IT IS FINISHED! - "We See Not Yet"
By Doug Fortune
"After this, Jesus knowing that ALL things were now ACCOMPLISHED, that the scripture might be fulfilled... He said, IT IS FINISHED: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost." (John 19:28, 30)
"Thou hast put ALL things
in subjection under His feet. For in that He put ALL in subjection under Him, He left NOTHING that is not put under Him. But now we SEE NOT YET all things put under Him... For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are
all things, in bringing MANY SONS unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are ALL OF ONE: for which cause He is not ashamed to call
them brethren..." (Hebrews 2:8, 10-11)
Does anyone else, other than me, feel the tension between those two
Scriptural truths we read of above? It IS finished, but we don't SEE the full manifestation of it yet.
I feel that very tension in my own life from time to time. I find that my theology does not always fit my life
experience. Some cope with this tension by simply adopting a flexible 'theology' based more upon life experience than the inerrant truth of Scripture, a theology that 'judges after the sight of the eyes and the hearing of the ears'
(Isaiah 11:3). Unfortunately, this way of thinking does not provide any stability in a life that can be full of ups and downs. Others cope by adopting a somewhat spiritualized form of 'denial' that is cloaked under the guise of
'faith'. This way of thinking can lead to a life lived in a spiritual fantasy world, and also produce a certain amount of guilt when things don't go right. We've all heard this familiar, but frustrating conversation; "So you're
having some problems, huh? Well brother, it must just be a LACK of faith!" Nothing like guilt and condemnation to make you feel better, huh? Others cope by relegating victory and dominion to the future... as for now, "We'll just
hang on till He comes!" This is definitely no way to live, there has to be a better way. Yet the fact still remains, it IS finished, but we don't SEE the full manifestation of it yet.
In considering this tension, I think
back a few years to when my artistic expression manifested via the paint brush. Before you ever start to paint, there is the process of creating tension by stretching the canvass over a wooden frame. When the canvass doesn't have
good tension, you can't get clear definition with the paint brush. "Through faith we understand that the worlds were FRAMED by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (Hebrews 11:3)
I believe that this spiritual tension between our manifested reality in this earth realm and the spiritual reality of the finished work of the cross is the very canvass upon which the Father will paint the fulfillment of our
destiny. Just like a canvass, it is only as our lives are 'stretched' tight that we show forth our true 'colors'.
Notice how that scripture above said, "things which are seen were not made of things which do appear"? Well,
the implication is that what manifests outwardly is really more a reflection of the unseen rather than the seen. In other words, it is the 'unseen' threads that have great impact upon the fabric of our manifested reality. Consider
the message of 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While WE LOOK not at the things which are seen, but at the things which
are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
It's really all about focus or vision, it's all about what we SEE. "The light of the body is the eye: therefore
when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness." (Luke 11:34). In Biblical symbolism, the 'eye' speaks of our focus or vision, and 'light'
speaks of illumination. Luke is telling us that the eye, our focus, is the light and illuminator of our body, it illuminates our life. It seems that the type of illumination I have determines how I perceive reality, and that
'perceived' reality largely determines how I act. My actions then have great impact on my manifested reality.
The verse says, "when thine eye (our focus or vision) is single, thy whole body (our life) also is full of
light..." The word translated as single, haplous in Greek, means a particle of union, folded together, single (figuratively, clear). From this we understand that our vision, our focus must be in UNION with something, but what is
that something? I believe the scripture clarifies it quite well. "The SPIRIT of man is the candle (or better translated -the illuminator) of the Lord." (Proverbs 20:27) The Amplified Bible states, "He who is
joined to the Lord becomes ONE SPIRIT with Him." (1 Corinthians 6:17)
So our vision, our focus must be in union or ONE with our SPIRIT, which is one with His Spirit, because His Spirit is the accurate illumination of the Lord. Only then when our focus, our vision is from our SPIRIT, do we have accurate illumination. I believe that the Father is raising up a corporate 'Branch' company (Isaiah 11) who with accurate illumination, do not judge things after the natural circumstances.
"And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes..." (Isaiah 11:3)
When Jesus said "IT is finished!" in John 19:30, was He looking only at
the natural circumstances? Certainly His mission on earth in this natural realm was finished, but the "IT" of the eternal purposes of God is STILL being played out in this natural realm. Yet at the same time, in the Spirit He SAW
that the "IT" of the eternal purposes of God was finished also, for He sees the end from the beginning.
