Note:  J. Preston Eby, in order to continue to devote his full energy to writing no longer works in the office and does not receive this email. He does, however, respond to any urgent correspondence via snailmail.

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 KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES

"Teaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God..."

 

The Seven Spirits of God

 

By J. Preston Eby

  

Table of Contents

 

Chapter                        Title                                                 Page

 

1          The Seven Spirits of God                                                                3

2          The Characteristics of the Holy Spirit                                            16

3          Introduction                                                                                        30

4          The Seven Spirits                                                                             41

5          The Seven Spirits (cont.)                                                                 53

6          The Spirit of Anointing                                                                     63

7          The Spirit of Wisdom                                                                        77

8          The Spirit of Wisdom (cont.)                                                            88

9          The Spirit of Understanding                                                           104

10        The Spirit of Counsel                                                                       122

11        The Spirit of Might                                                                            136

12        The Spirit of Knowledge                                                                  150

13        The Spirit of Knowledge (cont.)                                                      159

14        The Spirit of Knowledge (cont.)                                                      173

15        The Spirit of Knowledge (cont.)                                                      184

16        The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord                                                   199

17        The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord (cont.)                                       212

18        The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord (cont.)                                       231

19        The Seven Spirits of God And the Work of Judgment               243

 

  

 

Chapter 1

The Seven Spirits Of God

 “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: HOW SHALL NOT THE MINISTRATION OF THE SPIRIT be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory” (II Cor. 3:6-9).

These verses contain two highly significant phrases: “Who hath made us able ministers of the New Testament… OF THE SPIRIT” and “the ministration of … SPIRIT.”

The New Testament is not the black, leather covered, book called the BIBLE containing four Gospels, twenty-one Epistles, one book of History and one book of Prophecy. This book is what Paul calls “the letter.” It is the law, the record, the history which tells us many things ABOUT the historical man called Jesus, the Son of God. Many Christians have found the New Testament only in this realm of “the letter.” They know much ABOUT GOD, can quote volumes of scripture, and articulate persuasively their particular doctrines and beliefs. To these, their intellectual understanding of God and the Bible is an end in itself. But the New Testament is NOT THE BIBLE! The twenty-seven books called the New Testament are merely the letter… the guide given to point us to the TRUE NEW TESTAMENT, Jesus, the Christ of God! Ah, Jesus never carried a copy of the Old Testament when He taught the multitudes. I have in my library many Bibles including the Literal Bible, the Comparative Bible, the Analytical Bible, the Emphasized Bible and the Amplified Bible. But Jesus Himself is the EXEMPLIFIED BIBLE! He is the PERSONIFIED BIBLE! He is the true picture of His Father, the Living Word of His Father. He is the full and complete revelation of His Father. He is the full and abundant Life of His Father unto all who believe in Him.

Never once in scripture is the New Testament called a book or referred to as being written on parchments or paper. Consider these statements:

“And He took… the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the New Testament IN MY BLOOD, which is shed for you” (Lk. 22:19-20).

“Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but OF THE SPIRIT” (II Cor. 3:6).

Jesus did not say, “The Bible is the New Testament.” He took the “cup” and said, “THIS is the New Testament!” He didn’t say, “The New Testament is in the Bible.” He said, “This is the New Testament IN MY BLOOD.” This means that the New Testament can be found only in the blood of Jesus Christ. One of the redemptive laws of God is found in Lev. 17:11: “I will even set My face against that soul that eateth blood… for the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Blood speaks of life, for the life is in the blood. The life of the Son of God is in the blood of the Son of God. This is why Jesus declared: “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and DRINK HIS BLOOD, ye have NO LIFE IN YOU. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life” (Jn. 6:53-54). The New Testament, therefore, is the very life of Jesus poured out for us and imparted to us. Of course we do not literally drink the red blood of Christ that poured out 2,000 years ago on Calvary’s mount, but we do drink the life that was in that blood. That life is the very Spirit of God. Now we can understand why Jesus cried out and said: “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this He spake of THE SPIRIT, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (Jn. 7:37-39). Paul said: “He hath made us able ministers of the New Testament… of the SPIRIT.” He was telling us that God has made us able ministers of the Spirit life of Jesus Christ.

The English word “testament” is from the Greek DIATHEKE which means “a covenant.” The word is translated “testament” 18 times and “covenant” 20 times in the King James version. With this in mind let us turn to Heb. 8:7-11. “For if that first covenant (testament) had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, He saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel… For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws INTO THEIR MINDS, and write them IN THEIR HEARTS: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people. And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall KNOW ME, from the least to the greatest.” These verses tell us three things about the New Covenant: (1) It is to be written in our minds and hearts  (2) The essence of the covenant is that God is to us a God, and we are His people   (3) In this covenant we KNOW THE LORD. The Old Testament, on the other hand, was “written and engraven in stones,” and ministered to the people only a knowledge OF (about) GOD, but not the KNOWING OF GOD HIMSELF.

Herein is an arrangement that will work – the old covenant was written and engraven in stone and the people were unable to keep it. Israel began well, accepted the covenant, and promised obedience. But there was no power to continue, to fulfill it; no power to conquer temptation, or overcome the evil heart; to remain faithful. Just as the old covenant was the law written and engraven in stone, and one could hold high these stone tablets and say, “Here is the covenant of our God,” so the new covenant is the law of God inscribed in the minds and hearts of a people – not merely a law, but that law inscribed in a people – so that you can point to that people and say, “There is the covenant of our God!” The people with the law of God in their heart IS THE COVENANT, THE BOOK OF GOD’S LAW OF LIFE. I heard of a man who collects presidential signatures. The autographs are valuable, some of them priceless – not because of the ink or paper that was used but because of the persons who wrote them. These presidential signatures are all appropriately framed and hung with dignity and honor. God has made a covenant with mankind that has been written by His finger and signed in blood. This is not a mere document but an agreement – signed in our Lord’s own blood. His blood is His life and it is His life formed in His people which constitutes His signature with His blood. YOU ARE THE COVENANT. Never forget that!

The New Testament is not a book; it is a PERSON. The New Testament is CHRIST – Head and body. Jesus said: “Search the scriptures; for in them YE THINK YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE: and they are they which TESTIFY OF ME. And ye will not come unto ME, that ye might have LIFE” (Jn. 5:39-40). Jesus came into the world as a demonstration of God-life right here upon the earth. Jesus said: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly “ (Jn. 10:10). To minister the New Testament does not mean to minister sermons; doctrines, laws, or truths about Jesus Christ. To minister the New Testament is to minister the very life of God which is in Jesus in the Spirit. “He hath made us able ministers of… the SPIRIT.” The word minister implies the thought – to serve, impart, give out or to wait on. As a member of the New Creation you have been called to be an able minister of the New Testament, a minister of THE SPIRIT!

THE DISPENSATION OF GOD

This reveals to us the true purpose of God in Christ: to dispense Himself into humanity. Let us read I Tim. 1:3-4 from the American Standard version: “… that thou mightest charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine, neither to give head to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questionings, rather than A DISPENSATION OF GOD which is in faith.” Another translation makes it even plainer: “that you might command certain ones not to teach different doctrine, nor to pay attention to false stories and to genealogies, which end up in nothing, but which furnish questions… rather than A DISPENSATION OF ANYTHING BY GOD.” So God’s purpose is God’s dispensation which is nothing else than God dispensing Himself into mankind. In this divine dispensation God, who is almighty and all-inclusive, intends to dispense nothing other than HIMSELF to us. This needs to be meditated upon at length in order to impress us deeply!

Herein is revealed the difference between FACTS and TRUTH. How many of Babylon’s systems hold to their cold, dead doctrines of FACTS about God? But facts are expressive only of that dead letter of the Word. Facts can never make you free! Jesus never said, “You shall know the facts and the facts shall make you free,” but He did say, “You shall know the TRUTH and THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE.” Truth is Spirit. Truth is reality. Doctrine is never the truth. The truth is the substance, the life, the reality about which the doctrine merely speaks, to which it points. “When HE the SPIRIT OF TRUTH is come.” “HE is with you, and shall be IN YOU.” You can feed into your mind any amount of information via the natural senses but it will be just so much preaching, teaching, reading, study, research, FACTS, until the Spirit, the life within, brings it forth as an ESSENCE in your being. Oh, brethren! It is not a matter of learning doctrines! When I was young I went off to Bible School and studied all the doctrines, but they never ministered one ounce of reality to my spirit. Even in this Kingdom realm it is so easy to be side-tracked in this area. One may learn all the teachings, master the terminology the Spirit has brought forth in the realm of revelation, understand all about the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, the manifested sons of God, the Kingdom, reconciliation, heaven, hell, and the various dispensations, but after all is said and done there is only ONE DISPENSATION which we need – the DISPENSATION OF GOD HIMSELF INTO OUR LIVES! Oh! That we may partake of HIM in all His glorious and eternal reality in the Spirit. Let us be filled with GOD HIMSELF – not merely these dispensational doctrines, even good sonship doctrines, theories of the pre-Adamic creation, pre-existence, nor yet of the ages to come, but rather let us be dispensers of the life of God in Christ. In all our walk learn how to contact and follow the Holy Spirit. Let us exercise our spirits to be full of the Holy Spirit rather than exercising our minds merely to understand the form of teaching. Certainly we need the teaching and right doctrines. But above all let us settle once and for all in our hearts that we are called into His glorious Kingdom to be “able ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of THE SPIRIT.”

THE TREE OF LIFE AND THE TREE OF DEATH

That God’s eternal purpose has been to dispense Himself into us can be seen from the very beginning in the garden of Eden. God is there seen creating man as the center of the whole creation for the purpose of expressing Himself. We subsequently read in Gen. 2:8-9,17: “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man who He had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree … the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

In order to understand God’s purpose we must be thoroughly clear about these two trees and what they represent. What does the tree of life signify? Most assuredly it represents a realm of life beyond what Adam already possessed. Adam already had perfect human life, and it was not necessary for him to eat of the ”tree of life” in order to perpetuate that human life. The only thing that could cause the termination of his human life was the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God had not said to Adam, “You must eat of the tree of life so you won’t die,” but rather, “in the day that you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall die.” Therefore, the life offered to man in the tree of life is a HIGHER KIND OF LIFE than the human life Adam possessed – even God-life.

One thing is certain: the tree of life in Eden was not a natural, physical tree. One of the exceeding great and precious promises to the overcomer is: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Rev 2:7). This is the very same tree of life to which Adam lost access in that long ago beginning. It imparts more than the never-ending perfect human life which Adam could have retained simply by refusing to eat of the tree of death. This tree of life lifts man up from the realm of humanity and infuses him with divine life, even the life of God in Christ. No physical tree can minister this heavenly life, for that which is physical is not of eternal divine substance, “… for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (II Cor. 4:18). How simple it is to understand this! No natural tree can impart spiritual life, for no natural tree is spiritual in its properties. According to the revelation of the scriptures, Jesus is not only our life today, but He has always, even from the beginning, been the life of God Himself made available to man. Has God-life ever been accessible from any source other than Christ? John’s answer to that question rings clear through the centuries: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same WAS IN THE BEGINNING with God… IN HIM WAS LIFE; and the life WAS the light of men.” And again, “That which WAS FROM THE BEGINNING, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of THE WORD OF LIFE; for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and show unto you THAT ETERNAL LIFE, WHICH WAS WITH THE FATHER, and was manifested unto us” (I Jn. 1:1-4). This tree of life in the beginning was nothing else than the life of God in Christ made available to man. The fruit of that tree was available to Adam.

When fruit is eaten it first enters the stomach. There it begins to be digested and the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. The blood then carries the nutrients and delivers them to each and every cell of the body, internal and external. Thus the life in the fruit is ministered to the body and the whole body becomes literally FILLED with the life-giving properties of the fruit. In this we see the picture of exactly what God has desired for man from the beginning – that he would eat of the fruit of the tree of life which is the life God in Christ. God intends to so dispense Himself into man that man will express Himself as the center of the whole universe.

But what actually happened to man? The mystery of this is contained in the symbolism of the second tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree represents nothing else than the realm of the carnal mind. The second tree brings death, because it is the very source of death. The first tree is the source of divine life on the one hand, and the second tree is the source of death on the other hand. A scripture showing what the instrument of death is in Rom. 8:5-6, 13: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die.” Again: “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal 6:8). The scripture is plain that the power of death cannot be dispensed into man except through the agency of the carnal mind. Thus, from the beginning of time, these two trees represent two sources – one, the source of life, and the other, the source of death. As we know, Adam chose to take the second choice, the tree of knowledge, into himself. This was not a matter of merely doing something wrong. No! It was much more serious than just transgressing a law or breaking a commandment. The significance of Adam taking the fruit of the tree of knowledge was that he actually took something INTO HIMSELF, he received the influence or “spirit” of the serpent into himself.

What scientists have discovered makes it relatively easy to believe in the existence of worlds, or spheres of life, beyond the comprehension of human senses. In the realm of sound, for example, we know that the human ear is quite limited, that sounds which are very real are inaudible to us if they are below or above a certain range of frequency. And the same is true of sight. The existence of radio waves, gamma rays, ultra-violet light rays, etc., also helps us to realize the power of invisible forces which are beyond our comprehension. In Eph 2:2 Satan is described as “the prince of the power of the air, the SPIRIT that now worketh IN the children (sons) of disobedience.” The Amplified Bible says, “At one time… you were following the course and fashion of the world… following the prince of the power of the air. You were obedient to him and were under his control, the demon spirit that still constantly works (Gr.: energio, energizes) in the sons of disobedience… for we are not wrestling with flesh and blood – contending only with physical opponents – but against the despotisms, against the powers, against the master spirits who are the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (spiritual) sphere” (Eph 2:2; 6:12). Oriental imagery is never more graphically displayed in all its eloquence than in the use of the biblical word SERPENT as a figure of Satan, the Devil. This symbol, along with a number of other word pictures, is very expressive of his nature and activity. I make no apology for declaring to you the truth that each and every creature of earth typifies a higher reality in the realm of SPIRIT – good or bad, positive or negative. This can be seen clearly in the words of Jesus when He says in Lk. 10:17-19, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven (the realm of SPIRIT). Behold I give you power to TREAD ON SERPENTS AND SCORPIONS, and over all the power of the enemy.” Spake He of the serpents and scorpions of the fields? Nay, my brother, He spake rather of SPIRITS possessing the nature typified by serpents and scorpions, hidden and cunning, slithering about in the lowest realms of man’s earthiness, in the thoughts and desires and ambitions of the carnal mind, full of deadly venom. Even the fowls of heaven, as the law of Moses shows us, clean and unclean, each bespeak of a kind or quality of nature, expressing those characteristics that originate in the spirit realm. Hence, in scripture unclean birds are a type of evil natures, as John the Revelator shows in Rev. 18:2, “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen and is become the habitation of DEVILS, and the hold of every FOUL SPIRIT, and a cage of every UNCLEAN AND HATEFUL BIRD.” We know the Lamb, the meek and sacrificial nature of the Christ within, the Son of God, gentle, kind, compassionate, redemptive, blessing all He touches; but have we not known also the nature of the beast, wild and ravenous, that spirit, so obvious in the world, which stomps and rends and breaks in pieces and devours, of whom Peter warns us, saying, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8).

Some teach that in all the universe there is but ONE SPIRIT – the Holy Spirit of God. I solemnly tell every person who reads these lines that the scriptures are clear, and give us a wonderful understanding of the workings of SPIRIT. SPIRIT, like everything else in nature, has its opposites – positive and negative, good and evil, light and darkness. As was pointed out in previous messages on this subject, spirit is not good – neither is spirit evil. Spirit is just a type of thing, just as flesh is a type of thing. For that matter, flesh is neither good nor evil. It is just there. Flesh becomes evil when its use is perverted. Flesh is good when it is properly used as the temple of God or when it is used to give visible manifestation to the nature of God. As Paul said, “There is nothing impure of itself.” Jesus displayed the wonder of glorified flesh when He appeared to His disciples following His resurrection and said, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have” (Lk. 24:39). Spirit, then, like anything else is neither good nor evil until it is expressed through usage. Only then does it take on a holy and righteous or an evil and unrighteous character.

Let us take a closer look at some of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit. He is variously defined as – “The Spirit of God,” “The Spirit of Christ,” “The Spirit of Holiness,” “The Spirit of Truth,” “The Spirit of a Sound Mind,” “The Spirit of Liberty,” “The Spirit of Burning,” “The Spirit of the Father,” “The Spirit of the Son,” “The Spirit of Promise,” “The Spirit of Meekness,” “The Spirit of Understanding,” “The Spirit of Adoption,” “The Spirit of Prophecy,” “The Spirit of Glory,” “The Spirit of Counsel,” “The Spirit of Grace,” “The Spirit of Adoption,” “The Spirit of Prophecy,” “The Spirit of the Lord,” etc., etc. These various titles, repeated many times, and used interchangeably, give us a full, proper assurance that they all relate to the same HOLY SPIRIT – indeed, frequently the word “Holy” is added in, combined, as for instance, “The Holy Spirit of God,” “The Holy Spirit of Promise,” etc. These various expressions are descriptive of the spirit, nature, disposition, power and glory of one God, the Father, and also the spirit, nature, disposition, and power and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, because He is the expression of the Father; and also it is the spirit, nature, disposition, power and glory of all who are truly the Lord’s in proportion as they have been made ONE IN HIM. “He that is joined unto the Lord is ONE SPIRIT” (I Cor. 6:17).

Each of these characteristics is a form of the energy of God. This energy is transmitted from the spirit into soul and body to produce its power within us, just as electricity is transmitted from a battery to an engine to make it function in a certain way. When the “Spirit of Holiness” is transmitted into our lives and consciousness we begin to function in our personality in that characteristic of God’s holiness, thus becoming holy. When the “Spirit of Wisdom” is transmitted into our consciousness we cease from our own natural reasoning and commence to act in accordance with the higher wisdom of God. When the “Spirit of Life” permeates our being even our bodies shall be quickened by His life within until this corruptible shall have put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality. Then shall be fulfilled the word which was spoken, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (I Cor. 15:51).

Our failure to see that the Holy Spirit of God is not the only form of spirit in the world leads us into all manner of error and misunderstanding. There is another spirit mentioned frequently throughout the Word of God, and in opposite terms, namely, “The Spirit of Fear,” “The Spirit of Bondage,” “The Spirit of the World,” “The Spirit of Error,” “The Spirit of Antichrist,” “The Spirit of Jealousy,” “The Spirit of Slumber,” etc., etc. These terms signify the WRONG SPIRIT – the spirit, nature, disposition, power and will which has its chief exemplification in Satan, the Devil, the Serpent, the Adversary; the same spirit manifesting itself in all who walk in and live out of the carnal mind. Sin, error, darkness and death are all characteristics of the SPIRIT OF THE NEGATIVE REALM, even as holiness, truth, love, life, etc. are all characteristics of the one Holy Spirit.

As mentioned previously, there are brethren who are convinced that all spirit is the same spirit and that there is only one spirit in the world, which is the spirit of God in every man. But we are constrained to take heed to the testimony of the Holy Spirit wherein He says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but TRY THE SPIRITS WHETHER THEY ARE OF GOD: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I Jn. 4:1). Both the HOLY and the UNHOLY spirit bear the characteristics of personality, both alike are invisible, both are powerful, both are spirit, both are energy!

The poison of death in the fruit was taken into Adam, producing death. That same poison has since been transmitted by nature to all Adam’s descendants, subsequently working death in each one. Oh, this is not a small matter! Not many Christians have realized the fall of Adam in such a way. Satan injected the poison of his own nature of sin and death into the fruit of that tree. This is why God warned Adam that if he ate of it he would surely die! Through the fruit Satan entered into Adam and became a part of him. Through the activity of the carnal mind the poison of Satan’s own dark spirit nature became operative in man. Since Satan and man became one through the second tree, Satan is no longer outside of man, but in man. Now you can see that the fall of man was not just a matter of man committing something against God, but of man receiving something into his body, into himself. Satan, from the time of the fall, dwells in man. This is what happened when man partook of the second tree.

We have seen that the purpose of God is to dispense Himself into man. II Cor. 13:14 shows the process in this communication of God to man. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.” Here we have the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the communion of the Holy Spirit. What are these? Who are the Father, the Son, and the Spirit? Are these three different Gods? Let me ask: are love, grace and communion three different items? Not at all! Love, grace and communion are one element in three stages: love is the source, grace is the expression of love, and communion is the realization of this love in grace. Likewise, God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all one God expressed in three progressive manifestations of Himself: God as the Father is the source, Christ is the expression of God, and the Holy Spirit is the transmission bringing God and Christ into man. Thus, the Holy Spirit is the realization of God. These three aspects of God’s being become three successive steps in the process of dispensing God into man that man may express God through his person. Without these three stages God’s essence could never be dispensed into man. The dispensation of God is developed from the Father, in the Son, and through the Spirit.

God the Father is the universal source of all things. Paul tells us in I. Cor. 8:6: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, OF (from) WHOM are all things.” In the Hebrew and Greek languages “father” is used in various senses: as begetter, progenitor of an individual (Prov. 23:22; Zech. 13:3; Lk. 1:67), as the head of a household or ancestral family (Gen. 24:40; Ex. 6:14), and ancestor (Gen. 28:13; Jn. 8:53), a founder of a nation (Mat. 3:9), a founder of a class of profession (Gen. 4:20-21), a protector (Job 29:16; Ps. 68:5), the source of something (Eph. 1:17), and as a term of respect (II Kings 5:13; Acts 7:2). God, as Father, is thus the source and head of all things. We read in Eph. 4:6: “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” This same thought is expressed in James 1:17: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down FROM THE FATHER of lights.”

The second step in the dispensation of God to man is found in the manifestation of God in the Son. Formerly it was impossible for man to know the Father, for from the time when Adam and Eve were driven forth from His presence mankind was shut out from any vital relationship with Him. He was exclusively God and His nature was exclusively divine. There was no bridging of the gap between God and man, not because of a deficiency on God’s part, but due to the deficiency on man’s part. For natural minds to comprehend things spiritual is equally as impossible as for worms of the earth to comprehend things human. Humans are of a higher order than are worms. Worms may see men, and may observe their movements, yet there is no common ground of knowledge. The worm has no comprehension of what it sees. It discerns only things pertaining to its own realm. It has positively no understanding of the ways of man, or of the meaning of his movements, or words, or habits.

Likewise, God in His being is of an infinitely higher order than are fallen mortals. There is no common ground of knowledge. Therefore humans are totally incapable of comprehending that which pertains to that higher order. And so, until God, through His own infinite ability, manifests Himself on a level in which He can communicate with man, it is impossible for them to have any understanding, either of God, or of His Word or ways. So in His redemptive process God acted to make Himself available to man.

Jesus is indeed the expression of God, or GOD EXPRESSED. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him” (Jn. 1:18). The Amplified Bible renders this verse thus: “No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son… Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him – He has revealed Him, brought Him out where He can be seen; … He has made Him known.” The marginal rendering in the Scofield Bible expresses the true meaning from the Greek: “The only begotten Son hath LED HIM FORTH, that is, into FULL REVELATION.” So God put Himself into His Son in order to make Himself visible, comprehensible, and available to man!

Now let us read Isaiah 9:6. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given… His name shall be called… Mighty God, Everlasting Father.” A brother has written: “It does not say mighty man, but Mighty God. A little child is called the mighty God! All Christians agree with the prophecy of this verse. The child mentioned here refers to the child born in the stable in Bethlehem, who is not only named Jesus, but also the Mighty God, and furthermore the Everlasting Father. This is very strange, is it not? When the child is called Mighty God, is he the child or God? And, when the son is called the Everlasting Father, is he the son or the Father? If you try to figure it out you cannot do it. You must take it as a fact, unless, of course, you do not believe the scriptures. If you believe the authority of the scriptures, you must accept the truth that since the child is called the Mighty God, it means the child IS the Mighty God; and since the son is called the Father, it means the son IS the Father! If the child is not the Mighty God, how could the child be called the Mighty God? And if the son is not the Father, how could the son be called the Father? Then, how many Gods do we have? We have only one God, because the child Jesus is the Mighty God, and the son is the Everlasting Father. Truly He is the Father expressed in all the majesty of His power, the fullness of His wisdom, and in all the holiness of His nature. He is all God is put on display in humanity.”

When Jesus came, He came to take the place of Adam – to fulfill the eternal purpose of God for man to become the expression of God to the whole universe. As man, His first emphasis or principle was: “I will be a man and I will fulfill the divine plan. I will be a man living wholly unto God.” His first consideration was not evangelistic – that is, toward man. His first consideration was towards God. “I will live unto God; I will live by God the Father; I will draw upon His life; I will simply be a vessel filled with God; I will manifest Him, reveal Him. I will not do anything on My own; I will not initiate anything. I will not show how much I can do, how much I know, how much power I have. I will not display My own attributes. I simply will be HUMANITY, a human vessel, a simple human personality; but God the Father will be in Me, living out His life, His nature, His will.” THAT is Sonship!

When Jesus came into the world He said two things. In Heb. 10:5 we read, “A body has Thou prepared Me.” He was saying, “I have a means of expressing God among humanity.” A body is for expression. If I never moved my hands, or my mouth, or my eyes, you never would know what I was thinking. But having a body, I have these unique physical capacities, and am able to express what I am. Well, Jesus Christ said, “I will not express what I am; I’ll express what HE is.” THAT is Sonship! Jesus said on another occasion, “I do nothing of Myself.” Oh my! That is just contrary to what we have thought. We have thought, “Why, Jesus could do ANYTHING!” Yet He said, “I do nothing of Myself.” “As I hear, I judge.” He as much as said, “My judgments are just, because I judge no man, My Father judges and My Father never makes a mistake. He knows what’s going on. I just listen for His judgment and as I hear, I judge, and My judgment is just, for it is not mine, but His.”

Again Jesus said, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself: but the FATHER THAT DWELLETH IN ME, HE doeth the works” (Jn. 14:10). You could ask the Lord Jesus, “Where are you going?” He would answer, “I’ll go where My Father goes. My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. I don’t stop and consider before I take a journey. Now I’m going to Capernaum, then to Galilee, and then across the river. I never anticipate anything. I just walk as My Father walks. He guides Me this way; He guides Me that way. I just walk as My Father walks, for it is not I but My Father Who lives in Me.” This is the way He was living His life, moment by moment. He had no desire to DO anything – except the Father’s will. He had no desire to perpetuate anything. When the Father changed directions, He changed directions. When the Father was finished with something, He was finished with it. When the Father passed something by, He passed it by. When it looked as if the people wanted to set Him up as king, He said, “My hour is not yet come. I can’t anticipate anything. I can’t jump ahead of schedule.”

Now here is the second thing Jesus said when He came into the world. “I delight to do Thy will, Oh God.” Jesus never stopped to consider if He was going to be understood or misunderstood. He never stopped to consider if He was going to suffer. He never stopped to think about whether He was going to die. He knew that as long as He walked in the will of His Father, nobody could take His life from Him, prematurely, because it was the Father’s life. What ever His Father willed moment by moment, that was all He could will. “I come to do Thy will, oh God.” THIS is Sonship!

As marvelous as it is to behold the Father in the Son, God, however, cannot COME INTO US through the Son. We still need a further stage, a third and final step, for God to dispense Himself into man. We see what God is like by looking at Jesus, but that doesn’t put God in Christ into us. Let’s be more specific.

II Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” The question follows: who is the Lord? I’m sure we all agree that the Lord is Jesus the Christ. But it says the Lord is the Spirit. Now, who is the Spirit? It is abundantly clear – the Spirit is the Holy Spirit of God. Therefore, the Son is called the Father, and the Son who is the very Lord, is also the Spirit! This means the Father, Son, and Spirit are ONE. Not merely one in unity or one substance – but in very truth they are ONE PERSON. The very same Person – only in three manifestations or modes of activity. “… in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that HOLY SPIRIT of promise” (Eph. 1:13).

“There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (I Jn. 5:7). The Father in heaven is the unseen, invisible God. The Son is the visible manifestation of God in human flesh – the WORD made flesh in the Person of Jesus the Christ. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (Jn. 1:14). The Father is the unseen source. The Son is the visible manifestation and expression of the invisible God. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is the activity, the action, the motion, the operation, the force, the energy, the influence of God toward men.

The English word “spirit” is from the Latin SPIRARE, meaning “to breathe,” the words “respiration,” “expiration,” and “inspiration” all being derived from the same source. Similarly the Greek word PNEUMA comes from PNEO, meaning “to breathe or blow,” and the Hebrew RUAHH is believed to come from a root having the same meaning. Since one cannot live without air and breathing in the realm of the physical, wind and breath are used symbolically of the Holy Spirit, apart from whom there can be no life in the realm of the spiritual. The Holy Spirit is God’s breath, God’s out-breathing, God’s ENERGY FORCE by which He accomplishes His purpose and executes His will. Many times we have thought of the Holy Spirit as “power,” and certainly He has power, but power is basically the ability or capacity to act or do things and it can be latent, dormant, inactively resident in someone or something. “Force,” on the other hand, more specifically describes energy projected and exerted on persons or things, and may be defined as “an influence which produces or tends to produce motion, or change of motion.” “Power” might be likened to the stored energy in a battery, while “force” could be compared to the current flowing from such battery. “Force,” then, more accurately represents the sense of the Hebrew and Greek terms as relating to God’s Spirit, and this is borne out by a consideration of the scriptures.

Thus, the Holy Spirit is God’s ENERGY FORCE. It is God’s energy force projected and exerted upon man. It is God’s motion, action and influence in one measure or another upon man. Yahweh accomplished the creation of the universe by means of His Spirit or ENERGY FORCE. Regarding the planet Earth in its early formative stages, the record states that “The Spirit (energy force) of God was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). Ps. 33:6 says, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath (spirit) of His mouth.” Like a powerful breath or blast of living wind, God’s Spirit can be sent forth to exert power even though there is no bodily or visible contact with that which is acted upon. Where a human craftsman would use the force of his hands and fingers to produce things, God uses His Spirit. Hence that Spirit is also spoken of as God’s “hand” or “fingers.” Jesus told the Pharisees, “If I cast out devils by the SPIRIT of God, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you” (Mat. 12:28). But Luke, in recording the same event, expresses it thus: “If I with the FINGER of God cast out devils, no doubt the Kingdom of God is come upon you” (Lk. 11:20). The Spirit of God is the finger of God, the working, the activity of God usward. How great is His working!

Now our spirits can breathe deeply of the sublimity of the truth revealed by Jesus when He said: “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth… ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU” (Jn. 14:16-18). Surely Paul spoke of the fulfillment of that promise of Christ to return as the Spirit when he wrote to the Corinthians: “And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was MADE A QUICKENING SPIRIT” (I Cor. 15:45). This is why the Holy Spirit is spoken of this way: “And because ye are Sons, God hath sent forth the SPIRIT OF HIS SON into your hearts, crying Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6). And again, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the SPIRIT OF GOD dwell in you. Now if any man have not the SPIRIT OF CRHIST, he is none of His” (Rom. 8:9).

We must understand that God has always been Spirit. But formerly God contained His Spirit within Himself. He did not share it. Angels do not have God’s Spirit although they are spirit beings. Their spirit is of a different order than the Spirit of God, for “unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten thee?” (Heb. 1:5). Angels are not born of God’s Spirit and therefore are not of the same spirit substance of God. They are created spirits of a different kind of spirit life. God had not shared the uniqueness of His own Spirit with any other being until Jesus. In the Old Testament the anointings of God’s Spirit came and went, fell and lifted. The Spirit was never completely “given” to any man – prophet, priest, or king. This is why we read such statements as these: “And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him (Saul), and he prophesied among them” (I Sam. 10:10). But later: “… the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul” (I Sam. 16:14). When God initiated His great plan to give, to dispense His Spirit into man Jesus was the first to so receive, but during His earthly ministry the dispensation of God’s Spirit was limited to Him.

John bore witness to this when baptizing Jesus as Jordan. “And John bare witness, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending AND REMAINING ON HIM, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God” (Jn. 1:32-34). Jesus said: “For He Whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him” (Jn. 3:34). Jesus pointed forward to a day when the Spirit which was upon Him would be poured forth upon His whole body, the Church. He revealed to His disciples that it was necessary for Him to go away before this would transpire. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I will send Him unto you” (Jn. 16:7). After His ascension He commanded the eleven to wait in Jerusalem for this promise of the Father, the power of the Spirit, which would literally FILL them.

This truth is worthy of deep meditation and prayer. Jesus was telling these distraught men that His going away would mean the coming of the Spirit. He told them plainly that it was better for them that the Spirit should come to them than that He should remain with them! How deeply this needs to impress us! Blessed and marvelous beyond description was His own presence and ministry among them; yet far more blessed would be the ministry and presence of the Spirit within them. Truly Jesus was Emmanuel, GOD WITH US. But what unspeakable glory to experience the coming of the Spirit which is GOD IN US! This does not depreciate Jesus in any sense, for HE IS THE SPIRIT! He assured His disciples, “And He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth WITH YOU (as Jesus), and SHALL BE IN YOU (Jn. 14:16-17).

Wonderful as was the presence of Christ in the world, that physical presence cannot be compared to the magnificent glory of the Spirit of Christ dwelling in the heart of man. No outward manifestation of power or glory can take the place of His indwelling presence! It is from within and not from without that the work of transformation is to be carried forward from glory to glory until we shine in that same image of Christ. Though Christ had walked and talked with His disciples, eating with them, praying with them, teaching them, and continually demonstrating the mighty works of God among them, even giving them power to heal the sick and cast out devils in His name, yet at the time of His departure there was but little sign of any work of transformation within them. All was by grace. Peter was still capable of cursing like a sailor and lying like the devil! Judas was still capable of stealing, fraud, and acting a traitor. In the face of pressure they were all capable of forsaking Him and running away in despair. They were still very natural, carnal men, as almost all the Old Testament saints had been. God in Christ had indeed been among them, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, but He was definitely not IN THEM! Transformation does not take place from without. It must come from within. All the evil in the world today, even as Jesus said, comes from within the evil heart of man. Therefore, since all evil begins within and not without, then transformation must begin within and not without. A man who makes his New Year’s resolutions to change and reform his habits has only an outward change, and usually temporary at best, while his heart remains unchanged. But the man who ceases his sinfulness and carnality because his heart is changed is changed from within and is indeed a New Creation man. Herein then lies the first and greatest blessing of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had been with them, but now He would be IN THEM, changing, transforming, renewing them from within. He would become the dispensation of God into man by the Spirit. How wonderful it must have been to walk the hills of Judea and the shores of the Sea of Galilee with Jesus by their side! How much MORE WONDERFUL IT IS that Christ by the Holy Spirit now dwells within us, bringing forth that same image of Christ and glory of the Father in our lives!

THE ALL-SUFFICIENT OF THE SPIRIT

If your desire is to truly be an overcomer in this hour, a most wonderful key is found in I Jn. 1:7. “… If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from ALL SIN.” There is a way for the Lord’s people to be freed from ALL SIN! “If we walk in the light.” How? “AS HE IS IN THE LIGHT!” To walk in the light as He is in the light, means to expose ourselves to the Spirit even as He exposes Himself to the Father. There is a great principle here! Paul says in Rom. 8:1-2: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus HATH MADE ME FREE from the law of sin and death.” What makes me free from the law of sin and death? Why, the LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE makes me free! Life swallows up death! Light dispels darkness!

But haven’t we always had it turned around in our thinking? Haven’t we always been struggling to “die” so we can live? How often have we said, “If somehow I can get rid of my “old man,” if I can just conquer this habit, this nature, this temper, this lust, this… this… this… THEN I shall be able to have the LIFE of Christ manifested in me!” We have been trying to get rid of sin so we can have righteousness. We have tried to get rid of death so we can have life. We have worked at eradicating from our lives all the darkness so we can walk in the light. But friend, we have been putting the cart before the horse! That is like saying, “I will stand here in this dark room and rebuke the darkness, and when I get all the darkness out, I will have light.” You can rebuke the darkness until you fall dead but it will never leave until you TURN ON THE LIGHT! There is no vacuum machine that can suck up darkness, no chemical that can wash it away, no force that can move it. The problem is not to get rid of the darkness, but to produce the light. The LAW OF LIGHT is that it always dispels darkness. It never fails! So if you have been trying to get rid of the darkness in you, the carnality in you, by rebuking it, fighting it, struggling with it, trying to reform it, praying to be delivered from it, having hands laid on you for it… FORGET IT! None of those things can remove the darkness in us. Only the LIGHT can do that! Brother, sister, TURN ON THE LIGHT in your life, expose yourself to the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit in your life, and the law of the Spirit of life working in you will make you free from the other law of sin and death. You can’t take death out of a corpse to make it live, but put LIFE IN IT and it will live! And you can’t take the law of death out of you, but you can put the law of the Spirit of life in you and the death will be swallowed up!

The light is turned on as we yield to the Spirit. The way to learn to yield to the Spirit is to first of all BE FILLED with the Spirit. I am not speaking of merely receiving an initial experience of the baptism in the Spirit and speaking in tongues. I speak of BEING CONSTANTLY in that state of being FULL of the Spirit. In Eph. 5:18 Paul says: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT.” The Amplified Bible reads: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but EVER BE FILLED and STIMULATED with the HOLY SPIRIT.” This is true to the Greek text. Be CONSTANTLY and CONTINUOUSLY FILLED…

I have had that experience of facing the pressures of everyday living until the vital presence of God has been crowded out of my life. This has usually happened when I failed to give myself daily to prayer and praise, to the Word of God, and fellowship with the body of Christ. When we spend all our spare time visiting on the carnal plane, reading the newspaper, watching television, tinkering with hobbies, and any number of activities which may not be wrong in themselves, WE CROWD THE SPIRIT OUT OF OUR LIVES. How filled our lives are with EARTHLY THINGS! Always going, going, going, and doing, doing, doing. Once in a while we spend a few minutes in prayer, or in the Word, or with some brother or sister in fellowship, or in some dead meeting, and then we wonder WHY we have no power in our lives and WHY we are not overcomers!

There is a LAW OF LIFE that must be at work in us. But you don’t really need to be concerned about the LAW of life, you just need the LIFE! The law will work naturally. When the life is there the law will work. When the law is working, death and darkness are swallowed up, put neutralized in us. Seek LIFE! If the glorious presence of God the Spirit can keep me in a spiritual state of overcoming life for TEN MINUTES… or for TWO HOURS… or for THREE DAYS… then that same anointing of HIS LIFE within can keep me in that state of victory for as long as I MAINTAIN THE FLOW OF HIS LIFE! This is the absolute UNFAILING KEY to victory and overcoming! Maintain the flow of the fullness of His presence and you will have little trouble with the flesh. This is the LAW OF THE SPIRIT. It WORKS! As Paul said: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). It’s just THAT SIMPLE! In plain English this means: STAY FULL of the Holy Ghost! How? By the daily and continual giving of yourself to prayer and praise, to the Word of God, and fellowship with God’s saints in the deeper things of God. This will help INSURE THAT CONSTANT FLOW OF HIS PRESENCE AND LIFE.

You will see the law of life at work. The old carnality, the old ways, the old desires, the old frustrations, will begin to fade away and become dimmer and dimmer in your life. Life will swallow up death. Light will dispel the darkness. Yielding to the Spirit is simply “giving yourself” to His presence and working in your life. Don’t try any longer to “get rid of,” or “quit doing,” or “kill,” or “die,” or “change” anything! Seek LIFE! Seek HIM! Give your whole being to Him, expose your whole life to the light. You will begin to live by the life of God’s dear Son.

Adam and Eve in the beginning never were FLESH-CONSCIOUS until they ceased to walk in the Spirit. As long as they were totally caught up in God they weren’t aware of the flesh. When they departed from the Spirit they immediately became aware of flesh and perceived that they were naked and commenced to try to cover their shame. As long as they walked in God’s presence there was no shame, for the motions of sin were neutralized. The measure of the rising up of His life within will, in that same measure, check the appetites of the carnal mind.

God is seeking the fully developed life of His Son in us in order to manifest HIMSELF through us as the central manifestation of Himself to the whole creation. God in Christ in the Spirit IN YOU is His purpose!

 


 

Chapter 2

The Characteristics Of The Holy Spirit

In our last Study we wrote of the great truth of God’s eternal purpose to dispense Himself into man. We saw that God has manifested Himself in three aspects of His Person to accomplish this. Electricity can be used to illustrate this three-fold operation of God. It includes these three stages: the source, the manifestation, and the realization. These seem to be three different things, but in reality they are one. The source, the manifestation, and the realization are all three activities of the electricity. Electricity is energy, and if energy did not exist there could be no source, no manifestation, no realization. As there is electricity in three different stages, so there is one eternal God with three distinct aspects and operations of His Being. At one end there is the source of the electricity – the generator producing it. Then there is the manifestation of electricity in a thousand different ways: the hot coils of the stove, the lighted filament in the bulb, the running engine in the machine, etc. Finally, there is the realization of electricity – the light coming from the bulb and flooding the room, the heat coming from the stove, filling the room, etc. The light that you read or work by, the heat in the house which makes you comfortable, these are simply electricity realized. As you read and work in the light you don’t think very much about the bulb on the ceiling, or about the generator miles away. You just utilize and enjoy the light in the room! And yet, without the bulb there is no light, and without the generator the bulb can produce no light. Each stage is necessary. Similarly, God the Father is the source of our divine life – the generator. God the Son is the manifestation of that divine life – the bulb. And God the Holy Spirit is our realization of the divine life – the light (life) filling our room: our hearts, minds, and bodies. But these are just three stages of the very SAME THING! The thing proceeding from the generator is energy, the thing flowing and manifesting through the bulb is energy, and the light filling the room is energy! Not three different energies, but the same energy. Likewise, the divine life in the Father is GOD, the divine life in the Son is GOD, and the divine life transmitted to us as the Spirit is GOD. Not three different Gods, but the one God! The Holy Spirit is in us as the very transmission of God, transmitting constantly all that God is in Christ to us.

“There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (I Jn. 5:7). The Father in heaven is the unseen, invisible God. The Son is the visible manifestation of God in human flesh – the WORD made flesh in the Person of Jesus the Christ. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (Jn. 1:14). The Father is the unseen source. The Son is the visible manifestation and expression of the invisible God. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is the activity, the action, the motion, the operation, the force, the energy, the influence of God toward men.

OUR NEED OF THE SPIRIT

The great work of God in bringing many sons to glory could not be properly considered, nor clearly understood, if the work of the Holy Spirit, in connection therewith, were overlooked or ignored. It was under the anointing influence of the Holy Spirit, received by our Lord Jesus at His baptism, at the beginning of His ministry, that His consecrated heart was enabled to see clearly and distinctly the Father’s will, the proper course, and to appreciate the exceeding great glory which lay beyond His humiliation, ignominy and death at Calvary. By the Holy Spirit, therefore, our Elder Brother was enabled to perform His great work, being guided, influenced, and empowered to do that which was pleasing and acceptable before the Father. Similarly the Holy Spirit is identified with His body, the Church. Only in proportion as we receive the Holy Spirit of God are we able to come into proper relationship with the Father, and with the Son, so as to be able to “prove that good and acceptable and perfect will of God,” and do it. Only by the Holy Spirit are we guided beyond the mere letter of the Word, into the glorious and eternal reality of “the deep things of God,” even all those things which God has in reservation for them that truly love Him, which the human eye hath not seen, the human ear hath not heard, neither hath entered into the human heart to understand and appreciate (I Cor. 2:9-10).

THE MEANING OF “SPIRIT”

It is our purpose in writing these truths to set forth both in depth and simplicity the awe-inspiring and marvelous things of the precious Spirit of God. It is befitting to inquire at the outset, What senses or meanings attach themselves to the words “Holy Spirit” as used in the scriptures? What qualities, qualifications, or characteristics of God are represented by the word “Spirit”?

The English word “spirit” is from the Latin SPIRARE, meaning “to breathe,” the words “respiration,” “expiration,” and “inspiration” all being derived from the same source. Similarly the Greek word PNEUMA comes from PNEO, meaning “to breathe or blow,” and the Hebrew RUAHH is believed to come from a root having the same meaning. Since one cannot live without air and breathing in the realm of the physical, wind and breath are used symbolically of the Holy Spirit, apart from whom there can be no life in the realm of the spiritual. The Holy Spirit is God’s breath, God’s out-breathing, God’s ENERGY FORCE by which He accomplishes His purpose and executes His will. As someone has written: In English we describe breathing as a succession of two acts: inspiration, expiration… inspire, expire. “I have expired” means I have breathed out, or, in the ultimate sense, I am out of breath and therefore dead. “I have inspired” means I have breathed in; if changed slightly to “I am inspired” it could mean I am filled with an enlivening breath from the artistic muses or, in a religious context, filled with the Holy Spirit. The writers of the Bible claim to have been inspired, or in-breathed. Linguists love to speculate on double meanings, guessing why the ancients borrowed that word to express this concept. The relationship between breath and spirit is obvious. Jesus referred to one parallel in His conversation with Nicodemus: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). An invisible force from far away, whether wind or Spirit, has visible manifestations.

The word “spirit,” in the Old Testament, is the translation of the Hebrew word RUACH, the primary significance or root-meaning of which is WIND. The word “spirit” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word PNEUMA, whose primary significance or root-meaning likewise is WIND. The English word “ghost” used in the King James version, though now somewhat obsolete and not in general use, is derived from the Greek PNEUMA, its original meaning being exactly the same as the word “spirit,” meaning WIND. But let no one hastily conclude that we are about to attempt to prove that the Holy Spirit is a holy wind, for nothing could be farther from our thought.

There are two basic characteristics of the wind which qualify it to so fittingly serve as the supreme symbol of the Holy Spirit. The wind is first of all a POWERFUL FORCE, and secondly it is INVISIBLE. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the SPIRIT” (Jn. 3:8). You cannot see the wind, and yet you are aware of its reality because of its power with the visible effects of that power manifested around you. In earlier times the wind was used broadly as a source of energy. Man has always known how to use sails on a boat or ship. Later, he learned to use the same principle to construct a windmill, using the force of the wind to turn grindstones, pump water, and do many other kinds of work.

SPIRIT IS ENERGY

It is important for us to understand that “spirit” is used not only of PERSONALITY, but also of the attributes, virtues, characteristics, nature, disposition, attitudes, mind, will, and influences of the personality. For example, you exist as a person, a personality, but inherent within your personality are all of your faculties, attitudes, nature, abilities, etc. These characteristics are all a part of what makes you you – you would not be you without them! So one cannot truly differentiate between a person and the various attributes and characteristics of that person. It is through these characteristics of your personality that you are able to express yourself and influence the world around you.

We must understand that life (spirit) is ENERGY. This means that you as a person, a personality, are ENERGY. Energy has many forms, but it is not something that you can see or hold in your hand. You can think of energy as something that can make things change. For example, a moving object has energy because it can change things by crashing into them. Heat is another form of energy. It is a sort of motion, too – the disorderly motion of the tiny atoms and molecules that make up all materials.  Heat energy can melt ice, changing it to water, and heat it more, changing it to vapor. It can run the engine of an automobile, jet plane or rocket. There is another kind of energy, called chemical energy. It is in the coal or oil that heats buildings. It is in the food that nourishes your body and keeps you active. There is atomic energy which can be set free from the atoms of some materials. And then there is the energy carried by light waves, called electromagnetic energy. It is the electromagnetic energy in sunlight that warms the earth. Light waves, streaming out of the sun, carry energy to us across nearly a hundred million miles of space. When the energy of the light hits the earth, part of it changes to heat.

Another kind of energy which we, as the people of God, are aware of is SPIRIT ENERGY. In physics energy is known as the capacity for doing work. The Greek word for energy is ENERGEIA. This word is used in the Greek New Testament several times. Because of the association between “doing work” and “energy,” the word is generally translated into the English as “working.” Since so much has been learned about energy in recent years it would now be far better to translate the word for just what it means – energy. Let us look at a couple scriptures. “That ye may know… what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working (Gr: energia, energy, energizing) of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead” (Eph. 1:18-20). Yes, it was energy, GOD’S ENERGY, which RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD! And the Record further states that He was raised up by the SPIRIT of God! And not only did Paul say that it was God’s energy which raised Christ up, but he went on to say in Eph. 3:7 that it was that same energy of God which transformed his own life and made of him a minister of Jesus Christ. “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working (energeia, energy, energizing) of HIS POWER.” Then on top of this Paul declares that it is this SPIRIT ENERGY of God which is working within us to bring us unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. “From whom (Christ) the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working (energy, energizing) in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph. 4:16). And finally, this energy of God shall so work in us, shall so CHANGE US that we shall become changed even in anatomical structure of our bodies, as it is written, “Who shall CHANGE our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working (energeia, energy, energizing) whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself” (Phil. 3:21). All spirit is ENERGY, and exerts a force, or influence, upon our lives. God is the supreme source of energy – the highest and purest form of energy!

These principles show us that God is a Holy Spirit BEING, possessing Holy Spirit CHARACTERISTICS, and exerting Holy Spirit INFLUENCES. The influences of God are no less God than is the Person of God. The characteristics of God: His nature, virtues, attributes, power, mind, etc. are no less God than is the Person of God. God Himself is supreme energy – able to influence and change ALL THINGS! But the characteristics and influences of God are likewise energy, spirit energy. The Bible declares that God is love. It doesn’t say that God has love, but God is love. This is His nature. Did you know that love is energy? You won’t have to think about that very long to realize that it is true. Love is a force that can influence and CHANGE THINGS. Love is invisible, like the wind, but it is powerful! And love can be transmitted, invisibly, from person to person, even as light rays are transmitted from the sun to the earth. The qualities of love can be received by those around us even as the life-giving qualities of the sun are absorbed and utilized by every living thing on earth.

We read in Rom. 14:17: “For the kingdom (realm) of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Do you believe peace is real? What does peace look like? Is it round? Is it square? Can you measure it? Can you buy a bottle full of peace, or a truckload? No! Peace is invisible, isn’t it? And peace is powerful, isn’t it? Peace is SPIRIT! And spirit is ENERGY! You can know when peace is present. You can sense peace, experience peace, speak peace, manifest peace and minister peace.

How about joy? You cannot put joy in your pocket or roll it up like a wad of bills. But can joy be found in the world today? Can we attain joy, individually? Yes, joy is real. Joy is SPIRIT! Joy is ENERGY! What is righteousness? Is there any righteousness on this earth? Righteousness is living right, right attitude, right motive, a desire to right living according to God’s standard. When you receive a new spirit, or right spirit, or Holy Spirit, you are destined to right living; you are destined to righteousness. Right living is attainable on this earth now because of the right spirit, the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit. I have good news for you… you can receive a new spirit, a new energy, Holy Spirit, Holy Energy, and as a result attain a walk in right living, a walk in righteousness. That is what God is!

The above characteristics all qualify as spirit for they are realities which are both invisible but powerful. They all qualify as energy for they are real, invisible forces that can MAKE THINGS CHANGE. How we need a receptivity to these influences in the world today! Thank God, He is bringing to pass such a receptivity in a first-fruits company of His chosen ones in this hour! If there were no receptivity in the trees and flowers and shrubs, we should have a desert around us. These things spring to life because of their quiet receptivity of the energy of the sunlight and moisture poured on them. What they receive they utilize. That is why the primary function of all creation, animate and inanimate, is receptivity. Your basic function, and mine, is the same – simply to receive of that essence of God which is so bountifully poured upon us through the Spirit!

On August 6, 1945 there was the first shock ever heard all the way around the world. It was the first atomic bomb detonated in anger, exploded over Hiroshima, Japan. The real shock, heard around the world, of course, was not that of the blast – as unfathomable as it was – but rather the shocking realization the blast produced: man had unleashed a source of power so vast, so intense, that its destructive power could, unchecked, obliterate civilization into a cosmic cinder cloud! Yet, as awesome as this invention of the atom bomb was, and as immensely powerful as the unleashed atom can become, this tremendous force had already – even before its discovery – been dwarfed by the coming into the human realm of another power much more dynamic and all-encompassing than the power contained in the atom! For, on the day of Pentecost a power was given to men far greater than the atom – in fact, so far greater that this power is destined to swallow up the power of the atom itself and change and transform all things, all life, all creation throughout all the unbounded heavens! And just what is this power? It is the power of the Holy Spirit of God! It has already obliterated all the gods and civilizations of ancient Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. It has transformed the face of the earth and the lives of countless millions of people who have been quickened by its life-changing power.

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SPIRIT

That “spirit” is a proper term for nature, ideas, thoughts, attitudes, desires, mind, will, and all such characteristics is illustrated by a story I read recently. An Elder was telling of a young lad in a certain congregation of the Lord’s body. This boy was a devotee of baseball. He was a little leaguer. When the world series ran he came to the meeting of the Church dressed in a baseball outfit, a glove on one hand and a small transistor radio in the other. His pocket was stretched by a ball. He didn’t hear the message. His ear was glued to that radio. He refused to miss one word of the announcer’s description of the game. Now, that boy was filled with the spirit of baseball. He thought baseball. He talked baseball. He even took his bat to bed. It was all he cared about. He was filled with it. It was his life!

As I am writing, equal rights is a big issue in our land. There are people filled with the spirit of women’s rights, gay rights, or the perceived rights of some other group. They don’t have time for anything else. They are consumed with a desire to petition, lecture, organize, march. Nothing else matters. They eat, sleep and dream equal rights. Their money, time, talents and energies are exhausted as they pour themselves into the struggle for equality. They are FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT of equal status for all people. These people are filled with an attitude, a mind, a disposition, a will, and all these characteristics produce a tremendous INFLUENCE upon the thinking, attitudes and actions of multitudes of citizens. Perhaps now we can understand what it really means to BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT. It means to not only be filled with the Person and Presence of the Holy Spirit of God, but with all the characteristics of the Spirit: His nature, will, mind, ways, virtues, disposition, purpose, etc. How many Christians settle for something so far less than this! We are living in an hour when it is popular, the “in thing,” to be a “Spirit-filled” or “Charismatic” Christian. But truly I say to you that multitudes have settled for some superficial experience of “tongues,” or a “gift,” or “feeling,” and have never even dreamed of what it means to become literally FILLED with EACH and EVERY characteristic of the divine nature and power of GOD! Becoming filled with the Holy Spirit must do far more for us than cause us to repeat some “gibberish” whispered in our ear, or to become ecstatic in our emotions. To be filled with the Spirit means to be filled with ALL THE SPIRIT IS. Jesus was so filled, for He possessed the Spirit “without measure.” And Paul prayed for the saints that they “might be filled WITH ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD” (Eph. 3:19). This measure is reserved for those who will go all the way with God.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of this! Let us take a closer look at some of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit. He is variously defined as – “The Spirit of God,” “The Spirit of Christ,” “The Spirit of Holiness,” “The Spirit of Truth,” “The Spirit of a Sound Mind,” “The Spirit of Liberty,” “The Spirit of Burning,” “The Spirit of the Father,” “The Spirit of Promise,” “The Spirit of Meekness,” “The Spirit of Understanding,” “The Spirit of Wisdom,” “The Spirit of Glory,” “The Spirit of Counsel,” “The Spirit of Grace,” “The Spirit of Adoption,” “The Spirit of Prophecy,” etc. etc. These various titles, repeated many times, and used interchangeably, give us a full, proper assurance that they all relate to the same Holy Spirit – indeed, frequently the word “Holy” is added in, combined, as for instance, “The Holy Spirit of God,” “The Holy Spirit of Promise,” etc. These various expressions are descriptive of the spirit, nature, disposition, power and glory of one God, our Father; and also the spirit, nature, disposition, power, etc. of our Lord Jesus Christ, because He is the expression of the Father; and also it is the spirit and disposition of all who are truly the Lord’s, in proportion as they have come into oneness, or harmony, with Him.

Each of these characteristics is a form of the energy of God. This energy can be transmitted to us, to produce its power within us, even as electricity is transmitted from a battery to an engine to make it function in a certain way. When the “Spirit of Holiness” is transmitted to us we begin to function in our personality in that characteristic of God’s holiness, thus becoming holy. When the “Spirit of Wisdom” is transmitted to us we cease from our own natural reasonings and commence to act in accordance with the higher wisdom of God.

HOW SPIRIT INFLUENCES

This gives us a most wonderful understanding of the workings of the spirit. We see that there are two very real spiritual invisible forces in this world in which we live. You and I are the vessels in which they operate, through which they express themselves on the physical plane. Their power is a spiritual power or influence. The negative power, Satan, is an influence of sin and unrighteousness, of deception and rebellion. This Satanic influence, energy, permeates the very atmosphere around each of us. He is indeed the “Prince of the power of the air.” But more than that it is also the spirit that WORKETH WITHIN those who sin. Of this spirit-influence Paul says: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: IN WHOM the god of this world hath blinded the MINDS of them” (II Cor. 4:3-4). This influence is clearly upon the MIND of man. That is how we may be tempted, deceived, or overcome. Notice the following Scriptures: “To open their eyes, and turn them from the darkness (wrong understanding, perverted knowledge) to light, and from the POWER OF SATAN unto God” (Acts 26:18). “And supper being ended, the DEVIL having now put it IN THE HEART (mind, desire) of Judas Iscariot, to betray Him” (Jn. 13:2).

The Word declares that Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted of THE DEVIL. How often, with our childish and immature understanding, have we pictured Jesus confronted by that legendary figure in the red suit, with horns on his head, and a pitchfork in his hands! But this is nothing but foolishness, for Satan is a spirit, and spirit is invisible to human sight. How many times have you been tempted of the devil? Can you count the times? How many times has he spoken to you, enticing, suggesting, compelling? Have you ever seen him, or audibly heard his voice? Certainly not! And yet, you HAVE heard his voice, you HAVE sensed his presence, you have felt his power! It was all in your mind, the inner knowing, the hunger, the confidence, the sense of His presence, but it is all totally apart from our natural senses. Because it is in our mind does not mean that it is imagination or hallucination!

In words fraught with eternal significance the inspired apostle exhorts, 'Be renewed in the S-P-I-R-I-T OF YOUR MIND' (Eph. 4:23). One has so aptly written, commenting on this verse: “Note that it reads: in the SPIRIT of our mind, for this is far more than just mental gymnastics of our own self-efforts. It is the energizing of His Spirit upon our human spirit which in turn takes dominion over our mind and brings our mind into subjection to the Spirit of truth. There is beneficial results in the power of positive thinking, even on natural realms. But true transformation comes when it is in THE S-P-I-R-I-T OF YOUR MIND. Oh, it may become the norm of our life to just be thinking HIS thoughts, because of the enlargement of His Spirit force within us.” It is more than merely a renewing of the mind – it is the renewing of SPIRIT – the spirit of the mind. It is an absolute must to receive from a realm higher than Adam can give in order to have our minds renewed. The change comes from the Lord from heaven, out of the spirit realm of God, uniting with our spirit. It is the heavenly Jesus dwelling in our hearts, making us ONE IN HIM.

Elwin Roach has shared this illuminating thought concerning the transformation of the mind: “This word, renewing, is adequately rendered in Rom. 12:2; however, to be a little more accurate, the word could be translated RENOVATION (see Strong's Exhaustive Concordance). We are then transformed by the renewing of our minds. There is only a slight difference in the two words, but when renovation is used, we get the thought of a complete house clearing, house cleaning, and then a total refurbishing. Everything old is removed and replaced with all new furnishings. God, however, does something differently in His renovation. He does it just the opposite. He does not clear out the old things and leave our minds a total void and then start filling them with new thoughts. He starts bringing in the new thoughts first, and with this the old passes away and gives place to the new – and all this is of God. Think about it!"

The activity of the mind is primarily in the realm of THOUGHTS. Thoughts are very real and alive. Thoughts are SPIRITUAL REALITIES, transmitted energy, coming upon your person via the gate of your mind. This energy (thoughts) is transmitted into your conscious mind from the unconscious to cause you to act and react in a certain way. Thoughts do not originate in mortal brain. Thoughts are invisible and powerful entities which have their origin in the dimension of SPIRIT. Thoughts do have an objective! You should know and become aware of the objectives of the thoughts that enter your mind. Every decision you have ever made or ever will make has its origin, intent and power in the INVISIBLE REALM, the realm of spirit. You will never understand the mystery of life until you thoroughly know that there is a negative and a positive spirit force. The negative leads to death; the positive to life. The mind is the gateway, the channel through which these energy forces affect our lives. The thoughts that come to us bear the characteristics of the spirit force operating in us. Let us list some of the characteristics of the negative realm: “...unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, debate, deceit, malignity, whispers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful" Rom. 1:29-31). What a list! Search your mind... stop and think! Are some of your thoughts carrying these characteristics? They carry within them the power of death!

Now let us list some of the characteristics of the spirits (thoughts) which come from God. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance" (Gal. 5:22-23). Thoughts carrying these characteristics come from God, the author of life. Each of these characteristics will cause you to take on and express the very NATURE OF GOD, for they are the energy producing the very power of God's nature in the life. What frame of mind do you find yourself living in much of the time? Think now! Is it creative, holy, virtuous, joyful, confident, loving, life-giving, humble, temperate, peaceful? Or is it depressed, discouraged, uncertain, frustrated, angry, fearful, hateful, proud, self-centered, intolerant? You are what you are because of what you have been THINKING! We are constantly entertaining and being influenced and shaped by thoughts which have an origin. They are spirit. They are like the wind – they just "blow" into your mind. They are energy: motivating, directing, compelling your actions. They are POWERFUL, INVISIBLE FORCES that shape your destiny!

Prov. 23:7 says, "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Well did the prophet assert: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose MIND is stayed on Thee" Isa. 26:3). To which is added the inspired testimony of the apostle Paul: "If ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections (thoughts) on things above (spiritual, heavenly), not on things on the earth (natural, carnal)" (Col. 3:1-2). And again, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK on these things!" (Phil. 4:8). This we can do, praise His name, for "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty though God to the pulling down of strongholds; CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS (thoughts), and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity EVERY THOUGHT to the obedience of Christ" (II Cor. 10:4-5).

YOU CAN MINISTER SPIRIT!

Beyond the effect of spirit upon us and the energizing of spirit within us, there is that ability to MINISTER SPIRIT. Every child of God should seek that God would open his eyes to show him this wonderful ministry of the Spirit. Paul spoke of it in these inspired words, "Who also hath make us able ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the SPIRIT: for the letter killeth, but the SPIRIT giveth life... if the ministration of death... was glorious... how shall not the MINISTRATION OF THE S-P-I-R-I-T be rather glorious" (II Cor. 3:6-9).

This passage contains two significant phrases: "Who hath make us able ministers of the New Testament... OF THE SPIRIT” and “the ministration of.. . SPIRIT." The New Testament is not the black, leather covered, book called the Bible. This book is what Paul calls "the letter." It is the law, the record, the history, the form which tells us many things about the historical man called Jesus. The twenty-seven books called the New Testament are merely the guide given to point us to the TRUE NEW TESTAMENT, Jesus, the Christ of God! "Search the scriptures," said Jesus, "for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which TESTIFY OF M-E' (Jn. 5:39). Our scripture says that God has made us able ministers of the New Testament! To minister the New Testament does not mean to minister sermons, doctrines, laws, commandments, or facts about Jesus Christ. To minister the New Testament is to minister the very life of God which is CHRIST IN OUR SPIRIT. “He hath made us able ministers of... the SPIRIT." The word minister implies the thought: to serve, impart, give out or wait on. As a member of the New Creation you have been called to be an able minister of the New Testament – a minister of the SPIRIT!

You may say, "Who, me? Me a minister of the SPIRIT? Why, I can't even testify without stuttering and my knees knocking!" How can we minister spirit? We know how to minister tangible things: our hands minister food to our mouths, they wash our bodies, clothe our bodies, minister ointments and medicines to diseased or painful members, and serve others in a multitude of ways. This is not hard to understand but how can a person minister SPIRIT?. We minister spirit when we minister WHAT THE SPIRIT IS within us! As we walk in the attitude and will of God, speak the words of God, act in the wisdom of God, express the character of God, manifest the nature of God, there is transmission of spirit energy to the people, events, and circumstances about us.

How can we describe that Holy Spirit which is within us? We can describe the fruit of the apple tree in terms of the characteristics of the apple, i.e., peeling, meat, stem, core, seeds, texture, flavor, etc. The characteristics make up the description of what an apple is, what it is like. Similarly, we may describe the Holy Spirit in terms of the virtues or attributes of the Spirit called "the fruit of the Spirit." Now the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance" (Gal. 5:22-23). This is the image of God, what God the Spirit is like! And the new man of our spirit is created in the image and likeness of God (Eph. 4:23-24). Here are nine individual realities which are not visible to the natural eye, yet we know they exist, for like the wind we have observed their influence and effect. They are Spirit, YOUR SPIRIT, and you can minister out of that realm!

What kind of fruit does a natural tree bear? You will answer, "Natural fruit, of course.” That is right. In nature everything produces "after its kind." Apples produce apples, oranges produce oranges, vegetables produce vegetables, etc. If natural trees produce natural fruit, what kind of fruit should we expect from SPIRIT? The answer is simple: SPIRIT FRUIT! The fruit is of the same nature and substance as that which produced it. If God is Spirit, Holy Spirit, then it follows that the fruit of the Spirit is likewise Spirit. To minister Spirit, therefore, means nothing more nor less than to minister the virtues of the fruit of the Spirit to another person. It does not mean to minister the letter of the Word, or pronouncements of judgment, to preach sermons, or convince people through argument of a doctrine, or show people where they are wrong, ungodly, or under condemnation. NO! That is all the ministry of the letter which killeth! We are called to minister the SPIRIT WHICH PRODUCES LIFE!

God is not complicated. Spirit is not complicated. God is Spirit, and God is love. Love is not complicated. Love has no problems communicating, influencing, ministering. When those around us are discouraged or distraught, we can minister encouragement to them by our word, attitude and action. When people are sad and sorrowful, as ministers of Spirit, we will minister joy and faith unto them. In the presence of fear we will exude and speak peace. When our enemies hate us we will love them in return. When men curse us we will do good to them, when they revile us we will bless them. When our friends are depressed, uncertain, and frustrated, we will manifest such calmness and confidence that will lift them from the shrouding gloom of despair into faith and victory.

It is a significant fact that all the virtues and characteristics of the Holy Spirit are spirit, and therefore ARE ENERGY – POWER! In the area of will, attitude, nature, mind, disposition, etc., there is always a transmission of energy. Haven't you noticed how one person's attitude will "rub off” on to another person? One can begin complaining and soon everyone is complaining. One begins to be argumentative and before you know it everyone in the room is in a heated argument. Or a whole group of people may feel frustrated and hopeless in a situation, and just one person can enter the room with a cheery smile, radiating the aura of confidence and assurance, speaking a positive word of encouragement and victory, and soon the whole atmosphere changes, becoming charged with this new expectation, the spirit of the whole group being raised up into hope and anticipation. What is this? It is the work of spirit-invisible, intangible energy – POWER! Invisible, but very real. And very powerful! There is constantly, in this world, the definite transference of spirit energy from person to person, negative or positive. The rise and success of false religions, ideologies like Nazism and communism, rock music, immorality, etc., are the direct result of negative spirit influence transmitted to the masses through faithful ministers of unrighteousness who have become FILLED WITH THE UN-HOLY SPIRIT, and consequently transmitters of the same.

Think not, dear friend, that in order to minister the Holy Spirit you must speak idle words, put on a front, or exert some self-effort to impress someone. We are not subscribing to Dale Carnegie's concepts of HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE. Such methods are soulish pretense and carnal hypocrisy. But you do have a right to know that since your spirit has been quickened by HIS Spirit all the virtues and abilities of the Holy Spirit actually are inherent within your nature. By recognizing the reservoir of life, ability, power and nature within (our true identity) we are enabled at any and all times to appropriate it for ourselves and minister its realities to all whom we contact. And this is P-O-W-E-R – the very POWER OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD!

One thing must be very clear. There are three dimensions of spirit energy which daily touch our lives: God, the satanic, and the human. Every thought, word and action of mankind emanates from one of these three invisible but powerful sources. As sons and daughters of the Most High we are called to the high calling of being transmitters of the life-giving energy of God here upon this earth! Yes, you can minister SPIRIT – HOLY SPIRIT! Hallelujah!

THE SENSES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We are aware that the natural man judges his affairs by his five senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. Let us be mindful that these five natural senses are extremely subject to the influence and control of the spirit of error for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Cor. 2:14). Also “… to be carnally minded is death… because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:6-7). So these five senses of the natural man are not sufficient for the members of the New Creation, for they need other senses whereby to apprehend SPIRITUAL THINGS that can neither be seen, felt, tasted, heard, nor smelled by the human organism. And this lack the Lord has supplied through the Holy Spirit, as the apostle explains: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, … neither can he know them, because they are SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED.” So “… eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man (by any natural sense of power or perception) the things which God hath in reservation for those who love Him – but God HATH REVEALED THEM UNTO US (the “New Creation”) by His Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth (out) all things, yea the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:9-14).

The following words by George Wylie beautifully express the truth I now seek to press home to your heart. He wrote: “The natural man lives externally. Everything he has and knows comes to him from sources from outside himself, he lives in the realm of his senses. All his knowledge has come to him through the channel of his sense, from exterior sources. He learns by what he hears, by what he sees, by what he reads. He goes to school and listens to the teacher expound from the text books. From the time he is a baby he is learning. He learns to know his parents and brothers and sisters by seeing them, and by hearing their voices. It has just been discovered that a baby knows the sound of his mother’s voice, even before he is born. He learns to know whether things are bitter or sweet, sour, or good tasting, by his sense of taste. He learns to know if objects are hot or cold, hard or soft, by his feeling. By the time he is two or three years old he has accumulated a vast storehouse of knowledge, and has learned to understand and speak a language; but it has all come to him from external sources. Little, if any, knowledge is inherent in him. He will continue to learn in this way the rest of his life: and it is amazing the amount of knowledge a man can pack into his head, and how quickly a little child can learn. No matter how old a man lives he will continue to accumulate knowledge, When he is old enough to go to school he will learn how to read and write; how to do mathematics. He will learn about science, physics, biology, and dozens of other subjects; but all this knowledge comes to him from external sources.

“He is dependent on external things for his peace of mind, his joy, pleasure and satisfaction. As long as external circumstances are right and to his liking, he will have peace; but when things go wrong, when he loses his job and there is nothing coming in to support him and his family, his peace of mind and heart is gone. If he loses his health and is afflicted with some dread disease as cancer, his peace has taken wings and flown away. You see, his peace is completely dependant on external conditions. When circumstances which make for peace are nonexistent, then his peace is also nonexistent.

“He gets his joy, pleasure and satisfaction also from things outside himself. The list of things in which the natural man finds pleasure is endless, and how much money some will spend on things to find pleasure in. We have a sportsman’s Center here in N. Battleford, and the inventory must run into millions. I drove past there the other day and saw acres and acres of new camper trucks, hundreds of them, and each one would be well over $20,000. I wondered, who on earth is going to buy all those things. But they seem to go. From where I sit I can look out my window and see thousands of boats of all kinds, trailers etc, and inside the huge building there are hundreds of motor cycles, snow mobiles, guns, skis, fishing equipment, and what have you. People spend thousands of dollars on these things just to have a few hours pleasure. The natural man has to look to these things in order to enjoy life, as they say. He does not seem to find any joy or pleasure in himself, he has to find his pleasure in external things.

“God made man a natural creature; he was made of the earth, and is of the earth earthy, and it is perfectly normal and NATURAL for him to live this way. He is of the earth and can only find his life and pleasure in the things of the earth. He has to eat to sustain his natural life which is the life of his body, his flesh. All his food and drink has come from the earth in the first place. The vegetables, fruits and grains which he eats, have come directly from the ground. The meat he eats has been produced by the grasses and grains which the animals and birds have eaten. His body is made of the dust of the earth, and the cells of his body are worn out and cast off they have to be replaced by other earth atoms; this he does by eating and drinking. The joys, pleasures and satisfaction he gets out of living are sensual or soulish, because he is essentially a sensual and soulish creature.

“There is nothing wrong with this, for God made him this way, and this is the way God ordained he should live. There is no other way the natural man can live and get some enjoyment out of living. God has given him a sense of taste so he can enjoy what he eats. He has sight so he can enjoy the things he sees. The world of scents and perfumes is wonderful, and how we can enjoy these. I have a house vine and when in bloom it fills the house with the most exotic scent imaginable, and I love it. Pity the person who has lost his sense of smell. Women, and men also, will douse themselves with perfume so to make themselves more appealing to the opposite sex. And who doesn’t enjoy those sweet scents. Insects find themselves mates by the scent the opposite sex exude. The sense of feeling is also wonderful. How much pleasure we can get by touching and feeling things. The enjoyment a man and his wife can get by touching, feeling and caressing each other. When our little daughter was a few months old we were visiting some friends; we didn’t have a cat, but they had a lovely big fluffy one. Our little girl was sitting on the floor and the cat strayed within her reach, when she reached out and felt that lovely soft fur she squealed with delight, and every time she took hold of the cat’s fur she would squeal again. She got great enjoyment out of feeling the fur.

“This is the way the natural man is, because God has made him that way, and it is wonderful, but God does not intend him to remain this way. God wants to change him from a natural creature into a spiritual one.

“The natural man is a carnal man, that is, he lives in the flesh and according to his senses. To be carnal does not necessarily imply sinfulness, nor does living after the flesh mean that one is living in a sinful manner; it just means that he is living in the natural way God has designed the natural man to live.

