FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
BREAKING THE SEALS
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, and one of the living creatures saying, Come and see” (Rev. 6:1).
The first seal is the first or outermost of the seals, and its being broken would permit a certain portion of the scroll to be unrolled and read. The breaking of the seal, and unrolling of the first portion of the scroll, is an emblem signifying that by this act the revelation of Christ in us would begin to be unfolded. We have studied the first five chapters and have begun to understand the great significance of John’s tremendous vision of the unveiling of Christ in our experience. On the one hand, the events are in chronological order, but on the other hand, they are eternal things; that means, they are spiritually already in the present! John sees everything at once, but he can only describe it to us successively, one thing at a time. For that reason we cannot separate chapters four, five, and six from each other.
When the first seal is opened John hears as it were the noise of thunder. The word “noise” is from the Greek phone meaning “tone, address, saying, language, voice — a disclosure.” Thus, it is a voice of revelation! Thunder denotes that it is a powerful voice of revelation. It is the voice of the spirit of revelation that brings the unveiling!
The first horse is introduced by “one of the four living creatures.” The living creatures represent the spirit of kingship, for they are in the midst of the throne. The voice of the living creature is the spirit of His kingship within us crying out for the unveiling of the Christ in our lives! The attribute of majesty speaks! Some have said that it was the lion that spoke, but it is not said which it was. Neither does it matter, for all four are equally involved, and successively speak precisely the same thing. I would point out in passing that where the living creatures and the elders speak separately, there is a distinction between them. When the subject concerns priesthood, the elders speak; but when it concerns kingship, and the going forth of power, the living creatures speak. Since it is the four living creatures that announce the four horses and their riders, the horses bespeak the coming forth of Christ in mighty authority and power to conquer everything within us that hinders or opposes the Christ-life, and to change and transform us into conquering ones!
“And I saw…one of the four living creatures saying, Come and see” (Rev. 6:1).
The cry itself is very brief — “Come!” It is not “Come and see” as we have it in the King James Bible, but just “Come!” There is a variation on this reading in the ancient Greek manuscripts. Codex Sinaiticus has a double imperative, “Come and see,” as though the command is addressed to John. Codex Alexandrinus, which is the text which shows the least evidence of alteration, has the single imperative, “Come,” as a signal for the horseman to ride across the stage of activity. Furthermore, John was already on the spot, beholding all that was transpiring, and did not need to be called any nearer. If John had needed to approach closer in order to behold the activity of the first horseman, he would not have needed to do so for the other three horses; yet we find the same command repeated in each successive instance. Most Bible scholars agree that the words “and see” should be omitted.
Whom do the living creatures call? Hear the cry of Revelation 22:20, “Surely y I come quickly.” And then John responds to the words of the Lord, saying, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” Hear the echo of Revelation 1:7 wherein John exclaims, “Behold, He cometh with clouds!” It is my deep conviction that the call is not addressed to the prophet John, but to the Lord Himself. The word Come therefore embodies the hope and desire of every son of God for the Christ to come forth as the mighty conqueror within us! This is the cry of every man and woman called to sonship to God, the earnest longing for the manifestation of the Lord in all His glorious fullness. The word “come” is addressed in each instance to the riders of the different horses; and it is a call for the Lord to come forth in the various dealings and workings of His Spirit and power to accomplish in us the work of the unveiling of the Christ.
Traditional teaching has led the Lord’s people to think in terms of the first coming of Christ and His second coming, whereas the scriptures speak in terms of the progressive revelation of Jesus Christ. The Bible nowhere talks about the “first coming” and the “second coming” as if these two embody the fullness of His coming. People use those terms as though they are found everywhere in the word of God! Yet the truth is, they are found nowhere! If I were to request a preacher to preach a sermon on the “second coming” of Christ using only the scriptures that mention His “second coming” it would be a short sermon indeed! In fact, the meeting would be canceled. We could just turn out the lights and all go home. The term is not in the Book. Neither is the term “first coming” in the Bible. These are unscriptural and extra-biblical terms. Those who use them have invented a theology all their own which is foreign to the scriptures.
What the Bible does talk about is the progressive revelation of Jesus Christ, the unveiling of the Son of God, and many different “comings” of the Lord. The Holy Spirit records, “But thou, Bethlehem of Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me who is to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting” (Mic. 5:2). Notice His “goings forth.” The plural is used. The goings forth of the Lord speak about the Lord Jesus Christ! Now, the idea of “goings” has to do with the onward marching of God — the unfolding of the purpose of God, step by step. This is what is indicated here. This is what history is all about, the progressive revelation of the Christ, the marching forward of God, the ever-increasing of the unveiling of Himself to man!
