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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth
and he deceiveth them that dwell on
the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the
beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had
the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had
power to give life unto the image of the beast, that
the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed
sole and ultimate purpose of the signs and wonders done by the beast out of the earth is
that men may believe and follow the beast the false prophet. For we read in the words of our
what does the beast instruct them to do? This
is where we approach one of the most flagrant popular misconceptions and
misrepresentations of this chapter the mistaken notion that the false prophet makes
an image either of himself, or of the first beast, and then commands men everywhere to
worship that image. Nearly all commentators
make this erroneous assertion, which is the result of an inexcusably careless reading of
This image is
everywhere in the earth today, and it is an indisputable fact that untold millions of
earthly-minded, carnal Christians pay homage to this image. But let us look at how it all
began. One historian has pointed out that in
the early centuries of this age, as the church grew in numbers and wealth, the anointing
and the anointed ministries were shoved aside, and startling developments began to take
place. Bishops became influential, not as
humble servants of the flock, but as powerful, authoritarian men. Dioceses and
precious friend of mine, the IMAGE of the beast of the world system of man was complete! The church had become a human institution with
human government, worldly wisdom, and political power just like
And is not this
the same picture of every organized church in
the world including the so-called non-denominational denominations? Are they not all incorporated and
chartered by the State (first beast)? Do
they not all have a system of government patterned after the other denominations of
May we all be
found faithful in fulfilling the ministry our Father has prepared to flow through us,
whether it be teaching, preaching, gifts of the Spirit, administration, intercession,
helps, or giving. These are all spiritual ministries that flow through those who
dwell in union with Christ in the heavens of the Spirit.
But let us
organized church and non-profit religious corporation is in contract with the State when they become non-profit,
making the government a partner in, and grantor of, each religious corporation. It is
our conviction that the
I cannot express
this truth more powerfully than George Hawtin has done in his message on Repentance Toward God And Faith Toward Jesus Christ. He wrote, Yesterday a minister sat in our
parlor with whom we spoke freely of the ways of God. Before
he left, he apologetically informed us that he was a member of a certain denomination, but
he said with noticeable chagrin, You almost have to belong to a denomination to be
properly recognized by the government, to get income tax deductions, to perform marriages,
and to obtain half fare on trains and buses. How
interesting that is! Is there really something
very special in the word incorporated, which is
so proudly displayed on the official documents of every sect in the land? Have you ever considered that the word incorporated you so proudly display on your
letterhead signifies that the system you think to be the church is in fact incorporated with the world system? Could Christ be a part of a thing like that since
He openly declared, I am not of this world?
Was He not saying, I am not of this world system? But you proudly display the fact that both you and
your sect are openly incorporated with it when
you should be as your Master who said, I am not of this world. You should not partake of its systems nor in any
way fall under its dominion. The true church
is no more a part of this world system than
Christ is a part of it. Well did He say to
those about Him, Ye are from beneath; I am from above.
Ye are of this world; I am not of
this world (Jn. ). Let all who long
for sonship, all who would be peculiarly His, turn from all these vanities that men have
devised. Let us break our connections with all
that is from beneath and let us walk with Christ as pilgrims who have no continuing city
in this world but who seek one to come, whose builder and maker is God.
heart of every faithful pilgrim be assured of this: Though the world is full of religious
sects and denominations of every kind which blind men to truth and obscure that holy virgin thing which Christ called My
church, yet His church is in the earth,
untouched, unsullied, and undefiled, a pure virgin church to be presented to Him without
spot and without blemish. That church is not
endeavored to be faithful to the word of the Lord in our lives and stay clear of all
In our former days in the religious systems of man, in both thinking and actions we bore the image of the bestial system of this world. In all our religious promotions did we not think like the world, plan like the world, advertise like the world, organize like the world, promote like the world, and act like the world? Who would deny that the religious systems whole vision, methodology, and attitude is in accordance with the worlds system. Just as the church, following the time of Constantine, paganized Christianity by mingling with the worship of Christ pagan practices of idols, images, altars, incense, candles, vestments, saints (bearing the characteristics and virtues of the deposed pagan gods), Christmas, Easter, and a thousand other things, so in our day the church systems planning and program is all in harmony with the spirit of this age as they continually adapt themselves to what ever the world is doing!
the devil hatch rock music out of the cesspool of the demented culture of drugs and sex,
and the church will immediately Christianize it by giving the harmonic
dissonance Christian words. They
call it Christian rock. It is not! You cannot have Christian rock any more than you
can have Christian drug lords, Christian harlots, Christian thieves, or Christian liars! It is not even Christianized demonism it is
demonized Christianity! And now we have
another Christianized perversion Christian hip hop. The church systems are always trying to keep step
with the world, appropriate to themselves the worlds program, and somehow make it
Christian. It is the image of the beast!
