Note: J. Preston Eby, in order to continue to devote his full energy to writing no longer works in the office and does not receive this email. He does, however, respond to any urgent correspondence via snailmail.
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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE 144,000 ON MOUNT ZION
I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the
In order to understand the deep mystery of the hundred and forty-four thousand we must see beyond the veil of flesh and the mists of the earthly and literal and see right into the heart of God with the eyes of the spirit. Many novel views have been promoted as to the identity of this blessed company. We have met some through the years who felt that they and their group fulfilled this prophecy. I heard of one group who purchased property out in the desert for the “training” of the 144,000 in the “last days,” and another that purchased a large ranch in the mountains for the same purpose. Both of these failed pitifully to reach the anticipated number of members! We know of one well-known group who founded an organization with the idea that that particular organization would comprise the 144,000, and they grew so rapidly that after a while they actually exceeded this figure and were compelled to create “another calling” for the late-comers into the movement.
first met the 144,000 in chapter seven of the Revelation where they were
“sealed with the seal of the living God.”
The question often arises as to whether the 144,000 in chapter seven and
the 144,000 in chapter fourteen are the same group. Some have wondered whether this could be another, separate group of 144,000. The answer is NO! Look at verses six, eight, and nine in our
present chapter. John makes differences
clear: “And I saw another angel…” (vs. 6).
In verse eight the Greek
hundred and forty-four thousand are not the whole
number of God’s redeemed people. In
verse four of chapter fourteen the 144,000 is called “the firstfruits”
unto God and to the Lamb. They are,
therefore, the elite among all of
God’s people — a select company, called and chosen ones, the feet which stand
upon an eminence — mount Zion. Thus, the
“firstfruits” are not firstfruits
merely in the order of time, but of divine purpose — that ground of precedence
this is no new thing with the seer of
a final question: “Who are those on the platform (that is, on the
throne)?” And he is told, “These are
they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb
whithersoever He goeth — all the way to the pinnacle
do not teach exclusivism — the notion
that God loves and has chosen to redeem and bless only one specific portion of
humanity, to the exclusion of all others.
But I do teach elitism — the
truth that God does not call everyone to the same calling, that there are both least and greatest in the
one hundred and forty-four thousand is not a head-count, but a number representing
who they are. I am confident that out of the ages God
has many more than 144,000! Can you
imagine an age governed by a people filled with the mind of Christ, conformed
to His image, led by His Spirit, endued with the fullness of His authority and
power? Can you even comprehend what it
would be like for 144,000 manifest sons of God (if it were a literal number), 144,000 reproductions of Jesus Christ in
all the glory,
In interpreting scripture, one of the worst things that can be done is to take numbers and interpret them literally rather than discovering the meaning of the number. In other words, the key to the understanding of a scripture with numbers is the value of the number. So, then, we need to ask the Lord, “What does this number 144,000 mean?” The explanation is that 144,000 = 12 X 12 X 1000. Twelve in scripture is the number denoting divine government. We will not take time to explain that here, as we have gone into detail about it in previous studies. Now, twelve times twelve is twelve squared by itself, giving the number 144. One hundred forty-four is thus the divine government of God brought to its highest expression. It is divine government multiplied by divine government — the absolute fullest and most ultimate manifestation of the kingdom rule of God!
THE LAMB AND THE LAMBS
I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the
we find the Lamb standing on
now, as Christ sits enthroned at the right hand of the Father, He reigns in
virtue of the fact that He is a Lamb. He
reigns as a Lamb-King, because God is raising up lamb-kings in the earth, and
it is the work of the Holy Spirit in the earth to establish in each member of
the body of the Lamb in the earth the
nature, and the character, as well as the authority of Him who sits on the
throne. “He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of
mine, and show it unto you” (Jn. 16:14).
