. If politics, political ideology, politicians, and some political party is what lights up your life, then you are governed out of the political heavens.

Some people’s heaven is the business world; work, climbing their way up the corporate ladder, gaining prestige, position, and power, and making money. Those who are ruled from these heavens are obsessed by this realm, becoming workaholics, often unprincipled in their ethics, stepping on others and destroying people in their selfish, frenzied climb to the top. Other folk’s heaven is philosophy, education, pleasure, drugs, sex, or lust. And we cannot fail to mention the “religious heavens” that rule over billions of lives on planet earth!

Men governed out of the religious heavens fight over religion, condemn everyone else to hell, demand obedience upon penalty of eternal damnation, lay heavy yokes of external rules, regulations, laws, dress codes, you cannot do this or that, cannot go here or there, demand tithes and offerings, fleece widows and rob the poor, make merchandise of men’s souls, burn heretics at the stake, and blow themselves up as suicide bombers! By the time many so-called “holiness” groups get through with the women in the church, putting them through the dress-making and appearance departments, these very women have lost most of their appeal to their husbands, and then they wonder why the world is filled with “unsaved” husbands! All through the years these holiness groups have imposed an external appearance of “holiness,” forcing their people to conform to certain contrived standards of conduct. Such “holiness” focuses primarily on what they wear and the kind of places they go. Some cannot even go to the county fair, wear a wedding ring, put on make-up, or drink a Coca-Cola!

There are some groups that will split and start a new “church” over the length of the ribbons on a prayer covering, how many buttons are on the sleeve of a suit, how a beard is trimmed, whether one wears a necktie, or whether the chrome on their automobile is painted black. The further one goes in those directions the more ridiculous it becomes! I see these women at the mall dressed in their long dresses and a particular style of head scarf, and I know by their attire they are some kind of Christian. But where does the scripture teach us to be known as Christians by the style of our clothes? You see, I would never recognize these women as Christians because of the love, joy, peace, and glory of God radiating from their countenances — only because of the outer garments they are wearing! Doctrines, creeds, traditions of the elders, rules, commandments of men, and control over men’s lives — these are the governmental powers of these RELIGIOUS HEAVENS

Every man has his “heaven” and every man is the earth that heaven rules over!

For most who read these lines the most recent heavens that have passed away are the heavens of the old-order church systems. Of this Paul Mueller wrote: “Once again, in this new Day, the Lord has purposed to do a new thing in the earth. But since all power and authority to do anything new in the earth must come from Heaven, from His throne, or from the realm of Spirit, God must create a new Heaven, or a new realm of Spirit, which He has done. And when the Lord brings forth a new Heaven, He is, by that sovereign act, changing the order of things, that He might do a new thing in the earth. You can beg and plead with the Lord, fast and pray earnestly, asking Him to bless the old-order church works in this new Day, but He may not answer you, for our Father is doing a new thing! There is now a new Heaven, a new throne realm, or a new realm of Spirit, which governs all God’s work on earth! And with the coming forth of this new Heaven, ‘the former things are passed away.’ God has established a new spiritual order, beginning in the Heavens, and that new spiritual order is beginning to change everything spiritual that pertains to the earth, so that, in the fullness of Father’s time, a new earth shall also come forth! And now I join John in declaring, ‘And I saw A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.’

“Therefore, we will have to think in terms of doing things on earth according to God’s NEW WAY, not our own way, which is the old way, or the way we were accustomed to doing things in the past. A NEW HEAVEN HAS COME FORTH. And that new Heaven is a new Spiritual order, with new principles and new plans for the kingdom of God on earth, which will provide us with NEW METHODS OF WORKING WITH THE LORD and doing His perfect will on earth, during this new, Kingdom Day! It is difficult for us to imagine what that new ministry will be like, for we tend to think of ‘ministry’ in the context of church order, which is the old order of the past. But a new ministry exists in the Heavens of God’s Spirit, and those who are Spirit-led and Spirit-directed will be able to read, see, hear and receive that new ministry, in the Spirit and by the Spirit. The Lord’s chosen elect are ready for change, and they have progressed spiritually with the Lord, as the holy Spirit has led them. ‘These are they…’ who are motivated by the Spirit, and are therefore able to discern the will and the way of the Lord pertaining to His kingdom, for the Heavens of Spirit are open to them (Jo. 1:51)”  — end quote.

A new heaven and a new earth necessitate the passing of the former or old heaven and earth. The former and the present. The old and the new. THESE ARE THE TWO SETS OF HEAVENS AND EARTH I SPOKE OF EARLIER.  Each heaven has its sun, moon, and stars, its primary source of dominion (sun) in our life; its rules, culture, and pressures (moon) which also direct our thinking and activities; and the myriad lesser influences (stars) which likewise affect our actions. The way we think, act, walk, and live out our life is the earth-realm ruled from those heavens! And every earth has its mountains and valleys, its rivers and streams, its air and oceans. Here is the truth we must now consider. When we see in the book of Revelation events taking place in the sun, in the moon, in the stars, in the earth, with mountains, trees, grass, rivers, streams, seas, and in the air we must understand and know whether these belong to the OLD HEAVEN AND THE OLD EARTH or to the NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH! John saw them both! And until we also see them both and are able to distinguish between them, our understanding of the Revelation will be dismally defective. The beautiful truth is that THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH DO NOT PASS AWAY!

Again I quote the words of brother Paul Mueller. “The Lord also declared, ‘For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain’ Isa. 66:22). The Lord, our King and Creator of all, has declared that He will create the new heavens and a new earth. And the new heavens and the new earth will be permanent and endure forever and ever. God’s word tells us they ‘shall remain before me, saith the Lord.’ That which God creates shall remain before Him, which is to say that the new heavens and the new earth shall stand, to be established before the Lord in a new and enduring relationship with Him. The new heavens and new earth will satisfy God, for it is that which He has created and made new. And just as eternally enduring, everlastingly permanent, infinitely secure and immortally righteous are the Lord and His new Heavens and new Earth, so also are we before the Father! We shall stand before Him, complete, perfect, righteous, and secure, for we are being created in His glorious and enduring image and likeness. We are the spiritual seed of Abraham and have been given the Lord’s Name, the Name of His ‘city,’ and His new Name. Nothing shall separate us from the love of God! We shall stand before Him in white, for we shall be just like Christ!”  — end quote.

The new heavens and the new earth which remain before the Lord cannot be darkened, removed, fall, turn to blood, be shaken, visited by earthquakes, plagues, disasters, fire, pestilence, judgments, or ruled by beasts. Can we not see by this that many times in the Revelation it is our old heavens and our old earth that are being affected, for all of the above mentioned things happen in the heavens and in the earth as they are judged by the mighty power of the Spirit! It is our old heavens and earth that pass away! It is the sun of our old heavens that is darkened! It is the stars of our old heavens that fall unto the earth!  It is the moon of our old heavens that turns to blood! It is our old earth, our natural, carnal, fleshly life that is being shaken, devastated, shrouded in darkness, burned with fire, and brought to naught!

Let your heart meditate deeply upon the wonder and glory of the new heavens and the new earth.

