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THE FOUR TOWERS
ORIENTATION WEEK IN TIME
Genesis 45:5-8. 50:20; Romans 3:8, Isaiah 45:7, 45:19, 8:29ff.
The Twin Towers, famous in New York as embodiment of something of the power, prowess and acumen of the USA, were destroyed in a short time by those so limited they even had to use USA equipment to do it. If that nation does not take heed to that fact, in the midst of immoral declivities and religious prodigalities, it is not wise.
There are however not twin but four towers of a better order, manufactured in heaven for this earth, put into the word of God. Calamity, Control and Deliverance are their associates. They work on a grand scale of vision, and discharge only good where wisdom is found.
Tower I - The Deep Plans
Here lie the
credentials of deity in wisdom, here is the profundity of His acuity,
far beyond algorithm, personal, comprehending, comprehensive.
As Christ declared, not a sparrow falls to the earth without the Father (Matthew 10:29-30).
"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?
and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
"Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."
There is nothing accidental in the formulation of cells, far less those massed myriads of cells, the ectype of the resultant whole, the sparrow itself, inscribed with intelligence, the aeronautical thrills of brilliance automated, whilst the mind of the bird is set to learn through the parameters and interaction of program and life, to the point of further explorations, intimations and attainments, about which there is nothing incidental. Such contrivances, collocations and mysteries are at the very height of attainment, dwarfing both our intelligence and our performance in making controls (cf. Birds, The gods of naturalism have no go!).
NOT one of the least of these things is its own contrivance, or that of matter in its dead arrays of formulated mastery, in which it comes and goes, as incapable of thought in itself as of its invention from itself, a mere mould for building, a butt for architecture, a resource for the emplacement of vision, as now also, for man, in his derivative creative capacity, the same, as he makes in its midst, a mere vehicle for thought, what appeals to him, in vision and in imagination. Whether in his own modes of electronic or other conception and modelling, matter is but the stuff for thought and the carrier for intelligence, to be fitted out by these creativities, with the designs of man's spirit, the hopes of his mind and the vision of his heart.
It is as made, the maker of nothing, being merely the consignment of intelligence, for the use by intelligence, a forest of discovery but a formation for deployment. In itself, as to expositions of thought, matter is as excluded by lack of evidence, as from grounds for it (cf. Deity and Design...).
It is however in itself most marvellously constructed, a fitting tribute both to intelligence, and the donation of life to man, by God, so that what he sees in it, he can utilise to effect the thoughts of his mind and the adventures of his spirit.
Range upon range, invested with the finger-prints of reason, correlative each one to the use for another, as matter for mind and mind for spirit, these things are no less the manufacture of intelligent reason, pervasive power and correlative designs, astutely and even intimately arranged, than they are the occasion for derivative power to express its own designs, in the case of man.
These select systems (like the painting technique of an Old Master in art) move not according to chance, but choice, not by assemblage contrary to all nature, so that one things stays put while the other arrives, ad nauseam, traffic building up around the control centres, which of course cannot control, since on the materialistic or naturalistic model there is no basis for any such thing, while the routes are blocked, not that there could be routes in that model, since roads are the epitome of order, and apt communications for assemblage are the things of organisation and initiative.
Not even a sparrow is insignificant to the Author of life and thought and mind and spirit! Gifted with this élan vital that makes of it one of the units of life, it has this licence for order, that composition in biotics, that conception in integrality which makes it to be what it is, a magnificent totality of creation: and this is one of the least. It is this, and not at all an assemblage of the artless, or a congregation of the uncomprehending.
A veritable depiction of desire, it is wrought in code, taught in orders and manufactured in sequence, with the meta-coding (not really scrap DNA after all, but intensively sophisticated correlatives, like a book provided for know-how on working the thing, but set to its data base programmatically) symbolising thought about HOW*1 the information is to be applied. This is rather like a library resource on the topic of code, drafted in correlation with symbolic unity, composed in sympathy with what is already there, required at every point to meld with the existing codes, the more to interpret their needs and apply their requirements both in language of the same kind, with the same 'syntax' correlatives, in order to work. So does what is conceived in unity as a meta-information base, work together with what is its butt or base in the working field, code directives, protocols with code programs, effecting the joint elaboration of intelligence for the unitary results called creatures.
It is of these that man is one, in that he is created; and assuredly he is neither fish nor fowl, nor animal nor bacterium, but man himself, gifted with symbolic code comprehension, to read it as in DNA and to speak it as in Shakespeare, to be the subject of drama, as dangers are met in his body, and the draftsman of it, as he invents situations and marshalls intelligence to obtain spiritual vision, whether disastrously for evil, or deftly for good.
All this resides in Tower One, and with it far more, for here we envisage the very wisdom of God. It drafts bodies and minds, it invents freedom units called spirits, it sets limits, it enlarges vision, it enables dreams, whether psychic or architectural, philosophic or ethical, but it does not force.
There has been in the veritable wisdom of God, both the glory of the vitality of life, its intrinsic thrust and typological truth, and on the other hand, the curse which He placed on life, with its presumption before its Maker where man entered in, and that proud spirit, the devil, made his little advent known. Fallen from grace in his self-glorying follies, he not only inveigled the woman of the first pair of mankind, but saw her followed so slavishly by the first man, as his insidious net went on spreading to Adam, almost effortlessly.
Here is the ground for His divine diligence both to create and afterwards, to impose the burden of curse (Romans 5) on all that is the derivative seed of man, under which our so truculently fallen race abides, as it approaches more and more nearly to a point of self-destruction (cf. Matthew 24:22).
But what of the creation of man itself, what of the life which though arrested in its sin, yet strives to grow graceless, where it is not redeemed, what of this ?
How prodigious is the divine diligence for detail! In this staggering prodigy of directed thought, codal sophistication and designing directives, He has proceeded to give the channels in life, like inter-connected highways and lanes, each with the vehicles of enthusiasm to convey the divinely wrought and taught information in the programmatics which are but underlying; for the beauty of the whole comes out like a painting, at first line and colour, but at last, seen in its significance, as a design; and in this earthly studio, correspondingly is a whole multitude of milling designs. Yet with man, he is so made that painting that he is, in exhibition of divine thought, he yet can produce painting of his own, to mock or meet the kind of his Creator, as the case may be. Some are in words, some are in lines, in oils, in engineering constructions, in palliatives for sin and in exuberant enablements for the beauty of holiness.
Man is more than chameleon: he is thinker and has been given the mental plasticity and spiritual scope to be almost angelic, and far below any beast, aligned to the very devil.
