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FROM TYRE TO TRUTH:
FROM SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
AS CHATTERING IRRELEVANCE
TO THE OPERATIVE GREATNESS
IN THE MEDIATING MERCY OF THE MESSIAH
who grants greatness in glory through His own inherent and eternal majesty.
News 474, The Australian July 23, 2014
Startling reports from former USSR, future pretended hospice for the Eurasia led by Russia,
new dreams, old themes. There is almost a biblical tinge to this,
and history has many such examples.
cf. Department of Bible Volumes 5, Ch. 8 and 6, Ch. 3
We move from quest to test, from frustrated pinings to fulfilled needs.
In our Chapter sequence, we move from the lurch and loss of Tyre to the regal and realistic might of the Messiah. Recipient of violence, disposer of judgment on His own basis as Redeemer, with warrant but without violence, with knowledge but without manipulation, He acts with truth and not mere terror. Terror is the result of intransigence, but faith bestrides it, like an arch towering over traffic, for this is the very archway and door of truth. Jeremiah 12:5-6 is a call sign for understanding in this realm. Recovery costs. Restoration takes labour. Its plan took personal toll of the Creator, who though dismissing the cost, which infinity can readily cover, experienced enormous sundering in the format of incarnation as man, in its payment (John 3:16, Hebrews 5:7). He over-rode the overriding principle of death with that of His Son in His human format, and magnificently paid the cost, but not for the abidingly impenitent, self-assertive, citizens of another realm, factitious supporters of harassment, unholiness and godlessness, unbelievers, non-receivers: not for them.
It is in effectual payment for those who in repentance receive this faith focus of mercy, that He acts.
Part of the cost is reflected, though not contributing to the divine ransom, in that for the exponents, the messengers, their labours and pangs are many, for great has been the company of those who send out the word of salvation and truth (Psalm 68:11).
Jeremiah, who experienced in his sensitive soul a certain horror of being a contestant, a declaimer, an antidote to dreams, one deemed scurrilous who was in fact spiritual, gives his protestation to the Lord, as seen in Jeremiah 12 and 15. It is not an irreligious rort he commits, for he faithfully proclaimed the warning, exhortation, made the appeal (cf. Jeremiah 13); but a vast groan is his. In Jeremiah 12, we see the residual challenge, simply put by the Lord to His servant. Its pith appears this. This is not a work for the uncommitted, the unenlightened, those who do not understand the deadly fever in man or its excruciating antidote (Isaiah 50, 52-55); but it is for those whom challenge leaves supple in spirit before the Lord (Jeremiah 15:19-21), and ready in flexibility of endurance, for any wall, blockade or belligerence. "If," indeed, the Lord challenges the prophet,
"you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
then how will you contend with horses!"
Not with this satisfied, the Lord illustrates yet further.
"And if in the land of peace in which you trusted, they wearied you,
then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan!"
If the flow troubles you, what then of the flooding overflow ?
The devil has no restraint, being a haughty spirit, and spiritual troops in spiritual warfare need a doughty heart, made strong as by the Spirit of the Lord, His companionship a reinforcement both vigorous and victorious (cf. Jeremiah 1:8-10, Ephesians 3:16, Philippians 4:13). The inheritance of the Lord cries out against Him; its judgment is sure. Ruthless have been the enemies who have used the desecration of holiness in Israel of old in the day of the prophet and before, yes and further onwards, to delight in plaguing, now weak in judgment; but they too, they will be repaid (Jeremiah 12:10-13).
Meanwhile, Israel of old, it would not desist in its loud-mouthed evil practices and pretensions, so the discipline to come, came; for truth is not flexible, though mercy is, and is ready to swallow up evil in victory (Isaiah 25:8); but not by mere power. It is the suffering Messiah who swallows up death in victory in the end, and in the midst of things, His servants have a work to do which does not shrivel because of the judgments that abound.
