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THE LIGHT CONTINUES TO SHINE,
AND DARKNESS HAS ITS EPISODES,
AN OUTAGE FROM LIFE ITSELF
WHAT IS LIGHT ?
The light shines in darkness. That is what we read in John 1. It does not say, the light shone in darkness. But it DOES say this: the darkness did not comprehend it.
The notable feature about light is its inherent illumination, its failure to be linked with darkness, its ebullient, its radiant, its persistent, insistent and resistant consistency. AS light, it sheds its rays.
Darkness has to flee when it comes; unless of course it comes but slightly, or is reflected.
Does darkness then for all this, swallow it up ? Not entirely. It may surround it so that the light is encumbered by its limited resource by the extent of its task, but darkness cannot make it cease to be light. By its nature, it is what it is.
When this light shines, to turn from the physical to the mental and then finally to the spiritual aspects of the concept, darkness remains also what it is, but it suffers. If the light is bright and the reflective surfaces are not efficient, or adequate, then the light can penetrate. When the resistant surface is for example, an eyelid, the penetration may be merely into a few molecules of skin, not into the retina where images FROM the light might be found; or at other levels, when the mind is clouded by prejudice or impassioned by arrogance, as in the case of false religions, such as naturalism with its vested interest in evolutionism, the penetration of reality and verifiability and validity may reach only skin-deep into the heart in which the darkness of systematic incomprehension reigns.
In the case of an unwelcome visitor, how often the cheeriness palls, the pleasantries gall, the gallantries shrivel the recipient. Why ? It is because his or her heart is not in it, the mind is averse if not alien, some concept, true or false, is ruling the behaviour, putting to flight the recipiency, hunting the first dawn of appreciation and sending into the skies of relationship a sickening and squalid blackness that darkens all. The unwelcome guest often faces such a reception!
It was especially so in the case of the One who is the Primary and Ultimate and Eternal Light. As the WORD of God, eternal, without possibility of having anything predate Him, He is the source of the whole category of made things. This was so, not only in this, that all things were made by Him, but even to the extent, as John 1 initially stresses, that without Him nothing was made. The category one embraces all; the category two excludes any. ALL He made; NONE is made without His DOING it. HE is eternal therefore, source of creation as in Colossians 1:15.
If it is a made thing, HE PRECEDES it; and in the case of time, He logically precedes it as well as being there apart from its whole serial nature, beyond its processes as is a child who puts together the parts of a child railway system. He is beyond it, the cause of its construction and the one able by nature to intervene in its processes, interrupt its goings or vary its performances, either by acting from WITHIN or BEYOND it, at his own choice. There is nothing in the least difficult about that; we see it in principle virtually every day.
So miracles are just an event in which Creator adjusts, impinges on, rebukes, blesses, helps or hinders the creation, or a component of it, depending on the need. As to that, you see it in dogs. If a good dog will not work, or bark, or do whatever else he is supposed to be good at, then he may need 'training'. This may be terse or worse, or kindly and constructive; but if it does not occur, not only the owner of the dog but the dog itself is destined for a lesser life, a lower value and a more clouded existence. It has a point. If it does not follow this, it tends to be pointless.
This is because dogs, perhaps above all animals, have a reciprocal potential relative to mankind, one which is amazing in its depth, ravishing in its coverage, delightful in its elements and may become vastly helpful in its outcome, to the point of life and death. In them, moreover, there CAN be a faithfulness, an affection, an appreciation and a valuation of their owners which is more than flattering: it is love.
Welfare can become all-important and serviceability an honest duty not to be dismissed. It is a kind of trans-kind symbiosis at its best. Horses may begin to approach the same level.
Man can also come to love the dog, to value and appreciate it, to relish its idiosyncrasies and to discern the point of some of its ways, to seek its good sacrificially way beyond any hint of commercial value.
Thus the Creator, the One such that no made thing CAN exist except He has been involved in its construction, constitution and coming into life (if living) or existence (if basic material), may look upon mankind and relish, value and delight in those who are faithful, even though in order for this to be (as often with dogs and horses), He had to BUY that man or woman or child, first! Buy ? But of course. Man in himself tends to be either vicious, or selfish, or vainglorious, or self-admiring, or self-deprecating to the point of lostness, or shimmering in falsetto counterparts of light that are so in name only, or to become strenuously blind by prejudice and sin against truth, either just lacking in comprehension or glorying in incomprehension while being still without it. He is in short a sinner, where sin is anything falling short of what the breed is meant for, can and should be, is built for and has as an essential feature; of what would glorify and bring blessing from what God did in its construction.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM ?
|Man is built for
light and prefers darkness: this is the rule.