Thus beyond the magnificence of billions of cells, each organised, all related, in a sea of code with channels of its implementation and roads for its intricacies and simultaneities supplied for action, as in any factory, yet here in a prodigality of mind to dwarf the entrepreneur among men, this but ONE UNIT, one man, there is far more.
Even these, design upon design, with due diligence, are subsumed in broader environmental largesse, being adapted the one for the other, the earth for the ocean, the wing for the air, the fin for the water, the sub-aquatic suckling for the whale, the direct oxygen transfer for the babe in the womb, the immediate transition to the lung technique when it is born, each for its mode, each module for its design, each design under direction, the litter zero, the life multitudinous.
Past that is the logical etching for mind, the vitality inlet for thought, the imaging propensity for imagination, the rationality of validity, the scope for will, the enablement of rebellion and the admiration response for truth: it is all there, no mere program, but a cockpit for its usage, where instruments of grace and disgrace alike, are present to minister to malice or provide for integrity.
Here is come the arrival not from barren nothing or excrescential incompetence, but from a brilliance of conception, construction, invention and depiction beyond man, attesting that divinity without which man is not merely meaningless, but baseless, time a miserable pittance for the wisdom of contrivance, dumb in type, undirective in capacity, an extension for what is not.
But on such negative and reductionist models as the naturalistic, myriads depending on nothing, can do everything, though not one of them has EVER been found to do ANYTHING in this mode, but instead exhibits qualities to BE, according to law, not to make worlds in the minute or the grand. Denying truth, they affirm it, without absolute truth even THERE, they deploy it, mixed as a brilliant example of the spiritual significance of man, who for dislike of deity can ditch reason itself, while purporting to use it!
Here then in this Tower 1 at which we are now looking, is the gumption, the go, the thrust, the conception, the conceptualisation of components, the realisation which enables integration of the compositely correlative, and the unification of the result in a modelled being that can stand, even understand, be correlative to other creation. Here is the site for schema, the ground for man's rationality, the propulsion for Creation, in this, that it is the exhibit and testimony of the mind of God, which we thus depict in this image, that we may behold it with the other three towers, and see thus in distinct kind, something of the wonder of the Lord.
Here, then, is the site for wisdom, creating opportunity and donating curse to the presumption of imagining in reckless abuse of liberty, what is not, and disregarding what is (cf. Deuteronomy 32:15-21). The direction of this disease, started with the first parents, is zealouslyl followed by many, as man still misaligns and defies the truth of God, in myriads of ways biological, political, psychological, psychical, economic, geological.
In these and many such fields, he simply proposes what experimentally and logically does not and cannot perform what requires what can, for it so much as to be, and argues that this is but common sense. It is the most uncommon sense that sees its source in the insensible, its logic in the irrational and its making in the realms of nature that are never found, never seen to act and have no means for doing so, while claiming that what has come to be, made itself, inventing logic as a side-show, mental originality as a quirk, and spiritual will as a quirk. Anything less scientific and more irrational, could be found only in dreams themselves, where the means for the events are as sedulously excluded as the wafting indifference of dream state can make them.
It is important however not to dream where life is concerned, and to look at the necessary minima for its constructions, its phases, its fields, its liberties and its initiatives, instead of using metaphors for fact, and words for deeds. Nature in fact is a name for a series of integrated realities, individual in masses, grouped in cases, embroiled in expanding fields astronomical, electrical, logical, imaginative; but not for what makes it. A car is not what makes it; a baby is not what makes it. A result is not a cause. You do not insist logically that whatever is, is its own source. Logically, adequate source is the necessary course, and what disdains reason is at once divorced from any power to argue. We are surrounded by reason, and efforts to escape merely obliterate the validity of the arguer.
It is necessary not to dream when facts are in view.
Proposing that what is there has no father or source, man in his naturalistic muddle would have it all come comes like a magician's apprentice from nowhere in particular, from nothing, although he loves to beg the question and start with a very great deal indeed; and he proceeds to have this casual worker from nowhere, invisible, untraceable in 'Nature' nevertheless, being but part of it, to act in order to do things beyond the most informed imagination, while leaving its manifold testimony spread like ingots from ore, like ore from earth, like earth from hand to compose, while it itself must be deleted before it is acknowledged.
The curse and the creation, they have their prodigalities, but mercifully the former far less than the latter. The virus infections, the marvellous and intriguing minituae of such things as the elaborately equipped mosquito, bacterial displacements, meteorological disasters, earthquakes and famines, these all have their place in unsettling the settled mentality of the majority of our race, to invent gods that are powerless, or at any rate, to ignore, disparage, seek to displace, even replace the God who created. Thus does this combination of munificent magnificence in creation and profound rebuke to the intensive precision in creation, proceed. Man is stung, and refuses ointment; but continues to hold out his life for infection as if demented; yet it is not mental, as in dementia, but rather spiritual, as in lust, the lust to be lord.
There has been in principle at least, little movement since Eve showed Adam the wrong way, and they both were misled. They were thinking in terms of the satanically suggested equality with God, of God the niggardly afraid of their entry into His select life; such was their delusion from the director of lies (John 8:44, Romans 5). Now man thinks increasingly even of displacing the God of truth and power, validity and verifiability in thought, as children are prodigiously indoctrinated with natrualism. Moreover it must spread to government, as freedom of speech is increasingly threatened, and then be imposed by government, as those who love truth are imprisoned, as in China so often, harassed, as in many Arab countries, and bypassed, when it is not convenient for them to speak.
The provisions for life, for its rebuke when astray, for mind, for spirit, for cell and counsel, it is all to be found in Tower I.
Yet that is not all in this Tower. There is to be found the wisdom for the Remedy, the provision of the Redeemer, the plan of salvation for mankind. Life was not made merely to illustrate opportunity, connection for man, that creatively-dependent item with provision for spiritual connection to God, shown clearly from the first that he is not to be conceived, as created, as if a god in himself, any more than a piece of matter. Both extremes are absurd, unfactual, irrational, in thought unkempt.
The simplicity of the vision of truth, however, this was aborted in the Fall of man, through that failed examination in Eden, where arose that arrogance of conception that he could measure up to God in his own terms, rather than live in friendship with Him, on His. Being conscious and rational and alive to models and plans and the concept of architecture for body and soul, man has indeed power to pretend he is autonomous, till death, disease and misology alike expose his tantrums. God did not act in creation without the knowledge of remedy (Isaiah 51:16*1A). Without that, nothing woujld have been done. Even an engineer would if intelligent, be inclined to make provisions for various defects or evils to hurt his work, and to have in store some safeguards. Thus there was also in Tower 1, the reality of redemption.
