KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
ONE LIKE UNTO A SON OF MAN
On an outwardly dismal day on far-away Patmos the blessed apostle John sits in holy contemplation. Suddenly the earth seems to sink away beneath his feet. The horizon recedes. Johnís spirit seems to be liberated from the shackles of time and space. He is taken out of contact with the physical world about him: he is "in the spirit." He sees, indeed, but not with physical eyes. He hears, but not with physical ears. He is in direct contact with the spiritual realities of the heavenly world! He is aloneÖwith God! He is wide awake and every avenue of his spirit is open to the direct communication coming from God in the spirit. John is told, "Write the things that thou seest in a book." Now, isnít it interesting that he not only wrote the things he saw, but also the things he heard. So the "seeing" is not seeing with the natural eye, itís seeing in the realm of the spirit! You can "hear" in the realm of the spirit and in hearing you see, that is, you understand.
"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 meÖ" (Rev. 1:10,12).
What kind of turning did John do? Did he physically turn around? John was in the spirit, so his turning was a spiritual turning! His turning was an inward turning! It doesnít mean he physically turned around, it means he turned from beholding things in the earth realm to beholding things as they are in the heavens of Godís Spirit. John began to hear by the Spirit and see by the Spirit ó his perception and vision raised to a higher dimension. His eyes and ears were opened to all things spiritual and heavenly! He turned in the same way we mean when we say that someone has "turned to the Lord." We donít mean they changed the position of their body or tilted their head in a certain way to gaze into the sky. It is a spiritual turning, an inward change. John was changed in his spirit, lifted into a new awareness, quickened to hear and see the things that come from the Spirit of God! I have turned many times during the years of my walk in God. More than fifty years ago I first heard the Voice that John heard, and I turned from my Pentecostal realm to see the Voice, to embrace a new experience and dimension in God! Since that blessed day, each time we have heard the Voice out of the Lordís on-going revelation of Himself, we have turned to hear as we are supposed to hear, and to see as we are supposed to see.
I am terribly at a loss for words to express the glory of what John heard and saw when caught up into the Spirit. He heard a voice as a trumpet, and said, "I turned to see the voice that spake with me." "Turned" is the same word which is translated converted in Acts 3:19. There is a conversion that takes place in our lives before we can see the voice that speaks with us! There is a turning from all that is not the Lord Himself! We are not just turning or being converted from the ways of the world, or from religious traditions and forms of godliness. In the life of every son of God there is coming a turning even from those legitimate things God has given us ó from seeking and glorying in our ministries, our gifts, our callings, our positions, and our blessings. We are being turned to the Lord Himself! It is when we behold Him in the Spirit and by the Spirit that the great work of God is finished in us to transform us into His image and glory! "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Cor. 3:18).
"And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks, and in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of man" (Rev. 1:12-13). The candlestick realm is the church realm! THATíS WHERE THE MESSAGE IS! The message is not out there, not from Christ in some far-off heaven somewhere, not from an angel from heaven, not from Christ outside of us. The message is within. The voice of the Son of God is the voice in the churches, within those in the churches who are walking in the Spirit and seeing and hearing by the Spirit. Werenít nearly all of us in the churches when first we heard the Voice? Itís among us! Itís in our midst! The kingdom of God is within you! The Spirit of the Son is within you! God dwelleth in you! The Holy Ghost is within you! The word of Christ dwelleth richly in you! The anointing abideth within you! The voice of the Son of God is heard from within!
Have you ever turned to see a voice? John turned to see the Voice! He didnít turn to see the man, or the woman, or the prophet, or the angel ó he turned to see the Voice that spoke to him. Until we grasp the eternal importance of the voice of the Son of God we will never turn to see the Voice ó not the vessel the Voice speaks through! God has spoken through men and women and angels and jackasses and clouds and bushes that burned and were not consumed. God is bringing us to the place where we do not demand to hear God speak in a certain way or through a particular vessel, but our sole and all-consuming desire is to hear the voice of the Son of God and see Him in His revelation, whatever it be. When God speaks it matters not whether He speaks through a man or a woman, or through a white man, a black man, a Chinaman, or through a jackass. It makes no difference how educated or uneducated, how polished or unpolished, how desirable or undesirable the instrument. There are people who refuse to receive the word of God unless it comes through a particular apostle, prophet, writer, or ministry. If you are not approved by their organization, their board, their apostle, their bishop, or their little religious clique called a "fellowship," they will not receive the word of the Lord from you. You must have the right credentials! Only their ministry is the chosen vessel, and if God wants to speak He will speak through them. He canít speak through anybody else! I have no hesitation whatever in telling you that such an attitude is immature, carnal, sectarian, fleshly and devilish. All who are truly walking in the Spirit as sons of God are keen in their hearing, listening for the voice of the Son of God, for whosoever hears the voice of the Son of God shall live and not die, saith the Lord.
The sons of God also are able to see. "And I turned to see the voice that spake with me." And what a surprise! "And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks." We would expect John to see a person ó but when he turned he saw seven golden candlesticks. "And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of man." These are wonderfully significant words! The One John saw was not seated on a golden throne in heaven, He was not standing in a rainbow before a waterfall, He wasnít standing on a mountain top, He wasnít standing in the doorway of a great cathedral. Oh, no! He was standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks! Would to God that all His people everywhere really knew where this One is! He is standing in the midst of the churches. He is in the midst of the Lordís people, in the midst of the body of Christ. And He is right there in the midst of you, my precious brother, my sister. "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; He judgeth among the gods" (Ps. 82:1).
