The Election of God Part One
By Fred Pruitt
Who, or what, is the election of God?
The easy beginning part of the answer to the question, is that God only calls One Man to Him, because He has only begotten One, and God only sees One Man – Jesus Christ. “THIS is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased!” Paul says in Ephesians that when we grow up, we grow up into Him. 1 Corinthians 12 says we are all together the body of Christ, He the same Head in each, and we each individual members of His body. It is not we who live (individually), but Christ Who lives in us (individually and collectively). The life we live in the flesh by the faith of the Son of God (not our “individual” faith), IS Christ.
(At this point, one might wonder, “Well, what about me? If it’s all Christ, where do ‘I’ fit in?” Actually, answering that vital question is precisely what we are looking into here. This is not just information or new doctrine to tickle our ears, but rather we are looking into the revelation of the Spirit in us, which the natural man cannot know, to the “knowledge of Christ” that edifies, fulfilling Paul’s continuous prayers for all of us, that we grow up into Him in knowing, all spiritual wisdom and understanding, “unto a perfect Man.” So, as we go through this, let us keep our eyes on THAT prize!)
Hebrews 1: 5-8
“For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever …”
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Jesus Christ is the foremost “elect” of God. He is the “point” where the invisible God, “dwelling in a light no man can approach” (1 Tim 6:16), bursts out by the Spirit into created visiblity, spawning all the realms of creation – spiritual, animate and inanimate. He is the One of Whom it is said, “by HIM all things consist” (Col 1:17). He is “the outraying of the divine,” and is also the “mighty Word of power,” Who frames and upholds all things, both temporal and eternal (Heb 1:3 Amplified).
Anyone therefore, as the Scripture clearly says, who comes into that “election,” comes to it in Jesus Christ and no other. (John 1:6). It isn’t that God is being “exclusive,” as humans think, saying, “my way or the highway.” It is simply that He (Christ) is the only portal from our temporal world and darkened spiritual existence, back to the Father of spirits who originally created us to be living expressions of the One Son. We are “sons,” yes, but only true sons by being in and of the “One Only Begotten.”
We have no real life outside Christ. We live, “dead while we live” (1 Tim 5:6), until, by the Spirit, we see that we are dead (to who we once were), and that our true lives have always been hidden in Him in the eternal (Col 3:3). In receiving Him, we give up the false life we received from our former master, the devil, along with his gift of “the mind set on the flesh,” and in finding Christ within, we find the “mind of Christ,” or, “the mind set on the Spirit,” and in that we find our true selves also.
That is, since the Father only sees the One Son and expresses Himself fully and solely by this One Son, and all those who find their true lives, only find them hidden in Him, it follows that all who come to the Father must be in this One Only Begotten, by Whom we also are “begotten again unto a lively hope.” (1 Pet 1:3).
The Father knows us through that One Man, of Whom we all are (Eph 4:15). We are – branches of His vine (Jn 15:5); dwelling places of His Glory (2 Cor 4:7; 6:16; Heb 3:6; Jn 17:22); vessels of His honor and mercy (Rom 9:21, 23). By our daily walking around in our mortal flesh bearing about in our bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus, His Life is manifest (revealed, declared, verified) in our mortal bodies (2 Cor 4: 10,11), to give Life to the world!
The Son’s Life IS our life. That is why Paul next says, “So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” He was the “lamb for others” and in Him we manifest Him in being the Lamb where we are. “As He is, so are you in the world” (1 Jn 4:17).
Therefore, to repeat, the Life of the Son is the “elect” of God. Wherever the “life of the Son” shows up, there is God’s elect.
What does this have to do with Jacob and Esau? And this seemingly arbitrary thing God has said about them, “Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated” (Mal 1:2-3; Rom 9:13)?
Why was the first rejected, and the second received? As Cain was, whose unrighteousness bore witness to the truth of the Lord’s rejection, so that he rose up against his brother out of his pride of self, which in its rejection, suffered the bitter root of envy and covetousness to explode into wrath and rage, so that he murdered his brother Abel. Cain’s selfish envy had been stirred by Abel’s righteousness, having been demonstrated in his inner humility, by a blood sacrifice of an innocent in his place, testifying not of his own self-attained righteousness, as Cain’s did, but of the mercy, grace and righteousness of God. (Gen 4) When Cain saw Abel received, and he himself chastised, even though he had done his very best to bring an offering pleasing to God, he was filled with blazing wrath. He thought he should have been the one received, not Abel, and his blood boiled over into deadly violence to rid himself of the proof that he had not been accepted of God.
