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"I AM. AND YOU WILL SEE ..." -
" Ego eimi ..."
The Greatest Answer in the World,
Christ before the Religious World:
and how it may be applied
THE HISTORY OF STONES -
THE PARTICULAR AND THE COMING
it was not after all, a pleasant Sunday afternoon. It was a gaunt Thursday. Soon, on the following day, the skies would be darkened, as the celestial lament, not so much for the Son to be slaughtered, as for the world to receive the cost of slaying the Prince of Peace - measured in many millions dead and wounded in the last 67 years alone, that just some two thirds of a century.
As Christ put it, on that Friday,
"Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves
and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say,
'Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!
Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us.' "
The confrontation was clear. It was the occasion of Christ's great answer, " Ego eimi ...", or "I AM", made during a nocturnal and corrupt concoction of pseudo-legal investigations, which had issued to Him, the challenge: "ARE YOU THE CHRIST, the Son of the Blessed ?"! The priestly party did not desire a certified Messiah to have access to the people. Putting out the contemporary equivalent, the Temple Guard, in this parallel to the later secret police, at night of course, they arrested Him and brought Him for immediate investigation. He had triumphally entered the city of Jerusalem a few days before, purged the Temple of commercial corruption and exploitation, citing the prophets in the process (Isaiah 56:7 with Jeremiah 7:11), and been challenged by some of the ultra-religious (traditionalistic) group known as the Pharisees. "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples!" they clamoured.
His reply on that occasion must be mustered with that cited at the head of this Chapter, the famous "I am and you will see..." to which we shortly come. It was on this pre-judgment , Palm Sunday occasion, no less memorable (Luke 19:40). "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out." What were the disciples then saying ? What was the occasion of this verbal interchange ?
It was this. " 'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!' Peace in heaven and glory in the highest." On that happy, public occasion, the delighted populace were quoting Psalm 118:26, a Messianic Psalm, and as Messiah, He was spiritual King and hence being accredited by the populace in this way. W e should consider the situation. How amazing was this occasion for those who participated! The long-written dramatic prophecy of Zechariah 9 was now starkly being fulfilled before their very eyes. Indeed very words were seen put in motion, as if an impresario had called for the film to go on, Action! he says, and the script is followed.
The script of course was the scripture: "
"Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion,
shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king shall come to you;
a just savior is he,
Meek, and riding on an ass,
on a colt, the foal of an ass."
They did shout! That too was fulfilled. Not with the shout of some troupador did He come, nor the steely menacing thrust of some general, but in meekness, healing, helping, disseminating truth, putting word and power in a majestic mix that no power on earth or in heaven could contrive to stop. The ONLY stop, this was the one predicted, which was in fact the largest GO signal in history, that to the atoning splendour of a prepared death for vicarious and substitionary atonement on behalf of all who received it - ANYONE (John 6:50ff., 3:16). To be sure, they would have to be called, but none who called on Him would be turned away (Acts 2, John 6:37), and the love of God was not minimised, but in the sending of the Son, had as distinctly proclaimed intent, not judgment on the world, but that it might be saved. In all things, God knows His own business, but His business is love (I John 4).
ANYONE, this had been the wonder of His healing, helping, instructing. Here was this lowly person seated, in front of them, passing by them, having salvation. Had He had repeatedly spoken of this, and did He not challenge, charge and invite and even declare such salvation, as in Mark 2! All tied together like a stook of hay, and all was before them. The shouted in acclaim.
Small wonder, with the raising of Lazarus from the dead a few eventful days before, and masses seeking Him in the light of this new and confirmatory evidence of His identity, the priests were furious, tried to stop the acclaim, and then sought to destroy Him (Mark 11:18); and indeed the matter was formally furthered by High Priest Caiaphas, as recorded in John 11.
Expressly, he presented his autocratic view: Christ must be stilled for the sake of national security. Otherwise, Rome might take Him amiss and many might be slain. As is the norm in the end for survival at ANY cost, immoral and self-centred programs, Jerusalem and indeed Judah paid in the end. ROME DID take the city; it DID destroy it; and it DID lead to a long subjection, some 1900 years in fact, in conditions appalling almost too far for mere lament! How Israel suffered! and how it was foretold (Leviticus 26, Isaiah 49:7, 52-53, 65:13-15).
Now let us revert to the disciples ascribing Messianic majesty to Christ, in their Palm Sunday singing when He came in, as predicted in Zechariah 9, seated on the colt of an ass, to the acclaim of the citizens. STOP this acclaim! the priestly party chides! What then did the Lord answer to that!
IF, said Christ, these were silent, the stones would at once cry out! They were not however silent. The stones therefore did not have, at once, to cry out. Nevertheless, many of them were SILENCED by the junta in power, which in some ways resembled an ecclesiastical mafia: James for example. Saul of Tarsus, later tormented and imprisoned many, as another example. Peter only escaped by miracle, from the death penalty (Acts 12). Worst of all, Christ was in a few days after this Palm Sunday event and ascription of the name of the Messiah, crucified.
It was then that He reminded Jerusalem of the cost, lamenting for THEM, as He was being taken to the Cross (on foot, His own feet the cartage, rather than as in the French Revolution, a tumbrel ... such progress). The cost was to come, although since there had not been the immediate silencing, no more did the cost come at once. It waited one generation, when the children were grown, and then it came, as they received precisely what, in flouting the manifest truth, they had sought to avoid. Nations often do this kind of thing in less crucial and dramatic circumstances, appeasing what they see as evil, in the hope of an easy time. It does not work. Chamberlain appeased; Churchill fought. It just meant that Hitler had longer to sharpen his claws.
Similarly now, there is report of violence in England from aroused Moslems, who do not find their adopted country obeying them as apparently, many of them think it should. Some want to blow up bits of England, and find this in accord with their religion, an odd sort of religious experience to be sure, to inflict pain on the innocent in order to fulfil the preference of the will, religious or otherwise, and the more so, when it is without any rational warrant and contrary to every rational consideration*1.
One response appears to be mounting. It is this. Law may be made tougher, so that to CRITICISE ISLAM may become a legal offence. That would be as bad as the fallen State of Victoria*2A, once so estimable in its talent, which now has made it a legally indictable offence, to create bad feeling, distaste, upset in the minds of people by reference to religion, whatever its nature. It does not matter whatever the MOTIVE may be: if the feeling is there, the cupboard may be bare, charges laid, fines imposed and perhaps worse, imprisonment. It is almost impossible to imagine how human life can exist in such a situation; unless you simply place it in the USSR type category, from which, with doubtful success, that former nation sought some relief.
This sort of projected development in what was once a civil haven of liberty, of course would mean that in the interests of SURVIVAL (in whole or in part), England would be sacrificing the whole liberty of the tongue, freedom to debate and present views with grounds and force as the case might require, and it would be allowing a false prophet to dominate because some of his followers cannot find grounds for their desires other than in violence. Fight them on the beaches ? Not at all, it would then be join them in the impeachers! Sad to consider that such a course is even considered, it is indeed. What then ?
Would Churchill have had to declare:
"My dear people, while we recognise the right of Hitler to seek to intimate his highly charged specifications on race in a forceful manner on our shores, we must not incite or agitate so powerful a player. Let us make it clear however, that though his pseudo-religious views are a matter for him to choose, and we have no wish to pontificate, that we do value our own system, puny in some ways though it may be. We shall plan some kind of resistance; yet we do beg dear Mr Hitler, not to be offended by our purely personal perspective, principles and preference."
Of course not, says one. Yet there is always the ideological basis to the militant mission, however fallen that ideology; and if it may not be exposed in peace, with power and openness of mind and heart, then in vicious power it may assert itself in its own time. Truth is not for play, but for declaration. Play with truth and you may pay for truth in massive coin.
In the case of Jerusalem, and Christ (when they too had to lay claim to Him, as OFFICIALLY England still does, as you see in the Coronation, and in the position of the Church of England in the nation), the powers that were, before becoming in one generation, the powers that had been, sought this kind of 'accommodation' ? treachery to truth ? at all events, they acted to prevent the source of response... it was the next step after prison, official murder in legal terminological garb. Even the Judge declared the victim innocent (John 19:6).