There too was to be found the wisdom for the realisation of that Redemption in life, just as there had been the earlier provision, if need be, for the actuality of the Fall, at the first. Thus came the Redeemer to earth, sent from the Father of lights, the fountain of understanding, like a stream to earth, and there came the death and resurrection, to exhibit according to the stated and forecast plan, the power and the mind of God for man's redemption (cf. SMR pp. 532ff., 611ff, 570ff., 92ff.).
But as man selected 'FALL' in the ignorance of folly, linked to the rebelliousness of spirit which WOULD NOT KEEP to the conditions imposed in Eden (for unless you are God, there are, and must always be, conditions for your created life), so he must receive 'REDEEM' for the tablet of his soul, the restoration of his life.
Here again, in this Tower of Divine Wisdom is the provision to cover the disablements through sin at the perception level, for sin clouds like sulphurous vapours, the very operation of the spirit of man (I Corinthians 2:14), and its pollutants cloud over the perspicuity of his mind, so that in politics as in theology, in philosophy as in personal conduct, his vast dupings by duplicity at the hand of various agents, is as famous as it is infamous.
It is sad; but what makes the heart glad in this Tower, is the provision that God will HIMSELF choose man (John 15:16, Romans 9:16, John 1:12), taking each one individually, as is fitting in His sight, activating the realities for which life was made behind the scenes of pride and deception, to find within love for all, the ones who are His own, where His restraint and love in conjunction, find place for grace (Colossians 1:19ff., John 3:15-19, Matthew 23:37, Ezekiel 33:11).
None is lost who might be gained; none is included by graft or guile; for God sees for Himself and knows His own, His whole encircling marvel of selection in love, being founded on HIS OWN KNOWLEDGE, dependent on no man, no program, but His own personal wisdom*2. None is dragged in contrary to desire; none is desired in the end, contrary to the underlying disposition; for when God sees, He sees past sin to reality, and His eye is not clouded by what clouds that of man! Love may lament (as in Matthew 23:37), but it does not at length intrude.
Thus is there rejoicing over each sinner found, each in whom is dispersed the darkness, each in whom the light of the Lord in Jesus Christ is intimated, like a dawning for the new morning of life (John 3), where man no more longs to be what he is not, but instead, is made into what he could scarcely have dreamed in his sin: a child of the sovereign, gracious, merciful God of all truth.
Sadness ? why have it: for God is good and those who find Him find all.
It is not an incoherent, all-aggregating all, like zero and infinity, good and bad, wisdom and folly, genius with the moronic, an assemblage of incoherence and self-contradiction, meaningless confabulations of dream, it is not this that is found. Rather is it the Creator into whose blessed domain have come, through wilfulness: rebellion, ostentation, arrogance, upstart pretension, gloom at rebuke, intoxication at opportunity, misuse in madness, oppression as if by divine right when it is human wrong. Into this realm of worse than moon madness, this obliteration as on that orb, of atmosphere and divine protection by arrogant tossing of the tempestuous head, here has come the Redeemer.
In the Tower of Wisdom is to be found the result of His coming, the dynamic for it, the discernment concerning these things, both the ground of call in mercy and goodness. and the selectivity which forces none, is not rebuked by darkness, but instead rebukes darkness with light.
Here are the plans for each soul that comes to know Him, and for all as seen before time itself was even introduced, or the earth was made that it might be (Ephesians 1:4, Revelation 13:8). Here are the plans for each found to be embraced in time, by the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Here is wisdom, for sagacity has here its house; here is omniscience and here contrivance's manufacture in the profundities of wisdom, for the purposes of purity and perfection. Here is the undying love which considers NOTHING too much for man, to redeem him, except one thing. And that ? it is such a departure from the very perfections of truth and mercy, that heaven itself would be no more, and none therefore able to enter it.
Yet from everlasting to everlasting is God, eternal, accomplishing His GOOD pleasure with majestic certainty, available on the call of faith on the line of salvation, as instituted by His word, made final in Christ (Ephesians 1:10), and displayed to the world. Such is the transmission of this, the Tower of Wisdom, and vast are its reaches in all knowledge, just as great is its depiction in the transmissions of truth now made.
Here is the acme of wisdom, the summit of knowledge, the genesis of Genesis; and here lie the plans for life and for adventures in wisdom and understanding in a brand new world, completed after divine travail, short in term, deep in significance, orderly in procession. This it is which is to come, a new heavens and a new earth in which dwells righteousness, not of the test, but of the best and the rest which is divine (Revelation 20-22, Isaiah 65).
Here, no less, is the prelude to history, its source and containment, Here is the certainty for security and here the rebuke to illicit licence, when man seeking to be as God, either disowns or ignores Him. Here indeed is the source for Genesis, in which we now find our particular illustration of His greatness, our littleness, and His capacity to bring forth wonder in our lives, which sin seeks to distress, the devil to dismay and pride to invest with lordly disdain.
Let us take one example of His depth.
In Genesis 45:5-8 and 50:20 we see some deep plans brought to triumphant conclusion. Joseph, loved by his father, a dreamer, had been the victim of his brothers' jealousy, sold to a slave caravan to be taken to Egypt in a heartless fashion. These, his brothers, pretended a wild animal had killed him, but in fact wild passions had done so, on the part of most of them, or something near to equivalent!
When Joseph, moving through many vicissitudes, requiring much patience, had eventually become in effect, Prime Minister in Egypt under Pharaoh, greatly esteemed through his interpretation of dreams leading to security and wealth for Egypt, things changed in Israel. His brothers because of famine, were sent to Egypt to buy grain, but in so doing came into contact with ruler, Joseph, who recognised them, though in his eminence, his family relationship was not realised by them as they sought food from this rich land.
At last, he revealed who he was to them and made several statements of great importance in terms of TOWER I, the Deep Plans of God.
The FIRST statement from Joseph was this, put to his brothers in the climax of their food search. It is found within Genesis 45:5-9, below (red for the one's stressed here).
"But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves
because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
"For these two years the famine has been in the land,
and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.
And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth,
and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
"So now it was not you who sent me here, but God;
and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house,
and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt."
Look at the implications. First, God had a plan to save the lives of Israel's people. Secondly, He foreknew the imminent famine. Thirdly, he USED the jealousy of Joseph's brothers, to put Joseph in Egypt, and the character of faithful Joseph, to put him into power in Egypt, having various side-plans, such as having Joseph in prison in order to meet a court official there, and so on.
When the famine came, He arranged for the brothers to be sent, while Joseph was in charge of this vast food program in Egypt, and for them to meet. This enabled Him to use Joseph to bring Jacob down to Egypt to cover the famine, then to house the rest of Israel there as cattle people and deploy Joseph to give a lesson of great value for all mankind. At once, we note that Joseph does not harass his brothers, but sees the racial plan God had, and proceeds without any complication from self-interest or vengeance, to fulfil it.
