Man has long been aware of a Higher Power! The form or shape that Higher Power takes, at least, in their own mind, is where the main disagreement comes in. Pretty much every culture, at it's very base, has some sort of Creation Story, and while some may be further away from the Truth than others, most would agree, I think, that they all have some semblance of Truth, somewhere in the various accounts!
The impact that this awareness has on any given culture is usually determined by the relationship of the Created to the Creator! Some cultures believe that their Creator/God is a personal One, while others are more of the opinion that He is a petty, vindictive God who threatens to overturn your world if you don't follow His every command ( to the Letter ). Others still, believe that theirs is a God who created the world we live in, then stepped back to let it run itself, and eventually, to run down!
The Christian religion, and the culture it has spawned, teaches that we serve a relational ( personal ) God, One who deals personally with every one of His creatures, even if they don't respond to or acknowledge Him. To varying degrees, Christian theology portrays a loving Creator who cares so much for His Creation that He deemed to pay the penalty that His own Law required, just to save them from their sin & death and bring them into healthy & lasting relationship with Himself! If any other religion can boast this, I have not heard of it!
Many Christians today, for whatever reason, seem to be of the opinion that though He is a personal God, He is still petty & vindictive, and if you don't follow His every command to the letter, He will come down on you like a ton of bricks, or more likely, a bolt of lightning, with which He will hammer you into submission and force you to love Him! Others realize & acknowledge that He deals with His Creation in Grace & Truth, and in Eternal Love. Still others are aware of His dwelling with ( in ) His Creation ( as in the beginning-yet better ), and that He deals with This Creation in a covenantal manner, on both an individual & corporate level!
The Cleansed Conscience is very aware of the Purity of the Presence in their Life! While acknowledging individual imperfections, those who bear a Cleansed Conscience acknowledge that the Work of Christ is fulfilled in the Life of His People! ( a quick note before we move on here; 'fulfilled' does NOT mean 'ended': it means ( continually ) 'filled up' ) There is a Continuity in the Life of the People of God, a Loving & Lasting Relationship between Creature & Creator that has stood the Test of Time!
Time is a funny thing! Some respond to the Advances of their Creator in A Good & Timely Manner, while others never do. There is much speculation involved here concerning what happens to those who do not respond in this timely fashion; 'do they simply go 'poof' upon their biological expiration?' 'Is there any chance for salvation beyond the grave, or is there an eternal hell, as we have all been taught?'
Most or all Christians have been taught since they were able to grasp it, that when a person's biology ceases to function, that person's spirit ( Ecclesiastes 12:7 ), or soul, goes to one of two places, 'Heaven' or 'Hell', 'Hell' being the domain of 'Satan', or the devil, and 'Heaven' being the domain of God! Several problems face us, though, with this theory, the most obvious being of course, that this aims to pit the Creator against the Created! 'Satan', if ever the fallen spiritual being that we have all come to know & love ( hate ), is a created being, and to vaunt his kingdom in direct opposition to that of his Creator, as if he is nearly on par with his Creator, is to grant him a power that does not exist!
Beyond this yet, is the fact that, according to Revelation 20, 'Satan', sin, death & 'hell' were all cast into the Lake of Fire; if ever he existed, he is no more! Most Christians would remind you at this point that, although 'Satan's head was crushed by the Cross ( sacrifice ) of Christ, 'Satan' is not yet in actuality defeated, or crushed; Jesus will come back A Second Time, apart from sin, and for salvation, to finish the job! Along with this comes The ( physical ) Resurrection, wherein we come glaringly back to the dichotomous doctrine of Heaven & Hell, wherein are the righteous & unrighteous dead of all Time: these dead are then raised to physical life, or reanimated, and the righteous return to Heaven in these glorified physical bodies while the unrighteous return to more torment in 'Hell', while their Creator sits in the heavens and laughs!
If, on the other hand, this saying is true, where Jesus claimed that both He and the Father would make their Home with His People ( John 14:23 ), then Christians must see that Heaven ( Creator ) has been married to Earth ( Creation ), for the Bride has been united with Her Groom, and He has come to Dwell, at last, with His Wife! His Will IS done on Earth as in Heaven & we now enjoy ALL the Blessings of His Presence!
So we, at last ( again? ) come to the question of The God Consciousness; if most Christians do not yet see God, in Jesus, ruling & reigning through His People & Dwelling with His Bride, then we must ask ourselves a very disturbing question; 'why is this?' & 'what is to be done about it?' We might ask as well, 'how important is it that we fully understand & accept this glorious fact? Does the disbelief of mere ( weak ) humanity really have that much of a bearing on the Kingdom of God?
You may ponder these questions, but in all your pondering, please don't forget to Live & Love, for this is man's chief end! May we who have realized and accepted This Glorious Truth ever render it in The Spirit of Love, for if we do not have Love, we only sow discord! Let us sow the Truth in Love, and Lord willing, these questions will be answered in Time!
Charles Haddon Shank