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 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
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO
FROM OUR SINS
“Unto Him that loved us, and
washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5).
I know nothing deeper in God than love, nor believe there is anything
deeper than love, nay, there can be nothing deeper than love! The being of God is
love, and love demands an object — the beloved.
That is the whole meaning of creation!
And it is the greatest proof that God has always, eternally been a
Creator — this present creation is not the first, nor will it be the last.
If God never brought forth or created anything until six thousand years
ago or twenty billion years ago, then He could not have been love before that
event, for there was no object of love, therefore no expression of love.
God would have been throughout eternity — before creation — loveless. Our existence
is not accidental — it had to be!
God must love, for God is love; therefore God must bring forth and
create. “For God so loved
the world.” The reality of
love is a property inherent in the essence of the lover.
The Divine Lover, God, cannot love in a limited way because in His nature
and being He is limitless, so He loves to the furthest limits of possibility.
That is the meaning of the cross! That
is the meaning of God’s plan of the ages for the reconciliation of all things!
Creation and redemption are therefore intrinsic to God’s very life,
they are the outer landscape of His own being, God making Himself visible to
Himself and simultaneously making Himself visible to us. Creation is in some sense God’s very self, as Eve was
Adam’s self. And in this
relationship with His creation God’s love is revealed through blessing and
redemption in the interchange of giving and receiving!
The message which beams from the cross of Christ like the blazing rays of
the noon-day sun is one of SACRIFICIAL LOVE — REDEEMING LOVE.
The truth of love in Jesus Christ was that He loved without retaliation
for evil, a love that suffered long, even to the agonies of the cross, and then
was kind enough to pray, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they
do.” And I declare to you that
regardless of what other sins those wicked men may come into judgment for, they
will never stand in the judgment condemned for killing the Son of God, for HE
AND HIS FATHER FORGAVE THEM! This truth of the love of God in Jesus Christ must also be
true in us, the younger sons of God. Jesus
did not love people because He loved Himself, as it was under the law.
It was the Father’s unconditional and all-surpassing love flowing
through Him, surging as a mighty river out to humanity, overflowing redemptively,
so that He could say, “Let your love for others not be based on love for
yourself, but on what is true in Me: If the Father could love Judas through me,
and love Peter through Me, and the people that crucified Me, then let the
Father’s love so find expression through you!”
Through many years we have sung a beautiful chorus that goes like this:
“His love has no limit, His grace has no measure, His power has no boundaries
known unto man; for out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth,
and giveth again.” This is a
lovely chorus and I love to sing it and I say it is true.
In Jesus Christ, there is no limit
to His love, no measure to His grace,
and no boundaries to His power, for He
is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and His infinite mercy endures
throughout all generations and ages. If
I say there is one sin, one condition, one creature, one place, one age or group
of ages unto which His love and His grace and His power shall not reach and triumph,
then I lie and know not the truth.
Jesus loved His friends, He loved His enemies, the man who betrayed Him,
the man who denied Him, the mob that cried, “Crucify Him!” and the men who
nailed Him to the cross. If His
love does not triumph over every one of them, then the cross was a farce!
There just is no limit to His love!
You can never find a place where you can say, “So far He will love, but
no farther.” Is that love true in
us? Or do we say, “Well, I will
only stand so much, I will only forgive so long, I will only trust so far, and
that is the end of it.” God is
teaching and training every son that His love should find no limit in us, His
grace no measure in us, and His power no boundary in us. This is the first mark of sonship!
Oh, that all men might learn God’s one and only everlasting Gospel, the
Gospel of love — and then preach it! And
Love alone can draw A-L-L MEN
to Calvary’s crimson fountain. Only
a Calvary love can transform a world gone mad, and revive a sleeping church
obsessed with her deliriums into a thing of beauty and praise and usefulness.
And anyone who is lifting up to a lost and dying world anything or anyone
other than Jesus and His wonderful love is simply living a wasted life.
The love of God must be lifted up IN US! The sons of God are the Sons of Love, for GOD IS LOVE!
Although God “so loved the world,”
still there is a special sense in which Christ “loved us”
and gave Himself for us — those He is making kings and priests unto God that
we might reign over the earth. The
book of Revelation is written to kings and priests!
Some time ago, in Bill and Elaine Cook’s paper, Monty Williamson shared
the following beautiful testimony which speaks so powerfully of Christ’s love
for His called and chosen elect. “A
while ago I had an experience with the Lord Jesus Christ that I would like to
share. As I was waiting on the Lord
in prayer, I was part of a scene that I will try to describe.
I was with the Lord’s army traveling across the sky, headed for earth.
We were all riding on beautiful white horses flying toward the Lord’s
enemies to do battle. As I took in
the scene, I realized I was in the front line of the Lord’s army. I took in the view and felt honored that I was allowed to be
at the front where I could see the vistas of the earth beneath and know that I
would be one of the first to join in
this great battle.
“As my eyes moved to the left, I realized that I was riding beside Jesus. He smiled
at me and I felt so loved and understood. I
was overwhelmed that I was at His right hand as He rode into battle.
I felt so loved and honored. I
was shocked that I was beside Him, and questioned in my mind why I was allowed
to ride there. In return, He just
loved me and let me know that it was right
that I was beside Him. I felt
humbled and greatly loved. I
savored the moment and it was one of the greatest feelings I have ever had —
to be riding on a white horse with Jesus heading into the battle!
After a bit I began to wonder about the others who were riding with us
and I felt a little sad that I was at the front with Jesus and that others were
not. I was thinking that maybe I
should rotate my place with others so that my brothers and sisters could share
the joy of riding beside Jesus. I
felt Him whisper that it was “Okay” and that I should look around.
“As I looked back, I saw the most incredible picture. I saw the rest of the army — as I looked at each one, I
noted that they were all looking to the person on their left.
