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.
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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE
LIKE UNTO A SON OF MAN
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice,
as of a trumpet…and as the sound of many
waters…” (Rev. 1:10,15).
What is that voice which is as the sound of many waters? “The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory
thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters”
(Ps. 29:3). Water is one of the
primary elements. Every part of our
being is composed of elements which come out of the seven days of creation.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void: and darkness was upon the face
of the deep. And the Spirit of God
moved upon the face of the waters”
(Gen. 1:1-2). We first meet the
voice out of the waters early in the book of Genesis.
The voice of the water actually exists within it.
Many of us have had the experience of sitting by the seashore, or a great
waterfall, in a meditative moment, listening to the sound of the waters.
In that time of reflection it seems the waters speak to us!
Tranquillity is ministered to our soul and peace to our mind.
Answers and solutions to difficult problems and the stresses of life form
within our consciousness as we contemplate in the stillness the voice of the
waters. Inspiration and revelation
arise from within!
Water is representative of
life. The voice of many waters is
the voice of the fullness of life! What
can man do without water? Nothing!
Without water we will die within a few days because our very bodies are
composed of 65% water. We were formed in water in the womb. In that long ago beginning the Spirit of God moved upon the
face of the waters and there it was that God spoke!
“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said…”
His voice was first heard upon the
waters! Creation began out of
the waters by the word of the Lord! The
Spirit of God moved upon the face of
the waters. Face speaks of
personality, as though there is a person trying to appear through the waters. The face is the expression of the intelligence of the mind.
It speaks of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.
The Spirit of God brooded over the face, over the personality of the
waters. And then God spoke!
He spoke out of the waters!
From the dawn of creation there comes to us the sound of the voice of
many waters. It is HIS voice.
It is the voice of the Lord! Darkness
was upon the face of the deep, the very great deep of the waters.
And there it was that the almighty God spoke and said, “Let there be
light!” And the light shined out
of the darkness of the waters. God
speaks in the darkness within ourselves, out of the very great deep of our
being, and light dawns upon the face of our waters, understanding springs forth
in our mind and heart. The voice of
the Lord that quickens us, the word of the Lord that awakens within the
revelation of who we are and who He is, that brings salvation and the day of the
Lord, is upon the face of the deep and is the voice of many waters.
“And I heard a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters, and as
the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with
their harps” (Rev. 14:2). This is
naught but the voice of the 144,000 sons of God standing on mount Zion! Just before John heard this voice of many waters he saw a
Lamb that “stood on mount Zion, and with Him an hundred forty and four
thousand, having His Father’s name written in
their foreheads.” Then he
heard the voice of many waters! The
forehead is that part of the face the bespeaks of the mind.
Out of that mind the voice speaks. Just
as the Spirit of God in the beginning spoke His creative word out of the deep of
the waters, and upon the face of the waters, so the Spirit of God now speaks out
of the face of the deep in us, out of the mind of Christ in the sons of God!
The word of the sons of God is the voice of many waters! It is the voice of One in the midst of the candlesticks!
Water is life.
Water saves, water refreshes,
water cleanses, water rejuvenates, water creates,
Ah, methinks I hear the voice of the Lord as the sound of many waters!
Why many waters? Because
there is no longer the only begotten
Son of God — that was Jesus of Nazareth — there are now many
sons coming to His glory! These
many sons are the many waters! The foreheads
upon which the Father’s name is written, the minds
in which are formed the mind of Christ, the personalities
in which are formed the nature of the Father, are the face of the very great deep over which the Spirit of God now moves
and out of which He speaks. It is
the voice of the Son in the sons.
It is the voice of love and restoration, the word of salvation and
release, the power of redemption and resurrection that shall bring deliverance
to creation from the bondage of corruption.
How can I be so certain that the voice of many waters is the voice of the
sons of God? The apostle John gives
this remarkable description of the vision he saw.
“Then I looked and lo, the Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with Him a
hundred and forty-four thousand who had His name and His Father’s name
inscribed on their foreheads. And I
heard a voice from heaven (out of the realm of the Spirit) like the sound of great waters and like the rumbling of mighty
thunder; the voice I heard seemed like the music
of harpists accompanying themselves on their harps.
And they sing a new song before
the throne of God…no one could learn to sing that song except
the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been ransomed from the earth
(realm)…” (Rev. 14:1-3, Amplified).
There is no doubt that the voice of many waters is the very same voice
which was the music of the harpists and also the voice that sings the new song
which no man can learn but the 144,000 who are the sons
of God. It is clear that the
voice, the harp music, and the song are but different descriptions of the same
reality. A new song is a new message! A new
message is a fresh word, a living
word out of the realm of the Spirit!
When in chapter seventeen of the Revelation John was caught away into
another astounding vision it was explained to him by the angel which showed him
these things that waters mean peoples, and multitudes,
and nations, and tongues (Rev.
17:15). Can we not see by this that
in the symbology of the book of Revelation many waters means many people.
This is a many-membered body of Christ!
There are many sons coming to glory!
