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The Strange Symptoms
The Advertiser, Nov. 28, 2014
"Boy recruits kicked, beaten in brutal Islamic State video"
Why does the crowd tend to roar and feel exalted, thrilled, moved profoundly when someone is now moving to the last of some race, skiing, swimming, running, and moving with a certain thrusting judiciousness, as if guided and gripped, to the world record, the new one ? Why so exalts them ? moves in their midst like a typhoon of energy ? Why is it so crowd-covering ?
Many and varied may be the reasons, but one is this. They sense that mankind in the person of one of us, is improving, leaping, arising with will and purpose, courage and confidence towards a new level, a height, making a type of progress that many find dignifying to our often stricken race, elevating to the often baulked mind and all but liberating to the aspirant spirit.
The victory is often narrow, quite narrow; but if as with the 800m of Australian swimmer Perkins, on one occasion, it is by a good margin, the furore may rise even further.
Man tends to want to find glory, and some even react that way in war, especially as in the case of the Hitler one, when the adversary seems almost to represent a classic adversarial force for man.
Even in games like soccer, the singing as the hope rises, the sheer thrust of it can sound very like a massive choir engaged in the sound of hymns in a large cathedral.
It is evident that, some more, some less, many people treat such events as near as they get on the theme of religion. Here is man, seeming to many but small shadow, a thing of little substance, but hope, a lean thing yet here more robustly stated. Here may arise a sense of a goal for man, inadequately articulated, but given new form and representation.
Such feeling are neither warranted nor wise; but for lack of divine worship, they can become a virtual substitute for a sense of glory, however temporary and however exaggerated.
THE SURE PLACE
Where God is not glorified, it is but natural for man to be, for what beyond the vision of the visible work of God is beyond him! Alas, he is ofen beyond himself, confusing what neither he nor nature can do, with what only non-nature and the non-natural, the supernatural is able to perform. Hence information is NOT found gathering itself without intelligence, and yet it is present in such lavish arrangements, so subtle, so vast, so intellectually demanding in kind and capacity, through command as in the DNA, that what is sufficient for such a work at such a level is a necessary component of logic, normally called God. And so it is with the entropy of the human genome, researched by Dr J.C. Sanford of Cornell. This, our generation order of command that makes babies become not a group of cells but humans, does not escape the basic scientific law, the Second Law of Thermo dynamics.
So it is made by powers not current doing this, and declines by laws biblically stated (cf. Isaiah 51:6), and only something from nothing remains, just called the 'nature myth', whatever be its form or sleight of mind, in disguising this fact.
There is a divine glory, and the urge to confess it and live with it consciously is great, so that you have the sport or business or war glories so often little more than hype, and sometimes atrocious distortions of what is horrible, which some then worship, in spirit if not in knee, making of their misled minds an altar for soccer hymns or political exaltation.
For the Christian, such attainments in our race, in some cases may have a place, but not with the same intensity. After all, such a person knows where glory is to be found, and it is not in the legs (arms, whatever) of man. Rejoicing at courage ? yes, at perseverance ? yes, at attainment under pressure at the personal level, certainly. But there is no glory in it as such. That belongs to God who made man. The ultimate height preceded the making of the thing that proceeds at times in some ways towards it. IT is there for nothing less than actual worship at all times. Nothing else ever really gets near it, though many things may bring rejoicing.
Thus there is no glory in who wins a war, unless EVIL is dashed and the glory of God is revealed! It is NOT about success, but about right and wrong, truth and pretence, good and evil. There is much less than NO glory in winning a war of beheading, training young kids of 6, 7, 8, 9, with kicks and violence*1 to form a Cubs for some Islamic state of man's making, or of mind. The END NEVER justifies the means. Christ did not use power to overthrow an evil judge, since the good of Israel was at stake. He took it, becoming a sacrifice for sin in the process, as predicted in Isaiah and others. God is not short of power. It is NEVER necessary to transgress to please Him! It is better to trust than to transgress!
