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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the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE CHURCH IN
“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna…” (Rev. 2:17).
The imagery employed in this beautiful passage is full of spiritual
meaning, once we obtain the key to it. The
phrase, the hidden manna, is an allusion to the ark of God which resided in the
most holy place of the tabernacle of the Lord, which accompanied the children of
Israel during all their wanderings in the wilderness, and which, as we are told
in the book of Exodus, contained a golden pot of the manna by which they had
been miraculously fed. While the
manna collected daily, if kept over for a second day, corrupted, bred worms, and
stank, that which they placed in the golden pot was preserved ever fresh by the
power of the Shekinah glory which radiated the ark. But let us look beyond the letter of the word and hear it by
the Spirit! The hidden manna
reveals the truth of INCORRUPTIBILITY
No spiritual person supposes, however, that the overcomers will one day
go to heaven and eat literal manna from an actual golden bowl!
But all who follow Christ into sonship to God shall eat and eat and eat
of HIS INCORRUPTIBLE LIFE until all the death of the carnal mind and the
corruption of the flesh has been swallowed up of His life and the day comes
when, even in their bodies, this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and
this mortal shall have put on immortality!
Aren’t you glad!
Under the old covenant they had an outward ark and in it they put the pot
of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the stone tablets of the law given
to Moses. But Christ in His new
covenant puts His spiritual law of His divine nature, and the rod of His divine
appointment by the Spirit, and the manna of His own incorruptible life, into the
hearts of His called and chosen elect. They
that ate of the manna in the wilderness died, but they that eat of the
incorruptible life of Christ, the spiritual bread from heaven, are filled with
divine and eternal life. The new
covenant is not according to the old, with its outward rod, law, and manna, for
all those outward things served only until the time of reformation or change,
till the seed, the heavenly and spiritual man, came, in the power of God’s
Life and Light, who puts the heavenly law of Christ’s mind and nature, and the
heavenly rod of God’s appointed priesthood, and the heavenly manna of
incorruptible and immortal life into the sanctified hearts of God’s sons.
Christ abolishes all these outward things, of the old covenant and
testament, and establishes the new in the lives of His called out people!
It is quite meaningful to see that the manna is in the ark.
The ark represents Christ! It is not open
manna, it is not manna on the ground, in the lowlands of the corruption of our
earthiness, or of carnal man-made religion; it is not manna displayed — not
something you will hear on TBN! It
is manna in the secret place, in the secret depths of Christ in our spirit.
It is not surface and shallow, it is not for the multitudes, not even the
multitudes of God’s people. This
is that which goes beyond the veil, hidden in the ark of Christ.
Hidden manna is from heaven, truth unfolded, enlightenment and quickening
from the throne room of God! Can
you not see the mystery?
Not only is the manna hidden in the golden pot, but this pot is hidden in
the ark! “For ye are dead, and
your (new) life is hid with Christ in God”
(Col. 3:3). In the wilderness the
children of Israel enjoyed the manna, but the manna they enjoyed was public
manna; it was manna fallen to earth before the eyes of everyone, not manna
hidden in the heavens of God’s Spirit. The
hidden manna is not the obvious manna that everyone else is eating, but that
which is stored away in the blazing presence of God, in the ark of His covenant,
in the most holy place of His glory and power.
Most Christians eat of the ordinary manna, the letter of the word, the
truths of God on the level that is understandable by natural minds.
They never get to the depth of truth that can only be received by the
quickening of the Holy Spirit! Instead
of merely believing the letter of the words of scripture, every son of God is
being quickened to hear the heartbeat of the Father, to receive the words of God
in and by the Spirit.
The hidden manna is Christ speaking words of spirit and life from the
sanctuary of our innermost being! The
showbread was exhibited on the table, it was shown forth and seen of men.
But the incorruptible manna is hidden in the golden pot in the ark.
Multitudes today eat of the showbread in the holy place!
In gatherings, in meetings, in conventions, on radio and television, in
books and magazines, they eat of that bread of life that is displayed, that all
can see and hear, and be strengthened thereby.
But it does not give the measure of life that the hidden manna gives!
It is like the milk for babes, of which Paul wrote.
The hidden manna is Christ is a deeper way, Christ in the most holy
place, Christ in the inner chamber, Christ in the secret place of the Most High,
Christ in the heavenlies of our spirit!
Christ according to the order of Melchizedek, after the power of an endless
life, not according to the old order of Aaron.
Aaron stands in the outer court offering sacrifices upon the altar, and
in the holy place lighting the lamp of a beginning, feeble light of Christ, and
burning the incense of prayer and praise. Melchizedek
is on the throne of God in the higher than all heavens!
We may experience Christ as our showbread in the holy place and all that
we experience there is immediately known by many people.
We may share it in church meetings, Bible study and prayer groups,
conferences, perhaps even on radio or television.
We may write of it in magazines, or in a book.
Sometimes the news of our glorious experience spreads across the whole
land! This is nothing but the
experience of Christ as the open showbread!
The overcomers are those who press deeper into the secret place of the
Most High in order to partake of the Christ in realms and measures that the
world, even the church world, knows nothing of!
Not to the whole church in Pergamos, but only to “him that overcometh,”
is the promise given of the hidden manna. The
Lord Jesus ministered to men in power and great glory, but as a Son He enjoyed a
relationship with, and a knowledge of, the Father that the multitudes, nor even
His own closest disciples, knew nothing of.
