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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE
CHURCH IN LAODICEA
“I counsel thee to buy of me…white
raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear” (Rev. 3:18).
The great truth of being spiritually “clothed upon” appears early in
the revelation of God to mankind. As
soon as man sinned, God made them garments,
the Bible declares. Some say that
the “skins” with which God clothed Adam and Eve were the outer covering of a
mortal body, the “skin” of the flesh. It
is my conviction, however, that the sinning couple needed a covering just because they were flesh — for suddenly they “saw
that they were naked” and commenced to sew together aprons of fig leaves.
It is obvious that in their sense of guilt they perceived that their flesh was exposed! The
slain lamb is the figure all through scripture for God’s gracious provision of
“atonement,” and the word atonement in Hebrew simply means “to cover.”
Was it not, therefore, the “skins” of the slain Lamb with which the
Lord, in a figure, clothed father Adam and mother Eve?
These are beautiful word pictures with which the Holy Spirit conveys to
our understanding eternal and heavenly truths!
Let us then stand assured of
this marvelous fact: the skins with which God clothed Adam and Eve in Eden were
the product of the life of God’s precious Lamb.
When they received these blessed garments upon them, they received
something borne out of HIS LIFE, a very part of HIMSELF, the form and appearance
of Himself generated by His life. Sweeter
than the dews of Hermon descending upon the mountains of Zion is the wonderful
revelation with which He now fills our hearts, showing that He now clothes us
with THE LAMB’S SKIN, the Lamb’s own image, likeness, and identity.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is truly the Lamb of God slain from the foundation
of the world, and all the holy sons of God have now “put on Christ.”
Is this not why, on the spiritual and heavenly mount Zion, we see
standing with the Lamb 144,000 lambs! (Rev.
14:1-5). It does not say that
standing with the Lamb is 144,000 men.
Oh, no! They
all are lambs! They all bear the
mind and the nature of the Father and in their mouth (word) is found no guile,
and they are without fault before the throne of God.
Oh, the mystery of it!
“And they were both naked,
the man and his wife…and the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked” (Gen. 2:25; 3:7).
It seems to the unenlightened mind that this little statement could have
been omitted. Of what importance is
it whether Adam and Eve moved about in Paradise naked or clothed?
Yet it is an important and necessary little statement; it uses a rather
insignificant fact, as it appears to the natural mind, to show forth something
wondrous in the whole economy of God. Ah,
beloved, the story of Adam and Eve in Eden is far too intricate and wonderful
for my little mind to fully grasp, but I am able to see that the Holy Spirit has
been very faithful and remarkably specific in recording the exact state of being
of man in the beginning…and of us in
Adam and Eve were both…NAKED! Among
all the creatures which God made, man stands out unique…stark naked…which
means devoid of true wisdom and knowledge, with his inner nature revealed,
opened up, exhibited, and made bare. Oh,
that God may give us understanding to see that to be naked means to have THE
FLESH UNCOVERED AND EXPOSED! In the
typology of scripture “the flesh” is the name by which the Holy Spirit
designates our outer life of soul and body, our earthly and carnal human nature, literally speaking of that nature which is earthly
minded, with its lusts and self-centeredness, its ego and I-will which are in
rebellion to the spirit. Thus, the
flesh is not the outward, visible man of meat, muscle, and bones, but the nature
of the soulical and bodily man. This
nature was in man from the beginning, else Eve (who was of
the man) could not have been tempted, nor could they have sinned!
This nature could be seen to be in them from the time God lowered them
out of their pure spirit existence, in the image and likeness of God, investing
them with a body of earth so that man became
a living soul. But as long as man
was caught up in God he was not aware
of it — for he was naked and was not ashamed (Gen. 2:25). Have
we not all experienced the same thing? In seasons when we are caught up in the Spirit of God,
flooded with His presence, sin is far
from our minds. It is easy to be
holy standing in the ecstasy of God’s glory!
The flesh nature is still there, but in that blessed moment we are not
ashamed, for we are unaware.
Then suddenly “they knew that they were naked” — they became conscious that their
flesh lay bare and exposed — sad fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil! No sooner does a man
discover his nakedness than this knowledge gives birth to the impulse to make an
effort to cover the nakedness.
Thus, in the case of Adam and Eve, the discovery of their nakedness was
immediately followed by an effort of their own to cover it — “they sewed
fig-leaves together and made themselves aprons” (Gen. 3:7).
This is the first record we have of man’s attempt to remedy, by his own
device, his condition, but this was not the single act of Adam of old, it is
truly the act of each of us, yes, OUR VERY OWN!
The Spirit would make very real to our hearts, dear reader, that Adam’s
effort to cover his nakedness was not a mere physical or moral act, it was a
RELIGIOUS ACT. The nakedness in
Eden bespeaks a spiritual state of being, and the attempt to cover that
nakedness was indeed an expression of religiousness!
In an effort to appear other than he is man sews together very wide
leaves of the fig tree; that is, he tries every device he can, including
multiplied religious works and observances, to gloss over his true condition.
But all the garments which men devise to hide their nakedness become mere
“spider’s webs” when the dazzling light of God’s revelation shines upon
them. There is nothing more obvious
than the fact that leaves quickly wither, turn brown and brittle, and fall off
and, indeed, clothed in all the dead works of religion man’s flesh soon shows through and it becomes manifest that
his covering is pitifully insufficient.
