Note: J. Preston Eby, in order to continue to devote his full energy to writing no longer works in the office and does not receive this email. He does, however, respond to any urgent correspondence via snailmail.
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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
BREAKING THE SEALS
Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne (Rev. 5:5,7).
As dew distilling from the heavens comes the revelation of Jesus Christ from every page of Johns vision. It is the drama of Gods great plan of the ages wrought out first in His called and chosen elect, then in the nations, and finally in all the vast creations of God. Everything is viewed from the divine and heavenly perspective. It is not the history of Satans activity in men and upon the earth, but the all-conquering power of Gods Christ! It is the spiritual drama of Fathers dealings in our lives. It is preeminently the revelation of Jesus Christ. The word revelation means to unveil, uncover, or take the cover off. The unveiling of Jesus Christ thats what is happening in Gods elect! That is what is taking place in the earth today! Thats what the book of Revelation is all about! As that which has been hidden in Jesus Christ is revealed, uncovered, brought out into the open and exhibited, the glory of Jesus Christ is shining forth from His body in all the earth. Christ is in us! The revelation of Jesus Christ must, therefore, be in us and out from us! Christ in you IS the hope of glory, as the apostle wrote!
In one of his Twice-Told Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne describes how a much beloved Puritan minister conceived the weird idea of concealing his face with a veil, and how his people were affected with a sense of painful mystery as he went in and out among them with covered countenance till the end of his days. The girl to whom he was engaged to be married forsook him; the bride trembled before him when he performed a wedding; children cringed when he walked by them on the road; people whispered as he passed. One realizes in an instant, as he imagines the scene, how much the confidence and joy of life depend on our beholding one another, literally with open face! Imagine the change and horror, if one morning every mans face was covered with a dark veil and impenetrable to his neighbor. Laughter would cease on earth; who then would have the heart for joy and rejoicing under such a cloud? None would be able to comfort his friend, for none could estimate his brothers sorrow! Neither tears, smiles, joy, pain, sadness, disappointment, appreciation, fear, hatred, or love would ever be discernible! Conversation would languish, for it would have no visible response. Love itself would die when every emotion was masked. The very power of association and the instinct of trust would be destroyed when every man had withdrawn into darkness. Were there no revelation of the face, personality, and character there would be neither faith nor fellowship possible on earth!
With these thoughts in mind we can better understand the vast importance of the revelation or unveiling of Jesus Christ! It is abundantly clear to every spiritual mind that one of the great reasons the world has not found the living Christ is because He has been concealed behind the blinding veil of religion, beneath the restricting fašade of tradition, static creeds, lifeless forms, powerless rituals, empty ceremonies, and the corruption of the flesh and the carnality of the natural mind.
The fifth chapter of the book of Revelation represents a scene in heaven the realm of Spirit. A book is held in the right hand of Him who sits upon the throne of Omnipotence. The scene is purely symbolic and spiritual! God is omnipresent spirit. God never sat on a throne. He never held a book in His right hand. The One on the throne did not have an image. Even though He did not have a physical figure, John could see Him in and by the Spirit! And in and by the same Spirit John could see a book in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne. The book is the symbol of the revelation of Himself in and through a people!
Multitudes of Christian ministers today are ministering from the lowlands of religious traditions and carnal church creeds and programs. Gods elect has a higher calling in God! Only as we ascend into the heavens of Gods Spirit and minister unto the Lord and for the Lord from the realm of His greater, spiritual presence in the most holy place of His throneship, shall the blessings and benefits of His heavenly kingdom continue to change us and the world. Since heavens greatest desire is that the sons of God be manifested, let us understand that we are the book in the Fathers right hand and we must be taken by Jesus Christ the Lord; He must rip off the seals from that book which we are so that there shall be a revelation of the life of God that is written within! Father has raised us up into a unique place in this spiritual temple of the body of His sons. Our hearts cannot settle for anything less, for we yearn and long and pray and seek His will to be done in earth as it is in heaven. Nothing else will satisfy! Those who are called to sonship are experientially ascending in the spirit to the high places in God. They are recognizing and taking their rightful place on the throne of the Lord, by the Spirit, where they shall reign with Christ. Today we are living in momentous times. Christ is opening the seals of that book which we are to bring forth the revelation of Jesus Christ in us!
