KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
BREAKING THE SEALS
“And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held…” (Rev. 6:9).
The end of the first four seals has now been reached, and at this point there is an obvious break in the hitherto harmonious order of the visions. No fifth horse and no fifth rider appears when the fifth seal is broken, and we pass from the process of conquering the carnal mind, the flesh nature, and the Adamic life, on to the full accomplishment of that work within us — one hundred percent death to self! Total death to our soulical selfhood and everything within us that is contrary to the life of the spirit is the conclusion, consummation, and termination of the process. Therefore the horses of conquest cease to gallop through our life! This is confirmed when the fifth seal is opened, for there we see the finished product of this conquest! “And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that had been slain…” The “souls” of them that had been slain — the soulical life done away, symbolically “under the altar” where the blood and ashes of the burnt offering are found! How beautiful is this scene! How expressive! When the soul is destroyed by a complete, continual and total sacrifice, the “souls” of those who had been “slain” appear under the altar! We are being “killed” as to our earth-life as these horses run through our mind, heart, and experience, but we are also being made alive unto God as the Lamb breaks the seals off of the Christ in our spirit so that the life of the Lamb be revealed out of this book which we are. Though shrouded in symbols hard to be understood by the natural mind, these are all beautiful spiritual realities fulfilled in the life of each and every son of God!
In reading the book of Revelation we must bear in mind that everything recorded there describes scenes and events that transpire as the work of the Spirit within us. “I was in the Spirit” is John’s clear affirmation in his opening remarks (Rev. 1:10). All that the apostle saw and heard was with his spiritual senses, for the realities of the Spirit can only be apprehended by our spirit. Thus, the expression “under the altar” indicates a condition in spirit rather than a place. It describes those who are under the absolute dominion of Jesus Christ! They are slain not for any personal wrongdoing, but that there might be a revelation of Jesus Christ. Moreover, they are not slain in body but in soul. All the keys to the mystery are right there in every line of every page of this wonderful book once we are able to see by the Spirit!
Without the understanding of the spiritual nature of this book, and that the whole is symbolical and visionary, men ask foolish questions when reading scenes like the one in our present passage. Based on this scene of the souls John saw under the altar some have asked whether it is really possible to see souls without bodies. But the question is absurd. John was in the Spirit, and in the Spirit he was in the heavenly realm. All that he beholds he sees in and by the Spirit and in a vision, so that the question whether in our present state we would be able to see souls may indeed be considered absurd. Then too, many carnal-minded people have used this passage in order to picture the abode of the dead after this life and before the resurrection. That thought is equally ridiculous for the same reason, namely, that the whole is visionary, symbolical, and spiritual!
That these slain ones are found “under the altar” shows how far removed we are from literal meanings. We are not to think that John had a vision of a physical altar with souls peeping out from underneath! There is a heavenly temple, and everything represented in the earthly temple was patterned after the celestial one. There is a “true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man,” of which the tabernacle that Moses built was the material picture copy. As the writer to the Hebrews explained, “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly (spiritual) things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount” (Heb. 8:5). The altar we see here under the fifth seal pertains to that heavenly sanctuary whence the “pattern” of the earthly was taken. The earthly was the altar of burnt-offerings where all bloody sacrifices were made. That does not mean that there is a “literal, material” altar up in some far-off heaven somewhere where celestial animals are offered up. Oh, no! There is no actual altar in heaven! These are not literal but spiritual realities in the heavens of God’s Spirit! Nor are the righteous departed stored up there under an actual altar, nor do they cry for vengeance upon them who have persecuted them on earth, as we read in verse ten! Again, throughout this book of visions we are in the region of hieroglyph. The slain are so represented as “under the altar” because the altar represents sacrifice unto death!
No doubt the strangest feature of this vision is the position of the souls “under the altar.” For the people of Israel in Bible days the life or the soul of a person was in the blood. The Lord was very specific when He instructed Moses, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). The Hebrew word for life in this passage is nephesh, which is also the word used for soul. Life, blood, and soul are inseparably related throughout the scriptures. In sacrificing the daily burnt-offering, the priest had to perform several actions with the blood of the sacrificial animal. When he had done so, “the rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering which is at the door of the tent of meeting” (Lev. 4:7). This was to show that the life was wholly and forever given to God, for the smoke from the altar on which the animal was sacrificed ascended to God. The base of the altar was therefore always red with the blood (i.e. with the souls) of the sacrifices that had been offered upon it.
