KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
ONE LIKE UNTO A SON OF MAN
AAnd 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 a 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 two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength@ (Rev. 1:12-16).
If we attempt to visualize with our natural mind the description that the Spirit gives us through John, we will come to confusion. An ancient artist has left us a canvas which now is in one of the museums of Europe, attempting to portray Christ in heaven according to the description here in the Revelation. The result is certainly not a masterpiece! One does not need to view the canvas in order to realize how unrealistic is the portrait of a man with hair as white as snow, with face shining like the sun, with flames coming from the eye-sockets, a sword out of his mouth, with feet of burnished brass and with seven stars in his right hand. Such a picture, is, indeed, absurd, and the very incongruity should teach us that the understanding of this passage lies in another direction.
Our text is one of the richest in all of Holy Writ! In fact, it is so profusely strewn with precious jewels and gems, diamonds and gold, that one hardly knows where to begin to search its treasures. Indeed, if texts could be mountain ranges then, truly, this is the veritable Himalayas of scripture! In the midst of all these mighty peaks there is yet one more, reaching out above them all. It stands out in majestic solemnity, reaching high into the heavens, perpetually enwrapped with snow and surrounded by clouds of mystery. It is the mighty mountain of God= s Christ C the greatest revelation in all the world, the most profound, the most sublime. There, its snow peaks call us to ascend; they bid us to come up higher; they challenge us to climb the mountain of God!
The beloved John heard a voice and he turned to see the voice. When he turned he did not see a six-foot, blue eyed, Jesus. He saw a multi-faceted description of One who transcended any natural man! His garment, His head and hair, his eyes, his feet, his voice, his hands C each of these is a unique aspect of the revelation of Jesus Christ! This revelation of Jesus Christ will produce an unveiling of Him in the midst of the church! The purpose of the book of Revelation is not to get a revelation of some A coming Christ@ somewhere out in the future, but to produce the revelation of Jesus Christ in the midst of His saints. The message of this book is more than mere information C it is destined to lead you and bring you to the unveiling of Jesus Christ within yourself.
AClothed with a garment down to the footY@ (Rev. 1:13).
There are many folk who like the book, A The Robe.@ Perhaps you like it, but I do not. Actually that robe that Jesus wore in the days of His flesh had no romantic history. I am sorry, but it did not. Some burly Roman soldier won the robe, and with summer coming on in a very hot climate he could not bear its heat and threw it into a corner. One day someone came in, picked it up, and threw it away. You say, A Oh my, that= s awful!@ No, my friend, that is what happened to it. It has no romantic history, no special sacredness or powers, because there was no merit in it at all. It was just a piece of cloth, no more sacred than the dirt under Jesus= fingernails. God saw to it that it disappeared! But thank God, there is another robe, the robe of Christ=s incorruptible life, and that robe does have a romantic story!
In the scriptures, as often also in our modern world, a person=s garment denoted his rank, position, office or wealth. This One like a son of man was clothed with a garment from the head to the feet. It was one garment for one body of many members! What is this garment? It is, first of all, the robe of righteousness. It is my conviction that it is linen, pure and white. It is the characteristic of Christ=s righteousness. Every son of God is to walk as He walked. We, too, must be covered with His righteousness! Our thinking, our speaking, our actions, our attitudes, our ways should be all righteous. We are being clothed in the robe of His righteousness! A Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.@ We will never get this picture straight until we are able to see that He was clothed with a garment down to the foot. You see, this garment is not waist length, or knee length, it goes all the way down to the feet. The feet represent the walk. The garment of righteousness goes all the way down to His walk C to our walk. A How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet (spiritual walk) of them that publish the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things@ (Isa. 52:7). The beauty is in the walking out of the spirit and ways of God. How beautiful are their feet!
This One like a son of man is clothed with righteousness because He is the righteousness of God, He is the Lord our righteousness! He is so clothed A down to the foot@ so that there is no exposure of flesh. We also are being so clothed in the robe of righteousness until no one sees our nakedness, no one knows us after the flesh, no one sees us, but only Christ can be seen! Hear now the inspired message communicated to the church at Laodicea, which describes as nothing else could the truth of the vital necessity of being clothed in the righteousness of Christ. A I counsel thee to buy of meY white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness (exposed flesh) do not appear@ (Rev. 3:18). We must be so clothed upon until men cannot see our naturalness, our weaknesses, faults, and failures, but in seeing us they see HIM C the glory of HIS nature, the quality of HIS life, the beauty of HIS character, the greatness of HIS authority, the ineffableness of HIS love, the inexhaustibleness of HIS patience, His kindness, His grace, and His mercy. We are being clothed down to the foot!