When the God of glory sent Christ to perform the greatest trial of all time with the noblest intention of all time and the most minimal means of all time, at His own personal level, being subject to murder as incarnate, there was glory in THAT contest with fallen man, the feller, the devil, the world which prides itself on its own knowledgeability and the weakness of flesh, which cries out loudly when harassed to death. Dressed in humility, empowered to offer Himself as a sacrifice which would sack death by granting atonement and giving testimony of what was to come in Himself, Christ showed a glory broader than the contentious self-elevations of the whole scope of evil, more power and above all, a love which displaces for ever, the manufactured malice of molesting man, who stops at nothing, but who awaits judgment for all (Acts 17:30ff.).
But why bypass the glory of the Creator ? the Redeemer ?
THE AGE-OLD TESTIMONY
Consider from the Bible, the basis, effulgence and access by man to the presence of the glory of God.
II Corinthians 3:18 gives us the inspiring uplift of the divine glory, bringing man into more of its beauty in holiness from its marvellous source, when he has found the way to his spiritual home in Jesus Christ.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
II Timothy 4:18 shows that even under menace of murder and abasement, threats and misnamed human majesty, the Christian continues to know the place of divine glory and that there is nothing even to compete with it, nor any other target, place of refuge or delight.
And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Jude 24 has this. There is only one wise God, whose ways are not only contrary to those of this world, but often flatly contradictory: if you follow the one, you CANNOT follow the other (as in James 4:4), for that would be as if to that an answer to a maths problem was both one and infinity. With this ONE GOD there is both glory and majesty, and it is fitting to know and show this.
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty,
dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
I Chronicles 16:24-36 represents a time of vast triumph in overcoming religious rorts in the time of King David, and as at last, when the great religious emblem was brought in to its home, David declared this.
Declare His glory among the heathen; His marvellous works among all nations. For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: He also is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.
Give unto the LORD, you kindreds of the people,
give to the LORD glory and strength.
Give to the LORD the glory due to his name.
Bring an offering, and come before him:
worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Fear before him, all the earth:
the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigns.
Let the sea roar, and its fulness:
let the fields rejoice, and all that is in them.
Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because He comes to judge the earth.
O give thanks to the LORD; for He is good; for His mercy endures for ever.
And say, Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen,
that we may give thanks to Your holy name, and glory in your praise.
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever.
And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.
Israel (Isaiah 43:21) was chosen, if not always reliable channel, for the prophets and power to be shown as it waited on the Lord (and often NOT if it did NOT! as false prophets replaced the true); and they spoke of the truth. There is no other God, whether or not THEY at any given time as a nation are following Him, or joining with others in the giving of glory where it is NOT due.
How they were hated when they gave to God the fidelity and testimony that they should, and how they were at last abased (for God does not respect mere pretence, but actuality when it is right in His sight) through massive infidelity, murdering their King as a nation; and how He then delivered them, even showing mercy when they did not deserve it, if by any means, like a beautiful stream, they might flow aright! You see this in the lament when the opposite occurred in Isaiah 48:15ff., one of the most poignant passages in the Bible.
Yet as in Micah 5:1-4, when they killed the Messiah as predicted (Isaiah 49:7 and 53:1-12), and so unwittingly as a nation brought about His sacrificial act for sin, as in love divinely planned, with the results truly glorious (Isaiah 54-55, 61), they had to wait till the Spirit of God summoned them again, just as Romans 11 makes so clear. It was a long while, and its coming is not yet, only the land segment of the promise as yet fulfilled; but then THAT promise is very obvious in fulfilment and His protection of it no less so. It is amazing, humanly, that to the war-stricken people their land ever came back at all, and then, that it continued despite the alleged opposition of Allah, vast, spread out nations with many millions and much money, and often, intensive, not to say intensive hatred of Israel.
It is only WHEN that time comes that the NATION returns spiritually to the Lord as in Zechariah 12, the prophet foretelling this event about half a millenium before the Messiah was killed, and relating to their siritual return, some two more millenia after that! This geographical restoration, as in Ezekiel 36-37, was to occur as prelude to the coming rule of the Messiah, unstopped by being stricken (37:24-28). God is like that. In between was the spiritual work of God leading to their repentance and pardon.