SLAIN BY THE WORD OF GOD
“I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held” (Rev. 6:9).
These souls have often been referred to as “martyrs” and indeed they are, but not in the outward, physical way men think of martyrs. The first physical martyr for Christ was Stephen who was stoned to death. Most of Jesus’ original twelve disciples were so martyred for the gospel’s sake. Tradition says that Peter, when he was about to be executed, requested to be crucified up-side-down, not feeling worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord. In the early days of the church untold thousands of people gave their lives rather than renounce their faith in Jesus Christ. Some were beheaded, some were crucified, others were burned at the stake, while others were fed to lions in the arena in Rome. In our day Russia and China, especially, have much blood on their hands from the many thousands of believers they martyred under the communist regimes. We would not for one moment depreciate or make light of any of these sacrifices offered up to the Lord in this way. I’m sure that their reward is great!
The vision that John saw, however, was symbolic. Notice that those of this royal company “were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” On the surface, this may sound as though these were physically martyred for their faith in Jesus and their testimony of Him. But the spirit of the word points us to a truth much deeper and more spiritual! Keep in mind also that those who were already “slain” were told to rest for a little season, “until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” (Rev. 6:11). Next, we need to understand HOW these elect ones are “slain” or “killed,” for the scripture clearly declares that they are all to be slain in the same manner. To be “slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held” bears a very special meaning in regard to their slaying. It indicates a special process of “death” that is different and unique.
The Greek word translated “for” in our text is dia, meaning “because of, as a result of, by.” In reading this superficially we might think it to mean that these souls were slain or martyred by enemies because they believed the word of God, but that interpretation misses the point! The truth is that they are slain either because of, or as a result of, or by the word of God Consider the scene! The white horse had approached, and the Rider on that horse had touched them. The result was that their inner being had been awakened and turned about. They had been regenerated by the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, and given a new and living hope. They had been called by His Word! They had been dealt with through the dealings of God under the ministry of each of the four horses, and given a vision of the kingdom of God coming with power. Thus the word of God had become their subjective possession. More and more they were motivated by that word, governed by that word, dominated by that word, subjected by that word, and subdued by that word. The word of God was working mightily in them to bring to the death their human consciousness, their soulical life, and to bring forth the new man in the image of the Son of God!
Never forget, my beloved, that the word of God is a sharp two-edged sword that cuts deeply and powerfully, that divides asunder, severs, separates between soul and spirit (Heb. 4:12). Essentially then, we are not only slain because of, or as a result of, but truly by the word of God! Anytime we take the word of God and assimilate it into our life, all our old soulical thoughts, concepts, emotions, desires, and will are going to die! The living, energetic word of God working in each of God’s called and chosen elect, puts all our selfhood to death. Our old human identity is slain because of, as a result of, yea, by the entrance of the word of truth by the spirit! Oh, the wonder of it!
That is the death or slaying that all of us have been going through. Like Paul, we are dying daily, not literally or physically, but mentally and spiritually. A unique process of death is working in us to bring an end to the Adamic nature within us and raise us to the fullness of the Life of Christ. And when the work is finished we join the souls “under the altar” as the slain ones of the Lord! There will not be a further activity for us until the rest of our brethren, who are to be killed as we are, has been fulfilled. Therefore it is my deep conviction that the Spirit of God in this very hour is completing this work in the entire son company, and shall complete it, before the glorious manifestation of the sons of God! It must be thus in order for God to be able to entrust into our hands THE OMNIPOTENT POWER OF MANIFEST SONSHIP AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
We are slain by the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. We may have read that beautiful passage ten thousand times, but today it holds new meaning. The black-covered book called the Bible is not the word of God. Now don’t misunderstand what I say! The Bible is most assuredly the inspired and inerrant record of the words, plans, purposes, acts, and dealings of God in relation to His people. I don’t think there is a person who reads these lines who could imagine that I have any disrespect of the holy scriptures. When you read my writings you get the scriptures over and over and over again. The very title of our message is KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES! We have quoted thousands of scripture passages in confirmation of the truth we speak in God. But our text is not speaking of the scroll; it is not referring to that which is written upon parchment or paper. It’s talking about the Living Word of the Spirit of the Christ within! Every man and woman who has received the call to sonship is learning to tune in to that higher frequency where we hear His voice. Our very sonship depends upon it. Our destiny in God depends not on our ability to understand the outward letter of the word, but upon our being able to hear the voice of the Son of God within! The testimony of Jesus and the word of God is that voice which speaks on the inside of us out of the mind of Christ when the old head of Adam has been chopped off!
