Vol. 2 No. 3
The recent suicide of Freddie Prinze shocked the professionals of television as well as millions of viewers of Chico and the Man. Why would someone who had everything going for him take his own life? Freddie's peers could not understand, because they knew that in just a couple of years Freddie had risen right to the top as a recognized, accepted TV personality and comedian. His countless fans saw his death as tragic, because most could not conceive of how a person with "everything" would want to choose to lose it all by one rash decision. If you have youth, health, professional success, financial security, and devoted friends, what more would you want? Would Freddie's less-than-successful marriage of two years alone be enough to cause a man to commit suicide?
Speculation about Freddie Prince's death will continue as long as he is remembered, but I rather doubt that the investigators, family and friends will ever come up with a satisfactory answer. Probably the only acceptable reason will be the current explanation: "temporary insanity due to
excessive dosage of drugs over an extended period of time." Freddie's psychiatrist verified that he had been taking "uppers" and "downers" in amounts five times the recommended dosage. Apparently only drugs had been enabling him to handle temporarily his meteoric rise to TV stardom.
Freddie's inability to cope with fame and fortune is not unique. In sports, in business, in the professions, and in every other field of endeavor, we have all seen people who have worked hard to become successful, but who have had to work even harder to stay successful. What does a golfer do for an encore after he wins a major title? What does an employee do after he becomes president of his company? What does a doctor do after he earns a reputation in his community? Getting to the top is great, but staying there is something else. The "struggle of attainment" is always exchanged for the "struggle of continued performance."
Christians seem to get caught up in the same vicious circle in their quest for "spirituality". Even if they find the
from relative to positive to universal
Not that I speak from want, for I HAVE LEARNED TO BE content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I HAVE LEARNED THE SECRET OF BEING filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. Philippians 4:11-12 (NAS).
PUBLISHED BY UNION LIFE MINISTRIES
Answer (salvation), their quest does not end, because then they struggle to find the key to perfection (sanctification). Performance (law) - orientated man has always asked, "What must I do to be saved?" Even when he is told, "Only believe" (grace) he responds, "OK, I believe, now what can I do to show everyone that I appreciate the gift of eternal life?" Man has a hard time understanding unconditional love and spontaneous being.
Why is it that personal inner rest and well-being seems to elude mostly everyone? Why is it that "bornagain", "Spirit-filled" Christians frequently manifest just as much inner turmoil and anxiety (and even commit suicide) as those who have made no spiritual commitment? What is the secret of contentment that so few realize? What is the key to "the secret of being" which Paul had learned that enabled him to be content in every circumstance?
From Paul's familiar quotation in Philippians 4:11-12 it is obvious that the key lies in responding equally to contrasting situations and circumstances. Paul was equally content with poverty and prosperity. This was only possible because he saw God as All and in all.
The secret goes beyond seeing prosperity in poverty, or good in evil, or light in darkness; it is seeing both of the sides of any pair of opposites as alike. "Darkness and light are alike to Thee" (Psalm 139:12). If you see either side of opposites as "better" or "worse" than the other you are still taking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. People and circumstances will never be "God's perfect expression" as long as we lament that things are not better, or rejoice because a particular expression is not worse. Be anxious for nothing (no thing)! The secret of contentment is to see that nothing is better or worse than anything else. We are to know nothing of any contrast and comparison that excludes God's Presence. God must be seen as All and in all. Only then have we attained a maturity that has replaced "doing" with "being".
Paul says, "The mature... discern good and evil" (Heb. 5:14). This mature discernment must be distinguished from the immature "taking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." The latter always results in death, because there is a focus of condemnation and separation rather than that of acceptance and oneness. "But from the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat from it you shall surely die" (Gen. 2:17). For example, look at the deaths of every kind that have resulted through the years because of color prejudice. If we do not accept others as equal, our focus of condemnation and separation as to those of a different color is bound to manifest itself in death.
What then does Paul mean when he says that the mature discern good and evil? In the first place, the mature know that neither good nor evil will affect their union with Christ and His Body. All good and evil is God's determined means of expressing Himself through individual personalities, irrespective of the conceptual good or evil involved.
Do you believe that all things work together for good, or only those things that have the appearance of conceptual good? At some point we must see that all circumstances are God in perfect love action for the redemptive good of all concerned. We must comb to see that though we recognize conceptual good and evil, that neither good nor evil can affect the eternal spirit fact of Oneness. Because of our Union with God, nothing evil can separate us from the love of God, and nothing good can bring us any closer to God. Negative appearances and feelings are no worse, nor any better, than positive appearances and feelings.
In the second place, the mature discern good and evil when inner acceptance based on Union replaces self-condemnation and judgment of others in negative situations. Jesus illustrates this in the episode of the woman taken in the very act of adultery (definitely an evil, wrongful, sinful act). His words were, "Neither do I condemn you; go your way; from now on sin no more" (John 8:11). The fact that He did not condemn her past actions does not imply that He was ignoring the evil or denying its reality in both the temporal and eternal dimensions of life. The law of "whatsoever a man sows he reaps" is just as applicable to a Christian as to a non-Christian.
Finally, to discern good and evil is to inwardly know that both good and evil appearances have redemptive purpose in our lives. Joseph saw this, so he told his brothers, "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good" (Gen. 50:20). As we see God in all things, evil becomes Good and good becomes Evil - it just doesn't make any difference. This does not mean we deny the reality of evil,
wrong, sin, hell, sickness, or the negative. But in maturity we see them all with the same single eye as we do their positive counterpart.
The opportunities for daily death are not limited to negative situations of obvious evil. The secret of lifethrough-death is seeing ourselves in Oneness in the good as well as in the evil, in success as well as in failure, in health as well as in sickness. Face the truth that positive circumstances of life can tempt us into the illusion of separation as readily as negative circumstances. Feelings of independence and separation from God seem to be quite natural during periods of success, health, and apparent "good." Most of us tend to experience more consciousness of His Presence in negative situations, such as financial pressure, sickness and death.
Paul had learned the secret of life. He was content in every circumstance because he had come to the awareness that we live in a Onepower universe. He saw that life was knowing the secret of "being." He knew that Reality can elude us as readily in a circumstance of prosperity as in a circumstance of poverty.
A quotation of Rudyard Kipling that someone sent me recently, rather than a scripture, was the catalyst that finally brought me to the beginnings of seeing good and evil with a single eye.
If you can meet with Triumph and
Disaster and treat these two Im
posters the same,
Yours is the earth and everything
that's in it.
(From Rudyard Kipling's poem,
For some months before this I had begun to see that there could be good in evil, health in sickness, and victory in defeat. This was an improvement, because at least I was beginning to see Him who is the Positive in many negative situations. But fundamentally my focus had merely changed to appearances of good and health and victory instead of seeing universal Oneness. Can you see that good and health and victory can be imposters as much as evil and sickness and defeat?
Our growth in awareness is labelled by the Apostle John as little children, young men and fathers (1 John 2:1214). Another way to label this growth of consciousness is from relative to positive to universal.
As spiritual children we see
Mr. Bill Volkman
I surely do enjoy your magazine, Union Life. In fact, I have purchased a plastic file just to keep its issues in. Enclosed is a sum for its continued publication and copies to me.
I keep a journal and try to put something in it every day - some thought or a clipping or just writing down what happened to my family or myself that day. I advise everybody to keep a daily journal. While your family might see you as a very ordinary person, your grandchildren or great grandchildren may some day read what you have written and really be helped. Even though you were very ordinary, the fact that the thoughts were written so long ago will make a strong impression on them. I wish I had something that my father or grandfather, or better yet, my great grandfather or mother had written about what happened to them, or some thought about life that came to them.
Anyway, I am enclosing a copy of the page I wrote in my Journal today. Hope you like it.
Charles M. Spear /s/
(Editor: A lawyer from Edina, Minnesota, recently sent us a wonderful series of poems and epigrams written by him which speak of the implications of our full inheritance in Christ. Following is a letter from him about his Journal, a sample from His Journal, and a few of his epigrams.
Thursday, June 24, 1977
I have been reading those periodicals I receive called The Spirit of the Word and Union Life. I am going to type some of these articles right in this Journal, and as I do I will make comments on them from time to time. I will put my comments in parentheses ((( ))) like this.
I am very interested about this whole idea of "Union Life". I think some of my own poems and epigrams (especially the first ones like "I Believe in God" and "I") surely state my understanding of Union Life. But, as I think of this Union with Christ more and more, I am trying to find some word or thought that would best explain how or what actually this union is. I have had some thoughts on it.
For instance, a drop of water falling into the ocean certainly becomes "one" with the ocean. The drop Immediately contains the full force and power and mystery of the ocean Itself. Is this something like the Union of Christ and man?
In one of the articles quoted in The Spirit of The Word, Dan Stone, I think, mentions that we are vessels containing the life of Christ. Yes, I think that is true and even more. We are more than vessels, because a vessel
is separate from its contents.
