FROM the CANDLESTICK to the THRONE, PART 120
THE SOUNDING of the TRUMPETS, (continued)
BY: J. PRESTON EBY
KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
PART ONE HUNDRED TWENTY
Time no More
“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven...and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunder rs uttered, and write them not” (Rev. 10:3-4)
The intriguing passage above shows that the seven thunders did not merely make a reverberating noise, but gave forth an articulate message — an utterance which John understood and was about to write down. The implication is that there was a sort of personality ascribed to these thunders. It is enlightening how in the symbolisms of the Revelation everything is animated, and becomes instinct with life and intelligence. Everything is a revelation! Seven is the number of completion and perfection, and the “voices” of the “seven thunders” reveal that it is a word — yet, not merely a word, but the fullness of the revelation of the Lord! What else could we expect as we approach the seventh trumpet, which trumpet brings God’s called and chosen elect to the full stature of Jesus Christ! Revelation precedes experience, therefore we must expect that the Lord would give a full revelation of His purpose just prior to bringing us experientially into that purpose.
Throughout the book of Revelation John represents the overcomer. The voice of the seven thunders is the fullness of the revelation of Christ unto those called to be His firstfruits! The complete revelation of Christ is not given to all men at the same time , not even to all believers. It is given first to a firstfruit of God’s creation, and John represents that firstfruit company which receives the revelation! It’s a corporate word, but we hear it individually. It’s a corporate word we hear by the faith of God within ourselves. When you hear it, you sense that somewhere deep within you, you have known this all the time — it was just not awakened within your conscious mind. But you recognize the sound when you hear it! That’s why, when one apprehended of God for sonship hears the message of God’s kingdom purposes, his immediate response is, “This is what I have been searching for, waiting for, all my life! I knew there was something more in God!” Oh, yes! The mystery of God is a secret knowledge conceal ed in the life of Christ within. Once we hear the voice of the Son of God as a lion roars, even the voice of the seven thunders, our spirit leaps as a babe within us bearing witness to the truth! It comes not as a new revelation, but as a remembering!
I am overwhelmed by the greatness of our Father’s calling and purpose! I tremble with each recollection, if I may say so, with each “flashback” of our former abode before the foundation of the world, when with our heavenly Father we received our commission to come into this earth realm to reveal His glory, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy! We are breaking through a barrier that until now has been completely unknown to man, hidden, as it were, in the bosom of our Father...a barrier broken only by our Elder Brother as He received the fullness of the Seven Spirits of God, walked out the life and ministry of sonship, became obedient unto death, and then, early one morning, in a garden, as the stone (the old binding force) was rolled away, He arose triumphant in the power of resurrection! And that, my beloved, was the harbinger of the “coming forth” of the sons of God as they partake of the glory of His incorruptible life, when they shall put on the garments of a resurrected being. The Father in His wisdom has reserved this glory for us in this new kingdom day, that we might prepare the way for our brothers and for all creation who are to follow...that we might open the gates of the Paradise of our God, and be the first to eat of the tree of Life...thus leading the way for all mankind to be restored to Eden in the image and glory of the Father. It is indeed wonderful!
But there is a little problem here! Though the word John hears is the fullness of the revelation of the Christ, John wished to write that full revelation down. This reveals an inclination to disseminate this word on a lower, carnal level. By writing, in the natural sense, is signified to commit to paper, and thus for posterity, in a way that it can be read or received even by the unsanctified eyes and ears of any who wish to hear it. Anyone can pick up a book and read a “revelation” even if they have no ability to understand it or receive it by the spirit, and may therefore take the revelation and distort it, pervert it, corrupt it, defile it, applying it with the carnal mind, so that the word becomes an instrument of the flesh and the devil rather than a work of the Spirit and the power of God’s Christ. We must keep in mind, however, that these are symbols, and John “writing” the revelation is not talking about literally writing on paper! The “seven thunders” are a symbol denoting that John heard and received the revelation in the Spirit and by the Spirit, whereas John “writing” the revelation is a symbol indicating the preservation or communication of that revelation on a level other than “in the Spirit and by the Spirit!” People fulfill this when they endeavor to impart truth to others apart from the leading and energizing of the Spirit!
Therefore, it was said to John that he should “seal up” those things and not write them! This was not a revelation which John then was to record and make known. What the seven thunders uttered they spoke in unison; but just what their words were, we are not told. This signifies that each of us must receive the revelation for ourselves! We cannot appropriate God’s purposes on the grounds of a “borrowed revelation.” Like Mary of old, he was to “ponder these things in his heart,” rather than preaching or proclaiming them to all who could hear, putting them on public display, and thereby “casting his pearls before swine.” In modern-day terms John would be restrained from proclaiming this deep truth of God to those believers in the carnal church systems. He would be forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach these sacred secrets of God on the public radio stations and television channels, or to publish them in books for sale in the Christian Book Stores of Babylon. Oh, what a word this is!
