Our daily bread

Rejection of Paul The High Calling What is the Gospel ? The Chosen Generation Lazarus and the Rich Man Is Homosexuality Sin Where did the Devil Come From? Looking for His Appearing ZARAH & PHAREZ (in re: New Age Mvmt) Neck Ministry Friendship with God To be the Lord's prayer

Part 17



            “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven...Give us this day our daily bread” (Mat. 6:9).            

            What meaning do you attach to the word “daily”? For what is it that you ask, exactly, when you pray, “Give us this day our daily bread?” What is “daily bread”? Around the Greek word translated “daily” (EPIOUSION) much controversy has circled. The word is a coined word. It is not found elsewhere in the New Testament. It is not found in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. It is not found in Greek literature. The early Church Father, Origen, less than two hundred years after our Lord spoke, reported that he could not find the word either in the works of classical writers or in the common speech of the uneducated. It is not likely that in this prayer, intended by our Lord to be a model for His disciples, He would introduce an unknown word manufactured by Him for the occasion. Jesus never did that. It looks as though our Lord had indeed spoken in Aramaic, the common language of Galilee, and that when the apostles began to write their Gospels in Greek they coined this word to represent what Jesus said — sort of a transliteration, and yet not that. The phrase “daily bread” comes to us from the Latin; it was adopted by Tyndale and Luther, and so passed into the King James Version.

            Scholars suggest various shades of meaning for the word, and each has his reasons. The four primary ones are: (1) daily bread (2) necessary bread (3) dependable bread (4) bread for the morrow. While different scholars give different theories or evidence for their particular interpretation of the term, the fact is, there is merit in all of them! As we meditate upon these significant words of our Lord it will, I believe, become clear that each of these meanings is in one way or another contained within the idea of “daily bread”. Whether it means “daily bread” or “necessary bread”, or “dependable bread” or “tomorrow’s bread”, the fundamental principle is the same — everything comes from Father’s gracious hand as needed and we receive it humbly and thankfully out of a heart of absolute trust; but prayer is not to be turned into a mere instrument for obtaining everything our carnal hearts may desire.  


            The type is in the natural, physical bread for the body; the substance and reality are in the living bread in the spirit. Let us look at the type for a moment. I draw your mind to the people to whom our Lord first taught this prayer — the people of Galilee . A few of them were affluent. Some of them were so poor as to be almost destitute. But most of them were somewhere in between. They were not people of great means. In Bible days, in the land of Israel , workers were paid daily. It was illegal for an employer to owe his employees wages beyond sunset. So long as they had daily work they could manage, but usually there was nothing to spare. There were no surpluses, there was no Workers Compensation, and no Visa or Mastercard. If an unexpected guest arrived, there would be nothing in the cupboard. If a child was suddenly taken ill, there was no money to pay the doctor. They literally lived from hand to mouth, from day to day.  

            The day’s wage had to buy the day’s food. It is easy to see why people tended to be anxious about “tomorrow.” In our modern world where wages are paid weekly and sometimes bi-monthly or monthly we are most often anxious about next week or next month — not tomorrow! It becomes extraordinarily difficult for people to lift their thoughts to the higher things of the spirit while they are obsessed by these haunting worries, and have nothing laid in store for the future, and nothing to fall back upon. It is this they crave — to have some security, to feel that, whatever tomorrow’s need, they have provision for it safe in store.

            “Give us this day our daily bread.” This petition shows itself to be a divine revelation of reality, a principle of the Kingdom of God . An apparent petition for temporal provision, it is, nevertheless, a spiritual petition. It presents the world as the godly man sees it. Our meat and drink and raiment come into view here and we see them from the heavenly side. The word of our Lord to the people was that their security was to be found in the FATHER. Jesus said to His disciples in the same Sermon on the Mount, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Mat. 6:25-26).

            Consider exactly what it is that the firstborn Son of God would have us learn from the birds: it is not their idleness or lack of forethought; it is their freedom from worry, anxiety and concern. How utterly unanxious these birds of heaven are! Did you never hike through the mountain trails, and feel yourself inspired by the carol of the forest warblers? What hymns of content and joyful praise sweep through the aisles of their forest cathedrals! Neither sowing nor reaping nor garnering — your heavenly Father feeds them. Think of it — our heavenly Father is a feeder of birds! And are not the sons of God of much more value than many sparrows? If, then, my heavenly Father feeds birds which are not His children, will He not much more feed me who am His offspring? Oh ye sons of the Most High — fear not, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to eat and drink with you in the Kingdom of Heaven . In this great Day of the Lord He prepares a table before you and bids you “Come and dine.”

