KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
studies in end-time revelation
THE HEAVENS DECLARE
For several months we have plumbed the depths and scaled the heights of revelation in the grand drama portrayed by the Sign of Scorpio in GOD'S BIBLE IN THE SKY. We have seen that the testimony of the heavens and the revelation of scripture are one in every respect in showing to us the great significance of the conflict between the powerful Orphiuchus and the Serpent, that is to say, between Christ and Satan. In this writing we draw to a conclusion these meditations on this scene of conflict and triumph, to pass on to the next celestial Sign and the scintillating treasures of truth it contains for the elect of God in this Day of the Lord.
The various names for the Serpent are most instructive. In the word "serpent" there is the idea of cunning, of slyness, "the wiles of the devil." It is not the thought of monstrosity showing itself in a public way, but diplomacy working under cover and carrying its point underhandedly. In the word "satan" we have the thought of the adversary merely. There is no thought of evilness, but simply opposition. From the beginning there has been that which has stood in opposition to the life of the Spirit in man, and has fully earned its reputation as the most adroit of adversaries. Paul describes it as the flesh warring against the Spirit, and the carnal mind that is enmity against God. The flesh and the carnal mind are neither inanimate objects, but living, energizing realities, truly the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience (offspring of old Adam). The word "devil" means an adversary who slanders, or an "accuser." This title is used throughout scripture, where he is revealed as the slanderer of God and the accuser of man. In that long-ago Eden he slandered God -- "Yea, hath God said! God doth know..." -- and accused man -- "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked...and the Lord God said, Who told thee that thou wast naked?" (Gen. 3:1,7,11). The Serpent's chatter on down through the centuries has followed exactly the same line -- he has not deviated one iota from his first method of approach. More christians are defeated by accusation and condemnation than anything else. We will be the victim of a double deception if we cannot recognize either the liar or his lies!
The scriptures draw a wonderful contrast between the intercession of Christ, on the one hand, and the accusation of the Devil, on the other hand. As I have studied the Word of God and been taught by the precious spirit of Truth many things have become evident, one of which is that while intercession may be Godward, the scriptures reveal that the primary thrust of the intercession of the Christ is not Godward at all, but manward, an intercession that is to us-ward, to bring us to God, to draw us to the Father, to work mightily in us, that we might yield ourselves unto Him, to live out the revelation of the Spirit in our lives. The real truth about the intercession of the Christ has been clouded by the corrupted theology of man. I am sure that you, as I, have heard preachers try to describe His ministry of intercession. It goes something like this. Satan, our enemy and the accuser of the brethren, stands before the Father up in heaven accusing us day and night. Satan tells God about all our failings; he enumerates to God every sin we commit in thought, word, or deed. He is constantly, unceasingly, relentlessly and unmercifully accusing us of every shortcoming and weakness. The Father, on the other hand, is portrayed as greatly offended and incensed by our sins, and exceedingly wroth with sinners; a vindictive punisher, somehow obligated by His superior sense of justice to be the avenger of every little thing we do wrong. Many parents have unwittingly darkened the hearts of their little children with threats of the certain vengence of this God who is a constant terror over the life. "Now don't you do that because GOD will punish you!" And even much stronger things are told to little children. God becomes a mean, harsh, vindictive old man up in the sky with beady little piercing eyes possessing wonderful X-ray vision which can penetrate into the deepest recesses of mind and heart, and the thickest darkness of night, scrutinizing every thought and action. This God, moreover, is waiting, lurking about everywhere, with a punishing whip of large dimensions!
Enter the Son. You know as well as I do that the church system has always taught that this God of exacting justice and undiminished wrath must be appeased, soothed, turned aside from His furious vengence, and that this feat can only be accomplished by the bold and insistent intercession of the compassionate SON, our wonderful Lord and elder brother, standing opposite Satan, before the judgment-throne of the Father, as our Advocate, our Lawyer, pleading our cause, beseeching God to be kind to us for His sake, to commute our sentence, and begging for our lives on the ground that He paid the price for the forgiveness of our sins. According to this hypothesis the anger of God can only be appeased by looking upon the bloody sweat and cruel, ugly death of His Son, as He stands there interceding for us. I do not hesitate to tell you that such a teaching is utter rubbish and the brashest sort of nonsense. It springs from the Romish tradition that likens God the Father to a fearful and offended despot, spoiling for the blood of the offenders, and it makes Christ to be the One who pleads with God on behalf of the victim until the Father is consoled and placated. And if it weren't for our Advocate, Jesus, God would listen to the Devil's accusations and really lay it on to us. We could even lose our salvation because of Satan's accusations, if it weren't that the merciful Jesus is there to prevent God from casting us into hell, by presenting His blood on our behalf. Such is a gross caricature of the truth. More than that, it is a stupid absurdity and a horrible blasphemy. Praise God, the Spirit is unfolding Truth in ever-increasing dimensions of glory which magnifies God's glorious nature of love and mercy, His wisdom and power, His goodness and the prudence of all His plans and purposes.
It is my conviction that not even Satan is senseless enough to believe that he could approach OUR FATHER and convince Him to condemn us because of our failures. Nowhere does the scripture state that Satan accuses the saints to God. What it does say is that "the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which ACCUSED T-H-E-M B-E- F-O-R-E OUR GOD day and night"(Rev. 12:10). It is one thing to be accused before, that is, in the presence of, or in front of another person, and another thing altogether for the accuser to accuse you TO the other one. It should be abundantly evident that Satan does not accuse us to God, he merely accuses us before God. It is not the almighty and omniscient God, my brother, my sister, whom Satan wishes to convince of your unworthiness -- it is YOU! Satan has no misconceptions about his ability to persuade God of your weakness and worthlessness, but if he can influence YOU to believe that you are unworthy, that you are a failure, that you are hopeless, that it is impossible for you to attain to the High Calling of God in Christ, that it is beyond the realm of possibility for you to lay hold upon life and immortality; or that God does not love you, leaving you condemned and helpless -- he is thereby able to rob you of all your hope, faith, confidence, joy, peace and victory!
