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
THE SPIRIT ON THE LORD’S DAY
“I was in the spirit on the
Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying,
What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are
in Asia” (Rev. 1:10-11).
Every word of the book of Revelation is freighted with divine
significance. Each individual word,
when studied with understanding, is a key
to the message of the book. Each
word has a spiritual meaning and is an expression of the language of God.
No word in this book means what the carnal mind thinks it means, but each
word, when illuminated by the spirit of revelation, unlocks something of the
mysteries of God in the understanding of the spiritual mind.
Then you understand how important each word is!
The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ has been, by the carnal mind,
a book of intimidation, browbeating, threatening, tyranny, terror, and
disquietude; a book of ignorance, bewilderment, perplexity, and confusion.
And yet, when understood by the spirit, it is by far the most
inspirational, instructional, and kingdom impartational book in all the
scriptures! I have never been more
helped, had more questions answered, and got a world view and a kingdom view of my
life, and the outworking of God in creation, than through the opening within
my spirit of the truth of the book of Revelation.
For centuries the book of Revelation has held an interest for everybody
from prophets to ditch diggers. After
one fashion or another, all have believed that the book held within it the
spiritual meaning behind events happening in the world.
Many and varied have been the predictions and prophetical outlines based
upon the things found written in this text.
In every case, however, given enough time, the forecasts of the most
noted teachers, and would-be prophets, have been proven wrong.
This is not because all were false prophets, evil men, or deceivers, but
rather it demonstrates just how difficult a task it is to interpret a writing as
complex and filled with symbolism as the book of Revelation.
It simply cannot be done with the natural mind!
Why are there so many different interpretations of the book of
Revelation? There are three primary
systems of interpretation in the church systems known as the Preterist, the Historicist,
and the Futurist schools of thought.
The Preterist view teaches that the whole book was fulfilled in A.D. 70
with the destruction of Jerusalem and the ending of the Old Testament law,
priesthood, and sacrificial system. According
to this view every mention in the New Testament of the “last days” and
“end time” refers to the cataclysmic events that brought the end of the Old
Testament era and order, and the establishment of the new spiritual order of the
church age. Others subscribe to the
Historicist interpretation, viewing
the Revelation as a symbolical history of events throughout the church age, from
the days of the apostles all the way down to the end of the church age.
These see in the symbols of the Revelation events such as the rise of the
Papacy, the Holy Roman Empire, the scourge of Islam, the Protestant Reformation,
The French Revolution, and many other things. Most
evangelical Christians today embrace the newest of the three schemes — Futurism. The Futurist theory
teaches that the entire book of Revelation, from chapter four on, is yet future,
to be fulfilled during a seven-year period of “Great Tribulation” at the end
of the church age. In addition,
there are hundreds of differing applications of the symbols and events within
each of these three schools of thought!
Why so many views? I think
the answer to this question is illustrated in a little story I read.
Three people were visiting and viewing the Grand Canyon — an artist, a
pastor, and a cowboy. As they stood on the edge of that massive abyss, each one
responded with a cry of exclamation. The
artist said, “Ah, what a beautiful scene to paint!”
The minister cried, “What a wonderful example of the handiwork of
God!” The cowboy mused, “What a
terrible place to lose a cow!” And then Haddon Robinson tells the story of a Colorado
resident who moved to Texas and built a house with a view of hundreds of miles
of range land. “The only problem
is,” he said, “there’s nothing to see.”
At about the same time a Texan moved to Colorado and built a house
overlooking the Rockies. “The
only problem is,” he said, “I can’t see anything.
The mountains are in the way.” The
story is also told of a mole that once pushed its head out of the ground and
said to a bird who was swinging and singing on the branch above it: “What are
you making such a noise about?” Said
the bird: “Oh, the sunshine, the trees, the grasses, the shining stream, and
the white clouds on the mountainside. The
world is full of beauty!” “Nonsense,”
said the mole; “I have lived in this world longer than you have, and I have
gone deeper into it. I have
traversed it and tunneled it, and I know what I am talking about, and I tell you
there is nothing in it but fishing worms.”
