Seven Lamps of Fire - George H. Warnock
CHAPTER 7 - A KINGDOM OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE
I know the Kingdom of God is at hand. But I know also that the Kingdom came when John proclaimed it, and the Lord Jesus continued to proclaim it, and to manifest it in the earth when He was here. And that when He rose again and ascended into the heavens, He was enthroned with all the power and glory of the Kingdom of God -- which is really a priestly ministry, forever nullifying all former sacrifices and offerings and priestly activities after the order of Levi. For it is very clear in the book of Hebrews, which we might call the book of Better Things, that our Lord is now on the throne that was promised to David, "a High Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek". He will reign on His throne until all enemies are subdued under His feet. This Kingdom was planted in the earth when the Seed was faithful to go down in the ground and die -- and it has been flourishing ever since -- appearing first as the blade, then as the ear -- and is now taking the form of the fruit, the full corn in the ear. The Kingdom did not come with observation, even as our Lord told us. I know it seems absurd to people, including many Christians, that Godís Kingdom is growing in the earth now. But it must yet come to maturity in a harvest of many kernels of wheat like the Seed that was planted. For this is the Law of the Seed -- it must bring forth after its kind. With our natural eyes we see corruption abounding everywhere, in the church as well as in the world -- and we fail to understand that God has tolerated all these tares and noxious weeds, as they grow along with the pure grain, until the time of harvest. Then He will deal with the false, and the corrupt and the unclean -- and will continue to purge the church and the earth, until Righteousness shall prevail, in the earth and in the heavens. For even the heavens are contaminated with evil hosts of wickedness, evil principalities and powers -- and God will have a church that shall prevail against them.
The Branch of Christ
We have been speaking about the Branch that Isaiah saw .. the Branch of Christ, in union with many other sons. Of Him it is said:
"His delight is in the fear of the LORD,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
But with righteousness He shall judge the poor.." (Isa. 11:3, 4 NKJV).
We are inclined to say, "What else can I go by?" This is sufficient evidence in the courts of men: "I saw it happen! I heard him say it!" But this is not enough for Godís people in the church .. because we are involved in spiritual warfare, and we must see and discern with faculties that are beyond the natural. We must see and understand by the Seven Spirits of God. Our minds must be renewed by the Spirit of Jesus, as we abide in Him and He in us. Only then can we judge righteously, and become that Testimony of Jesus in the earth that God desires.
Jesus was invited to the home of Simon for dinner. This Pharisee had no doubt heard Jesus speak, and had seen His miracles, and he was impressed. But while at dinner a woman came in .. evidently looking for Jesus. She came over to Him and fell down at His feet, washing His feet with her tears, and wiping them with her hair. Simon looked on, and thought to himself: "Now I will be able to decide if this man is a prophet or not, because I know that woman, and she is a sinner.." So he waited to see if Jesus would prove Himself a prophet by condemning the sinner who sat at His feet. But instead of that, the Prophet discerned Simonís accusing heart, as well as the contrite and broken heart of the woman at His feet. Simon was just thinking those thoughts .. he wasnít saying them out loud. But Jesus heard what he was thinking, and "answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee" (Lk. 7:40).
He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes. O how we need that Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord, if we are going to judge righteous judgment as Jesus intended! And that is why He is now enthroned in the heavens -- that the same Spirit that was in Him might be poured out upon His church .. that there might be a continuation of His anointed ministry here in the earth.
The Apostles Judged with Inner Light
It is not difficult for us to recognize that Jesus walked with this inner Light abiding in His heart and mind. But it is thought to be unscriptural to teach that God wants His people to walk in the same Light, that we might be as He is in this world (see 1 Jn. 4:17). How else will He be glorified, except it be the same glory that was on Jesus, resting on His people? "And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one". Let us be assured of this: our Lord Jesus wants to share His glory with His people -- for it is this, and nothing short of this, that will cause the world to know that "Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me" (Jn. 17:22, 23).
