KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA
“And he that overcometh…to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers…” (Rev. 2:26-27).
The imagery here is drawn from Israel’s conquest of the land of Canaan. To overcome means to conquer — that is the meaning of the word “overcome” in the Greek text. At the time Israel entered into their new land of promise it was occupied by seven “ites” — seven nations greater and mightier than they, seven nations that were exceedingly vile and corrupt, which they had to conquer, subdue, break to shivers, dispossess, rule over, and destroy! In the hidden language of the Spirit, the symbol of “land” has the meaning of “inheritance.” The land of Canaan which Israel possessed is a figure of the true land — our inheritance in Christ! Our new land in this new day of the kingdom of God is the fullness of Christ! Our spiritual inheritance is in Christ, and the full possession of our spiritual inheritance means everything Christ is experientially realized within ourselves!
The great mark of Canaan was that the land had to be conquered and that God gave such glorious victories over the strong, entrenched enemies. There is warfare in Canaan! There are giants in Canaan! There are seven great and mighty nations that must be subdued in Canaan! If we are going to possess the kingdom we are going to have to fight for it. The powers that are there will contest every foot of it; as soon as we start to posses our inheritance in God, we will come face to face with them. In that land of experiencing the fullness of Christ within ourselves we find great strongholds of hindrances, problems, weaknesses, bondages, discouragements, fears, misperceptions, carnal ideas and religious conceptions, fleshly desires, habits, sin, sickness, and death — all entrenched enemies of the realization of the mind, nature, victory, and power of Christ. But God has promised to drive out all these enemies from before us, giving us dominion over all these nations with rest, blessing, abundance, glory, and power in the land of our inheritance!
What are some of these nations the Lord has promised to deliver into our hands as we enter in to possess our spiritual land of promise?
Let us look at these seven nations!
The first is the Hittites. Hittite means terror, coming from a word meaning to prostrate or break down by confusion and fear. Terror is the emotion people feel when facing the unknown or when threatened, as Israel was when they took the first step to conquer their land. It is the emotion we come face to face with when we hear the doctor announce, “You have cancer,” or the stock market falls a couple thousand points right when we are ready to retire. There is also spiritual terror inflicted by what Lynn Hiles calls terrorist preachers. When I was a boy, the churches in which I was raised painted such a picture of God as One who is so exacting, demanding, judgmental, and vindictive, that if you went to bed at night with one little unconfessed sin in your life, not under the blood of Jesus, and should the “rapture” take place during the night, you would be left behind! I tell you that in those days I could not truly love God for being afraid of Him! The coming of the Lord sent no thrill of glory through my soul; the very thought of His coming struck terror in my heart! God was so high and holy, so awesome and exacting, so stern and demanding that I was sure I could never be quite ready to stand before His fearsome presence. How my ransomed soul exults with joy unspeakable and full of glory that God has driven that false Hittite religious spirit of terror out of my land so that I now may KNOW HIM AS HE REALLY IS! Do you think we should be afraid of someone as gracious and merciful as our heavenly Father? Should we cringe before Him like a dog that expects a kick? What has God done to us that we should be afraid of Him? God so loved the world that He gave His Son for us! God is Love!
It is a fact that most fear has its root in the unknown. People fear what they cannot see, or what they do not understand, or what they imagine to be. It’s no wonder, then, that since religion deals with an unseen world — with spirit beings, the hereafter, eternity, future punishments and rewards, heaven and hell — that people’s fears play a very important role in most of the world’s religions. You must admit that fears of pain, suffering, or death; fears of coming judgment, tribulation, or wrath; fears of spiritual punishment and unknown, unnamed torments in hell; all of these fears virtually dominate most of the religions on earth!
Those who are God’s called and chosen elect in this great day of the Lord are now being delivered from all fear and terror, for they understand by the deep inner revelation of the Spirit that all things are in our Father’s hands and all that happens in our lives is part of His wise purpose for our growth and development in Him. He is in control, no matter how dark or hopeless things seem, and He will bring us forth triumphantly as we commit our way to the Lord and trust also in Him. Now together we can raise our voices in blessed chorus with the Psalmist and joyfully sing, “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears!” (Ps. 34:1,4). The writer to the Hebrews adds, “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Heb. 13:5-6).
