God’s Beginnings Govern the End

let their be light“Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.” (1 John 2:24-25 RSVA)

There is a spiritual principle that determines whether something is of God and therefore eternal, or whether it is under His judgment and cast out. Did He originate it and is it still following this original pattern? In Genesis we read:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:1-4 RSVA)

Light was the result of the Spirit of God moving over the face of the waters and He saw that the Light was good. He separated the Light from the darkness. Jesus is the Light of the World (see John 8:12), and we know who the Prince of Darkness is. This passage in Genesis is not talking about physical light and darkness because the sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth day (see Gen. 1:14-19).

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 RSVA)

God has established His Son as the Light that enlightens all those who follow Him. In the beginning He gave Light to the world, and He is the light of heaven in the end (see Rev. 21:23 and 24). In heaven there is no darkness since darkness was the result of Satan trying to overthrow God and deceiving mankind. He will not be in heaven (See Rev. 20:10). John wrote about Christ being the Light.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5 RSVA)

T. Austin-Sparks wrote:

The Beginning Remains the Governing Standard to the End. God never departs from His initial and original position. God never accepts anything less. He does not deviate, He does not abandon, He does not forfeit or sacrifice one iota of His original position and intention. It remains the standard by which God governs everything right on to the end, and in the end God will sovereignly work in relation to His beginning.

If we had spiritual perception enough we should see that that law is being applied today in a most impressive way. Everything today is coming up for testing; everything that goes by the name of the Lord, everything that has an association with Him; His people, that which is called the Lord’s work; everything is coming into a place of testing. There will be testing in the nations, testing by the fires of national and international and world conditions; testing by the instrumentality of the forces of evil. Everything is coming up now in a new and perhaps more intensive way than for a long time, to be tested: and God’s testings, by whatever means He tests, are all in the light of His original position, in the light of “that which was from the beginning”. He is, in effect, saying: We will see by testing how this stands in the light of the original standard. That means that God is intent upon having at the end what He had at the beginning, and He is working sovereignly in that connection. –T. Austin-Sparks, “That Which Was from the Beginning”

This morning when I was at a local coffee shop, there was a group of about six men at one of the large tables. They all had a copy of the same slick bound book on the table in front of them as they bowed their heads and prayed. I recognized one of them as the man who owns the condo next door and went over to say “Hi.” They invited me to sit down and join them, so I did, but warned them it would be brief since I had other things to do. Sure enough, they started watching the pastor of a local mega-church on a laptop give them a presentation on why they all needed to get behind his latest church program and get the others they knew in the church to do the same. They also all needed to attend the weekly training sessions, “so everyone would be on the same page.” They were assured that if they could just get enough people involved, the church would have a great impact on the community, grow and be a success. I felt like I had just been at an Amway meeting!

I have seen this over and over. Somebody comes up with a program, writes a book about it and the church leader buys into it. With much fanfare, they all wear themselves out trying to make it work. Eventually it collapses as a dismal failure because God was not the originator and thus He was not in it. No matter how hard Abraham pleaded with God to accept his son Ishmael, God insisted that He was only interested in Isaac. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not Ishmael and Esau. Abraham was accepted by God because he believed in God, but his fleshly works were not acceptable. The flesh cannot do the works of God. “Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven.” The measure in the end will always be, “Was Christ in it? Were they walking in His Light or in the artificial lights of men?”

Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment. (Isaiah 50:11 ESV)

The Church was birthed by the infilling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. All through the Book of Acts we see men listening to and following the leading of the Spirit. Soon they were accused of turning the world upside down. They did not write and publish books, start evangelism campaigns, hold pay-at-the-door seminars, build church buildings, ask for tithes and offerings to keep it going, nor did its leaders lord over the people of God. Instead they taught that they had no need that any man teach them, but rather that Christ and His Spirit were everything they needed. Once spiritually uncircumcised men took control of the church, that was the end of its spiritual power and the beginning of man made institutions in Christ’s name without His Life or Light.

