The I of God
By Fred Pruitt
(Excerpted and expanded from a previous article, “I-Hood.”)
Now another interesting point has to do with the being and mystery of God. I am sure it might be a stretching thing to speak of God as if He has no “I-hood” except in created self, but hear me out to the end, please. Of course God is Person Whose self-description to Moses is “I AM THAT I AM.” (Ex 3:14). And right there we get a hint.
He is the BEING of ALL BEINGS. Do we realize what we are saying by that? We have said it many many times, but I am always bowled over by new deeper plumbs into the depths of “Him in Whom we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28).
What does “being” mean? We see it as a noun that describes a living sentient entity of some kind, like a human being or an alien being. God, to us, is such “a” being. But the word itself is a form of the verb, “be,” as in, “To be, or not to be,” the famous words of Hamlet. “Be” is related to “is.” Maybe we could call it “is-ness.” In any sense, what Paul plainly says, and Jacob Boehme also, is that we “live and move and have our “is-ness” or “personal existence,” in HIS “is-ness” or “personal existence.” In other words, there is no place in the universe, created or uncreated, that is outside the “being” of God.
Paul hits this point many times, and this is one of the most succinct things he says on the subject: “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”(Eph 4:6) As we have also pointed out a gazillion times, that is ALL people and creatures, not just those who we call the “saved.” It means that God finds INDIVIDUAL EXPRESSION, not as some “separate-from-everyone-else” giant big “I” that sits in some location somewhere where we can stand and look at Him, but that ALL HIS PERSONAL EXPRESSION OF HIMSELF is put into the Son, and every Son found in THE SON will be and is purely God’s “I-hood” eternally and perfectly expressed as our individual selves, i.e., our created human “I-hood.”
(We are speaking of the Body of Christ, which has only one Head, Christ. Is Christ not the Life of the whole body, and is there anything in the universe which does not serve Him, whether willingly or unwillingly? The devils serve Him, but they think they serve themselves. Every knee bows and every tongue confesses Christ, some to life and some to death. Those who, like Pharaoh in Exodus Paul speaks of in Rom 9:14-24, harden themselves in rebellion against God and His Love-purposes, HE uses for HIS purposes as “vessels of wrath,” to bring forth the sons of God shining like the Son!)
Another thing to realize is that since our I-hood IS the Deity I-hood expressed in human form, to repeat, that since our I-hood IS the Deity I-hood expressed in created human form, then that makes this created self which we are, to be suddenly in our understanding the repository of something much more significant than previously considered. When this “I” comes fully into itself, then this “I” becomes a much bigger deal than we have imagined!
Again, not “just an I,” but an “I” which is the manifested “I” of God in a particular created self. And we further say, that this “I” that we are, is the “I” God saw HIMSELF TO BE in our form from the Eternal! It’s a really BIG DEAL – this “I” – because it is the “I” of GOD!
It is the “I” that comes out of the union of our human spirit with the Deity Spirit Who indwells us and it is the “new I” (Col 3:3-4) – Christ and I as one “I” – and it is this “I” that has been hidden in Christ in God and it is this “I” that God has seen in Himself from the Eternal, and now in the fulness of time that “I,” (which is me), that He has always seen, comes out in the visible world and is exactly every moment the “I” that God saw it to be in perfection, in the Eternal. We are speaking of you and me and everyone in Christ.
Get it? You never have been just “you” living as an island of self in the universe. We all started with our false father as our inheritance from Adam, but in the Cross the accuser of the brethren has been forever removed and each of us has been taken up into the heart of the Throne, not to cower in fear, but to decree the decrees, to issue royal proclamations, to be the Word that is Spoken from the Eternal Father, now manifesting in human form as you and as me!
So that further reiterates our point that life is from inward out, from heaven into earth, from the invisible into the visible. In order words, we are not attempting to affect heaven by our lives, trying to get God to do our bidding and favor us with some crumbs if and only if it be His will, blah blah. No, it is rather the truth that we are reflecting heaven by our lives, since it He Who lives the fulness of His Deity in the weakness of our human flesh, which is HIS plan, not ours. Paul told us to consider our image in a mirror, only this mirror Paul of which speaks does not reflect this world, but the heavenly world, from where Paul says our daily living flows – “For our conversation is in heaven” (Phil 3:20a). And then this: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor 3:18). So God has a GREAT PLAN! AND EVERY BIT OF IT IS GLORY! (Even the tough stuff – NO – ESPECIALLY the tough stuff!)