Let us begin with these inspired words of the apostle Paul, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, He is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things (of this new creation) are of God…” (II Cor. 5:17-18). I am wonderfully blessed by the rendering of this passage from the New English Version: “When anyone is united to Christ, THERE IS A NEW WORLD; the old order is gone, and a new order has already begun. From first to last, this has been the work of God!” Wonderful! The Williams translation has it, “For if anybody is in union with Christ, he is the work of A NEW CREATION; the old condition has passed away, a new condition has come. This has all originated with God!” Oh, yes! Our new heavens and earth, our new world, our new order and condition originated in Christ Jesus, and entering into Him brings to an end the old corrupt order of consciousness, lifestyle, and nature, and the establishing of the new which “after God is created in righteousness, and true holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24).

Thus, these “new heavens” and “new earth” are not a new material heavens or new literal earth.

The physical heavens and earth were made perfect, and the scriptures show they will remain for the ages (Ps. 89:36-37; 104:5). The new earth is a new kind of people, those who live out of a soul that is under the dominion of the spirit, and new heavens are the new authority and order out of the heavens of God’s Spirit within us. When the Daystar of the new creation, Christ the Lord, arises in our hearts; when the life-giving rays of the morning sun, even the Lord the Spirit, break forth upon us in His glory, warmth, and splendor, then this old world within us begins to be dissolved.  The old heavens and the old earth within us meet with the all-consuming heat of the Sun of Righteousness and fall away to nothing in the light of the glory of God. The Spirit of Jesus within then begins to frame a new heaven and a new earth in soul and body, even one wherein dwelleth righteousness. All things are born anew within us by the creative word of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus and not only the heaven and the earth pass away, but there is no more sea; no more great overflowings of the carnal mind, no more inundations of the carnal nature, no more swellings and surgings of fleshly emotions and ungodly desires, no more roarings of Adamic pride, intellect, wisdom, knowledge, ego and self-hood, or worldly glory, for the sea is dried up within us never to be anymore at all!

Every apprehended son of God is coming to experientially know the new heaven and the new earth! This is what was transpiring in John’s experience when he said, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away” (Rev. 21:1). John saw the new heaven and he saw the new earth! To see the new heaven and new earth means to have a fresh understanding or a new concept about heaven and earth. John saw the new heaven and earth by being caught up in the spirit into the day of the Lord. This is a wonderful truth that shows that the new heaven and earth can only be seen in the spirit and by the spirit! John said, “And I saw…” The verb “saw” means to discern, perceive, cognize, discover, recognize.

Yet there is an order to what John saw!  He said, “And I saw a new heaven.” 

He then followed this by saying, “and a new earth.” Can we not see by this that we can only see a new earth when we see a new heaven! If you have not seen a new heaven, you will never see a new earth, for earth is set in the heavens! From the beginning this has been the divine order. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Heaven is the tabernacle of the earth. In the spiritual sense the new heaven is a new or quickened spirit and the new earth is a new redeemed, transformed soul and body. New! “For the former things are passed away.” “Behold, I make all things new.” When one has truly experienced this his first concept of heaven and his first concept of earth have passed away. He has received a new understanding and touched a new reality! It is a state of being and an identity beyond what we have been consciously aware of.  The new heaven and the new earth are indeed the new man, the new mind, the new life, the new nature, and the new creation that we are. The sons of God are within themselves the new heaven and the new earth! It is a new way of thinking, a new perception of reality, a new consciousness of being, a new dimension of expression, a new plane of living! Oh, the wonder of it!

We know the reality of the new earth when God comes down out of the heavens of His Spirit to dwell and manifest in the earth realm — the visible, tangible realm. John said that he saw a new heaven and then he said, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev. 21:2-3). The New Jerusalem, the Holy City, is God coming down out of the invisibility of spirit to manifest His presence, life, and glory visibly in and through a people. The New Jerusalem is the capital of the new earth — the dominion of God formed and crystallized in and through a people in union with Christ. These are God’s elect in whom the heavenly reality has been fully formed! These are they who are the light of the world, for the nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of this city! The New Jerusalem is the firstfruits of the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness!

To those who walk in the spirit of wisdom and revelation from God the Holy Spirit is giving a new concept of earth. Multitudes of Christians are possessed of the Babylonish notion expressed in the old song that says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.” For these poor souls life in the flesh is a toil, a drudgery, filled with weakness, lack, pain, trouble, and sorrow and they are just waiting to die and get out of here. “Stop the world and let me off” is the popular “rapture” mentality. One thing is very clear — these precious folks have never SEEN THE NEW EARTH! Neither have they seen the NEW HEAVEN! Once you have seen, discerned, perceived, discovered, recognized, and experienced the new earth you no longer have any desire to “go” anywhere! There is no need to go anywhere!  God manifested in and through your soul and your body is the new earth! This is the new earth “wherein dwelleth righteousness.” This passage leaves no room for doubt that the righteousness of God expressed in and through our lives constitutes the new earth! Where else would you want righteousness to dwell? Where else does righteousness need to dwell? Where can righteousness dwell in such a measure that it transforms every thing in the whole world? Only in the lives of mankind! When the righteousness of God is revealed through the lives of all people everywhere, the old earth will have fully passed away for every man, and the new earth will be established in the glory of God. Isn’t it wonderful!

You see, my beloved, it is not about what happens to this physical planet called earth upon which we walk. It’s not about literal mountains, valleys, canyons, oceans, trees, rivers, or rocks. Oh, no! It is not that earth out there at all — it is this earth which we are that has become new! And yet — it is wondrously true that the earth out there is and shall be affected, delivered, restored, quickened, and changed by the life of God manifested through the new heavens and the new earth that we are! This is certain, for man is given the dominion over the earth and over all things. The outward world fell under the curse along with its ruler, Adam; and it shall be restored and delivered from the bondage of corruption through its ruler, the many-membered Christ, the last man Adam! Do you see the new heaven, my brother, my sister, and can you see the new earth?  I see a new heaven and I see a new earth!  I see a heaven and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness! Oh, yes, I SEE IT!

There is no truth within the pages of God’s blessed Book more certain than the fact that God is creating a new heavens and a new earth. Beyond question this is the allegory proclaimed by the Lord to the prophet Isaiah, “I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, THAT I MAY PLANT THE HEAVENS, AND LAY THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH, and say unto Zion, THOU ART MY PEOPLE” (Isa. 51:16). Zion is a people, the Lord’s elect, and it is in Zion that the Lord plants the heavens of the new spirit by His word, and lays the foundations of the new earth wherein He dwells. It is God’s called and chosen elect, His glorious city and mount of Zion, that He sets in the tabernacle of the heavens to be in a settled place, firmly established by His love and grace, secure in the new spirit and the new nature, no more to be lost or wandering in the emptiness of selfhood.

Stand with me for a moment in holy contemplation of these words the Lord spoke to Isaiah.