            Jobs, money, possessions are not security — our heavenly Father who feeds the sparrows and clothes the lilies is our Source, our real Security. No man can know the Father without this blessed knowledge. Therefore pray, “Our Father...give us this day our daily bread.” There is the formula for divine provision! In I Chronicles 29:14 we read that “all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee.” When Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread,” it was an acknowledgment of the Source and a statement of His expectation to receive from that Source. In perfect harmony with the Father, He was in perfect harmony with the laws of supply and demand. It is an interior relationship that manifests itself in outward provision. It is one of the laws of the realm of sonship.

            Hudson Taylor had opened up China to the gospel many years ago. He was to be the first white man to enter the interior of China . He wondered if God would provide his needs. He decided to find out. What did he do? He gave away everything he owned while he was in medical school preparing to be a missionary. God provided his needs for that day and more, so he gave away what he had left over and started from nothing. He determined to start every day with nothing — no money to buy food or anything at all and he prayed, “Father, give us this day our daily bread.” God provided. George Mueller, of the Bristol Orphanage, did the same thing, not only for himself but for hundreds and hundreds of children that he took in and provided for in that same way. We, too, do not need to be anxious because we can trust our Father that He will provide our daily bread. The problem is that there are people today who say they never pray for daily bread. Of course, they never pray for it because with their investments, with their bank accounts and with their portfolio of stocks and bonds, they have got their daily bread guaranteed for the next seventy-eight years! I am not condemning that — praise God for His provision. But if we were like many people in India and Africa that petition would take on a great deal more meaning.

            You see, beloved, GOD IS OUR SOURCE! Oh, how the Lord’s people need to learn this one sublime truth! I’m here to testify to its reality. All through the years of our walk in the Kingdom realm God has not permitted us to ask for money, or send out letters to solicit funds. And we have no gimmicks, no miracle envelopes, no book offer for an offering of ten dollars or more! We neither have to ask or beg for money, because our heavenly Father has revealed to us a higher law. Yes, God uses people, but we look not to the people, we look to God our Source. When I was in business, God was my Source. Many years ago in my business, if things weren’t going well, I kneeled down in front of my desk and prayed — and my Father answered! He showed me what to do. He put me in contact with the people who needed my service, and were glad to pay for the quality of work we did. God blessed the business because we trusted in God our Source. We have never gone hungry. We have never been stranded anywhere, though in years past we traveled extensively, often with our whole family, at home and abroad. We went to the mission fields for several years with no committed support. We took no pledges. We joined no organization. And in twenty-six years of publishing KIN GDOM BIBLE STUDIES, having mailed out well in excess of a million papers and books, we have never solicited funds in any meeting or by mail — we have tried and proven the law of supply and demand by trusting our heavenly Father as our Source. Some people entertain the notion that only preachers “live by faith.” Not so! We all live by faith. The same law worked for me in business that works for me in ministry. God is our Source — whether we work at the corner convenience store, own a business, or are in full time ministry. If you are struggling to raise five kids, pay the rent, put food on the table, and keep the car running — our Father still knows the things you have need of before you ask, but He bids you ask! He still opens doors of provision, He still makes a way where there is no way, He still performs miracles for ALL who call upon Him. There is no difference. God is our Father and the law of His Kingdom is the law for all who live in His domain.

            Norman Elliott records how Alan Redpath tells a wonderful story of his life. He had started a fund which he called “God’s Fund.” It was money which people had given him to help others. During the days of World War II this fund was at the lowest point it had ever been. Alan Redpath was an air-raid warden, and one morning at dawn he was walking his area and thinking about “God’s Fund.” He was carrying on a conversation with God about it. Somewhere in the conversation he was asked why he thought the fund was so low and he gave all kinds of reasons for it: the war was on, people had their minds on other things; so and so, who was a good contributor to the fund, had died, and so on. Then the word of God burst within his spirit with forceful clarity: “So you have come to rely upon people instead of Me!”  

            Immediately Alan Redpath knew it was right; he was convinced by the wrongness of it. Right there, on the street, he got down on his knees and asked God to forgive him, and promised God that from then on he would never take the eyes of his expectancy off Him. Within a very short time there was more money in the fund than it had had for years. Money came from all over the British Isles and from people Alan Redpath had never known before. “Give us this day our daily bread” is above all the realization that God is the Source of all aspects of life, including the Source of our incomes. When one looks at his salary, though the name on the check be that of the company he works for, he should know that the money came from his heavenly Father.

            Many people shake their heads when one begins to talk about trusting God as our Source, and asking for the supply only for the day. “Aren’t we supposed to plan for the future?” they ask. Within reason, I’m sure that we are, but WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE? By learning to truly know and trust our heavenly Father as the Source and Supply of all things! Our Father always has the means to supply our needs, natural or spiritual. In the desert the rock becomes a fountain of living water, and the sparkling dew-drops daily bread. His prophet Elijah may be exiled from friend and foe, yet the Lord will provide for him. In that rocky gorge the very birds of heaven become the hands of God and in the widow’s house the cruse of oil never fails and the meal barrel never runs out. You see, dear one, GOD HIMSELF IS TOMORROW!