And so it is with every son of God!
Isn’t it wonderful!
The hidden manna brings incorruptible life!
And as His divine life becomes our life, transforming us from the image
of the earthly man into the image of the heavenly man, then the life of God
shall flow out to the nations of the world through a true manifest sonship
ministry until there has been brought into being a new heaven and a new earth.
Aren’t you glad! “As we have
borne the image of the earthy, we shall
also bear the image of the heavenly” (I Cor. 15:49). This transformation comes from partaking of His life, eating
His flesh and blood, that is, eating the hidden manna! No more carnality! No
more death! Not only for the sons,
but all humanity! By the hidden
manna the sons of God shall put death under their feet, destroying it finally,
fully, and forever, as Jesus did eternally when He came and lived by the life of
the Father. Not only do they win
victory over death, but they now have the power of Life! Out of this temple of God shall flow a river of the water of
Life to bless all creation. Even
those believers who failed to attain to the status of an overcomer will be
greatly blessed by those who did!
This is a supernatural manna — not the manna after the order of that
which the children of Israel ate in the wilderness, for they ate and are dead.
The manna in the wilderness gave the people life in a physical body, but
this is a manna that will give you life in a spiritual body.
“I am the living bread,” said Jesus, and “this is the bread which
cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not
die” (Jn. 6:50). As the
children of Israel ate the manna every day, so we must eat the manna every day!
“If any man eats and continues to eat of this bread, he shall live forever,” is how it
is in the Greek.
Behold, I show you a mystery! The
body Jesus brought out of the tomb is the
eternal body of Christ. The
body that came out of the tomb was the only glorified human flesh that ever
existed. Jesus was the only perfect
man empowered to raise His flesh body up into the state of spiritualization —
a spiritual body, truly a body, but
not a natural body, for now “there is
a natural body, and there is a
spiritual body” (I Cor. 15:44). The
spiritual body is His body!
There will never be but one resurrection body for there will never be
another man besides the last Adam who is also the second
man. There have only been two
men — Adam and Christ. Just as our natural body came from Adam and is
the very body of Adam, so must our spiritual body come from the Lord Jesus
Christ and is the very body of Christ. His
resurrection body, because it is the
body of Christ, and for those who make
up the completeness of the Christ body, enters into us making us truly “bone
of His bones, and flesh of His
flesh” (Eph. 5:30). That is the
When we speak of this great truth of being members of Christ’s body, we
are not referring to Adam’s flesh body-members becoming members of Christ.
Oh, no! It is not Adam’s
hands (our physical hands) or Adam’s mouth or Adam’s feet that are members
of the Christ. That is how we think
in the natural! Only flesh of His
flesh and bone of His bones can be
the members of Christ! Just as
believers receive the spirit of the
Son into their hearts in the power of the Holy Spirit, so does the overcomer
receive that resurrected and glorified body
of the Christ within, bone of His bones, and flesh of His flesh.
As we continue to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, growing in His nature,
life, power, and glory, we receive within ourselves in the invisible realm of
the inner son, the new man, the new creation, the inward man, that same
resurrection body of the Lord who ascended into the heavens and is now returning
to appear in His many brethren, to be admired in all them that believe in this
Let us look a little deeper. Should
you shed Adam’s body, the natural body, the earth body, the corruptible body,
this tabernacle in which we groan, that glorified body is there, raised up in
the life of Christ within you, and you have a house built within you, which is
out of heaven, out of Christ in the realm of the spirit, and that house IS THE
LORD JESUS CHRIST — SPIRIT, SOUL, AND BODY.
Can you not see the mystery? In
Spanish there is a hospitable saying, when one comes to visit, “mi
casa es su casa” — “my house is
your house.” That is what the
Lord Jesus says to us today in respect to that body He brought out of the tomb
in a state of glorification — “My house is your house!”
This is our house from heaven, the building not made with hands, eternal
in the realm of the spirit within ourselves!
This is the body of immortality and incorruption the sons of God are to
seek — to fully put on the Lord
Jesus Christ as our house from heaven in the power of His resurrection!
That is the mystery!
Is this not why the Lord said, “I am the living bread which came down
from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread
that I will give is my flesh, which I
will give for the life of the world”
(Jn. 6:51). The living flesh of the
Lord Jesus Christ is the hidden manna
promised to the overcomer! The
words of Jesus in this regard are very clear and wonderful, “Your fathers did
eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat
thereof, and not die” (Jn. 6:49-50).
“To him that overcometh I will give a white
stone, and in the stone a new name
written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it” (Rev. 2:17).
All through the Bible, and in no part of it more than in this book of
Revelation, runs the idea of a correspondence between a spiritual quality and
the name of the person possessing it; the precious stone represents the quality,
such as courage, patience, strength, or other quality which is most
characteristic of some particular person, and the name written on it is that of
the wearer. The “white” stone
promised to the overcomer is not
meant as a description of its appearance or color, but its nature.
It stands for a flawless purity, the beauty of holiness.
The white stone is the white of spiritual
White is everywhere the color of that which is righteous, spiritual,
divine, and heavenly, and nowhere more remarkably so than in the book of
Revelation! Of the mighty Christ of
God we are told, “His head and His hairs were white
like wool, as white as snow.”
Then besides this white stone we have white raiment,
white robes, a white cloud, fine linen clean and white, white horses, and a
great white throne.