The word I think I have been searching for is the word "life". The word "life" seems to me to indicate a completeness, a whole, a union. St. Paul says (Col. 3:4) "Christ is our life!" I think those four words are the best expression of union that I can think of. "Christ is our life!" We can say that Christ is in us, but that seems to imply the two of us, not us in union but as two, not one. But when we say "Christ is our life", that is union.
God said to Moses, "I am", or as some bibles state, "I am who Am." I think that implies Union. God Is! God is life! "I am Who Am" =God.
It is more than that I exist in God, or I exist with God; it Is even more than that God exists in me. It is that I am God's very life! It is not only that God expresses himself through me or in me; It Is that I am God's life.
I don't know exactly what my spirit is, but I am coming to know what my life Is. When I repeated what St. Paul wrote, "Christ Is our life", and the words "Christ is my life", I began to understand the Union of God - The Father, the Son, (Christ), the Holy Spirit and (believe it or not) me!
Didn't Christ say, "Before Abraham was, I am"? Yes, he did. Isn't this also true about ourselves? While it Is true that only God always was, never
theless, I, myself, always was in the mind of God. God always was, and has always been mindful of me. Yes, mindful of little old me and little old you. These thoughts also help me to think of the Union of God and me, God and you, God and the whole universe. Because everything always was in the mind of God, In the thoughts of God; God was always aware of everything that is and is to be! Doesn't that speak of some kind of union? Can't I say I am one with God because I am always in His thoughts. Even before I was, I was in His thoughts. Isn't that the magnificent Union we are looking for?
God cannot be separated from His thoughts, and I was always in His thoughts! God is my life! I am God's life! "Christ is our life." God is our life. This is Union Life!
Though I don't think I can say that I am Christ, I can surely say that I am Christ's life! And as Christ is also Christ's life and I am Christ's life, Christ and I are one In the union of Christ's life. Now, what was Christ's life? It was His crucifixion, His resurrection, His Ascension and His sitting at the right hand of God. That is also our destiny, irreversibly and unalterably. Because It was His life, it is our life. Yes, Christ and I are one In the union of Christ's life.
Is man sorry first
and then forgiven or
and then sorry?
If he is sorry first,
then God forgives
His friends, but
if he is forgiven first,
then God forgives
We don't need a God who
Did Christ die before or after Adam fell?
after Adam fell,
in eternity, before Adam fell.
In the mind of God
Adam was forgiven first
and then created.
what the "good news" of man's redemption is all about.
He was redeemed first
and then created!
That's why the irreversible destiny of every man is
eternal life and
that's also why men are brothers.
They have all been redeemed in Christ and
created in Adam from before the
I am not forgiven because I repent.
I repent because
I am already forgiven!
it is but one life.
If I flog my
to live our life together,
I can only bring my weaknesses to that endeavor, but
if I surrender my will and let him live
our life together, it is accomplished in His power.
Christ is more than within me; He is in union with me.
It is one life!
It is union life!
* John 17:23 "I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one."
Christ's life and my life are meshed together as one inseparable life.
Our lives are totally and absolutely one!*
union life His life neutralizes
my weaknesses and my life absorbs his power,
all of God and
all of man
are meshed together.
They are inseparable.
As no man escapes his own personal crucifixion, no man is denied his own personal resurrection.
When Christ was crucified, man was crucified.
When Christ arose, man arose.'
This has already been
accomplished by Christ and in Christ for all time, and will be experienced In each man
In each man's time.
Life here is the crucifixion;
life hereafter is the resurrection; and life
at the end of time is the
It has all been foretold and pre-lived in Christ.
Christ is our life!
No one is lost!
This is true
for all mankind.
This is what I mean when I say
(2 Cor. 5:19)-"For God was truly in Christ reconciling the world to Himself by not reckoning against men their sins."
I believe in God!
Rom. 6:5-"For if we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, we shall be so in the likeness of His resurrection also."
Your letter came as loving arms around me, comforting and encouraging me, assuring me that this too was My Father's Cup. I felt your very presence as I read the loving things that sprang from your heart to mine.
For some weeks my nerves seemed as if they would go out of control. Besides counselling day and night, I keep three kindergarten children from noon til five, plus their friends. I teach Bible to the children on my street from 8 to 8:30 AM; then from 8:30 to 10:30 I teach Bible to an alcoholic lady who is off the booze and onto Jesus. Most days I am interrupted by telephone calls with someone who needs to hear that Jesus is still alive and on the throne, taking care of the little sparrows (which are what we call our problems). Then it is time to prepare lunch for the three children coming from kindergarten, feed them, love them, pray with them about their special thoughts, then off to nap for an hour or so, between cleaning, washing and preparing dinner, usually cooking with one hand and counselling over the phone with the other. At 3 PM my own children arrive home from school, starved to death for a treat which somehow I find the time to prepare. John arrives at 6 PM ready to meet his well-dressed, smiling wife. I don't remember when we had a meal during which someone didn't call with what they feel is a very pressing problem.
In any event, Saturday evening I knew I was going over some kind of an edge. I was sure I was going to start screaming and never stop. I finally convinced John after a couple of hours that I must have some medical help, so off we went to the emergency room. It seemed as if I was hanging on to a very thin ledge by my fingertips. The only person who would listen or understand at this time was Jesus Himself, so with all of me that was left I began to talk to Him.
I had been begging Jesus for some months to restore the youthful, expectant love, and deep communication that had somehow slipped away from John and me. It seemed as if the only show of love and understanding that I had was coming from the Body of Christ outside of my home, so I was enjoying being home less and less. On this night as I began to talk to Jesus, He brought this to my mind, and I said to Him, "I don't care if you don't want to love me through John, I only need you!"
In the past I had asked Him many times to let me live to raise Tim (my 6 year old)), who is the apple of my eye and full of Jesus Christ. Well! He let me see Tim, as well as all my family, filled, contained, and eternally kept by Him. I saw His Spirit in them so there was no longer any real need for me to be with them in body, for my Spirit was in His Spirit and His Spirit was !n them. All was complete, so the only thing left for me to give them was my flesh, and in a moment it was, or seemed, gone. It was as if I was hanging on a meat hook and all, and I mean all, had been cut away by surgery. Precious Jesus
so beautifully cut away all of me right down to Spirit. When He was finished, only His Spirit hung on the meat hook. I was inside of His Spirit forever and ever and could not even be touched. No harm, no hurt, no loneliness could penetrate His Spirit to get to me - my spirit.
Of course, they put me in the psychiatric ward, for I was talking to Jesus. I answered all their questions and was conscious of everything that was happening but I was not threatened by anything they did, or did not say, for I simply did not care. I only wanted to go to sleep. It was pure hell, and yet amazingly it was the Gateway to Heaven. I would never want to go there again, yet I would not take anything in this world for the experience, for now I have no fear or inhibitions at all. I have been to Hell and found that Jesus is Master there too. It cannot hold onto one of us, for we are His children.
I stayed two full weeks. I was heavily sedated, so I got the rest which I desperately needed. We had group sessions and writing sessions. I found the first day that if I ever wanted to get out of there I was not to mention God. So I did not try to be God and I did not try to be Mary. I was truly a free spirit. The psychiatrist was a Jewish man who told me on the first day, "I don't want to hear that God stuff," and he didn't.
At the end of two weeks the doctor said to me, "When you came in here I thought you had a mental problem because of all that Jesus and God talk, but now I know you have no problems, except that you were physically and mentally exhausted. Now you are fine, but you must not put yourself through such strenuous work in body and mind. I then asked him about sedation in case I got nervous, but he said, "You don't need any sedation." Praise God!
I knew God must have taken me there for many reasons. As I said before, I didn't talk about God. One day a schizophrenic came up to me. He was a tormented black boy who paced the floor day and night. He threw his food in the trash in defiance and often had to be put in the "hole," a locked room with only a mattress. One day he came up right in my face and said "You have the Lord Jesus Christ in you, don't you?" I said "You know I do! Would you like to have Him?" He said "I sure would!" I said, "Would you like to pray?" He said, "Not now", and he was off. But I believe with all of my being that he accepted Christ at that very moment and is eternally saved.
Then as I would walk into any room (the day room, the dining room, or the TV room) all cursing and dirty talk would cease in an instant. I was not trying to, be or do anything. Jesus simply went to the psycho ward as me and they recognized Him. When I was leaving every single one of them acted as if I were their own sister. They said they loved me and would miss me even as I indeed loved every single one of them and always will.
"Lean on ME." Direct, simple, uninvolved, isn't it? An invitation which, if accepted, would instantly cause you to cease the useless "leaning" upon persons, organizations, books, etc. But first it is necessary to understand this ME, to recognize this ME, to become one with this ME, before you can accept such a glorious invitation.
In the Apocrypha, the Book of Ecclesiasticus, we see a very definite word being stated about the begging attitude of life. It is so common sense that it is well worth consideration, no matter what its source.
"My son, lead not a beggar's life; for better it is to die than to beg."
"The life of him that dependeth on another man's table is not to be counted for a life; for he polluteth himself with other men's meat; but the wise man, well nurtured, will beware thereof."
