KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
The book of Revelation is without doubt one of the most important and wonderful books ever written. It is a work of art, marvelous art, divine art. This remarkable book is written in the form of a drama and is skillfully divided into seven acts with seven scenes each. Scenes of glory surpassing fable are unveiled before us in this book. No other book takes us at once, and so irresistibly, into another sphere. Long vistas are here opened before us that carry us into other worlds and urge upon us the realities of our call into the high places of Gods Spirit and purpose. There is one revelation and one only in the whole book - the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is not the book of Revelations as many refer to it. The simple adding of an "s" totally distorts the true meaning of the book! It is not many revelations. Although many things are said in this book, there is only one thing that God is revealing, and that one thing is JESUS CHRIST! John did not reveal many revelations, though there were many visions shown him and many things spoken to him. All together made but one revelation. I further exhort all who read these lines to never call this book the Revelation of Saint John. It is in no sense the Revelation of John! Johns part in this is that of a third party. The revelation is given to Jesus Christ by the Father as His very own state of being - Jesus is the revelation of the Father! The glory of this revelation of God in Christ was communicated to John through a very wonderful messenger, who was so wonderful that he showed John all these marvelous truths and realities in the form of dramatic symbols. It is a powerful series of spiritual revelation unrolled in pictures which John saw in spirit, and which he recorded, and to which he was led by the prophetic spirit. The messenger who showed John these things is none other than the spirit of prophecy which is the testimony of Jesus! (Rev. 19:10). This book is preeminently the revelation of Jesus Christ, for that is precisely what the true title of the book is! The book opens up the unveiling of Jesus Christ in His person, in His church, in His sons, and in His kingdom. The book can be very confusing unless we find some sense of direction and guidance in it. To help in our meditations, let us take a look at the word "revelation" itself. It is more than a book in the Bible! It is more than a vision given to a man nearly two thousand years ago! Eventually it becomes an inner discovery, an activity within our very own consciousness, in the reality of our own experience, and this is the revelation that we are concerned with! It is not intended to be an outline of outer-world events because it is the revelation of a person, the God-man, the firstborn of many brethren, the beginning of the creation of God, even our Lord Jesus the Christ! Within the lives of those called to sonship Jesus Christ is now being raised up unto a revelation in and out from our inner-world, and I do not hesitate to tell you that it is from there that the prophecy will be fulfilled! All of creation groans, waiting for this glorious unveiling of THE SON in THE SONS! One of the reasons that the book of Revelation has been so misunderstood is because men have thought it was the unveiling of external events that are in the future. It is not the unveiling of world events but the unveiling of a Person who has not yet been seen in all of His glory, beauty and majesty! Today He is like a statue that has the veil put over it, awaiting the day when the veil shall be removed and He shall be seen in all of His glory. Another reason people do not understand the book is because they read it looking for "a revelation." When it is "revelation" we are seeking in place of the REVELATOR, we will no doubt get our revelation but will miss the reality altogether! It is not a revelation, it is THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST! Should I send you a book titled SPANISH MADE SIMPLE, how many would expect to read in that book how to cook Hungarian Goulash? If the title says SPANISH MADE SIMPLE, what will you expect to learn out of this book? Why, how to speak Spanish, of course! Since the book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ, why is it that when theologians teach from it they teach about the beast, the mark of the beast, the antichrist, world wars, great tribulation, woes, sorrows, pestilences and devastations, but they never seem to come to THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST! Ah, yes, there are beasts and woes and tribulation in the book, but these are not the message - they are merely the things exposed by the unveiling of Himself - exposed to be dealt with and brought to nought! And sometimes they are the very instruments used to bring forth the unveiling!When you uncover a thing you dont have to bring it from some other place, you only need to remove the cover, because what is under it is already present. This book reveals to our wondering spirits that Jesus Christ doesnt have to come crashing down through the clouds from outer space in order to be revealed! He is covered up, His glory is concealed in this world by a fleshly, religious mind; His grace and mercy are concealed by a harsh, legalistic mindset that thunders right out of mount Sinai, and is full of death; His love is concealed by false church doctrines of divine vindictiveness, judgment, damnation and eternal torture for billions in hell fire; His righteousness is concealed by human good works, self effort, and outward laws and regulations; His truth and purpose are concealed by natural, carnal understanding; His power is concealed by soulish religious exercises, rituals, ceremonies, programs and promotions. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life! The Lord is the Spirit! The Lord, the Spirit, dwells within us! To uncover the real Christ has nothing to do with Christ coming from heaven, or us going to heaven - He must be UNCOVERED WITHIN US! "But... it pleased God, who separated me from my mothers womb (the old-order religious system), and called me by His grace, to reveal (unveil) His Son in me..." (Gal. 1:15-16).The veil that hides Him is upon the mind. It is not something apart from us or away from us. The veil must be removed from where the Christ is concealed from us within ourselves, for we are the body of Christ, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. The Lord is not hidden in some far-off heaven somewhere, He has already come within us, for Christ is in us, except we be reprobates - counterfeits (II Cor. 13:5). Those who are walking with the Lord in the light of this new Day know that it is not Jesus coming down from heaven that shall reveal Him, but the uncovering of the full reality within ourselves of Him who is our life. The veil has been upon our minds, when we saw Him we looked through all the trappings of religion, the traditions, creeds, doctrines, forms, and concepts of men who know Him only after the flesh. But when you know Christ after the flesh, as He was two thousand years ago, you can never see Him as He is.
