Note: J. Preston Eby, in order to continue to devote his full energy to writing, no longer works in the office and does not receive email. He does, however, respond to any urgent correspondence via snailmail.
To be added to the mailing list to receive the current issue of Kingdom Bible Studies each month:
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE
ALPHA AND OMEGA
Long centuries ago Moses stood in the burning sands of the Sinai desert
where with bowed head, bare feet, and a trembling heart he beheld the God of the
burning bush. The impetuousness and
self-confidence of his youth had waned from his spirit and he was content with
his flock of sheep and solitary thoughts in the wilderness silence.
This, however, was not to last, for God was speaking to the aged man of a
stupendous work he was yet to perform beyond the confines of his chosen world.
He must return to his enslaved brethren in Egypt and marshal them into
the greatest exodus of any people on earth.
Moses had no desire for this mission, and we can scarcely blame him, but
when finally he consented to obey the call of the Voice out of the bush, he
hesitantly asked, “Who shall I say has sent me?”
And Yahweh replied, in the words of the King James Bible, “I
am that I am. Tell your
brethren that I am hath sent you.”
It seemed a strange name, yet the magnificent truth contained in those
words wrought their emancipation from the slavery of Egypt, formed them into a
nation, and led them into the security of their own land.
Nearly all Hebrew scholars agree that these words could be rendered, “I
will be that I will be” or “I will become what I will become.”
In the Old Testament the principal revelation of God’s name is the word
“Yahweh” or “I AM.” The
word is really three separate phrases joined together in the same manner as in
our modern custom of combining the initials of a firm or the syllables from the
names of different men to form a company or patent name for a product.
The three phrases in the word Yahweh
are the three tenses of the verb to be:
I was, I am, I shall be. A part of
each of these words is combined in Hebrew to form the name Yahweh.
It is God’s memorial name to all generations.
It shows God’s intimate relationship with all that is past, His
independent, unchangeable existence in the now, and His eternal connection with
all that is in the future. What an
adequate name for God!
Since divine resources are infinite, God is pleased to become to His people what is best for them and what is needed at the
time. This name is at once a revelation
and a promise! God was saying
to Moses, “What ever my people need me to be for them, I will be!” “I will
become what I will become.” In
fulfillment of this promise-name Yahweh became
for the children of Israel a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
He became water out of flinty rock and bread from heaven.
God became Miracle Worker, Deliverer, Provider, Sustainer, Healer,
Counselor, Law Giver, Military Leader, and many other things on their journey
from the servitude of Egypt to the glory of the Promised Land.
The further truth is, however, that “I will become what I will
become” is an in-part, out-dated, Old Testament revelation!
It is, in fact, but a prophecy.
You will understand a great truth when you see that the prophecy is now fully
fulfilled. Its fulfillment is
in Jesus Christ! Almost two millenniums ago Jesus Christ stepped upon the
stage of history, the firstborn Son of God, God (Yahweh) manifested in the
flesh! “No man has ever seen God
at any time; the only unique Son, the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of
the Father, He has declared Him – He has revealed Him, brought Him out where
He can be seen; He has interpreted Him, and has made Him known” (Jn. 1:18,
Amplified). When God came in Jesus
Christ He did not say, “I will become what I will become.”
For you see, beloved, Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy – He is,
within Himself, all that God has
promised to become! In Him dwells all the
fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9).
These words suggest that Jesus is alone sufficient, for the fullness is in
Him; always sufficient, for the fullness abides
in Him; all-sufficient, because He
is all the fullness; absolutely
sufficient, because the fullness resides in Him bodily.
In Him are summed up all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3).
He is the sum and substance of wisdom, the center and circumference of
power in heaven and in earth is given unto Him (Mat. 28:18).
He is the source and the sovereignty of power!
He is the righteousness of God revealed from heaven (I Cor. 1:30).
All the nature, love, and glory
of God are expressed in the Son! All
judgment is committed into the hands of God’s Christ! (Jn. 5:22).
He is the salvation of Yahweh
in human flesh! Our Lord and our
Christ is the verity of Yahweh’s truth; the surety of Yahweh’s promise; the
majesty of Yahweh’s power; the authority of Yahweh’s throne; the compassion
of Yahweh’s heart; the repository of Yahweh’s fullness; and the legacy of
Yahweh’s will. Could any imagery
ever exhaust our Lord’s boundless worth?
In Christ God has become ALL
THAT HE WOULD BECOME! When God came
in Jesus Christ He did not speak as He spoke to Moses.
He did not say, “I will become…”
Oh, how my heart leaps within me today as I hear the lovely Christ of God
proclaiming, “I AM!”
“I am the way, the truth, and
the life.” “I
am the resurrection and the life.” “I am the door, I am the
bread that has come down from heaven, I am
the good shepherd.” “I AM!”
“I AM!” “I AM!”
