KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE SOUNDING OF THE TRUMPETS
“And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood: and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed” (Rev. 8:8-9).
The second angel sounded! A great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea! “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed,” Jesus once declared, “ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou cast into the midst of the sea — and it shall be done.” In fire and flame John beheld such a mountain hurled into the sea!
The seed of the kingdom of God is planted within each of us to change us into the image and likeness of Christ. As a firstfruits today, we are the first to be changed! It is within us that the seven trumpets are sounding, bringing wonderful and powerful processings and transformations in our lives. When the second angel sounds, “As it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea (of mankind): and the third part of the sea became blood.” It does not say that a literal mountain burning with literal fire was cast into the literal sea. Oh, no! However, if we can understand the language used in its literal sense, we can then gain a clear conception of what it is intended to signify when used in its figurative or spiritual sense. A “burning mountain” would be one in volcanic eruption, emitting flames, smoke, and lava. The casting of this into the sea would produce a violent commotion of the waters, stirring them to unfathomed depths. Clouds of steam would ascend and the surface of the water would be agitated into fury. Billows would rise mountain high, engulfing the ships within range of the disturbance, and the natural result would be that fish and other sea animals would be killed. When we get a picture of the absolute awesomeness of the scene John beheld in spirit, and understand the language in its proper figurative and spiritual meaning, we are better able to grasp the ideas involved. The things represented, however, must be suggested by the things seen in the picture. A “mountain” in scripture represents a kingdom or a power.
Notice the words, “As it were a great mountain…” “As it were” reveals that this is a parable, a symbolic picture, a metaphor, a figure of speech, an allegory, a likening or a comparison. It signifies that there is a happening within us that can be compared to, or understood by, a burning mountain being cast into the sea, causing a third part of the sea to become blood. Without doubt this “great mountain” which is “burning with fire,” the fire of God, is the heavenly mount Zion, the power and glory and dominion of the rule or kingdom of God coming cataclysmically into our experience. Consider the symbolisms in the following scripture and hear the word of the Lord! “When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem, from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning, the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense” (Isa. 4:4-5).
When we understand that mountains in scripture represent kingdoms, governments, or rulerships, we will understand John’s vision! This is the entrance of HIS KINGDOM, burning with fire, cast into the “sea” of our lives, the body realm, which is the seat of all the gross sins of the flesh and the bestial nature of the natural man. This fiery kingdom comes to cleanse that which has been so utterly corrupted and defiled. The great truth of this is revealed in king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream which was interpreted by Daniel. Daniel said to the king, “Thou sawest until a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them in pieces…and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain that filled the whole earth” (Dan. 2:34-35). There is but one great mountain — the triumphant kingdom of our Lord! This kingdom begins in the lives of God’s elect, and it is here that it must first cleanse, change, and transform all of our being, spirit, soul, and body. Ultimately it will smite all the kingdoms of man, and fill the whole earth! Truly this is redemption’s outworking in beautiful portrayal!
There can be no doubt that this “great mountain burning with fire” is the mountain of the dominion of the kingdom of our great and glorious God! The kingdom of God is the authority, power, glory, and dominion of God by the Spirit! The word “kingdom” is a contraction of the term “king’s domain.” The term “kingdom of God” can mean no other than the domain over which God exercises rule as King. It is God’s declared purpose therefore that His people, His holy nation, His peculiar treasure, should be the domain over which He would rule as King, and ultimately all the earth and every creature and all things. The Lord’s greatest dominion at this time is in the lives of His elect and chosen ones! We are now becoming ruled and governed by the Lord totally and absolutely. He has extended the dominion of His kingdom to our hearts and lives, and now the Lord will rule us with complete and undisputed dominion! And He will continue to rule and reign in our lives until every enemy within us is made subject to Him. This is the present truth of the kingdom of God!
