KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS
"But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate" (Rev. 2:6). "So thou hast also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate" (Rev. 2:15).
When the Lord was showing John on Patmos what the seven churches would be like, He commended the church at Ephesus because they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which the Lord also detested. In Pergamos, the third church, these deeds had become accepted doctrine, which the Lord also hated. When a name appears in the scriptures its meaning sheds light upon the spiritual reality behind the name. What are these Nicolaitanes? We understand when we know what the name means! Nicolaitane comes from two Greek words: nikao, which means "to rule over" or "to conquer," and laos, which means "the laity" or "the people." Put these definitions together and you get a domineering ruling class within the body of Christ whose main agenda is to get the upper hand, conquer, subordinate, and subdue those who they consider "less gifted," "less knowledgeable," or "less qualified" than themselves!
In the religious world there are those called "clergy" and there are those who are called "laity." These are titles that have come to us from religious Babylon! What were the "deeds" of the Nicolaitanes? They were exalting the "clergy" over the "laity"! The clergy class were dominating the laity, the people. The clergy exalted themselves whereas the laity were abased. The clergy became the authority, the power, the lordship in the church. They became the fountain of all truth, they had the last word, they called all the shots. The rest of us poor folks are just "laity," the dumb sheep that just follow and do what we are told.
When there is a great move of God there always follows a move of man. I have been blessed by God’s grace to be a part of some great moves of God that came into the earth in former years. These were sovereign moves of the Holy Spirit, and He moved upon those He chose to move upon. What glory there was! What power! What manifestations of the Spirit! What revelation of the Lord in the midst! What discernment by the Spirit! What liberty for the Holy Ghost to work! What love and respect for one another! It was God overflowing men beyond themselves.
Well do I remember the day when the revival reached a certain point and a meeting was called. Some of the spiritual leaders had reached the conclusion that having begun in the Spirit we now needed to be made perfect by the flesh. Oh, that’s not how they expressed it! They had reached the conclusion that because of the increase in the work of God we needed a little more cohesion and structure. It was imperative upon us to take some measures to "protect" the work of God from certain extremes, from the immature, from false doctrine, and from the wolves. In that decisive moment the long arm of flesh reached out in the name of the Lord to put its clammy hand to the beautiful work of the Spirit! As this effort was organized the deeds of the Nicolaitanes became the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes and a new man-made "order" was inaugurated. I do not hesitate to tell you that I fled from their midst as fast as my legs would carry me, never to return! Today there is barely a flicker of the revelation and glory of those former days.
Man seeks by the wisdom of the carnal mind and by fleshly means to protect and control the move of God — supposedly to keep it pure, to safeguard it, to preserve and maintain the status quo, and to keep out all who are not worthy. As soon as man puts his hand to the move, the Spirit flees, the anointing lifts, and the glory departs! Soon there is no life anymore — everything becomes organized, structured, controlled, systematized, just a going through the motions of what was once a beautiful flow of life and light and power. This concept of the "authority" of God’s ministers shows up after every new moving of the Spirit of God in the earth! It is showing up now among sonship and kingdom people! The phraseology changes from time to time, but the basic concepts remain the same. But whatever the phraseology or methodology, it is still THE DEEDS AND DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITANES!
Where, then, is safety to be found? Safety lies only in such a recognition of the absolute folly of the control of leaders and the utter apostasy of the religious systems of man as will lead us to pass by all merely human authority, tradition, and methods to seek only and always the divine illumination and sovereign guidance of the Holy Spirit of God! Nor do we exclude ourselves from the list of those who should not be followed. We are human as the rest and our works are not yet perfect before God, though we follow after, if by any means we may apprehend that for which also we have been apprehended of God. We do hope that all who read these lines may be able to grant us this one grace — the highest compliment that we can crave — that the burden of our message is to point all men to a personal, living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and to the infallibility of the mind of Christ within each one who has received the spirit of sonship!
The following prophetic utterance given through sister Alma McClure speaks directly to our hearts. "O, look not ye to another, saith the Lord, the holy One of Israel! You are MY sheep; you have been purchased by MY love and sacrifice! I am the Good Shepherd, who has loved you with an everlasting love! LOOK TO ME! For I am a jealous God, and I will not share my glory with another! Why do you look to man, and heap upon him honor and glory? Why do you look to your human pastors, preachers, prophets, and writers as though they were the source of your salvation, your sustenance, your life? Why do you look up to them with reverence, with praise, with pride in them, and swoon at their feet, calling them wonderful, marvelous, mighty men and women of God? Why will you follow after men, rather than after ME? Why will you be blinded by their personalities, their eloquence, their own soulish enthusiasm, which you accept as my anointing?
"O my people! You are MY PEOPLE, and the sheep of MY PASTURE! Return, return unto ME! You have your eyes on those who are or should be MY SERVANTS! You do not even realize that your eyes, your thoughts and your hearts are not centered and focused on ME! You think you keep your eyes on me, but so often, in reality, your eyes have strayed off-center, and although you are aware of me, and your songs contain my name, and your words include praise to me — yet you have let some man or woman step in front of me! You look to the man to speak for me, and have your eyes on him!