The seven golden candlesticks are the seven churches, and a Voice was speaking out of the midst of the seven churches. It is necessary to see the church before you can see Him who is in the church. There are some people who have no use for the church. They say that God has called them out of the church. I understand what they mean, but they are wrong. I have been called out, too. Many years ago I received the distinct and powerful call to "Come out of herÖthat you be not partaker of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues" (Rev. 18:4). That is the Spiritís unmistakable call to come out of Babylon! Babylon, among other things, is the religious system that calls itself "the church." It is not the church! The church is the body of Christ! Babylon is an imitation, a usurper, an impostor, a harlot man-made system that masquerades as the church. Oh, yes, we have been called out of Babylon, but we are still in the body of Christ! If you have truly been called out of the church, then you are severed from Christ! I esteem the body of Christ. I honor the body of Christ. I have a great love for the body of Christ, which is the church. The Lord Jesus Himself loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing.
Come now, my beloved, and let us SEE THE CANDLESTICKS ó for when you see the candlesticks you will also see one like unto the son of man in the midst of the candlesticks. Come, and let us behold where He dwells! Would you not think it strange should someone come to your house, get out of their car, put their hands over their eyes, grope their way up the walk to your door, knock at the door, and when you answer the knock they should say, "Oh, I donít want to see your house ó I just want to see you!" Wouldnít you think that a little peculiar? Wouldnít you secretly consider that person a little "flaky"? Some of Godís people are just like that! They donít want to see what God dwells in. They avoid all contact with the candlesticks. They want to hear the Voice without seeing the candlesticks! It canít be done, my friend. Here I am, 67 years of age, short, gray, and bald. Sometimes I wish I was 30 years old and tall, dark, and handsome! But I canít do anything about that. Iím sure I could make a few improvements on this house I live in. A face lift, a toupee, and some "Just for Men" hair color might take ten or fifteen years off of my appearance. But it would still be the same old house. And if you want to meet me, or hear me speak, the voice you hear will come out of this tabernacle that you see. This is where the voice resides. This is where the life is. In like manner, there is no way that you hear the voice of the Son of God apart from the tabernacle ó the body ó He lives in!
We may not like some things about the present state of that body, including our own condition, but it is His body, nonetheless. Someone says, "Oh, I donít want to see the man, I just want to see the Lord!" It is true, we know no man after the flesh, that is, on the natural level, after the carnal consciousness. But let me make it very clear ó you have to see the man in order to see the Lord! I can only see Christ in you by seeing you. And I can only hear Christ out of you by hearing you! "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men." Another says, "If I could find a perfect church I would be a part of it." Well, then it would no longer be a perfect church ó you would mess it up! God is bringing us to the place in this important hour where we are willing to look at each other in spite of our weaknesses, mistakes, errors, spots, blemishes and wrinkles until He finishes His work in us and gets rid of them out of our lives. Ah, yes, the Lord whom ye seek is coming swiftly to His temple as a refinerís fire and fullerís soap, and He shall purge and purify the priesthood of His house! In the meantime the Lord is still speaking out of His temple and it is impossible to hear the Voice without seeing the candlesticks! We must be able to hear the voice of the Son of God even if there are imperfections in the vessels. In the midst of the church, which is His body, there is One like unto the Son of man. If we look with the pure, anointed eyes of the Spirit ó we will see Him!
"And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks" (Rev. 1:12).
It is of special interest to note that the seven candlesticks are not merely candlesticks ó they are "golden" candlesticks. The seven-branched candlestick of the tabernacle was constructed according to the word of the Lord given to Moses. It was made of pure gold, of a solid piece weighing a talent. Since gold is symbolic of deity, or the divine nature, this candlestick would absolutely have to be something emanating from God. In fact, it would have to be God Himself represented in the candlestick because it was made of solid, pure gold. It was not made of shittim or acacia wood overlaid with gold, as other parts and furnishings of the tabernacle were, which symbolized human flesh overlaid with divine nature, or anointed with the Holy Spirit of God, for the pure gold represented God Himself who was going to be the "lightbearer" or "candlestick" that would illuminate our tabernacle or body. This piece of furniture must absolutely be something beyond our human nature, beyond our outer, physical, fleshly being or our soulical life. Yet it must be something that would dwell in our tabernacle and give us life, illumination, and power with God!
There is no doubt about it ó the golden candlestick represents our regenerated spirit! The church is not made up of outward, carnal, fleshly people ó the body of Christ is composed of men and women who have been quickened, raised up, made alive in their spirits by the life of God Himself! "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly" (Prov. 20:27). "For Thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness" (Ps. 18:28). "In the beginning was the WordÖthat was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (Jn. 1:1,9). We know that our mortal bodies have not yet been quickened and glorified, and our souls are still in the process of being quickened and transformed, but in our spirits we have already been quickened, made alive, raised up and made to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus! Now, we also know that there were problems in the seven churches of Asia in the book of Revelation! There was sin, carnality, error, pride, and a number of negative conditions. The Lord admonished and rebuked the churches for these conditions! So ó how could "pure gold" and only pure gold serve as the symbol of the seven churches? The answer is quite simple. The candlestick is not the symbol of the outer man of soul and body, which are merely human and mixed, weak and polluted. The candlestick is the symbol of the inner man, the new creation man, the Christ man after the Spirit! That is where Christ dwells within us and lightens our candle! That is where the light of God and the life of God are in us!
