Free in God’s Eternal Freedom – Part Two A
(A different look into Saul and David)
By Fred Pruitt
Responding to the recent article “Sting Song Says,” someone wrote asking what I thought about Saul’s “heaven” status, and whether the Holy Spirit was “on,” with,” or “in,” the OT (Old Testament) prophets, etc.
On the “going to heaven” issue, I ceased a long time ago wondering about the eternal destiny of OT characters. I have never thought that things for the people of God were much different either before or after the Cross. Those who walked in God in either the Old or New always walked by the Spirit, and their continual “lessons” were always about faith.
Whether the Spirit was “in,” or just “on or with,” the OT characters makes little difference. It is only a difference in consciousness, which of course comes from God. That was what Jesus was meaning when He was talking to the disciples about the coming “Promise of the Father.” He told them, “[He is] the Spirit of truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17).
So we see right there what Jesus is meaning. The only difference between “in” and “with” regarding this issue is consciousness or awareness. That is all the difference is. Why do I say this? Because it is impossible that the Spirit was not in them. He is everywhere present. Spirit has no here or there. He is not confined to any location or form, but is everywhere in His fullness. He is not stretched out thin like bread dough, but if He were bread, He would be an unending full loaf in as many physical locations as you could fit them into.
It isn’t what God is sending out that we question. The world cannot know Him, because it “seeth Him not.”
The normal way people of that time perceived the “location” of God is just like the normal way in our time: we see Him separate from us. We’re down here. He is up there. We see Him as “A” Being, i.e., an individual entity just as you and I are individual entities. I am me and you are you and we occupy different space. That is the only way we understand what a person is. It is because observation without Spirit-given revelation makes the only conclusion it can come to regarding God and ourselves, which is that we are separate distinct beings, each of us separate from all others, and that is even more true of “God” and us because He is so “beyond” us; He is unapproachable and unknowable. While there is truth there, the further, liberating truth is that through Jesus Christ He Who had been unapproachable and unknowable in the inner depths of the Godhead, we come to “know” in our own “personal” depths.
When we say “know,” of course, we are meaning not merely objective intellectual knowledge. True knowing is when subject and object become “one” in our perception. So when we say we “know” or are “known” of God, we are saying that we are spiritually one person with God, as Jesus said of the Father which also we may say: “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30).
However, while the Eternal Father is most especially Person because out of Him all “persons” come, He is not exactly an “individual” like you and I are. That is why His truest Name is YHWH, “I AM THAT I AM.” We cannot pin Him down any further than that. He does not have a name like Bill or Steve or Olaf. (Or Betty or Marjory or Helga!) Most of the other major Old Testament Names of God are compound names, with attributes attached to “I AM.” (Or “Yah,” or “Jah”). Even Jesus, Joshua, Y’shua, Yeshua or however one wants to write it, is one of those compound names, meaning “Yah is salvation.” Others include YAHWEH-JIREH, God our provider or The LORD provides; YAHWEH-RAPHA, the Lord Who heals; YAHWEH-SHALOM, the Lord our peace; YAHWEH-ELOHIM, LORD God, and many others.
While it would be easy to “prove” the Spirit was “in” the OT prophets just by quoting a few scriptures, it is more important to me to realize God is in ME, Now!
How had the Apostles healed the sick when Jesus sent them forth on their “practice missions” during His days in Galilee? (Luke 10). Who performed the healings? It was the same Spirit Who performed the healings and miracles that Jesus did. Though their awareness of it was very dim, Jesus sent them forth on a Spirit mission and they came back with many testimonies of signs, wonders and miracles. Who did them? The Spirit did them, though I do not know how aware of Him they were. But Jesus said they already “knew Him,” because, “He dwelleth with you.”
We always speak of the Day of Pentecost as the Day the Spirit came to man. But He had always been here and working in everyone since the beginning. Luke’s Gospel is the only one that calls the coming of the Holy Spirit, “The Promise of the Father.” And yet, in the second chapter of Luke’s Gospel, in the story about the circumcision of Jesus in the Temple, the very aged Simeon and Anna were already walking in the Spirit and “knew Him” (eight-day old baby Jesus) when they saw Him. How did they know? They were led of, and informed by, the Holy Spirit, before Pentecost. Pentecost was a public day, to be known around the world from that time forth, that God had fulfilled His promise of pouring out His Spirit upon ALL flesh. The Holy Spirit is no longer a “secret,” known only to a few. He is now in the “public domain” so that anyone anytime anywhere can call upon the name of the Lord and He is there.
The reason I say He is already “in” us though we are not aware of it, among other reasons, is demonstrated again in Paul’s word, “No one can say Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:3). That means He was there before the Word came, preparing the ground for the day of the revelation of Christ in us.
The OT stories have become, to me, not so much lessons learned about behavior, family life, morals, or worldly success (rich like Abraham with the “10 Principles Abraham used to increase his goods” [I’m being facetious]), but much more, actual revelations about the work of the Spirit in bringing us each to the knowledge/consciousness of Christ “formed” in us.
