"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE SEVEN-SEALED BOOK
“And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals” (Rev. 5:1).
John the Revelator, as he entered upon the marvelous visions recorded in the book of Revelation, saw a door opened in heaven and heard a voice as of a trumpet speaking with him, saying, “Come up hither, and I will show thee things…” The door opened in heaven bespeaks of an entrance granted into a realm beyond the flesh, beyond the physical and psychical senses, into the realm of the Spirit. That is where John entered and that is the character of the things John saw. He beheld heavenly things — spiritual realities. He saw a throne set in heaven — he perceived the authority, power, and dominion of the Spirit. He saw living creatures in the throne, the principle of manifest life in the Spirit. He saw the four living creatures in the midst of the throne and twenty-four elders round about the throne, the King-Priest ministry of the Melchizedekian Order after the power of an endless life — the ministration of the redemptive power of the divine life unto creation. It is being seen by a vast company of people that hears the voice of the Lord in this hour that a door has opened in the heavenlies through which those who are obedient shall enter into a state of being and a ministry of unsurpassed and unimaginable glory — in the throne zone! That is the message of chapter four of the Revelation!
The fifth chapter of the book of Revelation represents a scene in heaven — the realm of Spirit. A book is held in the right hand of the Majesty on high, in the hand of Him who sits upon the throne of Omnipotence. The scene is purely symbolic and spiritual! God is omnipresent spirit. God never sat on a throne. He never held a book in His right hand. Let us notice — THE ONE ON THE THRONE DID NOT HAVE AN IMAGE! According to Revelation 4:2-3 all John saw on the throne was colors, beautiful colors. And yet, John saw One sitting there! What about this One that sat on the throne, that could be seen, and yet, was not visible to the natural eye? He had no form, only radiance! John was not looking into the natural elements when he saw the One on the throne. The scripture says he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day! John stood in the very reality of heaven as he was caught up into the highest realm of the Spirit. The One he saw was spirit. Do not look, my beloved, at the throne of God as a natural seat sitting there for a physical being to sit on. Don’t imagine a throne-like chair! His throne is the dimension of His omnipotent power. Here seated, as it were, in the splendor of the omnipresent heavenly-spiritual realm John beheld One of many colors. Even though He did not have a figure, John could see Him in and by the Spirit. And in and by the same Spirit John could see a book in the right hand of him that sat on the throne! The book is the symbol of the revelation of Himself in and through a people.
The book was not a book as we know books, but a scroll of papyrus or parchment, written on both sides, rolled up and sealed with seven seals. The ancient scrolls of Israel were generally sheepskin rolls. One writer has observed that the book of Romans would require a roll of parchment almost twelve feet long; the Gospel of Mark, nineteen feet; and the Revelation itself would require a roll at least fifteen feet long. This can give you some idea of the picture we have before us. Now, when John says that the scroll was sealed with seven seals, it does not mean that the seals covered the outside, but the scroll was rolled up to a certain point, and then at that point there was a seal put upon the very edge so that it could not be opened. Then it was rolled up again a little farther and the second seal was put on and so on until all the scroll of parchment was written in seven parts, or sections, and sealed at the end of each section, and thus it was sealed with seven seals. It will be seen that there were six seals on the edge of the scroll, and one seal on the outside fastening the entire scroll, which became the first seal to be opened.
The book is in the right hand of Him who sits upon the throne. Stupendous words! Words of deepest mystery, enshrouding the eternal purpose of God. The scriptures portray the right hand of God as the hand of strength, power, salvation, blessing, and anointing. The implication is that the right hand of God is the good hand of God doing wondrous things! The psalmist confirms this when he says, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy, at Thy right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11). Again, “The voice of rejoicing and salvation in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted” (Ps. 118:15-16). To this the prophet Isaiah adds his inspired testimony: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isa. 41:10). In the Old Testament, whenever God is portrayed as manifesting His power, it is done so with His right hand or arm. “Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power” (Ex. 15:6). “O sing unto the Lord a new song; for He hath done marvelous things: His right hand, and His holy arm, hath gotten Him the victory” (Ps. 98:1). “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand…Thy right hand shall save me” (Ps. 138:7). Numerous other Psalms express the same thought. In the New Testament, after His resurrection and ascension, Jesus was by the right hand of God exalted, and made to sit at His right hand (Acts 2:33-34; Heb. 1:3,13.