"Know you not that when you give glory to man, you are not only opening yourselves for deception, but you are setting that man up for a fall? You are placing that one in a dangerous position, for the Lord must cause that one to come down from his pedestal! Any spark of pride that may be hidden in his heart will be fed and grow dangerously by YOUR praise and exaltation of that man or woman! Awake, thou that sleepest, and return unto ME! I, alone, am your Good Shepherd! Come to ME, and I will feed you with the bread of life, and honey out of the Rock! I shall give you the water of Life, and cause that water to be a living well within you, springing up to satisfy your thirst, and to flow out to bring life to needy souls around you! O, come unto ME, and I will give you all that you need! I will raise up faithful shepherds, who will feed you, and will take no glory for themselves. They will continually point you to ME, and you will no longer say, ‘Isn’t this man (or woman) wonderful!’ But you will see only ME, and say, ‘Wonderful, wonderful Saviour, Redeemer, the Most High, who is King of my life!’ And you shall worship ME, in Spirit and in Truth!"
Those seeking power want to control, to rule over others. They want to take charge and get their way. They’re not interested in leading by example, by humility, love, counsel, mercy, goodness and the anointing of the Spirit. They manipulate and maneuver to be in a position of authority so they can control others and coerce them to get in line with their vision. Though some accomplish this as masters of deceit, hiding the real truth behind a façade of pious words and pretended spirituality, their domineering spirit becomes evident when those who are supposed to follow don’t, but go on to follow the leading of the Spirit. "Anathema!" cries the ruler. "Rebellion!" cries the tyrant. "Zap!" goes the whip. Power people have little tolerance for people who persist in seeking the mind of the Lord. The religious ranks are swollen with these power grabbers! Authoritarianism is not confined to denominations. It simply appears wherever and whenever prideful, though sincere, men are in authority. Though it has recently resurged under various titles and guises, such as "shepherd," "bishop," "set man," etc., it is an error that will sap the life of God’s saints wherever it gains control. From generation to generation it surfaces under different names, but its three basic tenets remain the same: (1) When we speak, it is God speaking. (2) To resist our authority is to resist God’s authority. (3) Those resisters must be marked as independent, rebellious, and divisive; and must in turn be withstood and publicly denounced and humiliated.
There are precious life-giving ministries in the body of Christ! God is raising up faithful under-shepherds who care for the Lord’s people and serve the elect of God. These minister in the Spirit and by the Spirit in love, humility, and grace. Some of the so-called "offices" have been greatly abused! In both the Old and New Testaments the word for "shepherd" and "pastor" is the same word in Hebrew and Greek. A pastor is simply a shepherd, and a shepherd is a pastor, both naturally and spiritually. The Spirit of God has dealt with me deeply and consistently through many years that the Lord’s people should purge their conversation, purify their terminology, and remove from their thinking processes the multitude of unscriptural expressions carried over from Mystery Babylon. We have both parroted and coined a great many terms that have been so misleading and have led us astray from the way of the Spirit.
We, like the babes in the harlot’s house, often refer to a minister of the gospel as "the pastor" of our church, or some other congregation of saints. To hear all the Christians today constantly talking about "our pastor," "their pastor," "your pastor," "my pastor," and "the pastor," one would certainly be led to believe this position of "the pastor" must indeed be one of the cardinal doctrines and most highly acclaimed offices in the New Testament! The fact is, precious friend of mine, the term "the pastor" is entirely foreign to the Word of God and non-existent in the early church! It is an extra-biblical term! There was no one single man in the whole New Testament writings who ever occupied a position called "the pastor." Not one church raised up by the first apostles had any such ministry as "the pastor." Oh, yes, there were "pastors" plural (Eph. 4:11) mentioned only once in the whole New Testament, but no single minister of God was ever elevated to the position of "the pastor" of an assembly!
There is a good reason for this! You see, the truth is that in every case in the Greek New Testament where the word for pastor (poimen) appears in the singular accompanied by the definite article (the), it is used in reference solely to our Lord Jesus Christ! Thus, He alone is THE PASTOR of the flock, THE SHEPHERD of the sheep! The sweet singer of Israel stated it so aptly in his lovely Psalm when he sang out by the spirit of inspiration, "The LORD is MY SHEPHERD!" That is the same as, "The LORD is MY PASTOR!" But tell a so-called pastor that today, and he will charge you with rebellion! Can we not see by this that any man who takes to himself this title "the pastor," thereby usurps the headship of our precious Lord! And those groups who have plural ministry, but one among them is designated "the senior pastor," "head elder," or some other such title, usurp even more blasphemously the position of the Lord Jesus, since these terms are the spiritual equivalent of "Chief Shepherd." And the Lord alone is the Chief Shepherd! (I Pet. 5:4).
