An Hypothetical Dialogue on Good and Evil
By Fred Pruitt
(From 2002, edited a bit)
Q. How is it that you can say, “Everything is God manifesting Himself,” and “Everything is His perfection,” when that is obviously not the case, since evil and death are rampant in the world? Do you just choose not to see what is before your eyes?
A. I do see what is before my eyes, which is God. Only His love. There is nothing else happening. His love manifests in Freedom; therefore there are vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. The vessels of honor are those who freely live in the flow of His outgoing love, and the vessels of dishonor those who turn His love in them into an unquenchable fire of self-gratification, which is the devil. In the time of this world it seems as if these two are in contention with one another, and so they are, but that contention is orchestrated by the Lord, in that all things, including the interaction of light and darkness, work together for good to those who are the Elect, who are potentially all humanity.
Again, HE works all things after the counsel of His own will. Therefore, since His will is only Love towards us, and all things are worked according to His will of Love, I cannot see for the life of me that anything else is happening except that, and that whatever comes into my vision, good or evil, bitter or sweet, is nothing else but that, first and foremost. He is the Ground of All, whatever it becomes in its freedom.
Q. Then you’re saying there really is no evil?
A. No, there is evil. It exists in the freedom of the creatures who turn God’s light in them into darkness and thus manifest that darkness, which is only self-seeking.
Q. Then how can everything be “love,” if there is evil?
A. Because the Father turns it to His own ends. There are not two rival Deities in the universe, one Good, one Evil. There is only One God. He is Above all, through all, and in all. The Scriptures plainly say this. Therefore when in freedom evil seems to have its way, it is not outside His own plan being manifest. Evil thinks it is its “own thing,” alone in its rebellion. It thinks it is a power unto itself. It thinks it accomplishes its goals. Like Joseph’s brothers. Joseph was a pest to them, too favored of Jacob for their self-seeking jealousy. They thought they had taken care of the problem when they sold him off into slavery, never to be heard from again. But years later, they found themselves unwittingly bowing before him, even as his dream all those years ago had predicted. By this time they’d been kicked around a little more by life and were repentant and humble.
So when the truth came out, they expected retribution at Joseph’s hand, yet Joseph said the most remarkable thing: “Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Gen 50:20). God turned their evil, even to go so far as he MEANT it, in order to, on-down-the-line, “save much people alive.” The sons of Israel certainly reaped the rewards all those years of their sin, and were not excused from what they had done. But in their repentance they were by grace allowed to see that even their “sin” had brought about the plan of God.
So, what must’ve seemed the farthest possible thing from love to Joseph, being put into a pit by his jealous brothers and sold off as a slave, proved to be the Love of God, not just for Joseph, but for the entire human race, because by that God took Jacob and his sons down to Egypt to make a people out of them. And such is everything in life.
Q. So you’re saying it doesn’t matter whether you’re a vessel of honor or a vessel of dishonor?
A. Each has its proper reward and end. The one life, the other death. Which do you prefer?
Q. Well, then, how do you deal with evil? Do you just pretend it’s not there?
A. The Sons of God are free in their dealings with evil, in whatever form it comes. The Love-Force that is within us,“the Holy Ghost which is shed abroad in our hearts,” has one function only, to restore the Kingdom of God in its fulness in us first, then by means of us out in the world. We are not our own, nor do we seek our own ends. We recognize that the Father’s will is the only will operative in us, and know that the Word of God, which we are and which we speak, is the one weapon of our warfare. Where sin abounds, we see grace much more abounding. When the enemy comes “in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”
What form it takes is the Lord’s business. It may be to turn the other cheek. It may be to disagree, argue, exhort and preach. It may be to help the wounded. It may be to walk away quietly. It may be to cast out demons. It may be to raise the dead. There is no law for this or that situation. Here’s the whole passage:
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever. .” (Isaiah 59:19b-21).
Always in every situation the Redeemer is there, to shine light in darkness. All the earth is subdued to Him in us.
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isaiah 60:1,2).
Q. Why don’t you talk about Satan more?
A. First of all, I don’t like saying his name. He gets enough press already. Secondly, though I see him lurking around here and there, he has nothing in me, no foothold in who I really am. He’s a griper, a complainer, an accuser, an “i-want-my-rights” kind of guy and in the Cross of the Lord Jesus his ties have been severed with me in that I am dead in Christ, and my life is hidden in God. Christ has arisen as the Daystar in my heart, and His light has driven out all darkness. I live simultaneously at the foot of the Cross and in Heaven in the bosom of the Father and His Lamb. What more do I have to do with this liar? Whatever his attempts at dealings with me are in the Father’s hand, even as the victory has already been won by the Son. I simply delare him null and void. We have nothing to do with his supposed kingdom of ruin and degradation, having been translated out of it and into the fulness of the Kingdom of Light. And likewise, standing now on firm ground and firm foundation ourselves, we can reach out our hands and pull our brothers and sisters out of the quicksand and quagmire, who are falsely held captive by his illusory bondage. Since Christ’s death and resurrection redeemed the whole world, he is a liar who pretends he has power to bind. But Christ has come that all humanity might be free in Christ, and He gave His life in Love to secure that freedom, to break the bonds. We only declare what has already been done, and we are privileged to see with our eyes men’s and women’s chains drop off one by one as they see and receive the Truth, which is Him. When we live in the Kingdom of Light, we only see light. It is said of God that He is of too pure eyes to behold evil. Yet we know the Lord sees and knows all things. Nothing gets past His sight. How, then, can He not “behold evil”? In that He sees His own love being worked out through it. “He that sits in the heavens shall laugh.” He’s the ultimate Crocodile Dundee, “No worries, mate!”
Q. How can you say you’re that pure?
A. I confess to no purity of my own. HE is the purity, and He is the whole of my life. “For me to live is Christ.” “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” I didn’t make that happen, i.e., that Christ is the whole of my life. He did it, and caused me to see it. He’s just that kind of guy!
“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Psalm 73:25, 26).
Bonus List (also from 2002)
Things to Remember When Times Get Tough
(By no means is this an inclusive list)
#1. God is love
#2. Everything you see is Him.
#3. Whatever man (or other) means it for, God means it for good.
#4. Every day is Sunday and everywhere is a church. (Sure, it’s been used as an excuse but it is nevertheless true.)
#5. Christ died to reconcile the world unto “HIM”-self, to bring man back to “him”-self.
#6. In His Death and Resurrection “we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God”.
#7. But “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory.” The total fulfillment has not yet come but it is nonetheless a NOW event, “Christ appears” and then “we” appear with him in glory. Now. Today.
#8. The Life we now live in the flesh is Him living it.
#9. But it’s us.
#10. Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
#11. In the day you have everything stripped away, that day you find that only ONE remains.
#12. God is ever eternally a mystery.
#13. God is love.
#14. There is nothing to fear.
#15. When you hear the voice of a stranger, remember your first love. Always remember your first love. (Prov 5:18,19)
“Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” (Prov 5:15-19).