KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
IN THE SPIRIT ON THE LORDíS DAY
"I was in the spirit on the Lordís day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia" (Rev. 1:10-11).
Iíve heard a lot of different definitions of what the Lordís day is, and all the explanations Iíve heard lead me to believe that not very many people have been caught up in the Spirit. I have been caught up in the Spirit, and the things I saw and heard were the same realities I read in the book of Revelation! With the brush of the Holy Spirit and the paint of the word of God I hope to create a picture on the canvas of your understanding. The real world, the eternal world, the world that will never pass away, Godís world, the kingdom that flesh and blood cannot inherit, can only be seen, touched, and experienced by the spirit man that you are. It is in the spirit that we connect with this invisible, divine, heavenly, eternal world!
"I John, was in the isle that is called PatmosÖÖI was in the spirit on the Lordís day" (Rev. 1:9-10). Praise God for that "in the isle," ó "in the spirit"! Physically, John was in Patmos; spiritually, he was caught up into the heavens of Godís Spirit! The "was" is from a Greek word which means "became" or "came to be." "I John, became in Spirit on the Lordís day." What do you suppose John was in before he was in the Spirit? Someone says, "Well, he must have been in the flesh!" No ó I do not believe that John was in the flesh. Paul clearly tells us, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Rom. 8:9). The way this reads in the Greek is that as long as the Spirit of God is constantly dwelling, abiding, motivating, and controlling us, we are not in the flesh. I donít believe the beloved John was in the flesh! He was, however, in his soul.
The soul is the mind, will, emotion, and desire of man. John was in his own mind, his own will, his own emotion, and his own desires. There is nothing wrong with that! These were not ungodly or corrupt, but neither were they the Spirit of God or Johnís own spirit. We need to think spiritual sense about these things! The "flesh" is the realm of sin in my members. It is a lower realm than the soul. I am acting in my soul when I drive my car, chat with my neighbor, play with my grandchildren, or go to a concert. I am in no way acting fleshly ó that is, out of a sinful nature. Now, if while driving my car I deliberately run someone down, or, if while chatting with my neighbor I lie to him or insult him, then I am in the flesh! But when I am doing very natural things I am not sinning. I am merely moving in my soul life. There is something wrong with walking after the flesh, for "the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such likeÖÖ" (Gal. 5:19-21).
To become "in the Spirit" is to ascend into a higher realm! It is to consciously rise from your soul into His Spirit, from your own mind into His mind, from your own thoughts into His thoughts, from your own will into His will, from your own emotions and desires into those of the Lord Himself. There is nothing wrong with playing with the grandchildren, going out to eat, attending a concert, feeling weary, or thinking about the work you must do tomorrow. Jesus hungered and thirsted, grew weary, worked in a carpenter shop, rode a donkey, and attended some very lavish banquets! When Jesus needed a piece of wood for a table He was building, He didnít pray, shake, speak in tongues, fall on the floor, and seek a vision for instructions about selecting the right board. Thatís why He had a soul ó for the plane of natural, everyday living. I have met people who thought they had to "hear from God" before they could go to the store!
God gave us a mind fully capable of making such decisions and carrying out our normal physical, business, and social activities. He gave us emotions capable of enjoying love, beauty, music, travel, recreation, and many other things. But that is not the dimension of the spirit! It is possible, yea, desirable, to walk in both realms at the same time! It is by the soul that I drive my car, but I may also drive it in the spirit. Now if you find that difficult to believe, you should see the spirit some people drive their cars in! I have often done my business, social activities, and physical labors while at the same time being overwhelmed by the presence and power of God! I have walked into a store while caught up in a heavenly realm, and was still able to buy a loaf of bread and walk out again. No one knew I was in the Spirit except me! I have received revelations while brushing my teeth, but I didnít require a revelation to brush my teeth. You see the difference!
In the spirit there is a sensitivity to God, the sensation of life and light, the consciousness of His presence, the revelation of His voice and His will, and the reality of a higher state of being. Bennie Skinner told of a man who went into an office and the gentleman there had a plaque on his desk that said, KEEP LOOKING DOWN. The man said, "Sir, donít you have that saying backward ó arenít we supposed to KEEP LOOKING UP?" The gentleman replied, "It depends on your perspective, on where you are. If you are living above the things of this world, if you are seated in the heavenlies, then you can keep looking down. But if you are burdened down, overwhelmed by earthly things, and walking in the lowlands of the flesh, then you must keep looking up!"
John came to be "in the Spirit." It is a blessed thing to be in the Spirit! God is making a spiritual man today! When God formed Adam of the dust of the ground, he became a living soul. Adam was sinless when he came from the hand of his Creator, and he lived and walked in the dimension of his soul. It is natural to live in the soul realm! It is not sinful or wicked ó just natural. You donít have to do a thing to get into the soul realm. We were all born into this world in that realm! But Adam did have to do something to fall down into the flesh realm ó he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He disobeyed the word of the Lord to him! He partook of the fruit of a lower realm. He sinned! That is just the difference between "flesh" and "soul." You have to sink to a lower level to be in the flesh. In the flesh is a dark realm, a rebellious realm, a sinful realm, a wicked realm of selfhood, corruption, and unrighteousness.
