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HALLOWING THE HOLY GOD
ATMOSPHERE, AWE, ATTITUDE,
ACTION, ASCRIPTION, AUTHENTICATION,
ACTUALITY OF INTRINSIC LIFE
ALPHA AND OMEGA MAGNIFICENCE
We must win this battle, deliver our nation, honour our flag, overcome the enemy, secure our people for all time!
Such thoughts and talk have a lot of common sense, and much are these to be desired, rather than slack substitutes for life in the form of some billowing of its sails or hedonism in it hold.
However, they have been used to allow for explicit abuse, dangerous disciplines and ludicrous lordliness on the part of some. It IS good to ensure you keep your people from slavery indeed; but this must FIRST be from spiritual slavery, and only then from the physical variety.
Slavery to desires, whether of the great to be lauded and to lord it over the small, or to some principle such as safety or survival, or to the lust to rule, to be eminent or above your national or other neighbours, is not to be desired. It is partial, purblind, petty.
Compared with the soundness of holiness and truth, it is merely hollow.
IF ANY sin is authorised implicitly or explicitly, then to that extent this is an evil thing. No honour for the nation can justify it, no adoring eulogies of national greatness can sanctify it. "Disregard all personal matters, do as the battle requires, for we must win!" is simply slavery to national desire. It is putting the nation above the God of nations and of individuals. We must win, certainly, but on all fronts, the intellectual, moral, spiritual, the godly and the gracious. If there is one battle that matters, it is that for the mind, heart and spirit of man before the gracious purity and sovereign majesty of God, the God of truth, the verified, validated God of all wisdom and knowledge, pity and mercy, hatred of iniquity and evil, peace and unrelenting arrest of all things contrary to Himself, and His creation for the purposes for which HE made it.
If you want to erect a new nation, founded on itself, a new god, founded by your own mind, then you deal with symbols, with ideas of no credibility, and if it satisfies national or personal vanity, so be it, vain and empty it was, is and will be. Emptiness is like a belch: it signifies indigestion where all is not well, based on disorder. Even when it is voided of what spoils it, it is nothing, for in this case, even the stomach, it is not there, the food, it is a hope only, and the event, it is a dream. Such is the lot of the god-inventors, the ideal-makers, whose thought is their basis and whose lives are their own.
Yet this inventiveness is that of destruction, a delusion, a dream with an ending that does not end: for man's mortality is merely introductive to his judgment. If freedom has given to man enormous latitudes, as that of Mugabe in Zimbabwe, to hurt, make travesty of man's dignity, extract and delude by calls to hatred of one thing while devastating another, the people and their wishes; then no less is the Giver, the inventor of that freedom holding man answerable to his use of it. If some, like that ruler, are internationally abhorrent for their invasion from within, to hold at ransom those subjugated in violence, does this excuse those of less power and less authority from the judgment of what they, even each individual one, taken singly for inspection, have chosen to do ? Does the existence of reprobates, held such by almost all, make of others saints or angels, since they CAN do less ?
Does freedom not preclude escape from its Author! If man cannot make freedom, for it is a contradiction in terms to make what lacks spirit, and is answerable to the modes and facilities and faculties of its construction, the dynamic of its dirigibility, the programs of its 'heart', and then to 'grant' it freedom which is your own hand entirely: then the more is he answerable to Him who can, and does. Even if man, as is the case, has lost the full savour of this liberty, because of sin and judgment already initiated and coming to an initial climax in the flood (Genesis 6:1ff., cf. Flood), he is still responsible, for every provision, every opportunity, every call; and as defective by segregation from the innate knowledge of the objective God, he is worthy of judgment EXCEPT the Lord of creation provide it.
We are so used to hearing the Gospel of God's grace, His forgiveness, His passion for mercy, His implantation of His Word into this World, Jesus Christ, His death on the Cross in substitutionary atonement, so that man through Him might find help - for what is provided for all, though effective for some only, is yet effective, like antibiotics, only where received, is indeed relevant only then, however great the mercy. We have grown so accustomed to this, that the sheer marvel that the God of creation should WISH to show mercy, deliverance instead of devastation, tends to blind this generation to the manifold folly and augmented derangement of ignoring it, as if it were a right from an elected socialist government, and not a potential gift from the Maker of man, man whose asininity, malevolence towards the truth, career in making false gods of mind, heart and spirit, is as tragic as the work of any dictator, merely coming to roost in this or that dictator, as this or that madness newly grips the morbidity of man's heart.
Presumption does not remove reality.
Things are what they are, God is God, truth is truth and subordination of truth to desire of any kind, this is the excellent and perfected way to AVOID HALLOWING the name of God, our Creator, designer, enduer with moral and spiritual, intellectual and emotional finesse.
To hallow the name of God
is to accept, to render both life and lip to Him,
yielding to Him
in word and attitude,
in atmosphere and authentication of heart and mind,
in awe both at and in the light of His divine awesomeness.
It is to render mind to Him
in conceiving and REALISING His alpha and omega status, conferred by none.
It is to devote one's spirit likewise to Him,
in focus for yearning, consummation of acclamation,
He having the actuality of intrinsic life:
to realise the glory which is already His.
