FROM the CANDLESTICK to the THRONE, PART 154

THE BEAST OUT of the EARTH (continued)

BY:  J. PRESTON EBY

KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES

“Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God…”

PART ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FOUR

Two Horns Like a Lamb

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Rev. 13:11)

The Greek text indicates that this is “another” of the same kind as the first beast, or a “beast” in another form.  In our last message we pointed out that the “antichrist” is not the same as the “beast” in the book of Revelation.  There is indeed a relationship, but there is also an important difference.  “Antichrist” refers to a spirit and to the people possessed by that spirit.  Notice the language: “Ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now there are many antichrists…they went out from us, but they were not of us…every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not…is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist…for many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.  This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”  On the other hand, throughout the scriptures, the word beast refers to a system, and not to a man.  The beasts speak of bestial systems, organizations, institutions, movements, and governments.  The antichrist people may be found in the bestial system, but the bestial system is something beyond the people themselves.

This second beast is an earth-born beast.  There is no possibility of confusing him with the first beast.  They are utterly different.  The first is a composite wild jungle beast, the second resembles a lamb, but inwardly bears the nature of a dragon.  Outwardly he looks like a kinder, gentler, harmless beast, having only two horns, and those of a harmless kind — like the horns of a lamb.  Also, he has no crowns on his horns, indicating that he has no political sovereignty.  When he speaks, however, he speaks like a dragon; and for all his harmless appearance he is a true therion, a savage, fierce, and cruel brute.  When we look at his character and pretensions we find that, bad as the other beast was, there is something here yet more dreadful.  The second beast does not accomplish his agenda by brute force; he works deception through signs, wonders, and miracles.  The first gives his authority to the second, and the second persuades men everywhere to give respect and pay homage to an image of the first.  They are in league and covenant, each aiding and abetting the other.

I would now draw your attention to the fact that the expression “I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth” is literally in the Greek, “I saw another wild beast ascending out of the earth.”  John did not say, “I saw a beast come up or ascend as a limited, one-time event, but coming up or ascending — denoting a continuous action.  It is on-going.  It is constantly being fulfilled.  It cannot be bound by, nor does it predict or specify, any actual historical or future event.  Instead, the beast is ascending, he is always ascending out of the earth-realm of the soul of man.   As I have pointed out many times before in these messages, nearly all things in the book of Revelation take place in one of three symbolical realms — heaven, earth, and sea.  The earth is the symbol of a realm higher than the sea, but lower than heaven, an in-between realm which at its highest peak kisses heaven, and at its lowest level embraces the sea, yet is, of itself, neither heavenly (spiritual) nor of the sea (degenerate humanity).  The sea, as we have seen, comprises the masses of restless, surging, sinning, clamoring men who live only and completely after the unrestrained lusts of their flesh, while heaven comprises those seated together in the ascended Christ who walk only and completely after the spirit.  Those that “dwell upon the earth” are a moral class, religious folk, with many upright citizens of the community and church-going Christian people in their ranks; but these, while not overtly wicked, are not spiritual either, but in most aspects of their thinking and daily living “mind earthly things.”  They do not wallow in the lusts of the flesh of the body-realm, neither do they walk in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus in the spirit.  Their lives are lived out of the earthly realm of the soul.   

It is impossible to understand this truth of the two beasts unless we can distinguish between the sea, the earth, and the two beasts themselves.  The first beast is not the sea-realm itself, but comes up out of the sea of humanity.  The second beast is not the earth-realm itself, but comes up out of the earth, out of the soulical nature of man.  So we are dealing neither with the wicked, surging masses of humanity nor the moral and religious people who bring a sense of stability to civilization.  The beasts are something “out of.”  Each is an entity, a form, a structure, an organism possessing the attributes of the sea and the earth, but exercising a sphere of activity, influence, authority, and power above and beyond the underlying nature of man.  It is that which comes forth from man and takes on a life, form, identity, and activity of its own.  We have seen that the first beast represents the BESTIAL WORLD SYSTEM OF MAN — human government, rising out of the sea of human corruption.  Armed with this understanding the identity of the second beast is not difficult to ascertain!  The second beast, rising out of the earth, out of the religious soulical nature of man, is therefore the representation of the CARNAL RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS OF MAN!  Can you not see the mystery?