The darkness may be painful to behold, or a series of ludicrous sparks
amid the midnight gloom; but it is so.
|If he is not busy
that never work
(repeat NEVER*1), nor are ever seen, and even calling this SCIENCE
(thus abusing the dignity of what is dignified ONLY by its radical testability and the patient insistence on exclusion of what does not demonstrably work - otherwise it is a salesman pitch as dark as pitch, and temperamentally disadvantaged ...),
|or himself, or his
money, or his talent or his grit or some other bit of some other thing,
then he is busy inventing other gods, such as
which has nothing to commend it but is still popular, or
|something or other
than lacks what it takes to make life, and so does not actually do it,
|and calling upon
himself or his culture or his nation or race or some human invention and
|for some kind of
goofy glory, he so acts
|that in one or in all of these, he is immersed in darkness.|
Why 'darkness' ?
It is because the nature of light is to show what is the case*4, and these things show what is not. If the nature of light, as Paul declares so wisely, is shown in this, that it is what makes manifest, then the nature of darkness is to hide reality. Man is a master craftsman at this, even false religionists, like the Sadducees and Pharisees in Christ's day, glorying in their disgrace, and exalting their follies with virtual reverence, until the wrath of the revealing Christ showed them up on the microscopic slide (cf. Matthew 22-23), as mere bacteria of infection, scarcely human in their inane bumbling, and glorified stumbling, rumbling, tumbling and fumbling. Not only so, they were counter-productive and in spirit, in contrariety with piety. In the field of religion, they were like a hopeless maid, who if not breaking dishes by dropping them, tripping over the carpet, scorching shirts with the iron, slapping the children freely or using expletives while serving formal dinner, is sulking at her pay or stealing what remains to be taken.
Indeed, you do not even have to read a book like Midnight in Sicily by Peter Robb, or Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (set in a higher illumination but in the same world as observed), or Solzhenitsyn's First Circle to realise that darkness is so richly supplied in the soul of man, that even competition for extravaganzas of sainthood can come clad in darkness and glorying in pseudo-light; and there are sponsors of these, like those betting on which is the better tortoise in a race to demonstrate speed.
Thus from the first Chapter onward, we read in John more on the original (in both senses of the word) Creator, the Word, 'spoken' by the Father in the Trinity, eternal and constructive, the everlasting outshining from His presence and definitive expression of His being (Hebrews 1), bringing into the light what was unknown and non-existent, instituting what had no being otherwise. We find there that He is Maker of the entire category of made things which embraces all except this same Triune God, are shown that He has life in Himself (John 5:26), and that this life was the light of mankind.
Thus vitality is resourced in the Creator, the Word of God, and from Him comes this thing, whether matter-clad or directly spirit, or a combination of these two types of resource, with earth contacting or celestially roving mind available for the spiritual light, as instructive dynamic. For such an entity as man, light moves into and through the material format, as electricity moves through the apt device, so that not only are their mentally competent programs USED in the creation, but BY it, for in the spiritual capacity, creativity and derivative formulating powers are part of its purvey. Man is thus expressive in two modes: first he expresses the force of freedom, a direct gift making him to be in God's image, zone or within His companionability, in his own creations of thought and mind, of spirit and intention, and secondly he expresses the brilliant creative power of God in enabling this.
For all that, into this realm there come the darkness of disorientation and the gloom of psychic sickness, the shimmers of spiritual pride and misconception and the horrors of mental detachment from spirit, in sick salients of matter-worship, a degrading thing in its own way, as bad as the use of children in some religious exercises, as butts for lust under the name of glory. Whether the lust be spiritual or mental or physical, it engineers folly, defames God and defiles what He has created in mankind. Insufferable in logic, intolerable in transient turmoil, thus misled man, as in Sodom, makes a mockery of his Creator and serves villainy in spoliation of spirit in his own offspring (cf. Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, TMR Ch. 8).
WHAT HAPPENED ?
That spiritual mutiny, defilement and demise had a beginning. Life had a beginning in its temporal sense, like all the rest of the array of these features and functions which breed from base in this world.
The terrestrial life had a background in celestial life (its extra-mundane advent reflected in the law of biogenesis*5), and the light which gives perception to reality through this created life, where the creation is of this level, had a background. It was adequate, apt and dynamic. It is found in that light which is inherent in the Creator, where understanding and realism are twins in truth, where all things having their base in Him, have no base for distortion except the tongue, which alters Him not at all, being His creation, nor is there any able power to preclude or deceive.