So he’s not talking about “waters” speaking, rather it is “many
people” speaking. It is many
people but yet only one Voice.
When John heard the voice of the Son of God through many members it
wasn’t the clamor of six hundred and sixty-six different denominations
proclaiming six hundred and sixty-six different doctrines.
The babble of so many diverse messages would not have sounded like the
beautiful harmony of harpists harping and would have been unintelligible to his
understanding. He heard a multitude
of redeemed men and women out of
every people and tongue and nation speaking
the same word! They were in
agreement, from their mouths proceeded the living words of God without
discrepancy. They were speaking in
the Spirit and by the Spirit. They
had come from numerous backgrounds, diverse cultures, various races and
nationalities, different dealings and processings of God, yet there was one word
and revelation of God pouring out of their spirits!
They did not belong to the same church order, they had not attended the
same Bible school, they had not sat under the same ministries, they had not been
in the same revivals, they had not read the same writers, they had not shared
the same experiences, but they had been brought by
the Spirit to the same word and reality in Christ!
If you could read the letters we receive from around the world, from
Europe, Asia, South America, the nations of Africa, Australia and New Zealand,
and many other areas of the world, you would see just how true and powerful this
is. We regularly receive letters
from brethren in little villages in far-away places with strange sounding names,
who were not in the Latter Rain move of 1948, nor in any of the other revivals
we have experienced here in America, and when they share the revelation of the
Christ, the purposes of God in this day of the Lord, the truths of
reconciliation, sonship, the kingdom, and the processings of God in their lives,
it is abundantly evident that we don’t have one thing over them in any way!
And they were not taught it by man!
This phenomenon is not the result of any concerted effort, or any
organized venture by any group to raise up a “sonship” movement in the
earth. Oh, no!
It is the result of the sovereign moving of God in the earth!
It is the Lord Himself calling out and forming His elect!
You can sit in a great auditorium with five thousand people and if
everyone is chattering away about their own things it is a confusion of tongues.
But should all speak in unison, reciting, for example, the Lord's Prayer,
you can understand every word though it is spoken by five thousand voices.
John heard a multitude of people speaking
the same thing by the Spirit — the living word of God!
“And He had in His right hand
seven stars…” (Rev. 1:16). “The
mystery of the seven stars which thou
sawest in my right hand, and the seven
golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels
of the seven churches…” (Rev. 1:20).
Caught up in Spirit John saw a divine revelation.
In the right hand of Christ were seven
stars, which are the seven angels
of the seven churches.
The seven angels reside in His right hand because the right hand is the
hand of authority, power, dominion, and blessing!
Throughout history, there have been those anointed of God who have seen
some connection between the stars and the messengers of God.
This connection can easily be made because both stars and the ministering
spirits are called “the host of heaven” in the Bible.
There are several beautiful passages that provide the indisputable link
between the two, of which I will cite only one. “Praise ye the Lord. Praise
ye the Lord from the HEAVENS: praise ye Him in the heights.
Praise ye Him, all His ANGELS: praise ye Him, all His HOSTS.
Praise ye Him, SUN and MOON: praise ye Him, all ye STARS OF LIGHT. Praise ye Him, all ye HEAVENS OF HEAVENS” (Ps. 148:1-4).
The natural sun is the brightest luminary in the natural heavens.
And to help us in correctly interpreting the meaning of the spiritual
sun, Genesis 1:16 informs us that God made “the greater light to rule
the day, and the lesser light to rule
the night.” Here we first have
the idea expressed of both the sun and the moon being rulers.
Then we find that God, the supreme Ruler, is called in the Word a
“Sun.” “For the Lord thy God
is a SUN and a shield” (Ps. 84:11). Also, our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings, is called
“the Sun of Righteousness” (Mal. 4:2).
He rules! In Matthew 14:33
we find, concerning saints who are to be kings and priests and rule with Christ, that they are compared to the sun.
“Then shall the righteous SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of
Here in the book of Revelation we have seven
stars which are the seven angels
of the seven churches.
Now let us face some facts. We
have listened to fairy tales much too long.
In the first place we discover that the word “angel,” instead of
being a translation, is but an evasion, being the English form of the Greek word
aggelos, which to the average person
means nothing at all. The Greek word aggelos
means nothing more than “messenger.” And
in every occurrence of the word “angel” in our Bibles, that is the word that
should have been given. The word aggelos
is simply a pure Greek word without any particular meaning except what we choose
to give it, and people oftentimes have the notion that it means a man with
wings, whereas, if a man did have wings, he has no muscles to move them — a
most ridiculous thing!
Get the thought, now, that an angel is a messenger and read the word
“angels” always with its proper translation, “messengers.” The Greek word aggelos
has just the direct meaning “messenger,” one sent with a message, the
personal representative of the Sender. What
the person or being looks like or where he is from is completely irrelevant to
his being a messenger. Whether
he be a man, a spirit, or any other kind of creature makes no difference
whatsoever! Anyone sent with a
message is a messenger — an angel. If
there would have been Western Union messengers in Bible times they would have
been called “Western Union Angels,” for angel means messenger.
