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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
LIVING CREATURES AND THE TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS
And the four living creatures rest not
day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord
God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come (Rev. 4:8).
The general interpretation of this scene is that it is up in heaven in eternity
but the passage says that they rest not day or night.
Day and night are not associated with heaven they are conditions on earth! And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was
upon the face of the deep. And God said, Let
there be light: and there was light. And God
saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And
the evening and the morning were the first day (Gen. 1:2-5). I think most believers are very careless readers
of the word of God, for in reality the scene John beheld in the spirit portrays no such
thing as people imagine and the meaning is opposite to what has been taught. The four living creatures, as we have seen,
those who rule and reign with Christ in His kingdom.
The sons of God, Gods kings and priests, are those who shall rest neither day
nor night in the earth as we trumpet the complete, perfect, and full knowledge of the
glory of the kingdom of God and establish His holiness in every heart of man unto the
ends of the earth. It is a symbol not
some weird animalistic creatures around a throne in some far-off heaven somewhere
monotonously repeating again and again, for ever and ever, the words holy, holy, holy, but within
themselves they proclaim by their very nature, spirit, ministry, and kingdom authority HIS
And when those living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to Him that
sat on the throne
the four and twenty elders fall
down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship
Him that liveth for ever and ever
art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power
The twenty-four elders, who represent priesthood
Gods kingdom of priests now take Johns attention. Here they are seen prostrating themselves before
the God of the throne which is enshrined in its emerald rainbow of life, light, and love. Now notice the word when. When
those living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the
the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and
of verse nine indicates that the chanting of holy, holy, holy, by the living
creatures is periodic and not constant. I
would point out that the twenty-four elders are seen falling down in adoration before the
God of the throne four times. Two of those
times they do so alone here, and in chapter five, verse fourteen. Two other times they fall down in accord with the
four living creatures in chapter five, verse eight, and in chapter nineteen, verse four.
Inasmuch as the twenty-four elders fall down and worship whenever the living
creatures cry, holy, holy, holy, it should be clear to any thinking mind that
they are not constantly repeating the phrase through an endless eternity. Such a practice would have the elders falling and
standing and falling and standing without end, which is absurd. And it certainly would contradict the words of
Jesus when He taught us, Use not vain
repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much
speaking (Mat. 6:7). These are not
literal scenes in any event, but beautiful symbols
which convey to us the great truth that in the lives of Gods sons who are called to
share Christs throne there is no spirit of self-importance, no grasping after power
for powers sake, no lifting up in pride, no sense that we have attained to this
place by any works that we have done or by any self-effort on our part, but we are keenly
aware that He has called us and chosen us by His
grace alone, and HE it is who is worthy, and we have been made kings and priests to
show forth the virtues and excellencies of HIM who has called us out of darkness into His
marvelous light and by His mighty hand exalted us to His throne of glory. What a word!
when those living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the
the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat upon the throne
and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Thou art worthy, O Lord! (Rev. 4:9-10).
All the overcomers are receiving crowns according to their degree of overcoming,
the inworking of God in their lives, and their spiritual maturity. There is an incorruptible crown (I Cor. 9:25), a
crown of rejoicing (I Thes. 2:19), a crown of righteousness (II Tim. 4:8), a crown of
gold, of divine nature (Rev. 4:4), a crown of glory (I Pet. 5:4), and a crown of life
(Rev. 2:10). Each one of us, as we overcome,
are receiving these crowns as a result of our spiritual growth and attainment in Christ. These are not, nor shall they ever be, literal
crowns upon our heads, but speak of virtues, powers, and spiritual realities with which
our lives are crowned, which are the very state of being out of which our kingdom
authority flows. But when we realize by whose
sacrifice, purpose, strength, and power we received these crowns, we will gladly cast them
before His throne! It is beyond our human
strength or ability to receive any one of these crowns.
Only by the sacrifice of Jesus, the calling of His grace, the predestination of His
purpose, the inworking of His life, and His great faithfulness to keep us and finish His
work in us, could we ever have received these crowns.
So we joyfully and respectfully cast them before His throne!
And the four and twenty elders
cast their crowns before the throne,
saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy
pleasure they are and were created (Rev. 4:10-11).
It is wonderfully significant that it is the twenty-four elders who magnify God in
respect to creation. Before we consider that thought, let us meditate
for a moment upon God as Creator. It is
my conviction that our God is spontaneously creative, not systematically creative. What I mean by that is that God does not employ a
program in His creative activity. God is a
God of spontaneity. God moves and acts not by
system, but by the creative power and flow of His life.
The life of God is the creative instrument of His nature.
