By Fred Pruitt
Israel was not allowed to make images of God because God is not out there where we can look at Him.
Jesus came so that we would all come into the image of God in which we were created. We are the only image of God. God is the Only One Person Who is all of us. There is no other person. The same One Image in each.
Although I suppose it is necessary, I tire of even my own constant effort to make sure that, theologically, a distinction is always clearly made between the “created” and the “Creator.”
Let everything I have written heretofore on the subject stand as witness that I have ever held this “distinction,” and still do.
Nevertheless, there is only one image of God — the Christ of God reflected in you and me. No other image of God, no other likeness, can I find. The life of resurrection is the resurrected Life of Christ in our normal selves.
For a time God has winked at our ignorance. He allowed, no purposed, that the Church of Christ in her infancy and growing up would only know Him in an outer sense. He allowed, no purposed, that a priesthood would arise (“Catholic” or “Protestant” — same difference), an earthly priesthood, that still in a dim way reflected, and still today reflects heavenly mysteries. That the people, the “laity,” (“Catholic” or “Protestant” — same difference), would be much as the children of Israel, dependent on the the priesthood to intercede with God for them, and dependent on rituals (“Catholic” or “Protestant” — same difference), to feel close to God or forgiven. And always, with God separate and apart from the people.
But the call of today is the prayer of Moses: “Would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!” (Num 11:29). And of course this is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, Who by His sacrifice not only delivered us from sin and sins, but has also made us, in this present moment, a holy royal priesthood, kings and priests unto God – everyone of us who is in Christ. We are now “Emmanuel.”
The concept of “laity” apart from the “priesthood” is henceforth declared null and void. Thus saith the Lord.
This doesn’t mean that everybody now walks off their jobs and leave their spouses and children and buy tents and take up the sawdust trail. It means that wherever you are, whatever you are doing, in the present moment, you are the outpouring of the Grace of God.
You are the image of God that shines in your world. God enters the world by you. You are His opening to the world of Himself as He really is.
It has nothing to do with how well you behave according to the appearances of the flesh, or how many scriptures you know, or if you have all your doctrines lined up. He is Love. John says if we love our brother, we are in Him, for God is love.
“No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:12)
No man has ever seen God. John says this to our ears in plain English. But then “what” is God?
He is You and Me loving each other.
We will never take it any farther than that.
There will never be a more “objective God” than the love you live in that flows from you out of your belly.
When it says it flows out of your belly it means that it is a natural outflow of the life you live. The individual members of the Church grow up in their consciousness into the Head, which is Christ, and become organically One Person. To be organically One Person means that we spontaneously bear the fruit of the Vine in the relaxation of simply being ourselves, having trusted the Invisible One to manifest Himself into visibility by the spontaneous flow of the Sap from the Vine into the Branches which we are.
It means that you forget yourself. The scriptures say that, “when my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” (Ps 27:10). This has more than a fleshly meaning. Our “father and mother” are our earthly dependence. We rely on them to support our earthly life, to insure our survival. But only until adulthood. When we are adults in this world, we are expected to go out into the world and leave the dependence on our mother and father and make our own lives.
To be an adult means that the focus of our lives, in maturity, becomes focused not primarily on our own survival but on giving life to and sustaining life for others. You become secondary to yourself and those to whom you are given are primary. You live to insure their lives. That is human life in maturity.
Spiritually, it means that our “father and mother” are whatever supports of self-will or repositories of self-reliance that we might have thought we’d reserved for our own welfare are gone, that there is nothing in this world or the next, that can hold us up, except the Invisible God, Who is our very Own Self.
“Whosoever he be of you, that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:33-35) The ONLY “thing” we have is what we take to be “ourselves.”
To forsake “all” therefore is to forsake everything there is, everything we see, everything we know, everything we are, everything we’d like to see, to forsake EVERYTHING that we perceive or possibly could perceive, for the Invisible One Who is Nothing to our senses or perception or human minds.
It is to be “crucified,” to see that “we are dead.”
Our lives are hidden in Christ in God, and when we see Him, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Oh my goodness.
It means that He is not “lo here or lo there.” It means that “it” is “within you,” which means that God has no geographical location, except as manifested in You.
You cannot look around and catch any glimpse of Him.
And it means that EVERYWHERE you look He is all you see.
You are Him. You are you. The Same person.
This is the true “Christ’s Mass.”
Merry Christmas to all, and God bless us everyone!