The Lord said that He would plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth in Zion, His people.  But the Lord prefaced this by telling Isaiah how it would be done! Hear it! “I have put my words in thy mouth…that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth.” It would be accomplished by THE WORD OF THE LORD IN THE MOUTH OF HIS SPOKESMAN! How would you suppose God would create a new heaven and a new earth? How did He create the physical heavens and earth? “And God said, let there be!” The apostle Peter tells us that it was “by the word of God” that the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water (II Pet. 3:5). John tells us in His Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word…all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made” (Jn. 1:1-3). God creates by His word! God creates the new heavens and the new earth with a “Creative Word”! He is moving within us in this hour by His revelatory word, His living word, His omnipotent creative word to plant within His elect the new heavens and to lay the foundations of the new earth. This word is nigh us, even in our mouth and in our heart! (Rom. 10:9-10). This word has no corruption in it at all — it is the incorruptible seed of the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

It has been made very clear to me by the spirit of truth that the only way God can create within us this new heavens and new earth, in all the splendor of their fullness, is to bring us back to the beginning. When God has finished His work in you, my beloved, He will have taken you back to the beginning — because you are His spoken Word. The Christ within us is the Word of God!  All that God has done, is doing, and shall yet do in us is by His powerful, omnipotent, living, creative word! How do you think a man is “born again”? “Being born again…by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (I Pet. 1:23).  The Father birthed each one of us by the spoken Word! We were birthed as the living offspring of God, a spirit being, in the image and likeness of God, through or by the Word! And now the thoughts of God have risen up within our minds and hearts, bringing us to the realization of our sonship to God! Treasure every word that God is speaking into your mind and heart in these days, dear one, for this word that is proceeding out of the mouth of God is the power of God to plant the new heavens, and lay the foundations of the new earth within you! Aren’t you glad!  

It should be clear to every enlightened mind that God is in the process of making an entirely new creation, or making all things new — not this time a mere natural creation, nor yet a purely spiritual one, but a spiritual-physical one. This present natural creation is really only a step in the process of making the creation God had in mind from the beginning. “First that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual,” is the divinely revealed order. Does that mean the natural is completely done away with, supplanted by the spiritual? Not at all! It means that the natural is swallowed up by the spiritual. The natural is a necessary step in the process of making the kind of creation God purposed from the beginning. Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son of God, is the proto-type of that new creation — the PHYSICAL SPIRITUALIZED, RAISED UP INTO THE DIVINE AND HEAVENLY! The physical body of Jesus was raised from the dead, brought out of the tomb, spiritualized, and made a spiritual body — not a spirit, mind you, but a spiritual body! Jesus is still referred to as a man all through the New Testament, not only after His resurrection, but also after His ascension. “There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

The firstborn of this new creation order is a GOD-MAN upon the throne of universal power!

Think of it!  When you see Jesus as a divine-human, a God-man, one of the natural creation metamorphosed, spiritualized, raised up into the celestial and incorruptible, then you see exactly what God is after in the whole creation, and you also see what the finished product of the new heavens and the new earth within you will be like! “This corruptible must put on incorruption.” “This mortal must put on immortality.” How unspeakably wonderful! We see the natural creation all around us, but this natural creation is not the finished product any more than the ore dug out of the earth is the fine piece of jewelry the artisan has in mind when he begins his work. The whole creation is still in the process of being made into the kind of creation God started out to make. God is still Creator! And He is still creating a new heavens and a new earth!  The work has only begun in us!

The new heaven is the mind of Christ and the new earth is the body of Christ, the members of which have put on incorruption. The new heaven is the new mind of the spirit, and the new earth is the soul and body quickened and governed by the spirit. Surely the fullness of redemption includes possessing the “mind of Christ” as well as a body “fashioned like unto His glorious body.” And being conformed to His image, partakers of His divine nature, we shall be His “all righteous” ones — a new heaven and a new earth WHEREIN DWELLETH RIGHTEOUSNESS!

The coming “world” will be one that will see the fullness of God in operation through His Zion people, His sons, the demonstration of the mighty power of the new heavens and the new earth. It is not a mansion over the hilltop, or a cabin in the corner of gloryland, or white night gowns, or harps, or palm branches, or dangling feet in some stream of celestial water. There is a job to be done! A battle to be fought! A victory to be won! An enemy to be conquered! “And there was no more sea.”  “And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” This is God’s will for humanity on this earth, and this is what our call to sonship is all about! It would be a most beautiful thing if all the saints of God could have an open vision that would enable them to understand the glory of God’s purpose on earth, and His election in man.

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and THE POWERS OF THE WORLD TO COME…” (Heb. 6:4-5).  The Rotherham translation renders this last statement, “Mighty works of a coming age.” The Interlinear Greek New Testament says, “The works of power of the age to come.” Jesus said, “Greater works than these shall ye do!” But have the followers of Jesus really done any greater works than Jesus did? The book of Acts doesn’t record them. Neither do the epistles. Nor does church history. And, my friend, after more than a century since the restoration to the church of the baptism in the Holy Spirit; after more than sixty years since the restoration of the five-fold ministry, the gifts of the Spirit, and the prophetic flow, have you seen any greater works than raising the dead, cleansing lepers, walking on water, calming storms, and turning water into wine? You know you haven’t!

Yet, according to the writer to the Hebrews, there are MIGHTY WORKS OF A COMING AGE, GREATER WORKS THAN JESUS DID TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO! And all we have experienced of God, of His Spirit, of His Word, of His power, glory, miracles, and revelation, has been merely a small taste, a little sampling, of the glory and power of that coming age! Why friends, we have only seen the firstfruits of what God will do through His in-Christed body upon this earth. Can you imagine a world where the hospitals have been emptied, the doctors’ offices deserted, the prisons closed, the policemen all laid off, the armies dismantled, the mortuaries locked, the dead raised, all nature tamed, controlled, and subdued, the nations turned to the Lord, all men transformed into the image and glory of God, and the whole world system transformed — and GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL YOU SEE as the glorious mind of Christ rules and reigns over the earth realm through the manifest sons of God! The fullness of what we have just had a taste will be the normal works on behalf of humanity in that blessed world to come. This will be the new heavens and the new earth in all the fullness of what that means!  

“Behold, I make all things new!” saith the Lord. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”


To be continued…

Thursday, December 13, 2018

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 92

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 92) by J. Preston Eby.

BREAKING THE SEALS (continued)
Before considering the significant and momentous events occurring under the sixth seal, it will be advantageous to first review one important principle that will greatly aid our understanding of almost all the scenes we behold not only under the sixth seal, but throughout the remainder of the book of Revelation. I would draw your attention to the fact that the vast majority of the events in the book take place in one of three dimensions: HEAVEN, EARTH, and SEA. These are, of course, symbolical and prophetical terms! They represent states of being, life-styles, levels of consciousness, spheres of existence, and dimensions of life within each of us.

THE SEA
The lowest of these three realms is the sea. Throughout the book of Revelation a number of things transpire in the sea. A few of them are as follows. “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and a third part of the sea became blood.” “I stood upon the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns.” “And the sea gave up the dead that were in it.” “Woe to the inhabiters of the sea, for the devil is come down unto you.” “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth…and there was no more sea.”