“By our senses we are world conscious. Through them we are conscious of our environment, and our surroundings are real to us. Without any of our senses we would not be conscious of anything; we would just be a vegetable. Even though we might be alive we would know nothing of the world around us; we would not even be conscious of being alive. So God has given us our senses so we would know we are alive and be conscious of the world in which He has placed us, and that we can enjoy the things He has provided for us. The trouble with this natural, sensual state is, that though it functions perfectly in the natural realm, it is not capable of understanding spiritual things: the things of the spirit state it knows nothing about; it can have no comprehension of the things of the Spirit. ‘But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ (I Cor. 2:14). ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ (Rom. 8:7). So it is not possible for us to know God, or be conscious of His being, or understand the things of God, by our natural senses. We have to have a new birth for that.

“Now I am going to say something that has puzzled me for years, and only recently have I received an understanding of it. In Gal. 5:25, we read, ‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ Now what did Paul mean by that? This scripture puzzled me for years.

“What does it mean to be in the Spirit and live in the Spirit? I think we have our answer to that in Rom. 8:9. ‘But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you.’ So when we have received the Spirit of God we have been brought into the realm of Spirit; a new world has been opened up unto us. We have been born into a new state. So we are living in a new environment. But it is possible to be in this area and not walk in the Spirit but to continue to walk in the flesh, and be carnal. Once we have been brought into the realm of Spirit, we have to learn to walk in the Spirit. This isn’t something we learn overnight. We can be brought into this Spirit state and not walk in the spirit, but continue to walk after the flesh.

“First Corinthians is a good example of this. What does it really mean to be spiritual? What makes us spiritual? Christ is presented to us as the spiritual man in I. Cor. 15. In contrast with the first Adam who was a natural man. Christ alone is spiritual. We are only spiritual to the extent we have put on Christ, and are conformed to his likeness. Knowing a lot about the Bible, being able to pray long prayers, having great gifts of the Spirit and eloquent ministries does not make one spiritual. The Corinthian Christians had all this yet were not spiritual.

“In the first chapter of first Corinthians Paul says, ‘I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Christ Jesus; that in everything ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance and in all knowledge; – so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Vs. 4-7. They had received an abundance of the grace of God; they had great knowledge of the Word of God, and were able preachers. They had great utterance of the knowledge of the things of God. They had all the gifts of the Spirit, as he said, ‘ye come behind in no gift’; they were in the realm of the Spirit , and yet Paul had to say to them, ‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as babes in Christ.’ (I Cor. 3:1). You see, in spite of all they had received from God, the great gifts and ministries they had, they were not spiritual, but carnal, ‘For ye are yet carnal – and walk as men.’ V. 3. Though they were in the Spirit, and perhaps even ministering in the Spirit, they were not walking in the Spirit but were walking as men: that is, in the flesh, carnal. It is possible to do this, and that is why Paul said, “If ye live in the Spirit, then also walk in the Spirit.’ They were walking in the manner of the natural man, and not as the sons of God.

“The natural man is dependant entirely on external things for his life and existence. Only in the realm of the Spirit can we live beyond and above eternal things. God is Spirit, and only when we have learned to walk and function in the spirit, can our lives be fully acceptable to Him. Jesus said, ‘God is Spirit, and they who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth, for God seeketh such to worship Him.’ Only such worship and service is fully pleasing and acceptable to God. I am afraid that a lot of what goes on in many of our meetings, which we think is on the Spirit level, is not at all. If we have to prime the people to get them to sing and praise God, even if they respond in a wonderful manner, it is still not spiritual worship. If it isn’t coming from the spirit, it is not worshipping God in the Spirit. If we are worshipping God in Spirit we need no pumping or priming, our hearts are full of praise to God because of our love for Him and appreciation for what He is and what He has done for us. If we are worshipping God in Spirit, we need no incentives, it just flows from an overflowing heart. Even some of the meetings that we think are wonderful, where the singing and the praise has been effervescent and spontaneous, may not be spiritual at all but soulish and emotional. There is a difference. Many such meetings are conducted on the soulish level. People are stirred in their souls and emotions, but not necessarily in the spirit. Many will come to such meetings and get stirred and excited, even come to the altar to give of themselves to the Lord; but in many cases it doesn’t last. Why? Because they have been reached and stirred in their souls but it has not gone deep enough to get into the spirit.

“To be spiritual means that we have come to the place where we live and function, not in the area of the flesh or the soul, but of the spirit. In this wonderful place is where we come in contact with God, where we meet with Him, and draw from Him all we have need of for life and existence. Our joy and peace, our health and welfare, and everything that pertains unto life and godliness, is coming to us, not from external things, but from internal, from the spirit, the Holy of Holies, where God dwells within us. In Phil. 2:12,13, we are told to ‘Work out our own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.’ Work out your salvation. Most of us are trying to work IN our salvation by external things, trying to build up something within us by external means, when God says, ‘Work out your salvation,’ not by external things but by that which is internal, in the spirit; for ‘It is God who worketh IN you, both to WILL and DO His good pleasure.’ We come to full salvation and perfection, not by things outside of ourselves, but from that which is within, GOD Himself. It is God working in us, working from within, and not from without, that will bring us to the completeness of our redemption.

“When I think of the tremendous potential that lies within us I marvel at the greatness of God’s purpose. We struggle so hard to gain a little bit of knowledge. We study and ponder over things, trying to get them into our minds, when all the time within us lives the one in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Paul said, ‘Now we know only in part, but when that which is perfect is come, … then we will know, even as also we are known.’ Can we even begin to fathom the greatness of what God has done when He sent His Son to dwell in these temples of clay? We keep looking to the God we believe is in heaven somewhere, out there in space. We keep trying to appropriate something He did almost two thousand years ago, when all the time He is dwelling in the Holy of Holies of our being, to accomplish, and fulfill the fullness of the redemption He purchased for us.

“Can you believe, that in you resides all the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord of the universe? We keep trying to get some little crumb of knowledge from external sources, when all the time we could be drawing from that fountain of knowledge that is within us.

“This is the difference between sense knowledge and revelation knowledge. Sense knowledge comes to us from the outside through our senses, revelation knowledge comes from within, from the one in whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Can you believe that in you dwells all the power of the universe? For He who is the Lord of the universe, the one who said, ‘All power in heaven and earth is given unto me.’ dwells within you. This is why Paul said, ‘He is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that WORKETH IN US.’ (Eph. 3:20). Can you begin to realize what will happen when this power that is in us will be released? When the Christ who dwells within has full control of these beings of ours, and can use them to do the will of God?

“Can you believe that within you dwells the fullness of the life of God? For He who lives within you said, ‘I am the LIFE’. When we begin to live internally, and allow the one who lives there to live out through us, the one who is the spiritual man, then we are coming into the realm of the spiritual, and we are becoming spiritual, living and walking in the Spirit.”

How wonderful to thus be assured that the Holy Spirit does indeed possess ALL the faculties, abilities, senses, etc. that mankind possesses, but all in that higher and purer realm of divine Spirit. When we are born of the Spirit EACH and EVERY element of the Spirit’s Personality becomes the elements of the personality of our New Creation Man, our new life and nature in Christ. Truly I say to you – when we are born of the Spirit the five senses of GOD become resident and operative in our spirit and we may be considered as having a complete set of spiritual senses – five additional senses corresponding to our earthly senses. Gradually, as we are quickened to become aware of these senses, “the EYES of our understanding” open wider and wider to the things not seen by the natural eye; by degrees the HEARING of faith increases until every good promise of God is established as truth within; in time we come into TOUCH with the Lord and His invisible powers; little by little we TASTE and see that the Lord is very gracious; after a time we come to appreciate those sacrifices and incense-prayers and praises which are of SWEET ODOR to the Lord. As the natural senses can be cultivated, so can the spiritual; and the cultivation of these spiritual senses constitutes marks indicating our growth in grace – our development as Sons of God – to the completeness of our new selves in the glory, honor and immortality of the divine nature.

Since our baptism in the Holy Spirit we are literally “plugged in” to God’s unlimited and inexhaustible energy supply. This energy of the Spirit is invisible to men, but its effects upon them are tangible and visible. This may be illustrated by the electric current in the wiring in your home. It is invisible, but the moment the cord is plugged into the outlet the power is manifested in the function of the appliance on the other end of the cord. The very same current produces light from the lamp, heat from the stove, sound from the radio, pictures from the television, vibration in the electric toothbrush. All of these, and many more, are its blessings under proper arrangements. So the Holy Spirit is the spiritual energy or power of God – which moves, enlightens, regenerates, changes, transforms, renews, leads, instructs, and strengthens all who, having the proper condition of yieldedness and submission within themselves, are brought into connection with it.

 


Chapter 3

Introduction

God has revealed Himself in two great dispensations. In the Old we have the time of promise and preparation, in the New the time of fulfillment and reality. As we look at these two dispensations we see that, in relation to them, there is a two-fold working of God’s Spirit. In the Old Testament we see the Spirit of God coming upon men, and working on them and through them in special ways and times, ever coming and going, and always working from above and without, working inwards. In the New Testament we have the Holy Spirit entering into them and dwelling within them, abiding, always working from within, working outwards and upwards. In the Old Testament we have the Spirit of God as the Spirit of the Almighty and Unapproachable One. In the New Testament we have the Spirit of the Father, in and through Jesus Christ.

Jesus, as Head of the New Creation, was the first man to receive the Holy Spirit in full measure and as an ever abiding reality. Under the Old Covenant the Spirit came upon men at special times and for special purposes, moved upon them, fulfilling momentarily that special purpose of God, after which, the anointing lifted from them. It was this entirely unique experience of the abiding presence and anointing of the Spirit which marked Jesus as the Messiah, the Anointed One, He Himself being not only the recipient of the abiding Spirit, but the giver, the source, the baptizer with the Holy Spirit!

John the Baptist knew this, and said, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and REMAINING ON HIM, the same is He which BAPTIZETH WITH THE HOLY GHOST. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God” (Jn. 1:32-34). This word comes to us as well as to John. To know what the baptism in the Spirit really means, we must see the One upon whom the Spirit descended and abode. Of what that baptism in the Spirit means, Jesus Himself was to be the type: He would only give what He Himself had received: because the Spirit ABODE on Him, He could baptize with the Spirit. Because of this abiding of the fullness and inexhaustibleness of God in Him, we may come to Him and drink, receiving the same fullness and inexhaustibleness of His Spirit. What Jesus, as the first-born Son, has to give us, He first received and personally appropriated for Himself; what He received and won for Himself is for all of the sons: He will make it our very own. Upon whom we see the Spirit abiding, – He baptizeth with the Spirit! And whoever is so baptized, upon him too, the Spirit ABIDES. “But as for you, the anointing which you have received from Him, abides permanently in you; so then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything, and is true, and is no falsehood, so you must abide – live, never to depart (rooted in Him, knit to Him) just as His anointing has taught you to do” (I Jn. 2:27, Amplified Bible).

The Old Testament stood in the law of a carnal commandment; the New Testament in the power of an endless life. All that the Spirit works within us is eternal in its nature and substance, after the power of an endless life. This eternal reality dwells within us, ever working form within the spirit, working outwards and upwards, into soul and body, unto the full measure of the stature of the Son of God.

THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD

“Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from THE SEVEN SPIRITS which are before His throne” (Rev. 1:4).

“These things saith He that hath THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1).

“And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 4:5).

“In the midst of the throne… stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 5:6).

For many years we did not know that God had seven Spirits! Although we had read the Bible through, and were raised in a “Spirit-filled” environment, we had never seen or heard anything about seven Spirits.

We all knew that “there is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling” (Eph. 4:4). We all thought that when we received the one Spirit, in the baptism in the Spirit, that was the beginning and the finish of it! We spoke in tongues and prophesied, did a few miracles, danced in the Spirit and rejoiced with unspeakable joy, and that was it! This is all we knew God had for us this side of heaven.

“Seven Spirits” means, in the original text, seven Spirits. The question follows: Are there seven Spirits of God? Does God indeed have seven Spirits? Whether you can accept this or not, the scriptures do speak of more than one Spirit. We are misled in this respect because of what Paul said about there being but one body, and one Spirit. Does Paul contradict what John wrote when he recorded that He had seen the seven Spirits of God? Let us consider. Did not Paul also say that there is one baptism? Is it true that there is only one baptism mentioned in the scriptures? To my knowledge there are several. We all know there is such a thing as water baptism that was practiced in the New Testament. There is also a baptism in the Holy Spirit. Then there is a baptism of fire. The Lord Jesus spoke of a baptism He had to face. He said, “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am straightened till it be accomplished!” (Lk. 12:50). He had already been baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit when the disciples, James and John, asked the Lord for the chief positions in the kingdom, He responded to their request by asking them this question: “Are you able to drink the cup that I shall drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” (Mat. 20:22). So the scriptures speak of various baptisms. What then did Paul mean that there is ONE baptism? We must understand that Paul was speaking in a very limited sense. He was talking specifically about the body of Christ and the unity of that body. He said, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” (I Cor. 12:13). That “one Spirit” is the spirit of Jesus Christ, for “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Rom. 8:9). It is the Christ Spirit that makes us members of the Christ body. So by the one Spirit of Jesus Christ we are baptized by the one baptism into the one body. Paul is not speaking here about the seven Spirits of God which Jesus has received and which the sons of God receive as they press forward into the fullness of God. The fullness of God is not known in one Spirit nor by one baptism. But entrance into the body of Christ is by one Spirit and one baptism.

All that God says is true. When God says something that to our unenlightened mind seems a contradiction, it is never either/or. In other words, you are not called upon to choose one in opposition to the other. When God says a thing that appears to conflict, the resolution always lies in the correct harmonization of BOTH. Both are true! We may not immediately understand it, but that is how it is. If God says there is one Spirit, then there is one Spirit; if God says there are seven Spirits, then there are seven Spirits. That’s simple, isn’t it? One of the keys to this mystery is found in the verse in Rev. 4:5: “And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” In the Old Testament, the structure of the lamp stand (candlestick) was quite unique: below was one lamp stand, above there were seven branches, and in each branch there was a lamp (Ex. 25:31-37). It was one lamp stand, yet it had seven lamps; there were seven lamps, yes it was but one lamp stand. The same picture is presented in Zech. 4:2. Therefore, it is correct to say that there is one lamp stand, neither is it wrong to say there are seven lamps! So also is the Spirit of God. Without question, He is one Spirit; but He is also called “the seven Spirits,” that is, the sevenfold, intensified Spirit of God.

Seven, in the scriptures, is the most sacred number of the Hebrews. This number is used more often, in the Word of God, than all other numbers, save the number one. It is the number denoting spiritual perfection and completeness. In this connection it is interesting to note that in the title “Holy Spirit” the word “holy,” according to Webster, comes from a root meaning “whole”. Hence, the Holy Spirit is the “Whole Spirit”! The seven Spirits of God, seven denoting spiritual perfection and completeness, are likewise a figure of the “Holy” or “Whole” or “complete” SPIRIT. When we understand that the number seven conveys the idea of unity and completeness, rather than diversity, then we can see with unclouded vision that the seven Spirits of God are the sevenfold, intensified Spirit of the Lord – the absolute FULLNESS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD!

The one Spirit and the seven Spirits are like the color spectrum. Sometimes when the sun is shining during or just after a rain, we can see a rainbow in the sky. A rainbow is made up of bands of different colors and is caused by the fact that the light from the sun is bent by the drops of rain or moisture in the air, just as white light is divided when it passes through a three-dimensional prism. Sunlight appears white but actually is composed of several colors. If you have ever seen a wheel that had different colors on it, you have noticed that the faster the wheel spins, the whiter it appears. Bending light breaks it up into its different colors. So – is light one color, or many? BOTH! Light in unity is white, divided into its parts, it is several colors. And so are the seven Spirits of God! As God’s nature flows through our triangular being we, too, express the nature of God on many levels of His Spirit, such as wisdom, understanding, might, counsel, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord – God’s Spirit coming forth as light which is the true expression of life denoting righteousness, peace and joy.

Where is the source of these seven Spirits of God? Jesus is! “In the midst of the throne stood a Lamb… having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God” (Rev. 5:6). The Lord Jesus said to John on Patmos, “These things saith HE THAT HATH THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1).

THE LORD IS THE SPIRIT

“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU” (Jn. 14:16-18).

I am indebted to William Law, Andrew Murray, and another writer unknown to me for some of the thoughts I will share in this section, a portion of which has been gleaned from their writings.

As Jesus was preparing to leave this earth realm, He promised His disciples that His departure would be their gain; the Comforter would take His place, to be to them far better than He had been, or ever could be, in His bodily presence. This would be true because His own relationship with them had been very much external, and in consequence of this, had not resulted in what might have been expected. He had been with them, and they were still very carnal, earthy. But the coming Spirit would be IN THEM; He, Jesus, would return to them as the Spirit, in an intimacy and vitality they could not know as long as He was outside of them, merely with them. He would return to them, not in flesh and bone, but as the Spirit, as an Indwelling Presence, in the power of which they would have at their disposal, and as their own possession, yeah, even as their very own being, ALL THAT JESUS IS!

“… the Spirit of truth… He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU.” The thought of Jesus walking with men on earth, living with them, leading, teaching, guiding them, is so clear. But the thought of Jesus becoming a Spirit and hiding Himself within them, and speaking, not in audible sounds, but only in the depths of the life, was too staggering a thought for these yet carnal men. Their minds were not yet blinded to spiritual realities. They still needed to be educated (as do the multitudes of religious today) to acknowledge that God desired to rule, not by an outward law, but by an inward life. As long as Jesus was with His disciples as a physical being, He had to work from without inward, and yet could never effectually reach or master their inmost parts. When Jesus went away He then returned as the Spirit to be IN THEM, that now He might work mightily from within, outward. Taking possession of the inmost recesses of their being by His Spirit of Life, He would cause them, in their surrender to His will, mind, nature and power, to personally become what He Himself is. The shaping of their life, the forming of their character, the development of their abilities, would be by the power of the Spirit of Jesus, who really had become their spirit.

Oh! how our gracious and all-wise God and Father would have us understand that it REALLY  I-S  BETTER for us that Jesus should not be here on earth! Wonderful beyond words is the truth He declared to His disciples long ago, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is profitable – good, expedient, advantageous – for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you… but if I go away, I will send Him to you” (Jn. 16:7, Amplified Bible). Jesus said again, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you” (Jn. 16:13-15). Before this glorifying of Jesus could take place, it was first necessary, yea, imperative that He go away from His disciples. They could not have Him in the flesh and in the Spirit too; His bodily presence would hinder the spiritual indwelling. They must part with the Jesus they knew before they could receive the glorified Jesus as the Spirit in the heavenlies or in us. Even so, in our union with Him in the Spirit, we too must give up the Christ we have known in the past, however we have known Him, if we are indeed to become partakers of all His divine fullness in the Spirit.

I am convinced that it is right at this point where so many of the Lord’s precious people need this teaching: “It is EXPEDIENT (advisable, desirable, advantageous, profitable, to your interest) for you THAT I GO AWAY.” Like those disciples, so many sincere Christians have believed in Jesus with all their hearts, love Him, and seek to follow Him – but, the Jesus they believe in, the Jesus they love, the Jesus they seek to follow and obey, is the Jesus in the picture of the wall; the Jesus with soft, penetrating eyes, flowing chestnut hair, fine chiseled features, well-trimmed beard, Galilean robe. It is the Jesus of Bethlehem’s manger, of Nazareth’s carpenter shop, of the shores of the Sea of Galilee, of the Judean hills. The Jesus who preached to the multitudes, fed the five thousand, healed the sick with the touch of His hand, cleansed the leper, and who, weeping, cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” Even the Jesus of the judgment hall, of the Via Dolorosa, of Golgotha’s hill, of Joseph of Arimathea’s garden tomb. With some it is even the Jesus of the resurrection; the Jesus calling tenderly to Mary in the freshness of the morn, Jesus walking along the road to Emmaus, Jesus appearing mysteriously to His disciples behind closed doors, or Jesus inviting the doubting Thomas to thrust his hand into His side. But, dear ones, even THAT JESUS, even the Jesus of the resurrection, COULD NOT STAY WITH HIS DISCIPLES. “It is expedient for you that I go away.” “If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.” “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come unto you.” Even the resurrected Jesus had to pass away from their midst before the exceeding great and precious promise of the Indwelling Spirit could be fulfilled.

How many of God’s dear saints are yet worshipping the Jesus of the flesh! Truly they believe on Him, love Him, and long to see Him when He comes. And yet, in their longing to see Him, some glad day after while! they find that He is not presently their satisfying portion, their all in all. There is yet such a lack in their lives; so much carnality, strife, struggle, weakness, insufficiency and limitation. The only reason can be this: they have not yet fully inherited the promise: “The Spirit shall be IN YOU… He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.” The absolute imperativeness of Christ’s going away, the absolute reality of His coming again as the Indwelling Spirit, they do not fully understand nor appreciate. They have not yet been able to say, “Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet NOW HENCEFORTH know we Him no more” (II Cor. 5:16). “Knowing Christ after the flesh”: it is this that must come to an end, must make way for knowing Him in the power of the Spirit! AFTER THE FLESH: that means, in the power of the external, of words and thoughts, of efforts and feelings, of systems and methods, of ceremonies and ordinances, of influences and aids from without, from men and means. We must know Christ no more after the flesh, as He was on earth, or even in His resurrection. We are to know Him AFTER THE SPIRIT, as the exalted and glorified Lord who has come unto us as the Indwelling Spirit!

To many it is a very difficult thing to set aside the Christ of the flesh, to know only the Christ of the Sprit; to set aside the Christ who works through the agencies of the external, through efforts, systems, ceremonies, methods, influences from without, of men and means, and come to know only Him who works INTERNALLY after the power of an endless life. “As many as RECEIVED HIM (as Spirit), to them gave He power to become the SONS OF GOD” (Jn. 1:12). To all who honestly desire to become truly God-men, bearing the full image of the first-born Son, and in all things be well pleasing to the Father, the thought of Jesus’ departure that His Spirit may now become our very own, and we be transformed and matured into His very own stature, will be welcomed with unspeakable gladness and gratitude. In this union the privilege we enjoy, the nobility we attain as sons of God, the intimacy and fullness of fellowship and relationship with God we enter into – all these are infinitely greater than anything experienced by men of God in any passing time or age. To have our Lord coming as the Spirit into our hearts, becoming our very own life, just as He was the Spirit of Christ Jesus on earth – surely this is a blessedness worth any sacrifice, for it is the means of the manifestation of God Himself. As the people of Jesus’ day saw the full revelation of God in the Person of Christ Jesus, so the world of our day is yet to see a full and complete revelation of Christ in His body. This is the consummation for which all other things since the foundation of the world were accomplished. The Word now begins to be fulfilled: “Behold! the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them!” (Rev. 21:3).

II Cor. 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is that Spirit.” The Lord is what Spirit? The “Lord” spoken of here, of course, is the Lord Jesus; and “the Spirit,” of course, is the Holy Spirit. Now let us turn to I Cor. 15:45. “And so it is written, the last Adam was made A QUICKENING SPIRIT.” The last Adam, of course, is THE WORD OF GOD MADE FLESH, the man Christ Jesus. The Life-giving Spirit, of course, is the Holy Spirit. There can never be another Life-giving Spirit beside the Holy Spirit. The Lord was made flesh and became the last Adam, and later, through death, resurrection, ascension and glorification, became THE LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT. “NOW the Lord is the Spirit.”

Today’s Christians, steeped in the false doctrines of Babylon, blinded by the traditions of men, have a traditional way of saying that “Christ is in the Holy Spirit.” But the Word of God does not say that! There is not one verse in all the Bible which says that Christ is in the Spirit. Jesus, in the days of His flesh, did say, “I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me”(Jn. 14:10), but the Scriptures never anywhere say that the Son is in the Spirit. This is because the eternal Father has been manifested unto us IN the Son, and the Son who comes into us IS the Spirit! It is not that the Son who is IN The Spirit comes into us, but it is that the Son who comes into us I-S THE SPIRIT. “The last Adam was made A QUICKENING SPIRIT.” “Christ is in the Spirit” is, therefore, a traditional saying, while “The Lord IS the Spirit” is the scriptural expression. It never ceases to amaze me how many Christians will repeat the traditional sayings dreamed up long millenniums past by the architects of Babylon, and then will condemn you as a heretic for standing on the revelation given so clearly by the precious Spirit of the Lord. May God grant us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the KNOWLEDGE OF HIM.

The Lord who is the Spirit is not the Jesus of the flesh, nor yet the resurrected Jesus who appeared to His disciples for forty days. The Lord the Spirit is the exalted and glorified Lord! If the resurrected Christ would have been the Lord the Spirit, then there would have been no need for Him to ascend so the Spirit could come; He could have remained here and simply disappeared into His disciples. He did not say, “It is expedient for you that I be resurrected: for if I am not resurrected, the Comforter will not come unto you.” He said, rather, “it is expedient for you that I GO AWAY!”

The resurrection of Jesus was a first step toward the last man Adam becoming the quickening Spirit. But notice what Peter says in Acts 2:32-33: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore BEING BY THE RIGHT AND OF GOD EXALTED, and having received (in His exaltation) of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye NOW SEE and hear.” In Eph. 4:10 it is even plainer. “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, THAT HE MIGHT FILL ALL THINGS.” He was not simply resurrected that He might fill all things, but He ASCENDED UP FAR ABOVE ALL HEAVENS in order to fill all things. Eph. 2:20-23 shows the same thing. It is Christ seated at the right hand of the Father FAR ABOVE all principality, who was made Head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that FILLETH ALL IN ALL. John wrote, “This spake Jesus of the Spirit, which they that believed on Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given; because JESUS WAS NOT YET GLORIFIED” (Jn. 7:39). Two things were essential before Jesus could return as the Lord the Spirit. He must GO AWAY. He must BE GLORIFIED. In our place, and on our behalf, as man and the Head of man, Jesus was resurrected, and then ascended, being admitted into the full glory of the Divine, and His human nature received up into union and participation with the eternal Spirit, becoming of the same substance and essence of the eternal Spirit. And the Holy Spirit could now come down as the Spirit of the God-man – most really the Spirit of God, and yet as truly the Spirit of Jesus the man. He could come down as the Spirit of the GLORIFIED JESUS, to be in each one of us who receives Him. God be praised! Jesus has been glorified! There is now the Spirit of the glorified Jesus and we have received Him!

THE ALL-SUFFICIENT SPIRIT OF CHRIST

The value of knowledge, that is, true spiritual knowledge, in the life of a child of God can hardly be exaggerated. Just as a man is none the richer for an inheritance that comes to him, or a treasure in his field, as long as he does not know about it, or does not know how to get possession of it, or to use it – so the gift of the Holy Spirit cannot bring His full blessing and reality until we know and, in knowing, truly apprehend and posses Him in all fullness. In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and it is the excellency of the KNOWLEDGE of Christ Jesus, our Lord, for which all sons of God must be willing to count all things but loss. It is because of the lack of a true knowledge of what God in Christ is unto us that the lives of many brothers and sisters are so weak and feeble.

In order for us to know and properly understand the all-sufficiency of the Spirit of Christ within us, we must first see what Christ is. I do not say “who” Christ is, but “what” Christ is. There are many different titles and names ascribed to Christ in the scriptures; however, we will not here consider the names of Christ, but the substance of Christ, His very essence. My automobile, made of metal, is called an automobile, but its essence or substance is metal. What is the substance of Christ? “Now the Lord is THE SPIRIT” (II Cor. 3:17). What is Christ? He is the SPIRIT! He may be called by many titles and names, all descriptive of His various characteristics, offices, and out workings. He may be known as Saviour, as Redeemer, as the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Comforter, Prophet, High Priest, King, Lord, I Am, and scores of other glorious titles. But what is His substance? “The last Adam was made a QUICKENING SPIRIT” (I Cor. 15:45). The substance of Christ is Spirit. “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth THE SPIRIT OF HIS SON into your hearts” (Gal. 4:6). “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath SHINED IN OUR HEARTS, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (II Cor. 4:5-7).

If we read the scriptures carefully, and as the light of God’s divine revelation bursts in blazing glory upon our consciousnesses, we will come to see that the main thing God is after, and has always been after, is to work Himself into us, to reveal the very fullness of Himself through us, as the vessels of His glory. For what purpose did God create man? Only that man might be His container, His expression, both the revelation and the source of God for the whole creation. In fact, the whole universe exits because Spirit has chosen to have a body in which to manifest Himself. Truly it is as the scripture says, “The whole earth is FULL OF HIS GLORY!” Christ has entered into His glory as the Spirit unto this very end, that now, in a divine way, “He might FILL ALL THINGS” (Eph 4:10). He has entered into His glory that He might especially, as a first-fruit, fill the members of His body with the fullness of Himself and His divine Life.

Through the Spirit the creation is brought into a living relationship with God, so that He can manifest Himself in His perfection of life and love and power through us. If God FILLS ALL THINGS, as various scriptures state that He does, then all things are containers of Him. But the rest of the creation can contain only manifestations of God, while we can contain GOD AS A PERSON. A person cannot manifest himself as a person through anything else than a person. You can appreciate a cat, or a stone, or a rainbow for what they are, but you can’t fellowship with them. I can fellowship with you, and you with me, because we are of the same makeup. The heavens and the earth declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork. We can view their marvels through the microscope and the telescope, and stand in awe before their magnificence, but we do not say, “That is God.” The greatest marvel of the ages, the height of being, is when we can look at another personality and say, “God is there!” Certainly Paul had this in mind when he wrote in Gal. 4:6, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts.” God has made us His sons! And because we are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. True fellowship is person to person. But for God to manifest Himself, His Person, through a fallen, unregenerated human being is like me trying to manifest my personality through a dog or a horse. There we have two different natures! The two are not compatible. Therefore, God appeared to be on the horns of a dilemma when man fell. He wasn’t, of course, for He knew His own purpose from the beginning. But it appeared so because God had created man to reveal HIS IMAGE to the whole universe. This is why God, in the beginning, created the whole inexhaustible heavens and the earth, and, having finished the host of them, said, “Let us make man IN OUR IMAGE, after OUR LIKENESS.” Man was to be the visible manifestation and revelation and source of God to the whole of the physical creation. But man fell from that IMAGE OF GOD, into a condition of darkness and death, where there is no longer a compatibility between the nature of God and the nature of man. This is why God first constitutes us His sons, through the justification of faith, and then sends forth the fullness of His own divine life in the Spirit into our hearts. As sons of God we become containers of HIM – of the very SPIRIT of GOD!

We have been made to be containers and God intends to be our only content. Bottles are made to contain liquids of various kinds, cans contain food, tanks are designed to contain water, electric wires to contain electricity. If we look at these we will realize that each of these kinds of containers is “peculiarly made” to contain a specific substance. Sons of God are also “peculiar” containers, for we have been designed by our Creator (of the New Creation) to contain a specific substance – the SPIRIT OF GOD! If we do not come to know God as our only content, we become a meaningless contradiction. No matter how much of the wisdom of this world we imbibe, regardless to what heights of human recognition and position we may attain, notwithstanding how accomplished in the human abilities and functions of this present world, we are still meaningless, since we have been purposely made to CONTAIN GOD AS OUR SOLE CONTENT; to reveal Him as our unique purpose! Although this word may seem elementary, it is the word which points out the core of the eternal purpose of God. That purpose in a word is this: God is the content, and we are the containers, especially and uniquely fashioned into a New Creation to express, reveal, and become the source of God for the entire universe! As it is written, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be KNOWN BY THE CHURCH the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 3:9011). How glorious!

When Jesus the Spirit comes into us, He comes to fulfill this High and Holy calling. He comes within as the all-sufficient Spirit to make us all that we must be as God-men. In our modern era man has learned much about nutrition. Nutrition is the science and study of the foods that build the human body and make it strong and healthy. The body gets the nourishment it needs from the raw materials contained in foods. Starch, sugar, fat, protein, minerals, vitamins and water are all raw materials. From these raw materials the body builds bones and muscles, and makes blood. There are some foods that build body tissue, others that make strong bones and teeth. Many of these materials are minerals. One of the important materials that helps the body grow and function is vitamins. There are several different kinds of vitamins and each has its particular use. All of these minerals and vitamins are important. For instance, Calcium promotes proper formation of teeth and bones. Iron helps build red blood cells. Vitamin A aids good eyesight. Vitamin B1 is good for the nerves. Niacin builds healthy skin. In order to get all the vitamins and minerals our body needs you can go to the drugstore and purchase them in tablet form. There you will find bottles containing calcium, bottles containing iron, others of niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, D, E, etc., etc. You could soon fill your entire cabinet with bottles of all kinds of vitamins, minerals, and food supplements. But the medicine companies have simplified all this for us by creating the “multi-vitamin-mineral” tablet. One of these tablets will contain sufficient amounts of every known vitamin and mineral needed by the human body. You don’t have to swallow 25 or 50 different pills – you just take the one! This “one-a-day” type is the all-inclusive dose! And friends, have we ever realized that Christ the Spirit is the best “dose” in all the world? HE is the one complete dose which is enough to meet all our need. The Spirit of Christ is all that God is. All the Father is is in the Son. And the Son IS THE SPIRIT! Hallelujah!

Your human body needs all the vitamins and minerals in order to develop and function. The BODY OF CHRIST, the New Creation MAN, needs the all-inclusive dose of the Spirit of Jesus, the last Adam, in order to develop and function as the perfect God-man. Soon, now, there shall come that long awaited manifestation of the sons of God to this sin-cursed world. Creation shall be set free from its bondage to corruption. We shall see the glory, wisdom, and power of the Son of God manifested in all fullness in a many-membered body right here upon this earth. How the whole creation groans and travails for this! The work of preparation for this is even now taking place among God’s end-time saints. The body of Christ shall finally arrive at the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST. Paul tells us that this is when Christ shall come “to be GLORIFIED IN HIS SAINTS, and to be admired IN ALL THEM that believe in that day” (II Thes. 1:10). How can we attain to this? By taking liberally of the all-sufficient and all-inclusive dose of the Life of God in Christ!

Adam had the opportunity to become the full revelation of the image and glory of God to the whole universe. This was offered to him in the tree of life. The tree of life was nothing else than the Life of God in Christ. The tree of life was the all-sufficient “dose” which would have built eternal Spirit life in Adam, even making him the source of that life. But Adam refused his “dose” of incorruptible life and, consequently, sank into weakness and death. In the natural, a person who does not get enough vitamins may have poor eyesight, rough skin, or sore gums and weak teeth. People who are too thin or feel tired much of the time usually need more vitamins. There are ugly diseases, such as pellagra, scurvy, and beriberi, that occur when the body does not receive enough vitamins. Can you picture the miserable condition of a person suffering acute mal-nutrition? The eyes are large and protruding, the cheeks sunken, the stomach bloated, the legs thin and bony, and other awful conditions. I have seen this scene thousands of times in some of the under-privileged countries of the world. It is a heart-rending sight! And friend, this is the spiritual portrait of fallen Adam! This is but a picture of the horrible spiritual image into which Adam sank when he refused his “dose” of the all-sufficient Life of God in Christ, and chose instead, the deficient diet of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

All of mankind today, enslaved under sin, sickness, sorrow and death, are manifestations of Adam’s wretched condition. Mankind today, after six thousand years of degeneracy and impoverishment, bears absolutely no resemblance to man as God intended him to be in the beginning! But, thank God! He has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ! “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, WE SHALL BE SAVED (from our condition) BY HIS LIFE” (Rom. 5:10). Yes, we shall be saved COMPLETELY by His life! Through the death of His Son He has opened Eden’s gates, has brought us back into the garden of God, and has thus made available to us again the all-sufficient dose! Within the Spirit of Jesus there is an all-sufficient supply! Everything we need to be God-men is contained in the Lord the Spirit. We can be what we are not. We can become all man was intended to be. We can be sons of God! We need not cry, or beg, or fear. We only need to take Him, appropriate Him, and praise Him, bless His dear name!

WHAT CHRIST THE SPIRIT IS

How often we try to channel in some of what God is into our lives. It’s as though God is outside of us, and we are endeavoring to draw from Him some of His virtue, nature, power and life. I once walked that route myself. I was always expecting that somehow the Lord would pour out upon me, or into me, what I needed. But one day I discovered an important truth in I Jn. 4:8: “God is love.” Suddenly the “is” stuck out. What dawned on me was something like this: It doesn’t say God has love, but God IS love. If somebody has a thing, then it isn’t he himself, it’s just something attached to him, as if you have a pair of shoes on, or some money in your pocket. You just have it, and you can share it. But the Bible doesn’t say God HAS love, but God IS love. Love, therefore, must not be a thing I can have, it is not something God has, that He can just give me a little of. Love is exclusively a PERSON. GOD is a PERSON. God IS LOVE. Therefore, there is no other pure, self-giving love anywhere in the universe apart from God Himself. Love is exclusively the nature and character of one Being in the whole universe – and that’s not me, J. Preston Eby.

This set an entirely new trend of understanding going in my life. Suddenly I began to see that I don’t have one iota of love, never have, and never will! God is love – period. No one else. I can only possess love, I can only become love, to the degree that I take the reality of God into me, to the degree that God HIMSELF is worked into my life! As I surrender to Him, I surrender to love. As I become filled with HIM, I become filled with love. I will never be able to love. HE is always love!

Soon an entire new world began to open before me. I began to relate this principle to all those things which pertain to what I must become as a son of God. Suddenly another truth burst upon me from I Cor. 1:24 where it says that Christ “is the power of God.” Not Christ has the power, but He IS the power! Here too, I had thought power was something which God possessed, which He could “give” me some of, and receiving enough of it, I would become “God’s man of faith and power!” But now I knew that power also IS A PERSON. I am not power, I have no power. God does not have power, but Christ IS THE POWER OF GOD. Then I began to discover that God doesn’t “have” anything, but He IS EVERYTHING! He doesn’t “give” us anything, but He BECOMES EVERYTHING within us! Jesus said, “I AM the truth, I AM the life.” To Martha He said, “I AM the resurrection.” I thought the resurrection was a “day.” Now I see that the resurrection is a PERSON. I needed wisdom. I Cor. 1:30 tells me that Christ IS THE WISDOM of God. He is the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God.

Finally I came to a statement which gathered all together and placed the capstone on the whole structure. The verse was Col 3:11, where it says of those who are in Christ that “Christ is all and in all.” Christ IS all, not Christ has all. And if Christ IS ALL, what am I? Not much, by the law of mathematics! Christ is ALL IN ALL! Then it really dawned upon me that the only reason for the existence of the entire creation is to CONTAIN and BECOME ONE with the Creator! All outside of that is meaningless. Outside of that is left only the sorry picture of man, and the creation, under the sentence of darkness, disintegration, and death. The Lord the Spirit is, indeed, the ALL-SUFFICIENT DOSE! Whatever I need to be a son of God, to fulfill my destiny in God, is mine, not by trying to “be” anything, not by struggling to “receive” anything, but by bending myself before HIM, the Lord the Spirit, who dwells within, that HE MAY BE ALL IN ALL IN ME! Praise His name!

“Now the Lord is THE SPIRIT.” He is the Holy Spirit. He is the “Whole Spirit”. He is the completeness of the Spirit. He is the SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD, all the fullness of the Divine Spirit. The seven Spirits of God are simply the “wholeness” of HIMSELF completely and eternally revealed and manifested and ministered to the universe through that people who become HIS IMAGE before the creation.

 


Chapter 4

The Seven Spirits

“Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from THE SEVEN SPIRITS which are before His throne” (Rev. 1:4).

“These things saith He that hath THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1).

“And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 4:5).

“In the midst of the throne… stood a lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 5:6).

For many years we did not know that God has seven Spirits! “Seven Spirits” means, in the original text, seven Spirits. Since this is so, let me ask, Are there really seven Spirits of God? If you say that God has seven Spirits, that makes you a heretic! If, on the other hand, you say that the Spirit of God is not seven Spirits, you are contradicting the clearly revealed Word of God! Is the Spirit of God, then, seven or one?

One of the keys to this mystery is found in the verse in Rev. 4:5: “And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” In the Old Testament, the structure of the lamp stand (candlestick) was quite unique: below was one lamp stand, above there were seven branches, and in each branch there was a lamp (Ex. 25:31-37). It was one lamp stand, yet it had seven lamps; there were seven lamps, yet it was but one lamp stand. Therefore, it is correct to say that there is one lamp stand, but neither is it wrong to say there are seven lamps! So also is the Spirit of God. Without question, He is one Spirit. “For there is… ONE SPIRIT” (Eph. 4:4). But this one Spirit is also called “the seven Spirits,” that is, the sevenfold, intensified Spirit of God.

Seven, in the scriptures, was the most sacred number of the Hebrews. This number is used more often, in the Word of God, than all other numbers, save the number ONE. It is the number denoting spiritual perfection and completeness. In this connection it is interesting to note that in the title “Holy Spirit” the word “holy,” according to Webster, comes from a root meaning “whole”. Hence, the “Holy Spirit” is simply the “Whole Spirit”! The seven Spirits of God, seven denoting spiritual perfection and completeness, are likewise a figure of the “Holy” or “whole” or “complete” SPIRIT. When we understand that the number seven conveys the idea of unity and completeness, rather than diversity, then we can see with unclouded vision that the seven Spirits of God are the sevenfold, intensified Spirit of the Lord – the absolute FULLNESS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD!

This is the fulfillment of the ancient type, the candlestick which stood in the Holy place of the tabernacle in the wilderness, which was made of pure gold (divine nature) and had seven golden lamp stands and seven lamps burning pure olive oil, a symbol of the Spirit of God. In the book of Revelation, not only are the seven lamps said to be the seven Spirits of God, but also the seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb are the seven Spirits. The Lamb has been given all POWER (horns) and the Lamb has full understanding and perception (eyes). George Hawtin has written:

“I am powerless to describe the magnificence that is here, – seven Spirits of God blazing as seven lamps of fire, radiating forth the perfect light! As the seven lamps of the candlestick are but one candlestick, so also the seven Spirits are but one Spirit, even the holy Spirit of God. The seven horns of power on the head of one lamb, even the Lamb of God, are but one Spirit of power, and the seven eyes likewise are one Spirit of God. Wonderful beyond words are the glories portrayed here, but our hearts well nigh stand still as we behold with John the dazzling glory that appeared before him. John saw one sitting upon a throne, and He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne in sight like unto an emerald. A rainbow is one but it has seven colors, and the seven colors of that glorious rainbow represent the sevenfold Spirit of God, even as the seven lamps of fire, the seven horns, and the seven eyes.

“The first rainbow that ever appeared to men was a promise and a covenant from God to assure the world of His goodness and mercy. Here again it appears in the glorious age that even now casts its rays of dawn upon us, promising the world that all its inhabitants will be governed in righteousness by the elect whom God has chosen and upon whom shall rest forever the seven Spirits of God. And there was a rainbow round about the throne! What a magnificent promise for a benighted world that from time immemorial has known nothing but unrighteous government!

“These are the seven Spirits continually before the throne of God by which the world will be governed in righteousness. These are the Spirits that will rest upon all the sons of God in that great kingdom when the whole world shall be governed in righteousness by that man whom God hath chosen. It was of these seven Spirits that John spoke when he wrote, ‘John to the seven churches which are in Asia; Grace be unto you and peace from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne.’ Rev. 1:4.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ was filled with the Holy Spirit without measure. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the One who has the seven Spirits of God “These things saith He that HATH THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1). Our Lord Jesus Christ is the great giver, the great shedder-forth of the seven Spirits of God (Rev. 5:6). “But the ANOINTING which ye have received of Him abideth in you… the same anointing teacheth you…” (I Jn. 2:27). “But yet have an UNCTION from the Holy One, and ye know all things” (I Jn 2:20). The words unction and anointing awaken recollections of the holy anointing oil poured upon the head of each successor to the offices of High Priest and King in Israel. As the people of Israel were typical of “the true Israel of God,” so their priests and kings were typical of Christ, the great antitypical High Priest and King. And as their priests and kings were anointed with the “holy anointing oil” as an induction into office, so our Lord Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit at the time of the beginning of His ministry. He thus became the Christ – the anointed of Yahwey.

The elect church is to be a “royal priesthood” (king-priests) under their Lord and Head – “members of the body of the Anointed (the Christ)” (I Pet. 2:9; I Cor. 12:12-13,27). The Holy Spirit of anointing which came to our Lord Jesus at His baptism at Jordan, and with “all power in heaven and in earth,” when He was raised from the dead by the Spirit of Holiness (Mat. 28:18; Eph. 1:19-20; Rom. 1:4), He “shed forth” or poured out as the antitypical anointing oil upon the members of His body at Pentecost. There thenceforth to all those who are truly united with Him as members of His body by the power of the Spirit. This consecrated, anointed body is recognized as “the very elect” of God, and anointed of Him to rule and bless all nations after first being “taught of God” under the guidance of the anointing Spirit.

The signification of unction (and of its Greek original “chrisma”) is smoothness, oiliness, lubrication. From custom the word carried with it also the thought of fragrance, perfume. How beautifully and forcefully this word represents the out-raying of the nature and character of God from those who come under this antitypical anointing – holiness, gentleness, kindness, knowledge, wisdom, power – love! What a sweet, pure perfume does this anointing of the Holy Spirit of God’s glory bring with it to all who receive it!

THE SPIRIT “BY MEASURE” AND “WITHOUT MEASURE”

In relation to this anointing of the Holy Spirit upon both Head and body of the many-membered Christ, there is one important distinction to be always remembered; vis., that our Lord Jesus, the Head of the body, received the Holy Spirit WITHOUT MEASURE, unlimitedly (Jn. 3:34), while His body, up to this present time, has received the Spirit BY MEASURE, or limitedly – a measure of the Spirit being given to every member in the body. Paul tells us in Rom. 12:3-8, “For I say… to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man THE MEASURE of faith. For… all members have not the same office… having gifts differing according to the grace that is given.” And again, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ… from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working IN THE MEASURE of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph. 4:7,16).

The reason for this difference between the measure of anointing on the Head, Jesus, and the body is that our Lord came and walked as a perfect man, while we, the members of His body, although accepted in the beloved are actually very imperfect. The perfect man Jesus, as the very image of the Father, could be in the fullest harmony with God and with His Spirit of holiness and power, in every and all particulars; but in proportion to the degradation through the fall, our harmony with God and His Spirit has been impaired. No imperfect mortal is capable of receiving the Lord’s Spirit to the full, and it would be dangerous beyond comprehension for one to so receive, even if he were capable! Can you imagine unlimited, ALMIGHTY POWER at the disposal of men still walking in a carnal nature? No imperfect mortal is capable of receiving God’s Spirit to the full because it is impossible for him to be in absolute harmony with God in every particular. This is why the writer to the Hebrews exhorted the Lord’s people: LET US GO ON TO PERFECTION! This is why Paul pointed out in Ephesians chapter four that God has placed ministry-gifts in the body of Christ “for the PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS… till we all come… unto a PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST” (Eph. 4:11-16). Thus we can see that it is only in perfection that one can know THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST. And hence, amongst those apprehended ones, who consecrate themselves, and who receive the Holy Spirit of adoption, we find the Spirit possessed in different measures depending upon the degree of our departure from the divine image, and the degree of grace, faith, and maturity attained since coming into the body of Christ.

To the extent that the apprehended ones resign themselves to the Lord, and, ignoring their own wills and way, seek to walk in His ways, they come to be “led by the Spirit,” “taught of the Spirit,” and can “serve the Lord in newness of Spirit.” To continue under this leading and instruction they must have a “Spirit of meekness” (Gal. 5:22, 23; 6:1), so that the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,” can give unto them the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of Him; the eyes of their understanding being enlightened, that they may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:17-18). It is only through being “conformed to the image of His Son” that we can qualify, and become capable of receiving that same measure of the absolute fullness of the Spirit of God that Jesus possessed. The initial infilling of the Spirit is a free “gift,” but the fullness of God must be appropriated from glory to glory and pressed into.

In Jn. 1:1 and 14 we read: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, FULL of grace and truth.” Here we find that Jesus was FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH. Then verse 16 tells us, “And OF HIS FULLNESS have all we received, and grace for grace.” This does not say that we have received His fullness, but “OF His fullness.” The Amplified Bible reads: “For OUT OF HIS FULLNESS (abundance) we all received – all had a share and we were all supplied with – one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, and even favor upon favor and gift heaped upon gift.” If I have a million dollars in the bank and withdraw “of” or “out of” my account, I withdraw only a portion, a part, a measure of my abundance. Similarly, Jesus was FULL of grace and truth, and as we receive “OF His fullness” we receive a measure of that fullness which is in Him, but, bless His name! an ever increasing measure, for it is ever “grace for grace” or “one grace after another”.

Fullness is relative. It is relative to the capacity of that which is being filled, and the abundance of that with which it is being filled. It is like a balloon. You can blow several puffs of air into a balloon and the balloon is, by definition, full of air. There is air from side to side, from end to end, and there is no place within the balloon where there is not air. And yet, you can still blow more air into the balloon! The balloon is full, but it possesses the unique characteristic of being able to be EXPANDED, its capacity being INCREASED and ENLARGED due to this ability to stretch. So, although at any given point the balloon is full, you can just keep on blowing and blowing until the rubber stretches to its limit. Thus it can be seen that, under proper conditions, it IS POSSIBLE to be full and yet CONTAIN MORE after you have been filled! When we were first baptized in the Holy Spirit we were indeed “filled” with the Spirit, as were those on the day of Pentecost, but we were only filled in proportion to our capacity– our ability to contain Him! We held all of God that we were capable of holding at that point. We really were full of the Spirit, but we now know that we can still receive MORE, becoming filled with ever increasing measures of His fullness! God is wanting to EXPAND US FROM WITHIN, to increase our capacity, to enlarge our spiritual amplitude. Hallelujah!

It is right at this point that the average Christian sells himself short. Especially the average Pentecostal or Charismatic! How many of the Lord’s precious people who seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit are mistakenly seeking a blessing, or an experience. To speak with tongues is often their highest aim, or to be “slain under the power,” and if they can attain to that phenomenon then they are happy and satisfied in their belief that they have received all, or at least almost all, that God has for them in this life. How pitiful is such an understanding! How desperately short we sell ourselves when we seek the Holy Spirit as an “experience” that we are to attain instead of presenting ourselves as empty vessels to be filled with all the incomprehensible inexhaustibleness of GOD! This Spirit, who IS GOD and is sent forth by God, full of wisdom and truth, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and glory brings in His mighty fullness ever increasing measures of His own unlimited and unfathomable abundance. Yea, God would fill us and then expand us that He might fill us the more, and yet again, and again, until we attain even that “measure of the stature of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST,” Which measure is nothing less than the absolute fullness of HIM THAT FILLETH ALL IN ALL!

The measure of God unto which we have been called has been seen in Christ. “For it pleased the Father that in Him should ALL FULLNESS dwell” (Col. 1:19). “For in Him dwelleth ALL THE FULLNESS of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). Though we, as members of His body, have received “of” that fullness, yet the Father is concerned in this hour that there come to pass a further ENLARGEMENT of our capacities to contain Him, for He seeks a body through which He can manifest all the fullness of Himself to the creation. Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers unto this end: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height (of capacity); that ye might be FILLED WITH A-L-L THE FULLNESS OF GOD” (Eph. 3:17-19). Only the Spirit of wisdom and revelation can minister to our yearning hearts the full comprehension of what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the supply of God in the Spirit and of our capacity to contain Him. But one thing God would have us know and understand in all simplicity – the increase of our capacity COMES THROUGH OUR GROWTH AS MEMBERS OF CHRIST”S BODY.

Hear now the word of the Lord! “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, MAKETH INCREASE (enlargement) OF THE BODY unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph 4:15-16). Yes, there is an increase, and enlarging of the body, and with that increase comes an expanded capacity for containing HIM!

In the natural a baby begins eating solid food by taking only half of a small jar of baby food. When he has finished that small quantity he is FULL. But at age six, will he still be eating half of a jar of baby food? Certainly not! By then he will be eating a child’s plate at the restaurant. It will take the portion on the child’s plate to fill him. Progressively, over the period of six years, his capacity has been enlarged! The growth and development of his physical body has produced this. And he will keep right on growing, expanding, enlarging, increasing his capacity until he arrives at the FULL STATURE OF MANHOOD. Then he will be able to eat a 16 oz. steak with salad, baked potato, vegetable, coffee and dessert! And so we read in Col. 2:19, “And… holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered… INCREASETH WITH THE INCREASE OF GOD.” Hallelujah! Press on saints, for we are increasing with the increase of God! Don’t stop now – wherever you are! If you have been born again by the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, you have only been wrapped in the swaddling clothes of your spiritual existence. If you have been baptized in the Spirit you have merely taken your first baby step into the Kingdom! If you speak with tongues, prophesy, see visions, heal the sick and cast out devils, you are yet in the kindergarten of God’s glorious and eternal reality! The burning desire within my heart in the end of this age is that God’s people might with me become aware that there is yet before us the full comprehension of what truly is the breadth, length, depth and height of that realm available to us where abides ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD. When the majesty of this transcendent potential breaks upon our groaning spirits we shall cease to glory in the fact that we are Evangelical Christians, or Pentecostal Christians, or Charismatic Christians, or even “end-time” saints, or “new-day” saints – for we shall perceive that WE ARE NOTHING AS WE OUGHT TO BE, for truly that portion of our inheritance which lies before us is greater and grander than all we have possessed up to this present time!

THE SEVENFOLD BRIGHTNESS OF GOD’S GLORY

This fullness of which we speak is THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD. As we have previously noted, the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne of God are the seven Spirits of God. The seven horns and the seven eyes of the Lamb upon the throne are the seven Spirits of God. John saw one sitting upon a throne, and He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow about the throne in sight like unto an emerald. A rainbow is one but it has seven colors, and the seven colors of that glorious rainbow represent the sevenfold intensified fullness of the Spirit of God, even as the seven lamps of fire, the seven horns, and the seven eyes are the seven Spirits of God.

When the fullness of these seven Spirits of God is realized in the body of Christ then shall be fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, saying, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles (nations) shall COME TO THY LIGHT, and kings to THE BRIGHTNESS OF THY RISING” (Isa. 60:1-3). In that day it shall also come to pass that “the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the SUN (the glory of Christ) SHALL BE SEVENFOLD, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of His people, and healeth the stroke of their wound (the work of restoration in the last days)” (Isa. 30:26). Malachi prophesied of this day too, saying, “But unto you that fear My name shall the SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ARISE with healing in His wings… and ye shall tread down (overcome) the wicked… in the day that I shall do this saith the Lord of hosts” (Mal. 4:2-3).

God’s promise is the sending forth of the Sun of Righteousness (Christ), not in the single light of the man Christ Jesus (Mat. 4:13-16), nor yet in the double portion of the Spirit, the former and latter rain in the first month, upon the end-time body of Christ, but AS THE LIGHT OF SEVEN DAYS CONCENTRATED IN ONE. Many are the figures of this coming sevenfold glory of Christ upon His people. When Jesus was on the mount of transfiguration His face shone as the sun. Saul of Tarsus, on the road to Damascus, experienced something of that brightness and was completely transformed. In the book of Revelation we read of a symbolic angel which came down from heaven and his countenance was as the sun shining in its brightness. In chapter twelve of that book we read of a woman, the Bride of Christ, clothed with the sun, having the moon under her feet. In chapter one John saw one like unto the Son of man, even Jesus, glorified in that body of sons who are conformed to His image, and of Him he witnessed, “His eyes were as a flame of fire… and His countenance was AS THE SUN SHINETH IN HIS STRENGTH” (Rev. 1:14-16). Isaiah looked forward to this day and described the dawning of this day of the revelation of God’s glory, saying, “Then shall THY LIGHT BREAK FORTH AS THE MORNING, and thy health (restoration) shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward” (Isa. 58:8). Solomon wrote poetically of this army of the Lord: “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, CLEAR AS THE SUN, and terrible as an army with banners” (S. of S. 6:10)?

The Church of Jesus Christ must move out of the darkness of tradition, bondage, carnality, immaturity and limitation and move into the bright light of the fullness of the glory of God. The history of the Church is a history of darkness and sorrow and bitterness. But, thank God, rays of promise are even now beginning to break forth from the heavens, and there is a small company of apprehended ones who are even now rising up into realms of the Spirit to drink in the intoxicating freshness of the morn! To them God is witnessing that He shall bring forth a light that is sevenfold in its intensification, so that there will be nothing hidden from it, and its heat and brightness will consume and destroy everything that opposes. Nothing short of this will lift up this sin-cursed world out of the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.

The early Church with all its glory and power did not bring in the kingdom. Its glory was eclipsed, producing that which even secular history records as the Dark Ages. The Reformation in Martin Luther’s day was unable to bring the kingdom in. All the mighty revivals of Church history failed to deliver the groaning creation. The Pentecostal and Charismatic movements have not done so either, neither shall they. All the methods and programs of religion, all the missionary and evangelistic crusades, all the deliverance ministries and healing campaigns, have in turn failed to turn this old world around from its path to destruction. The Bible Societies, the door-to-door witnessing campaigns, the tons of Gospel tracts, prayer meetings, the Christian radio and television broadcasting, and all the other feverish activities and promotions by the world’s Churches have not gotten the job done.

All of us are thankful to God for what we have known of His power, we rejoice for every evidence of the power and glory of God today, and we are thankful to God for everyone who is demonstrating today any measure of the life of God, and accomplishing anything unto His glory; but to break the dominion of sin and Satan over the nations in this hour of overshrouding gloom and darkness will require a SEVENFOLD REVELATION OF THE LOVE AND POWER OF GOD! God intends to send forth this sevenfold brightness of His life, light, glory, love, grace, righteousness, peace, joy and power. Scientifically we know that there is no greater consuming, purifying, and life-giving power than light, and the brightness of the light of God will bring judgment upon all the evil of this wicked and adulterous generation, and clarification and quickening in the minds and souls of men everywhere.

I would not want to be a politician, president or prime minister in the governments of the world today. Everyday more darkness and perplexity descends upon the minds and hearts of the people. None of the princes of this world have the answers to solve the problems of this dark day. But, blessed be God! HE has the answer! His answer is to arise upon the body of Christ in THE SEVENFOLD BRIGHTNESS OF HIS GLORY! When this happens, and that glorious company of God’s Sons are manifested, then shall come to pass that of which our Lord spoke when He said, “The works that I do shall ye do also, and GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL YE DO” (Jn. 14:12).

MOVING FROM GIFTS TO FULLNESS

I have observed in the ministry of Jesus that there was never a problem He faced that He could not solve, never a need that He could not meet, no victory He could not win, no realm of revelation or relationship to God that He could not possess. Some of us speak of the exploits we have done in Jesus’ name, but we seldom mention all the times we have failed! Some of us fast and pray and wrest an answer from the Lord and then run squarely into another problem that we can’t solve at all. If Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son, needed the seven Spirits of God, the Spirit without measure, then we as His body need them too!

It is interesting to note that nowhere in the Gospels is the supernatural ministry of Jesus Christ ever associated with the gifts of the Spirit. No place does it ever say that Jesus ever received or operated in a gift of the Spirit. However, like most of us, I assumed that He did! And I could always make it fit. Every time Jesus healed someone I assumed that He exercised the gift of healing, although the scripture didn’t say so. Every time He prophesied coming events I said that He exercised the gift of prophecy, although the Holy Spirit and the scripture never said so. Every time He spoke to a Nathanael, revealing the secrets of his heart, I said that He spoke a “word of knowledge” although the Record says no such thing. How is it that Jesus did not move in the gifts of the Spirit? Because when you function in the gifts you function in LIMITATION! Paul said of the gift realm: “Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For WE KNOW (in the gift of knowledge) IN PART, and WE PROPHESY IN PART. But when that which is perfect (the full measure, the seven Spirits) is come, then that which is in part SHALL BE DONE AWAY” (I. Cor. 13:8-10). Yes, my friend, the gifts are A-L-L IN PART! The secret of the ministry of Jesus, then, was that it was not in part, NOT IN LIMITATION! In the realm of that which is in part, in limitation, one cannot meet every need that arises. “Are ALL apostles? are ALL prophets? are ALL teachers? are ALL workers of miracles? have ALL the gifts of healing? do ALL speak with tongues? do ALL interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts” (I Cor. 12:29-31). Does it say in I Cor. 12:8: “To the WHOLE CHURCH is given the word of wisdom?” No, it says, “To ONE,” to one member of the body of Christ. “To ANOTHER the word of knowledge,” or faith, healing, prophecy, etc. In other words, there is a distribution here, a selection, so that everyone does not have all the gifts. How can you meet every need if you don’t possess all the gifts? And how can you meet every need, even in the area of the gift you do possess, if your gift is IN PART? You can’t! You can try, you can fast and pray, you can think positively, you can boast of your faith and inheritance in Christ, but you can’t meet every need, solve every problem, in the gift realm which is in part! In that realm it is always just a word here, a miracle there, a failure there, a success here, a failure there. But the ministry of Jesus was not in the gift realm, nor in the realm of New Testament Church economy, but His was the ministry of a SON OF GOD in all the power and glory of the Father!

For many years now there has been a great moving of the Spirit of God across the land and around the world. It has manifested itself through many movements on various levels. We have witnessed great evangelistic ministries, the divine healing ministry, the restoration of the New Testament Church order with its five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, the nine gifts of the Spirit, and confirmation of the ministries through prophecy with the laying on of hands. But I can testify to you that none of these ministries have come within the range of the ministry of Jesus Christ. No matter which of the healing evangelists you watched, no matter what prophets you heard, no matter what miracle, sign or wonder, it did not measure up to the ministry of THE SON OF GOD. We kept saying, “We have the same anointing, the same Holy Ghost, the same power, and we can do all the works Jesus did!” And as hard as we tried, and as much as we wanted to believe it, it still just wasn’t true! We had the same anointing alright, and the same Holy Spirit, and the same power, but, we had it BY MEASURE – not WITHOUT MEASURE, as did Jesus!

This puzzled me for many years. Then one day the Spirit drew my attention to a scripture in Isa. 11:1-2. “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” This does not say that Jesus would receive a “gift” of “the word of wisdom.” It says that what He received was the SPIRIT OF WISDOM. It doesn’t say that Jesus had a “gift of healing” or a “gift of miracles.” He received, instead, the SPIRIT OF MIGHT. Jesus didn’t have just a “gift” of “the word of knowledge.” He possessed THE SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE! Not a fragmentary word of wisdom here, or a fragment word of knowledge there, or a gift of healing operating tonight and a gift of prophecy operating tomorrow night. No! Upon the firstborn Son rested all the fullness of the sevenfold Spirit of Sonship, even as Isaiah prophesied of Him, saying,

“The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,

The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding;

The Spirit of Counsel and Might,

The Spirit of Knowledge and Fear of the Lord.”

This sevenfold Spirit of God is the fullness of the wisdom, glory, nature and power of God. This is the Spirit WITHOUT MEASURE. This is the SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD. This is the sevenfold BRIGHTNESS OF GOD’S GLORY! “Not by might, nor by power, but by MY SPIRIT, saith the Lord!” (Zech. 4:6). This is why Jesus Christ could heal every disease, could cast out every kind of devil, could raise the dead – even after they were decayed and stinking – could discern every thought and intent of men’s hearts, could command all the elements of nature, and even die and rise again from the dead! Some of us have been able to do a very limited amount of this. Some of us have had a gift of healing and have healed some sick people, but who has healed them ALL, even in one meeting? I heard Oral Roberts many years ago admit that only about one out of every five people he has laid hands upon have received any discernable touch from God. Some of us have been healed ourselves, but who among us has been healed EVERY TIME? Some of us have prophesied, have had a word of knowledge, but which one has had every word that he has ever spoken come to pass? Some of us have had miracles of supply: gas put in our gas tanks, batteries charged, money sent through the mail from unexpected sources, etc. But who among us has walked on the sea or fed five thousand men, plus women and children, with five small loaves and two fishes? Some have had their countenances lighted by the joy of the Lord, but who has stood on the Mount of Transfiguration with even their raiment shining as the brightness of the noon-day sun?

FULLNESS AT THE END OF THE AGE

When we look out into the natural realm in this hour, at the end of the age, we see the natural man doing exploits in the natural realm. We see man sailing in atomic powered submarines, in the depths of the sea, sailing under the polar ice caps. We see man soaring through the skies faster than the speed of sound, and going out in space to explore distant planets. In the fields of science and technology man is accomplishing the incomprehensible, breaking all bonds of limitation. This was prophesied for our day! “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even TO THE TIME OF THE END: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Dan. 12:4). But that natural revolution is only a figure of things to come in the spiritual. Why this sudden progress in the natural world? Because it is now time for a great change in the spiritual world!

Is the Church of Jesus Christ to end this dispensation in failure and defeat? Is a little flock of faithful saints to undergo an emergency “evacuation” by a “rapture” at the last moment just before the devil takes over the whole world? Not if the Word of God is true! Said Daniel of this day: “But the people that do know their God SHALL BE STRONG, and DO EXPLOITS” (Dan. 11:32). God is going to have a people that will be “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” Yes, a people who, in the darkness of this hour, shall “arise and shine” until the nations come to their light and kings to the BRIGHTNESS OF THEIR RISING. Hallelujah! Some folks say that the “rapture” is the next thing on the agenda, that God must deliver us out of this “mess”, and that Jesus may come at ANY MINUTE! Now you can forget about that!

Only under the sevenfold intensified fullness of the Spirit of God can this mighty work be accomplished. It is important that God’s people understand that the gifts of the Spirit, the Spirit by measure, the earnest (down-payment) of the Spirit is given for the EDIFICATION OF THE BODY OF CHRIST and not for knocking Satan off his throne and bringing in the kingdom of God. The gifts of the Spirit are in the initial moving of the Spirit – the Spirit by measure. God intends that His sons shall move into the fullness of the sevenfold Spirit of Sonship in these last days. “And there shall be upon every high mountain (kingdom), and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters (the flowing of the life-giving Spirit of God) in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers (principalities and powers of darkness) fall. Moreover the light of the moon (old-order Church) shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun (Jesus and the sons of God) SHALL BE SEVENFOLD, AS THE LIGHT OF SEVEN DAYS” (Isa. 30:25-26).

“For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him” (Jn. 3:34). Jesus Christ, the firstborn SON, the first SON to be SENT BY THE FATHER, was not limited, and now He says, “As My Father hath sent Me, so SEND I YOU” (Jn. 20:21). Paul wrote: “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn AMONG MANY BRETHREN” (Rom. 8:29). God is SENDING SONS in these last days, and if He is not sending SONS then He has no one else to send for every other Church, revival, movement, method and effort has fallen short of putting all enemies under His feet and taking the kingdom. They have all failed for they have all been IN PART. “For the earnest expectation of the creation WAITETH FOR THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD” (Rom. 8:19). The only way for us to be the sons of God is for God to give us the Spirit without measure. This belongs to those apprehended to be sons. This is the anointing which God would send in this hour.

The triumphant risen glorified Lamb of God seen in the midst of the throne by John has seven horns and seven eyes, which are the SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD SENT FORTH INTO ALL THE EARTH. You can never come to share His throne without possessing the seven Spirits of the Lamb upon the throne. Those under this sevenfold anointing sent forth into all the earth  are those who in His dominion shall bring deliverance to the whole creation.

How often we ask, “Why have we still been faced with failure? Why have we been limited? Why have we not seen more happening?” I will tell you why! There is nothing worse than a partial success. There is nothing worse than seeing a few more people saved, a few more people healed, a few more baptized in the Spirit, a few more gifts and manifestations of the Spirit in our midst, because any Church or minister who has that kind of PARTIAL SUCCESS will think, “Praise God, this is great!” And will SETTLE FOR IT. All of us are so constituted! If you have just enough to show that you are alive and that God is still working, you are satisfied. I will tell you what God is doing in this hour. He is doing just the opposite to what most folk believe He is doing! Most people believe that we are seeing a greater and more powerful moving of God today than ever before in history. That is not true! We are seeing MORE PEOPLE being affected by the moving of the Spirit, GREATER NUMBERS of people involved in this end-time move, but we are NOT seeing greater miracles today than ever before, we are NOT seeing more spectacular healings, nor more supernatural signs and wonders, nor more anointed praise. Nor a more forceful or pure flow of prophetic utterance. We are witnessing an increase in QUANTITY in the things of the Spirit, but I declare unto you that at the same time we are seeing a DECREASE in the QUALITY of the manifestations of the Spirit of God. And this is of GOD! God has limited us, He has weakened our strength until we are beginning to realize: Oh God, we can do nothing to meet the need! We are NOTHING AS WE OUGHT TO BE! The situations are too great for us!” God is doing this that we might not trust any longer in our PARTIAL SUCCESS, that we might not rest in the “in part” realm of the Spirit, but that we shall cry out unto the Lord until he moves afresh in the earth and brings forth in us THE SEVENFOLD BRIGHTNESS OF HIS GLORY!

What a high, holy, heavenly calling! And how reminiscent of Paul's statement in Eph. 2:4-7: "But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might SHOW the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Jesus Christ." So vast, so marvelous are the wonders of His grace, it will require the ages to come to continue to unfold these wonders, and He has purposed that there should be a people through whom He would give this demonstration that in the ages to come He might show..." "Show" is from a Greek word meaning "to exhibit, to put on display like a work of art, to demonstrate." The Amplified Bible reads, "He did this that He might CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace in kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus." Kenneth Wuest translates, "In order that He might EXHIBIT. . . in the ages that pile themselves upon one another in continuous succession the surpassing wealth of His grace in kindness to us in Christ Jesus." Show… demonstrate… exhibit the riches of His grace – unto whom? Not to those who already know it – that would be useless nonsense. But to those who do not know it! To the whole vast creation of men and worlds who dwell in darkness with the insatiable desire to receive, but to whom has never been revealed the true and eternal and unbounded source of life and reality.

Ah, God is preparing a divine show for all the earth, indeed for the entire universe. The mighty Barnum, in describing his circus, said it was THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH. True, Mr. Barnum was a great showman and, for its kind, he had a great show, but God is the Master Showman and is preparing to give the world THE GREATEST SHOW IT HAS EVER SEEN. It is a theatrical of MERCY and GRACE and LOVE in a world of wrath and violence. This will be God's master stroke as the curtain rises on the world's greatest drama – God's Great Show – THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD! Praise His name, once the finishing touch is put on the last stone of His living temple of Kings and Priests, the firstfruits of His redemption, in ages yet to come He shall put His grace and kindness inwrought in us ON DISPLAY so that the entire creation may walk across the stage of His cosmic theatre and behold and see and finally come to understand and appreciate WHAT GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR ALL MEN IN CHRIST. All who have ears to hear must hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches. Across the land and around the world the Spirit is saying today that He is preparing a people, He is preparing a body, He is preparing sons who shall be conformed to the image of His Son, who shall be partakers of the divine nature, who shall have the mind of Christ, who shall be brought to glory and who then shall become the very express image of the Father, the brightness of the Father's glory and the outraying of the Father's person. These shall receive of His fullness until they have within themselves conquered all sin, sickness and death. God is now preparing sons, God is now preparing a body for that first Son, we are the body of the first Son, the body of the Christ, the body of the King of glory, the body of the great High Priest in the heavens after the order of Melchizedek. We are the body of the Giver and in and through these sons, when all have been brought to His fullness, having received of all His glorious and eternal reality, His salvation shall be manifested, exhibited, and demonstrated unto the ends of the earth and unto worlds yet unknown. The Lord is saying to His people in this day: "For this cause have I raised thee up and sent thee to be a light unto the nations and thou shalt BE MY SALVATION to the ends of the earth" (Isa. 49:6; Acts. 13:47).

When those who treasure the beautiful hope of sonship speak the words the Spirit is speaking to the Churches in this hour, people demand, "Who do you think you are?" When we declare that we are called to be the manifested sons of God, to grow up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, to partake of a greater ministry than that of the Church-age, to set all creation free and reconcile all things in heaven and in earth back into God, people ask, "Just who do you think you are?" It really makes no difference who WE think we are, but it makes a great deal of difference that we know WHO AND WHAT WE ARE APPREHENDED TO BE IN HIM. Our ears have heard the sound of the trumpet, we cannot – dare not – settle for anything less, we must follow on to know Him in all His wonderful fullness, to desire to receive of all that He is and has so that we can in turn become His Givers unto all. HE THAT HATH AN EAR LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH. Let us not sell creation short in these days. The whole creation is groaning and travailing together in pain to be delivered from the bondage of corruption. Mankind is sick and tired of sin and fear and hatred and sorrow and pain and empty religious platitudes, rituals, ceremonies and doctrines. The whole race is gripped by the most intense DESIRE TO RECEIVE – there is everywhere an unprecedented hunger for deliverance, life and reality. Let us not deny the Lord who purchased us to be a Kingdom of Priests. While we seek no glory of our own, there is, nevertheless, great wealth and heavenly glory for all who fulfill all the will of God. You never lose with God. You are never diminished by giving, you are never impoverished by pouring out all that you are and have. There is an interesting fact in connection with the life of the great missionary, Hudson Taylor. Hudson Taylor's brother desired above all things to be famous and so he scorned the Christian life and scoffed at his brother's zeal to pour out his life as a missionary among the impoverished and ignorant heathen. He went into business and politics to become famous. Over a century has now passed and throughout the whole world the name of Hudson Taylor is well known, and in writings, when it does appear, his brother is referred to as "Hudson Taylor's brother" – Mr. Anonymous – who gave up all to become famous! The compelling passion of my life is to be filled with all the fullness of God and come into the image of Jesus Christ. The deep cry of my heart is for the satisfaction of knowing that my life counts for God. As God knows my heart, it is not a selfish desire. The reason I want to be like Jesus is because I love Him so, but also because it is the only way I can ever be used in the restoration of fallen creation. I see the needs of the world around me, and realize that I am practically powerless to do anything about it. Oh Yes, I can pray, and give a little, and believe God, and see occasional conversions, deliverances, and blessings. But anyone who says that they have reached the place where their ministry is meeting the needs of the world is either blind to the needs of humanity, a proud hypocrite, or a compulsive liar. "Lord Jesus! Breathe Thy Spirit into all who read these lines until we are like Thee in all of Thy ways that Thou mayest be glorified and all creation blessed. Make us a center of omnipotent God. May the great river of Thy love and grace and power flow and flow and flow until the outflow of Thyself from our center knows no circumference, enveloping all creation in Thy life and light and love. Amen!"

