CHRIST – GOD’S ONLY PROVISION
BY: KENNETH GREATOREX
God has purposed to have a people who come into fullness. The ministries listed in Ephesians 4:11-16 are designed to bring maturity, and to enable every member to function, and to be a “GLORIOUS CHURCH (church full of glory) not having spot or wrinkle.” Our Father has purposed to have a family of sons like His First Begotten Son Jesus Christ. The purpose of “manifested sons” is to set this earth free from the “bondage of corruption.” This will NOT be a one man thing, but an “US” thing. We do not look to see the church smuggled away in what now seems to be a less than glorious form, but rather to come into the FULLNESS OF MATURITY ON CHRIST. This is available for every child of God who will enter/grow into it.
This study is presented to enable God’s people to live in victory, and to come into full sonship, as we learn to partake of Christ. HE IS God’s ONLY answer, and is God’s full provision for ALL of our needs.
There came a day in the life of Moses, long after he had been reduced to shepherd from heir apparent to the throne of Egypt, that the Lord met Him. The LORD told him to set His people free from Egyptian bondage (a type of the world and it’s religious church systems). Forty years before, full of pride and worldly wisdom, he had failed, and fled to the desert to save his life.
God revealed that He was the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, HIS COVENANT NAME. Yet, Moses stilled asked God for a name that he could use for the Children of Israel to know Him by. The LORD said, “I AM WHO I AM.” “I AM” means “to exist” or “to become.” (hayah #1961 from Hava, a root word meaning to breath) In other words he declared Himself to be ALL that could ever be necessary. It was HIS BREATH that He had breathed into man for life to begin.
Now, in view of this we will consider the Ten I AM’s of John’s Gospel. Ten signifying “perfection of Divine order.” It is of interest that the Greek word used in the Ten I AM’s, “eime #1510 means, “I EXIST.” The “I AM” God of Moses is now revealing Himself clothed in human flesh, for all to receive.
The Jews boasted to Jesus that the manna their fathers had eaten in the wilderness was “bread from Heaven.” He replied that Moses did not give such because the True Bread from Heaven had now come down to give life to the world. Jesus then stated, “I AM the BREAD OF LIFE.“ (John 6:31-34, 41, 48) By partaking of Christ as the Bread of Life, one should never hunger or thirst again.
Jesus went on to explain that He, the Life Giving Bread from Heaven, is partaken of through His flesh. How is this done? When Jesus blessed the bread and broke it at the Last Supper He said, “Take eat, this is My body.” This truth is given in 1 Corinthians 11:23-24. We partake of the Living Bread each time we receive the Lord’s Supper.
The ancient Israelites ate manna not knowing what it was, what to call it, or what it represented. They said, “What is it?” They also did not know that their rock water supply was Christ who followed them about. (1 Corinthians 10:4) That which was in types and shadows is NOW REALITY. There is a tremendous promise to the overcomer in Revelation 2:17, “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.” Those who will, overcome, and go on to full sonship, may enter into life far beyond what we have thus far experienced.
When God commanded the Ark of the Covenant to be made, He directed three things to be placed in it; the two tables of law, Aaron’s rod that budded and a golden pot of manna. The ark typifies Jesus Christ, with the wood speaking of His humanity and the covering of gold of His divinity. The Ark was then the place of God’s throne on earth, and of His glory. It was also the place where leadership could meet with God. The rod spoke of resurrection life, and authority, and the golden pot of manna of Christ the Living Bread from Heaven.
Alfred Edersheim in his book, “The Temple” says, that at the time of The Feast of Tabernacles the Temple was so filled with light that it lit up Jerusalem. It is thought that this light was representative of the Shekinah glory that once had dwelled in the Temple. It was on such an occasion that Jesus declared, “I AM the Light of the world.” It could well be that He was declaring, “I AM that LIGHT, I AM that GLORY that this figurative lighting represents.” In John 1:4 we read, “In Him is life and His life is the light of men.” There is something unique about light which is composed of six sources of energy plus white light. Light equals energy. God has “commanded light to shine into darkness.”