The lesson in each of these stories will cause us to stand assured of
this fact: WHAT ONE SEES DEPENDS UPON WHERE HE SEES IT FROM! Everyone has his particular vantage point, perspective,
position, or frame of reference. It
has become my experience, however, that in order to comprehend, at least in
part, the infinite depths and majestic heights of truth revealed in the book of
Revelation, we must leave the customary paths trodden by natural learning and
intellectual effort, to explore the realms hitherto kept secret, and walk the
avenues where man's spirit has seldom soared.
If we now insist that all revelation and illumination of truth must be
judged by the narrowness of our past tradition, better far it is that we turn
our back now on all illumination and light that comes by
the Spirit and join those
tradition-ridden Pharisees who could never believe that Jesus spoke aught but
blasphemy when He declared in the certainty of divine wisdom, “Before Abraham
was, I AM.” The book of
Revelation is a book that defies the wisdom of man!
The natural man can never understand the things of God! Whatever viewpoint we take that originates from any pinnacle
of human intellect, from any
compartment of the imagination, from
any kind of speculation of the carnal
mind, or from the musty traditions of
man’s religious creeds, will completely miss the view from the lofty heights
of the spirit of truth!
Awe-inspiring truth fills the pages of the Revelation and it is certain
none could ever understand them but by the
The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ will never be plumbed by the
human intellect! Someone has asked,
“Was there not a key sent with the
book, and has this been lost? Was
it thrown into the Aegean Sea?” “No!”
answers the Spirit of Truth. The
key was sent along with the book, and
it has been allowed to lie rusty and unused, while all kinds of false keys and
picklocks have been tried, and tried in vain, until men have come to look upon
the book as an unintelligible enigma, only meant to puzzle and confuse.
But the true key has all along
been visible enough! And the
attention of men has been loudly called to it!
It is Christ who is giving the revelation.
The revelation is of Christ and
by Christ. Christ is
the author as well as the content
of the revelation. These things man
can never know unless they are revealed!
No human wisdom could foreknow these mysteries; no human mind could
understand them. “Who do men say
that I am?” Jesus asked His disciples. They
answered first one and then another. “But
whom do you say that I am?”
Peter responded with that immortal answer, “Thou art the Christ, the
Son of the living God!” And Jesus
said, “Flesh and blood hath not revealed
this unto thee, but my Father which is
in heaven — in the realm of the Spirit!”
In like manner, we have heard what men
say the Revelation means. Now it is
high time to hear what the Spirit says it means!
John was in the Spirit in the
day of the Lord when he received the revelation!
The Spirit was his vantage
point, his perspective, his position, his frame of reference. So many are looking today in the natural for the events of
this book to come to pass, but John was in
the Spirit when he saw the vision, and he was in the Spirit when he wrote the book — he wasn’t in the natural!
He was in a realm beyond the natural, and beholding events in a realm
beyond the natural. These things
are written in a language that only the spiritual mind can understand!
A natural mind produces a natural concept. It should be obvious that only a person who knows French is
able to read a book written in French. A
Frenchman is the most likely person in the world to understand the most
difficult treatise in the French language.
In the same way, the book of Revelation was written in the Spirit, out of the mind of the Spirit, in the language of the
Spirit, and it requires a spiritual unfoldment to understand it!
Only the man who lives and walks in the Spirit can receive from it.
You must be a citizen of the land — the heavenlies — where the
language of the book is known. You
must read and understand it in the language in which it was written — not the
Greek language, but the language of the Spirit of God!
We must be quickened by the spirit of wisdom and revelation from God for
the message to be comprehended. A
spiritual book must be spiritually discerned!
No word given to a prophet from the Lord by the Holy Spirit can be
truthfully understood or interpreted unless the same spiritual understanding is
given to the reader by the Holy Spirit that gave it originally to the prophet.
