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..."


Part 252





            “And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show unto His servants the things which must shortly be done.  Behold, I am coming quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of this book” (Rev. 22:6-7).


            God fulfills His words of prophecy because His people are made the bearers of the prophecies.  Now, if those who are made heirs of the promises in prophecies do not hold, fulfill, or keep the prophecies, will God fulfill  them anyway and give them the promised blessing, power, and position?  We have an unerring example of this in Israel’s experience at Kadesh-barnea.  They were all ready to go over and take the kingdom.  God’s time for them to possess their land was “now.”  God’s time had arrived.  The vile nations in the land were ripe for the judgment, and God was ready to give the land to His people, but they failed to believe and trust His promise because of the negative testimony of the ten spies, and the time was prolonged for forty years.  What was the cause of this delay?  Nothing that we read of except the unbelief on the part of the ten spies and of all those that were swayed by them.  Even the righteous and faithful ones like Joshua and Caleb had to suffer too because they had to wait until God dealt with these issues and His time came again. 


            God always has a time for His purposes!  But God also requires faith and obedience on the part of His people to possess the promises!  Let every one who has ears to hear stop and take earnest heed, because the Spirit of God now warns His called and chosen elect of the folly of not fully believing and embracing His promises and purposes in this significant hour.  “But Christ as a son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the day of provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.  Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.  So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief…but exhort one another daily , while it is called Today (the appointed time)…for we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (Heb. 3:6-14).  How unspeakably sad it is to find that in our day there are also those who hear the call but  do not give all diligence to make their calling and election sure!


            The individual believer as well as the entire company of God’s elect who does not keep these words of the prophecy is not armed with God’s whole armor and therefore will meet with defeat in carrying out the full will of God and to inherit the promise of sonship and the kingdom.  We are out of harmony with God’s highest will if we do not keep these words of prophecy in the Revelation!  To “keep” them simply means to believe them, yield to Father’s dealings, embrace all His processings, and follow on to experience within ourselves all that is set forth in the vision.  That is what God is waiting on in order to cause all these words to come to pass shortly, that is, speedily.  Every son and daughter of God will be experientially led through every stage of growth, processing, and development laid out in this prophecy.  We must go through them!  We are made heirs of these promises from God through Christ.  Israel was made the heir of Canaan through Abraham; we are made the heirs through Christ.  Our elder brother is to us what Abraham was to Israel; so we have received the promises from our heavenly Father through the faith and obedience of His firstborn Son!




            “And I John saw these things, and heard them…” (Rev. 22:8).


            To see is to understand.  I saw, I understood these things after hearing them as one who has an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying.  Sometimes when I am driving around the city of El Paso I see the person in the car next to me moving their head or body in rhythmic response to the music coming from their  audio speakers.  I cannot respond in like fashion because I don’t hear the music — I’m not “tuned in” to the same thing!  John was tuned in to the Spirit — wisdom and revelation flowed into him, and he responds by saying, “I John saw these things, and heard them…”  It is very clear then that John is telling us in the plainest of language that he experienced these things!  It was not a vague, mysterious, inscrutable, undecipherable vision that he beheld in wonder and with curiosity — and not some set of external  world events reserved for a time many centuries in the future — but he truly heard with anointed ears and saw with the deep comprehension of its reality within himself.  This was John’s experience, and it is ours too!  May we each be able to say, “I John, I Richard, I Sally, I Preston SAW THESE THINGS, AND HEARD THEM!




            “And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel (messenger) which showed me these things.  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God”    (Rev. 22:8-9).