Every believer should seek that God would open his eyes to see the glorious Christ of God as He is. The sad truth is that the hope of the Christians in the church systems today is to again see Christ as He was. They cannot conceive that they can see Him, that they can look upon His face, unless they see the form of the man who walked the shores of Galilee. Like Thomas the doubter, they stubbornly refuse to believe that it is the Lord unless they can see the nail prints in His hands, thrust their hand into His side, and gaze intently into His piercing blue eyes. Not having this Jesus of Nazareth to see and know, they focus on the baby in the manger. But if you return to that every December 25, and make Him a baby again, you will never know Him as He is. Christmas is an invention of the carnal Babylonian religious system! Furthermore, it is a commercial season, sponsored and kept alive by the heaviest retail advertising campaigns of the year. The so-called "Christmas spirit" is created each year, not to honor Christ, but to sell merchandise! That is not the path that leads to sonship. It is the path that leads to spiritual foolishness and spiritual stalemate and infancy.
How many who read these lines would appreciate if your friends and loved ones, would every year on your birthday, put you back in the bassinet, dressed in baby clothes, and remember you as an infant? What if every birthday was a celebration of your infancy instead of a celebration of the stature you have attained during the years since you came into the world. Think of it! I do not doubt that most of us would be offended, if not incensed, by such a celebration! Yet religion plays out this drama every December 25 of the baby Jesus in the manger all dressed in swaddling clothes, and that is the level they know Him on. Christians of nearly all traditions today relate to Jesus on the purely human level. They know Him not as He appeared in glory to Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road, nor yet in His glory as the resurrected, ascended, glorified Lord who lives and walks in His body upon the earth.
When Jesus trod the pathways of earth He called twelve men to be His disciples. They followed Him, heard His wonderful teaching, saw the mighty signs and wonders, and enjoyed communion with Him as no other man or woman on earth. Yet Jesus said to these men, "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him" (Mat. 11:27). Surely these men knew the Son! No, not at all! Not one of them knew the Son of God. "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father." These men knew Jesus, but they did not know the Son of God. Even in the days of His flesh He could only be known after the Spirit! To know Jesus after the flesh did not qualify as knowing Him at all. One could walk with Him, talk with Him, eat with Him, share His most intimate human experiences, and yet never know Him!
It was many years afterward that one of these disciples, John the beloved, was granted the revelation of Jesus Christ. Only then did John truly see Him as He is! Through the book of Revelation John has shared, in the limited measure any writing can convey reality, that revelation of Jesus Christ. What he really has communicated to us is the way, the manner, the process by which the revelation of Jesus Christ takes place. But it must become our very own personal experience just as it did to John. This revelation doesnt come out of the manger, this revelation doesnt come out from the shores of blue Galilee, this revelation doesnt come from the resurrected One who appeared for forty days to His astonished disciples, this revelation doesnt come from the pages of a book. A mere glimpse of this revelation came to Peter one day when Jesus asked, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am?" And Peter replied out of an illumination that burst forth from his spirit, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!" In that one brief moment the veil came off of Peters mind and he saw the man in front of him as He actually is. He glimpsed in that inspired moment the glory of His sonship in all that it means. It was A REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST!
