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THE MILLENIUM, THE GREAT COMMISSION,
THE GREAT REMISSION, THE GREAT FALL
AND THE GREAT CALL
THE MILLENIAL SCENE
In this Chapter, we look first at Psalm 72 in connection with an often misconstrued and often ignored millenium, then back to the Great Commission which led up to its thrust, and in the midst of this, cast glance at some extreme and radical action in the field of new christs, as the global cooling, that at the theological level, continues towards its Spiritual Ice Age, now coming. As cold hearts and inflamed heads seek to make a travesty of the truth, in a sort of dispirited display of unbelief, that it might be fulfilled, "when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on earth!" (Luke 18:8), and as the people of God suffer and prevail, AT LAST, there comes the end of the Age.
"The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
"Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them?
"I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
As HE ONLY delivers His people amidst their testimony of longsuffering, forbearing but exceedingly articulate defence of the faith (as in Luke 21:14ff.), while many die (John 16:2ff., Revelation 12:10-11), so the world does not listen. It has other interests. It is not 'into' these things, and leaves the Gospel to the afflicted, the occasionally affluent, the escapes from the cultural rot of the times, and seeks to prime itself on all the energy available in the creation, as shown in the large results from a small bomb, merely as an illustration of the principle of the thing, and continues its bemused, confused, sometimes maniacal ways, now cultivated and idealistic in this and that institution or constitution, now rabid and bloodthirst, killing babes and seeking the satiation of lust in some future state, with many women to minister to the people of violence.
Doting on delusion, in this way, because of some reputed angel with a book and plates and glasses doing the disappearing act, nor in psychological swamps for making survival more pleasant, as the dollars flow (as in II Peter 2:1ff.), this world continues till like Sodom and Gomorrah, there can be no more escape. It becomes like a cloth permanently soiled, which must be thrown out (Isaiah 51:6, Matthew 24:35).
Before it is, however, there is this millenium. As to its extent, see below under EXTENT. But as to its reality, it is necessary to realise that when God in Micah 7, Micah 4, Isaiah 2, Isaiah 65, Revelation 20-21 in sequential pattern, not invented by man but displayed by God, when Matthew 19:27ff. all attest it, it is surely going to be. The earth WILL BE FILLED with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 11). God WILL be vindicated.
Never will He allow men to say,
Ah well, the Christ suffered and I suppose really that was an idea, for it enables us to go on living in a slightly restructured world, populating it according to fancy in bodies, minds, ideas, ideologies and the like; but that is the ethical side of things. In power, we have the power, and we will use it. We will use it as the Chinese do, to MAKE the populace work hard (as we must for the world is not too lavish for the lazy), as the USSR did, to silence the opposition (though it did tend to speak even from the ground, and Solzhenitsyn got away with too much), and as the various dictators of the past did. However, like Hitler, we will have an ideology, and even now we make sounding brass out of the United Nations which has much to say about peace and freedom, and shows its total lack of power in Zimbabwe, an apotheosis of devilry not tamed.
The world never lacks such speakers, intoxicated with power, immune to pity, evil realists, who know nothing of God, and wish to know even less. They feed on evil as cattle on grass; and amongst all this you have a man in Russia who allegedly thinks, and reportedly states that the greatest tragedy of the 20th century was the demise of the USSR. Is there praise then for that bully, that purveyor of false hopes, offering land and making landless, offering peace and making a pass-time of war, war within and without, oppression showing its masterpiece, and mindless intemperance its zenith, and despiser of persons BY persons, the one the afflicted, the others the governing, for whom nothing is too good, whilst for the populace, nothing is too bad!
Erasmus the famous Dutch scholar of the early Reformation days displayed it in his work exposing the follies of Romanism in his work: In Praise of Folly! If there is nothing else that men will praise, then it is folly that remains to their taste. Such is estrangement from the God of the Bible and the only Saviour and Redeemer, whose gift is eternal life that lives forever with God: Jesus Christ.
Through this ruler in Russia, this atrocious enemy of compassion and binder of force is honoured as other greatnesses of the past, and so with evil being called good and good made to endure, while Iran is a friend of the new Russia as it arms with stated destruction of Israel on the agenda, with the Cold War mentality being re-invoked: what then ? Then, we have something that is going to find its come-uppance, as did Assyria, Babylon, Tyre, Napoleon and Hitler.
But God, He is not interested in allowing His mercy, in which He genuinely delights, to become a mouthpiece, a megaphone for such or any other intemperance, wild folly or insatiable power display by man. Man is only by permission given power and its misuse is always brought to ruin. God may use one power to chastise another, but He exposes all in the end (cf. Ezekiel 29:17-21).
"And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
'Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army
to serve a great service against Tyre: every head was made bald,
and every shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, f
or Tyre, for the service that he had served against it.
"Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD,
'Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he will take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army. I have given him the land of Egypt for his labour
with which he served against it, because they acted for me, says the Lord GOD.
In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth,
and I will give you the opening of the mouth in the midst of them;
and they shall know that I am the LORD.' "
As foretold by Isaiah (13-14, 39), Babylon would be used to humble many, and then be humbled itself. The latter element is especially clear and vigorous in Isaiah 13:17 and Jeremiah 50-51, and Isaiah mentions the race which would (and did) do it, namely Medes as in Daniel's prediction likewise we find the Medes and Persians the appointed successors of Babylon in the world empire stakes, outlined and detailed in Daniel 2, 7 and 8:3,8,20 and 9. From their place, they, the Medes and Persians would fall to Greece and that to a strangedly mixed empire (on which see ).
Thus in his day, Nebuchadnezzar had been used to humble Tyre (as outlined in Ezekiel 26ff.), and in his use as a rebuking force, he grew and his empire grew too inflated with pride, power and cruelty (as in the prediction of Jeremiah 51:24-33). They have their day, way and then exposed, are made an example, Babylon one of the most profound (as in Isaiah 13:20ff.).
Thus FREEDOM is preserved but it is desolated by pride of power and the peremptory passions of pride; and its misuse is rebuked and the next phase, with this or that philosophy of mysticism or naturalism or ANYTHING that is not God, until it has its day, is exposed, till in the end the varieties of rebellion become as nauseous, as those who suffering terminal diseases, have a surfeit of vomiting and long for deliverance*1.
Such is this world and its way, its broad way, which leaves a vapour trail, or if you prefer it so, a wake; and even this does not awaken the earth in its dedicated slumber, its eyes shut to truth, until its time comes, and the judgment sits, and then the millenium arrives to show how with POWER direct it CAN be done in equity and the beauty of holiness and justice and compassion, so vindicating God. If He has given freedom that love and friendship and spiritual reality can exist outside Himself, then He has also given lessons in freedom, and put it to man: WHY WILL YOU DIE! and again, HOW OFTEN WOULD I HAVE GATHERED YOU ... and COME TO ME ALL YOU WHO ARE HEAVY LADEN ... (Ezekiel 33:1, Matthew 23:37, 11:28-30).