May the Lord enable all who read these lines to see clearly by the spirit of wisdom and revelation that our spirit and Godís Spirit are truly ONE SPIRIT. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Cor. 6:17). Often we try to understand the truth of God on a carnal level. We must see as God sees! For instance, the scripture says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away, and behold all things are become new!" (I Cor. 5:17). When we look at our lives and find old things that have not passed away, we might conclude that we are not in Christ, and we are not a new creation! Would we not have to be perfect to fulfill this scripture? Another scripture that will kill us, when understood with the natural mind on the outward, human level, is, "He that is born of God does not commit sin." According to this passage it is impossible for a born-again person to sin! So immediately I come under condemnation. I must not be born again! How could I be born again, because I certainly do miss the mark! And not only does it say that he that is born of God does not commit sin, but it adds, "Neither can he!"
We must have a revelation that he which is born of God is our spiritual man. It is the inner man which is "renewed after the image of Him that created him." My body is not yet born of God! My soul is not yet born of God! But deep in the inner recesses of my being my spirit has been born of God! You see, my beloved, it has nothing to do with my outward, human, fleshly life. It is not the Adamic life that has been born of God! It is Christ who has been born again in the womb of my life, and it is Christ who is now my life. If any man be in Christ he is a new creation! Thatís where the new creation is! My outward human weakness, failure, carnality and defeat have nothing to do with this inner reality. Christ in me is my hope of glory! My spiritual man is who I am. Christ is being raised up in us! Christ is complete. Christ is pure and holy. Christ is sinless. Christ is my regenerated spirit! My regenerated spirit is a new creation. In it, old things are passed away and all things have become new! My regenerated spirit is born of God, it does not sin, neither indeed can it! THAT IS WHO I AM. THAT IS WHO YOU ARE! And that is the "gold" of the GOLDEN CANDLESTICK!
"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 apex of history was the day John saw Christ as He really is! Let us consider with holy reverence how this mighty One who stood among the candlesticks, proclaiming, "I am Alpha and Omega," was something more than the gentle and lowly Jesus of Nazareth. John states with great clearness that he, being turned, saw one LIKE UNTO A SON OF MAN. Now, the King James Bible, as quoted above, says that John saw one "like unto the Son of man," but that is not how the Greek reads. There is no definite article in the Greek, it does not say "the Son of man" but "one like a son of man." The Diaglott reads, "and in the midst of the Lampstands one like to a Son of Man." Youngís Literal says, "and in the midst of the seven lamp-stands, one like to a son of man." The Amplified Bible renders, "and in the midst of the lampstands one like a Son of man." The Concordant Literal New Testament translates, "and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like a son of mankind." The Wuest Translations reads, "and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man." We could go on and on, practically all translations consistently translate the Greek text correctly as "a son of man" instead of "the Son of man."
Now I know this fact will dismay a great number of preachers, teachers, and writers who, like me, have taught that since Jesus is "the" Son of man, this one "like unto the Son of man" is His many brethren, conformed to His image. There is truth there, but our truth must be pure, focused, and undistorted! So what is John really seeing, and what is he really saying? Let us take note that what John saw was a vision, a picture, a representation, and what he saw was someone who was "like a son of man" or someone in human form. It was a personage that bore the likeness of a man ó head, hair, eyes, mouth, hands, legs, feet ó all in the form of a man. Yet, this One he saw was something more than an ordinary man! He saw One in such surpassing majesty that words almost failed him when he tried to describe what he saw. This One was great, grand, illustrious, brilliant, radiant, awesome, imposing, overwhelming, glorious, and sublime! He had the features and appearance of a man, but there was an aura, a stature, a glory and a majesty of His person that transcended that of any natural man!
Who was this remarkable person whom John saw that day on Patmos and describes so vividly? Was not this person the same One who took Peter, James, and John up into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them? For at that time His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light, "exceeding white as snow" (Mat. 17:2; Mk. 9:3), much the same as they appeared when John saw Him in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. Yes, this is preeminently none other than our Lord Jesus Christ who has been raised from the dead and glorified with that same glory He had before the world was, and who dwells in the light which no man can approach unto. Saul on the Damascus road and John on the isle of Patmos beheld the glory of the Son of God out of the realm of the Spirit, and it blinded Saulís eyes and caused John to fall at His feet as dead. How do we know this is Jesus Christ? After seeing Him in His glorified body, and falling at His feet as dead, this One identified Himself to John with these words: "Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Rev. 1:17-18). After all ó this is the revelation of JESUS CHRIST!