            To be anxious about tomorrow is to be anxious about our heavenly Father. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come” (Rev. 1:8). Tomorrow is not a day — tomorrow is a Person. Tomorrow is reality. Tomorrow is the supply in God of all we have not yet received or attained to. Tomorrow is God our warehouse, God our goal, God our substance. Tomorrow is all that is ours in the Kingdom of Heaven . Tomorrow is the unfailing and never-ending supply of our heavenly Father!  


            When Moses was leading the children of Israel through the wilderness toward Canaan , there came the time when it looked as if the people would die of starvation. Then we read the story of the manna. When the people asked what it was — that strange substance lying on the early-morning ground — Moses told them, “It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat...gather of it, every man of you, as much as he can eat; you shall take an Omer apiece, according to the number of persons whom each of you has in his tent.” It was described as “a fine, flake-like thing, fine as hoar-frost” (Ex. 16:14 , RSV). The company that makes “Wonder Bread” has given its bread that name because it wants consumers to think this bread is better than ordinary bread. The manna that God sent to feed the Israelites in the wilderness was the real “wonder bread,” because no one baked it. It fell out of the sky and kept God’s people alive for forty years. Significant is the fact that during the period the children of Israel subsisted on manna they were to eat their daily allotment the same day, and eat of it fully, for if anyone would not eat all of it, or if he attempted to hoard his surplus, it decomposed with supernatural rapidity. Only enough for the day, gathered morning by morning, was the divine order. It was natural for some of them to want to put away a little for the coming days, but God arranged it in such a way that it could not be done — the manna spoiled and bred worms. The only exception was the day before the Sabbath — on that day they could gather twice as much, tomorrow’s bread today, and it kept fresh through the Sabbath.  

            Praying that God will give us our daily bread may at first seem irrelevant to us. When was the last time you pleaded with the Lord, “Father, please provide me with a meal!” In most cases we should rather have prayed, “Lord, please prevent me from eating another meal — help me to discipline myself!” It does seem a little strange in our modern world, does it not, this asking for daily food? We could understand, no doubt, this prayer being made in Haiti or Somalia , but not in the industrialized nations of the West. But that only illustrates our lack of understanding of its marvelous truth. Undue emphasis on the physical cravings of the body and the meeting of physical and material needs will make an Esau — a man who sells a great future while he grasps for today’s bowl of red bean soup.  

            But this prayer has for you and me a higher meaning than that which is earthly. For the sons of God it has a deeply spiritual meaning. It is more than food for the belly, for man shall not live by bread alone, saith the Lord. Man has been created for something greater than that, though this little poem does portray a lot of folk in this world:  

Into this world to eat and sleep

And know no reason why he was born

Save only to consume the corn,

Devour the cattle, flock and fish,

And leave behind an empty dish.  

            That is about all the masses of the world today do, just satisfy their physical needs and live like animals. But no son of God is here today to live in that manner. We are called to something higher and grander than that, and the food the Lord Jesus points us to is spiritual food, for this prayer is the prayer of sonship. It cannot concern physical bread alone, for the prayer is given to sons, and our prayers are offered not to a celestial shopkeeper or a heavenly Santa Claus, but to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our heavenly Father, and our main need as sons is not for mortal food, but for the bread that comes down from heaven, from the Father above. “Labor not,” says the Lord, “for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto eternal life” (Jn. 6:27 ). It is not easy to think that He who said, “Labor not for the meat that perisheth,” would teach His sons to pray only or first or foremost for the meat that perishes! The spiritual meaning is beyond question. He who by daily bread sustains the body has also declared, “Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” The food for sons of God is the “living bread” which if a man eats of it he shall never die; and the drink for sons of God is the “living water” which if a man drinks of it he shall never thirst.  

            There was a time when doctrine was the passion of my life. I was an avid student of theology and meticulously examined various doctrinal systems. Some of them I rejected, and others I embraced. I thought it was most important to search the scriptures and, from the letter of the Word, to determine what is the truth about a great number of things. Then I got into the gifts of the Spirit and for a season miracles were happening and wonderful healings and deliverances, and the gift of prophecy gushed forth like rushing streams from the mountain tops. Then God began to open the realm of sonship to my wondering spirit, and He has brought me to the place over the past many years where my one and only desire is to SEE HIM, KNOW HIM, and PARTAKE OF HIM who is the living reality. I am telling you that the living substance of Jesus Christ is exciting me more than anything else that I have ever found in the scriptures or in the realm of experience! The words of the hymn writer have become gloriously alive within my heart:  

Break Thou the bread of life,

Dear Lord to me,

As Thou didst break the loaves

Beside the sea;

Beyond the sacred page

I seek Thee Lord;

My spirit pants for Thee,

O Living Word!  