True the evil neighbours, profiting as now by Israel's failure in trust in the Lord, the Messiah Jesus the Christ, who reject the Lord with raucous vociferation, even they will have opportunity to return IF they learn the meaning of life and do not sourly exploit the scenes of discipline and restoration of Israel in due time; but otherwise, they too will know the blade of the plough! Restorations are conditional on the degree of their abandonment, to naturalistic gods. So ends Jeremiah 12.
In Jeremiah 15, the Lord puts it to the prophet, "If you return," from the heavy-hearted temporary malady of grief, then "I will bring you back." In other words, when Jeremiah's heart seeks the Lord without dubiety, then the Lord with divine power which made man in the first place, will transmute the uncouth into the beautiful and the sinking into the sailing, and the doldrums into a brisk and supportive wind, as He does with His sent and sanctified servants, not because of their sanctity, but in His restitution after some fall on the way.
This return to freely living wholeheartedness towards the Lord is not merely a personal matter for Jeremiah, but it has very objective elements. Thus, "If you take the precious from the vile, you will be as My mouth." The commission is not lost; His purging, warning, teaching, alerting, seeking ministry is to continue, for the dull-hearted people need it; but its character is not changed either. The woes of wisdom have still to be faced, the cost of charity met, discipline and not faintheartedness the call.
Indeed, there is separation of spirit to which Jeremiah is called. This with all that is involved in fellowship with these rebels, whom the prophet warns from God, must be decisive. He must not linger in their precincts, keep contact on fellowship terms with them. Their place is unnegotiable, and the approach to them is inflexibly negative!
"Let them return to you, but you must not return to them."
in the Old (Numbers 16, where there was urgent order
for the people of God
as in the New Testament, in Jude, in Romans 16:17, in I Corinthians 4-6.
The message is clear, unequivocal, not intoned but intended for action!
What then ? DO NOT LURK in their shadows, nor stay in their presence, nor make peace with their revolt. Do not even go into their company but, separate, let them come if and when they have hearts to do so: for YOU there is NEITHER placation NOR peace NOR position in their spiritual presence WHATSOEVER! Such is the message in Jeremiah 15:19-21; and if Jeremiah has to stand almost alone, then the Lord is his support, and that is more than that of myriads.
Neo-evangelicalism, in modern terms, misaligned towards the word of God in practice, is in much, mere treachery to truth; for its ready associations are counter not only to a number of incisive commandments, but to the nature of spiritual life. CAN two walk together unless they be agreed ? asks the prophet Amos in the name of the Lord (3:3). Disobedience goes in general only one way here: the agreement increases as the morbidly fellowshipping treachery leads to more compromise from the wanderers. As you disobey, so your heart changes, leading to such enormities as the reference of Billy Graham to Romanism, first sending some converts back to that body if they were aligned that way, and then later referring to sharing of the same Gospel with them (cf. News 121, with News 112, and Separation 1997).
You see this attitude when as in II Chronicles 14:11, King Asa, surrounded with superior invading forces,
"cried out to the LORD his God, and said,
LORD, it is nothing for You to help,
whether with many or with those who have no power;
help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You,
and in Your name we go against this multitude.
O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!"
In the next instance, he failed and sought help from man, despite the overwhelming and staggering victory earlier gained, when he so rightly depended on the Lord! for this lapse after the wonderful work of the Lord, he was justly rebuked by the prophet Hanani, as in II Chronicles 16:7. Faith as distinct from fidgets does not budge because of fits and starts, but continues forward, fearless and trusting.
The Lord in His compassion is merciful indeed, so that even after the desolation to come to the then recalcitrant Israel, He would find a way to restore them to their land, chastened and indeed chastised, but still prized (Jeremiah 16:14ff.; 25). This happened as in Ezra and Nehemiah, following the Babylonian captivity predicted at a 70 year sojourn in an alien land (Jeremiah 25). But as to this Babylon, swallower of many of those spiritual and rebellious alike, that throat of gluttony, purveyor of multitudes of vague tenders for truth, astray and leading astray: for it no resurrection comes.
