“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