ECHOES from EDEN, PART 11
END-TIME PROPHECY –TRUTH REVEALED
BY: J. PRESTON EBY
KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
A RIVER out of EDEN, (continued)
Four Rivers out of Eden
The River of God’s Salvation
"And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and came into FOUR HEADS. The name of the FIRST is Pison: that is it which compasseth the WHOLE LAND OF HAVILAH, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium (pearl) and the onyx stone. And the name of the SECOND River is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the WHOLE LAND OF ETHIOPIA. And the name of the THIRD River is Heddekel: that is it which goeth toward the EAST OF ASSYRIA. And the FOURTH River is EUPHRATES." (Gen 2:10-14)
In the opening chapters of the Bible we are told about the river God put in the Garden of Eden. As it flowed out of the garden, it divided and went in four directions. This is a type or symbol of the life of God, flowing out from the Kingdom of God to the whole earth. The nature of God's wonderful River of Life is that it flows outward. Ezekiel once had a vision of a river that flowed out of the temple and got deeper and deeper as it flowed out to the sea (which symbolizes the nations), and it healed the sea or the nations (Eze 47). Thank God that this river now flows! The life of Jesus Christ is flowing as a river out from the throne of God. "If any man thirst," saith Christ, "let him come unto Me and drink!”
In our last article we spoke of how it is that inside the Garden of Eden the river is one, and that it is only after leaving Paradise that it divides into four branches. ONE river in Eden! As we meditate upon this wonderful fact there can be no doubt as to its significance for in all the languages of earth ONE is the prime number and is always the symbol of UNITY or that which is UNIFIED. Hence, ONE stands in scripture for source, unity, sovereignty, creation, and above all, God – Who is the great FIRST CAUSE of all things in the universe. It is an eternal never-failing principle that nowhere, in all the unbounded heavens, is anything right or enduring that does not begin with God. Thus, the one river in Eden points us to the high and holy and inescapable truth that there can be no flowing out of God as Life from anyone anywhere who is not walking in UNION WITH CHRIST. The river must continually be united with the vast reservoir of head-waters whence it originates, as also those head-waters must ever be united with the deep hidden springs which are their source. Separate the river from its source and it will speedily run dry. Separate the head-waters from the gushing underground springs that feed them and they will cease to flow and soon stagnate. The springs, the head-waters, and the river ARE ONE BODY OF WATER. Only in that unbroken UNITY can the river continue to flow. Would you be part, dear brother, sister, of God's wonderful RIVER OF LIFE COMPANY? Seek, then, above all else in this world to be joined in eternal UNION WITH CHRIST, set all your affection on those things that are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. In vital union with HIM, as sure as the heavens are higher than the earth, so sure is it that YOU WILL FLOW IN LIFE AND HIS LIFE WILL FLOW THROUGH YOU!
The foregoing truth is worthy of our deepest meditation and prayer. Never can we comprehend its forceful meaning to us as sons of God without prayerful, careful consideration. It is not enough that we understand the fact of it with our minds. Here is one sure place where we need that blessed teacher, the Holy Spirit, to "take the things of Christ and show them unto us.” How precious to the enlightened heart are the words of the apostle Paul, saying, "He that is JOINED unto the Lord is ONE SPIRIT." (I Cor 6:17) Listen now to these words from the Living Bible: "But if you give yourself to the Lord, you and Christ are joined together AS ONE PERSON.” The Amplified Bible reads: "But the person who is UNITED to the Lord becomes THE SPIRIT WITH HIM.” In union with our Lord we are THE ONE SPIRIT, the ONE RIVER OF LIVING WATER flowing out of the high and holy realm of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth!
FOUR RIVERS OUT OF EDEN
It is of special interest to us at this point to prayerfully examine the wonderful significance of the divine fact that this one river, upon flowing out of the Garden, divides and goes in four directions. When man was driven outside of his first blessed home and looked about him, he had no conception of the modern world as we know it. No Copernicus had ever opened his eyes to the vast significance of the universe. To him the world was a great flat wilderness with four boundaries, east and west and north and south. There were four winds from the four sides of the earth. Thus, when he thought of the world he thought in terms of FOUR. FOUR became the cosmic number. The world in which men lived and worked and died, was conveniently symbolized by FOUR.
In common language we speak of "the FOUR corners of the earth" and "the FOUR points of the compass.” FOUR is the number of CREATION and marks in a singular way GOD'S CREATIVE WORKS. The earth has FOUR regions: North, South, East, and West. FOUR elements: earth, air, fire and water. FOUR kingdoms: mineral, vegetable, animal and spiritual. FOUR winds: from the four directions of earth. FOUR divisions of our day: morning, noon, evening and night. FOUR phases of the moon: First Quarter, New Moon, Last Quarter and Full Moon. On the FOURTH creative day the material creation was finished (Gen 1:14-19).
FOUR is the number that in Scriptures is associated with CREATION. In Rom 8:19-22 the word CREATURE is used FOUR times in succession. In the Revised Version the word is CREATION, being a more correct translation of the Greek word. Notice: "For the earnest expectation of the (1) CREATION waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the (2) CREATION was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the (3) CREATION itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole (4) CREATION groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”
In Rev 5:13 the CREATURES in FOUR different places ascribe FOUR words of praise to God and the Lamb: "And every CREATURE which is (1) in heaven, (2) and on the earth, (3) and under the earth, (4) and such as are in the sea and all that are in them heard; I saying, (1) Blessing, and (2) honour, and (3) glory, and (4) power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.”
