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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).
all people, the ancient Greeks mused about the “best possible government.” Known as the originators of democracy, their
great philosopher Plato believed the best possible government would be led by a
philosopher-king. Plato wrote that if an
ideal city-state was to ever come into being, “philosophers must become
kings…or those now called kings must truly philosophize.” In our
subject of the
just what is God’s purpose? He declares,
“Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth
is mine: and ye shall be unto me a
As one has pointed out, there is a strong and instinctive need in this world of sinful men for a priest, to be a mediator, to lay one hand on man, and the other on God, and going between them both to bring the two together into unification. A priest or priesthood infers that there is a reason why such has been called into play. It denotes that there is an estrangement between God and His creatures and the priest ministers to bridge that gulf and bring about peace and at-one-ment.
dictionary defines priest as: a mediatory agent between God and man. In the Old Testament the word priest is
translated from the Hebrew word cohen, the
root meaning of which is “one who stands up and draws nigh for another.” The Greek word, in its root, means “to
minister.” And the priest always draws
nigh and ministers in two directions — drawing
nigh to God on behalf of the people and drawing nigh to the people on behalf of
God. The priest, on the one hand, stands
and ministers unto the Lord on behalf of the people while, on the other hand,
he ministers unto the people on behalf of the Lord. Both of these ministries must be effectually
fulfilled or there can be no reconciliation.
The ministry of the priest is thus an intermediary or go-between
ministry. He reaches out with one hand
and takes hold of God; he reaches out with the other hand and takes hold of
humanity; and brings the two together by virtue of his priestly
ministration. Both aspects of the
priestly ministry are alluded to in the Revelation. “Priests of
God and of Christ” in our
precious saint of God, are being prepared to rule and reign with Christ! We need to grasp the full implication and
reality of what we are called to. Long centuries
ago amidst blazing fire and quaking mountains God revealed His purpose for His
elect. “Ye shall be a peculiar treasure
unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto a
my brother, my sister, is it your heart’s desire to be a blessing? God is creating within us the insatiable
desire to be a blessing, not only to our precious brethren, our children, our
family, our friends, our neighbors, our city, state, and country — but to be a
blessing to the whole earth and to all creation. I want that.
Oh, how I desire it! Now here is
God’s promise: “Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice
In the light of this inspired scripture I would like to reaffirm something which the world at large, and many believers, seem to have forgotten: THIS IS GOD’S WORLD! “Every beast of the field is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and all the wild beasts are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof” (Ps. 50:10-12). Moses said, “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” (Deut. 10:14). God said to Job, “Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine” (Job 41:11). And David said, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Ps. 24:1).
will be the first to admit, however, that this world doesn’t look much like
something that is owned by the great and good God! I look out over the world today and see
demons stalking through the lands, with literally billions of people held in
the prison houses of the dense darkness of false religions, worshipping idols,
and devils, and false prophets, and the gods of superstition, tradition, and
fear. I look out over the world today
and I see the spirit of strife and hatred and war, thousands dying daily at the
hands of terrorists and at the hands of those fighting the terrorists, and in
bloody revolutions on earth’s battlefields.
I look out over the world today and I see nearly two billion people
still enslaved under the iron heel of godless, atheistic communism, in spite of
the collapse of the former
believe that God passionately loves the world.
It is my deep conviction, born of communion with my heavenly Father,
that God now loves all lost men. There
are lost men in jails and prisons and psychiatric hospitals. They are in saloons and brothels and in death
and in judgment and in hell, and God loves them all. He still remembers them and remembers His Son
on the tree, suffering and dying on their behalf. And in the redeemed body of this resurrected
and glorified Son He now prepares with infinite
scriptures clearly reveal how ownership
is one of the central thoughts in both creation and redemption, the link that
binds them together. Two things are
always inherent in ownership — purpose and
responsibility. Do you not know that when a person makes
or buys anything he surely has some purpose
in mind for it? And is it not also
true that when a person makes or buys something he has the responsibility
for it? The man who buys a good
hunting dog has a definite purpose in owning the dog, and if he is not a hunter
he will not buy it. With ownership of
the dog there comes the responsibility for the dog, to feed and care for it and
treat it humanely. If the dog gets ill
it is his responsibility to take it to the vet and also to pay the bill. You have, I
suppose, sometime bought something?