We dare not lose sight of the fact that our Lord has already had many comings, many appearings. We have limited the comings of Christ strictly to two because of our unscriptural terms “first coming” and “second coming,” but the truth is that He came; He continued to come; He comes; He continues to come; He will come; and He will continue to come! There are numerous “comings” and “appearings” of the Lord in the New Testament, BUT THEY DO NOT ALL REFER TO THE SAME EVENT. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty messengers, when He shall come to be glorified IN His saints, and to be admired IN all them that believe in that day” (II Thes. 1:7,10). Jesus Christ is coming again, and He is coming to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all the holy sons of God who by His grace have been conformed into His image throughout the age. These “many brethren” are the body of the Son of God! This is the fullness of God’s Christ!
Not for the world nor all that is in it would I for one moment miss the glory of the age and the ages which are to come! To reign with Christ and with Him usher all creation into the glory of God, which has been the vision of the prophets, the dream of the sages, the cry of the sons, the purpose of God, and the longing and expectation of all creation is a prize of far vaster worth than all the power and glory and wealth of all the nations of earth combined. Though God’s Christ is One, it will take the ages to come to reveal His manifold beauty and graces. He is the one Christ, yet His body is made up of many redeemed souls. He is the true Vine, yet there are many branches. He is the only begotten Son of God, yet He is leading many sons to glory! He is the only Saviour, yet He is bringing a whole company of saviours up on mount Zion!
Like the sound of many waters, the testimony of the word of God records with abundant and stunning and inescapable evidence that the coming of Christ is not one single event, or two great events, but includes many different manifestations. His coming to us and in us is a many-faceted experience! To multitudes He appears as Saviour. They find Him at the crossroads of their lives. They invite Him to “Come into my heart, come into my heart, Lord Jesus!” And this coming is just as real and meaningful and powerful as was His coming long centuries ago! To multitudes He becomes their salvation, and in this experience they become “acquainted” with Him, but they have only a superficial knowledge of Him. They never venture any deeper to know Him intimately.
To others He appears as Bridegroom. “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!” is the cry that meets the ears of the virgins waiting for His appearing. And for those who were unprepared, whose lamps had gone out and they had no oil, He came “as a thief” and they missed their hour of visitation. But for those who are prepared, they hear His voice and are moved by His love, and follow on to know Him in deeper measures of intimacy and union. To others He appears as a Refiner’s Fire. “The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple…like a refiner’s fire…He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver…He shall purge the sons of Levi (priesthood), that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness” (Mal. 3:1-3). This is a coming of the Lord that the “second coming” preachers miss altogether! The Lord comes to His priesthood company consuming their hay, wood, and stubble, eliminating by the spirit of burning all that is of self and not of God. These are but a few of the many “comings” and “appearings” of the Lord revealed in the scriptures. The coming of the Lord is as many-faceted as the most dazzling crystal of earth! In the book of Revelation especially we hear the cry for these comings of the Lord.
The Christ within our spirit shall charge through the earth of every man conquering until He is truly, in the most real way, King and Lord of all! Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Mat. 6:10). So then the kingdom of God originates in the heavenlies, in the realm of the spirit, and finds expression in the physical realm, in the earthlies. It is established in the believer’s heart. He takes unto Himself His mighty power and subdues all things unto Himself, not outwardly with tanks and guns and bombs, but inwardly by the power of His life. He goes into the soul, conquering and to conquer, until He has put all things under His feet.
We are praying for the time when God will give every unbeliever in the universe to Jesus Christ for His inheritance. We pray for the day when the uttermost parts of the earth will come under His dominion and possession. We pray for the day when all kingdoms will bow before Him and all nations shall serve Him. We pray for the day when the mountain of the house of the Lord, His government of kings and priests after the order of Melchizedek, the many-membered Christ of God, shall be established everywhere. We pray for that day when the fullness of the Gentiles shall come in and all Israel shall be saved. In that day it shall be seen that Christ is King over the whole earth! He will appear to every soul on earth, in heaven, and in hell as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. It is proper for those who love Him to seek His appearing, that He may appear to and in us in all the mighty workings and manifestations of His life, power, and glory. Everyone should pray that His kingdom, the kingdom of life, light, and love, would come quickly and swallow up the kingdoms of the flesh.
