KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
THE INCREASE OF THE KINGDOM
As I begin this message on THE INCREASE OF THE KINGDOM I am moved to share these words from the pen of brother Paul Mueller. He writes, "With each revelation and manifestation of Christ to His people, the Truth that He is increases, the Life that He is increases, and the Light of His glory increases, so that we know Him in greater fullness than we did previously. When Christ appears to His elect, as He is doing now, He comes in His increased presence. How wonderful to know the Christ of increasing truth, life, light and glory! He was revealed and manifested as the Latter Rain in 1948-1953 (Hos. 6:3). Since then, Christ has been revealed and manifested as the Living Word. He appeared within us as the Living Word, not in a manifestation of outward glory as in previous visitations, but to impart His word of truth in a hidden manifestation of Himself. And to know and experience Him in His greater glory as the King of kings and Lord of lords, as the One who increases in glory, is more spectacular than any previous manifestation of Christ. His glory, as revealed in us now, will do more for the needy of the world and for the creation than anything of the past. Also, the work of the Holy Spirit within us is to guide us into all truth, and show us things to come (Jn. 16:13). And when He shows us things to come, we have no desire to continue in the old ways of the past. Therefore, the glories of the past dim and fade from view when compared with the glory of His present revelation and manifestation. The glory of Christ increases with each revelation of Himself (Isa. 9:7). Thus, the revelation and manifestation of Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords is a far greater glory" -- end quote.
The increase of God's Kingdom extends to all realms everywhere, but the reality and power of the increase of God's government is first experienced in our individual lives. Each of us is a microcosm of the macrocosm. You say, "How do I get to the place of maturity and fullness in the Kingdom?" Well, as I heard brother Bennie Skinner say one time, you don't get there by pulling an acorn out of your pocket now and then, and saying, "I've got an oak tree. Everybody look at my oak tree!" There are a lot of people that are presuming things, they are talking as though they have arrived, or they are settling for the measure they have and are calling it manifested sonship. They are manifested sons, they say, and they have even now entered into the fullness of God, they have already put on incorruption and immortality -- but they haven't even planted the acorn yet! They have heard the message of sonship and the kingdom, they have been quickened in the revelation of this word, they can spout out all the terminology and doctrine of it, and speak all the high-sounding phrases and clichés, but live a low-sounding life. "Amen, brother Eby, that's the truth if I ever heard it!" they shout, and then go on living their carnal lives. They have their oak tree in an acorn -- their sonship exists in the seed that has been placed in their hearts, but they have not planted the acorn. The power and glory of the Kingdom are not growing, developing and increasing within them. The word of the Lord to you today is: Plant the acorn! Water the acorn, fertilize the acorn, cultivate the acorn, let it grow, let it mature, and your potential as a son of God will unfold. The acorn will become a mighty oak tree spreading its branches through the heavens. I say today to all who read these lines, Come on up to mount Zion, come on up to your place in the throne, come on up to your full potential in the Kingdom. Expose your acorn to the conditions that will cause it to germinate, grow, develop and increase, and your branches will reach to heaven and your branches and leaves will overshadow and bless humanity.
The government of God is the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom is His authority, His lordship, His rule. The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into our spirit is the seed or life-germ of His Kingdom. That is the beginning of His Kingdom within. We have already noted how Jesus described His Kingdom as a tiny grain of mustard seed, which is the smallest seed of them all, but it grows to be the biggest of plants. It becomes a tree, big enough for the birds to come and nest in its branches. The coming of the life of God into our spirit is the beginning of the Kingdom and it is the gift of God. "Fear not, little flock; for it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Lk. 12:32). That germ of life, which is the word of life, comes into our spirit and it immediately changes our spirit. When there is no change in an individual's spirit, in his spiritual consciousness, Christ has not come in. That is the first beginning of His government and His peace. By the operation of God we become a member of God's New Creation Man.
The Kingdom is birthed into us in an infinitesimally small beginning. But it comes with sufficient power to begin to change our lives! The government of God begins in that undistinguished place where the spirit of Christ takes root in the inner life. Little by little we begin to become aware of what God wants in our life, and the paths of obedience begin to be learned. The desire is created within us, by the new genetic makeup of our new mind, to want to do His will. We want to do what He wants us to do and to be what He wants us to be. It is right there that the church systems begin to lay upon the Lord's people their own man-made laws, creeds, commandments, rules, regulations, traditions, rituals, works, and a whole world of religious tomfoolery, and leads the child of God down the dead end street of man-made religion. But if the child of God will turn a deaf ear to the seductive voice of the gaudy harlot of the church systems, and hear only the voice of Christ by the Spirit, the Christ in him will continue to give him more light and understanding, and the Kingdom of God will grow and increase within him. As we walk in the light that the Spirit brings, the Kingdom of God increases and develops from stage to stage, from glory to glory within our lives.
Within the indwelling Spirit of God we possess that which has the power to open up, unfold and develop the government of God in our lives. But we do not have the rule of God's government within us just because we have Christ within us, or just because we speak in tongues, receive blessings, miracles, answers to prayer, or have some gifts of the Spirit. All of those are mere blessings and gifts. We do not have His governmental rule operating within us and through us until we have spiritually matured, becoming an overcomer by the conquering power of His life and nature! There is not a man or woman on the face of the earth today who has received spiritual authority and power to rule for God apart from putting on the mind of Christ and being an overcomer. Men have received great and wonderful gifts of the Spirit while still weak and immature (babes), but not KINGDOM AUTHORITY AND POWER. There is a great difference!
