TOTAL TRUTH: My Last Message to the Whole Church in the Whole World
…as recorded by the apostle Paul as the summary of his worldwide, churchwide revelation in chapters 6-8 of his Romans letter, and put in my own words.
I have this last message to share; and probably I can say it is the last, now being 95 years of age. Yet this is the most important, because it is about the first streams of what is to become a world flood. It all stemmed from the originality of the Spirit, totally unplanned and unpremeditated by me or any.
Having handed on the general secretaryship of the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade (WEC International) to a younger man just suited for it, I was then free to pour myself into my main absorption—the sharing with my fellow believers of Paul’s (and my!) revelation of that mystery “once hidden, now made manifest to his saints” (Col. 1:26). That revelation is of a total present “Christ in you, the hope of [the total coming] glory” (1:27). He is the perfection in us, and we in Him are His human manifesters.
The radicalness of what a number of us call our Total Truth message to the whole Church in the whole world is not in what Paul called his once hidden, now manifest “mystery.” That tremendous reality is becoming more commonly known by faith by us the redeemed. We do say with Paul in his Galatians 2:20, “Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” But where we have been held up, and I for long, is with the previous statement of “I am crucified with Christ.”
What is that “I”? That is the point. Is it just an inconsistent, Satan-and-sin-influenced “me”? And what does it mean when I say “I am crucified”? For evidently the “I” continues in living existence when Paul goes on to say, “Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” There is the “me” back again! So what was crucified? And in what sense am I a “crucified me,” who now comes back as a “resurrected me”? I was not clear about that for a long time.
But at last I saw the truth about our selves through Paul’s Roman letter. He constantly underlines that our human “I” is nothing but a vessel that contains, a branch producing its vine’s fruit, a servant (slave) working only at the beck and call of his owner, a wife reproducing the seed of her husband, a temple indwelt by its God. Our human selves never were self-operating or self-relying, but only express and reproduce the products of our owner.
I saw that my “I” which was crucified with Christ was my “I” that was expressing its owner and operator. My “I” had been the expresser of that false “god of this world” and “spirit of error,” which works in all the children of disobedience (all of us while unsaved). So when Paul says that I am crucified with Christ, he means that my “I” went into death and resurrection with my Intercessor Savior, who was “made sin” as me on Calvary (2 Cor. 5:21).1 In His death I am freed forever from the false spirit of error indweller; and by His resurrection I am now occupied, when I have responding faith, by the Spirit of Truth as fixed, eternal, total Indweller.
What is so radical, and meets with so much questioning and opposition as even heretical, is that my crucified “I” is the very same “I” that now lives. The difference is not and never was in the human “I” container, but wholly in the deity-Spirit in possession of my “I.” But that is hard to recognize and accept because of the false concept of my “I” being independent and self-operating.
Really, we have been run since the Fall by that false Satan deity (Rev. 12:9).2 Agonizingly, that includes much of the lives of all of us new-born ones, until through sheer desperation we have moved in by faith from our first saved and justified relationship to our real reality of now being indwelt vessels by our Christ-Indweller. Only by His body-death did He cast out forever the false indweller. So it never was a change in our beautiful God-created “I” with its great potential, but only an exchange of who is operating our “I.”
That then brings me to the problem of resistance from my fellow believers, who have known themselves as Satan-stained by their sins. While caught in that lie of a seemingly self-acting self which they think can pray more, resolve more, try more, be better, etc., they are horrified and regard as dangerous heresy the total giving up of their “duties” in self-activity. But at last they must come to what Paul did by much travail: the plain given face of the human self never having been self-operating. And then they can realize that human self-relying activity through past years actually has been the “error spirit,” with his nature of self-for-self appearing as them.
When I am at last exhausted enough by the failure of my self-effort, as was Paul in Romans Seven, I am ready and conditioned to recognize with great relief and daring faith that I have “died” to this long-accepted concept of being self-operating. By faith I see that my false owner and Satan-sin-operator, with his nature of self-for-self, has been replaced forever by my True Owner, with His nature of self-for-others.