Everything that God creates is unique. He
is a God of unlimited diversity, infinite variety, and inexhaustible capacity. We see this in the natural, physical, material
creation. Scientists tell us that in the
visible universe there are more than two hundred billion galaxies. They may be correct that there are that number of
galaxies in the visible universe, but there are
far more galaxies than that! You see, my
beloved, not only is the creation co-extensive with the Creator in the sense that God has
always been creating, but the creation is co-extensive with Him in His infinite Being. In other words, the only reason that the
scientists believe that there are two hundred billion galaxies is simply because that is as far as they can see!
man can see any further than the scope of his vision.
God is infinite unending, unlimited, unbounded, inexhaustible, and
unmeasured. Not only is there no
place where God is not, but God IS INFINITELY whether there is any
place there or not. God creates
out of the infinity of Himself. I dont
know how many galaxies there are, because there is no
end to them. You would never find the
outer extremities of the universe, because God created all things out of Himself, He
upholds all things by the word of His power, He fills all things, and if you were to
discover the limit of His creation, you would discover the limit of God Himself. Not only does God always do everything that He
does, He also does everything that He does everywhere
He is. God is infinite. If
God does not create to the extent of His infinity, then there would be some
place where He is not Creator. So
there is no limit. There is no end to the
creation simply because there is no end of God!
What an incredible field for diversity! Scientists
know that even within the visible part of the universe stars are still being created. They are still coming into existence throughout
the immensity of what we call space. The
apostle Paul tells us that there are no two stars that are equal in their glory (I Cor.
15:41). Think of that! With my human brain I cant conceive of
creating even two hundred billion trillion stars, making every one of them different,
giving each of them a name and a glory that is unique from any other glory, and then
realize that infinitely there are galaxies without number and without end, each with its
own name and glory. It staggers the
Even in our little solar system each of the nine planets are very different from
the others. You would think that if the
scientific theories of origins were correct they should
all be quite similar. But they
arent! How many snowflakes do you
suppose have ever fallen upon the earth? They
tell us that no two snowflakes have the same design!
More than six billion people walk the face of this earth today, and there are no
two fingerprints that duplicate. No two
people are identical either in their appearance or in their DNA. Everyone is unique.
God sets it all in motion by a word. When
God speaks the superlative comes into existence. God is a God of unlimited diversity,
infinite variety, and inexhaustible capacity. Behold
the majesty and the glory of the almighty Creator of all things!
According to the very first statement in the gospel of John, that kindly Nazarene,
that gracious Galilean, that wonderful Teacher and Healer who walked the paths of Galilee
and sat beside its shores, was none other than the living God, the Creator of all things. John goes on to say that by Him were all things
made and without Him was not anything made that was made.
He is the Creator of all! He is the
architect of the cosmos! He is the fashioner
of the galaxies! He is the designer of suns,
the artificer of planets and moons. He is the
framer of the vast eons of time. The eternal,
omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God was born a wee baby; He visited this
blue-green orb which He had delicately fashioned and spun off into its orbit.
The creation is Gods just because all things were created and made by Him and
therefore belong to Him. In the light of this
truth I would like to reaffirm something that the world at large, and many believers, seem
to have forgotten: THIS IS GODS WORLD! Long
before time began, long before a single heavenly body inhabited the vast regions of space
GOD WAS. God has always been Creator. This creation we know is not the first thing God
ever created, nor will it be the last. Yet
this particular creation did not always exist! Long
before the worlds were made, long before the billows rolled across the boundless seas,
long before the mountains thrust their towering, snow-capped peaks up through the clouds,
long before there was one flower, or the song of any bird, or the roar of any beast, long
before there was any light, or the glory of daybreak, or the beauty of the
yes, long before there was anything at all of this present creation
WAS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. Then the blessed
word of God rolls back the curtain of antiquity and shows us God at work, creating all
that is, and all that ever was. The very
first passage of scripture establishes for all time and eternity the ownership of this world and the heavens above:
In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth. He made it, and it is His! No one can take it from Him. It was then that God wrote His signature of
ownership a signature that reaches from the earth to the farthest outposts of the
The Psalmist David was perceptive in the Spirit when he wrote these immortal words,
The earth is the Lords, and the
fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein (Ps. 24:1). Does the earth belong to the devil? Does the world belong to the devil? Do they that dwell in the world belong to the
devil? Does anything on the
earth belong to the devil? Did any of it,
even before Calvary, belong to the devil? Not
in Davids day, it didnt! The
earth is the Lords! And the fullness thereof! The world
is the Lords! And they that dwell therein! Who do you belong to? Who do the nations belong to? Who do the wicked belong to? Who do Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein belong to? IT IS ALL THE LORDS! The devil doesnt own one square inch of it,
nor does he own one poor wretched human on it. Isnt
There is an understanding that has been quickened in the consciousness of the
called out ones to know that ALL the earth is the Lords. Not just a tree or two, not just a mountain or
two, not just a nation or two, not just the church, not just those apprehended to sonship,
but all the earth is the Lords and the very fullness thereof. We are His whether we know it or not, we are His
whether we like it or not, whether we desire to serve Him, or whether we are presently in
rebellion against His will. God has
everything and everyone in the palm of His almighty hand!