Apart from this life and light, eternal and the basis of all things made, where speech becomes truth and action its attestation, there is nothing even to eternity, which has power or even extancy. But eternity ? it is merely a name for what does not begin or end by nature. Indeed, without this, nothing then at some point being, nothing comes or goes. We have however decidedly come.
Things do not compose themselves from nothing, nor does the organising program of causation (cf. Causes); and what is basic to all above all, must be sufficient for all; so that were it not so, the results (including ourselves) do not, because they cannot come. Yet they did, so that eternity of the Able One, the Almighty is necessary, sure and in fact verified.
Is there then a light beyond the eternal light ? No, not at all; for if there were, then it would not be eternal but would have either 1) an inception in time or 2) an inception with time, at the point of creation of our kind of transience, so that its non-ultimacy would be the case, ruling out the use of the term 'eternal' for it, so making it posterior and not anterior to eternity. We are not speaking then, not of means, but of the basis for them, of the everlastingly sufficient Being, beyond nature and adequate for creation and nurture.
What then results ?
This eternal life and this ultimate, eternal light, this source of creation and possessor of eternity, its own domain, it has outcomes. These are not oozing from its (non-material) pores; for the material being delimited in dynamic, form and laws, is made and conformed to type, without being able to make itself, an extraneous production of the Adequate One, as is the norm in creation. Indeed, if life is not there, with its means for temporal production, neither is that there; for these things of which we are a part, they are results of His will who moves what He will, when He will, how He will, but chooses to make us in His image. They are thus called creations, and we are a creation in His image, with results and potentials exceedingly remarkable, or inglorious, and with a liberty to invent or extort which is either admirable or despicable as the case may be.
We are of this type: delimited, defined, contained, constrained, formed as formulated and specified as determined. When the soul erupts at such a designation, 'created', unwilling to accept it, it is frequently because of implications which are imagined or sensed, and are not in fact there (though some may wish to make them, illicitly, to be 'there'). The delimitation, definition and containment of the human body, mind and psyche, spirit and mentality, NEED not be one which is programmatically produced. There are things other than, and beyond programs ... such as programmers.
Programmers as in the case of man, may also be media for making other elements of mankind, called babes; but this is not to limit man to such programs or even such applications which may be through love, be these his own thoughts or constitutive of his of bodily and mental provisions. There is, past clear possibilities, in man also a combination of imagination, originating facilities and endorsement of, or revulsion from things and ideas and concepts and reality itself, which is the domain of spirit. In a kind of cultural madness, many of this race love to ignore this simple fact; for thus, iron clad with self-will, they may feel delivered from any part in the Midnight in Sicily genre or its counterparts. They may come to feel free from periods of gloom or remorse at error of any other kind of impact of responsibility, in any other place, when bemused or befuddled. Thus they may endorse immunity from guilt, or seek to escape, whether the ingredients be those of that or any other race, region or downgraded dynamic.
This they may do, while delivered into the abyss with shadows obligato and subtleties of subversion, hidden in enormities of irrationality. This however is neither right nor necessary.
WHAT IS MAN ?
To be designated is unavoidable. It is as WHAT one is designated, it is this that matters. If you are designated a free spirit, then gone is darkness, until of course you downgrade by ignoring your limitations or aspiring to what is categorically unobtainable, such as eternity from first to last. Man has much of the free spirit in this, that he can (and often DOES) despise the light which is inherent in his Creator and potential as an operating medium for his life, and hence can have an ultimate (negative) effect (as in John 3:19, where preference for darkness, despite some blithering theologies, is STATED to be the ground of divine non-acceptance).
Man however alters upon entering into this dark domain; and as to this entry, it had a beginning as described in the Bible, where a simple test allowing questions of divine integrity and man's delimitations could arise, and as in any laboratory, have a particular, practical format. That is to be found in Genesis 3 as in Romans 5, and inherent throughout the Bible. In doing so, he becomes inflicted with a new limitation, other than the design delimitation. The latter was a glorious thing, since it allowed man to become free beyond programming (though God knew what he would be up to, as there is no limit to the penetration of His light, or way to obscure the divine oversight of His comprehensively created outcomes, this world, universe and life, including that of His own image-bearer, man).
After all, to be able to deliver yourself into darkness, when in the light, or to remain in the light, when born into it, this is a terrible and marvellous thing. It is filled with meaning, richness of diversity and a sense of destiny. This is so strong in mankind that the lust for glory (of one's face, race, mind, performance, nation, empire, clientele, family, children, name and so forth) is at least equal to any other than beguiles man into darkness, at times so impenetrable that it has dark stars, which speak of their light, while emitting in transcendent irony, a darkness that has revealing rays, which show its origin in drab defiance that issues like an army. It infects terrorists, whether those who made slaves of Africans, for example, in former times, or those who rejoice openly in seeking to kill Israeli kids.