Some come and some go, but what stays with this world has only the anguish of contemptibility, for scorning so great a love, ignoring such great lessons and preferring darkness manifest to light.
In the end, however, the inflated thought and deflated hearts are to be met with the judgments of the Lord upon His return! (Revelation 19), and ultimately by the fire which, if not to be found in the hearty and blessed spirits of the man and messenger (as in Psalm 104:4), is instead found on the hearth of God (Hebrews 12:28-29, Matthew 13:42-43). All that is unredeemed will at the end be burnt up. God is MOST merciful, longsuffering, gracious and delights in forgiveness; but He does not pollute heaven that hell might invade it (Revelation 12); but instead, received the pollution in Person in Jesus Christ, that heaven might snatch from the pathway that is broad, many for His treasures (Malachi 3:16-18). In Him only is deliverance.
VIRTUE, VERIFICATION AND WORSHIP
Psalm 72 is Messianic, its focus not only the Christ to come, but the redemption which is from Him, the equity which is through Him, the compassion which is intrinsic with Him, the worship which is of Him and the rule which is coming by Him. It is not a time of strife. It is what follows it. Thus Revelation 19-20 shows the transition from the impact of His return to the majesty of His dominion, as does Psalm 2.
THE VINDICATION 1, 15, 17
The appointment is no disappointment, for GOD has done it, as He promised (Acts 17:30-31). As to Him, focussed in shame and disregard (Isaiah 50,52-53) on the Cross, He was not only to be resurrected (as in Psalm 16, Romans 1:4), but to be received again (as in Psalm 22:25-31), in the midst of His assailants. Indeed, no natural object can outlast Him, and ALL nations will bless Him.
THE IMMENSE REGALITY - 18-19 ...
THE INTENSE PRACTICALITY
The God of
wonders, whose alone is the power to perform past all understanding,
being infinite (as in Psalm 145:3, 147:5), as in the Exodus from Egypt, the deliverance from Assyria (II Chronicles 32ff.) and that from Babylon (as forecast in Isaiah 13-14, 44-45 and Jeremiah 25, and fulfilled in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah): He does not cease. Now in this millenial imprint, the Redeemer is indeed standing on this earth just as Job millenia before, predicted and foresaw amidst his sorrows, his trials and tests. Now He is ruling as in Isaiah 11, Psalm 2, 45.
THE RULE -
The Murdered Majesty that Prevails, and the Lord's Life that Avails
15 We read :
"and He shall live" just as in Psalm 22, as in
Psalm 69, as in Psalm 16;
for it is not possible that death should hold Him (Acts 2:24), and a day will not pass without praise of Him who was despised and rejected, set at nought and mocked. In fact, prayer will constantly be made for Him who is man's hope, helper and Redeemer, as many as received Him (John 1:12)
The Equity 2
In this millennial season, the poor will not lose favour, respect or justice, since He regards them alike; nor will any for any reason have secret prejudices compounding difficulties, for with righteousness He rules, and none is missed in His coverage.
The Compassion 4
His concerns will not omit even the children of the needy, for unlike Communism with its slave driving in Siberia, its shameless harassment of underpaid workers in China, HE WILL give according to need, a phrase stolen by Communism, but NOT applied! Man is too corrupt to pose as saviour from man, and which of the leaders suffered as multitudes of the workers do! Yet He is not like that; for need and justice flow from Him as waters from the snow-laden mountains. When on earth He considered all, healed all again and again, of whatever disease, and now back again, in power and glory, He is no different, for it is Jesus Christ, the same today, yesterday and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
The Awe and the Refreshing 5-6
The fear of God, that lovely awesome regard, as one has towards a glorious fire, or the profound, swift rush of a waterfall, or the vast rolling sea in its might and majesty: this will correct the unwieldy as in Psalm 2, Isaiah 11. Yet, for all that, like a gentle rain will He anoint the people in their hearts, the seasons of refreshing not merely internal (as in Acts 3:19ff.), but openly raining down in His glorious reign. So does power with majesty, rule with tenderness and kindness.
The Abundance 16
City and country alike will flourish, mountain and plain; for righteousness exalts a nation (Proverbs 14:34), and while sin likewise is a shame to any people, it is not there now to show its ravening appetite and gnashing teeth.
The Uniqueness 18
As noted above, there is none like Him (as in Psalm 89:5-7), for there is none in earth or in heaven to compare with this Saviour who paid in blood, and rose in power, who was sent from the Father in the power of the Spirit, Himself deity: all one God with one plan, marvellously ministered. Thus the trials give way to the truth.
The Focus 12-14
Not only will He deliver at the cry of the needy, but save and redeem them, even their whole lives; and He will not be rough; for it is He who does not quench the smoking flax or break the bruised reed (as in Isaiah 42); for His objection is not to need and weakness, but to pride and oppression, rebellion and self-will, the power of flesh to divorce from deity and to damage all.
The Peace 3,7
The weight of the earth, literal and metaphorical, will be under His dominion (remember the "Peace, be still!" to the waves and the storm which raged!). Matthew 8:23ff. shows this as does Matthew 14:22ff, the maritime walk of Christ and the striving weakness of Peter, looking on but then down, when it is up which matters, to the face of Christ. On Him falling (Matthew 14:30-31), he found deliverance (as in Psalm 145:14-19). Peace in such now worldwide mercy and righteous rule will be profound. Such is the millenium, God glorified, vindicated and upholding righteousness directly (Isaiah 11).
The Extent 8
Not in circumscribed areas will He rule, but without limit. It is not as if for Israel only. It is restored in a remnant of believers (Romans 11), but not in pre-eminence (cf. Isaiah 19:24, 2:11). Its trial run failed so miserably in murdering its own Messiah, even when He became incarnate as ONE OF THEM! Yet they DID provide the scriptures foretelling His work of salvation and coming rule (as in Luke 24:25-26, 46ff., Romans 9:3ff.), and regained their geographical place (as in Ezekiel 36ff., Micah 7, 1948 and 1967).
Now, in this millenium of Psalm 72, His rule is for all, for all have heard His Gospel, many have received His grace, and the earth will be now filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 11, Psalm 67:5, 82:8, Jeremiah 16:19). How do the waters cover the sea ? Theirs is that domain, and it is their heritage, as is this world His, who coming to it, though betrayed, USED that very betrayal to pay the cost of those who come, traitors of old or not! HENCE, He kept on crying, "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!" (as in Luke 23:34).