It may mean a messenger from hell, or a messenger from heaven, or a
messenger from some man on earth; any messenger sent by a king, or any other
person, is in both the Hebrew and Greek languages, an angel of that person.
Even a homing pigeon would be an angel!
It is simply one commissioned to bear a message.
Yet that is not the end of the matter!
Let it be known with truth and assurance that there is a correspondency
between all the sevens in the book of
Revelation. How clearly we first
see this in chapter one where the Lord Jesus reveals the mystery of the seven
stars. The seven stars are the angels
of the seven churches. Then further
on there are the seven lamps of fire which burn before the throne which are the
seven spirits of God. And there are
seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb which are also said to be the seven
spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
It is my deep conviction that all of these “sevens” are but different
aspects or facets of the same reality — the seven-fold Spirit of God, the
absolute completeness and fullness of the Holy Spirit!
The fullness of God in Jesus Christ is the seven spirits of God!
The fullness of Christ in you is the seven spirits of God!
The seven “angels” of the seven churches are the seven spirits of God
— the fullness of the Word of God as Christ in us!
It will greatly aid our understanding to realize that in the Revelation
where the word “angel” is again and again employed as a symbol the meaning is not the angel or messenger himself, but what
the angel or messenger stands for —
The message bespeaks of a word
— there is a spiritual activity in the heavens of God’s Spirit by which a
word is communicated, the mind and voice of God reveal a truth, an activity, a
purpose in the unfolding plan of God. Therefore,
when we see the word angel in the book of Revelation let us think of a message, a revelation, or
a word from the Lord!
This is the power and authority of the Christ by the Spirit in His word
sent to the churches. His word is
not humanistic prattle. The seven
stars are that spirit-ministry to the church that proclaims the living word of
Just as these seven stars are “in” the right hand of God’s Christ,
they also ARE His right hand! This
meaning is often expressed in common speech, “He is my right hand man,”
meaning, the one who carries out my instructions, and accomplishes all my will.
The seven angels are the seven-fold SPIRIT of God, and the seven stars
are the seven-fold WORD of God which issues out of the Spirit, that word which
never returns unto Him void, but accomplishes that whereunto it is sent.
Each of the seven angels is a SPIRIT and each of the seven stars is a
WORD. Each angel or star, each
spirit or word, reproduces Christ in the members of His body!
As the revelation John saw progresses, we see a theme unfold before our
wondering eyes that discloses to us a deep mystery.
A lamb appears in the midst of the throne! This is very meaningful, for the lamb in the book of
Revelation is not the lamb of mount Calvary.
The lamb in the book of Revelation is the lamb in the throne, not the
lamb on the cross. The lamb in the
book of Revelation is the lamb standing on the heavenly mount Zion, not the lamb
hanging between two thieves on Golgotha’s hill.
The lamb in the book of Revelation is in the throne in the New Jerusalem
coming down from God out of heaven, not outside the gate of the Old Jerusalem in
the land of Israel. He is the lamb
of the throne! He is the lamb of a
people! He is slain — that is, He is pouring out His Life, but not as the man
of two thousand years ago, but as the Living Lamb of God in the midst of His
government of sons!
Now notice, in the midst of the throne there stood a lamb, as it had been
slain, having seven horns and seven
eyes, which are the seven spirits of
God, sent forth into all the earth (Rev. 5:6).
Then we find that “out of the throne proceeded lightnings and
thunderings and voices: and there were seven
lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven
spirits of God” (Rev. 4:5). Take
note that the horns and eyes are in the lamb that is in the throne.
The seven spirits of God originate
from the lamb in the throne! But
they are “sent forth into all the
earth” (Rev. 5:6). Thus there is
an emanation out of the throne of the
seven-fold spirit of the Lord, that radiates out until it penetrates and fills
all the earth and every dimension of creation.
The seven lamps of fire which burn before
the throne are the first aspect of that emanation! These correspond to the seven golden candlesticks, which are
the seven churches, which are made up of all those individuals whose spirits,
as the candle of the Lord, have been lighted by the Spirit of God, and that
is the light of the seven churches! The
horns and the eyes of the lamb are in the throne. The
seven spirits of God issue out of the very nature and authority of God in the
lamb! But the light of
the seven lamps or candlesticks burn before
the throne. There has now been a
movement, for both that which is in
the throne and that which is before
the throne are the seven spirits of God — which eventually are sent forth into
all the earth! As the seven spirits
of God radiate out from the throne, the church
is therefore the first expression of that emanation!
The light is the illumination of the Spirit of God!
In consideration of these beautiful truths it will be instructive to look
at another significant scene in chapter eight of the Revelation.
“And I saw the seven angels which stood before
God; and to them were given seven trumpets” (Rev. 8:2).
Before God! Before the
throne! Can we not see that the
position of the seven angels is identical with the position of the seven lamps
of fire, which are the seven churches. The great truth is that these are the seven angels of the seven
churches! Consider this, my
beloved. The seven horns and the
seven eyes are in the throne. Seven
lamps of fire are burning before the throne.