For the elect of God the Day has dawned! The Sun of Righteousness has arisen within our hearts! We see Him no longer through a glass darkly, but face to face! Our old heavens and our old earth have passed away! We live now in a New World, we sing now a New Song, our night has turned to Day! Darkness has flown away, sin and sorrow and death are swallowed up, God has wiped all tears from off our faces, we are living stones in the City which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and all things are made new! This is the present glorious and eternal reality of the sons of God in this wonderful Day of the Lord! This is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory of God within His chosen ones!
If I did not believe in the ultimate triumph of the kingdom of God in all realms and everywhere and over everything throughout the vastnesses of infinity, and if I believed that this world was to continue to be misruled and misgoverned as it is; if I believed that sin and sorrow and death and wicked men and vile institutions were to continue unto the end, I should despair of humanity and God, and I should certainly tear I Corinthians 15:20-28 out of my Bible and burn it on the trash heap. But God never gives up! God reigns! The good news which our Lord Jesus the Christ came to preach is “good news of great joy to all people.” Praise God for the good news! Praise God that it is to all people! God reigns! — that is the good news. Neither the will of man nor the power of satan shall prevail. God shall be Victor! He shall put every enemy under His feet and under our feet! The horses are galloping and Christ is riding forth conquering and to conquer! Aren’t you glad!
“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Rev. 6:2).
Bear in mind — the Revelation is not a re-viewing of history, nor a pre-view of future world events. Rather, it is a super-view of the unfolding of the spiritual life of every son of God! The book of Revelation is the last book of the Bible, not because it is the end of any revelation from God, but because it carries us into the revelation process as far as any outer scripture can. After this, it becomes one’s own unfoldment and one’s inner knowing and hearing of the Father’s voice that becomes his scripture. The Bible is actually a book about this inner scripture, the nature, life, mind, and power of the Christ within, and this is as far as any book or teacher can bring us: to the realization that the revelation is a process taking place within us! Let us then reverently take our places beside the astonished prophet and watch as the Lamb of God unrolls the scroll.
Everything I was ever taught about the horses of the Revelation, commonly called “The Four Horses of the Apocalypse” was always frightening, full of fear and dread. They always started out with the white horse rider being the antichrist. One preacher, showing where his faith lies, goes all the way and declares that the antichrist is “the only person who could accomplish all these feats!” From there things got worse and worse and by the time they finished with that chapter I was scared to death, the hair bristling on my neck, goosebumps pulsating on my skin, and chills running up and down my spine. They gave an altar call and we all hit the altar weeping and wailing, getting right with God so we wouldn’t miss the rapture and meet those four horses!
No interpretation of the white horse can be correct which does not recognize the connection with the similar vision found in chapter nineteen, though the two are not identical. The difference is that the vision there is the end or consummation of Christ’s warfare, as He and all the sons of God ride forth to subdue all things everywhere to their reign; but the white horse of chapter six is just the beginning or commencement of Christ’s warfare as He rides forth in our individual lives to subdue all things within our personal earth. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the ending. Here in vision He appears as “the Alpha,” that is, “the first,” riding forth out of the inner sanctum of the spirit of each of us, conquering and to conquer; but in chapter nineteen all those He has so conquered now ride with Him, we see the Rider on the white horse followed by the armies of heaven (sons of God) on white horses, going forth to subdue the nations and all things unto God’s Christ.
My heart’s desire is that all who read these truths may be filled with the divine conviction that God our Father is preparing a people to share the manifest image of Christ and reign with Him in His kingdom. Herein is to be found the real meaning, yea, the vital difference between the ministry of the Rider on the white horse in chapter six and the Rider of the white horse in chapter nineteen. The Rider of the white horse in chapter six is a solitary Rider, crowned with a single victor’s crown, whereas the Rider on the white horse in chapter nineteen is crowned with many crowns and is accompanied by an immense and powerful army astride a host of horses out of the heavenlies. It should not be difficult for any to understand that the solitary Rider wearing the single crown is none other than the forerunner, our Lord Jesus Christ, in His singular victory over sin, death, and hell — riding forth as the glorious Captain of our salvation to extend that victory into the consciousness and experience of each member of His elect body, the sons of God. He must complete His conquest within our mind, heart, and life before we in Him can press the battle onward to creation!
