Note: J. Preston Eby, in order to continue to devote his full energy to writing, no longer works in the office and does not receive email. He does, however, respond to any urgent correspondence via snailmail.
To be added to the mailing list to receive the current issue of Kingdom Bible Studies each month:
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
CHURCH IN EPHESUS
“Unto the angel of the church
of Ephesus write; These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven
golden candlesticks” (Rev. 2:1). “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; and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the
seven churches” (Rev. 1:20).
John calls the seven stars and the seven candlesticks a mystery. A scriptural
mystery, however, is not something which cannot be understood, but rather
something which can be understood when it has been revealed.
It is a hidden truth, veiled, concealed in some sign or symbol, until it
is opened to the understanding by the quickening of the Holy Spirit and then
understood by those to whom it is revealed.
So then, it is a revelation! The seven
stars and the seven candlesticks are no longer a mystery when the explanation is
given that “the seven stars are the angels
of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks are the seven
churches.” He holds the angels or messengers of the churches in His
right hand while His position among the churches is in the midst.
Now I would draw your reverent attention to a most significant point.
The King James Version of the Bible prefaces each message to the churches
with these words: “Unto the angel of the church at Ephesus…or Smyrna…or Pergamos…or…write.”
It sounds as though John is writing TO the messengers of the churches. But such is not the case!
John is by no means communicating the message TO the messengers, rather
BY or THROUGH the messengers. In an
even deeper sense John is receiving the message FROM the messengers.
The messengers are not the recipients of the message from
John, but in and with John they are the active force by which the messages are
received and delivered to the churches.
Let us UNDERSTAND! Charles
Williams in The Place of the Lion made
the following astute comment about prepositions.
“It was good of you to look for Quentin…or good in you. How accurate
one has to be with one’s prepositions! Perhaps
it was a wrong preposition that set the whole world awry…”
The preposition “unto” in the command of the Spirit to John is, in
the Greek, in the dative case.
Greek is different than English, and in the Greek language of the New
Testament the dative case is used to signify not only “to” and “for,”
but also “in,” “with,” and “by.”
Let me give you a few examples of such usage where the very same
preposition is used that is translated “Unto
the angel of the church…write.”
“For if through the offense
of one many be dead…” (Rom. 5:15). “For
if by one man’s offense death
reigned by one, much more they which
receive abundance of grace…shall reign in life by
one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17). “Afterwards
I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia and was unknown by
face unto the churches of Judea which were in Christ” (Gal. 1:22).
“That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by
the word” (Eph. 5:26). “Who
being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and
upholding all things by the word of His power…” (Heb. 1:3). “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the
tree…by whose stripes ye were
healed” (I Pet. 2:24). “For
this they willingly are ignorant of, that by
the word of God the heavens were of old…” (II Pet. 3:5).
“by” in each of the preceding passages of scripture is the identical form of
the preposition used in chapters two and three of Revelation where it is
translated “Unto the angel of the
church…write.” But the meaning
is that it is “in” or “by” or “through” the angel of the church that
John should write, not “unto” the angel or messenger!
The Emphatic Diaglott correctly renders this phrase: “BY the messenger of the congregation in Ephesus, write…”
There is a world of difference between writing TO a messenger and writing
BY or THROUGH a messenger! The true
sense of the action is reflected in the following passage where the same
preposition is used again, “Until the day in which He (Jesus) was taken up,
after that He THROUGH THE HOLY GHOST had given commandment unto the apostles whom
He had chosen” (Acts 1:2). What
is really being said is just this: “BY the anointing, BY the spirit of
revelation, BY the spirit of prophecy, BY the word of the Lord, BY the
dispensation of God unto the church at Ephesus…write!”
There are seven star-angels and there are seven churches. Each message concludes with the thrilling and commanding
call, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit saith unto the churches!” And
that is what is meant! John is not
writing to a messenger, rather, it is
by the messenger that he writes, and
the messenger IS THE HOLY SPIRIT, for the churches that receive the message are admonished to hear
what “the Spirit” is saying! Each
message is given from Jesus, it is through
or by the Spirit, and there is a
dispensation of the Spirit designated for each church.
The dispensation of the Spirit for each church is typified by a star
or messenger, which is the symbol for
the ANOINTED WORD OF THE LORD to that church!
Thus it was by the seven
angels, which are the seven spirits of God,
that John wrote to the churches! Only
when we understand that the seven stars,
the seven angels, and the seven
spirits are the very same thing does the mystery
become REVEALED! These are deep and
very sacred principles of God. And
today, my beloved, unless we, too, are
quickened by these same seven spirits or seven angels, or seven stars, which are
the seven-fold word of God by the seven-fold spirit of God, we will understand
absolutely nothing of what we read in the book of Revelation!