The great soul-gripping truth is this — John both heard and understood the message of the seven thunders! He wasn’t forbidden to hear or receive the message, nor was he prevented from understanding or appropriating what he received. Oh, no! He was only commanded to be careful what he did with it, how he communicated it. Actually, he was to seal it up within himself! The word of the Lord to John was that he could not share, proclaim, reveal, or impart this message to anyone at that time. It was for his ears only, that is, only for those apprehended ones who have ears to hear! In making this statement we are brought face to face with two popular errors regarding the seven thunders. Sometimes I hear people say, “No one can know what the seven thunders uttered, because it was a ll sealed up.” Not so! It is true the message was sealed —but John knew what the message was — it was not sealed to HIM! Can we not see by this that the revelation of the seven thunders is not sealed to those whom John represents!
On the other hand, I have heard a number of brethren declaring from the pulpit that throughout the church age no one has known the message of the seven thunders until now, in this new day of the Lord, and the message has now been unsealed within them and they are now proclaiming it! With all emphasis I must declare that if they are preaching the message of the seven thunders (as though they, and they alone know the secret of it) they are doing so illegally. To John it was given the hear, to know, to understand, to experience, to appropriate the seven thunders message, but as the elect of God he was commanded to seal it up within himself and not write (preach, reveal, proclaim, publish, or impart) it for others to read. That does not mean that as members of the elect we can not speak or write of these things! If that were so I would put away my pen! What it means is, that if I think I have the revelation and I go out to share it with the world so that they can only get it from me, then I am illegally proclaiming it. The fact is, it can only be received from the Spirit, just as John received it! The things we share with one another are by way of edification, encouragement, and confirmation — not to try to “convert” more people to the message! When you hear someone declaring that “they” are revealing the message of the voices of the seven thunders — if they truly have that message they will not be revealing it! That explains precisely why Jesus, the firstborn Son of God, always taught in parables (Mat. 13:34). On one occasion His disciples came to Him and asked, “Why speakest Thou unto them in parables?” He answered and said unto them, “Therefore speak I unto them in parables: because they seeing see not: and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” (Mat. 13:10-13) In other words, by His unexplained parables He was hiding the message from them! That is just the opposite from why most people think Jesus taught in parables! Only to His small inner circle of called and chosen disciples did He reveal the mysteries of the kingdom!
When a thing is sealed up, it becomes a mystery, a secret; it is not open. But a hope is given us, because the “angel” goes on to say, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery (which John had just created by sealing up what the seven thunders uttered) of God should be finished.” (Rev. 10:7) It would no longer be a mystery, because in that day, when the voice of the seventh angel would be heard, the mystery would be revealed openly! After sealing up the words of the seven thunders, and not writing them, John was given a “little book” from the hand of Christ Himself. The little book was not sealed, like the book Christ received from the hand of the Father in chapter five. A sealed book is a book whose contents are not yet revealed; an open book is a book whose contents are revealed, that is, seen in the spirit and understood. The sealed book must be opened, and it was opened as the Lamb loosed each of its seven seals! This opening of the book is the revelation of sonship in the firstborn Son of God. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ!
So the book is now open, held in the very hand (power) of Christ, but it must be eaten by His “many brethren” and digested. We have already beheld the opening of the sealed book, and presently shall behold the eating of the open book. The book in chapter five was the revelation of Jesus Christ and the blessed realm of sonship opened unto us by the spirit of revelation. The book in chapter ten, however, is the revelation of Jesus Christ brought into life, reality, and substance within us! John, representing all the overcomers, was told to “eat it up,” signifying that He was to receive this revelation directly from the Lord Jesus Christ, take it into his own innermost being, allow that word to be digested and made substance within him, and then, and only then, was he instructed, “Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” (Rev. 10:11) Oh, yes! This “prophecy” to the nations is the very same word John wanted to write down, only now it will be ministered not as a “revelation” or a “word” or a “teaching” or a “doctrine,” but as the expression of his own state of being, the very fullness of the word of the Lord and the revelation of Jesus Christ flowing as rivers of living water from out of his innermost being! The word is made flesh within him, the messenger has become the message, and now will be ministered as SPIRIT and LIFE!
TIME NO MORE
“And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.” (Rev. 10:5-6)
There is much debate among scholars over whether the expression “there should be time no longer” is the correct rendering of the Greek, or if it would be better translated, “there should be delay no longer.” It is my conviction that the former is the natural meaning of the original. The original word chromos occurs over sixty times in the Greek Old Testament and over fifty times in the New Testament. This is its second last occurrence and nowhere else has it been translated delay. This alone is enough to reject the translation. Sound exegesis does not permit a change of meaning to a word that has been uniformly translated throughout the scriptures. As to the exact form and order of words there should be no difficulty, since five other passages occur in this same book (Revelation) precisely similar to this, except the subject of the sentence. In each there is the negative no, the verb to be, and the Greek word eti translated more. Let us note:
The sea shall be no more (Rev. 21:1).
The death shall be no more (Rev. 21:4).