It will greatly aid our understanding to see that there is an individual or personal, as well as a corporate sense of this "one in the midst" of the candlesticks. We know that Christ is one, even Jesus Christ; and we know that Christ is also many, even the body of Christ. In like manner there is the one Son of man, even Jesus; and there is also the many-membered Son of man, even the sons of God. Each of these, in a unique way, walks "in the midst"of the candlesticks! It will be a great blessing to your heart to understand how the Lord Jesus, the Son of man clothed in the garment of His priesthood, with eyes of discernment like flames of fire, with burning feet of judgment like unto brass heated red-hot in a furnace, and the two-edged sword of His living word flashing out of His mouth, walks in the midst of each of us and all of us whom He has redeemed!
The seven-branched candlestick of the tabernacle was made of a talent of beaten gold. It was the lightbearer of the holy place! There was no other light, either natural or artificial, in that holy place. The light of the outer court was the natural sun, and the light of the most holy place was the blazing Shekinah ó the glory of the God of Israel! But in the holy place the light originated from an indwelling oil, the light came from a silent and fragrant power within the candlestick. In the midst of this precious, beautiful, and perfect light-giver stands a glorious One in the likeness of a man. This One is walking in the midst of the candlesticks! (Rev. 2:1). The throne is not seen. It is Jesus and the churches alone with each other. It is Jesus under the figure of the priesthood of old that was responsible for the state of the candlesticks. Here is the Lord Himself, the high priest of our profession, and those who walk with Him in the Spirit, tending, trimming, replenishing the lamps!
Aaron, he and his company, under the old covenant, were appointed to look after the seven-branched candlestick, and this they were to do throughout their generations. They were to order the lamps, evening and morning, which were to burn continually without the veil of the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation. And these outward things served till the seed Christ came in His new covenant, who abolished all those outward tabernacles and candlesticks and lamps and lights in the outward worship, and the outward priesthood as well. And in the generation of Christ in the new covenant, the members of His body have become the temple of the living God, and the candlesticks and lamps and lights of the holy place of the Lord! In the book of Revelation He calls the seven churches the seven golden candlesticks, which is a perfect number, the completeness of the redeemed of this age. And Christ, the high priest, doth enlighten the candle, which is the spirit man, in the candlestick. And Christ walks in the midst of these candlesticks in His heavenly fine linen, and heavenly golden girdle; and His hair as white as wool and snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass, as if they were burning in a furnace; and out of His mouth goes a sharp two-edged sword; and His countenance is as the sun shining in his strength. Here is Christ, walking in the very spirits of new creation men, whose spirits He has lighted with His holy and divine and eternal fire, who are destined to be transformed not only in spirit, but also in soul and body; here He exercises His offices, for He is a king to rule in their hearts, and a priest to reconcile all things within them to the nature of God, to save the soul and redeem the body, that He may offer His people to God without spot or blemish!
It was not the candlesticks themselves, which had called unto John. It was the One in the midst like unto a son of man. How intimate, how strengthening, how illuminating that expression ó "in the MIDST." The voice of God called to Moses "out of the midst" of the burning bush, and later "out of the midst" of the cloud. The fourth man walked free with the three Hebrew children "in the midst" of the fiery furnace. God dwelt "in the midst" of the camp of Israel. God dwells "in the midst" of Zion, and He that dwelleth "in the midst" of thee, is mighty! It is the place which Jesus took as the Master of His disciples. It is the place He took after He rose from the dead. It is the place which He occupies as the Spirit sent down from heaven. He is the Lamb "in the midst" of the throne, and of the elders, and of the four living creatures! The tree of life is "in the midst" of the paradise of God!
"Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Mat. 18:20).
My beloved brethren, I am as much opposed to religion and man-made, organized, carnal minded, fleshly religious systems, as any man alive today. This has been my passion since that blessed day when the voice of Christ bade me "Come out of her." At the same time I recognize the church as the body of Christ! I thank God for the church, the seven golden candlesticks! Many of the Lordís people have confused religious Babylon and the church. So many groups today, even "sonship" and "kingdom" groups want to perpetuate the system of Babylon. All who are truly called to sonship and coming into that sonship have ears to hear what the Spirit saith to the churches! The leading of the Lord in our lives has been two-fold. First, we seek to fellowship with all the Lordís precious people, regardless of what level they are on. They are all HIS, and if we can touch them and bless them in any way, that is our joy. That is how the firstborn Son of God walked!
Second, we cannot, dare not fellowship the Babylon system. The Spirit of the Lord has drawn a clear distinction between the Lordís people and the system so many are involved in. This is clearly revealed in the book of Revelation! There were seven carnal churches, yet the Lord walked in the midst of them! Then there was that great city, Mystery Babylon the Great, out of which He called His people and which He burned and destroyed with fiery judgments! We can and will fellowship any redeemed child of God ó but we will not fellowship their carnal systems! As a result much of our fellowship is limited to a "one-on-one" basis, and with small groups of saints, after we get past those who wonít fellowship us because they perceive us to be heretics! At the same time we are not opposed to meetings or gatherings of the saints. The Spirit does indeed move upon some to meet, worship, and share together. And, when such gatherings are by the Spirit, and not controlled by either the spirit or system of Babylon, we are happy to partake. And we do!