"I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done." (Isaiah 46:9-10)
And so it is for us, my friend, the accurate illumination of the Lord operating in our life sees the end from the beginning... seeing the FINISHED work. In reality "the works were FINISHED from the foundation of the world."
There is another aspect of our vision, our 'seeing', that is addressed in Hebrews chapter twelve; "Wherefore SEEING we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses..." (Hebrews
Allow me to coin a new phrase; I am asking the Lord to increase and refine my 'wherefore seeing'. It is my 'wherefore seeing' that allows me to SEE beyond the natural realm, to see that I am "compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses."
Perhaps this isn't the most accurate exegesis or word study, but I am drawn to the words 'compassed about' in that verse. In the past, I have always envisioned the saints that have gone before us seated in a large spiritual
'stadium' of sorts, as spectators cheering us on, much like a sporting event. However, as I have recently been meditating upon those words, 'compassed about', I am now getting a much different picture. Ponder with me for a moment
here... 'COMPASSED about'... it makes me think of the word compassion. Compassion is not merely spectating and cheering one on. Compassion is when our heart yearns, when we invest ourselves to make a difference in the life of the
one we are having compassion upon, when a part of our very being is imparted to another. I believe that this is a better picture of our being "compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses."
I believe this because of the context in which we find Hebrews chapter twelve, and that is Hebrews 11:39-40; "And all of these, though they won divine approval by [means of] their faith, did not receive the fulfillment of
what was promised, Because God had us in mind and had something better and greater in view for us, so that they [these heroes and heroines of faith] should not come to perfection apart from us [before we could join them]."
You see, they very much have a stake in what WE are doing! I liken it to a relay race, where the baton has been passed. Although the initial runners may not posses the baton any longer, they have played a major part in getting the baton to where it now is, and they too share in the eventual prize. I believe this was also the idea the writer intended to convey as he goes on to say, "let us run with patience the race that is set before us..." This is also accentuated by the fact that those who have gone before us now truly SEE the 'end from the beginning'. They see just how close we really are to appropriating, in the natural realm, that which is already finished in the spirit.
Now then, that verse in Hebrews said that they "did not receive the fulfillment of what was promised" because the Father wanted US to be a part of it. But my question is, what exactly IS the promise, what IS it we're headed
for, what IS the goal? It is found in verse 40; "that they should not come to PERFECTION apart from us." About now you're probably saying, "Oh brother, you expect ME to be perfect? You ARE a dreamer!" You may be having visions of
no more eating junk food while leaned over your sink, making your bed every day, and not squeezing the toothpaste in the middle... all the while, just those few thoughts are causing tiny beads of sweat to gather on your brow. Well,
it may comfort you to find out what that 'perfection' is.
The word translated as perfection, teleioo in Greek, means to complete, (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character); it is often translated
as consecrate, finish, fulfill, make perfect. This is really the primary purpose of the five-fold ministry- to help each other be transformed into the image of Christ, to be consummated in the character of Christ. "And he
gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the PERFECTING of the saints... Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a PERFECT
man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we... may GROW UP into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" (Ephesians 4:11-15)
There is an interesting and often misunderstood passage in 1 Corinthians 13:10 that also speaks of this 'perfection'; "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."
The Amplified Bible states it as such; "But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded)." The Literal Bible is quite poignant when it says, "When but comes the full-grown thing, what is in partial will be abolished." The word translated as perfect in that verse, teleios in Greek, is another form of the same word we just read in Ephesians chapter four. It means complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character), completeness; it is often translated as 'of full age', man, perfect. Yes, you can relax about eating while leaned over your sink, bed making, the toothpaste tube.
Notice also that the verse says, "when that which is perfect IS COME." The word translated as 'is come' is erchomai in Greek; it is the middle voice of a primary verb used ONLY in the present and imperfect tenses. The
present tense may be used to describe an action that, begun in the past, CONTINUES in the present, the emphasis is on the PRESENT time. The imperfect is often used to describe an action or state that is IN PROGRESS. As such, the
imperfect focuses on the PROCESS of the action. I don't know about you, but when I read, "when that which is perfect IS COME", I want to know some things. Exactly WHAT or WHO is this 'that which is perfect' spoken of, WHERE is this
'that which is perfect' coming, and what or who is this 'imperfect' that will be removed?
Jesus Christ was the initial embodiment of the 'PERFECT man', however Hebrews 2:10-11
tells us the 'rest of the story', as He came with the purpose of "bringing MANY sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation PERFECT through sufferings. For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are
ALL OF ONE: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren."