Perhaps one of the things which you and I and the Lord’s people everywhere need to recognize more than anything else at an end time is the fact of our heavenliness. There is going to be a testing of everything which bears the Lord’s name by the law of the beginning governing the end. In the beginning they were a heavenly people, with everything for them in heaven, in Christ, and being drawn from Christ in heaven. All their government, direction, resource came from Him and was in Him as in heaven. The Lord comes back again and again to test things by that beginning, and in the end the test is going to be applied very stringently. We are going to see the outward form of things, which is earthly, man-made, man-constituted, an imitation or a representation of spiritual things, breaking down, shaking at its very foundations. All the organizations of our work are going to be shattered. In the nations all that framework will be broken up. That which alone will be left will be the people themselves, and they will probably be scattered. Then the test will be as to how much of this is Christ here. If there has been dependence upon orders, churches, systems, even meetings and conferences, the many things which in themselves are looked to as the means of support of the Christian life, when they are gone, broken, the question will be, How much of Christ is here? What is the measure of Christ, the heavenly Christ? ~ T. Austin-Sparks “That Which Was From the Beginning” http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/002953.html

Advertisements

31 comments on “God’s Beginnings Govern the End

  1. A powerful post, Michael. That scene in the coffee shop was sadly true to life. As you say, when our work is tested in the fire (1 Cor. 3: 13) the essential question will be, “Was Christ in it?”

    Blessings,

    Anna

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Anna, I have pondered what Paul wrote in that same passage many times. Paul is chastising the Corinthians for following men instead of Christ and right in the middle of this thought he writes,

      For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw– each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:11-16 ESV)

      These are NOT two disconnected streams of thought! Following men and their programs is building on Christ, OUR ONLY FOUNDATION, with wood hay and stubble that will all go up in smoke. It is also important that we read that we are saved from all that foolishness by passing through the fires of tribulation ourselves and not just having to watch our works go up in smoke. Aren’t you glad that we don’t burn up with our fleshly works? Anna, many we who are Christ’s have learned that we enter the kingdom of heaven through much tribulation and that God’s loving hand is in it all and that ALL things do work together for those who love God and are called according to HIS purposes, not the purposes of men. Amen!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Becky Johnson says:

    A most excellent read to begin my day. Thank you for posting, Michael.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you for the blog. There is much meat in the article, I will reread it a few times.

    Love in Him,
    Pat Orr

    Liked by 2 people

  4. dimple says:

    Whoo-ee, Michael! Good point!
    I worked at an institutional church, and the scenario you described happened over and over again. Those who were involved with “programming” didn’t seem to see that what they were doing wasn’t working to bring glory to God OR to truly change the lives of the “programmed.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Louise! You have to wonder it the definition of an insane person does not apply to this situation: “An insane person is one who keeps doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results!”
      Institutional Christianity is a great place if you don’t mind be institutionalized instead of being a loved member in God’s family.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Beautiful, Michael – this has the sweet fragrance of life and truth and the sweet freedom of a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light. 😉

    I hope you don’t mind, but this reminded me of the same teaching that the Lord gave me years ago I captured in an article called “Does God Still Knock Over Towers of Babel?” I’ve excerpted it below.

    For 18 months I applied myself to various ‘church’ jobs, hoping to spark something, anything, that resembled revival. It almost seemed as if the harder I worked, the worse the situation became. Finally the Lord said to me:

    GET OUT OF THE WAY AND LET IT FAIL.

    His words blew me away. In fact, I questioned whether or not it was the Lord speaking to me since I felt it was blasphemous to suggest that “THE CHURCH FAIL”. But the Lord showed me the church was not a building, nor the religious institution with all its programs most people identify as “the church”, but simply the children of God coming together as family to live in community and worship God. The Lord went on to speak to me about building on sand, and that He is doing as He has always done – sending wind, rain and waves to test our houses for whether or not we’ve built on the Rock.

    When God sends the wind, rain and waves to test the foundation and we are laboring to prop it back up while it is falling apart, we are WORKING AGAINST GOD and we are enabling the church to continue in it’s vain works.

    Time and again I have heard those I worked with lament the failure of a church program as the “work of the devil”. But with God’s words to me: GET OUT OF THE WAY AND LET IT FAIL, I no longer think it is the devil’s doing behind the failure of our vain works. I believe it is God who is still throwing down Towers of Babel.

    And really, what was the Tower of Babel if not a vain work?

