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 this email. He does, however, respond to any urgent correspondence via snailmail.
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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
THE LAW OF FAITH
We have previously shown that the word of God is the revelation of God. The word of God, or the revelation of God, is the agent by which God ministers faith to us. If faith cannot be evoked apart from revelation, then it follows that there can be no faith in God unless He who is invisible chooses to disclose Himself. Faith comes by the disclosure of God. To disclose means to “open to view; uncover; make known; reveal.” It is necessary for God to disclose Himself unto men because He dwells in the realm of spirit — the realm of INVISIBILITY.
truth of the statements we have made above will be clearly demonstrated by the
While no man has seen the invisible God, yet God has chosen to disclose Himself through His Word. In our previous writing on this subject we noted that there are five primary progressive steps in the revelation of God through His Word. They are…
1. The Creative Word
2. The Spoken/Written Word
3. The Manifested Word
4. The Living Word
5. The Corporate Word
THE MANIFESTED WORD
When the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth 2,000 years ago He came as the Word of God made flesh. Great is the mystery! “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). The great truth we want to note here in passing is that the eternal Word of God was MADE FLESH — not merely that the Word dwelt in flesh, but the Word was made flesh. There IS a difference! For centuries now we have been taught to believe the church system’s time-honored doctrine of the INCARNATE WORD. Haven’t we all fervently sung the words of the old hymn, “Come Thou Incarnate Word, Gird on Thy mighty sword…” The only problem with this is that the word “incarnate” comes from the Latin word incarnates which is a compound word made up of the two Latin words in which is the same as our English word “in,” and caro which is Latin for “flesh”. Can we not see by this that “incarnate” means “in flesh” or as Webster defines it: “embodied in flesh; to embody.” My beloved brethren, deny if you can, but the great truth is that John doesn’t tell us that the Word of God came and DWELT IN flesh, or was EMBODIED IN flesh, INCARNATE IN flesh, or even MANIFESTED IN flesh. Oh, no! The inspired record states that the Word was MADE FLESH. That is what makes all the difference!
The Word was made flesh. God Himself was not made flesh, but the Word was made flesh. If God, the eternal, omnipresent Spirit had become flesh, then while Jesus walked on earth there would have been no God anywhere except where the man Jesus was present. While Jesus said that the Father was in Him, He also said that His Father was in heaven and everywhere else. If the eternal Spirit had been made flesh Jesus could not have lifted up His eyes to heaven and prayed to His Father. Fourteen times in the Gospels Jesus spoke of His Father “in heaven.” So God still was the invisible, omnipresent, omnipotent Spirit who fills all things and upholds all things. Jesus, standing as a flesh man said, “God is a spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:24). Yes, God was even then a spirit, but the Word was made flesh! To help clarify this point let us look at these two definitions:
God — the eternal, invisible, almighty One
THE WORD — the revelation, expression, utterance, and manifestation
of that God unto mankind
doubt every spiritual mind can see what we mean when we say that it was the
Word of God that was made flesh. Jesus
was not simply the Word of God dwelling in flesh or incarnate in flesh. It is incorrect to say that the Word was in
Jesus, whereas it is correct to say that JESUS WAS THE WORD! Jesus IS THE WORD! The Word wasn’t
WAS IN CHRIST: “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world
unto Himself” (II Cor. 5:19). “And without
controversy great is the mystery of godliness: GOD was manifest IN THE FLESH” (I Tim. 3:16). “…the words that I speak unto you I speak not
of myself: but the Father that
DWELLETH IN ME, HE doeth the works” (Jn. 14:10). “For it pleased the Father that IN HIM
(Christ) should all fullness dwell” (
CHRIST WAS AND IS THE WORD: “In the beginning was the Word…and the Word WAS MADE FLESH and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:1.14). “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have SEEN WITH OUR EYES, which we have LOOKED UPON, and our HANDS HAVE HANDLED, of THE WORD OF LIFE” (I Jn. 1:1). “And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called THE WORD OF GOD” (Rev. 19:13).
Jesus came to earth no man had ever seen God.
