(with John, Boyd & Fred)
By Fred Pruitt
The last night in Salisbury after the meeting we spent with Janet and Pat, who showed us examples of some of their photography work and videos they’ve done in the area, including an especially interesting video they made of Smith Island, one of the first settlements in the area, having been colonized by the English in the mid 1600s. We said our goodbyes and gave our blessings to one another as we went to bed, since we were going to be up before daylight the next morning to continue our journey.
We were indeed able to rise and groggily make our way out to the car and leave with fogged windows by 6 AM. We had to make a quick stop in Bowie MD, near Washington DC (where we had only been a couple of days before) to pick something up, and then from there on up to the Corcoran’s in Simsbury, Connecticut, which was going to be an all-day drive.
Since we are going almost exclusively by GPS these days, we often leave the route planning to the GPS, and assume it is right and taking us the way we want to go. None of us would have planned a trip through New York City (we would have bypassed it had we known) but suddenly we found ourselves going over the George Washington Bridge into the northern part of the city. But that actually turned out to be a shorter way (it wouldn’t have been had we been a couple of hours later) and we still made it to Simsbury by about 3:00 PM, in time to have a nice relaxing afternoon and evening with Jack and Alice, who are some of our longest-known and best-beloved friends in Christ.
Instead of formal meetings we instead had something akin to a 3-day open house, with friends arriving and leaving from afternoon through evening on Thursday and Friday, and then some coming mid-morning on Saturday and continuing through until evening.
This gave us opportunity to sometimes have some lengthy explanations or expositions of the truths we are sharing, as well as lots of time to answer questions and issues that always come up everywhere we go.
The first evening several came and we shared the basic truth of who we are and how we learn through our struggles and our ups and downs the basic truth that we cannot do anything of ourselves. Boyd was able to share his testimony of how he came to an understanding of his personal union with Christ and the road that took him down over many years. Someone also made the statement that when we take Christ into us, then we are all He is in our humanity. We readily agreed, adding the explanation that we share in all that Jesus said and did, except for His shed blood, which is exclusive to Him forever.
As it says in Revelation, no one was found worthy to open the book except the Lamb Who was slain, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus the Christ, and He is exclusively forever Savior and Lord. However, in many other of His capacities and offices, we share a part, as being His containers and expressers, the greatest of these being His priesthood and intercession.
We must always emphasize that our life in Him is not freedom for freedom’s sake, but freedom to be Who He is as a lamb slain, one whose life is laid down and spent for the life of others, that as He is a perpetual intercessor so are we. Just as He is the Great High Priest whose office is to eternally reconcile not just us but all the cosmos to God, in the same way in Him we are we priests unto God to reconcile our worlds to God.
That is perhaps high-falutin’ language and it is easy to get caught up in such heady stuff as if those offices are special “things” to be grasped, and then get into kooky ideas and outlandish activities, but what is really the truth is that they are not necessarily special things we do in any way, but are instead the groans and travails placed upon us by the Spirit in the midst of our everyday lives. These groans and travails are what we experience in our own selves, in the lives of our family members, in our friends or in our communities, or the problems in our countries and in our whole world. Everyone of us is under the stress and strain of every bit of that. It takes no special seeking to participate in the daily burden of living — and it likewise takes no special seeking to participate in bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, which results in the life of Jesus being manifest in our mortal flesh. We are He in the world and as such we experience the world as He.
The next two days we spent going over the same things with folks that we always go over, answering the same questions which people ask everywhere. It is a temptation to us to sometimes tire of the same questions, the same issues, and the often difficulty we experience from people who have a hard time understanding what we are saying. It often seems tedious or laborious and sometimes hard to put our finger on concrete results. We have no yardstick to measure by and therefore as we do this over and over day after day, we are continually pressed into God in faith, as a continuing “seeing Him who is invisible,” Who is working in all these things, in what sometimes seems tedious and what sometimes seems like “fishing all night and catching nothing,” to see with our inner eyes His complete and “eternal weight of glory.”
Things came to something of a “head” and drew us to a conclusion as for a time the last day the group was pulled into the divisive politics and issues of the world, but by the Holy Spirit we were brought back sharp and pointedly to the only solution to everything and the only security there is, which is Christ in both counts. But we reminded ourselves and others that our calling and privilege is to continue, as others before us, to be a fiddle with one string, and we can only play that one string over and over and over. One can go into any coffee shop, office, or any other gathering place of men and women and discuss the current event issues of the day, but it is as rare as saffron to hear the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit. The world will always go on being the world, and as long as we look at the outer world as our problem or somehow find solutions in it, we are diverted from the real problem and the real solution.
The real problem in the world is not economic policies or what political party has the reins, but as Paul said, “spiritual wickedness in high places.” He was not referring to the governments of the earth but to the “prince of the power of the air,” who has deceived the whole world that they are self-motivating, self-responsible, self-acting, and self-relying independent selves who run their own lives. Yet the scriptures as a revelation of God say otherwise, that except we are in Christ we are run from within by a false deceiving god whose quality is self existing for its own sake, self seeking for its own good at the expense of all the other selves, and that false self of the wicked one who has deceived the whole world lives its self-lusts through and as us, until we are filled with Christ who is love outgoing, love giving, love unconcerned for itself as its own first beneficiary, but love which expends itself for the benefit and life of others, which only the life of Christ in us can do.
Every other issue is diversion until we get this basic issue straight. We must know how the Cross has delivered us from the evil one, and how the resurrection of Jesus was not just about Jesus resurrecting, but also about us resurrecting to newness of life as well. We must know that the old died and has been cast out forever, and that the new has risen and that now this new self, which is Christ in us as us, now lives through faith and manifests itself in righteousness in the world. We cannot be pulled off our course as our main issue. It is absolutely vital, especially, we believe, at this very critical juncture of human history we are living in in our generation.
There is no total solution to anything in the world except this.
Many of the group that gathered yesterday saw that glory. It was evident in their faces and by their smiles. Christ only is our only and total truth, and what is so total about that, is that through that Cross He accomplished a total demolition of the kingdom of the wicked one. Christ stole us back from the devil, and now no one can take us out of His hand. And having done that, He enters us as the Perfect One of God, and by His perfection in us, He lives in us perfectly, perfectly expressing Himself by means of the humanity which we are, which HE PERFECTED FOREVER by His body and blood, so that it is a total Christ expressing Himself totally by total human beings.
We left Simsbury Sunday morning and made our way down to McConnelsburg PA to Helen Overly’s and Freda Raker’s house, to do it again.