Upon whom shall the Lord arise in the SEVENFOLD BRIGHTNESS OF HIS INTENSIFIED GLORY AND POWER? We trust that it shall be upon you and me. Today our hearts are expectantly crying, “Oh Lord, let that sevenfold brightness be revealed, that the glory of God shall so fill our lives that the radiance of Thy presence shall fill the whole earth!” Amen!

 


Chapter 5

The Seven Spirits (continued)

“Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from THE SEVEN SPIRITS which are before His throne” (Rev. 1:4).

“These things saith He that hath THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1).

“And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 4:5).

“In the midst of the throne… stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 5:6).

The vast majority of Christians are unaware that God has seven Spirits. “Seven Spirits” means, in the original text, seven Spirits. The question follows: Does God indeed have seven Spirits? If you say that God has seven Spirits, that makes you a heretic! But if you say that God does not have seven Spirits you contradict the plain statements of the Word of God! Is the Spirit of God, then, seven or one? One of the keys to this mystery is found in the verse in Rev. 4:5: “And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD.” In the Old Testament, the structure of the lamp stand (candlestick) which stood in the tabernacle in the wilderness and later in the temple in Jerusalem was quite unique: below was one lamp stand, above there were seven branches, and in each branch there was a lamp (Ex. 25:31-37). It was one lamp stand, yet it had seven lamps; there were seven lamps, yet it was but one lamp stand. Therefore it is correct to say that there is one lamp stand, but neither is it wrong to say that there are seven lamps! So also is the Spirit of God. Without question He is one Spirit. “For there is… ONE SPIRIT” (Eph. 4:4). But this one Spirit is also called “the seven Spirits,” that is, the sevenfold, intensified Spirit of God.

We meet this lamp stand in a most unique setting in the days of Zechariah. Zechariah was a young man, a young prophet of God with a vision. Through the course of his prophetic ministry he had ten visions. God raised him up in a day of discouragement and defeat in Israel. A small remnant of Israel had returned from captivity in the land of Babylon, less than 50,000 souls. Jerusalem lay in rubble and ruin – as it had for 70 years. The enemies were pressing them from without. And within they were discouraged by failure.

To get a picture of that day, we can go back to Nehemiah who was a contemporary with Zechariah. Nehemiah gives us a bird’s-eye view. When he came to Jerusalem he made a survey of the city – he was a very practical business man. He saw the tremendous work required to clear the debris of the city and rebuild it. Then he called the people together and gave them his report: “Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach” (Neh. 2:17). Also we get another picture in the fourth chapter: “And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease” (Neh. 4:10-11). This is but a sample of the almost impossible obstacles and insurmountable difficulties that these people faced. The odds to be overcome were staggering and incredible beyond comprehension. So God raised up, among others, this young man Zechariah. He had vision and faith from God and confidently encouraged the people to rebuild the city and the temple. He imparted to them a vision, showed them that there was a purpose behind all of this, and God was with them to give them the victory and fulfill His will.

Now let us look at one of the visions God gave to Zechariah. It bears a message for us also. “And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof” (Zech. 4:1-2). This vision is very simple. It corresponds to the lamp stand in the Holy Place of the tabernacle in the wilderness. The lamp stand was a work of exquisite beauty. It was beaten out of a piece of solid gold. There was one main or central shaft, and three branches going out from that main shaft on each side. It was a work of art created by Bezaleel, the gifted head craftsman. Each branch was fashioned like an almond bough with a great open almond blossom at the tip. It was into the almond blossom that the olive oil was placed; the seven almond blossoms were the seven lamps of the lamp stand. It is the most beautiful picture of our Lord Jesus Christ and His glorious body. The gold represents the divine nature of God in Christ. Because it was of beaten work, it symbolized the fact that the divine nature was and is revealed through great suffering and buffeting. Christ’s beautiful life just supported the seven lamps. The lamps in turn, revealed the beauty of the lamp stand. The oil and the lamps figure the fullness of the Holy Spirit in the ministry of the Christ. So Christ is the vessel for the fullness of God, and the sevenfold, intensified Spirit of the Lord upon Him reveals the beauty of His divine nature – the lamp stand.

Now when Zechariah saw the lamp stand in his vision, it was like the lamp stand in the tabernacle except for the addition of two added accessories which were not on the original lamp stand. He sees something here that is unusual. There was a great bowl on top of the lamp stand, a bowl that served as a great reservoir. The lamps, as God instructed Moses to make them, each had a wick in them, and they would draw up the oil through the wick. In the days of my youth we had lamps like that. I still remember the kerosene lamps we used both at home and in the church building when I was a boy in south Alabama. But here in Zechariah’s vision, the oil was supplied to the lamps from above, by a gravitational feed. The oil flows down from the bowl, and is fed to each one of the lamps. There is a pipe running from the bowl to each lamp – and not just one pipe, but a single pipe to each one of the seven lamps – seven pipes and seven lamps. It resembled an oil refinery with all the oil pipes around it. And all of this has a wonderful message. It symbolizes the plenitude of power that was available. It is that which speaks of the fullness of the Holy Spirit in the sevenfold, intensified Spirit of God. This is the picture that is before us in the lamp stand itself.

Something else has been added, which we find in the next verse: “And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof” (Zech. 4:3). Again this adds a deeper dimension to the abundance of power that is available. The bowl which supplies the lamp stand of seven lamps, each one fed by seven pipes coming out of the bowl, is in turn connected to two olive trees. The oil comes directly from its source right to the consumer – it doesn’t have to be hauled in tanker cars or trucks. No one has to go anywhere to get the oil. It comes to the lamps directly from the living, all-sufficient, ever-flowing supply! I’m sure that many who read these lines would love to own an oil well and refinery and to have a wonderful elastic rubber hose that would stretch as far as you want to go, one that you could just stick in the gas tank and it would stretch anywhere you take a trip and keep your gas tank filled up. What a marvelous thing that would be! And that is just the kind of supply the vision indicates. The lamp stand has a direct connection with the source of power. There is a full and abundant and eternal supply!

“So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?” (Zech. 4:4). Zechariah had no inhibitions about seeking understanding of what he saw. He pressed his way in and inquires, “What are these?” Now he was familiar with the lamp stand. He knew what it was and he knew what it signified. His question is, “What does this whole vision mean – this lamp stand with all these extra and unique features – what is the message in all this? What is the application for us today as we are trying to rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem? What is the Lord God saying to us?” Notice how the angel tantalizes him: “Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord” (Zech. 4:5). In other words, the angel says, “You mean to tell me you don’t know what this means?” Then he gives the explanation “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the WORD of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my SPIRIT, saith the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 4:6).

Notice that this is God’s message to Zerubbabel. Now who is Zerubbabel? Zerubbabel was among the exiles of Judah who were taken captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, but who later returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. He is the one who led the first group of his people back to their homeland, as described in the book of Ezra. He was apparently the prime mover or leader, along with Joshua the son of Jazadak in the work of rebuilding the temple. In time he became the governor of Judah, while Joshua was the high priest. Zerubbabel’s great work was that of rebuilding the temple, but the work was dogged by dangers from the outside and discouragement from within. The work was delayed and the people became more interested in their own houses than they were in the Lord’s house. So the Lord raised up prophets, specifically Haggar and Zechariah, to inspire the people to get back to the work of the temple. God gave Zechariah this vision to strengthen the faith of Zerubbabel. About twenty years after the return to Jerusalem to begin the work of rebuilding, the TEMPLE OF RETURN was completed.

Let me give you the message now as it applied to Zerubbabel: “This is the WORD of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my SPIRIT, saith the Lord!” It was the WORD of the declaring that God will not do His work by might or power (human effort or ability), but BY HIS SPIRIT. The WORD and the SPIRIT! These are the two witnesses, the two agencies, the two candlesticks, the two olive trees which stand before the God of the whole earth (Rev. 11:3-4). The Lord’s work has never been done, nor can it ever be done, by man’s efforts or the works of the flesh, but only by the Spirit. Therefore, the building of the temple in Jerusalem by Zerubbabel is the example used in the work of building the greater and more glorious “temple” of the Lord, the body of Christ. And although the prophecies of Haggar and Zechariah applied first to that literal temple in Jerusalem, it serves us a wonderful type and figure of the building up of the temple of God’s sons in this hour. If you want to bring it up to date, you can receive it as the word of the Lord concerning His work in you as you are conformed into the image of the Son of God. It is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord, that the work of God in you shall be accomplished and you shall become the habitation and revelation of God unto creation. Ah, my beloved, let me assure you that the word of the Lord in this hour is not to tickle the curiosity of the saints. It is not to provide intellectual or soulical titillation where we can get a little excitement and feel we understand deep mysteries. It is not to satisfy our ego in knowing things that others may not know. The word of the Lord is given to us in order that you and I might have a vision and hope.

How small, how weak, how insufficient and totally incapable we feel in this hour beside the grandeur and magnificence of God’s great purpose in sonship! But, praise God, the WORD of the Lord to us is just this: “It’s not by brawn (might), nor by brains (power), but by my Spirit, saith the Lord!” God will see to it that His house of sons in the image of God and anointed with the sevenfold, intensified Spirit of the Lord, is perfected and fitly framed together, growing into an holy temple in the Lord to bring His rule and deliverance and life to all men and nations. He will do this totally apart from all human resources. I find it very encouraging to know that God is saying in effect, “I will do it. I will not have to depend on your weakness. I will not have to depend on your ignorance. I’ll not have to depend on you. (I WILL DO IT.) I will do it in you and through you. But it will not be by brawn. It will not be by brain. But it’s by my Spirit.” Jesus is the firstfruits of such a victory. First and foremost the lamp stand is our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who has the seven Spirits of God. He is the Lamb in the midst of the throne having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God. To behold the Christ of glory, seated at the right hand of the Father, is far more beneficial than to continually see our own weaknesses and limitations. The vision of the heavenly sanctuary, the completed body of Christ, with Christ Jesus as the established Head of that body will greatly encourage us as we press on to enter into the fullness of God. To see Christ gloriously adorned with the fullness of the seven Spirits of God, and to keep our vision centered on Him, will inspire us to keep pressing on to the prize of the High Calling.

Speaking of this great work of God typically in and through Zerubbabel, Paul Mueller has written: “’The wisdom of Solomon has declared, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ (Pro. 29:18) The leaders of the church system are well acquainted with this truth, therefore, they continually overburden the people with visions of their little kingdoms. They would keep the vision of new, larger, and better furnished church buildings, hospitals or recreational facilities, constantly before the people. Or, they fill the minds of the people with their own grandiose plans and programs of evangelism to keep them occupied and busy fulfilling “their” vision. It is true, without a vision the people perish, but the Lord’s elect will not allow their hearts and minds to be filled with Babylon’s visions, but will partake of heavenly, spiritual visions that will edify and encourage them in preparing for the appearing of Christ and the glory of His kingdom.

“Let us then partake of the magnificent vision of the grand and glorious purposes of God, a vision the prophet Zechariah presented with the eloquence of one who was truly anointed of the Spirit. Zechariah’s prophecies were instrumental in presenting the vision of a restored temple with such dynamic power that the building was soon completed by Zerubbabel, Joshua, and all the willing hands who worked tirelessly to hasten its completion. And we may also be sure that the same omnipotent Spirit that guided all those hands to complete that literal temple many centuries ago, will also see to it that the temple of the body of Christ is completed on time and with everything in place according to the heavenly pattern.

“Zechariah’s prophecy declared that Zerubbabel had laid the foundation of the temple, and he would also finish the building. (Zech. 4:9) The prophecy continues, ‘For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.’ (vs. 10) The ‘plummet’ was a ‘stone of tin,’ perhaps with a string attached something like a plumb line. When the workers would see Zerubbabel at the building site with his plummet, they would be greatly encouraged.

“Of greater significance is the fact that the ‘plummet’ was seen ‘with those seven,’ which are ‘the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.’ Now, it is easy to see that the eyes of the Lord running to and fro through the whole earth had very little to do with building that literal temple which was located on one spot in the city of Jerusalem. Therefore, those seven eyes of the Lord have much more significance with regard to the building of the spiritual temple, the body of Christ, than was possible in the rebuilding of that literal temple of wood and stone. Of great importance to the raising up of the spiritual temple, the body of Christ, are the seven eyes of the Lord, and the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’

“A few years ago, a Christian friend told me that he thought a certain charismatic evangelist well known for his brilliant mind, his congenial personality and his TV programs, was the best qualified man to unite the body of Christ. I could scarcely believe my ears for the lack of understanding this man displayed. No doubt there are many Christians who suppose that God is going to use some charismatic preacher to bring unity to the body of Christ. If we will remember the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel whereby the body of Christ shall be raised up in true unity, we will readily see that God will not use the might and power of the flesh for the completion of His body, for it is ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Not only will our mighty, omnipotent Lord complete the formation of the body of Christ by His Spirit, but by that same Spirit, Christ will take His rightful place as Head of His body.

“This truth was also declared by Zechariah: ‘Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.’ (Zech. 4:7) What a wonderful promise, for he who is typified in Zerubbabel shall bring forth the headstone, to complete the formation of the body of Christ, with Christ in His rightful place as Head of His body. This ‘headstone’ answers to the capstone of the Great Pyramid which has never been placed, but is ‘The stone which the builders refused’ and ‘is become the head stone of the corner.’ (Ps. 118:22) Likewise, Jesus said, ‘the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.’ (Mt. 8:20) Jesus wasn’t speaking of a pillow where He might lay His physical head, but of that position of Headship in the body of Christ. Now, in the end of this age, the Son of man will have a place to lay His head, a place on His body that has been prepared and completed by the Spirit.

“‘Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain.’ There were undoubtedly many mountains of resistance, opposition, and impossibilities that stood before Zerubbabel to attempt to prevent him from building the temple in Jerusalem. But the word of the Lord stated that all those ‘mountains’ would become as a plain before Zerubbabel with the Lord’s help.

“The greater work of the Spirit presently involves the raising up of the body of Christ, the true temple, and there are also many ‘mountains’ of opposition that may try to prevent the formation and glorification of that choice company. Standing before the body of Christ to resist the perfection of that illustrious company are all the principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. (Rev. 11:5,7-10) But, just as the construction of that literal temple could not be prevented, even so shall it be impossible for any power, whether earthly or spiritual, to prevent the perfection of the more glorious body of Christ. We may be unequivocally confident that the growth, perfection and ultimate adornment of each member of His body with the resurrection life of Christ is as certain and absolute as was the growth unto life of Christ, the first Son.”

THE ADOPTION OF SONS AND THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15). “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4-5). To understand this Biblical reference to the “adoption” of sons, we must first have some background to show how customs from the Orient in this regard differ from our own Western concepts. The Bible was written in the East, and the Eastern customs in regard to adoption are therefore the Bible meaning. Here in the West, adoption is the taking of a child from one family and making it a member of another family. Many Christians talk of spiritual adoption in that sense, not realizing that that interpretation of Paul’s words is false. It is as though they took the old nineteenth century hymn, “Come thou found of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace,” and tried to prove the existence of the radio in the nineteenth century because of the use of the term “tune” in a sense that is so familiar to those who have radios.

It is rather unfortunate that the English word “adoption” was used in our text. The Greek is something far above and beyond the ideas bound up with this word. It has been infinitely better rendered in the RSV where we read, “He destined us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ.” But even this is not enough. Let us take the Greek word apart. It is “huiothesia”. The first half is “huios” the common noun for an adult son. The latter half is “thesia” meaning a placement, an installation, a setting of a person or a thing in its place. So the whole word means not so much adoption as the PLACING OF A SON.

At one time in the Roman Empire it became the custom for men to have a ceremony in which their own sons were acknowledged publicly as having reached manhood. It is much more this idea that is present here. On the opening pages of Lloyd C. Douglas’ book THE ROBE, Douglas has Lucia describe the ceremony by which her older brother had been acknowledged as a Roman Citizen. “Father had bought Demetrius (the Corinthian slave) six years ago and presented him to Marcellus on his seventeenth birthday. What a wonderful day that was, with all their good friends assembled in the Forum to see Marcellus – clean shaven for the first time in his life – step forward to receive his white toga. Cornelius Capito and Father had made speeches, and then they had put the white toga on Marcellus. Lucia had been so proud and happy that her heart had pounded and her throat had hurt, though she was only nine then, and couldn’t know much about the ceremony except that Marcellus was expected to act like a man now…”

This proclamation gave the son certain privileges not enjoyed by him before this time. These privileges are very important and will teach us much about the ADOPTION OF GOD’S SONS if we think upon them. First, the son at the adoption ceremony was given the right to USE HIS FATHER’S NAME. He had the power of attorney and could buy or sell and do business in his father’s name. Secondly, at this time the son was given his INHERITANCE, all the wealth that the father would entrust to him. Thirdly, but of tremendous importance for our consideration, the son was promoted to EQUALITY WITH HIS FATHER! But none of this was his by right of birth, but only as an attainment received following years of growth, development, discipline, schooling, and experience. Ah, at this present time we know in part, prophesy in part (I Cor. 13:9) and our spiritual life and ministry is limited to that “measure” given to us at this point of our development as children of God. But the Spirit witnesses around the world that the hour is wonderfully close at hand for the ADOPTION, the PLACEMENT, the MANIFESTATION of the Sons of God whom the Lord has been calling and preparing for the past 2,000 years during the Church age. What a day that shall be for us, and for the whole world that groans and travails for deliverance!

Experientially we are NOT SONS of God now, we are the CHILDREN of God moving on toward the full stature of Christ to receive our ADOPTION as SONS. “For the SPIRIT which you have now received is not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the SPIRIT OF ADOPTION – the Spirit producing Sonship – in the bliss of which we cry, Abba, Father!” (Rom. 8:15, Amplified Bible). The Holy Spirit which God has given us is the guarantee of all that He has planned for us as we come fully into Him. We have not received our adoption yet; nor the full inheritance of power and glory and eminence that comes with it, but we have received the SPIRIT of that adoption, the Spirit producing Sonship, whereby we cry, Abba, Father! Thus, the Holy Spirit is far more than a “blessing” to help us “hold on” till we get to heaven. The Spirit is the very Spirit of our adoption, daily inworking the mind, nature, and life of our FATHER in us. This adoption is the final result of the completed work of the Spirit. When it is fully wrought within, what a day that shall be for us, and for the whole creation that groans and travails for deliverance!

To see the difference in meaning between a “child” and a “son” as it is indicated in the Greek Scriptures, let us use this example. Suppose you are driving down the street and pass a store with a sign out front that reads, BROWN AND SON HARDWARE – what does this suggest to you? Naturally, it suggests that Mr. Brown is the owner of the store and that this son is GROWN, that he has reached an age of maturity, experience, and responsibility where he can be taken into his Father’s business AS A PARTNER – as a mature BUSINESS MAN! You certainly would not expect, upon entering the store and asking for the son, to be presented to a ten year old boy or an infant in a playpen! Neither have we ever seen a sign across the front of a store that reads: BROWN AND CHILD HARDWARE! This, then, is exactly the difference between a “child” and a “son”. This is the difference between the “children” of God and the “sons” of God. A child is born, but a son is developed. Since we have been born of God we have God’s NATURE, the divine nature. But we must grow up into God’s CHARACTER and ABILITY! This is what it really means to be the MANIFESTED SONS OF GOD!

After passing through thirty years of spiritual development under the dealings of His Father, learning HIS WAYS and complete obedience, in a public ceremony at Jordan God declared His Son’s SONSHIP: “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven saying, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, in Whom I am WELL PLEASED” (Mat. 3:16-17). From that day forward Jesus assumed the responsibility of His Father’s name, wealth, and power, and God’s SON became manifested to the world, glorifying the Father in word and in deed.

Likewise, our new birth is nothing more than the beginning of a never-ending heavenly GOD-KIND of life. Then the born one may become a full-grown Son in the God-family, or he may remain a baby spirit delighting only in the fact of an immature and childish eternal existence. The life of God is a free gift of unmerited mercy and favor. But heavenly attainments of spiritual wealth and power and glory and usefulness are given to those who follow on and GROW UP into the “measure of the stature of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST” (Eph. 4:13). Let us PRESS FORWARD unto SONSHIP!

So many Christians today are satisfied with merely an entrance into the family of God. Their eyes are blinded to the higher purposes of God, any efforts to lead them on to a higher ground are rebuffed and resisted by a human reasoning which asks why one should waste time on “deep things” when they are already saved and “on their way to heaven”. But salvation, while it is the most astounding miracle of the ages, is, nevertheless, but the birth of a mere SPIRITUAL INFANT. There are many further steps which must follow this birth if one is to come into all the glories and the full heritage which is prepared for those who FOLLOW ON TO KNOW THE LORD. There is a great glory, wisdom, power, and heavenly wealth awaiting those who grow up to be God’s SONS. The whole creation is standing on tiptoe to see the glorious sight of God’s Sons coming into their own!

FROM REVIVAL TO THE KINGDOM

The Word of God clearly teaches that the manifestation of the sons of God at the close of this age brings FULL SALVATION, which, of course, includes the BODY OF INCORRUPTION – salvation for spirit, soul and body. The purpose of this manifestation is twofold: first, to bring full redemption to God’s elect; second, to bring deliverance to all peoples, kindreds, tongues and nations, to those now living as well as to those vast multitudes who have lived and died throughout the ages, until sin, sickness, sorrow, darkness, pain and death shall exist no more anywhere in God’s unbounded universe, worlds without end. Let us notice how the apostle Paul reveals this purpose of God in the following words: “For even the whole creation waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known – waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship. For the creation was subjected to frailty – to futility, condemned to frustration – not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will of Him who so subjected it. Yet with the hope that creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption and gain an entrance into the glorious freedom of God’s children. We know that the whole creation has been moaning together in the pains of labor until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves too, who have and enjoy the first fruits of the Holy Spirit – a foretaste of the blissful things to come – grown inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies from sensuality and the grave, WHICH WILL REVEAL OUR ADOPTION, OUR MANIFESTATION AS GOD’S SONS” (Rom. 8:19-23, Amplified).

When Paul by inspiration penned these blessed words of hope he did not have in mind another great “revival” of the kinds we have experienced in many localities and nations throughout this age of grace. The creation is not groaning for another evangelistic campaign, nor for another healing service, nor for more gifts of the Spirit, nor for more apostles and prophets and teachers, nor for more signs, wonders and miracles, nor yet for 144,000 flaming evangelists just like Jesus when He walked the shores of blue Galilee. In two thousand years none of these things has even produced a perfect Church, nor have they ever brought the fullness of the Kingdom of God, and not even one of them or all of them put together ever delivered the creation from its bondage to corruption! It is not just another “patch-up” job we want, but a full and complete and eternal deliverance from the whole dreadful realm of corruption in spirit, soul and body!

How we praise God and bless Him unceasingly for every blessing so lavishly bestowed by His bountiful grace. We rejoice exceedingly in His provision of our daily need, for those healings which have preserved alive these mortal bodies unto this day, for each sign and wonder that has quickened our faith and given assurance of His wonderful love, yet we are aware that none of these is that for which creation, with ourselves, groans and travails. We cannot – dare not – be satisfied until we AWAKE IN HIS LIKENESS! Christ shall minister the fullness of HIS ETERNAL AND INCORRUPTIBLE LIFE to a firstfruit company of sons who shall in turn impart that same life and glory to the creation. These SONS are alive and in the world today. They may at this present time be fathers, and mothers, and sons, and daughters… they may be carpenters, or plumbers, or nurses, or technicians, or truck drivers, or housewives, or store clerks… or they may be apostles, or prophets, or elders, or deacons. But it is in their ultimate fashioning as SONS that they shall become the LIBERATORS that God has in mind for a world in darkness and bondage.

In praying for revival we develop a revivalistic mentality which contradicts the purposes of God for this Day. When one examines revivals historically, he finds that when you live in the revival mentality you are like a person who gets “high” on a drug – you soon need another “fix.” Revivals throughout history are recurrent activity – activity that returns from time to time. Revivals are those kinds of divine intervention which bring about awakening, followed by spiritual declension and apostasy. It is a vicious, never-ending cycle. Awake, asleep. Awake, asleep. Alive, dead. Alive, dead. Delivered, bound. Delivered, bound. Refreshed, sluggish. Refreshed, sluggish. Filled, empty. Filled, empty. Revivals are oscillating in nature, swinging back and forth between two extremes. Furthermore, revivals are occasional and variable. They occur now and then. In and out, up and down, here and there, now and then, back and forth, awake and asleep – do you feel yourself getting motion sickness? In the 1800’s there was a revival called “The Great Awakening.” As someone has pointed out, unfortunately it was followed by “The Great Asleepening.” We don’t need another Great Awakening… What the world needs in this hour is not another revival. No revival has brought the ultimate triumph of God’s Kingdom. No revival has brought the universal defeat of sin, sorrow, sickness, limitation and death. No revival has brought an end to war, strife, hatred, corruption, fear, tyranny, pain, hunger, or any of the other problems and curses that blight mankind. Our prayer should be, “Lord, don’t send another revival!” Our prayer should be as our Lord taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come!” I am not a revivalist. I am a Kingdomite! I am a son of the Kingdom, an announcer of the Kingdom, a proclaimer of the Kingdom, an ambassador of the Kingdom of God. A Kingdomite is the opposite of a revivalist. Instead of advocating and praying for a move of God that returns from time to time, the Kingdom Ambassador views the presence and rule of God as perpetual, constant, progressive – never vacillating and never retrogressing. Our God is abiding and progressing from glory to glory, from realm to realm, from age to age – not sleeping and awaking. The Kingdom sons are builders who build a place for God to inhabit permanently – not a resort for Him to visit occasionally. I want to be a builder! Jesus said, “We will come and make our abode with him.” What God desires in this hour is a place to stay, a temple to dwell in, a throne to sit upon, a nature to be formed in, a Kingdom to rule from.

The focus of the New Testament is upon Christ and His Kingdom – not revivals. You don’t read about revivals in any of the writings of the apostles. The word revival does not appear in the dictionary of Kingdom terminology. So far as New Testament economy is concerned, revival is an unscriptural and extra-biblical concept. You won’t find the idea anywhere! Jesus didn’t promise revivals. The apostles never taught or exhorted or gave any instructions about revivals. Amazing, isn’t it, how much of the language of Babylon we still speak over here on the Kingdom territory!

The sons of God are soon to arise on the world scene. It will be MORE than revival this time, my beloved, IT WILL BE THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITH POWER! There is yet another move of the Spirit and work of God that transcends by far anything that has ever been seen or known. We are nearing the hour of the manifestation of the sons of God. The long, long awaited liberation from the bondage of sin, sorrow and decay is near at hand. The greater works which Jesus, our elder brother, told us of are soon to begin on the earth. The hour is at hand when the GOVERNMENT SHALL BE UPON HIS SHOULDER and the enduring Kingdom of God which shall never be destroyed shall consume and destroy forever all other kingdoms. The sons shall reign in the power and authority of the Spirit over all dominions from pole to pole and from sea to sea, and all nations shall know and serve the Lord. There shall be peace on earth and goodwill to men, with justice and judgment and equity and LIFE ABUNDANT FOR ALL.

Paul Mueller wrote “These then are THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF SONSHIP, shining in the brightness and light of the SEVEN LAMPS OF FIRE which are seen burning before the throne, its glory radiating the seven-fold splendor as of the rainbow which is seen in beauty like unto an emerald. (Rev. 4:3-5) This mighty and glorious anointing which shall come upon the sons of God to enable the Body of Christ to inaugurate the wonderful and blessed age of the kingdom of God, and shall endue them with power and all the attributes of Him who is the Head of the Body. They shall not judge after the sight of their eyes, nor reprove after the hearing of their ears, but with righteousness shall they judge the nations. This anointed company of sons of God shall be girded with the righteousness of Christ and the faithfulness of Him who lived them and lifted them all from the pit of sin and despair to the glorious heights of His throne. Then the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion together, with a little child leading them. In that blessed day of glory, ‘They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.’

“The sons of God, fully anointed and vested with all the fullness of God, shall teach His law and declare His word of truth, ‘for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.’ In that glorious day the Lord shall set up an ensign for the nations, and He will assemble all the outcasts of Israel. From one end of the earth to the other they shall come to Him, as the Lord gathers ALL ISRAEL AND JUDAH unto Himself as He promised He would do. And there shall be an highway for all these scattered and dispersed sons of Israel, and they shall RETURN UNTO THE LORD IN REPENTENCE, with travail of heart and an abundance of tears. In that day many shall draw water out of the wells of salvation with joy and thanksgiving, praising the Lord and exalting His name, and the Lord’s people in Zion shall shout, ‘GREAT IS THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL IN THE MIDST OF THEE.’ (Is. 11)

           “Beloved, let us press on for the mark of this PRIZE of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The scriptures teach us that we have only received ‘THE EARNEST OF THE SPIRIT.’ (2 Cor. 5:5) As wonderful and refreshing as our present spiritual life has been it has only been an IN-PART REALM. But in due time we shall receive THE FULNESS OF THE SPIRIT, and this baptism shall come upon the sons of God who shall be the first in divine order to partake of that fullness in obedience to the pattern of Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only One who ever received of this fullness of the Spirit, and the company of the sons of God shall be the next to receive of that fullness of glory and life in abundance. This anointed company shall be joined to Christ their Head, thus making up the Body of Christ, which is to be joined later to the Bride of Christ, who shall be raised up during the kingdom age. There is certainly much more of ‘THE EXCEEDING RICHES OF HIS GRACE’ which is to be revealed during the time periods which are to follow this present age, the time which the scriptures call ‘the ages to come.’ (See Eph 2:7) During these ages to come, the restoration of all things as spoken by all the holy prophets since the world began shall commence with the complete fulfillment of those abundant promises assured in ‘THE FULNESS OF TIMES.’ (Eph. 1:10) In the light of these rich and abundant promises, we will seek His face, earnestly striving to partake of THE FULNESS OF GOD, laying aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us (the sin of unbelief).” – end quote

 


Chapter 6

The Spirit of Anointing

That there would come forth in the world a Spirit-anointed body of people, a royal company of kings and priests, to bring the redemptive blessings of the Kingdom of God to all the families of the earth, was most wonderfully typified and foreshadowed in the Old Testament by the priesthood given to Israel. Under the law, the “anointing” was the ceremony by which the priests were installed in their service. They were anointed to their office with a peculiar ointment, called the “Holy Anointing Oil,” used upon none but the priests, and unlawful for anyone else to have or to make (Ex. 30:25-33,38). This oil typifies the Holy Spirit whereby we, the true “royal priesthood,” are sealed as sons of God. Only the consecrated ones, the priests, are ever to be thus anointed.

The apostle Peter shows who were typified by the Aaronic priests, when, addressing those who were sanctified, consecrated, and truly separated unto the purposes of God, he says: “YE are… an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” And again: “YE are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood” (I Peter 1:2; 2:5,9).

That the head or Chief Priest of this priesthood is our Lord Jesus, is repeatedly mentioned by the apostles. The writer to the Hebrews wrote: “Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling (of the priesthood), consider the apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb 3:1). Aaron, the typical High Priest, represented Jesus, the Head, and the elect as members of His body. As Aaron had the holy oil poured upon his head, so our Head, the Lord Jesus, was anointed with the antitypical oil – the Holy Spirit – when He was thirty years of age, at the river Jordan, at the time of His manifestation as the Son of God. There He was “anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows” – as Head over all who should be His joint-heirs. Subsequent to this anointing Jesus was able to stand in the synagogue in Nazareth and read from Isa. 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me…” and declare to His hearers: “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears!” Jesus witnessed of that anointing of the Spirit upon Him that it was WITHOUT MEASURE, in absolute fullness and unlimited (Jn. 3:34). Peter adds his testimony: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power” (Act 10:38).

It is important to note that in the Old Testament type the anointing oil was poured only upon the head of the High Priest. “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil and pour it upon his head, and anoint him” (Ex. 29:7). Aaron, a Levite who was Moses’ brother, had been chosen to be the High Priest. The instructions for anointing said that the oil was to be poured over Aaron’s head. From Ps. 133:2, we know that the ointment ran down his head, over his beard, and down to the skirts of his garments. In other words, he was completely covered with the anointing oil. In the anointing of Aaron as the High Priest, we can see that he was typically totally covered with the Holy Spirit as he wore the priestly garments. That is, in the ministry of the priesthood, Aaron had the anointing. The under-priests were not anointed individually. They were recognized as members of the High Priest’s body, and received their anointing only IN HIM as their head. Hence also the antitypical priests of the Royal Priesthood are merely partakers of the Spirit and anointing of Christ, and only those who are truly “in Christ Jesus” are partakers of the anointing which seals all those who will be recognized as the heirs of God’s promises, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord. And so we read: “The anointing which YE have RECEIVED OF HIM abideth in you” (I Jn. 2:27). The oil began to reach the Body on the day of Pentecost, and flowed on down through the church age, anointing all who have been truly baptized into Christ, constituting them, with their Head, kings and priests unto God. We thus see that Aaron, anointed, represented the entire Christ – Head and body – the complete “seed of Abraham,” in which God is about to bless all the families of the earth. When all the members shall have come into this glorious Body of Sons, when the “Holy Oil” shall have run down “to the skirts of His garments,” bringing the full measure of His glory and power to each member, then will begin that great “manifestation of the sons of God” for which the whole creation, until now, has been groaning. The kingly and priestly ministry of this many-membered company of sons shall usher in a new age of deliverance and blessing for all the nations of the earth. For the glorious reign of this Kingly Priest we constantly pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

This sevenfold Spirit of God is the fullness of the wisdom, glory, nature and power of God which rested upon and filled Jesus Christ. This is the Spirit WITHOUT MEASURE, unlimited. These are the seven Spirits continually before the throne of God by which the world shall be governed in righteousness, for of the One anointed with this sevenfold Spirit Isaiah said: “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him… and shall make Him of quick understanding… and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth… righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins… they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:2-9).

This sevenfold anointing is the “seven horns” and the “seven eyes,” “which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (Rev. 5:6). The seven eyes of God’s perfect insight and understanding shall be sent forth into all the earth to search the hearts of men and of nations, and the seven horns of God’s perfect power shall arise as a rod of iron to rule over all nations, bringing them into peace and righteousness before Him. Those blessed sons of God who are to share the fullness of this anointing, reigning with Him in His Kingdom, will not be men who have spent their time “beating the air” in man’s programs and kingdoms, but men and women who through vital contact with Christ Jesus our Lord have partaken fully of the sevenfold Spirit of Sonship. Their wisdom and knowledge and power comes not from the schools, institutions, rituals and methods of the harlot religious systems of this world, but from the blessed fact that THEY HAVE BEEN WITH JESUS!

Paul Mueller has written, “When Jesus read the prophecy of Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth, He read the portion which declares: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, BECAUSE HE HATH ANOINTED ME.’ (Lu. 4:18) The anointing of the Holy Spirit was upon Him, and that is what marked Him and set Him apart from all other speakers at that synagogue. Beloved, IT IS THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT that will also mark and identify us as being called of God to minister His word of truth. It is the anointing that we need, for without it we are as messengers without a message, and as lamps with no oil. The Spirit of the Lord was upon Christ because HE WAS ANOINTED WITH THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD. His anointing was not a partial anointing (Jo. 3:34) nor was it that ‘EARNEST OF THE SPIRIT’ which we have received.”

The Holy Spirit, Paul says, is the EARNEST of our inheritance in Christ. The Greek word translated “earnest” (ARRABON) means merely a pledge or first installment, a down payment, money deposited by a purchaser to guarantee that he will pay for an item in full when it is delivered. The balance must follow. The fullness is guaranteed by the earnest. In modern Greek the word is used for an engagement ring, the idea being that he who gives a girl such a ring will complete his agreement to marry her – the wedding band will surely follow! When this word is used in scripture it speaks of the gift of the Holy Spirit as God’s “earnest or “engagement ring.” In other words, the seal of the indwelling Holy Spirit is therefore an earnest or advance pledge from God Himself that those who are apprehended and receive The Promise will one day receive their inheritance IN FULL.

Let us illustrate another way. In eastern lands it ever has been, and is, customary for there to be an intermediary in arranging a marriage. The Bible picture of this is in Genesis 24, where Abraham’s servant Eliezer, goes on a long journey to find a wife for Isaac. He takes with him a good report of his master’s son, and tells how that his father has made him heir of all his vast possessions, and he then shows the damsel and her friends SAMPLES of this wealth in camels and jewelry, and gives them some of the latter. Thus allured, Rebecca left her known circle and took a long, desert journey to become Isaac’s wife, though she had never seen him. Thus did Paul the apostle speak to the saints: “I have espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ” (II Cor. 11:2). Fulfilling the role of Abraham’s servant, Eliezer, the apostle bestowed upon those who heeded his words a FORETASTE of the vast and unmeasurable wealth of the Kingdom of God, by imparting to them the gift of the Holy Spirit with its attending love, joy, peace, righteousness and power in the measure known by our present experience. How bountifully the table has been spread before us with His presence and divers gifts of the Holy Ghost! How rich and wonderful, beyond explanation, has been the blessing and glory so lavishly bestowed! And yet, precious friend of mine, all that we have received up to this present time is but the “earnest” of the full inheritance which will be received when we have sufficiently matured to be entrusted with the balance of our inheritance – ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD! And it is this FULLNESS of the Spirit with which Christ Jesus was anointed, even THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD. That will truly be an overwhelming manifestation of the glory of the Lord as He anoints us with the seven-fold Spirit of His fullness.

Oh, what a grand and glorious realm lies before us in this expectation of the FULL INHERITANCE! The day of the full fruit of the Spirit! The day of Perfection! The time of full and complete Redemption, spirit, soul and body! The full and complete experiencing of HIMSELF! The fullness of Strength, Wisdom, Power and Glory! The Feast of Feasts! The strange part of the whole thing is this, that the whole purpose and plan of God for this day and hour is completely obscured and lost amidst the shout and euphoria over the “earnest,” and “firstfruits,” the “down payment,” and most of the Lord’s people have no idea or conception of what the full inheritance is all about. They can see the healings, deliverances, miracles, prophecies, worship, etc.; and they understand not that it is God in His greater mercy inviting His people to enter on in to their full inheritance. They do not realize that all this is not the end – it is merely the foretaste, the earnest of their heritage, and that God bids them after sampling of His glory to arise and come away with Him to the Great Feast that lies before!

Completeness and perfection, however much desired, are not obtainable through an “in-part” possession. Once we understand this one important principle, it becomes clear that we cannot reach the fullness in one grand leap. It would be like giving a farmer a pound of seed and a bag of fertilizer and then expect him to raise enough food in one short season to satisfy the starving millions of Africa. A partial supply cannot produce a full result. What I am saying is that the glory of God’s fullness cannot be ministered unto us out of the ministry of the earnest. It must come from a realm BEYOND what we have received, even out of the Christ who has received the Spirit without measure. As children of God the Spirit of Christ dwells within us, we have received the EARNEST of our inheritance, but we are earnestly exhorted to “gird up the loins of your mind, and be sober, and hope to the end for the GRACE THAT I-S  T-O  B-E  B-R-O-U-G-H-T  UNTO YOU AT THE REVELATION (FULL UNVEILING) OF JESUS CHRIST” (I Pet. 1:13). Christ ascended into the heavens and returned to indwell His body in a “firstfruits” measure of Himself. His absolute fullness remains locked up, as it were, in the unseen realm, locked up in His unappropriated, undeveloped, unexperienced life within ourselves. Thus, we must GROW IN GRACE AND IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, the process of the unfolding of Himself out of Himself within us. Hallelujah! In spite of all the revivals, soul-saving crusades, healing and deliverance meetings, and signs and wonders and miracles wrought through the ages, we are yet to see the revelation of HIS FULLNESS. But the hour is wonderfully nigh at hand, praise His name!

The purpose of the Holy Ghost is not to make you feel good, nor to enable you to speak in tongues, heal a few sick folks, and get your prayers answered. The purpose of the Holy Ghost is to baptize you with the Holy Ghost and Fire and purify your spirit, soul, and body, bringing you into a realm with God where you are changed from strength to strength, from glory to glory, and faith to faith until you come into a walk with God where you begin to grow up into all the nature, wisdom, knowledge, power and glory of God. That’s the heart-cry of God in this hour. God wants to mature a people and fill them with ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD. Then the glory of the Lord will fill the whole body of the sons of God in the fullness thus far known only by our glorious Forerunner and Head, Jesus Christ. Then His glory shall flow and flow and fill the earth. Then shall be fulfilled the words of the Saviour, “The words that I do shall ye do also, and GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL YE DO.” The power of God shall at last conquer the nations, and sin, and sorrow, and death shall be swallowed up in victory. Men shall no longer receive merely the forgiveness of sins with peace and joy and hope, but a FULL DELIVERANCE AND TRANSFORMATION from sin, limitation and death. Praise God for the earnest – but let us follow on to receive THE FULLNESS!

Again I would share from the anointed pen of Paul Mueller: “We may wonder how the Lord could ever heal the many hurts of humanity, restore all the waste places of the earth, bring the light of His glory into darkened lives, and establish His kingdom in all the earth in righteousness, justice and peace. But when we get a glimpse of HIS GLORY and the fact that every member of His body shall be like Him and ANOINTED AS HE IS with that seven-fold anointing of God, then we will understand that all these things are possible and He will bring it to pass with THE POWER OF HIS GLORY.”

THE SPIRIT OF YAHWEH

Upon this many-membered body of king-priests, as upon their Lord and Head, shall rest the seven Spirits of God even as the prophet foretold.

“The Spirit of the Lord (Yahwey) shall rest upon Him,

“The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding;

“The Spirit of Counsel and Might,

“The Spirit of Knowledge and Fear of the Lord.”

The first of these seven Spirits is designated as “The Spirit of the Lord.” Of the Spirit which was bestowed upon Jesus it is written, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me…” (Lk 4:18). Turning to the prophecy from which this quotation is made, we read there in the Hebrew, “The Spirit of YAHWEH is on Me, because YAHWEH hath anointed Me to proclaim good tidings to the humble” (Isa. 61:1). The Hebrew also reads in Isa. 11:2-3: “And the Spirit of YAHWEH shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding etc.” Thus it can be seen that the very first aspect of this sevenfold Spirit of God is that it is THE SPIRIT OF YAHWEH. It was the “Spirit of Yahweh” which was upon Jesus the Head, and it is thus the “Spirit of Yahweh” which is communicated from the Head to the elect members of His body.

These seven Spirits of God compare to the seven branches of the golden lamp stand in the tabernacle of Moses and later in the temple in Jerusalem. Notice how there are three branches on each side stemming out from the middle shaft. This central shaft is the SPIRIT OF YAHWEH. All the other six spring forth from the Spirit of Yahweh, but in all they comprise seven lamps. Notice how they are connected together in Isa. 11:2 – the Spirit of Yahweh is named first, the principle one; and then the remaining six issue out from that first or central Spirit of the Lord.

No doubt you have heard the question, “What’s in a name?” Though it is often asked facetiously, the fact remains that there is MUCH in a name. The names we give our children in this modern day usually have little or no significance. We often name our children after some favorite aunt, uncle or grandparent, or choose a name because we like its sound or association. But in Bible times names were frequently given by a prophetic utterance or under Divine inspiration so that the names actually revealed the nature, character and destiny of the person. “Thou shalt call His name Jesus,” said the angel, “For He shall save His people from their sins” (Mat. 1:21). Jesus means “Yahweh is salvation,” and the name expresses that glorious redemptive work accomplished only by and through Him. Abram, which means “father,” had his named changed to “Abraham,” meaning “father of many nations,” for such he was to become in very fact. His wife also was given a change of name from Sarai, which means “contentious,” to “Sarah,” meaning “Princess,” for, said the Lord, “I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be of her” (Gen. 17:15-16). Jesus changed the names of James and John to Boanerges, meaning “sons of thunder,” because the name befitted these men who thought to call down fire from heaven to destroy the unbelievers. When Andrew brought his brother to Jesus, our Lord greeted Peter with these words: “Thou art Simon, the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone” (Jn. 1:40-42). Peter became an apostle and the ministry of an apostle is an establishing or foundational ministry. Thus the name Cephas, which the Lord gave to Peter, calls attention to the very nature and ministry of the man. This pattern is seen all through the scriptures, from Genesis to the Revelation. Thus, the name Yahweh reveals all that God IS, all that God HAS, and all that God can DO.

To properly understand what is meant by “the Spirit of Yahweh,” we need to understand the meaning of the name. In the King James Version of our Bible the Hebrew word “Yahweh” is mis-translated “LORD” in capital letters. Thus, whenever you see the word “LORD,” in capitals, it should be “Yahweh.” Yahweh is the name by far the most frequently employed in the Old Testament, occurring some 6,823 times!

The name “Yahweh” is derived from the Hebrew verb “havah” meaning “to be,” or “being.” This word is almost exactly like the Hebrew verb, “chavah,” which means “to live,” or “life.” One can readily see the connection between being and life. Thus Yahweh means “the self-existent One” or “the eternal.” He is the One who in Himself possesses essential life, permanent existence, derived from no source other than Himself, and absolutely dependent upon no other person or thing for its continuance. Any being whose existence is dependent in any manner upon another, or upon conditions such as food, light, air, etc., or even upon some cosmic influence, is not SELF-EXISTENT. This quality inhered originally in Yahweh alone, as it is written, “The Father hath life in Himself” (Jn. 5:26). That means that His existence is not a derived one, nor a sustained one; not derived from anything nor dependent upon anything, but inherent and eternal within Himself. The verbs “to be” and “to live” from which the name Yahweh comes denote both essential life and a state of being. Hence, God is not only eternal Himself, but all His nature and characteristics are as eternal and unchangeable as is His life!

Anything that is absolutely eternal is not only unending, but is also UNCHANGABLE. Anything that changes in any way is not eternal, for in the change some characteristic is left behind and a new one acquired. In every change something ends and something else begins, at least in form. That which dwells in an eternal state knows NO CHANGE. Change is possible only in that which is limited, imperfect, or not fully developed. The Lord declares of Himself, “I am the Lord, I CHANGE NOT” (Mal. 3:6), and the inspired apostle says of Him, “with Whom there is no VARIABLENESS, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). God is never surprised. God has not learned anything this week, nor last year, nor in the last several trillion years. If God learned one thing today, it would destroy Him. He would no longer be the omniscient One who knows the end from the beginning, for known unto Him are all His works from the creation of the world. God does not experiment. God does not become stronger, mightier, or increase Himself in any way. God is the omnipotent and omniscient one. He CHANGES NOT. He eternally is all that He is without any decrease or increase or fluctuation whatsoever. Therefore He is the ETERNAL GOD! It means more than unending, it means unchangeable, and therefore unending! But we, in our spiritual life, are STILL BEING CHANGED! “And all of us… are constantly BEING TRANSFIGURED (changed) into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another” (II Cor. 3:18, Amplified). Therefore the life we have received is not truly eternal yet, it is the LIFE OF THE AGES, God’s life injected into time to be processed and matured into that unchangeableness which He Himself is!

The origin and meaning of the name Yahweh are especially brought out in relation to Israel. When Moses at the burning bush says to God: “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them?” And God said unto Moses, “I AM THAT I AM: Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Ex. 3:13-14). The origin of this name, I AM THAT I AM, is exactly the same as that of Yahweh – being, existence – and denotes the One who always has been, is, and always will be: personal, continuous, absolute existence.

“I AM THAT I AM” reveals God as the UNCHANGABLE One. In this name Yahweh is saying to Moses and the children of Israel, “What I am I always am. I never have been anything but what I am. I never will be anything other than what I am. What I was – I am. What I am – I shall be. I am what I am unchangeably, irrevocably and invariably! Tell them that what I was to Abraham – I AM! What I was to Isaac – I AM! What I was to Jacob – I AM! What I was to Joseph – I AM! And throughout all your days, in every situation and circumstance, even to the end of all times, when you shall seek My face and call upon Me you will find that I will be, even then, WHAT I AM!” Hallelujah! Long centuries later Yahweh spoke to the prophet Malachi these words: “I am Yahweh, I CHANGE NOT” (Mal. 3:6). Of Him who came into the world as the embodiment and visible representation of Yahweh it is written: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever” (Heb. 13:8). The apostle James witnessed of Him: “Every good gift… cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

SELF-EXISTENT LIFE

Only Yahweh has from eternity possessed inherent eternal life and incorruptible nature. There is only one life in the whole universe that can be counted as life. “He that hath the Son hath the life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not the life” (I Jn. 5:12). Again, “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life” (Jn. 3:36). The message in these passages is simply this: Unless a man has the life of God, he does not have life. Thus, according to God’s own definition of life, only His life is life; apart from His quality of life, no other form of life can be counted as life – for the power of death is inherent in all that man esteems as life. What man calls life is really death. “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). The natural world does not generate or perpetuate life; it only generates and perpetuates more death. A baby is not born to live – it is born to die. All life forms apart from God are mortal. All are in one form or another breathing, blood-circulating, temporarily existing, physical beings.

God is the only eternal, self-existing life in the universe. This life is uncreated, without beginning or ending, existing by itself and ever, unchangeably existing. Only that which is born of God shares such a level of life. Only the life of God is life. It not only has the name of life, but also the power of life, the reality of life, and thus it completely fulfills the meaning of life. Life is God Himself. What does it mean to have life? To have life is to have God Himself. To manifest life is to manifest God Himself. Life is not different at all from God. If it were, then it would not be life. It is not enough merely to know that we have life; we must know further that this life we have is God Himself. The life is what God is, and all that God is, has and can do is revealed out of that life.

Jesus made a statement which the first Adam could never have made. He said, “For as the Father HATH LIFE IN HIMSELF; so hath He given to the SON TO HAVE LIFE IN HIMSELF” (Jn. 5:25-26). LIFE IN HIMSELF! This is self-existent life, a life not derived from any source, not dependent upon any sustenance, inherent life! Jesus could say, “I AM the LIFE!” No other man before Him could say that.

But exceeding great wonder of all is that not only did Jesus possess the self-existent Life of God, but God has made Him to be “a life-giving Spirit.” Truly, “He that has the Son HATH LIFE” and “this is the record that God HATH GIVEN TO US eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (I Jn. 5:11-12). Notice the result of having the Holy Spirit: “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His. And if Christ be IN YOU” – the same life in you now that was in Jesus when He walked this earth as a man – “the body is dead because of sin; but THE SPIRIT IS LIFE because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Christ from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. 8:9-11). How plain. If the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in us, He imparts THE POWER TO COMMENCE ETERNAL, SELF-EXISTENT LIFE within us!

In Jn. 17:2 Jesus said, “Father… glorify Thy Son… as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should GIVE ETERNAL LIFE to as many as Thou hast given Him.” From the incorruptible seed of Christ, placed in the womb of the believing heart, comes forth that incorruptible New Creation which lives and abides forever. When John said, “He that hath the Son hath life,” he was speaking of that incorruptible Life which Jesus is. When Jesus said, “He that believeth on Me shall never die” (Jn. 11:26), He was not teaching us merely of the possibility of extending our physical, Adamic existence forever so we would never go to the grave. He meant that He was planting a NEW LIFE within us, even the incorruptible, self-existent Life which He is. The Life Jesus has made available is the Life HE IS, the Life of Yahweh, the Life of eternity. It is the life which produces an eternal SPIRIT NATURE AND BEING of the same quality as that possessed by GOD OUR FATHER.

Here, in receiving of this life, the “Holy Anointing Oil” of Yahweh’s Spirit flows from the Head to the body, giving unto the body the same SELF-EXISTENT LIFE with which the Son was endued. And truly I say to you that having thus partaken of His very own Spirit and Life the members of His body can now say, “AS the Son HATH LIFE IN HIMESLF; so hath He given to the Sons, the members of His body to HAVE LIFE IN THEMSELVES!” What other quality of life could we have received except the eternal, self-existent life of God in Christ? Blessed be God! it is no longer I that live but CHRIST that liveth in me! This is the life of the sons of God for which all creation groans. “For even the whole creation waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known – waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship. For… the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption and gain an entrance into the glorious freedom of God’s children” (Rom. 8:19,21). When Paul by inspiration penned these blessed words of hope he did not have in mind a manifestation of God’s sons after the order of which Jesus was manifested while on earth. Jesus glorified the Father on the earth plane, and so do we; but this is not the glory yet to be revealed that we anticipate, neither is it the hope for which the whole creation is in travail. The glory to which we are called as sons of God is not the glory Jesus had on earth, but the glory for which He prayed when His earth-walk was completed: “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” Paul wrote, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall YE also appear WITH HIM IN GLORY” (Col. 3:4). And Peter declared, “But the God of all grace… hath called us unto HIS ETERNAL GLORY by Christ Jesus” (I Pet. 5:10).

I can assure you, precious friend of mine, that this resurrection glory, this incorruptible glory, this eternal glory is the HOPE OF ALL CREATION. We rejoice in the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit, in prophecies, visions, healings, miracles, temporal blessings and provisions, but I must confess that I am saddened to see the Lord’s people continually following after mere TEMPORAL SIGNS and PHYSICAL, MATERIAL, MORTAL BLESSINGS. It is a distress to my soul to see my precious sick brethren (as well as myself) healed by the power of God, only to behold them smitten later by some other debilitating disease. What sorrow it brings to the human heart to see the precious men and women of God who have walked in the Spirit, and proclaimed the revelation of God, and have so mightily blessed God’s people finally grow old or be struck down by some loathsome disease and pass from our midst into the silence of the grave. I grow tired of healing the sick only to see them sick again. It is frustrating to pray for the same saints over and over again for the same problems and weaknesses. I say it reverently, but I am weary of seeing the dead raised just to watch them ageing and weakening on their way into death again. I tire of signs and wonders which cater only to the flesh, and minster solely to the physical man on the plane of mortality: food, raiment, money, and all the rest of the corruptible things of earth. I am deeply discontented with that which blesses men in the natural but then leaves them to carry on their lives in corruptible bodies and natures. There is NO ETERNAL GLORY nor is there any release from THE BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION in any of these things. How expressive the word which the Spirit selected when He inspired the apostle to write: “For in this (our earthly house) we groan, EARNESTLY DESIRING to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven… that mortality might be swallowed up of life” (II Cor. 5:1-5). Paul says that the whole creation GROANS and EARNESTLY AWAITS the manifestation of the sons of God, and we ourselves ALSO GROAN, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. The “greater works” of which Jesus spoke will appear when this corruptible has fully put on incorruption and the sons of God are put on display in the fullness of His divine life and glory. When we consider the transcendent majesty and power of the glory of a ministry beyond limitation, death, and the curse, it seems but little wonder that such deliverance and reality is indeed THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS. With what anticipation do we wait for this glorious manifestation!

THE WELL WITHIN

How many of the Lord’s dear children do not understand this one simple but sublime truth – they have within them 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 are those who always need to receive some kind of “blessing.” “Blessing” seekers are yet babes. Certainly there is nothing wrong with being a babe – if you have been a babe for only a short time. Babies should grow up fast! You can always spot a babe in Christ, because his whole world is on the outside. Babies are so innocent, weak, and helpless. The baby is often in a mess, has the colic, needs a diaper change, has a pain somewhere, is hungry or thirsty, is too cold or too hot, and in all these situations the one universally recognized fact about babies is that THEY CAN NEVER DO ANYTHING ABOUT THEIR PROBLEMS THEMSELVES! The baby’s whole world is on the outside. He is totally dependent upon what others can and must do for him. Someone else must always be ministering to his needs. If he gets changed, someone must change him. If he gets fed, someone must prepare the food and put it in his mouth. If he gets bathed, someone must do it for him. He cannot solve any of his problems for himself, they must all be ministered to from without. Thus we see that there are three basic characteristics that accompany babyhood: (1) The baby has more problems than most older folk (2) He is totally dependent upon others, unable to do anything for himself (3) When he has a need he lets it be known until someone comes and meets it. What a picture is this of the babes in Christ!

Baby Christians are Christians who are constantly loaded down with problems. They are always sick, or discouraged, or depressed, or offended, or confused, or upset, or worried, or fearful, or… These are those who take up 90% of the Elders’ time, strength and patience in most groups. You must constantly be praying for them, encouraging them, counseling them, delivering them, and lifting them up. These you will see answering every altar call, standing in every prayer line, always sitting in the chair in the center of the prayer circle, and following after every meeting or ministry where they may receive yet another “blessing” or “experience.” These have the victory when everything is going good, or when they are struck with some ecstatic experience such as “falling under the power” or receiving a personal word of prophecy. 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 folk? I will tell you! Their source of life is ON THE OUTSIDE! Being babes, they are not yet aware that all-sufficient, self-existent life dwells within them. They are unable to appropriate that life for themselves. Their senses have not been exercised to discern that He that IS IN THEM IS GREATER than he that is in the world. They have not yet developed to that place of maturity where they know Christ to be the substance of their inward life, their all-in-all, sufficient to conquer every enemy and transcend every problem within and without. And what a tragedy it is that so many preachers and churches keep their people perpetually on this baby level of existence by restricting their diet to “milk” and training their “babies” to continually look to the “pulpit” to be fed, healed, taught and blessed.

God is desirous of a people who come to know that they HAVE LIFE IN THEMSELVES! 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 Spirit. These are they who have discovered the river of life flowing from deep within their spirits, life full, abundant and victorious! They are never discouraged by any situation, not 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 needing to be encouraged themselves. They minister to many, but do not stop to “be ministered to.” They are not fearful, worried or confused. They don’t quit when the going gets rough. They do not tell you how “the old devil” has been after them all week! They don’t talk about their problems. They are not sad, sorrowful or downcast – regardless of what happens. 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 in the faithfulness and purposes of God, and “rejoice in expectation of the glory of God.” They always have the victory, are always positive, always rejoicing in the Lord.

What is the secret of these people’s victory? I will tell you! They HAVE LIFE IN THEMSELVES! Only one who has life in himself can be an overcomer. There was One who perfectly walked in this realm and He overcame ALL THINGS. Upon Him rested the fullness of the Spirit of Yahweh, the Spirit of self-existent life. Can you imagine Jesus, on the road to Samaria, sitting down on a rock and calling to Peter, James and John, saying, “Boys, I want you to come over here and pray for Me. I really need to be ministered to today, I need help. Ever since we left Galilee the old devil has really been after Me. This depression has hit Me and I want you to lay hands upon Me and rebuke this thing. I think it started last week when the Father showed Me that Judas is going to betray Me. I’ve been so upset ever since. Some other things have been bothering Me lately and this physical condition isn’t helping any. If I don’t get the victory soon I won’t be able to minister in Samaria, but I know it’s just the devil fighting Me!” Do you think the disciples ever had to encourage Jesus, or lay hands upon Him, or counsel Him, or rebuke the devil from Him, or minister to Him? Jesus said, “The Son of man CAME NOT TO BE MINISTERED UNTO, but to minister, and to give His life…” (Mat. 20:28). Jesus did not come to receive life for HE WAS LIFE. He did not come to receive life but TO GIVE LIFE. He HAD LIFE IN HIMSELF even as the Father had life in Himself. In that life was contained every element of victory, righteousness and power He could ever need. If He needed power the power was in the life which was within. This was a nature and a life that is not dependent upon anything without, for it is SELF-EXISTENT LIFE, a life not requiring sustenance, not derived from another; all-sufficient, unchanging life.

This is the life we have in Christ and which Christ is in us! Nothing brings greater joy to my spirit than seeing the members of Christ’s body coming unto this “measure of the stature of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST” and “growing up INTO HIM in ALL THINGS, which is the head, even Christ” that they “henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind” (Eph. 4:13-15). Oh that God’s people would seek Him until the Holy Spirit illumined their minds, giving them a mighty revelation of the glorious and eternal reality now abiding in the spirits of all who are born of God, even the indwelling Spirit of Yahweh, the Spirit of self-existent life!

Soon after John the Baptist was thrown into prison, Jesus left the country near Jerusalem with His disciples, and went toward Galilee, the province in the north. Between Judea in the south and Galilee in the north lay the land of Samaria, where the Samaritans lived, who hated the Jews. They worshipped the Lord as the Jews worshipped Him, but they had their own temple and their own priests. And they had their own scriptures, which was only the five books of Moses, for they would not read the other books of the Old Testament. The Jews and Samaritans would scarcely ever speak to each other, so great was the hatred between them. It was a long and tiring journey from Judea back to Galilee, and as He walked along the broad, hot valley floor of the ascent of Lemonah, Jesus would have seen the low-lying hills to the east and the gradually rising heights to the west. He would then come to Sychar, near the ruins of the ancient Shechem. And here, being much wearied from their journey, Jesus and his disciples paused to rest at the well at Sychar. This well had been dug by Jacob, the great father of the Israelites, many hundreds of years before. It was an old well then in the days of Jesus, and it is much older now, for the same well may be seen in that place still. Even now travelers may have a drink from Jacob’s well. It was early in the morning, about sunrise, when Jesus was sitting by Jacob’s well. He was very tired, for He had walked a long journey; He was hungry, and His disciples had gone to the village near at hand to buy food. He was thirsty, too; and as He looked into the well, He could see the water, a hundred feet below, but He had no rope with which to let down a jar to draw up some water to drink.

Just at this moment, through the shimmering haze, a Samaritan woman came to the well, with her water jar upon her head and her rope in her hand. Jesus looked at her, and in one glance read her soul and saw all her life. He knew that Jews did not often speak to Samaritans, but He said to her, “Please give me a drink.” The woman saw from His looks and His dress that He was a Jew, and she said to Him, “How is it that you, who are a Jew, ask drink of me, a Samaritan woman?” Jesus answered her, “If you know what God’s free gift is, and if you knew who it is that says to you, Give me a drink, you would ask Him to give you living water, and He would give it to you.”

You see, Jesus is saying, “You’re the one that needs the water, don’t you know that?” She responded by saying in so many words, “You don’t have a bucket. You don’t have a water pot.. How are you going to get water? Why, this well is deep, and how are you going to draw from this well? Have you got some water that doesn’t come from this well? Are you greater than our father Jacob?”

Then Jesus tells her a principle that she understands all too well in the natural. He said, “You’ve been drinking this water all your life, and you have to keep coming back every day. You know what a wearisome thing it is to walk back and forth through the heat and the dust with that water pot on your head. I do have some water, and if you drink of the water that I give you, you’ll never thirst again! Take a drink of this water and it will BECOME IN YOU AS A WELL!”

Jesus spoke to this woman of a truth more wonderful and glorious than the vast majority of Christians have ever grasped. How many of the Lord’s people still come to the well! How many of us still have our well, our water, our source of life – ON THE OUTSIDE! We are still trying to pray something down from heaven, or looking for some minister, or some meeting, or some prophet, or some healer, or some experience from which we can DRAW LIFE! And after all our running to and fro, from well to well, from water pot to water pot, we’re still thirsty! We’re still conscious of our need! So we keep looking for a well from which to draw to quench our thirst and meet our need. Some even think it is normal to always be thirsty, to ever be coming to the well, drinking again and again and again.

Oh, how “need” conscious are God’s children! Some years ago I was in a meeting and a brother expressed the mentality of the vast majority of Christians today. He asked the congregation, “How many have a need tonight?” Every hand in the building shot up. The brother continued, “If you don’t have a need, then you ought to!” How many of us have our center in our “needs”? The truth is that if you removed the saints’ “needs” from the average church meeting or prayer group, they wouldn’t know how to conduct the meeting! Most of our meetings are not conducted with a basic consciousness that WE ARE FILLED WITH GOD! I don’t want anyone to misunderstand me… I am not opposed to meetings! It is fitting that God’s people come together as a corporate expression of the body of Christ upon the earth. But most saints need a change in the direction, in the center in the meetings. Instead of coming as empty buckets we must come together as FLOWING RIVERS! We must remember that we ARE A NEW CREATION in Christ. If we come together as the old creation we will say: “We’re here tonight because we need God, we need a re-filling, we need a blessing.” But if we come as the New Creation, in Christ, in the spirit of sonship, we will say: “We’re here to express God!” Oh! what a difference!

Usually the preacher stands in the pulpit and says, “I hope you folks came to get a blessing tonight.” That is the highest expression of Christianity that most people know, but in all reality it’s NOT AN EXPRESSION AT ALL… it’s the cry of people who are hungry, thirsty, empty and void because they don’t know where the well is. They have no life in themselves, so they are always travailing, reaching out, grasping about, trying to find the well, hoping to draw another bucket of water to quench their thirsty souls. How many sincere Christians have been deceived by the false idea that the person who is the most spiritual is the person who is conscious of his great need. The one who tarries the longest, prays the loudest, travails and cries out to God the most. But I declare to you that this is not an expression of spirituality. This is an expression of SPIRITUAL POVERTY. It is the cry of babies. And it is alright for babes to cry! But not SONS.

We see these Christians coming to meetings all the time with their “buckets.” “Brother Eby, fill her up! I’ve got to have a whole lot. I’ve got some real tough problems to face this week and I’ve got to get enough to carry me through. Fill her up! I’ve got to have a ‘touch’ from God! Oh, I’m so hungry, so thirsty, help me!” Show me some saints that have the WELL ON THE INSIDE, that know it, and I’ll show you a people that you’ll never find talking about what they need. You’ll never hear them talking about how they need a touch from God! They are not centered in their needs. They are centered in HIS FULLNESS! How can one be conscious of his need, of the need of a touch from God, when a literal Niagara of Living Water is gushing forth from his innermost being! Now don’t misunderstand me! I don’t mean that these are never weak, or that they never have any problems. Certainly they do! But one thing they know quite well… the well, the source of life, the answer to the problem is not on the outside, its ON THE INSIDE! Glory to God! They never try to go to a meeting so they can “touch God,” or get a blessing, or get primed up or filled up so they can make it through the week. They don’t try to go over there and meet this brother so he can help them out of their difficulty. Not that that is wrong – for babes. I simply mean that when we KNOW THAT THE WELL IS ON THE INSIDE we’ll understand that what God is after is the expression of the well, the manifestation of the self-existent life of Yahweh, not our crying out to God in travail.

This is an hour when multitudes of believers are running to and fro, seeking signs and wonders. “Have you heard Evangelist so-and-so? Have you seen what God is doing through Brother so-and-so?” They run from city to city, from tent to tent, from crusade to crusade, seeking to see a miracle, seeking to hear something new. This mad rushing from here to there is, in itself, proof that they do not know within them the reality of the Christ who is all-in-all. They chase back and forth seeking signs to strengthen their wavering faith, to recharge their weak convictions, to liven their jaded spiritual appetites; because of their refusal to seek reality at the only place it can be found – deep within the Christ within. “The Kingdom of God is within you.” People seek to receive life from a source outside of their own reality. They believe if they run fast enough, travel far enough, hear enough evangelists, see enough gifts and signs and wonders, they will get healed, get blessed, get faith, get peace, get power, get whatever it is that they lack within themselves. That is what the Pharisees were trying to do. They did not know the power and wisdom of God for themselves, so they went about looking for outward signs that might convince them that Jesus was indeed the Christ; when this conviction could only come by the witness of the Spirit from within. Jesus says we, like the Pharisees, are seeking in the wrong place. We are seeking the kingdom, the faith, the power, the victory, from without, at the hand of some man, some “healer,” some miracle worker. But the kingdom is not without – it is “within you.”

When we run to and fro seeking inspiration and blessing from another, we are really trying to sponge off someone else’s consecration, ride on someone else’s ticket. And when the meeting is over and the evangelist gone, we are right back where we were before he came – weak and helpless before the attacks of the devil; because we have leaned on someone else’s strength and have not gained, by experience, some vital and lasting strength of our own. Paul saw this – it was apparent even in his day, and he prayed for the saints. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit IN THE INNER MAN; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God,” (Eph 3:14-19). Ah, precious friend of mine, the Kingdom of God is within you! The answer to your searching is THE INNER MAN – Christ in you the hope of glory. Not in any evangelist, teacher, miracle worker, apostle or prophet. They may encourage and confirm the work of God in you occasionally, but the permanent answer to all your need must abide right within you, or you are as a wave of the sea. What if all gatherings, meetings and crusades were banned? What if we were all alone in some condition of ruin and rejection, as was David? Will you have the victory? Will you walk in peace and joy and overcoming power? Will you overflow with wisdom, knowledge and revelation? Dearly beloved, I beseech you in the name of the Lord, to open your eyes to the mighty power of God at work in you, and to appropriate the fullness and completeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus shared with the Samaritan woman one of the most profound and blessed truths of the ages. He said that He has water to give you, and if you once drink this water, you can throw away your water pots, because this water becomes a mighty artesian well WITHIN YOU. As long as the well is on the outside, as long as our source of life is without, then we have to go to the well and get water to satisfy our thirst. And any time you have to go to the well to drink you are going to be thirsty again! And if you stay away from the well for very long you will become famished! So Jesus asked the woman, “How would you like to have the well on the inside? No more water pots, no more buckets, no more drawing, no more walking back and forth, no more thirst, no more effort and sweat.” Let me ask you, dear reader, What would you think if you had the well on the inside? This is what this thing of sonship is all about! It is the well on the inside: “Christ IN YOU the hope of glory.” Sonship, maturity, overcoming, perfection, the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ – all of this is found in that blessed realm where we know, experientially, that we do indeed HAVE LIFE IN OURSELVES even as the Father has life in Himself. This is the well on the inside!

This truth has been beautifully expressed by Ray Prinzing in these words: “Beloved, this is not the time to be drinking strange waters from another’s well. You cannot survive on a borrowed revelation, claiming their truth, speaking in terminology, and trying to walk in their vision. But this is the hour we need to turn to the CHRIST WITHIN, let HIM be our FLOWING SPRING, and we learn to drink from that water which He supplies within us. It is this Christ within us which has become the HOPE for all the glory which is yet to be revealed. And if ever there was a time when we need to cease wandering from city to city to find water (Amos 4:8), it is now. We need to learn to draw out of HIM who is within us, the waters of salvation which satisfy the thirsty soul. Know that as you yield to Him, not from without, but FROM WITHIN shall come that flow of water which shall sustain and refresh.

“God has certainly been stripping away all the props upon which we have leaned. He has taken away all those little faucets we used to visit for our drink. He who so graciously provided all the ‘oasis for refreshing’ along our pilgrim way now desires that we come directly to HIM, to find in HIM that wonderful and bountiful supply. HE is our CUP OF COLD WATER, He is our fountain of life.”

“He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (Jn. 7:38).

This is the well on the inside. This is LIFE WITHIN YOURSELF. This is the Spirit of Yahweh which rested upon the first-born Son. We can only move on into the full measure of THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD as we allow the reality of this first aspect to be fulfilled within us. Receive it, my friend!

 


Chapter 7

The Spirit Of Wisdom

“These things saith He that hath THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1)

“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the SPIRIT OF WISDOM and understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:2).

The second Spirit to rest upon the sons of God is the Spirit of wisdom. As the candlestick was seven branches yet one candlestick, so in like manner the seven Spirits of Sonship are one Spirit. As the rainbow round about the throne contained seven colors, yet was one bow, so also the seven Spirits of Sonship are one Spirit. As each color of the rainbow has its own manifestation and glory, so do the seven Spirits as they are given in God. How vital that we understand by divine revelation that wisdom is not a “thing” to be sought after, but as one of the seven Spirits of God wisdom is a LIVING PERSONALITY. How truly did Paul the apostle pen the words: “Unto them which are called, CHRIST (is) the power of God, and the WISDOM of God” (I Cor. 1:24). He then adds: “And of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us WISDOM” (I Cor. 1:30).

Hear now the declaration of Wisdom Personified in the person of Christ:

“I, Wisdom, have made prudence My dwelling, And I find out knowledge and discretion. I have counsel and sound knowledge, I have understanding, I have might and power. By Me kings reign and rulers decree justice. By Me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges and governors of earth. Riches and honor are with Me, enduring wealth, and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yes, than refined gold, And My increase than choice silver. The Lord formed and brought Me forth at the beginning of His way, Before His acts of old. I was inaugurated and ordained from everlasting, from the beginning, Before ever the earth existed. When there were no deeps, I was brought forth, When there were no fountains laden with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills I was brought forth; While as yet He had not made land, or the first of the dust of the earth. When He prepared the heavens, I (Wisdom) was there; When He drew a circle upon the face of the deep And stretched out the firmament over it, When He made firm the skies above, When He established the foundations of the deep, When He gave to the sea its limit And His decree that the waters should not transgress His command, When He appointed the foundations of the earth; Then I was beside Him as a master and director of the work: And I was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him always. Now therefore listen to Me, O YOU SONS; For blessed – happy, fortunate – are those WHO KEEP MY WAYS” (Prov. 8:12-32).

In this Personification of Wisdom it is unmistakably clear that the Living Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, IS the Wisdom of God. No man can possibly possess Divine Wisdom without first possessing Christ, any more than he can have eternal life without having received Jesus as Saviour. It is only the elect, those individuals who are born from above of the Spirit of God, who may become recipients of true Wisdom. Only those who are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and are sanctified by the indwelling Holy Spirit, and made righteous through the inner workings of the life of Christ, have such Divine Wisdom available to them. This is why Paul so exultingly cries: “Of God are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us WISDOM FROM GOD, both righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (I Cor. 1:30, R.V. marg.). Note carefully who it is that by God finds Christ made unto himself Wisdom. It is those who are “in Christ Jesus,” which is to say those who were chosen “in Him” before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4-5).