When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in chapter nineteen He does not come alone. Long millenniums ago Enoch prophesied of this appearing of the promised One, saying, “Behold the Lord cometh WITH TEN THOUSANDS OF HIS SAINTS (or, holy myriads of Himself) to execute judgment upon all…” (Jude 14,15). John with wonder beheld the scene and wrote, “The armies, the ones in the heaven, were following Him upon white horses” (Rev. 19:14). Christ Jesus is the Head and the Leader as He goes before; His holy ones follow in His train, for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God; and these are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. They are represented as armies! They come forth as a body of warriors! He has many under His command! The armies of the heavenlies are His, and He does battle with them, by them, through them, and as them, even “the called, and chosen, and faithful.” There is no infantry. There really is no cavalry, for all the horses are white, and every one who follows Him is of exalted rank. It is an army of princes, a host of mighty dignitaries. He is the Leader, yet as He is, so are we! It is the corporate Christ! It is one new man, one glorious Head and body! It is not Christ and us — it is simply Christ! Moreover, they have no weapons, except the sharp two-edged sword that proceeds out of HIS MOUTH, which is the Living Word of God. His Word is our Word, and we have no Word except that which He is and which we are! Oh, the mystery of it!
In both cases the color of the horses is white, an emblem of Christ’s purity and divine holiness. Every other place throughout the visions of John it stands for righteousness and purity. And in Zechariah 14:20 this purity is connected to horses. “In that day shall the bells of the horses (that is the strength of all) ring out, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD.” White also bespeaks of light — illumination. These are the qualities that characterize, not only the firstborn Son of God, but also His many brethren, the sons of God. In the messages to the seven churches, the out-called, challenging them to overcome, we read, “I counsel thee to buy of me…white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed” (Rev. 3:18). This is naught but the transfiguring glory of Christ, as it is written, “And He was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light” (Mat. 17:2). The light is the robe of divine majesty, the incorruptible life of God in the spirit emanating from the nature of absolute holiness that illuminates and quickens spirit, soul, and body. This is the Spirit by which Jesus was raised from the dead, even the spirit of holiness (Rom. 1:4). It shines out through these vessels of clay and transforms us into the incorruptible nature of the indwelling spirit! In this very hour every one who is called to sonship to God is beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and we are being changed, transformed, transfigured, metamorphosed even as by the spirit of the Lord! (II Cor. 4:18).
Clearly from a comparison of Revelation 19 with Revelation 6:2 the Rider is Christ Himself; here He has a bow with which to shoot the arrow of truth deep into our hearts, whereas there He has a sharp sword going out of His mouth, that with it He might smite the nations and rule them with a rod of iron. In either case it is the same power of His word going forth, but in different administrations. I would remind all who read these lines that the Rider in chapter nineteen is named “The Word of God,” and the sword going out of His mouth is the truth going forth to battle. The sword is an instrument of war, and so is the bow! And what is the bow? The inspired prophet tells us in these words, “Thou didst ride upon Thine horses and Thy chariots of salvation. Thy bow was made quite naked…even Thy word” (Hab. 3:8-9). Can we not see by this that both the bow and the sword are THE WORD OF GOD! And then “there was given unto Him a crown.” The Greek word for crown in Revelation 6:2 always indicates a crown of victory, while the word in chapter nineteen denotes a crown of royalty. In chapter six the crown is given after the Rider’s appearance, whereas in chapter nineteen they are already worn. At the commencement He wears a single crown, bespeaking the individuality of His conquest within each of us. But then at the end He wears many crowns — representing the crowns of all the sons of God who reign and conquer by Him!
The Word of God comes riding upon a white horse, and the army of the sons of God follow Him, all riding upon white horses. What a scene! The horse is an animal that men ride. It is like a car — it’s a vehicle. The horse in scripture is a symbol for THE BRINGING OF GOD’S PRESENCE AND POWER IN WARFARE. It signifies STRENGTH AND SWIFTNESS IN BATTLE. The old Roman conquerors, when celebrating a brilliant conquest, rode down the avenues of the imperial city upon a snow-white steed, and received the plaudits of the people. The Lord is described as the Word of God emblematically riding on a white horse; it is the image of aggressive action, of a prosperous conquest over all His foes. It means victory! The horse in scripture represents strength, and fearlessness to accomplish its task. Of the horse it is written, “He paweth the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrightened; neither turneth he back from the sword. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage; he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting” (Job 39:21-25). “I have taken away your horses (strength)” (Amos 4:10).
