Note:  J. Preston Eby, in order to continue to devote his full energy to writing no longer works in the office and does not receive this email. He does, however, respond to any urgent correspondence via snailmail.



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



Part 6







             In chapter five we noted that in Hebrews 6:1-2 the Holy Spirit lists FAITH among the “elementary principles” of the doctrine of Christ.  It is important to note, however, that it is not simply faith of which the Spirit speaks, but a particular dimension of faith which is referred to as FAITH TOWARD GOD.  This distinction is significant, as we shall see clearly later on.  The word “toward” is translated from the Greek word epi which means “upon,” “to,” or “toward.”  The Greek Interlinear New Testament which I have at hand renders this as “faith upon God.”  The thought is of a faith which turns one  in a specific direction and thrusts him upon GOD.  This faith is directed totally toward God and bears along the one identified with it so that he in turn is directed toward and cast upon God.  The Amplified Bible comes very close to rendering the correct thought from the Greek: “Let us not again be laying the foundation of…the faith BY WHICH YOU TURNED to God.”  Thus “faith toward God” is that elementary ministration of faith to us by the Holy Spirit which turns us around from our stumbling in darkness, blindness, ignorance, sin, and death, bringing us to life and relationship with God.  Elementary faith is the faith that first of all saves us — and which also lays hold upon the many elementary blessings and benefits included in our childhood walk with God — healing, deliverance, material provision, gifts of the Spirit, answers to prayer, stability in our daily walk, etc. 


            We must not, however, dwell here in this realm of elementary faith, only exercising faith for our physical and temporal needs and things associated with our spiritual babyhood walk in God.  We are exhorted to leave this realm of faith and  go on to perfection, that is, to a perfect, full, and mature faith.  We must go on to a greater faith which will lay hold upon better and higher things…the ultimate purposes of God…a faith that will bring the body of Christ unto “a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST.”  The perfection of faith in the body of Christ in this new kingdom day shall propel it into that ULTIMATE FAITH which shall enable it to grow into a mature sonship to the Father.  This faith will in turn usher the called and chosen sons of God into their inheritance, a full and complete redemption in spirit, soul, and body (Rom. 8:21-23).  The divine law of faith dictates that the sons of God cannot possess the measure and quality of faith that will bring them to manifest sonship until God has first worked into them that elementary faith for the everyday, practical aspects of our lives, thus tapping into the spiritual world of reality by the mighty operation of the Holy Spirit within.  Ah, my beloved, despise not the day of small beginnings!  How can one bind the strongman and conquer the giants  of  limitation and death if he can’t even overcome the influences of the world, the flesh, and the devil that pressure and lure him in his daily walk?  It is in the realm of elementary faith first of all that God must work, develop, and strengthen faith in our lives.  But this is not by any means the ultimate reality or accomplishment of faith!    


            It is becoming increasingly clear to all who today walk in the Spirit of God and have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying, that every indication and sign is pointing to the imminence of the long-awaited hour of the great unveiling of the sons of God.  It should certainly not be difficult for us to see that, if a company of saints is to be transformed into the image and likeness of Christ and made partakers of the power of His resurrection, and reign with Him in an age when Christ shall rule in the hearts of all men and in the affairs of every nation and people, then they most certainly must be possessed of a faith greater far than the elementary faith by which we first believed.  One of the greatest means of grace given to the Lord’s people at any stage of our growth and development in Him is the power of faith.  While I suppose immense volumes could be written about faith, I am inclined to believe that vast volumes are unnecessary for the spiritually enlightened to grasp the eternal significance of the faith so vital to our apprehending that glorious calling and ministry which looms just before us.  Our spiritual life is a very powerful thing.  It grows and increases by continual contact with God.  That explains how it is that we are told in the scripture record that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, walked with God and then by faith was translated that he should not see death.  Surely we can see that his translation faith was evoked in him and progressively increased and eventually perfected as he walked with God!


            When the truth of this dawned upon my soul, the Spirit quickened a passage of scripture in Romans 1:17 wherein we read, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”  The full import of this verse is brought out in the beautiful rendition of the Amplified Bible: “For in the gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith — disclosed through the way of faith which arouses to more faith: as it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith!”  Indeed, the gospel, the good news of Christ reveals a righteousness which SPRINGS FROM FAITH and LEADS TO FAITH.  The righteousness of God within us springs from the elementary faith that God ministers to us which first turns us to Him.  But once God has commenced His saving work within us His objective is to cause His inworking in us to LEAD US ON TO FAITH — that is, from one degree of faith to another!  This is the “WAY OF FAITH, that AROUSES TO MORE FAITH.”   The progressive unfolding of God’s revelation in this hour is leading each and every apprehended son of God into an understanding of God’s ultimate purpose in them.  And in keeping with this progressive revelation the Spirit is increasing and maturing our FAITH from one realm of faith to another until finally that perfect faith, that mature faith, that ultimate faith shall be raised up within us that shall step over from this world  of limitation into our full inheritance in Christ as sons of God in  the power of His resurrection.  Isn’t it wonderful!


            With this wonderful revelation firmly abiding in our hearts we find a meaningful insight into this law of faith a little later in Paul’s epistle to the Romans.  He says, “For I say…to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Rom. 12:3).  Let us not forget the words of Jude who said that the faith was once delivered to the saints.  And now Paul informs us that God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.  The Greek text states that God has divided or apportioned to every man a measure of faith.  I remember back in the 1940’s and 1950’s when the great healing revival was going on and all the healing evangelists, especially Oral Roberts, preached so much about this measure of faith that God has given each of us.  Of course he was putting this in the context of divine healing, emphasizing that all of us have a dispensation of faith given to us by God and all we have to do is “turn it loose” by claiming our healing.  Oral Roberts used a “point of contact” by which people could release their faith to receive God’s healing power.  That point of contact could be anything — the laying on of hands, laying their hands on the TV set or the radio as he prayed for the people, or some other specific moment or action in which they would release their faith, and at that precise moment, or by that particular action, receive their miracle from God.    