As you have paid your money for it and it was
see, my beloved, not one of us is in this life because we willed to be here in
this world. The whole human race is not
here because of its own will. Johnny
came home with a bad report card and put all
the blame on teacher who had it in for him. That was not the end of the world, but it was
almost the end of the world when, unleashing the tragic holocaust,
is responsible for our existence here
in the flesh, lowered into the realm of vanity, sin, and corruption.
has a plan!
all the earth is His, God is raising up a
we are to reign the question of competency is raised. How many cities could you rule over for
Christ? You say, “I’m just a simple
person, I am not highly educated, I have little position or recognition in the
world, I’m just a farmer, or a housewife, or a single mom flipping burgers, how
could I reign in such a ministry of wisdom and power?” Ah, let me ask you — What have you learned in
must emphasize with all solemnity, beloved, that when God chooses men to be
priests He means for them to BE PRIESTS.
Priesthood is not an honorary title, a gift, a reward, or some emotional
blessing to be worn like a merit badge for show. Priesthood is real. Priesthood is ministry, to God and to
men. Priesthood is work. Priesthood is caring, loving, touching,
interceding, forgiving, healing, changing, transforming, teaching, and doing
all necessary to bring lost and dying, sick and sorrowing, tormented and
hostile men back to God. Priesthood is
praise and worship and consecration and holiness unto the Lord. The priesthood of
am convinced that great numbers of people today think that sonship is a matter
of the head; that it is believing intellectually and theoretically certain
“end-time” or “kingdom” truths. These
kind of folk want a constant diet of exotic “revelations,” but little inworking
or outworking of HIS LIFE. “What is your
latest revelation, Eby?” “Give us
something rich, come on, pour it on, we can take it,” is their cry. But they are not the least bit interested in
BECOMING THE REVELATION. You can believe
all the “Kingdom Message,” and be on the highway of the devil, just as in the
churches today a man can be a first-class theologian and be the bondslave of a
first-class devil. You can know all the
are multitudes of people today who describe, and truthfully describe, many
great and wonderful things concerning the
can be no priesthood without first a thorough change. That is why the souls who sit on thrones and
reign as priests with Christ are those who are of THE FIRST RESURRECTION. Their soul life has been quickened, made
alive, purified, purged, perfected, made one in union with the spirit! Sin, self, ego, greed, prejudice, hatred,
bigotry, criticism, retaliation, unconcern, insensitivity, immaturity,
pettiness, unrighteousness — all must be dealt with! “Blessed and HOLY is he that hath part in the
first resurrection…and they shall be priests of God.” Oh, yes, that’s it! Thus, we are not seeking just a salvation
experience, sins forgiven, covering over
the past, and hoping for the best in the future, but we desire that the Holy
Spirit of God, working mightily within our soul, shall bring a change in us,
until every word, will, attitude, desire, emotion, action, and reaction shall
flow from HIS HEART to all about us. You
can be a believer and die and go to heaven without such a thorough change, but
do not hesitate to tell you that there
are no arm-chair priests in the
is the Spirit of the High Priest. Jesus
lives, and Jesus loves us, and has Himself cleansed us in His own blood. He bestows upon us the disposition of
priesthood by His
of us surely needs God’s compassion, because we do not deserve it! As human beings, we sin against God,
offending Him in our actions against Him and against our fellowman. Sin has brought disharmony, pain, and
destruction into the beautiful world God has made. Who would blame God if He lashed out in anger
because of the mess we have made in His world?
And that is just the kind of God most Christians suppose that we
have! He is a God with thunderbolts
wonderful book of Hebrews is literally packed full of mysteries, types,
shadows, and allegories, all pointing to the ministry of the manifest sons of God who are God’s Royal Priesthood. These are only unfolded by the Holy
Spirit as we are able to bear it. Hebrews
chapter five sets forth the qualifications that the typical High Priest under
the law, and therefore Christ Jesus, the anti-typical High Priest of the new
order of the
every High Priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining
to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who
can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the
way, for that he himself is compassed with infirmity” (Heb. 5:1-2). Here we have defined the intrinsic nature of
the priestly office. First, he must be
“taken from among men,” that is, he must partake of both the nature and the
circumstances of those on whose behalf he acts.
