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.
To be added to the mailing list to receive the current issue of Kingdom Bible Studies each month:
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE
IN THE KINGDOM
“I am Alpha and Omega…who is, and who was, and who is to come, THE
ALMIGHTY,” speaks the divine voice at the opening of the book of
Revelation. A little later we read,
“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.
And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the
first and the last…” (Rev. 1:17). At
the closing of the book the same voice declares, “I am Alpha and Omega, the
beginning and the end, the first and the last…I
Jesus have sent mine angel to testify these things unto you in the
churches” (Rev. 22:13,16). Centuries
earlier the Lord spoke through the prophet Isaiah, saying, “Thus saith Yahweh,
the King of Israel, and his redeemer Yahweh of hosts; I am the first; and I am
the last; and beside me there is no God”
(Isa. 44:6). Again in Isaiah
48:11-12, “For mine own sake I will do it…and I will not give my glory unto
another. Hearken unto me, O Jacob
and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.” These and a number of other scriptures show that Yahweh is
the first and the last, the only God, the God of Israel, the Almighty.
In the book of Revelation Jesus Christ is the first and the last, the
Almighty. Let the saints of God
arise to the wonderful truth that JESUS CHRIST IS THE YAHWEH OF THE OLD
People have great difficulty understanding an abstraction, a force, or a
spirit. It must be personalized, it
must take form, and that is why God has come in the person of Jesus Christ so
that we might see Him and see what God is like.
That is why in the book of Colossians the apostle Paul says of Christ,
“He is the exact likeness of the unseen God — the visible representation of
the invisible…for it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on
earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers or
authorities; all things were created and exist through Him and in and for Him”
(Col. 1:15-16). Therefore, the
embodiment referred to as Jesus in the physical world, in the atomic world, is
the invisible Yahweh who exists in a Spirit or Light World.
He is Almighty Creator of everything in heaven and in earth!
“In the beginning God created
the heavens and the earth.” Other
scriptures tell us that it was Yahweh who is the great Creator!
Glorious, indeed, and wonderful beyond human description is the great
truth that the book of Revelation is the unveiling of God-Yahweh-Yahshua — the
invisible Almighty God who came to earth as our Lord Jesus Christ!
The great Yahweh appeared to Israel in a cloud and a pillar of fire.
He lived in that pillar of fire and led Israel daily.
At the dedication of Solomon’s temple He announced His coming as a
great cloud that appeared to all the assembly of Israel, so bright and glorious
was the cloud of His presence that the ministers could not minister because of
the blinding, overwhelming glory. Then
one day the same Yahweh was manifested in a virgin born body that was prepared
for Him. The God that tabernacled
above the tents of Israel, who tabernacled in the temple on mount Moriah, now
took on Himself a tent of flesh and tabernacled as a man amongst men. But He was the SAME GOD!
The Bible teaches that GOD WAS IN CHRIST. The body, the outward
human form, was Jesus, the Son of God.
In Him dwelt and dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, bodily
(Col. 2:9). Nothing can be plainer
than that! Mystery, yes.
But actual truth — it can’t be plainer!
No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the
bosom of the Father, He has declared Him — He has revealed Him, brought Him
out where He may be seen; He has interpreted Him, and He has made Him known so
that he who has seen the Christ has seen the Father (Jn. 1:18; 14:9). The One who walked by the sea of Galilee and through the
dusty roads of Palestine was none other than the living God, Yahweh in human
form, the Creator who humbled Himself and came into this world.
This One who died, who rose again, who ascended up far above all heavens
that He might fill all things, who sits upon the throne of the Majesty on high
and who has entered into our lives by the power of His Spirit — this Lord
Jesus Christ is Himself THE ALMIGHTY! “I
am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending...the
Almighty” (Rev. 1:8).
I have no desire to dispute doctrines about the Godhead.
I am sure each of us has our understanding of God, how God is one and how
God is three, and all the rest of it. I
am not writing to debate those issues, rather to point out a truth which the
Spirit has made very real to my heart. There
are many kinds of terminology that we still use that are not the Spirit’s
terminology. They are not what the
Spirit has witnessed concerning God, but terms that men have coined to express their conception of the Godhead!