And now there are seven angels, and they are standing before the throne,
that is, in the seven churches. Furthermore,
the seven angels have seven trumpets
— a seven-fold message.
They are sounding forth a word!
As you study chapter eight you will see that these trumpet sounds go
forth into three dimensions — the sea,
the earth, and the heavens. These are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth!
Can you see that the seven angels are the seven spirits?
And the trumpets they blow are the seven-fold word of God which issues
forth out of the spirit. Oh, how
wonderful are these things! As you
follow these seven angels all the way through the book of Revelation , you will
find that their relationship is to everything that happens to the three realms
men live in upon earth. They sound
the trumpets that affect the earth-realm. These
same angels pour out the vials that affect the earth-realm.
Follow these seven angels and you will see how they are identified
with every activity of God that
affects the earth-realm!
The seven spirits are the seven angels.
When they are in the throne,
they are eyes and they are horns. When
they are before the throne they are
seven lamps and seven angels. But
when they are sent forth into all the
earth they are seven trumpets! It
is all the seven spirits of God in different administrations.
Yet, when you stand in the earth-realm, viewing this vision from an
earthly perspective, the seven spirits appear as seven
stars! John was standing on the isle of Patmos as a prisoner,
banished to those rocky shores as a criminal, suffering the pains of trial and
tribulation, standing in his isolation perhaps in discouragement, but most
certainly in a state of lack, shut in, hedged up, surrounded about, a garden
enclosed, a fountain sealed; and from that vantage point he beheld a vision of
the Lord of glory in the midst of His people, and in the right hand of this
glorious One he saw seven stars. If
you are in the throne you will see the seven spirits of God as the horns and
eyes of the lamb. If you are before
the throne you will see the seven spirits of God as burning lamps and seven
angels. As you move away from the
throne you will see the seven spirits of God as seven trumpets blasting forth.
But if you stand in the confinement of Patmos and in the darkness of the
valley of the shadow of death, you will see the seven spirits of God simply as
seven twinkling stars up in the heavens of God’s Spirit!
The deep mystery is that we are looking at the same things from different
vantage points. Not only are the
seven spirits, the seven angels, the seven horns, the seven eyes, and the seven
lamps of fire all the same reality in differing applications, but the seven stars are also the same!
To further indicate the influence of the seven-fold Spirit and the
seven-fold Word upon the churches, the Lord is pictured as holding both
the seven spirits and the seven stars in His right hand.
“These things sayeth He that holdeth the seven stars in His right
hand” (Rev. 2:1). “These are
the words of Him who holds in His
hand the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars” (Rev. 3:1, Phillips). Several other translations bear out the fact that Jesus not
only has the seven spirits, as the
King James Bible says, but that He holds
the seven spirits and the seven stars, or it could be said that He holds the
seven spirits of God, even the seven
Many say — and I once taught it myself as a hangover from the
traditional teachings of the church systems of men — that the seven stars or
seven angels are the pastors or ministries of the churches.
Through my lifetime I have read two or three hundred books on the book of
Revelation. I have listened to
scores of tapes on the book of Revelation.
And I have heard quite a few sermons on the book of Revelation.
Ninety-nine percent of the time they told me that the seven stars and the
seven angels were the pastors of the seven churches!
Well, first of all, in the days of the early church they didn’t have pastors!
They had elders and other ministries, but there was no position called
Look “pastor” up in your Bible Concordance and see how many churches
had a man called “the pastor.” Not one!
See how many times, when Paul and the other apostles wrote to the
churches, they addressed “the pastor.”
Not once! Paul commanded
Timothy to ordain elders (plural) in
every city, and when the apostles addressed the ministry of the churches, or met
with the ministry of the churches, they spoke with and met with the
elders, not “the pastor.” The position of “the pastor” didn’t exist in Bible
days. It just isn’t in the Book!
It is an invention of the carnal, man-made, Babylonish church system.
So we do know that “the angel” of the church was definitely not “the pastor” of the church!
I am convinced by the Spirit of God that these symbols bear a deeper
spiritual meaning beyond that traditional teaching.
The truth is that we are dealing with inward spiritual realities and powers
— not external forms, structures, and systems.
The stars or angels are heavenly
dimensions of the body of Christ, not outward or earthly aspects.
This inner power or spiritual
essence of a thing is seen all through the book of Revelation! As John saw things in the Spirit and by the Spirit, every
person, every thing, had its angel. God
proclaims and executes His will by angels (Rev. 7:2; 14:6,8,9; 15:1,6).
He addresses His Christ by an angel (Rev. 14:15).
Christ acts and reveals His truth by an angel (Rev. 1:1; 20:1; 22:6).
The waters have an angel (Rev. 16:5).
Fire has an angel (Rev. 14:18). The
winds have an angel (Rev. 7:1). The
abyss has an angel (Rev. 9:11). In
all these instances the “angel” appears when the persons or things spoken of
are represented as coming out of
themselves and as taking their part in speech or action.
Can we not see by this that the seven stars or the seven angels of the
seven churches are representations of the seven-fold
anointing of the Spirit of God within
the church — the Spirit of Truth!