He is Sovereign! Job said, In
whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath (spirit) of all mankind (Job 12:10).
The prophet Daniel penned these inspired words: The Most High
ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to
generation. All the inhabitants of the earth
are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to
His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can
stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou? (Dan. 4:34-35). God is saying to us that He is sovereign. Another way to express that truth is: God owns the
earth and everything in it He does what He wants to do and nobody can stop Him from
doing it. In particular He is sovereign with
what He does with the earth. God does not
have to ask anybodys permission to do anything He wants with any part of the earth
or anyone on it and none can hinder or resist Him!
If the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, then we need to somehow
come to understand that God has never at any time dealt with satan on a percentage basis. God never did tell satan that he could have ninety
percent and God would be satisfied with ten percent.
Neither did God ever say that satan could have ten percent and He, God, would
settle for ninety percent. WITH GOD IT IS
ALL! ALL belongs to Him! First, because He created it, and second, because
He redeemed it. Just as you may temporarily
leave a valuable watch at the pawn shop and later return to redeem it, so God assigned to
satan a temporary and limited sphere of influence over the creation, for the outworking of
His wise and wonderful plan, but HE HAS NOT CEDED OR TRANSFERRED OWNERSHIP OF EVEN ONE
INCH OF IT TO SATAN FOR A POSSESSION. The
reality is, after giving the adversary a limited lease and sphere of operation, God came
down in the Person of His Son and redeemed the
world and everything and everyone in it! In
the same way that you get your watch back from the pawn shop when you redeem it, so God
gained full control of the whole world when He redeemed it.
To say that there is any part of Gods creation that satan now sovereignly
controls or that he will possess forever is a blatant repudiation of Christs
redemption and a horrible blasphemy against God.
The scriptures clearly reveal how ownership
is the central factor in both creation and redemption, the link that binds them together. Two things are inherent in ownership purpose and responsibility. Do you know that if a person makes or buys
anything He surely has purpose in mind for it? And is it not equally true that when a person
makes or buys a thing he then assumes the responsibility
for it? The man who purchases a good hunting
dog has a definite purpose in owning the dog, and if he is not a hunter he will not buy
it. With ownership of the dog there comes the
responsibility for the dog, to feed and care for it and treat it humanely. You have, I suppose, sometime bought something? As you have paid your money for it and it was
delivered to you did you not have a plan for it? And
are you not now responsible for it?
More than forty years ago Lorain and I bought a house in Sarasota,
Florida. It was a lovely little two bedroom
white frame house, entirely adequate for that time. Some
years later the Lord led us to Mississippi to live and minister among a group of saints,
and we were there for almost two years. During
this time we rented out our house in Florida. The
original tenants left, and we rented the house to a man and his wife and grown son, none
of whom we had previously known. It is almost
unbelievable what those people did to that house within the space of a few months! If you have had rental property you will believe it!
Evidently they didnt sweep those beautiful hard wood floors even once, the
dirt was ground so deeply into the wood until the entire finish was ruined. Windows were broken, the holes stuffed with
plastic or rags. Water had been allowed to
run over the kitchen and bathroom floors, loosening the tile. The furniture was demolished, sofas and chairs
propped up on bricks with great gaping holes staring insultingly at us. On and on the disaster went! The place was completely trashed. Needless to say, because we were the owners, it didnt take us long to swing into
action! The tenants were promptly given
notice and evicted. Then followed the long,
tedious and expensive process of restoration.
Ah, because we owned the house we had purpose for it and responsibility to it. On the basis of that purpose and responsibility we
were willing to spend the money that had to be spent, and expend the energy involved in
long days and weeks of hard work until all was
restored to its original beauty and usefulness!
We are not in this life as the result of our own scheme or plan. We did not make ourselves, therefore we do not own
ourselves! The Psalmist declared, Know
ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath
made us, and not we ourselves. We are His
people, and the sheep of His pasture (Ps. 100:3).
God is responsible for our existence,
for it was He who issued the grand fiat: Let us make man in our image, and after our
likeness. It was God who sent us here! It was God who planted the garden eastward in Eden
and put man in it! It was God who drove the
man out of that garden! You see, my beloved,
GOD IS RESPONSIBLE for our existence here in the flesh, lowered into the realm of vanity,
sin, and corruption. Oh, yes! God is responsible!