That, it is deep; it is powerful to the uttermost point, because ANY error or failure in the divine plan, one thing following from another, would have ruined it.
This is not all. At the death of Joseph's father, Jacob, the brothers are concerned, in view of their own trend towards cruelty shown earlier, though not all of them were of this kind, that he might THEN seek vengeance on them. Joseph however declares a vital Christian principle (for Christ was already in view from Genesis 3:15 in the mind of God cf. Barbs ... 17): it is found in Genesis 50:19-21.
"Joseph said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
But as for you, you meant evil against me;
but God meant it for good,
in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
'Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.'
And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them."
EVIL imposed by man can be evil DISPOSED by God, to turn it to good. Such is His wisdom; and the practical lesson for us at once, is not only to have such faith that apparently adverse developments do not move us, except to prayer, but NEVER to seek vengeance. That is God's prerogative, and with Him, it is not for personal satisfaction, since we can add nothing, but for the maintenance of truth in its impact, amidst the mercy He also shows habitually. This is customarily shown until there is no remedy (as in II Chronicles 36:16:
"But they mocked His messengers of God, despised His words,
and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people,
till there was no remedy").
Isaiah 57:15-16 shows how this is so.
“I dwell in the high and holy place with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
For I will not contend forever, neither will I always be angry;
for the spirit should fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.”
The very fabric of man's soul would disintegrate should divine contest with his mind and will, divine allure to the heart and drawing to the spirit continue forever. There comes a time when what was known from eternity (Romans 8:29ff.) is executed in time, and what is the love of eternity, is found or lost, as it has been known to Him, but then found and experienced by man. It is SO EASY for man. You want God ? Be thankful and take Him where He may be found (Isaiah 55), in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour, according to His word; and believing Him, receive Him, being careful not to receive SOME OTHER NAME.
There are as there have been, but now the deck of pilgrimage is awash with them (II Peter 2:1ff.), those masquerading as He, or His, but in fact far from the One whom the Book of the Lord specifies. This ? It is the Maker of the architecture and the engineering in man's body, who has brought in person, not only His specifications for salvation, but their performance on this very earth. And these ? they centre in knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, repentant and responding in allegiance, finding both the peace and the power, the love and the licence of God (John 17:3, Luke 14:27ff.).
That, it is the salvation; but in like manner, the hallowed happenings which lead to it are secure in the mind of God. He is able, as Joseph exemplifies, to turn evil to good and to break the ice which would keep it under the surface, bringing it to light with as much power and wit as He desires!
In knowing God, moreover, you learn in tune with His magnificent munificence, to hallow His name! There is not only none like it, but He Himself whose it is, is the summit of beauty in holiness as the heart of love impenetrable by the puny, outpouring on the unworthy, effective for the cry of faith, directed to Him, by His word.
Tower 2 - The Tall Assumption
Does this fact that God in His wisdom is well able to turn evil (in intention and plan, even in execution) to good, as here, mean that one might as well do evil, knowing full well that good can come from it, by the power of God ? Certainly not, says Paul in Romans 3:8. In that Chapter, Paul, putting the power of God in the format of redemption, which is free, makes the strong point that sedition of righteousness is not its method of enactment, that this is mere slander against the grace of the Gospel. You do not serve righteousness by aborting it, and to imagine that you are just a freak who does evil in order to have the more forgiven by goodness is to forget WHO is the One who forgives and what it means to have this capacity, what, in the end, it cost (Romans 3:25).
If you love goodness, pardon, then it is because you see its value and desirability, not because you love to hurt it, ditch it, deal in it as trash.
The way of God is not appearance, but reality. Doing evil that good may come because of the wisdom and powers of God, this is like spending money that you may become rich, because Uncle Andrew will always bail you out. What presumption: in such things, you merely abuse kindness and confuse its exercise with a program, where nothing changes. But God is no program! His wrath is not for no reason. His grace is beyond all hope, and His pardon is procured by Himself by the ultimate cost of anguished death to bear guilt for man. For man who sins ? certainly if he repents and receives this, the Lord's Christ.
But does He pardon the one who plays with righteousness and tries to make fallacy out of kindness and a mockery out of atonement, of redemption ? That, it is characerised by Peter as a dog returning to his vomit.
God does not change; but man does change, and when you spend till the fortune is spent, the conception that more awaits your self-immersed soul is as certain as the air in a vacuum. God does not save a lie, but from lie.
It is repentance which reaches the riches of grace, and it is change which manifests itself in the repentant heart; it is reality which the wandering soul finds, and in this comes the very operation of God, to change the spirit of man. Planted anew by God, such a tree bears good fruit (Matthew 15:13, Isaiah 61:3); but unplanted by those hands, and merely bearing what its nature contrives, the spoiled tree waves in vain its defoliated boughs, in the sunshine. This is merely harsh to it in its enervation of life, its asthenic weakness, its despoiled residue.
Many are those who despise this gift of God; and more are those who need it. Let us take a case.
The trend of Romanism to accuse those who need no works, but only those of Christ, to be given their eternal salvation is pertinent here.
This religion has to ADD, both to the word of God, and to the place of man’s action for salvation, directly cursing in its Canons of Trent, the view that it is through the mercy of God in Christ alone, that man by faith is saved; that those freely acquitted through and in Him, need nothing more for them to secure heaven.
Yet to curse the gift of God is no work of angelic mode; for it is the very transgression upon transgression which, opposing the divine remedy, finds itself with nothing more to have. Small wonder the Reformers worked with passion for man's release from that overriding misuse of force of which Romanism has so often been guilty, in terms of its contentions of the dual supremacy of the papacy, over princes and prelates alike, over sin and salvation*3. It has indeed acted as if in this world and for the next, it were the very fountain of the grace of God, and not the centre of opposing fallacy. This, exalting itself is biblically guaranteed to be humbled (cf. SMR pp. 911ff., Matthew 23:8-11). In fact, in Revelation 18-19, we see in what precise way, amongst other, in what final way, this is to occur (cf. SMR pp. 946ff.).
In fact, not only is this a biblical principle, notoriously applicable to the ostentatious and prodigious claims so often made by the papacy, but in that very place, Matthew 23, we have FIRST the caution that ALL WE are brethren and CHRIST ONLY is master and teacher, and THEN the stipulation, Exalt yourself and you will be humbled! That is all in one slab of biblical teaching!
Not only is it the relevant principle, but it is here stated in the relevant regard, concerning teaching and mastering, in contrast to that beautiful meekness of Peter as in I Peter 5, where he is "also an elder".
