Tonight let us meditate upon the Design divinely ordained, which permits the reality of control in daily life. We may recognize the necessity of the Divine control pattern, but until we recognize and accept the Divine Design we are not in position to experience fulfilment.
A clear vision of the principle of design is essential to an understanding of it; but, although we may be somewhat familiar with blueprints, so that they may be read with understanding, the blueprint still does not give one the experience of sharing in that which is outlined. Blueprints are important, but unless a building appears, unless a form appears on the basis of the blueprint, we can never have the experience of stepping into the building or sharing in the form. All too often the human mind, with an inadequate comprehension of the Blueprint of the Divine Design, jumps to some conclusion as to likes or dislikes and develops some idea which is not in harmony with the Blueprint, and then there tends to be resistance, which prevents the building of that which is to be. We cannot know that which is to be until it is made manifest, even as it is written, “Eye hath not see, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart or imagination of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love and serve him.” And so, when we begin to examine the design, let us be careful that we do not prevent the fulfilment of the Design of Life by jumping to conclusions, by resistance with respect to that which is not yet fully comprehended.
The reality of the Divine Design has been presented in many different ways. Within the scope of the Bible we find it outlined time after time, all dealing with the same thing and all emphasizing that basic truth which we have so often recognized: “Except the Lord build the house”—the house of being—“they labor in vain who build it,” whether individually or collectively. This that is being built, the Temple of God on earth, the One Body of many members, the One Vine with many branches, or by whatever words we might describe it, is something which seems ambiguous until we begin to actually feel what it means to be a part of that which is being built. It is not something which can be comprehended adequately on a purely intellectual basis. It is something which must be experienced. And so tonight I should like to center the pattern of our meditation in the record as contained in the fifteenth chapter of John:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
Let us note a few fundamental truths. The words which were spoken through the lips of Jesus are too often attributed to Jesus as a man, although He Himself emphasized the fact that He did not speak them of Himself. In other words, the words that came through the lips of Jesus were the words of the Father, and it is that fact which makes His words important to us; and when He speaks about oneness in Me, in various passages, it is something very different from that which it is ordinarily considered to be. Human beings have developed various ideas and concepts by which they imagine that they are somehow sharing in the body of Jesus, the body that was called Jesus. Actually, that body, in the sense of the man, does not exist anymore. It is not needed anymore. The Being who was made manifest in the body of Jesus does live and serve in His appointed place in the cosmic scheme of things. He is our Focalization of Deity and, insofar as we are concerned about the absolute or the ultimate, He is the only focalization, in the higher sense, that needs to concern us. There are other Beings in the body of God, but that is the focalization for us from the standpoint of Heaven and earth, and we are not concerned about reaching on beyond, although we recognize the reality of the Divine Pattern.
In order to understand this we need to know something about God. The word God is not properly used to signify any one Being. It may be so used if there is a mutuality of understanding, but God is made up of many Beings. The God Being within you is a part of the Body of God, and that Being in you is perfect—always has been perfect, always will be perfect. That Being within you did not come into the world to grow or develop or learn something. That Being came into your body world to bring salvation, to use that word, to your body and to exert an influence in blessing to others through you the human being. But the limitations in the expression of life are never properly attributed to that Inner Being. Any limitations that may exist are with respect to the physical form of the human being, and with respect to the mind of the man or the woman, the heart, the means by which we perceive with the feeling nature, the realm of the spirit in man; for man is built, developed, designed, with a certain capacity with respect to spirit, and man cannot function except in relationship to spirit.
There is some spirit connecting up in man, regardless of what he may think about it or do about it in any human sense. If it is not the Spirit of God active in the control patterns, it will be some ill spirit like fear, hate, jealousy, resentment, or any one of the other many ill spirits. But these ill spirits are not entities, they are not beings; they are result of the misuse of the current, the life force that comes from God, and they are produced by human beings. There is never anything evil in what we speak of as the Inner Realms or Heaven or the Higher Realms, or whatever term might be used. It is only here on earth, in relationship to man, that we have these distortion patterns.