Indeed, its doom becomes a classic of unrelieved shattering, staring at hell (Jeremiah 50-51), and as it had rejoiced to swallow what it could, so the heights of Babylon would BE swallowed, as later no less burnt up would Rome's religion be, despite such vast fame on this earth (Revelation 17-18), and the nature of that fame; and for a protracted period after the slaying of Christ (Micah 5:1-5), so even too would Jerusalem, though for it there is the relief often predicted and now in our own day, shown back with them these 47 years, as a whole city.
To be sure the Mosque remains, but by official permission of the Government of Israel; and its destiny is to rebuke Israel for NOT returning to the Christ who fulfilled the work of the temple in its symbolism, in Himself (Hebrews 7-10), so that temple is unsound in principle at this time, as are priests, for the great and Messianic high-priest has displaced them all in ultimate fulfilment already (Hebrews 7:11-28, 9:12-28).
It is indeed in Micah that we learn of the lèse-majesté shown when the eternally majestic Lord would Himself by smitten, though the Judge, and hence Israel would be removed from her place until - yes until the Spirit coming as in Zechariah 12, should move decisively in their souls. Then they would from the heart repent of that fateful action, and once more seek the Lord in whose plan of salvation, they had unwittingly taken part. How ? It was in making of Him, the Saviour, the sacrifice, so that He even was crying out, "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing," as in fact it was predicted that He would, in Psalm 22.
How great was He in whom the life eternal lay (John 1:14-18,30, 3:34, 8:58, Matthew 11:27)... How long the penalty; for when peace is denied, war is invited!
Jeremiah 13 shows the intensive longing of the Lord for those loaded with their own majesty, but not receptive towards Him, and the results of being good for nothing, when the Lord is laid aside, and faith is buried by the river of life. Here was an acted out parable, Jeremiah burying a garment by the river, till it was literally and sartorially good for nothing! Like the wood of a vine for building, it does not relate. Promiscuous worship, whether in the Old Covenant in Israel or in the New amid the Gentiles, is not only useless; it is ludicrous (Ezekiel 15). It is the wrong thing in the wrong place, not only misalliance but misapprehension, a riddle of confusion.
Jeremiah 14 shows the durable indomitability of the sinning souls, made for liberty, but filled with licence, so that even the extended plea of the prophet cannot deliver. "Even if," says the Lord as in Jeremiah 15, "Moses and Samuel stood before Me," yet "My mind would not be favourable towards this people." As a testimony to come, both in judgment, cleansing, and provisions during discipline (the "little sanctuary" even in exile) were all in place; and then the return to Jerusalem, as in Ezra and Nehemiah, following the foretold 70 year exile in Babylon. The return! it came when a whole Empire performed as predicted (in the case of Cyrus as in Isaiah 44-45), returning them freely to the land from which they had been taken captive. Babylon was taken; Israel was delivered. So do the mighty fail, while even disciplined, those in the stream of the work of the Lord continue.
So history panted to fulfil the word of the Lord. Mercy intervened, when truth had been met; and there would stand what never falls. It was, as it is, the God of truth who acted first to rebuke, and then to restore, and great was the intensity of those returning to their beloved city, in the very fear of God and with zest for Him, which would allow no compromise and no foolish spiritual fellowship with what DID NOT AGREE with the word of their God (Ezra 4). What tricks those devious adversaries were ready to make, when once they were admitted to the counsels of Israel. But Ezra was no babe, but ready for duplicity, he acted, wholly unavailable either for their blandishments or their efforts to terrify him.
God in His superintendence, makes what He has made in the form of promise, to becomes premise, the word undertaking to flow on into history, in the power and wisdom of God; and He does not fail. His word is never broken in its claim, though many lie broken before they are ready to be healed, and because of it, presuming on mercy as if spiritual diletants.
Jeremiah 15 shows the prophet's personal cleansing, the way he is to walk, and his sanctification as he realises in full, the course he has taken, and the character of the God with whom it has been done; for nothing relents in His pursuits of goodness and righteousness, through mercy and truth, and the ends in view do not allow for truncated endings, but the performance continues till the labours for sinners, already costed and paid, are applied to the uttermost (as in II Peter 3:9).