The manifestations that God had given of Himself had only partially
revealed His glory and majesty — what He is really like. But then God took all He is and embodied it in the person of His Son. When Jesus came into the world He was the embodiment of God. He was not another partial revelation of God
but was the full expression and
revelation of all that God is and
all that God is like. This statement is
beautifully confirmed by the words of
let us not lose sight of the fact that we are speaking of FAITH. Faith comes by the WORD. The Word of God is the revelation of
God. When God reveals Himself to us
faith is evoked in us. Faith is the response
produced in us by the revealed character, nature, purpose, and ability of
God. Faith in God is the attitude of
heart in response to what God reveals Himself to be. And Jesus is the MANIFESTED WORD OF GOD. God has revealed Himself through creation and
through the words of the prophets, but now in these days God has spoken to us by His Son.
is, therefore, not only the revelation of God unto us, but also the revelation
of that relationship to God which He
came to bring us into. The sonship of
Jesus is not only a revelation of the Father unto us, but is
In order to reveal this great sonship unto men it was necessary for God to bring forth a firstborn Son, raise Him up in the earth and cause Him to walk out the reality, power, and glory of this realm of sonship to God, thus revealing what it is. This is a very important truth which all of God’s people should learn — Jesus did not come primarily to reveal HIS sonship, but to make known unto us the REALM of sonship. Truly we rejoice in His sonship because it is through Him that we are given power to become the sons of God; however Jesus does not rejoice in His own sonship, but in ours. Do you not think that it is most significant when the writer to the Hebrews declares, “For it was an act worthy of God…that He, for whose sake and by whom all things have their existence, in bringing many sons unto glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect…through sufferings. For this reason HE IS NOT ASHAMED TO CALL THEM BRETHREN, for He says, I will declare your (the Father’s) name to my brethren…and again He says, Here I am, I and the children whom God has given me” (Heb. 2:10-13, Amplified). Armed with this great truth that Jesus did not come to reveal His individual sonship, but rather the realm of sonship, new and wonderful meaning is added to the fact that GOD HAS SPOKEN UNTO US IN THE PERSON OF HIS SON. Surely this speaks to us that when we see Him we see the revelation and manifestation of what God intends for us. Oh, glorious and wonderful realm! It is the realm of THE MANIFESTED WORD. That is the mystery.
How far the average Christian falls short of this in his thinking! The beautiful analogy of our sonship is accepted by everyone. But all this means to the average believer is that he believes that since he has been saved by grace he is now a “child” of God and therefore doesn’t have to go to hell when he dies. Not grasping the true implications of sonship to God he just conjures up the nice spiritual feeling of thinking of himself “as if” he were a divine “child” of God. Most conceive of being a child of God as sort of an “honorary” relationship conferred upon them by an indulgent God who accepts them as “little adopted human children” to whom He plans to give as their reward for accepting Jesus as saviour, a beautiful park — a celestial playground — a spiritual Disney World — called heaven. This heaven is for them to enjoy like little children for eternity…loafing, playing, running, rejoicing, shouting, playing harps, waving palm branches, visiting, and doing whatever sinless thing their hearts may desire.
We have sold ourselves short on sonship. I once heard the story of a poor and illiterate widow woman who lived far out in the country back in the first half of the 20th century. She had only one son who was grown and had moved to a far away city. There her son went into business and made good. Back home, this poor woman barely eked out a subsistence, planting a meager garden and taking in washing from her neighbors, scrubbing the wash by hand on an old rub-board. The house she lived in continued to deteriorate, the windows broken, roof leaking, steps falling down. Her clothes were faded and patched, her diet improper and monotonous. Each month the poor woman received an envelope in the mail from her son. These envelopes always contained pretty little pieces of paper. Being unable to read or understand what these little pieces of paper said she always pasted them up on the wall in her bedroom to remind her of her son. After some years her wall was artfully decorated with this “wall paper.” Eventually she died, and when the neighbors came into her house they discovered the large number of Money Orders made out to her by her son — all glued to her bedroom wall! If only she had KNOWN WHAT WAS HERS she would have lacked nothing through all those years!
Oh, how we need to know what is ours in Jesus Christ! And we can know what is ours by looking unto HIM. He Himself is God’s Word — God’s message — to us! “Looking away from all that will distract to Jesus — who is the Leader and the Source of our faith…and is also its Finisher, bringing it to maturity as we look unto Him.” Oh, yes! Behold what marvelous things we are called to appropriate, lay hold upon, and experience within ourselves as we LOOK UNTO JESUS! He is the WORD of God (Jn. 1:1,14). He is the WISDOM of God and the POWER of God (I Cor. 1:24). He is the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God (Jer. 23:6; I Cor. 1:30). He is the very IMAGE and LIKENESS of God (Jn. 1:18; Rom. 8:17). He sits upon the THRONE of God as LORD and RULER of every created thing in heaven and in earth — throughout all the vastnesses of infinity (Mat. 28:18; Mat. 25:31; Eph. 1:20-21; Rev. 3:21). He is the GLORY of God (Isa. 40:5; Jn. 1:14; II Cor. 3:18). The excellence of the realm of which we speak may seem far too high and too holy for men such as ourselves to attain to, for tradition has not taught us to expect the glory of our full sonship — to be like Him, exactly like Him, fully like Him in the power of all He is and all He has — but for the sake of truth and faith and hope that maketh not ashamed we must be assured in our hearts that the message of the Manifested Word is just this — HE is the revelation of ALL THAT WE ARE CALLED TO BE!