The soul can be beautiful! What can be more beautiful than the innocence of a child, though they know nothing of the spirit? It is the soul that enjoys traveling to far-away places with strange-sounding names, quaint cultures, and exotic vistas. It is the soul that is moved by the strains of beautiful music, that stands transfixed before a colorful sunset or the majesty of mountain peaks. The soul may be lifted up to touch and partake of the high realms of the Spirit of God! In such a moment the sweet singer of Israel exulted, "Bless the Lord, O my soul!" And in the Magnificat the virgin of Galilee cried out, "My soul doth magnify the Lord!" The soul can also sink into the domain of the flesh and revel in base things, for "the soul that sinneth, it shall die." But the soul itself, of itself and by itself, is neither evil nor spiritual. It is just the soul. The soul is incomplete and seeks union. It finds union with either the flesh or the spirit! When it walks after the flesh, it dies. When it walks after the spirit, it lives!
"The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit" (I Cor. 15:45). It is in conscious union with Christ that we become "in the Spirit." This was Johnís "rapture"! In this rapture John became a spirit-man. He became one who heard; one who turned; one who saw; one who became as dead; one who was quickened by the right hand of the One in the midst of the candlesticks. His own consciousness, life, identity and reality were swallowed up in the vision of Another! And the whole subsequent vision of the book of Revelation is in that holy Light!
"I was in the Spirit on the Lordís dayÖÖ" The whole church world today is waiting for the day of the Lord. And many in this word of the Kingdom are also waiting for the day of the Lord. But John wasnít waiting for the day of the Lord! He "became," or "came to be," as the Greek expresses it, in the day of the Lord! It seems to me that if John "became" in the day of the Lord two thousand years ago, you and I can "come to be" in the day of the Lord right now!
It was on, or in the Lordís day that John was in the Spirit. In the New Testament days the Roman emperor was deified and claimed to be God. The day that a man became the Roman emperor was called "The Emperorís Day." And all the time that the emperors reigned over the Roman empire the people of the empire were required to observe that day as "Emperorís Day" That was the day when the emperor was crowned. On that day the Romans acknowledged that "Caesar is Lord! Caesar is God!" But then the Christians came along and they refused to acknowledge the emperor as Lord, or as God. They said, "Jesus Christ is Lord! Jesus Christ is God! He has risen from the dead, He has ascended up far above all heavens, He has been given the name that is above every name, all power has been given unto Him in heaven and in earth, He has been exalted to sit on His Fatherís throne, He has been crowned as King of kings, and Lord of lords ó King of the universe. Jesus Christ is King! Jesus Christ is Lord! This is the LORDíS DAY!" To know Christ in living reality and walk with Christ in the Spirit was to be in the Lordís Day!
Here is how John came to be in the day of the Lord. He says, "I became, or came to be, in the Spirit." It was "in the Spirit" that he was in the Lordís day! It is not by arriving at a date on the calendar, but by living and walking in the Spirit that we enter into and experience the day of the Lord! Many people are looking into the outer world to see the coming of the day of the Lord. They watch world events, calculate times and seasons which they imagine point to the signs of the approach of the day of the Lord, and study the prophecies of the Bible for an understanding of the ages so that they can recognize the day of the Lord. But it was only in the Spirit that John perceived that he was in the Lordís day. The day of the Lord is a realm above in the Spirit, and when we come to be in the Spirit we find ourselves in the day of the Lord!
Jesus lived in the Spirit. He always lived in the Spirit. He walked in the Spirit. He talked in the Spirit. He ate, drank, slept, worked, and ministered in the Spirit. Thus we plainly observe that all true spirituality is lived out in practicality. Weíre talking about a very practical daily walk! Ah, my beloved, do not childishly wait for goose-bumps to tell you that you are in the Spirit! We can be in the Spirit without any goose-bumps, feelings, or emotions of any kind. We can be in the Spirit while in the fire that has been heated seven times hotter. The three Hebrew children found themselves in the Spirit in the fiery furnace! Daniel knew what it was to be in the Spirit in the lionís den! Noah experienced being in the Spirit on an ark in the dark, swirling waters of the deluge! Jesus was in the Spirit hanging upon a cross on Golgothaís hill! John was in the Spirit on the rocky desolation of an isle called Patmos! Do you see it, my brother, my sister? Being in the Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with chills and thrills or electric currents running through our body. Singing, dancing, and shouting are no evidences of being in the Spirit! Loud and emotional preaching does not mean the preacher is in the Spirit. Being in the Spirit is not a feeling, not an emotion. It can be an emotion, but it may not always be a favorable emotion! I thank God for wonderful feelings and blessed experiences of all kinds. I will not turn any of them down! But that is not what it means to be in the Spirit!
