"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE BEGINNING AND THE END
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come" (Rev. 1:8).
Not only is Christ the beginning, He is the end of all things! Mankind is yet groping about in the dense darkness of the carnal mind, knowing not that HE is standing right there in the shadows, were their eyes opened to see. Yet He hath appointed a day – O glorious day! – when His light shall shine forth and the plan shall be completed as the apostle saith, "For God has allowed us to know the secret of His plan, and it is this: He purposed long ago in His sovereign will that all human history should be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in heaven or earth should find its perfection and fulfillment in Him. IN CHRIST we have been given an inheritance, since we were destined for this, by the One who works out all His purposes according to the design of His own will" (Eph. 1:9-11, Phillips).
Everything in history is moving inexorably toward a day when Jesus will have conquered everything and everyone. Like a mountain of dirt before a gigantic bulldozer steadily moving forward, all that can be conquered is being collected into the loving arms of Jesus, whose right it is to rule. When Christ ascended on high after His resurrection, He led many captives out of the prison house and also set forth His great purpose: "Now He that ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens THAT HE MIGHT FILL A-L-L T-H-I-N-G-S" (Eph. 4:9-10). The message is clear – redemption includes the complete transformation of the entire universe (all heavens) and all that is within it so that God in Christ shall FILL ALL THINGS. There shall not be left one corner of this vast universe, nor one creature in it, where He shall not be Lord and King. Everything everywhere shall be restored to the beautiful harmony and order of the love of God. Indeed, He shall fill all things that God may be all in all!
All that God has ever done or ever will do, all that He has said or ever will say, will ultimately redound to His glory, that He may be "All in all" – and why not? "In the beginning GOD…" Everything else is because of God – God’s love, God’s wisdom, God’s purpose, God’s power, God’s righteousness. And for all things to find their purpose, their reality and their end in Him is the final goal of salvation’s history. It is an extraordinary thing, yet sublimely true, that the Lord Jesus gives us to understand that what He is doing on earth today and throughout the ages to come is only a beginning. What He has given us is a root, and not yet a tree; a foundation, and not yet an edifice. The Kingdom Seed must grow, the branches spread out, the blossoms appear, and the fruit be formed. The little stone cut out without hands must grow and grow and grow until it becomes a great mountain that fills all the earth. In the end the kingdom of God will have filled all realms everywhere, from the Milky Way to the outermost galaxies, from the caves of Afghanistan to the government halls of Beijing and the worshipping throngs of Mecca, and God will be All in all! Those who on earth are now being perfected in Christ are the firstfruits of this marvelous revelation of God All in all!
In these days many people are seeking to know what the end will be. At this time of frustration and confusion, men want to know what God will bring to pass in the end. Many years ago heaven shed its light in my spirit and I saw clearly that if we could know something of God’s beginning of things, we could then understand something of the end. A clearer conception of the beginning would give us a clearer knowledge of the ending. In connection with this, I would like to quote from a book called The Gospel of Thomas. While it has not been accepted as being inspired, along with many other apocryphal writings, there is still truth to be gleaned if we can separate the meat from the bones. The Gospel of Thomas consists of a series of sayings attributed to Jesus. On one occasion Jesus is reported to have said, "I will give you what eye has not seen, what ear has not heard, what hand has not touched, and what has not arisen in the heart of man." The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what our end will be." Jesus said, "Have you then discovered the beginning, so that you inquire about the end? FOR WHERE THE BEGINNING IS, THERE SHALL BE THE END. Blessed is he who shall
stand at the beginning and he shall know the end and he shall not taste death." Here is blessed confirmation of what we have known from the scriptures and by the spirit of revelation from God! Jesus says that if we know the beginning and stand at the beginning, we shall know the end, and we shall not taste death! What a word!