On the other hand, we do not put a premium on meetings. My walk with God would in no way be hampered if I never attended a meeting! I would not fall into sin or error, or backslide. My spiritual growth is not meeting oriented. I do not have to attend gatherings in order to stay spiritual and follow Christ into sonship. But when gatherings are appointed of the Lord, on a regular or occasional basis, there is a mutual benefit derived from the presence and power of Christ "in the midst." We condemn none who attend meetings, nor do we condemn those who donít. Nor do we praise either group. We have learned from many years of walking in the Spirit with Godís people that the Lord deals with every man in His own unique way and according to His purposes for our spiritual growth and development ó and His will for us in these areas is subject to change from time to time!
To know the Fatherís will for our walk today ó that is the issue! And then to abide there with no condemnation either to ourselves or to others whom the Lord is leading differently. Often those who sense they have grown beyond the need for gatherings look down their noses at those who still find the need to meet. In like manner, those who are part of active church groups look with disdain upon those whom the Lord has called into a walk of separation, whom they cynically characterize as "Lone Rangers," who have "left the body," and are "spiritual elitists" who are "no good to anyone." Let me go on record ó so far as I am concerned both groups are yet carnal and think as men, not discerning the Lordís body! We are called to love one another, to discern by the Spirit the Fatherís purpose in each one, to esteem each better than ourselves, and to release all our brethren to God for His sovereign dealings in their lives, whatever His plan for them is! Anything less than this is not sonship or kingdom! I refuse to take sides with either group, but seek to edify all the Lordís elect, to present every man perfect in Christ. And I will fellowship with both! Furthermore, I can tell you by personal experience and by the wisdom of the Lord that there are sons of God in both camps who in their growth in the Spirit, in their love, in their righteousness, in their humility, in their maturity in the ways of God, and in their effectiveness in the kingdom of God are not one whit behind any man or woman of the other persuasion! No one way of doing things has a corner on Godís purposes in this hour! Get off your hobby-horse, my brother, my sister, and discern by the Spirit what GOD is doing! Oh, yes, I have a witness in my heart that CHRIST IS IN THE MIDST OF THE CANDLESTICKS! This is what the revelation of Jesus Christ is all about ó it is the revelation of Godís Christ personally, corporately, and universally!
In chapters two and three of the Revelation we see seven conditions within the seven churches, good and bad, positive and negative, commendable and reproachable. The Lord is in the midst of every one of these conditions! He walks in the midst of the churches, in the midst of their love, strength, patience, righteousness and faithfulness, and also in the midst of their weakness, faults, failures, carnality and rebellion. The Lord is there in the midst of every condition! Arenít you glad the Lord walks in the midst of our condition? Thank God! If He didnít get into the midst of our condition we would be of all men most miserable and altogether hopeless.
The Christ of God walks in our inner being. He is walking to fulfill every promise made to every generation. We are a portion of the church age and we are a portion of the seven golden candlesticks and He who walks among them! We have an identity in these same situations today. None of the seven churches are out of existence ó they represent the seven-fold condition of the church throughout the age. Every generation has had these same conditions mentioned there manifest in them! Just search them out. They are there! The identifying marks of each church is still in the earth today, and most of us could quickly identify them! The negative conditions represent conditions of carnality and error, of fragmentation and separation from the life of the Spirit! They are things that must be overcome. The positive conditions are blessings and privileges and attainments that must be apprehended!
Christ is walking up and down in the midst of the candlesticks. These candlesticks are the light of the Lord in the churches! They are the seven-fold spirit of God, the seven lamps that burn before His throne. This light is what is walking up and down in the midst of the candlesticks. To walk up and down means to be present in light form among us! He walks in spirit form, and the seven angels are His lighted word, the anointing of life in the midst of His people. HE IS WALKING! He has the keys of death and of hell! He is loosing the prison houses and setting the captives free!
He is walking!
He is walking in bright clothing,
In the garden of my heart;
And the spices of His presence
Cause refreshing scents to start!
And His Spirit winds have blown them,
To the ends of all my earth;
Walking, talking, living message,
Of the New Creation Birth.
ó Irene Lindsey
Thank God for the One in the midst, yet we must avail ourselves of His wonderful presence and power! A message comes to mind ó it is the story of the house of the heart and the various rooms in the heart of one who has come to know the Lord. There was a particular room at the bottom of the stairs, right off to the side. There the Lord said to this believer, "Here I will meet with you each morning." The believer said, "Lord, you would take time to meet with me every morning?" And He replied, "Yes, I will meet you right here in this room." And so, morning after morning, just as the sun was rising, they held their intimate communion, that blessed fellowship. The believer grew in the knowledge of the grace and ways of God and his spirit was enriched and his life blessed. But then, in the press of things through the tyranny of the urgent, there came a morning when he overslept. He had to get to the office and rushing down the stairs he forgot about the meeting. It grew to be a habit. Weeks and months went by and that quiet time was forgotten. Then one day as he reached the bottom of the stairs in his usual hurry to work, he noticed that the door was ajar and the light was on. He stepped inside to see what it was. There was Christ, sitting, waiting for him. He said, "Lord, what are you doing here?" The Lord said, "Have you forgotten that I told you I would meet you here every morning?" He said, "Lord, you mean that you have been here every day waiting for me?"
