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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
the Lion of the tribe of Judah
hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof. And He came and took the book out of the right
hand of Him that sat upon the throne
and I saw when the Lamb opened one of the
and behold a white horse
when He had opened the second seal, there went out another
horse that was red
and when He had opened the third seal, I beheld, and lo a black horse
and when He had opened the
fourth seal, I looked, and behold a pale
(Rev. 5:5,7; 6:1-8).
The legendary Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are, to most minds, one of the
Bibles greatest riddles. Nearly two
thousand years ago the apostle John recorded the details of their grim ride, and ever
since scholars and ordinary believers alike have wondered what they represent. Much has been written concerning the Four
Horsemen, much of it misapplied to struggles between nations and would-be world
conquerors, or to the horrors of tribulation under the antichrist. Actually, however, the book of Revelation is not
concerned with worldly kingdoms and empires, or outward wars, strife, famines, and
pestilence, except as they become linked with the affairs of Gods people. The book
of Revelation, as we have repeatedly pointed out, is a spiritual
revelation, even the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Thus, the Four Horsemen and the Four Horses represent, like the figures in
the rest of the book, aspects of the on-going revelation or unveiling of Jesus Christ in
and through His body. These are spiritual
realities, touched and known only in the spirit and by the spirit.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are among the most significant of the great
symbols in the word of God because they give the key to the processings of God within us. When we have grasped their full significance, by
understanding how the scriptures speak of horses, in order to teach spiritual truth, we
then have gained an appreciation of Bible symbolism.
The Bible is not written in the style of an ordinary book. It has a method all its own of conveying spiritual
realities through picturesque symbols, which is the language of spirit
communicated to the mind of man, wisdom expressed in terms comprehensible by people in all
ages and in different parts of the world and of different degrees of spiritual
The symbol of horsemen is a strange one to the Western mind. We associate horses with useful labor and sport,
but the Eastern mind associated the horse and his rider with war. The horse is without equal for beauty in the
animal kingdom. His body is alive with
rippling muscles. His mane and tail are items
of extreme beauty. The horse is among the
most intelligent of animals and few creatures can equal his strength and swiftness. No animal is of greater service to mankind. For pleasure, for work, and for war the horse
exceeds them all. In Bible days the strength
of armies was often reckoned by the number and greatness of their horses and chariots. In his prophetical account of the spiritual army
of the Lord, Joel declares, the appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as
horsemen, so shall they run (Joel 2:4).
The horse is prepared against the day of battle (Prov. 21:31). It is significant that in the scriptures you do
not find horses mentioned in connection with agricultural purposes, but for riding or
drawing chariots, and for use in battle.
It is significant to note that the term redemption means in the Greek
loosing. Can we doubt that the
loosing of the seven seals is related to Gods great work of redemption? We are now entering the day of loosing
(redemption) and our spirit joined to the Lords spirit is beginning to express more
of His life than ever before. The only
hindrance is the dominion of the soul and body our will, mind, emotions and desires. In order for Christ to be fully revealed in us,
these negative attributes of the carnal nature and human consciousness must be effectively
dealt with. Before the One who has purchased
us for the base of His operation can take full possession of His inheritance in us there
must be the dispossession of all that hinders
the expression of the spirit. Just as the
children of Israel were commanded to utterly destroy the inhabitants of Canaan
those occupying the land belonging to another so must the giants that possess our land be conquered and driven out! This, dear ones, IS THE MINISTRY OF THE FOUR
HORSEMEN! The events surrounding these four
horsemen all portray conflict, war and destruction. The
Four Horses are war horses and are sent forth into our earth to dispossess the usurper the
carnal mind, the will of the flesh, the desires of the flesh, the emotions of the flesh,
and the works of the flesh. It is the taking
possession of our earth by the life of the Christ within!
There is an application to the outer world, and universally, but all that
transpires out there must first take place within us, His firstfruits. That is the mystery.
The Four Horses and their Riders present a picture of Gods dealings,
strippings, purgings, prunings, processings, impartations, and transformations by which we
are reduced to God. Swift, powerful,
irresistible ruin is visited upon our outer world of human consciousness and identity, and
our inner heart of deceit. As the seals of
the revelation of Himself are opened, we note that what comes forth represents that which
is within us the power of life symbolized as horses.
These are figures of great strength, power, and overcoming (Zech. 10:3; Joel 2:1-6;
Rev. 19::11-14). This is the victory
that overcometh the world, even our faith. These
things begin to happen when we discover the book within, when we lay hold upon the Spirit
realm; then there follows a breaking of those seals that have been closed so long, and as
the seals are broken there is an unfoldment of the triumphant nature of the Christ within. As the outer dimensions of our life are stripped
away, the inner vitality of the Christ emerges into view.
