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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE SEVEN ANGELS WITH THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES
“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand upon the sea of glass, having the harps of God” (Rev. 15:2).
are inclined to lightly pass over many profound statements of truth in the word
of God. In glorious rapture John beheld
the awe-inspiring scene of the sea of glass mingled with fire, and that
illustrious company of “them that come off victorious,” or literally in the
Greek text, “those conquering away from” the
beast, and from the image of him, and from the number of the name of him,
standing upon this sea. The King James
Bible says that they had gotten the victory “over” the beast, but the Greek
preposition is ek meaning “out of” or “away from,”
signifying the “exodus” of the saints from the bestial nature of the flesh,
from the world and all its power, and from the carnal church systems of
man. The word, also, not only
This people, this corporate people, this
praising people, this overcoming company, those who had harps and were singing,
you can see it, my beloved, this victory away from the beast is that work
which the apostle sets forth in
we are God’s called and chosen elect the world has been crucified to us; it is
dead. It is somewhat like a man who
loves a woman. He greatly loves her and
is ravished by her beauty and grace. But
one day she dies, perhaps even in his arms.
He looks down at her body which just a moment ago was warm and
moving. Now all is still and
silent. The light has gone from the
eyes. Perhaps, if he really loved her,
he might even yet smother her face with his kisses. Wait but an hour or so and that body will
grow cold, and a little longer and it will no longer be soft, but now stiff and
cold. Wait but a few days and it will
begin to rot and stink. A week later one
would not be able to stand to go into the room with it. That is what the Lord says should be
happening in every saint’s life concerning this whole world system, with all
its vaunted success, all of its lofty goals, with all its economics, politics,
and religion. The world has already
received at the cross, its death blow.
Our Lord Jesus not only
Ray Prinzing commented on this passage: “While experimentally the world becomes crucified unto me — so that we no longer have any desire for the things of the world, no lusting for friendship with the world, no latent feelings that can be awakened and stirred up by the world; to make it even more complete, ‘I am crucified unto the world.’ Thus, as far as the world is concerned, you become dead to them also. They have no more desire for you — there is nothing in you that appeals to them, you are as useless to them as a corpse. You cease to exist in their realm. Don’t be amazed, then, if they no longer seek you out or try to fellowship with you. Only those who are quickened to the same new life which you are receiving, can fellowship with you in that life. To all others you are a stranger and a foreigner.” What a word! Truly this identifies “them that have gotten the victory out from the beast…”
stamped upon my memory is the time, many years ago, when we were involved in a
mighty and glorious move of the Spirit of God.
At that time we were flowing with a group of brethren in
however, I must report that it was not long until the harlot of
this dear brother arrived home from that conference he was literally full of these carnal,
As we sought to follow God and walk in the glorious liberty and leadership of the Spirit and the beautiful light of revelation and truth as He shed it upon our pathway, it was not long before we knew within ourselves that we could no longer walk with God and walk with this ministry, too. The spirit within was calling for a separation. We had no inclination to create confusion, strife, division, or disorder, or to endeavor to draw people unto ourselves or have them follow us out to another pasture. We were content to quietly and unpresumingly slip away to follow the paths of Father’s leading in our lives. While we sensed in our spirits the way of the Lord for us in this, we had not shared our convictions with anyone but continued to walk softly, waiting upon the Lord.
I shall never be able to forget that bright Sunday morning when, standing in front of the church building just before the morning service, a sister in the Lord approached me and said, “Brother Eby, I have a word from the Lord I must share with you.” She continued, “The Lord gave me a dream and I saw a funeral in this church. The casket was in place before the platform and the building was packed with people. You were sitting in the first pew in front of the casket. Suddenly, I saw you slip down out of your seat — you crawled under the pew and began to scoot your way under all the pews until you reached the front (entrance) of the auditorium. Then you stood up and simply walked out the front doors.” I thanked the sister for sharing the word while within myself my heart was giving thanks to God for this beautiful confirmation I had been waiting for. The message was just this: There is death in the pot! There is death in the camp! The move of God in this place has come to an end — the revival is dead. You are now attending the funeral. You are sitting in a prominent place in the presence of death. You are not to cause a stir nor even raise your voice publicly in protest. It is time to simply disappear from the scene. “Come away with me, my love!” And so we did.
yes, we had gotten the victory “away from” the beast, from the beastly system
of man, away from the allure of the harlot, away from the path of the flesh,
the world, and the devil! To come “out
from” is to free oneself to “come into” union with Christ in the Spirit! It is
Warnock wrote in one of his books: “We are told that ‘the earnest expectation
of the creature (creation) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.’ Paul tells us that the creation was ‘made
subject to vanity’…not of its own will.