There are seven spirits of God, and each of these seven spirits has an
“angel,” that is, an “anointing,” a “message,” or a “word.”
The seven stars are the seven-fold fullness of the word, the revelation,
and the authority of God which comes forth out of the seven spirits of God.
If we now know the Lord in greater fullness and maturity, we will realize
that He has ministered to us in the power and glory of each of these seven
spirits and by each of these seven stars or seven angels, or the seven-fold fullness
of His word! And just as our
Father has ministered each of these seven spirits and the fullness of His
seven-fold word to us throughout our spiritual experience, so also will we
receive, experience, and manifest all the fullness of these seven spirits and
the seven-fold fullness of His word, revelation, and authority at the appointed
hour. Then we shall know Him and
reveal Him in all the glorious fullness that He is!
That will be the manifestation of the sons of God, which will set
The elect, to whom has been imparted the seven stars, the seven-fold
fullness of the word of the Lord, are protected from being oppressed and
confused by the voices of “strangers.”
They receive their word directly by the impartation of the living Christ,
they now hear within themselves the voice of Christ and follow Him, and are then
secure in His mighty hand. The
pathway before all the elect may differ in some small details, but the
predominant principle remains and is active within each one — THEY HEAR THE
VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD WITHIN THEMSELVES AND BY THAT VOICE THEY LIVE.
This is the “angel” of Christ, and the angels of the churches!
This is the anointing, the revelation, the message, the word, and the
authority of Christ for us! The
pathway to life abundant, to the glory of our full redemption and
transformation, is one of following the Lord alone.
As we are made partakers of the fullness of His word by the seven stars,
we follow Him who alone is able to lead us to the fullness of His life.
Some man may come by promising sonship if you follow him, sit at his
feet, give yourself exclusively to his ministry and movement, but the elect will
not be taken in by the carnal, self-exalting promotions of such false prophets,
for they have the seven stars and the seven angels and hear the clear voice of
the inner Son. Christ and only
Christ will lead us to the fullness of sonship — to the Christ-life necessary
to break the fetters of sin, limitation, and death and release creation from its
bondage to corruption. Because of
the indwelling “angel” of the Christ, the elect need not that any man teach
them. Oh, yes, we encourage one another, confirm the dealings of
God to one another, and exhort one another, but the Teacher is within!
The Prophet and High Priest are within!
The Messenger is within! The
Witness is within! He will
faithfully lead each one of us to our appointed destiny in God.
Men will draw us away and lead us astray.
Men will lead us into the ditch. The
only purpose in our writing to the elect of God is to encourage every man to know
the Lord for himself, to point every
man to the living Christ, not to draw men to ourselves or our ministry in
The wonderful truth of the indwelling Christ, who is the Word, is that we
need not convince anyone of the truth of our message.
Those with whom you must plead, beg, coddle, coax,
explain and explain, debate, and argue in order to get them to “see”
the truth are not apprehended to sonship! Those
who are predestinated to the adoption of sons and receive the seven spirits of
God are made of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord! (Isa. 11:2-3).
There is an immediate inward response to the truth! Every time God has sent a
word to me, I found that I was ready to receive it. It was as though I knew it all along, but did not understand
it. When the word came my heart
leaped for joy, for I knew inwardly
the voice of the Son of God! There
is an Eastern proverb that says, “When the student is ready, the teacher will
appear.” If you are trying to
“teach” someone deeper things and they just can’t “get it,” then the
student is not ready! They are not
apprehended at this time. This is
not their hour. When we proclaim
the revelation of the Lord all the apprehended elect of God respond with joy and
thanksgiving! Christ is speaking
within His elect, and when He speaks, He declares the same message, the same
word, thus confirming His truth to each one.
If someone does not receive the same truth, it is because of the dealings
of Christ within, maintaining the order of His kingdom so that no one invades a
realm in God that is beyond their calling.
The Christ within is “the witness of God.”
The same John who received the seven spirits of God on Patmos also wrote,
“If we receive the witness of men, the
witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath
testified of His Son. He that is
believing into the Son of God hath the
witness in himself” (I Jn. 5:9-10). Indeed,
the witness of God is within, and He is leading us to the fullness of our
inheritance, the Christ Life.
The elect are in this hour hearing the voice of the Son of God, the voice
of the witness within them. And in
hearing His voice, these chosen ones are forsaking every vestige of the world,
the flesh, and the carnal church orders, and are entering into the life of
Christ. Those who hear, and continue to hear, are being changed and
transformed into His image! The
transition from death to life is progressive, taking place line upon line,
precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.
However, as we look back on our pathway of spiritual transformation and
growth, we are able to see amazing progress!
And one day, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we shall burst
forth into a full manifestation with such splendor and speed that will amaze us.
The following words from the writings of Paul Mueller are so very
confirming and profitable for each of us. “To
all who read these lines, regardless of your place in God, or the depth or
height of your walk with Him, you will benefit from these blessed truths.