In Jeremiah 16, we find even the Gentiles will in their day, come in substantial numbers to the Lord, realising as would Israel the noxious folly of the idols of its former worship (vv. 19-21). In Jeremiah 23, we come to the characterisation of false prophets, their multitude at the end of the Age, their saucy pretence and pretensions, and the rule of Christ on this earth, when the whole devious deceit is overcome, as illustrated so well in the prophecy on Tyre in Ezekiel 28 as we have seen. Indeed, Israel will, even in that phase, be famed for its return, not as in Egypt but in this Age-ending wonder (cf. Ezekiel 36-37).
What is not broken is the word of God which is like a hammer on rock (Jeremiah 23:28-29); and when the Lord was broken, it was as predicted, planned, programmed and performed, in sweetly vicarious tragedy, becoming triumphalistic glory, in that death in its morbidity is broken by life eternal in the Lord (I John 1, Titus 2-3). Further more, the way out of it and into eternal life opens like a journey by space-ship to Mars. It is so except for this: that that is outside protective warrant (Psalm 115), while this is the very essence of it, attested in the conscientious love and unlimited grace which abounded to perform the work which presided and enabled man to be one who abided in his God, not in hell's deadly loss, available for those who hunt it.
BEAUTY AND CLARITY OF GOODNESS
AND ITS DIVINE, SUBLIME ASSOCIATES IN THE LORD,
TO BE DESIRED IN MAN
Thus good is exported from God, expounded, compounded with lovingkindness, freely consigned unequivocally in crux, not flux. The thing that goodness is - it is wonderful, the very nature of the Lord. This same and only authentic Lord loves realistically: both for His own work of redemption, to achieve it that it might be freely available, completing it, and for ours in justification, to apply it, His own righteousness freely attributed to the believer (Romans 5:17-19), moreover to settle it into character, amid sanctification, the beauty of His own nature growingly showing as when an oak grows. So does it take on the nature of its arboreal wonder, with many a Spring to show its vigour and illustrate its vitality (Acts 3:19). For us, the Lord in parallel sends "seasons of refreshing" from His own desire, to bless His inheritance when it is weary.
Good ? goodness ? its nature is meaningless apart, as if life and love, for man, represented shavings off God, like unwanted beard. It is significant only if attached (cf. Isaiah 50).
It is when man stays where his Maker lives, and in installed in His presence into abiding fellowship based on entry at the door (John 10:9), that meaning and mercy, love and truth, goodness and glory are all defined, delivered, expounded, experienced and in them, there is delight. To be GOOD is not an insane warrant, nor a facile meaning, to be conformable to whatever possibly disgusting practices diverse portions of the human race may chance to adulate and praise. That may be called good, which is interminably evil (Isaiah 5), for man in spiritual disease, can harbour confusion like an enemy vessel. Good comes from the absolute, God, the designer, creator and from His heart who so made us and supplies us; and what He does both illustrates and contains His goodness, free of ulterior motive, since He has all He wants and seeks to bring love to the creation. Hence we find in Isaiah 52 that the beautiful feet of the missionaries of the Gospel, based as there shown, bring good tidings of GOOD. But men numbered Him who had it, among criminals, the reaction of rebels to His goodness, in terms of their morbid, self-preserving and indeed futile self-interest.
It is not this. It is to conform to the righteous requirements and comely graces of God, to pursue His will, to be dutiful in His service, to be loving in heart and immovable in stability (cf. Isaiah 33:6), stable in reliability and filled with the Spirit of the living God. It is to be desirous of, and in the process of becoming. to grow LIKE HIM! When you draw near to God and God to you, there are wonders in its depth and beauty.
His goodness has not only meaning, but a transporting beauty of content, leading to revelation, salvation, sanctification and abiding companionship. This wonder word, how it breaths out the joy of assimilability to the very ways of God! And meaning ? meaning for man ? what of that!
instead of chanting meaningless, meaningless, to the situation when a person is unwilling to be seen as a derivative of God, it is that this alienation, child of choice, sings a song of separation, like a heart without blood vessels, or kidneys without fluid. Beautiful in prospect, it is ludicrous in dissocation.