Jesus Christ is not only Lamb to purchase, and Priest to secure, but also Prophet and King to reveal to us the redemption and glory which God hath prepared for them that love Him. Just as at the creation the light was first called into existence, that in it all God’s other works might have their life and beauty, so in I Cor. 1:30 wisdom is mentioned first as the treasury in which are to be found the three precious gifts that follow – righteousness, sanctification and redemption. The life is the light of man; it is in revealing to us, and making us behold the glory of God in His own face, that Christ makes us partakers of the divine nature. He is made unto us wisdom. “In Him,” Paul wrote, “are hid all the treasures of WISDOM and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).

And of God YOU ARE IN HIM, and have but to abide in Him, to be made partaker of these treasures of wisdom. In Him you are, and in Him the wisdom is; dwelling in Him, you dwell in the very fountain of all light and glory; abiding in Him you have Christ the wisdom of God leading and energizing your whole spiritual life, communicating to you ever increasing measures of wisdom, knowledge and glory. It is this connection between what Christ has been made of God to us, and how we have it only as BEING IN HIM, that most of us must learn to better understand and appropriate. We shall thus see that all the realities prepared for us in Christ, as matured sons of God, cannot be obtained as special gifts in answer to prayer, or even by virtue of our faith, apart from the abiding in Him! We do not simply receive wisdom by the asking, through it is true we must ask, but the wisdom is channeled into us through our union with Christ. The answer to every prayer must come in the vital union and intimacy of fellowship in Him, for it is IN HIM, the unspeakable gift, that all other gifts are treasured up, the gift of wisdom and knowledge too.

THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD

The apostle Paul was so concerned that we might be corrupted from the simplicity of this wisdom of God in Christ that he wrote: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Cor. 11:3). When Paul says that the serpent “beguiled” Eve, the Greek reveals that he actually cheated her out of something, for the word used it EXAPATAO which is a compound of the Greek word EK which means “out” and APOTAO which means “to cheat.” Eve was, then, “cheated out” of something, being, as the Greek word indicates by virtue of its strength, “thoroughly deceived” or “sold short.” That out of which she was cheated was nothing else but the glory of God Himself which was available to her in Christ the Tree of Life. This is why it is now written of the human family, “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

In this connection a dear friend has written: “The means by which the serpent beguiled Eve and cheated her out of that glory which was her inheritance in Christ was through SUBTILTY. This word in the Greek is PANOURGIA meaning ‘craftiness, trickery and sophistry.’ The word ‘sophistry’ is most interesting since it is derived from the Greek word for wisdom – SOPHIA. Several English words come from the Greek word SOPHIA including ‘sophomore’ (wise fool), ‘sophistry’ (the art of deception through perverted logic), and ‘sophisticated’ (worldly wise). Each of these terms, you will note, speak of the kind of wisdom that appeals to the natural man, the carnal mind. This kind of wisdom is that of which Paul wrote: ‘Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain (I Cor. 3:18-20). In II Cor. 1:12 the wisdom of the world is called fleshly wisdom.

“The means by which the serpent, then, beguiled Eve was through subtlety – sophistry – the wisdom of this world – which is, according to Webster, ‘Reasoning that is superficially plausible but actually fallacious.’ It is, also, ‘the art of deception through perverted logic.’ What WAS the argument that the serpent used that sounded ‘superficially plausible’ but was, in fact, ‘perverted logic’? Hear it! “Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil’ (Gen. 3:4-5). There was a truth in that statement, for after the woman and the man had eaten, the Lord God Himself verified the serpent’s statement as being truth. ‘And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil’ (Gen 3:22). The Lord was saying that Adam had become as a god himself! ‘Ye shall be as gods,’ the serpent had said, and the truth of his words stand confirmed by the Almighty in these words: ‘The man is become as one of us’ – he has become AS A GOD!

“In FACT, then, the serpent had a truth. He had, in fact, employed the very Word of God Himself to tempt Adam and Eve, for the Lord had said, ‘Let us make man in our own image and after our own likeness’ (Gen 1:26). But what the serpent, in his sophistry (the art of deception through perverted logic), failed to reveal, was the WHOLE TRUTH… that INDEPENDENTLY OF GOD man can NEVER be a partaker of the divine nature! This should have been a self-evident truth, but man failed to see it. He was deceived by a FACT, a dead letter of the Word. He took the Word of God which had promised to make man in the image and likeness of God and received it as a dead-letter FACT, something attainable within himself, rather than as a LIFE obtainable only in UNION WITH GOD. And many of Adam’s descendants today have not learned the difference between FACT and TRUTH. Jesus never said, ‘Ye shall know the FACTS and the facts shall make you free.’ He said, ‘Ye shall know the TRUTH!’ Facts are only the FORM OF TRUTH, held by the carnal mind, in all true but containing no LIFE which comes from UNION WITH GOD. The letter KILLETH. Truth is LIFE. Truth is REALITY. Jesus said, ‘I AM the truth and the life.’ The serpent did not preach truth reality, he preached facts about truth. Facts apart from life. Form apart from essence. Dead doctrine of self-effort and presumption instead of participation through union with God. Thus, accepting the image and likeness of God as a fact, inherent within man, rather than as a life to be experienced in union with God, man was CHEATED OUT of the very thing he sought! In the former there is the thought of INDEPENDENCE, in the latter the principle of TOTAL DEPENDENCE. Though the terminology is the same – that is, ‘ye are gods’ – the essence is not. ‘The man is become AS one of us,’ but he did not become, in his independence and rebellion, an actual partaker of the divine nature and life of God. Man came into the knowledge of good and evil, but man did not BECOME HOLY. In fact, man became a partaker of the wisdom possessed by the serpent, the WISDOM OF THIS WORLD, sophistry. Man added evil to good and thus produced a mixture of the two, but in so doing he was cheated out of true god-hood which is only realized in union with God as partakers of the divine nature. The very mind, will and nature of the serpent became the mind, will and nature of man to such an extent that it is written of this fallen race that they walk ‘according to the course of THIS WORLD, according to the prince of the power of the air, the SPIRIT that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh… and were BY NATURE the children of wrath’ (Eph. 2:2-3). The ‘course of this world’ is after the ‘wisdom of this world.’ Of this wisdom James wrote: ‘This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, DEVILISH’ (James 3:15). The wisdom of this world is that same wisdom proclaimed by the serpent in Eden!”

To properly understand the "wisdom of this world" which is "foolishness with God" we must first understand what is meant by the "world." The Greek word for world is KOSMOS, which means system, arrangement, or organization. There are two things which have captured our attention, having been quickened for our consideration by the Spirit of God. These two are sin and the world. Because both are contrary to the Spirit of God, they must be dealt with and purged from all who would walk in sonship to God. However, the defilement of these two aspects differs. The contamination of sin is savage, hurtful and ugly, while the contamination of the world is cultured and refined, appealing to the intellect and the artistic in man. The contamination of sin is like dirty motor oil poured on a beautiful white wedding gown. But the contamination of the world is like a colorful pattern printed on white doth. From the human standpoint, a wedding gown with dirty motor oil splashed on it is considered filthy and undesirable, whereas a cloth with a colorful design is not dirty, but rather desirable. However, in the sight of God, BOTH ARE UNDESIRABLE! God's standard has always been neither a stained garment nor a colorful piece of cloth, but a pure white garment. "And to her was granted that she would be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints" (Rev. 19:8). "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment' (Rev. 3:5). Just as a dirty spot is not pure white, even so a colorful design detracts from the pure whiteness. Likewise, the world appears better than sin, but when compared with the divine nature, both are contaminating and require purging.

Furthermore, the effect of sin and the world upon man differ greatly: sin defiles and degrades man, whereas the world possesses man. It is just as serious for man's life to be controlled and dominated by the world as to be defiled by sin. If Satan only uses sin to contaminate man, he only causes man to be perverted and shamed, but if he uses the world to possess man, then man is alienated from God into a realm of ego-centric self-sufficiency and self-deception. Sin may be defined as an act of disobedience to God, while the world may be defined as man's organized system or kingdom by which he lives in independence from God.

A study of Genesis makes the difference apparent. Although Adam was corrupted by sin, he was still living in the presence of God. It is not until Genesis 4 that we read of Cain: "And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. . .and he builded a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch" (Gen. 4:16-17). This is most significant! "Nod" is the Hebrew word for exile or vagrancy. Thus, Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, away from the life of the Kingdom of God, away from his inheritance in God, into exile, to walk totally independent from God and outside of God. This "land of Nod" or condition of exile is stated to be "on the east of Eden." The Garden of Eden, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, was westward, but Cain travelled eastward. Adam was driven away from the Tree of Life, driven eastward (Gen. 3:24), and now Cain continues on yet farther in an eastward direction (as all the metaphysical religions do today!) away from even the presence of God. Oh, what spiritual realities lie hidden in these simple words of Holy Writ! The Word of God clearly reveals that the route of spiritual progression is from east to west. Jesus Christ, who is the wisdom of God, is pictured by the Psalmist as a bridegroom typified by the sun who comes out of his chamber to run a race through the heavens (Ps. 19:4-6). Malachi speaks of Christ as "the sun of righteousness, arising" (Mal. 4:2). Everyone knows, of course, that the "race" of the sun is run from east to west. The lightning referred to in Mat 24:27 is actually the sun, for the Greek word merely means a bright shining, and lightning, as we know, does not flash from east to west, having no specific design or direction. Thus, Jesus said, "For as the bright shining (sun) cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Cain, had it not been for sin, would have been living in the Garden of Eden, which typifies the Kingdom of Heaven on earth — man dwelling and walking and living in the economy of God, the Spirit. In spite of sin, he was still able to know the presence of God, which typifies the anointing. But now Cain is rejecting even the presence of God and moving in the opposite direction of the course of the anointing, moving further and further from the life of the Spirit. His final end is that of an exile, a vagrant, living on a territory not pertaining to him, not his true inheritance or possession. There, alienated from God, and severed from the anointing, the record states Cain dwelt. He settled there. He built there. How happy is the man who clearly understands that the pathway of the anointing is ever from glory to glory, and as long as we are short of the image and incorruptible life of God we must never settle anywhere! The very condition of settling precludes our re-entrance into the Paradise of God. The man who settles is lost from the on-going purposes of God. Those blessed ones who in this hour hear and heed the call to sonship cannot settle in any zone until they stand in holy splendor with the Lamb upon the pinnacle of Mount Zion in the heavenly sphere of life and glory and dominion. But men always settle when, following the spontaneous moving and revelation of God, they begin to organize and systematize it, building walls of formulated creeds and dogmas about it, endeavoring to preserve it, as though the almighty Spirit who gave the outpouring in the first place had never commanded, "leaving. . .let us GO ON to perfection!" Once the move of God is creedalized and organized those within its walls are nevermore free to follow the course of the anointing, or to walk with God in His on-going unfolding of His glory.

Sin began with Adam in the Garden, for Adam sinned and was corrupted by sin and overcome by death, but he did not fall into the world at that point, neither was he possessed by the world then. The word "world," as we have pointed out, translates the Greek word KOSMOS meaning order, arrangement, system of things. The world is a negative thing in relation to God. James declares, ". . .the friendship of the world is enmity with God, whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4). The apostle John adds his testimony, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1 John. 2:15-16). Many Christians have the mistaken notion that the world is the movie theater, the dance hall, stylish clothing, and such like. Others confuse the world with the earth. But the world is the present system of things upon this earth conceived by the carnal mind and generated by the natural man. The world consists of all that man has instituted that replaces God in his life. The present political, economic, educational and religious systems are not of God, but of the world. When people, activities, or things — whether good or bad, beautiful or ugly — enslave man and usurp God, they comprise the world. Anything that causes man to disregard the Spirit, be removed from the anointing, or be independent of God is the world. All that does not come from the Father, all that originates outside of the consciousness of God, all that man institutes by his own carnal wisdom and fleshly activity is of the world, and is contrary to the life, nature and ways of God. There is an interesting statement in Eph. 1:4. "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." The word "foundation" translates the Greek word KATABOLE which is a compound word made up of BALLO meaning "to cast, to throw" and KATA meaning "down." When man fell from his high and holy relationship with God and was cast down into the carnal realm of existence, the "foundation" of the world was laid in his heart and actions. But — blessed be God! The apostle Paul informs us that God the Father elected some sons in Christ "before the foundation of the world"! The word "before" translates the Greek word PRO meaning "to go before, to precede." Hence, the Father's act of choosing us in the Christ preceded the fall of man and the establishment of the world system. We are not told how many days, years or eons this choosing preceded the world, but methinks it was away back there when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy!

Since the world is in such opposition to God we must consider its origin and process of development. The world began with Cain. Cain built the first city — organized society, civilization — which typifies the worldly system of independence from the SPIRIT. The world did not exist when man was created (except in abstraction), but developed gradually after the fall, as man removed himself from the anointing and walked in his own carnal way. When man was brought forth from the formative hand of God there was already the universe, the heavens and the earth, and all created things; but the world did not exist. Following the fall, when unregenerated man began to multiply upon the earth the Serpent in man gave direction and character to the "New World Order" of man, thus the scripture speaks of the natural man as walking "according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the SPIRIT that now worketh IN the sons of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2).

There are three primary requirements for man's existence and well-being on earth: provision, protection, and pleasure. For man to live an abundant and fulfilled life in the earth realm he needs the provision of food, clothing, shelter, etc., a means of defense to protect himself from adversaries, and a form of recreation and amusement for his happiness. Prior to the fall GOD WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING THESE THREE NEEDS OF MAN, and they were supplied abundantly in the Garden of Eden experience. After Cain's departure from the anointing, the scripture describes him as "of that Wicked One" (I Jn. 3:12). The preposition "of" is in the Greek EK — "out of" — "Cain was OUT OF that Wicked One" — the seed of the Serpent! Out of the descendants of Cain were produced the founders of man's own system of supply for these three great needs of life. These were the three sons of Lamech. Jabal was the father of tent dwellers and cattlemen (Gen. 4:20). Tents and cattle are for the supply of man's living and therefore belong to the category of provision. In the beginning God intended that HE should be our provision and so made Himself available to man in the Tree of Life, that in union with Him we should have all things, even the supply of God Himself. Jabal represents man's own efforts, apart from the anointing, to make provision for himself. Spiritually, this symbolizes the carnal religious systems with their rituals, ceremonies, and ordinances designed to "feed" God into man. All religion is the invention of man in his effort to meet man's spiritual need — apart from the anointing! Alas! they understand not that the reality of God's life is not contained in, nor ministered through, doctrines, programs, rituals, ceremonies or ordinances. Those who live in that realm know nothing of the mighty power of the indwelling Christ of God. Man's religion is of the world, for it is outside of God, being not of the Spirit, nor by the anointing.

Another of Cain's sons, Jubal, was the father of all that handle the harp and organ. Playing harp and organ is for pleasure and inspiration and thus pertains to the category of pleasure. This worldly aspect is fulfilled, spiritually, in the maze of social activity in religion, as well as in much of the music, programs, and sermonizing, all of which is designed to be pleasant, acceptable and entertaining to the people. I personally have little use for most of the concerts, programs, and pulpit showmanship which constitute much of the so-called "ministry" among God's people today, for it is, without doubt, very appealing to the carnal mind which is ever wont to feed upon soulish entertainment rather than with reverential awe and holy brokenness to drink at the fountains of living water from the throne of God. I am convinced that our faithful heavenly Father has given the ministry of the blessed spirit of Truth for the perfecting of the saints, whereas the worldly church system has given us a veritable smorgasbord of religious shows for the entertaining of the saints. Most solemnly do I declare unto you that all such ARE OF THE WORLD, and not of the Father, for their methods and means are outside of the anointing of the Spirit and can never lead God's people beyond the husks of man's own vanity. Thank God! a people is arising who are finding their way out of Cain's pleasure land of entertainment and sentimentality, back to the Paradise of God, back to the Tree of Life, where they partake deeply of this sublime truth: ". . . in Thy presence is fullness of Joy, at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore!" (Ps. 16:11).

The third son, Tubal-Cain, was the instructor of every artificer in brass and iron instruments. These instruments were formed for the purpose of defense, thus referring to the category of protection. Ignorant of the power and sufficiency of the indwelling Spirit, with what pompousness do the religious systems construct about them their walls and implements of defense! Church history is replete with examples of revival after revival in which men were sovereignly caught up into heavenly places of glory and power, only to have man put his hand of flesh upon the workings of God, to control, protect and preserve it, as though the omnipotent Spirit needed man's useless wisdom and regulations to preserve His mighty work! Out there in Cain's world you must have the earthly bronze and iron implements of Tubal-Cain — the implements of organization, denomination, creed, coverings, fellowships, rules, regulations, boards, etc., to defend and preserve the work; but, blessed be God! as one moves westward into the anointing of God's presence and life the omnipotence of the indwelling Spirit Himself becomes our fortress and exceeding strong tower! With what deep comprehension of the ways of the Lord did the Psalmist pen the words of faith in the power of God alone when he wrote, "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, 0 Lord, in the light of Thy countenance. For THOU art the glory of their strength: and in Thy favor shall our horn be exalted. For THE LORD IS OUR DEFENSE; and the Holy One of Israel is our King" (Ps. 89:15-18).

In these three important inventions of the sons of Cain man found within himself the answer to his need of supply, defense and amusement. Man found no need of God, of the anointing, for he set about to establish his own world, independent of God. This was the civilization produced after mankind departed from the presence of God — a godless life created by men. This present world system of things is patterned after the order of Cain. It is all outside of God. That does not mean that it is all evil. It simply is not of the Spirit! How clear that in this earth the politics, economics, education and religion is outside of God! When we have learned how the world was formed, it is easy to define the world. Originally, man was in the family of God, lived by God, relied entirely upon Him, and had at his disposal ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD. Now the Serpent, through subtlety, sophistry, the carnal mind, the wisdom of this world, has systematized the world to replace God in being all to man. Man, having forsaken his inheritance, having departed from the presence, and having lost the anointing relied upon the world and was overcome by the world. Therefore, the world consists of everything that replaces God and possesses man.

Cain built a city — as did Nimrod after him. "And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch" (Gen. 4: 17). There was no city in Eden, no fleshly system, no carnal arrangement of things. Not system, but LIFE! I wish to speak with utmost solemnity here. Throughout the centuries the religious systems have accumulated a great number of traditions, rites, ordinances, methods, institutions and practices, each of them supplanting something of the pureness and freshness and glory of the SPIRIT. These things have become so universal in the churches of the world, and in the lives of their members, that there is no thought of ever being able to "run" the church and its business without them! Generation after generation, people have been raised up from childhood in this atmosphere and have absolutely no knowledge of anything else or another way. It never even enters the minds of these people that THE CHRIST WITHIN is the Head of the church, the life of the church, and the whole sufficiency for the church, its people, its work, and its needs. Each church must be constantly creating new plans, programs and activities to keep the people busy "doing something". The idea is to keep the people busy and to keep up the interest, so that they may be kept in that church. In the church world such a church is known as a "lively" church, and the pastor is known as one of the "successful" pastors. Spirituality has little, if anything, to do with it, for the whole group, including the so-called pastor and church leader, is simply a natural body of people, carrying on what they imagine is a church.

He who makes God's house of living stones depend on mere outward forms; he who confounds Truth with the shibboleths of sects and denominations, or the usurpation of preachers, builds upon the baseless and shifting sands. The true and eternal church depends solely on the presence of Christ. Sweep away from your spiritual walk as much as you will the infinite cobwebs which the ambition and the ignorance of men have spun for centuries over the surface of the faith. Fling to the four winds the voluntary humility and all the vain deceits, traditions, and ordinances, which, like those of the Pharisees, are but "weak and beggarly elements." It is not the form but the essence which constitutes true religion. Christ knew nothing of external paraphernalia, and those who follow the Lamb know nothing of it either. Distinguish between the flickering shadows of outward symbols and the verities of eternal life. Distinguish between the valueless injunctions of touch not, taste not, handle not, and the divine nature which produces love, joy, peace, righteousness of heart, and all the fruit of the Spirit. The Kingdom of God standeth not on food and drink, but in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. You will not find Christ by following the sects and self-promoting ministries who shout with anathemas, “Lo, He is here!” or “Lo, He is there!” but if you faithfully walk with the Christ you will discover that He is within you. Seek truth and you will find it, because God is the God of truth. If you desire heaven you must win it; for heaven is the realm of the Spirit and a state of being, not a place. No preacher can give it to you; no ritual can give it to you; no creed or message can give it to you; no mere ordinances of men can open its doors for you so much as a single inch. You must find it by forsaking the world and self, and all the carnal religious exercises of the world, to hear the quickening voice of the Spirit, to walk after the Spirit. The home and heaven of God is within you, precious friend of mine, for you are the temple of the living God, as God hath said. Apart from this, all else is but fringes and phylacteries. If, by the aid of God’s Holy Spirit, you have discovered the King and the Kingdom which is within you, though all parties excommunicate you, and all priests and preachers anathematize you, nothing can harm you; and when you pass from the babble of the world’s malediction, and the falsehoods of erring religion, and have passed through the portals of Eden, and scaled the heights of Mount Zion, clear and high for you shall peal the eternal verdict, “This is My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased!”

The world today has its own religious dictionary of definitions of “God” and “Spirit” and “Church” and they think and speak in the frame work of those definitions. But GOD SPEAKS A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE and has a different dictionary of definitions by which He speaks to His people and according to which He works. If all the multiplied practices and methods employed by the churches today were suddenly swept away, it would in all probability cease to function. If the churches had to drop all their rituals, forms, programs and ceremonies; all their confirmations, baptisms, and communion services; all their special singing, organ music, and altar calls, they would feel as though they had been stripped naked and could not serve God in any way. All this simply demonstrates the terrible fact that the faith and dependence of the churches is not in God, but is in the trappings they have accumulated to themselves throughout the centuries. The thought that God is perfectly able and fully willing to run His church without the aid of anything in the way of fleshly contributions, is found to be abhorrent to the average church member.

God's true church, in contrast to the false religious system of Babylon, has never been contaminated by the world. You may be assured, my beloved, that the Father has faithfully answered the prayer of Jesus, "And now I come to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify (separate) them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth” (Jn. 17:13-17). There is a little flock, there is a body of Christ, but its members are scattered abroad and almost invisible to the great Babylon. They are the seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal, and they are the called and chosen and faithful who follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth. They are those who have turned to God, the Spirit, and to wait for the glory that is revealed as the sons of God come into their own. They are those who have not the form, but the power of god-likeness, those who keep themselves unspotted from the world, and overcome all things by the faith of the Son of God within. Its ministers are not robed in material robes of scarlet and gold; they are robed in the righteousness of Christ. They are not trained in the seminaries and teachings of men, but by the spirit of grace and wisdom and revelation from God on High. They are not busy interpreting or parroting the doctrines of the church systems; their very lives are the interpretation of the Christ enthroned within their hearts. They have no interest in persuading people of what they believe; their whole ministry is to bring people into intimacy of fellowship and vital union with GOD and His CHRIST. In other words, GOD IS SUFFICIENT for this church He has place in the world of men! Because God is sufficient, because the Christ within is All-in-all, this church is left entirely free from all carnal encumbrances to pursue the work God has given it of developing those elect ones so that the church may be the revelation of God’s manifold wisdom to all the principalities and powers of the celestial realms, and the hope of all creation for deliverance and restoration to the Kingdom of God. Let all who treasure the call to sonship know once and for all that CHRIST WITHIN I-S S-U-F-F-I-C-I-E-N-T! All else is —the world!

The truth that is set like a diamond in the pages of God's Word is the absolute and total sufficiency of the Christ within. To say that the Christ Himself is not sufficient for our whole life as sons of the Most High, that the indwelling spirit of life is not enough, that there is something the outer man must do to add to, supplement, or improve on what He is within us is an insult to God and a blasphemy against our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet we see men doing this on every hand. The carnal mind is never able to take God at His word! It continually seeks to initiate some additional actions or services on the natural plane to take the place of pure spiritual reality.

When Jesus came in the flesh, He came into a world steeped in religion. He came into a condition brought about by centuries of teaching the law and the rites and sacrifices of the temple worship. Into this had been woven the traditions of the elders, an accumulation of those same centuries. It had come to include also even the washing of pots and cups, together with ceremonies of washing of hands before eating and a multitude of other practices imposed upon the people by their leaders. The temple in the city of Jerusalem was the symbol of all this to the people. Their whole life revolved around that building and the rites and sacrifices the priests offered in it. It was the sacred spot of the nation and of all Jews wherever they were in the world. Every Jew had that one desire to go to Jerusalem and worship. This system of religion was imbedded in the lives of the people, and had been for long centuries. It had become a part of their life and they endured it all with the hope perennial within their hearts that some day the Messiah would come and lift not only this yoke, but that of the Roman empire as well. But when the Messiah came, they did not recognize Him. For here was all this great mass of law, ritual and Pharisaical teaching and tradition, while the Messiah was but an unknown man, of almost unknown origin. Jesus brought a new and revolutionary way of life. It was a way of believing, and not a way of doing. It was faith in the Christ and right relationship with God and did not consist in the doing of anything, or the keeping of external observances. It was simplicity in the highest degree, set up against organized worship of the highest degree. The revolutionary way of life which Jesus brought to the people was in exact and complete opposition to the bondage under which the people now found themselves.

The people were constantly taught and instructed that they must observe all the things the priests and Pharisees told them, or they would perish. Jesus came into their midst and said that all those things would do them absolutely no good whatever, but if they wanted life they should come unto Him and drink — merely by believing into Him! He was placing the Christ and faith in the Christ against all the accumulated tradition of the nation. He was assuring them that they would NOT LOSE A SINGLE THING by coming unto Him, and casting all else away from them. And they would gain life. But who could hear such a thing in the day of Christ. In fact Jesus Himself said that no man could come unto Him, except the Father who had sent Him, would draw that man. It is just as true today! Ah, beloved, if you were to go into any church on any Sunday and say to the people, "If you will cast aside all your form, all of your traditions, all of your rituals, all of your ordinances, all of your cherished and time-honored creeds, all of your solemn assemblies, all of your myriad activities, all of your committees, and SIMPLY COME UNTO THE CHRIST AND BELIEVE INTO HIM AND DRINK OF H-I-M, YOU WILL LOSE NOTHING, but you will gain the glorious and eternal reality of God forevermore," what kind of reception would you receive? You would actually be asking the people to give up everything they are doing and all the things they have been given by their ministers and church orders with which to serve and worship God — exchanging it all for GOD ALONE. What an unbearable burden it would be for the people to be REDUCED TO GOD, to possess nothing but GOD HIMSELF! You would find this an almost impossible thing to accomplish. Truly Christ has been usurped by the world'

Dr. Kennedy has well written: “There is nothing the world prides itself more on than its vaunted wisdom. Having confused sophistication for wisdom and knowledge with understanding, the wisdom of this world looks condescendingly upon those who believe in the living God, as somehow being obscurantist’s of sorts. It holds itself forth to be the very epitome of wisdom. Yet the Scripture says that God has made the wisdom of this world to be foolishness. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” I am afraid that many people may not really believe that He has, because oftentimes even Christians are impressed or intimidated by the apparent wisdom of the world. A closer look, I believe, would reveal that, as always, God’s Word standeth sure. Let us therefore take a look today at the wisdom of this world.

“Wisdom supposedly reached a pinnacle in the golden age of Greek philosophy. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle brought to light vast stores of knowledge which the world had not hitherto known. In fact, it was said that Aristotle knew all there was to know about all that there was. An incredible statement indeed! Yet, their writings have done little to regenerate mankind and ameliorate the woes and burdens and problems of men. How many today find their lives enabled and guided by the great works of these luminaries of the ancient world? Have you been guided this week or this year by the writings of these supposedly greatest of the wise of this world?

“More recently, several hundred years ago, we were supposedly introducing the Age of Reason. The Age of Faith (or superstition, as it was mockingly described) was past and now there was to be ushered into the world this wonderful age of wisdom. In 1789 that age of wisdom broke forth in the French Revolution and a naked woman, the goddess of wisdom, was placed on the altar at Notre Dame in Paris. Ah, but were these the golden days that were to be ushered in? No, I am afraid that they were bloody days and years. The guillotine, like some huge monster, consumed its victims until the streets of Paris ran with blood, and that Age of Reason became a very unreasonable and frightening and terrible time.” – end quote.

Some day historians will look upon the 20th (and the 21st!) century as part of the Dark Ages. Oh, we think we are enlightened! Did not the 20th century see great strides in medicine, transportation, communication? Undoubtedly. But mere knowledge and technology is not enlightenment. Our age has probably less understanding of the basic, eternal truths that bear on man’s life and being than all preceding ages. The 20th century indeed saw a “knowledge of explosion.” But technical knowledge is not enlightenment. It is not surprising that the 20th century should rather conceitedly think of itself as enlightened. To a great degree, our age has substituted technology for character, and technology is something the 20th century did well. The 20th century gave us word processing machines, computer information networks, cable television and cheap calculators. It also gave us a drug epidemic, unprecedented crime, chemical weapons, hydrogen bombs, Hitler, communism and two world wars! Technology, without character, is no blessing. How true the Bible is when it declares, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God…” (I Cor. 3:19).

There are many species of insanity. All sin is insanity, in different degrees. The carnal mind is an insane mind given wholly to destructive delusions. The natural man is mentally ill beyond comprehension. The carnal mind is spared from this classification in our world, only because the vast majority of the inmates in this vast asylum called 'society' is equally mad and in consonance with the delusion. There is a universal insanity of the so-called 'wisdom' of this world, but the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God—the Spirit. The mortal, sinful, sick, warring, confused, sorrowing, imperfect, carnal children of men are counterfeits, to be laid aside for the pure reality—man in the image of God. This mortal, this deranged mind of old Adam, must be put off, and the new man or real man, the sane man in the precious mind of Christ must be put on.

I will close this article with these penetrating words of wisdom from the pen of Paul Mueller: “I am persuaded that the hour is upon us when the Lord is giving His elect divine wisdom, knowledge and understanding that we might know the hope of our calling, and the great glories of the limitless expanse of the kingdom of God. Seldom do I begin a day without asking the Lord for wisdom, knowledge and understanding. (James 1:5) Wisdom above and beyond the wisdom of the past is desperately needed in this crucial hour of time. It should now be our immediate and primary desire to see Paul’s prayer fulfilled in our lives: that we might be given a spirit of wisdom from God, to have an intimate knowledge of Him, and to have our understanding enlightened to know the hope of our high calling, and the riches of His inheritance in us, as well as the mighty power of God that is operating in us, which is the same omnipotent power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of the Father, far above all other dominion.

“Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding is coming forth from the Lord’s heavenly, spiritual tabernacle. The wise man, Solomon, said, ‘For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.’ (Pro. 2:6-7, see verses 10:17) True Life is attained by wisdom and understanding, as we read, ‘Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.’ (Pro. 3:13, 18) ‘Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.’ (Pro. 4:5-7) The wisdom of God is certainly needed at this time of the interim as we approach the wonders of the blessed age of the kingdom of God. And he is speaking forth His wisdom to all who will hear. Therefore, we will open our hearts to the wisdom of God that is coming from His heavenly sanctuary.

           “The wisdom that is from above is in direct contrast to the wisdom of man expressed in the church system. Let us then cut our ties to the teachings of the Babylon system. Let go the shore-line, and launch out into the deep. It is time to partake of the wonders of the Lord’s truth that is reserved for those who love Him. The Lord did not call us out of religious Babylon that we might maintain the status-quo, and to continue to walk in that limited realm. He called us out that He might lead us onward and upward to greater heights of spiritual experience. He called us out that we might ascend in the Spirit. (Rev. 4:1) He called us out that we might receive all His truth which leads to the fullness of His Life.” – end quote.

 


Chapter 8

The Spirit of Wisdom (continued)

“These things saith He that hath THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1)

“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the SPIRIT OF WISDOM and understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:2).

The second of the seven Spirits to rest upon the sons of God is the Spirit of wisdom. As the candlestick was seven branches yet one candlestick, so in like manner the seven Spirits of Sonship are one Spirit. As the rainbow round about the throne contained seven colors, yet was one bow, so also the seven Spirits of Sonship are one Spirit. As each color of the rainbow has its own manifestation and glory, so do the seven Spirits as they are given in fullness to the sons of God, producing in them the image of Christ and the fullness of God. How vital that we understand by divine revelation that wisdom is not a “thing” to be sought after, but as one of the seven Spirits of God wisdom is a LIVING PERSONALITY. How truly did Paul the apostle pen the words: “Unto them which are called, CHRIST (is) the power of God, and the WISDOM of God” (I Cor. 1:24). He then adds: “And of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us WISDOM” (I Cor. 1:30).

In my experience with the Lord’s people I have known many who would give all that they have in exchange for a great gift or ministry of power, but it is seldom that men covet wisdom. Yet “wisdom is the principal thing.” Is better than rubies and more to be desired than fine gold. Fools despise wisdom and instruction but the Lord layeth up sound wisdom for the upright. Therefore let wisdom enter into thine heart. Happy is the man that findeth it, for he shall receive favor of the Lord. If you make wisdom your sister, understanding will be thy kinswoman. If you exalt her (wisdom), she will promote you, and if you embrace her, she will bring you honor. Wisdom is a crown of glory to your head and an ornament of grace about your neck, but the fear of the Lord is the very foundation of wisdom.

God has made Christ to be our wisdom. I Cor. 1:30. In Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Col. 2:3. Because they are hidden in Him, then it is impossible to find them anywhere else except in Him. The natural man never understands the things of the Spirit of God. They appear foolishness to him, for he does not dwell in Christ, but in the world. There is one wisdom from beneath and another wisdom from above. The first is of the earth earthy: the second is of the Lord from heaven. They are as opposite as day and night. In fact, they are the day and the night.

The apostle Paul had learned a wonderful thing when he came to the Corinthians, saying, “When I came to you, I came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom declaring unto you the testimony of God, for I determined to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified; and my speech was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and power.” He knew, too, that Jesus Christ was God’s wisdom.

Oh, to know that God gives nothing apart from Jesus Christ! He does not give you wisdom. He gives you Christ and in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom. How eloquent then were the words of Paul: “Let this mind dwell in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” for the mind that dwelt in Christ Jesus was the Father’s mind, the mind that holds within its omniscient greatness every secret of the universe whether terrestrial, sidereal, or celestial, secrets which He Himself had made and hidden within the greatness of His own mind to be shared by those who let His mind dwell in them. How inexhaustible God’s resources of wisdom and knowledge are! How unfathomable His decisions, how untraceable His ways!

Should all the things of wisdom be written that should be written, they would fill not only the pages of this tiny book but the world and the universe as well. The day utters God’s wisdom; the night showeth His understanding. When unlearned and ignorant men have been with Jesus, all men take note of them. Neither can they resist the wisdom and understanding with which they speak, for the Lord has made Him to be the wisdom of God, and all who dwell in Him dwell in wisdom. Without question a man could study all his life concerning the wisdom of God and, though he might marvel at it, yet he could not possess it, for wisdom is not a thing to be learned, but wisdom is a living person, and that person is Jesus Christ the Lord.

There is a truth enunciated by the apostle Paul in I Cor. 1:26-29 that should hold us spellbound once we grasp its meaning. The statement is very simple and, like so many profound truths, it is easily missed, going completely unnoticed. But you, O people of God, partakers of the heavenly calling and sharers together with Christ Jesus in the sonship for which all creation groans, should give continual meditation and consideration to these words. Paul, having stated that Christ is both the wisdom and power of God, and that the FOOLISHNESS OF GOD is wiser than men and the WEAKNESS OF GOD stronger than men, says, "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the FOOLISH THINGS of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the WEAK things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and BASE things of the world, and things which are DESPISED, hath God chosen, yea, and things which ARE NOT, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence."

There are five powerful ministries listed in this remarkable passage—a FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY. Many men have aspired to be a part of God's great five-fold ministry set forth in Eph. 4:11. Who wouldn't covet the ministry of an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, a pastor or teacher? The world has been turned up-side down by such ministries! But the five-fold ministry revealed in I Cor. 1:27-28 has nothing to do with these ministries at all. Rather, it is what I have termed GOD'S FOOLISH FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY. These five ministries are just as real and far more powerful, effective and far-reaching than the more popular five-fold ministry. The five ministries mentioned in Eph. 4:11 are exclusively for the body of Christ, for the perfecting of the saints, but the five superlative ministries set forth in I Cor. 1:27-28 are universal in scope, Kingdom in character, subduing all things unto God. This powerful and effective five-fold ministry shakes empires off their hinges, subdues kingdoms, confounds the wisdom of the mighty, and brings to naught all the things that are. All those blessed ones apprehended to sonship will share in this invincible ministry. In spite of their surpassing glory and irresistible power we do not desire them, but they come to us just as .surely as day follows night. They come to us unannounced and unsolicited. None of us would invite these God-ordained ministries to come our way! But God in His great wisdom and unsearchable ways sends them to us that we may know Him as He is and learn the strange but wonderful WAYS OF HIS KINGDOM. Now that we see how important and powerful these ministries are, let me present them to you:

(1) foolish things
(2) weak things
(3) base things
(4) despised things
(5) things which are not

We need not look to the great men of this age, nor yet to the esteemed religious leaders of this age, nor the wise men after the corrupt wisdom of this age to be the ones who will bear the government of the Kingdom of God in the age and ages to come.

Seeing, then, that God has rejected the wisdom and power and honor of this world and its vain system and has chosen instead a people that the wisdom of the world considers foolish, stupid, weak and of no account, we should readily see that divine wisdom has chosen those who for His name are despised, who glory not in the wisdom of men, but who glory in the hidden wisdom of God revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption, according as it is written, "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (I Cor. 1:31).

It is interesting to note that the word FOOLISH is from the Greek word MOROS meaning "dull, stupid, heedless, blockhead, absurd." Furthermore, this Greek word is the word from which we get our English word MORON. Ah—God has chosen a company of dull, stupid, nit-witted, heedless, absurd, moronic blockheads (by this world's standards!) to confound the irrational wise ones of this world's system! The word CONFOUND means "to put to shame or disgrace." Well did Ray Prinzing write: "God hath chosen what the world calls foolish, to confound the world's wisdom. Among all the descriptive phrases used by Paul, one especially stands out, when he says, 'and base things...' The Greek word for 'base' used here is: AGENES. The letter 'a' when placed in front of a word, reverses its meaning, either from negative to positive, or from positive to negative. Here it is in the latter case, and it provides for us this thought: God is going to have the ones who have boasted in their 'genes' as of royal lineage, to be confounded by those of ignoble, or common birth. Not many mighty, not many noble, are called. Thank God for those that are—but they soon learn that they have nothing to boast of in the natural, for it is only HIS LIFE IN US that is of real value. And HE can take the weakest, and the basest, and use them to BRING TO NOUGHT, to make useless, to down-idle, the things wherein men once trusted" –end quote.

There is absolutely no need for any of us to try to search out the ways, means and methods that God employs to bring His purposes to pass. For God has declared and written that He will destroy the wisdom of the wise and will even bring to nothing the wisdom of the prudent. And, as we have seen, the FOOLISHNESS of God, is WISER than men. Or this thing that appears to be so foolish to the carnal mind (the Christ and His work) is actually the WISDOM OF GOD. Not a great many wise men, after the flesh, are called of God. They are left to follow the plan prescribed for them, and in God's due time and according to His plan, they will be brought to a knowledge of God. Their wisdom, which is nothing but foolishness, will drop from them, light will shine upon their path and they will be brought to understand at last what true wisdom is.

"For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God" (II Cor. 13:4). "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13). In becoming WEAK IN HIM, brought to obedience unto the death of His cross, we are also brought to the end of our self-life, in its carnality, perverted consciousness, distorted understanding, and deceptive illusion. But rather than being destroyed by this process, there is a new and glorious living by the power of God out of our own reality of SPIRIT-LIFE. There is a revelation in weakness that few have comprehended. The purpose is to magnify the supremacy of the SPIRIT, the power of the divine life released through us, while discouraging completely the strength, wisdom, and reality of the OUTER MAN.

In the physical universe we have the example of the atom. The tremendous power which we fear in our world is not the flow of great rivers or the floods which they cause. It is not the might of the tide as it pushes the millions of tons of water forward and then draws them back again. It is not the flash of the lightning or the crack of the thunder. It is something so small that we cannot see it. It is the atom which we fear, and it is the atom which has the unlimited power to blow the world apart. What would seem to be the weakest thing in the world is in reality an unbelievably powerful force. So it is that God in His dealing with humanity uses, not the great spectacular things which worldly rulers use, but the insignificant things which men despise.

One of the unique workings of God in the earth is that He has always delighted to use small instances to launch mighty movements. Divine wisdom has never been particular about the condition or position from which He selects His privileged sons who were to change the ages. God has His failures. His Kingdom cannot do without them. These failures are His men and women of promise, weak in themselves and the wisdom of this world, often walking the way of defeat, failure, humiliation, and resignation—unto glory. Did God choose ancient Israel because they were more or better or stronger than anybody else? If you had to choose a people to lead the rest of the world you probably would select the greatest and strongest on earth. But that is not how God works. Almighty God, in His infinite wisdom, works JUST THE OPPOSITE. God is the great miracle worker. He makes something out of nothing, and somebodies out of nobodies.

Pharaoh thought that by slaying all the Hebrew male infants in Egypt that he could further oppress the people of God, but the very edict he sent forth opened the door for little Moses to slip right into his own house and be raised as his own son, finally overthrowing his throne and scattering the Egyptian tyrant and his armies upon the rocky depths of the Red Sea. Thus was the wisdom of Egypt confounded. Ah, the weak things! What was weaker than Moses' rod? God sent Moses against the mightiest empire of the world. Egypt then ruled the world. When Moses was wanted for God's service he was found on the back side of a mountain feeding sheep. God found him with just a shepherd's stick, and said, "What is that thou hast in thy hand?" and he answered, "A rod," and God said, "Throw it on the ground," and when he had done so it became a serpent, and Moses was afraid of it, but God said, "Take it by the tail," and he trusted God and took it by the tail, and it became a rod again. He stretched that rod over Egypt ten times, and ten times the heavens parted and God sent judgment on that people. With that rod he smote the waters of the Red Sea and they parted. With that rod he struck Jacob's rock at Horeb, and a vast Mississippi River sprang forth, enough for three and a half million famished souls, and all with flocks and herds. God chose the WEAK THINGS.

God chooses the foolish things. It must have seemed very foolish to the people of Jericho for the army of God, 600,000 men, to march around Jericho with no weapons but ram's horns! Think of it. What artillery! What cannonading can they do? To the military wiseacres this was worse than nonsense; but still the 600,000 men marched and did nothing but blow ram's horns until the time came to shout, and when they shouted the echo of their shout was answered by the roar and crash of the falling walls of the doomed city. The thing that seemed foolish proved the greatest triumph possible.

The Lord spoke to, and dealt with Gideon so encouragingly, when he was hidden in the winepress beating out wheat. The angel saluted him with: "Yahweh is with thee, thou mighty man of valor." Gideon did not appear to be either a mighty man or a man of valor, for he was hidden away for fear of the enemy. But it was not anything in Gideon that made him mighty; it was because of the Mighty One in the midst of him. And the Lord led him on until His gentleness made Gideon great, and he really became a mighty man of valor. How preciously God woos us on; and as we yield that He may work in us, He ascribes to us the fruit of His own working upon and within us, for HE IS MIGHTY IN US. What could be weaker than Gideon's three hundred, and what were their weapons? Nothing but lamps and pitchers, and the lamps would not shine until the pitchers were broken. The earthen pitcher represents the majority of believers today whose consciousness of their identity in the outer flesh-life has never been smashed to pieces by the inward power of the Holy Spirit. But when the pitchers were broken the inner light shone out with such brilliance that three hundred men with NOTHING BUT LIGHT were enough to scatter the hosts of the enemy and give victory. If our military generals are going to fight a battle they would want more men than that. But when God wants to fight a battle He delights in getting hold of the SMALLEST THING HE CAN FIND. He knew how to tumble a cake of barley-meal down into the camp of the Midianites, and have it confuse them so that they fell to slaying themselves, and the victory was the Lord's. In like manner ONE WORD from the realm of SPIRIT is enough to confuse and put to flight all the forces of sin, sickness, sorrow and death from the carnal mind.

What was weaker than David's sling? It was just such a sling as any boy could make. David slipped down to the brook and picked up five stones, and gained a victory for God that all the army of Israel had failed to gain. Oh yes, God not only uses the foolish things, and the despised things, He also uses the ARE NOTS to bring to naught the things that are. Years after the slaying of Goliath David gathered around him 400 men who have been called DAVID'S MIGHTY MEN. But just who were these "mighty men"? These were the men out of Israel who were in distress, in debt, misfits, and discontented. They were a motley crew of FAILURES! But David under the leadership of the Holy Spirit took that weak and base and despised army and made them expert in war.

Note how rare it is that a prophet ever comes forth from the ranks of privilege in either Church or State. Your mighty Elisha comes from the plough; it is seldom that he comes from the conventional school of the prophets. It seemed very foolish for Jesus in choosing disciples to ignore Jerusalem with the Sanhedrin and all its culture. There was no shortage of trained religious professionals to choose from—priests, scribes, lawyers, Pharisees, and Sadducees—but Jesus bypassed them all for a group of nobodies. How strange—to the natural man—that He ignored RomeRome that ruled the world, and was in the height of her splendor! The Son of God goes down to the shores of Galilee and gets twelve men. Here comes a young, unheard-of itinerant preacher from Nazareth, the "place of no good thing." He has only a collection of bedraggled, uneducated, untutored, unschooled, unlettered, unsophisticated men around Him who smell of fish. This is His corporate board of directors. Yet He claims it is going to triumph over Rome! When the hour arrived for Jesus to inaugurate His Church, the Pastor (Jesus Himself) was being executed between two thieves. The chairman of the board (Peter) was out cursing and swearing that he had never even met the Master. The treasurer (Judas) was committing suicide after embezzling funds. Most of the rest of the board members (the apostles) had run away. A few ladies from the Women's Fellowship were about the only ones who showed much faithfulness. Talk about a bunch of "ARE NOTS"! Shortly thereafter He leaves His followers with an assignment to preach the Word of His Kingdom in the uttermost parts of the earth. Little did those simple fishermen know that their work would one day extend to Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Lagos, London, and even Moscow! But when He had chosen them and filled them with fire out of the skies, the wisdom of this world was not able to resist the power with which they spake. "Foolish things" hath God chosen! "It pleased God," Augustine beautifully says, "in His infinite mercy, to save philosophers by means of fishermen, and not fishermen by means of philosophers."

What was ever so weak as Christ? "He was crucified through weakness" (II Cor. 13:4). When God said, "Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness, and let them have dominion," it seems that God made a mistake. When He lowered that man into this gross material realm, made of dirt, of the dust of the ground, and formed him with the kind of human body we have, flesh and blood, soul and body, with all the appetites, desires and weaknesses we have, all the frailty, all the ability for twisting, warping, and spoiling things, when He created us like that and then thought that in such a physical, human, natural, earth-made body HIS IMAGE COULD BE MANIFESTED, it seems that God was mistaken. Could that human creature limited like us, rule the world, and judge angels, and subdue and control all the unbounded heavens unto the unlimited vastnesses of infinity? So God said, I will invade humanity and come down in the person of My Son, limit Myself to a human, physical body just like man has, with all its appetites, hunger, weakness, sorrow and death, and I will demonstrate the character, the life, the love, and the power of God on the human level. THE INCARNATION WAS GOD MANIFESTING HIMSELF WITHIN THE LIMITATION OF A HUMAN BODY. Christ could not fly like a bird, He could not see further than anybody else, He could not run faster than the other young men in His day, He got as tired as anybody else, He got hungry and thirsty, fell asleep, they could spit on Him and finally kill Him. Yet in Jesus Christ you have the perfect expression of God and the demonstration of the ultimate triumph of THE SPIRIT over all the weakness of the flesh.

What is the importance of God in Christ Jesus? It means that the Spirit of God, the Son of God, the inner man, God Himself, can live and express Himself in a physical human body. When God invaded humanity in the body of Jesus Christ, took upon Himself human nature and limitation, was made in the likeness, not of glorified flesh, but of sinful flesh, and for thirty-three and a half years lived, walked, slept, and died in that body, manifesting God in the scope of humanity, it meant that God can by His Spirit of life within you, my beloved, live in these human bodies of ours, living in us, loving in us, reigning in us, speaking in us, blessing in us, and manifesting Himself in the absolute fullness of His Godhead. Being mocked, God was living in Him. Asleep in the back of a boat, God was living in Him. He goes to a tree and finds nothing on it, and God is living in Him. When He was weary, persecuted, hated, spit upon, nailed to the cross, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.

Do you see what God did? He made it possible for Himself to be at home in human bodies. "The tabernacle of God is with MAN" (Rev. 21:3). Not with angels, with man. "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (Jn. 1:14). The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you," is the inspired admonition (Col. 3:16). This is not God in Jesus, this is God in YOU! That is not just a figure of speech, in your physical body is the tabernacle, the dwelling place of the eternal God. In man dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. "That you might be filled with ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD" (Eph. 3:19). God demonstrated this will of God for all mankind in the person of Jesus Christ, GOD manifest in the flesh. "The Father and I will... make our abode—be at home—with you" (Jn. 14:23). "Abode" means not to be a visitor but to settle down, without conflict. The SPIRIT will abide with you forever, so that the mind of the Spirit flows through your mind normally and naturally. The word of God shall flow out of your mouth normally and naturally. It seems some so-called prophecy cannot come forth unless the speaker starts to shake or change his tone of voice. Don't you know that God was speaking through Jesus all the time?

It is a wonder when we think of the method that God used to accomplish the redemption. It was not that He appeared as some blazing flame of fire from the heavens. No! He came as "a little tiny baby thing that made His mother cry." God in swaddling clothes! A wonder indeed to behold! God as a teenager, God as a carpenter, God as the wandering peasant preacher who proclaimed a new message which startled men. Everywhere He went He caused people to wonder, "What manner of man is this?" In one moment He is wearily lying in the back of a ship and in the next He says, "Peace, be still," and the waves cease their roaring and the winds die at His command. "What manner of man is this?" "Whence hath He these things, seeing that He never learned?" Here the wisest man that ever lived astounds the doctors and the lawyers and the theologians with the depth and profundity of His wisdom. It is a wonder by the principle on which it operates, a principle which is so foreign to anything we know in this world. It is a principle which most people have never even dimly grasped—that God is Spirit, that God tabernacles in human flesh, that man is basically spiritual, not physical, that we can live out of the Spirit so that out of the greatest weakness is revealed the greatest strength, God manifest in the flesh! It is the principle that GOD HATH CHOSEN THE FOOLISH, WEAK, BASE, AND DESPISED THINGS of the world to confound the wisdom of the wise and the power of the mighty.

The meaning of the incarnation is that God could drink out of a bottle if Jesus drank out of a bottle, God in Him learned to crawl before He learned to walk, God learned a language and stumbled over the words before He got it straight, for God limited Himself to the limitation of man that He might increase in man to the unlimited capacity of the Spirit. When God dwells in us and Christ is living in us, it is not something foreign that has invaded us. Paul did not say, "For me to be spiritual and shake and fall out under the power is Christ." He said, "For me to LIVE is Christ" (Phil. 1:21). Living for Paul did not mean those supernatural moments when he was seeing visions and hearing voices and being caught up into the third heaven. It meant for Paul to walk from one town to another on the dusty streets with Christ walking in him and as him. It was for Paul to sew tents, with Christ making tents through him. It was speaking to people and manifesting the love of God, with Christ manifesting that love through him. THE LIVING OF HIS LIFE WAS CHRIST. So now God can be at home in us, without any strangeness or abnormality. God can live in us, manifest His life in us in the office, in the shop, in the home, in every relationship of life. At all times, in all places, under all circumstances it is God manifest in the flesh, the Spirit living out through the soul and body. As one brother said, "I drive my car in the Spirit—if you don't believe it you should see the spirit some people drive their cars in!"

As great as was the mighty apostle Paul, yet he said that he was the "chief of sinners," the "off scouring of all things," "contemptible" in the eyes of so many, "for they say, His letters are weighty and impressive and forceful and telling, but his personality and bodily presence are weak, and his speech and delivery are utterly contemptible of no account" (II Cor. 10:10). It should not surprise us that those whom the Lord has chosen and is preparing to PROMOTE to the highest rank for His own pre-deter-mined purposes will be those that seem most unlikely and unfit for such a "high calling" according to human estimates and values. And it should not seem strange to us that God has deliberately chosen for the firstfruits company of the sons of God, those typified by Jacob the schemer and trickster, by Joseph misunderstood, hated, sold into slavery and condemned to years of misery and oblivion in an Egyptian dungeon, by David the young shepherd boy, who was the least likely candidate for becoming king amongst his seven brothers, by the dark-skinned Shulamite maiden (a native shepherdess) of the Song of Solomon, who was so dark and uncomely and common, of peasantry rather than royalty! I do not hesitate to tell you that those precious saints who walk in the Spirit, love the truth and embrace the promises—who by any religious standards would be voted the most UNLIKELY TO SUCCEED in any spiritual endeavor—will in fact be God's Kings and Priests for the age and the ages to come!

The following words penned by George Hawtin add a dimension of fullness to the truth I now share. "Thus is the door of sonship SLAMMED SHUT in the face of the rich, the mighty, the famous, and the great, but OPENED WIDE to the poor, the humble, and the unknown. 'For He hath shown strength with His arm; He hath SCATTERED THE PROUD in the imagination of his heart. He hath PUT DOWN THE MIGHTY from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath FILLED THE HUNGRY with good things, and THE RICH He hath sent EMPTY AWAY' (Lk. 1:51-53). Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are they that mourn, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the peacemakers, and blessed are the persecuted, for they shall be called God's sons and they shall be the children of the Kingdom of God. Is it any wonder then that those mighty shall be ashamed who come saying, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name done MANY WONDERFUL WORKS,' for they shall hear Him say, 'I NEVER KNEW YOU!' It is a sadness to my heart that the world today is filled with such men. You hear them and see them everywhere. They clamor to be rich and honored of men, but they shall be ashamed. Let the humble who have faithfully prayed, suffered persecution, been misunderstood and unnoticed as they cast their mite into the treasury of the Lord, rejoice, for HE HATH REGARDED THE LOWLY ESTATE of His handmaiden, and the rich He hath sent away empty" –end quote.

As we approach the more excellent ministry of the sons of God and that greater glory of the age of the Kingdom of God, I must confess that in the face of my own weakness and the seeming insignificance of those elect of God scattered across the face of the earth today I feel a bit like the little boy in a story I heard one time. The little boy called at a house selling picture post cards for a dime a piece. He was asked what he was going to do with the money he was earning. He said, "I'm raising $100,000 for our new school building." The startled customer replied, "Do you expect to raise it all by yourself?" He answered with a straight and serious face, "Oh, no sir. There's another little boy helping me."

Brother, sister, do you feel neglected, unnoticed, unhonored, unseen, and unsung? Do you seem to those who know you, as being a little peculiar, as one who certainly isn't doing much for God—separated from all the religious activities, soul saving crusades, not involved with the great and grandiose programs of the church systems of the. world? Surely you are judged as having little or nothing, for your strong foundations, laid down during a long period of processing, are hardly noticeable to those who pass by. "Nevertheless THE FOUNDATION OF GOD STANDETH SURE, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His!" (II Tim. 2:19). As someone has written, "You may be so unlearned that you cannot recite the alphabet, so unwise that you could not make one right decision, so weak that all men would oppress you, and so dishonored that none would associate with you, but if your spirit has beheld these things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, then you have attained a wisdom which this world knoweth not. God did not choose you because you were better or greater than someone else, but because God chose you and ordained you that He might commit unto you the word of reconciliation for the age to come when all men, through the ministry of God's sons, shall be brought to the fullness of the knowledge of God. There was nothing in us that we deserved to be chosen. The God of Jerusalem said to her, 'Thy birth and thy nativity is in the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee...' (Eze. 16:3-5). We were chosen rather for weakness than for strength and for our foolishness rather than our wisdom, for GOD HAS CHOSEN the weak things to confound the mighty and foolish things to confound the wise, and things which are not to bring to naught the things that are that no FLESH should glory in His presence."

Welcome, my beloved, to GOD'S FOOLISH FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY!

THE WISDOM OF GOD

In 1 Cor. 2:4-15 Paul contrasts the spirit of the world and the Spirit of God. “My preaching was not in persuasive words of MAN’S WISDOM, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the WISDOM OF MEN, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak WISDOM among the perfect: yet a wisdom not of this world; but we speak GOD’S WISDOM in a mystery, even the WISDOM that hath been hidden, which none of the princes of this world knoweth. But unto us God revealed it through the Spirit. But we received, not the spirit which is of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things… of God; which things also we speak, not in the word which MAN’S WISDOM teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth.”

The point in which the contrast specially comes out is in the area of wisdom. It was in seeking wisdom that man fell. “And when the woman saw that the tree was… a tree to be desired to make one WISE, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat” (Gen. 3:6). It was in the pride of wisdom that heathenism had its origin; “professing themselves to be WISE, they became fools” (Rom. 1:22). It was in wisdom, philosophy, and the search after truth, that the Greeks sought their glory. It was in the knowledge of God’s will, “the FORM of the knowledge and of the truth of the law” (Rom. 2:17-20) that the Jew made his boast. And yet when Christ, the WISDOM OF GOD, appeared on the earth, Jew and Greek combined to reject Him. Man’s wisdom, whether in possession of a revelation or not, is utterly insufficient for comprehending God or His wisdom. As his heart is alienated from God, so his mind is darkened that he cannot know Him aright. Even when in Christ the light of God in its Divine wisdom and love shone upon men, they knew it not, and saw no beauty in it.

As the Son of man, Jesus had within Him the Spirit of wisdom. How did it manifest itself? In His waiting to hear what the Father spake. “Morning by morning He wakeneth mine ear to hear, as they are taught” (Isa. 50:4). Perfect teachableness was the mark of the first-born Son on earth. This is the mark of the Spirit in all sons. “What things so ever He shall hear, these shall He speak.” The life is the light; as the Spirit finds our life in perfect obedience to Him, He teaches by what He works in us. “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.” This work begins within us.

There are two stages of wisdom revealed in the life of Jesus. The first stage is His growth in wisdom, experienced in childhood. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him” (Lk. 2:40,52). This was the area of wisdom in which we are presently being exercised in our walk as sons. In order to have a hearing ear for the wisdom that cometh from above, a yielded condition of heart is necessary. We must possess humility, else we will think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. We must see this above all – Christ must be made unto us WISDOM. Through the unveiling of His mind within we must see the wisdom of making a full consecration to the will of the Father, and the wisdom of following up that consecration in a life of daily sanctification, to the doing of the Father’s will. In every step we take wisdom is the principle thing; and all through the life of consecration and processing, at every step of the journey to Mount Zion, we must receive the wisdom that cometh from above, which the apostle describes – “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). The wisdom of this world operates along lines of selfishness, self-will, self-esteem, self-righteousness, self-sufficiency; and, as the apostle points out, these things lead to bitter envying and strife, because this wisdom, instead of being from above, is “earthly, sensual, devilish.” The heavenly wisdom, on the contrary, is in harmony with the divine nature of God, the nature of LOVE, mercy and truth. In this wisdom we must grow, as did Jesus.

The wisdom of God is not for spiritual infants, even though His children, but for those who have gotten past the “plan of salvation” stage and the “baptism in the Spirit” stage and gone on to maturity in Christ the Wisdom of God. In his letter to the carnal Christians of Corinth Paul speaks of the spiritual infancy of those pathetic believers who were still arguing baptism and boasting gifts! Their tragic condition was based on the fact that they were still in the nursing stage of spiritual babyhood, playing with basic doctrines and manifestations instead of giving themselves to growing up into Christ the Wisdom of God. As one reads the epistle to the Hebrews he discovers that the Jewish Christians were having the same problem of spiritual infancy, rather than going on in God that they might be perfected in wisdom. Frankly, much of the spiritual immaturity that is rampant among God’s people today is due to the fact that their church services are used as a time to “reach the lost for Christ” or for the saints to “get a blessing” when they should be functioning unto the edification of the saints “till we all come… unto a PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST.” In most churches the believers are still eating baby food which, although good for babies, will never bring one child of God unto sonship. People who attend churches that labor “the plan of salvation” for “water baptism” or even “the baptism in the Spirit” week after week are forcing themselves to be stunted midgets, shutting themselves up from the high and holy purposes of God, and placing themselves in a position where they can never gain Divine Wisdom, since this kind of wisdom is gained only through the deep and vital dealings of God with His sons. You will never progress in the Spirit beyond the realm you are content to dwell on in your fellowship, for your life-flow will be on that level.

George Hawtin testified to the truth of these things in the following words: “Paul begins to introduce a further wisdom. It is the wisdom that comes by spiritual revelation and can be imparted only to those who are coming to perfection and who walk in humility with Christ. It is not for the proud nor the scornful, nor is it for any kind of public display. ‘Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.’ Verses 6-8. Here is an exceedingly great truth. Here is wisdom which the world has never learned; neither can they ever know it or learn it. Furthermore we must confess that the wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory is a wisdom which only a handful of Christians ever come to know. So many Christians are like little children playing with their toys. They become so involved with their activities, their doctrine, their experiences, their joys and sorrows that they never become acquainted with the eternal wisdom which God ordained for us before the world was. The things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man are never revealed to them, because they are inclined to imagine that they know all there is to know and understand all there is to understand. Because they say, ‘We see,’ therefore they remain blind.”

THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM

The second stage in Divine Wisdom is the absolute fullness of wisdom received by Jesus when He was anointed as a Son, at the time of His baptism at Jordan, receiving the Spirit of God without measure, even the seven-fold Spirit of Sonship. These seven Spirits, significantly, are revealed in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. Thus the age of the book of Revelation is the age of the seven Spirits, and this is the day in which we are now living. Praise God for the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation! It is entirely different from all other books. In Matthew there are a number of quotations from the Old Testament. In John, the Acts, Romans, Hebrews, and many other books there are also many quotations. But here in the book of Revelation, a book of twenty-two chapters, we cannot find one Old Testament quotation. It is altogether a new book – everything is new! It is a revelation from the Throne! It is a book of Ultimates!

In this book is revealed a new name (nature), a new song (revelation, message), a new Jerusalem (people), a new heaven (government), a new earth (order), and finally it is proclaimed, “Behold, I make A-L-L T-H-I-N-G-S NEW!” (Rev. 21:5). Hallelujah! The whole purpose of God in this book is to declare the eternal passing of all that is of the old, and the establishment of ALL THAT IS NEW.

Then what is here? The seven Spirits! There is a Lamb with seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God. The Lamb has seven horns, which are the seven Spirits of God. Before the throne are seven lamps of fire, which are the seven Spirits of God. Around the throne is a rainbow of seven colors, which are the seven Spirits of God. We only see the Lamb upon the throne with the seven-fold intensified Spirit! That is all. All the utterances of this book are made by the seven-fold Spirit and all reveal that which is entirely new and fresh. There is nothing old, nothing dead; everything is spoken by the living Spirit in a new and living way!

In addition, every utterance to the body of Christ in this book is the utterance of the seven-fold Spirit. It is always the Spirit who is speaking! “Yea, saith the Spirit” (14:13). “He that hath an ear, let him hear WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH to the Churches” (2:7). Seven times in chapters 2 and 3 we read that it is the Spirit who is speaking to the churches. How different from the prophecies of the prophets who prophesied, “Yea, My people, thus saith the Lord…” How different from the utterances of the apostles in the Epistles. The Epistles say, “This I (Paul) say” (I Cor. 7:6), or “I (Peter) exhort” (I Pet. 5:1) etc. Here in the book of Revelation it never says, “Thus saith the Lord,” or “This I say,” etc. Rather, it says, “the Spirit saith, the SPIRIT saith, the S-P-I-R-I-T saith!” This very same sentence with the same phraseology repeated SEVEN TIMES: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.” Why is this repeated seven times? Because of the seven-fold Spirit! He who hears the seven-fold Spirit will be an overcomer. He who overcomes will be a son. He who is a son shall inherit all things. He who inherits all things received the seven Spirits of God. Hallelujah!

Because the seven-fold Spirit is bestowed upon the overcomers, eventually the entire book is concluded in this way: “And the Spirit and the bride say…” (22:17). We read in the beginning of this book that the Spirit is speaking to the churches. But by the end of the book the Spirit and the Bride have BECOME ONE – they speak together. The Spirit and the Bride in this verse are a compound subject. The two have been compounded – the two have become one. Glory to God! The overcomers are one with the seven Spirits, and the seven Spirits have been fully inworked into the overcomers. This is God’s goal! This is the ultimate consummation of His eternal purpose!

“And to enlighten all men and make plain to them what is the plan of the mystery kept hidden through the ages and concealed until now in the mind of God Who created all things by Jesus Christ. The purpose is that through the church the complicated, many-sided WISDOM OF GOD in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities in the heavenly sphere. This is in accordance with the terms of the eternal and timeless purpose which He has realized and carried into effect, in the person of Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph 3:9-11, Amplified Bible).

As a diamond cutter concentrates on the precious stone to bring out its hidden beauty, so God concentrates on us to prepare us in wisdom for the governing of the world when the time is ripe for it. Alexander the Great was a remarkable man. In his early thirties he finished conquering most of the then known world. The story is told that while conquering Asia Minor he came to the city of Gordian where a wise man had knotted a rope. Legend has it that whoever could untie the knot would rule all of Asia. Many had tried to untie the knot, but all had failed. Alexander tried too, and growing frustrated, he drew his sword and cut through the knot, exclaiming: “It is loosed!” This legend illustrates the way rulers of the earth function. Rulers use both wisdom and power to do their work. Too often they are short of wisdom and power, the sharp edge of the sword is used to overcome their failure. God’s Kingdom comes differently. Perfect in power and wisdom, God sets His sons upon the throne, those blessed ones who have put on the wisdom of the mind of Christ. The mind of God frustrates the wisdom of the world and defeats the power of the sword. Although nations rage against God and powerful men denounce His Christ, even now Jesus reigns over the kingdoms – while the Alexanders, Caesars, Emperors, Prime Ministers and Presidents, who depend on their swords, die and are forgotten.

In this connection Paul Mueller has shared some precious insights: “Each of these seven Spirits of sonship are Spirits of God which make up that ONE SPIRIT OF GOD. It will help our understanding if we realize that in each of these seven Spirits of God, our Father is giving us MORE OF HIMSELF. When He anoints us with THE SPIRIT OF THE WISDOM OF THE LORD, He is giving us of HIS WISDOM, that we might function in the kingdom WITH ALL OF HIS WISDOM at our disposal. How blessed we are in knowing that we shall not govern or rule with Christ with the very limited resources of our own wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord, but in each case the Lord is imparting THE FULNESS OF HIS ATTRIBUTES to us that we might govern righteously and in peace and justice. Without these SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD, we would be no better off than the confused leaders of the present world order who have to depend on their limited wisdom and understanding. But we shall possess all the fullness of God when we are anointed with the seven Spirits of sonship.

“The wise man Solomon said, ‘WISDOM IS THE PRINCIPAL THING; THEREFORE GET WISDOM.’ (Pro. 4:7)  Solomon is considered to be the wisest man the world has known. A study of Solomon’s life begins with a most wonderful statement concerning him: ‘And Solomon LOVED THE LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father.’ Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and said to him, ‘Ask what I shall give thee.’ Solomon then remembered his father David, and the Lord’s mercies that were given him, and said to the Lord, ‘..thou has made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant AN UNDERSTANDING HEART to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great people?’ (I Ki. 3:3-14)  I wonder how many of us in our present carnal and corruptible state would not have rather asked for riches and honor, power, authority, long life, and lives of our enemies, and for the power of a great army  to enforce our will upon the people. But Solomon asked for none of these. The Lord was very pleased with Solomon’s request, and said to him: ‘Because thou has asked this thing, and has not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but has asked for thyself UNDERSTANDING to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

“How wonderful is this account of Solomon’s blessing! He could have asked for riches and honor, and would possibly have received it, but undoubtedly he would not have had the stability of the kingdom that comes with wisdom. ‘WISDOM IS THE PRINCIPAL THING, THEREFORE GET WISDOM.’ ‘And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding EXCEEDING MUCH, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men.’ (I Ki. 4:29-31)  If any of us think that we are fully prepared to rule and reign with Christ, we know nothing yet as we ought. We must yet be anointed with the seven Spirits of God to partake of THE WISDOM OF THE LORD that we might govern righteously. When Solomon asked for wisdom, he was asking for that very thing which is the key to all else. With wisdom Solomon obtained both riches and honor, as well as a kingdom second to none in all the earth at that time. Read the book of Proverbs, and you will discover the vast treasures of wisdom and understanding. The wise man said, “FOR THE LORD GIVETH WISDOM: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto they soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, .. she is A TREE OF LIFE to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is everyone that retaineth her. The Lord BY WISDOM hath founded the earth… My son, let not them (wisdom, knowledge, understanding) depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: so shall they be LIFE UNTO THY SOUL, and grace to thy neck.’ (Pro. 2 & 3)

“The wisdom of Solomon was greater than that of all the other kings, exceeding the wisdom of all the children of the east country and of Egypt. The wisdom of God made him wiser than all men, including the scientists and scholars of his day. (I Ki. 4:29-34)  The wisdom Solomon received from God brought joy and happiness to the whole realm. (2 Chro. 9:1-7)  Won’t it be a glad day when the wisdom of the mind of Christ brings joy where now there is confusion, sorrow and distress.

“Let us know assuredly that this SPIRIT OF WISDOM is not an anointing of the Lord upon our own wisdom, but the Spirit of wisdom is an impartation of God’s wisdom. Your wisdom and mine, whether anointed or not, is not capable of kingdom leadership and righteous judgment. Therefore, it must be all of God’s wisdom, and nothing less than that. Only the wisdom of God will rectify this old, sin-cursed, war-torn world and set things right again. By the wisdom of the Almighty the nations shall learn war no more, the governments of man shall diminish and the throne of Christ exalted. And by His wisdom the anointed, glorified Body of Christ shall send forth the law and the word of the Lord unto righteousness and justice.

“Solomon’s kingdom was a model government given to Israel as an example of the reign of Christ during the kingdom age. Solomon was king over all Israel and ‘Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry. And Solomon reigned OVER ALL KINGDOMS from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.’ (I Ki. 4:1, 20-21)  The scripture then goes on to detail Solomon’s daily provisions which were numerous. Then, we are again informed of the extent of Solomon’s dominion, ‘over ALL THE KINGS on this side the river: and he had PEACE ON ALL SIDES round about him. And Judah and Israel DWELT SAFELY, EVERY MAN UNDER HIS VINE AND UNDER HIS FIG TREE, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.’ Of the abundance of peace during Solomon’s reign, the scriptures further state: ‘But now the Lord my God hath given me REST ON EVERY SIDE, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurent.’ (I Ki. 5:4)  By the wisdom of God, Solomon was blessed with peace on all sides, with blessings and prosperity for all Israel, and divine wisdom ushered in an era of unprecedented peace so that there was not one evil incident in all of Solomon’s reign. And this is typical of the reign of Christ with His saints in the kingdom.

“Not only was there peace in all the world during Solomon’s reign with prosperity and other blessings evident, but there was also the worship of the true God among all Israel. And so great was the blessings of the Lord upon Solomon that he built his famous temple in fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to David. This vast temple which he built is also typical of the Body of Christ during the coming age of the kingdom of God. That temple which Solomon built was constructed of ‘costly stones, even great stones,’ hewed stones ‘made ready before it was brought’ to the temple site ‘so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool heard in the house, while it was in building.’ (I Ki. 6:7)  Even so today, the house of the Lord, which is HIS BODY, is being built of costly, hewed stones, great stones that have been a lifetime in the making. These are the lively stones of individuals, men and women whose lives have been set apart unto the Lord for a great and high purpose. They are being hewed, formed and fashioned, being made ready before they are brought together so that there is not the sound of a tool amongst them. This is indeed a hidden work of the Spirit, and when the Body of Christ is fully formed and fashioned after the likeness of Christ, every member shall come together in perfect harmony and order, each one fitting in their respective places. Indeed, we find the entire pattern of the kingdom given in the example of Solomon’s reign. And when this ‘building’ is completed, the heavenly ‘ark’ shall be installed in its place and the great glory of the Lord shall fill the house. (Haggai 2:6-9)  The house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains and many people shall flow into it. The Lord shall judge among many people, and they shall be taught the law and the word of the Lord. Every man shall enjoy the prosperity of the kingdom of God, for every man shall sit ‘under his vine and fig tree,’ and nations shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, and they shall learn war no more.

 “We would encourage all our readers to study carefully the book of Proverbs which contains the divine wisdom given to Solomon. Meditate on the wisdom therein and ask the Lord to impart His wisdom which is surely needful for all who will be His kingdom administrators in the age to come.

“Aside from the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Solomon’s Song, which seem to be written by Solomon, we also have the writing called, ‘The Wisdom of Solomon’, found in the Apocrypha, the section of books between the Old and New Testaments in some Bibles. The word ‘Apocrypha’ means hidden or secret and is not generally considered part of The Canon of Scripture, although we believe the Apocrypha, as well as other historical writings, are of some value to us all.