Just as your physical body is made up of many cells and the body of humanity is made up of many human beings, so is the body of God made up of many God Beings, or angels, or whatever term you might wish to use. All of these Beings function on a Divine basis. We recognize that a physical body without a head is a gruesome thing, it is of no value. There must be a head if the body is to have any meaning. So the body of God Beings must have a head, a point of Focalization, a centering point—and the One who manifested in the body of Jesus was and is the LORD of Lords and KING of Kings, the focalization of Being and Deity insofar as we are concerned. And unless we recognize and acknowledge that Central Focalization of Deity we cannot properly find fulfilment in life. But, that which is of the Inner Realm, in the sense of the Divine Design, must be made manifest in the outer realm, in the realm of the physical form, because the body of humanity is supposed to be the means of manifestation for God, that is, the Body of God on earth—not one Being only but all Beings, not one race only, not one group, but all human beings put together are supposed to provide a means for the manifestation of Deity on earth.
It is evident that the present situation is a far cry from that ideal, but we need to recognize the ideal. Here we have the statement: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.” What does the husbandman do with respect to the vine. The vine has branches. It is not just one single individual, it is not one form only, it is not speaking here merely of the body of Jesus. We find, as we meditate upon the truths and principles here revealed, that the Design that was outlined was supposed to permit the continued manifestation of what we ordinarily speak of as the Christ Body on earth, a body which was supposed to be made up of many human beings.
Why did the Master say, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father”? Because the manifestation insofar as that body was concerned was of one man, on an extremely limited basis, something that provided a starting point, the essence of that which was to find fulfilment. But one body, one man, could not do it all, could not accomplish all that needed to be done. He initiated the cycles, opened the door, established the pattern so that all of those who should follow and share in this particular Design might be a part of the body through which the Divine action should appear on earth in the accomplishment of those things essential to the manifestation of the Kingdom of God, so that Heaven and earth might be one. This Design, which is so important, must be made manifest in the realm of form.
So often human beings seem to imagine that they can somehow individually respond to something vague and ambiguous in some high heaven or some other sphere, and that is all that is needed. It isn't—because until there is a form on earth which corresponds with the form in Heaven, that which is in Heaven cannot manifest on earth, and the will of God cannot be done on earth except as the beings on earth conform with the patterns which are established with respect to the Beings in Heaven. The Master instructed that we should pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [in exactly the same manner] it is in heaven.” The manifestation of the Inner, then, through the outer is important. It is not that the outer should somehow get up to the Inner.
Many human beings have been sidetracked into various delusions which make it seem important that either man as such, or some spirit of man, should get out of earth into some heaven or other and do some growing or developing, that that was the goal somehow. No, it isn't true. The goal is for the Invisible Realm of Heaven to have a means of manifestation here on earth, here and now—not for us to get out of the earth into some heaven, but for Heaven to come into the earth and express through the forms of our bodies, our circumstances, our patterns of life. When we recognize that there must be an organization from the standpoint of the God Beings, or angels in Heaven, that there is a coordination, a harmony, a purpose, a Design—and we recognize that God's will is done in Heaven, that the Divine Pattern is fulfilled there, within the scope of that arrangement, and it is to be exactly the same on earth—then that same Design, that same pattern, must be meaningful in relationship to our lives.
We cannot hope to accomplish something without the machinery of accomplishment. It is utterly unreasonable to think that scattered human beings, disorganized, without coordination and centering and unification, can do something which the angels of Heaven cannot do on any such basis. If it is to be done here we must do it on exactly the same basis as that which holds in the Inner Realm, or Heaven. And that means organization. That means that, as there is a Head in Heaven, there must be a manifestation of that Head and form in earth. If there is to be a body there must be all the members of the body. If you have a complete physical body and you have never had any of it cut away, you have two feet, two arms, two ears, two eyes, two nostrils and a mouth, and all of these things are essential. You would not want to part with any member of your body if it could be helped. If it meant the loss of the whole body, better to part with a member than to have the whole body lost. But the normal design of the body is this, and all the members are important to the body as a whole. That body is not just a torso with legs and arms. It includes the head. The head makes the body meaningful—the body makes the head meaningful. Either one without the other is no good. In the head we have the various means of perception, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, even touch or feeling, although that extends to the rest of the body also.
If this Inner Design is to manifest on earth according to the Plan of God we must have a body of many members, coordinated, centered. There must be the form of the head, as well as of the torso. And the Divine Design for man as an individual is the same as the Divine Design for man as humanity. With respect to man we have the record: “Let us”—note the plural—“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” and it was done. The plural is an absolute necessity in this particular statement from the Divine Record, and it is the plural which is the reality in you, the plural of the members, of the parts, individually or collectively. And that Design which is used in you as a human being, individually, carries the same principles as are used in the development of the body of humanity, as that body is drawn into the form, the pattern, the Design, which God intended.
