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So that in everything He may have the preeminence 

Robert Ewing

“So that in everything he may have primacy (preeminence v. 1960).” Col. 1:18. When God looked at the dark picture of rebellious humanity, His love placed such preeminence on us. For He did not take any of the angels but His only begotten son to give. Also, the Lord descended from the highest place in heaven to the deep pit of hell to redeem us. And this was not a momentary redemption but placed us in heavenly places forever. What wonderful thing has the Lord done to keep us, instead of putting preeminence in Him?

However, human nature is such that it wants the preeminence to be taken away from the Lord and placed in us. Satan collaborates with this with his subtle ways to the believer. For he takes the good things, scriptural things, and robs us of the preeminence of Christ by putting us in them. His strategy is subtle because once we discover that we are in such preeminence we tend to throw away the good as something bad when it was a necessary means to an end, knowing Christ. And it is not that the good has become bad but our attitude towards it. Consequently, the good became the worst enemy of the best.

How would this be possible?  Certainly, Bible study, witnessing, worship, gifts of the Holy Spirit, divine order, church work, etc... Could they not minister death when used to minister life? However, they do do so when they are used to minister to our ego and lift it up. Instead of meeting a need, they minister death, like rivers that have been channeled into enemy territory. God forbid.



Observe the magnificent knowledge of the Pharisees regarding the Bible. They knew that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. They also knew that He would live forever so when the Lord spoke of His crucifixion, it “proved” to their satisfaction that He was not their Messiah. They lost the living Word because of the letter of the Word. Today, when people put the preeminence in the letter, they also stumble upon the technicalities that rob them of entering into the tremendous spiritual life in the Spirit and the publicans and harlots enter before them.

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God, and of our Lord Jesus.”         II Pet. 1:2. What tremendous implications! Grace (the sufficiency of God) and peace do not multiply in you, no matter how many of these good things you have, if they do not produce an intimate knowledge of Christ in you. “Multiply” is more than just “added.” Moses prayed: “I beg you to show me your way now, so that I may know you…” Ex. 33:13. God gives us these good things. His “ways” so that when we know Him we have grace and peace.

In contrast to the Pharisees who were fascinated with the beauty, diction and details of the Holy Book who overlooked the purpose of the Scripture, others were so concerned with the wrapping of the package that they forgot its contents. Well, experiences are like the envelopes that life contains. The experiences of the Holy Spirit are wonderful. However, if we stop there and think that God has no more for us, then the divine life atrophies. Even worse, there are some who are so afraid of the wrapping that they reject the gift. Because misusing the gift is not as bad as rejecting it. And we cannot exclude experiences as something incidental since the word “knowledge (epignosis)” in II Pet. 1:2 means knowledge that comes by experience.



These good things are, in principle, as the branches are to the vine. Neither the vine nor the branch can act independently and produce life. When the Pharisees used their cold reasoning to interpret the Word, instead of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17) they separated like a branch from the vine. When one has genuine experiences and continues to seek them for personal joy instead of the glory of God, then that branch is cut off and such experiences do not produce life. When the divinely called ministers stop receiving orders from the Head and begin to submit to human leadership and preach that group, death enters, since they have cut their ministries from the vine.

A local church is a divine institution, however, when it is separated from the vine, death enters. It becomes just another whirlpool while the main stream of divine life flows.  Isolated waters stagnate and eventually become corrupted. Divine order is cherished in our hearts and is a “must” for God's best. However, an example of how it can become a “whirlwind” or side activity is seen in the experience of one young man. In his search for God he came to a church. There was no sign on the door but he assumed it was a worship service so he went in with the other believers. It was, as in I Cor. 14:26, a service of mutual participation. Although everything was in perfect order, something was missing because it was not being built. Years later, he realized that this group had placed more importance on order than on Christ.  We must remember that the “divine order” focuses on the divine and not on “order”  or the order of man will put on new clothing.