What would you think of a preacher who, every Sunday, stood up and
preached about himself? Nearly all
of those in the church systems would soon get another preacher! Yet Jesus did this persistently and consistently!
The apostle Paul has said, “We preach not ourselves,” and so it is.
Yet, wonder of wonders, Jesus preached Himself!
He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
“I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me shall
never die.” “All that ever came
before me are thieves and robbers but…I am the good shepherd: the good
shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.”
“For without me, ye can do nothing.”
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me…bringeth
forth much fruit.” “I am the
door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.”
“Before Abraham was, I am.” On
and on it goes. Throughout all His
ministry Jesus Christ preached Himself.
He would indeed be an egomaniac were He not truly
the firstborn Son of the living God!
When Jesus says, “I AM,” He reveals within Himself the very nature
and power of God. God IS. God is constant. That’s
why He is eternal, because nothing that
changes can be eternal. Everything
that is eternal is unchangeable, unvarying, unaffected, without fluctuation.
The constancy of God’s nature – that is eternity!
When you know God as He is, you have touched eternity!
You have transcended time, space, and matter into a realm where you can
see time from beginning to end. There
you see all things as they really are, and you transcend into the realm where as
He is, so are you in this world. The
I AM of Christ is the “Day of the Lord.”
It is the unveiling of Himself in all that He is!
Unchangeably, unvaryingly, constantly, eternally, incorruptibly,
immortally – I AM! That is the
nature of God! That is what Jesus
came into this world to demonstrate and reveal!
And, He is bringing us into union
with Himself in the I AM. That
is manifest sonship!
Let me put it this way. God
dwells in the ever-present NOW! Now is common to every time and place. There is no time, no place – there never has been and there
never will be – that did not exist in NOW.
To live in God’s now, is thus to
be everywhere and in all times at the same time. On earth we have seconds, minutes, hours, day and night.
We may work all day and sleep at night.
For us the day is past, and the night is present.
At the same time the Chinese are working in the day while we sleep at
night. For them the night is past, and the day is present.
But an astronaut high above the earth, circling the planet every ninety
minutes, sees both at the same time and for him both day and night are now,
the present. God, my friend, is
high enough that for Him everything that
ever has been, or ever will be, is NOW!
In the eternal nature of God there is no past, no present, there is only
the eternal now. Therefore now
is common to every time and every place. To
live in now, is to be everywhere and in every time I AM THAT I AM.
Let me give you an illustration. Albert
Einstein believed that, according to his theory of relativity, it would be
possible to do time travel, to travel forward or backward in time.
Now hear me well. If I were to step into a time machine and you say, “Where
do you want to go? Do you want to
go forward in time, or do you want to go backward in time?” perhaps my first
request would be to go backward in time. I
would like to go back to the time of David and Solomon.
I would also like to go back to Egypt at the time when the pyramids were
built, and I would love to go back to the days when Jesus was here; but the era
of David and Solomon has always held a special fascination for me.
So if I have the opportunity to travel in a time machine, that possibly
will be the first place I will go! Now,
let’s suppose the date is February 13, 2003.
We climb into our time machine and travel back to the years of David and
Solomon. We’re not going to make it a quick weekend trip, take a
hasty look, jump back into our time machine and return. Oh, no! We’re
going to stay a while. So we spend
twenty years caught up in the events of that period in Israel. We find a residence there, learn the language and culture,
make friends, and become involved with what is happening. We walk it out, experience and relish every minute of it for
two long decades! Finally, we get
back into our time machine and journey back to the twenty-first century.
Guess what the date is when we arrive home.
We get back on February 13, 2003! That’s
right, we get back exactly when we left! Now
– if you do not understand time and eternity
that will blow your mind!
What did Einstein discover? He
discovered that there is no past, and there is no future, there is only now.
That is not a metaphysical or new age concept; that is a scientific fact.
Everything that ever happened, and everything that ever will happen, is
now. What a mystery!
But it is the mystery of life. It is
the mystery of immortality.
It’s the mystery of the spirit. It’s the
mystery of God.
It’s the mystery of eternity.
It’s the mystery of manifest sonship. It’s
the mystery of that realm, that dimension of life and reality, which transcends
time and mortal consciousness. And
it is out of that realm of reality that Jesus spoke when He declared, “I
AM.” Oh, the wonder of it!
John was in the spirit on the
Lord’s day and do you know what he saw?
He saw the beginning and the end! He
saw all the processing in between, from the day of darkness until the whole
earth is full of the glory of the Lord. He
saw the glorious One who spoke and said, “I
AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”
The beginning and the end, time and all its works, are contained in the I
AM of God’s Christ! From our
earthly perspective there is a beginning and an end.
But Jesus says, “I AM that beginning and that end!”
For Jesus Christ there is no past or future.