On their left was Jesus, riding
beside them! As I looked
closer, I realized that from each person’s perspective, each one was riding
beside Jesus and saw themselves at the front of the army, riding on His right
side. The same picture that I had
at the first, where I saw myself at the front of the army and at His right hand,
was the same vision that everyone else had.
We all thought that we were riding at the front of the army beside Jesus!
For everyone, Jesus was beside them having intimate fellowship with each
one at the same time. My love and
awe for Jesus soared! It is just
like Him to be able to make each one of us feel
the most loved at the same time. He
is the Head and we are the body. Does
any part of the body feel neglected by the head?
No! It is the same with
Jesus, our Head. He is able to make
each of us feel intimately loved all at the same time.
It is something very hard for the finite mind to wrap around, but it
is possible with God. His
love for us knows no bounds!” —
LOOSED FROM OUR SINS
John dwelt in spirit before the door of the opened heaven as he walked
about the barren slopes of Patmos. Time
after time he saw in visions the glory of God, and of the Lamb, and of the kings
and priests upon His throne, and of all the redeemed of the ages.
The celestial scene filled John’s heart with joy, praise, and wonder,
and stirred by what he saw and heard in the heavenlies, he cried out, “Unto
Him who loved us, and washed us from our
sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests — to Him be
glory and dominion for the ages of the ages, Amen!”
We need to know what “washing” means.
It would be well for us to point out that some Greek manuscripts read
“loves” (present tense) in place of “loved” (past) and “loosed”
rather than “washed.” In Greek
the only difference loosed and washed is the letter “o.” The
idea would be, therefore, “Unto Him who loves us (continuously), and who has loosed
us from our sins in His own blood.” Since
Christ has “loosed” or released us from our sins, the idea here would be
that the blood of the Lord Jesus has freed us from the claim and power that sin
once had over us.
There was a type of this action in the Old Testament at the time when
Israel celebrated the annual day of atonement, in which the people were cleansed
from all the sins that had accumulated during the previous year.
The atonement was done through a priestly sacrifice.
In Leviticus 16:5 it is declared that the “two
kids of the goats” constitute a single
offering for sin. “And he
shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats
for a sin offering...” The reason
for this is that both goats speak symbolically of the work of Christ in taking
away our sins, and the sins of the whole world.
What a tremendously meaningful ceremony the day of atonement was!
The people of Israel had to plan weeks in advance for this day.
Here is what took place on the day of atonement.
Two young goats were brought before the gate of the tabernacle and
presented to the high priest. These
two goats were carefully chosen and were to be of equal character and quality in
weight, height, and purity. A lot
was cast upon the two goats. One
lot was for the Lord, and the other
lot was for the scapegoat.
The goat selected for the Lord was to be offered as a sacrifice.
A scarlet cloth was wrapped around its neck to distinguish it for
sacrificing. The other goat was
designated as a scapegoat and kept outside the holy precincts of the tabernacle.
The first goat was taken in through the gate to the brazen altar in the
Outer Court where it was slain, and its blood was collected in a bowl.
The high priest then took the blood of “the Lord’s goat” in through
the Holy Place and on in through the veil to the Holy of holies, where he
presented it before the presence of Yahweh with incense.
He sprinkled the blood upon the mercy seat once, and in front of the
mercy seat seven times. Outside,
every person in the camp lay prostrate throughout the entire sacrificial
procedure. No one saw any of it as
it happened. Yet the ritual meant
that atonement was being made for their sins!
Their transgressions for the whole year were being dealt with — atoned for — forgiven, remitted, covered.
In contrast, the next part of the ceremony was meant as a very visible,
illustrated sermon for every Israelite to see.
Indeed, at this point, everyone was to stand and rejoice!
Coming out of the Most Holy Place the high priest lingered in the Holy
Place long enough to change out of his special clothes designed for that
occasion and put on his regular priestly garments.
Then he emerged and made his way to the gate of the Outer Court where he
laid his hands on the scapegoat. Now,
the Hebrew word for scapegoat means “the goat that went away,” or
“removal.” And the priest’s
act of laying hands on the scapegoat symbolized the transference of all the
people’s sins to the head of the animal.
Aaron confessed over the scapegoat all the sins of the children of
Israel, saying, “Oh Yahweh, your people, the house of Israel, have committed
iniquity, transgressed, and sinned before You.
Oh Yahweh, forgive, I pray, the iniquities and transgressions and sins
which your people, the house of Israel, have committed and transgressed and
sinned before You; as it is written in the law of your servant Moses, ‘For on
this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you: from all your sins you
shall be clean before Yahweh.”
All the sins of all the people of Israel were transferred to the head of
the scapegoat and then the goat was put into the hands of a “fit man” to be
sent away into the wilderness, unto a land not inhabited. There the goat was let go and left. The “fit man” mentioned in Leviticus 16 was a strong,
physically fit man chosen for the important task of leading the scapegoat
far away into the desolation of the wilderness and leaving it there.
The fit man put a leash on the scapegoat and led him out of the camp.
And what a sight that was to the people!
All of Israel stood watching, as at a parade, cheering, clapping,
rejoicing as the scapegoat was led away. It
was an object lesson that every citizen of Israel — including children —
could understand: “Not only are our sins forgiven to be remembered no more —
but they are taken away from us! The
fit man couldn’t take the goat to just any place in the desert — he must
make an arduous journey to a most remote, inescapable place, so far away that
there would be no possibility of the
goat wandering back into their midst. It
must be a complete, permanent, irrevocable removal!
Jesus Christ is the key character with both of these goats, for both animals
together constitute one sin offering
(Lev. 16:5). In the sacrifice of
the feast of Passover the people could choose between a lamb or a goat.
