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The PROCEDURAL GROUP
Mandates and Methods,
Millenium and Glory
The Architecture of Language, the Design of Words, the Structure of Thought,
the Fixtures of Freedom, the Formation of Spirit,
Code for Consciousness, Meaning for Morals,
Spiritual and Formal Specifications in Creation,
the Foundations of Knowledge and
the Emplacement of Man in this world, and in the Plan,
the Millenial Prelude to the Final Judgment
Gospel Guarded, but
According to Truth
The Advertiser August 13,
Matters of China and the USA
Defining Drama 2 (this last including the modes of learning and gaining knowledge, detailing modes of gaining knowledge, scientific method being one, when rightly applied)
What is the Wheat to the Chaff ? Ch. 5 (where learning is finished, with nowhere to begin, and the world lusts for its own ownership, the method of oblivion, which deserves it, but gets worse),
Dig Deeper 2
Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 1 - tracing elements of creation that are benchmarks in unison, and in this being parallel to TMR Ch. 1 ;
Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed: Barrister of Bliss Ch. 4;
Little Things Ch. 3
Overflight ... Ch. 3
Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Ch. 2
The Wit and Wisdom of the Word of God Ch. 2
See Ch. 7, below
The Majestic Might of the Merciful
Messiah: Jesus Ch. 5,
Dizzy Dashes, Heady Clashes and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth 6
Repent or Perish Ch. 7,
The Desire of the Nations 2, Epilogue
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 10
Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation
Sparkling Life ... Ch. 10
Elaborations of Design
The Architecture of Language,
the Design of Words, the Structure of Thought,
the Fixtures of Freedom, the Formation of Spirit,
Code for Consciousness, Meaning for Morals,
Spiritual and Formal Specifications in Creation,
the Foundations of Knowledge and
the Emplacement of Man in this world:
Significance Past Process, Ebullience, Licence,
and the Abolition of Friendship with God through Fancy
in its Dynamic of Defection
Some of these concepts have been touched in the preceding Chapters, especially Ch. 4, but in a processive sense, a fresh look at least in passing, may be given.
Let us start with expression, communication to thought, moving to spirit in its survey of significance and aspiration and aim-preparation, through its ponderings of holiness or humility, realism or irrationalism, as a non-coded entity (cf. Ch. 7, *1 below), and hence responsibility for response! Proclaiming there is no truth as a truth, or pretending to seize it as a particle in a pool, when none is above it, is as total a solecism as possible to the saucy spirit of mankind, in its illicit dealings. Pretending to be programmed and to know it, when the programmatic is immune to assessment, being merely the mind of another, adds to the spice of the irrational by which man tries to seize the reins of heaven, while bolting to the darkness of hell.
Not all do this; but the tendency in the fallen heart of man is universal, some delivered to diversity in rescue from such diversions, some feinting faith, some openly loathing it. Meanwhile man speaks. It is good that it does not need to be in vain! Models that make it so sink with their propounders, self-condemned. But what of man's speech ?
There is the architecture of language, with its rooms for reason, its cellars for thought, its balconies of fancy, its roof for relish, its grounds for imagination, its foundation for truth and its facilities for exploration, dissertation and decision through submission to will and wisdom and its scope for definition of desire and declaration of will, in whatever direction.
There is the symbolism of words, hastening to grasp thought and observation alike, seeding them in gardens of display. There are the semantics of structure, the solemnities of atmosphere, the facilities for plea, comment, suggestion, question. Above is the air of understanding, through which fly the birds of beauty and in which is the space for communication from above, as to every site, to the ordaining and ordering Constructor of the multi-tasking, plural provisioning, integrally correlative site.
Here is the spirit which proclaims truth, in defiance of or alliance with the God for whom alone, beyond the events which depend on Him, is truth possible, through whom it becomes verifiably actual for man, who delights to seize and use it, or else to bray about it while deploying blinds to hide from God, or openly hating it, some dedicating the whole structure of thought, language, word and communication, symbol and signification, power of mental process and ideational content to hell, either directly or obliquely.
From order thus moves man to confusion, from facility to the unfeasible, from hope to disaster; but for some there is a difference. It is not hard to find, for in the mind of God there is language as in the mind of man, and God has spoken what He will, which is a willingness to save, an ability and a provision which He deploys with the heart of a universal entreaty, a sovereign facility and an integrity of mercy which loses nothing that in love and reality, is His own (cf. Ch. 10, as marked, below).
So does the very spirit of man, harassing or harnessing will, advance or abort truth in love of God, or hatred. So works man, surveyor of scenarios, midget of might, equipped to deploy power not his own, recipient of reason, knight errant of rebellion or lover and friend of the Creator of logic, language, word, witness, significance, symbol, discernment and that co-operative system, that turns sight into thought and thought into ideas, these to perspectives, those to philosophies and those to creatively construed competitors with the Creator or else willing adjuncts, revised by reason, relishing observation, dispelling nothing but the envious and the deceitful.
Here is found consciousness, the attestation of spirit in its surveying function, seeking truth, not as an aspect of racial madness but because of construction from, by and with the truth (cf. Ch. 4 above); Here likewise at work are other features, seen in its enablement of the moral, that arena for the disposition of heart and will before its Maker, with liberty the domain of spirit and licence its lawful limit (loc. cit., cf. Licence for Liberty).
It is a mobile realm; for man acts in spirit with considerably more robustness than in body. Indeed, often does he despise limits as though he himself were God, only to find by law that he is not. It is not just the law which he enunciates for his kind, but that in them which so confronts him! It is moreover that over them. Who is lord over me! he childishly chants.
This is one of the most fundamental features of an erring race, the most enduring impacts of history and the worst of man's delinquencies. From this follow his treatment of his fellows, his imaginations of god-like differentiae for those who will by power to become super-race, or have superior place or supernal grace, equipped from their own glorious wills, witless and wandering, arrogant and supine in understanding.
Man may be moved to the heights of truth as reason requires, and God provides,
even to his acknowledgment of the word of God (cf. I Thess. 1:5-6), written like the DNA, in
that other book,
the book for reading by this recipient of language,
breeder of thought,
aspirant for wisdom,
the book of the Lord*1A (Isaiah 34:16-17),
that only one verified and validated by accredited access to truth and
success for performance,
without antinomy or antilogy (cf. Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ).
Here the Lord has commanded His word, delivered His design for salvation, covered the defalcations of design that man has wrought and intends, witnessed His will and attests by communication with precision, able over all and for every time, the intimations of what is to be. Here are the text of spiritual pathology, and the operations for its removal and restoration according to design. Here lies the exposure of deviant processes of mind and spirit, body and life, and the illumination for life, that it may have fruition, not failure.
But man! Again, he dispels truth and invents new
gods, dead on arrival,
deathly constructions of aborted reason, seedy manufactures of constricted irrationality, monuments to misled or meandering spirit (cf. Deuteronomy 32:15-22);
and man slays by them,
so seducing himself to make a race that ends (Titus 3:3, Zephaniah 3:6-8).
But the friends of God do not end.
Man moves tempestuous to fly from his balconies, filled with emotion, casting off foundations; fleet of wing and empty of thought, he makes false gods, even using the name of God, or of Christ, or parts of His revelation to do so, as in Judaism, as Moses foretold (Deuteronomy 32), Christ stressed (Matthew 23:3ff.) and Paul predicted, as likewise in Romanism (I Timothy 4, II Timothy 4 cf. Errors), and more broadly as Peter prophesied (II Peter 2): as no less in other sects (cf. Errors), systematic slanderers of the Truth they name, gathering together, or seducing alone, gabbling in unison, seducing the vulnerable, the unprotected, the wanderers, vagrants ready for vagrancy.
He invades the earth, already cursed (Romans 8:18ff., Revelation 6ff.),for his spiritual inventions, besotted with power, empty of wisdom. He seizes nations, brands peoples.
He joins gods, he embraces unity without truth and vacuity as virtue, ablaze with passion, self-contradiction and clash with God alike - the earth trembles: he makes symbols instead of God and has ruin as a spectre. He acts without licence, and then denies liberty, expels thought, twists and torments truth, declares it truth, while denying truth. Thus does the beauty of of language, the symbolic power of word and the structure of thought act in warring spirits for man's ruin, as captive of his own imagination, a prisoner of fancy, calling truth lie, while he enthrones himself amid the ashes of desire.
Yet it may act for his salvation through the word of the living God who made Him, and has provided the Book that builds what is broken, restores what is ruined, by its word, which is truth enacted, promise provided, procedure performed, avenue to salvation, confirmed in Jesus Christ, whose return, in the parameters of His provided power, awaits (Acts 1:7, 3:19ff.), like an epochal sun soon to rise (Answers to Questions Ch. 5), while that of man recalcitrant, prepares to set.
Amid the furores and frenzies, the spirit of man carries him to the precipices and yawns sleepily; or betimes it advances militantly to the abyss, where truth long since was sent to die, and man lives moribund, festering amid sores of fancy not to be fancied, ruins that will not be removed; or again, bowing to God, in language of love in a spirit of delight, his churning spirit embraces reality like a long-lost friend and the truth of God as necessity for life.
Praise the Lord.
The Processive University
What shall be said then of the processive procedures of man ? An analogy will help unveil the stupendous depth and detail involved.
In analogy, this resembles, this processive power of man, a vast and fully-fledged university, except that it excels it in this, firstly that its research, on all foundational matters, was complete on its arrival, its establishment, its constitution. Since man severed from God, as his spirit shows apart from the historical fact, the above one of the testimonies to it (cf. Repent or Perish Chs. 1-2), there is a 'problem'.
Yet still, the foundation though severed, remains available, and the script though swept from his table, remains on the shelf; indeed it has been communicated for centuries, and proclaimed for millenia, founded on man, but not just man, on God in the form of man, focussed in function.
Through this work, the Lord has exhibited and provided:
in life the definitive expression of God, that man might see who He is with His own observation, meeting every crucial and infinite standard, at the level of deity itself, while
in death the decisive determination of freedom for restoration,
by His payment of severance cost, and in bodily resurrection
that annihilation of romancing about poetic things,
abstractions and easy-fill solutions,
which is merely a furtherance of man's fall,
an insult to the practical power of God
and an insulation against reality (cf. SMR pp. 100-101, Let God be God Ch. 2 ;
Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed: Barrister of Bliss Ch. 1,
Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 5, and Ch. 9 below);
in history, the testimony both of its control in the long-term, and in the short-term,
for NO ONE EVER has been shown to have outwitted, outplayed, outworked,
out-performed, in principle or practice, outsourced or ousted Christ except by
murder; and even that was not merely foretold a millenium in advance, even as
to the method, but its outcome, the most easily ruined of all predictions, being simply
that the corpse of a murdered man would not be able to be sustained in death, because
He was the divine deliverer whose ransom payment for sin would be accomplished in this
way, and at the predicted date (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4);
in holiness, for no sin has ever been able to be visited on Him, even by the most bitter,
practised, unprincipled powers-that- were of the day, or any since, while the provocations leading to His death were enormous, sustained and orchestrated;
in heavenly grace, showing concern with the little, the lost, the defiled, the degraded as
well as for the haughty and the spiritually hideous, crying for forgiveness for some of
in hearts, where the restoration of divine friendship becomes a function and feature
of the risen Christ received through His Spirit by faith
Having paid, He gives freely, requiring acceptance
without addition of His own salvation,
by grace, through faith without works (Ephesians 2, Galatians 1, 3, Romans 3, 5, 8), lest
man being defiled, act to defile even salvation, the free gift of the love and mercy of the
God of all comfort.