Don't think for one moment, my beloved, that this scene is set in some far-off heaven somewhere! Satan is not standing in a red devil suit before the great white throne somewhere beyond the milky way -- ah, he lurks, rather, in the corruption and unbelief of our own carnal minds, in the unrelenting voice of our own distorted conscience, in the perverted reasoning and logic of our silly superstitions about God, slithering about in the lowest realms of man's earthiness. The reason why so many saints fail when it comes to the temptations and condemnations of the Devil is that they don't really want to resist Satan. We have been taught in the past to flee from the Serpent, that old dragon that appears as a roaring lion, and this we have been doing all along; but on this Day, this glorious Day of illumination and truth, all of us who walk in the light of this Day will discover that it has been the very Serpent that has been BRUISING YOUR HEELS all these years in your house, causing you to err, to sin and stumble day and night! And it is the very Dragon that has been ACCUSING YOU DAY AND NIGHT BEFORE GOD IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD WHICH YOU ARE! You see, Satan never comes as some hideous monster with horns, a forked tail and a pitchfork. He doesn't blare at you through a loudspeaker. HE COMES IN YOUR OWN DESIRES! HE SPEAKS IN YOUR OWN THOUGHTS! HE TORMENTS THROUGH YOUR OWN FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS! The battle rages in the MIND, whisperings out of the dust realm, accusations that shout at you from within. And God is there, too! The indwelling Spirit of God likewise speaks from within, out of the spiritual mind, the voice of inspiration, the spirit of revelation, words of grace and wisdom drop from His tongue, the still small Voice of the Father from within His temple of clay, graciously assuring, "I love you, My beloved son; you are My very own son, and I will be a Father to you; I will strengthen you, I will uphold you, for I am the Faithful One and will complete the good work I have begun in you and present you faultless before My throne." And there, before God in His temple -- within -- rises the other voice, the voice of the carnal mind, the voice of the flesh -- the Accuser! It is there in the imaginations of the mind, in the heavens of that universe which you are, that Satan the Accuser must be cast down, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God within.
The Devil may accuse us, but God will never condemn. Is God for us, or against us? Is He on our side, or isn't He? "What shall we say to all this? If God be for us, who can be against us? Who can be our foe, if God is on our side? He who did not withhold or spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect when it is God who justifies? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, who acquits us? Who is there to condemn us?" (Rom. 8:31-34, Amplified). That wonderful Father! That gracious Redeemer! The most loving and faithful of all beings! He turned my heart back again and restored me into His life. God, the Father, sent Jesus -- the very fullness of His own heart -- sent Him into the world to die on Calvary's cross. God so loved the world that He gave! We did not choose Him, He chose us and ordained us! We love Him, because He first loved us! Who is he that condemns? Not God! What can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus? The answer is sure -- there is not one created thing in all the vast universe that can separate us from God's love - certainly not the accusation of the Devil!
What does it mean, that Jesus makes intercession for us? Jesus is our mediator, our intercessor and our advocate; He stands between God and us, but just what is He doing when He does this? Is He pleading with the Father to be merciful to us and forgive us? No, a thousand times no! The Greek word is ENTUCHANO meaning "to meet with, to converse with, to entreat." The question is just this: With whom does the Christ meet, with whom does He converse, and whom does He entreat? God, or man? God so loved the world that He gave His Son for us. God so loved! God gave the Son! Does the Father of love have to be entreated to be kind and merciful and gracious unto us? Listen! "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM...now then we are ambassadors FOR CHRIST, as though GOD DID B-E-S-E-E-C-H Y-O-U by us: we pray (Greek: beg, petition, beseech, intercede) you in Christ's stead, BE YE reconciled to God" (II Cor. 5:19-20). Therefore, we find that HIS INTERCESSION IS TO US-WARD, to meet with us, to converse with us, to entreat us, to petition us, to intercede with us, to reveal the Father's heart to us, to bring us back to Father, that we might be reconciled to God; working in us that we might know Him in all His glorious and eternal reality. All this attention of Christ is directed toward us. God does not have to be interceded with for us, it was the invisible and unknowable God who sent the Christ to us, to meet with us, to woo us, to draw us that we and the Father might be one again.
THE DRAGON IN THE SEA
"And the great DRAGON was cast out, that OLD SERPENT, called the DEVIL, and SATAN, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth... and I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the DRAGON, that OLD SERPENT, which is the DEVIL and SATAN, and bound him a thousand years" (Rev. 12:9; 20:1-2).
Large sections of scripture, in fact a preponderance of the prophetical books, are couched in symbolic terms, hiding much of the "mysteries" of God in figurative language. This is done quite purposely by the Lord that the unspiritual while "seeing" actually see not and "hearing" actually hear not (Mat. 13:10-17). The careful study of the key Semitic symbols, in which so much of the Word of God is given, is vitally important to the one who would "rightly divide the word of truth." Since the book of Revelation is a "sign-i-fied" or "sign-language" book (Rev. 1:1), we should not be surprised to find that it abounds in Semitic symbols which convey the truth in figurative language.
Just as the title "serpent" in Genesis describes the Devil as wily, seductive, poisonous, and deadly, so the term "dragon" is descriptive of his great power, magnitude, and terrifying monster qualities. Hear what the scriptures say about the Serpent and the Dragon, and it will be very clear that these are one and the same. "And there appeared another wonder in heaven: and behold a great RED DRAGON, having seven heads and ten horns...and the great DRAGON was cast out, that ANCIENT SERPENT, called the DEVIL, and SATAN, which deceiveth the whole world...and they worshipped the DRAGON which gave power unto the beast...and an angel came down and laid hold on the DRAGON, that ancient SERPENT, WHICH IS THE DEVIL AND SATAN, and bound him..." (Rev. 12:9 13:4; 20:1-2). The Dragon is a fabulous mythical creature that never really existed except in the imaginations of men. They were supposed to be enormous in size, up to forty feet long. They had wings like a bird's, scales like a reptile's, claws like an eagle's, and long tails like an alligator's. They breathed fire. The Dragon always stood as a symbol of wrath and destruction. In Africa and Asia people still worship images of monsters and dragons.
As the subtle Serpent came with stealth into the Garden of Eden defiling with selfhood the hearts of the parents of the human race, making a murderer of Adam's first son, so has he developed in mankind from that small and unimposing beginning to become a monster of gigantic dimensions filling the whole world with religious delusion and fleshly corruption. In Genesis Satan entered Eden as a cunning little Serpent, but in Revelation he has grown into a monstrous fire-belching Dragon in the earth and in the sea. In Genesis Satan is an enchanting Serpent indwelling a mere handful of people, whereas in Revelation he is a "great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns," a composite of peoples, nations, and governmental authorities. So now the network that he runs is huge and powerful and intimidating and dominates the world and the so-called church as well. He is no longer the inconspicuous little reptile of Eden. He is the horn of worldly strength that Jesus claims makes him "the prince of this world." How is it that Satan began as a little Serpent in Eden and ends as a great Dragon in the book of Revelation? Because he dwells in the minds of men and men have so built him up in their minds and attributed to him such power and authority that the little Serpent has been transformed into a great red Dragon! He is not some sinister creature from outer space, nor a powerful, omnipresent spirit. No. He exists in the mind of man -- he's in your mind if you allow him to be! That's why the scripture admonishes: "...neither give place to the devil" (Eph. 4:27). How do you give place to the Devil? With your own thoughts!