The first thing God does is strip away all the artificial, man-made
coverings, and presents His own glorious covering, the Lamb slain from the
foundation of the world! “For
Adam also and for his wife the Lord God made long coats (tunics) of skins, and
clothed them” (Gen. 3:21, Amplified). In
the symbolism of the garden of Eden story Adam and Eve silently watched as the
Lord God selected a lamb and slew it there, fastening it to a tree before their
wondering eyes, the victim then being made naked, stripped of its skin, that a
covering might be provided for the naked ones.
Thus, with this one wondrous act does the God of heaven introduce the cross, the atonement,
and the Christ as man’s covering!
When God clothed Adam and Eve in the skins of the slain Lamb, yet
dripping with the precious blood, He showed that they were COVERED WITH THE LIFE
OF THE LAMB! When God covers a man
with the covering of His own Lamb the covering is so complete that no flesh will be seen — only Christ! This is not merely a reference to our initial salvation, but
speaks further of the finality of our perfection as the sons of God! It was a
prophecy of the Lord’s ultimate purpose for the man in the image and likeness
of God. Fully clothed in the life
of the Lamb, we bear the Lamb’s own image, likeness, and identity.
Now we see how 144,000 lambs appear on mount Zion!
And this corporate Lamb appears throughout the book of Revelation!
God is calling a people in this hour beyond profession
It is easy to embrace the message of sonship and the kingdom of God, and
presume that by the very revelation of it we have somehow attained, but to be a
son of God one must truly and fully put on
the Lord Jesus Christ. It
should be clear to all who have eyes to see that when the scripture makes such
statements as, “put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,” “put on the whole armor
of God,” “put on the armor of light,” “put on thy beautiful garments, O
Jerusalem,” “be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven,” these
cannot be put on the outer physical body, they must be put on in a spiritual way
over the nature of the natural man. Those
who have put on Christ bear the image, likeness, and identity of Christ!
They are truly and sincerely living and doing always the pure and perfect
will of their Father in heaven, just as the firstborn Son of God did.
Any who claim to be sons of God
but continue to walk after the flesh, exhibiting the impure traits of the outer
man of flesh, and continue to walk and live in the old carnal religious orders
of the past, reveal that they are clothed in a false covering which in no way
conceals their flesh.
Let me tell you about those who profess, but do not possess.
It reminds me of one of my favorite childhood stories.
An emperor was prepared to ascend the throne in a far distant country.
He announced a search for the finest fabric and the finest tailor to
weave an inaugural gown unlike any other. The
gown would demonstrate that his regime was different than any other.
The plea for help went out throughout the land.
Finally, a tailor convinced the emperor that he had obtained the finest
fabric ever woven. So fine that it
could not even be seen by the human eye! He
persuaded the emperor to hire him. For
weeks he worked on this garment day and night until it was finished.
Again, word spread throughout the kingdom announcing that on the day of
the inauguration the emperor would appear robed in the finest robe ever worn in
human history. When the day came,
throngs of people gathered at the palace. The
emperor stepped out on his balcony. There
was loud sustained laughter throughout the crowd.
But it took a little child in the far distant crowd to point out the
truth. Once the applause waned, the
child stood up and pointed. “Look,”
he said, “the emperor has no clothes!”
He was right. The emperor
stood stark naked. All the claims
were empty. They were not true.
And so it is today! I do not
hesitate to tell you that in this day of kingdom manifestation, when the sons of
God step forth upon the balcony of kingdom authority and dominion, any who have
clothed themselves in wishful thinking, presumptuousness, self-assurance,
self-righteousness, overconfidence, or the withering fig-leaves of past moves of
God and the obsolete and dying church orders, will stand there stark naked
before all men and the day shall declare who are truly manifest sons of God.
There is a condition worse even
than this! “Thou sayest, I am
rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that
thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind,
Blind and naked!
Now it naturally follows that, if you’re blind, it really doesn’t
matter that you’re also naked. What
difference could it make to a group of blind people if they were naked?
They would be unable to see whether anyone had clothes on or not.
If we were all sitting around blind we couldn’t see anything anyway!
It would make no difference. And
that, precious friend of mine, is where vast multitudes of the Lord’s people
are today — those who have not put on
Christ — they’re all blind and naked!
They have no covering, but they haven’t a clue that they have no
covering. They are busily running
hither and thither, engaged with multiplied religious activities — all in
their nakedness! And they are
unaware that the called and chosen elect of God who have a vision given by the
Lord can clearly see that! Because
they are blind they suppose that no one else can see.
But God has a people who walk with Him in the Spirit in this hour who can
They behold transcendent realities in the Spirit and they can also see
the nakedness of the carnal man.
“I counsel thee to…anoint thine
eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (Rev. 3:18).
Laodicea had a famous medical school; and in particular it was famous for
two kinds of medicine. It was
famous for a certain ointment made of nard which was used to cure ear-aches.
But above all it was famous for a certain eye-powder.
The tephra phrygia, the eye-powder of Laodicea, was world-famous.