I instructed the brethren among whom I labored in years past that they should never call me "the pastor" or "their pastor" because the Lord alone is The Pastor! I may be "a pastor" but I can never be THE PASTOR! The saints were taught that if one came inquiring after "the pastor" they should be told that the pastor is the Lord. If they were asked, "Who is the pastor here?" they should reply, "The Lord is the pastor here!" Should the inquirer press the point they could then explain that brother Eby is one of the ministries in the body, but THE LORD IS THE PASTOR. God’s people, even the called out elect, have been so saturated, so thoroughly brain-washed in the errors of the carnal church systems of man, until we speak by rote the ridiculous absurdities assimilated in the pews of religious Babylon. How astounded we are when once we learn the truth and discover that the cherished teaching or hallowed practice we have unwittingly assumed to be godly and spiritual is not only unfounded in the Word of God, but is an abomination in the sight of God!
My beloved, if ever you hope to reign with Christ YOU MUST BECOME SUBMITTED TO THE AUTHORITY OF GOD IN THE SPIRIT — THE SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL. And I’m not talking about coming to El Paso and submitting to my ministry, or to any other man, or group of men. It is amazing how "man" conscious even many who have received the call to sonship still are! They are looking for a man, a leader, a star, who can bring them into the fullness of Christ, into immortality and the kingdom. There is such a man, my friend — His name is Jesus! Certainly we should walk in love and humility with our brethren, "submitting ourselves one to another in the fear of God" (Eph. 5:21). But there is only ONE HEAD of the body — the man Christ Jesus! Some time ago I was speaking at a Conference and it had been announced that I wouldn’t be able to be there. At the last minute the Spirit spoke to me that I should go. When I walked in one of the brethren said, "A lot of people who didn’t come because they thought you wouldn’t be here are going to be disappointed." I replied, "That’s good for them!" They shouldn’t be following a man — they should be gathering together unto HIM!
There are men in this word of the kingdom who would lead you to believe that they alone have the words of life, they among all God’s prophets have the true, deeper, spiritual, mystical revelation that will lead the sons to perfection and immortality. Not discerning the Lord’s body, elevating their word and their ministry above all the Lord’s brethren, they draw disciples after themselves. But I tell you the truth and I lie not when I say that no man can minister to you that which he himself does not possess. If a man tells you that he possesses the secret and the truth by which you can save your life and possess physical immortality, yet he himself has neither stopped nor reversed the aging process, only a fool would commit his life into his hands. Ah — there is ONE, my beloved, who HAS STOPPED THE AGING PROCESS, WHO HAS CONQUERED DEATH, WHO IS ALIVE FOREVERMORE, and this One holds the Key, He knows the Secret, He Himself IS the Truth, and I must tell you today HE, AND HE ALONE, HAS THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE! All true ministries in the body of Christ bear one signal mark of distinction: they do not draw followers after themselves, they point all men to the Lord; they do not set themselves up as the last word, the only truth, they do not ask you to submit to them, or follow them to the exclusion of the other ministries in this present truth, but they present you unto HIM WHO IS THE HEAD OVER ALL THINGS TO THE CHURCH, WHICH IS HIS BODY.
I speak the truth when I say that the greatest need in this hour is for the called out people of God to truly KNOW THE LORD FOR THEMSELVES. Let all who treasure the beautiful hope of sonship seek God, and walk with God, and know God, and hear from God, and submit to Him in all His ways, yielding to His will, obeying His word, and God Himself will be your Father and you will sup with Him, and He with you. Ask the guidance of the Holy Spirit, thrust yourself in utter abandonment upon His love and care, and before you realize it you will find yourself digging deep in the storehouse of God’s treasures of wisdom and knowledge and sitting with Him at His banqueting table. He will spread a table before you in the presence of your enemies, He will lead you through green pastures; He will reveal to you fountains of living water flowing from within; He will cause you to rest beside cool, still streams; and HE, the Great Shepherd of the sheep will abide with you and your cup will overflow with the unspeakable riches of His grace and the wonder of His glory, wisdom, and power!
Clearly, the most faithful under-shepherd is not the Great Shepherd of the sheep. Under-shepherds do not lead the flock! Every flock has only one shepherd. The under-shepherds bring up the sides and the rear to make sure that every sheep follows the shepherd! Those who are closest to the Lord, who know Him best, and are more deeply conformed to His image, can only direct the searching soul to the Lord. They can never satisfy the hunger of the heart that is going out after Him. How we praise God for all the help we have received through every chosen vessel that He has used to draw us onward toward Him, and into a deeper relation to Himself. With what gratitude to God do we remember those whom He has used to point out to us a nearer approach to the reality of God. How tenderly we look back upon every faithful servant and child of His, who brought us new light, who stirred within us a deeper hunger for God, who opened to us an understanding of His great plan and purpose in us, who provoked us to holy jealousy and emulation through their godly lives.