Is it not true that in the beginning there was no sin, no sorrow, no pain, no tears, no limitation, and no death? Behold Jesus Christ! HE is the beginning and HE is the end! HE abolishes death! HE brings life and immortality to light through the gospel! It is in Him that we have life, and have it more abundantly! All that is happening now came out of the Beginning and will come into the Ending. If Jesus Christ is the End, then this does away with all this teaching in the church systems about everlasting hell and eternal damnation, for HE IS THE END. Death is not the end, judgment is not the end, hell is not the end, fire and brimstone are not the end, damnation is not the end, for CHRIST IS THE END! Though men be processed by judgment "unto the ages of the ages," that judgment is not their end, merely a means to the end, there is an end at the conclusion of the ages -— and that end IS CHRIST!
"God sitteth upon the circle of the earth," said the prophet Isaiah. While the word for "circle" in the Hebrew text denotes the sphericity of the earth, it may also denote the cycles of nature. These cycles are the continual goings and comings of the seasons, days, months and years, ordained by God in the beginning. Everything in nature moves in cycles: winter and summer, seedtime and harvest; generation after generation all show the might and wisdom of God. Even electricity must have a circuit. There are positives and negatives in all of nature, and everything flows through them. The earth spins upon its axis while it revolves around the sun; the sun moves in its own circuit in the heavens as also each galaxy moves in a broad circular sweep through distances that defy the imagination. SO IT IS WITH GOD’S WORK. In the spiritual realm there are the positives and negatives of life and death, good and evil, spirit and flesh, blessing and curse, temptation and triumph, strength and weakness, light and darkness, God and Satan. It is in the interplay between these that we are brought to perfection! It is therefore reasonable to conclude that man, the highest of God’s creation, came out of God, was then lowered into the world of vanity, darkness, and death, but will return to God, thus completing the cycle, not in part, but in full. Our Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the supreme illustration and example of this wonderful truth, for He came out of God, descended into the lower parts of the earth, that is, into the very depths of human nature and experience in the fall and the curse, overcame in it, and then arose and returned back into God.
This great principle has been called "The Law of Circularity." Some would have us believe that this is a "New Age" concept, but I do not hesitate to tell you that that notion is far from the truth. If it is a New Age concept then they borrowed it from somewhere, for this great Law originated with GOD! It is found written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit all through the scriptures and is inscribed as well upon every law of nature within the cosmos. "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things – for all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him. To Him be glory forever! Amen" (Rom. 11:36, Amplified).
The Law of Circularity requires that just as all things began in Christ, all shall end in Christ. "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, saith the Lord" (Rev. 22:13). Only the glorious mind of Christ can reveal to our hearts what that means! Through a glass darkly I can see that He is the first – "before all things." Can I also believe that He is the last? If He is the beginning, can my feeble mind dare to comprehend what it signifies when He says that He is also the end? All that existed in Christ before the ages began, shall return into Him again that He may be the First and the Last. All that came out of Him, lowered into the realm of the negative, completes its circuit, returning once more to its former estate – IN CHRIST! This is not New Age philosophy, my friend, this is sound, fundamental biblical truth. The first Adam had power to take ALL with him into sin and death, without their knowledge or consent; therefore, the last Adam, the Lord from heaven, gathers up the same number in His great redemptive work and ALL MEN who came out of God shall return, that the circle may be unbroken. There is an old song that asks the question, "Will the circle be unbroken, bye and bye, Lord, bye and bye." We now have God’s answer to that question: "YES!" The circle will be unbroken, the circle will not be broken! God’s great Law of Circularity will bring all men back into God!