When Adam and Eve departed from Eden the Serpent was in their hearts, their minds, and in their bodies. It should not be difficult for any man to see that all the unrestrained evils that are running rampant in the world today are but the out-croppings, the fruitage, the increase, yea, the manifestation of the Dragon that is now full-grown from the little Serpent in Eden. This monster dwells within each one of us. It could be explained as the accumulated genetic legacy and cosmic consciousness from hundreds of our ancestors who have lived out of and cultivated the beastly nature. After Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden it was but a short space until the Serpent in Cain slew one righteous man, whereas the Dragon that stalks the earth today in a vast multitude of billions of Adam's posterity has slain millions on the blood-stained battlefields of every continent and nation on the face of the earth, not to mention the untold millions more who have been the victims of crime and violence of every kind, and the saints of all ages who have been viciously persecuted to death. Ah, yes, the little Serpent has become a giant Dragon, stalking and stomping about in the dust of Adam's race!
We need not be surprised at the increase of this satanic power at the end of the age. Can we not see that in every age the degree of wickedness in the earth is proportionate to the INCREASE OF MANKIND? Of a dim and distant age it is written, "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth...God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:1,6). And of our own age it is declared, "This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, devils, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (2 Tim. 3:1-4). Two millenniums ago the apostle Paul accurately prophesied, "But the evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (II Tim. 3:13). May the Spirit of the Lord open wide the eyes of our understanding to see the simple and evident truth that as MEN increase in the earth -- THE DEVIL INCREASES! In making this statement, I am fully aware that such a thought runs contrary to long-established views of theology, but we are not in the least concerned with the views of Babylon's theology, for so-called theology is not really the truth of God but the ideas of men. I am concerned only with the truth of God as it is revealed in His Word in the light of inspiration and revelation.
Now we come to an amazing promise which may be hard for the natural mind to interpret, but when men seek the face of the Lord He sends His Holy Spirit to dispel the darkness of the carnal mind that He may reveal to our broken and contrite hearts the things that pertain to the eternal purposes of God. The promise is stated: "In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent even leviathan that crooked serpent; and HE SHALL SLAY THE DRAGON THAT IS IN THE SEA" (Isa. 27:1). The word "leviathan" means literally "a beast dwelling in the sea." In the Hebrew the chief word for dragon is TANNIN and in meaning is synonymous with LEVIATHAN. The translators of the Greek Septuagint used the word DRAKON to render both words. DRAKON is derived from another Greek word, DERKOMAI, which means "sea serpent, serpent of the abyss." Leviathan, the sea-serpent, and the Dragon are thus different aspects of the same being, for note, "In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword shall punish LEVIATHAN the piercing SERPENT, even LEVIATHAN that crooked SERPENT; and He shall slay the DRAGON that is in the sea." The prophetical type for the victory described in this passage is found in one of the Psalms of David. Speaking of the mighty deliverance of Israel from the troops of Pharaoh, when the Lord divided the waters to provide a passageway for His people, David sings: "Thou didst divide the sea by Thy strength! Thou didst break the heads of the serpents in the waters! Thou didst break the heads of leviathan in pieces" (Ps. 74:13-14). Here the "serpents" plural and the "heads" of leviathan plural speak symbolically of the Egyptians who were energized by the spirit of their carnal minds to persecute and pursue the people of God. Truly, this is the SAME SERPENT THAT DWELLS WITHIN US, the DEVIL and SATAN, the BESTIAL NATURE WITHIN THE OUTER NATURE OF ADAM, that inner force which opposes the Spirit and tries always to bind us to earthly things, keeping us from seeking those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. My soul rejoices with joy unspeakable in the blessed knowledge that God has promised deliverance for all mankind as this SEA DWELLING BEAST is slain with the mighty, strong sword of the Lord -- the WORD (TRUTH) OF GOD!
Before we speak further of this, I would like to point out that throughout the scriptures the sea is a type of the raging, restless, surging masses of unregenerate humanity, tossed to and fro by the inner storms of the turbulent nature of fallen man. The prophet Isaiah penned these inspired words, "The wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked" (Isa. 57:20-21). Jude also described the carnal man when he said, "These are raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame" (Jude 13). The beloved John, banished on the Isle of Patmos, had a vision of a great whore sitting on many waters. The angel revealed the meaning of the many waters, saying, "The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are PEOPLES, and MULTITUDES, and NATIONS, and TONGUES" (Rev. 17:5). John also saw a vision of a beast rising out of the sea, a beast coming up out of the midst of the multitudes of raging, restless, seething humanity, the sea of man. The natural sea is a great deep, an abyss (Gen. 1:2; 7:11; 8:2; Deut 8:7; 33:13). The Psalmist wrote of this abyss of fleshly men, "They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart is DEEP (an abyss)" (Ps. 64:6). To the enlightened mind of David the depth of iniquity of which the human heart is capable is so great that it is beyond the ability of man to comprehend. The heart of man is an UNFATHOMABLE DEPTH, or, as Jeremiah observed, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it" (Jer. 17:9). While John the Revelator saw the beast (outward manifestation) rising out of the sea (abyss, depth) of humanity (the carnal mind), Jesus expressed the same truth thus, "For from WITHIN, O-U-T O-F THE HEART OF MEN, proceed all these evil things!"
