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 God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE
LIKE UNTO A SON OF MAN
“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me.
And being turned I saw…one like unto a son of man…and His countenance
was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Rev. 1:16).
When Jesus Christ, the sign son,
was transfigured on the mount before the wondering eyes of His disciples, we are
told that “His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became white as the
light.” In the Gospel of Mark we
are told that “His garments became glistering,” which, in the Greek, means,
“to lighten forth, flash forth like lightning.”
Within that form of man dwelt glory ineffable! As He prayed upon the mount of Transfiguration, He opened a
little way the robe of humanity with which He had covered Himself when He came
down to earth, and His majesty and glory burst forth! The truth is that this was a “breaking forth” of the
glory of the incorruptible life of God flowing through the veins of Christ’s
perfect humanity! With this
wonderful thought in our minds let us with reverence consider the words of the
apostle John wherein he wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God. In
Him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:1,4,14).
“He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (Jn. 8:12).
In one of George Hawtin’s writings he shared this beautiful thought:
“You have heard of the light of a candle.
You have heard of the light of the stars.
You have heard of the light of the moon. You have heard of the light of the sun. But this is the light of life!
When men speak of the light of the sun, we understand.
When they speak of the light of the moon, we understand.
May we not now understand the truth of Christ’s words: the light of life?” The
glory of the transfiguration was the momentary unveiling of the glorious
heavenly light of Christ’s life. It
was in truth the manifestation of the light of life promised by our Lord, “He
that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light
of life” (Jn. 8:12). It shone
from His face. It glistered from
His garments. It surrounded Him
like a halo. It emanated like a
blazing sun. His eyes were like lamps of fire — the light that swallows up all
darkness and death of the carnal realm. There
on the mount of Transfiguration His disciples beheld Him in the glory of the
light of His incorruptible life. This
was resurrection life, kingdom life, sonship life, immortal life!
And, beloved, this beautiful picture tells us what our
incorruptible bodies will be — the glistering light of life that Christ
Himself actually is!
I remember following a guide deep down a winding path into the Carlsbad
Caverns in New Mexico. We entered a
kind of underground amphitheater and were asked to sit down. Then all the lights were turned off, and we were surrounded
by a darkness thicker than any I have ever experienced. No matter how long we waited, no tiny ray of light made its
way down to where we were. The
darkness was so thick that we could almost feel it.
No one moved. Since that
moment I have often thought about what it means that “God is light; in Him
there is no darkness at all.” The
human situation, apart from God, is much like being deep in a cavern with the
lights off. There’s no way to
know which way to go, what to do, or how to get where we belong.
Then God comes in, in the power of His Spirit and by the glory of Jesus
Christ, and it’s as if the lights go on and we can see! We find our way by
following His way. We learn who we
are, who our Father is, and all we need is wondrously discovered in the light
of His countenance! In the glory of
Jesus God shows us not only where we are but also how to get to our ultimate
The Roman emperor Trajan said to one of the believers in the true God,
“I understand that you believe that your God is everywhere.
And He dwells among the nations. I
should very much like to see Him.” To
which this believer responded, “I am afraid, sire, that no mortal eye can look
upon His glory and that person live, for He is too glorious for the eye to
behold.” “Nevertheless,” said
the emperor, “I am your king and I command you that you show me your God.”
“Very well, sire, but before I do, I think it best that you look upon
one of His ambassadors before you attempt to look Him in the face.”
And with that, he led the emperor Trajan outdoors on a bright and
dazzling midday. He bade him to
look up into the sun shining in the heavens.
The emperor exclaimed, “I cannot, for the light dazzles my eyes!”
The believer said, “If you cannot look upon one of His ambassadors that
carries the message of His creation to the world each day, then how shall you
look into the face of God, Himself?”
Spiritual bodies are represented as shining
as the lightning. The heavenly
messenger who came to roll back the stone from the door of the sepulcher where
Jesus had been lain was described thus: “His countenance was like lightning,
and his raiment white as snow” (Mat. 28:3).
We have already mentioned the transfiguration of Jesus upon the dizzy
heights of mount Hermon where “His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment
was white as the light” (Mat. 17:2). When
Saul of Tarsus met this same Jesus following His resurrection and glorification,
the shining was so bright that he fell from his horse and his sight was
destroyed as by a blazing sun; and yet “the men that journeyed with him saw no
man.” And it is written, “Who
maketh His messengers spirits, and His ministers a flame
of fire” (Heb. 1:7). Moses
walked with his flock along the backside of the wind-swept desert when “the
angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame
of fire out of the midst of the bush” (Ex. 3:2). And while shepherds tended their flocks one starlit night
just outside Bethlehem, suddenly, “the angel of the Lord came upon them, and
the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid” (Lk. 2:9).