Only as we become personally identified with the seven stars, the seven
angels, and the seven spirits are mind and heart quickened to the truth as it is
You will notice that in the book of Revelation from chapter one all the
way through chapter twenty-two there is angel after angel involved in the
unfolding revelation of Jesus Christ. Do
you know who these angels are? They
are ministries, agents, messengers, spirits, anointings, voices, revelations,
words, spiritual powers and manifestations of God by which He accomplishes His
mighty works in His elect and in the whole earth! These are His spiritual ministers! “He maketh His angels spirits,
and His ministers a flame of fire”
(Heb. 1:7). The symbolic term
“angel” is used in the Revelation to show that the ministry and action comes
from heaven, it comes in the Spirit and by the Spirit, it comes by the word,
authority, and power of God. That
is the kind of ministry that at pivotal times in earth’s history has been
loosed in the earth, and in this new day of the manifestation of the sons of God
is loosed in the earth, and shall be over and over again until the kingdom of
God triumphs over all. There are no
literal angels with wings flying around over the earth doing these things, for
it is all by the Spirit!
The first error many make is believing that the “angels” of the
churches are the pastors! It will come as a shock to some to learn that there was no
such position of “the pastor” in the churches in the days of the first
apostles! Even the apostles
Paul and Peter never once wrote to any church addressing, or even referring to,
“the pastor.” The term is
completely foreign to the word of God and entered in later years as an invention
of the man-made religious systems of Babylon. Though God truly speaks to His
people through ministries — through apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors,
teachers, and others — He speaks to His elect BY HIS SPIRIT.
If it is not by the Spirit, then God has not spoken!
The “angel” or “messenger” of Jesus Christ is
the Holy Spirit! How plain this
is made by the apostle John in his Gospel, the very same John who wrote the book
of Revelation! “But the
Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom
the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things” (Jn.
14:26). “But when the Comforter
is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit
of truth…He shall testify of me”
(Jn. 15:26). “When He, the Spirit
of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak
of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He
will show you things to come. He
shall glorify me: for He shall receive
of mine, and shall show it unto you”
(Jn. 16:13-14). Now notice the
correspondency between these scriptures and the following:
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things
which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by
His angel (messenger) unto His servant John” (Rev. 1:1).
“I Jesus have sent mine angel
to testify unto you these things in
the churches…and the Spirit says…”
(Rev. 22:16-17). Oh, yes!
The “angel” of Jesus Christ who is sent
from Him, who testifies of Him, who reveals
Him, who shows His chosen ones things to
come is none other than THE HOLY SPIRIT OF TRUTH!
The angel of Jesus is the Spirit of truth!
Angels throughout the Bible were sent to men to impart revelation, to
deliver a message, to speak a word from God.
In the Old Testament Daniel had an instructing angel.
Zachariah had an instructing angel.
Ezekiel had an instructing angel which told him about the events that
were to come. It was an angel that
notified the virgin Mary of the Son she was to bear, and angels announced His
birth to the shepherds attending their flocks by night.
But that old order has now passed away, for God has sent the Holy Spirit
Himself to guide the elect into all truth!
The only angel we need in this new day of the kingdom of God is the
Spirit of truth, the very Spirit of Christ!
ministry of the seven churches is the ministry of the Son of God who has the
seven spirits of God. In the
symbology of the book of Revelation one of the seven spirits is the messenger or
revealer of each church. The seven
spirits are identified by the prophet Isaiah.
“And the Spirit of the Lord
shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom
and understanding, the spirit of counsel
and might, the spirit of knowledge
and of the fear of the Lord” (Isa.
11:2). In the symbolism of the
Revelation there is a spirit that goes with each church.
The spirit, when “dispatched” to the church, is called an
“angel,” the angel or messenger or revelation of the word of the Lord to
that church. When you know which of
the seven-spirit-star-angels is speaking in the exhortation to each church, the
understanding is vastly enhanced. Each
of the seven spirits, and thus each of the messages to the churches, represents
a stage or aspect of our growth and development into the fullness of Christ.
Can we not see by this that even the angels in the book of Revelation are
wonderful symbols, representing the
living word of God communicated by the spirit of revelation! An angel came and showed these things unto John — that is,
a powerful word of the Lord came to John out of the heavenly realm of the
Spirit, speaking mysteries to his heart and passing before his spiritual eyes
visions of wonders to come. The
proof of this is found in John’s own statement as to how the revelation was
received. “He sent and signified
it unto His servant John: who bare record of the word
of God, and of the testimony of Jesus
Christ, and of all that he saw” (Rev. 1:1-2).