This then is the distinctive of this 'university' called man, that all this is provided. Yet that, it
leaves us to consider how the university works, its procedures.
There are the mathematical, the engineering faculties, all operative and attending to their several functionalities and felicities. It operates visibly in the heights of attainment with sound professional domains executive of finesse and substance alike. These all co-operate with a minimum of friction on prepared paths for communication and dispersal of knowledge, and its practical implementation. Such is its physical aspect, with multiplied methods of delivering sound arrival and growth of new members over thousands of years, as if the State Empire Building in Chicago, made in times of stress at such speed, were not only to have babies, which grew before one's staggered eyes, but myriads of methods of ensuring their health, so that a massive majority of them for millenia were in marvellous shape, and their kind of construction were conserved to a spectacular degree.
NO physical effect comes without a correlative cause as we have often seen (cf. Causes), and ALL results in ANY domain require what it takes to make them; magic is for infants, and method is for mind, its concepts and its consequences clear-cut companions as is found in duress, when one seeks to make such things oneself, though science shudders at such a task!
As then to this University called man, as it grows, new students arrive, as cells multiply, constitutionally ordained, new functions arise, all secure from the start both in their end-products - which are highly diverse, cross-relating to many faculties, and in their eventual co-operation, at first only latent, as all unfolds, and domains and dimensions alike become apparent in their diversity, scope and select degrees of control, analysis and operational liberty.
Supply depots are found for management to disperse, so that ever new raw materials for consumption and combination by the faculties, may be available eat the required time and place continually. Telegraphic transfers of intimate directions move with speed, while assemblages abound on all sides, for re-direction, protection and checking. Whole systems, multiple and inter-active, arise for defence of the campus, tagging invaders and securing their despatch or demise.
As it constructed, each university, over several years, its top-flight administration constantly is available for direction by the Council which in turn uses a marvellously open approach as to the spirit, ultimate direction and destiny of the university.
In this is a marked contrast to the lower management levels, the circuits and sophistication of which are astounding in enterprise and dazzling in imaginative scope and correlation.
At this top level, questions are propounded, discussion occurs, premises are probed in a way the physical premises are not, argumentation arises and at times vast dissensions are dynamically deployed awaiting resolution, as to the consignment and even meaning of the whole structure, its finale for fruition, its mode of services, its evaluation criteria for both performance and direction, and these things are pondered.
Sometimes there is visible a spirit of ardent enterprise which again is in marked contrast to the lower level of supply, dispersal and construction of means, including whole faculties; for it relates both to the mind that is the dower of the final executive, and its wisdom or often definable lack of it, to objective and understanding for the whole, as to its spiritual access to comprehension or voluntary or deliberate voidance of the same.
Diverse aims, values, projects and projections, envisagements and dreams arrive, and in many such universities, the programs of lower management, arriving without research on the growing campus, are studied as criteria for thought. While many such institutes are hungry for discernment of those founding principles and the creative principal of is campus and consulting the richly furnished libraries, find access to the liberal Source of that endowment, through which they were made, and actually ask for the purpose; with others, it is not so.
Attributing their vision and wisdom to nothing, the latter become scenarios of self-contradiction, their very being living a lie, fraught with denial of everything, except themselves and the inter-relation with other such universities as they try in vain to make parallels from their own powers. Their tangled wrangling embraces now this, now that illusion.
Yet some, finding the same systematic finality as has always accompanied these growths and being sensitively aware of the exact gap met where execution of detail and point of purpose for the whole exists, engage in purvey of a book of intelligible symbols, clearly directed at the integral level to their faculties and administration, and use it. These are apt to say that order begets order, brilliance brilliance, facility functionality, integrative intelligence intelligent integration and code-making capacities codes, as are everywhere in lower levels that construct the campus basis, both empirically apparent and analytically clear.
They pursue the point that the obvious next step is to study this supra-DNA book, available not to be sure for certain lower levels of management, which are executive merely and have no facility for such comprehension, being in themselves not relevant to the direction pf purpose for the whole, but for themselves.
It meets the need of their own ideational, evaluative, direction-assessing level. It does not allow ill-based imagination to direct its thoughts on the meaning, purpose and place of the whole, its responsibilities and scope, its measure and mandate; but it requires that each campus examine its place, verification and validity, and being unable to match this, and needing the supra-programmatic for decisions, use what has been provided for high level management, the Book itself. Here is the external to match the internal, the wisdom to meet the work done and to direct it, the work of the Intelligence that made the whole, for the intelligence which is part of the thing made, of the Spirit of the Maker for the spirit of the made .
Of these illuminated universities, two main types are found. Both examine the Book, which research daily identifies as being unique beyond measure, for it applies in every field, in self-verification and generic validation (cf. Ch. 6 below, *10). These, one group, become obsessively transfixed with an odium and hatred for the Book which, had such attitudes applied to lower levels of management, would have meant organisational cancer, but now becomes an analogous mental cancer.
So gripped, it gives directives of diverse kinds to the faculties to distance, detest, subdue or shred the book at all meetings, installing a special shredder for compulsive and at length obsessive use by all senior management. Some and they are many, go further, and secure a sort of spiritual shredding of those who disobey these mandates, often expressed in diffuse language, at least to the point of dismissal or exclusion in various ways, virtually amounting to the same, with mounting pressures and pre-emptions.
The other type of university seizes the Book, seeks its essentials, finds its priorities, and funds its application using freedom to elevate the functionality of the lower faculty levels, not precluding liberty, but insisting on its open exercise in defensible manner. It seeks to apply the supra DNA of this Book, the wisdom which is freely obtained not automatically imparted, drastic in rationality, dynamic in consistent verification, insistent on validity of thought, excluding by reason the vapidity of the irrational, instead of arguing as others in their undivine comedy, with reason, directly or indirectly, for its demise: the spirit of such fearless universities of faith and truth, so becoming both more self-aware and self-evaluative.
Following the inter-personal directions of the Book, such come to realise that a vast dispersal of comprehension-creating light facilitates fearless and fair research, allowing funding for what works, not what whines. Seeing that this dispersal is necessary, it organises the transmission of spiritual lumen.
It is not based on hope of what does not occur, but on sight of what does (cf. SMR pp.140ff.).
It stresses the word of Christ and of the apostles, that one must face the things that one sees and hears, and the demands of reason (Acts 4:19-20, 5:32, John 14:10-11).
Realising its basis (for this presents not a day of magic but making, and making is not a way of oddity but causative rationality, and this way is what has operated in its own construction as the university called man, and is imaged in its own procedures, using which it operates), it simply acknowledges and applies it freely, delighted in discerning its meaning and mandate.
The enlivening realisation of the point and purpose of their construction becomes like the solar light for the world in which it is placed, suffusing all, as reality is read and with rational consistency, logical order and pan-explicative power, proceeds. Then they perceive WHY they were made, and for WHAT they themselves, using the delegated and subsidiary creative power within them,
This adorns the thrust of faculties, now directed to wisdom in research, the more readily realising the wit behind and within the creation of their walls, passages, gardens and conference capacities and correlative chambers for the commerce of ideas and the acquisition of understanding.
Many of these become scenes of wisdom, yet a group of them, having first begun to taste the wonder of these things, refuse the Book's command to repent of earlier ignorance, wilfulness and insubordination to the mind of their Writer, Enduer, publisher and Producer, or seek to re-write or even over-write the book to erratic Senate order. They seek to reproduce the Christ, or deduce Him from their own minds, or induce Him from their own wills, to reduce Him for their own ownership or manipulation.
These are the disoriented, initially religious universities that litter the land as in Hebrews 6 and 10, emblems of superficiality, their Senate forever darkened in counsel, due reward of ditching what they had begun to realise, for the sake of being deemed luminous in their own right, for enjoyment of usurpation of licence, being very marvels of lawlessness, with reserved seats in the netherlands of not God, where their hearts lean and their minds have wandered.
Those which do repent, realise and restore their created premises to the Author, find love the basis of belief, faith its executive force and sublimity of understanding the new aura that arises at every meeting, the peace of which attests its light and the prowess its faith.
Such are called and are regenerated universities; and once catapulted into such an orbit, once changed, once leaving the entry site and moving through the avenue of access by faith, to the Redeemer, triumphant in resurrection Himself, present in power, available for ascertainment, they find this, that their original generation, which founded them as entities, becomes their new generation. This plants them as places of peace and divine provision, ineradicable as genes in the new-born child (cf. I John 3:9, Matthew 15:13).
Now their course and holy calling (II Timothy 1:9-10), the one that counts and in which they are counted (cf. Revelation 6:11), becomes the commission to co-operate with the Author. Rebellion as with the former sub-group, is categorically ejected with its commissars and commissioners expelled. This is removed along with the devilish dynamic which enshrouded them, and left vast quantities of dust in the meeting rooms of the Senates of such.
Now they gain a facility in their faculties, integrated in understanding, illuminated with wisdom, endued with discretion, fearless in boldness for the truth, indeed with Bunyan, valiant for the truth. This the Author in His love had thoughtfully provided (John 16, Ephesians 3:16, Colossians 1:17ff.). Their rebuilding on the basis of the foundation of the regeneration, the latter accomplished already (I Corinthians 3:10-11), proceeds with panache, the trumpet giving no uncertain sound: and Jesus Christ, without whom the entire universe would never have been created (cf. Isaiah 51:16, 49:1-3), and through whom before His incarnation, as the Word of God it was created (John 1:3, Colossians 1:15), now becomes even available by His Spirit on the campus!
Having visited this earth to give a personal demonstration of sinless sovereignty, and meek authority, to provide a performance of redemption with its seal of bodily resurrection (Romans 1:4), He by no means despises the faculty or the Senate, and instructs by His word and Spirit (John 15:26), whom He sends from the Father, so that the entire university, which glows with His presence, receives His discipline as necessary (Hebrews 12), and frankly worships Him: far better than doing so with Rock stars, soccer saints or political shibboleths and artists, because of the truth! After all, they are now sealed forever to the inheritance of their God (Ephesians 1:5,11).
Such universities set up a public registry, acknowledging their Founder, in fidelity to Him, who Himself challenges them with that fearlessness of the Light which is its nature, to investigate on all sides, not only His initial foundation, but also His enduements and deployments to the race, to His special race (I Peter 2:9), His redeemed people, each one and all, with an eye which wisdom both incites and confirms.
Mischief to Master to Millenium
The Restoration better than the Beginning!
Regenerated Universities are numerous, when each is seen as a symbol of a person; though far less so in the actual domain of universities as normally so-called, for the Age is wearying of light, and in blights all but innumerable, as it fights its way in wickedness of device, mixed with blindness of dynamic, like a child pulling down levers in a signal station, scarcely knowing what it does, as the noise mounts and the whole building shakes.
This reaches its climax, as unfettered disease does, when repentance of the folly that causes it is hard to find (cf. Revelation 9:20-21); and when that is done, and the Maker returns, who also as the Redeemer has a double interest in man, then the exhibit of what cost many much in faithfulness to Him, becomes the mandate for the times, and reversal of rule shows what is to be found when the earth is indeed filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea (John 14:30-31 with Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 11:9).