There comes the time when we all sense our need of more light, meaning understanding, and so we ask God for it. His provision is not to give us a bit more light, rather it is MORE OF CHRIST who is LIGHT. It is not more understanding that we need, but a greater revelation of Christ who is Light. He is GOD’S FULL PROVISION.
“Sons of light is” what 1 Thessalonians 5:5 says. Ephesians 5:8 says, “Now you are light.” This is the Greek word “phos” #5457 meaning “to give light.” Light is a luminous emanation or radiance. So we are to be full of Light, or Christ. Jesus was the Light of the World but now we are. (Matthew 5:15, John 9:5) It is the believers place to radiate the light of Christ to others.
In order to hear the voice of the Lord and find salvation we enter God’s purposes by the door. (John 10:1-9) Jesus said, “I AM the Door.” When HE LEADS us we no longer need wander, but are SPIRIT DIRECTED. Do you need direction? Your answer is God’s full provision – Christ. Amazingly the more we have of Christ, the clearer things are, since “THE LORD IS OUR LIGHT AND OUR SALVATION.” (Psalm 27:1) He is to us all that we need. The El Shaddai God who is more than enough.
Jesus said in John 8:18, “I AM One who bears witness of Myself.” The word “martureo” #3140 means: witnessing, evidence or certifying. In Revelation 19:10 it says, “The testimony (martureo) of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.” The evidence of the indwelling Christ comes forth prophetically, or via the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
People are often looking for a church where they can be fed and cared for. Jesus said, “I AM the Good Shepherd.” (John 10:10, 14) A shepherd is one who tends, feeds, guides and even gives discipline to the flock. When a lamb used to repeatedly wander away from the flock the shepherds of old would break a leg and then carry it close to them self until it had healed and learned. “Shepherd” is from the word “poimen” and describes the work of an elder or, shepherd. It is translated by the Latin word, “pastor” just once but RELIGION has turned it into a great position and title. Jesus our Shepherd is the One who truly cares for us and brings us to green pastures and fresh waters caring for our every need.
Perhaps one of the grandest statements in the Bible is Jesus’ declaration in John 11:25, “I AM the RESURRECTION and the LIFE.” We have thought of resurrection as an event that happened, BUT it is a Person – Jesus Christ. The Greek word “anastasis” #386 comes from two words, “ana” meaning “up” and “histemi” meaning, “to cause to stand.” The best illustration Scripturally is found in Ezekiel 38, verses 7 & 8 where the bones came together with flesh upon them. Then it took a further word of prophecy for life to enter into the dead bodies.
Verses 9 -10 tells how spirit came in, and they stood up alive as a mighty army. There is a principle that only that life which has gone into death can enter resurrection and new life. There are times when the Lord in His dealings with us will lead us into a valley of spiritual death. It is a time of testing as to whether we live by faith or by our sense realm. Only when He has finished do we enter into resurrection and fresh life. Remember, it is only the gold that is tested and purified by the fire and this is necessary if we are to come into sonship. We look to the day when, “We shall know Him and the power of His resurrection.” There is a place of glorious victory for the saints to enter into.
Heaven and “mansions” (KJV) are the extent of many people’s thinking when they read John 14:1-11. Yet, there is deeper truth for us to see by the eye of the Spirit. The disciples had just learned that Jesus was going to leave them, but He did promise to come again and receive them to Himself. He spoke in verse Two of “abodes” or “dwelling places” (KJV – mansions) that He was going to prepare for them. The Greek word “mone” #3438 is used twice in the Bible, with verse 23 being the other place. The dwelling places in His Father’s house (Greek “oikos” #3624 – house, household or family), were in the “family” of the Father, and not a material building. Jesus was speaking of His Body, the Church, which was to come into being upon His death, resurrection and ascension. Hebrews 10:5 says, “But a Body You have prepared for Me.” We find that, according to Ephesians 5:25, “Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it.” The “many dwelling places” in verse Two are the members of the Body of Christ, where He is NOW DWELLING as Christ the Head. We “as living stones, are being built up to a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:4) with, “Christ as a Son over His own house. (Hebrews 3:6)
Jesus declared in verse Six, “I AM The WAY, The TRUTH, and The LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” We may quote this statement to the seeker of Christ, forgetting that it also applies to the one born of God. Jesus IS Truth, or Reality. “Aletheia” #225 is the Greek word meaning, reality, verity, or the absolute.