The voice of the angel was merely a figure for THE LIVING WORD OF GOD BY
angels of the seven churches are the seven-fold spirit of God. So the angel was not saying to John, “Write to the pastor,
and tell the pastor to tell the church that I have this for them, and that against
them.” That wasn’t the message
at all! Rather, it is “By
the angel of the church…write!” That
is, by the dispensation of the Spirit, by the anointing, by the word of the Lord
to the church…write!” An angel
is a messenger. Therefore,
what we are talking about is a word!
God says, “I am sending a word. It’s
a word of my Spirit. It’s out of
the seven-fold spirit of my own nature, mind, power, and glory.
John — by the angel, by the Spirit, by the operation of God in you
write this word and send it to the churches.
Don’t write something to the pastor, but in the Spirit and by the
Spirit send forth the word!” The
entire book was written in the Spirit. John was in the
Spirit when he received it, and he wrote it by
the Spirit. That is the word that
is alive today! It’s not the word
that you hear from my lips, or read from my pen; it’s not the word that falls
upon your natural ear or your physical eye.
It’s the word that comes by the anointing, by the spirit of revelation,
by the illumination of the mighty God — that is the word that enlightens your
mind, penetrates your heart, transforms your life, and brings forth within you the
revelation of Jesus Christ! The
seven angels are the seven spirits, which are the seven lamps of fire burning
before the throne (Rev. 4:5). The
seven angels are the seven stars in Christ’s right hand.
The seven lamps are also the seven angels with the seven trumpets
standing before God (Rev. 8:2) sounding forth the word of the Lord!
Therefore He says, “By the
We meet these seven angels, and other mighty angels besides, throughout
the book of Revelation. When God
desires to reveal something, or to accomplish a work within His elect, or in the
earth, He sends forth a symbolic angel — a word, a move of His Spirit, a
manifestation of His power — out of the heavens of His Spirit.
Oh, yes! The new word of the
kingdom, the word of God’s new order of kings and priests for the new age,
must come “down” from God out of heaven into our earth. It is the message of an angel, or a heavenly messenger, even
a spiritual anointing and a divine, creative word from the Lord that will
transform us into the glorious image and likeness of Christ (Rev. 10:1-7).
It is also by a message or the word of
an angel or a spiritual anointing and a divine, authoritative word from
the Lord that great Babylon, the three-fold systems of man’s creation, shall fall
to rise no more (Rev. 14:8). The
anointed word of our Father, sent from the heavens of His Spirit to the earth,
declares it to be so and also begins the process that makes it so!
“By the angel of the church in Ephesus
write…” (Rev. 2:1).
Ephesus is the first mentioned church of the seven.
Ephesus was a city of about two hundred thousand people.
It was a great city and had a huge outdoor theater which could seat about
twenty thousand people. It was a
place of resorts, and the Roman emperors came there.
It was a city constructed of white marble, a beautiful place, and Paul
commented on that. The city was
considered as the greatest city of Roman Asia.
It was also a seaport with a very good harbor.
A Roman writer called it “Lumen Asiae” or “The Light of Asia.”
What was the source of its greatness?
It was the Gateway of Asia. Ships
plying the waters of the Mediterranean sea could enter this fine harbor.
Ephesus was the end of the road from far off exotic places of the east.
Travelers and goods bound for Rome passed through this city.
When Christians were shipped to Rome to be flung to the lions, Ephesus
was the port of embarkation. Ignatius
called it the Highway of the Martyrs. Its
position made Ephesus the wealthiest and the greatest city in all Asia.
The city of Ephesus was a beautiful city but was probably best known in
the ancient world for its sexual perversion.
This is what many thousands of people came to the city for!
The world-famous temple of the goddess Diana was located in the city and
every form of immorality was centered in the temple worship, for “sacred
sex” was one of the prominent features of the cult of Diana.
It was one of those cities where, like Las Vegas today, if you wanted a
“good time” and you were unconverted and didn’t care what kind of good
time you had, that was the place to go. Ephesus
was a city one went to to sin — everything was legal.
The temple of Diana was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Inside the temple was an altar built to Diana in front of three velvet
curtains. Behind the curtains was
the image of Diana.
The image was so ancient that no one could remember where it originated,
which fostered the belief that it literally fell from heaven.
If you see a picture of the image of Diana you would wonder why they
worshipped such a hideous likeness! Diana
was not a beautiful woman, she was a repulsive, dark, squatty figure, covered
with dozens of breasts on the front, each representing a different aspect of her
character. Among other things she
was the goddess of fertility and sex. Around
her worship were some of the most bawdy and vulgar orgies of the ancient world.
