On Earth As It Is In Heaven Redux
By Fred Pruitt
Continued from Part Two —
Now, back to our sin issue.
We know, intellectually, that Jesus dealt with Sin on the Cross. Jesus “became sin” on the Cross that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:21—one of the foundational scriptures for the whole gospel). That is a universal truth. John the Baptist, speaking as a prophet, pointed his disciples to the “One who should come after me,” for, “There,” John said, “goes the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29).
Jesus Christ was that “Lamb slain.” Therefore, we know by the testimony of the Scriptures that His Blood which was shed for us cleansed us and provided eternal forgiveness for all sins, except for the one “sin” that Jesus excluded, which He called “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit,” (Mark 3:28, which we will not cover now).
The bottom line of the point I am making is that forgiveness is already universally available. Jesus knew that but the Pharisees did not. Jesus was just telling people what was already true when He said to a fallen woman or to a partying Matthew, “Your sins are forgiven you.” Jesus didn’t see their sins in the ultimate sense. He knew they were there, but He continually saw through to the completion of the Father in us as All, in all. He saw past our sins, to the essential selves that we are, created in God’s image and likeness, even called the offspring of God by Paul (Acts 17:28) and “gods” by the psalmist, David (Ps 82:6). Jesus knew us as the sons we had yet to become, when we had no inkling whatsoever and were still walking around living as children of wrath and darkness. (Eph 2:2,3).
One more point about forgiveness, as it pertains to our life in God. I said above that forgiveness alone does not get us there. There must be a new spirit. But how could God “forgive” us but we are still not eligible to be part of His Kingdom? Does He not take anyone Who calls on His Name?
The second question is the answer to the first. The key is in the Lord’s prayer. The Lord’s prayer does not instruct us to get either repentance or forgiveness from the party who “trespassed against us.” We, in a sense, forgive for “our” sake. Our forgiving the other party makes us clear and free, no longer burdened by a sense of having been wronged or mistreated by the other and therefore still walking in shadow with the other party. We clear out our own “shadows” (things we hold either openly or secretly against others that produce resentment and bitterness in us), and that releases the dammed up love within us that was waiting to flow out but was waylaid by resentment and bitterness. The thing to see here is the person who forgives is under the bondage of love to forgive, whether the offending party ever is reconciled or not. Forgiveness would hopefully inspire reconciliation or repentance in the other. But it may not happen. God’s “state of being” is love, and love, because it IS love, MUST forgive, whether the one forgiven receives it or not.
That is why Jesus forgave sins, which also offended the Pharisees, who said, “No one but God may forgive sins.” But Jesus went on to say that even we in oneness with Him forgive sins also – “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” (John 20:22,23).
That is one of the reasons why, as I stated above, that forgiveness alone does not bring us into the Kingdom. It wipes the slate clean offenses against God, so that the way is made available. That’s why John the Baptist pointed his disciples toward the “Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world.” The two disciples to whom John first says that are Andrew (Simon Peter’s brother) and another. Immediately they follow after Jesus. THAT’S the perfect response to forgiveness and reconciliation!
Paul confirms that word when he wrote that God no longer “imputes” sins to mankind because through Jesus everyone has already been reconciled to the Father. Furthermore, Paul goes on to say that he has been called not to declare men’s lists of sins and promises of woe and destruction, but rather to invite everyone, everyone who has already been forgiven in Jesus’ blood if only they would receive it, into full fellowship and reconciliation with God, if only they would. Paul’s word in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 is one of the most complete passages in the New Testament.
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Hear Paul’s word. Anyone who is in Christ is a completely new creation in Christ Jesus! We resemble our old selves and have many things compatible with our old selves, but those old selves died in Jesus’ body death on the Cross, and what rose from the grave along with Jesus was and always is a new creation. With God we are always new, it is always now, and His Life in us is never old or passé. God speaks an eternal truth out of the eternal about Who we are, again through David in Psalm 2:7, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Out of the Eternal, our lives are completely new every day. TODAY the Lord says unto me: This day, “You are my Son.”
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
Can we begin to grasp the totality of all this, when God says of this new creation, that ALL THINGS ARE OF GOD? Surely we cannot believe that! But the Lord, speaking through Paul, says it is so! All things are of God! How many things? All things? You mean just the good things, right? No, I mean “All things!”
How can bad things be of God toward me? Because they are only bad or evil in your perception. It does not matter the motive or intent of whoever committed any bad acts, even if they mean us harm. The real issue is, what does the Father intend by them, because nothing comes to us that the Father does not mean for edification, reconciliation and intercession? See Genesis 50:20. Joseph’s brothers meant evil toward Joseph, but God purposed it for good, “to save much people alive.”
In a quick nutshell, Satan seeks whom he may kill and destroy. The Father uses those same machinations of the enemy that he meant for evil, to bring great good in the same situations and people Satan had it in mind to obliterate.
That is part of what the “reconciliation” is. It is not just our being “reconciled” with God separately from everything else, but as part of reconciliation with God we receive reconciliation with everything else as well, since everything else comes from the Father. When we see through the Single Eye of faith, seeing God only and only God, we can see how God and His creation are in perfect harmony. It may not look or sound like it to our limited sight and hearing, but through faith we see past the disharmony in the foreground, to the deep stillness in the peace of God which wraps the whole universe within itself, including ourselves and all the issues and challenges we each face.