In the outer court, and even in the holy place, men take the Bible and declare, “This is the word of God!” But when we come to the most holy place there is a vital change that takes place. In the outer court and in the holy place we say that what is written in the external book is the word of God. But in the most holy place God speaks audible words from between the cherubim, over the mercy seat, and we hear the voice of God from out of that temple which we are — He speaks from within our innermost being, out of the inner sanctum of our spirit, the most holy place of our being. What He speaks to us is the word of God on a higher level than what is written. Jesus used the written words of God, and He used them quite effectively! But He didn’t live by the written word. Oh, no!
In the hour of His temptation in the wilderness Jesus said, in effect, “Devil, I am not living by bread (the written word) alone; I am living by the latest word my Father has spoken to me. I live by that word that is proceeding and continues to proceed out of His mouth! The last thing my Father spoke to me was when I came up out of the waters of the Jordan and the dove lighted upon me. My Father spoke and said, ‘You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’” Jesus was saying, “Devil, don’t you get it? I don’t have to take stones (the dead letter of the word) and turn them into bread to prove to either you or myself that God is my Father. He spoke it to me! I live by every word I hear my Father speak!” And later, during His ministry, as He taught the kingdom of God, He said, referring to the scriptures, “It was said by them of old time…but now I say unto you!” In this day of our walk as sons of God it is what the Father is speaking out of His dwelling within us that causes us to live!
Before moving on from this thought I would speak concerning “the testimony which they held.” After only a casual reading we might also suppose that when John says that these were slain “for the testimony which they held” that they were martyred because they spoke of Jesus Christ, or because they passed out tracts, went door to door witnessing, or somehow shared with others their faith in Jesus. However, testimony means “evidence given.” The evidence we give is not by standing up in church and giving a verbal testimony, but the evidence is seen by the fact that our soulish life has died, that is, it has ceased to express itself apart from the spirit. Our soulical life is slain so that the evidence of the living Christ in our spirit may be fully revealed! Aren’t you glad!
Most believers do not realize that a martyr is one who is faithful in life, as well as in death — indeed he may never be killed and still be a martyr. This beautiful truth has often been missed because we have not understood that the New Testament word “witness” is from the Greek martus which is translated “martyr” in Revelation 2:13 and 17:6. When we think of “witnesses” we do not think of people who are being killed! At a trial the witnesses are those who testify for or against the defendant, and it is the defendant who is sometimes put to death — not the witnesses! But neither can we think of them according to the old religious idea of someone who goes door to door passing out tracts or one who makes it a point to speak about the Lord to everyone he meets. Such are often guided more by carnal religious zeal than by the leading and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Scripturally and spiritually a witness is one who gives his life for the testimony he bears! And I dare say it requires an enduement of the Holy Spirit to enable us to so lay down our life for the message we declare that WE BECOME THE MESSAGE, OUR WHOLE LIFE SWALLOWED UP IN THE MANIFESTATION OF THAT MESSAGE. A state of being that proclaims the truth regardless of whether we speak it or explain it or not. To witness to the truth is to give your life to that truth, to thus become the truth!
It is instructive to note that a number of people are referred to in scripture as martyrs (Greek martus, martureo, a true and faithful witness), though there is no record of them being killed. It must be remembered that the word martyr has changed its meaning. It was not necessary in Bible days that a man should actually suffer in order to be a martyr. Sometimes he did suffer, sometimes he did not. Indeed, strictly speaking, it is not necessary today to suffer in order to be a martyr. Suffering never made a saint a martyr. Death never made a child of God a martyr. If a follower of Jesus is not a martyr before his death he is not likely to be after his death. A martyr in those early times was one who went before kings and councils with a willingness to endure affliction if need be. Oftentimes he did not suffer at all, but he bore witness, that’s the point. A martyr is one who bears witness to the truth! And often it was their very countenance, actions, and state of being that witnessed louder than any word they could speak!