This speaks of Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son, our Forerunner. He is exalted to the right hand of God! This is therefore the calling of every son of God! He is the positive, saving, redeeming force of God in the universe “who is gone into heaven (spiritual realm of government) and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him” (I Pet. 3:22). There is no greater prize than oneness with Christ. The inspired apostle exhorted the saints in Colosse, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1). The message is clear — the elect of God are to SEEK THE THINGS OF CHRIST AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD! Seek the things of the right hand! What a word is that! There are your orders, dear child of God who treasures the hope of sonship.
People tell us that we are too concerned with deep things and with high things. Nothing could be higher than the realm of God’s right hand! Seek it! Seek it! Seek it! That is the word of the Lord to every one who is conscious of being risen with Christ. Seek to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! Seek the anointing of His power! Seek the investment of His authority! Seek to rule and reign with Christ! Seek to be victorious in all things! Seek to be a blessing to creation! Seek to be His salvation unto all the ends of the earth! Seek to speak and act and rule by His love! Seek to do wondrous things in His name! Seek to reconcile and restore all things and all men to God! That is what it means to seek the things of Christ at the right hand of God! Some of the greatest truths of the word of God are the ones that lie hidden like pearls of great price, unnoticed by the careless but available to all who will search prayerfully and diligently in the depths of God.
The right hand of God is not a physical location somewhere in the universe. The right hand of God is a realm of power and authority, a position of eminence, a condition and a state of divine being. Blessed be God! We now have a share in the REALM OF THE RIGHT HAND! The apostle Paul tells us that “when we were dead through our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up with Him, and made us sit together with Him in the heavenly places (the heights of His own exaltation).” This shows that as we come to know the resurrection life of Christ, we are also made to experience the ascension of Christ. This is a matter of realization, of consciousness, of appropriation! It is already true in Christ, but it is only true to us as we receive the revelation of it, acknowledge the reality, and experientially lay hold upon it. We are chosen of God not only to be made alive from the dead and have God’s life, but also to sit in the highest realm of the heavenlies as ascended men! This is the present truth of God for everyone who has received the call to sonship. He is causing every son of God to consciously and experientially ascend with Christ and sit with Him in the higher than all heavens — NOW!
It is true therefore that as we ascend into the high places of God in the spirit, we are reigning with Christ from His heavenly, spiritual throne. As we truly become overcomers by the ascended life of Christ, we are also given power over the nations to rule them with a rod of iron, and as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers (Rev. 2:26-27). This rule is given to the overcomers in Christ! As the life of ascension within us raises up kingdom dominion in our lives we truly begin to reign with Christ in the spirit, and all the worldly powers of man can be broken by the authority within God’s sons! The will and ways of man are being displaced by the power of the spirit and replaced by the spiritual life of the kingdom of God. We are a spiritual people. And the kingdom of God is the spiritual realm of our Father’s dominion! Therefore our reign in Christ is a spiritual reign, which is accomplished as we move in and by His Spirit in relation to things in the earth realm. As the anointing teaches us what we should pray for, and what situations and circumstances in the outer world we should speak to by the spirit, the creative power of God is released to bring change and transformation. Through that spiritual dominion God’s will is brought to pass on earth as it is in heaven!
The right hand signifies authority and power. Peter referred to this when he declared to the multitude on the day of Pentecost, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:32-33). Later Peter told the rulers of Israel, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour” (Acts 5:30-31). Paul spoke of the mighty power and the awesome authority and dominion and the riches of the glory that is the inheritance of the saints. He says that this is the very same power that God wrought in Christ “when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named” (Eph. 1:20-21). The writer to the Hebrews expressed the truth this way, “…when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than angels…” (Heb. 1:3-4).
Scripture could be piled upon scripture showing that the right hand of God is the position of the very highest authority and power in the universe. And scripture could be piled upon scripture to show that it was the crucified, resurrected, and ascended man Jesus who was raised up to the right hand of the Father! We have pictured this as a literal throne somewhere in the sky. But there is no literal throne, nor are there “two Gods” up there seated on a throne! You see, my beloved, Jesus was and is a man. Some deny that Jesus is still a man! They tell us to forget the man Jesus! They insist that if we still reverence the man Jesus that we have made an idol out of the historical man of Galilee. But the truth is that “there IS one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Tim. 2:5). The truth is that “this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool” (Heb. 10:12-13).
