Do We Bless or Do We Curse?
By Fred Pruitt
Jesus came to be one of us, and one with us, in order to make us His perfected expressions (Col 1:28,29) of Himself in our world. And now we, after coming to know Him as our true selves even as He knew the Father was Himself, go out again to be one with “them” — meaning all those out in our world, saints and “sinners” alike! And then we are surprised by unbounded joy that our vision, having been opened by the Spirit, now sees only Him, All in All, whether “they” see it or not. That is what we call forth by our faith and walking in the Light. It is our job.
However, it deeply saddens me from time to time that so many of our brethren do not see this, (the Father working “ALL THINGS after the counsel of His own will,” Eph 1:11), but still see a divided, two-power universe, with the devil a rival power and enemy to be rooted out and destroyed. His defeat has already been accomplished on Calvary and Jesus’ descent into the lower regions, and we need not quake and fear no matter what he does! The worst he could possibly do to any of us is to take our earthly lives from us, which would only be glory to us and it would only be in the Father’s time and would backfire on the enemy and produce LIFE, not death.
So, No, instead of fearing evil and evil plots and evil conspiracies as if they had any lasting power whatsoever, we Sons of the Father speak LIGHT to darkness, forgiveness to sin, reconciliation to the unreconciled, mercy to those the Law condemns, and strength to the weak.
This is a day I would hope that all the brethren would take heed to this passage where James is speaking of the tongue: “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.” (James 3:9-12). Do we bless or do we curse?
James is great at reminding us of Who we are, so that we do not look into the mirror at ourselves and the “perfect law of liberty” (Christ within), and then turn away and forget the image we saw. Make up your mind, he is saying. Do you want to curse and destroy men who are made in the image of God? Or do you want to lift up, to edify, to tempt UP by a vision of Who they really are if they would but see it and give themselves to it?
This is a Word to the brethren! You cannot be both! You cannot, James says, curse men, and then with the same mouth, bless God. If you are going to curse men or consign them to judgment that YOU think they deserve, you do it outside the Spirit of Christ and possibly to your own harm! (“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matt 7:2). Surely that is not the way we go!
But our other alternative is that we can see that we are all rather like the story of Father Damien on the island of Molokai, Hawaii. He founded a leper colony and lived there amongst the lepers and eventually got leprosy himself. And I am certain that those lepers, seeing Christ coming to them in the form of Father Damien and becoming a leper just like them, enabled them to see Him in themselves in some way, through knowing His total Love and Forgiveness and a disregard of the outer appearance of their leprosy.
Years ago in the ancient 1980s, Janis & I went to the movies to see “Terms of Endearment” when it first came out. In one part of the movie, the Shirley MacLaine character and the Jack Nicholson character go to bed together. When the scene of them in bed together flashed on the screen (and it was not “sexy” at all!), a couple in front of us huffily got up and noticeably left the theater in apparent protest of the “sin” displayed on the screen. And in their preoccupation with “sin,” they missed the point of the movie, which was that love triumphs over all, even death and sin. And that forgiveness is the heart of love. Even a “Hollywood movie” can sometimes speak deep wisdom.
“Wisdom is justified of her children,” said Jesus. This simply means we walk confidently as who we are, just being ourselves, being not afraid to touch or be touched, being intimately ONE in spirit and heart with not only the Godhead, but with and in all, seeing Christ in ALL (including ourselves — and the “others” being of the same Person as we) regardless of appearances, affirming the Truth. Then we will see that Love will triumph, even now IS triumphing, IS victorious, and that all THIS that we see with our eyes is in the harmony of God’s Life tuning up for the Great Symphony. There is always some discordance when the orchestra tunes up, and we’re having a bit of that now. But just wait until the Great Symphony plays in its fullness – all discord will resolve into the most wonderful music anyone in the universe has ever heard or imagined. I can hear it even now.
That is why it is so important that we heed what Paul said, “to stand fast in the liberty,” which we have discovered in Christ. This is not an occasion for the flesh to revel, because this liberty is not given us just for our own comfort or peace. Discovering this liberty removes the impediment in us that blocks the fullness of love from flowing out of us. Liberty and love go hand in hand. No liberty, no love, and no love, no liberty. But in Christ in oneness in Him in the Godhead, we are liberated eternally to be and manifest nothing but the love of God, which “seeketh not its own,” but rather lives to pour itself out and expend itself to reproduce this same love in everyone we meet.
More than ever, let us understand our place and position. “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (Luke 9:56).
Paul tells us how.
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” (2 Cor 5:19,20).
Remember these three points:
- God in Christ reconciled the world unto Himself already.
- He is not, IS NOT, “imputing,” i.e., “counting” men’s trespasses, i.e., sins unto them. In other words, no one in the world has a debt of “sin” that must be paid or atoned for. They have already been covered, taken care of, in the “Lamb that taketh away the sin of the world.”
- He has committed that word of reconciliation, NOT JUDGMENT, to us!
Our message is not, “God will forgive you and take you to heaven if you stop doing all those bad things.” Instead, it is, “Come unto me, all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28).
It is not, “REPENT OR GOD WILL DESTROY YOU,” but rather, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.“ (Isa 1:18).
The only people Jesus said were responsible for their sins were the self-righteous who tried to prevent him at every turn, until eventually they arrested Him and had Him executed by the Romans. It wasn’t because their sins were much more heinous than those of others, but that they denied their sins and declared themselves righteous by their diligence at keeping the Law.
But to others Jesus continually said, “Your sins are forgiven you!” Never once did he ask them their theological position, what sins they had committed, or to what party or sect they belonged. He did not even demand of them a promise to “do better” in the future. Jesus simply spoke what was fact in the current moment in their lives. And still is.
“Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the Sin of the World.”
The word “Gospel” means “good news!” Let’s keep telling it like it is!