The Master here used the illustration of a Vine. Other illustrations were used in various ways at various times. But notice—a Vine. It has roots extending into the earth. It is that which is manifest above the surface of the earth, the branches of the vine, which brings forth fruit; and on the branches we have the leaves as well as the fruit—all the different parts, such as the blossoms. As you know, if you have studied trees or shrubbery, the roots correlate to a remarkable degree with the branches. There is a primary root where there is a primary stem in the development of the tree or shrub or vine. There are various patterns involved. But that which is beneath the surface is very much like that which is above the surface.
The roots, the Invisible part, extend into what we speak of as Heaven, or the Inner Realm, or the Invisible Realms of Being, whatever one might use to express the idea. The roots of the vine of which He was speaking do not extend into the earth—they extend into Heaven. There is that with respect to any vine which is not immediately visible, and so with this Vine. We are concerned with the visible part of the Vine, primarily, but we have to recognize the reality of the invisible part. It is from that invisible part, whether of the vine that brings forth crops here on earth or the Vine that brings forth the fruit of the Spirit of God, that the sustaining strength must come. Cut any branch from a vine, disconnect it from the root, and it is no longer of any value. It is only as any given branch is connected with the root system that it can have life and bring forth fruit. So it is with us.
That Inner Reality of your own Being, that eternal part of what you really are, is the root as far as you are concerned. But you have to be aware that there is a root and that it extends into the Invisible Realms. You are not disconnected from Heaven now, regardless of what ideas or opinions you may have, for ideas or opinions cannot change the basic fact. As you begin to become aware that you do have a connection with the roots that extend into the Divine Pattern you begin to know what it means to let Heaven and earth be one in you as an individual. This root that extends into the Invisible Realm of Being is not alone. That Body of God, made up of many Beings, is the Root Pattern. It is the sustenance pattern, the Source of Life. Only as the roots work correctly can the Life Force, the sap, flow freely. But that physical life stream can have no meaning unless there is a spiritual life stream. Then, as the outer form of the Vine, with its various branches, begins to have an awareness of the root system of the Vine so that it does not seem to be separate, we begin to have a basis of understanding ourselves, our purpose in life, the Divine Design.
The point where the stem or the root or the branches come together and establish a correlation with the root system is commonly called the crown. The crown is just at the surface of the soil with respect to the plant. The crown is the point where it all comes together—that which is above and visible and that which is underneath and invisible to the human eye. No matter how many roots there are, no matter how widely they are scattered, no matter how many branches there are, no matter how many leaves on the branches, they all come together at the crown. So it is in the Pattern of Reality. That which provides the centering, both within and without, with respect to all, is the King, the One who wears the Crown. That Crown—that point or Focalization of Authority—that point which brings it all to a point of togetherness and establishes relatedness is important both within and without, both to the branches above and to the roots below.
When we think of it, in the Divine sense, we have to remember that above and below are purely relative, merely an expression of convenience from the standpoint of our function on the surface of the earth, referring to the earth upon which we stand. But, actually, up and down are completely relative, because any direction which we may deem to be up if we go far enough it will be down, and no matter how far down we go it will be still be up from some other point below us. The crown, then, brings all of the parts of the vine together at one point in the plant and establishes the meaningfulness in relatedness to that which is seen and that which is not seen. It is the Crown of Authority, of centering and Kingship, the Crown of Deity, which provides the same pattern of centering and principles under the Law for us.
As we look at the branch above the surface of the earth we think of the crown, in relationship to the plant, as down. Very well, but that down is up in the sense of the principles of reality and though you think of the roots as down they are up. So let us recognize that the point of union, the point of blending, the point of centering, between the Inner and the outer, is the point of the Crown, the point of authority, the connecting link. That which is focalized in the Inner Planes has many members, many branches, many roots. So it is out here, but all of that has meaning because of its Head, and the branches here in outer form have meaning because of the same Head.
However, in order to have meaning, that Head must have form out here. If it is to have meaning in the other planes that Head must have form in those planes, and that takes coordination in the Divine Design. We have all seen human beings who have been stricken with palsy. The body shakes and the extremities are not under the control of the Divine Design. There is no centering, no coordination, and it is not a happy situation. It destroys meaningfulness. Meaningfulness is destroyed, then, with respect to the body of humanity unless the members are coordinated, centered through the Crown of our Lord and King, who was made manifest on earth as Jesus Christ. But He said, “It is expedient for you that I go away,” and He promised to provide you with an outer form of manifestation, another Focalization of Being, another Pattern in the outworking, so that you could have a body manifest on earth, a body that would endure, that would not pass away even if the cells in it changed as human beings are born and ascend.