The whole human race is Gods responsibility because He is both Creator and
Owner. We are here because of our
Fathers plans, desires, purposes and will, just as your children are in this world
because of your plans, desires, and will. God
is a God of principle! Having begun a work,
He will assume responsibility for it, care for it, and finish it and not throw it aside
because it was marred by sin and death. This,
too, was part of His plan!
men are busy blaming others for the worlds problems, and the devil for their own,
God Himself as Owner of all takes His great responsibility for all, and therein lies the
foundation of the whole scheme of creation and redemption.
Romans 11:36 says from the Diaglott, Because out of Him, and through Him, and for Him are all things. To HIM be the glory for the ages. Amen!.
The Amplified Bible beautifully renders this, For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. For all things originate with Him and come from
Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to
end in Him. To Him be glory forever! Amen. To
say the least, it will give us great peace of mind and heart if we can see and understand
that God as Creator and Owner takes responsibility
for the world today! God is responsible for every human being that has
ever lived, is living, or ever will live. God is responsible for every nation, every
government, every empire that has risen and fallen, and every condition and circumstance
of all mankind today and in every time and place since the foundation of the world. And because He is responsible and has great and
eternal purpose for His creation HE WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
This great truth is what makes our text so utterly awesome! The four
and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship
saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: FOR THOU
HAST CREATED ALL THINGS, AND FOR THY PLEASURE THEY ARE AND WERE CREATED. It is deeply significant that the twenty-four
elders are the ones making this wonderful declaration.
The twenty-four elders are Gods Royal Priesthood! It is this Royal Priesthood that is proclaiming
that God created all things for His pleasure, and
therefore He brings forth the glory and the honour and power of His kingdom. The
seed of this beautiful thought is found in the words of the Lord to Israel when they stood
before mount Sinai. Now therefore, if
ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure
unto me above all people: FOR ALL THE EARTH IS MINE: and ye shall be unto me A KINGDOM OF
PRIESTS, and an holy nation (Ex. 19:5-6).
I have often characterized the above passage as the GREAT DIVINE SANDWICH. A sandwich is two slices of bread between which is
placed meat, fish, cheese, or the like. Three
items are necessary to make a sandwich: two outer items two identical slices of
bread and in between another, and different, item.
Such is the structure of this passage! There
are two statements of like nature surrounding and enclosing another and different kind of
statement. Notice the two outer statements:
(1) Ye shall be a PECULIAR TREASURE unto me above all people (2) Ye
shall be unto me a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and an holy nation.
Then sandwiched in between these two wonderful promises is this
remarkable word: FOR ALL THE EARTH IS MINE! Can we not see by this that the purpose of God to
establish in the earth a Royal Priesthood is rooted in the great fact that ALL THE EARTH IS HIS! That all the earth is His answers the why of priesthood.
Because all the earth is mine
YE SHALL BE UNTO ME A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS. The message is clear God is preparing a
priesthood because He owns the earth, the whole world, and all that dwell therein! The priesthood is His instrument that reaches out
with one hand and takes hold of God, reaches out the other hand and takes hold of
humanity, and by virtue of the priestly ministration brings the two together into oneness. The Royal Priesthood is the ministry of reconciliation to restore all things
and all men back into God again!
I believe that God loves all lost men and women.
There are lost men in jails and prisons and mental hospitals. They are in saloons and brothels and in sickness and pain and sorrow and ignorance and sin
and death and judgment and hell, and God loves them all with an undying love. He still remembers them and remembers His Son on
the tree, suffering and dying on their behalf, pouring out His wonderful life for them
all. And in the redeemed body of this resurrected and glorified Son He now prepares a
Royal Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek to restore all mankind back into the image
of God. Because all the earth is mine, ye shall be unto me
a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS! is the word of the Lord.
The earth, the world, and all that dwell therein belong to God first because He
made them, and second because He redeemed them, and now He is sending forth His
many-membered body of priests to reclaim for Him that which He has created for His
Because all the earth is His, and because Jesus is the redeemer, God is raising up
the body of Christ, a royal, kingly priesthood, sons of the God of heaven to reign in
mighty spirit power and authority over the earth, not to be little human dictators, but
with an irresistible outflow of life and light and love, touching God with one hand, and
humanity with the other, bringing the two together, that God may indwell all men by His
Spirit and live and rule in them in power and great glory.
The kingly nature in us is not to dominate other mens lives, but to deal with
and break the power of self-hood and rebellion and sin and death and the devil that men
may be quickened to God. Kings have power and
authority, priests reconcile in mercy and love. Gods
Royal Priesthood shall reveal to all realms the awesome POWER OF GODS LOVE AND
GOODNESS, until all men bow low before Him and with worshipful wonder and joy proclaim,
Thou art worthy, O Lord, for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure we are and were created!