As to the time of the millenium, just as II Peter 3:9, in this eschatological context, sets a day as 1000 years so he also sets 1000 years as a day. It lasts long enough to fulfil the vision with virtue, reality with point and virtue with power.
THE PRAYER - HEARTFELT 15
Not to satisfy and satiate the self-inventing gods of this earth, of whatever political persuasion, but to satisfy the acclaim of the heart will He receive prayer, so that sincerity replaces time-serving pseudo-saints and defiling devils.
THE ULTIMATE VERIFICATION 18-19
His uniqueness and His eternity are now realised, and no more does ignorance rule the earth as if knowledge of what is not were knowledge of what is, and knowledge of what is were that of what is not (as in I Corinthians 1:20-25). Such is the current work of masses of this world's misled 'scholars' with their knowledge falsely so-called in the field of religion, creation and spirituality (I Timothy 6:20-21), those "profane and vain babbling" (as exhibited in TMR, SMR on the Web).
The whole earth will be filled with His glory as something realised at last, as it has been by many, though excluded by obtrusive ignorance and wilful neglect by many (as in Romans 1:17ff.). This has come as a heritage of sin and inheritance of alienation from the womb, in departure from the glory of God, despite all the residual beauty that is to be seen (as in Psalm 51, Ephesians 4:17-19).
THE VIRTUE, VIGOUR AND THE WORSHIP 9-11
The dust will become a new alluvial ice-cream for licking by inveterate enemies, whose power no more will toss about the hills of the earth for their own glory; nor will they set their eyes on the seas for their own welfare, who care for none, and if for any, at will and arbitrarily. The helpless will routinely find in His omniscient concerns their perpetual deliverances, for the former things have passed away, in glorious prospect of the new heavens and the new earth (as in Revelation 20:4-21:1). We note with joy that the mistranslation of Revelation 20:4, by some, does not alter the fact that it reads,
"Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshipped the beast or his image..."
(The New American Standard Bible does it well.)
THE GREAT REMISSION AND GREAT FALL
It is this which comes, as in I Thessalonians 4, a general resurrection which brings His people to their place, and not a bitzer affair. Nothing can defy His resurrecting power. Indeed, even if resurrection to shame is not to be desired, it is to be found (as in Daniel 12, Matthew 13:42-43). There is a time of judgment which, though bypassing the elect, for their sins are covered, paid for and redeemed by the cursed death of Christ (as in Galatians 3), does at length come to those whose names are not found in the Book of Life (as in Revelation 20:12ff., after the millenium), since there, if you understand, some names are written in HIS blood who covers them.
Some others are discovered, who are not covered (cf. Matthew 22:12-14, Isaiah 61:10, Romans 5:17-19).
As to this lack of cover, it is not to be found through oversight on the part of the Redeemer, but rather in the case of those who reject it; for sacrifices are for those who offer them, and when it comes to Christ, sacrifice is singular, for those who receive Him as such, who rose again to authenticate His glory, and comes again to vindicate the righteousness of God and manifest His glory on this very earth which man has so shovelled and stricken, as if it were his private estate (Hebrews 9-10, Matthew 13:41ff., Revelation 19-20). Refusal to receive of free redemption by faith ? then no cover (John 3:16, 19, 36).
The 'Greens' are not categorically wrong about the concept of needless pollution and renegade disregard concerning the environment. Yet what is almost routinely not realised is this, that the environment of the soul, which should be God, when travestied by ways of flesh, is the greatest pollutant of all. It is not some weird fish or fowl in danger of being lost which is the point; it is the soul of man who IS lost which is relevant, tragic and to be sought after. God can make many more living things, but the LOSS of this one, mankind, in His image has eternal repercussions.
Species may go (and very many have done so, there being a decline in major designs over time, as age withers a declining and sinful creation cf. Wake Up World! ... Ch. 6). As to these departing species and orders of being, it is like an old desk at your former school, which you now learn is about to be removed as rubbish, being no longer serviceable. It is sad ? perhaps, yes, a matter of sentiment. But if the scholar now grown, is reprobate, heathen in disposition and drastically confronting the God who made him, with an unillustrious ignorance tinged with contempt, then the shame is vastly more than loss of frog or fowl.
Lose your old desk, your old variety of kinds of creation ? it is sad. Lose your life and it is exceedingly more so; for your sorrow at temporary loss is one thing; but that at eternal shame is another.
Thus, their concern as to type
rather than direction, gives some token of the concern which ALL should feel
for ALL men and women and children in this earth; for without God, they are in
danger of what is the eventual lot, eternal destruction, a kind of de-humanisation.
If man will not receive the Man of Sorrows and Prince of Peace, indeed of life,
it is his way to loss not only of face, but of function. Here is the GREAT
REMISSION, freely available but often despised; monumentally raised for
world-wide impact, but all but universally avoided. It continues by virtue of
the Great Commission to be published (Matthew 28:18ff.), and its day is
In the millenium however, ALL will fall down before Him. This is not merely those healed, as was the case with the blind man who was cast out of the synagogue for believing in his Healer, Jesus, even if He DID heal the seen need on the Sabbath (as in John 9), but of all. In that Chapter of John, we see the force of mercy and care confronted by the rage and rampaging of those regarding form more than reality, just as this confusion is exaggerated and vented in our own day, as foretold in II Timothy 3:1-4.
THE GREAT FALL
example might you have than that reported in The Age, Melbourne,
This of course is not so difficult to understand;
Thus is the teaching of the Bible once more fulfilled, but it is so again, as in II Timothy 3:1-5, where a FORM of godliness without the power is one of the predicted criteria of the last times, as people wed heresies, as here, contrary both to faith and reason (as in SMR, esp. App. C and D, and the later sets of volumes as seen in Search). Otherwise, they make new ones, as for example with various New Age concoctions and preparations in the power of man, the universe and whatever else (SMR pp. 867ff.), extending the philosophical fecklessness of former ages (cf. SMR pp. 422E, Ch. 3).
To those who make up their own gods, whether directly in their own names, or in order to worship them, the Lord says, "I said you are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High, but you shall die like men....” (Psalm 82:6). This is done with that solemn irony which is so fitting for the presumptuous, who do not stop their hands at the threshold of the Almighty or unstop their ears (as in Matthew 13:14ff.), lest as Christ declared, they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and be converted, and He should heal them.
It is like a school examination. If you simply put together what you like best about various papers, ignoring the fallacious parts, you have what is wrong in understanding wedded and melded with impure vision and perspective, till a chaos of cults or compositions or creations becomes the substitute for the God who made both us and our imaginations, but not for abuse of His own name.
