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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."


Part 197






            “And here is the mind which hath wisdom.  The seven heads are  seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.  And there are seven kings…” (Rev. 17:9-10).


            As we approach this portion of our study of Mystery Babylon we will note in our text that there are two sources of sevens listed here — seven heads which are also seven mountains.  The messenger showing John these things informs him that “here is the mind which hath wisdom,” that is, the mind which is enlightened by the spirit of wisdom from God will be able to understand the mystery of the seven heads which are also seven mountains upon which the woman sitteth!  Seven is the primary number signifying fullness and completeness.  Heads denote authority as well as wisdom and knowledge.  Mountains stand for kingdoms, thus signifying dominion, strength, and power.  Verse ten further informs us that there are seven kings.  The kings are authorities.  The message is clear — The woman, the false church, sits astride the fullness and completeness of carnal, fleshly, earthly, and worldly knowledge, wisdom, authority, strength, dominion, and power!  


            “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (Rev. 17:10).


            The Revelation is a metaphoric drama.  The organization of the book is that of a drama in three acts.  At first sight it does not appear to be a practical or experiential book.  Most commentaries on it seem to be explanations of prophetic world history since the cross or yet to come.  There surely is much in it that will inform us about history and there is foretelling in it as well.  But if all we see in it is history and foretelling of events in the outer world, we will altogether miss the great purpose in the fact that it proclaims spiritual blessings upon those who “read, hear and keep what is written therein” (Rev. 1:3).


            As we consider this truth, we should notice that there are seven kings or authorities associated with the woman, and we are particularly informed that five of the seven are fallen.  It is significant to note that in the Greek text there is the definite article — it reads, “the five are fallen,” designating to “the five” a unique and specific identity and meaning.  Therefore, these cannot represent five separate kings or authorities, each with his own character, manifestation, and significance.  “THE five” reveals the great truth that the meaning of the mystery is not to be found in the individual kings, but in the grouping together, that is, the number five.  Five in scripture is the number of grace, but it is an incomplete number.  It is five out of the seven.  Thus, in this realm of authority connected with the harlot, the false church, there is NO GRACE — grace has fallen, grace is perverted and limited, grace has departed, grace is no more.  Look not for any mercy here!  Can we not see that in the church systems of man where sin is constantly denounced, where even a salvation sermon cannot be preached without first reminding the hearer of what a despicable and hell-bent sinner he is, where law is laid upon the people, where a sense of condemnation is continually instilled into men’s hearts, where for the least infraction of righteousness the flames of hell and the fear of eternal damnation are threateningly dangled before men’s consciousness —  right there, my beloved, GRACE HAS FALLEN!

            Bear in mind that we are dealing here not with outward kings somewhere over in Europe or the Middle East or in some imagined “end-time” confederation of nations — ah, no, for this has to do with a harlot — a “Christian church,” and the beast she rides, indeed a “Christianized beast,” in  whom grace has fallen!  Does not church history and our own experience confirm this fact?  Do not 99% of all Christian denominations in some way teach the limitation of God’s grace?    Most Christians believe that once a person dies, his or her fate is sealed forever.  If anyone has been fortunate enough to have repeated the “sinner’s prayer” moments before death stole the spirit away, he is guaranteed that, according to the “orthodox” teaching,  he will go straight to heaven.  Matters not whether he was truly drawn to the Son by the Holy Spirit; as long as he by faith muttered the correct words before the final beat of his heart yielded to the stillness and silence of death, his salvation is eternally secured.


            The question is, does physical death end the availability of God’s grace?  The death that came to Adam was first and foremost a spiritual death,  and all men enter this world already “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1).  Does physical death render either our moral character or our ability to repent changeless?  Does it irrevocably fix our eternal destiny?  Are the grace and mercy of God truly TIED TO OUR HEARTBEAT?  Here is a young man driving along the road on his way to an evangelistic meeting where he will hear an anointed message of salvation.  Conditions are such that he may be saved this very night.  His heart is tender.  His mother is praying.  The Holy Spirit will be mightily dealing.  But — enroute to the meeting there is a terrible accident.  The brakes are slammed on, the car skids and careens wildly, spins uncontrollably off the highway, rolls down the embankment, crashing violently into a tree.  Death is instantaneous.  Abruptly the young man is gone “out into eternity.”  The question follows…was the mercy and redemption of Christ tied to his heartbeat?  Was God’s great redemptive purpose thwarted by the state of the physical body or even by the condition of one single physical organ within that body?  Was there mercy for this young man IF HE WOULD HAVE MADE IT TO THE MEETING, BUT ETERNAL DAMNATION INSTEAD BECAUSE A DRUNKEN FOOL PULLED OUT IN FRONT OF HIM IN THE DARKNESS?


