KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
ONE LIKE UNTO A SON OF MAN
“His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow…” (Rev. 1:14).
John the beloved, banished to the treacherous isle of Patmos, was in the spirit and there heard a voice, and he turned to see the voice that spoke to him. When he turned he did not see a six-foot, blue-eyed Jesus, with flaxen hair and gentle face. 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 — each of these is a unique aspect of the revelation of Jesus Christ! This revelation of Jesus Christ will produce an unveiling of all His wonderful attributes and powers in the midst of all who receive it! The purpose of this vision is not to give us a picture of the physical appearance of the resurrected Christ in heaven, but to convey to us the glory of His unveiling in the midst of us. The message of this book is more than mere information — it is destined to lead you to the unveiling of Jesus Christ within yourself!
The head represents authority and white speaks of purity and righteousness. Christ’s authority in our lives must be pure! Those blessed sons of God who are growing up into Him who is the Head are being formed in the maturity of Christ as a Headship Company. Just as there are many saints who make up each particular part of the body of Christ, so are there those who mature to share in His headship over all things. Those who function in the wisdom and power of the Headship Company in this day of the Lord must be pure! God is raising up this Headship Company in this hour, and it will not be composed of people who enter carelessly and presumptuously, who grasp after it by carnal means or with fleshly zeal, or who try to operate in this realm unprepared. This place is reserved for a people that has been purified by the nature of Him who comes to His temple as a refiner’s fire and as fuller’s soap. When I think of the head and hairs of God’s Christ, I am reminded of the words of the prophet, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18).
The vision John saw of Christ doesn’t mean that Jesus is up in heaven and now has hair that is as white as snow. If that was the case, then His immortality would be brought into question, as white hair on earth is a sign of aging! It doesn’t mean that Jesus now looks like an old man. It’s a symbol — a symbol that does not need too much interpretation except here in America. Here, we don’t have them anymore — the judges with the white hair. We did have them in the early days of our Republic, but not anymore. In parts of Europe, however, the judges still wear their little wigs. The wigs are all white. It carries us back to antiquity. In the ancient civilizations, including the time of the Roman empire, the judges wore white wigs. It isn’t just a symbol of old age — it speaks of wisdom and maturity.
The way one becomes a judge who is skilled in the law and justice tempered with mercy and compassion, is by years of experience. But you might be a judge with black hair, brown hair, or red hair — and that would not signify the wisdom and maturity gained through experience. So it became the custom for the judges to wear white hair as a symbol of the wisdom, maturity, and experience of their office. John in spirit beheld One who is the sum total of all wisdom and knowledge, he saw the all-wise One, the one who speaks out of the maturity of the ages. He saw the Judge of all judges in the midst of the churches! And every matured and perfected son of God shares in that stature, in that wisdom, in that understanding, and in that judgment as we grow up into the fullness of the mind of Christ! White hair is symbolic of omniscience. It is the crown of spiritual wisdom gained through the crucible of experience and testing. The scriptures clearly teach that the hoary head is to be greatly honored, for therein lies the wisdom, experience, and discernment that comes with age. Just as Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, and grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men, so every son of God is being brought, by the dealings of God, to the state of divine wisdom, knowledge, discernment, understanding, authority and power! The experience is gained by walking with God!
There is an even deeper meaning in this. There is a very great difference between the glory of the first man Adam, and the glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There is a profound and marvelous significance in the meaning of Adam’s name and the marked contrast between Adam’s redness of face and Christ’s whiteness of head. May the Holy Spirit give understanding as I explain. In the scriptures the blood always stands for the life, and a person’s name always stands for his nature. The face, in symbolic terms, speaks of the deepest part of a man’s being — what we would call the heart, or the nature. In the beginning we have a man named Adam, which means “to show blood in the face!” It speaks of being red-faced, as one blushing, so that the inward nature of the blood, or the soul, is revealed through the face.