This garment is, furthermore, the robe of royalty, the robe of the priest, and the robe of the judge. The qualities of king, priest, and judge are all seen in the characteristics of this One like a son of man! The robes of Aaron were robes of glory and beauty. The robe of the king bespoke his dignity, honor, and power. The robe of the judge set him apart from all men as the voice of wisdom, discernment, and authority. How much more shall the robe of the Alpha and Omega display the honor, power, and glory of God= s Christ C Head and body!
JESUS IS KING, PRIEST, AND JUDGE. The Lord Jesus is a Priest who is ever merciful and compassionate. He will and does meet the needs of man, but He is also the King who demands your obedience to His wise and sovereign will. Surely He will meet your needs, but He will also demand your obedience! God is teaching His sons about both dimensions of the Melchizedek Priesthood, for Melchizedek was a king-priest. We cannot project a loving Priest apart from the firm discipline of His Rulership. We cannot preach the gospel of the kingdom without the mercy, compassion, and unconditional love of His Priesthood. And we cannot have Kingship and Priesthood with a Judge. No government is complete without all three. Christ is the one who stands and judges among His people. And know ye not that the saints shall judge the world! A And judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom@ (Dan. 7:22).
Every man and woman called to sonship must learn that the firstborn Son is Priest, King, and Judge! There is a great error abroad in the land today. There is a projection of a one-sided gospel that appeals to the flesh. This is how it comes across: A God loves you, God wants to forgive you, bless you, deliver you, meet all your needs, solve all your problems, prosper you, fill you to overflowing with every good thing.@ And that is tremendously true! But if that is where our message stops, then we are in trouble! If we make that priestly truth our priority, we will produce a race of spoiled spiritual brats who are immature and selfish, takers and not givers. And when the clouds of adversity and trouble roll in, when the storms of tribulation and fiery trial break in unbridled fury upon their land, as they surely will, these poor folk will be frustrated, fearful, upset, and angry with God when He doesn= t come running when they quote their favorite A faith@ scriptures. An unbalanced presentation of truth will produce unbalanced saints. And the land is filled with these today! They are excitedly awaiting the A rapture@ ! Jesus Christ wants to reveal Himself in the midst of His body not only as Priest, but also as King and Judge! He wears the governmental garment of all the branches of the kingdom of God! He is the King eternal and invincible. He is the Priest for the ages full of compassion and mercy. He is the Judge who discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart, who loves those He chastens, but scourges every son whom He receiveth! He is arising in glory in the midst of the churches in this very hour IN HIS NEW MAN FOR THE NEW AGE to reveal Himself in the SON OF MAN COMPANY as the merciful High Priest, as the great and conquering King, and as the Judge of all, and thus all shall know Him! Every tongue shall confess and every knee shall bow and all men shall partake of the blessings, power and glory that flow from God's anointed Kings, Priests, and Judges C His Kingdom!
Let all who treasure the beautiful hope of sonship know that the principles of this anointed kingdom are being established in the lives of God= s elect in this new kingdom day. The Lord must be Priest today! He must be King today! He must be Judge today! The scriptures call Him a A righteous Governor.@ Every son of God must thoroughly and experientially know Him as Priest, King, and Judge. Why does He desire us to know Him in this way? Why is it His purpose to raise up His kingdom in our hearts? So that He can make US priests, kings, and judges! He is establishing His throne in us and is making us kings in order that HE may be able to appear and manifest Himself in the midst of the kings as THE KING OF ALL THE KINGS. The world will never know Him as the King of kings until there are kings among whom He can stand and reveal Himself as King of the kings. The world will never know Him as High Priest until there is a priesthood among whom He can stand and reveal Himself as the High Priest of the priesthood. There is no use in proclaiming Jesus as a High Priest in the heavens unless there can be a priesthood through which His love, compassion, and mercy flow out upon the earth. The world will never know Him as Judge until there are judges who have experienced His judgment within, among whom He can reveal Himself in His discernment and judicial authority! He will not reconcile the world until He has reconciled all things within His body! He will not reign through you until first He reigns over you! Do not think you will be puffed up when you come into sonship C A Ah, when I become a manifested son!@ When you become a son that is just the beginning of the mighty working of Christ within as Priest, King, and Judge. When He has discerned all, judged all, reconciled all, and subjected all within us, that is just the beginning of the opportunity for the revelation of the glory of the Son of man who is clothed with a garment down to the foot! In these wonderful Priests, Kings, and Judges the demands of God=s righteousness and holiness and the outflow of God=s compassion, mercy, grace, and love are brought together. This is the power, glory, and authority of His kingdom!
In the Bible the ones whom God raised up as judges for His people did more than just settle disputes between individuals or hand down and execute judicial decisions. These judges were actually THE DELIVERERS OF GOD= S PEOPLE! There is one book in the Bible that is specifically named A Judges.@ As a book it is a thriller! Therein we read of the fearless exploits of those mighty men whom God , A the Judge of all the earth,@ raised up for the salvation and deliverance of His oppressed and afflicted people. Hail the day of judgment that began when God raised up a judge to execute judgment for His afflicted ones! For those judges were, indeed, saviours of Israel by a special anointing of the Spirit of the Lord.
