Unto the Pure
By Fred Pruitt
“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” Paul’s word in Titus 1:15.
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Jesus’ word from the Sermon on the Mount. (Matt 5:8)
“Purity of heart is to will one thing.” Soren Kierkegaard.
The quotes above sum up one major aspect of the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is what we’ve called in other places, “seeing with a single eye,” or, “God only.” Simply put, from beginning to end, God is All in all.
He is the “Being of beings.” If we describe His Being as “Self-existence,” then God is THE Self-existence in which all other “self-existences” or “beings,” live and move and have their “being,” or their “existing.” That is what Paul told the idolatrous non-believing citizens of Athens on Mars Hill, even calling all of THEM, “God’s offspring.”
Paul said to the crowd of Greeks that gathered to hear him: “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring.” (Acts 17:28).
Paul is “practicing,” in a potentially hostile environment, seeing all in God or Christ, and plainly telling the assembled Athenians that their true Father is the Living God Whom they ALREADY “ignorantly worship,” as “THE UNKNOWN GOD.” (Acts 17:23) Not only were they the offspring and were already worshipping Him without knowing Him or His name, but also they actually lived and moved and had every moment of their existence WITHIN the BEING or existence of God!!!
Hallelujah! This is earthshaking news! That is an astounding declaration for Paul to make! If we consider its implications, it is staggering. Paul has gone beyond the beyond in such a statement! If we could look at God’s universe in a physical way, which in the body is the only way to understand it, Paul is saying we live INSIDE God. So does everything and everybody. We do not have to understand it – in fact that is impossible for us for the moment – but we can “see it” in the Spirit and believe and live out of it even now.
Read it for yourself if you don’t believe me! Paul tells them they are already worshipping the True God, and now the Lord is calling them out of their lifelong stupor and addiction to this world, into their true life hidden in Christ in God, which is what the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead has accomplished for every human person who will receive it.
What great liberty for reconciliation we have from that! Back in my beginning days most of us in my little group believed we had to make sure people knew the “bad news” – they were sinners going to hell – before we could tell them the “Good News.” Some of us therefore took it upon ourselves to announce as much bad news as we had words to say, making sure people felt like the scum of the earth for being the dirty perverted sinners they were, which hopefully would drive them into the arms of the waiting Savior.
In that environment, most all of us were newbies in Christ, and often mistook enthusiasm for maturity. Back then, I never gave it a thought that Christ had not pursued that line in His seeking of me. Certainly, in that two or three year period when I can easily see how God sought to have me, a few times the subjects of heaven and hell and sins and sinning came up with different people, but it never became to me the main thing.
I was caught in a real inner struggle and not sure which way to go. I could continue in meditation and eastern thought which at the time seemed to me to be the more powerful and authentic way to find God and Truth, than what was to me the insipid nothingness of Christianity as I perceived it at the time. Even though the Christian message was to me non-intellectual, illogical, exclusive, punitive, and as it was in the Deep South at the time, quite tied up with what was to me “blind patriotism,” a cartoon-like Disney-ized version of the “American way,” along with glorying in the proliferation of war, all of which at the time were to me the opposite of what I had perceived the Christian message to be or should be – love your enemies, turn the other cheek, be a peace-bringer – still, I could not shake the claims of Jesus no matter how I saw the movement in His current flock of followers. I could throw off most of what others said, but when I began to read what Jesus said about Himself in the Scriptures, I was inwardly shaken. My wall began to crumble around me. Could they be right about this? I asked myself that question for months.
Those were the struggles that had exercised me in the years leading up to my conversion. When I finally came in, after the honeymoon period, in my new convert euphoria and lack of experience, I forgot where I had come from. Suddenly, being among the “saints” and the “righteous,” I forgot how only a short while before I had been one of “them,” the unsaved, the ignorant, “the world!” It is amazing how quickly it can happen with people, how we can go from dirty rotten sinner in deep trouble with the Lord (as we perceive it), to beginning to preach destruction, damnation and hell to people, and becoming first class legalists or Pharisees in our new-found enthusiasm for Jesus and all things Christian.
As I have related many times, we eventually washed out of that. I knew I was looking for something but didn’t yet know what it was. I had an inner understanding beginning to rise in me, that Jesus didn’t “browbeat” us into submission (as I had experienced both as a browbeat-ee as well as a browbeat-er in those early ministry days), but that somehow he got up under us and lifted us up into Himself.
That was the first way I began to articulate that new kind of thought. The bold thought that Jesus is always pleased with and always “proud of me,” and the assurance of the constant (unceasing) inner enabling of His grace has radically transformed my life. In a great supremely important sense, this IS the renewing of the mind!
Before that truth began to dawn as truth in me, I thought God certainly loved me unconditionally (we were supposed to believe that), but at the same time He was continually all day, every day, disappointed with me and always had a frown on His Face, since it was obvious (in my own cracked thinking of the time), I never measured up to what was expected of me spiritually ever, not EVER!! I could always “do better” or “more.”
In that time, it wasn’t that I was holding onto some private sins or habits I couldn’t break. No, it was just an all-pervasive sense that whatever I did to produce the will of God in me was NEVER ENOUGH!
The answer for me came years ago and has persisted and grown ever since. Its initial stages are seeing and accepting myself as the Father sees and accepts me, and believing the Father’s Word to the Son from the beginning, “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”
Once I knew myself in Christ and Christ in myself, I have known this is ALWAYS my Father’s attitude toward me, because I am a Son in THE Son, am complete in Him and come behind in no good thing whatsoever! When the Father “sees” me He sees the Son, and He is always pleased with the Son. Get used to it!