On the negative side, whenever the word horse is used in relationship with fleshly humanity it signifies human strength. Isaiah 31:1-3 informs us: “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots (that is, human strength and human ability), because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong…they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!” Again, “Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are fleshly (strength), and not spirit.” “For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses (human strength) and confound the riders on the horses (those who trust in human ability)” (Hag. 2:22; Zech. 10:5).
On the positive side, whenever the word horse is used with righteousness, or divinity, or the Lord, or things heavenly, it means heavenly, divine, or spiritual strength. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war…and the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses” (Rev. 19:11,14). That is, they followed Him in heavenly, divine, spiritual strength! In Habakkuh 3:14-15 the prophet, reminiscing about Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, extols the triumph of Yahweh, exclaiming, “You pierced with his own arrows the head of the enemy’s hordes…You have trodden the sea with Your horses, beside the heap of great and surging waters.” The meaning is clear — You have trodden the sea IN YOUR DIVINE STRENGTH! Egypt had abundance of horses, swift and strong, but God had horses out of the spirit world! Not literal horses, of course; they represented the STRENGTH AND MIGHT OF GOD IN BATTLE! They signify the almighty POWER OF THE SPIRIT in all His manifestations. With what simple words does the Holy Spirit teach us that the strength of the Spirit always exceeds and excels over the strength of the flesh! Thus, horses are symbols given to us that denote the nature and work of the anointing that rests upon the sons of God. Horses are figures of overcoming, invincible strength and power, signifying that wherever these horses go, WHATEVER IS IN THEIR WAY IS OVERCOME BY THEM!
Wonderful visions passed before the rapt gaze of the Seer on Patmos’ lonely isle. And none could have been more thrilling than the vision we are now considering. In the far upper spaces, midst the maze and whirl of mist and cloud, and vast throngs of beings, and reverberations of great rolling noises, appears a snow-white horse, which immediately attracts the attention of the apostle. Its arching neck clothed with thunder, its tossing mane, its dilated nostrils, its deep chest, its flashing eyes, its superb grace as it pranced before him, made it the noblest horse and most magnificent which he had ever beheld.
But his glance passed swiftly from horse to rider; and though the snow-white charger eclipsed any animal John had ever seen, yet it was mounted by a person who, in form and feature and bearing, surpassed any man he had beheld, and his gaze was riveted by the unrivaled charm of his person. As John watched him, he saw him move irresistibly along a path of conquest. And, as he gazed, he recognized the rider as being his own well-beloved friend and master, Jesus Christ, whom he had so devotedly followed when, on earth, He walked slowly and wearisomely from place to place. Now, instead of being a pedestrian he was an equestrian, and instead of meekly submitting to His enemies He was overcoming them by the tremendous might of His powerful advance. It was a vision very real to the apostle; but it was recorded to teach, in symbolic form, the warrior spirit of Christ, and the great campaign upon which He has entered to conquer the hearts of men! The sphere of His movements, as perceived by the apostle, was this earth; and the time of His advance was over the globe throughout the church age unto the establishing of the kingdom.
Furthermore, this One goes forth “conquering and to conquer.” Special attention must be paid to the peculiar statement of the elder in Revelation 5:5 that the Lamb has “prevailed” to open the book and to loose the seals thereof. The use of the Greek verb “to conquer” occurs more frequently in John’s writings than in any other of the books of the New Testament. This is the word here rendered “prevailed.” It is the same word used when the Rider on the white horse goes forth “conquering and to conquer.” It is the same word used repeatedly in chapters two and three of the overcomer where at the termination of each of the messages to the seven churches the Spirit proclaims, “To him that overcometh…” “To him that conquers!” Ah, the Rider on the white horse is going forth overcoming and to overcome, prevailing and to prevail, conquering and to conquer! The term denotes grammatically AN UNENDING SERIES OF CONQUESTS, UNINTERRUPTED BY ANY DEFEATS, WHOSE VICTORIES SHOULD LAST FOREVER!