But what of those whom the Lord (not the Church - Isaiah 43:10-11, 53:10, Titus 2-3), the people whom He Himself saves ? do they work ? Work they will, but it is BECAUSE of salvation, and not to achieve its grace. You are saved without works, but not without faith, and faith works (as in Ephesians 2:5-12). Putting consequence for cause is as old as Eve, who was persuaded that being gifted with the powers she could feel (which could have related in liberty to the love of God), she could contest His supremacy who MADE her! EVERY tree that God did not plant will be uprooted (Matthew 15:13), for man is lost, and only by divine action of a planting kind, done by Himself (John 1:12, 3:1ff.) is there any place for man.
Paul declares it again in Titus 3:5 (colour added for relevant emphasis for the point in view):
"We are saved not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to His mercy He saved us,
through the washing of regeneration
and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out on us
abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour."
As to that, it is Christ who sent the Spirit from the Father (John 15:16).
Works ? this assemblage is another dimension when it comes to salvation, and there is actually a total divine prohibition on ANY sort of place for works to come into the investment of man with heavenly salvation: EXCEPT HIS OWN DIVINE WORKS, wrought by Himself for His own glory. There is even a reason in Romans 3 given for this exclusion, so that salvation is explicitly WITHOUT WORKS (Romans 3:28, Galatians 3:1-3, Ephesians 2:5-8). Otherwise, says Paul, man could BOAST.
Imagine the case if this were not an exclusion, based on the reality that Christ's works are sufficient for salvation, and only disobedience can seek to add to them, implying their inadequacy, as insulting to Him as it is exalting to man. Let us imagine a different heaven with a different Gospel and hear the conversation that could then come.
Can you see it,
Hullo Bert ? Glad to see you up here, but truthfully, harrumph, I never in the least degree expected it. Some of us have always had - I don't know, that sort of savvy to see and grab a good thing while it is going - common sense, I suppose, and we saw the greatest power is the place to get, for in the end, you see, nothing can oppose it, so we made a hollowed out place for our own craft within His kingdom, you see, a sort of WEB, a NEXUS for our kind of stuff, but on HIS soil. Well, we got in, and if you will excuse me for saying so, old chap, we did it more easily than did you. We are actually, trying to make an enclave up here, where we can take it a bit more easily than many do. Some of us have wits enough to know the system, and dare I say it, make use of it.
However, IN is IN, is it not!
No, not really. There is no place, no opportunity, no place except for grace, and the basis for this is indeed work, but CHRIST'S WORK, and not our own. IF a man gets to that divine place, then there is NOTHING but GRACE in the engendering of that result. Romanism is as far away as the rest of this world's philosophies, and destitute arrogances which, departing from the script, the way given in the scriptures of faith, the Bible, yet seeks for itself something to be desired.
There is not only no BASIS or PERMISSION to add works into the equations of salvation, that is man's works, whether of mind or soul or spirit, but there is as well as an EXCLUSION notice on this error and a statement of ground for it; but there is an alternative procedure. NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast. By grace you are saved through faith, and that is not of yourselves ... yes ? that is Ephesians 2, is that all ? Not at all: it proceeds, "it is the gift of God." If you want to place your sinful imperfection on top of the gift of God, you are inventing yourself as a co-saviour, as well as a rebel from grace in this department. Salvation however is by grace, not by rebellion.
No need to use your works to get there, then ?
Of course not: does a baby use its wits to be born ? or is it something worthy of congratulation on its prowess of heart and spirit that it 'made it' ? Being born of God is not a work of man, as Christ declared, but of the Spirit of God, not humanly predictable, but of the mind of God (John 1:12, 3:1ff.).
In this opposition to salvation by grace through faith alone, for the gift of eternal life, Romanism now, as always, has strayed afar, bulldozing pathways where they do not belong, in territories forbidden to grace, unknown to faith, reeking with rebellion and hostile to divinely declared truth. In this they err greatly, knowing neither the Bible nor the power of God. So are those who follow such principles.
In fact, the regeneration of the Christian (Titus 3:3ff., I John 3), changes the nature of the person, and God's discipline as required (Hebrews 12) is not made an excuse for ruining His plan of salvation. This, depending on NONE BUT HE, is certain and secure. Moreover, it is the Father who disciplines, not the brethren. Man may indeed seek to deal with inter-personal issues, when harm is done by one to another, but as to the soul, the Father knows best, not the siblings.
Man, again, may deal with clear contradictions of the word of God by those who seek or act to subvert the church, but this is simply to apply what is written, and woe to those who apply their own thoughts and ideas, traitors to truth, in seeking such exclusions. In the end, man trusts in God, saved man in Saviour God, and whatever evil man may inflict, from ostensible churches or governments or places of learning, that trust remains, and the truth of the word of God is as much to be contrasted now to ANY teaching which is not in the Bible, as it was by the apostles (cf. Acts 4:19). If one is a child of God, it is this One whom we take as Father: and THUS no man, in the spiritual setting, on earth is to be called FATHER! (Matthew 23:9).
It is precisely here that each person must examine the heart. DO you REALLY rely on GOD ONLY, in Christ's sublime sacrifice and bodily resurrection, so that He is now AVAILABLE in prayer in His name, to bring you home to Him, through many adversities, but with perfect security ? If so, this suggests you are really TRUSTING Him to do what He says (Ephesians 1:11, John 6:40-54). If not, you become a co-Saviour, and for my part, anything of eternal value depending AT ALL on me, depends too much. Were I even 90% perfect, some day, some way, I could fail in blindness, and ruin all. It is good God needs no helper for this.
It is grand to praise the Lord, to hallow the name of God for His gracious grace, the gift BY GRACE (as Romans 5:15 deliciously has it), so that not only the substance of the gift but its mode of transfer to the sinner is of one piece, the work of exclusivistic GRACE. You might as well seek to save yourself with a noose and cross-bar as insult God by intruding your puny works of imperfection into the arena of perfection, where holiness is satisfied and indeed sated, where ONLY CHRIST'S OWN works can so much as be looked upon (Isaiah 63:7-64:8). Works can exhibit salvation, but they cannot create it.
Tower 2 broadcasts continually against all seditions of free salvation (Romans 3:23ff., 5:15, Titus 3:3-7, Galatians 3), not least those founded to counter false assumptions. God is quite capable of saving the lost, and needs no efforts on their fallen parameters, their polluted principles, their presumptuous musings, their intensified efforts, in order to achieve it. He does not put the saints on probation (Ephesians 1:11), though He does supervise their post-natal works, and rebuke, discipline as He desires, to counter corruption which like the virulent virus, can seek to enter, to counter flesh, which may seek to trade its wares in the new sanctum of grace in His divine salvation, and He may check evils by means which seek harsh at times, just as antibiotics can have vigorous side-effects.