If all hell breaks loose and my whole world crashes down around me, I am still in the Spirit as I walk in the stability and victory of the Christ within. John came to be in Spirit in the day of the Lord. He didnít come to be in flesh, moaning and groaning, demanding to know why God allowed this to happen to him. He knew he was a spirit-created man, he knew he was a son of God, he knew that he was destined of God. His exile to Patmos was not punishment for disobedience, it wasnít due to a lack of faith, it wasnít because he had failed God, and it wasnít that God had failed him. Oh, no! John was right in the center of Godís will on that horrible island, and there he gave himself to be in Spirit. Iím sure he didnít feel very spiritual! He was hot and sweaty, he had no shave cream, no shower, no soap, no deodorant or toothbrush, no laundromat, and he was lonely and destitute. If he identifies with his flesh, heís a dead man! But he came to be in Spirit. With this scene filling our hearts perhaps we can approach with uplifted heads the heavenly wonders John saw that day on Patmos as he beheld things which carnal men can never understand. In the Spirit he was carried beyond the flesh, beyond the world of Patmos with its heat and flies and insects and scorpions and hopeless despair. In Spirit we see the invisible, hear the inaudible, and understand the incomprehensible! What man knoweth the things of God save the Spirit of God that is in him? In the Spirit we know the things of God, we see as God sees, understand as God understands, think as God thinks, speak as God speaks, act as God acts, and live as God lives. Oh, the wonder of it!
I now exhort all who read these truths to earnestly seek to live and move and have your being IN THE SPIRIT. These are things beyond the scope of the natural mind and beyond the power of the natural man. But there in the Spirit you are a new creation, no longer of the earth earthy, but one Spirit with the Lord from heaven. There in the Spirit you stand no longer in the dark world of natural men who live and walk after the flesh; you stand no longer in the insipid realm of vain traditions, carnal programs, and wanton harlotry of the apostate church systems; but you stand in the light, wisdom, power, and glory of the DAY OF THE LORD!
The day of the Lord is not a date on the calendar. It doesnít begin one day and end another. Itís not a twenty-four hour day, a seven-year day, neither is it a thousand-year day. The day of the Lord IS. "God IS LIGHT, and in Him there is no darkness." That is the day of the Lord! It is the illumination of the light of God. The day of the Lord is a condition that takes place within a people. It is the light, the understanding that begins to dawn in our consciousness that elevates our awareness of God and the dimension of Spirit. It is the understanding of the Almighty! It is the revelation of Godís glory, majesty, will and purpose. In Genesis God called the light "day" and Jesus said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (Jn. 8:12). Then He said, "Ye are the light of the world!" (at. 5:14). And the apostle Paul by revelation added, "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children (offspring) of light, and the children (offspring) of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness" (I Thes. 5:4-5).
What is happening is that understanding is coming to us. Understanding is light! Paul prayed for the Ephesian saints that "the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints" (Eph. 1:18). Godís called and chosen elect in this hour is getting understanding! Weíre understanding God! Weíre understanding His Spirit, His ways, His will, His truth, His plan, His purpose, His heart ó so the day of the Lord is dawning in us! The Day Star is arising in our hearts and the shadows and darkness are fleeing away in the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Never have we understood as we understand today! How we rejoice in this day, that our eyes can see the things they see, our ears hear the things they hear, and our hearts understand the things they understand! The veil has been torn from our minds and from our hearts, and with clarity we see Godís great plan and purpose in the earth, in the elect, and in the universe! We see both sides of the veil ó the great cloud of witnesses all around us there in the realm of the spirit, and the visible company of overcomers walking here in this world in flesh bodies. And God is moving in both realms, preparing for the manifestation of all His sons! The true nature of all things is becoming crystal clear! For us, the day of the Lord has dawned! And it has dawned because we have "come to be in Spirit!"
Just as day and night co-exist on earth side by side, so the day of the Lord and the gross darkness that covers the people co-exist side by side. Just as Americans walk in the brightness of the noon-day sun at the same time that Chinamen slumber in mid-night darkness, so there are both children of the day and children of the night in the world today. Some men walk in darkness while other men walk in light! They may dwell in the same house, work at the same job, or sit next to each other in a meeting. Some men abide in darkness while other men abide in light.
The day of the Lord neither begins nor ends. It simply IS. God has never known anything but the day that HE IS! It begins for us at that blessed moment when, quickened by the Spirit of God, it consciously dawns upon us, just as the natural day begins when we arise and greet the dawn. The fact is, it has been day somewhere on earth all the while the veil of darkness hung over us as a shroud. Day has nothing to do with time. It has nothing to do with dates. It has nothing to do with the calendar. It has nothing to do with the ages. It only has to do with your relationship to it! If someone asks when the day of the Lord begins, I cannot answer. If you can fly at the right speed in an airplane you can stay in the day all the time. The sun will never set! Traveling home from Europe Lorain and I were in the day for twenty hours. The day of the Lord IS. Yet almost all Christians in the church systems today are talking about when the day of the Lord is going to come. It will come when they arise from their carnal-minded delusions and begin to walk fast enough in the Spirit to STEP INTO IT! That is how John got there, and that is the only way any man will get there!