He lives in a continual present. Therefore
He sees the whole history of mankind in one sighting.
It all “is” to Him! He
knows what will happen a million years from now and shows it to you, as
something that happened a thousand years ago.
That is why there are prophecies in the scriptures; not because God
guesses or because He is a divinator; and it is not simply because He knows
all things. Rather, it is because
all things are for Him!
For Him the future is as the present, or as the past is for us.
Everything IS in God’s eternal day, in God’s timeless state of being. That is why His name is, I
AM. Sometimes it appears that
God makes grammatical mistakes. Jesus
says, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
“Lord, you were. You should say,
Before Abraham was, I was.” “No, I
AM!” He also mixes the
future. He said, “Lo, I
AM with you till the end of the ages.”
“Lord, I will be with you,
that’s future.” “No, you
don’t understand; I AM with you!”
Jesus never directly said He was God, but twenty-one times in the Greek
text of John’s gospel He spoke the words, “I am.”
We all use the words “I am” in normal speech all the time.
If I say, “I am thirsty,” or, “I am
an American,” I am not implying that I am God!
But we must understand Jesus’ unique use of these words.
On one occasion He said to the Jews, “If you do not believe that I
AM, you will die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24).
It was later in the same discussion that He declared, “Before Abraham
was, I AM!”
How did the Jews regard His statement?
“They took up stones to cast at Him” (Jn. 8:58).
To them He was claiming to be God! For
you see, “I am” was the name YAHWEH – they understood precisely the
inference! Therefore, in their
view, He was breaking the third commandment, and the penalty for this under the
law was death by stoning!
No name known to human tongue can describe the firstborn Son of God like
this name. No sentence ever uttered
by eloquent orator, no phrase ever penned by sage or scribe, no song ever sung
by angelic choir can describe in such all-inclusive excellence the almighty
magnitude of what He really is. “Lord,
we know not whither Thou goest, and how can we know the way,” complained
am the way,” Jesus replied, “I am
the truth, I am the life.”
“I am the door.
I am the light of the world. I
am the good shepherd. I
am the bread of life.” “I
know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day,” sobbed
Mary sadly of her dead brother. “I am the resurrection,” Jesus answered, “and I am the life.” “I
am Alpha. I am Omega.
I am the first.
I am the last. I
am the beginning. I
am the ending. I am thy redeemer. I
am thy strength. I
am He that liveth. I am He that is alive forevermore.
I am He that shutteth and no
man openeth and openeth and no man shutteth.
I am the root and the offspring
I am the bright and morning star.”
There is no end to what He is, for He is everything!
He is the Christ. He is the
Lord. He is the Creator and Redeemer of the entire universe.
And all He is He always is – He changes not!
He is the I AM!
I have mentioned some things in which the Lord said, “I AM.”
There are many, many more! What
is there throughout all the galactic spheres that He isn’t!
He is “the Lord our righteousness.”
He has “become our salvation.” He
is made unto us “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.”
All that the Father has is His. He
and the Father are one. If we have
seen Him we have seen the Father. All
that the Father gave Him, He became.
He didn’t come saying, “I have,” but “I AM.”
He didn’t say, “I have brought you life; I have brought you truth; I
have brought you salvation; I have brought you righteousness; I have come to
show you the way.” No! “I AM!” The Lord Jesus
became the personification of all that the Father showed Him.
We are to be like Him!
Those called to sonship are being conformed to His likeness, filled with
His Spirit. Those who are becoming
His many brethren are putting on His mind, growing up into His nature, wisdom,
power and authority. All that is
true of Jesus is now becoming true of us!
He first said, “I AM the light of the world.”
Later He said to His own, “YE ARE the light of the world.”
He first said, “I AM the bread that is come down from heaven.” Later Paul, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wrote: “The
bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one
bread” (I Cor. 10:16-17).
first made unto us righteousness; but now “WE ARE the righteousness of God in
Him.” Sons are coming to the
place where they no longer say, “I have received, I have been given, I
possess, I have,” but, “I AM!” We
once prophesied, “Thus saith the Lord…”
but now we must say, as Jesus said, “I say unto you…”
We are no longer something apart from Him, for we are bone of His bones,
flesh of His flesh, life of His life, mind of His mind, spirit of His spirit,
nature of His nature, word of His word, united with Him, made one in Him. Oh, the
wonder of it! It is one thing to go
out and tell the world that “the light of the world is Jesus.”
It is a greater thing to say, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and
the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee” (Isa. 60:1).
Then it is that “the nations shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isa. 60:3).