Throughout the scriptures the sea is a type of the inner storms and turbulent nature of the Adamic man. The prophet Isaiah penned these inspired words: “The wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isa. 57:20-21). Jude also described wicked men when he said, “These are raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame” (Jude 13). The beloved John, on the isle of Patmos, had a vision of a great whore sitting on many waters. The angel revealed the meaning of the many waters, saying, “the waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (Rev. 17:15).

The natural sea is a great deep, an abyss (Gen. 1:2; 7:11; 8:2; Deut. 8:7; 33:13).

The Psalmist wrote of this abyss of the wickedness of man, “They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart is D-E-E-P (an abyss)” (Ps. 64:6). To the enlightened mind of David the depth of iniquity of which the human heart is capable is so great that it is beyond the ability of man to comprehend. The heart of man is an unfathomable depth, or, as Jeremiah observed, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). While John the Revelator saw a beast (bestial nature) rising out of the sea (abyss, depth) of humanity, Jesus expressed the same truth thus: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed all these evil things!”

No one can dispute the fact that it is this restless, turbulent, raging, evil heart of the fleshly man that inspires every evil and devilish perversion, and has filled the world with ever increasing confusion, faithlessness, immorality, falsehood, fraud, hatred, violence, greed, cruelty, strife, wars, bloodshed, and oppression. There are wars and rumors of wars and terrorism that strike fear into the hearts of men. Among the ruthless surging tide of unbridled crime, drugs, rebellion, illicit sex, disease, suffering, abuse, poverty, sorrow, and injustice, we hear the groans of the dying. The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain! Men’s hearts are failing them for fear in looking after those things which are coming upon the earth. It is more than a raging sea of evil — it is a virtual tsunami of self-destruction! As we look at the sad earth today, it is plain for every eye to see that, flowing from the corrupt minds of the corrupt rulers of every corrupt government on earth, taught in the schools, practiced in business and in the courts, and propagated by the media and Hollywood, we find the evil fruit of sin and death manifesting itself. Everywhere on the planet mankind is being overwhelmed by its evil until the earth is filled with violence and the thoughts and imaginations of men’s hearts are only evil continually.

The natural man is not getting better, as some affirm.

The unregenerate man, old Adam, is corruptible. That means not only that he is dying, but that he is continually being brought into a worse state and inferior condition leading to destruction. He is on a never-ending downward spiral into oblivion. Is not this the terrible danger of the hour in which we live — enough bombs stockpiled to not only blow planet earth to smithereens but twenty more like it! And all in the hands of unpredictable, corruptible men, and terrorists everywhere on the prowl. You may suffer from the illusion that human nature has improved during the past sixty-five years since the horror of the Holocaust and the savage warfare in which fifty million men, women, and children were blown into eternity, but you are mistaken. Human nature never improves, old Adam can never reform, for his is a corruptible nature, growing steadily more vicious, deceitful, and immoral.

For us the seashore is a place of vacation, and a cruise across the sea is for many the dream of a lifetime. Not so for the ancients! To them the sea symbolized chaos and destruction and unrest. One description of this is found in Psalm 107:23-30. These things, gathered together in the concept of the hostile sea, represent a part of human existence. The disquiet that goes on in many souls is sometimes almost beyond bearing. Friend, have you ever heard someone who has passed through mental or emotional torment speak of its hell? Have you ever seen the quivering jaw of someone crying bitter tears after having taken all that a human being could be expected to endure? Have you ever tried to encourage someone who is in an impossible corner of life with absolutely no exit to be seen? Have you ever stood beside someone and felt by way of empathy a groan of inner misery so deep that it cannot even find its way into words? Some of you have known dear people who have so suffered. Some of you have experienced some of these things yourselves! But there is a place — a place in God’s new heaven and in God’s new earth, in the realm of the Spirit, where the anguish represented by the sea exists for us no more! “And there shall be no more sea.”  Thank God!

THUS FAR AND NO FURTHER
“Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, and said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed” (Job 38:8-11).

The above passage is a statement the Lord made concerning creation — how He arranged and limited the “great deep” at the time He was fashioning the earth as a habitation for man. He describes His action of dividing the dry land from the seas. At times, when there have been fierce hurricanes or terrible tsunamis sweeping the shores, has the thought not entered our minds of the devastation that would occur if no limits had been put upon those fierce and powerful waves? What if they should break forth from the invisible barrier which holds them in place and sweep far inland and engulf even the height of the mountains beyond! The scriptures assure us that our Father Himself controls the seas. Though storms may arise, and waves rage, they may boil and crash in fury, but their boundaries are set. No matter how strong the wind or how powerful the earthquake, they can go no further than God has decreed: “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed!”

The raging of the sea indicates that the forces of the flesh and the world are all against us!

There is much opposition from our own carnal mind, and from the powers that be without, to the great plan and purpose of God that is before us! Sin and death are everywhere! Tyranny and conspiracy dominate the world scene and militate against the rule of the kingdom of God! If it were possible, carnality and death would overwhelm us! Death at its worst! The powers of sin and death control this world! But, praise God, though the raging waves crash upon the shore and run up the beaches, yet they have to fall back within the boundaries God has set for them. In every temptation and trouble there is a place of refuge in a realm higher than the storm-tossed sea! Thank God, there are realms above sea level!

“The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea” (Ps. 93:4). It is certain that the Lord has the power and ability to control the mighty waves of the literal sea. But there is more involved here than just the literal waters of the oceans! It is the sea of humanity, the wickedness of man which “casts up mire and dirt,” to which the Spirit would point us. The Lord is stronger and mightier than the masses of the world who wickedly cast up the mire and dirt of the carnal, evil works of the flesh. The “floods” of sex, rock music, drugs, crime, divorce, broken homes, abuse, profanity, licentiousness, and godlessness they lift up and by these floods they have deluged the world with sin, darkness, perversion, and shame. But the Lord shall speak peace to the troubled waters of wickedness! The abundant salvation and restoration of the Lord shall calm the troubled waters of the wicked! God is even now preparing a great “counter wind” to blow the waves back into their place, and by the ministry of the manifest sons of God all mankind shall be quickened to experience and manifest the righteousness, peace, and joy of the kingdom of God. Oh, yes!

It is the Lord “which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people” (Ps. 65:7). This passage is not speaking of the noise and waves of the literal oceans, but the noise and commotions sent through the earth as a result of the tumult of the people. Only the Lord can quiet the noise and calm the waves! Only the Lord can heal and soothe the passions of the flesh and the evil works of men! The carnal mind and the flesh nature constitute the “seas” within us, whereas the corrupt systems and evil works of this world make up the “seas” without.  Only the Lord can still the ravings of the carnal mind!  This has been His great work in His elect as He has moved mightily in us by His Spirit, raising up the pure and holy nature of Christ within. In this new day of the kingdom of God the Lord is prepared to speak to the noise of every sea, to the raging of every wave, and the tumult of all the people of the earth! The sons of God shall arise and through them Christ shall rule the world in righteousness and subdue every enemy and subject all things by that mighty power whereby He is able to still the noise of the seas and calm the anger of their waves. The Lord shall show that He is the one who made the seas, the seas are His possession, and He is the one who has power over the seas; then shall every enemy, the raging “seas” of man, bow at His feet.