            Now there is a truth there, and I know experientially that it worked for many people.  But there’s also a deeper truth than that.  Indeed, God has dealt to every man a measure of faith!  The faith has been delivered to the saints and there is a divine impartation of faith to each and every one of us.  That faith is such a small thing, just a “measure,” and it comes into us as a seed.  Many scripture passages, and the parables of our Lord, call the life of Christ in us a “seed.”  Jesus said the “word” of the kingdom is a seed.  John tells us that we are born again of the incorruptible seed of the word of God.  The Bible uses this illustration again and again to tell us who we really are and what we truly possess as the children of God.  The word of God, the spirit of life, and the faith of Christ in every man is in the form of a seed.  You see, my beloved, a seed doesn’t actually do anything.  It just is.  It can lie on a shelf for fifty years and never express a thing!  You see no action, no manifestation  of the life within; all you see is the outer shell which reveals nothing.  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.  Yet, there is a mighty power concealed within that seed!  The power is hid in the seed, but it is covered by the outer shell and abides in a state of dormancy and inactivity.  It must be planted in  the earth, then subjected to two things: heat and moisture.  The rain falls upon it, the sun casts its bright beams upon it, and suddenly there is effected 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 expression, a new  potential, power, and reality.  It grows tall into a strong plant or a towering tree and finally bears many more “seeds” and  reproduces itself in the form and  provision of a great and glorious HARVEST!  For every seed there is a time, an appointed hour.  God sends the sun of His illumination, and the rain of His quickening life, He rains upon that seed and shines upon that seed, and there is a stirring of that life on the inside, and suddenly the shell bursts open and the inner power is released.  The genetic code is intact.  Everything that plant or tree will ever be is right there in the seed!  When the life springs forth everything that hindered is broken asunder. Every step of the revelation of Christ is an unveiling, a growth and development, and an eventual harvest of fullness.  The life of sonship is in the seed.  And the faith that will produce that sonship and empower its full manifestation is likewise in the seed.  All God does is break  open the cocoon, so to speak, so that the thing He has planted in us can come forth, stretch its wings, and soar away into the heavens of God’s Spirit.  There is a seed of faith.  There is a little sprout of faith.  There is a growing plant of faith.  And there is a mighty, towering tree of faith spreading its branches  over the earth and producing a harvest that will fill the whole land with great forests, cooling shade, abundant food, timber, and multitudes of blessings that shall  meet the needs of all men everywhere.  Oh, the wonder of it!


            The opportunity for elaboration here is limitless, but the great truth the Holy Spirit would impress upon our hearts today is that faith is like a seed that is planted, germinates, sprouts, grows, develops, and matures unto harvest.  And now I believe we see more clearly than we have ever done that there are ever unfolding levels of faith.  It’s not that God measures out to us a little bit of faith and then somewhere down the road measures out a little bit more.  No, God does not give His faith on the installment plan!  It has been once delivered, the seed planted in our earth, and now it is the faith within us that is being nurtured to grow and increase and expand in power, manifestation, and glory.  There are degrees of faith.  There is an elementary faith and there is a mature faith.  There is a faith that turns you from sin and self unto God, and there is a faith that will translate you as it did Enoch into the fullness of God.  There is a beginning faith and there is an ultimate faith.  I’m quite certain that almost everyone reading these lines has experienced blessings in the realm of elementary faith; perhaps on varying levels of elementary faith you have been blessed abundantly and have tasted of the Lord that He is good, and some of us have experienced great and mighty things that we knew not on those early planes of faith.


            I know that in my own life that seed of faith was present from the moment of my earliest recollection.  When I was about three years old, I only vaguely remember it, my dad was taken ill with a fever.  It was very high and indeed critical.. We lived at that time way out in the country in northwest Florida, right on the Alabama state line.  I was just a little fellow but I had been in church several times a week since I was born.  I had heard things and had absorbed things that my little childish mind didn’t know much about, but the seed of faith had been planted in my little earth and somewhere in my spirit I understood that Christ healed the sick and that God would heal my dad.  I took it upon myself to march in there and lay my hands upon my dad and pray for him, and God heard that little prayer of faith and healed him immediately and raised him up.  Well, what was that?  It wasn’t the faith that will propel a people out of this world of corruption and death and change our vile bodies to be fashioned into a body like unto His glorious body, because that’s not what happened.  But it was a faith that gained a victory and brought a blessing and proved the law of faith that God has deposited and dealt to every man. 


            Some years later, while still just a teenager, I became  involved with that great healing revival and the Latter Rain outpouring and the Spirit of the Lord moved upon that seed of faith in my heart.  Signs, wonders, and miracles were what God was doing in those days and the fire of God within caused me to arise and believe that God would heal anything and everything.  Two brethren, along with myself, secured a deserted school  house in a rural community out from Greenville, South Carolina and started a series of meetings.  We took turns preaching and I recall when my first night came to preach ministering a word  on faith.  After the message a lady came forward who had a tumor on her back the size of an orange.   I laid hands on her, commanding the tumor to go, and it disappeared right before our eyes.  She went home and showed herself to her husband and he said, “My God, if God can do that I’m going over there tomorrow night and get saved!”  And he did.  A few days later, on our way to the meeting, we stopped at a sister’s house who had a serious back condition.  She was bedfast and the doctor had her sleeping on boards.  She was instantly healed, arose, removed the boards off the bed, and came to the meetings.  From that day forward the Lord was moving in a tremendous way in that realm of faith and I thank Him for that.  It was and is glorious.  I don’t depreciate that move of God one iota and we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory for every step of faith.  Yet, I know today, as I did not understand at the time, that all the marvelous things we witnessed as a result of faith were still in the realm of elementary faith.