            I do not hesitate to say that there is not one passage of scripture in the whole Bible that indicates that the grace of God is limited to physical life, or that the mercy of God is tied to one’s heartbeat.  I am sure that my reader recognizes that it is the spirit of man that is of the greatest importance to God!  Why should there be salvation provided so long as the weak material body remains animate, but no salvation for the much more valuable spirit of the same man or woman as soon as the last mortal breath is drawn?  Oh, I know that the writer to the Hebrews states, “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27), but that proves nothing relative to the question under consideration.  It merely establishes  the fact of judgment — not the process of judgment or the result of the judgment.  The passage is conspicuous for what it does not say.  It does not say, “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this eternal damnation.”  The entire theory of eternal torment rests upon a faulty translation of a couple of Greek words, and actual distortions and perversions of what the scriptures actually say. 


            So the church system concludes that God has both the will and the power to save a breathing man, but no will and no power and no grace to save a non-breathing man.  It teaches that God has both the will and the power to regenerate a spirit which has a body of dust, but no will and no power and no grace to regenerate the same spirit without a body of dust.  God’s grace and God’s power are thus limited by the temporary function of certain animal organs!  Good heartbeat, good mercy and grace!  No heartbeat, no mercy and no grace!  Ah, GRACE HAS FALLEN!


            If, instead of bringing every sin into judgment — punishing that sin and correcting the sinner — we imagine the poor sinner suffering the eternal torments of hell with its unbearable anguish, the pangs of conscience, the taunts of fiendish demons, one hour of which is more than all his earthly sorrows rolled into one — lengthen this out to endlessness and season it with hopeless despair — and its horrors will be absolutely inconceivable.  Though our lips may be afraid to frame the words, our hearts will whisper, “Can such be the final fruit of God’s glorious plan?”  Is this the response for which He hungered when He purposed that sin should estrange His creatures from Himself?  (Rom. 8:20-21).  But this is far from all!  Multiply this single case by scores of billions of human beings who, age after age, have been hurdled into this hopeless hell — all tortured and tormented forever while the ages roll, and roll, and roll into infinity…without mercy, without grace, and without remedy.  Yes, GRACE HAS FALLEN!

            If the above scenario be true then something horrid must have happened to both God and His saints in heaven.  Before the death of these people God loved them all, and in many instances they loved each other, saved and unsaved alike, and would have performed a great number of kindnesses for one another.  Many of these had Christian friends and loved ones who were very concerned about them and prayed earnestly for them.  But now that both saint and sinner are out in “eternity,” God and all the saints in heaven have either lost their love and compassion for their lost loved ones, or else God has brainwashed all the saints so that they have erased from their memories the fact that their beloved mothers and fathers, their lovely sisters and brothers, their precious daughters and sons, and their dear friends and neighbors are constantly suffering the most terrible pain and hideous torture for all eternity.  So we see this: there is MORE LOVE, COMPASSION, AND GRACE in the physical world in God and His saints, than there is in  the spirit world.  Furthermore, there is MORE LOVE for sinners while they have bodies than there is for sinners without bodies.  In addition, there is more SAVING POWER in God for unbelievers possessing a mortal body than there is for unbelievers who have no mortal bodies.  Think of it!


            What has happened to cause God and the saints to turn from love and pity for the lost, to a feeling that the lost are now getting just what they deserve — unendingly!  What, I ask, has happened to God and the saints to cause them to love and seek the lost as long as their frail, mortal bodies endure, but to turn from that love for the precious unclothed spirit of the very same man or woman?  Can we believe that God, having created all things for His pleasure, having so loved His creation that He freely gave heaven’s most precious gift, after a few paltry years, the brief span of a man’s mortal existence, throws up His almighty hands in futility and disgust, saying that He has done all that He can and men would not respond, so He must cease all effort, seat Himself upon His golden throne, consign His creation to everlasting hell, and forever erase any feeling for them from His heart and from the hearts of the saints?  Yet this is exactly what we are told today.  But how foolish!  God is not that fickle, God is not that weak, and God does not give up that easily.  In fact, God does not give up!  He started the whole program of creation and redemption and, blessed be His wonderful name! He will not cease His work until He is Victor — “All in All” throughout all the vastnesses of infinity for evermore!  “For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  For He hath put all things under His feet.  But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He (the Father) is excepted, which did put all things under Him.  But when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be ALL-IN-ALL — EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE!”  (I Cor. 15:25-28).


            How often we have heard preachers warn people that “the day of grace will soon be over forever.”  Now where, in God’s name, did they ever get such a ridiculous idea?  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  For as long as God exists the grace of God will be with us.  The end of the grace of God, were it possible, would mean the destruction of God Himself, for grace is one of His eternal, immutable attributes.  Please notice that Paul shows that the grace of God is going to be displayed, revealed, and made known IN THE AGES TO COME through those who have received it here and now in this present dispensation.  “And hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ, THAT IN THE AGES TO COME HE MIGHT SHOW (Greek: exhibit, put on display for all to see) THE EXCEEDING RICHES OF HIS GRACE in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7-8). 