Let a worldly book come off the press about near-death experiences, and soon
Christian books on near-death experiences will line the bookshelves. Let diet books become the big money maker, and immediately Christian
diet books and programs will flood the market. What
great imitators are those earth-dwellers, those
carnal Christians who construct their image of the beast!
You see, my
beloved, those who make an image of the bestial system of the world are not leaders, setting the standards for mankind, but followers, mimicking and adapting the worlds
standards and ways under the pretense of following Christ.
If television talk shows is what the world
is doing, then let us entertain the saints with Christian talk
shows! These image-builders are always
followers and imitators, and the image they construct how much like the
beast it looks!
God is not well
pleased with the world of believers who are all too willing to proclaim the praise of God
with their lips and raise their hands in seeming consecration, while they pay homage to
the image of the worldly system they have created, prostituting the holy truths of God
with the unholy program and methods of the world. God
is well pleased with those who seek only His
will, His ways, and His glory. God is well pleased with those who reject the fleeting
pleasures of sin and the worthless glitter of the prestige and position of this world. God is well
pleased with those who forsake the excitement and noise of the crowd, who abandon
listening to all manner of fantastic oratory, who in their hearts are no longer
entertained by man-made programs, soulish concerts, so-called Christian television shows,
and carnal schemes of a church system that has forsaken the leading of the Spirit of God.
If the people of
God today would stop following after preachers and personalities, turning a deaf ear to
the slick advertising of unscrupulous men who love to promote themselves, if they would
forget about revivals and crusades and supposed signs and wonders and begin to turn the
knob of their prayer closet door, seeking not to run here and there, and do this and that,
but seeking to enter into harmony with the mind of Him who worketh all things after the
counsels of His own will, to do only those things they see the Father doing, to speak only
those things they hear of the Father, then all the world would know that the Father is
glorified in His sons even as He is glorified
in His Son. Let
us seek God that He might fashion our lives according to His eternal
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should speak (Rev. 13:15).
This verse reads
literally, And it was given him to give spirit
to the image of the beast. To
give spirit is the same as to give life. The
Greek word is pneuma meaning breath
or spirit. With only one exception, in every other place in the book of
Revelation where this word is used the reference is to the Holy Spirit. For
instance, I was in the Spirit on the Lords
day (Rev. 1:10). He that hath an
ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the
churches (Rev. 2:7; ; 3:6). And
immediately I was in the Spirit (Rev.
4:2). The spirit of life from God entered into them
(Rev. 11:11). Yea, saith the Spirit (Rev. 14:13). So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness
(Rev. 17:3). The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain
(Rev. 21:19). The Spirit and the bride say, Come
life or spirit to the image of the beast signifies that now the
life-giving ministry of the Spirit is being administrated through the image the
organization. He had power to give
this life is in the Greek it was given him to give life to the image. It is something that God cedes to him, that which
he would have no power at all to do of
himself. Every living body is animated by a
spirit. The body without the spirit is
dead (James ).
are many organizations, including religious ones, that are dead, having no spiritual life
in them at all.
this is not the true way of the Lord, nor is it sanctioned by the Lord. He truly condescends to meet with and bless those
who call upon His name in spite of all the corruption surrounding them, but what a mixture
it is! Only the Holy Spirit can teach us these
things. Only the sharp two-edged sword of the
Spirit can divide it, separating between soul and
we praise God that the consuming fire of His dealings and processings in the lives of all
who have received the call to sonship has been kindled to THOROUGHLY PURGE AND CLEANSE OUR
HEARTS from the spirit and ways and image of the beast, until once and for all we forsake
all the apostasy and shame, giving ourselves wholly and only unto Christ, that He may
teach us how to walk and worship and minister in
spirit and in truth. When our minds are
one with Him and all earthly tradition and program and system has vanished away and He
he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should
both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed
literally this certainly sounds ominous, and it
is true that the earth has been stained by the blood of the martyrs who have been slain as
heretics by the church systems of man, from the days of the Papacy, the
Inquisitions, the Reformation, and in many lands then and now throughout the earth. Yet millions more have been slain metaphorically, that is, denounced, cast out,
ostracized, excommunicated, anathematized, and cut off.
The deeper meaning of killed is to be killed spiritually, that is, to be condemned. And
because being condemned is signified by being killed, it speaks of all who pronounce
damnation upon those who do not acknowledge the doctrine of their faith as the divine
truth of God, and who condemn all who do not think as they do, and as far as they dare,
they deny that they are brothers and sisters in Christ.