Indeed the 'perfect', complete, full-grown, teleios man spoken of in Ephesians chapter four IS in the process of coming. The 'PERFECT man' is a people who are maturing into the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; a people who are GROWING UP into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; a people through whom Christ can manifest His very Life. And WHERE shall we look for the COMING spoken of?
"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory... that we may present every man PERFECT in Christ Jesus:" (Colossians 1:27-28) "When
He shall COME to be glorified IN HIS SAINTS, and to be admired IN all them that believe... That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified IN YOU, and YE IN HIM..." (2 Thessalonians 1:10, 12)
Yes, He is presently coming to be glorified IN US, to be admired IN US, that His name, His nature, be glorified IN US. Also, what or who is this 'imperfect' that will be removed? It is the nature and character of Adam that is vanishing away, that is being superseded by the nature and character of Christ.
I see a beautiful prophetic picture of this as Jesus proclaims, "And He said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the THIRD DAY I shall be
PERFECTED." (Luke 13:32)
The Amplified Bible states it well as it says, "...on the third day I FINISH (complete) My course." He was perfected, He finished on the THIRD DAY, even so I believe it is with us. We are moving into the prophetic millennial Third Day since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and I believe this to be the day when the corporate Body of Christ comes into that completion and Biblical 'perfection' of resting in the FINISHED work of Jesus Christ. About now you may be thinking, "Well, if this IS the day you speak of, why don't we SEE it? Looks like things are pretty dark and gloomy to me!" Yes, to the natural eye things may appear pretty dark, but that is only because God's days always begin at night.
"And the EVENING and the morning were the THIRD DAY." (Genesis 1:13) Evening and the darkness of night always precede the light of a new day! "For now we see through a glass, darkly..." (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Today, whether you're looking at the condition of the world OR the condition of the Church at large, things are not looking so good. It is much the same situation we read of in 2 Kings 6:14-15; "Therefore sent he thither
horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by NIGHT, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots.
And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?"
Many in the Church today are looking around at a host of evil in the world and saying, "Alas, what shall we do?" Some are even building convenient doctrines that offer an easy escape route. However, Elisha was seeing something different and he offers us a beautiful picture of his 'wherefore seeing' in
2 Kings 6:16-17, as the eyes of his servant are opened to their being 'compassed about'; "And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray
thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
Oh, that the Lord would open our eyes that our 'wherefore seeing' overtake our carnal vision!
You see, in the natural sense, the human eye is actually built to NOT perceive most of the available light. Of the entire light
wave spectrum, the human eye visually perceives about 3 percent, the other 97 percent is blocked out. So I believe it is in the spiritual sense, when we look at things with natural eyes and natural reasoning, we are stumbling about
in darkness. Sometimes we can feel so alone when we view all the spiritual darkness around us, we get to feeling and talking like Elijah in 1 Kings chapter 19 as he "came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested
for himself that he might die... And he said... I, even I ONLY, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." (1 Kings 19:4, 10) However, hear what the Lord said to him, "Yet I have left Me seven thousand in
Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal..." (1 Kings 19:18)
Yes, my friend, truly they that be with us are more than they that be with them! Light ALWAYS overcomes darkness! That is because darkness is not an energy or an entity unto itself, it is merely the absence of light. "In Him
was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has NEVER overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it]." (John 1:4-5 Amplified Bible)
The spiritual eyes, however, do not need to know any limitations, as Paul prays "that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation... By having the eyes of your heart FLOODED with light..." (Ephesians
1:17-18 Amplified Bible) Carnal vision says, 'Seeing is believing', but in spiritual reality 'Believing is SEEING!' We must keep ever before us the fact that the Father declares "the end from the beginning" (Isaiah
46:10) and that "the works were FINISHED from the foundation of the world." (Hebrews 4:3) Faith is not merely wishful thinking, faith is seeing beyond the natural, faith is 'wherefore seeing', faith is SUBSTANCE! "NOW FAITH is the
assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as REAL FACT what is not revealed to the senses]." (Hebrews
11:1 Amplified Bible)
Yes, my friend, it IS finished, even though we don't SEE the full manifestation of it yet. However, I believe that as we begin to 'see' the finished work with our 'wherefore seeing', we WILL
begin to SEE that finished work manifesting in this natural realm. Indeed, this is the dawning of the Third Day, and I believe the corporate Body of Christ WILL come into that completion and Biblical 'perfection' of resting in the
FINISHED work of Jesus Christ. "Wherefore SEEING we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses... let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and FINISHER of our
FAITH..." (Hebrews 12:1-2)