Did you ever stop to consider the fact that the body of humanity has never died? Since man was first created, the body of humanity has not died. Individual cells in that body of humanity have come and gone, but from the day when man first appeared on the surface of the earth, until this present time, the body of humanity has continued to live. Sometimes there were comparatively few human beings in that body, and now there are many. But let us remember that the body of humanity does not die. If it is worked from the standpoint of the Divine Pattern, it will not die—but the body of humanity is under the sentence of death because it has violated the laws of God and is not centered at the point of the Crown. So, as a vine, as an outer form, it is bringing about its own death. But a period of time has passed and that body has continued to this day, although the cells, the human beings in it, have come and gone.
It is important that we begin to realize that there are two bodies—one, the body of humanity, which is not related in outer form, in function, in control, pattern, and design, to the Will of God; and another body that is so related. That which is related to the Will of God is comparatively small. It has a small beginning, like a mustard seed, as the Master put it. But there must be that coordination of human beings which will let this body truly manifest, and the members of the world body of humanity can be drawn into this body if they will but come and share in its development, that it may be increased in size and effectiveness. The body of humanity, in the sense of the self-active body, must die. Now, it can die without causing human beings to die. A human being who is in that body that is subject to death can move out of it and into the body that is subject to Life, right here in this life span, and so be a part of the Body of God, centered in the Crown, centered at the point of true Authority, true centering.
Any other method which man may attempt to use must end in death, individually and collectively; for those who refuse to share in the development of the Vine—the True Vine. What happens when you as an individual, or anyone, begins to move out of the old world pattern of the body that is subject to death, the body that is condemned to die, into the body that is subject to Life and through which the reality of God’s Kingdom and Power and Glory are to manifest? First, there must be the centering, there must be the sharing in this particularized Design of the Vine, and “every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away.” Those are the branches that do not accept the true centering in the Crown, the point of Authority. “And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” Changes are necessary. That which is of a limited condition must be changed so that the fulness of Life may appear.
The human being is inclined to resist the purging, the changing, the cleansing; but we must reach a point where we are whole, not just physically but mentally and spiritually—all in alignment. Then we bring forth fruit in the true sense; that is, we accomplish that for which we came into the world. It is expressed in the Divine Word that purging, correcting, is an evidence of God's Love. Any human being who has not been subject to some pattern of purging or cleansing can be recognized as not being within the scope of God’s Love; for those who are yielding to God’s Love are subject to purging, cleansing, changing, until they shall be that which they ought to be. The purging comes for what purpose? That you may bring forth more fruit.
“Abide in me, and I in you.” Who is that speaking. If we accept these words merely as the words of Jesus and the human being says, “How can I abide in Him?” we run into difficulty. But that is not what He was talking about. It is not the body of Jesus of which we are to be a part—it is the Christ Body of many members. And as the Father is the centering of all the God Beings that form the Root Pattern in Heaven, so do we accept the same centering from the standpoint of the Branch Pattern on earth. The Branch Pattern on earth is necessary if the Root Pattern is to have any meaning, and the Root Pattern in Heaven is certainly important if the Branch Pattern is to have any meaning. The idea that Heaven does not need the earth is ridiculous, and the idea that the earth does not need Heaven is likewise ridiculous. There is the visible and the Invisible, and the roots and the branches must all come to point in the Crown and share the victory—that is, share in the fulfilment by which the beauties of Heaven are made manifest on earth, the reality of Life is revealed on earth, the healing power of God that transforms and makes it possible for you to be what you ought to be, to accomplish that to which you are ordained as a part of the Body of God on earth, not Heaven and earth separate but together, meeting, centering, in the Crown—the Crown of our King.
And so, Blessed Ones, we have here a glimpse of the principles involved in the Divine Design, in the blueprint. That which is builded on earth must be in harmony with the Blueprint or it will be of no value, it will not be stable, it will not take form and grow. Any effort to accomplish anything on earth which disregards that Blueprint is bound to fail. Only in this one way can our lives have true meaning on earth, to the Glory of God and to the blessing of the children of men.