It is thus an exercise in recognition, an ascent to actualising in heart what is actual before one so acts, in certifying the sublime. It is this, not as if the God of creation and redemption needed this, but because we need to do it; for lacking it, one is merely an unseaworthy vessel, a deluded dynamic, an asininity on two legs.
Here is the stay on judgment; but it is no less the stay for heart, and the rest for spirit; for here the categorical condemnation of mankind, more and less, high and low, prince and peasant, rich and poor, becomes lost in the equally categorical provision of God, which is the sole reason why this world has not long been destroyed and removed from the surface of sight, because of offences.
If God delays the end, to convey mercy in the midst of the years to His own (II Peter 3:9), yearning for all, but receiving those foreknown in that same mercy which sought, crying 'Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing!" then this is grace; but it is disgrace to imagine that the God of creation would permit one sliver of the massif of sin that so blots out light, were it not for the Gospel of redemption, of reclamation, of opportunity, which by the word of Christ is to cover the earth before judgment comes, before HE comes, before this Age of splendour of opportunity and intensity of folly, breathes its languishing last.
In the midst of this, then, what is it to HALLOW HIS NAME!
Not only, therefore, is it a matter of seeing and ascribing to the ACTUAL what it is, in honesty of spirit and integrity of realisation, but doing so WILLINGLY because the ASCRIPTION is from the heart to the heart of one's Creator, enabled by the REDEMPTION of the Creator, felicitated by the LOVE of the Creator and facilitated by the overwhelming awe at such sublimity set into such service, such grandeur of glorious majesty digging into the dirt to deliver from death those who not merely had NOT HALLOWED His name, which is sin because it is unrealistic and a movement towards the lie, but not even obeyed His functional commandments for their own welfare.
We will have the pleasure now of considering certain features in the Delta of Ascription, that combining and mutually reinforcing series of channels which coming from ONE reality which is, flow together.
There is in relationship to the God of all comfort and the Lord of Creation, in His majestic splendour and sovereign power, a certain atmosphere. Here in view is not the matter of the prongs of spiritually incandescent light (I Timothy 6:16) which surround Him, and the clarity as of crystal which is in His unpolluted purity (Ezekiel 1), but that of the response in the heart of the beholder.
First, however, one must note that it is not a spectacle such as one sees with the eyes, for that is set for inspection and is an object of creation as much as one is oneself. Rather, when it comes to the sublimity of that Spirit who is God, it is to a living and dynamic reality one looks; when the glory of God is in view, not trite the sight, as by simple inspection, but it is one of an overpowering glory.
It is not available to probing impertinence, or arrogant asininity, which must forever be its own condemnation, suffering from its own optical occlusion, volitional vitiation and in chains of heart for its doom (John 8:31-36, Ephesians 4:17-19, John 3:19,36). Indeed, as in all love, for God is love (I John 4:7ff.), it is dependent on perception, for how love what you cannot know or see or understand or even recognise! Perception is opened by love, and understanding must be placed in the heart; but God is not He who withholds (Proverbs 1 attests the reality of the dynamics in this situation for man), but He who gives to the uttermost to all (Colossians 1:19), yet without violence to the image of God in us, and assuredly not without the passion of desire for our deliverance.
As to love, cold hate can never see it, nor jealousy, nor self-exaltation, since that is a lie, God alone being infinitely exalted, since all has NOTHING without Him, to begin or to continue. Indifference does not know it, callow pre-occupation with oneself cannot find it. Self-acclaim is foreign to it. In its departure from self-interest, and its origin in divine creation, beating with the heart of God (I John 4:7-8), it is pure only when it is in conjunction and conjugation with the heart of the Creator, who alone is not limited to a set-up self, in absoluteness of integrity and entirety.
Nor is this love of God alone, for it is an expression of His heart, His absolute Being; and it is associated with a sublimity of majesty, a uniqueness of power, a limitless domain of understanding and creation, a delight in mercy and a tenderness of heart which neither man's misuse of freedom nor his imposition of horror, can either delete, defer or depose. It is available; it is there: the test is profound in this earth, in this Age, and to continue in this love is one of the challenges to the Christian (Matthew 24:7-13, John 15:9). Because His people are all under-written and guaranteed by God (Ephesians 1:5, 11), the result is sure; but the removal of the glaze, or in other imagery, the careening of the vessel's keel, the removal of gathering opacity, as in cataracts, this can be both painful and grave, as the soul is stirred into continuing sight and enrichment in truth. God changes not at all; and what He is, is perfect in purity, conditioned by none, compromised by nothing, concluded not at all, ever vernal, always original, always embracing the end from the first.
There is in Ezekiel 1 an indication of such atmosphere, such a sense of sublimity, and this not in a dazed or speculative sense, but in an involvement in a beauty of wonder so great that to impose on it would be ludicrous, to compose it would be superfluous and supercilious together, but to taste of it is a marvel both enlivening and invigorating, both life-giving and life-transmissive (Psalm 34:8-9, cf. John 4:14, 7:37-38).
To see God is not possible for what is blind, because He lives, and it is life which is capable of such a conferment. To see the Son and to believe in Him IS to have everlasting life (John 6:40), because you cannot see Him as He is without believing; for the distrust of uncertainty obscures the lens of sight, and to see Him is already to be in His presence as having affinity. Things of a spiritual nature, indeed the Spirit who is God is not available for mere material probe or sightless foraging; while His excellent power and quality is apparent to the mind when it is using logic and not lassitude (cf. SMR Ch. 1, Romans 1:17ff.), the realisation of just WHO He is, this is another matter.
