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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
“And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years…and I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years…this is the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4-5).
“I saw thrones.” With a single stroke of the pen the apostle
John sets before us a contrast which is sharp and strong in the extreme. There is Satan, bound and cast into the
noiseless depths of the bottomless pit, shut up and sealed securely for a
thousand years — and here are the thrones of those who now sit in
judgment! This is not an outward,
natural scene, but a glorious spiritual reality. The message is really quite simple and yet
mysteriously profound — when Satan is bound in our lives — we are reigning! We have
seen previously that the term “a thousand years” is the code-word for the DAY
OF THE LORD. Satan is bound in and by
the arising of the day of the Lord in our lives. Satan is bound a thousand years and the overcomers live and reign with
Christ a thousand years. To the degree that Satan is bound, to the
same degree the overcomers live and reign!
The measure of the one is the measure of the other. These two one
thousand year terms are like the North and South Poles — the distance of
the North Pole from the equator is also the distance of the
literal interpretation of that time expression would greatly reduce the
spiritual meaning, power, and impact of the overcomer’s victory. It is quantity, quality, and degree, and not
time, that is signified by the symbolic term of a thousand years. Time-wise,
a literal thousand years would be a most inadequate measurement of the
overcomer’s life and reign with Christ over Satan, sin, and
death. In chapter 22:5 of the Revelation
the length of their reign is said to
be “for the ages of the ages.” If a
thousand years in our
“And judgment was given unto them.” This expression is not a common one. John sees thrones and the “souls” sat upon
them, and they did what all men do on a throne — they reigned as kings. But here the reigning kings are also judges!
Ordinarily the offices of kingship, priesthood, and judgeship are
three distinct positions executed by different people. But in the
word “judgment” carries negative connotations in most people’s minds only
because we have viewed judgment through the law of Moses, we have filtered it
through the fleshly judicial systems of
natural men, and through the old paradigm of the carnal mind. Judgment is a wonderful thing when viewed
from the heavens of the Spirit of the Lord!
To judge is to discern, to
understand the true nature of a thing, to evaluate, assess, appraise, render a
decision, think, conclude, determine, resolve, mediate, or arbitrate. When God raises up judgment in one’s life He
enables that person by the spirit of
thing God is after in this hour is the total and complete revelation of Jesus
Christ in and through the many-membered Christ of God. God is preparing something to be loosed in
the earth that men will be unable to control, manipulate, orchestrate, or in
any way usurp and use to their own carnal ends.
This isn’t about us setting ourselves up as kings and judges in the
earth, ruling by fleshly means and methods.
Many years ago in the days of the great Latter Rain outpouring of the
Spirit that began in 1948, there were in certain places men who rose up in a
carnal spirit and put their hand of flesh to the thing God was doing. Great power in signs, wonders, miracles, and
divers gifts of the Holy Ghost was being manifested through various ministries
throughout the land, and some began to prophesy themselves into positions as
the “rulers” of particular regions of the earth. Literally they were exalting themselves as
the prophetic and spiritual rulers over
we approach the hour of the manifestation of the sons of God, the Father has
purged all such vain and fleshly imaginations from the minds and hearts of all
who have followed on to know the
Lord. The carnal movements of
“shepherding” and “discipleship” fell into similar
all this is just the same old
THE SOULS OF THE BEHEADED
“And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus…and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4).
is awesome! After Satan has been bound
in the bottomless pit, and the seal is
set upon him, then the overcomers appear as “souls” who “live” and “reign” as
kings and judges, but — they have been BEHEADED! All
the garbage that the church systems have taught are a stench in the
nostrils of God, and in my nostrils as well.
They tell us that if you miss the “rapture” you can be saved, but you’re
going to have to be beheaded. It
it is not losing your physical head that qualifies you to reign — if that were
the case, most of the Lord’s people, including many of the Lord’s original
apostles, don’t even stand a chance of sitting on the throne! The first physical martyr for Christ was
Stephen who was stoned to death, not beheaded.
So I guess he can’t reign with Christ!