Man makes himself miscreant, free of Creator, lost in thought as in destiny, despite the richness of the provisions and the wonder of the Lord. HE will not force. He the living and personal God, having made man in the beginning free to reject Him or become His, ensures as He carries out His foreknowledge into truth, that the reality is not confused. It comes in simplicity, like the equation in form, E = MC2. The Gospel may be changed like mouldy bread, but its nature does not change, only the misconceptions rushed into it, to ruin it, these vary like dust storms; yet it itself, it stays the same.
The meaning lies in the liberty, the mercy, the love, the redemption, the eternal life, the freshness of uninhibited truth, the deliverance from contrariety if not actual confusion, the ways of working with the God who made us, not merely as if the tradesman who preceded us, but the conceiver in the heights of creativeness and spirituality, of the creative children of men. The sense of significance lies in Him who directs His workers, gives rest to His flock, and provides the beauty of His peace, for where there is no war, there is peace. And if there be tremors as Jeremiah experienced, there is not some drug for pain to take in suppression; but rather in its place, the intelligence of wonder, the inspiration of truth and the fortification of power, His people strengthened by love both from and for God, and directed towards what may be delivered from the ranks of this, our dying race. Christ came into this world to save sinners, and many are the contributions to that end. It is not for the mean, let alone the meaningless midges of spiritual life, fragments where integrity might have been, but for the people saved by faith through grace, and even that, not of themselves, loaded with benefits and filled with the sense of His glory, that the depths come alive and the heights shine with splendour as in the awakening dawning of the new morning.
Salvation itself is freely obtained, not attained, so that a development in sanctification may proceed. The latter is not to be confused with the grounding and founding, as a gift (Romans 6:23, 5:15, 3:23ff.), but is like a record of events after you have entered your new school, fees paid forever. As to salvation once more, it is in no part a trade-off for what one does, but a gift dependent absolutely on what God has done, which needs to be received. SInce it depends on reception, only on Him, it cannot be lost. To be sure, people acting deceptively, playing about with it may find a staunch ally tp their inane superficiality, flirting with procrastination and equivocation, ambivalence and a faint heart which will not move.
Then for this, there are results (as in Hebrews 6 and 10); but this is the consequence for faith in formula yet not in fact, crying to God perhaps, but not with the heart (as in Hosea 7:214-18). It is as in Isaiah 57:15-17, when the heart becomes like scar tissue as the Lord's most gracious entreaties and insurgencies are turned aside, as by a channel, lest they should believe and be converted.
When, however, such exotic and esoteric resistances, like the swamps left beside the flowing waters in the personalised parable of Ezekiel 47, then when the curse is contained and cancelled, and the waters carry one as the divine flow moves, when the grace received, what glory is it to be in the uncluttered presence of God Almighty through the ebullient grace of salvation!
So on this earth are found
the measure of curse, but also
the persistence of cure,
the increasing evils on Israel, her triumphs,
the unhealthy pre-occupation with her
on the part of numerous intervening powers,
who tread now imperiously, now subversively on the footing given her by God,
as if they could control it, in the facilitated stages
of Israel's return to land and the Lord, together with
the preparations for universal take-over by milling man through one of his
almost unending series of futilely uplifted leaders, implicit and explicit gods,
idols of culture, now this, now that,
each with his nostrums and rostrums,
and so it goes.
till the obliteration of arrogance ends as in II Thessalonians 1-2,
and the long restraints come to their culmination in judgment, but not before
the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11),
and the Lord Himself rules the earth till the ways of grace in place,
once and for all the ways of righteousness are found,
not by man, but by the personal and intimate presence of the Lord
in His millenial framework, the age long enough for all
its characteristics to be found (Isaiah 2, 59, 65, Psalm 72, Micah 4, Revelation 20).