The understanding of this one point should make it easy for us to grasp why it was that Adam turned so soon from the way of his Creator to follow after the darkness of his own soul, of the carnal mind; why he did not live in the Garden for at least twenty years, or a hundred years, or a thousand years before succumbing to temptation and plunging headlong into the dismal abyss of self, sin, and death. Now since divine wisdom teaches us that blood represents life, it should not be difficult for any to see that Adam’s red face reveals that from the day he breathed his first breath upon earth there was deep-seated within his being this propensity to cling to his life, to fulfill the demands of his life, to exalt himself, so he is seen as retaining the blood which represents his soul or his self-life. Sin and the fall were the natural result of this condition!
But the glorified Christ, on the other hand, is always depicted as white: hair as white as snow, head as white as snow, garments as white as snow, everything white, like an albino. Why? Because HIS LIFE is poured out…released by means of death! Upon this truth hangs the eternal hope of billions of mankind who have inhabited this earth, and it is even now the wellspring for all those blessed ones upon whom God has breathed the spirit of understanding from on high and quickened together in Christ Jesus. The truth is this: blood retained is Adam and is therefore death. Blood poured out is Christ and is therefore life! Or, as the apostle Paul expressed it, “To be carnally (self) minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6). Jesus stated it this way: “For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” (Lk. 9:24).
This poured out life of Christ is the river of life flowing bountifully from the throne of God and of the Lamb! The Lamb has been slain! Jesus, the reservoir of divine life, released His life and the Father pours forth that eternal and incorruptible spirit into the hearts of all who believe. While our Lord Jesus walked upon earth, He alone had divine, eternal life. That life was in His blood, not the blood of Adam's self, but divine blood of the quickening spirit of God. That blood was confined to Himself. There were no other manifest sons of God! He was the firstborn of the new race of God-men, the firstborn among many brethren. Nowhere in scripture do we have any record or evidence that Jesus Christ ever imparted eternal life or the spirit of sonship to any man before His blood was shed. It should not be difficult for any man to see that if Jesus had retained His blood, as Adam did, if He had clung to His own will rather than being obedient unto death, the gate of the kingdom of heaven would still be closed and the riverbed of the great River of Life would today be as dry as the desert wadis of Arabia. There would be no other sons of God! Well did our Saviour know that, as long as His life-blood still flowed in His veins, all the rest of humanity must remain dead in trespasses and sins. He would be the only one of His kind, the only human Son of God! So He poured out His life, giving Him whiteness of face! And, blessed be His name, as we, in turn, pour out our life, we stand identified in this glorious Son of Man as the life-giving sons of God!
“And His eyes were as a flame of fire” (Rev. 1:14).
As John gazed upon this One, his attention was attracted to His eyes, which blaze like flames of fire. The spirit within was so aroused that it shone through His eyes! This description of the Son of man is most illuminating. George Hawtin has commented on this passage: “The eyes of the Son of God are completely different from all other eyes. The eyes of mankind and of every living creature are capable only of receiving light. Our eyes receive reflections and images of things that are without, but the eyes of the Lord not only receive reflections of things without, but are LAMPS OF FIRE, shedding abroad the light of God whithersoever they are turned. Every creature and everything upon which His eyes shall fall will receive the LIGHT OF GOD. ‘They looked upon Him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed’ (Ps. 34:5). Even in the hour of Christ’s greatest humiliation when Peter had denied his Lord, the Lord turned and looked upon him, and at that look the light of truth dawned upon this trembling and heartbroken man as he sat in his dismal despair and, being thus enlightened to the truth and to the knowledge of his guilt, he went out and wept bitterly in repentance and contrition.
But this manifestation of the light of truth that shines as a burning flame from His eyes is merely a fleeting shadow of greater things to come. It is as a feeble candle in the night compared to the illuminating rays of the sun at noon. The day is coming and is near at hand when Christ shall be the Light of the World in the fullness of its meaning. His eyes run to and fro through the whole world and wherever He looks the light of heaven will shine. Upon whomsoever His eyes shall fall darkness will be dispelled from him and the light of Christ will shine upon him. Through long millenniums has the world sat in outer darkness and in the cold and gloomy shadows of death, but He who soon shall come riding triumphantly through the open heavens has eyes burning as lamps of fire, before whose shining darkness and shadow will flee away forevermore” — end quote.