"Begging is sweet in the mouth of the shameless; but in his belly there shall burn a fire."
The beautiful symbology of these verses can hardly, go unnoticed, so poignant and powerful is the message. "My son (my body), lead not a beggar's life." The old consciousness which begs of life the permission to live does not understand the innate power within which does not have to ask favours to perform the works of the Lord. It is amazing that so many are begging - begging in the body, as it were, for the comforts and necessities of life which belong automatically to man.
"The fear (reverence or recognition) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." It is only when man recognizes this Inner Lord of which Jesus so often spoke that he can see the uselessness and futility of the "beggar" consciousness. Most people beg instead of PRAY. They implore a God to do something for them and cannot understand why He does not do it. They compare notes and find that God apparently is very partial, and is not in any sense of the word moved by the beggar's plight. The beggar at the temple gate would have continued a beggar if his requests on the outside had been fulfilled.
We have all been beggars - it has often been shameless begging in the name of the Lord, and it has been fire to the digestion. A woman once took an entire book of mine, adapted it - which meant she cut out all the spirit of the message and with her hobnailed mentality went crashing in,
wiping her dirty feet all over its pages. As well might she have rushed into the Louvre with a can of black paint and painted a moustache and eyeglasses on the Mona Lisa as to "adapt" an entire book. It was filled with the vibration of her fear of what she was doing, but it was done under the guise of "love-offering." Imagine the interest that "love-offering" will collect as time goes on. "God is not mocked" - the beggar may not be sitting at the temple gate; he may be on the very altar, but whatever he gets in his bowl will be like "fire to his belly."
"I have never seen the righteous begging bread." Do you hear? Neither do you have to "take" from another. You take from "ME."
"The fear (recognition) of the Lord is a fruitful garden, and covereth Him above all glory."
Awake, thou that sleepest - arise from the consciousness which is eternally depending on something or somebody - and "lean upon ME." You will find that the moment you begin this "leaning" on ME your life will be replete with blessings and gifts of which you never dreamed. "Life that is dependent upon another is not to be accounted Life," runs the quotation - the looking to a person for life is a slow poison. It is true that it may come through a person or many persons, but it must be accepted and
recognized in God. Else you become a beggar - begging of those who may in many ways be inferior to you. Yet by reason of the fact that the temple of God is with man, every man or temple serves the God-awakened soul, and to the relative sense of things it would seem nothing .more than a contradiction to say that dependence upon another gives anything but the true sense of Life. The teaching of Jesus is so contrary to the relative mind that it turns from it with the explanation of its action as imaginary, supernatural.
When you once recognize the INNER Love - the Father within, or the Christ Mind - and glimpse its power, then you let go of every outside help - every book, teacher, organization, person, place or thing - as unnecessary to the God power, and in the letting go of the symbol you gain the principle, and then you can possess any and all of these, in so far as they may be of use to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven here and now.
When I take the spirit from the letter I am no more dependent upon the letter. Yet the very letter may serve me in a hundred ways. I am no more bound by the personality of the letter, as it were. I do not have to find it in a certain book, or from a certain teacher, but I can take it from any source, knowing it is the spirit and not the letter that quickens. It is wonderful when this simple understanding dawns upon you. It is as the light of morning; it fills everything; there is no pointing of the light into specialized ways and manners. It comes with its fullness; and so it is when you make the recognition of the PRESENCE here and now. A sudden illumination takes place within you, and which nothing may for the moment be changed on the outside, yet the soul of you proclaims, "Whereas before I was blind, NOW I can see."
Dependence on anything weakens. "Lean on me." This does not mean any rash or uncertain acts on the part of the person who hears this word, "Lean on ME." There is nothing crude, vulgar, or rash in the Power of God. That only happens in the petty personal teaching which of a sudden tries to pattern after the Divine, and hopes by doing some radical thing which it calls penance, in one form or another, to gain favour of the Divinity. There is no favour to be bestowed by God. "My Grace is sufficient for thee" takes care of the Divine Influence which makes favours entirely unnecessary. It is wonderful!
We do nothing on the outside. All movement takes place from within. This is a difficult lesson, for the human mind has waited so long for something to take place. But, when it is once seen, man automatically exclaims once again, "Whereas before I was blind, NOW I can see." What does he see? He sees things and ideas which cannot be mentioned to the profane who are merely seeking a sign. And so he goes his way. He silently folds his tent and steals away into the secret place of the Father.
The oft-repeated illustration of "the grain of mustard seed" comes up again. If you regard the outside, nothing happens, and it is futile to consider increase, but, once you see through the symbology and recognize the power in the seed, then you can understand how it is, by the magnifying of the Power, the manifestation will take place. So with the handful of snow which, formed into a ball and started down the side of a snow-covered mountain, arrives at the base of the mountain an avalanche. If you consider the outside and the amount of snow in your hand, you cannot possibly see how this handful of snow can control an avalanche, and it cannot, except the attention be taken away from the symbol and placed upon the power which is going to turn it over and over. The speed and power are the important things - the accumulation will take care of itself; and so it is with man. If he can keep his attention on the power and let the outside alone, he will arrive with increase. Who can stand in the ways of the Lord: Who can accept this glorious revelation? Many want to, but they still imagine it must come through the human thinking or the human limitations. "Leave all; follow ME," includes the human thinking of and about, and the "working" of, the thought.
It is true that, merging from the physical to the mental, man learns that he is an overcomer, and that he is in the business of getting rid of evil. He believes in, and actually appears to possess, a certain knowledge with which he can overcome sickness. He is always trying to get rid of evil, and this battle of evil goes on eternally in the mental realm. He is for ever trying to get rid of poverty, and so he fights a so-called poverty and its manifestations - fights it on the outside and on the inside, with deeds and words and thoughts. Sometimes he
gets rid of poverty in its most virulent form, but he is yet a long way from the rest that comes from the consciousness of abundance. Sometimes he is able to save himself from the ravages of sickness, but is a long way from being well, because the monster with which he has struggled is still there in the offing, and is only waiting for the opportunity to enter in again and possess. This mentality is the soul of all metaphysics - that is metaphysics as it is generally understood, upon whose banners are glaring promises of release from sin, sickness and death. But when you are merely released from these enemies, you may yet find yourself in a middle ground where not much of anything is happening - you are a long way from home, as it were.
Later comes the voice again: "Come unto me, all ye that labour, and I will give thee rest." The sudden recognition of the ways of Spirit, which are past finding out, dawns on the consciousness, and at once man rises from the temple gates and moves off, not as a cured, healed, or helped individual, but in an entirely new state of consciousness. He ceases to seek release from any of the negative conditions of life, and becomes aware that he is now putting on the positive concepts of life. Hence he no more fights or attempts to overcome poverty: he is seeking the place of substance, and when he arrives at this consciousness all his limited beliefs are automatically absorbed. He is functioning in a new consciousness which never experienced the thing called limitation. He is not an overcomer. "Put up your sword" can only take place when you have left the mental plane of life and entered into the place of Spirit, which has a way that no man knows, which causes all the wisdom of man, however time-honoured, to be foolishness. It is a big step for the conscious mind, but is a glorious new day when once you see you are moving towards the new state of things instead of the place of overcoming.
In the mental realm, after you have overcome poverty or the fixation of poverty (which is just a belief in an absence of God), you have yet to prove prosperity. In the spiritual realm, of which Jesus spoke, you are actually moving towards the fulfilled consciousness of prosperity, and all the beliefs of poverty are made nil. It
is likewise with sickness. Both sickness and health being limitation of life, why seek either of these states? In reality, what you are seeking is "Me," and that "Me" is "Life Eternal," and so when you merge into the alllife you will find it stepped down into visibility in the thing called health, because it is only in the form of health that you can see it - yet you never see LIFE. So likewise life becomes visible in abundance and in a thousand and one other ways, and so the illustration of the motive power in the handful of snow speaks volumes to the listening ear. It is wonderful!
Be not a beggar of Life. "Go in and possess the land" - the consciousness of the Christ within. Stop looking to people, and stop looking for a new Messiah. Finally the last Messiah has come, done his wonderful sleight-of-hand, and disappeared, and you are cast down to the valley of despondency. You are in a funk because another has come and "let you down" and you have tried all the queer, strange tricks that his "method" taught, and failed. When are you going to make a nice clean end of this foolishness and return to ME? No Messiah is coming, because he has already come into your life, and is standing at the door and knocking to be admitted.
Away with all the foolishness of the new doctrines. "Come unto ME" and let ME reveal myself unto you. If you dare to cast away from you the "sin" of looking for ME in some glorified teacher of whom you have heard wonderful tales, you will experience the new Life within yourself and all will be well. The old human consciousness is eternally waiting for the Bridegroom to pass by, but hasn't any oil in his lamp to see him when he comes. He is waiting for another miracle-worker to pass along and do some tricks. He is sure to be disappointed and badly disillusioned.
We laugh when we read in the papers from time to time of certain strange sects who expect the end of the world, and who have in many instances got themselves up in long white robes of the approved mode, ready to meet God; yet there are hundreds of people today who are running about trying to make the ascension.