How we praise God for those who warned and instructed us through the exhortation and admonition that they gave in the hour of need, or in times of weakness or immaturity. How our hunger for Reality, abandonment to God’s will, and desire to follow the Lamb all the way to mount Zion, have been increased as we have seen that mysterious light which radiates from the spirits of those who have soared with Him into the heavenly heights. While we thank God for every instrument He uses in our lives, how little one or all of these precious ones can be, compared with our Beloved, if in any way they take His place and draw us to themselves rather than to Himself. We must esteem every servant and instrument of God "exceeding highly in love for their work’s sake," but we must never permit them to usurp the place of the Good and Great Shepherd in our lives and affections. Therefore the elect of God in this hour have no desire for an under-shepherd to lead them; and when they do not yield to them, they appear as though they were a stranger. But that is not it at all — it is that the Lord Himself is becoming ALL to us!
The following confirmatory words are from Elaine Cook. "During the summer there are always numerous ‘gatherings’ being held. Some have ‘stars’ that you simply must hear! I was praying about this and the Lord answered me. ‘In those in whom I am now coming forth, there are no ‘stars’ so-claimed by men. It is a meek and lowly people — so hidden away and obscure that their names have never been heard in ‘the spiritual market place.’ They are not known for special giftings or mighty prophetic words, but they know Me. This is the standard for My ‘mighties’ of this day — they that know Me! It matters not at all if they are known and acclaimed of man, or even if their brethren know them not. ‘The Lord knoweth them that are His.’ ‘And I know who is paying the price to receive the glory of My nature.
"‘My church does not yet realize that they must become nothing before they can have My true power working in them. The power of gifts is not from the nature of man. It is from the gift that I have given unto the man. I am preparing those who look not for outward gifts to show their spirituality, but whose nature is like Mine because they have been submissive to letting the fire do its work until the strength of the natural man has been utterly subdued. These are My Man in the earth — even that man that is as the fine gold of Ophir. Look for no other man to arise but this one. You shall know them by the nature that has been inworked into them at great cost’" — end quote.
We are still speaking of the deeds and doctrine of the NICOLAITANES — those who would subvert you, rule over you, and control your walk in God. The true church is made up of people who have been quickened by the Spirit and made alive in Christ — not denominations, meetings, or programs. These people can have fellowship one with another, but their spiritual walks are individual paths, sovereignly directed by their heavenly Father. Today, the hierarchical structure of the church systems has grown into a monster that exercises a lordship over the souls of men. When one bows down to a code of limited doctrines, worldly organization, and hierarchical domination, he despises God’s ever-expanding revelation, denies the leadership of the Spirit in his life, and forfeits his own spiritual inheritance.
Walking out your spiritual life under the domination of Nicolaitanism is the repudiation of one’s walk in the liberty and power of the Spirit of God within. The control from the pulpit, the structured programs, orchestrated worship, and formulated creeds are the cataracts of spiritual vision. They make you blind to the on-going purposes of God and the unfolding glory of God! Yielding to their authority is the numbing of the mind of Christ within you. It is your acceptance of serfdom and your abdication of sonship. When you bow to the puppets of Babylon you can never move beyond the little patch of salvation that they control! Under the dominion of "lords" you disavow your submission to Christ the Head, relinquish your personal responsibility to the Father, cast away your spiritual birthright, and sell your soul into servitude. Still, most Christians today prefer the comfort of vassalage in the great slave camps of Babylon, rather than to walk freely with God and develop into spiritual kings and priests. This domination produces children who never grow up! As babes at the breast they are ever dependent upon a suckling church. Thirty years later they will be sitting in the same pew, believing the same things, going through the same motions, standing up when they are told to stand, sitting when they are told to sit, singing when they are told to sing, clapping when they are told to clap, and getting all their life from the actors on the platform. They never learn to feed themselves or stand tall and strong in the kingdom of God!
THAT, my beloved, is why the Lord hates the deeds of the Nicolaitanes! That is why I hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes! That is why every overcoming son of God hates, detests, abhors, and loathes the deeds of the Nicolaitanes! To the saints in Pergamos the Lord said, in regard to them that held the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, "Repent, or I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth" (Rev. 2:16). The "sword of the Lord’s mouth" is His anointed, living WORD! The Lord Himself is now arising in us to fight against the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitanes by the word of the Lord! Through the power and might of HIS WORD, the Lord will destroy the evil influences of these "blind leaders" and will bring deliverance to His people. But, in the meantime, all true sons of God will have OVERCOME THE DEEDS AND DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITANES! Not one of God’s sons will be found in the bondage of man’s spiritual domination, for they will have overcome that bondage, as we read, "He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; TO HIM THAT OVERCOMETH WILL I GIVE TO EAT OF THE HIDDEN MANNA…" (Rev. 2:17). Indeed, God has "hidden manna" for His overcomers who are able to overcome the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. This ‘hidden manna" is new spiritual food that is reserved only for those who dwell in the Most Holy Place of His Glory! Therefore, the overcomers who overcome the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitanes are seen worshipping WITHIN THE HOLIEST OF ALL.
