KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE CHURCH IN SARDIS
“And by the angel of the church in Sardis write…I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Rev. 3:1).
The Holy Spirit says to the church in Sardis, “You have a name — a reputation and recognition by the people — that you are alive. This name that they have relates to their works. They have a name that they live because they are filled with all kinds of activity, but the sentence of the great Judge of all is, “Thou art dead!” Instead of operating in the power of the Holy Spirit who is the life of the body of Christ, like computerized robots they go through the form of flesh-generated programmed activity that appears to the undiscerning eye to be evidence of life. But their works do not originate out of life, but stem rather from a realm of death — the death of the carnal mind and human zeal.
This is a realm in which every son of God is called to overcome in order to reign with Christ! Those who are truly alive in Christ have works, too! Their works are born of the living energy of God, the living word of God, the living will of God, and accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit! Those who are called to sonship have everyone, without exception, heard the voice of the Lord calling them to totally forsake and utterly abandon all the dead works of religion, in order to serve the LIVING GOD! It means to act and serve and minister spontaneously out of the living power of Christ in our spirit, not out of the carnal programs and promotions of the religious systems of man. The works of the sons of God are the living expression of Christ as life! To know the difference between these two realms of works is what determines an OVERCOMER! It is right here, in connection with this spiritual condition revealed in the church at Sardis, that we are called upon to overcome!
We find a beautiful type of what it means to be an overcomer and qualify for priesthood and kingship in the kingdom of God in the order of the Aaronic priesthood in the Old Testament. There were three primary qualifications for priesthood in the order of Aaron. The first was birth. The second was freedom from blemish. The third was maturity. The very first requirement was that one must be a son of the high priest, a descendent of Aaron. A man might be the brightest and most capable Israelite, but if he was not the offspring of Aaron he was prohibited from serving in the office of the priesthood. Spiritually, the new order of priesthood after the order of Melchizedek begins with the new birth! One must be the son of the High Priest of the Melchizedekian Order, the offspring of the priestly nature of God’s Christ!
God made Aaron high priest in such a sense that his life carried priesthood to all his descendants. The life of Aaron carried the blessing! And, oh, the life, the divine life of my High Priest! Do you think that would carry less blessing than the priesthood of Aaron? Verily, no! The order of the priesthood of the sons of God begins with our being born again of the incorruptible seed of the word of God which is Christ the Lord.
But being born again no more makes one a priest than being born into Aaron’s house made one a priest. Babies, though of the right lineage, were not priests! Right birth was the first requisite — but merely the first step down a long path of preparation and qualification. The second qualification for priesthood is found in the book of Leviticus. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous. Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken…” (Lev. 21:16-24).
One could be a son of the high priest and still not be qualified for priesthood if there were some blemish in him — any kind of disease, deformity, or physical impairment. These natural conditions of the Old Testament order are always the type and symbol of the spiritual in the New Testament; thus, in this case the spiritual purity and perfection of him who would draw near unto God as a king-priest after the order of Melchizedek is prefigured by the physical regulations laid upon Aaron’s priesthood. Though we all have been born again of the Spirit of God, it is only as we possess the spiritual qualities of the wholeness, perfection, and maturity of Christ that we become qualified to minister as a priest in the kingdom of God! As there were dwarfed and blinded sons of Aaron, are there not multitudes of the Lord’s people who are spiritually dwarfed and spiritually deformed and spiritually blind and yet these continually take hold of the bread of God and serve up a garbled mess of man-made tradition and confusion! It is being done in thousands of churches across the land, and flooding the air waves day and night. My deep and earnest prayer is that God will open the eyes of all who read these words to see what it takes to have a pure ministry and a pure word as the priests of God in His kingdom!
It is not my purpose in this message to dwell upon these various qualifications for priesthood, but I would point out one in passing, the twelfth and final blemish which the Holy Spirit has signified as disqualifying one for the priesthood — that of “broken stones.” The Hebrew word here for stones is eshek, meaning testicles. It is the reproductive glands in a man’s body.