This return, in particular to Jerusalem (Luke 21:24) is the warning signal of their coming conversion and of the Lord's dealing with their oppressors as in Micah 7, Isaiah 66, Deuteronomy 32 and Isaiah 51. Romans 11 deals with their coming restoration as a nation to the tree of faith.
That makes 2500 years of foretelling, preceding the crucifixion and depicting their later repentance for it. God is not a step ahead; He is a march ahead, and that is part of His glory.
So we now in our present time, in terms of the name of a false prophet as foretold as a plentiful type by Christ (Matthew 24:24),we have religious beheadings with efforts to make murder minatory, horror compelling and small forces of those who know not God, to engulf those who are themselves very often, as far from Him as could be imagined. So the one set of sinners is used to rebuke the other set, and each has a time to reflect on its vanity, and to seek Him where He MAY be found, as in Isaiah 55 and Matthew 11:27ff..
WHEN the glory is not given where it is due, but where some hoodwink others, or bait them, or try to FORCE people to fight till a particular false god alone is worshipped, and he is not the biblical god, then it is a case of giving glory where it is NOT due, of idols and of religious adventures. God is to be praised for making us deliciously free in spirit to worship or hate Him, even to worship what has no rational grounds to present, that he might be worshipped. be it personal or impersonal, or whatever other figment man chooses to have and to hold in mind.
SINGULARITY OF GOD
What then ? In sum, God is not to be found in nothing, or any of its ensemble made up by man, as the genesis, for it has nothing to give. He IS to be found when as SOMEONE He is seen to be eternal and by nature always there, so that all needed for the universe precedes its display and is the ground, reason and occasion for it. In observable accord with this, the creation long ago having stopped, and no more to be observed, though its information remains! we are surrounded by a majestic testimony. He is not to be merely imagined, though His power and divine nature are obvious (cf. Romans 1:17ff.). He is to be worshipped. But if you decline to do that, then as in Romans 1, you move to whatever folly is apt for you, treating 6-9 year olds as disciplinable mini-soldiers, or even fighters in some form, beheading, making insurgencies to take over world power, and the like; but it is all vain.
Love is basic to man and power is a means. Use the means without the basis and you are rather like someone building a car, without chassis or design, and wanting it to go though it has no wheels or petrol or workable engine. It is a mockery and a folly.
Man is very good at making gods and very bad at leaving his Maker, so that this merely adds insult to error. God however is not to be intimidated, and having given to Israel a charge and mission, as He foretold (as in Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 30-33, Jeremiah 30,33, Micah 5-7), He did two things He also foretold. First, on their sacrifice of the Messiah through the messy manner of murder, He allowed their dispersion as foretold and in particular in Micah 5. Then He brought the sacrifice for sin of the Messiah, occurring at the date foretold (as in The Christian Prescription Ch. 2), and for the reason foretold (as in Isaiah 50-55) direct to the Gentiles as in Romans 11, while Israel THE NATION suffered outage.
Next, as in my own lifetime, in the power of this ever blessed God to whom alone glory is due, since it belongs to Him and always has, He Himself has brought back Israel as foretold in Micah 5-7, Jeremiah 30,33, Ezekiel 36-39.
Many try to ignore this, just as they tried to ignore the God of creation and to make up what the Bible calls the 'god of forces', a substitute who glories in gore and war and overcoming and submission in one way, supernatural, or another, natural. But the scriptures speak so clearly and definitively that it is simply logically inadmissible to try to turn context after context on its head to make void His return of Israel to its place in His service, as in Romans 11, and to its land as in Ezekiel, Micah, Deuteronomy, Jeremiah, Zechariah and the rest, as shown on this site so very often (cf. ISRAEL). Indeed, you can attempt by twisting to void His definition of the first received, then revolting, then dispersed, then restored Israel to its land as in Ezekiel 38-39, as much as you please. You cannot undo the fact that He has done it.