You can see a snapshot, but to MEET someone and to KNOW someone, while these are not unrelated, are things of a different order. It is not just that it is more personal than simple apperception (if that were available): it is ALIVE, and in the interstices of communion, the realisations of the reality are bathed in directive bliss which is dynamic in inculcating understanding and bestowing wisdom from the life of Him who made it for man. When the temporal, made in the hands of the Eternal One to be ready to know Him, meets Him, and when the heart is brought to Him, and the spirit of man is surrendered to Him, and the life of the Lord is inculcated into man, then there is something as far beyond the photographic as life from compounds, as love from indifference, as wisdom from statistical data.
Such is something of the atmosphere associated with HALLOWING HIS NAME, since not to know what you are hallowing is an exercise in artificiality and superficiality at once.
Awe inhabits this atmosphere as day inhabits the skies of the earth, when light is shown, and the more, when its time is due. Awe indeed is the human correlative to greatness on the part of the Maker. There is awe at His artifices, but more at His agencies, but much more at His activations, but more again at His conceptions and more than this at His mind and then above this, at His Spirit, at His very Being, at His wealth of wonder and sublimity of majesty, hallowed in humility of service, but undenuded in its intrinsic dignity of truth. The more He exposes in humility, as in Christ Jesus the Lord in His humiliation, the more He suffuses with glory the very eyes of the heart which beholds His presence. The more you know Him, the more you behold His sheer magnificence of Being (cf. Psalm 145).
We look much further at this later, under AWESOMENESS, but awe is the subjective correlative to that objectivity.
To hallow the name of the living God, as real as vast waterfalls with their rainbow atmosphere, is an action as far beyond a photograph of the waters as is love beyond a look at an image, and truth beyond a desire for it.
In this atmosphere, which is His, there is attitude, which is that of those who so behold the glory of the Lord (cf. Isaiah 6, John 1). Towards the atmosphere of magnificence, in the heart of the believer, there is the attitude of magnifying it: not that one CAN magnify in material terms, what is already infinite (cf. Psalm 145), for His greatness is unsearchable, as are the riches of Christ; but one MUST magnify such a marvel. In what way then does one magnify His name: it is in the sense of deploying all ascriptions with liberality and fidelity, not stinting in stating, not beggaring in expression but endued with enablement from above, presenting the startling glory of His sublimity; even if the best one could do is still short of infinity!
There is an expansiveness of spirit, a receptivity of heart, a delight in the operations of infinity which, being personal, is still knowable, and distinct; for THIS infinity is not mere extension, as in time and space, but the Author of both. It is not a matter of physical displacement, since ALL the physical by Him has been emplaced in the first place, as an act of Creation. In power, truth, beauty, glory and majesty, there are no limits, as likewise in knowledge, love and purity. Conceive it as great as you will, it is more than this.
Nor is it merely overpowering, since it is not a matter of contest when one's spirit is humble and sanctified by HIS presence. It is rather empowering because of the truth (cf. Luke 24:49, Acts 2, 5:32, I Corinthians 12:13, II Timothy 1:7, John 6:47-54).
Baptised into the Spirit of God from one's rebirth, this Spirit in the Christian from the first, the Christian has scope for seasons of refreshings (Acts 3:19ff.); for you cannot be born and born, but in being born of God, you enter the spiritual and the spiritual enters you, and you are His, adopted, accepted in the beloved, He in you and you in Him.
Seeking for more, it is less. Being refreshed, it is guaranteed; but being greedy, as if to go on to something more, this is the beginning of theological sorrows, spiritual squalor and false prophecy, where the current completeness of the Gospel since Paul's acclamation of it and statement (Galatians 1, Revelation 22, Ephesians 2:20ff.) is made a child to be brought up by the 'adult' conceptions of the carnal mind.
God did not send His only begotten Son in order than man might change the verbal photograph in the Bible, or add spiritual somethings which add to His deposition, description, enduements and action; but it is HIS WORD which is truth, which is complete as above, and which is the sole permanent, the only authorised, the entire complement of information from the Almighty concerning Himself for man.
Christ the centre, the focus, the Lord's Christ and not another (cf. II Corinthians 11), HE is enough. It is HE who sends the Spirit (John 15:26) who does not speak on His own authority. To abide in Him, it is the way of life. So has acted that Spirit which is God, that triune Spirit, cascading mercy, sending His personal expression as ambassador and Saviour, sealing His people to Himself by His Spirit (Ephesians 1), which is the place of ALL His people,
In all of this, nothing is incomprehensible or irrational or anomalous or outrageous, for it is all omni-explicatory, leaving nothing out, taking everything in with a survey which is energising to the mind because of the truth. In Him, all realities have their place, and all sin has its come-uppance.
This becomes then the ATTITUDE in which His name is to be hallowed, and it SHOWS.