But when man who was put in charge of planet earth, lost his fear of God
— God subjected the rest of creation to vanity.
Yet He did so in hope! For He
purposed that this defiled creation would arise in new splendor, and into ‘the
glorious liberty of the children of God’ (Rom. -21). Creation
does not know why it is groaning, or if there is any hope. But God knows why, and He tells us why: it is
because they have hope of
was not the fault of the lower creation that the animals became wild and
fierce, and the
years ago I read this story about Sadhu Sundar Singh,
a man of
“Perhaps many who read these words are asking, When will God manifest His sons in this manner? But the real question is not WHEN it will happen — but HOW must we prepare our hearts for it to happen? How senseless it would be if we could tame the wild animals that sneak around our home — but have no power to conquer the wild beasts in our own natures, or subdue the beastly hearts of men that fight against the Lamb and His people?” — end quote.
Ah, there you have it! If we cannot overcome the beast within us, nor the bestial system of the world, nor the beastly system of man’s religion, there is no need to think about the wild lions and tigers! The natural is always a picture of the spiritual, and nowhere is this more true than in the imagery of the book of Revelation.
ago, back in seventeenth century
The manifestation of the sons of God is not a doctrine, it is the revelation of the wonderful purpose of God for the next step in the development and triumph of His kingdom. And while it is true, He sets HIS SEAL upon those He has called unto His purposes, there must be also a response on our part, and this is the kind of act that the Lord Jesus is speaking of when he says, “He that has received His testimony hath set his seal to this, that God is true” (Jn. 3:33). Praise God, there is a people, even in this dark hour, who are setting their seal to the truths the Spirit is revealing, agreeing with God, not willing to accept the emptiness of man-made religion as God’s instrument for this hour, unwilling to be content to possess only an earnest of the Spirit or to settle for anything less than HIS FULLNESS, and living in daily anticipation of the GREATER GLORY to be revealed in God’s sons.
There is such a deep desire within to be freed from every aspect of the character of the beast, cleansed and purified, transformed into HIS IMAGE, until the life and glory and power of God shall flow from our lives setting all creation free. Our spirits shout, AMEN! Those who put their seal to the word God is speaking to His chosen ones in this new day of the Lord have a single eye unto HIM. Not a divided vision, for “a doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways…let not that man think that he shall receive any thing from the Lord.” Today he wants to be a son, tomorrow he wants to serve the flesh, or join himself to some harlot system, and in all the vacillating between he will receive nothing from God. All who cherish the beautiful hope of sonship now face the hour of TOTAL COMMITMENT UNTO CHRIST AND TO THE TRUTH, even though it means taking a stand against our own flesh, and all we hold dear, while it is dealt with by His cross.
I have said it a thousand times and will now say it again — I believe I speak the truth when I say that many of us have reached the point of no return — there is nothing to go back to, not in the flesh, not in the world, not in the church systems, there is nothing out of which we have been drawn to which we would return, it is all empty, meaningless, lifeless, worthless, it has all been crucified unto us, and us unto it, and we feel that in some measure we have gotten the victory away from the beast, and away from his image, and away from his mark, and away from the number of his name. It is vain to come out unless we are committed to enter in. We are committed to a course which cannot be altered, for even now as we stand upon the sea of glass mingled with fire, receiving the harps of God in our hands, it is fixed in its destination — His throne! “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne” (Rev. 3:21). Precious friend of mine, have you set YOUR SEAL to the inward testimony of God’s purpose in this hour, and His will in your life? “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. -14).
I have sometimes wondered if after Adam and Eve sinned, they sensed that all around them God’s creation was falling. Did they recognize that creation was already or would soon begin groaning in pain? Adam and Eve did know that they were now different, and that difference was not good! Their nakedness made them feel ashamed. Their hearts wanted to avoid God rather than embrace Him. For the first time in his life Adam looked for a way to place blame instead of affection on his wife, and Eve passed blame along to the serpent, who had deceived her. For such thorough and complete damage to be reversed, something drastic would have to happen. Something powerful. Something unaffected by the creation-wide disaster that had just occurred. God’s words to Adam and Eve hinted at what that something would be and do: a descendant of the woman would crush the head of the serpent! How would that happen? What offspring of the woman would God send to restore all of creation? Amazingly, God would send A MAN to be the crusher! That man is Christ! Ah — it is Christ in you, the hope of glory! “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me,” affirmed the apostle. “Greater is HE that is in you, than HE that is in the world,” John wrote. THE CRUSHER IS WITHIN US!
the Olympic games, to which Paul so often refers,
there were prescribed regulations for each competitor to observe and obey in
order to become eligible to race or to play in the games. These were:
(1) Freemen only were eligible.