That is the perennial trouble with fraud and falsity: evidence does not move, however much false testimony does! What is attested in the Bible to occur - with reasons given - in the laboratory of history, happens, and it cannot be undone. Indeed it is as in Isaiah 14:27. God does it, and who can undo it!
There is only one God, and to Him glory belongs, and only one Israel, the first infinitely glorious, and the second though often used wonderfully, yet still AS A NATION sunk in shame UNTIL (as in Isaiah 31:15ff. and Zechariah 12), the Lord sees fit to pour out His Spirit on them as foretold. It is then that this leads to their specific conversion to the crucified Messiah, and His defence of them (as in Zechariah following this, in Micah, Deuteronomy, Isaiah 66 and all the rest), leaving the contestants as in Micah and Ezekiel especially, but also Isaiah, in the dust of humiliation. That too will come in its time, to which the developing hatred of Israel, sitting amid the oil, and the endless efforts of the UN and other unfair bodies, set futile opposition.
He makes it so very clear that one result of His actions at this level, in the final stages of our Age, will be that the nations other than Israel (which has paid amazingly for its follies of old), will LEARN that God removed Israel for a reason that related to them and Himself, and that He brought them back because this would then be covered, and because when He says a thing, He means it, and what He means, He does.
When you are dealing with God, there is no reneging, one way or the other, from blessing or cursing. If you ask for the one, it may become readily available. Israel, contributing marvellously in science and indeed in the early apostolate of the Christian Church, yet as a NATION is facing the necessity of repentance. The world awaits the results when God acts for them, just as He did in the Exodus (Micah 7:15ff. confirming this comparison). That to which God commits Himself, whether it be man or woman or child or nation, He will transcribe into action. He does not speak in vain (cf. Matthew 5:17-20).
It is therefore well that it is made simple so that a little child can follow it in outline.Such is the divinely founded and formulated Gospel of grace (as in Romans 5, 8, Galatians 1 and the epistles, and as in John 4, 6, 8, 10, 14 in particular, cf. SMR pp. 520ff.); and many do, as young as three years old. It is better yet that He is so approachable if only you use the MEANS PROVIDED, the stricken Messiah, dying for sin, rising for the gift of resurrection, bringing death into abeyance. He is not only easy to approach, if repentance and faith work in you, but desires you to come. What could be better!
All this, it is part of His glory, which is due to be shown Him as we glorify Him. There is no other and nothing else but this triune God (as in Isaiah 48:15ff, II Cor. 13:14 cf. SMR pp. 532ff.) available in the precincts of glory and truth. As in Revelation 5, there is the summit, the everlasting ground, the energising wonder, the wise and only God, who speaks the end and the means, the objectives and constitutes the glory. It is when HE is honoured and glorified and understood (Jeremiah 9:17), that man gains peace, and until he ceases his contests, as predicted, the time comes with wars immeasurable, continual and horrors unspeakable till the climax, so heralded, arrives. It happens not only often in sport, but in history. It will be and is rapidly becoming so bad, this temptestuous contesting time in man's vast downfalls, that if Christ did NOT return, human life could not continue. Things are moving swiftly, in a sort of macabre, almost hypnotised manner, as if little victories atoned for massive slaughter, and evil motives bestrewing the earth with blood.
For some, it will be death, spiritual death, and for others life, eternal life, and many of the latter, now in heaven, will have had it for centuries already, awaiting the general resurrection. What then ? The times immediately before the resolutions of judgment, at the hand of God, are like a crisis in a physiological battle for time. It ends in staggering recovery or death. In this case, their are two distinct outcomes and millions of patients.
Here the judicial result of negative judgment can be pre-empted for a person, through faith in the ransom of Christ, and in His glory as the only begotten Son of the Father, trust in Him and repentance. The other option is to follow the predilections of the mind and with the arrogance of man, face mercy foregone. It is great that there can be a recovery before the world crisis reaches its height, for any individual. It is in an analogy, like going home to England during the battles on the continent, that your wounds be dressed and you regain health.