I think this understanding will give much greater meaning to the apostle’s inspired admonition in Hebrews 12:1-2: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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.” As the saintly Andrew Murray has written, “LET US RUN — there we have the intense exertion, claiming all the emotion, will, and action of our beings. LOOKING UNTO JESUS — there we have the inner life of the spirit, a heart always fixed on Jesus in faith and worship, pursuing the Forerunner, who has entered within the veil for us leaving behind His track and footsteps for us to walk in. This is the new and living way which leads to life and to God. Looking unto Jesus — the author and finisher of our faith, He leads in the way of faith, He walked in it Himself, He opened it for us, He draws and helps us in it. Hebrews chapter eleven, the roster of Old Testament saints, from righteous Abel onward to King David, gives us thrilling examples of faith, but Jesus is the Source and Leader and the Perfecter of OUR FAITH, the faith that through death enters into resurrection life and the Holiest of all, that better and more perfect thing which God has opened for us and for all mankind.
“Yes, let us run, looking unto Jesus! Looking not to ourselves or our weaknesses, but to Him who strengthens us. Not to ourselves or to our faith, whether in its weakness or its strength, but to Him whose presence is the life of our faith. Not to the world or its temptations, but to Him who has said, ‘Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’ Not to Satan or his threats, but to Him who has brought him to naught. Not to men, their fear or their favor, but to Jesus, the God-man, Immanuel, God with us, our Brother and King. Looking to Jesus and Jesus alone! Looking to Him always and in all. In trial and trouble, as in joy or prosperity; in solitude and repose, as in company and business; in praise and worship, as in the mundane activities of daily life — always, only, looking to Jesus. Looking to Him, to see what He is, to hear what He speaks, to follow where He leads, to trust for all He waits to impart. Looking to Him to be changed into His likeness from glory to glory. Let us run the race with patience, LOOKING UNTO JESUS!” —end quote.
In Romans chapter eight Paul exults, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then HEIRS; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also GLORIFIED TOGETHER” (Rom. 8:32, 16-17). In the same chapter Paul speaks again of the groaning of all creation to see the manifestation, the unveiling and revelation of the sons of God. Then he states clearly and powerfully, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God…for whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:15,29). As gold is mined from the dank and dark soil and rock of the earth to be refined into a product of extreme value and beauty to adorn the portfolios of the rich and powerful, so now does the Holy Spirit search out from the hidden depths of the mystery of God the grand and glorious truth that our sonship secures for us these two things: all Christ has, and all Christ is. We have not yet fully attained unto that high and holy calling — but as we LOOK UNTO JESUS we see that it is there before us! Bought for us. Intended for us. Planned for us. And our great and faithful Father is actively engaged in bringing us unto it! Oh, yes!
“Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt, to those who were to inherit the promise, the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan, intervened with an oath. This was so that by two unchangeable things (His promise and His oath), in which it is impossible for God to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled to Him for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before us. Now we have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul — it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it — a hope that reaches farther and enters into the very certainty of the Presence within the veil, where Jesus has entered in for us in advance, a forerunner having become a High Priest for the ages after the order (with the rank) of Melchisedek” (Heb. 6:17-20, Amplified). Isn’t it wonderful!
see, my beloved, God does not tease or tantalize us with high things unto which
we have no hope of attaining. For many
thousands of years the English Channel has lain between
Likewise, my dear brethren, let us understand that if Jesus had some advantage over us in His walk in sonship to God, then this whole matter of sonship and our high calling of God in Christ Jesus is a FRAUD and a FARCE! If Jesus had an advantage over us, then there is really no point in our trying to attain to the measure of the stature of HIS FULLNESS — for we shall only fail miserably. What saith the scriptures? If there were no other scriptures but the following ones, our conclusion must certainly be that our Forerunner trod the same path under the same conditions as do we. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God…made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him, and given Him the name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:5-9). Then the writer to the Hebrews adds these words: “Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest who has already ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession…for we do not have a High Priest who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a fellow feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liabilities to the assaults of temptation, but one who has been tempted (tested) in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace…that we may find grace to help in good time for every need — appropriate help and well-timed help, coming when we need it” (Heb. 4:14-16). And again, “Since therefore, these His children share in flesh and blood — that is, in the physical nature of human beings — He Himself…partook of the same nature, that by going through death He might bring to naught and make of no effect him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and also that He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the haunting fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives. Wherefore, holy brethren, PARTAKERS OF THE HEAVENLY CALLING, CONSIDER the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb. 2:14-15, 3:1, Amplified Bible and KJV).