Those wonderful judges were raised up long millenniums ago for the deliverance of Israel; Christ the Judge stands in the midst of His people for the deliverance of every son of God; and now, in this glorious new day, God is preparing a mighty COMPANY OF JUDGES whose responsibility it shall be to JUDGE THE WORLD in righteousness! A And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given unto them@ (Rev. 20:4,6). A To him that overcometh will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron@ (Rev. 2:26-27). A With righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity@ (Ps. 98:9). Thank God! The very thought of a world judged and governed by sons of God in the image of Jesus Christ leaves me absolutely breathless! Words become totally inadequate and human ability to articulate the wonder of such a thing fails completely. Yet I know it shall become a glorious and eternal reality, for the Priest, the King, and the Judge has entered powerfully into my life to set up His government within. What deliverance has been effected! What changes have been wrought! What transformations have been accomplished! What glory has flooded my soul! The wonderful work carried forth in His sons in this hour is but the firstfruit, the pledge, the foretaste, the seal, the proof, and the prototype of what He has promised for all mankind!
The priests, kings, and judges that shall reign with Christ in His kingdom are now in preparation for their awesome task. In the midst of the candlesticks can be seen this One taking form! Yes, you shall judge and govern the world, saintsY but you will do it in humility and with a broken heart full of compassion and love. The first aspect of the ministry of the judges in the kingdom of God is judgment. This work, however, shall be swiftly followed by the ministries of mercy, deliverance, reconciliation, and restoration.
A beautiful picture of this is presented in chapter seven of the Revelation. A I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads@ (Rev. 7:1-3). So many truths come pouring into the soul from this passage, and we shall not pause to elaborate upon them, but I am sure the reader can discern in the action of the four angels the ministry of judgment. Four is the number of that which is world-wide or universal, and winds which blow with devastating force are the symbol of judgment. Judgment is ready to come forth upon the whole world of the sea and the earth, which represent the multitudes of humanity that dwell spiritually in the sea, the lowest realms of wickedness and degradation, and those who dwell in the earth, that realm which is lower than heaven, but higher than the sea, the realm of the carnal mind which finds expression in the institutions of a moral society C religious systems, education, politics, economic and social orders of this world.
But wait! An angel ascending from the east, arising as the sun announcing God= s new day, cries loudly, A Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.@ There can be no doubt that the seal in the forehead of God=s bondslaves is the mind of Christ. Can we not see by this that no man is qualified to judge the world until he has been sealed in his forehead with the mind of Christ. Only the glorious mind of Christ brings the balance between mercy and judgment. It was, then, of this Christ-mind that David prophesied when he said, ASurely His salvation is nighY mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other@ (Ps. 85:9-10). Mercy and truth are met together C praise God, what a summit meeting!
These words are pregnant with meaning. When one contemplates the impossibility of such a union, it is an overwhelming thought that mercy and truth are met together. Truth is harsh and demanding; mercy is lenient and lax. Truth condemns and devours; mercy covers and exonerates. Only when one has intermingled the ministries of priest, king, and judge are these incompatible forces MET TOGETHER! Partakers with Christ in this heavenly calling, when one actually becomes an ANOINTED JUDGE, he shares in that omniscient mind that discerns the true nature of all things, and therefore judges righteously. Partakers with Christ in this heavenly calling, when one actually becomes an ANOINTED KING, he shares that dominion, that power that is in the Spirit and by the Spirit. Partakers with Christ in this heavenly calling, when one actually becomes an ANOINTED PRIEST, he shares that unlimited outflow of mercy, compassion, and unqualified love that is derived from the heart of our great High Priest. Only one possessed of this three-fold mind of Christ is qualified to control the four winds of judgment that blow upon the sea and the earth! Only the sons of God sealed in their foreheads with the mind of Christ will be able to both judge the world in righteousness and reconcile all things to God! All others would, if given the chance, pour out unbridled vengeance, wrath, and damnation upon the rebellious!
Would to God that all who call themselves sons of God would truly see that by judgment and mercy God shall reconcile and restore all men unto Himself. His judgments are not vindictive; they are purposeful, remedial, and redemptive! Some do not believe that all nations will be saved and that all creation shall be gloriously reconciled to God! I do not hesitate to tell you that their unbelief shall not make the faith of God of none effect, nor shall it hinder God= s program one bit. Their refusal to embrace God= s glorious plan shall only disqualify them from being a part of that wonderful company of the sons of God through which the redemption and restoration shall be effected. I feel a great pity for those who cherish the beautiful hope of sonship, yet fail to permit the perfect work of God= s grace and mercy, mingled with His corrective judgments, to be administered with divine purpose upon every man and every nation. Those who would damn men to eternal torture without mercy are disqualified from ministering God=s reconciliation to the creation for whom Christ died. It is my deep conviction that none who reject and oppose the precious truth of the ultimate salvation of all men and the reconciliation of all things to God will stand in that blessed company of the manifest sons of God. How could they? For this company of deliverers to have within its ranks men who shut the mercy of God up from men, and who understand not God= s corrective judgments, would mean the destruction of the ministry of the sons to all creation! Only the Son of man company, clothed with the garment of priesthood, judgeship, and kingship can set things right and set creation free!