The world system of man — government, economics, commerce, military, education, art, science, entertainment, medicine — these and many more are at all times and in all places arising out of the heart and will of the natural man.  It never ceases!  In like manner, the religious systems of earth are at all times and in all places arising out of the intuitive, intellectual, emotional, soulical nature of mankind!  Let us see how this is so.  I will now quote from an old article that has come into my hands, written many years ago by a lady by the name of Beatrice Barnard Redwine.  While she does not distinguish between soul and spirit, it is still deeply insightful and reveals precisely how religion is the offspring of the human soul.

“In the beginning of our thinking together let us make four interesting observations.  First, All men are Religious.  Great scholars who have made a study of this fact have joined in one great chorus to announce that ‘man is incurably religious.’  There are no dates to fix the time when religion first came into the world.  It is generally conceded that it came with the first human foot-print.  Why?  Because religion was born in the human soul.  All tribes, even the lowest, observe that a human being is made up of two parts, the body of flesh and bone, and an intangible something that lives within.  This something, or soul, is called by various names, but belief in it, is universal.

“Secondly, God seeks man and man seeks God.  Belief in a soul implies belief in a creator.  All men are seeking for a creator of this soul.  God has put into man’s soul a feeling of need that he cannot supply.  He has put into that soul a belief in some superior, invisible Power which can supply his needs and a desire to commune with that Power.  This is proof of the statement in Acts 14:17 that ‘God hath not left Himself without witness’ in all the world.  This is ‘The light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’  All have enough light to make them seek more light! ‘The light shines (to some extent) even in the darkness.’  This is God’s initiative in seeking man!  ‘God who hath made the world and all things therein hath determined that they should seek the Lord if haply they might feel after Him and find Him, though He be not far away from every one of us, (Acts 17:27)

“Thirdly, Man seeks God through methods known to him.  Man’s inborn instincts coupled with the fact that he has not always been rightly guided has led him to seek through false means, and it has led him to substitute all sorts of spirits and gods for that unknown force which is ‘God.’  It seems only natural that man in his search has tried to find deity in the things which experience teaches him are powerful — the sun, moon, stars, lightning, wind, rivers, mountains, great men, and so forth.  Some have felt the need of this greater power with them constantly, and they have made idols or images in which the supreme spirits may dwell.  The beliefs and practices of the uncivilized, unguided heathen are revolting and not conceivable to us, but in each case, the spirit of the god or gods represents to the worshipper some conception of the Supreme being.  He is not only ignorant of the One whom he would worship and of the right method of approach, but he is also ignorant of why he seeks, except that he seeks soul-satisfaction.  Paul said to the men of Athens,Him whom ye ignorantly worship, Him do I declare unto you.’  Him whom the heathen everywhere worship ignorantly is God!  The utterance of the wise men two thousand years ago is the unconscious utterance of the millions today who would worship Him: ‘Where is He, born King of the Jews?’  Hearts everywhere yearn for a consciousness of the love of God.

“As we study together we shall realize more keenly that while all men everywhere are religious, having a religion is very different from having Christ.  As we study the religious practices of the peoples of the world and see the means employed in their search for God…as we see the effects of the gospel upon men of all nations and races, may we realize that knowing Christ makes all the difference; that His Light truly does displace images; that His Love does banish all fear; that His Truth does overcome error; that His Cross does conquer unbelief and that His Spirit does triumph over religion”   — end quote.