To have the understanding that Christ is within you, speaking to you from
within, guiding you hourly and daily in your walk with Him, revealing His truths
as you progress spiritually, and conquering all within you that is of the realm
of corruption, little by little, is the understanding that you too are
progressing unto that realm of His life and perfection.
Christ is within you to bring to naught things that are of this
corruptible realm. Therefore, your
todays and tomorrows will be more successfully lived, for they are being lived
in the light of the indwelling Christ. O
the wonder of the Christ within! He
is the light that has shined into our hearts, revealing the knowledge of the
glory of God, a light and glory that shall eventually inhabit our entire being,
spirit, mind and body, so that the excellency of the power may be of God, and
not of us. If it were possible for us to attain to the perfection of His
life, without the Lord’s help, we would then take the glory.
But, it is impossible for us to receive that life apart from Him!
Therefore, He will receive all the glory when we are finished, fully
perfected, and in His image and likeness”
— end quote.
“And out of His mouth went a sharp
two-edged sword” (Rev. 1:16).
The sword that goes from the mouth of Christ is without doubt the sharp
two-edged sword of the Word of God. His
name is called THE WORD OF GOD. He
is the LOGOS. “By the word of the
Lord the heavens were made” (Ps. 33:6). This
is He who was in the beginning. “In
the beginning was the Word” (Jn. 1:1). This
is the Word that was God. “And
the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn. 1:1).
In Him was life and the life was the light of men.
This is He of whom it is written, “He sent His Word, and healed
them.” This is the Word that is
sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and
spirit. In this vision the One like
a son of man is represented as being armed with a sword, two-edged and sharp,
passing out of His mouth, indicating that His chief force lies in the action of
His lips uttering words. His force
is truth — truth expressed by His mouth in words.
He goes forth to battle wielding only the weapon of Truth.
Christ does not come to avenge blood or slay in battle as other
conquerors have done. His words
smite all who hear them! As someone
has said, it will smite them with conviction and bless them with conversion.
The apostle Paul says, “Take the sword of the Spirit which is the word
of God” (Eph. 6:17). When the
legionnaires of Caesar girded on their belts and fastened their breastplates in
position and took upon themselves their helmets and picked up their shields and
swords, they were going forth conquering as a conqueror, to travel across the
face of Europe for Imperial Rome, and to conquer all that came before them.
How does the Christ conquer? By
When I speak, or write, I manifest spiritual influences; and the force of
these influences is proportionate to the inner power, and their effect is
proportionate to the state of reception of my hearers.
Words are thus seen to be the representatives of spiritual forces.
The action of spirit on spirit is appreciable by the senses; but could we
look behind the veil of nature when a crowd or a congregation is swayed hither
and thither by the speech of one man, we should see that the influence exerted
was as real and actual as muscular force. From
this we learn that words are not mere sounds, but are the sheaths or cases of
spiritual life, and on this ground we at once see the force of the Lord’s
declaration, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”
The Lord’s speech is the manifestation and influence of His inner life
poured forth upon those to whom He speaks.
An incident in the life of Jesus, recorded in Luke, chapter seven,
provides a picture in which may be discerned the POWER OF THE WORDS OF GOD.
As He approached the gate of Nain there met Him a funeral procession, a
widow’s only son carried out to burial. Moved
with compassion for the sorrowing woman He bade her dry her tears.
The astounded crowd heard Him address the figure upon the bier: “Young
man, I say unto thee, Arise!” The
power of the speech of the Prince of Life pierced the realm of the dead! The lad sat up and began to speak. The tender Christ delivered him to his mother, and made
effective His command, “Weep not!” Her
son was not only brought back from the gates of the tomb, but was restored to
her as a gift from the Lord BY THE POWER OF HIS WORD.
On another occasion Jesus had come up to Jerusalem to attend the feast.
As He reached the city He came to the Pool of Bethesda and He looked into
the pool. There were five porches
around that pool. He passed through the porches, and at last came to a poor
man, sick for thirty-eight years, who had been pushed away from the sacred
spring. The man was startled as he
heard the Voice. “Wilt thou be
made whole?” He looked up into
the face of a Man who was looking down at him, asking that strange question,
“Wilt thou be made whole?” There
went right down into his heart a strange sensation, his whole being vibrated
like a harp when every string is touched by a master hand. “Wilt thou be made
whole?” Gently he explained that
he had no man to help him into the pool, but that others, when he was coming,
step down before him. Then he
waited with his eyes fixed upon the Man who had so strangely appealed to his
will. He got ready, for the very
next moment he heard the voice of Him who is the Resurrection and the Life say,
“Rise, take up thy bed and walk!” And
in a moment there came into his body with that Word, power; and he rose, took up
that bed, rolled it up and walked home, set free from the bonds of Satan who had
bound him for thirty-eight years. Oh!
The power of the flaming sword of the Word of God that proceeds out of His
As the Christ of God is a many-membered body, so is the sword that goes
out of His mouth. The word of God
is spoken in the world today by the body of Christ on earth, and that word flows
forth as the sound of many waters. There
are not to be two swords — one out of the mouth of the Lord, and the other out
of the mouths of His ministers. There
is one sword, and it is HIS. Our quotation of scripture, our knowledge of the
Bible, and our understanding of truth is not the sword of the Lord!