The great Gentile World Kingdoms as revealed to the prophet Daniel were FOUR in number: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. These are all EARTHLY POWERS. They were ruled over by the natural man, represented by the number FOUR. Following these FOUR is the FIFTH, which shall be controlled by the SONS OF GOD in that wonderful age soon to dawn. People ignorantly talk about the "age of grace" ending, but I declare unto you that eye hath not seen neither hath ear heard of an age of grace so full and free as that which lies before us in the age of the Kingdom of God. This will be the FIFTH World Empire and FIVE is the number of GRACE! “And He will destroy in this mountain (the Kingdom of God) the face of the covering cast over ALL PEOPLE, and the veil (of blindness) that is spread over ALL NATIONS. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord will wipe away tears from off ALL FACES. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in HIS SALVATION!” (Isa 25:7-9)
The New Jerusalem in the new heavens and the new earth is revealed to be a city FOUR-SQUARE. The best way to come to an understanding of the true meaning of the NEW JERUSALEM is to go back and consider its shadow, the OLD JERUSALEM. Jerusalem of old was the capital city of the national Israel; and as that old order was but a type and shadow of the new (Heb 10:1; Col 2:16-17), therefore the New Jerusalem must be the capital city, or the ruling element, in Israel today, which is Christ's Kingdom and of which our Lord said, it "is not of this world." (Jn. 18:36) In other words, the New Jerusalem is the ruling class, the kings and priests unto God: those who have followed the Lamb whithersoever He goeth and have attained to the highest position of honor and might and true greatness in grace. It comprises those who will rule with Christ upon His throne. We, therefore, who are accounted worthy to suffer with Christ (II Tim 2:12), ARE the New Jerusalem which shall rule over God's infinite realm forevermore. The city FOUR-SQUARE is a PEOPLE.
Thus we see that the New Jerusalem, contrary to the driveling childishness that is taught in the churches, is not a fanciful monstrosity some fifteen hundred miles high, which one day will come floating or crashing down out of the clouds to settle and rest on the earth like a bump on a little boy's head, throwing it out of balance and off its course. God made this earth complete and as it should be long, long ago. He created it a perfectly functioning reality, and "nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it." (Eccl 3:14) Truly, unspiritual men, who walk after the flesh in the vain imaginings of the carnal mind, can invent many fairy tales, and alas, all seem intent upon calculating the expanse of the city in cubic miles or cubic feet as though it were nothing more than a huge metropolis slightly more wonderful than those at present on earth! One speaker waxed eloquent about the size of the mansion each inhabitant would possess, replete with a golden bathtub and fountains and other such childish nonsense. Until our spiritual minds are able to grasp the truth that the BODY OF CHRIST is the temple of God and that every room or mansion in that temple is a LIVING SON OF GOD, a literal habitation for God through the Spirit, and until we understand that the stones of that temple are all LIVING STONES as Jesus Christ Himself, the corner-stone, is a living stone, we have understood nothing at all. The temple of God, indeed, is Christ in all His fullness – the Head and all the members of that body joined as ONE SPIRIT and baptized into one glorious body. Did not Paul, because of the sluggish understanding of the saints, demand in amazement, "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?” (I Cor 6:19) Oh may the Spirit of God make this a living truth in our hearts!
When this glorious city of living stones is unveiled in all its unspeakable majesty and glory, then will the Spirit and the bride say, "Come," and the nations of earth will enter through its spiritual gates that they may partake of the leaves of its spiritual tree (the Word of God) that are for the healing of the nations. From His exalted throne in its midst the water of Life will ever flow and the ever green tree of life, bearing its twelve manner of fruits, will flourish on either side of the river for healing of all nations who hitherto walked in darkness and the shadow of death. Then shall its twelve gates be opened, and never shall they be closed by day, and there shall be no more night. Then shall the holy voice of the bride, speaking by the Spirit of God, say to the multiplied billions who until now have never heard that God had a Son or that He died to save them all, "Come, for all things are now ready. Come and partake freely of the water of Life! Let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of Life freely. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price!” And come they will by the millions and the billions, bringing the glory and honor of the nations into the beautiful city of God. In the light of such all-surpassing promises as these I cannot help but rebuke the gross unbelief of modern Christians who would deny access to God's bountiful River of Life to all but the little hand-full that have drunk during this so-called "age of grace.”
As we meditate upon these wonderful truths there can be no doubt as to the meaning of the FOUR Rivers which flowed out from Eden in that misty age of long ago. My heart goes out in prayer that the God of all wisdom and understanding will open the hearts of all who read these lines that they may see with absolute clarity how these FOUR Rivers bespeak the flowing out of God's divine Life from the body of Christ unto THE WHOLE CREATION.