As in Romans 8:1-2,3 I can now accept myself with all my human faculties as permanently operated by, expressing and manifesting my Christ-Indweller in His self-for-others nature. I go free. Then delightedly I find myself a willing slave-servant to Him who gets busy giving me my intercessory life’s opportunities of being Himself-for-others by me. All who will receive can find and know that they too are Christ-I in place of Satan-I, and never were the delusion of being just an I-I!
The Radical Core
There is not a new word in what we are saying—not a sentence for which we cannot present Bible authority and not a thing new to take to any born-again believer. All we do is tell our fellow-redeemed who they really and already are!
When any say, “So you think you are holier than us [really than we believe ourselves to be] or regard yourselves as The Elite,” we say, “Yes, but that is just what you are also!” Can you be more holy than a walking Christ in your human form, which you are when you recognize who you are by the obedience of faith in His declared word? Can you be more elite than “now are we the sons of God” (John 3:2)?
But what is the radical spot which causes us to talk of “total truth”? Simply put, it is that there is no such thing as independent self in the universe. There is only One: “Besides Me there is no other” (Isa. 45:5). All creation is derivative, operating by God’s creative life in some basic form in it. And so all men, made in His image, naturally (except as hindered by unbelief) express by their created selfhood Him, their Creator.
We humans have our wonderful being as selves “in Him” (Acts 17:28)4; but the nature that is being expressed is His, not ours (2 Pet. 1:4)5. But because consciousness necessarily comes through the fact and knowledge of opposites, the one utilizing the other to express itself (like light “swallowing up” dark), so there came into existence this false “god” with the opposite nature to the One Living God, and having the deceived imagination that he is an independent self. That is what sin is (1 John 3:4)6.
This was also that we might know the false opposite, since through the Fall we have been deceived by Satan as if we were independent selves, having received his spirit of error into ourselves to express his self-for-self nature as us. The Last Adam—God’s own Son taking flesh as us—removed that spirit of error from us by His death and resurrection as us (2 Cor. 5:147, 218; Rom. 6:199), so that the deceiving spirit is replaced by the Spirit of Truth expressing His other-love nature as us.
The snag and snare is that by Satan’s deceit we humans think we are independent selves with a self-operating nature of our own. This has to be, so we learn once for all that lying deceit of being independent. The reason Romans Seven appears to be such a difficult chapter is that the final depth of this revelation is found there.
Through conditioning we have to become desperate enough to see through and discard the one thing we humans cling to: that deceived idea that we have a nature of our own and run our own lives. Only then can we settle into the wonder of the old Satan-nature which he expressed as us (Rom. 6:2110; 7:511) being now replaced forever by the glory of Christ, our “True Vine” expressing His True-Vine nature by us the branches (Rom. 6:22).12
Thus we move fixedly into the glory of the affirmation of Romans 8:213 and its spontaneous consequences in verses 14 through 16 and onward through the whole chapter.
So it is the fact of our having no human nature, but self only being an expresser of the deity-spirit nature (formerly the false and now the true one) and our claiming this to be Biblically true, that makes our “total truth” so radical. It leaves no more room for human self-activity, except as expression of deity.
Here is where we have to ask where are the preachers or the writers of spiritual books who make this radical fact the fact, and thus give no more room for exhortations to self-betterment? Actually, all the commands of the Scripture have become automatic action: “Of course, that is how we live,” because it is He fulfilling “the righteousness of the law in us!” “Oh, how I love thy law!” (Rom. 8:414, Ps. 119:97).15
Why can few pastors accept this truth in its reality? Because it exchanges pastoral management of the flock for direct management by the Chief Shepherd, and the pastors leading the sheep to His direct leadership. Why will all believers start by opposing and resenting this radical reality? It is because we live under the delusion of being self-operating selves merely helped by the Spirit, until that final delusion is exposed in Romans Seven and replaced in Romans Eight.
How truly George Muller, the father of all present-day faith movements, once said, “There was a day on which I died!” And there’s no other way but that such a day comes in all our lives. But we fight and resist until at last we “see” it.