HE becomes revealed! This is
Gods intention not to rapture us away to some far-off heaven somewhere, but
to unseal the book of life within us, for we have this treasure in an earthen vessel and
this earthen vessel has veiled the reality, beauty, glory, and power of what lies within
the fullness of God in Christ within
As the Father opens His Book of Life which Book we are He is actually sending forth the
Spirit of His Word in a triumphant overflowing which will not cease until every valley has
been filled and every hill has been made level, till our heavens and our earth have been
purged from every stain of pollution and every heart beats in unison with the heart of
God. This is CHRIST THE CONQUEROR!
Let us then stand assured of this significant fact: there are seven seals to be broken, and the seven seals
denote a process. If there were no process then one seal would be sufficient! From the very heart of events from the morning of
creation there can be observed a gradual development
of everything that came from the hands of the omnipotent Creator. From the lips of the almighty Elohim came that
irresistible command of the word or God, Let there be! And there was.
But it was not a single command, the heavens and the earth were not formed
in an instant nor fashioned in one day, by one divine word.
Oh, no! It was by the word
proclaimed through seven days that the mighty
creative work of God was accomplished. Again
and again there issued forth the majestic proclamation, Let.
Let there be light. Let there be a firmament. Let
the waters be gathered. Let there be lights in the firmament. Let the
waters bring forth. Let the earth bring forth. Let us
Dispensations had come and gone with their Cain and Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham,
Moses, David, and the prophets before our Lord Jesus explained to the Greeks who came to
investigate His glory, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall
into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but
if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit
(Jn. 12:24). And now through the dreary years
of every century since Jesus died, was buried, resurrected, ascended, and came back into
His waiting disciples in the power of His glorious life, birthing His anointed body in the
earth, the blessed Holy Spirit has been planting within believing hearts the incorruptible
seed of the word of God, and wonder of wonders, yet true to Gods progressive purpose of the ages, that
incorruptible seed is ready to bring forth a company of sons of God in the fullness of the nature, power,
and glory of that firstborn Son and Christ!
It cannot be otherwise! All things
have a beginning, followed by various stages of development, formation, growth, and
increase until ultimately comes the fullness and perfection. Space travel did not begin by sending a man to the
moon. Men first jumped off cliffs, trying to
fly with crude, homemade wings. Then men
flew in balloons. The Wright brothers
invented the first airplane, and other types of aircraft followed until the Russians
startled the world by sending their Sputnik into orbit around the earth, inaugurating the
space age. Today we are sending space probes
throughout our solar system, and it is only a matter of time, if God permits, until Star
Trek will move from science fiction to living reality.
Can we not clearly see by this how it is that each and every step was required in the grand and epochal work of creation
and redemption. For six thousand years the
race has witnessed the natural evolution of civilization, human government, science,
economics, medicine, and technology. Nothing
ever happens overnight! Everything unfolds by
a process! And
all things move inexorably forward.
Remember it takes nine months to grow a baby.
It takes four months to grow corn. It
takes one month for the moon to circle the earth. It takes SEVEN
SEALS to bring about the unveiling of Jesus Christ!
When you uncover a thing you dont have to bring it from some other place, you
only need to remove the cover, because what is under it is already present. The book of Revelation reveals to our wondering
spirits that Jesus Christ doesnt have to come crashing down through the clouds from
outer space in order to be revealed on earth! He
is here covered up, His glory concealed in this world by a fleshly, religious mind;
His grace and mercy are concealed by a harsh, legalistic mindset that thunders right out
of mount Sinai, and is full of death; His love is concealed by the false church doctrines
of divine vindictiveness, judgment, damnation and eternal torture for billions in hell
fire; His righteousness is concealed by human good works, self effort, and outward laws
and traditions of men; His truth and purpose are concealed by natural, carnal
understanding; His power is concealed by soulish religious exercises, rituals, ceremonies,
programs, and promotions; His holiness is concealed by the corruption of the human heart
which is the man of sin. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life! The Lord is the Spirit! The Lord, the Spirit, dwells within us! To uncover the real Christ has nothing to do with
Christ coming from heaven, or us going to heaven He must be UNCOVERED WITHIN US! But
it pleased God, who separated me from my mothers womb (the
old-order religious system), and called me by His grace, to reveal (unveil) His Son in
The veil that hides Him is upon the mind and the heart. It is not something apart from us or away from us. The veil must be removed from where the Christ is
concealed from us within ourselves, for we are the body of Christ, the fullness of Him
that filleth all in all. The Lord is not
hidden in some far-off heaven somewhere! Those
who are walking with the Lord in the light of this new Day know that the unveiling is the
uncovering of the full reality within ourselves of Him who is our life. The
veil has been upon our minds, when we saw Him we looked through all the distorted
trappings of religion and concepts of men who know Him only after the flesh. The veil is also the flesh itself, the outer man
with all his carnal-mindedness, worldly wisdom, and fleshly desires, ambitions, actions,
and propensities for corruption and evil.