Even in the “valley of the shadow of death” He has promised to be with us, and even there we shall “fear no evil” (Ps. 23:4). Those in whom the spirit of sonship is revealed fear no evil! We do not fear the wrath of men! We do not fear sickness or tragedy! We do not fear death! We do not fear judgment! We do not fear hell! We do not fear the antichrist! We do not fear world government! We do not fear tribulation! We do not fear the beast! We have no fear of the “end time”! We have no fear of economic collapse! We have no fear of terrorists! We have no fear of conspiracies! We have sought the Lord, He has heard us, and has delivered us from all our fears by the revelation of His mighty power working in us! By this you can know a son of God!
We all learn the spiritual lessons our Father teaches us in different ways, but He has a wonderful teaching strategy for each of us. More than forty-five years ago a young prophet and his wife came to the church I was pastoring in Florida. One night in our home this brother’s wife went into a trance and through visions and prophecies began to reveal some awesome things. Some of them concerned murders and other terrible events that had happened far away. Times, locations, and names were given. Others concerned folks right in our church. Secret sins, including homosexuality, and even murder, were revealed in the lives of some of the saints. This continued into the early hours of the morning. It really got scary! We were told that a certain one of these people somehow knew that we had learned about his dark secrets, and that he would be coming after us. We fled out of the house in terror and spent the rest of the night at another location!
Upon returning home the next day, as soon as I pulled the car into the carport, I noticed that someone had opened the trap door overhead into the attic. My blood ran cold. My hair bristled. Fear seized me more than ever. I just knew someone was up there and they were waiting to murder me! Things got even more bizarre before the Lord intervened. Then powerfully the word of the Lord came to me, thundering within my spirit, “I HAVE N-O-T GIVEN YOU THE SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF LOVE, AND OF POWER, AND OF A SOUND MIND!” At once I saw all this for what it truly was. It was a delusion! It was not of God! And through this traumatic experience the Lord taught me one of the fundamental principles of His kingdom and life, laying it as a line, a foundation in my walk. Isn’t our Father a wonderful teacher! Every son being brought to maturity will learn some of the most valuable lessons in God’s unique laboratory and on His peculiar field trips! The principle the Lord laid in my life that day was just this: I HAVE NOT GIVEN YOU THE SPIRIT OF FEAR. Any message that genders fear, is not of God! You can take that to the bank, my brother, my sister, and you can judge all things, experiences, teachings, and ministries by that truth!
There are some preachers in this sonship-kingdom word, sad to say, who specialize in preaching fear instead of the victory and glory of Christ! They wildly speculate about world events, conspiracies, world government, the antichrist, the mark of the beast, great tribulation, etc., supposing that every national or world crisis portends the end. With each new election, or change, they suspect a vast conspiracy. They live on the brink of Armageddon. I have known precious brethren who out of fear of the world government takeover, or the Y2K delusion, sold their homes and moved to some remote area or some “safe” place. Their lives would have been better, happier, and more productive if they had stayed right where they were. It wasn’t the word of the Lord that sent them to their wilderness; it was the spirit of fear! It was the false spirit of the Hittites — one of the enemies we are now called to conquer as we possess our new land of the fullness of Christ!
For years preachers warned us that the Communists had a plan and time-table for world domination, and we were told that they were ahead of schedule. What fear this struck into men’s hearts! But it was not the word of the Lord, it was the word of the Communists! And the word failed as Communism collapsed in Russia and Europe. The preachers didn’t take time to hear from God, they just accepted the word of the Communists, inserted it into their erroneous theories about the “end-time,” and proclaimed it as truth. In this new day God is delivering His elect people from all this carnal and soulish sensationalism! There is a beautiful prophecy of king David that is addressed directly to those who have faith and confidence in the wonderful promises and plan of God, and of these he declares, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. THEREFORE WILL WE NOT FEAR, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof…” (Ps. 46:1-3).
“We will not fear!” declares the prophet. WE WILL NOT FEAR though the earth (social order) be removed! WE WILL NOT FEAR though the mountains (strong kingdoms, empires) be carried into the midst of the sea (brought down by raging, surging masses of humanity)! WE WILL NOT FEAR though the waters (peoples) be troubled! WE WILL NOT FEAR though the mountains (governments) shake! No place to hide, there, no “safe area” unto which to flee — but — WE WILL NOT FEAR because GOD IS OUR REFUGE! Aren’t you glad! As the Lord said to Israel when they entered their new land of promise, “Let not your heart faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, TO SAVE YOU” (Deut. 20:3-4).