They resolved on it. Kill Him who declared, "I am the ... truth" (John 14:6). Similarly in England, as it appears already in Victoria, truth is, or is by some sought to be, subordinated to desire and survival and comforts and good pleasure. This is not merely a really refined recipe for disaster, it is mockery of God, and not that alone. If any on earth is ashamed of Him, of them will He be ashamed in heaven, He declared (Luke 9). Shame on sham!
Thus, to revert to Christ's prediction, when being taken to the Cross, and to His earlier declaration about stones crying out: THEY DID! The stones formed a tempestuous choir. There was, indeed, a certain reciprocity: On the one hand, the people waiting a week before forsaking Him on the Cross, and on the other, He with exquisite historical artistry, waiting a generation for the children to be of Age before the very stones of Jerusalem would cry out at their dismantling.
Then the stones cried out, even the large ones, even the temple ones, till the site was ploughed and Jerusalem became a literal heap.
Thus had a great survival exercise with all the wisdom of folly been enacted, when Truth in Person was present. The deal: He is not to survive, but they are.
He, being dead, yet lives, and being resurrected, and no less present now, waits before the second phase of the predictions concerning Him from the prophets: His return in regality. Thus He will be present once more; but what of those who betray Him! Alas, when He is present, they become absent at the judgment, as Matthew 7:21ff. shows so lamentably.
Indeed, it is not only the obviously unholy but the hypocrite who is involved in that judgment! Look what we did! they claim, and in Your name we did it! Depart from Me, He declaims, I never knew you.
Knowing God is not least, knowing the truth, which He is, and without this, man is unmanned for the simple reason that truth is part of his composition: the opportunity for it, the need for it, the ground of it being the ground for man's very understanding and composition. Without this, man is orphaned and the philosophic antinomies, antitheses, antilogies that result are merely one of the forms of expression of this fact*2. Divorce from a longsuffering wife after 20 years in animated sprees, that is horrible; but divorce from the living God after being created by Him, with redemption provided freely for ANY ONE who calls on His name, this is like a jumper with the wool being unravelled. It is fit for nothing.
Man can be so great before he appears so small that it is hard to see him, and even in his own heart he often calls 'meaningless' and 'void', as his detached soul finds in personal experience the meaning of being ruptured from the relationship of design, that divine mercy and creation connection!*3A
He can, this mankind, in his immense majesty and reckless boasting, be so unkind to himself, that taking recklessly the powers of king, as the High Priest did in his regicide determination, aspire to a wholly undivine coup d'état, to overthrow the Power that Is, directed at divinity but not by Him. This is the style of the UN, the colloquy situation amidst the nations, that threading together of ambitious paranoia, with human race religion which becomes the seraglio of spiritual seduction, linked with submissive reluctance increasingly present in many, to speak or act in the Lord's name. Such is the way to and for the day of the Lord; and such are the ways which bring on the final fevers of the race*3B.
Enthroned in New York, this amazing body was able to witness at first hand the product of its humanism in the Twin Tower disaster. It was just a little way, across the way. This timid exploitation, this wordy woe source is one of the greatest undoers of America; for here is enshrined in its massive temple, the very heart of the disease which makes the USA increasingly weak, because of spiritual declension, witlessness, heartlessness. It is not that the USA, having helped Europe out in not one but two cases, in World Wars, is pitiless, but that its wits being increasingly intoxicated with secular humanism, and its twin, mystic meaninglessness, it is losing that link with God which is the beginning of wisdom, by His word.
The stones cried out on that last great occasion, in the special and preliminary case of Jerusalem; and had they possessed heart, those majestic stones at such cost brought so far to make so vast and magnificent a temple, how they would have been broken by such inveterate viciousness as that which Rome displayed in destruction. However, handsome is as handsome does, and the Temple authorities had been corrupt to the point of SELLING the High Priest position, even indeed of PAYING for the immolation of the Lord! This, it was not in order to beautify His tomb, but to put Him in it!
What would you expect ? It is so easy, is it not, to marvel at the gross failure of the Jew of that day - at least the national powers of the place; but how much MORE must one marvel that Europe and America are both, each one in its own way, doing much the same. Europe has so far omitted reference of any meaningful sort to religion in its Constitution, and the USA by endless, mirage type court cases and federal pronunciamentos is making any thought of national godliness not a mere myth, but a virtual contradiction. This is not to omit what may be millions of Christians; but it is to note the public vociferation and intonation. Even President Bush has spoken of the Koran in terms of good, though it invents a new Jesus Christ, out of the head of a false prophet (*1 and Red Alert ... Ch. 13).
MORE ? one says. But yes: is it not more amazing that having seen over a set of millenia, like twins of horror for the Jew, what has happened when truth went for the sake of convenience, survival or envy, does the world now dare to double the wager, and try again on the same road of subverting truth for comfort, convenience (freedom from Islamic militants ? from Bible assault on the conscience, power to grab ...), without contrition, wisdom or understanding! Will they never learn! Alas, as a world, no; it is the individuals in it who need deliverance, like survivors scattering in the waters about this largest version of the Titanic, the world itself.
What picks them up is the resurrected Christ, and what brings them out is the same; and the One who judges all is not other (Acts 17:31).
THE GREATEST VERBAL ANSWER IN THE WORLD
We have seen a little of lithological history, the ways of stones, of their crying out, of their composition in majesty made mere formality by virtual faith which is actual unbelief, and pondered the Gentile lapse into lithological nescience. In what way? It is in this. They forget the message of the stones: mordant and mighty, just and true. Alas, the result that comes is not, as it has been already, for the Jew alone, but for all who ignore what God has wrought in all His ways, and exhibited as in a hand-mirror for the heart, in His word (cf. Matthew 21:44).
Now we come to that yet greater statement of Christ. In the Palm Sunday episode, He had made it clear that so great, so clear, so mandatory was the Messianic reality, that such was His mission, His meaning, that were it to be denied, or even NOT ACKNOWLEDGED (as by silence, a device used by many who seek the survival method socially, when testimony to truth is part of what man is, in the image of God, and without it he is as one without spiritual spine), the STONES WOULD CRY OUT. If they, how much more the conscience and how awesome the judgment; for if the inanimate must confess Him, how much more the animate!
Now we turn to the actual confrontation with the High Priest, in which a yet more direct and simple statement is made. It carries the force of reality and it has rung ever since, like Church bells, or risen, depending on one's relationship with it, like a mushroom cloud. It is just this. Confronted with evidence of His Messianic claims, Christ under interrogation declared in the affirmative. "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed ?" He is asked.
What piety is here on display. God is too glorious to be named, and so is "the Blessed". How religious can you get, even when it is a proper reference to deity abused into an improper purpose! Is it not the very thought of man that mounts to the majesty of heaven for judgment, the purpose and the purport! (cf. Matthew 5:28). Does not even human judgment make a difference when there is a crime of sudden impulse, contrasted with one of set and planned purpose!
Let us return to the case, and see before us the examining cleric, asking for incriminating evidence from the butt of his passion. In such cold and cruel formality, the Lord is addressed; but it is not for information about the reality that the High Priest is active. It is in search of grounds for condemnation that He moves. The mind is cold, but the flammables abound.
He gets His reply; and all who do not give reply when in circumstances that make survival the better part of valour, do not give it, have this example to ponder as they wander. Had HE not given true reply, neither would He have been the Messiah; and if those called His people do not give reply, in the day and hour, in integrity and truth, how are they His people. We must at once differentiate between the temporary lapse as of Peter, who paid the price, and the permanent mischief of mute mutiny against confessing the Lord (Luke 9:26).
What is that reply ? It is this.
"I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." The "I am" is by no mere coincidence, in this question deployed to evince the claim to deity: it was that same declaratory and designed emphasis that Christ used when affirming (John 8:58), that "Before Abraham was, I AM." This in turn mirrors the advice to Moses, for his return to the Jews, to tell them that "I am" had sent him! (Exodus 3:14).