Many of these terms have come right out of the darkness of religious
carnal minds and the Lord’s people have embraced them and parrot them as
though they were divine revelation! Christians
talk about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
Did you know there is not a scripture in the Bible that talks about God
the Son? There is not a scripture
in the Bible that speaks of God the Holy Ghost!
Yet the title “God the Father” appears many, many times throughout
the New Testament. “To us,”
Paul said, “there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we
in Him” (I Cor. 8:6).
Jesus is always referred to as the Son of
God — not God the Son. Now you
say, “Wait a minute, brother Eby, are you telling me Jesus isn’t God?”
Not at all! I am saying that
He is not called God the Son. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is most often referred to as the
Spirit of God — not God the Holy
Spirit. God Himself said, “I will
send my Spirit; I will pour out my
Spirit.” He nowhere said, “God the Holy Spirit will come to you.”
Do you see what I mean? We
use terminology that has been formulated by the theologians of the church
systems, but which are not found in the word of God!
Jesus said that the Father had sent Him, and that the Father is God.
So to us there is one God who is the Father! The question follows — Was Jesus God? Absolutely! But
did you know that the God in Jesus was the Father?
What did He say? “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).
Can you imagine GOD saying, “I can of mine own self do nothing?”
Yet Jesus confessed that He, of Himself, could do nothing! Only the Father in Him could speak and do the works!
So what I am saying is, THE
GOD THAT WAS IN JESUS WAS THE FATHER! “Great
is the mystery of godliness: GOD was manifest in the flesh” (I Tim. 3:16).
Not God the Son manifest in flesh. GOD
was manifest in the flesh!
The great Indian apostle and mystic, Sadhu Sundar Singh, was caught up in
the Spirit. I know not whether he
was in the body or out of the body, but he was caught up in the Spirit and saw,
in Spirit, the throne of God. Just
as John saw, when on Patmos he was caught up in Spirit, Sadhu Sundar Singh saw
the throne of the heavens of God’s Spirit and “there was ONE who sat upon
the throne.” He did not see three
thrones! He did not see God the
Father sitting on one throne, God the Son sitting on another throne, and God the
Holy Ghost upon a third throne. Nor
did he see one throne with three Gods seated upon it!
He saw one throne and on the throne he saw One sitting, and the One he
saw was Jesus. He saw Jesus sitting
on the throne! But emanating,
radiating out of Jesus in a never-ending and all-encompassing effulgence of
glory, majesty, wisdom, power, dominion, love, mercy and goodness was the
Father! Shining out of Jesus was
the scintillating glory of the Father so that Jesus could say, “Have I been so
long time with you, and yet thou hast not known me?
He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show
us the Father?” (Jn. 14:9).
My heart’s desire and prayer to God is that all who read these pages
may now see themselves in Christ.
May God enable you by His Spirit to see yourself IN CHRIST!
God’s elect, God’s chosen ones, Christ’s many brethren are the
body of Christ. God has one
glorious Christ who is composed of many members. Jesus Christ our wonderful Lord is the Head of this Christ
body and we are members in particular. To
all who have received the call to sonship Jesus says, “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
yet John sees only one throne and One
seated upon the throne! The mighty,
eternal, all-embracing truth of it is that when all God’s sons are seated in
Christ, who is in the Father, upon
that awesome throne of the heavens there is still only One
that can be seen upon the throne! Truly
we are able to say, “It is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth
in me.” And the Lord Christ
witnesses, “It is not I, but my Father that dwelleth
in me.” Oh, the mystery of
it! Oh, the wonder of it!
If you today can by the Spirit see that one throne where the King of
glory is seated in all the fullness of the nature, power, glory, wisdom, love
and majesty of God, and see yourself seated in Him, then
you know what UNION IS! Then
you know what SONSHIP IS! If you are
able to comprehend these simple truths, you know more about the Godhead than all
the theologians of Babylon!