We can never rule anything until first we overcome it within ourselves. To "overcome" means to COME UP OVER THAT WHICH IS OVER US. The term implies the existence of obstacles in the pathway of the righteousness, peace, joy, and power of the Kingdom of God. When, within ourselves, we rise up above the circumstance, above the problem, so that it no longer harasses, troubles or controls us, we are then ready to begin to control it; to no longer be the victim of circumstances, but the master of them. Ah, my beloved, come up over what the religious systems have fed you! Come up over your own pride and inherent weaknesses! Come up over your timidity, fears, and carnal mindedness! Come up over the desire to build a reputation for your name! Come up over the myriad pressures from within and without! Come up over the old order of religious thinking, understanding, and works of the past! Come up over the world of turmoil and confusion about you! You are called to be an OVER-COMER. Come over that wall! Come over into the Kingdom of God and a realm of complete victory. If we cannot come out victoriously over ourselves and over the little temptations and frustrations of our fleshly life, and if we cannot stay out of the harlot's house (church systems) how can the Lord trust us to reign over that which is without? What kind of warriors would we make? How much could He depend upon us? He will give us the place for which we are prepared and qualified; we must set our faces to be overcomers if we are to sit with Him upon His throne and reign with Him over all things.
As sons of the Most High, we have access to the same strength that enabled Jesus to live an overcoming life -- and to conquer even death. He has given to us that same authority and power that gave Him victory of sin, self, religion, death, hell and the grave. Have you ever wondered what would happen if Jesus would come and trade places with you? If suddenly He would come to dwell in your body? I have often wondered what He would do if He had my circumstances, my weaknesses, my lusts, my fears, my pressures, my problems. If the Master came to me and said, "Move over, I am coming to live in your house for a season," I do not doubt that in a short period He would have all my problems straightened out and all my weaknesses and turmoil under control. He would overcome all of the things that I struggle with. But the wonderful truth is, dear one, HE HAS COME! HE DOES LIVE IN MY BODY! AND HE LIVES IN YOURS! "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me..." (Gal. 2:20). "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Rom. 8:9). Ah, He is right here within each one of us and He is fully able to be the power of our life as we yield to Him. This is the wonderful victory Christ is bringing to His elect in this hour as He comes within us as King of kings and Lord of lords! He has come in lesser ways in the past, to do lesser things, but He is coming in great power and in great glory in this hour within those who are apprehended to the be kings in His Kingdom.
You see, until Christ in you becomes your very life you won't know anything about the government of God except that it will some day rule over you. You will have to be subject. There are subjects in the Kingdom, and there are kings who rule over the subjects. You will be under those who are over you in the Lord, you will have to learn to be submissive, you will be required to take a servant's place, you will hardly be qualified to be called a "friend," because a friend knows his master's will (Jn. 15:15). The servant never shares the inside information and intimate thoughts, plans, and purposes of his master, he just does what he's told. That is where the vast majority of Christians are today! They are mere children in the family of God. Even the preachers and great personalities and super-stars of the church orders today are only babes in the family of God. They cannot lead you into the Kingdom of God. They are busily engaged in playing their little religious church games, and in making great names for themselves, and making great claims for their ministries; but their spiritual minds are darkened, having no understanding of what God is really doing, no vision of the purposes, principles, potentials, powers and responsibilities of sonship in the Kingdom of God.
Come hither into the son realm, into the throne zone, and learn the ways of God's government! All things are given by the Father into the hands of the Son. "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son" (Rev. 21:7). "To him that overcometh shall I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne" (Rev. 3:21). "And he that overcometh...to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers" (Rev. 2:26-27).
It is in the realm of sonship, this realm of maturity, this realm of overcoming, that the increase of God's government is known. As Christ's life grows within us His government increases within. We find that we are able to reign over all His enemies within ourselves. We all have inherited characteristics, have learned ways, acquired traits, developed habits and personality quirks carried over from childhood, that are in opposition to the laws of the Kingdom of God. His government must increase within us until all those things are so ruled over by the mind of Christ that no one would ever suspect that they ever existed in our life. Many who know me would be surprised to hear that at one time in my life I suffered from an inferiority complex! Some people have been stubborn all their life and rebellious. They started in that rebellion in their teenage and never outgrew it. They've been stubborn, rebellious and bull-headed all their life. They want to have their own way. Some have fallen again and again to the lusts of their flesh, to greed, immorality, drunkenness, etc. But by the indwelling life of Christ you have been given power to lay down your life, and there is another government that is progressively being raised up within you, and as this government unfolds within you, you find that that stubborn will is broken, that rebellion is conquered in you, all your weaknesses are mastered within yourself. The increase of His government within delivers us from all the enemies of His Kingdom. Christ is King in us. He rules! He delivers! He is mighty to save to the uttermost!