These were one and all appearances of spiritual beings from the spiritual
realm. It is a wonderful fact that
the elect sons of God are destined to rule and reign with Christ in the kingdom
out of that higher sphere. Any man
who thinks the sons of God will be flying around on airplanes and renting great
auditoriums and stadiums for massive crusades has missed the point of sonship
altogether! The realm of manifest
sonship is a presently unexplored and
unknown realm of life so far as we are concerned.
If you want to know the full glory of manifest sonship look not at Jesus
of Nazareth, but behold the Christ who came out of the tomb in the power of
resurrection! The natural
mind cannot think itself into such a
realm of life as this by any kind of confession, positive thinking, or
self-induced raised consciousness! It
is only by the inspiration of the Spirit of God that we ever get a glimpse of a
realm so transcendent and glorious. No
man knows the things of God, but the Spirit of God does, and as God wills we are
the manifestation of this glory of sonship
on the holy mount with Jesus, and again on the isle of Patmos when in Spirit he
beheld the splendor of this One like a son of man whose countenance was as the
sun shining in its strength. Today
by the Spirit of revelation the curtain is beginning to open and some are seeing
that which lies before us to be apprehended, praise His wonderful name!
It follows of necessity that man’s being, because it is unsuited to the
spiritual world, must be changed by the power of God.
A bird would need a mighty change to be able to live under water, or a
fish to live in the air; but the Lord promises a much more striking change to
those who are predestinated to be manifested as the sons of God with power!
“We shall not all sleep, but we shall
all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” “Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our
humiliation to conform to and be like the body
of His glory and majesty, by exerting the power which enables Him even to
subject everything to Himself” (Phil. 3:21, Amplified).
In a starless night all is black; but from the moment that the dawn has
kindled its first beacon-light of vivid crimson on the ice-clad mountain peak,
it fires — summit after summit — the splendor of the hills, and flows down
their sides in rivers of molten gold. The
streams flash into silver; the sea burns beneath the flood of radiance; the
fields burst into color; the forest leaves and dewy flowers gleam with millions
of diamonds; the whole world thrills and burns with luster and life beneath the
brilliance of the noonday sun. Like
that is the radiance of the Son of man whose countenance is as the sun shining
in its strength! All things are
revealed in the light of His countenance, which is the glory of God.
God is light; He is that light, bodiless and imperceptible, from whose
inexhaustible fountain our earthly light is but a faint spark, or a dim shadow.
the prophetic scriptures the Lord is symbolized by the sun.
The natural sun is the brightest luminary in the natural heavens.
His countenance as the sun helps us to interpret the meaning of the
spiritual sun. The light which
Christ is, is the sun of God’s spiritual solar system.
“For the Lord God is a sun
and a shield” (Ps. 84:11). The
twenty-seventh Psalm begins with this word, “The Lord is my
light.” This phrase is found
frequently in the Psalms, as for instance in Psalm 36:9, “For with Thee is the
fountain of life; in Thy light shall we see light.”
And again, “O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let
them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles” (Ps. 43:3).
The wonderful significance of this One whose face shines as the noonday
sun is beautifully expressed by the Psalmist, “Blessed is the people that know
the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in
the light of Thy countenance” (Ps. 89:15).
Light is the very substance of God, it is the essence of His own person,
being, and nature. It is embodied in Him. Light
originates, emanates, and radiates from our heavenly Father!
From the brightest star in the universe to the tail of the tiniest
firefly — all light comes from God!
The glorious Son of God is the One in whom the unapproachable and utterly
incomprehensible glory of God is made manifest! As we only know the sun by the light that shines from it, so
is God’s Christ the outshining, the
revelation of God’s glory! As the
light that shines from the sun is one nature with it, so every son of God is of
one nature with the Father! As the
light that shines from the sun is one substance with it, so the sons of God are
the very substance of God in the earth! Friends,
Christ is the light, the light is within; it must break through, it must arise
and shine, it must have pre-eminence
in our hearts. The glory of God is
the emanation or radiation of His nature, and as we are filled with His glory we
radiate His nature to creation. This
is the real purpose of our calling! The
Christ within, not the doctrine of sonship, not the truth of reconciliation, not
the word of the kingdom, not another man’s revelation, not another man’s
faith, but your own INDWELLING LIGHT enables you to manifest as the One in the
midst of the candlesticks whose countenance is as the sun shining in its
strength! Other people can follow
the wandering stars and the falling stars, vainly chasing after the illusive
light within them, but, praise God, there is a people in whom the God of light
is being formed and birthed, partakers of His divine nature, conformed to His
image, a new life found within, even the light
of life. As the light of God
increases in the elect in this hour, we are being brought to the place where all
our need is fully met by the INNER SUFFICIENCY of the indwelling Spirit, not
from that which comes from without.
