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MORALS: TODAY, YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW
LAW THROUGH MOSES GRACE THROUGH CHRIST
A Presidential Option
TimesRecord News, May 14, 2012
╬Design Rest and Salvation Rest
╬Re-Writing Morals and putting God's Name to it
╬Making Evolving Gods and Revolving Morals
ISSUES IN LIBERTY
Let us look at law and grace, freedom and mercy, change and program, and see where man fits in with the language which both makes him a physical being, by order and command precisely as noted in Genesis 1, and verified in Ch. 2 above, but a supervised spiritual being, as rendered explicit in Genesis 3, and verified in one's own experience and rationality*1. At once liberty was colossal. Imagine, you make a computer with sensory data pouring in, with statistical rules applied, with commission to interpret in this way and that, and to alter conduct in dependence on astute mathematical principles. You program with brilliance and hope the thing through some glitch will not murder you some night, inadvertently.
It is the work of your mind, of your hands, and even of your heart. How you cherish the thing, delight in the actualities of it, almost a baby, a creation of your very own. Isn't life wonderful, to have let you lift thoughts into program, program into performance and that into ingenious constructions for its alteration depending on environment and the underlying purposes which led to your construction of the robot in the first place.
That has NO freedom, though YOU were free to express YOUR thoughts in its construction. Every behavioural alteration is as in principle planned. Even if your knowledge did not reach far enough to foresee all that might happen, yet it MUST and will (unless you foozled it) carry out all things in terms of your principles. It is wonderful; but it lacks liberty entirely.
Man is not like that. He has far more liberty. He may cut his throat, his hopes, his happiness by revolting revolutionary ideas, that spit on the universe, detest his own limitations, may vault to the heavens in thoughts, and curse God, or decide to delete Him at least in mind, so that his principles of passion, or god-like grandeur, or pretending that his body and mind have no rules, may embark on a career of unruliness, or act as if rules made themselves, along with matter and mind, or whatever other fantasising may appeal, and so proceed in a vain effort to increase still further his liberty.
Why ? it may be to indulge himself, his fantasies, his sense of worth, his self-importance, a rebellious spirit, salve his woes, corrupt his own conscience, achieve greatness ... on and on. Indeed, it may be that some might so act in order to be magnificent, one of the devil's great thrusts on his own part, to indulge revenge, or attack classes of people, a nauseous political idea now coming into vogue with some in Australia, as if their economic aspect were sufficient ground for categorisation. It may be diverse, but it all but ramifies the curse.
In profusion of confusion,
hide from reality;
or in repentance, he may seek the
truth at any cost,
and have no interest in anything
until this be settled,
What else is found in that record ? It is this. Then, when he finds God, he is astounded and a whole new dimension of life, in living communion with God, opens up, and he finds not confinement, but habitation in a realm of regal power, glorious love and wonder to admit him, the reality of the kingdom of heaven. He suffers like a Christian soldier, miracles work at the same time, fastings and tortures arrive, but he departs in a staggering escape, and goes on to relate in a passion for many missions along famed roads between Asia and the Middle East, in lands not excluding North Korea.
There is a book and there is a life, and they relate, as left hand to right, and operate together in terms of the Christ Jesus, who having risen, as in the Acts of the Apostles, has sent His Spirit to enable many people in many ways to continue the testimony of truth and mercy, the cross and the resurrection, the way and the only hope for man, throughout the world: until He comes, this job done, to consummate the wonder of His plans in person (Matthew 28:18-20, Psalm 2, 110, I Corinthians 15). That is the biblical picture, and to this end the power of God works, has worked and will continue to work till He has found His last disciple (Revelation 6:9-11).
How many have found this, and discovered for themselves the mission which God has appointed them!
Yet God repeatedly in the Bible declares His grief when this or that nation or person, refuses all instruction, and prefers a void where God is in his or her life, and so operates like a school vagabond, learning in absentia, despising authority and wisdom, and knowledge of the truth. To be sure, this is in one way, a limited illustration*1A, nevertheless, foolish choice distorts minds. There can be a degree of rational anaesthesia in that epidemics of confusion can be near to contagious when authority smites the young mind with them. This is very frequently the case in this and many another land, what is found in schools about God is pretence that it has all it takes to come and go without Him, people being like a library of books, none of which required an author, where indeed the library too built itself, and supplied the mental supervision of a librarian in the same remotely odd manner, with neither base nor cause nor reason. Such is myth and delusion, the popular pretence and pretension, a current raging sickness of spirit and degradation of mind in naturalism.
LAW AND LAWLESSNESS
This being precisely what myth is, results smoothly accounted for without adequate causes, not only fulfils II Timothy 4, but significantly diminishes liberty by selective and discriminatory teaching to the forthcoming generation, omission of data, and transcription of desire into theory. This it does, and the media greatly assist in general, instead of making theory a delicate result of careful survey, starting with what one finds, and finding out where it leads, Such blights in some lands lead to violence which is not only mental, but physical as well, and indeed throughout the professional, educational and cultural realms in the State, as in this*1B and numbers of other lands, so that in many ways cultural dominion makes life more of a muddle than ever. From this situation, only God can, and repeatedly does rescue. The Heavenly Man (13 reprints, 2002 to the present*1C) is one fine exhibition of how it may be done in practice. It is recent and has been very public.
Amid law and love, with God over all, and man sometimes imagining himself there, but not finding the power to prove it actual rather than delusional, and constantly damaging his nations and psyches by affliction coming from such grandeurs, obstructive madnesses and self-elevating dreams that find the dirt without ceasing, there is the actuality scene. Things happen. The upbeat often becomes the offbeat, the dynamic the delusional, the frustrated the foolish. Underneath there often work latent lust ford rebellion at any level, and if not among men, then towards God Himself.
LAW can be hated because it limits; or else loved because it orders and organises; detested because it severs from serenity, or delighted in, because it brings sobriety and sense, standards and security, power through self-discipline and wonders through taking it as a highway. There are logical laws, and physical ones, indeed there are multitudes of the thing, some simply mandated in a flurry of power, without wisdom, some equated with what is the actual case in man before God, though this is becoming swept over with passion, as the mighty breakers thrust their colossal weight on the decks of ships in storms.
Breakage can be huge, and in this
world, is on the way to being fatal, and would have been totally (Matthew
24:22), were it not all part of a divine test, where rest is one quest,
where it belongs in the God of peace, and riot of mind or spirit or heart,
this is another. There is a quiet riot, which simply turns the heart away,
ignores the truth and pursues its own will; but it is not the less
confrontation, than is the case with any student who quietly ignores the
LAW AND GRACE
Even then, however, there is badinage about law and grace, and love and liberty, which can come to blows. In fact, biblically, it is challenging, but graspable. Perhaps the main challenge is this, that DESIRE can detest ANY law that stands in its way, delusion can seek to arrest anything which limits it, and what expresses the government for goodness amid man, can be hated because of evil preferences, often seeking to overthrow, or at least to secure a niche free from anything or anyone, while breathing in lungs, made courtesy of the author who spoke DNA, and thinking by the mercy of the author of mind and its logical principles, and its relevance to thoughts about things beneath and above us.
It is hilarious; but for the individual tragedies played over and over again, like a stuck record. There are variations; but not in principle.
ISSUES IN BIBLICAL
CONQUEST OF CONFUSION
Now we move further into biblical reality concerning the Creator. In John 1:17. This reads thus:
"For the law was given through Moses,
but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
The law did not suppress God, but express Him. It showed moral truth, symbolic witness to the coming of Christ, in terms of beauty and holiness, sacrifice and sentence on sin, directed to Himself, that He might deliver others, who put their trust in Him as their great Spiritual Physician and Saviour. In this way, He secures deliverance from the oppression of sin,the removal of its pangs and its ravage, its guilt and its death.