In the Bible, God's decisive and incisive written communication to man, it has been shown as in a trailer to a coming film, a series of advances in many things in Israel, its restoration, that of Jerusalem to it, its near-end conversion in large reapings to God, amid the increasing liabilities of scorn and unbelief on the part of the Gentiles. This does not glorify Israel as such, for it is all as for any Gentile in his/her own conversion, a work of grace and divine kindness; but when one is with and in the Lord, the glory of the Lord suffuses: yet it remains His! It does however make the more marked as the final confrontation of lusting forces and divine grace meets, how far have the Gentile powers strayed from the magnificent simplicities of the Gospel, the restoration of Israel in heart being such as might be found in many a revival meeting, over the last few centuries, some national in impact.
The Gentiles have had many an outpouring, and near the end, it comes also to Israel, so that all in one Christ, one Christ in all, He might be all in all to many.
There is no difference in this, that ALL have sinned, ALL need salvation, NONE has place to plead for the heart of God to be reached ONLY through the sacrifice, cost enough, that He has made and in which He has paid for each and every one who comes (Isaiah 53:1-6). NEVER is it through some invented way, that anyone comes. God created the earth, the liberty, the remedy and the result of it. As Christ declared it, robbers and thieves try something other than the door for entry, but HE is the door for salvation, and in Him ONLY is the going in and out to be found (John 10:9, 14:6, Isaiah 43:9-44:8, 498:15ff., 52-55). At that, He is to be sought WHEN He may be found, and WHILE He is near.
Nothing is to be taken for granted; but His grant is to be taken to heart, with repentance and faith.
What then ? there is much to suffer for discipleship ? If people hate Christians, as is increasingly apparent, especially in Islamic lands, the phenomenon of SUPPRESSION and SUBMISSION to man in his insistent and pernicious roarings being plain, but not in those only, then that is grievously understandable (John 16:2), and in part, it is for the same reason as they so often hate Israel.
It smells of God, as roses of fragrance, and some prefer the smell of blood, lost, the sight of bodies smashed with parts littering the land, as they prefer their evil dreams and power lusts, ideological twists and truth derisions, under the name of culture, or national interest or whatever else appeals in the tides of the moment, enforcing in it places of learning, even on the very young, in national defilements, whether those of the Nazis in their day, organic evolutionists in their long dated mysticism, free of all verification, for which many in the West now gasp, the Communists in their deadly morbidity in Stalin's day, or in more recent dreams*1, these vague in religiosity, clear cut in vehement gestures, plans and subversive intention, as if bodies were made for murder, and life for torture, the dream the anaesthetic. Or the murders may be mental only, as souls are burned as with cauterising searings, in the colleges where science is the mask for reeling religions of anti-evidential rambles, fairy stories as far from science as the sun from cooling breezes by still lakes.
So the world moves in its various ways, amid the testimony of truth, which also persists amid the battles of the beasts (as in the lists in Daniel 7-8, where such penultimate pollutions are studied), and for those with spoiled noses, anaesthetised by the drugs of idolatry and shame, there seems often an unbearable stench, rather than the saviour of daphne from the deity Himself, who abides in His people. The world writhes, talking of survival while it dies, of self-belief while it kills, and toys with truth when it is not seeking like cat with mouse, to destroy it with pleasure.
such things can apply to memories in history or contemporary life. Many have been the proponents of spiritual pollution throughout history, many their possessed leaders, many their victims, many their prey; and it proceeds to its end. Yet these are mere hoardings and bombs on the wayside; it is HE who is the signature of grace and the infinite in its very personal wonder, who acts on any man, the sole foundation (Psalm 62) and the infinitely available Rock. It is not grievous, the alternative path. Love gives life in the first place (Romans 5, Colossians 1), its remedy in the second (Isaiah 45:22ff.).