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is
risen upon thee. For, behold, the
darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord
shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall
be seen upon thee” (Isa. 60:1-2). There
is a people UPON WHOM OUR GOD IS ARISING! He
isn’t going to arise in the skies of the physical heavens, as the church-world
ignorantly expects, but upon His people.
His glory will not be seen streaking across the physical heavens, but upon
His people. Darkness does cover
the earth, and gross darkness the people, but in spite of the abounding
desolations of wickedness and trouble, we live in the most glorious hour of all
time for the people of God! The
prophetic voice of the Lord is in the earth proclaiming with a great voice as of
a trumpet that God is preparing His king-priests for the grand task of bringing
reconciliation, restoration, and transformation to the whole fallen world order.
Nothing that man has done has so desolated the world that it is beyond
hope! One glorious Son of God came
into a world of pagan darkness and ruthless power and by the Spirit of His Life
conquered all the gods of the pagans and altered the course of world history.
That divine seed that fell into this earth has sprung forth in the hearts
of millions and is now ready to bring forth its harvest — many
sons brought to His glory! For
two thousand years the world has seen the candlesticks; now is the time for them
to see the One in the midst of the
candlesticks whose countenance is as the sun shining in its strength!
In the very midst of all this darkness upon the land and gross darkness upon the people, God is arising upon His
chosen ones. He is rising in my
heart! How joyful we are that God,
who is the Light, gets right down where the darkness is.
He does not come from afar to dispel the night, for “God…commanded
the light to shine out of darkness”
(II Cor. 4:6). First, God has met
us right where we are. Some of us
have been in some pretty dark places in our lives!
But God commanded the light to shine out of our darkness, and the dawning
of God’s day within us has blazoned our sky and made us a body of light to
usher in a new day for all creation. The
brightness of our rising brings the dawning of the new day!
As we shed His glory abroad, we are lights in humanity’s sky — so let
no shadow of self keep your light from shining, but fill the earth with the
light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!
We are appointed to shine as the sun.
We have now come to mount Zion, to the city of the living God as a
shining scene of great splendor and brightness and dazzling beauty. It is not our desire to merely see the light, or tell of it,
or paint it, or live in it — as fine as all that is. We must BECOME THE LIGHT.
“YE ARE the light of the world.”
“YE ARE light in the Lord.” How
unworthy and unprepared for such a calling we feel some times!
But, precious friend of mine, you may be poor, weak, unknown, unheralded,
unlettered, despised and rejected of men; but if, through grace, there is a link
connecting you to that “One in the midst of the candlesticks,” then you are,
in very deed, a son of the day, and destined, in Father’s purpose and time, to
shine in that celestial sphere, that region of glory, of which God’s Christ
will be the central sun forevermore. This
is not your own doing. It is the
result of the counsel and operation of God Himself who has given you the light
of life, joy and peace, triumph and glory, in Jesus Christ.
Yet, should you be a total stranger to the hallowed action and influence
of divine light, if your eyes have not been opened to behold any beauty in the
face of the Son of God, and no attraction to that place in Him in the midst of
the candlesticks, then, though you possessed all the wealth of the nations,
though you had the power of a king, though you had all the learning of an
Einstein, though you were enriched with all the treasures of human philosophy,
though you had drunk in with avidity all the streams of
human science, though your name were adorned with all the learned titles
which the schools and universities of this world could bestow, though you were
piously devoted to the grandest creeds, traditions, rituals, ceremonies, and
service of the revered religious systems of earth, yet you are A SON OF THE
NIGHT, A CHILD OF DARKNESS; and are just as dark, just as void, just as formless
and empty, just as cold and dead as was the desolate earth and the dark abyss,
from which you came, before that memorable day in which God first said, “Let
there be light,” and there was light.
We must first see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ shining in
our hearts and then it will be radiating forth to enlighten the earth.
Isaiah said of the desolation of the earth, “And they shall see the
glory of the Lord.” Oh, yes!
ALL shall see the glory of the Lord as it was upon the countenance of
Moses, as it radiated forth from the whole being of Jesus Christ, as it shone in
the face of Stephen. And the glory
of the latter house must be greater than the former!
There must be a sense that the glory of the Lord is filling His temple.
The glory of the Lord so filling the temple that the priests will not be
able to stand and minister. All
that is of ourselves, all that is common and ordinary, all that is done by rote
must be hushed and fall down in prostration before the very presence of the
glory of God, because it is from underneath the threshold of the house that the
living waters flow out, from the deepest dimensions of our lives.
Out of that low place and out of the temple and the tabernacle of our God
there will be that expression and that shining forth of the brightness of the
glory of the Lord and the excellency of our God.
The beautiful expression of His life, the marvelous operation of His
spirit, the authority and glory of His power — THE EXCELLENCY OF OUR GOD!