Pain shall be no more (Rev. 21:4).
Curse shall be no more (Rev. 22:3).
Night shall be no more (Rev. 22:5).
Accordingly, so in our present text: Time shall be no more! The proposed translation delay is given, of course, to get rid of a difficulty; namely, that time evidently continues after the angel swares that time shall be no more! There are yet many events with the mention of hours, days, years, with lunar and solar cycles, that follow the announcement of the end of time! Since the translators do not understand by the Spirit what the Lord is proclaiming in this statement, their only alternative is to conclude that there must be some mistake, therefore they go about to change the word of the Lord! The true revelation of what the Spirit is speaking unfolds for us one of the deep mysteries of God’s great purpose of the ages and is awe-inspiring beyond words to articulate!
A concept we must immediately grasp in order to understand God’s wonderful plan of the ages is that time is a created phenomenon consisting of past, present, and future just as man is a created phenomenon having youth, middle age, and old age. No, you cannot smell, touch, or feel time, but it is there, ever-present, always marching into our future. Time was created; it had a beginning, it shall have an end. It is only one thing among countless other things that are part of the entire created universe. It is as much a “species” of creation as, for example, rocks, elephants, trees, and water are species of creation. Before the creation of the universe, there was no time; at the end of the ages when the present material universe is dissolved and replaced by a new, spiritual universe, time shall cease to be. It will be swallowed up into eternity just as death will be swallowed up into victory, and there shall be no more death. Time — composed of milliseconds, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millenniums, ages — was created in the beginning, and will be dissolved at the end of the ages.
I am compelled to state that the Bible says very little by way of a definition of eternity because the Bible is essentially a book of time and for time. It was written for man who lives in a temporal state and who is not yet a totally eternal being. Only as we enter that state of being called eternity...only as HE who IS ETERNITY becomes all-in-all within us...only as we are spiritually metamorphosed into our eternal condition in spirit, soul, and body...only as eternity becomes an absolute reality to us...only then do formerly temporal beings as we have all our life-time been, truly comprehend and understand eternity and things of an eternal nature. This marvelous work has begun in our spirit as our spirit has been quickened by His Spirit, and we have awaken to our inward origin out of the eternal sphere. I stated that the Bible is relatively silent about what eternity is; that is not to say that human teachings and theology haven’t taught us a great deal about eternity, but, alas! much of it over the past centuries has come from the carnal minds of Babylonish theologians and not from the mind of the Eternal One via the Eternal Spirit.
This phenomenon called time was created by God for man! Why? Time is the womb from which God is birthing a people like unto Himself. We get the germ, the beginning and foretaste of eternity in time, but this is only the seed of eternal life. The womb of time is provided to aid man in his development, to assist him in preparation for a new, totally spiritual consciousness and existence beyond time, beyond the material, beyond the ages, when the umbilical cord is cut, and we are released into that state of existence called eternity. Man, as he is dealt with by God, is passing from a gross, largely material consciousness, into a glorious spiritual existence! Time serves only as an instrument to help man, to give him a period during which by and through experience to develop into that new state of being. In time there is change — in eternity that is no change! All change, growth, and development must take place in time!
Thank God, we are being changed! But that means that the life of God within exists as a seed, that is, in a limited, underdeveloped state. While the seed of omniscient wisdom and omnipotent power lie within the seed of divine life in our spirit, the fact that it has not overwhelmed or overcome all the outward, limited, imperfect, and mortal aspects of soul and body, reveals that our life as to its condition is limited and immature. God has dispensed that life into us in time that through a process of time and experience the seed of spiritual life may be released, developed, and matured, until eventually Christ is fully formed in us and we arrive at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. When the work in time is finished, we are brought to the fullness of that which GOD HIMSELF IS. When the process is complete we are able to see Him as He is, and there will BE NO MORE CHANGE! We will then truly know what eternal life is! As long as the life within us is passing through the process of change, growth, and development, it is not viewed as eternal, unchangeable life, but as the LIFE OF THE AGES, life undergoing the dealings of the Father in time.
The so-called eternal security of the believer is known only by the overcomers who have fully and forever conquered every vestige of the flesh, the world, and the devil, being conformed into the image of the Son. Of these triumphant ones it is written, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life,” and again, “He that overcometh...I will not blot his name out of the book of life.” (Rev. 2:7; 3:5) The inference is clear — until this “overcomer” state is attained, it is possible to have one’s name blotted out of the Book of Life! That does not mean that the name cannot be written there again, any more than it could be said that it was impossible for it to be written there in the first instance. But it does indicate that the life possessed by a believer who is not fully an overcomer is not by God’s definition eternal life, for were it absolutely eternal its manifestation and victory could not be lost! Have we not all known people who started out in a wonderful expression of divine life, they were powerful in God, and then something tripped them up, they were offended, or disappointed, or embittered, slipped into an attitude of defeat, even departing from their spiritual walk, sinking back into wantonness, drunkenness, and all kinds of filth of the flesh. Ah, their name is not at that time written in the book of life, life is unable to be read by any in that “book” which they are! (II Cor. 3:2-3). Can we not see by this how it is that the one who has truly and fully overcome all things — his name cannot be blotted out of the Book of Life, for the Life in him has fully matured and has triumphed over all — beyond interference or possibility of defeat! Oh, the wonder of it!