The Father also designed that when the time came to open the seven-sealed book, there would be a careful process connected to exposing the contents. The process is the progressive and ultimately full disclosure of all that Christ is! Christ Jesus possesses every power that the Father has, for the deity in Jesus is the almighty Father! However, the full glory and authority of Christ has been hidden beneath the veil of our flesh, for we are the body of Christ and the temple of God. The restoration of all men and all things to God requires the full disclosure of Jesus Christ in and through His body on earth. That is the message of the book of Revelation! So, the opening of each seal is connected to the removal of some aspect of our outer life of flesh and a brighter and clearer revelation of all that Christ in us is! As each seal opens less of us is seen, and more of Christ! This is the revelation of Jesus Christ! Can you not see the mystery?
A further confirmation that this is precisely the meaning of the seven-sealed book is found in the events that transpire as soon as the book is taken from the hand of the One upon the throne a paean of praise breaks forth as the four living creatures (kingship) and the twenty-four elders (priesthood) cry in rapturous exaltation, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (Rev. 5:9-10). You, precious child of God, are the epistle of Christ, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart (II Cor. 3:1-3). Therefore you are the book held in His mighty right hand, and every day God is writing in your book! Hes not writing for nothing for your book is to be opened! And there is only One who is worthy to take the book and loose the seals thereof, and that is the Lamb in the midst of the throne. The Lamb! The opening of the book is the unveiling of the life of the Lamb, the revelation of His life written and engraven in the minds and hearts of those who share His nature. He is the One who is worthy to take each one of us and open us up! And it is only through Jesus Christ our Lord that we can be opened up as the Book of the Life of the Lamb!
There are seven seals to be broken. The number seven gives me the understanding that contained within this book is the totality of Gods character and the complete revelation of His will and purpose. As these seals are loosed within Gods people they begin to experience and express the fullness of all that God is. There has never been an expression of God at this level in the earth at any time except in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, for it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell. There was mighty power and glory in the early church in the days of the first apostles, but there was not the revelation of Gods fullness, for they moved under the anointing of the firstfruits of the Spirit. Thats why the blessed apostle John saw this book as something yet to be opened! But now there is a people that has been sealed unto the day of redemption and as the Lamb opens the seals there is going to be a many-membered expression of God at the same level of the fullness of God in Jesus Christ! That is manifest sonship! That is the revelation of Jesus Christ! We shall see Him no longer through a glass darkly, nor at a lower level of consciousness, nor in the in-part realm of Passover and Pentecost. This book of the Lambs Life tells a complete story! Now, in this new day of the kingdom, God is taking all the experience and wisdom and knowledge and grace and power and glory that was and is revealed in Jesus and is incorporating it all into a company of sons and is about to stand this company up as the full and complete and total revelation of His personality in the earth! The opening of the book, the unfoldment of the Christ within, is not our work, it is HIS. Only the Lamb can break the seals! Only the Lamb can open the book! The Lamb has the seven spirits and each spirit unlocks a seal, until all seven are released and Christ is fully revealed in us. It is indeed wonderful!
It is only a tiny rosebud
A flower of Gods design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.
The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I
The flower God opens so sweetly
In my hands would fade and die.
If I cant unfold a rosebud,
Flower of Gods design;
Why do I think I have wisdom
To unfold this Christ-life of mine?
So Ill trust Him for His leading
Each moment of every day;
And Ill look to Him for guidance
Each step of this kingdom way.
The pathway that lies before me
The Lamb on the throne knows.
Ill trust HIM to unfold the glory
Just as He unfolds the rose!
There is a cry deep within the heart of every son of God, Oh God, unveil my mind, unveil my eyes, unveil yourself, unveil your nature, unveil your glory, unveil the mysteries of your kingdom, unveil your power, unveil the book of your life within us! Take the cover off, that men may see Christ in all His beauty! If any who reads these lines has never prayed like that you should begin to pray like that for the time of the unveiling is come. Everything is gathered before an unveiling! Everyone is in expectation! All the people are congregated, then finally the long-anticipated moment arrives when the veil is removed and the statue is brought into view. Today I say to you by the word of the Lord, the hour of the unveiling of Gods Christ is nigh at hand!