While the world is full of religions, and always has been, and they all spring from the soulical religious nature of man, it is clear to me that the beast which John sees ascending out of the earth signifies that carnal religious system which relates to John’s spiritual world, the church of Jesus Christ.  This beast out of the earth-realm had “two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”  “Horns” in prophecy denote dominion, power, authority, or kingship, so this unholy power has a two-fold dominion, both a spiritual administration and ecclesiastical or governmental authority. This beast is called later on “the false prophet” (Rev. 19:20; 20:10) by which we understand that it is made up of false teachers as well as earthly rulers, for a false prophet in the scriptures refers to an erroneous teaching influence in spiritual matters.  John then reveals that this false teaching influence represents itself “as a lamb.”  The “two horns like unto a lamb” are unquestionably a travesty of the “seven horns” of THE LAMB who sits in the midst of the throne.  This beast sets itself up as the representation of Christ in the earth, professing to be the very anointed of God, but is actually a usurper who is opposed to the headship of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

So this beast with the “two horns like a lamb” denotes a two-fold religious power which professes to be the true representative of the Lamb of God in the world!  It pretends to be harmless, meek, mild, loving, inoffensive, non aggressive like a lamb and has many professions of cleanliness, purity, holiness, sanctity, and godliness, but notwithstanding all of these, “he spake as a dragon” — just like the “great dragon” — the arch deceiver — the devil!  Now, I am well aware that the highest meaning of these symbols does not indicate the external, organized systems, but is, rather, a condition in the mind and heart of man, which means that we have all, at one time or another, and perhaps even until now, been partakers of that which is symbolized by the “beast,” “horns,” etc.  But the Spirit of the Lord quickens to me that within the framework of these visions, the beast is, undoubtedly, the OUTWARD REPRESENTATION of the inner spiritual realities, and that this beast is indeed the ORGANIZED CHURCH SYSTEMS OF MAN as they have existed through the age and as we now see them.

The Lord foresaw that Christianity would spread over the world and that, becoming popular, it would be embraced by many who would appreciate the form without entering into its spirit.  He foresaw that as multitudes of this sort would identify themselves with the church, the worldly spirit, which is the opposite of the spirit of the Lamb, would come in with them; that selfishness, carnality, intellectualism, formalism, and a desire to be great and rule, thus coming in, would not have long to wait, but in due time the church would seize the opportunity to seek to dominate the world by means OTHER THAN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD!

I have no hesitation whatever in telling you that “Christianity” is the name of this false kingdom! And it was built upon a mis-applied truth — the truth that the body of Christ is called to be kings and priests unto God and to reign over the earth.  How pitiful it is that for centuries Christians have not understood that the power of the kingdom of God is NOT POLITICAL POWER!  Even some who profess to be sons of God have not yet learned that one important truth!  They still get all involved with various organizations, political parties, and political action groups and support candidates and trot to the polls trying to legislate righteousness through the ballot box.  But the Lord Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world,” and the Holy Ghost testifies that “the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. (I Cor. 4:20)  If the kingdom of God comes by power, what kind of power would that be?  It would have to be GOD POWER!  What kind of power is GOD POWER?  It’s certainly not the power of laws, even good laws, passed in Washington D.C. or in any other ruling government of earth!  The Bible says that God is a spirit.  Therefore, the kingdom of God would be SPIRIT POWER!  Oh, yes!  The Lord knew that once the worldly element entered the church, the church would forsake the mighty weapons of the Spirit and, turning to carnal weapons, would make its influence felt, and in the name of Christ would grasp or seek to use even the civil power of earth!

The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost!  Is there power in peace?  I would say there is power in the peace of God!  Is there power in joy?  There is power in the joy of the Lord!  It is contagious.  There is power in faith, for by faith all things are possible!  There is power in righteousness!  There is power in the name of Jesus Christ!  There is power in the good news of God in Christ, for the gospel is the power of God unto salvation!  There is power in the word of God, for the word of God is living and energetic!  God is love.  Is there power in love?  Truly God’s love is the more excellent way!  You see, my beloved, the kingdom of God is SPIRITUAL POWER — power to change men’s minds, power to transform lives, power to break the hold of sin, power to deliver from addictions and cruel bondages, power to heal the sick and raise the dead, power to redeem, power to subdue men under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, power to raise men up into the image of God!  Oh, yes!