Blessed the one who abides in Him at all times, being thus assured that he will bear much fruit. The fruit ? it is OF HIM (Hosea 14:8), and it comes only WHEN one is grafted into the vine, and so has the capacity to bear ITS fruit (cf. Romans 11). No one can hope to bear fruit by means of which they come to be IN the vine; for quite to the contrary, it is BY already being in the vine, and by this alone, that you CAN at all bear its fruit.
Any other fruit ? it is the fruit of unrighteousness, as if one is told to sit in the driver's seat and drive in the new car, but one were to insist that sitting on a bicycle seat should do just as well, since it is all motion. Alas, this, it is but commotion, ludicrous in conception, denied by the word of God, thrust into the market place by the desire of man, where man is made merchandise through ignorance and denial (cf. II Peter 2).
What then ? It is WHEN a sinner is saved, that like Paul, he/she can work in the grace of God, not to achieve it, but to express it, and this not without good results. Yet this is in the already resultant place of grace, to which newly born, the Christian in the new nature engendered by God alone (Psalm 71:15, 32:1ff., Isaiah 43:10-11), relates.
Tower 3 - The Written Resumé
The Writing Tower, the Third, this is found in Isaiah 45:19.
"I have not spoken in secret,
In a dark place of the earth.
I did not say, 'Seek Me in vain';
I, the LORD, speak righteousness,
I declare things that are right."
In Job 28, Job gives his wonderful discourse on wisdom, indicating that it is not hidden in dark places, as in mines, difficult to find. It is to be found in God. He, for His part, has ensured that the Book of the Lord is the best seller for hundreds of years, on this earth. It is known more than any other book. It was not given in some dark place, but in staggering clarity, entwined with history so that it is in some ways like a Physics Lab Book! showing principles and their verification, with history as the lab.
Seek, says Isaiah 34:16, out of the Book of the Lord and read: NONE of these shall fail. Not even a pair of birds specified to be found in the ruins of a place noted, destroyed in judgment, will lack, for each has its mate; and so with the words from the Lord, the word of God, each has its mate, and all form a directorate for history, which has followed them always. Not a jot, declared Christ, of the prophets or the law would fail till all is fulfilled, yes and this is so even though heaven and earth are to go. The word of God, in other words, depends on NO part or even ALL of creation. As the word of the Creator, it is beyond all that, even though it makes specifications for and to creation. That, it is the Author's privilege: it is that of the Author both of creation and of our salvation (Hebrews 12, Col. 1:15).
His has been the conception, the cohesion, the configuration, the architecture, the mathematical scintillation involved, His the creation of mode in mind for logic, the estuaries of verification, the seas of composition, the stars of magnitude, the miserly miniaturisations of skill in its compressions of prodigality, His the realms to interact and cleave apart, as relevance and relationship is assigned, and limitations are imposed (cf. Jeremiah 5:22ff.). No less, His were the provisions of consciousness for mind, of self-consciousness for spirit, of inventive thought for man, spiritual zoomings and croonings, yes failures and falls, for restorations and revivals: He has provided for the functionalities and the vulnerabilities of man, His creation, the grounds and the reasons, the times and the seasons, the timeless truth to be inspired into man, and in addition, the sightless beggaries to be available for his sin-sodden spirit, so secured at his own will.
His divine word has hit the tarmac where man takes off and lands; it has come to the conning tower, it has entered into the manual, it is declaimed to man, its stipulations his mental seat, its commandments his spiritual rule book, its scintillations his joy and its condemnations his fear; and it has provided for arrogance, as for meekness, and its road is traced from the first to the last, like a mountain journey, where one cannot even begin without a passport to the area, and that without seeking it from this same God.
That, it is where He has placed it, in the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. His word He has enunciated to make bodies, to build minds, to blight folly and to enable righteousness, to cancel guilt and to give godliness; and He has set it all, formed over centuries, static for more than those, now long finished and final, in one Book, through many hands, in one composition, as coherent in unity as is the human body, built by the same Being, wrought by the same Spirit (I Peter 1:10ff., II Peter 1:19ff., I Corinthians 2:9ff.,).
Its commencement is the account of creation, its termination the arrival of Christ and the authorised deposition of His word by the apostles (cf. Revelation 22, John 14:26, II Peter 3:16, Galatians 1, 3 cf. SMR Appendix.. C and D), who in Him have found the completion which is reflected in His word, the Bible. After all, when by ONE sacrifice, made ONCE in the advanced season of time which God chose for it, man is sanctified forever, and by this ONE sacrifice he gains eternal redemption (as in Hebrews 9:12, 10:10,14), and when HE is to return after this ONE Gospel has spread like banners over the world, there is an end. It is IN HIM (Ephesians 1:10), that all are to be brought into one, in Him as Saviour, or from Him as one removal (Matthew 13:40-43).
In this Tower, there lies the authority of the Author of creation, and here are the tests and determinants of duty; here is to be found the meaning of life and the significance of death, and its antidote.
This Tower 3, that of the Book, it has a vast light which shines directionally, and is to be found when sought, clear in its instruction (II Timothy 3:16), inalienable from its source (Psalm 119), so that He is insulted, when it is, and He is hallowed when it, as the product of His mouth, is treated with awe as absolute truth, product of the Creator. It is He who it its producer as donated and operative bank and redeeming writing, account of the very function, formation and salvation of man.
As to that salvation, just as Christ WROUGHT IT, so this book has TAUGHT IT; nor is this all it teaches, for Matthew 28:19-20 tells us that NOT ONLY must we preach its good news, the Gospel, but we must teach its commandments, and not only this, but teach ALL OF THEM. After all, if you do all your doctor directs, except for one thing, that you get drunk every night: well yes, it is only one thing among millions, but it is enough ...
Commandments do not save; but their breach readily enslaves. And even this, it is subject in word to one exception, for there is command to REPENT, to BELIEVE, to RECEIVE, and while these appear as invitations, they are no less commands (cf. Acts 3:19, 9:6, 16:31, 17:30-31, Proverbs 1:20-23, 3:3-5, 4:5, 7:24ff., 8:5,10). Thus Paul was "not disobedient to the heavenly vision" (Acts 26:19). You cannot disobey what is not a command. These commands apply however, as in taking a remedy, not to save because they are uttered, but when the gift to which God calls us, is actually received by faith amid repentance of life (Acts 11:18).
The word of God, inscripturated, eternal in kind, inalienable in spirit, truth itself, provided for man, past program - being personal, past error, being the speech of the all-knowing, declaring His mind to the Ages, preparing in symbolism, consummating in the Cross, directing in power, defining the destinies of nations and imposing the same, searching all things since its speaker has made the world and it is His: it does not stay or move, change or correct. Yet it corrects error and presents the way back from it.