Beloved, have you heard your Lordís voice calling you to come apart with Him, to leave everything and every one that hindered you, and come into a higher place of revelation and separation unto Himself? Have you kept your Lord waiting while you fulfilled the demands of the world, or while you pampered your flesh, or while you did something that you wanted to do, instead of doing what He wanted you to do? Have you heard Him chide you because you neglected Him, because you were not giving yourself to intimacy of fellowship and communion, because you were not seeking His presence and glory, because you were not ascending into the heights of His Spirit to know Him in His fullness?
When you heard His voice in these and other ways, have you risen up eagerly and quickly and hastened to your Lord? Or have you asked Him to wait for a more convenient season? Did you have some "church work" which you felt was very important because some souls were looking to you for help? Did you tell your Lord to wait until you could leave them, or finish what you were doing? Many times, it is so! Not always in words do we tell Him to wait, we just go on with our "work," fulfilling the responsibilities thrust upon us. We are going to respond and obey, we are going to arise and commune with Him, we are going to seek Him with all of our heart, we are going to follow hard after Him, we are going to pursue the vision and lay hold upon the prize of the high calling, we are going to be sons to Him, but not until a more propitious moment when we have finished what we are doing!
I do not hesitate to tell you, precious friend of mine, that it is alone with the Lord; it is when the clamoring voices of this world and of our own minds have been silenced; it is when the strife and opinions of the flesh have ceased; it is when all our religious works have been abandoned; it is when earth has receded and heaven and eternity have drawn near enough for us to see the unseen, that the voice of the Lord is heard in our spirits and His presence is known and His beauty appears. It is in such separation and communion that we tread the courts of the Lord, that the fragrance of His life envelops us, that we are strengthened and equipped to fulfill the will of the Father in this new day of the Lord! Our Beloved is calling us to that secret meeting place within ourselves, until in union with Christ we arise to express and manifest the glory of His kingdom in the earth!
So little of His presence has been realized by those Christians who fill, Sunday after Sunday, the pews of the harlot church systems, that even many who are baptized in the Spirit have more fear of the power of the adversary than they do have of the knowledge of the majesty and presence of the King of Glory. His presence is not always best known in the realm of soulish worship, with its clapping, dancing, and shouting, which excites a religious fervor that in most cases does not proceed from the Spirit. Praise God for the reality of rejoicing in Him, but many have discovered that they thought God was only in the Cathedral, so He called them out from there. We thought God was in the great revivals with signs and wonders and miracles, so He separated us from this. We thought the presence of God could be conjured up by much singing, clapping, and shouting, so He sent fiery trials, stripping, and separation even from this. We so enjoyed and sought the atmosphere of worship until we discovered that we had become worshippers of worship, rather than worshippers of God! So He brought a dealing even in that realm. Finally, isolated and all alone, then He says, "Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou artÖ" (Gen. 13:14). "I am with you IN THIS PLACE, perhaps obscured by the shadows, but I am here in the midst of you, working within to conform you to my image, and bring you forth in my likeness." Though we share an existence apparently filled with nothing but the mundane happenings of the routine, YET CHRIST IS PRESENT AND ACCOMPLISHING GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS WITHIN! Stripped of all the religious crutches we have leaned upon we find that the great work of God in sonship is performed in that most holy place within ó in our very state of being! God reveals Himself to the humble in the lowliest of disguises, but the proud who never look beneath the surface, fail to find Him even in the greatest of His manifestations.
We see the Head of Godís Christ supremely victorious, waiting until the body comes to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, unto a perfect man, so that His enemies become His footstool. The Head is victorious, triumphant, and crowned! But this glorious work He began will be carried forth until His whole body, even the feet, shall rise to the place of authority and power that He has. Now in these appointed days there is coming forth a body of people, raised up by the Holy Spirit of God, that is not content to let Satan and the carnal mind rule here on this earth. These are crying out for deliverance from every enemy and all the bondage of corruption within themselves. These cannot be satisfied until they see the kingdom of God coming with power into the earth! They know not how this can be done, for it truly looks impossible! None of the religious or revival realms of the past have accomplished this. But having heard from heaven they gladly embrace the hope! The Spirit of God is now revealing truths that have been hidden from ages and from generations. Hope is springing up in the hearts of the saints, Godís called out ones, and they are seeing that we can follow Jesus into that which is beyond the veil, into the Holiest of all, into the fullness of God. These are looking not to die, but to live; not for eventual victory in heaven, but for victory right here on this earth.
I know that some say that we are not passing through the tabernacle in our experience, moving from the outer court to the holy place, and on in to the most holy place. They tell us that we are already in the most holy place and that all that remains is for us to come out from behind the veil to be revealed and minister to the lower realms. But let me tell you something. No priest could come out of the most holy place until he had passed through all realms of the tabernacle and entered in beyond the veil. All of this represents an experience in our lives! We canít leave the outer court until we have thoroughly experienced the outer court! Nor can we go beyond the holy place until we have completely appropriated the reality of the holy place. So-called "positional truth" wonít do here! Now I know God has given us boldness to enter in beyond the veil into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus, but I can assure you that I have yet to meet the brother or sister who has fully experienced and appropriated all that the most holy place is! Do me a favor, my brother, and donít come back out of there until the most holy place is what you are! Should you come out in your present state of limitation you will have little to add to the lower realms, nor will creation be set free. And that is the truth!