For long there was to be this coming of the Messiah (Deuteronomy 18,Micah 5, Psalm 40,22), with His vast work to cover forwards and backwards, all whose trust comes to be in Him; and then He came. No more important event has occurred, when the work is all done as it now is (Romans 3:23-27, 5:1-12), the sacrificial sentence borne, the pardon secure, the ransom paid, justice satisfied, the entry to heaven in thorough purgation from sin, in view, intact, so that as in Philippians 3:20-21, the barrier is overcome and man and God may be at peace, as He has desired (II Corinthians 5:17-21, Colossians 1:19ff.). This is the character, with joy irremovable, of the communion with God that results from what the pictorial display in former Temple sacrifices, and verbal background on pardon, had depicted.
The first Covenant, with special focus on the Temple, not for the substance, but for its representation, It specialised on judgment, both vicarious and legal (Leviticus 1-10 for example), review of their history as a nation (Deuteronomy), and explanation as well as expiation (Numbers gives with Deuteronomy, vast background depiction and review). It has its foundations laid in Genesis, its history in Numbers, its ceremonial-sacrificial side in Leviticus and its overview in Deuteronomy with vast predictive power, covering major events down to the coming in rule and regality, of God in His personal power to overcome all evil, and bring blessing to the human race (cf. Barbs ...17).
This is expounded in detail in the prophets who followed Moses, sometimes intended in the term "the law" as part of it, sometimes set separately as in Matthew 5:17ff.. Vast arrays of divine information in this way is posted to the human race, which duly is finding it happen, step by step (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9). God comes in human form as Messiah (Psalm 2, Isaiah 7, 9, 11, 49-55, 61) and ruler (Isaiah 65-66, 11, Psalm 2, 73, Micah 5, 7, Matthew 25, Revelation 19-20), the very same One who came as Saviour, in sufferings though sovereign, in grace, though in the end what refuses cover secures judgment.
Thus in the Law, the creation comes like an army, and majesty is in its lustre, and there in due order, the origin of man and the explanation of his plight are indited, the redaction of man's reduction appears, the lowering of his status. With this, is the perspective of his fall and the basis of the regeneration from the degenerate condition of the race (Genesis 3:15, 12:3, Deuteronomy 32, 18, Genesis 49:9-10). Based in one, there is a star (Numbers 24:17), a ruler, prophet, deliverer, exponent with the power of God, though human in form, capable of overthrowing the whole devastating power of Satan, just as in Him, in the mercies leaping like flames into sacrifice, pardon had its prelude and its culmination (Deuteronomy 32:36-43, Isaiah 50-55, Psalm 22,32).
Thus mercy was not to be obtained by mere ceremony or symbol, for though this was valid, it is the underlying faith as with Abraham which is crucial (Genesis 12:1ff., 15:1-6, Romans 4,esp.4:25). Thus where the heart lay open before the God of redemption (Deuteronomy 29:18-21), and trust in one's own powers and provisions was supplanted by a reliance on God so total, that without it there is simply no hope (Psalm 51, Isaiah 66:1-2,55:1-11), there lies peace. Through Him, mercy with power would not only come (Deuteronomy 32:43, Micah 5, 7), but continue even on a national scale (Zechariah 12),along with the fulfilment of all that in process, God had promised (Genesis 17:7-8, Micah 7:18ff.).
In this royal coming following the divine abasement (Zechariah 9:9, Isaiah 50), the blessing of God would come indeed to all nations, on a scale which would engulf all peoples in its eventual consummation (Deut. 32:43, Isaiah 11, Matthew 25).
The prophets focussed the coming Messiah, His work, its purpose, its date for His death, the reason for it, the result of it, the intensity and immensity of the pardon (Isaiah 7, 9, 11, 32, 4-42, 40, 49-55), and the grandeur of His gift to all peoples (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6); and much more including the regeneration (Jeremiah 31:31ff.), special focus of the New Covenant, and the grandeur of the gift (Isaiah 9, 60-61), in the Messiah, indeed the amazing manner of its conferment and basis.
The law, with the prophets, then had much, and the term could even include the prophets, expositors and revealers of the massifs of the Alps of divine mercy.
Yet it also had so many ceremonies, symbols, modes of expression, routine rituals, temple tasks, coverages of so much with such pageantry and precision that as Peter put it, it could become a burden, constant exposure of human weakness, despite the wonder of its portent (Acts 15:7-11). Indeed, as Jeremiah 16 had also shown, in the coming grace of God (future from his day), the Gentiles would indeed see what God had foreseen, that is, that their cultures had been based on lies, imaginations, distortions, profitless concepts, and thus from all over the earth, they would come to the God who was revealed in Israel (Jeremiah 16:19-20) and to be sealed to many among the Gentiles, with no less address. This would all proceed, as it has done, by however large a margin Israel nationally and spiritually would itself fail (cf. Isaiah 1, 59, 60, Micah 7, Leviticus 26). Even this would be overcome (Zechariah 12, Micah 7), so that the earth would be, as it will be, filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea, itself a wonder (Isaiah 11, Habakkuk 2:14).
This law was thus not only a light to the path, intimating the perspective, background, plight and pardon for man, but a container of the germ of universal applicability of pardon in the Messiah, paraded in the prophets, expounded repetitively, incrementally, ,magnificently (Ezekiel 34, Hosea 12:10, Jeremiah 31, Zechariah 6:12-13, 12:10-13:1), simply (Isaiah 55), and this with its culmination (Isaiah 11, Psalm 2, 16, 22, 40, 72) in Christ, His death set in date, free of ambiguity, following His procurement of salvation (cf. The Christian Prescription Ch. 2 ),
The law, both amplified and culminated in glorious majesty from divine humility and a vast work for the redemption available to all the world (Zechariah 9:6, Isaiah 11:10, 66, 49:6).There it was to be, as it has been grasped by many (Jeremiah 16, Isaiah 24:14-16).It was, this Law, as Paul declares, a thing of glory. Yet its glory was outshone by a greater glory, that of the Lord Himself, the Messiah incarnate, now come, the glory of God shining in the face of Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 4:6). The knowledge of that, HIS glory, is so to be found (as in John 14:1-10), Herein is the glory which surpasses (II Corinthians 3:7-14).
Through the ministry of the laws, then, there was enabled a liberation with understanding, depicted a salvation from sin, properly recognised by such a prelude. The grace was not indulgence, when it came, but was accompanied by repentance (Luke 13:1-3, Acts 17:31), worship at the combination of mercy, magnificence, majesty, redirection of guilt to the Messiah Himself (Isaiah 53:6), this covering Him with its horror, in place of those who so received Him (Isaiah 53:1-6), with His pardon. In this came restoration to His loving rule (Ezekiel 34, Hosea 13:14, Isaiah 11), minus what was by Him fulfilled, granting thus an extraordinary and shriven status to those for whom the law now became in its prelude and symbolic aspect, obsolete (Hebrews 8). Yet the word of God was not obsolete (Matthew 5:17-20), but either was caressed into culmination and fulfilment in Christ focally, or was left ongoing in its entirety; for Christ did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it, as He declared in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:17).
Thus Paul is quite clear (Romans 3:31):
"Do we then make void the law ?
Certainly not. On the contrary, we establish it."
What Abraham had found, the basis of such tutors as the Law, before it, beyond it, yet not contradicting it, the free salvation by grace, the righteousness of God Himself set to his account freely through faith, this is FULFILLED, and not aborted. There has been a wave to educate, not a waiving to deprive; and now it is all in place, the faith for finding, the law for convicting and deploying, and the consummation in Christ for paying for the vast vault of inadequacy on the part of man, to fill the valleys and to bring forth the plateau of righteousness, now underlying all, free to all, on which in the sun of righteousness, His people walk (Romans 4:23-5:1). The entry is clear and free; the contours in reality and substantiality, remain, the site of the walking even in the Spirit.