The power of the kingdom of God does not reside in political offices, nor on judicial benches, nor in the legislative halls of government, nor in armies or military might, nor in church boards, nor in organization, nor in any programs devised by men, nor in ecclesiastical pronouncements, nor in councils, conventions, or conferences, nor in creeds, sacraments, ordinances, ceremonies, vestments, rules, or regulations.  Beloved brethren, I can assure you by the word of the Lord that we shall yet see a manifestation of the fullness of the POWER OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD through the ministry of the glorious body of Jesus Christ, the manifest sons of God, which shall “break to shivers” all the vaunted pride and power of all the nations and institutions of the world and cause them to walk in the light of the Lord!  That very fact is the closing scene in the final chapters of THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST!  “Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve Him.  All nations shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and shall glorify Thy name. (Ps. 72:11; 86:9) “And the nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (Rev. 21:24, 1)

I am indebted to a number of books and authors for much of the historical background in the following pages.

And thus it actually transpired: the nominal church began to fall away from its walk in the spirit as it increased in numbers under the teaching and example of ambitious men whose soulical ideas grew more and more favorable to the power and worldly influence which numbers, education, refinement, culture, pomp, and wealth brought with them.  Gradually the spirit of the church became worldly, and the things and ways of the world were coveted.  The suggestion of ambition was — “If the mighty Roman Empire, with all its power and influence, its armies and wealth, were only to support the church, how honorable and noble it would then be to be a Christian!  How speedily then would heathen persecutions cease!  Then it would be in our power not only to overawe the pagans, but to compel their adherence to the church and the name of Christ!  Obviously,” they reasoned, “it is not God’s purpose that the church should forever be subject to the world and persecuted by it: the apostle’s words, ‘Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?’ as well as our Lord’s promises that we shall reign with Him and be given power over the nations, and the many prophecies that all nations shall be subdued to God’s Christ and come and worship before Him, indicate clearly that such is God’s plan.  To us it seems clear that we can and should use every means to obtain a hold upon the civil government and conquer the world for the Lord!”

Thus gradually by a slow process of reasoning covering centuries, the real hope of the church for exaltation to rule and bless the world by the fullness of the power of the Spirit — namely, the manifestation of the sons of God — was lost sight of, and a new hope took its place: the hope of success without the fullness of God, without the mind of Christ, without the full stature of sonship — by the power of the carnal weapons of the flesh.  And thus, by collusion, intrigue, and exchange of favors with the world, the hope of the church became a false hope, a delusive snare by which the dragon-spirit led God’s people from one error and evil to another, until finally the church exercised the worldly power of human government, the persecuted became the persecutors, the lamb-like appearance took on the character of a beast,  the voice became that of a dragon, and the church came to rule the world alright, but alas! the world was two-fold more the child of hell than before!

The beast out of the earth is far more than the historic Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Protestant Church, or any one denomination or religious system.  Yet we cannot deny that this beast assumed its most monstrous form in the days following Constantine the Great.  When Imperial Rome fell, Papal Rome rose.  In the selection of Rome as the seat of its empire, the church secured enormous prestige.  Sitting in the seat which the masters of the world had so long occupied, the church appeared the rightful heir to their power.  The bishops of Rome were perpetually reminding the world that they were the successors of the Caesars, that church and government were linked by an inseparable bond, and that to Rome Christian had descended the heritage of glory and dominion acquired by Rome Pagan.  In due time the bishop of Rome claimed to be the successor of both Caesar and Peter.  The one made him a king, the other made him king of kings; the one gave him the power of the sword, the other invested him with the still more sacred keys to the kingdom of God!  And by these two “horns” of power he was pronounced the father of princes, the king and ruler of the world!