The Greek word for "end" is telos meaning "the limit where previous activities cease; the goal; final result of a state or process; aim; purpose; conclusion; consummation; that which is brought to the full, being finished; the uttermost or terminal experience beyond which nothing remains to be said or done." May I just add – WOW! I am sure that many of you, like me, once thought that "the end" was an event, a date on the calendar, a period of time. I used to preach about the "end times" and referred to our writings as "studies in end-time revelation." But a wonderful thing happened along the way – I found "the end-time!" I also discovered the beginning of time! "In the beginning GOD…" Time is relative only to creation and John in his Gospel explained, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made" (Jn. 1:1-3). Jesus Christ is Himself the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and when we have found Him we have found not only the beginning of the matter but also the end of the matter. The "end-time" is not some dark, distressful period at the end of a particular age; the end-time is ALL THINGS GATHERED TOGETHER INTO CHRIST. "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together into one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him" (Eph. 1:10). That really says it all! The end-time comes for each of us when we truly and fully find Christ as our all in all. If you can see it, my beloved brethren, the sons of God are THE ADMINISTRATORS OF "THE END" FOR ALL MANKIND! The end is not a time period, the end is not a world war, the end is not a "rapture" of the saints to some far-off heaven somewhere, the end is a glorious person, even Christ. HE is the beginning and the end for all things, for all men, and for all ages. Hallelujah!
"Then cometh the end" – the end of what?
The end that God so long hath sought!
The end He always had in view,
The end that man so little knew.
The end of sin’s triumphant sway,
The end of death – the grave’s decay.
The end of judgment and of ire,
The second death, the lake of fire.
The end when God will ever be
With us for all eternity:
The end for which His love doth call,
The end when HE is All in all!
Thank God for the light of Christ that is shining into this world of darkness! He is removing the darkness first in His elect and causing us to look to the realm of the Spirit where all things begin and end. The Alpha and the Omega has sent forth the rays of His glorious light so that we can see all things as they really are! All things do not begin or end in time. Time is not the Alpha and the Omega – Christ is the Alpha and the Omega! All things begin and end in Christ. Christ transcends time! Only in Christ are we able to see both the beginning and the end of everything!
A synonym for "beginning and end" is "author and finisher." "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2). A brother shared his experience at the museum in Florence, Italy which beautifully illustrates the truth of Christ as our beginning and end – the Author and Finisher of God’s great work in our lives. He writes, "As you enter the museum in Florence, at the very end of a long corridor stands this enormous, brilliant statue, David, lighted especially to enhance the work of the master craftsman. Unfortunately when most people go to see this fabulous piece of work they do not notice the other statues which line the hallway leading to this masterpiece. For, along the hallway is, in my opinion, some of his best work – some of his most futuristic work. Aligning this hallway is his abstract art. Some art historians say he was probably one of the world’s first abstract artists. Others call it his unfinished work.
"After studying some of those pieces and seeing them for myself, I was amazed at the beauty of one statue in particular. When Michaelangelo wanted to sculpt he would go to the marble quarry. He would walk throughout the quarry until he could find a special piece of marble with a statue that he could "see" trapped inside. It was his job to release this statue! He would simply chip away the marble from the outside that concealed the image within! And so he released the statue of Moses, he released his Pieta, he released David. But there was one piece that he saw that he was unable to release. And so it stands off to the side. Few people see it. But if you ever go to the museum in Florence to see the statue of David, stop and look at the unfinished art. There you will see a man who is still imprisoned in the hunk of marble. He is straining to escape from his imprisonment in the marble. You can see his neck stretching. The muscles in his neck and the muscles across his chest and his shoulders bulge as he is apparently trying to crawl out of this piece of marble. But his creator is dead. So he is permanently, historically, forever imprisoned in his cube of marble! He was there hundreds of years ago. He is still there today. And he will be there when you go to see him, or when your great grandchildren go" -— end quote.
There are people today who are in the process of being released from their statue! They are not an image encased in marble, but they are a regenerated spirit imprisoned in a body – in a fleshly Adamic mind and nature. They are wanting to bring forth their inner man that he may step out of his bondage to the outer, out of his subordination to the desires, ways, and passions of the flesh man. The outer earthly identity must be put off, chipped away, so that the inner spiritual identity may be revealed. But many people today feel stuck. They’re imprisoned in their piece of marble! But listen, O child of God, for the good news I have is this: Your Creator is not dead! He is alive today and He is not finished with you yet! God loves you and He has a plan for your life! He has walked up and down through the quarry of this world, and He found you, a special piece of marble with a unique expression of the image of Christ locked within! He selected you, He bought you, He called you, He chose you, He ordained you to be a son of God in this age. The Master Craftsman has begun His wonderful work in you. He has a purpose for you, dear one, and it is a purpose of completion!