It was exported in tablet form; and the tablets were ground down and
applied to the eyes. This powder was held to be a sure cure for weak and ailing
One of the last counsels the Lord gave to His people in His messages to
the seven churches is that we should ask Him to anoint our eyes with eye-salve
that we may see. This eye-salve is
the same thing Paul prayed for us to receive: “(May)
the eyes of your understanding be enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope
of His calling, and what are the riches
of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:18).
Every true son of God has come to the realization that we cannot
comprehend the things of God with our carnal mind or our own understanding.
We are commanded to anoint our eyes with eye-salve that we may see or understand the high
and holy things of the Spirit! That
denotes an action on our part, and means that we must seek
God’s knowledge and wisdom, asking Him to reveal to us His
understanding. This was the purpose
for the scales that fell from the eyes of the apostle Paul when Ananias came to
pray for him (Acts 9:17-18). Paul
had to get rid of his old religious laws of righteousness and carnal
understanding of the word of God before he could see the true righteousness of
God and the things of the Spirit of God. Paul
himself by his experience told us that the carnal mind is enmity against God,
for it is not subject to the (spiritual) law of God, neither indeed can be (Rom.
8:7). We cannot figure
out what the Lord meant when He inspired the writers of the scriptures.
God Himself, through the presence of His indwelling Spirit, must reveal
to us the meaning of His Word. This
is why the church has seen such a proliferation of denominations.
Man has intertwined his own natural and carnal thinking with God’s Word
and created doctrines. Therefore
all those who truly walk in the Spirit have now heeded the Lord’s counsel and
have anointed their eyes with eye-salve by asking Him
for the understanding that comes only from above.
The Lord has given us the seven spirits of God, which are the seven eyes
of perfect perception, and the seven lamps of fire which burn before the throne,
which enlighten us to the heavenly authority and dominion of the governmental
realm of God. By these we are able
to see and understand all that He reveals to us, even Himself!
The following words by Ray Prinzing are spiritually instructive.
“The word eye-salve literally means a poultice, a plaster, bespeaking that
which is placed upon the eyes to draw out all the infection or impurities that
cause blurred vision, etc. How we
need the eyes of our understanding anointed with that which would draw out all
foreign material which affects our vision, so that we might see clearly.
Christendom has had such a distorted vision, not only by reason of the
motes and beams, but also because of the many carnal creeds and traditions of
men, self-opinionated ideas, viewing through pre-conceived concepts.
How grateful we are for the ‘removal’
of all the things which cloud our vision! Blurred,
distorted, confused — until the Holy Spirit cleanses and removes the debris.
The process of this purging is not always easy, often it is painful, but
as one songwriter so beautifully expressed it, ‘He washed my eyes with tears
that I might see…’ Our
attitudes are changed, our priorities brought into balance, and we focus more
clearly on the goal that is set before us”
— end quote.
Bill Britton also aptly wrote on
this point: “You would not want a blind cook in a restaurant preparing the
food for your body. He might
accidentally dump rat poison into the pot instead of baking soda. He certainly would not be able to balance the ingredients
properly. So much more should we
avoid having a blind man feed us spiritual food!
It is tragic how many blind cooks we have feeding the bread of God today!
They can remember the size, shape, and feel of the products (moves of
God) of yesteryear when they had their vision.
But when a new product (move and revelation of God) comes along, they are
in immediate confusion. Their only
action is to throw out the new truth, because they are not familiar with it.
The problem is that some poisons come in the same size and shape packages
as old familiar truths! Saints
whose sight is being restored are escaping from such ministries.
If you cannot see the present truth God is unveiling today, then you are
disqualified to feed the people of God. Go
to the Healer and have your eyesight restored!
‘Awake, thou that sleepest…and Christ shall give thee light’”
— end quote.
To be blind means simply to
have no vision of what the Father
desires. The natural mind is very
dark and without understanding. Only
the Holy Spirit can awaken it! Human
efforts to enlighten men to the deep spiritual things of God will always fail.
There is a time to speak, when the Father bids us speak as the oracle of
God, but ONLY TO CHRIST IS POWER GIVEN TO OPEN THE EYES OF THE BLIND!
This explains why the Bible remains to a great degree a closed book to
the most educated but unconverted or unanointed man, while it is an open book to
many of the most ignorant of believers. This
explains why a man may be educated and trained to hold all the theological
degrees that all the theological seminaries in the world can bestow upon him,
and yet be utterly blind to the great spiritual revelations of the Word of God, while a poor, simple, uneducated saint will
see truths and revelations of infinite depth and eternal glory which are
absolutely unintelligible to others. This
explains why carnally minded men who have read the Bible and studied it through
and through, and know the Hebrew and Greek, will yet fail to find the living
Christ or the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, or the glories of the
kingdom of God, or the wonderful hope of sonship to God, or the blessed truth of
the restoration of the whole creation to life and freedom from the curse.
Spiritual truths are for spiritual people and must be spiritually
discerned. Therefore, without the
enlightening of the spiritual eyes of understanding
men are spiritually as blind as bats and it is impossible for the unquickened
man to behold the wonders of the heavenly world.
At the same time, the most humble and unlearned saint who has been
sovereignly apprehended of God has no difficulty in seeing all these glorious
truths, and a thousand more, as plain as the noonday sun!