            Let us now look at another particular — the effect that these revelations and experiences had upon the apostle John at that time.  So wonderful were the visions, and so glorious was the knowledge, understanding, and experience which the messenger communicated unto him, that John was overwhelmed with rapture.  Twice he fell prostrate before the messenger to worship before him.  The blessed  apostle certainly meant no idolatry — he was far too mature in the spirit for such a thing; but  so wonderful in wisdom, intelligence, and glory was this heavenly messenger, and so transcendent were the things he was shown, that he could not but think it was the Christ Himself.  The beauty and depth of the revelations were so powerfully communicated as to make it hard to distinguish whether it was the Lord Himself speaking, or whether it was through an anointed messenger.  And in this instance particularly, it certainly was the very words of the Lord Jesus he heard saying, “Behold, I come quickly…”  And not distinguishing between Him who spoke, and the messenger through whom He spoke, John fell down before the feet of the messenger.  Promptly came the word: “See thou do it not! for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book!  Worship God.”  The misapprehension being dispelled, the apostle of course desisted.  The incident speaks powerfully to us that we must never worship the messenger!  It is easy to become so esteeming of those who minister the things of God until we become more centered in  them than in the Lord.  It is distressing to see those who cherish the deep things of God and His wonderful purposes in sonship and the kingdom fall into the same old Babylonian error of becoming FOLLOWERS OF MEN!   See thou do it not!  Honor them, but do not so reverence them that they, rather than the anointing within you, dominate your life, becoming as a little  god unto you.




            “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand” (Rev. 22:10).


             In the case of Daniel’s prophecy he was told to “seal the book, till the time of the end” (Dan. 12:4).  There was to be a long period before the time of the end.  But now, “the time is at hand,” that is, presently available and accessible, able to be appropriated and experienced, therefore the words are not to be sealed.  I have heard people say this is a sealed book, but they contradict the word of God and that is just what it is not.  The title of the book shows  that it is an unveiling, an opening up of things that are to be seen, understood, and participated in.  “Unveiling” and “sealed” are contradictory terms!  It is impossible for both to be true.  “Seal not” means you can’t stop the purpose of God!  The Lord intended the things revealed to be an ever-present and on-going experience within His people, the church to whom the prophecy is sent.  There is nothing to suggest a prolonged interval before these things would begin to  be fulfilled in the Lord’s people, and the word “blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book” clearly proclaims that it is FULFILLED WITHIN GOD’S PEOPLE — not in Israel, China, Russia, Iran, or any other worldly power!


             The vast majority of believers today hold to the time-worn notion that the Revelation is about world events — the activities of nations and empires, the appearance of antichrist, great tribulation,  apocalyptic war in Israel, pestilences, earthquakes, economic collapse, famines, tsunamis, and various other cataclysmic events all heralding the “end time.”  A Christian lady in the Midwest wrote to a friend in the summer of 1936: “Flood — forest fires — earthquakes — famine — depression!  I wish I understood exactly what our Father is saying by all this unprecedented disaster, but the end must be near.”  Now — think of what has happened since then!  A world war of unparalleled ferocity unleashing unprecedented suffering and untold millions slaughtered; disasters in the natural world around the globe; crimes and atrocities by ruthless dictators that make the blood run cold and hearts fail; the reign of terrorism that strikes fear into men’s hearts world-wide, and war after war.  Does it all mean that we are living  in the “end times”?  People  in  previous centuries all through the church age have seen world troubles and distress of nations and thought these were the “signs” of the end of the age and the coming of God’s  kingdom.  Time and space prohibit us from enumerating them, but believe me they are numerous and notable!  But are there really any such “signs of the times,” and if there are is it safe or right for us to  attempt to interpret them?  Ah, men are forever looking for outward signs pointing to the “end time.”  My dear brother and sister, I believe it is my duty before God to tell you that in the whole book of Revelation there are only three signs given (Rev. 12:1; 12:3; 15:1), and all three are signs “in heaven,” that is, in the realm  of the Spirit, having to do with heavenly, spiritual realities, and therefore SPIRITUAL SIGNS.  Not one of them is the kind of sign that millions of Christians, who are still babes at the breast, are looking for!  Only in the Spirit and by the Spirit can one see the true signs which reveal the purposes of God for our day or any other day!


              “The time is at hand” can signify either that which is drawing near or has already arrived.  It is not inconsistent to translate it as “the time is near” or “the time has come.”  Our Lord, here, however, is not using the word “time” in the sense of hours, days, weeks, months, and years.  If He were, the word for “time” which He would have used would be chronos from  which we get our English word “chronometer,” which is any instrument that measures time, such as a clock, watch, or dial. Instead, He uses the word kairos, which has to do with the proper time, the opportune moment, the correct season.  Thus what He is saying to us is that now the prophetic truth is to be unsealed; God’s people are to be made aware of it; now is the time for it to be fulfilled and the things here foretold, are actually occurring; and knowing this we can enter into the experiencing of it with trust and confidence!   