            Not only does the above passage tell us of the great revelation of God’s grace in the ages to come, but it also shows us that it is for this very purpose that God is saving a firstfruit company now.  The unveiling of the grace of God to the whole creation is the true reason for the manifestation of the sons of God.  God has no intention of bringing all the world into the fold now.  If that were His purpose He would surely bring it pass, for He is the omnipotent God who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.  The whole purpose of this present age is to GATHER OUT A PEOPLE THROUGH WHOM TO DISPLAY HIS GRACE IN THE COMING AGES.  James also declared this great truth when at Jerusalem he said, “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles to TAKE OUT A PEOPLE FOR HIS NAME…that the residue (rest, remainder) of men might seek after the Lord and ALL THE GENTILES upon whom my name is called…known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:14,17,18).  This so-called “age of grace” is coming to an end, but the good news is that grace will be more manifest and appropriated in the future than in previous times!  This age which is presently coming to a close should more properly be called “the church age,” for grace will not end, but the present formation and administration of the church will end.  In the age and the ages to come God will move from “calling out” a body from among the nations, to the reconciling and saving of the nations themselves.  That is why we read of the New Jerusalem, “And the nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it…and they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it” (Rev. 21:24-26).  In ages beyond that God shall deal with the residue  (rest) of men unto all the reaches of His vast creation — “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times (at the conclusion of all ages of time) He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him” (Eph. 1:10).


            Ray Prinzing once wrote, “GOD’S PURPOSE ANTEDATES TIME, for He purposed it in Himself before time began, and then arranged for the times in which He will fulfill it.  Therefore His purpose is not in bondage to any man’s time, be it a day, or a thousand years, but all time has to serve that purpose.  Furthermore, God’s grace, whereby this purpose shall be accomplished, also antedates time, for we read, ‘Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world (ages) began’ (II Tim. 1:9).  The sufficiency of grace was freely given before time began, hence God’s grace is not bound to time either.  Grace can take all the time it desires for its manifestation, for it is not subject to the confines and limitations of time.  The religious traditions of some speak of an ‘age of grace,’ as if all other ages would be devoid of grace.  This is utter nonsense.  You cannot possibly limit the grace of God to any one age, for it is manifest in all ages, and is not bound to any certain age alone.


            “Since man is saved by grace, and not of self-works, and grace is a gift of a sovereign God, then obviously He can administer that grace to man whenever He chooses.  The length of time has no claims upon that grace, but is a servant to His grace, to reveal by degrees the wonder and glory of God’s bountiful grace and mercy.  Should God so arrange this to be the hour when He gives grace in your life, then bow low before Him in worship and praise.  Yet if you have loved ones who have not yet been given this inflow of grace, do not despair, for ‘in Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in His own order’ (I Cor. 15:22-23), and God has fitted the ages so that there is an appointed time for grace to work in every life.  We do not know HIS times and seasons, therefore we warn every man to turn to God now, knowing that we reap what we sow, and to continue sowing to the flesh means more harvests of suffering and sorrow.  And we thank God for each heart that is opened to receive of God’s grace now”   — end quote.


            “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (Rev. 17:10).


            The description goes on to say, though the authority of grace has fallen within the bestial religious systems of men (because first it fell within each man’s heart) — there still exists some of this carnal religious authority.  John is told that one king is yet to come, exists for a short time — he being the seventh.  However, note that the one who IS, is the SIXTH!  Five are fallen, and one is — 5 + 1 = 6.  SIX IS THE NUMBER OF MAN!  The message is just this — today, in the church world, MAN IS IN CONTROL!  Can any deny it?  Man is in control and grace is fallen!  Is not the wisdom of God in this spiritual revelation absolutely striking and utterly remarkable!


            “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition” (Rev. 17:10-11).


            At this point the scene becomes a bit perplexing and rather confusing to the natural mind.  Observing the seer’s wonder at the sight, the messenger proceeds to explain; and as he speaks the symbols undergo a change, like dissolving views in a movie or like the inexplicable changes in a dream.  Truly, to get at the meaning of this complicated mystery, we need to have not merely intelligence but also divine wisdom, the spirit of wisdom and revelation from God.  At the outset we are told that the beast which carries the woman, having seven heads and ten horns, was, and is not, and yet shall ascend out of the abyss, and go into perdition.  Even that is strange!  Most Christians view the pit (abyss) itself as a place of destruction.  They look forward to the devil and all his demons being destroyed by being sent into the pit.  They anticipate the antichrist, or the beast, and all other wicked powers meeting their end — their destruction — in the pit.  But this beast has to ascend out of the pit in order to go into destruction!  Isn’t that remarkable! 