When the Son of God came into this world He testified of His own humanity, declaring, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel” (Jn. 5:19-20). The humanity of Jesus had no more authority or power on earth than my humanity or your humanity. It was the Father in Him and through Him that did the works! Oh, the wonder of it! While here in human flesh Jesus manifested a measure of the omnipotence of deity, but clearly stated that the Father would show Him greater works than those that He did. Now, praise God, HE, the man Jesus, has been raised up to that place where ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH is given into His hands! And yet the mystery is just this. Jesus still cannot of Himself express the omnipotence of God! The Father is still showing Him the “greater works” than those He did while on earth. The deity still must flow through Him!
If by the spirit of revelation you can see the man Christ Jesus seated in that position of universal authority and dominion, yet that very authority and dominion flowing through Him from a source beyond and greater than His glorified humanity, you will then be able to comprehend what it means to be seated at the “right hand” of power, or on the “right hand” of the Majesty on high! If Jesus Christ has no humanity, if Jesus Christ is something other than a glorified man, if Jesus Christ is only deity, then the heavenly scene of Christ at the “right hand” of power, or on the “right hand” of God, is meaningless. It is a misrepresentation and a deception. Oh, yes, Jesus is God’s “right hand” man! The power is from God the eternal Father, but it has been ordained to flow unto us by and through our Lord Jesus the Christ. Aren’t you glad!
John sees a book in the right hand of Him who sits upon the throne. This hand holds the book. A book is to be read, since it contains words of information, instruction, counsel, or revelation. However, God has no need for such a book, for He forgets nothing, learns nothing, and has perfect knowledge of all things everywhere and of all His works from the beginning of the creation. This book in God’s right hand is for mankind and for the whole vast creation; it is God’s revelation of Himself that is to be read and known of all men! It is interesting to note that when Christ “takes” the book out of the Father’s right hand, He does so with His own right hand. Therefore, when He opens the seals, He does so with the book in His right hand. This reveals the great truth that one of the fruits of His triumph is the power of His own right hand of blessing and salvation to open the seals of God’s book of destiny, to unlock the mystery of Christ in us, and to bring to the ultimate issue all the events that culminate in the manifestation of the sons of God. Think about it!
Beloved sons of God, let us be fully aware of this great truth. All the sons of God are destined to sit in Christ and with Christ upon the throne at the right hand of God! There is a people that is possessing the right hand authority and power of God. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne” (Rev. 3:21). We have been called to share His glory, the very same glory Christ now has with the Father! It is not robbery or blasphemy to proclaim that we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Many in the sonship realm have sought a glory separate from the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no glory outside of His glory! There is no sonship outside of His sonship! There is no life outside of His life! There is no power outside of His power! There is no throne outside of His throne! Jesus Christ is at the right hand of the Father, and all God’s sons are called and chosen and ordained to sit with Him there. We have a right to take our place in this right hand position and declare the deity of the Father in us!
Multitudes of Christian ministers today are ministering from the lowlands of religious traditions and carnal church creeds and programs. We have a higher calling in God! Only as we rise into the heavens of God’s Spirit and minister unto the Lord and for the Lord from the realm of His greater, spiritual presence in the most holy place of His throneship, shall the blessings and benefits of His heavenly kingdom continue to change us and the world. Since heaven’s greatest desire is that the sons of God be manifested, let us learn that we are the book in the Father’s right hand and we must be “taken” by Jesus Christ the Lord; He must rip off the seals from that book which we are so that there shall be a revelation of the life of God that is written within. Father has raised us up into a unique place in this spiritual temple of the body of His sons. Our hearts cannot settle for anything less, for we yearn and long and pray and seek His will to be done in earth as it is in heaven. Nothing else will satisfy! Those who are called to sonship are experientially ascending in the spirit to the high places in God. They are recognizing and taking their rightful place on the throne of the Lord, by the Spirit, where they reign with Christ.
