KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
studies in end-time revelation
THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
THE EXPANDING PRIESTHOOD
It is through saved INDIVIDUALS that God now reaches and saves INDIVIDUALS out of all nations, but it will be a glorious enlargement of the work of Christ when He reaches and saves THE NATIONS through A NATION that He has saved and formed into a royal kingdom of priests. "But YE are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, AN HOLY NATION, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who bath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (I Pet. 2:9). My prayer to God is that the eyes of God's elect may be opened wide to see that as there has been a priesthood for the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ, so is there a priesthood, gathered out of all nations, and ordained for the nations, to bring the living nations on earth with their teeming billions of inhabitants into the life and light and liberty of the Kingdom of God.
The glorious vision beheld by the beloved John while caught up in Spirit into the realm of God's throne fills my mind and heart, and makes me an optimist in the midst of apostasy and darkness. His vision caught a glimpse of things far beyond the law with its bondage and far beyond the Church age in which we live. John saw these wonders and lifted his pen and in ecstacy wrote these immortal words: "And he that overcometh, and keep
eth My works unto the end, to him will I give POWER OVER THE NATIONS: and he shall RULE THEM with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father" (Rev. 2:2627). Again, "To him that overcometh will I grant to SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne" (Rev. 3:21). And then with transfixed eyes John beheld in astonishment as the four living creatures (kings) and the twenty-four elders (priests) fell down before the Lamb and sung a new song, saying, "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou west slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God KINGS AND PRIESTS: AND WE SHALL REIGN ON THE EARTH" (Rev. 5:9
10). Yes, and glory be to God! many thousands of souls now living and waiting are taking up the glad refrain, for they know by revelation from the throne, that God's Royal Priesthood shall indeed reign over the earth and over all nations, and that the inhabitants of earth shall not much longer endure the misrule and treachery of ages past. The six milleniums of human injustice will be ended, and that forever. The Lord with His inChristed saints will reign with power over the nations of earth. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David to order and establish it with justice and judgment from this time forward, even unto the age. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
GOD'S PROGRAM FOR THE AGES
Have you ever wondered why Christ came? Ask the average Christian, and the most common answers are: to save us, to redeem His people, to give us eternal life, or to take us to heaven. But few will remember God's purpose in sending His Son that the government might be upon His shoulders (Isa. 9:6) and that Christ should rule and reign over the affairs of men and nations (Isa.9:7) until all nations serve and worship Him (Ps. 86:9). This national message of the Bible is one of the most neglected themes of the religious systems. It is possible erroneously to limit God and His program of redemption to narrow personal and individualistic interpretation. In the light of such a profound array of scriptures as those we have just considered, I am at a complete loss to understand how anyone who knows God at all could fail to grasp the living hope that a radiant age of splendor, in which Christ and His glorious body shall rule and reign and subdue all enemies and all nations and all things unto God, is coming. A careful study of the Scriptures reveals an outline of the progressive expansion of the priesthood; its headings are:
1. In Genesis we have the Priesthood for the Individual.
2. In Exodus and Job we have the Priesthood for the Household.
3. In Exodus and Leviticus the Priesthood for the Nation.
4. In Hebrews the Priesthood for the Church.
5. In Revelation the Priesthood for the Nation.
6. In Col. 1, Rom. 8, & Heb. 2 the Priesthood for the Universe
all of creation.
"Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles (nations), to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles (nations), upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things" (Acts 15:14 17). We have here the sequence of events as to how God shall carry out His program of reconciliation and redemption. Peter has declared before the Council at Jerusalem, the conversion of the Gentiles at Caesarea, and Paul and Barnabas have borne similar testimony about the divine blessing attending their missionary tour. Then James put before the brethren three great steps in the divine plan: FIRST, to visit the nations and take out of them a people for His name. That is, to draw out unto Himself a remnant, a firstfruits company, election by grace, which is what He has been doing from the time of Calvary until now. He has been visiting each generation among the nations and TAKING OUT OF THEM A PEOPLE FOR HIS NAME, TO BECOME THE EXPRESSION OF HIS NAME in the earth. SECOND, after His firstfruits have been brought forth, completely gathered, formed, and processed, then He will return and BUILD AGAIN THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID releasing the full manifestation of His presence and glory in the earth through a many-membered body His DAVIDS TABERNACLE COMPANY. THIRD, after that, and through the Tabernacle of David People, He will move upon the residue of men, causing them to seek unto the Lord and "all the nations shall be blessed" as HIS NAME IS CALLED UPON THEM.
This is the blessed ministry of God's Royal Priesthood in its ever increasing and widening circles, reaching out until God shall be ALL IN ALL. How we need to stay in line with God's priorities! The entire Church age has been set aside, not in the vain and deceptive hope of the conversion of the world, but for the distinct purpose of "calling out a people for His name." When this people, HIS NAME COMPANY, is brought forth they will stand in the earth as the manifestation of the restored TABERNACLE OF DAVID.
THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID
"In that day will I raise up the Tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: that they may possess...ALL THE HEATHEN (Heb., nations), which are called by My name, saith the Lord that doeth this" Amos 9.11-12). "After this I will return, and will build again the Tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up" (Acts 15:16). "And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense. And there shall be a Tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain" (Isa. 4:5 6). "And David made him houses in the City of David (Zion), and prepared a place for the Ark of God, and pitched for it a Tent (Tabernacle)" (I Chron. 15:1).
David became king of Israel in a time of spiritual declension and apostasy. He found the land in a helpless state, everywhere under the power of the Philistines, and with many of its cities still held by the Canaanite people. Many of the people of Israel were prostituting the worship of Jehovah with the pagan practices of the goddess Ashtaroth and Mylitta. The Ark of the Covenant was lost to God's people. It was taken into battle against the Philistines, and captured by them. High Priest Eli was so shocked to hear that the Philistines had captured the Ark that he lost his balance, fell over backward and broke his neck; also his daughter in-law in the throes of death lamented, "The glory is departed from Israel, for the Ark of God is taken" (I Sam. 4:18-22). Upon its return to Israelite territory it was kept in hiding in the house of Abinadab under the care of his son Eleazar.
At this time the city of Jerusalem, on Mount Zion, had been kept as a stronghold by a Canaanite tribe called the Jebusites, ever since the days of Joshua. David led his men of war against it, but the Jebusites, from their high walls and steep rocks, laughed at him. To mock King David, they placed on the top of the wall the blind and lame people, and they called aloud and taunted David, saying, "Even blind men and lame men can keep you out of our city!" This angered David, and he said to his men, "Whoever first climbs up the wall and strikes down the blind and the lame upon it, he shall be the chief captain and general of the whole army." Then all the soldiers of David rushed against the wall, each striving to be first. The man who was able first to reach the enemies and strike them down was Joeb, the son of David's sister Zeruiah; and he became the commander of David's army, a place which he held as long as David lived.
After the fortress on Mount Zion was taken from the Jebusites, David made it larger and stronger, and chose it for his royal house; and around it the city of Jerusalem grew up as the chief city in David's kingdom, Zion, the City of David. The Philistines soon found that there was a new king in Israel and a ruler very different from King Saul. They gathered their army and came against David. He met them in the valley of Rephaim, a little to the south of Jerusalem, and won a great victory over them and carried away from the field the images of their gods; but that the Israelites might not be led to worship them, David burned them all with fire. But David did not rest when he had driven the Philistines back to their own land. He marched with his men into the Philistines' country and took their chief city, Gath, which was called "The mother city of the Philistines." He conquered all their land and ended the war of a hundred years by making all the Philistine plain subject to Israel.
Now that the land was free, David thought that the time had come to bring the holy Ark of the Lord out from its hiding place, where it had remained all through the rule of Samuel and the reign of Saul. Though God had given great and glorious victories on the battlefield, yet Israel had lost the sublime presence, power and glory of the living God. The Ark of the Covenant, which was the focal point of God's presence, glory and power in Israel, was in hiding. The glory of God had departed from the people. There was no Tabernacle, there was no cloud by day, nor pillar of fire by night, no Shekinah within the Most Holy Place, no priesthood to minister according to the order of God.
The presence of God this Ark of the Covenant had to be restored! The glory of God this Ark of the Covenant had to be restored! The power of God this Ark of the Covenant had to be restored! The people of Israel lamented after God's presence. They decided to do all they could to bring the Ark of God, the power of God's presence, to them. In the midst of this preparation David pitched a Tent to receive the Ark of the Covenant: "And David made him houses in the City of David, and prepared a place for the Ark of God, and pitched for it a Tent" (I Chron. 15:1). With chosen men of all the tribes, he went to bring up the Ark to Mount Zion. And before the Ark walked David and the men of Israel making music upon all kinds of musical instruments. "And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy" (I Chron. 15:16). When the joyful procession arrived at Mount Zion, David set up the Ark in the Tabernacle he had built. "So they brought the Ark of God, and set it in the midst of the Tent that David had pitched for it" (I Chron. 16:1).
David, by bringing back the Ark of the Covenant, restored the POWER OF GOD'S PRESENCE AND GLORY to Israel. He put the Ark in a Tabernacle, from which the light of God's glory, power, victory, blessing, joy and peace shone out to all who came to Mount Zion. The presence of God as seen in the Shekinah Glory above the Ark of the Covenant in Moses' Tabernacle was restored. His presence and glory dwelt upon Mount Zion and transformed all who worshipped at David's Tabernacle. This was, however, altogether different from the Tabernacle which Moses had built. This was a new day. A new thing. And a new order! There was an Outer Court, a Holy Place, and a Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness. However, there was no Outer Court and no Holy Place in the Tabernacle of David. It should be no marvel in the eyes of any enlightened saint to see that what David did was to TRANSFER ONLY THE HOLY OF HOLIES TO MOUNT ZION when he built his Tabernacle there. The reason for this is that all the pieces of furniture in the Outer Court and in the Holy Place have their fulfillment in the contents of the Ark of the Covenant! Thus we see with added emphasis and urgency, the extreme importance of this one thing the Ark of the Covenant!