            Lorain and I have walked together in this kingdom walk for well over sixty years and they have been years rich in experiences with God.  Shortly after we were married in the 1950’s we were traveling across the country ministering among various groups of the Lord’s people.  At that time we had an old Nash automobile.  We had to stop every fifty miles and pour a quart of “reconditioned” motor oil in the engine but we continued traveling from state to state.  On one occasion we stopped for a night of ministry with Paul and Lura Grubb and the folks at Faith Temple in Memphis, Tennessee.  They blessed us with a small offering, enough to get us to our next destination.  We left there in that Nash car and not many miles out of Memphis a knock developed in the engine.  It was a loud knock and the people who passed us on the highway as we headed north would turn their heads and look at us and I’m sure they figured that we would never make it to the next town.  We couldn’t afford a mechanic, nor could we afford to buy another car along the way — as I recall, we had about ten dollars left in our pocket after filling the car with gas and purchasing a few other necessary items.  But you know, we were moving in such a life of faith that we just kept on driving, praying, and trusting God.  After a while I saw a garage so I pulled in to see what the mechanic might tell me about the knock in the engine.  He listened for only a few seconds and said, “It sounds like a rod to me.”  That was merely confirmation of my own suspicions, so we thanked him and got back on the highway headed north.  Again we drove, prayed, and trusted in  the Lord.  We drove to the Midwest, back across to the northeast, and down the east coast, stopping for meetings along the way.  We would never say anything to anyone about the knock in the engine.  Every day we drove the knock would seem to diminish so that by the time we arrived back home in Florida it was very faint and finally disappeared altogether.  If you try to tell me that God can’t repair an automobile, I will say you are a little late to convince me!  We’ve lived that life of faith all our lives and our glorious Father has proven again and again that He is indeed the rewarder of all who believe in, trust in, and rely upon Him in faith.  Isn’t it wonderful!


            We have witnessed the miracle of this operation of faith again and again throughout years of walking with God by faith.  The life of faith has held a fascination for me from the earliest days of childhood.  And while  the work of God in the inner man is the primary and ultimate thrust of the work of faith, nevertheless we first learned the ways of faith in the outer life.  Illustration could be heaped upon illustration from our personal experience — of going through Bible School by faith, to the mission fields of Cuba, Mexico, and Honduras by faith, pastoring small, poor churches with no salary, by faith, ministering by faith, speaking by faith, acting by faith, decreeing in faith — of money laid in the street for us, of gas created in the gas tank, and time would fail me to tell it all.


            This ministry of Kingdom Bible Studies began by faith.  It involved the purchasing of a home and thousands of dollars of printing and office equipment to fulfill the vision.  There were only a few people on our mailing list at that time, mainly close friends and brethren we knew here and there across the country, but we heard the voice of God directing us to share the present truth of sonship and the kingdom of God with the called and separated elect of the Lord around the world.  We prayed, we trusted God, and thanked Him for supplying every need.  We sent out no letter with a pitch for money.  We took no pledges.  There was no asking, no begging, no gimmicks, no miracle billfolds, no blessing pacts promising financial blessings and abundance if you gave to “our ministry,” and no “seed faith” hype.  Not even an offer to pray over your prayer requests, nor a prayer request form to be mailed along with your “love offering.”  You see, my beloved, as the Lord began to teach us the law of faith He spoke powerfully that we should depart from the financial system of Mystery Babylon, and abandon the worldly and fleshly techniques used by the carnal church systems of man to raise money for “God’s work.”  As the Lord taught us the ways of His kingdom  He instructed us to not even ask anything from anyone — except our heavenly Father.  We were not permitted to even subtly hint at the needs of the ministry by saying things like, “The Lord is leading us to do this or that — please pray with us that God will meet the need!”  Even to this day precious brethren write requesting messages and books and then say, “Please let me know what it costs to produce these things and mail them and I will send an offering to cover the expense.”  If you don’t want to receive a letter from me that is the absolutely best way to write because what I will do is send you a box of books but I will never answer your inquiry about what it cost to produce them.  You see, this is a realm of faith and for us every day is a day of  miracles before our eyes!  Yes, we have an office; yes, we have staff;  yes, we mail out hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of books and papers to more than forty nations of earth.  Today I bear witness that day by day and week by week God has proven Himself faithful and every bill is paid, never have we defaulted on anything; it is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes!  God Himself moves upon whomsoever He chooses to move upon, and He moves in whatever way He will move to accomplish this, and it is all the work of His Spirit and it is the way of faith.  Many precious people have ministered to us in natural things even as we have ministered to them in spiritual things.  Yet these dear sons and daughters of God were in no way influenced by us to send even one dime our way — it is  the Lord Himself who responds to the faith generated in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and sheds  itself  in the obedience of His saints who hear His voice and out of their deep and abiding love for Him, His word, and His kingdom, hasten to obey.  Oh, the  wonder of it!