Today we are living in momentous times. Christ is opening the seals of that book which we are to bring forth the revelation of Jesus Christ in us. We are living in a period between the ages, and God is initiating a new order and ministry in the earth. My prayer is that all who read these lines will see in the spirit this new ministry of the kingdom of God in the earth! When we ascend in the Spirit into the heavenlies where God’s will is revealed to our hearts, and God’s word is put in our mouths, and we worship and intercede and speak from the throne of the Lord, we then begin to defeat all darkness and evil and put every enemy under Christ’s feet by releasing the presence and power of the kingdom of God into the world. This is a new ministry we are entering at this time, and it is real and very powerful! Make no mistake about it — sons of God have a tremendous responsibility. Preaching and ministering according to the old carnal methods and techniques of the church systems will avail but little in this battle against the corrupt kingdoms of this world. Nor are we called to merely learn deeper truths; we are called to RULE AND REIGN WITH CHRIST! The world has not yet seen or read the revelation of Christ out of that book in the Father’s right hand; they have only seen and read the creeds, programs, and promotions of the religious systems. The spiritual ministry from the throne of God out of the heavenly realms of the presence and power of the Lord is the secret to conquering all evil and all darkness! We are called to possess the kingdom, to take the kingdom, to take dominion over all darkness, sin, and death. We are first taking the dominion within ourselves, then we shall be able to break the kingdoms of man to shivers, and to rule mankind and all things as if we were shepherds tending a flock of sheep.
“Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power” (Ps. 15:6). While it is difficult for us to conceive of God becoming something more than He already is, and as to His nature there can never be any change, yet the Spirit reveals that the right hand of God had not previously been all that it was when the children of Israel triumphantly marched dryshod through the Red Sea, for the prophet speaks of a day wherein the right hand of the Lord “is become glorious in power,” denoting a process in the unfolding of the power of His right hand in the midst of men. And, while the right hand of God is first and foremost the realm of God’s almighty power and authority, His right hand became glorious in power before the eyes of men when it was revealed in mighty signs and wonders through the person of the man Moses.
Now there has been a wonderful enlargement in the revelation of God’s right hand, for Jesus Christ has been exalted to the realm of the right hand, and there shall be a further enlargement when all the holy sons of God have been also exalted to sit with Christ in His throne in all the power, authority, and glory that that means. Thus God’s right hand is in fact becoming a people, the Christ, Head and body, a many-membered son of the right hand, and the manifestation of God in this right hand company is becoming even more glorious in power as the appointed hour for the unveiling of the sons of God is fully fulfilled. These not only declare His word, but have authority and ability to see it established in the earth and in all realms. As the power of God arises in all majesty in His body of sons, and He is exalted in the people He has prepared, how unspeakably glorious and majestic He will be in the eyes of His creation!
“O sing unto the Lord a new song; for He hath done marvelous things: His right hand and His holy arm, hath gotten Him the victory. The Lord hath made known His salvation: His righteousness hath He openly showed in the sight of the nations. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for He cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity” (Ps. 98:3,7-9). This is a prophecy! Think of it — the nations are ready to worship the Lord, His enemies submit, and sing to His name; the ends of the earth and the whole world turn to Him because His right hand shall do marvelous things, and He shall make known His salvation to all!
Truly, beloved, this RIGHT HAND COMPANY will get Him the victory! There is no doubt about it — no devil, no wicked men, no conniving politicians, no hostile nations, no massive armies can stop this company from doing the things God has declared they will do, and because of their ministry, the nations will be joined to the Lord and sing His praise. As the work of restoration progresses, what harmony, what glorious unity and bountiful blessings and abundant life shall fill the universe, as this order of King-Priests flows together, to gather together into Christ all things in one, till all has been set in array, and God is indeed ALL IN ALL.
How sweet shall be the influence of this right hand company, the positive force of God’s omnipotent energy, ministering His life, His love, His joy, His peace, His righteousness, and His wisdom unto creation. How thankful we are not to be numbered among those called to the left hand, to walk in darkness, and be vessels of wrath. There is no harshness in the ministry of the right hand — oh yes, even the right hand “dashes the enemies in pieces” — but it is the destruction of the negative qualities that there might be life. These bring correction ministered in love, leading all mankind to the Fountain of Living Water, feeding them in green pastures, causing them to lie down and rest, and not be afraid. Ah, we would SEEK THE THINGS OF THE RIGHT HAND!
One writer has pointed out that the seven seals of Revelation are similar to graduation diplomas. In some parts of the country, when a child completes the eighth grade, he receives a diploma. Then, upon graduating from high school, he receives another. When he graduates from college, he receives another diploma. If he goes on to graduate school and graduates, he receives another. Thus, diplomas represent specific accomplishments by the graduate. Much work and varied experiences go into obtaining each diploma! With each one, the skills of the graduate become more valuable and demand for his accomplishments grow.