When Jesus was transfigured on the holy mount before His disciples, the
record states, “His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white
as the light” (Mat. 17:2). The
white here was not the dull white like the paper these words are printed on, but
glistering white — like the LIGHT!
It is the character of intense white to be shining — like a diamond!
It is the brilliance of the radiance of the glory of the Lord!
What a stone this is — white, like the light, glistering with the
brilliance of God’s glory! It
speaks not of simple purity as much as it does of radiating glory that emanates
out of divine nature!
When the Lord said that He would give a white stone to the overcomer He
used the Greek word psefos.
This particular word appears in the New Testament in only one other
instance, namely, that of Acts 26:10, wherein Paul says,
“Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut
up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they
were put to death, I gave my voice (psefos)
against them.” Paul stated,
“I gave my voice against them.” The
word voice is psefos.
The Emphatic Diaglott renders the word as vote. Paul gave his consenting “vote” to the death of the
saints. This same word psefos was translated stone
in Revelation 2:17!
Liddell and Scott’s Greek Dictionary presents quite an array of
evidence to show that stone, or pebble, referred to by the Greek word psefos, does not refer to just any stone or pebble one would pick up
off the ground, but is in reality a balloting stone used by the ancients in
casting their votes. Elections and
other decisions of the people, as well as decisions of the judges, were
expressed by the use of this particular kind of stone, or pebble — psefos
Athenas. These stones were
painted white to express a favorable vote, or black to express an unfavorable
decision in the situation under consideration.
The Greeks still use a method of voting like this.
They have a tin box divided into two parts, one side painted white and
the other side painted black. A
hole permits the voter to insert his hand into the box and drop a little ballot
made of lead, about the size of a pea, either into the white side of the box or
into the black side.
There may also be an allusion here to conquerors in the public games, who
were not only conducted, AND with great pomp into the city to which they
belonged, but had a white stone given
to them, with their name inscribed on it; which badge entitled them, during
their whole life, to be maintained at public expense.
Still other white stones had to do with instruments of hospitality, or
friendship, or alliance. A stone
could be inscribed and then broken so that the two parts, when fitted together,
formed a sort of validation of the bearer.
A white stone was given to a man who had been tried and acquitted.
Then sometimes, the white stone was given to the man freed from slavery
and made a citizen of the province. He
carried the stone as evidence of his citizenship.
Can we not see by all these uses of the white stone that the common
denominator in each is the “rights” or “privileges” or “status” or
“identity” of the one receiving it! In all these cases the white metaphor drawn by the white
stone is a way of describing OUR PLACEMENT AS OVERCOMERS, INHERITORS, PARTAKERS
OF THE HEAVENLY CALLING, SONS OF THE KINGDOM.
meaning of this Greek word used by the Spirit in the promise to the overcomer
certainly gives a wonderful assurance to the overcomer!
The Lord is saying that He will cast His vote in favor of those who
faithfully fulfill all His will, who follow Him all the way, who overcome all
things by the power of His life — declaring us sons indeed, imparting to us
His power and glory, conferring on us life and immortality, and raising us up to
sit with Him upon His throne! This
is the adoption, the placement as sons!
Can we not see that this is precisely what happened in the life of the
firstborn Son when He came to the Jordan to be baptized of John?
The Holy Spirit descended upon Him without measure and the voice came
from heaven proclaiming, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased!” The Father cast His vote, declared His Son, imparted His
power, glory, and honor, conferred
His incorruptible life and nature, and sent Him forth as the manifest Son of
God! On that blessed day the
Father gave His Son a white stone, and in that stone a new name was
written which no one else knew saving He that received it!
Oh, the wonder of it!
There is another application of the white stone worthy of our
consideration. In the Old Testament
times, there was a wonderful stone which was concealed in the breastplate of the
high priest (Ex. 28:15-30). This
stone was called Urim and Thummim, meaning “Lights and Perfections.”
That does not mean there were two stones, only that there were two
manifestations of God out of the one stone.
Since the diamond, most precious of all stones, was not among those set
in the breastplate itself, it could likely have been this stone which contained
within itself, by the spirit and power of God, the Urim and the Thummim, which
was concealed within, or beneath, the breastplate. The high priest alone knew what was engraved upon it, but the
conjecture that it was the ineffable name of God is probably correct.
Thus, the new name that the overcomer receives in the white stone is the
very name or nature of God Himself! It
is a higher revelation of Him than has ever been communicated to others!
It is, as the Lord says in Revelation 3:12, “My new name.”
It is the very nature of CHRIST!
The “Lights and Perfections” were divine manifestations of the Spirit
by which the counsel and will of God was revealed to the high priest.
The high priest would inquire of the Lord and God would answer him “by
Urim and Thummin.” God would speak out
of the stone just as He spoke out of the burning bush and out of the cloud!
Christ is our high priest of the new covenant! Isn’t it wonderful that out of the “lights and
perfections” of the nature of God within
His called and chosen elect the voice of God is heard, the purpose of God is
revealed, and the will of God is known!
This shows that as God gives us the white stone of the Urim and Thummim
within ourselves by the wisdom of the Spirit, in the power of His nature, and by
the authority of Christ, we are able to see
and hear as we have never seen or heard before!
This is happening right now as the revelation of God is released in those
who are overcoming, growing up into the fullness of Christ.
We are now seeing all things as they really are, and all the old errors
of the religious systems of man, and the false perceptions of carnal
understanding, are being removed out of our thinking and experience.