The One who has the eyes as a flame of fire is He who comes to judge and make war. Ah, He stands in the midst of the seven churches with His eyes of fire! He stands within the spirit of each one of us with eyes as flaming fire! To judge rightly He must see through and through, search all depths, look beneath all masks, penetrate all darkness, and try everything to its ultimate residuum. There is often something wonderfully luminous, penetrating, overawing, in the human eye. Men have been blinded by the look of kings. It is like the living intellect made visible, which seems to read all secrets at a glance. It is this infinitely intensified, flashing like a sword of fire, that the apostle beheld in this heavenly Judge. It is an eye-flame of omniscient perception, a searchlight that penetrates to the inmost thought and intent of the heart, laying bare in its awful revelation every fiber of self, even in purposes supposed to be pure, scorching, burning, shriveling every hypocrisy, and withering away every breath of the flesh.
Oh, the eyes of the Lord! The eyes of holiness, the eyes of infinite discernment, the eyes of depthless love and burning desire for those apprehended to be conformed to His likeness. They descend into the depths of the spirit, the candle of the Lord, to search out and make known what is of soul and what is of spirit, and flash with their flame of sincerity, truth and shadowless righteousness. The word of God is quick and powerful — living and active — sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and the marrow — the deepest part of our nature. And when the glorious Son of man comes marching into our land He comes with eyes that are shining lamps of heavenly fire, penetrating, illuminating mind and heart, revealing all that is there, destroying every selfish and secret motive, consuming every vestige of the carnal mind, purifying the deepest intents of the heart, transforming and flooding the whole being with righteousness and purity and power.
Some things in our lives are deeply hidden, but the eyes of the Lord are going to cause everything to surface and be brought out of darkness. The fire of those eyes is such that all the dross is made to emerge. Do we really want the Christ to invade us through and through — to thoroughly touch every area of our lives? We will never conquer until we are conquered! This moment He is mightier in His elect than He ever was before. This moment He is doing a work vaster, stronger, deeper, more overwhelming than ever before. He will direct it from one degree of glory to another, until every member of His elect is transformed into His likeness. He will shine forth the glorious light of His illuminating eyes until we are all refined and brought forth as pure gold!
Christ’s eyes of fire, and the eyes of fire of every son of God who shares His glory, are eyes of the same fire that is revealed throughout the book of Revelation. There are not two or five or ten different fires! There are His eyes of fire, and there is gold that is tried in the fire (Rev. 3:18), and it is the very same fire! Fire is taken from the golden altar and cast into the earth (Rev. 8:2-5). The same fire that releases the fragrance and power of the prayers of the saints is cast into the earth-realm and mighty commotions take place! By that fire all carnality is consumed from the sons of men, that God may be glorified in the earth-realm even as He is in the heavenlies. There are seven lamps of fire burning before the throne which are the seven spirits of God (Rev. 4:5). The Lamb has seven eyes and the seven eyes are the seven-fold spirit of God, thus they are likewise eyes of fire! (Rev. 5:6).
You see, it is all the very same fire of God in different administrations! There is a sea of glass mingled with fire (Rev. 15:2), a people who have become within themselves an untroubled sea of tranquillity, peace, and transparency, made so by the processing fire of God. All the restlessness and agitation of the carnal mind has been burned out of them! There is a fire that destroys the religious sham of Mystery Babylon (Rev. 18:8), and a great lake of fire for all the adversaries of God — death, hell, the beastly fleshly nature, the soulical false prophets, and all who do iniquity (Rev. 20:10-15). What are we meant to understand by this lake of fire which burns with fire and brimstone? We know only too well the use the church systems have made of this conception through the ages! It has had some horrific connotations and given a distorted view of the character of God. The crude idea that an all-wise and all-righteous and all-loving Creator would decree endless torment in undying flame for any of His creatures does dishonor to the name and glory of our precious Lord Jesus Christ, and it is incredible that the compassionate Saviour of mankind could ever have intended us to read into His words the notion that He will use that holy fire which He is to torture billions of souls throughout eternity.