God’s elect in this hour is being given the ability to “Hear
what the Spirit saith,” and it is the same anointing wherein it was spoken and
written. The book of Revelation,
like any other part of the scriptures and prophecies, must be “spiritually”
understood. Understanding came to
the disciples of Jesus when He “opened unto them the scriptures.”
Before that their natural understanding was unfruitful.
They didn’t have a clue! They
read all the scriptures and never saw Jesus there until He “opened” the
scriptures to them. And it wasn’t a doctrine, it was spiritual illumination that burst forth within their hearts!
The term “in the Spirit” is much more profound than it appears in the
English translation. The Greek
expression means “to become” or “became.”
What John relates here is that he became
in Spirit or came to be in Spirit.
He received an entrance into a realm that was much deeper and more
intense than his world of outer consciousness — beyond the material realm.
He came into the realm of heaven, the omnipresent dimension of Spirit. Heaven is the home of all spiritual and celestial beings —
not a geographical or astral location, but a dimension of life, mind,
consciousness, being, and reality. The
purpose of the Revelation is to reveal to us what takes place when one enters
into the realm of the Spirit, to live and move and have his being in the Spirit.
When we enter into this new realm we experience new things happening to
us. These things have
repercussions, effects, and manifestations in our outer man!
Many years ago Albert Hughes penned the following words of keen spiritual
insight: “The vision will be understood only by the spiritual man.
The natural man will meet with many difficulties as he seeks to know the
book. No human intellect or natural
ability will be sufficient. Only
the spiritually discerning will ever discern.
The book has a language all its own, a language fully foreign except to
those whose conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour. Only those in whose mind is the light of glory will ever
understand these sublime symbols, this precious phraseology.
Only in the Spirit is such
triumph possible! Physically, John
was in Patmos; spiritually, he was in the fullness of the Holy Spirit!
That which John experienced at Patmos was something beyond his
conversion. It was a new
consciousness, a complete communion. He
was in tune and in touch with the infinite so that it was with the most perfect
ease that God revealed His plans!
“John was a translated man, a transformed man.
Only the Spirit can do this! When
this takes place in any life, we hear and see things not possible at any other
time. John was told to write what
he heard and saw, a most difficult task indeed!
And to get others to believe you when you do write, is even more
difficult. For nearly two thousand
years, men have been disputing concerning what John wrote.
How can men who have never seen and heard, judge the writings or the
discourses of those who by the Spirit have both seen and heard?
The book is a mystery certainly, but not a mystery which cannot be
understood. It is a revealed
mystery, revealed to those who have been enlightened.
This mystery can never be known by the natural man, with all his natural
powers, but it is a mystery which is blessed to those whose minds and hearts
have been touched by the Divine Spirit. May
that Spirit who makes all revelation understood, come to us (in consciousness)
and make plain this Word, this Voice, this Vision, this Personality.
May we meet with Him who was dead, but is alive again, until He makes us
glad with the joy of His countenance, until our faces are lighted with the light
of His eternal glory, until our hearts burn within us with the fullness of His
reality, leading us ever onward and upward until we see Him face to face, and
become like Him by seeing Him as He is”
— end quote.
John was in the Spirit when he
received the great Revelation of Jesus Christ!
Now that sounds like a mystical term.
But everybody has a spirit.
We are not human beings trying to be spiritual; we are spiritual beings
in a human body! Spiritual realities seem so foreign to many of the Lord’s
people because of the dominance of the flesh.
The carnal mind is so busy “carnalizing” the word of God which is spirit
and life, that it thinks that spirit and life is “spiritualizing”
things that were meant to be natural! We
must enter with our spirit into His
Spirit to grasp the depths of this book!
While the hand of John was used to write the visions and revelations he
received, only the Holy Spirit fully understands and can impart what John saw
and wrote unto us. In our human
frame we can only see the letter, the outward form of the visions John saw, and our natural mind is
of trying to interpret spiritual realities with the carnal mind is illustrated
by a humorous story that is told about a Popish and Jewish debate. According
to the story, in the middle ages, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to
leave the city of Rome. Naturally,
there was a big uproar from the Jewish community.