This is simply, this false glorying, the nether side of the grandeur of a creation which has man with such tenderness, kindness, great scope for spiritual understanding, that it is staggering to consider. Yet in general, far from grateful for this, he loves to strut, if not for himself, then for his religion, which must rule the world and why ? because of its darkness, that is why. What is offended at light can derive a new and educated taste: it is a yen for darkness, a glorying in it. This then wants to conquer others, so that no light can appear by which it can be shown to be what it is; for deception is its mode, deceit is its counterpart and the devil is its dynamic. It is sad beyond tears that such is the lot of millions; but the light is as available to those of white or black or yellow skin, or to those of this or that political darkness, whether it be called enlightened or rejoices in its sheer force.
Thus the light SHINES in the darkness, and the darkness DID not comprehend. It is as noted initially, the nature of light to shine; and if darkness can only be rid of it, or rid itself of it, then it can manifest its vainglory and pervert man's desire for glory, which is only a perversion of the natural, inherent, just and rational - not to say adoring and worshipful - delight in the Eternal Light to which the race is made relevant by the nature given to it at its inception and foiled by its deception. In its first fall, to be kept in thrall to what is untrue, unjust, impure and deceptive, the staggeringly blessed nature of man is placed in darkness; and in this pathological condition, whether glorying in its inherent morality (with proportionate and unrealistic pride), or immorality (with smirking irrationality and depravity), it is subject to many lesser and derivative falls, such as those that have infected Europe and now increasingly the USA, Australia, Britain and many a nation once delighting in light.
Delighting in light ? Yes, in forms and manners, in allegiance declared or in Kings or Queens or Presidents or laws; but then, from this also, they fall. But some remain.
Amid all these occasions in which the "darkness did not comprehend" the light, the light still shines.
WHAT IS THE SOLUTION ?
It is the glorious and fascinating beauty of this thing, that despite the heights of opportunity, the magnificent gift of life in the image of God as just noted, the derivative severity of pollution and the enshrining gloom of darkness that results, often defining itself with an impudent audacity as light, there is even for this, a remedy. In the body of man and in his mind there are sown, emplaced, enabled, various means of defence, and if these be ruptured, of war so that deliverance can be effected.
There are stabilising powers which can diminish the onset of cancer, it seems, and there are antibodies which can do the same to invasive bacteria. There are opportunities for the mind, but above all there is the facility for the spirit of man to come and reach the hand which made the race, and have Him heal the breach and send far off the invasive forces that captured, just as they first captivated, mankind.
This, it is redemption, and it is here that we pass as in John 1, from the eternal Word and Light, and Creator, in whom is LIFE, through the uncomprehending darkness, its very nature, to the fact that the Creator having made man in His own image, took an adventurous trip (yet not SO adventurous, as the outcome had been planned from the first as in Genesis 3 and Revelation 14 and Ephesians 1:4), and indeed one so expensive that even expansive light received blight.
He became flesh and dwelt among us, and was soon identified, as foretold, as the Lamb of God, a thing which we have seen in Ch. 5, above.
This piece of grand divine entrepreneurial activity made a shaft into the mine of the mind and spirit of man, allowing hidden and overlaid treasures to be found, lifted to the surface, processed from the compounds of sin, and delivered like a new creation, indeed AS one (as is ore when it yields gold or silver or copper), for service in the regions of liberty. And that ? what is this access like ? It is an available route in the tollway of love, where the entry is covered by the Cross of Christ, who annulled the entry by entering for those who so receive Him. This, it far surpassed the creation episode, since it involved suffering in the format of man by the kindness of God, who procured this result, a ransom indeed. Some snuff it out; but the light remains. Some shuffle away, but the route is still there. Some ridicule it, but are ridiculous in their unbelief.
Shall He who planted the ear, not hear ? Shall He who contrived the eye (leaving cameras behind in its conspicuous and artful versatility and agile involvement with brain and via this with spirit which in turn interprets and applies), shall He not see! If man were the ultimate, how could he know it ? Since he is contrived and the ingredients are too, he needs the agent to make and the activist to apply concepts that work as law and ensure functionality in those terms. If matter (itself a similar invention, a base supplied) were able to invent such things, let it show it! Even with the minds of man it stubbornly refuses, like an ox being treated as if Einstein. It does not go that way. That is all.