GIRT ABOUT THE PAPS
As John turned to see the voice that spake with him, with astonished countenance he beheld the wonder of this One A clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle@ (Rev. 1:13). The word A paps@ is the Greek word mastos used exclusively in Greek for the female breasts! Thus we read, A And it came to pass, as He spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto Him, Blessed is the womb that bare Thee, and the paps (mastos) which Thou hast sucked!@ (Lk. 11:27). On Patmos we have the woman= s breast while yet the speaker is like a SON OF MAN and is THE ALMIGHTY! It would not be possible to describe more vividly the dual nature of our God who is both Male and Female, the strong and mighty One, our Father, who is also EL SHADDAI, our Mother, the Pourer-forth who pours Himself out for His offspring; who gives them His flesh and His blood; who satisfies them with milk from His own bosom; who sheds forth His Spirit, and says, A Come unto me and drink, open thy mouth wide and I will fill it,@ who thus pours into them His very nature and life that they may grow to become His sons and His daughters! We must drink the sincere milk of the word, we must drink His very life-blood, if we are to grow and abide in Him and know Him in fullness.
All the aspects of human life C spirit, soul, and body C and the right and natural relationships which God has ordained in our lives, are designed to reveal something in God Himself. Man has been created and formed in the image and likeness of God! God has given us eyes, therefore we know that God possesses the faculty of sight. We have ears, and by this we learn that God can hear. We have a voice and the ability to speak, revealing that our Creator also possesses the power of speech. The complexity and intelligence of the mind of man is the picture of God= s own omniscience. We think, reason, act, work, and create as a revelation of the omnipotent power of Him who made us. He is as a father to His children, providing for their needs and wants, training and educating them in love and service as members of the great family of mankind. But there is something deeper than even this C something that corresponds to the tenderness of a mother in holding, nursing, nurturing, caring for, and comforting the weary and wounded spirit of her child. Mothers are the tenderest image in humanity! There is something in God which corresponds to that power of the tender and compassionate feminine nature, something of which, indeed, that feminine care and comfort is only the pale, earthly reflection. Yes, God is a Mother as well as a Father, only He is so much finer a mother than the finest mother you ever knew!
The references in scripture to God as a Mother are numerous. A As one which his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem@ (Isa. 66:13). In Genesis 1:2 we read, A And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.@ That word moved in the Hebrew indicates a A hovering@ or A brooding@ that began to take place upon the surface of the waters. The word also indicates a A fluttering@ such as the wings of a fowl. So in the very beginning of this planet Earth we see the first manifestation of the maternal, or feminine, character of God. In the beautiful Song of Moses he says to the unfaithful people of Israel, A Of the Rock that bore you, you were unmindful; you forgot the God who travailed in your birth@ (Deut. 32:18, Amplified). Here God is portrayed as a disappointed Mother who bore us and brought us forth! These words clearly involve the image of childbirth, of God as a Mother. A Under His wings,@ an expression used again and again in scripture, is a mother figure. Jesus said, A O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!@ (Mat. 23:37). It is the mother-bird that gathers up her brood under her wings to feel the heat of her body, and for protection. So Christ says, in effect, A I would be a Mother to you!@
Ah, my beloved, if God by His grace has given you a wonderful father and the love of a godly mother, He has given you something of HIMSELF. Yes He has! Because all that is good in a father and a mother comes from God, from His own nature and state of being. All who read these lines who are either a father or a mother can know how God feels. God made the heart of a father! God made the heart of a mother! God made the heart of a mother and made her the finest, the tenderest, and most loving thing you could ever know so that you could understand something about Him. You want a father, you want a mother? Come to the Lord!
The word mother is not directly used for God in the Bible. It is because with God A father@ includes A mother.@ A Let us make man in our image and after our likeness. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him@ (Gen. 1:26-27). You see, Adam was both male and female within himself before Eve was taken out of his side, separated from him and brought forth into a unique expression of man. A This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him; male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created@ (Gen. 5:1-2). Before Eve was separated from Adam he did not know and was not initially in touch with himself concerning his own woman nature. When Adam was first brought forth from the hand of God he was created androgynous. This word is from the Greek, andros for male, gyne for female. There are such things on this planet as androgynous plants. An androgynous plant is a plant that possesses within itself both the male and female characteristics and is able to reproduce from within itself without an outside mate. There are still a few androgynous organisms beyond the plant family. God had to be androgynous because He could bring forth out of Himself! He did not need a partner! He was complete and whole within Himself! This is why some aspects of His nature as revealed in the scriptures are masculine and some are feminine.