The Holy Spirit has taught us that in every event of human history the Lord has had control.

This was true in His dealings with men, and nations, and His own people, and each individual life in the past, and it is just as true today. The Lord has set the bounds, and bars, and doors, and limits to everything! Anything that may attempt to go beyond the boundary which He has set for it will fail. We see this principle so beautifully exemplified in the evil that fills the earth. In spite of men’s wicked designs, intents, and plans, the evil of man has never had complete mastery over the events of earth. Many times throughout history an exceedingly corrupt regime came upon the scene, forcing men into an abyss of oppression. Yet even these tyrannical empires and wicked rulers were permitted to exist for just so long, and the Lord raised up another power in the earth to crush the evil into the dust. He says to the despot ruler who afflicts a portion of mankind, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” The prophet Daniel lived in such a time and he said, “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it (even) the basest of men” (Dan. 4:17).

The Lord set a limit for the insane plans of Hitler to exterminate the Jews and rule the world.

His armies were able to overrun Europe and invade Russia, but then the word of the Lord went forth among the nations, saying, “Thus far shalt thou come, and no further!” The Lord held the ruthless and godless communists of the Soviet Union at bay for seventy years, saying to them, “Thus far shalt thou come, and no further!” When they reached the limit the Lord determined for them they receded like the waves of a troubled sea. His word reaches to the evil and subtle powers of Babylon, the great whore which sitteth upon the nations, oppressing them under threat of hell-fire should they not pay their homage, and He says to them, “Thus far shalt thou come, and no further!” 

In our personal experiences there are trials, testings, troubles, temptations, emotions, problems, and perplexities that come upon us and try the metal of our character in Christ. Some of these experiences are permitted for a short time — others are of longer duration — but our mighty, omnipotent Lord of all stands before His elect who are faced with principalities and powers of darkness and the outbreaks of the carnal mind and fleshly nature, saying to all those dark powers, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” Marvelous are the promises of God to those who know His power over the seas! Paul understood this great control of the Lord over every raging wave when he wrote, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape” (I Cor. 10:13). This is the measure used by God to determine what trials, testings, and provings are necessary for us to endure. When our need and God’s purpose has been fulfilled and satisfied, we can rest assured that His voice will command the waves.

Indeed sometimes our trials and the demands of the flesh seem so fierce and oppressive, so difficult to bear or to withstand, but as we remember that we are being shaped for a place of authority and power in the kingdom, and by His magnificent design, we are fortified to learn the lessons that He has for us in each experience. The Lord says to our trials and temptations, “Thus far shalt thou come, and no further!” Just as a builder shapes a stone or a piece of wood to fit into a specific spot in the home he is constructing, so our Father has a particular place in His kingdom in mind for each of His elect, and He is fashioning us to fit into our place in His holy, spiritual temple. A carpenter or stone mason does not randomly form a piece of building material, and then hunt for a place for it to fit. Oh, no! It is cut and shaped and sanded and planed, or is hewn and carved, so that it will exactly fit the place for which it was intended. Truly the Lord is in control of our ways and His voice commands all the forces used to conform us to His image! Rejoice then, beloved, for He who has created all things, limits the power and influence of the flesh and evil which are arrayed against the Lord’s anointed, allowing only as much as will serve His purposes. He controls all things and allows only that which will serve Him in the preparation of His elect. Isn’t it wonderful!

Terry Crisp once graphically expressed it this way: “Personally speaking, have you ever had times when, for no apparent reason, and for no particular fault of your own, everything around you was dark and mysterious; when nothing seemed to make any sense, and the spiritual realm was silent? Pressures mounted…problems loomed…and you were wearied with attacks from the Adamic nature. Have you ever been there? There have been times when those same fleshly feelings suddenly rushed over us, when foreign emotions crowded in around us, and when carnal attitudes pressed themselves upon our minds, all of which were diametrically opposed to our spirits. They were not invited, but they came, nevertheless! And we could not explain them. They were just there…one after another…continuously knocking at the door…repeatedly seeking opportunity and acceptance from us. Try as we may in our own strength, we just couldn’t stop them from coming! However, when we cried unto the Lord for deliverance, then, He suddenly appeared in the clouds. He broke through the veil with ‘the brightness of His coming,’ and showed Himself mighty to save! Praise God!  He made sense of the situation, by showing us the underlying motives and principles involved. ‘Then the channels of the waters were seen, the foundations of the world were discovered at Thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of Thy nostrils.’ He showed us the activities occurring ‘beneath the surface,’ so to speak, and allowed us to see the scene as He saw it!”  — end quote.

Every tense situation is alive with the movement of God,
As He is inworking His purpose deep in the heart of this clod.
All of the rolling and surging, as billows sweep over the soul,
Bespeak of the hand of His mercy holding in perfect control.

For all the measures of pressure are obedient to His command,
Thus far shall they come, but no farther, their limit His wisdom planned.
—  Ray Prinzing

Brother Prinzing also shared the following in this connection. “Betimes men will start a situation over which they eventually lose control, and they regret that they ever started it. GOD HAS NEVER LOST CONTROL, and therefore never has any regrets. HE knows at just what point along the way He must exercise His restraint, put a bend in the road, change the dispensation, and thus ease the situation while He continues to work out His plan of the ages. So often through the years I have seen those circumstances evolve in our life where the pressures built, we were brought to that point where the proverbial ‘one more straw would break the camel’s back.’ Either we would cave in, or the whole situation would explode — and then GOD EASES IT, pressures slacken, and we carry on. It may take years before the whole thing is resolved, because God has an extended purpose in it that is being wrought out, but in HIS CONTROL He allows the pressures to build, and He causes them to lessen, for He is in full control all the way, working all things after the counsel of His own will, and for our ultimate good”  — end quote.

While I am quoting from other brethren let me add this beautiful line from brother Elwin Roach. “We may have puzzled at the significance of Jesus calming the wind and sea, and also walking upon it during the storm; but it is now becoming clear. If He had not done so, it would have been a testimony that there are two elements He could not conquer — the wind and the sea — that is, the spirit of the world, and the nations of the world.”

The sea Jesus conquered was the sea of Galilee, and Galilee was known as the land dominated by the Gentiles or the nations. In Matthew 4:15 it is called “Galilee of the Gentiles.” Calming the sea of Galilee is a parable with momentous implications! All the Old Testament scriptures which speak of Yahweh as the One who controls the seas are thus seen fulfilled in Christ! Oh, yes! Christ is the manifestation of God upon earth, and He it is who has power over both the wind and the waves! Little wonder that the disciples were so astonished at this miracle and cried out, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the waves obey Him!”  How wonderful is the knowledge that our mighty and omnipotent Christ who dwells within us is THE CONQUEROR OF THE SEA! He rules the winds and the waves within each of our lives, and with Him we shall rule and reign over every spirit and over every nation of men in the glory of the kingdom of God upon earth!