Some people are naturally shy. You say, "Good morning," to them and they blush. You look into their eyes and they drop their head. They are so bound up with timidity that they are limited in every way. The increase of His government within will deliver you from that timidity! Other people are loud-mouthed, overbearing, and obnoxious. Every time you get within sight of them you hear their mouths. Yakity, yakity, yak...it goes all the time. The truth is that they are covering up something deep within them that is very painful -- often a deep-seated insecurity. That person is trying to compensate outwardly for a deep inner lack. But when Christ the King unfolds within us sufficiently He "equalizes" us, bringing balance, harmony, sufficiency. His Lordship brings stability and wholeness. He fills up the valleys and brings down the high places, He makes the rough places smooth and the crooked places straight. The government of God can take the vilest of men -- whoremongers, murderers, thieves, blasphemers, liars, haters, violent men whose lives have been marred and ruined by sin and disobedience and dissipation -- and transform them into gentle, gracious, lovely, honest, clean, caring, humble, beautiful saints of the Most High God. THAT IS THE POWER OF HIS GOVERNMENT WITHIN! It is the power of God's divine life and nature wrought in the lives of men and women.
God purposes that His government rule not only in us, but through us. The government of God through us can bring peace in our homes. You can bring peace to your home if you want it. You may have an unsaved husband, or an unsaved wife. Or there may be all kinds of personality conflicts and clashing of wills in your marriage or between parents and children. Just because a man and woman are married doesn't mean they don't have personality conflicts. Just because they are saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit, speak in tongues and sing in the spirit doesn't mean they don't have personality conflicts. They may love each other deeply and still have personality conflicts. When the personality conflicts outweigh their love for one another the marriage ends in divorce. But the increase of His government in our lives will bring peace in the home! We cry out for peace in the world, and dream of the day when the sons of God will bring it, but let us begin by bringing the wonderful peace of God's glorious Kingdom into our homes! The Kingdom of God will bring peace to your children. It will bring stability and blessing at difficult times. Someone may say, "But brother Eby, you don't know what I have to put up with, you don't know how impossible things are!" Well, then, have we not found an enemy that God's Kingdom cannot destroy? Have we not discovered something that the life of sonship cannot overcome and conquer?
I say to you today by the authority of God -- if God's Kingdom is coming in you, if His government is increasing in you, then His government is absolutely capable of ruling in righteousness and peace and deliverance in your situation and circumstance. I do not say it will all happen overnight or tomorrow. But nothing is too hard for the government of the almighty Christ! You do not have to settle for things as they are. YOU can change them! He that is in you is mighty, and He will make you an overcomer right where you are. You must overcome within yourself before you can expect to see changes in those about you. God will flood your heart with a divine love that will go the second mile, that will swallow up all anger, resentment, hostility and reactions, that will give itself for the blessing of your mate, or your children, or your in-laws, or your neighbor, or your boss, no matter how difficult or ungodly they are. God will give you a heart to serve them in love, to be gracious, kind, merciful, compassionate, and forgiving. LOVE is the power of the Kingdom of God! You have been apprehended as a King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek. You have power to reconcile, to bless, to redeem, to change, to transform all things. The overcomers are given power to rule. Unless we can first rule in our own lives, emotions, desires, circumstances, finances, problems, and life situations -- how can we rule nations and worlds and galaxies!
Do we have enough of the government of God in us to influence the things around us? How much salt do we have in us? We are the salt of the earth! How much light shines forth out of us? We are the light of the world! Beloved, God wants His government to so increase in us that we change the complexion of all things about us. God is raising up His elect in this hour to sit with Christ right now on His throne. Oh, yes! His divine authority is beginning to operate in and through our lives in that undistinguished place where we are. Don't tell me that you are reigning in some mystical way in a high place in the spirit over Russia and Europe and Asia and Africa and America, calling the shots of what is happening in the political, social, judicial, military and economic realms, if you aren't ruling right where you are. Peace and righteousness and blessing shall be established wherever we go! It is our ministry to bring the Kingdom of God to bear on all situations great and small. The Kingdom of God is not just in word, it is not something we talk about in church, or read about in papers, and it is not a doctrine -- the Kingdom of God is that power which is working in us. We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We are given power to rule and reign over the earth (Rev. 5:10).
"Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end (Isa. 9:7). Something has gotten hold of us to which there is no end. It is not that the Kingdom doesn't end, although that, too, is a great fact, but it is the increase of that government and peace that shall never end. The Kingdom of God is an eternally increasing government and peace! It eternally increases within us. How far does it go? It just keeps on going and expanding. There is no end to the enlargement. It never stops. It consumes your whole being, reaches out to your wife, your husband, and your children. It reaches out to your family. It reaches out to your neighbors and your friends and your enemies. It reaches out to your community and your city. It reaches out to your county and to your state. It reaches out to the United States of America. It reaches out to the nations, to continents and hemispheres and empires. It reaches out to all the ends of the earth. It extends to every planet in every solar system and to all the billions of galaxies. It is a universal Kingdom. It increases with eternal increase until everywhere throughout all the unbounded heavens every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. It increases until God is all in all. God is raising up Princes in His ever-increasing government, to bind all kings with chains and all nobles with fetters of iron, to execute upon them the judgment written. Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world? Know ye not that the saints shall judge angels? God's government of sons is about ready to appear.