            Man is not designed to live by bread alone, but by every word proceeding out of the mouth of God. To live by material bread is to abide in death, for all who eat thereof are dying. Whenever the petition is made, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we should mean the incorruptible bread of life. Man eats to live, but to live rightly and eternally he must eat something more than bread that perishes. Man can eat the best “health food” available but he will continue to age and die. Moses and the children of Israel ate manna, but nevertheless they died; but our heavenly Father in His great love has prepared bread which will give you life more abundantly. Christ’s life is the true manna — the bread of life. “This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (Jn. 6:50 -51).  

            The following words of Phillip Keller give precious insight into the meaning of “daily bread”. “Our Lord made it very clear that as with manna so with Him, we have to come regularly, daily, to derive nourishment afresh from God. To partake of His resurrection life is to feed on heavenly bread. There is a bit of mystery to all this. Yet it is not really surprising, for, even at our best, we can scarcely grasp the unique and wondrous ways of God. In His mercy and generosity, He has used temporal concepts to explain spiritual truth so that our understanding of what is involved will be clear. What is bread? It is the living kernels of grain, broken, crushed, bruised, and ground into fine flour. This flour is mixed with salt, water, and yeast. It is kneaded, shaped into loaves, then allowed to rise. After that, it is baked to a beautiful brown. In this new form as bread, the life of the grain provides life to those who eat it. The life of the wheat is thus transmitted to man through the process of bruising and death and subsequent assimilation.  

            “By a similar series of processes, the life of God in Christ has been made available to us. Our Saviour became God’s grain. It was He who was broken and bruised at Calvary . Out of that crushing, out of the grave, out of death itself, emerged the risen and resurrected One. He thus became God’s bread for us. Just as there is an enormous difference between bare kernels of grain and a loaf of bread, so there is a remarkable difference between Jesus of Nazareth and the risen Lord. The life of the wheat is limited to the kernel until it is crushed and milled. So the life of God in Christ was confined to His single earthly body until after His death and resurrection. Then He became available to all men everywhere by His Spirit. In this way, any man who hungers for bread from heaven, for life from God, for the vitality of Christ, may find Him available through His Spirit.  

            “The special responsibility of the Spirit is to take the things of Christ, the life of Christ, the attributes of Christ, the character of Christ, the mind of Christ, and transmit them to us. It is in this way that His life is made real in me and becomes part of my life. He becomes my life — the very life of sonship. With this then as a background, we can comprehend Christ as the bread from heaven. The prayer He taught us to pray becomes a most potent and powerful plea for the very life of God Himself. This is no mere, casual request for just ordinary food. It is a deep, desperate yearning to have the risen Christ made real in me each day. ‘Oh, Father, give me this day my daily bread!’ Such a petition, such a prayer, such a desire could and does originate only with God Himself. It is not the sort of thing to spring from any self-centered, self-satisfied heart.  

            “If I, an ordinary man, am nourished daily with the very life of Christ, what happens? Do I remain the same sort of person I was before I was given this bread from above? The answer is a very positive no. There will gradually but surely steal over my life some amazing changes. My character will become like that of Christ Himself. My conduct will begin to resemble His conduct. There will be formed in my mind the sort of thoughts that are in His mind. There will be born in me the same attitudes which He bears to others. There will be powerful and compelling motives produced within my being that have as their source the sort of love and understanding that He has in His heart. It has been said, ‘You are what you eat.’ If we feed our souls and spirits on God’s bread from heaven, it follows that is what we shall become. This is a powerful principle. It explains why the Master included this apparently earthly petition in His noble prayer for sons of God” — end quote.  

            So, again I ask, What does “daily bread” mean? Recall some of the many times Jesus spoke of bread and eating and drinking. He said, “I am the living bread that cometh down from heaven.” What is Jesus saying? If we ask God to give us bread, then the bread must come down from heaven. There is a great reason for this. There are two strong forces in nature that influence human life and determine what a person will be. These two forces are HEREDITY and ENVIRONMENT. Neither one alone is sufficient to mold a full and useful human life. Heredity is a word used to mean the way in which certain characteristics are passed from parents to children, generation after generation. Because of heredity, each baby is born with human characteristics that make him distinctly human. Not only is he distinctly human, but he is also very much like his parents or grandparents or other family members in special ways. Heredity is the internal power that determines what a person is. Environment, on the other hand, is a word used to stand for all the external conditions and influences that become a part of a person’s life and affect his development. Included in a person’s environment are the food he eats, the liquids he drinks, the air he breathes, the place he lives, the home he is brought up in, the diseases he may have, and the people, ideas and education he is exposed to. Thus it can be seen that environment is altogether as important a factor in what a person will be as is heredity. Perhaps even more so!  