About her, day and night, unceasing music was played and everything that
appealed to the senses. Her
temple worship made use of some ten thousand girls and women who were called
“holy women” because, as history shows, they “united” male worshippers
with their goddess. In some
instances there were male prostitutes and sodomites for the women and
effeminate. It was an ugly affair
all the way round, and the worship of Diana literally smelled of hell. In the midst of such a
city we find one of the assemblies of Christ set as a light in a dark place!
The first church to whom Christ spoke was Ephesus and the reason the
order begins there is because Ephesus is the “mother church” for all the
other churches in that part of Asia. The
seven churches literally began out of the church at Ephesus.
The letters that were sent to these churches probably started at Ephesus,
as was the custom in those days, they circulated letters from church to church.
The first letter was addressed to Ephesus and the remainder were
undoubtedly directed to the churches in the order that the letters would be
circulated, for they were seven letters within one letter — the whole of the
Revelation being but one book.
The following remarkable words reveal how Ephesus became the beginning
point of all the seven churches. Paul
had come to Ephesus “and he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the
space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the
kingdom of God. But when divers
were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the
multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily
in the school of one Tyrannus. And
this continued for the space of two years; so
that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both
Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:8-10). The
seven churches were all in the area around Ephesus, but they formed a circle.
They were not a great distance from each other, some were only ten miles
from one another, others were thirty or forty-five miles from another.
By the time the book of Revelation was written Paul was dead, and John
had become sort of a spiritual overseer to the seven churches before he was
banished to the isle of Patmos. Amidst
the afflictions of Patmos his heart was still in those churches.
In the letters to the seven churches the Holy Spirit deals first of all
with THE EPHESIAN CONDITION. “By
the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These things saith He that holdeth the
seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden
candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou
canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are
apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars…nevertheless I have somewhat
against thee, because thou hast left thy first love…but this thou hast, that
thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate” (Rev. 2:1-6).
The EPHESIAN CONDITION is one that the Lord partially compliments.
Here is a body of believers who toil and persevere for the sake of
Christ; they can’t endure wickedness; they have discernment and are not
carried away by false ministries; they endure many things for the gospel’s
sake; and most of all the Lord could say of them, “You hate the deeds of the
Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.”
Ephesus was the church closest to Patmos.
The city was located in a very desirable location, and the name means
“desired” or “desirable.” This
has a spiritual meaning to the Lord’s elect.
We must learn that in the Lord’s eyes we
are desirable! Those called to
sonship are losing their former religious sense of unworthiness, their
sin-consciousness, spirit of condemnation, inferiority complexes, and are being
delivered from all depressions, for we are truly a new creation in Christ! Ah,
yes, my brother, my sister, the Father of glory chose you — picked you out for
Himself as His special own, predestined for a purpose — before the foundation
of the world, and before the times of the ages. “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in
love: having predestinated us unto placement as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself,
according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:3-5). And of His Zion company, those who ascend into the heavenly
heights of authority and dominion with Christ upon His throne, the Lord says,
“For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He
hath desired it for His habitation.
This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired
it” (Ps. 132:13-14).
It is a beautiful truth that the Lord thinks of each one of His elect as desirable. He desires us! To
understand this you must read the Song of Solomon and wait before the Lord until
He reveals the deep spiritual meaning of that book in your heart.
As a bridegroom desires his bride, so the Lord desires us!
He does not look upon our outer man of flesh with its imperfections and
corruptions, but upon the inner new creation man of the spirit.
In our spirit we are truly holy and without blame!
On the personal and individual level, when we come to the place in our
experience of becoming a bridegroom, possessing within ourselves the spiritually
masculine characteristics of the sons of
God, then we desire our bride. Our bride is within ourselves — our soul.
That is how the soul is saved! Within
me my spirit desires my soul as its bride and woos her to become one life in the
union of love. When spirit and soul
are united in marriage within ourselves, they then clean up their house (the
body) so that sin is forever put away and the house can be glorified with
incorruption and immortality. All
this the Lord desires for His elect
and is fulfilling it within us by His Spirit!
To each of the churches, before ever He praises or corrects them, before
ever He requires anything of them, He gives a revelation of Himself.
Notice the revelation of Himself He gives to the church at Ephesus.
“These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand,
who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks” (Rev. 2:1). In the book of Revelation everything is presented as a
“message” sent in writing to the churches, but that is only the symbol.
The reality is that CHRIST REVEALS HIMSELF in that capacity to that
people, whoever, whenever, or wherever they are in the history of the church.