The sword of the Lord is that word which proceedeth only out of His
mouth, and out of ours as we are made one
in Him. The sword of the Lord
bespeaks of a purified people, holding forth the word of Life in the power of
the Holy Spirit, and how we praise God for this company!
The Spirit of God is forming and fashioning a people, a glorious company,
from whose lips flash forth that clear
word of the Lord which shall cause the traditions and unrighteousness of man
to utterly come to naught. It was
said of our Lord and Elder Brother, “Never man spake like this man” (Jn.
7:46). “What thing is this, what
new doctrine is this? FOR WITH
AUTHORITY commandeth HE even the unclean spirits, and they do obey Him!” (Mk.
1:27). “What manner of man is
this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!” (Mat. 8:27).
That which was manifest in Jesus Christ shall also be seen in His many-membered-brethren-company.
There are preview glimpses of this even in God’s servants in the Old
Testament. With what boldness did
Elijah the prophet pronounce unto Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth,
before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (I Kings 17:1). God’s elect has at this time received the “firstfruits”
of the Spirit, the “pledge” and “down payment” of that fullness revealed
in the firstborn Son of God. We
have witnessed the movings and miracles of God on a certain level as the sick
have been healed and wonders done in the name of Jesus.
Oh, yes! I have seen these
things with my own eyes, and miracles have on occasion been wrought through even
my word, and the laying on of hands. But
all we have experienced up to this time is but a taste, an appetizer, a small
sample of the glory that is coming! When
our hearts are fully prepared for it, the pure and powerful word of God
shall cause His servants to ride victoriously.
Naught shall be able to stand before God’s army of sons bearing the
two-edged sword of HIS WORD!
Not demons, not sickness, not sorrow, not limitation, not death, not the
elements, not nature, not religion, not rulers, not governments, not anything!
How glorious shall be the advance of this mighty company!
Fear not. Have hope.
Believe in hope! It is God’s good pleasure to yet renew the face of the
earth. Surely all these things
shall come to an end. All the
inhabitants of the world shall learn righteousness!
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn
war any more! The government of God
shall be established over all the kingdoms of men! All the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of
our God and of His Christ! They
shall not hurt nor destroy in all His holy mountain!
They shall all be without spot and blemish, loving one another, even as
Jesus loved us! Sin, sickness, and
death shall be swallowed up in all mankind!
You, my beloved, are called to be a part of the firstfruits, even if the
total harvest has not yet come. You
are to wield the mighty sword of the Spirit.
You are to ride forth in majesty as the expression of God’s kingdom on
earth. You are to utter His burning
word of authority, redemptively smiting the earth with the sword of His mouth!
When man was banished from his Edenic realm of life, glory, and dominion,
the record states, “So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the
garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming
sword which turned every way to keep (guard) the way of the tree of life”
(Gen. 3:24). Man must be excluded
from the tree of life until a provision should be made by which he can approach
and partake of it. Nor is Adam
merely driven out of Paradise; but a guard is assigned to the place to make any
approach to it impossible, just as watches are stationed in the vicinity of
fortresses, army camps, and many other highly sensitive buildings and restricted
locations. The Cherubim were placed
to “keep the way of the tree of
life,” and it is interesting to note that the word here for “keep” is in
the Hebrew shamar, meaning “to
guard, to protect, to defend, to hedge about as with thorns.”
I have heard brethren say that the Cherubim were to “keep” the way of
the tree of life in the sense of keeping the way open, maintaining
accessibility, but this is not the meaning of the text.
The statement following makes this plain, for the Lord explained, “Lest
he (Adam) put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and
live for ever…” (Gen. 3:22). The
flaming sword was a prohibition. The
illustration is clear; if you would keep your neighbor’s cows out of your
garden you must fence it with a good thorny hedge or a few strands of barbed
wire! Thus, life was denied to
mankind by God, and so death came upon every man, even those who had not sinned
after the similitude of Adam's transgression.
Moreover, those Cherubim at the gate of Eden did not have a metal sword
to ward off such as would approach, but the Hebrew denotes a movable sword, that
is, a flash or a flame, such as of lightning, which is unsteady and blinds the
eyes. This flame or lightning is
depicted as having the form of a sword that is in continuous motion, moving to
and fro. Because of the cutting,
searing, flaming sword of the Cherubim, no human being made his way across that
dread portal! The tree of life,
yea, all that Eden represents, was guarded by the power of death, it became
untouchable, divinely unapproachable. From
that day Adam’s life before the gate became a continuous denial of the realm
from which he was excluded. It was
a flight and a search upon the cursed ground of the carnal realm to find what he
had lost, and then a repeated, desperate rage against the power with the flaming
sword; he continually ran against it, it always stood in his way, and the sword
was formidable, preventing his circumventing it.