            It needs to be very clear in our minds that the nature of man is received through heredity, but the sustenance and development of that nature depend entirely upon the environment. The first and primary function of the environment is to sustain life. The environment is that in which we live, move and have our being. Without it we would neither live, move, or have any being. Within every living organism is contained the principle and power of life; but the environment is the power to sustain and develop that life, ordering the conditions of life. Every living thing requires for its development an environment containing air, light, heat, water and food. When we simply remember how indispensable food is to growth and work, and when we further bear in mind that the food supply is contributed by the environment, we shall realize at once the importance, the meaning, and the truth that without environment there can be no life! You may have the best genes a person could ever have, but without the environment those genes will never have the opportunity to produce that wonderful person you were meant to be.  

            Matters not how much life you have in you, you must assimilate your environment to live. The environment is really an unappropriated part of ourselves. We and it must be one. We and it are one. Life depends upon that union — the organism united with its environment. An organism in itself is just a part; its environment is its complement. Alone, cut off from its environment, it is not. Alone, cut off from my environment, I am not. Without food, I am not. Without air, I am not. Without water, I am not. I continue as I receive. My environment may change me, but first it has to sustain me. Its secret transforming power is directly molding body and mind and is sustaining the very life itself.  

            This is a great truth in the physical world, established by our Creator. It is but a wonderful picture of the greater realities in the SPIRITUAL WORLD! This is a truth of so great importance in the spiritual world that we would be remiss not to pursue it. In the spiritual world he will be enlightened and wise who understands this one great truth: without environment there can be no life! I speak of course of the spiritual environment of the spiritual realm of the Kingdom of Heaven . What does this amount to in the spiritual world of God and His sons? Is it not simply the grand and glorious truth spoken by the firstborn of the New Creation when He said, “Without ME ye can do nothing!” (Jn. 15:5). There are some who imagine that by their own divinity, apart from Jesus Christ, they can do all things. But through the mighty work of re-generation we have been birthed into the Kingdom of God as spiritual organisms, spirit beings, begotten of God, born from above, the off-spring of our heavenly Father.  

            There is now within us a new principle and power of life — God’s very own divine life, the life of heaven. But let every man consider this that I now propose: even in this, our divine nature, we require a second factor, a something in which to live and move and have our being — an ENVIRONMENT! The Kingdom of Heaven has an environment. The spiritual world has an environment. The whole universe is a type and shadow of this glorious truth. Every star has its gravity. Every planet has its atmosphere. Every living organism requires an environment, from the deepest sea to the highest heaven. Without the environment of the spiritual world we cannot live divinely as sons of God or move or have any spiritual being. Without the spiritual environment of the Kingdom of Heaven the life of sonship within us is like a body without air, the fish without water, the eagle without its nest.  

            The great Pattern Son walked in the full and enlightened consciousness of this inter-relationship between organism and environment. He did not live independent of that spiritual environment that surrounds and envelops a son of God. Jesus declared, “Believe me that I AM IN THE FATHER, and the Father IN ME” (Jn. 14:11 ). It was not only the Father IN THE SON, it was also the SON IN THE FATHER. The Father was both the center and circumference of Jesus’ life. That blessed Christ also prayed for the younger sons who were to afterward follow in His steps, saying, “Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are. That they all may be one; even as Thou, Father, art in me, and I IN THEE, that they also may be one IN US” (Jn. 17:11,21). Christ knew that as a son He was the organism and His Father was the environment. The Father was that IN WHICH THE SON LIVED AND MOVED AND HAD HIS BEING. And what is the environment of the sons of God? It is God in Christ. Not only must God be in Christ and Christ in us. We must be IN CHRIST. God in Christ is our environment in which we live and move and have our being! It is here that we know Christ as THE SPHERE OF OUR LIFE AND BEING. Just as our atmosphere supplies, to whomever is within it, whatever it contains, so Christ surrounds us in His own life and supplies all that is needed for our sustenance and development in the Kingdom of God .  

            As the natural man must have sustenance from his environment, so the spiritual man. The spiritual man must come to know how to live by his environment. After he has got life you must give him food. Now, what food shall you give him? Shall you feed him with knowledge, or with beauty, or with prosperity, or with blessings, or with religious exercises, or with commandments, or with gifts, or with power, or with doctrines, or with experiences? No; there is a rarer luxury than all these — so rare, in fact, that few have ever more than tasted it; so rich, that they who have tasted will never live on other fare again. It is this: “I am that living bread that is come down from heaven.” Who can but marvel at the proclamation of the Son of God, “I am the bread of life...that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat this bread, he shall live forever” (Jn. 6:48 ,50). Ah, sweet mystery of the ages, that a man can eat a bread from another world, a bread that has the power to impart a life that knows no death! To every saint of God there must come a time when the truth that Christ is the life, Christ is the environment, Christ is the bread, Christ is the air we breathe, Christ is the only living food dawns as the morning on the meadows of his soul. The strength of the life of sonship is drawn at the table of the Lord where we feed upon Christ who is our life in the realm of the Kingdom of Heaven .  