So much for the Hittites! God is giving us the victory!
Next we meet the Girgashites. The Girgashites were known only as the offspring of Ham which means dark. Spiritually it means to be ignorant, without understanding, or having a false understanding. It speaks of the carnal mind of the natural man who “receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.” All of us have battled with our human perceptions and the reasonings of the carnal mind! And nowhere more than in the area of the word of God. Well do I remember back in the days of the great Latter Rain outpouring when a friend said to me, “Preston, I now know what the New Jerusalem is.” “What do you mean?” I asked. He replied, “WE are the New Jerusalem!” And immediately my carnal mind with its dead letter-of-the-word literalistic understanding, sighed, thinking, “Oh, brother, I’ve heard it all now!” Very shortly thereafter the mighty winds of divine revelation blew in quickening power into my own life, and in one blessed moment a whole storehouse of my old, carnal-minded, literalistic, religious interpretations put on the scriptures were swept away like chaff before a summer breeze. At last I understood!
The carnal mind is exceedingly dark and there is not one micro-milligram of spiritual understanding in it. Only those who have met this kingdom of the carnal mind and have defeated it are sons of God empowered to reign with Christ in His kingdom! I have observed through many years that in the vast majority of cases, when one is apprehended and receives the call to sonship, the very first carnal-minded tradition that is swept away is the old-order doctrine of the rapture. It’s as though that one false teaching is somehow the key or the gateway out of carnal understanding of the scriptures into the spiritual life and revelation of the kingdom of God! People who cannot within their minds cross that barrier never progress into the depths and heights of God. It is a deep mystery, but it is a divine truth that once one has slain that Girgashite giant, many others then fall in quick succession before him!
In our day when Bibles can be bought at Wal-Mart and almost any department store, and sermons can be heard any hour of the day or night, practically no one, the preachers in particular, is hearing the word of God! Multitudes read the words of the Bible but do not hear them! Intellect may grasp what is written there…but that is not a hearing. Hearing the word of God will work transformation in a man! A true hearing of the word will reveal the Father’s heart and uncover His ways and give understanding of His purposes. Hearing the word by the Spirit will bring obedience to the word — the obedience of faith — and things will begin to happen!
Taken by the Spirit to the valley of dry bones, Ezekiel was asked, “Son of man, can these bones live?” “O Lord God,” was the prophet’s response, “Thou knowest.” He was then told to prophesy to them: “O dry bones, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD!” The prophet obeyed, and as he declared to them the word of the Lord, they came together, bone to its bone. Covered first with sinews, then with flesh, those lifeless bodies were also quickened by the breath of divine life which entered into them (Eze. 37:1-10). The quickening of the dry bones was effected by their response to the Lord’s word! As they kept hearing what He was saying to them, the Holy Spirit kept working within them until they were made alive by His breath and stood up, an exceeding great army. In like manner, as we keep hearing and keep responding to the living word the Spirit is speaking today, the army of the Lord shall stand up in the earth and we shall possess all of our inheritance in Christ! Oh, yes! When the giants of the darkened carnal understanding are slain within us, the Girgashites are cast out and we possess more of our spiritual promised land! Oh, ye sons of God — HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Then we meet up with the Amorites. Amorite means publicity, prominence, or exalted. Amorites were mountaineers and lived in the high places. This speaks of spiritual pride and every thought and high thing in our lives that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. It includes all vain imaginations. It is very true that once we have conquered fear, becoming full of faith, confidence, and vision, and have slain the giants of the carnal understanding of the word, being quickened to spiritual truth — the very next formidable enemy we encounter is spiritual pride! I have seen many young saints in this walk of the kingdom become all puffed up with spiritual pride over their call to sonship and the abundance of revelation they have received. They walk around with a super-spiritual attitude looking down their noses at all the poor spiritual slobs who don’t understand who they are, or know what they know! Just this week I received a letter from a brother, at the end of which he signed his name and then wrote in parenthesis, “a manifested son.” How I wish it was true!
God’s true people are an humble people, and there is no place in the kingdom of God for an exalted spirit of self-importance because of our calling in God. That is not the spirit of sonship! Believe me, my beloved, it is all by His matchless grace! The words of the wise man are true for every son of God, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). “Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (I Pet. 5:6). Pride is a kingdom within each of us to be overcome! Away with the Amorites!