I would rather spend my whole day with an illiterate grandmother who has
spiritual eyes to see the mysteries of God than ten minutes with a blind
I once read a story about a missionary who saw this fellow sitting on a
porch. He spoke to this man, and
said, “Are you lost?” The man
replied, “Why, no, I have lived here for forty years.”
The missionary said, “I mean, have you found Jesus?”
“I did not know He was lost,” the man responded.
“I am here to find out if you are a Christian man,” the exasperated
missionary tried again. The man
answered again, “There is a Bill Christian who lives three or four miles over
the ridge.” The missionary, being
flustered, said again, “I mean, are you ready for the judgment day?”
“When is it?” asked the man. The
missionary replied, “Well, it may be today, or tomorrow, or next week, or next
month, we do not know those things.” “Well,”
the man answered, “When you know about them things, let me know.”
True, a bit of humor in that story, but the plain truth is that the
understanding of the holy truths and
the deep mysteries of the Spirit of God are just as misunderstood and darkened
by the natural mind of the unspiritual man, as were the simple questions of the
missionary by the poor ignorant and unchurched man rocking away on his porch.
The vast majority of the teachings of the churches with their
time-honored traditions, static creeds, and empty ceremonies have no more to do
with the kingdom of God and the life of the spirit than do the incoherent
babblings of a mad man with the scientific formulas of an Einstein.
I pity the Christian who walks through life having no understanding of what
the spirit is saying. The
fresh air of revelation never breaths upon his soul, but he stumbles along
through life attending his church, listening to insipid sermons from the tree of
the knowledge of good and evil, singing of a beautiful land on a far away
strand, mistaking the myriad traditions of the elders for the sublime truths of
God, but never being able to grasp the truth the Spirit is unfolding right now
for those who follow on to know the Lord in deeper measures.
And yet, the truth remains — ONLY CHRIST CAN OPEN THE EYES OF THE
Whenever Christ comes, whenever God bestows mercy, the light of His
countenance is our light, His appearing is our vision, and His presence is our
heaven. If we just touch Him, we
see light! In the midst of great
adversity Job cried out, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall
stand at the latter day upon the
earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I SEE GOD:
whom I shall SEE FOR MYSELF, AND MINE
EYES SHALL BEHOLD, and not another” (Job 19:25-27).
Job believed deeply within his heart that in some future distant day he
God, but what he failed to understand was that at
that very moment God was working mightily within him to bring that very
reality to pass in his experience. It
was only a short time until this same Job cried out in ecstatic wonder, “I
have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, but NOW
mine eye seeth Thee!” (Job 42:5).
God was unveiled to Job in the crucible of his testing and proving.
First he had declared that he would see God in the latter day, but his confession became changed to NOW!
not be that the Spirit is revealing to us that the “latter day” is not a
date on the calendar, but a dimension of our own experiencing of Christ?
The apostles referred again and again to “these last days” as they
were moving from the old covenant to the new, from Moses to Christ, from law to
grace, from a carnal understanding of the Word to a spiritual, and from shadow
to reality. For them it was truly
the last days of one order and the dawning of another within themselves!
It is easy to shove the purposes of God in us off to some distant time or
age, but God would have us enter them now!
Our latter day becomes the time of transition in our own experience,
whereby we move out of one understanding and experience into another.
Methinks that I have passed through a number of “latter day” periods
in my walk in the Spirit as I have moved from realm to realm and from glory to
glory in the heavens of God! It is always in the last days that we begin to see
God in a greater way and in a higher dimension of the revelation of Himself.
It is indeed wonderful!
The Lord tells us to “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest
see,” and yet, is not the eye-salve
something of Himself — for truly Christ is the only Healer!
We are instructed to buy the eye-salve of Him!
No matter how much we strive for light, it is of no use; regardless how
much we struggle, it is in vain. It
is not that you are a little carnal, so you cannot see light, and that I am a
little pious, therefore light comes; or that you are a little lazy, so you cannot see light, and I
am a little diligent, therefore I see light.
Enlightening the eyes of our understanding does not depend on the
self-effort of our striving and struggling, but on the purpose and power of God!
Alas, how many there are today who make their own light by lighting lamps
and kindling fires. When darkness
comes, they do not wait till dawn, till the sun rises, till God moves afresh by
His Spirit; they themselves go to kindle a fire, to stir up something soulish by
self-effort, to make light themselves. God
says that all those who kindle a fire to enlighten themselves shall end in
sorrow. That is God’s decree!
this very hour are not willing to wait for the inworkings of God to bring the
true manifestation of the sons of God, so they are out claiming to be manifest
sons, walking in a light that God has not kindled.
And what a poor light it is! A brother said recently, “We have been
declaring manifest sonship for fifty years and have not seen any manifest sons.
It is time to stop talking and come out from behind the veil and
manifest.” And I suppose he is
out there “manifesting.” But I can guarantee you that he is not manifesting anything
beyond what we have had for the past two thousand years!
And that, my beloved, has not
gotten the job done! More of the
same will never bring the nations into
the kingdom of God or deliver creation from the bondage of corruption.
I would rather believe that the fresh word of sonship and the kingdom and
the sovereign move of the Spirit that has come progressively over the past fifty
years, and which is now bearing kingdom fruit in a called and chosen remnant,
has within it greater potential to bring us to the fullness of our sonship than
any word or move of God that has been in the earth for two
thousand years and still hasn’t brought us to the full revelation of
Christ! If I had planted bananas
here in El Paso every year for the past two thousand years and never got even
one bunch of bananas, I think I would have the wisdom to understand that bananas
aren’t going to grow here and it is time to move on to something else.