The Outer Court of Moses Tabernacle was pitched at Gibeon and retained the brazen altar of sacrifice (I Chron. 21:28-29). Zadok, as High Priest, officiated at Gibeon in the continual offering up of sacrifices. "And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the Tabernacle of the Lord in the high place that was at Gibeon, to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening" (I Chron. 16:39-40). Ah, but the NEW ANOINTING, the NEW THING, the FRESH MOVE OF THE SPIRIT, the more recent, more prophetic service of psalms, and hymns and music, of revelation and glory and power, under Asaph, GATHERED AROUND THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID IN MOUNT ZION.
When the Ark came to Zion it was with great rejoicing, praise and worship. The Psalms we love so well were born at David's Tabernacle. David himself entered into a new ministry. God's glory had been restored in the midst of His people. Oh, yes, there was still a ministry in the Outer Court at Gibeon, and you could continue with that old ritualistic order if you wanted to. But the fullness of the presence and glory and power of God was not there on the hill at Gibeon! GOD did not dwell there! He was not TABERNACLED, or EMBODIED there! He was not SEEN there! God's presence and glory and power were in the Tabernacle of David on another hill Mount Zion!
Mount Zion was the highest peak in Jerusalem, and there King David dwelt and reigned. A priesthood was ordained for the Tabernacle of David on Mount Zion. Rings and Priests were united there in the glory and power of God. To correctly understand the spiritual significance of David's Throne and David's Tabernacle and its Priesthood on Mount Zion, we need to meditate deeply upon this shadow. Israel was the whole nation, all who belonged to God from the poorest pauper to the king on the throne. Jerusalem was the capital city, the seat of government, the ruling class, a people closer to God and more privileged than any who dwelt in the land. And while Jerusalem comprised all the ruling class, yet in Jerusalem there was only one who, with his household, dwelt on Mount Zion. He was the King. His was the highest pinnacle of glory and power attainable. But that Zion of old was only a shadow of the true Mount Zion to which we are come!
David was king over natural Israel. Christ is King over spiritual Israel. David dwelt on the natural Mount Zion. Therefore Christ dwells on the spiritual Mount Zion. And this spiritual Zion is composed of those who have reached the very highest pinnacle attainable in Jerusalem: those who, like David of old, have wholly followed the Lord and done all His will. They are a people after God's own heart. Spiritual Zion is the "little remnant": the ones who have attained the highest pinnacle of majesty in the spiritual realm. These called out and elect saints, who have been in preparation for two thousand years, are the BODY OF CHRIST, the SONS OF GOD, whom God has chosen and ordained to sit with Him in His throne as King
Priests after the order of Melchizedek. They are the fullness and completeness of Him who everywhere fills the universe with Himself. These are the 144,000 who stand with the Lamb upon the heavenly Mount Zion (Rev. 14), who have suffered with Him, and will now reign with Him for the ages. These are they who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, going all the way with God. They have their Father's nature written in their minds and in their hearts. They sing a new song of revelation and glory and victory, known only to those who have troden the path from Mount Calvary to Mount Zion. They are overcomers. They are not defiled with the treacherous harlot religious systems, nor have they subscribed to the doctrines, blasphemies and idolatries of Mystery Babylon. In their mouths is found no guile. They are without fault before the throne. How glorious is the theme! I have no hesitancy whatever in telling you that these holy sons of God are THE RESTORED TABERNACLE OF DAVID. Press on, saints of God, for if your heart is as my heart you cannot dare not settle for anything less than HIS FULLNESS. The Tabernacle of David MUST be restored, the glory of the firstborn Son must be manifested in many-splendored fullness in His many brethren, and I would not miss it for a million worlds such as the one in which we now live. God is preparing and raising up a ZION PEOPLE, the TABERNACLE OF DAVID COMPANY through which to reveal the power and majesty of HIS PRESENCE among men. Zion is the Mount of the fullness of His presence and glory and power expressed through King-Priests.
This is why David said of Mount Zion: "Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the Lord will dwell in it forever" (Ps. 68:16). Again David said: "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge" (Ps. 48:13). And again: "For the Lord bath chosen Zion; He bath desired it for HIS HABITATION. THIS is My rest forever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it" (Ps. 132:13-14).
In the Tabernacle of David pitched on Mount Zion, the glory of God was visible to all the people. This is why we read in the Bible that the Glory of God's Presence SHONE out from Mount Zion. We see in the Tabernacle of Moses, the Glory of God and the Light of His Presence had been confined to a tiny room, the Holy of Holies, fifteen feet square. But there was no veil to contain or hide the Glory of God or the Majesty of His Presence and Power in the Tabernacle of David. This was why Asaph, who was appointed to record the Psalms given by the Spirit there, was able to testify: "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God HATH SHINED" (Ps. 50:2).