The Canaanites are the next kingdom we encounter in the land. Canaanite means a peddler, trickster, or trafficker. This bespeaks of the spirit of charlatanism, showmanship, gimmickry, pretense, and religious racketeers! It is the misuse of the anointing and revelation one has received. Ah, what a temptation that is! The Canaanites are the harlot spirits of the fleshly religious methods of Mystery Babylon. These Canaanite preachers are always peddling something, hawking their wares — some little gimmick to get you to follow them and send them your money. This is the “business” side of religion! The church systems are full of Canaanite preachers and programs and most churches today are of the Canaanite spirit. So-called Christian television and radio are the strongest Canaanite spirits of all and if you are a son of God I do not hesitate to tell you that you have cleansed yourself from following after these religious hucksters! We have all met these Canaanite giants through the years and sometimes bought of their wares. But no longer!
Above all, we have met this Canaanite spirit right within ourselves, in our very own land, for every ministry the Lord raises up, on whatever level, faces sooner or later the temptation to use the anointing of God, the revelation of God, or the power of God, and to use God’s precious people for his own profit and ends. Oh, yes! You will never go anywhere in God without meeting up with one of these giants! Thank God, most of us have encountered that nation in our land and by the power, wisdom, and understanding of the mind of Christ we have thrown down their altars, cut down their groves in all their high places, and have burned all their images within ourselves that they might not any longer turn our hearts from wholly and only following Christ into the land of our full inheritance in the Spirit!
The next nation, the Perizzites, are an open or unwalled country. They are defenseless, those who have no spiritual immune system, who dwell in a spiritual land of weakness, doubt, indecision, vacillation, limitation, inferiority, and condemnation. These are always upset, worried, offended, confused, discouraged, distressed, beaten down and full of trouble. Everything goes wrong for these folks! Their lives are one disaster after another. Those who are constantly battling within themselves this inner condition of the Perizzites have not yet learned this one simple but sublime truth — you have within you the self-existent Life of God! How many weak and weary saints are constantly running around from meeting to meeting, from revival to revival, from preacher to preacher, from prayer group to prayer group, seeking Life. These dear souls always stand in need of some “blessing.” They need you to pray for them, encourage them, counsel them, and help them on an on-going basis.
You can always spot a person controlled by the Perizzite spirits, because his whole world is on the outside. He has no defenses, no strength, no ability in Christ of his own, but is totally dependent upon what others can and must do for him. If he gets fed, someone else must feed him. If he gets clothed, someone else must provide the garment. If he gets bathed, he must borrow someone else’s water. He cannot solve any of his problems for himself, they must all be ministered to from without. He gets no word from God out of his own spirit; others must teach, counsel, prophesy, and guide him. Thus we see that there are three basic characteristics of those in the Perizzite condition. First, they have more problems than most other folks. Second, they are dependent upon others to meet their needs and solve those problems. Third, when they have a need they let it be known until someone comes and meets it!
The Perizzite spirit causes people to have the victory when everything is going good, or when they are struck with some ecstatic experience, some special blessing; but as soon as the blessing wears off they are so weak they can’t make it without another spiritual “fix.” What’s wrong with these folks? I will tell you! Their source of life is on the outside! They have not been awakened to that all-sufficient, omnipotent, self-existent life that dwells within their spirit. They are unable to appropriate the power of the Christ within for themselves. Their senses have not been exercised to discern that truly “greater is He that is within you, than he that is in the world!” They have not developed to that point of spiritual maturity where they know Christ to be the substance of their inward life, their all-in-all, sufficient to answer every question, meet every need, solve every problem, deal with every situation, overcome every obstacle, conquer every enemy, and transcend every problem within and without.
God is raising up a people who know that THEY HAVE LIFE IN THEMSELVES! These are they who have battled the spirits of the Perizzites and overcome them, and occupied their land. Oh, yes! Let me present this glorious company of overcomers, even those who have life in themselves. They are strong. They are full of faith and the Holy Ghost. They have discovered the river of life that flows out of their innermost being, life full, abundant, overflowing! They are never discouraged by any situation, nor upset by any circumstance. They are constant — not up one day, and down the next. They seldom have prayer requests. They are always encouraging others, but never seem to need encouragement themselves. They minister to many, but do not stop to be ministered to. They are not offended by what others say or do. They are not oppressed or burdened. They are not fearful, worried, or confused. They don’t quit when the going gets tough. They don’t talk about the devil, or how he has been after them. They don’t magnify their problems. They are not sad, sorrowful, or downcast, regardless of what happens. They always have the victory. They love all men unconditionally, and manifest toward all the spirit of reconciliation. The word of Christ dwells in them richly. They have been given a new song, even praise unto their God! They walk in wisdom and understanding, in confidence and faith, and rejoice in expectation of the glory of God. Their consuming passion is to see God’s kingdom purposes fulfilled in the earth.