The mystery of Christ is the greatest mystery of all the ages, this mystery which
is Christ in you, the hope of glory. HIS
LIFE, which is our life, shall not forever be
concealed within, for I testify to you that we are soon to see it unfold! When Christ who is our life appears, then
you also will appear with Him in the splendor of His glory (Col. 3:4, Amplified). Ah there shall be a revelation, an
unveiling of His life, His glory, His people, and because we have long been hidden
in Him, we shall also share in that revelation
partakers of the divine glory. When all the
mixture of flesh and spirit which would manifest through us in gross confusion, carnality,
and religiosity has been sifted, purged, separated and brought to death because we share
the awesome fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His
death, then shall HIS LIFE be finally unfettered, unhindered, unobstructed, and HE
SHALL APPEAR in all the fullness of Himself and WE SHALL APPEAR WITH HIM in the splendor
of His full-orbed glory! Our life shall not
always be hid. He who is our life shall be
manifested! Our Father has an appointed hour,
and when His hour strikes, then our time will have come and He will not be
glorified apart from us!
Just as gold is purified by fire, so are we purified by the fiery trials the Lord
sends into our lives. Like the intense heat
that causes the impurities to rise to the top of the molten gold, so the many tribulations
we face in life, and the blazing fire of Gods dealings that accompany them, draw
from us those things that pollute the pure nature of God within our spirit. One pass through the furnace is never sufficient
to remove all the impurities in gold, neither can we become pure in one season of testing. God ordains that we be tested and tried by the
Holy Ghost and fire for however long it takes because He wants us to be pure vessels to
manifest His glory. Those who hunger and
thirst for Him will not be devastated by this fire, but purified. They are those who heed the apostle Pauls
warning to examine the materials with which we are building as the temple of God is raised
up within us, for every mans work shall be made manifest: for the day shall
declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire;
for the fire shall try every mans work of what sort it is (I Cor. 3:13).
Gold fully tried in the fire is pure gold. The gold of the tabernacle in the wilderness was
required by the Lord to be pure gold. The gold in Solomons temple was also pure gold. The
gold of the New Jerusalem is likewise described as pure
gold (Rev. 21:18,21). That is what God is
after! That is why the horses are galloping
through our land! To be pure
means to be unmixed, single, free of anything that adulterates or taints; containing
nothing but its own reality. Pure water is water without any contaminants; pure air is free from any pollutants; pure silver is refined until it contains no tinge
of alloy, no trace of impurities, no residue of dross.
The Lord has promised to purge, refine, and remove all mixture from the lives of those who become His
kings and priests, called and chosen to restore creation unto God. The word is sure, The Lord
suddenly come to His temple
and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and
He shall purify the sons of Levi (His priesthood), and purge them as gold and
The Lord, when He comes to His temple
of living stones and purges the sons of Levi, or His kingdom of priests, He first of all
purges out one man old Adam! He comes to cleanse us from the carnal, Adamic
mind, nature, and ways. He comes as a
consuming fire to burn out of us all that is contrary to the righteousness and wisdom and
purposes of the Lord. He is coming to each
one of us, His elect, in this new day of the kingdom of God and is purging the old fleshly
nature and worldly ways out of us! On a
corporate level He is also coming to those who have received the call to sonship and is
separating out all who talk the kingdom but do
not walk the kingdom! Only the ones who have truly surrendered to His
will, have walked in His ways, obeying each
sound of His voice, who have clean hands and pure hearts, will reign with Him in the
How can anyone be placed in a position of authority and power in the kingdom who
has not come to the place of exhibiting only His nature?
He will purge the sons of Levi, the kings and priests of His kingdom, disqualifying
those who cannot be trusted to do the will of the Father and cooperate fully in the
administration of His grace and glory. In
this important hour the ways of Babylon and all the flesh-centered appeals of the carnal
church systems is being thoroughly purged, the attributes of the carnal mind are being
cleansed, all self-hood is being burned out, and all desire to make a name for ourselves
or to gather men around ourselves rather than unto the Christ is being consumed. Thank God, HE IS DOING IT! The Horsemen are riding through our land!
