By Fred Pruitt
One thing that seems almost like a “foreign element” that sometimes is hard to put into the equation, is uncovering the “reason” we all (in Adam) start out thinking we have eternal life, power, love, etc. We must see both sides of the Cross — who we were before and why we were that, i.e., that we were deceived and run about by the Deceiver, and that “independent self” is not just a mistaken consciousness, (which would make our only problem ignorance), but a deceiving spiritual power, Satan, that has us in its grasp and we do “his lusts.” (Jn 8:44)
We start out our lives confronting the “temporal.” We start out, in God’s purposes, as containers or vessels of Sin — i.e. the false self-sufficient self-adoring person who “was a liar from the beginning.” This is our inheritance from the fall of Adam.
From the beginning, it has not been about this or that deed we do or do not do, but by what spirit do we do them? The deception from Adam til now, coming from the false consciousness of sin that has driven every person since Adam, has its deepest root right here in the false citadel of self-protective, self-relying, self-willing and ultimately at the deepest core of this monster, self-adoring-self. “Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me,” sounds most thunderously in this sanctuary of inner self, for this is the vital source, and cannot be penetrated by the thoughts and reason of men who are caught in the separated consciousness.
The first “commandment” is not an outer thing. It never has been. It is not about putting up copies of the 10 Commandments on government buildings. It is nothing political. It has to do with who we are at our spirit source. We have ALL broken this commandment from birth, though ignorantly for the most part, because from birth we have a false god to which we give homage from our first moments of self-awareness. This false god’s mask is our own humanity,, which from the beginnings of beginnings strives for self recognition, self consciousness, self-concern.
It is a necessary process, because the Father has ordained that this is the process by which we learn who we are, by spending a bit of time finding out who we are not. We do not know we have been a temple/vessel/branch of an inner deity all our lives. We have thought we were just ourselves. But the scriptures are plain in the new testament. Humanity does not and never has existed in an independent void, enclosed within itself, but rather a living temple/vessel/branch of either Satan or Christ, vessel of dishonor or vessel of honor, branch of the True Vine, or by default being a branch of the false vine. Paul said we “were” servants of sin, our “members,” (humanity) manifesting sin so long as we were run about by the “spirit of the power of the air, who works IN the children of disobedience,” which we all have been. But now Paul says our humanity through Christ has now been made a servant of righteousness.
There must be at some point this recognition, that we “were” containers and servants of this “person” of Sin, which gives real MEAT and POWER to the fact that now we are containers of and servants (manifestors) of righteousness.
It is an integral part of the whole truth, and though it even more so increases our isolation from many, in that people, believers and non-believers alike, do not want to hear this or believe it, because it seems offensive and the “devil” to us is scary and like Hitler, but not the nice man down on the corner who seems to be good to everyone, nor “me,” since I’m not so “bad,” either.
But that is the heart of Romans 7. What is this “sin” that seems attached to me, that has me in its grasp and will not let me go? It is a “foreign element,” proved by the fact that Paul “delights in the law of God after the inward man,” so that the “sin” is not Paul, but something attached to Paul. We come to the conclusion (in our understanding) that this bridge is crossed when we realize we are not we but He, and catch on to the fact that the “Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.” But before he gets to that point, Paul has found a principle in Rom 7:17 & 20, which is perfectly the antithesis of Gal 2:20. He says, “Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” Whoa, Paul, what are you saying?
You see, this is LIBERATION for Paul to find this out. There IS sin, and Paul is caught in it, by “trying” to be or not be, or do or not do. This IS sin. (Is 14:12-14). And it is an “attachment,” rather than our true selves, and that is the liberation when we see it. “Oh, I see,” says Paul, “when I sin, it is not I, but sin that does it.” O glory! So then when he says, “I find that no good thing dwells in me,” the crux of this is not that he has said he is “evil” within, or “sin” within, but that he is “empty” within. He is “not good” even as Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘good’? There is none good, but God.” This is the same revelation as Paul’s in Jesus’ words.
So then, in the past when I sinned, it was not because “I” was the primary sinner (I was a “sinner” in that I willingly joined in it), but the primary “Sinner” is the devil. Sin is not just a nebulous “principle” floating around the universe. EVERYTHING is a manifestation of personal consciousness, i.e., the “being” of God (in whom all live and have their “be-ing”) shaped into manifested forms through the agencies of created angels and human sons, all working the works of God either in cooperation and union with God, or working the works of God in opposition to God, within the framework of the created heavens and earth spoken into existence by the Word of God in the beginning.
Therefore, all reality comes from “persons.” All reality is manifested consciousness. And therefore Paul is saying that “Sin/Satan” was the doer, even as in Gal 2:20, it is no more I that live, but Christ lives in me, and this righteousness that is now my life is not my own as my possession or invention, but solely His expressed through and manifested as me. And the opposite is true in the reverse.
This is an important point, to see the real nature of sin. Modern western society has pretty much thrown off the concept of sin, and those philosophies that still use the term usually associate sin with ignorance. The main thrust of that way of thinking is that if we just knew who we really were, then we would just “be” it — love, joy, peace, etc. And there is truth in that. But it is incomplete truth!
Because until the True Light that lightens every man shines in our heart, we are caught in “great darkness,” bound by Satan, who deludes us into thinking we are pretty good human beings in ourselves, all the while hiding himself as the true source of our consciousness of separation. He continually deceives us by hiding the fact that he has been the secret “pride of self” we have all been deceived by since the departure from the Garden. This is the chief sin, “pride of self,” from which comes what we call “self-effort,” or “living according to the flesh,” which is all a mask for “pride of self,” or “self-will.”
There must be the Cross that makes the difference. (That is for another discussion.) It must be the Holy Spirit that enlightens our consciousness with first His Presence, and then over time knowledge and understanding, thus dispelling the ignorance that entered our race in the fall through the “virus” of a malevolent eternal spiritual power.
This is in a sense the “temporal” side of truth, and we must live both — not just in the Eternal Resolved Universe that always IS, but also in the rocky contrary strife-laden temporal world, where these things must be encountered and received by each of us in God’s time and way.