It is the work of the Holy Spirit not only to impart unto His people the
power of God, but all that pertains to the exalted Lamb,
His very nature, and character, and life, that He might be here in the earth,
incarnate in His body, to be to you and me, yea, to be through you and me everything that Jesus is upon the
throne. The word used for Lamb
As far as our Lord Himself is concerned, He is not limited at all, but as far as our experience of Him is concerned, there is such a limitation. From the time we experience Christ as the Lamb, we follow Him and begin to progress and advance and make progress in our experience of Christ and receive of His inworking more and more. As we grow in our appreciation of Him He becomes greater and greater to us and in us. Day by day in our experience Christ is becoming greater and greater! At the stage of our experience in which the total triumph of the Lamb is achieved within, Christ is unlimited to us, He becomes all-in-all. It is His almighty strength in the heavens revealed through the weakness of our humanity on earth — the TRIUMPHANT LAMBKIN! Hallelujah!
see Him in chapter fourteen: “A Lambkin
stood on the
manner, my beloved, the first Little Lamb was none other than our Lord Jesus,
the Christ. The Spirit of the Lambkin
was poured out upon a little company of people on the day of Pentecost, the
first of a new spiritual race of men destined to fill the earth and conquer the dragon. The Lambkin has developed in the saints of
God from that small and inauspicious beginning to become a vast company of
lambkins upon the pinnacle of
my deep conviction that within the Lambkin, as we see Him again and again in
the Revelation, is converged the reality of the four living creatures
(kingship) and the twenty-four elders (priesthood). He brings kingship and priesthood together
within Himself. He is the spirit of the
Lamb (priesthood) in the midst of the throne (kingship). He is the Lambkin (priesthood) standing upon
Lamb stood on the
They are with the Lamb. This does not mean merely that they are in the same geographical place. It has a far richer meaning than that! The nearness of His followers to the Lamb is the nearness of will, of desire, of hope, of purpose, of nature, of stature, of ministry. They are with the Lamb. I can tell a person two thousand miles away, “I am standing with you,” and no one would suppose that I was there physically beside them. These have reached the place where they occupy the same road, the same quality of being, the same reality as the Lamb Himself. They are the knights around His person, and they are all stamped with the likeness of the King. They stand for all that the Lamb stands for — humility, sacrifice, victory, sovereignty; just as the followers of the beast bear the mark of the beast, and stand for all that he represents — ferocity, cruelty, brute force. The Lamb Company, whosoever they are, will not have sought out another manner of life. These are followers of Jesus. They stand with Him! They will not deny nor digress from their station and standing in Him. Having His name, nature, and character as a very part of themselves their mind, being His mind, will only seek to express the virtues of Himself. Almighty Father! Just following Him around, just being where He is, being what He is, speaking what He speaks, doing what He does…what a privilege!
THE FATHER’S NAME IN THE FOREHEAD
Lamb stood on the
pictured for us the company of the firstfruits unto
God. These are a company of overcomers
as signified by their having the Father’s name and the name of the Lamb written
on their foreheads. “Him that overcometh
will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and
I will write upon him the name of my
God…and I will write upon him My new name” (Rev. 3:12). A name in the scriptures is descriptive of
the character of the one who bears that name, especially when God gives the
name to that person. Names are very
important and this is why God many times changed the names of some. Jacob, the deceiver, the supplanter,
had his name changed to
of God, the Father’s name in the forehead, is
the mind of Christ. Those who stand
with the Lamb have been renewed in the spirit of their mind and have put on
God’s mind — they think as God thinks, understand as God understands, see as God sees in all things. They have partaken of Christ’s cup. They have followed the Lamb, first, all the
The opening work of this new day of the kingdom is the preparation for reigning of the sons of God! The great work of the seal of God in the forehead is the change of our mind, or more accurately the taking of another mind. The taking of a new mind brings about the existence of a new being, and a new being brings about the existence of a new order! The work that God is doing in His sons in this present hour is not about power. It’s powerful alright, but it’s not about power. It’s about character! The mark of the sons of God is in their mind and in their nature! The present mind of man is polluted and there is no denying the fact. All the appropriations of all the governments, all the laws and ordinances, all the wars and change of governmental systems, all the charity, relief, and social organizations and programs, all the rituals and promotions of religion, will do little good whatever in correcting the problems of moral pollution or any other kind of pollution, until the mind of man is cleansed and renewed. The sons of God, having the seal of the living God upon their foreheads, and the Father’s name and the Lamb’s name encoded within their foreheads, are the FIRSTFRUITS OF AN ENTIRELY NEW ORDER OF MEN TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF THEIR MINDS! What glorious hope and expectation this inspires in our hearts!