And all this is done simply because men refuse to worship their image of the beast!
the image of the beast and the image of Christ. Which
do you bear in your body, in your attitudes, words, actions, worship, and ministry? Ah, yes, God is forming the image, the very
likeness of His Son in the lives of His called and chosen elect! We all understand that Christ is the image of God, the express image of His person; and we also
understand that God is forming within us the very image
of His Son. We know that this image of
Christ is not a literal statue of wood, stone, or gold.
Likewise, the image of the beast is not a literal statue as men suppose, but
a likeness of the first beast, the beast out of
the sea, the likeness of the bestial world system of man.
Saying to them that dwell on the
earth, that they should make an image to the beast,
which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
It is not a natural, literal image that the earth-dwellers, the carnal
Christians make, but a lifestyle, means and methods, structure, organization and
entire system of religion! And it is fashioned after the system of the world!
MARK OF THE BEAST
causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their
For many decades
and centuries Gods people have been speculating about the strange phenomenon John
refers to as the mark of the beast. There
has been an immense increase is such speculation over the past few decades as man has
moved swiftly into the computer age. There has
been much confusion surrounding this mark as people cast apprehensive eyes toward various
events that arise social security numbers, credit card numbers, account numbers,
identification numbers, bar code marking systems, microchips, smaller than a
grain of rice, that can now be implanted under the skin for tracking, health, or economic
information, hand imaging systems, etc. wondering if these developments portend
some future hour which shall climax with a fearful beast or antichrist
demanding that they take a mark, without which they cannot buy or sell, which might
forever seal their doom, or else cause them to give their life in martyrdom as the price
for remaining true to God.
It is a shocking
marvel to see how easily Christians are deceived by the dead letter of
the Word! There is nothing more carnal
than the message men have preached about the antichrist and the mark of the beast. I say that it is carnal because it genders fear, not perfection! It has created a whole world full of Christians
who are cowards waiting to be evacuated off to some far-off heaven somewhere instead of
becoming overcomers right here upon the earth. Above
all, it stresses a natural, physical concept rather than a SPIRITUAL REALITY! Most folks have the idea that the mark of the beast
is the number 666 and that it will be laser tattooed or otherwise applied to,
or inserted in, the right hand or the forehead. Now,
it is true that there is technology available to encode a personal number for every person
for tracking purposes, identification, health information, or to protect our security in
financial transactions; but dont you think that if we all get the same number, 666,
it will be a bit confusing to figure out who is who and whose account is whose? Not only do people not have revelation they
simply dont think! There have been multitudes of people who have
lived their entire lives in fear of the mark
of the beast. They died believing and fearing
that some day this would come. I ask, my dear
brother, my precious sister, what good did it do them to believe that? It did not bring life,
It seems to me
that the key to the thirteenth chapter of the Revelation is found in verse nine: If any man have an hear to hear, let him hear. Throughout the scriptures these words always
accompany statements of profound spiritual significance. It says what it means, and it means what it
says! a Bible-thumping literalist preacher will shout from his pulpit. But I beg to differ.
It says what the Spirit of God says it says, and it means what the Spirit of
God says it means! If the beast and his mark
are to be fulfilled literally then one has but
to read the words with natural eyes, understand them with a natural mind, interpret them
with natural reason, and watch the panorama of world events to see the natural
fulfillment. Any carnal-minded theologian or
even an atheist, for that matter, could figure it out on that basis! But if the message is deeply spiritual, it will be understood only by he
that hath an ear to hear! And so it is
with this truth in mind that we have sought the Lord for an understanding of the spiritual nature of the mark, and would share with you that which has now
been quickened to us. May the spirit of truth
make it personally real to every heart!
have everyone looking outwardly for the mark of the beast and thats exactly what the
dragon inspires get people to look away from the true source, from the spiritual
realm, to fear inanimate objects of mans invention.
Thats the craftiness of the carnal mind every new advance in
technology, each new card, laser, or computer chip surely one of these will be the
mark of the beast imposed upon mankind! The
spiritual mind understands that the mark of the beast is the mark of the second beast, the
one that comes up out of the earth, out of the soulical religious dimension of mans life. It should not be difficult to understand by this
that it is, therefore, first and foremost, a spiritual
mark not an economic or political mark. The
mark of the beast identifies those who have subscribed to the authority, doctrines,
structure, practices, and spirit of the bestial religious orders of man. Practically every Christian living is in some way
associated with, or submitted to, this wanton religious harlot who calls herself the
church. The message of chapter thirteen
of the Revelation is not, Youd better watch out, be very careful or you will
get branded with the mark of the beast. The
message is, instead, that because of carnal-minded religion almost every believer already bears the mark of the beast and we must get rid of the mark of the beast! We must be transformed in the way we think, in the
way we worship, in the way we serve, in the way we act.