And furthermore, if we can see that all things are the works of God, All in all, then those same works of God, which works include everything that has been worked, then it cannot be otherwise than we see that the same works are also worked in perfect Divine Love, All in all! No matter what it is, good or evil, we can see through each thing to the perfect purposes of the Father! However hard or however easy it is, it is all Love. Seeing that God is nothing but Love and that Love works all things after the counsel of its (His) own will, is where the joy is and where the liberty is and where the peace is!
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Again, plain as day, Paul says God is not counting humankind’s various sins against them. Their (our) slate is wiped clean! He already accomplished a victory over sin through Calvary, and all Paul is doing is announcing what was done that day, as well as offering it to any willing takers.
There are different callings and emphases in the Body of Christ. Some are called to speak of and expose certain “sins” when necessary. Some are not. So when Paul says God is not counting men’s trespasses against Him, and that he has been sent out to preach that message, it is personal to Paul and to anyone who is tapped on the shoulder the same way. It has not been my way to speak much about sin. I see the world as reconciled and as much as possible see through everyone to the Father, who is above all, through all, and in all. (Eph 4:6). That “all” does not exclude unbelievers. In this case, All means all.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Here we are now, truly “ambassadors” for Christ. In our world, an ambassador speaks in the name of a government, be it a king, a president or a parliament, as a personal representative. In the ideal, whatever the ambassador communicates to the foreign government to which he is sent, speaks as a perfect representative of his government, and he has authority to conclude negotiations as well.
That’s us, just as we are! At what point does Jesus reject us when we come to Him in sincerity? Answer – at no point! Whoever we are, whether we are conservative (in manner, dress, decorum, etc.) or flamboyant, enthusiastic, bubbly, a little crazy, no one gets sent away at the door. Everybody gets an equal assignment of grace that whoever they are or however they are they get to be perfect ambassadors of love, righteousness and grace.
All we are saying is this:
“You are already reconciled with God! He holds no grudge against you. He has no judgments waiting for you! He only seeks to judge you whole and righteous in Him. Your sins, whatever they have been, have been removed from you as far away as the east is from the west. The Father, the God of Heaven and Earth, Creator of all things, declares He has no more remembrance of our sins, and considers them no more. All He is ultimately saying to everyone who has yet to come to the fold:
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Is 1:18).
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
How can there be a more righteous or loving God, who would become the Sin that would have eventually destroyed us, and imparted to us His own personal righteousness with the Father as a gift?
God does not speak things that are meant to never appear. Everything God proclaims either through others or through ourselves will be manifest at some point in some realm, even if we do not see them manifest now. So we must see that there comes a time when those things we have seen first in the invisibility of faith become living “substance” to us. Now, as Paul says, we know in part, and we speak in part, but we shall know and we shall see “face to face.” (1 Cor 13:8-12).
The reason I say a “universal truth” must come out of the “universal” and manifest in the “particular,” is because that is exactly what God did in Christ. He did not remain in the heavenly realms, untouched by our humanity, decreeing decrees and ruling solely from “on high.”
Christ was the Eternal Lamb of God, dwelling as slain in the midst of the Eternal Throne. If that is so, why then was it necessary that He be born on earth in time and space, to be seen and witnessed of men? Was it not sufficient that He was the Eternal Lamb slain – why did He need to come into manifestation on the earth? Could not it have been preached by all contemporary prophets that this was the Eternal Truth, and through that men might “believe” in what they have not seen, in much the same way as we believe now, in what we have not seen?
This is the true meaning of the gospel – “And the Word was made flesh.” This is the true hallmark of our faith. Other presentations of “truth” depict humanity striving for Godhood, merging with and becoming ‘The Divine.’ Those philosophies depict flesh becoming spirit, man becoming the Divine Spirit. This is the opposite of that.
“And the Word was made flesh,” is an eternal truth, that appeared in time and space in the “fullness of time.” It had two purposes. First, to deliver men from the devil’s captivity. Salvation was lost by the first Man, Adam, and only by Jesus, the Son of Man, could the First Man, Adam, be restored and brought into the full inheritance of the Second Man, the Last Adam, Jesus the Lord and Christ.
Second, His appearance, death, resurrection and ascension, were accomplished to bring those same lost sons of the First Adam into full sonship with the Father, that we might be co-heirs with Him, the Last Adam. It is for the revealing of these very sons of God (you and I), for which all creation groans and travails. And every day that groaning and travailing in all creation is bringing us ever closer to that point of full consummation.
But we need not wait for that day. Our individual point of consummation is when we see the Word has been made flesh in us! Let us not think that the “revelations” God gives us will not be proven by things with meat on their bones. Remember Ezekiel and the dry bones. Instead let us be certain that they will! Let’s not misunderstand. It is not God putting us to the test to see what we will do. It is God putting us to the test that we might see what HE DOES!
HE COMES THROUGH!
“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” (Ps 73:26).
End Part Three