The story is told of a stunt pilot who, thinking he would have a bit of fun, endeavored to persuade a rather wary friend to take a ride with him. The friend declined the generous offer. Thereupon the aviator assured him that he would not perform any hazardous feats while in the clouds. Finally the reluctant friend decided to take the risk. Once in the air, however, the aviator performed all kinds of stunts, much to the horror of his passenger. Having subjected him to this ordeal, he then landed and they alighted. The pilot hastily stepped out so that he might enjoy every bit of his companion’s reaction. Freeing himself from his little cabin, the passenger looked at his tormentor and said, "Thanks for the two rides." "Two rides?" asked the pilot curiously. "What do you mean? We had only one ride." "No, thank you," said the friend, "that was my first ride and my last ride!" The past and the future and often treated in the same way. They are considered separate and distinct as a first and a last, or as a beginning and an ending. But once we see that Christ the Lord IS the first and the last, the beginning and the ending, it becomes clear that neither is separate or distinct from the other, for both are united in one reality in Him! The Lord who began His work in you will finish it because He that is in you is both Beginning and End, both Author and Finisher of your faith. It is not a matter of time at all, it is a matter of Christ!
Let’s imagine for a moment that there is a great parade scheduled to pass through your city. So you go downtown early in the morning and set up your little chair there on the sidewalk in front of the hardware store. At that spot you seem to have have the perfect vantage point from which to view the parade as it passes by. The hour arrives and you begin to hear the beating of the drums, the sound of the band, the tramping of feet and the noise of the wheels. You know that the parade is on its way. Soon the floats begin to pass before your vision. But there is a problem – there are people all around. Thousands of people are pressing together, standing on the sidewalk or sitting on the curb. There you are in your little seat watching the parade, but because of the crowd all you can see is the one float that is right there in front of you. One by one you watch the floats go by. There are some floats that are in your past – they have already passed by and have rounded the corner. You can’t see them anymore, so they are in your past. There are other floats that are in your future. They are still far down the street. You can’t see them, but they are on their way and you will view each one from your limited perspective. You are like a horse with blinders. All you see is that little portion right there in front of you!
Now let’s suppose that you make your way up to the top of a three-story building. You perch yourself there on the edge of the roof in order to have a better view of the parade. In that instant past and future pass away because now you see the whole parade at once. You see the float that is down there in front of the chair where you were seated. But you also see the one behind it, and the one behind that one, and the next one, all the way to the end of the parade. You see the float in front of it, the one in front of that one, and the next one, all the way to the beginning of the parade. You see both the beginning and the end! You see the end from the beginning! You see everything in between! It is a mater of perspective. It’s your viewpoint. It has to do with your elevation. If you can get high enough you can see it all at once and the whole parade exists in the now. It’s all now! And that’s how it is in Christ! The eternal now IS CHRIST! He IS the Beginning and the End! Only in Him are we able to see both the origin and the consummation of all things as one unified whole.
As we ascend in Christ the Spirit of God changes our perspective of all things. He alters and adjusts our viewpoint. God is bringing us up into a dimension in Himself to see as He sees. God can see all things at once! He exists in the eternal now. A million years are to Him as but a day. There is no past in God. There is no future in God. The garden of Eden is not past, nor is the millennium future. The dawn of creation is not thousands or billions of years ago, nor is the consummation of all the ages of time future. God is high enough to see the whole purpose from beginning to end, that beginning and end are in Him, and it all exists in the eternal now! Oh, the mystery of it!