The four quarters of the earth, lying without the garden, unto which the four rivers flowed, represent the human condition outside of God, the whole dreadful realm of sin, sorrow, and death. This lower realm includes this world and everything that is beneath it, descending into the lowest realms of the bottomless and embraces the outer realms of darkness. The first river is Pison and is said to compass "the whole land of Havilah.” Havilah is an unusually descriptive word in Hebrew meaning: "To twist or whirl in a circular or spiral manner, i.e. to writhe or fall grievously in pain or fear; to pervert; drive away; grieve; be sore pained; be sorrowful; tremble; be wounded.” Havilah also means "sandy" and historically its people were desert nomads, wilderness wanderers. How beautiful that God so graciously provides such an abundant RIVER for such a distressing condition! And this divine River not only flows into and through the land of Havilah, but also "compasses the WHOLE LAND!” Such bountiful outflow of life from Eden's fair garden serves merely as a dim shadow of the grand and glorious fulfillment of the awe-inspiring vision of John the Revelator, when on Patmos his wondering eyes beheld and his anointed hand penned these blessed words of eternal consolation and good hope: "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God IS WITH MEN, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be their God. And God shall wipe away ALL TEARS from their eyes; and there shall be NO MORE DEATH, neither SORROW, nor CRYING, neither shall there be any more PAIN: for the former things are passed away and Behold, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW." (Rev 21:3-5) Any child in elementary school should be able to compare the list of meanings of the word "Havilah" and the items in the above quoted verses which God says, He shall take away from the midst of men, and easily grasp that the things God shall obliterate are the same as the distressing conditions in the "land of Havilah.” No more sorrow, no more pain, no more crying, and, blessed be God! No more DEATH!
Oh the victory of those blessed words of hope written by the apostle Paul: "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." (I Cor. 15:26) Most Christians do very careless thinking about death and its conquest. I must confess that I used to believe, as many folks do, that death would be destroyed as soon as the act of dying stopped. How limited a viewpoint that is! In a certain book the author discusses the problem of why a rotten apple in a barrel of good ones will spoil the whole lot, but a good apple in a barrel of rotten ones is powerless to make the rotten ones sound. He says that the good apple has the stroke of death in it. When the stem was severed from the tree its source of life and health and growth was removed. Even a good apple is a dying thing. But he should have added that death was hovering near, yea, present, while the stem of the apple was still fast to the tree. Just let the wind swing the apple against a limb near at hand and break the peel, immediately rot sets in. Let a bird pick a hole in it, or a worm enter its body, at once the forces of decay and death come into manifestation, and the end is putrefaction. As has been said, "In the midst of life we are in death.”
The first warning against disobedience is: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” The words "thou shalt surely die" are better translated "dying thou shalt die," or "thou art dying to die.” That is, "dying" is both a condition and a process, and "to die" is merely the final act or event in the process. When Adam sinned it was life and vitality that he lost; it was death and dissolution that he received. The word "death" means infinitely more than the act or event of dying; it means not only the state into which one passes in the act of dying but also the CONDITION WHICH MAKES SUCH AN EVENT AND SUCH A STATE POSSIBLE.
A man knows absolutely nothing about the awesome realities of life and death until he comes to understand that death is not only a condition or state which affects the physical body; it is primarily the state or condition of the spiritual life in which unregenerated men live. Until men are made alive in Christ by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit they are "dead in trespasses and sins," here and now. This will be the condition or state of the lost also "in the ages to come," "having no hope, and without God in the world," as "the smoke of their torment doth go up to ages of ages; and they have no rest day and night, who are bowing before the beast and his image." (Rev 14:11, Young's Literal Translation) Anybody apart from God in Christ is dead, whether in this life or in any other, whether in this age or in any other. "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (I Jn. 5:12) Physical death is only one of the results of spiritual death. It was not merely his demise after 930 years that constituted Adam's death, but his separation from the life that is in God on the very day he sinned was the inner reality of his death. That separation with its fear, its sin, its alienation from God's love and care and intimate fellowship, is the REAL DEATH THAT IS TO BE DESTROYED!
How silly it is to teach then that when the act of physically dying is ended death will be destroyed! If death is the absence of life, and that must be true of anything that ever had life, then death must be destroyed by swallowing it up in life! “Death is swallowed up in VICTORY.” (I Cor. 15:54) Let it be thoroughly known that the only way death will ever be destroyed that “there shall be no more death,” is to put life in its place throughout the WHOLE REALM OF DEATH! How plain it is that the only way to get rid of error is to supplant it with truth. The only way to get rid of sorrow is to submerge it in joy. So, some glad day, “Death will be swallowed up in victory!” And God will do that by destroying throughout “the WHOLE LAND OF HAVILAH” all alienation and separation from God – which is real death, and the origin of all suffering, fear, torment, sorrow, pain and physical death. But that can take place only when the Lord of Life has proven Himself “Lord over death!” Not till then will the Son “deliver up the kingdom of God, even the Father.” When that joyous day comes men will answer their own questions: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is they victory?” (I Cor. 15:55) by the triumphant shout, “Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (I Cor. 15:57) “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Cor. 15:22) As long as there is one creature anywhere in God’s universe abiding in a state of death. DEATH HAS NOT BEEN DESTROYED.