In the revelation of Jesus Christ to John on Patmos our Lord proclaims
the superlative, transcendental, all-encompassing truth in five marvelous words:
“I AM Alpha and Omega!” (Rev. 1:8). Most
believers, whatever their language, are aware that Alpha and Omega are the first
and last letters of the alphabet used by the Greeks. Alpha is the name given to the letter A, and Omega is the name for the long O, the last letter of the Greek alphabet. For Christ to affirm that He is “A and O” is as though He
were to say, “I am A to Z.” The
English language has twenty-six letters. All
the books ever written, all the libraries of the western world, have contained
only these twenty-six letters. These
are used to program space research, label medicines, and give messages to the
delivery man. Every newspaper or
magazine ever printed has used just twenty-six letters.
Arranged, juggled, and placed in millions of different configurations,
only twenty-six letters are used for the communication of all information.
Alpha and Omega, likens Himself to the whole alphabet.
“I am the A, I am B, I am C, I am D and so on all the way to Z – do
you get it? Not only is He the
letters, He is all that the letters can convey!
As one has written, “Is there any need in the whole realm of our
experiences, our topics and our themes that the alphabet cannot be adapted to
meet? Has the alphabet ever failed
poet or lover? Has the traveler
found it lacking, or has any philosopher, author, statesman, scholar, scientist
or theologian proved it inadequate for literary needs? Potentially the alphabet, with its twenty-six letters,
contains all that is necessary for the expression of the utmost wisdom and
knowledge. If we wish to describe
our feelings, disclose our hopes and dreams, or expound upon any subject of
interest, we possess, in the alphabet, the means to do so.
Through the medium of words, thought is expressed, so that, in the
letters of the alphabet, we possess the key that unlocks every gateway of
learning, every door of knowledge, and every treasury of wisdom.” The
declaration of Jesus that He is Himself Alpha and Omega conveys the thought of
infinite resource and inexhaustible wealth.
The letters A to Z constitute a claim by which is set forth the absolute
completeness of His character, wisdom and power.
Is this not what Jesus is
saying: “I AM THE TOTAL REALITY
OF ALL THINGS! I am every letter, I
am unique, I am substance, I am shape, I am image, I am form, I am essence, I am
all height and depth and length and breadth of Being, not just words and
letters, but the reality of life and power and value of all things, the WORD OF
LIFE!” “In the beginning was
the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and the Word was
made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the
only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:1,14).
Omega is a revelation! It is all
that can be said of the Lord Jesus proclaimed in a way that can seen and
understood. It stands for the revelation of Jesus Christ! By
this word He is revealed! Christ
is the alphabet – the Word, all that can be said of God.
We’ve seen that in the figure of a Man who walked the shores of
Galilee. But we have only touched the shell of that Man, the outer
image, not the inner intelligence. The
inner intelligence of the Lord Jesus represents His omniscient mind, His omnipotent
power, and His divine nature.
In speaking of the inner intelligence of the Lord Jesus, we are speaking
of the greatest reality of Being in the universe!
The truth we are entertaining at this point will prove that all our
eternal hopes of sonship and the kingdom depend upon one thing and one thing
alone: that the mind of Christ, the power of Christ, and the nature of Christ dwell
in us fully. This is the Alpha
and the Omega – all that can be said of God written
and inscribed in our inner life.
Here then is the truth of truths: God
is the Word – the Word is God. Language
not only describes what has happened and what is seen – it creates.
“And God said, Let there be…and there was.”
God as the Word creates within us the substance of Himself!
The Alpha and Omega speaks into our being the reality of God!
When we speak of Christ as Alpha and Omega, we speak of Christ as the
Word. When we speak of Christ as
the Word, we speak of that dimension of Christ by which God reproduces Himself
within us. If God by the Christ
within you, my beloved, is speaking a word within you, it is a creative word! Believe
that word, walk in that word, live by that word and you will be changed!
You will be filled with all the fullness of God!
God will take form in you! He
will write Himself in living reality upon the tables of your mind and heart!
Christ in us, the Alpha and Omega, is our only hope of sonship!
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the
Lord…the first and the last” (Rev. 1:8,11). I
have heard it said that when Jesus called Himself “the first and the last” He
was claiming to be both the “first Adam”
who stood in the garden of Eden and ate the forbidden fruit, and the “last
Adam” who came to take away the sin of the world.
How could this be, my friends? If
Jesus had been the first Adam by whose disobedience
sin entered into the world, through whom death passed upon all men, then would
He not have needed a Saviour?
He would need another Son to save
Him from His sin and death! Now
if this sinner, Jesus Christ, came to earth again as the last Adam by whose obedience
the many are made righteous and given eternal life – how did Adam the sinner become Adam the righteous without a Saviour?
If He saved Himself without a
Saviour then obviously there was no need for Him to come as our
Saviour – for if one sinner can
be made righteous apart from a Saviour, surely any
man, or even all men, could make
themselves righteous apart from the action of another.
If Jesus had been the first Adam of the Garden, He could not have been an
acceptable sacrifice, pure, spotless, and without blemish.