Isn’t it wonderful!
Our Father is a very effective teacher and He teaches by the illumination
of His word within the inner recesses of our being.
He teaches through the ministry of the body of Christ from member to
member in the flow of His life. He
teaches through experience, and many times He teaches through parabolic
experiences. We have an example
of His teaching by a parabolic experience in the book of Jeremiah, where the
Lord spoke to the prophet saying, “I want you to go and buy a fine linen
girdle and I want you to put it on.” Then
the word of the Lord came to him saying, “Now, take the girdle, go to the
river Euphrates and hide it there in a hole in the rock.”
It was four hundred miles to the Euphrates!
So the prophet went to the Euphrates and buried the girdle in a hole in
the rock by the river, as the Lord commanded.
He then made the long trek back over four hundred long, hot, dusty,
rocky, treacherous miles!
Some days later the word of the Lord came to the prophet again, saying,
“Now, Jeremiah, go back to the Euphrates and dig up the girdle!”
So he made the journey back over four hundred miles, dug up the girdle,
and brought it home. In the
meantime, the girdle had become marred, it had mildewed and decayed, it had
rotted in that damp little hole in the rock by the river and the word of the
Lord to him was this, “As this girdle has been marred, so will I mar the
beauty of Judah and Jerusalem!” What
a way to receive a word from the Lord! Don’t
you think that God could just have shown Jeremiah the girdle in a dream? Don’t you think God could have given him a vision that
would have encompassed everything that happened without walking 1,600 miles just
to get a one sentence message from the Lord?
But you see, that was a parabolic
experience. It was the word of
God in the form of a parable that was experienced
by the man of God. He received the
revelation God spoke to him out of the experience,
rather than by a word out of the heavens! And
how terribly effective it was!
Several years ago the Lord spoke to me in a parabolic experience.
Beginning some thirty years ago, I developed a vision problem.
I could read the finest print close-up, but things in the distance were
blurred. Sometimes I could not tell
whether a person half way across the super market was a man or a woman.
At times, at night, I had trouble reading the large signs over the
freeway. Many of those reading
these lines know that in 1995 I had a major surgery.
The neurosurgeon went in through the roof of my mouth to cut away a bone
that was compressing my spinal cord at the base of the brain stem.
When I came out of that surgery my eyesight was about eighty percent
better! I questioned my neurosurgeon about this,
and also asked an optometrist about it.
They both said that they knew of absolutely nothing related to my surgery
that could in any way affect my eyesight. God
had done a strange and wonderful work and it improved my vision.
But it wasn’t whole yet.
A few years later I was riding with my son-in-law, coming home from
Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Just
at dusk in the evening a deer presented itself in the road. Neither of us saw it, but we hit that deer at seventy miles
per hour. The only injury I
received was from the air bag which struck me in the eye at 200 miles per hour!
Immediately, in my right eye, which was the weak eye, I could not see
anything — just a blur. I wound up in the emergency room here in El Paso where they
examined me and told me that what I had was severe corneal abrasion.
In time it would heal. Through
a process over weeks and months, when the healing was complete, I had perfect
vision! I told my family and the brethren, “I guess the Lord knew I
needed a corneal adjustment — so He set it up!” God is an expert at setting things up! Isn’t it wonderful!
Following this, one day the word of the Lord came to me out of my
parabolic experience and the word was this:
“Just as I have sovereignly adjusted your physical vision, so am I
adjusting the spiritual vision of my elect!”
Ah, yes, God is correcting our
vision! God is enhancing our
vision! The Lord is bringing us to
the place of His divine perspective to see
as God sees, to understand as God
understands, to know as God knows!
He is bringing forth in our lives a Divine Perspective to see all things
according to the mind of Christ and according to the heart of the Father!
When we truly see with the eyes of God, by the spirit of wisdom and
revelation, that, my beloved, is
the spiritual reality within ourselves of the URIM AND THE THUMMIM!
Only the overcomer can receive this measure of the wisdom and knowledge
of the Lord!
The white stone carries us back all the way to the mists of the lovely
garden of Eden. The scripture tells
us that the Pishon river, originating in Eden, flowed “around the whole land
of havilah, where there is gold. And
the gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there”
(Gen. 2:11-12). The garden of Eden
is a type of the kingdom of heaven on earth, ruled by sons of God in the image
of God, and here the Holy Spirit connects the garden of Eden with precious
stones, symbolizing rich, beautiful, and wonderful spiritual realities of the
kingdom realm of God.
In another place the Holy Spirit testifies of the precious stones in the
land of Eden, when He speaks to the fallen Adam, saying, “You were in Eden,
the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz,
and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the
turquoise, and the emerald; and the gold…” (Eze. 28:13).
The symbolical picture given here is of a land fairly littered with
sparkling gems of all sorts, as we read in the next verse, “You walked in the
midst of the stones of fire” — that is, in the midst of the blinding
brilliance of precious gems! Adam
walked in a state of God’s abundance! Fellowship
with God in Eden meant living in the atmosphere of spiritual wealth, glory, and
beauty! All the riches of God’s
mind, nature, wisdom, and power
scintillated in Adam’s spirit!
In our text in the book of Revelation the white stone is mentioned in
connection with the hidden manna. Both
are given together to the overcomer! In
itself, manna was a reminder of Eden: for even while God’s people were in the
wilderness on their way to the promised land of abundance and fullness, the Lord
rained down manna from heaven and their food was plentiful, delicious, and easy
to obtain — as, of course, it had been in the Garden.