GOD HIMSELF is moving us onward into this new day of the kingdom, it is
His work, and it is marvelous in our eyes!
We have now passed through the “last days” of the church age within
ourselves and are seeing the form of the Son of God appearing in a people
prepared for the new age of the kingdom we are entering.
If you are not able to see this, my friend, I counsel you to “anoint
thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.”
scripture is clear that “where there is no
vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18).
Ray Prinzing once pointed out that translated literally, the people are
“naked,” for our vision is our covering until we are swallowed up into the
reality of its fulfillment. We perish,
or fall away, naked and ashamed, unless we have received of the Lord a
vision. There is no doubt that
this reveals clearly why so many past moves of God have gone into apostasy.
There can be no stagnation in the kingdom of God, no status
quo, for God’s purposes are progressive, on-going, and ever advancing from
glory to glory! The moment we
receive no new vision even the light
we have begins to burn out and turn to darkness.
Still, it is not enough to have a
vision — we must progress onward to become
the very fulfillment of
the vision within ourselves! My
deepest prayer is that all who read these lines may have open eyes to see as God sees, to understand and comprehend all that
God is speaking in this great day of the Lord, all that God has prepared for His
called and chosen ones, and follow on to be progressively developed and prepared
for its consummation.
You do not
understand a thing by memorizing it. You
may memorize the whole Constitution of the United States of America or the whole
Bible and not understand any of it. I have met people who prided themselves that they had read
the Bible through “from cover to cover” numerous times and had put to memory
whole chapters and books of it — yet it was obvious that they were utterly
blind to the great spiritual truths and eternal glory within the pages of this
blessed Book of Books. You do not
understand a thing by hearing it, by seeing it, by reading it, or by any
representation that can be made of it. You
only understand by knowing, the
knowing that comes by the spirit of revelation.
“The eyes of your understanding
being enlightened” is knowledge — personal, real, conscious
possession. That insight
into a thing that gives the true knowledge of it is what it means to “see.” What depths this gives to the words of Jesus to His
disciples: “And I’ll tell you something else and this is the truth, that
there are some of you standing right here in front of me who will not die before
you have had a dramatic
insight into the kingdom of God and how it comes with power” (Mat.
16:28; Mk. 1:9; Lk. 9:27). It is
not to see it outwardly with the eyes, it is to see it inwardly with the
understanding. It is not merely to
repeat, or be able to tell about it, but to know
it. It means a dramatic insight!
The dramatic insight reveals how the kingdom of God comes with power;
that is, it releases the power within to bring into fruition that which we have seen!
of seeing looks toward becoming. Until we have
experienced that mysterious transformation that is the result of dramatic
insight the work of God is incomplete.
And becoming is not for our benefit or glory, but to fulfill the high
purposes of our Father in the earth! We
are not curiosity seekers, or thrill seekers, nor do we have any desire to go
out to “meet needs” on the level we have in the past. There are plenty of believers to meet needs on those levels!
God has shown us a vision of something greater, higher, grander, with
kingdom dynamics, to raise all creation to higher realms in God.
The veil has been drawn back, and we have caught a glimpse of the glory
of sonship and what it means for creation!
This vision is now working in us, purging, purifying, quickening,
changing, preparing to be revealed in us. How
we groan as we find this heaviness of the veil of flesh still upon us, to blur
and make hazy that which we would behold more clearly.
The carnal mind cannot see God! But
oh! There is eye-salve from the
hand of the Master and our vision is increasing daily with the increase of God.
Aren’t you glad!
leaps within me as I contemplate this wonderful reality — being CHANGED!
From the distant mountain peaks of faith comes a sound as clear as
morning chimes. It is the voice of
the inspired apostle sounding out from centuries past, “Beholding
as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we
are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit
of the Lord” (II Cor. 3:18). Beholding
— we are changed! How important
are our seeing eyes! It is the same message — “We shall be changed…in the
twinkling of an eye!” We are
changed by a beholding, by a looking, by a look, often necessitating a turning.
Sometimes it takes a lot to turn us!
The Psalmist cries out, “Turn us,
O Lord. Cause Thy face to shine and
we shall be saved” (Ps. 80:3,7,19). It
is only as we turn in the direction of the present glory that we can know
transformation! You can read the
history of revivals, you can study the exploits of men of faith in centuries
past, you can reminisce about the great visitations of God of yesteryear.
There is not enough power in such things to transform you!
And there is no need to cry, “Lord, do it again!” for God will
not do it again. You can count
on it, for our God is ever progressive in the outworking of His purposes, and He
doesn’t retrogress to “do it again.”
That is the vainest of hopes! This
is a new day and God is doing a new thing!
Transformation comes only in the light of the present glory and
revelation of Jesus Christ. We must turn, to behold Him as He is, to behold Him in what
He is doing, not in what He has done. If
you can only tell me what God did two thousand years ago, or fifty years ago, or
five years ago, or yesterday, it is TURNING TIME!
take more than sermons on sonship and exhortations on the great purposes of God
to conform us to the image of the Son of God.