Moreover, to say that there is nothing physical in the eternal nature of God, and that His infinity is personal, this is by no means to quarantine His actions from this world. HE MADE IT, not in order to detest His own free production, since nothing constrains Him and He is Himself without limit or limitation, not an object within any all-inclusive creation, as if to make the made into the master for the Maker by some incoherence of reason and mind. He made it to be inhabited, this world, and to be inhabited by the spirit of man, by reason, by truth, and He has provided for it to be found, when and only when man is found in Him, to be in peace.
As man is not like that in his en bloc movements, war is his portion, inanity its promotion and the pulsation of dimness of wisdom and sharpness of wit, his destruction, devastation and humbling. As he exalts himself, so is he humbled. As he stumbles, so may he be caught; but the multitude say no, they would rather fall, and that is all. Judgment looms as the only resultant; but as in the mother of pearl, and the pearl itself, so is the consequence adorned with delight, for some who find Him.
Thus it is not as if His creation were His lord, but He is all-disposing, SINCE ALL creation is His production. If love waits, then wisdom does not quail; of tests multiply, yet courage does not languish. If follies multiply, yet faith is to be found in some. If madness mars the spirit of recalcitrant man, yet is sobriety available.
IN this His created world, with its lawful and constitutive necessities (made so by His design) and its prudential conformities and discreet dealings, where will has place (or conversely, there is space accorded to the rebellion and antinomies of folly cf. Deity and Design ... Ch. 8), there is scope for spiritual action. Action He has taken, to cover the case, in Christ the Messiah murdered, crucified, resurrected, filled with propensity to pardon, with the gash to cover the guilt and the greatness to embrace the repentant sinner.
Action He takes, to find His own; and if ANY seek Him to find Him, NONE SUCH is ever denied (John 6:35-37.40,47). That is, it is action by SPIRIT, and the Father of spirits is God, who made all of them by Himself, since there was no other! Action by God, who is Spirit, not delimited by material configurations, necessities, implantations and requirements (for who would have done it, but the Almighty as eternal is the basis for ANYTHING EVER, and the only adequate one): that is He who has such scope without limit. It is He who acts, the God who acts for the one who waits for Him (Isaiah 64:5), and who is as ready to enact the second birth, the engendering into a life able to see the light of His kingdom and the love of His heart, and to be adopted into His family, as He was to create the universe in the first place (John 3:16-17, Colossians 1:17ff.).
Since however He is God and all is from Him, including the liberty to will which becomes father of the capacity for rebellion and the inheritance of judgment as well as the underlying principle in terms of which love may arise and communion be actual, rather than a programmatic ersatz: what follows here ? It is this.
If He wishes to overcome the fruits of law, the necessary and just, the apt and the true condemnation, by direct action, this is His option always. A child can apply a brake to the spinning wheels of his bike, without suspending the laws of nature. How much more can God can apply His SPIRITUAL and inventive, creative power by which are all things (Greek panta), to supersede or subvert any action or power. To interfere is not to suspend, but to overcome. If He wishes to obliterate the cancer, with its underlying conditions and its prospects for ruin, change its parameters or invest the tissue with other qualities, it is merely a creative act, as when one retreads a tyre, or imposes a different format on some verse.
All the amazing diatribes against miracle which start without God, and then try to interpret His actions, are mixing models. It is as if to declare that Private Jones could not possibly have commanded an army, when we are not talking of Private Jones doing so, but of someone commissioning an order, and sending it by Private Jones. A subordinate is answerable to the inordinate, and may be arraigned or arrested, endued or directed at will. It is only when the instrument is not akin to the task that you have a problem; but then God is never limited by His messengers, but can endow them in His own liberty, either by action, dynamic outside them, or within or through them.
Electricity is NOT THE SWITCH or the wire, though either can transmit it, or allow its action. It may jump the materials, or use them. These are options in power even in our material creation; so much greater are those beyond it, which understanding and creativity can direct. God even used what became clear as a false prophet, to state amidst his preoccupations, the truth to an enemy of Israel! Such was the case of Balaam (Keys to the Comfort of the Kingdom of Christ Ch. 4). God is very deep, and His wisdom is infinite.
To create a universe, to maintain it, to contort or convulse it (cf. Hebrews 12:26), to dismiss or re-redynamise it, these are the options of that Spirit whose prevenience before all time, which is simply one of His creations, that time which enforces that one waits for action in its authorised modules, is the source of the actions in time. From there comes their delimitation, their substitution or supervention. As to Him, He works all things after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11).
Thus a universe is created; it is destroyed, it is modified, it is enhanced; it is the subject of intrusion, of invasion, of investment, of visit as in the incarnation, of condemnation as in II Peter 3 when this world and its wicked works are burnt up with great heat and noise. And even that, it is the prelude to a new heavens and earth which is constituted in righteousness (Isaiah 65, Revelation 20:11, 21:1), where liberties are already exercised and decisive tests are past, where the rest and adoration of the redeemed is to be found, where truth rules (Isaiah 11): but God DOES IT. He acts. Eternity supervenes, temporality recedes, and the rescued live (Hebrews 6:19), where their hearts would be, in Him (Revelation 22, II Corinthians 5, I Corinthians 15, John 14).
What of the ontological and theological puzzles of man ? They are the children of false apperception, fraudulent perspectives, contrived models, contradictory assumptions.