Consider that God begat everything out of Himself and we see the pattern after which Adam was created. It was when Adam was asleep that God removed Eve from him, not from his rib, for in reality the Hebrew goes deeper than that and suggests that she was taken from his reproductive organs. Thus, the beginning of a husband-wife relationship began before Eve was separated from Adam! The church as a whole teaches that when a couple becomes married they learn to grow together, that is, they begin to form a union. In reality, the creation story is just the opposite! Adam was one (Eve within him). Eve had to be separated from him, removed from him, so that he could fully understand the union He had!
Just as Eve was in Adam, so all the strength of the Father and all the fine love and tenderness of the Mother are combined in the word A Father.@ It is impossible for me to explain the glory of such a thing as this for we are blinded by the impenetrable mystery of a realm that long ago passed away. Nevertheless, the moment that we understand that man in the beginning was created male and female and that male and female IS the image of God, then we can understand for the first time the awesome glory, power, and exaltation of the bride of Christ. When God formed the body of Adam from the dust of the ground, He did not make man and woman, for Adam was both in one C after the image and likeness of God! The image of God is not a body with a torso, two legs and two feet and ten toes, two arms with two hands and ten fingers, and a head with two eyes, two ears, a nose, and a mouth. The image of God is the emanation of the nature of God! You see, the Bible states clearly that in the beginning there was only God C omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, holy, perfect, who is love. But because God had a Father nature, He had to birth a Son: because when one has a father nature, the deepest craving of his nature is to beget and bring forth out of his own being an offspring in the likeness of himself. Therefore, because God had a Father nature, He had to birth a Son; but the problem was He didn= t have a wife! Now this would have been a problem for us, but it was not a problem for God, because He had His wife within His own side, for in that beginning, before human flesh was, God was both Male and Female within Himself. We know this is so because everything in the whole vast universe came out of God, and if God had not been both Father and Mother within Himself in the beginning, we could not have male and female in the earth today C in His image! A Let us make man in our image and after our likenessY so God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.@ Male and female C that is the image of God!
We shall not in this message consider the process by which God separated the female from the male, making Adam and Eve, man and woman, but we should carefully point out that following this separation, though existing in two bodies, inspiration declares in both the Old Testament and the New that the man and his wife, though separate, are ONE FLESH. Husbands and wives, according to the ordinance of God, are ONE FLESH, ONE UNIT, yea, ONE PERSON! The A thus saith the Lord@ concerning the matter is simply stated in these inspired words: A From the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has united C joined together C let not man separate or divide@ (Mk. 10:6-9, KJV & Amplified). It was not the burning self-desire of Adam that caused Eve to come forth, but the purpose of God! It was God Himself who initiated the whole process, for the record states, A And the Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make an help meet for him@ (Gen. 2:18). A Meet@ is an old English word meaning A suitable, fit, proper, worthy.@ The whole flavor of the word A meet@ is to fit, join, combine, agree, be in union, be together C fusion! This is true ONENESS!
When Eve had been built by the skillful hand of the Creator and presented to Adam, he had an immediate name for what Eve obviously was. Not her given name, Eve, as we term it in English, but what kind of creature she was. Hebrew is simpler than English, and more plainly explains exactly what a woman is. Ish is the Hebrew word for man and isha is the feminine form of the ish or man. Permit me to paraphrase what Adam said when Eve was presented to him. A This is now bone out of my bone, and flesh out of my flesh; because she was built out of what was taken from me, I will call her isha C a FEMALE MAN!@ Adam merely added a single letter to the word which stood for himself, to define the quality of difference: sex. He was a male man and she was a female man. And God confirmed Adam= s understanding that they were both exactly alike despite the obvious outward differences. They were simply two parts of the same thing! A In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him; male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created@ (Gen. 5:1-2). To both God and Adam it was one creation A in the image and likeness of God.@ The man= s name wasn=t Adam. The woman=s name wasn= t Adam. But their name was Adam!
Ish. Isha. Male. Female. Both Adam. Both man. Both in the image of God! Isha signifies, no matter how uncouth the sound to our ears, MAN-NESS. So in the old Latin the word for man is vir, and the word for woman is vira C a FEMALE MAN! The English word A woman@ also confirms this truth, for it is a contraction of the old Anglo-Saxon term A womb-man@ C a man with a womb! When Adam said that Eve must be called isha, it was as though for A wife@ one would say she-man. God blessed the union of ish and isha, this one creation He called Adam.