            Kingdom faith is rooted in Christ’s sermon on the mount.  The Lord began His sermon on the mount by describing the citizens of God’s kingdom.  The men seated immediately around Him had seen things that no man before them had ever seen.  Their ears had caught the sweet sounds of a message so transcendently glorious that even the soldiers exclaimed, “No man ever spake like this man!”  And now their ears heard with joy His manifold blessings pronounced upon those who had the spirit of the kingdom of God in their hearts.  The law of Moses said, “Thou shalt, and thou shalt not,” and pronounced penalties and curses upon those who failed to obey. But Jesus laid down no such law.  He simply pronounced the blessedness of those who walk in the spirit of the kingdom of God: blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are they that mourn; blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth; blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled; blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy; blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God; blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called  the sons of God; blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.  He raised men’s consciousness to a higher level and to an abundant life, saying of the old law, “It hath been said by them of old time…but I say unto you!”


            Never could man devise such a kingdom as this!  This is how the citizens of the kingdom live, this is how the citizens and rulers in the kingdom of God are.  All other kingdoms since the dawn of earth’s history have been governed by man’s stupidity, fashioned as they were by the weakness and futility of the carnal mind, and crumbling  in decay and disarray after a few fleeting years because of the deep corruption of the human heart.  Jesus told His audience of a kingdom that would be the direct antithesis of all former kingdoms, a kingdom in which the mind of God and the righteousness of God and the love of God, and the compassion, mercy, and power of God would be shed abroad and rule in every human heart.  The sermon  on the mount is the Constitution of the Kingdom of God.  It is the Constitution setting forth the spiritual laws and principles by which the holy nation of redeemed men, the kingdom of God, is governed.  Jesus  introduced a NEW CONSTITUTION for the NEW KINGDOM.  The sermon on the mount outlines the principles upon which the kingdom of God operates in the lives of all who walk in the Spirit of the Lord.  These are the wonderful principles by which the kingdom functions, manifests, and ministers.


            One of the articles of this Constitution concerns the life of prayer and faith.  Jesus says, “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.  Verily I say unto you, They (already) have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet (secret chamber), and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matt. 6:5-6).  I have known saints who were embarrassed because of  their frustrating failure of being able to pray in public.  Now, while there is an occasional place for public prayer, the God-ordained place of prayer is in the enclosed privacy where there is no other motivational influence than the fellowship  of a son with his Father.  I do not hesitate to tell you that I do not enjoy public prayer.  I would rather never pray in public!  It is unnatural to me.  Why do others need to hear the words that are addressed to my Father alone?  I cannot pour out my deepest heart or express my most inmost thoughts, desires, concerns, and confessions in the ears of the listening multitude, or even in the hearing of my most intimate friend.  And I’m sure you, dear reader, have discovered as I have, that the temptation is always there to adapt one’s words for the benefit of the audience instead of the Father Himself.  When I pray in secret, however, not one word of my petition is meant for any but my Father, not one word of my prayer is directed toward any but my God.  It is this being with God and God alone, that is  the essence of prayer.  And that brings to mind the solitary nights of clear starlight which Jesus spent on the Galilean hills, when the holiest events that ever occurred in a human soul took place  in His, when marvelous discourse with the Father unfolded within His consciousness the reality of His sonship to God, when it must have seemed as if a quite unique tone released itself from our earth and made its way to the farthest expanses of the heavenlies above.  And now — in the secret place of the Most High His younger brethren, the sons of God, are bidden to live this over again!  A reflection of it is still to be found on this earth as long as there is one child of God coming to that secret place in the spirit to know the Father as his very own Father.


            There is divine law in prayer, for the greatest teachings in all of scripture concerning prayer and faith are part of that magnificent Constitution of the kingdom of God.  Only two verses down from the passage quoted above Jesus continues, “…for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him” (Matt. 6:8).  He also says, “Ask and it shall be given you: for everyone that asketh receiveth.”  There’s the law!  Not a  promise — a law.   How awesome, expansive, and all-inclusive!  How glorious, positive, and absolute!  “EVERYONE THAT ASKETH RECEIVETH.”  The way to get a thing that is purchasable is to pay for it.  The way to get a thing that is to be earned is to work for it.  The way to get a thing that is to be given is to ask for it.  “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him” (Matt. 7:11).  “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matt. 21:22).  “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mk, 11:24). 


            Now listen, I want to share with you an elementary truth of supreme significance.  In just the few passages quoted above Jesus uses the word “things” four times.  It is all about asking for things and receiving things.  Things!  THINGS!  In one verse He calls them “good things.”  GOOD THINGS!  Those who ask, those who pray believing, are given things.  I draw your reverent attention to the two significant words: ask and things.  If you ask, what do you get?  THINGS!  What kind of things?  Good things!  God says this is a divine law: it works and there is no qualifying except to ask and believe.  Prayer and faith!  There is, however, a further principle.  You must ask the Father.  Oh, yes, the Father!  And you must not ask anyone else!  You do  not even ask Jesus.  The teaching is all about how sons relate to the Father.  And you absolutely do not ask men for anything.  All things are received from the Father alone.  And they are asked for “in secret.”  Then the Father Himself rewards us openly.  That is why we have never sent out a letter making the needs of this ministry known and asking people to pray with us about the needs or, better yet, to send a love gift to help.  Little children will ask anybody for anything.  But sons only ask the Father!  And they ask in secret!  And HE rewards them openly.  What a law that is!  Yes, God does use people to meet needs.  He doesn’t usually rain down money out of the sky — although He can, and at times has, done just that.  But you see, my beloved, when we ask the Father the Father moves upon whatever or whomever HE CHOOSES to supply the things needed.  It is, after all, the FATHER’S BUSINESS! 