The revelation He gives to each OF HIMSELF is what it is going to take
for that church, or the people in that state or condition of their spiritual
lives, to overcome. Each church
represents people in a particular spiritual
dimension of their growth and development in Christ, and it takes that
unique aspect of the revelation of Jesus Christ unto them and within them for
that people in their particular condition, state, and circumstance to come to
the fullness of Himself. The people in THE EPHESIAN CONDITION need to know by
the Spirit that Christ holds the administration of their lives in His
all-powerful hand, and that the Lord of glory truly walks in the midst of them!
“I know thy works,
and thy labour…” (Rev. 2:2).
It was mid-March when the young man gave his mother a little package.
He told her that inside were seeds for an unusual flower that would
spring up and blossom within two weeks. So
she put the seeds into a pot of moist soil, placed the pot in a sunny window,
and waited for the miracle. But the
pot of dirt just sat there. When
April 1 rolled around, the son stopped in to ask how the flowers were doing.
His mom got a pained look on her face and said there was still nothing
but dirt. Her son started laughing
and said, “April Fools!” The
“seeds” he had given her were actually the hard little tips of turkey beaks
he had picked up at a local farm. When
you plant something, great things won’t happen unless there’s life inside the thing you plant!
The Lord says, “I know your works.”
He neither condemns nor praises the works, He says simply, “I know.”
Oh, yes, He knows! There are
works of life and there are works of death.
The Lord is actively purging each member of His elect in this hour from
all the dead works of man’s carnal religious efforts.
He is bringing forth life in the inward parts that we may bring forth the
fruits of righteousness in the earth!
The burden of the Spirit is to conform the Lord’s people into the image
and likeness of Christ. Oftentimes
He will lead us in wilderness ways of isolation, testing, and proving, for His
ultimate desire is to lead us close to the heart of God, and therefore His
dealings are designed to bring us to an humble and contrite heart. Some have the notion that because we are at the
“end-time” we’ve got to come up with ingenious plans to get
the job done. Many today are
promoting their own grandiose schemes to convert the world to Christ!
And He who is Lord of the church is crowded out of His temple, and
replaced with the zeal and wisdom of the flesh!
Many seek to use the Holy Spirit to do their
bidding and bless their efforts,
rather than waiting upon the Lord to manifest His life in them.
It is the mighty working of the Spirit of Life within God’s sons that
shall bring forth the revelation of Jesus Christ in this Day!
The firstborn Son did only those things He saw the Father doing.
For thirty years He saw nothing
as He stayed in Nazareth growing in the knowledge of the Father and learning His
ways. Then one day, when He was
ready for it, the Father showed Him a work and He stepped forth to Cana of
Galilee and turned water into wine. From
that day forward the mighty works of God were wrought through His Son! They were God’s works,
for He had waited upon the Father to manifest His life from within.
So shall it be in this Day! To
those who go about doing their own works, and to those who wait upon the Father
to do His works, the Lord says, “I
know thy works!” We may fool
men, but the Lord knows!
“I know…thy patience”
Patience is mentioned twice in verse two and verse three. In a church of that stature, as the mother church of all the
churches in Asia, with all the false teachers coming through, all the weirdoes,
nuts, and flakes coming from all the other places around, false teachers of the
Judaizers and Knostics and myriad others, they needed patience to try each one of these by the discernment of the
Spirit and see what these doctrines were, and what the hearts of these
The Lord’s called and chosen elect also need patience concerning the
work of God in us! If you’ve
taken a trip with young children, you’ll recognize the question, “Are we
almost there yet?” It’s an
annoying question for parents, especially when it comes about twenty minutes
into a day-long drive. But the
Lord’s children are not innocent of such questioning either!
“O God, aren’t we there yet? Haven’t
we been through enough? Are the
sons about to be manifested? Do we
have to endure this night much longer? Isn’t
it time for our change? Is the work
about finished? Will I make it in
to the high calling before I go by way of the grave?
Are we almost there?”
most common words heard among believers in time of crisis are: “Lord, do
something!” It is completely contrary to our nature as human beings to
stand still and do nothing when we face perplexing trials. In fact, waiting patiently for God to act is probably the
most difficult thing about the walk of sonship!
Even those with deep dealings of the Lord in their lives sometimes panic
when the Lord doesn’t move according to their timetable.
We often give God deadlines and time limits.
We cry, “Lord, when are you going to do something about this?
If you don’t act now, it will be too late!”
But I do not hesitate to tell you, my beloved, God is never
too late! Mary and Martha found
that out when their brother, Lazarus, died and was buried!
He always acts — and not according to our schedule, but His.