We know, however, that He was the acceptable sacrifice slain from the
foundation of the world and “…ye were not redeemed by such corruptible
things as silver and gold…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without
blemish and without spot” (I
It is always a fatal mistake for any man, regardless of who he is, to add
to the word of God. That mistake
will lead him into error and many strange and unscriptural absurdities. When men say what the scriptures do not say they are
strumming on harps that have no strings. They
make a lot of interesting noise, but there is no harmony
with the rest of God’s revelation. You
see, dear ones, Jesus did indeed say, “I am the first and the last.”
But He clearly did not say, “I am the first
Adam and the last Adam.”
When you add the word “Adam” to Christ’s statement you have
qualified it and changed its meaning altogether!
You could add any word to His statement and make it mean anything you please!
Jesus proclaims that He is the first
and the last – period.
This momentous statement reaches far
beyond Adam – first or last! It
reaches from eternity to eternity and encompasses all things.
The statement corresponds to the other terms that accompany it – the Alpha and Omega, the beginning
and the ending. How gloriously
do the New Testament writers describe what it means for Christ to be the
It would be of utmost profit for any of us to diligently study the oft
repeated scriptural term “in Christ” or “in Him.”
With this thought in mind I would draw your attention to some scripture
passages which appear to teach us that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of
all things. He is, of course!
But that is not the truth set forth in these particular verses.
The first passage we will consider is found in Colossians 1:15-17.
I will quote this first from the King James Bible for this is one of the
passages that seems to say that all things were created by Jesus Christ. “Who
is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; for by
Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth,
visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities,
or powers; all things were created by
Him and for Him. And He is before
all things, and by Him all things
From this scripture we would be led to believe that the creation was made
by the Son; but the word translated “by” here in the first instance is in
the Greek en, and means “in,” not
“by,” and this is the way most of the other translations have translated it.
“For in Him were all things
created.” If you have other
translations, check them, and you will see that this is correct.
The Greek preposition en
clearly defines location or position. In
the second instance in this passage where the word “by” is used – “all
things were created by Him and for
Him” – the word translated “by” here is the Greek word dia
meaning “through,” “on account of,” or “by the agency of.”
You will find nearly all translations have translated it this way.
Weymouth’s rendering of this is lovely, “For in
Him were created the universe of things in heaven and in earth, things seen
and things unseen, thrones, dominions, princedoms, powers, all were created and
exist through Him and for Him. And
He is before all things, and in and through
Him the universe is one harmonious whole.”
Isn’t that beautiful?
You see, there is a whole world of difference between something being
created by Him, or created in Him, and my prayer is that the Holy Spirit will make this real to
you. I think, as we proceed with
this thought, we will clearly see what the Spirit has said.
It is unfortunate that the translators were so inconsistent in some of
the translations. In this
statement, “For by Him were all
things created that are in heaven,”
the word by, and the word in,
are both translated from the same Greek word en,
yet in the first instance it was translated “by,” and in the second instance
“in,” as it should be. This is
misleading to the reader!
I am not a carpenter by any stretch of the imagination, but when we were
on the mission field in Mexico back in the 1960’s, I built most of the
furniture we had in our house, crude though it was.
From rough lumber I constructed kitchen cabinets, tables, chairs, beds,
and a variety of other items. Even
I was amazed at how serviceable and attractive some of these articles turned out
to be! They were made by me, but
when I left the place where they were, they were all sold and left behind, and I
was separated from them, never to see them again; for, you see, they were not
part of me. Though they were
made by me, they had no part with me.
But if somehow they had been made in
me, rather than merely by me, then
wherever I went they would be with me, for they would be a part of me, of my
very being. If the creation had
been merely made by the Son, then it
could be a thing apart from Him, and not a part of Him. When we see that God the Father created the universe IN THE
CHRIST, and the whole of created things was in the beginning an integral part of
His Being, then that is an altogether different picture!
Words are totally inadequate to articulate a truth so sublime, so I must
leave this ultimately to the blessed spirit of Truth to unfold within your
spirit. You see, when God planned
the present universe, He planned it in and around His Christ. The Christ is the center and the circumference of all!
He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and
the last. The whole vast creation
was made in Him and for Him.
Before the sun ever kissed this earth creation began in
Him and it will end in Him, for He
is the beginning and the end. The
Christ is the beginning of the creation of God!
“These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, THE
BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD” (Rev. 3:14).
Do you see how this theme is stated again and again in different terms
throughout the book of Revelation?
Christ is the beginning of creation and He is also the end, all things
must begin in Him and end in Him, for this is the Father’s purpose for His
Our God and Father has been
pleased to leave us in no doubt or uncertainty as to how or where all things
began, but in clear, unequivocal language stated the source and goal of all
things for our assurance and joy. All
originated in Him, created from the
substance of His own divine energy and Being, and held together in a harmonious
wholeness in His eternal Word, or the
Christ. But, for His own wise
purposes, all did not remain that way! We
have already explained the Greek preposition en
which means “in” and denotes a position of rest, an established location.