The divine fire is the truth, the righteousness, the love of God; in a word, it is the nature of God! Any careful reader of the Old Testament will be aware that fire is often used therein as a symbol of the presence and action of God. “The Lord our God is a consuming fire.” “God is love.” Those are not contradictory terms — they are complimentary terms! It is no straining of metaphor to say that the love of God and the wrath of God are the same thing described from opposite points of view. How we shall experience it depends on the way we come up against it. God does not change; it is man’s moral state that changes! The wrath of God is a figure of speech to denote God’s unchanging opposition to sin! It is His righteous love, His holy passion operating to destroy evil. Nothing can live in that devouring flame that is of the nature of a lie or wars against the spirit of holiness!
That consuming fire is as eternal as God Himself; it is, because He is; it is that which was from the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Oh, if there be one thing for which we ought to rejoice and praise God without ceasing it is that eternal fire which will burn up all the foulness and rottenness, all the wickedness and cruelty, all the shame and wrong from which our souls have ever suffered. It is not evil which will have the last word, but righteousness; not sorrow, but joy; not hate, but love; not damnation, but salvation; not death, but life. When the love of God is shed abroad in the heart, heaven is there. When any other spirit is dominant, hell is there. It is not God who changes when we pass from one to the other, it is we who are changed by His eternal fire! All who are members of the corporate Son of man have eyes of fire! The judgment of God is in their eyes, for they judge as they see by the Spirit. Judgment begins at the house of God, and the saints shall judge the world even as Christ now judges His people. Fire devours. What is there to devour? The veil. The veil that conceals Christ in our lives! When the veil is consumed we see Him as He is and reality breaks forth.
Charles Finney went into a mill up north one time, and as he walked through the mill he spoke not a word. He just looked at the people, and as he looked at them they broke before his gaze, weeping, repenting, and crying out to God for mercy. They had to close the mill and a great revival began in which multitudes of people turned to the Lord. The move of God started with just a look — a piercing, penetrating gaze beyond the veil of men’s flesh into the depths of their lives — with eyes as a flame of fire! There is power in a look when the fire of God is there!
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good,” says the wise man (Prov. 15:2). Elihu declares, “He withdraweth not His eyes from the righteous, but with kings are they on the throne” (Job 36:7). “The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven. His eyes behold, His eyelids try the children of men” (Ps. 11:4-5). David was seeing the Lord’s eyes of fire by the Spirit when he prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24). David did not engage in the unproductive and defeating practice of introspection. He asked God to examine his life to show him if he was harboring any fleshly way. Self-inspection is futile. We will always protect those things that most need to go to the cross! We miss things. We are prone to gloss over certain faults. We practice self-justification. But if God does the searching, it is different! His eye is sharp. His judgment is true. The window of our soul is transparent to His penetrating gaze. And yet in light of all that, David is eager for God to search his life. He opens the windows of his life and lets the sin-destroying and life-giving breeze of the Holy Spirit blow through. He asks God’s help to find and destroy the sin that lurks within.
When I read David’s prayer, I am reminded of a diligent, zealous, competent customs official I once saw examining a Palestinian family’s bags in the Tel Aviv airport. You haven’t seen airport security until you have passed through the Ben Gurion airport in Israel! The agent took the man’s electric razor apart. He unrolled his socks. He unfolded each shirt and searched the pockets of each pair of pants. He even held the lady’s underwear up to the light and peered through them. He unscrewed the back off their alarm clock. He felt the lining of the suitcase and then hauled the suitcase off and had it x-rayed. And through it all the family whose bags were being inspected was not too happy with the procedure. They didn’t like it!