What is the meaning ? It indicates the status, stature and eternity of the speaker, in John 8:58, Jesus Christ. That is, before time made past and present the pals of future, before the mountains were created or the earth, the soil or the sky, there in an ultra-creation situation (cf. Philippians 2, Proverbs 8), He was, there was He to be found: for the Word was with God, and was God in the beginning (*3). Eternity was His home, creation His outreach (Colossians 1:15-16, John 1:3). As He speaks, as shown in the Gospel record, He is revealing that at this time, this is the place He has chosen for a time personally in the format and habitat of man, to inhabit.
Here is He re-iterating the point which makes into heresy the words of Mormon and JW alike, who in this, join Islam and Judaism, though in a different version. Before creation, He was there: you have to be, to create it (John 1:3). The simplicity of the reality is this: this is God, take Him or leave Him; but if you leave Him as HE IS, the I AM, it is your own life you insult! You make yourself retrospectively illegitimate!
In all these cases and other cases to type, they reject Jesus Christ as the I AM! This is the emphatic I AM which Christ used, this time as a preface to the announcement that He would come in the cloud of heaven, sitting at the right hand of Majesty.
I AM. Not only is it a statement: it is emphatic, and it is a resonance with what He means in this context by such words. Not only is He the I AM, before noted, and here re-uttered in contextual connotation; He is no mere figure for symbolism. When judgment rises with its dreadful ultimacy, He is to be seen at the right hand of the POWER. It is this which man today loves to snip off the Saviour, just as many have desired it when moving to and then from the crucifixion; and in that context it may seem easy. When the stones cry out, for Jew or in the Gentile version to come (worldwide as in Matthew 24), then it is not so easy. When gripped in the prodigies of calamity, one is well advised to find power; and it indeed becomes imperative to find the Power, the Almighty personally and in friendly mien.
Since those who love Him are inseparable from His love, and this by divine certainty (cf. Romans 8:29ff., I Thess. 5:9-10, Philippians 1:21ff.), this is not a problem for these family members (Hebrews 2), adopted as children of God (Ephesians 1). If however, you want to have a collision with Truth, with Royal Reality, it is not to be desired. The result can only be as Matthew 21:44 from the mouth of Christ, provides: You are smashed to powder.
While this is just and fitting, it is as destinies go, the outcome of oddity, anomaly, fraud and blindness; and not at all to be desired either for itself, or its ground.
"I AM. And you will see ..." - thus spoke Christ. The resurrection and the sending of the Holy Spirit, the two thousand year or two days of testimony following this (II Peter 3:9), have duly given full scope for intrigue and mindless hostility, for acrimony and the shedding of the blood of millions, who have nevertheless overcome by their testimony and the blood of the Lamb, which speaks better things that mere death (Hebrews 12:24), in fact declaring the cover of immortality for the vulnerability of flesh (Revelation 12:11).
The human race outside Christ will see Him and mourn, lament as shown in Revelation 1, where this is their occupation at His advent, the lament of the "tribes of the earth", that abundance of varied humankind deserters of their own Lord, of the Deity whom they so lightly esteemed.
To all such, He declares: You will see Him sitting. He is not even required to stand, being ONE OF US, by nature: one of the trinity*4 .He sits at the right hand, since His mission is to implement as the Word, to display, to make manifest (Hebrews 1), to express, to deploy; and at the right hand of Power is He thus sitting. That is His being in the form of God as in Philippians 2, so that equality with God is nothing to be snatched at, by Him: you do not grasp for what is yours already.
From this manifest place at the Power back of the universe, sitting, the eye sees the glory of this Son COMING. For the unbeliever, it is a lamentable time, for He sends His angels throughout the earth to gather His chosen ones (Matthew 24:31). Matthew 13 tells us that the wheat of His seed is kept; the intrusive weeds are gathered for due disposal (13:30).
To this earth His coming contains the reverse cycle to that of His going (Acts 1:7, Luke 24), and enshrined in light, He comes. The mourning which results (Revelation 1) is harbinger of the reaping of wheat and tares, and the burning of the wilfully unpardoned. It is the burning of eternal shame (Daniel 12).
The depiction is drawn not least from Daniel 7, where in such a setting He is brought near to the Power and receives dominion over all for all time, as one who was "cut off" as Daniel puts it in Daniel 9, and now He is glorified. As in Hebrews 2, having taken the format of man, and experienced the wrong use of the formula for man, He is now the Head for man, the 'firstborn of all creation' as Colossians 1 puts it, since He was before it.
Indeed, Colossians states this at once: why first born ? It is because, says Paul, He is the creator of all things. Born INTO creation, He takes the first-born position, as the Creation-Maker. His mission does not change WHO He is; but it enables the most blessed action in WHAT HE NOW DOES with the creation. Receiving this eternal and external, comprehensive commission, He receives all., That is Daniel 7, where there was
"to Him given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away,
and His kingdom and one which shall not be destroyed."
Earlier, moreover, He had declared, as seen in Matthew 24:30ff., that
"the sign of the Son of Man shall appear in heaven, and men of all the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Truth never varies; for what is, and what is not, is not. So does the word of God over the millenia teach the same. In Person, Christ attested HIS judgment while the others did theirs, on Him, which after all, HE had decided to have (as in Psalm 40 cf. Joyful Jottings 25), being sent and that most willingly as the sacrificial lamb, and as to that, in love He came and with it (John 3).
People often do not like beginnings, since it challenges their godlessness, nor ends, since it challenges their consciences (*2 below and index). However, they are there*5.
The ONLY entity which has no beginning is God; the only ones which do not end are those who being adopted, know Him as His children. Accordingly, the only ones who know the beginning and the end are God Himself, and then derivatively from His knowledge, whomsoever He advises of the nature of things, in whatever measure He sees fit. Thus the ONLY available truth is from God or His emanuenses. The Spirit would indeed lead His apostles into all truth (John 16:13), but it is His word which He exalts above all His name (Psalm 138:2), of which the jot and tittle are sustained (Matthew 5:17ff.), so that those who were constrained to write these, His words, as Peter declares (I Peter 1, II Peter 1), and Paul indicates in a parallel format (I Cor. 2:9-13, cf. 14:3), they were carried along, driven by the divine dynamic to reveal what was in the mind of God.
Much illumination is provided (Ephesians 1:17), but the decisive and binding revelation is in His word (Isaiah 8:20, Psalm 119, II Timothy 3:16, Matthew 5, Jeremiah 23, Proverbs 30:6), addition to which is a source of great sorrow, for it is the most gross and mischievous presumption.
Thus, to imitate a man in his name is dishonest; but to imitate God in His, is subject to the most searching judgment from the hand of God Himself (Jeremiah 23). He detests it: for what businessman would like contracts and definitions of his business from a hand unauthorised; but when the infinite God has a costly Gospel to introduce, where He is the One who sustains it, through the blood of His Son, and man disturbs, distorts, adds to it or subtracts, it is a blasphemy so vast as to require new horizons of zeal for judgment. They are not short of expression in Jeremiah, or Ezekiel, or Isaiah, or the Psalms, or from the mouth of Peter (II Peter 2-3), or Paul (Galatians); or from that of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:18-20).
While thus the purity of the word of God is protected, its authority is in parallel to this purity, proclaimed and imperishable.
Thus the only book which never needs to change, which presents truth, is the word of God, with whatever does not advance beyond or fall short of it, in the measure that this is so, derivatively, like the moon to the sun.
Whatever therefore does not and cannot be altered, attests its source in God. The Bible is such, being what He has said to mankind. Its terms as a result, need no mutual adjustment: absolute truth has this unique feature, that having no variable parts BECAUSE of what it is, it also has no variable relationships of parts. Where things advance is revelation, they merely add. In this way, you not only have the greatest Court Case of all time, as in Ch. above, but have it pre-announced in its penalty, its motivation, its major contestants and its significance (Isaiah 48-55, Psalms 2, 16, 22, 35, 41, 55, 69, 89, 102) and its final results (Psalms 2, 72, 110, Zechariah 6, 12, 14), most of which has happened already, while the rest near the end, is strictly on course. It even has the date of the major event set from over half a millenium in advance (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4).
Man's date with destiny at His return, however, is undated. It is to be a surprise - but its preliminaries are no surprise (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5) .