Every son of God is growing up into relationship with our heavenly Father in the nature revealed by His name — YAHWEY. The name YAHWEH is derived from the Hebrew verb havah meaning “to be” or “being.” This word is almost exactly like the Hebrew verb chavah meaning “to live” or “life.” One can readily see the connection between being and life. Thus Yahweh means THE SELF-EXISTENT ONE or THE ETERNAL. He is the One who in Himself embodies essential life, permanent existence, derived from no source outside himself, and absolutely dependent upon no other person, thing, circumstance, or action for its continuance. Any being whose existence is dependent in any degree upon another, or upon conditions such as food, water, light, air, instruction, growth, change, etc., or even upon some cosmic influence, is not self-existent! This quality inhered originally in Yahweh alone, as it is written, “The Father hath life in Himself.” (Jn. 5:26) That means that His existence is not a derived one, nor a sustained one; not derived from anything nor dependent upon anything, but inherent and eternal within Himself. The verbs “to be” and “to live” from which the name Yahweh comes denote both ESSENTIAL LIFE and a STATE OF BEING. Hence, God is not only eternal Himself, but every aspect of His nature and all His characteristics are as eternal and unchanging as His life!
Anything that is absolutely eternal is not only unending, but is also unchangeable. Anything that changes in any way is not eternal, for in the change some characteristic is left behind and a new one acquired. In every change something ends and something else begins! That which dwells in an eternal state knows no change. Change is possible only in that which is limited, imperfect, or immature. Yahweh declares of Himself, “I am Yahweh (the Eternal), I change not.” (Mal. 3:6), and the inspired apostle says of Him, “With whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) God is never surprised. God has not learned anything this week, nor last year, nor in the last several billion trillion years! If God learned one thing today, it would destroy Him. He would no longer be the omniscient One knowing the end from the beginning, for known unto Him are all His works from the foundation of the world. God does not experiment. God does not become stronger, mightier, or increase Himself in any way. God is the omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal One. He changes not! He has never been anything He is not now, nor shall He ever become anything He is not now. He eternally is all that He is without any degree of decrease or increase or fluctuation whatsoever. Ah, He is the ETERNAL GOD, YAHWEH — THE SELF-EXISTENT ONE!
It is a great and blessed fact that Yahweh is the eternal God! Transition, adjustment, change — these words seem to be constantly with us, until we fain would grasp for something that seems to be stable, solid, enduring. Much of the inner drive for change is simple evidence that man is not satisfied, has not found his completeness in Christ, for “beloved, now are we the sons (children) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him.” (I Jn. 3:2) Here is stability — immutability — the quality of His nature remains the same, HE IS THE ETERNAL! And this is the nature of which we would be partakers, the fullness of which we find in Christ, and through union with Him we shall be changed until we become changeless in the absoluteness of that which He is — fully like Him! He who is eternal cannot be influenced, affected, moved, changed, altered, damaged, destroyed, or improved in any way. He cannot grow tired or old. The character of God is eternal, changeless, unaffected. The love, joy, peace, righteousness, and power of God cannot fall, rise and fall, rise and fall. Matters not what happens or what men or devils say or do, the love of God, the nature of God, the purpose of God, and the power of God are steadfast, unmoved, unquenched, undiminished, unaffected, without fluctuation. The eternal existence of God is certain for He is the source of all life. Death cannot touch Him for He is not dependent upon the sustaining power of another, He is Yahweh, the Self-Existent One!
With these lofty thoughts of God in our minds, our hearts respond with joyful accord when Christ in His wisdom shows that it is God’s intention that he who walks in the blessed realm of sonship should be as constant and unchanging as is God Himself. To His disciples Christ spoke these incredible words: “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” (Jn. 5:25-26) LIFE IN HIMSELF! This is self-existent Life, a Life not derived from any source, not dependent upon any sustenance, inherent Life! Thus Jesus could stand and declare, “I am the Life!” The exceeding great wonder of all is that not only did Jesus possess the self-existent Life of God, but God made Him to be “a life-giving Spirit.” How plain, if the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, He imparts THE SEED OF ETERNAL, SELF-EXISTENT LIFE WITHIN US NOW!
