Affirming Why We Are Here
By Fred Pruitt
(Even though a pandemic rages outside, here in our within there is a calm place of the Peace of Christ. That is the place from which we always live our lives. This below is a back and forth from 2015, regarding who we are, what our place is and how it works. And that it [our place] is effective! “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” [James 5:16])
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2015 9:02 AM
To: Fred Pruitt
Subject: Re: Norman Grubb site
Dear Brother Fred,
What an honor to receive a reply from you! I felt really blessed. As I was reading through your letter, the question in mind that keeps coming back was on the issue of ‘choice’. The “Fall” happened through our first parent’s “choice” “of eating the forbidden fruit and thus sin entered into the world and “we” then have the nature of “satan” in us. But what I cannot settle in my heart with is the fact that “we” or “i” did not make the choice of letting satan’s nature come into me by a ‘choice’ as I made a choice in letting Christ come into me being my new nature when I made a “choice” a freewill to let Him in… In John 3:16, So, to me, sin nature is not passed genetically from our first parents, but by ‘choice’ when we humans have the capacity to make choices,. Perhaps this is just an argument in my soul, and i just wanted to voice this out as I am one of those who seek for truth. I’m asking this because when I begin to share the Gospel and has to back to tell the history of sin and satan nature, I wanted to have absolute ground to my stand on this issue.
Thank you brother Fred, I know Christ in me can reveal all that He wants to, and He can always use people like you to give light in the midst of confusion.
Blessings in Christ,
Thank you so much for your reply. You are not the only one who stresses that point. I would say you are almost with me in my explanation to you that it was not “imputed” sin, but that we all sinned. So in that regard I think we are seeing somewhat the same.
I did notice in your previous and in the current note, you stress how you really are “one who seeks truth.” That’s a good thing to be, as long as we know we do what we do because in this oneness we are caused to walk in His ways (Ez 36:26,27). Still, it is always, “not I, but Christ.”
In other words, for me and what I have said always, is that God didn’t reply to me because “I” sought the truth. It was actually that I unknowingly replied to Him and His drawing of me by beginning to “seek the truth,” in the months leading up to my born-again moment, Christmas Night, 1972. Of course I didn’t know at the time that I was not the author of my seeking, but have since deeply realized that He was.
In fact, one day years ago I was bemoaning to the Lord about certain situations that needed miraculous help – “money and supplies” – and suddenly the Spirit spoke to me by first bringing into the forefront of my mind a memory from 1970 (before I knew the Lord) that I had forgotten about since then. I was living the “hippie” life at the time, and had hitchhiked from where I was staying in Atlanta, to a little exit at Byron, GA, 90 miles south down the interstate. Miraculously, I got rides all the way there in the middle of the night.
I had very little to no money. I was just out for a good time, to listen to music, get high, while camping out. I don’t remember how I ate but I think there were free-food tables where there was hippie food, brown rice, vegetables, etc. I think I suffered heat exhaustion. It was about 100 degrees most of the daylight hours. While there I lost my guitar, and my shoes – both by theft. Way on the other side of the festival, a couple of miles away from where I was staying, I ran into the guy with my guitar. He said he just borrowed it and gave it back to me. On the shoes I was not so lucky. So, good guy that I believed at the time I was, I stole somebody else’s boots that didn’t even fit me, and ended up wearing them home.
That was the memory that came flashing into my mind when I was thinking about our current problems with provision. Then He spoke to me. “Do you not realize that I took care of you then and was with you every moment? You did not know Me then but I knew you, so if I took care of you then when you did not know Me, how much more do you believe I am taking care of you now?”
Wow! That was quite an eye-opener. And I know, too, that His Hand was in my life from before I was born, and the same thing is implied when Paul speaks of, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace to reveal his Son in me …” (Gal 1:15,16).
So sometimes the question has come into my mind, of when, exactly, was I actually born again? I “knew” God with a child’s understanding, and talked to him all the time growing up. I didn’t really know much about Him, but I would pray to catch fish and make good grades and stuff like that. My mother taught me to say the Lord’s Prayer every night before bed. I got on my knees at the edge of my bed every single night I was home from then until I finished high school and my first night at a university with a stranger for a roommate. The first night with my new roommate, I didn’t do my routine, and never did again.
While at that university I attended a Baptist Student Union weekend retreat, just for the fellowship, not knowing what I was getting into. They didn’t advertise it as “Baptist Student Union,” but just “BSU Weekend Retreat.” I didn’t care what BSU meant because it was the first weekend we would be spending away from the Academy AND we got to wear civilian clothes, something we hadn’t done in months. However, in true Baptist tradition, that evening we went into a chapel and a preacher (who happened to be from Atlanta) preached a “You must be born again,” kind of sermon. I went up with the invitation, and prayed a prayer to receive Jesus into my life. (They didn’t do that in the Episcopal Church!) “Nothing” happened, but the guy said that was normal.