In the limitation of our natural minds we view things with our blinders on. We are perched on our little seat on the sidewalk in front of the hardware store with thousands of human bodies around us – with all the confines of the systems of this world, with all the restrictions of this gross material realm, with all the impediments of the carnal mind – and all we can see is that little portion of history that is right in front of us at this moment in time. Everything else is either past or future! That’s why men are distressed. That’s why believers are troubled. That’s why even we are sometimes confused. That’s why we cry out to God and say, "Oh God, Why? Why did this happen? Why did that happen?" We feel helpless and hopeless in the midst of circumstances, situations, problems, and troubles that come our way. But did you know that all of our "Why" comes from the little chair in front of the hardware store! Many years ago the Spirit of God spoke to me and said, "Sons do not ask, Why?" Tragedy and trauma come into our lives and we don’t understand. We look out at the world, society, and the nations, and see what is happening in our schools, in our communities, in our government, and even in our own families sometimes. We see ungodliness and wickedness, sin and sorrow, terrorism and war, disease and death, misfortune and heartbreak, and we feel helpless because we are sitting on our little chair on the sidewalk in front of the hardware store. All we can see is how it looks from where we are! We miss seeing where it all came from and we cannot see where it is all headed. We fail to discern the great purpose in it all because of our limited vision! We can’t see the origin, nor do we see the consummation. We just see what is in front of us. And we call that now! THAT’S NOT NOW! That is now, but it is not all of now. In Christ the origin is now. The destiny is now. The whole plan is now because God is NOW! When we get high enough in the Spirit to see from God’s perspective we see the whole thing. Christ Jesus is the source and the consummation of all things! Dwelling in Him we know that all our steps are ordered of the Lord and our "future" is secure, the "outcome" is certain, for HE is our Alpha and Omega, our beginning and our end! When we truly see that all our happenings are ordained of God, all is according to divine purpose, all is secure in Him, and the outcome is by divine appointment, what rest it affords! What peace this holy knowledge brings! What confidence the truth evokes!
I have had agnostics and skeptics ask me, "If God is real, if God is in control, if God is all powerful, if the God you worship is as good as you claim He is, why do we have all the millions of starving people, little children with bloated stomachs, drug addicts strung out committing suicide, prisons full of criminals, teenagers shooting up our schools, and famines, tornadoes, war and destruction? If God is love, why do we have all that?" And you know, it is difficult to answer that, because you are trying to explain something to people who are sitting on their little chair on the sidewalk in front of the hardware store. They are looking only at appearances. Their perspective is limited and their vision defective. All they can see is what appears in front of them without any knowledge of either the origin or destiny of all things. In the blindness of their minds it is impossible for them to comprehend the grand design, the great purpose. And you can’t answer their "Why" unless somehow they can get high enough to SEE THE WHOLE PICTURE! Until they can see for themselves both the origin and the consummation, they cannot perceive the real meaning behind everything happening in between. So how are you going to describe the perspective of the man up on the top of the three-story building to the man sitting in his little chair on the sidewalk in front of the hardware store? You can explain it to him but he just can’t see it! This great truth has to come by revelation!
Suppose you were to meet a mystic today, a spiritually sensitive one, who could see your past, your present, and your future. He could see what you will do tomorrow, where you will be twenty years from today, and see your end – the whole thing! It is like a man high up in an airplane over an island of the sea. He is looking down on a river. He sees where the river begins in the mountains, he sees the continuation, and he sees the end of the river where it empties into the sea. He sees all this at the same time! God, therefore, sees us in a way that we cannot see, and because He sees from a height from which we do not see, we should trust Him without questioning or fear. Those called to sonship in this Day are learning to trust! We are learning to trust so that whatever God tells us to do, we do it! If He says, "Jump over the precipice," we jump, because our heavenly Father is seeing us in a way that we do not yet see, and knowing us in a way we do not yet know. HE is seeing what our end will be! Each of us has an end. Have we ever thought of it? We have an end, and God is seeing our end right now. Does that cause you to fear? Not if you are a son! For we know our end – our end is CHRIST! "I am the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord!"