God is unveiling taking the cover off! Some say there is nothing to remove, to get rid
of, because the old man is dead and all that is necessary is to know, believe, and confess
the truth that the old man is dead. Yet
I have heard all the excuses people make for why they are still the way they are, why they
still do all the carnal and even sinful things they do, even though their old man is dead. The favorite cop-out seems to be that they just
dont know the old man is dead so they
continue to act the way the old man used to act! It
must be something like phantom pain even
though the old man is dead and gone they still feel
carnal and fleshly, and unrighteous patterns of behavior are so ingrained and habitual
that they must be re-programmed to act out of the spirit.
Ive got news for you dead men dont continue to act the
way they used to act just because they dont realize
theyre dead! Dead men dont
continue to act the way they acted when alive because it has become a habit
they cant easily break! And it is
futile to try to re-program dead men!
Lets suppose that uncle Joe just died. He
was an irresponsible, hot-tempered, ungodly scoundrel.
You walk up to the coffin and stand there and cuss him out, ridicule
him, slap his face and remind him of what a dog and a devil he was, how many people
suffered because of him, and how much you hate him and hope that he burns in hell. Uncle Joe will not strike back! He will not turn red with rage. He will not jump out of that casket and grab you
by the throat, because He is dead! Dead men dont do anything! You
can try the opposite approach and flatter uncle Joe, rehearsing all the nice things he
ever did and enumerate all his wonderful ways. You
can eulogize him right into heaven. And while
you speak all these good things poor old uncle Joe doesnt puff up with pride. He gets no smile on his face, no sparkle in his
eyes. His ear doesnt begin to twitch. Oh, no! Uncle
Joe is dead, unconscious of the world around
him and unresponsive to anything at all.
So if our old man is dead, whats our problem? Paul talks about it at length in chapters six
through eight of Romans. He says that there
is a condition where we do the things we dont want to do, even the things we hate,
and then find ourselves unable to do the things we want to do. He says that in this state it is no more
I that do it, but sin that dwells in my members. Now if I do what I would not, it is no more
I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me (Rom. 7:15-23). You see, my beloved, I am dead, the
old me that delighted in sin is dead. For
I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law
of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law
of sin which is in my members (Rom. 7:22-23).
Now LET US UNDERSTAND! My old
man is dead but I still have a physical body (my members) which has the law of sin within it.
What is this physical, flesh body? Paul
speaks of it and cries out, O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? The body of this death is simply a
dead body. So your old man is
dead where is his body? The body you
are carrying around is his dead body! Let me show you what Paul is really saying. Near Tarsus, where Paul was born, there was a
tribe of people who inflicted a most terrible penalty upon a murderer. They fastened the body of the victim to that of
the killer, tying shoulder to shoulder, back to back, thigh to thigh, arm to arm, and then
drove the murderer from the community. So
tight were the bonds that the criminal could not free himself from this corpse that was
tied to him, and after a few days the death in the body communicated itself into the
living flesh of the murderer. The stench
filled his nostrils, the bodily fluids ran down his garments, and he stalked the land with
the body of this death or this dead body attached, and there was
none to help. He had only the frightful
prospect of gangrenous death. He well could
cry in horror in the natural, in the same way Paul cried out spiritually, O wretched
man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the
body of this death?
Oh, yes! Your old man is dead. How wonderful it would be if that was the end of
the story! None of us would have any problem. We simply would not have the capability for any
lust, anger, cursing, malice, pride, ungodly habits, fleshly attitudes, sinful actions,
self-righteousness, or any other thing IF
the old man being dead was the end of the story! All
that Paul describes in chapter six and seven of Romans is the corruption of that old dead
body we are carrying around! Sometimes
methinks this is worse than the old man being alive!
So we cry out with Paul, O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that
I am! Who shall deliver me from the shackles
of this body of death? Then comes the
answer echoing through the corridors of the soul, O thank God! HE WILL
through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom. 7:25).
The breaking of the seals is the disposing of
the dead body of old Adam! Who breaks the
shackles of the body of death? JESUS CHRIST
THE LORD! Who looses the seals of the book? JESUS CHRIST THE LORD! He is the One who conquered both sin and death, He
has prevailed, and He alone is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals thereof! Isnt it wonderful!
REVELATION INITIATION CONSUMMATION
The central portion of the book of Revelation, to which we now come, may be likened
to a drama in three acts the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Vials. Each act of the drama brings us to a view of the
same landscape, but every time we come afresh to it the view is widened by the fact that
we regard it from a greater height and further stage of development. With the breaking of the seventh seal
we expect the end,
for now the book of Life within us is fully open and all the seals are broken! We would suppose the work of God is now fully
accomplished, yet the end does not come. John
pauses but for a moment before launching on a new series of visions introduced by the seven trumpets,
which in turn are followed by the pouring out of the seven vials
and the events which follow. We must pause,
too, and ask what we are to make of this unique scheme of things!