The Truth or Reality is Christ. Christ is a many membered body in the earth today. We “in Christ” and, “Christ in us.” Hallelujah! In verse Ten Jesus spoke of a very unique, but also very real union when He said, “I am in the Father and the Father in Me.” As He functioned He didn’t speak on His own authority, or self-motivation, or independent of His Father. Likewise neither should we, for we are joined together with Christ our Head.
Jesus is, “THE WAY!” The Greek word is, “hodos” #3598, means – path, road, means or method. He is more than the direction or pathway to God. He is God’s METHOD! God’s “method” of forming Christ’s Body was to place us in Him. When He died, we died. When He was raised up, we were raised. God has put us in Christ. (Romans Six)
Without life a body is dead. The Body of Christ is NOT dead, for He is the LIFE of the Body. CHRIST IS OUR LIFE! our energizing source, which is better than nuclear energy or anything else man can discover. We need to enter into a greater measure of His Life in our spirit, soul and bodies. We need more than a touch, we need to come to the place as the songwriter said, “Christ is my Meat, Christ is my Drink, My Medicine and my Health.” (I’ve Found the Pearl)
In forming the Body of Christ, God’s “method” is Christ, the “reality” is Christ, and Christ is the “life” (zoe) of the Body. God the Father has both placed us “in Christ,” and placed Christ us, “in Christ.” Now He is working to bring us (The Church) into the fullness and maturity of Christ, which is sonship. Creation is awaiting the hour when this will come into fullness, and its shackles of bondage will be broken. When we enter into the Righteousness of Christ, not just the confession of it, then the power of those sins that have so easily beset us will be broken and He will arise in our lives in His holiness and glory.
Jesus who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life said in verse Twenty-three, “We will come and make our home (“mone” – abode, dwelling place, or mansion if you will) in him.” The Church is the very dwelling place of God on earth, not on the basis of our personal or corporate worthiness, but only CHRIST GOD’S FULL PROVISION.
When we consider John Chapter Fifteen the emphasis is usually pruning and abiding. “I AM the True Vine” is what Jesus said. To rephrase it, Christ is the “Genuine Vine,” so we need to beware that there is also the false. As we look at the Vine we see a picture of the Body of Christ. Jesus is the Root or Main Stem and life giving source. We are the branches. The ONE condition of bearing fruit is “abiding.” To abide means we can not do our own thing. Nor must we do someone else’s thing. Be careful of what people try to dump on you in the Name of the Lord whether by preaching or personal prophecy. Members of the Body of Christ must learn to function in fullness, in the placing and calling of the Lord, regardless of what others think. When we do reach maturity, much fruit will develop. Fruit speaks of the character of the Vine and is life “reproducing.”
“God has set the members” is the lesson of First Corinthians Twelve. Therefore, we are not to tell another part that we have no need of them. Usually we limit this to our local congregation, or to the part of the group to which we relate, and become “exclusive” in our relationships with others outside of it. Our superior view of ourselves, our unique revelation, or some special blessing of God in our past is often the motivating factor. The Body is bigger than you or me, or to which ever group (part) we may be joined. When we feel that we alone have all that God has to offer, a DISSERVICE IS DONE TO CHRIST! Pride in our particular doctrine, church order, revelation, or carnal attainments, will in time cut us off from the Life of the Body, the balance it provides, and subject us to severe pruning. My father was given the opportunity to rejoin the denomination, no longer a “movement,” he had been part of, IF he would stop fellowshipping with those outside of it. His reply was that he could not stop fellowshipping as God had given him a revelation of the “whole Body of Christ.” The years I spent leading a ministerial Fellowship caused me to see the living Christ in many whose doctrine I could not always agree with. It is the “unity of the Spirit” and NOT doctrine that is of paramount importance in our relationship one with another.