In this millenium, however, it will not be so, but this late dash of wilful ignorance will become a thing of the past as "the whole earth will be filled with His glory" and "daily will He be praised," so that "all kings will fall down before Him", their gifts not for their own praise or precepts, but for His. Even now, it is time so to render service and worship to Him, as we seek His will, use His gifts and glorify Him who died to redeem and returns to rule (as in Romans 12:1ff., I Corinthians 12, Acts 1:7ff.).
Let then not the light go out, as with those foolish virgins in the parable of Matthew 25, who had no oil (which stands for the Holy Spirit in the parable), so that when the "bridegroom" came, they were anxiously but too late seeking it. We have all been warned; and wisdom is still found in the fear of God, and in the love of Him with ALL the heart and soul and strength, whom to know is eternal life.
But what of this Great Commission to which we have referred from the words of Christ as recorded in Matthew 28 ? It is needful to examine it, to be aware of it, to apply it and to realise its grandeur.
JESUS CHRIST: THE FINAL ALIGNMENT
TILL THE END OF THE AGE,
CONSIGNMENT FOR EVER
Without doubt, it is an
interesting fact, and a useful one, that just as
gives the CONTENT and the CONTROL, the COMPANY and the POWER for the Gospel preaching AND TEACHING of the commandments of God, till the end of the Age, that Gospel of Christ in whom ALL are to be gathered in the end (Ephesians 1:10), with Him or from Him: so Revelation 22:18-20 has a parallel presentation! It helps the memory and the linkage becomes instructive!
WHAT and WITH WHOM one presents is the work
of Matthew's verses here,
who, before coming, made the world (Jesus 1:3) at the command of His Father;
who came that the world might be saved (John 3:17);
who paid for the privilege as prince of
peace, of ransoming the redeemed
presented the power in His own resurrection as the Son of God with authority
For what beats death, none need fear – except not to find Him!
WHAT is to be presented but the Gospel and the commandments, and what is to be avoided (very negative, like putting honey in your oil in the car, but very useful and to the point) but the addition to the THINGS given in the scriptures and the removal of the WORDS in the same; for as Paul points out to the Church in Thessalonica (2:13), they knew the word of God when they heard it (as in John 7:17, 10:4-5).
Indeed, they "welcomed it not as the word of men but as it is in truth, the word of God," and this, he continued "also effectively works in you who believe." That is, it not only LED THEM TO THE LORD, but it CONTINUES ITS WORK INSIDE THEM. It is like a prescription for medicine. First taking it, you find a new channel; continuing you have a continuing work which delivers. In this case however, the continuance is internal by the Spirit of God in those who BELIEVE and receive in truth, and not in consideration of gifts or results (John 4:14, 7:37).
You either trust God or not, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, equal with God, His definitive expression long forecast and then fulfilled, or you do not. IF you do not, ultimately nothing works for you; and if you do, the word works and the Spirit of God works just as He convicted you "of sin, of righteousness and judgment" at the outset (John 16:8-11). Why does He convict the world of sin ? It is because they do not believe in Him. But why of righteousness ? it is because He has returned to His Father who first sent Him, and is seen no more till He comes for His saints and in judgment on those who prefer darkness. Yet why does He convict of judgment ? It is because the ruler of this world is judged, and his ways are contrary to truth, peace and goodness.
But what does Christ direct in Matthew 28:18-20 ? He directs first to obedience, that great category in spiritual things which Balaam mocked by trying to act with his mouth but not with his heart, and then, worse still, letting his feet disobey. Similarly, Jonah for a brief but expensive moment, wavered from obedience, through fear.
ALL authority is given to Christ Jesus the Lord, and the Greek term includes the relevant power (like a statutory power) to get things done, as appointed. This being so, IN HIS LOVE AND LAW, whatever the contrary actions and contrariness of men, one is to act. In what way to act ? One is to preach the Gospel, and with the brethren, do this to ALL NATIONS, for the Lord does not return UNTIL this Gospel has been preached in all the world to all nations (Matthew 24:4). It is addressed TO the world and it must REACH the world.
What more ? One must also teach the commandments. Thus when the Uniting Church ignores the MORAL law in the field of sexuality and pastors, then it is not obeying but rebelling, and it is like a car that not only won't go, but slews off the road. Until it is back, it is out of action, and if it continues in this way, then it is a traffic hazard, acting contrary to design; and that, to pursue the imagery in this case, could be condemned for negligence by the police!
What if the case is like that of the Melbourne 'new religion' church, still at the time of writing, within the Uniting Church*2, one in which Jesus is reduced as by a telescope back to front, to an unknown peasant in type, one where various tid-bits of various religions are to be added according to taste, as in a cocktail ? Then this is falsifying the Gospel, and inherits with all such activists, the word of Galatians 1. What is that ? It says,
"I marvel that you are turning away from so soon
What is the result of a 'church' doing this ? "But even if we," the apostle is not above obedience, "or an angel from heaven" (as in the case of the Mormon's claim) "preach any other Gospel to you than that which we have preached to you"- here then is the case: what then ? Then, continues the apostle, "let him be accursed." There are no options for Matthew 28:18-20. You do it or you don't, you obey or you rebel, you conform to Christ or you innovate; and if the latter the cure of the correct prescription becomes the poison of the erratic substitute; and there is NO authority to vary or to substitute in the slightest degree, let alone as in Melbourne, grossly!
Yet this is the contrary to Christ’s command. What of the conformity to it? What if, being His, you DO these things that He both commends and commands? Then you have divine company instead of curse. Then, says Jesus Christ, Lord of all, "Lo, I am with you always."
Why is He with you ? Firstly, He is with those who so act because of the feat which He performed, its purpose and its potency, its gift and its divine grace. What was that feat ? It was the change. What was the change ? It was from having a world, like that before the universal flood, so filled with evil cant and chant and deeds and unbelief in its very Creator, that it invented other ideas and forces, and worshipped these, or turned in every sort of way SOMEWHERE, so long as it was evil, contrary to Him and contrary against His will. From this to what then was this change ? It was to having a world in which ANYONE at all in it could call on the name of the Lord and freely be received as a child of God, relieved of ruin, restored through repentance through faith into life eternal (as in Acts 11:18, I John 5:11ff.). Instead of rabbled rebellion came free absolution and a place as adopted children of God (Ephesians 1:4-14).
It is secondly a work in which the very means are holy. It is because of the features of Jesus Christ. What are these ? In short, it is that HIS own face was so ruined by cutting and buffeting and solemn mockery with caustic wit and ruinous clout that it was beyond the form of men (Isaiah 52:13ff.), and what He faced with that face was the impact not just of ruffians in high places, but of sin in inner places in the hearts of mankind.