The Father also designed that when the time came to open the seven-sealed book, there would be a careful process connected to exposing the contents. The process is the full disclosure of all that Christ is! Christ Jesus possesses every power that the Father has, for the deity in Jesus is the almighty Father! However, the full glory and authority of Christ has been hidden beneath the veil of our flesh, for we are the body of Christ and the temple of God. The restoration of all men and all things to God requires the full disclosure of Jesus Christ in and through His body on earth. So, the opening of each seal is connected to a brighter and clearer revelation of all that Christ is! As each seal opens, more of Christ is seen! This is the revelation of Jesus Christ! Can you not see the mystery? The seven seals are similar to seven diplomas. As each diploma reveals more about the accomplishments and worthiness of the graduate, so each broken seal reveals more of the glory, wisdom, love, and power of God’s wonderful Christ, Head and body!
Even though John does not call the seven-sealed book the “book of life” in chapter five, he clearly refers to this book as the “Lamb’s book of life” in other places in the Revelation. John calls it the “Lamb’s book of life” because it is the only book the Lamb receives in the whole book of Revelation! Notice: “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb…” (Rev. 13:8). “…the inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast” (Rev. 17:8). “Nothing impure will ever enter it (New Jerusalem), nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:7). Can we not see by this that the “Lamb’s book” is the very book the Lamb receives from the right hand of God! And it is the very book of HIS OWN LIFE WRITTEN IN A PEOPLE!
Four ministers were once discussing the various translations of the Bible. One liked the King James Version because of its majestic English; another preferred the Revised Version of 1881 because of its literal translations of the original language; the third chose James Moffatt’s translation for its up-to-date vocabulary. The fourth minister was silent. When pressed to express his opinion, he said, “I like my mother’s translation best.” The others were surprised. “We had no idea that your mother had translated the Bible.” Oh yes,” he said, “she translated it into life, and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw!”
Ah, Jesus never carried a copy of the Old Testament when He taught the multitudes. I have in my library many Bibles including the Literal Bible, the Comparative Bible, the Analytical Bible, the Emphasized Bible and the Amplified Bible. But Jesus Himself is the EXEMPLIFIED BIBLE! He is the PERSONIFIED BIBLE! He is the true picture of His Father, the Living Word of His Father. He is the full and complete revelation (unveiling) of His Father’s life! Jesus in His humanity upon earth was the very first chapter of this marvelous book of the Life of the Lamb! And now the Lamb of God, living out His life in us, is the completion of the Book! Through that blessed company conformed to His image the world shall now, at last, read “the rest of the story”!
Many years ago the Indian Christian Mystic, Sadhu Sundar Singh, penned these illuminating words: “When I was in Palestine last month I thought about many things and one thought that came to me was that our Lord did not write anything. It would have been a great thing if Jesus Christ would have written the Gospels Himself, but He did not write a single word, neither did He ask His disciples to write. He did not say to them, ‘I am going to dictate, take down notes.’ The writers in the Bible did not get inspiration by taking down notes but by living with the Word of Life. That is why our Lord did not ask His disciples to write anything! He says, ‘My words are spirit and they are life.’ It is easy to write words in book form but it is difficult to put the spirit into words! His life and spirit can only be put into the hearts of people and not into the pages of books. Jesus Christ knew that He was going to work on the hearts and not only through the pages of books” — end quote.
I do not know how or why Christians came to the conclusion that the Lamb’s Book of Life is a literal book in some far-off heaven somewhere. It is the book of the life of the Lamb. Even the most die-hard literalist has enough sense to understand that the Lamb is not a four-legged woolly little creature romping through the pasture squealing, “Baa…baa…baa!” We could preach on the “lamb” of God in any church in America and everyone would agree that this lamb is not a barnyard animal. If the “Lamb” who opens the “book” is not a four-legged lamb, it should not be difficult for anyone to understand that the “book” is not a two-covered book! People do such sloppy thinking about such divine and exalted things!