The importance and magnitude of this unveiling is first seen in Jesus Christ. At the dawn of history man knew God and knew his own identity as a son of God. The grandest of all truths is that CHRIST IS THE IMAGE OF GOD. If you want to know what God had in mind when He said, Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness, you have only to look at Jesus Christ. That is what God meant! But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost (who know not who or where they are): in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of CHRIST, WHO IS THE IMAGE OF GOD, should shine unto them (II Cor. 4:3-4). In whom we have redemption through His blood who is THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD, the firstborn (prototype) of every creature (Col. 1:14-15).
How totally inadequate do our words become in the light of words of such wonder as these! Jesus is the prototype of what God intends man to be. He is Gods finished product, Gods perfect man, Gods full-grown son; what every son and ultimately every man will be! Deep within every man there is a secret sanctum where dwells the mysterious essence of his being. This inmost reality is that part of a man which separates him from every other living creature and makes him uniquely mankind. The deep-in human entity of which I speak is called in the scriptures the spirit of man. For what man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God (I Cor. 2:11). As Gods self-knowledge lies in the eternal Spirit, so mans self-knowledge is by his own spirit, which is the offspring of God (Acts 17:28-29). I cannot overstress the importance of this in our forward walk into our destiny as sons of God! This truth denies that man is an earthly, physical being having a spirit and declares, rather, that he is a spirit having a physical body. That which makes a man a human being is not his body but his spirit, in which the image of God originally lay.
The life of Jesus is the life of God transmuted into the form of our human life, so that we may see, touch, hear, know, understand, and experience the very being and nature of God in human terms. The natural mind cannot understand such a truth as this, but, as I have pointed out, this is what God meant when He said, Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness. CHRIST is the image of God and God meant for every man to look and speak and act and be just like Jesus the Christ! Can you not see the mystery? This is the value of mans life in redemption, for God sent One who was all that man was meant to be to purchase us not to harps and golden streets and fluttering wings in some far-off heaven somewhere but back to relationship with God as sons in His very own image.
As we consider the wonderful advent of man created in the image of God we can only conclude that this is a SPIRITUAL MAN brought forth out of the very spirit-substance of God almighty, and bearing His own divine nature, character, power, and attributes. The image of God is the nature of God who is spirit reproduced in man in the earth. Thus, man is the true image of God! The divine nature was best and fully expressed in the man Christ Jesus who shined upon mortals the truest revelation of God and lifted mans sights higher than their poor thoughts would allow. Jesus revealed to men their true origin, heritage, and destiny. He came to show man what man really is, was intended to be, and through redemption and so great a salvation shall be THE IMAGE OF GOD. That is why God commanded, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness The only image of God there can be is man Himself! Man is the image! Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. In Jesus Christ you see man as he was in the beginning, and as he ever shall be world without end THE IMAGE OF GOD WITH DOMINION OVER ALL THINGS!
When our first parents sinned by disobeying God, immediately they changed the way they acted they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord. Ultimately they were driven out of the Garden that is, out of fellowship with God, blinded to the consciousness of who they really were, and separated from their ability to walk in and appropriate their heritage in Christ. From that day on, the human family began to lose sight of God to forget who He was and what He was really like. As the years and centuries went by, man created a picture of God that was so distorted and mistaken as to be but a grotesque caricature of the reality, and very few really understood His nature or His great plan and purpose. In the eloquent words of Paul the apostle: When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things (Rom. 1:21-23). This explains the origin of all the pagan gods of the ancient world! I like the way The Living Bible expresses verse 21 And after a while they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what He wanted them to do. In effect, man created a mask grotesque and corrupt and used it to cover the face of God. And darkness again covered the earth and the lives of men.
It was then that God chose to reveal Himself afresh and anew to all mankind. Paul Scherer described the night of all nights when God came down the stairs of heaven with a child in His arms Throwing aside the crude mask that man had placed upon Him, the Father sent His Son, Jesus, from heaven to earth to once again walk among men and show them who God is and what He is like. So Jesus came, ministering to the poor, teaching the principles of the kingdom, healing the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, with power over the very elements, and pouring out boundless love to all men! Do you see me for my works? He asked. Then understand that this is the nature of God. For when you see me, you see the Father.