An experienced trainer or tutor was required for the competitor to become knowledgeable of every need and detail. The scriptures reveal that our trainer and tutor is Christ Jesus our Lord, who is the Firstborn among many brethren, the Captain of our salvation, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, and the Head of the body of sons. In His own experience and victory He BECAME all of that — and as we concentrate on the hope set before us, looking to that which is beyond the veil, and looking unto Jesus — Christ arises within us in our own experience and leads us to victory! With a trainer and tutor like this, how can we fail? Let us therefore give the more earnest heed, for the words that He speaks to us He speaks within — in the crucible of experience — and the words that He speaks unto us, they are spirit, and they are life! Isn’t it wonderful!
child of God called to sonship is now in school —
under the tutorship of the indwelling Christ.
For those who are consciously growing up into the image, stature, and
fullness of Christ, your daily life and walk with Christ is the classroom in which we have special opportunity to learn to
live as kings and priests in the government of God. We may feel that we graduated from school a
long time ago, but that is a mistake; we hadn’t even started to school at that
time. When you received the call to sonship and began to be drawn out of your former life, out
of your former understanding of God and His purpose, and out from your former religious
associations, it was then, and only then, that you entered the school of sonship under the tutorship of the Christ. When God drew you out of the religious system
and separated you unto Himself you may have felt that you “graduated” into a
new realm — and you certainly did. You
graduated from kindergarten! And immediately you were enrolled in the first
grade of God’s
Varner in one of his sermons shared these challenging and penetrating words:
“The Spirit without the Word is fanaticism.
Revelation without possession is
are certain basic principles of the
are called to reign with Christ from the highest heaven. Such all-embracing majesty is far too vast
for my feeble understanding, yet I know by the Spirit that the body of Christ
is in practical preparation for the explicit purpose of UNIVERSAL
DOMINION. But, as Kelly Varner has
pointed out, how can a man rule over principalities and powers and worlds and
universes if he is unable to rule his own
spirit and his own affairs? “He that
ruleth His own spirit,” said the wise man, “is better
than he that taketh a city” (Prov. ). The awful betrayal, trial, mockery, beating,
and crucifixion of Jesus is the most shining example. It is difficult to imagine any humiliation
more bitter than that. It is the worst
God is a God of principle. He does not
do anything by chance. It is my deep
conviction that what happens in your life and mine is a result of the use or
abuse of the principles of the
those who love God and revere His word, to those who are enrolled in His
Some time ago I read the following story in one of the many magazines that come across my desk. There was a farmer who had an old mule who fell into a well. The farmer heard the mule braying and came to its rescue. But after sizing up the situation, the farmer decided that neither the mule nor the well were worth the trouble it would take to save either. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened along with what he had decided to do; bury the old mule now (in the well) and put him out of his misery. This, the farmer said, would be the humane thing to do. The men immediately got to work and began burying the mule. Of course, the mule became panicky at first. However, as the farmer and his neighbors continued to shovel dirt on him, a thought came to the old mule: every time the men shoveled dirt on his back, he would shake it off and take a step up!
Now the mule did this following each shovelful of dirt that was pitched into the well. Shake it off and step up. Shake it off and step up. SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! No matter how distressing the situation seemed or how painful the falling load of dirt felt, the old mule fought His panic and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up. Thus, it wasn’t very long before the old mule stepped triumphantly over the wall of the well! What appeared to be the end for this mule was just another chapter in its life and what was meant to bury him actually blessed and saved him! And that, dear one, IS THE LAW OF OVERCOMING! The fiery trials, the testings, problems, difficulties, painful situations, onslaughts of the adversary, persecutions, obstacles, stones in our pathway — all can be stumbling blocks that trip and defeat, or we can make them stepping stones to the throne! Ah, yes, we can allow these obstacles to overcome us, or we can draw from the mighty strength of the Victor within and SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! We will soon begin to see that the adversities of life that threaten to “bury” us are laden with potential benefit and blessing — the stepping stones that carry us to a higher realm in God! And when we step out of our own personal well of entrapment, when we step over the wall of that well, we step out into the bright glory of God upon the sea of glass mingled with fire; we receive the harp of God and the divine ability to play its majestic chords of praise while we sing the mighty song of deliverance and triumph — song of Moses and the Lamb. It is graduation day, and now the hour has come to receive the judgment, the authority, the dominion reserved for the sons of the Most High. Oh, the mystery of it!