According to the scriptures ALL was created IN the Christ!
The scriptures are clear, however, that all did not remain “in” Him. We are assured that there was initiated another stage of
activity whereby all things were brought “out” of Him.
Nothing can be clearer than the fact that “in” and “out” are opposites! You cannot be both in and out of any place or thing at the
same time! Coming “out” from a
place or position involves a process, an action.
There is another Greek preposition, ek,
meaning “out of.” It indicates
action. If you come out of your house – that is an action!
The word of God declares that not only were all things created in
God and Christ, but there was a process by which all things came
out of God. Let us read it:
“We are aware that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is
no other God except One. For
even if it so be that there are those being called gods, whether in heaven or on
earth, even as there are many gods and many lords, nevertheless to us there is but one God, the Father, O-U-T OF (ek) WHOM
ALL IS, and we for Him” (I Cor. 8:4-7). Again,
“O, the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God!
How inscrutable are His judgments, and untraceable His ways!
For who knew the mind of the Lord? Or who became His adviser? or who
gives to Him first, and will be repaid by Him?
Seeing that ALL is O-U-T OF (ek)
Him and through Him and for Him: to Him be glory for the ages!
Amen!” (Rom. 11:33-36). Now
let us read these last verses from the Emphatic Diaglott: “For who knew the
mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Or who first gave to Him, and
it shall be given to him again? Because
OUT OF HIM, and through Him, and
for Him are ALL THINGS. To Him be
the glory for the ages. Amen.”
This is without doubt one of the least understood statements in the word
of God! And yet, a true
comprehension of the real purpose of God throughout the ages cannot be had apart
from it. Considering the creation
of the heavens and the earth – the universe and all that is therein, visible
and invisible – fresh from the hands of the Creator in all its primeval and
pristine glory; God being all-wise and omnipotent; the question presses itself
upon us: From whence came sin and evil? From
whence came darkness and death? Why
did God permit these to enter the creation which had been made in
Him? How did it happen?
Why the disruption of the primeval state?
The answer to these monumental questions is to be discovered in the great
fact of the creation being brought “out of” God!
When God lowered the creation from the realm of pure spirit existence in
Christ in the heavenly sphere, to this gross material realm of matter and form,
there occurred a mighty disruption, breaking up, or fragmentation.
The creation was “made subject to vanity” and the whole downward
process of disintegration and dissolution was begun.
Just as our ascent back into the image and fullness of God is ever
“from glory to glory,” “from faith to faith,” and “from experience to
experience,” so the process downward into fragmentation and dissolution
continued through various stages and vast ages of time until the lowest depths
of frustration were reached.
The first downward step came when creation was lowered from the realm of
pure spirit existence in Christ to this physical and material realm.
Not only did man begin in the spirit, later to be lowered into this material realm, but all
things began in spirit and were subsequently lowered into this physical
world. The magnificent wonders
portrayed in Genesis reveal this truth with divine certainty. We read there of
“every plant of the field before it was
in the earth, and every herb of the field before
it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and
there was not a man to till the ground…and the Lord God formed
man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath
(spirit) of life; and man became a
living soul” (Gen. 2:5,7). Behold
how great an understanding divine inspiration has placed upon all who have ears
to hear! These words teach us
infallibly that there were plants and herbs before
they were in the earth or ever grew in soil, and there was a spirit man who was blown into
the clay model of the man Adam by the very breath of God.
The union of this spirit man with the clay model produced
Adam the living soul! That was
the first step downward, even in the glories of Eden!
And then the Tempter came, man’s experiment with sin followed, and
death seized man with its unrelenting power.
Step by step, stage by stage, the whole creation came
out of Christ!
How obvious today the vast difference between those who are either
“in” or “out” of Christ! “If any man be in
Christ, he is a new creation.” “Who
hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in
Christ.” “In whom we have obtained an inheritance.” Of our state before
we were in Christ, it is stated, “At
that time ye were without Christ,
being aliens from the commonwealth of
Israel, strangers from the covenants
of promise, having no hope, and without
God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). Outside of Christ is naught but ignorance, sin, sorrow, darkness,
and death! In or out – what a great
gulf separates these two! The very
process of creation’s coming out of
God produced a disruption and fragmentation of the whole.
“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is ONE LORD.”
That statement doesn’t mean that Yahweh is the only God, true as that
is. It signifies that He IS ONE –
that is, UNITED, UNIFIED, UNDIVIDED, UNFRAGMENTED.
All within Himself is harmonized, synchronized and joined in perfect
unity. That is God’s nature!