We were all born into a world of darkness and death. Christ is appearing within us as Light to begin to dispel the
darkness and give us hope. His
light within us is making it possible for us to trust our Father to bring us to
a complete transformation.
The darkness of this world becomes light all around us, for Christ, the
source of all light, is shining brighter and brighter within us to dispel the
darkness of the carnal human realm. His
light within us is manifested as a greater revelation of the truth, by
increasing His faith within us, by raising up His nature of peace, joy, love,
confidence, power and victory in
all the happenings of our lives. We
now see things in the world more positively, for we know our Father is
in control. We have learned
this experientially, by His great faithfulness in our own experiences, testings,
and circumstances. We now see all
men in a different light by the true spirit of unconditional love, mercy, grace,
reconciliation, and restoration. This
is all the LIGHT OF CHRIST! The
more positive outlook we now have is not due to a new teaching, a new mindset, a
new form of meditation, psychology, hypnotism, mind control, or mental imaging.
Those are all soulish things!
The kingdom of God, the nature of God, and the glory of Christ does not
come by soul power!
But it is the direct result of a
greater degree of the Light of Christ within us, by the Spirit.
IT IS THE LORD!
following words by George Wylie are very precious and meaningful. “I often wondered how it could be that God was omnipresent;
that He could be everywhere at once, as the Psalmist said, “Whither shall I go
from Thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed
in hell, behold Thou art there. If
I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me” (Ps.
139:7-10). God can be everywhere,
and fill the universe with Himself because the glory of God is the radiation
of His being into the whole cosmos. Every living being has an “aura” or
“emanation” of its life. This “aura” or “emanation” is identical
with and corresponds to our nature, and is our nature and personality radiating
from us into our surroundings, and it affects everything around us.
With the people of God it is a radiation that flows from our spirits, and
the stronger our spirits are the greater the radiation.
“God is likened to a sun, so
that bright orb that shines out there in space is a type of God. Let us look at this for a minute. Though the sun is more than ninety million miles away in
space, it radiates light, heat, energy, and life to everything on the earth.
The nature of the sun is that of light, heat, and energy, and it radiates
itself into all our solar system. Though
it is over ninety millions miles away from us, if it weren’t for our
atmosphere, the light and heat would burn everything to a crisp in a matter of
minutes. How much farther its
radiation goes, I have no idea, but it could travel an inestimable distance into
space. The sun supplies us with
light, heat, energy, and life. Without it no life could exist on this planet.
The sun is the source of all this! God
is a sun, and what the sun is to this earth, God is to the universe!
HE is the life, light, and energy that pervades and radiates through the
universe, supporting and sustaining all creation.
Just as our sun radiates into our solar system, and supports and sustains
natural life on this planet, so God radiates Himself into the entire universe to
support and uphold all things.
“The glory of God is the radiation or emanation of His nature and
power, and this glory surrounds Him. As
we become partakers of the divine nature, we also radiate the glory of His
nature! This is the real purpose of
our calling! We receive His glory
when we are made partakers of His divine nature, and there is no other way by
which we can enter into the glory of the Lord.
When the scripture says that God is bringing many sons to
glory, this is not some geographical location He is going to take His sons
to, but a realm in the divine spirit that belongs to eternity.
God brings us to glory by recreating Himself within us, giving us His nature,
reproducing in us His image and likeness, filling us with His fullness, until
the light of the glory of that divine nature radiates from us to give light and
life to all creation. As the Son is
the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of His person,
when we are conformed to the image of the Son, then we also become the
brightness of His glory and the express image of His person!
We are being changed into heavenly, spiritual, life-giving beings!”
— end quote.
“His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Rev. 1:16).
The countenance is the face.
The face stands spiritually for the inward nature for the face is the
revealer of one’s inmost being. Our
faces reveal much about us — often more than we wish!
The beauty of a person is upon their countenance,
for from the eyes, the lips, the expression, the light of the inner man shines
through and thus he is known as a man of light or of darkness.
Every emotion and desire sheds expression upon the countenance.
The hidden man of the heart finds language in a look.
A furtive glance, a blushing cheek, a pensive line, a nervous lip, a
shining smile, a troubled eye or a beaming eye will reveal what speech would
conceal. There are faces that
betray weakness and instability. There
are faces that reveal sin and dissipation.
Other faces betoken determination, firmness, strength, confidence,
contentment, and character. The
world has no portrait of the lowly Nazarene who walked the shore of Galilee.
But the power of the Spirit of that Man within us reveals the glory of
God in the face of Jesus Christ!
There is a deep mystery to the body of Christ, and even a deeper mystery
to the glorious Head of that body. Robert
Wise reported in one of his books an amazing incident in the life of Cecil
Hanson. Incredibly, in 1940 Cecil
was pronounced clinically dead for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. During those lost minutes he entered one of those
extraordinary adventures of leaving his body and this world behind. During this period of being dead he discovered a number of
things that defy the imagination. Ultimately
he felt God directing him to return to this life and to rear his small son, Van.