History records that Peter, when he was about to be executed, requested
to be crucified up-side-down, not feeling worthy to die in the same manner as
his Lord. A shame, isn’t it, that he
failed to ask to be beheaded — then he, too, could have reigned with
Christ! In the early days of the church
untold thousands of people gave their lives rather than renounce their faith in
Christ, but only a few were beheaded — some were crucified, and many were
burned at the stake, while vast numbers were fed to the hungry lions in the arena in Rome. In our day
Jesus we see the incarnation of God dwelling in and expressing life through one
who reign in life with Christ are those who have been beheaded for the witness of Jesus, that is, so they can be witnesses of HIM; and those who have
gotten the victory over the beast of
I searched the mind of the Spirit about this, it came to me so powerfully. You remember that Jesus said that he who
would lose his l
Merely believing on Him does not produce this, it requires complete and absolute surrender and consecration to Jesus Christ, the putting off of the old man, and putting on the new; forsaking the old mind and image of the flesh, and putting on the new mind and nature which, in the image of God, is created in righteousness and true holiness. The Lord Jesus must become the new head if we are to sit upon the throne with Him! That is what it means to be “beheaded” for our testimony and the word of God! But notice, these are beheaded in soul. John didn’t see any bodies either possessing heads or not possessing heads. Only souls! John the Baptist and others were beheaded physically, but here the beheading takes place in the soul. Literally speaking, the soul does not have a head, but as the seat of man’s personality it embraces our will, intellect, emotions, and desires. To be beheaded in soul is to experience death to the self-life, death to the flesh, death to the world, death to the carnal mind, death to the ego, death to our own way and will, death to the religious spirit — living the crucified life! Death to self is imperative upon all who shall have the revelation of Jesus Christ out of their lives!
Those who take up their cross daily and follow Jesus, who lay down all claims to their own lives, to know Him in the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death, always bearing about in their bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus, are those who are “beheaded” for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God! Those blessed ones lose their own heads that they might put on the mind of Christ, thus making the Lord Jesus Christ their Head. If we have not died to self, my friend, we cannot reign in life with Christ! That is what John saw in vision and that is what John is telling us. And when you begin to live and reign with Him, you live and reign with Christ IN THE SURPASSING GLORY OF THE DAY OF THE LORD — the thousand years. This is not the “letter” of the Word that I now share with you, my beloved, but this is the spiritual meaning of the vision!
KINGS, JUDGES, AND PRIESTS
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them…and they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4,6).
outstanding things are noticeable in this majestic scene of the “living souls”
John saw seated upon thrones, but I would now draw your attention again to the three-fold nature of their
administration. John beheld them endowed
with judgeship. He pronounces them kings and priests. They are judges! They are kings! And they are priests! They reign with Christ. It is the “salvation of the soul” or the
total transformation of their nature, character, thought processes, desires,
ambitions, emotions, and the uniting of their wills with the will and purpose
of God that has prepared, equipped, and qualified them for such a calling. These are not mere names or empty
titles. No meaningless ceremonials or
hollow designations find a place in the
scriptures reveal that the church is the body of Christ, and God’s blessed
Christ must include both the Head and the body.
All true saints must be aware of this sacred secret — that the body is
the body of
is preparing a mighty company of judges whose
responsibility it shall be to judge the world in
righteousness! The prophet Daniel sheds
much light upon this subject. “I beheld,
and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until
the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most
High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom” (Dan.
7:21-22). Again, “And he that
overcometh…to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall
rule them with a rod of iron” (Rev. 2:26-27).
Most of the Christian world is waiting for Jesus to come at “any minute” and bring judgment upon the earth. In the greater light of present truth we now understand that the judgment which HE IS, and which is now wrought out in the lives of His saints, the firstfruits of His redemption, will ultimately be manifested to creation in and through the sons of God. The judges for this day are even now in preparation for their awesome task! Yes, YOU shall judge the world, precious elect of God…but you will do it in humility and with a broken heart full of compassion and love! The judges are also priests! The priests are also kings! Authority to act as judges…authority to reconcile, restore, and redeem. That is the mystery!
who judge must be possessed of that same anointing of the seven spirits of God
that rests upon the firstborn Son of God.
“These things saith He that hath
the seven spirits of God” (Rev. 3:1).