All who have received the call to sonship have also received a vision of their
destiny in God, of what they are being prepared to do for creation. They are here by divine appointment. They have been born for this hour. They have been called and chosen and are being
made faithful. They have been drawn out of
and separated from all the religious realms that they might learn the higher ways of the
kingdom of God. The message of the hope of
sonship and the high calling of God in Christ Jesus is going forth in power in this day
and circling the globe as thousands of the Lords people are heeding the call to this
unique walk in the Spirit. God has removed
from the hearts of these the foolish desire to fly away to some far-off heaven
somewhere, as He unfolds within their ransomed spirits the heavenly knowledge that God has
created all things for His pleasure, and all the earth is His and the fullness thereof,
the world and they that dwell therein; and for this sublime purpose He has ordained a
The good pleasure of God is that which
gives Him satisfaction; it is also His delight, His desire, His enjoyment, His
contentment, His fulfillment, and His purpose revealed and fulfilled! When the twenty-four elders, Gods priesthood
company, say of Him, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power:
for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy
pleasure they are and were created, they are proclaiming a fully restored
creation! Therefore we may be absolutely
certain that the same merciful and loving Father would never plan to destroy this world
and send billions of people screaming into the torments of hell fire forever and ever. Such false doctrines come out of the carnal mind
of man which is never able to receive the things of the Spirit, and are contrary to the
wonderful truths of God and His wise and glorious purposes for the works of His hands. God will not fail and because of some unfortunate
and unforeseen circumstance beyond His control, lose the very thing He made FOR HIS
As a priest of the Most High God I claim this earth for God, for He made
it. I claim this earth for God, for Jesus has
ransomed it with His blood. I claim this
earth for God, for the earth is the Lords. The
sea is His, for He created it. His hands
formed the dry land. I claim everything that
comes out of the bowels of the earth for God, for all the gold and the silver is
His. I claim every man in El Paso, and
in Miami, and in New York, and in Calcutta, and in Manila, and in Moscow, and in Beijing,
and in the whole wide world for God, for it is He that hath made us, and not we
ourselves, and he made us for His pleasure. I am not willing to cede even one thing or one
person to the devil, as some wickedly do, for this is my Fathers world and I am an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ. He that overcometh shall inherit all things!
This world and everything in it and every man upon it is part of my inheritance! I am asking my Father for my inheritance even as
He has instructed me I should: Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen
(nations) for thine inheritance, and the
uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shall break them with a rod of iron
wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth! (Ps. 2:8-10).
The call of God in this hour is for a people to move from the candlestick realm to the throne room. This is the Fathers great purpose for His called and chosen elect in this new Day of the Lord! Years ago Douglas Wilson penned words that are just as fresh and meaningful for us today. The next several pages of this message is taken from his article titled JOSHUA AND CALEB. May God bless it to your heart!
In all the time that Joshua, Caleb,
and the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, their next realm, their next age,
was just a short distance away from them. Had
they gone directly from Egypt into the promised land, it would not really have taken them
very long to get there. It has been said that
it was a journey of eight to ten days. And
naturally, the wilderness was even closer than Egypt to the promised land! The coming age, especially for Joshua and Caleb,
was not some place a long way off, but it was so very close by. It was of very easy access, yet they could not get
At least some of us are realizing in this hour that the next age, or the next REALM
IN GOD of which we speak, isnt in some far distant place, but it is close by. And yet, here we are, apparently unable to enter
into it! We find ourselves to be a people
unknown to ourselves. We are one type of
people, living in one type of age or realm, being prepared for another age or realm that
is just over the line, so to speak, from us. Actually
it is no farther from us now than it was from Israel when they were in the wilderness! Yet we are prevented from entering in. This we know Caleb and Joshua had to wander
in the wilderness for forty years until all the unbelievers died. After that they could enter in. We had always been taught that all who came out of Egypt, except Joshua and
Caleb, had to die before the rest of them could enter into the promised land. But this did
not bear witness to our spirit, so we began to read and discovered it was not so. It did not work out like that at all. All of those who could not go in were the
soldiers, the men in the army, who were over twenty years of age, and who would not
believe that they could take the land. All
those who were under twenty years of age, and the women, lived on, just as Joshua and
Caleb did. It was these soldiers who had to
die in the wilderness! They were the
unbelievers who were under Gods orders to take the land, and they refused to do it,
saying they could not, and thus declaring that in their judgment, God was a liar.