In his prayer David took the exact opposite attitude. Had God been the customs agent, David would have been encouraging him to make a thorough search! As the Lord purges and purifies His sons we must expect to have our inmost secret thoughts, relations, and purposes revealed, searched, and judged by His eyes of fire! No court of inquiry was ever presided over by a more exact inquisitor than this! God is the critic of all the secrets of the heart. As each thought or intention passes to and fro, He searches it, examines it. Eyes as flames of fire — you can’t hide from this One! He discerns behind all your masks, He can burn beyond all your appearances, all your hypocrisy is as an open book before Him. But He is not vindictive, for He is the King of a burning passion of Love! Whenever you fail, He understands, He knows what is in man, He can see right through all the appearances to what really is. He knows your heart and your desire after Him! He takes into account your weakness. Yet He will not be complacent toward you! This is the One who is walking in the midst of the candlesticks, the One who possesses all the wisdom of the ages and an unconditional Love by which He judges.
If you are called to the high calling in Christ Jesus you will behold this One who walks in the midst! He will do His work in any event, but how much better for us to present ourselves before Him and with David invite Him to do His work of amputation and excision! If we cannot cut off the offending member, let us look to Him to rid us of it. Nothing in heaven or earth can withstand the fiery glance of omniscience which sees and knows all and can therefore judge all. His eyes pierce through the façade that we build up around ourselves and past the front the church has built around itself. There is no way we can keep anything from God! Even when He was here in the flesh, Jesus knew what was in man. One aspect of the prophetic ministry, which is the testimony of Jesus, is that the secrets of men’s hearts are revealed. We may lie unto men, but we can’t lie to the Lord Jesus Christ. How powerfully Ananias and Sapphira found that out! He can see right past all our pretense. To the church at Ephesus He announces, “I know thy works…” (Rev. 2:2). To the church at Smyrna He reveals, “I know thy works…” (Rev. 2:9). To the church at Pergamos He says, “I know thy works…” (Rev. 2:13). To the church at Thyatira He declares, “I know thy works…” (Rev. 2:19). And to the churches at Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea He proclaims the same solemn truth, “I know thy works!” Whatever we see up front, the Lord says, “I see behind the scenes. I perceive the underlying motives, the intents, the secret purposes, the hidden agendas, the covert schemes — I know thy works!” The Lord looks beyond what the public sees, what the billboard says, behind what the church bulletin announces, beyond all the claims, promotions, boasts, propaganda, and phoniness. The Lord’s eyes of fire burn through all of man’s smokescreens. Before those burning, piercing eyes humanity will throw up its façade of external righteousness and religiosity. Ah, His eyes of fire penetrate to the very core of our being!
Yet, this wonderful work of the eyes of fire is not a vengeful, implacable, destructive work, but that of redeeming, transforming Love! It cannot be stated better than it was by Rex Andrews when he wrote, “Your enjoyment of the book of Revelation will depend, to a considerable degree, on what you believe about that fire flame of His eyes. Unless you can perceive that that FIRE is pure-unadulterated-love, the LOVE which GOD IS, you will likely miss some of the most vital things intended to be conveyed by the Revelation. If you consider the flaming fire, and the two-edged sword of His mouth, and the face which is as the sun shining in its strength, as being destructive, bent on killing, you will have missed about all there is of value. That FIRE of eyes, and face shining as the sun, describe a Being-like-unto-man, whose spirit and soul and body were utterly invested, and completely possessed by, THE ETERNAL SPIRIT. And that ETERNAL SPIRIT is declared to LOVE!”
“His feet were as burnished brass, as though they burned in a furnace” (Rev. 1:15).
In the Bible brass speaks of divine judgment. The feet of the Son of man are described as being not only of brass, but of fine brass. This is brass that has already been through the judgment, it has already been refined by the fire and processed — that’s why it is called fine brass. The elect of God are called to judge, but they must first of all be judged! We must first judge ourselves lest we be judged. When we successfully pass through judgment, then we can mete out judgment, for we will not judge after the appearance, but judge righteous judgment by the spirit of wisdom and understanding.