He came back to dedicate his life to raising the boy who would otherwise
have been orphaned. Van’s mother had died in childbirth and Cecil had not
gotten over the blow. During those
missing minutes his hostilities disappeared and he was ready to pour himself
into the little lad. Ultimately,
Van grew to be an outstanding person. Today
he is an oral surgeon and countless lives have been touched by his faith as well
as his medical skill.
And what happened to change Cecil’s life so dramatically? During that period of “twilight” he encountered Jesus in
person. In those moments he looked
fully into the face of the risen Christ and beheld Him in all of His glory.
It is Cecil’s description of His face that embodies a deep mystery.
He saw the face of Jesus as a marvelous mosaic made up of
hundreds of small facets. Each
piece added a shade or line to the total
picture. So in looking into this composite
face he could see the countenance of Christ! But as he looked he could see hundreds of parts.
The startling realization was that the mosaic pieces were not tile,
metal, or glass. Each small section
was a clear, distinct cameo of someone’s face! As
Cecil stared fixedly at the face there was a pulsating fluctuation between the
total face and the cameo sections. One
minute he could see the Face and then in the next he was aware of hundreds of
faces! In awe Cecil began to
recognize what was revealed in each of those cameos.
They were all people he knew! Moreover,
they were all people who had loved him and
shown the compassion, kindness, and goodness of Christ to him during his
life. Overwhelmed in worship and
amazement, Cecil bowed before the risen Lord.
In the lingering moments of that experience,
anxieties, fears, and doubts were healed. When
Cecil “returned” to start his life again, the many-faceted face of Jesus
guided him through the years ahead.
“And when I saw Him, I fell at
His feet as dead…” (Rev. 1:17).
When Moses desired the vision of the glory of God, he was warned that no
man could see God’s face and live. No
man can stand in the full blaze of divine glory!
The glare of the eastern sun on desert sands has dazed men’s eyes; the
fierce, gleaming radiance of sunlight on the snow-clad hills has blinded human
sight, and none can, with the naked eye, behold the sun in the sky.
How, then, can our mortal vision turn its gaze upon the glory that is
ineffable? When John on Patmos saw
the glory of the Son of man the glory so overpowered him that he felt like a man
whose very life was taken and there was no strength in him.
think that John would have leaped and danced and shouted for joy in the presence
of the revelation of the glory and fullness of Christ. But this blessed saint of God, who had lived near to the
heart of Christ while they walked together on earth, this man, who with wonder
had seen the Galilean control the very elements, who once was awed by the
transfiguration and struck dumb by the glory of Christ’s resurrection, this
man who had experienced the blazing glory of Pentecost, now falls as a dead man
as he beholds this Christ not as He was at
first, but as He is at last.
Truly John was changed from glory to more excellent glory by beholding the glory of
God’s Christ! My prayer is that
all who read these lines may clearly see that beholding His glory causes the old
you to shrink and wither away and die
while the new man, the Christ man in the image of God, matures and grows up into
His likeness. As the glory of the revelation of Jesus Christ shines upon
us, things that belong to the old Adamic creation pass away like the fall leaves
and, behold, new things are born.
Saul of Tarsus many years earlier was fulfilling his commission of
slaughter when he was arrested by the voice and vision of Christ on the Damascus
road, and the man, in the dazzling light brighter than the noonday sun, fell to
the ground, blinded by the glory. Ezekiel
did not see the Lord; he did not see even the glory of the Lord.
He saw only “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the
Lord.” Ezekiel caught just a
glimpse of a reflection of divine radiance, but that was enough to floor him.
He fell down in awe!
“Behold, I am vile,” said one man in the Bible.
This was not said by Cain in a remorseful moment after his murder of
Abel, nor by Judas after he had betrayed the Lord into the hands of His enemies;
instead, it was the utterance of one of whom God said, “There is none like him
in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth
evil” (Job. 1:8). Was Job’s
language the result of extreme depression, induced by his terrible afflictions?
Was it when he first received the news of his terrible calamities?
Not at all! For then he
exclaimed, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of
the Lord!” Was it when his
friends reasoned with him and reproved him?
No, for then he vindicated himself and argued of his uprightness. Let us notice when it was that Job uttered the
words, “I am vile!” IT
WAS WHEN THE LORD APPEARED TO HIM AND GAVE HIM A STARTLING REVELATION OF HIS OWN
WONDROUS PERFECTIONS! It was when
he stood in the all-penetrating light of God’s holy
glory and was made to realize something of His surpassing majesty.
Ah, when a soul is truly brought into the presence of the living God,
boasting ceases, our own righteousness is turned to corruption, and we cry with
the prophet, “Woe is me! For I am undone!”