What is the secret to these people’s victory? I will tell you! THEY HAVE LIFE IN THEMSELVES! The firstborn Son of God said, “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself” (Jn. 5:26). LIFE IN HIMSELF! That is self-existent life, a life not derived from any source, not drawn from without, not dependent upon any substance — inherent life! Therefore Jesus could say, “I am the Life!” No man before Jesus could say that. May I reverently add, that just as the Father has life in Himself, and just as the Father has given the Son to have life in Himself, so has the Father given to the sons to have life in themselves! That is the power of sonship to God! Once the Spirit of God has quickened our spirit; once we are joined to the Lord as one spirit; once the spirit of Christ dwells within us as the spirit of sonship — we too have life in ourselves!
Jesus did not come to receive life, for He was life. Jesus did not come to receive life, but to give life. Within that life was contained all the fullness of God! If He needed understanding, the understanding was in the life which was within Him. If He needed wisdom, the wisdom was in the life which was within Him. If He needed power, the power was in the life which was within Him. He possessed a nature and a life that was not dependent upon anything without, nothing could hinder, quench, or destroy that life, nothing could add anything to that life, for it was self-existent life, all-sufficient life, inexhaustible life, incorruptible life! This is the life of sonship! Once we discover this life, appropriate this life, and by it swallow up all limitation and death, we have conquered the Perizzite spirits within ourselves and are now living and resting in this wonderful new land of victory!
The next nation with which each of us contends on our march into our spiritual land of promise is that of the Hivites. Hivite means a village or encampment. It refers to that which is organized as a society — the systems of this world — doing things the world’s way! Every little “organized fellowship” which establishes some “order” to which we all must conform apart from the sovereign and spontaneous flow of the life of the Spirit, becomes one of the villages of the Hivite kingdom! This spirit of organization, exclusiveness, control, and sectarianism may be found within the flesh of each one of us and we will surely meet up with this enemy before we have fully possessed our land of the fullness of Christ. Every man-made religious system is a Hivite village or encampment!
The Hivites are sons of Canaan, the peddler and huckster, and also speaks of external forms of worship. It is impossible to worship God externally! Oh, yes, one may go through the physical motions of singing, shouting, raising the hands, swaying, dancing, or prostrating the body, but that does not mean he is worshipping. One can appear to worship externally, and it be a sham, a façade, for God is a Spirit, and they that worship the Father must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The “villages” of the Hivites take many forms, but it is always what man does and builds “for” God rather than the work of God by the Spirit!
The last of the seven nations we are called to conquer within ourselves is the Jebusites. It is interesting to note that the Jebusites occupied Zion, the stronghold of Jerusalem, and they were not dislodged from there until David conquered them long after the days of Joshua. There David established his kingdom and he reigned from mount Zion gloriously. The conquest of the Jebusite kingdom represents the final battle for possession of the land, which then qualifies us to rule and reign in the kingdom, and upon mount Zion, with the son of David, the Lord Jesus Christ! And notice, now, the final promise to the overcomer, following the final step in his overcoming in the messages to the seven churches, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne” (Rev. 3:21). That is the promise to those who conquer the nation of the Jebusites within themselves!
Jebusite means a threshing place. Ah, this is the place where we encounter trials, testings, troubles, tragedies, reversals, problems, strippings, cross-currents, and all those traumatic experiences by which we are made strongest in the Lord! This is the “much tribulation” through which we enter the kingdom of God! A lot of people are reluctant to face the warriors of this fierce kingdom! These warriors may be temptations, lusts, habits, sickness, accidents, loss, marital problems, troubles with our children, the boss, or other people, financial disaster, or a thousand other seeming tragedies that come our way for our processing. Each of these battles is tremendously important, for this is the final victory that prepares us for the throne!