There is a wonderful prophecy found in Isa. 60:1-22 which shows that it is out of His ZION PEOPLE that God shall shine in the perfection of beauty, and this shining shall result in the salvation and restoration of all the nations of earth. "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And THE GENTILES (NATIONS) SHALL COME TO THY LIGHT, AND KINGS TO THE BRIGHTNESS OF THY RISING. Lift up shine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: the abundance of the sea (unconverted masses of the nations) shall be converted unto thee, the forces (powers) of the Gentiles (nations) SHALL COME UNTO THEE...and they shall call THEE, THE CITY OF THE LORD, THE ZION OF THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL." THIS is the Tabernacle that God has promised to restore! How wonderful it is!
James, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, quotes from the book of the prophet Amos. He speaks of the restoration of the Tabernacle of David, the building up of a glorious habitation for the Spirit of God, to bring a mighty harvest of souls to Christ. Under the unction of the Holy Spirit James, together with all of the Old Testament prophets, looks down the corridors of time to an age when there will be a complete restoration of the Tabernacle of David as a dwelling place of God's presence "...that the RESIDUE (remainder) of men might seek after the Lord, and ALL THE GENTILES (NATIONS) upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord" (Acts 15:17). This is really what the restoration of the Tabernacle of David is all about. Not the pitching of a tent on a hill in a faraway land. But the manifestation of the fullness of the power and presence and glory of God in His people before the face of all the nations. Not for our own benefit or blessing or glory, but for the blessing of ALL THE NATIONS of the world.
"In that day I will raise up the Tabernacle of David that is fallen...behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt" (Amos 9:11,13). As a physical phenomenon, the plowman overtaking the reaper is an impossibility. No natural seed grows that quickly, but there is a seed, which when watered sufficiently by the rain from heaven, will. That seed is "the Word of the Kingdom", the Word of the living God (Mat. 13:19). Thus the prophet is speaking of the sowing of the Word of the Kingdom, and an ingathering of souls, and the fruit of righteousness among all nations. And this is exactly how James uses this prophecy in Acts 15:16. Not only is a quick harvest foretold, but MANY HARVESTS, one upon another, until the Kingdom of God is filled and running over with multitudes of men who are in turn filled and running over with the fruit of the Spirit of God!
In the same way, no one has seen a mountain dropping sweet wine. In the Bible, mountains often speak of the strong kingdoms of men. In the restoration of David's Tabernacle, God will turn these into "sweet wine" into glorious victory filled and overflowing with the joy and revelation of God. Likewise, the melting hills speak of even the lesser institutions of man being flattened out by the power of the Lord, subdued unto the Christ The hills that were dry and barren shall be moistened with grace and shall melt with the fatness and mellowness of His Spirit. Ah, these are SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS, all the peoples of the earth shall have the bread of life to quicken their hearts, and the wine of divine revelation to make them glad meat indeed and drink indeed all the benefit that comes to the souls of men from the Word and the Spirit of God. The Amplified Bible interprets these promises as spiritual blessings, adding to verse thirteen, "that is, everything heretofore barren and unfruitful shall overflow with spiritual blessing." Bless HIS name!
Today's spiritual signposts point to the fact that God is doing, as He promised, "a NEW THING." There is coming, in this generation, a manifestation of God in His sons, an unveiling, a shining forth of His incorruptible life and power, and a harvest of souls and nations turning to God such as has never been experienced before in all history. This is the promise of David's Tabernacle. This is the hope of the manifestation of the sons of God. This vital truth unlocks the key to the house of David (Isa. 22:22; Rev. 3:7).
GOD'S MAN FOR THIS HOUR
We have often been accused of preaching a "futuristic message," and we most humbly bow our head and acknowledge that it is true. As one has said, "We believe in A LIFE THAT IS LIVED IN THE NOW, but only with respect to how it relates to that which is yet to be revealed." And we can say that the vision grows steadily brighter, the overcoming of today pointing to the reigning of tomorrow. "And he that OVERCOMETH...to him will I give POWER OVER THE NATIONS: and he shall RULE (shepherd) THEM with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers" (Rev. 2:26-27). So we keep examining our priorities, to make sure that we shall be prepared to receive at His appointed time. We have been blessed TO BE A BLESSING, and we have glimpsed a glory which is incomparable to anything else. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed" (Rom. 8:18).