I do not believe that the day of the Lord is Saturday, or Sunday, or any other day of the week. Sunday is nowhere called "the Lordís day" in the scriptures ó it is always called "the first day of the week." Yet, in nearly every book I have read on the book of Revelation, the author has said that John was "in the Spirit on Sunday!" The Lordís day is not a time period at all! The Lordís day is a state of being. As we become "light beings," illuminated by the light of Godís glory from within, we truly become the light of the world ó the day of the Lord! That is what the "unveiling" of Jesus Christ is all about! It is taking off the veil from the glory of the Christ raised up in the lives of His many brethren. That is in process right now! We are now being changed from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord! Christ is being formed in us! The kingdom of God is being established in that earth which we are! This, my beloved, is the Lordís day!
Oh, we are seeing with such clarity today! The day of the Lord is a state of being that Godís elect is entering into right now! Have you wondered why you are able to see the deep mysteries of the kingdom of God, while those about you are void of understanding? Have you questioned why the wonderful truths of reconciliation, sonship, and the kingdom of God burn brightly within your heart, while they are meaningless to other believers? Have you pondered why the great plan and purpose of God in this hour is so clear and obvious to you, whereas others reject it with hostility? I will tell you why! The day of the Lord has dawned in your land! The Sun of Righteousness has arisen and when you awaken in the Lordís day you can see all things as they really are. You are able to see backward and forward, for the Lordís day is an eternal day, having neither beginning nor ending, and in this day all things are revealed! For some strange reason it is difficult for men to believe that the day of the Lord is nothing more nor less than the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. They would rather have a date on the calendar, a time period with a beginning and end, than to have the glory of God within themselves!
As we step into the Spirit in the day of the Lord something happens. Great and marvelous changes occur. There is divine activity that is taking place within us and out from us. Something is happening to us, something wonderful is happening in us, and marvelous things beyond our understanding are happening out of us! As we ascend in the Spirit all creation is being affected! The events in the outer world are not things that are "just happening." Heaven casts its shadow upon the earth, and the great spiritual things that are taking place within the heavenlies of Godís sons are producing an effect in the earthlies. My brother and sister, there is a strange and wonderful thing happening today, and John saw it in Spirit while on Patmos. "And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake" (Rev. 8:3-5).
This is a scene in the heavenly temple of God which we are! As the sweet odor of our prayers and praise and worship ascends before God from the golden altar within us ó there is produced an effect! The prayers of the saints! The prayers, praise, and worship of Godís elect in the heavenly realms of Godís Spirit are not a useless exercise, they are part of Godís cosmic purpose. Ah, we have missed the importance of our ministry unto God in the Spirit! We have thought prayer was for "getting things" from God, blessings and benefits for us and for our loved ones. That is part of it. But the spiritual priesthood ministry of Godís elect in the heavenly temple of God which sheds itself in prayer, praise, and worship, is an important function in the redemptive and reconstructive and restorational purposes of God! There is a relationship between the decrees of God, the prayers of the saints, and the deliverance of creation. As our prayers and praise and worship ascend in the Spirit, the very coals from the altar that released the fragrance of the holy incense of our spiritual ministry is CAST INTO THE EARTH! The spiritual and divine fire of God which takes a cold, hard substance (incense) and transforms it into a spiritual fragrance that wafts its way to the throne and brings pleasure to the very nostrils of God, is cast into the earth realm and mighty powers are released in the earthlies! There are voices as the word of the Lord is released, and thunderings as the power of God is manifested, and lightnings as the illumination of God flashes within the consciousness of men, and a great earthquake as the carnality of man, and the kingdoms of man, are shaken to their foundations. Oh, yes! The earth realm of our own life, and that of the world about us, is powerfully transformed by the activity of the Spirit that comes out of the heavens of our spiritual ministry in the heavenly temple of God! As God moves us to minister unto Him in the Spirit He is urging us to do what is necessary to enable things to happen in the way they are supposed to happen in the earth realm. As we pray, the fire from the censer of our lives is cast into the earth! That fire produces the day of the Lord! As we learn the holy purpose of our ministry in the high realm of the Spirit in these significant days, there comes that deep inner consciousness that somehow we are participating in a tableau and drama of history! We are bringing the day of the Lord upon the earth!