Anyway, after the weekend back at school, an upperclassmen from the BSU visited me a couple of times, leaving me with a copy of “Good News for Modern Man,” the modern language New Testament that was popular in 1969. I began reading it, but not long after put it down, and didn’t pick it up again for maybe a couple of years. All “interest” in Christ waned for a while.
I left that school a month or so later, and lived the hippie life for about three years, far more “hedonistic” than my previous life had been. It was during that period I went to the Pop Festival, and MANY other things happened also.
The “beginning of the end” of that life for me came with this renewed interest to discover “truth,” since so many voices were telling me greatly differing “systems,” all claiming to THE truth. That put me on a quest, just grabbed hold of me (I didn’t know I was not the instigator, as I said above), but I began to give it all I had. Through someone I knew I began first to practice yoga and read Hindu material, and then with that same guy who was sort of my mentor/teacher, we drifted over into Zen Buddhism.
That ended that Christmas night in ‘72. The process of “seeking” had finally reached its end at Jesus and I knew it had. I knew from that day that from then on, “I was going to follow Jesus.”
Now, when was I born again? As a child, or there at the BSU retreat, or the moment of Truth on Christmas night?
The only thing I can come up with is that on that Christmas night, I was ready to consciously “take the plunge” into the unknown (to me) Life of Jesus Christ. That very night I said the same thing to my friends who happened to be at the house, that from then on, “I am following Jesus.”
That night, I came to “KNOW” it! So I go from there, and don’t bother to try to determine if I was ‘in sin’ and “of Satan” in my sin days, or born again not knowing it under the protection of angels. I accept the fact that before I KNEW, I lived in sin and did Satan’s lusts.
I don’t think we can determine certain things too precisely in this mystery of Christ.
What we have, is a reality we were all born into. It is a reality of unbelief. Sins are not deeds necessarily. The deeds of SIN, sins, come from unbelief. We know that at some point all of us were under the dominion of the “prince of the power of the air the spirit, that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath.” (Eph 2:2,3). (“Unbelief,” as I am meaning it, is a word we could use to describe the opposite of Hebrews 11:6 – “For he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them which diligently seek Him.”
That might seem rather a strange requirement, not only that we believe that HE IS, but that we also must believe He is a rewarder as well. A blesser. So we must believe that HE IS, and that HE IS a Love Person! How do I get that? Because the normal relationship one would have with a False God, as well as most human potentates, is that we believe that He is, but that we also believe He is a Punisher, because we fear Him. We fear what He can do to us. We are expected to give our lives over to him (false gods and human potentates), rather than He gives His Life over to us.
But that is not our God. Our God’s purpose is to lift US up, rather than we lifting Him up. People might misunderstand what I am saying, since it might sound like I am saying don’t give glory to God, give it to man. I am saying the opposite. We certainly give glory to God. All glory forever to the Living God, the Father, Who is above all, through all, and in all. The only way for this second aspect to be actual is that we are fixed in HIS (not “our”) glory. When we are fixed in God’s glory, we realize He is pushing us to the forefront, encouraging us to take up the mantle of our Sonship. Then we realize that Glory now resides in us without measure, just as Jesus said it would. “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John 17:22).
So we find ourselves all having arrived at the same place, prior to our new birth, though with an infinite variety of ways we got here.
I take it that the “nature of wrath” was our inheritance from Adam. Just like DNA. I know it does not make logical sense, but nothing in the Gospel makes logical sense. The Gospel is foolishness to logic. But there is this world “spirit” into which we are all equally born, which has cast a spell of ignorance and separation from God throughout the whole world in every society by every means imaginable. It is a society – whichever nation and/or region and/or philosophy/religion and/or political system – every single one of them – which at its very heart gives homage unwittingly to the prince of this world, that John tells us has sway over the whole world system and holds captive God’s precious offspring, 1 John 5:19. The whole world is permeated with the deception of Satan and his chief delusion, the lie of independent self.
Everyone of us has bitten from that apple. So I don’t put off on Adam and Eve my biting into the same tree they did, and living after it. There are a number of differences between ourselves and Adam and Eve in Paradise, but for the moment it is good to note that they started in a state of which we have no knowledge or understanding. We cannot fathom Eden with our natural mind. People keep talking about they’ve found where they think the Garden of Eden was, and that is not possible. Only people in Paradise themselves can be in it, and no one else could even see it if it was right in front of them.
But I also have no pre-memory of ever having known Paradise, and one would think Adam and Eve must have remembered some things, even though their expulsion from the Garden was more like a dimensional transition, from one reality to another, neither of them accessible to the other, except in this one instance of escorting Adam and Eve out the Gate, which was then sealed and guarded with a sword-wielding cherubim.
Now, if we ourselves started there, I have no memory of it. All I know is that I came to self-awareness probably some time in 1953-54, from 2-3 years old, because fuzzy memories begin about then. My birth certificate says I was born in 1951, but I have to take their word for that. And in that self-awareness, I was both living it and observing it.
