The Odd Conundrums of Spirit Living
Basic Truths of Union Life in Christ Series
by Fred Pruitt
NOTE: There are links at the bottom that link to the two previous articles in this series.
Remember the story of Prometheus from Greek mythology? Mankind was suffering because they had no fire, and Prometheus, who was one of the former race, the Titans, who had ruled before the Olympians took over (Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, etc.), wanted to help mankind. The Olympian gods had no desire to help man in his suffering, and would have seen man perish, but Prometheus decided to go against the commandment of Zeus. He climbed to the top of the gods’ mountain, stole the fire and give it to man.
Prometheus was successful in his mission: he stole the fire from the gods and gave it to men who were shivering in the cold. However, Zeus bound him to a rock high in the mountains, and commanded birds to eat his flesh perpetually, for his transgression against the commandment.
We have our own mountains. Our “mountain of God” is where we live in God and become Who He is, or rather He is Who we are. Once we see it, we perpetually “see it” everywhere. Everywhere we go it is Who and What we are.
It is the pearl of great price, for which you sell all you have to buy. It is the transfiguration. It is the city afar off in our midst. It is the image you behold in the glass, which determines our movement from glory to glory. It is finding something hidden in mystery, hidden in Christ in God, and only in the revelation of The-Christ-in-us do we appear as ourselves.
Without knowing it, every human on earth seeks the “truth” about themselves. Who am I? What am I? Will I ever feel complete? Why can I not love? Why does no one love me? We have all asked these questions, but sometimes the answers disturb us and we turn away. But all too often, the hints start coming in about the truth of the false mask we have each worn while “trying” to be ourselves. If we’re given a little glimpse by the Spirit about who we are at that (pre-born again) state, we are blessed indeed.
The Spirit gave me such a glimpse on a quite a number of occasions. One of them that has always stood out, was when my face changed before my eyes in the bathroom mirror. The face I saw in the mirror was the devil’s. Now, to be truthful, I have to admit that I was taking LSD at the time and one is extremely sensitive to the power of suggestion in that state. I could just chalk it up to merely a drug-induced hallucination, except that it kept happening, sober or high.
There is a direct link in my consciousness between seeing “Satan as me” in the mirror, to the period of my intense search after God or the truth – whatever it was! The inner fire of my personhood could find no relief other than to burn hotter and produce more anguish in me with each passing day. I wanted to find “me” and the closer it seemed that I got, ‘I’ became more elusive to myself. How can I find my true self?
The only way there is by the fire, because both “Self,” and “self,” are fire. The “fire” we are speaking of is the fire of self, which is an out-birth from God Who is “consuming fire,” in His depths of “Self.” As He is fire, so are we!
This fire, and I am meaning spiritual fire, does have a physical counterpart of sorts. One way to understand our inner “fire” in the physical, is the miracle of inner heat that keeps our bodies’ inner temperature at 98.6⁰ F. As long as we have the protection our clothes give us in the cold, even in the coldest weather our bodies will remain close by 98.6. The life force in us produces this strange inner heat our bodies have. We know this because the moment the life force leaves the body, the body shuts down completely and the inner heat dissipates. No fire, no life. No life, no fire.
Let me make one more brief point before we move on. There is much more to see and consider about this “fire,” and it’s too much to go through at the moment, except to pay attention to this one thing. In the heavenly life, even the one we are living now, the fire is mitigated and produces outgoing love, unending light, beautiful sounds, unbelievable sights. The heat has been transmuted from a fire about to burst into flames to consume everything around it, into a fire that is burning in the heavenly way above. The “kingdom of wrath” does not touch heaven and didn’t even exist until opened by Lucifer’s attempted coup.
Lucifer was the first to try to take the fire. Lucifer did get the fire, but he saw it as self-possession to magnify himself above the Almighty. He sought to be another, a contrary will, attempting to tear himself out of the dominion of the One Will. As such he desired and gave birth to an “own will,” in his rebellion and self-enamorment, making himself the antithesis of the Son, whose Eternal Word has always been, “Not my will, but Yours.” Lucifer changed it to, “Not Your will, BUT MINE!!!”
In so doing he separated himself and his legions the One Will and took the fire of God’s personhood meant to forever be an instrument of love, and turned it in on himself eternally.
Now that fire has been opened in us – the fullness of our selfhood – which paradoxically comes by the “knowledge of good and evil,” which was forbidden to us in our infancy. It would have been the greatest tragedy in the universe that God’s precious babies had been kidnapped, but through the Redeemer promised in Genesis 3:15, the Spirit turns the fire in us to outgoing light and blessing, as we come into the Spirit and knowledge of our inheritance.