            When the Father moves upon the hearts of His called and chosen ones they gladly respond.  And if the Father does not move upon them they have no responsibility to do anything.  That is why we don’t worry about God meeting our needs.  We have many people on our mailing list who have received our writings  for many years and have never sent one dime our way.  That is quite alright!  It’s not about money.  It’s not about people.  It’s not about anyone paying their “fair share.”  There is no fair share!  There is only the Father’s will.  It is His business and it is up to Him to supply.  Should He cut off the supply I would assume that He is through with this ministry.  He supports His work. It makes spiritual sense that if He stops supporting it then He has no longer any use for it.  Isn’t it wonderful!  This way the widow on a small pension can receive the word of the Lord free of any charge  or responsibility.  Those in financial difficulty are not hounded for offerings or offered gimmicks to incite them to give what they can’t afford.  And those who have much of this world’s goods are not pressed to support the work just because they have money.  It is all the Father’s business.  Only HE controls the purse strings.  The need is presented to the Father in secret and He openly reveals His own unique and glorious way of providing.  THAT IS  THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN MANIFESTATION!


            The Lord has done marvelous things for us, whereof we are glad!  Yet we have nothing in which to boast, for all the signs, wonders, and  miracles wrought on our behalf, and sometimes through us, through all these years are one and all but evidences and blessings in the realm of ELEMENTARY FAITH.  Just provision of finances, divine car repair, and miracles of healing will not make me spiritually mature, will not bring me to perfection, will not conform me to the image of the Son of God, will not give me a redeemed body like unto HIS glorious body, nor can they fill me with all the glory of manifest sonship!  Elementary faith will pay my bills, keep my old car running, heal disease — delaying for a few years the ultimate catastrophe of death — but it will not and cannot bring me into my full inheritance as a son  of the Father.  Oh, every one of God’s precious people have been given a measure of faith and by that measure have obtained blessings and have risen up in that faith to accomplish things for God, but they still did not lay hold upon the inheritance of God’s sons.   




            The progressive unfolding of God’s revelation in this hour is leading the called and separated elect of the Lord into an understanding of God’s ultimate purpose in them.  In keeping with this unfolding revelation the Spirit is increasing our FAITH, from one degree of faith to another, until finally that MATURE FAITH, that PERFECT FAITH, that ULTIMATE FAITH shall have been evoked in us which shall apprehend — lay hold upon — the ultimate purpose of God.


            Jesus set forth a most beautiful truth concerning ultimate faith.  “Also Jesus told them a parable, to the effect that men ought always to pray and not to turn coward, faint, lose heart and give up.  He said, In a certain city there was a judge who neither reverenced and feared God nor respected or considered man.  And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to Him and saying, Protect and defend and give me justice against my adversary.  And for a time he would not; but later he said to himself, Though I have neither reverence or fear for God nor respect or consideration for man, yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will defend and protect and avenge her; lest she give me intolerable annoyance and wear me out by her continual coming, or at the last she come and rail on me, or assault me, or strangle me.  Then the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says!  And will not our just God defend and protect and avenge His elect, His chosen ones, who cry to Him day and night?  Will He defer them and delay help on their behalf?  I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily.  However, when the Son of man comes will He find THE FAITH on the earth?” (Lk. 18:1-8).


            In this parable Jesus is setting forth a great truth concerning the body of Christ.  It is about the Lord watching over His called and chosen elect to defend them, protect them, and finally avenge them of their adversaries.  The adversaries of the elect of God are not our troublesome neighbor, our hard and demanding boss, or those who lie to us or about us, cheat us, deceive us, or persecute us.  It is very plain in the teachings of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ that our adversaries are not people at all!  All mankind has an enemy, an adversary, a wily nemesis, described in God’s word as desperately wicked, and deceitful above all things.  This enemy has adversely affected every generation of humankind from the gates of Eden to this very moment.  Just who, or what, is this wicked one, this inimical deceiver?  The prophet Jeremiah unmasked this adversary in these words of inspiration, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” and he went on to ask the searching question, “who can know it?”  To the enlightened mind of this prophet, the depth of the iniquity of which the human heart is capable is so great that it is beyond the ability of any man to comprehend.  How many times have you heard it?  Someone perpetrates an unbelievably ghastly crime, like the atrocities of terrorists around the world, like the mass shootings at some of our schools and other public places, or the brutal murder of a father and mother by a teenager a few years ago, who buried them in a shallow grave, and then repeatedly drove a tractor over the  site, in an attempt to cover the crime — and yet relatives, close friends and near neighbors all said, in a state of bewilderment and shock, “But he was such a nice, quiet, polite, decent boy!”


            A motion picture some years ago portrayed the dual lives  lived by a judge, who had two families, some distance apart.  He had “married” two different women, was actually living with each for a certain number of days each week; would then disappear, as if he had some important responsibilities in a distant  town, when in actuality he was going to spend the remainder of that week with a second family.  Obviously, each wife thought she knew this man, thoroughly!  After all, just how well do you know your own spouse?  Interesting, isn’t it?  We feel we truly know our husbands, wives, children, our closest and dearest friends, and even our most precious and beloved brothers and sisters in Christ.  But according to the voice of inspiration we don’t even know ourselves!  We, perhaps above all people, are most often deceived by our own hearts!  There is a deeper part to all of us — a part that only God knows.  As a friend has so aptly pointed out, we should not find so amazing the declaration of Jeremiah if it were not for one important thing.  The prophet  did not list an exception, saying, The heart is deceitful above all things except the Devil and his demons.  He merely stated that the heart is deceitful above all things…PERIOD!  Since Jeremiah spake by the Spirit of God, this could not possibly have been a slip of the tongue or something uttered before it was thought through.  Oh, no!  If the heart is deceitful above all things, it naturally follows that there is nothing more deceitful.  The heart of man, then, is the MOST DECEITFUL THING  IN THE WORLD!