It is also interesting to note that when God said, A Let us make man in our image,@ the word image is in the masculine gender. Yet when He goes on to say, A and after our likeness,@ the word likeness is in the feminine gender. So when the record states, A God created him; male and female created He them,@ the image and likeness of God is clearly revealed in male and female! Only a Father-Mother God could have created both male and female out of A image and likeness.@ God is unity and union, He is not two individuals, a masculine person and a feminine person. For the correct balance we must see that God spiritually possesses both masculine and feminine characteristics within Himself. In the original creation of man Adam was both male and female within Himself. This androgynous state was called A him.@ The female was contained within the male. HE was male and female. That is why God is called A He,@ for A Father@ includes A Mother.@ We do not pray to A Our Father-Mother God,@ as some insist. The firstborn Son of God has plainly instructed us to pray, A Our FATHER which art in heaven.@ The Mother is included in the Father! Jesus came to reveal the Father and in revealing Him He also revealed the Mother nature of God within Himself. But this God is called Father! The scriptures leave no question about this at all! As one comes to know God in the Spirit, and by the Spirit, one discovers the deeper realization that God is both Father-Mother as ONE, not two separate entities as carnal-minded people love to debate the masculine/feminine issues. Nor is there any need to try and expunge from the Bible the so-called A sexist@ language by referring to God as A our Parent@ rather than A our Father.@ Those radical liberal scholars who ridiculously promote such linguistic trash know absolutely nothing about the God they are trying to represent! They are contradictors of God, opposers of God, and mutilators of His Word!
Armed with the great truth that the earth realm is but the reflection of the spirit world, we do not get caught up in the senseless struggle between man and woman, for in the spirit there is unity and oneness! God as a Father lovingly corrects, disciplines, teaches, instructs, and directs our steps. God as a Mother lovingly nourishes, comforts, soothes and cuddles the needy one. From such a fountain of loving Life can every son of God experience all the parental guidance, provision, and care needed to bring a son to the full stature of God our Father! This man in the image of God is destined to have dominion over all the works of God's hands. He is created in God= s image, MALE AND FEMALE, SONS AND DAUGHTERS, to be the revelation of both the strength and wisdom of God=s Fatherhood and the tenderness and sustaining life of God= s Motherhood unto creation. God makes His sons and daughters partakers of His own nature, that they, the firstfruits of Himself, may make others partakers of the same nature! Our separation unto Him makes us fit for our work, as the Lord has said, A Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty@ (II Cor. 6:17-18). Sons and daughters! Male and female! Thus we also become A breasted ones@ and A pourers-forth.@ In the sons and daughters of God is fulfilled the promise of Jerusalem, that A those who love her may suck and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that they may milk out and be delighted with the abundance of her glory@ (Isa. 66:10-11).
Without male and female there can be no reproduction. That is why homosexuality is such a curse and outside of divine order C it is contrary to nature, both human nature and divine nature, it is a love for the same, and produces no seed. No reproduction out of the love of the parents can take place. That is like sons who want nothing to do with the bride of Christ, they only want to spiritually play with one another. Then there are the spiritually A lesbian@ churches whose only revelation is the bride-church, and they want nothing to do with the sons! They want to do their own thing, make their own little plans and programs and have their tea parties with the other little girls. They stay with each other and make love to one another and have no acknowledgment of the call of sonship at all. But no eternal seed of God is reproduced out of such unions! Oh, they get more numbers and members on their rolls, but nothing of Christ is reproduced out of their midst. The spiritually masculine quality is missing. To bring forth life it is necessary to have both male and female!
In the midst of God= s elect there must be both the reality of brideship and sonship! A Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separateY and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord.@ The Lord is not talking about what we are naturally; He is talking about what we are spiritually! Being a man in the flesh does not make one a A son@ and being a woman in the flesh does not make one a A daughter.@ Sons and daughters of God are not reckoned by fleshly birth, but by spiritual birth! I am writing to you of spiritual qualities. Some people have the idea that women can= t be A sons,@ they are always A daughters.@ Others think a man is never a A daughter@ of God. But I know women who are sons, who possess a spiritually masculine character of strength, authority, and dominion in God! I also know men who are daughters, possessing a spiritually feminine character of love, gentleness, succor, and submission to Christ! And I know many who have a beautiful blending of both characteristics! It has nothing to do with flesh at all! It has everything to do with our spiritual nature by new birth. It depends upon our calling in God, not our physical gender. Brideship and sonship are both in the Spirit and by the Spirit, and the sons and daughters are in their individual companies the body of Christ (Eph. 4:15-16; 5:22-32). Within each of us individually there is also a son and a daughter, a male and a female!