    Babel was man’s vain effort to reach God. Interestingly, the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 indicates God simply confused the speech of the peoples and scattered them so they could no longer cooperate in such prideful endeavors as building a tower to reach the heavens. I recall a few movies that depicted the tower itself being destroyed, but that isn’t supported by scripture. It could be said that God simply derailed the “Tower of Babel” PROGRAM!

    And so, of the programs in the religious institutional church, which more often than not are the vain efforts of men to draw closer to God, or to build “a church for God” (which is ALREADY BUILT IN AND BY CHRIST), doesn’t it stand to reason that God still frustrates our vain efforts (Romans 8:20-21, 1 Cor. 1:18-19)?

    The next time a ‘church program’ fails, don’t credit the devil with it. Instead, repent from vain works and give thanks to God who finished the work of Salvation in Christ Jesus!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Jack, it is no wonder that the systematized churches of men are called Babylon the Great and her harlot daughters. “Go to now, let us build…” It is good to remember what Jesus said about men who build…

      “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the Head of the corner; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.” (Matthew 21:42-43 RSVA)

      Thanks for your comment, my brother!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael, that was great and rich post, indeed! ⭐ There were so many ideas in my mind as I was reading your article many hours ago sitting at the hairdresser this morning, but now I am here with my blank mind again. Just two things… 😉

    It just occurred to me that Genesis 1 begins with mentioning that God CREATED the heavens and the earth (how?) and goes on to describe that He, after His Spirit had been hovering over the face of the waters, began to SPEAK. God spoke WORDS (God said…, God called…) and what He had wanted to see came into being. Hmm… now I forgot what I wanted to say, once again (today seems to be Susanne’s “rabbit-trail-day”). Okay, I recall that I wanted to write about the connection with John chapter 1 and Jesus, but I can’t remember WHAT. Oh boy… 😛

    What I do remember is that I laughed out loud when I heard your story about the religious “Amway presentation” for the first time. As many might know, we Germans have almost always imitated every trend that jumped over the Big Pond and such “meetings” were something that made me RUN – faaar off. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, The Genesis account of creation of God speaking and the Spirit brooding over the chaos that was upon the waters and the one in John chapter one where it describes Jesus as the Word whom Father speaks through and makes ALL things. Jesus was the Word in the beginning of creation, He was the Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us 2000 years ago, who spoke the New Covenant into being as its High Priest and Prophet, and Jesus is the one who STILL is speaking to us today as His Spirit broods over us! “Let he who has ears HEAR what the Spirit IS SAYING to the churches.”

      It is sad that the American church has been so successful at exporting Mystery Babylon and her ways all over the world. I hope you in Germany can forgive us. I am glad that you got free of that mess you experienced in that Christian cult that started in America (at least its false teachings, doctrines and format). ⭐

      Thank you Father for setting us free from these lying spirits that masquerade as your church.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael, I was just reminded of this verse as you mentioned that Jesus was still speaking.

        As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? (Heb 3:15-16 ESV)

        There is nothing to forgive, my brother, since I am not someone who tars all Americans with the same brush as I hear it at times regarding Germans because of Hitler and WW II, “You Germans….!” and so on, you know. We are not citizens of this world any longer if we have indeed entered the kingdom of God and merely long for the things that are above.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Susanne, That is a very appropriate verse from Hebrews you shared… TODAY.. The I AM is always speaking TODAY, if we have ears to hear and hearts that have not been hardened by the traditions of men.

        As for Americans, yes we as a people are quite brash and proud. I thank God that you and I are no longer citizens of this world, but of Father’s kingdom.

        Love you and your comments, dear sister! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Love you and your blog posts + comments too! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Ha! Your last comment was number 3333! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • YESSSS! What does that mean? I know you’re an expert in these things.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Michael says:

    No, I am no X-spirt. 🙂 I just read what they mean on some Bible sites on the net. For instance the number four (there were 4 – 3’s in your comment).

    “Interestingly, the Hebrew word for ‘seasons’ in Genesis 1:14 is moed (Strong’s Concordance #H4150), which literally translated is “appointed times” (divine appointments) in reference to God’s festivals. This is the earliest known allusion to what would later be called the Holy (or Feast) days (periods) of worship, which are seven in number.”

