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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA
Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me (Rev. 3:20).
Many wonderful things are said to those who hear the voice of the Lord! In the days of His flesh the Lord Jesus said, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live (Jn. 5:25). To John on Patmos the Lord said, If any man hear my voice, and open the door If any man hears His voice and knows that He seeks entrance, if He allows Christ to come in, the promise is, I will come in to him, and will dine with him. This has to happen spiritually, for no one can come into us as a physical person! The door has to be the entrance into our consciousness, into the avenues of our life. Christ longs to dine with us! He wants to eat with us, and we with Him. He wants to share His life with us, that we might become the bread of God to the famishing creation about us. So the wisdom, knowledge, life, nature, power, glory, and spiritual realization that is in the life of Christ comes to us as we eat together! Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The food of every son of God is the Word of God not the letter of the Bible, but the living Word which Christ our life is!
Listen now, with bowed head and contrite spirit, to the heart-cry of the lovely Shulamite as she, possessed by the godly desire to enter into a closer relationship with her Beloved, and to know Him in deeper measures of intimacy and union, which is also the deepest desire of the Lords elect in this new kingdom day, implores, Tell me, O Thou whom my soul loveth, where Thou feedest, where Thou makest Thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be a veiled one straying beside the flocks of Thy companions? (S. of S. 1:7). All that the world or any creature can give, is as ashes to that hungry soul that is longing for a revelation of his Lord. Nothing else can satisfy, neither the Lords people (companions), nor the food of any other field. All other love is as husks, to the love and companionship of Christ, who alone is imperishable reality. The lovely Shulamite maiden in the Song of Solomon represents the elect of God! Truly those who are the called and chosen of the Lord long to be fed by Him, and by Him alone. They would know where He is feeding His flock, that they may join that company which follows the Lamb to Zions holy hill and feasts with Him upon the mountain of His holiness.
It is absolutely amazing, the miracle of the ages, to see how God is drawing those who are willing to pay the price to go all the way with God in this momentous hour. His hand is upon every one of them, and He is drawing them to Himself in increasingly deeper measures. There is no self-satisfaction with those whom God is drawing, in whom He has created the hunger after reality. Though we are always satisfied with Christ, on whatever level we have experienced Him, it seems that the more we feed upon Him and the more fulfilled we become in our relationship with Him, the hungrier we are for Him! The more we drink of the living waters of His spirit and truth, the more satisfied we become and yet the thirstier we are! The cry of the Psalmist has become our very own, As the hart pants after the waterbrooks, so pants my soul after Thee, O God! The closer we draw to God, the more Christ is revealed to us, the more satisfied we are, and yet the more fervently our hearts pant for Him. This is because a portion of our being has been satisfied, and the portion that remains desires Him all the more! The reason many of Gods people are not hungering and thirsting after Him, to know Him in a greater way, is because they are not feeding at all, or are eating the unappetizing, impure, contaminated food of the carnal doctrines and childish programs of the church systems, and drinking lukewarm muddy water from the polluted streams of Laodicea!
Those who have received the call to sonship have been melted down by the dealings of the Lord, that they might cry to the Lord with a voice that would go right up into His heart, O Thou, whom my soul
loveth, tell me where Thou art feeding Thy flock, that I may ever keep step with Thee and not be lingering
over food that is dried, withered, and untimely, even though it may once, in some revival or experience of the past, been fresh. Guide me, that I may walk in every ray of light, that I may feed upon every morsel of present truth, which is the fresh revelation of Thyself, that I may derive the quickening power to be all that you have called me to be and fulfill all of my Fathers will. Tell me where Thou feedest Thy flock, is the fervent cry in the hearts of all the sons of God! We do know and thoroughly understand that only to the degree that we eat of Him are we able to be what He is.