With what precision Christ accomplished its multitude of references to Him and His will and way in the Law (Hebrews 1-10), a point beautifully brought out by Bishop Ryle in the last Chapter of his blessed work, Holiness, in exposition of the text, Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11). With what parallel assurance we learn that to the uttermost part, what God has spoken will all be fulfilled, whether in time or principle, detail or dynamic, no part missing (Matthew 5:17-20, Revelation 21:8, Psalm 19, I Thessalonians 2:13, Isaiah 34:16, Isaiah 59:21).
What a tutor (Galatians 3:24-25), then, was this law coming into the midst of post-flood inundation with what killed more surely than water (Genesis 6:1-3, 12, 15, 22); but what a Master is the Christ, the Messiah who came thereafter, so that what made clear the exceedingly great sinfulness of sin could be in the culminating New Covenant (Matthew 26:28, Jeremiah 31:1ff.), appear as its overmastering in its condemnations, by an even more abundant expression of grace, this abounding the more (Romans 5:20-21).
In the law was the seed; in the New Covenant the glory surpassing in its totality, finality, direct outreach toward all (Galatians 3:23).Here lay, as it yet is laid, the manifestation of the mercy of God at divine cost, excellence made available to man by excruciating toil, impermeable love and impenitent mercy (Hebrews 8:10, Romans 4, esp. v. 25, 5:1-12, 8:34ff.), abruptly borne in the crucifixion that paid the curse for sin, making available a free account to believers. By faith through grace (Ephesians 2:1-12), it came, in its entirety the work of God.
Indeed, this grace and munificence of the mercy of God was even pictorially emphasised (as in Genesis 22), with the lamb a sacrifice gratuitously provided by God, so that the death even of a son would be both inadequate and unnecessary: for the LORD would PROVIDE, as He did. Thus there could only be salvation by faith through grace (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4-5). It was by free gift only, outside anything that man was able to provide (as in Isaiah 41:28-42:6). The theme is taken up in Isaiah 51:18-2, 52:10-53:12).
There was no way you could satisfy God by your performances in the law (Romans 5:12-13, Acts 15, Galatians 5:3, 3:12, Romans 10:2-5). An entire sacrificial provision was made to cover all contingencies of sin, and every vagrancy of spirit. Suddenly, this is condensed in the sacrificial sublimity of Christ, so that where man was in constant debt, now he could become continually covered, with provision for seeing the end of the matter (in view as in Psalm 32, 21-22), in that act of grace which even changed the day of rest from the end of creation, to the end of the atonement (John 19:30), that with the resurrection, the greatest work of God, summing up what went before, but critical in itself. Now the supremacy of grace was made obstructively obvious in the cross of Christ (Romans 5:1-12, 10:4, Galatians 6:14), and for His followers, is to be seen as placarded before all (Galatians 3), continual reservoir, never a dubious entry fee, but an entire overture of entry.
As to the Law, itself a challenging goad to obtain mercy (Romans 7:13), this culminated in the grace of its placarding and presence in One, from One, the long promised Messiah, for everyone who believes. The placard even read, like a celestial bill-board, set up more obvious than any road-sign, or series of signs, was Jesus Christ Himself, raised up for the fallen race, with a majesty no superior or disdainful hypocrite could ever begin to reach (John 12:32).
Never was such an engulfment as this, making of the flood almost a junior partner; that was to destroy, this to wash! Just as that was for destruction, this is for recreation (Titus 3:4-7),not as a holiday, but as a restoration to a vacancy, where human life should be.; as that for temporal ruin, this was for eternal spiritual felicity. It is not lightly based! When it comes to righteousness, not LESS but MORE is required, than ANYTHING man can provide (Isaiah 64:6, Zechariah 3:1-5). It is a gift entire of a righteousness inherently divine which Christ enables to come freely to man (Romans 5:15-18, 3:23ff.), and nothing else will do. At last the issue is historicised, the wonders issuing in action, the action in understanding and the result in remedy, entire and eternal.
Thus Romans 4 is at pains to show that the entire law was encapsulated, like a pill placed in a foil setting, in salvation by grace through faith without works, as stressed further in Romans 11:1-6, and manifest in Abraham's call and its government by grace and promise, without condition: once received. It taught in a nation growing up, growing in knowledge, when ready to receive (Romans 7:12,14). Yet its speciality, its specialised addition, was the expatiation on sin, death with the necessities of life through grace in the background (II Corinthians 3). There was the glory in the law, but greater glory in the New Covenant in Christ. That was dawn. The New Covenant is the noon (II Corinthians 3:10-11).
Christ is at considerable pains to put simply what cut like a knife through bones in tough meat: it is all holy and true (Matthew 5:17ff., Paul - Galatians 3:21, Romans 7:12), the law of the Lord, and what is not fulfilled stays on quite simply as the word of God, never rescinded, never aborted, but when fulfilled simply finished as an operative unit: like your abc when study English literature. That helped you get aware, but it is no longer an issue! What is fulfilled here, is merely amplified and interpreted, seen in setting and as to its real significance.
So far from grace disrupting the word of God, therefore, it enables the better keeping of the underlying point and purpose of divine commandments. By slovenly interpretation, Romans 6:14 can be taken as licence to live as you please, calling this 'grace'. What however does it say ? "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." Is the issue that there is no sin, whatever you do ? This is far from true. Shall we sin that grace may abound (Romans 6:1)! Or shall we actually directly transgress God's moral mandate, do evil that good may come in our sophisticated understanding of things, making a new god with a new mouth ?
Scarcely. Rather is it that being in the new grace-focus that is still the original one (Romans 4), there is greater and simpler access open to all, free for all, placarded before all (Galatians 3), so that with this grand assistance, the residual definable sin, which does not change in character, nor cease to what is against the moral and spiritual and practical will of God, has greater OPPORTUNITY FOR OVERTHROW! Romans 6:14 is telling us that the fulness of grace which is in Christ the better enables the realisation of the rule, way and wisdom of righteousness, of which God is the origin, basis and exponent (Psalm 89:14, I Timothy 1:5-11).
The law, says Paul, is still a specific to conflict with the lawless and the insubordinate, the ungodly and for sinners (that is, those in that chosen way of life and approved conduct), the unholy and profane, father murderers, sodomites, kidnappers, liars and those concerned in any other false doctrine!
Romans 6:15 thunders against such perversion of this amplification of means of upright living, as if it were a licence for lawlessness! as does Romans 3:8.Grace fortifies against sin, it does not fall before it. Christ did not leave the cross as challenged to do, till the last residues of rebellion were covered.
The rules do not change, EXCEPT where fulfilled in substance in Christ, so becoming inapplicable because of His performance! The program is establishment of the law, as Paul declares, not its breach, as Christ similarly stated: "Do not think I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil." How closely ? why to the least jot and tittle."
Men are often not at all like that. God is. It is one of His distinctives (Isaiah 44:24-28), and He is very emphatic about it.
This then we find of Romans 6:14. If a better weapon is now in use against the same enemy, does the enemy change because of your superior weapon, or rather the relative ease of victory! (cf. I Corinthians 15:55-58, Romans 8:56-57). We are remade in this illustrious illumination and practical culmination in Christ crucified, yes rather risen (Romans 8:34, Titus 3:4ff., John 3:1ff.), equipped with the manifest testimony both of history and the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9), so let their be no ambiguity about conforming to sin rather than to Christ! While Christ's perfect righteousness is both required and most adequate as a gift to our accounts for cover, yet it is not a dead righteousness, but one which is with Him in us, Him of whom Paul says "Christ in you, the hope of glory," Colossians 1:27.
While this does not mean anything like perfection (I John 1), it does mean protection and power, and a barrister in heaven, and a flow of functional goodness, so that we should be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner person (Ephesians 3:16, II Timothy 4:;17, Colossians 1:11). In the second of these, Paul's testimony when in prison together with II Timothy 1:8ff., gives in one capsule, the power of the Lord in all our vicissitudes, so that now being under law, but under grace means we are looking at sin NOT having dominion over you.