            Then the messenger explains that the seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits.  By a sort of verbal transubstantiation, now, instead of the woman sitting on the beast, she is sitting on the seven heads, but the heads are mountains!  And even before this we see the woman sitting, not upon the beast, nor upon the heads of the beast, but upon many waters! (vs. 1).  To further complicate the issue, verse eighteen informs us that the woman is a city.  And now we find that the beast that was, and is not, AND YET IS,  is the eighth head — the whole beast is now one of the heads!  But this new eighth head is actually out of the seven!  What is all this?  Seven heads, five are fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, the beast which was and is not is an eighth and is of the seven — what is this?  The messenger’s explanation confuses us as much as the vision!  Who can make sense of all this?  Who can understand it?  Where is the person who can intelligently and adequately explain the mystery?  Ah, the Spirit of God Himself supplies the answer!  “And here is the mind that hath wisdom” (vs. 9).  That is the inspired preface to all the confused,  mixed-up, jumbled, perplexing scenes that follow!  All the convoluted scenes, all the scrambled and contorted pictures can be understood ONLY BY THE MIND THAT HATH WISDOM! 


            Is it not phenomenal that the Holy Spirit uses precisely the same terminology in regard to understanding the mark of the beast.  “Here is wisdom.  Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred three score and six” (Rev. 13:18).  Here is wisdom: Let him that hath understanding count.  The wise king Solomon said, Wisdom is the principal thing,” but, in the same verse he hastily adds, “and with all  thy getting get understanding” (Prov. 4:7).  Paul prayed for the saints in Ephesus, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ…may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation…the eyes of your understanding being enlightened” (Eph. 1:17-18).  This beautiful prayer of the apostle demonstrates vividly the truth that wisdom is a state of being.  We could say it has a “passive” quality — this wisdom comes only from the inworkings of God!


            “HERE IS WISDOM: let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast.”  The key is this beautiful expression: “Here is wisdom.”  And then in  our current text: “Here is the mind which hath wisdom.”   If it’s wisdom we’re talking about, then it’s not philosophy, it’s not intellect, it’s not training, it’s not mathematics, it’s not a study of history.  Notice that our text does not say, “Here is a riddle; let him that is bright solve it,” but plainly states, “Here is the mind that hath wisdom.”  Therefore we must have something different!  Though one might study and search forever, plying endlessly through mountains of musty volumes, in an effort to decipher the enigma of the constantly changing scenes, he would never come close to the correct conclusion, for the carnal man sees through carnal eyes, and having eyes, he sees not, neither does he understand.


            There is therefore only one word of advice that I can give.  Do not try to figure out by much study the marvelous mysteries of God’s word, but CONCENTRATE ON CHRIST.  Christ Himself is the truth and beside Him there is no truth.  Christ is also the wisdom of God and the apostle tells us that HE is made unto us wisdom.  Oh, yes!  Wisdom is a Person, and wisdom is a state of being.  It is the state of being of the Christ-man.  Our knowledge of God and our understanding of the things of God depend entirely upon where we look.  Paul penned these significant words to the saints in Colosse, “IN HIM are HID all the treasures of WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE” (Col. 2:3).  If you are looking anywhere else beside Christ Himself to understand the mysteries, you are surely looking in the wrong place.  Christ Himself is the great treasure house where all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are concealed and garnered up.  In Him, and in Him alone, are to be found all the rich blessings which wisdom and knowledge bestow!


            The more intimate and vital your relationship with Him, my beloved, the more the truth of the deep things of God will unfold within your heart.  But like a choir of bewildered voices, ascending in pitiful petition to God, so those who try to understand the mysteries of God with human reasoning come to cry at last, “Lord, how can we know the truth?  Which among this confusion of voices can we believe?  Which among this conglomeration of interpretations is right?”  There is, thank God! one answer and one only.  It is the answer given by Jesus centuries ago.  “I AM…the truth!”  Seek not the truth from the learnings of men.  Seek Christ, for He is the truth!  I spent the early years of my life and ministry praying and seeking God for revelation.  I did not then understand that the revelation would not come by a sudden, sovereign dispensation from God, but only as the result of my intimate communion with Him.  You see, it is in the fellowship of Christ that He day by day whispers and breathes into our spirit of that truth which He is.   If the Christ Himself does not bear witness within you of the things written even in this message, then lay it aside, put it on the shelf, or file it in file thirteen.  As you live in blessed communion with HIM, there will come that inward sense of knowing; the words of life and light that then cross your path from the pen or lips of God’s anointed servants will strike a responsive chord in the deepest recesses of your spirit, bursting forth with the harmonious melody of understanding!  This much is clear — the mystery has a spiritual meaning.  If we have the spirit of wisdom and understanding we will be able to discern the meaning of the woman and the beast and the heads and the horns and the mountains and the kings!