Here is impartation by the Author of authority and the giver of grace, the guide to morality and the giver of life; and here is the cynosure in writing of His love, telling us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5). It is hallowed with HIS hallowing in this, that it has His stamp, impact, direction, resolution, redemption, and that is found NOWHERE ELSE, but in Christ who DID it, of which this is the record, prevenient, contemporary, inalienable, intractable and final, expulsive of addition, repulsive to subtraction. He hallows it moreover with its performance, for it stands when all else falls, and as well as assigning what is to come, it is verified in the coming of it (cf. SMR Ch. 8-9, The Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 4).
When it uses culture, idioms, references to customs, grounds of familiarity, it is not subject to them, any more than is a teacher, who uses child's slang in some ebullience or contact. It is SUBJECTED to spiritual scrutiny, for there is no divine participation at all in cultural mutiny. And culture ? what is this ? It is but the formulated expression of man's ways, thoughts and behaviour. God is not subject to culture but culture to God, when He speaks. He can transform a cultural term, like love, to His own specifications, made clear in word and deed in His own text and context; He does not however abuse truth by having its depths and dimensions subject to man. With God addressing Himself to man, it is TRANSFORMATION of heart, life, spirit, of blindness to sight, of confused concepts to clear composition, of darkness to light, of spiritual witlessness to divine wisdom as a recipient.
The word of God is NEVER WRONG (Matthew 5:17ff., II Corinthians 2:9ff., II Timothy 3:16 (cf. Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ); and this is the chief of the reasons for that fact, that it is His, He selected it (cf. II Peter 1:19ff., I Cor. 2:9ff.), transmitting it through the fabric of faith with all means under His own control. Since it is His, it is to be hallowed; since it contains such humility, it is the more to be hallowed; and since it etches into the very spirit of man, what God in the format of man condescended to do, it is most of all to be hallowed. It is the product of His mind, will and donation, the verbal parallel to the salvation grant itself.
God stoops in humility, to the form of man, but NEVER grovels to the gracelessness, the arrogance, the pittances of the wisdom of man.
Paul at Athens, Mars Hill (Acts 17),
He uses a cultural point
to make a revelation.
what then ?
He alters it to fit. Thus so far from their idolatries being reputable with God, who adds a little here or there to make it fitting, He scorns them. Let us consider the case at Athens, and Paul's use of the Unknown God altar which he found there. What is something of the thrust of his message concerning this altar ? We can seek to dramatise it as follows, using not least, Acts 17:31.
Unknown God ? yes, the One whom you do not know is the ONLY ONE there is! HE is the unknown God for you! All the rest, your own creations, are myths and fables. HE it is who will judge all men, appearing as Jesus the Christ, the eternal God made flesh.
So does He speak in the modalities of divinity, even to the ears of man. It is as if proud students told their professor: Look, we have five different kinds of mathematics, and we have made a space in our programs for another one, if it should be found. Yes, says the Professor, your five are all equally invalid, concoctions of school-boy ignorances, unfelicitous depositions of mathematical ignoramuses. The ONLY one you speak of which IS real is your unknown one, and as to that, you did not even recognise it! Let me tell you what IT is, for there is nothing else in the field!
The need in man for mercy is profound. It is not mathematics which is the relevant lapse on the part of man.
it is dogmatics; and as to this,
it is not at all the failure of man to assert
it is the dogmatics of God,
the revelation of God,
propositional impartation of God, set in the Bible for millenia,
always verified, always operational,
independent of the wisdom of man,
dependent as in anyone's speech, on His own
which, since he is infinite, has no parameters
What then of Tower Three ? This lofty Tower stands serene, the Tower of Biblical Writing, inviolable with the mountain backdrop of the vast ranges of the Lord's own righteousness, truth and mercy IN TERMS OF WHICH and of Whom, it is given!
Tower Four, That of Deliverance or Calamity
Romans 8:28ff. gives a last word on deliverance for our use here. ALL things work together for good for those who love God, those called according to His purpose.
God sees to that, as He did for Joseph, even though the lad was tested very severely indeed. Imagine languishing in prison, AFTER being sold by your treacherous brothers, and falsely accused by an adulterous wife of the boss, a woman from whom you fled, and then finding that courtiers of Pharaoh had come near you, being themselves also in your very prison, in the shade of Pharaoh's anger. Keep imagining and you find that one of them has a dream which you correctly read, fulfilled for himself, and then FAILS to mention you to Pharaoh as arranged. A long period slips on. You are young, grievously misused. Fetters bind your innocent feet, which are harmed by them.
No depression, no rejection of the Lord. You bear it and believe. Such was Joseph. ALL things worked together for good, as we have seen above, though it included MUCH that was very hard to take, multiplied injustice, treachery, dishonesty and a chance to get your own back. This is an epic in deliverance BY Joseph and OF Joseph, and IN Joseph, in terms of his extremely affectionate reception of those who had so vitally wronged his WHOLE LIFE. YOU, he said, did evil but GOD meant it for good, and has used it to deliver all of us! What vision, what grace, what goodness! (cf. Galatians 5:22-23). Here then is much to learn, and to apply. One such point: patience as desired by the Lord (cf. Romans 5:1ff.), is not just to 'take it', but await the point of it. This is both in character, and in history (Habakkuk 2:3-4).
Beyond all this, there is from the high towers we have considered, a better view. Romans 8:29 moves to 8:30 where we learn that it is not as if some plan lacked for each one of us who is His: for WHOEVER is foreknown, this one is predestined. That is, there is a limit and way set, to ensure that the desired end is secured, as found out in foreknowledge. As to that, it is not a question of what we are to do, but of God's eternal knowledge of us (Ephesians 1:4), His who desires all to be saved and saves those who do not prefer, in the end, darkness. Those predestinated are justified and these are glorified (as also used in Romans 8:17), found in the end at His side.
When you get used to the Four Towers, vision increases, and the turmoil and pressing events of this earth no longer apply breaking force to your mind, your spirit, your heart. It is all in His hands; and He may indeed have for you a challenge as for Joseph. No one denies it. You have to take up your CROSS and FOLLOW Him; but the end is good and the way is clear and His company is with you, as is His plan. Keep then to the highway of holiness (Isaiah 35), which moves up the hills of faith, in the light of the good and precious will of the Lord, and be plentiful in good works. On the other side of this Tower, it looks out at calamity, the final product for recalcitrants and transients, who in the very face of His light have not trusted in the Lord (Isaiah 45:7, John 3:19,36, Psalm 1:4-5, Daniel 12:1ff.).