Therefore, in Him, creation was one harmonious whole without a discordant note
anywhere! It was preeminently a spiritual
creation, vibrating as a symphony of unutterable beauty, a triumphant
masterpiece of dynamic harmonious accord. In
the glory of that celestial beginning we were all sons
of God; there was no trace of sin, no evil, no carnal mind, no adversary, no
death, and no darkness or discord at all. Everything
everywhere existed in Christ and every
spirit stood forth in its full majesty, pulsating the dynamic anthem of exulting
creative glory. What a song!
And that is how it is in the new
creation! For you see, beloved,
the new creation is but the old creation re-conciled, re-deemed, re-generated,
re-stored to its original place, condition, and state IN CHRIST! The new spiritual creation is all that is “in Christ
Jesus” in the fullness of what that means.
We are unified again in Him.
The new creation has already begun!
Step by step, just as we came out
of God, we are now coming into God.
When the scripture says, “If any man be in
Christ he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things
are become new,” this is speaking of that little firstfruits company that is
the first to enter into the new. These
become fully a new creation in Christ.
In the life of the one who has truly entered into Christ, and been
unified again in Him, all the old has passed away and everything has become new!
Now I know this scripture is applied to all believers of whatever stage
of spiritual experience, but if we consider this reverently and carefully , we
can easily see that this not the experience of the average believer.
When we first believe on the Lord a new beginning takes place.
A change has started. Some
of the old has passed away, and some new things have taken their place; but how
many believers can honestly say that all
old things have passed away, and everything
has been made new? Our restoration
is a progressive work! It begins
when we first turn to the Lord, and continues until we are completely in
The proto-type of this wonderful reality of restoration into Christ is
our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s
what the book of Revelation is all about – it is the
revelation of Jesus Christ! When
Jesus says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and
the last,” – what a revelation that is!
Jesus often spoke of His Father being in Him. He said, “It is not I that do the works, it is my Father
that is in me.” The Father dwelt
in the Son and worked through His Son to accomplish His will.
But this isn’t all! He
also explained to His disciples this great truth, “Believest thou not that I
am in the Father, and the Father in
me?” It wasn’t just that
the Father was in Him, but He was also in the Father.
The glory of creation when it was created in
God is thus revealed in our Lord Jesus the Christ!
When Jesus was praying to the Father for those God had given Him, that
they might be one, that they might come into this glorious unity, He prayed
thus: “That they all may be one, as Thou Father art in me, and I in Thee, that
they may be one in us” (Jn. 17:21).
Only this mutual dwelling can bring the oneness, the unity, the wholeness
that God desires!
The only way all old things can completely and forever pass away is
through our entrance back into God! John
3:16 is called by many “the golden text” of the Bible.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
There is a marvelous significance in those words that surpasses any
sermon I ever heard in my years in the church systems.
“That whosoever believeth in
Him…” The word “in” here is translated from the Greek word eis,
which means “into,” denoting action and progression.
If we use the word “into” it reads like this, “That whosoever
believeth into Him should not perish, but have the life of the ages.”
Eis carries with it a sense of
growth, and of going on into something. It
suggests a progressive salvation, as other scriptures tell us.
“Now is our (full) salvation nearer than when we believed.” We didn’t come out
of God in one grand leap, and we are not returning into God in one grand leap. We
were not delivered from all sin and death by “believing on”
the Lord Jesus Christ one night in a revival meeting.
Oh, no! But we are being
progressively delivered, changed, and transformed as we constantly believe into Him!
It is this same Greek word eis
that is used in many, many wonderful passages where the true meaning has been
concealed by faulty translation. I
will quote just one passage for you and capitalize the places where the word eis
has been used, and will use the word “into” in place of whatever word the
King James Bible uses. I think you
will see the beauty of this, and perceive its special, deeper meaning.
“Till we all come INTO the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of
the Son of God, INTO a perfect man, INTO the measure of the stature of the
fullness of Christ…speaking the truth in love may grow up INTO Him in all
things, which is the head, even Christ…from whom the whole body fitly joined
together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the
effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body INTO
the edifying of itself in love” (Eph. 4:9-15).
In these verses we are told of the body of Christ and how the body grows
and is built up by the ministry of every part.
We are exhorted to minister in love, so that the body can grow INTO
CHRIST. We are to grow up
INTO the full stature of God’s Christ!
Paul Mueller has written a precious exhortation, “As we have grown and
progressed in the kingdom of God, our understanding of Christ and of the Father
also has increased, for we now see ourselves as being a part of Him. We are the body of Christ, and He is the Head of this body.
Christ has said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
Christ is the Spirit of God; He is the beginning of all things.
