Knowing Is Being
By Fred Pruitt
(Last chapter of The Axe Laid to the Root.)
True knowing is being. One becomes, or is, that which he knows. That is why Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruit.” One is known by what he is, and one is what one knows.
For instance, if one truly knows truth, he is truth. It is not because he has learned facts about what truth is, or that he has practiced them. It is because to know truth is to be truth. One cannot speak or be what he does not know, because it is not familiar to him. Nevertheless, if you know truth, then truth is what you are, what you do, what you say. There is no separation between you and truth, as if truth were something outside yourself that you could put on. It is simply you. To know it is to be it. That is what it means to be “one” with something.
That is how it is with God and us. Now that the veil of separation is out of the way, God takes us into His own oneness (John 17:11, 21, 22).
One with God – what can that mean?
I almost contradict myself to give an answer, because anything I say can only be a signpost or a pointer. Anyone who goes past this point must go up the mountain alone and hear God Himself.
First, one means solitary. There is only one God. To be one with the One means to be solitary in ourselves. That is, in ourselves we are not two, but one. We are two, Creator and created, but in this ardent union of two we are inseparably one. This is true of us as individuals, each individual being Christ as each, and at the same time true for the whole church in the whole world. Each member of His Body, the Church, is a different, distinct and unique member of the household of God, and yet all of us together are no other than the same One Person manifesting Himself fully in all and through all as One Christ.
There is no other except this One, who is the All in all.
One means we are in the world but not of it. We are the same Christ in us in our world regardless of the current state of our world. We live out of the Speaking (Word) of God, not the speaking (word) of our world. Everything is spoken into existence by Him, consists by Him, is upheld by Him, and yet He is to the world as the Unseen Hand, giving life and existence to everything in the world, not recognized by the world, but He is to those who love Him. We live unconsciously in One so mighty He could dissolve all things in a moment and it would be as if they never were, and yet He is so gentle and steadfast in love that He does not quench the smallest ember of faith in a piece of smoking flax, or break off a bruised stem when He passes by, for it might yet recover and grow. His sun and rain shine and fall on all, blessing everyone by and through His being. His glory shines through the good and evil in the world, for He is Himself One even in the good and evil in the world. But the world does not see Him. It does not know Him and it cannot, even though He is present in every place and state and causing all things in it to be.
However, the fact that the world does not know Him has not stopped the Father from loving the world enough to send the Lamb into it to die for it. In fact, it is because the world does not know Him that He sent His Lamb into it, and He is continuing to do so in you and me. The Father loves the world, and in Him we also love the world. We do not love its sorrow and its evil, but because we do not love those things we are free to love the world with the love of God. And where can we find love so omnipotent and filling that the universe cannot contain Him, but Who also knows when a sparrow falls and how many hairs are on each of our heads? What kind of God is that, Who is more infinite than the distances between the stars, not only in His being but in His intricate involvement in upholding all things, eternally speaking all things into existence, but knows when a sparrow falls? That is the God in which we are One.
One means that God is the same sufficiency and love in everything that is. We learn, as did Paul, to be content with lack and content with abundance, because in Him they are the same. When we know that, we know that we, too, are the same in either lack or abundance, because we find our sufficiency not in things we can see and touch, but in the imperceptible and immaterial. Nothing that comes to us is coming from only the world or from only other people, though everyday it looks like that. Everything we receive, we receive directly from God because He is the Fountainhead of all creation, and therefore the headwaters of everything. There is no other. Because all things come from God, whatever they are, they are good and perfect and we are thankful.
One means that everywhere that is, in everything that is, there is always a slain Lamb at the very center. The Word of God is an innocent and spotless Lamb, slain eternally, and it is by this Word, and therefore by this Lamb slain, that all things consist. The Lamb upholds the universe. What that means is that when we live in the oneness of God, in everything that is, the same Lamb slain is in the center, the center of everything. When one lives in the Cross, it radiates out from every center and fills up every circumference. We see everything in life participating in life and death and joy and sorrow, but through the Cross, we see death persistently vanquished and life continually raised up.
Oneness with Him means we know His perfection and completion in us manifesting in our own daily lives. When we walk and talk it is He walking and talking. To know Him is to be Him in the world.
This is what it is to “know” God. It is not learning concepts and attributes and trying to emulate them. It is not being religious, scriptural or pious. Knowing God means simply to be Him in the world. We are His containers, His vessels, and we are even more than that. We each are a temple of His in the world, a repository of the Divine Presence, yet to be One means being more than a temple that contains Him. It is more than being a branch on the True Vine. It is more than being His servant. All those things are certainly true in their place as we are helped along in our understanding toward the total.
But to know God is to be one in His oneness. The total is “one.” He and I are one. One person? Yes. One heart? Yes. One mind? Yes. One Spirit? Yes. One intent? Yes. One will? Yes. One everything? YES! Jesus has brought us, through His intercession, into the same oneness He describes with the Father and the Spirit. (John 17:21-23). This is not something to “understand” intellectually. It cannot make sense that way. It is a “BE” thing. As He is, so are we in this world.
This is outside of experience as we have always known experience. We are not talking about visions and voices, or feelings of religious fervor. We may not have any of that. Walking around and living in the world IS the experience. We walk around being ourselves, unconscious of ourselves as ourselves, and that is what it is to know God. He is found in and through everything we see, hear, know, experience, and on and on beyond any description of words. With that same lack of words to describe, we say we are, through Christ, one person, one Head, Christ, expressing Himself in His many members in all we say and do by the Spirit. We know Him by living Him. We simply stand up and start walking, in worship saying, “Lord, this is you walking.” We merely open our mouths and speak, in worship saying, “Lord, it is you who speaks.” (John 7:17)
That is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus that now upholds us and works in us. (Is 42:1). It works of itself, as we have found to our relieved delight, and has caused us to lie down and rest in Him in green pastures. It is the kingdom of heaven grown up, we know not how. It has grown up in the most surprising of places, appearing in us even as just our plain old selves we have in some way always been, and yet we are not the same, which is truly a wonder of wonders. It is finding the “pearl of great price,” or a “treasure hid in a field.” (Matt 13:44-46). At first, we are as surprised as Jacob who said, “Surely God is in this place, and I knew it not.” (Gen 28:16).
Surely God is in this place.
The end of the book.
This is the last post in the Axe Laid to the Root Series. This and the previous 26 Daily Thoughts have been posted in consecutive order from “The Axe Laid to the Root,” published 2008, by Fred Pruitt