May the beautiful words of the prophet fall with divine understanding
upon our spiritual ear. “For unto
us a child is born, unto us a Son is given…His name shall be called…the
Mighty God, the Everlasting Father” (Isa. 9:6).
It does not say mighty man, but Mighty God.
A little child is called the Mighty God!
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. As a child
born to us, He is called the Mighty God; as a Son given to us, He is called the
Everlasting Father. This is very
strange, is it not? When the child
is called the 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 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, 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.
When Jesus came, He came to take the place of Adam — to fulfill the
eternal purpose of God for man to be the
expression of God to the whole universe!
Is that not why God created all things in the heavens and the earth, then
as the crowning glory of His creation He brought forth in the earth man
in the image and likeness of God. It
was by, through, and in man that creation would see, touch, and know the
invisible God. Man was destined to
be the manifestation and revelation of the invisible Creator to the visible
creation! When Christ came as the
last Adam, to fulfill that great purpose which had been aborted in the first
Adam, His 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 toward God!
“I will live unto God. I
will live by the Father.
I will draw upon His life. I
will be simply a vessel filled with God! I
will express Him, manifest Him, reveal Him.
I will do nothing 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, but God the Father will be in me, living out His life,
speaking His words, acting out His purpose, and working through me His glory,
power, and will.” That, my beloved, is sonship! And
that is how the child became the Mighty God, and that is how the Son became the
Everlasting Father! Sweet mystery
When Jesus came into the world He said two things.
First, “A body hast Thou
prepared me” (Heb. 10:5). 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 gives me these unique physical capacities,
and I am able to express outwardly what I am inwardly. Well, Jesus Christ said, “I will not express what I am; I
will express what HE IS!” As I
have pointed out earlier, Jesus also said, “I do nothing of myself.”
Oh, my! That is just
contrary to what we have thought. We have thought that Jesus was the second Person of the
Godhead, and He could do anything!
Yet He plainly said, “I do nothing of myself.”
“As I hear, I judge.” “What
I see the Father do, that I do.” In
effect He 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.” This
is the man Jesus speaking! If
Jesus were the second Person of the Godhead, as the theologians tell us, He
could never say, “Of myself I can do nothing.”
Imagine God saying, “Of
myself I can’t do anything!” One
impotent God waiting for another more powerful God to act!
Oh, no! The man Christ Jesus
is saying, “As a man, I can do nothing. But
the Father, the Mighty God who dwells in me, who is my life, my reality, He can
do all things!” And that, my
beloved, is sonship!
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 when I take a journey.
When the cloud of my Father’s presence within me begins to move, I move
with the cloud. Now I’m going to Galilee, then to Judea, and then across
the river. I never anticipate
anything. I just walk as my Father
walks. He guides me this way, and
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 speak, unless the Father had something to say.
He did not heal, unless the Father in Him was healing.
He had no desire to do anything
— just 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.” And
that, precious friend of mine, is how the child became the Mighty God, and the
Son became the Everlasting Father! That is sonship!
Now here is the second thing Jesus said when He came into the world.
“I delight to do Thy will, O God!”
Jesus never stopped to consider whether 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, because it was the Father’s life.
Whatever His Father willed moment by moment, that was all He could will.
“I come to do Thy will, O God.”
The record states of Jesus, “And when even was come, they brought unto
Him many possessed of devils: and He cast out the spirits with a word” (Mat.
8:16). That word was not Christ’s
word at all! I do not believe that
Jesus ever cast out a devil. I do
not believe that Jesus ever healed anybody.
I believe what Christ Himself said, “The words that I say unto you I
speak not from myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, HE doeth the
works.” Who did the works? The
Father! Did Jesus do them?
No! Oh yes, the record does
say that He did mighty works, but Jesus made it plain that it wasn’t really
Him at all, it was the Father, the Mighty God, who dwelt in Him.
Jesus never said that He did any works!
Men recorded that He did, but Jesus said, “My Father worketh hitherto,
and I work” (Jn. 5:17). In other
words, it was the Father that worked in and through Him.