A dilemma is resolved by reality, an impossibility is overcome by reference to the referent, God who imposes the limits but is not bound by them; a sickness is rendered health, a subversion is first exhibited in its rags and then given no rest till it is concluded. It is all one to Him in power and competence. He changes what needs change, disavows what disavows Him, enables restoration, evacuates false jubilation, brings reality nearer, intervenes in mercy, offers opportunity, and reaps.
What is it like ? He acts in His sublimity, just as I may do in my smallness: for even I sometimes elect, revise a chapter a little, and change this or that phrase to more felicity, and the phrases, they are men. When indeed something is misfocussed, it too may be changed. Action is bred in need, and need with restraint is reviewed; for God acts in His own way and time, and His counsel is not superficial.
Misprints can come through typographical errors, or failure to apply this or that in the comprehensive insight and oversight required; but with God, there are none of these, though in that curse on the creation because of wilful man, there is great scope in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, for things to unravel and mutate with decreasing information, lessened meta-information accuracy, in the systems which were ministering with adequate oversight and code. To what did some minister ? Why it was and is TO subordinates codes in the DNA, and the derangements in the muddled abuses of life by man, may render complications and syndromes, for there come various travils from assault by alien forces, both physical and spiritual, in man's delinquencies and the judgments, however muted, upon them.
The marvel is that after thousands of years, the elaborate coded contrivances and linguistic orders for coherent integrality in such beings as man continue in basic efficiency. It is like keeping a film in a camera for millenia, and then developing it afterwards.
In all this abundance of exuberant creation, and complexity of abuse of judgment, God acts in many ways, distilling wisdom and enabling return; and the sufferings of the present creation are part of its discipline, its curse, its liability for infidelity, of the mocking and the scorn (cf. Psalm 2) which is its due, cresting in man the miscreant. This is so, even though in profundities of mercy incalculable, the Lord brings mercy to the point that this world can continue at all. It is not for ever; but for ever is that 'everlasting contempt' which comes where mercy is despised and the Creator, unhallowed, is thrown to the dust, His mercy with Him (Daniel 12:1ff., John 3:19,36, Romans 1:17ff.).
He, of course, Himself when so treated when on excursion for salvation He came, does not stay there. The dust was an instrument in the creation of man in his material design, but it is no place for the Creator to retain for His own body, even when it has borne what was due to every man, and done it with a scope as wide as mankind, but with a sin-bearing as limited as is the list of those who will be saved.
Thus the resurrection declared, and so was the dynamic declaration of His crucified body on the third day as announced with the customary divine precision; but His creation can be subsumed below the dust, into its due dishonour, which would not honour honour, where it is to be found.
Hallowing ? it is an activity which recognising the God of action and power, relays and relates this fact in its every phase of spirit, intimation of mind, disposition of body. While none nears perfection in this world (cf. Philippians 2:8-14), it is to this end that we labour for Him who is true, corrigible because of weakness, resolute because of His strength (II Corinthians 12:7-9), whose grace is sufficient.
Deep in the heart of the HALLOWING of the divine name, there is ascription. One sees, one hears, one comprehends because of apprehension granted by grace from His wisdom (cf. Ephesians 1:17ff.); but one also ascribes. I will ascribe greatness to Him, is the essential message of the Psalmist (Psalm 145:3,6).
Why ? Because this in word is the case in fact, and to do this is to respond with faithful truth. If one is of the truth, does not one respond to it ? (cf. John 7:17). If one is a lover of cricket, does one not cheer ? To fail to ascribe glory to God, holiness and purity, love and sacrificial wonder, redemptive skill, will and action, when one may, is this not as if to pollute by burning tyres with ascending acrid and black smoke billowing to acidify a city, as one once saw, not far from Philadelphia. It is to pollute the earth with what is not true, fitting, apt and pure, to descend to the abyss of outrage, or to arise to the clouds of acidity; it is to foil the testimony of truth by letting flesh have its way.
I will praise you while I have any being! says the Psalmist in Psalm 146:1-2. NOT to hallow His name, give FITTING praise in the brilliant light of His holiness, is like death. It is like being a piece of wood, mistakenly thought to be human.
"I will extol You, my God, O King, and I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you, and I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable."
Not only does praise, does the recognition of His holiness, of the fitness of hallowing His name, arise day by day, but its enterprise envisages eternity as its fitting place; for those who can see eternity in the Lord, by His salvation's de-obscuration of their eyes and their minds' refurbishing with clarity and its means and models, who see the Lord and believe in Him, and hence see it as it really is, these inhabit it. Why ? it is because theirs is that eternal life which was with the Father and came as Jesus Christ, touchable, but transformative (I John 1:1-4). Thus they see because they can see (cf. Matthew 13:11, Ephesians 1:17ff.).
To know Him and Jesus whom He has sent IS to have eternal life (John 17:1ff.). You cannot know Him without it, or lacking it see Him in faith (John 6:40). To be sure, it is by His sacrifice that the way is opened, and cleared of the rubble of sin; but it is through these results that the glory is imparted and the sight is granted of Him whose is eternal life and who loves to grant it in mercy to the repentant who believe in Him, receive and delight in Him, yearn for and follow Him.
To fail to ascribe to Him the wonder which is His, in clarity and truth, in willingness and joy, this jars with that reality of spirit which He confers. If you found delight of spirit in Everest climbed, would you stutter about it, and say that, well perhaps, maybe, it was a sort of big hill!