But, there is a deeper truth yet! Just
in case any might fail to get the connection, the Holy Spirit recorded that the
manna was the color of bdellium (Num.
11:7) — the only occurrence of that word apart from its original mention in
the book of Genesis! And this
plainly tells us the color of bdellium, since we are told elsewhere (Ex. 16:31)
that manna was white!
Both manna and bdellium were white!
“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone.” The
overcomer is given immortal life, but he no longer contains that life in an
earthen vessel with a carnal nature, as we have all experienced up till now.
Oh, no! For the overcomer is
also given, along with the immortal life of the hidden manna, flawless purity,
even the beauty of holiness, by the scintillating radiance of the divine and
heavenly nature. That, my beloved, is the full return to
Eden. Oh, the mystery of it!
To whom is the white stone with the new name given? To him that overcomes!
When is it given? When he
overcomes! Does God then not know
what a believer is going to become? Is
He waiting to see what we shall become before He entrusts us with hidden manna,
a white stone, and a new name? As
surely as He sees the mighty oak which He put there lying in the heart of the
acorn, so does He see the manifest sons of God lying within the seed of Christ!
Why then does He wait until the man has become by overcoming before He
settles what his name (nature) shall be? He
does not wait — He knows from the beginning.
But it is only when the new nature of Christ has grown up, become
victorious, and solidified within him as stone, that the new name has truly become
within. When the man has become his name or nature that God ordains
for him, then he understands what the name signifies and it has become as solid
and enduring as stone within him!
In the 17th century, scientists came to understand gems as
“rare and noble productions of nature.”
They are distilled from duller rocks by processes that often involve the
play of fierce heat and pressure deep within the earth’s crust. And they derive their loveliness from a variety of prosaic
sources. For example, precious ruby
and the common abrasive emery consist of the same basic mineral, corundum; the
difference between them is accounted for by the presence of minute traces of
other substances. Diamond is
chemically identical to graphite; only a different crystalline structure gives
diamond the hardness, clarity, and flash for which it is so highly esteemed.
As diamonds and other precious stones pass through long seasons of
intense heat and cold and pressure in nature’s laboratory before they reach
their perfection of beauty, so must every member of God’s elect pass through
pain and suffering before we can be perfected.
And though chemists can make diamonds and other precious stones
artificially, yet when we apply careful tests to them we see their defects. That’s why a zircon, though it superficially resembles a
diamond, has very little value when compared with a genuine diamond!
So we cannot reach in a single day, or without the heat and cold and
pressure, such perfection that we will have no defects in us, but by continually
living in the presence of our Father, and subject to the deep dealings of God in
our lives through the crucible of experience, we will become perfect even as He
Let us, therefore, meditate upon the precious stones of earth and see by
the Spirit the analogy that the Lord draws between them and His elect people who
become His crown of authority, His diadem.
Let us notice some common characteristics of precious stones and see how
beautifully they illustrate the spiritual characteristics inworked in the lives
of God’s sons. Jewels are rare,
precious, pure, brilliant, beautiful, and valuable!
First, jewels are rare. Think
about it — if you went out in search of precious stones how long and
painstakingly must you search before one is found?
The majority of stones are common and therefore of very little value.
Lorain and I enjoy hiking and camping in the mountains of the southwest,
and it is impressive to explore the high and numberless mountains of solid
stone. And yet, it is awesome to
think that the stone revealed through upturned mountains is slight in comparison
to the vast quantity of stone buried deep beneath the surface!
Our son, Andy, was for many years a rock hound.
He could tell you that the occasional precious piece is rare indeed!
And is this not an appropriate illustration of the rarity of finding a
mature son of God among the hundreds of millions of professed believers in the
world? Rare indeed is a saint who
has seen the vision of God’s truth and is yielding himself to the dealings of
the Father to be a son indeed! No
wonder Jesus said to His small group of footstep followers, “Fear not, little
flock; it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Then, too, jewels are precious. One
could actually hold in his hands precious gems which would be worth more than
half a billion dollars! Some
jewels, because of their history, are virtually priceless.
To illustrate the immense value of gems think of the Empire State
Building in New York City. Thousands
of skilled artisans worked for many, many months erecting this architectural
masterpiece towering over one hundred stories high. Incomprehensible amounts of steel, concrete, wood, and other
materials were gathered from many quarters to go into its construction.
At last this gleaming masterpiece was completed, a monument to man’s
ingenuity, at a cost of some twenty-eight million dollars.
Yet — just one small handful of gems could be worth many, many times
the value of this marvelously imposing structure! Of
such value are God’s elect in His eyes! For
you see, the powers and processes that go into making a priceless gem exceed by
millions of times the work and powers that were involved in the construction of
the Empire State Building. This
speaks to us of the great value of the dealings, pressures, tribulations,
processings, quickenings, blessings, and workings of God in the lives of His
called and chosen people! Is this
not what Paul meant when he wrote, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this
present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory
which shall be revealed in us!”
(Rom. 8:18). Those radiating
His glory, as the result of all His deep and powerful processings, are His
precious ones! That is why the
trial of our faith is declared to be more
precious than fine gold!
The best jewels are pure.