This is called the Millenium, though its precise time span may be symbolic, as is much in the Book of Revelation in this domain. This not at all blights its reality, as in all symbols; it is simply that the domain in question is given in a format which is not direct, as when one states that rubies have a glorious redness and a delight suffusion of light. Then it is clear at once that they are red, well-lit and glow; and the rest is an additive readily discerned. Symbols signify substance; but their precise impact is a question dependent on the type of writing in view.
On this, see Ch. 11 below as marked, with Lead Us Not into Educational Temptation, Ch. 4. See also SMR pp. 959-965, and Sparkling Life ... Ch. 10.
As to the Millenium, here is DESIGN indeed. Its end brings the last step before the abolition of this world and its false glories. Let us trace the procedures with this in mind.
Firstly, God made the world perfect, and man fell in autonomous contrivances and divine aspiration that was uncomely, incorrect and ludicrous*1.
Then God brought on judgment, mixed with hope (Genesis 3:15), for from the woman would come into the very domain of weakness through sin, the victor who would deliver. Into the image of God, in which God made man (Genesis 1, 3), man excluded and judged, would come One who though in the format of man, would have the power not merely to beat the devil at the sin game, the sin stakes, the way of destruction and assured death, but crush him personally, remove his sting and overcome his deadly dynamic, crushing his very head.
Where death is the penalty and deliverance is the mode, where the 'heel' of the deliverer is on the head of the evil one, and bruised in the process, then clearly it is He who overcoming death, has eternal life that cannot be broken. It is the divine God Himself who is to come, and deliver both from the death which is His own penalty, and the deadly one who led into it, by suffering in Himself. Such a plan needed much further elaboration, and it was to be given in glorious stages, the result and the regality however, alike clear from the first.
But man, though to learn to sacrifice as admission of sin (and not like Cain, to sacrifice your brother because he learned the lesson, which resembles religious persecution ever since!), and this he did in that straight lesson. The fruit of the field is not the justification of life, but it is to be found in a divinely acceptable sacrifice, a fact which pointed on to what was to come.
Yet sacrifice in form is not sufficient in fact. The heart must go with it. Man's thoughts became filled with evil from an early age, and so the time which immediately preceded the deluge to come was very like this present world, and is of course a kind of trailer, like a prelude to a film, an introduction to the judgment which is to come, a fact Christ made clear (Matthew 24:38ff.).
Next God brought awareness of the meaning of total judgment in the Flood, which came near to it (cf. II Peter 3, Genesis 6), and the rainbow as the assurance that of flood of this kind, one is the limit.
He brought out Abraham (Genesis 12ff.) as a friend whose family would be used to bring a desperately needed blessing to the human race, in any nation, and He sited his domain in the place assigned (see Deuteronomy 12:5-11, 14:23, 26:2, Joshua 9:27. I Kings 8:29, Psalm 78:68, 132:13-14, and II Chronicles 7:16, 33:4). This in turn allowed His declarations further to the point, in Deuteronomy 28ff., and Leviticus 26, to be an objective record for all men to read (cf. Grand Biblical Perspectives Chs. 3-5).
Israel would gain the land, and at last after many spiritual failures and states of rout, lose it in infamy; and yet, for all that, later it would be given it gratis back again (Ezekiel 36ff., Deuteronomy 32 cf. SMR pp. 755ff., Galloping Events Ch. 8, It Bubbles ... Ch. 10. SMR Appendix A). Though many would try to take it back, this would not be achieved (Zechariah 12), and vast would be the warfares and amazing the results, when frontal attack on Israel is made. This however is no millenium: anything but such a time!
What then was done before all of this ?
God sent prophets to advise, warn, foretell in a way none but God could achieve (cf. Galloping Events Ch. 1).
He sent the Messiah, the Redeemer, having defined Him adequately as am equal member of the Godhead (SMR pp. 532ff.). His mandate was mercy, His method redemption.
This Messiah was born as prescribed by Micah, died as the date prescribed through Daniel (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4), acted as required in Isaiah 29-35 for example, and wrought as predicted by Isaiah and in the manner shown by David (Psalm 22, Isaiah 49-55).
He was killed by His 'friends', the chosen race of Abraham, as foretold (Isaiah 49:7), and the Jews who lost their place, were at last brought back to it (as in fact, and as in Luke 21:34, Ezekiel, Deuteronomy, Isaiah cf. SMR 822-836, Appendix A, Galloping Events Ch. 4). The world then having been the recipient of this Gospel, the same foretold by Isaiah (cf. SMR Ch. 9), and done much with it, at length increasingly rejected it in a manner very like that of the ageing Israel of the first Century. That is to say, it was and is a treacherous, blind, thankless, morally hideous and judicially horrendous situation.
Both Jew and Gentile are now much the same in guilt, ab initio. Both the Lord of glory and His plan, performance, design and declarations have now by His resurrection, redemption and realisation found the glory that was theirs before His coming, the essence foretold. In the heart of God, the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).
Then, and this is our own contemporary period, the roll call of events proceeds (SMR Ch. 8), and the world in ungainly display of riotously reckless renegacy, careens on its human-extravaganza, as if determined to give more teeth to the bite of Eve on the challenging apple-test. They WANT to be as God.
When then the entire course of events has been played (like a sad, lachrymose recording), and Christ returns first for His own (A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 18), and then with them, and the earth is visited with its come-uppance, what then ?
It is then that the DESIGN of the Millenium supervenes. Let us ponder its advent step by step.
Christ calls and His elect come from every quarter to Himself (Matthew 24, I Thessalonians 4). Their absence is an incident tough for the mental teeth of bewildered but belligerent man, unwilling to cease from sin (Revelation 9). With His saints, all of them (Zech. 14:5, I Thess. 3:13), the Lord returns to judge that civil-political-social-financial-military horror, the 'beast' and the false prophet (Revelation 16, 20).
Thence is the onset of the millenium. It is designed, delightful and fruitful, and righteousness rules; the terrorist is in terror, the dishonest is in remission, the evil is under constraint (Isaiah 11, Psalm 72). Israel is the land of a Headquarters from which Christ, the one equally for Jew and Gentile (Romans 11, Galatians 3:23) rules in the New Covenant (cf. Open Door, Closed Mind ... Ch. 8).
The LORD ONLY is glorified in that day, and His entire Church, Jew and Gentile, is His body, raised, resurrected (Isaiah 26:19), testimonial, at last on God's earth as God's people with God in visible rule. Then the final insurrection, the devil's fake resurrection, in mere violence of which the Islamic militancy is the prelude in kind, Hitler another, Stalin one more, Mao yet a further example. This fails as all do in the end before the wise and foreseeing God. Books are opened; and without visible land, those are made landmarks who are moved to their place, wherever their heart was.
What a beautiful design is that of this millenium!
For thousands of years, man has muddled, muddied, thudded, clouted, spouted, surrendered truth, afflicted God's people, grabbed riches, sought power with corruption, and now it is all reversed. Evil has no place (Isaiah 11:4-9), and truth is glorified (Micah 4). The site of the Saviour's death has value for that reason, for all have failed, Jew and Gentile alike, and it is for Him to receive the glory, His Church of truly regenerated, citizens of the kingdom of heaven, with Him, His glory reflected (Isaiah 60). The very walls of the city are salvation (Isaiah 60).
They shall not hurt or destroy in all MY holy mountain, says the Lord (Isaiah 11:9), and "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 11). The divine design was for liberty with love by sin, as He foreknew, to become loss with dereliction, thus giving freedom its splash; and for His life on earth, as Messiah, by grace to become restoration with mercy, thus giving love its primacy and justice its place. This restoration now achieves its summit. The millenium is as far from the mockery of folly, seeking continually to swamp this earth, as is life from the dead.
His kindness to the poor, He who is their Redeemer (Psalm 72), His provision of abundance in peace and plenty, His works of mercy and goodness, governance and power all proceed. No more is the earth able to scoff at His weakness (Psalm 2), which was a redemptive necessity (Isaiah 52-53), though only so in appearance; for death itself was allowed to seize Him only that He should in return, throttle its power and overcome AS A MAN, its pangs in resurrection, itself a testimony to truth and deliverance of His people (Acts 2:23-24, Psalm 2, 22, 16). How valueless is insurrection when resurrection is the testimony of the extent of His power. What went as a designed sacrifice at Calvary, appears now as an intended majesty, in Jerusalem and throughout the earth
The site of sacrifice becomes the domain of the splendour of power (Isaiah 11, Micah 4:11ff.), for the obsolete is no more (Hebrews 7-8), and the New Covenant is the criterion of Christ, ineffaceable, ineradicable, eternal (Jeremiah 31:31ff., Isaiah 53, 61, 65:13-15, Isaiah 30:8ff., Hebrews 6:18-20), and it is the everlasting covenant (Ezekiel 16:61ff., Isaiah 59:20-21., 66:2ff.), and His kingdom the one that will not pass away (Daniel 7:14,25-27, Ephesians 1:10). Failure to come to the point is exposed in its vexation in Hebrews 10-12, where the desultory dismissal of the immovable criterion of Christ crucified, yes rather risen (Romans 8) becomes a point of faith itself. HE remains ALWAYS in His own covenant, from His own action (Galatians 6:14), and no other glory is permissible, possible or even feasible (Hebrews 7:21-24).
Now is goodness linked to government of a clear character, since the test is near its end. Now is majesty, without pomp, but with appearance in place (Isaiah 11). Now is unbelief rebuked by the visible as well as the invisible, and now is the beauty of creation consummated. Now, following this historical epoch of the beauty of holiness in Messianic rule, the devil yet again reacts after his time of exclusion from the earth (Revelation 20); and then and thus, it is demonstrated once and for all in the laboratory of history, that goodness and kindness and brotherly love and plenty and majesty and truth are nowhere near enough for the rebellious. They seek to take the kingdom back, and failing, face judgment.
The design for history is thus complete, the desire for this earth that it preach and reach and teach, being instructive to principalities and power as well as to every man is fulfilled, and the new heavens and earth availing (Revelation 20, Isaiah 65:17), eternity prevailing in the presence of the living God, the designations of destiny proceed, the confirmations of desire (Haggai 2:6-7, Isaiah 40) being attested and the ultimacies displayed to all.
ALL is designed, and with liberty realised, all is meaningful and nothing is missing.
So does the word of God speak; and the historical fact, the empirical expositions of this world's developments, they proceed from first to last as stated. Man has moved from supping with the desires of the devil to the Fall, from this to the Last Supper and from that to the deadly dynamics of infamous futilities, sometimes masquerading as faith (cf. II Corinthians 11), and the moves through the bankruptcy of alien options, to the return of Royalty in the Redeemer and the exhibition of righteousness to this earth and to whatever powers and principalities are held in store for education. Here the ludicrous lapses are ground away, and in the beauty of what many have sought, now provided, is a peace that stills and a glory that thrills.
Nevertheless, even in the millenium, many among men move to the final confirmation that power is not sought because of degradation for mere restoration, but for the ambitions to displace God Himself (Revelation 20:7ff.), which has been the heart of modern man's unruly romancing, in whatever language the thought proceeds.
Methods and Knowledge which
While Truth Never Changes, any More than God Does
So does the work of God speak so clearly, the methods of gaining knowledge one and all speaking*2 in their indirect way, as the word of God speaks directly and acts (Psalm 19:1ff., Romans 1:17-19, Hebrews 1:1-3), scientific method showing only the same*3 , while the multitudes of those who depart from this method, though scientists, leaving their scientific brethren who insist on it as if pariahs*4, these too merely attest more of the word of God, which predicted just such things (cf. II Peter 3:1-5)*5.