            There is no doubt whatever in my mind that Jesus had this very scripture in mind when He spoke the words recorded in Mark 7:15-23.  “There is nothing,” He said, “from without a man that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, these are they which defile the man.”  Having said that, He uttered the statement that so often followed His teachings when there was contained in them a deep spiritual mystery.  “IF any man has ears to hear, let him hear!”  If we will be honest with ourselves, we will have to admit that we have fostered and taught for generations a concept which directly contradicts these words  of Jesus, for we have, indeed, declared that there IS something from without a man that can enter into him and defile him.  We have called him Satan (an adversary), and so he is!  We have called him a murderer and a liar, and so he is!  We have called him a slanderer and a deceiver, and so he is!  We have had much truth about him — but the one thing we have NOT known about him is his LOCATION!  We have said that he is without — behind every bush, around every corner, lurking in our environment, in our circumstances, in all that befalls us — but Jesus says that he is WITHIN!  If there is nothing outside of a man (and in the Greek that reads: not one thing) that entering into him can defile him, then we must conclude that Satan’s activity — the activity of all our adversaries — is not without, but within.


            As we continue to read this passage, we hear Jesus say, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these things come from within and defile the man.”  Every sin category imaginable is contained in this discourse.  Everything that a man could ever think  or do that is evil is said by Jesus to come — not from outside of man but from within!  Everything from false doctrine and religious cults (deceit) to sexual immorality and murder lurk right there deep in the hearts of men.  There is a fierce battle raging between this corrupt heart of the Adamic man and the quickened spirit of all who have been born of God.  The natural mind is the mind channeling the condition of the human heart; the mind of Christ is the mind channeling the condition of the regenerated spirit.  There is by regeneration within ourselves, beyond the realm of our conscious knowledge, a divine life, the child of God’s Spirit, ever unwearied, ever growing and maturing, to gain control of our whole being, and transform us into the image of God.  All sin and death reign in the Adamic heart of man; all righteousness and incorruptible life and glory reign in the new creation heart of the Christ man.


            Let us now return to the parable of the unjust judge.  This parable sets forth a great truth concerning faith in the lives of God’s sons who are maturing into the full and complete redemption in Christ.  It is a faith which will gain them the victory over every adversary and usher them into the end, the consummation of their growth and development into the fullness of their sonship to God.  And so we read, “Jesus told them a parable to THIS END that men ought ALWAYS TO PRAY and not to faint.”  He then  concludes the parable saying, “Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall He find FAITH on the earth?”  In other words, there is a people who shall move in a realm of prayer that shall bring them to the end…to the final and complete fulfillment of God’s purposes within them.  Surely we can see by this that both prayer and faith are the instruments that move the sons of God toward their ultimate victory and destiny in Christ.  Men ought always to pray…it is prayer always, all the way to the final triumph.  Oh, yes!  Between these two points — prayer and faith — the parable deals with the avenging (deliverance) of God’s elect — His called out and chosen  ones — from their adversary.

            In plain English this signifies that God shall deliver His elect from their adversary — every power  within that would hinder and oppose the raising up of the Christ life within.  This mighty deliverance gives them complete and total victory over every power and work of the Adamic heart.  That God’s elect, during the past 2,000 years of church history, has not at any time been brought into that promised place of total victory over every vestige of sin, sorrow, limitation, and death is quite obvious.  No one can deny that the Lord’s saints are still  subject to carnality, weakness, trouble, limitation, sorrow, sickness, sin, and death.  But the prophetic word of Christ rings down through the ages: “And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them?  I tell you that He will avenge them speedily!”  All religious voices must fall silent here, for the incontrovertible truth is that there has never been a generation from the day Jesus uttered those significant words up to the beginning of this present generation in which God’s elect has CRIED UNTO HIM BOTH DAY AND NIGHT FOR A  MIGHTY DELILVERANCE FROM EVERY ADVERSARY! 


            Through long centuries, due to the dull understanding of the carnal church systems of man, the people of God have looked to either death or the “rapture” as the way out of this  world of sin, sorrow, and death.  One and all were trying to “hold out to the end” when the Lord would “call them home” and they could lay their burdens down.  The thought never crossed their minds that God would raise up in the earth a people who would catch a vision of complete redemption in the here and now, victory over sin, victory over sickness, victory over limitation, and victory over death!  The promise stands sure, and has been confirmed by divine revelation unto all who in this new kingdom day have received the call to sonship, and is certain of fulfillment.  That great spirit-anointed and spirit-led body of Christ that has been raised up by the power of God all across the face of the earth in this hour is even now CRYING MIGHTILY UNTO GOD BOTH DAY AND NIGHT TO BE AVENGED (DELIVERED) OF THEIR ADVERSARIES.  They are not willing to wait for heaven or a rapture — God is giving them a faith to lay hold upon their inheritance right as they stand upon their two feet.  Unto these the voice of Christ comes sounding across the waves, “And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them?  I tell you that he will avenge them SPEEDILY!”