Nothing is plainer in the whole Word of God than the fact that the
Cherubim with the flaming sword were not stationed at Eden’s gate to point,
direct, or guide men back into life, for, in that event, man surely would have entered
back in! They were placed there
for the express purpose of SHUTTING MAN OUT FROM LIFE!
The cherubim bespeak of a realm of
dominion by a flaming word.
The word that proceeds from the Cherubim is typified in the flaming
sword. The word “sword” is
found in the Bible over 400 times. That
indicates the tremendous importance the Spirit of God attaches to it.
There are both the positive and the negative connotations.
The apostle Paul, speaking of the whole armor of God, admonishes the
saints to “put on…the sword of the
Spirit, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD” (Eph. 6:17).
Then the writer to the Hebrews declares that the sword of God’s word is
“QUICK.” Quick means living and active — LIFE-GIVING!
“For the word of God that speaks is alive and full of power — making
it active, operative, energizing and effective; it is sharper than any two-edged
sword” (Heb. 4:12, Amplified). Ah,
yes, here is the sword that conquers the death in us and GIVES LIFE!
As it is written, “It is the spirit
that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth
nothing…for the letter killeth, but
the spirit giveth life!”
(Jn. 6:63; II Cor. 3:6). The
sword of the Spirit is the quickening, energizing, life-giving WORD OF GOD!
I shall not hesitate to explain to you, dear ones, that there are two
aspects of the word of God. Jesus
Christ is the Word — the Logos —
THE LIVING, CREATIVE WORD! But
there is also that word which Paul calls “the letter.”
The letter is the outer hull, the record and history, the laws and
commandments, the rules and regulations, the types, shadows and figures, the
external ordinances, rituals, ceremonies, and feasts; the visible form of the word which tells us, in terms understandable by
the natural mind, many things about
the Living Word, Jesus Christ. As I
meditated upon the Cherubim and the flaming sword in Genesis, the Spirit spoke
within me, saying, “The flaming sword is a word!”
Then in a sudden burst of divine illumination the truth of it dawned
powerfully upon me. Christ is the Word, the Living Word,
and IN HIM IS LIFE! But the flaming
sword at the portal of Eden is a word,
not the Word, not the living Word, but
the form of the Word, that is, A WORD
about THE WORD!
It should be clear to any thinking mind that the law given by Moses was a
word from God. Many, many
scriptures confirm that it was the very Lord Himself who spoke to Moses giving
him the laws, commandments, judgments, and ordinances.
Therefore it is called “the law of the Lord.” Yet Paul, in speaking of this word from God, calls it “the ministration
of death, written and engraven in stones.”
Then he further designates it “the ministration
of condemnation.” You, see,
the law could only condemn! The
only way the law could give life was if one perfectly kept it, but for every
broken law there was a penalty. And
no one was ever able to keep it! “For
all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God.” Therefore the law
with all of its commandments, ceremonies, rituals, sacrifices, and observances
is a dead word, it is form without essence, law
without life, shadow without substance,
chaff without kernel, it
is the letter that killeth! It is “a word” about “The Word” and therefore shuts
men up unto the dominion of death. It
should not be difficult to understand that as Jesus Christ is the Living Word of
God, the sword of the Spirit that quickens, so is the Letter of the Word a
deadly sword, killing rather than quickening.
Ah, two words and two swords! The
flaming sword of the Cherubim is the word of the law which is a ministration of
condemnation and death. It keeps
men out of Eden, away from the tree of life!
But the sword out of the mouth of God’s Christ is a living sword that
excelleth in glory as the ministration of Life! Under the anointing a brother
said, “The creative power will be invested in the sons of God and we will step
out of infinity with eternity to work with the creative word in our mouths.”
Saracen warriors were famous for the swords they carried. A few of these old swords still exist, among them the famous
Damascus blades. These blades are
said to be made of finely woven steel wires fused together in a secret process
by a charcoal of fire. The amazing
thing about these swords is that they were so pliable the sword tip could be
doubled back to the hilt without breaking.
They were so strong that they could pierce any medieval armor.
Their two edges were so sharp that they could halve a silk handkerchief
in mid-air. The sword of the
Spirit, which is the living Word of God, is fused of many threads of truth and reality.
By the secret processes of spiritual power, these threads are being
gathered into one mighty weapon of truth — the many-membered Christ of God!
This is a sword that never wears out!
Its edge is never blunted! On
its blade no rust ever yet has gathered! It
cuts to heal! It smites to save!
It kills to make alive! It
is the sword of the Spirit.
Now is the time when it calls for the strong hands and brave hearts of
God’s sons to wield it!
It reminds me of a little story I once heard about some Quaker boys who were going on a picnic. They were going up a mountain with their basket filled with apples and other good things. Some mean boys were harassing them, but they quietly went on their way until they had passed them; then they threw their apples down at them. At first the boys thought they were stones. When they saw the red apples they changed their minds, picked them up and ate them. That is the way of the sons of God! The sons of God will win because their weapons are so good! It is the bread of Life! While we go forth fighting sin, flesh, sickness, sorrow and death, we will give the world something to eat, something to live on, something to change them from corruptible to incorruptible. Hallelujah!To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
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