Before passing from this first river, the Pison, we want to consider the positive side of the river as it flows into the land of Havilah. Norene Nichols has penned some beautiful truths from this scene which I am constrained to share with my readers “Now, consider the expanse of the Father’s scope, and this also describes the scope of the position and ministry of the company of fathers. PISON means FREELY FLOWING, DISPERSING, SPREADING. And, it COMPASSETH the whole land Havilah. COMPASSETH means REVOLVE, SURROUND, even means A PROVIDENTIAL TURN OF AFFAIRS. His marvelous providence really turns the affairs of heaven and earth. There is really nothing beyond the scope of Himself, and His providence includes all and everything. Such immensity boggles the mind, but it is true.
“The PISON encompasses the whole land of HAVILAH which itself means CIRCULAR or a CIRCLE. Strange is it not that the Father freely flowing and dispersing Himself revolves and surrounds a CIRCLE. On the surface this does not even make much sense, but wait a minute. The term has been used on several occasions of THE LAW OF CIRCULARITY, and this explains much. The Father moves in ever widening circles, circles within circles, each one a perfection or completion in itself but still unlimited, for larger and wider circles of His plan and purpose are always beyond the present circle. Even ages themselves are circles of time, but each circle or cycle of time is within a still larger circle of time. And in each cycle of time a certain plan is outworked, but that is not the end in itself, for that circle is still within a still greater cycle. And so the scope of His purpose and plan keeps on enlarging and enlarging and ENLARGING! And about the time we think we have comprehended such a cycle, we only are jolted into the reality that it is but a segment of what He is really doing. And out and beyond all of this cycling of time and purpose is the river of Himself ever widening out with greater scope and purpose and power” – end quote.
The second river out of Eden is GIHON and is said to compass "the whole land of Ethiopia.” Ethiopia means "the land of Cush" and Cush means "blackness.” This immediately takes our thoughts back to Gen 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep.” Here the blackness or darkness was worldwide, but, praise God, into that darkness God spoke forth light. The whole earth has passed through six long millenniums of great darkness and that darkness still hangs as an almost impenetrable shroud over the carnal minds of men. This "land of blackness" is reminiscent of the statement made by the Shulamite maiden in the Song of Solomon 1:5-6: "I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me.” In her humility and consciousness of her own unworthiness, the Shulamite declares that she is as black or dark as the tents of Kedar. The dark skinned Arabs of the desert covered their tents with black goatskins, a fitting figure of the blackness of sin, and the darkness of the carnal mind, which, in the unregenerate, is within and without. These black tents are in striking contrast to the princely white tent of Solomon the King. It is also a fitting expression of the feeling of unworthiness, which sweeps over every justified believer who, day by day, is drawing nearer to God.
When our hearts really draw near to the Lord, and we begin to breathe the pure air of His presence and to see the light in His light, we see our own unworthiness; we hear our own words; we behold our own actions; and, but for His sustaining grace, we should faint with dismay and distress. Words and actions, feelings and motives, desires and emotions, which appeared worthy and harmless when we compared ourselves among ourselves, and measured ourselves by ourselves, stand out in all their imperfection and sin-marred darkness. How vain is the self-complacency and confidence of him who has not had a vision of Christ, and a revelation of His High Calling! How futile is the rejoicing and boasted victory of the one who lives in head-knowledge but has not entered the battles and contests, through which the overcomer is perfected! How childish and foolish the assumption of knowledge and attainment, in him who has only viewed the land of promises and privileges from the mountain; and who has never walked up and down in the land!
But they who shall make up the ELECT shall not be content with a mere vision of Christ and the glories of sonship in Him. They will tear away every veil that is between them and their Lord, and with unveiled face, they will behold His glory until they are transfigured into the same image, from glory to glory God's chosen ones will not be satisfied with imaginary victory, which is really the deceptive peace of having received a revelation but not entering in. They will strengthen themselves in the Lord and put on the whole armor of God. They will fight the good fight and finish the course. They will not mistake the call and revelation of sonship, for possession. They will not be content with visions and passing glimpses of the land of promise, but by faith will walk up and down through the land and begin to possess their possessions. They will become more than conquerors through Him who loved them.
God is today doing a marvelous work among the apprehended sons of God who are learning to live and walk in the heavenlies At the same time darkness has descended upon the earth-dwellers, and gross darkness upon the peoples. We are indeed living in momentous hours. The great Babylonish image seen by Nebuchadnezzar of old is now standing but shakily on its two unsubstantial feet of iron and clay A spirit of stupidity has fallen upon the leaders of the world, and a spirit of deception upon its peoples, and satan has come down with great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time. Men and nations have become "lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof; from such turn away." (II Tim 3:2-5)
There was a great and wonderful day when Israel was preparing to leave Egypt, when a great event happened that has its parallel in our day. Just before the Passover when the firstborn of every household was sealed, Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven and there was a thick darkness in Egypt for three days. They saw not one another, neither could any find his way. It was darkness that could be felt. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings! (Ex 10:21-23). In this hour too, God has begun to divide the light from the darkness. There is every evidence that gross darkness that can be felt is descending upon all who love and follow after the spirit of this age, but in the souls of those who are following on to know the Lord there is ever increasing light!