Now, where or when did “sin” enter my life? Other than the fact that I was born in the devil’s lie of independent self and in the same world system reality that everyone else was and that the scriptures said the whole world lies in the lap of the evil one – stuff which I know now but didn’t know then – I cannot remember a decisive moment when I “became a sinner,” because I committed some offense I had been told not to do. My mother absolutely abhorred a lie, but I found myself “fibbing” from time to time to my mother. I don’t remember when that started.
I guess my point is, no matter what our background is, or even if we could remember ourselves in total innocence with God and remember the “moment” we stepped out of God into Sin, or whether we can remember no such defining moment, we all still find ourselves “sold unto sin,” and among those of which it is said, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Rom 3:10-12). And also, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23). Paul uses that verse to juxtapose with God’s free gift through grace in the next verse: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (24).
Now, I’ve typed all this up over the past 3 days, a little here and a little there. Yesterday something else came to me regarding your question. After I thought about it a little bit, I wondered if these previous pages had been unnecessary, so I slept on it. When I started reading again this morning, I decided to leave those pages in, as well as write some more stuff on those lines.
But now here is one more issue, and it is back on this idea of the lie of independence, self-reliance, etc. The reason it came to me, was that I kept questioning in myself or wondering what made this such a vital issue for you? Your notes seemed that you were pretty stressed over finding the answer. It made me wonder if you had something at stake in the answer. Now, the first phrase I caught and replied to was the one in the beginning of this, when you said you were a person “who seeks truth.” But I didn’t really realize until it occurred to me last night, that the driving engine that has spurred this “truth seeking” in you, is revealed in your other statement, also said in both emails to me I think. It was this statement you made: “… what I cannot settle in my heart with is the fact that “we” or “i” did not make the choice of letting satan’s nature come into me by a ‘choice’ as I made a choice in letting Christ come into me being my new nature when I made a “choice” a freewill to let Him in.”
Well, that’s a can of worms and we don’t have all year, so let me just zero in on one issue. Why is it so important to you that you make or that you made a free choice to let satan’s nature in you? Lots of people make “free will” to really be a separate person from God within us, who continues to be in us through all eternity, deciding on a moment by moment basis whether he will yield to God this time or yield to temptation this time. The responsible one.
People who are concerned about free will do not realize they have died. They still think they are selves who decide (i.e. run) their own lives by their decisions. That is not a union relationship. It is a separated relationship, with a responsible party always between the essential “YOU” and God Who is one with you. The responsible party has to go. It is not GOD plus my free will, but GOD ONLY.
I won’t comment about “free will” except to say it’s just a word-construct of the mind of man, and we do not live by those in the Spirit. We live in the Spirit by the Spirit. We do that essentially in the beginning in that we realize in Him, in His death, in His Cross, we died to everything, but chiefly (though it takes quite a while for most of us to come to know this) we die to the false god of ourselves. Some people have great abilities or great talents. God could care less. He wants the heart. So sometimes people die to their great abilities or talents, and then God restores them one day when they realize those abilities and talents were never theirs in the first place, but always God’s even though they had been misused by Satan. We realize it was right for our self-attachment to lose them for a while, because when they are restored neither they nor ourselves are the same, but have both been made anew.
Over the years I have seen many people move into a union reality in Christ. The WAY it happens with each is different, but the stages for most are very similar. We describe it as going from “wrong self,” (Satan infected, lie of independent self thinking), to “no self,” “It is no longer I, it is Christ,” (for a time we seem to “die” or disappear into God as selves, and we will continually confess, “It’s not me, it’s He.”)
Then on to right self, on the other side of the hump, where we have “gotten ourselves back,” but now we understand who we are in the union, because it is still, “It’s not me, it’s He,” but also at the same time, we don’t have to always say it or remind ourselves of it, because it just becomes over time just “us” living our normal lives, under no law except the Spirit of Other-Love, being Christ in the world, but just “ourselves” in the doing of it.
So the reason I am mentioning this last aspect, is because to me this much more important than what “stand” you make on scriptural passages. That’s just head stuff, and a lot of it we can take it or leave it. I’ve been at this nearly 40 years. If all people are interested in talking about is what someone’s stand is on a “doctrine,” move on.
But this is not head stuff I am mentioning here. This is a major renewing of the mind and a moving into a greater portion of the fulfillment of Eph 4:14,15 – “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”
When we are at this spot, we have suffered the loss of all things in some way. (Phil 3:8). Jesus said to the disciples: “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33). That isn’t some sort of piety. The “all things” that we have, originate in the self itself. That is what is forsaken – our own selves as we know them. We lose our lives to find them. We become zero! We realize the truth of Gal 6:3 in ourselves, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”
Now out of that comes resurrection. Major resurrection! That is always what the Lord is after. In our early days He is after that resurrection in us, which can only come about through our preceding “death.” However, after we have gone through that portal, He is then after the resurrection of others by means of us! It’s a great privilege and filled with blessings and glory!