Just this week while writing this message a letter arrived in the mail from a dear brother in New Zealand, and his sharing stirs me deep to the depths of my spirit. He writes, "About three months ago, when in prayer, I saw a little vision which is so encouraging. Looking downwards, I saw the earth enshrouded with a plastic film-like substance, and just beneath that film was a motionless man fully dressed. The man was being pushed from below or drawn from above, somehow. The head and shoulders were protruding into the film which was stretched to the point of almost causing it to split. On inquiring of our Father, "What is this, Lord?" understanding was given to me by Him replying, "The imminent birth of the sons of God." I understood that the earth was the womb and that the Corporate Man is in the birth canal ready to be born. Oh! What a Day lies immediately before us, my brother..."
To the saints is given the authority to baptize men with the Holy Ghost, but also to baptize them with fire, to cast them into the great lake of fire and brimstone which our God is and which in Him we are, to burn out of their minds, souls, and bodies the thoughts and ways and passions and wills that are contrary and hostile to the will of God. The fire of God is His all-consuming and all-powerful LOVE. Out of His love the sons of God shall send decrees and commands coming from the Most High God out of Zion. The sons of God will send decrees to individuals, to rulers, to authorities, to governments, to nations -- we will even send commands to the elements as our Lord did when He spoke to the winds and the waves, hushing the gale and calming the waters with His Word.
There is no doubt about it -- Jesus brought the reality of the Kingdom of God into the earth and the Kingdom has been here ever since. May I say again that this Kingdom is a progressive and growing thing. "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end." "No end" transcends even the ages, reaches beyond all time as we know it, and bespeaks of eternal increase. That is one of the glories of the Kingdom! It has always existed, for God in His omniscient purpose and omnipotent power and dominion has always existed. Two thousand years ago Jesus brought the Kingdom into the earth, into the world of men in a unique way. But the Kingdom already existed in God, and will always exist! It will increase, grow, and expand from realm to realm throughout eternity. The universe itself reflects this divine principle of unending expansion. Exquisite measurements by the Hubble telescope have lent strong evidence to the idea that the observed expansion of the universe will continue forever. Previously, scientists who believe the galaxies and the space between them were created in a cosmic explosion about 15 billion years ago had wondered whether the swelling of space would eventually stop and all matter would eventually reverse its direction and begin to move backward, converging in the same infinitesimal point where it all began. The Hubble data suggest that the universe will keep expanding, rather than collapsing. And all the while new stars and new worlds are being birthed! Eternal increase!
There is nothing static or sterile about this Kingdom at all, but a constant, eternal growth! This wonderful reality of the Kingdom is defined in the Lord's Prayer where He taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come." One of the greatest revelations of the Kingdom that one can receive is the wonderful truth of divine increase. All that pertains to God and His Kingdom is increasing! The Lord and all the blessings and benefits of His Kingdom are increasing daily. Grace, mercy, goodness, wisdom, righteousness and power are increasing in the earth with each succeeding age. "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you," the inspired apostle Peter wrote. To multiply is to increase! God's covenant with Abraham was, "Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee" (Heb. 6:14). Abraham has been multiplied into millions of people as the stars of the heavens for number. What increase! God is increasing Himself in His sons, just as Abraham has increased through his offspring. "And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered...INCREASETH WITH THE INCREASE OF GOD" (Col. 2:19). This is an incredible and marvelous revelation and it unlocks for us the beauty and power of God's great purpose of the ages. If we observe history, we will discover that the unfolding of God's grace and goodness and will has been intensified with each passing age, and will continue to expand and increase with each succeeding age until all is gathered up into God again, and He is all in all.
Someone has written, "If only the people of Israel would have had minds that were being renewed, as well as the spiritual degree of maturity that we have today, when they traveled for forty years through the waste-howling wilderness! But their spirits and minds were dull, for God had not given them an understanding heart, eyes to see and ears to hear. Also, we are a few thousand years and many fulfilled purposes of God beyond that day. Furthermore, the revelation of Christ, which increases with each age of time, has been increasingly manifest from that day to this. And we are the recipients of that greater manifestation and revelation of Christ! What a process of spiritual increase from that day to this! And what tremendous spiritual growth has taken place in our lives! Only as we discern the limited spiritual growth in most Christians today can we properly appreciate the extent of our own growth in God. Yet, we are not to compare ourselves with others, for Christ is our only true, spiritual standard and example."
God in the beginning ordained in the earth the orderly progression of the seasons. Most areas of the world experience what is spoken of as a rainy or wet season and a dry season. In the land of Israel, between the early and latter rains, there was a period of great dryness and dearth. The pools dried up and the brooks ceased to flow. But there was a wise design in the dryness, even as there was a beneficent purpose in the rain. It was the time when under intense heat of the sun the grain was able to develop in a particular stage. We know from Church history that the Lord Jesus visits the earth with special outpourings of Himself from time to time, in order to accomplish the work of the Kingdom. There are seasons of refreshing that come from the presence of the Lord! The reformation, the great Methodist revivals, the move of God in Scotland, the Great Awakening in America, the revival in Wales, the Pentecostal outpouring, the Latter Rain visitation, and present movings of the Spirit in various regions of the earth -- the Lord's presence and power and glory comes among His people in a mighty way, but afterwards lifts for a season, so that other purposes can be accomplished. Such flowings and ebbings of divine life are according to the law and design of God.
