The Sole Purpose of the Creation
It has been over three years since I laid bare my heart and mind in the book Yes, I Am (which I thought might be my last before I join the Hebrews Eleven “cloud of witnesses”). In it I had sought to do as Priscilla and Quila did for Apollos: “expound the way of God more perfectly.”
But in some areas I now feel that I did not adequately underline certain vital points. So I set out in sixteen sections some extra sharing in the hope of giving certain areas of the book further clarity.
The basis of all I have written is the one and only foundation of all truth: that there is only one Person in the universe—God, “The All in all”—and that therefore the whole universe, things or people, are nothing but dependent, derivative forms of the “in all” of “God All in all.”
When, therefore, we proceed on to find, by the Scriptures and personal revelation, that He is the Total Good, the Eternal Self-giver and Other-lover; then, He is The All, whatever there is in the universe of the contrary (the suffering, evil, misused negative) has its perfect love-purpose, and we replace our first disturbed human reactions with the fixed, declared faith and praise that all such things are the shadow side of the sunlight, the sufferings which condition us to experience their opposite in glory.
The consummation of the revelation is that it always has been God’s purpose to manifest His invisible Self in visible forms by His Son and sons. They would then be He in His divine nature expressed by His son family; and by them He would fulfill all His eternal purposes of perfection. We are that family of foreordained sons in whom He fixedly re-expresses Himself in our human forms. This is the developing history of the human race, right up to its completion as the divine-human brotherhood, with His own Son as “the first-born among many brethren.” And by this completion, made actual in Him, we humans may now know who we really are, expressed in Paul’s revelation of the mystery of Colossians 1:24-29 as “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” We are all complete in Him, each fulfilling His love-purposes by and as us in our generation, and marvelously knowing our eternal destiny that, as we share with Him in the saviorhood sufferings (Col. 1:24), we move on to share His glory as co-inheritors of His universe, and to His eternal purposes of Self-revelation by us in His universe.
With this understanding by the Scriptures and Spirit-revelation, we examine and re-examine all these “ways of God” by which we are “conformed to the image of His Son.” We express their consummation in our Royal Priesthood, in union with our Eternal High Priest “passed into the heavens,” and know how to live as “more than conquerors.” As intercessors with Paul, we use with authority “the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10-11) by calling into being, by faith, physical and material manifestations of that power. We take our share in “the fellowship of his sufferings” by being “always delivered unto death for Jesus sake.” We participate in the reaping of the harvest (“so death works in us but life in you”—2 Cor. 4:11-12), in the bringing of many sons unto glory (Heb. 2:10). This is being the completed self, of which Paul wrote as the final objective of his Colossians 1:24-29 ministry—“presenting every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
One fundamental law of the universe is that all things have their opposites. There can be no consciousness without opposites, and no means by which any thing can be manifested except by the interaction of opposites—the one “swallowing” the other up in “rhythmic balances interchange.” Each positive has its negative as its necessary reverse. Light and dark, sweet and bitter, hard and soft, right through to the ultimate negative of the material realm in the positive and negative of electricity, and the electron and proton of the atom. This law of opposites takes its conscious form in us as persons.
A self can only know himself by his awareness of the two opposing forms of conscious self-expression—as a self-getter or a self-giver (self-for-self or self-for-others). We are confronted with this in the “One Person in the Universe”: God Himself. It is said, “God cannot lie” (Tit. 1:2)—truth or lie being the two opposites a self must confront to be a conscious self.
In other words, that First Sole Self of the universe could have been a self for Himself, geared only to His own self-interest, which is what a liar is; and that is why from eternity He has been the opposite, the Trinity, in an other-love relationship to His only begotten Son: and thus, as it were (for we can only speak in human terms), there is a “death,” a cross, in God to what He can never be. He “dies” to being a lone self-for-self, and from eternity They are one, yet two, in the interchange of other-love; and the Third, the Spirit, is the Godhead reproducing Himself in the endless forms of love-creation, and at its summit, in created persons like Himself. That is why the Scriptures speak of God as a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29), and as light (1 John 1:5). A fire “dies to itself” in its consuming quality, and re-manifests itself as light, in its blessing quality. Fire: hell—Light: heaven.
Therefore, as persons in his image, we can only become conscious persons by being confronted with the opposites, and the swallowing up of the negative by the positive.
Thus, that top-most created being in the “heavenlies,” Lucifer, had to be confronted with whether he would be fixed as “the Light-bearer,” revealing not himself but God, or choose to be a light that solely lit itself for its own ends—that difference being a self-expressing self for self, or a self-expressing self for others.
And so here came into being in the heavenly realm a person with the opposite quality of nature to the Eternal One. So we read that there was “war in heaven,” and the devil cast out to the earth in great wrath, knowing that his time is short. And with him, hosts of angels who have made that same choice.
Carry that down to our race of humans. We could not function as conscious humans until Adam and Eve had been confronted with the two trees in the garden, and had been stirred to conscious choice—first by the Creator’s love-word that all was good and available for them except the one tree; and then Satan expressing the opposite form of self, and called “the god of this world” as exposer and, in that sense, originator of this opposite self.