No man can get into the Spirit in the Lordís day and all things remain the same. In the glory of God the face of Jesus Christ is revealed! He becomes revealed more and more. This is where and how John saw the revelation of Jesus Christ ó in the Spirit on the Lordís day! May God grant understanding to all who read these lines to see the great truth that the day of the Lord will increase and increase in intensity and scope until all darkness everywhere is illuminated and all shadows pass away. The day of the Lord shall come upon all men! In the day of the Lord the haughtiness of man is cast down, and the Lord alone is exalted. The day is surely coming when the nations shall walk in the light of this day and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it. The tabernacle of God shall be 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. This is true of Godís elect today! But it shall be true for all men and all nations, and God shall wipe away the tears from all eyes, and in all Godís vast universe there shall be no more sorrow, neither pain, nor crying, and there shall be no more death; for all the things of manís day shall pass away and all things shall be made new! And there shall be no night there. These words are true and faithful (Rev. 21:3-5).
The firstborn sons of God are the day of the Lord, for upon them is risen the glory of the Lord, and they are the light of the world. Christís presence is beginning to fill the whole earth and the glory of the Lord is risen upon a people. This is not a fancy or a fallacy, this is the sovereign work of God in the lives of those who have been called to this Day. This is the very truth, the very understanding as the Spirit has made it known unto His chosen people, that we might know the counsel of God for this very Day. Though multitudes continue to walk in darkness, the darkness of the world of the carnal mind and of the carnal religious systems of men, you shall walk in the Light! Many stubbornly cling to those things which are passing, to the former orders and moves of God that have ended, the relics of a former season of glory, but those whose hearts have responded to the call to sonship are taking hold of those things that are new. The former heavens are being rolled up like a scroll and set aside. There is a new order, a new heaven and a new earth for you today, saints of God! The sun has risen higher in the heavens and this Day is brighter than it has ever been!
Ascending in the Spirit we have stepped into the day of the Lord! We must go forth and lead the way for all who will follow. The day of the Lord begins with those who are enlightened, cleansed from all error, bondage, and carnality, and clothed upon with the glory of Christís presence, mind, and nature. The day of the Lord begins with those who have eyes to see the true purposes of God for this hour, and commit themselves to walk therein. There is glory and power and rejoicing and praise ahead for those who walk in the light of this day of the Lord! This is the day of deliverance, not bondage. The bands are broken. Christ is conqueror! He reigns! We are not expecting the antichrist nor the great tribulation, for we have met the Christ, we have heard His heart, we have beheld His glory, and have been made one with His purposes. His hosts are invincible, and we are those hosts. Our coronation draws nigh. We are the city foursquare, the heavenly Jerusalem, and mount Zion where Jesus the King is ruling and reigning. The kingdom of God is within us! His glory overshadows us! His light emanates from us! Those who are born of this word of the kingdom are now standing on kingdom ground.
"I was in the Spirit on the Lordís day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpetÖÖand I turned to see the voice that spake with me" (Rev. 1:10,12).
No sooner was John in the Spirit in the Lordís day, than he heard a voice behind him. It was the sound of the voice that gripped his attention. John responded to the voice and turned, was changed, to see the voice. The voice comes to turn us around, to change us! It will change our thoughts, our perceptions, our understanding, our purpose, our form, our substance, our very state of being. Hearing the voice did not cause him to get in the Spirit, but being in the Spirit John was able to hear the voice! Those around him who were not in the Spirit in the Lordís day heard nothing.
This great voice, this majestic voice, this voice of power and authority was as the voice of a trumpet. Let us understand what a trumpet is. By the Spirit we understand why John reacted so swiftly to the voice as a trumpet, for the trumpet speaks of a prophetic tone in which the Lord appears in the midst of His people. John hears that prophetic tone in the Spirit! Many of us have heard that prophetic tone! There is a time in prayer, in meditation, in waiting upon the Lord, in the moving of the Spirit, in the sovereign operations of God in our lives, when we become aware of the prophetic spirit, and in that prophetic spirit the Lord Himself is descending into our experience and speaking, unveiling something of Himself. It is beyond the letter of the word! It is beyond a mere blessing! It is the Lord Himself, and we hear a word in the Spirit that can only be heard in the Spirit, and behold a glory that can only be seen in the Spirit.
John understood something that few today understand ó when you hear the trump the Lord is descending out of heaven! (I Thes. 4:16). Let us, then, who are coming to maturity in our understanding, stand together with John on that blessed day, and looking through the eyes of inspiration know once and for all that the Lord descending from heaven in the sound of a trumpet is not a future eschatological event, but a present reality to all the blessed elect of God who come to be "in the Spirit on the Lordís day!"
John turned to see the voice that spake with him! He turned to perceive the voice, to discern the voice, to understand the voice, to gain the knowledge of what the Lord was saying and doing in the voice. When we hear the voice of God itís never where we expect it to be ó it requires a turning to see the voice! When we think we know what God is doing, and we have His ways and His will and His word all figured out, He speaks in a new way never heard before and we must turn from the norm of our spiritual experience to hear and see Him. The presence of the Lord is so fresh, so new, so transcendent, that it always demands a turning!