After the Lord Jesus ascended into the heavens, He remained hidden behind the cloud that had received Him on the mount of Olives. When He came back in mighty spirit-power on the day of Pentecost to indwell His people on earth, He still, for the most part, has remained hidden behind the veil of the carnal mind, behind the selfhood of our natural life, and behind the traditions and forms of religion. But on Patmos, to John, there comes THE REVELATION to unveil Him! From this we understand that all that pertains to this writing of John is to reveal, to uncover Jesus Christ. All that has been hidden or obscured to our thinking, consciousness, understanding or experience of Him is to be plainly grasped and made a glorious and eternal reality. As the scenes depicted in the book are experienced truly and spiritually within our lives, Jesus Christ emerges within our reality demonstrating in and through us the fullness of His nature, character, love, wisdom, power and abilities. Understood as the revelation of Jesus Christ in and through His body, immediately the book is changed from a prophecy of apocalyptic end-time events, to a progressive unfolding of the very life, victory and triumph of Christ in His elect and unto creation! With the increasing light of the Holy Spirit of Truth shining upon its pages, we are entering into more and more of its hidden truths, howbeit, we have much yet to learn of the full and complete vision. But be assured that in very truth every scene within the book, of the woes, thunders, trumpets, earthquakes, conflicts, vials, beasts, etc., in all their sundry manifestations, serve but one purpose, and contribute but to one end, namely, to bring forth THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST IN ALL THE SONS OF GOD.
As this revelation comes to its magnificent conclusion in this great Day of the Lord, HE shall stand revealed, uncovered, seen, touched, experienced, expressed and manifested unto the unbounded heavens! "We dont know what we shall become in the future. We only know that, if reality were to break through, we should reflect His likeness, for we should see Him as He really is!" (I Jn. 3:2, Phillips). Reality shall break through! And we shall be like Him! "Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 1:13). Paul writes of "waiting for the coming (revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall confirm you unto the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Cor. 1:7-9). There is a grace that is brought to us by the revelation of our Lord, it is a grace which will climax all the processings and travail, bringing us into the ultimate realm of His glory - the fullness of His abundant life. God is faithful! He is confirming unto the end all those blessed ones who have received the call to separation unto Him, to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, to be conformed to His image, to put on His mind, to be sons who reign with Him in His kingdom. He has confirmed you, precious called one, unto full redemption of the purchased possession - complete salvation in spirit, soul and body - the unveiling of HIS LIFE!
The Greek word for revelation is, as I have mentioned previously, APOKALUPSIS. This word has been translated in the Bible by various English words such as lighten, revelation, manifestation, coming, appearing, and revealed. We can easily understand how the translators could use such a variety of word-meanings to describe the word APOKALUPSIS, but it was not really because APOKALUPSIS held various shades of meaning in the original tongue. To know the past of an individual helps us to understand him better. To know the life history of a word makes its present meaning clearer and more nearly unforgettable. In English, for instance, the word rostrum is defined as a place where one stands in giving a speech. But originally this Latin word meant "a birds beak," such as the beak of a hawk or sparrow. But now this meaning does not even enter ones mind when he hears or reads the word. In the days when Rome was a world power naval vessels were constructed with long, sharp prows for ramming enemy ships. Because of the appearance, it came to be known as "the birds beak," and this portion of the vessel was considered a trophy of war. The captured rostrum was taken to the Coliseum at the time a victorious commander went there to receive the acclaim of the people, and he would stand in the rostrum to receive his trophy and to give his speech.
The Greek word APOKALUPSIS is a derivative of APOKALUPTO. APOKALUPTO is a compound word composed of APO, meaning "off" or "away," and KALUPTO, meaning "to cover up." Thus APOKALUPSIS means to take the cover off, to uncover, unveil, reveal or disclose. It implies the drawing away or removal of everything that veils or hides, and therefore it is always opposed to concealment or secrecy. I know experientially that the process to remove the things that prevent the life of Christ from shining forth in glory and power through our lives sometimes requires the heavy dealings of the Lord in severe purgings, deep prunings, extreme chastisements, uncompromising judgments and the blast of refining fires. God will make war against the carnal mind, God will make war against the religious mind, God will make war against our pride, selfishness, self-will, self-sufficiency and self-righteousness, God will make war against the flesh, the world and the devil in us, until He has melted all arrogance into humility, and all that is self has died in the bloody sweat and all-conquering cross of Christ which will never give up its redeeming power until all that stands between us and the purpose of God in our sonship has no more a name among the sons of God.