God put Lucifer in the garden in the form of a serpent to confront our forefathers with the reality of the necessary opposites which would make them conscious of the use of appetite, sight and mind, for self-ends, in contradistinction to the Creator’s other-self nature. The human race, destined as sons of God, had to experience the opposite sonship of their “father the devil” and its opposite consequences on and in them.
By no other means (therefore it was planned and purposed by God), could His family of sons, destined to inherit and manage His universe, become established in His own fixed nature of self-giving love, except by experiencing to its depth the opposite death-hell nature of self-getting love. By no other way could they be fully conscious of the opposites which, as the basis of self-consciousness, first go to the bottom of the self-for-self and the “curses” of that way; and, when there is a way of exchange, become established in the opposite nature of the self-for-others, the self-giving way—and thus be “safe” to manage His universe without the self-destruction of our present world in its “nature of the wicked one.” “O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God: how unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out.”
In precisely the same way, our Last Adam, replacing the first as head of the eternal family of sons, could not be established in that “Spirit of Truth” Who had entered Him as a dove. So it is no light thing to become an established person—if it took Jesus forty days, without food and to the point of exhaustion, to settle those same three levels of temptation. He had to be within reach of the spirit of self-getting, and finally come to say, “Get thee behind Me,” and thereby confirm Himself once and for all as expressor of that Love-Spirit of self-giving love. So it takes no less trials and temptations in order for us to become established as right persons, able to express that “divine nature” in our human persons, and to be “made the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).
So we confront the eternal duality of the opposites, and their rightful interactions, and the swallowing up of the one by the other; “death is swallowed up of life” (2 Cor. 5:4). This is also the way we redeemed humans get settled in our right negative of the human self. In its proper relationship to the Divine Self, we have died in Christ to the misuses of the negative, which was Satan expressing his nature of self-for-self by us and producing all the chaos, diseases, and distresses of this misused world.
This gives us constant practice in recognizing all these misuses in our outer experiences (which James 1:2-17 speaks of as “trials”), and turning them into their right use by the faith that sees Him in perfect purpose and production in all. This is the “perfect patience” of James 1:4 by which we are “perfect and entire, wanting nothing” when all seems chaos! The day will come in its eternal new-dimensional reality, when there is no further misuse of the negative (because Satan is cast out). It will be replaced with an era in which the opposites are in their perfect eternal marriage—negative and positive, bride and bridegroom—the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. But we finally see there always must be the interaction of the opposites, in their perfection; with the misuse of the negative gone forever, and we knowing eternally how to be “one yet two!”—the eternal paradox.
Independence: The Lie of Lies
What follows from this is another facet of “truth” which is fundamentally important, indeed central to our own understanding of ourselves in our relationship to God. What can be more central than our relationship to God, because in the end we only have ourselves and how we live and operate! It is the relationship of God, the Positive, to us the negatives. We are back where we have just been, when we say there is only One Person in the universe, and no such thing as independence. We simply trace it back and acknowledge the life of God in all nature as “full of His glory,” and He “filling heaven and earth.”
But it is a different matter when we come to persons who have their own consciousness and are able to make choices. And here entered the lie of lies and the root meaning and origin of sin (1 John 3:10). The first and only person who sought to exalt and declare himself as an independent self, self-relying self, was Lucifer, Satan, saying: “I will be like the Most High.” I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit upon the mount of the congregation” (Isa. 14:13-14). And therefore he was the first self-deceived person, because there is no such thing as an independent person in the universe. Satan is “creature” like the rest of us. Therefore, he operates by false imagination when he acts as though he is independent. Finally we catch on to the fundamental truth that Satan is always God’s convenient negative agent, no matter how much he appears to be in command.
Our Involvement in that Lie
It is here that we see sin in its fundamental form in the fantasy of independent self: “I will do my own thing.” Then we see the importance of and the reason that Satan’s first effect on us humans (when he entered Adam and Eve) was to deceive us with the same deceit of being an independent self with which he himself is deceived (for we always transmit who and what we are). It was God’s purpose to put us humans within the influence of that deceiving serpent, for if we are to function through eternity as reliable sons of God (just as Paul wrote that God counted him a reliable—1 Tim. 1:12) in the management of His universe, then we must have gone to the roots in our own experience of this false meaning of being a person. That is the reason why the experience described in Romans Seven (with its final insight into that final lie of the independent sef) is where the Spirit has to take us before we can fully know Christ as us, in place of Satan as us, and be safe as well as saved sons. And so Revelation 12:9 puts in one phrase Satan’s still present worldwide effect on us, “The serpent of old who deceives the whole world.”