            “The time is at hand” signifies that wherever you are in your journey, your progression into God, you are right on target and God will see you through.  You may feel like you’re a failure, that you’ve missed God, and can never attain, but even all this is part of the process and God’s trumpets will keep right on sounding in your life until the work is complete.  The truth is, you have changed!  You have grown!  You have gained victories!  And you SHALL!  The word and work are “not sealed,” but are active, operative, powerful, certain, and unstoppable!   Aren’t you glad!




             “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Rev. 22:11).


             These words have been variously interpreted.  Some explain them as referring to the confirmed and irrevocable state of the wicked and the righteous after the final judgment.  But there is nothing in the context to suggest this.  Neither the final judgment, nor the eternal state of the righteous in the kingdom of God, nor the supposed eternal state of the damned in hell are under consideration in the verses surrounding this one, nor indeed in the entire chapter.  The meaning, however, is quite clear if we see these words in their close connection with  the statement in verse ten that the time is at hand and that therefore the book must not be sealed.  In order for the process of redemption and transformation to be completed in each of the Lord’s redeemed people, the root-sin of Adam and the righteousness of Christ must both be revealed in our lives.  The one is the revelation of the Christ within, the other is the exposure of the man of sin who sits in our flesh-life.  In this light we can understand the words of verse eleven, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me to give to every man according as his work shall be.”  The work of God in us will draw the lines.  It will strengthen and emphasize the great difference between the Adamic man and the Christ man, between the natural man and the spiritual man.  It will make us conscious of this one incontrovertible fact: Adam cannot be reformed nor transformed, and Christ cannot be defiled, contaminated, or polluted!  The “he” in “he that is filthy,” is old Adam.  The “he” in “he that is holy” is Christ!  That is the mystery.


             I shall not hesitate to explain to you, my brethren, that this passage reveals to us the deep mystery of life and the way to victory in Christ.  It would be a most beautiful thing if all the saints of the Lord could have an open vision that would enable them to see and understand this one simple yet exalted truth — that the nature of the natural man is incorrigibly corrupt and the nature of Christ is unchangeably holy.  This is an eternal fact.  Matters not how hard you try you cannot make the nature of the Adamic man holy, nor can the nature of Christ ever or in any wise be corrupted.  The nature of the first is of the earth, earthy, and will always be fleshly, whereas the nature of the second man is heavenly and will always be pure and divine.  Neither can ever be changed!  And when we thoroughly learn this single blessed truth we will be able to let he that is filthy be filthy still, and he that is righteous be righteous still, for it is impossible as long as we are struggling with the man of sin, trying somehow to reform or transform him, and constantly being defeated in our efforts, for us to be  purged, obtain the victory, go on  to perfection, and  grow up unto the full stature of Christ!


             Adam gave us no choice in bringing his progeny under the workings of iniquity.  When Adam went into sin, he did not consult with any one of us as to our desire concerning anything he did.  None of us had any power or any choice in the condition in which we entered this world.  WE WERE NOT SINNERS BY CHOICE, as we have erroneously been told.  We are “born in sin, and shapened in iniquity,” with the carnal nature and the earthly human consciousness in us from the moment we leave the womb.  Being “dead in trespasses and sins,” dead to God, dead to truth, dead to purity, dead to reality, the Adamic race was no longer capable of making a choice or decision for salvation or righteousness.  How truly Paul wrote, “And you…were dead in trespasses and sins: wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children (offspring) of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation (lifestyle) in times past in  the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and WERE BY NATURE THE CHILDREN OF WRATH, even as others” (Eph. 2:2-3).