Ah, the sea is the lowest realm on earth, and this vast sea of fleshly, Adamic humanity represents mankind at his lowest point — as bad off as man can be! Individually it speaks of the lowest aspect of our human nature and life — the body with its passions and lusts. The sea represents the physical desires and impulses that are restless, driving, compelling, and raging out of control! God is now in the grand process of bringing men out of the lowest realm of the sea of vanity, sin, and death, up into the highest realm of heaven, the realm of the spirit, to the fullness of His life, nature, wisdom, authority, and glory. This shall be fully accomplished by the omnipotent power of God’s word and by the moving His Spirit, and not by man’s carnal mind, self-efforts, or worldly wisdom.

THE EARTH
The second realm is that of the earth. In contrast with the sea and heaven, the earth is the symbol of the second dimension of life, a realm higher than the sea, but lower than heaven, an intermediary realm which at its highest peak kisses heaven, and at its lowest level embraces the sea; and yet, in the true sense it is, of itself, neither heavenly nor degenerate. The sea, as we have seen, comprises the masses of restless, surging, sinning, warring men who live only and always after the unrestrained desires of the flesh (body realm). Heaven, on the other hand, speaks of those who have been quickened, raised up, made alive in Christ, seated together with Him in the heavenly places, who walk only and always in the Spirit. Those who “dwell upon the earth,” however, are a moral class, religious folk, with many up-right citizens of the community and church-going Christian people in their ranks; but these, while not overtly wicked, are not spiritual either, but in most aspects of their daily lives “mind earthly things.”

On the individual level the earth speaks of the soul, but only in the aspect of the “good” of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These are the three entities that grew in the midst of the garden of Eden! The tree of life represents the life of the spirit; the tree of knowledge, on its “good” side, represents the life of the soul; and the evil of that tree stands for the sin in our members, the body realm. The soul, which is situated between the spirit and the body, is our inner, psychological part which includes our good human desires, emotions, will, and intellect. The desire is the organ for fancy, motivation, and aspiration. The emotion is the organ for pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy. The will is the organ for formulating opinions, making decisions, and inciting actions. And the mind is the organ for thinking and considering. These senses of the soul are psychological senses and comprise man’s ego or self, giving him self-consciousness and enabling him to be a social being and contact the psychological world around him.

The soul is an intellectual realm, but also the realm of the carnal or natural mind.

It is the realm of “good” but it is not the realm of Life! Out of this realm comes our organized society, law and order, charities, good works, social activities, education, the arts, and man-made religious realms which are deemed spiritual, but which do not originate out of the spirit. The man who walks in this realm of “earth” is that good neighbor of yours, a nice fellow, a good person, who wouldn’t cheat you or lie to you or misuse you in any way. In fact, he may be helpful, caring, and compassionate. He may attend First Methodist or Saint Mary’s Church; he may be a Sunday School teacher, a deacon, a board member; he is socially and religiously active, a God-honoring, flag-waving man, but has never ascended into the heavenlies and does not live out of a heavenly dimension. You can’t accuse him of any gross sin, or any wicked or ungodly act, but if you start talking to him out of a spiritual realm he will look at you like you came from Mars. He has absolutely no idea, not the foggiest notion, of what you are talking about! He doesn’t live in the sea, he doesn’t wallow in the lusts of the flesh, in pornography, crime, drugs, adultery, dishonesty, or any lustful or hurtful thing. BUT NEITHER HAS HE BEEN TO HEAVEN! THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT ARE NOT LIVING REALITIES TO HIM!

As already stated, the soul is the mind, will, emotion, and desire of the natural man.

Before the apostle John on Patmos heard the voice calling him to “Come up hither,” John was in his own mind, his own will, his own emotion, and his own desires. There is nothing wrong with that! These were not ungodly or corrupt, but neither were they the Spirit of God or John’s own spirit. We need to think spiritual sense about these things! The “flesh” is the realm of sin in my members. It is a lower realm than the soul. I am acting in my soul when I study at school, drive my car, chat with my neighbor, do my work, play with the grandchildren, or go to a concert. I am in no way acting fleshly — that is, out of a sinful nature. Now, if while driving my car I deliberately run someone down, or, if while chatting with my neighbor I lie to him or insult him, or, if instead of going to the concert I go to a nude dance club, then I am in the flesh! Yet, when I am doing very natural things I am not sinning. I am merely moving in my soul life. There is something wrong with walking after the flesh, for “the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, ill temper, selfishness, divisions, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like…” (Gal. 5:19-21).

John came to be “in the Spirit.”

It is a blessed thing to be in the Spirit! God is making a spiritual man today! When God formed man of the dust of the ground, he became a living soul. Adam was sinless when he came from the hand of his Creator, and he lived and walked in the dimension of his soul. It is natural to live in the soul realm! Adam was of the earth, earthy (I Cor. 15:47). He was also a living soul (I Cor. 15:45). Can you not see by this why I say the earth-realm is the soul-realm? The soul realm is not wicked — it is just natural. You don’t have to do a thing to get into the soul realm. We were all born into this world in that realm! When we came out of our mother’s womb we weren’t born in heaven, nor were we born in the sea. We were born on earth, into the earth, in the soul realm! But Adam did have to do something to fall down into the flesh realm — he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He disobeyed the warning of the Lord to Him! He partook of the fruit of a lower realm and added evil to his good. He sinned! That is just the difference between the “flesh” and the “soul.” You have to sink to a lower level to be in the flesh. In the flesh is a dark realm, a rebellious realm, a sinful realm, a wicked realm of perverted self-hood, corruption, and unrighteousness.

The soul may have a dark side, for I mentioned earlier that at its lowest level the earth-realm touches the sea, while at its highest peak it kisses heaven. But the soul can be beautiful! What can be more beautiful than the innocence of a child, though they know nothing of the spirit? It is the soul that enjoys traveling to far-away places with strange-sounding names, quaint cultures, and exotic vistas. It is the soul that is moved by the strains of beautiful music, that stands transfixed before a colorful sunset or the majesty of mountain peaks. It is the soul that loves, as a man loves his friend, his children, or his wife. The soul may be lifted up to touch the high realms of the Spirit of God! In such a moment the sweet singer of Israel exulted, “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” And in the magnificat the virgin of Galilee cried out, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour!” The soul can also sink into the domain of the flesh and revel in base things, for “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” But the soul itself, of itself, and by itself, is neither evil nor spiritual. It is just the soul. Natural. The soul is incomplete and seeks union. It finds union with either the flesh or the spirit!  When it walks after the flesh, it dies. When it walks after the spirit, it lives!

“The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (I Cor. 15:45). It is in conscious union with Christ that we become “in the Spirit.” This was John’s “rapture”! In this rapture John became a spirit-man. He became one who heard; who turned; who saw; who was caught up into heaven! His own consciousness, life, identity, and reality were swallowed up in the vision of Another! He moved out of being an earth-dweller to being a heaven-dweller!