“And another book was opened, which is the book of life” (Rev. 20:12). The book of life is called “the book of the life of the Lamb” (Rev. 13:8). If I were to give you a book entitled THE BOOK OF THE LIFE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, you would understand at once that it is a biography of the life of the first president of the United States, George Washington. That book should contain everything you always wanted to know about George Washington! Every detail of his life would be there. The portrait of his character and accomplishments would be drawn there. In the same way, THE BOOK OF THE LIFE OF THE LAMB is the autobiography of God’s Lamb, the expose of who He is, what He is like, what He does. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Son of God is contained in this wonderful book of the life of the Lamb! It is not a literal book, of course, for the sons and daughters of the Most High are the living record and revelation of the life of the indwelling Lamb! It was to the apostle Paul that the revelation was given that the book of life, the book of the life of the Lamb, the book which draws the portrait of the life, nature, character, and accomplishment of the Son of God — IS A PEOPLE! “Forasmuch as Y-E are manifestly declared to be THE EPISTLE OF CHRIST ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (II Cor. 3:3).
The Lamb is our Lord Jesus Christ! The Lord Jesus is seen by John approaching the eternal Father to receive from His right hand the book that is sealed but is now to be opened. What this book is, becomes crystal clear when in holy contemplation we consider what it is that belongs to the Father, is then given to Jesus Christ, is subsequently opened by Him, and through that opening becomes the revelation of Jesus Christ! That is the mystery. When our divine and wonderful Christ communed with the Father in His holy prayer in Gethsemane just hours before He offered Himself as “the Lamb slain,” it was concerning this very scene John beheld in figure on Patmos, that Jesus held discourse with His Father in heaven. I will quote the passage. Dear saint of God, read reverently and prayerfully and the blessed Holy Spirit of truth will flood the passage with light.
“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name (nature) unto the men which thou gavest me…thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name (nature) those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one… Father I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (Jn. 17:4-11,18-24).
Can you grasp the fact, dear reader, that our Lord, when speaking of those who were the Father’s, who are now given to Him, who are also given the same glory that is His (at the right hand of God!), and who are destined to be the revelation of that glory to the ends of the earth — can we not see that these indeed are the book in the Father’s right hand, given to our Lord Jesus Christ! Opened by Him these are they who bring to pass in the earth the revelation of Jesus Christ! The revelation was given to Jesus (Rev. 1:1) when He came to earth to reveal the Father. Now we are given to Him, bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh, and He is raised up within us to reveal through us the Father in the sons. Oh, the wonder of it!
A further confirmation that this is precisely the meaning of the seven-sealed book is found in the events that transpire as soon as the book is taken from the hand of the One upon the throne — a paean of praise breaks forth as the four living creatures (kingship) and the twenty-four elders (priesthood) cry in rapturous exaltation, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10).
The following words from brother Paul Mueller shed precious insights into this wonderful Book of the Right Hand. “The fact is, the Bible as we now know it will one day become obsolete for us. The blessed book that we carry around, study and sometimes memorize, is to be imparted into our lives so that we are truly epistles…known and read by all men. This is not to downgrade the Bible or to denigrate its effectiveness, authority, and inspiration. The book we call the Bible is, for the most part, the inspired word of God, and we are truly and deeply grateful for all it means to us. However, our respect for the Bible will not alter the great truth that it is God’s intention that we become His living word. Every truth that has been given by the Spirit will eventually become a part of our lives, so that we will not need to turn to chapter and verse for guidance and truth, but rather, that truth will be written and engraved upon our lives so that we do by nature all the truth the Bible contains to the glory of God.
“The laws and covenants of God were not intended to be repeated on the pages of the book we call the New Testament. The old covenant clearly states that the next time the Lord writes His laws and covenant, it would be upon the hearts of His elect and chosen ones. The highest fulfillment of anything is to become that which it contains and reveals. When we have fully become the promised living epistles, manifesting the very Life of Christ, we shall then be able ministers of the new covenant! Then the law shall go forth of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Mic. 4:2). It will not be the dead letter read from the pages of a book, but the living, anointed truth of God coming forth from lives that have been transformed by the power of that word! Many nations shall then desire to come up to the house of the Lord, where dwell those living epistles. Then shall they learn the ways of the Lord from kings and priests who express the experiences of the Spirit. Then, many peoples and nations shall walk in the paths of the Lord, for they will have witnessed the grand fulfillment of the new covenant within an anointed and holy people.
“Each kingdom ruler will be like streams of water in a dry place, and like the shade of a great rock in a wearisome land. The presence of Christ will flow out of their lives like streams of water gushing from an overflowing fountain. The glory, power, and life of the Spirit will be so manifest that all who had ears but could not hear will then hear and understand the truth of God clearly. Eyes that once were blinded to revelation and reality will be opened by the power of the Spirit that is flowing out of the elect. The minds of those lacking true judgment and the ability to apprehend will then be able to comprehend fully God’s abundant, redemptive love for them, as well as His living truth. Then the tongue of the stammering will be quick to speak plainly. The multitudes will receive the anointed message of Life coming from those living epistles” — end quote.