             The message is clear — we were not sinners by choice.  We were sinners by NATURE!  We were born into this condition, simply because the first man, Adam, put us all into slavery to sin.  “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh, having been SOLD INTO SLAVERY UNDER THE CONTROL OF SIN” (Rom. 7:14, Amplified).  The unregenerate man is a slave to sin.  He is a slave of the devil.  He is a slave of his own carnal mind and deceitfully wicked heart.  He is a slave of his own vile passions.  And none of us had anything to say about it!  We did not in any way will it, consent to it, or choose it, for we were born into it.  We were born slaves!  And believe me, it didn’t take long after our birth for the  truth to begin to be manifest!   Should this not teach us the truth that the natural man is completely incapable of discerning Truth.  In fact, unregenerate man thinks of the things of God as being ridiculous!  “The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him.  Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Cor. 2:14).  Again, “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7).  Consider now how absolute this statement is: “Let him that is filthy, be filthy still.”  That is the incontrovertible truth about the natural man!  The persistent, perverse, unholy disposition in the natural man and the carnal mind does not change itself.  Refinement will not change it.  Education will not change it.  Social and rehabilitation programs will not change it.  Prison will not change it.  Evolution will not change it.  Deliverance meetings” will not change it.  The perfidious hearts and lives of unregenerated men can no more be changed by these means than an Ethiopian can change his skin or a leopard his spots.  The only way a change can be brought about is by being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever (I Pet. 1:23).  A new man, a higher life, a new creation must be raised up within us “created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10).


            Gary Sigler stated it so well when he wrote: “You see, those who are ruling from the earth are still trying to take this earthly image of themselves, and make it more acceptable to God.  I tried that way for years.  I prayed every day.  I read ten chapters in the Bible each day.  I prayed in the spirit for at least an hour a day.  I did all those things that I was supposed to do to take this image of myself that was so alienated from God, and make it acceptable, make it more godly, make it presentable unto God.  That is the spirit of antichrist.  It is a hard concept to accept, but if you are taking a human image of yourself and trying to make it into God, that is the abomination of desolation!  That image of yourself will never become God!  Oh, you can make it better.  You can dress it up.  You can quit smoking and  chasing women.  You can go to church, sing and dance, clap, be all you want to be.  You can make it better.  But it will still be what it is.  When you finally realize that all of the old creation Jesus took to the cross and raised us all up as the new creation, then there is nothing you need but the unveiling of who God is in you.  In this new creation you are not a human being; you are a spiritual being.  You are God manifesting in the flesh.  Now if you say that out of your ego or your carnal mind, that is the abomination of desolation the scriptures talk about.  But if the ego or the carnal mind is removed, what else  can you be but the manifestation of God?”  — end quote.     


             Once we truly understand the condition of the natural man and the condition of the spiritual man we come to the place where we have no confidence in the flesh!  We are able to let Adam be Adam, let flesh be flesh, let the bad tree be the bad tree, let the corrupt seed be the corrupt seed and cease trying to make it behave.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit, Jesus explained to Nicodemus.  “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his (God’s) seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (I Jn. 3:9).  Therefore you can only let the spirit be spirit, for it can never be flesh; let him that is righteous be righteous still, because the seed of God can never be filthy; let the new man be the new man, let the new creation be the new creation, let the divine seed be the divine seed, and cease trying to mix these.  Let each receive their reward!  The wages (reward) of sin is death!  When the Lord says, “Let him that is filthy be filthy still,” and then directly follows the statement with, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me to give to every (each) man according as his works shall be,” there should be no difficulty for even the most sluggish and unspiritual mind to see that the promise here is DEATH TO ADAM!  That is Adam’s reward!  Not reformation, not transformation, but death.  And the reward to the new man, the spiritual man, the Christ man is every promise  made to the overcomer in the book of Revelation including the CROWN OF LIFE.


            The cross has declared the death of the old Adamic man of sin, yet that death must be “wrought out” in our experience just as the life of Christ must also be wrought out in us experientially.  We do not fully live out the life of Christ in us the moment we become aware that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus.  A human baby does not live out the fullness of human life the moment it is born into the world.  That life must progressively unfold, being appropriated, strengthened, and matured day by day, month by month, and year by year.  The sentence of death is on the Adamic nature, therefore, in thought and deed leave the old carcass behind and enter with boldness in your spirit into the presence of God.  There is no sin at all in your regenerated spirit!  Your regenerated spirit has never sinned!  And that is who you now really are!  As a new creation you haven’t done anything wrong!  This new creation man is the righteousness of God in Christ!  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus!