As a Christian, one becomes chartered territory, and occupied land, empowered by His presence who redeemed your life. HENCE sin will not have dominion over you, the overflowing grace, the now completed ransom for sin paid, there is a vast rebuff to its career to domineer. Does this, in Roman s 6:`14, means law is now defunct and sin being undefined is now a mere shadow, to be indulged without concern ? "Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace!" thunders Paul in 6:15. Certainly not! How could you escape sin if it were a subjective, self-definable something, a chameleon of shame and subjectivity! Rather you are to present your members of instruments of righteousness, that of God who alone makes sin to be sin, by His will, ways, principles and word. Neither He nor it changes, except that what was bud become bloom, preparatory become substantial, now blazes where symbols were formerly present (Hebrews 8).
Particularity remains (Matthew 5:17-20, Romans 3:31), and truth is not rocked; for rather does the Christian sit upon the Rock, which is Christ, who does not move. How did the word of God come, then, the testimony of salvation before Christ came ? It was as I Peter 1:10-12 tells us, through the prophets
"searching what, or what manner of time,
the Spirit of Christ who was in them
was indicating when He testified beforehand
the suffering of Christ and the glories that should follow."
Christ is the END of the law for righteousness (Romans 10:4) because there is none like His, and His is now attributed clearly as some saw (Psalm 32), not only without question, but without sacrificial continuities of animals and episodes, of rituals and perpetuities of endeavours. Sin shall not have dominion over you in Christ, because you are under grace, a sufficiency so total that with this new weapon, you have a protection both obvious and manifest, effectual and functional. If you slip, He does not. If you move, He does not. You are like David looking to your Rock and High Tower, you place in peace; and it is now so much more obvious and direct!
Hebrews 12 follows up the preceding Chapter in an account of successful and even praiseworthy faith warfare under duress, despite suffering wrought to honour God and stay the whole way with Him. It does so with the exhortation to look to Him, "author and finisher", originator and perfector of our faith, whose self-discipline in facing ALL was exemplary, moving us to run the race with endurance - NOT to call it by another name, and just call that grace! It is the fulfilled aspects of the law which are voided, not the Lord who gave it, for a thousand generations if need be!
THE DIRECTNESS OF THE GIFT OF CHRIST
This enables us to consider the deep point of Galatians 3:19-24 with 3:14. The law, says Paul,
"was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
Now a mediator does not mediate for one only but God is one.
Is the law then against the promises of God ?
Certainly not. For if there had been a law given which could have given life,
truly righteousness would have been by the law.
But the Scripture has confined all under sin
that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe."
The point here covers the issue in this way. God sent Christ - direct. He mediated between the Father and man, and there was no other Mediator (I Timothy 2). In the case of the law, it was between God and the people, so that there was this body of doctrine, contained in a manual, handed on by Moses as mediator. But God being one, this involves a kind of triangulation, a threesome. He is not two. Does this imply that the law was an intruder or usurper ? Not really? Thus it DID have an intervening function, not to intrude but to teach. It was a tutor. Shut up by its rigour, man could again appreciate the direction , this which comes in Christ by faith.
The law confined that in Christ man might the more manifestly be refined. Now direct in Christ Himself, arrayed in direct travail once for all, raised in robust resurrection of the body, available to all who receive and believe in Him, and not another christ or a combination (Galatians 1:6ff.), escorted by the word of God which defines His coming, works, salvation and intentions, grace greater than man and ready to remake him, man finds entry to the kingdom of heaven, built on the Rock, His word like a foundation (Matthew 7), His face a fulfilment (II Corinthians 4:4), His focus unerring and unchanging truth, an ample way and eternal life (Romans 6:14), itself a gift. From eternity, God has known, seeking all, finding many (II Timothy 1:8ff., Ephesians 1:4, Luke 15).
Here again we find this vast emphasis in the teaching of the apostle Paul, Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11), the law's curse once for all being borne by Him,
"that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus,
that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith," Galatians 3:13-14.
The embrace of Christ is far-reaching, all-pervasive in deliverance and salvation (Romans 8:32-39), in directness like a deposit, in vitality a wonderland, in fulfilment a marvel, so that not only is there no clash with the law, but the word of God rolls right on, except where it IS fulfilled.
THE DIRECTNESS OF THE REST IN CHRIST
Thus there is a most manifest rest in Christ, just as it was predicted in Isaiah 11:10. The Gentiles, we there learned, would seek Him and "His resting place shall be glorious." Thus Christ in Matthew 11 is seen calling the poor in spirit to come to Him and rest, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light: in Him, they would find rest for their souls, there being no heavy burden (Acts 15:10).
What then of the day of rest, the Sabbath, which signifies rest. It is vitally important (Isaiah 58:13-14), to have one day of sanctified focus on the Lord, where business and scurrying, troubles or considerations of practical application are not paramount, in which one does not do one's own pleasure. That is a creation mandate (Exodus 20), with a creation parallel as basis for it, in the work of the Lord Himself. It is a matter of looking back, in this case, not forward (as in the matter at hand in Colossians 2:16 - Majority Text), for the foundations of this rest.
Certainly the whole array of emblems of the future rest in their many manifestations are not to be used now that the actuality of that rest is found in Christ, the whole ritual and requirement being thus no more a matter for mutual watchfulness, as in the symbolic picking up of sticks, a fateful Sabbath exercise! But the underlying moral, creation, integumental, structural reality of the day of rest itself, a signet ring of the Old Covenant (Ezekiel 20:10-11), the imprint of our very creation, this is indispensable, unfulfilled, fulfillable when new bodies (II Corinthians 5), come, which is not yet. The nature of man's creation and the sequential matter of work and then rest, one in seven, this is not changed by spiritual rest! The array went but the rest was residual in a specialised and sequential way, unless you would undo the creation itself and find some new God!
Thus this rest day is a design attribute from God, based on Himself, who made us in His image, as Exodus 20 shows, so that we are in imitation, and thus in correlation with our Creator, in His initiation of the creation of all things. Thus in Hebrews 4 and Psalm 95, the divinely based DESIRE for rest for them, which foolish failure to enter Canaan left unfulfilled in their hearts (Numbers 14), was not a periodic thing at all, nor did it affect their seven day quietus; but it was was then as now, a direct and spiritual engulfment by grace, all surrounding, a quality of spirit. If they had entered, there in obedience and in fulfilment of the quest and commission, found rest in the Lord for their hearts, well! But they did not. Not for them this consummation then, the attainment of quest, the joyous reliance and peaceable procedure with God. THAT is the rest fulfilled in Christ. HE is our promised 'land', and into Him and His grace, we who are His, have indeed entered.
Thus it is the elemental rest in Christ, not an unfulfillable mode of structure, which is in view. Hebrews makes this so clear: there REMAINS a rest that Israel through disobedience lost: it is one still held out in Psalm 95, after so long a time, not a repetitive matter but an internal spiritual matter. It is not an issue, then, of works, but of relying on Him, who effectually did the works, at the level of spiritual foundation. That is the instructive contrast also found in Isaiah 41:27-42:6, and again applied in Isaiah 51:20-25, with 52:7 and 53. There Christ only and altogether is the resting ground. He does not however alter the character of man as made in the image of God, rather restoring this (Colossians 3:10).
In Isaiah once and again, we see that God worked, and no man had anything to offer to save, to counsel, to perform. It was His own Messiah who would do it al,l and at that level, on Him would hang all. Isaiah 22:21-25), puts this pictorially.
Design scheduling of a weekly day of rest in seven should therefore not be confused with salvation rest, from the turbulent waters of mere effort. In the Rock of life's rest, there is continual rest (cf. Isaiah 30:15). THAT rest was never episodic, but a matter of the heart, of faith such as Abraham had (Romans 4), in just anticipation of what was to come. It was a matter of that kind, right back to Abel. Failure to realise this and the sacrificial means of exhibiting it was Cain's wild beast, as God depicted it to him, lying in wait at his door (Genesis 4:7). Cain had only to follow the divine option, sacrificial blood of another, not productivity of his own, to gain acceptance. He did not and would not.