This generation is fond of dismissing reason. It has been 'cured' of respect for nations, because of their frequent mutual embroilment; of respect for liberty in reality, as distinct from phrasing it, willingly trading with the authors of milling multitudes of atrocities unspeakable, and scarcely thinkable. It is no lover of truth, since it has come to despise what is holy and to eject from the wonder of love for the sake of exploitation, sexual delusions and other substitutes for the wonder of truth ... as if transmission of form were to be worshipped, or used as a toy.
EVEN to transmit physical life is a wonder, and great is its accompanying sense; but it is the life which is in view, not the modes of transmission, and it is here that the wonder is.
It is not in child abuse, which is perhaps for many an attempt to regain what is not ruined, but in vain, for it merely ruins the more in its own bedeviled way; nor is it in adolescent exploitation of sensation of gut, glut or smut, that reasonableness is to be found. It is in the Author of all system and all desire, which misused becomes merely a sink for subordination of the sublime to the ridiculous.
WHEN however, one insists on reason, rather than arguing WITH it against it, thus invalidating one's own efforts in advance, that one finds that there is not only an absolute necessity that God be, but that His word be recognisable; and a glorious reality that verifications of these things, validations of them, are so intense and extensive as to constitute a world of their own. Of such things, the two volume work, Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ provides millions of words of attestation in extensive and mutually supportive categories.
To provide such reasons for those who ask for them (I Peter 3:15): it is part of faithfulness, of hallowing the name of Him who has so made things, and our minds and spirits, that we are capable of realising and even communicating these things, for which all over again, we praise and hallow His name. Why ? It is because it is so wonderful to have such things to see and to do, such comradeship and such a gracious presence and power, deep peace and plenitude before His whose it is, and to be enabled to act for Him, that it is past all admiration to confess the same.
Despite the irrationalism of our Age, it remains true that Paul was SET FOR THE DEFENCE OF THE GOSPEL (as seen in Philippians 1:17). Not only in word, but in deed was it so, for Paul was continually ARGUING and SHOWING from the Scriptures that CHRIST is the Messiah, the Son of God who was sent by authorisation and appointment, active in eternity, prodigious in time, and effective in consummation of the structure and function of the Gospel. He even declared in II Corinthians 10:5 that he was busy casting down imaginations, contrary ideas about things, clamorous claims concerning God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the word of God.
How limp and loathsome is the current practice, which some using the name of Christ employ or deploy indeed, where things are shared with unbelievers as if they had anything to contribute of the revealed Gospel of God, and things are made accessible by traditions, as though arsenic sauce had a reputable place on the roast: when Christ defied, and showed the defilement of all such additives and alterations as in Mark 7:7ff., declaring that they made void the word of God.
WHO IS SPEAKING in this thing ? is it God or is it man. For, says Paul in Galatians 1, do I persuade man or God ? Is he embarking on a career of counsellor to God (like Peter for a moment, as seen in Matthew 16), or rather than of an ambassador from God to man!
He says more. It is this. IF I WERE involved in pleasing man, says Paul, I would not be a bondservant of Christ! If your aim is to satisfy man, you cannot. If your means are to satisfy his culture, you cannot, while remaining faithful to God. As to man on this earth in this our present Age, his culture is corrupt, his contrivances are debased. Christ, He is more than counter-culture; He is supra-cultural, since culture is what man does, and truth is what God is. They are not twins, nor is their bed the same. Rather, it is Christ who creates, and man who berates, or relates as the case may be.
To dip in this culture ? (cf. I Corinthians 7:31, James 4:4, I John 2:15-17). Why it is as if to dip sheep not in sheep dip, but in aqua regia, boiling.
This is not to hallow the name of God. What then is to do so ? It is to prevail not only in His word, in all its defined extent and purity, without a spirit of communion with this world or its participants, or a communion with any of its words. It is this which is to HALLOW HIS NAME. It is to give to that name of God, the glory which is its due in sanctity of vision, in sobriety of mind and in admiration of spirit which does not find any limit, either for subversion by religion or authority, by philosophy or feeling.
That awe is present in the presence of God is apparent. What needs to be added is this. This awe is EVOKED by His awesomeness.
Awe is an attitude, a feeling, a sense of profundity in perspective and impact. This can be created by many things, depending in part on one's current understanding and evaluation. It is common to many objects as a stimulus, and found in diverse attitudes. It may be well placed or misplaced.
Awesomeness however lies in the quality of that to which awe is directed, in which it is felt, where it is experienced. It is the objectivity of awesomeness which is in view when the name of God is to be hallowed. It is not the feeling which gets the attention, or the worship, or the glory one senses, nor is the subject itself, the inundation of the spirit of man with this sense of lifting wonder.
That is effect. We are now looking at the cause.
The effect can, like pleasure, come from many sources, rightly or wrongly, depending on the state and indeed status of the equipment, in this case the spirit of man. Some get pleasure from putridity.