            Someone says, “But my flesh still wants to sin.  My flesh still flies off the handle, cusses, thinks evil thoughts, makes bad choices, criticizes, is fearful, deceitful, selfish, lustful, and hurtful.  Sure it does — for “that which is born of the flesh is flesh.”  That’s how flesh is!  Flesh can’t act any other way!  You can’t make flesh holy!  It’s  born of the wrong seed!  Somewhere along the line you are  going to have to realize the bitter truth and simply “let him that is filthy, be filthy still.”  But there is a further truth.  “That which is born of the spirit is spirit.”  Oh, yes!  That  which is born of the spirit is your regenerated spirit and it is like Christ.  You don’t have to make it like Christ.  It is!  And that’s the real you!  That’s the new man that you are!  That’s the spiritual man, the heavenly man, the divine man, the holy man — Christ.  And somewhere along the line you are  going to recognize the beautiful truth and simply “let him that is holy, be holy still!”  Embrace the new man that you are and turn from the old man of flesh — leave him on death row and begin to walk out of his prison house.


            Paul describes the distress that is characteristic of many believer’s lives as they vacillate back and forth between FLESH and SPIRIT. “For I do  not understand my own actions — I am baffled, bewildered.  I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe.  Now if I do habitually what is contrary to my desire, that means that I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good and morally excellent and that I take sides with it.  However, it is no longer I that do the deed, but sin which is at home in me and has possession of me.  For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh.  I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it.  I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out; for I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds I do not desire to do are what I am doing.  Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it — it is not myself that acts, but the sin (flesh) which dwells within me.  So I find it to be a law of my being that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands.  For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self — with my new nature.  But I discern in my bodily members — in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh — a different law at war against the law of my (new) mind and making me a  prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs — in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh” (Rom. 7:15-23, Amplified).


            Our experience in this physical realm is certainly no different than the apostle Paul’s.  “I know that in me, that is, in my flesh (outer man), dwelleth no good thing.”  The question follows — If there is nothing good in the flesh, how could one ever make the flesh holy!  Paul divorces “HIMSELF” from his flesh man.  He speaks of “sin in my members.”  Sin in my members is simply a euphemism for “the desires of the flesh” or “the carnal mind.”  And don’t tell me you don’t have them!  Many of the Lord’s people are in denial, claiming that since their old man is dead, the fear, anger, covetousness, lust, deceitfulness, and other carnal and ungodly emotions they feel are just an illusion, a habit, a hang over, a mistaken identity from their former old man who is now really dead, gone, and non-existent.  Let me tell you the truth!  Yes, the sentence of death is on that old nature, but if he was non-existent the war would be over!  Perhaps  for you it is, and I rejoice for you if it is, but I seem to still get involved in a skirmish now and then!


            If the flesh man were non-existent, we should all be perfect, sinless, pure, undefiled, and overcomers in every sense of the word.  We should not need to mortify, or put off, or put away, or cleanse ourselves from, or overcome anything because all those things would be non-existent!  Dead men don’t lie, dead men don’t deceive, dead men don’t cheat, dead men don’t fly off the handle, dead men don’t gossip, dead men don’t fight, dead men don’t covet, criticize, lust, make mistakes, get depressed, or struggle with anything!  If uncle Charlie has died and is lying in his coffin, I can walk up to him, tell him what a splendid fellow he is, flatter him, and heap praise upon praise on him, and he will never smile, appear pleased, puff up with pride, or say, “Thank you!”  He’s dead!  On the other hand I can stand there and swear at him, abuse him, slap his face, rant and rave about what a scoundrel he is, and he will not swear back, strike me, or jump out of his coffin and grab me and wrestle me down.  There will be absolutely no response — for he is dead!  Dead men don’t do anything!