Do you not know that the only place of ascension is within your own consciousness? Do you think the heavy body weighed down with conscious
thinking is going to ascend over anything? Awake, and arise from the dead.
"And what will you do when you are ascended?'' "Help others." "You can do that NOW."
Can you begin to see that as you ascend into the consciousness of the Lord Jesus Christ you are no more under the law, but you are still on earth? "This is the Kingdom of Heaven" gives you plenty of locality. "Be in the world, but not of it," is only possible when you have ascended to the point of at-one-ment with Jesus Christ. You are then operating under grace, and it is wonderful what can take place in you. Not for show or place or to be known of men. The miracles were given. The moment the curious eye looked for more, he found himself in the desert without loaves and fishes. So when you learn the law of miracles it will be at a time when you are through with the display. The blatant talking of and about, the false promises, the poison bait of demonstration, will fade away. If you can do the WORKS, you will do them when it is necessary, but never to please a crowd of curious people. There might be some swine among them - and they might trample your pearls into the mire of unbelief again. Do you recall that once Jesus said so much and revealed such deep and hidden things, that they (the crowd) laughed him to scorn? Do you understand how essential it is for you to "leave all; follow ME"?
The ascension so much talked of these days is taking place in you constantly as you turn away from the false gods and follow ME.
everything on a relative basis -good or evil, right or wrong, health or sickness, positive or negative. As we grow in our spiritual awareness, we begin to see that because of our inheritance in Christ we have all things. But we wrongly assume that God epitomizes only the good, health, positive, and evinces prosperity and the victory. Our wrong assumption leads us to conclude that "another power" is responsible for the evil, sickness, and poverty, and that that power is the epitome of negativism and defeatism. So we mistakenly involve ourselves with the God of Good against a god of evil - the God of the Positive versus a god of the negative, etc.
How we praise God when appearances of victory, prosperity, healings and blessings ensue. But condemnation, regret, guilt and judgment result when the manifestations and appearances are negative. This is because negative manifestations still spell defeat to us. For example, when a cancer is healed or arrested, we sense that God's power is on us; but when the "victim" dies, we privately wonder who didn't have enough faith or what secret "how to" must still be learned.
Few transcend this wonderful second state of seeing God as only the Positive. But even this perspective ultimately brings frustration, because it is still a separated viewpoint. There can be no fixed inner rest until we see God as All in all, and ourselves as One with Him. Positive swallows negative, not because of positive outward manifestations and appearances of change, but because we see God in action in negative appearances as well as in positive appearances. We see God in sickness as well as in health. We capitalize Sickness, Poverty, and Evil, as well as Health, Prosperity, and Good, because we see God as not only working in all circumstances, but actually being just as much a God of the negative as of the positive; in fact, a fixed union consciousness has only taken place when we see God as the all. Only then have we learned the secret of Life - God in action in all things.
The key to the transition from relative to positive, as well as from positive to universal, is simply acknowledgment - our acknowledgment of His Presence in all things. Whether or not you verbalize it to
yourself or others is immaterial, though many profit greatly by their conscious articulation of the truth of God's involvement in all things.
It begins as we learn to praise Him in all situations, even those we cannot understand or rationally justify. The recent floor of PTL (Praise the Lord) books, led by the popular Merlin Carothers' books, has been a wonderful confirming witness to millions. But somehow 'most of us cannot initially handle the truth that God actually determines negative evil as well as positive good. We prefer to protect His character by saying He only "allows" or "permits" evil, sickness and wrong. Because our outlook is still partially dualistic, we first find it necessary to attribute evil to another power, as we fail to understand that both "evil" and "good" are only relative terms, relative to our personal concept of what is comfortable or best for us.
What is the catalyst that finally brings us to that greater awareness and that fixes our consciousness as to His Presence in all things? ADVERSITY. Yes, adversity! Man's extremity has always been God's opportunity. As we come to see the redemptive purpose of all adversity, we are finally released to see that God determines the evil as well as the good. We finally see that God is eternally involved in universal redemptive action.
Now can you see why Paul was a spiritual giant? In weakness he was made strong, but in strength he was also made weak. He had learned the secret of being filled and of going hungry - of prosperity and of poverty. He knew God was in either appearance, so he could rejoice and give thanks in all things. His perspective had matured from relative to positive to universal. He was One with the Universal in all things.
If I travel by my thoughts,
I'll soon be thinking wrong. If I travel by my feelings,
those feelings will soon be gone. If I travel on experience, the memories may depart.
If I travel by who I am in Christ, I'll reach the goal before I start.
THIS IS ANNA
WHEN I SHALL DIE BY Anna
I shall die,
I shall do it myself.
Nobody shall do it for me.
When I am ready,
I shall say,
"Fin, stand me up,"
and I shall look
and laugh merry.
If I fall down.
I shall be dead.'
This poem was written by a six-year old girl, called Anna, also called, "Mouse, Hum, or Joy" (p.1), whom Fynn, the author, found in the dockland of East End one night in pre-World War II London. In the first few moments of their acquaintanceship, he saw a child born (p. 5) as they giggled together over hot dogs and ginger pop. Suddenly in a flat, matter-of-fact voice she exclaimed, "I have runned away,... I'm going to live with you" (p. 7). Just as matter-of-factly, Mum who "collected waifs and strays and cats and dogs, frogs, people" had taken her to her heart, as did Bossy the cat and Patch the dog.
What attracts you as you read about the relationship between Fynn and Anna is that they lived life zestfully. To Anna, "Fairy stories were dismissed as mere pretend stories; living real and living was interesting... .Religion (like life) was for doing things" (p. 19). And life and religion are correctly juxtaposed for Anna, for she "had bypassed all the non-essentials and distilled centuries of learning into one sentence: 'And God said love me, love them, and love it, and don't forget to love yourself' " (p. 191). But she had also grasped the difference of why folks don't love like God can. Because we are mostly outside people, we only love outside, but "Mister God can love you right inside" (p. 27). Anna was in misery for others because they "could not see. After all, Mister God did not have only one point of view but an infinity of viewing. points, and the whole purpose of living was to be like Mister God" (p. 40).
The secret of Anna's happiness was that "she
'Fynn, Mister God, This is Anna, (New York; Ballantine Books, 1974) p. 180. All future references to this book will be from this edition and quoted intext.
had simply moved out and let Mister God in" (p. 49). Through a series of remarkable scientific and mathematical experiments she comes to make this point clear also to Fynn. As Fynn found: "Letting your soul ... out of its cage and into the daylight is perhaps the hardest thing anyone can do" (p. 60). Her gift was that "Anna could see patterns where others just saw muddles" (p. 62). One of these experiments involved the asking of "squillions" of questions. Fynn discovered there was always only one answer to each of these questions - "In my middle." Anna taught him to see "every person and every thing that you know has got Mister God in his middle, and so you have got his Mister God in your middle too" (p. 72). The experiment with mirrors (over a hundred in all) came soon afterwards. The conclusion seemed to be that "we all know Mister God made man in his own image and images are found in mirrors When Mum puts the toddler down and backs off a few paces she does so in order to encourage the toddler to walk to her. Mister God puts you down on the take-away side of the mirror and then asks you to find your way to the add side..." (p. 102).
Look at it how you will, this book has an experience for everyone. Whether you prefer the inimitable relationships Anna establishes with others, or her fresh discoveries of God, somewhere in this delightful book is a message for you. Go, read it, and find It!
Daniel P. Grubb
(ed: In my opinion, Mister God, This Is Anna, is the best current novel available which emphasizes our message of union-life.
Our book review each quarter is prepared by our capable assistant editor, Dan S. Grubb, who is presently Professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
When you really pray it does something to you. Prayer is recognition, and when you recognize that you are in the Presence and that the Presence is in you, it does something to you. You are changed.
"And as he prayed, the fashion of
His countenance was altered."
It is impossible to really pray and remain the same. No matter what the condition or belief is-something has taken place-the fashion of your countenance is changed into the likeness of your prayer. How could it be otherwise. The Other Disciple mentioned in the records, as the one who seemed to understand, is the praying disciple, the disciple who recognizes the Truth and does not have to make things happen.
"Then went in also that other disciple,
which came first to the sepulchre, and
he saw and BELIEVED" (John 20:3). Interesting is it not to note that when you become the "Other Disciple" you have the "other understanding" which automatically causes you to BELIEVE.
Continuing the quotation we see:
"For as yet they knew not the scripture,
that he must rise again from the dead." Although Jesus had gone over it a thousand times-and told them he would rise again-they neither heard nor believed. But the "Other Disciple" believed it. Interesting that he went FIRST to the tomb. He went because he BELIEVED-and the tomb gave up its proof. How do you approach your problems?
The Other Disciple is the one who attained im
mortality in the flesh-because he BELIEVED in IMMORTAL LIFE-and kept his mind stayed on it. He kept the sayings and could not SEE death. No wonder then that Jesus said of him:
"If I will that he tarry till I come,
what is that to thee?"