 “We would like to quote portions of ‘The Wisdom of Solomon’ and trust the Holy Spirit to impart the truth to each one as He so desires. Solomon said, ‘Wherefore I prayed, and understanding was given me: I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her before scepters and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her. For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore can no defiled thing fall into her. For she is privy to the mysteries of the knowledge of God, and a lover of his works. Moreover by the means of her I shall obtain immortality, and leave behind me an everlasting memorial to them that come after me. Now when I considered these things in myself, and pondered them in my heart, how that to be allied unto wisdom is immortality; And great pleasure it is to have her friendship.’

“Oh that all the Lord’s people might be anointed with the spirit of wisdom wherewith Solomon was anointed! Then we would understand the mysteries of God, and would see in her the pathway to immortality. Notice also that the spirit of wisdom is one of the seven spirits of the anointing of Christ. The first of the seven spirits of God is ‘the spirit of the Lord,’ followed by ‘the spirit of wisdom.’ (Is. 11:2)  Thus, the Lord would anoint His sons with the same seven-fold anointing with which Christ was anointed, and the spirit of wisdom is that which is to come at this time, for by the means of her, immortality shall be obtained. To be allied unto wisdom is immortality, and her friendship is great pleasure.

“Therefore, all who are among the called and chosen of the Lord will cherish the spirit of wisdom, and will seek for her early. Wisdom will instruct them in the way of the Lord, making them of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord. This elect company will then be clothed upon with the righteousness of Christ, which is immortality, thus fitting them to be honorable judges of the earth to administer His kingdom in the spirit of Christ, thereby ushering in an era of peace and blessings unprecedented, filling the earth with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Is. 11)” – end quote

WISDOM’S SEVEN PILLARS

Someone has said that wisdom is not just gaining a lot of spiritual facts, and then applying them to various situations to gain a victorious result. Wonderful as that may be, we find that wisdom is three-fold. Wisdom is an ATTITUDE, a CONDITION, and a PERSON. I declare to you what the Word of God declares that “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom.” I declare to you what the Word declares: “Wisdom hath builded her house” (Prov. 9:1). As you look at the words you say, “I wonder how Wisdom built her House?” Then you read, “She hath hewn out Seven Pillars” (Prov. 9:1). When you look at that, you say, “Oh, I should like to know what these Pillars are.” I would like to tell you that I know, and I am going to tell you today what these Seven Pillars are. It is not left to my opinion; nor is it left to my guessing; nor is it left to my human intellect to tell you what these Seven Pillars are. Here they are set forth by the apostle James: “The wisdom that is from above is first pure” (James 3:17). Purity is the central column, just as the Spirit of Yahweh is the central shaft in that lamp stand which is the seven Spirits of God. Purity is the Pillar that God has hewn out. “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). If you will count them, there are just Seven Pillars in the House of Wisdom. The central Pillar is purity. Then comes Peace. The next is Gentleness. The next Pillar is the attribute of being “Easy to be Entreated.” The other Pillars are Mercy, Good Fruits, Without Partiality, and Without Hypocrisy.

There are the Seven Pillars, and it took a great many ages to hew them out; but they were there all the time. I hail the House of Wisdom, and in the center I see the majestic Pillar of Purity all spotless and glorious. Although the others are resplendent in all the colors, and are graceful and beautiful, yet white is the combination of all the colors. If you have a prism and put it where the white light of the sun strikes one of its faces, the light is divided into every color in the rainbow. It takes every color to make white light. The peaceableness and gentleness, and the ease with the heart of the Father may be approached, and the life that is full of mercy and good fruits, and the beautiful Pillar of impartiality, and the splendid Pillar of honesty without hypocrisy, are the gorgeous colors which go to make up the unblemished white of Purity. “The pure in heart shall see God.” The wisdom which is from above is first PURE – that is, it is not mixed with human reasoning, nor warped with pre-conceived ideas, doctrines, philosophies, superstitions, myths, and traditions of men.

Next, the wisdom that is from above is PEACEABLE – there is no warfare or contention, it does not stir up strife and agitation, or make trouble. There is abundance of strife in the world on every level, and it comes not from the wisdom of God but from man’s rejection of His wisdom. Ray Prizing has prudently pointed out, “If you feel you have received a revelation – a word of wisdom – a truth from above, and you want to recite to me of those facts and thoughts which you have concerning it all, and then if I do not agree with you, and you immediately become contentious and argumentative on why I should believe what you say, then my first question is – if you claim your wisdom is from above, then why is it not peaceable? Why do you have to fight for it? The noteworthy condition of this wisdom from above is its peaceableness! God reveals it to you, it becomes a vital part of your being, it is your life, and you don’t have to fight for it, for it IS what it IS, and it doesn’t need a defense.”

Thirdly, Wisdom that is from above is GENTLE – pliant, considerate, loving and yielding. There is a submissive quality, no stomping about demanding its rights, no pushiness, no abusiveness, but ever so gentle.

Then, the Wisdom that is from above is EASY TO BE ENTREATED – not judgmental, not imputing to men their trespasses and failures, not rebuking, not egocentric, not self-righteous, not demanding, but so readily entreated, it listens, it cares.

Fifthly, Wisdom from above is full of GOOD FRUITS, then, WITHOUT PARTIALITY, and finally WITHOUT HYPOCRISY. No wonder Wisdom is spoken of us a tree of life (Prov. 3:18). All of its aspects are LIFE-PRODUCING, life-building! The Christ is the personification of the Wisdom of God. “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23-24). “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (I Cor. 1:30). All who partake of the mind of Christ are like Pillars hewn out and set up in the wonderful House of Wisdom. Wisdom hath builded her House and that House is the company of God’s sons!

From his store house of spiritual understanding Paul says, “Among the pure we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those that love Him, God has revealed to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (I Cor. 6:2-10, R.S.V.).

 


Chapter 9

The Spirit of Understanding

“These things saith He that hath THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev 3:1).

“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and UNDERSTANDING, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:2).

The third Spirit of Sonship is the Spirit of Understanding. Since the inspiration of the Almighty has called this the Spirit of Understanding we must free ourselves from any notion that this Understanding is in any way a function or product of the natural, carnal mind, for how clear it is that the source of this kind of Understanding is the SPIRIT OF GOD and not the mind of man. Hence, we read in I Cor. 2:14 and 16: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” We cannot learn spiritual Understanding as we would learn mathematics or the laws of science, for such facts are dead, lifeless things that can as well be performed by a computer as by man. The seven Spirits of God are the seven lamps burning with fire, and whereas Understanding is one of these seven lamps (Rev. 4:5), it is a Spirit before the throne of God.

It is Jesus, first of all, who has received the sevenfold intensified Spirit of God. “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God” (Rev. 5:6). Isaiah prophesied of Him: “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him… and shall make Him of QUICK UNDERSTANDING” (Isa. 11:2-3). This word “quick” is translated from the Hebrew word CHAY which is from the root CHAYAH meaning “to live” or to “preserve alive.” So when Isaiah says, “He shall make Him of quick Understanding,” he means He will make Him of a LIVING UNDERSTANDING. This was rendered “quick” in the King James Version because, in the archaic English of those times, quick meant living. So when the scripture speaks of the “quick and the dead,” it is speaking of the living and the dead (I Pet. 4:5). And again, when Paul says, “The Word of God is quick and powerful” (Heb. 4:12), the meaning is living and powerful. When Jesus, the firstborn Son, was anointed with the sevenfold intensified fullness of God’s Spirit He was given LIVING UNDERSTANDING, yea, He became that Living Understanding of God!

And yet, a living understanding may also be a “quick” understanding in terms of a rapid awareness of the things of God. Scattered among the human race is a special species of people. They are in the world, but not of it. They have known from the beginning they were different. They have gone through the motions, tried to be a good Christian, held every office in the church and tried to fulfill all the demands of religion upon them. But in the midst of all the effort to belong and to please God and man, there has always been something that kept this people from being satisfied with any of their attainments in that realm. There has been an emptiness, a void, a lack, a deep inner consciousness that this was not IT – there must be something more, something richer, something higher, something deeper in God that they have not touched. There has always been something that separated them from all the external things they have been through. Many of these have been searching after God from childhood – as far back as they can remember. Some were born into worldly and ungodly homes, with no religious background or training, yet always had a deep love and an intense hunger for the Lord. These often would pray, read the Bible, or search out a church even in their formative years, when all about them cared less. Others were in Christian families on some level, but never satisfied, knowing deep within that there was something beyond all this. They never had to be coaxed or dragged into new revelation, experience or realms in God. When the light appeared the babe in their womb leaped for joy in instant recognition of the Christ! Ah, this is the day of RECOGNITION! This is our day of knowing from whence you came, where you have been in order to be where you are right now, and where you are going. Something within has cried out, “I didn’t come to just get saved from hell and die and go to heaven.” Deep has called unto deep and you know you were born for a purpose. You know you were born to unveil God’s plan in earth. You can see how precisely your steps have been ordered by the Lord, even from the day of your birth. God has been with you, He has watched over you, has led and guided and directed your pathway every step of the way. Never in a million years could you ever have found your own way to where you are today, to know God as you know Him, to understand His great plan and purpose in the earth, in His people, and in the universe. Every event has been placed in your pathway by God to teach you and lead you, to give you an understanding of Him, of His ways, of His word, of His will. Many things have contributed to your spiritual development – meeting the right person at the right time, coming across a magazine, article, or book, various ministries, moves of God, manifestation of His power, experiences. It was God who ordained and orchestrated each and every event and circumstance – His mighty hand has brought to where you are in Him at this hour. “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him… and shall make him of quick understanding” (Isa. 11:2-3). That is a clear and unmistakable mark of true sonship. Others are content all their lives to remain in the stagnation and bondage of religious creeds and systems – but sons have a special anointing of the seven Spirits of God to propel them farther and higher into the purposes of God. It is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes!

THE MIND OF UNDERSTANDING

Understanding is an ability and faculty of the mind. Without mind there can be no understanding. A man’s understanding corresponds precisely to the condition, development or quality of his mind. Every created life form possesses mind and the understanding of the creature is limited by the quality of its mind. Quality of mind is, basically, an inherited characteristic. For instance, a cat thinks like a cat, knows as a cat, understands as a cat and acts like a cat because it was born a cat – therefore possessing the brain and mind of a cat. We have a cat in our home. I have noticed that this cat will come and sit in the living room while I watch the evening news on television. While I am very interested in the news, the cat has positively no interest at all! He couldn’t care less! It is not that he doesn’t see the pictures flashing across the screen. He sees them, alright, but he doesn’t understand them – so he just curls up on the carpet and goes to sleep! It is simply impossible for cats to understand things human. Humans are of a different and higher order than are cats. Cats may see men, and may observe their movements, yet there is no common ground of knowledge. The cat has no comprehension of what it sees. It discerns only things pertaining to its own realm. It has positively no understanding of the ways of man, or of the meaning of his movements, or words, or habits. Cat minds function on the level of cat nature, while human minds function on the level of human nature.

Likewise, God is of a different and higher order of life and nature than are humans. The mind of man functions on the level of human nature whereas the mind of God functions on the level of Divine nature. There is no common ground of knowledge or understanding between the two. Therefore, the natural man is totally incapable of comprehending that which pertains to the realm of God. For natural minds to comprehend things spiritual is equally as impossible as for cats to comprehend things human. And so, until humans receive of GOD’S SPIRIT – the Spirit that KNOWS and UNDERSTANDS the things that pertain to God – it is impossible for them to have any understanding, either of God, or of His Word, or ways. With that truth did Paul write to the Corinthians: “For who could really understand a man’s inmost thoughts except the spirit of man himself? How much less could anyone understand the thoughts of God except the very Spirit of God? We have now received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit of God himself, so that we can UNDERSTAND something of God’s generosity towards us” (I Cor. 2:11-12, Moffatt Trans.).

Well did Harry Rimmer write: “Nothing in this world is more crassly bigoted than the calm assumption of a certain type of human mind that we are the ultimate in creation and in power. Men who are wise above that which is written, whose mentalities are as much earth-bound as are those of the moles which grub all their lives in the darkness for things of the earth, are fond of asserting that there is nothing supernatural. The world of asserting that there is nothing supernatural. The world of nature, which is composed of those things which may be seen, heard, felt, tasted, and smelled, binds the horizon of their entire philosophy. The very possibility that there may be a sphere of life that is higher than that of the human sends them into a mental coma, and the air becomes vibrant with their denials.

“There is an element of humor seen in the fact that men, dignifying themselves with scientific titles, will sometimes hold conventions and attempt to decide in a solemn conclave whether or not there is anything higher than the sphere of man. To illustrate the humor of this situation, we might introduce to our reader the parable of the angle-worms. Down into their dark and dismal world there had somehow infiltrated the weird rumor that a race of super-angle beings called men inhabited the crust of the earth in which worms dwell. Some angle-worms claimed to have seen this mastodonic race of super-worm beings, but others denied that there could be anything higher in the scale of life than angle-worms. To settle the issue a conference was called, and the worms spent five days in solemn conclave, arguing whether or not human beings existed. The convention closed with the framing of a resolution denying the reality of man or of any creature higher than the worm.

“This decision, of course, immediately disposed of the entire human race! At once we ceased to exist. The conclusion would only be accurate if the lower had power to dispose of the higher. We have in our modern life a very weird philosophy that is comparable to this parable of the angle-worm convention. By the very nature of the case, it would be impossible for a lower order to know anything of a higher state of being unless the higher should condescend to reveal itself to the lower.”

And then after men receive God, the depth of their knowledge and understanding is wholly in proportion to the measure of the indwelling Spirit. Jesus was a man, but God was in Him (II Cor. 5:19). “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the God head bodily” (Col. 2:9). He had not received the Spirit by measure as do we (Jn. 3:34). He has A-L-L the fullness of God. And therefore He had and has all the discernment and understanding of heaven! But we faltering mortals cannot claim in fullness what Christ possessed until we stand upon Zion’s holy hill, totally and completely conformed into the image of the Son of God. We, upon being born again, become actual sons of God, yet babes: “babes in Christ.” And the understanding of newborn babes, spiritual though they may be, is limited in the extreme! They cannot have a deep knowledge and comprehension until they have been filled with the mind of God: until they have grown to spiritual maturity, the spiritual mind being fully developed within them.

The thing we want to mark well is that understanding is a faculty of mind and mind is inherited. That a mind must be developed and matured is true, but, the quality of the mind, the kind of mind, and the potential of mind is received at the time of conception.

We must see clearly from the light of the scriptures that in the Old Testament period the Spirit of God did not indwell men. In that time the Spirit of God descended upon man to move man to do God’s work; the emphasis was upon the Spirit of God being the power to man. In the Old Testament, through generation after generation, the Spirit of God continually descended upon man as a divine power that moved man to work, fight, and speak for God; the Word of God came unto man and man acted upon that Word. All the works performed by the men of God in the Old Testament were the result of the Word of God that came unto them and the power of God that rested upon them as a result of the descending of the Holy Spirit upon them. Although people in the Old Testament received the Spirit of God upon them as a Word and as a power, yet in reality they did not receive the Spirit of God into them to BE THEIR LIFE. In the Old Testament times, the Spirit of God merely descended upon man as a Word and power, but did not enter into man as life; He only bestowed a divine power upon man, but did not impart to man a divine nature and being. Therefore, in the Old Testament we see a number who possessed the power of God, yet had nothing whatever of God’s life, nature or mind. Samson is the best example (Judges 14-16). He had the supernatural power of God upon him, but at the same time he did not have the nature of God in him at all. Here we have a strong man whose power was beyond measure, yet whose nature was totally incompatible with God. Therefore, with respect to power, Samson had the Holy Spirit upon him, but with respect to life, he did not have the Holy Spirit within him. The Holy Spirit of God descended upon Samson that he might have God’s power, but did not enter into him that he might have God’s nature. It was not until New Testament times that the Holy Spirit actually enters into man and becomes man’s life that he might possess not only God’s power, but also God’s life, nature and mind. Mind is a faculty of life; to possess divine life and nature means that you also have divine mind.

The prophet Ezekiel saw this day of the New Testament, of the remarkable regeneration by which men would actually be born of God to become sons of God, and he prophesied, saying, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean… a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them” (Eze. 36:25-27). In Christ, we not only have our sins forgiven, but there is an impartation of New Life, even the Divine Life of God. We are impregnated by the Spirit of God, and a baby spirit, a divine nature, is conceived within. This new life is the off-spring of God in Christ, so that God becomes, not figuratively or mystically, but very literally OUR FATHER, the Father of our spirit. Therefore, “if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE” (II Cor. 5:17). There is within ourselves, beyond the realm of our conscious knowledge, a divine life, the child of God’s Spirit, under His loving care, working in stillness, ever unwearied, never exhausted, ever growing and maturing, to gain control of our whole being, and transform us into the image of God. This is that life that will be manifested in all fullness as THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD in and through the manifested sons of God in the days to come at the end of this age of preparation.

This new creation of which the Spirit speaks, this new spirit being, is blest not only with a new heart but with a new MIND as well. The mind which is produced in the new creation is the mind of Christ, for, Paul says, “Who hath known the mind of the Lord? But WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST” (I Cor. 2:16). And again, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed IN THE SPIRIT OF YOUR MIND; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24). In every respect the believer who is born of the Holy Spirit is a new creature, a man with a new heart, a new spirit, and a NEW MIND.

We will never, in this age, be fully able to comprehend the boundless power of the mind of man. It appears to be true that practically everything of good and evil in all the world comes forth from the mind. Even the natural mind, though it understands not the things of the Spirit of God, is capable of astonishing wonders. All the marvelous inventions of the world have proceeded from the mind of man, yet that natural mind receives not any of the things of God. As heaven is higher than the earth, so are God’s ways higher than man’s and God’s thoughts higher than man’s. The man who receives of God’s life is renewed in the SPIRIT OF HIS MIND, that is, he takes on a new mind originating in a new Spirit life, so that he thinks and acts as an entirely new creation, a new man, a new creature. If he follows on to know the Lord he will find that his darkened mind will completely give way to this new creation mind which is the mind of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” The mind that was in Jesus was the Father’s mind. Because He was fully possessed of His Father’s mind, He was able to say, “I and My Father are one.” The mind that was in Christ Jesus is freely offered to every man who believes on His name that he might be one with Christ and one with the Father, sons of God in the true and perfect sense of the word. Let us never forget that in those glorious ages to come it will be the mind of our heavenly Father that will rule the universe. The Father has decreed that He will rule the universe by him whom He has chosen, Christ, Head and body, and those sons, every one, will be possessed with the Father’s mind. God the Father has given His mind to His Son, Jesus Christ, and He in turn has given that same mind to us. As the hands and the feet of a healthy body act in harmony with the head, so every member among the sons of God acts in harmony with the Head, even Jesus, because ONE MIND DWELLS IN THEM ALL. Hallelujah!

If we understand how a machine works, then the most intricate mechanism in the world is simple, but if we lack this understanding, even the simplest device can bewilder us. Well do I remember my fascination as I listened to a friend who works at the nearby White Sands Missile Range explain the almost incredible performance of our missile and anti-missile systems. When I expressed my astonished admiration, he smiled and said, "Well, really it is quite simple when you understand the principle of it." Any who have received specialized training and have become proficient in their specific field, will not doubt the truth of that statement. I once watched the frustration of my nine year old daughter as she tried to connect a tire pump to her bicycle tire. Not having connected anything like that before, the harder she tried to screw the pump connector on to the valve stem the more difficulty she was in. After a short period of observation I went over and pointed out to her that it is necessary to hold the connector absolutely straight over the valve while turning it on in order for the threads to join. A very simple lesson, but how important! So whether it be a multi-million dollar missile or a three dollar pump, both are quite simple when you know how they work. The way a bumble bee flies with wings disproportionate to its body size and shape is a mystery to man, but to the bee it is merely his way of life.

The same thought of understanding was in the heart of the apostle Paul when he wrote, "I cease not to make mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the EYES OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING BEING ENLIGHTENED; that ye may KNOW what is the hope of His calling..." (Eph. 1:15-18). When men earnestly seek the face of the Lord, He sends His Holy Spirit to dispel the darkness of the natural mind that ever hangs as a shroud over us that He may reveal to our spiritual minds the things that pertain to the higher realm of His Kingdom. In all matters of revelation and spiritual understanding it is impossible to overestimate the importance of the Spirit, who comes to take the things of God and show them unto us. Two worlds, indeed, two realms exist all about us – the natural world and the spiritual world. The natural realm is the realm of man, but the spiritual realm is the realm of God. The natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.

Men of the world have told me that the things recorded in the Bible are ridiculous, and I suppose to them they are, since God has declared, "it is foolishness unto them" (I Cor. 2:14). I do not hesitate to say that the Bible could be read ten-thousand times over without shedding a single ray of light on an unregenerated and unbelieving mind. The truth of the matter is that many skeptics, agnostic and atheists have read the Bible through countless times, yet, because they read depending entirely upon their natural minds, unquickened by the Holy Spirit, the Lord withholds His light and understanding from them. Thus, they find themselves more in the dark and more unbelieving afterward than they were in the beginning.

There is not the slightest uncertainty in my mind that although the mind and heart of each and every child of God has been quickened by the Spirit of God, yet, in our spiritual immaturity we have oft times understood only a minute portion of the things that pertain to the vast and marvelous realm into which we have been birthed. Like Israel of old, even in the reading of the scriptures, a veil has been over our minds and we have been limited to that which our carnal mind could interpret, so that we have seen the things of God from the limited view of human understanding rather than seeing things AS HE SEES THEM. Understand this and you will understand a great truth: Divine revelation always carries one beyond what the natural mind can grasp. Read any chapter or verse in the whole Bible, and if you can understand what you read with your natural mind then you have failed to discover the TRUE MEANING which lies hidden deep beneath the apparent meaning. If you do not see any truth above and beyond what is obvious to the natural understanding then you have not been touched by the spirit of wisdom and revelation from God and what you do understand is not a living revelation of truth to you at all, but merely a DEAD LETTER.

All understanding is in the mind, therefore, the Understanding of God is in the mind of Christ, which is the mind of the Spirit, which is the mind of the new creation man. We do not understand the spiritual realities of God with our natural minds. It is not the same mind that understands how to drive your car that understands the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. Not at all! It is the new mind, the mind of Christ within us, that understands things spiritual. When Jesus received the seven Spirits of God He received the Spirit of Understanding. This was not the same understanding of the same mind by which He made furniture in Joseph’s carpenter shop! This Spirit of Understanding is one aspect of the fullness of THE MIND OF GOD – to understand as God Understands!

The mind of Christ within must be developed. Understanding is a product of the development of the mind. The things of God are sensed in the spirit, but they are understood in the mind, even the new creation mind. Many times we know something of God in our spirit, but because our spiritual Understanding has not been adequately developed we do not understand in practical terms what we sense. Sometimes, as we wait upon the Lord, it may take two or three weeks or even months or years before we are able to understand what we sense in our spirit. Many times we sense in our spirit that a certain thing is true in God, but we cannot explain it from the scriptures or even put it into words for those around us. As we seek the Lord about the thing Understanding begins to come, scriptures leap out of the Bible and fall into place, the whole truth of the thing takes on form and substance, crystallizing within our Understanding. We then truly UNDERSTAND what before we only sensed. I have had this happen many times. Many of the truths we write in these pages began simply as something sensed in the spirit, but not understood in the mind. But as we followed on with the Lord the new creation mind was able to put it all together in the form of Understanding. Thus, that truth then declared is not a product of the learning of the natural mind, but of the development of the mind of Christ within. How we need the Understanding in our mind to interpret what we sense in our spirit! The things of the Spirit of God are sensed by the function of the intuition in our spirit, but they are understood by the function of the Understanding in our spiritual mind.

Let us never forget that we possess, in measure, both the natural and the spiritual minds, being as we are, both natural and spiritual. With your natural mind you may do your work, play, scheme how to make money, and do a thousand other natural things. But it is NOT THAT SAME MIND that sees and understands the things of the Spirit. This is why we have so much dead religion in the world, men with their natural minds have endeavored to interpret spiritual things, but since the natural mind neither receives nor understands the things of the Spirit of God, the doctrines, traditions, ceremonies, programs etc. of the things of the carnal religious systems are no more of God than is the Empire State Building in New York City. They all belong to the same category, all are simply the products of the natural mind of man, and have absolutely no relationship to the Kingdom of God. We must understand that God is not in the business of changing the old, carnal, natural mind. The change taking place within us comes not from a “reprogramming” of the natural mind, but from a “putting off” of the old mind and a “putting on” of the new. There should be a change in our thoughts towards almost everything. When we think in the new creation mind the image of Christ will then be reflected in our thoughts. The Understanding of our mind will then be spiritual.

For instance, there are many young Christian men and women studying in the colleges and universities who have the same thoughts about their studies and their degrees as other worldly young people. But if they would give ground to the Lord, and be renewed in the Spirit of their minds, moving from the natural mind of man to the new creation mind of Christ, thus putting on the thinking and understanding of Christ, their minds would be changed about these matters. This does not mean that they would give up their studies, but that their thoughts and concepts about their studies would be entirely different. They would have a different point of view from which to evaluate their studies and degrees, and new objective and purpose in relation to them.

THE DARKENED UNDERSTANDING

“Wisdom is the principle thing,” said Solomon; “therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting, GET UNDERSTANDING” (Prov. 4:7). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). “It is  sport to a fool to do mischief, but a man of UNDERSTANDING hath wisdom” (Prov. 10:23). “It is better to get wisdom than gold, and understanding is rather to be chosen than choice silver” (Prov. 16:16). “Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it” (Prov. 16:22).

Hear it! “Understanding is A WELLSPRING OF LIFE unto him that hath it.” Certainly one reason so many billions of humans are lost upon this earth is that they neither know who, where, nor why they are. Truly a great darkness is upon the human family. This condition is explained by the apostle Paul in Eph. 4:17-18: “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” Notice these conditions in the life of the unregenerated man:

1.      Vanity characterizes his mind
2.      His understanding is darkened
3.      He is alienated from the life of God
4.      His alienation is because of ignorance
5.      This ignorance is blindness

In this verse we learn this one simple truth: Darkness IS IGNORANCE. To be in darkness means to be in ignorance. Ignorance is a condition of the MIND, in which the mind lacks knowledge and understanding. Paul tells us that men have their “understanding darkened” because of the “ignorance” that is in them! It is this condition of ignorance that causes the whole world of men to walk in darkness, being lost, alienated from the life that is in God.

The ignorance that is in the unregenerated mind, yea, and indeed even manifest in the childishness of the religious systems, is, in character, not unlike the stupidity of certain individuals of limited understanding. Take, for example, a man in West Africa. He had heard about the importance of building his home on a solid foundation – on the Word of God. And so, when he started to build his house, he rounded up some Bibles and placed them squarely among the mud bricks in the foundation of his home. Then he finished the house. Now this man built his house on the Word of God, alright – but it didn’t help him any. He totally missed the points of Jesus’ words. He misapplied the truth into the wrong realm. He didn’t know what it meant to live according to the Word of God. So he buried the book that would reveal Jesus, and missed the Christ of reality! And I do not hesitate to say that the vast majority of the doctrines and activities of the church systems today are no less far from the true spirit of God’s Word as is the African man’s house! It is all just as ridiculous as the little story I once read. A missionary saw this fellow sitting on a porch. He spoke to this man and said; are you lost? The man said why? No I have lived here forty years. The missionary said, I mean have you found Jesus? I did not know he was lost, the man replied. I am here to find out if you are a Christian man, the exasperated missionary tried again. The man answered again; There is a Bill Christian who lives three or five miles over the ridge. The missionary being flustered-gated said again, I mean, are you ready for the judgment day? When is it, replied the man? The missionary replied, well, it may be next week or next month, we do not know those things. Well, the man replied; when you know about them things, let me know.

He who makes God's house of living stones depend on mere outward forms; he who confounds Truth with the shibboleths of sects and denominations, or the usurpation of preachers, builds upon the baseless and shifting sands. The true and eternal church depends solely on the presence of Christ. Sweep away from your spiritual walk as much as you will the infinite cobwebs which the ambition and the ignorance of men have spun for centuries over the surface of the faith. Fling to the four winds the voluntary humility and all the vain deceits, traditions, and ordinances, which, like those of the Pharisees, are but "weak and beggarly elements." It is not the form but the essence which constitutes true religion. Christ knew nothing of external paraphernalia, and those who follow the Lamb know nothing of it either. Distinguish between the flickering shadows of outward symbols and the verities of eternal life. Distinguish between the valueless injunctions of touch not, taste not, handle not, and the divine nature which produces love, joy, peace, righteousness of heart, and all the fruit of the Spirit. The Kingdom of God standeth not on food and drink, but in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. You will not find Christ by following the sects and self-promoting ministries who shout with anathemas, “Lo, He is here!” or “Lo, He is there!” but if you faithfully walk with the Christ you will discover that He is within you. Seek truth and you will find it, because God is the God of truth. If you desire heaven you must win it; for heaven is the realm of the Spirit and a state of being, not a place. No preacher can give it you; no ritual can give it you; no creed or message can give it you; no mere ordinances of men can open its doors for you so much as a single inch. You must find it by forsaking the world and self, and all the carnal religious exercises of the world, to hear the quickening voice of the Spirit, to walk after the Spirit, to live in the Spirit. The home and heaven of God is within you, precious friend of mine, for you are the temple of the living God, as God hath said. Apart from this all else is but fringes and phylacteries. If, by the aid of God’s Holy Spirit, you have discovered the King and the Kingdom which is within you, though all parties excommunicate you, and all priests and preachers anathematize you, nothing can harm you; and when you pass from the babble of the world’s malediction, and the falsehoods of erring religion, and have passed through the portals of Eden, and scaled the heights of Mount Zion, clear and high for you shall peal the eternal verdict, “This is My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased!”

The world today has its own religious dictionary of definitions of “God” and “Spirit” and “Church” and they think and speak in the framework of those definitions. But GOD SPEAKS A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE and has a different dictionary of definitions by which He speaks to His people and according to which He works. If all the multiplied practices and methods employed by the churches today were suddenly swept away, it would in all probability cease to function If the churches had to drop all their rituals, forms, programs and ceremonies; all their confirmations, baptisms, and communion services; all their special singing, organ music, and altar calls, they would feel as though they had been stripped naked and could not serve God in any way. All this simply demonstrates the terrible fact that the faith and dependence of the churches is not in God, but is in the trappings they have accumulated to themselves throughout the centuries. The thought that God is perfectly able and fully willing to run His church without the aid of anything in the way of fleshly contributions, is found to be abhorrent to the average church member.

The most outstanding characteristic of the Serpent is his ability to deceive. From the very dawn of human history, as recorded in the Bible, he is depicted as a liar and deceiver. "The Serpent beguiled me and I did eat," was Eve's plaintive cry, and in the closing book of the Bible, the fact of his deceiving nature is further emphasized in the words of the Revelator who described him as "that old Serpent called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world" (Rev. 12: 9). The apostle is referring back to that significant statement in Gen. 3: 1 wherein we read, "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made."

And just how does Satan deceive? A key is found in the Greek New Testament name for Satan — the devil The Greek word is DIABOLLOS. DIABOLLOS is a compound of two words — DIA and BOLLO. DIA means "a channel of an act" and BOLLO means "to throw — either with force, or without force, yet with a purpose, or even carelessly." Hence, the Devil is A CHANNEL SOMETHING PASSES THROUGH. The pipe through which water enters your home is a channel — a means of passage. The frequency bands assigned to a single transmitting station for either radio or television is called a channel — the frequency or means of passage of communication from the station to your receiver. Any channel is the vehicle through which a thing passes from one location or state to another. And, may I add, the Devil is the channel (DIA) through which a carnal thought, idea, concept, desire, passion, etc. passes before it reaches your CONSCIOUS MIND. This explains very well why Strong's Analytical Concordance has rendered the compound word DIABOLLOS as "a traducer." The English word "traduce" means "TO TRANSFER FROM ONE ORDER OF REASONING TO ANOTHER ORDER OF REASONING, as to translate from one language to another language." Hence, the Traducer, the Devil, the Translator, the Interpreter sits enthroned in the mind of man and his primary job is to transfer or translate KNOWLEDGE!

You want to watch that crafty Translator within! In the temptation of Jesus we discover this wily adversary-coming upon the Master with Bible in hand, so to speak. "It is written!" — this was the glittering weapon, the fiery dart, the master-stroke of the Traducer. "If Thou be the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread." "It is written!" he thundered as he offered the kingdoms of earth to Jesus if He would bow to the shrewd worldly wisdom the Traducer outlined in His mind by which He could have conquered even the might of the Roman empire. An easy way to popularity was pointed out — it was suggested that He cast Himself from the pinnacle of the temple. No harm would come to Him for God had promised to send His angles to care for Him. And the multitude, amazed, would follow Him. What gave immeasurable force to the Traducer's suggestions was his appeal to the awful authority of God's Word. He cast about the things he offered the glow of Divine approval. He enforced his ideas with the sacred sanction of the scriptures. It was with the Bible in hand that he approached the Son of man. "It is written!" If the Word of God supports it, if the Bible sanctions it, why it must be good. How the Traducer loves to come to us with the Bible in his hand! It casts about him such a holy air. But here is where we discover the awful depths of the Traducer's duplicity. He is no stranger to the scriptures, and he will quote the Word when such a procedure will serve his purpose. When he deals with a chosen one of God, obviously, he must meet such a one upon the high plane on which he lives. He could get nowhere by suggesting the gross sins of the flesh to one separated unto God. It must be through the Word. It must be through a carnal, twisted, literalistic and erroneous understanding of that Word — the letter that killeth. The letter killeth, and Satan has the power of death! The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil are the same tree in the midst — the tree of knowledge is the outer form of truth, whereas the tree of life is the spirit of truth. To be carnally minded is death, says the apostle. How much plainer can it be that the crowning work of the Traducer is to put a natural, carnal, reasoned, intellectual interpretation to the Word which is spirit and life. He takes the language of SPIRIT and translates it into the perverted, garbled dialect of fleshly wisdom and carnal understanding. People sometimes accuse me of spiritualizing away the Word of God. How, I ask, can you spiritualize something that already I-S SPIRIT AND LIFE? The danger lies not, precious friend of mine, in spiritualizing away the Word — it is, rather, in canalizing away that which is SPIRITUAL! To bring the spiritual thrust and essence of the Word down to the low lands of carnal forms of religion is the subtlety of the Serpent. Ah, what a Translator he is! What a liar and deceiver! And all the time he is quoting the Word of God and rejoicing in what a really sound "fundamentalist" he is.

There isn't a vice you cannot justify, there isn't a doctrine, however contrary to the heart of God, you cannot prove, there isn't a religious methodology you cannot deify, there isn't a Babylonian garment you cannot glorify, by appealing to the scriptures. All have an, "it is written" to fall back on, The damnedest lie can be made to appear true. All the Traducer needs to do is to quote scripture. Every dirty heresy abroad, every false cult, all find in God's Word their foundation. "They that are unstable and (spiritually) unlearned wrest. . . the. . . scriptures unto their own destruction" (II Pet. 3: 16). I have learned that one can prove or disprove anything with scripture. Brethren sometimes write to me trying to engage me in lengthy debate over some point of doctrine—the letter that killeth. The hour is too late, the time too short, the purposes of God too urgent, my friend, to give myself and the precious time and energy Father has placed in my care to such foolish wranglings and carnal disputations. This is not a moment to jot every doctrinal "i" and cross every creedal "t". There is a truth that runs like a golden thread throughout all the pages of Holy Writ, teaching us that the elect whom God has chosen must become aware of the abiding presence and indwelling life of the Spirit. Students of theology, poor souls, pour over their musty volumes, they learn all the arguments and proofs of the doctrines about God, but the almighty God Himself they do not know. They become ineffective and spiritually impotent because they have separated Truth from the Person, knowing the form, standing on the letter, reciting the doctrine, articulating the facts, but having no vital, living relationship with Him who alone IS THE TRUTH. A lifetime of walking with God has taught me that it is possible for one to know all the arguments and appear to have all the answers, but still be a stranger to the heart of God. I testify to every man who reads these words, however, that the moment any man begins to know Him wonderful changes take place in his understanding, for to know Him is to be like Him. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Cor. 3: 18). His Word is SPIRIT, His Spirit is LIFE, and His Life is POWER to transform, to awaken our consciousness to the abiding reality of Himself, to raise our being up into that heavenly, eternal sphere where I AM THAT I AM.

Darkness is the absence of light. The darkness in men is simply the absence of light – Understanding. Men walk in spiritual darkness because they do not have light – Truth. Men are in darkness because the blindness of their hearts has kept the glorious Light of Christ from penetrating into their lives.

Let us turn to II Cor. 4:3-4,6 where we read: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” From these verses we learn that the glorious gospel of Christ IS LIGHT. If this light is hid, or concealed, it is hid from them in whom the god of this world has BLINDED THEIR MINDS, keeping them from UNDERSTANDING, for, “UNDERSTANDING is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it” (Prov. 16:22). Lack of Understanding puts men in darkness, darkness alienates men from Life.

You can see this veil over the minds of men. Many times, when an unbeliever comes to hear a good message of the Gospel, we think, “Oh, tonight this man will surely be influenced toward the Lord, certainly he will be saved!” But eventually, he is still blank. The god of this world has blinded his mind. The mind is the understanding organ, and Satan has blinded the understanding of the listener. Regardless how good the message is and how much he has heard, yet his understanding has been blinded, is covered. His mind is still a blank, nothing has been taken in.

It is true that the light of Christ has now shined into our hearts, yet I am confident that we have not, at this present time, experienced the fullness of that Light. When we were first saved just enough Light shone in to reveal Jesus to us a Saviour. We joyfully embraced what became revealed unto us in that measure of Light, but what a great darkness prevailed even yet in so many areas of our lives! Peter said, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (II Pet. 1:19). Peter states that this Light shines in a “dark place.” And I ask you, dear readers, what darker place could there be in the whole universe than the heart of man? Did not the Almighty declare to Jeremiah of old that “The heart is deceitful ABOVE ALL THINGS, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9). Truly the glorious Light has shined in that dark place of the heart of man, yet, we still await that “arising” of the day star in our hearts which shall be as the brightness and glory of the noon-time sun. Praise God for that measure of Light that has shined, and how we anxiously await the arising of the day star, the Sun of Righteousness, unto the PERFECT DAY! But how many of the Lord’s people are satisfied with the initial shining which brings the dawn of their spiritual experience but never FOLLOW ON to know the fullness of the arising of the Sun of Righteousness Who would flood their whole being with the transcendent glory and majesty of the glory of the Lord. All the dead, carnal church systems were built by men who were saved by receiving just enough Light to know Jesus as Saviour, and then, out of the overshrouding gloom of darkness yet untouched in their carnal hearts they proceeded to build upon the foundation of Christ every kind of grotesque structure of tradition, error, form, fleshiness and worldliness: great towering edifices of hay, wood and stubble soon to be consumed in the fire of God’s judgment. How certain it is that the great day of judgment shall declare before the eyes of all exactly what proceeded from the darkness of man’s carnal heart and what was born of the Spirit of God!

Let us not forget that UNDERSTANDING is the KEY to everything in God! Faith comes by UNDERSTANDING the will of God. This is why Paul wrote: “Brethren, be not children in Understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in UNDERSTANDING be men” (I Cor. 14:20). Paul prayed for the Ephesian brethren to this end: “The eyes of your UNDERSTANDING being enlightened; that ye may know (by Understanding) what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:18). And again, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE WILL OF THE LORD IS” (Eph. 5:17). To the Colossians Paul wrote: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL in all wisdom and SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING” (Col. 1:9-10).

Faith comes by UNDERSTANDING. How many of us were saved BEFORE we came to UNDERSTAND that we were lost sinners and that Jesus died and rose again for us? Was it not when we came to UNDERSTAND the simple Gospel that faith was evoked in our hearts unto salvation? This came by an operation of the Holy Spirit. Show me a man who doesn’t UNDERSTAND that Jesus died for him and I will show you a man who isn’t saved. Show me a man who doesn’t UNDERSTAND that the Lord has provided a baptism in the Holy Spirit and I will show you a man who has not been Spirit-filled. Show me a man who doesn’t UNDERSTAND that saints are supposed to go ON TO PERFECTION and I’ll show you a carnal Christian who is not actively experiencing the processings of God that produce perfection. Show me a man who doesn’t UNDERSTAND that the hope of all creation is THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD and I’ll show you a man who is still waiting to be whisked away to some far-off heaven somewhere and who knows nothing of the deep and vital dealings of God that produce mature SONS. The degree of our faith will be proportionate to the degree of our UNDERSTANDING. Our spiritual Understanding always corresponds to the amount of LIGHT and TRUTH that has shined into our minds and hearts by the Holy Spirit. We will be filled with light (Understanding) to the same degree that our new creation MIND has been developed.

Have you ever prayed that God would open the eyes of your Understanding that you might know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of his glory of His inheritance in the saints? Ah, how much better this would be than to seek the passing vanities of this present world to the detriment of your devotion to God, for the heart of the Father is truly pained when He from heaven beholds His sons neglecting their devotion to Him while they diligently rush about to attain temporal things. Walk no longer in the vanity of your mind, having the understanding darkened, while alienating yourself from the life of God through ignorance. Never spend your days seeking the things of this carnal life, for they make themselves wings and fly away, never to yield any eternal reward.

We are further exhorted: “Be not children in Understanding, howbeit in malice be ye children, but in UNDERSTANDING be men” (I Cor. 14:20). I greatly fear that for long centuries the Lord’s people have been men in malice and children in Understanding! The pages of church history show that from time immemorial the church has been a vast feuding ground of malice, envy, bitterness, strife, full of pettiness, peevishness, whisperings, debate, deceit, backbiting, and evil speaking: Men in malice and children in Understanding!

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and LEAN NOT UNTO THY OWN UNDERSTANDING,” saith the Lord (Prov. 3:5). Yet how often the Lord’s people are found leaning to their own understanding and generally their own understanding is nothing more than the faulty understanding of other men whose traditions, interpretations, and deductions they have accepted. Human understanding is so terribly limited! It is limited because human understanding contains absolutely nothing of GOD’S UNDERSTANDING and is, therefore, as faulty as is the nature of man. Just as the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, so THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY is Understanding (Prov. 9:10). Understanding will never be yours by following the traditions of the dead church systems, for they know nothing of the things of the Spirit of God.

It has always, from the very beginning, been Satan’s policy to misrepresent the truth, to distort and carnalize the Word of God, in order to hinder mankind from seeing the great beauty and majesty of the eternal purposes of God. The more absurdities Satan can get interwoven into man’s doctrines and concepts respecting God, the church, eternity, the destiny of man, etc., the better he will succeed in separating men from God. Thus for centuries the great adversary has been working most successfully and has covered and hidden some of the most precious and wonderful truths under the most specious and repulsive errors, and the progress of the Lord’s people has been correspondingly slow. But, thank God! we are now living in the time when the veil of ignorance is being dissolved, and when the Lord’s people are being drawn by the Spirit to look away from the creeds and systems formed for their enslavement during ages past, and to look directly to the Word of God itself and to the living GOD of the Word, bless His name! Therefore lean no longer upon thine own understanding. Judge neither after the sight of the eyes nor the hearing of the ears, but seek that living Spirit of UNDERSTANDING that comes from God alone. Oh, to be anointed of the Spirit to understand the secrets and mysteries of God!

Ray Prinzing penned the following words of wisdom:

“‘Consider what I say; and THE LORD GIVE THEE UNDERSTANDING in all things.’ (2 Timothy 2:7).

“‘May give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING BEING ENLIGHTENED….’ (Ephesians 1:17-18).

“‘In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzer; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he UNDERSTOOD the thing, and had UNDERSTANDING OF THE VISION.’ (Daniel 10:1).

“The deep prayer of our heart is expressed in these verses before us. That not only do we know that the vision is true – and for sure we are learning by experience that the time can seem to be very long – but may God help us to RIGHTLY UNDERSTAND THE VISION HE IMPARTS.

“‘A thing was revealed to Daniel…’ Revealed – Hebrew word, galah, means: to denude, uncover. It implies a stripping away of all that might cause it to be held in obscurity, so that it stands clearly, plainly exposed before us. We have heard far too many ‘hazy, nebulous suppositions,’ which leave one guessing at what the speaker really means. When God reveals a thing, it is made bare, uncovered so that we can clearly grasp its meaning. Jesus said to His disciples, ‘These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, BUT I SHALL SHEW YOU PLAINLY OF THE FATHER.’ (John 16:25). That is what we desire. Dreams and parables need an explanation, for they hold a hidden truth. We pray for a CLEAR VISION, that we might move in boldness and in confidence in the days ahead, firmly established in ‘Thus saith the Lord.’

“God-given revelation is not to be confused with carnal imaginations, nor with the psychic aberrations which some people call revelation. A divine revelation does not spring out of the mind, but OUT OF THE HEART, a quickening by the Christ within. It goes beyond all surmising, speculation of man. There is a wisdom that ‘descendeth not from above, but is earthy, sensual, devilish.’ (James 3:15). Such is the approach of the world. First it appeals to the senses of the flesh, let the good times roll; then it is sensual – soulish, to make its appeal to the mind, will, emotions with all of its psychic hype; then it is devilish, as it infiltrates and defiles the spirit, and enslaves one to the spirit of the world.

“‘Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He MAKE TO UNDERSTAND doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn (removed) from the breast.’ (Isa. 28:9). How we need to grow up, until we can RIGHTLY DIVIDE the Word of Truth. ‘For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the Word of Righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.’ (Heb. 5:13-14).

“‘Evil men understand not judgment: but THEY THAT SEEK THE LORD UNDERSTAND ALL.’ (Proverbs 28:5). Understand – Hebrew word is ‘biyn’ meaning: to be able to separate mentally, distinguish, thus, TO RIGHTLY DIVIDE. When God enables us to UNDERSTAND THE VISION we will have RIGHT applications!

“‘My feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. – When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me. – Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then UNDERSTOOD I their end.’ (Ps. 73:2-3,16-17). One can view it all with the carnal mind, and it is TOO PAINFUL. But, draw night unto God, in the sanctuary (separated place), and HE will help you to understand.

“How often we tried to interpret the vision according to our current circumstances, pre-established beliefs, rather than waiting for the true meaning. We have been so unskillful in the Word, mis-applying it betimes.

“When Joseph was a young man, possibly late teens, he went out to announce his vision, and apply it to his present circumstances. I assure you, his vision was from God, and it was TRUE. Genesis 37:5-11 gives the record. First dream, Joseph and his brothers were out binding sheaves in the field, and all his brothers’ sheaves bowed down to his sheaf. His brethren didn’t like that dream at all. Second dream, the sun and the moon and eleven stars made obeisance to him. Even his father rebuked him for that dream. He had supposed his brethren would understand. HOW COULD THEY UNDERSTAND A VISION THAT WAS NOT THEIR OWN. You cannot live on a borrowed revelation. Betimes people will rejoice with you for your sake, but they haven’t the slightest idea of what you are trying to tell them. How could Joseph’s family go along with a vision that appeared to put them in an inferior place. It was a vision that even the dreamer didn’t understand. The true circumstances to which the dream applied were yet to materialize. So, ‘Until his word (understanding) came, the Word of the Lord tried him.’ (Psalm 105:19).

“I’m sure Joseph thought of those dreams many times while he was in prison. How that Word tried him – tested, proved, and plowed deep into his being. Was that really a Word from God? Did self somehow conjure up that dream? Yes, it tried him, and tried him hard! For when it is being spoken, when it is coming to us, it is GOD’S WORD, born out of GOD’S UNDERSTANDING, out of His wisdom, His foresight. And we must be tried until we come into UNION with that Word. Thus we read, ‘The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.’ (Psalm 12:6). It is a pure word that gets mixed up with my reasonings and interpretations, and so it is purified in my earthen vessel, till we rightly understand it.

“When it was fulfilled, Joseph began to understand the thing, and he could say, NOW I KNOW ‘It was not you who sent me hither, BUT GOD. – As for you, ye thought evil against me: BUT GOD MEANT IT UNTO GOOD.’ (Gen. 45:8, 50:20)

“Briefly note also Moses’ feeble attempt to apply the vision to his current circumstances. He saw an Egyptian fighting with his fellow Israelite, went to the rescue and slew the Egyptian, and buried him in the sand. This not only fell so far short of the vision as to make a mockery of it, but also alienated the very brethren he sought to deliver. (Exodus 2:11-14 tells it) ‘For he supposed his brethren would have UNDERSTOOD how that God by his hand would deliver them: but THEY UNDERSTOOD NOT.’ (Acts 7:25).

“How Moses needed understanding himself, to ‘rightly divide the word of truth.’ (2 Tim. 2:15). He brought division with a ‘milk interpretation’ of a right word. It required forty years on the backside of the desert before he matured enough, and came into a proper understanding of the vision, and then HOW DIFFERENT IT WAS from what he supposed. In due time GOD WROUGHT IT ALL THE WAY. When time for the true application to appear, IT DOES!

“When God imparts a vision into your being, don’t try to circumscribe it to the limitations of your mind. Let that WORD OF GOD DWELL IN YOU RICHLY until you have been thoroughly processed thereby, and then your UNDERSTANDING will come into harmony with HIS WILL AND MIND. Truly, the glory of the fulfillment will surpass our fondest dreams. There are personal visions of what God would do in your own life, and there are visions of what God shall do for all men. May HE grant us that understanding that we might KNOW WHAT HE PURPOSES, and then totally surrender ourselves to Him for that victory.”

TWO ASPECTS OF UNDERSTANDING

The Understanding of the new creation mind functions in two directions: Godward and manward. The Godward aspect includes all spiritual Understanding of God Himself by which we are able to see and know the realities of the Spirit of God. In this aspect of Understanding we constantly “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18). The second function of divine Understanding, the manward, is likewise an Understanding issuing from the nature and life of God, however, its direction is manward. This area of Understanding is the ability to see and understand men, together with their ways, actions, intents, condition etc. in that same spirit and attitude in which God Himself views them. No man shall ever be qualified to rule and reign over the nations until he has first been made a partaker of this very SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING from God. This is what the Spirit indicated when He inspired the prophet to write: “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him… and shall make Him of quick UNDERSTANDING… and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked” (Isa. 11:2-5).

Divine Understanding does not judge either by the sight of the eye or the hearing of the ear, but with righteousness it judges the poor and reproves with equity for the meek of the earth. In the face of the condemning multitudes it cries, “Judge nothing before the time until the Lord comes, Who shall bring to light the hidden things of darkness; and then shall every man have praise of God” (I Cor. 4:5). It was neither love nor forgiveness alone that led Jesus to say to the woman taken in adultery, “Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more,” but the SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING. One should take into account what God remembers when dealing with humanity. He never forgets that we are “dust,” and He remembers just the kind of muck from which our bodies and souls came. The eye of the All-seeing God sees what even we, in most cases, can see, that men have, in their very blood, and in their up-bringing and education, been saturated with sin and the world, with godless attitudes and actions, with deceptions and errors, with nervous temperaments and diseases which are the direct result of Adam’s transgression; miserable human creatures who by inherited nature are the children of wrath, blinded by the god of this world, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

David admonished his son Solomon as he was about to take the throne of Israel: “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and UNDERSTANDETH all the imaginations of the thoughts” (I Chron. 28:9). It seems that David understood something of the justice of God which proceeds from His understanding of the frailties of mortal man, for he wrote in Ps. 103:13-14: “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He REMEMBRETH that we are dust.”

This aspect of the Lord’s Understanding was revealed early in human history. When Noah came forth from the ark following the great deluge, we read: “And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savor; and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:20-22).

When the Lord smelled the sweet savor of Noah’s sacrifice He then said WITHIN HIMSELF that He would never again destroy all living things because of man’s wickedness. This was a council made with His own heart, a decision made by His own will. By HIMSELF ALONE He made an unconditional COVENANT WITH HIMSELF concerning the whole earth, never again to kill all living creatures during all the ages of the earth. This Noahic covenant would never cease. God purposed never again to curse the ground, no matter how evil man would become, “for,” said He, “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”

The next time you stand ready to condemn men for their slowness to see the glories you behold, give place to the SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING that it may possess you; then you will surely know that the god of this world hath blinded the minds of men and GOD ALONE CAN OPEN THE EYES OF HIM THAT WAS BORN BLIND! We have great pity for the man who has some awful handicap because of a physical defect from the time of his birth, for understanding has taught us that these afflictions came through no fault of his own. Why then do we cast aside the Spirit of Understanding by demanding that he whose spiritual eyes have never been opened should be able to see the mountains filled with the hosts of the Lord? If the men who crucified the Lord of glory had not been blinded by the god of this world, they would not have nailed Him to the tree; therefore the Spirit of Understanding in His soul whispered, “Father, forgive them! for they KNOW NOT what they do!”

For many years there was a certain area in my life in which I was extremely intolerant and implacable toward people possessed of a particular fault. When some brother would fall into that certain error I would always contend: “I don’t understand how anyone who is supposed to be walking with God could ever do that and think that God told them to do it!” I could understand how brothers could stumble into this sin, but what I couldn’t understand was how they could blame their error on the LORD, saying that GOD led them into it. Then – one day, quite unexpectedly, due to a series of unforeseen and complex circumstances, the very same spirit of error came upon ME and I found MYSELF being irresistibly drawn toward the same thing that had entrapped the others, and, surprisingly enough, the deception was so cunning that I found myself actually BELIEVING that it was THE LORD who was leading me that way! Suddenly, wrong seemed so right! Under this attack my values became so distorted that I was wont to call the flesh Spirit and the Spirit flesh. It all seemed so right, so logical, yes, even so… SPIRITUAL! God, who is exceedingly gracious, and altogether faithful, was gracious to deliver me from that snare of the devil ere I fell into the trap so craftily laid for me. Today, I am as much opposed to that particular error as I ever was, for the Word of God is opposed to it, but one thing the Lord taught me for sure – never again can I say, “I don’t UNDERSTAND how anyone could do that and think GOD led them into it!” NOW, I DO UNDERSTAND!

This is merely an aspect of UNDERSTANDING ministered to my own heart through the dealings of God in experience, but upon Jesus the Christ rested all the plenitude of the SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING from God. Marvelous beyond words is the realization that this One, upon Whom rests the Spirit of Understanding, is not only our Saviour but also our great High Priest. “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain MERCY, and find GRACE TO HELP in time of need” (Heb. 4:14-16).

One of the requirements for Priesthood, under the typical economy of the Old Testament, was that the Priest be a man of compassion; of that kind of compassion which sprang from his own experience, he himself also being compassed about by infirmity. In Heb. 5:1-2 we read: “For every High Priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself IS ALSO COMPASSED ABOUT WITH INFIRMITY.” This wonderful type was explicitly fulfilled in our great High Priest as we see in Heb. 2:14,16-18: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself took part of the same… for verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in ALL THINGS it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a MERCIFUL and FAITHFUL High Priest… to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself HATH SUFFERED BEING TEMPTED, He is able to succour them that are being tempted.”

We, as the “Royal Priesthood” of God, destined, as the “body” of our great High Priest, Jesus, to reign as Priests over all nations during that glorious age now dawning, need to understand this one great principle of Priesthood: The condition that develops compassion within us is that we ourselves get compassed about, hedged in, by problems, difficulties, and needs that are going to be represented by people to whom we minister. So many of us are intolerant in certain areas of our lives because we have not gone through the pressure, we have not been compassed about by that particular weakness, we have not sat where others sit, therefore we lack a spirit of Understanding and compassion.

This SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING is one of the seven Spirits of Sonship that shall rest like a cloud of glory upon the sons of God. By these shall the glory and order of God’s Kingdom be established throughout the whole earth. Any man who reigns in that glorious Kingdom must, first, be a partaker of the reality of these seven Spirits. Let us pray for the Spirit of Understanding. May that deep and fervent cry expressed from the heart of the Psalmist become even the cry of the sons of God in this hour: “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: GIVE ME UNDERSTANDING that I may learn Thy commandments” (Ps. 119:73). How readily did the Lord incline His ear unto the Psalmist’s earnest petition, and with what speed did He send forth the answer, for in verses 102-104 we read: “I have not departed from Thy judgments: for THOU HAST TAUGHT ME. How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Thy precepts I GET UNDERSTANDING: therefore I hate every false way.”

Even so, let it be unto us, our Father!

 


Chapter 10

The Spirit Of Counsel

“These things saith He that hath THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1)

“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the SPIRIT OF COUNSEL and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:2).

The fourth Spirit of Sonship is the Spirit of Counsel. Since the Word of the Almighty has called this the Spirit of Counsel we must understand that this Counsel is not in any way a function of human counsel which is, in fact, nothing more than the deliberation of the carnal mind. Carnal men toil for long years in the schools of this world’s “learning” to learn the world’s systems of psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis and other methods of psychotherapy which, at best, deal only with the effects of man’s problems and not with the real cause. The wisdom and counsel of God is rejected by the counselors of this evil world, for they, in their darkened minds, recognize neither the glory of God nor the power of Satan, understanding not that the whole world of mankind is indeed “dead in trespasses and sins, in which at one time you walked in habitually. You were following the course of THIS WORLD – were under the sway and tendency of this present age – following the prince of the power of the air, the demon Spirit THAT STILL CONSTANTLY WORKS in the sons of disobedience. Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh – our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature; obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind – our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings. We were then by nature children of wrath and heirs of indignation, like the rest of mankind” (Eph. 2:1-3, Amplified Bible).

The real and only solution to the chaotic problems in men’s lives is found in the verses which follow those quoted above. “BUT GOD! So rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, even when we were slain by our own shortcomings and trespasses, HE MADE US ALIVE together in fellowship and in union with Christ. He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him. It is by grace that you are saved… and made partakers of Christ’s salvation. And He raised us up together WITH HIM and made us sit down together – giving us joint seating with Him – in the heavenly sphere by virtue of our being in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-6, Amplified Bible).

Many years ago, in the early days of my ministry, I found it difficult to counsel people in their problems. People came with such miserable bondages, with such wretched circumstances and conditions, in such tangled and hopeless messes in their lives, with such involved family situations, financial problems, physical and emotional problems so unbelievably desperate that more times than not I felt totally empty and helpless before them. To improve my ability to help people in their problems I sought to study books on counseling, psychology, etc., but alas! to my dismay I soon discovered these books were as empty and full of weakness and death as myself. How I thank God for that blessed day when the answer came from heaven, the light of God’s Spirit burst as the brightness of the noon-day sun upon my understanding, and the voice of Jesus spoke as thunder in the ears of my spirit: I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE! In one instant of time I clearly saw that there are not twenty-five different solutions to twenty-five different problems – there is only ONE solution, the very same solution, for every single problem of each and every man, woman and child upon the face of this earth. There is only one answer, the same answer, to a thousand or a million problems, to the petty problems of simple men and to the staggering, frightening problems of nations and civilizations. There is no other answer, no other way, no other counsel! JESUS both HAS and IS the answer! With what sorrow did the Master reprove a people 2,000 years ago, who were not one whit different than the masses that walk our earth today, declaring: “And the Father Himself, which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of Me. Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape. And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not. And ye will not come to Me, THAT YE MIGHT HAVE LIFE” (Jn. 5:37-38,40). Life more abundant is only found IN CHRIST. How greatly this one sublime truth simplified for me the giving of counsel unto men and their problems and sorrow, and what life and power were released to see the lives of men healed, delivered and transformed out of every kind of pit of bondage and despair.

How many of the world’s peoples, how many of the world’s Christians, enmeshed in the carnal system of religion which calls itself the church, daily seek human counsel which is, in all reality, nothing more than the advice of men who are walking in fallen, unregenerate, carnal minds. As a worm looks at things through the eyes of a worm with the limited understanding of a worm in the earth, so fallen men see all things through carnal minds and give their counsel as carnal men, and often the counselor is in as great darkness as the counseled. It is nothing short of ludicrous to observe what the world will accept as counsel as students seek to counsel the faculties of our universities, as adolescents counsel their parents, as divorced persons serve as marriage counselors to those having marital problems, as unmarried instruct the married, and the childless counsel fathers and mothers in the arts of child-rearing.

Multitudes of the Lord’s people in their desperation have turned to gross superstition, or to psychology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis for help and healing which they do not get in their church. Thousands of men and women, many of them young men and women, are seeking from Freud and Jung what they ought to find in Christ. Psychology is supposedly “scientific,” and the so-called authority of “science” is a power to be reckoned with in these days. The truth is, however, that the conclusions of psychology are very tentative and its methods of healing largely experimental; and the results of the craze for psychoanalysis are in many cases disastrous. The cure seems worse than the disease. What the analyst is really doing is to dissect the carnal mind, and by observing its behavior over a wide field, and tabulating his results to discover, or attempt to discover, the laws by which it works, and so cure its diseases. The process, it is admitted by all, leads one into strange places. Go down with Freud into the very depths – and it is difficult to prevent a feeling of nausea as you proceed. Such probing merely discovers the awful depths of depravity revealed long ago by our Lord Jesus when He taught, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mk. 7:21-23). Psychologists believe that it is necessary to investigate and analyze and probe into the working of the carnal mind in order to free man from it and cure the many moral and nervous disorders which afflict us. First, that the carnal mind is worth analyzing for its own sake, is very doubtful. Second, that the carnal mind and the wicked heart can be destroyed without analyzing them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, is the testimony of scripture and the experience of multiplied tens of thousands of people who have been healed and delivered by the power of Christ. Carnal minds can never heal carnal minds and evil hearts. The living Christ is able to make men every whit whole by one touch of His hand and one word from His lips.

The carnal mind has nothing more to offer in counsel but darkness and death, for the carnal mind IS DEAD, and knows nothing at all of that which pertains to life. For the people of God to seek counsel from the counselors of this world, be they psychologists, psychiatrists, marriage counselors, or the ministers of religion in the harlot church systems, is as futile and worthless as seeking counsel from a corpse. How accurately did Paul pen the words in Rom. 8:6: “For to be carnally minded IS DEATH; but to be spiritually minded IS LIFE and peace.” The Amplified Bible says: “Now the mind of the flesh, which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit, is death – but the mind of the Spirit is life and soul-peace both now and forevermore.” The carnal mind today is even more corrupt and dark than in past ages for it has suffered the unrelenting process of 6,000 years of continual deterioration and degeneration. You have only to follow the news which daily flows forth from the radio, television and newspapers and it will soon be clearly seen that the counsel given by the wise men of the earth gives naught but greater frustration until the hearts of men are failing them for fear in looking after the things that are coming upon the earth.

No truer words have been penned than these words by Paul Mueller: “Again we must emphasize the fact that COUNSEL as set forth here by Isaiah is one of the seven Spirits of God. THE SPIRIT OF COUNSEL is GOD HIMSELF being imparted to His sons, and not merely our present minds anointed to give forth the counsel of the Lord. This SPIRIT OF COUNSEL, as well as all the seven Spirits of God, is a portion of GOD HIMSELF being committed unto the sons of God. Much of our present understanding has to do with the Lord’s anointing upon our minds to set forth His counsel, but the anointing with the Spirit of counsel is much more than that. When we are anointed with the seven Spirits of God, our present, natural minds will not be in use, for these carnal minds will be replaced with the mind of Christ. Our present minds are a part of the corruptible state we have been living in, and can have no part in the administration of the kingdom of God. Thus, when we read the scriptural references to the counsel of the Lord, let us think on higher levels and allow our spirits soar to new and higher heights in Christ.

“When Isaiah prophesied of the coming of Christ, he said His name would be called: ‘Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ (Is. 9:6) Thus, Christ was anointed as the ‘COUNSELLER,’ representing the will and purpose of God to establish a government which shall never cease to increase, to sit upon the throne of David, and to order and establish His kingdom with justice and judgment for ever. In Christ is vested all the Wisdom, Understanding and Counsel of the Father, and we are being prepared of the Lord to partake of that glorious anointing with Christ, receiving THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD.

“The original Hebrew word which is translated ‘counsel’ indicates advice implying a plan, and the Lord most assuredly has a plan for the full redemption and restoration of all things, a plan that began long before the creation of man and which extends to the far distant reaches of the ages beyond the present. This all-inclusive and far-reaching plan of God has been hidden from our eyes due to the teachings of Babylon, but is being revealed to us BY THE SPIRIT. When we get a glimpse of the great and glorious plan of God Who is the mighty Counselor, our prayer will be as expressed by Isaiah, ‘..LET THE COUNSEL OF THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL DRAW NIGH AND COME, THAT WE MAY KNOW IT.’ (Is. 5:19) And with a progressive revelation of Christ we also receive THE COUNSEL OF GOD, for Christ is the ‘COUNSELLER.’

“The Psalmist said, ‘The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to naught: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. THE COUNSEL OF THE LORD STANDETH FOR EVER, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.’ (Ps. 33:10-11) When once we understand the stability and endurance of the counsel of God, we will earnestly seek for His counsel to guide our lives. The Psalmist also said, ‘I will bless the Lord, who hath given me COUNSEL: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.’ (Ps. 16:7) And this COUNSEL OF THE LORD is the ‘path of life’ which leads to His presence in the throne on the right hand of the Father (See. Vs. 11) ‘Thou shalt guide me WITH THEY COUNSEL, and afterward receive me to glory.’ (Ps. 73:24)

“As we are making our journey from our various relatively elementary stages in spiritual life to the ultimate place of the fullness of God, we are to hear the wise counsel of God, who has said: ‘I COUNSEL THEE to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.’ (Rev. 3:18) And let us heed this wise counsel of the Lord that we may grow in maturity unto the fullness of Christ, to be anointed with the seven Spirits of God, among them THE SPIRIT OF COUNSEL. Herein lies the hope of all mankind as the whole creation awaits that MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD when we shall be anointed with THE FULNESS OF GOD, BAPTIZED WITH THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF SONSHIP.” – end quote

Hear now the counsel and wisdom of God penned long centuries ago by one who had learned the wisdom of the counsel of the Lord, which may well be the first counsel that shall be given to the whole world when the sons of God begin their righteous reign: “Blessed – happy, fortunate, prosperous and enviable – is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly, following their advice, their plans and purposes, nor stands in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down where the scornful gather. But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord – the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God – he habitually meditates by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted by the streams of water, ready to bring forth his fruit in its season; his leaf also shall not fade or wither, and everything he does shall prosper and come to maturity” (Ps. 1:1-3, Amplified Bible). Blessed is the man that WALKETH NOT IN THE COUNSEL OF THE UNGODLY, saith the Lord. How naively many of the Lord’s people accept it as some thing of great spiritual and national import when our President announces that he begins each day with a prayer asking God to help him make the right decisions for our nation. Laudable as that seems to the unenlightened mind, yet, I ask, how can one receive counsel and direction from the Lord, even if he asks, if he then refuses to listen to the counsel of God and straightway goes out and RECEIVES ALL HIS COUNSEL from the carnally minded wise men of the world? Truly I say to you that God does not channel His Counsel through the ungodly labor leaders, world bankers, college professors, businessmen, politicians, military generals, and the scores of other such types with whom our President daily confers and from whom he seeks advice and counsel. Being a nominal Christian does not qualify any man to rule our nation in the wisdom and righteousness of God, for truly such are merely “babes” in Christ. The inspiration of God has this to say of babes: “However… I could not talk to you as to spiritual men, but as to no spiritual men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates, as to mere infants in the new life in Christ. For you are still unspiritual, having the nature of the flesh – behaving yourselves AFTER A HUMAN STANDARD and like MERE UNCHANGED MEN” (I Cor. 3:1,3, Amplified Bible). Any President could rule in greater wisdom, and in greater blessing to the nation and the world, if he would call as his advisors the prophets of God in whose mouth is the sure Word of the Lord and if he and they would, instead of holding a cabinet meeting with unconverted and unregenerate “experts,” begin each day with a two hour prayer meeting, seeking the face and counsel of GOD, and then do nothing but that which the Spirit directs. “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto Thee” (Ps. 143:8). “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance” (Ps. 89:15).

THE COUNSEL OF GOD

Blessed be God, the age is very near at hand when the sons of God shall reign with Christ, not as the carnal church system which has rejected the counsel of the Lord seeks to reign through the human governments of earth, but in transcendent glory and power shall they reign. The mind of Christ shall dwell richly in all these sons of God and from that divine mind shall flow forth the COUNSEL OF THE LORD. Now counsel is advice; the counsel of God is the advice of God. However, counsel is much more than mere advice. There are three important words which keep company in the Bible, namely, will, counsel and purpose. Some of the words translated as will and purpose are actually related to the Greek word translated counsel for they all derive from the same stem. One of the Greek words from which the word will is translated is BOULEMA (Rom. 9:19). One of the Greek words from which purpose comes is BOULEOUMAI (I Cor. 1:17). The primary word for counsel in the Greek is BOULE (Eph. 1:11). Now you don’t have to be a Greek scholar, in fact, you don’t even have to know one single word of the Greek to look at these three words and tell they are related. The three are related because purpose always proceeds from will and is then expressed as counsel. So the counsel of God is the advice of God, but it is MORE than advice, it is also the very WILL and PURPOSE of the Almighty! Counsel received from the Lord reveals the godly and deliberate PURPOSE OF GOD. It is good judgment, judgment taken by consultation with the Lord, thus it is the Lord’s own judgment.

The counsel of God is that will and purpose which God has held from eternity in His own heart and mind. Since God is the first and highest life form in the universe, the cause of all things and the effect of nothing, He did not from eternity receive counsel from any being nor did He form His purposes in consultation with any other. Thus we can understand that which is written of Him: “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure WHICH HE HATH PURPOSED IN HIMSELF” (Eph. 1:9). The verses surrounding this verse speak of how the Father chose us “in Christ” before the foundation of the world “that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children (placement as Sons) by Christ Jesus unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of HIS WILL” (Eph. 1:4-5). In purposing and planning for this vast family of sons who are finally to come into the glorious image of that first-born Son, the Father was not prompted nor inspired to this purpose by selecting some suggestions from the celestial suggestion box nor by holding a council and collaborating with His peers, associates or equals. HE PURPOSED IN HIMSELF! When my wife and I made the decision to have children in our home we didn’t ask our neighbors if they thought this was a good idea, neither did we consult my parents nor my wife’s relatives. We purposed in ourselves…

It needs to be forever established in our mind and heart that “Known unto God are ALL HIS WORKS from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18). We are participators, “actors upon the state,” in the actual playing out of those “works” of God because we were “chosen in Him” and “in Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after THE COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL” (Eph. 1:11). The question is asked in Isa. 40:13-14: “WHO hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counselor hath taught Him? WITH WHOM TOOK HE COUNSEL, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and showed to Him the way of understanding?” Paul reiterates the same question in Rom. 11:-34-36: “For who has known the mind of the Lord… or who HAS EVER BEEN HIS COUNSELOR? Or who has first given God anything that he might be paid back or that he could claim a recompense? For from Him and through Him and to Him are ALL THINGS.” Seeing that “He is before all things, and by Him all things consist,” how could anything made have been counselor before times unto Him that made them?

The purposes and plans of God are as eternal as is the God who purposed and planned. How we need to understand that God did not one day sit down in His heaven and “think up” the idea of the creation, nor of His glorious kingdom, not yet His own family of sons who would share His glory. If God is omniscient as we know He is, and has always been omniscient then it follows that there NEVER WAS A TIME when He did not know what all His actions would be, there never could have been a time when He had not already planned and purposed in His own mind and heart for all that He would bring forth from Himself, past, present or future, for then there would have been a time when HE WAS NOT omniscient, indeed a time when He was NOT GOD! God has ALWAYS been God, He has always been omniscient and omnipotent, He has always known ALL THINGS, planned and purposed for all things. This is why God’s purpose is called “the eternal purpose” in Eph. 3:11! The purpose is fulfilled within the framework of “the ages” of time, but, blessed be His name!, the “purpose” is ETERNAL!

THE WONDERFUL COUNSELOR

The hour is near at hand when the whole world shall come under the Spirit of Counsel manifested in God’s sons, for God has said of this corporate Son, head and body, “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him… the SPIRIT OF COUNSEL… with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth… they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain (kingdom): for THE EARTH SHALL BE FULL of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:2,4,9). The exact counsel that Jesus Christ Himself would give will be the counsel of the whole body of sons, for upon them shall rest the SPIRIT of counsel. The sons of God shall be the embodiment and full expression of the WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD for the whole earth.

This sevenfold anointing of the fullness of God’s Spirit rested first upon the glorious Head of the house of sons. In Isa. 9:6-7 there is a wonderful prophecy of the birth of Jesus and world-wide scope of the government over which He will preside. To help us grasp more fully what His rulership will mean for the nations of earth this prophecy assigns several meaningful titles to Him. Says the prophet: “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Some Hebrew scholars claims that no punctuation should follow the word “Wonderful,” that it is merely an adjective, like the word “Mighty” in the title, “The Mighty God,” and in the word “Everlasting” in the title, “The Everlasting Father.” We know, of course, that Jesus is “Wonderful.” No matter from what standpoint we view Him, He is altogether “Wonderful!” But it does seem reasonable, and in harmony with the revelation of God, that here the Lord is telling us primarily that Jesus is the WONDERFUL COUNSELOR.

The term “Counselor,” as used in this prophecy, means more than one who gives advice. It is more like our word attorney, that is, one who represents a client before the bar of justice. It is in this capacity that Jesus now represents the church, His body, and in this capacity He will act on behalf of the whole world in His glorious reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His work as Counselor will be very closely akin to His role as Judge. In very fact, the Judge IS the Counselor! In both respects He will be dealing with the people for the purpose of effecting their reconciliation with God, and upon the basis of this, bringing them into life and the blessings and benefits of the kingdom.