The early church walked and shone in the world about them with this inner Light. They were nothing in themselves. But Peter was able to say, "In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk". Stephen shone with that Light .. and they saw his face as the face of an angel. As the false leaders of religion stoned Stephen to death, the heavens were opened: and those Seven Lamps of Fire before the throne shone upon him, with the Light of the Lamb of God. Saul of Tarsus saw this martyr fall at the feet of those who slew him, and held their garments -- indicating that he was giving his consent. Relentlessly this zealous Pharisee pressed forward in his cause, which was to wipe the church off the face of the earth. Then one day the same Light that shone from the face of Stephen, burst forth upon this enraged man and smote him to the ground. He saw the Light that was brighter than the noonday sun .. and so brilliant a Light that it blinded his eyes. But that Light penetrated deeply into his heart and soul .. and gave him a deep inner vision, and he was born anew by the same Light that had blinded him. Eventually the Light he carried made a mighty impact on nations who sat in darkness. We are not going to make an impact on nations by telling them about the Light that visited planet Earth and who is now up there in Heaven. We must see the Light for ourselves, and walk in that Light, if we are going to sweep away the darkness that overwhelms the world in which we live.
The Lamb Conquers the Wild Beast
"With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatriceí (viperís) den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:5-9).
We must be changed .. our minds must be renewed in the Spirit. Jude said "What they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves" (Jude 10). Unless the man is enlightened by Godís Spirit, he will go on resisting the Light of God, and perish in his own corruption. Paul gives a detailed account of this beastly nature that exists in the hearts of men. (see Rom. 3:10-18). "Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips.." (vs. 13). There is nothing more venomous than a religious system that has gone into darkness, and Christianity so called is no exception. One can hardly imagine the atrocities that have been perpetrated in the name of God by leaders of the apostate church -- all the while thinking they were doing God a service. If thatís the way they promote their religion, Iíd far sooner die at their hands than join them. Join a den of vipers, just to stay alive? No wonder there have been so many martyrs in church history -- and some of these drained the poison of asps from the lips of their enemies, by saying: "Kill me if you wish, but I will not deny my Lord, just to save my life". I recall the story of a young man who cried out to his parents, when he feared his father or mother might give way to their tormentors, and recant: "Donít do it, mom and dad .. donít deny your Lord for my sake .. Stand true to Jesus .. I couldnít stand to live with the thought that my dad and mother saved their lives by betraying Christ".
This bleeding Lamb also has Seven Horns .. and with those seven horns He will conquer over all the mighty ravenous beasts and birds that walk the earth, or fly the heavens. When the Lamb shines forth from a people in the earth who follow Him -- then will they begin to subdue the hate, and the anger, and the malice of ferocious beasts that come to kill and scatter and destroy. Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, because the Lamb has conquered the wolf. Think of it! A Lamb is going to tame the lion .. and all the other wild beasts that abound in the hearts of men. But let us never forget how they overcome: it is by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and because they loved not their lives unto the death.
"And the leopard shall lie down with the kid". The Lamb shall tame the leopard, and remove his ugly claws. Those wicked men who would tear out the hearts of lambs and eat them, are subdued and conquered by the love and mercy of Jesus .. and become as docile and gentle as a young goat or sheep.