How tragic that the people of earth for the most part have never read this beautiful epistle of Christ, this glorious book of the life of the Lamb. They have poured over the books of religion, the commentaries of learned scholars who write out of carnal minds with the words of man’s wisdom, the books of hypocrisy, the books of forms of godliness that deny the power thereof, the books of dead doctrines, empty rituals, lifeless ceremonies, and man-made rules and regulations of self-righteousness. But precious few have ever seen the BOOK OF THE LIFE OF THE LAMB! Oh! What a wonderful gospel shall fill the earth beneath and the celestial realms above when God fully opens His holy book of Life! The book of Life is that blessed company of the sons of God in whom the life of the Lamb is fully and eternally formed! This book is being carefully written word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, page by page, and chapter by chapter in the nitty-gritty of our daily experience with God until the full revelation of the Christ shall be written therein. Time’s clock is striking the hour for the manifestation of the sons of God, the opening of God’s book of life people, and what a manifestation it shall be! That book is being opened within us even now, for it is the spirit that giveth life. As Christ in our spirit is opened within ourselves, the life of the Lamb is released to swallow up all sin and death.
God has a message for the world — the revelation of Jesus Christ! The message is being written in flaming words of glory upon the pages of the lives and hearts and minds of men and women who are dying to that impudent and death-dealing devil of self, in order to walk and live by the spirit of HIS LIFE. I am terribly at a loss for words to express the glory of God’s book of life company, but I can assure you that once it is fully ready, prepared, and finished, it shall become the world’s “best seller” throughout the ages to come! As the pen is mightier than the sword, so this book, above any that has ever been written by the finger of man, shall alter the course of history, and the dark covering that has been cast over the minds and hearts of the people for ages and dispensations will be completely destroyed by the flood of transforming light and wisdom and knowledge and glory and power shining forth from the living pages of God’s eternal and incorruptible BOOK OF LIFE!
When John sees a book written within and without and sealed with seven seals, he is not talking about the Bible. He is not even talking about the book of Revelation. Nor is he seeing what many teachers describe as the “title deed” to the earth. He is talking about the book within that has been sealed, like the little Shulamite maiden who was a fountain sealed (Song of Solomon 4:12). It is the book within, the book of Christ in us, the book of the law of the spirit of life that has been sealed! John saw the new covenant that God would make with the house of Israel whereof He says, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts” (Heb. 8:10). That’s what John saw! He perceived in spirit that which is being written within. He saw where you find the performance of the new covenant — not in your own strength, not in your self-effort, not in your fleshly ability, not in your religious conformity, but by the Life within. He discovered that God’s elect is becoming living epistles, not of the letter, the outward, but of the spirit, the inward, because there is Life!
The reason the “word” of God has bound and killed more people spiritually than it has helped is because it has been legislated outwardly. To these the “word of God” is a book full of laws and commandments to be imposed on those who would live godly. Religion makes godliness a law rather than a life! “God said!” they thunder from their pulpits high upon the craggy pinnacle of mount Sinai, and then lay an outward rule and observance upon the people extracted from an outward book. To people who have been through the trauma of divorce they advise, “You can never be remarried; God says, I hate adultery, and you can only please God by remaining single the rest of your life.” They kill people with the letter of the Word, not seeing the spirit, the compassion of God, the love of God, the heart of God. People have been forced to go to the world to find some judgment because they couldn’t find it in the church. They have been compelled to go to the counselors of the world to find some understanding because the preachers had no grace, no mercy, no wisdom from the Lord. Christian ministers of the grace of God LEGISLATING THE LAW! What an enigma! What a travesty! “But the Bible says!” you contend. You hypocrites! You don’t even know what the Bible says! You know the letter that kills! You have never perused the pages of the blessed Book of the Life of the Lamb — the spirit that gives life! The New Testament is not that black, leather-bound book we call the Bible. The New Testament, the true Bible, the Living Epistle of Christ is the law of His life written upon the fleshy tables of the heart.