Oh, my beloved, the joy of seeing the Father of having fellowship with God! This is the secret of true self-discovery! For as you find out who God is and your eternal relationship with Him in Christ, you will suddenly see yourself in a new light. AND THEN YOU CAN STRIP AWAY ALL YOUR MASKS AND FACES AND GO FORTH IN YOUR NEW IDENTITY AS A SON OF GOD! At the fall we lost our identity. Not knowing who we were, neither did we understand who our Father was. We are all here by choice, and have forgotten why we came! In Christ God is now giving us back our true identity, and we are waking up to our true nature. Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light! (Eph. 5:14). We do not awaken all at once, however. Most who read these lines have been awakened to the glorious and eternal realities in the Spirit little by little through manifold experiences over the course of many years. And now we can understand that there are seven seals upon that book of the Christ-life within! And the seals are not all removed at one instant of time nor in one great experience in God. Oh, no! The seals are removed one by one, through a definite process of unveiling. Some today do not believe in process, they only embrace the so-called finished work. Well, I have news for you my precious brother, sister, regardless of the finished work there will still be no revelation of Jesus Christ out of your life, or mine, until all the seals have been broken!
That which the Lord has to get rid of in us is the covering of the old fleshly nature and carnal mind which conceal and mar the beauty of the Christ within. What our Father is doing when chastening and scourging us, is stripping away our old self-nature which obstructs the glory of the divine life within. This covering of the old flesh must be removed to let the glory of the Christ shine forth! This God is doing with His chastening rod and His scourging whip; removing the filthy film of our old fleshly nature and religious ways, taking the hide of carnality off, until our vessel shines with the beauty and glory of Christ and is made useful in the kingdom of our Father. This wonderful truth is expressed so beautifully in Ray Prinzings poem:
O flesh so arrogant and proud,
Self-centered ways that clamor loud,
Your days are numbered, fading fast,
Your vaunted image cannot last.
The cross shall deal its deathly blow,
Humiliation lay thee low,
Till Christ alone shall be revealed,
The inner man, so long concealed.
And then true grace and mercy give,
Forgiveness births a hope to live,
With neither malice nor ill will,
But joy and peace the earth to fill.
There are very special dealings of God within each of our lives in relation to the unveiling and release of the Christ-life from within. The Lord Jesus put it this way: I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit (Jn. 15:1-2). Every branch that beareth fruit He purges it! The purpose of purging, or pruning, is to effect a concentration of the life. When all the branches of the vine are permitted to grow unrestricted there is a resulting debilitating or weakening of the life. It is like diluting a chemical the more water you add, the weaker it becomes. The nourishment and vitality of the vine are sapped by all the multitudinous branches, shoots, and tendrils, and utilized to keep them alive and bearing abundance of foliage rather than being channeled into producing fruit. Thus, with the excess of branches and shoots cut away, the life becomes more concentrated and stronger in those remaining, and the clusters of grapes become more rich and full. The true life is then revealed in the fruit! In like manner it is necessary that our natural tendencies, actions, and desires, with all carnal religious activities and exercises, must be cut away, that the virtues and powers of our Christ-life be wrought and manifested in us. It has been my experience that God not only prunes away the sins of the flesh and the emotions of the soul, but a great deal of religiousness and those involved with it, as well. All this cutting away represents an aspect of the breaking of the seals that the inner life may come forth into full revelation and manifestation! When Jesus speaks of bearing fruit He is not talking about winning souls, as good as that is; rather, He is speaking of the raising up in our lives of the fruit of the spirit within which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. All these are the nature of Christ within us, and the breaking of the seals makes way for this fruit to be borne outwardly through our lives!
Revelation is an unveiling. Unveiling is a removal. It means the separation of everything that obstructs the radiance of the glory of Christ! And the mystery of it is that the revelation of Christ is not bringing Christ within us to His fullness, its not adding something to the Christ that is in us. You cant add anything to Christ. Christ is! Its not the production of Christ, or the increase of Christ, or the maturing of Christ, or the formation of Christ, but its the uncovering of the Christ who is already there! Christ is in my spirit. I cant add anything to my spirit! I may say, Oh God, Im seeking a greater manifestation of Christ. But by that I dont mean that Im looking for Christ to become something that He isnt, or something more and greater than He already is. Oh, no! What Im after is the revelation, the unveiling, the uncovering of the Christ who is all that He is within my spirit.