As brass is symbolical of judgment, I am sure we can behold here the judgment of Christ and His many brethren through those blessed feet members of the body of Christ! As the Lord Jesus Himself judges in the midst of the churches, among the members of His body, so shall His many brethren bring judgment to the nations and to all mankind. These saints make up the feet company, who are the last members added to the body of Christ at the end of this age. They have a specific duty to perform in judgment! They shall tread upon the head of Satan within themselves, conquering sin and death, and then go forth bringing the judgment of Christ in the earth. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it (the seed of the woman) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom. 16:20). “And she (the sun-clad woman) brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…and I heard a voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ!” (Rev. 12:5,7-10).
Judgment, we must remember, is not merely condemnation, wrath, and vengeance as so many think. The judgment of God has the distinct purpose of setting things right, and, indeed, all things will be set right and all things will be gloriously reconciled unto Himself, yea, things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, or wherever they may be. The feet members of the body of Christ, who are the sons of God to come forth in this new kingdom day of the Lord, must be purged in the fires of the Lord like no people before them. They shall tread upon Satan, sin, and death, therefore, they must be more thoroughly washed, cleansed, refined, and purified. These anointed ones will appear "like unto fine brass” as though they burned in an oven because they have been more thoroughly purged in the Lord’s fiery furnace of purification. Surely this explains why the saints of this hour are experiencing such severe trials and testings, and are being so thoroughly processed by the Lord. The testings and trials we are experiencing in this hour are not so much organized persecutions from without, but very personal pressures and circumstances that try us to the very core of our being. Don’t think these are a small thing! Think not, my brother, my sister, that should the government cast you into prison and take all your possessions, that you would then be tried in a greater way than in the nitty-gritty of every day experience! How we respond to the smaller, very personal challenges that daily touch our lives often speaks louder than our response to greater things over which we have no control!
The feet members of this Son of man company appear as red-hot burnished brass signifying their primary function in the corrective judgments of the Lord. Micah described this company as having “hoofs of brass” by which these anointed ones in union with their Head shall “judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it” (Mic. 4:3-4,13).
All of this issues from the mountain (kingdom, government) of the house of the Lord which is established in the top of the mountains, or at the head of all the kingdoms! Mic. 4:1). It is obvious that those members of the body of Christ who have overcome, and been formed into the governing and ruling company of His kingdom, have the responsibility of ministering redemptive judgment among the peoples of the world, rebuking strong nations afar off by the powerful word of the Lord, and by signs, wonders, and miracles establishing peace, justice, and righteousness in the earth. The law shall go forth out of Zion (the sons), and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (the bride). When they hear this powerful kingdom gospel of peace and righteousness coming from mount Zion, the exalted mountain of the house of the Lord, confirmed by signs and wonders greater far than those God manifested in Egypt or in Israel, “many nations shall come and say, Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord” (Mic. 4:1-2). When the sons of God are thus revealed in the power of Christ’s resurrection, multitudes who have nurtured the call of God upon their lives will finally see the fulfillment of that call, when in that glorious day their ministry will have arrived.
We are speaking of the greater ministry and the greater works that shall be wrought by God’s elect in the full REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST! The elect who make up the manifest sons of God shall not administer the word of the kingdom in their present limited body of carnality and corruption. Instead, they shall minister the pure law and word of the Lord from Zion’s holy realm in the glory and purity of the mind of Christ, and in the power of resurrection with bodies of incorruption. The present world systems were created by corruptible men, thus bringing forth the harlot systems called Babylon. We have all had enough of the rule and dominion of carnality and corruption from the man of sin. Therefore, only incorruptible, holy, perfect, and anointed individuals shall serve mankind from Zion’s all-glorious realm!