Some necessary changes are wrought in our lives through means of blessing and glory, and others take place when we go through dry seasons or through the fires of testing and refining. So there are times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and there are times when it seems He has pulled the veil over His face, hiding His presence from us. There are times when there is a forward thrust -- new dimensions are opened up, great revelations stream forth, mighty power is displayed, there is blessing, quickening, growth all around, and spiritual advance is made. Then the glory lifts, the blessings diminish, the siftings and shakings commence as we are brought before His judgment seat, and that which was received with great joy is put to the test. It is during these times of "nothingness" that the elect, the remnant of the Lord is severely tried, that they may be proven and found faithful. Will the vision and deposit received during the rain now take deeper root to become a firm, stable and permanent inward nature, the planting of the Lord; or will the adverse circumstances and pressures from without cause the tender shoot to wither and die?
This crucial time between the "seasons of refreshing" will either make or break the follower of the Lord! Each refreshing begins with the Spirit of God sovereignly moving over the heads of men. God has never asked for either the approval or cooperation of any chief priest, scribe, rabbi, bishop, pope, preacher or organization when He is ready to visit His people in power. Suddenly, without warning, He thrusts forth upon the scene the thundering voice of a John the Baptist or a Luther; brings to the stage of action a Knox, a Wesley, a Whitefield; or showers from some bright cloud, refreshing rain-drops of His life and graces and gifts, unfolding the beautiful blossoms and exquisite flowers of glowing faces, transformed lives, weeping, repenting sinners, spontaneous testimonies, healings and miracles and provisions, revelations and gifts of the Holy Ghost, mighty blessings and powerful baptisms of grace and glory. The leaders, superintendents and bishops of the time-honored religious systems beat on their desks, rant and rave, denounce it as heresy, attribute it to the devil, label it as wild-fire, and declare that it will not last. And, of course, it doesn't last! In due time the fiery cloud of glory passes and the invigorating showers evaporate. But let me tell you something! Though the visitation ends, there is an establishment of something permanent in the earth, the thing that God was bringing forth out of His presence.
Let me illustrate. Martin Luther is gone, and much of the movement he founded has since gone into apostasy, but the truth the Spirit of God spoke so eloquently and powerfully through his lips remains in the earth, yea, is established in the earth, and millions of Christians who have nothing whatever to do with the Lutheran denominations do believe, and know, and have experienced that men are justified by faith. When the baptism in the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues was again poured out more than a century ago, all the main-line denominations of Christendom rejected it as wild-fire or satanic manifestations. But it did not go away. God by His sovereign power established that glorious experience in our generation, and now, behold, most of the denominations that mocked and ridiculed the "holy-rollers" are now themselves speaking in tongues! Oh, it isn't called "speaking in tongues" anymore, it is now called by the more refined title "glosalalia." And the time-honored denominations still spurn the name "Pentecostal," so it is called the "Charismatic Renewal." Then when Christ came in 1948 as Latter Rain, all the Pentecostal denominations, without exception, rejected Him and there was a great exodus out of the denominations. "Fanaticism! Heresy! Delusions! Deception!" they cried. And they would have nothing to do with the heavenly worship, prophecy with the laying on of hands, or the message of the Kingdom of God. By 1953 the rain had ended. The great glory cloud lifted. The movement split and splintered and splintered again, and practically disappeared from off the earth. But -- today in a great many Pentecostal Churches you will hear them singing the worship choruses, and singing the harmonious song of the Lord in the Spirit, and prophesying with the laying on of hands! They don't even have a clue where these things originated, where they came from. But they came from the Christ of the Latter Rain! God brought forth a manifestation of His life by the outpouring of Christ and it raised all things in all realms. And make no mistake about it -- the unique things God was doing in that visitation were established in the earth! They have infiltrated even the very movements that rejected them. Those pressing on in God are not to remain there, but each truth and experience in God remains, like a grade or course in school, for others who are coming along progressively in God. Ah, God does have a sense of humor, doesn't He -- He gets the last laugh! But the great truth is: OUR GOD IS MARCHING ON!
My father in the flesh was a Pentecostal minister, and by God's design, he was stuck in Pentecost. The Lord moved my wife and me on into a deeper move of the Spirit, into a further word, and I remember I used to talk with my dad, and of course, I wanted him to see the glorious things we were seeing in the Spirit. I wanted him to have an ear to hear, but he never could hear. So usually our discussions would end up in an argument. One day the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me, and the Lord said, "Leave him alone! He is in the realm that I have appointed him to, and he will not be in another." And you know, that brought me a great peace, because now I was able to fellowhip with him on the level that he could fellowship with me, without strain or condemnation, realizing that he was in the place that God ordained for him, and I was in the place that God had ordained for me.