So the Pope made a deal. He
would have a theological debate with any person selected by the Jewish
community. If their representative
won, the Jews could stay. If the
Pope won, the Jews would have to leave Rome forever.
realized they had no choice. They
looked around for a learned champion who could defend their faith, but no one
was willing to volunteer. No one
felt that they could equal the Pope’s vast knowledge and overwhelming
eloquence. Finally they picked a
man to represent them — an old rabbi named Moishe who had become half-witted
and spent his life sweeping the synagogue.
Being old and slightly addled, he thought he had less to lose, and he
agreed. He asked only for one
condition for the debate. Not being
an eloquent man like the Pope, and not being proficient in Latin, he asked that
neither side be allowed to talk. The
The day of
the great debate came. Moishe and
the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute without making a move.
Then the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers.
Moishe looked back at him sadly, shook his head, and raised one finger. The Pope waved his arms in a circle around his head.
Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat.
The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine.
Moishe pulled out an apple.
stood up and said, “I give up. This
man is too good. The Jews can
stay.” An hour later, the
cardinals eagerly gathered around the Pope to find out what happened. The Pope said, “I’ve never met a man with such keen
spiritual and theological insight. No
matter what I said, he had an answer that reminded me of how little I know.
First I held up three fingers to assert that God was to be found through
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He
responded by holding up one finger to remind me that, even though He has
manifested Himself in three ways, there is still only one God, and we both know
His name. Then I waved my arms
around me to show him that the greatness of God is written in the heavens.
He responded by pointing to the ground, reminding me that God was in the
midst of us through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
I pulled out the sacramental wine and wafer to show him that God’s Son
absolves us from our sins. He
pulled out an apple to remind me that God has been dealing with sin as far back
as the garden of Eden. He had an
answer for everything! I cannot ask
people with such deeply spiritual leadership to leave Rome. They can stay!”
Meanwhile, the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe, amazed that
this old, almost feeble-minded man had done what all their young, eloquent
scholars had insisted was impossible! “What
happened?” they asked. “Well,”
said Moishe, “first he said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of
town. I told him that not one of us
was leaving. Then he told me that
this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I
let him know that we were staying right here.”
“And then?” asked a woman. “I
don’t know,” said Moishe. “He
took out his lunch and I took out mine, and it was all over.”
The natural mind is just as inept at understanding the language of the
Spirit, as Moishe and the Pope were at understanding one another’s sign
language in this story! When the
things of God are interpreted by carnal reasoning and human intellect, only
foolishness and confusion can result. We
have already noticed that John was “in the Spirit” when the Voice spoke to
him, and only when we get into the “same Spirit” can we understand the
things he saw and recorded. The
same Spirit that wrote the book must also interpret it!
And when we see it in the Spirit, the truths therein have much more
meaning and significance for us at this time.
As members of God’s Christ, our walk is seen in the book of Revelation,
including our full deliverance and victory over the flesh, sin, the devil,
sorrow and death. As we are coming
to understand in the Spirit and by the Spirit the book ministers to our spirit encouragement, inspiration, understanding, wisdom, power
and life! When the Revelation is
studied by the natural intellect, it kills.
When the Revelation is studied in the Spirit, it brings life.
All teaching from God must come by the Spirit!
Once we catch but a glimpse of these heavenly and divine truths and
supernal glories in the Spirit, we are never again satisfied with the
simple-minded mythologies that have been passed to us through so many pulpits
and so-called experts over the past hundreds of years.
As we walk in the Spirit we peruse the pages of this book with a sense of
destiny and the certain knowledge that God is really going somewhere with all
that has happened, is happening, and will happen in the future!
The seven trumpets, for example, are a striking spiritualization of the
plagues the Lord sent upon Egypt in the book of Exodus.
As we look at these plagues we see that they are likened unto the literal
plagues upon Egypt, but we know that the book of Revelation is a spiritual
book of spiritual truths and spiritual
experiences to be perceived and received only by the Spirit.