The nature of God is written in the forehead or mind of every son of God! When the nature of God is written in one’s forehead, how will that one act and react in relation to the enticements of the flesh, the pressures of the world, the needs of mankind, and the snares of the devil? They will act like God! That is why God has no problem in turning His kingdom over to His sons to judge and rule over all things. They possess His mind and heart! The sons will not, and cannot, act any differently than the will and purpose of the Father! All the sons want is what the Father wants! That doesn’t mean, as some suppose, that a son must run to his Father every hour, or every day, or every week inquiring, “Father, what do you want me to do? How should I handle this situation?” and then wait there for an answer. Oh, no! The sons have the mind of the Father, they inherently possess the knowledge of His will, ways, and purpose. Sons instinctively, spontaneously understand the plans of the Father! This sacred knowledge is inborn and inbred in the very constitution of the new creation man!
used to think that in order to get a “word” from God we had to hide out in a
room and pray for an hour. Now don’t
misunderstand what I say — I do believe in prayer and the power of prayer. It is part of the cosmic order of God. No man on earth has walked out this life of sonship more perfectly than our elder brother, the Lord
Jesus, and He prayed often, sometimes all night. But He wasn’t praying to “get” something from
the Father; He prayed because He was a
Son and shared that intimacy of fellowship with the Father. It was the Father in Him that showed Him the works! That is plainly what He Himself said. He knew the Father’s voice within Himself at
all times, for the Father was in Him as His very life and reality. Oh, the wonder of it! When God dwells in His
All that God is doing in His called and chosen ones in this hour is preparation for the manifestation of the fullness of His glory. Therefore God is teaching us His will, He is instructing us in His word, and He is making known to us His ways so that we become the revelation of Himself in the earth. BECOMING — that’s what He’s after!
The wise man has given us the order by which we mature into the full stature of the mind of Christ. “The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath He established the heavens. By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew” (Prov. 3:19-20). Let us note three things from this beautiful passage. One is wisdom, another is knowledge, and the third is understanding. God by wisdom, by knowledge, and by understanding accomplishes a specific work in the cosmos. We find that God by wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding he has established the heavens; and by His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.
I now share this great truth with you in the way the Spirit has communicated it to me. We begin with understanding, for understanding is the first principle in this framework. It is not the first thing the writer names, for he speaks first of wisdom by which the Lord founded the earth. But in the opening verse of the Bible, we find that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The heavens come first, and then the earth. Scientifically, that is the correct order for the formation of the solar system. So we must begin with the establishment of the heavens, and it was by understanding that He established the heavens. This order is further confirmed by the fact that understanding is the instrument by which we discern the word of the Lord. Understanding of necessity precedes wisdom. One can never attain wisdom apart from understanding! Neither can you obtain knowledge until first you possess understanding. If a child in school is unable to understand the material he is studying, he can never gain knowledge. So understanding must come before both knowledge and wisdom!
The apostle John expresses this truth so clearly when he writes, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true…” (I Jn. 5:20). These words teach us the sacred truth that it is only by understanding that we can truly know God! Not by our human understanding, but by the understanding He gives us — the understanding of the spirit! The first step in our journey into the fullness of God is spiritual understanding; we perceive the Lord, we perceive the word, the will, and the ways of the Lord. Knowledge, then, is the fruit of understanding! Have we not often had the cart before the horse? Have we not supposed that knowledge came first, followed by understanding? But such cannot be! If one does not understand a thing he cannot know it! Someone says, “Well, I know a thing but I don’t understand it.” I reply, “When you do understand it, then you will truly know it!” Can you not see how that works? So God first gives us an understanding, that out of that understanding may be birthed knowledge. Understanding is the conception in the womb, knowledge is the development of the organism. First we understand, then we know. And God has given us an understanding that we might know Him! Thus the HEAVENS OF OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE ARE ESTABLISHED BY UNDERSTANDING, as the wise man said! By understanding we perceive spiritual truth and reality, by knowledge that truth is made substance within us, which in turn leads us to wisdom. That is the order!