Bill Britton once wrote such a pungent and pointed word on this that I would be remiss if I failed to share it with my readers. He says, “A man with broken stones cannot produce life. He can be a husband, but he cannot be a father. What has this got to do with the ministry of the priesthood? God used it as a type of ministry today who preaches sermons, but does not give life. God help us, there are so many in the ministry like that today! They are educated, they are eloquent, they are convincing, but they do not have the ability to produce the life of God in those who hear them. Their ministry is polished, but dead. Their sermons are interesting and well preached, but lifeless. People listen to them, and continue in their old carnal ways, for there is no life-changing power in their words. Their stones are broken, and they are disqualified to feed the bread of God to His people.
“We have had preachers come by and preach for us, only to discover that they had stirred our imagination, fed our intellect, painted pretty gospel pictures with their eloquent words, but produced no new life in us. Sons of God are being birthed in the image of Jesus Christ. It is because a word of life is being planted in the hearts of dedicated and hungry saints! Thank God, there IS a ministry of life in the land, and God is sending them forth with the Holy Ghost anointing! They may shout their message in a loud voice, or they may quietly teach the word in a modulated tone. But they have life to give! And lives are changed, and the image of Christ is appearing in His people.
“Circumstances have nothing to do with this. Jesus could sit on a well in the middle of the day talking to a much married woman, but there was so much life in His words that the entire city was shaken with revival. They could put Paul in prison, his feet fast in the stocks, but before the night was over the jailer and his family had been birthed into the kingdom of God. They could exile John to the isle of Patmos, but the words God gave him are still turning men to God many centuries later. On the other side of the coin, a man can preach to thousands in a million dollar cathedral, with millions watching on television, and produce nothing more than a plastic people following a plastic ministry with broken stones and no life to give. There is nothing plastic or man-made about the real people of God! We have a real Saviour, and He is going to have a real people. He is going to put that people on exhibit in the ages to come, to show all creation what His life has produced in the earth!
“I have met men who wrote books and claimed that their writing had the same inspiration and authority as the writings of the apostles and prophets in the Bible. That is tommyrot! If you read their writings you will find that you receive information, but no real life. I certainly do not claim that my writings are equal in any way to the scripture. But I do believe that I have a right in God to expect to put words in print that have enough of the life of God to change lives, and bring forth more of His life in His people. Someone said to me once, ‘I enjoyed your message, but you were preaching over my head.’ I answered that I was not shooting for his head, but at his heart! I was not trying to bring information and feed the intellect. I wanted to touch the heart and bring forth life! The man called into the ministry of the High Calling, the Melchizedek order, does not have broken stones. What can we say to these things? With such a high standard for the priesthood in these days, who can qualify? Have no fear, for the Holy Spirit is doing His work. We (and all creation) desperately need that priesthood of life, and we SHALL HAVE IT!” — end quote.
There is a dimension of the revelation of Jesus Christ that transcends the speaking of words, the writing of books, and the preaching of sermons. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the need of the hour! Only a present intervention of the divine mind, only a present revelation of wisdom and grace will be able to meet the need. If God does not give a special ministration and the spirit of power and glory to meet the need of the world and all creation, it will not be met. There are no buttons to press that can solve the complex and frightening problems that exist in the world today! The further we move in God the more helpless and totally empty we become, for our nothingness is magnified in the light of HIS GLORY. But I know beyond any shadow of doubt that God is preparing His overcoming company of sons at this very time to bring forth deliverance to the church, the world, and all creation!
Only God can teach us these things. Only God can accomplish the mighty work within each of us to bring us to the fullness of sonship to God. How awesome are His dealings in this hour! We are truly being stripped, pruned, processed, changed and transformed from glory to glory into the image and life of the Christ! Patiently He is teaching us line upon line, precept upon precept, establishing in us His ways. If we are not in the life of the Spirit, regardless of what way we use, or how we do things, we are still in deadness. That was the problem in Sardis! They had works, and mistook the works for life. “Thou art dead!” the Lord thundered. And it is here that every son of God shall overcome, to walk in the LIFE of the Lord! God has very practical ways to teach each of us these things.