Can we not see by this that the spiritual
plagues come upon the spirit of Egypt
within each of us to bring the release of our spirit from the dominance of the
carnal mind that we may march out of the bondage
of the flesh and enter into the full realization of our inheritance in our
promised land — Christ!
Is that truth not infinitely more blessed and meaningful than literal
plagues falling on the nations of earth! Truly
these plagues bring THE REVELATION OF
That is why the Lord Jesus repeats seven times the admonition, “He that
hath an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit saith!” Those are the same
significant words Jesus always spoke on earth when He gave a parable with a deep
spiritual meaning. Only the
spiritual mind could understand it! None
of the learned elders, scribes, lawyers, rabbis, Pharisees or Sadducees could
“get it”! They missed it every
time, just like Moishe and the Pope, and went away shaking their heads in
confusion. Once we are spiritually
familiar with the message of books like Zechariah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah we’re
not afraid of terms like blood, locusts, fire, and all the graphic illustrations
by which God shows us the spiritual dynamics of what He is doing.
In like manner, John by the Spirit gives us graphic depictions of the
spiritual dynamics of the process by which the kingdom of God comes to pass in
our lives and in the earth. But
these are entirely missed by the carnal understanding!
You look at the stars at night and they appear as so many little
twinkling dots in the heavens. But
with a telescope you can zero in on them and captivate the depths of what is out
there, and it becomes evident that their glory far exceeds what the naked eye
can perceive. In the book of
Revelation God is giving us a behind-the-scenes, backstage, spiritual view of
the drama of the processes of His dealings in the lives of His people.
of Egypt were sent upon the kingdom and people that held God’s people, Israel,
in bondage. The plagues in the book
of Revelation are, therefore, related to God’s spiritual
people — for the message is sent to the church!
It is Jesus talking to His body!
The plagues in the book of Revelation represent those dealings God sends
into our lives to break the bondage of
Egypt, the spirit of this world, the
controlling of the flesh, the
dominance of the soul, the ruling of
the carnal mind!
God is breaking the power of every kingdom within that rules us, usurping
the life of the spirit. Our Father is
bringing us out of our Egyptian bondage by a mighty and an outstretched hand!
And what mighty shakings, earthquakes, and cataclysms take place in our
earth as He does this! He is
bringing us “out” in order to bring us “in” to the fullness of our
inheritance in Christ!
Weller shared the following story, which he attributed to Des Walter, from
Australia. There was a man from a
very primitive country that came to the USA.
He had no knowledge of the technology that was about him, not even how a
car would work. He was given keys
to a car to use in his travels across the country.
But everyone took it for granted that he was a driver, so no one
explained how the car worked, except to say that the car would make his
traveling faster and easier. In the
morning he proceeded with the keys to the car.
He figured out how to get in and put the keys in the ignition. He played with the steering wheel, adjusted the seat, stepped
on the pedals, but nothing happened! After
considerable waiting, he got out of the car and started pushing it.
It was very hard work.
Finally, he came to a hill and jumped in the car as it quickly sped down
the hill. He was gaining speed and
believed that surely this is what the man meant when he gave him the keys to the
car, assuring him that it would make his trip much faster. But the car stopped at the bottom of the hill, and there was
a hill to go up which required great effort.
He was about to abandon the car when a stranger, who had seen the whole
thing, came by to talk with him. The
man laughed a little, listening to the plight of the man and with loving eyes
said, “Let me show you how it works.” He
showed the man the engine and what it could do.
Then told the man to get in the car and let the engine do the work.
The stranger was right and the man was carried away by the power and
might of the engine.
You see, beloved, the real “key” to the car was in knowing how it worked! And
there is a “key” to the book of Revelation!
Like the poor man in the story we have been playing and fiddling with it,
trying to figure it out; but there is a wonderful “key” that opens it up and
makes it work! That key is not a
system of interpretation, not a method of analysis. The key is the illumination
of the Holy Spirit! If you try
to play football by basketball rules, you will wind up in confusion and chaos.