Why is this important and why does knowing these things have anything to do with Christ being “formed” in us, as Paul spoke to the Galatians in Gal 4:19 – “I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you”? Why am I linking that with consciousness? Because the New Testament brings this out over and over. It is all a matter of sight and faith. Not physical sight. You can’t look at a picture of Jesus and “become” Jesus from looking at it. No, it is a matter of inner, “spirit” sight, which is different altogether from outer sight.
Look at what the Apostle John says happens when we “see Him” with our inner sight. “We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2). That does not only refer to the next life, but also one can “see Him as He is” now! It is still in the realm of invisibility to the outer mind, but it shines out from our deepest depths within like a million suns to the eyes and ears of faith. His Life is right now HERE in THIS LIFE, so let’s get about living it now!
Paul says the same in many passages – the point being, “beholding” Christ in a sense activates His image in us, renews it. If someone says, “We must behold Christ in order to be closer to Him,” before we know union, we see “beholding Christ” in an outer objective way as something we “do” out of our separation, which means the “law” rears up and says, “Yes, you need to be doing that if you want God to bless you.” We try to do our best to “behold Him” but we work out of our lifelong independent self-reliance, so that in our imagination it is as if (Jesus, God, etc.) is physically standing before us and apart from us.
However, that scenario does not really reflect the full Truth of Who we are in Christ. It is true, we all begin that way because we are coming from a lifelong almost unbreakable hypnosis with self-in-separation. (With man only it is impossible to break the hypnosis, but with God all things are possible.) We are addicted to this false view of ourselves and with the outer world from which we believe we find all our sustenance. God knows we have to start where we are, so in our beginning days we “know” Him in that separated way. There is nothing wrong with that sight in the beginning because it cannot be helped. We are born in that sight and only the Spirit of the Lord can bring us out.
However, we speak from a different perspective. The Spirit leads us into an inner sight of oneness with God that is outside our senses or intellect, in which we do not “grasp” or “apprehend” Christ, so much as we are seized and overwhelmed with “I AM.” And when I say we “behold Him,” I am not speaking of any particular action or activity other than wherever we operate our sight and faith. We “behold Him” in inner faith sight as much and as fully driving on the expressway as we do in our private place of prayer, if we have one. (Don’t believe that? Ok, according to your faith.)
Saul and David
I have mentioned this quite a few times in other writings, but let me tell you the different way I look at Saul and David. I am not denying their “historicity,” but only gleaning what I believe the Spirit is revealing in their struggle for the kingdom in Israel.
Before I go on, I must mention how it is that this issue finds its way into a writing on Freedom. It might seem Freedom is a side issue, not really at the heart of things. But it is not really, not at all. In giving “freedom” to Lucifer to go his “own” way into self-relying-self-for-self, the Father sets up the counter-balance to the eternal accuser of the brethren, the One Who sits on His Right Hand, the One Who is our Eternal Advocate and whose ears are deaf to the snake’s incessant accusations, innuendos and lies.
This is basically the same story/issue as presented in the stories of Cain and Abel, Abram and Terah, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, and a few others. It is also echoed in Paul in speaking of the first Adam and the Last Adam, the first man, “of the earth,” and the second man, “heavenly man.” It is echoed in Jesus’ words to Nicodemus when He said, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:5,6).
Now, this is not ear-tickling stuff. Nor is it just superfluous information that we trot out to appear spiritual. The keys to our Spirit lives are in the revelation of Christ in these stories. As I said above, the Holy Spirit did not provide these stories so that we can measure our behavior against theirs, or for us to learn from their mistakes. NO! We aren’t looking too much at their “mistakes.” We are learning the working of the Spirit in PEOPLE JUST LIKE US in these stories.
It’s easy to “judge” some of those people, from our safe vantage point looking back, and think we wouldn’t do some of the things they did. One of the most wonderful of the glorious things about this final showdown that I am always talking about, where we “come to the end of ourselves,” is to realize we very much could have done some of the things they did, because along the way we did some of them, too.
But that’s just the negative backdrop to the incoming Positive, whereby the Light might shine even brighter. When Christ comes on the scene, where do all those “mistakes” and supposedly “wrong paths” go? Well, the memory of it all is still there, but now we know no man after the flesh, including ourselves. We see only Christ!
When we see everything within the Light of Christ Who fills out All in all, where are the mistakes and wrong paths? They aren’t there, because they were not mistakes nor were they wrong paths! If you are standing where you are and you are in Christ then you are where you are supposed to be and God brought you there, even if you thought it was through some shortcomings or wrong decisions on your part that brought you where you are. But it is none of the above.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand.” (Ps 37:23,24). Jesus said there are “none good, except God,” but this “good man” to whom David refers is the man who walks in God’s goodness, in God’s righteousness because he knows he has none of his own. God “orders” that man’s steps, and if he stumbles, the hand of the Lord “upholds” Him. Now again, if we see ourselves in Christ, this “good man” is who we are, and this is applicable to us. He will not leave us nor forsake us! He said so!
So these stories reveal Christ in all His manifestations. It is Christ the Way Who is revealed. When the scales fall from our eyes reading these stories as a deluge of the inner riches of Christ falls upon us at once, believe me, we exceedingly rejoice in the wisdom and grace of God! We cannot help but lift holy hands in testimony to the limitless grace and unfathomable wisdom of the Lord God.
End Part Two A