            For the sons of God this means VICTORY NOW.  Deliverance from the satanic energies of the old Adamic heart is without doubt the hottest and hardest fought battle that will ever be fought during the lifetime of any man.  Enoch, the seventh from Adam, fought the fight and walked the walk and the record states that it was BY FAITH that he was translated that he should not see death.  As we have pointed out earlier in this series of messages, the word  “translated” is not an accurate rendering of the Greek text.  It would be better expressed as “transferred,” that is, as Enoch walked with God he simply stepped over into the realm of incorruptible life, being transformed in spirit, soul,  and body.  And he is the prototype, the example and figure of what God intends for all the sons of God!  And now I believe I see more clearly than I have ever done what the Lord meant when He closed His parable with these cryptic words: “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh shall  He  find faith on the earth?”  The Greek text reads, “…shall He find THE FAITH on the earth?”  It is very important that we see clearly and powerfully what Jesus is saying here.  He is asking in essence, “When the Son of man comes will He find faith…the faith…this kind of faith…the faith of a people who is believing God to avenge His elect of their adversary…the faith of a people believing God to give  them final victory over Satan and his kingdom within themselves…believing God to bring His elect body of sons into their full  inheritance in Christ…believing God that they shall be brought unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, sons  of God indeed, manifest sons in the power of Christ’s resurrection, that they shall live and not die, and then deliver the whole creation from the bondage of corruption and give them an entrance into the liberty and glory of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19-24).  WHAT A FAITH THAT IS!  Will the firstborn Son of God find such faith in the earth?  Oh, yes He will!  It is being evoked in the hearts of God’s elect in these very days.  Oh, the  wonder of it!


            Jesus asks this question because it is evident that He shall not find such faith in the masses of popular religion enslaved in the carnal church systems of man.  Nor yet will He find such faith among the millions of believers who remain babes in Christ, fed weekly on a diet of milk and spiritual baby food with no revelation of growing up into full stature of Christ as sons of God.  These abide still in the realm of elementary faith, concerned primarily with the passing blessing of the moment.  Nor will He find such faith among the “Spirit-filled” believers who are still busy looking for the “rapture” to whisk them away from the greatest of all battles with the enemy…with not enough faith yet to stand on the battlefield and face the enemy and take the kingdom.  The elect of God are beyond doubt a very special people,   They are a people hand picked for sonship from the teaming multitudes of the dispensations.  They are few in number, called and chosen of God, fashioned in the furnace of affliction, girded with truth, armed with righteousness, shod with the gospel of peace, stripped for the race, pressing toward the mark, shielded from every onslaught of the adversary by a mighty faith, even that ULTIMATE FAITH that shall obtain the promise and inherit the kingdom.  There is even now an elect body of Christ on earth moving by that ultimate faith to conquer every adversary and bring God’s kingdom to pass in the earth.  Aren’t you glad!


            There is approaching a wonderful day when a mature faith shall appropriate the full and complete redemption in spirit, soul, and body.  There will be no more death — no spiritual death, no physical death, no  more death of any kind.  The elect of God are  the firstfruits of this great victory!  By the operation of God we are growing and increasing in faith, moving in these very days from elementary faith to the ultimate faith of the overcomer.  Elementary faith will get you divine healing, but ultimate faith will get you a glorified body.  Elementary faith will secure the blessings of daily supply, but ultimate faith will place in your hands all the riches of the glory of God’s inheritance.  Elementary faith will get you gifts, whereas ultimate faith will get you the kingdom.  Elementary faith will get you a ministry in the body of Christ, but ultimate faith will empower you to set creation free.  Elementary faith will release within you authority to heal some sick, cast out some demons, and deliver some people, but ultimate faith will enable you to bind the strongman, spoil all his goods, and dismantle his kingdom.  Elementary faith will cause you to walk as a child of God, whereas ultimate faith will bring you unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.  Elementary faith will get you started in the ways of God, but ultimate faith will bring you to manifest sonship — kings and priests after the order of Melchizedek.


            My spirit rejoices today in praise and thanksgiving to my Father in heaven that many years ago in the crucible of a mighty move of the Spirit of God He breathed into my spiritual ear a secret from His own heart, a secret that few Christians of any generation have understood.  When this beautiful truth unfolded within my spiritual understanding it both stunned and exhilarated me for it was a truth far beyond any I had known hitherto.  I could not doubt the thing the Lord spoke, and suddenly the scriptures were opened by the light of inspiration and I saw that at the close of the church age there would stand in the earth a people in all the fullness of the omnipotent Christ of God.  It would not be Jesus crashing down through the clouds, as the preachers and teachers have instilled into our minds, smiting the earth, bringing down the worldwide reign of sin, evil, sorrow, and death, but it would be the mighty Christ of God  coming to stand up in His people  in all the power of His resurrection, ascension, and exaltation to bring deliverance to the groaning creation, exactly as Paul has told us, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels (messengers)…when He shall come to be GLORIFIED IN HIS SAINTS, and to be ADMIRED IN ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE (HAVE THIS KIND OF FAITH) IN THAT DAY” (II Thes. 1:7,10). 


            My beloved, after 2,000 years of preaching the gospel, sending forth missionaries, healing the sick, casting out devils, fasting and praying for revivals, we still have not seen the triumph of God’s kingdom in the earth.  In fact, the world is in a worse mess now than it has ever been!  Sin abounds everywhere, the nations that once knew God have departed from the faith and the paths of righteousness, and even in our own country, in our culture, in our government, and in many of our churches, the grossest perversion is elevated to the status of a virtue, evil is now called good and good is called evil.  Have we not been like a man trying to empty out the great Mississippi River by going a thousand miles downstream and scooping it up a bucket at a time?  We have cast  this little demon and that little demon out of a handful of people and after all our fasting, prayers, outreaches, works, healings, deliverances, miracles, and conversions the great river of wickedness, sickness, sin, and death flows on unimpeded and undiminished.  Evil and evil men and corruption of every sort stalk through the earth, spewing forth from television and movie screens, from the class rooms of our schools, from government actions and programs, on the streets, in the homes, in business and a thousand other places, sin compounded upon sin, sorrow heaped upon sorrow, with no end in sight!