This last point may be the most difficult to grasp. But if there is no “I-hood” in the Deity as we understand it humanly, that places the fulness of the Godhead bodily in us! That means that “my” subjectivity, i.e., my self-outlook, is also the subjectivity of God Who lives in me. And the same in all! That means that my thinking is God’s thinking! That means my “my” is God’s “my.” He is the Being of all beings, over, under, in and through all things.
This is what the old writers called Paradisiacal. “Of Paradise!” We are “in the flesh but not of it,” which means we live in the Spirit, because we have now become “of” the Spirit! That also means we inwardly walk a Paradisiacal Life, a Life pouring out of Paradise within us. It is still invisible to us, but that does not make it any less real. In fact, one day we will see that all which we took as “real,” will vanish like a vapor, when the actual “REAL” appears. We live out of that actual REAL now! You want to know what Jesus did? That’s what HE did, what I am describing. He lived not according to appearances, but according to the Paradise He knew within Himself.
By using the term “No I-hood” in the Deity, of course I am not meaning by “no I-hood” that God is not “a” Person. God is “universal” Person and we cannot conceive that in our minds. That is why I cannot use a defining article when speaking of God. God is not “a” spirit; He IS Spirit. God is not “a” Being; He IS Being. God is not “a” Person; He IS Person.
Humanly we only understand a person the way we see and know persons, i.e., as distinct independent-of-others entities, persons “over there,” and “not me.” All we can say of God as “Person” is that He is none of that. As all “others” are “over there” from me, God is not “over there.” Every human person we see is as if an independent self-functioning unit, that has a location separate from ours. And He isn’t that. He has no separate location. Yet, HE IS PERSON!
So then, in that sense, God is the real true “I” in all the little “i’s” and yet paradoxically each are themselves as individual beings, God being the True I All and in all.
May God grant everyone the eyes to see Him where He is, which is everywhere, above all, through all and in all. That is the whole world, and this is true right now, wherever you are reading this, and everywhere else as well.
(In the past few writings, I have mentioned the deception of the enemy as worldwide, quoting 1 John 5:19 that the whole world lives under the sway of the wicked one. I am not taking away from that truth when I speak of God All and in all. I am completing it by showing the higher truth from which we live. The higher truth is that we see only God, willing and working in all things, and bringing everything there is and everything that happens to the culmination of His Plan of the ages, “all things working together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes.” [Rom 8:28]. The manifestation of the Sons. [Rom 8:19])
Why am I bringing this out? Is it because this is a little tidbit of spiritual trivia that is cool to know? Of course not! It is the biggest thing in the universe, to begin to grasp WHO WE REALLY ARE! I spent years sort of figuring out Who God is. At some point He turned the tables on me. As if saying to me, “Now find out Who You are, in ME!”
And this is what I have found out. He is “Me.” From that, I say ….
When Jesus asked the disciples who did people think He was, they answered, some a prophet, some a teacher, etc. Then he asked, “Who do YOU say that I am?” To which Peter made that great statement, “Thou art The Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus’ ministry was to establish that first and foremost reality, through the Cross, that He was indeed, “The Christ.”
But while He was here, He could not take the disciples to the next level. First Who He WAS, IS, and IS TO COME, had to be established, through the Cross and Resurrection, which at the same time became the means of our redemption. Only through His Blood and Body and Spirit could we be made ready and capable of answering the second question which Jesus could not ask that day.
“And Who do you say YOU are?” We could only know the inner Christ when the outer Christ was no longer available to us.
That is the question the Spirit has us face in our time! The first part is established in us. We know our redemption. The next phase for many is the Spirit’s season when vast numbers of us will hear the question, “Who do you say YOU are?” and will answer it by the Spirit, “When you see me you see the Father.”
To this end: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Act 10:38). In the passage where it says, “Jesus of Nazareth,” substitute YOUR name! Wrap your faith-faculty of simple reception around it and “Be not afraid, only believe.”