There was a time when doctrine was the passion of my life. I was an avid student of theology and meticulously examined various doctrinal systems. Some of them I rejected, and others I embraced. I thought it was most important to search the scriptures and, from the letter of the Word, to determine what is the truth about a great number of things. Then I got into the gifts of the Spirit and for a season miracles were happening and wonderful healings and deliverances, and the gift of prophecy gushed forth like rushing streams from the mountain tops. Then God began to open the realm of sonship to my wondering spirit, and He has brought me to the place over the past many years where my one and only desire is to SEE HIM, KNOW HIM, and PARTAKE OF HIM who is the living reality. Many of the doctrines we have learned may or may not be true, and whatever you or I believe about them, I have discovered that the Lord is not nearly concerned about them as we are. In fact, when the Lord reaches out to touch people and move in their lives, He pays no attention at all to what they believe about the Godhead, water baptism, sacred names, soul sleep, Sabbath days, and a thousand other issues men quibble about. I am telling you that the living substance of Jesus Christ is exciting me more than anything else that I have ever found in the scriptures or in the realm of experience! The food for sons of God is the living bread which if a man eats of it he shall never die; and the drink for sons of God is the living water which if a man drinks of it he shall never thirst. The words of the hymn writer have become gloriously alive in my heart:
Break Thou the bread of life,
Dear Lord to me
As Thou didst break the loaves
Beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page
I seek Thee Lord
My spirit pants for Thee,
O Living Word!
The law of the New Creation demands a change, a transformation everything God puts within us WE MUST BECOME, until we are what we contain. The transition is from mere possession to a state of being. We have quoted the scripture, Christ is made unto us righteousness, and we have confessed, Christ is my righteousness! We have talked about imputed righteousness, imparted righteousness, and how Christ within us is the righteous One. That is a great and blessed truth! But if you never get beyond that you are like a baseball player who hits the ball and only gets to first base. For you see, the scripture also says, He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM (II Cor. 5:21). You will discover a great truth when you understand the difference between Christ made righteousness unto us, and we made the righteousness of God in Him! In the first I seek the Lord and find Him as my righteousness. In the second I press my way into the fullness of God and discover that all He is, which has been credited to my account by grace, I MAY NOW EXPERIENTIALLY BECOME! Entrance into Him takes me out of the realm of imputed righteousness and places me into the reality of realized righteousness. This brings transformation into the image of God! It is union with God in His personality, and participation with God in His nature and ability.
Let me illustrate. In the process of a chicken being formed the egg must first be fertilized. In the moment the egg is fertilized the new little chick comes into existence in the egg. A tiny little speck of blood appears in the yoke of the egg. That speck is the embryonic life of the chick formed in the egg. You still have the egg the white, the yoke, the shell and within the egg is that little germ of life living and growing. But the egg is still the egg and the chick is the chick. Each is separate and distinct from the other. The marvel of it is that as the chick develops the Creator has wonderfully provided for the chick to live off the egg. Both the yoke and the white of the egg are drawn upon by that life, consumed by that life, absorbed into that life, completely swallowed up by that life. Once the chick was in the egg. But now the egg has become the chick! The life of the chick in the egg consumes the egg, and when that little chicken finally pecks his way out of the egg where is the egg? Its walking on two feet! There it goes! Isnt it cute! Why, the egg now has feathers! The egg is the chicken, whereas before the chicken was in the egg. The egg has been changed metamorphosed transmuted and has become the chicken. Can you not see the mystery?
One of the laws of nature is that what you eat becomes you. It has been said that you become what you eat, but that is not quite correct. What you eat becomes you! Over the years I have gained and lost weight from time to time sometimes in significant amounts! When I weighed fifty pounds more than I do now, every one of those pounds was me. They were one and all J. Preston Eby. They came from eating steak and potatoes, and, of course, many other things. The steak and potatoes became Preston Eby! The beef that once grazed contentedly in the pasture was now raised up into the human family. Out from the vegetable kingdom, the lowly potato had now by transformation been raised up into the kingdom of man. That beef and potato had truly BECOME A HUMAN BEING. They no longer existed as steak and potato now they were me!
When I waddled down the street no one exclaimed, Look at that 180 pounds of steak and potatoes! It wasnt steak and potatoes walking it was me. You could examine that paunch around my middle under a microscope, by Xray, or any other sophisticated medical test, and you would not find one microgram of steak, nor one molecule of potato. What I eat becomes me! What I drink becomes me! What I take into me to contain, becomes me! I take it in and contain it to this great end that it become me. What a beautiful figure this is of that which is spiritually transpiring in the lives of Gods sons in this day of the Lord! God puts Himself into us, His righteousness, His peace, His joy, His nature, His power, His wisdom and HE IS MADE UNTO US ALL THAT HE IS! But we are not content, as are others, to just contain this life. Oh, no! As we live by His life Christ is raised up in us AS US. The Word is made flesh in us, the heavenly is transmuted into the earthly, and we become what we contain. No longer is Christ made something unto us, but we now BECOME ALL THAT HE IS! It is not any more Christ in me the hope of glory now it is only THE GLORY! Christ and I are one. There is no difference. That is the glory of sonship. Oh, the mystery of it!