It can’t be done! Somebody
gave us the wrong rules about a hundred and fifty years ago and told us we are
playing basketball when we are playing football.
We’ve been trying to play football by basketball rules!
We’ve been trying to understand the book of Revelation by the rules of
the carnal mind, by human understanding, by other prophetical books of the Old
Testament, by outward world events, when the game-plan of the book is spiritual
So we force this book to fit into concepts that we have been taught, and
we have had to speculate, conjecture, surmise, imagine, assume, and theorize
about the incredible events John saw, trying to make them fit into the rules of
this natural world, when all the time it is heavenly
things that are being revealed! John
never saw a thing until he was caught up IN THE SPIRIT INTO THE HEAVENLIES! The Lord is giving His elect in this hour a shift in our
perception, we have been crying out mightily to God to deliver us from every
inherited tradition, and He is enabling us to start all over again in
the Spirit until we see the glory of God’s Christ in every chapter and
line of the Revelation!
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit
which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of
God. Which things also we speak,
not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost
teacheth; comparing spiritual things with
spiritual. But the natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto
him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually
discerned” (I Cor. 2:12-14).
We can find a parable of this in modern science.
There are whole ranges of color, the scientist tells us, which our
physical eyes cannot perceive. True,
we can see all the colors of the rainbow, ranging from red at the one end of the
spectrum to violet at the other. But
now we are assured that this is only a comparatively small fraction of the
colors which really exist; that beyond the red rays at one end of the spectrum
there are the infra-red, beyond the violet are the ultra-violet, and out beyond
these again whole unimaginable reaches of color which we never see at all,
because our eyes as at present constituted cannot get hold of them.
In short, what we do see is only a tiny segment of the whole!
If this is true of our physical eyes, is it not also true of the inner
eye of the spirit? In days past, in
our babyhood walk in God, we apprehended something of eternal spiritual
realities; we have seen, even if through a glass darkly, something of the marvel
of the kingdom of God and the beauty of the King!
But our past spiritual spectrum — how poor a fraction of the whole!
And beyond the best insights we have had in this dark, shadowed existence
of time and flesh and limitation and tradition and religious teachings of the
old-order church systems of man, what reaches of glory are now being opened for
us in that higher world of the kingdom of
heaven! All our questions are
being answered here, line upon line, precept upon precept, as the Father teaches
us by His Spirit the mysteries of His
Consider now, though one might study and search forever, trying to figure
out the enigma of the symbols of this wonderful book of Revelation, he would
never arrive at the correct interpretation, for the carnal man sees through
carnal eyes, and having eyes he sees not, neither does he understand. There is therefore only one word of advice I can give.
Do not try by much study to figure out the marvelous mysteries of God’s
word, but CONCENTRATE ON CHRIST. HE
is the truth, and beside HIM there is no truth!
Our knowledge of God and the things of God depend entirely upon where we
look. Paul penned these words to the saints in Colosse and they are
just as true today as they were two millennia ago: “IN HIM are HID all
the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). Christ Himself is the great treasure house where all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge are concealed and stored up.
IN HIM, and in Him alone, are to be found
all the rich blessings and mighty powers and celestial realities which wisdom
and knowledge bestow! This book is
about the revelation of Jesus Christ — but we will neither discover nor
experience that unveiling by applying the human intellect to the written words
of this book. We can only see,
know, and experience His unveiling within ourselves through intimacy of
fellowship and vital union WITH CHRIST! It
is only in the Spirit and by the Spirit that we can see Him and know Him.
The Revelation is ultimately not a book — it is the experiencing of the
very person and life of Jesus Christ within ourselves!
The book of Job is a book of deep spiritual revelation. The natural man can never understand the things of God!
This truth is proclaimed in Job 32:8 wherein we read, “There is a spirit
in man: and the inspiration of the
Almighty giveth them understanding.” Inspiration
— that doesn’t speak of just a mental state, it speaks of emotion, passion,
quickening, illumination, interior thinking.