Have you noticed the import and central theme of these inspired admonitions of the apostles: CONSIDER…Jesus Christ! LOOKING…unto Him! He is the apostle of our profession, our calling. He is the author and finisher of our faith. When we truly and fully behold Him…and see by the eye of divine quickening that He, being fully a man such as we are, overcame and has entered in to the fullness of God, then by the mysterious operation of God FAITH IS EVOKED IN US TO BELIEVE THAT WE ALSO CAN ATTAIN to the full measure of His stature, and conformed to His image we may lay hold upon the heavenly calling. ONE has already made it across the vast chasm into that blessed place in God. ONE has ENTERED IN! Now, holy brethren, CONSIDER HIM! LOOK UNTO HIM! The unfolding revelation of this One to us produces faith in us. Oh, yes! Beholding Him we are inspired, challenged, encouraged, persuaded to embrace the hope that we also can make it in. Aren’t you glad! So then, precious friend of mine, faith comes by the Word. And our Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the MANIFESTED WORD of God!
Let the fact be indelibly implanted within our quickened minds that the great key the Holy Spirit now gives us to this third dimension of faith is just this: “LOOKING UNTO JESUS the author and finisher of our faith.” A brother I used to hear teach when I was but a boy told of this experience: “When I first learned to plow, I got on the seat of the tractor, pulled the lever that dropped the plow into the ground, and started across toward the center of the field. After I had gone a few feet, I turned around to look at the furrow and was entranced by the rushing flow of topsoil along the plowshare — rich and black, the soil turned over. Then I turned back to look where I was going. When I had turned around the first time, I had unconsciously moved the wheel of the tractor with my movement and gotten away from the straight line. I pulled the tractor back into line and looked back at the furrow once more. Behind me, wavering across the field, the undulating line of my furrow revealed, as though etched in the earth, the wandering vision that I had had. I soon learned that there was only one way to plow a straight furrow. When you are about to accelerate the tractor and pull the lever that sinks the plow into the ground, you must sight across the field at a distant point, be it a tree, a fence post, or some other object, and keep the nose of the tractor squarely on the sighting point. You must not turn around to see how the furrow is coming or divert you eyes to some other concern. If you do, give only a hasty glance to see that all is well. Make certain that the fixed point is straight ahead, and bring the eye back to it. Now I can plow across a field and leave a furrow black and straight a quarter of a mile long, because I have learned that when the guide furrow is being laid in the field, the plowman must keep his eye on a fixed point ahead. Woe unto the man who plows his furrow looking aside, or looking behind, or looking at a crow that may fly across his line of vision.”
If we are not to waver in our forward walk in sonship to God we must keep our eyes fixed upon our Forerunner, Jesus Christ! Never allow your vision, my beloved, to be diverted to other people, ministries, churches, elderships, movements, doctrines, commandments of men, world events, problems, circumstances, your own fleshly weaknesses and struggles, your past blunders and failures. And never forget for one moment that faith to enter into the fullness of your sonship to God will never be ministered to you through Brother Eby or through any other ministry, man, or movement. I have prayed most earnestly that the spirit of divine revelation will possess all who now read these truths, and I am sure that in the light that the Spirit brings the hearts of God’s called and separated elect will understand that I and all others of the Lord’s ministers are but your brethren and companions in this journey into the kingdom of God. Together with you and with all the apprehended ones we also must daily and continually LOOK UNTO JESUS the author and finisher of OUR FAITH. Since I am not yet there, and no other precious ministries I have met have fully arrived, if you look away unto me you will soon enough discern some lack, some missing of the mark, something that falls short of the finished product. Don’t sell yourself short, my friend, don’t look back at me…GOD ISN’T FINISHED WITH ME YET! Receive the word of the Lord I deliver unto you and esteem that word highly if you will, but don’t fasten your eyes upon me as if I or any other man could bring you to your destiny, for what you might see in me will divert you from your fixed point — Jesus Christ who has blazed the trail and opened up the way to the Father.
Our faith to enter in is His faith which is raised up in us as we behold Him and Him alone. My voice is but a voice whispering in your ear: KEEP LOOKING UNTO JESUS! The unveiling of Jesus Christ to us evokes fullness of faith in us. This revelation comes only by steadfastly fixing our gaze upon the proper fixed point — JESUS. This pathway into His likeness and glory is perhaps nowhere more beautifully set forth than in these words of the beloved apostle Paul: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Cor. 3:18). This is the mystery — BEHOLDING… we are changed!
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
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