The light of understanding comes because there is a comprehension available because there is a Creator available and man is GIVEN that light with which to comprehend, but having dimmed it as a dunce in spiritual affairs, he argues and rejects the truth, while making ludicrous claims, contrary to evidence, never willing to be compelled. Truth is like that. Even a lie cannot actually CHANGE it; and man, he cannot even make a monkey out of himself, except in his gluttony for comic follies with which he jabbers like a rebellious robot, but one, ah grief for man! accountable to the uttermost.
In fact, the more man gloats about his powers - in fact, mere invasive expressions of the greatness of God's enduement in both His mind and an investigable universe in which it CAN therefore explore or exploit as the mood or mode takes it - the more retarded he shows himself to be, not only doing foolish things, but exalting himself as he exposes his intransigent unrealism.
WHAT OF THE INTERFACE BETWEEN LIGHT AND DARKNESS ?
What then of the interface between light and darkness ? Is there one ? There is indeed, but it is not simple, for few diseases, properly understood are. The light SHINES in the darkness (John 1).
What darkness ? Since John had just relayed from the Lord, above this statement, the fact that in the Word in whom is life, is light and the light shines in the darkness, it follows that something had stricken the lighting in man.
The shutting of the eyes does it for the optical side of things, an image of the incomprehension which MUST come when you INSIST on rejecting the true solution, and the confusion resulting from reality-occlusion, found in a non-transmissive site for light; and the closing of the mind does it for that instrument.
That in turn, defiles the spirit of a man, injures his perspective perception, as if there were wrinkled glass in the aircraft through which he was taking observer's pictures. That, once more, deflects accuracy from his estimates, injures his reliability and makes foolish some of his constructions. This will lead to war in his own psyche, with his neighbour and amid the nations, as ill-considered, proud, arrogant, assertive, self-assured verbal emissions come like exhaust from the aircraft, now billowing smoke the oppress the atmosphere as well.
Such is man, this world, its condition; and this known, it is easy to see how the devilishness of terrorism, added to the profundity of horror in poisonous gas, in World War I, nerve gas in the case of Hussein of Iraq, atomic radiation, in the case of cities afflicted with it, deliberate spreading of Aids among those using sexuality in a perverted fashion, unprotected by any type of inbuilt cover, and perhaps utilising disease from another type of life in the process, slaughter of the young, oppression of the weak and so on, becomes for this earth a pageant of its self-assertive s splendour.
It is as dust, after some years, in the coffin of incohesion, the rotting of decay, the dissolution of life. But life, the light for the children of men, it continues undimmed, undiminished, undeformed, pure and clear as ever, still on display in Jesus Christ and the word of God, the Bible, and darkness still does not comprehend. It did not in AD 29-30; it does not now. That is the way of darkness in the soul.
The light shines, the truth is resplendent. Let us be clear, as shown in such volumes as
TMR Ch. 1 and later, SMR,
Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny ...,
Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ,
DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST, Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer,
not only is EVERY challenge met, every item verificatory or else non-obtrusive, every necessity of logic covered when this light is sought, but NOTHING else even begins to meet these stringent, multi-partite criteria on every side, for investigation. Indeed, as shown, all sides make up sequences and responses to the divine perspective, like an orchestra, each instrument attuned to the other and to the intent of the conductor. Not only are they mutually supportive, but multiply expressive of their base and basis.
This light shines! might pose the lost, the soul of what is imbued and not renewed, living in darkness (logical, scientistic, moral and spiritual), and so then, there is a question to ask.
This is the question. How can I COME to the light: conditioned by darkness, my light is my doom, for it is a dark light in an inconvenient place, summoned by culture, crippled by my own additions!
You of course are right; for in your own strength and light, you cannot do so. But this, though true, is not to the merest degree relevant to your release, as something AVAILABLE. It is just that the method of it is as stark in simplicity as is the disease in its gravity.
Let us pursue this point. When God created, He needed no help (there was not even any there; but God is God, so that is nothing to the point so to think. Let us be practical). When God saves, He needs no help. Thus crippled souls do not IN THEMSELVES uncripple the crippled souls of others as you learn so clearly in Psalm 49:7 and 49:15 in particular. NO MAN can by any means ransom his brother from death but it is GOD WHO redeems my soul. Nor for that matter has he, as debtor, the wherewithal to pay for his own release; as captive he is surrounded by walls intrinsic now to his smitten soul (Ephesians 4:17-19).
How then can He do it ? By power and knowledge and therapeutic skill allied to having paid your hospital bill and restoration costs, He can do it.