THE GREATEST JUDICIAL ANSWER IN THE WORLD
Since the death penalty was involved for the Messiah (Psalms 2, 22, Isaiah 50, 52-53, Daniel 9:24ff.), the resurrection retort became the best answer ever to such a penalty. It is also recorded a millenium in advance (Psalms 2), whereas the incarnation to render this scenario possible is noted in Psalm 40 (cf. Joyful Jottings 22). What answer could there be superior to what God did, over-arching and howling down the imposition of the maximum penalty to the publicly exposed body of the one for whom torture was a matter of hours through the middle of the day: progressive, exterminative, accursed, reprobative!
To resurrect that same body, all human hands off, having in the interim brought darkness on the earth, to bring back that corpse from the massacre in mortality, a thing covered with sham shame as the earth with the atmosphere and the sea with waves: it was the master stroke of history. Foretold for centuries, unstoppable, inexorable despite this clear forecast, it brought injustice into disrepute and spoke to and for all those wrongly slain for Christ. The temporal is covered; and the eternal is to come!
What better reply to derisive scoffing at a corpse in the making, than the resurrection of that self-same body! He arose irrefutable, truth unresponsive to dismissal.
What call better than that which met the dismissal of the evidence (for telling the manifest truth is no crime!) both by the High Priest and by Pilate, with the affirmation of the claims of truth in this way. And in what way was it then done ? It was achieved by extermination of the exterminative act, and deletion of the deleting horror, by overturning the judgment after bearing it, and arising the picture of innocence by means divine, from the power of Truth itself! Fateful and inexorable, the long foretold, and constantly affirmed resurrection of the body left the empty words like the roaring of the waves, before peace tames them.
What better power than that, what better proof! and what better writing concerning it than the New Testament, expression over millenia of its truth, than the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing millions to His side, His word now inscribed by that same Holy Spirit, inveterate, inviolable, unlike mere human science in its aspiring pride in this, that instead of changing swiftly, and often decisively in a year, far more in a decade, immensely in a decade, unrecognisably in a century, beyond measure in a milenium: this word of testimony continual, changes NOT AT ALL in TWO MILLENIA.
Its promoters are amongst the rarest of the scientists, like Newton, Francis Bacon, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Faraday, Von Braun, Maxwell, Boyle, John Dalton, and the very father of computing, Charles Babbage, with the Scottish Protestant theologian, John Napier the author of logarithms, so vital in computing, while Lord Kelvin brought together some of the most vital components of scientific thought. These have not only attested Christ in their continual testimony, but led scientific thought; and even though the latter changes while the former does not, whether in its prophetic survey from the Old Testament or in that of the New, yet in their domains, some of the greatest scientists of all history have provided some of the best of the merely human work in knowledge of this kind, in science properly so-called, being leaders in thought.
What better testimony than the work of famous jurists, like legal Professor Sir Norman Anderson, who wrote so incisively on the legal attestation of the resurrection itself! Yet all this continues as accolade; the Bible continues as the Agent Extraordinary, which speaks for itself, and is not silenced though thousands have tried to disturb, distort, depreciate, denigrate and dismiss it, only to be supervened by archeology, history, logic, verifications innumerable, not of their words, but of the word of God that alters not at all.
Amongst its predictions, then, is that of God's answer to the efforts to destroy His Son. This is contained a millenium before in Psalm 2. Here we learn that this so much publicised Messiah is to be the object of ruinous renegacy, violent dismissal, mounting disacclaim, as both He and the One who sent Him become the butt of wild sprees of dismissal. "Let us break their bonds in sunder and cast away their cords from us!" was to be the cry, and was the cry.
This cry was to be the attack of the rulers: it was, has been and it still is. Even here in South Australia (cf. TMR Ch. 8), as quite recently placarded in England (cf. Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3), the assaults on His word are enormous, as are the attacks on His people. Here the effort is to make all religions of one kind (as if all laws were to be made of one kind, whether to institute or dismiss slavery, to forward prostitution or dysfunctional 'marriage' partners in defiance of design, to sanction swearing in schools, so long as it is not more than so many cases per lesson, and so on. Then it moves to make that kind a thing beyond test, beyond argument or debate, a matter of social drift, like shipwreck wrack, floating inglorious to the shore, for decay. It comes without attestation from reason and to be dismissed in lofty and patronising language.
In fact, the reverse is true (cf. Secular Myths and Sacred Truth), for the faith of the Bible is CONTINUALLY BEING TESTED and never fails, despite the endeavours of thousands for millenai; whereas the inventions of science, in its popular scientistic flair, by which many know it, are as comically repudiated as its sober work is justly acclaimed (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!).
In the USSR, the assaults on Christianity were monumental, leading to the Nobel Laureate for Literature, Solzhenitsyn, writing one of the most eloquent rebuttals and exposures, not to say expositions against the hypocrisy and folly of it, focussing the failure of the violent in truth and deed. Even in the rapidly falling USA, the 10 commandment honouring statue is noted for its legal removal, the Lord's Prayer in Schools for its famed use as a butt for extraction, and in State after State, the endeavours are strong to exclude what the evidence attests ALONE, creation! It is as if there were a veritable fever to cast off the cords of truth and the bonds of verification, validity and reality! (cf. Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host).
As in Christ's day, so it is now, as if the wanton flux of human passion could not rest, until not only the resurrection, but the Return of Christ brought onto ruin, its destiny (Psalm 2:8ff.). As it was to be, so it is (Matthew 24, II Peter 2-3).
After all, the breach-birth of judgment day is incisively proclaimed as an event of terminal character, so that it would be a breach of scripture if the world learned before then, the folly of re-designing a creation it neither made nor could make! It surges into folly, like a tiger at the lamb.
In this Australian State of South Australia, the powers-that-be shirk debate, and have done so for something like a decade, with not so much as answer the challenge; and they speak of other things in reply! (cf. Beyond the Crypt, the Divine Script and the Face of God Ch. 1, *1A ). The remaking of God in terms of their unsupported persiflage, and the confrontation on this topic, they most studiously avoid; and they continue as if praying for no rain, and the reign of social folly through such strong-arm tactics (cf. TMR Ch. 8).
In China, the persecution of Christians is almost at the pastime level, the hobby stage, and every kind of intimidation, humiliation, denigration and false accusation has long been the subject of exposure, Harry Wu being but one of very many to do so.
Thus this 1000 B.C. or so prediction of Psalm 2 is true, and remains true, not only through the assault on Christ personally, when He gave the best answer in the world, His resurrection and the institution and empowering of His Church to carry it on, but also through the attacks on His word (cf. SMR pp. 377ff., 1185ff.), work and people. Where more indeed, this last than in the proverbially horrific Sudan, where Islamic followers of false prophet Muhammad, whose Allah fails in might as in verification, and is rich in anti-verification, have been recorded in innumerable assaults on families and kidnappings.
Cast their bonds asunder ? It is so in sexual misconduct, now reaching forth as if to snatch the dunce's prize from Sodom, in drug misuse, as if to use delirium instead of the dynamic of sober truth. This delirious dynamic has been so; in Christ's person it was so crucially. In the Cross it had its empire at its peak, and in the resurrection its fraud was demonstrated: while its proponents continue as they must, at loggerheads with logic, in collision with the empirical, in liaison with the desecrative rather than the Creator (Romans 1:17ff., John 14:30), till Christ comes as King, who rose as Redeemer, and has been in no haste to precipitate the judgment due, which now comes (II Peter 3:9). How often is patience and forbearance misconstrued as weakness; but the judgment now more visibly comes on this earth, which is aroused to its criminal record, and what is is no rush, is not on the other hand, dallying.
After all, Peter foretold clearly the type of stretch of history in view; and as to judgment itself, its day, it occurs but once. Need the birth of that day be ... unduly stimulated!
This same Psalm 2 reaches right on to that level in history. "Ask of Me," the Lord says to the Redeemer, "and I will give you the nations for Your inheritance," something continually being attested, but with its consummation at His return (Psalm 2:8). In the judgment, the rest follows as in Psalm 110, when truth have long borne with every trial, experiment, exposition and philosophy, and shown their futility as millions die with the mere violence of deception with duress, now comes with clean hands, and manifests its results!