We must see Him to be changed into His likeness!
The elect of the Lord are now seeing Him as
He is! We have come beyond
the chorus singing, hands clapping, shouting Amens and Hallelujahs, prophesying
and preaching to one another about the deep mysteries of God so that we can be
changed. Thank God for all those
things, but they do not change us! It
is only in meeting Him as Thomas and Paul and John met Him.
That is the truth of the book of Revelation!
Christ must be revealed to us, and, praise His name, He is being revealed
to all who have eyes to see. We are
now hearing His voice speaking to us out of the deepest recesses of our spirits.
We are communing with Him upon the heavenly mount Zion in the glory of
God that radiates from the face of Jesus Christ.
Sonship is being established in our lives by personal association with
willing to stake all that I have and all that I am on this one bold assertion:
No man or woman can ever be changed into the image of God or put on
incorruptibility or be changed into the glorification of
immortality to be a manifest son of God until he has cast off the yoke of
the carnal mind and the bondages of human tradition and religion, and the
clinging to any and all former visitations, movings, and workings of God, in
order to MEET THE FIRSTBORN SON PERSONALLY, COMMUNE WITH HIM INTIMATELY, BE
JOINED VITALLY WITH HIM IN THE UNION OF HIS MIND, NATURE, AND LIFE, and then
continues to walk in the light and glory of what he sees.
of this vision assures us of the perfecting of the powers of our spiritual life.
“Anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see!”
When Moses desired the vision of the glory of God, he was warned that no
man can see God’s face and live. No
man can stand in the full blaze of divine glory until he himself corresponds in
nature to that glory. The glare of
the eastern sun on desert sands has dazed men’s eyes; the fierce, gleaming
radiance of sunlight on the snowclad hills has blinded human sight, and none
can, with naked eye, behold the sun in the sky.
How, then, can our mortal vision turn its gaze upon the glory that is
ineffable? When John on Patmos saw
the glory of God’s Christ he “fell as dead” in the overwhelming presence.
Our nature is not constituted to bear the blaze of uncreated light.
But this restricted nature is not for ever.
For the burning radiance of His holy light shining upon us releases us as
we are exposed to it from the obstructiveness of our own impaired senses, and
then with purged heart, renewed mind, and quickened life we perceive Him.
In this world if a man stares at the sun he will be blinded.
But in the higher world of the spirit to gaze upon the countenance of the
Son of Righteousness is to be CHANGED! It
is indeed wonderful!
this world with five senses: sight, hearing, smelling, taste, and touch.
These are natural physiological and soulical senses, and feed information
to our natural mind. Peter writes about our new birth, explaining that we are
“being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word
of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (I Pet. 1:23). This new birth is by an incorruptible seed, by the Word of
God, even that Word which was from the beginning, which is also the true light
and the life of men, and which “lighteth
every man coming into the world” (Jn. 1:1-4,9). When we are born of the Spirit, we receive these same senses
on the higher plane of spirit, in the inner-man body. In the natural no one has ever been able to see in this world
unless they have been born. So it
is in the spiritual realm! Jesus
speaks of this spiritual sight in His conversation with Nicodemus, saying,
“Except a man be born again he
the kingdom (realm) of God” (Jn. 3:3).
question follows — what is meant by the term “born again”?
Jesus tells us that “that which is born of the flesh is
flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is
spirit” (Jn. 3:6). Birth is
not the beginning of human existence, but it does mark the beginning of human
identity. Though we already exist,
we have no name, no birth certificate, no legal identity, no citizenship, no
civil rights, no ability to inherit — until we are born!
The baby that is born already existed in the womb, and even before that
its life existed in the sperm of the father and the egg of the mother.
Some say that human life begins at conception, but that is not entirely
true. The writer to the Hebrews
clearly tells us that Levi (the son of Aaron, the high priest) existed in the loins of his father Abraham FOUR HUNDRED YEARS BEFORE HE WAS
BORN! Not only did his life
exist in the loins of Abraham, but he paid
tithes to Melchizedek while he was in the loins of Abraham!
“And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in
Abraham. For he was yet in the
loins of his father (Abraham), when Melchizedek met him” (Heb. 7:9-10).
So, when did Levi’s life begin? You
see, if Abraham would have died before Isaac was born, there never would have
been a Levi! Levi would have died
with Abraham, yea, in Abraham. To murder Abraham would be to murder not just one man, but to
also murder all his progeny. None
of us began at the moment of our conception, just as none of us began at the
moment of our birth!
is born of the flesh is flesh.
That which is born of the Spirit is
spirit. That is the mystery.
The flesh child is flesh before
it is born, else it could not be said that that which is born of the flesh is
flesh. Likewise, the spirit child is
spirit before it is born, otherwise we could not say that that which is born
of the Spirit is spirit.
Spirit is born of Spirit, just as flesh is born of flesh.
But flesh has to be flesh before
it is born. And spirit has to be spirit before it is born. Therefore
the birth is not its beginning! The birth merely brings the babe, which already existed,
flesh or spirit, into a new realm, into an awakened consciousness, into a new
awareness, a new dimension, into a new standing, into new rights and privileges
and inheritance — but the birth is not
the beginning of its existence! Can
you not see the mystery? If
mankind were not already spirit
beings in the womb of the Father they could not be born
into the kingdom of God by the Spirit!
