By Fred Pruitt
Who is saved or who experiences “salvation?” This is something that I cannot theologically or doctrinally tell anyone and make real to them by that method. I can do the telling, but in the final end this most “basic” of issues can only only be something known inside oneself. I cannot even tell you that if you respond to an altar call and you go up to a platform and pray a little prayer that you are eternally saved. Or if you go to an altar and receive communion given by a priest are you saved (or not). In any case, only the one who prays and the One Who hears really know.
Likewise I cannot tell you that if you go to one church or another that I see differently from, or belong to a different “religion” from me or hold a particular theology different from mine, that you are not saved. I am not in a position to know of anyone who is to be considered “unsaved.” In my heart’s vision I see myself one with all, no one an enemy. I see Christ unbounded everywhere. Everyone, regardless of distortion or appearance, is something of Christ to me and for me, and me for them in Christ also. Why look into what is not, when what is, is Christ all in all? So I expect to see Him in those who are not looking for Him or naming Him, because He is looking for them and wants to name them as Himself, too.
What I am able to tell you is that “whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” He said so. What does that mean? I cannot tell you for you. I called on Jesus and He came and I cannot deny what He has witnessed Himself inside me, that He has made me His abode, and continually manifested Himself in my whole self and life from the day I was made aware of it. Later on I found out He had been doing it the whole time even when I didn’t know it. But only I know that for myself. It is only my story, not yours. I cannot know it in you or tell it for you, though in my heart and faith I may see it or know it in me, for you. But you are the only one who can know it for you. Only the one who does it can finally know in himself. That is why Jesus said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (Jn 7:17)
I can tell you that,“If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is born of Him,”(1 Jn 2:29), and “let no man deceive you, he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.” (1 Jn 3:7) How do we find and live righteousness? We can only ultimately find the answer within us. We may judge what that is by our theology but God is the final judge of it. Let each person find his own peace with God regarding this, and not enter into judgment against our neighbor either.
It may start with our theology but it must touch God. Theology is what we think and believe based on that thinking. Truth is God and what God says in us. It may start with thinking and mentally believing. In some sense this is the first part of this kind of faith. It is completed faith when we “know” it is the Truth that God has spoken. And that is individual, something we only know in ourselves. That is the point. That “we” know!
I can tell you that, “he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (Jn 3:21). Who does that apply to? Can I give conditions to the Lord God regarding how He fulfills His will? Are not His ways higher than mine, His thoughts higher than mine? It is not my job to keep anyone out or to give anyone “conditions” they must fulfill in order to be accepted of and indwelt by the Spirit of God. This verse is self-explanatory.
And we also cannot forget what else John the Baptist said of the Son: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36) But we cannot see that in any way according to the flesh. Only the Father knows who “believes the Son,” and we set no conditions nor support any type of “word-formula” exclusivity with this. It is entirely God through Christ by the Holy Spirit Who knows those that are His, those whose names are written in the Book of Life, those who were lost whom He came to seek and to save. “My sheep know my voice,” Jesus said, and as the Shepherd, He calls each one by name, and then renames them with His Name.
I can also say that there is a thread that runs from Genesis to Revelation, from Alpha to Omega, and summed up, the thread is expressed in the Old Testament by this: “With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure; with the forward thou wilt show thyself forward.”(Ps 18:26). Paul takes it up in the New, “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” (Ti 1:15). It is finally summed up in Revelation with, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Rev 22:11-12)
This is another way of saying that you will find what you seek. Whatever you are looking for, you will find. Whatever door you knock on will eventually be the one that opens. Whatever you ask, its answer will find you.
“What seek ye?” Jesus asked the disciples. (Jn 1:38). Do you seek to find out and explore righteousness and love, to live in True Light and express True Life? You will find it and it will find you.
Do you seek to find out all the ways evil works and how to spot it? You will be abundantly rewarded by always being on your guard and suspiciously cautious of everything, lest the enemy should be lurking there. In fact, it gets to where you see him lurking everywhere. Devil, Evil, Deception, Suspicion, Malevolence, Enemies, Opposers, Deceivers, Sinners, Wrath and Judgment, everywhere you look.
“What things soever ye desire, when you pray … and ye shall have them,” (Mk 11:24), is a law of our being. We are made to desire (love) and by that desire to receive the specific objects of our desire. That is how we live life, by moving and being moved by desire, and receiving on the basis of it, whether godly or otherwise.
This is why Proverbs warns us to, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life” (Pr 4:23), and, “A mans’ heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps”(Pr 16:9). How do we “keep” our hearts? We must know we have a new heart, filled with the desires of Christ, and that we are kept in that heart. Again, I cannot know for you that you are fixed in His heart. You know it in and for yourself. It IS so, since you are one in Him, and because it is so, you do know with His knowing. His knowing in us is the only real knowing.
Some see the book of Revelation as a symbolic vision of our individual and corporate inner spiritual journey, while others see it as of the heaven and earth in a traditional historic sense, and therefore concerning the future of the physical earth primarily, that is, what happens in the earth and the final resolution of all things, final judgments, the eternal division and separation of heaven and hell, and the eternal reward of the righteous and the eternal damnation of the wicked.