Go with me now to the land of Israel, almost two millennia ago. It is the month of Nisan, and a prettier spring one could hardly remember. This beginning of months in the Hebrew calendar corresponded roughly to the latter part of our March and the first part of April and marked the end of Jesus three and a half years of sonship ministry. Sometime during the day Jesus was asked by His disciples, Where would you like to take the Passover this year? (Mk. 14:12). Always before, Jesus had seemed to know where they would observe the Passover together, but this time His instructions were rather strange, even to those disciples who again and again were surprised by the things Jesus would say and do. He told Peter and John, I want you to go and get a place ready for us to partake of the Passover. They replied, Where do you want us to prepare this place? Go into Jerusalem, Jesus replied, and youre going to see a man carrying a pitcher of water on his shoulder. I want you to follow him, and whichever house it is he shall enter, you ask for the owner of the house, and tell him, My Master asks, Where is the best room where I can keep the Passover with my disciples? He will show you a large upper room at the rear of his home, completely furnished. I want you to stay there and make all the necessary preparations.
For about a month now the entire city had been in preparation for this important feast. Bridges were repaired, walls whitewashed, sidewalks and drains cleaned and repaired, decorative friezes painted, as the whole city took on an expectant, excited pace. Thousands of lambs were brought in from all parts of the countryside, and ceremonial preparations were under way in all homes for days in advance. The priests would carefully select lambs without spot or blemish out of the herds on the tenth day of the month three days before Jesus sent Peter and John into Jerusalem to find their guest chamber. The lambs were brought into the slaughtering houses in the city.
There is one important point we must notice carefully. As we examine the biblical record it becomes clear that Jesus intended sitting down to a paschal lamb supper about 20 to 21 hours before all the rest of the Jewish homes would be doing the same thing. This truly was to be, then, a special supper! After they had all taken their seats around the table, Jesus, having led them in prayer and pronouncing a blessing on the food in a particularly moving manner, told them, I have had the deepest desire to eat this Passover with you before I suffer (that explains why He was celebrating it early!). Because Im telling you, this is the last time I will eat it with you until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God (Lk. 22:16). The disciples were undoubtedly puzzled. They knew they were sitting down to a Passover supper with the roasted lamb, bitter herbs, unleavened bread, the cups of wine; they knew that Jesus was particularly heavy in His spirit and unusually serious and saddened. And so the supper commenced.
Then, a new phase of the supper seemed to develop. They had all eaten when Jesus took a loaf of the flat unleavened bread, began to break it, and again blessed it, gave it to them, and said, Take and eat of this, because this is my body which is given for you. As Jesus broke this bread into pieces He knew that in only a few hours His very flesh would be broken open in great wounds that He would be fulfilling His role in this fleshly life as a great sacrifice on behalf of the whole human race, for and unto whom He would give His body in a spiritual dimension, which body is His Living Word, for it was the Word which had been made flesh! Later, He took the vessel of wine and blessed it, then poured it saying, Drink, all of you, because this cup is the New Covenant in my blood which is shed for many. Because Im telling you that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the day that I drink it new with you in my Fathers kingdom. Whenever you drink this cup, I want you to do it in remembrance of me, because whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you will be proclaiming the Lords death until He comes. His blood is His Life, or His Spirit, for the life of the flesh is in the blood.
There are many things to learn from types and anti-types, for by them truth is taught with greater force than any uttered words. I would like to point out that the Last Supper was a memorial. And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me (Lk. 22:19). Paul also referred to this event when he wrote, For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take eat: this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me (I Cor. 11:23-25).
I dont know how Christians came to the conclusion that the Last Supper was in fact the first of a new ritual supper! This wasnt something that Jesus did uniquely on that night. This meal, the Passover meal, was something that was done annually at that time of year as a memorial to the first Passover in Egypt when the firstborn of Israel was saved by the blood of the slain lamb. The Passover meal was always concluded with bread and wine. By this the children of Israel had memorialized the death of Gods Lamb for fifteen hundred years! They memorialized it with a type and shadow bread and wine. In type, the flesh of the lamb and the blood of the lamb were the same as the bread and the wine two different figures of the same thing. And so we read that Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us (I Cor. 5:7).