The question follows — in what manner are these souls slain for the word of God, and for their testimony? The answer is clearly given in Revelation 20:4 wherein we read, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Some of the older translations say that these are the ones who were beheaded, who had their heads cut off. In some of the newer translations, one says they were executed for their testimony, another says they were cut with the ax; another, that they were executed with the ax. What does this mean?
As I searched the mind of the Spirit about this, it came to me so powerfully. You remember that Jesus said that he who would lose his life for His sake and the gospel’s, would keep it unto life age-enduring. The head of every man, to begin with, is that old self, the mind of Adam, the man of flesh. When I was in school I was taught that self-preservation is the first law of nature. And how we do try to take care of, and preserve, this outer flesh man! We live for him, for his needs, his wants. These are the things most men, and even most believers, are concerned about — what self thinks, wishes, and desires. If we are to truly become manifest sons of God, this old head must be chopped off and a new head take his place! That is the mystery. This old self must be put to death, with his will, desires, concepts, and values, and the mind of Christ have complete Lordship over our beings.
Merely believing on Him does not produce this, it requires complete and absolute surrender and consecration to Jesus Christ, the putting off of the old man, and the putting on of the new; forsaking the old mind and image of the flesh, and putting on the new mind and nature which, in the image of God, is created in righteousness and true holiness. The Lord Jesus must become the new head. That is what it means to be “beheaded” for our testimony and the word of God! But notice, these are beheaded in soul. True, John the Baptist and others were beheaded physically, but here the beheading takes place in the soul. Strictly speaking, the soul does not have a head, but as the seat of man’s personality it embraces our will, intellect, emotions, and desires. To be beheaded in soul is to experience death to the self-life. Death to self is imperative upon all who shall have the revelation of Jesus Christ out of their lives!
In his letter to the Philippians the apostle Paul writes, “If any other man thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law a Pharisee, as to zeal a persecutor of the church, as to righteousness under the law blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as dung in order that I might gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through the faith of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:4-9).
This is also one of the greatest proofs that those who are slain, whose souls are under the altar, are not literal, physical martyrs. You see, beloved, ALL OF THESE SOULS ARE BEHEADED! The actual physical martyrs, from the time of Christ unto the present, have been killed in a variety of ways — they were not all, nor even were most of them, beheaded! Furthermore, if only those who have been physically decapitated shall reign with Christ in His kingdom, as stated in Revelation 20:4, then indeed very few shall reign! So this cannot possibly be talking about those who have laid down their physical lives for the sake of Jesus. Can we not see by this that to be beheaded means to have ones head cut off. One fact stands out plainly in this symbolic language — it cannot allude only to those who actually died physically as martyrs, for should that be the case even the beloved John would have no hope of reigning with Christ! However, John suffered more by living the Christ-life than if he had been actually beheaded. Legend tells us that he was once boiled in oil, but emerged like the three Hebrew children, unharmed. He was exiled to the isle of Patmos under the most harsh and primitive conditions, where he was given the Revelation.
When the blessed spirit of wisdom and revelation from God opens our eyes to comprehend the great truth of our spiritual beheading, we will have found the key to the very life of Christ. It refers to those who live as martyrs! A martyr’s grave was very often but a release from persecution, an easy way out. Martyrdom in the spiritual sense does not mean a violent, untimely death. The way into glory is through death; death to self, death to the flesh, death to the world, death to the carnal mind, death to the Adamic consciousness, death to the ego, death to our own way and will, death to the religious spirit — living the crucified life! It is the death process within us that removes from us all that is not of God. What a wonder that is!