As to the cause of awe, however, it is when it lies in AWESOMENESS that its warranty is first and final. It is when the subjective, in other words, finds its basis in the objective which, enthroned in glory, loving in aspect, merciful in disposition, evocative of truth and its foundation has this as its true response and it due: it is then that the name of God is hallowed. It is not in specious, in meretricious, in pseudologies* of fantasy that one is to move if this name is to be honoured, but in the realities of its actuality. He only is truly awesome, in this, that without Him NOTHING WOULD, SHOULD or COULD be so. What is the good or the point or the relevance of having awe at cruelty, at treachery, at wealth from fraud, at self-will, or its results ? This is subject for estimation of size, but not of virtue or reality. (*If this term is minted, it is time it was!)
It is when the awesomeness of God, its basis and meaning and original for all awe, is in mind, in spirit, in heart and in tongue, it is then that the name of God is being shown for what it is: the truth back of grandeur, the reality behind impact, the majesty which is not merely ascribed but intrinsic.
Here in awesomeness properly so-called, and not a mere evocation of name or feeling for some created entity, in its origin and finality, its reality and integrity, as source and not mere medium: it is here that lies the object for the subject to cry out at the majesty of God. It is here that in experience or transcription, in impact or in expression that the name of God is hallowed.
Isaiah (as seen in Ch. 6) does not say, Holy, holy, holy, for I am having an experience; but rather, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of host. The whole earth is full of His glory!"
Nor does he declare, O wonderful is the sight that my eyes experience in their mission of seeing! but "Woe is me, for I am undone! because I am a man of unclean lips ..."
In the presence of the truly because constitutively and institutively holy ONE, there is need to have a cleansed heart and mind, for a fitting spiritual vocabulary and exegetical aptitude, even to consider the matter. As you see from the case of Isaiah, such cleansing God most willingly performs where the need lies, and vision of truth has its precursors in cleansing of heart, for which the blood of Christ is more than ample, but not less than necessary (cf. Revelation 7:14-17, Hebrews 2:1-3, 9:11-22)!
It is not mutter but declaration which is needed, and for the prophet, the word of the Lord came to the prepared heart, so providing for us the word of God as authorised and sent. If, indeed, says this prophet, it is not according to the Book of the Lord, it is LIGHTLESS. It is dark by nature (Isaiah 8:20). On this, the reader may see further in SMR Appendix C and D, Sparkling Life ... Chs. 1 and 2).
Thus awesomeness has not only objectivity that it might be experienced in the Lord of hosts, but it has authority in its midst, since it is He who carefully distinguishes between what He is and what He is not in His word of authority, transmitted for millenia, conserved and applied when He came (as in Matthew 5:17ff., we see). He who so commanded, it is He who is Himself the essence of awe, its objectivity and joy, its original basis and consummation and conclusion that does not die.
Hallowing His name, is hallowing Himself in His objectivity, in His reality, according to His word, where revelation is testable, doctrine is alone invested, whose mouth is not cut off, but whose traducers find this of themselves, when they try to operate HIS mouth as if by tweezers (cf. Jeremiah 23, Revelation 22).
ACTUALITY OF INTRINSIC LIFE
To gain something may be great. To receive a gift of some kind may be gratifying, and if it is in the realm of the admirable, it may be excitingly enthralling.
However, greater than the magnificence of space, compared to the volume of an ant, is the original of man, of life, of energy, of space and time, of creativity and of rationality.
Here we are not talking paintings but authors; and not authors of words only, but THE AUTHOR of the universe and all within it, of which you, patient reader, and I are but part, though each a living part. We have life derived; God has life that never arrived, because NOT ONLY was it always there, but it is source for every life which DOES arrive. Remove God and have nothing and you never get us, for nothing has no spawn, for that would be instead of nothing, something which spawns.
Act on God, however, and you are dealing with Him who not only is the necessary basis of all life and things, including those with the liberty to invent for good or for evil, like ourselves, but the actual eternal life which does not change, not being specified from outside Himself, but beyond the impediments of time, "I AM" (as in John 8:58, Exodus 3 and 6). Always what He would be, He is likewise what He could be, not determinable by what He is capable of, since there both are and can be no limits to the author of all, all specifications dependent on Him only; and as such He is the possessor not only of eternal life, but of LIFE IN ITSELF. That is WHO HE IS.
It is He who is thus, whether as God the Sender, or God the Sent or God the Spirit (as in Isaiah 48:16, II Corinthians 13:14, Matthew 28:19-20), or that Trinity who in infinite mutuality, as One in Being, is so diversified in function and individual in persons*1. As one in accord, as one in nature, they so move in action that the very oneness is accentuated by the mutuality of manifestation. It is of HIS blood (attributed because of His chosen format in God the Sent, in Christ) that we hear of in Acts 20:28, and it is HE, Jesus Christ who is the "I AM", to whom every knee must bow, though it is to God only that this is to be (as in Philippians 2 and Isaiah 45:18-25).
In worshipping Him, we do not worship an emblem, a mascot, a figure, a symbol, a notable part like a long promontory on the coastline. ALL coasts are His work. We worship what is intrinsically and eternally source of what is NOT He, that is, not of this necessarily unique category, but rather in contradistinction to it. If it starts or finishes, He is not this. If it changes in nature, it is not He. If it has access to education, it is not He, whose are all things and from whose eternal knowledge and wisdom, not dependent on anyone's specifications or intimations, we gain being.