For all those years they had, in symbol, been partaking of His body and blood as bread and wine. So the Last Supper was but one of many hundreds that figured the offering up of Christ for the life of the world. He was not doing something new! He was not instituting something different! He was doing the same thing Israel had done every year for fifteen hundred years which symbolized what our Lord was about to bring to completion and fulfillment on the night when He ate the supper with His disciples. The bread Jesus blessed and served to His disciples that night represented His body, while the cup of wine represented His blood of the New Covenant, which was shed for many for the remission of sins. It is His life that takes away our sins! It all represented our salvation. When Jesus blessed the bread and wine, and told His disciples to partake of it, He was illustrating the wonderful truth that their salvation was now being accomplished and fulfilled. As Jesus spoke those words, Father was arranging the events that would fulfill His eternal purposes for the salvation of all mankind. All that was required at that time was for Jesus to have His body broken and His blood poured out, releasing into humanity the living Word and the incorruptible Life that was in Him. He gave it not only for us, but He gave it to us. TAKE, EAT! That is where our salvation is, eating and drinking of Him in the power He has made available through His death, releasing all that was true in Him to become our very substance and life! Isnt it wonderful!
No one realizes better than I the difficulties faced when declaring the things I am teaching here. But I must emphasize again that when the Lord Jesus said, For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lords death till He come, THE LORD WAS SPEAKING FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE ISRAELITE WHO KEPT THE PASSOVER FEAST! He was not instituting a new ritual, a new ceremony, or a new ordinance, for Jesus did not come to establish more types and shadows and outward observances. Oh, no! He came to fulfill all the types and shadows within Himself, He came as the fulfillment of all the law and the prophets, He stepped upon the scene as the reality of everything that the natural and literal and outward feasts of Israel pointed to! So why would He set up a new ritual to memorialize a reality that had already come? The very thought is absurd! You see, precious friend of mine, Jesus wasnt telling them to eat bread and drink wine as a new ritual observance. It was not a command! All He said was, As oft as ye eat this (Passover) bread, and drink this (Passover) cup, ye DO show forth the Lords death till He comes. It was just a statement of fact in reference to the annual Passover meal.
On the night of the Last Supper the Lord had not died yet, the Lamb had not been killed, Christ our Passover had not yet been slain for us. More than three years before this hallowed night John the Baptist had declared, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (Jn. 1:29). Jesus was the Lamb of God! He had been separated from the flock as a pure and spotless Lamb qualified to be offered up in sacrifice. But the Lamb had to be slain at the time of the Passover to take away the sins of the world! At the Passover meal the Lord said, As oft as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show forth (typify, signify, point to) the Lords death till He comes. The great soul-gripping truth is this. Jesus was not referring in these words to a new ordinance they were to observe under the New Covenant He was speaking of the Passover meal they were right then eating, which the children of Israel had been eating for fifteen hundred years, and which many of them, including these disciples, would continue to observe for some time (Acts 21:20; 18:21; 21:18-26) until the new order of spiritual reality had been completely established in the Lords New Covenant people (I Cor. 5:8; Heb. 9:8-11). It was a time of transition, and only gradually did the Lords people grasp the truth that since Christ had fulfilled all the Old Testament outward feasts and ceremonies, it was no longer necessary to perform external rituals. It was the higher revelation of the apostle Paul which finally established the great truth that the feast of Passover is now fulfilled spiritually within us, and weaned the saints away from those outward observances. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (I Cor. 5:8). Sincerity means purity, that which is unmixed with the old; truth means reality, not the shadow, but the substance! Thats how we keep the feast!
Therefore, indicating the old, natural, ritual Passover meal, we read, And He took bread, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Let me say it again these words do not, by any stretch of the imagination, establish a new Christian ordinance! The Lord is telling His disciples, Take this bread that I now give you and eat it with enlightened understanding this Passover bread which you have eaten for fifteen hundred years means my body which is broken for you. Now eat it tonight, and on any future occasion when you may keep this Passover feast, not as a memorial to the lamb in Egypt those long centuries ago, but eat it in the full comprehension that it memorializes ME! I am the Lamb to which all other Passover lambs have pointed and tomorrow I will die for you! That, my beloved, is why this meal is rightly called the Last Supper it brought the end of the shadow the true Lamb was now coming into view! Therefore, As oft as ye have eaten, do eat, or continue to eat this bread, and drink this cup (of the Passover meal), ye do show forth (signify, typify, point to) the Lords death till He (the true Lamb) comes (and is slain for you). It should be clear to every thinking mind that the Lord is not talking at all about a new ordinance the church was to keep for two thousand more years; rather, He was speaking of the Passover meal He was eating with His disciples that very night! The true Lamb was even then coming to be slain; He was that night on His way to the slaughter!