God described to the children of Israel the land into which He would take them. It was a land flowing with milk and honey, a land
of hills and valleys that drinks water of the rain of heaven, a land which the Lord cared
for, a land in which He would bless their seed, and prolong and multiply their days as the days of heaven upon earth! They would be placed in a land, a realm, a
dispensation about which they knew nothing and that would be entirely different from
anything they had known before. He commanded
them as to how they should live and walk in the land, and what kind of people they would
be unto Him. Now multitudes of people today
will not believe we can have days right now
that are as the days of heaven on earth! They
cannot believe it, because they are looking for heaven away off somewhere amongst the
starry skies. The people to whom God was
speaking these words, were a people of one type and of one dispensation, and He was
telling them something about the kind of people they were going to be, and the kind of
land in which they were going to live. It was
a realm of which they had no knowledge. God
told them that their future home was to be nothing like the land of Egypt they had left. The valley of the Nile was the richest known spot
on earth. It is so yet today. But God told them their future home was not so,
for in Egypt they sowed their seed, then tread on the water wheel, in order to water that
seed. But in the promised land they would
have rain from heaven! It was to be an
entirely new realm, with entirely new conditions and circumstances. It was to be a new age, a new dispensation, a new
realm in God, and God was right then getting them ready to go in and take it and occupy
it. It was to be as heaven on earth!
That was all in the natural, earthly realm. God
was preparing a people for another realm, another age, another dispensation in this realm
of flesh. This is a type of what God is doing
today! Most of us have no conception of what
God is doing in our lives and bodies. Just
because we cannot see or feel something being done, is no sign that God is idle and doing
nothing within us. We often think that there
has to be a lot of external manifestation taking place for God to be doing something. But on the natural plane, termites can invade a
building and work, and unless the building is inspected, no one will know of that work
until the building is so weakened that it falls. Just
so, we have little conception of that which God is doing in the lives and bodies of those
people He is working with and that He is preparing as HIS SONS for that age which is to
come. There is so much that we dont
understand at this time, but we do know that God is working, preparing an elect company to
bring deliverance to the whole of the groaning creation in the age and the ages that lie
As we approach the new age of the kingdom of God there are many Joshuas and Calebs
in the land today, being prepared to enter into the coming age, the promised land of this
day. Though they will enter the same land,
their training and their present lives are completely different, for they have a different
destiny in the land to come. Shall we say it
like this? Caleb was of the people. He was out in the multitudes in the camp. Caleb had absolutely nothing to do with the
tabernacle. He had nothing to do with the
ministrations of the priests. He had nothing
to do with the ministry of Moses in any way. But
Joshua is referred to as the minister of Moses. And
in the first chapter of the book of Joshua we find God telling Joshua that Moses is dead,
and that he was now to arise and go over
Jordan, and that as God had promised the land to Moses, so would He give it to Joshua, and
every place where the sole of his foot trod, was his.
As we have said, we too are in a time of preparation. A people is being prepared for the coming age, and
those who are being prepared particularly, are not
the Calebs. To a certain extent the
Calebs are being prepared, in that they possess a different spirit and they see and know
that something different in God is coming. They
are willing to wait, even in the midst of unbelief, Gods time to enter into the next
age or realm in God. But all their
preparation is to bring them to a place in which they can wait in faith, for they are a kind of people who
will inhabit the land. But for the Joshuas
there is something else! In Exodus 33:8 we
read, And it came to pass that when Moses went out to the tabernacle, all the people
rose up and stood every man at his tent door and looked after Moses till he was gone into
the tabernacle. And it came to pass as Moses
entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended and stood at the door of the
tabernacle. And the Lord talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at
the tabernacle door and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face as a
man speaketh unto his friend. And he (Moses)
turned again into the camp, but his servant Joshua,
the son of Nun, a young man, DEPARTED NOT OUT OF THE TABERNACLE.
was taken up with the work and care of overseeing that vast multitude of people. God had told Moses to move the tabernacle outside
the camp, and so when the people saw Moses going out to worship, they would also stand and
worship, every man in his tent door. When
Moses passed through the tabernacle door, then the cloudy pillar would descend in order to
seal off the tabernacle so that God and Moses might commune together. Moses was the one lone man who had access to the
Holy of holies whenever he desired to go into it. He
was above the high priest in this, for he was the friend of God, and he had need of
Gods communion frequently. God did not
speak with Moses as He would with the high priest, but as to a friend. And the people saw the cloudy pillar come down and
when the time together was finished, the cloudy pillar would rise and Moses would come
again into the camp. He would have to go back
into the multitude in the camp, to judge them and to watch over them, to be their leader,
fulfilling the work that God had given him to do.
But God had His hand upon a young man, Joshua, and that young man did not depart
out of the tabernacle. The time came when God
commanded Moses to lay his hands upon Joshua and impart to him the very same spirit that
he (Moses) possessed. God gave unto Joshua
the very same promises and the same powers that He had given Moses. No man could stand before him! Wherever he placed his foot, that was his! God told him that just as He had been with Moses,
so would He be with Joshua. Joshua was to be
strong and of good courage. He was not to
fear, for God was with him, even as He had been with Moses.
It was necessary that Moses leave the tabernacle and return to the camp, but it was
necessary that His servant Joshua remain in the tabernacle for special training. As we understand it, Joshua was constantly in the
place of ministry unto the Lord. He was
continually in the place where the priesthood operated.