It was nothing to them, because they could neither understand nor accept it. It could not be squared by their human teaching, and so they would run again to another teacher or Master trying to find out what the future held.
"It is not for you to know the times
or the seasons, which the Father hath
put in his own power."
There is the gift of prophecy as surely as there is the gift of healing, but this gift is not poured into the tin receptacle of human thought;-it is poured into the Holy Grail-chipped from a solid sapphire. Are you fit to receive the gift? You are; it says: "after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
There are so many gifts awaiting your acceptance-when you are ready. The things I could not tell you in Jerusalem, and which will never be written in books or spoken by the lips of man-will be told unto you. You, the Other Disciple-the disciple of Love.
(Taken from ASK, page 153, by Walter C. Lanyon, now out of print.)
Our Brothers' Lover, Not Keeper!!
How thrilling it is, when realized of God, that His intention as The One alive as us is never for us to be our Brothers' Keeper, only their Lover! Yet we soon come to realize that this "latter" is the greater responsibility. "For to whom much is given, much is required."
Paul reminds us that we are to owe no man anything but Love (Rom. 13:8), for Love is all there is - God BEing this Love (1 Thess. 4:8). Love, without reservation, always has the other person's best interest at heart. It causes us to live one for the other, knowing full well the truth of His promise that in loving we too are loved.
In the Matthew 7 account of "Judging" we are made aware that at most we are only allowed of God to give an opinion as to another's well-being - never to "judge" (give or make a decision to or about another person), lest in like fashion we too shall be judged.
Parents, beware, for this admonition includes parenthood. Our children are only entrusted to us, via God's watchcare. Opinions, yes, but we are
never to decide for or about anything.
Teachers, beware, for we are never called to be our students' keeper, but rather to let all their needs have a claim on Love. Only Love can be the total Supply for their true needs. Advice is usually the last-needed cure. The fact is that Love is the only cure!
Preachers, beware, for you are not your Brothers' Keeper either. When and where necessary, let the dead bury the dead. Good soil awaits the seed!
Christians in all walks of life need only and always to "Be still to know thy God." Know God as your Balm in Gilead, able in childlike revelation to save, heal and keep. He deals in broken hearts as well as broken bodies and lives.
Love is enough - to keep us and them. Love is enough until all see the "Day of the Lord" in today's experiences.
Put Him to the test. He'll love others through you for it! Bathed in such Sonshine, your heart too will be warmed!
I have been asked for thoughts on the roll of the elderly in the Body of Christ. Well, I suppose that is a reasonable request, since I, by human arithmetic, am eighty-one. But my trouble is that as a new creature in Christ, old things are passed away, and I am told to know no man after the flesh; and I take that to include human standards of calculation. Why, then should I say I'm eighty-one when I'm an "eternal-lifer?" Why should I say I am elderly when I am a member of the Body of Him who always has the "dew of His youth"? Why should I talk of a generation gap when we are all one '.chosen generation"?
I'm learning a new language and a new arithmetic of that new dimension of which it is said, "Ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit." That flesh dimension was a product of the Fall, of the first Adam, whom Paul said was only a figure, a shadow, a type (Rom. 5:14). But we are of the Last Adam, and in His death, resurrection and ascension we have been transformed from our flesh-selves to our spiritselves and have been seated with Him in the heavenlies, which means the realm of the Spirit.
THE INNER PERSON
My spirit is the essence of who I really am, and my soul and physical body are only the more visible expressions of my spirit, which is the real me. Therefore, "what" I know in my spirit, that I am; for "knowing" in its biblical sense, means not mental knowledge but being inwardly "mixed with a thing." In other words, the more my spirit grows and develops, the more the "real me" emerges. Thus, on the human level we call a professional man competent because he inwardly knows his profession. Actually his professional capacity has taken on flesh and blood and become the man himself. For instance, a carpenter does not do his job by his outer tools but by his inner fixed awareness of how to use them. Someone recently said to me of a carpenter who had just panelled his home, "you don't ever need to tell him how to do a thing. You just tell him what to do!" It's the same way with us: all we really are is our inner selves, not the outer shell. The real us is our spirits, which express themselves In outer forms. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." The man that I am is the man I am In
ternally-the man that I am in Christ.
So when my redeemed spirit "knows Him, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent," then I have moved over from the illusory realm which we used to call life. Paul said that when we live in pleasure, we are dead while we live (1 Tim. 5:6), but to live in the new awareness of God is our exceeding joy, and at His right hand are our pleasures forevermore.
When I walk in this truth, I begin to live on the Jesus level of "Take no thought, take no thought" of human needs or conditions-of adding cubits to my stature, of food, of drink, of clothing-and that surely includes age! After all, I am a form of eternal life when Christ is my life. I live, not in the apparent real, but in the real real!
How do I do this? Of course, the beginning was my new birth in the Spirit. I then began to be a "seethrough-er" rather than a "see-at-er", for I began to see and be in the Kingdom of Him who is Spirit, of whom this outer world is only a manifested form. For the first time I began to see myself not in the outer flesh-form of a lost sinner, but in the spirit-form of a redeemed son in the Son. Then I made the great leap onward to the discovery that I was not merely in a spirit-relationship with Him - Father, Son and Spirit - but I am actually in spirit-unity with Him, joined to Him in one Spirit, a branch of the true Vine: therefore I see myself as the Vine in His branch-form. I am Christ in His Norman Grubb branch-form. As Paul said, "I live! No, not I, but Christ - it is Christ living in me" (Gal. 2:20); therefore Paul was Christ in His Paul branch-form. In the same way, Christ in me is actually the real me!
This is much the same as the way we speak when we meet someone. We don't say, "I met a body called John;" we say, "I met John." For the external form is not itself the person, but rather a limited outer expression of the real spiritual person inside.
APPEARANCE AND REALITY
So here was my changing outlook judging not by appearances but by right judgment (Jn. 7:24). Do I see water that one sinks in when He and Peter walked on it? Do I see a sunken axehead when His servant
sees it swimming? Do I see a Jordan in flood when His servant sees dry ground?
If not, why should I see my sick or weak body when with His eyes I see myself eternally perfect in Him? Why should I talk about old- age when I have His inner youthfulness in my spirit? Must I have the word "retirement" in my vocabulary when life is only the "works before ordained that I should walk in .them" (Eph. 2:10)? I am even now appealing to the grand missionary crusade to which I have belonged all my life to cut out that word "retirement" and merely talk of "change of commission."
That does not mean that I am not outwardly in the weaknesses and infirmities of the flesh, but I am still controlled by what I see. What I am believing in is present reality to me. That is why I see only one sin in the Bible-unbelief (Jn. 16:9; 6:29; Rom. 14:23). But to make that word "unbelief" more intelligible to myself, I call it "negative believing." No person exists without believing, for all life is faith. But which way do we believe: outwardly In illusory appearance or inwardly in spirit-fact? What happens if I accept my physical weakness or material conditions as fact? The answer is that what I take takes me; for if a negative faith becomes substance to me (Heb. 11:1), then I become bound and sink. But what if I see outward infirmities as Paul did, glorying in his infirmities because "when I am weak, then I am strong; for His strength is made perfect in my weakness" (2 Cor. 12:10)? Then I am controlled by my spiritbelievings, and that which is spirit will be manifested in substance.
CHRIST OUR STRENGTH
I believe we will do far better in the healing of sicknesses if we point not to the sickness of the body needing healing, but to the present fact that here and now this sick one is a healed one, and that he praises God for his healing because he is in the eternal life of Christ. When a person transfers his concern from his body's illness to his spirit's health in Christ, and praises God that, thought weak, he is strong, and when he accepts that God has temporarily meant him to be sick that Christ may be magnified in his body, whether by life or death, then
The editorial staff of UNION LIFE magazine and the staff of UNION LIFE MINISTRIES highly recommend these three Lanyon books to all those who have begun to see inner Oneness, Wholeness and Rest. We have made an investment of over $10,000.00 to republish these three books, so that many more thousands can receive the magnificent confirming light of Lanyon.
These books are for those who see with a single eye-for those who no longer see a two power universe. If you still see life as a struggle between Good and evil (with God in the Good, and Satan in the evil), you might be quite disturbed by Lanyon's perspective and terminology.
Norman Grubb strongly encouraged us to make all three of these Lanyon books available to the readers of Union Life. The following quote from a recent letter from Norman to the Editor shows his
strong, positive feelings toward the writings of Lanyon!
"I have had three tremendous privileges in the
publishing world, seldom given to one man
1) In my earlier years, to write the biography of C.T. Studd, which has gone world-wide and blessed hundreds of thousands.
2) In my middle years, to write Rees Howells, Intercessor which has been of permanent value and has gone out like widening ripples on a lake.
3) My old-age privilege is to see three of the Lanyon books, which I have fed on for forty years, reprinted and made available to our UNION LIFE family and others."
the Spirit is liberated to be doing His silent work of healing in the body - not always, but often.