Amy Semple McPherson was a woman mightily used of God in the early part of the twentieth century. Many remarkable prophecies came from her lips and some of them are as timeless as the prophecies of the scriptures. Here I would share a few that have special significance for God’s elect in these days. These prophecies cover the entire period of church history, from the days of the early church all the way to the manifestation of the sons of God.
THE SIEVE OF THE LORD. Behold, two hands — strong hands — hands of the Lord; and in His hands is a sieve. He is sifting, sifting, sifting His people. Once they were small, and but as dust — then could God use them, but when they ceased to be small and helpless, when they gathered themselves together in separated lumps, they became big and hard and unyielding, and the Lord wept over them. He could no longer mold or shape or fashion them. There were the lumps of unbelief, and the lumps of pride; those lumps of self and doubts and fears; those lumps of formality and ceremony; God could not put them into the body. He could not form them into that glorious body, for they were no longer yielded and submissive in His hands. Once they were small, but now harder and harder and wider the lumps had grown, until they were blind, deaf and dumb and slow of understanding. Then were formed the lumps of organization and Catholicism. Oh, the stiffness and hardness of those lumps! "I must break them; I must smite them with the hammer of my Word. I must have a broken, sifted people through whom I can have my way. I must separate a peculiar people unto myself."
THE GREAT SIEVE. Behold the hands of the Lord. He put the broken lumps into the great sieve He held in His hands. The sieve had large meshes, and as He did shake and begin the work of separation, many of the smaller lumps and dust went through the sieve. Many hearts were broken and contrite under His dealings; but the bigger lumps of doubts and fears and unbelief, He had to throw them away. He loved His people, but those who would not become broken, He had to throw aside. Many went through the sieve in those early days. Many of the smaller lumps passed through the coarse sieve, but they were still hard and lumpy.
THE SECOND SIEVE. So He made another sieve of smaller meshes, and put in His people, who had passed through the first sieve. He shook them and tried them, separated them and sifted them. Many rebelled and refused to go through, so He had to lay them aside. But some went through this second sieve, and precious were they in His sight. Those who went through the sieve had to go through the world. They had to let go one of another; they had to let go of themselves and of the opinions of people. Those who passed through the sieve had to let go all foolishness and pride. O, that sifting — that separating! The Lord gathered them in His hands. There were still a few little lumps. They were still His people; but those who would not believe and be broken, He had to throw aside.
THE FINE SIEVE. Those who had gone through the sieve were not sifted fine enough, nor little enough to be molded, so the Lord made for Himself a still finer sieve. Who can understand the plan of the Lord? Into the finer sieve He put His people, and He is sifting and trying people, who will let Him have His way. All doubts and fears must be eliminated. All selfishness, the old nature, all desire for earthly honor, popularity, and recognition, must be taken away. All hardness, stiffness, and stubbornness must be taken away. All flesh, even good flesh, must be left behind. All selfish ambitions, all gossip, all earthly, idle words, and foolish communication, all falseness and shallowness, and desire for earthly leadership, must be gathered together and cast out. His people He will try again! He will sift them the second, the third time. The fourth time and the fifth time shall He sift His people. Ah! He shall have a people who can go through the finest sieve — pass the finest test, whose hearts are broken, whose spirits are mellow and yielded and who are abandoned to His will. He shall gather them together; not a grain shall be lost. But He shall gather His people together from the East and from the West, from the North and from the South — from the uttermost part of the earth He shall gather them in. He shall hold and mold them in the palm of His hand as fine dust. Once the lumps were large. They were big and great, but He could not use them. His people are a peculiar, sifted, tried people, who are as the dust of His glorious feet; and with that dust He shall form a body, even as He did from Adam in the beginning, so shall He form this body. They shall be yielded in His hands; they shall be pliable under His dealings. He shall make them into members of the body and fasten them together with cords of love.
FORMING THE BODY. The Head shall be joined to the neck — the neck to the shoulders. The arms shall take their places in the sockets, and they shall not be stiff, but shall be oiled, and soft and mellow with the Spirit. Their breasts shall be of Faith and Love, and shall be full. All the parts of the Body shall be in their places. The spine shall be formed together, and the loins shall be formed and rest in their sockets. From yielded dust shall be formed strong limbs — legs and pillars of marble, not to be removed. Of the humble members shall He form the feet; they shall be humble, and bear about the other members, yet without feet the body could not walk.
GIVING LIFE TO THE BODY. Then shall He breathe upon this body — upon His yielded, slain people. He shall breathe life into the nostrils. They shall walk not by flesh, but by the Spirit of the Lord. They shall be strong and do exploits! From the Head shall grow the long hair of separation and praise to God — not one missing.
COMING TO THE BODY. Soon He cometh! Ah, soon He cometh — this King of glory. His sifted, humble, tried people shall He take by the hand, and stand them upon their feet — many members, one Body, and catch them up to reign with Him upon His throne!
HE THAT HATH AN EAR
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches…" (Rev. 2:7).