Getting oneself settled in Who I am is step one. Step two is all the rest of the folks, the folks out there! How do I see them?
This is the key to inner AND outer peace. I first began to learn it in earnest when the Father put Norman Grubb in my life. No one I know of, says it any plainer or more succinctly than my dear brother Norman. This short quote below is taken from a talk on King David he did in 1975, which along with others has come out in in a wonderful book edited by DeeDee Winter, called Journeys of Faith. I highly recommend that book! It’s tip-top Norman!
Here is the passage from Norman’s talk on David:
“Now the most startling thing about this whole eight years was David’s extraordinary ability to see God in people…not evil. Now I should make a difference there. We Christians see God in everybody; everybody is a child of God and doesn’t know it. Don’t perceive people as lost people. See them as prodigal sons – as sons who have missed the way. Every single person is made in God’s image…loved by God. He is misusing Himself. Haven’t you been one? So don’t see the misuse…see the person…and love and respect everybody. So we don’t have friends and enemies, because everybody is our friend – because everybody is really a God-person. He may not know it; he may be operating as if he were a devil person. But I am not seeing the devil side of him. That’s how you attract people. You accept them, bless them…even though they are hurting, or whatever type they appear to be, you are only looking at the appearance of selfishness and greed and lust and what not. You are seeing a God-person who is temporarily misusing himself.”
When we begin to see things that way, it takes the war out of us. One who loves God cannot “hate” God wherever He is, and He is everywhere present in everything that is. And since that is the case, there is only room for Love, because God IS love and He fills everything, All in all.
To “hate” is not so much disobeying a commandment, as it is a false reality having no substance in the kingdom of God, and is antithetical to God. To “hate” is to be non-god, or falsely setting up a false and bogus view of the world, joining the purposes of the enemy who would be God in fire and might, rejecting God in His gentleness and Love, which makes him and all those with him mere shells which formerly contained themselves enveloped in and upheld by Light, which now have become lightless and colorless and insubstantial. That false kingdom can find no place of being in the Light and cannot subsist in God because it is a closed-up entity in itself and its own self-deceived independence.
However, we do not have to leave them there, writing them off forever in our minds. Is that what we are sent to do? To curse men and women to hell?
When we realize that the people who are making and causing all kinds of conflict and violence in the world are nevertheless still precious ones made in the image of God just as we are, then we know we cannot hate them because the image of God is in them, covered up though it may be. It would be like hating ourselves. They may be misusing themselves (and thus misusing scads of others as well), but we cannot give final permission for the Destroyer to take them down to the pit, by blaspheming the image of God still implanted in their innermost being and saying in finality they are the devil’s children and will go into the pit with him forever! It is not the Father’s will that one of these little ones should perish! (Matt 18:14). Therefore, we will not help them violate His will by declaring them lost!
(I am not declaring everyone saved and no one lost. I am only saying that is the Father’s business and He has not brought me into His counsel on this issue. As far as I can tell, the Life of Christ in us is geared only for one attitude and reality, and that is in living in the Light, in which we bear each other’s burdens, and we accept, comfort and encourage each other, each esteeming all others better than ourselves in Christ.
(There is only one way I have found to do that, and that is to see each of those others as Christ in THEIR forms, even if they do not see it for themselves! And not just believers, either! I am able to receive Christ anywhere I find Him, and I find Him everywhere.
One of the pieces of equipment we have as intercessors, is to have faith for others when they do not yet know faith for themselves. That is part of what it means to “not see anyone according to the flesh.” It means we see people as God sees them, and He DOES NOT SEE EVIL in us, because there isn’t any!
What, do you not believe evil is in the world? How can you call that “God?” I do not see evil as a rival power that must be fought and vanquished every day. Instead, I see it coming into reality through independent will which is the devil’s main contribution to creation, and I see the Spirit rise up and in every instance of expressed evil, He causes there to be a greater “good” than there was before the “evil” began its attack. The Light swallows up the darkness, and eventually makes the darkness to be as if it never came forth. There is nothing to fear in Christ.
Probably a lot of folks are like me in what I am experiencing regarding the US Presidential campaign, in that I am tremendously stressed with it. There have been quite a few times in the past few weeks when I’ve thought all was lost. There is internal strife in my country that to me potentially exceeds that of the 1960s. Then there is the rattling of the sabers of war that have come on the scene the past few weeks. I grew up in the “Cold War,” and much of my childhood was spent in fear of possible nuclear missile attacks. I do not want to go back to that.
Like I’ve said, I’ve been stressed with it all.
But the Spirit brought me through, thank God! We are not finished yet! What did Paul write? Haven’t we been here before? (Yes, every day!)
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” (2 Cor 4:8).
I didn’t see this coming, (how clever the Spirit is!) but just look where this passage has brought us in verse 9 and beyond – “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” (2 Cor 4:9-12).
That’s all this is. Just more life of Jesus coming from the stresses and deaths of the flesh. Not just in me or in other believers. This is the intercession of the Cosmos, to manifest the sons of God! Everything is involved! Everything is pulled, prodded, stretched and tested to the uttermost, all that Christ might be found and demonstrated to be FAITHFUL IN ALL!
Those who see with the Single Eye, who see through to the underlying purity of all things, who daily see through eyes that God works all things together for good no matter what, who see that whatever comes to them, positive or negative, is the “Father’s Cup,” meant especially for them particularly, “to save many alive.” (Gen 50:20).
“I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.!” (Psalm 118:17).
“Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.” (Psalm 40:6-10).
“The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.” (Psalm 118:18).