As Ishmael was – born Abram’s son, yet Sarah saw him mocking Isaac, the son of Promise and the true heir, as the flesh always mocks and scorns the glory of the Spirit. He was the son of the bondwoman, and not of the wife. And though he was Abraham’s son, he was nonetheless, at the command of God, cast out with his mother, Hagar, into the desert with nothing to sustain them except a skin of water and a little food, which soon ran out. (Gen 21)
Now what does this human idea of a bondwoman (slave) have to do with Ishmael’s rejection? In human society, a bondwoman’s son could have some inheritance, even all of it, if the father so desired. Before Ishmael was born, Abram had thought his heir would have been the son of his slave, Eliezer.
But the Spirit has something deeper to say here. The bondwoman is fallen Eve, who has been disinherited and fallen into corruption. Adam’s true Wife was Christ, as Eve’s true Husband was Christ. When they fell into separation and temporal “earth-only-ness,” having been secretly invaded by the spirit of error (Serpent/Sin/Satan) as a usurper of that inmost holy place which before had belonged to the Lord, i.e., primacy in their inner selves, they became adulterers with each other in the spirit. The true husband and true wife had retreated, and as to God, in the separation, in the spirit, all their posterity were as if illegitimate.
(*Understand, they were not completely illegitimate in their humanity; the real “bastard” was the hidden devil, hidden in a monster of his creating, the lying, rebellious, false self-consciousness of autonomy or independence), which the enemy had insinuated into them. And this is that “flesh mind” that rules the whole earth, and which can never come into the kingdom.)
Paul compares Hagar and Ishmael to Mt. Sinai and the giving of the Law, the Jerusalem of the flesh and not Isaac’s Jerusalem, the Jerusalem which is above. That posterity is forever cursed and cannot ever enter the true Presence, because as in the spirit of Cain, it is born of corruption in separation and will not, cannot, separate from it. Likewise, this false separated self-consciousness, the monster, “mind set on the flesh,” cannot come before God because, as it is written, “no flesh shall enter into my presence.” The only way to get rid of the monster is to kill it.
Therefore, it is obvious, the election is only for the son of promise, as it is written, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” Isaac is the son of the true wife, the son of God’s promise, and therefore is the heir of Abraham and the carrier of the Seed of Abraham, the “seed of the woman” (Gen 3:15), which is Christ.
And we must understand, as to their humanity, Ishmael and Isaac were not different from one another. They both stood equal before God. They were both born in corruption, yet their lives were allowed to dissect from one another, that by the contrast we might see how the two lines, the line of the flesh, and the line of the Spirit, are always running together and side-by-side, so that by seeing how it worked in two different distinct people, Ishmael and Isaac, we might see how it truly is in each individual human person.
(But it is not only two lines running in individuals, but the two lines also running simultaneously and intertwined with each other in the historical visible church of Christ. Many in our time have identified correctly the false Babylon of “religion”, as one of the major roots of the problem in humanity. But it is incorrect if we were to say that all “institutional religion,” in the forms of denominations, institutions, buildings, sectarianism, ritualism, house churches, ministries, doctrinal positions, and all the other accouterments of outer “religion,” are the monster in themselves, and all those forms, therefore to be avoided for that reason. Though the false in many cases may be more prominently visible, nevertheless God has nowhere left himself without a remnant. God has His hidden ones in the most unlikely of places, from brothels to cathedrals, and we find Him, and them, in both, and everywhere in between. That is why Jacob Boehme said, “A true Christian has no sect, but is at home in all of them. Every day is Sunday to him and his priest and sacrament are within him.”
Remember, we are the sowers of grace and not condemnation, and need retain no one’s sins, faults, or misinformations as any impediment to our love, which as our Father in heaven, shines on the just and the unjust alike [Matt 5: 43-48]. Jesus likened that to the perfection of the Father, that our light shines liberally and fully on all, regarding no man’s “person,” seeing all as loved and received of the Father, our constant prayer being that they (who may not yet know Him) might come to know Him in themselves, and recover out of the snare of the wicked one, no longer opposing themselves in heart and mind. That is where we may hold them in our faith [2 Tim 2: 24-26].)
The lesson is simple – when Ishmael is cast out, Isaac comes forth! That is the final outcome, the Prize where we keep our eyes! This is the “secret” of Romans 7, because Romans 7’s premise seems to be that we are as two people, a flesh man and a Spirit man, always battling it out, and the flesh man always seems to have the upper hand. It is as if we are left there in that condition, as probably most people have been taught, so that all of life is this desperate battle where we try and fail, but keep trying anyway, and God’s grace covers our “many sins.” And many, probably most, teach and/or believe, that is the best it can get in this life.