The "glory that shall be revealed" has nothing in common with the past moves and revivals as we have known them. Evangelistic Crusades, Missionary Societies, Pentecostal Outpourings, Latter Rain Revival, Healing and Deliverance Campaigns, Charismatic Renewals, etc., as they have been labeled, have all been used, in the measure they were of God, to separate a people unto Himself, to lead them into a process of becoming and apprehending HIS FULLNESS. But that which lies before us, the manifestation of the sons of God, the priesthood for the nations, the Tabernacle of David restored, the glory that SHALL BE revealed, far transcends anything God has ever done in past generations and ages, and signals the beginning of the RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS, spoken of by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
We have come to a period of the world, and to a condition, for which there are no precedents. There are no instructions left for guidance in the details of the restoration of all things, beginning with the deliverance of the nations and their entrance into the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit has given no exact direction concerning the manner in which the priesthood for the nations is to minister or its work to be effected. We have, in the Word of God, abundant instructions for the "in part" realm of Church age ministry. But I will defy any theologian to find anything that will give us direct help, even in the words of Jesus Christ, Himself, concerning how to reign as King
Priests over the nations. He left that for the Holy Spirit to teach to that elect company of overcomers who should be the heirs of the Kingdom of God. How important, then, to be TAUGHT OF HIM! "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth...and He will SHOW YOU THINGS TO COME" (Jn. 16:12-13).
History faithfully records that when an age destroys itself by sin, national degeneracy or social corruption, when moral debauchery and social disease gnaw away the vitals of spiritual life, God creates and raises up from the midst a thundering voice and a mighty deliverer for that age. When Israel, cut to the quick by Egyptian bondage, cried aloud for deliverance, Pharaoh, the personification of iniquity, was mastered by Moses. At the very hour when all that Pharaoh represented was tyranny and slavery, God was creating the matchless deliverer who would captain the forces of the Lord and lead them toward the promised land of Canaan.
Israel cried hopelessly in the wilderness, wandered aimlessly, lost faith in divine intervention, and shouted agonizingly, "We die! There is no promised land!" God then strengthened the heart and faith of Joshua to march across the Jordan which separated the desolate wilderness from the Promised Land of plenty. Centuries later Ahab and Jezebel were outmaneuvered by the prophet Elijah, the thundering voice of God. Crises have always produced the grandest of prophets. Isaiah, towering on the loftiest peaks of prophetic utterance, appeared at the dawn of tragic hours. John the Baptist and Herod were direct opposites. One represented sin; the other the divine Voice of judgment that stifled the thunder of kings. This is the pattern of God's dealings through the ages.
Rome met its master in Paul. He transformed its society to the magnificent glory of the Almighty, to sweep Imperial Rome from the world scene. From the chaos of the Dark Ages came Martin Luther. From the moral lassitude of Reformation hours there arose mighty men as John Calvin, John Knox, and scores of other lights who were God's voices for the night of spiritual blackout. At the moment when spiritual life ebbed lowest, when godly lights had all but flickered and gone out, in the "leanest of the lean English rectories" God brought forth John Wesley to spark into being the great evangelical revival that was to sweeten the life of Briton and the world.
So it has always been in the annals of divine history. So it is today. No age in the history of the world matches in crisis and tragedy, in the debacle of nations, in moral degeneracy, in the stamping out of individual liberty and freedom, in the germs of complete destruction of civilization, if not life itself, as the age in which we live. On any moral chart, on any graph of religious decline, on any diagram of wickedness and treachery, THIS AGE IS THE HOUR HORRENDOUS. A hundred million of the world's population yearly, over the past forty years, have lost the last threads of individual freedom and bowed to godless communist tyranny. Moral lights are going out. Pulpits, established to herald the Kingdom of Righteousness, are mockingly consecrated to pleasing platitudes and static creeds and empty religious ceremony. Where voices should be, or have been, there is not the faintest cry for a return to God and right. A rising tide of crime engulfs our age, with a cost outweighing that of religion and education. The world is rocked by terrorism. Our newspapers herald: CIVILIZATION DESTROYED IN AN HOUR. These are not the frantic howlings of country prophets or the eccentric mutterings of doomsday philosophers, but the voices of the world's greatest scientists who have created these ominous forces. Life hangs in the balance. The age is catastrophic with dark predictions of nuclear war, atomic blasts, thermonuclear annihilation, and deadly fallout. What of tomorrow? Will God leave this age voiceless? Will heaven fail to intervene? He has never done so! He has matched the hour and the need with men. In spite of humble beginnings, the hand of the Al mighty has rummaged among the possibilities for greatness, scanning the horizon of the age AND FOUND A MAN!
When God has selected His man, He has ground that man and polished him through the cauldron of human need and suffering. And when the divine process was completed, the schooling finished, His lapidary stones for hewing character burnished His man to a bright hue. God freed His man from the crippling chains of tradition, from timeworn dogma and creed, from stifling religiosity, and armed him with multifold weapons of spiritual power and might. Then He lifted him forth to captain the forces of right, a thundering voice of prophetic power and delivering force. In the darkest hours of human night there has always been the lighted torch in the hand of GOD'S MAN. So it is today. God is even now preparing a Voice, a Challenger of the forces of evil, a Vessel of honor and power and mercy and blessing, a Man to blow a trumpet which will rally the armies of the Lord, stampede the fortresses of the enemy, invade the gates of hell, break to shivers the oppressors of the nations, and inaugurate a blessed age of glory and peace and righteousness for ALL MANKIND. The hour demands it. The measures of bygone generations will not suffice for this day. The very existence of the planet is at stake. And God has a Man. THIS MAN IS A MANYMEMBERED MAN THE SONS OF THE LIVING GOD!