I warn you that the heights of sonship, the kingdom, and all the fullness of God are not attained by merely hearing about them. Neither are they inherently ours as a result of the "finished work" of Calvary. Calvary takes care of your past, but your future demands a heart-absorbing, soul-consuming quest. IF we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him! It has always been a vicious trait of man to want everything handed to him on a silver platter. Thousands love to hear about manifested sonship and reigning with Christ, but never raise a finger to attain because they expect it as another of Gods gracious "gifts." Salvation is indeed a gift, and there are a great many wonderful gifts of God that are ours merely for the taking, but the high calling of God in Christ Jesus requires a pressing toward the mark for the prize. There is a world of difference between a gift and a prize! A gift is given because of the goodness of the giver, not because of the merit of the recipient. But to obtain a prize one must qualify. Oh yes, there are qualifications to be met for sonship and rulership in the kingdom of God! That is why we read in the Revelation again and again, "To him the overcometh will I give!" The "finished work" of Christ did not secure the throne for you, my beloved! Dont try to persuade me that all we need do is believe. If that were the case all of us would have been manifested sons of God a long time ago! It is still true that "whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" (Heb. 12:6). God does not scourge every sinner whom He saves - scourging is not a part of forgiveness and regeneration. One does not need to be scourged in order to receive what is freely given because of Calvary. But chastening, discipline, scourging, purging and refining are a vital part of the process of growing up into the character of God!
With these thoughts in mind we should better grasp the significance and meaning of the woes, earthquakes, burning mountains, hail storms, vials, and judgments in the book of Revelation! These are poured out upon men (Adam, flesh), upon the earth (carnality, soulishness), upon the sea (wickedness), upon the rivers and streams (doctrines, creeds, philosophies, mind-sets), upon the beast (natural constitution), upon the harlot (religious systems, spirits), upon the mountains (strongholds, dominions, kingdoms within), and a number of other realms. You will understand a great truth when you understand that all of these things are as truly within us as they are without! These are the very things that must be purged and eradicated once and for all and completely from our lives if we are to share the glory of Christs kingdom! And what earthquakes shake our lives as God brings His dealing hand upon the citadels of self and flesh and worldliness that dwarf and conceal the Christ-life within! What fires are ignited in our souls as the Lord comes to His temple and sits in His temple as a refiners fire and as fullers soap, purging and purifying His Royal Priesthood! What hailstones of a "hard word" fall from the heavens of Gods Spirit into our land as He smashes our religious idols and all the things we treasure more than His will and way! Oh, yes! There is an uncovering, an unveiling, a revelation of Jesus Christ! "We greatly rejoice...that the trial of your faith...might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing (apokalupsis, disclosure, uncovering, revelation) of Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 1:6-7). Prayerful pondering of this scripture is all that is needed to grasp the meaning of the honor and glory that shall be ours, not in being caught up into the starry skies out of the trials, testings and provings which produce the honor and glory, but when He is UNVEILED TO THE WHOLE CREATION IN HIS MANY-MEMBERED BODY bringing deliverance from the bondage of sin, sickness, fear, pain, limitation and death to all men and all realms through the outflowing of His love, grace, glory and power.
THE UNVEILING OF THE SONS OF GOD
There is a wonderful act of God that transcends by far anything that has ever been known. It is the unveiling of the sons of God. Early in the opening verses of the Revelation we read that Christ "hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father" (Rev. 1:6). As the revelation progresses with the Christ always as the central figure, we next find Him standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks with a special message and call to the overcomers out of these various churches. It is significant to note that in the letters to the seven churches hardly one promise is made to the churches themselves - the promises are made to the overcomers! To the overcomer He says, "I will write upon him my new name; he will walk with me in white; I will grant him to sit with me in my throne." Thus, in the unveiling of Jesus Christ, we also come to the UNVEILING OF THE OVERCOMER - those who eat with Him of the tree of life, live with Him free from corruption and death, share with Him a new name, rule with Him over the nations and all things, walk with Him clothed upon with the dazzling brightness of the light of Gods glory, dwell with Him in the city and the temple of God, stand with Him on the pinnacle of mount Zion, come with Him to smite all nations with the irresistible sword of the living Word of God, and sit with Him upon the Fathers throne from whence He rules over all the vastnesses of infinity for evermore! And so, through the book, again and again, we see this many-splendored unveiling - THE SON and the sons, THE OVERCOMER and the overcomers, THE LAMB and those with Him on mount Zion, THE WORD and they that are with Him who are called, chosen, and faithful, THE KING and those who reign with Him, THE HIGH PRIEST clothed in the priestly garment and those who are in Him made a kingdom of priests unto God.
There is coming a day - and it is the next major event of Gods program of the ages - when all the glories of the Son of God will be revealed and manifested in the sons of God. As one has written, "Let us open our hearts that God may speak to us and show us what a son of God really is, for the greater works (Jn. 14:12) of which Jesus spoke are not to be performed by ordinary believers, but by that vast family of sons who are now nearing the hour of manifestation. They are that chosen company, selected from many ages, who through fires and furnaces of affliction have been brought into that same glorious image of Jesus Christ. These sons of God are like Him. They are exactly like Him. They are in His image (Rom. 8:29). They are in His image and after His likeness. They are so completely sons of God, and so completely like Him, so completely born of Him, so completely of His mind and will and purpose their one difference is that He (the blessed Jesus) is the eldest in that vast family of sons and they with Him are the bridegroom, the last Adam in all His completeness" - The Page.