WHAT an answer has been provided by that resurrection flowing into the conviction, courage and transformation the Lord has wrought.
Surely it is
the Greatest Answer in
It is so judicially, predictedly, powerfully, incorruptibly as the corpse that rose at the time appointed (Matthew 16,17), not only the year, but on the third day as foretold by Christ and the prophets alike (cf. SMR Ch. 6)! Where Islam fails, as it must since only truth can remain (cf. SMR pp. 1080ff., 829ff.), the Word of the living God prevails: open to challenge, or to defiance at all times: but it is closed to corruption, immune to irruption, unalterable, inveterate because right. Where courage fails (as when Latimer recanted temporarily when faced with execution at Romanist hands), it continues its flame.
This is illustrated also by Latimer, who put that same right hand that signed the folly, first into the fires anyway, to eschew its failure, though like Peter's, it was brief, a lapse apparently for the sake of 'church' solidarity, so short in time, that he was able to make an eternal testimony in contrition, defiance and faithfulness, both in the pulpit preceding his consignment to the flames, and in the flames themselves.
Not only is this testimony inexorably maintained, but this Barrister who presented His own case in court, has been vindicated in millions of lives, whereas the trial Judge is justly relegated to the gallows of gall for his anti-testimonial impetuosity, and night riding rush. His people, that wrongful judge, has merely exposed to the results of complicity, as now the Gentile rulers increasingly expose their own people.
Yes, this second phase of Gentile folly is moving to a similar and coming holocaust, this time not for a nation merely: for it is the holocaust of history itself. It mounts as do the waves at the storm's advent, as they frown and pester and pontificate. Meanwhile, the global warming accelerates not only in nearness, but in the readier admissions that it is so, and is not onlyl mounting beyond all expectations but threatening the coastlines: a message we found from the lips of Christ Himself (Luke 21). If however the climate warms, how much more the hearts of men heat!
Thus, before the End of the Age, we are told to expect the "sea and the waves roaring" and that iniquity will abound, lawlessness. Both domains are acting and reacting as if following the scripture for script.
Such items are already obeying the ancient word of God concerning these judgments from 2000 or so years ago, and man with great zest; whilst the column of vapour predicted by Joel and relayed by Peter (like a relay station) at Pentecost (Acts 2) in his short sketch of coming events to reach the consummation, has come since 1945 into popular knowledge and international concern, disquietude and impact. What was a symbol of American power, is now a nod of ignorant wantonry, available at any time, for many or for few.
What roars far more that the sea, however, is the voice of those who want as Psalm 2 foretold, to cast their bonds asunder, to run riot from reality, forgetting their construction, their Creator, their moral mandate and their place in life alike, as if courting disaster with a new passion, using spiritual viagra to heighten the effect, as they lower their lives into the pit where only the just result can obtain. It is as it had to be, was foretold, and it arrives like someone who long before wrote letters, and now at last, comes home and may be met.
However, this world is not enjoying the portents of arrival, just as it has often enough tried to junk the letters; and will enjoy it far less. WHY WILL YOU DIE! the Lord exhorts (Ezekiel 33:11).
"Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God,
‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,
but that the wicked turn from his way and live.
Turn, turn from your evil ways!
For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ "
Israel is one nation; but the Lord is a light to the Gentiles, for it is too small a thing for Him to call the elect of Israel alone (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6)! He does not change, and being just, is no respecter of persons.
If with its prince, this world has no bright future except that of the burning arrival of Christ and the judgment of II Peter 3, II Thessalonians 1, in its dissolution with all its evil works, this is not a fate but a folly for those who make this, and not Christ their inheritance; for He is as near as the CALL (Acts 2), and as far from hatred as love is. Yet to admit into a hospital, every disease is no answer; in sickness, you need health. In holiness, you see truth. That too, it is part of the answer.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ shows the end of death in the domain of tyranny, the power of God even in this fallen world, and became the genesis of a New Covenant thrust, empowered by God, not using force except where cancerous substitutes paraded themselves, but showing grace. It is the grace of God.
It was, both in its heights of pardon and peace, power and precision, and in its depths for the wilfully recalcitrant, who reject even free remission of sin and rebirth in the image of the Creator, an answer unanswerable. It simply happened, on time, as to the year, as to the third day, as did the outpouring of the Spirit of God, and the dynamising of His people. Nothing alters with God: He says, He does, and His heart is that of love, but not laxity, or purity, but purposelessness, of meaning in mercy, but not mesmerising in dementia. Truth matters, always did, always will; and the truth of the Gospel is unique, alone sustainable (*2, SMR), a testimony to the very heart of God.
Defaced, the Lord is unfazed, and the Barrister of bliss has this to His testimony, His words stand, His peace is presented freely (Isaiah 55), while His power invests His words with action, and His actions express a kindness unique in kind, pure in truth, unremitting in remission to faith, and eternal in nature.
God answered the crucifixion; but each member of the human race into which Christ came, has the question to answer, the one put to Peter. Who do YOU say that I am ?
The answer to the greatest question, then ? This could be it.
You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God! To you in faith I come in repentance of life, to receive Your free pardon, to enter your kingdom, covered by your blood, shed in mercy for the remission of sins, ample for mine. Empowered through the resurrection of your body, by your Spirit (Ephesians 1:19), I seek and submit to your will, as that of the Creator, King and Redeemer. This I do with joy at having found God Himself, eternal for ever, grantor of eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12), without condition, qualification or question (I Thess. 5:9-10, Romans 3:23ff.). You, I worship (John 20:28-29).
In this way, you answer not only with lip, but with life.
More Marvels ... Ch. 4, esp. *4,
SMR pp. 829ff. ,
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A
Lord of Life Ch. 3 (and force), 1081ff. (and faith), Outrageous Outages ... Ch. 5;
His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch. 4; 3
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8 (in perspective), see also *1,
Divine Agenda Chs. 6, 3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran);
Highway to Hell (Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in perspective, in the former; and in the latter, futile depravities in endless ideologies such as Sudan has shown so significantly, Islam ablaze without glory), cf. Overflight in Christ Ch. 1 (and the Koran's musings);
News 138, Beauty for Ashes Chs. 4, 7
Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch.
9 , Great Execrations ... Ch.
SMR p. 1O88D - three major religions in some ways in concert, astray.
News 138, Beauty for Ashes Chs. 4, 7, SMR pp. 1074ff., esp. 1079, 1081ff..
See NEWS 156, Galloping Events Ch. 7, End-Note *2.
The Antithesis of truth in the retrograde booth.
A short and suitable coverage of the concept here is found in Christ Incomparable... Ch. 4.
One of these constraints which must be met, and in which the Bible singularly and uniquely flourishes, without diminution, over time, is the method called scientific method. This, the word of the living God, has more than a jump start here, since as shown in SMR, TMR and many other works on this site, for 3 and one half millenium approximately, the Bible in its prediction, retrodiction, verification, meeting of the demands of validity, entry for its derivation into the domain of deity in the scope of its statements and testability, has stood.
All have been unable to be made to bend.
If then human wisdom, or humanistic ideas, or merely secular efforts
to understand and grasp reality are now producing in their own domain what are contrary, contradictory or merely substantially altering ideas concerning many things,
always catching up, never arriving, a combination of the hapless and the hopeless,
aware of the truth, for which their model has no place;
and if then these altering ideas are then left with the slight shrug,
with the little nod of the inclining head, the tiny smile of patronising relegation,
to the pit of the past:
if indeed, these things are deemed no longer apt and intelligent, sound and adequate;
and if such intellectual mutations occur to a large extent in a mere 20 years:
then the contrast with the wisdom of several millenia of the Bible,
undisturbed by 'advances' but rather predicting the nature of outcomes in history and man,
is not only massive.
It is categorical.
These are different things, many orders of magnitude separating them; and indeed, an illimitable power and wisdom is here objectively seen in contrast with the works of man, which while impressive in part, have no finality, no stability and no endurance in themselves, now most wise, now most mistaken.
This in itself is verification of the word of God; for this is precisely what one would expect; and the expectation is precisely what is found in fact.
Not only then have we found the focus on Christ personally and the Bible propositionally to be the sole rational result of thought, but the sole inhabitant of validity as a logical constraint, and with this, the incomparable superior in any relationship with 'science' seen as secular.