Yet, the spiritual life we now have is a progressing, growing, maturing, conquering life — the life of the ages. That is what the Greek word aionios means! It is usually translated as eternal, but that is not the meaning in Greek. The Greek noun aion means “an age,” a period of time. In its plural form it means “ages.” The adjective form of the word is aionios, meaning “that which pertains to the ages” or “age-lasting” or “ages-lasting.” The reader may consult Young’s Literal New Testament or the Emphatic Diaglott for the correct translation of these words. Thus, what the King James Bible calls “eternal life” is in fact “the life of the ages!” It is the life that has come by the quickening of our spirit by His Spirit, giving a new consciousness of life, a new beginning, and the potential to become, in due time, all He is. But I am sure my readers, with myself, must confess that there is a great deal of progress still to be made, considerable growth to be experienced, much transformation to be wrought, before we stand in Him in the fullness of that life that needs no change, no further development, no additional experience, no more growth unto maturity, no fuller stature, no added triumph, no increase of wisdom and knowledge — that state of being as unchangeable as He is unchangeable, truly as ETERNAL AS HE IS ETERNAL!
Only faintly now do our eyes behold the splendor of that eternal realm which lies before us, but if we approach softly with reverence and godly fear, not disrespectfully and thoughtlessly as nosey children prying into some sacred thing, then the Lord of glory will meet us and will be a Father unto us and we shall be the manifest sons of God in whom the Father shall unfold the fullness of His life, mind, will, power, and glory. Thus shall we come into that same image and be sharers with the Christ in the glory He had with the Father BEFORE TIME WAS — ETERNAL GLORY! I think I know why some become so enraged when we tell them that we do not now possess the absolutely eternal life. Is it not because they would rather ignore this life of the ages, somehow projecting themselves into that life which is eternal, claiming “by faith” the finished product, while by-passing the tedious processing? Ah, dear ones, it doesn’t work that way! God has graciously given unto us life aionios — the life of the ages — and how I thank God that my current stage of spiritual growth and development, and my present state of being, are NOT ETERNAL! Oh, yes! There is MORE! I would follow on to know Him in all the fullness of His glorious and eternal reality! And it will take “the ages,” my beloved, to unfold it all! As long as there is need for growth, change, increase, and advancement, there is need for time. Redemption and transformation as a process has a unique relationship to time. Until our redemption and transformation into the image of God is complete its work will proceed in time, and the finished product stands at time’s end. Thank God! There is an end — then eternity, God all in all!
As God’s plan of the ages has progressed there has been a level of life, a spiritual vitality, for each age. Each age has been different. Men in antediluvian times knew God in a certain way and received life of a particular order. Israel, under the law, and the ministry of the prophets, entered into another degree of spiritual awareness and life. Under the new covenant the born again body of Christ has received yet a higher dispensation of the life of God. Perhaps I can give you a simple illustration in this way. There is a difference between embryo life, fetus life, infant life, and child life. There is a difference between adolescent life, young life, middle age life, and old age life. In the same way there is a growth and development of spiritual life within each of us! There are babes in Christ, young men in Christ, mature ones in Christ, and ultimately the manifest sons of God. There is spiritual growth of the seed of Christ in every man until HIS FULLNESS is attained. There shall be a continuing development of His life in the whole human family in the “ages to come” until God becomes all in all! Aren’t you glad!
An understanding of this important truth will show us why we have been given what the Greek text of the New Testament calls life aionios — the life of the ages, and why we also know that the life of the ages leads to ETERNAL LIFE! “Eternal” is one of the words which everyone thinks he understands, but there are few who realize what a deep and glorious meaning it has. It is supposed that “eternal” is something that always continues, something that has no end. This explanation is merely a negative one and tells us only what “eternal” is not, but it teaches us nothing about its nature and being, that is, what its qualities and characteristics are which make it unending. Everything that exists in time has a beginning and is subject to the law of increase and decrease, of becoming, growing, increasing, weakening, diminishing, and decaying. What is eternal knows no change, increase, or weakening, because it has in itself a LIFE THAT IS INDEPENDENT OF TIME AND SPACE. To say that one has “eternal” life means much more than to say that it will have no end. By that word we are taught that he who has a share in eternal life possesses something in which the power of an indestructible life is at work, something in which there can be no change, nor can it suffer any diminution, and which therefore we may always enjoy in its absolute fullness.
When our faith lays hold upon what is eternal, it will manifest itself in us as a power superior to all the changeableness of our mind, feelings, emotions, desires, and circumstances, with a vitality, freshness, and fullness that is not for one moment affected by any internal or external influence or pressure. It is, therefore, more than merely an endless duration of life — it is the UNCHANGEABLE QUALITY OF DIVINE EXISTENCE! Not only does this life never end, but it never ends simply because it is, at all times, and under all circumstances, unchangeably WHAT HE IS! This life can never be altered, frustrated, diminished, or overcome. When we commence to live in this life we become a people who ARE. We ARE what His life IS! As
this life develops and matures within we become constant in His nature, without fluctuation, unvarying, regardless of anything that happens to us or around us. Oh, son of God, is there not within your soul the insatiable thirsting to truly know the fullness of such a life, to be partaker not only of the unendingness of His life, but to abide ever in His unchanging nature! This is precisely the transcendent purpose of our heavenly Father in the fullness of our redemption and transformation!