All glory to the Father! The
words which flowed from the Christ’s lips were not the words of Christ at all.
They were the words of the Father. For
you see, Jesus was possessed. He was
possessed by a Spirit.
He was possessed by God!
Jesus never said to a sufferer, “Brother,
be of good cheer!” All Christ’s
words were the words of the Father! He
always said, “Son, be of good
cheer!” Was that not the Father
speaking? When He said to the woman
who touched the hem of His garment and was healed of the issue of blood, “Thy
faith hath made thee whole,” did He call her “sister”?
Was it our Brother or our Father who was speaking?
Hear what He says! “Daughter, thy
faith hath made thee whole!” These
were the words of the child who was the Mighty God, and these were the words of
the Son who was the Everlasting Father!
My spirit is stirred with the knowledge that the Father was in the Son, deity was in
humanity. There was no revelation
of sonship until Jesus came and revealed the Father in human flesh.
Since the child has become the Mighty God, and the Son has become the
Everlasting Father, we are to honor the Son even as we honor the Father!
The beloved John saw a throne set in the heavens of God’s Spirit, and One sat upon the throne. He
that sat was to look upon as a jasper and a sardine stone, and there was a
rainbow round about the throne, with a glory like unto an emerald.
And yet — in the midst of the throne He saw a Lamb as it had been slain!
The One who sat upon the throne
was also a Lamb! And the little
Lamb was furthermore the Lion of the tribe of Judah!
And in the midst of the throne
were four living creatures. Four is
the number of universality. It
speaks of that which is world-wide, all-encompassing in relation to earth.
Again and again the Revelation speaks of the “four winds” of the
earth, the “four corners” of the earth, and the “four angels” with their
action earthward. The four
“living creatures” in the midst of the
throne represent the worldwide or universal expression and revelation of THE
LIFE OF THE GOD OF THE THRONE! They
are the figure of all the overcomers, of all the holy sons of God who sit with
Christ upon His throne! Just as the
twenty-four elders round about the throne
represent the ministry of priesthood, so the four living creatures in the midst of the throne represent the power of kingship.
Kings and priests! These are all pictures of THE THRONE. Understand what is in
the throne and you will understand the greatness of the One who sits upon the throne! There
is One who sits upon the throne, yet
that One is also a Lamb, He is as well
a Lion, He is furthermore Four Living Creatures, and in addition He is
Twenty-four Elders. All of this is
included in the revelation of the throne! “And
when He had taken the book, the four
living creatures and four and twenty
elders fell down before the Lamb…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.
5:8-10). Oh, yes! There
is only One upon the throne, but that One is a MANY-MEMBERED ONE, THE RULING
FAMILY OF GOD, THE FATHER AND HIS SON WITH HIS MANY BRETHREN BROUGHT TO GLORY!
I am still speaking of Jesus Christ who is “the Almighty.”
Paul says in II Corinthians 3:17, “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. Then
again Paul tells us, “And so it is written, the last Adam was
made A QUICKENING SPIRIT” (I Cor. 15:45).
Today’s Christians, steeped in the false doctrines of the church
systems, 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 the whole Bible which says that Christ is in
the Spirit! “Christ is in
the Spirit” is, therefore, a traditional saying, whereas “The Lord IS the
Spirit” is the scriptural expression. This
is made very plain in chapter eight of Romans, as well as many other passages.
“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 Christ, he
is none of His” (Rom. 8:9). The
Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are one
Spirit! And there is an even
greater mystery than this! “He
that is joined unto the Lord is one
spirit” (I Cor. 6:17). Oh,
the wonder of it!
made a quickening or Life-giving Spirit, Paul explains.
The last Adam, of course, is the Word 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 Word was made flesh and
became the last Adam, and then through death, resurrection, ascension and
glorification, became THE LIFE-GIVING
SPIRIT! “Now the Lord is the Spirit.”
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 Spirit. He must go
away. He must be glorified.
“If I go not away, the Comforter will not come.
I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME UNTO YOU.”
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.