We have in fact even more than this. Not only is Biblical Christian Theism, the testimony of Jesus Christ in Bible, and in life, of truth in this domain, uniquely able to meet the constraints of rationality, of validity, of verification, of incomparable power in precision and depth, but it is both exhaustive in answers and elegant in resolution.
These in turn are precisely features sought for as an ideal in scientific method.
There is in the restoration available from God, Creator, Speaker, Saviour, Self-Expressive in Christ, the entire removal of all the antinomies, antilogies and antitheses in profundity, the very things which have afflicted philosophy for millenia.
Now meaning, rationality, validity, testability, the place of mind and its purpose, the site of matter and its limits, the nature of personality and its exhibition in pathology and in health respectively in coherent depiction, the point and coverage of diversity and the health of love, the basis of love and hatred, truth and fiction in the mind of man, the perversity of much of mankind and the penalty payment involved progressively till the conclusion thunders as on failed adolescents, unwilling to face facts: all this and more is at once resolved. It comes like rain in massive downpour. It is so simple, so far above, and reaches so simply to where we are.
Instead of problems, you have propositions; instead of collisions of ideas, you have precision as in a vast construction, where all the elements not only fit, but have a totality of integral meaning which is vital in mind and harmonious in concept. Indeed, instead of irrationality, by which logic is pierced by the sting-ray of erratic desire, to the heart, you are replete not only with reason's satisfaction, satiation with truth by every test, the meeting of its exactions on the way (cf. SMR, TMR), but with the very height of validity, as reason leads to objective confirmation in the testable Christ and Bible, duly verified to confirm rationality not merely in its use, but in its fruit.
Thus its path is vindicated, as in mining at a site, by its treasure at the end; and the treasure is confirmed by the assay and that by its use. Moreover, if one seeks the substance in KIND, it is there to the uttermost; or if in the minute detail of its discovery, it is there no less. It meets the challenge of perspective and particular alike; it surpasses in the display of its own life, where reason is amazed at the find, and faith is presented with its ground.
Not merely is this so in profile and in detail, but the very eminence of the result under test, both theoretical and practical, matches the unique force which makes it necessary to despise every irrationalism on the way to it. Not only is all explained in principle, but the principle matches personality and explains that in full, to the point of what is almost laughable in its simplicity, while profound in its depths beyond mere observation. Here does validity embrace reason, verification embrace validity, and resolution of all the tussles of philosophy attest truth from its source, while the ease of it and its lively thrust and immovable testimony, show light from its origin in God.
From History, Review and Overview Ch. 5, you have in parallel, these words.
Shriek for intelligence but matter will not provide; shriek for analysis, but matter will not think for you. YOU have to use such things. YOU are part of the whole. YOUR will is part. YOUR trilogy, mind, matter and spirit, is part. Its synthesis is part. YOUR operational ability to see the reason in and the organisation that binds, more and more, and the fact that reason when subordinate to biblical revelation is never stumped, but finds light, these things show not creation at work, but creation worked. (Cf. SMR Ch. 6, TMR Chs. 1, 5, 6, 7, Marvels of Predestination and the Ways of Will... Ch. 3).
In what way is it worked ? It is seen in the correlation of your capacities, their co-ordination with the facilities of the rest of the creation and the strategic symbolisms, garbed in one linguistic medium, commanded into being by the coherent necessities of thought, its domain, while in turn commanding being for each new generation.
Indeed, reason relishes this biblical revelation, since here likes the key to every mystery of thought, dilemma of philosophy and error of conduct. If you want law without conception, command without comprehension, ingenuity without capacity, magnificence without basis, a myriad of units and sub-units collated in cohesion, manifest in diversities enormous, operability in totality, in the midst of decline in design, erosion of vital displays, then of course you may opt for the antilogies of unreason.
Reason has no such option, needs none, and is satisfied only with a ground adequate, and as in SMR Ch.1, this is found only in one illimitable Creator whose word was indeed active in the creation, as Genesis 1 declares. In this sense, DNA is a contemporary index to the folly of trying to make text mean what it does not say, and to turn the dimensions of history into the plaything of poetry. (Cf. TMR Appendix 1, A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 9).
What then do we find ? It is this. Operation is never the same as creation. A car, a house, a universe, a law made is not the same as the power to make it deployed in the act of making it. We operate; but operation is a whole casual level below creation of the parts, their mutuality and the integrality of the whole. What is required is what has what it takes. Mere confusion is not an option.
The empirical then ? Just find me a book that no one wrote, directly or indirectly, that none caused to be written! Just find me a result that relinquishes a reason for it, or show me a coded language arriving untaught, unintelligently produced, with neither the person who thinks nor the results of preliminary action from such a source! Why all this talk ? Do it. Are you not to explain what is, rather than your dreams, or is scientific method your sworn enemy!
Books, then, this we are, but first we were written, and both the means of writing and the means for its record were simultaneously required for the operation with the creation of the operability of a code, its relevance to construction and its implementation, reticulation into contrived components conquerable by its orders, with provision of its matériel, but parts of the entire program in its necessity.
Creation is like that, immune to dismissal by pugnacious products: logic demands it, reason requisitions it, and dreams deny it. It is for dreaming when you should have your mind on things, that you can be booked for parking illicitly, parking your magic car in a non-magical environment of truth!
So spoke the book.
See also briefly, TMR Ch. 8, *7 and also SMR Ch. 3, 422Qff., 374-386, Barbs ... 6 -7. Repent or Perish Ch. 7, and Ch. 2 above, where some of the antilogies are given coverage. In Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ, Preface, this sums up something of the point concisely:
WHAT WE DO KNOW is self-consistent and clear, the resolutions are sure and steadfast, and moreover, do not change whatever may be the dissidences, dissonances and declivities of churches such as the PC in America, on the topic of creation, as it wanders into unbiblical accommodations and uncertainties, throwing a casual arm around the philosophical paramour of unbiblical thought, and achieving only vagueness and confusion as it dances (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 8). And this ? it is mild be comparison with much that has been fulfilling prophecy in showing false teaching arising from within the churches (II Peter 2:1ff., cf. SMR pp. 695ff., 1042ff.).
Following the Bible as it is written, and using it as Professor E.J Young of Westminster Seminary so beautifully insisted, in its own right without 'help' from sources which are not the word of God, is a prime duty of faith and the most justly celebrated method of finding the answer to all of life's problems, the mind's uncertainties, the spirit's confusions and philosophy's endless pit: for it replaces problem with solution, uncertainty with focus, riddle with reality and vagueness with what works without shadow in the steadfast light. This is in itself verification, for just as it claims to be the definitive written word of the living God, what else could conceivably 'compete'! As it should be, so it is. According to its declaration, so is its utility. Where it is 'accommodated' to human thoughts imperatives of fashion, or where the latter are to rule alone, by contrast, is their futility. They writhe, they contort, but do not arrive.
In Downfall from Defamation Ch. 1, we have this contribution to our topic.
Furthermore, the removal of this reality of scientific method (cf. Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation) leads to predictable logical abysses, such as the meaninglessness of this design-built integrality of thought, mind, spirit, organic integrity and purposive creation - man, so misconstrued: so that on this model, he lacks meaning though compounded with means for purpose, and exhibits design while surrounded with ignorance of purpose! (cf. SMR Ch. 3).
Thus the divorce from reason, the pseudo-scientific exclusion of all except material means for the creation of material things, by a wild frenzy of incoherent thought (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7), becomes a mother for a frenzy of purposeless purpose, who yet expects to define his purpose, a meaning-meter who adjudges all meaning, yet lacks meaning. In these contradictions, does the model of unscientific prejudice leave man, the meaningless child of a 'nature' he can yet assess, and to which attribute what it has of meaning, and even tell us why. In such insatiable absurdities, he is left, a devotee of self-destruction.