How can I know that He is willing ? you may then ask.
Willing! He is more than that. In His word, as noted above, unique in verification and validity, He declares here two relevant points.
|1) First, He is NOT
willing that any should perish (I Peter 3:9)
and WOULD HAVE all
in heaven or on this earth reconciled to Himself;
and takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Colossians 1:19ff., Ezekiel 33:11).
|2) A fortiori: SO GREAT is His
with this inordinate and here stated desire as to its scope,
regarding ALL in HEAVEN or in EARTH, and not merely all the earth,
that He reveals an inordinate side to its cost of execution,
so pledging Himself as vicarious victim, something more than even promise could do,
though the latter alone is indeed more than sufficient with Him whose word constitutes truth
(cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 2, Barbs ... 6 -7).
What more is to be seen in that ordinate extravaganza in the way of cost to God?
It is that He went to the extent of incarnating His eternal word
(I John 1:1-4, John 1, Isaiah 48:16) AS a man,
so that justice could be served in the cost framework relevant to man,
damages met by Himself, in whom no sin dwells, where light is,
where darkness having no place,
the sacrifice thus sufficient for one as for all (I John 2:1ff.),
even ready for utilisation in a scope as wide as the love.
To be sure, it is useless where not taken,
even unfunded where ignored, since He who knows all, assigns righteously (Romans 8:32).
Since many BY HIS OWN PRE-TIME KNOWLEDGE (Romans 8:29ff., Ephesians 1:4) are not in any style or way or reach reachable, teachable, effectually investigable with light that relieves, because of a permanent tilt to the shutters of the soul and an inveterate desire for not-God instead of God, and since this is seen by Him who has no occasion to be darkened by any sin of His own or sin in those sought, seeing beyond the realms of normal sight with infinite wisdom: then these are not delivered.
As II Timothy 2:19 puts it, the Lord KNOWS His own.
But you say, So far from this helping, this really bites and blights me. Your words bring to me a disproportionate distress; they aggravate the impossible and make all the more dire, the horrid.
Far is this from the truth, however. It is preparation as in an examination, which though tedious or fearful in challenge, is the way to move. IF you REALLY do desire (and if you trust in yourself and not in God, so be it, it is a ridiculous thing for a made thing to do), and without qualification self-imposed, desire His restoration of sight with light shining upon and in you, then you HAVE TO submit to His method.
What then is this so remarkable method ? you might ask.
It is not a casual one. It digs as it relieves.
You have first of all to repent (Luke 13:1-3). It is useless to prevaricate and to seek alternate ways. If you don't repent, then you must repine - or pray: for you then are unready. Why in such a case as that, should you clamor or ferment. You are not willing to find your feet on that way. So be it. This is your desire. Be content if you want to be so; be engaged if you are not.
What is it like, when this equivocation instead of invocation is to be found ? Then you are like someone due to serve in a tennis match, but all you can do is drum your own fingers on your racquet, and not move at all.
If you are not sorry for giving God short-shrift, short of absolute Lordship over your created life, then go on and be a god, and see what happens to the help that comes from gods who did not actually make heaven or earth (or you for that matter)! But don't cry foul, when your own choice is such a thing. Rather marvel that you are still alive by His mercy, at all.
But you say, How COULD I repent, being blind pathologically ?
Only by God's mercy.
How then am I expected to get that ?
By the knowledge that He loves giving it (as in Micah 7:19 where He passionately declares that He delights in mercy!), and does it with a beautiful grace as shown in Psalm 103 and throughout the New Testament record. This He has exhibited, even to the point of seeking forgiveness from His own Father for those currently occupied with a mocking martyrdom (Luke 23:34), assailing Him on the Cross with tongue and nail alike, as if to make it a fine thing in its own kind, as they slowly killed Him.
But if I am in darkness, how COULD I desire light ?
By being dissatisfied with the darkness.
How could this ever be since I am now inured to it ?
By the operation of the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin, righteousness (His), and judgment (yours if you do not repent).
Where in the Bible is that found ?
It is in John 16:5ff..
But if God CAN bring this conviction into me, how am I free ?
It can be because, if you are His, then God before all time KNEW you past all sin and pretence, malady and operational deficiency in your own soul, where sin is not a controlling force and truth is self-evident to Him who sees: He chose you in Christ before all time, if love found a site in you. Further, it is only of the TRUTH that He convicts you. It is non-manipulative, actual, rigorously sound and imperviously right.