When the church was allied with the state; when Christianity became the religion of the court and of the fashionable classes, the church was not only impregnated with the errors of pagan philosophy, but it adopted many of the ceremonies and rituals of the pagan worship.  The pagan practices were “Christianized” as an accommodation to the heathen, making it easier for them to adapt to the new religion.  The church buildings became as imposing as the old temples of idolatry.  Festivals became frequent and imposing.  Veneration of martyrs ripened into the introduction of images, a future source of popular idolatry.  Christianity was emblazoned with pompous ceremonies.  Superstition exalted the mother of our Lord to practical deification, an object of veneration.  Corruptions, heresies, abominable practices abounded.  The teachings of Christ were forgotten, and the paganized teachings of the church put in their place.  It became a sin to believe the truth, serve the living God, and walk in the spirit, yea, it was soon esteemed the worst of crimes to follow the Lord only and wholly.  The humble and true saints were persecuted.  In streams, yea! in rivers, their blood was shed, till the professing church became a ravenous, devouring beast “drunk” on the blood of His true disciples.  Millions of martyrs fell under the sword, and even in the later days of the Protestant Reformation, at the word of men like Martin Luther and John Calvin, the sword still shed the blood of all who failed to submit to the beastly rule and were esteemed to be “heretics.”  The Reformation Churches were one and all “State Churches” wielding not only the sword of the Spirit but also the carnal sword of human government.  From that day to this, again and again, when autocratic government has realized that religion can be either an intransigent foe or a powerful ally, that government has almost always coveted the control of organized religion for the accomplishment of its sordid purposes.  Even today, in the United States of America, where we supposedly have a separation of church and state, religion is to some degree bridled and controlled by government charters and tax exemptions.

Christ, the Lamb of God, contrary to popular opinion, is not a Person, but a great body of persons, a corporate man.  In fact the word “Christ” is itself not a true translation of the original.  It is not a proper name, but should be rendered as “the anointed.”  And in I Corinthians 12:12 we find just what “the anointed” really is.  It tells us, that just as our natural body is but one body composed of many members, “SO ALSO IS THE ANOINTED.”  Christ, or the anointed then, is a huge company composed of anointed sons of God “for by one spirit are we all baptized into one body. (I Cor. 12:13) And this body or company which IS CHRIST, has a Head, the chief Christ, our Lord and Saviour.  He is the Head of the body and we are members in particular!  We all are “the anointed” of the Lord!  A man must have a blind soul, indeed, if he cannot see that just as Christ, the true Lamb of God, is a corporate body composed of many members, so the “beast” like unto a lamb  is also a corporate body composed of many members!  The company which is Christ is the true church; the beast is the false church, that which appears as a lamb, but has a wild nature and a dragon voice!

In our day the vast multitudes of Christians, carried away by the false pretensions, erroneous doctrines, carnal organization, and worldly spirit of the bestial church systems of man, have missed it all!  They know nothing of the day in which we live, the great purposes of God for this hour, and the glory to be revealed, for they are imbued with the spirit of the beast.  In more ways than one they have taken upon themselves the mark of the beast by believing and propagating its doctrines, observing its forms and ceremonies, celebrating its holy days, functioning by its system, and glorying in its shame.  And above all, multitudes of Christians today are one with the bestial system in pointing the finger of accusation at some fictitious person who is supposed to appear at some yet future time to be the beast!

The overcoming sons of God who are sealed with the mind of Christ have discerned in their spirit the ominous and destructive spirit of the bestial church systems of man, and have departed from its precincts.  They knew from the moment they received their call to sonship that the whole program of the beast was earthly and soulical, and that its creeds and doctrines were impure mixtures, that its voice had the sound of the dragon, and that its spirit was savage and its control deadly. And these overcome the beast and they don’t belong to the earth anymore!  They belong in the heavens where they dwell!  They are looking after the things their Father is doing, they mind heavenly things!  What is happening in the heavens is all that pertains to these victorious ones!  They belong to the heavens where they walk with God in the Spirit!  It is the mind of Christ that will govern the world in the kingdom of God!   Every son is being imbued with the mind of Christ and from those holy omniscient minds the life and light and love and authority and glory of the Lord will flow forth with a power that will encompass the earth with transforming grace and fill it to overflowing with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord!

Some years ago a dear friend shared the following.  “In the 11th chapter of Luke, there is recorded (verses 24-26) the account of a man out of whom the evil spirit had been cast.  Now, I had always thought that Jesus was talking about an individual man until just a short time ago when He showed me otherwise.  The account in Matthew 12:43-45 goes just a step further than Luke’s account and identifies the man.  ‘When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places seeking rest and findeth none.  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out…and the last state of that man is worse than the first.  EVEN SO SHALL IT BE UNTO THIS WICKED GENERATION.’  The ‘man’ about whom Jesus was speaking was a WICKED GENERATION — a whole ‘body’ of people!  He, furthermore, identifies who that wicked generation is in the verses that precede the story.  Verses 38 and 39 say: ‘Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees (the religious order) answered saying, Master, we would see a sign from Thee.  But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous GENERATION seeketh after a sign.’  He was, then, identifying the wicked and adulterous generation as the RELIGIOUS ORDER OF HIS DAY!