How quick the Lords people are to take something the Lord does and make a ritual, ceremony, or tradition out of it! Thus it is that the Lord declares, Your tradition has made the word of God of no effect. By our tradition of continuing the symbol of eating bread and drinking wine to show forth the Lords death till He comes, we make His coming as the Lamb of God, our Passover slain for us, of no effect! Hear me, my beloved, HE HAS COME! The Lord has come! The Lamb has come! The literal Passover meal is ended! There is no more shadow or type, no more memorial to His death, for the REALITY is here! The life of Gods Lamb is now realized within us spiritually by the power of the living Christ!
It is my deep conviction that the New Covenant is a spiritual covenant of reality and life, not containing within it any Old Testament style external rituals or outward ceremonies. It was the Old Covenant that stood in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation (change) (Heb. 9:10). In celebrating the fulfilling of the Old Testament feast of Passover Jesus said, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new (in the New Covenant, spiritually) with you in my Fathers kingdom (Mat. 26:29). Luke records it thus: I will not anymore eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God (Lk. 22:16). In my spirit I hear the words of Paul explaining this mystery, Who hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13). And, The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17).
According to Jesus there was coming a day when He would drink a new wine with His disciples in the kingdom of God that would be of superior quality. That new wine represents a new life and spirit of which His chosen ones would partake; it is superior wine for it speaks of the fullness of the Spirit. That new wine, when we have truly drunk it with Him as we sit at His table and sup with Him and He with us, will provide full and complete salvation for the entire Christ body, who are all sons of God. To drink this new wine of superior quality, with Christ in our Fathers kingdom, shows that we have been transformed into His image and likeness. It also shows that we have inherited the kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world. THIS IS TAKING PLACE WITHIN US NOW AS WE SUP WITH HIM, AND HE WITH US! The old wine of external observances represents in a figure the transforming power of His life, but the new wine of superior, kingdom quality contains within it the power of the Spirit and will complete the process of our full salvation, making us kings and priests in the kingdom of God after the order of Melchizedek. To drink this new, kingdom wine, we must become new wine vessels. Our Father is now making us new wine vessels, that we may fully drink of the new and superior wine of the incorruptible glory and life of the kingdom of God!
That the bread and wine of this new superior kingdom quality is not physical, natural wafers and wine is clear from Pauls teaching about communion. Hear what he says! The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the COMMUNION OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST? The bread which we break, is it not the COMMUNION OF THE BODY OF CHRIST? (I Cor. 10:16). Then, that we may clearly understand what elements he is talking about Paul adds, For we being many are (the) one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread (Christ) (I Cor. 10:17). The word communion is from the Greek koinonia meaning partnership, participation, intercourse. Can we not see by this that WE ARE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE BODY OF CHIRST! WE ARE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST! This is not fulfilled by wafers and wine, but in our union with Christ where we drink living blood, the wine of Christs Spirit that flows through His corporate body. We are also eating His flesh, the living Word of His substance made flesh in us.
Jesus said, I am the bread that is come down from heaven. He certainly did not mean that He was a wafer you could pop in your mouth on Sunday morning! As we partake of Him, not in a wafer, but in spirit and in truth, by the power of the Holy Ghost, we eat of that bread and become that one bread. As He is broken among us, His life shared, His word communicated from member to member, we are partakers of that one bread and satisfy our souls by being filled with all the goodness of God. We have all hungered for fellowship with those of like precious faith, yet this too is a haunting shadow of the past. There is a communion beyond a mere assembling of bodies in one place there is a communion of kindred spirits in the secret place of the Most High. As we enter into union with God we have a fellowship divine through the transmitting power of the Father of spirits; spirit conversing with spirit: this is truly the communion beyond the outward and external. This communion is known only in the kingdom of the Spirit, which is the kingdom of our Father! This is the assembly of the heavenly mount Zion and the Jerusalem which is above; this is the communion of the assembly of the first-born-out-from the Father! This is being one with the Father, and with the Son, and with each other in the Spirit!