You will understand a great truth when you understand that all death is not the same death. Many think that when the scriptures speak of death they always refer to the death of the body. The truth is, in the New Testament death only occasionally speaks of the death of the physical body. When Jesus says that we must take up our cross and follow Him He does not mean that we must construct a wooden cross, take it up as Jesus did, and have someone nail us to it. Jesus did physically die on the cross, the symbol and pattern of the death of old Adam. But Adam in us is not crucified by hanging on an outward, wooden cross. And in case you think you don’t have any Adam in you, let me ask you — do you have a physical body that was born of flesh parents who are biologically descended from Adam? And does that flesh part of your life even today have any desires, inclinations, urges, temptations, or propensities to express something other than the mind, wisdom, purity and power of Christ? Don’t raise your hand, I’ll let you answer that for yourself! Paul says, “Mortify (kill, deaden, deprive of power) therefore your members which are upon the earth; sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5). Paul said, “I die daily.” He said, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” In none of these passages is he talking about leaving this body and flying away to some far-off heaven somewhere. He’s talking about dying to that outward, that external, that carnal, that fleshly, that natural, that realm of corruption, that human consciousness and identity. For you see, my beloved, that’s not who you really are! You are really a spiritual being, born of God, the offspring of God, who is the Father of your spirit. The spirit of sonship is in your spirit! Christ in you is the value of your life and your true destiny. That is who you really are! Death to self is simply the renouncing of our carnal mind and fleshly life, choosing rather to yield to the mind and life of the spirit, to live out of that divine, incorruptible sphere of being.
That’s why Paul is telling us that “to die is gain.” There is no gain in going to the cemetery, but to die to the carnal mind is to gain the mind of Christ! To die to the natural is to gain the spiritual! To die to the earthly is to gain the heavenly! To die to the flesh nature is to gain the divine nature! Oh, yes! God gives us the opportunity every day to die. Are we taking up our cross daily and following Him to mount Calvary? “He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
The death of the cross was the death that was reserved for criminals and for the vilest of men. What would you think of a person who had a gold chain about his or her neck with a pendant of an electric chair on it? Or a hang-man’s gallows? Or a guillotine? Or a gas chamber? Or a hypodermic needle? “How gross, how repugnant, how macabre, how gruesome, how insensitive!” you say. “How terrible to think that anyone’s mind is that death oriented!” Let me tell you something, my beloved — in the day of Christ the cross was an instrument of execution, not one bit different than the gas chamber, electric chair, or lethal injection of today. It was the place where criminals were put to death! And Jesus said we are to take up our cross — our gas chamber, our hang-man’s noose, our electric chair, our hypodermic needle — and follow Him! It is a place of execution. It is the place where we are brought to our extremity. And once we understand what the cross really means it becomes crystal clear why Jesus has prescribed it. ADAM IS A CRIMINAL! The carnal mind is the deceiving mind of a con man, deceiving the whole world with perverted logic, worldly philosophy, intellectual fiction, false values, and man-made religious ideologies, robbing men of Life! The flesh nature is responsible for all the bigotry, hatred, strife, wars, murders, sexual immorality, drug abuse, child abuse, spouse abuse, tyranny, slander, selfishness, greed, lies, misrepresentations, thefts, scams, and a thousand other ills that afflict mankind, including the people of God! Oh, yes, Adam is a criminal!
As we follow on to know the Father in sonship, the Lord is taking greater control of our lives. He who shall rule and reign over the earth and all the universe, must first rule and reign in the lives of His elect. Christ is indeed reigning in our lives, for we are aware that we are no longer in control of our lives! Another one, Christ, the inner son, now controls our lives according to His eternal purpose, and it is the Lord! You will know that Christ reigns in your life when you truly realize that you no longer control your own life. Your destiny and mine are fixed in God! Christ is now reigning in us in greater and greater measures as we grow up into the Headship of Christ.
Larry Hodges struck a deep chord of truth when he wrote, “Remember! The soul is the seat and place of the emotions, the intellect (rational mind) and the will. We must lose our head-life so that the sun of reason is no longer the light by which we walk. The moon of the sense-life (emotions, how we feel) must be clothed as sackcloth and every starry imagination must be cast down and every thought brought into captivity to Christ. It is during this present time that we must learn to walk in that realm to which we have been raised!”