And so Jesus Christ, astride of the snow-white charger, is put in a position where He is perpetually celebrating a victory. His march is a victorious march! His movements always meet with success! His plans are fulfilled, and His campaigns unfurl to the breezes the banners of triumph. Jesus Christ is going forth as a conqueror, and He does so with great swiftness, rapidity, and power! The action in which He is engaged requires the greatest power, even the power of the spirit; and His movements are energized with tremendous force. Ah, precious friend of mine, are there things in your life that seem insurmountable and unconquerable? Have you struggled with attitudes, fears, lusts, emotions, circumstances, weaknesses, habits, and shortcomings? Have you despaired of ever truly being conformed to the image of God’s son; have you questioned whether you can really share in the glory of manifest sonship? Hear the word of the Lord today! It is Christ Himself who is taking up the battle within you — it is Christ the Lord who is galloping through the battlefield of your heart, soul, and body. Here in the saddle He is roused, every faculty excited, every source of strength summoned, and He is bearing forward for the purpose of conquering every foe within you! He that is within you is mighty! Expose yourself to His wonderful presence, yield yourself to His powerful word, cast yourself upon the pathway of His conquest — He is moving down upon the enemy, charging upon all opposition, overcoming by the impetuous energy of His movements within your life! It is indeed wonderful!
The purpose of your quickening by Christ was to make you consciously a part of Himself, to give you a calling to glory, to a place where God by His Spirit can express Himself through you, so you can bring righteous judgment to the earth. That’s what this white horse is all about! Your life and everything that happens to you is given to train and equip you for a royal position in God. The only reason the heavenly Father sent you here from the realm of spirit, lowered into the bondage of corruption, was to process you, to groom you for a position in God, to be one in the Saviour and to become a saviour. This is the day when everything we have hoped and dreamed of in God will be realized in our experience! We have so limited God in the way we have thought about Him. I’m telling you that we stand on the threshold of an outworking of God that is so powerful that it will bring an absolute end to the downward spiral of sin and death in humanity. It will put a blockade in the road to the flesh.
The manifestation of God through His sons which is immediately before us will turn creation around! We shall manifest unto mankind a life and victory and power that will shake the very foundations of the earth, an action that will alter the course of the world, bringing correction and righteousness. A people in this hour is being raised, not out of the cemetery, but out of the grave of their mind, out of the tomb of carnal, mortal consciousness, out of the crypt of religion and vain traditions, raised up to the place where they can be the manifestation of the totality of the personality of God. We are being raised to become the expression of the substance of His Person. This company is Christ the Head riding forth upon a white horse followed by Christ the body, all the sons of God riding with Him upon white horses — by the strength of righteousness — bringing the rule of the kingdom of God among men.
But when the Rider of Revelation six comes there are none with Him — He rides alone. Ah — is it not within the corridors of your own soul, my beloved, that you must hear the hoofbeats of this great white steed thundering! He must ride right into your earth, even that earth which you are, conquering all the territory and every stronghold of your land. Don’t you hear the clatter of the hoofs of that gallant charger as He bounds through that world which you are, carrying its Rider to grand battlefields and glorious victories within? Christ the conqueror goes forth to conquer! He hath a bow, and His bow is bent still and He is riding the white horse, and the arrows of Divine Truth are piercing our hearts, and every enemy within spirit, soul, and body falls down before Him; all opposition is shattered to pieces; the strongholds and defenses are torn away as paper walls; the radiant brilliance of His glory flashes its dazzling light upon the eyes of the understanding, piercing effectively every cherished tradition, human interpretation, and carnal concept; swallowing up even every sin, all sorrow, pain, sickness, fear, and death.
I see Christ conquering! Though all men are His by right of creation and redemption, yet He must do battle to make conquest of the human heart which has been occupied by the enemies of His mind, heart, and life. He must fight His way inch by inch into the human soul until He possesses that which He purchased, until the citadels of mind, will, emotion, and desire have been taken and brought under the dominion of Truth. His victories are victories of peace over conflict, of joy over sorrow, of faith over fear, of righteousness over unrighteousness, of love over hate, of truth over error, of holiness over sin, of health over sickness, of power over weakness, of the image of God over the subterfuge of self, of life and immortality over corruption and death. Of the triumph of His life within the overcomers the Lord says, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from my eyes” (Hos. 13:14). God is the enemy of death. And He is the enemy of the grave! God right now is waging a war against the death and the grave that is in your mind, dear one. “For to be carnally minded is death” (Rom. 8:6). The Spirit of the Christ within witnesses, “Grave and death — you’re not going to have any victory!” “For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. And the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (I Cor. 15:25-26). The last enemy that shall be destroyed in you and in me is death!