God is in-spiring His sons!
People wonder sometimes where we get our ideas from and the depth of
understanding of God’s word and purpose.
We’re inspired! I’m not
talking about myself, I speak of all the elect of God who see and hear by the
Spirit! You could never discover
these truths by study, although study is a part of the process.
The truth must appear to us in our
spirits as something we see, know
and understand beyond our senses, beyond the mind, beyond the seeing of
the eye or the hearing of the ear. The
truth appears out of the rolling discourse of God’s voice within us!
That is inspiration!
It is the in-breathing of God and the understanding and knowledge
imparted out of His very spirit within us.
The things we write and speak are inspired by heavenly light! They do not originate out of any part or aspect of the
earthen vessel, but purely and completely out of the treasure within the vessel.
We have often missed the truth because we relied on our intellect to
interpret to us the scriptures, instead of looking to the Teacher sent from God,
to do His work, and perform His ministry. Even
Spirit-filled Christians depend mostly on commentaries and books by the
hundreds, written by men, and often men void of the Holy Spirit, as their source
of information and understanding of the scriptures, and the spirit
of truth is relegated to a back room in their minds, and rarely consulted
about anything the scriptures have to say.
God’s called out elect, who are walking in the Spirit in this new day
of the Lord, have reinstated Him to His proper position and allow Him to fulfill
the ministry He came to do. Now
don’t think I am against books. I
am not. I have quite a large
library myself! I use books.
If I were opposed to writings I would not be sending out this article. Many people have been helped by what is written, but far too
many saints think that through Bible study, and by searching the scriptures
alone, they can come to an understanding of the things of God, and acquire a
knowledge of the truth. But if we
are really studying the Bible, in the light of inspiration and revelation, this
is what we will find, for this is what the Bible teaches: apart from the
revelation of the indwelling Spirit,
there is no way that we can search out, nor understand, the things of God and
the inspired apostle said: “O the depths of riches both of the wisdom and the
knowledge of God, how unsearchable
are His judgments and His ways past
finding out” (Rom. 11:33). How
can we ever search out the unsearchable, or find that which is past finding out?
Ah, it is the mind of man that is unable to search out and find out the things of
God! It is impossible by human
means or methods, but not impossible with God, for with Him nothing is
impossible. There is a way, His
way, and that is by the working of the indwelling
Spirit of Truth!
The sons of
God today are putting on a new mind,
even the mind of Christ! Every son
of God is relinquishing, abandoning, signing away, repudiating, disclaiming, and
renouncing their own human, carnal mind! The
eye is the figure of knowledge and understanding.
The apostle Paul penned these meaningful words: “That the God of our
Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom
and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes
of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know
what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His
inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:17-18).
The phrase, “the eyes of your understanding,” reveals that spiritual
sight or spiritual understanding is an ability or function of the mind. Without mind
there can be no understanding! A
man’s understanding corresponds precisely to the condition, development, or
quality of his mind.
Every created life form possesses mind and the understanding of the
creature is limited by the quality of its mind.
Quality of mind is, basically, an inherited characteristic.
For instance, a cat thinks like a cat, knows as a cat, understands as a
cat, and acts like a cat because it was born
a cat, therefore possessing the brain and mind of a cat.
We used to have a cat in our home. I
noticed that this cat would come and sit in the living room while I watched the
evening television news. While I am
very interested in news, the cat had absolutely no interest at all!
He couldn’t care less! It
is not that he didn’t see the pictures flashing across the screen.
He saw them, all right, but he didn’t understand them, so he just
curled up on the carpet and went to sleep.
Politics, economics, weather, murders, war, terrorism — none of this
had any meaning to him whatsoever. It
is simply impossible for cats to understand things human!
Humans are of a different and higher order than cats.
Cats may see men, and observe their movements, yet there is no common
ground of knowledge. The cat has no
comprehension of what it sees. It
discerns only things pertaining to its own realm.