A beautiful insight into the “burnished brass” of this feet company was shared by Paul Mueller in one of his booklets wherein he said, “The original Greek words for this passage tell us that those of this feet company were ignited and inflamed in the fiery furnace, which caused them to glow as they burned. They were refined in the fire of God’s awesome and holy presence (Heb. 12:29). And when they were properly and thoroughly burned, cleansed, and refined, they were then inflamed by the holy fires of the presence of their Father. Those of that company were ignited and inflamed of their Father, so that they glowed with His holy love, and the deep passion of God for suffering humanity, and for the groaning, travailing creation. They were so inflamed with His holy love, fervor, and passion that they vowed to press on in God, by His Spirit, until they attained to the fullness of Christ and the manifestation of the sons of God.”
A most precious writing along this line was received some time ago from Terry and Tykie Crisp, of which I shall devote the rest of this article to quoting from a portion of it. Terry wrote:
Have you ever heard anyone use the age-old idiom of “holding one’s feet to the fire”? What they meant by this was that they were going to keep the pressure on that individual, they were going to give him no rest, they were going to bear down upon him with such force and intensity, that he would finally assume his moral obligations, line up with their desired expectations, conform to a certain standard of conduct or consciousness, etc. It was another way of saying that they were not going to release that person from the heat of intense scrutiny and high expectation, until they saw a change in him. Does this not describe how our Lord is dealing with His children in this hour? Yes, it is true that Jesus loves us just the way we are. And, yes, His love for us is unconditional. But aren’t you glad that He loves us so much that He will not leave us in that condition? His highest desire for each of us is that we should ultimately look like Him; and He will go to any length to make this a reality! Therefore, He holds us in the fire, even when we kick, and scream, and think we’ve had enough. He knows just what it will take to achieve the objective; and works incessantly toward that goal, in spite of our objections! He is content that once we share His vision, then we shall understand why it was necessary!
There are several things we might mention about the appearance of Christ’s feet; chief of which is the fact that John’s description of them was never meant to be taken literally. This should be apparent, since he referred to them as being “like unto…” This shows plainly that he was speaking in a metaphorical sense; he was creating a word-picture in the minds of his readers, and what an excellent picture he gives! Secondly, we would add that the mention of His feet speaks figuratively of His walk. It is another way of commenting on the expression of His life; the demonstration and exhibition of that life as He makes contact with the earth realm of humanity.
While reading over this passage I noticed something conveyed in the Greek, which is almost overlooked when read only from the Authorized version. There is a condition described here, which plainly reveals God’s ultimate, eternal purpose for holding not only Christ’s feet to the fire, but ours, as well! The word “burned,” as used in the King James translation, should more accurately be rendered, “glowed.” Is there a difference? Most assuredly there is! We know that in order for something to burn, its composition must be of a combustible nature. But for something to glow, it must be of a more enduring substance! Now, both burning and glowing are responses to the fire. And for a short duration, even that which is in the process of being burned may emanate a momentary glow, much the same way a “falling star” shines temporarily, until it burns out. But know ye that in the fullness of time, the fire will at length reveal the true constitution of a thing. Beloved, it is an undeniable fact: the fire cannot be fooled! If the substance is ignitable, it will eventually be reduced to ashes; if it is not, then it will simply be refined to the highest degree of purity. The fire makes manifest the basic make-up of the material, and openly declares its consistency for all the world to see!
Looking again unto Jesus, our Author and Finisher who gives us faith, we see that when our Lord trod upon this earth, He gave us the perfect example of what it is like to have “feet like unto fine brass.” Why, He was the greatest firewalker that ever lived! For centuries, men in various parts of the world have mystified multitudes of spectators by walking upon hot, glowing coals of fire. In fact, in some cultures, a walk among the fiery embers was even required of those who had hopes of being initiated into the ranks of their priesthood. It was looked upon as an act of moral purification. But without fear of contradiction, we can boldly declare unto you that no one ever did it quite like Jesus! You see, He encountered all the trials and temptations common to mankind. He was faced with the same kind of pressures wherewith each of us are familiar. There was no area of His life which escaped the all-searching flame; in no thing was He spared!