Its not a matter of someone stamping, tattooing, burning, or inserting
666 on the forehead. Should the government
arrest me today, knock me out with an injection, and somehow apply the numbers 666 on my
forehead, there is no way under heaven that it could affect my relationship with my
Father, because it would not change one iota the way I think, act, or my heart condition
before God! Therefore, it cannot be an
outward, physical thing! We are dealing with spiritual realities!
You cannot examine any man or any woman physically to determine whether
they have received the mark of the beast. It
is impressed in the forehead or in the hand signifying ones thinking and ones actions!
Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six (Rev. 13:18).
The number of the beast denotes the nature and character
of the beast. The beastly system is
ingrained in the minds of Gods people and they are so saturated with it in their
very natures that they can neither think nor function apart from it. Gods name is not in their foreheads. They do not have the mind of Christ, but rather the distorted mind of
the beast of religion.
They are incapable of either thinking or acting outside the box
of going to church, being religious, and doing things
according to the carnal order of the religious systems. Someone has well said that numbers may not have the appeal of a modern thriller,
Of all the words in the Greek New Testament there are only five words that have a numerical value of 666. There is neither time nor space to study all of these words at this time, but it is interesting to note that the very first one is used thirteen times and that first word with the numerical value of 666 is the word tradition. Isnt that fascinating! (The other four words are perish, side, wealth, and scattered). Jesus used this word tradition when He upbraided the scribes and Pharisees, saying, Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition (Mat. 15:6). While were waiting for the police to arrest us and tattoo a number on our forehead, or while were afraid it might be the bar code on our groceries, the credit card in our wallet, or a microchip under our skin, millions of the Lords people are willing to fight you for their religious traditions and will excommunicate you and declare you a dangerous heretic if you dare to question their time-honored traditions, dogmas, and religious myths, fables, legends, folklore, superstitions, and fairy tales! The church systems are heavy-laden with the traditions of men which have made the word of God meaningless, ineffective, and powerless. When you dare to attack their man-made traditions is when you witness the spirit of the beast rising up out of the earth! We not only want to be free from the beast, but our desire is to have erased from our minds the imagery we have of him, all the traditions in our thought processes that can only be consumed by the blazing light of HIS UNVEILING!
erroneous idea is that the beast forcibly inscribes
or implants this mark upon those who dwell upon the earth.
Yet that is plainly not the testimony of scripture! The Greek here is quite different from the idea
given in the English as to the application of this mark.
Our English version says that the beast causeth all to receive
a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. This
might lead us to think that the mark was forced upon
unwilling men. If you check the margins of
most Bibles, or a Greek Interlinear, you will find that the original states that the false
prophet causeth all
that they should give themselves a mark
The picture behind these words is that of
masses of people cutting or burning the mark upon
themselves as a result of the influence of the false prophet upon their minds and
hearts. Oh, yes!
The people take upon themselves this
mark! This is the result of exposing
themselves day after day, Sunday after Sunday, year after year, to the influence of the
false prophets of the religious systems! Attending
all the services, participating in all the functions, joining all the seminars, reading
all the books, listening to the tapes and CDs, watching hours of Christian
television, like sheep led to the slaughter we yielded ourselves to the teaching, the
program, the traditions, and the system, until we got all committed and so
saturated with its dogma, program, and ways that we could neither think nor function
except in terms of established orders, denominations, non-profit corporations, boards,
creeds, church buildings, programs, activities, meetings, seminaries, rituals, sacraments,
ordinances, etc., etc. We took upon ourselves the mark, the number, the
nature, the character of the bestial system!
This is what
happens to all under the influence of the
beast. John saw that he causeth all,
both small and great, rich and poor, free and
bond, that they should give themselves a mark.
What a word that is! It signifies classes of believers, all in the
church, of whatever condition, stature, status, learning, or degree of growth and
development in Christ, ALL under the influence of the beast take upon themselves his mark. Small and great those who are babes in Christ, and those who have reached positions of
ministry and power ALL alike receive the mark!
Rich and poor those who are rich in word, gifts, abilities, and those
who possess little of spiritual attainments
Greek word which has been translated as mark in our
God has so dealt
by His Spirit in the lives of His called and chosen elect until we have come to loathe and
despise this confused and grotesque bestial religious system of man yet we discover
from time to time that even unto this day this little lamb-like beast is so subtle that it
still seeks to seduce us into bearing its stamp upon our thoughts and actions. Ray Prinzing has pointed out in one of his booklets
that the practices and handiwork of the carnal system,
and the thinking thereof, are not overcome in one grand leap. There is a daily and continual dying to
all the old as we take upon us the new. There
is the constant hating of, and turning our backs upon the bestial system, and every phase
of our soulish life, as we in turn put on the mind of Christ.