In the feast of Atonement, however, there was no choice, only the goat
could be used. Goats were used in
the flock as leaders and protectors. “The
Lord’s goat” represents Jesus who went before us into the Most Holy Place to
open up the way through the rent veil. There
are many things to learn from types and anti-types, for by them truth is taught
with more force than any spoken word. You
will notice then that no sins are
confessed over the head of the first goat, the “Lord’s goat.”
For you see, this is Jesus the perfect sin-offering, pure, spotless,
unblemished, undefiled, holy, harmless, separate from sinners, who by His blood,
His own precious and divine life, has,
as our forerunner, entered into the holiest of all, opening up the way for every
son of God to follow.
The writer to the Hebrews proclaimed this blessed event in these words:
“For by one offering He hath
perfected forever them that are sanctified.
Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that He had
said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,
saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I
write them; and their sins and iniquities
will I remember no more. Now
where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by
the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He
hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and
having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart
in full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:14-22).
And what does it mean that we may enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus? To
Moses God said that He gave the blood upon the altar to be an atonement for the
soul, because THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD (Lev. 17:11).
That is, the blood in the body is the life of the body.
Ah — the power of any blood is in the worth of the life!
In the blood of Jesus THE POWER OF THE DIVINE LIFE DWELT and worked —
hence its intrinsic value. He was
the Son of God by conception, and the Son of man by birth.
He was a specially prepared body to contain a specially prepared blood that was to be the life of all humanity! This
blood was precious from the fact that it was a unique blood which could do
something for all humanity that no other blood could ever do.
It was the Word of God that became flesh (Jn. 1:14), who was made a man.
It was the life of God that dwelt in Him!
That life gave His blood, every drop of it, an infinite value.
The blood of a man is of more worth than that of a sheep.
The blood of a king or a great general is counted of more value than
hundreds of common soldiers. The
blood of the Son of God! It is in
vain the mind seeks for some expression of its value!
All we can say is, it is His own blood, the blood of the Word made flesh!
The life is in the blood. As
the value of this life, so the value of the blood.
In Christ there was the life of God; infinite as God is the worth and the
power of that blood!
When Adam transgressed, the life of
God which had been breathed into his nostrils, fled from his soul, and by
that separation all that was left was a residue, that mortal something which
flowed in the veins of his body. This
blood contains nothing of the life of God, and in its composition is similar to
the blood of the animal kingdom, for when the glorious power of divine life was
separated from Adam’s soul, he entered into the kingdom of death.
Before this Adam’s spirit and soul had existed in blessed union.
The record states that Adam was made a living
soul. From the Greek the
statement reads, “The first man was made a zoe
psuche (living soul).” Zoe, throughout the entire Greek New Testament, is always used in
reference to the life of God — divine
life. Psuche, on the
other hand, is used of the natural life of animals and men. Since both words are used of Adam’s life in the beginning,
it is clear that he possessed a physical life imbued, infused, injected,
impregnated, and permeated with the glorious incorruptible life of God! That is
what made him not simply zoe, and not
merely psuche, but zoe
This life, zoe, is the life
Jesus promised to give to man when He said, “I give unto them eternal life (zoe), and they shall never perish.” This, beloved, is the life that fled from Adam’s soul when
he transgressed, leaving his outer man ashamed, fearful, and dead. The life is in
the blood, but our blood being devoid of zoe
life, incorruptible and divine
life, is in reality dead blood and capable of sustaining only physical life, and
that only poorly until man returns to the dust from whence he came.
It is not without significance that, when the bodies of men are embalmed,
the first act is to remove the corruptible blood that the dead body may be
better preserved. The fact that a
chemical in the veins can preserve a dead body is the proof that the quickening
power of incorruptible zoe restored to
union with the blood of redeemed men will result in life and immortality! Instead
of incorruptible and, therefore, deathless blood, Adam’s blood corrupted
through sin and became subject to death. To redeem this dead sinner, life must again be imparted!
The only remedy for death is life!
This life is in the blood, so blood must be furnished which is sinless
and incorruptible. Now none of
Adam’s race could do this, “for in Adam all
die.” There was only one, yes,
only one, who could furnish that blood, the virgin-born Son of God, the man from
heaven, the last Adam, with a human body, but sinless, supernatural blood,
inseminated by the Holy Ghost!
Jesus came to bring life to the world!
Here is where His blood differed from the ordinary blood or life of men.
His blood was precious in that it was able to do something for mankind
which man’s own blood or life could not do.
The natural blood or life of mankind was only for a few years at most,
but the blood of Christ was the life of
the ages. So there must somehow
be a discontinuance of the blood of a few years, that the blood or the life of the ages might be injected into mankind.
Let us notice one thing further. The
red liquid that ran through the veins and arteries of the body of Jesus is not
the blood whose power redeems mankind and all things unto God.
There is no biblical basis for attributing any unusual properties to
Christ’s body fluids. The term “blood of Christ” is far more significant than
any magical or mystical power falsely attributed to His physical blood by those
who are ignorant of the truth. And
here I must speak a word against one of the popular myths that has been widely
circulated among God’s people. Various
teachers have maintained that human blood is in some mysterious way “congealed
light.” Now that term carries
with it a certain kind of mystical aura, and a rather scientific sound.
But the truth is that it is neither scientifically founded, scripturally
sound, nor spiritually veracious. Blood
is composed of the very same chemical and mineral substances of which the earth
is made. If blood is “congealed light,” then your refrigerator,
automobile, house, and a bunch of bananas and a cup of coffee are just as truly
congealed light! Blood is mostly
water, but in the blood many substances are dissolved and in this fluid float
specks of matter that do not dissolve. From
the lungs it takes oxygen breathed in, and from the digestive organs it takes
food substances and carries these, as well as disease-fighting cells, to all
parts of the body. The liquid part
of the blood greatly resembles sea water. This
liquid part of the blood without all the solid particles, but including the
various chemicals in the blood, is called plasma.