And Jesus will indeed be a WONDERFUL COUNSELOR and a Righteous Judge! Isaiah declared of Him: This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is WONDERFUL IN COUNSEL, and excellent in working” (Isa. 28:29). It is almost possible to hear the exultation in Jeremiah's voice as he proclaims: “Ah Lord God! Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee... the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is His name, GREAT IN COUNSEL, and mighty in work” (Jer. 32:17-19). In our text in Isa. 11:2-4 it says: the Spirit of Counsel and might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord; and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge...”

I stand in awe before such wonderful words. Truly, One with such qualifications will deal with the people justly, and we can be assured that under His righteous reign there shall be a world-wide turning unto God in which even the prophecy of Rev. 11:15 shall see its long awaited fulfillment: “And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD... and He shall reign for ever and ever.”

COUNSELLORS IN THE KINGDOM

Not only shall this Wonderful Counselor reign in righteousness over the earth, but the great company of overcoming sons shall reign with Him. “And He that overcometh... to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Rev. 2:26-27). “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). “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them... and they reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4).

Many centuries before John penned the above verses Isaiah prophesied of the day of God's divine government in and through His people, saying: “Therefore saith the Lord... I will ease Me of Mine adversaries, and avenge Me of Mine enemies: and I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away thy tin: and I will restore THY JUDGES AS AT THE FIRST, AND THY COUNSELLORS AS AT THE BEGINNING: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city” (Isa. 1:24-26).

Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor but there shall also be a restoration of COUNSELLORS to God's people and eventually to the whole world. Who these judges and counselors are is not difficult to determine for the whole testimony of scripture is unified in declaring that judgment is given to God's saints. “... until the Ancient of days came, and JUDGMENT WAS GIVEN TO THE SAINTS of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom” (Dan. 7:21-22). “Do ye not know that the SAINTS SHALL JUDGE THE WORLD? Do ye not know that WE SHALL JUDGE ANGELS?” (I Cor. 6:1-2). “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and JUDGMENT WAS GIVEN UNTO THEM: and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4).

Let us keep in mind the great truth that even as Jesus is both Judge and Counselor, so the sons of God are given not only as judges of the world but also as COUNSELLORS to the nations. In the Bible the ones whom God raised up as judges for His people did more than just settle disputes between individuals or hand down and execute judicial decisions. Those judges were actually THE DELIVERERS OF GOD’S PEOPLE! There is one book in the Bible that is specifically named “Judges.” As a book it is a thriller! Therein we read of the fearless exploits of those mighty men whom God, “the Judge of all the earth,” raised up for the salvation and deliverance of His oppressed and afflicted people. Hail the day of judgment that began when God raised up a judge to execute judgment of His afflicted ones! for these judges were, indeed, “saviours” of Israel by a special anointing of the Spirit of the Lord.

Throughout the administration of the judges the people were blessed. Note, for instance, how, when under oppression by their enemies because of transgression against the Lord, Israel was again and again released and blessed by the raising up of judges. Thus we read: “When the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a DELIVERER, who delivered them… and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he JUDGED ISRAEL, and went out to war… and prevailed… and the land had rest” (Judges 3:9-11). And again, “The Lord raised up judges that DELIVERED THEM out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And then the Lord raised up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge” (Judges 2:16,18).

Those wonderful judges were raised up long millenniums ago for the deliverance of Israel; but now, in this glorious age, God is preparing a mighty COMPANY OF JUDGES whose responsibility it shall be to JUDGE THE WORLD in righteousness!

When God declares that He will raise up in the last days “thy JUDGES as at the first, and thy COUNSELLORS as at the beginning,” this does not mean that the Judges and the Counselors are two different classes of people. In the Old Testament economy in the days of the judges the judges WERE the counselors. These are merely two aspects of ministry embodied in the same persons. Can anyone possibly imagine what would happen to a nation if all the members of its government were completely selfless instead of completely selfish, if they were sons of God WALKING IN THE MIND AND SPIRIT OF CHRIST, instead of handshaking, baby-kissing politicians seeking to curry the favor of men for personal advantage, or if the judges judged by the spirit of wisdom and discernment from God instead of by the tricky technicalities of the law? What if the leaders of the world were filled with the Holy Spirit of God and moved under the power of His anointing turning men to God instead of building larger armies and navies, more sophisticated missiles, and more destructive bombs? What if judges and social workers had the Word of God in their mouths and power to cast the demon spirits out of men instead of carrying them off to some ungodly psychiatrist, mental hospital, or prison? To even contemplate such things in this age of darkness only serves to bring a sad smile to our faces, but I can assure you in all confidence that this present day of darkness is even now merging into God’s great DAY OF JUDGMENT and perdition of ungodly men. The whole system is rapidly sinking and collapsing around us and God is even now preparing a righteous government of holy sons of God to replace it.

Destruction of the demonized systems of this world will certainly call for a change of judgeships over mankind. In the proper course of things, then, new thrones of judgment come into existence. Nothing else but a BETTER BODY OF JUDGES could be expected to occupy those new thrones of judgment, which are established by God’s authority in the heavenlies. God’s judges will not be men in judicial robes sitting on a bench in a smoke-filled courtroom. God’s judges shall be men possessing the mind of Christ, clothed with the wisdom and power of God, speaking the words of God with great authority. Mighty DELIVERANCE can thenceforth be expected to come to misled, misruled, and misjudged mankind! Two thousand years ago Jesus designated the first twelve of this new order of judges. On the night of His betrayal and arrest and unjust trial by the highest court in Jerusalem, Jesus said to His small handful of footstep followers: “You are those who have remained and persevered with Me in My trials; and as My Father has appointed a Kingdom and conferred it on Me, so do I confer on you the privilege and decree that you may eat and drink at My table in My Kingdom, and sit on thrones, JUDGING the twelve tribes of Israel” (Lk. 22:28-30). Those were merely the first appointed to this realm of authority and ministry, for Daniel said, “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the ancient of days came, and JUDGMENT WAS GIVEN TO THE SAINTS of the Most High; and the time came that the SAINTS possessed the Kingdom” (Dan. 7:21-22). And Paul adds further light in I Cor. 6:2-3, “Do ye not know that THE SAINTS SHALL JUDGE THE WORLD? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?”

A very distorted picture rises up in most minds when we speak of “judgment.” The only judgment a great many people have any knowledge of is the judgment of wrath and condemnation. The view generally entertained is of Christ coming to earth, seated upon a great white throne, and that He will summon every sinner in rank and file before Him to be judged, amidst great convulsions of nature – earthquakes, opening graves, rending rocks and falling mountains; that the trembling sinners will be brought from the depths of everlasting woe to hear their many sins rehearsed, only to be again returned to an eternal and merciless doom of torture; and that the saints will be brought from heaven to witness the misery and despair of the condemned, to hear again the decision in their own cases, and to return to heaven for eternity.

This is a very crude conception, and is entirely out of harmony with the whole picture of judgment. We need to understand exactly what is meant by the word “judgment.” Judgment is translated in the Old Testament most often from the Hebrew word MISHPAT. MISHPAT means simply “a verdict” which may be either favorable or unfavorable. The only judgment most people understand is the negative aspect of judgment, the unfavorable verdict, which is unto condemnation and wrath. It should require only a moment’s reflection, however, to enable anyone to see that the very same judge who sentences one man to pay a fine, another to die in the electric chair, may suspend the sentence of a third man and declare yet a fourth man “not guilty” – acquitted! It is plain that a great many different “judgments” or “verdicts” may come from this one judge. Thus, the work of the judge is not merely to condemn and mete out sentences, but to weigh all the facts and take all the circumstances into consideration in each case and render a just verdict, favorable or unfavorable, as the case may demand.

Furthermore, the “judge” of a beauty contest does not condemn or damn any of the contestants who fail to receive the highest recognition. He merely renders a “verdict” as to whom, in his estimation, is “the fairest of them all”! In keeping with these principles the Hebrew word MISHPAT indicates merely the rendering of a judicial verdict or decision, favorable or unfavorable, as the case may warrant. The Psalmist spoke of this when he said, “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But GOD IS THE JUDGE: He putteth down one, and setteth up another” (Ps. 75:6-7). The positive aspect of judgment, the rendering of a favorable verdict, is implored of the Lord by David in Ps. 43:1-2: “JUDGE ME, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: for Thou art the God of my strength.”

Many tremble inwardly at the thought of God’s judgments, and in this mind put them far from them, preferring not to even hear the subject mentioned. They have absolutely no idea of the wonderful blessings in store for a sin-weary world under the glorious reign of the sons of God filled with all the nature, wisdom, glory and power of God!

How differently did the holy prophets and apostles regard that promised DAY OF JUDGMENT! Note the expectation in Isaiah’s spirit as he announces: “Yea, in the way of THY JUDGMENTS, O Lord, have we waited for Thee… with my soul have I desired Thee in the night; yeah, with my spirit within me will I seek Thee early: for when THY JUDGMENTS are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world WILL LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Isa. 26:8-9). Here Isaiah assures us that the day when God’s judgments are in the earth will be a most glorious and desirable day, a day in which the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness! If the desire of your heart is anything like the desire of my heart, this is a blessed thought and a wonderful assurance: the inhabitants of the world WILL LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS! How my ransomed soul longs to behold such a thing! Every time I scan the headlines of the morning paper I am seized with an intense yearning that the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. As I drive across our great land; as I walk the streets of our cities and towns, beholding the condition of those about, neighbors, friends, relatives, strangers, my spirit groans with unutterable supplication that the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness! What a marvelous provision of our wise and loving Father that, to this very end, He has ORDAINED JUDGMENT to come forth in the earth. Bless His name!

“Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: HE SHALL JUDGE THE PEOPLE RIGHTEOUSLY. Let the heavens rejoice, and LET THE EARTH BE GLAD; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field by joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees (people) of the wood REJOICE before the Lord: for He cometh, for He cometh TO JUDGE THE EARTH: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth” (Ps. 96:10-13).

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, ALL THE EARTH: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Let the sea (multitudes, peoples) roar, and the fullness thereof; THE WORLD and THEY THAT DWELL THEREIN. Let the floods claps their hands, let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for he COMETH TO JUDGE THE EARTH: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity” (Ps. 93:4, 8-9).

Thank God! The very thought of an age governed by the sons of God who are full of the sevenfold Spirit of God, upon whom rests the glorious SPIRIT OF COUNSEL, leaves me breathless. Words become totally inadequate and human ability to articulate the wonder of such a thing fails completely.

QUALIFYING AS COUNSELORS

Christ shall reign through the sons of God to bring the nations into reconciliation and harmony with God in much the same manner as the Southern States were dealt with after the Rebellion by the United States Government. The Southern States for a while were not permitted to govern themselves by electing their own officers, lest they should not conform to the Constitutional laws of the Union. So GOVERNORS, with full power to act, were placed in control for the purpose of reconstructing those state governments and bringing them back into harmony with the central government. Our ministry in that coming age will be to bring all peoples and nations back into reconciliation and harmony with God, so that all nations shall come and worship before Him, as it is written.

If you are among the number that know and experience deep within the cry, the groaning, the travail, the insatiable desire to see the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness, to behold the glory of the coming of the Kingdom of God, then hesitate not to count yourself as one apprehended of God, marked out beforehand, to walk as a SON of God, as a Counselor in the Kingdom, and then follow that acceptance of divine appointment by completely and unreservedly consecrating yourself to be led through the deep and vital dealings and processings of God to be conformed to His image, to express nothing but his will and glory in the earth, to be filled with the sevenfold Spirit of Sonship. We must first submit ourselves unto God in the totality of our being, for none shall dispense the Counsels of the Lord but they who have both received and obeyed from the heart His Counsel. We must become the visible expression of the Spirit of Counsel, that Spirit resting upon and manifesting through our being in a practical outworking of His will and purpose. What the Spirit IS must ultimately be communicated to men and women in the world. People must see by the very “state of being” and our living before them, what are the Counsels of the Lord and the Righteousness of our God. To be a visible demonstration of mercy, forgiveness, love, joy, peace, faith, wisdom, power and righteousness. To not be vindictive nor implacable toward any man, but extending mercy and blessing, reconciling the wayward back to God. To live in the Spirit. To walk in the Spirit. This is the route to BECOMING A COUNSELLOR!

We cannot speak of being Counselors, or Kings, or Priests, Sons upon whom rests the Spirit of Counsel, when our own lives and our relationships with our brethren, our families, our neighbors, our business associates, and even our enemies have been a vast feuding ground of malice, envy, anger, bitterness, strife, full of peevishness, whisperings, shadiness, debate, deceit, backbiting, evil speaking, vindictiveness and other such manifestations of carnality and fleshiness. God is not passing out any honorary degrees or titles. He is not pinning little lapel buttons on our coats reading “COUNSELLOR” when, in very fact, in our nature, attitudes and relationships we are ANYTHING BUT COUNSELLORS! God is CONFORMING SONS TO HIS IMAGE. We speak of a state of being, an anointing which becomes expressed as a ministry in both what we DO and in what we ARE. The High Calling of God is not a free gift, as is salvation, but a PRIZE to be won, even as the prize is won by him that wins in a race.

I have no desire to be sarcastic or cynical, but if we aspire to be of that glorious company of God’s sons who shall judge and reign over the earth-realm in righteousness and power, then we must learn first and foremost that “the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (I Pet 4:17). The sooner we learn that the human heart is utterly corrupt the sooner we will come to the fountain of His precious blood, not merely for mercy and pardon, but for CLEANSING and DELIVERANCE that through the grace and power of Christ we might be soundly converted and made an entirely New Creation in Him. I can say without fear of contradiction that most Christians have come only to know what it means to be “saved in their sins,” but the sons of the most high must now become the firstfruits of them that are “saved from their sins.” Out of the midst of all the empty form and ritual of man-made religion, the violence and war, the cheating and lying, the drugs and heathenish rock music, illicit sex and filth of lesbians and homosexuals, and the plague of every abominable eastern cult and devilish religion, God shall bring forth a blessed “firstfruit company” of people who are UNDEFILED BEFORE GOD. These are they that have repented of sin and every work of the flesh. With Christ, their victorious Head, they have died to all the desires of the flesh and mind. They are a people who have fixed all their hopes in Christ the Lord. Their hearts cry not for the tinsel of the world, nor yet for the trinkets of popular religion, but their prayer ascends to God day and night, “They Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Mat. 6:10). Purged of all pride, self-interest and filthiness of flesh and spirit these shall be accounted worthy to reign with Christ as kings and judges from the spirit realm, and those who will rule from henceforth are a royal priesthood like unto their Lord, after the Order of Melchizedek.

COUNSEL “OFFERED” AND “PREDETERMINED

Before closing this Study I wish to share with you, dear reader, yet one more aspect of the Counsel of God. As I have studied the scriptures in which the Counsel of God is discussed, I have observed that counsel is “offered” (for what it may be worth to the one being counseled), and other counsel is “determinate”. “Offered counsel” always has a specific purpose when it comes from the Lord. Its purpose is to expose the relationship sustained between the “Wonderful Counselor” and the counselee, it is a sign that the latter is pleased with the purpose and will of the Counselor. It is an open acknowledgment of the wisdom of the Counselor, and a submission to the Counselor’s will and purpose for the good of the counselee. On the other hand, if the counsel is rejected, so is the will and purpose of the Counselor.

An example of this principle can be seen in the New Testament as the Counsel of God is proclaimed through John the Baptist. Luke tells us: “And all the people who heard Him (including the tax collectors), justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and lawyers REJECTED THE COUNSEL OF GOD against themselves, not being baptized by John” (Lk. 7:30). The fleshly pride of the Pharisees and lawyers rebelled against the Counsel of God which called upon them to repent publicly and be baptized. They were not “common people,” and most assuredly WOULD NOT identify themselves with that mongrel crowd of tax collectors and sinners! They considered themselves to be the elite of the religious society. The thought of public acceptance of the Counsel of God to repent and be baptized along with all those who were obviously in need of doing so was simply “too much to ask.”

The people and the tax collectors, by submitting to the Counsel of God as proclaimed by John, “justified God” (i.e., declared by their obedience that God was right and righteous) The Pharisees and lawyers, by rejecting the Counsel of God through John, declared THEMSELVES to be the righteous ones, and not God! To reject the counsel of the Lord is the same as rejecting the Lord, the Counselor, disbelieving His wisdom and questioning the purpose contained in His will. These religious leaders were, therefore, under condemnation and guilty of blaspheming the very One they pretended to worship! To these the word of the Lord says: “But ye have set at naught ALL MY COUNSEL, and would none of My reproof… they would none of My counsel… therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices” (Prov. 1:25-26,30-31).

How sad that here in our day too, the whole system of religion which calls itself the church has rejected the Counsel of God. Its ministers, bishops, overseers and popes dare to give spiritual counsel from their own carnal minds, from the doctrines, traditions, psychology and all the rest taught them in their schools and seminaries, but this results only in death. Two thousand years ago the apostle John looked down through the telescope of divine revelation and beheld at the end of this age a church neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm, ready to be spewed from the Lord’s mouth – removed from being his Voice in the earth. He saw how rich they were in gold and silver, in the increase of goods and property, in fame and prestige, in governmental recognition and collaboration, in traditions and rituals, in pomp and piousness, and he heard them boast, “We have need of NOTHING!” But they knew not that they were “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:16-18). They knew only the counsel of the natural mind, only the wisdom of the carnal mind, neither seeing nor comprehending their wretched estate. Hear now the Counsel and Wisdom of God to them: “I COUNSEL THEE to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the SHAME OF THY NAKEDNESS DO NOT APPEAR; and anoint thy eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest SEE.” This Counsel is “offered counsel” and what the church of this hour does with it determines and reveals their true state!

“Offered counsel” may be rejected or accepted by the counselee, for its sole object is to display openly the spiritual condition of the one to whom counsel is offered. If the receiver is reprobate he will reject the divine Counsel of God. The “Determinate Counsel of God” is another matter! This counsel is never offered on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. It is guaranteed to come to pass, precisely as declared, for it is pre-determined by a sovereign God whose absolute will cannot and will not be changed. “Determinate counsel” is immutable: it changes not! Our Almighty God alone has the wisdom to will a plan which is flawless, and which will stand, because he alone is sovereign and omnipotent over all things. Having purposed within Himself, having determined in his own heart what shall be his plan and what shall take place, because it pleased Him in His own holy nature that it should, the Lord knows the end from the beginning, because the all things which do take place do so at His good pleasure. This is why He that framed the ages and is the architect of creation and history can boldly declare: “I am God and there is none other! I declare the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things not yet done; saying, MY COUNSEL SHALL STAND! I WILL DO all My pleasure! (Isa. 46:9-10).

Carnal men may take counsel together, determined to accomplish their will, but they are unable to guarantee the outcome. The old League of Nations, formed to “end all wars,” is testimony to that! Too many unforeseen things may prevent the fulfillment of human counsel. The purposes of man, expressing his will to achieve, are easily frustrated by other men, but the purposes of our God will stand. Only He is able to bring to pass all that He has decreed in His Counsel, only the Lord possesses DETERMINATE COUNSEL which is immutable and eternal.

An example in the New Testament of the importance of the counsel of men is seen in the advice given the Sanhedrin, the chief council of Israel, concerning the apostles witness to Jesus as the Christ. The wise teacher of the apostle Paul warns them: “If this counsel be of men, it will come to nothing; but if it be of God, YE CANNOT OVERTHROW IT, lest perhaps ye be found fighting against God!” (Acts 5:38-39). Gamaliel was a wise old rabbi. He knew that if human counsel was contrary to Divine Counsel, it would surely fail. However, if the counsel of the followers of Jesus was given by God, it would surely stand, for such counsel of the Lord IS DETERMINATE. It is fully guaranteed to come to pass! This is why Peter, on the day of Pentecost, declared with assurance that the reason that the Jews succeeded in murdering Jesus was that their will and purpose expressed by their counsel, fulfilled the will and purpose and counsel of God Himself. Therefore he boldly states: “Him (Christ) being delivered by the DETERMINATE COUNSEL and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by evil hands have slain” (Acts 2:23). It is declared that the self-will of Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentile nations, and Israel, all acting with one accord and purpose against Christ, were gathered together: “to do whatever Thy (God’s) hand, and THY COUNSEL DETERMINED BEFORE to be done” (Acts 4:28). The purpose of those who slew Jesus was to get rid of an unwanted one. Yet, as they thought and executed evil against the Lord’s Anointed, they unknowingly fulfilled God’s own purpose to redeem the world “by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb slain, without spot and without blemish.”

The overcoming sons of God are the “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ,” whose salvation and ultimate perfection is based upon God’s ordained and Determinate Counsel (Acts 14:38, Eph. 1:4-5,11). Since the counsel of our God and Father is fixed, can never be altered by the enemy, the writer of Hebrews declares: “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the IMMUTABILITY OF HIS COUNSEL, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge TO LAY HOLD UPON THE HOPE SET BEFORE US: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, and which entereth into that within the veil: whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchizadek” (Heb. 6:17-20).

I have great hope that I shall stand upon Zion’s holy hill amidst that glorious company of God’s overcoming sons. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among MANY BRETHREN… what shall we then say to these things? IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?” (Rom. 8:29,31). My heart is overwhelmed with desire to see God’s purposes fulfilled in His elect people in this hour and to behold the majesty of the Kingdom of God as it comes in power and glory through those vessels afore prepared unto mercy.

I admit that I see myself as falling far short of that image of the beloved Son, as Paul also confessed that he did not count himself as having apprehended. The perfection of the body of Christ, the glory that shall follow, a glory so transcendent that it shall reconcile the world back to God, seems so remote at times, through the sure word of the Lord has been firmly established in our hearts. As some ignorantly misjudge the skill and wisdom of a great architect and builder by his unfinished work, so also many in their ignorance now misjudge God by His unfinished work; by and by, when the rough scaffolding of carnality and evil, which has been permitted for the processing of God’s sons and instruction of mankind, and which shall finally be overruled will universally declare His infinite wisdom and power; and His plans will be seen to be in harmony with His glorious character.

Since God tells us that He definitely has a FIXED PURPOSE, and that all his purposes shall be accomplished, it behooves us, as His children, to inquire diligently what those plans are, that we may be found in harmony with them. Notice how emphatically the Lord affirms the fixedness of his purpose: “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, SO SHALL IT BE.” “The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?” “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me… My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure… yea, I have spoken it, I will bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isa. 14:24-27, 46:9-11). Therefore, however haphazard or mysterious God’s dealings with men may appear, those who believe this testimony of His word must acknowledge that His original and unalterable plan has been, and still is, progressing systematically to completion.

While the nations, groping in the darkness of ignorance, must await the actual developments of God’s plan, before they can realize the glorious character of the Divine Architect, it is the privilege of the Spirit-led child of God to see by faith and the light of revelation the foretold glories of the future, and thereby to appreciate the otherwise mysterious dealings of the past and present. Therefore, as sons of God, and heirs of a promised inheritance, we separate ourselves from every system of man, from every work of the flesh to consecrate ourselves wholly and unreservedly to the COUNSEL OF GOD that we may, by His bountiful grace and divine enablement, apprehend that for which we are also apprehended of Christ Jesus. God grant it!

 


Chapter 11

The Spirit Of Might

“These things saith He that hath THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1)

“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and MIGHT, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:2).

The fifth Spirit of Sonship is the Spirit of Might. The kingdoms of this present evil world are flexing their economic and military muscles, arrogantly displaying their power and might in the face of all mankind. The might of the nations can be observed in the organizing and equipping of immense armies, the building of great navies, the invention and development of new and wonderful instruments of war, the production of powerful explosives, the acquisition by many nations of the atomic bomb, the development of the newer and frightening neutron bomb, the stationing of hundreds of multi-war-head missiles on the earth, under the earth and in the depths of the oceans, “defense” budgets totaling untold billions of dollars annually, the draining of the natural resources in every land for the purposes of military equipment, and, in spite of the end of the “cold war,” one can hear the mutterings of the angry nations as they all stand armed to the teeth, scowling upon one another, assembling daily in the halls of the mis-named “United Nations” to blast one another with their varied brands of political rhetoric. These are all examples of this present evil world's distorted and grotesque concept of what constitutes MIGHT!

Do not forget for one moment, dear friend, that GOD is in control of all these things! Do not think for even one second that anything upon this planet is out of control, or that Satan has almost obtained the victory, for Satan has no power at all but such as is given him of God. “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Rom. 13:1). The words of Daniel, penned nearly twenty-six centuries ago, stand confirmed and irrefutable upon the pages of history: “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for WISDOM AND MIGHT ARE HIS: and HE changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings and setteth up kings: He revealeth the deep and hidden things: He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light (truth) dwelleth with Him” (Dan. 2:20-22). The hope of God's people can never be more beautifully expressed than it was by king Jehoshaphat when, besieged by his enemies, he prayed: “Oh Lord God of our fathers, art not Thou God in heaven? and rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not POWER AND MIGHT, so that none is able to withstand Thee? O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but OUR EYES ARE UPON THEE!” (II Chron. 20:6,12).

Let all men know that POWER AND MIGHT BELONG UNTO THE LORD. “Behold the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; behold He taketh up the isles like a very little thing. All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are regarded by Him as less than nothing, and emptiness. It is God who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are as grasshoppers; it is He Who stretches out the heavens like curtains and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in; Who brings dignitaries to nothing, Who makes the judges and rulers of the earth as chaos – Yes, these men are scarcely planted... when the Lord blows upon them and they whither, and the whirlwind or tempest takes them away like stubble. To whom then will ye liken ME, that I should be equal to him? says  the Holy One” (Isa. 40:15,17,22-25, Amplified Bible).

While the nations loudly rattle their swords, God is secretly preparing HIS SONS OF MIGHT, the many-membered Son, Head and body, upon whom shall rest THE SPIRIT OF GOD'S MIGHT. Even now the stone is being cut from the mountain without noise and without hands to smite the earthen feet of the image man has builded (Dan. 2:34) that the kingdoms of this world may become the kingdoms of our Lord and of HIS MIGHTY CHRIST, and He shall reign forever and ever, hallelujah! The glorious age that is now dawning will know the glory of the SPIRIT OF MIGHT as it manifests through God's holy sons. The world will know, at long last, the wonder of true authority and might with wisdom, counsel, and understanding. With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. Every yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing, for ALL POWER in heaven and earth is given unto Him.

The nations shall be ruled by the SPIRIT OF MIGHT, irresistible might, until righteous order is established in the hearts of the men of every nation under heaven; every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD to the glory of God the Father as the sons of God administer the power and glory of the kingdom of God upon earth. This work of bringing the kingdom of God to pass in the whole earth belongs to the sons of God, as it is written: “And he that overcometh shall inherit ALL THINGS; and I will be his God, AND HE SHALL BE MY SON” (Rev. 2:26-27; 21:7). This smiting and breaking by the rod of iron will be the authority of God's Word in the mouths of His Kings and Priests saying to the babbling, clamoring self-assertive humanity: “Be still! and KNOW THAT I AM GOD. I will be exalted among the peoples, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Ps. 46:10). It will be a work of “laying justice to the line and righteousness to the plummet” (Isa. 28:17) in all the little and great affairs of each and every individual of Adam's race, all of whom will thus be “taught of God” through the great Prophet, Priest and King (Head and body): Prophet to declare God's will, King in the sense of authority, and Priest in the sense of counselor or mediator Who, having redeemed, is the advocate of the people to effect their reconciliation unto God.

Paul Mueller has written: “Having already studied the first four of the seven Spirits of God, we shall now explore the remainder of the seven Spirits, the Spirit of might, the Spirit of knowledge, and the Spirit of the fear of the Lord. Each of these seven Spirits are to be considered SPIRITS OF GOD or portions of God Himself, given and imparted to the sons of God, thus bringing them into that INCHRISTED relationship where the sons of God become that which CHRIST IS. Therefore, THE SPIRIT OF MIGHT, as is true of all the seven Spirits of Sonship, should more properly be THE SPIRIT OF THE MIGHT OF THE LORD. We are not talking about man's might anointed by the Holy Spirit, but rather ALL THE MIGHT AND POWER OF GOD made available to the sons of God.

“King David had witnessed the power and might of the Lord whereby he was established as the king of the united nation and peoples of Israel. He had seen the blessings of the Lord upon his life and the reign of peace which had developed, and then David said, 'Thine, Oh Lord, is the greatness, and THE POWER, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head over all.' 'Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all: and in thine hand is power and might: and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.' (I Chron. 29:11-12) It was David who also said, 'Who is this King of glory? The Lord STRONG AND MIGHTY, the Lord MIGHTY in battle.' (Ps. 24:8) The Psalmist further states, 'For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall SUBDUE the people under us, and the nations under our feet.' (Ps. 47:2-3) It is also written that 'power belongeth unto God,' and 'Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?' or, 'Great  is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.'

“We are living by the faith of the son of God and being strengthened with His might by His Spirit. This is not God's blessing or anointing upon our own strength, but it is BY THE LORD'S MIGHT that we are being strengthened. And His might may not be readily visible and recognizable on the outward appearance, for the Lord's might is strengthening our inner man, which is being renewed after the image of Him who has called us unto Himself. The scriptures further declare that our conversation is in heaven, that is, our whole mind and attitude is centered on spiritual things. Then the apostle makes a wonderful and glorious statement. With reference to our Lord Jesus Christ, he states: 'Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto HIS GLORIOUS BODY, according to the working WHEREBY HE IS ABLE TO EVEN TO SUBDUE ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF.' (Phil. 3:20-31) This is another revelation of the diverse workings of God, who shall change our bodies and will fashion them like unto His glorious body, BY THE SPIRIT OF MIGHT, whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself. The whole task and procedure would seem to be beyond us, and indeed it is, but our transformation will not take place according to our limited ability to understand it or to receive it, but it will take place BY HIS SPIRIT.

“The apostle Paul also stated, 'For the kingdom of God is not in word, BUT IN POWER.' (I Cor. 4:20) Therefore, the kingdom of God will come upon the earth with a manifestation of the power of God, not only to transform our bodies and make us fit to reign with Him, but HIS OMNIPOTENT POWER shall be manifest to subdue all things, including the kingdoms and governments of man, and make them all subject to His rule and His order. Jesus referred to the kingdom of God coming 'WITH POWER,' and in this instance (Mark 9:1-4), He had reference to the transfiguration, the manifestation of the power of God as seen in the glorified bodies of Elijah, Moses and Jesus. Jesus also referred to that time to come when all the tribes of earth would mourn and would then 'SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN WITH POWER AND GREAT GLORY.' (Mt. 24:30) And when the kingdom is established upon the earth, with Christ as the recognized King and Lord of all, the twenty four elders of the heavenly realm said, 'We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; BECAUSE THOU HAST TAKEN TO THEE THY GREAT POWER, AND HAST REIGNED.' (Rev. 11:17) It is by the Spirit of the Lord's might that the kingdom of God shall be established, and not by the might of man.

Zechariah, the prophet, was told by the angel that talked with him, 'Not by might (margin: the might of an army), nor by the power (of man), BUT BY MY SPIRIT, saith the Lord of hosts.' (Zech. 4:6) it is not by the might of man that the purposes of God shall be fulfilled, but BY THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD'S MIGHT. And we await the impartation, immersion, and glorious anointing of that SEVEN-FOLD SPIRIT OF GOD, when the spirit of might shall empower us with HIS MIGHT.”

REIGNING WITH CHRIST

One of the seven Spirits of Sonship the, “Spirit of Might,” is the one most closely connected to the REIGNING of God’s sons. II Tim. 2:12 says: “If we suffer, we shall also REIGN with Him.” We read in Rev. 5:9-10: “Thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood… and hast made us unto our God KINGS AND PRIESTS: and we shall reign on the earth.” And again: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them… and they lived and REIGNED with Christ a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4, 6).

Simply speaking, to reign with Christ means to exercise the authority of Christ – to rule all things and in particular to deal with all his enemies. God, from the beginning, had a two-fold desire and intent for man. On one hand, God purposed for man to possess His image that he might express the nature of God to the created universe. On the other hand, God planned for man to represent Him with His authority to rule and to deal with His enemies. In His original creation, God ordained dominion. It was not His intent in the beginning that man be subservient to either angels, devils, or to the elements of the earth nor material circumstances. He was created to hold dominion over all the works of God’s hands (Ps. 8:3-9; Heb. 2:6-9). God had said: “Let us make man in our image” (Gen. 1:26). Therefore, when God created man, on the one hand, He created him in His own image and likeness that man might be like Him in nature and wisdom, and on the other hand, God gave to man “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over ALL THE EARTH, and over every creeping thing (including that ancient serpent) that creepeth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:26). This means that God gave man AUTHORITY that he might reign for Him over all realms beneath and above – over the sea, the lowest realm, the bottom of the bottomless; over the earth, the carnal realm; and over all birds and flying things – that is, the heavens, the highest realm of the spirit. Thus, the two ingredients in God’s original intent for man were for man to share God’s NATURE and exercise God’s AUTHORITY over all the universe and every realm everywhere.

The Old Testament records many instances of man since Adam reigning for God. Genesis tells how Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, and prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which, he condemned the world and brought in a new age and order. Exodus tells how Moses triumphed over Pharaoh and led two million Israelites out of Egyptian slavery to become a nation of God’s people. All the fearful signs and wonders wrought in Egypt by his hand, the parting of the Red Sea, and all the mighty miracles in the wilderness were acts of Moses’ reigning for God. The book of Joshua records how Joshua, in the last hours of the critical battle at Gibeon, commanded the sun and the moon to stand still and the very constellations of the heavens hearkened to the voice of a man and were stayed in their orbits at his word. All the great exploits in the conquest of the land of Canaan are examples of Joshua’s reigning for God. Elijah reigned and closed up the heavens from giving rain for three and a half years, and he prayed, and the heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit. And what shall I say more? for space fails us to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah, and of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, closed lion’s mouths, extinguished the power of raging fire, escaped the sword, out of frailty and weakness were made strong, even mighty and resistless, putting to flight alien hosts. All these grand and glorious instances show us that through the ages, as long as there are men willing to come into union with God and His plans and purposes, God desires to grant them authority that all things might come under their dominion.

This matter is even more evident in the New Testament, for it is in the Person of Jesus Christ, the last Adam, the Son of God, that all God’s purpose in man is summed up. When Jesus began His ministry as the Son of God He declared: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat. 4:17). What the Lord meant was that before this it was the kingdom of earth, the kingdom of the earth man, the carnal mind, that held sway; but now it would be the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God, coming upon this earth to reign. Peter witnessed of Jesus’ ministry: “How God anointed and consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with strength and ability and power; how He went about doing good and curing all that were harassed and oppressed by the power of the devil, for GOD was with Him” (Acts 10:38, Amplified Bible). Jesus reigned, even in the days of His flesh. He said: “If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the KINGDOM (reign) OF GOD is come unto you” (Mat. 12:28).

Every aspect of the dominion delivered to Adam was demonstrated in Jesus in His sojourn upon earth. He manifested control over the animal kingdom, the beasts, the birds, the fish; over the human family, the rich, the poor, the learned and the unlearned; over the elements of nature, the sea, the wind and the rain; over the vegetable kingdom, the trees and plants; and over the spirit realm that was related to man, the angels, the devils, Satan himself, and the human mind itself. Furthermore, He “taught as one HAVING AUTHORITY, and not as the scribes” (Mat. 7:29).

Jesus came as the Pattern Son, as the model manifestation of what the kingdom is, how the kingdom operates, and how the kingdom shall subdue all things upon earth. Into just such dominion as this, a company of God’s sons is destined to rise. Intermittent demonstrations of it are already being beheld in the lives of some; however, the fullness of the new dominion is yet to be realized in “due time.” In the Old Testament, before the Holy Spirit was given as an indwelling life, men reigned FOR GOD – on His behalf. In Jesus we have a higher dimension of reigning – GOD REIGNING THROUGH MAN! “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him… the Spirit of Counsel and Might” (Isa. 11:2). “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the FATHER IN ME? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, HE DOETH THE WORKS” (Jn. 14:10). It is one thing for man to reign FOR GOD, and quite another for GOD TO REIGN THROUGH MAN. God’s one intention is that He may gain man for Himself that through him He may reign over the universe. This was God’s stated purpose in creating man (Gen. 1:26). Even more, this was God’s intention in REDEEMING MAN! “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness SHALL REIGN IN LIFE by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17). “And they sung a new song, saying… Thou hast REDEEMED US TO GOD… and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: AND WE SHALL REIGN ON THE EARTH” (Rev. 5:9-10).

What is wanting is a people that are in consciousness so in the heavenly dimension now, presently, are so alive to the things that are eternal, the things that are SPIRIT, that even without them speaking this explicitly, their very presence exudes the atmosphere of life and the fragrance of eternity. God is after a people, a heavenly and celestial race, set in time. "...and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show..." (Eph. 2:6-7). This is meaningless prattle unless the Spirit opens our understanding. We have been warned by the carnal minded of this age about the danger of being so "heavenly minded" until we are "no earthly good." That is what the world says, and what should you expect from the world but to controvert and to take the wisdom of God and so distort and pervert it until it appears ridiculous and absurd to have mankind believe exactly the reverse! But these words are being written to show that we have no choice, no option as to whether we will be heavenly minded or not; for the truth is, IF WE ARE NOT HEAVENLY MINDED IT IS I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E TO BE OF ANY EARTHLY GOOD! It is only as a power from above reaches down and touches earth that it can be raised and quickened, transformed from the image of the earthly into the image of the heavenly. And Paul, the apostle of apostles, through whom the sacred secrets of God were revealed by the grace of God, defying the empty and inane cavilings of men and their fruitless doctrines and meaningless traditions, admonished those who would be the sons and daughters of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the HEAVENLY CALLING... if ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are ABOVE, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things ABOVE, NOT ON THINGS ON THE EARTH. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Heb. 3: 1; Col.3: 1-3).

It is when we are quickened to the realm of SPIRIT, to the heavenly and celestial, to that bright glory world where alone can be perceived eternal truth and reality, that we hear our heavenly Father speaking from the throne of eternity, long before the ages were formed and before cosmos appeared out of the wastes of chaos, there in the glory and wonder of His presence, from out of the depths of His omniscient mind, His purpose for the ages, the dispensations, the worlds, and for eternity itself was laid down upon the infinite blue-print, plan by plan, purpose by purpose, age by age, so that each eonian purpose and every divine decree shall be guided and controlled by His omnipotent hand to grow and mature from glory to glory until His vast family of beloved sons shall deliver up to Him all things in perfection that God Himself might be all in all. The very idea that one could in some way become so "heavenly minded" that he would be "no earthly good" reveals the incredible darkness and deluded stupidity of the carnal mind and its pitiful inability to comprehend things that belong to heavenly realms. Oh that the wisdom of man which is foolishness with God might be torn from our hearts that we might see beyond the mists and theories of time and tradition right into the very heart of the eternal where is found the infinite wisdom that teaches us how it is that until one becomes truly HEAVENLY MINDED he CANNOT be of any EARTHLY GOOD! The fact is, the only reality in the universe is S-P-I-R-I-T. The things which are seen are TEMPORAL, says the Lord, and the things which are not seen are ETERNAL. This is the wisdom of God in a mystery. Until one learns how to live and have his being OUT OF SPIRIT, out of the invisible realm, out of his very innermost being, he will continue to be held captive by the corruption of the flesh and dwell in the shadow of death.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES in Christ," the inspired apostle wrote. The heavens are the realms of spirit where the Lord now rules with absolute authority and dominion. How do we know this to be true? Because of the words of Jesus, when He taught us to pray, "Our Father ... Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN." These words lead us to the certainty that GOD'S WILL IS DONE IN THE HEAVENS; and, if you can discover a realm or a person anywhere where God's will is perfectly done, such is a heavenly place and a heavenly person. The will of the Father is being done in heaven, in the realm of spirit, and it is our expressed desire that His will shall also be done in earth, the realm of the physical, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. There is no sin in heaven, for the will of God is done in heaven, and where the will of God is done there is no sin. There is no foul, loathsome disease in heaven eating away at the vitals, weakening, crippling and destroying the life, for the will of God is done in heaven, and where the will of God is done there is no sickness. There is no sorrow nor pain in heaven, for the will of God is done in heaven, and where the will of God is done there is no grief. There is no death in heaven, no crepe on the door-knob, no winding funeral processions, no weeping and wailing of heartbroken, disconsolate mothers, fathers, and children, no silent, waxen forms lowered into the cold stillness of earth, for the will of God is done in heaven, and where the will of God is done there is no death. My Father and my God! Guide me to that place where Thy will shall be done in me upon this earth, as Thy will is done in heaven! The heavens declare the GLORY of God, for the heavens are His eternal domain. His throne occupies the heavens, and the earth is His footstool (Acts 7:49). Our Lord Jesus Christ rules all the heavens having ascended "far above all heavens, that He might fill all things" (Eph. 4:10). Throughout the vast and boundless expanse of the heavens, the will of God is expressed and fulfilled. How our hearts cry, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven!"

God rules and God speaks from heaven. If you will but listen, you can hear God speaking from heaven, even the Kingdom of Heaven that is within you. There is a secret to hearing His voice. It will not be heard above the excited babble of the multitude. He will not boom and thunder to drown out other voices that clamor to be heard. He waits till all other voices are hushed and you have put away from your heart and mind all your own striving, and the uproar of the throng that shouts for your attention has completely died away. You must become insensible to the demands of all other voices and hear only the Voice of the Holy Spirit speaking out of your spirit. "Be still and know that I am God." When your soul is agitated to a turmoil and your flesh demands with insatiable desire that its claims be met, and the outer world evokes utter confusion and despair with its myriad exasperating problems, it is time for silence, repentance, and listening to the voice of Christ.

What power pertains to those who are seated with Christ in the spiritual heavens! And you, dear saint of God, are seated with Christ in the highest of the heavens! And you are not seated there to sing and shout and dance all over God's heaven. You have been placed there in the celestial realm to RULE, to REIGN OVER THE EARTH. "...Thou hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God KINGS AND PRIESTS: and we shall REIGN ON THE EARTH" (Rev. 5:9-10).

Although this matter of reigning will not be completely realized until the manifestation of the sons of God, yet today God wants it to have a beginning on earth. If any believer has not yet reached the degree of reigning for God, he has missed God's purpose in creating man. There must be such people prepared by God that through them the authority of God can be executed and the Kingdom of God can come upon earth.

The Lord says, “Behold, I have given you AUTHORITY to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the POWER of the enemy: and nothing shall in any wise hurt you" (Lk. 10:19). True, the King James Version states that Christ has given us "power" to tread on serpents and scorpions, but the Greek word is "exousia" meaning AUTHORITY or JURISDICTION. When Jesus speaks of the "power" of the enemy, however, He uses a different word, "dunamis," meaning POWER. Our English words dynamite and dynamo come from that Greek word. Praise God, all that the adversaries of this present age have is POWER- but what the Lord gives us is AUTHORITY. This shows that authority is over power and can control power; therefore authority is greater than power. The Lord gives us authority in order to deal with all the power of the enemy. We may illustrate this by an automobile moving along the road. Although it is full of power, yet a traffic policeman has authority over it. When he blows his whistle the mighty engine must slow to a whisper and the car must stop. Again, it is like an army. Although it has great power with its men, guns, tanks, airplanes, and bombs, yet the General has the authority. When he gives an order, the army must obey. He has authority over the power. Authority is over power and can control power, therefore authority is greater than power. The Son of God has given us AUTHORITY over all the POWER of the enemy! Rejoice, YE SAINTS! Rejoice YE SONS OF GOD!

Therefore, from the point of view of authority, reigning is the final goal of God’s salvation. It is the summit of our spiritual experience. If God does not so fully and completely save and transform us to the extent that He can reign through us, then his salvation will not be considered fully accomplished. Furthermore, although this reality of reigning with and in Christ will not be completely realized until the time of the manifestation of the sons of God, when the SPIRIT OF MIGHT shall rest fully upon the house of sons, yet, today it must have its beginning within us in that “firstfruits of the Spirit” already given us of God. As for us, if God is not establishing within us HIS REIGN, if we have not yet realized the point of reigning in life by one, Jesus Christ, then we know nothing yet as we ought to know of what it means to be a son of God. Those apprehended ones with whom the Father is dealing in this hour are not only finding forgiveness they are overcoming the world, they are finding a place of very real victory in their joint-seating with Christ in the heavenly realm, FAR ABOVE all principality, and power, and might, and dominion in this world. They are learning to daily reign with Christ in ALL THINGS, whether in the ministry of the Spirit, affairs at home, in business or in any encounter in their environment – they can reign and rule over that which God wants them to rule. There is no such thing as discouragement, defeat or despair to those who learn to REIGN! There must be such a people gained by God in redemption that through them the authority of God can be executed and the kingdom of God can come in power upon the earth.

Today, although the kingdom has not yet completely come to pass upon this earth, although God has not yet gained a sphere wherein He can exercise His authority in a full way, and although his glory has not yet been made fully manifest, nevertheless there is a small place, a small sphere, thank the Lord! where there exists the condition of God’s partial reign, which thereby manifests a portion of God’s glory. This is the body of Christ! Today the Spirit-filled and Spirit-led members of the body of Christ are the expression of God’s reigning here on earth. What God desires today is to perfect and expand His reigning sphere within his people and through His people. It is through the body of Jesus Christ that God will bind Satan and destroy his power. It is through the body of Christ that life and blessing shall be ministered so that all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Thus, His name will be honored in the whole earth, his kingdom established and His glorious will done. This is the commission of God’s sons. This is the final purpose of our redemption!

THE POWER OF THE KINGDOM

The SPIRIT OF MIGHT which shall rest upon God’s sons is not the same kind of might known by the people of this world; it is not the might of force, of marching armies, of clanging swords, of tanks and bursting bombs, of laws, of militias and policemen, for all these exist only in the fleshly realm of CARNAL MIGHT. The might of God is not carnal. It is spiritual! Many of God’s precious saints are no further advanced in their understanding than were the fleshly-minded Jews of old – still viewing the kingdom with carnal eyes, expecting to sit upon literal thrones with POLITICAL POWER to be given the people of God. The power of the kingdom of God is not political power, nor military power, nor police power, nor the power of laws, constitutions or legislatures. We read in II Cor. 10:3-5: “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare ARE NOT PHYSICAL WEAPONS… but they are MIGHTY BEFORE GOD for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, inasmuch as we refute… reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into obedience of Christ, the Anointed One” (Amplified Bible). If our eyes have been opened by the Spirit of God we will see that the nature of all our work in the kingdom of God is SPIRITUAL. The power of the kingdom is SPIRITUAL POWER. The work of the kingdom is in delivering the world of humanity from the power of sin and the flesh and the devil. It is the work of rescuing men out of the power of Satan and of driving out the satanic power of darkness from within men that they may be gained by God. It is the work of imparting unto men the very life and Spirit of the Lord that men may be gained even more and more by God until he truly becomes “all in all” or, as the Amplified Bible so beautifully renders it: “That God may be… everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling factor of life.” Praise the Lord!

Men do not need to be FORCED to obey God for that will never bring the glory of God into man. Force breeds contempt and rebellion, not life and peace. Men need to have their MINDS CHANGED, their HEARTS TRANSFORMED and their SPIRITS QUICKENED. This is why Jesus at the very beginning of His ministry began by exhorting men to “repent.” Repent means “to take a new mind.” Jesus said, “Repent (take a new mind): for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Mat. 4:17). When the sons of God arise in the earth their message will also be “Repent! for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Soon, thank God, the NATIONS SHALL REPENT! “And He (Christ, Head and body) shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they LEARN WAR ANYMORE” (Isa. 2:4). The nations of this earth shall indeed “take a new mind” and walk in the light of the Lord. Thus God’s name shall be sanctified in men, His will shall be done in men, and thereby His glory shall be manifested upon men. Therefore, the nature of all the work of the kingdom is SPIRITUAL. The weapons of the overcoming sons of God shall not be the carnal weapons of political power or police action but SPIRIT WEAPONS which are MIGHTY THROUGH GOD. They shall reign in the SPIRIT OF MIGHT, the omnipotent, invincible power of HIS MIGHT. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT” (Eph. 6:10).

THE PLEROMA OF GOD

The Spirit of Might which belongs to the sons of God is the Spirit of Jesus, for He upon whom the sevenfold Spirit first rested is also called THE MIGHTY GOD (Isa. 9:6). It is only “in Him” that one can become mighty. There is a glorious company of people who, along with Jesus the Mighty God, are termed “the Mighty.” Asaph, the song and praise leader of Israel, wrote of this company in Ps. 82:1 & 6: “God standeth in the CONGREGATION OF THE MIGHTY; He judgeth among the gods. I have said, “YE ARE GODS; and all of you are THE CHILDREN OF THE MOST HIGH.” This company of “the Mighty” in whose midst God stands is none else but those who are “in Christ” who is “the Mighty God” and are thus “strong in the Lord” and “in the power of HIS MIGHT.”

We want to take a closer look at this term “in Christ.” We meet this phrase often in Paul’s epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians. If “Christ in you” is the hope of glory, as the scripture says it is (Col. 1:27), then you in Christ must certainly BE THE GLORY. In Christ! In Christ! Think of the glory of such a thing! “GOD was in Christ,” the word declares. And now – mystery of mysteries – He is saying that His people are also IN CHRIST. Then we are told: “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself,” and now “if any man BE IN CHRIST he is a new creation” (II Cor. 5:17). Certainly he must be a new creation, for he has entered the realm where God dwells. No longer is he of the earth, earthy, but one Spirit with the Lord from heaven. “I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be MADE PERFECT IN ONE” (Jn. 17:23). This oneness is no unity of doctrine or organization as the man-made church systems would have us think, but individual members baptized into one body and that body IS THE BODY OF CHRIST.

Another word common to Ephesians and Colossians is the word “fullness.” The two thoughts, “in Christ” and “fullness,” belong together and are so used often in both books. Let us read in Eph. 1:22-23 and Col. 1:19 and 2:9-10. “And gave Him to be head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. For it pleased the Father that IN HIM should all fullness dwell… for IN HIM dwelleth ALL THE FULLNESS of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete IN HIM.”

In the above verses the word “fullness’ is translated from the Greek word PLEROMA. As someone has written: “PLEROMA is a term used by philosophy, and borrowed by Paul from philosophic authors. They claimed to know the secret of something that filled up all human deficiency – a plenitude of knowledge and power. PLEROMA is from the root PLEROO which means “to make replete; to cram; to level up.’ The Pleroma fullness was looked upon by the philosophic teachers as the sum total of all the divine powers and attributes. These divine powers and attributes were then issued through beings – the gods, angels, prophets, teachers, etc., all of whom were instruments in the revelation of God’s will and power, individual manifestations of the PLEROMA (fullness). These mediatorial beings were considered to contain some of the influence of the Pleroma, a measure of the fullness, but none could contain ALL the Pleroma fullness, for the Pleroma was the SUM TOTAL of the divine power and attributes. Thus, in all classes, when the Pleroma was distributed and issued through various beings it was diluted, changed, and darkened by foreign (earthly) admixture. The beings through whom the Pleroma was expressed were only partial and blurred images, merely deceptive caricatures of the original, broken lights of the great Central Light – God.”

Paul claims that IN CHRIST the TRUE PLEROMA is found: that He as the Son of God has all the plenitude of the Godhead in Him, in full measure and running over! Let us read this in the Amplified Bible: “For it has pleased the Father that ALL THE DIVINE FULLNESS – the SUM TOTAL of the divine perfection, powers and attributes – should dwell in Him permanently. For in Him the whole fullness of Deity continues to dwell in bodily form – giving COMPLETE EXPRESSION to the divine nature” (Col. 1:19; 2:9). This brings us to another most wonderful and enlightening declaration. Hear it! “And He has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the Church, which is His body, THE FULLNESS OF HIM Who fills all in all – for IN THAT BODY lives the FULL MEASURE OF HIM Who makes everything complete… and YOU ARE IN HIM, MADE FULL… in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead!” (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 2:10). The point here is that since the true PLEROMA, all the fullness of God, dwells permanently in Christ Jesus, if we are IN HIM, all that divine PLEROMA becomes ours. Whatever perfection is in God, in His knowledge, power, strength, might, wisdom, love, holiness, this fills up to the full our measure of capacity. The King James version says: “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead bodily… and ye are complete IN HIM.” The word “complete” is the Greek word PLEROO which is the root from which is derived PLEROMA. Thus, Paul is saying that CHRIST IS FULL of the Godhead and IN HIM we are MADE FULL to the very same measure. The Greek text does not say “Ye are made full in Him,” but “Ye are in Him, made full.” In Him dwells the fullness, and the same fullness dwells in us as we dwell IN HIM! This is beyond finite perception. To the natural mind such truth may even sound childish and silly, yet the Holy Spirit will reveal its depths to those who ask Him.

Paul certainly had the realization of such an incomprehensible fullness in mind when he wrote to the Ephesians: “May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory… that you may be filled through all your being unto all the fullness of God – that is, may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself” (Eph. 3:16,19). The King James version reads: “That ye might be filled WITH all the fullness of God.” A better translation from the original is: “That you might be filled UNTO all the fullness of God.” This speaks from eternal increase into the unfathomable and inexhaustible!

It has been my privilege over the past few years to stand at various times on the Pacific Coast and look out over the broad expanse of the largest ocean on this planet. The glorious stretches of shore, sky, and sea are wonderful. Imagination quickens and thrills as our littleness is placed alongside the immensity of the unending expanse. Suppose I were to take a pint jar to the edge of the water, lean down and allow the ocean to run into the jar? It will take just one gesture to fill that jar with the Pacific Ocean. But how could I fill that jar unto all the fullness of the Pacific Ocean? If I carry my bottle back to Texas, to someone who has never looked upon the ocean, he will not see what the ocean really is. All he will see is a pint of seawater. There will be none of the mighty sweep of distance, none of the power of the waves, none of the swelling of the ocean surfaces, and none of the wonders of its depths. I cannot put into a bottle the combing breakers or the vast reaches of the sea!

Such a sampling, seawater in a jar, might be the comprehension of the verse, “filled WITH all the fullness of God” if it were to be rendered, merely, that God purposes to fill us with His fullness. But in keeping with the untranslatable signification of the word PLEROMA, it would be necessary for me to put THE WHOLE OF THE OCEAN in the bottle and then, and only then, could we understand what God purposes to reveal in, upon and through that glorious company of sons who come into His very own image, likeness and dominion. God does not purpose to make us little “samples” of Deity. He does not look upon us as little beings who shall display “pints” of his power. He purposes to increase and enlarge our capacities forever and ever. We are to be filled UNTO all the fullness of God!

I would earnestly exhort the elect of God in this momentous hour that the faith of yesterday and yesteryear is not sufficient for today. The admonition of the inspired apostle is especially meaningful for God's apprehended ones at this time, wherein he says, "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment" (Heb. 6:1-2).

The King James Version here instructs us to leave the "principles" of the doctrine of Christ. The Moffat translation says, "Let us pass on then to what is mature, leaving ELEMENTARY CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE BEHIND..." The Weymouth version reads, "Therefore leaving ELEMENTARY INSTRUCTION ABOUT the Christ, let us advance to mature manhood..." The Amplified Bible renders, "Therefore let us go on and GET PAST THE ELEMENTARY STAGE in the teachings and doctrine of Christ... advancing steadily toward completeness and perfection that belongs to spiritual maturity." So what we are instructed to leave behind is the FIRST ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES of the doctrine of Christ and these are enumerated to us as: (1) Repentance from dead works (2) Faith toward God (3) Baptisms (4) Laying on of hands (5) Resurrection of the dead (6) Eternal (eonian) judgment.

In spite of such a plain admonition the sad fact is that not one believer in a million ever gets beyond these first stepping stones – these elementary rudiments of the doctrine of Christ. The Spirit declares that ALL these elementary rudiments of the doctrine of Christ pertain to the realm of LITTLE CHILDREN – babes in Christ. In the verses immediately preceding the passage under consideration the apostle says, "For every one who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness, that is, of conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, for he is a MERE INFANT – NOT ABLE TO TALK YET! But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses are trained..." (Heb. 5:13-14, Amplified Bible). It is very easy to spot a spiritual babe, for he will always be dwelling around one or more of these ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES... laying and re-laying that foundation. It is one of the great marvels of the universe, and perhaps the eighth wonder of the world, that the family of God has not completely disappeared from the face of the earth, for it is crystal clear to any who have eyes to see that the preachers and leaders of the church world today are altogether as INFANTILE as the church members! They are one and all, according to the criterion of our text, merely spiritual infants. These slobbering, sputtering, dribbling infants are in charge of the care and feeding of the whole congregation of infants. Truly it is the phenomenon of the ages that they have not all starved to death or died in their own purulence.

Now there is nothing wrong with laying these elementary foundations for those that need them, but the immature babes in Christ will always be known by the fact that they will continue to minister these things over and over to God's people who should long ago have passed on to higher things. But those believers sit there in those meetings week after week and service after service drinking that same diet of MILK. And those same preachers, day after day, and year after year, continue to USE MILK and minister milk to the people of God. No wonder they NEVER GO ON TO PERFECTION! And these babes, from the pulpit to the pew, are busily engaged in defending these "fundamental" and ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES of the doctrine of Christ. That's all they know. Start to talk about perfection, sonship, immortality, the Melchizedek Order, the army of God, bringing in the Kingdom and other things related to God's great Kingdom purposes and you are as a Barbarian to them – they have not the foggiest notion what in the world you are talking about !

Oh! that once and for all we might clearly see that for us too, NEARLY EVERYTHING WE HAVE EXPERIENCED UP TO NOW has its existence in that realm of elementaries! And it is from HERE that we are exhorted to GO ON TO PERFECTION. You don't go into the first principles in order to go on to perfection. You leave them! The fullness of God in Christ lies beyond all these. If you choose to remain there you simply will never arrive at spiritual maturity in God. The elementary principles are just GRAMMAR SCHOOL for those who would be sons indeed. They constitute the "in part" realm in which we move before that which is PERFECT is come. LET US GO ON TO PERFECTION is the present call of the Spirit.

And lest there be some fearful saints, who still think the measure of our heritage must be confined within certain limits, then God tells us exactly what those limitations are: “…And what is the EXCEEDING GREATNESS OF HIS POWER to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when he raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE ALL PRINCIPALITY AND POWER, and MIGHT, and DOMINION, and every name that is named…” (Eph. 2:19-21). There is the measure of the power that is available to the saints! Not merely the power that Moses exercised in Egypt, or at the Red Sea; not the power that Joshua had when he commanded the sun and the moon to stand still; not the power that Elijah had when he locked the heavens for three and a half years, and then opened them again; not the power that Elisha exercised when he caused the iron to swim, the waters to be healed, the hungry to be fed, the dead to be raised; not the power that Daniel had in the lion’s den, or Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had in the fiery furnace; and not even the power that Jesus exercised in His earthly ministry when He healed the sick, cast out devils, walked on the sea, called the dead back – even from corruption. The power available is even the “working of His mighty power which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places…” And still we could go on… for Paul continues to enlarge upon the immensity of this power which CHRIST HAS, and which is ours: power and authority over all principalities and powers, both in this age and in the next, even power to put “all things under His feet,” even His Church, for he is the Head, and we are the body.

O the immensity of these words! And what is more, Christ is going to remain right where He is at God’s right hand until there shall arise a group of overcomers who shall conquer over all of their enemies. “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, UNTIL I make Thine enemies Thy footstool” (Ps. 110:1). This was God’s intent in CREATION when He created man! This was God’s purpose in REDEMPTION when He redeemed man! And yet the vast majority of Christians are still looking for a rapture any moment, when Jesus is supposed to snatch away a miserable, divided, defeated, disease-ridden, lukewarm Laodicean Church. God says Christ is going to stay right where He is until ALL ENEMIES are under His feet. And His enemies include even that “last enemy,” which is Death. There must arise a group of overcomers who shall conquer and become absolutely victorious over all the opposing forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil – before this dispensation draws to a close!

THE CONDITION FOR POWER

Within the inexhaustible fullness of God is contained the SPIRIT OF MIGHT. One of the burning concerns within my heart is that God’s people may understand that fullness is not to be found in the gift-realm of the New Testament Church, for a “gift” is merely a fragment, a measure, GIVEN BY THE SPIRIT. In the “in-part” realm of gifts of which Paul wrote in I Corinthians chapters 12-14, the power and wisdom of God is diluted, the body members becoming only partial and blurred images of the original Pattern Son, fragmented lights of Him who is the True Light. This, dear friend, is not the ultimate even for this present age! The cry in the hearts of God’s apprehended ones in this hour is not for another revival, another miracle, or another gift of the Spirit, but for the FULLNESS OF GOD! The fullness of which we speak is THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD.

I am sure that among the fifty-thousand believers in Ephesus there were many that had received a “gift” of a “word of wisdom.” And yet Paul asked very distinctly for the Ephesians that the Father would still give them “the SPIRIT OF WISDOM” (Eph. 1:17). The “gift” of a “word of wisdom” was given “by” the Spirit, but these believers needed to transcend the gift and receive the fullness of THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM who had given them the gift! In like manner we cannot be wrong in praying definitely for the “SPIRIT OF MIGHT.” Or, let us take that other prayer of Paul (Eph. 3:16), and plead that He would “grant unto us to be MIGHTILY STRENGTHENED by His Spirit.” Let all who aspire to be sons of God know that it is unceasing prayer, it is in bowing our knees, it is in waiting on God, that from Himself will come what we ask, be it the Spirit of Might or the Might of the Spirit. The Spirit is never anything separate from God; in all His going out and working He is still ever the inmost SELF OF GOD – God Himself who is the Mighty One inworking in us and manifesting through us – His fullness.

Let us also see and make no mistake about the condition of the investment of the Spirit of Might. He that would command nature must first, and most absolutely, obey her. He who drives a car must first subject himself to the laws and principles by which an automobile functions. It is such an easy thing to ask for power, even the power of the Spirit. Who would not be glad to have power? Many pray earnestly for Power in and upon the work they are doing: their witnessing, their programs, their plans, their methods, efforts, labors etc., and they receive it not, simply because they do not accept THE ONLY POSTURE in which the Spirit of Power can work. We want to get possession of the Power and use it! But God’s order is always in reverse of that. God intends for the Power TO GET POSSESSION OF US, and use us! If we give up ourselves to the Power to rule in us, the Power will then give itself to us, to rule through us. Unconditional submission and obedience to the Power in our inner life is the one condition of our being clothed with it.

“Power BELONGETH UNTO GOD” (Ps. 62:11), saith the Lord, and remains His forever. “THINE is the Power,” Jesus taught us to pray in the Sonship Prayer (Mat. 6:13). The scripture is plain that God gives the Spirit “to them that OBEY HIM” (Acts 5:32). This means that the Spirit is given to the measure that we have learned to OBEY THE SPIRIT! If our measure of the Spirit is little, then it follows that the working of obedience in our lives is correspondingly little. To me there is no more important principle than this for a son of God to learn! Jesus possessed the Spirit “without measure,” but NOT UNTIL AFTER thirty years of walking with the Father, during that time daily increasing “in wisdom and stature, and in FAVOR (approval) WITH GOD and man” (Lk. 2:52).

If you would know the fullness of the Spirit of might, if you would have His Mighty Power at work in and through you, then bow very low in reverence before the Holy Presence that dwells within you, that asks for your surrender to His guidance and will in even the least of things. Walk very humbly, son of God, lest in anything you should miss the mark of knowing and doing His holy will. Live as one given up to a Power that has entire mastery over you, that has complete possession of your inmost being, of your will, mind, emotions and desires. Seek not, dear one, to gain possession of the Spirit of Might! Let the Spirit of Might have possession of you and you shall surely stand in your lot among that glorious company of sons upon whom shall rest the sevenfold Spirit of God which is given to THEM THAT OBEY HIM! “For as many as are LED by the Spirit of God, they are the SONS OF GOD” (Rom. 8:14).

In the Belgian Congo, the weather was hot and dank. No breath of air stirred; leaves hung from the trees as though they were weighted. In the garden not far from the missionary home a small boy played under a tree. Suddenly, the father called to him: “Philip, obey me instantly – get down on your stomach!” The boy reacted at once, and his father continued, “Now crawl toward me fast.” The boy again obeyed. After he had come about half way, the father said, “Now stand up and run to me.” The boy reached his father and turned to look back – hanging from the branch under which he had been playing was a fifteen-foot serpent. Even so, dear reader, OBEDIENCE TO THE FATHER is the route to victory over that ancient serpent, which is the devil, and satan. Obedience! They err who want the fullness of the Spirit before they obey. It is in a tender listening to the voice of the Spirit and faithfulness to submit to that word that the hearts of the sons of God are prepared for the fullness of God.

When God commanded Israel to build Him a holy place, that He might dwell among them and be their God, He said to Moses, “According to all I show thee, the pattern of the dwelling, even so shall ye make it.” And so we find in the last two chapters of Exodus, eighteen times the expression that all had been made “as the Lord commanded.” It was in a house thus built, to His mind, the perfect expression of His will, that GOD CAME TO DWELL. “Lo, I come to DO THY WILL, O God.” God comes down to dwell in fullness in those SONS OF OBEDIENCE! 

 


Chapter 12

The Spirit Of Knowledge

 “These things saith He that hath the SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1).

“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE and of the Fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:2).

The sixth Spirit of Sonship is the Spirit of the Knowledge of the Lord. We are living in the hour when God has a controversy with all the inhabitants of the world, and especially with those who name His name and profess to be his people, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God, but lying and swearing, killing and stealing, and committing adultery. Nearly twenty-eight centuries ago God had the same controversy with those who were His and through the prophet Hosea declared unto them, “Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me” (Hos. 4:1,6).

Ever since that fateful day of man’s sin in Eden God has purposed to bring forth in the earth a Royal Priesthood to be His instrument in bringing the inhabitants of the world into reconciliation to Himself. In the days of Moses God offered this Priesthood ministry to the nation of Israel. “Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto Me A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and an holy nation” (Ex. 19:5-6). Seven centuries later Hosea pronounced to the posterity of this people: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject three, that THOU SHALT BE NO PRIEST UNTO ME” (Hos. 4:6). It is evident to all who have eyes to see that the end of the age is now upon us. The world is filled with a knowledge that is leading them to destruction, and the people of God are chained with the shackles of death and tradition, but I declare unto you by the Word of the Lord that in this climatic hour GOD IS SEPARATING A PEOPLE from the knowledge of this present evil world that He might impart unto them the SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE, for the Kingdom of God is even now at hand when the prophecy of Isaiah shall truly be fulfilled: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for THE EARTH SHALL BE FULL OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD, as the waters cover the sea!” (Isa. 11:9).

The earth can only become filled with the knowledge of the Lord after the Spirit of the Knowledge of the Lord has fully rested upon the Christ of God (Head and body), for in Isa. 11:2 we find that the Spirit of Knowledge is one of the seven Spirits that comes to rest upon the Anointed One, and then in verse 11, through the ministry of God’s Anointed, the whole earth becomes saturated with the Knowledge of the Lord. This corporate Christ, this many-membered son, Head and body, is the Royal Priesthood destined to bring God’s glorious Kingdom to pass in the whole earth. “Ye are a chosen generation, a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Pet. 2:9). “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God KINGS AND PRIESTS: and we shall REIGN ON THE EARTH” (Rev. 5:9-10).

ALL THE TREES OF THE GARDEN

God’s eternal plan is the subject of the entirety of the scriptures. At the very beginning of the Record God is seen creating man in His own image as the means of expressing Himself to the entire universe of created things. At the beginning of man’s experience we are shown man in a relationship with three kinds of trees. To understand God’s plan, we must be completely clear about these three kinds of trees and what they represent. We find the three types of trees disclosed in Gen. 2:8-9, 16-17. “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” These verses introduce us to three classes of trees which could be experienced by Adam: (1) all the trees of the garden (2) the tree of life (3) the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

There is a clear distinction made between a grove composed of “every tree that is good for food” on the one hand, and the two trees which were in “the midst of the garden” on the other hand – the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “All the trees of the garden” may be spoken of as a grove, but these taken collectively are not the “tree of life,” nor the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” as shown very plainly in verse 9: “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

The Hebrew word ETS pronounced “ates” is “tree” in English. It is singular. ETSIM is the plural form. In every text for “the tree of life” the singular form is used. The definite conclusion is that the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil are from the singular form, and that it is not proper to use the plural form. On the other hand, “all the trees of the garden” is in the plural number and denotes a grove of trees, containing many varieties, but all distinct from either the tree of life or the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Thus, it can be seen that those trees referred to as “all the trees of the garden” were distinct from either the tree of life or the tree of knowledge. The tree of life was not of the same nature as “all the trees of the garden” and the tree of knowledge, likewise, was not the same as those trees. We want to be very clear on this point for many of God’s people have been able to see only two trees in Eden – the tree of life and the tree of knowledge.

After God created man He placed him in relation to these three kinds of trees, and man’s whole life was pictured as a matter of feasting upon one tree or the other. God instructed man to be very careful about partaking of these trees. If man partook of them according to God’s directions, he would have life; if not, he would have death. It was a matter of life and death! How man would live and walk after his creation depended entirely upon his relationship with these three kinds of trees! God told man plainly: “You may freely eat of ALL THE TREES OF THE GARDEN.” He also said, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it.” What original command, the only command, was given Adam? To eat! Eating is receiving, and receiving is the basic function of the human self. It is most striking that here at the creation of man this was the only command given him… EAT! Receive! Take something into you! And this is still the only command to man! “RECEIVE ye the Holy Ghost” (Jn. 20:22). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye EAT THE FLESH of the Son of man, and DRINK His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso EATETH My flesh, and DRINKETH My blood, hath eternal life” (Jn. 6:53-54). “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God” (Jn.1:12). But there was also a prohibition. “Don’t eat of the wrong tree!” Since man was commanded not to eat of the tree of knowledge, it is clear that the tree of life was completely available to him as were also all the trees of the garden. However, Gen. 3:22 reveals that man had not yet partaken of the tree of life. Up until the day he first ate of the tree of knowledge man had derived his life entirely from the fruit of “all the trees of the garden.” We must understand the great truth that the tree of life represents a realm of life, the tree of knowledge also represents a realm of life (or death), and “all the trees of the garden” likewise represent yet another realm of life.

The three trees speak of three realities within man – three dimensions of being in which he could walk. Man was creative a tri-partite being: spirit, soul, and body. The spirit was the deepest part of man, the inward life derived from God. The spirit is the realm of God-consciousness and divine life. The soul was the most prominent part of man’s life when he was placed in the Garden of Eden. The soul is the realm of self-consciousness, of identity as humanity, and the connecting link between the visible world of creation and the invisible dimension of spirit. The soul comprises the conscious mind, will, emotion and desire of man. The body was the most outward part of man, the visible and tangible which identified man with the earth and the visible creation.

May the Spirit of God graciously open the eyes of our understanding that we may see clearly the signification of each of the three classes of trees in the garden of God.

What is the signification of the first kind of tree called “all the trees of the garden”? These trees represent that realm of life in which the first man lived before he fell. The realm of perfect human life, the living soul, was a plane of life which far transcended the realm of corruption and death which passed upon man through the tree of carnal knowledge. But it was also a plane of life which was lower than, and inferior to, the realm of life which was available to man in the tree of life. Thus, “all the trees of the garden” signify the realm of the perfect, sinless, LIVING SOUL. Adam, as a living soul, feasted upon the fruits of “all the trees of the garden.” These trees had no power to impart unto him either the DIVINE NATURE or the INCORRUPTIBLE LIFE of God. The divine nature and incorruptible life were contained in the tree of life, deep within his being. But neither did these trees impart into man the power of death, corruption, darkness contained in the tree of knowledge. Thus, “all the trees of the garden” signify the realm of the living soul in which Adam first had his being.

What does the second tree, the tree of life, signify? Most assuredly it represents a realm of life beyond what Adam consciously walked in. Adam walked as a living soul. The soul is the realm of self-consciousness. Adam already knew soul life, so it was not necessary for him to eat of the tree of life in order to gain that kind of life. Therefore, the life offered to man in the tree of life was a higher kind of life than the conscious life of Adam – even God-life. The tree of life answered to man’s spirit, for in the midst of that Garden which man was stood his spirit, the offspring of God, the seat of God-consciousness and divine life. The life of God in the spirit imparts more than the never-ending human life which Adam could have retained simply by refusing to eat of the tree of knowledge. This tree of life lifts man up from the realm of humanity, from a living soul, and infuses him with divine life, even the life of God in Christ. According to the revelation of the scriptures, Jesus is not only our life today, but he has always been from the very beginning, the life of God Himself made available to man. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same WAS IN THE BEGINNING… IN HIM WAS LIFE; and the life WAS the light of men” (I Jn. 1:1-4). And again, “that which WAS FROM THE BEGINNING, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of THE WORD OF LIFE for the LIFE WAS MANIFESTED, and we have seen it, and show unto you THAT ETERNAL LIFE, which was with the father” (I Jn. 1:1-2). The tree of life in Eden was nothing else but the life of God in Christ made available to man in his spirit simply for the taking.

What is the significance of the third kind of tree in Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? The first tree represents the realm of perfect soul life, the second tree represents the realm of incorruptible, divine, life, and the third tree is pictured as the source of corruption, sin and death. This tree represents the realm of the body, the flesh, the carnal mind. Thus it is written, “For to be CARNALLY MINDED IS DEATH; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. For if ye LIVE AFTER THE FLESH, YE SHALL DIE” (Rom. 8:6-7,13). Again: “He that soweth to his FLESH shall OF THE FLESH REAP CORRUPTION; but he that soweth to the SPIRIT (tree of life) shall OF THE SPIRIT REAP LIFE EVERLASTING” (Gal. 6:8).