It’s just as simple as that.
God is the
Father of spirits. But let us remember, a father does not father his offspring at the time of the offspring’s birth.
Oh, no! The father fathers
his child in one sense at the time of conception, but in God’s estimation, as
we have seen in the case of Levi, the father is the father of every child who is
contained in his life. Abraham was
the “father” of Levi, the record plainly states, four hundred years before
Levi was born! Now we read of God,
“Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected
them. Shall we not much more be
subject unto the Father of spirits and
live?” (Heb. 12:9). Someone says,
“Oh, yes, God is the Father of every born
again person who is now a child of God.”
But let us see what the scripture says about this.
“O God, the God of the spirits of
all flesh” (Num. 16:22). That
we might better comprehend, I must follow this instructive passage with some
pertinent questions. Does every
flesh man have a spirit? Is
every man, saved or unsaved, composed of spirit,
soul, and body, or do only believers have a spirit? If every man has a spirit, where did his spirit come from?
Did it come from God? Did it
come from his parents? Did it come
from the devil? Was your
spirit, when you were born, already
“fallen”? When did your
spirit originate? Did it originate
at the moment of your physical birth? Did
it originate at the moment of your conception in the womb?
Did it originate before your conception?
Was it already a “fallen” spirit before you were born?
If not, when did it “fall”? Is
God actively in the business of begetting “fallen” or “dead” spirits? Is God really the Father of the spirits of ALL FLESH?
another passage of scripture which will greatly aid our understanding.
“But there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration
of the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job. 32:8).
It is something great in man, as the speaker, Elihu, conceives that he is
spirit, and, as being such, is capable of being inspired.
For he is not, as many teachers suppose, referring to the historical fact
that the Almighty breathed into Adam, in the beginning, the breath of life; but,
speaking in the present tense, he magnifies man as being able to be inspired, because he is spirit, and it is God who inspires him!
important that we get the connection between “spirit” and “inspiration.”
The only reason man can be “inspired” is because there is within him
a “spirit.” The word
“inspiration” denotes the act of in-breathing, that is, man can “breathe in” or be “breathed
into” only because there is within him a spirit!
It means to be visited internally, to be raised in consciousness,
understanding, and intelligence. In
this sense Bezaleel, when working on the tabernacle in the wilderness, was
inspired as he was “filled with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and in
understanding, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in
brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber” (Ex.
31:1-5). A man is in-spired when he
is raised internally, in consciousness, thought, feeling, understanding,
perception, ability, or action by a divine movement within!
It is God’s Spirit quickening
our spirit, and thus bringing a
change, a release, a quickening, a raising so that our spirit may function as it
was designed to function. This is
what Jesus described as “born again,” the spirit that already existed as the
offspring of God being brought forth, just as a flesh baby is brought forth into
the world, into a new realm, a new level of identity, a new consciousness, a new
expression, a new ability, a new standing, new rights and privileges and
inheritance! That which is thus
“born” of the Spirit is spirit!
Just as it
is the distinction of a crystal, that it is transparent, able to let the light
into and through its close flinty body, and be irradiated by it in the whole
mass of its substance, thus obtaining and expressing a glory it does not possess
apart from the entrance of light, without being at all more or less than a
crystal, so it is the grand distinction of all humanity that it is penetrable by
the Spirit of God, able to receive, entemple, and radiate the Holy Spirit; to be
energized by Him and filled with His glory, in every faculty, feeling, and
power. Thus “the Spirit beareth witness with our
spirit, that we are the children
(offspring) of God!” (Rom. 8:16). And
“because ye are sons, God hath sent
forth the Spirit of His Son into your
hearts (spirit), crying, Abba, Father!” (Gal. 4:6).
“There is a spirit in man, and the inbreathing
of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”
The seed of
God is in every man, and that seed is the
spirit of man. But you meet the
drunk on the street, you see your unconverted neighbor, you rub shoulders with
the people of the world, you watch the evening news on television, and you
don’t see God in anybody! That is
because God in every man is a seed.
A seed doesn’t do anything. It
just is. It can lie on the shelf
for fifty years and never express a thing!
Seeds have been found in the tombs of Egypt that are more than three
thousand years old, and they look today just as they did when they were placed
there, but they have never produced a harvest.
You see, my beloved, just as the seed (sperm) of a man and the seed (egg)
of a woman must conceive in order to change, grow, be born, and express and
accomplish, so must a seed of the vegetable kingdom be germinated in order to be productive. The life is hid in the seed, but it is covered by the outer
shell and abides in a state of dormancy, inactivity, or death.
It must be planted in the earth, then subjected to two things: heat and
moisture. The rain falls upon it,
the sun shines upon it, and suddenly there comes a mighty release!
There is a stirring of that life that is restrained on the inside, the
shell that conceals that life bursts open, and the life within springs forth,
puts down roots, and grows upward; it breaks through the earth and is “born”
into a new world, a new realm, a new expression, a new form, and a new ability.
It rises high enough to draw its life from new dimensions.