The voice John heard was the voice of the resurrected, ascended, glorified Jesus Christ! Once he heard the voice everything changed and wonders began to unfold. Before he heard the voice John was describing his own situation on Patmos. As soon as he heard the voice the visions of glory began! The voice commanded him to write the things he saw in a book and send it to the seven churches. There is not a man on earth who is qualified to speak Godís word until he has heard the voice of the Son of God! And no word uttered by man will ever be effectual in the lives of the hearers until that word is energized to go forth as a Living Word.
There is a tremendous value in words even in the natural realm. All words are either creative or destructive. All that happens every day in the world is accomplished by the power invested in words. All the business and transactions of men and nations are carried on by the power of words. All the political and economic ideologies that have shaped movements and determined the course of history and the destiny of billions of people and races and empires have first issued as words which form their consciousness within the minds and wills of men, who then actively create out of them the external form and substance of them. The whole Communist empire, for instance, with all its institutions, tyranny and powers, was inspired and produced out of the energy of words spoken and penned by a man by the name of Karl Marx. Words printed or written on paper are powerful enough to imprison or put to death a man, or to release him. Words on paper are powerful enough to join a man and a woman in marriage, or to separate them by divorce. Mere words on paper are sufficient to make one exceedingly wealthy or to make one penniless, to start a war or to bring peace, to establish a kingdom or to dissolve an empire. Everything works and moves by and through the power of words! All words spoken form some level of consciousness within man which in turn forms the world you live in. But none of these words produces life unless it is enriched by the spirit of life from God! Many words gender death.
The mystery of God is not far off in heaven somewhere. GOD IS THE WORD AND THE WORD IS GOD! Furthermore, THE WORD IS THE SPIRIT AND THE SPIRIT IS THE WORD! "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (Jn. 6:63). Words are the most powerful things in creation! All things, visible and invisible, were created by Godís word. "And God said, Let there beÖÖ" (Gen. 1:3). "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made" (Jn. 1:1,3). We are born again by the word of God! "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (I Pet. 1:23). The Living Word is the LIVING CHRIST!
Christ is the perfect speech of God. When the invisible and unknowable God desired to reveal Himself and communicate Himself to mankind, He placed the substance of Himself in His Word, and made that Word flesh, and caused that Word made flesh to dwell among men and speak as God to men. Christ the Word contains the pure essence and power of Life! The words of Christ will form the consciousness and sense of HIS BEING WITHIN, and of His world, so that you may live in it forever. The presence of Christ places us in a position to hear the voice of God! This is the voice we want to hear, not just any voice, but the voice of the Living Spirit. I have witnessed many men speak and preach the words of scripture with great persuasion and nothing happened. There is no "magic" or "mystical" power in the words of the scriptures! The only power they have is that they testify of CHRIST THE LIVING WORD! They point to HIM WHO IS THE LIFE! When men come to HIM they live! One can preach great sermons and die. But when one hears the dynamic living voice of the Son of God transformation takes place! The same Living Word that by its almighty power brought creation into existence was made flesh and dwelt among us. The Word was not made a book. The Word was not made a teaching or a doctrine. The Word was made flesh, divine substance in human form, the Son of God! That is the Word that John heard! And that is the same Word we hear today in the Spirit! That Word is the voice, the living voice of the Christ within every son of God. The same Word that came into this world and conquered sin and death in the person of Jesus Christ is being raised up in you and me in these days!
Here, Christís voice, as John heard it, is compared to a trumpet. Later John said, "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were a trumpet talking with me; which said, come up hither, and I will show you things which must be hereafter" (Rev. 4:1). Notice this trumpet-voice told him to come up higher, so he could see the things God wanted to show him. Godís trumpet-message is always to come up higher! It is sent because that is the great need of the saints and of all mankind, to come up into the higher realms of the Spirit, for we cannot see the glorious spiritual truths, nor behold the wondrous heavenly things, from the lowlands of our carnal mind and childish religion. Normally we "hear" a voice, but John said of the trumpet-voice that penetrated his spiritual consciousness, "And I turned to see the voice that spake with me, and being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man" (Rev. 1:12-13). The One who spoke with a "voice" as of a "trumpet" was in the trumpet-voice, and it was in the message of the voice that this glorious One was revealed. I do not hesitate to tell you that this was the revelation of Jesus Christ as He appeared to John IN THE TRUMP OF GOD!
"God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet" (Ps. 47:5). When a rising time is due for Godís people, it may be said that God is "gone up," as taken from the lesson that He moved in a pillar of cloud and fire to lead His ancient people, Israel. "With the sound of a trumpet" signifies that His voice is being heard. Godís voice and His trumpet are one and the same! It is the sounding forth of His word! Many messengers (His many-membered body) add volume to the sound of that trumpet. Another passage speaks of "His voice as the sound of many waters" (Rev. 1:15). John also tells us that waters means multitudes of people! (Rev. 17:15). So Godís trumpet-voice is sounding through many people, "many waters." "And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (Rev. 19:5-6). John heard coming from the throne (divine authority) a message which he said was a voice of a "multitude," of "many waters," and of "mighty thunderings." It was one trumpet-message with many voices adding volume to it! It was one message, but being trumpeted by many voices, so that it became as the voice of a "great thunder." This shows the beautiful unity between Christ the Head and His many-membered body!