One had to avoid such distortions and disturbances, and find where rest and safety lay. It was not at all in one's own works or products. That beast laying at Cain's door, ready to mislead and to tear, this should have been thrust away from the door. It was not lusty thrust that was here required, but humble-hearted reliance on God to forgive for the sake of another, as forecast indeed in Genesis 3:15, before this episode. The same wolves continue to wait to tear, to devour, to distort as they tear, and kill as they invade (Acts 20:29, Matthew 7:15, II Peter 2:1ff.).
Here also, in periodic rest days, then, unfulfilled law continues, and a creation ordinance of design is not a law merely imposed, but inherent, not at all a shadow of things to come, but a statute concerning things past, residual, a living ordinance. Many are the functions of symbol, but in what we are made, it is not at all what is laid upon us extraneously, because of sin, but what is to demarcate us as created in the image of God, that is in view. It is nothing less than a testimony to creation, by God, and of our distinctive status in terms of our Creator. When Christ performed the greatest work of God in personal bearing of the guilt of man, even of all who believe (Romans 8:32), delivered up for them, and not merely offered to them, an offer for and to all, but rejected by many, then the six steps became seven, with the seventh far the greatest (Galatians 6:14).
Now the recognition is of the finest and final work, redemption by the law-giver, as bearing the work of the Law, in His own person, a direct rejection of the concept of hardness, in this. While it was hard to bear, HE bore it. There is quality not attainable by mere flirtation and fancy. Heaven is not found by sleazy waywardness or slippery slither. It is eternal, perfect in purity and only by the achievement of its own standards, is it to be entered.
But who has this for his record ? Only Christ. By whom then do we enter ? Only by Christ. To whom then do we attribute rest in redemption ? only in Christ, for a partnership would provide only ruin in inadequacy on the part of the one. Christ is all and in all, for His people, the sole way in, without exception or addition. But with whom do we strive as we walk in the way with Him ? Why, with Christ we work together ONCE IN, received (Ephesians 1:6) and accepted (Ephesians 13-14), sealed and sure, guaranteed heaven by grace by HIS means. So the register of spiritual rest moves, from the completed work of creation, to that of redemption, without which the entirety of man, made in the image of God, would have been as a wasted labour, swallowed up in sin to judgment. With joy and glorying in the FINISHER of our faith, we then worship on Sunday as did the apostles on the first and second Sundays, for the obvious reason that it was only in the presence of the resurrected Christ, all the work otherwise in vain, that they FOUND rest!
The Sunday day of triumphant rest, indeed is a thing of spiritual lustre. Thus it does not by any means exclude meeting in grace and mercy, unplanned features that come in one's way, urgencies or emergencies or kindness of heart, though this is not to disrupt it, but to show the character of the One on whom it depends. Such things are a matter of understanding and purity of heart, neither to abort the day nor to abort kindness. One is not to be judged in such things. Thus the mode of rest on the Lord's day, it is not to be made automatic and free from spiritual understanding, as Christ made so clear in His own ministrations on unplanned need suddenly thrust before Him. While the principal is inviolable, its application is spiritual in this, that it must cohere with a merciful spirit - though, of course, not a rebellious one!
REST AND REALISE
or WREST AND DESPISE
Making Evolving Gods and Revolving Morals
Re-Writing Morals and putting God's Name to it
Let us rest therefore by faith in Him who saves by grace, but realise IN this rest, the things given for direction. So it is necessary to avoid misconceptions concerning the delightful free donation of grace without works, gift of salvation through Christ's righteousness, as if this were to constitute a new and heady law, a freedom*2 to indulge in licence*3. It is by no means a lusty liberty to fulfil every urge or surge of culture or desire, far less to import these into the word of God in vast presumption, for that would surge in the evil to the level of infinity.
The basis of salvation is one thing; the way of life is another.
The one is entirely free, a gift from the Lord, who remains Lord, not from the air; the other is directive, directional and provides a quality to life in the Lord who speaks, who speaks always the truth (cf. Ephesians 6).
"Evolving" morals or moral definition as in the case of the political approach of President Obama*4, do not devolve on the unchanging word of the eternal God, who keeps His word to jot and tittle, but on the changing fluency of human personality, divorcing God from His word, God who never changes (Psalm 102, Matthew 24:35), source and resource both of our structures and strictures, His word, the word of designer and His way, the way of the Lord. Now this President finds acceptable same-sex marriage: what follows ? It is this. it seems not enough to legalise same-sex condominions and legislate allowances for the phenomenon in the land, but the de-volution must go further. Abuse of what God utterly condemns, as if a standard, must now take the tone of the long revered term 'marriage'. Why this new connotation for what the Bible deems divorce from truth ? (Romans 1:17-32).
It appears to assist the ditching of reality in favour of psychic preferences, the word and work of new gods, newly come up, as Moses put this kind of proclivity in ancient Israel (Deuteronomy 32:17). They invented what was not-God from what was not there, in order to give substance to air, a sort of spiritual nihilism, founded on nothing, and unfruitful in the face of truth, logic and reality!
That dismal development ? it came in Moses prediction when "Jeshurun grew fat and kicked"*4A.
Are all preferences then to be indulged, like that for jay-walking, driving on the other side of the plainly marked road, spoiling your physiological system with drugs, and your mind with selected ones ? Why ? Is reason to be rifled, revelation to be chastised, culture to be king, and culture to be whatever is wanted ? Is man to deny not himself, but any bounds, while still facing them ? and if so, who is to pay ?
Alas, it is this same man, this same race, this same irreverently, irrationally self-disposing man! those who follow these things, approve them, they are to pay. Forget taxes, this is life!
The tendency of such things to be become world-wide, in no way quashes this trespass, nor alters the tenor of a nation so keen that it once had alcoholic prohibition, and now so lax that it devises ways of disregarding one of the most obvious facts about the human body, the appointed manner so skilfully wrought, of continuing the race, and seeks the terminology that accepts for that which rebels, even to the point of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7), whose name does not sit comfortably in the Bible.
You see the divine rebuke to such kinds of confrontational blindness with the Lord, in Psalm 2, in Ezekiel 28:9, in Isaiah 2:22, Isaiah 29:14, and in the case of what is leaving its ostensible religion in the process, in the poignancies of Matthew 23:37ff., Jeremiah 2:13 and 18:14.
"My people have committed two evils," says the Lord,
"They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
and hewn themselves cisterns,
broken cisterns that can hold no water."
What they make instead is fragile, unworkable, temporary, awaiting emptiness that is complete. Again, He says,
"Will a man lave the snow water of Lebanon, which comes from the rock of the field ?
Will the cold flowing waters be forsaken for strange waters ?"
Take God from His word ? as well separate your brain from the skull, and try to work with it in thin air. Indeed, it is worse still; for this is palpable madness, but to dissect God is incomparable incomprehension (Matthew 13:15). His word is so close, it continues till all is fulfilled to the uttermost point. New evolved or convoluted, reorganised or rebuilt christs constitute, they and their creators (II Corinthians 10-11), in effect a collusion of man's mind (II Corinthians 10:12), with the devil (II Corinthians 11:13-15). How do they produce credentials for this re-creation of their Creator, new-talk for the divine speaker, their own propositions in lieu of what has been credentialed for millenia, new-speak supplanters, the ever prevailing word of God replaced with the word of the moment ? It is peddling for preaching, appeal in place of truth, reconfiguration of man in mind, applied as if imagination were all, to the physiologially protesting body, adrift from its design, and the body of the word of God!