These mingle precisely with the other realm, that of morals, which falls similarly into maximal declivities as foretold (Matthew 24), and this not only in the world*6, but in a large segment of what still calls itself the church*7 as if part of it (II Timothy 3:1-5, II Peter 2), while idolatries abound and some major ones are specified (I Timothy 4, II Timothy 4, II Peter 3;1-5, Revelation 16), addiction to follies of Romanism, with fictions of fables and myths such as are exemplified in Freudianism, Marxism and organic evolutionism (cf. Ch. 6 below, Overflight in Christ Ch. 3, Pain, Suffering and Evil).
As to the the errors of some so-called churches now in rapid and critical decline, the breach of design by designating as 'pure' what in sexual terms fouls fecundity and ignores specificity, is not merely what Romans 1 shows as a product of departing from the God of Creation, as designer and the power to produce (1:19ff.), but illustrates the word of Christ that "iniquity shall abound" before His return portends. Let us examine one such case.
The spread in latitude to these things, both in attitude and region, both in many churches and in secular societies, is part of the end of the Age, in the sense that it is the 'end of the line'! When therefore the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the USA decides that it will need further study to see if it will bless 'same sex couples' and ordain homosexuals, and that it does want great restraint in terms of removing those who so live, from the ministry, if their perverted performances are in a "mutual, chaste and faithful committed same-gender relationship", it resembles a codicil to the will seen in some churches, that their desire and that of the God of the Bible, are at war, which in the end means death*8.
Here are the words of sobriety (chaste, faithful) used of the insalubrious, of uprightness of the corruptly anti-design, contra-deity perversion of the sexuality of man, so that it is precisely as in Isaiah 5,
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
"Woe to those who are wise..." in their own eyes
When you war, then, with the Lord, whose are you ? It is one thing to be awry for a time on some issue, and to be refined; but outright abuse of terminology, theology, pastoral purity, and calling evil good and good evil, this as in Isaiah 5, is ground for confrontation ... with God!
That sort of development, then, is part of the message for the end of the Age (made concrete in Revelation 19, and requiring separation in Romans 16:17). That millions in cases of rebellion against the word of God, whether in this or some other major particular of glowing clarity in the word of God (cf. I Corinthians 6:9-10, 5:9-10, I Timothy 1:10) are storming into what were once faithful Christian churches, this too is part of the divine design for the end of the Age (II Peter 2:1ff.,II Thessalonians 2).
There is a separation*9 often not only FROM churches which flay the word of God, a positive command to be clear and free from such bodies, a requirement which every Christian in obedience should observe (Romans 16:17, Ephesians 4-6, I Timothy 6, Revelation 18:4, Numbers 16:21-30), but BETWEEN these who cling to corruption, and those who respect the injunction, "be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord" and all its many illustrations in both testaments (cf. Separation 1997). The issues of test therefore have their results, and the examples of various pathologies and beauties, both alike, glow like munitions factories and gardens respectively, but diversely, as the devastations approach, like bombers over Europe in WW II, before the final Victory is made manifest.
Be it clearly realised, once and for all, that this is NOT to be accomplished by sinners, redeemed or otherwise, but by the SAVIOUR in person (Revelation 19, Isaiah 2, 24).
See esp. Excursion at *6. Meanwhile we turn to the ...
Excursion on the Book of the Lord,
the Perfection of His Prophetic Authority and
Reliability in the Old and New Testament
Amid Magnificent Mercy
The BOOK OF THE LORD is not, as some seem to see it, merely a book by which you are booked, as it were a written form of a police code. Police have books because they have rules, the road has rules, and States have rules, if they are any good, which determine what is fitting and what is not. You can be a brilliant driver, but if you either have no rules or ignore them, you become either in dizzying danger or a peril to others, or both.
In a free market economy, sometimes some go to withering extremes, as if so in fear of the malevolent and the masterful that they want ANYTHING to go, and leave things to the wings of conscience, heart or convenience of the players, workers or whatever they may be who do the work of management and toil (both CAN be toil, and sometimes both are mere foil).
This is obvious folly. You do NOT say, Because the game of tennis is so wonderful, we will not limit it to a court, or ignore screaming or ball bouncing episodes, as if freedom MEANS anythingness. It does not. Its heart is to remove restraints when these are an obstacle to production, invention and imagination; but NOT to remove order lest any of these or even better things are killed in the birth!
Invention still has rules of communication, and thought however febrile still has rules of logic if it is to be so much as valid; and even if the PLAY of the thing is to remove such rules, as in Alice in Wonderland, to some extent, it still teaches where they would fit and why they do fit by their very absence.
This is no praise for rules as if ruling were the nub of life; but it is equally no praise for libertinism of soul or body or spirit, as if doing ANYTHING were a mark of marvel.
It is of course only when you know what LIFE IS FOR, that you can appreciate the value of a particular set of rules (cf. Life, what is it for ?). Then it is only when you know what life IS that you can appreciate what it is for more fully (cf. Life, what is it ?). It is only when you know God that you can find the precise answer, since HE ONLY knows why He did it.
Did what ? Why, made the thing called life in general (that is, the made variety of it, just as man who HAS a house of flesh can MAKE with it, houses to live in), and that life in particular which is that of man. It is mobile, versatile but has rules, such as the use of alveoli in the lungs, red and white blood corpuscles for their diverse functions, the paraphernalia and plans for disease fighting on simultaneous multiple fronts and for healing in multiple ways and stages, rather like a trailer on the birth in the womb, on a lesser scale, as well.
It is He the fabricator and logician for the logic ships, the central nervous system, the memory banks and the banks of emotion and rationality and linguistic potential (that is, the power to make, understand, revise and adapt symbolism in aural forms, and written ones, to meaning, and to be comprehending of what is to be meant that relates to what is). HE alone knows precisely why He did it. You can seek to maximise versatility (a general person, as one Chinese immigrant called this marvellous facility in the money earning side of things), or pleasure, or duty, first finding out what that duty is, or responsibility (first discerning for what you are responsible) and so on.
You can do the opposite on the mistaken illusion that the vitality of life has come by devastating wars, which destroy not only lassitude, or else make it in the desolate ruins, but that stability and co-operation which is man's highest productive setting. Yet productive of what ? Of peace ? and of material prosperity ? and of goods and services and of longer life in the process ? But why ? In order to show you value life ? That is a pleasant thought, but what if others value it for other purposes, and propose to rule it because this appeals, or because they had a dream which does not work, but which they plan to MAKE to work, as in Communism and so on ?
Then you NEED to know what you are doing and why you are alive. It is always good when you have a beautiful piece of equipment worth more than your other resources, to know WHY you have it and WHAT it is meant to do!
God knows (cf. Life, What is it for ?). This He declares. It is for man to find out from Him, not to tell Him. Fellowship is in truth, not in that mixture of arrogance and ignorance which is the puppish proof of folly that dogs man.
In the Book of the Lord He has shown that He has known by making ALL His statements to stand in the midst of the fluctuating foolishnesses of human pride and pompous culture, so obviously right, incessantly verified, unendingly verified in principle, practice and precision, until it is successively demolished. 'Science' now lifts its head, even though its words frequently are by its own professional practitioners, often found ludicrous in a few years' time. If this is 'progress' it is also exposure of the fatuous facility so many have found, for the worship of this part of man's functionality.
Some in its name, or their own, or any other they can think of, so long as it is not truth, but aspiration and ignorance spiced with arrogance, will tell God where He has to go, or life what it has to do, or the myth of evolution what it must now perform, having invisibly, and anti-testimonially done so much (cf. TMR Ch. 1); and they worship it like witless orphans, dead in heart and empty of home.
God, however, never changes His word. There is no occasion for it. He can bring in a plan in steps, and even detail them in advance by centuries, as in the case of Christ the Redeemer, and be very particular about hundreds of details long beforehand (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9). Yet what He says, it happens; and what He excludes, it fails (cf. SMR p. 713, The Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 4). Moreover, He has the whole complex of perspective and program revealed (cf. SMR p. 973A *24).
This is a great boon, for He has provided us with a test (as in Isaiah 41, 43, 48) and throws it in the face of unbelief. Why not prove that His prediction failed ? He so challenges, and why not forget what has already been fulfilled! Here the Lord has Isaiah speak in withering disgust at 'freedom' which makes itself so free that facts are a problem to be ignored, rather than grounds for an answer to be found! Such perversity of spirit is a ground for desolation, and has so acted in many a war, as an infamous ingredient, man exalting his ignorance as if wisdom, and dashing all his beauty as ugliness! War is merely an illustration of the state of his spirit in such a case, and of pride before fall.
As to the distancing from fact, the facts of the acts of God, explicit, announced, you see that especially in Isaiah 48. You find a good example of such a practice, surprisingly direct, in The Defining Drama Ch. 2, *1.
But let us return to Isaiah 34, inasmuch as this is the site of the phrase "The Book of the LORD". Here it is used by the prophet at the mouth of God, to summarise a situation. He has just indicated the fate of Edom in great detail, and in the midst of all of this description, he has mentioned a bird and its mate, in fact the hawk, a whole array of the species being present.
Then he asks us to follow a test. This is found in Isaiah 34:16-17.
"Seek," he says, "out of the Book of the Lord and read: Not one of these shall fail; Not one shall lack her mate. For My mouth,"
the Lord continues through His servant,
"it has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them."
Why however are we asked to refer to the Book of the Lord ? Surely having mentioned arrays of hawks plus mates, each paired nicely for reproduction and so continuation of the emblem of desolation in this way, it is enough to ask us to check this, if that were all the point which He wishes to make.
In fact, however, He now clearly and indeed explicitly brings in another element into the situation to which He wishes us to address ourselves. SEEK! this involves knowledgeable search, from the Book of the Lord: this involves knowledge of its factuality and actuality. And SEE! That requires us to read with understanding down to fine detail, since this is the current issue, something as fine as hawks, each with the mate. It is very much of the order of the words of Jesus Christ to be found in Matthew 5:17-20, where NOT ONE JOT OR TITTLE of the law or the prophets will fail. It is in one aspect, almost a paraphrase. It sustains the precise point in the precise refinement in view.
Thus, having transferred our attention from the details of the desolatory scene, Isaiah is used to have us attend to another scene, here one of comprehensible symbols, called words, evocative of facts which in turn are susceptible to checking so that the precision and reliability, indeed the AUTHORITY of the words of God through His prophets in the nation chosen for this world-wide purpose, could be both shown and known. It is indeed these words which Isaiah 59:21 informs us, will not depart of the mouths of generations to come!
What then ? The hawks keep their mates, each one in the scene to come. The words of the Lord, to be found in His book, in parallel to the geographic site, THESE too, in marked and striking parallel to the items they designate, these words shall not fail. They shall be kept in their comprehensible collections, their pairings and their probings, their information detaining and their commandments. That is the divine intimation, what He wishes us to know. He then returns to the application in the visible field of action, in the end of the Isaiah 34.
In this same theme, we move to Amos 3:7, for here is an addition it. It is one which with the other, makes the whole scene, as in a stereoscopic masterpiece, to have depth and more meaning for the mind that seeks wisdom.