HE took the blame and the shame, and loved us just the same; but He insists that we RECEIVE Him who He is in so acting, as God manifest in the flesh, as the fitting ransom, for NO MAN can redeem his brother (Psalm 49), but only God can redeem man, purge the divine accounts (Galatians 3, Hebrews 2, II Corinthians 5:17ff.), turn away divine wrath (Romans 3:23-27) and receive then His believing children graciously (cf. Hosea 14, Ephesians 2:1-12). Now for the second time, we are HIS workmanship! First we were formulated and formed, but then washed by His blood and renewed by His Spirit – RE-generated! (Col. 3:10, John 3, Titus 3:5ff.)
The SPIRITUAL features were the love, patience, mercy and acceptance of the ruin of others for Himself (Matthew 20:28), while retaining the power of resurrection; for it was simply not possible that death should retain God! (Acts 2:24). Thus His body was raised from the dead, with the customary divine precision, on the predicted third day (as in Matthew 17, I Corinthians 15). This He did despite the shame and to replace the sham.
This is why He is with us and how He did what we must proclaim. But when is He with us as we so act ? He is with us ALWAYS. Does this mean that at some unfortunate moment He forgets, right in the thick of the fray; for there are those who would kill (John 16:2) for this ? No, as with Stephen in his death by stoning (Acts 7), the very words of the man were enforced by the Spirit of God and his face shone like that of an angel, his spirit was intact, as he prayed that God might not lay this terrible sin of murder against them; and he exclaimed that he saw Jesus at the right hand of God, and asked Him to receive his spirit!
If you want the world, look elsewhere and you could try to negotiate with its prince, the devil and his minions; but don't say you were not warned, for they are in the service of one who was a liar from the first (John 8:44). Rather trust a wild bull than that! If you want to work for Christ in the world, then as a believer you find that He is with you ALWAYS. But do not forget to testify of Him, to live for Him, to walk with Him, to work with Him and to be altogether surrendered to Him (Luke 13, Galatians 5, Romans 12:1ff.).
For my part, I would lend my soul or surrender to NO MAN, for what is in man for one so to act, but I give it ONLY TO GOD. That is precisely, in view of Christ's feat and features, Himself the eternal word of God, equal with God, why I HAPPILY surrender to Him, and DESIRE to work both for and with Him, who is with me ALWAYS. No time lapse. To be sure, He may discipline (remember His words to and look at Peter - Matthew 16:23, Luke 22:61 and Hebrews 12), but what is that ? To be disciplined by God, as a child of God is like nectar; for its aim is therapeutic, its result is constructive and its motivation is love. What more could you ask! Moreover He KNOWS just what He is doing, as the designer and maker of man!
This is the case with us who so act in Him, as we go INTO ALL THE WORLD. I have had occasion to have to go, to serve Him, to ministries in 4 States in the USA, in various Provinces in Canada, both main islands of New Zealand and to several States in Australia; and I praise Him for the opportunities, which came simply because I stood for Him in terms of OBEDIENCE to His word in seminary, which in that lost institution I was then attending, meant exclusion, expulsion and slander. But the Lord picked me up and led me to complete training in the USA, to be vindicated at the Assembly in Sydney, and to return to the North American continent on various occasions to preach and teach, the Gospel and the commandments. HE made the world, so one does not get lost in it, when one is following Him.
WITH WHOM ?
Company is very important. Bad company corrupts or corrodes, and fellowship in or involvement with a 'church' which departs from His law or His lordship or His gospel is strictly forbidden. That we find in Romans 16:23, Isaiah 8:20, II Chronicles 16:8-9, 19:1, I Cor. 5-6, II Cor. 6:14ff., II Thessalonians 2-3, I Timothy 6:1ff., Proverbs 14:7, Numbers 16:1-34 - "Depart from the tents of these wicked men. Touch nothing of theirs ... ," Revelation 2:19-23, Ephesians 4:30-5-10, Galatians 1:6-9. Do you want what is cursed to be pastor and tell you how not to be cursed! ignoring the word of God ? Do you fight for the once for all delivered faith by co-operating with what has insidiously crept in (Jude), or let what adds to His word fondle the lambs, using teeth for food, instead of teats for teething! (cf. Acts 20:28-31).
Is a man to commune with those cursed, or help those who turn to the wickedness of adding to or subtracting from the word of God as in Revelation 22! (II Chronicles 14:19). Actually, be this far from you, for the heart and the feet go together, and both with Christ. But WHEN one DOES go with Him, then all power is His and His is the company one chooses, not that of betrayers; for what is it to be slack on the word and will of God ? It is when the same person or church still NAMES Christ, to be as a spy, a traitor, a quisling in World War II: in the country, and using its facilities while betraying it!
WITH WHAT ?|
With Christ you go, then, He being always with you; but it is with His authority and power which being His, goes with Him! This is abundantly sufficient (as in II Corinthians 4:2-6) for those who have like Paul renounced the hidden works of darkness and refuse to use the word of God deceitfully, but rather GO as directed with WHAT they are given, even that written word of God, WITHOUT more or less, without addition or subtraction (I Corinthians 3:4-6).
HOW LONG ?
This operates till the end of the Age. THEN He comes and acts directly with the same Gospel (Ephesians 1:10, Revelation 14:3); for God never changes (Malachi 3:6), His ways are ever the same and indeed everlasting (Habakkuk 3:6, Psalm 102:25-28); and He never fails (Zephaniah 3:5). To have a stake in Him, eternal life no less, IN this glorious being, we know that we should glory not at all EXCEPT IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST (Galatians 6:14), by which this world is crucified to us (for what do you think of the crucifying power directed against Christ!) and we are crucified to it (are you allured to such a slayer!). Thus with all our hearts resting in Him, we work, with Him our hope, joy and expectation; and being in Him, we seek by His Spirit to act like it (Romans 8).
Even a Jonah was corrected and set back on the road; even a Peter was loved and being only looked at, repented; and both were godly people, blessed of the Lord. For nothing will separate those who are His - those who have received by faith His death in their stead, His risen life from the roused up corpse, created into life once more, those who are convicted and convinced, who receiving Him, are received into life, from His hand. Moreover, it is He who says (Rev. 2:25),
¨ “Hold fast what you have till I come!”
Let no man take it from you. Do not add or alter! From whom will nothing separate ? Nothing will separate His sheep from HIM! (Romans 8:31-39, John 10:9,27-28). They are HIS!
