(This is a piece I wrote in November last year, but for various reasons I have not published it before now.)
“If the soul was to be aided, the heart of God with its light, and not the Father Himself, had to enter her, for in the Father she was anyhow ; but she was turned away from the entrance to the generation of the heart (the beginning of the divine self-consciousness) of God, and her desires were directed towards this external world.” (J Boehme)
Owing to the fall, man’s desires, lusts and love became directed towards the external world. Everything this world has to offer appealed to the lusts of the eyes, and man’s aspirations thus centered on his happiness, his family, his career, his position and his ad infinitum. Before we are drawn to Christ this is our general outlook and general motivation. Peter says about us when we have responded to His calling that we are those who have been called out of darkness to His marvelous light. (1 Pet 2:9)
Our calling into Christ isn’t a change of trajectory. It is a new origin – a new beginning. The man who has entered the light is a new creation. It is new wine in new wineskins. However, we find that man’s mindset is still on the externals when He begins his walk in this new life. His attention is now turned towards pleasing his new lord though following the law or any other external ordinance which seems in accordance with his new faith.
By the mercy of God his inner eyes which are accustomed to darkness are not immediately exposed to the full revelation of God’s light. Gradually more light is given to him as the Spirit sees fit. Those outer laws which he has put his trust into obeying will in the course of time become his downfall from the externals and the stepping stone into the internals where God is found in all His majesty.
The Bible calls the new man who still is in that first stage enchanted by the externals carnal minded or that he is walking according to the flesh. Motivated by the externals he is building with wood, hay and stubble. He is building on the foundation, who is Jesus Christ, but his work will be revealed by fire, that is, when he comes to end of his self effort which is the illusion that he is a self apart from God. “We have finally realized we cannot take the land by anything we have or are. And this revelation, that we can do nothing whatsoever of ourselves, which at the time seems so awful and negative, is the absolute bottom, the total death, from which new life rises.” (Fred Pruitt)
In this seemingly darkest hour God’s light brakes forth and shine into him and he begins to see the outline of the union life. His dependence on the externals is finally coming to an end and he recognizes that life is a well of living waters which gush forth in wild torrents from his innermost being. He is transferred from outer motivation to inner motivation. It is now that He begins to see glimpses of his perfection in Christ and can finally accept himself and his humanity as an outshining of God’s glory.
Life is no longer a matter of pleasing others or doing the “right” things. From now on life centers on what wells up inside him recognized as God’s desires and self-for-others-love. Joy, rest and peace are predominantly governing his life. In the instant he enters God’s rest it begins to dawn upon him that he by the Spirit’s pulls has become an intercessor. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he becomes a prayer warrior. Intercession is the various ways God’s manifests himself through a person to the world for his saving purposes. For some it means writing, for others it is to be in the marketplace, others again raise their kids.
Moses became an intercessor for his people when he had had his burning bush experience. A common bush representing common humanity was set ablaze by God’s fire, but oddly enough it wasn’t consumed. It was there in the desert Moses realized he was in a union with the living God. He was the common bush where God’s fire burned with an eternal flame without consuming him. He was still Moses but he had also become everything God is. Not that Moses saw this part immediately. Just like us God had to take him through the school of the Spirit before he by faith could lay hold of his full inheritance; as He is so are we in this world. The Bible states that God is a consuming fire. But, since He also is self-for-others love His fire does not consume those who are joined one Spirit with Him.
Through the fall man came under the dominion of the spirit of error, the spirit which rebelled against God and turned God’s outgoing fire into himself. Fred Pruitt writes: “His life then forever turned in on himself in eternal unfulfilled desire and need, becoming a raging inferno of eternal hunger and consuming self-desire, a fire that can never be quenched, that seeks only to devour (suck into itself) and to destroy everything in its rage and eternal pain.” When we formerly were indwelt by the devil, captured by his snare through the tree of knowledge of good and evil we were consumed by that same fire. Never satisfied we always chased after the lusts of the eyes.
A burning bush experience with the devil is a common bush which thinks about itself that it is not common set ablaze by his fire, but the bush is consumed by the fire. That is hell. Hell is here and now. Boehme writes: “By means of the fall there was in man a door opened in the wrath of God, namely, hell. The jaws of the devil were opened, and thereby was inaugurated the realm of illusion.” Perhaps a psychopath is the best illustration of this fire turned inwards. As an empty shell he consumes those around him in order to sustain his existence.
The illusion that we are a separated, self sustaining self apart from God is a part of the darkness and it is the great illusion we came to believe in our ignorance. Outside God and deceived we were children of wrath always perceiving God as an angry God whose vengeance was upon us. The record plainly testifies that in the instant man ate from the forbidden tree he hid from God. Wrath was opened up in him, not as a possibility, but as a reality. When God walked the garden in the cool of the day He called for Adam and his wife, and after they had admitted their sad state He lovingly, not wrathfully, dressed them in their nakedness before they began their walk in darkness believing their perceived apartness from God was the reality of their existence.
The perhaps most lucid illustration the Bible gives of God’s self is the burning mountain. The one who had a clear vision of his union with God was the one who could approach the mountain and meet God unscathed on the mountain. Those who still were in their flesh spiritually speaking receded in fear from the mountain convinced that God’s fire would consume them. Rightly so, because no flesh can enter His presence. We are not talking about physical flesh, because Moses went up in his body. Flesh is our fallen consciousness of independence. It is this self idolizing-self, self relying-self as revealed in Romans 7. It causes anguish in us until we cry in our wretchedness: Who shall deliver me from this body of death?
God purports for every believer to have his burning bush experience where his flesh, that is, the illusion of independent self, has to be renounced as nothing before the union reality can be established in him, that is, in his consciousness, as the only viable and true alternative of life where God’s self is acknowledged as the consuming fire which powers his life. We are fire of His fire. By recognizing this tremendous fact by faith we become safe selves in full bloom in His love. His marvelous light is shining unrestricted and unimpeded upon us and we have been endued with full faith-vision into the treasures behind the veil.