            Now let us consider some significant statements that Jesus made about Himself. He said, “I am the light of the world; He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (Jn. 8:12 ). Light is just as vital a part of our environment as the food we eat. John, in the first chapter of his Gospel, gives additional revelation on this great truth, when he speaks of the Word being with the Father in the beginning, and how all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. Then he goes on to make this significant statement, “In Him was life; and THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF MEN” (Jn. 1:4). From this verse we see that life and light are essentially the same thing. “The life was the light.” So when He came a light into the kosmos, He was also the life that came into the creation, to give life to all creatures. John goes on to say, “That was the TRUE LIGHT, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (Jn. 1:9). All other lights are artificial, imitation. Only the Word of God was the TRUE LIGHT, and He came a light into the kosmos.  

            When God separated the light from the darkness in the beginning, He called the light DAY, and the darkness He called NIGHT. We are also told that He made two great lights, one to rule the Day and the other to rule the Night. Man with his limited carnal understanding has restricted this to our solar day and lunar night, and to the sun and the moon. But our almighty Father has something infinitely higher in mind than this! These are mere types and shadows of reality. There is a great spiritual meaning to all this. There is a REALM OF LIGHT and a REALM OF DAR KNESS in creation which have nothing to do with our solar day and lunar night. They are realms in the spirit, and we can be inhabitants of either. The realm of light is ruled over by the Son of God, the Sun of Righteousness, who is THE LIGHT; and the realm of darkness is ruled over by satan, the prince of darkness. Paul, in writing to the saints at Thessalonica, stated, “Ye are all the children of the Light, and the children of the Day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (I Thes. 5:5). There are many other passages where we read of the children of Light, the children of the Day; and the children of the night or of darkness. So we can be either children of the Day, or children of the night. We can either walk in Light, or walk in darkness; it all depends on whom we are following. Jesus spoke this beautiful truth: “I am the light of the world: He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the LIGHT OF LIFE” (Jn. 8:12 ).  

            As we consider this world in which we live, we see that all the physical light we have springs from the sun in our sky. Take away that orb and darkness would soon cover the earth. All vegetation would droop and die as it turned yellow, then brown and black and crumbled into the earth. Soon after that all animal and human life would have the same fate. The verdant creatures which grace the surface of the earth have been created to live in light. No one who has ever seen the sickly color of some plant that has struggled for life in semi-darkness can fail to miss the contrast between the green thing which grew in the sunshine, and the pale travesty which grew in the shade. In total darkness every man would become blind within three days, and death would follow shortly after. The life that we know comes from the sun. In the same way, Jesus Christ is the Sun of Righteousness! He is the illumination of our Day, the life of our lives! Again, this speaks of the environment of the Kingdom realm of God. The sun’s rays are the vital life in the environment of earth; the light of God in the face of Jesus Christ raised up within us is the vital life of the heavenly realm of the Kingdom of God where sons of God live and move and have their being.  

            The sweet singer of Israel penned these meaningful words: “The entrance of Thy words GIVETH LIGHT; it giveth UNDERSTANDING to the simple” (Ps. 119:130). The prophet Hosea, speaking of God, said, “Thy judgments are as LIGHT that goeth forth” (Hos. 6:5). “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a LIGHT unto my path” (Ps. 119:105). Also in II Corinthians 4:6, Paul declares, “For God, who commanded the LIGHT to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the LIGHT of the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Can we not understand by this that TRUTH is LIGHT, UNDERSTANDING is LIGHT, KNOWLEDGE is LIGHT and LIFE is LIGHT. We often hear someone say, “I got some light on that.” They are declaring the reception of understanding. In like manner, DAR KNESS is ignorance and error. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath BLINDED THE MINDS of them which believe not, lest the LIGHT of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine unto them” (II Cor. 4:3-4).  

            From the above scriptures we know there are TWO KINGDOMS: the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness, or the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness. Praise God, He “hath delivered us from the POWER OF DARKNESS, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Col. 1:13). In this world darkness and light, day and night co-exist. Here in El Paso , Texas it is a bright, sunlit day. On the other side of the world people slumber upon their beds in the darkness of night. Therefore I learn in the natural a principle that teaches me a spiritual truth: It is day and night at the same time! These lines are being read by many thousands of people around the world. Some of you walk in light and some of you walk in darkness. Some of you walk in spiritual light in different dimensions, while some of you walk in spiritual darkness in different dimensions. It’s a matter of your UNDERSTANDING. It’s not a matter of whether you speak in tongues, how you were baptized, or rules and regulations or externals of any kind. It is a thing of the spirit, a condition, a state of being, a spiritual mentality, a KNOWING OF THE LORD IN TRUTH AND UNDERSTANDING.  