The end of the Age ... ? Important here is Luke 21:24-28. Jerusalem from 1967 has no more been trodden down by the Gentiles, a signal of the end of the Age being NEAR, an Age so far over 1900 years long since Jerusalem fell in 70 A.D.. To be sure, Israel allowed the Moslems to have special regard for and access to the Temple Mount in the place where the Mosque is, after 1967; but Jerusalem or any other city, is free when under a given rule, to make what provisions it will.
Of much interest then is the new situation where, on Sunday, October 26th., 3008, according at least to arrangements made and reported in Israel's Haaretz, Saturday October 25, 2008, and The Australian of the same date, EITHER a government is formed by Livni, PM designate, or a fresh election will be called. In this, it is estimated, it is likely Netanyahu would win, and his stand is evidently unequivocal on Jerusalem remaining entirely Israel's, not returning territory and not removing settlers, in broad outline.
Meanwhile, reports Haaretz, Shas, a small religious party requiring Jerusalem not to be up for barter, as one formulation expresses it, but to remain entirely of Israel, will NOT co-operate in a government with Livni with her Kadima Party without the assurance that Jerusalem is NOT up for distribution to outsiders in whole or in part! Shas cannot be bought, its Chairman is reported to have declared. Unless this position changes, or others agree to join Livni, with their party or parties, then it appears an election is assured. What in fact transpires is to be measured in this context, most essentially, in the eventuations regarding Jerusalem, with their vast significance!
AN EXCURSION ABOUT AN EXCURSION
Some seem to want to make it simple, as they find it. They do not seem to WANT a millenium, whatever God says. They like a world created, flooded for its endless follies, restored by a few and for them, with Abraham the first Jew becoming a patriarch leading to a nation with a forecast future which would be the site for the Messiah, the Redeemer, God in the flesh, whose crucifixion satisfies divine justice, so that reconciliation is made available through His bearing of divine wrath, God the sent the recipient of the due separation that sin brings, from His eternal Father (Isaiah 48:16, Philippians 2, II Corinthians 5).
And why not ? It is so. But then, many want a Gospel Age followed by judgment. There is to be no place for a millenium, in this truncated truth.
But God thinks differently and says so as noted in the text in this Chapter (cf. Sparkling Life ... Ch. 10). If GRACE is His mode of kindness to a thankless race, and inspiration is His mode of revelation to a blinded one, and crucifixion is His mode of bearing the wrath due sin and the judgment for man, for all who receive Him (Romans 8:29ff., Titus 2-3); and if grace and suffering on the part of His saints is the testimony of His enduring love in the current Gospel Age (Colossians 1:24, Job an earlier example of the very nature of reverence and love, a pointer to the Christ who not only endured but deleted the guilt of sin for His people): then POWER is no less in His deployment.
Thus that, the divine power and His majesty, will be as evident as grace in the end: but the present test hides something of the greatness of His power while the currents of history pour into the sea of judgment. When it comes (as shown so beautifully clearly in Psalm 2, as in Psalm 110 and Isaiah 59, in Micah 7 and Matthew 24:31ff., 36-51, as in Revelation 19-20, in its various stages of release with wisdom and justice), it will NOT ONLY be a matter of judgment in the negative. Firstly, many being redeemed, are covered in His righteousness (Isaiah 61:10, Romans 5:17ff.), and so are immune to judgment (James 2:13, John 5:24). That is positive. Secondly, HE WILL RULE as in Psalm 72, and that is most positive, most brilliant and most beautiful, most practical and most complete!
As this day approaches, there are many who delight in avoiding the power of God and preach whatever mysticism, enthusiasm, emotionalism, rationalistic fantasy that makes them rich and their people poor (II Timothy 3:1-5, II Peter 2:1ff.); as predicted, so they are. Many follow them (as in the predictions for the latter stages of our Age in II Peter 2, II Timothy 4).
But God does not neglect to show His power in rule, in the millenium, ON THIS EARTH, yes the very one on which Job forecast by inspiration that he would stand, seeing with his own eyes the Redeemer who is God (Isaiah 43:10-11); and that is Jesus Christ whom God has appointed to judge all (Acts 17:30-31).
The rule of this same Messiah increases and does not cease (as in Isaiah 9:7ff., Daniel 2), and will be made manifest as in Psalm 2, 110, Isaiah 65, Micah 7 upon this earth. His grace will be vindicated against all wilful misconstructions, His patience will be vindicated in the face of the holiness which will be shown ON THIS EARTH (Isaiah 11, Psalm 72, 45). His imperial power will not be imperious as is that of man characteristically in his evil empires, some better in some things than others, some in many; but it will be most manifest. HOW to show equity and justice and grace and compassion and meet the needs of the needy and redeem the poor will be epitomised in wisdom and shown in power (Psalm 72).
God does not omit such a grand sweep of wisdom as this any more than He fails to show the completeness of His redemption towards the for so long dissonant Israel; nor does He abort His word, as if to fail to bring them back (cf. SMR Appendix A), but faithfully does just that, indeed fulfils ALL the details of divine interposition in war as in Zechariah 12, of many of which we have been witnesses in this near to final generation (cf. Luke 21:24). His is power and it has been shown; but in the millenium its extent, majesty and effectiveness, with the licence of liberty exploded in its own delusions, and truth made manifest to all: this will all be.
God is not mocked. He is not merely a God of thought and logic, detail and verification, but of Majesty and Power, wisdom and effectiveness. The apparent weakness (as in I Corinthians 1) as He focusses for the Age, the power of grace in the Gospel of free redemption, is actual forbearance and richness of wisdom (II Peter 3:9); and the manifest power will be in the end, what the realisation of the meaning of a book may be, when the narrative concluded, you realise the fitting setting and actual meaning of the characters which had been struggling this way and that, during it.
In His millenium, the realisation will be fitting for the power of the God of creation. Not only the mind of man but the might of God will be revealed direct, before the final judgment. In righteousness He will rule in a manner both manifest and merciful, righteous and realistic, sovereign and splendid; so that all the foolish constructions of man to have it his own foolish way, since Babel and throughout the unruly empires, will be exposed not only in failure but in triumph: His own.
NO PLACE FOR PILGRIMS
DECAMPING WHEN CAMPING IS UNDER A YAWNING,
NOT AN AWNING
Let us overview this little matter.
In The Age, Melbourne, September 22, 2008, there was shown a well-known Uniting Church Minister who had issued a statement to the effect that the 10 Commandments were the most negative document ever to be found, that Jesus Christ was a peasant about whom all but nothing was known and that He was “certainly not” deity. A prominent official in another news item on the topic in this newspaper, talked of reconciliation, and although disturbed at this departure, made no move to deal with the denial of the faith, which combines it with bits from various religions. It is really a question of whom you wish to have as the basis for reconciliation: God or antichrist (I John 2:22 with I John 1:1-4), and whom you know, for Christ has told us that this IS eternal life, to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (John 17:1-3).