We find then this: movements of men's minds. spiritual revisionism, casuistical false conclusions, drawn from aborted biblical principles, now here, now gone, will-o'-the-wisp spottings amid the induced gloom. These things and their kin are not to be confused with the unalterable word of God (II Cor. 10:11-12, 11:13-15). There is another gospel, and long has been, there is created by man in his provocative presumption, another Jesus and another spirit, declares the apostle Paul, and where there is one God, this is one of many impostures! It is one thing to sign a cheque that bounces in an account at least rightly identified, but wrongly used; it is far worse, to sign a cheque starting from Christian foundations pre-announced before an election, as with Barack Obama, and drawn on another account altogether, one that is not one's own. These are spiritual things, and that is a spiritual thing. Pre-election identification is a spiritual thing, and this is likewise. One can carry out a perspective in any position, if pre-announced; but to side with its destruction, when thus announced, is parallel to commanding it, when appearing to regard such an approach as of no consequence.
Is commitment then to be to a changeable Christ, an alterable law, a reworkable moral code, a commission for improving the Bible, a new gods authority! Heaven forbid.
Nor is there any ground for acting as if one is not-a-Christian because President, or Senator or Prince. Does elevation destroy the foundation! (I Corinthians 3:10-11, Matthew 7:24-27)! "DO ALL things," is the pervasive command, "in the name of the Lord Jesus," of the living Christ (Colossians 3:17). If people KNOW you are in that realm, then whenever it is in your hands, you will pursue these things and take all consequences, not to evacuate liberty for one's religion or its expression in moral principle as far as one is able in power, but to withhold liberty from oneself, dying daily to the cost, unwilling to embrace any principle contrary to Christ. It is HE who is grand on liberty, even to the point of letting Jerusalem, amid His own tears, ruin itself, ignoring its day of opportunity (Luke 19:42ff.). That was liberty, but for Jerusalem, it was not wisdom, even to the point of its destruction.
However, to follow, pursue, give propriety to whatever is contrary to His commandments when one's mouth has the place to speak otherwise, is not liberty in Christian terms, but sharp betrayal. Now Peter failed here; there is still time to repent; but in this or in any other official, following culture is incompatible with following Christ; and in politics there is opportunity to seize a path of vision, proclaim it in advance, and follow it with all one's personal power, not in abuse of privilege, but in pursuance of propriety (cf. Journey to God, or Fantasy's Flight to the Infernal, Ch. 7).
The issue is really quite simple in character, even if simply appalling, horrendous and pitiable for a false resolution, in its presumption. What does Paul say of such revisionism ? of those who practise it ? They are in this "measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves," and so "are not wise." Imagine measuring a bridge with a bird's leg as ruler, and neither knowing its length nor accepting any standard of length! It would be an exercise in pure futility. When, however, you use mental apparitions and apparatus founded on desire and approval by this or that segment of the population, you are out of touch with any standardisable or concrete measure at all, playing fairies with a reality which does not respond, accepting temporary power in what alas bids fair to become immeasurable mindlessness (cf. Romans 1:17ff.).
It is like mathematics, when you are trying to simplify some expression, by substituting a known equality that is simple, for one that is complex, this is fine. Yet when it becomes a matter of choosing one that is NOT equal, then you are making mere mirages in the mind.
What then ? Thoughts which revolve in men's changing minds (cf. SMR Ch. 4 Extension, SMR Ch. 3 compared with Ch. 5), as they build on sand (Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:24-27), instead of on the eternal foundation (I Corinthians 3:10-11), disturbed by every tide, have nothing whatever to do with the rock of the word of God. All things of advance beyond the specifications of the word of God for the living (cf. Acts 17:30-31), which provides for repentance from falling not revisionism to pursue the fall, to remain in its throes, are void (Mark 7:7-13), and make void the word of God. Indeed they are void as Christ is real*5.
As to all imaginary re-specification of basic types, such as those of gender, it is as vain an idea as nay ever-examined, systematically unverified in its base, and empirically falsified in its underlying pretensions (cf. Ch. 2 above), even if it these unfulfilled prognostications were relevant to this issue.
Sad is the plight of any nation, yet again, following Sodom and Gomorrah, or any other breach birth example, which puts the thing desired, to the test in contest with the word of God. It is daring to confront God. Its 'courage' however is mere assault on reality, including our design (cf. Deity and Design ..., esp. Section 8), irrational in base, unsustainable in realism, doomed before it is born. Pity the people who follow this travesty, in this, divesting themselves at the national level of any spiritual modesty in their flaming enterprises, making any popular preference that suits, law: whether it should come to be Australia, the USA or any other. Cry for such a people, for this is merely one more now very obvious declaration of war as indeed is to come (as in Revelation 19:19), on God.
Let us pause for two minutes silence for any such.
See Repent or Perish Ch. 7,
History, Review and Overview Ch. 5, Ch. 4, Ch. 3,
Earth Chasm, Conscience Chasm ... Ch. 1
Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Chs. 1, 2, 3,
and with this more broadly,
Dizzy Dashes and ... the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch. 6.
In Christ not Culture ... Ch. 9, the principles of the biblical model of liberty are shown, and it is unique. WE cannot create this, not being authors of spirit, with inherent capacity to share knowledge and its bases, and clash with and challenge the very operating principles in view. We cannot MAKE this, but this is an inherent ability we possess in terms of our Creator, without whom it could not exist, shown in detail for example in Not Only is God Great, but Glorious Ch. 1. For liberty man needs not only power of thought and perception, prioritisation but capacity to be different in nature from what he now is; and for this he needs have provided an access to a Being not susceptible to grasping deceit, but loving to give, and to enable man to transcend his own pathological limitations and delusions freely in truth, so being given power to will as he will.
On the love of God, see
for example The Glow of Predestinative Power
Ch. 4,and the many items in the
indexes. On His truth, see Christ not Culture
... Ch. 9, *2A, for example.
See this link concerning presented to senior officials in the South Australian Government, with this this coverage, and this about what was presented to .South Australian parliamentarians. Overall, see also TMR Ch. 8.
It is small wonder this volume is stated to have sold 750,000 copies. Not only was the Chinese prisoner-escapee in question, involved in events as reported and in much confirmed, on behalf of an interlocking body of unofficial, uncontrolled, dangerously placed house churches, but eventually amidst torture and fasting of over 70 days, as their representative, after further imprisonment in another country, came to Germany and now relates to what appears a missionary society of remarkable proportions, linked to Web work. He appears active in the founding or forwarding of churches in the USA. Translations of the book are not all: the body now at work following an emphatic vision concerning missions, has placed missionaries in a number of countries in what is regarded as a kind of soft-underbelly in missionary work, including nations like Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan and Vietnam, moving along a line to Jerusalem.
Such movements arise, some expand and continue; and it is to be hoped it may escape the waiting clutches of the many who like waiting wolves (Acts 20:27-29), which lurk to seek to tear down every good thing, and to saliva over much.
It may be seen at
As to the two covenants, the Old and the New, the focus on grace in the New does nothing to alter the systematics of salvation, so that one is in either case serving the living God, who changes not at all (Psalm 102, Malachi 3:6, Matthew 24:35), with the same principles, nature and priorities.
One result of this is the fact that one is a pilgrim and a stranger in this world, waiting on God as Abraham did (cf. I Peter 2:11), he the friend of God.If the path does not wander over nations, as his did, yet it is still one of pilgrimage for the Christian. One may indeed suffer; and in fact, if one does not suffer for the Lord, there is cause for concern about one's viability! (II Timothy 3:12)! While the people of the living God are always saved by grace (Romans 4), it is multiple. There was grace to place the earth, us on it, to have concern for us, to make provision for us, to take action on sin other than the bin, and of course, to redeem amid the provision of an intensive peace. Indeed, this feature of life in the Lord is rather like a positive parallel in contrast, to the intensive worry which disquiets so many who refuse to know God.