Earth, or the soul realm, is also a religious realm which is man-centered, need-conscious, and revolves around flesh-oriented activities. Because of the soul the whole world is religious! They have religion but no life and no power. It is only as God Himself increases in the life of the child of God that power can increase, and this can never happen until self decreases. Oh that God’s people could realize that it is “Not by MIGHT nor by POWER, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6). The might and power here spoken of refer to man’s might and power — not to God’s. To the natural and not to the supernatural. There are two sources of power! Many great church organizations today boast of their “power,” “influence,” or “popularity” in their community. Their power and influence are derived from the magnificence of their great church plants, the efficiency of their organization, the appeal of their programs, outreaches, entertainment, and ceremonies, their numerical strength, their connection with the “right” people — those with wealth and influence and prestige in this world. Their fine talent, and soothing worship services, their beautiful forms, and exciting teaching and preaching, all help to make them popular — to give them power in a world of “religious,” “respectable” earth dwellers. It is from such as these that Paul has warned us that we must separate ourselves. “Having a form of godliness, but DENYING THE POWER THEREOF, from such turn away” (II Tim. 3:5). These people would be greatly displeased if God should interrupt the controlled orderliness of their procedures by moving in a supernatural way by the power of His Spirit!

Someone has pointed out that we live in a world that rushes like a car with the accelerator jammed to the floor and the body thrown back in the seat. Life exists at a high rate of speed, a dizzy blur to the passengers on board. The extreme pressures of demanding schedules touch our jobs, our homes, and our churches, at times threatening to shear the very rivets of our being. The religious world’s schedules are no exceptions. They move in the same earth-conscious time demands. We have lesson preparation, Sunday School class, Morning Worship Service, Children’s Church, carry-in dinners, Sunday School picnics, rest home ministry, church soft ball league, evening church, after church fellowship, youth group activities, mid-week services, weekly Bible studies, committee meetings, deacon meetings, missionary groups, choir practice, prayer meetings, prayer breakfasts, Full Gospel Business Men’s Meetings, visitation programs, hospital calls, Bible Clubs, Vacation Bible School, work nights, discipleship sessions, and counseling. Phew—!  The soulish Christian substitutes reason for revelation, emotionalism, zeal, and good works for spirituality, and man-made rules, regulations, and traditions for the inward law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus!

The world today has its own religious dictionary of definitions of “God” and “Spirit” and “Church” and they think and speak in the framework of those definitions. But GOD SPEAKS A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE and has a different dictionary of definitions by which He speaks to His people and according to which He works. If all the multiplied practices and methods employed by the churches today were suddenly swept away it would in all probability cease to function! If the churches had to drop all their rituals, forms, programs, ceremonies, and special activities; all their confirmations, baptisms, and communion services; all their special singing, organ music, and altar calls, they would feel as though they had been stripped naked and could not serve God in any way. All this simply demonstrates the terrible fact that the faith and dependence of the churches is not in God, but is in the trappings they have accumulated to themselves throughout the centuries. The thought that God is perfectly able and fully willing to run His church without the aid of anything in the way of soulical contributions, is found to be abhorrent to the average church member.  These are they that DWELL UPON THE EARTH!  You will find them mentioned many times throughout the book of Revelation!

In the earth realm one can touch the sea, and one can touch heaven, but one doesn’t dwell there!

The hour of temptation is to “try them that dwell upon the earth,” the Spirit says (Rev. 3:10). The Greek word for “dwell” is not the ordinary oikeo, but the strengthened form of the word, katoikeo, meaning those who have settled down upon the earth, who have identified themselves with it. They are content to remain in a carnal, soulish, natural-minded state of being! The man of earth lives out of the dimension of the first man Adam — the living soul! It is a soulical realm of life.

Ray Prinzing outlined the truth of this in such simple yet powerful terms:

The body is the “sense” conscious realm.

The soul is the “self” conscious realm.

The spirit is the “God” conscious realm.

When the flesh controls you, you are carnal.

When the soul/mind dominates you, you are soulish.

When the Spirit rules within you, you are spiritual.

He went on to say, “While a man is triune — spirit, soul, and body, of these three the soul is the dominate feature of our natural life.  The body is the portrayal ground for the action of the soul. The body may be at rest, but the mind carries on continuously, whether we are awake or asleep. Strong emotions may surge within us, whether we express them or not — but if we do, it is through the body that they are revealed. Thoughts may rush through our mind continually, but only as we speak and act them out through our body, do others know what is in our mind. Yet the soul, being the feminine part of our being, must be joined to some spirit-force that it might gender life to bring forth that which would be expressed. The spirit of man is insufficient in itself, and so seeks to be strengthened by other spirit-forces. If the human spirit is one with the spirit of the world, it is self-evident that all of the emotions, impulses, thinking, and operation of the will, shall bear the mark of the world upon them. But — if we join our spirit to the Spirit of God, until HIS life controls our being, then all that is brought forth out of the womb of the soul would be that which bears the mark and the image of God. That is our deep desire!”  — end quote.

HEAVEN
The third and highest of the three realms is heaven. This is the highest dimension of life, the dimension of spirit. Those who live out of the spirit are spiritual and heavenly! The Greek word for heaven is ouranous meaning elevation, height, exaltation, eminence. It has both physical and spiritual applications. In its spiritual sense it bespeaks of the eternal, invisible, and omnipresent realm of the spirit in which God and all celestial beings dwell — far above the realm of the physical, material, earthly, and mortal. It is not a geographical or astral location. It is not a planet or a solar system or a galaxy or any kind of place. It is a DIMENSION OF LIFE, REALITY, AND BEING. It is a SPHERE OF EXISTENCE. It is a PLANE OF CONSCIOUSNESS. It is above the earthly not in terms of space or location, but in respect to kind, quality, and state of being. Every life-form lives on a plane of awareness. Each of these planes constitutes a “heaven,” a spiritual realm above the physical.

Heaven is naught but the biblical name of the REALM OF GOD’S SPIRIT, the invisible and omnipresent dimension of Spiritual Reality. And it is all around us! It is as near to us as the air we breathe, closer to us even than the blood coursing through our veins. We are one with it by virtue of our spiritual life. “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” We touch heaven as we touch God in our spirit. We behold heavenly things as with our spiritual mind we behold spiritual realities. We walk in heaven as we walk in the Spirit. We think like celestial beings when we think with the mind of Christ. We act heavenly when we live by divine nature. Heaven is, furthermore, the realm of God’s government — His infinite power and almighty authority. The kingdom of God is rooted in our spirit, the heavenly dimension of our life.

No word written or spoken could hold more truth in this regard than the words of the apostle Paul wherein he speaks of “the power which God exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavens, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come” (Eph. 1:20-21). These wonderful terms used by Paul are figures of speech. God is omnipresent spirit — He doesn’t physically sit on anything! Nor does He physically have a right hand! It means that Christ is raised up permanently into that highest spiritual realm where He has all power and authority! The “throne” spoken of in other scriptures refers to His omnipotent power. So now we know where Christ ascended! He didn’t necessarily “go” anywhere. He simply vanished out of this lower material and physical sphere of existence and ASCENDED INTO THE OMNIPRESENT, INVISIBLE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION OF SUPREME AUTHORITY AND ALMIGHTY POWER!