When the Lord prophesies this victory over death in Hosea 13:14 He closes His statement with these words: “Repentance shall be hid from my eyes.” God says, “There is no way that I am going to change my mind about my purpose — when I come forth out of the realm of Spirit and commence making war with death and hell I will not stop until every foe is vanquished.” In Himself the victory is already attained, fully and forever! “I am He that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” God is not turning back, the hour for the manifestation of sonship is nigh at hand, and He that hath begun a good work in us shall complete it. The day of death is over. It’s time to live! Hallelujah!
This is the conquest that is going on right now in that inner world of our hearts, minds, and bodies. May the blessed Holy Spirit deeply impress upon all who read these lines this unalterable truth: YOU WILL NEVER CONQUER UNTIL YOU ARE CONQUERED! You see, in the army of Christ all the vanquished have enlisted, and all of those who were once enemies, such as Saul of Tarsus who once opposed Christ and who now is one of the leaders of that army beyond the veil. As we look at the triumph of Christ we see that the vanquished and the conquerors merge as one. Saul of Tarsus went forth to war against Jesus, but he was struck to the ground outside Damascus, the sword was smitten from his hand, and he was conquered by the Son of God. But in that conquest Paul was to realize his greatest victory and he, too, was to become a part of the ongoing triumph of Christ — a triumph which is even now proceeding into the heavenly city.
We don’t have to wait until “some glad day after while” because the battle is going on right now! GOD ALWAYS CAUSETH US TO TRIUMPH IN CHRIST (II Cor. 2:14). I want to tell you that is a life-changing concept and, yet, some who read these words have never yet even begun to touch the hem of its garment. Our Captain, our King, our General has won the victory! He has conquered death! He has conquered hell! He has conquered all the powers of the flesh and of evil! And now He brings that triumph to us! And we can receive the spoils of His warfare! How can we be winners and partakers of that victory? First of all we need to know that we can never be part of those that conquer with Christ until we have been conquered by Christ. Therein lies the difference between the white horses and their Riders in chapters six and nineteen of the Revelation. It was not until Saul had been knocked to his knees in the dust and all his own struggles and battle had been lost, that he entered into the victorious army of Jesus Christ. In that conquest Saul of Tarsus was slain and Paul the apostle rose up to take his place. Perhaps you are struggling in your spiritual life, trying to overcome, but the problem is you have never completely surrendered to Jesus Christ. That surrender cannot be merely by word. It must be in reality! There are those who offer Christ their praise and speak great swelling words of revelation in the gatherings of the saints, but go out and know that their life is not conquered by Christ the Lord.
When Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington he came up to Washington and his aides, each dressed in their finest military garb. Cornwallis began to extol Washington’s virtues as a commander and military strategist and told him how impressed he was with the incredible maneuvers he had used. He continued in this way until suddenly Washington interrupted him and said, “Your sword, sir!” At another time, in another place, after the Hellespont was crossed, and he was making ready to march through Thrace, the king of Sparta commissioned heralds to the authorities of the countries through which he was about to move, asking them if he should come as an enemy or as a friend. “By all means as a friend,” replied nearly every one. The king of Macedon, however, answered, “I will take time to consider.” Immediately the king of Sparta sent the message, “In the meantime we march; we march!” So the great King of kings sends us His heralds as He approaches, and asks, “Shall I come to you as a friend or an enemy?” Gladly He would be your friend! Most of us say with whatever we can muster, “Let Him come as my friend.” Some may say, “We will take time to consider.” Others will say, if not in words, truly by actions, “I want Him to come as my friend — to bless me — but I reserve the rights to this or that area of my life.” In the meantime the great King marches toward us. He is coming! He is coming conquering, and to conquer! He will conquer you, my friend! He will ride into your world swiftly and powerfully and will shoot His arrows into your heart until every knee bows and Christ is Lord of all! We will not experience the victory until first we have been vanquished by Christ and have surrendered our carnal weapons. The power of His kingdom must reign supreme within. Our hearts are the seat of the throne of God, because there He reigns! The royal seat is the image of God in the spirit; and where this throne is established in the heart it extends over the whole soul and body.
You who have not yet surrendered to Him as King of kings, you who know Him as Saviour, as Healer, as Baptizer, as Blesser, but have not crowned Him as Lord of all within, don’t you hear His trumpet pealing in your ears, sounding down through all the chambers of your soul’s fortress? You who have tried to be a good Christian, faithfully performing the religious activities of the man-made church systems, but have not hitherto heard the call to “come out of her” and come up higher into the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus — why do you stand out longer? Why not draw in your colors this day, and invite HIM to the supreme place in your heart and life, and enroll yourself among His followers from henceforth, to follow Him to the heights of mount Zion; and then, when He celebrates His last victory, be among those who come with songs and everlasting joy to share the fruits of His victory and show forth His praise forevermore. Amen!
The kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God over all. The foundation of this kingdom is in the human heart. “The kingdom of God is within you.” The world has not yet witnessed anything like the total and absolute government of God, except in the life of Jesus. But there has been an increase of His kingdom from generation to generation and from age to age. A new order is now coming forth in the earth! The hour of the completion of the body of Christ that has been forming in the earth for the past two millenniums is now at hand. The age of the reigning of Christ through the perfected, matured, empowered manifest sons of God is now ready to be revealed.
I say to you by the authority of God — if God’s kingdom is coming in you, if His government is increasing in you, then His government is absolutely capable of ruling in righteousness and peace and power over every situation and circumstance. I do not say it will all happen overnight or tomorrow. But nothing is too hard for the government of the almighty Christ! You do not have to settle for things as they are. YOU can change them! He that is in you is mighty, and He will make you an overcomer right where you are. You must overcome within yourself before you can expect to see changes in those about you. You have been apprehended as a king-priest after the order of Melchizedek! You have power to conquer, power to possess, power to inherit, power to bless, power to reconcile, power to redeem, power to change and transform all things! Oh, yes! When we have fully possessed our own land and claimed our own inheritance we shall then be qualified to rule nations and worlds and galaxies!
The reign of Christ in our lives is being confirmed as Father changes us, renews our minds, increases our vision, strengthens our faith, and transforms our natures. When He removed all the old religious traditions and doctrines and ideas that were not of Him, our Father was preparing us for the pure and holy and righteous reign of God in us and through us. In this new Day the love of God and the power of God shall prevail! The elect of God who are beholding the face of the Lord and being changed into His likeness are the highest expression of the kingdom of God in the earth. To them shall be given the fullness of what sonship is — the kingdom and the dominion over all things that they may reign in love, mercy, goodness, reconciliation, power, and righteousness, not forcing men to obey, but imparting to all men the transforming grace of God in the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost without measure!
The SPIRIT OF MIGHT that rests upon the Rider on the white horse, and which shall rest upon all of God’s sons, is not the same kind of might known by the people of this world; it is not the might of force, of marching armies, of clanging swords, of tanks and bursting bombs, for these exist only in the realm of carnal might. The might of God and of God’s Christ is spiritual might. If our eyes have been opened by the Spirit of God we will see that the nature of all our work in the army of the Lord is spiritual! The power of the kingdom is spiritual power, its citizens are a spiritual people, its ministry is a spiritual ministry, its authority is spiritual authority, its conquests are spiritual conquests, its dominion is spiritual dominion, its laws are spiritual laws, its weapons are spiritual weapons, its priesthood is a spiritual priesthood, its sovereignty is a spiritual sovereignty. Many of the Lord’s precious people are no further advanced in their understanding than were the fleshly-minded Jews of Jesus’ day who looked for the Messiah to deliver them from Rome — as if being free from Rome would change everything! The work of the kingdom is the work of rescuing men out of the power of darkness and the bondage of the flesh and the carnal mind that they may be gained for God. It is the work of imparting unto men the very life and Spirit of the Lord that men may be gained even more and more by God until He truly becomes “all in all.” Thus shall the whole creation be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God!
Praise God for the exalted road that leads to Zion, no ravenous beast shall trod the path that the vultures eye has not seen. These are glorious days indeed for the army of God, a great people, there has not even been the like thereof unto the years of many generations. There is a mighty stirring in the spirit as the army of the Lord musters for battle. Truly the white horse is riding triumphantly through our land, conquering every enemy within, and announcing to us that He reigns in a voice of thunder from His throne. May He reign and speak through us even as He reigns and speaks within us in the great Day of the Lord! The weapon of Him who rides through our land is the bow of His word sending Truth into our minds and hearts; the weapon of the army of God is the sword of the Spirit, the sharp two-edged sword of the Living Word of God — a sword to smite the nations, not with the carnal force of merciless slaughter, but with the life-changing properties of TRUTH AND LIFE. The battle fought by the Christ of God is a spiritual warfare, combat between light and darkness, between spirit and flesh, between truth and error, between righteousness and evil, between life and death, between the customs and ways of this world and the principles of the kingdom of God.
Ride on, O Horseman! Ride on, O Horsemen!
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
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Mark Eby for Kingdom Bible Studies.
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