So when I take no notice of age calculations, or refuse to regard myself by human standards as an old man, but rather see myself just as a God-manifester, the Treasure in an earthen vessel, then I go right on with all vigor in whatever He makes plain to me to be my immediate commission. For each of us, according to Ephesians 2:10, always finds he is a commissioned person, looking to God to show him what his commission is.
Then-back to the original question I was asked-what is the role of the elderly? The answer is: There are no
elderly; we are all young and our role is precisely what it has been ever since we first knew we were God's commissioned servants. We simply move on to the next form of commission! So life is thrill, gaiety, fun-which are all outer wrappings of an intense seriousness; we always walk in some form of "the zeal of His house eating us up"! Life is great, right up to the moment we start across the river for that welcome in which we have a total confidence. For John said we have boldness since "as He is, so are we in the world."
What an adventure faith is! And faith is the inner realization of the eternal facts of who we are as sons in the
Son, catching ever-fresh glimpses of why we are where we now are. Faith is the assurance of the Lord Jesus Himself living in us and through us, just where we are. And with this revelation of Himself in us comes the faith to continue laboring in the harvest, for He is the Lord not only of the sowing, but also of the harvest. And in these later years of adventure, we lift up our eyes to see our lives and the lives of those around us, not as bare brown earth with no blade showing, but rather as a field white unto harvest.
© 1977 Christian Growth Ministries, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Reprinted with permission.
Three years ago next December I married a bachelor farmer who raises wheat, cattle and hogs on 840 acres of beautiful rolling hills in God's country. It's a delight to wake up in the morning and see the broad expanse of sky and brown fields contrasted with green pasture land that is the view from the window wall of the trailer that has become my home. The Lord surely knew that I needed this to expand my awareness of His presence in these circumstances. He provided a trailer with windows in just the right places. The ugliness and deterioration of the out-buildings are completely closed off from view when I am in my trailer home.
I was divorced six years ago - after twenty-two years of marriage - when my first husband decided to marry his secretary. Although the dissolution of the marriage was actually a relief, there were many changes to accept and adjustments to be made. Over a period of years I had come to see union with Jesus as the essence of Christianity, and I had accepted Him as Head of my household on whose shoulders rests the responsibility for ultimate decision and changes.
Some years before, I had asked the Lord to remove from my life everything that did not contribute to His purpose. He took just about everything, especially my identity as the wife of a bank president with all the privileges that provides. After the divorce I returned to school to get a teaching certificate, and later did teach reading for a year before I moved to the farm. I had asked the Lord for a job that would serve His purposes. Although I had no special training as a reading specialist, I was available when a reading teacher was needed.
I had known for a long time that heaven on the outside comes as we live in heaven on the inside. I trusted the Lord to give me whatever experiences I needed to reveal the hell of believing myself separated from God. At that point I still felt separated from the fulfillment of marriage, rather than affirming myself as one with this
(Editor: The following lengthy excerpt from an extraordinary ), letter received by our office demonstrates a series of unique circumstances which God is using to bring one of His children to the point of seeing Him as her real Self).
blessing. That was the state of my awareness which I shared with my prayer group in the presence of a visitor. When I'd finished, she exclaimed, "You must meet my bachelor brother. I've been praying for years for him to have a Christian wife."
This was in June, and we were married the next December. Prior to the wedding I told the Lord I didn't think I loved this man enough to marry him, and the response was, "Do you love ME enough to marry him?" That settled it as far as my doubts were concerned, and I accepted the anticipation of the Spirit's blending the opposites He had brought together for His own purposes. We are truly opposite in cultural background, education, and values. However, I saw the potential of spiritual greatness in him and kept reminding myself of what Jesus did with men like Peter and Andrew. I knew our differences were no barrier to the grace of God. But I forgot that each one must choose to have this potential released and accept the changes inherent in the decision.
The first six months of our marriage I continued to teach in the town where I lived (about sixty miles from the farm) in order to fulfill my year's contract. There were a few months of commuting back and forth keeping two homes together. Gradually I began to see that I was to give up the physical comfort of my pleasant four bedroom home (full of antique momentos of the past and things purchased after the divorce to provide new surroundings for me and my three grown children who still needed a place to come back to) and move to the farm. This meant living in a badly deteriorating four-room-plus-bath farmhouse which had been my husband's home for over fifty years.
It was an appalling thought, for it had never occurred to me that I would actually have to live there with the house in its present condition. Wallpaper was peeling. The plaster was falling off the walls. Wall boards
showed. The house called for total restoration. We had discussed remodeling or building a new house, and I had been sure that there would be changes made before the time came for me to move. Having lived in four remodeled houses in my life, making this old house over and enlarging it to a place of charm and warmth appealed to me tremendously. But nothing had happended to begin this process, and I had to face the prospect of living in a run-down house with hardly any storage space, and indoor plumbing that needed to be replaced. Running water and electricity were the only two improvements that had been made.
The insight I got was, "If you don't resist the house, you won't have to live in it. Thank Me for it and begin praising." So I praised -and praised. Then the idea for a trailer began to come to my mind. I had thought of it before, assuming my husband would buy it, but I began to see that a home to him was only a place to hang his hat, so to speak, and that it didn't have enough value to him to warrant spending any money. It suited his purpose exactly as it was, because his home is the out-of-doors. I had enough money left from the sale of the house where I had lived with my first husband to finance a mobile home. My husband agreed to this plan, and I bought the trailer that is now parked adjacent to the old farm house, at right angles, like an extending wing. What it amounts to is that I have my home and he has his-two lifestyles side by side.
I kept a few things that would make this trailer seem like home to me and stored the rest of my belongings with friends whose homes seemed to need the supply of my excess furniture, anticipating that shortly I could reclaim these "things" in my "new country home." In continued prayer for wisdom I realized that this was a step toward "seeking first the Kingdom and then all these things would be added." But nothing happened. Everything stayed the same.
Gradually I have had to face the truth of my own self-deception that
produced this experience of marriage to a man who is still a bachelor at heart, who wants his life to stay the same, and is really unable to accept the changes that are inevitable if two such different backgrounds are to blend. I think he sees our differences as competitive and feels that the only way he can feel superior is to reject the value of anything which threatens the security his lifestyle gives him. But this is his problem. I can't solve it for him. I can only accept the changes in my own life that the expanding awareness of Christ in me brings.
For at least a year I lived with the self-condemnation that I'd goofed again, really blown it, in marrying so quickly a man who apparently had no appreciation for the values of home and relationships that are important to me. "Lord, how could You do this?", I was really asking. "I trusted You to give me Your best!"
In the depths of my spirit I seemed to hear these words. "This marriage serves My highest purpose for your life. This is a laboratory in discovering the truth of Union Life as a practical reality, not just a theory." None of the current books on marriage fulfillment seemed to fit my situation. The insights I get as I pray to know the truth that sets me free are quite different. Thoughts like: "Accept Me as your husband. Your union is with Me. Accept the separation between you to the glory to God." It has gradually dawned on me that one purpose of this marriage is to accept deliverance from a subconscious belief that separation from God as Father is the reality of my experience. I had understood it with my mind, but obviously there were deeply buried areas of consciousness that didn't understand the truth of Union Life. Intellectually I suppose I knew that some little girls want to marry their fathers, but I didn't realize that unconsciously I too had been programmed with the father images and sexual immaturities of past generations. Neither had I fully faced the hostility between the sexes that was buried in me.
Anger, frustration and anxiety all surfaced in such thoughts as, "I deserve better than this. How could this happen to me? Lord, get me out of this mess!" When I could see through these thoughts and claim my identity as a descendant of Abraham, inheriting the promises and empowered by the Spirit with the love of Jesus to serve God's purpose right here, then the air cleared.
Apparently from childhood my spirit
discerned that a spirit of separation permeated the atmosphere of my daily life. My brothers and I didn't learn anything about the power of Jesus' love or the presence of God pervading all life. We grew up in a religious atmosphere pregnated with a fear of the wrath of God that sought heaven as an escape from hell. Now I'm seeing that accepting the identity of being God's child carries with it the responsibility of this freedom of spirit. The challenge now is to claim the presence of God in the midst of a seeming hell.
I have a Sunday School class of teenagers. A recent lesson dealt with the nature of the Christian life as serving others versus serving ourselves. When I asked the Lord to give me some concrete example, my eye fell on an old used-up toothpaste tube. The class got the idea that we are like the container holding the toothpaste that serves the user's need. The container can't even do the squeezing. External circumstances push, poke, and squeeze us into the shape that forces out the inner resource. The only difference I see between us and the tube is that the resources in us are replenished as they are squeezed out. The tube has to be thrown away when its purpose is fulfilled.
The desire to make over the old house didn't die easily, but gradually the Lord is showing me that the house is like that used-up tube. Some things should be thrown away. I keep getting the thought to let death do its healing work, even the death and decay that seem so rampant here, and that I shouldn't interfere in the deteriorating process that is going on, for it, too, will reveal God's glory as I practice praise and patience.