"YE are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of the darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." (I Thes. 5:5-6) I have a strong conviction that the night is far spent and the DAY IS AT HAND. We must now obey the command of the Spirit through the prophet Isaiah: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, 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." (Isa 60:1-2) We must arise and shine and lead the way for all who will follow, and, thank God, this light of His glory upon His sons shall shine even until the thick darkness that can be felt upon all nations shall be dispersed, for "the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 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 honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there." (Rev 21:23-25) No more NIGHT! Blessed hope! The only way to get rid of darkness is to obliterate it with light. The River of Life is said to "compass" the whole land of Ethiopia. One of the meanings of "compasseth" in the Hebrew is "to besiege and change.” It speaks of that which surrounds and lays siege to a thing, taking it over and making it your own, conforming it to your own ideal God is preparing a LIGHT PEOPLE, a MANY-MEMBERED SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, to arise and shine in such fullness of God's glory that the light will lay siege to the terrible darkness of this wicked age, swallowing up the darkness, until THERE SHALL BE NO MORE NIGHT, not only in the City of God, but among all the nations that walk in the dazzling light of that holy city, and ultimately no more night anywhere, forever, as God becomes ALL IN ALL. And all this the result of that glorious River "that compasseth the WHOLE LAND OF ETHIOPIA," the whole realm of blackness and darkness, blessed be the name of the Lord! This, of course, first becomes reality in a firstfruit company and God is working it in us in this very day.
The third river is HIDDEKEL and "goeth toward the east of Assyria.” The Assyrians were not a pure race, being a mixture of Babylonian and Sumerian. They came originally from Babylon and were thus acquainted with the Babylonian inventions, discoveries, and religion. The ancient river Hiddekel, later named Tigris, flowed along the eastern border of both Babylon and Assyria. The simple meaning of the word "Assyria" is "successful.” There is no doubt in my mind that this "success" is the success of the Babylonian harlot, sitting upon many waters, arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication, who also saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. The harlot religious systems have indeed been phenomenonally successful when measured in terms of untold millions of members, inestimable wealth, costly buildings and ornate temples, impressive rituals and ceremonies, pomp, splendor, and worldly honor.
It is successful because it is worldly minded; it loves pleasure more than it loves God; it loves feasting more than it loves fasting; it loves entertainment more than it loves repentance and waiting upon the Lord. It compasses land and sea to make one proselyte and frequently the proselytes are two-fold more the children of the devil than they were in the beginning. Caught in her web of enchantment, those whom the harlot system "wins to the Lord" by teaching them the word of God according to the precepts of men, these babes are imprisoned in her fortress of forms and rituals and ceremonies and doctrines and organizational structures until they become hideously dwarfed and but grotesque caricatures of what a child of the living God should be like.
The entire Church system is full of professional beggars who will fleece your money from you in the name of their program just as a street beggar will begin the name of his infirmity. From time to time I receive these automatically-typed lying letters from men I have never met nor seen nor known, who tell me how the Lord has laid me and my family upon their hearts, how they are praying for me, personally, every day, and what wonderful things will happen to me if I will just send them an offering for their work. One dear friend shared a letter with me from a well known evangelist in which he informed her that he had seen a vision of her house with the angels of God ascending and descending upon it. He was scheduled to be in Africa within a few days for a campaign, but the Lord had told him, he said, to postpone the campaign until he could write to her and get her most urgent prayer requests to take with him to Africa. If she would only send an offering of $20.00 along with her prayer requests, he would carry them to Africa where they would be prayed over and she could expect miraculous results. As though God answers prayer more effectively from Africa than in the United States of America! These automated letters are mailed out by the thousands, monthly and weekly, exact copies with only a different name inserted. I suggested to my friend that she write to this evangelist? And tell him she had her $20.00 ready to send just as soon as he would tell her what her house looks like and what color it is, since he had seen it in a vision! More than one widely known evangelist of our day has become a millionaire, and that by peddling his religious con games to gullible Christians deceived by their guile even though their wicked devices should be evident to the simplest mind.
Cursed be such wicked men! The Churches today are filled to overflowing with programs born out of carnal minds. Ah, wicked Babylon, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth! They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him being abominable and to all true riches reprobate. No wonder Jesus said, "Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity." (Mat 7:22-23) No wonder the Spirit inspired John the beloved to pronounce DESTRUCTIVE JUDGMENT against the Great Whore and her daughters.
It is imperative, however, that we distinguish between the system of Babylon which God shall swiftly bring to destruction, and the poor captives of Babylon held within her walls by the craftiness of her false shepherds. There is a great and glorious day coming when God shall bring to utter ruin the whole popular Church system, but, praise the Lord, this shall be followed by a great revival when the whole earth will turn to God and the knowledge of the glory of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Yes, beloved ones, there shall yet be a bountiful overflowing of the River of Life even to THE PEOPLE OF BABYLON, for the Lord Almighty and gracious has appointed His River to flow “toward the east of Assyria” and it shall water even that whole land!