Ricky Evans has shared this pointed and challenging word: "We have no desire to argue with any who feel they have already come into fullness. Yet, if what they have is fullness then we are greatly disappointed. We do have a desire to come into the reality of full sonship as displayed by our precious Lord. He showed us what it really means to walk in the Spirit without measure! All others have shown us what it is like to walk in the Spirit by measure and we have seen, in our own lives as well as others, what sad failures we can be in the realm of measure. Oh, but our wonderful Lord would not have us sit down in defeat. Oh no! He showed us in His humanity that we can indeed move from measure to fullness and live a life of victory free from all failure by walking in the measure we have and increasing our capacity for more of the life of God which dwells in us.
"There are many today who have learned all the right terminology of "kingdom" and "deeper" teachings, and have assumed they have arrived at such a place in their walk. They assume themselves to be in Tabernacles, in the Third Day, and behind the veil, because they have read the books and heard the tapes. They have had an emotional stir which has caused them to think they have entered into the depths of a new dimension. But friend, all the knowledge and emotional stirring means absolutely nothing as far as the reality of our growth in God! You may go to a football game, or a baseball game, and you may know all the statistics of the players involved. You may know all the rules of the game. You may get caught up in the emotions of the players, the excitement of the crowd ó but that will not make you one of the ball players! If you were to be actually put into a uniform and placed in the game you would quickly find all your emotional excitement and all your knowledge does not mean you can actually play the game." And so it is in the kingdom of God!
Can our finite minds comprehend even in a measure what this shall mean, to walk in that state of being that the resurrected, ascended, glorified, enthroned Head-Christ is now in? That is what the most holy place represents! Even in the days of His flesh the firstborn Son of God had absolute dominion over the elements, the beasts, the birds, over the most powerful devils and the worst diseases. And finally He was victorious over death itself, the last enemy to be destroyed for each of us. Some claim now to have already conquered physical death, while they are still afraid of a mad dog, fasten their seat belts on the highways, and continue to eat three meals a day to keep themselves alive. Precious friend of mine, death is the last enemy to be conquered! But fall it must, before the mighty power of God working through the inChristed, His body. And Jesus said that the works He did, we would do also, and even much GREATER WORKS (Jn. 14:12). This power is not offered to us for us to gratify our carnal appetites for bread made from stones, nor for sensationalism, nor for financial gain, nor to build a kingdom for ourselves. Jesus was tempted with all these things, and He overcame them. And so will all those who today follow the Lamb to the heights of mount Zion! What a destiny! How marvelous the plan of God! How glorious the path of those who walk the path of sonship to God! There is "One in the midst" and He that is in the midst of thee is mighty! The "One in the midst" is the One who speaks to the churches, the One who by His word and power raises up the overcomers to the realm of His throne!
Although He is spoken of as "one like unto a son of man," yet this glorious One identifies Himself as Jesus, who is, indeed, THE SON OF MAN! Jesus constantly referred to Himself as "the Son of man." This expression occurs over eighty times in the Gospels, and the intriguing thing is that it is always on the lips of Jesus. Stephen used it once (Acts 7:56), and the people once asked whom Jesus meant by it, but these are the only recorded occasions when anyone used it of the Lord other than Jesus Himself. But He used it constantly. It is found in all four Gospels.
Most Christians read right over that, thinking it means Son of God, though it says He is the Son of man. This does not mean that He was a descendant of Adam, the fleshly man, nor even that Mary in some mysterious way contributed to His genetic makeup. Someone says, "But donít the scriptures say that Christ is the seed of Abraham and the son of David? How could He be the seed of Abraham and the son of David if He was not the offspring of these men?" The answer is very simple. The inferences in scripture that Jesus was the seed of Abraham, or the son of David, do not speak of Jesusí flesh or human life! All who are "in Christ" are classified as being the "seed" of Abraham (Gal. 3:29), though their outer human substance was in no way derived from Abraham! To the Jews, who piously traced their lineage back to Abraham, Jesus said, "If ye were Abrahamís children, ye would do the works of Abraham. Ye are of your father, the devil." He certainly was not appealing to their flesh in denying their relationship to Abraham! He meant that they were not of the nature, the faith, the righteousness, the spirit of Abraham! And when He told them they were of their father, the devil, He did not mean they were physically begotten by the devil personally and physically planting a demonic sperm in the womb of each of their mothers! He wasnít talking about flesh at all! John the Baptist was Elijah, according to Jesus, but I do not see that he was physically or humanly Elijah. He came in the power and spirit of Elijah! We are seeing spiritual realities and relationships here ó not natural!
In solemn truth we may search the Bible through and we will not find that the "second man" was in any way derived from the "first man." Jesus was not conceived by the union of divine sperm with Maryís human egg. Maryís life was Adamís life, and if Mary contributed anything at all to Jesusí life He would then have been from the fallen Adam and would have Himself been of the first man Adam. By that one man Adam all were made sinners, and in Adam all die and are dead. Jesus would, therefore, have needed a Saviour instead of being the Saviour! Nothing is more certain than this ó Adam cannot redeem Adam! The fallen cannot perfect himself to redeem and restore himself. The very thought is an absurdity! I have heard men say that when Jesus says, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last," He means that He Himself was both the first man Adam who sinned and the last man Adam who redeemed. I do not hesitate to tell you that this is not only an improbability ó it is an impossibility!