"And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them". When the angel told John that the Lion of Judah had overcome, and had been given authority to open the book of Godís awesome judgments in the earth .. he looked, and He saw "a Lamb as it had been slain". All through the Book of Revelation, in 28 places, He is seen always as the Lamb. We must emphasize that our victory over the ferocious beast .. out there in religion, or in the political and social world, or in our own hearts .. is in the Lamb of God, and those who take up their cross and follow Him, and love not their lives unto the death. Saul of Tarsus, the ravenous wolf of the tribe of Benjamin, went about to kill and to destroy those who loved the Light. But he was blinded by that Light on the Damascus Road, by the same Light that shone forth through Stephen. God tamed this wolf, and gave him the heart of a lamb, and he too became a bleeding lamb. Then God sent him as a flaming minister of the gospel of love, and of truth, and of righteousness. He taught the people how to overcome Godís way, as Jesus did: to overcome evil with good, to overcome sin with the blood of Jesus and His righteousness, to overcome slander and rejection with mercy and patience and longsuffering, to overcome hatred and bitterness, with forgiveness and love. He is clothed with "the whole armor of God". "Righteousness" is "the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins". He fights the beast wherever he goes, because the Light that was in Stephen the martyr, is now in him. The poison of asps is no longer under his lips. No longer does he tear the church apart with the claws of the leopard, or the fangs of the lion. But he needs armor for his protection, as he fights with beastly men. He needs to walk in truth and in righteousness, when he is thrust into the ring to contend with "wild beasts at Ephesus". But he carries "the sword of the Spirit" at his side, and he knows that sword is mighty in God. Some Jews from the synagogue of Satan were so impressed with Paulís power, that they tried to copy it for themselves .. to promote their own perverted religion. But it backfired on them -- the beasts in the demon possessed man turned against the seven sons of Sceva, and "leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded". This brought great fear on the people, "and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified". There was much demonic activity in Ephesus, and Paul found himself contending with wild beasts, and God was working in mighty operations of His Spirit. Those who believed began to realize the source of their demonic activities, and came to the disciples of Jesus, and confessed their evil practices. They wouldnít dare sell their books to others, knowing the bondage they had come out of .. so they counted the cost, and it was a very high price in their currency. Then they started a fire "and brought their books together, and burned them before all men" (Acts 19:19).
We scarcely hear of happenings like this in our day, because the church in most cases has been normalized by the infiltration of worldly and senseless activities. But God has every provision for us, to make us to be the shining and glorious church that He has in mind -- if we too are ready to count the cost, and burn our useless, and sometimes demonic books and programs.
The Creation Groans for Deliverance
We are told that "the earnest expectation of the creature (creation) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God". Paul tells us that the creation was "made subject to vanity".. not of its own will. But when man who was put in charge of planet earth, lost his fear of God -- God subjected the rest of creation to vanity. Yet He did so in hope. For He purposed that this defiled creation would arise in new splendor, and into "the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:19-21). Creation does not know why it is groaning, or if there is any hope. But God knows why, and He tells us why: it is because they have hope of deliverance in the unveiling of the sons of God .. which is nothing less than the Son of God Himself being revealed and shining forth in His many brethren. And it is for this unveiling that creation is groaning and travailing. For these sons will radiate the glory of the Son, not their own glory. Their glory must come to ashes, that the Son alone might be glorified in them. They must become weak and foolish in the eyes of the world and in their own eyes .. that the wisdom of the cross might shine forth in the Lamb that was slain.
It was not the fault of the lower creation that the animals became wild and fierce, and the land of fruitfulness became dry, and barren, and desolate -- it was manís fault. The animals only tear and rend their prey because man lost his fear and respect for God, and in so doing his authority over the animal world and over nature, has been greatly eroded.
In many places of scripture we see how the lower creation became wasted and barren when Godís people lost their fear of God. In Haggaiís time when the people forsook the welfare of the House of God, to indulge in their own pursuits -- God said to them: "I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labor of the hands" (Hag. 1:11). The living creatures in the air, and in the seas, and in the land -- are being harassed with the plagues of the curse that started when man sinned against God. "Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away" (Hos. 4:3). All this is happening now, and men of science fear for the survival of the forests, and the rivers and lakes, and the fowl of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, and of his own existence on this planet. And why is it happening? "Because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land" (vs. 1). And to make the irony of it all the more severe -- many of these men and women who cry out and scheme and push their agendas to save planet earth -- very often "there is no fear of God before their eyes".