The kingdom is not the reign of God as such, for God is ultimately reigning as the King eternal and the Lord of the universe at all times. The kingdom is the gracious action of the sovereign God of heaven by which His reign is recognized and reverenced and entered into by those men whom God had previously permitted to walk in their own sense of “self-hood.” The kingdom is the gathering together of all things into one in Christ. The kingdom is reconciliation. The kingdom is regeneration. The kingdom is deliverance. The kingdom is salvation. The kingdom is transformation. The kingdom is every man presented perfect in Christ Jesus! The kingdom is God All-in-all!
The kingdom of God is limited to that domain where God’s saving, transforming power has defeated all opposition, broken down every wall, transformed all that is contrary to God’s nature; mind, will, emotions, and desires have been brought into oneness and harmony with God’s nature and authority. Where the nature of God and the mind of Christ have mightily conquered, the state of things is called the kingdom of God! Where hearts are changed, where sin, and error, and darkness have been defeated, where truth and righteousness advance, where life and light and love hold sway, where the will and ways of the Father are raised up as reality and life in a people, where the mind of Christ rules out of union with God — there the kingdom of God has come and is advancing! In the kingdom of God it is no longer God ruling over you by an external law and sovereignty, but the life, mind, heart, nature, power, wisdom, knowledge, and will of God entering into you, becoming your very own reality. And THAT IS THE PICTURE JOHN SAW OF THE BURNING MOUNTAIN OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD BEING CAST WITH MIGHTY POWER INTO THE SEA OF OUR LIVES!
The seven trumpets portray the work of God in transformation in His elect! When the first trumpet sounded the Lord sent the hail of a hard word and the fire of His divine power to “burn off” from our soulical earth realm the religious fleshly works that had grown up out of the earth of our carnal minds. Is that not where God starts with His chosen and apprehended ones as He sets about to conform them to the image of Christ? He first sets His hand to deliver us from the outward works of religious Babylon. But now, this great spiritual mountain of the Holy Ghost fire of God is cast into the sea of mankind! This happens, my beloved, as the power, authority, and glory of God by the Spirit is raised up in the lives of God’s elect! The “sea” is the realm of the sinful, fleshly, earthly, deceitful, and wicked Adamic nature of the natural man. The sea is turned to blood, thus showing the destruction of the fleshly and corrupt Adamic nature within!
The third part of the creatures in the sea that had life, died, revealing that the unbridled emotions, the fleshly passions, the ungodly desires, and the wickedness of the Adamic heart are brought to death within the Lord’s elect. “One third” reveals that God is not at this time doing this in the whole race of men, but only in the “one third company” — His elect! Fishes are among the lowest order of animal life. The creatures in the sea represent the various aspects of the beastly nature in us all, the passions of the flesh that swim about in the consciousness of those who live and walk after the flesh. Usually an emotion or desire does not have “life” unless it is stimulated or stirred up in some way. That happens in temptation! When “made alive” such emotions and desires have great power unto either good or evil. Many a child of God has fallen into sin and failure, and many a preacher has had his ministry discredited and ruined, because of the awesome power of the “fish” or passions and desires swimming about in his lower, outer flesh nature. No one type can express them all, so there are creatures great and small, powerful, cunning, ugly, menacing, viscous, poisonous, sometimes even beautiful and apparently wise and highly intelligent in their own way, but all feeding off of each other, inhabiting, living, and manifesting in the lowest realms of man’s being.
How we praise God for the sacred knowledge that the all-consuming power of the Holy Ghost fire of God and the authority and dominion of His kingdom within “kills” everything that swims in the “sea” of the bestial nature of the outer man of earth! Here, only one third is dealt with, which can also indicate a partial victory, the initiation of the triumph of the Christ within, but when the last trump has sounded the mystery of God will be finished (Rev. 10:7). All the elect of the Lord will stand whole, perfect, mature, and triumphant in the holy and glorious image of their Father!
“And the third part of the ships were destroyed.”
