AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH – October 12, 19, 2008
A CONTINUATION OF THE ORIGINAL THRUST AND BASE OF THE
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA, ON CHANGELESS BIBLICAL LINES
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.)
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.
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, 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.
What better example might you have than that reported in The Age, Melbourne, on September 22, 2008, where a Uniting Church minister is seen to be explicitly starting a new religion in which various 'tender' parts of this and that 'faith' are to be regarded, and peasant Jesus is to be consigned to the realms of ignorance. This of course is not so difficult to understand; for those who do not know Him are of necessity ignorant of Him, and those who have been led to Him by the Holy Spirit, in strict accord with fact and reason, but nevertheless by faith, of necessity know Him well, as a friend (as in John 17:1-3 on the one hand and in Ephesians 4:17-19 on the other).
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.