He was in that place where the people were bringing their offerings for sin and
where those offerings were being sacrificed. He
remained in this place day after day, and year after year, absorbing all that went on in
the tabernacle. God had given Joshua a
privilege and a work which had been denied Moses. He
came into a place that Moses never possessed! Moses
had led the people out, but God now provided a young man, Joshua, the son of Nun, or the son of perpetuity, to perpetuate and carry forth into new
dimensions all that had been started in Moses. This
Joshua was to lead the people into the promised land!
He was to give to every man his inheritance! For
this reason, Joshua COULD NOT LIVE A LIFE LIKE CALEB. He could not be just one of the
people, another face in the crowd, another pebble on the beach, living the same way, doing
the same things. He must know the mind and the will and the purpose and plan of God! He could not have just a vague knowledge of it, He
must acquaint himself with each and every
detail of it. He must know the boundaries of
each tribe, what they were to get, and what they were to do. It was his place to give out the inheritances to all the people of Israel!
In this we find a true type of those sons
of God whom God is preparing today! We
have seen this for some time, and we know by personal experience it is true. This class of people is greatly misunderstood,
criticized, and condemned, because they are not doing a great number of wonderful things. They are not generally performing great healings
and astounding signs, wonders, and miracles. They
are not out conducting great crusades, no vast throngs are following them, and the fact of
the matter is most of the people stay away from them!
Such people are not participators in the activities of the rest of Gods
people, even those who will become inhabitants of the land.
They are not Calebs, not out in the camp with the tribes. Perhaps not even going out to gather their supply
of manna for that day! God has separated this
company of people from all those things.
Rather, they are of the class of people who are in the tabernacle, DWELLING IN THE
PRESENCE OF GOD, LEARNING OF THE WORK AND THE POWERS OF THE AGE TO COME! God had a Moses to go out and minister to the
multitude in their wilderness walk. Moses and
the judges were to minister to the people and all their fleshly needs. But none of this was for Joshua! He never did have any ministry such as this! For forty years Joshua spent all his days in the tabernacle. Moses, who ministered to the people, would often
come in to commune with God that he might receive the message and the word of God, so that
he might go back out and minister to the people.
But Joshua stayed right there in the presence of God! He was absorbing the very life, power, wisdom,
knowledge, and spirit of God, so that when the
proper time came, God could say to him, Moses my servant is dead, now it is time
for your ministry. At that time Joshua
would rise up, for all the ministry of preparation would be over. All the work and ministry of the man Moses was now
finished, for the people were now at the borders of the promised land, the new age and realm in God. It was time for the children of Israel to enter
the promised land! It was time for the people
of Israel to receive their inheritance! It
was time for the fullness of God to be revealed! Now
was the work of Joshua to come to pass! He
was to bring them into that land, a land of rain and one that flowed with milk and honey. A land entirely different from the Egypt they had
left. Now all the tedious training of Joshua
would begin to bear fruit! All the years of loneliness and application to the plan of God
would lead that vast multitude into a new land, into a new age, and give them their full portion!
Knowing that human nature in that day was just like human nature of today, we see
the possibility of some saying, How is this? How
and why is Joshua being elevated up over all the rest of us? He has done nothing but sit out there in the
tabernacle for forty years! He never healed
anybody. He never prayed anybody through to
the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He
wasnt out holding crusades and saving souls. He
wasnt even part of a recognized ministry! He
never preached any marvelous sermons. He just spent his time in the tabernacle.
All through those forty years, God was getting a man ready to bring the people far
beyond what they were receiving from the hands of Moses and the judges INTO THEIR
INHERITANCE! Moses and the judges were merely
preserving the people in their wilderness condition.
God had Moses and the judges to take care of the natural things for the people in
their carnal state of being, to continually bless, encourage, and revive them lest they
faint in the wilderness. Some of us are well
aware of these facts. Even though we did
possess such ministries in the past, yet at this time, many of us are not functioning in
the ministry of a Moses, nor in the ministry of any of the gift realms where men minister
very much unto the people in their natural, fleshly realm of healings, material needs,
blessings, revivings, etc. It seems we are
set far apart from the multitude of the people, and from the accepted type of ministry,
and most Christians do not want much to do with us! But
with this company of people, God is working and preparing them for a future ministry and
As we stated, God has people, many of them, who are ministering unto the
multitudes the things of the natural realm, the loaves and the fishes. But there is another class of people, and God is
dealing in a different way with them. They
are being prepared to know the plans and purposes of God, not just for this age, but for
the ages to come, that they might lead the people into the full inheritance God has for
them. There must be someone who will be
capable to lead the people in, and get them established in that greater glory which God
has prepared for His people. Caleb put in his
days with the rest of the people, Moses and the judges put in their days maintaining the
people in their wilderness state, but Joshua remained always in the tabernacle, absorbing
the mind and life of God for the inheritance to come!