Ships are that which cross the sea, and transport the necessities which supply the natural man all that assists him to fulfill his desires, aims, and purposes. Ships are vehicles of commerce — goods, food, wealth — by which the desires and ambitions of men are fulfilled and find expression. Ships sail on the sea, but are not the sea — as, for example, a gun is not a murderer, but merely a vehicle often used by murderers. It is something without by which the carnal or evil intentions, desires, and plans of men are carried out.
Let me illustrate. Suppose for a moment that I am the teacher of a sixth grade science class. I have in my mind a vast storehouse of knowledge about things scientific which I wish to convey to my students — actually to transfer from my mind into their minds. I must find a vehicle, an instrument by which I can transmit this knowledge. The vehicle will be not just one thing, but a number of things. The first will be words. By words I can transfer knowledge from my intellect into the intellect of the students. Another vehicle could be a blackboard and chalk. Another might be movies. And, of course, more important than all — experiments! None of these things are me, but they are vehicles used by me, vehicles of transference — answering to the ships of the sea! Just as ships carry produce, raw materials, and merchandise from one country to another, so the words, object lessons, movies, and experiments transfer ideas from one person to another. Metaphorically, they are like ships!
Governments use many metaphorical “ships” or “vehicles.” A government is an authority, a rulership. But in order to rule, there must be various agencies of that rule which transfer the power from the governing body to the governed. Some of the “ships” of man’s government are taxation, laws, police, judges, bureaucracies, government agencies, and politicians. Armies also have many “ships,” ships of tanks, airplanes, aircraft carriers, submarines, bombs, guns, etc. None of these are the army, but they are vehicles used by the army to transfer the will and power of the government upon the enemy!
In the religious realm there are many “ships,” ships of organizations, buildings, programs, radio and television programs, schools, ceremonies, hymn books, prayer books, confessionals, candles, incense, and a thousand more. The natural mind is ever seeking something visible and tangible. Throughout the centuries the church systems have accumulated a vast number of traditions, rituals, methods, and techniques, each of them supplanting something of the living reality and power of the Christ within. These things have become so universal in the churches of the world, and in the lives of their members, that there is no thought of ever being able to “run” the church and its business without them! Generation after generation, people have been raised up from childhood in this atmosphere and have absolutely no knowledge of anything else or another way. It never even enters the minds of these people that THE CHRIST is the Head of the church, He is the Life of the church, and the whole sufficiency for the church, its people, its work, and its needs.
John saw the destruction of all these religious ships later on in his visions and recorded it thus: “And the kings of the earth who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her (religious Babylon), shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come. In one hour so great riches have come to naught. And every shipmaster, and all the company of ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate” (Rev. 18:9-10,17-19). The devastation of religious Babylon includes not only the destruction of the system itself, but the burning up of all its “ships”!
The great lament of the sailors of Babylon is that Babylon’s means of commerce is ruined! This limits their ability to be about the things that they do, their activities and way of life are impacted, devastated. Ah, my beloved, this has been and is being fulfilled in the life of every son of God! The spirit of truth has come to us as the burning mountain of the Lord’s authority in our lives and has stripped away and purged from us all the old-order methods and religious practices of the passing systems of man!
Yet — these religious “ships” of the Babylon systems of man are not the same “ships” that are destroyed at the sounding of the second trumpet, by the burning mountain cast into the sea! The sea is not the soulical, religious realm, but the lower body realm, the bestial nature of the natural man. Does not the flesh utilize a thousand things to fulfill its desires and passions? The message is just this — when the Lord comes in His kingdom authority to establish His rule in our lives, one of the first things He begins to put His finger on is the sins of the flesh. But not only does He deal with the sin nature, He also wipes away all the outward things and activities which we utilize to fulfill its lusts, to entertain the flesh, to pander to the flesh, to promote the flesh, to indulge, satisfy, gratify, satiate, wallow and revel in the flesh. When the burning mountain of God’s holy fire has consumed the “ships” in the “sea” of our lives, we no longer go to the places we used to go to, nor do we do the things we used to do! Father cleans up our walk, He purifies our life-style, establishing righteousness in all the outward expressions of our life. Aren’t you glad!