Someone has put the proposal to us like this: If you had Rembrandt in you, just think what a painter you could be! If you had Beethoven in you, just imagine the sort of music you could write! If you had Einstein in you, consider what recognition as a scientist you could gain! Well, you cannot have Rembrandt or Beethoven or Einstein in you but you have Christ! Consider what sort of life you can live, the words you can speak, the works you can do, and how magnificently you can love! Yes, we have Christ in us and we have come to the hour of His unveiling in us!
Now if you want to understand all the wars that are in the book of Revelation, and all the judgments in the book of Revelation, and all the plagues and the vials, all the thunderings, lightnings, and earthquakes, the islands fleeing away, the mountains shaken down, the heavens departing as a scroll, the stars from heaven falling, the trees and grass burned up, the rivers, fountains, and even the sea dried up if you truly hunger to understand these things, then know, O son, O daughter of God, that all these are but the movements of God within us to bring a separation between everything we have thought, everything we have known by tradition, by religion, by education, by the carnal mind, by human understanding, by our natural senses, by self-will, to bring a separation from all the exterior, from every impurity and mixture of the flesh so that what is really true in our spirit may be raised up, released, to bring the life and light and love of God to creation!
The truth is that every revelation or unveiling of Jesus Christ is just that. The revelation of Christ in each of us when we first awoke to our life in Christ was not just the generation of Christ within us, but it was a removal. Let me illustrate. All life begins in a seed, whether it be the life of a vegetable, the life of a tree, the life of an animal, or the life of a man. The life is in the seed, or the acorn, or the sperm and ovum. All the genetic code is there in the seed. Everything the towering oak will ever be is contained and concentrated in the little acorn from which its life originates. You take that seed, plant it in the earth, and in an appointed time God sends two elements that bring forth the revelation or the unveiling of the oak tree within. He sends the rain upon it and then causes the sun to shine on it. Soon there is a stirring of that life which is on the inside, and suddenly what hid the life, the outer shell that concealed the life, begins to break. It bursts open and the revelation of that life that is in the seed comes by the removal of that outer part of the seed. It has nothing to do with adding something to whats on the inside! The genetic code is intact, complete. Everything that tree will ever be is right there, but there has to be a release, and the release comes by a removal of that which conceals and restricts it. Can you not see the mystery?
The seed of Christ is mighty within every elect son of God, and God has an appointed time for that life to be revealed. God has planted that seed in this earth which we are, and now God sends the rain of His quickening life and the sun of His illumination and He rains upon that seed and He shines upon that seed. There is a stirring of the life that is on the inside, and suddenly the shell of our natural, human life that concealed the greater life of Christ within, begins to break. It bursts open and the Lord begins the process of removal of the outer shell with all its delusions, weaknesses, corruption, carnal knowledge, fleshly wisdom, religiosity, self-righteousness, greed, and all its false ways. Its an on-going process! There are seven seals! Our self-life is a complete, total, radical, and powerful obstruction to the indwelling Christ. Every step of the revelation of Christ is an unveiling! God removes, and removes, and removes, and when He removes, we behold more and more the wonder of the mighty Christ within. Some of us were in churches, in denominations, in the religious systems of man when God began to stir us. He burst the cocoon that we were in, so that the work He had done in us could break forth and stretch its wings and fly away into the heavens of God.
Have you received the call to sonship? Then be assured, dear one, that the entire genetic code of manifest sonship is right there within your spirit today! All the potential, the reality, the substance, and the life of sonship is contained within your regenerated spirit. Christ is in you as the Son of God in all the power of His resurrection, ascension, and throneship! Oh, yes! And now is the hour of the unveiling. All those things that you have struggled with, that you have fought with and battled about and done warfare against, all the questions, doubts, fears, frustrations, habits, bondages, weaknesses, failures, limitations, and all the lack that you have sensed and felt as an impenetrable wall about you, a barrier to Christ being revealed in your life, the hour has come for the mighty dynamic of the spirit of life within you to burst asunder the bands and the bars, that there might be an outflowing of the life and the glory and power of your inner son!
One brother shared the following illustration. I once watched as a cicada took off its old self and put on its new self. Its beetle-like back split open and something five times its size slowly crawled out of the shell that had once been its skin. It was as amazing a miracle as I have ever witnessed! I watched that insect split open in what appeared to be agony and then crawl out of itself, devoting every bit of its energy to revealing its new self. What a word that is!