God is cultivating within His sons an eternal nature. The thoughts of God’s people are becoming boundless and eternal, no longer controlled and motivated purely by carnal memories of the past, by present events, or by dim hopes for an endless future in “mansions over the hilltop.” The fledgling spirits of God’s sons are fast growing up into the limitless expanses of our Father’s own eternal, unchangeable, spiritual nature. Yes, the whole man is becoming a new, eternal creation, no longer limited by the space-time continuum.. God’s maturing sons see the reality of a state of being called eternity , where our life is truly constant, unchangeable, unaffected, untemptable, and indestructible. Eternity is not merely endless time; it is that state of being where as He is, so are we in this world. How our hearts strain and leap upward toward that “place” in God!
Before returning to our text, and the angel’s declaration that “there should be time no longer,” bear with me as I share some further insights into the difference between time and eternity and how the sons of God move from time into eternity. Here I wish to quote a portion from Nathan R. Wood’s informative book, The Secret of the Universe:
“How does time exist? What is its source? Here is where we must diverge from those who have heretofore discussed the nature of time. We cannot safely so diverge from all who have gone before unless the thing which we discuss can be shown to be self-evident. That is what we must show. How does time exist? What is its source? Not the past. Carelessly we think it so, as coming out of the past. Moralists, poets, and scientists speak of it so. We speak of the stream of time as flowing out of the past...describing that movement as proceeding out of the past through the present into the future.
“But time does not come out of the past! It comes out of the future. And it does not flow into the future! It flows into the past. This may bring a shock to one’s habit of thinking. It has brought a shock to some who have discussed it as it is presented in these pages. We have never thought of it in that way. None the less it is the self-evident fact. We have but to take a definite date, a definite piece of time, and trace its course down the stream of time, to find at once whether that section of time moves from past through present into future, or from future through present into past. Consider, for instance, that section of time which we call ‘today,’ the day in which you read this page. For a long time this day was ‘next year,’ far in the future. Then it was ‘next month,’ still in the future. Then it was ‘next week,’ in the near future. Then it was ‘tomorrow,’ in the immediate future. Then it became ‘today,’ in the present. Soon it will be ‘yesterday,’ in the immediate past. Then it will be ‘two days ago,’ in the near past. Then it will be ‘last week,’ in the recent past. Then it will be ‘last month,’ in the receding past. Then it will be ‘last year,’ far in the past.
“Manifestly, that section of time which we call ‘today’ comes out of the distant future, first into the near future, then into the present, then goes into the recent past, then disappears into the distant past. That is the unbroken order of the motion of time. That is its invariable direction. Never does it flow the other way, from past to future. Never does yesterday turn back in its flight and become today, or today become tomorrow. Never does the past pass into the present, or the present into the future. No. It is the other way. Tomorrow becomes today. Today becomes yesterday. The future becomes the present. The present becomes the past. The future is therefore the source, it is the reservoir of time which will some day be present, and then past. The present is the narrow strait, it is the living instant, it is the flashing reality, through which the vast oncoming future flows into the endless receding past.
“Why then do we usually think of time as coming out of the past? What is the reason for this common fallacy? The answer is simple. We get the impression that time comes into the present out of the past, because the human race and human history come into the present out of the past. The human race passes from past through present into future. Therefore we have fallen into the habit of thinking that time follows the same order. But it is not so! Time goes the other way. The human race comes to us out of the past, and time comes to us out of the future. We do not go with time. We continually meet it, instant by instant. That is why the present is always instantaneous — because we do not go with it, we constantly meet it, moving from past to future while time proceeds from future to past. This is the procession of time. The future is the reservoir out of which the present comes. The future is the source.
“The future is the source. The future is unseen, unknown, except as it continually embodies itself and makes itself visible in the present. The present is what we see, and hear, and know. It is ceaselessly embodying the future, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. It is perpetually revealing the future, hitherto invisible. The past in turn comes from the present. We cannot say that it embodies the present. On the contrary time in issuing from the present into the past becomes invisible again. The past does not embody the present. Rather it proceeds silently, endlessly, invisibly from it. But the present is not the source of the past which proceeds from it. The future is the source of both the present and the past! The present therefore comes out of the invisible future. The present perpetually and ever-newly embodies the future in visible, audible, livable form; and returns again into invisible time in the past” — end quote.