Paul says that the cup which we bless is the communion of the blood of Christ, and the bread which we bless is the communion of the body of Christ. The cup most churches bless is the cup of Mogan David wine or Welchs grape juice, and the bread the vast majority of churches bless is communion wafers or soda crackers. That is not the cup the sons of God drink of, nor is it the bread the sons of God eat of! When we are unified together, one in Him, we become that one bread which is the bread of life. This bread is sweeter, more delicious, giving superior strength and substance above any of the cheap imitations of religion. What a remarkable people you are the elect of God! You are in the world to unveil the presence and life of the Lord. You sit at the Fathers table eating and drinking in the kingdom of God as our Lord Himself prophesied you would. Your calling is to give yourself to humanity that they might be quickened and caused to live in the presence of God. Therefore, the cup which WE BLESS IS the communion of the blood of Christ in the Spirit, and the bread which WE BLESS IS the communion of the Word made flesh in the body of Christ! Oh, the mystery of it!
We are that one bread, His life in us is that precious blood, praise His name! We do not bless the outward cup of the Old Covenant, we bless the cup of the New Covenant which is new in the kingdom of God. Here is a description of the most perfect and spiritual communion service you can ever attend: Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. The church world has never discerned the body of Christ, they have not perceived that it is HE who dwells in the midst of His people and that it is there, in His body, that He lives as the bread and the blood from heaven. When we speak the words of His life, and minister in the power of His life this is the Lords Supper!
It all boils down to whether we understand the Word by the Spirit, or carnally; whether we believe that eating His flesh and drinking His blood can be done physically, or whether it must be done spiritually. It is an utter impossibility to eat or drink Christ with my physical mouth; therefore, I can only eat and drink of Him in the same spirit in which He spoke to the sinful woman of Samaria, I have water to drink, which if a man drink of it, he will never thirst again. I so eat and drink in remembrance of what He accomplished for me at Calvary! I so eat and drink in participation with Him in what He is to me and in me right now! I can say with assurance that once you eat and drink this superior bread and wine with Him in the heavenly and spiritual kingdom of the Father, the old-order carnal ordinances of the church systems will never satisfy!
There are natural foods that you can feed people and they will hunger again. The nutritious strength and life received from these foods are only temporary, they last only for a season. There are doctrines and creeds and rituals and words of men on the religious buffets of the church systems that have no life in them, that can neither support life nor sustain life. But there is a bread from heaven that if a man eat of it he shall never die and never hunger again! With the disciples of old our hearts cry is, Lord, evermore give us this bread! We desire this bread, and our Father is giving it to us as we yearn for Him.
God has purposed to reveal every aspect of His purpose through His Christ, Head and body. So we are living this very day in a progression. God is marching on! He wants to reveal Himself and unfold this glorious One that we call the Lord Jesus Christ. He is standing at the door knocking. Open the door and invite Him and He will come in to you and will sup with you on a plane where you have never before known Him. God is preparing a people at this very time who are yearning for a further revelation of the Lord. These apprehended ones are not looking back fondly on the good old days when God moved in mighty power, wishing that they could have continued to move in those days of glory. This people God is preparing today is not lamenting or trying to recapture or perpetuate the glory of the past. It is a true and wonderful fact that for every day in God there is fresh manna, there is that fresh unveiling of the glory of Jesus Christ. This is not a time for Gods sons to try to recapture the past, or try to warm over the glories of yesterday. I heard a brother who teaches the message of sonship and the kingdom of God, just the other day say, Im looking for God to move again like He did in the great Latter Rain outpouring. Oh, no! I have no desire to see God move again as He did in 1948 or on any other date in history. This dear brother has missed the point altogether. None of those former moves of God, no matter how powerful and glorious they were, brought the kingdom of God to pass in all the earth, nor did they deliver creation from the bondage of corruption. They blessed a few of earths people, and then went the way of all flesh.
There is something brand new for you and me today in the economy of God! The elect of God are now in a time of patient waiting as they are being prepared for the hour when the younger sons of God shall attain to the measure of the stature of the fullness of the firstborn Son. Some people dont like to wait. Some brethren say we have waited long enough, so let us step out from behind the veil and begin to evangelize and do all those things we have already done in Passover and Pentecost. Methinks they would not have tarried in the upper room either, they would have already left the hundred and twenty and gone out on the streets of Jerusalem passing out tracts! And they would have aborted their calling and missed the glory when it came! This is not a time for those who treasure the beautiful hope of sonship to get excited about doing exploits for God in the waning anointing of yesterday or by the threadbare methods of the past, even if they do call it sonship. The glory that fills our expectant souls today is born of the knowledge imparted by the mind of Christ that the hour of His manifestation draweth nigh the hour when Christ shall come in fullness to be revealed IN HIS SONS, and they shall reign over the earth.