I want to know
the Christ, the Lamb of God, not the beast with two horns like a lamb, who speaks as a
dragon. I want to know not just about Him, I
want to intimately and fully KNOW HIM. I want
the Holy Spirit to take the things of Christ and make them real to me. Therefore I am more interested in THE FATHERS
NAME UPON MY FOREHEAD than I am in anything which belongs to the bestial system, since to
bear the mark of God insures one against coming under the other (Rev. 13:8). Now Jesus came to IMPRINT OR IMPRESS HIMSELF UPON MEN!
Even from the time of His first appearance He sought to have His character impressed upon those who followed
Him. When Peter and John had healed the lame
man at the gate of the temple, and addressed the multitude gathered, it is written, Now when they saw this boldness of Peter and
John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with
Jesus (Acts 4:13). Jesus came
not to be just a great teacher or prophet. He
came not to just forgive sins and take people to heaven.
He came to IMPRINT OR IMPRESS HIS CHARCTER UPON US! Just as the influence of the beast causes men to take upon themselves his mark, so those who abide
under the influence of the manifest presence of Christ take upon themselves the marks of His identity. PUT YE ON the Lord Jesus Christ.
Can we not see by this that God is acting to SUPERIMPOSE Himself upon us, completely saturating us, by the instrumentality of Jesus Christ. That is the glory of sonship! Both the Fathers name and the mark of the beast are superimposed upon men. The word superimpose carries with it the idea of the fusion of metals, or even of unrelated elements. In some instances in this fusion, there is no definite line of demarcation left, for both the elements have completely mixed, while in other instances the fusion is there, but the elements do not mix. Today we have various alloys which are metals which have actually mixed together. But this does not always happen. We have an illustration of it in the tabernacle in the wilderness. Different elements were brought together but there was no fusion. The planks in it were all covered with gold, as were various other items and furnishings. The gold was superimposed upon the wood until only gold could be seen. The wood was completely hidden but was not mixed with the gold.
This hiding is what we are being brought to by the sealing of God, but in the end there will be the TOTAL FUSION OF GOD AND MAN. We are from both God and man, our spirit has come from the bosom of the Father, our body and soul from Adam. We are a combination of God and man! Once we were spirits superimposed upon by the life of Adam. Through redemption we are now men with God superimposed upon us through the putting on of Jesus Christ! We have not yet experienced this in its fullness, for when we do we shall have disappeared from sight and only GOD will ever be seen! Now he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. All through the ages God will so combine Himself with us through Jesus Christ that we will be ONE with Him, but only HE shall be seen!
superimposed Himself upon us by measure when He first sealed us with the earnest,
which is the firstfruits of the Spirit. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like
as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts
Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on
all them which heard the word (Acts ).
Here the words upon and on denote SUPERIMPOSITION
upon, over. While the saints tarried,
while Peter spoke the word, the Holy Spirit SUPERIMPOSED THE CHRIST upon all who were
present. And now we continue on from glory to
glory! Praise God, to some degree God has
STAMPED THE IMPRESSION OF HIMSELF UPON US! Daily
growing in grace, knowledge,
Oh to be like Thee, Oh to be like Thee,
Precious Redeemer, Pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, Come in Thy fullness,
Thine own image deep on my heart!
I am blessed by
the following words from the pen of John Macbeath. Christs influence is
attractive; it is authoritative, and it is
assimilative. In the days of his strenuous
apostleship Paul declined the counsels of his friends and claimed the right to tread the
appointed road: From henceforth let no man
trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. What these marks were we cannot precisely
tell. It is certain that he bore traces of
weariness and suffering for Christs sake. Imprisonment,
persecution, torture, left their marks upon a life prematurely old. All sorts of marks are branded on our lives; worry
and care carve their wrinkles on the brow; poverty, toil, dissipation stamp their seal
upon our nature; self-indulgence and evil passion leave their mark somewhere, and the mark
will not always hide. Purity, refinement,
high-mindedness inscribe their form upon o
But there are other marks, the marks of likeness, traces of resemblance, evidence that we are being changed into the same image. Divine dream and human hope meet here! Gods high purpose is that His people should be conformed to the image of His Son. This is sure evidence that human hopes are justified and destined to fulfillment. I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness,
To be continued J. PRESTON EBY
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