Also, this is why the final effect of the law upon us is to expose as a lying deceit our so-called ability to operate as independent self-relying selves (see Romans 7:11). It is really Satan in his form expressing his deceived, self-relying self-nature as though it is we, and making us think that it is we, till we cry out, with Paul, “What I would, that I do not. But what I hate, that I do,” and “to will is present with me, but how to perform I find not.” Hence, we are brought to Paul’s great word of revelation on the self—that it is not I trying by self-effort and failing to get the victory, but it is “sin that dwelleth in me” (7:17, 20). Sin laughs at my helpless self-effort (7:11), because that very self-effort is Satan expressing his lying independent self-nature as though it is I, and has all the time made me think it is I. The lie exposed at last! “It is not I that do it.” It is Satan in his sin-form, the invader, the intruder since the Fall, the false former owner and operator of my human self (for we have no nature of our own), expressing his self-relying and self-gratifying self in me as me, and deceiving me by having tricked me into thinking that those sinful flesh responses in me were really me, when in fact they were “sin dwelling in me.” And this apparent fact of indwelling sin is only a bluff and deceit, for Satan as sin was cast out of me in Christ’s body-death (in which He as me was made sin and died to sin—2 Cor. 5:21 and Rom. 6:10), so that our bodies are no longer sin’s dwelling place (Rom. 6:10), so that our bodies are no longer sin’s dwelling place (Rom. 6:6), and it is “Christ dwelling in me” (Rom. 8:9-10). “But while I did not know that, and still believed in my own self-efforts (which was really Satan), that believing gave him his deceiving appearance of living in me as me; for we live on the level of our believing, and I was living under that false condemnation of this indwelling sin as though it is me.” This was both Paul’s Romans Seven revelation and the final value and operation of the law: not to expose “sins,” but to expose the illusion that we still have a Satan-sin nature. The final deceit and exposure! Paul uses the present tense in that Romans Seven passage because it is the deceived experience of all believers until that “present tense” of Romans Seven is replaced by Paul’s present tense of Romans 8:2; and that is when, like Paul, we have moved by our personal affirmation of faith from the one to the other.
We Humans Never Had a Nature of Our Own
Here lies the whole basis of our trouble and slowness in coming to find our full “new creature” liberation by which we are ourselves in and as Christ. We have been brought up on, and our church and Bible teaching has mainly emphasized to us, the false concept of our being independent selves and our operating by a nature of our own. And this is the basic lie.
I have spent a good deal of time in Yes, I Am in giving proofs of why we humans never had a nature of our own (Chapter 8). We have our own wonderful “being” in God (Acts 17), which “being” includes all our human faculties, capacities and normal reactions to life, but we were created to be fully operating selves as Himself. Here I seek to point out that the quantity of our being is not the same as the quality of what is expressed by our selfhood: the quality is the nature. A simple example in Blake’s poem is that a lion and lamb have the same “quantity” in the forms of their limbs, etc., but a different quality in their nature.
Having given so much rightful stress and biblical evidences of that in Yes, I Am, I don’t need to repeat it but the point I am making is that the root of this Satanic deceit is in giving us a false concept of being independent, and this has led us into the delusion of having a nature of our own, whether good or evil, and therefore expecting that some change must take place in us. It is a shock when the revelation finally dawns on us that we always were like a doughnut with a hole in the middle. We always were owned, indwelt, managed by the Deity Spirit in us—created and purposed only to be expressors of God’s “divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4). But in order to get our opposites into final fixed focus, we started by being occupied by and expressing the nature of the “spirit of error” (Eph. 2:1-3 and John 8:44). We always are either a “walking Satan” or a “walking Christ.” See the contrast in Romans Six of our branch relationship as fruit-bearers (but never fruit-producers) to Satan (v. 4) and to Christ (v. 22).
And this, as we have just said, is the “struggle” and final solution of Romans Seven, as much described in my book—the false concept that we are both evil and good. I try to shock folks into the illogicality of that by asking, “If you are born again, are those good things now expressed by you—love, joy, peace, etc.—your products?”
And when they answer, “No, they are the fruit of the Spirit in us,” I then say, “Why do you say the good you produce is not you but the fruit of the good Spirit, but that the evil is you producing it?”
No, cut yourself out of the picture—it is the fruit of the bad spirit in you (as stated in Romans 6:21, 22 and 7:4, 5). And then learn that your new Owner-Occupier, who expresses His nature by you, is Christ in you (Rom. 8:9, 10); but that you have been deceived into thinking you had an old sin nature which was you (Rom. 7:11); and therefore you lived self-condemned. “The truth at last is revealed to you by the Spirit, as to Paul in that Romans Seven chapter, that those apparent old-self responses were really sin (Satan) pretending still to be dwelling in you as you, but there was never anything wrong with your human self!” God made it and all He makes is “very good.” Satan merely stole your human self to misuse it, and to use it for expressing his lusts as if yours. Now you see through this deception and accept yourself back, not as wretched, but as His beautiful creation for HImself, and you are freed to be yourself with Him now expressing His nature by you. (I go into this at great length in Chapters 20 and 21 of the Yes, I Am book, as to how we are brought by our expressed word of faith and Spirit witness into a true union relationship, and, as a result, into our full use of ourselves as spontaneously expressing Him.)
(To be continued…)