Should the Uniting Church allow not only sexual aberrations as biblically defined, to the point of allowing those of homosexual conviction and practice in the pulpit In the face of I Corinthians 5:9ff., 6:9-10, I Timothy 1:10, Romans 16:17 - cf. Keys to the Comfort of the Kingdom of Christ Ch. 3, esp. *1B), but stark and direct denial of the deity of Christ, in what is statedly ‘a new faith’, a potpourri, this will merely define it yet more clearly in biblical terms, as not a church. What refuses the Lord's lordship, according to the Bible, then according to this same Bible is in rebellion as in Jude, and stands out as in conflict with God Himself in the context of two ways: to obey or to rebel. Such is the message of Jude. You either seek to obey all God says, or you rebel. When the principle is NOT TO DO SO, then you are in the other category. You cannot by any means have it both ways (Matthew 6:24).
Why then is this the result for such permissiveness ?
It is because not only is the moral aspect, first noted above, ground for removal from such persons, but ALL such actions, as a type, Romans 16:17 (cf. Separation 1997 and references above) are such as REQUIRE separation. AVOID does not mean 'cohere', nor does it imply sharing communion in a unified establishment, to which by belonging, you give consent. Many of us may disagree on this and that, but when the area of concern is biblically DEFINED as REQUIRING avoidance, then the case is not with man but with God. Disobey at your peril.
GO. What stays is of the forbidden description.
Someone may say, But I do not fear God! I love Him.
In fact, however, BOTH are required (I Peter 2:17), and indeed as to the fear of God, it is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10); so when this is missing, where is the end!
Fear, awesome, reverential trust is natural towards Him who dwells in the light. It is quite different from craven fear, which is unsure of its standing. THAT is removed because eternal life is commissioned entirely by the command of God, who declares that we who believe in Him as definitively expressed in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1) should KNOW that we have eternal life (cf. John 5:24, I John 5:11ff., Ephesians 1:11). DOING His commandments is the work of a good understanding, as Psalm 111 tells us, and indeed, Christ who asseverated that not a jot or tittle of law or the prophets would fail, says this (John 14:21ff.):
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.
And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father,
and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
Indeed, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word ...
He who does not love Me does not keep My words,
and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me."
What however of NOT loving Him ? of rejecting Him ? It is as in John 3:19,36, Psalm 2 and I Corinthians 16:22.
Once the light of Christ is shown, you either prefer darkness or you do not.
This fence is not strong enough or broad enough to sit on; but it is razor sharp (Hebrews 4:12).
But what does it
say of declining into the idolatries and disobediences that deny His word,
putting the thoughts of man where those of God are commanded as to TYPE: DO NOT
KEEP COMPANY, NOT DO NOT EVEN EAT (I Corinthians 5). What does it say of the
sexually promiscuous, including perversion ? They will not
"inherit the kingdom of God." HENCE, we are to AVOID them as Paul
declares in Romans 16, indeed, more broadly, those who depart from the apostolic
What of those who depart from the faith directly, disbelieving in Jesus Christ ?
With them you may by all means have association, companionship, join in church membership, with them you may of course be related by belonging to the same religious organisation where you choose to put your membership in testimonial of what your faith is: so long as you are happy with darkness having communion with light, joining Christ with the devil and having the temple of God, as in the day of King Ahaz, joined with idols. Such is the consideration supplied by Paul the apostle in II Corinthians 6:14ff.. It is there to be read.
If however, you do not seek to displace him, the Christ, or to make a new one from your own head not 600 years after He came, like Muhammad in his lapse (cf. More Marvels ... Ch. 4, Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8, *1), but 2000 years, what then ? Then you will NOT do any of the above things, since they are strictly prohibited in the most intense language (cf. Romans 16:18). You will instead realise that the business of making new christs, new gospels and having a new spirit has been going strong since the day of Paul (as shown in so many words in II Corinthians 10-11), and it is predicted to come to a climax as our Age is ending, as it is (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5). Thus in the Uniting Church in this manner and in this matter, as in the other noted, we are seeing prophecy fulfilled.
It is as it was (cf. Numbers 16), though the means of action differ, since now we are not in a theocracy. Of the rebels in view at that day, this was the word (Numbers 16:26):
"Depart now from the tents of these
If then, the Uniting Church, which through a spokesperson as noted in the Melbourne Age likewise, expressed concern but observed that a spirit of reconciliation must be masterfully present, is so to proceed, it has a new look indeed, in the theological fashion shows of our day.
Let us be clear. It is not unusual; it is just a variant of the fashions. It is not unusual because as sects multiply and every man tends to do what is right in his own eyes, without the evidence or verification or validation (cf. LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS), there is a plague-like proliferation.
This is just what II Timothy 4 indicated would come:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine,
but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears,
they will heap up for themselves teachers;
and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
"But you be watchful in all things,
do the work of an evangelist,
fulfill your ministry."
This then is no more surprising, but less so, than is the case where a disease is diagnosed and the prognosis is found for this disease, that this and that will develop, and then one finds that it happens, just as it was said. In this case, however, since it is God who says so, therefore it is a certainty and as always with biblical statements, it is being fulfilled in its time, with precision.
This particular rebellion, according to the Age reports on this topic, claims still to be within Christendom, which is a thing of no value, since it all depends on definition. If the Bible is the defining book, then this new 'faith' is so far from Christendom as to be its denial. HOW can you reject the ten commandments as the most negative document ever written, which Christ confirmed repeatedly, and reject Christ's deity, emphatically, calling Him just a Jewish peasant, and expect that the incarnation depends on your thinking ... without ground but desire, without evidence but intuition, without sanction except of self and those who follow the cultures of the times: how can you do such things and expect to be within ANYTHING but the realm of rebellion against Him!
Christians are rescued
"by the death of His Son,"
not by the
dearth of Him;
(Bold is added.)
Those rejecting this, defined and delivered by deity (I Corinthians 2:9-13, 14:37), irreconcilable remain exposed to the undimmed wrath of God (II Corinthians 5:11,19-21, John 3:19-26, Revelation 14:19), divine deliverance despised or denied, the only name given (Acts 4:11-12), that of Jesus Christ, Lord of all (Romans 14:7-9), abased from its pre-eminence (Colossians 1:18). Affairs of the stomach may be variable, but those of the heart are not (Jude, John 14:21-23), and it is the souls that reject Him that perish, not the word of God which is imperishable (I Peter 1:23-25).