(And remember “knowing” and “knowledge” in scripture often means sexual union. Adam “knew” Eve, his wife, and she brought forth Cain. I often speak of law and our times long ago when we thought a “healthy mix of law and grace” keeps people safe. People will point out to me that we (gentiles) were never under the law of Moses. That is absolutely true. But what people overlook is how the Spirit described the tree and their relationship with it. We came to “know” the good and evil in the way Adam “knew” Eve. The whole human race, whether they know or believe the Hebrew scriptures, was born in that false union, because it begets itself. The entire human races “knows” good and evil – mixed with it! It is the most prevalent thing in the world, along with perpetual mutual judging of ourselves and others. We can’t help it. “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”)
This reminds me of the nights before Saturday morning inspections at the US Air Force Academy. There was nothing more important in life than passing Saturday inspection. Your entire weekend depended on it. And as a freshman at USAFA, there wasn’t much to look forward to even on the weekend, except that you could go to the student center where you could eat, bowl, see a movie, walk around, listen to records (remember them?), and all that was mighty precious. Therefore, the night before Saturday inspection was a big scramble.
Now one odd thing was this. We were told we had to buff our dorm room floors. They were linoleum tile, so for them to look nice you had to use wax and an electric buffer. The only trouble was, electric buffers were off-limits to freshmen, because the upperclassmen had to pass inspection, too, and they had all the buffers. So the dilemma was that all we freshmen had floors that needed to be waxed and buffed and we weren’t allowed to use the machines to do that.
Somehow things are passed on from one generation to another, and we found out, unofficially, that what was expected of us was to break two regulations: one, stay up past lights-out, and two, use buffers which we were not allowed to use, after lights-out and the upperclassmen had gone to bed.
Therefore, that is what we all did. We did all the other things we could do, and then all hopped into bed at lights-out like good cadets. Then we waited a reasonable amount of time, before we snuck out of our rooms and went to the storage closets where the machines and supplies were. It was like an adventure, a “mission” of sorts, because we were all being stealthy and quiet, so we wouldn’t be “caught,” even though all the upperclassmen knew what we were doing. They had done it themselves when they were freshmen. So we all stayed up most of the night buffing our floors and pretending we weren’t.
My point is that the only way to selfhood was to eat the apple. Why do I say that? Am I saying that because I believe God had predetermined that it would go that way?
Frankly, from my point of view, it does not matter to me whether it was predetermined or it was not. What would change with either answer to that question?
I say that because that is what happened, and God has never moved to “Plan B,” nor has He made an exception to Eph 1:11. “Plan A” is still in effect, and always has been. The “Fall” in the garden leads directly, for those who believe, to “Christ formed in you,” i.e., out of “vanity,” into God through Jesus Christ.
Jacob stole the blessing of his father (naming him the faith-inheritor in the line of Abraham) by deception from Esau. But the Promise and the Blessing went with him, he who had stolen it! And yet it had been intended for him all along. Tricky business.
It is the beginning of the journey. Everybody starts there. Knowledge of good and evil. Loss of innocence. Hiding in paradise. Ashamed. Cast out. Hard rigor. Thorns in the ground.
Until the day the scales fall off. Life swallows up good and evil. Innocence is restored. Revelation occurs in chaos and symphonies accompany everything. (Do you hear them? I mean it – do you hear them?)
All this in discovering Christ within me, not as a separate entity or identity, but as the fulfillment of Jesus’ last prayer for all of us. He prayed for those sitting with Him at the supper table that night, and also prayed for us – those who have come after, because of the Apostles’ Word. Isn’t that something? Jesus prayed specifically for us, as if we were also sitting around that table.
First Jesus’ addresses the Father, then immediately afterward He gave the most succinct and precise description of the fulfillment of Jesus’ mission that to me sums it all up:
“This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3). To “know” Him means we are in a oneness state, an almost subterranean continual “knowing” (Gal 2:20) “I, yet not I, but Christ living in me…”
That truth one day simply becomes “us,” so that inwardly we know Who we are, so that we just be it or live it. Always in the moment, always, “spontaneous.” (That doesn’t mean there can be no structure, plan of action, etc., because we always have to do things like that. Even if it has been pre-planned, we live in spontaneity within the limitations we sometimes must accept.)
But even with all that, I learned by the Spirit I can cease worrying about all the soul chatter that is always going around in my noggin, questioning, doubting, judging, falling short. We have no need to consider that anymore.
Ultimately Jesus prays for our oneness with and in Him:
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:20-23)
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.