The Lord in this Chapter of Amos is making it clear that CLARITY and IMPACT, divine authority and simple inability of the reasonable mind to ignore these things is what He has wrought. You can shut the eyes, but if you open them, the message of this Chapter in Amos proceeds, it is not only implausible not to know what God has done with words, in His majesty and power and reliability and reasonableness, in His coverag, with messages, with announcements, with future coverage indeed. It is impossible. Truancy from truth is the escape, not lack of obviousness of what is being commanded and revealed!
He makes analogies for the impact of his point.
The cry of the trumpet in the city ? Can the people ignore it ? Do they not realise what this tonal symbol turned into audible fact MEANS! Of course they do! Will the roar of a lion not be read or discerned ? Will the word of the Lord be announced, for devastation or whatever else may be the message He wishes to convey, and the prophets not decree it, or will His word happen (being spoken) and its descried events not follow (being done)!
Look! the Lord indicates, "Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets."
In other words, His plans for Israel are marked out and will be fulfilled, and there is no need to talk about mysteries. He has been exceptionally clear, both in the place of pardon, the depth of mercy, the extent of rebellion and its reward, in detail and in scope, in time and in eternity (cf. SMR Appendix A). The mystery if there be one is this, that His mercy is profound, His love limits itself in truth to no cost, His plans will not be denied and yet force is not His empire, but love, and though one slip, or slither, restoration is His desire, and to His people, keeping is His command! (John 10:27-28, Psalm 73:26-28, 17:15).
In Jeremiah 23 we find further characterisation of the word of the Lord, His speech and the words of others. His words are compared crisply with that of the false prophets.
Theirs have the character of dreams, His words are like a hammer that breaks rock.
Theirs are air; His break contrary substance! Theirs are chaff; His wheat.
They speak lies and recklessness, continually saying to those who despise the Lord, 'The Lord has said.' They are speechifiers, but His word for those guilty of such mouthing and mimicry is perpetual shame, everlasting reproach (Jeremiah 23:40). His word to Jerusalem was its destruction, 70 year exile and return in humility; and so it was.
Theirs was for deliverance from the assault, and they perished (Jeremiah 25).
Similarly in Ezekiel 12:22-28, we see the mockery of those who speak as a word from the Lord meant delay, a futuristic figment, as it is confronted by the divine word that He would delay no longer: for was not the delay that was past, mercy, and opportunity to repent ? as in Jeremiah 17, where one of the astounding new offers was made.
When it happened, as you see in such excruciating agony and anguish in Lamentations, it was happening soon enough! Indeed, you find in Ezekiel 21:9ff. what it means when the end comes, and the pleadings of pity are at last the peremptoriness of woe.
Thus the Lord may be caricatured as slow, but when devastation at last arrives, the mockers, truants from truth, become mere ashes of acidity, as before they were feckless, or fickle frauds. The point about the word of the Lord is clear, that in mercy and righteousness, in truth and justice, in appeal and in aptitude it works, and as the people lag and lapse, it is done; yet when they respond, so does it bless; but He who KNOWS all, knows the way it will go, and so He foretells as He did for both Israel and Christ, for Jew and Gentile. You see such an emphasis in Jeremiah 18 with Ezekiel 14:12ff..
There is a time, often extended, for warning, exhortation, the ponderings of pity and the alarm to folly, and blessed are they who do warn (Ezekiel 21, Ezekiel 33, Matthew 23:34-35,37, Luke 19:42ff.). Even if the end comes, the beginnings were blessed, the pity was profound, the opportunity a wonder and the mercy a praise. Was it not shown so even in the later case of Jerusalem, which did not know, "even you, especially in this your day," the things which belonged to its peace (Luke 19:42ff.)!
God does not force, and those who rely on force, force in the end only one issue, the exposure of their folly. How have His judgments arrived, delayed in pity, performed in power!
As to His word, clarity is its criterion (cf. Proverbs 8:8) for those who understand, and its need of help is ZERO. To expound it may be publicly done for profit to hearers, but its intrinsic power makes its impact undeniable, reliable and overpowering (as in Ezekiel 39:23ff.). Thus have we not gained the thrust of the word of the Lord concerning itself, from these passages, its towering strength, its clear challenge (as in Isaiah 48:8-20)! In this latter case, God mocks their mockery and invites them to return, while not covering the inexcusable guilt of those who each one, refuse His word, His offer, the overpowering testimony to His truth, His mercy, His kindness and and so find of His word of judgment, its complete certainty of execution.
We turn for comparison with this message of the Word of the Lord in the Book of the Lord, to that of the New Testament.
Here the words re the Messiah are now not prophecy but description of the relevant events as they happen, for He fulfilled it all; and we have also the presentation of the Messiah's own prophecies pending His return to rule as foretold for example in Isaiah 11, 59, Psalm 110, 72, and those of His own apostles, like the prophets of old.
As to those, their messages of the Old Testament ended with the Lord's own arrival, and His words definitive of His desire for mankind, with the last of the apostles, as seen in his conclusion as in Revelation 22, where we find that no one can with impunity ADD to the THINGS presented, or subtract from the words, as in Galatians 1 indeed, for there is no other Gospel and no other source of wisdom and wit, to know the mind of the Lord.
What then in this part of the Book of the Lord, its fulfilment section, the New Testament, does He say in this vein which we are examining: the authority and majesty, the precision and impact, the certainty and obviousness of His word!
We look therefore into II Peter 2:19-21...
What is the context before those verses ?
Here there is the departure of the Lord in His glory from the earth. What is to be done ? How is man to be informed, instructed, guided, enabled in terms so authoritative, declared, assured, adequate and indeed divine. What is at all comparable in wonder and certainty to the words of the Lord who came, and has gone until His regal return to reign (cf. John 12:48-50).
The times are to be testing to the uttermost (Matthew 24:21-22), none such since the creation, and incisive, as in the time before the flood, culminating in confrontation as then (Matthew 38ff.). What is to be the provision of the Lord, now that they have become so accustomed to the ultimate in Christ Himself, God incarnate, by their side!
Peter is moved to reveal the answer to this question in that context in II Peter 1:17-21.
"For He received from God the Father honor and glory
when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory:
'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'
"And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
"And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed
as a light that shines in a dark place,
until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is self-explanatory,
for prophecy never came by the will of man,
but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
The day dawns ? This is clearly not conversion, since the auditors are taken as Christian (II Peter 1:1). It is not the presence of that divine light in the heart, on the way of which Christ spoke for the present for the Christian (John 8:12, 9:4). Rather is it that consummation and culmination of the current realm, in which we live as strangers and pilgrims, into that in which like fish IN water, we move when the test and triumph being complete, we see God face to face.
Then His name is on our foreheads (I Corinthians 13:12). As in a windscreen's ambit, or in a photograph, we see now clearly enough, yet then we see minutely and in living and final reality! What was borne in upon us (Colossians 1:27) becomes visibly beside us, and we are in the most intimate awareness that nothing can touch, for now is evil dead and gone. That is the consummation.
It is then as in Revelation 21:23 and 22:2-5, that we have the morning star Himself arising in our hearts, as light becomes the congenial wonder in the midst of light, and no more in the darkness of this world (cf. John 1:1-3).
Very well: we are given light that is wonderful and adequate and does not fade, on the very way to the ultimacies of vision of this unchanging Lord and Gospel (cf. Ephesians 1:10), and we receive direction that is always certain in objectivity and undisguisable in certainty, shown in the prophetic word. This is the message of Peter, guided by God to speak what He will have said (as in I Peter 1:10ff., in general, and in I Corinthians 2:9-13, there attested by Paul cf. SMR Appendix D).
That being so, we resume at II Peter 1:19.
"And so we have the prophetic word."
We next turn to II Peter 1:21 to find the final basis for this security and sovereign certitude which God is providing until Christ returns and the morning star arises in our hearts.
We find that this depends on the fact that prophecy has nothing at all to do with the will of man. It is not involved in the autonomous movements, or the automatic, or the erratic motions of the mind of man at all, far less in his evil intentions or vagrant thoughts. It is above and beyond all that.
"...knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is self-explanatory,
for prophecy never came by the will of man,
but holy men of God spoke
as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
Here, in the negative, is not the oude of the Greek, as Dean Alford points out in his two-volume survey of the Greek New Testament, which would indicate something less obvious in the way of argument. It is the simple OU or not. There is a direct argumentation of simplicity and force. The statement in verse 20 is true because something else is NOT so. What is this something else ? It is this: that man as mere man had nothing to do with it.
The reason for this in turn is provided expressly, with the "BUT", just as the FACT is given by the initial "FOR" in v. 21.
But what is this fact ? Just as man and his mind and will had nothing to do with the authority and certainty, indeed the ORIGINATION of the prophetic word (for the term rendered 'came' is from the Greek ginomai, which as Thayer points out in his justly famed Greek DIctionary, indicates an arriving, a coming into being).
Thus the fact is this: prophecy never issued into existence, never came to be by the will of man, BUT it DID come to be by the power of the Holy Spirit which MOVED them or drove them (the term is used of the forceful driving of Paul's ship by the Euroclydon in the tempest which at last saw it on the rocks, though all were saved as the word of the Lord had assured Paul beforehand).
In sequence then, the word of God is pure and perfect, assured and authoritative as in Amos 3 and Isaiah 34, and it is this which in its utterly reliability guides in the way (cf. Psalm 119: 9). Peter recalls its mode of genesis, as does Paul, in terms so frequently found in the Old Testament, and uses this as a ground for the assurance, in the midst of a dark and trying world as following the savage crucifixion of its King, Jesus Christ, God Incarnate (I Timothy 3:16ff., John 5:17ff., John 1:1ff.), that from the only God there is (Ephesians 4:4), there is a light of sufficient strength and purity to salve man from sagging, strengthen him with goodness and direct him with clarity and certitude, even though the LIVING WORD Himself is now not present in Person.
Scripture, says Peter, is not the sort of thing which is self-explanatory (II Peter 1:20), it is not to be EXPLAINED (the word literally means 'unloosed' and it may be used in terms of the solving of a riddle or mystery) in terms of interpretations which deal with it as in itself; because it is NOT in itself. It is the product not of the will of man at all. So far from being produced by the power of man, it is NOT EVEN by the will of man. It is outrť, outside all that, in the realm of deity Himself and His own capacities. So rely on it.
So does the message proceed.
Far from such a paltry and superficial concept as being explicable in its own terms, in psychological or literary or cultural or even human terms at all, this word is to be explained in another way. What is that other way ? Negatively, it is this: it is NOT BY THE WILL OF MAN. Positively, this other way is this, IT IS BY THE SPEECH OF GOD HIMSELF. He SAID it. SO it is not to be explicated in ideas about man. That is the message that this Chapter of II Peter thunders out in the sequence of thought, positive and negative.
This, moreover, it does with the underlying motivation of showing the authority of God, its reliable certitudes in the midst of utter challenge, test and danger, peril and developments so vast that they end in this earth's very existence (as in II Peter 3, to come shortly after this segment of II Peter 1, indeed its end). We are no now dabbling in beginnings; we are facing the end! Let us then be sure with the certitude of Christ, the authority of God, and with nothing else. This, says Peter, is precisely what we have! Scripture is not self-explanatory, some to be resolved and grasped as to its origin, in its own terms, as if a natural product.
WHY is it not self-explanatory ? FOR, because it NEVER, at NOT time EVER came by the will of man: that is why it is not to be explicated from within. Its origin, its becoming, is by another force. It is nothing human. It is outside man. It is outside the inward, the verbal production confines altogether, of man.