We would deprive ourselves of infinite treasure should we refrain from
investigating the deep meaning of the three series of visions the seven Seals, the
seven Trumpets, and the seven Vials. Does
series follow series merely for emphasis, or can some difference be discerned between
them? There is a remarkable difference! The breaking of the seals is an unveiling, thus denoting revelation. It should be observed that with the breaking of
the respective seals, nothing is said about reading
anything from the book. The events which
accompany the breaking of the seals one after another are not represented as read
they are dramatic scenes vividly enacted before the Seers vision opening to his mind
and spirit the revelation of how, the revelation of the process by which, the Christ is
brought forth into full manifestation in and through each member of Gods called and
chosen elect. The Lamb in proceeding to break
the seals begins His work as a revealer!
Thus the seals are the revelation of how
the Lamb brings forth the manifestation of the Christ life in the experience of each
member of the body of Christ. Actually, as I
see it, nothing really happens when the seals
are loosed except the dawning of spiritual
understanding within ourselves. Here the
revelation, the blueprint, of Gods great and glorious purpose in us is made known to
us! This is purely revelation!
The seals then give us the introduction to the Lords work in us,
rather than the completed work. Beyond the
seals lie the trumpets, contrasted with the seals in their nature; and beyond the trumpets
lie the vials which also may be contrasted with the seals and the trumpets. The opening of the seals is the key to the book,
for when they are opened, the book is. Yet we
have merely seen by revelation what God is going to do!
They only set us upon the threshold of great and mighty events which must
transpire in each of our lives to bring us to the complete work of God, conforming us to
the full stature of manifest sonship. The
seals break to us the revelation; the trumpets
then usher in the initiation or inauguration of the work within to raise up in our
lives the reality we have so clearly seen by revelation; the vials then bring us to the consummation or the completion of the work, producing the FINISHED
PRODUCT! Therefore we may say that John
beheld the seals of revelation opened, he heard
the trumpets of initiation sounding their
herald, and the vials of consummation bringing
an end to all that opposes the kingdom and establishing within the nature, glory, and
power of manifest sonship. What a mighty God
You see, my beloved, no man can appropriate experientially anything of which he has
received no revelation or understanding. No
man can come to Christ and trust Him as Saviour until first he has received by revelation the awareness of his need and
Gods gracious provision of Jesus as his Saviour.
Very few have received healing, miracles, answers to prayer, the baptism in the
Holy Spirit, gifts, or any other blessing or benefit until first the revelation was quickened within their spirit of the
availability of these provisions. All things
are received by faith, and faith comes only by hearing
the word of God. The principle is clear the man who has
received no revelation of sonship will never become a son of God!
God has a beautiful plan for everything.
Revelation is the prerequisite
for initiation, as initiation is the harbinger of consummation!
there is in revelation! It is the power
revealed in the scroll with the seven seals. It
is the power that comes out of the seals in the form of the seven trumpets. It is the power that comes out of the seven
trumpets in the form of the seven vials. The
seals of the scroll are the revelation by which
the initiation (seven trumpets) of the work of
God in us takes place, which in turn gives birth to the completion, perfection, and consummation (seven vials) of Christ formed in us.
Having said that the seven trumpets denote the initiation or beginning of
Fathers work in each of us, let us consider how this is so. A contractor preparing to build a house first
secures an architectural drawing, a blueprint. Everything
that will go into that house is in the blueprint! The
carpenters will use the blueprint, the plumbers will use the blueprint, the brick masons
will use the blueprint, the electricians will use the blueprint, the finishers will use
the blueprint. When every worker has
fulfilled the message in the blueprint the house is finished. The blueprint represents revelation it encodes all that the house
will be! Yet we know that a blueprint is not
enough, it is not the house! So the next
step is initiation. The land is cleared, the slab poured, the framing
erected, and the roof is put on. Now you have
the form of the house, the work has begun, but
it is still not ready for occupation. This
second step is merely the initiation of the work. How
much more remains to be done! Eventually,
after the electrical and heating has been installed, tile laid, cabinets built, painting
done, and all the other minute details, you have consummation
the FISHISHED PRODUCT. God is building
a spiritual house of sons! I do not hesitate
to tell you that spiritually He builds in the same way! The seals of revelation, the trumpets of
initiation, and the vials of consummation raise up in the earth the living temple of God! Oh, the mystery of it!
Comparing the trumpets with the vials it is enlightening to observe the parallelism
between the two. The first trumpet affects
the earth; so does the first vial. The second
trumpet affects the sea; so does the second vial. The
third trumpet affects the rivers and fountains; so does the third vial. The fourth trumpet affects the heavenly bodies; so
does the fourth vial. The fifth trumpet
brings darkness and torment, so does the fifth vial.