Light, illumination, understanding, truth, release of wisdom will flow into the Lord’s people who are now chained in that dreadful bondage of ignorance and blindness. Of HIDDEKEL Norene Nickel wrote:
“This river bears a strange name, HIDDEKEL, whose meaning has been rather difficult to find. Strong’s Concordance gives no meaning, Young’s Concordance says it means RAPID. In breaking that word down, Young’s says part of it means LIVELY. If this be so, then lively would come from the word LIFE which surely does fit the picture of the Son of the most High, for ‘in Him was LIFE, and the LIFE was the light of men.’ Also, ‘when Christ who is our LIFE shall appear…’. We know His purpose in coming into the world was to give LIFE unto all men, so I appreciate the fact that at least part of the word HIDDEKEL means LIVELY, or FULL OF LIFE.
“But two times this word HIDDEKEL used in the scriptures, in the one quoted above and in Dan. 10:4 ‘And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the GREAT RIVER, which is HIDDEKEL; Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude… etc. ’. We have seen that Yehoshua is life itself as indicated by the name HIDDEKEL, but in its further use in Daniel, it is plain to be seen that the Hiddekel is the place of spiritual revelation. So great was the vision given to Daniel beside Hiddekel that he was prone upon his face and left without any strength. So totally drained of strength to even speak was Daniel that three times he had to be touched by the supernatural to give him strength to endure the vision that was to be shown him concerning his people (Israel) in the latter days. He was also told about the great spirit battle in which the Prince of Persia and the Prince of Greece were involved. He was told that it took the great warrior MICHAEL and his hosts to withstand these opposing forces, all of this came by the side of the river of Hiddekel. It is through the SON signified by this third river that such great visions and battles are made known.”
Not only does the river Hiddekel flow to Assyria, but the record is very specific that it “goeth toward the EAST of Assyria.” That important word EAST is most significant. It does not mean east in the sense we think of it as direction, but in position it means “front” or “ahead of.” In other words, this third river flows in front of or ahead of the land of Assyria – those who flow IN this river and AS this river are spiritually in front of and ahead of all who dwell in the bondage of Babylon. This denotes the FIRST FRUITS into God and the Lamb who are also the source of life, blessing, revelation and reality for all unto whom they flow.
Ah, beloved, know ye not that YE are that River? Even as I write these words I am prompted by the Spirit to share with you a prophecy that recently came in a paper we receive, and out of the confidence I have in the ministry of the brother who sent it, I feel true liberty to share it as a Word of the Lord:
"Thou sayest thou hast walked through dry places, yea, and thy soul hath also yearned within thee through the night seasons. Thou hast become weary with thy journey because of that which presseth sore against thee from without. Thou wast grieved in thy spirit because that which was proffered thee for water and yet it was not water, and thy soul was not satisfied therewith. But knowest thou that thy God hath ordained that out of thee shall flow forth that water of life, not just for thine own refreshment, but that there should spring forth in all the barren, dry places wherein thou hast walked this water of life – a veritable fountain to bring forth life to those now swallowed up in the throes of death. Surely the Lord thy God bringeth forth a fountain, and no man shall stop it. Thou sayest, Wherewith shall this fountain be released? The Lord hath decreed that the rock should be smitten, yea, rent, and then shall the waters flow out. Was not the man Moses rebuked when he smote the rock twice (Num 20:11), for God had commanded that he smite it but once? - (Num 17:6). Yea, and so also thy God is rending thy being, once and for all shalt thou be thus torn, and then shall flow out of thee – as a part of that Rock – water that shall bring forth life to those who stand without. For thou shalt become a well-spring that no man shall disannul.l For the Lord knoweth the longing of thy heart, and thou shalt be refreshed. Yea, thou shalt be amazed at the truth which floweth out of thine own lips. Thine own understanding shall be enlightened with that which the Spirit speaketh through thee. And thou wilt say in thyself, what is this that I now speak? But it shall be as the Spirit moveth through thee. Wrestlest thou with thy thoughts before God? Wrestle no longer, but yield thy mind unto thy God, and He will inscribe within thee of His truth and righteousness, and so shalt thou know the ways of thy God. And be thou assured, the waters will flow – waters of HIS LIFE.”
The Lord doth even now prepare a RIVER OF LIFE PEOPLE to flow into the whole land of DEATH (Havilah), into the whole land of DARKNESS (Ethiopia), and into the whole land of SPIRITUAL BABYLON (Assyria). Such love! Such wondrous love!
The fourth river is EUPHRATES. Nothing is said about where it flows; only its name is given Euphrates means: "to break forth; rushing.” It comes from a root word which means: "to bear fruit; to bring forth; to make fruitful; grow; increase.” Scofeild in his notes says that Euphrates means THE FERTILE RIVER. Can we not see by this that all the beauty, fragrance, and fruitfulness of Eden’s perfumed garden is abundantly bestowed upon the earth-realm by the mighty rushing waters of the River? The scene is most beautifully described in the Song of Solomon 4:13-15 where we read: “Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphor, with spikenard, and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices: a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.”