GIRT WITH A GOLDEN GIRDLE
When John the beloved turned to see this One He was girt about the paps or breasts with a golden girdle (Rev. 1:13). Divine nature held everything together in divine order! The golden girdle is in modern terms a golden belt, that which goes around the body to hold the garment in place. The golden belt is the badge of every matured, perfected son of God! The golden belt represents a state of being. It is righteousness and truth as a life out-poured! It is a spiritual possession and an omnipotent power derived from the life and character of divinity. It is the medallion of victory that engirdles the firstborn sons of God! This is significant because in the Old Testament there was a curious girdle worn by the priest and a little later on in the book of Revelation we see angels with golden girdles on. The girdle represents what unites the whole garment. The golden girdle covers the breasts and unites all the masculine and feminine attributes of God that they may flow forth in truth and righteousness through God's Royal Priesthood C the SON OF MAN COMPANY!
The beauty of this truth is further enhanced when we see that the glorious order of Melchizedek is also both male and female! The word melchi in Hebrew means A my king of@ and is a masculine word. The Hebrew word zedek means A righteousness@ and is a feminine word. The full meaning is A My king of righteousness.@ In the order of Melchizedek these two characteristics of masculine and feminine are united in one King-Priesthood ministry. Kings and Priests! The kingship speaks of the Father nature of God and the priesthood speaks of the Mother-nurturing nature of God. Until this Melchizedek order is manifested in the earth through the Son of Man Company there will be no deliverance to the whole creation. This mature ministry of the plenitude of the Father-Mother nature of God must flow in wisdom, grace, love, power and authority in the earth!
God= s name as revealed to Abraham is another significant mother figure. Father Abraham heard the call of God and departed from his own country, from his father= s house and his father= s kindred, and traveled to a land that God showed him. God gave to him the promise of a seed and that in this seed all the families of the earth would be blessed. After many years of experience in Canaan, this man of faith, yet without the promised seed, and seemingly without hope, was visited by the Lord. The record states that A When Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the ALMIGHTY GOD; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly@ (Gen. 17:1-2).
Now this name, GOD ALMIGHTY, is both interesting and touching. In Hebrew it is El Shaddai. El means A might,@ A power,@ or A strength,@ and signifies the A Strong One.@ Shaddai is different, though it also describes power. But it is the power, not of force, but of all-bountifulness, that which is abundant, plenteous, and running over. Shaddai primarily means A breasted,@ being formed directly from the Hebrew word shad, that is, A the breast,@ or more exactly a A woman= s breast.@ Thus Shaddai means one who A pours forth life@ as a woman bears her child and then feeds and sustains it with the milk from her breast. In the same way God is the giver out of His own life as He bears out of His own substance His offspring, and then feeds and sustains and strengthens it with the A milk@ of His word. Can we not see that all natural things have spiritual counterparts?
By her breast the mother has almost infinite power over the child. Some of my readers perhaps have heard the old Greek story of the baby laid down near some cliff by its mother, while she was busy with her herd of goats. The baby, unperceived, crawled to the edge of the cliff. The mother, afraid to take a step, lest the child should be startled and move further and fall over the precipice, only uncovered her breast, and so drew back the infant to her. It is this figure which God Himself has chosen in this name El Shaddai, by which to express to us the feminine side of His Almightiness! His Almightiness is of the breast, that is, of bountiful, life-giving supply! Therefore He can quiet the restless, as the breast quiets the child; therefore He can nourish and strengthen, as the breast nourishes; therefore He can attract, as the breast attracts, and draw us unto Himself when we would slip away. Ah, this is the A Almighty@ who appeared to Abraham and assured him that he would be blessed according to the promise. How wonderful are these things!
This means that He is the One who is the nourisher, who is able to nourish children. It is children who need to draw from the breast, and it is older children that need to be drawn from or weaned from the breast. We must be not only those who draw from the breast of God, we must also develop breasts from which others can draw. There are multitudes of people today who are destroyed for lack of knowledge and stunted in their spiritual growth for the lack of nourishment. What is called A milk@ in the church systems today is often so diluted or so polluted that it ministers malnutrition, illness, and even death to those who suck at the breast. Christ the nourisher is here revealing Himself to us, in us, as us, and through us as the One who provides the sincere (undeceitful, unadulterated) milk of the word that the babes in Christ may grow thereby (I Pet. 2:2). Some ministries today have no milk for the babes, only meat for the mature. But that is not according to the nature and order of God! HE is our Father-Mother, and every son of God who bears His image is also a father-mother! How can we shepherd the nations and deliver creation without the beautiful balance of the Father-Mother heart of God!
This One who feeds the babes is A girt with a golden girdle.@ The girdle speaks of control. The breasts of Christ give life C divine life, divine nature C for that is the significance of gold. There are those who minister milk to the babes but not out of divine nature! They minister, rather, out of human zeal, out of the desire to be seen and heard, to gain a place, position, or recognition, to control people= s lives, to instill within the babes the carnal doctrines, programs, rules, rituals, traditions, purposes, and spirit of the denomination or movement. These frustrate the grace of God in the lives of the babes! By their organizing the people into their religious system they take the processing of God out of the hands of God, they usurp the life of God and so nullify the work of the Holy Spirit, until the babes grow up to be something altogether different than the image of the God who gave them life. The nourishment that we provide for creation must be under the control of the Spirit of God in our lives C the golden girdle!