As I have pointed out many times before, this journey to the throne of the universe begins in that small and undistinguished place where you are. The kingdom of God is within you. The inChristed who are to reign with Christ from sea to sea, then from planet to planet, and finally from galaxy to galaxy, are being prepared to rule. Think not in your heart, precious friend of mine, that you may pass your life here careless, indifferent to the dealings of God, suddenly to awake one fine morning to find yourself sitting with Christ governing the universe, because such a thing will not be. Begin today to MAKE WAY FOR THE KING! This present time is but a proving ground for those who through grace will reign with their Lord over the endless vastnesses of infinity. He is raising us up to sit with Him in the higher than heavenlies. And the place which He is preparing for each one is not only a world to come, and a kingdom of Life and Light, but a place in Him, bone of His bones, flesh of His flesh, spirit of His spirit, mind of His mind, nature of His nature, life of His life!
Years ago an IBM junior executive made a mistake that cost the company several million dollars. IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson Sr., summoned him into his office. Assuming the worst, the sullied young executive said, “I guess you want my resignation?” Mr. Watson replied, “You can’t be serious. We’ve just spent millions of dollars educating you!” God is the founder of the most important enterprise of all — the kingdom of God. God is now in the process of hiring, educating, and developing His management team. He is training us to become powerful rulers in that kingdom in the day when He initiates the next phase of the kingdom of heaven on earth. How much has God already expended on your training and education? God has made a supreme investment in us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Without that price, none of us could even enter into the kingdom of God, much less attain the high-ranking positions God has waiting for those who overcome — who graduate from His School of Dominion. God doesn’t stop there. He invests in us daily through His guidance and processings, through His teaching and training, and the continuous deep and vital dealings of His Spirit. By these we learn to rule!
God will never give up on us! He is investing in us with every intention of making a profit and expanding His kingdom. Our all-wise Father sees our potential. He knows our capacity to grow and develop. He is keener at discerning it than we are! Often when He initiates a training session in our lives, we think He has forsaken us, or that He hates us, or is punishing us. He is well aware of our weaknesses, and is ever ready to help! The children of God make a lot of mistakes, for children are children. Our ability to learn from our mistakes is part of what God uses to build character in us!
It is the overcomers — those who don’t leave God’s school or resign from His purposes when the lessons get hard and the going gets tough, who ultimately are given power in His kingdom. Have you made costly mistakes? Did God send a difficult test your way and your reacted badly, or failed it? Have you been stumbling and seemingly wasting God’s time? Don’t resign! Don’t lose hope! Don’t drop out of God’s school! His investment in you is too great! He will see you through! Graduation day is coming! The positions in His authority and glory are waiting! Learn the lessons that will help you to better serve in the kingdom of God. As you do, great heavenly wealth and power and opportunity lie before you in the age and the ages to come. Through you creation will be lifted, redeemed, restored to life and liberty and glory — and that’s where the real profit begins!
If you truly are being prepared to fulfill your sonship, then the Father has brought you out of the nursery of man’s comfortable religion and He has drawn you into His School of Dominion. The curriculum of this school is a very difficult one! It just means this, that God is going to thrust us into the most difficult situations. A situation is only difficult if we are unable to cope with it. When we find the thing altogether beyond our measure; beyond our understanding, wisdom, and strength, then we are in difficulty. And that is the sort of thing the Lord does with people who aspire to be sons! He places them in difficult circumstances, His objective being to get their spiritual senses exercised so that they may experientially gain HIS understanding, wisdom, and strength! It requires no genius, experience, testing, or stretching to remain as we are. But it takes some processing, growth, and development to be a son!
A son is one who is in the way of having substance within himself. Children must have everything done for them, and they live in the blessing of that to which they have contributed nothing. Spiritual children live on the benefits of what Christ has done for them and continues to do for them. They also draw upon the abilities, accomplishments, experience, faith, prayers, ministry, knowledge, strength, and wisdom of other saints. Everything comes to the child from the outside, and nothing has been done by the child itself. There is nothing wrong with that! We all love children! But these are the marks of infancy — not maturity. Sons have come out of the realm where everything is done for them! They are no longer living off of other people’s prayers, encouragements, prophecies, strength, and revelation, for the ability of God is being raised up within them by the indwelling life of the Spirit. What the son needs is BEING PRODUCED IN HIM and he is more and more walking in his own reality of the Christ within. His spiritual senses have become exercised, and he is possessing his new promised land of inheritance in Christ!
