God in Fire and Light – Part Two
by Fred Pruitt
To Read Part One: God In Fire and Light — Part One
Continuing from Part One — First – A Review of the Basics
It is a life that reverses the curse of Cain.
Cain? Why Cain, and not Adam? Adam along with Eve is certainly our “father” from a fallen standpoint, and the point of divergence from the Lord God. But Adam and Eve started in Paradise, Eden, which separated them from all their descendants from then until now, because no one else started in Eden. All the rest of us were born post-Eden, where the ground is “cursed … for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” (Gen 3:17c).
That’s why I identify with Cain more than Adam. Cain didn’t start out in Eden. He started in the same world of vain perception that we all do. He didn’t know a pre-life in Paradise.
Surely Adam and Eve carried something of it with them when they were put out. Let us take a moment and consider them a little differently perhaps.
Can we perceive the glory of these two first individuals? Neither were born, but both were “made” by the Lord God. Created. Fashioned. Of all the human beings that have lived, only Adam and Eve have that distinction, of being fashioned by the Lord God but not born of woman.
What happened to them in the Fall has unfortunately overshadowed everything else about them, but consider for a moment the monumental creation they were. On the First Day God spoke “LIGHT,” and LIGHT WAS. God divided the Light from the Darkness.
On the Second day God made two firmaments or expanses, dividing the upper waters from the lower waters. The upper waters were called Heaven, and the lower waters were upon the earth. The “waters” are referring to essentiality. The waters in the earth represent what heavenly essentiality is like in its consistency.
On the Third Day God gathered all the waters together so that the dry land would appear. As soon as the dry land appeared, the land sprouted the herbs and seeds God had sown already. Grass and trees yielding fruit filled the land and like all the previous Days, God saw that it was Good.
On the Fourth Day God made lights in the firmament to divide the day and the night. This is different from the First Day when there was “nothing,” i.e., nothing formed, all empty and dark, then God said, “Let there be Light.” Or, “Light BE!” Or better yet, just, “LIGHT!” (And so it was!) This was the primordial Light of Creation, overcoming nothingness in the void in the depths. Where there had been nothing, the Spirit of God moved. This was the DAZZLING Light!! The Outraying Majesty and Glory of the Godhead – appearing out of the depths of the Deep Void which heretofore had been only the darkness of non-being. The Light came as the precursor and mover of all Life, Experience and Being, in order to overcome the Darkness of nothingness, so that where there had been nothing, i.e., no thing, there was now the Manifest Light of the Most High.
The Fourth Day is when those spiritual realities manifest in the physical world, in the form of the “Greater light to rule the day,” and the “lesser light to rule the night.” (Gen 1:16)
On the Fifth Day God caused the waters to bring forth abundantly, so that all the sea and water creatures were made, as well as all the birds and winged fowl of every kind. He spoke abundance for the creatures of the waters, and ordained that the fowl would multiply in the earth.
On the sixth Day, first God caused the earth to bring forth living creatures, cattle and other kinds of animals, as well as insects and every other kind of “beast” that lived on the earth.
The “Last” creation God makes on the sixth and final day of creation, is “man in His own image.” (Gen 1:27). This is the crowning glory of His Creation, because He cannot make anything any “higher,” than an image of Himself. He cannot make another “Himself.” An “image” is not the thing itself, but a picture, representation or form of it. Therefore, since He made us “images” of Himself, that means that the true “reality” of our selfhood is He Himself. Being an image, we have no separate identity. Our only true identity is found in Him as an image or expression of Him, or not at all.
The generations listed in Genesis testify of the power of that first creation, even in its fallen state. The early children of Creation, after Adam and Eve, then Cain, Abel, Seth and many more, still lived physical lives lasting hundreds of years in that first power that took millennia to ebb to what is perhaps its current state in our age. Even Abraham lived 175 years. Such was the first power of humanity even in its fallen state.
Among the things those first children passed down, offering sacrifices to God was prominent. It is first recorded in the story of Cain and Abel, but most likely Adam and Eve had developed some form of it and passed it along to their sons. So that’s where I’ll join the story.
I have said many times, we really cannot have a true experience of overcoming sin until we are born again and can understand the things of God, at least in a beginning way. What did God say to Cain, before he killed Abel?
“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Gen 4:6 NASB)
What is it saying? It’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it? A bit about his countenance and then he tells him sin is crouching at the door. Temptation always comes. Sin desires us. (Remember, Sin is not first the deed or deeds, but the person behind it, i.e., the devil, masking himself as our independent humanity.)
