The Order of His Appearing: Beginning To End
by Jimmy Ned Collins
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“16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. ...27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. ...30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed [it], and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.” (Luke 24:16, 27, 30-31)
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Before I begin, I would like to briefly explain what a Spiritual Order is. I must say this before I share what is on my heart, lest after reading this short sharing, we should somehow go away believing that we have actually seen something, or possibly even seen Christ Himself. But the fact of the matter remains: until God, in His tender mercy and loving kindness, reveals His Son, we have seen nothing, and therefore we continue blind. My goal in saying this is not to discourage or offend anyone in any way. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I desire that we all come to The Truth: Christ Himself, by allowing God Himself to turn our hearts to see the glorious face of Christ and having seen Him continue to allow God to turn our hearts to ever see Him. May we settle for nothing less.
-Jimmy Ned Collins
A Spiritual Order is an order that God Himself has set up and that declares His Eternal Reality, though the order itself is not The true Eternal Reality of God. One can come to know a Spiritual Order and yet still not actually know The Reality of which it speaks and testifies. Anyone (even one who is not born again) can teach a Spiritual Order. Likewise, anyone (even one who is not born again) can learn a Spiritual Order. This can be done even though they might not even be aware that it is a Spiritual Order. An example of this can be seen with a seed and a harvest. Before there can be a harvest, a seed must be planted, etc. This seems simple enough and yet it is declaring a far greater Spiritual Order and Reality of which we might not be aware. So then, a farmer (whether born again or not) can teach his children that before any harvest can be reaped, there must be seed planted. Of course, this Spiritual Order is speaking and testifying of Christ Himself. He is The Seed that God declares and sent forth into the world, and He Himself came forth in great increase when He rose from the grave. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24 AV).
Now then, I would like to share a bit concerning a Spiritual Order found in the scriptures. It is: The Order of His Appearing: Beginning To End. God created the soul for this very Purpose and no other. Everything is automatic out from this Purpose. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 AV). So then, the goal is seeing the kingdom of God. But the kingdom of God is not peoples, places, times, events, or things, etc., but a Person. Remember that Jesus also said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39 AV). The kingdom of God is Christ Himself, just as eternal Life is Christ Himself. And the kingdom of God governs in the soul only when Christ Himself is being seen.
So then, according to this passage, one must first be born again before he can ever see. If one is not born again, then it is impossible for one to ever come to see. And yes, that which is to be seen is Christ Himself.
Everything we find in the scriptures is testifying of Christ Himself. In reading the scriptures, the goal is not to see some “new thing” for a greater knowledge, or even some deeper knowledge, etc. Neither is the goal of reading the scriptures to see something “new” for the sake of seeing something new, or even to share that which is seen in a sermon, teaching, or a Bible study. No, all of that is still remaining short of the purpose of the scriptures. The goal of the scriptures is to see The Person of Christ Himself. To come to the goal of reading the scriptures, one must first see Christ in them, then one must turn to see that very Christ of which the scriptures testify. Seeing Christ in the scriptures (though it is a miracle of God) is not the end. The goal and end that God Himself determined in the scriptures is that the heart turn to actually see The Person Himself of which the scriptures are testifying. It is the difference between seeing and studying a person’s identification card (driver’s license, passport, etc.) versus actually seeing and knowing the person. This of only when God Himself reveals His Son in the heart that is turned to see Him. And this, once again, is the miracle of God.
This beautiful Spiritual Order is also found in chapter 24 of the gospel of Luke. This is only an order set forth for us to know that there is a greater reality that must be seen; that in fact, we are purposed to see. The passage is from verses 13 through 35.
(Luke 24:13-14) The passage begins with two people walking on a road discussing Jesus. For our example, and to show the order set forth here, I will equate these two people to those who are not born again. Now I know that in the order of events, none began to be born again until the day of pentecost, but to come to actually see The Reality spoken of here in this passage, we must see the order that is set forth. So there they are talking about Jesus and all that they know about the events concerning Him and His cross. I will add that before one is born again, The Spirit of God begins to stir one’s heart and mind concerning The Person of Jesus. Maybe it is from something read or heard, or maybe it is simply from conversation with another, but the result is the same: the heart and mind are stirred concerning Jesus.
(Luke 24:15) As the two people continue discussing and trying to make sense of Jesus, The Person Himself appears in their midst. No one really knows how long the two were talking about Jesus before He Himself appeared. This I will liken to being born again. When The Holy Spirit of God begins dealing with the heart of a person concerning Jesus, and if that person permits, they will soon find themselves being born again (Christ Himself appearing in their soul). Depending upon a person’s heart and willingness to yield to The Spirit of God, this might take a very short time or sometimes sadly, a very long time. Nonetheless, New Birth (being born again) is something that God Himself initiates and performs.
(Luke 24:16) Whether we believe and confess or not, each one who is born again is born blind. (This Spiritual Reality is also seen in John chapter nine.) I will not say that we are blind to “things,” even “things” concerning Jesus. Though the abundance of Man’s (our) knowing is quite high and lofty, it still remains short of God’s knowing. Man, in man’s wisdom, does not know God (1 Corinthians 1:17-25). Although Man knows very much indeed, concerning the very Person of Christ we are utterly blind, just as these men were. Jesus is presently now in their midst, and they are utterly blind to Who is really present. Therefore they truly do not know The One Who is present.
(Luke 24:17-24) The conversation begins again, but this time it is The Lord Himself directing it. In all of our knowing about Jesus, our hearts can still be sad because joy is only found in the morning. The morning is when we see Him (Psalms 30:5; John 16:16-22; 2 Peter 1:16-19). How foolish we are when we believe we see and see not. Jesus is present and these two begin telling Him what they know concerning Jesus. Yet all the while they are ignorant of The One Who is present! They are telling Jesus about Jesus; yet they are blind to the fact that The Person Who is now leading the conversation is Jesus Himself. Very foolish is it not? The two continue speaking concerning their hopes, the hopes that they had in regard to Jesus. They are telling their understanding of things in regard to Jesus, and yet they see Him not.
(Luke 24:25-29) The tender mercy and patience of The Lord is beyond comprehension! He humbly endures while we spout off all of our ignorance concerning Him, till there is opportunity for He Himself to begin declaring The Wisdom of God unto our hearts. Christ Himself is The Wisdom of God.
Finally, the heart begins to continue in The Purpose of God. Christ is being seen in the scriptures. And what a seeing it is! If there ever was a Bible study, this is the Bible study of ALL Bible studies! And yet this is still only a means to The End. As glorious as this was to them, and truly it is for all who will continue, this is still not the Glory of God that excelleth! The Glory of God that excels beyond all measure is found exclusively in the face of Christ Himself (2 Corinthians 4:6). Those two (in fact, all of us), though beginning and continuing to see Christ Himself in the scriptures, are still blind to The Person!
(Luke 24:30-35) The End Goal is finally come. At last, after patient endurance, their eyes are finally opened and they see Him. They see The very Person Himself. And having seen The Person, now (and only now) is Christ known.
As far as the breaking of bread goes, I know that the manna appeared every morning for the children of Israel to partake. It appeared as that which would nourish and sustain them throughout the day. This is no different for us who are born again. God in His infinite wisdom and tender mercy reveals His Son (The True Bread of Heaven), that we would not only find everything we need in Him, but that we would continue in The Purpose for which He created our souls -His very Appearing.
In the Spiritual Order that is found in this passage from the Gospel of Luke is seen two who have come to The very Purpose for which their souls were created of God, and have continued from The Beginning even unto The End. And so, we must come as well.
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-Jimmy Ned Collins
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