When God makes to the soul a personal revelation of HIS GLORY, that
individual is effectually convinced of his own wretchedness.
The more we are given to discern the ineffable glory of the Lord, the
more will our self-worth wither. It
is in God’s light, and in that only, that “we see light” (Ps. 36:9).
When He shines into our understandings and hearts, and brings to light
“the hidden things of darkness,” we perceive the utter corruption of our
humanity, and are abominable in our own eyes.
Thank God for it! For when
we stand in the blazing light of Him who is a consuming fire the nature of the
Adamic man of sin is slain by the breath
of His mouth!
John “falling as one dead” before the majesty of God’s Christ has
nothing to do with the silly, carnal experience of being “slain in the
spirit” as practiced by many in the Pentecostal and Charismatic realms today. Now don’t get me wrong — there is a genuine experience of actually falling under the power of the
Holy Spirit! Elaine Cook printed a
testimony from our long-time friend, Rita Kahr, with an added
comment by Elaine which I deem important to share here, for it reflects
my own observation and concern through many years of walking in the Spirit.
“I was in a group where people were being prayed for and were falling
over, ‘slain in the spirit.’ I
wasn’t sure if this was real or
not, so I resisted the one who was
putting some pressure on my head and I stood my ground when everyone else had
fallen over. The question I put to
those who had fallen down was, ‘Did anything happen to you? Did the Lord speak any thing to you, or show you
anything?’ Their reply was,
‘No.’ It was plain to see that
they counted it a thrill to have been knocked over by the Lord.
On another occasion, a brother in my home was just lightly touching the
people and they were falling over. Before
I knew what had happened, he had touched me and I had fallen too.
I didn’t feel the Lord, nor did I feel holy!
I tried to pretend that something had happened. I talked to others later and they seemed happy just to have
had this experience, but I protested that God
is purposeful and would not do anything unless it was for a purpose. I began
seeking the Lord, asking, ‘Is this real?
Is your purpose just to give us a thrill?’ Months later, I had an experience of truly being slain in the spirit.
I found that there is a real,
and there is a counterfeit of the real!
God showed me that He is purposeful in all that He does and that we are to test
the spirits and prove all
Elaine added the following comment: “Rita shared this with us when we
met her on our trip. It was
refreshing to meet someone who questioned
the validity of this particular manifestation.
I too, have had those who exerted pressure upon my head to push me down.
Like Rita, I felt there must be some purpose
to it and I would resist any man trying to fake
the power of God. A certain TV
evangelist who was busily trying to make a name for himself would copy a certain
famous evangelist by throwing his arm out and causing the people to fall down.
It looked like the mighty power
of God! But the Holy Spirit rebuked
him with these words: ‘You are prostituting the gift of God.’ This solemn warning shook him to the core and was the means
of the Lord bringing him out of that place of trying
to be ‘Mister Big’ to the place where he now sees the message of sonship
and understands that the soul life must be
laid down” — end
We have to get beyond dead doctrines, religious traditions, and soulical
experiences. We have to see the
living Christ, for He is the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Reality of
God. It will take more than sermons
on sonship and exhortations on perfection to make us perfect sons in God’s
image! We must SEE HIM to be
changed into His likeness! We must
see Him as He is. It is going to take more than singing choruses, clapping
hands, shouting Amens and Hallelujahs, and preaching to one another about the
deep mysteries of God to bring us to the knowledge of God. We shall have to MEET HIM
as Thomas and Paul and John met Him!
We must see Him in the Spirit and by the Spirit, we must hear His voice
speaking to us out of the deepest recesses of our spirits.
We must commune with Him in the glory of God that radiates from the face
of Jesus Christ. Sonship can only
come by personal association with Christ Himself!
I am willing to stake all that I have and all that I am on this one bold
assertion: No man or woman can ever be changed into the image of God or put on
incorruptibility and immortality until he has cast off the yoke of the carnal
mind and the bondages of human tradition and religion and has MET THE FIRSTBORN
SON PERSONALLY, COMMUNED WITH HIM INTIMATELY, and continued to walk in the light
and glory of what he sees.
The promise of this vision assures us of the perfecting of the powers of
our spiritual life. When Moses
desired the vision of the glory of God, he was warned that no man can see God
and live. No man can stand in the
full blaze of divine glory until he himself corresponds in nature to that glory!
When John on Patmos saw the glory of God’s Christ he fell
as dead in the overwhelming presence. Our
nature is not constituted to bear the blaze of uncreated light. But this restricted nature is not for ever!
For the burning radiance of His holy light shining upon us releases us as
we are exposed to it from the obstructiveness of our own impaired senses, and
then with purged heart, renewed mind, and quickened life we shall perceive Him.