His name, it is hallowed in calamity, to correct, to remove and obliterate in judgment, to refine, to test. It is hallowed in deliverance: of life, to make it new and His, from life's impacts, to deliver from confusion into light, from callow fictions through the blood of Christ to the calling of truth (Acts 2:17-28, I Peter 3:21). It is hallowed in the transmission of the light, divine and declared, branded like a rainbow over the confusion of uncomprehending darkness. It is hallowed in its reception in the denizens of death, opening to them by the One it reveals and His words and His work, the glories of eternal vitality, the path from the helplessness of unholiness, to the strength of salvation.
A chapter with more coverage in this area is to be found in Hapless Hitches and Holy Healings ... Ch. 4. A section expatiating in the above area is here cited, slightly adapted to our present purpose. A look at non-protein-coding DNA, once deemed junk, is entrancing in this, that it shows both the prodigious wisdom of its construction, and the correlative dunce-cap situation for those who called a marvel of meta-information, meaningless without close and intimate correlation with the information of DNA itself, in effect rubbish. It is rather like a Grade 1 student calling Einstein a gibbon with gibberish (if he could think of that).
This is unlike the DNA pre-occupation, for it must be said in support of this comparison, that it is exceedingly precise, complex and matches its precision with unification of extravagantly intricate collated processes. The intricacy and correlation patterns now reach astronomical proportions, but at the miniaturized level, like a celestial system translated into cellular terms.
Indeed, as Williams has it in his stimulating article in Journal of Creation Vol 21 (3), 2007, there is such a concentration in the once ludicrously misnamed 'junk DNA', such drafts of information, meta-information, information about information, operational information, directions or orders on how to use the information in the much smaller encoding part of the DNA; there is such a multiplication of copies, copying methods, overlays and inlays, twistings up and unravellings to a point for minute, code-controlled selective transcription for various purposes, that once more the response is awe. Thus there is a marvellous magnification of diversity in the case of one specimen, say man, relative to another, say ape. Multiplied millions of differences diverge into whole highways of specific diversities, where controls on controls and information to direct usage make much of little. It is the same of course in electric motors which can use machinery in varied ways, depending on the design of the motor, the layout of the object involved and its total relationship to the whole.
But the DNA ? is it a god ? Of course not! for it is a varied marvel of multiplied instructions with magnification through programmed availability of minutely directed subsidiaries which move to meet the programmatic whole in an integrated design of thrusting parts which interweave and unravel on command, which edit, which delete, which proceed at this or that rate, and in the industry of the infinitesimal make and construct here this, there that, this simultaneously with that, this in order to be ready for that, in such a myriad-formed complexity that the simplicity of the result is a relief. You have man's body with God's mind having contrived the methods of having it self-replicating as one whole, by dual means, man and woman, as if to underline the liberty of the Lord in securing two such magnitudes of system, which can with freedom of will, then interact by desire to produce another design.
God's mind ? But of course. Mind and mind alone has the sense of symbolism, integration of specifics by order, magnification of mentality by creative contrivance, unification of the result by over-arching vision which leads to orders which lead to entities through command, which lead to operating creations which lead to operations in man's case called thought, which is not controlled because it is capable of wilfulness, error, purposive error, intentional obfuscation for security reasons, from itself, from others, from God, or from all.
Here are the individual variabilities of the personal, and nothing else. It has its own cosmos, and were it determined, it would be an exclusion of truth to know it, for the determination would be the decisive factor, and the nature of this would be not only, in such a case, unknown but unknowable since it controls in that case, the thought itself.
Nor is it chance, since the purposive is as integral and ordered, at will, as the body, and is as vulnerable to disease as is the body; but is as effective, when directed according to design, as the body. Validity of the thought of man does not depend on actuality of physical equipment, since this is ordered, and orders are not comprehension but a matter for apprehension. A valid mind with valid exposure to actual truth is possible only when truth absolute exists, and is willing to divulge itself, and having done so, is available as such. Without that, the mind is merely a receptor-deployer of thought and will, with no knowledge of actuality, only of events. When this becomes a philosophy that events are the nature of mind, then of course this is self-contradictory, since if they were, it could neither be known nor true if it were, since on this model, truth itself is assumed not to exist.
However, mind has its deployment functions, and logic being one of these, always testable, its application to the evidence produces results that are in turn testable at the ultimate level, by another design of God: His word for reading (DNA being His word for ordained doing). His word for reading does not have to be done but SHOULD be. That is the difference. Default terms in the design when it is not done are numerous, multi-faceted, and occur slowly, speedily or are arrested by the One who made the programs, at His will.
It is not and cannot be events that manufacture truth, but these may express it. What happens is not why, or what. It simply does it.
What it is that is its manufacture and meaning, point and pith, this has to be found.
When a non-self-contradictory approach is in view, then you proceed on the logical requirements of what is, to the necessary conclusion and conclude with this, that the ONLY way you COULD be right comes when you take logic as valid, its deployment as truth-relevant because truth is available and extant, and trying this which is what is done normally anyway, find that it points to the Bible. This in turn exposes by its own verifiable word, testable truth from the Knower of Truth, who is Himself absolute, having made all things dependent that they, as derivatives might, should ascertain from Him what it is. The Bible having by this method and at this point been confirmed as valid, verified and in essence necessary, this points to Jesus Christ as Truth Incarnate, God in flesh.
It is here that resolution comes of all logical problems, empirical ones and psychic ones. All is explained in this way, without residue. This is not to say that now man knows all, but this he knows, that in Biblical terms, resolution is total, and when is found, it uniformly continues to verify. Then you have an open mind and a closed result.
See further on Design and Designer in Ch. 8 below.
See No Thanks for Angst Ch. 8, *1, with Hapless Hitches and Holy Healings Ch. 3, *1 and Ch. 4 as marked.
Great Execrations, Great Enervations, Greater Grace Chs. 7 and 9,
The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 3,
Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Ch. 9,
Marvels of Predestination ... Ch. 2,
To Know God ... Ch. 1,
Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host Ch. 2,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 11.
This is the nature of the doctrine in the papal bull, Unam Sanctam of 1302, put out by the pope Boniface. It is this which also declares the anti-Christian myth, that "it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff," the ultimate in arrogance and rebellion; and of this, Boniface made the statement that "we declare, state, define and pronounce" it.
This is the universal dictum of a worldly dictator, for it exactly contravenes what Christ declared in Matthew 23, so that the only place where it even comes within sight of scripture, is that when Peter sought to counsel Christ against His death, having other ideas for him (Matthew 16). To this however, Christ replied, "Get behind Me, Satan. You are an offence to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men!"
If in III John Diotrephes had a desire for his own eminence, how much more is this so with a papacy which has this desire concerning the whole world!
See also SMR pp. 911ff., 932-1088H.