The trumpet bespeaks of a clear word of God from the Spirit-appointed and Spirit-anointed messengers, His ministers. Trumpets are words, clear words, living words! The trumpet of God is His voice, His voice from heaven, His voice in the saints; even the voice of the Holy Spirit through the consecrated messengers of God. The trumpet is the revelation of the Lord speaking through His people in an oracle of the Spirit. The sound of the trumpet is simply the PROCLAMATION OF A MESSAGE!
With a simple knowledge like this we should have no trouble at all in understanding that our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, the Logos of God, is Himself the trumpet, the message, the revelation! In type, Jesus is the trumpet of God, delivering a clear sound, a living word, introducing us to the reality of the perfection and incorruptible life of which He is the beginning. Praise God, it is the Lord Himself who comes in the trumpet-message, and at the sound of His voice we are caught up with Him to share the glory of His sphere of life. The Lord Himself descends out from the highest realms our heavens (spirit) into the lower realms of our earth. We are the creatures God is creating to express His nature, power, and glory unto creation. His purpose for coming out of the realm of spirit into our earth is to catch our whole being up into the realm of spirit, to swallow up all death into HIS LIFE! And He accomplishes this by coming to us in a trumpet message! It is the word that changes us!
Too numerous to mention have been the things God has taught us as we have walked in the light of His ever-increasing truth. Our minds have often been staggered by the wonderful things we have seen and heard and our ambitions have been raised as we have gazed into the promised land of the Spirit and have seen the innumerable and wonderful glories that lie before us in the fullness of our sonship. We are undoubtedly standing at the threshold of a new dimension in God, a higher realm in the Spirit, and a new level of experience. Like John, we have heard a voice as a trumpet! When we come to a time like this, many will refuse to go on. There is some strange thing inherent in all men that makes them reluctant to leave the security of their fixed abode to press forward into the challenge of the new. They feel that they have journeyed far enough and that the effort to press into the new and more wonderful realm is too great a risk. We tend to become rigid, settled, self-confident and crystallized, fixed in our gaze and in our pose. In order for us not to miss the next phase of the unfolding revelation of Jesus Christ, God has to sound a shrill trumpet into our hearts that we might be alerted. God is saying and doing a NEW THING! It is time to go forward! It is the hour to arise to the battle and possess our land, our full inheritance in God. It is time to leave the first principles of the doctrine of Christ and GO ON TO PERFECTION! It is time to put on the mind of Christ and be transformed by the renewing of our mind! It is time to live and not die! "Come up hither!"
The trumpet-message is alerting our minds to the fact that the sons of God who are being prepared to restore creation are not just ordinary Christians with ordinary experiences. We have tasted the earnest of our inheritance, and it is now time to arise and enter an entirely new realm of experience in God. I speak of the realm which is in truth the realm of the fullness of God, the realm of incorruptible life and glory, the realm of the kingdom with authority and power. Furthermore I am convinced that those who have ears to hear the sound of the trumpet in this hour, and the willingness to "come up hither" as the Spirit commands, will attain to the glory of that new realm while the rest of the church world goes on as usual in the old realm and on the old planes. Jesus is the revelation of this realm of which I speak because He came forth as the Pattern Son and He speaks a clear sounding word. He is the pattern of this heavenly sonship and He is the Alpha and the Omega of it! He is the beginning of the new creation of God, but you and I are following the forerunner, and just as He trumpeted a clear sounding word, you and I are going to trumpet a clear sounding word to the elect in this generation.
Let us take heed to how we hear, and how we speak and what we speak! The order of man is passing. How? BY THE SOUNDING OF THE TRUMPET! By the very word of our mouth, because of HIM who speaks out of us! We might compromise the message and bear a message of appeasement to the old order of the religious systems, but what would that accomplish? If a trumpeter blows an uncertain sound, how will you know to prepare? If the trumpeter has no message, how is he going to speak? "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand" (Joel 2:1). God has commanded us to blow a trumpet in Zion and sound an alarm in His holy mountain! Our job is to sound an alarm in Zion, to awaken His elect, and let them know that THE DAY OF THE LORD IS HERE!