He was glorified, He was truly spiritualized!
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. And to
as many as receive Him, to them gives He the power to become the sons of God! God be praised! Jesus
has been glorified! The child has
become the Mighty God! The Son has
become the Everlasting Father! The
Lord has become the Spirit! There
is now the Spirit of the glorified Jesus and we have received Him!
Christ in us is our hope of
glory, and our reality of sonship to
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 flesh, bones and muscles, and makes blood and other body fluids.
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. B vitamins
are good for the nerves. Niacin
builds healthy skin.
In order to
supplement your diet and get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs you
can go to the store and
purchase them in tablet form. There
you will find bottles containing calcium, bottles containing iron, others of
niacin, vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, D, E, etc.
You could soon fill your entire cabinet with bottles of all kinds of
vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other food supplements.
But the supplement 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 fifty different pills — you just take the one!
This one is the all-inclusive dose!
And friends, have we ever realized that Christ
the Spirit is the best and most all-inclusive “dose” in all the world?
HE is the one complete dose which is enough to meet all our spiritual
need! HE is the raw material of
the new creation man! HE is the
stuff sons of God are made of! The
Spirit of Christ is all that God is! Christ
in us is our hope of glory!
And we are the hope of
body needs all the vitamins and minerals in order to develop and function.
The body of Christ, the new
creation man, the sons of God need
the all-inclusive dose of the quickening Spirit of Jesus, the last Adam, in
order to grow up unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and
be perfect God-men. God is
preparing to manifest His sons to deliver creation from the bondage of
corruption. We shall see the glory,
wisdom, and power of God’s Christ manifested in all fullness in a many-membered
body right here upon this earth! How
can we attain to this? By taking
liberally of the all-inclusive dose
of the Life of God in Christ!
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. This life was in man’s very spirit. The tree of life was the all-sufficient “dose” which
would have built eternal spirit life in Adam, making him in turn the very source
of that life. But Adam refused his
“dose” of incorruptible life, choosing rather to live from the devitalized,
insufficient junk-food of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in his
soul. Consequently, Adam quickly
sank into degeneration, weakness and death.
In the natural, a person who does not get enough vitamins may have poor
eyesight, rough skin, sore gums, or a host of other ailments. People who are too thin or feel tired much of the time
usually need more nutrients. There
are ugly diseases, such as pellagra, scurvy, and beriberi, that occur when the
body does not get enough vitamins. We
have all seen the debilitating diseases of osteoporosis, arthritis, heart
trouble, cancer, and others that often come from a lack of proper nutrients.
Have you not seen the pictures of the pitiful children in third-world
countries suffering from acute mal-nutrition?
The eyes are large and protruding, cheeks sunken, stomach bloated, arms
and legs thin and bony, and other awful conditions.
Lorain and I saw this scene thousands of times when we were on the
mission fields. It is a
heart-rending sight! And friend,
this is the spiritual portrait of old Adam!
It is also the spiritual portrait of millions of professed believers in
Christ in all the churches of the world! This
is the picture of the horrible spiritual image into which men sink when they
refuse, or cannot acquire, their “dose” of the all-sufficient life of God in
Christ! This is the sad
result of the deficient diet of the tree of religion’s empty forms, lifeless
ceremonies, man-made doctrines, carnal programs, vain traditions and
commandments of men — the tree of the knowledge of good and evil!
mankind today, enslaved by 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 destined him to be from the beginning!
And religion hasn’t helped one bit.
Religion has brought mankind their “Care Package” of religious
junk-food, religion has given men a little strength and cosmetically dressed up
the outside and made men appear a little better, but the internal disease is
still raging out of control. Death has passed upon all men.
But, blessed be God! God is
forming a people into the image of His Son to bring to all mankind the
all-sufficient dose of the incorruptible life of God! He has reconciled us to Himself
through Jesus Christ, and has given unto us the ministry of
reconciliation! “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 BY HIS LIFE” (Rom. 5:10).