            We must ever keep in mind that we are viewing things which are intricately interconnected in the nature of the beast system.  Whether it be the beast itself, the heads, the mountains, the horns, the kings, or the harlot riding the beast — all are parts of the whole and in various circumstances and at different times we confront the beast, the heads, the horns, the mountains, the kings, or the harlot riding the beast.  In one experience we come face to face with the issue of worldly wisdom, at another time we are challenged by worldly knowledge, in another situation we confront worldly authority or again worldly power.  Depending upon what aspect of this picture you meet in your experience, you will recognize a head of beastly authority, or the five heads that are fallen, or a horn of the beast’s power, or a mountain of his dominion, or the spiritual harlotry of the brazen woman.  There are those experiences in which we encounter the beast’s wild, ferocious nature as he turns on us to rend us to pieces.  Then there is a different kind of experience in which we are wooed, allured, and enticed by the cunning seductiveness of the whore.  And sometimes various combinations of these!  These manifestations of the harlot and the beast we may discover personally within ourselves, or we may confront them in the church systems.  And just as it was while John looked upon it, the forms keep changing — though there are seven heads now the beast itself becomes the eighth, but we find that the beast who is the eighth is of the seven.  Let us UNDERSTAND!


            Eight is the number of new beginnings.  Every time there is new light, a fresh moving of God, a mighty reformation, a great and glorious revival in the midst of the Lord’s people who dwell in Babylon — there is a separation, a coming out, and a new thing is birthed.  We see it in the Waldenses, the Huguenots, and various other groups throughout church history.  We see it in the Reformation when the Protestant churches came out of the Roman Catholic Church with the great truth that the just shall live by faith.  The Anabaptists, the Quakers, the Methodists, the Plymouth Brethren, the Puritans, the Pentecostals, and many, many other groups came forth out of the historic Protestant church systems as they received new truth and sought to follow the Lord into new realms in the spirit.  Each of these is represented by the “eighth” — a new beginning.  And yet, as church history unerringly confirms, every new move of God has subsequently gone into apostasy!


            It is a great and terrible mystery — the eighth is OF THE SEVEN.  There is the key to the mystery!  It does not mean that the eighth is “one of the seven.”  Oh, no!  The preposition “of” is from the Greek “ek” meaning “out of,” and must be understood, as so frequently in John’s writings, to denote origin and identity of nature; this eighth beast is not different in nature from the seven, but is the concentrated essence of them, and therefore destined to not maintain  its cuddly innocence and childlike purity, but to go into apostasy — into perdition.  It should be very evident to us all that this “eighth” beast, this new beginning, when a people are drawn out of a religious system into a new walk in the spirit, in most cases contains right within it the seed of the Babylonish system out from which they came.  Thus they are the eighth — but the new thing is of the seven — same old business under a new regime — and the latter is of the same spirit as the former!  Now tell me that isn’t a mystery!  The new move has the same potentiality and proclivity for carnality and sectarianism built right in from the very beginning because both the nature of the harlot and the nature of the beast lurk within the heart of every man.  So through the generations, rising up in many expressions, the harlot and her beast are within us!  And that, my beloved, is the mystery!  The various religious kingdoms of man have brought to the full (seven heads, seven mountains, ten horns) the workings of Mystery Babylon the Great!


            George Hawtin elaborated on the truth of which I now write in his little booklet titled Mystery Babylon.  I share a portion of his words here for our instruction and edification:   

            “Full forty years Israel had wandered in the wilderness, but at long last they had passed over Jordan and were now in the glorious land promised Abraham in the long ago.  The manna of the wilderness ceased as soon as they passed over Jordan  and they rejoiced in the fruit of that wonderful land of promise.  From here on they were to have a new Captain, even the captain of the Lord of Hosts.  The directions for capturing the city of Jericho were simple, indeed, and without the loss of a man the city fell into their hands.  Greatly did they rejoice over their victory, and it was with joyful confidence that they sent a small army of men the day following to capture the little city of Ai (Joshua 7).  But their joy was short-lived, for the men of Ai came out and fought against them and beat them back, and thirty-six men of Israel fell before them.  There was a reason for this defeat, and with what breath-taking interest is the story told in Joshua, chapter seven.  Israel hath sinned,’ said God, ‘and therefore cannot stand before their enemies.’  So lots were cast to find the sinner and Achan of the tribe of Judah was taken.  And Joshua said to Achan, ‘My son, give I pray glory to the Lord God of Israel and make confession unto Him, and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.’  And Achan answered Joshua and said, ‘Indeed, I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus have I done: When among the spoils I saw a goodly Babylonish garment and two hundred shekels of silver and wedge of gold, I coveted them and took them, and  behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent.’