It is encouraging to know that when there is a turning back to God -- God is faithful to heal the land which He had left desolate -- and He promises: "Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith" (Joel 2:19)
And to the beasts, He says: "Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength" (Joel 2:22).
Creation fears Man --
When Man fears His Creator
As the hearts of men are changed, so are the hearts of the wild beasts. And so are the responses of the vegetable world about us. We see a touch of this from time to time -- as a foretaste I believe, of the glory of the Kingdom that is yet to be revealed, when the fear of God returns to Godís people, and His sons begin to radiate His glory in the earth.
Many years ago I read this story about Sadhu Sundar Singh, a man of India who ministered in the early part of the last century. One evening he was sitting outside on a log, near the mission home where he was staying -- and the people inside suddenly saw something that startled them. It was getting dark, and a leopard was climbing up the hillside, and coming toward the Sadhu who was sitting there enjoying the evening air. They saw the leopard walk over to him, and the Sadhu reached out his hand and gently stroked his fur. Why should wild beasts fear a man such as this, who was walking in the fear of his Creator -- and theirs?
I heard William Branham tell a story something like that. When he was a park warden he had occasion to go into a certain wilderness area. He left his truck and walked some distance, then suddenly he saw this wild bull charging him. The owners had transferred the bull to this wilderness area because he was a valuable animal -- but he was a killer. He reached for his gun .. but he had left it in the truck. Then he said something very unusual happened. Immediately there came over him a tremendous wave of the love of God for that poor creature -- not a prophetic word of power, but a surging of Godís love for this ignorant beast. Then he turned to the bull and apologized: "I am sorry for having disturbed you this way -- now go and lie down". We call situations like this miraculous .. because they are infrequent. But when man returns to God from disobedience and rebellion, the authority that he once had over the planet will return. Our Lord Jesus already has this power and authority, and reigns as a conquering Lamb on the throne. And He will share His dominion with His many brethren, in the day of His power.
Perhaps many who read these words are asking, When will God manifest His sons in this manner? But the real question is not WHEN it will happen -- but HOW must we prepare our hearts for it to happen? How senseless it would be if we could tame the wild animals that sneak around our home -- and have no power to conquer the wild beasts in our own natures, or subdue the beastly hearts of men that fight against the Lamb and His people? But this we must know: Our Lord Jesus when He walked on planet earth, was Lord of all creation; yet it was in the will of God that He assumed garments of flesh and humiliation -- that He might live and die in our midst as a sacrificial Lamb. Yet even in the days of His mortality, there rested upon Him the full glory of the Father. On more than one occasion this Lamb tamed the wild beasts in the hearts of men -- and there would certainly have been no problem in taming wild animals, if God had any purpose in that. He spoke to wind and wave and sea, and walked on water, and turned water into wine, and multiplied loaves and fishes, and tamed the wild unruly minds of men who were bound with demonic spirits. In the days of His mortality He was manifested as Godís Son -- in humility, and meekness, and in power.
The Resurrection and the Life
-- Revealed in Mortality
Why should it be any different with others whom He is disciplining as sons of God, and preparing them for glory? Even here in our humanity God is pleased to manifest His sons with power and authority in the earth -- for God is greatly glorified in revealing His power and glory in garments of mortality. The very same resurrection Life that raised Jesus from the dead, abode within Him in the days of His humanity. He was the Resurrection and the Life while He walked on earth. He had power over death, even in the days of His own mortality. So it was with the apostles -- before they had finished their Testimony in the earth. Paul discovered that the more he suffered in his mortality, the more did he partake of the Resurrection Life of Jesus.
"Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesusí sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh."