It is wondrously true! We have
been reconciled by Christ’s death, and we are
being saved by His life! Yes, we shall be saved COMPLETELY, spirit, soul and body, by
His life! Through the death of His
Son God has opened Eden’s gates, and brought us back into the garden of God!
In the garden, in the tree of life, God has again made available to us
the all-sufficient dose! Within the Spirit of Christ there is an all-sufficient
supply! Everything we need to be
God-men is contained in the Lord the Spirit!
We are now becoming what we have
never been. We are now becoming all
that man was intended to be. We are
now becoming the sons of God! We
are now able to live in His sight!
There is no need to cry, beg, or fear.
We have only to draw near with a confident heart, and full expectation of
faith, to take Him, eat of Him, appropriate Him.
We are being saved, changed, transformed BY HIS LIFE!
Is it not
therefore wonderful that Christ should be called the True Light, the Truth, the
Life, the Resurrection and the Life, the Holy One, the Just One, the First and
the Last, a Just God and the only Saviour, the Mighty God, the Everlasting
Father, the Lord the Spirit, God our Saviour, the Creator and Maker of all
things, God over all, blessed forevermore, who only hath immortality; our Lord
and our God, whom we are commanded to worship, and whom all the angels of God
are commanded to worship, for unto the Son He saith, “Thy throne, O God, is
for ever and ever” — is it not wonderful, I say, that this Jesus Christ
declares Himself to be “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which
is, and which was, and which is to come — THE ALMIGHTY!”
John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the
kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for
the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9).
the supreme distinction, and the everlasting honor, of being our Lord’s most
intimate friend on earth. And what
an exalted light that casts on the character of John, on the qualities of his
spirit, and on the disposition of his heart!
When we would know all about a man, the first question we may ask is,
“Who are his friends?” “Who
is his most intimate friend,” we seek to know, for any man is known by the
company he keeps and by the friends he chooses.
And when we ask this question about our Lord, the answer comes back,
“John — he was the disciple whom Jesus loved!”
He was one of the twelve, the one who leaned on his Master’s bosom at
the last supper. And he was the
disciple, above even her own sons and daughters, to whom Jesus from the cross
committed the care of His grief-stricken mother.
Jesus, at the opening of His ministry, had a whole multitude of disciples who
followed Him about. But both the
needs of His heart and the nature of His work led the Christ to make a
selection, and to choose an inner circle of more intimate friends out of that
large and loose multitude. And
after much prayer, and listening carefully to the voice of the Father within
Him, Jesus at last chose just twelve men to have them always with Him.
They were more than His staff, they were His friends, His very brethren.
But as time went on, both the drawing of His heart, and the discernment
of the Father’s purpose in each of the chosen ones, led their Master to make
yet another selection of still more special associates, inside the circle of the
twelve. And thus we may notice as we read through the Gospels from
chapter to chapter, we read less and less of the nine, and more and more of that chosen three — “Peter, James, and John.”
And then, even of the select three, John more and more stands out as the
loved disciple — the special, distinct, prominent, and by far the most
intimate friend of his Master!
The root of
all friendship is always found in likeness — in likeness of nature, likeness
of character, likeness of mind, likeness of interests, likeness of tastes,
likeness of purpose. What a
validation that is, then, of John’s heart, character, and purpose — to be
told that, out of all the men that our Lord met with and chose as His associates
while on earth, John was the man He best loved and made His closest and most
intimate friend! What a close and
precious relationship they had! This
is clearly and powerfully revealed in John’s Gospel, for far above the other
three Gospels, John wrote not about the day by day happenings in the outward
ministry of Jesus, but of the deep
things of the Father made known to man by the Son of His love. The depth, the spirituality, the heavenliness, the supreme
divineness of John’s Gospel makes it a perfect miracle of revelation, truth,
and inspiration. How close must
have been the likeness, how deep the love, and how perfect the friendship
between Jesus and John! Little
wonder, then, that when the time came for the full and complete REVELATION OF
JESUS CHRIST, that it was to John that the heavenly vision came! And John is himself in the book of Revelation a type —
representing that chosen elect, the footstep followers of the Lamb, who follow
their Lord all the way from mount Calvary to mount Zion; the little remnant who
turn from all the delusions of the church systems and the carnality of their own
ways and wills, to lean upon His breast, to know the beat of His heart, to sup
with Him in the secret place, partaking of His mind, filled with His love, one
with His purpose. These have a
higher heritage and are heirs to a higher calling. These have privileges, and duties to perform.