Now I can accept all the time I have to myself as a glorious opportunity to write letters like this, to deepen my understanding of the Scriptures, and to accept God as the Source of everything I need. When my husband told me this month that he could no longer make the payments on my trailer as he agreed to when we were married, I could say, "Praise the Lord", in anticipation of His provision through other channels. My husband provides food, although he has not yet been able to give up the responsibility for any decision-making regarding money, even grocery money, and always accompanies me on our monthly excursions to the supermarket. He also provides for the maintenance of the car and pays the utilities. Beyond this, my personal ex
penses are my own responsibility. The depression years have left deep scars on his memory, and he continues to live as if this is the present reality.
One of the blessings of our unusual arrangement is the freedom I have to come and go. My husband actually prefers to cook his own meals and do his own laundry. He has done these things for so many years that I have come to accept the fact he welcomes the times I am away from the farm. I'm fully aware that from the natural point of view this is not a marriage at all and that leaving here could be easily justified. But I made a commitment to the Lord to be an instrument of His creative purposes in my husband's life, and I'll stay until or unless I receive other guidance. As I give up resistance to the circumstances, accepting them as a tool of the grace of God to me, the sense of His presence deepens and the awareness of Christ in me expands.
There is a still, small voice that reminds me that my husband has a deep need of reconciliation with the Fatherhood of God. He has never experienced love that asks nothing in return, and he doesn't know about the strength of Christ in us that is made perfect in weakness. His muscles are his strength, and he has always had the physical energy his work load demands. As the law has been my schoolmaster bringing me to Christ by showing me I had sought justification of worth as a woman and as a wife in this second marriage, so the law will serve God's purpose in my husband's life.
What I know for myself is that I have been released from the bondage of the law, from seeking justification of my own values as a person through reconciliation with a father image and the external circumstances of a second marriage. My own experience has taught me that deep within the human spirit there is a desire to act out the truth of Union Life in the flesh. I have come to believe that the desire for union with God is deeper than the desire for sex. It is actually the framework within which human sexuality is expressed. Frustrations of the desire to be one with the human parent are felt in the spirit as a sense of separation from God as the divine Parent, as well as being acted out in the marriage relationship.
My testimony is really the story of having to grow up, of leaving behind spiritual childhood and accepting the responsibility of spiritual maturity. There is no longer a Parent-child
TEXT: 2 Kings 6:1-7
SETTING: A scene within the fellowship and relationships of Elisha, who is best described here, as elsewhere, as "The Man of God"!
SITUATION: In the previous account in Chapter 5, Elisha had just witnessed in his servant Gehazi the self-imposed poverty of one given over to materialism and deceit. Verse 5:27 clearly tells the story. " 'Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cleave to you and to your descendants forever.' So he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow."
Elisha now finds himself among these of like precious faith, but forthtellers (prophets) in need of larger accommodations. They were yet to see that "if ye abide in me and my Word abides in you ye may ask what ye will and it shall be given unto you..."
Their desire of heart was to build a new building, so they requested to be commissioned to take axes, fell their beams and build their building. Interestingly, Elisha, who commissioned them to go (v. 2) also went with them (vs. 3,4), even as we and our Father are one.
But as one was cutting down his tree, his instrument of power appeared to be lost; the axe head had fallen into the water, and he cried for help. It is noteworthy that the axe used, and then lost, was borrowed (v.5).
The question that was asked of him by Elisha was, "Where did it fall?" (v.6). And immediately the servant showed him the place. Elisha then cut down a stick, cast it in the water and the axe head floated to the top (v.6).
relationship with a divine Daddy
making everything easy, but a creative partnership of opposites in which I become the container for the imagination and ingenuity of the creative Christ who brings to my life the needs His love desires to supply. The concept of God as the Father who will "do it for me" has been replaced with the concept of the Father who "does it in and through me", as I begin truly to acknowledge the worth and value of Christ within as my true Self expressed authentically as a woman. Awareness of this union is the true justification, and I can be grateful for every circumstance which is bringing me to this place of inner freedom and liberation. The home I sought where the presence of the Lord would be welcome, He is building first within me. No doubt the outer equivalent will appear when other facilities are better suited to the need. It is enough now that I feel restored to fellowship with the Father through identification with Christ in me as my true Self.
The single and sole responsibility of the servant was in childlike faith to reach out and take (claim) it (v.7).
How beautifully this scene of the children of God in the long ago tells the whole story of our relationship to God in Christ today. Our position, as theirs, is that of "abiding in Christ," where the circumference of our "BEing" is as eternal as He is in every dimension of Love and Life.
Abiding includes every aspect of our "service", for our Justifier is also our Sanctifier (1 Cor. 1:30), and thrillingly remains our all and in all. Nothing need ever to be added or taken away.
The Power is of God - in a true sense "borrowed", for we are the vessel, He the Indweller. The vessel only serves as His instrument during this earthly sojourn.
Our task Is simply one of pointing out who we are and Who He is - the nothing made everything in Christ. Hallelujah! Such an experience is sometimes called 'Discovery'. How wonderful! The experience of "to behold" and "to awake" - to know that I am God and there is none else.
In spontaneous fashion, God brings to pass every jot and tittle of our life. Everything is a miracle, even as He caused the iron axe head to swim. For surely nothing is impossible in Him.
Our part is only to reach out in Love to claim (take). But we claim not for ourselves, but that through us, even via such service as "abiding in Him," others may see Him as our good Work, and glorify Him as our Heavenly Indweller NOW!
within quietly soothing and saying,
FROM ANXIETY TO REST "Follow your Intuition; follow my
Peace within. Don't overemphasize
your reason; don't look at right or wrong, but at Christ. Read my Word, but realize that Another dwells within you."
How joyful to know I alone am nothing, but in my inner being I am united to Him who is everything. We have everything, can supply everyone, and can do everything.
A few years ago, in my desire to live a "good Christian life" and "deny myself", I worked myself into exhaustion and an nervous breakdown. Other Christians I knew (all as young and inexperienced as I) regarded it as my failure to follow the Lord. My husband (a non-Christian) ripped me out of the Charismatic movement in our church. Praise God! I was spared so much immature teaching! In my paranoia I could only look to the Holy Spirit for answers.
After His truth of a life in union with Him was revealed within me, He told me to rely only upon Him for healing my nerves. After six months of looking to Him, all traces are gone. Now the same feelings of fear, anxiety, tension, and insecurity no longer do their devastating work on my nervous system.
He showed me that self-denial, which we had been taught from childhood, caused my split personality. I heard this as a child and had it preached at me. I figured anything I enjoyed was wrong. Therefore one-half of me was denying the other half. Of course I had to suppress the resentment, the bitterness, etc., which resulted In my mistreatment of myself. This continued after meeting Christ; in fact, it was intensified. I prayed, read Scripture, fasted, and did good works until I literally fell apart.
I am amazed at the rest In this life. The work He wishes to do in me is enjoyed by me. Now even fasting is easy.
This is all still very new to me and sometimes I feel like I am In Heaven on earth In my joy and thanksgiving.
Your magazine is a terrific confirming witness! A friend just gave me your latest issue after I had introduced her to the unity life concept- she the negative, Our Darling Lord the positive, she the container of Him who is ALL.
Both of us were born again and received the Pentecostal Baptism of the Holy Spirit about three years ago. Although the outside world would have designated us Catholic Pentecostals, there was a constant hunger for "more of Christ". In our ignorance we just kept looking to Him. Neither one of us saw the other for over two years. Actually we only met again a month before another friend handed me Norman Grubb's book, The Spontaneous You.
The Holy Spirit had been showing me how I could do nothing. He showed me how electricity must have positive and negative to operate. He said, "Rely on the purity of My Spirit." He showed me an outside light at dawn one day and revealed that that light is very bright in darkness, but is not seen as shining in daylight. The light of day absorbs and swallows it. After a few months of bits and pieces of information such as this, the book was truly a God-send.
Jesus in me revealed much of this to my friend who could not accept it at first. She was disappointed that she would not get "better". (Now she glories in her freedom even as do I.) She got a copy of Who Am I? and copies of your magazine.
We are both only a few months into this life and are constantly overjoyed by Our Lord living His life in us. I am so thankful I don't have to know beforehand what to do in every situation. "He was made unto us Wisdom." Every moment I am directed in which way to go.
Sometimes I have slipped. In my panic to know what to do I searched Scripture and books for an answer, only to have my head reel in such confusion that I could not think at all. I finally stopped and heard His voice
A friend of mine gave me the first four issues of Union Life magazine. I cannot express how much I enjoyed them; how good it was to feast on the truths within them. I needed so much to read that I am Christ in Carlene's form, and that I am free to be me and just live spontaneously from day to day.
My husband and I were living that way and then some spirit-filled Christians in my family said they had a heavy burden for us to come to church and fellowship with them more. According to them we are forsaking the body of Christ and staying home too much. They do not understand some of the things we have shared with them, and I get the feeling sometimes that what we believe borders on heresy to their way of thinking.