It is not our purpose in this Study to enlarge upon the death produced by the tree of carnal knowledge, but rather to consider the substance and properties generating that death, which properties are “the knowledge of good and evil.” Immediately after man was created in the hands of God he was declared by the Creator to be “very good” (Gen. 1:31). Yes, good was inherent in man’s soul from the moment of his formation on earth – but life was not inherent in the soul realm – life existed only in the hidden spirit within man.  Life had to be appropriated – partaken of! This shows that there is a fundamental difference between “good” and “life.” These two items are distinct – they are NOT the same thing! Man was declared “good” long millenniums before any man was ever made a partaker of divine life in Christ. Man as a “living soul” was “good.” This means that the goodness of man was contained in the soul of man. The human life of man was originally good and upright, nothing to be ashamed of, as can be seen in the fact that the man was naked but was not ashamed. The life of Adam was without sin and also without the knowledge of sin or the consciousness of shame; it was innocent and simple.

The tree of knowledge of good and evil answers to the body, the outward, the physical and visible, the earthly and fleshly, the lowest realm of existence – wherein abides corruption and death. By mixing this animal realm with his soul life, the dual knowledge of good and evil became the inner condition and state of being of Adam – and of all the people in the world today! There is a wonderful contrast between man as we now see him, degraded by sin, and the perfect man that God made in His image. Sin has gradually changed his features, as well as his character. Multiplied generations, by ignorance, licentiousness and general depravity, have so blurred and marred humanity that in the large majority of the race the likeness of God is almost obliterated. The moral and intellectual qualities are dwarfed; and the animal instincts, unduly developed, are no longer balanced by the higher spirit. Man has lost physical strength to such an extent that, with all the aid of medical science, his average length of life world-wide is only about 40 years, whereas at first he survived nine hundred and thirty years even under the penalty of death!

Due to the fact that man lives in the consciousness of the mixed realm of soul and body (without the balance of the spirit), of the knowledge of good and evil, he has the innate desire on one hand to be good and upright, and on the other hand he has an inclination toward sin and evil. Therefore, throughout the ages, philosophers and psychologists engaged in the study of human nature have projected two different points of view: one, that man is “inherently good” in nature, and the other, that the nature of man is evil. Actually, man is both – for he lives by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil!

Ever since the fall, though at times he is still able to manifest a little human goodness according to this human life, he manifests the devilish nature the majority of the time out of the devilish life. Man is truly schizophrenic! At times he can be very good, agreeable and helpful; he can really act like a compassionate man. But at other times, when he loses his temper and flies into a state of rage, cursing, threatening, and murdering, he is really like a devil and manifests the devilish character. When man indulges in drunkenness, lying, cheating, stealing, swindling, adultery, murder, and other sins, he bears a devilish appearance and is full of the devilish characteristics.

The good that is in man manifests itself in areas such as the activities of this world’s philanthropic institutions, civic organizations, church programs, government aid agencies, hospitals, doctors, orphanages, welfare programs, social action, relief societies and a million and one personal actions of men by which they seek to be kind, compassionate, generous, moral, and to improve the condition of their fellow men. Men do not have to be saved men to have GOOD in them! Think – in how many of your friends, neighbors, relatives, business associates etc. can you see the “good” although they are unregenerated men with no relationship to God through Jesus Christ! Before we were saved, there was frequently in our minds a natural desire to do good, to honor our parents, to be helpful to those around us, to be an upright citizen of the community. These ideas of doing good and going upwards spring from the inherent good in man. They also prove that, even before we were converted, this principle of good was in us!

But the EVIL is there too! In the very people who often express so many good qualities, at other times, one can behold greed, selfishness, strife, hypocrisy, immorality, rage, and a multitude of other evils. Hence, we must see clearly that within the natural man there are two different lives – the good created life of man, the living soul, and the devilish life of Evil.

Some would say that the good in man, having been corrupted by the fall, has lost its element of goodness. This is altogether inaccurate. For example, in one area where we lived in Florida for a number of years we had “iron water” in our house. This was water which contained in it a heavy admixture of iron and other minerals through which the water flowed underground. The water was yellowish in color, and tended to turn everything yellow with which it came into contact. The laundry would become yellow. I still have yellow stains on my teeth from that water which the dentists are unable to remove. Now there was really nothing wrong with the water – it was identical to all the water upon this planet. It was pure water. But, there was added to that pure water foreign elements; iron, various minerals, etc. which absolutely ruined the taste and usefulness of the water! But the yellow substance in the water did not eliminate the good water! It was still there, though masked, and all you had to do was run the water through a water conditioner, or filter, and there was the good pure water that God made! Likewise, although man has been corrupted by the elements of the satanic, his element of goodness still remains.

The truth of this can be seen in the very ingredients in the fall! When Adam sinned, of which tree did he eat? Why, the tree of the “knowledge of GOOD and EVIL.” Hear this! The elements of that tree were not only the elements of evil; they were the elements producing a knowledge of both GOOD and EVIL! The tree ministered to man a KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD as truly as it ministered to him a KNOWLEDGE OF EVIL. Thus, the fall of man introduced him to a realm of duality, of admixture; good and evil. The fallen man is both good and evil. How prone we have been to declare the unregenerated man to be ONLY EVIL! It is true that the element of evil in man PREDOMINATES in the natural man, but we cannot say that the good in man has been corrupted to the point of non-existence. It is for this reason that the philosophers and psychologists have discovered that within man are some “illustrious virtues” and “innate goodness” etc. and have reached the mistaken conclusion that the nature of man is good. They have merely discovered that within fallen man there is still the principle of good which naturally causes us to want to do good.

The problem is that when man came into the knowledge of GOOD and EVIL he did not come into a better condition. Man came to know “good and evil” but he didn’t come to KNOW GOD! He now possesses a knowledge of the good and the evil but he does not possess the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD! Man passed into the knowing of good and evil but he did not BECOME HOLY! He merely added evil to his good producing a mixture of the two, but in so doing he forfeited THE LIFE AND GLORY AVAILABLE TO HIM IN THE TREE OF LIFE. He chose good and evil – but missed LIFE! He chose good and evil – he missed GOD!

GOOD IS NOT LIFE!

What a realm of KNOWLEDGE! The spirit that rested upon our Lord Jesus Christ, and that shall rest upon all the sons of God, is the spirit of the KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD. What a contrast between the knowledge of good and evil and the knowledge of the Lord! What a great and vast gulf lies between these bodies of knowledge! The knowledge of the Lord is Life. The knowledge of good and evil is Law. Law brings the restraint of evil and the definition of what is good.

The knowledge of good and evil always concerns itself with external behavior and judges all things upon the basis of whether it is “good” or “evil.” Man, as long as he walks in this realm of the fall, the knowledge of good and evil, can only understand and judge within this framework: is a thing good or is it evil? He then presumes that if a thing is “good” it must be of GOD! Nothing could be farther from the truth. If “good” was acceptable with God then man could surely be justified by “the works of the law.” The “good” of man is the good of the creature – not the good of the Creator!

In the garden of Eden we have these three revelations from the three kinds of trees: First, life is the nature of God, whereas good is the nature of man; Second, life is good, but good is not necessarily life – it depends upon whether the good is the good of the creature, or the good of the Creator! Third, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil show us that life and good are definitely different; life is neither good nor evil. Life, good and evil ARE THREE DIFFERENT AND INDEPENDENT THINGS. The good of God can only be experienced through participation in the life of God. Evil mingled with man’s good produced DEATH. And even before he fell, all of man’s good, of itself, could not give him true LIFE – only the tree of life could give man eternal, divine, incorruptible life! Thus, we can see that “good” and “life” are things which pertain to two different worlds!

Just as evil is something other than life, so also is good something other than life. Just as evil is not life, so also good is not life. Evil and good, though different in nature, are really of the same world; neither one contains life or is life. Thus in the Bible, good and evil are ultimately not two trees, but one tree. Good was in “all the trees of the garden” but both good and evil co-existed in the third tree. Life is yet another tree, being something of another realm, another kingdom (Gen. 2:9). We can say that good and evil on one hand and life on the other hand definitely belong to two different categories. This is how it is that a man, by his own determination and effort, can improve considerably in his character and actions and yet still be entirely VOID OF THE LIFE OF GOD. This is because his improvement is completely apart from life; it is of his own good human effort and not a product of indwelling life. How we, who have been born of the Spirit of God, need to thank God that for us there is no longer merely the two realities of good and evil; there is now within our beings the very LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS!

It is interesting to note that the scriptures seldom use the term “the life of God.” The scriptures mainly reveal to us that GOD IS LIFE. Thus we read, “And this is the record, that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is IN HIS SON. He that hath the Son HATH LIFE” (I Jn. 5:11-12). You don’t receive merely the life of the Son.” You receive, rather, “The Son – your life!” Jesus said, “I AM the life!” (Jn. 14:6). It is not merely “the life of Christ” that we want, rather, we want “Christ as life.” The life of Christ does not necessarily imply the whole of Christ, the fullness of God Himself, whereas CHRIST OUR LIFE or CHRIST AS LIFE denotes the completeness of God Himself. Paul wrote: “When Christ, who IS OUR LIFE, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4).

Then what is life? Life is God Himself in Christ in our spirit. “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (I Cor. 6:17). What does it mean to have life? It means to HAVE GOD HIMSELF. What does it mean to manifest life? To manifest life is to manifest God Himself. Life is not something apart from God. If it were, then it would not be life. Let this truth sink deeply into your spirit. It is not enough to simply know that we have received life; we must understand that this life which we have received is GOD HIMSELF. It is God who is living in us. He is living out HIS LIFE in us. What do we manifest when we manifest God’s life, God Himself! Does this mean that we “live right,” “do good,” “go to church,” “pay tithe,” “keep the commandments,” “receive communion,” and be compassionate, kind and generous? No! Because NONE OF THESE THINGS IS LIFE! To do “good” and live out virtues is not life. Only God Himself is life. Thus to do good, even for God, is not to manifest life. If all the goodness, righteousness, and works we perform are not flowing out of God within us then they are not of life but merely the good of man – manifestations of the fall – of the knowledge of good and evil! Any goodness or virtue we manifest, unless it is the manifestation of the new creation life of God within us, is not life. We can no longer judge upon the basis of whether a thing is good or evil – we must know whether it flows out of, and is an expression of, GOD HIMSELF!

The whole objective of God in the creation, and now in redemption, is not for us to be either “good” men or “evil” men, but to be GOD-MEN – the sons of God. Therefore, the way we take today is not the way of self-improvement but the way of life. The elements that are changing and transforming our lives are not the elements of the improvement of our behavior but the development of THE LIFE OF GOD within. Those who would be sons of God must understand what the fundamental difference between life and works is. Simply speaking, life is growth, while works are human actions. For example, consider an automobile and a tree. The automobile is the product of human actions, while the tree is an expression of life, of growth by life. The wheels, body and engine of the automobile are put there by human actions but the branches, leaves and fruit of the tree arrive there by the growth of inward life. The automobile which is assembled demonstrates a kind of work; the tree which has grown demonstrates a kind of life. The difference between these two is unmistakable! With us as sons of God, the difference between works, self-improvement, and life is just like this. That which is produced by our own human efforts is works – the “good” part of the fall, of the tree of knowledge. Only that which is produced naturally from the development of the life of God within us IS LIFE. Only that which is of life pertains to the realm of sonship. We want to watch this! It is so easy, by human effort, to bring out the good human virtues of Adam, and mistake them for the LIFE OF CHRIST. It is easy to produce our own virtues and delude ourselves into believing we are “overcomers.” Only that which is “swallowed up of life” is a true deliverance out of the kingdom of darkness.

It is like walking into an apple orchard and pinning some dime-store plastic apples onto the branches of a non-bearing apple tree. This tree and another fruit-bearing tree next to it may outwardly appear just the same; one however, is bearing its fruit out of its life, while the fruit on the other tree has no relationship to life. The fruits on both trees have the same form and the same color; there is hardly any difference in outward appearance. But if we simply smell or taste the fruit, we can immediately tell the difference. The real fruit is delicious, vitalizing and sustaining, but the artificial fruit is tasteless and inedible; it can only afford to be observed, not eaten. What we apprehended ones manifest in our daily lives is like this! All that springs from life has the taste and vitalizing qualities of life, even the quickening, incorruptible life of God. If it is only works, behavior, it has only the taste and inedible nothingness of man.

He who is in union with the tree of life has the power to offer that to others of which they can eat and live. Amid all who surround him he becomes a tree of life, of which they can taste and be refreshed. He is in his circle a center of life and of blessing, and that simply because he abides in Christ, and receives from Him the Spirit and the life of which he can impart to others. Learn thus, if you would be a Royal Priesthood after the order of Melchizadek, after the power of an endless life, learn, I say, to abide in Christ. Learn, if you would rule and reign over nations, if you would bless all the families of the earth in that glorious age to come, learn, I say, to ABIDE IN CHRIST, to know HIM AS LIFE, and you shall surely reign and bless. As surely as the branch abiding in a fruitful vine bears fruit, so surely, yea, much more surely, will a son abiding in Christ with His fullness of life and blessing be made life and blessing unto the ends of the earth!

The tree of life in Eden corresponds precisely with the revelation disclosed by Jesus when He said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches” (Jn. 15:5). The connection between the vine and the branch is a living one. No foreign, imitation fruit or leaves will do; no work of man can effect it; the branch is such only by the Creator’s own work, in virtue of which the life, the sap, the fatness, and the fruitfulness of the vine communicate themselves to the branch, producing its fruit. And just so it is with the sons of God – their union with their Lord is no work of human wisdom or human will, no product of organization, program, ritual, ceremony, ordinance, seminary training, religious exercises, or any other carnal work of man’s empty religious systems and traditions, but an act of God the Father, who through the eternal Spirit effects the closest and most complete life-union between the Son of God and His body. “God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts” (Gal. 4:6). The same Spirit which dwelt and still dwells in the Son, becomes the life of the sons; in the unity of that one Spirit, and the fellowship of the same life of God which is in Christ, they are ONE WITH HIM. As between the vine and the branch, it is a LIFE-UNION that makes them one!

The sons of God are not called unto a knowledge of “good and evil.” The sons are of that company who, along with Paul, have discovered a realm of life, reality and glory that transcends all the ritual and time-honored traditions of the elders, all the laws of Moses, all the petty rules and regulations imposed by man-made church systems which are nothing more nor less than the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man’s puny efforts, out of his own soulish concept of what is “good”, to legislate holiness and spirituality. “What things were gain to me,” Paul said, “those I counted loss for Christ; yea, doubtless, I count all things but loss for the excellency OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found IN HIM, not having my own righteousness (good) which is of the law, but that which is through the FAITH OF CHRIST, the righteousness which is of God by faith; THAT I MAY KNOW HIM…” (Phil. 3:7-10).

“That I may KNOW HIM!” “For the excellency of THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS my Lord!” This is where the difference lies between the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. The tree of knowledge of good and evil can only impart to man a KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. Nothing more. The tree of life, however, imparts to men the KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST WHO IS LIFE! Let us exchange the knowledge of good and evil for the more excellent KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST. As long as we try to enforce rules, regulations, doctrines, dress codes, laws, “do’s and don’ts” etc. upon our brethren we are merely feeding them from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Over the past several years, in the fellowships we have been closely associated with, a number of people have been lead to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Some of these dear ones were cigarette smokers. Knowing that such habits are a hindrance in the lives of those who would truly be “overcomers” in the Lord we could have told these people, “You must stop smoking. You can’t be a member of this fellowship as long as you smoke. You can’t function in our meetings until you get delivered. Smoking is a sin and will destroy your spiritual life.” We could have counseled these dear ones thus, but we would have only been offering them some fruit off the tree of knowledge of good and evil! So instead, we offered them fruit from the tree of LIFE! Rather than condemning them for their smoking we ENCOURAGED THEM IN THE LORD. We received them. Loved them. Got them into the Word. Ministered the baptism in the Holy Spirit to them. Shared sonship and the High Calling of God with them. Unveiled the mysteries of the Kingdom to them. And guess what happened! To my knowledge, every one of them was delivered from their cigarettes within a very short time! Their deliverance was a PRODUCT OF LIFE, a working of the growth of divine life within them. Death became “swallowed up” of life! Praise God! Herein lies the difference between the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. The Son of God came that men might have life. He did not come to condemn. The sons of God shall arise for the very same purpose, in the very same ministry – life. The world is condemned already. The whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain for the manifestation of THE SONS OF GOD that they might be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of God’s Sons.

 


Chapter 13

The Spirit Of Knowledge

(continued)

“These things saith He that hath the SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1).

“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE and of the Fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:2).

The sixth Spirit of Sonship is the Spirit of the Knowledge of the Lord. In our last Study we noted that the serpent, when beguiling Eve, offered her entrance into a REALM OF KNOWLEDGE. “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL” (Gen. 3:5). When man fell, he fell into this realm of “the knowledge of good and evil.” It was a realm of knowledge – carnal knowledge. Some teach that Adam and Eve were originally, before the fall, clothed with some kind of “bright Shekinah light.” Nowhere does the scripture confirm such a notion. The Record states just the opposite, in fact. “And they BOTH WERE NAKED, and were not ashamed” (Gen. 2:25). They were both NAKED! When? After they sinned? No! Before the serpent ever beguiled Eve, from the very beginning, the man and his wife were both naked and had no shame in that nakedness. Nowhere does the scripture state or infer that Adam and Eve were originally “clothed” with light and glory. What it does say is that they were NAKED… but without shame in the presence of one another and in the presence of God who walked and communed with them in the cool of the day. The only difference was that after they sinned “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Gen. 3:7). In relation to their nakedness sin brought a KNOWLEDGE. They “KNEW that they were naked.” Certainly they “knew” it! They had just finished eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! The tree imparted a knowledge – not the knowledge of God, but the knowledge of the exposure of their flesh!

This dual knowledge of good and evil is the inner condition and state of being of the people in the world today! Hear this! The elements of that tree were not only the elements of evil; they were the elements producing a knowledge of both GOOD and EVIL! The tree ministered to man a KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD as truly as it ministered to him a KNOWLEDGE OF EVIL. Thus, the fall introduced man into a realm of duality, of admixture: good and evil. The fallen man has both these characteristics inherently working within him.

The problem is that when man came into the knowledge of GOOD and EVIL he did not come into a better condition. Man came to know “good and evil” but he didn’t come to KNOW GOD! He now possesses a knowledge of the good and the evil but alas! he does not possess the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD! Man chose the knowledge of good and evil – but missed LIFE! He chose good and evil – and missed GOD! In the garden of Eden we have some startling revelations from the different kinds of trees. Since the knowing of life was contained in one tree and the knowledge of good was contained in another tree, it can be seen that life and good are definitely different. Just as evil is something other than life, so also good is something other than life. Just as evil is not life, so also good is not life. How we who have been born of the Spirit of God need to thank God that, in our very beings is the very LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS! This is even the tree of life, eternal life, Christ as our life, which Adam missed!

CHOOSING BETWEEN GOOD AND LIFE

We understand now that God had just one intention for Adam and his posterity. God wanted to be the source of Adam’s life, and I do want you to grasp all that means. With God as the very Center and Source of life, Adam could announce with the Psalmist: “All my springs are in Thee” (Ps. 87:7), and further, “All my works are in Thee.” The New Creation man is a tripartite being corresponding to the three kinds of trees in Eden. The spirit of the New Creation man, born of God, of the substance and nature of God, corresponds to the “tree of life.” The soul of man, originally good and upright, and still containing that inherent goodness, corresponds to “all the trees of the garden” which were “pleasant to the sight, and good for food.” The body of man, constituting the “body of death,” represents the tree of “knowledge of good and evil,” good of the soul mingled with the sin in our members, speaking of the flesh-realm. You can see why we repeat so emphatically that it was God’s original intention to live in man and become his very life. Our soul and body, with their mind, emotions, will and faculties are designed to allow the full expression of God through them to the universe of creation. Thus, by man’s yieldedness, by his glad-heart cooperation, God can express Himself through the functions of man’s soul and body. God placed the tree of life in the garden from the very beginning to declare that his purpose was for man to take the life of God into himself, becoming one with God in His life, that he might be the revelation of God to the entire creation! How wrong to assume that Christ’s coming to indwell is only because man fell into sin! No, this indwelling has from the very foundation of the world been God’s eternal purpose and has never been changed by sin or the fall.

Perhaps it will help us to use this simple diagram in explaining how God intends to live within our being and express Himself through our personality and faculties. In the outer circle we have man’s physical body. It is by certain senses built into the body that man contacts the world around him. He can see, hear, smell, feel and taste. Now the body is motivated by certain biological drives such as hunger, thirst, sex, breathing, etc. When man becomes overmastered by these biological drives he is not a spiritual individual, nor is he able to serve God as he ought. Fallen man has become so dominated in his physical being that the physical world and the desire of his body controls and rules him.

Next, in the second circle, we have man’s soul: the mind, emotions, desire and will, which make up his personality. It is in this realm that we meet something more than just a physical man, for we contact him in his mind, in his feelings, or in the strength of his will. As we have stated, it is in both the area of the human soul and the human body that God designs to express His own life, thoughts, love, nature, will and power through man.

Then, in the innermost circle we have the spirit of the regenerated man – the tree of life – the divine spiritual life of God in Christ in us. Man who was designed to be the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit is really quite empty until God, by His Spirit, comes in. “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (I Cor. 6:17). It is from this innermost area, the spirit, that God intends to fill and direct our whole being – thus expressing Himself from within to without.

Since that first hour in the garden, there have been two ways open to man: the way of SOUL DEVELOPMENT and the way of SPIRIT DEVELOPMENT. Is man going to become something on his own that will enable him to operate apart from God? Or will he become subject in all things to God – thus sharing moment by moment from Him as the Source of his life. Well, we know, of course, the choice which Adam made. He determined to partake of the tree of carnal knowledge, for by the fruit of that tree he could decide for himself what was right and what was wrong; he could live in that realm of knowledge independent of God!

At this point we must be very clear. There is so much confusion, even among those who are “Spirit-filled”! The way that God purposed for man’s spirit-development was by partaking of His Spirit, but also in DENYING HIMSELF THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE ANYTHING FOR HIMSELF – either good or evil. To live in the tree of life means to thoroughly renounce and completely forsake the tree of self-knowledge; not only the EVIL of that tree, but ALSO THE GOOD OF THAT TREE! It is strange that we have so long considered the tree of knowledge as something only evil, bad or wretched. On the contrary this tree more often appears as something GOOD, NECESSARY and IMPORTANT to our natural and spiritual development! Through the centuries blinded religious men have been partaking of the “good” of that tree – even the GOOD RELIGIOUS THINGS… traditions, ceremonies, rituals, organization, program, creeds, laws, regulations, promotionalism, professionalism, personality etc. etc. Men have always sought to lose themselves in the good religious things of popular religion so that they might be able to do better and live better, yet independent of personal submission to the QUICKENING LIFE OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD. So we see the crux of the matter: Was Adam going to take something “good” that he might be independent and live by self-effort, or would he refuse even the good that he might be wholly DEPENDENT upon THE SPIRIT OF GOD FOR ALL THINGS?

Never forget for one moment, dear friend, that ancient serpent is still in the land today and ever tries to frustrate us from walking by the life of God in our spirit. Soon after we meet the Lord in a new birth experience the serpent does this by helping us to make a decision to “do good.” No one is exempt from this subtle suggestion! Even this very day many of God’s precious children have prayed, “Lord, I want to do Your will; I want to please You; I will try my best to do the things that satisfy You!” This sounds like a good prayer, but it is not from the Lord. It comes from the serpent! Whenever we have such good intentions, determining by our self-effort to please the Lord, we are set for a fall. The evil that we can overcome through our self-effort is not the triumph of the life of Christ within us, but merely the suppression of evil by our good. The good we do through self-effort is merely the good of our soul and is not pleasing to God for it is self-righteousness. In my sonship dictionary there is not such a word as “evil,” neither is there such a word as “good”! From the beginning to the end of my sonship dictionary there is only one word – CHRIST! I understand neither good nor evil. I do not judge on the basis of whether a thing is good or evil. I do not want help to do good. I only want CHRIST! My whole desire is unto Him that HE MIGHT LIVE OUT HIS LIFE IN ME! Then I will not be good. I will be HOLY. There is a great difference!

Now you can understand the Lord’s words, “Abide in Me, and I in you; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same BEARETH MUCH FRUIT” (Jn. 15:4-5). Here there is nothing of self-effort, only abiding in the indwelling One, and allowing Him to abide in us; then all the riches and the glory of Christ Himself will be wrought out through our lives. The whole kingdom of God, all righteousness and peace and joy is simply the outworking of the indwelling Christ. We should say, “I do not know this and I do not know that. I do not know how to do this nor do I know how to do that. I only know one thing: I am a branch, and He is the Vine; I shall abide in Him, and let Him abide in me.” From this life-union we will spontaneously bear the fruit of His nature, life and power, showing forth His glory in the earth. This is the missing key! Trying to do good, even religious good, is a real temptation but a great distraction from experiencing that which is of life – Christ living within.

How vital that we constantly acknowledge that CHRIST IS OUR LIFE! Within the soul of man is every good and evil, but absolutely nothing of life. All the good of human zeal, knowledge, works, morality, compassion, and even the good of religion is contained in the soul of man. How many precious people are trying to serve God out of their soul, bringing all the good of their soul over into the worship and serving of the Lord, rather than subjecting the soul unto the Spirit that the Spirit may manifest life through the soul. This is the way of Cain who brought unto the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground. That means, simply, that he brought an offering unto God out of his own earthiness, offering his own good works unto God rather than, in symbol, LAYING DOWN HIS OWN LIFE as did righteous Abel.

The whole babylonish system of religion serves God in the oldness of the letter. The entire religious world is today walking in fleshly wisdom which seems so logical to the carnal mind. Fleshly wisdom always seems to “make more sense” than does the wisdom of God! Satan causes carnal wisdom to prosper because it is a denial of the life of the Spirit, so that many times Christians and churches operate contrary to the Spirit with the argument, “it works!” They continue in it. The “program” of the Church is contrary to true spirituality, and is built generally around flesh-appeal activities of ceremonies, musical concerts, social activities, ball teams, Sunday School contests, puppet shows, movies, special speakers, sensationalism and other carnal tactics and techniques, but the organizations continue in it because “it works” and causes the “church” to prosper in numbers and in finances, while their spirits remain dwarfed and hideously shriveled and stunted, if indeed they have ever been quickened at all! It must be remembered that if anyone or anything prospers on principles other than THE LIFE OF THE SON OF GOD, that person or thing is being prospered by the devil and not by God!

The fleshly religious systems of our day are ever seeking after some “good” tactic or method by which to promote the Kingdom of God. Their methods are “good” alright, the only problem being that they are NOT OF LIFE! They are, one and all, but fruit from the tree of carnal knowledge. They are the good of the soul of man pawned off as the life of the Spirit of God. Many years ago I too walked that path. I remember how each year at Christmas time we put on a Christmas program. The Spirit had already dealt with some of us and we knew unmistakably that Christmas was not a Christian holiday – that it was in all truth an abominable and cruel pagan custom, condemned by God. And yet, in spite of all we knew in our spirits, how insidiously and persistently the carnal mind was wont to reason: We know that Christmas is not Christ’s birthday; we understand that it was originally a pagan celebration; we acknowledge that it was “Christianized” by the apostate, harlot church-system; we consent that the “Christmas Spirit” is naught but the commercializing spirit of the god of this world; but, the fleshly mind argues, the whole Christian world recognizes Christmas as the birthday of Jesus, and it IS a good opportunity to witness to people about the Lord, and people WILL go to Church on Christmas and Easter whether they go any other time or not, and a Christmas program IS a “good” way to get the unsaved to come and hear the gospel… and so on, and on, and on went the reasonings of fleshly wisdom! So we did it! Year after year we faithfully presented our Christmas program, each time with special effort to make it “Christ centered;” we even gave an “invitation” at the close of each one! I can truthfully bear witness to you today that after years of these good programs NOT ONE SOUL WAS SAVED, in fact, not even one unsaved person ever responded to the invitation; not one life was transformed; not one believer was filled with the Holy Spirit; not one saint was brought closer to the Lord; not one gift of the Spirit ever manifested; not one son was helped on toward maturity; not one single thing of ETERNAL VALUE was ever accomplished! Why? Because our good program was produced out of the carnal scheming of the “good” of the soul, the flesh which ever wants to assert itself in the service of God, by soulish means and methods, APART FROM THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT! It was good, but it wasn’t GOD! “That which is born of the flesh IS FLESH.”

Oh brethren! How we need to watch this! All that is not of life, of the Spirit, is merely the good of man – soulish. How much of our religious exercises have been soulish! I can tell you of a truth that most of the “power” in the modern “revival meeting” is nothing at all but soul power. Have you not noticed yourself that in many revival meetings and church services a kind of atmosphere is first created to make the people feel warm and excited? A chorus is repeated again and again to warm up the audience. The people are feverishly urged to “get into the spirit” of the meeting. Some stirring stories are told. Special music is sung. When the atmosphere is thoroughly heated up, the preacher will then stand up and preach. He has various strategies ready to stimulate and maneuver the people. If he does his job skillfully he can anticipate a large “altar call.” These are methods and tactics, but they are not the power of the Holy Spirit! Many preachers today think they have power; but they are merely employing psychological soul power to influence people. Many have become self-made experts on the use of psychology in manipulating people. The Bible Schools of Babylon’s religions offer a course for ministerial students called homiletics. Homiletics is the art of writing and preaching sermons. The sad truth is that the vast majority of religious exercises are just that – an “art.” You can go to school and LEARN HOW TO DO IT! How to prepare sermons. How to stand behind the pulpit. How to speak persuasively. How to use gestures. How to tell jokes. How to build the sermon. How to work toward the climax. How to stir the people relating sentimental stories of death, repentance, hell, heaven etc. How to skillfully bring your hearers to the point of making a decision. This all seems so desirable, so good! But I say to you that you can learn these very same psychological techniques, apply them in the business world, and sell vacuum cleaners! The fact is, most all salesmen use these same proven procedures of presentation, sentimentalism and pressure to sell insurance, automobiles, property, and thousands of other items daily! They don’t need any Holy Spirit to do that! All they need is some good human personality mixed with some good proven techniques and they can persuade people to buy almost anything! These are means and methods, but they are not the power nor work of the Holy Spirit. In the kingdom of God they are flesh!

I can hear someone saying, “But if souls are saved by these methods, and people are blessed and helped, aren’t these methods then good?” That’s the whole point! They are good. They’re just not of God! Not of the Spirit. It is still the flesh serving God. And God, in His incomprehensible mercy, can use even that. He also used a donkey and the jaw-bone of an ass. But who wants to become a donkey or the jaw-bone of an ass? God wants SONS! Why settle for less than God desires? Why settle for the ”good” of the tree of knowledge and forfeit the right to the TREE OF LIFE?

There was a man two thousand years ago called Saul from the city of Tarsus. Saul was born of the purest Jewish blood, the son of a Pharisee, was cradled in orthodox Judaism. He undoubtedly attended the famous university in Tarsus, and was later sent to Jerusalem where he completed his studies under the famous and powerful Gamaliel, a member of the Sanhedrin. Being a superior, zealous student, he absorbed not only the teaching of the Old Testament but also the rabbinical learning of the scholars. Saul was clearly a man of unusual talent, dynamic personality, and great ability. The carnal mind, beholding a man of such stature, would reason: What talent, what good qualities this man possesses! Why, if God could just get hold of him and use all this ability in the service of the Lord, what mighty things he could accomplish for the Kingdom of God! But, listen to what Paul said, after he had seen the whole thing in the blazing light of God’s revelation of Jesus Christ: “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ; Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the EXCELLENCY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found IN HIM, not having mine own righteousness… but that which is through the faith of Christ… THAT I MAY KNOW HIM!” (Phil. 3:7-10).

Paul refused to carry over his good natural, soulish abilities and tactics into the ministry of the Spirit. He renounced them one and all that the power might be completely of God. Paul was forever reminding the saints of that unfathomable gulf that lies between the soulish works of the flesh and the life and power of the Holy Spirit. He wrote to the Church at Corinth: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear; and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (I Cor. 2:1-5). When a man truly discovers Christ as the all-sufficient life, he will find to his amazement that he can no longer operate in the ages-old systems and methods of the church, which, though held in high honor by the multitude, are serving only one purpose, and that is to MAKE THE LIFE AND POWER OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT.

Many years ago as a young boy I joined an evangelical denomination, attended their Bible School, and became one of their ministers. In those days I diligently studied the arts of sermonizing and evangelizing and when you learn those arts you are much like the hypnotists who know what results they will get by doing certain things. You know from the first step to the last step. You know how to make your message cause people to laugh, to weep, to be moved and even repent. In those former years I knew how that by clever maneuvering one can anticipate the psychological responses of the audience. When I would build my sermon to a certain point and tell certain stories I could predict precisely at what point a certain class of people would shiver, and another class of people, principally the women, would get out their handkerchiefs and commence to wipe away the tears! I tell you honestly that I knew how to bring people to tears, to repentance, to confession, to decision, to re-dedication and re-consecration, and it made for some impressive “altar calls.” However, I have also observed that such type of revival needs to be renewed every few months because the effect of the medicine given previously tends to wear off and the old conditions return. Sometimes the effect of a revival will fade away after only a few days! This is why you generally see the SAME PEOPLE in revival after revival, campaign after campaign, healing meeting after healing meetings, marching up front for a blessing, a healing, a double portion, a prophecy, a re-consecration etc. Everyone gets stirred and blessed for the moment but after a while everything is over and done with. This is due to no other reason than A LACK OF LIFE.

Yes, the people eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; the good of that tree, the soulish serving and working for God, stirs their emotions of the moment. As people walk in that soulish realm the stimulant used has to be increased from time to time. In order to remain effective, the methods employed must become more and more emotional, psychological and stirring. These kind of emotional “blessings” can best be described as a “spiritual fix.” The people are on a “high” as long as the excitement and emotion is being stirred but as soon as things settle back to the normal nitty-gritty of daily living the pressures and problems soon cause them to hit a “low.” Thus, working through soul power – even if people go to the altar, get blessed, weep, consecrate and become zealous – is, practically speaking, WORTH NOTHING. It is not of LIFE, therefore not eternal, and the dose needs to be injected time and again. This keeps baby Christians entertained, but it will NEVER PRODUCE SONS!

Let us remember that all works done through psychology, methods and emotion are questionable and transient. In the work done through the Holy Spirit man does not need to exert his own strength nor do anything by himself. If a work is done by soul strength one has to exert a lot of energy and employ numerous methods and tactics and the result will depend upon the skill and magnetism of the personality behind the pulpit. We all know some individuals that seem to have a magnetic attraction about them. All magnetism of personality must be nailed to the cross before the Holy Spirit can move in the pureness of His Life.

Today, after years of experiencing the deep and vital dealings of the Spirit of God, after hearing the Holy Spirit’s call to sonship, I totally repudiate all such soulish wisdom of the carnal mind, all such fleshly tactics of Babylon’s kingdom, to bend low before the disciplines of the Father of sons, to travail mightily that God would bend me, break me, bind my soul power, bridle my Self, and block all that would proceed from my carnal mind. If I have learned anything of the ways of the Father I have learned this one thing: He who would be a son of God must be able to discern what is done from his soul power and what is done by the Spirit of God; further, he must confess and utterly forsake all that pertains to his own soul power, nailing it to the cross of Christ, that ultimately his own faith, as well as that of his hearers, may be found to stand solely in the power of God and not in the wisdom of the flesh. This is the only route, my dear brother and sister, into the glorious reality of sonship to God. All the good works of the soulish realm can never, in a billion years, deliver the creation from its bondage to tyranny and corruption. Only the mighty working of THE LIFE OF THE SON OF GOD can accomplish this. It is evident that the soul can only live by itself, it has not the power to make others live. It is the Spirit that QUICKENETH; the flesh PROFITETH NOTHING.

Recently I was in a meeting where the saints have an “open pulpit” with liberty for each member of the body to move in ministry of the word, worship, singing, gifts, exhortation, etc. as they are moved upon by the Spirit. A young Pentecostal evangelist was present, and, taking advantage of the open pulpit, got up and ministered his highly emotion-oriented message, at the conclusion of which he pressed the people to come forward for him to minister to their needs. One dear sister, with a physical condition, went up and presented herself before the young evangelist, whereupon he immediately motioned for one of the brothers to come up and stand behind this sister. He proceeded to pray for her, shaking his finger sharply in her face three times, shouting each time, “In JESUS’ name!” After the third time he forcefully slapped her on the forehead, jerking her body backward, whereupon she at once “fell out” under the “power.” She lay on the floor a couple minutes, then got up. I saw at once what was happening!

This was not the Spirit nor the power of God in operation! It was pure mesmerism, a psychologically induced experience. It came from human exercise, not an enduement of power from God. As soon as the next person went forward to be ministered to I stood and quickly walked to the front to help minister. When the evangelist shook his finger in this brother’s face and jolted him backward with a slap on the forehead, I had already placed my hand on his back, gently exerting enough pressure to stabilize him. I continued this procedure through the rest of the personal ministry, and needless, to say, NO ONE ELSE FELL! If the Holy Spirit would have been knocking those people down, there would not have been enough strength in my body to keep them from falling! I have witnessed this fleshly technique time and time again in Pentecostal and Charismatic meetings! The method used is, frankly, one of the oldest tricks out of the bag of “dirty tricks.” You see most Spirit-filled Christians desire supernatural experiences. This is natural, and not necessarily to be condemned! However, when you know people are actually wanting and longing to experience the sensational, in this case “falling under the power,” the first step in making them fall through the use of hypnotic suggestions is the feeling that in case they do fall, someone is there to catch them and break the fall. Furthermore, by calling the person up to stand behind them you have psychologically suggested to their mind that they WILL FALL, so that now they are actually, consciously or subconsciously, expecting to fall! All that is needed at this point is to give them the incentive to fall. The young evangelist did this with the sister when he shook his finger in her face, repeatedly shouting “In JESUS’ name!” Through the motions of this exercise she was being psychologically prepared for what was coming so that when he hit her on the forehead, shoving her backward, she reacted exactly as she had been conditioned to react – she fell!

I am fairly certain that this precious sister was thoroughly convinced that the Holy Spirit knocked her down! Do I, then, not believe that there is a genuine experience in which saints “fall as dead men” under the anointing power of the Holy Spirit? I have seen it with my own eyes! It also happened in Bible days, and is, therefore, quite scriptural! It happened to men such as Daniel (Dan. 10:4-10), Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:3-4), and John (Rev. 1:10-18). It has happened to many others, then and now. Certainly it is real. But we must be no longer children, tossed to and fro by every smart preacher, nor by every zealous Charismatic babe in Christ, nor by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Eph. 4:14). Those that God has called unto maturity as sons must be able to discern between soul and Spirit, between that which is of man and that which is FROM ABOVE.

The unvarnished truth is that anything you can be taught and trained HOW TO DO is not of the Spirit but of the flesh. If you are able to learn through teaching, instruction and training HOW IT IS DONE then you merely have a FORMULA, a technique. There is no life in formulas! Today people run about from seminar to seminar, from conference to conference and from school to school to LEARN HOW to witness, how to win souls, how to prophesy, how to exercise gifts, how to get people baptized in the Holy Spirit, how to cast out devils, how to heal, and HOW TO DO a host of other things which are all rightly and exclusively THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! How much better it would be if they would spend their time, like Mary of old, at His feet, learning TO KNOW HIM and to KNOW HIS WAYS. How much better if the time were spent on their knees, very low and humble before God, that He might place within them a DEEP DISTRUST OF THE FLESH. How I pray that God would truly reveal to all His sons that the one great hindrance to the walk of sonship is the power of the flesh and the efforts of the self-life. Open our eyes, we pray Thee, to this snare of Satan. May we all see how secret and how subtle is the temptation to have confidence in the flesh, to feel that WE KNOW HOW TO DO IT, how easily we are led to perfect in the flesh what has been begun in the Spirit. May we learn to trust Thee to work in us by Thy Holy Spirit, both to will and to do only those things which THOU ART DOING!

THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD

I trust by now you have caught a glimpse of what is the difference between “good” and “life.” My heart cries out that the God of all wisdom and understanding will open the hearts of all who read these lines that they may see that the only thing of any importance in the whole universe is that we might KNOW GOD! Adam stood squarely between these TWO TREES OF KNOWLEDGE, one giving the KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, the other the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD! The knowledge of God is not an accumulation of dead facts, but a living reality that springs like a resurrection from the SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE which is in truth a manifestation of the Holy Spirit of God. “That I may know Him!” was the cry of the apostle’s heart. “Yea,” Paul wrote, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS my Lord!” (Phil. 3:7-8). The tree of life is naught but the knowledge of the Lord. Jesus declared: “And this is life eternal, that THEY MIGHT KNOW THEE the only true God, and JESUS CHRIST, Whom Thou hast sent” (Jn. 17:3). Jesus surely should know what constitutes eternal life for He is Himself the Source of all life and upon him rested the fullness of THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD, including the “SPIRIT OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD” (Isa. 11:2).

What is eternal life? To KNOW HIM! It is receiving the resurrection life of the Lord within. Why do the scriptures say we are regenerated through the resurrection of the Lord instead of the birth of the Lord? Because the new life received IS NOT THE LIFE OF BETHLEHEM. That which was born in Bethlehem was yet to die, but the life of the resurrection is alive forevermore! (Rev. 1:17-18). The resurrection life never dies but abides forever. The life that is born from Adam in the flesh can die. What we receive in regeneration is the life which lives forever and never dies. Watchman Nee related the following illustration to explain what resurrection life is: There was once a man who did not believe in resurrection. He was a very important person among a circle of atheists. After he died, the epitaph on his tombstone read: “Unbreakable Tomb.” The tomb had been built of marble. Most surprisingly, that huge marble sarcophagus one day split wide open. It so happened that an acorn had fallen into the crevice of stones during construction. It gradually grew into a big oak tree, and eventually burst the tomb wide open. A tree has life, hence it can burst open a place of death! Life alone can conquer death. This is regeneration, this is resurrection!

God has planned and purposed to reign within His sons in life! The acorn contains within its tiny self all the elements of the giant oak that centuries from now will tower over the spot where it fell into the ground. The infinitesimal single cell of human life conceived in the womb of woman contains all the elements of the mighty man who will one day walk abroad and govern the earth. Thus our heavenly Father plants the seed of His incorruptible life in the hearts of feeble men, for “Christ IN YOU” is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).

Our Father has planted the seed of the Kingdom of God in human hearts, the earth which are, and we seek to know the fullness of that life as we in patience wait for its growth within. Thus we pray in blessed hope: Thy will be done in this earth which I am! Establish Thy throne, O God, in me and reign by Thy life supreme in the kingdom of my heart. Rule my flesh. Rule my soul. Rule my mind. Conquer me and the enemies within me, the world, the flesh, and the devil, the carnal mind and the corruption of death. Rule here within me and grant me the mind that was in Christ Jesus. Let His mind be my mind that I may be a son of God. Let His attitudes be my attitudes, His grace my grace, His life my life, His power my power, His kingdom my kingdom, until I no longer do anything OF MYSELF, but only that which I see my Father do. Grant me the patience and obedience to renounce and forsake all fleshly zeal, all carnal wisdom, all babylonish ways in serving Thee, Holy Father, that Thy will be done in me upon this earth as it is done in the heavens!

This is the attitude of all true sons of God, my beloved. Nothing less than this will suffice. May the Spirit of the Knowledge of the Lord rest upon all God’s sons! “But grow in grace, and in the KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18). “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD” (Col. 1:10). “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man which is RENEWED IN KNOWLEDGE after the image of Him that created him” (Col. 3:-9-10).

There is no knowledge of God in the natural mind. The pulpits of the churches today are filled with men who seem to think they know everything. They depend upon the degrees they earned in seminaries, imbibing the traditions of the elders. They have burned the midnight oil cramming their minds full of the wisdom and knowledge of religion, but for all this the vast majority of them do not know God. And God does not know them. In spite of all their learning they know nothing as they ought to know it, for the wisdom of man is foolishness with God. They are trained in all the wisdom of Babylon, but have no knowledge at all of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Cor. 2:12-14).

Harry Rimmer once related the following story which points out the absurdity of the reasoning of the carnal mind. “Mr. Brisbane began his comment by referring to the novelist’s dare and the failure of God to answer. Without any personal remarks on the subject, Mr. Brisbane then said this: ‘Out in the desert of New Mexico, a colony of little red ants decided to move from their old home to a new one. As they were hurrying busily across the plain, their progress was suddenly interrupted by two bright shiny streaks of steel that intersected their pathway. An inquiring ant said to his neighbor, ‘What is this barrier across our path?’ This wise and intelligent neighbor said, ‘It is the right of way of the Santa Fe Railway.’ The first ant said, ‘What is a railway and what is the Santa Fe?’ In response to this question the second ant gave a graphic description of the mighty railway system called the Santa Fe, and told how it spanned two-thirds of the continent with this girdling roadbed of steel. He told of the mighty steel horses snorting smoke and fire, that drew a race of super-beings, called humans, at an incredible speed across the desert.

“When he had finished his description of this mighty transportation system, the skeptical ant said, ‘I do not believe a word of it. How would it keep on running?’ So the intelligent ant described the personnel who operate this great system and told how a man named Benjamin Storey lived in a place called Chicago and guided the destinies of this great concern. The skeptical ant drew himself up on his hind legs and stared at that gleaming wall of steel. In stentorian tones he announced, ‘I deny that there is any Santa Fe. I deny that it has a president. If there is such a man as Benjamin Storey, I will give him fifteen minutes to come out from Chicago and step on me to prove his existence.’

“Mr. Brisbane humorously concluded by saying, ‘Can’t you imagine the busy president of the Santa Fe Railway, with the destinies of that great concern in his hands, closing his desk and suspending his business to dash out to New Mexico and step on one red ant, just to prove that he did exist?’ And this ingenious and clever retort so laughed the famous skeptic out of court that we have heard nothing of his demonstration since.

“The parable is exact. Men who deny the existence of God, by comparison, are in the identical class with insects that deny the existence of men.”

And men who scoff at the deep spiritual truths of God, or who comprehend them not, are in the same category. Now we must declare that the moment a man comes to truly know God all the wisdom of his natural mind commences to become foolishness to him, for the wisdom of man, even seminary-learned religious wisdom, is utter foolishness with God. Henceforth he is unlearning the things he thought he knew. The doctrines and traditions that were his pride and joy often become completely repugnant to the new nature and mind of God given him.

The following words of wisdom are from the pen of Paul Mueller. “As WITH each of these SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD, the Spirit of knowledge is not the Lord’s anointing upon the limited knowledge which might be contained in our natural minds, but it is THE SPIRIT OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD imparted to us by the fullness of the anointing with the seven spirits of sonship. The prophet Hosea was moved upon by the Holy Spirit to point out Israel’s woeful lack, when he said: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, NOR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD in the land.’ (Hos. 4:1) The exceeding lack which truly grieved the Lord, was a lack of the knowledge of God among His people, as well as a lack of truth and mercy. We may pride ourselves on the abundance of knowledge which we have gained in our spiritual growth unto maturity, but it is certain that the Lord would consider us as being unfinished and incomplete when we are compared to the stature and fullness of the maturity of Christ. We certainly have a long way to go, and the Lord in His merciful purpose understands our lack. In due time He will anoint us with that seven-fold anointing of God which will transform us and endue us with the FULNESS OF THE SPIRIT OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD.

“Paul further wrote of the fact that THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD brings about a change in our lives so that we do not serve the flesh any longer. The apostle admonishes us: ‘Casting down imaginations (or reasonings), and EVERY HIGH THING that exalteth itself AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.’ (2 Cor. 10:3-6)

“This KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS A SPIRIT: it is a portion of GOD HIMSELF imparted to us in a new anointing in glory and power, an anointing MANY TIMES GREATER THAN WE HAVE KNOWN IN THE PAST. ‘For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give THE LIGHT OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE GLORY OF GOD in the face of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Cor. 4:6) It may sound like a complicated process, but the simple truth is that God desires that we SEE CHRIST AND COME TO KNOW HIM. This, indeed, is the knowledge which we are to partake of presently.

“The apostle sheds further light and understanding concerning the knowledge of God in his epistle to the Ephesians: ‘That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND REVELATION IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM…’ (Eph. 1:17) It is by the spirit of revelation that we will come into the understanding of the mysteries and truths of God and His kingdom. Therefore, we join Paul in praying that our Father would grant that Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him unto all who are His chosen ones. And when we are enlightened by the spirit of wisdom and revelation, we are taught of the Holy Spirit as our understanding increases and we come into THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD. This knowledge is not more head knowledge or brain power, but it is the very thing Paul desired most when he said: ‘Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS MY LORD: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I MAY WIN CHRIST… THAT I MAY KNOW HIM, and the power of his resurrection…’ (Phil. 3:8,10) Paul further stated that the Lord has given His ministries to His body, ‘Till we all come into the unity of the faith, and of THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD, unto A PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…’ (Eph. 4:13) This knowledge of God is not more doctrines about Him, nor is it an intellectual concept of what or who God is. This KNOWLEDGE OF GOD can only be received by an impartation of divine revelation and wisdom, and it is increasingly evident that the Lord has committed this spirit of revelation to His elect.

“The apostle Paul expressed his desire for the Colossian believers and prayed for them, ‘…that ye might be FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God…” (Col. 1:9-10) Paul also wrote of Christ, ‘In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.’ (Col. 2:4) He also advised us concerning the new man, ‘which is RENEWED IN KNOWLEDGE after the image of him that created him…’ (Col. 3:10) This ‘new man’ of which the apostle writes is the new spiritual man which we are and which is being ‘renewed in knowledge’ after the image of Christ. The obvious method by which we are to be completely transformed is to first submit to the leadership of Christ, thus allowing our spiritual man to become predominant. Then as we submit to the new man, the spiritual man, our minds are being renewed in the knowledge of Christ, and it is BY THE RENEWING OF OUR MINDS THAT WE SHALL BE TRANSFORMED IN OUR BODIES. (Ro. 12:2) Therefore, it is important that we partake of Christ, that we eat His body and drink of Him. It is communion with Christ which will RENEW OUR MINDS WITH HIS KNOWLEDGE, thus preparing us for the complete transformation of our bodies into HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS. As we maintain communion with Christ and receive His revealed truth, our minds are being renewed with His knowledge, even though we may not feel that anything is taking place. But a very sure work of the Spirit is taking place within our minds and our spirits as we commune with Christ.

 “Peter advised us to partake of the divine nature and to add to our life the many attributes of Christ. Then he said, ‘for if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.’ (2 Pe. 1:3-8) In closing his book, Peter warned the believer of the danger of ‘being led away with the error of the wicked,’ and from falling ‘from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’ (2 Pe. 3:17-18) And it is a fact that we shall not fall from our own steadfastness if we are constantly growing in grace and IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST. When we begin to discover some of the vast purposes of the Lord BY REVELATION, we will express wonderment and joy as Paul did, when he exclaimed: ‘O the depth of the riches both of THE WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!’ (Ro. 11:33) We will continue to commune with Christ, partaking of HIS WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE unto that glorious day when we shall be anointed with THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD, receiving not the intellectual knowledge, but THE SPIRIT OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD, knowing Him AS HE IS.

“The prophet Ezekiel described what appears to be the completed Christ company. He described this company as a ‘living creature’ that was ‘full of eyes round about.’ (10:12, Rev. 4:8) The ‘eyes’ are of course symbolic, representing the superior vision and perspective of Christ. Each one in this vast company of the redeemed possess those ‘eyes’ of the Spirit. John saw seven eyes of the Lamb, which he said are ‘the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.’ (Rev. 5:6) The redeemed of the Lord shall have the eyes of the Spirit, which is the fullness of the anointing of the Spirit. That anointing enables them to see things that others cannot. The superior vision of the eyes of the mind of Christ make it possible for us to see things in the Spirit, including the marvelous, all-encompassing truth of God. The mind of Christ includes the full spiritual potential to see and understand things that are beyond the sight of the natural man. When we have the mind of Christ in fullness, we shall indeed make up that ‘living creature,’ the Christ company, that is ‘full of eyes round about.’

“Those eyes ‘are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.’ (Rev. 5:6) That whole, corporate being was full of eyes round about. Those eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, were penetrating everything with the superior vision and foreknowledge of God. Nothing anywhere is beyond His vision and understanding. Whether He looks at a person or the whole world, he sees not only the outward form, but the inward, as well as the past, present and future of that which He sees. Those seven eyes search, explore, penetrate, and discern all things. The seven Spirits of God pierce through everyone and everything with a vision that defies human understanding. Yet every member of the Christ body shall be endued with that same vision, perception, understanding and wisdom, for they are all anointed with the seven Spirits of God.

“We also see that the Head of this body, which is Jesus Christ, looked in a certain direction and the whole body followed Him with precise and immediate obedience. There was no hesitation or debates. As soon as the head looked, the whole body followed Him. Thus it shall be when the Christ body is fully joined to Christ the Head to form one complete, corporate man. That holy union shall result in a body functioning like a wheel within a wheel. Not one among them shall walk in their own ways, as has been the case during this age, but the entire company shall move with the unity and harmony as of a wheel within a wheel.

“The spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ is the result of having anointed and enlightened spiritual eyes. The law, statutes and commandments of the Lord enlighten the eyes (Ps 19:8), and this has been a vital part of our training and growth in God.

“Jesus functioned solely and completely by the ‘eyes’ of the mind of Christ. He did only those things He ‘saw’ the Father do. He said, ‘The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things so ever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.’ (Jo. 5:19-20)

“Jesus had a spiritual vision that was beyond the ability of mere mortal man to comprehend. He did not see these spiritual things by the eyes of the natural mind, whether it be inspired or anointed. The things He saw the Father do, He ‘saw’ by the mind of Christ, or by the Spirit. But there is much more to be done by the mind of Christ. The Father’s works are not yet completed. The wonderful work of the Spirit to restore all things back to God again, among other things, still remains to be done. It shall be fully accomplished by the wisdom of the mind of Christ and not by man’s carnal mind and works. Jesus said that the Father will show Him (Christ) ‘greater works than these that ye may marvel.’ Those greater works are yet to be fulfilled by the Christ body. And we shall do those ‘greater works’ when we have the mind of Christ and can ‘see’ as Jesus saw in the Spirit.”

“GROWTH”

Man’s God gets bigger each time a man grows.
His Lord becomes greater, the more a man knows.
One time, a lone mountain, His total domain.
He grew with His people, their gain was His gain.

In Israel’s small country, they centered His grace.
He stayed with his people, their place was His place.
He grew with their concepts, He grew with each thought.
Bigger and bigger grew all that He wrought.

From sacrificed creatures… to sacrificed will.
From temple that held Him… to heavens to fill.
From war with the heathen… to love for all men.
He grew, and he grew, and He grew… again.

I know God is constant… His size cannot change.
And never, no mountain, could limit His range.
God’s quart in our pint? Such greatness in man?
God shows us as much, each day, as He can.

A soul that is hard… sees not the Lord’s kindness.
A person that’s rude… sees not the Lord’s fineness.
As children we’re apt to misunderstand.
So oft’ misinterpret, the heav’nly command.

We limit God’s size… ‘cause we are so stunted.
It’s not the Lord’s fault, that we are thus runted.
As we grow in grace… As we grow in love.
So groweth our God… We keep learning of.

 


Chapter 14

The Spirit Of Knowledge

(continued)

“These things saith He that hath the SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1).

“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE and of the Fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:2).

TWO KINDS OF KNOWLEDGE

In our last Study we saw that when man came into the knowledge of good and evil he did not come into a better condition. Man came to know “good and evil” but he did not, through that knowledge, come to KNOW GOD! In the garden of Eden we have some wonderful revelations from the different kinds of trees. Since the knowing of life was contained in one tree and the knowledge of good was contained in another tree, it can be seen that life and good are definitely different things. Just as evil is something other than life, so also is good something other than life. Just as evil is not life, so also good is not life. How we who have been born of the Spirit of God need to thank God that, for us, there is no longer merely the two realities of good and evil; there dwells now within our beings the very LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE of Christ Jesus! This is truly the TREE OF LIFE, eternal life, Christ as our life – which Adam missed!

May the Spirit of God impress deeply upon the hearts of all those who seek after life the absolute necessity of completely and totally renouncing the knowledge of good and evil to seek exclusively the KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD. Paul writes of those who have “the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the IGNORANCE that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts” (Eph. 4:18). Then, in contrast to this he writes of how “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the KNOWLEDGE OF THE GLORY OF GOD in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Cor. 4:6). The comparison is clear: DARKNESS and IGNORANCE, LIGHT and KNOWLEDGE, thus the preacher declared, “wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness” (Eccl. 2:13). The KNOWLEDGE OF GOD is light to the soul whereas IGNORANCE OF GOD equals a state of darkness.

One of the seven Spirits resting upon the first-born Son is the Spirit of the Knowledge of the Lord. There is a wonderful and yet fearful thing being wrought in the earth in this hour, something which never has been before, and yet is seldom recognized by even the Christian people, and that is how the darkness is becoming darker, and the light is becoming brighter. The prophet declared, “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people” (Isa. 60:2). Yet it is also spoken of another people, that “the path of the just is as the shining light, that SHINETH MORE AND MORE (brighter and brighter) UNTO THE PERFECT DAY” (Prov. 4:18). And so it is, two intensified conditions in contra-distinctions to each other. Light and Darkness. Knowledge and Ignorance. The KNOWLEDGE OF GOD and the KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL which is nothing more nor less than IGNORANCE OF GOD!

We live in the age of science. Our English word “science” comes from the Latin word SCIENTIA meaning “knowledge.” Science is defined as “knowledge of facts and laws based upon careful observations and logic verified by means of experiment and additional observation.” Thus, science is simply that broad field of HUMAN KNOWLEDGE. The cry everywhere in this day is for education and knowledge. The prophet Daniel declared, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE INCREASED” (Dan. 12:4), and this is certainly being fulfilled in this hour. Man’s own natural HUMAN KNOWLEDGE of the world and the universe around him has increased until it staggers the imagination to try and comprehend the scope of what research is uncovering, and the marvels of this Computer Age and Space Age into which man has been so speedily propelled. And yet, in the very midst of this fantastic increase of HUMAN KNOWLEDGE, there is a great and incomprehensible darkness that is covering over the people, and they do not know what is actually taking place, they are not aware of the forces at work behind the scenes, and do not discern that this whole complex system of things is destined to soon pass away amidst great distress and perplexity of men upon the face of the whole earth.

With certainty do I declare to you that the world is today filled with a knowledge that is leading it to destruction, while vast multitudes of the people of God are chained with the shackles of death and tradition; but, praise God, God is separating a people from reliance upon any portion of the knowledge of this world that He might impart to them the SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE, for the Kingdom of God is now at hand when the whole earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:9). The Spirit of the Knowledge of the Lord that rests upon Jesus Christ shall now, in these last days, come to rest heavily upon those glorious pure virgin sons of Zion, God’s master piece and the hope of all creation.          

THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

Again and again the precious Holy Spirit exhorts us to seek after the knowledge of the Lord. II Pet. 3:18 says, “But grow in grace, and in THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.” Paul’s desire for the Colossians was that they might “walk worthy of the Lord, increasing in THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD” (Col. 1:10). Something of the magnitude of this knowledge of God is expressed in Rom. 11:33-36: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counselor? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever!” As the mighty oak lies hidden in the tiny acorn, so the Knowledge of God lies concealed in the seed of Christ planted in the womb of the believing heart. As the great oak inches heavenward year after year, so the Knowledge of God bursts forth from realm to realm from the life of Christ in our spirits. “Lie not one to another, seeing ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is RENEWED IN KNOWLEDGE after the image of Him that created him” (Col. 3:9-10). How grateful we are that in the midst of all the darkness of MAN’S KNOWLEDGE, our God is bringing forth a light, even the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, shining that light into even our hearts, progressively increasing it and working it deep into the lives of a firstfruits company. Those apprehended by God for this day are discovering that the light is indeed growing brighter, and their one and only and all-consuming desire is that they might KNOW HIM, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).

Jesus tells us in John 17:3: “And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW THEE the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” The Amplified Bible gives a wonderfully expressive rendering of this: “And this is eternal life: it means to know, to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with and understand YOU, the only true and real God, and to know Him, Jesus Christ… whom you have sent.”  This is most striking, that eternal life consists in KNOWLEDGE, or rather, the PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE, for the present tense of the verb GINOSKO (to know) marks a continuance, a progressive recognition and perception of God in Christ. Let us examine more closely this thought of an eternal life which comes by a progressively expanding inward knowledge, or the KNOWING OF GOD. I can state confidently that the degree to which we KNOW GOD FROM WITHIN determines how much of God we have and how much we experience Him as our life. Thus, the knowing of God and the development and growth of His life within are fully related.

An understanding of this important truth will show us why the life that comes by “knowing” God is called “eternal” life. Eternal is one of the words of scripture which everyone thinks he understands, but there are few who realize what a deep and glorious meaning it has. It is supposed that eternal is something merely that always continues, something that has no end. That is true – but it is not what the Greek word used here indicates. The word for “everlasting” or “eternal” as used for punishment and “everlasting” or “eternal” as used with life is the same word in the Greek – AIONIOS.

Some sincere and well meaning people assert that if AIONIOS does not mean eternal, that is, if the punishment is not eternal, then the life is not eternal. If the "aionios punishment" ends, then the "aionios life" of God must end, say they! That sounds like a reasonable argument, but when one searches beneath the surface he discovers that it merely reveals the ignorance of those who labor the point. Let us see!

The noun AION nowhere means eternal. Its simple meaning is an age. In its plural form it means ages. We have unquestionably and incontrovertibly demonstrated this fact from numerous New Testament passages. Now once we understand that AIONIOS is the adjective form of the noun AION, a simple little sixth-grade grammar lesson should once and for all establish the exact meaning of AIONIOS.

A noun is a word that tells what you are talking about. A noun is a word that names something, a person, place, thing, quality, etc. Boy, water, tree, age and truth are all nouns. An adjective is a word that is used with a noun to describe it. It is a word that tells you what kind, what color, which one, etc. If you wanted to tell me about the hat a woman was wearing you would describe the hat in some way. You might say that it was a large hat, an atrocious hat, or a red hat. These are adjectives, words that describe what kind, what color of hat. When you add one or more of these "describing words" or "adjectives" to hat, you give a clearer picture of what the hat is like. Some words are both nouns and adjectives, that is, the same word can be used both ways. Sometimes the adjective form of the word is identical to the noun form, while at other times the spelling is slightly different. Look at these sentences: "I would like to visit France." "I am learning the French language." France is a proper noun, but the adjective form of the same word is spelled differently - French. But in both cases they indicate the same setting. Anyone with even an elementary knowledge of grammar (English or Greek) knows that the meaning of a noun and the meaning of the same word in its adjective form MUST CORRESPOND! It cannot have one meaning as a noun and exactly opposite meaning as an adjective!

Let me illustrate. If we say "John is in college," the word college is a noun. But if we say, "John has sixteen college credits," college is an adjective, modifying the word credits - telling what kind of credits. Now we all know what a college is - an institution of higher education that grants degrees - so we understand what kind of institution John is attending in the first sentence. Since we know the meaning of college, when we come to the second sentence we have no difficulty understanding what kind of credits John has - college credits - credits gained through study in an institution of higher education granting degrees! No one in his right mind is going to read the second statement and conclude that John has just finished kindergarten, or that he has a diploma showing that he finished sixteen lessons in leather craft at the YMCA, or that he has $16.00 worth of credit at a department store! College as a noun and college as an adjective cannot have altogether different meanings. They mean the same in both cases!

Ah, brethren, let's be fair with the basic rules of English grammar and interpretation, and Greek, too, for they both follow the same basic rules. No one can say that AIONIOS means eternal without breaking the basic rules of English or Greek. The adjective AIONIOS which is directly derived from the noun AION occurs seventy times in the New Testament. It is an axiom of grammar that derivatives cannot have a greater force than the parent word. When we have an adjective derived from a noun, the meaning of the adjective is dependent upon the meaning of the noun. A daily paper is one that comes every day. A monthly bill is due for payment every month, not once a year. A yearly automobile license is good for one year, not for ever.

Thus the adjective AIONIOS, a derivative of AION, carries within itself its own solution; for AIONIOS is simply what belongs or relates to the AIONS - the ages - hence it cannot carry a force or express a duration greater than that of the ages of which it speaks. If therefore these ages are limited periods, some of which are already past, while others are yet to come, the word AIONIOS cannot mean infinity!

And yet men who should know better tell us that the Greek noun AION means an age, or ages, which is TIME, and then proceed to ridiculously explain that the adjective form of the same word means exactly the opposite - unending, everlasting, ETERNAL! A child of ten should be able to understand that that is not so. The adjective AIONIOS modifies two nouns in Matt. 25:46 and numerous other passages: punishment and life. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." It tells what kind of punishment and what kind of life Jesus is talking about. It is ages-lasting punishment and ages-lasting life, or better stated THE LIFE OF THE AGES. Now I can hear someone protesting, "But isn't the life we have received from God ETERNAL LIFE?" Certainly God's life is eternal life. But we have received that life injected into TIME, so that the inworking of that life through the processings of God is experienced in relation to TIME rather that ETERNITY. Let me explain. Anything that is absolutely eternal is not only unending, but is also UNCHANGEABLE. Anything that changes in any way is not eternal, for in the change some characteristic is left behind and a new one acquired. In every change something ends and something else begins, at least in form. That which dwells in an eternal state knows NO CHANGE. Change is possible only in that which is limited, imperfect, or not fully developed. The Lord declares of Himself, "I am the Lord, I CHANGE NOT" (Mal. 3:6), and the inspired apostle says of Him, “with Whom there is no VARIABLENESS, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). God is never surprised. God has not learned anything this week, nor last year, nor in the last several trillion years. If God learned one thing today, it would destroy Him. He would no longer be the omniscient One who knows the end from the beginning, for known unto Him are all His works from the creation of the world. God does not experiment. God does not become stronger, mightier, or increase Himself in any way. God is the omnipotent and omniscient one. He CHANGES NOT. He eternally is all that He is without an decrease or increase or fluctuation whatsoever. Therefore He is the ETERNAL GOD! It means more than unending, it means unchangeable, and therefore unending! But we, in our spiritual life, are STILL BEING CHANGED! "And all of us... are constantly BEING TRANSFIGURED (changed) into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another" (II Cor. 3:18, Amplified). Therefore the life we have received is not truly eternal yet, it is the LIFE OF THE AGES, God's life injected into time to be processed and matured into that unchangeableness which He Himself is!

This phenomena called time was created by God for man. Why? Time is the womb from which God is birthing a people like unto Himself. We get the germ, the beginning and foretaste of eternity in time, but this is only the seed of eternal life. This womb of time is provided to aid man in his development, to assist him in preparation for a new, totally spiritual existence beyond time, beyond the last age, when the umbilical cord is cut, in a state of existence called eternity. Man, as he is dealt with by God, is passing from a gross, largely material consciousness, int a glorious spiritual existence. Time serves only as an instrument to help man, to give him time and experience to develop into that new state of being. In time there is change – in eternity there is no change. All change and development must take place in time.

Thank God! We are being changed! But that means that the life of God within is still in a limited, imperfect, underdeveloped state. That life as to our condition and state of being is limited, imperfect, and in some measure immature. God has dispensed that life into us in time, that through a process of time with its experiences the spiritual life may be perfected and matured, brought to the fullness of that which HE HIMSELF IS. When the process is completed and we are like Him fully and see Him as He is, there will BE NO MORE CHANGE. We will then truly know what ETERNAL LIFE is! But as long as the life within is passing through the process of change, growth, and development, it is not viewed as eternal, unchangeable life, but as the LIFE OF THE AGES, life undergoing the dealing of God in time.

The object of scripture is to teach us that if our faith lays hold on what is eternal, it will manifest itself in us as a power superior to all the changeableness of our mind or feelings or circumstances, with a vitality that never grows old, and with a freshness and fullness that does not for a moment wither. It is, therefore, more than merely an endless duration of life – it is a QUALITY of life! Not only will this life never end, but, more than that, it IS, at all times, and under all circumstances, unchangeably, WHAT HE IS! This life can never be altered, diminished, frustrated or overcome. When we commence to live in this life we become a people who ARE. We ARE what His life IS! As this life develops and matures within we become constant in His nature, without fluctuation, unvarying, regardless of external circumstances or pressures. The maturity and fullness of this life means that we shall BE LIKE HIM, unchangeably and forever! Oh, son of God, is there not within your soul the insatiable thirsting to truly know the fullness of such a life, to be partaker not only of the unendingness of His life but to abide ever in HIS UNCHANGING NATURE? This is precisely the transcendent purpose of the Father in ETERNAL LIFE!

We know who the Lord Jesus is. He is the Son of the all-glorious God, the manifestation of the Father’s nature, glory and perfection. When He had been on earth it could be said of Him, “We show you that ETERNAL LIFE which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us” (I Jn. 1:2). In Him we see God, even the Father. In Him we see how God would act were He here in our place on earth. Yea, in Him we see how God IS. In Him all that is beautiful and lovely, holy and perfect in the being of God Himself is revealed to us in the form of an earthly life. If we want to see what is really counted as worthy and glorious in the heavenly realm, if we would see what is really DIVINE, we have only to look at Jesus; in all He does and is the glory of God is shown forth. And now it is HIS ETERNAL LIFE that has been given to us!

One can only become a partaker of the life of Christ by virtue of coming to KNOW HIM. This is why Jesus said, “And THIS is life eternal, that they might KNOW THEE the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” Though Paul had been converted through his supernatural encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road; though he was forgiven, cleansed, justified, Spirit-filled, called to be an apostle, mighty in word and deed, yet, with what travail of soul did he cry out: “That I may KNOW HIM!” He desired to yet know Christ in the fullness of the power of His resurrection and in the complete fellowship of His sufferings that in that fuller and deeper experience of KNOWING CHRIST he might be CONFORMED UNTO HIS LIKENESS.

The eternal purpose of God for man has been that man would know Him. God delights in man knowing Him and therefore declares, “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD more than burnt-offerings. Then shall we know, if we FOLLOW ON TO KNOW THE LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain” (Hos. 6:6,3). All that God has done and shall yet do in His redemptive purposes is in order that we may know Him. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for ALL SHALL KNOW ME, from the least to the greatest” (Heb. 8:10-11).

When we are regenerated, the Spirit of God, containing God’s eternal and divine life, enters into us that we may have the capability of knowing Him from within. Therefore, the knowing of God constantly increases with the inward growth of His life. It is only because God has given us His life that we can know Him. This can be understood by the fact that every creature in the universe can only fully relate to another being with the same kind of life. What bird can understand or relate to the ways of a man? What man can understand even the language of a dog when he barks? To man all dogs bark essentially alike and one dog’s bark is much the same as another dog’s bark. However, animal behaviorists have demonstrated that dogs “talk” in their barks and growls, actually communicating with one another in definite patterns of dog “speech.” This ability is inherent in their nature.

Man likes to think of himself as the only “social” being on earth. However, every created life form in the whole universe is what we call “social.” “Social” means that there is definite relationship, understanding and communication between beings. This social aspect is based in the ability of a being to “know” another being, thus sharing with that being a common inherent understanding, relationship, and ability to communicate, all of which is due to the oneness of their life and nature. The social aspect is only realized within a species – between beings of the same “kind.” Why does a cat bow its back and “spit” when a strange dog passes by? Why will a dog chase a cat but will “sniff” another dog? This is because a cat can only fully relate as a social being to another cat and a dog only fully relates to another dog as a social being.

The simplest aspect of social behavior among animals is seen in the “herding” of cattle, the “schooling” of fish, and the “flocking” of birds. However, social animals do much more than just stay together, they do things together. A family of ducklings in the park goes through a common rhythm. Later in the day they will feed, keeping close together wherever they go. On other occasions they will bathe together, and after a bath they swim to the shore together and spend half an hour or so preening, standing next to each other. Then they fall asleep, side by side. But notice! These are all ducks, sharing a common life and nature. There are no dogs with them following the same routine, snuggling close. Why? Because one can only understand, relate to, communicate with and have fellowship with another being with the same life and nature. Therefore, one can only truly KNOW another being of the same kind!

To carry the illustration further, in the animal kingdom there is often a division of labor between members of a group. This is seen in its most rigid form in the “castes” of social insects. In a beehive, there is a queen, there are thousands of workers, and at certain times of the year there are males or drones. Each of these castes has its own role in the hive. Even the jobs of the workers are divided up; depending on their age they will feed the brood or do the outside foraging or stand guard and repel strangers, while others take care of the ventilation of the hive. One of the uncanny abilities of bees is that when they find a new source of nectar, they come back to the hive and communicate in some manner to the other bees the straight line and the distance to the source of supply, even though they came from that source by a circuitous route! They are able to calculate the true angle as they fly by an indirect course, something which would be very difficult for people to do, and then relay that complex information to the other bees! It is a marvelous thing that bees can do this.

Some animals express themselves to others of their kind through a simple posture, or a change of color, or by giving off a particular scent, and some, such as porpoises, are highly intelligent and lead extremely complex social lives. But what bee can understand the language of a porpoise, or what duck would comprehend the intentions of a cichlid fish when it sets its fins in a certain position and changes its color pattern to say that it is protecting its territory? What beast of the field can comprehend the actions or intentions, the desires or aspirations of men? And what natural man, made “lower than the angels,” can perceive the things pertaining to the angelic realm, and what angel, created by the marvelous hand of God but NOT BEGOTTEN OF GOD’S OWN DIVINE LIFE, can understand those glorious things appointed to the sons of God who are born of God’s Spirit and called to share even His throne and inherit all things? I have cited all these illustrations to point out unmistakably the truth that every being in the entire universe can only “know” those other beings that share their own common life and nature.

