Finally – the New Covenant! (Part Two)
Via the final death of ‘Mr. Control Center’
By Fred Pruitt
Continuing from Part One …
Now there is no more confusing separation of wills, because we have forever found the One will expressed individually in the heart of us all, in which we live and have our freedom. And in this oneness, we live no longer under the law — it speaks to us no more — and now instead live in freedom and spontaneity through the grace that works in us, which is through access into the Father through the Son and revealed and empowered in the Spirit, in whom we walk continuously. This isn’t something we have to pump up every day, but something which flows out of us continuously because we have discovered the inner spring in us, which is always bubbling up to overflowing with the Life of Christ, as Jesus promised He would be to the woman at the well.
We now discover ourselves as the house of the Son who is over His own house. What does it mean, to be the house of the Son? When it says we are His house, it means that the whole of us is His house, i.e. all that is us, is indwelt and lived in by Him. Not just part of us, or someplace in us side-by-side with us, but in the whole house, i.e., spirit, soul and body, and this whole person becomes the house in which He lives. What kind of half-baked indwelling would that be, to only come into part of us, when in the very beginning didn’t we ask Him into our hearts, our innermost selves and place of deepest intimacy? We had no clue what we were asking, but He knew, since He instigated the prayer, and not we ourselves. Don’t you think that He, the Lord of all, would not take possession of the whole house that we are, since it is His and He has bought it with a dear dear price?
You might say, “Well, he won’t force Himself on us,” and I would certainly agree, but you might think if we have invited Him in and to take over, which I assume you have perhaps many times, that He might answer that prayer, and that we don’t have to keep asking the same things over and over and over. Why do we not believe we have the things we have prayed for? For years I prayed He would take me over. One day He answered, “When are you going to believe that I have?”
But back to this one central point. And that is that at the heart of everything, is the “you” that you are, and right there, in that “you,” THAT is where you are ONE with God. Your “you,” your “I,” has now been made one with God’s “I”. He uses your “I” to express His “I.” It is your “you” — the whole of you, whatever and however you want to describe yourself, spirit, soul, and body — that He has come to fill with Himself, and to be the do-er of all in everything, as your total All in all. Not some nebulous “Christ in you” that exists in you as some sort of battery if you just hook up the poles correctly, (which is how I used to view the Holy Spirit in my earliest Charismatic days), but He who has become “one spirit” (one person) in deepest love with you.
Do we think Jesus endured the Cross and the depths of darkness just to leave the whole shebang up to our faulty little dim selves to get it right and operate this thing correctly? Do we really think we’re going to solve the tension of the mystery of freedom of the creature, and of God, “who works ALL THINGS after the counsel of His own will,” a truth that the greatest minds throughout all the history of Christendom have debated and not agreed upon, so that we can write it down in our notebooks and finally be sure we have the correct “teaching” on the matter?
The Living God says, “Fall into my arms and see if I don’t uphold you.” “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth!” (Isaiah 42:1) Relax, come out of the boat, step out on the water. My yoke is easy, my burden is light. Enter into the rest of God, where we find continually, “The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.” Therein is your sabbath rest. “What must we do to work the works of God? they asked. And this is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:29
How do I “do” this? Simple faith, simple agreement with God, if this is what wells up in you as truth. I’m not asking you to take onto or into yourself something which does not ring true in you. But something that I am saying must be ringing true with you, or you wouldn’t keep writing me and getting the same answer every time I write you back. God is giving you a gift, the gift of entering into His rest, the gift of knowing that you ARE NOW “one” person with Him, so that you living in the world is He living in the world, so that you talking is He talking, so that you loving is He loving, so that you willing is He willing. “As He is, so are we in THIS world.” (I Jn 4:17).
Galatians 2:20 isn’t an academic problem or formula to work out, but something to take as literal fact about ourselves in the present moment, right now, as we read these words.
You have been crucified with Christ. This is a fact! There isn’t anything you did to make it happen, nor anything you have done or not done to help it or hinder it. You have been crucified with Christ, period. You don’t attain to this, you don’t work at it, you don’t practice it, you simply take it by faith and believe God that it is so. He did it. He made it happen. “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes!”
Likewise, “Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me,” is also literally true in you in this present moment. This is not something you figure out beforehand, like a mathematical formula, how it works and what the correct quantities of this and that are, in order to make this work. This is a reality which is ongoing in us in Christ, and we trust God that it is so, that He is the one who causes its reality, not by anything we do, and we rest in His performance of His life in us, and leave it to Him to give us increasing understanding of Himself in us.