We think that we have seen some wonderful moves of God, and we have, but we haven't even scratched the surface, we haven't seen anything yet that faintly resembles the Glorious things God will do in the momentous days that lie before us. With all its multiplied missionary programs, the Church has not yet even started on world evangelization. God is laying a groundwork and processing, preparing, equipping, and empowering His people for the coming invasion of all the world. He must do something unprecedented for us first, so that we will be ready. We don't have all that we need for this great work, but God is quickening us for it. We still put too much dependence in money, methods, and materials, but God is challenging us to move out of that and into HIS REALM.
Methinks HIS REALM will be something like this. The word came to Phillip the evangelist in Samaria to go down into the desert to meet the Ethiopian eunuch. Phillip didn't say, "Lord, I haven't got a helicopter, how can I get down there? Give me time to mail out a newsletter to my partners in faith and raise the money for the trip. How am I going to find one man in all that vast desert, and anyway, Lord, I've got a big revival going here in Samaria." Phillip did not speak like that at all, but he obeyed the Lord and went immediately. God TRANSPORTED HIM BY THE SPIRIT into the desert and pointed out the chariot and said, "Go and join yourself to that chariot." Phillip had to run and outrun the horses to get into the chariot. When God was through with him, the Spirit took him up and he was "found" at a place called Azotus.
Can we believe that when God wants any of His sons in any place, HE will put them there? God, omnipotent in power, need pay no attention to iron or bamboo curtains. He need not take into consideration national borders or immigration or passport offices. We are talking about the miracle working power of God and a level of resurrection life to be manifested when the sons of the Most High are manifested as King-Priests after the order of Melchizedek. We really know little of the Melchizedek Order, but God is teaching. We are not yet equipped, but God is working! We have yet to see a pure, unadulterated moving of the Spirit with everyone in total subjection to the mind and will of God, but we are going to. It must come in this hour.
We have not yet witnessed the magnitude of ministry that shall be revealed through the Royal Priesthood. At times God has raised up mighty men and, as it were, pulled apart but a little the veil, giving a glimpse of the force of a ministry filled with the fullness of His power, the harbinger of greater things to come. Such a man was Charles Finney, an attorney, who upon being apprehended of the Lord left his vocation, waited upon and then followed the Lord. When he entered into a town often all the taverns, theatres, pool halls and houses of prostitution would close, not because of some law, nor out of respect for religious gatherings, but because there was no longer any need for them, there weren't any customers, the whole town had turned to God! One man wrote of Finney, "No one has ever approached the gigantic stature of the mighty Charles Finney, who alone, without an evangelistic society, without a radio or television program, without a computer, without 10,000 partners TO APPEAL TO or a business manager WON TWO AND A HALF MILLION SOULS TO CHRIST. A hundred like Finney WOULD WIN THE ENTIRE AMERICAN NATION." And do I have some good news for you! God is going to turn 144,000 incorruptible sons of God, with a thousand times more power than Charles Finney, loose on this sincursed earth!
The following words by George Warnock have proved an inspiration and blessing to my heart. "We believe we are living in the day of the opening of the seventh seal, and swiftly approaching the hour of the blowing of the seventh trumpet. I do not question that the book of Revelation is for the whole Church age, otherwise why would God have admonished His people to READ it and to be BLESSED by reading it, if it was not for them? But the seven thunders seemed to have special significance for the end
time, because John was not permitted to reveal what was said. It would not have had vital meaning to the people of his times as it would in the time of the end, when the mystery of God is to be finished.
"God has been faithful in this past decade or two in bringing for
in ENDTIME TRUTH. Is end-time truth different from other truth? Not really. But there must be a particular phase of ministry and truth revealed in the day and the hour when the 'mystery of God is to be finished.' And the time is here when God would say to the end-time people who have embraced end-time truth: GO TAKE THE LITTLE BOOK AND EAT IT. This message will not bring forth that Living Word for the nations of the earth until WE EAT THE BOOK. True, it will be 'bitter' as you digest it, but it is only in the EATING of the Word that God would bring forth in this hour: that clear, sanctified, pure and holy Word that proceedeth directly from the throne of God. The bitterness that we shall know in the digesting of the truth will take away and remove any vainglorious desire to display our knowledge in the eyes of men. The bitterness of the Word working within us will purge away all thoughts of grandeur and of greatness, and leave us DUMB (like Ezekiel of old), until the hour when God shall open our mouths; and then we shall be enabled to speak that clear, infallible Word direct from God's own heart.