The thing of importance about the precious blood of Jesus is not its
physical structure, but the glorious fact that blood bespeaks LIFE. What Jesus poured
out was His life, His holy, pure, undefiled, divine, heavenly, incorruptible
life, the zoe, the quickening spirit,
the life of GOD! He lived and
walked out that glorious life in human form and then poured it out as an
offering to God. And God took the
offering and poured it out, in return, upon mankind!
“He...spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left
in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption.
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of
the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, HE HATH SHED FORTH THIS, WHICH YE NOW
SEE AND HEAR” (Acts 2:31-33).
Ah — the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, but in a new dimension — the
divine and incorruptible life of God as it had been perfected and lived out in
the life of the Son of God — was now shed forth as the
Spirit of the Son to be received by all men to transform and lift them up
high into the holiness, wisdom, and power of God. The precious blood of Jesus!
There is an old Roman Catholic dogma which says that Christ carried His
blood with Him to heaven in a bowl. Without
even knowing its source, evangelical Christianity clings to that ludicrous idea
from the Dark Ages by perpetuating a form of mysticism around the physical blood
of our Lord. The bowl of blood is
indeed a type from the outward,
physical ceremony of the day of Atonement.
But in its spiritual fulfillment there is no bowl in the universe that
could have contained what Jesus carried into the heavens!
When Christ entered heaven (see Hebrews, chapters 8-10), He carried not
physical blood, which of necessity would be corruptible blood, but His
DIVINE-HUMAN LIFE. He did not
transport a bowl of blood or a bucket of blood; He entered in His resurrection
body, with the full power of that divine life He had poured out on behalf of
Adam’s doomed race. If He had not
poured it out upon the cross, He would have forever remained the only
perfect man — the only manifest Son
of God. But, blessed be His
wonderful name! He shed His
precious blood, He released His human-divine life, He poured forth His
quickening Spirit that all may drink thereof and live!
sons and daughters of God! The
blood of Jesus! The blood of the Lord’s
goat! Oh, think what it means.
God gave it for your redemption from Adam’s race and your
transformation into the image and glory of God.
God accepted it in the true tabernacle, in heaven itself, in the heaven
of God’s Spirit, when the firstborn of the new creation entered there and
presented it on your behalf. God
points you to it and asks your to believe in its omnipotent energy, in its
everlasting sufficiency. Ah, this
celestial man was injected into a whole world full of men descended from the
earth-man to impart something we had lacked from the day Adam was driven from
Eden’s bright portals. That
something was life, living blood, for He said He came to give life to the world.
He could impart a life to the world that would change it completely!
When our spirit is quickened by
His Spirit, and then brought into
marriage union with soul and body there is raised up within us LIFE AND
What it means is just this. Jesus,
through death and resurrection into the incorruptible realm of God, has entered
into the Most Holy Place of heavenly life.
And now, HE HAS GIVEN US HIS LIFE! His
life is His blood, and by the
quickening of that divine life in our spirit we become the new creation.
You cannot bring old Adam into the Holiest — for the body
(natural consciousness) of the Lord’s goat was left at the tabernacle gate!
ONLY THE BLOOD (DIVINE LIFE) ENTERED INTO THE HOLIEST.
Notice! While the King James
Version reads, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest
by the blood of Jesus,” the Greek text actually reads, “Having
therefore, brethren, confidence into
the entrance of the Holiest in the
blood of Jesus.” The Greek word
is en — IN. Entering in
the blood of Jesus. What a word! If it is the blood that is carried into the Holiest, how else
could I get into the Holiest, unless I would be IN THE BLOOD?
Do you see it? He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. In the
union of our spirit with His Spirit we are “in” the blood or life of Christ!
It is in this union of life that we are given the boldness, the ability
to enter in to the Most Holy Place! In
the power of that life we have now entered in!
In the blood, the divine life of Jesus in our spirit, we
now enter into the Holiest of all!
We cannot reform old Adam. We
cannot redeem our old humanity with its desires and lusts. We must leave our human
consciousness behind at the gate of the tabernacle, for that human
consciousness is represented by the dead
body of the Lord’s goat. That
dead body does not go into the Holiest! We
must leave our old human consciousness, our old Adamic mind and identity, out at
the altar of sacrifice (the cross) and enter into the presence, glory, and power
of God in our new life in the spirit! Only
the new creation can enter in!
We have tried to make Adam “behave” so we could be pleasing to God.
We have put our flesh under laws and rules and regulations and tried to
make it be good. It hasn’t
worked! It cannot be done! Leave
the old carcass behind and enter in your
spirit into the presence of God in the Most Holy Place.
There is no sin at all in your regenerated spirit!
And that is who you now really are!
As a new creation you haven’t done anything wrong!
Your regenerated spirit has not sinned!
In your true identity you are not
guilty! There is therefore no
condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus!
Someone says, “But my flesh still wants to sin.
My flesh still flies off the handle, cusses, thinks evil thoughts, makes
bad choices, criticizes, is fearful, deceitful, selfish, hurtful, and lusts
after evil things.” Sure it does
— for “that which is born of the flesh is
flesh.” That’s how flesh
is! Flesh can’t be any different!
You can’t make flesh holy! It’s
born of the wrong seed! But there
is a further truth. “That which
is born of the spirit is spirit.” Oh, yes! That
which is born of the spirit is your regenerated spirit and it is like Christ. You
don’t have to try to make it like Christ.
It is! And that’s the real you! That’s the
new man that you are!
That’s the spiritual man, the heavenly man, the divine man — Christ.
And that is the man who may enter into the Holiest any time, at any
place, day or night. When the flesh
has mis-behaved and would heap guilt and condemnation upon your head, leave that
old carcass at the tabernacle gate and enter on in to the presence of God in the
Most Holy Place! Enter in the blood, in the life
of Jesus in your spirit! Oh, the
wonder of it!
Now surely someone will accuse me of preaching “greasy grace” and
charge me with saying that you can just let your old flesh do everything it
wants to do and still be a son of God in the Holiest of all.