Then Paul says, “And He raised us up together with Him, and made us sit down together with Him in the heavenly sphere” (Eph. 2:6, Amplified). It will be a blessed day for us when God makes it clear to our hearts that we have already been raised up and given joint seating with Christ in the very same heavens where He is enthroned with the Father. YOU ARE WHERE HE IS! That is the true heaven — not visionary mansions, golden streets, or a flowing river out of the throne. And yet Christians continue to sing, “When we all get to heaven…” Most Christians have no idea where heaven is, what heaven is, how to get to heaven, or where they are! Therefore they live in the consciousness of a lower realm out of which they think, walk, act, and live.

Those who are God’s called and chosen elect in this hour have been taught of God, they have been given an understanding for they have been quickened, made alive, raised up into the higher than all heavens, and in consciousness, in spirit, in reality are seated even now in the heavens in Christ Jesus! People think they are where their natural mind tells them they are. They have missed the spirit reality altogether and understand not that they are born from above and their citizenship is in heaven! That high and holy realm is not a place away off beyond the galaxies, but a place in our spirit where we rise up above our earthiness and learn to compare spiritual things with spiritual things. It is there that we discover reality!

Dear ones, how can we live in the heavens? Just by being in Christ! Christ has ascended. Christ is now Himself the highest heaven in this universe! Most of those who read these lines understand what it means to experience the ascended Christ, to daily live out our lives in the victory and triumph of the Son of God who dwells in our spirit, and in whom we dwell in blessed union, far above the sorrows, strife, sin, problems, perplexities, limitation, struggles, fears, disappointments, and death of the carnal realm. THIS is sonship! In spirit I hear the wonderful words falling upon the ears of the prophet of Patmos, “Rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them!” Oh, yes! We dwell there! That’s us he’s talking about! This should help us see how it is that the promise of the Lord is fulfilled in us, “I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Sons of God do not “dwell upon the earth!”

Those who dwell in heaven, who walk in the spirit, who think with the mind of Christ, who live out of divine nature, have no need to be “tried” as men who dwell in an earthly state. There is no processing in heaven! There is no condemnation, no judgment, proving, purging, refining, correction, discipline, or testing of those who live and dwell and sit in the ascended Christ! Those who truly walk after the spirit are not depressed, perplexed, worried, or victimized by any kind of “earthly” situation. When our affections are set upon things above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God, and where we sit with Him and in Him, we are resurrected and ascended, for the Christ with whom we are joined in spirit is the Christ who has ascended into the heavens! When you stand in union with Him you are high above the mountains, not in the valleys. You are in the heavenly places, far above the earth-realm. The things of earth grow strangely dim for those who truly are in Christ.

In the book of Revelation everything that comes out of heaven is good and wonderful!

Angels, great and mighty, come out of heaven (Rev. 10:1; 18:1; 20:1). Voices of wisdom, revelation, and power come out of heaven (Rev. 10:4,8; 11:12,15; 14:2; 18:4-5; 21:3). The all-conquering army of God, Christ the firstborn with all the holy sons of God, come out of heaven (Rev. 19:11-14). And a city, a glorious city, the New Jerusalem, comes down from God out of heaven (Rev. 21:2,10). The throne of God is in that city, the Lamb is on the throne, and every overcomer is on the throne! So heaven is a wonderful realm, and I live there. All who live and walk in the spirit live there. Individually, I live there in my spirit. Collectively, we all live there in our walk with God in the spirit.

All three expressions, those who dwell in heaven, those who dwell on the earth, and the inhabiters of the sea, recur a number of times in the book of Revelation. They are descriptive phrases, denoting a spiritual state, not an actual location anywhere in the universe. Are you, dear friend, a dweller of the heavens, or an inhabiter of the earth? If you are looking after those things which are coming upon the earth, if you mind earthly things, if your great concerns are about some “beast government” that will rule the world, or which world leader might be the antichrist; if every new technological development, computer chip, or laser makes you fearful of taking the mark of the beast, if earthquakes, storms, tsunamis, wars, and every new political development is interpreted in your mind as the fulfillment of some imminent “end-time” prophecy, then surely you will live out your life on the level your vision beholds and you will be captured by the bestial system of this world, for “all who dwell on the earth shall worship him!” (Rev. 13:8).

All who have their vision focused on the “below realm” stand in jeopardy, for the false prophet “deceives those who dwell on the earth…telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image of the beast” (Rev. 13:14). The sea and the earth are the realms of the beast: “And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea…and I saw another beast coming up out of the earth” (Rev. 13:1,11). The earth-realm is the sphere of the dragon’s power and authority, for “the dragon was thrown down…he was thrown down to the earth, and his messengers were thrown down with him…Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and the sea! because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath” (Rev. 12:9,12). Woe to the people who believe the natural, earthly report, who live in an earthly consciousness, who are focused on earthly events, rather than the heavens of God’s Spirit, rather than the spiritual reality that is locked up within each of us. Woe to you! Why? Because the devil is come down to you and he has great wrath, and he is there to torment you until you realize that you don’t belong in the earth anymore. You belong in the heavens! What is happening in the heavens is all that pertains to you! Satan is bound to the dust realm, and he is there to remind you that dust is not your heritage, you belong to the heavens where you walk with God in the spirit!

It is in the “below realm” that the judgments of God are being poured out, and those who have their habitation in this realm will find no escape. “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabiters of the earth, by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” (Rev. 8:13). Those believers who spend their time worrying about a world government, the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations, the European Union, communism, terrorists, conspiracies, or any other earthly thing will have no solace or security, but will find themselves in constant fear and dread, as Jesus forewarned, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on THE EARTH” (Lk. 21:26). Take note that the fearful are among those who have their part in the lake of fire! (Rev. 21:8), for these have not learned to dwell in the secret place of the most High, under the shadow of the Almighty; they have remained inhabiters of the earth.

Well did Mark Toohey write: “The dwellers in heaven have ascended above the distress of the natural, earthly realm of strife and confusion, for they have set their vision on the realities of a higher realm. They have found themselves seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, abiding steadfastly in the strength of His Spirit, resting securely in the joy of His presence. These have the uncanny ability to sleep soundly in the bow of the boat while all around them the storms rage. The dwellers in heaven are the manchild company ‘caught up to God and His throne’ (Rev. 12:5). The dwellers in heaven are the 144,000 who stand victorious with the Lamb upon mount Zion ‘having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads’ (Rev. 14:1). These are the overcoming saints standing upon the sea of glass who sing a new song of victory, deliverance, and praise (Rev. 15:2-24). The dwellers in heaven are the New Jerusalem coming out of heaven from God (Rev. 21:2). The dwellers in heaven are ‘those who are with Him who are the called and chosen and faithful’ (Rev. 17:14), and ‘the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, who were following Him on white horses’ (Rev. 19:14) as in righteousness He judges and wages war. Those who have ascended into the heavenlies have no fear of an earthly beast, for they are beyond his grasp, even as he ‘opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven’ (Rev. 13:6). God is calling a people to ‘come up hither,’ and to walk in the reality of such a dominion in this very hour!”  — end quote.

To be continued…