With all emphasis I must declare that we are now hastening toward the hour of the long awaited unveiling of the sons of God! That is the word used in the Greek - "For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the apokalupsis, the unveiling, the revelation of the sons of God!" (Rom. 8:19). For millennia creation has groaned under the thralldom of sin, sorrow and death, and who among us does not in some measure groan with it even now? But our heavenly Father had a purpose wonderful and glorious beyond words to express, for He in hope subjected creation to futility, condemned it to frustration, placed it under the yoke of sin, pain, and death. His hope was that out of this realm He would bring forth sons - tried, tested, proven sons - who out of the crucible of experience with all the negatives, would grow strong and bright and holy, overcoming all the darkness of this dread realm, to stand tall and victorious in the image and glory of their Father. They would be holy, not because they were created holy with no knowledge of sin and death, but out of their experience with sin and death would chose the wisdom and life of their Father, by it throwing off the shackles of weakness, waywardness, limitation, error and mortality. They would then know as God knows! They would understand the true nature of all things! They would perceive the deep mysteries of creation and redemption! They would become incorruptible in mind, heart and nature! These firstborn sons would be the hope of all creation! "For the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God" (Rom. 8:21). And because God subjected creation to this gross material realm with all its sorrows in hope of His sons who would first overcome within themselves, and then deliver all creation, we read of that hope which springs perennial within the bosom of every man and all things, because it was placed there by the Creator, "the whole creation waits expectantly and longs earnestly for Gods sons to be made known - waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship!" (Rom. 8:19, Amplified).
Understood as THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST, immediately the book is transformed from a history book into a spiritual book showing forth the victory and triumph of the Christ of God, Head and body. The saints have heard the term "apocalypse" and it conjures up ideas of the wrath and vengeance of God, tribulation, destruction, and the end of the world. Yet the word apokalupsis from which our English word "apocalypse" is derived, carries no negative connotation in the Greek! The whole book of Revelation is the Apocalypse that is so important to us! Whatever is happening, good or bad, sweet or painful, is a part of the unveiling of Jesus Christ! By that unveiling many things are made to appear in their true light. Thousands of Gods elect who read these lines today see the church system for what it is - the harlot, Mystery Babylon the Great. Truly we have come to loathe the carnality, shame, self-righteousness, spiritual fornication, uncleanness, lewdness and wanton haughtiness of this corrupt system! Was it not the light of the mind of Christ arising within our lives that caused us to see it as it is? And oh, what struggles and dealings and strippings we passed through as God purged our hearts from the love of Babylon and our lives from its fleshly ways! What earthquakes shook our world, what hailstorms fell in our land, what fires of God burned in our souls! You see, beloved, the vengeance of God is not against His creation, nor is it against men of any nation, ethnicity, character, or religion. "God so loved the world." The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against every evil that pollutes, enslaves, distorts, and destroys His creation and mens lives! That is but one small example of what we see in the Revelation. By the pure and true revelation of Christ within our hearts many things are made to appear in their true light. That means that all the evil things which appear do so because of the true light, and in that light they are made to appear in their true character: JUST WHAT THEY ARE! It is the light of the Lamb which makes this so! As in the holy city, so throughout the book the Lamb is the light thereof. For He is the true light which lights every man, coming into the world.
Let me say again, as I may say a hundred times more, one can never understand correctly the book of Revelation so long as his eyes are fastened on events in the outer world. The understanding of "the beast" and "his image" and "his mark" comes only by the inner illumination that the Spirit brings. That is, they are revealed by the flooding light radiating forth from the indwelling Christ! In that true light of God all that is not born of God appears as it truly is, that it may be duly brought to judgment, dealt with and eradicated from our lives. The fiercest beast I have encountered in my years upon this earth is the beast of old Adams nature, the carnal mind, the seed of the serpent slithering about within my very bosom. The heart of our natural life is still deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? How I praise God with joy unspeakable and full of glory for the penetrating light of Gods Christ which uncovers the subtleness and deceitfulness of this wild beast, the bestial nature lumbering about in OUR EARTH.