From time to time the Lord speaks to me in dreams usually at about six oclock in the morning. Some years ago Larry and Betty Hodges were scheduled to be here in El Paso to share with the saints. That morning I awoke from a dream. In the dream I was in a large hall such as is used for meetings and functions of various kinds. At one side of the hall, against the wall, was a table. To the right of the table were a few people seated in chairs along the wall. Brother Hodges was standing before the table, facing the wall, ministering to the people seated against the wall. His back was to the large hall. He was ministering from a manuscript on the table I could see that it was typewritten, with a number of pages, and double-spaced like a manuscript prepared for a publisher. He had reached the bottom of the first page and was speaking words that caused a great excitement in my spirit. I was thinking within myself, Amen! Thats right, brother! Thats what the Lord has been teaching me! It seemed it had something to do with death to self.
Then I noticed two long tables out in the center of the hall. And I noted that brother Hodges was facing the table and the people along the wall his back to the hall and the tables. I was aware that a great number of people would soon be arriving. The tables, however, were cluttered with food and dirty dishes left over from a previous banquet. There were two place settings that had not been used at the head of one of the tables. Obviously, the banquet that had been held there had ended, and things were not ready for the people that would be coming. I thought, We must clear all this away and make preparations for the arrival of the people. Someone began to help me and we cleared the tables. Then a folded map appeared in my hands. I laid the map on a shelf and awoke from the dream.
In my meditations that morning the Spirit gave me understanding of the dream. Needless to say, I was very curious to see what brother Hodges would be ministering that day! I saw that the manuscript he was ministering from was like an unpublished manuscript a fresh word, a new revelation for a new day unknown to the masses of believers. It is that which can only be known by the Spirit and is witnessed to by those who are hearing from God in this hour. Those that receive this word are few in number a little flock, the remnant of the Lord. But there is coming a great change! God is soon to move in a new way, in the power and glory of the kingdom of God, and there shall be a great ingathering. Multitudes will flow into the kingdom of God, and many nations will say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law of the Lord shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Mic. 4:2). But things are not quite ready there are yet preparations to be made!
The tables with the left-over food and dirty dishes speak of the previous move of God the feast of Pentecost. It was a glorious feast with rich blessing for many but the feast has ended. There were two tables the early and the latter rain but the meal is over! Only remnants of blessing and vessels remain. Those that were ordained to come and partake of that feast came and ate. Some that were bidden to the feast didnt make it, or refused the invitation, represented by the two place settings that had not been used. The truth that gripped my spirit was just this: the former feast is over and God is now speaking from an unpublished manuscript! We have not passed this way before, and God has not done in the past what He will do in this new kingdom day! What He has to say has only begun for brother Hodges was still reading from the first page of the manuscript. He is dealing with His called and chosen elect about the price to be paid to participate in the new thing God will do hence my impression that the portion of the manuscript being read from had something to do with death to self. The Lord is also dealing with His chosen ones about the preparations to be made for the next great move of God the feast of Tabernacles! In the feast of Tabernacles the sons of God shall be revealed! There shall be a great ingathering, multitudes brought into the kingdom of God.
This is the hour of preparation. Let us prepare our hearts! Let us leave behind the feast that has ended. Let us not sit any longer at the table, eating the left-overs of what the Lord prepared for another day. Those who have heard the call of the Spirit have now set their sights and hearts upon the feast that is ready to dawn! In the dream brother Hodges had his back to the hall with the tables of left-over food and dirty dishes. In other words, he represented that those called to sonship in this hour have renounced the feast that has ended, have turned away from that with which God is finished. He was ministering from a higher realm, speaking of a new day, and pressing into a new glory!
Finally, I saw that the map represents our present walk in the Spirit and our destiny in God. In this day God is raising a people into heights never known by man. He is ushering a people into a new place in God, into a realm in the Spirit, into an attainment, a ministry, and a glory never before experienced by any except our glorious Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are now preparing our hearts for the new and greater thing the Lord is doing and shall do in our day!