Not only does the water of life come forth from this Fountain, but in every place where it has flowed have sprung up beautiful plants, trees of righteousness, spikenard plants and henna; frankincense, myrrh and the chief spices. The tender shoots grow and bear fruit; pomegranates and precious fruits, which come from Christ's Life flowing within. So beautiful and perfect are these trees of righteousness and tender shoots, that the Holy Spirit calls it, as it may be translated from the original, a "Paradise of pomegranates.” The "pomegranate" is a symbol of fruitfulness; and all the fruit that comes from Christ living out His life in us, is precious, eternal fruit; hence it is called "A Paradise of pomegranates.” These shoots grow in the gardens of the Lord and are watered by the Fountain of all the gardens. Such is the fruitfulness where ever the River flows that there are not only some trees of frankincense, not only a large amount of myrrh, not only some chief spices, but ALL the chief spices! ALL the fullness of God! It pleased the Father that in CHRIST should all the fullness of God dwell, and we are the FULLNESS OF HIM. There is no sweetness, no perfume, no life, no preciousness outside of HIM; only as we are IN HIM and put Him on, do we have any life or any beauty upon us.
The Kingdom of Heaven is a garden enclosed; Christ is the Fountain of Life, the source of its Living Waters. How marvelous that He does not choose to remain enclosed within the garden of His body, the garden of His kingdom, but gushes forth to F-L-O-W so that fruitfulness and fragrance and beauty shall fill every realm! “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: and THE HABITATION OF DRAGONS (devils), where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall pass away." (Isa 35:1-2, 7, 9)
THE RIVER OF GOD'S SALVATION
All who have ears to hear must hear what the Spirit is saying in these momentous days. The Spirit is saying that He is preparing a people. He is preparing a body, He is preparing sons who shall be a RIVER OF LIFE. God is preparing a body for that first Son, a river-bed for the flowing of His life, that in and through these sons His salvation should be manifested unto all the ends of the earth. The Lord saith unto His people in this day: "I have set thee to be a light for the nations, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth." (Acts 13:47)
When the scripture said: "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together," which is the vision of Habakkuk, which is the word of Isaiah: "All flesh shall see the glory of the Lord." (Luke says: "All flesh shall see the salvation of God"). God is saying the same to the world today, in saying to us: The sons of God are to be the salvation of God to the ends of the earth. When the Kingdom of God fills the earth, the earth will be filled with righteousness. WE ARE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD (II Cor 5:21). When the glory of God is revealed, the earth will be filled with the light of God. WE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (Mat 5:14). When the salvation of God is manifested, the Sons of God will be seen, for WE ARE RAISED UP TO BE HIS SALVATION unto the ends of the earth (Isa 49:6). It does no despite to HIS GLORY that He is bringing many sons unto glory. It only magnifies and enhances His own glory, for all redound to His praise, since all are conformed to His image, sharing His nature. The sons are to become for Him what Jeremiah said: "That they might be unto Me for a people, for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory." (Jer. 13:11) "This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise" (Isa 43:21)
HE is Prophet, Priest, King, Judge and Saviour, and interesting how we find in the Word of God how the sons are to share in all these offices. "And hath made us kings and priests unto God" (Rev 1:6). He is "KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS." (Rev 19:6) There is a whole company of kings and lords, a whole "many brethren" company like unto Himself, but He is The King of all kings and The Lord of all the lords, for IN ALL HE SHALL HAVE PRE-EMINENCE.
He is Judge, for "the Father hath committed all judgment into the hand of the Son." (Jn. 5:22) And yet Paul also writes: "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? – know ye not that we shall judge angels?” (I Cor. 6:2-3) And again, "And judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." (Dan 7:22) HE WILL DO THE JUDGING, yet this judgment will flow through those whom He has conformed to His own image and made ONE WITH HIMSELF.
In like manner, "HE is the Saviour of all men.” And yet we also read, "and SAVIOURS shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord's.” (Ob. 21) Herein is a glorious truth – while Jesus Christ is OUR SALVATION, as we receive of His fullness, becoming one in Him, we, in turn, become the salvation of others. "I will also GIVE THEE for a light to the nations, THAT THOU MAYEST BE-MY-SALVATION UNTO THE END OF THE EARTH." (Isa 49:6) The cry of David was: "O that the salvation of God might come out of Zion." (Ps 14:7) For the SAVING is HIS through those whom He uses to become channels for this glorious ministry of reconciliation. Yes, HE is the forerunner, having entered in for us in advance, and He is now preparing those with whom He shall share the glories of the realms beyond.
Of this salvation Peter wrote: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy begat us again unto a Living Hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a SALVATION READY TO BE REVEALED IN THE LAST TIME." (I Pet 1:3-5) My conviction is that the fullness of the Salvation of Jesus Christ is to be known only in the Last Time. I believe that I am writing in the Last Time. The ultimate of God's Salvation will find expression in these last days. It could not find full expression in Jesus Christ. In Him "are HID all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:3), but "to the intent that NOW unto the principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be known (revealed, unveiled) BY THE CHURCH the manifold wisdom of God." (Eph 3:10) Through His apprehended ones His own wisdom, knowledge, love, and power is pouring forth and His Salvation shall be expressed.