David Sebren shared this with us:
Im a nothing, a nobody,
As people can plainly see
Yet Im sometimes great within my thoughts
With some great fantasy.
But Someone lives inside of me
Whos powerful, there is no doubt
And Hes trying to move ME out of the way,
So HE can come on out!
Ah, God has a wonderful plan and purpose for the life of every son of God. The Bible is full of this thought, that for each of us there is a course, a race, a work, a divine plan to be unfolded and fulfilled. To this end we have been birthed on this planet and for this purpose there is ample provision of grace, revelation, and power. Never forget you were born to be victorious and to achieve something transcendental. Just as the scientist and poet can look down on the lower animals and say, Poor things, if only you understood the glory of this world of mind and intellect, of wisdom and knowledge, of harmony, beauty, and purpose, so the son filled with the inner spirit, with the mind of Christ and the nature of the heavenly Father, can look upon the poor worldlings, the rich and the famous, the great and the powerful, philosophers, scholars, politicians, and say, Oh, poor things, if only you knew the purity, the peace, the joy, the interior brightness, the vastness, the sacred secret, the divine purpose, the heavenly glory, the sweetness and the divine personalities that I see and enjoy and respond to ah, if only you knew! And of course they shall, in Gods due time!
This is the spiritual vision where our spiritual nature, with its inner senses, unfolds to the heavenly world. The Holy Spirit, quickening our spirit, opens our inner eyes and ears and minds and reveals to us the vision of our high calling. This is the meaning of Pauls wonderful prayer where he prays that the saints might have the spirit of wisdom and revelation through the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye might know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe (Eph. 1:17-19). Another translation says, the eyes of your heart being enlightened, which is the very core of our being and the fountain of our thoughts and conception of divine realities. It is not through the intellect of the natural mind that God reveals Himself to us, but it is through our inner spirit, the seat of our spiritual consciousness Christ in us!
Let us not rest contented with present attainments. There are seven seals to be broken within us to bring forth the full revelation of the Christ! Let us go on to perfection! There is a higher, fuller experience that awaits each one of us, where we shall express all the mind that was in Christ Jesus, all the nature of our heavenly Father, and all the power of the Holy Spirit without measure. This is the ultimate reality of the revelation of Christ in us! If the mere confession of the finished work would produce this in our experience, many who cherish the beautiful hope of sonship would already be manifesting the fullness. But there is a process, there is an unfolding! There are seven seals to be loosed!
Now let me give you an illustration. I suppose that many who read these lines have at some time in their life dreamed about what it would be like to win the lottery. The question always is, when someone wins the lottery, Are you going to keep working? The next question is, What are you going to do with all that money?
Lets suppose, for example, that J. Preston Eby wins the lottery and there are forty-two million dollars in the lottery! Now first of all, when Uncle Sam gets through with it, Ill have only about twenty million. But, of course, I would still be a multi-millionaire! So one day I receive notification that twenty million dollars have been deposited in my account at the Wells Fargo Bank. Now Im a multi-millionaire. Let us further suppose that on my wifes birthday, shortly after the twenty million dollars have been put into my account, I go to the Dollar Store and buy her birthday gift. For her birthday dinner I take her to McDonalds. Then I give her seventy-five dollars that week and tell her to go to Wal-mart and buy groceries, because we can save a little by shopping at Wal-mart. Of course, I keep right on driving my Dodge Intrepid. When I need a new sport coat I go to Goodwill. A little later we plan a trip to Puerto Rico to visit where our son and daughter-in-law used to live, so I buy one of those discount tickets on Adios Airlines! Whats wrong with this scenario? Whats wrong with it is that I would be a multi-millionaire while living like a poor man. I would not be appropriating my possessions! There is a world of difference between provision and appropriation!