THE THIRD TRUMPET
“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters: and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter” (Rev. 8:10-11).
As the trumpets blow we see actions that originate out of the heavens of the spirit and enter powerfully into the earth and the sea of our natural lives. The seven angels “stood before God” — the same location of the “seven spirits” which are “before the throne” and are “sent forth into all the earth.” The “heavens” of God are within our spirit! It is the realm of the spirit where God dwells and from whence He moves to redeem and transform us in soul and body! The trumpets sound out of the heavens, or the realm of the spirit! The hail and fire mingled with blood come out of the heavens of the spirit within us, and are cast into our “earth,” or our soulical life. The great mountain burning with fire comes out of the spiritual heavens within and is likewise cast into our “sea,” or the bodily, fleshly, lustful, and sinful dimension of our being. And now a great star falls from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and falls upon the third part of the rivers and fountains of waters!
There is a very important truth which we should all learn in this connection, and we will explain it as well as possible here. How many times throughout the scriptures the life of God is spoken of as a flowing stream of water! “How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men…shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the rivers of Thy pleasures. For with Thee is the fountain of life” (Ps. 36:7-9). The Lord Jesus tells us that the water that He gives will become a fountain of living water within us, springing up unto eternal life (Jn. 4:14). He says again that whoever is thirsty may come to Him and drink, and whoever believes into Him will have rivers of living water flowing from within him (Jn. 7:37-38). All these words relate to one thing — that God Himself has flowed out and is still flowing out on this earth into humanity AS LIFE!
On the day of Pentecost the Lord poured Himself out as the Holy Spirit. “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He hath poured forththis which you both see and hear” (Acts 2:32-33, New American Standard). Notice the word “poured” in these verses. He “poured out” the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit became the flowing stream of the divine water (spirit and truth) of life! For twenty centuries since that time, the Holy Spirit has been flowing in this world. This flowing has never stopped and it shall flow throughout all the ages! It shall flow until there is no place in the whole universe that has not been bathed in its life-giving waters! God has poured out His Holy Spirit, flowing with His divine life and His living word! There is now a river, a flowing of God’s life, and this flowing is the Spirit of God Himself, poured out by the resurrected, ascended, and glorified Jesus, fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah the prophet: “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness” (Zech. 13:1). This fountain is naught but the “head waters” of the glorious river of life which in that long-ago beginning flowed from Eden’s lovely garden, and now flows from the throne of God within our spirit!
In nature there is water in every part of the atmosphere, but a “river” is a concentrated and channeled current or stream of water. A river is a large stream of water that flows downhill through a channel, within banks. Without a “channel” you can have no “river”! While God’s presence, life, light, and love, enfold and embrace all things, the river of life is the flowing of God’s concentrated life, intensified and magnified as it were a thousand times, flowing through a restricted area, concentrated in all its fullness within the banks of that channel. This concentrated stream of the absolute fullness of God’s divine life is the wonderful river of life which holds the power of cleansing, renewal, restoration, and transformation for all unto whom it flows! The powers contained within these waters of life are incomprehensible to the natural mind, for they are the powers of heaven’s own divine and incorruptible life! These celestial waters contain the divine, wondrous ability to wash away the very power and effects and results of sin and death!