Some time ago I read the following news release. “Just when you thought you had heard it all…doctors have now taken the living head of one monkey, and transplanted it onto the body of another. Six hours after the surgery the monkey could hear, see, and taste, and had feelings around the face. One thing they have not been able to do yet is to re-attach the spinal cord, therefore the monkeys could not move their new bodies. Scientists feel they will overcome this problem possibly within a year. Doctors believe this operation could be successfully performed on humans by placing the head of a person who is dying on the body of a person who is brain dead. Dr. Robert White of Case Western University says, ‘I’m talking about a procedure that could actually be done with appropriate practice and safeguards. I don’t want to say tomorrow, but certainly within the year.’”
Ray Prinzing expressed it so well when several years ago he penned these words, “Even now they are contemplating the problems that might arise, and what would be involved if they tried to implant another’s brain, another’s mind. This totally staggers me, and I cannot begin to delve into such things, they are beyond me — but there are some aspects here that make for interesting allegories, parables, for being renewed into the mind of Christ. We cannot begin to speculate what it would mean to have a mind that is fully programmed in certain ways, to be placed onto our body, which would then have to respond to signals and thought patterns which are utterly foreign to us. The frustration, revolutionary changes, seeking to adapt to a whole new program, and the conflicts that this would create are unimaginable.
“The Lord would implant of HIS MIND into us, and our poor carnal minds are so programmed toward the flesh, so that we find our responses to Him are somewhat mixed and confused at times. But the more HIS MIND takes over, and we are renewed into Him, the less conflict there is in us, and the more we possess His peace. It is worked into us by degrees! And I am certain that He is doing it just as fast as we can bear the process. Only in the measure it proceeds from the Lord can we be so changed, for it is to be HIS MIND, not the product of our own thinking, reasoning, etc. We may groan and weep because of the subjection to this bondage of vanity, but we are unable to change ourselves out of us. The mind for that is HIS, and we must needs be renewed into His mind, so that the directions are pure and true.
“Seems so easy to let our minds run through a whole scheme of reasoning, until we think we have it all thought out and have the right answers to a thing, and suddenly find that it is all contrary to what the Spirit is doing and working in a situation. And He has to re-program us into the mind of Christ! We have been so programmed into negativity, and it takes a lot of warfare to cast down all those negative imaginations, and begin to be CLOTHED WITH HIS POSITIVES. It is now an established fact that far more programming than we realize has already begun while the baby is in the womb. This mind of the flesh is so deeply rooted in us, that to be renewed into the mind of Christ often takes some very strong action by the Spirit, and some intensive processing with the tests and trials, to bring us to the end of man’s thinking, and into HIS mind.
“The tragedy is not just that we are so given over to the mind of the flesh, by all the natural programming that takes place from infancy on, but that even in religious realms Christendom continues to program men and women with negativity, sin-consciousness, devil-consciousness, traditions of men, etc., so that it requires some deep inworkings of the Spirit, and the illumination of HIS LIGHT in divine revelation, to burn out the old mind, and renew us into His mind and truth, changing us from minding the flesh, to minding the Spirit.
“In the natural medical realm of transplanting organs, one of the great problems that they face is that of REJECTION — the body rebels against the new organ, and in doing so would actually destroy itself, but it needs that new organ to sustain its life. The body says, ‘I don’t want it, it is foreign to me,’ and if they cannot end this rejection, death will ensue. Jesus said, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it’ (Lk. 9:23-24).
“To reject Christ, that we might continue on our own way, in our self-will, means certain death. It is a course of self-destruction! Therefore it is most essential that this rejection be turned the other way around, and we DENY SELF, and RECEIVE HIM, for in doing so, while we have lost our own self-life, we have truly been brought into HIS LIFE which abides. Just as the new organ accepted into the body means that person shall live, so also, WE MUST RECEIVE HIS MIND if we are to be programmed into the POSITIVE LIFE OF THE AGES. In the losing of the old diseased organ there is no real loss if there is the receiving of the new healthy organ to take its place. To lay down our own self-life is no loss when we are then brought into the fullness of HIS LIFE, it is ALL GAIN, it is so much higher, that the old is not worthy to be compared with the new. HIS MIND is complete, programmed for victory, enduring through all ages. Lord, renew me into your mind! Then shall we know what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God, and shall be able to live pleasing to Him” — end quote.