But God, blessed be His wonderful name! Has a remedy for this sea-dwelling beast, Leviathan the crooked Serpent, the Dragon in the sea, for His plan of redemption is directed toward removing this beast with His strong and mighty sword -- the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word (truth) of God! The Word of the Lord declares, "thou rulest the RAGING OF THE SEA: when the waves thereof arise, THOU STILLEST THEM" (Ps. 89:9). Many centuries ago the Spirit of God inspired these beautiful words of promise, "The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high IS MIGHTIER THAN THE NOISE OF MANY WATERS, yea, than the MIGHTY WAVES OF THE SEA" (Ps. 93:3-4). Praise God! HE rules the inner raging of the sea and He stills all its tempests! That unstable nature within, so quickly moved by the storms created by the carnal mind, the torrents of passion, the streams of vain imaginations, the waves of frustration and fear, the winds of doubt and unbelief, the turbulent emotions of body and soul -- all are quieted by the Lord, the Spirit, who arises within in peace, confidence, truth and faith to RULE THE RAGING OF THE SEA. And then follows the calm, the state described by Paul, -- "that we be no more tossed to and fro with every wind...but may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head, even Christ" (Eph. 4:14-15). The Spirit of God within is great peace, overflowing joy, unfailing love, unwavering righteousness and omnipotent power. It is only necessary then to gain the conscious awareness of the presence and life of God as the essence of our being, and to know that this life is the law and substance of our reality. When your consciousness is imbued with the Spirit of Truth -- not merely the letter of truth, but the Spirit of Truth -- all inner and outer tempests are stilled, the sea is calmed, and the Dragon out of the sea vanishes over the horizon.
When John beheld in vision the unveiling of Christ -- Christ the Head and Christ the body -- he also saw "a throne set in heaven" with Christ upon the throne. "And before the throne there was a SEA OF GLASS like unto crystal..." (Rev. 4:16). As surely as the raging sea represents multitudes of restless, clamoring, surging, sinning humanity, so does the exquisite sea of glass before the throne of God represent an assembled throng of quickened and transformed saints IN WHOSE HEARTS THE PEACE OF GOD RULES. This great SEA OF REDEEMED MEN is calm and serene, tranquil and quiet, transformed "even as by the Spirit of the Lord." The sea-dwelling beast has been dealt with. The inner nature of man has been transformed, Satan has been bound, and the sea is now calm.
The "Sword of the Lord" is the Word of God, the living and energetic Word, the almighty Word by means of which He slays the DRAGON IN THE SEA. When the bestial nature which once brought forth raging waves of the sea is conquered the sea of man is peaceful and serene, expressing the peace of the Kingdom of God. In the earth today there are two companies of "sea people" -- those of the TROUBLED SEA and the SEA OF GLASS PEOPLE. Thank God, amidst all the trouble, distress, sorrow, problems and pressures of this world system there is a SEA OF GLASS, a people abiding in the peace of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth! These are "before the throne" - willing subjects of the Lordship of the indwelling Spirit. The apostle Paul greeted the Ephesian believers with this fervent prayer: "Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 1:2). Peace! One of the beautiful titles of our Lord Jesus Christ is "Prince of Peace." The first mark of the Kingdom of God is: Christ as King. If Christ is the Prince or King of Peace, then peace is a dimension of the Kingdom of God. There are many wonderful truths to embrace, endless revelations to inspire and thrill and transform the hearts of God's sons, but none more meaningful or sublime than that transmitted by Paul to the Romans, "For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Rom. 14:17). The Kingdom of God is...PEACE!
The mark of what a kingdom is, is to be seen in the King. Christ now reigns on the throne of the Father, and that throne is individualized as the power of His presence in the heart of every saint. There is an embodiment, a manifestation of the Kingdom; its power is seen in the lives of those in whom it rules. The Christ lives and dwells and rules in our hearts! The blessed firstborn Son proclaimed to those called to be His many brethren: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you" Jn. 14:27. As you acquire peace in your heart from God by the spirit of sonship, I have good news for you! You have received a dispensation of the Kingdom of God, for that is what the Kingdom is. As the peace of God reigns in your heart, in the midst of all the problems and pressures, in a world of turmoil and fear, the Prince of Peace has ascended His throne and reigns. Peace is spirit. The Kingdom of God is spiritual because God is spirit, and, never forget, my beloved -- spirit is REAL! Peace is REAL! The Kingdom of God is a spiritual dimension available to men upon this earth. It is within you as the righteous, peace, and joy of the Spirit-rule in and through you. Even now God is bringing "many sons" to walk in the conscious awareness of the Kingdom and minister its glorious and eternal reality to all mankind now and in the age and ages to come.
How the world needs this peace! Men's hearts are failing them today for fear in looking after those things which are coming upon the earth. The land is filled with violence, moral breakdown, broken homes, corruption and evil men in government, gang warfare, rebellion, sorrow and death. The world continually sinks deeper and deeper into sin and ever-increasing degradation, reveling in drunkenness, promiscuity, sodomy, blowing its minds with drugs, deafened and demented in body and soul by the raucous racket called "music", cheating, lying, stealing, raping, murdering, until it has become a seething mass of godlessness and immorality. Ah -- the TROUBLED SEA! How often the raging waves of that sea beat with fury within our own breasts in the form of doubts, fears, frustrations, anxieties, sorrows and confusion. Thank God, there is another sea, the sea of glass, the power of the Lord's Spirit to minister the peace of God in the midst of tempest -- a strong and mighty Word of the Lord with which to slay the Dragon in the sea. This is the message Jesus intended to convey when in the midst of the storm on the sea of Galilee He commanded, "Peace! Be still!" He had the peace within Himself or He never could have imparted it to the winds and the waves. The Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy, is within you, precious friend of mine, and is becoming individualized and personified within a people for such a time as this.
As we consider these thoughts, may God almighty grant that His Spirit may instruct us in the way of truth and understanding. When John beheld the Lord coming upon a white horse, followed by the armies from heaven, he saw a sharp sword going out of His mouth "that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron" (Rev. 19:15). In the midst of all the confusion and darkness of this hour the Spirit of God is calling out a people for His name. He is training them in the school of obedience and refining them in the furnace of affliction. He is stripping them of self-interest, draining them of self-will, plucking from their hearts all the deceptive ways of Babylon, causing them to abhor the vain efforts of the flesh. These are putting on the whole armor of God, these are dwelling in heavenly places, seated with Christ; these are the army from heaven that follows the Word of God into battle. From within, out of the innermost being, is arising a strong and mighty Word, the absolute truth about God and all things, by which every enemy shall be silenced. "He cast out the spirits WITH HIS WORD" (Mat. 8:16). This sin-weary world shall yet be governed by a glorious company of sons of God, every one in the image of Christ, every one a brother of Jesus Christ, every one infused with His life and invested with His authority, every one a son given "power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy" (Lk. 10:19). The whole earth, as Eden was, shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
These sons shall be able to raise their voices in mighty declarations of authority. This authority is rooted in their own experience. By the understanding of the Almighty they shall have conquered the Dragon of sin and limitation and death in their own lives. Then shall be fulfilled on the grandest scale ever the word spoken by the Lord, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; in My name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them, they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mk. 16:17-18). Some people have thought this meant to be able to handle poisonous snakes without being bitten. Others have supposed it meant that IF you accidentally took up a serpent, as Paul did on the island of Melita, there would be no harm. But beyond all this, let me point out to you one of the meanings of the term "take up" in this passage. Not only does the Greek word AIRO mean to "take up", it also means to "take away." It may just as well be translated, "They shall TAKE AWAY serpents," not take up and handle them. The ENTIRE SERPENT KINGDOM SHALL BE REMOVED, TAKEN AWAY by these mighty believers; yea, they shall slay the Dragon that is in the sea! And it begins now, on the personal level, in our own consciousness.