“Now the unclean spirit that was cast out of the ‘man’ was that RELIGIOUS SPIRIT: the false spirit of prophecy, or, the spirit of Jezebel.  That spirit, however, cannot exist long in a godless (secular) world, for it needs water — the Word of God — in order to find a lodging place!  Finding no rest in the world, he says, ‘I will return to my house,’ but when he returns he finds that it has changed appearance.  Now it is empty, swept, and garnished.  Now that all sounds well and good — but it is not that the house is clean, for if the house were clean and righteous before God, that false spirit would find no lodging place therein.  The new condition of the house is what made it receptive to the unclean spirit of the false prophet, which the Greek revealsThe word translated “garnished” is from the word kosmos which speaks of the present world system.  Thus he returned and found the religious system (popular church) partaking of the spirit of the world — using her methods, expanding its programs through these methods, worldly in her approach to spiritual things.

“Not only that, he found it swept.  And the Lord said, ‘I will sweep you with the besem (broom) of destruction.’  He found the religious system, then, UNDER JUDGMENT!  But the most enlightening word of all is the word empty.  What a shock that was when I discovered it!  It is from the Greek word scholastikos, which is our word for scholar and intellectual.  He found the religious system reasoning about the scripture — intellectually pursuing her revelation — making scholars in the Word of God and offering degrees for the same!  A perfect lodging place for the spirit of the false prophet!  So he goes and takes seven devils worse than himself and, entering in, they make the last condition of that ‘man’ worse than the first!

“The seven devils are the devils that entered into each church age.  That first unclean spirit started in Israel, in the apostate religious system of Jesus’ day.  But when it was cast out in His crucifixion and a new day began with an expansion of Israel into the church, it wasn’t long until that same spirit came back, and gave in each succeeding church age a devil just a little worse than the preceding one, until now, in the end of this age, the Lord tells us that things are worse than in the days when He walked on the earth — the days of the scribes and Pharisees!  That was an anti-Christ spirit in Judaism — but it has multiplied seven-fold since then, so…the cup of wickedness is being filled to the brim — and what we must realize more than anything else is this: Anti-Christ is not in the world!  Anti-Christ is in the CHURCH!”   — end quote.

TWO HORNS LIKE A LAMB

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. (Rev. 13:11)

Horns are a symbol in scripture for power and dominion.  They speak of a realm of authority.  Long millenniums ago King David uttered these inspired words, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the HORN of my salvation…”  In the Old Testament horns were used to denote kings and kingdoms in their strength and dominion.  So David says, “The Lord is the strength, the power, the authority, the KING of my salvation!”  How many who read these lines ever tried to save yourself?  At the dawn of the New Year millions of people make New Year Resolutions.  They resolve to make changes in their lives and to “turn over a new leaf.”  The truth is that very few people who determine by resolution to turn over a new leaf are able to keep the leaf turned over very long!  It just doesn’t work.  The simple fact is that we cannot change ourselves!  We are hopelessly impotent to either deliver ourselves or to perfect ourselves.  David recognized that in the frailty of human nature it is impossible to fight our own battles and gain our own victories within ourselves.  By the eye of the spirit David saw a revelation and declared, “The Lord is the horn of my salvation!”  Is it not a great fact that every good thing that has been inworked into our lives has been wrought by the almighty hand of God!