To deal with us and bring us to this state of maturity, the Lord puts us in difficult situations so that we can face the reality of His purpose in us and grow up! God says, “I will compass you about, hedge you in, shut you up, strip away every prop, remove all that you have depended upon, trusted in, and drawn your substance from; then I will precipitate you into the fiercest trials, tribulations and testings, I will make the furnace seven times hotter, and I will grow you up into sonship!” All our nice, comfortable line of things fall away at once and we find ourselves in a realm with which we cannot cope, not unlike the boy who cannot swim and is thrown into the river by his buddies.
We have been in the habit of asking questions and getting them answered, but when we enter into the battle with the Jebusite kingdom, suddenly no one can answer our questions; no prophet gives us a word, no word of wisdom is forthcoming to give us direction, no one’s prayers avail anything, the rivers all run dry, the food we have eaten becomes stale and unpalatable, the heavens are as brass, and God seems a million miles away! We are separated from all that has sustained us. Do not despair, dear one! For a season it seems that we will perish in the swirling waters — but our wise Father knows that before we go down the third time we will learn to swim! God has shut us up to the fact that from this point on everything must become ours EXPERIENTIALLY OUT OF THE CHRIST WITHIN. It is no longer something that is ministered to us, but a work that is done in us.
To truly come through to God’s full and intended place on mount Zion, we must know the Lord for ourselves in an inward way by the Spirit. It is often necessary for the Lord to suspend all external helps and render all others incapable of coming to our rescue, flinging us wholly upon Himself, that we may prove Him, know Him. This is not a permanent condition, but one we all pass through as we climb the rocky slopes of Zion and do battle with the stronghold of the Jebusites. It is a threshing place! It is there that Christ becomes ALL to us! When we have conquered in this realm, we are then ready to sit upon the throne! We now have power over all the nations and have broken them to shivers as the vessels of a potter. We rule with a rod of iron — the very strength of God in the right hand of our sonship! Aren’t you glad!
“To him that overcometh…I will give the morning star” (Rev. 2:28).
THE MORNING STAR
We are becoming overcomers by the power of the Christ within! When we have fully overcome all the “nations” that have occupied our land of promise, we shall be given “the morning star.” The morning star is that concentrated spiritual light and glory of Christ in His called and chosen elect which brings forth the dawn of the new kingdom day for all mankind. The sons of God, who have been given that morning star, which Christ within us is (Rev. 22:16), are themselves the herald of the new day which brings that glorious arising of the light of God to dispel all the night of darkness of man’s disobedience and unbelief, flooding the world with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. It is therefore imperative upon every one who has received the call to sonship to put forth every effort, spiritually speaking, to conquer every enemy in our land, grow up in Christ, and rule over all things by the life of Christ within. Then we shall receive the morning star! Then creation shall know that the dawn approaches, that the kingdom of God is coming in power, releasing the creation from its long and painful bondage to sin and death.
The appearance of Christ within His elect as the morning star is a most glorious manifestation of the Lord! It is amazing how one fresh word of revelation from the Lord can change the whole course of our understanding and give us renewed hope and a fresh vision of our Father’s purpose in us. I have been inspired and encouraged with this precious truth! It is my deep desire that all who read this message shall be encouraged in their forward walk in Christ. Every person understands what the morning star is. The morning star appears at the darkest part of the night — just before the dawn! It is not the dawn, but it proclaims the approaching dawn. It comes at the hour when the night is disputing with the morn. It is seen and greeted only by a few who are watching for it. The rest of the world is asleep. But they will soon be awakened by the arising of the Sun of Righteousness!
The morning star is promised to all who overcome, especially to those who conquer all the enemies within their land which prevent them from possessing their full inheritance in Christ. Inasmuch as Christ declared Himself to be “the morning star” and He promised to “give” this morning star to all who overcome, it is obvious that something unique and special of Christ is imparted to the Lord’s faithful overcomers. This is a “coming” of the Lord you will seldom, if ever, hear anything about from the preachers and teachers of the church systems. The televangelists, who love to flaunt the “rapture” before their undiscerning audiences, know nothing of this coming of our Lord as the morning star. But the giving of the morning star involves an impartation of the Christ! On the individual level it is Christ arising out of our spirit to enlighten the darkness of our soul, announcing the dawning of God’s glorious day that shall fill the whole earth which we are. The morning star is the glory of the Christ within arising out of our darkness which is ending, giving a vision of the dawning of the full day.