The Lord is calling a people unto Himself in this new day of the kingdom
who will trust Him in every crisis. Indeed,
He often leads us into situations that are frightening, critical, difficult, in
order to teach us His ways. He
tests us to reveal in our hearts whether we are able to stand still and see the
salvation of God! Every called out
one should pray that the Lord will open his eyes and show him the eternal truth
of these words of scripture: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way” (Ps. 37:23).
The Hebrew word for “ordered”” here means “prearranged, step by
step, fixed, ordained by God.” This
means it is God, not the devil, not some freak accident, but the Lord Himself
who leads us into difficult places. We
may cry out, “Lord, why are you allowing my crisis to continue?”
But the truth is, not only does He allow our trial, He arranges
it! And that is hard on the carnal mind!
I firmly believe every step I take is ordained by our heavenly Father.
And if that is indeed true, then I know that God will never lead me to
the brink of a difficult situation only to abandon me.
He wouldn’t say, “Okay, Preston, I’ve directed you up to this
point. Now you’re on your own!”
No! Our wonderful Father is
absolutely faithful to every one of His sons, in every situation and
circumstance. Whenever God requires
anything of man, there is always a reason for it.
The reason so many people fail to attain to great heights in the Spirit
is because they are unable to see God’s purpose,
and therefore they fail in the faith that lays hold upon the great heights that
are in Him. His word to you today,
precious one, is just this: “Will you be the one who won’t panic — who
won’t charge God with forsaking, abandoning, and failing you?
Will you stand still in your crisis and testing, leaning upon the
faithfulness of your Father, trusting Him to reveal His power in you?”
That is the stuff sons of God are made of!
A dear brother shared the following.
“In this fast-paced age, to tell someone to wait brings some difficult
problems. A child sees all his
presents for his birthday and yet must wait until the date arrives.
Oh, the excitement that he feels, for he contemplates the pleasures
hidden just under those pretty wrappings for him.
In like manner, we know some joys of the kingdom.
They are like the outer wrappings of the child’s gifts.
We anticipate the full glory of the kingdom of God, but also know that we
must wait. The first picture the word ‘wait’ sets before our eyes is
as the child and his presents. Time
holds him back from receiving what is his.
He sits and with anxiety waits for the hour when he will be free to
possess them. His waiting is an
exercise in patience. Our waiting upon the Lord has this element, yet is much
greater! When we wait upon the
Lord, we twist together with the One for whom we wait.
The boy aims his sight on receiving what is his by the promise of a
birthday. Time passes, and with
each moment of thought upon his gifts, he is uniting to his ownership of them.
He sees the big wrapped box in the corner and thinks, ‘This is mine.
I wonder what it is?’ Whatever
it is, he unites to his possession of it. So
also do we wait upon God!
“In the spring of 1979 I attended the graduating ceremony of the Bible
school I attended before God sent me back to Missouri.
Now, they had a guest speaker at their meeting.
He was recognized as one who hears from God and shares what’s on
God’s mind for the moment. As he came to the podium, before him sat the young graduates.
Without an introduction or even an hello, he began to speak in a mild
voice the word God wanted these to hear. His
voice became louder and more intense with each sentence.
Finally, his concluding statements were at the top of his vocal range,
yet without breaking the richness of his voice.
He went through several Old Testament characters attaching the word wait
to each one. He said, ‘Abraham,
God has called you to birth the son of promise, but you must wait.
Wait you must!
Isaac, you must wait for the
time for Rebecca to come. You must wait! Jacob, wait
and wait and wait you will for
Rachel your love. And wait
you will to have your name changed to Israel.
You will wait!
Joseph, you must wait for the
day of deliverance. Yes, Joseph,
you must wait! Wait, yes wait
David you shall to be king. David,
you will wait. Wait! Wait! You must wait!’” — end quote.
To all who
treasure the beautiful hope of sonship to God, who yearn to see the fullness of
God revealed in His elect; to all who long to see creation set free from the
bondage of corruption; to all who hope in Christ for the perfection, completion,
and fulfillment of all He has
promised those who follow on to know Him in this Day; to one and all I say, “wait!”
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7).
“But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for
it” (Rom. 8:25). “Be not
slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the
promises” (Heb. 6:12). “Cast
not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God,
ye might receive the promise” (Heb. 10:35-36).
Patience is often lacking when God does not seem to accomplish His work
in our lives, or in others, or in the earth as quickly as we think He should.
But every son must understand this great truth — God seems to use delay
as a choice process in the development of character and faith!
Be patient, saith the Lord!
Every promise of God will be
fulfilled in His appointed time, when every necessary preparation has been
completed in each son. God will
finish His work and show forth His glory in us.