Geologists tell us that precious stones were once part of the surrounding
elements in which they are found. Through
the ages earth movement, pressure, and heat began a separating work, and finally
that which was once mixed and impure became crystal, free from alloy, and that
which was commonplace became a jewel! How
often does the call of a son parallel this process!
The intense heat and pressure of our trials and tribulations, and
Father’s crushings and provings, separate out of our lives the flinty
disposition of self-will and the clay of carnality and instability.
We know that the diamond was once carbon, black and soft in comparison to
the clarity and hardness of the final product.
In the depths of the earth, lumps of carbon are subjected to intense heat
and terrific pressure, and a miracle is performed!
That which was black becomes crystalline clear, and the hardest substance
known to man. What a lesson!
Truly the power of God can take that which is weak and black and
worthless and transform it into the
very image and likeness of God! Oh,
the wonder of it!
nature in the material creation, as designed by the wisdom of our heavenly
Father, is a precise natural picture of the spiritual workings of God in His new
creation. Every one of God’s
jewels, His company of sons, is to become pure in the kingdom of the Father!
The very first call of the one apprehended to sonship is to separate
himself from the contaminating elements of the world in which he is found!
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and I
will be a Father unto you, and ye
shall be my sons and my daughters,
saith the Lord Almighty” (II Cor. 6:17-18).
Jewels are brilliant. How
often the clear sparkle of a gem set in a ring or as an ornament of adornment
catches our eye. We are fascinated
by the delightful way facets reflect in varying hues the rays of light that fall
upon them! The various hues
represent different aspects of the divine nature such as love, goodness, grace,
peace, faith, strength, wisdom, and power.
All these are contained in the white
light which He is! We are
called to radiate the multi-faceted glory of God!
Paul speaks of the “manifold wisdom” of God. Manifold means “many-splendored” or “many-faceted.”
Every part of God’s glory is many-faceted, meaning that all are
revealed in the lives of God’s chosen people just as light is reflected by a
diamond. This can be done only by a
people processed as a priceless gem! Common stones radiate nothing of His many-faceted glory!
Only to a processed, pure,
gem-like, people is the word of the Lord sent, declaring, “Arise, shine; for thy
light is come, and the glory of
the Lord is risen upon thee…His
glory shall be seen upon thee.
And the nations shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of
thy rising” (Isa. 60:1-3).
Jewels are also beautiful! The
clear, icy sparkle of the diamond, the warm glowing red of the ruby, the cool
green of the emerald, the regal purple of the amethyst, the heavenly blue of the
sapphire, the warm glow of pearls, each strikingly different from other gems,
yet all reflecting the light in glorious hues, none detracting from the other,
but all enhancing the beauty of the whole.
So are the sons of God! Our
Father is clothing us with the beauty of
holiness, which is the emanation of the glory of His light
Our Lord’s parable of the prodigal son is the portrait of the life of
every son of God. The preachers
generally apply the story of the prodigal son to sinful humanity who have left
Father’s house for the far country of sin and shame, and I have taught it that
way myself. While there may be an
application on that level, it is my conviction that the true interpretation of
the parable is found on a much higher plane than that.
You see, my beloved, there are three
separate parables about lost objects
in the fifteenth chapter of Luke! The
first is about a lost sheep. The
sheep became lost because it wandered away from the shepherd. Jesus said that He was Himself the good shepherd who would give His life for the sheep!
The story of the lost sheep illustrates the condition of all mankind,
lowered into this gross material realm, who have then become lost in their own
consciousness from the presence of the Lord who Himself led them here.
That is the true parable of lost
The second parable is different. There
are many truths in this story of which there is neither time nor space to
mention in this writing. Briefly,
it speaks of a woman having ten pieces of
silver, and she lost one piece. She
then lit a candle, swept the house, and sought in and under everything until she
found it! The woman is the church!
Many of the wonderful gifts and blessings and revelations given to the
church in the early days, and through various revivals and movings of the spirit
of God through the centuries, in turn became lost as men were not careful to
continue to walk in the Spirit of God. The
fact that the woman lit a candle reveals that spiritual darkness descended upon
the church and in that darkness there was a loss of something valuable that was
hers through redemption; for silver is a type of redemption.
The third parable is about a Father and his sons!
Can you not see the mystery? There
is progression in these stories, for the first is about lost
men (sheep), the second is about lost
blessings and benefits of redemption, and the third is about lost
sons! Not lost sinners,
mind you, but lost sons!
How true it is that those whom the Father appointed to sonship at
some point received of the Father that portion of our inheritance which
pertained to us at that time. Just
as the prodigal son asked his Father for that portion of his inheritance which
belonged to him, so each of us sought God for His Spirit, for His gifts, for His
blessings, for His word, for His anointing, for His ministry, for His life, for
His power, for signs, wonders, and miracles, and much, much more!
Did we not ask for these things? Did
we not seek for a double portion, for His fullness, for all He would give us?
And He poured His power out upon us!
Immediately we left the Father’s house (submission to God alone) and
went into the far country of the religious
systems. Just as the prodigal
did, we squandered our inheritance and devoured our Father’s living with the
religious harlots of man-made church systems.
We used Father’s inheritance to build up the systems of men, to promote
the doctrines of men, to enjoy ourselves rather
than doing Father’s will, to gather men to ourselves, to make a name
for ourselves, and to do every carnal-minded, man-centered, flesh-oriented
religious work in the name of the Lord! The
glory of God was dissipated into the fleshly programs and activities of
spiritual riotous living! Thank
God, at long last, in the pig-pen of spiritual
depravity, eating the theological swine’s food of a corrupt church system, we
came to ourselves. It was then that
a mighty revelation broke within our consciousness!