Someone once wrote, “At 4:00 A.M. I awakened and looked out my window which was half covered by frost, and half was clear, and there I saw the bright morning star. As I lay there for a while beholding the brilliance and beauty of that star, I slipped away into sleep. When I awoke again the brilliance of the sun flooded my room.” Is it not thus with God’s Christ, with God’s Day? Now we see Christ, the bright and morning star, the firstfruit, the forerunner, the prototype, the sample and first specimen of what God has purposed and planned for each and every man and woman of Adam’s race. And now Christ is coming in His overcoming elect, making them corporately what He is individually — the firstfruits, the forerunners, the prototypes, the sample and first specimen of what God intends for every man. The bright and morning star! That is what Christ gives the overcomer! The star of hope that tells us the long night of sin and death is almost over, and the Day is not far hence.
There is a remnant of God’s people over the whole earth in whose hearts the morning star is beginning to arise. This remnant have fixed their eyes upon Jesus, they are looking away from all the darkness of this world, from the chaos of sin, sickness, pain, rebellion, crime, drugs, war, terrorism, hatred, injustice, fear, and death stalking the earth; and they are looking away from the seeming hopeless carnality of the church world, away from everything to the everlasting hills of God. There is to be a restoration! The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it! His prophets have beheld it in the Spirit! Praise God, we are living in the times of this restoration!
It is the greatest day in the long history of man! I know it’s at hand because I see a people being pressed and processed into the very life of God. Not only you and me, but all creation as well will thrill to what God brings about in this glorious restoration! Everything hinges on that body of sons that is to be manifested in the perfect state of the image and likeness of God. And those who receive of this victory and glory, filled with the mind of Christ, conformed to the image of the Son, with a full and complete triumph over sin, carnality, limitation, and death — these make up that blessed company to whom is given the morning star. Flooded with His life and light they become the herald, the harbinger of the near-approaching dawn.
We have passed through a time of great darkness. It has been a long night of travail — yearning, waiting, longing. Darkness has blinded the minds of men, a deep sleep has been upon the Adamic race, the death of the carnal mind has kept earth’s inhabitants in the regions of the shadow of death. But let it be shouted from the housetops — THE LIGHT IS COMING! THE MORNING IS APPROACHING! It is time to cast off all works of darkness, now to be clothed with the armor of light. CHILDREN OF LIGHT, STARS AND SUNS, WE ARE TO BECOME. Birthed into the new age, to bring forth the glory and triumph of His kingdom. Thank God, the morning star is piercing the sky darkness! Thank God, a few of His chosen ones have arisen to behold the glories of the dawn and to drink in the intoxicating freshness of the morn!
One of the reasons there is darkness today is because of the false doctrines and dark traditions of the church systems of man. No wonder God’s people are full of unbelief, filled with doubts, overwhelmed with fears, and walking in the carnality of the natural mind. No wonder they magnify the works of the devil and declare him more than they declare the power of God. They know not the DAY in which we are living, because of the darkness of their minds. They receive death and they feed on darkness all about them. But God has raised you up, my brother, my sister, as a light this very day, that you might dispel the darkness and remove these heavens that men have been dwelling under and establish something completely new in the earth, a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness! Bring forth in your life a new likeness, the image of God, that you may declare HIM that is supreme throughout all the earth and that He may reign in every heart. Behold the dawn!
Let us not sleep as do others. We who have received the love of the truth are heirs to a higher calling. We have privileges, and we have duties to perform. We must be about our Father’s business. It is time to take the kingdom. It is time to cross over this Jordan and conquer all the nations and every enemy that stands before us. He who conquers shall receive the morning star. Christ in all His glorious and eternal fullness shall be given to this one! He shall then, upon mount Zion, herald the dawn for all mankind! It is time to look up, time to arise and shine. The day is at hand. The night is far spent. We must go forth and lead the way for all who will follow.
Hallelujah for the morning star!
I awoke, and the night was passing,
And over the hills there shone
A star all alone in its beauty
When the other stars were gone.
For a glory was filling the heavens
That came before the day,
And the gloom and the stars together
Faded and passed way.
Only the star of the morning
Glowed in the crimson sky;
It was like a clear voice singing,
“Rejoice, for the Sun is nigh!”
O beloved! A star is shining,
Arising in God’s sons —
It is Christ with a voice of singing,
“Rejoice! for today I come!”
To be continued…
J. PRESTON EBY