When it is He whom we have in mind, in heart, in our wills to follow, when we so worship, so speak, when our conversation and spirits alike have this in them as source and basis, underlying dynamic and overlaid perspective, when we so conceive and apperceive, when we so speak and declare, when this is the attitude in our hearts an the atmosphere in our beings, then the name of God is going to be hallowed.
ALPHA AND OMEGA MAGNIFICENCE
It is not to something less, or to someone in himself derivative, some splendour of mere attainment, that we speak, nor is it of such lesser ones, creations of His power, that we make declaration, or to whom we pray, when we HALLOW HIS NAME!
It is to the One who is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End of all creation, who is He who remains, who is from everlasting to everlasting, the first and the last (Revelations 1-3, 21:6, 22:13, 4:11. Zechariah 9:7, Psalm 90).
It is not the first or the last in a series, where you stop, for these are its limits. Quite to the contrary, God has no limits, His greatness being unsearchable and His understanding infinite as He declares. Thus He is not either alpha or omega, the beginning or the end, but both of these simultaneously, since He comprehends in His power and glory, both. It is of creation which He stands in this relationship, since He in Himself does not begin, being always there that anything might ever be there, and so begin, for nothing itself as the ultimate, is infinitely unproductive for ever. He is ALMIGHTY (Revelation 1:9) who not only was and is to come, but IS! (Revelation 1:8).
BEING itself is not something which simply is, for it is then a causelessly limited, causelessly produced, temporal phenomena in a causeless system embraced by myriads of other causeless systems in a causeless universe which operates by causality, and is rationally comprehensible in no other way (cf. Causes). It is not a matter of seeming causes, as in Kant, where these are mere modes of observation, for then the concept of causality itself has cause, so using what it denies; and so magic would be our parameters. Causality itself must always be in order ever to be, for a thought about it will not make it act, but itself will act; and in order to do so, it must be there, not merely thought about. You CANNOT logically derive causality without self-contradiction (cf. SMR Ch. 5)..
BEING is not something intensively self-contradictory, since this is a mere mish-mash of categories, collisions in concept and action; nor is reality war, since it needs to have peace enough to have the things that war to exist intact, in order to do their thing.
A series of mutually self-contradictory clashes, actual and potential, requires the delimitations of its series, the universe in which these can occur, the specifications for the actualities which are so distinctive as to clash, and to invent these things from nothing is a self-contradiction in itself, or from something is a choice, but only if it be adequate. If it is able to produce contraries and contrarieties, principles and counter-principles, operative dynamic and assigned format and function, then yes, that is so far a necessary choice. If it is eternal, then yes, it does not have to arrive from nothing or from something inadequate. If it be always, eternally adequate and not subjected to limitation or delimitation, but entirely free, yes that is both a choice and necessary.
If you move to the truth, you are beginning then to be ready to hallow His name; but if you do not move all the way to it, then you are merely inept, and not hallowing His name, but talking around it, like Hacker in one instance of a conversation with Humphrey, in the British series, Yes Minister. There Hacker was referring to the Prime Minister, not by His name, but by 'up there' with the finger pointing upwards to designate the heights of power in the PM. This is mere charade, amusing in the series, but abusing in reality when not the PM but God is in view!
If you move to the necessarily provided, and always validated and verified Bible*2, and with this, to its Salvation Centre, Jesus Christ, and with Him, to His effective plan of salvation and thus to the Cross of Calvary, in real terms, real time, real action, like World War II and the Beaches of Normandy: then you are growing close to being ready to hallow the name of God.
When however you come nearer, and instead of watching if you will, the plan of battle for Normandy, with Eisenhower in London or nearby, actually GO THERE, and LAND in occupied territory, where sin abounds, and move with the Spiritual Field Marshall as His and serving Him, it is then that you are ready to HALLOW HIS NAME. How could anyone hallow His name who is ignorant of who He is, or distorts it by non-surrender, ascribing to himself or herself a being which is not subject, as if it were autonomous, when alas for it, it is merely derivative and provocative together ?
Would Field Marshall Smith give honour to the real Field Marshall, by playing with power as if it belonged to him, just because for a little time, he could perform his charade.
Hallow then His name, and see in it, the ingredients which begin at least to stir you to find tongue for His greatness. Let us not imagine, however, because He is infinitely great, that what is known of Him is in its own defined declaration either unclear, or of any dubious proposition (I Corinthians 2:9ff.), or that what is not known (later, Christians will see Him face to face, and His name will be imprinted on their spiritual brows) is a condition on what is known now. As sun may bring to brilliant apperception things seen in part, so does Truth at last unveil all as we know as we are known; but the thing known are not fallacious, fallible or unsure, which come from Him who IS the truth. No equivocation, whether from Calvin or anyone else (cf. SMR Appendix B, To Know God ... Ch. 1, Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host Ch. 2), can disguise the fact that if God says it, it is true; He does not 'condescend' by telling what is fallacious, or the product of a God not only trinitarian, but going in separate ways!
It stands for one reason, this Book of His: it is because HIS WORD IS TRUTH (John 17:17) and He who came IS the truth, so that anything not true in spirit and word and conception and proposition is like having a world of YES, where only affirmation is possible, and then adorning it with NO, the intrusive, the invasive NEGATIVE.
The word of God is truth, and in truth and thus only, CAN His name be hallowed.
See SMR pp. 532 - 560, Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4.
Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ
Deity and Design ...