            Dead men don’t keep on doing fleshly and evil things and then excuse it by saying that they just didn’t know they were dead, it was just such a habit that they must remind themselves that they are dead so they can learn to act like dead men!  What drivel!  Yet, I have heard great preachers proclaiming such foolishness, in an effort to rationalize why believers have fleshly, ungodly emotions and desires, and do bad things, when their old man is dead!  It should be clear to any spiritual mind that there is some inconsistency and confusion here.  Paul actually makes four different statements relative to sin, the flesh, and the old man.  First he says, “Knowing this, that our old man is (Greek: was) crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Rom. 6:6).  It is evident that in a symbolic and mystical sense we were crucified with Christ upon His cross.  I say symbolic and mystical, because we all know that we, literally and physically, as we exist today in this flesh body, were not hanging with Christ on His cross!  Furthermore, it is evident that, in this present life, before we were converted, there was no sense in which our old man had literally been crucified with Him!  If everybody’s old man perished with Jesus on the cross two thousand years ago, then nobody today, saint or sinner, would even have an old man!  You see, beloved, we need to think spiritual sense about these things.  Let all God’s people know and thoroughly understand that the answer to every spiritual question lies in the correct understanding of ALL that the Holy Spirit has to say — not just in one isolated passage of scripture.


            Now, the next thing Paul says that we must take into account in order to understand the deep mystery of our crucifixion with Christ is this: “Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11).  The question is just this: If the old body of sin is dead, then why are we called upon  to “reckon” ourselves to be dead?  Does a dead man in the morgue have to “reckon” himself to be dead to the world?  The man who is actually dead doesn’t have the power to “reckon” anything!  Furthermore, the fact that sin is still alive in us is stated in the plainest of words in the very next  verse! “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Rom. 6:12).  Can we not see by  this that the  lusts of the old nature are still very much alive and remarkably active?  Now consider the next thing Paul has to say about this old man.  “That ye put off concerning the former conversation (lifestyle) the old man which IS corrupt according to the deceitful lusts…and that ye put on the new man…” (Eph. 4:22).  Does this not teach us that the “putting off” of the old man of sin and the “putting on” of the new man of the spirit is an on-going, progressive work?  And yet many call it the “finished work” of Calvary!  It may come as a great and startling surprise to many to learn that the scriptures do  not teach that kind of “finished work.”       


            So now we have these three remarkable truths.  First, our old man “was crucified” with Christ.  Secondly, we are to “reckon” ourselves to be dead unto sin and alive unto God.  Thirdly, we are admonished to “put off” the old man who is corrupt, and “put on” the new man.  And now we come to the fourth thing Paul teaches us about this process.  “Mortify (put to death) therefore your members which are upon the earth (that is, earthy); fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry…” (Col. 3:5).  The Spirit of God alone can “take the things of God and show them unto you” (Jn. 16:13-16).  Let us then pause in our path, abandon all human theology and philosophy, and there in utter abandonment to God and the spirit of truth cry as David cried, “Lord, open my eyes” (Ps. 119:18).  Our human theories concerning the things of God count for nothing.  Truth unfolds  in our hearts only as we wait upon the Lord for the understanding that the Spirit brings. 


            It seems incongruous to the natural mind that we are instructed to put to death the very thing we assumed was already put to death on the cross of Christ!  The secret, I believe, lies in the words of the first statement of Paul that we considered.  But we looked only at the first part of it!  This is what he says: “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”  Now consider this, my beloved.  Our mystical crucifixion with Christ upon His cross was unto an end: THAT THE BODY (OUR BODY) OF SIN MIGHT BE DESTROYED, THAT HENCEFORTH (FROM THIS TIME FORWARD) WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN.”  Oh, yes!  We were, in God’s view, crucified with Christ, but the reality of that, the wonder of that, the power of that, must now be worked out in us experientially in our walk in the kingdom of God.  “That the body of sin might be destroyed.”  When?  Two thousand years ago on His cross?  It cannot be, for if that had happened there would  now be no “body of sin” to be dealt with.  The death of that old man of sin would already be a blessed, accomplished fact.  The truth is, the body of sin is destroyed IN THE HERE AND NOW BY THE PRESENT OUTWORKING OF HIS CROSS WITHIN US!  And how is this accomplished?  In three ways!  Reckon ye yourselves to be dead.  Put off the old man with his deeds.  Mortify, put to death your members which are upon the earth, that is, the flesh man.  This precise process alone can accomplish within us the reality and power of that which was pre-figured upon Christ’s cross two millenniums ago!   Great is  the mystery!