There is divine meaning in every happening that comes into our lives. There are no accidents in God! Everything that comes to us is for our learning, for our growth and development in God! How God teaches us is His business! If we try to put our hand to it, we’ll only make a mess of it. If it is left up to us to direct our steps, we will guard, preserve, fight for, and save everything that needs to go to the cross because we are sitting on our little chair on the sidewalk in front of the hardware store. May the Voice that spoke to John on Patmos resound in our ears this day. "Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne" (Rev. 4:1-2). Ah, there is where we want to see from! When we "come up hither," high enough "in the spirit," we see the "throne" of God’s sovereignty and are enlightened with the holy understanding that all is well because our Father is reigning over all!
Before we leave this subject of the Beginning and the End, I would like to point out one other outstanding thought that is inherent in this beautiful title. When Jesus says, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending," He is proclaiming the great truth that He is both the source and the consummation of all things. This is a truth that every son of God is learning to know and experience within ourselves, for Christ in us is our hope of glory. Christ is now becoming the beginning and the ending of our lives!
Here I would share some inspired and challenging words from a brother we labored with some years ago. He began with the beautiful text from the gospel of John, chapter six. "Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed. I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; he that believeth on me shall never thirst…it is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." In order to understand the great mystery that Jesus is seeking to reveal to us in these verses, we need to understand the word "quickeneth" that is used in the King James translation. It is an old English word that the King James translators used to describe the original wording in the Greek scripture which meant "to give life" or "that giveth life" or "that is the source of life." So what Jesus is really saying here is, "It is the spirit that giveth life" or "it is the spirit that is the source of your life." The next thing we need to understand in order to comprehend this great mystery is that when Jesus said, "It is the spirit that giveth life" or "is the source of your life" He was not talking about the Holy Spirit of God alone, but He was talking about your own spirit, for, "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit" (I Cor. 6:17). Your own quickened, regenerated, born-again spirit – which is the Son of God dwelling in you – is the source of your life!
The next thing we need to understand, to comprehend this mystery, is the meaning of the word "profit" Jesus used here when He said, "The flesh profiteth nothing." Now the profit on any investment is always the increase. It is that which was not, which is created out of the investment’s creative powers of that which one starts with. If I invest a thousand dollars, and it brings back two thousand dollars, then the second thousand dollars is the increase, the profit, that is literally brought forth out of the creative powers that were in the first thousand dollars to increase itself, to double itself, when properly invested. Therefore, this word "profit" is a creative word! It implies the power to create, to increase one’s self, or to reproduce one’s self. Therefore, when Jesus said, "The flesh profiteth nothing," what He was trying to get over to us is that there is no creative power in the flesh – in anything that is physical and material in this earth. It cannot increase itself, it cannot reproduce itself; in fact, it cannot even sustain the life that it has, for if our spirit were to depart from our flesh body, it would immediately begin to deteriorate and go back to the dust from whence it came. When Jesus said, "The flesh profiteth nothing," He was revealing to us that every visible, carnal, natural, material, physical thing in this world, including our own flesh body, is not creative. It has no power to increase itself; it doesn’t even have power to sustain its own life! All it can ever be is the visible manifestation expression of the Life of Spirit, and of the creative power that is in Spirit.
On the other hand, when Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth" or "it is the spirit that giveth life" or "is the source of your life," what He was seeking to reveal to us is that the spirit is creative, that our regenerated spirit has creative power! Therefore, the great mystery and the great truth that Jesus was seeking to reveal to those who can receive and understand it is that it is our own spirit that is the source of our life, that we carry the source of our life around in our own beings; and therefore, our own spirit being the source of our life we are not dependent on anything outside of our own being for life! For you see, when you are a source, you are the beginning. A spring from which a river comes out of the earth and flows into the earth is the beginning of that river. It is the source from which the water of that river comes. And therefore that is what Jesus was trying to get over to us – that since we have been born of the seed of God, and since Christ, who is the beginning and the end, is that regenerated, recreated, born-again spirit that is within us, it is your spirit that giveth life, or that is the source of your life, and being a source within itself, is therefore not dependent on anything outside of itself for its life!