The supreme evidence for the virgin birth is Jesus Himself. He is a fresh start! He is a new kind of man! The first Adam came into the world by the creative act of God. So did the second man, the last Adam! The only difference is that the first man came from the hand of God whole, as a full grown adult, whereas the second man was formed as an embryo, then planted in the womb of a woman to develop and be born into the world as a baby. "The second man is the Lord from heaven." Jesus said, "The Son of man came down from heaven." In the natural, people do not come down from heaven in a physical body, so we canít imagine Jesus coming down from heaven like that! And of course, He didnít; He came down through Mary. Mary was a surrogate mother! Today there are so-called "moral" or "ethical" questions about the use of surrogate mothers, but really there is no moral issue at all. God Himself used a surrogate mother for His own Son and sanctified it in the eyes of the whole world! This was God acting for man. It was not man acting for God. This was God taking the initiative. This was God stooping down to man, not man reaching up to God. In Jesus Christ, God entered into human life in a new way!
The first man is of the earth, earthy, the record states; the second man is the Lord from heaven! The first man fell by sin, marred his image, lost his dominion, forfeited his inheritance, becoming a poor, miserable, degraded creature, in his consciousness ignorant and godless, the impotent plaything of circumstances, and weak and helpless to the last degree. The second man knew no sin, was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and walked even upon this earth in a realm higher than the heavens. Have you never wondered how the second man became the Saviour of the first man if He Himself was the first man? How could the fallen man become the Saviour without a Saviour? If Jesus was like us in that He needed a Saviour, but was somehow able to save Himself without a Saviour, and then save others, then mankind really needed no Saviour at all, for they could have, like Jesus, simply saved themselves! Such reasoning is spiritual tomfoolery and theological drivel.
What, then, does Jesus mean when He calls Himself the "Son of man"? He means that He was born from the realm of true manhood, formed in that state of being in which the first man dwelt before he sinned. Jesus stepped right out of that prophetic, spiritual, creative dimension where the word of God proclaims, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." He was the second man to be fashioned in that realm of true manhood which is the image and likeness of God in a physical manifestation. He is the second representation of God; He is the last Adam because the image of God as seen in the first Adam, disappears in Christ! His image and representation of God actually destroys the image as represented by the first Adam! The first Adam becomes superfluous and obsolete. Because the second man, the last Adam replaces him! Being the second man of GODíS MANHOOD CREATION, He is called "the Son of man" or the offspring of GODíS MANHOOD IDEA. The first man Adam stepped forth out of the Creative Mind of Godís Idea of Manhood, and Jesus was the second man to proceed out of that Creative Manhood Idea of the Father. As the second man He is thus the SON OF MAN, the second of an Order, the second revelation of the image and likeness of God in man, birthed from the Manhood Mind of the Father! This man, being tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin, is THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD RESTORED IN MAN! From that position of sharing our humanity, while not inherently partaking of our sin and death, He became the perfect sin-offering for us all. He also became the new Federal Head of the race of redeemed mankind!
What is an image? An image is something which is formed, a representation of something, a likeness. A true image would be that which correctly depicts the appearance, form, substance, nature, character, and being of whatever it stands for. A true image of God would have to be a true expression of who and what God is! Today we have many false images of God! These, whether idols, concepts, ideas, actions, or theological creeds are manufactured out of the carnal minds of men according to their own darkened understanding. So we have in carnal-minded men a distorted image of God! Many preachers portray God as vengeful, vindictive, unforgiving, unmerciful, judgmental, demanding, laying heavy yokes upon His followers, taking away our salvation the moment we slip or fall into sin, consigning all who die outside of Christ to unending torture in hell fire, and many other hideous, monstrous images. But, blessed be God! Jesus Christ brought a true and correct image of God, by faithfully walking out the true and divine manhood.
Jesus expressed the concept of true manhood when He said, "I and my Father are one." The Jews took up stones to stone Him, for they perceived that He was calling Himself God. They were unable to discern the image, the divine state of true manhood. The Jewish leaders felt He had no right to take this position, but here is something vitally important to understand. He was not going around telling everybody He was God to exalt Himself in any carnal way. He was teaching man and restoring the knowledge of manís true relationship to God and His purpose. By teaching that God and man are really one, He was showing that the value of every created person was GOD HIMSELF. It didnít matter that the truth of our real nature had been hidden, covered, and buried beneath the load of sin and its consequences. What is happening in this hour is that a great light is dawning in the consciousness of man by regeneration, the quickening of the Holy Spirit, lifting people's eyes beyond what they can see to discover the reality of Christ within, to identify with that holy thing which is called the Son of God, and which is just as truly the SON OF MAN!
It was in MAN, the highest of Godís creations, that God placed the "invisible things of Himself" for display. Now we are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ ó the image of God that Christ gave. All the holy sons of God are becoming the image of God in the earth to reveal the heart, wisdom, nature, power, glory, and love of God to every order of the universe, worlds without end. Through these manifested sons all realms shall be blessed to see and touch and experience the image of God! This is the only way the visible can behold the invisible! ALL shall come to know Him! THIS IS THE PURPOSE OF GOD IN MAN!
To be continuedÖ
J. PRESTON EBY
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J. Preston Eby
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El Paso TX 79937-1240
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