Seeing, now, that time indeed comes out of the future, the great truth also becomes self-evident that when one arrives at the beginning of time, not time past, but time future, right there at that beginning of time he steps beyond time into eternity! But how do we arrive at the beginning of time, the source from whence it flows to us from the future? Nathan Wood in his book points out that the future is the source of the present and the past, but what he fails to tell us is what is the source of the future, the source of time! The beginning and source of time is God — SPIRIT! “In the beginning GOD created...” And that, my beloved, is the beginning and source of time! Just as the present flows out from the future, so time itself (the future) flows out of God! God is Spirit, Spirit lies beyond matter, beyond time, beyond space. Can we not see by this that Spirit exists before and above and beyond time. “HE is before all things.” Thus, all that is necessary in order to transcend time is to LIVE AND WALK IN THE SPIRIT! That is where time ceases to exist! That is where “time is no longer!” Eternity is not where time ends linearly; it is where time ends dimensionally! Spirit exists in a dimension above and beyond time. Spirit is the source of time, but Spirit is not time. Spirit is unchangeable, therefore eternal, before time, after time, and in time. Let there be no doubt in the mind of any man that when the Lord swares that “there should be time no longer,” He is not predicting that the world ends, the sun burns itself out, the stars fall from heaven, the universe collapses, and all time ceases to exist. Oh, no! That is the way the carnal mind conceives of it, but that is not the truth perceived by the spiritual mind! The spiritual mind understands the words that follow these, wherein the Spirit testifies, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared unto His servants the prophets.” (Rev. 10:7) When the mystery of God is finished, time shall be no longer. Ah, when the mystery of God is finished in His elect, the sons of God will be manifested! When we have been fully transformed by the renewing of our minds, when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, we shall arise to that new state of being in the eternal, unchangeable nature and glory of sonship — THAT IS WHERE TIME ENDS FOR THE SONS OF GOD AND ETERNITY BEGINS! Time is no more for any man who enters the heavenly, celestial consciousness and life of the Eternal Spirit!
There was a time when God was ALL. Because we are caught in the physical creation with its material realm and time, with its beginning and ending, we are trapped in the inability to comprehend eternity. Do you realize there is really no such thing as an hour, a minute, or a second? Such measurements were invented by man for his convenience, as fabricated units of time. But for you and me, there is only now. And now is so infinitely small that it is immeasurable — it just passed as you read these lines — and yet it didn’t pass, for it is still just NOW. Now is so incredibly short for me. Let’s try this on God. God also only has now — but God’s now is so much bigger than my now! His now reaches from eternity to eternity, for it has no consciousness of time. Since God is the eternal and omnipresent One, His now is everywhere and at all times! You put this infinitesimal thing called time into God’s now — and the distance between places — His now is in all of those. God’s now is just as much at the end of our time as His now is at the beginning of time. God’s now is the now of every man who has ever existed anywhere at any time. His now is all the nows of all the people who have ever experienced any now anywhere at any time. God was there in Adam’s now, in Noah’s now, in Moses’ now, in David’s now, at the very same “time” as He is here in my now. Eternity is God’s all-encompassing NOW. Oh, the mystery of it!
In the opening chapters of the book of Genesis we see how on each of the six days of God’s “labor” there was an “evening” and a “morning” marking the beginning and the conclusion of the work and purpose of God in each day. It is significant to note that on the seventh day we read of no evening or morning, for the seventh day bespeaks a completed creation, God resting in Himself, the never-ending day of the fullness of the glory of the Lord. In each of the creative days the “evening and morning” mark the duration of the day, the work accomplished, the purpose fulfilled; and each new evening and morning indicates a going on to another work, which work will ultimately end, to give way to yet another work. Each “day” begins and ends!
Typically, this reveals to us how each moving of God’s Spirit in the earth, and in our lives, accomplishes His purpose for that time and then becomes history...and God marches on. I am convinced that one of man’s great faults is that he always expects the future to be just a repetition of the past. If God moved in a certain way once, they were sure the next move would be in the same manner and form, so they called their all-night prayer meetings and implored, “Oh, God, do it again!” I do not hesitate to declare to you that such a prayer is utterly void of understanding and can never be answered, for God does not repeat the work of a first day, or a second — He marches on to finish His work! As one has so ably pointed out, God does move in His appointed cycles, but each season of refreshing has a totally NEW element in it as well as some of the age-abiding truths which were revealed in former moves. Thus we have the paradox of how God’s moves are both OLD and NEW, and no man can say that he already knows what is coming, because there is that new part which has never been uncovered before, being reserved for this special hour. Thus God moves onward in His progressive working, from age to age, from revelation to revelation, from dealing to dealing, from experience to experience, from one working of His Spirit to another, until finally His image (at the end of the sixth day) is brought forth and He can rest.
Let all who have received the call to sonship know that every “day” of the Lord’s “labor” ends, the way God has moved in your life in former times will end, all the old orders are ending, the glory of former revivals and movings of God’s Spirit are passing away, all the religious institutions organized into powerful kingdoms out of bygone times of refreshing are crumbling and are ready to collapse. Let something else be equally clear — God has a new order arising, an entirely new day is dawning, there is a growing consciousness that we are standing on the threshold of a glorious new moving of the Spirit in the earth, TOTALLY UNLIKE ANYTHING WHICH HAS BEEN SEEN IN PAST AGES. I do not say that a revival shall break out! Men talk about a great “end-time revival,” but that shall not be! A revival means the reviving of that which was once alive, but has died and needs a resurrection. This new day is far more than the reviving of some old order, including the old order of the “New Testament Church.” This is a new day, the birthing of a new order, the unveiling of a new glory, the standing up of a new man, for the sons of God shall be manifested, the kingdom of God shall come in to the earth in power and great glory, and His incorruptible and immortal life shall reign in a firstfruits company — even those who step out of the “time” of all former “days” to minister out of the eternal realm and deliver creation from the bondage of corruption!