Christ is the head and the cornerstone as in the great pyramid. Previously, the cornerstone was thought to be missing until it was discovered that it had always been there but inverted. This stone holds all stones together. When “Christ is all and in all,” including good things (Col 3:11) it produces solid unity. Although God may use good doctrine, beautiful order, and talented praise in every church meeting, if any of these things become the primary reason for gathering and Christ takes second place, there will be division in the long run. How many churches have risen and fallen for this reason alone.  If you have apparently grown up around a personality or some program that has received preeminence, you will fall at the Judgment Seat of Christ and if not before.




Because this is like an orchestra directed by its conductor. If any instrument takes the lead without taking it into account, regardless of how well it does it, there will be disagreement. However, the wise director will not discard it but will seek to adjust it. And just as there are times where he points out that some instruments have a more important activity than others, so are God's dealings with us.

Therefore, we must say: “Doing your will, my God, has pleased me; And your law is in the midst of my bowels.” Ps. 40:8. That law of love makes us flexible to our leader and automatically makes us centered on Christ. Was Paul's delight in doing something good rather than being in Christ? This would have been easy, it would seem more difficult to serve Christ. However, his delight was not to minister or serve  but to do the will of God, since he was imprisoned for several years. And because of this, although he did very little, such as writing some epistles in prison, he did more than anything else.

David learned that he could be with the king gaining national attention or with those despised sheep, for this was God's will for him (he wrote Psalm 23 from his experience of being in delicate pastures). The main example of all these truths is always Christ. While the disciples' delight was upon the earthly kingdom at that time, Christ's delight was to do the will of the Father. This attitude operates as a “spiritual buffer” in rough places.

Israel's wanderings in the desert are full of examples of what happens when we exalt good things instead of Christ and His Will. For some Israelites gathered more manna than they needed and as a result it bred worms and rotted, this is what happens to some today, for they put the preeminence on the blessing more than on the Blesser, until their blessings rot. Just as Korah tried to exalt his ministry above God's will for him, and fell, so many today who have wonderful ministries try to exalt them by building little kingdoms for themselves, sharing the leadership.





The main figure is the tabernacle and its furniture. Each of these guides us toward the fullness of Christ. The bronze altar speaks of discipleship, the table of pure doctrine, etc. But the most important thing is that all of these were like signs on the way to lead us to the ark of the covenant, since the glorious column of God's presence did not rest on them but on the ark of the covenant (Lev. 16:2).

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word…” Mt. 4:4. Discipleship, pure doctrine, etc., are important parts of the building but they are not the main cornerstone and when they are used to build instead of Christ, the foundation then ends in death. In doing so, they usually exclude other important principles and God's pattern always has a balance. It is not about discarding something good until the end, but allowing everything to have its place, which is to glorify Christ and then we can have some of these good things.

Moses did not know that his face was shining. The shine was just a result of having been with Him WHO SHINES. Instead of the preacher continually asking people to smile, he should allow the disciples to be “filled with joy and the Holy Spirit” and then they will smile as a matter of course.

Using this same principle, instead of the believer following signs he should read Mark 16:17, “And these signs will follow those who believe…”. Well, the signs must follow us as true “believers”. This thought is clearly illustrated in 2°R. 2:10. Because, in contrast to the fifty sons of the prophets who were waiting for some extraordinary sign, there is Elisha who looked to Elijah (a type of Christ) and to the signs that followed his ministry. Because Elijah had said to him: “If you see me…” a double portion of his spirit would rest in him.




From the upper room, the disciples came out “endowed” with the mantle of the Spirit to do powerful signs. The secret was that the only object of worship had been the resurrected Christ, Elijah. Contrary to popular belief, a church full of powerful signs and wonders does not make it a weak and sickly church or else the first church would have died in its infancy. The miraculous word, anointed by the Spirit, automatically produces miraculous works.