Every child of God should seek that the Lord would open his eyes to show him that we who drink deeply of Him BECOME THE CHANNEL by which God flows out unto humanity! God Himself is the wellspring, the eternal source of incorruptible life and glory; Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son of God, is the fountain, the reservoir of this glorious life; and the sons of God are the river by which His life and glory shall be communicated to all the arid barrenness of the earth-realm! That is the mystery. “And He showed me a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1). On the highest peak of the universe there is a throne, one throne, it is the throne of GOD, and on that throne the blessed Lamb is sitting. The Lamb is the firstborn Son of God who stands on Zion’s holy hill, followed by 144,000 redeemed ones who have put on the MIND OF CHIRST and the NATURE OF THE FATHER. Mount Zion is but another figure for the throne of God and the Lamb! And yet the 144,000 overcoming sons of God are with the Lamb upon mount Zion! As I mentioned above, God is the source of this water of divine and incorruptible life and glory; the Lamb is the fountain or the reservoir of this glorious life; and the 144,000 with the Lamb on mount Zion are the channel, the river through which His life flows out. How can mankind experience and know the divine and incorruptible life of God? Why, only in the river! The incorruptible body and the divine life of the manifest sons of God shall constitute that channel through which the stream of the fullness of God’s divine life is destined to flow out unto all mankind and to the entire creation of God! Is that not why the whole creation is standing on tiptoe, watching with bated breath to behold the wonderful sight of God’s sons coming into their own! The entire creation expectantly waits for the manifestation, the unveiling, and the outflowing of God through His sons! Isn’t it wonderful!
Oh! This is the river of God which flows out of the throne! I would remind you, however, that the rivers and fountains of waters which, at the sounding of the third trumpet, are made bitter by the Wormwood, have nothing whatever to do with this great river of God! That is the great truth revealed in our text! These are not heavenly, celestial waters flowing out of the throne of God — instead, they are the rivers of earth. Not the literal springs and rivers where people swim, boat, and fish, of course, but the rivers of man’s human life and man’s fallible word rather than God’s divine life and heaven’s living word! Just as the Spirit of God and the living Word of God make up the wonderful river of life in the kingdom of God, and flow out from God, so the “spirit of the world” and the “word of man” comprise the carnal “rivers” and “waters” of the earth-realm which flow out of the carnal minds and hearts of natural men. No symbol of our human experience is quite so suggestive as that of a river! Our very consciousness is only a changing current, moving onward toward some distant and hidden sea.
The creeds, doctrines, teachings, and philosophies of the church systems are not pure rivers of the water of life from the throne of God. They are polluted waters! Sometimes they are not the truth at all, other times they are half-truths, misunderstood truths, misapplied truths, or truth on a lower level. The church systems teach, for example, that December 25 is Christ’s birthday, but it is not true. The preachers constantly chatter about the imminent “rapture” of the saints — yet it is not true! The church systems insist that every man who has lived and died on this planet without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is eternally doomed and damned to the unending torments of a fiery hell. Another lie of enormous proportions! In sermons and songs they hold out the hope of a planet called heaven where the Lord’s people will live in literal mansions, strum harps, and dance up and down literal streets of gold forever, but with carnal minds they mistake the symbol for the reality! Some teach the awful heresy of what is called “limited atonement,” others teach “baptismal regeneration,” others claim that there is no salvation outside of their church or movement; even some in this message of sonship and the kingdom of God have proclaimed that if you are not submitted in their particular group or order you can never be a son of God! There are even those who teach polygamy as the divine order of God, while others continually set dates for the coming of Christ or the end of the world. God help us! There are “rivers” and “waters” of so-called truth that flow out of Mormon springs, out of Scientology springs, Christian Science springs, New Age springs, Spiritist springs, Buddhist springs, Moslem springs, Roman Catholic springs, Hindu springs, Humanistic springs, and a thousand more. These are, one and all, but the rivers of Babylon! Can we not now hear the profound lament and deep sob of the prophet who wrote the words of the Psalm, “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” (Ps. 137:1-4).