George Hawtin penned some beautiful words along this line which express
the real truth of it. “I have
often thought,” he wrote, “of the wonderful words no
man can SEE GOD AND LIVE. Oh,
how often we have quoted that wonderful passage as proof that we may not hope to
see His face. Will you allow me to
reverently say something else? Though
it is true that no man can see God and live, it is equally true that no man can
see God and die. Men do not die in
God’s presence, neither do they live AS THEY USED TO LIVE, but they are
They are changed; they are transfigured; they come into THAT SAME IMAGE
of Him who created them. In
whatever measure God reveals Himself to man, to that same measure you are
changed and nothing can avoid that conclusion.”
I know why some folks can’t die to flesh — when you see HIM, you die.
I know why some preachers preach themselves instead of the Lord Jesus,
why they can’t preach without reminding the audience of what good preachers
they are, how great their word is, how chosen of God they are, how blessed the
people are to have their ministry, why they promote themselves and seek to gain a
following and build a kingdom around themselves — if ever they see HIM, self
will fall at His feet as dead! Truly
we are changed by beholding the glory of the Lord, as the apostle said.
You won’t see the Christ until you start looking for Him, and you
won’t find Him until you go where He is revealed.
He is fully, totally revealed in His glory in the realm of the Spirit!
He is revealed in the midst of the golden candlesticks, in the midst of spirits
that have been quickened by His Spirit and set on fire from that fire which
“And when I saw Him I fell at His feet as dead.
And He laid His right hand upon me,
saying unto me, Fear not…” (Rev. 1:17).
I do not find it humiliating to fall down before Him. Paul fell off that swift, majestic horse into the dust on the
Damascus road, and the Lord Jesus dealt with him. Then do you notice that He said to him, “But rise and stand
on thy feet.” Only the glorious
Christ of God has ever lifted a man out of the dust of the carnal mind and the
fleshly nature and put him on his feet in the light that cannot be approached
unto. John on Patmos saw the
glorious Son of man and said, “I fell at His feet as dead.” Then he continued, “And He laid His right hand upon me.”
And in that blessed moment John arose to behold in spirit glorious things
never known by man.
The scriptures portray the right
hand of God as the hand of strength, power, salvation, blessing, and
anointing. The implication is that
the right hand of God is the good hand
of God doing wondrous things! The
Psalmist confirms this when he says, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy, at
Thy right hand are pleasures for
evermore” (Ps. 16:11). Again,
“The voice of rejoicing and salvation in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right
hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. The
right hand of the Lord is exalted” (Ps. 118:15-16).
To this the prophet Isaiah adds his inspired testimony: “Fear thou not;
for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen
thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I
will uphold thee with the right
hand of my righteousness” (Isa. 41:10).
In the Old Testament, whenever God is portrayed as manifesting His power,
it is done so with His right hand or arm. “Thy
right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power” (Ex. 15:6).
“O sing unto the Lord a new song; for He hath done marvelous things:
His right hand, and His holy arm, hath
gotten Him the victory” (Ps. 98:1). “Though
I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou shalt stretch forth
Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right
hand shall save me” (Ps. 138:7). Numerous
other Psalms express the same thought. In
the New Testament, after His resurrection, Jesus was by the right hand of God exalted, and made to sit at His right
hand (Acts 2:33-34; Heb. 1:3,13).
This speaks of Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son, our Forerunner.
He is exalted to the right hand of God! That
is therefore the calling of every son of God!
He is the positive force of
God in the universe “who is gone into heaven (spiritual realm of government)
and is on the right hand of God;
angels and authorities and powers being
made subject unto Him” (I Pet. 3:22).
There is no greater prize than oneness
with Christ. The inspired
apostle exhorted the saints in Colosse, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek
those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1).
The message is clear — the elect of God are to SEEK THE THINGS OF
CHRIST AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. Seek
the things of the right hand!
What a word is that! There
are your orders, dear child of God who treasures the hope of sonship.
People tell us that we are too concerned with deep
things and with high things.
Nothing could be higher than the realm of God’s right hand!
Seek it! Seek it!
Seek it! That is the word of the Lord to every one who is conscious of
being risen with Christ. Seek
to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!
Seek the anointing of His
to rule and reign with Christ! Seek
to be victorious in all things!
Seek to be a blessing to creation!
Seek to become His salvation
unto all the ends of the earth! Seek
to rule by His love!
Seek to do wondrous things in His name! Seek to reconcile
and restore all things and all men to God!
That is what it means to seek
the things of Christ at the right hand of God!
Some of the greatest truths of the word of God are the ones that lie
hidden like pearls of great price, unnoticed by the careless but available to
all who will search prayerfully and diligently in the depths of God.
John fell at the feet of Christ as a dead man.
Then the Lord laid His right hand
upon John! The deep mystery here
concerns what was in the right hand of
Christ that was laid upon John. Christ
held in His right hand seven stars!