Many years ago when God was drawing us out of the old order forms and traditions of the religious systems, we discovered a new way to have a meeting; that was, to arrange the seats in a circle rather than in one direction. The logic behind this was that in the church systems the pews all face in one direction toward the elevated platform — representing man’s order — the “show” directed from the platform and watched by the “spectators” in the audience. That arrangement seemed to embody the division between the so-called “clergy” and the “laity.” On the other hand, the chairs in a circle represented to us the closeness and unity of the body of Christ — with liberty for each member to participate in a true “body ministry.”
Soon we made a startling discovery! After we had changed our arrangement of chairs we found that we had just as much deadness as before! You see, the problem was not with the chairs — it was with the people! The secret to life does not lie in any external arrangement nor in some physical thing you may do outwardly in the natural. How chairs are arranged neither promotes nor hinders the work of God by the Spirit. God is greater than all! I know people who have thrown the chairs out altogether and now sit on the floor — as though there is some intrinsic value, some inherent spirituality in sitting on the floor! It has been my experience that God pays no attention at all to how such matters are arranged. However we do it, it is for our convenience, and is neither an inducement nor a hindrance to the Holy Spirit!
The truth is, I have been in some glorious meetings in conventional church buildings, while I have attended some very dry meetings with the chairs in a circle. Conversely, I have witnessed precious and beautiful movings of the Spirit of God when chairs were in a circle, and a great number of horribly dead meetings with the pews facing the platform. Ah, it was the heart condition, the spiritual attitude, the hunger after God and yieldedness to His Spirit, that made the difference — not the seating arrangement! Oh, how we do get the cart before the horse! Some of the brethren in this kingdom word feel that the only gathering together God approves for the sons of God in this hour is in that impromptu meeting where two or three brethren are brought together in a casual way and share with one another in the Lord. Let me tell you something. God really does not care one whit about any of those natural things! Concern about how many gather, when they gather, how they gather, is missing the point altogether. All of the things we do apart from the life of the Spirit are dead. You can refuse to attend a meeting and be just as dead as some who attend meetings. The issue is not a meeting or no meeting — the issue is LIFE! In the meeting or out of the meeting, the man or woman who is of a broken and contrite spirit, God will never refuse, praise His wonderful name!
If we are not walking in the life of the Spirit, the more directions we have, the more deadness we will have. If we arrange the seats in one direction, we will have one direction of death. If we arrange the chairs in four directions, we will have four directions of death. If you attend a meeting apart from the life of the Spirit you will have deadness in a crowd, and if you sit at home in your separation you will have deadness all by yourself. When you are a dead person, no matter what way you arrange yourself, you are still dead. When I am living, regardless of how I am sitting, or how many people are with me, I am still living! It is not a way; it is life! It is not the method; it is the Spirit! There are too many silly teachings among the saints today, and all the ways have been tried in the past. It is not the way, but the life, the Spirit, the priesthood in the Holiest of all. Forget about the way; get into the presence of the Lord and let HIM saturate you! The presence of the Lord is upon mount Zion. Let us ascend in the spirit into the mount, into the high places of God, and there open ourselves, and be filled with Him. A son is one who possesses God and is possessed by God. Anything else than this is not sonship.
In the religious systems the order, the method, the technique, the organization, the liturgy, the creed is all-important. But in the Melchizedekian Order THE ONE WAY IS THE LIFE OF THE LORD. We now live and move and have our being in the life of the Spirit. This is why there are no patterns, no methods, no precedents of any kind in the New Testament for the Melchizedek Priesthood. Jesus never did the same thing in exactly the same way twice. When He healed blind Bartimaeus He merely spoke the word, “Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole,” and he received his sight. But when He healed the two blind men in the house He touched their eyes in addition to speaking a word. And when He healed the man born blind from birth He spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, then commanded him to go wash in the pool of Siloam.