It is not getting rid of the "old man" that enables us to blissfully live the Christ life. It is the unveiling of Jesus Christ as the glorious light of life that chases away the darkness of the carnal mind, exposing the flesh with all of its corruption that it may once and for all be dethroned from mind, heart and action. As the dawn dissolves the night, so the light and life which Christ is swallows up the darkness and death within us. The daylight fills the world just as truly as the night darkness ever did! Even so, the light of God shall fill the world, our world, and the world outside of us, as truly as the darkness of sin, fear and death has done. And when it is all over every creature in heaven, earth and hell shall have had a REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST!
Once we see clearly the great spiritual principles in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the wars that take place, and all the judgments, vials, earthquakes, etc., begin to make divine sense! It is not unlike the conflicts that arise in a home as parents raise their children. There are problems, commotions, disciplines, and sometimes open warfare! There is also love, mercy, forgiveness, admonition, counsel, blessing and sacrifice. What makes it all worthwhile is the finished product - children that grow up with love and respect for their parents, and with purpose, maturity, ability, judgment, and responsibility in the world. God is raising up and bringing forth a new life in the land, a new creation in Him, a new family of sons. And what conflicts, chastisements, counsels, and corrections, with love, faithfulness and blessings, take place within us as the old passes away and all things are made new!
God makes war because He loves us. All that appears in the book of Revelation as destruction and devastation is but a picture of Gods love, correction and instruction that is consuming the ignorance, self-will and foolishness within the heart of a child. The more you love your children the more you will meditate upon how to confront them and deal with them in order to change them from their immature and rebellious state of being to bring them to a higher and wiser state of being as mature and responsible citizens. Your purpose is not to destroy them, but to bring their childish ways into the captivity of obedience that leads to wisdom and knowledge. The childish mind sees instruction and correction as its enemy - the child will huff and puff and chafe under the chastisement, because in his inexperience and ignorance he cannot see the overall purpose. Children cant see why they have to go to bed, why they have to take a bath, why it is necessary to share, why they cant go here or there and do this or that, why they cant hang out with their friends, why the homework must be done first, why there are chores and responsibilities that cannot be shirked, why they must keep their room clean, obey their parents and a hundred other things.
Children fail to perceive the beauty and blessing and purpose of the life you are preparing them for or the realm you are bringing them into. The reason you make war with them is to bring them into a wonderful adult life that will be rich and free and abundant. You are shaping their characters to be honored among men, to be leaders, to have and provide for their own families, to hold their heads high with accomplishment, purpose and dignity. When the course is finished they will rise up and call you blessed and always thank you and honor you for your steadfastness, faithfulness, and persistence in wisely guiding them to that delectable world. But before that comes, there are mighty conflicts- and so it is in the family of God - the Lamb is warring against the beast! The Lamb nature makes war with the beastly character of the carnal mind. This is the supreme message of the book of Revelation! It is the story of Gods dealings with sons to bring them to perfection and maturity, to the status of overcomers, to the throne of God and of the Lamb!
How do I know this? I know it because the subject of the book is KINGSHIP and PRIESTHOOD! All the promises to the overcomers, set against the backdrop of the problems, sins, corruption, disobedience, fleshliness, and abominations of the seven churches, speak of this great truth. It is the mind of man that keeps the world in continual turmoil. It seethes and bubbles and boils and erupts like a vast cauldron and the wisdom of man is powerless to help it. The earth abounds in forms of godliness, yet justice and equality have taken wings and righteous judgment is scarcely known. In spite of plenty, hunger stalks the earth because of the misrule and greed of ignorant and covetous men. Men in the church and out of it are lovers of pleasure far more than lovers of God. For six thousand years man has struggled to bring about a sort of Utopia, but the human mind and the fleshly nature, prone as they are to self-interest, self-will, greed, lust, arrogance and violence have filled the earth with corruption and evil. The natural man can never deliver the world or bring in a reign of righteousness!
The world must be delivered into the hands of a new and different and higher race of men! The message of the Revelation concerns the dealings of God by which He raises up that superior race of men, men in the image and likeness of God, men filled with the mind and the wisdom of Christ, men impregnated with the nature and spirit of the Father in heaven. These are the manifested sons of God! These are the overcomers of whom the Lord Jesus testifies in the closing chapters of the Revelation: "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son" (Rev. 21:7). The book of Revelation is the drama of Gods dealings with His sons to make them kings and priests for the deliverance and salvation of the whole world and all men. We must never overlook that fact!
The great truth that is wide open to our understanding is this: No trial that we pass through is merely a trial - it is a battle with God! You will understand that if you are truly called to sonship! The only problem we have is our problem with God. If there was no issue of our will and our ways versus Gods will and Gods ways, the test would cease to be a test, for there would be no doubt, no hesitation, no struggle, no conflict, no controversy. The issue would not exist or would at once be resolved - swallowed up in the blessedness of obedience! We would all be sons qualified to rule and reign with Christ, delivering creation, just as soon as we truly embraced the "finished work" of Christ!