Here, however, in merciful store, there is eternal health! in the presence of eternal life.
It is great to find the glory surpassingly glorious, in love (I Cor. 13), in power (Psalm 2, Revelation 19), in grace (John 1), in compassion as when Christ CONSIDERED the needs of the rapt 5000 following Him, and fed them, and healed so many repeatedly, pursuing their peace even to the end. It was so in patience as illustrated in the parable of Matthew 21:33ff., in gentleness and wisdom as in John 8 and Luke 7:36-50, and in in His being completely indomitable by schemers and verbal assassins (as so often - for example in Matthew 22:14-26). It is wonderful that the God of wonders is available, has made Himself reachable (you do not need a space vessel), and is ready to pardon (Isaiah 55, Micah 7:15ff., Psalm 51, 103).
His mercy is marvellous and His composure not distant, but delectable; for He never loses His temper, and though He disciplines His children (Hebrews 12), yet He loves them (as in Hebrews 12 and Jeremiah 31:21-26).
He ? He is glorious, so let us give Him the glory that is due to His name.
The Advertiser, November 28, 2014 has photo and script regarding these depraved misuses of children, the brutality in keeping with its other effluvia from debased minds. The aim is shameless, part of the shambles that grips this world as now this group (say Hitler), now that (say Stalin, used for a time to get rid of Hitler, but no better!), intimates its desire to rule the place. Rule ? They are themselves all so unruly and unrighteous, amoral and deluded with unverified visions of this and that, that rule BY them would be a hideous disaster, whichever one it should be that broke free to do it.
In the end, one group will do so, as in Revelation 13, possibly getting entry by the fear of the other groups in a false solidarity (like that of World War II with USSR, regardless), leading to the normal deception and brutality, as in France in the 1790s, in Germany in the 1940s, as likewise in Islamic suppressions in the Middle East and elsewhere, for centuries, all wanting this little globe, to rule it in the name of whatsoever thing gripped them, so that they might grip with it, the others.
It will not be Islam: its failure in the face of even a not yet repentant nation of Israel being justly deplored by Malaysia's Dr Mahathir, one which many Moslems want to eliminate; but with all of Allah's supposed might, it is not done. What a disproportion! many nations with vast lands, some with enormous riches, imported weapons and venomous hate in many mouths, murder in many rockets, torn up children a passing butt, no problem, they cannot with almighty help (as supposed) crush this little nation. They cannot do so, not even when its place is so small; not even when misled nations criticise it for not asking Islamic and other peoples to do them the honour of walking on them (cf. Isaiah 51:21-23). Even the USA seems to spend nowadays (so unlike earlier actions) a lot of time trying to ensure that more land is given up from the current sliver of Israel, as if the hordes of persecuting, hating people were not enough to look after their own misled and murderous, if not genocidal dreams.
However, the final grouping of a religiously fraudulent regime (cf. Revelation 13:11-12) will come and for a little while, it will as in Revelation 13, seek to dominate this world, with the use of high-tech financial provisions, to stop buying and selling, except at their permission. But it will also go, and smartly.
In the end, virtually every folly of mind and force of arrogance will have been used in efforts to show the world, rule the world, instruct the world, take over the world, subdue the world in myths, like Darwinism (cf. Secular Myths and Sacred Truth), over the passing millenia. When God calls a halt in no halting manner, it will all have been shown and shown up in the laboratory of history, its claims and its actions able to be shown to be mismatches, and its follies discernible in the outcomes; while truth, never damaged but always as revealed in Christ Jesus, from millenium to millenium, prophecy to performance, as now but then yet more amply, will be seen in the overarching vision of history, as what has been reliable, if rather rarely used by any nation, in all things verified and justified.over the passing millenia.
Glory ? There is no end to the glory of God in whatever aspect you want to search for it; and no end to the wisdom of acknowledging it and Him with a relish of rejoicing.