The sixth trumpet concerns the great river Euphrates; so does the sixth
vial. The seventh trumpet brings great
warfare and victory for the sons of God; so does the seventh vial.
it is significant to note that under the trumpets nothing is complete, whole, or brought to fullness. In fact, everything is affected in only one-third of its existence! Under the first trumpet hail and fire mingled with
blood are cast into the earth and one-third of
the trees are burnt up (Rev. 8:7). Under the
second trumpet a great mountain burning with fire is cast into the sea and one-third of the sea becomes blood (Rev. 8:8). Under the third trumpet a great burning star falls
upon one-third of the rivers and fountains of
water, making them bitter (Rev. 8:10-11). Under
the fourth trumpet one-third of the sun, moon,
and stars is smitten and turned to darkness (Rev. 8:12).
Under the fifth trumpet mighty powers are released from the pit, but they do
not complete their work (Rev. 9:1-12). Under
the sixth trumpet a mighty army is prepared and released, killing one-third of men (Rev. 9:13-21). Under the seventh trumpet the great dragon is cast
out of heaven, but not out of the earth or the sea. It
is not my purpose at this time to expound the meaning of all these wonderful symbols, that
is reserved for another time; I only seek to point out that ONE-THIRD does not denote a finished work! It is but the initiation
of the unfolding work of God for the spiritual transformation and perfection of His
The next and final phase of Gods dealings in our lives is through the pouring out of the seven vials. The vials sound truly threatening and ominous, but
they are menacing only to the natural man, the carnal mind, and the fleshly nature! The vials are no friend of old Adam and his nature
or his aspirations, plans, and activities. They
are only the friend of the Christ within! When
the vials have finished their work the entire human identity, the man of flesh with all
his carnality, limitation, darkness, and death is forever swept away! The seven vials are the picture of swift,
uninterrupted, and complete execution.
Let me cite only a few examples. When
the second vial is poured out upon the sea, the entire
sea becomes as the blood of a dead man, and every living soul in the sea dies (Rev. 16:3). When the fourth vial is poured out the entire sun is affected to scorch men with fire
(Rev. 16:8). When the fifth vial is poured
out it is upon the seat of the beast so that
the ax is laid to the root of the tree, dealing
completely and permanently with the bestial nature of man (Rev. 16:10). When the sixth vial is poured out the great river
Euphrates is completely dried up (Rev. 16:12). When the seventh vial is poured out great Babylon falls, every island flees away, every mountain disappears, and there comes a great
voice out of the temple in heaven, from the throne, saying, It is
finished! Can you not see
LITERAL OR SPIRITUAL?
There is great truth in the words of a preacher from the 19th century who wrote: Suppose the book of
Revelation to be a great palace, with its royalty, royal children, servants, and subjects. You desire to go through it and view it
intelligently, and to understand all about its inhabitants and laws of government; now to
do so you must have keys, and you must learn who is who, their place, authority, and work. If not so qualified, you could not pass from room
to room, and you might confound the King with some servant and visitors might be mistaken
for the children of the household. Thus your
ideas would be considerably mixed; you would be guilty of talking about the King when you
really meant some servant, and of prophesying for the royal children in the name of the
visitors. The years would come and go, but
events would not happen as you had prophesied, only confusion and disappointment would
God is giving understanding of the things written in the Revelation in this hour. While we have read this Revelation scores or even
hundreds of times, yet today we are approaching this book with a fresh, open view towards
allowing its words to speak to our minds and hearts without the inhibitions of Babylonian
superstition, legend, folklore, myth, or tradition. The
Revelation deals with the appearing of Christ. And
that is something every person called to sonship is involved with! There is no doubt that there are sincere and
earnest-hearted people in churches everywhere awaiting the appearing or return of the Lord
Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation is
written specifically for that end to bring about apocalypse, to bring about metamorphosis, to bring
about transformation, to bring about the unveiling of Jesus Christ! It is our lot in this significant hour to be
involved, by the work of the Spirit, in the unveiling of Jesus Christ in all His fullness
within His people.
The message of the book of Revelation does not reveal doctrine; it reveals essence,
nature, substance, purpose, dealings, energy, and generation. It reveals not just a word about God, but it
yields the experiencing of Him. The book of
Revelation shows us the only thing that is going to be revealed, and that is the person of
Jesus Christ! It is not the teaching of a
doctrine, but the unveiling of a Person! This
can only be done by the Spirit! Christ is a
spiritual reality, therefore the book of Revelation is a SPIRITUAL BOOK!
A tough store manager was walking through the packing room one day when he saw a
young man lounging on a shipping crate, whistling and relaxing. He asked the young man how much he was paid. The young man answered, $200 a week. At that, the manager took out his wallet, grabbed
some bills, and said, Heres a weeks pay.