THE HARPS OF GOD
“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God” (Rev. 15:2).
us now for a moment pay attention to their song. It must not escape our attention that they
sing their song upon “the harps of God.”
This means “harps provided by God,” just as in the phrase, “the
righteousness of God.” Miriam’s timbrel was made by man; so were the harps constructed by
David’s order, and used in the temple service of earth. But these are the harps of God! That is, God Himself has given them their
instruments of music. He is the
craftsman of their harps. He is at the
same time the author
of their song.
It follows that these melodious instruments reveal the great truth that we, as God’s elect, are called and chosen to be instruments of praise in which there is found only perfect tuning. As we receive these harps there is no more of the carnal discord of egocentricity, professional form, and fleshly zeal which have marred our praise. Our spirits, perfectly tuned to the will and way of our Father, will sound a perfect unison with all of creation. As we ascend into the throne zone in our high calling in Christ, there is no dissonance in that glorious rendition, for every fiber of our being vibrates with the praise of the Lamb who has made us kings and priests unto God!
now we can plainly see that the idea is not that everyone will one day go to
heaven and learn to play a harp, but that there is a realm in God where our entire nature and being throbs with heavenly
harmonies, for the strings of our inner son are perfectly in tune with the mind
and heart of our Father, because of the mighty transformation wrought by the
life of the indwelling Lamb. As this is
accomplished in us we all begin to fulfill the injunction of the Psalm which
says, “Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the
upright. Praise the Lord with harp: sing
unto Him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto Him a new song; play skillfully
with a loud noise. For the word of the
Lord is right; and all His works are done in truth” (Ps. 33:1-4). You say, “But I can’t sing and I don’t know
how to play the harp or any of those other instruments.” That’s not
the message! The “harp” is a symbol
of perfect praise pouring forth from all of God’s elect. And not merely the act of praising, but the very becoming a praise and the being of praise, as it is written, “Ye
that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give Him no rest, till He
establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the
earth” (Isa. 62:6-7). Again, “So have I
caused to cleave unto me the whole house of
harp in scripture is also symbolic of the prophetic ministry. As the incense connects with the priest’s
ministry, so the harp connects with the prophet’s! We read that the prophet Samuel informed king Saul, “Thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming
down from the high place, with a psaltery, and a tabret,
and a harp before them, and they
shall prophesy” (I Sam. 10:5). We read
that king David set apart the sons of Asaph, Heman
and Jeduthan, “who
prophesied with a harp” (I Chron. 25:1-3).
And in Psalms 49:4 we read, “I
will open my dark sayings upon the harp.”
The harp, therefore, is symbolic of the prophetic ministry in the
highest sense of the word! It bespeaks
THE REVELATION AND UNVEILING OF THE DEEP MYSTERIES OF THE WORD, WILL, AND WAYS OF THE LORD!
Thus the prophetic harps of the overcomers, as they stand upon the sea
of glass, are the prophecy contained in the song of Moses and the Lamb which
they sing! THEY have overcome, and now
their prophecy proclaims that God’s works are great and marvelous, His ways are
just and true, and
is interesting to note that when
met these harps and the song earlier in Revelation chapters eight and
fourteen. We identify these harpers and
singers with the one hundred and forty-four thousand on
John saw the hundred and forty-four thousand standing upon
“They sing” refers to the harpists whose
sound comes from heaven — out of a realm of the Spirit. Thus, the song is sounding forth from the
“voices in heaven” and not from the Lamb and His followers on
now comes the final proof. “And no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which
were redeemed from the earth.” Can
you see the picture — the hundred and forty-four thousand are standing on mount
And now in chapter 15, the very next chapter of the book, the hundred and forty-four thousand overcomers have been handed the harps of God and they have thoroughly learned that song for they are now singing the song. Here we are even given the name of the song — The Song of Moses and the Lamb! Having passed through all the testing and provings of the sea of glass mingled with fire, these now stand triumphantly by the sea, holding the harps of God, and rapturously intoning the victorious song which not only expresses their glorious triumph but prophetically heralds God’s new day of salvation and deliverance for all the nations of mankind! Isn’t it wonderful!
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
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