Thank God, this wonderful victory is even now being established in the experience of a people apprehended of God. How we long for such a day as this for all people and nations! Today we hear much of "deliverance ministries" and many go about "casting out devils" in lengthy sessions of exorcism attended by manifestations such as coughing, vomiting, etc. Some are told they have legions of devils and they are given names like "lazy devil," "false doctrine devil," "lust devil," "gossip devil," etc., etc. We praise God for all who are delivered in any measure from bondages of any kind, but often it is like a man at the mouth of the mighty Mississippi trying to bail out the river with a bucket -- there seems to be no end to the masses of spirits, bondages, problems, and works of the flesh with which people contend. We find, however, that the redemptive work of Jesus Christ is not merely that which deals with the branches of the tree, but is that which essentially must "lay the axe to the root of the tree." That is, it is that which must take action against the Adamic mind, against the Adamic nature that exists in the very root of men's lives. That is why Paul said, "for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12). It is interesting to note that the word "principalities" is from the Greek ARCHE meaning commencement, beginning, origin. This bespeaks not of the branches of the tree, but the root -- the commencement, beginning, origin or SOURCE of the problem -- not flesh and blood, but the SPIRIT which now worketh in the sons of disobedience! This is the Serpent, Satan, the Devil enthroned in the human nature!
The ultimate warfare lies in that deep inner realm where the source of all things is found. As long as we content ourselves to deal with individual "demons," or to treat "social ills," or to wage war "against sin," or to struggle with the "lusts of the flesh," all of which exist in the external realm of the tentacles, we shall find ourselves ever defeated in even these things. o not try to reform the outer world of appearances. When you meet with thievery, drunkenness, adultery, pride, cursing, false religion, worldliness, or any form of degradation, do not look at it, but through it. Do not look with the eyes, with the natural understanding or perception -- look with the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Look through the individual, beholding by the spirit the root and source of the issue -- and there will flow grace to help. We do not deal with people in their outer form or with manifest problems -- we deal with spirit. We are not called upon to heal a person; we are not called upon to reform a person; we are not called upon to heal some terrible disease; we are not called upon to change the outer activity of a human body. We are called upon to minister the living Presence, to impart mercy, love, grace and power. Then the hearts of men will respond! "The grace of God that bringeth salvation has appeared to all men." That is what we are called to do. Redemption lays the axe to the root of the tree, deals with the strongman who sits enthroned in the nature, pierces the head of the octopus, automatically destroying the power of the tentacles! Speaking of the hour when the sons of God would rise to that place of authority in Jesus Christ, John the Revelator wrote, "And there was war in heaven and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not" (Rev. 12:7-8). Men must rise to that place of understanding, consciousness, and authority in the Spirit wherein the axe is laid to the root -- not to some individual manifestation, some outer expression, some external action, some pesky little "demon" -- but to the ROOT ITSELF: the ADAMIC NATURE. WHERE SATAN'S SEAT IS! In dealing with the root, the tentacles will take care of themselves. This goes far beyond merely "casting out" the negative, it involves such a complete TRANSFORMATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND BEING until the negative HAS NO GROUND TO STAND UPON, NO PLACE TO DWELL.
THE BOTTOMLESS PIT
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key to the BOTTOMLESS PIT and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and satan, and cast him into the BOTTOMLESS PIT, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him..." (Rev. 20:1-3).
The "bottomless pit" is certainly not a hole in the ground; it is, rather, a Semitic symbol which signifies a state or condition wherein there is no bottom, thus NO GROUND TO STAND UPON. Satan was given "ground" in man's life when the Almighty declared to him, "Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat..." (Gen. 3:14). Praise God, when our adversary, the Devil, is cast into the bottomless pit, it means that he is circumvented to a realm where he has no ground to stand upon, no base for his activity, and no foundation upon which he can build his work. God is "pulling the rug out from under the Devil" as He renews our minds and transforms our nature, that there be no basis upon which the forces of evil can operate. This indicates such a transformation of being that not only are the works of the Devil destroyed in us, but also it is impossible for him to corrupt us again. Thus conformed to the image of the Son we can say with Jesus, "The prince of this world cometh, and HATH NOTHING (no place) IN ME!"
In those blessed sons of God, joined in Christ as one body, God is raising up a house in which He can dwell and manifest His glory without interference or conflict. When the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, he revealed a truth which lies in contrast to the picture of Satan in the bottomless pit. "...that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (I Tim. 3:15). There are three aspects of the church mentioned in this wonderful passage: the "house of God," the "church of the living God," and the "pillar and ground of the truth." What does this term "the house of God" mean? When you refer to "your house," you mean the place where you dwell, where you live, where you work out your life, where you are comfortable and at home; and that is just the meaning of the house of God. It is not an empty cliche, it is not a light or loose term. The "house of God" is the place where God dwells, where He lives, where He works out His life, where He is comfortable and at home without any strain or struggle. This house is none other than the church of the living God. Notice that the term here is not merely God, but the living God. He is living! He now dwells in the church, lives in the church, moves in the church, and works out His life, not in some superstitious religious way, but naturally and comfortably in the church. When we say that the church is the house of God, we must have a very deep realization that God DWELLS, LIVES, AND WALKS OUT HIS LIFE in this house!