It is God. It is the simple fact that HE SPEAKS. This is its origin. It is not idios but autos.
Get with it! Peter is saying. We are outside the whole realm of philosophy and man here: GOD IS SPEAKING. Get that straight. The matter of the coming into being of Scripture is only thus to be explained; and that is why it is said how it is not to be explained.
How was this from the first articulated in II Peter 1:19. How were we to be reassured ? It was like this: Knowing this (it is so often and obviously clear in the Old Testament), that NO prophecy of SCRIPTURE is to be explained in terms which devolve on itself, in idios terms. How could it be ? Why, says II Peter 1:20, the will of man had nothing to do with it. Indeed, the contrary is the case ('but').
GOD SPOKE IT and so you must receive it. It is so clear that it is the light, so available that you need not be too fussed that the Lord is gone, for He is coming back and His word is still here; for do not forget this, that ITS ORIGIN is not from man's culture, from his literary thoughts or very being, and that even his will has nothing to do with it. He does not even apply to God and say, What about some words ?
His very will is not to the point. IF God sees fit to answer any query, that is HIS decision; but He either speaks or not, and it is His will and not man's which is the genesis of Genesis to Revelation, and it is His Spirit which secures the transmission into legible, audible format so that the thing is run from origin to reading, to hearing, by the power of God.
So do not fear, here is the light for your way in objective, readible, inalienably correct form, and it will neither mislead nor fail to lead you.
At the spiritual level, of course, God can also lead man according to His promise as in James 1; but this is for one or some group, and it is in TERMS of His word (John 17:17), for no sanctification can overstep its principles, programs or presentation. The word of prophecy is not only divine, but objective, undisguisable, incorruptible and testable; it is what GOD HAS SAID. Rely on it and rest in it, as the Lord Himself gives rest to your heart. Peter of course a little later speaks of Paul as having just such a gift, as did the prophets of old (II Peter 3:15-16).
Let us review it then.
We are not being here told why it is difficult to gain this light,
but why it is not.
We are not being told why it is obscure, this word,
but why it is clear and LIGHT.
We are not instructed that we need help of variable kind, but that God Himself is the help.
We are not told to revert to the words of men, for that is precisely the problem: we are exhorted in words of comfort to rejoice and possess our possessions, and rejoice in the word of God, inviolate and brilliant, sure and steadfast BECAUSE by its very origin, it is made so by the power and Spirit of God.
We are not being instructed to rely on man, but on God (cf. I John 2:19).
Why and for what reason is this given, according to Peter, such acclaim ?
It is that this word is not of the order of what explains itself, for God Himself is its explanation, who both authorised and originated it.
It is amazingly clear as light, this word, on the way to the paradisiac, the time when the morning star Himself arises in our hearts; for it is not bred of man but led out by the Lord God personally.
So far from the divine origin being a dark or obscure light, something dim for the bright, it is something bright even for the dim, intrinsically illuminative, needing this very fact for this claim, that God is its author and His Spirit has gathered these words, just as He will gather the terminal events of the Age, guiding His people by infinite wisdom by His word.
What then in sum ?
It is most clear and reliable, this prophetic word which is given, for reflect: It has no explanation in or of itself, because never did man's will do it, but God drove them so to record.
Indeed, it is in finished as in Revelation 22:18ff., where the THINGS that are spoken MAY NOT be added to, and the WORDS may not suffer subtraction, as likewise given of the Gospel in Galatians 1. Christ is always the same and for ever is this so (Ephesians 1:10, Hebrews 13:8).
What then ? Knowing this, that no prophecy of scripture is explicable in its own terms, for never AT ANY TIME (emphasis in Peter) did prophecy originate from the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were driven/moved by the Holy Spirit, we have this light which shines in a dark place and are provided for in the era ahead. It is EVEN in that time in which the Lord, reserved and welcomed in heaven for the present, remains until ... ? Until what then ? Until that blessed era and time of the regeneration of all things. Nothing will be unrevealed, all is shown. Such is the nature of that time (cf. Acts 3:19-21).
When the end is there, the bright light, the light of Christ in the word of God, this will become so intimately internal that the Lord Himself will be both temple and directly visioned, face to face. So be satisfied. It is God, not man, who is with you all the way.
Such is the message of Peter.
Such is the design of God for His word to man, for the way of it, for the certitude of it, for the man of it, for the search-light that is not at all of this world, its man, its methods, but has mandate from God. Such is the brief that leads to destiny, the annunciation in symbols, as the incarnation was that in fact; such is the witness of truth in word, as Christ was that in man-format, the one predicting, the other fulfilling, and the former continuing its glorious work until His return.
As man very well knows, speech is not a kaleidoscopic prop, but a rational, imaginative, symbolically adept correlation of thought and expression, for which all the ingredients of capacity and power are pre-requisites, both for the speaker, and to the appropriate extent, the hearer, for the writer as for the reader. God has made this dower to man, the power of thought and expression and the provision of His own in a Book, that of the Lord, the Bible, a criterion of his life and work; and what would one expect ?
That such a power as this would be left out of the architecture of one made in the divine image, when its presence makes him able to think of, and thus speak to and ask from, as commune and consult with the Maker, or that such a Book as this would be omitted in a life where error can kill, and in the end, spoil mind and body, soul and the due destiny of man alike! The thought is its denial.
Would God be defective, and man able to find out by undefective creation ? Even if he were able be better than his Maker, despite a dowered inheritance limited, before the unlimited, yet defect in God would imply a limit which prevented attainment of a superior capacity, a constraint which, being something needed ground and cause, would constitute the being in question, not God at all, but a mere creation. Such thoughts are self-contradictory. What is a wonder is this, that God did not scrunch up fallen man like a paper charred by soot, and throw him out; but God has put love into the heart of a man, in prospect or retrospect, and having it Himself, did not create in vain. Lacking nothing, He needs nothing, but gives.
Indeed, in the Flood the inveterate and comprehensive passion for folly brought this earth's civilisation and advance near to an end; and in Jerusalem not once has this happened to Israel; Babylon has suffered a perpetual ignominy, Nineveh an almost laughable desolation, Tyre a ghetto status, its site gone from usage, the Gentile world flies each one at the throat more and more as per scriptural script; but man does not heed! Watchmen speak, but folly shouts. If the Lord had ended man, this would have been wholly understandable, but the fact that we are here, this shows He has not done so!
What else shows the point is this, that He declares WHY He has not done so, from the Bible. It is because He has a better way, a longer profundity in foresight and understanding, having known the end from the beginning and hence announced it freely (Isaiah 46:10), the First and the Last (Isaiah 44:6). From the first, He has envisaged, and for the last provided the Messiah, the Missioner of Mercy, the eternal Word to the work of salvation, and this He has after millenia of announcement, wrought. The Cross of Christ is now past these two millenia, and mercy has pulsed, nations have responded later to fall, but many millions have come and been rescued from what is worse than deluge, the judgment of truth and according to it (Romans 2:1ff.). When mercy is despised in the end, judgment is precise, profound and inveterate.
What makes it all so wonderful is not the simple brilliance of the creation, with the withering curse that has brought some impact to the dithering souls of rebellious mankind, but the way witnessed in wisdom, the simple pardon procured not by wisdom alone, but by power made perfect in peace, by absolution obtained by humility, reconciliation bought by blood, the blood of God in incarnation (Acts 20:28), bespeaking a love to the heart, and providing a redemption of infinite kindness. When this work has had full application, then indeed, when man has shown the emptiness of his folly, and the exhibits are all on the table, then judgment ensues (Romans 5:1-11 shows the impact and extent of this wonder of divine mercy and patient love, just as II Corinthians 5 shows its occurrence and basis).
So does God act, so does He speak, and so do these things match.
Wisdom attends His way, for which man merely seeks, being delimited by creation, and needing to find his source to attain to it. Yet God has spoken into the cosmos of man with words unique in verification as in validity, and fulfils them continually even when they include such items as man's war on Himself, and the forecast of its items and agenda, whether foremost or minute, correctly as ever, of course! (SMR Chs. 8-9, Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ, The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy, It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Ch. 9, TMR Ch. 5). Such is His way.
He has spoken in pity and provided with a passion that makes mere anger a foothill, as the purity of redemption arises like the Everest of Eternity. It is this which marks mankind as marvellously provided for, not only in basic equipment, but in the balm for those broken by their own liberty, when arrogance departs a while and truth is found, in the altitude of wonder in the light of the Lord.
Moreover, would it be expected that such a Maker of such a man would omit to speak, having objectively provided the DNA to enable symbolic operation on the automatic, or semi-automatic scale and spirit with which to comprehend! Made BY this, and to the uttermost part enabled, would man be left without its fruit and function ? and he being left with it, so that he can hurl thoughts at the empyrean, would the dowered capacity be elided from clear and contradistinct communication from the God who made him free! (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Licence for Liberty, The Wit and Wisdom of the Word of God Ch. 2, Swift Witness 6).
Indeed, having made clear His insistence in utilising these powers, so that freedom might have its perfect work, God has not left His own word to the artful devices or wilful imagination of man. He has spoken categorically, clearly, unwaveringly; He has left out nothing. He has indited His word, and not only indicted man, but indicated the grounds for the removal of this due justice in costly mercy. He has even ensured the certainty of His word, given the heart of man.
Accordingly, seeing and having foreseen man's mockery in midgetry, and folly in functionality, misusing gifts of what is in His own image and so able to surge by spirit into such suggestions, God for His part having read the realities to the mind of man, chilled them into his conscience and willed them into the absorptive power of man's own spirit, and met them with the truth (cf. Ch. 2 above). The book of the Lord is indeed branded on the face of the planet, pulsed out to billions, ineluctable, ineludible, enduring, that stands when all falls. Like the resurrection, it stands when all else fails (cf. I Peter 1:24-25, Isaiah 40:6-8, Matthew 5:17-20).
That is why the word of God is so absolute, so protected and kept so absolutely free from the commandments of men, their traditions and artful devices by which they even read God's words and try to enslave man about what they mean (a thing condemned in Mark 7:7ff.). That is the ultimate ground for the scathing, scorching confrontations as in Proverbs 1, Matthew 23, Jeremiah 23 and Ezekiel 14, 16, 23. It is as exposed in Romans 1, and in detail as in Romans 5. Churches may decline, world councils of them may prevaricate and invent and synthesise with evil, but the word of God keeps its own counsel, delivering the kindness of grace and the inevitability of ruin without it, without Him on whom its focus is blessedly centred (Galatians 6:14), and on His effusion of grace (Galatians 3) and mode of deliverance (Romans 3:23ff.). .
The Bible is the DNA for the soul; or more precisely phrased, it is the correlate of DNA for the body, and as such used for the instruction of the personality, the enlightenment and education of the mind, and the information of the spirit of man; and then, for its redemption that it might then become free again, in the way ordained, free not to be an uninhibited morass of psychic kicks and tics, but to understand, and loving God, love with and for Him (I John 4). It is reason for rejoicing that what the height of man enables, the power of God meets, and what the cost of deliverance requires, the love of God produces, so that the ashes of man's spiritual fires might at last become the prelude to peace (cf. Isaiah 61).
So has God spoken, and such is the design of His word.
In this architecture of splendour, greater than that of any cathedral, contrary in all things to the pomp and pomposity of man, lies knowledge for the heart and mind, wisdom and truth, as in Christ is rest for the soul. This is found in Isaiah 11:10 predictively, in 26:1-3 mercifully and in Matthew 11:28-30 directly from the mouth of the Creation, in invitation as real today as then. God does not alter at all.