Joshua was an entirely different man! As
we meditated upon these things, we saw clearly these two different classes of people. There are those who are in the multitude of all
Gods people, yet God has done something in them to give them a spirit that is
different from the rest. They have received a
glimpse, a taste of the glories of this higher realm and know that it is something
marvelous beyond where they are living. They
have tasted of the powers of the world to come, and know they shall enter into it. But they are still like Caleb, willing to stay in
the multitude and put up with all the slanderous reports about the land or the age to
come, and wade through the unbelief all around them and just wait for the day of entering
At the same time, however, God has the Joshuas placed off somewhere in the
tabernacle, in the presence of God. It doesnt have to be in four walls, or
certain kinds of meetings, but just in the presence of the living God! Apparently they are doing nothing, but they are
absorbing the spirit and the life and the knowledge and the wisdom and the purpose and the
plan of God. How important this is! When Moses ministry is over and done, when
all the natural ministry of the church orders and religious systems is finished, then God
will lead out the Joshuas, having completed their training, and they shall lead the people
into the next realm in God, into the next age!
We are sure that we are in such a position now.
We are in one age, and we are being prepared for something, though we have only
caught faint glimpses of the glory and wonder of it.
We do not understand all the workings of God, because we do not know exactly what
we are going to do in the future, how it shall be done, or even what we are going to be. It doth not yet appear what we shall
be (I Jn. 3:2). Therefore it is
sometimes hard to understand the training we are receiving, for our training depends
entirely upon what we are to be in the next
age or realm in God. So we cannot question
God concerning the whys and wherefores of all we are experiencing in our lives
in this hour, and in the lives of others.
The new age was not very far from Joshua and Caleb.
It was just over the line, just beyond Jordan, and so it is in this day. This new age lies before us, and the glory of it is beginning
to be made known unto us by the Spirit. Caleb
and Joshua knew the way into the promised land, for they had visited it in a fleeting
moment, yet they were forced to await the proper time to enter. Caleb must needs remain with the multitude, and
Joshua must be prepared to take the whole multitude into the coming age. We have a wonderful experience ahead of us in the
Lord, and we are grateful for it. It is not
of our choosing, but of His, and we know He will perfect that which concerns us! end quote.
That is a powerful word from the pen of Douglas Wilson. He has passed on, but he will stand in his lot in
the day of manifestation. As I read this, I
was reminded of a story out of history. Several
centuries ago, the Emperor of Japan commissioned a Japanese artist to paint a bird to be
put on display in the Emperors gallery. Months
passed, then years. Finally, the Emperor went
to the artists studio to ask for an explanation.
The artist set a blank canvas on the easel and in fifteen minutes completed the painting of a bird that became a
masterpiece. The Emperor asked why there had
been such a long delay. The artist then went
from cabinet to cabinet; he produced armloads of drawings of feathers, tendons, wings,
feet, claws, eyes, and beaks of birds; these he placed one by one before the Emperor. The Emperor nodded and left the studio. He understood.
The exquisite beauty of the painting completed in fifteen short minutes was merely
the result of long years of research, preparation, and work!
Our Father shall have a glorious firstfruits company of sons in His own image which
He shall put on display before the entire universe as the revelation of His own bountiful
grace and matchless glory! The day of that
unveiling shall surely come, and will not tarry. In
the meantime, and to that end, the blessed Holy Spirit of God is patiently and
unrelentingly operating in the lives of His apprehended ones so that we may be conformed
to the image of Jesus Christ. This
conformation cannot take place in an instant, nor by a superficial experiencing of God. It does not happen in a single
experience one night at an altar, nor can it be imparted by prophecy with the
laying on of hands. The hour of our
quickening unto God and His great plan was no more than the declaration of the divine
purpose; it is just the beginning of the long work. The
whole process is a detailed and painstaking progress until Christ be formed in
you. When the work is fully finished,
the day shall then arrive when there will come to us a new and living and powerful moving
of His omnipotent Spirit and the completed work will flash forth in a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye; the grand and glorious portrait of Gods Christ, exquisitely
wrought upon the canvas of our lives, that He might display
in the ages to come the transcendent riches of His grace and goodness
for we are Gods own handiwork, created in
Christ Jesus! (Eph. 2:7,10).
The new, with its glory, shall come to the fore,
Proclaiming the Kingdom is nigh at the door.
Yet, strange the confusion as some try to stay
Entwined with the old, though its passing away.
While some try to mix the old with the new,
To be torn by the strife, and the rending in two.
For saviours shall come and His fullness declare,
With beauty for ashes, and treasures most rare.
What ages have veiled as the old order reigned,
Shall burst into view at the time He ordained.
To be continued J. PRESTON EBY
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