We’re not going to launch again here the whole Romans 7 scenario, but that’s where the curse of Cain is reversed, individually in each of us, as we are led by the Spirit to the heart of our personal “sin issue.” We may find ourselves driven there and then taken hold of and dragged through and thinking more than a few times, “I’m sinking, I think I’m gonna drown.”
In my moment, throughout it all He held onto me and never let go of even once, even though I had no consciousness of that fact. I thought I was free-falling, only realizing later I was upheld in every moment, whether I was conscious of it or not. (And I was mostly NOT conscious of it during that time.) What I found when I stopped struggling and “kicking against the pricks” of the idea that I was dead and Christ was living in me to live my life, was that He had brought me through to the other side, past the double-minded insanity of the competing flesh mindset vs the Spirit mindset, into no more condemnation, and then, thankfully, gratefully, finally arriving for a big giant rest stop in Rom 8:2-3.
“2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”
That’s when we realize we’ve made the transition (HE did it of course – but it HAPPENED to you and Me!) from flesh to Spirit, crossing from Cain who could not master Sin, to Christ Who has forever conquered and condemned Sin in the flesh, and brought us into the same Victory in the depths of our inner selves.
But what about the wrath, that still works in so many in the world? Remember, all God’s purposes are redemptive. Let me repeat, God does not know “wrath” in Himself, in His Being as Love. Nor is there anything “vindictive” about Him. All His purposes from beginning to end are Love.
Yet the wrath came alive in the creature, the created, first in Lucifer and his host, and then in all of us through our first parents.
Not to worry, God has a purpose even for the wrath. God means us to realize, that He overcomes all things. Without even considering eternal things, the life of sin (and I am not meaning primarily outer habits and/or actions, but MAINLY the unregenerate self-indulgent self that at its core is the willful pride of the devil) that wreaks havoc in our lives. That rebellious jackal in all of us was/is the culprit! And as long as we are that rebellious jackal, identifying with, believing in and protecting that jackal which is our prized possession (our total persona), as well as our best face to present to the world in order to hide ourselves from the world, then we are in, of, and living the wrath. It might not look like misery on the outside. It’s amazing what humans can endure while putting on a cheerful “Everything’s ok” face! But it is fear within and roaring loud without, always looking for some way to gain the mastery and/or not be found out. (Only put on this shoe if it fits you!)
It is the false “self” that cannot stand in the Majesty of the Godhead, and flees from it, because it does not want to be undone. Jesus addresses this in John 3: 19-21 –
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
That passage puzzled me for years. I asked how could we do deeds wrought in God in ourselves and present that unto God? It almost seemed like Cain’s offering. Or at least getting the cart ahead of the horse. Then I realized it isn’t a commandment but rather a law. It’s just how things work. Evil will always hide and make some sort of pretense. It will always deflect attention from itself and connive.
“He that doeth Truth,” is the watchword of the Light. It is simply which of these we will be – one who hides from the Light, or one who basks in it?
God receives no “flesh” in His presence. This is not talking about physical flesh, though that, too, would fall away in the full glory of the Deity. No, this flesh we are speaking of, is the sin of self-will, of independence from God, retreating into a false selfhood in a denial of God along with a simultaneous affirmation of our false non-existent self-mask we imagine ourselves to be. That is what cannot come into the presence of the Lord, not in this world, nor in the one to come.
What of forgiveness? Why doesn’t the Father just forgive them for it and receive them into Himself anyway? As we have stated many times, forgiveness is at the heart of the Love of God, and the Eternal Lamb Slain in the midst of the throne has provided His cleansing blood and forgiveness for everyone, even from the Cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
So, yes, everyone is forgiven, and all are welcome! But it can only be that those who are born of God’s Spirit may dwell in His Presence, because He IS Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. One cannot be a part of that outside God’s Spirit. As Paul wrote: “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom 8:9c). If even the Church on earth may have no unequal yoking together of Christ and Belial, how much more so may it be said of the new heavens and the new earth, out of which anything that offends has been cast out forever?
Those who are drawn by the Spirit respond, also by the Spirit, in faith toward God, which is a free decision on the part of the receiver of the gift. No one must take a gift if they do not want it. But if we want it, God has given us the way to discover it and find its truth in our own lives. This is not antithetical to grace – THIS IS GRACE!
Paul, the teacher and announcer of grace, gives it to us in its simplicity:
“But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom 10:6-10).
END PART TWO (Part Three to come we will explore FIRE!)