God Restored Truth
for Our Generation
Though our Total Truth reality is radical at its core, we see it as God’s restored truth for our generation. We have nothing less than a worldwide, churchwide commission to every believer. And in each issue of our Intercessor magazine we make the plain statement.
The Intercessor (sent freely on request by our editors) continually puts this Total Truth in all its articles. Such books as Yes, I Am and other publications and audio listed in the magazine also offer the truth. In increasing numbers—by literature, by personal visits, by weekend fellowships and conferences—we are a “rising army” of co-knowers, witnesses and teacher-sharers, until that great day when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9).
But right now we are relatively few, although regretfully so and quickly embracing all who show signs of being co-knowers. Of course, the great mystics of the centuries “knew” by the Spirit and gloriously said so. The supremest, who not only knew but had the wisdom of God in putting his knowing into words, was Jacob Boehme, interpreted in English by William Law. But many others “knew,” and some of us have long drunk from them.
There are thousands, including increasing numbers today, who do “know” much, and often live the liberated lives of the “knowers.” Still, our calling is like Paul, to present what we see to be the full Bible-revealed basis to a total knowing—the truth of Christ in and as us.
John in his First Epistle repeated it over and over again. We are in the light, as He is in the light (1:7). We walk as He walked (2:6). We know as He knows (2:27). We live holy lives, as He lived (3:7). We love as He loves (4:16). We have a faith that becomes inner knowing as He has (5:4, 5, 18-20). And summed up, “As He is, so are we in this world” (4:17), for the very same Spirit who caused Jesus to know and say who He was (John 14:9) now causes us to know who we are (Rom. 8:1116; John 16:7).17
Inner truth was always known through the centuries (read such a book as The Pilgrim Church by E.H. Broadbent), but these true ones were consistently martyred by the external church. They were intercessors for us and did the dying. Now in our generation it is not physical martyrdom and cutting off of heads for most of us, but plenty of cutting off of our reputations as sound or sensible Christians. So we are left physically free to go to the whole Church in the whole world.
Now I reach my summit—at least I suppose so, at 95 years—and a last glorious participation in an “intercession in action.” Certainly it is the greatest for me because God, and only God, has brought this worldwide, churchwide commission into being without my having given one thought or plan for it. And as I go to my Lord, I leave behind nothing less than the first sproutings—precious believers knowing who they already are—of a worldwide harvest.
My one hope is that we, who are linked in this co-knowing, remain as structureless as possible. Being joined to One Body only, the precious redeemed Body of Christ, we have no need for membership, joining or official subscribing. We know only one truth: Christ Himself now living His own life in millions of bodies by the Spirit, until “we all come in the unity of the faith,” in understanding as well as a present Spirit-oneness, to that Perfect Man of Ephesians 4:13.18
This last intercession is glorious indeed, but it also includes its very present dying that others may live. There is ostracism and opposition by many, even of the precious people of God, who remain in this confusion of and clinging to the false independent self. The Spirit has to make us ready for that final and highly dangerous looking death, where it remains only He as us.
That unpredictable Wind “blows where it lists” in our newborn lives, as I can plainly see in the marvelous unplanned events of just my own life. You may also see where the Spirit has already gained intercessions by you in your own experiences; and you will thus be alive to the glory of such further intercessions, with their commission, cost and completion. Read my booklet Intercession in Action.
The death-resurrection principle of intercession (see John 12:24)19 as the highest of our earthly callings is still known and entered into by only a few of the redeemed members of the Body of Christ. Plainly enough, though, Paul gave us his own experience in Romans 6-8. As he found so painfully and with difficulty in his Romans Seven travail, the “death” of that lie of our being independent selves comes to those of us who will stop at nothing in going what he called that perfect way of Christ as us.
But as we move in by the bold choice of faith (as by the affirmation of Galatians 2:20),20 the Spirit will bring us that same light of revelation which Paul had. Inwardly we will “see” our wonderful God-made human selves as solely expressers of His Spirit of Truth in place of that false spirit of error. And we will settle into our true God-ordained condition, as out from us flows the river of the Spirit, as in John 7:37-38.21 Nothing then can stop us from joining what Peter calls “the royal priesthood” of intercessors, with “death working in us, but life in others.”