That’s the key — we have to be beheaded! John the Baptist came on the scene first proclaiming this message of the kingdom and his very first word was “Repent!” The word repent means a whole lot more than just changing our mind about a thing, or re-thinking things. The Greek word means the taking of a new mind and in order to do this we must be beheaded. Cut off the old head! The old head that contains Adam’s thought processes. The thinking of the carnal mind is perverted, erroneous, twisted, distorted, stupid, and insane, because that old head contains upon it the mark of the beast. It is a bestial mind! The mark of the beast is not something that comes to you, to Adam’s head — the carnal mind is already marked with it! John the Baptist knew that. Jesus knew that. They said, “Change your head…get a new head…repent! Lose the old head, cut it off, be beheaded — repent!”
The old way of thinking has been removed from the shoulders of every son of God who reigns with Christ in the kingdom! In the scripture passage I quoted earlier from Revelation 20:4, those who have been beheaded are the ones who sit upon the thrones! Those who sit upon the thrones are the ones that have put on the new head of the mind of Christ! This is a conscious action on our part — we can daily choose to cut off the old way of Adamic thinking and put on the new way of thinking by the anointing of sonship. Oh, yes, we can!
We have believed the error that the day of the Lord is nothing but blessing, that there is naught but light and life and glory, but the truth is this day will take your head, it will take your life. It comes with a sword in its hand and it comes to deliver you from the mind of Adam, from your human consciousness and carnal understanding. The word of the Lord comes to separate us from all corruption and mortality until we are no longer affected by the powers of this dark age. Paul was explaining why we must be beheaded when he said, “To be carnally minded is death.” Just as sure as I live and breathe, the sword of the Lord comes to each of us to remove the power of death from off our shoulders. Aren’t you glad!
The sons of God are becoming kings and priests and judges by the authority of the name of the Lord. The name of the Lord is His nature! Through the deep dealings and intense preparations of the Spirit, we are being delivered of the carnal nature and mind, and are receiving the mind of Christ. We are being “beheaded by the witness of Jesus, and by the word of God” (Rev. 20:4). Oh, yes! It is not just “for” the witness of Jesus, and not merely “for” the word of God that we are losing our head, as the King James Bible expresses it, but it is truly BY the witness of Jesus within us, and BY the living power of His word within us that we are being changed! This means that we are being delivered from the headship of man, and are now coming under the true Headship of Christ. We have abandoned the judgment of our own mind, our own opinion, our own will, and we are now receiving His mind, His truth, and His Headship, to do only His perfect will.
Our beheading is a process, but we have already been beheaded in areas of our lives. We no longer worship the beast of man’s carnality and ego, or the image of the beast of the Babylon systems of this world; nor do we any longer feed upon the pronouncements of the false prophet, the erroneous and distorted message flowing from the religious systems, nor do we have that “mark” upon our foreheads (way of thinking) or in our hands (our service, actions). We are giving up our head, or the carnal mind, to receive the mind of Christ in and by the anointing within us.
As Jesus did the will of the Father by every word and deed, so shall every son of God do His will with every word we speak and in every act we perform. The works Jesus did and the words He spoke were never His. He saw the Father’s works in and by the Spirit, and then He performed them. He heard the Father’s words just as Samuel the prophet heard the audible voice of God, and He spoke only what He heard His Father speak. All His works and words were of the Father! Jesus said we would do greater works than He did, and we surely shall, for we are becoming the will of God in the earth. We are learning to hear and know His voice, and we are nigh the hour when He will begin to show us His works in that greater realm of fully manifest sonship. By His righteous, holy, divine mind, we shall also live and reign with Christ for a thousand years, that is, throughout the new day of the Lord! This greater and more glorious day of kingdom dominion is upon us! It is through the mighty dealings and transformations God is working in our lives at this present moment that we are now entering the kingdom in greater fullness. Jesus learned obedience to the will of God by putting on the Father’s mind and being filled with the Father’s life. And now God in Christ is in us! We are putting off the old man with his deeds, stripping away the Adamic nature, cutting off Adam’s head with his carnal, earthly way of thinking, understanding, and reasoning, and we are putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, putting on the nature of Christ, and putting on the new head of the mind of Christ. This is the day that the Lord hath made, and truly it is marvelous in our eyes!
To be continued…
J. PRESTON EBY
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PO Box 371240
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Mark Eby for Kingdom Bible Studies.
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