“I will arise and go to my
Father!” In brokenness and
repentance we arose and returned to Father’s house and threw ourselves upon
And now, thank God! He has
fallen upon our neck, He has kissed us with the kiss of acceptance, He has
killed the fatted calf of the meat of the word, He has put on our feet the shoes
of a pure walk in the Spirit of God, He has clothed us with the robe of true
righteousness, He has placed the signet ring of His own authority upon our
finger, and, miracle of miracles, in coming home we have discovered a restored inheritance! Ah,
we had squandered our inheritance, but now, out of the riches of Himself, all
that was squandered is ours again, and much more beside, as though we had never
left home! Isn’t it wonderful!
The elder brother, who represents another side of our sonship, complained
because all this favor was lavished upon one who had sinned so greatly and sunk
so low. Then it is that the Father
makes the most remarkable statement of the whole parable! He says, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all
that I have is thine.” But is it
not also true that “all that the Father has” is the younger brother’s? The shoes, the robe, the ring, all testify to a restored
inheritance! This brings a change
in perception. Before, the son had
said, “Father, give me the portion of
goods that falleth to me.” That
was because he was the younger son —
he lacked maturity. That was the
perception of limitation. And, before we went away into the far country, all that we
had received was “by measure.” One
had a “gift” of this, and another had a “gift” of that, but now the
Father proclaims, “ALL that is mine, is yours!”
Today the Father is revealing to His sons that we are joint-heirs with
Christ; we do not each receive a portion, but we all possess the whole! “All that the
Father has is ours!” That is the
word of the Father to His sons. God
is bringing us out of our consciousness of limitation, into the fullness of sonship! All
the Father has belongs to the elder son, and all that the Father has belongs to
the younger son. The one who stayed
with the Father in unswerving obedience gets it all, and the one who went away
and squandered his substance in riotous living gets it all!
We are joint-heirs! Oh, the
wonder of it! And that is the
mystery of the prodigal son.
Jesus constantly affirms that all the glory that belongs to the Father
belongs to the Son too. “And now,
O Father, glorify Thou me with thine own
self with the glory which I had with
Thee before the world was.” All the Father does, the Son does too.
All the Father speaks, the Son speaks too.
There is no separation between the Father and the Son! “The Father and
I are one.” “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”
There is no division of work! “The Father loves the Son and has
committed all things into His hands.” There
is no competition! “I have made known to you everything I have learned from my
Father.” There is perfect unity between the Father and Son! “The Son
can do nothing of Himself, He can do only what He sees the Father doing.”
And this is all true of the joint-heirs! What a destiny belongs to the sons of God!
I once heard the story of a poor and illiterate widow woman who lived far
out in the country. She had only
one son who was grown and had gone away to a far away city. There her son went into business and made good.
Back home, this poor woman barely eked out a subsistence, planting a
meager garden and taking in washing from her neighbors, scrubbing the clothes by
hand on an old rub-board. The house she lived in continued to deteriorate; windows
broken, roof leaking, steps falling down. Her
clothes were faded and patched, her diet improper and monotonous.
Each month the poor woman received an envelope in the mail from her son.
These envelopes always contained pretty little pieces of colored paper.
Being unable to read and understand what these little pieces of paper
said, she always pasted them up on the wall of her bedroom to remind her of her
son. After some years she died, and
when the neighbors came into her house at that time they discovered this large
number of money orders made out to her
by her son — all glued neatly to her bedroom wall!
If only she had known what was hers
she would have lacked nothing through all those years!
How we need to know what is ours as the sons of our Father!
In Romans, chapter eight, Paul says, “He that spared not His own Son,
but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with
Him freely GIVE US ALL THINGS? The
Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: and
if children, then HEIRS; heirs of God and joint
heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also GLORIFIED
Oh, to be able to grasp the greatness of our calling! We have been born again of the very life of God!
When we have matured and God has brought us experientially to the full
potential of His life in us, there will be nothing impossible to us.
We will even have creative powers. We
will be creators! Can your faith go
this far? If we are born of God we
are born of the life of the Creator. This
is the sonship life that Jesus lived and demonstrated! Twice out of a few rolls of bread and a couple fish, He
created enough food to feed five thousand people, and He said we would do the
same works He did, and even greater! I
want to know the life of this God! I
want to know experientially the power He wrought in Christ when He raised Him
from the dead. I want to know and
experience all His holiness, love, power, and goodness.
To this end I seek to completely surrender to Him and I am asking Him for
grace to be able to do this.
“To him that overcometh will I give a white stone, and in the stone a new
name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it” (Rev.
A new name in its spiritual meaning indicates a new nature.
All spiritual people understand this great principle and I think we are
now beginning to see into the heart of this great conception.
Our earthly life is a divinely ordained process in which there is a great
end to be gained, something to be vanquished, and a spiritual goal to be striven
for and won. The prize of
attainment is beyond the power of human wisdom to describe, yet it is more
positive and real than any possession that is merely of this world.
We cannot know in the fullest sense of the word what it is until it fully
becomes ours, and then nothing can rob us of it in time or eternity; it is the
open secret of all existence; it is to become like our Lord!
This new name is one which “no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth
it.” Oh, the mystery of it!