You might or might not have an awareness of His action, seem to share as you stare, to start as you are being found, be granted a sense of involvement, in actions wrought in heaven and realised on earth; for after all, it is true to life, and His predestination is based on foreknowledge and not nescience as He states (Romans 8:29ff.); but it is a matter of what you are going to do, that His before Christ choice is based, as His word declares (Romans 9:11), for that is the reward of merit, which all over again, is excluded (Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2:1-8). Moreover, were it otherwise, it would be no freedom, since those equipped with what it took, would become in effect self-selective!
God however protects freedom, choosing without works, and without nescience equally, knowing His own and not just growing them by nature, for as Paul says, “In me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing” (Romans 7:18). There is that unique, elemental, necessary action by which the age-old conundrum that makes of freedom void through the limits of self, or the impositions of control, met as nothing else CAN meet it. Here and here alone is the combination of the all-knowing God, the all-serving love, the all-seeking mercy and the all-granting grace in which freedom is chaste though sin be dark, and liberty is found as love's gift and requisite.
His hand for good upon you may be sensed, or its results simply wrought direct; non-directive participation may be realised or not. What matters is this, that the thing is a massively true exposure and you are being lifted beyond the natural pathologically generically given to man by God Himself, whether you are aware of this or not, whether this saving drama is wrought into your own consciousness, with some reflections of eternity, or not.
But what can I do about this ? It is His affair.
Well, if you do not WANT this light, why worry ? You are getting the darkness you want. If on the other hand, you do, and want it more than life (a relevant valuation for deity, and one without which nothing will stir - Luke 14:27ff.), then His power and knowledge means, in terms of His word, one thing. It means that you assuredly when asking in repentance, for salvation through His death as ransom for you, in the light of His resurrection power, will be given it. You CANNOT miss. You want it ? you follow the method, you receive the offer, which in fact is Christ Himself by faith ? Then it is yours. On the other side: You don't want it, as God is to be wanted ? You have insistences and resistances ? THAT is emphatically your choice (John 3;19). Then you don't get it.
But how is one to be sure that nothing goes wrong ? Maybe I will not want it and so will not get it.
Very possibly, this may be so. It is not going to be forced on or into you, you can be sure of that; for even for Jerusalem, Christ wept and died, but forced none to take Him. It was after just one generation in fact destroyed, as He foretold with gracious opportunities for all that time for any or many to repent (Matthew 23:37 - 24:3). He wept: but He did not force. The force which came was the merciless force of the Roman Empire. Mercy spurned readily can become justice earned, the spurning a part of its impact (II Chronicles 36).
God has His own ways. It is impossible to change them and wholly undesirable, even if it were possible, for what is made in time to alter what from eternity has processed the whole case with a perfect knowledge, foreknowledge (Romans 8:29ff., Ephesians 1:4), and a perfect love, innocent of manipulation, with a daring caring which permits no disease to dictate, and no manoeuvring to seduce.
Then perhaps God will forget about me and not do anything ? you painfully ask.
Not at all, nothing is hidden from Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13), and to whom we must give account! (cf. Acts 17:30ff.). If you want Him, that is because without duress and dictatorship, He has found you; and if you don't, then this, if you reject Him to the end, is because in your own depths and spirit, as known to God, there could be nothing to save except someone who not wanting Him (heaven has HIM!), would instead actually like merely a high standard of living without truth or light; and for that, there is, in all reality, no salvation. In all simplicity, receive Him and settle the issue.
If God will not forget me, and I forget myself, what will that do ?
Nothing to the point. If you forget yourself, even then, HE does not forget ANY of His creation for ALL THINGS is the scope of His saving interest and He SAYS so (Colossians 1:19ff.), and acts so (John 3:15-19). He did not come to judge this world but to save it. You are in it and of it, so rejoice, you are in the target area, not for multiple re-entry missiles of destruction, but for those of construction, re-creation. That is statedly why He came (John 3:17). Moreover, back of it all was this profound love (John 3:16), given realisation in what it cost, the manner of its costing and the results of it.
What if I do not believe ?
It is irrational (as above and see All this Rot about Not Believing, Repent or Perish Chs. 2, 7); but it is a selection of your program you are perfectly free to make.
Free in form, but not in fact if darkness rules.
True, but darkness CANNOT rule against His love if in His love He has overruled darkness in you.
How can I know this ?
By wanting His salvation and asking for it; for if you do this, it proves He has chosen you.
What if I don't ?
Then you get what you want, and His chaste love does not grab you to train you like a dog, by His dictatorial will, since He does not have a will like that.
What if I come and He then tells me I am a hypocrite ?