            Darkness is but the absence of light, or the lack of understanding. Christ Himself IS THE LIGHT OF LIFE . Life comes from light, therefore, if we want to know the condition of life in a man, we must see the state of enlightenment within him. I don’t mean his knowledge of doctrinal facts, but the inward revelation of spiritual truth and reality. We often think that if a man becomes a little more zealous, his life has grown; or if he is a little more pious, his life has increased. Such concepts are totally erroneous. Life is not in the zeal of man; neither is it in the piety of man. There is only one realm and one source of life, and that is LIGHT. Life rests with light; life comes from light. To determine whether a person has grown in life, we must discern the condition of his INNER ENL IGHTENMENT. Furthermore, if we want to help others grow in life, we must help them to be enlightened, to experience the truth of God as reality. If they can receive enlightenment from us, they can obtain life and develop that life.  

            It is in this spiritual enlightenment that we step into GOD’S DAY. It is in this Day that Christ is and that Christ brings, and in which we now walk, that we may receive our “daily bread”. Can you not see it, my brother, my sister? The “Day” of the Lord is not a date on the calendar, not a period of twenty-four hours or a number of years. THE LIGHT OF CHRIST IS THE DAY! This is our Day. We are children of this Day. The strength of God Himself that comes by illumination of His spirit is what God gives us when we pray for daily bread. “Give us this day...” “This day” is this new Day of God in which we now live and walk. The bread for “this Day”! We ask for the continual, unfailing strengthening in this Day of God. He gives us the Christ. How can that prayer be answered if Jesus Christ is only coming physically some day in the future? How can Jesus, the bread of heaven, all come down in one little human loaf sometime in the future? My deepest prayer is that the spirit of wisdom and revelation from God will give understanding to all who read these lines that the bread of life is the distribution of the spirit of Christ, the word of Christ, the power of Christ, the wisdom of Christ, the mind of Christ and the nature of Christ within His body of sons. It is the spirit of Christ that sustains our spiritual man, feeds our inner man, and grows us up into the full stature of the Son of God.  

            He has come in the foretaste of His omnipotence, working all through this present age in the hearts of the remnant, gathering out of each generation a firstfruits, in preparation for the times of restitution of all things. Then He shall be released, breaking forth in visible manifestation of the fullness of His nature, power and being. This is OUR daily bread, the necessary bread for this day, the bread of our spiritual existence, the bread that cometh down from heaven, the environment of our spiritual life. How we yearn for that fullness! How our souls pant after Him! How we groan within ourselves, waiting for the glory that shall be revealed! How we hunger and thirst after His righteousness and His Kingdom! He shall continue to come unto us until we have eaten the whole Lamb and the whole Loaf and stand in the absolute fullness of His strength and might. Yes, “Give us this day our daily bread!”  

            Jesus Christ is Lord, but He is not yet the Lord of lords, exhibiting fully that Lordship in His body, to restore creation, delivering all from the bondage that brings corruption. If you don’t understand that there are some things waiting to be accomplished, then you need help in the scriptures. There are those who would try and claim and appropriate to themselves the fullness and perfection of God and their sonship right now. They are already perfect, mature sons, manifested sons, filled with the fullness of God, immortal and incorruptible, ruling and reigning with Christ — so they say. Would to God that it were true, that we might stand in that fullness and live and reign with them! Their boast is louder than their living, and their claims exceed their experience. The reports of their great power and authority over creation are highly exaggerated. But there is a humble, obedient people willing to wait upon reality while they continue to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  

            God has been gracious and faithful to give us our bread from day to day, from dealing to dealing, from realm to realm. He has called us to His feasts and has abundantly fed us in each. We were called to the spiritual feast of Passover in our salvation experience. There we began to eat of Christ the living bread and were quickened unto God. Then He called us to the spiritual feast of Pentecost in the baptism in the Holy Spirit. How wonderfully He fed us there! We feasted at His table and partook of His power and glory in divers gifts of the Holy Ghost. But there is a third dimension in God where we move beyond new birth and gifts into the very fullness of God. The sons of God are now called to the third spiritual feast, the feast of fullness, the feast of Tabernacles. Blessed are they who are called to this great feast, that which supersedes Pentecost, that which is the BALANCE OF THE MEAL of which Passover and Pentecost were merely the first courses! And the balance must therefore come, the remainder of the meal which will give strength to the laborers to go forth and accomplish great things for the Master.  

            Great were the glories seen by men like Noah, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David, and Solomon. Glorious were the manifestations of God’s power that swept the Judean and Galilean hills when our Lord spake as never man spake and healed, cast out devils, and even raised the dead to life again. Sublime beyond explanation were the holy visitations at Pentecost and in the years that followed as multitudes, both of men and women, were brought to the feet of Jesus Christ, and by the hands of the apostles God wrought mighty miracles and special signs and wonders until the world was turned literally upside down with the glory of the heavenly visitation. It would have been wonderful to have dwelt there then and to have rejoiced with them for all the wonderful works of God. Marvelous beyond description were the works of God as He birthed His infant Church!  