Breasts. The divine nature has both the qualities of the masculine and the feminine. Christ is a feeder, a nourisher. I have no desire to feed on anything but Christ! That=s where my life comes from! We feed on the Christ in one another. In the natural, the mother holds the little baby up against the paps and the baby feeds from the breasts. We must draw close enough to one another in the Spirit until we can lay our hands upon the breasts of our Lord. Remember where John the beloved was found at the Last Supper? He reclined with his head upon the breast of the Lord. John sat in that place of closeness to Christ, he loved this man so much, and had such an intense hunger for truth and reality, that he wanted to be in that privileged position where he could draw from the life of the Lord, to drink as it were from the paps, and eat of the substance of divinity. It is no accident that it was this same John who on the isle of Patmos beheld the glorified Christ in the midst of the churches with the golden girdle upon the paps. Everything we need is in Him!
Those who read these lines should meditate deeply upon the wonder of man=s primordial glory C male and female C set together in splendor over the works of God=s hands! All creation being set in order, one was needed to take the headship in the visible realm, to bring the authority and blessing of God= s kingdom over all things. A And God said, Let us make man in our image and after our likeness; and let THEM have dominionY and God blessed THEM, and God said unto THEMY HAVE DOMINION OVERY EVERYTHING@ (Gen. 1:26-28). My reader will observe the change from him to them. God blessed them, male and female, and gave them JOINTLY THE PLACE OF UNIVERSAL GOVERNMENT.
All realms from the lowest of the bottomless to the highest of the heavens were set under their joint dominion, as typified by the fish of the sea, the beasts of the earth, and the fowl of the heavens. These three realms symbolically encompass all spheres of existence from the lowest depths of darkness unto the highest dimensions of light and exaltation. Jesus confirmed the true scope of man= s dominion when, as the last Adam and the Son of man, He descended into the lowest parts of the earth and then ascended up far above all heavens. He liberated the captives in the prison house of Hades and ascended up far above all heavens to reign over all things. We have been raised up with Him, and made to sit together with Him in the heavenly places, yet we are right here on earth! So being raised up to the highest heaven does not speak of a geographical or astral location, but of a dimension of spiritual reality and power. ALL POWER is given unto Him, both in heaven and in earth! This, precious friend of mine, is the magnificence of that dominion given to Adam C male and female C in that long ago beginning! Just as God is Father and Mother over His creation, so the rulership given to the sons of God must exhibit both the masculine and the feminine characteristics of God= s nature. It must be Adam and Eve, the bridegroom and the bride, sons on mount Zion and the New Jerusalem bride coming down from heaven, kings and priests, truth and grace, strength and compassion, righteousness and mercy!
The sons of God are the temple of God (I Cor. 3:16; Rev. 11:1-2,19). The bride of Christ is the city of God (Rev. 21:9-11). That city is the holy city, the New Jerusalem. Every stone of that city is a living stone, a glorified Christ-being. Every stone is a living, ransomed soul just as every member of the body of Christ, which is the temple of God, is a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious. We cannot fully explain nor understand a mystery so awesome as this, but the eye that sees by the Spirit sees the temple as a living thing, composed of living saints. In that temple redeemed men, the sons of God, are the pillars and foundations, and Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone, from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord, in whom we also are builded together as the habitation of God through the Spirit.
In holy vision the apostle John was transported in spirit to a great and high mountain, the majestic heights of the kingdom of God, from which he was permitted to see the perfected bride of Christ in all her beauty and glory. From his lofty vantage point the eyes of John were ravished with the electrifying sight of the unequaled majesty and infinite splendor of the bride adorned for her husband. Not a city of stone as was the Old Jerusalem, but a New Jerusalem, a living city, a bride beyond compare, a virgin pure and holy, composed of incorruptible saints brought forth out of the living substance of Christ. Words utterly fail me to describe the wonder of such unsurpassable glory, for ours are but the words of men, but that holy and beautiful city belongs to THE REALM OF THE SPIRIT. Now at last the perfection, the image of God, sons and daughters, male and female, temple and city, of which Adam and Eve were but a frail shadowy type, has come! The many-membered bridegroom, the sons of God, with the many-membered bride, the holy city, in the image and likeness of God JOINTLY RULING OVER ALL THINGS!
The nations shall walk in the light of this city, and the rulers and leaders of the earth shall bring into it their glory. The tree of Christ= s incorruptible life is in the midst of it, and the water of life flows from the authority of the sonship throne of God in the midst of it. This is GOD, male and female, ruling over all the endless vastnesses of infinity for evermore! This is the Son of man with authority and power, girt about the life-giving paps with a golden girdle! Oh, the mystery of it! Oh, the wonder of it!
To be continued…
J. PRESTON EBY
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