"After the bitterness had taken hold of John, God said, 'Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.' Oh, what a pure Word will come forth in that day! A pure word to all nations! Here is a people who have EATEN THE BOOK, and knowing the bitterness of the Cross in their lives they will have become merciful and faithful priests to men of every color, tribe and nation. The bitter herbs of the Passover meal...the bitter hyssop of a broken and contrite spirit...will have completely removed all bitterness from their lives; and they will show forth the mercy and the compassion of Jesus from their lives. They will not be entertainers. They will not be supported in their task with 'ministries' of 'mime' and 'puppets' and 'rock musicians' that go about today in the name of Christ making merchandise of holy things. These people have known and have eaten the bitter herbs, like Joseph in an Egyptian prison, like Moses in the Midian desert, like David in the wilderness of Judaea, like Jeremiah in the mire of the dungeon...and now they stand before the peoples of the earth with a clear, living Word from the mouth of God.
"God is saying to His people: I have been faithful in giving you of the Water of Life and of the Bread of Life. You have tasted of My Word and have found it to be sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. And now I say unto you, Go, take the little book and eat it, otherwise it will not profit you. Fear not to swallow it and digest it. For only then will it become a part of your being. And only then will you be able to bring forth that living Word of Life to the nations of the earth"
THE PRIESTHOOD FOR THE UNIVERSE
After the living nations on earth have been gathered under the unfurled banner of tile Kingdom of God, the ministry of the Royal Priesthood must be further expanded to deal with ALL THE CREATION OF GOD. As I have pointed out before, I now remind you that the Kingdom of God, having filled the earth in the dispensation to come, will from thence extend eternally outward to reconstitute, rehabilitate, reconcile, and replenish the entire universe, enfolding within its mighty branches the vast limitless expanse of nebulae, luminaries, and galaxies until the multiplied myriads of the ransomed and reconciled shall in chorus fill the vastness of the universe with these words: "Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the HEAVENS: praise Him in the HEIGHTS. Praise ye Him, all ye angels: praise ye Him, all His HOSTS. Praise ye Him, SUN AND MOON: praise Him, all YE STARS OF LIGHT Praise Him, ye HEAVENS OF HEAVENS, and ye WATERS that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for He commanded, and they were created. He hath also established them for ever and ever: He made a decree that shall not pass. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye DRAGONS, and all DEEPS: FIRE, and HAIL; SNOW, and VAPOURS; STORMY WIND fulfilling His word: MOUNTAINS, and all HILLS; FRUITFUL TREES, and all CEDARS: BEASTS and all CATTLE; CREEPING THINGS, and FLYING FOWL: KINGS of the earth, and ALL PEOPLE; PRINCES, and all JUDGES of the earth: both YOUNG MEN, and MAIDENS; OLD MEN, and CHILDREN: let them praise the name of the Lord: for His name alone is excellent; HIS GLORY IS ABOVE THE EARTH AND HEAVEN" (Ps. 148).
"For by Him were ALL THINGS created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; ALL THINGS were created by Him and for Him: and He is before ALL THINGS, and by Him ALL THINGS consist. And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to RECON
CILE ALL THINGS unto Himself, by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things it heaven. And YOU that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet NOW HATH HE RECONCILED" (Col. 1:16-17, 20,21).
I must emphasize that God is the Creator of ALL THINGS. Notice the things that the inspired apostle includes in creation. ALL things in the heavens, or all things that are in and constitute the RULING ELEMENT
"the heavens do rule" (Dan. 4:26). ALL the things on earth, or all things that are in or constitute those elements which are ruled, or under authority. ALL things that are visible, or that are discernable to the physical senses, ALL that the eyes can see, ALL that the ears can hear, ALL that we can touch, feel, taste or smell has been created by God. ALL things that are invisible were created by our God ALL the wisdom, ALL the knowledge, yea, even that which has not yet been tapped or conceived of by the mind of man
GOD CREATED. ALL of the myriad machines and devices that shall yet come out of the mind of man, were created by God. ALL of the vast forces and powers and universal laws that science has not yet discovered, were created by God. ALL the thrones, and the glory and the power of them who occupy them, were created by God. ALL the dominions or lordships, the mastery and the supremacy, were created by God. ALL the principalities and powers, angels, intelligences, chief ones, in heaven and in earth, were created by God. And it is not just the fact that all of these were created by God that startles us the most, but it goes on to say that BY THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS ALL THESE THINGS ARE RECONCILED TO GOD IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH. This implies that the principalities and powers in the heavenly realms NEEDED RECONCILING and ARE RECONCILED by the blood of God's Son. Is this not why the blessed Redeemer was both a HEAVENLY BEING and an EARTHLY BEING? He was the Word from heaven made flesh upon earth, heaven and earth blended into one, very God and very man, so that the Son could say, "No man bath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (Jn 3:13). Praise God, even the principalities and powers IN THE HEAVENS are included in the glorious reconciliation and peace secured by the blood of His cross, the Man who was from heaven, born on earth, reconciling both realms into one IN HIMSELF. Glory!