Again, this is something the Lord does, not something we conjure up by right formulas or correctness of words. The Spirit is the One Who testifies of Christ in us, who reveals Christ, and it isn’t by our rational mind that we comprehend the things of God. They can’t be fully understood in a 1-2-3 logical way as we know the things of this world. Only God can make Himself known in us. Take nothing less. Nothing less than the total God expressing Himself in His totality in your life. Living not just in you, but living as the very you that you are, He having put you on as you have put Him on, He in you, you in Him, walking in the rest of the Lord. So that your hands are expressing His hands, your eyes His eyes, your feet His feet. Isn’t that what every Christian prays for? Why then the offense when we say He lives as us?
That which you keep repeating, “I have a will of my own that can go its own way,” makes me wonder why you want to make that point so much. If such a thing is true about you, can you not give him that wayward thing and trust Him with it?
Has He not said, “Sell all you have”? As we know, that is what He said to the “rich young ruler.”
He had told Jesus he had kept all the major commandments since he was a child. “What lack I yet?” He asked the Lord. Then Jesus upped the ante, and said, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” (Matt 19:16-26).
To further the point, in another place Jesus put it like this to the disciples: “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33).
This is the heart of the matter, where I have wanted to get to in this writing. This is where we learn what it is to be nothing and He all. That sounds like a very strict rule Jesus is putting us under, and people will be tempted to overlook it by calling it law. But to see it in its true light, it is the foundation bedrock truth of the absolute center of our being. Because to “forsake all we have” ultimately involves much more than physical things or tangible objects or relationships.
That “ultimate” for us is the heart of hearts, the inward mystery of our selfhood, which in trying to grasp and keep for ourselves, we end up finding and living in our lost selves. The other side of the coin, however, is to “forsake all we have” in one fell swoop by recognizing the totality of our “death” in Him in the Cross. What was “self” in us in our perception, the self image we keep trying to shore up, to fix up, dust off, hoping to gussy it up just a little bit so God will give His approval, what is it but vanity to us now?
Why the obsession with the possibility of making the wrong choice? That is not the obsession of a God-obsessed person. It is the obsession of a self-obsessed person.
Here is something to consider with this. I agree with you that Jesus in His trials could have folded his cards like anybody else. Yes, that possibility existed. And certainly if for Him, how much more for us? I don’t live in some la-la land where I think I can do no wrong. That possibility (screwing up), in pretty much every avenue of life, presents itself every day. That is the tension of life. And where faith comes in, when we begin to possess our true selves in the light of He living in us as us, is every day having the opportunity to face those possibilities and the tensions in them, to face them in the faith that it is He in us as us and that He handles all things perfectly, since we are now His house, where He dwells, to show His glory, in this simple plain earthen vessel, clay pot.
That’s you, right now — treasure in an earthen vessel! But you can’t really relax in it as rest, because in your own words you are Christ as you IF you respond correctly to stimuli or temptation. So you are always living this in a conditional sense, and that is what is so frustrating about communicating this to you, and to so many others who over the years respond just as you have, by continually saying, “Yes, I know I live in union with Christ, but I am not a robot so I have my own will and can choose to sin should I decide to.” I have met lots of people over the years who live in that spot, and no one who I have run into over my years in Christ, who lives every moment seemingly having to decide what is of the Spirit and what is not of the Spirit, and then yielding or submitting once you have come to what you hope is the correct conclusion, so that maybe just for a fleeting moment you can rejoice that you were Christ as you in that moment – and then back to the “safety” of self-judging separation again – I know this is a long sentence but I can’t break it up – to complete the thought above which said, “No one who I have run into over my years in Christ, who live in the moment by moment self-judging mode, ever leaves the wilderness while still in that mindset. They may wait on the far side of Jordan and see the Land on the other side, but that will be as close as they will get in this life to that rest, until they rise up by the Spirit in themselves, and by resolutely declaring Who they are, YES I AM, appearances notwithstanding, they step into Jordan and walk on dry ground to the other side where their true possessions in Christ await them. (Understand, I am not talking of after we die. I am talking about the fulfillment of this verse in Hebrews 4:9-10; about walking in the “rest for the people of God” now.)
“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Even lepers can pick up on this:
“3 And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? 4 If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die. 5 And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there. … (2 Kings 7:3-5 – the whole chapter 7 tells the story).
Galatians wraps this up with a little verse from chapter 6:
“For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”
That is taking it down to the bottom. But the wonderful thing about God, is that when we know to the uttermost our “nothingness” according to the verse above, then we are safe to be the “Something” that God is in us, which, paradoxically, brings us right back to the beginning, only this time when I’m just being myself in my daily exercise of freedom, lo and behold, it is HE!