In this New Covenant period, one may suffer as did the prophets: as they did, so do His people. Once it was from evil minded nations, or even from misused authority in Israel, in the case of some of the kings; but it is not only from such sources that suffering comes, but as with Stephen, from a popular misconception concerning Christ amid people who are swayed by ignorance mingled with wilfulness. It leads to vast numbers of Christians dying in this generation, whether in Egypt, India, China, the Middle East, Africa, and being exploited. It comes from Church leaders right now in our own time, in the last century greatly, as one can attest well enough (cf. A Time to Praise God Ch. 4).
The fashion and the form changes; God and the reality, it does not change. Church leaders persecuted Jeremiah, killed Christ - that is the Old Testament people in authority at that time (cf. Acts 3:13-19, 7:38), and the Lord has made it clear that those who follow Him, be they Jew or Gentile, will also suffer (cf. John 16:1ff.).
This indeed is pictorially shown in Revelation 12:1,-3,13-17, where Israel with its 12 tribes having become the deposit site for the incarnation of God in Christ, and the devil having been a failure in trying to kill Christ as a vulnerable infant, that spiritual adversary pursues the people of God*. It is shown as a great flood, even flowing after those whose ambit is in the keeping of the commandments of God, and not another (for He is still the same unchanged Lord!); but the earth swallows it up. That is, great as will be the assaults on the Church of the living God, in Jesus Christ, Son, sovereign and Saviour, they will not prove fatal, and astonishingly in view of the vehemence of the hostility, His people will continue to serve Him as Lord, God Saviour and Sender (Matthew 28:18-20), short neither in divinely donated authority, nor in power.
These, His Christian people, neither endorsed by nor endorsing false prophets who arise as foretold (Matthew 24:24), are a spiritual contingent, on assignment, seeking heartily to follow the prevailing orders of God. Such is the picture in the book of Revelation at Ch. 12. The commandments still matter, are to be followed, and bring out zeal ? Yes, it is precisely this fact which is one way of seeing who they are (not those who SAY, but who seek to keep what HE says, because of salvation which has opened their eyes).
Freedom they love (II Corinthians 3:17); indulgence they hate (Romans 8:1-17).
As it was, so it is, but now not only in a national field intensively, but internationally, the heat of desire brings out vehemence against the authority of God, and with defiant irreverence asserts rights, if you will, not mere permission, to defy His commands, even to this point, and to thrust away Him who made it as it is.
Old or New Covenant, in this it is one. Thus Paul says (following Hebrews 11 concerning the things before, and I Corinthians 15:30-34 concerning the present), has this to say::
"the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly,
but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption
into the glorious liberty of the children of God that,
for we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now.
Not only that, but we also who have the first-fruits of the Spirit,
even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
eagerly willing for the adoption, the redemption of our body," Romans 8:20-23
This is far removed from self-indulgence, just as it is from remaking for comfort, the commandments of Christ and seizing the gates of heaven, as if in order to make a fresh assault (as in Revelation 12)!
Not only so, this is precisely specified in a program indicating by prediction the way that man will follow, found in Romans 1:17ff.. In this, it
1) starts with reckless rejection of
the reality of the Creator,
2) proceeds in lusty spiritual
expands into sexual perversion, uncleanness
4) with this, culminates in such a
set of personal twists and kinks, "evil-mindedness", that
5) grows to the point of their
6) culminates before judgment, in
This is what was to be, has been demarcated in advance, and now grows like rust-ruined grain, to its conclusion, so long predicted and so grievous to behold, as indeed, was the destruction of Jerusalem seen by Christ, in His own day, when not reception but rejection was the prelude.
God does not cough, He speaks; and when it is done, it is finished (Genesis 1-2, Hebrews 4:3, 9-10), whether it be the creation or the redemption (cf. Hebrews 9:12, 10:10-14, Colossians 1:19ff.). Thus, when His work in man was defiled, He redeemed, culminating in one efficacious act (Galatians 3:12-14, Hebrews 9:12,24-28), to be followed only by application to salvation, or to judgment. He did it; HE has not finished but His work is; and the second time He comes, not to fiddle, to make new plans, but "as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, , so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many." As to the judgment, it is as in Hebrews 2:1-4, 10:29ff., 12:25-28).
The resurrection authenticated not only the Messiah (Romans 1:4, Luke 24), as was done in almost uncountable ways before, but no less the completeness of His saving work, now available from heaven (Galatians 1, 3, 5, Acts 3:19ff.),where He is till His return, as the apostle stated. What He provided was a work of restoration (Colossians 3:10), not innovation, making not supermen, but spiritual persons (I John 3:1ff., II Peter 3:1-13), restored after the image of Him who created them. Thus, symbols were supplanted where fulfilled, like shadows replaced by the substance causing them. That 'substance', it is not divergent, but convergent, expressing these very things foreshadowed, like a motion in a committee, now in reality itself, direct and unveiled, delightful as found, dire as disregarded.
Re the Obama announcement of his position on same-sex marriage, it is well to have something from his nation.
Thus in the US paper, TimesRecord News, posted May 14, 2012, we have the following which, though it is somewhat crisp, has the advantage of tracing the variations in the attitude reported of Obama, on this crucial topic; for it is not a matter of being adverse to the Bible on a contentious issue for the nation, but compounding this with the current provisions for same-sex coupling. Moreover, biblically, such things, including unrepented adultery, lead to such collision with the word of God, as to constitute an exclusion zone from the kingdom of heaven (I Corinthians 5:10-11, 6:9-10). It is not just some one thing, it is part of a whole series of counter-creation, counter-biblical revolts that figure in this manner.
So, President Barack Obama has finally endorsed same-sex marriage, a position he held in 1996 and later reversed for his campaigns for U.S. Senate and the White House.
By 2010 his position was, he said, "evolving," and it continued evolving as late as Monday if his beleaguered and bobbing and weaving press secretary, Jay Carney, can be believed.
By Wednesday afternoon he was on network television to say, "For me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
There. He said it. And the political sky didn't fall — just as it didn't two years ago when "don't ask, don't tell" was repealed — because most Americans, particularly younger ones, have moved on.
Obama's acceptance of the inevitable was hardly a profile in courage. He was pretty much forced into it by Vice President Joe Biden, who endorsed it on Sunday, earning a mild rebuke from the president that his veep had "got a little out over his skis," and by his Education secretary, Arne Duncan, on Monday.
Obama had to act and it was better he act now than let it drag on into the campaign, where his reticence would have offended his own supporters. Republican social conservatives aren't going to vote for him no matter what he does.
Obama has been called timid, cowardly, vacillating and evasive on the issue — and those are people on his side. He had been "evolving" on the issue so long that columnist Ruth Marcus observed, "even Darwin would have lost patience by now."
On the patience of Darwin, ironically invoked, it is expedient to dwell for a moment.
On Darwin, see indexes under naturalism, evolution, Darwin, and in particular, on Darwinism's death, see Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 4, Ch. 1 above, and Wake Up World! ... Ch. 6.
His patience was systematic on the topic of a falsified theory which was anti-verified, even then (cf. Gould, Wonderful Life, p. 258, 271-2, 357). It is indeed interesting to hear from his pen this statement concerning, for once, actuality at this level (op. cit. p. 257):
After long reflection, "I cannot avoid the conviction that no innate tendency to progressive development exists." Hypotheses need to embrace what is found, not intuit what is not.
In SMR, p. 200, relevant points on patience as substitute for evidence:
First, notice that these are observational areas, traditionally and properly a domain for science and scientific method, applied with the appropriate restraints and constraints. To these areas, add the force of Professor Thompson's note on the relevant observational facts of palaeontology (p. 199 infra), to the point that:
"If we found in the geological strata a series of fossils showing a gradual transition from simple to complex forms, and could be sure that they correspond in a true time-sequence" ...
well: but -
"This is certainly what Darwin would have liked to report but of course he was unable to do so. What the available data indicated was a remarkable absence of the many intermediate forms required by the theory... The position is not notably different today." (Cf. S.J. Gould, 234-235 infra.)