Some years ago Harvard astronomers dialed outer space and have been listening for an answer. Their ear, eighty-five feet in diameter, is a receiving dish located near Boston. According to a column in USA Today, this endeavor is the most extensive search ever conducted for intelligent life in outer space. The project is using a sophisticated, computerized radio receiver that allows the scientists to listen and to analyze 128,000 frequencies at once, twenty-four hours a day. Whether this project is still running I don’t know, but listening for intelligent messages from the heavens is an exercise that EVERY SON OF GOD IS ENGAGED IN EVERY DAY! Jesus said, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith." So what was the Lord saying? Each person has two ears — one on each side of his head. But He wasn’t talking about a natural ear! He was talking about a spiritual ear! He was talking about an individual who has the ability to hear what the Spirit is saying from the heavens of God’s Spirit! We can all hear what man is saying, but only one with a spiritual ear can hear what the Spirit is saying! How important it is that we HEAR ARIGHT!
I am reminded of the story of the man who found himself one day in total, abject poverty. Having nothing to eat and no place to spend the night, he knocked on the door of a very big house, in the rich suburb, confident that here he could get a free meal. When the man answered the door he said, "Sir, I’m hungry. Can you give me a meal?" The man said, "No, I will not do that. What I will do is give you an opportunity to earn it. Wait here." A few moments later the rich man came back with a can of paint and a brush and said, "Here you are. You go around the back of the house. You’ll see a porch there. I want you to paint it. When it’s finished you come back here, ring the bell, give me the paint and the brush and I’ll give you a meal." Only a very short time elapsed. The front doorbell rang. The rich man answered it. There was the poor man saying, "I finished the job, now can I have my meal?" The man said, "You have painted the whole porch already?" "Yes, the only thing is, sir, it wasn’t a Porche — it was a Mercedes!"
How often have heard the Lord like that! Because of our dullness of hearing, our lack of spiritual understanding, we misinterpreted the will of God and went down a path not of His bidding. Many of the Lord’s people are like the story I read about Jack Harris. Jack became convinced he was losing his hearing. He went to a specialist, who gave him a thorough checkup. The doctor pulled out a gold watch and asked, "Can you hear this ticking?" Harris said, "Of course." The doctor walked to the door and held up the watch again. "Now can you hear it?" Harris concentrated and said, "Yes, I can hear it clearly." The doctor then walked out the door and into the next room and said, "Can you hear it now?" Harris said, "Yes." The doctor said, "Mr. Harris, there’s nothing wrong with your hearing. You just don’t listen."
It is true — at times we just don’t listen to the Spirit because we are tuned in to our soul, to our own desires, to the voices of strangers, to the world, or to our own natural understanding. The carnal mind is exceedingly dull and spiritually retarded so that truth cannot penetrate! The carnal mind is exactly like the man in a story I read once which told of an Englishman who long ago went on horseback to a certain village to collect a sum of money. As he was returning with his gold tied to his saddle, he stopped at the roadside at noon to eat his lunch. With him was his faithful dog who was his constant companion. He untied the sack of gold and set it beside him that it might not be out of his reach at any time. After he had eaten, he fell asleep for a few moments. Then he mounted his horse and continued his journey. But he forgot his gold. The dog began to run in front of the horse and bark and turn back, but the man went on his way. Then the dog began frantically to snap at the horses heels and turn back. But still his master did not understand. At last he decided that his dog had gone mad. With great reluctance he turned in his saddle and shot the dog through the head. The faithful beast looked at him with questioning eyes; then he dropped in his tracks, and the man went on his way.
Oh, yes! That is just the spirit of religion and the carnal mind! It views the voice of the Spirit and the revelation of Truth as some kind of "madness" and often through history the church systems chose to "shoot the messenger" rather than get off their horse, get down on their knees, and search out what the Spirit was saying, and regain their inheritance!
The Lord is speaking to His called out, yet not everyone is hearing it. So the admonition comes, "He that hath an ear, let him hear!" Yes, let him know that to overcome in this area of hearing is to receive all the promises, to gain the inheritance. As Ray Prinzing has often said, you cannot live on a borrowed revelation. The Spirit must personally quicken it to you, that it becomes life in your own heart, and light upon your pathway, if you are to walk it out and receive within yourself the promise it contains. May we continually be able to say with Samuel, "Speak, Lord; for Thy servant heareth" (I Sam. 3:9). Then we will be established in the new purposes of God! When the Lord says, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches," in the minds of most people this is interpreted as saying, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Bible says." You are not going to hear what the Spirit says as long as you are only Bible-oriented. We thank God for the scriptures, for they testify of Him and of His great plan and purpose, but we will never hear what the Spirit is saying until we become SPIRIT-ORIENTED!