We are persuaded that the pressures Jesus encountered were more intense than what any of us might even imagine at this time! Many years ago the question was posed by wise old Solomon, “Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?” Prov. 6:28). The answer, up until that time, was a resounding NO! Every man or woman who had ever passed through the fiery path of fleshly lust, trials, or temptations had always come out with “charred feet,” so to speak. Every one of them had “flammable” elements in their “soles”; that is, elements which responded poorly to the heat! Oh, they might have been victorious in one situation, only to turn around and find themselves “flame-broiled” in another form of testing. We know this to be true, because according to the divine record, “ALL have sinned (missed the mark), and come short of the glory of God.”
But when Jesus stepped forth on the human scene, He bore an entirely different testimony! We read that He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). It mattered not whether He was being tempted with one of the common sensual allurements which appeal to the natural appetites in man, or whether He was being led along the fiery pathway which passed by the house of that “great harlot,” religious Babylon, whose sweet, seductive influences had slain many strong men (Prov. 7:26-27). Regardless of whether He was walking through one of those challenging natural circumstances which is of a frustrating nature and had the potential of causing Him to “lose His cool,” or whether He was being forced to pass through the flaming words and the false accusations of His chief critics, He always did what was right! He calmly kept His composure! No matter how hot “the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire” made them (Isa. 54:16), and no matter how intense the heat became under His feet, there was absolutely nothing in Him that would ignite! Much to the devil’s dismay, Jesus simply would not burn! The flame would not kindle upon Him! Why, He wouldn’t even blister! In fact, the hotter the adversary made the trial, the more fervently Christ’s feet “glowed”! He radiated such an intense purity, such indescribable peace, such absolute discipline and self-control, the multitudes were astonished by Him! They could not help but admire this man's walk! He was totally above reproach! Ah, beloved, we believe that it was because of this very thing that He had such influence with the people! They understood that what He taught them, He had first walked out Himself! He not only instructed them in the overcoming life; He demonstrated what it was like to have power over the fire!
The question might be asked: how was it that Christ was able to walk through the midst of such tremendous fires, and remain unsinged? How did He keep from being overwhelmed by them? We believe that one of the main reasons was that He stayed focused in the heavenlies! He kept His eye on the Lord of the fire, instead of looking at the fire itself! You see, while His feet were walking out the purposes of God in the earth, His head was in the heavens! (Jn. 3:31). He was not the least bit overwhelmed by the fire, because He understood its origin! He knew from whence it came!
This is the destiny of those who yield themselves unreservedly to the Lord! Even now, the feet of God’s king-priest company of “firewalkers” are being conditioned in the flames of fiery trial and daily tribulation; and even as we write, a bed of coals “seven times hotter” than in any previous generation is being prepared! The stage is being set; the world will be watching! What a breathtaking sight this will be! We need not fear, however, for once He has consumed everything in us that can be burned, and refined the metal of our inward nature to its highest degree of purity, then, regardless of the temperature, we will simply glow all the more with the glory of God!
You see, at such a time we trust that God will have already taken “the burn” out of the fire for us; and by then, there will be nothing to threaten us, to make us afraid! The fire is an enemy to us only so long as there are things in us that respond negatively to it, or as long as there are things that we are afraid of losing to it. But when we truly get victory over it, it will not matter! The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us! As did our Lord Jesus, we, too, will “glorify God in the fires,” by walking in a way that magnifies and radiates His holy name (nature) to all creation! As prophetic confirmation Isaiah says, “Fear not; for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; THOU ART MINE…when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” (Isa. 43:1-2).
Praise God for the hope of His calling! As we become victorious over every Adamic tendency in us now, we will then be able to stand calmly and triumphantly with the Lamb on a sea of glass mingled with fire, having nothing to hide or be embarrassed of. Our feet will glow like His! (End quote).
To be continued…
J. PRESTON EBY
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