A “sanctified” saying says: “Seek the Giver, not the gifts.” Was this the attitude that Paul (and the Holy Spirit) had? The apostle knew that the gift is how to know the giver and despite the disorder in Corinth he still told them to seek and long for supernatural gifts. Also, it states that these gifts were in vogue as long as we looked at them in the “mirror” in darkness. James says that this “mirror” is the written Word (James 1:23). The only more excellent path is to use these gifts with love, anointed tools for service.

“Zion” symbolizes the “dwelling” of God (Ps. 132:13) which today would mean the Spirit-filled Church or the believer (Eph. 2:22). To enter this heavenly orbit we must be centred on Christ. Israel left Egypt, in the field of Zoan they turned aside to Zin and lost their way to Zion (Ps. 78:12; Num. 20:1). Has the same thing happened to us? When a straight line curves a little, and continues, it becomes a circle. Many are lost in the desert of Zin because their direction curves and instead of reaching the goal it leads them towards themselves. How “eccentric” and off-center the children of God can become. Well, they would start with a destination in mind and they would find themselves on a path that, instead of guiding them to their goal, would divert them.




There is a wrong way and a right way to practice the truth. One group was clear on this issue. To be Christ-centered, they established the gifts of the Spirit, Bible reading (since they wanted the “Living Word”), and prayer, etc. This was a wrong path because these practices by themselves have no value. The correct path is that from these things we obtain the best, that is, that Christ manifests himself in our lives.

However, what are some of these “assignments” of becoming spiritually eccentric, when these things become our end instead of a means? We have already seen that grace and peace stop multiplying. Also, these holy things become commonplace and sometimes mechanical. They lost their “flavour” somehow. When we stop putting the impression of God on us and instead use it to impress man, we are driving at the wrong speed.

Are we like the good Samaritan or are we like the priest who prefers to present something good instead of the current need? (Because he was more concerned with the work of the church than helping someone in need).

One is amazed when travelling to Mexico City on the old roads to see beautiful and symmetrical plots in the mountains cultivated by farmers. Life is much more than that. God wants us to cultivate every area in our lives. Sometimes He deals with one area at a time. But what are these areas that, when centred on Christ, harmonize with us?



First is our “plot of faith.” Is our faith divided and centred on different things, perhaps on circumstances, on renowned evangelists, or is it limited to our denominational creed, or is it simply centred on Christ and his finished work? Our “plot of love” and affections should not focus on the things below but on the things above (Col. 3:2).

Then comes difficult terrain for us and that is surrendering to the divine Gardener. It must be one of these plots in the mountains because it is our “plot of hope.” Let's see the beauty of David's plot: “My soul, rest in God alone; Because my hope is from him.” Ps. 62:5. Today, the minister places his hopes on some “approved” plan, including missionaries in their financial petitions, students in the theological interpretation of a certain doctor of divinities, or their school instead of placing them in the Spirit as God's guide to the Word (John 16:13). It is not in our intellect that we should place our hope. The guide It is so beautiful when we are centred on Christ, for “I will teach you how you should walk: I will fix my eyes on you (I will guide you with my eye, King James Version).” Psa 32:8.

Just as Christ's ministry began and ended with heaven open and a direct line to the Father, so should our ministry be centred on Christ. In other words, He should be the source from which all this is obtained and the object to which it all flows if it is to have lasting fruit. The disciples said of Christ that He was a powerful prophet, first, “before God” and then “before all the people.”               Lc. 24:19.



Just as David foresaw the Lord always before him, so it happened to Paul (Acts 26:19). No wonder when they faced their Goliath they ran against him without fear, because they did not see the giant but the Lord! We are like a sheet of paper used in a laboratory. Although there are many steel shavings scattered on it, when a magnet is passed over it, it attracts them. “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will bring all to myself.” Jn. 12:32. Not only are all men drawn to Christ, but the whole of man.  “Consolidate my heart so that I fear your name.”       Ps. 86:11.