That is to say that each overcomer has his unique, peculiar, distinctive
relationship to God. He is to God a peculiar being, made after His own fashion,
and that of no one else. For when
he is perfected he shall receive the new name that no one else can understand!
Let me illustrate. In the
world today we have more than six billion people.
Every one of those people is an extension, projection, and reproduction
as human beings of the first man, Adam. In
other words, we are all human beings so far as our natural existence upon this
earth. We are known as “men” or
“humanity.” And we are simply
reproductions of that first man! We
speak of ourselves as individuals. Someone
says, “I am an individual.” By
that he means that he is separate from everyone else.
We think, “I’m not like other people.
I’m me. I’m something
different. I’m special.
I’m unique. I’m an
individual.” The English word
“individual,” however, comes from the Latin word individuus
meaning indivisible or not
divisible. It’s not that which is separate — it’s that which
cannot be separated! It means that
if I am an individual I am not separate from the rest of humanity.
I am simply a unique expression of everything
humanity is! It’s not
separation from; it’s identification
In like manner every one of us, on the spiritual plane, is an individual
— a unique expression of the word, of the spirit, of the mind, of the
substance, of the totality of the being of our heavenly Father!
We all have fingerprints. It’s
interesting that not two fingerprints in the whole world are identical.
You can’t tell that by just casually looking at them.
There are six billion people in the world — sixty billion fingerprints
— and no two of them are alike! Yet
every one of them is so similar. A
fingerprint is a fingerprint. Yet
each one is a unique expression of what a fingerprint is.
A fingerprint represents an identity.
In the case of a crime, often just a fingerprint is enough to convict a
person of the crime. Each one
reveals a unique identity. In other
words, it’s the same thing manifested in
a different way! That’s all
any of us are in the natural, outer, physical body.
We are each a unique expression of the totality of all that Adam is! We’re not each a fragment of Adam, but a unique expression
of HIMSELF! Spiritually, each son
of God is a unique expression of the
substance and glory of our heavenly Father.
We’re not individual sons in any kind of separation!
We’re just a unique expression of everything
picture of this is the human body. Each
of us began our physical existence as a single cell — one little microscopic,
invisible cell. That cell divided
and became two cells. The two
divided and became four cells. By
the time you reach the stage of an adult, they tell us we have approximately sixty trillion cells in our body!
Now those cells take different forms.
There are cells of our hair. There
are cells of our skin. There are
cells of our eyes. There are cells
of our blood. There are cells of
our internal organs — every part of our body is made up of these cells.
Yet, all sixty trillion of these cells came from that one original cell!
And the fact is that within each one of those sixty trillion cells is the
DNA to reproduce a carbon copy of everything
In past months and years we have seen sheep and cats and other animals
that were cloned. That cute little
kitten I once saw that was a clone was made from just one
cell of the cat it was derived from. I
don’t know how many cells a cat has. But
however many cells a cat has, that is, theoretically, how many kittens could be
reproduced out of the one cat! Can you see the mystery?
Each cell does not contain a fragment of the person — within the cell
is the totality of the person!
Each of us is like sixty trillion complete human beings just like
ourselves! What this means is that
there are sixty trillion ways of saying
the same thing!
told me once that he asked the Lord, “What am I in the body of Christ?”
And he said the Lord responded, “You are a flake of dandruff — and
you irritate!” Well, if he was a
mere flake of dandruff, there were thousands of carbon copies of himself within
that flake of dandruff! Isn’t that a wonder? We
think of individual members of the body of Christ as fragments of the Christ.
Not so! Someone says,
“I’m nobody. I’m just a wee
little insignificant member of the body of Christ.”
And yet within you is the potential to reproduce
the fullness of what Christ is! Manifest
sons of God will not be a corporate
company or collection of fragments of Christ as many have imagined.
Each manifest son of God will be the full reproduction of THE SON in all
the plenitude of His mind, nature, glory, and power — in a unique expression of that sonship fullness!
We are not a part of the whole — we are each the whole stated
a different way. Isn’t it
It means just this. You can
worship God as no other man or woman can worship God!
You can see God like no other man or woman can see God!
You can understand God in a way no other man or woman can understand God!
You can experience God as no other man or woman can experience God!
You can know God like no other man or woman can know God!
And above all — you can express God in a way none other can express
Him! That does not mean that other of God’s elect can know or
express God more than you, or less than you, or better than you — but none
other can know and express God as
With every man God has a secret — the secret of the new name.
In every man there is a loneliness, an inner chamber of the unique
reality of life into which only God can enter.
And there is likewise a sanctuary in God
Himself which none can enter but the one, out of which sanctuary that man
brings revelation and life and light and love for creation.
That is that for which he was made — to reveal the secret things of the
No one knows what the white stone contains except the one who receives
it. God calls out His elect for
Himself. Each is a unique
expression of His fullness. There
need be no anxiety about whether we are like any of our brethren — it is
enough that God has made us what He wants us to be.
Is that not enough? Yet each
of us will manifest Him fully, in a different way! Aren’t
you glad! However small or
insignificant we may appear in our own eyes or to others, as long as we are overcoming in that place Father has assigned us, and are growing up
into Christ in our inner son, we are receiving of that new name which no man
knows but we ourselves. We feel the
sacredness and awe of our brother’s holy and secret walk with the Father..
Yet we are one with him in the mystery of it.
To be continued… J.
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