But you see, my beloved, we have only considered the first
goat — the Lord’s goat. God’s
dealing with sin doesn’t end there. It
is true, however, that in the Lord’s goat we can enter right on in
to the Holiest while the scapegoat is still standing there at the tabernacle
gate. What made the feast of
Atonement so wonderful was the inclusion of the second goat. Thank God for the second goat!
God has shown us by types and shadows how it is that Christ removes all
sin from the experience of His people. Sin
will no longer be a problem in my life. The feast of Atonement is not only a day of entering in, it
is also a day of release, being freed from all temptation of sin in our
When the scapegoat was led away into the wilderness by a fit man and left
there, never to return to Israel, through that action, the people were to
understand that their sins had been sent
away. That was but a makeshift
arrangement and was given only to crudely illustrate what God was doing. In this ritual action there was no provision made for any
change in the people who committed the sins.
The sins were simply symbolically rolled off from one year to the next.
But it was a type of the work of God!
In John 1:29 we read, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh
away the sin of the world.” The
words “take away” mean to lift or to take away. It means
to completely remove, banish, exile, cast out, disown, depose and dismiss —
our sins! Again we read, “And ye
know that He was manifested to take away
our sins” (I Jn. 3:5).
Can we not see by this that Jesus is not the second goat — He is the fit
man! The scapegoat is your human consciousness, your carnal flesh.
Jesus has been chosen, selected, ordained and manifested to TAKE AWAY our
sins! Can you see it?
HE does it! I warn you —
don’t try to do it yourself. Not
just any Israelite could lead that scapegoat away where he would never return.
Oh, no! Only the
fit man could do it! If you try
to do it all your efforts will only end in defeat.
You are not strong enough, smart enough, or good enough.
That’s why a fit man has been chosen for the task!
You will never last long enough to get that sin-laden goat of your flesh
far enough away in the wilderness so that he doesn’t some day wander back into
your life again. Only the fit
man can accomplish it! He has
been manifested to bear, to lift, to carry, to lead
away, to take away our sins. He
has been manifested in order that He might come into relationship with our human
life, and passing underneath the load of human sins, to lift them, and take them
Either this is the most glorious gospel that a man has ever heard; or it
is the greatest delusion to which man has ever listened. If it be true that Christ Jesus has been manifested to
somehow, in some mystery that the carnal mind can never fathom, in order to take
hold of my sins, my sins, my
sins, my impure thoughts, my words of bitterness, my stubborn selfishness, my
unholy deeds, and life, and lead, and bear them away — that is the best news I
have ever heard! I long for that
more than all! Consider the
testimony of the angel Gabriel to the virgin of Nazareth: “And thou shalt call
His name Jesus; for He shall save His
people from their sins.” When
the songs which the shepherds heard that holy night breaking the silence upon
the Judean hills were heard, what said they?
“There is born unto you this day a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord.”
Whether through the second goat we have been saved from
our sins or not, in the first goat, the Lord’s goat, in and by his blood, WE
HAVE BOLDNESS TO ENTER INTO THE HOLIEST OF ALL. You do not have to be delivered
from your sins in order to enter boldly into the presence of God and enjoy
the fellowship of His life. At the
stage of our initial regeneration performance
is not the secret to God’s presence! If
performance were the secret to God’s presence, we would of all men be most
miserable, for which of us can say that we have not sinned and have had no
consciousness of sins since we were converted?
No one of us would be prepared to say, “I have never deliberately done
the thing I knew I ought not to do!” That
is consciousness of sins! But that
does not exclude us from the love, presence, and glory of God!
After all, God is our Father! Be honest with
me. Unless you are a harsh,
vindictive, tyrannical brute, does your
child’s failure, misbehavior, disobedience, or rebellion exclude him or her
from your love, from your fellowship, from your care, from your concern, from
your counsel, from your table, from your provision, from your blessing, from
your home, or from your presence? NO!
Then why should our lack or failure separate us from coming boldly to the
throne of grace?
Let us come boldly that we may obtain grace
to help in time of need!
Now that we are a new creation in our inner
man, why do we (I speak for many) not have more victory over sin in our
outer lives? It is because we have
not yet appropriated the second provision
of the day of Atonement for dealing with our sins! What did Jesus come into the world to do?
He came to save His people from their sins — not merely from the guilt,
consciousness, and punishment of sin, but from the sins themselves, the petty as
well as the heinous, the respectable as well as the loathsome.
His great work is to send away sin — to expel it from our hearts, to
banish it from the earth, yea, to cast it into the abyss of non-existence behind
the back of God. This is Christ’s
“holy war.” He came carrying it
into our world and has brought it right into the roots of our lives and the
throne room of our hearts!
On the day of atonement, in the body of the scapegoat, sin is finally and
completely dealt with! In the
spiritual application of the fit man and the scapegoat, God deals with the
“goat nature” once and for all. Some
time ago, in commenting on the day of Atonement ritual, Elaine Cook shared an
experience: “Having at one time kept both sheep and goats, we understand their
natures. When we took a load of
sheep to town, we heard not a sound from them, but when we carried goats, the
air would be resounding with the sound of horns butting and the sides of the
truck would rock from the conflict within.
The goat nature is quite opposite to the lamb nature.
What does all this mean to us? In
simple terms, it means that God is going to deal
with our sinful, rebellious nature once-for-all!
The goat was not killed, it was completely
removed!” This, beloved, is
an integral part of the feast of Tabernacles, even the day of Atonement that
precedes the fullness of that great feast!
The day of Atonement prepared the worshipper for the feast of
Tabernacles, even as the seventh chapter of Romans precedes the glorious eighth
chapter and prepares us for the glory of manifested sonship described in that
rich eighth chapter.