You can hear with the natural ears, you can hear words, you can hear the sounds, and it all makes sense and seems right. But there is another ear, an inner ear, a spiritual ear, a hearing in the Spirit, and he that hears with this ear will truly hear what the Spirit is saying! You must have this spiritual ear quickened, and I’ll tell you why. Sound is vibration. The air around us is a gas. The sound that we hear is waves that make the air move and strike our ears. Sound waves are caused by the vibration, or shaking of something. It is the vibration that strikes our ear, is transmitted to the brain, and then interpreted as sound. That’s how you hear with the natural ear.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old hypothetical question, "If no man is in the forest and a tree falls, does it make a sound?" In other words, is the vibration itself sound, or is it the interpretation of the vibration by the brain that makes it sound? We were visiting some friends in Arkansas a while back. There was a little plaque on the wall in the bedroom where we stayed which said, "If a man speaks in the forest, and there is no woman to hear it, is he still wrong?" And you know, the funny thing was that all the ladies in the house were laughing about that, they thought it was so cute; somehow they perceived it as a "put down" to the man. I read it and said, "How can that be a put down of the man? Because with some women, men are always wrong; and if it’s asking if a man speaks and there is no woman to hear it, is he still wrong, it seems to me that it should be a put down to the women!" You see, it’s a matter of perception! So we had a little fun with that! What I’m saying is that sound as vibration reaches the ear and is then interpreted as sound. That’s how it works. You see, things that fall upon our natural senses, upon the ear, for instance, are understood and interpreted by the brain. But in the spiritual world, when we hear the living word of God, we don’t hear it with the outer, natural ear at all, for if you hear it with the natural ear it will go to the brain and be interpreted by the carnal mind, by our natural, human understanding. It will be just a dead letter of the word. The living word of God is received only by the inner, spiritual ear, and then the spirit transmits it to the mind in purity, because the word of God is pure. When the vibration is natural and is transmitted to the brain by the nerves from the outer ear, we receive a carnal understanding of what is transmitted. But when the vibration is spiritual and is transmitted to the mind by the spirit, then the word becomes life and light! "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." Hallelujah!
Tony Salmon, in one of his sermon tapes, shared a beautiful illustration of this truth. He said, "I wanted to bring my dog whistle to the meeting tonight to illustrate a point. When you have a dog whistle and blow upon it there’s a sound produced on a frequency that the human ear cannot hear. Now, a person who doesn’t understand this would open that whistle and blow it and say, ‘Aha! I can hear it!’ You see, when you blow the dog whistle there is a superficial sound made which you can hear. Air is rushing in and there is sort of a whistle. Some people think, ‘Ah, I can hear that. I can hear it as good as the dog can!’ No, you can’t. You haven’t heard the high frequency — you’ve heard a lower frequency. There is a sound that humans can hear, but if there is a dog here and I’m blowing the whistle, we’re hearing one sound and the dog is hearing another sound.
"This is a little scary, but this is reality. The sound we hear is reverberating on a lower wave at a lower vibration, and the limited ability of our ears can hear that; but what the dog hears is something completely different because the dog’s ears are tuned to a higher frequency or vibration. Now, hear me — what we do in this gathering is blow a trumpet. I find in many meetings that the people who are getting the most excited and are saying, ‘Yes, I hear, I hear, I hear that word,’ are merely hearing the wind that’s rushing through the whistle — they really haven’t tuned their ears to hear the higher tone of the Spirit! My desire is that when we speak and blow the trumpet that you will go home saying, ‘I have heard the voice of my Beloved.’ Don’t you know that when the voice came to Jesus saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,’ there were some who were tuned in to hear the voice of the Father and they said, ‘God is speaking.’ But others said, ‘No — it just thundered,’ because they were further away or lower down in the spirit and could only hear the wind rushing through the whistle, as it were. When Moses was up on the top of the mountain He saw God face to face and God spoke to him there; but at the bottom of the mountain the people heard only the longer sound waves coming down and all they heard was thunder!" — end quote.
I speak the truth with all soberness when I say that the Spirit is saying something in this hour! What the Spirit is saying cannot be heard with the outer ear of the fleshly mind of human understanding. When the word of God comes to you, my brother, my sister, can you hear what the Spirit is saying, or do you hear only the words of the vessel it may flow through? Vast multitudes of believers, even those who have received the word of reconciliation, sonship, and the kingdom, attend meetings and go away saying, "Oh, that was a good message, I really enjoyed that." But did they hear what the Spirit was saying? Did the Spirit say something to them? Was there a word beyond the spoken words that penetrated to the spiritual ear and spoke as the oracle of God to the inner man? When this happens, this is the revelation of Jesus Christ!
The church in scripture is always feminine. The church is called a bride, it’s called a wife, it is espoused to Christ, and is the body of Christ in the same way that Eve was flesh of Adam’s flesh and bone of Adam’s bones (Eph. 5:21-33). The church is the soul of God. The church is the woman, the womb-man where the seed is planted to bring forth new life. Reverently now I would draw your attention to the word selected by the Holy Spirit in speaking of those who have the inner ear, who truly hear what the Spirit is saying. "HE that hath an ear…" Notice it is HE, the term used is masculine. Now the Spirit is speaking of sonship! He is speaking about growing up unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. This truth is made crystal clear where the Lord speaks to the overcomer, saying, "HE that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and HE shall be my son" (Rev. 21:7).