Get out! The manager immediately
found the department head and demanded to know who hired the young man. He replied, We didnt hire him. He was just here to pick up a package. The lesson is just this: Assumptions can be costly. Wed better find out whats going on
before we jump into the fray!
Those who do not understand this as the revelation of Jesus Christ, assuming the interpretations and speculations of
carnal-minded theologians and Bible teachers, view the white horse of chapter six of the
Revelation as the antichrist, the red horse as war, the black horse as famine, and the
pale horse as pestilence, poverty, and death. But
how can that be when this book is to make us blessed,
when the message and events of this book are given to make us happy! If
this is the unveiling of Jesus Christ are antichrists, tyranny, wars, bloodshed,
torment, famines, pestilence, poverty, and death what Jesus Christ is all about? Is that the revelation
of Him? There
is no way this book can be interpreted according to current events or what is happening
out there in the world that doesnt even know Jesus Christ!
World events, and mens speculative interpretations about the
antichrist, are always changing. The
so-called antichrist is not the same person they said he was when I was a
child and first heard sermons on the book of Revelation.
The beast has changed, the ten horns have changed, the false prophet has changed,
the mark of the beast has changed numerous times through my brief life time! If you try to interpret these things in the light
of external, literalistic world events, you are going to be kept very busy! And in the end you will be proven wrong.
It is easy to anticipate, call for, and predict the manifestation of divine wrath
upon men and nations. Most Christians
certainly believe they deserve the outpouring of
divine judgments! And it plays perfectly into
our fears, as well as our vindictiveness against the wickedness of men. But it is not the spirit of the Lamb of God
Jesus Christ the Saviour! Once we adjust our perception to expect doom and
gloom, religious zeal conjures up all sorts of apocalyptic visions of the end
times. I have heard hundreds of
doom and destruction prophecies over the past sixty years. None
of them has come to pass! Why? Simply because those who said, Thus saith
the Lord had not heard from the Lord. They
were only parroting the theories of the carnal church systems and speaking out of their
own imaginations and fears. They predicted
all sorts of horrors to come upon mankind, and completely missed the great work God is doing today by His
Spirit as He deals with His elect to bring many sons
The reason we have so many men that go around preaching doom and gloom is because
they are not listening to what God is saying. They
do not hear God by the Spirit! Our message
transcends what men say. For example. Economists put out reports that the economy is
going bad. Gold does not back our dollar
anymore, the national debt is too high, the trade balance is out of kilter, we are headed
for economic collapse. A carnal-minded
economist dispenses this information. Then a
carnal-minded preacher takes it up and tries to
show how this is fulfilling some prophecy in the Bible.
Carnal-minded men that produce carnal-minded reports give these
carnal-minded thoughts to carnal-minded preachers, who pass them on to carnal-minded
Christians! Some of these carnal-minded
preachers have told the people to sell their property, get out of debt, get their money
out of the banks, move to some safe area and become self-sufficient, living
off the land. And people get scared and do
Because they are listening to carnal-minded reports of carnal-minded men! Of course, some day it could happen.
Economic collapse has happened to many nations throughout history. But who cares?
People say, But will you be prepared? Listen! True
preparation is only in the spirit! Wed better get hold of God in the spirit
not for burying our treasure in the earth someplace.
The government is going to find you out there in your little safe
place anyway! Only as we are led by the
Spirit are we able to know the times and ways and will of our Father!
If the events of the book of Revelation are literal
then it follows that there are blacksmiths in heaven!
In Revelation 19:11-16 we read that heaven is opened and the Lord Jesus comes out
of heaven riding upon a white horse. Then
there are the armies from heaven which follow Him, all riding upon white horses. Many years ago I visited a church in Florida and
the pastor was teaching from this passage. He
said, The book of Revelation is to be taken literally. God means what He says! If it says horses, then it means horses! If Jesus wants to come riding on a horse He
certainly has the ability to do so! But
you see, my friend, if this is truly literal
then the horses are not spiritual horses or some sort of celestial horses they are
just ordinary horses! And if they are really horses then someone in
heaven must have a blacksmith shop somewhere along Hallelujah Boulevard for shoeing the
horses in heaven. In that blacksmith shop
there would need to be a forge, an anvil, a hammer, nails, and a blacksmith shoeing the
horses in heaven, getting ready for the great battle of God Almighty.