The true church is not only the house of God, but it is also THE PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH. The question follows -- What is truth? Do not think that truth means doctrine! Truth is not what you believe about a thing, the truth is the very fact of the thing itself. The word truth means REALITY. Nothing is real in the whole universe, nothing is truth; everything is but a shadow. Nothing is what it appears to be. All of us could look at the same object, and every one of us might see it differently. Many who read these lines have traveled and seen in the distance a mountain having a certain form, perhaps a likeness to some other object. But as you got closer and drove around the mountain it took on altogether different shapes and the original appearance was not found there at all. Each of us interprets all things according to the finite sense of human mind, in the light of the education, environment, and background of our individual experience and knowledge. To understand that what we see represents only our concept of that which is actually there is important. Everything that can be seen, everything that can be touched, everything that can be possessed and enjoyed is not real -- for creation is but the shadow of God. Only the Son is His image, His out-raying, His manifestation -- all else is but His shadow. The correct understanding of the book of Hebrews makes this very clear. Whatever exists in this universe is but a shadow, not the real thing! What is the real thing? It is CHRIST -- HE is the reality of everything! The food you eat is not the real food, but only the shadow of the real food. The real food is Christ! The physical life you live is not real life, but only a shadow of the real life. The real life is Christ! "I AM THE LIFE," saith the Lord. He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 Jn. 5:12). If a friend has a photograph of himself, you will say, "This is so and so. But in truth that is not so and so. It is only a picture, an image, and a false image at that. In fact, all images that are not the projection of life itself are false, for living realities are not found in images. Most of what we call images are but shadows, for a shadow is an image. All the types, all the figures, in the Old Testament, as well as creation itself are but shadows of the REALITY WHICH IS CHRIST HIMSELF. Christ is the truth, Christ is the reality of the whole universe. If you just have a doctrine about Christ, you do not have the reality of Christ. And if your spirit has not been quickened by His Spirit, you still do not have either life or reality, for the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, howbeit an unlit candle which gives no light! Christ Himself is the reality, and His Spirit is the SPIRIT OF REALITY.
The people in whom this living God dwells, lives, and moves, is the PILLAR AND GROUND upon which the reality stands. It bears the reality. Within this people the living God dwells, and upon this people the truth, the reality stands. Ah, as the nature of God's people is changed by the Spirit of God Satan finds himself shut out, excluded from their lives, no ground to stand upon, no base for his activity, indeed, HE IS IN A BOTTOMLESS PIT! As new creation people our lives BECOME THE PILLAR AND GROUND of this universal reality, which is the Lord Jesus Christ! In the church God dwells, because the church is the house of God. And upon this people is BUILT THE REALITY OF CHRIST. Redeemed by His precious blood, justified by His grace, quickened by His Spirit, transformed by His Word, we become the base, the sure foundation upon which all the glory of God can be displayed. And on this holy ground is where the saint of God discovers that Satan is bound, securely chained, and a great seal set upon him. This is not a future event -- it is an eternal reality to those who walk in the Spirit. In the story of the Pilgrim's Progress, you will remember that "Christian" was approaching a narrow passage as he traveled toward Porter's Lodge for the night. In the narrow passage he saw two lions but did not know that the lions were chained. Then he was afraid and considered going back, for he thought that nothing but death was before him. But the Porter at the lodge, whose name was "Watchful," perceiving that "Christian" was about to turn back, cried with a loud voice not to fear the lions for they were chained and could do him no harm. So "Christian" warily walked into the narrow passage, trembling for fear of the lions. He heard the lions roar. He felt their hot breath on his flesh, but they did him no harm for they were, indeed, on a chain. "Christian" then clapped his hands for joy and boldly went on through the narrow passage and arrived safely at the other side. Satan, the roaring lion, is chained, my friend! Not going to be -- he IS. Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, the messenger of the everlasting covenant, has chained him and set the seal upon him. And this Jesus lives and dwells and moves in you and me! Sometimes it seems as if the world is full of lions crouched for a spring -- as if there are lots of terrifying things about to happen from formidable adversaries all about. But when we discover the power of the indwelling Christ, we find out that, as terrifying as those things seem to be, they are already chained by God. Springing doesn't get them anywhere.
Hear it! All the reality of the universe is established upon the lives of God's saints! If anyone wants to know what life is, he will see and touch it in God' s people. If someone would like to know what love is, what joy is, what peace is, what truth, faithfulness, righteousness, power, glory, wisdom or knowledge is, he will see it and touch it upon and within this people. "And the government shall be upon His shoulder" (Isa. 9:6). "Upon the shoulder" means that THE WHOLE BODY BEARS THE WEIGHT OF IT. Jesus Christ is the Head, the mind, the leader, but the power and glory of the Kingdom rests upon His body, the PILLAR and GROUND of the TRUTH. What a day, when all nations become a bottomless pit for Satan, and he has no more ground in the nature of the human family! I can tell you, dear ones, that already Satan is finding very little "ground" to creep upon in those elect sons apprehended as the firstfruits of God's redemption. Victory upon victory they are gaining as they are changed from men of the dust to men of the Spirit, from the image of the earthy to the image of the heavenly. The reality of His divine life is being built up in their inner man, and even now THEY ARE THE GROUND, THE BASE, THE FOUNDATION OF THE TRUTH, even Mount Zion of which it is written, "Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth (this) shall not make haste (be anxious)" (Isa. 28:16). Zion is composed of those sons in whom the Christ has been established as a sure foundation; no matter what comes, how hard the winds of adversity blow. How fierce the storm. How overwhelming the waves, how severe the pressures, these REMAIN UNSHAKABLE, FIRM, STEADY, RESOLUTE, UNDISTURBED, CONSTANT, AND IMMOVABLE, rooted in and living out of the Spirit. Upon such a people the government, the authority of God's Kingdom rests! Through the ministry of such a people, praise God, the day shall come when throughout all the earth, in every nation and people and kindred and tribe and tongue THE DRAGON THAT IS IN THE SEA SHALL BE SLAIN BY THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, and God shall in the consciousness of every man be A-L-L I-N A-L-L. "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them (the sons of God); and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: IN THE HABITATION OF DRAGONS, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. The BEAST OF THE FIELD SHALL HONOR ME, the DRAGONS AND THE OWLS... because I give drink to My people, My chosen" (Isa. 35:1,7; 43:20).
THERE IS NO DEVIL ANYMORE!
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (II Cor. 4:3-4). "But even unto this day...the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it (the heart) shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away" (II Cor. 3:15-16).