It has been my experience to spend time with various groups that felt they were more spiritual than the rest of the Body. They had participated in a moving of the Spirit that was very real to them. It was tremendous and imparted fresh truth to them, yet, they often didn’t realize they were still dealing in elementary truths. Listening to them one would have to conclude they thought they had arrived, and were more spiritual than the “dead” Christians who tried to help them find some balance. Others have moved past the basics in most areas, can yet bear an attitude of spiritual superiority.
When God does initiate a fresh move of the Spirit a problem we face is the fact that the move will tend to carry the distinguishing stamp of the initial leaders used of God, such as, their doctrinal baggage, and some unique experiences, or some special thing God has said to them. Without intending this bit of history clings on and becomes a distinguishing factor. In the great revival of King Hezekiah’s time the temple was cleansed of idolatrous objects including Nehushtan (2 Kings 18:4) a bronze serpent used for divination. The very thing God had directed Moses to make for all to look upon and find deliverance, had become an object of idolatrous worship. It had been birthed of God, used of God, and then it was hung onto by man past God’s intended purpose for it. Those who look to find the “lost” Ark of the Covenant” will probably never find it because if they do it will become one more object of an “antichrist” form of worship taking peoples eyes off of Christ.
The movement I was born into has its’ distinctive doctrine of “tongues” based upon the revelation the Spirit gave back at the early part of the 20th century. Truth, yes, but fullness, hardly. The River of the Spirit has moved on time after time since then. It is we who camp around some “special” experience, revelation, prophecy, etc. who cause the damming of the River, yet, like the rebellious children of Israel we can receive God’s provision and apparent blessing for 40 years or so. Having failed to move on with God, the Lord then seeks out another group of hungry hearts to reveal Himself to in a fuller dimension of Christ.
One brother I knew said it is almost impossible for those who have been in leadership in one move of the Spirit to be there in the next. He is probably right. Only as we allow God to do the work of remoulding our wineskins will we be able to participate. “Oh Lord, soften and change us so that we will be fit vessels for your glory. Cause our hearts to be open so that You can do your work in us today! We need to see Your move upon the earth in a higher way today. We are hungry Lord, for You alone are ALL we need! Amen!”
The Life of the Son of God is flowing in EVERY born again member of the Body of Christ. Dare we shut ourselves off from this Life because we profess to be of Paul, Apollos, or as some would “proudly” say with false humility, “We are of Christ.” We need one another! The position of certain body parts brings a closer relationship than others, but this doesn’t mean that we don’t require the ministry of the other parts. The arm parts functioning together can wash the leg parts, while the arm can go nowhere unless the legs carry it there. Likewise in the Body of Christ. We will see the full explosion of “fruit” from the Christ Vine when we recognize and accept that our Lord has a people all over this earth.
At times in our eagerness to follow the Lord in a particular direction we become guilty of cutting ourselves off from the life of those members of the Body to whom we have related. A few years ago I wrote a brother requesting deletion from his mailing list, as I felt we were no longer moving in the same dimension. He wrote back to me wanting to know what he had done wrong and why I was wanting to sever relationships with him and other brothers. His heart was right and his concerns valid, and I had acted in haste seeking the Life of Christ from only one facet of His glorious Body. We are MEMBERS TOGETHER, receiving life from the same Vine. Christ is our Life, our koinonia, our life in common or basis of fellowship.
Christ is God’s full Provision to the individual and corporate members of His Body. Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, peace, joy, rest, eternal life, love, or literally our ALL. We never need ask for just a portion, O Lord give me love, when He is that very thing in fullness. We need to receive all of Christ that we can personally and then partake of His life in our brother, and share that which we have with others.
CHRIST’S-GOD’S ONLY PROVISION [Kenneth Greatorex] 1