            WHAT IS THE ANSWER?  Power to conquer sin and death — first within ourselves, and finally in all of God’s creation.  In speaking of His authority over the satanic kingdom Jesus pointed out: “Or else how can one enter into a strongman’s house, and spoil his goods, EXCEPT HE FIRST BIND THE STRONGMAN, and THEN he will spoil his house” (Mat. 12:29).  In  other words, how can we bring the satanic kingdom, the satanic rule over this earth to ruin, unless first of all we bind Satan himself?  We have been dealing with the effects of the dominion of darkness in men’s lives one life and one person at a time, and we have had a measure of success in that elementary realm with a conversion here, a healing there, and a blessing somewhere else.  When we reverently and prayerfully consider such limited straits as this it does not take long for us to realize that sin and sorrow are abounding beyond the increase of righteousness and glory and as long as this continues we will never see the deliverance of creation and the establishment of God’s kingdom from sea to sea and from pole to pole.  There must be a people that rises up in a faith and an anointing to BIND THE STRONGMAN!  We are going to have to go beyond the petty little spirits and the sins and unbelief of individual men, women, and movements, and speak  to the prince of  the power of the air that rules in the hearts of men and controls the darkness of this world.  Once the root is cut out, once the strongman is bound, we shall be able  then to stride right into his kingdom and spoil all his house and deliver every captive under his control!  That is the mystery.


            This is the  ministry of the sons of God.  This is the victory of the manchild company in Revelation 12!  This is the difference between the church realm we have moved in for the past 2,000 years and the kingdom realm God is now calling a company of full overcomers unto!  This is the difference between the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit and the power given those who become the manifest sons of God!  This is the difference between those who settle on the level of the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ and those who go on to perfection!  The former group can deal only with that which is in part, the individual effects of sin and death.  The latter group shall move on the level of fullness and deal in mighty spirit-power with the CAUSE of all the problems of the world.  These shall bind the strongman — and his kingdom shall fall never to rise again!  And I have no hesitation in saying that anyone who supposes that the  world can be turned to God and His kingdom apart from this ministry of binding the strongman is indulging himself in wishful thinking.


            There is a great deception, indeed a contemptible delusion that has been foisted upon God’s people by the carnal minded theologians of the church systems of man.  We have been taught that at the end of the church age the antichrist will arise and the greatest darkness, tyranny, sorrow, and tribulation of history will befall the nations of earth.  Then we are told, at that darkest hour, when all hell has broken forth upon the earth, Christ will come and “rapture,” that is, evacuate His church from the earth.  The very army that God has meticulously been forming and training throughout the age will suddenly throw down their weapons, desert the battlefield, and run to safety on a heavenly cloud somewhere beyond the starry skies!  Do you remember that Paul spoke of this very thing in his epistle to the Ephesians, saying, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly realms.  WHEREFORE (in view of this) take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand IN THE EVIL DAY, and having done all to stand, STAND THEREFORE” (Eph. 6:10-17).  What a word that is! 


            Sweet mystery of the ages, here we learn the eternal purpose for God’s army putting on the whole armor of God.  It is not in preparation for an occasional skirmish with the enemy or a roving band of his soldiers.  Oh, no!  The battle set forth in this passage is THE BIG ONE — against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies of the spirit.  And this battle is not the usual battle we encounter from day to day, for it is the battle IN THE EVIL DAY.  And when that evil day breaks upon us we are not told to look up into the sky to see Jesus coming, nor are we told to contact headquarters for an evacuation team, nor are we to anticipate a rapture away to safety in that bright glory world above.  God’s word is always true, it is our meddling with it that muddies the water.  It is very important that we hear the divine command of our heavenly general, for it is He who issues our explicit orders for this most evil day when we stand on the battle field attired in the whole armor of God!  “STAND!” He commands.  “And having done ALL TO STAND, STAND THEREFORE!”  Those are our orders!  We have received no other command!


            I love Weymouth’s beautiful rendering of this passage.  “Put on the complete armor of God, so as to be able to stand firm against all the stratagems of the devil.  For ours is not a conflict with mere flesh and blood, but with the despotisms, the empires, the forces that control and govern this dark world — the spiritual hosts of evil arrayed against us in the heavenly warfare.  Therefore put on the complete armor of God, so that you may be able to stand your ground IN THE EVIL DAY, AND HAVING FOUGHT  TO THE END, TO REMAIN VICTORS ON THE FIELD.”  No evacuation there!  No throwing down our weapons and running away!  No rapture to some far-off heaven somewhere!  STAND — REMAIN VICTORS ON THE FIELD!  It is ultimate faith realized in God’s ultimate people that shall bring to pass in the earth God’s ultimate purpose.  Thank God for FAITH — all faith!  Thank God for that elementary faith that saves and blesses us daily.  But beloved, it’s going to take a greater, stronger, more perfect and mature faith to see all sin and death conquered once and for all and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ.  Let us not make any of our elementary blessings the grand finale of our experience in God.  These blessings are not the ultimate — merely the means of getting us started in the direction of the ultimate.  They are only temporary stepping stones to lead us  onward to wider, deeper, higher, more abundant realms of faith and victory — until at last we lay hold upon that ULTIMATE FAITH which shall usher us in to all the glorious and eternal fullness of God forevermore!  Amen!  



 To be continued…     J. PRESTON EBY



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