Second, he acts not as a private
All this is important for it points to Jesus’ qualifications to be our great High Priest. A High Priest must know and experientially understand the problems and limitations of those he represents. “Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.” On three different occasions Matthew tells us that our Lord was “moved with compassion” on the multitudes. Frankly, when you read the Gospels you read of Jesus doing miracles, healings, signs and wonders; but Jesus never went around looking for a miracle to perform. HE WENT ABOUT DOING THE FATHER’S WILL. The Father brought Him to a place where His heart could be moved with compassion. It was not a gift of compassion that came to Him by the Holy Spirit; it was the compassion wrought out in His life by His many sorrows, sufferings, and testings. He had suffered loss, He had suffered pain, He had suffered reproach. Coming to a town He sees a funeral procession and as a Son, having suffered the loss of Joseph and friends and family members, and shared in the sorrow of His mother at the loss, thereby developing the nature of a priest, He is filled with compassion when He sees the widow and her dead son. There was no Social Security in those days, and the boy was the only person to look after the widow, so He stops the procession, raises the boy, hands him over to the mother, and goes about the Father’s business. I find that the basis of the sonship ministry of Jesus was not power — IT WAS COMPASSION!
When He saw the multitude He was moved with compassion. They were hungry, and He had known gnawing hunger, so He said, “Let us feed them.” When He met the leper He was moved with compassion, for He had experienced pain and shame, and He laid His hands upon him and healed him. He could have spoken a word to heal him, but that man needed the touch of somebody’s hand on him, he had been separated from people so long, he needed more than to be healed from his leprosy, he needed the sense of the hand of God upon him. When Jesus looked upon the careworn faces of the toiling, tax-ridden multitudes — taxed by cruel priests; taxed by Herod; taxed by Pilate; taxed by their own sins and sorrows; wearily burdened, wounded at heart, and heavy laden — He was not looking for a chance to show off His power — He was moved with compassion.
can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; FOR
THAT HE HIMSELF ALSO IS COMPASSED ABOUT WITH INFIRMITY.” The condition which develops compassion in
us, is that we ourselves get
compassed — surrounded, hedged in — by the problems, the difficulties, the
needs that are going to be represented in the people to whom we minister. So many of us are intolerant in certain areas
of our lives because we have not gone through the pressure, we have not been
compassed by that particular infirmity, weakness, sorrow or need. Priesthood
demands suffering, trial, testing, tribulation,
and pressure. Sonship demands relationship with
God. He sends the Spirit of the Son into
our hearts and we cry, “Abba, Father!”
Now God intends that all of us who have been called should be sons of
God, and that all of us should be a
John the Revelator said, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them...they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4-6). Here you see that it is not the sons who are reigning — it is the PRIESTS! What about the sons? “He that overcometh shall inherit all things and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7). The sons inherit, for they are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). Who, then, is destined to reign? THE SONS WHO ARE PRIESTS! Christ was a Son before He was a Priest. He was not a Priest during His years in the flesh, although He was qualifying to be one, but He was a Son. Christ in His ministry from the heavens today is not merely the Son of God. As a Son He is “heir of all things;” but to become the great High Priest and provide the priestly ministry on our behalf the Son had, as a Son, to go through the experience that was necessary to perfect Him for the understanding heart of the Priesthood. “We have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became...AN HIGH PRIEST AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK” (Heb. 5:8-10). “Every High Priest...must be compassed with infirmity.”
Jesus could have been a son without being so totally compassed with infirmity,
BUT HE COULD NEVER HAVE BEEN A PRIEST WITHOUT IT. He might have been perfect in character,
noble in motive, and desirous to help us; but, if He had never tasted death,
how could He allay our fears as we tread the verge of
There have been those precious folk who have said to me, “Brother Eby, I don’t understand. Since I came into this Kingdom message things have gotten worse — all hell has broken loose.” That is just what you need — IF YOU WOULD BE A PRIEST! Have you not known some beautiful saints to whom you naturally betake yourself in time of trial and sorrow? They always seem to speak the right word, to give the very counsel you are longing for; you do not realize, however, the cost they had to pay ere they became so skillful in binding up gaping wounds and drying tears. But if you were to investigate their past you would find that they have suffered more than most. They have watched the slow untwisting of some silver cord on which the lamp of life hung. They have seen the golden bowl of joy dashed at their feet, and its contents spilt. They have stood by ebbing tides, and drooping flowers, and darkened skies; but all this has been necessary to make them comforters and healers, the priests of men.