So, what is the best way to heal a blind man? Should we assume that the power is in the method, someone might go out and form a new “spitting religion”! The only way to heal a blind man would be by spitting on him. But no one can tell you the right way — not even Jesus! What is the best way to preach the gospel? No one can tell you. What is the best way to hold a meeting? Again, no one can tell you. If you were to ask me what the right way is, I would have to say that I do not know. I really do not know what is the right way to do anything! I do not know the right way to meet humanity’s needs, or solve the saint’s problems, or bring people into the present truth. In the Bible you can never find T-H-E RIGHT WAY to minister to creation or to do the work of the kingdom. This is because the New Testament is the dispensation of the SPIRIT! Whatever you do, whatever way you use, wherever you go, it must be by the Spirit.
The Spirit is original, He is never static; His way is always fresh and new and transcendental! He may never repeat what He did yesterday, or the way He did it. In these last years, wherever I have gone, I have never paid any attention to the way. Regardless of the way people meet, or don’t meet, or minister or serve the Lord, it does not mean anything. The real question is this: Is there the life of the Spirit? Is there the unveiling of Jesus Christ? What is GOD doing? And how is HE doing it? I look to see what God is doing, rather than trying to introduce some “order” for God to move in.
May the Lord have mercy upon all who cherish the beautiful hope of sonship that we may be delivered from anything other than the LIFE of this calling. We are learning this one lesson — the priesthood of Melchizedek is known only by the OUTFLOW OF HIS LIFE. Our Lord Jesus is the High Priest of this order, and you cannot have a High Priest without a priesthood. The sons of God are being apprehended to be kings and priests unto God! Melchizedek was a king-priest, and the Lord Jesus Christ is both king and priest. The only thing we are told about this priesthood is that it is not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless Life! (Heb. 7:16). The order of Melchizedek is the order of the ministration of LIFE! The order of Melchizedek is not the same as the so-called New Testament Church order. It is more than that, it is something of life, the order of life, the power of life, the order brought forth by the power of incorruptible life, something living, something divine, something sovereign, something transcendental, and something that operates by the POWER OF GOD WITHIN. It is not an order of gifts, positions, offices, or external structures. It is LIFE FULL AND ABUNDANT! We are conscious that God is bringing something new and glorious into being. He is bringing something into this earth that is far, far beyond anything we know. He is birthing a manchild, a priesthood, a kingship, a new order. It will make right everything that has been wrong! It will make everything as God has ordained it to be! It will bring righteous judgment, it will bring mercy, and deliverance, and power, and glory to creation beyond our fondest hopes or our wildest dreams. It will set creation free! There will be life for all. And God will be ALL IN ALL!
I HAVE NOT FOUND THY WORKS PERFECT
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, for I have not found thy works perfect before God” (Rev. 3:2).
We find the Lord speaking to the church in Sardis, this church which is still filled with the ways and energy of Adam. The name Sardis means “red ones” and according to Webster’s dictionary refers to the sardius or sardine stone which is a very hard, deep orange-red variety of chalcedony used in jewelry, etc. Some teachers believe that the word actually means “those who have escaped” or “things which remain” but in my study of the etymology of the word I have found no evidence to support this interpretation. The name Adam means “red earth” and therefore carries a similar connotation with Sardis. Sardis speaks of Adam, the Adamic nature, the flesh. Sardis was a church which, except for a “few,” the “remnant,” who are the “overcomers” in it, still operated out of the carnal mind and nature — the living soul (I Cor. 15:45). They had experienced a measure of the life of the second man, who is the last Adam, who is Christ the quickening spirit, but they had not grown up into His fullness. This church, those in THE SARDIS CONDITION, is very prominent in the world today!
“For I have not found your works perfect before God.” Wuest translates this as, “I have found no works of yours that have been brought to a state of completeness.” The words “not perfect” mean “unfulfilled, immature, incomplete.” They had stopped short, they had not gone on to maturity; after aiming at the goal of the fullness of Christ, they had grown careless and never attained it. Something was started in them but had not come to full fruition and was now about to die. They had become content in this “in-part” realm, and in this state of limitation and immaturity and incompleteness had made them a “name” that they were alive. They were little spiritual children playing church, doing childish things with great flourish and pretense, and were having a wonderful tea party! They were all excited about the little bit of Christ men could see shining through them, and hoped that one day God would build them a bigger and more glorious play house in the sky where they could romp and frolic forever and ever in Father’s wonderful love!