Permit me to carry the illustration a little further. We do have a son who, with his wife, lived in Puerto Rico. Occasionally we were blessed to fly down and visit them. One of the fringe benefits was getting to swim at one of the most beautiful little beaches in the Caribbean! Through our more than fifty years of marriage Lorain and I have been privileged to travel a bit, ministering in Canada, Mexico, and various other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. We also visited the sites of the seven churches of Asia which are located in the country of Turkey. While there we stopped by the isle of Patmos, where John received his revelation. Out of all the places we have visited one of the most beautiful, to me, is the area around Lake Tahoe, California. In my younger, more foolish days, one of my secret fantasies was to own a villa in the Caribbean and another on Lake Tahoe a winter home and a summer home! Now were I to actually win a forty-two million dollar lottery, what thought do you suppose might still pop into my head? It would probably occur to me that now I have the money to own that winter villa in the Caribbean and that summer home on Lake Tahoe! And I wouldnt travel back and forth on a discount ticket from Adios Airlines Id fly first class on American!
Spiritually, the elect of God has a possession, represented symbolically by the forty-two million dollars from the lottery. Oh, what a rich and glorious possession we have in Christ! When we see all the fullness of His grace and glory, all the fathomless depths of His wonderful love, all the rich provision of His great redemption, and all the possibilities of His indwelling life; once we catch a glimpse of what it means to be a son of God, and an heir of God and joint-heir with Jesus; when we truly understand the profound implications of what it means to be the temple of the living God; when we fully realize how awesome it is to have the peace of God which passeth understanding, the love of God which passeth knowledge, the joy unspeakable and full of glory, and the very power, authority, and dominion of Him who raised Jesus from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places; when with glory it breaks upon our spiritual consciousness that we have entered the never-ending Day where our sun no more goes down in sorrow, for the Lord is our everlasting light, and the days of our travail have forever ended; as we taste the exquisite delight of the life of Jesus in our mortal flesh, as an antidote for sin, sickness, and death, and the very mind of Christ by which we think the high thoughts of God; in a word, when we see, as Moses saw, the good land which the Lord our God hath given us, shall we not quickly arise and, casting all else behind, step our feet into the waters of Jordan and let nothing hinder us from entering into our full inheritance POSSESSING OUR POSSESSIONS!
All that and more is truly our possession as the elect of the Lord! But let not any of us for one moment mistake the possession for the appropriation of the possession! Oh, yes! It is possible to possess twenty million dollars and still walk around in a coat from Goodwill! You see, my beloved, its not enough to glory in what we have in Christ and in this new day of the kingdom. We must never confuse revelation with possession just as we must distinguish between possession and appropriation. Possession is the twenty million dollars in the bank. Thats the activity on Gods part. Revelation is the notification from the bank that the money has been deposited to our account. But now the time must come when we appropriate our possession. Appropriation is when we act upon our possession and buy a villa instead of a mobile home! I find multitudes of kingdom people who have received the notification they have a great wealth of revelation but how few of us are daily walking in the appropriation!
I hear many boasting that they have entered into the new day, they are dwelling in the most holy place, they are walking in the feast of tabernacles, they are seated and reigning in the highest heaven and there are no more heavens for them to attain to, they have received the final revelation and the greatest word and manifest sonship is not off somewhere in the future, but they are already manifested NOW! That all sounds so good and so great, but there is only one problem. There is no manifestation of that sonship out of their lives to deliver the groaning creation from the bondage of corruption! They continue on in the same little religious format they have had for fifty years, gathering, singing a few songs, worshipping and praising, and then preaching to one another about how great they are and to what depths and heights they have attained in God yet, apart from their revelation (reading with glee the notification from the bank) NOTHING IS HAPPENING THAT HASNT HAPPENED IN THE PAST FIFTY YEARS. I am not claiming that I am a manifest son of God, while these precious brethren are not. Oh, no! What I am saying is that some have mistaken the possession for the appropriation! They have made a premature declaration of their own sonship, rather than waiting for all the seals to be opened at which time the Father Himself will declare His sons! When the Father declares the sons, it will not be just a declaration to them, but a declaration to the whole multitude standing on the banks of the Jordan! As soon as the Father makes His declaration the many brethren will come forth in the power of the spirit of sonship and all creation will know that at last the sons of God HAVE APPEARED! Isnt it wonderful!
That we might comprehend, at least in part, the all-embracing purpose of sonship, let us explore the depth of meaning in Pauls words wherein he writes, The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together (Rom. 8:16-17). Heirs of God! Thats the forty-two million dollars in the bank. Isnt that a wonderful place to start! Now, theres a possession! Heirs of God thats everything God is, and all that God has. You cant expand it any bigger than that! If we can understand the infinity of God and the substance of God; if we know the infinity of all that God is and of all that God has, then we know the scope and the substance of our possession.