Of course, this episode upset me very much, although deep inside I knew it was coming sooner or later. Don and I could feel their "concern" for us for some time. I began to wonder whether perhaps we were hearing wrong, whether perhaps we weren't walking spiritually where we ought to, whether perhaps we were going the wrong way. I wrestled with these thoughts for awhile and cried out to the Lord in frustration. But then I said to myself, "No, we've got to be where we should be, and everything in our lives is moving along just as He has determined it." What a relief to express that thought verbally. I felt a release within as I made that positive statement.
I just cannot accept that anything we have learned or lived through in our three years of walking in the Spirit has been a mistake. led: Nothing in the years before that was a "mistake" either.)
Union Life confirmed the statement I had made to myself and made me see that I am free to be me without any guilt feelings or pressures from well-meaning "should-to's".
People are so quick to try and put you under laws, bondage, and into dull routines. I have no desire for that kind of life; my inner being cries out to be free from all that.
The liberating message in Union Life is the freedom I have been looking for all my life. I do not have to "do" anything, but just be the container for His life. I am not going to be made better; I just allow the "Best" to live His life through me. What beautiful liberation!
Union-Life has become a daily reality and joy in both my husband and myself. It has literally changed our lives. Now that we are free to accept ourselves and each other, our marriage has really been enhanced.
My husband, Brad is a rather quiet and mild sort of person with little self confidence and even less motivation. I'm outgoing, in fact, very domineering, and have plenty of self motivation. All of our married life we felt guilty because Brad felt that he should have my personality to be an effective head of the house; I felt I should be meek and mild to be a submissive wife. All of this brought on substantial resentments towards each other. We both felt if the other would only change things would be better. We had heard tapes about accepting ourselves as we were but we just couldn't.. Now that we know that our REAL self is Christ we have no alternative but to accept ourselves as we are and thank God that we are that way.
For several years Brad has tried to muster up some kind of confidence and self-motivation, but to no avail. Now he simply is motivated as Christ in him motivates, finding that selfconfidence is a natural by-product as he sees more clearly that he is not an independent self but a unified Self.
My old self-motivation came from not wanting to look bad to others. I have been taught all my life to produce-produce-produce. When I was first saved I "produced" out of love and gratitude. Later my producing became an "ought to". I still loved God but I did things because I thought I had to in order to look spiritual and thus make God look good. Now I simply move or don't move as Christ moves or doesn't move in me. I don't worry about making Him look good; I just let Him be Himself in me and as me. What Freedom!
The Scripture has become new and real to us once again. It was lovely to read and see truth after our initial rebirth, but in Bible college it became a study manual. In fact, it became worse than that, - it became a source of condemnation to ourselves and to those to whom we taught It. We clung to It as a source of life, never really receiving Life from It. We had been studying it intellectually, and it had become a book of law to us. Now our eyes have been opened again. The Bible isn't our source of life, and we don't expect it to be
anymore. Now it is just more and more insight into what is ours in Christ because of our Union with Him. It just dazzles our eyes with truth.
B.W., Birmingham, AL
"He hath made every thing beautiful" (Eccl. 3:11). Praise God, this is true! The yearning and hoping, the trying and the failing these past six years have finally found expression in something which you inadequately call "Union Life". How can we possibly label freedom and abundant life? All my struggles (even my recent nervous breakdown) have been designed by a loving Father to teach me my total inability to "live the life" myself. Only the fact that God is the blessed controller of all things brought me through the nightmare of three years of worldly psychotherapy and pastoral counseling.
Last December I was released by the Mental Health Dept. as "able to cope". But I knew nothing had been resolved-the problems still existed within. These past four months have seen the true release of my spirit, and so my very Life, as I have been feeding on God's word and the truths about my real Life which is "hid with Christ in God."
Just yesterday I came across another verse that tells the whole story-1 John 5:20 "And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life."
Finally Romans 6, 7, and 8 make sense. I especially like Rom. 8:20-21 (KJV)-"For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." Praise God for the bondage, so that we might finally come to the freedom!
J.G.- Goleta CA
(ed: Part of another letter from Robert Bruce, our friend in a Florida prison.)
All of my life I have been seeking love. Even as a child I sought this love. I thought I needed a girl who
would understand me and be willing to unite completely with me-spirit to spirit. I had always sought this love in the form of eyes with a tender look that reflected wisdom, compassion, and complete dedication, because this is what I felt I wanted and had to offer. When I went into the Navy I sought this love in many different women. Of course it gradually turned into pure carnality; yet basically I was still seeking a soul-mate. God in His mercy allowed many such young women to come my way. In the fifties the young women were not as fast as they are today and were angels in comparison to many today.
As I sit here tonight reflecting on this pure love and devotion which I have sought with a woman, it struck me all of a sudden that I have always mistakenly identified this love with "women". Then the thought came to me that pure love is quite impossible for humans. How could I find such a love apart from Jesus? Impossible! His eyes were the eyes I had sought for all these years in a woman, but I had not realized it. It was His tender eyes, His compassionate face, and His complete faithfulness. It was the face of the Lord I had been seeking for.
How mixed up I really was to think I knew anything. I had been seeking my Lord all this time but had been blind to the fact that it was He I sought. Really, what good is the love of any male or female without Him? Apart from Him, all human love is not really love at all. I don't mean to take away from humans, but no matter how beautiful a love relationship may appear to be, if He is not in the center, it is just sifting sand. I see now that it is only He I must see in "she" if it is of Him. Actually I do not need "she" to
NOW EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL
be happy with Him, but I do need "He" to be happy with "she". I will be 39 this April. What a gift the Lord has given me in the knowledge of this. For years here in prison I have thought much of "she"; but now I am free, for all I was really seeking was only "He".
Robert Bruce-Raiford, FL
In 1970 I had had a severe stroke incapacitating my entire left side; and then in 1971 another stroke caused further damage in the same area. Though I have had a crippled vessel for seven years now, I feel more alive and active than ever before. I would never exchange my experience, even though it has been filled with rejection by Christian friends, bodily suffering, and an inability to live a normal life. All of this has brought me to the end of all my trying to be healed.
At one point about four years ago I lay on my bed meditating and praying and talking to the Lord about the great supernatural love my unsaved husband had been showing me since my sickness began. It was overwhelming and unnatural, to the point that it was puzzling me.
My husband had a hard laboring job and came home and cooked and cleaned and took care of me and was never getting any rest or relief from his discipline. All of this was without complaint on his part.
I was thinking how homely I was, how thin, crippled, helpless, and unkempt - dependent and stripped of all the activities of life.
I said, "Lord how can my husband love me so much? This is beyond the
natural, and truly unlike our past years of marriage."
The Lord said very plainly, "He is not loving you, he is loving Me!"
I was so astounded at the two-fold revelation that came to me at that time that I began to shout and praise God and worship with Holy laughter.
These were the two things I saw. Imagine, Christ in me was bigger than me! Now I see that it is Christ in Me". Secondly,' Christ must be reflecting through me, as my husband could not be loving someone he had not yet seen. He thought he was loving me. I was thrilled to know my husband was loving the Lord and serving Him through me even though he didn't yet know it! From that time on I began to count my husband as already in the kingdom, for God is Love.
H.R.-New Brighton, PA
I suppose once Truth is discovered, the new discoverer's story sounds like everyone else's. I have a feeling though that not everyone in this old world is going to be a discoverer of union life, and therefore I stand amazed that I should be so fortunate to learn about it so early in my new walk.
Being brainwashed by society in general, and parents and friends in particular, that a Christian must perform-I performed. I performed without Christ in my heart for seven years. I don't know when I first heard the term, "She's a good Christian girl", but automatically I began acting as expected, as a good Christian girl, but lost. I led the youth choir and taught Sunday School while I was still in high school. I wrote pleading articles for my
friends to quit taking drugs and living like they were, and the school newspaper printed them. When I went to college I led Bible studies in my dorm room and spent hours talking with those who were having problems with one thing or another. Before marrying, my husband and I set out firmly to build our relationship on the foundation of God-because that was the only way it would work and we both knew it.
And then one day I felt the evidence of the Holy Spirit making it unbearable for me to deny that Jesus is my Lord any longer. He was always my Saviour. I had told people I was saved, but He just wasn't real to me. So I began confessing Him as Lord. I may have been on safe ground all those years, I don't know, but I would just never say He was Lord, because I knew He wasn't.
So I told my story in church about my conviction, fully believing that surely then I would feel differently inside and out about everything. I told it, but still didn't feel a thing. Then I rationalized that surely that feeling would come after baptism. I would go under that water and upon being raised I just knew I would see angels and blinding lights. Again, not a thing. Then I thought it would come after I confessed to my friends with whom I had been acting hypocritical. Again, nothing. The feeling I had been searching for did not come at any of those times and up to this day the feeling still has not come.
But somehow I know now that I do not have to live by my feelings. Your magazine, Union Life, in a subtle way, confirmed my attitude of not wanting or needing to perform any longer like I did all those years before Christ became real to me. I was worn out from performing. I found out that because of union-life I do not have to perform. And best of all, I don't feel guilty about it. Thank you!
- B. B., Tulsa, OK -
A STROKE AS
THE CATALYST TO AN ABUNDANT LIFE
I DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE BY MY FEELINGS