Some today are proclaiming that since by faith we have entered in to that which is within the veil, into the Holiest of all, now all that is necessary to bring forth the manifestation of the sons of God is for us to come out from that glory behind the veil and begin to minister and manifest out of that realm. That is a beautiful thought — yet it is my conviction that until we have truly experienced within ourselves all the holiness, wisdom, glory, life, incorruption, and power of that realm beyond the veil we can only come out and manifest whatever measure we have attained to. I know a lot of precious, wonderful, and highly esteemed (by me) brethren in this word of the kingdom, but the reality is that I have yet to meet one who has appropriated the full glory, life, and power of that Most Holy Place!
Of those who by faith have entered in by the blood of Jesus I know not one who manifests much more than we have already known and experienced in the Outer Court and the Holy Place, or in the feasts of Passover and Pentecost. Most are still meeting in the same kind of church meetings, singing the same songs, speaking in tongues, prophesying, preaching, dancing, laying on hands, moving in gifts, passing offering plates, and making announcements; some prayers are answered, there is an occasional healing, miracle, or deliverance, a few souls saved, and some people blessed and encouraged in the Lord. That is all very wonderful! But may I remind you, my beloved, that we have had all these things for many, many years in the Holy Place and in the feast of Pentecost! There is nothing new there. There is nothing different, greater, or higher in any of it! I have yet to meet the man or woman who is ministering out of the higher realm of fullness and immortality — manifest sonship!
I do not for one moment despise or reject any of the aforementioned things, for they are truly Father’s provision for His people in the in-part realm — the realm where our works are not perfect, complete, and mature in the stature of fully manifest sonship. We still know in part, and prophesy in part, until that which is perfect is come — the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ! I tell you this in all sincerity and truth. We have had all these wonderful blessings for two thousand years and they have not set creation free! They have not brought all nations into the kingdom of God! They have not restored all things and all men to God! The whole world still lies in the darkness of sin, sorrow, hatred, war, greed, fear, sickness, pain, poverty, and death, and the saints of God are not yet fully released from carnality and death.
Should we step out from behind the veil and presume to call ourselves manifest sons now unveiled to deliver creation from the bondage of corruption, we still will not manifest anything more than we have personally appropriated and experienced within ourselves. Some will despise me for saying it, but of those I have seen who assert that they are now manifesting and ministering out of the realm of the Most Holy Place, I have yet to witness one who, apart from having some deeper truth and higher revelation, is moving in any realm beyond the feast of Pentecost! That is the plain, unvarnished truth, my brethren. These words are not intended to belittle, disparage, or ridicule any precious brother or sister in Christ, but my deepest prayer is that all who read these lines will be given the spirit of wisdom and revelation to understand that the salvation of the nations and the deliverance of creation DEMANDS a glory greater than any glory we have yet known or experienced!
If there is no greater glory to come, if there is no greater revelation of Christ in His elect, if manifest sonship is just “more of the same,” then sonship is a farce and the world is without hope now and in the ages to come. Oh, yes! There is a glory yet to be revealed in us, my beloved, and we would not look back, but set our faces as a flint and press forward to lay hold upon the REAL THING God will do in this day. I cannot, dare not, settle for any “watered down” version of manifest sonship, for the stakes are too high; nor shall I engage in the zealous presumption that I am already something I have not yet fully appropriated in spirit, soul, and body!
I have observed in the ministry of the firstborn Son of God that there was never a problem He faced that He could not solve, never a need that He could not meet, no victory He could not win, no sickness He could not heal, no devil He could not cast out, and no realm of revelation, relationship, or being in God that He could not possess. The supreme evidence of this is when He rose from the dead! Some of us speak of the exploits we have done in Jesus’ name, but we seldom mention all the times we have failed! Some of us fast and pray and wrest an answer from the Lord, and then run squarely into another problem we can’t deal with at all. If Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son of God, needed the fullness of the power of God, which is the seven spirits of God, the Spirit without measure, then we His younger brethren must have it too!