Let us return now to our text. “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters.” The epithet “great” is attached to the star that falls or comes down from heaven. It must now be made clear to our hearts that this “great star” is none other than the Christ who dwells within our spirit! He has descended out of the heavens of God’s Spirit! “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout…with the trump of God” (I Thes. 4:16). He descends at the sounding of the third trump! And He burns as a lamp! He is the Word of God! “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my pathway” (Ps. 119:105). The “great star” is a burning word of authority and power! It is Christ Himself, the Word of God, who descends out of the heavens of the spirit to fall upon the soulical rivers and upon the well-springs of imaginations, carnal knowledge, and worldly wisdom that flow within our earthly, natural, human life and identity. These constitute the word and spirit of a carnal realm — Christ falls upon these with His blazing word of Spirit and Truth and turns them to wormwood — bitterness! By that bitterness death is brought to that realm! Can you not see the mystery?
The Old Testament ends with the glorious promise of the arising of the Sun of Righteousness. But the New Testament does not begin with the Sun of Righteousness. Wise men came from the East and walked down the streets of Jerusalem and said, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east.” Not the sun, but the star. God hung in the heavens something supernatural, something new, something divinely glorious — a star. Many foolish theories have been espoused as to what this star was. Some think it was a flying saucer! Others say it was a conjunction of the planets! I must remind you, however, that the star moved from east to west, the wise men followed the star, and finally the star came to hang right over the house where the young Christ child lay. There is no conjunction of planets that can do any of those things! And out of the East, these men who had been studying the stars, began to converge on Jerusalem. And if you think there were just three little old wise men there, you need to read the story again. There were probably three hundred! I don’t think for one moment that three men from Persia could have caused such a commotion in Jerusalem. Matthew says that at their appearance king Herod was troubled — greatly disturbed — and THE WHOLE OF JERUSALEM WITH HIM. They came from every direction. They came from all the countries of the mysterious Orient. And they said, “We have seen His star, and we’ve come to worship Him.”
Now how did they come to associate the coming of Christ with a star? If you want to know where they got it you will have to get into the gondola of a heathen prophet and go up with him. Back in the book of Numbers this heathen prophet who had received a message from God said this, “I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh: there shall come a star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall arise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab (type of the flesh)…out of Jacob shall come He that shall have dominion” (Num. 24:17-19). “I shall see Him, but not now (the One of whom I am speaking is not present yet): I shall behold Him, but not nigh (this is not going to happen within the foreseeable future): there shall come a STAR out of Jacob…” Out there in a pagan, heathen land there was this prophecy to the Gentiles that a STAR was coming! They were to watch for a star, if you please. They had that prophecy in that area of the world. They were looking for a star, and when they saw it they converged on Jerusalem!
The star in chapter two of Matthew’s Gospel is just the beginning of this matter in the New Testament. When we go to the last book, the book of Revelation, we see two things: the first is that the Lord Jesus is the star, not the evening star but the Morning Star (Rev. 22:16); secondly, we see that all the stars mentioned in the book are people! We have so frequently discussed the symbolisms of the book of Revelation that there will be no need to remind those who read these lines that every sentence in this marvelous book has a symbolical and figurative significance and stands for some SPIRITUAL REALITY. The language of the Bible is the language of symbols! The Morning Star is mentioned twice in the Revelation and is involved with Jesus and the promise of the Lord to the overcomers of God’s elect. “And, behold, I come quickly…I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last…I am THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR” (Rev. 22:12-16). “And he that overcometh…I will give him the morning star” (Rev. 2:26,28).
Oh, yes! The elect of the Lord in this hour have been given eyes to see this star and hearts to receive this star! What is the star? The star is the LIVING REVELATION, the QUICKENING VISION of the Christ wrought in the heart by the illuminating activity of the Holy Spirit! The star is not the dead letter of the word, nor the outer shell or husk of the truth. Every man and woman who has received the call to sonship has now passed beyond the knowledge of static creeds and lifeless traditions, beyond empty ceremonies and impotent programs, beyond man-made religious activities, and has been given the heavenly vision, the celestial glow and gleam, the holy brightness and brilliance of THE STAR, the vision of the glory and majesty of God in Christ that carnal concepts can never reach!