Which is it? Something of both it is clear to me. But not as men imagine or men can express. That is why it is so veiled and seen so differently by so many.
I have not been given the understanding of the book of Revelation, other than tidbits here and there. If there is anything that is obvious and therefore all can see, for it is written plainly, is that Revelation brings us to the final resolution, where all things are revealed, and in that revelation to those who are given it, there are no more tears and sorrow shall not be known anymore.
What can possibly be revealed that would take away all tears and all sorrow, except that we are so overcome with an unbounded love that is so much more and so much above that which we had ever considered it could be, that it completely undoes us? Or that unhindered praise pours out like a torrent because we now see the eternal love-works of God revealed in plain sight – in everything, through everything, composing and upholding everything! Everything! From the worst Darkness to the unseen reaches of unimaginable Light! Only a moment’s glance is a sight that undoes everything bound, everything limited, everything and anything from top to bottom, from near to far or front to back, that could possibly impede the totally complete sight of how, why and for what purpose everything is.
If there are any tears, they are tears of eternal joy, because from that universal sight we further see that nothing has escaped out of the love of God. Nothing has been left out. Nothing has remained untouched. Likewise nothing has remained unreconciled, nor is there anymore, anywhere, “anything to offend.”
Because now we plainly see, that all is out of the First and the Last, The Source and the Completion, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. It is all from, in, and of “Him which is, and which was, and is to come.” We are given a view into the Godhead in which is contained the image of all creation, and in that Divine image we are given to see, that He has always been and is always now and continually is to come all at the same “time,”or in a simultaneity. And that this is not just phenomena or “things,” but actually the One Divine Person manifesting Himself in it all, most especially in us as His human image. It is all so seamless in its oneness that nothing can be divided in any sense because, “Him Who IS,””Him Who WAS,” and “Him Who WILL BE,” are not divisible into three separate realities, but are instead a picture of the Whole All in all, What is past is Him and what is now is Him and what is to come is Him and all of that is one. Is, Was, and Will Be, all in harmony, equality, and simultaneity.
What does that mean? It means the vision, the landscape, changes. We have seen in part, now we see whole. We see it all – and “all” means we see it universally, i.e, everywhere in everything the same filling, full in every part and parcel. We see “single” instead of “evil,” (Matt 6:22, 23). And in this new vision and sound we see and hear, “Behold, I make all things new,” says the Lord in Revelation, which makes it obvious that it is both now and forever. Brother Paul said the same in the present tense to the Corinthians, “therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away, and all are become new.” So this in Revelation is both our current state and eternal manifestation, with only that which is exceedingly above all that we can ask or think, yet to be unveiled in sight and total understanding.
What it can mean in the eternal we can only imagine. What it can mean in our temporal life is the same as it says of the eternal, which is now manifested in the temporal: that all that offends has been removed. It means it is no longer in my sight, not because I have “closed” my mind to it, but because I am seeing with a new and different sight. I see what I see. I see that all things are new. I see a new heaven and a new earth. I see that death has been swallowed up into victory. I see that all I have loved and possessed in my heart and faith I have received in fullness of joy, both now and forever. It means everything my love has apprehended on earth, I have in heaven; and everything I have apprehended in my love in heaven, I have on earth.
For it IS as we were instructed to pray: “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Most certainly then, God has honored and fulfilled this prayer, since it is His own prayer in Himself! How often I have heard that prayer prayed as if it is not answered, that unfortunately His will is not done on earth, even though we have continually asked that it would be, as He Himself instructed, still it has not happened, and we are the first to take the condemnation for the fact that it has not happened. We pray the prayer at the same time believing it is pretty much a futile prayer because we do not make it come to pass in ourselves and our lives. And how do we judge that it has not happened? Because we do not believe that He has answered His own prayer, and therefore we do not have eyes that see.
For surely, when we pray the Lord’s prayer in the Lord’s name in the Lord’s Spirit, even by His express instructions, “Father, let your will be accomplished in the earth even as it is in heaven,” then all heaven and earth is moved and just as certain it is that the fig tree withered, our eyes are opened and out of our faith we see, that, YES, God has indeed answered this prayer! O my goodness, yes He has!! I look here, I look there, O Lord, everywhere I see You! What You are doing, what You have done, what you are yet to do in my sight! I see them all at once! We can praise Him this moment that His works fill the earth. There is no end to the praise that we could utter for everything everywhere in everything that IS, in everything that WAS, and in all that IS TO COME. We can praise Him this moment that through Him we live, continually manifesting His will that is working all things in us and in everything else! Has He not given us both the prayer AND the answer? That is the new realm, the new country, the new dimension of the Spirit, we have stepped into.
For that is what it is to be sons of God. God is a lover, who apprehends by His outgoing love more other-lovers, filling them with Himself as their love. Then these new “other-lovers,” who are filled with Him in His love, become a river which expands into an unnumbered multitude of lovers all throughout time and beyond any thing we could imagine eternally.