When you are a source, you are the beginning; therefore you are not dependent on anything before you or anything after you, or anything outside of you, for your life. The truth that Jesus teaches us is that we carry the source of our life within our own spirit and we are not dependent on any fleshly thing outside of our own spirit for our life. It is because Jesus came to the revelation of this truth and the reality of it within Himself that He could step out into the world and say, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end." Knowing that He carried the source, the beginning of His life within His own spirit, He could say, "I am the beginning." Knowing that the creative power was in His spirit to bring forth His final destiny, and that that destiny was under the control of the creative powers that were within His own spirit, He could say, "I am the end."
When Jesus said, "The flesh profiteth nothing – it is the spirit that quickeneth, that is the source of your life," He was revealing to us the great truth that the source of our life is not in the flesh, not in the visible, not in the carnal, physical, material things, nor in anything that is of this natural world; but all those things are but outward manifestations of the creative powers that are in the life of Spirit, and that the source of our life is in our own spirit. Now the problem with all of God’s precious people, you see, is that they have not known this great truth. They have thought that they are dependent for their lives on the carnal, material, physical things of the flesh of this world – natural money, natural housing, natural food, natural body, natural abilities, and the laws of nature. All of us have thought that those things were the source from which our life came! In fact, we have so been deceived that those visible, physical, carnal, natural things were the source of our life that we were so completely dependent upon them that if we were cut off from them – if we lost our job, lost our money, lost our housing, lost our food – we thought that we would die! For you see, this is the great lie that the carnal mind deceived man with through the fall. When man lost the consciousness of his spiritual nature, and degenerated down into the consciousness of the outer, carnal, physical nature, man became convinced that he was dependent upon the visible and the physical and the natural for his life – natural money, natural job, natural business, natural food, natural medicine, natural clothing, natural housing, natural possessions, natural transportation, natural body – natural, natural, natural! We have been so convinced that that is the source of our life until we have been scared out of our wits that if we were cut off from that source of life, we would die!
Jesus, when He was out in the wilderness with His people, and needed bread, by-passed the natural resources, by-passed the wheat field, by-passed the flour mill, by-passed the grocery store and sat down on the ground, and through the operation of that spiritual law of faith, drew right out from within His own spirit enough bread to feed five thousand people! For you see, beloved, there is a source of life, and all that pertains to life, including bread that sustains life, which is not dependent on the natural resources of this world. It is the original source of life – SPIRIT! The Bible makes it very clear that all life, and every manifestation of life that is in this universe, originally came right out of Spirit. Thus the apostle Paul says that "through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God; so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Heb. 11:3). Therefore, the Bible says that everything in this world which is visible and physical – in the beginning, originally, was not made of something visible or tangible already existing – which does appear – but was made of the resources that came originally right out of Spirit, by the spoken word of faith. Faith drew it right out of Spirit and manifested it! Therefore, you see, Jesus, as He sat on the ground that day, and fed five thousand with five little loaves of bread and two small fish, had become a manifest Son of God who was not subject to the laws of nature, neither underneath them; and therefore not dependent on the natural resources for bread, but could by-pass them. He was a spiritual Son of God who was sovereign over all physical laws, and therefore could go right back to the original source of bread and draw it right out of His own spirit.
Do you notice how easily Jesus did this? The scripture says that Jesus instructed His disciples, "Make the men sit down." You see, when you get bread from this source, you don’t have to get it standing up, with a plow or a sickle in your hand, laboring and sweating, as men have for six thousand years, since they’ve been under the curse; but you can sit quietly down and bring forth all things from a position of rest. The men sat down, and Jesus sat quietly down with them. The record states that Jesus simply took the loaves of bread, and when He had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples – as much as they would. You see, there was no shortage here. Everyone got to eat as much as he wanted, as much as he would! And Jesus did it so smoothly and so easily – He just sat down, gave thanks, and began to hand it out. He didn’t have to go through all the soulish hype men go through today in an effort to work up a little faith! He didn’t have to go through a thirty-minute praise service, dance around in the Spirit for a while, speak in tongues, prophesy, and then scream, "In the name of Jesus, let there be bread!" There was no fanfare, no showmanship, no theatrics, no emotional appeal at all. This great truth that we’re seeking to share with you, that it is the spirit, the Spirit of Christ in your own spirit that is the source of Life – this truth had become so real to Jesus that, moving in the spiritual law of faith, He could draw it, effortlessly, right out of His own spirit!