He is the Word that was spoken by the Father that brought all things into
existence. And He also is the end
of all things! All things shall
ultimately be gathered into Christ, to be unified with the Father that “God
may be all in all” (I Cor. 15:28). By
the wisdom of the mind of Christ we now see that we are a part of Him who is the
“Alpha,” or the beginning of all things, for we were originally in Him in
spirit. So also are we a part of
Him who is revealed and seen now as the “Omega,” or as the end of all
things. We came out of God in our
beginning! And now we are returning
into God, but with a redeemed mind (soul) and body. We also are becoming a part of the glory of Christ!”
Our Lord called Himself the Alpha and the Omega in Greek, the Aleph and
the Tau in Hebrew, or the A and the Z in English, or its equivalent in any other
language, without in the least altering the figure of its significance.
Alphabetical languages usually have the letters arranged in a fixed
order. The first is often used as a
symbol of the beginning and the last for the ending.
That is, our Lord claims to be what letters and language were meant to
be, namely the expression of truth. HE
IS T-H-E W-O-R-D – the expression
of the totality of God’s nature, wisdom, power, purpose and substance from
first to last. God is a spirit –
an invisible, incorporeal, intangible, unapproachable Spirit. But that hidden and unsearchable One may be uttered,
expressed, manifested. And that
utterance, that expression, that manifestation of invisible Godhead is the
Christ, the Logos, the Word – God projected from the plane of the invisible,
intangible and unknowable into the realm of the visible, tangible, and knowable.
In that long ago beginning all things were created in
the Christ, and apart from Him, outside of Him was not anything made that was made.
In Christ Jesus we see clearly our very own origin in God!
In Christ Jesus we see perfectly the original
state of all things! Oh, my
Christ and my God! In Thee I see
how I, and all men, and all things once
were! My God and my Christ!
In Thee I see how I, and all men, and all things shall
again be! My Lord, that is the
Word that Thou art to me! In
God’s revelation of Himself and His plan of the ages He has used many
characters, but the first one was Christ and the last one will be Christ again.
All commences and concludes in Him!
Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. Only
the glorious mind of Christ can reveal to our hearts what that means!
Through a glass darkly I can see that He was 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? Surely
Ephesians, chapter one, makes this as clear as it can be at this juncture in our
understanding. Paul says that
“God…chose us in Christ before
the world began.” He goes on
from that beginning out of eternity to reach forth to that which will be at the
conclusion of all ages of time, declaring that God is “making known to us the
mystery of His will – of His plan, of His purpose.
And it is this: In accordance with His good pleasure
which He hath previously purposed
and set forth in Him, He planned for
the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and CONSUMMATE THEM I-N
C-H-R-I-S-T…in Him also we had been foreordained
in accordance with His purpose” (Eph. 1:4,9-11). All that began in Christ – and that was all things, everything! – shall end in Christ, that He may be the
first and the last, the beginning and the end.
If you can conceive of God taking Eve and putting her back
into Adam, as it was in the
beginning, then you may also understand what is this glorious purpose that
transcends Adam and Eve – when God takes the whole vast creation and MAKES IT
ONE IN CHRIST AGAIN! All of
mankind’s yearnings and searching after God to fully know
Him shall find their complete and eternal satisfaction there where all
things are brought back into Christ.
and the Last bring before us both the time element and the substance of
creation. “For out
of Him everything comes; through
Him everything exists; and in Him
everything ends! Glory to Him
forever!” (Rom. 11:36, Goodspeed). “For
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!” (Amplified Bible). Truly
HE is the beginning and the end of all things!
The beginning, precious friend of mine, was not a date on the calendar.
The beginning was and is a glorious Person – our Lord Jesus Christ!
Christ Himself is the
beginning! If you consider with
reverent honesty these words of significance and truth, you will understand as
never before the spiritual words which open our Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
THE BEGINNING! “I am the
beginning.” Thus, the spiritual
translation of the first verse of scripture should read,
“IN THE CHRIST God created the heavens and the earth.”
Jesus Christ is “the beginning
of the creation of God” (Rev. 3:14). All
things were created in this beginning!
The beginning is neither time nor place.
The beginning is Christ Himself! In
Him all things were created and set in order in the beauty and unity and
perfection and harmony of the Spirit of God!
now been provided in Christ is a re-turn, a re-storation, a re-newing, a re-demption,
a re-conciliation, a re-surrection, a re-stitution. The prefix “re” means BACK, AGAIN, ANEW – and all the
words with this prefix indicate something that LEFT ITS PLACE AND HAS NOW MADE
ITS CIRCUIT AND COME BACK TO THE POINT OF ITS BEGINNING.
Oh, mighty Christ!
“All God’s sons are coming home,
All God’s sons are coming
Home to the Father, home to
All God’s sons are coming
All creation is coming home,
All creation is coming home;
Home to the Father, home to
All creation is coming
Coming home, coming home,
Never more to roam;
Open wide Thy arms of love,
Lord, I’m coming
J. PRESTON EBY
Continued Next Month
Links to other ministry websites
Not finding what you
need? SEARCH HERE