    Of coarse we associate “3” with the three natures of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    Put these together 4- 3’s and you could have a reference to the appointed times of God or divine appointment as it says in the above quote.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, Michael! XD

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        BTW, I do not believe in numerology as some kind of fortune telling as some do. But if we keep seeing a repeat of certain numbers in our daily lives it might be good to ask Him why.

        Liked by 1 person

      • There was a season when I awoke at 3:33am several times a week and felt the leading to pray. Or would look at the clock at 3:33, 4:44, 5:55, etc. There were people trying to construct theologies or prophetic words from similar experiences which I was never comfortable with. So finally I asked the Lord what it meant and He said “I’m getting everything lined up” which was all the answer I needed. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Good! Thanks for sharing that, Jack. Like I said, It never hurts to ask Him if He has something to say to us.
        At least He didn’t say to you, “You need to feed the cat!” :-p

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! Thanks a bunch for confirmation, Jack. I have had similar experiences for many years now and although I never asked the Lord about it, it got clear to me that all things happen in HIS time. There is not a second during our days and nights when He would not care and offer His permanent guidance. BTW, in Germany it is even “worse”. I cannot count how often I checked the clock and, counterintuitively, I read, 22:22:22, which would be 10:22 pm and 22 seconds in the States. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m thankful the US does not commonly use the 24 hour time format – I always find myself doing math when someone says “at twenty hundred hours” – twenty minus twelve is 8 pm. A person shouldn’t have to work to figure out the time! 🙂

        Numerology of sorts nearly prevented me from leaving the institutional church. Back when the Lord was first working on me about the church I was involved in which left my theology and love for “the church” in ruins, I looked for affirmation from others who were experiencing the same. That would have been early in 2001 as I recall. My searching led me to a group on Yahoo called New Wineskins which was for the discussion of the house church movement. Many of the posts resonated with what I was feeling about the institutional church and finally I worked up the courage to post about my own misgivings. The post number assigned by New Wineskins was 666, which made me question not only what I had written, but whether or not it was Satan who was tempting me to leave the “Holy Church of God!” 😉

        I suspect when the day comes that I meet the Lord face to face, He’ll slap me on the back and say “I was just messing with you”. At least, if the Lord is even remotely like my earthly father, that’s something He’d do. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Yes, Jack, I remember “New Wine Skins.” I think we might have met on that group in fact. My how time flies! I remember when my blog “followers” reached 666. I decided to “follow” my own blog to get it beyond that number in a hurry. After a couple more signed up, I un-followed myself. :-p

        Glad that we are in touch again, my brother and that you are within a day’s drive from here as well.

        God bless you both!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahaha! That is so funny, Jack! I had a similar experience with 666 as well, back in 2000. And after I left the church (read cult) I had attended, I immediately got many confirmations that the devil was on my heels with that number 666.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Or it could just mean that the cat walked across the keyboard again. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Allan Halton says:

    Amen, Michael. And a very prophetic word by T. A-S. “Perhaps one of the things which you and I and the Lord’s people everywhere need to recognize more than anything else at an end time is the fact of our heavenliness. There is going to be a testing of everything which bears the Lord’s name by the law of the beginning governing the end. In the beginning they were a heavenly people, with everything for them in heaven, in Christ, and being drawn from Christ in heaven. All their government, direction, resource came from Him and was in Him as in heaven.”

    And God promises, “I… will do better unto you than at your beginnings” (Ezek. 36:11).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Allan. Everything that can be shaken is being shaken so that only that which is rooted and founded in Christ will remain. But He also desires to raise us up into the glory of His Father as we yield to His hand in our lives. Faith says that no matter how bad things get, “ALL things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Yes, our end He has known from the beginning and it will be far better than our start for HE is able to make us stand IN Christ.

      Love you, my brother,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Ken Dawson says:

    Wow Mike great post–as I read through it a second time I heard Father say to me–Yes Ken I am life and now that I am inside of you-you can see life by my light.Otherwise you are in the dark.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      YES, Ken! That is what the Son also said, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12 KJ2000)

      Thanks for sharing this, my brother! ⭐

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s