Can we not
see by this that the spirit of man is indeed the seed of God but it is buried
in, encased by, the outer man of the flesh, the carnal understanding, and the
natural consciousness. Just as a
credit card or a cell phone must be activated,
the spirit of man must be activated! Until
it is activated it is not a living, pulsating, energizing, ruling, growing power
in man. It must be germinated,
quickened by the power of the invigorating rain of God’s Word and the warm
sunshine of God’s Spirit! Once
our spirit is quickened by God’s Spirit, it springs forth into birth.
And that which is born of the Spirit is
spirit — if it were not spirit, the offspring of God, it would not be
quickened into God-like-ness by the act of re-generation!
spirit of man is birthed into the kingdom realm of God, just as a flesh and
blood baby is birthed into the world, he then becomes aware of his five spiritual senses in the spiritual realm. The five senses of the outer man are able to see, hear,
taste, touch, and smell natural things; but these same five senses in the world
of the spirit are able to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell all spiritual and
heavenly things which are invisible and incorruptible, as the apostle explains,
“…eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of
man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him — but God HATH
REVEALED THEM UNTO US BY THE SPIRIT;
for the spirit searcheth (out) all
things, yea the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:9-14).
When we are
born (quickened) from above the FIVE SENSES OF THE SPIRIT WORLD are released and
become operative in the inner-man body, which is Christ.
Gradually, as this inner man grows and increases we discover and become
aware of these senses, the eyes
of our understanding being enlightened, becoming wider and wider to the things
not seen by the natural eye of understanding; by degrees the hearing
of faith increases until every good promise of God is established as truth
within; in time we come into touch
with the Lord and His invisible presence, glory, and powers; little by little we
taste and see that the
Lord is very gracious, finding our food and sustenance out of the spirit realm
rather than the outer world; after a time we come to appreciate those attributes
of love, mercy, grace, and goodness and those sacrifices and incense-prayers and
praises which are a sweet
odor unto the Lord, and a fragrance of life unto men.
As the natural senses can be cultivated, so can the spiritual; and the
cultivation of these spiritual senses constitutes marks indicating our growth in
grace, our development as sons of God, to the completeness of our new selves in
the glory, honor, and immortality of the divine nature.
scriptures are plain. We can have
eyes and not see, ears and not hear — so we must have two sets of eyes and two
sets of ears — we have ears within that can hear on a level that is not heard
by the outer ear, and eyes on a plane that can see into a realm that is not seen
by the outer eye. “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know
what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His
inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to
us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He
wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own
right hand in the heavenly places…” (Eph. 1:18-20).
The sons of
God have eyes within them that see on a level that is not seen by the eyes of
the outer-man body. You can have
20/20 vision with your physical eyes and never see what you see with the “eyes
of your understanding.” It must
forever be settled in our hearts that there is no true reality in any of the
things that are seen by the outer eye, for how can we say that things which are
always changing and passing away are realities?
The only abiding things in the whole universe are the things which are not
seen by the outer eye, and yet it is not that they are really invisible, for
they are merely invisible to the kinds of eyes we have in our outer-man body.
The Holy Spirit has faithfully recorded of Moses, that grand hero of
faith and spiritual vision, that “by faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the
wrath of the king: for he endured as SEEING
HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE” (Heb. 11:27).
Here is the
mighty power of man’s regenerated spirit: it sees what others cannot see!
It sees, amid the thousand things natural men see and are guided by,
something infinitely greater and more real — it SEES GOD!
No wonder it leads a man to think and act differently from other men.
On everything it looks at, the bright light of eternity is shining!
No wonder that under the inspiration of that vision it can do mighty
deeds, for it sees God its life and power.
Let me here say to every saint of God that just as, in any pursuit, the
eye can be trained to see what others cannot see, so the spiritual eyes of the
new creation inner-man body can be trained to see God everywhere.
Abide in His presence until the heart is filled with it.
You will begin to recognize HIM in everything that happens!
Seek to walk in the light of His countenance.
Seeing the invisible will make
it easy to forsake this world and do the will of God!
Then you will see all things as
they really are! The heavenly
world is shut up from the natural man. He
cannot see eternal things! He sees
only natural things of the lower world.
thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see!”
Ah, God has
called out a people in this day, even out of lukewarm, self-satisfied,
self-sufficient Laodicea, to know Him and walk with Him as king-priests in His
kingdom. And may I with all
reverence add that if your eyes do see the precious truths and special calling
of God for this hour, then lift up holy hands in praise and thanksgiving and worship to HIM who has called and chosen you by His
grace. “Blessed are your eyes,
for they see: and your ears, for they hear” (Mat. 13:16). While we recognize the blindness of the church systems of
man, and admonish the Lord’s elect to purify themselves from all the
Babylonish spirit and ways of the old dying church order, yet — we cannot rail
upon those precious believers who are now blind to these wonderful things —
they are our brethren, fellow members of the great household of God, though they
stand not with the Lamb upon mount Zion. Let
us not puff up with pride because of what we see, as though our light is
brighter than any other, but with all humility of mind make our calling and
election sure. The words of the
following poem are pertinent to all who think
themselves to be something higher than they are:
blew trumpets of color;
sang in my brain —
I heard a blind man groping
with his cane.
I pitied him his blindness;
But can I boast, “I see?”
Perhaps there walks a spirit
who pities me —
A spirit who hears me
five-sensed cane of mind
Amid such unguessed glories
Of a realm
where I may be blind!
To be continued… J.
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