by Fred Pruitt
Linda Bunting rightly says that in general the Church understands the Deity of Christ — it is His humanity, and subsequently also ours, that the Church has trouble with. In some ways we have understood the Deity beyond, settled in Who He is and what He has done for us. The problem is we are not settled in ourselves, and as such we struggle with our own humanity, in that we are afraid, not confident in ourselves, condemning ourselves for the ups and downs of our human makeup.
It is RIGHT HERE AT THIS POINT — the point where we stand on the Spirit’s Word in us that “as He is, so are we in this world,” trusting nothing but the Word spoken inwardly with no palpable empirical evidence of any kind — or — we fall back into the law and self-effort, i.e., the wilderness.
To trust Christ up in Heaven in one thing, but it is another thing to trust Christ as our living human selves, expressing Himself perfectly in His own house which has become His eternal dwelling. That is finally what it means to say, “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.” It means, “Look here, Jesus Christ has now come in MY flesh.”
To separate Him from His living embodiment of Himself in our mortal flesh (soul/body), is to ignorantly deny the incarnation in its full meaning. MY flesh (my total humanity) is the battleground, and it is precisely here the victory is won. He has now come in MY flesh! So like the apostle John we are able to say, as He was, “I show unto you that Eternal Life which is Christ Jesus.” ( 1 Jn 1:2, 3).
It was as if John was saying, “Yes, I did physically touch Him; I beheld His form. But He is gone from us in form, that He might be formed in us, so that we now ‘show’ others Eternal Life by “being it” in everyday circumstances. (Ole Henrik rightly states that we ARE Eternal Life, rather than we HAVE Eternal Life. That is because Eternal Life is a Person, not something to have, but a reality to be.)
So that now that Life is showing up right here, in Me and in You! The state might kill you if you don’t worship the image of the emperor. The Christians might kill you if you say, “Jesus has come in MY flesh!”
“Them’s fightin’ words,” for some, as we say down here. “How DARE you say that Christ is manifested and showing through in you! You are a blasphemer because you make yourself God.” And they’d be setting up the stakes and the faggots to burn such a deceiver!
But once having been given the vision of our inward union with the Trinity (Jn 17:20-23), we come to it having been first taken to this bottom place, recognizing what we were and who had captured us. This sets the full stage in our consciousness to realize, out of that negative, Who we are now. Once slaves, expressers, manifestors of sin, deceived and blinded by Satan so that we were made fools in opposing our own selves (2 Tim 2:25; Rom 6:17, 18, Eph 2:2; Jn 8:44; Acts 26:18; Col 1:13).
What happens in this bottom place is this: “What is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? — we are found by Him at the very bottom of all things — so that then it happens that, “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.” (Eph 4:9-10)
Now, where has this occurred? Macrocosmically, it is universal, but microcosmically, it is deeply personal and it has all been transacted in the inner depths of our spirits, from the birth of Christ in us, on through to the Cross, Resurrection and Ascension!
Whatever all that means in the world “out there,” it is first my inner totality, that as Christ descended in death to the fiery depths of existence, and captured death and everything it held, all of this in you and in me, we have descended also and therefore we know the heat also, we experience the futility and void of the infinite black hole of self-for-me which can never be satisfied in anything it can create for itself or imagine itself into.
It is grace and mercy to be given this place. It is grace and mercy to be taken down to nothing. It is grace and mercy that every human means of rescue is exhausted. (Covered personally in a talk I gave in Louisville 2010 called, “The Limp of Jacob.”) Because right there in that darkest darkness, like they say of the depths of the ocean, light does not penetrate and only void prevails.
This is it, the bitter end, the total bottom, the final destruction of this monster that has attached itself to us all our lives, keeping us bound in fear and false self-importance. It is burned up in the fire of hell coming out of the “consuming fire” of God, and there Jesus the Lion of the Tribe of Judah penetrates farther than light can go, because Love is greater than Light, and can go further and penetrate where light cannot.
So in the heart of the sucking black-hole of deepest darkness, which has grabbed the race of men since the beginning, LOVE goes and snatches death away from every one of its sheep. Love penetrates evil where it is said God cannot look. And that Love brings us out. We despaired even of our own lives, but by mercy and grace, the Living Love grabs us and starts the ascent carrying us upward into the heights of the Godhead.
We have resurrected and been born anew from above. But that is not the final destination. The final destination for us all is the Ascension, and our consciousness makes that move as the Spirit opens up the Way (“walk ye in it”) every moment. Christ takes us the whole way He went, inside ourselves, because He is the forerunner, and in identification and union with Christ and all He was, IS, said or did, our lives become “to live is Christ.” We experience death to its complete futility. We learn resurrection as the Spirit teaches us Who we are in every moment and in every circumstance, and then finally we know His authority as One sitting at the right side of the Father and in the midst of the Throne a Lamb that had been slain, with us there with Him decreeing the decrees of the Most High.
This Lamb slain is at the heart of everything. Of all pictorial representations, this one most certainly describes the Living God – even though He is ALL POWER, WISDOM, LOVE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, etc., so that the heavens and earth could dissolve and it would be as if it had never been with one Word of dissolution. “UN-BE” could have been His Word, since certainly He foresaw it all, and at one point the scripture says in Genesis it repented the Lord that He had made man. We won’t go into what that is all about for now, except that the Lord stuck with us – because of Love, and shows the complete fullness of Himself as a helpless, weak lamb, vulnerable, “kill me and eat me for your sake that you might live.” This is the complete inner heart of God, and where we have found ourselves taken.
We also live the “lamb life.”
“God is the LORD, which hath showed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.” (Ps 118:27)
“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (Ps 40:7, 8)