Webster defines wisdom as “the faculty to discern right or truth and to judge and act accordingly; sound judgment; common sense.” Wisdom bespeaks the correct application of knowledge. Wisdom, therefore, can never precede knowledge; yet one can possess knowledge without wisdom! One may have all the knowledge in the world, but apart from wisdom he cannot correctly apply that knowledge. The divine order of the Spirit is just this — God gives us understanding that we may know Him. He then teaches us wisdom that we may properly express and correctly apply our knowledge of Him.
These great and eternal principles are true in us because they are true in God! God has not established an order for us, His sons, that is different from the order that exists within Himself. What God is doing in this hour is taking all the principles and attributes that are true in Him and establishing them as life and reality within the experience of each of His sons. He is causing us to know Him as He is! That does not mean to know Him by acquaintance, but to know Him in union of life — to know Him in our very state of being until there is nothing more to know! We are coming to know how He is, to know His nature, to know how He thinks, to know how and why He acts, to comprehend His plans and purposes, His will and ways, until nothing is hidden or withheld from us. This is not a knowledge of something outside of ourselves, something true in a God in some far-off heaven somewhere. It is knowledge gained by His incarnation within us, in the union of life, so that all that is true in Him is raised up within us as our very own reality. Servants know God by acquaintance; sons know God by the power of His life within! Oh, the wonder of it!
I am explaining these things in some detail so that together we might clearly see how our Father operates, and therefore how the sons of God function. “The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath He established the heavens. By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.” How did God establish the heavens? He established the heavens by understanding! And by wisdom He founded the earth. And in the process of that creation how did God cause the depths to break up, and the clouds to send down rain? By knowledge He did it! If we think carelessly about these things we will miss much beautiful and significant truth.
Understanding, knowledge, wisdom. Looking at these three we notice that each of them represents a word. Words are the expression of thought. Thoughts are perceptions of reality. In our thinking we perceive, in our words we speak, and the words are simply the verbalization of thoughts. Understanding, knowledge, wisdom — all exist in the realm of mind. If a man has wisdom he has it in his mind. His feet possess no wisdom. His hands possess no wisdom. The wisdom of the mind is channeled through the members of the body by means of words and actions. The same is true of understanding and knowledge. All these exist in mind, and all three bespeak a word — that is the spoken mind. Thus, in relation to God, the mind of the Lord is the fountainhead of understanding, knowledge, and wisdom! In the wonderful work of creation God brought forth out of the omniscience of His mind. God understood, God possessed knowledge, and He correctly applied that knowledge by wisdom. Therefore, by understanding, knowledge, and wisdom God created all things!
With these thoughts in mind we can better understand that it was not by power that our almighty Father created the universe! Did you ever stop to think about that? “The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth.” Yet, for many years I supposed that God founded the earth by power! “By understanding hath He established the heavens.” Did you not think He did so by power? “By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds distill the dew.” But we all imagined that such wonders were wrought by God’s omnipotent power! What awesome power God must have sent forth to do these things! But the wise man says nothing about power. He never mentions it! The deep mystery is that it was from the mind of the Lord, and by His spoken mind (word), that creation appeared. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the WORD of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Heb. 11:3). “And God said, Let there be; and it was so” (Gen. 1:3-26).
Many of the Lord’s apprehended ones have intensely desired and have earnestly sought after God’s power. In the early days of my ministry I sought for power. I fasted and prayed for signs, wonders, and miracles. And the Lord graciously blessed us with great and mighty things! God is still performing signs, wonders, and miracles at times and in places throughout the earth. I have experienced the move of God in that dimension. I have witnessed miracles that to the natural mind are incredible. In those early days great numbers of God’s ministers stepped into that manifestation of divine power. Many who read these lines remember those days when the lame walked, blind received sight, deaf ears were opened, tumors fell off, huge goiters disappeared instantly like the bursting of a balloon, and things needed appeared by the creative miracle of God. Oh, yes! I have witnessed all of those things with my own eyes, and some were even wrought at the laying on my hands. We have seen batteries charged, gasoline created in the tank, and know of many other creative miracles, even fish appearing in a frying pan!