God has a trumpet-message that is sounding forth because it is time for His people to move into new territory. May God grant us wisdom and understanding that we may apprehend the mystery of these things. The trumpet-voice John heard that day on Patmos later becomes the seven trumpets sounding through the Revelation! The seven trumpets are like the seven eyes, seven horns, seven stars, and seven spirits ó they are the seven-fold fullness of Godís trumpet-message, the declaration, proclamation of the process of His victory wrought out experientially within each of us! Seven angels sound the seven trumpets. Who are they? THEY ARE THE LORD! Know this, and you will possess a great key to the book of Revelation. It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ! So when someone shows up under a symbol, doing something that originates with God, who do you suppose it is? Why, bless your heart, IT IS THE LORD! He said in chapter one, "Behold, I come quickly." And throughout the book He comes, and He comes, and He comes, and He continues to come! He comes as a trumpet-voice. He comes as a Lion. He comes as a Lamb. He comes as seven spirits. He comes as seven angels. He comes as a mighty angel. He comes as the Son of man. He comes as horses galloping out of a seven-sealed book. He comes as a star coming down out of heaven. We could go on and on. But when an action originates out of God and out of heaven, under whatever symbol is used ó IT IS THE LORD! It is the Lord coming to purge us, refine us, thresh us, perfect us, transform us, change us, mature us, and conform us to the image of the Son! As the trumpets sound within the lives of Godís people we begin to experience the fullness of all that God is! There has never been an expression of God at this level in the earth at any time except in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the firstborn among many brethren. But now there is a people that has been sealed unto the day of redemption, and when God begins to loose the seals, sound the trumpets, and pour out the vials, it will bring forth a many-membered expression of God at the same level of Godís fullness. This is the revelation of Jesus Christ!
"And the angel which I sawÖÖsware by Him that liveth for ever and everÖÖthatÖÖin the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished" (Rev. 10:5-7). The words, "In the days of the voice of the seventh angel," and the words, "begins to sound," speak volumes to me because the complete sounding of that trumpet involves a process in time and shows us that our change which comes with the sounding of the seventh, or last, trumpet is not to find its total consummation in one specific moment. There is the obvious implication of a prolonged sounding extending through various periods and dealings. Yet at the initial sounding, the "mystery" of Godís purpose for His elect shall no longer be hidden. Ah ó methinks I have heard this trumpet, for the mystery of God has been revealed in the midst of the saints in these days! When the seventh trumpet sounds a wonderful thing takes place ó the manchild is birthed, caught up to the throne of God, and rules the nations with a rod of iron!
In the days when the voice of the seventh angel with his trumpet-message begins to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished. The mystery of God is God manifest in the flesh! "Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh" (I Tim. 3:16). This is also the mystery of Christ, that God was in Christ, and now God in Christ is in us! Paul elaborates upon this mystery in these words: "How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel" (Eph. 3:2-6). When you follow the word "mystery" through the writings of the apostles it is clear that the mystery is the body of Christ. In Ephesians 5:31-32 it is the mystery of the union of Christ the Head with Christ the body in all the fullness that that means. It is time, my beloved, for the mystery of God to be finished! Finished means completed or consummated. In the days of the voice of the seventh angel THE BODY OF CHRIST SHALL BE FINISHED! Not just quantitatively, but qualitatively. That trumpet signifies that the Lordís elect, the sons of God or the body of Christ, have all been transformed into His image and likeness and grown up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ! Christ the Head and Christ the body shall be joined in the blessed union of fullness. The mystery of God manifest in the flesh will be finished!
The seventh trumpet signifies that the hour has arrived for the sons of God or the body of Christ to come forth in birth, into full and complete manifestation! This corporate Christ, Head and body, this manchild company, shall rule all nations with a rod of iron. Caught up to God and His throne ó into His authority! In the days of the voice of the seventh trumpet-message the mystery shall be finished, the body completed, the long and tedious work of preparation of Godís sons shall at last be consummated. The trumpet has begun to sound! There is an acceleration of Godís revelatory word, an intensified trumpet-message, a clear sound of the revelation of Jesus Christ! Listen, my friend, for the sounding of the trumpet-voice within your spirit!
If you can hear this trumpet sounding above the hue and cry of rapture, antichrist, mark of the beast, great tribulation, denominationalism, sectarianism, mansions over the hilltop, cabins in the corner of gloryland, pie in the sky, religious programs, rituals, ceremonies, endless meetings, coverings, bishops, cunningly devised fables, money raising schemes, false prophets, false healers, lying signs and wonders, carnal health and wealth prosperity doctrines; if you can mount up with wings as eagles and soar high above all this carnal, confused, frustrated clamor of noisy gongs and clanging cymbals, and hear the distinct, plain, unmistakable sound of this last trump, then it can be said to you: Blessed art thou, overcomer, manchild, hundred-fold, firstfruits; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven!
The seventh trumpet is the final redemptive message and when it is finished sounding God will have made a man in His image! What tremendous truths are being blown on this redemptive trumpet! Let not any man rob you of the greatest sound that man has ever been privileged to hear! A sound with such a high and holy pitch, with tones so deep and profound, that only the Spirit can reveal its message to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. Do not miss what the Spirit is saying; gird up the loins of your mind with the truth that will fully redeem you, spirit, soul, and body!
"I was in the Spirit on the Lordís day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength" (Rev. 1:10-16).
To be continuedÖ
J. PRESTON EBY
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J. Preston Eby
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