He will do it! He is
doing it! The work of God in us today is setting the stage for God’s
great tomorrow. Not one thing shall
fail of all that He hath spoken!
“Thou hast tried them which say
they are apostles, and are not, and has found them liars” (Rev. 2:2).
The setting for the passage above is a time when Paul is now dead, Peter
is gone, and John has only a few more years to live — he is the last of the
twelve apostles — and already false apostles are rising up in the midst of the
Lord’s people. It seems that
false apostles always tell you they
are apostles. In fact, we usually
have only their word for it that they
are apostles! I’ve noticed
through many years that true apostles rarely open their mouths to tell it.
Notice the wording — “those who say
they are apostles.” We find
something happening in their day that is characteristic of the church in every
generation and age, especially in this climatic hour of the transition of the
ages. In John’s day there was a massive rising up of people who
declared themselves to be apostles, and were not. Does that not sound a little familiar today?
never been an hour when so many self-appointed apostles were coming out of the
woodwork as this hour in which we stand. I
have no hesitation in telling you that the vast majority of them are not apostles at all, for they do not the works of an apostle.
This is the day of false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming
themselves into the apostles of Christ; and no marvel, for Satan himself is
transformed into an angel of light; therefore it is no great wonder if his
ministers also be transformed as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be
according to their works (II Cor. 11:13-15).
Any preacher who can come up with a unique twist of doctrine, an apparent
gift of some kind, and a liberal dose of charisma can gain a following and start
a little movement around himself, imagining that he is an apostle.
As the elect of God you have a divine obligation to investigate,
scrutinize, and seek the Lord about everything that I teach or that anyone else
teaches! You have an obligation in
the Spirit and by the Spirit to observe my life and the life of every minister
of God. I have no right to expect
you to blindly follow my words or ministry in any fashion or form. But I do earnestly pray that you will make sure of all
things, search the scriptures, and be led by the Spirit of truth within you!
The word of the Lord is sure to all who humbly and sincerely follow on to
know the Lord, for He says, “If any man will do His will, he
shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of
myself” (Jn. 7:7). You will know within
yourself, by the anointing abiding in you.
If you do not know the truth within yourself, then you do not yet know
the truth! If you know the truth
you can share it with me and I will say, “Amen!”
When I share what the Father is saying with you there is a witness in
your Spirit even if your conscious mind was not aware of the truth, you know
that in the depths of your spirit you already knew that!
“But the anointing which you have received of Him abideth in you, and
ye need not that any man teach you:
but as the same anointing teacheth you all
things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath
taught you, ye shall abide in Him” (I Jn. 2:27). You can trust the
anointing within you, my friend! It
is the oracle of God within the spirit of every anointed son!
Never, never, violate the voice
of God in your own spirit. God’s
true sons are not ruled over by men claiming position and power over other
men’s lives. The Father Himself
loveth us and showeth Himself unto us! How
precious that we can encourage and confirm one another in the glorious word of
God for this new Day! But there are
no “sonship popes” in this kingdom realm!
Paul spoke of a higher realm than the religious works and orders we have
known in the church realm of our day when he said, “Now thanks be unto God,
which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place.
For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that
perish. To the one we are the
savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life” (II
Cor. 2:14-16). Paul said that it is
our purpose to “make manifest the SAVOUR (fragrance) of the knowledge of
Christ in every place.” Only a
person who is completely possessed by Christ and walking in the Spirit of God
can even know how to do that, for all of us have in the past been so dependent
upon our doctrines, our forms, our ways and methods, so that we have made
manifest the KNOWLEDGE, rather than the FRAGRANCE of the knowledge!
What a difference there is, and what an impossibility to walk in it apart
from the complete destruction of the soulical man!
That is what the elect are called to in this new kingdom day, to be the fragrance
of the knowledge of Christ. Truly
we are being so changed, so transformed into the spirit of the Son, so exuding
His love, goodness, mercy, grace, wisdom, glory, and power until the scent
of His sweet and beautiful nature emanates and flows forth out of our lives.
The very fragrance of Christ thus becomes
a teaching — men learn of Christ by seeing Him as He really is in those
who are truly His body; at last they come to understand His heart, behold His
beauty, appreciate His ways, and are completely captivated by His spirit through
the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ emitted
from our lives.
This is ministry on a higher level than it has been known in the
old-order church realms. The thing
God is after in this hour is an ESSENCE-MINISTRY, the outflow of Christ from a
people that has broken through all
form into the very spirit of the word
and are, therefore, equipped to breathe
the breath of life into the souls of men.