These blessed ones are about their Father’s business.
These are arising and beginning to shine, going forth and leading the way
for all who will follow. These are
the sons of love. These have ascended into the heavens of God’s Spirit, they
have beheld the throne set in heaven, they have stepped into the day of the
Lord, and to them is given the kingdom of Heaven!
COMPANIONS IN THE KINGDOM
who also am your brother…and companion
in the kingdom of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9).
think that the kingdom of God has been held in abeyance, it has been held up in
heaven somewhere, until Jesus comes back and establishes it in the earth.
Why, my beloved friend, you are just about two thousand years behind
time! Don’t you know Jesus
already came and established His kingdom in the earth?
“Now after that John was put into prison, Jesus came into Galilee,
preaching the good news of the kingdom of God, and saying, the time is
fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is
at hand: repent ye, and believe the good news!” (Mk. 1:14-15).
“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom
of God is preached, and every man is
pressing into it” (Lk. 16:16). You
say, “Well, we’re waiting for Jesus to come back and make the kingdom take
over.” Well, my beloved, He has
come back in you in His fullness to
make it take over! “That you may
be accounted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: when the
Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven…when He shall come to be glorified in
His saints, and to be admired in all
them that believe in that day” (II Thes. 1:5-10).
That’s how it’s going to take over!
There will be no other take over of the kingdom of God except it comes in
and through you who are hearing the word of the kingdom, who by faith and
obedience are entering into the kingdom of God.
The kingdom has been planted in the earth and God is now preparing and
equipping a company of king-priests to expand it, extend it, and increase it,
until every enemy is defeated and all things are subdued unto Jesus Christ the
glorious day the firstborn Son of the living God walked among men and announced,
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.”
The new reign of God had come to the birth! The call went forth throughout all the earth in the power of
the Spirit for men to become willing subjects of the kingdom of God.
First twelve, then seventy, then vast multitudes responded to the call.
On the day of Pentecost alone about three thousand precious souls,
quickened by the Holy Spirit with eyes to see and ears to hear, answered the
call and were gathered into the reign of God.
No longer did devout men wait for the kingdom, but they were in it, and
they ate new heavenly food and drank new heavenly wine with Christ in the
kingdom of heaven! Let God be
praised! For His rule in ransomed hearts had begun.
Everywhere men and women were translated out of the kingdom of darkness
into the kingdom of God’s Son. Even
in lonely exile on the isle of Patmos, John the disciple could exult that he was
a brother and a companion to the saints “in
the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.”
of God is established in that domain where God’s saving
power has defeated all opposition, broke down every wall, transformed all
that is contrary to God’s nature, mind, and will, and has brought men into
willing submission to His authority. Where
the nature of God and the mind of Christ have mightily conquered, the state of
things is called the Kingdom of God.
Where hearts are changed, where sin and error and darkness have been
defeated, where truth and righteousness advance, where the will and ways of God
are raised up as reality and life in a people, where the mind of Christ rules
out of union with God — there the
kingdom of God has come and is advancing! In
the kingdom it is no longer God ruling over
you by His sovereignty from without, but the life, mind, heart, nature,
power, wisdom, knowledge and will of God entering
into you, becomes your very own reality.
of God that John was in, and the kingdom of God that I am proclaiming today is
composed of that company of elect sons of God who have aligned themselves with
God; who lean upon His breast, who listen to His voice, who put on His mind, who
obey His commands, who walk in His nature, who do His will and carry out His
divine purpose in the heavens and on the earth. They are loyal subjects of His kingdom, for they ever do His
bidding. Their King is the Lord God
Almighty and He is their Father. They
obey without question; for it is their nature to do only and always those things
that please the Father! They are
true citizens of the kingdom of God! They
are first under His rule and authority, but they are ambassadors of that divine
and heavenly kingdom. They are
heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ! They
are destined to share all His glory and sit with Him upon His throne!