The abrupt and sophisticated contrivances of cells, of language, of arrivals without notice in the macro-level, likewise find fitting company in the similar observational fact of mutations. Of these, we find (p. 202 infra) Pierre-Paul Grassé, past-President of the French Academy of Sciences, states: ''No matter how numerous they be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution'' (cited from Evolution in Living Organisms, p. 88).
In the same work cited (p. 202 infra, his page l03), he declares that gradualism demands that 'miracles become the rule'; and that of course, is precisely what creation constitutes, if miracle be defined as the explicit work of the supernatural; and this, as has been demonstrated in Ch.l (supra) is comprised by one God, and His agents.
One is tempted to replace 'numerous' in the quotation, with 'humorous': either way, the observational fact, relative to schematic, design-complexity-upgrade in mutations, the relevant fact, is negative like all the rest have observed. The fallen imagination - the model of magical, mutational, metamorphosis - is dead.
Thus we have the cells, the languages (of them and of ourselves), the arrivals palaeontological and cybernetic, the means of arrival in chorus, saying, No! to the desire for the non-predictive theory of organic evolution, in its varied implicatory supports. It is de-confirmed with the rigour of a government which cannot attain a vote of confidence from its members; friends desert it and only fever remains.
Spiritually as observationally, that fever is not mere neutral withholding of support, but rank rebellion in the arena of observation and logical method.
From SMR p. 212, we have this further relevant debunking of this indefatigably foolish method, apparent as such from the first, sustained by wishful thinking, not evidence.
One cannot change a huge undertaking in bits, without the architectural totality being wrought, the components created or re-worked for co-ordinatable compositions in the new parameters, and so on. Not by mere wishing or mental formulation of 'development' does the simple design ... arise into a complex and compound one. Vague references to similarities or relationships are not engineering, but more novelist work.
The various forms of smuggling God into nature, such as "selfish" genes, nature "striving" for this or that, as frequently seen in evolutionary science fiction literature ... not so named however: these would appear well illustrated here.
As the eminent Professor W.R. Thompson put it (Introduction to Everyman edition of Darwin's The Origin of Species ):
This general tendency to eliminate, by means of unverifiable speculations, the limits of the categories Nature presents to us, is the inheritance of biology from The Origin of Species. To establish the continuity required by theory, historical arguments are invoked, even though historical evidence is lacking. Thus are engendered those fragile towers of hypotheses on hypotheses, where fact and fiction intermingle in inextricable confusion. That these constructions correspond to natural appetite, there can be no doubt. It is certain also that Darwin established what may be called the classical method of satisfying this appetite. We are beginning to realise now that the method is unsound and the satisfaction illusory.
Darwin himself, when factually bent, instead of pursuing derring-do hypothesis without the discipline of fact, in his type of hypothetical enterprise, said this (The Origin of Species, 1859, Ch. 11, 'On the imperfection of the geologic record':
'... intermediate links ? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic change, and this is perhaps the most obvious and serious object which can be urged against the theory ..., ' that of evolution.
In this case, it is abortive of truth, flowering illegitimately in an anti-verification situation, never remedied, only transfigured in the more recent works on micro-biology (cf. Ch. 1 above, The Lie Has a Limited Shelf-Life, Ch. 1). Gould is especially scathing (cf. Ch. 2 above). It has always been a matter of propelling rockets (once you assume them), and the removal of failed constructs to the rubbish, not incidentally to be found, has never actually been even relevant to the achievement of one that works. This takes more than a littler bin for litter, like everything more.
In fact, the idea of improvement through failure presupposes intelligence to take the point and apply it through the input dynamic into the consideration process, and the pan-provision department of integration and purpose. Then, assuming you had anything to start with, such as yourself, already there,and a system to play with, such as the universe, already there, you might get somewhere. If it were a limited intelligence, you would expect plenty of failed efforts, in great supply as knotty problems were solved, like waste from a novelist's office, where many a manuscript needs to be re-written and scraps adorn the floor or the bin. These not existing, in the case of this our universe in the field of life, we need to go to the only remaining source, unlimited intelligence, that is one not bounded by a divorce between desire and power. As shown in SMR, TMR, Deity and Design etc., this is the demonstrable case, and this current point is merely one of virtually unlimited verifications.
Recall this Chapter's heading.
MORALS: TODAY, YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW
LAW THROUGH MOSES GRACE THROUGH CHRIST
A Presidential Option
TimesRecord News, May 14, 2012.
Consider Israel, one
amongst many, but initially mightily used,
and neither gloat nor float,
but keep to facts, so seeing all in the one godly perspective.
God will preserve His
undertakings with them as with all
(cf. Galloping Events Ch. 4, SMR Appendix A),
including the coming configurations on earth
as promised (Micah 7, Isaiah 2, Zechariah 12:6ff., Isaiah 59:20-21),
and His possession of Jerusalem in abasement
of all who seek to direct Him otherwise.
Here He died, here His
and His Gospel having been preached for millenia,
here at length with His people He returns,
Himself the centre of pardon, the Prince of Peace.
Here comes Jesus the Messiah (Isaiah 9;1-7):
for He is faithful who does what He says (Joel 2:11),
"who executes His word,"
and His people become a vast and unified spiritual array
(Revelation 7, Galatians 3:23ff., Romans 11:25ff.),
drawn from two sources.
He refuses to any and to all to add anything to His word,
or to subtract at all from His revelation
(Revelation 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4 and 12),
validated to the uttermost (Matthew 5:17ff., Isaiah 34:16-17),
till all is fulfilled:
metaphors in their meaning, imagery in its portent,
details in their referents,
and all in its substance! (Hebrews 2,8-10).
And so the ultimates follow,
the preludes swallowed up in the culmination,
even to a new heavens and a new earth
in which righteousness dwells - brand new (II Peter 3),
tests past, filled with His ineffable loveliness, even now still
blatantly obvious, fragrantly appealing,
despite the curse, and this will be
a culmination at the last (Revelation 20-22).
He remains, as does His
word, His work and His salvation.
He does not change (James 1:17), nor do His ways (Habakkuk 3:6, Psalm 102:26-27).
Morals past all ceremony, do not change
(Matthew 5:17ff., I Timothy 1:5-11).
Thank God for His many works, not least from the first,
laws of right and wrong. If you are a Christian,
you are saved by grace, without works, but faith works,
(Ephesians 2, Romans 3:23ff., Galatians 3:5-8),
and it abides in the word of God
(Proverbs 30:6, Matthew 5:17ff., John 14:21ff.,Galatians 1:6-9).
Thank God therefore for the changeless
our gap from it, paid for when by faith Christ is taken;
but we do not seek wilfully to increase that gap,
but in delight, rejoice in the
morality, spirituality, godliness
and word of God, in all its unchanging clarity and sanctity.
Israel, the nation, was used to provide the first covenant,
and indeed the Christ in His incarnation (Romans 9:4ff.),
and it is far from being the only one to fail to find
in Him and in His words, all that He has provided
(Romans 10:1ff., Romans 6:23, Matthew 24:22, Luke 21:24, Romans 11:25-36).
Past all presidents is the resident
reality of the truth and ways of God,
spoken in the Bible, enacted in Christ,
bound by His word and applicable to one and to all.
Never forget that OUR only ultimate
President came via Israel,
as did His law, and though many suffer, it is not in vain;
for Christ did not come to abrogate but to fulfil (Matthew 5:17ff.),
and in Him only and always, unchangeable,
filled with grace and truth, there is rest, in Him only, for one and for all.
Many have fallen, and which nation now has not done so! But Christ remains.
Cf. SMR Ch. 6, Chs. 8 - 9, Christ the Wisdom of God ... Ch. 8, Repent or Perish Ch. 2, 7.