At the time of the birth of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, his father, Zacharias, was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David. (Lk. 1:68-69)  God has raised up a horn of salvation, and it is plain that the horn is our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom Zacharias prophesied.  I tell you today that just as surely as any kingdom on earth has ever had authority, power, and dominion, the mighty Christ within each of us has authority, power, and dominion!  HE is the horn of our salvation!  In Him there is strength.  In Him there is might.  In Him there is sufficiency.  In Him there is divine omnipotence.  In Him there is the power of resurrection.  No matter your circumstance, no matter your difficulty, regardless of your problems, temptations, weaknesses, failures, testings, trials, or tribulations, there is within you today, my dear brother, my precious sister, A MIGHTY HORN OF SALVATION!  It is right there within you, closer to you than the air you breathe.  Christ in your spirit is your almighty horn of salvation!

No man on earth is more keenly aware of his own lack and inability than I.  I have discovered through long years of painful experience that I am utterly helpless to either deliver or perfect myself.  I am powerless to change myself.  I am absolutely unable to transform myself.  Though I embrace, and rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, in the beautiful hope of sonship, I know for certainty in my deepest heart that I cannot manifest myself.  As the years rush onward I see more signs of weakness, impairedness, ageing, and dissolution in my mortal body and I have learned the valuable lesson that I can in  no way immortalize my flesh.  I cannot pull rain down from the heavens nor transfigure myself on the holy mount.  Yet — I live in expectation of the glory of God!  Oh, yes!  He that dwelleth within me is my horn of salvation, and He is mighty!  Christ in us is our hope of glory and truly He is our only hope of glory.  Not Christ in heaven, my friend; not Christ with you, not Christ “passing this way” and “touching you,” but Christ IN YOU!             

Just after writing the above words I made my daily trip to the Post Office and received the following words in the mail from a dear sister.  She writes, “How I want to gird up the loins of my mind and be rid of all the carnal thinking.  There are times when after reading your paper I feel like you’ve laid it all out for me and it seems such an easy thing just to live it out; and then the enemy (God-sent) comes in and throws a huge annoyance in my path and I am reminded of how utterly dependent I am upon the Lord to change me.  I am so very thankful that the seed has been sown and that it is growing and maturing into the likeness of Christ. It cannot be choked out and the thing that fights against my growth and development is actually exercising me and causing me to want to change more each day.  It is truly a terrible struggle at times, and it gets so old fighting and trying to change over and over, year after year after year!  But when the time comes and I am filled with the victory and glory of the Lord — what a transformation!  What a miracle!  What an absolutely loving God He is to impart His exact nature and image to His sons and ultimately to all creation!”

Gary Sigler stated it so well when he said, “The very moment that you try to be godly, you are in the wrong mind.  The moment you try to improve yourself by effort, the moment it enters your mind that you must do something to be righteous; you’re in the wrong mind, because the mind of Christ knows nothing but perfection, loveliness, and beauty.  The mind of Christ does not look at you according to the flesh.  I remember one day when I was so miserable before I came out of all the bondage I was in.  God spoke to me so clearly and said, ‘Gary, you are my idea — I brought you forth.  If I don’t perfect that in you which I desire to do, then I would be an irresponsible parent.  It’s not about you trying to pull yourself up out of the gutter; it’s about what I’ve done for you.  I look far past your natural mind, I look deep on the inside of  you and I see the very essence, the very substance of all that I am that’s imprisoned within your being.  And Gary, I’m going to speak to you, I’m going to water you, I’m going to nourish you until that seed within you begins to grow and flourish!

“You see, the seed of God in you is predestinated, pre-programmed to be everything that God is in your being.  It cannot do anything else!  But because we nurture the seed of the serpent which is the natural mind; because we focus on what we are in the flesh instead of what we are in the spirit, the tare grows in us at the same time as the wheat.  Now listen to this:  Don’t try to remove the tare.  You have to minister to Christ!  Let them grow together until the harvest.  Then the tares are taken in bundles and burned!”    — end quote.

There we have the reality — God has raised up within us a “horn of salvation” and that horn is Christ in us, the hope of glory.  The horn of our salvation is the fullness of the seven horns of the Lamb, which are the seven spirits of God, the seven-fold fullness of the spirit of the Lamb within us!  The raising up of this horn within us is the secret to our victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil!  As we give ourselves to nurturing the seed of Christ within us instead of struggling with the outward flesh man, in due time the power of the Lamb will overcome.  The promise is sure: “And these shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings.(Rev. 17:14)  That is the secret.  Oh, the wonder of it!