You, precious child of God, are the epistle of Christ, you are the book of the life of the Lamb, and every day God is writing in your book! He’s not writing for nothing — for your book is to be opened! And there is only One who is worthy to take the book and loose the seals thereof, and that is the Lamb in the midst of the throne. The Lamb! Oh, the wonder of it! The book is the book of the life of the Lamb. The opening of the book is the unveiling of the life of the Lamb, the revelation of His life written and engraven in the minds and hearts of those who share His nature. He is the One who is worthy to take each one of us and open us up! And it is only through Jesus Christ our Lord that we can be opened up as the Book of the Life of the Lamb!
Multitudes of God’s people would rather remain a closed book. We wish to stay closed because of our unique personality, we are shy, reticent, humble, immature, inexperienced, or burdened down with sin-consciousness and condemnation. But I declare unto you, my beloved, that when God has finished writing in you, when He completes within you that living epistle which He knows is capable of being read and known of all men, then He will open you up! As God breaks and removes the seals from off of us, not only will great and mighty things take place in our own experience, but things will begin to happen in the outer world. Why is there such darkness over the earth, and gross darkness over the people? Because the very light of God is concealed within us. Although we are the light of the world, the light is shut up. Although we have within us the mighty River of Life, we are a fountain sealed. God must work mightily in us to release the light of our lives that His glory may arise upon His people and be seen upon them. And when that hour arrives nothing can stop God’s judgments from coming into the earth. And when His judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Aren’t you glad!
The seven-sealed book is not a record of past or future events in the outer world. It has nothing to do with wars between nations or judgments poured out upon the nations of earth. A book of world events would not be the revelation of Jesus Christ! A book of human events would not be of such a nature that no one in heaven nor on earth nor under the earth would be able to open the book or even to look thereon. Nor is it a book of “last things” in the destiny of the world, as all futurists proclaim. The vision of John shows that the seven-sealed book has its own contents. The revelation we are given indicates that the seven-sealed book symbolizes something that only Christ can handle. Therefore it must be a book of spiritual reality!
The main purpose of the vision in chapter five of the Revelation is to focus attention on the seven-sealed book. In this book we have the beginning of the revelation of Jesus Christ! It is the revelation of Himself released through His mighty spiritual work of transformation in His called and chosen elect. The breaking of the seals is the solemn and judicial way in which the Lamb nature establishes His rule and reign in those who have been purchased by His blood. It is the processing of God whereby the life of the Lamb is uncovered and unfolded within us. This is a book within a book. Literally, in the book of Revelation, the seven-sealed book is a symbolic book within the book John wrote of his visions. However, spiritually this means that John was brought to the place where he could see the intention of God written in the nature of a people.
There are seven seals upon this book. The number seven denotes that contained within this book is the totality of God’s character and the complete revelation of His will and purpose. As these seals are loosed in God’s people they begin to experience the fullness of all that God is. There has never been an expression of God at this level in the earth at any time except in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, for it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell. But now there is a people, His body, the completion of Him, that has been sealed unto the day of redemption, and when God has loosed in them all the seals there will be brought forth in the earth a many-membered expression of God at the same level of God’s fullness. You will know Him no longer by measure, you will see Him no more through a glass darkly, or as a reality beyond or outside of yourself. He will no longer be a mental image, a good feeling, an ideal, a philosophy or doctrine. You will know Him even as you are known by Him and will see Him face to face.
A remarkable prophecy was given by a saint of God in the year 1619. A portion of this prophecy confirms the truth I now share. It says, “There shall be a full redemption of Christ. This is a hidden mystery not to be revealed or understood without the revelation of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is at hand to reveal the same unto all holy seekers and loving inquirers. The completion of such redemption is withheld and abstracted by the seals of Revelation. Wherefore; as the Spirit of God shall open seal after seal, so shall this redemption come to be revealed, both particularly and universally. In the gradual opening of the mystery of redemption in Christ, does consist the unsearchable wisdom of God, which will continually reveal new and fresh things to the worthy seeker. The unsealing of the living testimony (perfected remnant of believers, the manchild, the literal sons of God’s people), along with the ark of God (Jesus Christ), must begin the promulgation of the everlasting Gospel of the Kingdom.” What a word!
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
Please send any inquiries or requests to the snail mail address:
Kingdom Bible Studies
PO Box 371240
El Paso, TX 79937-1240
Mark Eby for Kingdom Bible Studies.
All writings are distributed on a free-will offering basis.