"By Him to reconcile PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS IN HEAVEN and on earth" (Col. 1:16,20). These are the words that stopped me in my tracks one fair day. "What is there IN HEAVEN that NEEDS TO BE RECONCILED?" I querried. The thought had never crossed my mind. I had always assumed that all was at peace and that never a cloud had darkened any brow in heaven! Discord in heaven? Perish the thought! Sin in heaven? Impossible! Negative forces in heaven? It couldn't be! Wickedness in heaven? No way! "But," I thought, "not only does it plainly state that the Christ will reconcile things in heaven, but it furthermore states that among the things to be reconciled are PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS. Principalities in heaven! Principalities in heaven that are hostile to God! Principalities in heaven that MUST BE RECONCILED, and that by the blood of God's heavenly Son. Powers in heaven! Powers in heaven that are hostile to God! Powers in heaven that MUST BE RECONCILED!
It is not just the scope of "things on earth" being reconciled that startles us the most, for it goes on to say, "and things in heaven." One day the words struck me with such incredible force. There I faced anew one of the old, well
known verses of the Bible, and when the profound truth of it broke in wonder and glory within my consciousness I had a completely new Bible, and an increasingly wonderful God. For the first time in my life I saw what God had created in the beginning according to Col. 1:16. And the scope of things created is the full scope of the things reconciled! I discovered at least sixteen different items or groups of items CREATED AND RECONCILED in that one short passage:
1. All things in heaven
2. All things in earth
3. Visible things
4. Invisible things
5. Visible things in heaven
6. Visible things in earth
7. Invisible things in heaven
8. Invisible things in earth
9. Thrones in heaven
10. Thrones on earth
11. Dominions in heaven
12. Dominions on earth
13. Principalities in heaven
14. Principalities on earth
15. Powers in heaven
16. Powers on earth
And all this is to be reconciled BY THE BLOOD OF GOD'S SON! The blood and the priesthood are inseparable. The priesthood without the blood would be impotent, having no power, and the blood without the priesthood would be limited and ineffectual, lacking implementation. The blood is the power, while the priesthood is the instrument. What a mighty power! And what a glorious instrument! The Royal Priesthood is God's greatest FOREIGN MISSIONARY. Their parish will be not only the earth, but the heavens also. God is going to make Himself known through us to the myriad hosts of the heavens. Our bliss will be to bestow the boon of God's favor and redemptive power throughout the bounds of stellar space. Out of the magnificence of God's grace and glory we will gladden the hearts of all His creatures in worlds we have never seen.
Can we not see by this how it is that the Royal Priesthood, which shall be the instrument of God to effect this universal reconciliation, is itself BOTH EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY, composed of men of earth who have been born from above, made ONE IN HIM, raised up and made to sit AMONG THE CELESTIALS IN JESUS CHRIST? It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that all creation groans in a sort of universal travail, waiting for the MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD. And in the words of J. B. Phillips who so beautifully translates "And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in the magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God!" (Rom. 8:21).
The end of all this great historic process of creation and redemption is the glory and dominion of the Christ. The thrones and dominions of Europe, the governments and presidencies of the New World, the tyrannies of Russia and Asia, the petty chieftaincies of Africa, the principalities and powers of the Heavens He is the Creator, the Lord, the Master, the Redeemer and the Arbiter of all. In the end, only HIS WILL is done, and HIS PURPOSES wrought out. We cannot desire a wiser, more powerful or more illustrious governor than the One who sits in the heavens and upon the circle of the earth, who inhabits the ages, yet dwells with him who is of a humble and contrite heart. His glorious power is exercised, not to exalt the proud, but to abase them and to exalt the humble and the meek. To these the Kingdom of God is given, the priesthood, and the power and the glory. A more delectable kingdom than that of Christ cannot be imagined or conceived. He uses His vast power and prerogative, not to oppress, but to save and redeem. Though richest of all, He appeared amongst us as the poorest of all and declared, "Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." I have known no joy so pure and permanent, no bliss so ecstatic as comes to me when some straying sinner or seeking saint receives God's love through some word or act of mine. What will it be to be perfectly equipped with inexhaustible supplies of power and grace and fare forth into the celestial realms as an ambassador of peace to proclaim the GOOD NEWS of God's limitless love to the celestials of the starry spheres? THIS is the destiny of the Royal Priesthood! When all will know Him, when all things are subjected to Him, when God become ever: thing to everyone throughout all the unbounded heavens, and to the lowest hell, then the priesthood will end. We pray for the coming of that day, for THE END OF THE PRIESTHOOD! BIBLE STUDIES
J. PRESTON EBY
P O BOX 371240
El Paso Texas
If you would like any of these messages or would like to be on J Preston Eby's mail list you may write him at the above address or e-mail me at Gary@Sigler.org and I will forward your request to Preston. He has nothing to sell, all his writings are free to all. You may contribute to his ministry to help spread this message to the world, but gifts are not tax deductible.
The Royal Priesthood