See Let God be God Ch. 5, Lord of Life Ch. 8
Defining Drama 2 (this last including the modes of learning and gaining knowledge, detailing modes of gaining knowledge, scientific method being one, when rightly applied).
*3 See in detail:
Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation.
Consider Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, That Magnificent Rock Ch. 8, What is the Wheat to the Chaff ? Ch. 5, Dizzy Dashes ... Ch. 6.
See Joyful Jottings 8.
SMR pp. 661-674, 648ff., Wake Up World! ... Ch. 3, 97, 37.
EXCURSION ON THE DESPOTIC, ROBOTIC
FASHIONING OF MAN BY MAN
HIS METHODS BEFOULING HIS MANDATE
A recent article in The Advertiser, August 18, 2007, dealing with China, shows such a sophisticated, robotic, surreal and sensational indifference to the welfare of toy factory workers, that it is hard to consider how much more cruelty could have been shown, without making them unable to work at all. Let us consider this report from The Real Toy Story, Eric Clark.
The hours could be as long as 20 (one reportedly died after a bout of that), the ability to leave was made impractical for many not only by the guards and the gates, the dormitories and the little food, the poor efforts almost ludicrous to consider health, and the intensely demanding rate for work, but by the fact that something like 6 weeks salary could be docked if one left.
With starvation wages or something like it, and small food, bad health and great, indeed vast tiredness, this were rather like the Siberian cases, which at least the USSR propagandised as receiving punishment, though in one way, this only made it worse by evilly attacking their moral standing whilst being wholly immoral, and devoutly cruel towards them. How could one go home with the guards and dogs abounding in Siberia, or without money in China!
The occasion of this news article was the fact that a famous toy company had to recall two million toys because of lead paint dangers for children, and parts coming off, and liable to enter children's throats. It has however helped to concentrate focus on the drab situation, the dire dynamics of the factory and the inhuman practices that would seem to make contempt a compliment.
Fresh from rural China, a migrant may thus come to the city situation. One is traced, after a time in the factory. Skin has many open cuts, neck, chest and forearms are heavily mottled; red patches of allergy are raised, from toxic chemicals, there is much coughing and with this, chronic aches and pains, frequent headaches. Vision is blurred.
This is one case ? but when one considers the reported conditions, it is scarcely surprising that she looks older than her 18 years. Many, the report continues, return from the factory with disfigurements and illnesses. One was reported to have actually run 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, for lack of automation of part processing. Grime and sparsity of water and bathrooms is reported notorious. Toilets may require a queue, enabling with other impediments, bed perhaps by 2 a.m.
The article, statedly based on the book, points out that China has dominance in the vast toy market, much of which finds buyers in the USA. To achieve by competition without rules, the pre-eminent low cost, there is this amoral pressure on the workers.
Indeed, the use of China in such pagan disregard of its ways and wages, which are far past mere cultural differences, is not only obscure morally, indeed obfuscated, but it has many consequences. Toys are a small item. Many are large matters.
As the buying nation's resources are turned from more and more items to allow cheap labour in China to perform the work, these elements of national self-sufficiency are reduced or even lost, and when it comes to various electronic or weapon areas, as exported technology is built up and industrial power in the host nation increases, this can be dangerous in war and indeed progressively forward it, for any vision of conquest on the part of the built-up nation. Indeed, even shortage of important consumer goods no longer made at home, can sap the power and vigour of a nation under attack and before such an end, reduce competitive power to quell excessive price rise or manipulative efforts through trade dominance in this or that quarter. Where commercial advance is bought by human horror, or through it, this can seek payment by human embroilment and a species of loss not imagined in the initial balance sheets!
But what of the human erosion and spiritual corruption involved ? Such political and commercial like other virtual prostitution of man by man for the pulse of power is no part of man's mandate (Psalm 8:5-8, Habakkuk 2:12-14 - Berkeley, Amos 5:12-15, James 5:4-6), but abhorred by God.
"Woe to him who builds a town by blood and establishes a city by iniquity!
"Consider, it is not from the LORD of hosts that peoples exert themselves
and that nations exhaust themselves for nothing.
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea."
In other words, so massive is the Lord's determination to expose evil and forward good, that His aversion to greedy withholding of wages, misuse of man by man, exploitation and violence (as in Amos 5 and James 4) will be seen when the earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.
It is not saying that He is espousing these exploitations because the earth will be so filled, but that He is against them so that, by contrast, in His OWN will, when times of test are past and His rule is most direct in the millenium, this blessed fact will be seen well enough. In what way ? It will be the precise opposite, coming in terms of His love of justice, mercy and judgment, equity and truth. He may send evil on a city - that is devastation or trouble, but it is man and his sin which engenders it, it is sin which occasions it and brings its own reward. It is sin which eats the fruit of its own doings (Proverbs 1).
Hence the words of James flame with fiery ire.
"Come now you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries
that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted
and your garments are moth-eaten...
"You have heaped treasure together for the last days.
Behold the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields,
which is of you kept back by fraud, cries;
and the cries of those who have reaped
are entered into the ears of the Lord of host...
"You have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed the just ..." (emphasis added).
The riches of Communism are just as aristocratically disproportionate as in many another regime, and redress is even more difficult than in some, since all the weapons of power are put in man, the legislative, judicial and executive in one bundle, undivided; and justice becomes his plaything, morality his invention, and power his tool of selfish extraction, as in Communist fiasco, which crucifies morality only to make itself the moral law, based on nothing, and doing nothing ultimately good, for it is lost before it speaks and null before it opens its mouth.
It is then both a moral and actual holocaust, inflamed in alienation and by bluster banishing truth, assailing justice and evacuating mercy. Such is the trend for those who amend goodness into their own hearts, justice into their own wills and truth into their own models which deny it at the outset, though they affect to speak it. Its rule is as in Isaiah 59, showing you can come by this or that folly of idolatry, whether of man or other objects, to the same bitter end. Communism, idolatry of man, is merely one of these ways.
What then, indeed, of the human erosion and spiritual corruption involved ?
Communist hypocrisy makes it, if possible, worse with the high words and low deeds. It highlights the miserable miseries, with hideous irony, of what this toy factory case merely reminds, hideous events that have been effected through bitter years of hypocritical condemnations, removal of whole tracts of people to Siberia or prison or commercial ruin by dishonesty and greed, or to death by execution.
This, as Solzhenitsyn points out in the USSR case, was worse proportionately than under the Czars (SMR 971-972). Death here indeed has been like a giant sea creature swallowing whole populations, whether slow or fast, many engulfed in corrosive glamour and clouds of burning air (which some Chinese cities are in danger of conferring almost literally, it appears) in the intoxicated rush to glory which fades at advent and appals in its onset).
That one should wish to help the afflicted is one thing; to afflict in your soulless propaganda and ruinous oppression of spirit and body, that is rather different. Neither Nazi man nor Communist man nor Imperialist man nor any other mini-man in the van of the vanguard of illusion and freedom from truth is the way. He has his day, and it sets.
MAN is NOT the way! He is always trying to put himself in front of God, by making a new one, or ignoring the actual One, doing it theologically, geologically, frantically, in wars and in words of deviousness as frequently, while seeking to dispose of Godís assets in man for Him, tilting at His authority, or ignoring His design of and for man; but God does not move. The body of Christ He moved OUT of the tomb and this was one case where a person COULD take it with Him! but what a Person; for with God nothing blocks. He can take His people with Him; and He is not available for manipulation in mass, mind of minister or priest, or political regimes.
His word rules while this world fools. It is in GODís OWN POWER that the Christian is engendered, to become a new creation in Christ, and is kept, to become a place of grace and a testimonial of truth.
Here truth is not only PRESENT in the model of celestial wisdom, but verified and validated on all sides. In the secular hypotheses of disbelief, there is none with which to see, none obtainable, no source, only spokesmen, nonentities unknown to truth, as they likewise do not know it, each proclaiming his vain, unfounded, unverified and misleading way with guns or passion or profit (cf. II Peter 2); but without wisdom or hope.
But let us return to the ethics of giving any kind of buttress to the diseases of Communism, the inhumanity of heart which is taught, since persons are subsidiary to system, and system knows nothing, and which is wrought, since man without God is prone to play God; but this is no action for anyone at work or play!
Thus, to ignore the morality of production, as Harry Wu has for so long and so ably pointed out in the USA after a bout in a Chinese political prison situation, this is itself a blight (cf. News 18). His reports are grievous on a virtual Chinese Gulag, in which the thrifty government decides to use political opponents not only to 're-educate' in the normal liberty of moral pits and conscienceless prodding, but to demean, to expose to difficulties, to force labour and use opponents as virtual slaves.
This they have so often done, while attacking their names of victims and seeking to make some kind of irrational blame attach to them. This is doubly defective, for in not agreeing with the amoral Communists, they do well; for as to these, they have no basis for ANY morals, since process of which they are so seemingly fond and on which they are ostensibly based, is what it is, not what it ought to be. Morals are not derivable from mere actions. Nor does the communist schema for life even happen (cf. SMR pp. 925ff., 971-972), being doubly irrelevant, in principle as in practice.
The Communist use of violence is vile; but it is not alone. Man sacrifices man, when his heart is doomed and his life is dismal, when light has fled and law becomes a concubine, often with as little apparent compunction as the tree which sheds Autumn leaves, and to many it is just so, for their hearts are long dead, and their minds scheduled for gain in prestige, power, position, wealth or other delusive idol.
These living sacrifices, added to the millions of others killed fast or slowly, in USSR by Stalin, in China by Mao, in Cambodia by Pol Pot's regime, in Sudan by government militias and hostile religionists, in Israel by would-be land grabbers who use force instead of faith as their ludicrous commendation: these are emblems of immorality which rise like a tsunami, while even in the West, the morals of survival of the fittest increasingly dehumanise and demonise many, whose creed is to stay alive and be as rich or comfortable as possible, and whose ways reflect it. Dishonour and dishonesty become matters of pride, laxity a key-note, and vast immorality even in a president can become a sop to populous approval.
This inability to see the purpose of motion, of life, and to prostitute this amazing gift for no other purpose than continuing it, is like using optical glasses for drinking water. It shows nothing and abuses the light that might have been. MEANS of life and PURPOSE of life are not distinguished, and thus the purpose ceases to exist in characterless prodigies of ennui, of disenchantment, of cynicism, swayed like the breeze on dead leaves. It is sadly repetitive when any pundit brings in one more thing to get excited about, till that dying, interest goes and the long littleness of incoherent life continues its frazzled course till the next unappetising delusion is presented in the hope which never has fruition. What could you expect for what ultimately is founded on nothing, or elevates itself to the criterion of life!
While ideals wither, truth lies dead in the streets as in Isaiah's day, results accrue.
Morals match. Hence juvenile crime rises to express bewilderment and meaninglessness. So does political embezzlement, while statistics for many politicians become the means of formulating policy, and not principle or vision or purpose. Such at least is the trend which some quite avowedly seem to endorse! It is the idea that you follow the people in order to lead them. Where however are they going, who look to lemming leader who looks to them!