Out of the experiential knowledge of this great truth Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life." He knew that through coming into the world and shedding His blood to cleanse us from our sins, and make us clean vessels, so the Holy Spirit could regenerate us, recreate us, birth us again, restore us to the consciousness of our true identity, grow us up into the spirit to that place of manifested sonship in which He stood, then through Him in us we would be able go back to the original source of Life, and of Bread, and of Reality. HE is the bread of Life to us; not the natural world system, neither the material resources of this natural world system. It is the spirit that createth Life; the flesh profiteth nothing! Jesus on another occasion stated it this way, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit." He set before us two ways of life. We can live our life in the flesh, or we can live our life in the spirit. We can walk after the flesh, or we can walk after the spirit. We can draw our existence out of the natural realm which passes away, or we can draw our existence out of the spiritual realm which liveth and abideth forever. We can live our life according to natural law, or we can prepare our mind and heart to live life according to Spiritual Law.
I do not mean to say that as sons of God we should not work, earn money, drive a car, build a house, or eat food. Jesus and His disciples had a purse with money in it, they bought food and clothes, rode donkeys, ate ordinary food, and slept in houses. Jesus knew the Father within as His source, therefore He walked in no anxiety or concern about natural things. If Father supplied them in natural ways He received it with thanksgiving, and if there was no natural supply He made wine out of water, got money from the fishes mouth, and multiplied loaves and fishes. It wasn’t a question of how it came to Him, but a matter of the law of faith by which all things were possible! For thirty years Jesus worked, it is believed, in Joseph’s carpentry shop. I have no doubt whatever that for a number of years He was dependent upon His skill as a carpenter to feed His mother and His brothers. But as He grew in wisdom and in stature as the Son of His Father, the day came when He fully learned and appropriated the higher Law of the Spirit of Life! Then the carpentry shop ceased to be His source – the Father within became His source! As long as the Father within led Him to work in the shop He worked in that way, and that was the spirit’s supply. and when the Father called Him to leave it He walked away in confidence for His source of supply went with Him! Now He was truly the manifest Son of God. How wonderful this is! When the spirit within becomes our source it ceases to be a matter of how things are done – it is a matter that all wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and action spring from the Life within instead of from the natural world!
To us today, as to men of old, Jesus says, "Labour not for the meat that perisheth, but labour for the meat that endureth unto everlasting life." You see, beloved, the problem with us is that we have spent all our life laboring for the meat that perishes; working on the job and doing some business and labor for the natural meat, wearing ourselves out, growing old and weary, our hair turning gray, sweating and toiling always for the meat that perishes. And often we have not spent a balance of time and effort laboring for the spiritual meat that will endure when all the natural meat has perished. Yes, the bread that Jesus fed the five thousand was natural bread, although He drew it out of the realm of the Spirit! But by learning and knowing and moving in that realm of the true source of Life He was able to go on and by the same law of faith overcome all natural things and, finally, conquer even the last enemy – death – and stride victoriously out of the tomb! Therefore it is time for all who have received the call to sonship to labor more and more for that Spiritual Meat that shall endure unto everlasting Life, when all the natural meat has passed away!
I have observed in the ministry of Jesus that there was never a problem He faced that He could not solve, never a need that He could not meet, no victory He could not win, no realm of revelation, experience, or relationship to God that He could not possess. To this sonship ministry we are called, my beloved, and we are learning to walk by the faith of the Son of God! Press on, dear ones, set your face as a flint, turn neither to the right nor to the left. Continue to look unto Jesus who is the Author and the Finisher of your faith! He is our Beginning and He is our End! This is indeed the true END-TIME REVELATION!
To be continued…
J. PRESTON EBY
If you would like to receive these studies write to:
J. Preston Eby
P.O. Box 371240
El Paso TX 79937-1240
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