In the realm of that which is in part, in limitation, one cannot meet every need that arises. “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts” (I Cor. 12:29-31). Does it say in I Corinthians 12:8, “To the whole church is given the word of wisdom?” or, “To the whole church is given the gift of healing?” No, it says, “To one is given,” to one member of the body of Christ. Then, “to another is given the gift of faith, prophecy,” etc. In other words, there is a distribution so that everyone does not have all the gifts. How can you meet every need if you don’t possess all the power and wisdom and ability of the Holy Spirit? And how can you meet every need, even in the area of the gift you do possess, if the gift itself is by measure? You can’t! And that is why we feel so helpless sometimes. You can try, you can fast and pray, you can think positively, you can confess and claim and step out in faith and boast of your inheritance in Christ, but you still can’t meet every need, solve every problem, speak to every situation, bless every life — in the gift realm! In that realm it is always a word here, a miracle there, a healing someplace else, a failure here and a success over there. Who can stand and deny that this is the truth!
The ministry of Jesus was not in the gift realm, it was not in part, it was not by measure, but His ministry was the ministry of a MANIFEST SON OF GOD in all the power and wisdom and glory of the Father! The great secret to the ministry of Jesus was that it was not in limitation but in fullness. It was not a gift in the church realm, but the incarnation, the embodiment, the personification of THE FULLNESS OF THE FATHER. This is the realm of sonship. Sonship is not the church restored to the glory of the early days when the apostles walked the earth; sonship is the manchild, a people birthed out of the church in the full stature of Jesus Christ the Son of the living God. Each one of these sons of God is exactly like the firstborn Son! And that is just why creation is not groaning for another gift of healing, or another gift of miracles, or another gift of faith, or another apostle, or another prophet, or another evangelist, or another revival.
Creation is in pain and travail waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God! Only the sons of God will possess within themselves the full measure of the power of the kingdom of God as did Jesus! Only the sons of God can deliver the creation from the bondage of corruption. Jesus is not the firstborn among many Christians, or among many believers, or among many saints, among many church members, or among many ministries — He is the firstborn among many brethren! The brethren are like Him. Each and every one is like Him! God is not bringing many gifted saints to glory, He is not bringing many apostles to glory, He is not bringing many prophets to glory, He is not bringing many teachers to glory, He is not bringing many musicians to glory, He is not bringing many preachers to glory, but He is bringing many SONS to glory! Aren’t you glad!
Sonship is glorious beyond anything our eyes have seen or ears have heard. Jesus Christ is the firstborn Son of God. And now all His brothers are empowered to follow Him to maturity. All will follow His steps, becoming what He is. The spiritual life of every son of God has the same origin as the firstborn, for all are born of God. We are being perfected by the same process, and will ultimately achieve the same result. Jesus Christ was the personification of the Father within Himself, and so shall we be. The holy nature of Jesus is ours to be raised up within us. The works that He did, we shall do as well. The authority of Jesus Christ, even the dominion of the ages and all things, He will share with those who come to the measure of the stature of His fullness. Jesus possesses the totality of God’s substance, and this is the heritage of every manifest son of God. The present resurrection, ascension, and enthronement of Jesus is a portrait of our destiny! This will be a company of whom it is not said, “I have not found thy works perfect, complete, and mature before God.”
The sons of God are destined to inherit all things. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7). The sons of God are selected by the Father to become the dispensers of life and blessing to all created realms. Thus creation groans in sympathetic birth pangs, longing for their arrival! From powerful angels in heaven, to worlds in the farthest galaxy, the universe resonates with anticipation of the glorious unveiling of the sons of God. The sons will share the fullness of the glory of their Father. They will grow up into the attributes of God as a permanent state of being. The sons of God will partake of Godlikeness, and a spiritual inheritance that is incomprehensible to natural men, even religious men, saved men, and Spirit-baptized men. This celestial race of beings shall be endowed with all the authority and capacity of God. Immortal omnipotence will flow from them as the light rays from the sun.