Let us pursue this last antilogy. It makes of man a meaningless discerner of meaning, which is of course a self-contradiction, since at once to KNOW he is meaningless, he has to have the access to ultimate reality by which ALONE he COULD know this to be true; but if he had such access he COULD not be meaningless, have the meaning of being a reality checker. Moreover, on the same illusory model, he would not be able to KNOW it to be true that there was no truth (in a relative world), since for that to be knowable, it would have both to exist and to be accessible; so that he is involved in further self-contradiction, as well as being the most design-worthy object ever seen with visible eyes on this earth, while not a design. Self-contradiction becomes the lot of those who contradict the truth and hallow unreason. What else would one, in any case, expect!
Bring in the prejudicial cause of confusion, and you will have it. Abuse reason and you become unreasonable. Become unreasonable, and you can have gratuitous antinomies for breakfast, antilogies for dinner, and infelicitous phrases, the substitute for thought, to burp with.
All of this is but a natural outcome of survival as the means of creation (as if survival of the best copies of an idiot were to create Shakespeare's works, duly bound in leather), madness about means with a natural outcome in insanity for many, something psychiatrists increasingly treat with pills to interfere with the agility of the equipment, which is dangerous to those now deluded. To be sure, there are other grounds of insanity; but such grasping guilt as in Lady Macbeth's case, is one of them. Now it is not only against a king, but THE King; or to defame His name; or both.
From Christ Incomparable ... Ch. 2, we have this more extensive treatment which with its references, must here suffice.
Let us apply this to the debate terminology, as noted above in News. Thus of course life experiences affect the behaviour of those whose spirits respond to them, either wilfully, willingly, astutely, grudgingly, enviously, implacably, sensitively and in a myriad of other possible ways, depending on the person in view, the personality, the pathology, the nature of the case, the model of life in mind, and other choices of or against reason, emotional, social and organisational.
It is complex, like the cells in the fingers, so much so that someone temporarily mesmerised by the millions of cells might forget that there are only ten fingers, each easily subjectible to will, and all in unison really skilled in joint effort. When you cease mesmerism, and look at facts, it is simple. Similarly, when you look at all the things the human spirit may elect to do, and all the reasons why this is so, pathological and normal, spirited or spiritual, godly or anti-godly, it may mesmerise in complexity; but ultimately, when you regard its basis and nature, it is quite simple in KIND.
The spirit of man being personal, and being responsible for its selections of sin, or its upward thrust to reality, and in particular for refusing truth and preferring a squalling mob of antilogies and even antinomies which neither cohere nor are consistent with any realisable view of reality, it is often assiduous in avoiding truth. It pays for this in endless conundrums (cf. SMR Chs. 3, 5, 10, Predestination and Freewill), not the result of mind or reality, but of the misuse of mind through alien models, predators on fact , not purveyors of it.
As noted in Downfall from Defamation, Ch. 1 (q.v.):
This then is the way, the manner of insistence on irrelevance, here lies the arbitrary antinomy, the irrevocable antilogy, the crass incoherence that makes of modern man a prey to folly, and a butt for discipline.
And again, in this place, we have:
Verification vomits; method faints; only myth remains. This is the way of death, with the scientistic, the fantastic and the fantasising in one inglorious realm where the real gradations are from arbitrary antinomy, through ascending antilogy to alogistic vacuity.
These features and foci are dealt with in that Chapter, and correlative ones; but for the moment, let us pursue our current theme, the relevance of experience to belief and conduct in general.
Thus experience is OF and BY something, the PERSON. The person may elect to be mean, generous, gracious or liberal, perceptive and so on, if those qualities are not already pathologically cancelled by wilful waywardness added to imperfection from birth; for it is a fallen race, and even infants are not confusable by realistic eyes, with angels in disguise, whatever their charming or even beguiling features.
The effect on the person of what the person does is obvious, for we all find it. If you lose your temper, this may engender (if you are honest to the point) shame, or guilt; and if you are a Christian, it may lead to repentance and cleansing so that the impact is met by power from the source of one's spirit, and the equanimity is not lost, nor the heart hardened, two otherwise dangerous possibilities. This apart, such things will then have perhaps a physical resultant, if it leads to an ulcer, or to pre-occupation while you are driving, and so to an accident.
Indeed, if you make a practice of not resisting the call to lose your temper, then a pathway of normal response may occur psychologically in your pre-set controls, thus changing them indeed for the worse, and this may make new patterns tend to become procedural norms.
Worse, it may lead to a sense that nothing matters too much, as a self-protective device for pride, and so affect your 'philosophy', and this could lead you to take a cynical course in that domain, and that could lead to your becoming white-anted with confusion, mastered by another cultural pathology, and this could lead to a whole bevy of new orientative adjustments, even at the physical level, to the psychological, moral and spiritual change in view.
If you walk on your side of the foot, then your shoe leather will show it, even though it has NO relationship at the personal level. Equipment can SHOW what you know and will, quite readily; and if you are sufficiently weak, it can begin to trip you up, since it inclines you this way or that, and you simply follow, being submissive, or you may fall headlong, being furious, perfidious or inclined to whatever other of the myriad of spiritual responses may appeal to your discursive and adventuring person.
You may hear someone denouncing this, and so at the spiritual level, on consideration of its infantile nature, change it; but if you reject the Lord, having then no rational or real access to absolute truth, you may sidle off into something else, even if only for a change, or in a combination of frustration and exasperation. To try to shove off these conundrums of being a person with demonstrable powers of orientation, often demonstrably misused for some purpose or penchant, desire or wilfulness, in known conflict with truth, onto your equipment is no better than blaming your horse because it has a limp, and you cannot be bothered sitting differently to spare it. (Cf. SMR Ch. 3.)
Empirically, each domain, each phase of life has to be considered where it is and for what it does and can do; and this, if truth is to exist in the matter, has to be subject to two criteria. Firstly, one must avoid blaming what is merely circumstantial when it is clear that resolve can and could readily overcome it; but the preference may be otherwise, the matter being duly weighed, and desires accorded status by evaluation.
What is the source of the evaluation ? There are many influences, but what needs to be recalled is this, that reason and reality are one of these. Even when consciously there is an impediment for wilful reasons, to receiving truth, this is far from the end of the matter.
One may be afflicted by conscience, summoned by known deletion of relevant elements, however hard rationalisation may try to deliver one, and immersed in remorse, or its counterpart, exhibit swaggering disregard (cf. SMR Ch. 3). Much is simply FACT, however imperfectly known, versus will.
Thus whether one has access to truth itself, or by will misused, does not, yet there are facts and what to do with them is not merely irrational, though a sufficiently slavish mind may find it so, but rational and evaluative; and this may relate not least to facts (I DID do that, and THIS DOES happen in such a case, and so forth). It varies in mood, in mentality, in aspiration, in influence by truth in various domains, on attitude to THE TRUTH, in God. The human heart is by nature now desperately wicked, even trying to deny its own responsibility and debauching reason in the process, as noted above.
The Bible is by no means wrong in this, and few are they more morbidly determined to avoid it than those who nobly pretend to be treating the facts, while ignoring the only source in which to find them, finally. Justice may be the conscious criterion of conduct, or truth, or goodness, or mercy, or all of them, or these things may lie slain in the aspirations of the subject. It is not the bones which determine the love for these things, but a yielding to the nature of the case; for without justice, there is mere force, which is far below the capacities of man, in creation and co-operation; and without mercy, there is loss, through hard-nosed pretence, for all men fail in some things; and without goodness, there is evil, the marring and the marching that seeks what is desired, and not to complement what is produced with ingenuity and understanding.
To desire these things, while short of knowing God, is a derivative of being derived from God, and thus a second derivative in status. The imprint of eternity is disposed into the temporal by its truth. It does not require; but it does attest what reason confirms and indeed requires. It is this which is the basis of much differentiation, as rationalisation and self-defence induce towards further errors. Refusal of this dual attestation is a result of liberty plus truth, a peculiar specialty found in, but not confined to man.
The lust for power, control, mastery, glory are all involved, and much else besides. It is not the peculiar parts of the dynamics of self-destruction through desired delusion, masquerading as truth, which are crucial here; it is the type of procedure. It is attested in scripture in Ephesians 4:17-19.
But what of the love of truth, mercy, goodness and justice ?