It is my conviction that this ritual foretold of the warfare between the
flesh and the spirit — between the natural man and the spiritual man within
us. During these last years of
walking and progressing with God in the Spirit, we have been brought to the
place in Christ which corresponds to the day of Atonement and hopefully we have
yielded all the iniquities of the man of flesh, for it is here at the place of
atonement that sin is dealt with. The
desires and motions of the outer flesh man must be SENT AWAY, even as the
scapegoat was sent away from the camp of Israel, bearing all the sins of the
people. But you see, the sinful
goat-nature can only be sent away by the hand of the fit man, Christ, who is
ordained to take him away! What
does that mean? It means that only
the presence and power of Christ in our lives is able to overcome sin in the
flesh! Truly He is within us accomplishing this! This
is not a work that is wrought from without on our behalf — it is the work of
Christ in us!
That is why we have to experience the life of the first goat before we
can appropriate the departure of the second goat!
Some people think that if they have sin in their lives Christ won’t
dwell in them, that His presence will flee, God will turn from them and the
heavens become as brass against them. People
have the crude and unscriptural notion that somehow God is too holy to look upon
sin. That is a lie of Babylon!
How can sin ever be conquered in my life if Christ is not raised up in
me? And if Christ won’t dwell in
me, fellowship with me, and bless me because of my sin, how can He ever be
raised up within me to the point where the spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes
me free from the law of sin and death? That
is the whole point of chapters seven and eight of Romans!
Paul describes the distress that is characteristic of many believer’s
lives. “For I do not understand
my own actions — I am baffled, bewildered.
I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that
I loathe. Now if I do habitually
what is contrary to my desire, that means that I acknowledge and agree that the
law is good and morally excellent and that I take sides with it. However, it is no
longer I that do the deed, but sin which is at home in me and has possession
of me. For I know that nothing good
dwells within me, that is, in my flesh.
I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it.
I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry
it out; for I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds
I do not desire to do are what I am doing.
Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no
longer I doing it — it is not myself that acts — but the sin which
dwells within me. So I find it to
be a law of my being that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever
present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands.
For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in
my inmost self — with my new nature.
But I discern in my bodily members — in the sensitive appetites and wills of the
flesh — a different law at war against the law of my mind and making me a
prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs — in the sensitive
appetites and wills of the flesh”
(Rom. 7:15-23, Amplified).
Our experience in this physical realm is certainly no different than the
apostle Paul’s! “I know that in
me, that is, in my flesh (outer man),
dwelleth no good thing.”
The thing he didn’t want to do he did, and the thing he wanted to do he
couldn’t. What an experience for
an apostle! Paul enlarges on his
struggle with “sin in my members.” Sin
in my members is simply a euphemism for “the desires of the flesh” or “the
carnal mind.” And don’t tell me you
don’t have them! Many of the
Lord’s people are in denial,
claiming that since their old man is dead, the fear, anger, covetousness, lust,
deceitfulness, and other carnal and ungodly emotions they feel are just an illusion,
a habit, a hang over, a mistaken
identity from their former old man who is now really dead, gone, and
non-existent. Let me tell you the truth!
Your old man is dead, but you do
still have sin in your members — the desires of your flesh.
The man who says he has no fleshly
desires because his old man is dead is either caught up in wishful thinking,
self-deceived, or lying. Therefore,
the old man and the flesh are obviously not the
same, for if they were, your flesh would be dead! How could you still have the option of either “sowing to
the flesh” or “sowing to the spirit” if your flesh no longer exists?
Look up all the scriptures on the flesh and you will see that all God’s
saints in physical, mortal bodies still have it!
“The flesh wars against the spirit, and the spirit against the
flesh,” Paul wrote. Has that ever
been your experience? If the flesh
were dead, the war would be over!
Perhaps for you it is, and I rejoice for you if it is, but I seem to
still get involved in a skirmish now and then!
This is a large subject that would take a book to exhaust, but I can
assure you that if the “old man” is who most people think he is, and truly dead, we should all be perfect, sinless, pure, undefiled, and
overcomers in every sense of the word. We
should not need to mortify, or put
off, or put away, or cleanse ourselves
from, or overcome anything because
all those things would be non-existent!
Dead men don’t lie, dead men don’t deceive, dead men don’t cheat,
dead men don’t fly off the handle, dead men don’t gossip, dead men don’t
fight, dead men don’t covet, dead men don’t criticize, dead men don’t
lust, dead men don’t make mistakes, dead men don’t get depressed, or
struggle with anything. If uncle
Charlie has died and is lying in his coffin, I can walk up to him, tell him what
a splendid fellow he is, flatter him, and heap praise upon praise on him, and he
will never smile, appear pleased, or puff up with pride.
On the other hand, I can stand there and swear at him, abuse him, slap
his face, yell about what a scoundrel he is, and he will not swear back, strike
me, or jump out of the coffin and knock me down.
There will be absolutely no response — for he is dead! Dead men don’t do anything!
Dead men don’t keep on doing evil things and then excuse it by saying
that they just didn’t know they were
dead; it was just such a habit that
they have to remind themselves that they are dead so they can learn to act like dead men! What
drivel! Yet, I have heard great
preachers proclaiming such foolishness, in an effort to rationalize why
Christians have fleshly, ungodly emotions and desires, and do bad things, when
their old man is dead!
It should be clear to any spiritual mind that either the old man isn’t
dead or we have mis-identified the old
man! I think it is the latter.
God isn’t playing games with us! Do
saints still struggle with the carnal mind and the works of the flesh?
Do saints still sin?
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is
not in us. If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness” (I Jn. 1:8-9).
Ah, precious friend of mine, “sin in our members” and the “old
man” are not the same! Every scripture throughout the whole Bible bears witness to
this fact. Let me give it to you in
the simplest of terms. There are
many, many scriptures, but two will suffice to point the way. “For I delight in the
law of God after the inward man”
(Rom. 7:22). Notice what the inward
man does. He delights in the law of God — righteousness!