I want you to see the picture. John
was in the earth realm on the isle of Patmos.
He felt like we feel. He was
weak, as we are weak. He was
discouraged, as we are sometimes discouraged.
He was limited, as we are limited. He
was in tribulation! He was shut up,
hedged in, compassed about by infirmities.
But in the spirit and by the spirit He saw One, and he saw in His right
hand, in the hand of authority and dominion and power, seven stars, and they
were the seven angels of the seven churches which are also the seven
spirits of God! He fell as
dead. What happened in that blessed
moment when John died?
The King of glory came and laid His right hand upon him!
Do you know what the laying on of hands is for? Impartation!
The laying on of hands is presented in scripture as the indication of the
transferal or bestowal
of the power and authority of both God and men.
It was used as a means of setting apart men to particular offices or
ministries. Through the laying on
of hands there was the impartation of virtue and anointing to enable one to
fulfill that office or ministry unto which he was called and separated. I remember well when hands were laid upon me in the Latter
Rain outpouring. In those days of
God’s moving we had what was called “confirmation services.”
The confirmation service was rooted in the scripture (along with others)
which says that the apostles went from city to city “confirming the souls of
the disciples” (Acts 14:21-23). The
teaching was that every child of God should be confirmed
in the body of Christ by prophecy with the laying on of hands. The presbytery would come and lay hands on the saints as the
Spirit directed, and by prophecy with the laying on of hands one’s calling and
ministry would be revealed, gifts of the Spirit would be imparted, and each one
would be established or set in his place in the body of Christ.
I will never forget when hands were laid on me in Toledo, Ohio.
One of the first words to come out of the mouths of the prophets was,
“Yea, thou shalt be a teacher of the kingdom of God!”
I didn’t even know what the kingdom of God was!
I had not the foggiest idea what the kingdom of God was about. But I do believe in confirmation! I do believe in impartation!
And I cannot deny that the spirit of the word of the kingdom of God was
that day imparted into my life by
prophecy and the laying on of hands! It
was only shortly thereafter that a mighty quickening came upon me and the
revelation of the kingdom of God burst forth in power within my spirit, and I
began to proclaim it from coast to coast and from nation to nation.
On that day of my confirmation, another word that was spoken by the
prophets was, “…and yea, thou shalt have the gift of prophecy!”
When the prophets were all finished they stepped back and one said,
“Brother Eby, the Lord has said that He gives you the gift of prophecy — now
I was astonished! But I opened my mouth and the first prophecy ever to pass
through my lips began to pour out! That,
my friend, is impartation! And all
through the Bible impartation was accomplished by the laying on of hands.
Men have received strength to be healed by the laying on of hands.
Multitudes have received the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of
hands. Wonderful gifts of the
Spirit have been imparted to members of the body of Christ through the laying on
of hands. Bishops, elders, deacons,
and other ministries have been separated unto God and equipped with a special
anointing by the laying on of hands. The
laying on of hands by the Spirit brings impartation of the life and power of
The question follows — when Jesus put His right hand upon John that day
so long ago, what happened to the seven
stars in His hand? HE PUT THEM
INTO JOHN! Can we not see that the
King of glory imparted to John the
seven spirits of God! He laid that
hand, that held the stars, on John, and there was a mighty transformation!
From that moment forward John began to see
new and glorious things, he began to experience
fresh and wonderful things. The old
cocoon of his natural life cracked. A
door stood open in heaven. John was
caught up into a higher realm! What
he saw was the revelation, the unveiling, the uncovering of Jesus Christ!
Christ held in His mighty hand the seven stars, the seven-fold word of
God, the full revelation and power of that word which originates out of the
seven spirits of God, and He lays this hand upon John and imparts the vision,
authority, and power of that spirit-word to John, who is the symbol of every
overcomer in Christ! We are participators in this divine drama! The seven stars, which are the seven angels, which are the
seven spirits, which contain the seven-fold fullness of divine revelation and
truth, were given to John that by them
he would write to the seven churches! The
Lord Jesus put this high and holy knowledge of the purposes of God, this
heavenly illumination of His will and ways, this divine anointing of His spirit
of wisdom and power, into John. He
laid it on his mind, impregnated it into his spirit, and only then did He give
the charge to John: “Write the things which thou has seen, and the things
which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven
stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks”
And now, praise His name, Christ has laid His hand upon us!
John is the symbol of every overcomer in Christ!
Truly we have heard the great voice as the sound of a trumpet and we have
turned to see the voice. Oh, yes!
We have seen the golden candlesticks and have beheld this One in the
midst like a son of man. We have
within ourselves fallen as dead men before the glory of Christ the Head, and He
has laid His hand upon us and there is a mighty impartation and transformation
taking place in this hour! And now
we are seeing wondrous things and experiencing great and mighty things that we
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