Two thousand years ago, when Jesus Christ came into the world, the Word did not become philosophy, the Word did not become doctrine, the Word did not become angelic, the Word did not become an alphabet or a book, but the WORD BECAME FLESH. Jesus Christ was a man, born of a virgin, wrapped in swaddling clothes, laid in a manger, growing as a boy, working in His father's carpenter shop, eating, drinking, sleeping, bathing, the Word of God MADE FLESH. "Who being in the form of God, did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained; but stripped Himself of all privileges and rightful dignity so as to assume the guise of a servant, in that He became like men and was born a human being." (Phil 2:5-7, Amplified Bible) Do you realize that Jesus walked as a man and talked as a man? “Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?” (Mat 13:55-56) Let it be thoroughly understood that no one knew Him for anything else but a man. He had no piercing gaze, no mystical appearance, no holy robes, no aura of an Indian holy man. In a fleeting moment old Simeon, the prophet, took the baby in his arms and said: "Mine eyes have seen the Salvation of God." (Lk. 2:30) But it was because the Holy Ghost was on Simeon! It was not because this baby was different from other babies, not because there was a halo around his head, or because he was born with the ability to speak. It was a totally helpless little baby that drank milk like other babies, had to be burped and changed. But by revelation of the Holy Spirit Simeon said: "Mine eyes have seen THY SALVATION!”
When Jesus walked with His disciples, they knew not who He was, except by particular revelation of the Spirit, such as when Peter said: "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said: "Flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but My Father which is in heaven.” So it was not easy for Jesus to say: "I am the light of the world!”. They took one look at Him and said: "He is blaspheming.” When He said: "I am the Son of God," they took up stones to stone Him, saying, "You are making yourself equal with God.” When He said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me," they sought to destroy Him. When He said: “Except ye eat My flesh, and drink My blood, ye have no life in you," all the vast multitudes shook their heads in pity and forsook Him. And lest we should have some distorted illusions about the grandeur of being SONS OF GOD, Jesus said: "Marvel not if the world hate you. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” (I Jn. 3:13; Jn. 15:18-19; Mat 10:25)
God is raising up a body today, sons who are no longer self-conscious. The secret of Jesus' declaration was that He paid no attention whatever to Himself or to what people thought. "Whatsoever I see the Father do, that is what I am doing, whatsoever I hear the Father say, that is what I say.” Jesus said: "Into whatsoever city you enter and they receive you not, shake the dust off and say to them: Nevertheless the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." (Mat 10:14; Lk. 10:11) Do not walk out of town silently and say: "Well, they did not realize what we represented, that we are, in expression, the Kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. They did not realize that the Kingdom of God is working and living and expressing through us.” There can be no self-seeking, no self-saving in these days. God is not talking to babies today, He is not sending children, He is sending sons, whose only desire is that the Father may be glorified, that the pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand, that the will of the Father may be done. What happens to us has no bearing on the situation. He says: "As My Father has sent Me, in this total commitment to His will, so that I desire only to reveal the Father, so I am sending you, in a total commitment to the Father's will, that the Father may be revealed in the multitude of sons.”
A blessed hour is nigh at hand! When Jesus came only those who received a special revelation by the Spirit knew that He was the Son of God, the Christ, the SALVATION OF GOD. But now, in these Last Times, "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE IT TOGETHER." (Isa 40:5) The word "it" is not in the original, thus the Hebrew reads: "all flesh shall SEE TOGETHER.” Let me say today that hour is coming when the whole creation will KNOW THE SONS OF GOD, and the reason the world will know the sons of God TO BE THE SALVATION OF GOD, is because God shall pour out His Spirit UPON ALL FLESH and ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD. All humanity, with that quickening of the Spirit will have the veil over their minds removed and their eyes enlightened TO SEE IN THE BODY OF THE CHRIST THE SALVATION OF GOD, TO SEE IN THE SONS OF GOD THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE SALVATION OF GOD.
And let me say this: If through one son in the Garden of Eden who disobeyed, the whole creation came into bondage because of disobedience; and if through one Son in the garden of Gethsemane and the mount of Calvary, God was able to provide a salvation through the shedding of His blood for all humanity; if God could bring such a revelation of Him through one Son, a Son who was rejected and crucified, whom God raised again and set at His own right hand; what will happen in these last days, when through a multitude of sons who have been identified with Him, buried with Him in His death, raised again in the likeness of His resurrection, anointed with His Spirit, ascended with Him, seated with Him in the heavenlies, glorified with His glory – what is going to happen in all creation, when many sons are revealed in the glory of God as salvation?
Jesus said: "In the same manner in which My Father has sent Me – as a Son in maturity, in full commitment to His will, with the Father dwelling in Me, My eyes fastened on Him and My whole being swallowed up in HIM – as the Father has sent Me to be light and salvation and bread and water and all the world needs – SO SEND I YOU!” God will raise up sons today who do not have to explain anything, defend anything, prove anything, protect anything. If we were a people with our own burden for the lost, to try and help people, we would say: "we tried everything else; we have had apostles, we have had prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers; we have had gifts of healing, miracles, we had everything and it didn't bring in the Kingdom, so let us now try this sonship message!” We are not such a people. Thank God! God has not put on us the problems of the world. God has called us unto HIMSELF, that we may be totally committed to HIM, that He may send us out to BE SALVATION to humanity. He is saying to us: "I am setting you to be lights. I am setting you to be salvation. I am sending you as kings to reign in light. I am sending you as kings and priests to minister the salvation of God. I am sending you forth as bread to be broken and fed to the hungry multitudes. That out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water, THE RIVER OF GOD TO WATER WHOLE LAND!