My father died thirty-five years ago, and he passed away in the Pentecostal realm, just as the Lord had said. Shortly after he passed away, the Lord gave me a dream. In this dream I was in the living room of our home and all of my family was there, my father and mother, my brothers, my wife and my kids were all there sitting in chairs and sofas around the walls. My dad was sitting on the end of a sofa and looked exactly the way he did just before he died. Nobody was saying anything, we were just there. Suddenly my dad looked up, gazed intently across the room into my eyes, and said, "P-r-e-a-c-h t-h-e MANCHILD!" I then awoke out of that dream and immediately I knew two things by the Spirit. I knew that now my dad knew something that he did not know before he died. But I also knew that he represented a cry that comes from the very realm of death itself, the cry of the groaning creation, that is groaning for the manifestation of His life. It is the cry of creation for the manifestation of the sons of God who shall deliver creation from the bondage of corruption!
You see, when I said that my dad was stuck in the Pentecostal realm, I didn't mean that he was stuck there forever! We are all on a journey into God which is pictured by the entrance of the priesthood into the tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness, first into the Outer Court where our sins are dealt with by the blood of the Lamb; then into the Holy place with its candlestick, table of showbread and altar of incense, where we experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit, begin to eat of the good word of God in the loaf of the body of Christ, and learn the powers of prayer and praise; and finally into the Most Holy Place of the fullness of God's life, nature and glory. But you see, dear one, the end of the matter is not the Outer Court, the Holy Place, or the Holiest of All. That's but a blueprint of our progression into God. It should be obvious to all who have eyes to see that the vast majority of Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christians never get past the Outer Court. Pentecostals and Charismatics dwell in the Holy Place. Those called to sonship have entered on into the Most Holy Place where God's glorious fullness may be known. These same heavenly realities are figured in the three feasts of Israel -- Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. But the end of the matter is not the three steps of the tabernacle or the three stages of spiritual life experienced in the spiritual feasts of the Lord. Oh, no, that is merely a blueprint of the redemptive process of God! In the end, when God becomes All-in-all, there will be NO COMPANIES. There will not be Fundalmentalists, Pentecostals, Latter Rain, the Bride of Christ, Servants of God, and Sons of God. In the end there are not people living in the Outer Court and others living in the Holy Place, while others dwell in the Most Holy Place. IN THE END THERE IS ONLY GOD ALL IN ALL, God everything to everyone!
You see, it's just like a school. The purpose of a school is not the school itself. The purpose of a school is that people may progress through the grades and eventually get beyond the school. Everybody that enters the school is supposed to graduate! So the purpose is not to glory in the fact that I am in the first grade, or the eighth grade, or that I am a junior, sophomore, or senior. That's not the glory of it at all. The glory of it is that each grade accomplishes its purpose, brings everyone to the final, same accomplishment. The purpose of every step, level, and realm in God is that every man may, in God's due time, pass through all the grades and graduate into the fullness of God. We have been moving through the Feasts, and God has now brought a people to the Feast of Tabernacles. He has brought us to the Third Day. He has brought us to the Most Holy Place. Each step is but a temporary arrangement, we have been passing through the grades, and all creation will pass through the grades. And when every man who has ever lived, or ever shall live, has received his diploma and walked off the stage on his graduation day, God will be all in all. Hallelujah! A sign will then be posted on the door of the school, "Closed." If everybody graduates, you don't need a school anymore. Such is the increase of the Kingdom of God!
Spiritually, no one can hinder or stop the ongoing seasons of God as He brings forth His purposes in the earth. Historically, the purposes of God have marched forward triumphantly from age to age, from dispensation to dispensation, from dealing to dealing, unfolding God's Kingdom in the earth from realm to realm. The New Testament record begins at the period just before and at the time of the coming of Jesus into the world. Just like the seasons, "When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son" (Gal. 4:4). He came into the world to do away with the old dispensation and covenant of law, which had no power to bring life to dead souls and is symbolized by winter, and to usher in the new dispensation of grace, which is symbolized by spring. The law of God has never been fulfilled except in Jesus Christ. That which man could not do, Christ came and did as He walked upon earth and when He died upon Calvary. The darkness and winter of condemnation and bondage which rested upon man, were done away by the Lord Jesus Christ, who satisfied every demand of the law. The rain of the Holy Spirit which came with the doing away of the law softened the ground and prepared it for the bringing in of a better covenant.
As we think of the faint light that the people of God had under the old dispensation, we see that it truly was winter. It was like the warmth of the sun in midwinter, when its rays can scarcely penetrate and disperse the frost in the air. There was no more power in the law to give life to one soul, than there is power and warmth in the midwinter sun to bring out the flowers of spring and the fruits of summer. In the individual this is a picture of the soul who is dead in trespasses and unbelief; full of deadness and darkness, full of fruitlessness; whose life is bleak, cold, dead, like midwinter. When the breaking up comes, and the rays of the sun begin to fall upon the winter of death and unbelief, the clouds of doubts and fears and ignorance begin to roll away, and the warmth of the Sun of righteousness brings life and warmth to the soul. It is the rain that comes when the winter begins to break up that prepares the ground for the seed and fruitfulness. It is the breaking up that comes in deed conviction and dealing, with godly sorrow and repentance, that prepares the heart of man for the seed of Christ and the fruit of the Kingdom. The rain cannot bring fruit any more than can the snow and winter; but it prepares the ground for the germination of the seed, which has life in it, and has life more abundant.