In the days before us, those who have attained to sonship will be displayed in the blazing glory of immortality. This climatic finale is a fast approaching certainty. From the difficulties, struggles, testings, and processings of this present time the son company will burst forth into everlasting splendor, streaming glory, wisdom and power as a shower of stars. With Jesus as the Captain, this reigning government of God shall invade the bastions of darkness and by war, yea, by spiritual warfare they shall take the rule from the kings, presidents, and prime ministers of the earth. These are celestial kings and priests, trained and tested in conquest! They are invincible in the nature and power of the Father. Nothing shall confound them; all will succumb to their sway. This company of sons is the final world government — it will never be overthrown! They will subdue every enemy, and be the fountainhead of every blessing! They are the solution that God has ordained for the travail of earth’s teeming billions. God’s sons will enter into His state of being — they will become what He is in an unchangeable personal possession. This is the destiny of God’s Christ, Head and body!
For many years now there has been a great moving of the Spirit of God across the land and around the world. It has manifested itself through many movements on various levels. We have witnessed great healing meetings, evangelistic crusades, baptism in the Holy Spirit, prophetic ministries, sign-gift ministries, apostolic ministries, five-fold ministry, gifts of the Spirit, impartation through prophecy with the laying on of hands, revelatory ministries, and much more. And I have rejoiced with joy unspeakable to be a partaker in this glorious visitation of God! But I testify to you today that not one of these ministries, nor all of them put together, has come within the range of the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! No matter which of the healing evangelists, or which of the miracle workers, or which of the prophets you watched; and no matter which church or movement with all its ministries and gifts and outreaches you observed; it did not measure up to the ministry of THE SON OF GOD.
We kept saying, “We have the same anointing, the same Holy Ghost, the same power, and we can do all the works Jesus did, and greater!” And as confidently as we asserted, as hard as we tried, as much as we wanted to believe it, and as faithful as we were, it just wasn’t true! We had the same anointing alright, and the same Holy Spirit, and the same faith, and the same power, but — we had it by measure — not WITHOUT MEASURE, as Jesus did! “For to one is given by the Spirit…to another is given by the Spirit…” And that is just the difference between the church realm and manifest sonship! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the church and I’m not belittling anything we have had or done. But my heart is desperately crying out for something more, for a greater, grander, more complete and glorious unveiling of Christ in the earth, and I certainly know that this sin-cursed world is crying out for something more! Oh, yes!
It is true, we are the body of Christ, and members in particular, and every joint supplies in a different way and measure. But let me tell you something. Within the DNA of each cell of your body is contained the complete blueprint of everything you are, of the totality of your being. That is why scientists today are able to clone animals and eventually human beings. You see, they take the DNA from one cell of the parent animal and from that one cell they raise up another animal exactly like the one from which it is taken. The bone, skin, flesh, internal organs, senses, everything is constructed from the blueprint in that one cell. Now, every human life begins when the sperm of the father unites with the egg of the mother. That union produces one cell. Within that one cell is contained the blueprint for all that that new person will ever be! That cell then divides into two, the two divide into four, the four into eight, and so forth, until by the time you become an adult you contain within your body some sixty trillion cells!
The mystery is this. There are cells that through this process have become hair, some have become eyes, others have become blood, etc. The different cells make up all the various parts of the body. Yet — the original blueprint of everything you are is contained within each of these sixty trillion cells just as it was within the original one cell at the time of your conception! That is how cloning works. The DNA from one cell is used to construct another organism which is a precise copy of the original. That means, that within my body is the potential to raise up sixty trillion Preston Ebys just like me! Herein lies the secret to manifest sonship. Although we are currently “members in particular” of the body of Christ, mere “parts” of the whole, functioning “by measure” within each of our gifts and callings, yet within each one of us is contained the blueprint of the totality of Christ and there is the potential to raise up out of our spiritual DNA the reproduction of ALL THAT CHRIST IS! Can you not see the mystery?