The ministry of the manifest sons of God will not be like any of the
church order ministries we have known! This
ministry will have nothing to do with organized meetings, buildings, pulpits,
sermons, choirs, programs, baptisms, communions, worship services, pastors,
apostles, organizations, promotions, or any thing we have known in the past.
Jesus had none of those things, and He was a manifest son of God!
Jesus simply was the essence of the Father in the earth — at all times, in all
places, and in all power! He was
the fragrance of the knowledge of God!
weren’t saved, healed, delivered, quickened, and transformed because of the
eloquence of His sermons, the anointing of the choir, or the beauty of the
worship. It was the very love,
compassion, and goodness of God that exuded out through the pores of His life,
permeated the atmosphere, and touched and transformed all that came under its
power. And it worked everywhere all
the time — not in a “meeting” organized in a “building.”
The fragrance flowed out of His life in the streets, in the homes, in the
business establishments, in the fields, on the mountains, by the seashore, in
the synagogues and the temple, even at feasts, weddings, funerals, and in the
Those who move by the essence-life of the Father have no set form in
which they move. No one can point
to their work and say, “Lo, here is Christ, or there is Christ.” The meeting doesn’t begin at seven and end at ten.
You cannot set your watch by what is going on, as is the case in most
church services! They have no need
to sing for an hour and preach for two hours in order to bring men to the point
of faith, or for their gift to work. There
is no such order or program! All
those methods belong to the old and passing religious order of the church age.
Those who shall move in the higher order of manifest sonship and the
kingdom will be like Jesus; today they may use the method of anointing eyes with
clay, tomorrow they may spit on them to perform the same miracle of opening the
blinded eyes, and the next day they may do nothing more than send a word.
A fragrance — nothing anyone can get his hand on and say, “I know
how you operate in this realm, I know how it is done,” or, “I know what you
believe!” Just an essence…just
a savour…nothing concrete…like the wind!
This is that which Jesus was talking about when He said, “As the wind
blows and you don’t know where it came from or where it goes, so is everyone
that is born of the SPIRIT!”
No one can categorize those who are born
of the Spirit, for they believe all things spoken by the anointing and
believe nothing spoken apart from it. They
do only what they see their Father do, and speak only what they hear the Father
speak. That’s why there are no regular meetings in the kingdom
realm, no rented halls, no advertising, no organized crusades, no worship
leaders, no special songs, no program, no sermonizing, no staged altar calls at
the end of the sermon, or any other religious form.
had their prescribed forms of religion, their laws, synagogues, temple,
sacrifices, priesthood, and all the rest. But
Jesus came and demonstrated the kingdom of God, what it is, and how it works.
And what He demonstrated has little to do with anything we see done in
churches today! He CRACKED THE FORM
OF THE FORMER AGE and brought forth the essence of it, and established the
essence. Jesus cracked the form of
the sacrificial lamb and brought forth the essence of it within Himself!
He became the lamb, not the lamb from which flowed the animal life of the
brazen altar, but the Lamb of God from whose hands, feet, and side flowed the
incorruptible life of God in the Spirit! It
flowed down Calvary’s hill, it flowed through Jerusalem, it flowed through the
land of Israel, it flowed to Antioch, to Ephesus, to Corinth, to Rome, to all
the ends of the earth.
essence was brought forth, the form fell. God
saw to that! He sent Titus in to
take care of that with his armies in A.D. 70, and they not only felled the form
of the law and the old covenant, but the whole city of Jerusalem, the temple,
the priesthood, the rituals and ceremonies, and the whole nation of Israel!
Lambs are no longer sacrificed! But
the quickening Spirit of Christ has been sent into our hearts as we eat His
flesh and drink His blood in the Spirit! Christ
cracked the form of the law and brought forth the essence of it within Himself,
by fulfilling all righteousness in His sinless life.
Christ cracked the form of the temple by bringing forth the essence of it
within Himself, His own body becoming the habitation of His Father by the
Spirit. Oh, yes!
Jesus cracked every form of the former age and brought forth the essence of it
within Himself! It is that
essence…that fragrance of the Father’s life that changed everything wherever
Those pressing on into the purposes of God for this day are not concerned
about the titles men take to themselves, all of which pertain to a passing
order, those who say they are
apostles, or something else. Our
deepest prayer to God is that we may just become the fragrance
of the knowledge of Christ IN EVERY PLACE!
That, my beloved, is the higher order of the kingdom of God on the earth!
To be continued… J.
NOTE: A quote from David Wilkerson's message was incorporated into the above writing but accidentally overlooked to give him credit. That credit is given here. :)
Links to other ministry websites
Not finding what you need? SEARCH HERE