I spent a number of years in those glorious days seeking for more and more of
the power of God. I knew that the
manifestation of power we were seeing was merely a foretaste, a sample, an
earnest and firstfruit of the power yet to be
revealed in the
During the past few decades there has come to many of the Lord’s elect His word of counsel and instruction, saying, “Listen, hearken, my sons, for I will now teach you something very real. Do you want to know me? I will tell you how I am. I am a successful Creator. I made and established the whole universe unto the vastnesses of infinity. I have made both good and evil, I formed the light and created the darkness; I brought forth man and placed him in a garden with two trees and a subtle serpent. I have framed the expanse of the ages, and not only can I do all these things and millions more, but in the end I can bring it all together; every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess, every heart shall surrender, and throughout all the unbounded heavens there will be peace, joy, righteousness, divine order and glory forevermore. You will discern that in all the interplay between the good and the evil; in all the processes of my purposes, there was divine understanding, divine knowledge, and divine wisdom! I knew the end from the beginning, and by my understanding I established the heavens, by my wisdom I founded the earth, and by my knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds distill the dew.”
great and glorious heavenly Father now makes known to His sons the great and
eternal principles upon which He works in creation, redemption, and
restoration. We are His sons! As He is, so are we destined to be. As He works, so
shall we work in the ordering of His kingdom. Once we comprehend how He works, we are
blessed with the wonderful knowledge of our own place and role as heirs of His
kingdom. When the understanding,
knowledge, and wisdom of the mind of
Christ possesses us, we will comprehend the mystery that within that understanding, knowledge,
and wisdom lies the power. This
dimension of power is not the limited, fragmented power we have known and
experienced in the past in the “in part” realm of the gifts. This is the whole,
full, complete, unlimited, unbounded, omnipotent, creative power of the
“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Prov. 24:3-4).
What a blessed confirmation this passage is! Again the three-fold creative process of understanding, knowledge, and wisdom is presented to us. You will surely notice that the passage does not tell us that a house is built by either ability, skill, strength, or power. Oh, no! In these significant words is contained the revelation of what God is doing in, and imparting to, His called and chosen elect who are being raised up to build the kingdom of God in the earth. Every house, the writer to the Hebrews tells us, is built by some man, and He who built all things is God. God builds, establishes, and orders all things in the heavens and the earth by understanding, knowledge, and wisdom! And now, in this great day of the Lord, our wonderful and wise Father is raising up within us the understanding, knowledge, and wisdom of His own glorious mind. He is giving us understanding that we may fully know, perceive, discern, fathom, and apprehend HIM WITHIN OURSELVES. He is unfolding within our spirit the sacred knowledge of all His ways — His plans, purposes, procedures, processes, intents, means, and methods. And He is maturing in us His divine wisdom by which we shall go forth and deliver creation from the bondage of corruption, restoring all things into God again. Oh, sweet mystery of the ages!
Have you ever wondered, dear one, why the Lord has led you down a pathway, not of blessing, glory, and riches, but of temptation, testing, trial, purging, stripping, proving, and suffering? Let us see by revelation of the Spirit that the experiencing of all these things, and our breaking, melting, molding, transformation, and triumph in them, is the very means by which the understanding, knowledge, and wisdom of the Lord is established within our reality. Nothing God has been doing in us through the crucible of His dealings has anything to do with power. In fact, we seem to be stripped of all power, and reduced no nothingness! Ah, but it has everything to do with understanding, knowledge, and wisdom! “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience through the things that He suffered” (Heb. 5:8). These holy things are not learned by the hearing of the ear or the seeing of the eye. It is not by reading these lines that even one of God’s elect will be blessed with understanding, knowledge, or wisdom. Nor do they come through study, searching, listening to sermons, attending meetings, burning the midnight oil, seeking, praying, fasting, or having hands laid on you. They cannot be gained through any self-effort of any kind. They are obtained only through the sovereign inworking of God! Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time!
The great truth that the power of God only flows and functions out of understanding, knowledge, and wisdom powerfully reveals to us how it is that the 144,000 standing with the Lamb upon mount Zion, the pinnacle of rulership and dominion in the kingdom of God, have no scepters in their hands, no crowns upon their heads, no swift horses carrying them into battle, no swords proceeding out of their mouths. All of that comes later, but the deep mystery the Spirit is unfolding to the elect of the Lord is just this — before we can be crowned with authority or gain the scepter of power and dominion, WE MUST HAVE THE FATHER’S NAME WRITTEN IN OUR FOREHEADS!
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
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