The only persons on earth who really understand our sorrow are the persons who have traveled the same valley of despair. Only those who have been bereaved know what bereavement really is. They alone can shed the sympathizing tear and intercede in power with God, for they alone truly understand. Others may kindly and with feeling offer their condolence, but they can do little more than that, for they have not experienced the pain and loneliness of our loss. The reason our blessed Lord is touched with the feelings of our infirmities is that He knoweth our frame, not because He is God, but because He was a man. He remembereth that we are dust. He knows this not by revelation or by divine omniscience, but He Himself was a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” He knew what it was to be despised, afflicted, and rejected of men. He knows what it is to be misunderstood, to be dragged from prison and judgment with no man to declare His generation. He knows what it is to be tested in all points as we are tested, and the sympathizing tears flow from His eyes as He extends His nail-pierced hand to lift us from the shades of our gloomy night to the ineffable light of the plane on which He dwells.
If you are going to be a manifested son you must first get bound because God wants His sons to be Priests, kingly Priests who show forth both authority and redemption. You must not only have the authority of Kingship, but also the compassion of Priesthood. Let me say now, I DO NOT RECOMMEND PRIESTHOOD — I RECOMMEND SONSHIP! When you are a son you have an inheritance, great wealth, blessings from the Father’s hands, and freedom. As a son you have power to do things, but the moment you become a priest, they put you in chains: compassed, surrounded, hedged in, pressed on every side by infirmity. Infirmity is weakness. I pray that as God deals with His sons in these days that we will not despise our limitations, our infirmities, and our sufferings, but look unto Jesus who has pioneered the way of Royal Priesthood before us.
Christ was tempted as a Son, but after that there came a temptation in testings that had nothing to do with Him, but were preparing Him for the perfection of the Priesthood. As sons of God, with full inheritance, we should be blessed beyond measure, we should have no problems, by rights we should be in perfect health, have good jobs, money in the bank, and everything coming to us. And we can demand our rights! Vast numbers of Christians today choose to walk only in their kingdom privileges of blessing, health and prosperity. And they do not know it, but they SHALL NOT REIGN WITH CHRIST. It is the priests that reign! “And they shall be priests of God...and they shall reign.” To the priests God says, “No, I am going to limit you here, put you through pressure there, subject you to suffering, hedge you in and compass you about with infirmity, not because you have no rights, but that it will work a compassion, an understanding, a mercy, a grace, work something in you so that out of you will flow a river of love, forgiveness, tenderness, redemption — and then a flow of power, enabling and ability.
the church world in general cannot understand is that the Christ does not rule
alone but through a many-membered body.
Man in God’s image, man in Christ at the right hand of God, is God’s
government in the
one has written, “God is exceedingly rich.
He is like a successful business man who has an enormous amount of
capital. God has a business interest in
this universe, and His vast wealth is His capital. We do not realize how many billions,
countless billions, He has! All of this
capital is simply HIMSELF, and with it He intends to ‘manufacture’ HIMSELF in
mass production. God HIMSELF is the
Business Man, the Capital, and the Product.
His intention is to dispense Himself to many people in mass
production. Therefore, God requires such
a divine arrangement, a divine management, a divine dispensation in order to
bring Himself into humanity.” Praise His
name! As His Kings and Priests upon His
throne the elect sons of God are His governmental arrangement by which and
through which God dispenses Himself into His creation. For that reason the whole creation continues
to groan and travail for the manifestation of the sons of God. What an opportunity to change things! What an occasion to bless and heal and lift
and transform the world! What power for
doing good and accomplishing great and mighty things for the
involves far more than mere power over men’s lives and events. IT IS A MINISTRY AND AUTHORITY TO BLESS! I might add that it is the greatest ministry
available with the largest capacity to bless.
The purpose and scope of this king-priest ministry is stated by the
is not more preachers we need. It is not
more radio broadcasts or television programs.
It is not more missions and missionaries. It is not more tracts or even Bibles. It is not more programs and crusades. It is not another revival. Now, don’t misunderstand me. I am not opposed to any of those things, and
we praise God for every one of them. But
all together, for two long millenniums, have not delivered creation from the
bondage of corruption nor subjected all people and all nations to the blessings
and benefits of the
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
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