The appearance of Christ as the burning star which is a lamp is a most glorious manifestation of the Lord to His elect. It is amazing how one fresh word of revelation from the Lord can change the whole course of our understanding and give us renewed hope and a fresh vision of the necessary dealings and processings of God in our lives to usher us onward into His perfection and fullness. I have been inspired and encouraged with this precious truth! This is indeed a revelation of the Lord’s purpose and ways that has inspired within new understanding, confidence, and anticipation of the full change of God’s sons into the likeness of Jesus Christ and the glory that lies before! It is my deep desire that all who read this message shall be encouraged in their forward walk in Christ.
The Morning Star is promised to all who “overcome” and who walk with Christ in blessed submission to the will of the Father. Inasmuch as the Lord Jesus declared Himself to be “the Morning Star,” and He promised to give this Morning Star to all who overcome, it is obvious that something unique and special of Christ is imparted to the Lord’s faithful overcomers. This is a “coming” of the Lord you will seldom, if ever, hear about from the teachers and preachers of the church systems. The television evangelists, who love to flaunt the “rapture” before their undiscerning audiences, know nothing of this coming of the Lord as the Morning Star! They know not what it means to us when the great star falls from heaven upon the rivers and the fountains of waters of that earth which we are! But the giving of the Morning Star involves an impartation of the Christ! The Morning Star is a glory of the Christ within, as He burns like a lamp, shining in the darkness of our natural consciousness, human reasoning, carnal ideas, imaginations, concepts, beliefs, human reasoning, understanding, and mind-set, GIVING A VISION OF AND HOPE FOR THE DAWNING OF THE NEW, FULL DAY OF THE MIND OF CHRIST AND THE GLORY OF THE FATHER. During our spiritual growth unto full stature, the Christ within has been developing from understanding to understanding, from experience to experience, from strength to strength, from hope to hope, and from glory to glory. And now He comes to impart to a people the glorious hope of the new day — THE TOTAL VICTORY AND COMPLETE TRIUMPH OF THE CHRIST LIFE WITHIN!
The “great star” which is Christ, comes as a burning lamp! This burning lamp is a burning word! The presence, glory, and word of Christ falls into our carnal rivers and fountains of waters. These rivers and fountains of waters are not in the “sea,” the lowest dimension of our nature, the passions and motions of sin in the body. Rather, the rivers and fountains of waters flow through our “earth,” the realm of the soul — the intellectual realm of knowledge and understanding. The star that falls upon the fresh water of earth results in the contamination of the waters! Not only the third part of the world of rivers, but also the “fountains of waters,” that is, the water sources are polluted. Men often get their water supply from the rivers of earth, which originate out of the “fountains of waters” — which sometimes flow from the snows and glaciers of the mountains, and sometimes are the underground springs and wells which flow out of the earth. To contaminate or cut off their “water supply” is to render men desperate and helpless, and even to insure their sickness and death!
The “fountains of waters” represent the sources of ideas, concepts, philosophies, teachings, precepts, creeds, doctrines, traditions, observances, customs, and laws — all the intellectual, moral, and religious influences of this world which are the sources from which men draw their life, their natural joy and refreshment, their ways of thinking, their understanding of the world, their vocations, life-styles, and relationships. “Rivers” suggest the flow of these ideas and beliefs as they are taught, propagated, promoted, and assimilated into the minds, hearts, and behavior of men. These waters flow through school and college classrooms, seminars, television programs, books, court rooms, political propaganda, church pulpits, cultural traditions, and a hundred other places. Different belief systems moving in intellectual, moral, and spiritual channels constitute the outflowing of these “waters” as “rivers.” If ever a purging was needed, it is here! The fact that Christ comes upon these earthly streams of worldly wisdom and carnal knowledge and embitters them to the consciousness of His people is indeed good news! Ray Prinzing once said it so well: “Bitter as the wormwood might be that is used to purge out the error of tradition, carnal concepts, the false images, etc., yet when He has finished this tremendous judgment, ‘The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea’ (Hab. 2:14). God has appointed HIS CLEANSING AGENTS and they shall be most effective in their working, and though bringing death to the old, it also bespeaks of the preparation for the birthing of the new. Praise God!”