All the gifts and glory and power of former days of God’s moving have failed to deliver creation and bring the glory of God’s kingdom to pass in the earth until His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. All the mighty revivals of church history failed to deliver the groaning creation. None of the “six days of labor,” nay, all of them together, have not brought the fullness of God in God’s elect nor the blessedness of God’s rest to creation. How unmistakably accurate is the prophecy spoken by our omniscient Father when speaking of man’s rule over the earth He said, “six days shalt thou labor.” All man’s grandiose efforts, works, programs, schemes, and endeavors to convert the world and establish the kingdom of God in all the earth have not only been an incredible failure but, if for an instant we may descend to baseness of speech, have been a colossal flop, for sin and sinners and wretchedness and violence abound more today than at any time since the days of Noah.
We have passed through many “days” of God’s dealings, revival after revival, move after move, revelation after revelation, and blessing upon blessing. Each has had its evening and morning. Each has come and gone. Thank God, the first rays of the light of a new day are even now painting the eastern sky! Thank God! a few of His chosen ones have arisen in the Spirit to behold the glories of the dawn and to drink in the intoxicating freshness of the morn! This is a day of days, as the six days of the old creation were but one day of creation (Gen. 2:4), so this seventh day has been preceded by “days” of unfoldment, yet it is but one day in which God brings His sons into rest with Him in His glory. This seventh day is not like any other day in one important feature. It has no evening and morning! This reveals the wonderful truth that this is an unlimited day of consummation — an eternal day without end in which time shall be no more! All the days of “labor” have this evening and morning, for they need it, and good as are the days when God’s work goes on within us from evening to morning, cycle after cycle, while we yet need them, FAR MORE BLESSED IS THE ETERNAL DAY OF REST IN HIS GLORY WHEN HIS WORK IS COMPLETED AND WE AWAKE IN HIS LIKENESS! It is indeed wonderful!
This blessed realm of His fullness, of perfection, of incorruption and immortality, is the day of which John prophesied in spirit, saying, “And there shall be no night there.” (Rev. 21:25) No night! No darkness, for the shadows have all flown away. No darkness , no dusk, a day filled with the effulgent glory of the Lord! No night! An eternal day, a day with no end, and a day when no more changes come to those who are now like Him. On this day it has also been revealed, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and 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 there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be there...and they shall see His face: and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there...for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 21:3-4; 22:3-5) Ah, beloved, such is the seventh day, a walk with God, a place in God, uniting earth to heaven in blessedness, God and man dwelling and resting together, joined in on e spirit. If we know it not, let us wait for it: to those who wait with patience and faith, it will surely come, and will not tarry.
The seventh day is not merely a period of time; the seventh day is the REALM OF GOD’S REST, and finally, the seventh day becomes A PEOPLE. It is stated of the seventh day, “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.” (Gen. 2:3) He did this because in it He rested. When God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, He set it apart unto Himself and lifted it up above all other days, specifically above all the days of “labor.” But in Exodus 31:13 the Lord identifies the day with a people, showing how the one prefigures the other, and how the twain are one. “Verily, MY SABBATHS SHALL YE KEEP (Hebrew: ye shall rest in My Rest): for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth SANCTIFY YOU.” Here the day and the people are both so sanctified to God that they become as one. As we enter into God’s rest, beyond all the days of man’s religious labor, so that His rest becomes personified within us, WE BECOME HIS REST, HIS HOLY DAY, HIS SABBATH, AND HIS MOUNT ZION!
So let the nations rage, let the people imagine a vain thing, let the storms of trouble blow, let sorrows spread as a cloud over the land, let the kingdoms of men tremble and fall, let the whole political, economic, and religious structure collapse and darkness cover the earth...GOD’S SABBATH PEOPLE ARE AT REST AND UNAFRAID, THE GLORY OF THE LORD HAS RISEN UPON THEM, BECAUSE THEY DWELL IN HIM. They are upheld by His mighty hand, and they shall become a beacon of light to those who stumble in darkness. When men’s hearts fail them for fear in looking after the things that are coming upon the earth, these shall abide in the unchanging, unaffected, undisturbed, unshakeable, invincible, eternal nature of their Father. These are the Living Word beyond time’s span; beyond the fluctuations of time these shall remain calm, cool, and collected, ready to speak peace to him that is afraid. While many are running to and fro throughout the land trying to find a place of safety in the storm of trouble, God is preparing His DAY PEOPLE who shall stand in the midst of the land and many shall come to the brightness of their rising. Isaiah looked forward to this day and described the dawning of God’s glory, saying, Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” (Isa. 58:8) Hallelujah! What a day! To all who by the Spirit enter into this day, into this dimension of His rest and glory, into this living reality of His eternal nature and life...TIME SHALL BE NO MORE!
To be continued...