They are the members of the government of God and the kingdom of heaven
is expressed through them and the power and the glory of the kingdom is being
committed into their hands for the age and the ages to come.
for John who, in the dark distress of inhospitable Patmos, could testify, “I
am your brother and companion in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.”
He was on Patmos, but he was in
the kingdom! While the irons wore
deep grooves in his arms and legs, through the long nights and the cold ground,
while the rats scrounged for food, scurrying around and over the sleepers, John
was living in the righteousness, peace, and joy of the kingdom!
It was not on Patmos, but in the
kingdom, that God spoke to John, and started showing John things, and He
opened up to him like you would do when putting one of your video tapes in the
VCR and playing it through the television.
As the gulls wheeled and screamed, John was lifted up in spirit so he
could see the outworking and consummation of God’s great plan of the ages.
All the vain things of this age passed away and the real was in the
panorama before him.
passed the vision of the church. He
saw the condition for centuries to come. It
was a mix of tragedy and triumph. He
saw the four living creatures of God’s divine life and dominion revealed in
the holy sons of God in the midst of the throne, and he saw the twenty-four
elders of the Royal Priesthood round about the throne, emanating from the throne
in grace, mercy and restoration for all creation.
He saw the Lamb upon the throne open the book of God’s great dealings
and purposes. He saw the seals of revelation
opened, he heard the trumpets of initiation
sounding their herald, and the vials of consummation
bringing an end to all that opposes the kingdom. He saw the horses of conquest desolating that earth which we
are, and he saw those slain who laid down their
lives that they might take up the life
of Christ. He saw the stars of
human wisdom fall from the heavens of men’s minds like the wind shaking figs
from a fig tree. Every mountain of
man’s kingdom, every stronghold of fleshly dominion was shaken so violently
that none remained in its original place. The
sun and moon that lighten the outer court were darkened, the trees and grass
growing out of the earth of the carnal
nature, and bearing the fruit of the works of the flesh, were completely burned
up, and Mystery Babylon the Great fell.
staggered as he witnessed the sealing of the hundred and forty-four thousand
sons of God, with the Father’s name in their foreheads, standing in the
authority of God’s kingdom upon the heavenly mount Zion.
With amazement John gazed upon the great multitude that no man could
number, the vast company of earth’s redeemed, clothed in the white robes of
Christ’s righteousness, with palms of victory in their hands, singing praise
to God and to the Lamb. He saw a
new heaven of spiritual dominion and a new earth of righteous expression.
He saw the city, not the city of Rome with her pomp and power, but the
glorious city of God which originates in the heavens of God’s Spirit.
He saw the manchild upon the throne, and the great dragon of deception,
accusation and death cast into the abyss. He
saw the refining inferno of the lake of divine fire which burns for the ages of
the ages until all things are purified and God is All-in-all.
Then he saw “every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the
earth, and such as are in the sea, and all
that are in them, saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto
Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever!”
John is our
companion in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ!
There is on Patmos a grotto enshrined today as the place where John
received the Revelation, but it was not there that he saw the glory of the
unveiled many-membered Christ of God, for John was in
the Spirit on the Lord’s day when he saw all these things.
You can climb Patmos’ rocky slopes, you can stand there in the grotto
and receive nothing. I have stood
there upon that lonely mountain myself, and I testify that I received no
enlightenment there. God is not on
Patmos! It is in the holy mountain
of God, upon the spiritual mount Zion, in the heights of the kingdom realm of
God’s Spirit, that God is seen,
touched, and known. Those sons who
are walking with God in the Spirit today are eye-witnesses of His majesty, and
have heard the Voice from heaven as they stand with the Lamb upon the holy
mount. We are companions with
John — with Jesus — in the kingdom of God!
J. PRESTON EBY
Links to other ministry websites
Not finding what you need? SEARCH HERE