Our Bible study centres on Christ as the Lord emerges from the pages to us (Luke 24:44). Our “plot of testimony” is centered on Christ when we, as Christ said, “will be my witnesses” even though the world may think it is for them first, when we speak to them of the gospel (Acts 1:8). Stephen saw the Lord instead of those who were stoning him. The Spirit gave him that strength. Since David's eyes were on the Blesser rather than on the blessing, God showered him with blessings (Ps. 103:4).

Although it was a good thing that Peter's eyes were on the experience of the Transfiguration, the bad thing was when in his experience of walking in the troubled water he took his eyes off Christ and sank. However, what is most misleading are the things we think are good and are not. The psychological (from the Greek word psyche, soul) rather than the spiritual (from the Greek word pneuma, spirit, as in the gifts of the Spirit) is an example of this. King Uzziah was with Isaiah and after he died, the prophet saw the Lord (Is. 6:1). Who are our Uzziahs who must die before we see the Lord high and lifted up? Many kings of Israel planted “forests” that is, trees for Asherah as mentioned in Deut. 16:21. “You shall not plant a forest of any tree (attractions) near the altar (God's place of worship) of the Lord your God.” Today, man has rejected the Spirit in such a way that he has planted his “forests” so that his members do not leave.




Job's “zimmahs” were his “Uzziahs” who had to die. What is a zimmah? It is the Hebrew word used in Job. 17:11 always has a negative meaning in the Bible and is translated as “design” or “purpose.” God rips this from Job's heart. The basic meaning of this word is “plan” specifically an evil plan. It is translated on another occasion in the book of Job as “wickedness and iniquity” about adultery. And even in Job's heart, there were “zimmahs.” Any mixed motive or plan outside of God's will are our “zimmahs.” When Zebedee's mother came “worshipping him and asking him for something,” meaning a special position for her children, she had her own “zimmah” (Mt. 20:20).

The best Christians can start in the pew and end up in the same position. Ahimaas means “strong brother.” He was David's official messenger and the son of the high priest. When the king's son (Absalom) died hanging on the tree, he notified him without having complete news. Cusi (Black, Ethiopian) was commissioned to notify David. Like many ministers today, Ahimaaz, son of Zadok, insisted on breaking the news to David, and Joab allowed him to do so (2 Sam. 18). He took the shortcut (the plain road) and arrived before Cushi who had taken the difficult road. Those who promote their own “zimmahs” are making progress, but what will be their end? David, disappointed, told him to leave when Cusi, the man with the real message, arrived. What we sow we reap. His only ambition was to promote his ministry, he started in banking and ended up in banking.

It is better to humble ourselves now than to wait until the Judgment Seat of Christ. Because there the straw will burn. The Spirit, the earnest of the glory to come, will prepare us for that glory when we are baptized with “the Holy Spirit and with fire.” This fire will burn all our zimmahs if we allow it. This is why some Ahimaas upon receiving the filling of the Spirit seem to go backwards in their ministry. They go everywhere but in reverse of what God wants since the Lord wants to make them like Pauls (“Little Ones”) instead of Ahimaas (“strong brothers”). When we are weak then we are strong in the grace of God. Many good Ahimaaz end up on the bench because they were in some group that God had long ago written “Ichabod” (1 Sam. 4:21) on.

Christ is not revealed in his temple (the church), because man has wrapped it up with economic systems, good decoration and lots of entertainment so that the poor sinner cannot find him.


This message is to perfect us. Since love is the main perfecter             (Col. 3:14) and whom we love we put at the center of everything, love is the key. The ministry of tribulations together with the gift of the Holy Spirit will produce this love          (Rom. 5:3-5). In fact, the Holy Spirit whose goal is to glorify Christ and guide us into all truth, with love, is the key. “He will glorify me.” Jn. 16:14. The biblical references have been given so that any “Bereense” who searches the Word will see if these things are so. “Jehovah will fulfil for me…” Ps. 138:8.


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