Isaiah enumerates the seven spirits thus, “And the Spirit of the Lord
shall rest upon Him, the spirit of
are several points of interest in the passage just quoted. “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands
of His saints.” The original
would be better expressed, “The Lord cometh IN holy myriads of Himself.” He comes in that people who are bone
of His bone, flesh of His flesh, spirit of His spirit, mind of His mind; the
extension and projection of all HE IS — HIMSELF CREATURES. “To execute judgment upon all.” To execute means to carry out, to fulfill, to
pursue to the end. Holy myriads of Himself
shall carry out judgment upon all, and pursue it unto
the end, until the full fruit and effect of that judgment shall be manifested in
all. “And to convince
all that are ungodly among them of all
their ungodly deeds…” To convince
means to convict, reprove, and fully persuade all the ungodly of
all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners
have spoken against the Lord. This is
conviction, my friend, HOLY GHOST CONVICTION that must be ministered into the
minds and hearts of men before they will submit so that the cleansing process
can begin in them. I have seen it many
times, when Holy Ghost conviction came upon men and women with the hardest of
hearts and the most wicked life-styles, they were utterly broken before the
Lord, weeping as it were buckets of tears, repenting, and being washed and
cleansed from all their rebellion and sinfulness.
by day we are learning the ways of the Lord. Only God can teach us these things and equip
us to judge with righteous judgment. It
would be well here for us to take particular notice of a divine principle set
forth by the apostle
nothing…until the Lord come…until the Lord shows up, manifesting Himself — to
judge. In any situation, circumstance,
problem, or trouble where judgment is required, it means just this — MAKE NO
JUDGMENT APART FROM THE MIND AND MOVING OF THE LORD! Judge not, my beloved, by the seeing of the
eye or the hearing of the ear. Judge not
by the outward appearance, by carnal reasoning, natural understanding, fleshly wisdom,
man’s psychological training, nor by religious tradition. WAIT UPON THE LORD! Render no judgment about anything until the
Lord draws nigh with the precious
man has a right to judge anything until this Light has shined into his
intellect. Otherwise he is judging in
darkness and will do just as
There is a great purpose in judgment, and it is always a purpose of love. Our dear brother Vern Goss explains just why the earth and all people should rejoice and be glad in the face of God’s determined judgment. He writes, “But doesn’t God hate sin? Yes, but not for the reason that many would suppose — that He is aloof, holy, and wants to pound on any that do not measure up to His standard. Simply put, God hates sin because sin brings death, the antithesis of life. Anything that is the enemy of life is the enemy of God! But doesn’t God bring judgment on sin and sinners? God brings judgment not for destructive purposes, but for constructive and corrective purposes. If you want to see destruction, death, chaos, lawlessness, mayhem, and murder, allow man to go his merry way without intervention” — end quote.
Again, there is great purpose in judgment, and it is always a purpose of love. There is a deep, clear purpose in everything that God does! And His love for us, deep and tender, is the fire burning under that purpose. The character of God must be kept ever in mind. The leading trait in His character is expressed, not by the word “purity,” nor “righteousness,” nor “justice,” but by the word “love.” Though if we knew the real meaning of “love” we would find it includes these others, and more. The purpose in judgment is two-fold. It is a purpose toward sin, to get rid of it. And God’s attitude here is relentlessly uncompromising. No exceptions are ever noted. And there is a purpose toward men. Now regarding the purpose toward men, it is corrective and redemptive. The whole thought is to change the man. It is love working, love for the man. The purpose is the same as the surgeon’s. He thrusts in his keen-edged blade, not to destroy life, but to save it. He is driving hard against the disease. The knife that cuts and hurts is held steady by the kindly purpose in the heart.
So it is in regard to the coming of Christ in judgment. Strangers to the grace of God and His ways are always alarmed by the portents of divine judgment. But those who have drawn close enough to the heavenly Father to know His mind and heart understand that all His judgments are corrective and redemptive, and therefore altogether desirable, beneficial, and glorious! The ecstatic exclamation of joy and gladness at the prospects of the coming of God’s righteous judgment into the earth is found all through the psalms and the prophets. If you are truly destined to stand among the company of the sons of God, the long-awaited liberators of creation, you will most assuredly thrill at the heavenly vibration of David’s inspired song: “Say among the nations that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: HE SHALL JUDGE THE PEOPLE RIGHTEOUSLY. Let the heavens rejoice, and LET THE EARTH BE GLAD; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees (people) of the forest REJOICE before the Lord: for He cometh, for He COMETH TO JUDGE THE EARTH: HE SHALL JUDGE THE WORLD WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THE PEOPLE WITH HIS TRUTH” (Ps. 96:10-13).