You might be. If He did, you would have come only superficially, with reservations or lack of heart, and so have to repent of that and tell Him that there is nothing too hard for the Lord. Since you STILL may call upon His name, you are in the position of someone who says, Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.
Did that work ?
It assuredly did in the case noted in the New Testament.
Then this I will do.
Good. The Lord is good. This is the ultimate fact. Leaving smoking or drinking, on the one side, or shutting the eyes to truth on the other and then finding light as the lids open, this can be hard. It is rather like taking up a cross. But the avenue is open; and a wonderful part of it, other than His love, peace and truth, is this: that you are then FIRST re-created so that you BECOME one of His children. Now, all of these are guaranteed by His promise, girded by His reconstitution and assured in their reception of His Holy Spirit, who comes with salvation (Romans 8:9, Ephesians 1:11, John 4:14, 5:24), so that the adventure of life is one indeed. What is it like ?
It is like visiting the Arctic in the old days: all new and fascinating and intriguing; but now, in this spiritual pilgrimage, being certain of its end, from Him who paid for your whole life in the beginning (Romans 5:1-12, 8:29ff.), you have a source of a gratitude which is horrified at the darkness from which it came, and is in spiritual love with the light to which it has come.
The Lord is that light, and it shines in a darkness which does not comprehend it, but which He who comprehends, can and does dismiss. It is for the believer, the dismissal of this darkness, and it is not his own spirit which is dismissed by Him who, on the contrary, says this:
|"I will never leave nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).|
That, it is a dismissal to be sought as much as some seek to avoid dismissal.
It is sheer delight.
I begin to see it. It is not that my being is better than any other, but that His love is greater than my darkness; and made in the image of God, I am still, though sinful, knowable in this item, and where sin does not rule, where God sees past its malady, there grace can indeed rule, so that the love is His, the power is His, the knowledge, the wisdom and the glory is His, and the rescue is His. I ? I am merely the flotsam picked up, element for grace, scope for salvation, testimony of truth. Where sin is seen past, then no superiority or inferiority therefore is. The choice is not for the preferable but for what is sought and found.
You see, the margin of darkness recedes, and the light that shines is now shining into you. Always remember, the winds are blowing in the positive direction for GOD WOULD HAVE ALL to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth; He shows restraint, but NO lethargy, for in Him, an incandescent love issues in an illimitable passion which in purity, fails in nothing. To be found by Him is indescribably wonderful, since He is infinite. To be lost is free folly. To avoid it, one simply comes to receive Him, and trusting in His mercy and grace, word and face, promises and call, complete salvation (Hebrews 9:12) and total information and wisdom, and relies on Him who never changes (Hebrews 13:8) in Himself; but specialises in changing sinners, persons who are lost, into paintings, sculptures, works of grace, continually covered and beautifully altered (II Corinthians 3:17-18).
Ah, the liberty of being what one wants to be, and being found in One who surpassing one's very nature, brings nurture in truth and mercy to mankind!
See TMR Chs. 1 , 7, History, Review and Overview Ch. 5, The gods of naturalism have no go!
Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation.
*3 See Nothing Doing from Nothing.
For the comprehensive triad, the three laws that betoken creation and verify it, in opposition to naturalism, see TMR Ch. 1 at this point.
In this, naturalism and its accompanying philosophy of evolutionism is as Aristotelian as Aristotle ever was, yes far more so and with far less excuse and far less aptitude in this area; for he at least saw types, products which tend to be and to be maintained, in his post-Platonic pragmatism. If his religion was undeveloped, at least it did not wholly eclipse his observations, which tended to be more literate than those otherwise obfuscated and dimmed by imaginary dynamisms that never disclose themselves.
As noted in part of the above reference:
There is in fact a metaphysical paralysis of thought which has made the many consider this:
a) that if PROCESS be not ASSUMED to be the author of process...
in the sense that what is CURRENT to the eye is not the father of what is current;
or, to put it differently,
b) if PRESENTLY OBSERVABLE THINGS or a CURRENT,
CONTEMPORARY REGIMEN are not the source of living things,
then this is unscientific. But that nostrum, precisely it refuses to conform to simple fact because of prior theory, so that scientific method is hijacked, the scientistic replaces the scientific, and the former using the name of the latter, refuses to conform to the testimony of actuality as it declares itself.
That however has nothing to do with science. It merely represents a sort of statistical norm, given the state of the religion of many scientists, of their gratuitous assumptions, and philosophic irrationalities, which they prefer to carry, that EVEN at the COLLISION with scientific method, they WILL not go where it requires. In a strong and vital sense, it is a strike: unconscious perhaps in many, but not at all in some!