            As this process of overcoming begins every child of God must know that God’s love and acceptance of them in the Beloved is unconditional.  Until we know that, we have underestimated His love!  How many times can the prodigal return home?  Only as many times as the Father’s love will accommodate!  You say, “But I sinned!”  Yes you did.  You say, “But I miserably failed God!”  Yes, you did.  You say, “But this is the one-hundredth time I have flunked the same test!”  That is  true.  To which your heavenly Father responds, “My grace is sufficient.”  Nobody taught or manifested the all-sufficient grace and the all-encompassing and totally unconditional love of our heavenly Father more than Jesus.  He came, made in the likeness of sinful flesh, and He knew as much as any man what is in man and where the battle lies.  He also knows what we also must know — Only His life within us can overcome!  If He withdraws His life because we fail — even if we  fail  four hundred and ninety times in one day — then we are hopeless!  But He doesn’t!  He freely forgives every time and continuously floods us with His love and His life in the expectation that eventually His life within us will become strong enough in us to conquer all!  He knows the power of His life, and He knows that He has begun a good work in you and that HE is able to perfect it unto the day of Christ.  That is His way!  And it is the only way it can be if we are to be completely saved, matured, and perfected.  What a plan!  What a Saviour! 


            Then what are you supposed to do?  The greatest thing you can do, precious friend of mine, is to expose yourself to the abiding presence of God.  The more deeply we fall in love with Jesus, the more time spent in His presence, the more we fellowship with Him and eat at His table, the more empowered we become to subject ourselves to Christ and let the Spirit lead us.  As we commune with the Lord and listen to His voice, this teaching is life; this teaching gives us spiritual food; it gives us spiritual drink; it raises up  within us spiritual substance so that we can grow up into the nature of the new man.  The more the new man is raised up within us the easier and more natural it becomes to “reckon,” to “put off,” and to “mortify” the man of flesh.  A lifetime of experience has taught me that victory over sin and the flesh is not our own doing!  We cannot produce it!  But Christ raised up in our lives will lead us to it.


            Jesus overcame all things, lived out the nature of God, and manifested the power and glory of God.  But even He did not do it Himself!  He said, “I can do nothing of myself” (Jn. 5:19,30).  His complete victory came through His fellowship with, and subjection to, the Father.  “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works” (Jn. 14:10).  And that is also where our power and victory are!  Christ in us must do the work!  And we cannot make Him do it; we can only let Him do it.  And He will do it as we  live in His presence!  Come, come, my friend, into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, in the power of His life within your inner man, come right on in and experience His abundance!  All weakness of the flesh and sin will then, in due time, take care of itself.


            Paul, at one time in his experience, felt what we all feel in our struggle with the flesh.  In desperation he cried out, “O unhappy and pitiable man that I am!  Who will release and deliver me from the shackles of this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24).  And then came the revelation of the glorious solution!  “O thank God — HE WILL! through Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, our Lord!” (Rom. 7:25).  And  right on the heels of this the explanation of how the mighty Christ within deals with, and  gains the victory over, that old man of flesh.  “For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has freed me from the law of sin and death.  For God has done what the law (commandment, self-effort) could not do, its power being weakened by the flesh.  Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, God condemned sin in the flesh — subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power.  So that the righteous and just requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who  live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the spirit — our lives  governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by  the Holy Spirit.  For if you live by the dictates of the flesh you will surely die.  But if through the power of the spirit (within) you are habitually putting to death — making  extinct, deadening — the deeds prompted by the body, you shall really and genuinely live…” (Rom. 8:2-4,13, Amplified).


            Oh, yes!  The overcoming One is within us, and as we walk in His presence, soaking up His life, yielding to His spirit, communing with His mind, drawing from His power, submitting to His leading, the flesh nature is trapped, starved, neutralized, rendered ineffective and powerless.  Only the mighty, living presence of Christ raised up within as life can subdue this old man of flesh!  This is what is happening in the life of every son of God!  Much depends on our entering into the glory of our sonship to God.  The fullness of God is at hand!  The sons of God in this very hour are experiencing the finishing touches of God’s great redemption in preparation for the outflowing of His glory unto creation!


To be continued…      J. PRESTON EBY



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