            “So here it is so very soon!  A goodly Babylonish garment together with the other two things that always go with it — silver and gold.  Here is the garment of Babylon throwing confusion and disorder into the ranks of the people of God and making them lose the victory and flee before their enemies.  Five times in the seventh chapter of Joshua God spoke saying, ‘Israel hath sinned in the accursed thing.’  I must speak with utmost solemnity here.  I must invite all men to sober thought.  Did you ever see it fail?  The moment God begins a mighty work of grace and power and unity, someone begins to covet the Babylonish garment.  He secrets it away into his tent to hide it there.  The very thing that was to have been destroyed he secretly saves, and with it he starts to build another tower, another language, and another kingdom to add to the universal confusion and disorder that is manifest everywhere in the church.


            “The thing which fills my heart with consternation is this: no sooner has the revelation of God delivered us from the power of Babylon than we begin to cast our eyes about us, and count noses to find out who is with us and who is against us, and what material we can find to build another tower of Babel.  This in itself is the Babylonish, sectarian spirit reaching out another of its octopus-like arms to enfold us and bring us back to itself.  We wake up to find we have not come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, but have just wandered down another street in Babylon itself.  We have changed one Babylonish garment for another and we are still part and parcel of the same devouring monster.  To call ourselves undenominational is not enough.  We must have the name of Babylon erased from our foreheads by the mind of Christ and a new name written there, even the name of the City of God.


            “The call of the Lord today is, ‘Come out of her my people, and be not partakers of her sins.’  But verily I say to you that you will need much more wisdom than the wisdom of man to be set free from this octopus that holds Christendom in its many entwining arms.  The wisdom of man will praise God for its deliverance from one of the harlots of Babylon even while it is fondly embracing another.  While men are praising God for deliverance from one arm of the octopus, they are being enfolded by another, and while they rejoice that they have found their way out of the darkness of one of the streets of Babylon, they awaken to find they are walking down another”   — end quote.  And may I hastily add — what a graphic picture this is also of the eighth beast which is OF THE SEVEN!


               “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful…and the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate, and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put it in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled” (Rev. 17:12-14,16-17).


            When the judgment of darkness within man and man’s systems has fulfilled its divine purpose, there comes at last the wonderful hour of man’s full redemption — spirit, soul, and body.  The time arrives for man’s very nature to be regenerated and all carnality, darkness, and death to be swallowed up in victory in preparation for that race of men who throughout the centuries and millenniums of time would be made in the image of God.  When a man’s soul and body have been fully quickened, regenerated, and transformed, all  the inward kings of his nature are brought out from under the dominion of the whore and her beast and are joined in willing surrender and happy union with the will  of the spirit.  Then it is, my beloved, that the same ten kings who had one mind and gave their power and strength unto the beast, now experience a wonderful change of mind, heart, and purpose and all the powers of man’s life turn on the harlot, and make her desolate and naked, and eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.  O my God, how great are these things!  Can we not see the mystery? 


            The ten kings in the mystery are but the governing powers of your natural life, the ten inward kings of man’s flesh nature.  It is these which gather together in this spiritual battle of Gog and Magog to MAKE WAR WITH THE LAMB WITHIN YOUR SPIRIT, BUT THE LAMB OVERCOMES THEM: FOR HE IS LORD OF LORDS, AND KING OF KINGS!  All the power and policy of the flesh shall at last yield their power to Christ and shall join in the just judgment of the whore within and without.  And they that are with HIM (once this victory is complete) are called, and chosen, and faithful!  That is the kind of people God is able to make out of those who formerly were sold under sin, bound by carnality and flesh, and in captivity in Babylon!  Hallelujah to the Lamb!  THE LAMB SHALL OVERCOME!  The kings of man’s life are conquered by the Lamb!  This is the fruit of the mighty work of Christ within us.  With what exhilaration we ponder it!  With what excitement we anticipate it!  God’s Lamb will be the Victor within us — within all His precious people!  Is not this the crux of the entire book of Revelation?  After all the tears and heartache, all the suffering, all the warfare, all the dealings and processings — the Lamb shall overcome.


            Special attention must be paid to this word “overcome.”  The Greek word is nikao, the word used in the peculiar statement of the elder in Revelation 5:5 wherein he says that the Lamb has “prevailed” to open the book with the seven seals.  The word means to “prevail,” to “overcome,” or to “conquer.”  It is the same word used when the Rider on the white horse goes forth “conquering and to conquer.”  It is the same word used repeatedly in chapters two and three of the overcomer where at the termination of each of the messages to the seven churches the Spirit proclaims, “To him that overcometh…”  “ To him that conquers!”  “To him that prevails!”  Ah, the Rider on the white horse is going forth overcoming and to overcome, prevailing and to prevail, conquering and to conquer!  The term denotes grammatically AN UNENDING SERIES OF CONQUESTS, UNINTERRUPTED BY ANY DEFEATS, WHOSE VICTORIES SHOULD BE PERMANENT AND LAST FOREVER!  That is the victory of the Lamb!