Loving these things is no more determined by quality of your nervous energy, than is a horse's temperament by the quality of its legs. Hating them is indeed a diseased condition of the spirit, but it is one accessible by will. The will for truth is not subject to the shape of the brain, which serves in ideational facilitation, or the pockets of its planning. If it were, then capacity would equal direction, what is would equal what should be, and what is enablement would equal purpose. Such identities are no more acceptable re persons, than are inadequate identities in trigonometry.
The place of purpose in the design called man is obvious in what is found in him: the integrality and unity, the inimitable intimacies of the correlative qualities and components and the capacity to transcend what is ordered or programmed, by making programs and making the scenarios for which made programs are adapted, by deciding on what OUGHT to be done. Nothing that is, makes what ought to be so much as exist ... except God.
He however is not part of man's equipment, nor are His powers those of man. He is in fact the sina qua non of truth (cf. Barbs ... 6 -7, It Bubbles ... Ch. 9), the rational ground of justice and the personal source of mercy and goodness.
The reason why the existence of God makes for what OUGHT to be, is simple. Since man is a design (cf. Chs. 1 - 2 in Dip Deeper, Higher Soar...), the WILL and purpose of the designer becomes what is right for him. Without this, he does not exist. By it, he has the right way to exist. If it were put that the Designer was evil, then this is impossible, as we have seen in detail in such sites as Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4; for being contained by nothing, delimited by none, having all things, needing nothing, giving all that it might be, lacking all pre-determined controls, with the inhibitions of time merely His own invention for His creation, He has nothing but to give, to create, to enable and of course, to judge, since He is not only the truth, but what constitutes it.
What He wills is wrought; and if He makes freedom, that is wrought; and if man misuses it, that is man's error, and man's response should be, as it sometimes is, repentance. When He designs, moreover, He does not use what lacks the requisite potencies, or potential, in the work, but what has them. In all creation, it is so. Thus even a hat-designer can take materials and by imagination and enterprise CREATE a chapeau to dazzle. It is however a HAT still, with whatever appeal to the imagination, which shares the vision behind it, perhaps, in the mind of the designer. It is not a thinking object, but a stimulus to thought in those who possess the powers of thought.
If, similarly, you make a tape-recorder, and store there the EFFECTS acoustically, or a video and store the visual and acoustic effects in its receptacle-prone potential, you do not create a thinking or imagining or performing object out of matter: in matter you store it, in DESIGNED matter, you are ABLE to store it. It has however nil in creativity, merely possessing transmissibility through code, precisely as in DNA.
The confusion of
means in matter with an end, what uses them, and
the end itself, design prescriptions, with the originating thought of design, or for that matter,
design prescriptions with the inner thought of that very resultant, man,
which is designed, when the latter is given as PART of the design:
namely what is requisite for and in the milieu of thought:
it is this which lies at the base of some of the greatest profusions of confusions and absurdities of which man has ever been capable, short of a direct tilt at God. This is indirect, an endeavour to capture the interstices of CONSCIOUS LOGIC and knowledge of design, imagination and originality, in the processes of what merely enacts, being so coded.
For thought you need not merely its results - code can be a result of thought, just as can originality makers such as man. Thought is put into each; but it is put into different receptacles. What is potent for thought is one thing; what is a mere transmitter of it, that is another. You see this highlighted with brilliantly discerning and dully, near automated students: the latter follow, the former may even lead.
A conscious evaluator, critic, originator of thought, assessor of means, institutor of priorities, exponent of imagination, whether rebel against his or her own construction, or in sympathy with it may by arrogance imagine itself a god (as in Ezekiel 28:9, where the transcendent beauty and brilliance of one of God's creation leads him to act the god-part, and to be asked: "Will you still say I am a god, when I slay you!").
This is the extent to which the amazing licence for liberty accorded to man can go. It is however of course just as much a work of folly to extrapolate liberty and imagination into all-power and control of creation (including one's very self), as to imagine that what is manifestly occurring before one's eyes, does not exist. Thus some may seek to imagine that they are without the qualities which matter lacks, and cannot be contrived to possess; and this while they even engage in conscious thought and critically evaluation, for which matter is not the domain, though the results of this, as of many other things, can be stored in it, or exhibited by it.
All of this however is as far from the programmatic, it is as far from the hard-wired in, what is merely settled in the electronic media, instilled in directive or inanimate process by the experiences that come with the mere passage of time, as can be! It is simply a different domain, with different meaning, facilities, laws and ways. To confuse the two is to confuse what CANNOT err because it is programmed - and even a determinist failure to follow a program is NOT an error, but a failure in the programmer - the mere enactment from the thing made, on the one hand, and on the other, what can err, because it is personal and liable to do so.
That is one of the summits of creation, that a person can construe, err, repent or revile, love truth or hate it, sell it consciously for prevailing reasons, or buy it where it may be found, for whatever it may cost, if anything, and even know why. The deliberations are personal, not programmatic, may even err in their assessments by confusion in certain aspects, and this by the thrust of desire or the lapses of laziness. Indeed, we as persons discuss this; and it is not our brain capacities nor is it yet our physical criteria which make the discussion; it is our capacities to deploy these capacities with purpose against or for the nature of our construction.
If we elect to hate the construction, or life, or the creator of it, or to so despise Him as to imagine that nothing did the job, and created causation while it was at it, even though for that reason it would not exist in order to be caused, and so end in endless antinomies: so be it. That is a product of freedom which is a function of personality, which CAN and DOES err repeatedly.
Not only would mankind be insane to imagine guilt when matter drives thought, though it cannot think, or to argue as if truth were even available, when natural and thoughtless dynamics are the criteria of understanding, or to ponder career because of spiritual reasons, such as love, when this is known by a model which despises facts, to be a heartless code throbbing: the case for determinism is yet more vaguely vain and confused even than that. He would, for the model's sake, have to try to work out how a person with consciousness and contemplative facilities for evaluation and rational analysis is sited in what is merely the programmatically impersonal. It is precisely the same as trying to work out how an aircraft, whose career one is following, being gifted with many kinds of automation and control, sensor and global positioning devices, programs for contingencies and so forth, yet does things not contemplated by the maker, and invents actions and chooses directions in no way even possible for program.
The answer as in all such contusions of thought, is simple. It is this. Cease trying to force on domain of reality into another, to seek one model for all things, divorcing here powers that yet manifest themselves, and adding there powers that deny all such attribution empirically. Cease dreaming. Become a realist. Attribute function where it is to be found, and use theory to account for what is found, not to deny it. Cease to be rationalist and irrational, trying by simplistic thought to dragoon facts into your impatient maw, and in the process leaving only antinomy and unanswered because unanswerable questions, when the rational, empirical and scientific mode brings you to the exact opposite, a sensitive perception of multi-functional domains of reality, conjoined by what is definably design, and inhabited by the functionalities which design so often brings, from diverse sources (cf. Dip Deeper, Higher Soar Chs. 1 - 2, cf. Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 9, History, Review and Overview Ch. 5).
To be sure, if a man sees his fallacies and returns to rationality, he may still hate God, with a studied impudence, seeking to outdo Him, much as a prisoner might seek to overturn the gaoler; but God is not limited, so that it cannot be done. It is not in the stars but in ourselves that the error lies; and when it is consciously escalated, then so much of the truth at last begins to appear, as when an employe, hating the boss, subservient in appearance but not in spirit, chooses his moment for betrayal, in public. With God it cannot work more than ruin, since the book cannot run or ruin the author.
See SMR Ch. 3, and Barbs ... 19.
See and compare OVERFLIGHT... 1 (and the UN), NEWS 152 (truth does not invade, but it still prevails - discussion in detail including the UN approach), Mystery of Iniquity, and News 121, 122.
See Bright Light Ch. 10.
See A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 12, Barbs ... 14, 17, SMR Ch.7, Section 4,
Biblical Blessings Ch. 13,
Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Extension 3 ,
The Biblical Workman Ch. 7, Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 15;
Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4;
Christ, the Wisdom of God ... Ch. 3;
Of the Earth ... Ch. 6;
The True God has Go... Ch. 5; Bright Light ... Ch. 10 ).
See Beginnings Ch. 7, The Biblical Workman, Repent or Perish Ch. 6;
Calibrating Myths ... Ch. 1,
Sparkling Life ... Ch. 8.