There is as much difference between the church and the overcomer as there is between the bride of Christ and the manifest sons of God! The church of chapters two and three of the Revelation is the woman, the womb-man where the seed is planted to bring forth the manchild of chapter twelve. It is the woman of chapter twelve who, in fact, bears the manchild. The woman is glorious beyond description, clothed with the sun of Christ’s glory, with a crown of twelve stars of divine government on her head, and the moon of the cold reflective light of outward laws, rituals, ceremonies, and ordinances under her feet. This woman is typified by the two churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia against whom the Lord spoke not a word. What a beautiful and splendid woman she is!
However, sonship is the hope of all creation! It is the hope dearest to the heart of God. He has irrevocably purposed to rule the world by sons upon whose shoulders will rest the government of the world. The nations of them that are saved will walk in the light of the bride-city, the New Jerusalem, but they will be governed by the throne in the midst of the city which is the sons of God. "To HIM that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne" (Rev. 3:21). In the ages to come the whole universe will be ruled by sons of God who will deliver the creation from the bondage of corruption. No promise of world rule was ever given to the church in the whole book of Revelation! The promise is reiterated again and again to the overcomers who are the sons of God (Rev. 21:7).
The church, the bride of Christ, and the overcomers, the sons of God, make up the vast family of God, and at the head of that vast family stands Jesus Christ, the firstborn of the new creation, the firstborn from the dead, the firstborn of every creature, the firstborn among many brethren. The mother and her sons, with Jesus Christ the Head, are but one family, the cherished wife of the Lamb, beloved of Christ as His own soul, and the sons of God who shall rule the creation of God in a harmony surpassing the sweetest symphony the earth has ever known.
Moses served as a wonderful example and pattern of hearing the voice of God. When Moses was gone into the tabernacle, then he heard the voice. It is not said that the voice began to speak; rather the contrary is implied. The voice would seem to have been speaking all along, but it was only now that Moses heard it. Why did he hear it now? It was because now for the first time he had put himself in the attitude of hearing. It was when he entered into the tabernacle, it was when he consciously and deliberately and purposefully entered into the presence of God, that there woke within him the conviction that God had all the time been speaking with him.
It must be the same with us! Often we are crying in the silence of the night that no divine voice has visited us. Ah, but have we only listened for it with the ear of sense? If so, it is no marvel that we have missed its music! The voice of God cannot be heard by the ear of sense; its tones make no impression, set up no vibration, on the surrounding air, they stir not the waves of the earthly atmosphere. Its accents are too still and small to be caught by the natural ear; they are speaking incessantly, but they are drowned by the thunder, the earthquake, and the fire. If we would hear them we must enter the inner tabernacle, we must open the inner ear!
Have you not read the words of Jesus wherein He taught that miracles are only wrought by faith? Why are miracles only wrought through faith? Not because God is narrow or limited, but because truth is broad and unlimited. The eye cannot see music, the ear cannot hear colors; neither can the natural receive the spiritual! The Holy of holies is the domain of the spirit, the audience-chamber of the soul. Within its holy temple there is heard the voice of God, the voice of the Spirit. Here the mystery of life is unveiled. When we enter into the secret of God’s pavilion to speak with Him, there breaks upon our hearts the wondrous revelation of all that God doth speak!
When Jesus taught the people He emphasized the need to hear His word. To John on Patmos He said, "He that hath an ear, let him hear." The great mystery is that not one of us can create within ourselves the hearing ear! The wise man wrote these words of truth and understanding: "The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them!" (Prov. 20:12). That is why the Lord said, "He that hath and ear, let him hear." If you have a spiritual ear, then the Lord Himself gave it to you! You can no more create your own spiritual ear than you save yourself, heal yourself, or manifest yourself as a son of God. This is the calling and the work of God! I trust you are as blessed by this truth as I am. It is thrilling to realize that if we, as God’s elect, have a hearing ear, it is only because HE called us, chose us, ordained us, predestinated us, quickened us, and gave us the hearing ear!
Perhaps the most important truth you should know at this time is that you have an ear to hear. It is doubtful that you would be reading this writing if you didn’t have an ear to hear! Not only that, but we have within us all the divine faculties necessary to attain to the fullness of Christ. His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain to life and god-like-ness! There is nothing lacking of the divine resources in our lives. We have that inner, spiritual ear to hear. Now listen and hear what the Spirit is saying to His elect in this new Day! We do this by renouncing the self life of the Adamic mind and nature, by turning a deaf ear to the world and the things of it, and tuning our spiritual ear to hear His voice, declaring the pure word of the Lord.
To be continued…
J. PRESTON EBY
If you would like to receive these studies write to:
J. Preston Eby
P.O. Box 371240
El Paso TX 79937-1240
All writings are distributed on a free-will offering basis.
Pathfinder Homepage | Elwin's Articles | Margit's Articles | Other Links