See on this What is Life For ? It all of course fulfils Christ's words in Matthew 24 concerning the abounding of evil and false religion, the hatred and dissensions and wars as also II Timothy 3, Revelation 6, where are to be seen the empty furies and the furious drive that cannot rest until it kills, whether its butt be bodies or reputations or religious commitment or peace. This is the syndrome of rejection, the result of an exquisitely formulated being cutting away the connection with the Maker and becoming like an electric mower used as a plough, for lack of understanding.
Indeed, these immoral and jaded times are not only predicted for that connective tissue of events and developments shown by the prophets and by Jesus Christ (cf. SMR Chs. 8, 9, Answers to Questions Ch. 5), but in principle they have a logical interface with their causes, being the assignable sort of result from such a consignment of magnificent equipment to a farcical pretence of not knowing who made it, or for what!
.On this, see The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy.
Regard SMR pp. 685ff., 699ff., 846ff., 856ff., 862ff., News 121, 122.
In this way, the Gentiles in particular are returning in the 21st Century
to the tedious tirades of a rumbustious 1st Century
that brought a
predicted ruin to a nation, Israel by name,
and Desolation to Jerusalem.
These are close to ditto marks, and are exceedingly unwise.
In recent terms (2007), see sermon on
Identification, the Passport Confrontation! where marked.
For contrast in terms of truth, see Sermon on the topic:
Who is Kept by the Power of God ?
As to the former, this excerpt from the sermon is provided.
In the Adelaide Advertiser Monday, August 13, 2007 we had the story of an Anglican bishop, Spong by name, who conceived that there is a mental dictation to others in the Sydney diocese of the C of E. For him, we find then as on August 17, there is a need to let people make up their own minds. You do not need the bodily resurrection, or the virgin birth, you need an updated Christ, fit for the 21st century, not one bound in the volume of His day.
First, this seems so very out of date. Thus when your pastor was preaching in the South Island of New Zealand in 1966, a contretemps broke out, which broke up the church in the end. It was in the Presbyterian field, where one abides (for example the Scots Confession of 1560 seems quite good, although every confession for a Bible believing Christian MUST be read as subordinate to the Bible, that is so that if there is any question, the Bible alone rules) and where indeed one was ordained in 1966, to the Ministry. A certain Professor Geering, principal of the theological tertiary training centre or 'theological hall' in N.Z. revealed to the press that he did not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. The dust of His body, he averred, lay somewhere in Palestine, or what adjoins.
This new religion (Acts 2:23ff., I Corinthians 15:1-4), with its new christ resembles this very case noted today, that against which Paul warned (II Cor. 11), a spiritual novelty factor arising from those whom Paul THEREFORE is defining as false apostles (II Cor. 11:4,13-15), this being the genre. It has used and does use Jesus Christ as a gum tree is used by mistletoe. One saw a detailed picture of a little mistletoe plant sticking on a gum tree branch, getting ready to insert its probe and so live on the gum as a parasite. This is it.
However this is far worse, for in this case, it is not only parasitic, USING the foundation of the faith as a ground of departure for baseless comedy of errors in making things up, but an empty parade, using the name of Jesus Christ to make a religion founded on nothing. It has one only merit: it fulfils the prediction of Peter for the last days of our Age, providing the 'mature', the 'updated' version of the Christian faith, as in II Peter 2. People, he said, will arise in your own church and make merchandise of you, bringing in destructive heresies. Jude puts the kind more amply!
It has been done for centuries, in different ways as man dares to trifle with the Lord, with Christ the clown, the revolutionary, the non-supernatural, and anything else that reflects faithless culture, lacking all basis except vapid imagination and shameless disregard of historical constraints and faith alike.
Such was the species of cry in 1966 in NZ where also a new christ was being formed and in the end, though your pastor condemned it roundly in the Assembly of that year in Wellington, and refused at Assembly, to read its words from the pulpit in the St Ninian's Presbyterian Church in Blenheim where he preached, nevertheless the vast majority followed this thing, or were so indifferent to it that one could believe it or the Bible, at will! They would not hear, any more than they heard Jeremiah in his day, before the fall of Jerusalem. Such is the way of unbelief.
Hence in 1966 one's word of dissent, provided formally for Assembly records concerning the Resurrection Statement of that year, was lodged with the privilege used, of sending as an Assembly member, the reasons for that dissent. In fact, this was a document of 17,000 words of denunciation, before one eventually left that former Christian church. Here too the word of the vagrant church academic concerned, was that the twentieth century man (the 21st doesn't seem to have changed him much) could not believe the supernatural and all that.
This seems very like the very wrong, Spong song, which as a type, is soon the swan song for a church, if it be followed, just as it has been set out before and is nothing original. It is Christ who is original, and THE ORGINAL, there being none like Him (cf. Psalm 89:5 with Psalms 45, and 102:16-20, Isaiah 61:1-3, 48:16, Hosea 13:14). SMR Appendix C and D speak of His impact, word and incomparable performance in history, as does Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny Ch. 9, and dwell on His fulfilment in precision of contracted word (Matthew 26:53-54), deed, Gospel basis and work of power. History has been busy fulfilling His words ever since.
He was full of grace and truth as became the only begotten of the Father, the word who WAS God (there is only one God in the Bible, and it is of Him John 1:1 speaks, the others being mere creatures, as in Psalm 82, Ezekiel 29). In the latter God asks of these fakes, these would-be gods, Will you still say you are god when I slay you! It is He who took the virgin's womb as in Matthew 1:23, and why ? for how else could God become man but by bringing His own deity into our realm, direct engendering into the virgin's womb of the eternal Word, the the Lord of glory (I Cor. 2:8-1); and how avoid sin as a heritage but by allowing the Fatherhood of the everlasting God to act in incarnation of the sinless Saviour, and how save, had He had sin of His own! (I Peter 2:22-25)!
Thus there is the question: WHO IS CHRIST ? The biblical answer, the only one demonstrable by reason and clear in revelation, like the case of an aeroplane asking, Where is my aerodrome from which I came! as it gets lost and looks for it: it is this. It is the One, O believer, from whom you came (John 1:1-3), who became sin for you that you might become the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21). This is He who is NOT 'another Jesus' whose is not 'another Gospel' and from whom there is not sent, from the Father, 'another spirit', as Paul denounces in his definition of the deity of Jesus Christ in II Cor. 11. In God, nothing changes.
Another Jesus, so far from saving, is an invention of man. If worshipped, he is an idol, and if not, a mere secularity, fashioned in clouds of desire, immune to history, useless to help. Idolaters, now, they do not enter the kingdom of heaven (I Corinthians 5-6), whether these be unrepentant adulterers in spirit or body. It is because eternal life is to KNOW GOD and JESUS CHRIST whom He has sent, that knowing the wrong christ, and thus the wrong God, since Christ is His definitive declaration (Hebrews 1) is not to be saved! Wrong doctor, wrong operation!
Worse: if the novelty-maker be a preacher, the opportunity misused leads not only to preaching what is lost. It works towards more loss, as such persons are neither entering into the kingdom of heaven, nor suffering those who were entering to do so. This is precisely in the manner of the scribes of Jesusí day (Luke 11:52). In this, Jesus was condemning those who condemned Him, since they did not believe in Him, and hence were holding a view that MUST (since they purportedly believed the Old Testament) have been centred in another Jesus! Condemn truth and it condemns you. In this case, the destruction of Jerusalem resulted: idols fall!
The One who was before them, as He has been before the Church for 2000 years, and more before it in prophecy, Him they murdered, as Peter roundly, fearlessly and needfully declared to their faces (Acts 3:14-15). These authorities too were greatly disturbed, because through Jesus the apostles preached the resurrection. As to that, it was the body that was the point: that's what they murdered, not His spirit (Matthew 26). That's what they buried (cf. I Cor. 15:1-4), that's the thing that was raised, as defined, so that Christ even challenged them to touch Him and SEE! for, said He, a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see Me to have (Luke 24).
This is not a religion of philosophers but of observers (Acts 4:20, 5:32), scientific, testable, perceptible, just as organic evolution is not. There, there is the myth. Here is the fact. On this all stands, and has stood and will stand till He comes, and again, then He is seen once more directly for Himself, and then, then ? It is then that "all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him!" (Revelation 1:7).
So far, then, from the bishop's christ being an updated version, it is outdated.
The sermon proceeds with a sobering warning for innovation and proliferation of some other Christ, Gospel and the reception of some other spirit (II Cor. 11), as if some century created Christ, the author of time, or some cluttering culture so exposed the power of the God who, in human form, that one crucified. The only way it exposed it was by confronting it and being rendered contemptible by the desolations that resulted, first to Christ, who was resurrected from the marked tomb of Joseph of Arithmathea in the predicted three days (Matthew 27:57-61), and then to Jerusalem, which after a generation's grace, was destroyed and ploughed, not to be returned to Israel for some nearly 19 centuries.
All that desolatory culture created was His death; and faith then as now, is received by those on whom the Lord divinely operates, to let them see the obvious, like a building past which you walk every day for ten years, without even bothering at any time to focus on it.
God made by man is an idol; non-God worshipped by man is an idol. In the latter case, man is worshipping his own ideas, and in the former, he even has the effrontery to call them 'God', as if man's creations were even to be noticed compared with that infinitude in power and precision, wisdom and grace which belong to God only, which He only has displayed, and beside which man's productions are as dust in the grate, when the fires of life through arrogant burning have lost all semblance of loveliness, having spewed forth revolting flames that consume, and corrupt and conduct to desolation. Read Jude: it does not take long, though it results last long.
Let us then proceed a little further in the sermon noted.
Who crucifies Christ afresh ?
Biblically, then, this phrase is used in Hebrews 6 of those who have
1) tasted of the good word of God and the powers of the Age to come
and the heavenly gift
2) were once enlightened and
3) have partaken of the Holy Spirit.
They tasted, but did not go further (cf. Mark 4:16-17 and see On Stand-By A and J).
This reminds one of King Saul, who menaced as a youth, the one to become King David of great name and fame. At the first, the Spirit came on him and he prophesied, but evidently to no avail. It is one thing to taste, as we all know and often see in wine-tasting exhibits on the TV, but it is quite another to swallow. EATING the heavenly 'bread' does not omit this point! (John 6).
The crucifixion that counts, it is that of Jesus Christ at Calvary, not of Christ on the altar of a renegade heart! Note, in passing, that this is not a thing of in and out of the Faith, but rather, of one who did not swallow, having gagged, then moving from the superficial attachment to the eternal exclusion (Hebrews 6:4ff.). Playing with fire helps no one (cf. Leviticus 10)!
The faith of a little child is no enemy of the mind (I Corinthians 14:20 - indeed ALL words in public worship must edify), for indeed there is no other faith or religion or approach that can stand logically (see http://webwitness.org.au).
Nevertheless, it DOES REQUIRE total acceptance of this living and changeless Jesus Christ, the anointed, predicted, appointed Lord and Saviour, the Messiah from heaven (John 6:51): not some immersion of the body (for it is sprinkling which is noted in Hebrews 9:10ff. of various baptisms), but that of the spirit, when one is crucified with Christ, buried with Him, indeed planted with Him! (Romans 6) and thus remaining with Him. It is this eternal Christ who paid (Romans 8:32, John 8:58), and not another Jesus: it is He whom faith receives, whom one follows, taking up one's cross DAILY! (Luke 9:23-24, 14:27ff.). It is He, and not another (John 10:5), who keeps what is committed to Him against that day (II Timothy 1:12).
Report: The Advertiser, August 13, 2007.
See further in Separation 1997.