“Make a JOYFUL noise unto the Lord, ALL THE EARTH: make a loud noise, and REJOICE, and SING PRAISE, Let the sea (raging, surging multitudes of humanity) roar, and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein. Let the floods (armies) CLAP THEIR HANDS, let the hills (small kingdoms, institutions) BE JOYFUL TOGETHER before the Lord; for HE COMETH TO JUDGE THE EARTH: WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL HE JUDGE THE WORLD, AND THE PEOPLE WITH HIS EQUITY” (Ps. 98:4,8-9).
are living in an hour when God is moving mightily in the hearts of His called
and chosen people preparing them to bring forth righteous judgment in the
earth. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (I
Pet. 4:17). Judgment begins at the house
of God, saith the Lord! Oh, how that
message has been butchered by the ministers of
People quote the scripture, “Judgment must begin at the house of God,” and their first thought is, “Oh, my, Ananias and Sapphira are going to fall over dead any minute now!” But that’s not what this passage is saying. The King James translation is faulty. “Judgment must begin at…” “At” is the Greek preposition apo meaning “away from.” It is not a picture of God bringing wrath down upon the people of God, but it’s a picture of His righteous, redemptive judgments flowing like a river out from or away from the house of God! It is not the house of God receiving the judgment, but it is the house of God dispensing the judgment! Young’s Literal translation reads, “It is the time of the beginning of the judgment from the house of God.” The Concordant New Testament says, “It is the era for the judgment to begin from the house of God.” The Emphatic Diaglott renders, “Because the season is coming for the judgment to begin from the house of God.” The message is clear — contrary to what we have been taught and have believed — God is not moving us toward the time when His judgment must begin upon the house of God, even though we have certainly been experiencing His judgments in our lives; rather, all He is doing now within us is moving us towards that time when His judgments can begin to PROCEED FROM, FLOW OUT FROM THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD!
As the prophet has said, “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain (kingdom, government) of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains (above, over all the strong kingdoms), and it shall be exalted above the hills (weaker kingdoms, institutions); and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain (kingdom) of the Lord, and to the house (people, body of Christ) of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And HE SHALL JUDGE among many people…” (Micah 4:1-3).
we not see by the passage above that the house of God, the
here is a people that knows the ways of His judgments, a people in whom and
through whom the righteous judgments of God can be executed! The scriptures are continually revealing this
grand and glorious truth. The Lord Jesus
Himself explained it on this
people hesitate to believe that the saints will judge the world (and even
angels) because of the words of Jesus wherein He said, “Judge not that ye be
not judged…” (Mat. 7:1). But Jesus
wasn’t telling us not to judge! He went
on to say, “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what
measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Mat. 7:2). If you consider with reverent honesty these
words of the Lord, who Himself is the righteous Judge, you will see that Jesus
was not telling us not to judge; rather, He is showing us HOW to judge! At another time Jesus said, “WHEN ye judge,
judge righteous judgment.” Ah,
that is the crux of the whole matter! DO
NOT JUDGE UNLESS YOU CAN JUDGE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT, because you will be judged by the same standard by which you judge! That
is why the judgment is given only to the
saints, to the overcoming sons, to
the purified and perfected house of God, to
the holy city
If we are not judging by the nature of Jesus, if we are not judging in the same spirit He does, if we are not the personification of His goodness, forbearance, mercy, long-suffering, and redemptive power, then we are not the manifestation of HIS JUDGMENTS and are worthy of being censured and removed from the throne of judgment. Judgment doesn’t flow out of what you know. Judgment doesn’t flow out of a title, position, or office. Judgment flows out of the life and nature of the Son of God! “…for THY judgments are made manifest.” Ah, my dear brother, my precious sister, do you desire a part in the glorious ministry by which the world shall be judged? Then my prayerful recommendation to you is that you draw very close to the heart of Jesus, sit at His feet, tarry long in His presence, fall intensely in love with Him, learn His ways, be filled with His Spirit, be joined in one mind, life, and nature with Him and He will create within you the heart of a redemptive sonship judge! His judgments will be made manifest IN YOU. The wonderful result will be that all nations will come and worship before Him! That is the mystery.
is the uncovering of that people in whom God has inwrought and birthed His
righteous judgments to deal with the sin, ignorance, and rebellion of men,
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
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