Dispensationally, we are standing at the springtime of our development into the fullness of God's Christ. As the summer comes on the Sun of righteousness arises within us and the flowers appear upon the vines of the heritage of the Lord, giving promise of a rich harvest of mature fruit upon every plant and vine that the Father has planted in His vineyard. This is the beginning of the setting up of the Kingdom of God in that earth which we are. Everything is either in blossom or in flower; upon the olive tree and upon the vine appear the bud, the blossom, the green fruit. Though the fruit has not yet ripened, though the "many brethren" have not yet come fully into the likeness and image of the firstborn Son, nor into the fullness of His power and glory, yet the fragrance and beauty of the first days of spring cover the Lord's vineyard; the sunshine of the Father's approval is over the vineyard of His sons. The warmth of His grace and the light of His revelation is wooing the buds to burst forth into flowers, the flowers to give place to the tiny fruit, and the immature fruit to go on to perfection. And, blessed be God! none can hinder or stop the mighty working of God in this hour to bring forth His sons and the next stage in the manifestation of His Kingdom.
The wonderful truth is: NO ONE CAN HINDER OR STOP THE PROCESSES OF GOD! God has a plan! At the beginning of the Church age the world was visited by events so momentous in their power and glory that all things were changed from that time onward. In the eternal realm before the ages were formed, and ages before man ever saw the light of earth's day, the almighty Lord set in motion His omniscient and immutable purpose for the ages which were to follow. As a year is filled with weeks and a week is filled with days and a day is filled with hours, so time is filled with ages and ages with dispensations. Let all who read these lines thoroughly understand that our all-wise heavenly Father planned the events of each successive age from the very first age unto the ages of ages far beyond the comprehension of mortal man. It is not by accident nor by natural evolution that the world has progressed from the darkness of paganism to the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. It is by divine design!
The plan of the ages conceived in the heart of Him who purposed all things after the counsel of His own will is being worked out one step at a time in each succeeding age in like manner as you and I have often planned in advance the work for each successive day of a week. Is it not true that many of the wives and business people now reading this paper have plans in mind for today and tomorrow and perhaps even weeks and months into the future? I do! Each week I can tell what I, Lord willing, will be doing on each day of the week. There is mail to answer, days for study and writing, business with the printer or at the post office and numerous other things, and each week is mapped out in advance. Whether consciously or unconsciously we all plan ahead, daily and hourly working toward some human goal. There is nothing that opens the wellspring of love, of understanding and hope and faith, in the hearts of God's people like THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS PURPOSE. What infinite illumination floods our souls, what joy and satisfaction and assurance fill our hearts when by the spirit of wisdom and revelation from God our great and wonderful Father is seen to be a God of purpose, knowing the end from the beginning, because He planned the end from the beginning! He created all things by His omnipotent power that His glorious purpose might be fulfilled. And the power that made all things is the same power that upholds all things, and fills all things, and controls all things and shall bring to a successful conclusion the divine purpose in all things.
The Kingdom of God came first of all in the person of Jesus. Then it came in 120 disciples of Jesus on the day of Pentecost. Then it came upon the household of Cornelius the centurion, and upon the Gentiles. But upon the rocky slopes of the isle called Patmos the beloved John saw beyond the redeemed of his day -- he beheld with wonder "a great number that no man can number." John was a great mathematician, and he managed to count up to one-hundred and forty-four thousand footstep followers of the Lamb standing upon mount Zion. But that was only a representative number for the company of the manifested sons of God: as for the Church of God, gathered out of all the tribes and tongues and peoples and nations of earth, he gave up all idea of computation, and confessed that it is "a number that no man can number." When He heard them sing he said, "I heard a voice like the voice of many waters and like great thunder." There were so many of them that their song was like the Aegean sea lashed to fury by a tempest, nay, not one great sea in uproar, but ocean upon ocean, the Atlantic and the Pacific piled on each other, and the Indian ocean upon these, and other oceans upon these, layers of oceans, all thundering out their mightiest roar: and such will be the song of the redeemed when every creature which is in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, is heard saying, "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb unto the age of the ages!" (Rev. 5:13).
There you have the glorious outcome of the increase of the Kingdom! Behold, and see, ye who laughed at His Kingdom, see how the little Lamb has become hundreds of billions! Now look ye, ye foes of Christ, who saw the handful of corn on the top of the mountains; see how the fruit thereof doth shake like Lebanon! Who can reckon the drops of the dew or the sands of the seashore? When they have counted these then shall they not have guessed at the multitude of the redeemed of earth, and of the underworld, and of the starry worlds above, that Christ shall bring to glory. And all this harvest from one grain of wheat, which except it had fallen into the ground and died would have remained alone! Oh, beloved, what a harvest from Mary's little Lamb! What fruit from that glorious Man of Nazareth! Men esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted; and they made nothing of Him, and yet there sprang from Him a great and glorious and universal Kingdom filled with multitudes which are as many as the stars of heaven! This day shall declare it without fail. Oh, the wonder of it! Oh, the mystery of it! The increase of the Kingdom of God! What anticipation thrills our ransomed souls as we contemplate the potential of the wonderful age and the ages to come! God acted yesterday. He acts today. He will act tomorrow. We cannot mark the boundaries of His Kingdom any more than we can mark the boundaries of the universe.