To use His NAME in a Church ostensibly devoted to Him is to defile Him more than merely to reject. It is like a spy who lives in a country, but derides or betrays it. Yet the Uniting Church did not like its Presbyterian predecessor (from it took some two-thirds) claim to have an infallible Bible, but only one a testimony to the word of God. Events have shown that lacking foundation, your superstructures lack stability, contrary to Isaiah 33:6 and 8:20. Yet some may have thought the mere omission of the definition of Christ and truth did not matter entirely; now their eyes can be opened, unless they are shut by desire. It is God only who can open those eyes, but what seeks, finds, as Christ declares.
The errors of the rebelling minister are shown in such sites as:
Christ Jesus: the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 8,
Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8 (the last with emphasis on remedy);
SMR Appendix C and D, and indeed in pp. 532ff.,
The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 10,
Biblical Blessings Appendix IV,
Grand Biblical Perspectives Appendix
Calibrating Myths, Machining Dreams and Keeping Faith Ch. 6,
News 122, 132,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8 (the last with emphasis on remedy);
Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 - 7
The True God has Go ... Ch. 5,*7*.
Repent or Perish Ch. 2
There is only one Saviour (Isaiah 43:10-11), and HE IS GOD. Christ is the Saviour (Titus 2-3), and is directly termed God, as in John 20:17, and calls Himself the same (John 8:58 with Exodus 3). There is only one Creator of the universe, and He is God (Isaiah 44-46). Christ is that Creator (Colossians 1:15, John 1:3). A babe can understand the coincidences of concept. Psalm 45 says it again, and Revelation 2:8-9 with Isaiah 44:6, and Philippians 2 again.
If you cannot stand the God who reveals Himself to sinning man, instead of sunning Himself in the glory of indifference, the shame of incompetence or the horror of disregard, which misconceptions are impossible beyond the irrational head of the muddled (Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4, Barbs ... 6 -7, SMR), then you fall for lack of standing. That is the satanic alternative to the Bible, in which the indelibly clear acts of God show themselves only to be verified, vindicated and validated as nothing else either is or can be.
God has spoken, provided the remedy and condemns what condemns Him by making it appear that He has been inactive, when He in the very form of God, for whom equality with God was nothing to be snatched at, took the form of a servant and was obedient in love to the death of the Cross, mighty in power to the resurrection of the body. Alive for evermore, He has ordered all things in terms of a freely available, freely saving Gospel for which HE has paid. To imagine God less canny than man, less humane, less aware, less active, is merely to insult grandeur with gullibility, and to make a scape-grace out of grand grace such as the world has never seen.
God has spoken propositionally in the Bible and personally in His Eternal Word, His only begotten Son; and His words remain unlike those of His detractors, though the millenia pass, for His words do not move, but events do, and that, always in conformity to them.
What then of those who in churches reject His word and His statements and His gift ?
Many are and have been in that situation, that founded on their own invalid conceptions, they thrust their contempt, indifference or rejection against Christ, and set up their own kingdoms, measuring themselves by themselves (as the false apostles did in II Corinthians 10:12 with the following Ch. 11). This spiritual syndrome has been anticipated by the sects often enough; and combining some of their anti-scriptural nostrums, as was done by the Collins St. Uniting Church neologian is merely a mix. It is as in II Peter 2 not least, and as Jude has described it!
Adherence, indeed battle for the faith once for all given is required as in Jude, with the sword of the Spirit, the Bible, a weapon of truth, with reason casting down invalid imaginations as in II Corinthians 10:5, I Peter 3:15; and to believe in Him who came is as necessary now as ever.
Things have not changed; only the time of day ... the part of the Age which we inhabit, that has changed; But even there. the change is as ordered in advance and revealed before its time.
What then ? Work for the night is coming in which no man can work (John 9).
If then the Uniting Church has accepted the sexual slide, on the way to the increasingly world-wide moral holocaust, then to have a minister in it rejecting Christ as deity, making of Him an unknown peasant, with the very firmness which the devil also discloses (as in Revelation 12, Matthew 4), is merely to have an exhibit in a disobedient body which ignores multiplied commandments, showing itself up at the most direct level.
It is no longer in that case, only to have direct commandments ignored, ones which indicate exclusion from the kingdom of heaven (I Corinthians 6); it is no longer enough for people to continue to inhabit it, though many commandments forbid them to do so when the commands are so broken. Now it even accommodates for the time at least, what rejects Jesus with a patronising superiority based on nothing, Him whose works have spoken as none others ever did or could as man, fulfilling all that marks Him out as the Messiah, as God and in so doing fulfilling reason itself! (SMR).
If this is to be done, there is nowhere else to go in the matter, relative to such a religious body as this Uniting Church, but out and on. This is the reductio ad absurdum, as in geometry. This is to show, as it were, even to the blind, that it cannot be so, it cannot be tolerated: this is not reconciliation with man but alienation from God at the fundamental level of saving faith and believing in Jesus Christ. You cannot have a disobedient body, working directly with a Head who is Lord; and where the Bible says there is an exclusion notice concerning the kingdom of heaven, yet dawdle, and expect anything else. Some unions constitute divorce, its grounds and its basis.
This, the direct rejection of the claims and nature of Christ is where it all arrives in the end; and indeed, the great falling away of which both Paul and Peter speak (II Thessalonians 2, II Peter 2, I Timothy 4, II Timothy 3-4), is well under way.
In fact, false prophets and false christs as Christ announced in advance for this end season, ABOUND.
Now we have more in the flurry, that is all; and this is a very obvious progression. It is not a progress for pilgrims. Such churches are no place for pilgrims; for the Lord’s Christ leads elsewhere (Luke 2:26).
Is a body at variance with its Head, or is the Lord shelved in His speech by His subjects ? Do you call Him, Lord, Lord! only not to do what He says (Luke 6:46ff.), as if to qualify in the negation stakes for sounding one thing and doing another!
Does a limb dislocated resist restitution in terms of the design ? Are the designations of deity to be rolled back, or are the oceans to be sucked up by those who swim in them! Is not His word a hammer that breaks rock ? (Jeremiah 23:28-29). It is the Lord Jesus Christ who is the rock (II Corinthians 10), and those who heed His words are those who are founded on the Rock, whereas those who build on the sand of ecclesiastical opinion are no safer than those who built on Scribes, Pharisees or Herodians! (Matthew 4:4, 5:17ff., Luke 6:47ff., II Corinthians 14:37, Luke 6:46, II Peter 3:16). Is a house to be built on the beach!
"But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?
"Whoever comes to Me, and
hears My sayings and does them,
I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house,
who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock.
And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house,
and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.
"But he who heard and did
nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth
without a foundation,
against which the stream beat vehemently;
and immediately it fell.
And the ruin of that house was great."