Where there are rivers there is a flow of life with vegetation, trees, crops, food, birds, and animals of many kinds. Religion is a flow of life in the soulish dimension of man. There was a time in our life when it was a blessing to us to live in that realm, it was a lamp unto our feet, and important to us in our progress from the Egypt of the world to our promised land of the fullness of Christ. We received a certain level of life from that realm! We were encouraged, strengthened, and edified through the preaching, teaching, singing, clapping, worship, sacraments, programs, concerts, activities, ceremonies, traditions, etc. But as we follow on to know the Lord there comes a time when the Father shines a greater light upon our pathway and soon we find that all the streams and fountains which once gave us life, are turned to bitterness and death for us! In the light that the Spirit brings we are enabled to truly see the religious systems of man for what they are! It is the Lord who does this! Notice — “And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and…the waters became wormwood (bitter)” The star is Christ! It is Christ Himself who causes the streams of our natural life, human understanding, worldly wisdom, and man’s religion to be made bitter! “And many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” Oh, yes! The very thing that was once life to us has now become death! That is the wise way and effective processing of the Lord in the lives of His elect!
Oh, yes, the Lord governs even in those realms that He brings to an end within us. The government of man is not the purity of the kingdom of God, yet we know that “there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God…” (Rom. 13:1). God governs from that level, nothing is out of our glorious Father’s control or beyond His power or purpose. Our human identity, the knowledge of this world, history, science, mathematics, technology, psychology, medicine, government, politics, law, religion — all is ordained of God as steps and instruments in the unfolding of His wise plan. There was a time when many of those things meant much to us, there was a time when we followed the political scene, supposing that democracy was God’s ordained system of government, and that if we could just elect a president and congress with godly, Christian values, it would somehow bring the kingdom of God in our nation. Well, at times we got the leaders we thought God had sanctioned, but things got worse and the nation continued to morally slip into hell! At last the political waters became so bitter to us, and so polluted with death, as our Father revealed the utter carnality and stupidity of man in it all, that we turned from those waters with disgust. There was a time when God blessed us through religion, it met a need in our lives in the early stages of our walk with God, and we thought that was the way to reach God and serve God. Religion had a great influence in our earth as its streams flowed through our land with blessing, encouragement, and excitement! But one blessed day a great star from out of the high realms of the heavens fell with mighty force upon the rivers and the fountains of waters of the kingdom of Babylon within us, and in an instant of time they were filled with wormwood and became terrible bitterness and death to us! This has also happened in the life of every apprehended son of God!
Can you not see the mystery? There is an ascending scale in the Father’s dealings with His sons as one by one the angels blow and the trumpets sound! At the sounding of the first trumpet, hail and fire mingled with blood were cast into our “earth,” and the trees, those deeply rooted things that grow out of our earthly nature, and the grass, those surface coverings and masks in our lives which hide the nature beneath from being seen for what it is, were burnt up, consumed by the passion of God. This was the beginning of God’s work in His called-out ones! When the second trumpet sounded, a great mountain burning with fire was cast into our “sea,” the sea became blood, and the lustful passions and gross sins of the flesh (fish and sea animals) began to be destroyed. Even the ships, those things we employed to indulge our flesh, were taken from us. And now the third trumpet has sounded and the Lord is striking at the source of all the carnal streams of the spirit of this world which have fashioned our lives according to man’s wisdom, but not after the mind of Christ or the nature of God. It is an on-going work, from experience to experience, from dealing to dealing, and from glory to glory! When all the seven trumpets have sounded their message the mystery of God will be finished and all the holy sons of God will stand in the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, truly manifest before creation as the sons of the living God!
To be continued…
J. PRESTON EBY
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Mark Eby for Kingdom Bible Studies.
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