            So throughout the Revelation our Lord Jesus Christ is in an activity where He is perpetually celebrating a victory.  His march is a victorious march!  His warfare is a winning warfare!  His movements always meet with success!  His plans are fulfilled, and His campaigns unfurl to the breezes the banners of triumph.  The Lamb of God is going forth as a conqueror, and He does so with great determination and power!  The action in which He is engaged requires the greatest power, even the power of the spirit.  Ah, precious friend of mine, are there ruling kings in your life which seem unconquerable?  Have you struggled with attitudes, fears, doubts, lusts, emotions, desires, circumstances, weaknesses, habits, shortcomings?  Have you despaired of ever truly being conformed to the image of God’s Son; have you questioned whether you can really share in the glory of manifest sonship?  Hear the word of the Lord today!  The kings within you have had one mind, and have given their power and strength unto the beast.  That is no surprise to you, is it?  Furthermore, they have made war with the Lamb, for the flesh continually wareth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh!  Has that not been true within you?  Now hearken to the word of the Lord!  “THE LAMB SHALL OVERCOME THEM!”  “FOR HE IS LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS!”  It is Christ Himself who is taking up the battle within you — it is Christ the Lord, THE KING of all your kings, who has stepped upon the battlefield of your heart, soul, and body.  Here upon this field He is roused, every faculty focused, every source of strength summoned, and He is bearing forward for the purpose of conquering every foe within you!  He that is within you is mighty!  Expose yourself to His wonderful presence, yield yourself to His powerful word, cast yourself upon the pathway of His conquest — He is moving down upon the enemies, charging all the opposition, overcoming by the impetuous energy of His movements within your life!  It is indeed wonderful!


            The purpose of your quickening by Christ was to make you consciously a part of Himself, to give you a calling to glory, a place where God by His Spirit can express Himself through you, so that you can bring righteous judgment in the earth.  That is what the battle with the ten kings is all about!  Your life and everything that happens to you is given to train and equip you for a royal position in God. The only reason the heavenly Father sent you here from the realm of spirit, lowered into the bondage of corruption, was to process you, to groom you for a position in God, to be one in the Saviour and to become a saviour.  Believe it or not, the outcome of this victory within you will qualify you as one who is described in  these words following the conquest of the ten kings — “…and the Lamb shall overcome them…and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful!”  Isn’t it wonderful!  This is the day when everything we have hoped for and dreamed of in God will be realized in our experience!  We have so limited God in the way we have thought about Him.  I’m telling you that we stand on the threshold of an outworking of God that is so powerful that it will bring an absolute end to the downward spiral of sin and death.  It will put an irremovable blockade in the road of the flesh.


            The manifestation of God through His sons which is immediately before us will turn creation around!  We shall manifest unto mankind a life and victory and power that will shake the very foundations of the earth, an action that will alter the course of the world, bringing correction and righteousness.  A people in this hour is being raised, not out of the cemetery, but out of the grave of their mind, out of the tomb of carnal, mortal consciousness, out of the crypt of religion and vain traditions, raised up to the place where they can be the manifestation of the totality of the personality of God.  We are being raised to become the expression of the substance of His Person.  This company is Christ the Head, The Lord of all the lords, the King of all the kings, together with all who are with Him, the called, the chosen, the faithful — all the holy sons of God by the strength of righteousness bringing the rule of the kingdom of God among men.  Oh, the wonder of it! 


            Today, however, the battle is within us, and the Lamb is engaged on the battlefield  of our lives, in warfare with the kings of our flesh and soul.  One of several methods of interpretation of the book of Revelation is called the “symbolic and allegoric.”  Now, I do believe that the Revelation is symbolical and allegorical.  But according to this established view everything in the book is symbolic and allegoric only in the sense of depicting the generic battle of God against Satan — of good against evil, of the church against the world.  I will tell you why this is wrong.  This system contains some vital truth within it, but yet, as a foundation it misses the mark.  The book is much more focused and specific than that!  It is not about the universal conflict between the forces of good and evil — it’s about THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST!  It’s about what HE is doing to come forth Himself in triumph within His people, not about what God is doing out in the darkened world to cause good to triumph over evil.  In connection with the revelation of Jesus Christ there is no battle between good and evil — there is only the arising of the Son of Righteousness with healing in His wings!  The book of Revelation is indeed symbolic and allegoric, but the symbology is about HIS APPEARING and the effect and result of that appearing in the hearts and lives of men and women!   Not “good” shall overcome “evil” — THE LAMB SHALL OVERCOME THEM!