But even though the inward man, the new man, delights in righteousness,
the awful power of sin lies in our members.
Now let us look at the old man. “Strip
yourselves of your former nature (the old man) — put off and discard your old
unrenewed self — which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes
corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion” (Eph. 4:22,
Amplified). These two passages tell
us this: The new man is a nature
that delights in righteousness; the
old man is a nature that desires or
delights in that which is corrupt. The
old man, therefore, is our old unregenerated spiritual state in which we desired
and delighted in the flesh! Please
notice that it is the nature that desires
and delights in sin — it is not the
“body of sin” (the flesh) itself! It
is so important that we see and clearly understand the distinction Paul draws in
his writings between “sin in our members” which is “the flesh” —
and the “old man.” These are not
interchangeable terms! Sin is the
power and principle of evil rooted in our members, in our flesh, in our body!
The old man, on the other hand, is our old unregenerated spiritual state
in which we delighted in the sin in our
members! And the new man is our
quickened, regenerated spiritual existence by which we now delight in righteousness. “For
I delight in the law of God after
the inward man: but I see another law
in my members, warring against the law of my (inward man) mind” (Rom.
7:22-23). How much plainer can it be!
Any thinking person should understand that once our spirit is quickened
by God’s Spirit our old unregenerated spiritual state NO LONGER EXISTS!
The scriptures have only one thing to say about your old man...HE IS
DEAD! Therefore, you are not having
any problem at all with your old man, for dead men don’t do anything!
The proof of this is that you no
longer delight in sin! Oh, yes,
sin is still in your members, and you can
sin, have sinned, and may sin again. But when
you do sin — are you happy about it? Spiritually,
does it make you feel good?
Does your spirit say, “Amen!” Or
is your spirit grieved? Do you now regret
your weakness, your failure? Right
there is the answer! The nature
that delighted in sin is dead, it is gone!
Your new man now delights in righteousness! You now want to do
what is right, you now desire to
please God, you now hunger for
righteousness! That is the
difference between the old man and the new man.
And that is why you have still struggled with the flesh and with sin.
If the flesh and sin were the old man, there would be
no more conflict. Dead men
don’t sin! The fact that there is
now conflict in your life between sin
and the new life of Christ within you is the proof
that your old man is dead and that
Christ in you is alive.
Before you were regenerated there was no
conflict! The old man took pleasure in unrighteousness!
Let us look at this truth of being “loosed from our sins” from
another angle, from the perspective of the sin-offering; not the sin offering of
the two goats on the day of Atonement, but the ordinary sin-offering that any
man could offer when he sinned. Come
with me now to the camp of Israel. There
is a man here by the name Eliezar. Eliezar
has sinned. He has done a terrible
wrong. He didn’t mean to do it,
but he did. He was overcome by his
own passion and in a moment of weakness succumbed to the lust of his flesh.
In sorrow Eliezar goes out into his flocks and chooses the very best of
his bullocks. He brings the animal
to the tabernacle gate as a sacrifice — a sin-offering.
The priest takes the bullock and slays it for Eliezar, offering it
according to the requirement of the law. Eliezar
lays his hands upon the head of the bullock as it is slain, indicating that his
sin is imputed to the bullock and the bullock is paying the penalty of his sin.
As soon as the sacrifice is finished, Eliezar is free!
His sin is atoned for! His
sin is forgiven! His sin is
removed! He is loosed
from his sin and all the guilt and penalty of it! He can never be condemned, judged, or punished for the wrong
he did. It is erased.
The sin-offering is complete, all-sufficient, and irrevocable.
With this burden off of him, Eliezar is now free to work out his
problems, to seek God, to press forward, to give himself to learning how to
overcome, to be worthy of the sacrifice made on his behalf!
Does sin condemn us to separation from Christ, to a doomed, lost, and
hopeless state? Does sin separate
us from the love of God, from the fellowship of God, from the presence of God,
or from the blessing of God? NO!
For we are justified by faith in Jesus our
sin-offering, who once and for all offered Himself up for us.
We are not justified by our performance
— we are justified by the sin-offering that has been made for us!
Shall we continue in sin, then, that grace may abound?
God forbid! Performance
doesn’t save us — but it does
qualify us for a place and position in the kingdom of God!
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall
not inherit the kingdom of God? Be
not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who
practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers,
nor extortioners, shall inherit the
kingdom of God” (I Cor. 6:9-10).
Inheriting the kingdom is not
the same as being justified by faith!
To inherit the kingdom means to rule and reign with Christ!
It denotes responsibility and position, authority and power, dominion and
rulership! It means to sit upon the
throne! Contrary to the childish
teaching of the church systems, responsibility and rulership in the kingdom is
not given to every believer in Jesus. The
throne is not promised to “him that believeth”
nor to “him that is justified.” The throne is promised “to him that overcometh!” “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. He that hath an
ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!” (Rev.
Before this process of overcoming begins we are, by faith in Jesus our
sin-offering, completely released from all our sins and from all the guilt,
condemnation, and judgment of those sins freely
by His grace! Because this was
not taught to us in our churches when we first came to the Lord, many of the
Lord’s precious little children have been wandering around spiritually maimed,
not knowing who they are, thinking that God still remembers their sins, and that
He is angry with them, holding their weakness and failure against them, shutting
the heavens up against them every time they fall. Men will not let you forget when you stumble, when you cannot
break your sinful habits. Preachers,
especially, will not let you forget! This
is the good news — your sins are gone! The ones you
committed before you were saved are all gone. The ones you have committed since
you were saved are all gone. And
the ones you have committed today are all gone!
The one sin-offering has forever taken care of all your sins! That is
the assurance you have by faith in Jesus! Don’t
follow the example of ignorant men who won’t let you forget, and don’t let
the adversary pull that number on you, for Satan is the accuser
of the brethren, and he accuses through men and he accuses you
through you. You say, “But I
sinned!” Yes, you did. You say, “But I failed God!” Yes, you did.