Can we not see by reading these instructive statements that if we can effectively express outwardly the reality of the indwelling Christ, the world will see God. The Christ is unveiled in and through the members of the Christ body. The good news we are proclaiming is in each one veiled, waiting to be manifested and displayed. If the good news of the reconciliation of God, if the good news of the glory of God, if the good news of immortality and life in Christ Jesus, if the good news of the Kingdom of God is veiled today, my beloved, it is veiled IN YOU! If you will turn your heart to the Lord, the Spirit, you will see Him. As you turn to the life of the Spirit within the veil begins to be rent, the mind begins to open, the mind-set that has been locked in spiritual ignorance and unbelief at once begins to be unlocked. "If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, IN WHOM the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them." The word "lost" is from the Greek APOLLUMI meaning to die or perish. The good news is hid or veiled to those who are still dying or perishing. Are you perishing? Is it not because the good news is yet veiled to you -- is not living and energetic in your experience? A few verses further on the apostle explains, "But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" (II Cor. 4:16).
It is now time that the prince of this world be cast out, the spirit of blindness in men's minds, which veils the glory of the Christ within. It is time for the Son of man to be glorified. Turn, O man, and behold the Lord! See the Lord as He is in His temple! The god of this age doesn't want this for any man. The god of this age is old Adam, the outer man, the man of your first birth, the man of flesh, who minds earthly things. It is your manhood, your humanity that does not want to fully see Christ, because for you to really see Christ is to give up all the reasonings, preconceptions, understanding, knowledge, decisions and the pursuits of the flesh to find that life-source which is the antithesis of SELF. The Adamic mind of selfhood will seek to keep you looking away from the tree of life by every means at its disposal. Contrary to what some teach, Self is not the Spirit, for except a man deny Himself and take up his cross he cannot be the disciple of the Christ. Self will blind you so that you will not turn to the Lord. Why must the prince of this world be cast out? So that the light of the glory of God, who is the very IMAGE (GK: CHARACTER) of God, may shine to men!" The character is in you, it is in the Christ, in your spirit. When you behold this Christ within the glory of Christ begins to shine and the veil is done away; the character of God is seen by all about.
The one thing that terrifies the forces of darkness is the fear that some day those who believe in Christ will wake up to the dynamic potential in the life of the Spirit within them and begin to live fully out of that realm. When this happens, the great problems that plague mankind will disappear. Ignorance will go; sin will go; disease will go; limitation will go; Satan will go; death will go; bondage of every sort will fade away and the Kingdom of God will be demonstrated in men. What a hope! What a day! And the wonder of it all is that this day is even now breaking in the hearts and lives of God's elect! I proclaim to you that the crisis hour in the history of the world has come, and God's people must now arise and shine and courageously lake hold of life and bring deliverance to the whole world. Truly, we have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this!
Most of the Lord's people have an image of Jesus. They think they know just what the Lord looks like. But the image invariably corresponds to the idea of what He was when He was here in the flesh. But there isn't a single person in all the world today who can know just what Jesus might look like. Until they get rid of that image, they are going to have a very limited conception of the Christ. When the image goes and people begin to see Him as He really is, then our conception of Him will be enlarged beyond anything we can imagine. Now, just as most of God's people entertain an image of Jesus, SO THEY HAVE ONE OF SATAN. This image, too, must go before any of us can see things correctly. When all of the seventy came back to Jesus with the report that even the demons were subject unto them in the name of Jesus, He counseled them not to rejoice in that fact, but to rejoice in the fact that their names were written in heaven. Then the Lord announced, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Lk. 10:18). The preachers tell us that this refers to the time, away back before the foundation of the world, when Lucifer was cast out of heaven. Orthodoxy has long taught that Satan was, in the beginning, a high and beautiful archangel in heaven. The theologians and preachers recite over and over how Satan was originally "the anointed cherub that covereth...the most beautiful and wise of all God's creations!" This being was, so they say, the ruler and leader of the angelic beings and apparently led them in their praise of God and shouts of joy...the greatest creature God ever created, one who had unequaled strength, wisdom, beauty, privilege, and authority, and was next to God Himself. This blameless, perfect one, named Lucifer, was created without any form of evil and with the greatest intelligence of any created being. Then, we are told (Oh, the wonder of it!), this Lucifer, suddenly realizing how beautiful and intelligent he was, became inflated with pride and power and his heart was lifted up in rebellion against God. According to the story, Lucifer gathered one-third of the heavenly angels to his cause, mustering an army with which he planned to knock God off His throne and supplant himself as god and king of the universe -- and there was war in heaven! Luckily, God won, cast Lucifer out of heaven and he became, instead of an holy angel, the Devil that he is.
It is nothing short of amazing that such a doctrine could have enjoyed such widespread acceptance in the light of the plain teachings of the scriptures on this subject. Any man who fails to discern between facts and fables, and who opposes and rebels against facts, is a fool. Fools manifest their true state by resisting and ignoring facts. Please remember, there is a world of difference between facts, beliefs, and fantasies. I believe the core of our natural earth is hot, perhaps molten. But no man knows anything about the true conditions down there. There is no possible way of ascertaining or demonstrating the truth or falsity of my belief. So it remains merely a belief: it may be true, or it may be false. On the other hand, if I thought our sun were a disk painted red, that would be a fantasy, just a highly improbable or irrational idea of my own. But facts are altogether different. They are actualities, realities, whether they can be demonstrated as such or not. Ice is cold. That is a fact which can be demonstrated. The earth is round. That fact has through recent centuries been conclusively demonstrated. It is neither a belief nor a fantasy. Fire burns; one must have air to breathe; these are facts, and, only fools will oppose or resist them. Now we are going to state some facts. Let us contrast what men say and believe with what GOD says!
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is not this the MAN that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?" (Isa. 14:12-17). It should be clear to every enlightened student of God's Word that all truth has applications on different levels. It is my conviction that the inspired statements in the afore quoted passage may be applied on the historical level, the prophetical level, the spiritual level, and the personal level. In its first and historical application the one called "Lucifer" refers to the literal king of the Kingdom of Babylon in the days of Isaiah who -- although mighty in political and military power and the most exalted ruler among nations -- would fall just like other rulers of the past. The prophetical application points to the king of Mystery Babylon, the chief antichrist of the world's apostate church system, who is not recognized for what he is, but is lauded as the greatest religious leader in the world, by whom untold millions of those who name the name of Christ are deceived, as it is written, "And the whole world wondered after the beast." The spiritual application is found in the fall of man from his original position of glory, eminence and dominion. The message is clear -- the subject of Isaiah's prophecy is a MAN -- not an angelic spirit-being! "They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this THE M-A-N that made the earth to tremble...that made the earth as a wilderness: that opened not the house of his prisoners?" (Isa. 14:16-17).