            Blessed as were all those things and marvelous as were the results, yet more glorious still is the hope pulsating within the breast of all creation as they wait in earnest expectation for THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD. After all the mighty works of God in all previous visitations the sad fact is that the world is still filled with pain, sorrow and death. Though some have been healed, all men continue to die, saint and sinner alike. For this reason “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, for the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD. Because the creation itself ALSO shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:19 -22). Ah, in the glorious feast of Tabernacles, in the manifestation of the sons of God, sin and death shall be overcome for all men. What a hope! As J. B. Phillips so beautifully renders, “The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own.” The sons of God shall so eat of the living bread that death will be swallowed up, spirit, soul and body. For this we pray, for this we who have received the call to sonship yearn, we will not settle for less — thank God for the measure of bread given to every previous generation and age, but now our hearts cry out: “Give us this day OUR DAILY BREAD!”

            The supernal glories that lie like the towering Mount Everest before us are beyond compare. The grandest event of all time is now at the doors. For almost two thousand long years the Lord has been gathering out of all nations an elect people and refining them in the furnace of affliction, transforming them in mind and heart by the deep dealings of His Spirit, and preparing them in wisdom and knowledge to possess the reins of the government of the world. And while we rejoice and praise God for all the mighty visitations of the past, and those glorious visitations we have experienced in our own lifetime, yet I know by the word of the Lord that the next great move of God will be greater than all — the manifestation of the sons of God. Nothing is more certain than that. The Spirit witnesses all across the land and around the world that the long awaited revelation is at hand. The unveiling of the in-Christed is nigh. The cry of the groaning creation for release from the power of sin and the tyranny of death and the prayer of the travailing saint are joined with the unutterable longings of the Holy Spirit, all crying in unison and harmony for the arising of God’s deliverers. The desire of all nations is at hand. Oh, yes! “Give us this day OUR DAILY BREAD.”  

Give us this Day our daily bread,

Lead us to pastures where we may be fed;

Take us to heights never known by man,

Give us this Day our daily bread!  

            This has a deeply spiritual meaning for those called to sonship, for they have not been promised merely physical blessings. Material blessings are very secondary to the sons of God today. But if you, as a chosen one of God, have received temporal blessings, then thank God, remembering that they are extra. Beloved, may I say to you, God has not promised to us those physical blessings. He has promised us spiritual blessings. Material blessings were promised under the Old Testament and given to the nation Israel , for they are fleshly blessings and Israel was a fleshly people, born of the flesh, the seed of Abraham after the flesh. But spiritual blessings have been promised to the elect of God under the New Testament, who are born not of the flesh, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST” (Eph. 1:3).  

            If you want another distinction between Israel in the land of Canaan under the law, and the body of Christ seated in the heavenlies under the New Covenant then remember: Physical blessings in the Old Testament — spiritual blessings in the New Testament. And listen to me — when Saul of Tarsus met the Lord Jesus on the Damascus road he was not given a “Duncan Hines Recommends” book telling him of all the Gourmet Restaurants in the Roman Empire . Consider what Paul says: “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings...even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day” (II Cor. 6:4-5; I Cor. 4:11-13). Ah, Paul knew what it was to be deprived of natural food. And he was a “King’s kid!” 

            As ministers of the Kingdom of God you must tell the Lord’s people what this petition means. To tell them that it means physical bread would be all wrong. The Psalmist tells us that when the fleshly Israel complained to God and wanted meat to eat, God gave them quails. And the Psalmist says, “He granted their request, but sent leanness to their souls.” And today God does not always hear our prayers for things because He does not want our souls to be lean. God is providing us a spiritual bread, for the firstborn Son says, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness” — they are the ones that shall be filled. Do you thirst after righteousness? Do you hunger after reality? Do you know what it is to have your thirst slaked? Do you know what it means to have your deepest hunger satisfied by the bread that comes down from heaven, that if a man eat of it he shall never hunger and shall never die? Oh, today, may our prayer be, “Give us this day our daily bread!”  By J. Preston Eby.




Other Writings in This Series:

To be the Lord's prayer
Teach us to pray
Teach us to pray
Teach us to pray
Teach us to pray
Our Father
Our Father
Our Father which art in heaven
Hallowed be thy Name
Hallowed be thy Name
Hallowed be thy Name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done in earth
Thy will be done in earth
Our daily bread
Our daily bread
Forgive us our sins
Forgive us our sins
Lead us not into temptation
Deliver us from evil
The Kingdom, the power and the glory
The Kingdom, the power and the glory