There are areas of our lives where many who treasure the bright hope of sonship still obey God because of the fear of punishment. That is the knowledge of good and evil! In those areas we are still under the law, untransformed in spirit and nature. There remains a struggle between our will and Gods will. Is there, then, no punishment? I tell you, my beloved, the Lamb will make war with us! The wrath of the Lamb will be revealed from heaven - the redemptive judgments of God. It is His all-consuming love revealed in Christ. It works in us a new nature, the divine nature. It creates within us a new mind, the mind of Christ. It puts within us a new spirit, the spirit of the Lord. It makes us the sons of God with sonship understanding, sonship wisdom, sonship love, sonship maturity, sonship power, and sonship responsibility in the beauty of His ways, no longer trapped in the childish mind that still wonders if God is going to spank us. "Behold! I make all things new! Behold! The tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God!" (Rev. 21:3,5).
As you read the book of Revelation with the illumination of the Spirit it will speak to you! You will find yourself experientially in one of the seven churches, with its characteristics either positive or negative; or you will see yourself in the seals, the trumpets, or the vials of wrath; you will discover yourself in the glory of the bride, or in the judgments of the whore; you will lie in the bed with Jezebel, or stand with the 144,000 on mount Zion; you will be cut to pieces by the sword of Gods Word that proceeds out of His mouth, or you will ascend to the throne of God to rule the nations with a rod of iron; you will be refined in the burning inferno of the lake of fire, or you will have pouring out of the throne of God within you the invigorating waters of the river of life; your flesh will be served up as food for the vultures (spirits), or you will be clothed in fine linen, pure and white, and sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. Oh, yes! You are there, my friend, in every verse and every line. Only the Spirit of God can show you to you, and finish the work, that you may become THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST in the earth!
You are writing a gospel,
A chapter each day;
By deeds that you do;
By words that you say;
Men read what you write,
Whether faithless or true.
Say, what is the gospel
According to you?
The church today is full of energetic and sincere preachers and teachers who are just full and bubbling over concerning things that are going to happen. Almost daily I receive across my desk their dire prophecies of doom and terrifying predictions of the coming antichrist, economic collapse, world war, assassinations, earthquakes, famines, conspiracies or that this or that is the mark of the beast, often complete with dates and timetables, none of which ever come to pass. It should be very humiliating to have world events continually follow a course exactly opposite to that which has been mapped out by ones prophetic teaching, and to have ones predictions proven false almost before the ink is dry on his paper. But not these false prophets! They are masters at glibly side-stepping their repeated failures with the assertion that they said merely that such-and-such "might" happen or "could" happen, or enough people prayed so that it didnt happen, or their vision of the date involved was a little hazy so that it may have been 2012 instead of 2002! With feigned words and deceit they dupe and delude their sensation-seeking followers.
The world pays no attention to the modern day preacher when he always cries "Wolf." By that I mean that the world today pays no attention to all this "calamity howling" being broadcast by the preachers. It is just something to joke about, or to be endured by the world at large. Prophecies and sermons are given in the thousands of words. Books are published by the hundreds of thousands, giving dates and times and cycles and calamities that are to take place and never do they come to pass. Think of all the prophecies that were written about what the Soviet Union was going to do, and now the Soviet Union doesnt even exist anymore! And it will not be revived! So the world scarcely notices, and goes on about its business of trying to make ends meet and keep up with the demands of daily living in a technological world. People sell or give away all their possessions and loudly proclaim the end of the world or the second coming of Christ, and many times assemble themselves in various places to await the supposed coming events. And some, even in this word of sonship and the kingdom, secretly wonder, "Could they be right? Maybe it will come to pass!" But the time for their happening comes and goes, and the disappointed and disillusioned people are left destitute. Yet there are countless others waiting to be duped and disillusioned by someone else! Ah, it is high time for all the preachers and teachers and would-be prophets to leave their ignorance of God and His majestic purposes and acknowledge publicly their desperate lack, forsaking forever the delusions of their dead letter-of-the-word interpretations of prophecy, and turning to the Lord for true spiritual wisdom and understanding. Thank God! He is thoroughly delivering every one of His chosen elect from all this carnal tomfoolery, replacing it with the glorious mind of Christ in the Spirit. The change is taking place in some even as they read these lines!