David Ebaugh once related the story about a meeting he attended where the minister
was teaching on the Revelation. Someone asked
the preacher about the horses, and just like the preacher I heard, he replied,
Its literal horses. Does it say
horses? Then it means horses. That settles it! One lady in the congregation began to cry, with
uncontrolled weeping and trembling. In any
group like that if someone begins to cry and sob and cause a disturbance, the speaker will
stop to see what the problem is. So the
preacher looked at the woman and asked, Sister, whats wrong? She answered, Oh, my little dog. Then she cried and sobbed and shook some more. He said, Whats wrong with your little
dog? She said, Well, it tells us
in the Bible that outside the gates of the City are the whoremongers and the dogs and the sorcerers! She figured that meant that outside the City was
hell, so all the dogs had to go to hell. If
it said dogs, then it meant dogs. Oh,
my little dog! Can you not see the
folly of such a literal interpretation of the book of Revelation?
There is a world of difference in the outcome whether the book of Revelation is
understood literally by the carnal mind or spiritually with the mind of Christ. It reminds me of a story I read once which pointed
out the importance of being careful about details. A
wealthy woman who was traveling overseas saw a bracelet she thought was irresistible, so
she sent her husband this e-mail: I have found a wonderful bracelet. The price is $75,000.00 May I buy it?
Her husband promptly e-mailed back his response which he intended to be,
No, price too high. But in typing
the message he failed to put in the comma, making the message read, No price too
high. Elated, she purchased the
bracelet. Needless to say, at her return her
husband was dismayed. It was just a little
thing a comma but what a difference it made!
What a little difference there may seem to be between the words literal and spiritual. But believe me when I say that the result of
whether the events of the Revelation are literal or spiritual is of far greater import and
serious consequences than the $75,000.00 spent for a bracelet!
Take, for example, a man in West Africa. He
had heard about the importance of building his home on the solid foundation of the word of
God. And so, when he started to build his
house, he rounded up some Bibles and placed them squarely among the mud bricks in the
foundation of his home. Then he finished the
house. Now this man built his house on the
Bible, but it didnt help him any. He
totally missed the point of Jesus words! All
who interpret the book of Revelation literally make the same mistake this poor brother in
Africa made! Its just as simple as
Never think that the book of Revelation is merely a book of prophecy. It does say in Revelation 19:10 that the
testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. There is no doubt that the book of
Revelation is a book of prophecy, but we must not merely seek for the prophecy and miss
I would rather miss the prophecy and touch the spirit! When you come to this book, dont try to
analyze and understand it. Just say Amen with
your spirit to every word; then you will be endued with the spirit of the prophecy. Thats what the Lord is talking about! The testimony of Jesus is not a prophecy, it is
the spirit of the prophecy. That is why the prophecy is spiritual, not literal! On
the other hand we could say that the spirit of
the prophecy is the testimony of Jesus; that is,
the spirit testifies of Jesus, or Jesus testifies in and by the spirit. To be concerned with the prophecies is one thing;
to find the spirit of the prophecies is another thing!
And if you miss the spirit of the prophecy, you miss Jesus!
Now let us return to the thought of the Four Horses.
As I have pointed out, the symbol of horses and horsemen is a strange one to
Western minds. We associate horses with labor
and transportation, but the Eastern mind associates the horse and his rider with war. For
this we have the special term cavalry. Any
one who knows even a little bit about the Old Testament can readily understand these
horses. The wise man says, The horse is
prepared against the day of battle (Prov. 21:31).
In the inventory of Jobs wealth horses are not included, and the same
is true, I believe, of Abraham, for they were not men of war. Horses meant not wealth and happiness and
blessing, but chariots, soldiers, and the aggression of empires such as Egypt, Assyria,
Babylon, and Rome. Pharaoh had horses. Many were drowned in the Red Sea at the Exodus. But the kings of Israel were warned not to amass
horses (Deut. 17:16). The ox and the ass did
the useful labor in Israel, but the horses were held for destruction and devastation, for
the conflict and carnage of opposing hosts. When
Jehu led a rebellion, he gathered horsemen, mounted a chariot and drove furiously. Look at your equestrian statues in nine
cases out of ten, it is a soldier who sits in the saddle.
into spiritual language, the four horses and their riders present a picture of Christ
riding out of our spirit into the earth which we are
to make war with the flesh, the carnal mind, and the natural man! The four horsemen portray the warfare,
calamities, destruction, and death visited upon mans fleshly ways. These four horses are war horses of God manifestations of Him
who is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make
war (Rev. 19:11). They are sent into
our personal earths to destroy every enemy of the rule of God within us. They destroy the usurper, the serpent of the
carnal mind, the will of the flesh, the lusts of the flesh, the emotions of the flesh, the
works of the flesh, and the religious pretense of the flesh. Simply speaking, these horsemen conquer and
destroy everything that finds its strength and activity in the flesh!
Even so, come Lord Jesus!
To be continued J. PRESTON EBY
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