But now we see a beast rising up out of the earth having two horns like a lamb!  May God give us understanding!

A brother has written, “A fascinating issue must be raised.  John gives no description of this beast other than it having two horns like the lamb.  That’s right.  In the Greek, the noun for lamb in verse 11 has no article such as ‘a’ or ‘the.’  In English there is a big difference between saying a lamb and the lamb.  Often the Greek language will omit the article if the noun is obviously known or previously identified.  In other words, the Greek syntax supports the idea that John is really saying, ‘I saw a beast rise up out of the earth and it looked like the lamb of God, but it only had two horns, whereas the lamb of God had seven.’  Even if the reader disagrees with this grammatical point, consider this.  Why would John ignore the entire appearance of this beast and just notice that its two horns look like a lamb?  A literal translation of the Greek says, ‘And I saw another beast rising up out of the earth, and it had two horns like a lamb, and it spoke as dragon.’  Again, notice the missing article before the word dragon.  This writer believes the contrast in Revelation 13:11 between Jesus, as ‘The Lamb,’ and this beast, having two horns like The Lamb, is obvious and intentional.  John says this beast ‘looked lamb-like, but spoke like dragon!’  Again, we see the contrast because John has already introduced and identified the dragon.  Its harmless appearance and its dragon-like speech are direct opposites.  Thus he looks like The Lamb but he speaks as The Dragon!”   — Larry Wilson.

He appears as the Lamb, meaning that he symbolizes false religious systems, false prophets, false teachings and concepts, and that which appears godly but does not exalt the Christ within.  These have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof!  This is not a future event, my beloved, for the church today is full of this deception!  Horns, as we have shown, represent power.  This beast has two horns, bespeaking duality.  Duality is double-mindedness.  “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  Let not that man think that he shall receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:8, 7) John sees this beast come up out of the earth, out from the soulical religious nature of man; he has the two horns of duality and they have an appearance like the Lamb.  This is supposed to be the very wisdom and power of Christ, but at once we discover that the sound of his words is like the voice of the great red dragon!  There is the duality again — horns like the Lamb, voice like the dragon.  He has the confession of Christ in his life, but also the power of Satan.  What a paradox!  Let us understand now that all these impressive symbols point manifestly to the fact that this is indeed a religious beast!   Thank God, the beast is doomed.  Religion is a failure.  It always has been.  It failed to meet the needs of Adam and Eve, of Cain, of Saul of Tarsus, and it has failed to meet the needs of every man who has ever had religion.  Only CHRIST is the answer!

The beast that is more deceptive is not the first beast, the great big ugly, fierce monster out of the sea, but the one that is more deceptive is the one that has horns like a cute, wooly little lamb.  It guises itself in such an adorning that it looks like the little Lamb of God but it is betrayed by its speech — it talks like the dragon.  It’s a religious guise, it’s old Adam in a religious costume! We immediately think of little Red Riding Hood and the wolf impersonating the grandmother.  While he appears a lot like grandmother, his objective is to eat you up!  Yet — it was his voice which betrayed him!  All who shall rule and reign with Christ as kings and priests sooner or later become thoroughly undeceived by the carnal church system and flee from it as a plague. The vast majority of the confusion of the Babylonian religious system has come from messengers who look like lambs but talk like dragons!  Who can deny it?  More than three hundred years ago Madame Guyon wrote of this beast, “This beast is not any less dangerous than the other; on the contrary, the danger of this beast is less apparent, and this is why it is more harmful.  Why?  This one retains goodness.  Its appearance is very beautiful.  It is full of its own righteousness, but in such a hidden way that it cannot be discerned because it has two horns like a lamb.  The horns of the true Lamb are righteousness and divine strength.   This beast’s horns are self-righteousness and self-strength.  This is why he comes out of the earth — because he comes from the corrupt nature whereas the true Lamb comes from above.”

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FROM CANDLESTICK…, Pt. 154 [J. Preston Eby] ~ BIBLE STUDY          1

 

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