It has positively no understanding of the ways of man, or of the meaning
of his movements, or the significance of his words, or of the intent of his
actions. Cat minds function on the
level of cat nature, while human minds function on the level of human nature.
In like manner, God is of a different and higher order of life and nature
than are humans. The mind of man
functions on the level of human nature, whereas the mind of God functions on the
level of divine nature. There is no
common ground of knowledge or understanding between the two! Therefore, the natural man is totally incapable of
comprehending that which pertains to the realm of God.
For natural minds to comprehend things spiritual is equally as impossible
as for cats to understand things human. And so, until humans receive of God’s Spirit, the Spirit that knows
and understands the things that
pertain to God, it is impossible for them to have any understanding, either of
God, or of His word, or of His will, or of His ways.
With what truth did Paul write to the Corinthians: “For who could
really understand a man’s inmost thoughts except the spirit of man himself?
How much less could anyone understand the thoughts of God except the very
Spirit of God? We have now
received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit of God Himself, so we can understand
something of God’s generosity towards us” (I Cor. 2:11-12, Moffatt).
And then after men receive the Spirit of God, the depth of their
knowledge and understanding is wholly in proportion to the measure of the
indwelling Spirit and the growth and maturity of the mind of the Spirit within
them. Jesus was a man, but God was
in Him! “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).
He grew in stature and in favor with God and man until He received the
Spirit of the Father without measure (Jn. 3:34). In
Christ dwells all the fullness of God! And therefore He had and has all the discernment and
knowledge and understanding of heaven! But
we faltering mortals cannot claim what Christ possessed until we have grown up
into the measure of the stature of the fullness
of Christ, conformed to His image, transformed into His likeness.
We, upon being born again, regenerated, our spirit quickened by His
Spirit, awaken to our identity as actual sons of God, yet babes: “Babes in
Christ.” And the understanding of
newborn babes, spiritual though they may be, the offspring of God though they
are, is limited in the extreme! They cannot have a deep knowledge or comprehension until they
have been filled with the mind of God; until they have grown to spiritual
maturity, the spiritual mind being fully
developed within them!
We will never, in this age, be fully able to comprehend the boundless
power of the mind of man.
The natural mind, though it understands not the things of the Spirit, is
capable of astonishing wonders! All
the marvelous inventions of the world have proceeded from the mind of man, yet
the natural mind receives not any of the things of God! As heaven is higher than earth, so are God’s ways higher
than man’s, and God’s thoughts higher than man’s.
The man who receives of God’s life is renewed in the spirit
of his mind; that is, he takes on a new mind originating in the new
spirit-life, so that he thinks and acts as an entirely new creation, a new man,
a new kind of creature. As he
follows on to know the Lord he finds that his darkened mind completely gives way
to this new creation mind which is the MIND OF JESUS CHRIST.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” Paul
admonishes. The mind that was in
Jesus was the Father’s mind! It
is like a brain transplant. If
surgeons today were able to take out your brain and transplant mine into you,
you would become, in spite of a different body, — ME!
You see, all my accumulated experience, knowledge, and wisdom, or lack
thereof, would be transferred to you!
Because He was fully possessed of His Father’s mind, Jesus was able to
say, “I and the Father are one.” “I
speak as my Father speaks.” “It
is not I that doeth the works, but my Father who dwelleth in me.”
The mind that was in Christ Jesus is freely given to every man who
believes into His name that he might be one
with Christ and one with the Father.
never forget that in those glorious ages to come it will be the mind of our
heavenly Father that will rule the universe.
The Father has decreed that He will rule the universe by HIM whom He has
chosen; and those sons, the many-membered Son, every one will be possessed with
the Father’s mind. As the hands
and the feet of a healthy body act in harmony with the head, so every member
among the sons of God act in harmony with the Head, even Jesus, because ONE MIND
DWELLS IN THEM ALL!
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
Links to other ministry websites
Not finding what you need? SEARCH HERE