But the truth is that these Old Testament stories give evidence to this struggle in our inner selves, by playing out these various themes in the lives of the characters, and give a different conclusion than the ones we normally consider. The Holy Spirit did not give us these histories so that we could psychoanalyze these characters and find their “dysfunctions,” as a means to “fix” the psychological dysfunctions in our own lives. That only leads to confusion and condemnation, if for no other reason than that is a bottomless well, to focus on “fixing” ourselves. No no no!
Every one of these stories, in similar and different ways, testifies to the heart of God, how man (from Adam until now) has become the prodigal, roaming the earth and wasting the Father’s substance. He (man the prodigal) is Cain, the hater and murderer of his own brother. He is Ishmael, disinherited when Isaac came forth, who became the mocker, whose hand has forever been against every man and every man against his (Gen 16:12). He is Esau, who spurned his birthright, counting it less important than the brief filling of his belly.
And of such have we all been. I know I have. Wandering, lost, far from home. Confused, fearful, distrustful, broken, eyes darting this way and that, wary. Guilty of all of the above and then some. Wondering all the time was there something else, or was I doomed to be Cain, Ishmael or Esau?
But wait, that is not completely who they are! God has a plan to redeem them, to bring Adam back, to bring Ishmael back, to bring Esau back, as it is written, “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly!”
We have all been Esau AND Jacob. The admonition of the Lord, given to Cain when he slew his brother Abel, was that sin was always at his door and he was to rule over, or master the sin (Gen 4:7). In Cain just as in Abel, the sin could have been overcome and mastered the same way it had been mastered in Abel, by the grace and life of Christ which Abel found in his sacrifice. So as to their humanity, all of them having been found in the corruption, none were found good. None were chosen. However, as it pertains to the election, the potential is there in every human person, because He is the light that lights every man who comes into the world.
It is this simply this: no one can be received into the kingdom while entangled with and overcome by the spirit of error and his false consciousness of independence, which is the “mind set on the flesh,” or, more simply, “the flesh.” They are not capable of it, even if God made it a gift to them, which He already has from the foundations of the earth by the eternally sacrificed Lamb.
However, this mindset cannot give itself up. It cannot change itself. It can never go in, because it is lost in the devil’s deception and enamorment of self, and as long as it is lost in this deception, it cannot ever see the kingdom of God. As Jesus said, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This cannot be changed. It is an immutable law. (Not “law” as in legalism, but “law” as in gravity, or as in 2 + 2 always = 4.)
Grace does not change that. Instead, it is by grace and grace alone, through faith, that we are born again of the Spirit. The effectiveness of grace, its accomplishment, is the new birth, and Christ Who is formed in us. Outside the new birth, grace is not known, (it is there but hidden to us). However, the Spirit by grace reaches through the corruption of our separated selfhood, and begins to draw us out by the wooing of the Spirit. That stirring of the Spirit through grace calls every man, but no one may find it, except ultimately he forsake himself, to follow Christ as He is revealed in that person. In so doing, one moves out of Cain, Ishmael, or Esau, i.e., those who are rejected, and becomes Abel, Isaac, or Jacob, or in other words, the elect, Christ, living as us.
Let me mention something that happened to me that drove this point home in the beginning days of my walk in Jesus. I remember back in my high school days, I did a lot of daydreaming, imaginations in my head. One thing about those daydreams back then that I clearly remember, was how I imagined things happening to people I didn’t like, or who had wronged me in some way. I wasn’t particularly good at sports, or in the immortal words of Coach Morris in varsity football, “Pruitt, you’re terrible!” (How good would anyone be, if coach had picked you out to be the perpetual backfield’s “tackling dummy?”) So I got my share of teasing and such, and I had no recourse but to retreat into my mind and imagine things that might happen to my tormenters. I would see daggers coming out of my eyes toward them, or some catastrophes that might befall them. I carried around that little mental process through the next few years after high school, and I was very aware of it. It was still active.
But then along came Jesus, and life turned upside down. I remember, maybe 2 or 3 months into my salvation life, I came across this scripture in my little pocket New Testament one day while working at the mobile home factory: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man.” (Matt 15:19-20). It suddenly occurred to me that I had not been having those murderous imaginations anymore! I hadn’t even realized they were not happening anymore, until I read that verse. I was dim of consciousness of Christ then, but I saw it! Those things were no longer coming out of my heart! I really AM a NEW MAN!
End Part One