The Lord promises to sup with each one who opens the door and promises also that the one who does open the door will sup with Him. Let us look at the real meaning of this word sup. It is from the Greek deipneo meaning to dine, i.e. take the principle or evening meal. There is a point here that the English translation does not make. To many supper is not a main meal. The Greeks ate three meals in the day. Breakfast was only a slice of dry bread dipped in wine. Lunch was seldom eaten at home; it was a scratch meal eaten in a city square or wherever a man happened to be. But supper was the last and main meal of the day! This was the meal at which a man sat and talked for hours, for now there was time, for work was ended. There is something very lovely here! It is not a mere courtesy visit, paid in the passing, which the Lord Jesus offers us. It is supper! He desires to come in and sit long with us, and to wait as long as we wish Him to wait, until we have heard all His words, understood all His will, and until we are filled with all the fullness of this last and greatest feast!
Those overcomers who are called to sonship in this day have received a personal invitation from the Lord of glory to have supper with Him! He has ushered us in to the marriage supper of the Lamb! We have already eaten with the Lord at other times and on other levels, but now He has called us to come into union with Him and sup with Him. For some years we ate breakfast with the Lord in the Outer Court. It was the feast of Passover bread and wine. Then we entered into the Holy Place and had lunch with Him. It was the feast of Pentecost. But now we have been invited to supper, the third meal of the day. This is also the third feast of the Lord, the feast of Tabernacles!
What sets the feast of Tabernacles apart from all the others is the abundance enjoyed during the feast. Its the full harvest. At the celebration of Tabernacles, not only had the barley and wheat been harvested, but also all other grains, the fruit of trees, the olives, the grapes, all that could possibly serve as food or drink. The harvest was complete! On the spiritual plane this points to the fact that God has been using His people everywhere to whatever degree He has prepared the vessel for that revelation of the Christ. There has come a beautiful unfolding of His purpose, the outflow of His life and the manifestation of Himself throughout the church age, right up to the present time. But there shall yet come the ultimate, the total, and complete revelation of Jesus Christ not a narrow, limited thing, not to get a number of people saved and filled with the Spirit, and healed and blessed and used but the kingdom of God coming with power and great glory through manifest sons of God, as an expression and manifestation of God in His total capacity with no limitations, with all the power, with all the glory, all the might, all the majesty, all the authority, so that nations will be swept into the kingdom of God, creation delivered from the bondage of corruption, the last enemy, even death, destroyed from off the face of the earth, and all things made new. It is indeed wonderful!
Oh, what a grand and glorious realm lies before us in the feast of Ingathering! The day of the full fruit of the Spirit! The day of Perfection! The time of full and complete redemption, spirit, soul, and body! The full and complete experiencing of HIMSELF! The fullness of Strength and Power and Glory! The Feast of feasts! The strange part of the whole thing is this, that the whole purpose and plan of God for this new day of the kingdom of God is completely obscured and lost amidst the shout and euphoria over the firstfruits of the Spirit which we received in Pentecost. Those who glory in the firstfruits of the Spirit do not know what this day is about! They can see the healings, deliverances, miracles, prophecies, gifts and so forth; and they understand not that it is God in His great mercy inviting His people to enter on in to their full inheritance. They do not realize that all this is but the foretaste and earnest of their heritage, and that God bids us arise and come away with Him to the great Feast that lies before!
One cannot explain to an unregenerated and unbelieving man what Passover means unless God causes him to see it. Passover is distinct from anything that an unbeliever has ever experienced! There are those who have experienced Passover, knowing the joy of sins forgiven, yet they have no comprehension at all of what it is to experience Pentecost. It is like trying to explain the world of man to a worm! Today, there are believers who have experienced both Passover and Pentecost and yet, they are as blind as bats to what the feast of Tabernacles is about. I am declaring to you that there is a third realm in God for us to experience! Some feel that they are already living and walking in the feast of Tabernacles, but I am sure they are walking in the assurance of the revelation of it more than in the reality and power of it. The truth is, there is a fullness that we do not yet have! This third dimension brings His Lordship with all the authority, power, and glory that brings. And this feast, being the last, brings perfection! It brings the consummation of our salvation in spirit, soul, and body.
This third dimension in God is the place where you and I, in the spirit,
appropriate all the fullness of the Most Holy
Place. Some are talking about coming out from
behind the veil and manifesting sonship to creation, yet it is evident in their lives that
they have not yet experientially appropriated
the full glory, power, and dominion of that superlative of all realities in God. Coming out from that realm is premature! Blessed are they who are called to this great
Feast, that which supersedes Pentecost, that which is the BALANCE OF THE MEAL of which
Passover and Pentecost were merely the first courses! And the balance must therefore come, the remainder
of the meal which will give strength to the laborers to go forth and accomplish great
things for the Master. Arent you glad!
J. PRESTON EBY
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