This explains why God had to give us HIS LIFE before we could KNOW HIM! As I have stated, when we are born of God, His spirit, containing His life, enters into us that we may have the capability of knowing Him from within. This knowing of God gradually increases as His life develops and matures within us. The more His life grows within, the better we know Him. The better we know Him, the more we will experience Him as our life, enjoy Him, understand His ways, act in His nature and allow Him to live out through us in our whole being. Thus we may say that all the growth of our spiritual life depends upon OUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, and our knowledge of God depends upon the growth of His life within! This gives us a fresh understanding of the absolute truth of Jesus’ statement: “And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW THEE the only true God…”

THE THREE STEPS IN KNOWING GOD

Ps. 103:7 says, “He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel.” This reveals that the children of Israel, on one hand, knew God’s acts or His doings, but that Moses, on the other hand, knew God’s ways. Now let us turn again to Heb. 8:10-11 where we read: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts… and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, KNOW THE LORD: for all SHALL KNOW ME, from the least to the greatest.” By this verse we see that God has prepared a NEW COVENANT through Jesus Christ which is provided to impart the very Spirit of life of God INTO MAN in order that man may now KNOW GOD HIMSELF. Let us meditate deeply upon this that we may clearly see that the children of Israel knew God’s ACTS; Moses knew God’s WAYS; but now, through the New Covenant, the regenerated New Creation man can KNOW GOD HIMSELF! These two passages of scripture show us that man’s knowledge of God is obtained in three steps: firstly, knowing the acts of God; secondly, knowing the ways of God; and thirdly, knowing God Himself. This shows the vast difference between men who only know something ABOUT GOD and men who KNOW GOD!

THE ACTS OF GOD

There have been vast multitudes of people who have seen the acts of God. Man knows God’s acts by what He does and performs. The children of Israel in Egypt saw the ten plagues that God sent to smite the Egyptians. By the Red Sea, they saw that God divided the waters so they could pass through. In the wilderness they saw that God commanded the water to gush forth from the rock to satisfy their thirst. And daily God sent the manna from heaven to feed them. They beheld, at Sinai, as God descended on the mountain in great blasts of Angelic Trumpets, great eruptions of heavenly volcanic fire, which caused the mount to reel and rock and ruble as a drunken man trying to flee from the presence of a God of consuming fire. So great was the billowing smoke from God’s igniting fire that even Moses declared in awe, “I am terrified – aghast and trembling with fear!” Their eyes beheld the pillar of fire by night and the cloud which ascended before them to lead the way by day. When they witnessed such miracles of God, they knew the acts and doings of God. In fact, if God ever made His mighty acts known to any people, He certainly made them known to the children of Israel in their wilderness wanderings.

Again, for example, when the multitudes of Jesus’ day saw the miracles the Lord performed – turning water into wine, healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, casting out devils, feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes, calming the stormy sea – they knew His acts. Such were the mighty acts of God done before the eyes of all the people. And today, when we are sick and are healed by God, when we meet danger and are preserved by God, when we have needs that are supplied by God, when we pray and are answered by God, when the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit are manifested in our midst, we are made to KNOW THE ACTS OF GOD. When we thus experience the acts of God, this is our first step in coming to know God. Many of the Lord’s people choose to live exclusively in this realm of God’s acts. The people who are living in this first realm of the knowledge of God are usually those who follow after “healing campaigns,” “miracle meetings,” and major in their emphasis in sensational manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit. This is all a part of our coming to know God, but I do not hesitate to declare to you that such knowledge is shallow and outward.

The children of Israel knew God’s acts, yet for all this they knew none of His ways, but grumbled and complained and rebelled until God finally left their bones to bleach in the desert sands. And Moses, recounting their experiences before them, charged them thus: “Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; the great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes, to see, and ears to hear, unto this day!” (Deut. 29:2-4). Fifteen hundred years later great multitudes followed Jesus to see and hear the mighty works which He did, and yet He made this almost incredible statement to the multitude that sought Him after he had fed the five thousand: “Ye seek Me not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat the loaves, and were filled!” (Jn. 6:26). At about the same time the disciples asked Jesus why He spoke to the multitudes in parables and He answered them: “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed: lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Mat. 13:11,13-15). The vast majority of the multitudes that swarmed around the Lord, though doubtless convinced that He was the Son of God, still KNEW HIM NOT.

Things have not changed much in two thousand years nor in thirty-five hundred years! During this century multiplied millions of people have seen the mighty acts of God. Under the largest tents in the history of the world, in the grandest auditoriums of our great cities, in huge stadiums, in churches, across televisions screens and through the air waves untold multitudes have witnessed a miracle, a wonder, a sign, a healing, a gift of the Spirit, a word of knowledge, the casting out of demons, and some in their zeal to behold the acts of God continually run from campaign to campaign, from revival meeting to revival meetings, from prophet to prophet, in the hope that someone will call them out of the audience and tell them once again some secret things, their address, or phone number, or what a great and powerful ministry they are going to have someday. They hope to feast their inquisitive eyes upon yet another sign or wonder, and yet, for all this, they STILL DO NOT KNOW GOD! They have seen His acts, as did Israel, but they have not known His ways nor have they come to know Him in the mighty transformation into His image that comes through intimacy of fellowship and vital union with Christ in the Spirit.

We live in the sister cities of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico with a combined population of about two million people, and I dare say there are no more than a couple hundred people in this entire metropolis that have even the foggiest notion of what God’s eternal purposes might be. The churches are packed every Sunday with thousands of Christians observing time-honored traditions, listening to endless sermons and doctrines about God, some even speaking in tongues and zealously giving themselves to manifestations of the ACTS OF GOD, and yet, few know the transcendent power of CHRIST WITHIN to CONFORM THEM INTO THE IMAGE OF THE SON OF GOD, that they might KNOW HIM even as they are known of God. How we thank God for His mighty acts, and rejoice in each and every one of them! And yet, God’s people must understand that this is but the first step in knowing God, and such knowledge is not the ultimate, but is, indeed, shallow and outward.

THE WAYS OF GOD

The children of Israel knew God’s acts but Moses knew God’s ways.

To know God’s ways refers to knowing the principles by which He does things. It means to understand what is in the mind of the Lord as He deals and works out His plan and purpose in our lives and in the universe. When Abraham pleaded for Sodom, he recognized that God is righteous, and that He will never act contrary to His righteousness. Therefore, Abraham spoke to God according to the righteousness of God (Gen. 18:23-32). This means that he understood the principles by which God does things, the way God thinks and judges about things.

When the children of Israel continued to murmur after Korah and his band rebelled and were consumed, Moses, having seen the appearing of the glory of Yahweh, said unto Aaron: “Take thy censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and lay incense thereon, and carry it quickly unto the congregations, and make atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from Yahweh; the plague is begun” (Num. 16:46). This shows that Moses knew the ways of God. he knew that when man acts in a certain way, God will react accordingly.

Samuel told Saul: “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of Rams” (I Sam. 15:22). And David said, “Neither will I offer burnt-offerings unto Yahweh my God which cost me nothing” (I Sam. 24:24). This shows that they knew the ways of God, the principles upon which God acts and judges, and how God would act and react to their own actions toward Him.

In I Chron. 21 the story is related of David’s sin of numbering the people of Israel. Although David repented of his disobedience, the sin could not go unpunished, and the Lord sent a messenger to him saying, “Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things: choose one of them, that I may do it unto thee. Either three years famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtake thee; or else three days of the sword of the Lord, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to Him that sent me” (I Chron. 21:10,12). God told David to choose one of these three punishments, and in his choosing David revealed that he knew the ways of the Lord, for he said, “I am in a great straight: LET ME FALL NOW INTO THE HAND OF THE LORD; for very great are His mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man” (vs. 13). The one sublime thing David knew about God was that while He is just, He is also very great in compassion and mercy toward His people, and on another occasion David likened the judgments of God to the disciplines of a Father, saying, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him” (Ps. 103:13). David was altogether correct in his estimation of the ways of the Lord! God chose three days of pestilence as the punishment for David’s error, and the Record further states: “And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and He repented Him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, IT IS ENOUGH, stay now thine hand. And the Lord commanded the angel; and he put his sword again into the sheath thereof” (vs. 14-15,27).

When we know the principles by which God acts and does things, we have the second step in knowing God. This knowledge of God’s WAYS brings us one step beyond merely knowing His ACTS. Before the acts of God are performed we know what He will do, why He will do it, and how He will do it. This knowledge of the ways of the Lord can greatly increase our faith in prayer, and enable us to prevail with God in many areas. When we minister the Word of the Lord with the absolute confidence that it shall not return void, but shall accomplish what the Lord pleases (Isa. 55:10-11), we move upon the basis of a knowledge of the ways of the Lord. When we step out in faith to perform the will of God in our lives when all the external circumstances declare that it is foolish, or that it cannot be done – this shows that we have come to know something of the ways of the Lord – for has He not demonstrated to all the mighty in faith since time began that He will always move His great and mighty hand in behalf of those who dare to obey Him in simple, childlike trust?

As our lives become oriented toward the things of the Spirit because we understand the fact that “he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting,” our lives are lived out in accord with our knowledge of the ways of the Lord.

As we learn to know His ways we come to know and judge things from God’s viewpoint. Many in this hour are warning of impending judgment upon this great land of ours because they UNDERSTAND the principles upon which God acts and reacts. One of these principles is stated in Ps. 9:17: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and ALL THE NATIONS THAT FORGET GOD.” And again, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34). Even the most casual look at the testimony of history should convince any man that the same pallbearers who carried out the corpses of all the great empires from ancient Assyria to Rome are even now at the door of our nations to carry them out also, for I doubt that any of the mighty empires of the past, the days of Noah, or even Sodom itself could hold a candle to the rampaging iniquity that is sweeping every nation on the face of the earth in our day. Were it not for the mercy of God in sending great tribulation on earth in the very near future, the whole earth would doom itself to complete destruction.

And yet, by the eye of the Spirit, my vision penetrates beyond the ominous storm clouds of impending judgment that shall strike the nations with terror in these closing days of a passing age, to see the glories that lie beyond in that glorious age to come when the sons of God shall arise to govern the world in righteousness through the seven Spirits of God which are continually before His throne – the power, glory and nature of His everlasting government and dominion. I can see a better day coming and it is coming very soon – “For God has allowed us to know the secret of His plan, and it is this: He purposed long ago in His sovereign will that all human history should be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in heaven or earth should find its perfection and fulfillment in Him… For it has pleased the Father that all the divine fullness – the sum total of the divine perfection, powers and attributes – should dwell in His (Christ) permanently. And God purposed that through Him all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him the Father made peace by means of the blood of His cross” (Eph. 1:9-10, Phillips, Col. 1:19-20, Amplified Bible).

Yes, beloved, God is teaching us HIS WAYS. How we praise Him!

And yet, though such knowledge is good and wonderful beyond the ability of my stammering tongue to express, those who have truly received the call to sonship are aware that even this knowledge IS NOT ENOUGH, it still falls short and leaves deep within our spirits an empty, unfulfilled void, a deep that calleth unto deep. Even the knowledge of the ways of God is not sufficiently deep and inward. After we have known His mighty acts, after we have been taught and disciplined by Him to know His ways, there is still the cry, “That I may KNOW HIM!”

We have known His acts as did the children of Israel, but the children of Israel were a house of servants.

We have known His ways as did Moses, but Moses was a servant over the house of servants.

Christ is a SON over the HOUSE OF SONS, which house we are.

Of the SON it is written: “No one FULLY KNOWS and accurately understands the Son except the Father; and no one FULLY KNOWS and accurately understands the Father except the Son AND ANYONE TO WHOM THE SON DELIBERATELY WILLS TO MAKE HIM KNOWN” (Mat. 11:27, Amplified Bible).

As members of the house of sons we have no desire to merely know His acts, as did the house of servants.

As members of the house of sons we cannot be satisfied with the knowing of His ways, as was Moses, the head and prophet of the house of servants.

We would KNOW HIM as does the SON. We would KNOW GOD HIMSELF!

 


Chapter 15

The Spirit Of Knowledge

(Continued)

“These things saith He that hath the SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” (Rev. 3:1).

“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE and of the Fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:2).

The hour is certainly at hand when all who would be sons of God must come to KNOW HIM. In our last Study we wrote of the vast difference between men who only know something about God and men who KNOW GOD HIMSELF. The sixth of the seven Spirits of God which rest upon our glorious Head, Jesus Christ, is the Spirit of THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD. This same Spirit of Knowledge must also come to rest heavily upon the body of Christ, for the anointing which we have received has been received from him, that through it we may be “taught ALL THINGS” (I Jn. 2:27). The eternal purpose of God for man has been that man would know Him. All that God has done and shall yet do in His great redemptive purposes is in order that we may know Him. God delights in man knowing Him and therefore declares, “And I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for ALL SHALL KNOW ME, from the least to the greatest” (Heb. 8:10-11).

Ps. 103:7 says, “He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel.” This reveals that the children of Israel, on one hand, knew God’s ACTS or His DOINGS, but that Moses, on the other hand, knew God’s WAYS. However, when Jesus came into the world He declared, “And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW THEE the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (Jn. 17:3). By this verse, and many others, we see that God has planned and provided for man to KNOW GOD HIMSELF, but this Knowing of God Himself is experienced only by and through Jesus Christ. Thus we see that the children of Israel knew God’s ACTS; Moses knew God’s WAYS; but now, through Jesus Christ, the New Creation man can KNOW GOD HIMSELF! “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, AND HE TO WHOMSOEVER THE SON WILL REVEAL HIM” (Mat. 11:27). The above scriptures show us that man’s knowledge of God is obtained in three steps: firstly, knowing the acts of God; secondly, knowing the ways of God; and thirdly, knowing God Himself.

Man knows God’s acts by what He does and performs. All the men that have witnessed all the great miracles of God from the days when God smote the Egyptians at the hand of Moses down to the latest healing or answer to prayer in this our day, have been witnesses of the mighty acts of God. Knowing the acts of God is our first step in coming to know God, but such knowledge is shallow and outward.

To know God’s ways refers to knowing the principles by which He does things. It means to understand what is in the mind of the Lord as He deals and works out His plan in our lives and in the universe, to comprehend the way God thinks and judges about things, how God will act and react to our actions toward Him. This knowledge of God’s ways brings us into the second step in coming to know God; and yet, though such knowledge is high and marvelous beyond words to express, even this knowledge is not sufficiently deep and inward. After we have known His mighty acts, after we have been taught and disciplined by Him to know His ways, there still remains the cry from the deep within us… “That I may KNOW HIM!”

KNOWING GOD HIMSELF

One can only know another person through that person’s person-ality. Personally is the individual quality that makes a person WHAT HE IS, and therefore different and distinct in being from any other person. God is a PERSON. He possesses PERSONALITY. This means that God has QUALITIES of being that make Him different and distinct from every other being in the universe. The personality of God can be known principally in four areas: life, presence, fellowship and nature. As we come to touch these four areas of God we come to KNOW HIM. Thus, to know God Himself is to know the PERSON of God through contact with His life, presence, fellowship and nature. As soon as we are regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit we receive into our lives the PERSON OF GOD as the indwelling Spirit, the substance of our new creation life. This means that we receive into us God’s Personality – and from that time we come to know God in His Personality. Through the life of God within we can now touch GOD HIMSELF; in other words, we know God Himself. This knowledge is different from the first two steps of knowing God’s acts and His ways from without. This is knowing God from WITHIN!

Many people think because they have seen and experienced God’s acts and by observation and dealings of God have come to understand something of His ways, that they therefore know God Himself. This is not the case. For example, here in the United States we have politicians who may be categorized in one of two classes – liberal or conservative. “Liberal” means, by definition, “plentiful; abundant; broadminded; favoring progress and reforms.” “Conservative” means “inclined to keep things as they are; opposing changes in national and constitutional institutions; cautious; moderate.” A political liberal will, on most any issue, favor expansion, change, reform, and will generally advocate the rights of the people to many provisions by the government in areas such as education, health, housing, etc. etc. The liberal will contend that as a citizen you have a right to an education, to have your health protected, or to live in decent housing, and it is therefore the responsibility of the government to see that these things are provided for the citizens. The political conservative, on the other hand, will advocate the importance of keeping government small and simple, keeping it within the bounds of the intentions of the founding fathers and a strict interpretation of the Constitution. The conservative will emphasize the responsibility of the individual citizen to be industrious and to act in his own behalf. He will contend that it is not the government’s responsibility to provide education, health care, or housing for the citizen but his own responsibility to provide these things for himself.

At this time we have two men in the United States who especially represent and articulate these two political positions – Edward Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Now, if we take an issue like “National Health Insurance” I can predict correctly what stand these two men will take on that issue, even if I have not heard them speak about it. Edward Kennedy, a liberal, will support legislation to create a National Health Program and Ronald Reagan will oppose such legislation. How can I know this? Because I understand these men’s political philosophies, their ways of thinking, and the principles upon which they act. In other words, I know their WAYS! But, because I know their ways, does this mean that I also personally KNOW THESE MEN? Certainly not! The fact is, I have never seen nor met either one of them. I have never been in their presence, have never had any personal contact or communication with them, have never, through personal relationship, sensed their life and inward nature. You see, dear reader, how it is possible to know both their acts and their ways, and yet not truly KNOW THEM!

And this is how it is in our relationship with God! We may know God’s acts and His ways from without, through observations and dealings, and yet not truly know God Himself. In Old Testament times, God manifested only His acts and His ways to men. Therefore, at that time man could only obtain the first two steps of knowing God. Now that the New Testament time has come, now that the veil has been rent, now that God has consecrated for us a new and living way, now that we have boldness to enter into the Holiest of all by the blood of Jesus, now that God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father; now, though we still should know the acts and ways of God, yet, the more important and glorious thing is that GOD HIMSELF dwells within us to BECOME OUR LIFE! This enables us to touch God Himself and know Him from within. We can now touch God in His Personality – through the indwelling of His life, His presence, His fellowship and His nature. This third step in knowing God, the knowing of God Himself, is a special provision for those who are born of the Spirit – called to be SONS OF GOD.

In the New Testament the principal Greek word for “know” is GINOSKO. Ginosko has to do with intelligent comprehension of a matter, in both the objective and subjective senses. Objective ”knowing” is gained by carefully acquiring all of the pertinent facts about a person or thing. It is the basis of “scientific inquiry”. Subjective “knowing” is gained through personal experience with the reality which lies behind the facts. Complete understanding is based upon full knowledge gained by both methods. For example, I may know (objectively) that a red-hot stove can burn my hand. If I observe a pot of food cooking on the stove, I am made aware that it could likewise cook my flesh in the same manner. Through observation, reflection, and logical conclusions, I “know” this can happen. This is objective “knowing” based on human reasoning. However, I cannot fully “know” these things, in the biblical sense of GINOSKO, until that most unfortunate moment when I might actually strike my hand against the stove. Then, and only then, do I “know” fully that a red-hot stove can burn my flesh. This experience provides me with subjective knowledge of the matter! In like manner only those who have lost sons in war truly “know” what such an experience is, just as one must give birth to a child to “know” about childbirth in the fullest sense. This is also how it is in KNOWING GOD. One must have a personal encounter, a participation in His life, if he is to truly “know” the Lord!

God’s purpose in making Himself known to us in the revelation of all that He is is so that we might become partakers of His divine nature through the indwelling Christ. This was the message burning within the apostle Peter’s heart when he wrote to the saints: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (II Pet. 1:2-4). In the Wuest Expanded Translation of the New Testament the word “knowledge” is more properly shown to be EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE. That is the clear meaning of the Greek word EPIGNOSIS. It is not mere head knowledge, or hear-say evidence, but it is experiential knowledge, the knowledge received by the revelation of the Holy Spirit which is constantly working within us. No doubt there are vast numbers of Bible students and scholars who are well versed in the head knowledge about God and His acts and His ways, but it is the knowledge gained by the actual inworking of God within our lives which will work to establish the character of the divine nature and power in us and fashion us into the expression of His glorious Person.

Knowing God in His acts and His ways is the objective knowing of God, gained by observation of His doings, and through studying the scriptures, attending meetings, etc. How we rejoice that there is also the subjective knowing of God in which we EXPERIENCE HIM within, coming to know Him more and more, day by day. Many testify of their “experiences” with God such as visions, healings, miracles, speaking in tongues, etc., and while we thank the Lord for all His benefits it is not of these experiences that I speak. God grant us more than experiences with God or from God! for all of these are still found in the realm of God’s acts and God’s ways. It is only the EXPERIENCING OF GOD HIMSELF in the hidden depths of the spirit, in life and nature, that can cause us to truly KNOW HIM.

The deepest prayer within my heart is that the Spirit of wisdom and revelation from God will move mightily upon all who seek after God in this hour that they may see that no man can ever know God until God comes to him personally as an unfoldment and revelation to his heart. God must REVEAL HIMSELF in revelation to each individual heart or all will fall short of knowing Him. We can know His acts and his ways by listening to sermons, reading articles, hearing tapes, studying the Bible, attending meetings, fellowshipping the saints, ministering to people’s needs, and by joining in a multitude of other religious exercises that occupy the time and energy of most Christians. But, beloved, you will NEVER, in a thousand years, come to KNOW GOD HIMSELF in any of these activities! You can come to know Christ by being with Him where He is, by touching Him in His Personality in the Spirit.

You come to know Christ fully in His life when at last your own life is laid down in crucifixion as was His upon the cross. Then, when you have been crucified with Him, you will live as He lives for now it will be Christ living in you.

You come to know Him in His presence and fellowship when there is fulfilled within you the words of the prophet: “The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him” (Hab. 2:20). It is not the earth of mountains and valleys, of streams and forests, but THIS EARTH WHICH WE ARE that must learn to keep silence before God, for it is this earth of our body which IS THE TEMPLE of God, bought with His precious blood and consecrated to be an habitation of God through the Spirit (II Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19-22). This earth, with all its carnal desires and ambitions, with all its fleshly wisdom and zeal, must be brought to holy silence and reverence before the King; and we must come to know Him, not in the abundance of words by which we constantly clatter in prayers, entreating God for this thing, and that blessing; but in waiting patiently before Him and listening UNTIL HE SPEAKS TO US. Place yourself, dear one, in the full light of the Father’s countenance to enter into the holy silence and adoration of faith, in which you wait upon God, until he reveals Himself to you, and gives you, through the Spirit, the loving assurance that He knows you as a Father, and that you are well pleasing to Him.

It is in holy quietness before God that the deepest witness of the Spirit comes, testifying to our spirits that we are the sons of God, and there the Father draws nigh and delights in us and we enter into the full enjoyment of the Father’s love.

It was at the commencement of Jesus’ public ministry that an event happened which so attracted the attention of His disciples that they wrote it down. After a day full of wonders and of work at Capernaum, the crowd in the evening became still greater. The whole town is before the door; sick are healed, and devils are cast out. It is late before they get to sleep and in the throng there has been little time for quiet or for secret prayer and communion. And lo, as they rise early in the morning they find Him gone! “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a desert place, and there prayed” (Mk. 1:35). In the silence of the night He has gone out to seek a place of solitude in the wilderness; when they find Him there, He is still communing with the Father.

“Oh my brother! if you and I would be sons of God, we must especially contemplate Jesus praying alone in the wilderness. There is the secret of His marvelous life. What He did and spoke to man, was first SPOKEN AND LIVED THROUGH WITH THE FATHER. He who would be like Him in His walk with the Father may simply begin here – to follow Jesus into solitude. Even though it cost the sacrifice of night rest, of business, of intercourse with friends, of ministry to desperate needs, the time must be found to be alone with the Father. Besides ordinary times of prayer and fellowship, he who would know the Father will be at times irresistibly drawn to turn aside from all that seems so good and needful, and not come thence until it has anew been revealed to him that God is his portion. The Sermon on the Mount was not a message to babes teaching them how to act to be good little children of God; it is the very essence of the PRINCIPLES OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, instructing SONS OF GOD how to be the sons of their Father, in what nature to live and reign in the Kingdom. In that wonderful Kingdom teaching the first-born Son reveals the great truth that it is the closet, in the secret chamber, with closed door, or in the solitude of the wilderness, that the Father must be fellowshipped every day and our communion with Him maintained. If Jesus, the first-born among many brothers, needed it, how much more we! What it was to Him it will be for us.

Much intercourse with man is dissipating, and dangerous to our spiritual life: it brings us under the influence of the visible and temporal, of the carnal and fleshly. Nothing can atone for the loss of secret and direct intercourse with God. And while we greatly appreciate the blessed fellowship with other saints of like mind and spirit, yet it must be quickened to our hearts by the Spirit that it is FROM HEAVEN ALONE that the power to walk in A HEAVENLY LIFE on earth can come!

You come to know God in His nature when your own mind, will, desires, ideas, plans, ambitions and self-seeking are completely and utterly abandoned for the excellency of His divine mind and will. Jesus said, “As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me” (Jn. 6:57). What a precious word we have here, to assure us that His life on earth as a Son and ours are really like each other: “Even as I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.” If you desire to understand your life in Christ, what He will be for you and how He will work in you, you have only to consider what the Father was for Him, and how He worked in Him. Christ’s life in and through the Father is the image and the measure of what your life in and through the Son may be. Jesus said, “Not My will, Thine be done” and “It is not I that doeth the works, but My father which dwelleth in Me.” The nature of Christ can only be known as our own nature of self is denied. You have prayed that the mind of Christ would dwell in you. Seek then to have no mind of your own, for that which above all else hinders the mind of Christ from working in you is the dominating presence of your own mind, your own will, your own ideas, your own thoughts, and your own desires.

With all its blindness, the world knows that self and selfishness are the curse of sin. It helps but little that God’s people tell that they are born again, and that they are happy, that they are baptized in the Spirit and speak in tongues, that they can do wonders in Jesus’ name, or can prove that what the scriptures teach is the truth. I declare to you that when the world sees a company of sons from whom self and selfishness are banished, then it will acknowledge that Christ has “come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all that believe in that day” (II Thes. 1:10).

“His glory is filling His temple,
There’s light in the face of Christ,
In Sons there is coming expression,
Of the indwelling Prince of life,
We’re beholding the King in His glory,
In the light that the Spirit brings,
All the heavens and the earth shall worship Him,
For He is the King of Kings.”

KNOWING GOD BY THE SPIRIT

One can come to know God only through Jesus Christ and by the revealing power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Jn. 14:16-18 and 16:7,13-14: “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak… He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.”

The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him. Because the world is carnal and lives in the realm of the flesh, it can accept only those things that can be analyzed by the five physical senses. The world receives not the Holy Spirit because it sees Him not; but he who believes God sees and knows in a realm unfamiliar to the natural man. Once you believe even the simplest things of truth, then the Holy Spirit is able to begin to open to your heart the vast storehouses of God’s unsearchable riches. While the natural man is affirming that seeing is believing, the Son of God is saying, “Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (Jn. 11:40). The truth is that believing is seeing.

Some may wonder, if God revealed Himself and His eternal purpose in Jesus Christ, why then is another light, another teacher, another revealer, after Him, needed? Why did the Holy Spirit have to be sent to teach, lead, and REVEAL CHRIST? The necessity for this is obvious from history. The heathen world “by wisdom knew not God” (I Cor. 1:21). Israel knew God only by His acts (Ps. 103:7), and not in His person and life. Israel was taught by holy men inspired by God and in the scriptures written by these holy men was painted the perfect portrait of Him who was to come. An illustration of how the scriptures contained the perfect picture of Christ is found in a most remarkable story which comes from Russia:

“There is a Russian palace, a famous ‘Saloon of Beauty,’ in which are hung over eight hundred and fifty portraits of young maidens. These pictures were painted by Count Rotari, for Catherine the Second, the Russian empress; and the artist made a journey, through the fifty provinces of that vast empire of the north, to find the models for his paintings. In these wonderful portraits that cover the walls of this saloon, there is said to be a curiously expressed compliment to the artist’s royal patron, the empress, a compliment half concealed and half revealed. In each separate picture, it is said, may be detected, by the close observer, some hidden, delicate reference to the empress for whom they were painted. In one picture will be included some feature of Catherine; in another there is some attitude of Catherine reproduced, or some acts, or some favorite adornment, or some cherished place, some jewel, fashion, flower, style of dress, or manner of life – something peculiar to, or characteristic of, the empress – so that the walls of the saloon are lined with over eight hundred half concealed, half revealed, silent tributes to her beauty, or compliments to her taste. So inventive and ingenious is the spirit of human flattery when it seeks to glorify a fellow human, breaking its flask of lavish praise at the feet of an earthly monarch.

“In like manner the scriptures are a picture gallery, and it is adorned with tributes to the blessed Christ of God. In one portion may be seen a prophetic portrait of the coming One as the great Prophet, in another part He is portrayed as the great Priest, and yet again a typical sacrifice portrays the bleeding Lamb, here a prophecy of the royal King who should rule all nations and dominions, there a person or event that foreshadowed the greatest of Persons in His love, wisdom, mercy, judgment, power, or some other characteristic of His being and nature. But, in whatever form or fashion, whatever guise of fact or fancy, prophecy or history, parable or miracle, type or antitype, allegory or narrative, from Genesis to Revelation the discerning eye may everywhere find HIM – the all-glorious Son of God!

“It was Israel, out of all the nations of earth, that possessed the scriptures, and was, therefore, in possession of the God-inspired portrait of the coming Christ of God. And yet, being so highly favored and fully instructed, they did not have eyes to see and were not able to discern the divine features of His glorious countenance when He appeared in person in their midst! They did not know that this Jesus was the man in the picture, the man of the portrait esteemed so highly by them all! So, He came unto His own and His own received Him not! He, of whom Moses and the prophets spake, of whom all their institutions, ceremonies, and rituals testified; they crucified HIM! What greater proof can we have that CHRIST HIMSELF REMAINS UNSEEN LIGHT, UNLESS THE SPIRIT REVEALS HIM? “And when He is come… He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.”

“Look at the very disciples of our Lord. They were drawn to Jesus by the Father. Their knowledge that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, came not by human nature, by flesh and blood, but was from above. They loved Jesus with all their hearts, cleaving unto Him with all the powers of their affections. And yet, while He was here in the flesh, they understood not the scriptures, nor did they understand His mission, His death, resurrection, ascension, nor yet the nature of the Kingdom He should bring into being. Even the personal teaching and instructions of the Lord, received with their most intense admiration and affection, were not sufficient to open their understanding to the glorious and eternal realities set before them. Only their subsequent infilling with the mighty life and power of the Holy Spirit could finally cause them to comprehend this one eternal fact: THE HOLY SPIRIT ALONE CAN LEAD US INTO TRUTH! God is in Christ; Christ is the Truth; but the Holy Spirit alone reveals Him who is God manifest.”

But let us go higher than the proof of actual history and experience. God in His great love reveals Himself. It is His gracious will that we should know Him. In Christ Jesus He manifests Himself perfectly. Jesus is Light, full of brightness and glory. And yet we require another light to see the True Light. How is this? How can it be? It is simply because there is no other God but the One – Who has revealed Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Father speaks of God in heaven: “When ye pray, say, OUR FATHER which ART IN HEAVEN, Hallowed be Thy name” (Lk. 11:2). Son speaks of God manifested: “No man has ever SEEN GOD at any time; the only unique Son, the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him – He has revealed Him, BROUGHT HIM OUT WHERE HE CAN BE SEEN” (Jn. 1:18, Amplified Bible). Holy Spirit speaks of the energizing and quickening power of God moving and working throughout the universe and in our hearts and lives, revealing the invisible God who has been manifest in Jesus Christ: “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but THE SPIRIT OF GOD. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that WE MIGHT KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God” (I Cor. 2:11-12). God knows Himself in His Spirit. It is in the Spirit of God that God is Light in Himself, and therefore by the Spirit He sends forth light into the world and into the hearts of His children.

God reveals Himself. But who is God revealed? Who else but the Son? It is the glory of Christ that He manifests the Father and it is the glory of the Spirit that He glorifies and reveals to the heart God who is manifest in the Son. Still we do not have three Gods, but ONE – the eternal, invisible God in heaven, manifested on earth as the Son, and revealed within our hearts by the Spirit.

Remember, there is no bridge from this world unto the realm of the celestial; remember, there is no ladder from this earth realm unto that which is high and holy in eternity, unless from yonder shore and from yonder height God Himself comes down and reveals Himself unto us. Amor descend it, was a saying of the ancients. Love descends from heaven. What God in His infinite love, wisdom, and power hath treasured up in Jesus Christ, He then gives us BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Thus, what the Holy Spirit reveals and imparts unto us is the knowledge of realities which are eternal in God.

The Spirit brings a living knowledge, the knowing and experiencing of God within. It is not information, not an insight into doctrines and creeds and ideas, or an appreciation of their beauty and grandeur. Men may have such knowledge vast and deep, and yet be destitute of the grace of God and uninhabited by the Spirit of God. To know God IS ETERNAL LIFE. This knowledge of God, the knowing of Him, is the spiritual, never-ending life which the Spirit creates within us. This knowledge is therefore also an experience of God. Having been born of the Spirit we know the Father, and He IS our Father; we know Christ, and He IS our life, and we possess Christ. We do not have merely the picture or image, but the substance of eternal realities.

KNOWING CHRIST AS HIS BRIDE

Any man can come to know something of the acts and ways of God, but only those born from above, who also follow on to know the Lord, can ever come to know Him in the most wonderfully personal and intimate manner. This depth of “knowing” Him is like the intimate relationship of a man with his beloved wife, in which love he seeks to reproduce after his own kind. In fact this is precisely the way in which the scriptures in a number of cases make use of the word “know” – to declare the giving and receiving of human seed in the act of love. For example, we read in Gen. 4:1: “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain.” This statement does not mean that Adam was able to recognize his wife as she walked about the house! “Knowing”, in the sense of recognition, does not beget children! When Adam “knew” his wife he explored her emotional and physical being, and she “knew” him in return in a personal and intimate way that words could never communicate. Only by the experience of the sexual relationship does man know woman in this sense, and she him.

In like manner, it is only in that exquisite relationship where the believer completely yields himself to the Spirit, the presence, the mind and the will of God, and proves by his wholehearted response that he totally and truly loves the Lord, that he knows and is known of God. This is the basis for Israel as a people being given the name, “Wife of Jehovah”, and the chosen ones of this age the intimate title, “the bride of Christ.” As husband and wife, by means of the act of “knowing”, become ONE FLESH; so Christ and the believer, by the spiritual act of “knowing” become ONE SPIRIT (I Cor. 6:16). The intimate relation and ecstasy here portrayed, are not found in the lives of any but those who are counting all things but dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, and who are following the Lamb withersoever he goeth.

As God continues to deal in this hour with a people, to bring them into His fullness, there are questions which arise concerning definitions and applications of terms which the Spirit of God is bringing forth as He speaks to His elect. Two of the terms which the Spirit is emphasizing are BRIDESHIP and SONSHIP. Some become confused by these terms and wonder whether there is a difference between the two – or whether the bride and the sons are the one and same company of people. If we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying there need be no confusion at all. God wants us to UNDERSTAND!

It should not take much reflection to reach the conclusion that a bride and a son are NOT the same! If you are a married man with a family, think! – are your wife and your son the same? Though it is evident that they are two separate persons, what is it that really makes the difference? You may answer, "Well, one is female and the other is male." True, but that is still not the basic difference! A member of your family maybe female and yet NOT be your wife. She could be your daughter, your mother or your sister. Likewise, a male member of your family may be someone other than your son. So, while it is true that a wife is always feminine and a son is always masculine, the primary difference is one of RELATIONSHIP – the WAY in which they are RELATED to you. In like manner, through the new birth we have come into the God Family – the very universal Family which is GOD! And being birthed into the God Family we are now related to God, we have entered into a FAMILY RELATIONSHIP with Him; true, glorious and eternal kinship to Him in His very own life-form and species!

One can enter God's Family only by birth. Jesus said, "Except a man be born again... he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:3,5). "But to as many as did receive ... Him, He gave the authority, power, privilege, right to become the children of God ... who owe their birth neither to bloods, nor to the will of the flesh, nor to the will of man, but to God – they are born of God!" (Jn. 1:12-13, Amplified). Newborn babes in Christ, and all children who have not grown up into spiritual maturity, are always referred to simply as the "children" of God without reference to gender or sex. "Consider the incredible love that the Father has shown us in allowing us to be called "children of God" – and that is not just what we are called, but what we are. Here and now, my dear friends, we are God's children. We don't know what we shall become in the future. We only know that when He appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (I Jn. 3:1-3, Phillips translation). So you see, precious friend of mine, in our spiritual infancy and immaturity God does not call us either His SONS or His WIFE but His CHILDREN! A study of the various Greek words for children and sons is most helpful in understanding this truth. "Children" is our first relationship to God in His family. We ARE His children. And what we are ultimately destined to be has not yet come into view or become reality until we pass our spiritual adolescence!

There are so many profound and beautiful ties between Jesus and the elect, which are shadowed forth in the tender relationships between Adam and Eve; for Adam was in reality both father and mother to Eve, and then she was not only his child, but his sister as well, and also his wife. The same person can stand in varied relationships, filling different roles, while remaining the same person. All the right and natural relationships in which human beings stand to each other are meant to reveal something in God – some relation in which He stands to us. He is as a King to His subjects, giving them laws and governing them for their good. He is as a Father to His children, providing for their needs, training and disciplining them in love to become mature members of the Family of Elohim. But there is something, if one may say so, deeper than even this - something that corresponds to the tenderness of a mother, especially in her gentle power of comforting the weary and wounded spirit of her child. Isaiah cried out in the spirit of wisdom and revelation and declared, "For thus says the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; then you shall be nursed, you shall be carried on her hip, and be trotted on God's maternal knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you" (Isa. 66:12-13, Amplified).

The word "one" in the passage above is in the Hebrew A MAN. And the prophet is not thinking of a little child, but of the grown man. His words are, in the original, "As A MAN whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you." The feminine name of God is EL SHADDAI meaning "the breasted – a woman's breast" and indicates the One who out of maternal bountifulness is the shedder-forth of blessings, comfort, nourishment and life. There is something in God which corresponds to that power of tender mother-comfort, something of which, indeed, earthly mother-comfort is only the shadow, the earthly reflection. Ah the motherhood of God! Consider the wonder of it! And when we get a clear spiritual discernment of these multiplied relationships of God to us, it breaks us into perfect abandonment to Him, and draws us like the resistless tide of a sucking whirlpool, down into the fathomless gulf of His love and all-sufficiency!

As God becomes so many things to us, even Mother, so must we become many things to Him. When God created man male and female in His image He revealed that He is Himself male and female in His attributes and nature. In spiritual maturity we enter into relationship with God in all the facets of His nature. We may truly become the bride of Christ and the sons of the Father and many other things as well. The bride relationship bears the feminine nature whereas the sonship relationship bears the characteristics of the masculine nature. Aggressiveness, boldness, strength, valor, authority, power and dominion are among the traits of the masculine sex. Hence the Lord says to the overcomer, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My SON. To him will I give POWER over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron. 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. 21:7; 2:26-27; 3:21).

Modesty, gentleness, tenderness, love, sensitiveness and dependence are attributes of the feminine sex. Spiritually, these are the characteristics of the bride of Christ, as the apostle says, "Wives, be subject - be submissive and adapt yourselves – to your own husbands as a service to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Saviour of His body. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things – that she might be holy and faultless" (Eph. 5:22-27, Amplified).

Can we not see by this that brideship bespeaks the spiritually feminine relationship of intimate love and reverent submission to Christ, whereas sonship embodies the spiritually masculine characteristics of strength, authority, power and dominion to rule and reign over all things. Ah, beloved, let us never become so overbalanced in our zeal to become SONS OF GOD that we circumvent the marvelous reality of BRIDESHIP! The simple but sublime truth is that THE WAY TO SONSHIP IS BRIDESHIP! This is why the Spirit has given us in Revelation chapter twelve the example of a glorious sun-clad woman giving birth to a remarkable man-child who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron. It is the inworking of brideship that births the realm of sonship. Jesus said, "I am the WAY, the truth and the life; no man COMETH UNTO THE FATHER but by Me." Your relationship to Christ as a bride will forerun your relationship to the Father as a son. Brideship is the harbinger of sonship. It is through intimacy of fellowship and vital union with Christ, made ONE IN HIM IN LOVE that we are initiated into that illustrious glory of strength and dominion over all things as sons of God. This is a true principle in God that I hope no earnest saint of God who reads these lines will miss!

While we write much in these pages of the glorious truth of sonship, we want to contemplate in our meditations at this time what it means to be the bride of Christ. If you have never really fallen in love with the Christ of God – and made HIM YOUR HEAD and ABSOLUTE LORD – don't ever expect to be a son. If you are not truly VIRGIN in your desires toward the Lord; if you are not walking in the Spirit, keeping yourself unto HIM and unto HIM ALONE; if you have never really forsaken the company of the wanton harlot of Mystery Babylon, the carnal religious systems called the church; if you have not renounced the schemes and plans and ambitions of the carnal mind nor abandoned your love of the world and the desires of the flesh – don't expect to be birthed into that glorious company of the sons of God who shall set creation free from bondage and corruption. If you have any other love before Him, any other master that rules your life, any other lord that dictates your actions, any "reserved" areas of your life, then you have not yet learned HOW TO B-E A BRIDE to Christ! One must first BOW in feminine love and submission to Jesus Christ the Lord – as a wife – before he can pass beyond , birthed to stand tall and erect in the majesty and splendor of sonship. It's just that simple. There IS NO OTHER WAY!

Only the blessed Holy Spirit can teach us how to truly BE a bride. As I have pointed out, the key to being a wife is love and submission. We are prone to think of submission in such a carnal way. The term conjures up images of the husband ruling, bossing, lording it over, barking commands to his wife while the little woman, intimidated, coweringly complies with his every demand. But true, godly submission is the LOVE of a woman that is so pure and intense that she wants to yield herself to the high desires of her husband – a woman so in love with her man that it transcends infatuation – her submission becomes a willing and loving laying down of her own life until she no longer has a life because HER LIFE IS SURRENDERED TO ANOTHER! Her cry becomes, "I don't want my life ... I want to SHARE YOURS." Oh! most of us know so little of HOW TO BE A BRIDE!

I think I understand why so often men fall in love with their secretaries and leave their wives. A secretary is TOTALLY DEVOTED to the man by whom she is employed. His every wish is her desire; and a good secretary even anticipates his needs before they arise. Men are always impressed by such devotion in a woman. She has no goals of her own. Her only priority is to meet his needs. And, my beloved, when once we enter into the bride relationship to Christ we lay down our own identity and take upon us a new nature. In the feminine aspect of this nature we learn to yield – obey – this is the action of our will, giving our will over to become aligned with HIS WILL. Submission is more than blind obedience to demands laid upon us, it is the loving surrender of the will, otherwise one will soon revolt and try to throw off the yoke, or find a way of escape. But when it is OUR WILL to do HIS WILL we stand steadfast and carry on. There is a giving up, a surrender of our will, that is, the flesh-motivated will, the carnal-minded will, BUT HIS WILL IN US IS TO BE RETAINED AT ALL COST. God is working in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13), and we say "I WILL" in surrender to all of His exercise of His will in us. As one has written, "It seems that many people are more afraid of God's will for their life, than of anything else, as if it would be bad for them, hurt them, cause them distress or pain, to make them miserable, and they seem to fear yielding to His will, as if that would end all the joys of life, and yet they say they want to go to heaven. But surely heaven implies wondrous bliss because HIS WILL IS BEING PERFECTLY DONE THERE. Indeed, heaven is a state or a condition, the glory of which includes perfect oneness in His will. God loves His creation, and the 'will' of love always seeks the best for its loved one. Even in the natural, we would, if we had the power and the means to carry it out, do much more for those we love, simply because it is the nature and the will of love to do so. It is the hangover of tradition's 'monster God' that causes men to be afraid of God's will, BUT LOVE REMOVES ALL THIS TERROR. How much struggle and friction go out of our lives when we come to the point where we will have God's will, and then rest in the outworking of His will" -Ray Prinzing.

LOVE! Ah, this is the key. There is a call to love HIM so passionately, that everything else appears as hatred in comparison. When we are mere children, we love Him out of a childish, immature love. We love Him primarily for what He GIVES US. When you hear someone testify, "I love the Lord BECAUSE He saved me," or "I love the Lord BECAUSE He healed me," or "I love the Lord BECAUSE He answers my prayers and supplies all my needs," you know that you listen to the testimony of a CHILD, imperfect in love. That kind of talk is like the girl who married a rich man and said, "I love John because he provides me with a million-dollar beach house, a new Mercedes, a mink coat, and $1000.00 a week spending money!" Obviously, she loves John ONLY FOR HIS MONEY! Should John lose his wealth her love would soon die. And most immature Christians, the "children" of God, profess to love God basically out of these same selfish motives. But a true wife loves her husband FOR WHO AND WHAT HE IS! When a wife really loves her husband, she loves him just as much if they are poor and have nothing. As God brings forth a people into brideship to Christ, this people is coming to love our Lord Jesus Christ FOR WHO HE IS and not because of the blessings and benefits received from His loving hands. Children are always excited about the GIFT, but the bride is excited about the GIVER!

Do we really love Him, or are we merely using Him? Do we know what it means of come into His sweet presence, asking nothing, but only reaching out to HIM with gratitude and thanksgiving for loving us so completely. Haven't we become very selfish and egocentric in our prayers? We will pray to save America from judgment. "Spare us – don't judge us," we cry. "Give us, meet us, help us, bless us, prosper us, use us, protect us" – and that may all be scriptural in its place, but the focus is still on US. Even in our work for Him we have become selfish. We want Him to bless our service to Him to prove our faith is genuine. We want to be considered diligent, capable, successful as a sign of His blessing upon us. But the claims of the Bridegroom are paramount upon the bride – she is to love Him, not for His gifts, not for what He can do for her or make of her, but for HIMSELF!

"For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a CHASTE VIRGIN to Christ" (II Cor. 11:2). To be a virgin means to be pure, undefiled and separated unto our Lord. God is creating the desire in a people in this hour to be truly VIRGIN in their desires toward Him. We have known what it is to be conformed to the course of THIS WORLD. Then we have known what it is to trust Christ as Saviour while remaining entangled in all the defilement of a corrupt babylonish religious church system. But God is calling forth a glorious body of Christ who, because of the quickening of the Holy Spirit, is desiring to be VIRGIN separated only unto her glorious Bridegroom, unto intimate and vital union with Him! How lightly we sometimes take the purposes of God in us! It is one thing to be washed in the blood, freed from all our past sins, and quite another thing to truly be virgin in our desires to keep ourselves only unto the Lord for union with Him. Separation is coming from everything of the flesh, the world and the devil and from every vestige of entanglement with false religious Babylon which we have made our HEAD in place of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Just this morning I was reading a splendid article by Lyn Gitchel which I am deeply impressed to share with our readers. Lyn writes: "Today, most of God's people, that are aware at all of what He is doing, are readily admitting that we are on the verge of a new day, a new dimension in the Lord. Everywhere you can hear the trumpet call of the message that His kingdom is near. Dry and parched bones are awakening at the sound of His voice and are arising to be prepared as a mighty army to meet the enemy and take the kingdom. The word "kingdom" is heard more than ever before... and expectancy... is arising in the hearts of those who are waiting for Him.

"All this is good, but I have become aware of one thing. In all the striving for perfection, teaching of the kingdom, and preaching of the gospel of redemption that will be completed this side of eternity, we are strangely far from the real goal of it all. Some are striving for a greater understanding of the scriptures and the things of God, and some for a bigger and better revelation than ever before. Some are striving to become like Him, formed into His image; some are looking to become His dwelling place on this earth. Some are seeking to become mature 'sons,' and others are looking towards becoming the 'order of Melchizedek.' All these are fine goals, but they are not THE GOAL that God intends for us. The goal, and the only goal, is set out in the first commandment which bids us seek God first with every part of our being. To move into Him; to establish a ONENESS WITH HIM - this is the only central goal of it all. So often we are seeking something so close to the real thing - and yet not the real central goal. We seek God in order to receive something from Him - or to be made holy, or like Him in some other way. We seek Him to have Him dwell in us, or to have His power, or joy, or peace. None of these are wrong! They are just not the goal!

"What kind of response do you think you would get if you were moving into a love relationship, with the intention of marrying that person, and then, when they asked you why you wanted to enter into that depth of relationship with them you replied, 'So that I can become like you!' or, 'So that I can have your power!' Too often that is the way we look at God. We have sought to come close to Him so that we might become like Him, or so that His power might be seen in us. Both are admirable desires, but they are not desires that will be fulfilling to the heart of God. He wants us to draw close to Him, not that we might become like Him, or that His nature be found in us (though, inevitably, that will happen), but solely to draw close to Him BECAUSE WE LOVE HIM FOR WHAT HE IS. He wants us to come to Him WITH NO OTHER INTENTION in our hearts but to fellowship with Him, to love Him, and to appreciate Him, sharing with Him all the love-flow of our hearts. Everything else, no matter how fine a goal, must be second to that!" -end quote.

To the venerable prophet banished to the desolation of Patmos came the rousing command, "Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev. 21:9). To understand what the Spirit means by the term "bride" we must break away from our western concepts of what a bride is. Bride in Hebrew is KALLAH meaning "the completed one" or "the perfected one." It reveals the concept of a woman being completed once she is married to her husband – and, as Paul so beautifully expresses it, "YE are COMPLETE IN HIM!" When two become one – right man – right woman – they are totally dependent upon each other. They will never be anything without the other again. Each sex is incomplete without the other. In Genesis, before ever Adam named the woman God took and builded from his being, he did some explaining. The Hebrew actually reads, "And Adam said, This one (she) now bone from my bones, flesh from my flesh, this one, (she) shall be called woman (ISHAH), because this one, (she) was taken from man (ISH)" (Gen. 2:23). Adam said, "This-now," or literally, "this one, she." There is no verb here. You don't need a verb at a time like this! Remember, the Lord is bringing to him the most perfect and beautiful woman ever formed. It just took his breath away when he saw her! "This one, she bone from my bones" – Adam knew that something was missing from his very being and that this woman would complete him. What was missing would come back with INTEREST. So he adds, "Flesh from my flesh, this one, she, shall be called ISHAH (woman)." Why? Because she was taken out of ISH (man)! Once the woman is given to him they become ISH and ISHAH. When ISH and ISHAH are joined together they become ONE; he fulfills her and she completes him. She is the bride, the "completed one," the "perfected one."

In Rev. 21:9 the messenger entreats the apostle John, "Come hither, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." The message is clear – "Come hither and I will show you a COMPLETED PERSON, a PERFECTED PERSON, or, if you please, a CORPORATE BODY OF COMPLETED AND PERFECTED PEOPLE!" The holy city of New Jerusalem is the beautiful symbolical representation of the virtues, nature and glory of the Lamb's bride. Meditate deeply, precious child of God, on the symbolisms of that city, for they serve as an instruction manual outlining the processes by which one is ushered in to that most precious and intimate and glorious relationship with God's Lamb.

It will take the mighty spirit of revelation to penetrate the glories of which I now write: When God created man in the beginning He did not immediately create a man AND a woman. He made only a man. The word “man” and the word “Adam” are the very same word in the Hebrew. Adam is simply the Hebrew word for HUMANITY or MANKIND. It is not the name of a particular person. The first man was one person alright (Rom. 5:17-19), but contained IN HIM was ALL MANKIND. Before Eve was brought forth by the power of God Adam contained within himself all that mankind would ever become quantitatively. He was a creature complete within himself. He was both male and female within his person. All the reproductive organs were contained in ONE PERSON who was, in himself, in the beginning, the SUBSTANCE OF ALL HUMANITY. One man – head and body – ALL.

We find that in chapter two of Genesis God said: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took ONE OF HIS RIBS, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man” (Gen. 2:18,21-22). Let us note that the word “rib” does not adequately describe what God took out of Adam. The Hebrew word here translated “rib” is TSELA which is only translated as rib two times in the Old Testament, whereas, it is translated two times as “chamber,” nine times as “side chamber,” and nineteen times as “side”! Curiously enough, when the scriptures speak of the ‘chambers” in Solomon’s temple, this same word is used! What, then, did God take from Adam to make Eve? A rib, or a chamber? It is my deep conviction that God removed from Adam a “chamber,” a VITAL PART of his being, the female aspect, leaving with Adam the life-giving organs, and giving to Eve the womb, the life-nurturing organs. If God used only a rib, a BONE, then when He brought Eve to Adam he should have said, “This is now RIB OF MY RIB!” or, “This is now BONE OF MY BONES…” PERIOD! But Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, AND FLESH OF MY FLESH!” Therefore, when man and woman are united in marriage union they become ONE FLESH, not ONE RIB or ONE BONE! God definitely separated Adam into two parts – making two people who MUST HAVE EACH OTHER to be COMPLETE.

Keeping the forgoing facts in mind, let us consider the LAST ADAM – and HIS WIFE! Just as Eve was taken out of her husband, Adam, so we, the Bride of Christ, were taken out of our husband, CHRIST. Eph. 1:4 says, “God… hath chosen us IN HIM before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” How could we be chosen IN CHRIST before the world began unless we were then IN HIM? The truth is that we WERE in Him – THEN! Eve was in Adam as a very part of Adam, she existed in him in substance. In like manner, we were spiritually in Christ from eternity. The new creation life within you – what is it? Where did it originate? The new spirit being which is in you by virtue of the New Birth IS CHRIST! Paul spoke of this great truth when he declared, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but CHRIST LIVETH IN ME” (Gal. 2:20). Christ is IN US. Our “new man” IS CHRIST. This means that even as God took of Adam’s flesh and made ANOTHER PERSON, so likewise has He taken of Christ’s Spirit and formed another SPIRIT PERSON – the BRIDE OF JESUS CHRIST! And so it is written: “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife LOVETH HIMSELF. For no man ever yet hated HIS OWN FLESH; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord THE CHURCH: for we are members of HIS BODY, of HIS FLESH, and of HIS BONES” (Eph. 5:28-30).

One of the greatest revelations to burst upon my spiritual consciousness is the truth that EVEN AS ALL THINGS BEGAN IN CHRIST, ALL SHALL END IN CHRIST. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Rev. 22:13). Only the glorious mind of Christ can reveal to our hearts what that means! Through a glass darkly I can see that He was the FIRST, “before all things.” Can I also believe that HE IS THE LAST? If He is the BEGINNING, can my feeble mind dare to comprehend what it signifies when He says that He is also the END? Surely Ephesians chapter one makes this as clear as it can be at this juncture in our understanding. Paul says that “God… chose us IN CHRIST before the world began” and then goes on from that beginning in eternity to reach forth into what will be in the eternity that lies beyond the consummation of all the ages of time, and declares that God is “Making known to us the mystery of His will which He hath previously purposed and set forth IN HIM, He planned for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and CONSUMATE THEM IN CHRIST… In Him also we had been foreordained in accordance with His purpose” (Eph. 1:4,9-11). All that began IN CHRIST, before the ages, shall END IN CHRIST, that He may be THE FIRST and THE LAST, the BEGINNING and the END. If you can conceive of God taking Eve and putting her back into Adam, as it was in the beginning, then you may also understand what is this glorious purpose of God that TRANSCENDS BRIDESHIP, when God takes the Bride and again MAKES HER ONE IN CHRIST! Surely all our yearnings to fully KNOW HIM shall find their complete and eternal fulfillment there where we ARE BROUGHT BACK INTO CHRIST. Wonderful beyond words is the reality of Brideship in which our love for Him knows no bounds, as we bow in reverence before Him, desiring Him, clinging to Him with all our powers and affections. But more wonderful and glorious is that realm where all our panting after him is fully satisfied as we are again swallowed up into Him, to live, and move, and HAVE OUR BEING IN HIM, the ONE MAN, the ONE BODY, the LAST ADAM, the LAST, the END! Hallelujah! Take the shoes from off your feet, O saint of God, for truly the ground on which we stand is holy. Put away all glibness and foolishness that with bowed heads and uplifted hearts the Holy Spirit of God may reveal how the HEAD, eternal in the heavens, and the BODY, which has been in preparation since the day of Pentecost, is indeed but ONE CHRIST. Without that blessed body which through the ages has been preparing in secret in the lowest parts of the earth (Ps. 139:15), God’s Christ would be incomplete. This was clearly shown by Paul when he said, “(God) hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of HIM THAT FILLETH ALL IN ALL” (Eph. 1:22-23). The translation of this passage by Weymouth is even more enlightening: “God has put all things under His feet, and appointed Him universal and supreme Head of the Church, which is His body, the completeness of Him who everywhere fills the universe with Himself.” Thus Paul definitely shows that the body of Christ is the COMPLETENESS OF GOD’S CHRIST. The Head of this body is from eternity, but out of Him was taken the life from which, throughout the church age, a wife has been being formed. But now, it is God’s purpose to take that wife and BRING HER BACK INTO CHRIST, that HE might be the Head of a body, not as Christ and the Bride, but as Christ the Head and Christ as the body, the male, the man, the SON, the LAST MAN, CHRIST! Then the Father may say, “This is my SON in whom I am well pleased.” Now we can understand why no bride or bridegroom has ever been able to be as completely one as they desire. In those exquisite moments of intimate love they desire to simply merge into the being of their lover. This desire, for the Bride of Christ, shall be finally fulfilled when she is BROUGHT BACK INTO CHRIST, part of Him, the SON, the LAST MAN, the LAST!

 


Chapter 16

The Spirit Of The Fear Of The Lord

The seven Spirits of God is a most enlightening subject in these momentous days in which we are living. What are the seven Spirits of God? John tells us in Rev. 3:1 that Jesus has the seven Spirits of God. “These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God.” In Rev. 1:4 and 4:5 we find that the seven Spirits of God are before the throne of God. “Grace unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne… and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” Here we have the seven Spirits likened unto seven lamps. In Rev. 5:6 the seven Spirits of God are likened to seven eyes: “And lo, in the midst of the throne… stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”

One of the keys to this mystery is found in this verse in Rev. 4:5: “And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” These seven lamps of fire burning before the throne correspond in type to the seven branched candlestick (lamp stand) which burned in the Holy Place in the Tabernacle in the wilderness and later in the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. In the Old Testament the structure of the golden candlestick in the Tabernacle was quite unique. The golden candlestick was of one piece of gold with a central shaft. Out of this central shaft were six other branches, three on one side and three on the other. This structure is very important! It is Jesus who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven-fold Spirit which rests upon Him was prophesied in Isa. 11:2: “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord.”

Let us note well the exact order of these seven Spirits, of this seven-fold, intensified anointing of the Spirit of God. Remember, as you can see in the above illustration, the golden candlestick in the Tabernacle was of one piece of gold with a central shaft. Out of this central shaft proceeded the other six branches, three on one side and three on the other. Thus, the six branches proceeded from the one central shaft and together they made seven candlesticks. This central shaft typifies the SPIRIT OF THE LORD. Out of this central shaft of the Spirit of the Lord are the six other branches which picture the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit of Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord. These are all part of the same candlestick, all proceeding from the Spirit of the Lord, and yet they are seven distinct manifestations!

The seven burning lamps are for illumination as the seven eyes of the Lamb are also for illumination and perception. The Spirit of the Lord, represented by the central shaft of the candlestick, has a special significance. Whenever the word LORD, spelled with capital letters, is used in the King James version of the Bible, it is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word YAHWEH. In Lk. 4:18 we read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor…” Turning to the prophecy in Isaiah from which Jesus was reading, we read there in the Hebrew: “The Spirit of the Lord YAHWEH is on Me, because YAHWEH hath anointed Me to proclaim good tidings to the humble” (Isa. 61:1). The Hebrew also reads in Isa. 11:2-3: “And the Spirit of YAHWEH shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom etc.” Thus it can be seen that the central aspect of this seven-fold Spirit of God is that it is THE SPIRIT OF YAHWEH. It is the “Spirit of Yahweh” which is upon Jesus the Head, and it is thus the same “Spirit of Yahweh” which is communicated from the Head to the elect members of His body.

Let me remind you again that the Spirit of the Lord, or the Spirit of Yahweh, represented by the central shaft of the golden candlestick, has a very special meaning. The name Yahweh means THE SELF-EXISTENT ONE WHO REVEALS HIMSELF. So, primarily, the Spirit of Yahweh is the Spirit of REVELATION out from which proceed the other six Spirits. The Spirit of the Lord is the Spirit of the self-existent God who REVEALS HIMSELF! It is the SPIRIT OF REVELATION! And does not this correspond with all of Jesus’ statements concerning the Holy Spirit and His great work of revelation: “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth – the whole, full truth. For He will not speak His own message – but He will tell whatever He hears from the Father, and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come. He will honor and glorify me, because He will take of what is Mine and will reveal, declare, disclose, transmit it to you. Everything that the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said that He will take the things that are Mine and will REVEAL THEM TO YOU” (Jn. 16:13-15, Amplified Bible). Out of this central shaft of the Holy Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit of Revelation, proceed those other blessed Spirits of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Knowledge, and the Fear of the Lord.

Rev. 5:6 says, “And I beheld in the midst of the throne… stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Here we see that it is from the LAMB that the seven Spirits of God are “sent forth into all the earth.” We are living in the day when the seven Spirits of God in the fullness of divine vision and revelation, power and authority, judgment and wisdom will be manifested. The seven eyes and the seven horns are associated with the triumphant Lamb, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who is “in the midst of the throne” (In the central place of authority and recognition in the throne), and from which goes forth the fullness of divine vision, revelation, power and authority. Eyes of vision and revelation! Horns of power and authority! The eyes of the LAMB. The horns of the LAMB. This reality is sent forth into all the earth. This means that God wants His people to move in the fullness of the revelation and power of the triumphant LAMB OF GOD!

We would have thought that in calling our Lord “the Lamb” this name would have been used only in respect to His humiliation in His earthly life. However, in scripture it is most used in reference to His glory in His ascension and exaltation IN THE THRONE. John saw Him stand, as a Lamb that has been slain, in the midst of the throne! The four living creatures, and the four and twenty elders, and the hosts of heaven praise Him as the Lamb who has purchased us unto God by His blood and has made us to be KINGS AND PRIESTS to reign over the earth. “Salvation to our God and to the Lamb” (Rev. 7:10). It is the Lamb who executes judgment. It is the Lamb who, as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, has conquered Satan and all his power. It is the Lamb who reigns! It is the Lamb who opens the book. The Lamb who stands upon Mount Zion, the ancient location of David’s royal fortress, where the king reigned gloriously, representing the highest pinnacle of attainment and glory and authority in the Kingdom of God. The Lamb is the Light of the Holy City. The Lamb is the Temple of the New Jerusalem. It is from beneath the throne of God and of the Lamb that the river of the water of life flows. Through the ages the Lamb that the river of the water of life flows. Through the ages the Lamb is all in all. Eternity will re-echo the song of His praise: “The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12-13).

It is the LAMB that has the seven Spirits of God. And you will never, in a million years, find them outside of HIM! If you would have the seven Spirits of God your identity must be lost in the Lamb. He must be your hiding place. He must be your sphere of existence. It is from the Lamb upon the throne that the seven Spirits are sent forth into all the earth. Notice especially that the seven Spirits are associated not only with the Lamb, but with the throne. If you desire to pay the price and make the sacrifice, that you might be a part of the greatest manifestation of the glory and power of God the world has ever witnessed, then you must become associated with God’s throne. You must be often and long before the throne. That necessitates coming by the Blood of the Lamb into God’s holy presence. That means opening your heart and life to the judgment of Him who sits upon the throne. It means opening your heart and life to the transforming power of the Lamb of God. It means repentance and humbling, waiting and worship, prayer and praise before the throne! It means taking upon you and into you the Lamb nature.

Let all men know that the Holy Spirit of God does not come from the Christ of Bethlehem, nor from the Christ of Nazareth, nor from the Christ of the mighty signs and wonders and miracles, nor yet from the Cross of Calvary. All these manifestations and works of Christ are but vanity except that the sacrificed Lamb arose as the triumphant Lion, victorious over all enemies, to ascend up far above all heavens that He might FILL ALL THINGS. How positively true are the words of Paul: “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet (dead) in your sins” (I Cor. 15:17). And the words of John: “for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn. 7:39). The Spirit comes from the throne, from the risen, ascended, glorified Christ, pouring forth the glory and triumph of God. When you see people baptized with the Spirit, victorious and rejoicing, they are demonstrating that they are now associated with the throne, at which there is praise and glory and majesty and honor unto God, which must be demonstrated here on earth. God’s purpose in Christ is to bring “many sons” to this glory where they can totally express the ministry of Jesus Christ in every aspect, where the fullness of the seven Spirits of God shall find expression. When this does happen and the whole body of Christ begins to move in the fullness of the seven Spirits of God, we will fulfill the words of Jesus. He was only one man in one place, functioning this way; but when you have ten thousand here and twenty thousand over there, every member of the Body functioning in the fullness of the Spirit, it will bring to pass the Lord’s words: “The works that I do shall ye do also, and greater than these” (Jn. 14:12).

As the first-born Son of God has the seven Spirits of God as seven eyes and sees and knows all things, so the sons of God shall have “eyes of enlightened understanding” to “know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward them that believe, according to the mighty working of His power which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand” (Eph. 1:18-19). As the first-born Son of God has the seven Spirits of God as seven horns and has all power and authority in heaven and earth, so the sons of God shall likewise have the fullness of power and shall do the “greater works.” Will you be one of them? Will you prepare your heart to enter into the greatest of ministries? “He that hath and ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!”

THE FEAR OF THE LORD

Our hearts have been thrilled and stirred beyond measure as we have lifted at least a little corner of the veil over the past months to peer into the glories of that blessed realm of the seven Spirits of God. In this Study we approach the seventh and last of this seven-fold Spirit: the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord. It is Jesus who has the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord! This Spirit is sent forth into our hearts from the very heart of HIM, the LAMB in the midst of the throne. As we take into us the Lamb nature, this Spirit, with all the others, will flow also from our lives out to creation. As with all the seven Spirits of God, this Spirit, the Fear of the Lord, shall be a most remarkable thing in the end-time ministry as the sons of God arise to bring in the next phase of the Kingdom of God in that glorious age of the ages.

The very first principle we must understand in this connection is that the fear of the Lord has absolutely and positively nothing to do with being afraid. Jesus does not have the Spirit of FRIGHT! Jesus was not, and is not, TERRIFIED of His Father, neither does He impart to men the spirit of terror. “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7). In the scriptures our English word “fear” is translated from the Hebrew word YIRAH and the Greek word PHOBOS. These words have two principal meanings: first, that apprehension of evil or danger which normally causes one to flee or fight – an expectation of harm or pain which evokes a feeling of alarm, dread, or disquiet; and second, that awe and reverence which a man of sense feels in the presence of that which is high and eminent, such as a king or authority. A child feels the first of these kinds of fear in the presence of a harsh and cruel parent, and the second before a parent who is good and loving, but who must also be just.

In the New Testament the Greek word PHOBOS is used in both of the above senses. In Mat. 14:26 we read that the disciples “cried out for fear” being frightened and terrified because they thought they saw a ghost! But in Acts 9:31 we read: “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking IN THE FEAR OF THE LORD, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” Here, the second meaning of fear is implied, the awesome reverence of GOD.

I once read a story that so clearly illustrates the nature of the fear of the Lord that God wants us to have. The brother that related this story said: “Several years ago I married a young couple who were, and still are, very much in love with one another. They had met when they were thirteen and fourteen, had never looked at anyone else, and wouldn’t today after all these years. They went away on their honeymoon and after a few weeks came home again. I saw them in the meeting the next Sunday and greeted them with a little pleasantry. I asked the groom if his bride had burned the roast for their first dinner. They laughed, and she said, ‘Oh, I was afraid that I was going to. I had read so much about the bride being unable to cook that I decided that John was going to have the very best meal a bride could prepare for her husband. So I began about three o’clock. I got everything out and started to work. When I finally put things on course, he had to be a little late, and I was so afraid things would be spoiled.’ I interrupted her and said, ‘You have said three times that you were afraid. Did you think that John was going to beat you?’ She pouted and said, ‘Of course not.’ She looked at him with all the love of her heart in her eyes. ‘But,’ I persisted, ‘You said that you were afraid.’ She broke in, ‘You know what I mean.’ And of course I knew what she meant. Her fear was not fright; her fear WAS A GREAT AND INTENSE DESIRE to serve and to please the one to whom she had given herself entirely, the one whom she respected and esteemed above all others.”

Perhaps this simple story will help us understand what is meant by the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord, in the scriptural sense, is a godly thing, a wonderful thing, a lovely thing. How many precious Christians, influenced by the false doctrines of Babylon’s religions, have absolutely no conception of the difference between the pure and holy fear of the Lord and fright of the Lord. 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, and judgmental, that if you went to bed at night with one little sin un-confessed, not under the blood of Jesus; and if the “rapture” would take place during the night, you would be left behind! Furthermore, should you die during the night you would surely “bust hell wide open”! 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; for God was so holy, so exacting and demanding, that I was sure, beyond a reasonable doubt, that I could never be quite ready enough to stand before His fearsome presence. How my ransomed soul exults with joy unspeakable and full of glory that since that time I have, at least in a measure, come to KNOW HIM AS HE REALLY IS! Do you think that 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? He loves us! “For God SO LOVED THE WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16). He loved us before the foundation of the world and chose us and picked us out in Christ. He predestinated us and sent Jesus to redeem us! God said, “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would FEAR ME, and keep all My commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” (Deut. 5:29). Here the Lord plainly says that He wants His people to have “fear” of Him. But He wants the same kind of fear that an obedient son would have toward a loving father! Moses said, “And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to FEAR THE LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day” (Deut. 6:24).

The kind of fear God desires to be a continual emotion within His people is like an AWESOME AWARENESS; like a full, consuming knowledge of His great POWER, His great ABILITY, His great HOLINESS, His great WISDOM, His great PURPOSE in our lives – and that He is the altogether RIGHTEOUS JUDGE! The fear of the Lord is REVERENCE for the Lord. It is profound respect mingled with awe, affection, and veneration. It is reverential trust with hatred of evil. Thus we read:

“The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever” (Ps. 19:9)
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil” (Prov. 8:13)
“The fear of the Lord is strong confidence” (Prov. 14:26)
“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death” (Prov. 14:27).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7)
“The fear of the Lord tendeth to life” (Prov. 19:23)
“The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom” (Prov. 15:33)
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111:10).

Personal testimony of another kind comes from one who as a young man was an ardent disbeliever. He was an avid student and after learning and learning in the world he “stumbled” onto the Word of God. When a personal experience brought him to Christ his scientifically trained mind turned to examine the Bible. This was Ivan Panin, he who gave over fifty years to the study of the strange and wondrous numerical framework, the phenomenal mathematical design of the inspired scriptures. As in human life one’s walk is distinctive, one’s voice is personally one’s own, one’s handwriting is peculiarly personal and fingerprints are indisputable identification – so in Holy Writ is the text proved to be authentically the inspired Word of God by the intricate mathematical pattern which runs through the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and the Greek text of the New Testament. This phenomenon was discovered and intensively researched by Ivan Panin. In writing of his early days, Mr. Panin comments: “A marvelous thing had meanwhile come to pass in the life of the author. Hitherto he had sought wisdom all his days, and sought it most earnestly: sought it in science, sought it in philosophy; sought it in art, sought it in letters: sought it in college, sought it in the world: sought it from professor, sought it from preacher; sought it in laughing, crying; sought it in yearning, sobbing. And many indeed were the things he learned in the search. The physiologist told him how they make frog’s legs dance: the astronomer told him that Sirius does not really twinkle; and the naturalist told him that the serpent once had legs, and lost them in its attempts at evolution. The philosopher told him that the universe is a machine; the scientist, that men have only recently grown wiser than monkeys. The artist explained to him how he writes merely for the sake of writing; the preacher, that one can be a Christian teacher even as an agnostic. Lastly, the Professor of Ethics convinced the writer that he was an excellent fellow! But not a soul even as much as whispered to him that THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM; and KNOWLEDGE OF THE MOST HIGH, that is UNDERSTANDING.”

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111:10). How plain it is that God will never grant wisdom to the man whose soul is void of true reverence for God, for true reverence is true humility, and true humility places God’s will, God’s purposes and God’s glory above all else in the universe. The writer to the Hebrews admonishes: “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12:28). The glorious Kingdom of God is only given in the power of the Holy Spirit to devout and humble souls who seek His face in truth. Our exalted heavenly Father, full of power and wisdom and grace and truth, will not consent to walk with the arrogant and the scornful; neither will He be found in the midst of careless, irreverent, profane or hypocritical men. If deep within your heart you have a strong and fervent desire to truly KNOW GOD and to have part in the righteous government which He shall bring forth in the earth in this day, you must first above all else remove the shoes from off your feet when you walk upon His holy ground. If ever you would receive the fullness of the seven Spirits of God; if ever you stand upon Zion’s holy hill and share the glory of sonship with the exalted Lamb of God; you must first pray earnestly for grace whereby you may serve God acceptably with REVERENCE and GODLY FEAR. Walk softly and with the deepest love and respect when you enter the presence of Him before whom holy and powerful angels cover their faces. The God who is your Father is the architect and creator of the universe!

The victorious congregation of Israel sang of His majesty by the