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.



To be added to the mailing list to receive the current issue of Kingdom Bible Studies each month:




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



Part 60  




            “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 our beginning!

            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 to possession.  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, and naked.”  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 see!  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 eyes.

            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 churchman.  

            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 BLIND!

            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 would see 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! 

Could it 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! 

Some in 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.”

The 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!

The purpose 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!

My heart 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!

It will 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 Christ Himself! 

I am 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.

The promise 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!

We enter 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 cannot see the kingdom (realm) of God” (Jn. 3:3).

The 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!

That which 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?

There is 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!

It is 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! 

Once the 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.

The 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.    

“Anoint 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:


The Spring blew trumpets of color;

Her green sang in my brain —

I heard a blind man groping

“Tap—tap” with his cane.


I pitied him his blindness;

But can I boast, “I see?”

Perhaps there walks a spirit

Close by, who pities me


A spirit who hears me tapping

The five-sensed cane of mind

Amid such unguessed glories —

Of a realm where I may be blind!

           To be continued…                                                                                          J. PRESTON EBY


Contents Page 

Home Page

Links to other ministry websites

Not finding what you need?  SEARCH HERE

Search this site or the web powered by FreeFind

Site search Web search

Updated by Sharon Eby 01/01/2007 11:37:05 AM