"Lucifer," instead of being the name of an angel who became the Devil, was THE NAME THE ANCIENTS GAVE TO THE MORNING STAR. Pliny, a noted historian of antiquity, says, "Before the sun revolves, a very large star...when in advance and rising before dawn receives the name Lucifer, being another sun and bringing the dawn..." Lucifer, the light-bringer, is the Latin equivalent of the Greek word PHOSPHOROS, which is used as a title for Christ in II Pet.1:19. Peter had been discussing the glorious experience that he, along with James and John, had had with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration. Speaking of the voice that spoke to them there, he said, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy whereunto ye do well to take heed...until the day dawn and the DAY STAR (Greek: phosphoros; Latin: lucifer) arise in your hearts." I do not have the ability to make this truth any plainer than Jesus Himself made it when He called Himself the PHOSPHOROS or the LUCIFER in Rev. 22:16, saying, "I AM...the BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR." In the messages of Christ to the seven churches in the book of Revelation a special promise was always given to him that overcometh, but to the church at Thyatira He gave a promise that is worthy to fill every page of this article. May our Lord give us the spirit of revelation to understand what He said: "And he that overcometh...'I will give him THE MORNING STAR" (Rev. 2:26, 28). Just think of that! My beloved, ponder if you will -- whether we call it "Day Star", "Morning Star", or "Lucifer"-- it is all the same. This "rising of the Day Star" in our hearts is the out-raying of the Christ within, for, you see, HE IS the Day Star! It should be obvious to every spiritual mind that what is recovered through the redemption of Jesus Christ is WHAT ADAM HAD IN THE BEGINNING WITH GOD. Adam in the image and likeness of God was so indwelt by light, so a partaker of the Christ Life, that he was himself a DAY STAR -- the shining one of creation!
Truly, Adam is the man who made the earth to tremble, who shook kingdoms, and made the earth a wilderness, for it was to him and him alone that these terrible words were spoken, "Cursed is the ground (earth realm) for thy sake" (Gen. 3:17). As we meditate upon these sobering words of judgment, we cannot imagine words that more exactly describe the tragic picture of the fall of man from his exalted position in God. Driven from the garden, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth; the whole earth realm (cursed) with sorrow, sin and death for his sake; no more could Adam hear the voice of God walking in the cool of the day -- he no longer possessed spiritual ears. No more could Adam eat of the blessed fruit of the tree of life -- he no longer possessed a spiritual mind. No more could Adam behold the glories of that heavenly realm -- he no longer possessed spiritual eyes. He who had never known anything but the rest of God was to labor and toil in the earth. The heavens were closed, the communion with the spirit was broken, and Adam found himself stripped of the life and light and dominion that had been his -- he no longer possessed a spiritual nature. What a loss! What unspeakable loss!
In its personal application the king of Babylon -- Lucifer -- is you and me and everyman by our first birth -- the identity of old Adam. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! When Adam fell, the loss was both his and upon every descendant of his -- all were cast into a wilderness of spiritual desolation and shut up in the prison, house of sin, suffering, limitation and death. As one has written, "Now poor, sin-laden mankind darkened in mind and impoverished in spirit, is forever spending money for that which is not bread and laboring that which satisfieth not. Vainly they imagine that their thirst can be slaked by partaking of the stagnant waters of earth's fleshly cisterns. Like lost sheep they wander through the wilderness of life seeking satisfaction and finding none. Pace after place they roam in their pitiful search for the fountain that satisfies, but find it they never can until at last they come to Christ. They fill the bars and nightclubs to buy wine and strong drink that can do no more than dull their senses, unleashing their passions and rage. They throng the places of pleasure in their unending longing to satisfy the thirst that is within them. They fill their lives with the vanity of things and more things, only to find that all they have attained rises to mock them in the end." Ahh - how art thou fallen from heaven, O Iucifer, son of the morning!
When the Lord Jesus told his disciples that He beheld satan as lightning fall from heaven, He was saying that he had seen Satan FALL OUT OF HIS (JESUS) HEAVEN, or actually Jesus had seen Satan FALL BEFORE HIM, and become subservient to Him in the realm of the Spirit. So far as Jesus was concerned Satan was no longer in possession of any authority whatsoever. Jesus spake not of an historical event, but a living reality that He had seen occur within His own consciousness, life and ministry. THIS WE ALL MUST SEE AND KNOW if we are to have any sense of victory in our lives, if we are to truly walk as the sons of God. We must realize that if satan has fallen he is not the almost-almighty head of a kingdom, but he has been stripped and his kingdom has been broken. This must be embraced as a wonderful reality within ourselves. When we realize that satan has fallen before THE CHRIST WITHIN US, then we really will be set free! When this truly happens we are on our way -- not to a rapture -- but to that high and holy position that God has created for us and determined to bring us to.
To those who have Satan yet in their consciousness elevated to a position of power and who carry in their thinking an image of him, HE HAS NOT AS YET FALLEN. Such people have made a god of him, but in your life, precious one, He is to be cast down, and you are to know once and for all that THERE IS ONLY GOD WHO RULES ALL. If God is controlling a part of this world and Satan is running another part, may God indeed help us ! We would be under two governments and our lives would be a hell. But to some of us, at least, SATAN HAS FALLEN and has ceased to be a king in our domain. When this truth is revealed in power and glory within your deepest heart, for you, at last, THERE WILL BE NO DEVIL ANYMORE!
In closing this message I would share a beautiful and significant vision received by a sister in Argentina to whom the Lord has given abundance of revelations. I do not feel to comment, but leave it for the Holy Spirit to interpret this to your own heart. She relates...
"Rapping me in His love, He carried me away in spirit into the world of harmonic life and light. There, after His usual welcome of love and taking away my fears, He took me to look. When I did so, I saw what seemed to be dark, evil-looking teeth which were sharp, pointed, long and ugly. Coming out from these teeth was something very repugnant which He named "poison". Then God took something that was a part of His very own being and gave it to those ugly, hollow teeth that looked like great serpent fangs which were pouring out poison. This poison from the fangs flowed into that part of Himself which God had given to them, and in this way were fully satisfied. Flowing into the part which God had given, the poison was fully satiated. This part -- which had come forth from Him and was a part of His own being -- completely absorbed all the poison that these great Fangs poured forth" -- end quote. What a Word!
to be continued ... J. PRESTON EBY