Thank God! The "apocalypse" is a thing of rarest beauty and divine majesty rather than a frightening, dreadful and fearful time as the preachers of Babylon proclaim. True, not all the uncovering is glorious at the time, the woes and thunders are fearful experiences, and the occurrences of the beast and the dragon, with their rise and fall, are shuddering to the natural mind; but viewed from the position that all is the consequence of HIS UNVEILING, and results in a new heaven and a new earth within us, indeed all things new, so overwhelms us and enthralls us that we can but respond in glad unison with the revered Seer of Patmos, "Even so, Come (be revealed), Lord Jesus!"
The book of Revelation sets before us a glorious Person, with the veil removed from Him, and with the veil removed from our eyes so that we may look upon Him and see with the beloved John that the important things are:
1. The Judge - not the judgments!
2. The Lamb - not the dragon!
3. The Seven Spirits of God - not the spirits of devils!
4. The Rider on the White Horse who has Four Names - not the four horses!
5. The Throne of God - not the seat of the beast!
6. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah - not the beast out of the sea!
7. The Faithful and True Witness - not the false prophet!
8. The 144,000 Sons of God on Mount Zion - not the beast out of the earth!
9. Those who have the Fathers name on their forehead - not the mark of the beast!
10. The New Jerusalem - not Mystery Babylon!
11. The Bride of the Lamb - not the harlot!
12. The Manchild on the Throne - not the dragon cast out of heaven!
13. The Glory of God - not the darkness that covers the earth!
14. The Overcomers - not the churches whose candlesticks are removed!
15. The Unveiling of Jesus Christ - not the antichrist!
There is a dimension of the revelation of Jesus Christ that transcends the speaking of words, the writing of books, and the preaching of sermons. The unveiling of Jesus Christ is the need of the hour, the purpose of this Day, and the hope of creation! If God does not give a special ministration of the spirit of wisdom, righteousness, and power to meet the need of creation, it will not be met. There are no buttons to press that can deliver mankind from the power of sin and death, or solve the complex and frightening problems that exist in the world today. The "name it and claim it" theology which says that Jesus has done it all, and all we need now is to just believe it, has not and will not produce this manifestation! The further we move in God the more helpless and totally empty we become, for our nothingness is met and satisfied only in the surpassing light and power of HIS GLORY!
The whole earth and all creation is waiting for the glory of the Lord to be revealed in sons. The dealings of God in your life and mine are fraught with divine purpose. There is something far greater ahead of us than walking on streets of gold or flitting about in white night gowns strumming harps! This was the mentality installed in me as a young man. Thank God there is a heaven, yea, there are many heavens, but I want to tell you something. All the dealings of God us-ward, the cross, the suffering, the processing, the blessing, the glory - are intended to put something of His nature and character into us! And this is not to make us holy enough for heaven, but to enable Him to be made manifest in all the fullness of Himself right here in this old dark world in which we live! God has purposed that righteousness, glory and power shine forth before the face of all nations! This will be accomplished through those who are now being transformed into the likeness of His Son! We are being changed now! A new order is arising in the earth! The kingdom glory of the Lord shall be revealed from the living, completed temple of His body! His righteousness and life shall fill the earth! His power will shake the nations and all nations shall come and worship before HIM! The harvest of this age shall be gathered! All things shall be made new! Creation shall be released from the bondage of corruption! Sin and death shall reign no more! Gods elect is being prepared for this even as I pen these words!
The following words by Paul Mueller are so very true and encouraging that I choose to close this message with them: "Although darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the hearts of the people, Christ is being revealed in a great light to His Brethren - to those who are of like calling and spirit. Were it not for the present unveiling and manifestation of Christ within us, the darkness would overwhelm us and cover us in its stifling, oppressive mantle of doom. But Christ is being revealed! Because of Him, the darkness shall not overwhelm us, for the night is light around us (Ps. 139:11-12). We are being sustained by His presence. He is giving us the strength and fortitude to press on to the utmost heights in Him. Christ is the Light; He is the Day Star rising in our hearts, filling us with hope for the greater glory that is to come. While others may be surrendering to the darkness or to anything else that might detract from the kingdom of God, the elect are walking in solitude with the Lord, singing through this night with gladness of heart. Why do we sing in the midst of this darkness? Because we have become the answer and have been given a fore-taste of the restoration to come! We are singing because we are ascending the mount of the Lord, resulting in spiritual growth that brings forth a joy that passes understanding (Is. 35:10)" - end quote.
To be continued...
J. PRESTON EBY
If you would like to receive these studies write to:
J. Preston Eby
P.O. Box 371240
El Paso TX 79937-1240
All writings are distributed on a free-will basis.
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