On the basis of this vast inheritance Paul goes on to say, For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18). What is that glory which shall be revealed? Let me put it this way. If there is any degree of glory that we are not walking in and manifesting today that is the glory that is yet to be revealed! Any portion of this vast, infinite inheritance that is not expressed through us at this time is an as yet unrevealed glory. Methinks this glory is exceedingly great and fabulous beyond anything we have seen or witnessed up to this day! The very fact that there is a glory yet to be revealed speaks the great truth that none of us has yet appropriated the fullness of our inheritance. Its in the bank, dear ones, but we havent written a check large enough to use up the inheritance!
Because there is a glory yet to be revealed in us, Paul continues setting forth the wonderful result of this inheritance once the sons of God have fully appropriated it. For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD (Rom. 8:19). What is creation waiting for? Creation is waiting for the sons of God to appropriate their inheritance! Creation is waiting for you, for me to cash in our ticket on Adios Airlines and get a first class ticket on American. Creation is waiting for us to stop eating at McDonalds and reserve the worlds finest gourmet restaurant and invite every hungry and thirsty soul in the whole vast universe to the supper of the Lord. Im speaking spiritually now! Thats what manifest sonship means. Its not something for us, its for creation! Creation is standing on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of Gods sons coming into their own. You see, if I were to win forty-two million dollars and all I did was buy lavish villas and lounge on the beautiful beaches of the world, I would be a most self-centered and selfish man. What a world of good that money could do to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and meet the desperate needs of my precious brethren who are suffering. That is what the money should go for! In like manner, the glory yet to be revealed in us, the remainder of the inheritance we have to appropriate, is not for us, it is the Fathers grace through us to bless, lift, deliver, redeem, and restore the whole of creation back into God again! Oh, the wonder of it!
Is that not precisely why Paul continues his inspired thought with these significant words: Because the creation itself ALSO SHALL BE DELIVERED from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God (Rom. 8:21). There it is! There is no mystery about it, it is our Fathers plainly revealed purpose to flow His inheritance through the manifest sons of God for the blessing, deliverance, and restoration of the whole creation back into the life and fullness of God. The creation itself is to share in the possession! The possession is all that God is and all that God has. And thats the glory that shall be revealed in us! They now earnestly wait in expectation, anticipation. This is what all creation is waiting for!
One of the deepest cries of my heart in these days is that we would not so water down what manifest sonship is until it means nothing and makes no difference. I hear these starry-eyed people proclaiming the dizzying heights they have attained in God, yet I am compelled to just take their word for it, as there is no manifestation out of their lives or experience that is changing anything in this dark world. I know that Jesus Christ was the first manifest Son of God, the firstborn among many brethren. And I know that His life, His words, His works, His power, His glory made a difference! He lived the life of God, exhibited the nature of God, did the works of God, expressed the wisdom of God, and demonstrated the power of God on a level never witnessed before or since. Is He not the prototype of what manifest sonship is all about? Who can deny it! I know that He brought His body out of the tomb, He resurrected, He was changed, He ascended, He was glorified, He was enthroned. If you want to know what manifest sonship is, that is it! It is everything Jesus experienced, did, expressed, manifested, demonstrated, and accomplished. Thats what it is! Dont let anybody tell you sonship is anything less than this! I do not hesitate to tell you that anyone who claims to be a manifest son of God while still walking in a Passover anointing or a Pentecostal anointing or who no longer possesses even what they had in Pentecost, nor yet do they manifest anything greater than Pentecost that person is either self-deluded or a liar.
Stand with me for a moment with bowed head and reverent heart while we consider the greatness of this Christ within! We have an inheritance in God and it is all God is and all God has. He has come into us to be all that the Son of God is! The outer man of flesh that restricts, restrains, bridles, hinders, obstructs and prevents the outflow of Christ in the fullness of His glory must now be removed. Christ in us shall be unveiled! There are seven seals upon the book of Christ within us. The release of this reality, glory, and power out of us that is the manifestation of the sons of God! That is the breaking of the seals and the opening of the book! May God make it real to your heart and finish the work in all who read these lines. Amen!
To be continued J. PRESTON EBY
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