Twoness Supplanted by Oneness – Encore
By Fred Pruitt
(Excerpt from The Axe Laid to the Root.)
But wait! What’s next? There must be more to this than knowing that fact, glorious as that is. Unless something further comes, in which this continual inescapable twoness (between God and myself and between myself and myself) is supplanted by a certain wholeness and eternal (continuous) oneness, I’m still stuck, because what I have learned through this valley of self-effort the Lord has taken me through, is that I can do nothing of myself. Therefore, I cannot of myself operate the life of the Spirit, nor keep myself in it. No, not ever!
The conscious life of the Spirit begins when the Spirit opens our consciousness to the fact that it is forever, “Not I, but He,” and, “the Son can do nothing of Himself … the Father that dwells in me, He does the works!”
The Spirit always operates the life of the Spirit, so that we are forever in weakness as the lambs of God. This is our final hump. On one side it perpetually appears as if we are two, sometimes flesh and sometimes spirit. But when we come through this portal onto the other side, where we know Christ and ourselves joined as one spirit (Holy Spirit joined to human spirit to make one spirit, 1 Cor 6:17), we know the Life we are now living is Christ, and that He has now appeared by His Spirit here in our form (mortal flesh – 2 Cor 4:11) to be in us our All in the alls there are.
What is different?
What is different? Maybe not much. Paul’s problem of “coveting” was perhaps only noticeable to him as an inner struggle, so little may have changed in one sense, in the sense that Paul’s human life went on as before. He never says he quit coveting, only that no condemnation came and then after that he saw himself caught up in and walking in the Spirit. He finds new uses for his humanity that had seemed ready for the discard heap. He never mentions his possessive coveting again, but again and again Paul expresses “coveting” for other things – the salvation of his brethren the Jews, to preach the gospel where it has not been preached before, to continue to reach for the prize, which was not just his own personal resurrection, but the prize of being in on the resurrection of others to newness of life. He covets more than anything to plant the plants God covets, and spends everything in his life for that end. “Spending and being spent.” (2 Cor 12:15).
Paul does not speak a further word about personal problems with sin. He does not say he never sins again; he just does not mention it anymore. After all that desperation and anguish, Paul expresses no further concern about himself or his motivations. He is no longer that self preoccupied with itself as in Romans 7. In another place, he says he no longer judges himself, having entrusted all self-judgment to the Lord and the Spirit. His self-oriented concern about personal behavior, whether outwardly or inwardly, becomes in the Spirit an outgoing concern geared to one purpose, to give his all that others might find life. Everything Paul talked about after this was about God being the sufficiency and power in everything and every instance of life. As he also said, “to live is Christ.” (Phil 1:21).
Certainly, a change does occur, but it is a change in consciousness, from flesh to spirit, making everything new. We have finally left the separation of the law, i.e., knowing “about” God, as if God is an object we could study, analyze and “become like.” Now having gone over this hump, we come into knowing God, not as an “over there” person we can look at and touch, but as being mixed in union and oneness in that union through Jesus, so that inwardly we now know that we living are He living. One person expressing Himself as the Same Person in many sons.
All our lives God has spoken to us and in us in various ways, drawing us to Himself in order to reveal the Son in us. Every moment God has been saying in all our hearts, “You are my beloved son,” even if for long years we could not hear His voice. All that time the Father has perfectly been drawing us into Him, little by little, in every circumstance and event of our lives, in order to reveal His love and His Son – in us!
Now here, as we are coming into a life that is the literal and substantial life of Christ living out and expressed in the world through and AS our humanity, a tremendous shockwave hits our mortality, swallowing it up into life. For the first time we hear in ourselves God speaking, “You are released from death, and have passed forever into my Life. You may rest from your labors in Me, knowing that I AM the Life in you. Go your way; I do not condemn you!”
Suddenly everything in the universe turns around and changes. The music changes keys. Dissonance that has been there so long it is almost unnoticed suddenly becomes harmony and we notice! We have found favor! There is One Who sees us as we are and delights in us as we are!
“How could that be for one such as I?” we ask. Only God knows, but here we are – now delivered from the law; now delivered from the self-efforts of a falsely independent self and all its tricks and foibles; now delivered by great wonders out of darkness into light. Right now here we are, called and chosen of God, to bear His name and light in fear and trembling into the world.
The handwriting of ordinances – the law – which rightly testified against us, God removed, nailing it to Jesus’ cross, where Christ bore it Himself (Col 2:14). And the inner dread, the condemnation it brought us all our lives is pierced through with that same nail, and borne by Him as well.
The word of NO condemnation is the portal, the announcement, of that which is to come, because condemnation is that last little bit that has been about “me,” and from now on, we move away from “me” in the life of the Spirit. As we become settled in who we are – Christ living as us – we move into an entirely “for others” life, out of the spontaneity of the Spirit who is working all God’s purposes perfectly in every circumstance and event in our lives. We no longer accept the devil’s condemnation because we are Christ living as us, and are therefore the “beloved Son,” in Whom the Father is always pleased. Having passed out of the inheritance of Adam into the inheritance of Christ, we are no longer of the kingdom of condemnation, and gladly bid it farewell.
From “The Axe Laid to the Root,” published 2008, by Fred Pruitt
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