In the late 1950's a military idealist styled by the American press as an "agrarian reformer" sought to liberate the people of Cuba from the "repression" and "corruption" of President Fulgencio Batista. Fidel Castro was hailed by the New York Times as a man of high ideals, with strong ideas of liberty, democracy and social justice. Lorain and I were missionaries in Cuba during and after the Cuban revolution. Castro was in power for only a few months when it became crystal clear to us, as it was not yet to the Cuban people, that the Castro government was an atheistic, Communist regime. But apart from the negative character of his revolution, the methods he employed in his takeover of the Caribbean island do serve as a powerful illustration of the increase of the Kingdom of God.
When Fidel Castro arrived in Cuba from Mexico with a handful of men to spark the revolution, he was practically unknown. He spent time gathering around him men who were fired with the same zeal as he to see their country under new government. In those early days they were only a few men with Castro as their leader. But after the creation of some "incidents" the Cuban people rapidly became aware of them and their professed objectives. Little by little fathers and sons commenced to leave their homes, families, and jobs to join Castro's forces in the mountains in order to "liberate" their country. Soon support increased, the number of rebel soldiers, sympathizers and supporters began to swell, and the passions of the Cuban people were stirred. Castro expertly organized his forces and ruled and controlled the mountain areas where his armies freely roamed. His men were well trained and equipped and fought courageously.
The area of the country under Castro's domination was declared to be the territory of "Free Cuba." It had its own government -- Castro and his top aids. But most of the Cuban territory and people was still under the control of the Batista dictatorship. After several fierce battles the territory of "Free Cuba" was enlarged. We fell into that territory during the latter part of 1958, and were cut off from the outside world, from mail service, and from the rest of the island. Fighting and bombing became daily occurrences in our town. Several times a day we would run for shelter when we heard the airplanes approaching town. As Castro's advance continued, suddenly President Batista, in the dark of night, fled the country. The revolution was victorious! But -- though Batista had departed, and technically the revolution has triumphed, Castro was still not "in control" of the nation. He and his troops began the long trek up the island to Havana. As soon as he arrived in the capital he began consolidating his power, taking over every function of government from the top to the bottom. Many months passed before all things were firmly established under the revolutionary order.
There are many things to learn from parables, both old and new, for by them truth is taught with more force than any spoken word. Almost two millenniums ago God manifested His first Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The seed of God's Kingdom on earth was planted in that one man -- who is the Head of all the sons of God prepared of God throughout the age. He is the leader and initiator of the Kingdom. Jesus was unknown among all the rulers and the kingdoms of earth. He gathered around Himself a handful of men from the province of Galilee in the tiny land of Israel. Into them He impregnated the revelation and life of the Kingdom. They in turn, with the resurrected and ascended Jesus directing, marched through the nations proclaiming the Kingdom of God with power and announcing that finally this Kingdom would rule from pole to pole and from sea to sea. Through the age men and women have defected from the kingdom of darkness, from the kingdoms of this world, to join themselves to the free "New World" of the Spirit, becoming citizens of God's Kingdom. For two thousand years Christ's army has been forming, being meticulously trained and adequately equipped by the power of the Holy Ghost. These sons of God have fought many battles, although these battles for the most part have been confined to the small and undistinguished territory of their own earth -- soul and body. Long has been the preparation and persistent the struggle. And even now, at the end of the age, it still seems that the whole world lies in the lap of the evil one! But soon -- yes, very soon -- there shall be a glorious and decisive victory! Our lovely Lord Jesus Christ, together with all the glorified sons of God who through the furnace of affliction and the heat of battle have qualified to reign with Him, shall come forth into full manifestation. The clay feet of the image of great Babylon shall be smitten by this heaven-sent army as by a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and by them will be crushed the whole system of Babylon with its millenniums of confusion, deceit and darkness Oh, my soul! What a word! But even as the sons of God make their appearance, marching forth conquering and to conquer, not by the sword of man, but by the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, all will not yet be as it should be, and for this reason they must reign on and on and on...until "ALL ENEMIES are put under His feet."
We have all eternity to dwell with God and to work with people. The challenges and tasks shall extend into all ages of time, calling for redemptive ministry to flow through us to the whole creation, just as the Lord Jesus' ministry flows forth unto us today. Through us God shall wipe away all the tears of earth's teeming billions -- of all who have ever lived and died upon this planet, and of all who shall yet live. All shall be raised up and redeemed, all shall be saved, delivered, and transformed, and all shall live in righteousness, peace and joy in the presence of God. There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. In those blessed ages sin and death and hell shall be destroyed in every creature and in every world, throughout all God's vast universe, and God shall be all in all. Praise His matchless name! Such is the increase of the Kingdom of God! If there is no more pain there can be no more hell, for the torment of hell is pain. If there is no crying there can be no death, for death floods our faces with tears. If there is no more sorrow there can be no sin, for sin begets heartbreak and sorrow. Oh glorious victory! Only the increase of God's Kingdom can bring creation to that Day!
To be continued...
J. PRESTON EBY
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J. Preston Eby
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