Certainly in this body we groan, as the apostle said -- and it is because we dwell in mortality, and we look for a release from mortality. But while we wait for that, God is pleased to manifest the Resurrection Life of Jesus, here in our mortal flesh. Therefore we ought not to be chafing in our spirit for a quick exit from our state of mortality. Do we not desire to partake of the full measure of the suffering of Christ, in this time of our mortality -- that in these sufferings we might know the manifestation of the Life of Jesus in our mortal flesh? And do we not realize that it is only in this life that we may suffer with the sufferings of the Lord Jesus? I am not speaking of the diseases of sin that are rampant in the human family .. for these are the sufferings of Adamís transgression; and because of the work of redemption the Last Adam has provided healing for all of these diseases. And the reason we see so very little of divine health, is because of the broken cisterns that we keep digging, rather than returning to the Fountain of Life that Jesus said would flow from one who is filled with the Spirit. But the sufferings of Jesus are different. The sufferings of Jesus are the sufferings of a true disciple, who follows the Lamb wherever He may lead. They are the sufferings of those who have the Testimony of Jesus, who love not their lives unto death, as they follow the Lamb. It is only in this life of our mortality that we are able to assume our share of the sufferings of Christ. May God give us needed grace to take up our cross now, for it is in suffering with Him that we may also be glorified with Him -- and there will be no cross to bear on resurrection morning.
Yes, we look for the full manifestation of Christ in His church, and the manifestation of the sons of God must begin in these days of our mortality, as it was with Jesus. Then, having partaken of our share of suffering for Christ, and with Christ -- may we have the confidence to say with the apostles and with Jesus: We have finished the work that God gave us to do in the earth. Be it little or great -- it is faithfulness that He requires. And we can be assured that God judges according to quality, and not according to quantity. For it will be the fire of God in the Day of Christ that will "try every manís work of what sort it is", not how much it is (1 Cor. 3:13).
Born Anew by the Father of Lights
We are thankful for every good and perfect gift that we receive from the Father .. and for the various ministrations of wisdom, and knowledge, and truth, and faith, and healing -- and all the other gifts, that He has bestowed upon us in the body of Christ. But have we noticed that the gifts proceed from the Father of Lights (Jas. 1:17)? And if the Father of Lights is our Father -- then we are the children of the Light. And He has given us these wonderful gifts -- that we might be strengthened, edified and enlightened to walk in His way.
But He does not want us to become so preoccupied with the gifts, that we fail to become acquainted with the Father who gave them. For the Light that shines from the gifts tells me that His purpose in giving us these gifts, is to cause us to grow and mature together in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, until we come to perfect love, even unto the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Eph. 4:13-16).
And so as we hear and see the Light that emanates from the gifts -- we follow the rays upward and higher, until one day we find ourselves totally occupied with the Source of the Light, and the Giver of the gifts -- as we behold "the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6). Then we understand why He gave us the gifts -- to cause us to turn our eyes toward the Father of Lights, and to understand that he has birthed us into Life and Light, so as to remove from our hearts and minds all the shades of sin and darkness.
But for a season He has left us in a world of darkness, because Jesus the Light of the world, is no longer here. He now dwells "in the Light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see" (1 Tim. 6:16). He is now the Light and Glory of Heaven. And as our High Priest on the throne He is pouring streams of Light upon us, that we might shine as lights in the world, "blameless and harmless, the sons of God without blemish, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation" (Phil. 2:15). Heaven is already full of Light, for Jesus is there -- and He doesnít take us there to birth us into Light. He wants us to walk in Light here, that those who dwell in darkness here, might see the Light here.
The firstborn Son is Life, and that Life is the Light of men. And the other sons that He is bringing forth must be conformed to His image, and shine with the same Light that is in Jesus. He is the Fatherís Firstborn Son, and walked in pure Light while He was here on earth. Then having accomplished our redemption on earth, He went back to the Father -- that from the throne of Light and Glory He might beget a whole family of sons and daughters in the earth -- whom He calls the children of Light, and the children of the day (1 Thess. 5:5). And He will continue to shine upon us with His glory .. until we too are filled with His Light, having no part dark (Lk. 11:36).
-- And until the whole earth is "full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9).
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