You say, “But this is the one-hundredth time I have flunked the same
test!” Yes, it is.
To which your heavenly Father responds, “Your sin is forgiven,
remitted, released, sent away. It’s not
in my ledger. I don’t know what
you’re talking about.” That is the gospel — the good news — my friend!
Any so-called gospel that makes the sin-offering Jesus has provided less
than that is not the gospel at
Every child of God must know that God’s love and acceptance of them in
the Beloved in unconditional.
Until we know that, we have
underestimated His love! How many
times can the prodigal return home? Only as many times as the Father’s love will accommodate!
On one occasion Jesus was talking alone with His disciples about prayer.
Peter asks a question. It is
never difficult to think of Peter asking a question or making a few remarks.
He asks, “Master, how many times must
I forgive a man? Seven
times? Apparently Peter thinks he
is growing in grace. He can
actually think now in terms of
forgiving a man seven times in succession!
But the Lord in effect says, “Peter, you haven’t caught the idea. You don’t get it! Forgiveness
is not a matter of mathematics; not a matter of keeping
tab on somebody; it is not that you have forgiven someone six
times, so you will go for one more. You
must forgive not seven times but seventy
times seven — in one day!” And
Peter’s eyes bulge open with an incredulous stare — “four hundred and
ninety times — one man — in one day — Wow!”
Methinks that Jesus is thinking that Peter will lose count, or get tired
of counting, and finally get it,
concluding that forgiveness is not optional, it has no qualification or boundary
— it is absolutely, at all times, for all people, and in all circumstances unlimited
Nobody taught or manifested the all-encompassing and totally
unconditional love of our heavenly Father more than Jesus.
The sin question is settled! Under
the law, when the sin-offering was slain, all was forgiven. Mattered not how the offerer felt, how mature he was, how
perfect he was, how spiritual he was — his faith in the sacrifice wiped the
slate clean. Jesus has now made the
one sacrifice forever, and by our
faith in the Father’s love for us we are accepted of Him regardless of our failures. The
secret is just this: HE IS MERCIFUL TO OUR TRANGRESSIONS UNTIL
WE ARE ABLE TO OVERCOME THEM! Only
His life within us can ever overcome them! If
He withdraws His life because we fail — even if we fail four hundred and
ninety times in one day — then we are hopeless!
But He doesn’t! He freely
forgives every time and floods us with
His love and His life in the expectation that eventually His life will become
strong enough in us to conquer all. That
is His way! And it is the only way
it can be if we are to be completely saved and perfected.
What a plan! What a
Then what are we supposed to do? We
are supposed to quit trying to deal with sin, and fall in love with Jesus! The
more deeply we fall in love with Jesus, the more time spent in His presence, the
more we fellowship with Him and eat at His table, the easier and more natural it becomes to subject
ourselves to Christ and let the Spirit lead us. The more we will desire
to please Him! As we commune with
the Lord and listen to His voice, this teaching is life; this teaching gives us spiritual food; it gives us spiritual
drink; it raises up within us spiritual substance so we can grow up into the
nature of the new man. Victory over
sin and the flesh is not our own doing! We
cannot produce it! But Christ
raised up in our lives will lead us to it!
Jesus overcame all things,
lived out the nature of God, and manifested the power and glory of God.
But He did not do it Himself! He
said, “I can do nothing of myself” (Jn. 5:19,30).
His complete victory came through his fellowship with, and His subjection
to, the Father. “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).
And that is also where our power and victory are!
Christ in us must do the work. And
we cannot make Him do it; we can only let
Him do it. And He will do it as we live in His presence! Come, come, my friend, into the Holiest in the blood of Jesus, in the power of His life within your spirit,
come right on in and enjoy His abundance! Sin
will then, in due time, take care of itself.
As soon as you have entered in, the stage is set for the second
stage of your experience in Christ — the scapegoat of your flesh can then be sent away!
Paul, at one time in his experience, felt what we all feel in our
struggle with the flesh. In
desperation he cried out, “O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from the shackles of this
body of death?” (Rom. 7:24). And
then came the revelation of the glorious solution!
“O thank God — HE WILL! through Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, our
Lord!” (Rom. 7:25). And right on
the heels of this the explanation of how Jesus Christ, the fit man, sends the
sin and flesh man away: “For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has
freed me from the law of sin and
death. For God has done what the
law could not do, its power being weakened by the flesh. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an
offering for sin, God condemned sin in the flesh — subdued, overcame, deprived
it of its power. So that the
righteous and just requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who live and
move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit — our lives
governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but
controlled by the Holy Spirit. For
if you live according to the dictates of the flesh you will surely die. But if through the power of the Spirit you are habitually
putting to death — making extinct, deadening — the deeds prompted by
the body, you shall really and genuinely live...” (Rom. 8:2-4,13, Amplified).
Oh, yes! The fit man is
within us, and as we walk in His presence, soaking up His life, yielding to His
Spirit, communing with His mind, submitting to His leading, the goat nature is
sent away into a desolate land, an uninhabited wilderness, never to return!
Only the mighty, living presence of Christ raised up within us as life
can send the flesh man away! The
flesh with all his works is sent into a state of desolation — trapped, dried
up, starved, neutralized by the ascendancy of the Spirit in our lives!
This is what is happening in the life of every son of God! The day of Atonement is being fulfilled within us
spiritually, preparing our hearts for the exceeding glory of the feast of
Tabernacles! The fullness of God is
at hand! The greater than Pentecost
lies directly before us! The sons
of God in this very hour are experiencing the finishing touches of God’s great
redemption in preparation for the outflowing of His glory unto creation!
To be continued...
J. PRESTON EBY
Click here for Part Thirteen
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