            The arrows of Divine Truth are piercing our hearts, and every ruling king within us falls down before Him; all opposition is shattered to pieces; the strongholds and defenses are torn away as paper walls; the radiant brilliance of His glory flashes its dazzling light upon the eyes of the understanding, piercing effectively every cherished tradition, human interpretation, and carnal concept; swallowing up even every sin, all self-will, every fleshly desire, and the sorrow, pain, sickness, fear, and death.  I see the Lamb conquering!  Though all men are His by right of creation and redemption, yet He must do battle to make conquest of the human heart which has been occupied by the enemies of His mind, His heart, His will, and His life.  He must fight His way inch by inch into the human soul until He possesses that which He has purchased, until the citadels of mind, will, emotion, and desire have been taken and led away under the dominion of Truth and Divine Nature. 


            The kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God over all.  The foundation of this kingdom is in the human heart.  “The kingdom of God is within you.”  The world has not yet witnessed anything like the total and absolute government of God, except in the life of Jesus.  But there has been an increase of His kingdom from generation to generation and from age to age.  A new order is now coming forth in the earth!  The hour of the completion of the body of Christ that has been forming in the earth for the past two millenniums is now at hand.  The age of the reigning of Christ through the perfected, matured, empowered manifest sons of God is now ready to be revealed.


            This, then, is what it means when John the beloved is shown that the kings of the flesh-life have one mind, and give their power and strength unto the beast, and thereby receive power as kings for one hour, that is, a limited time and degree — with the beast. Thank God, our beastly life, our servitude to the beast system, is as  it were but for a moment — “one hour with the beast.”   “FOR GOD HATH PUT IT IN THEIR HEARTS TO FULFILL HIS WILL, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until THE WORDS (PLAN, PURPOSE) OF GOD SHALL BE FULFILLED!” (Rev. 17:17).  In this is the judgment of the Lord within them, that they should altogether repudiate and hold accursed the harlot and the beast and destroy it root and branch out from among themselves.  “And these (the ten horns, the ten kings within) shall (now that the Lamb has conquered them) hate the whore, and shall make her desolate, and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”  Great is the mystery!  Thus shall be fulfilled all the things that God hath spoken!  Has this happened within you, my friend?


            In closing this article I cannot do better than to quote again from the true and heart-searching admonition of brother George Hawtin wherein he exhorts:


            “In these days of confusion (Babel means confusion), when multitudes are being sucked into the whirlpool of Babylon’s vain and worthless striving, how good it would be if God’s dear children would get off the system’s merry-go-round and get alone with Jesus Christ their Lord, shut out all the din and noisy commotion  of Babel’s activity and the bondage it brings, and there in the light of His cross and with an open heart request that He would grant to their searching spirits the knowledge of what the true church really is, and what eternal hope He had in mind when He foreknew and chose them as a special habitation for Himself!  If God’s dear people would do this, I think it would not be long before they would lose their love for this antichrist system, now rising to new heights in the earth.


            “I suppose tens of millions of sermons have been preached to show people how they ought to live, what they ought and ought not to do, what they should wear, what they should eat, where they should go, and just about everything that can be imagined.  But there is a simple remedy for all this that is utterly contrary to the multitudinous traditions and the idle philosophies and teachings of our day.  It is found in Psalm 19:2-3.  ‘Blessed are they…that seek Him with the whole heart.  They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways.’  That is a simple answer to all godliness, for men who seek Him with all their hearts will never need to be told how to live righteously.  They will do no iniquity and they will walk in His ways.


            “During the past years a desire has come into my heart that has filled me with longing to see a remnant of God’s people in this, the end of the ages, put the Babylonish harlot away and be joined to Christ in the spirit and joined to Him alone.  Everywhere I have advocated that even small groups of people should drop their usual church meetings and spend the time in coming to know Him, partaking of His mind, seeking His will, and growing in Him.  Perhaps some have been greatly afraid that this course will give opportunity for an occasion to live after the flesh.  No doubt it will in  the lives of some, if that is where their treasure lies, for if a man is a spiritual goat, his goat nature will show up sooner or later and in my opinion the sooner the better.  But if a man is a spiritual sheep, then he will follow Christ, for ‘my sheep know my voice and they follow me and a stranger they will not follow.’  The traditions of the centuries have taught us to keep sheep and goats, wheat and tares together, BUT IN THE END OF THE AGE THEY WILL BE SEPARATED”   — end quote.


To be continued…      J. PRESTON EBY



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Updated by Sharon Eby 11/02/2017 11:13:36 PM