The manifest sons of God are those who out of the Christ life within them grow up into the fullness of Christ, not in measure, but in the fullness of Himself. These become perfect reproductions within themselves of Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son of God! These sons are individually exactly like Him in the totality of His mind, wisdom, understanding, nature, glory, and power! With these sons it does not take a whole body of people, as in the church, to equal Christ — each one equals Christ. That, my friend, is the difference between the church realm and MANIFEST SONSHIP. When you have 144,000 of these sons you have 144,000 actual reproductions of Jesus — not 144,000 “parts” that “corporately” reproduce Him. Oh, the wonder of it!
With what joy and holy wonder do I tell you today that this is the power that will again be manifested on earth through the ministry of Christ’s many brethren, the sons of God! What a calling rests upon the firstfruits! How humbly we should seek God, how fervently we should cry out to the Lord, that His work be completed in us to bring this sonship ministry to pass in the earth! How we praise God for the in-part ministry of the church realm — it has been glorious beyond words. But none can deny that the ministry of Jesus has not been fully duplicated even through the millions of believers and thousands of ministries in all the power and glory of the kingdom of God! Who among us can raise his hand to tell me that in him, or in his prayer group, or in his church, or in his movement, the miraculous sonship ministry of Jesus has been reproduced in all its fullness and power? Were we to make such a claim we would all be found liars. After two thousand years of the meticulous formation of the body of Christ, creation still groans and travails, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God who shall deliver creation itself from the bondage of corruption.
The greater ministry of the sons of God will allay every disturbing element; break the power of sin and death; put down every wrong; silence every clamoring tongue; calm every raging sea; touch every inflamed sore of society; unite into harmony every quarrelsome crowd; heal every excruciating pain and suffering; pilot every soul into the harbor of rest; banish all fear, malice, bigotry, and hatred in the melting fire of divine love; bind every demonic power; heal every sickness, disease, and torment; fill to the full every lack and void; impart life more abundant to all men everywhere; and give joy unspeakable and full of glory until the whole earth is full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea, and all creation pulsates with the scintillating life and light and love of God!
The spirit of sonship is the power of God manifest first in the personal lives of His elect, then in the world around us, unto all time and the ages of this world, then in the whole universe. The life of sonship is the power of God that changes everything in its reality, function, and influence, as determined by the Lord in His great and glorious program of creation, redemption, and the restitution of all things. The power of the spirit of the Son within us shall eventually change us not only in spirit, but in soul and body, from human to divine, from earthly to heavenly, and from mortal to immortal; then it shall in like manner change the world around us, including all the nations of men, and nature itself, and then it shall change the vast universe unto the endlessness of infinity. The elect of the Lord today are experiencing the power of the spirit of sonship within; it is the power of Christ that is consuming everything within us that is foreign to His nature and life. Christ is taking His throne and is now reigning in our lives! And He must continue to reign in us until He has put every enemy under His feet!
Jesus rose from the dead and appeared on earth in the sight of men in the body of His resurrection, which is the spiritual body of incorruption and immortality. With this clear and obvious demonstration of the power of sonship life, all doubts and fears were removed from the minds of His disciples. Now they knew that He was the very Son of the living God and the King of kings and Lord of lords! Now they knew the reality of His message of life and glory. In Him they saw the fullness of sonship to God! Again, in the end of this age, and in the beginning of the age now dawning, Christ’s many brethren shall come to the full measure of the stature of the firstborn Son. In them Christ shall come with power, even the power of His resurrection. Then shall creation see the manifestation of the sons of God, just as Jesus’ disciples saw Him manifested in all the glory and power of His resurrection. Christ was revealed to His disciples, and He is still revealed only to His disciples, His very own brethren. But the manifest sons of God shall be revealed unto creation. Christ in us is now our hope of glory, but Christ revealed in His many brethren is the hope of the groaning creation! Christ is now our life, but His life in His sons shall become the life of creation, delivering all men from the bondage of corruption, raising them up into a place in the liberty of the children of God (Rom. 8:19-21).
To be continued…
J. PRESTON EBY
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J. Preston Eby
P.O. Box 371240
El Paso TX 79937-1240
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