Salvation is a gift (Ephesians 2), then, and how much less are the forceful attainments of the nations to create a special world, or some misled in Christendom, to secure it as governed by God, as if world control could be secured by the powers of the Church. THESE have a very different task (Matthew 28, John 18:36), in preaching, proclaiming, pursuing the Gospel and its application, the word of God and its teaching, and presenting ALL His commandments in the light of His love, seeking the lost and caring for those coming, while living in the love of God. For many, there is not the 'lost commandment', like a lost address, but the disdained commandments, many even in the name of Christ making such a mix of carnality and commandment, desire and discipline, truth and fraud, picking and choosing, compromising and abusing, that they so resemble the plight of Israel of old (Isaiah 29:9-16), that it is almost the Gentile Replay!
Despite these fraudulent features found in some, the life in Christ and the discipleship of His command is not a mixture of grabbing this world and the next; but of being ambassadors in this one (II Corinthians 5:20-21), itself soon to be judged and at length dismissed, for the King who refused the sword and the power over all nations as a career (Matthew 4), and in this as in all His directions, following Him, who free of the entreaties of the devil, fulfilled His magnificent mission in humility, breaking death from its covey, and granting eternal life from His eternal power (Titus 1:1-3, 2:3-12, 3:4-7).
This refusal for vassalage to the devil, so famous in Christ, many did not share, and do not, being subjected to the devious deceptions of that grasping spirit of iniquity. But many follow this other way, founded on Him who, having been given the cross and its securing of peace, of cover, of mercy for those freely coming, and going in and out in His fold, and delighting in His spirit of grace, forgiveness and realism, face for Him, the tempests, tornados and earthquakes, both the real and the surreal, historical and spiritual, which strike the earth.
This is the way (John 14:6)is IN the world but not of it (John 17), nor is the world is not to be loved or shoved, as if by participants in its ways (James 4:4, John 17:9-19). HIS ways for our days are other, and HE ONLY is judge, just as He ONLY will perform that work (John 5:19ff.). As to the Christian Church, we in it are not even ALLOWED to use force, the sword, for His kingdom is not of this world, and He having forsaken such a part for His spiritual platform in contemptuous terms (Matthew 4), likewise despised it before Pilate (John 18:36).
Christ only came, saved, granted salvation, returns in incomparable power, being deity formatted in flesh for the securing of remedy for man, and now risen, death His captive because of His entire sinlessness (I Peter 2:22ff.), He only comes to resurrect His people, and rule on the earth till its day done, His word implemented, His ways exhibited in power and truth, kindness and mercy, He dismisses entirely the days of test, the quest concluded, and brings to His people, Jew and Gentile, Greek and American, whatever the kindred or race or place, the grace of His own place, new heavens and earth the creation of God (II Peter 3). It is not for man to accomplish these things, but to receive the grace, the eternal life, the way, the direction and the commandments which so delighted the Psalmist (Psalm 119), not as a bevy of endless law, but an opportunity of abundant living, within the fields which lie open to browse, of knowing their God (I John 5).
NO TIME FOR MAN TO DO HIS ENTANGLING WORKS,
BUT THE PURITY OF GOD ALONE PERFORMS
Accordingly, we find no TIME allowed between the work and labours of iniquity in the form of spiritual imperialism seeking to govern this world amiss, and the judgment of God Himself, not by man, but of mankind. Such is Daniel 7:21-23 as in Revelation 17-19. The rule of the military-industrial-financial-political entities called 'beasts' in Daniel, with their godless gambollings and power-hungry dribblings from evil-speaking mouths, filled often with their own glory, goes on till the end. The evil is then met by God in person, as in Isaiah 66, Deuteronomy 32:36-43, II Thessalonians 1-2, even when strength is gone from resistance as in the case of Israel. So is it written.
What then ? Creation-salvation-deliverance all are wrought without our aid. WE attest, invest in proclamation, teach, exhibit, seek to abide; but it is HE who does the works, and in these structural features, HE only. It is GOD who performs all things, even for the distressed, the assailed and the cast down, as so often in the Psalms. Blessing and honour and glory and power are to Him and to the Lamb alike, but to none other, for none perform the mighty works; for it is the LORD ONLY who does these (Psalm 72:18).
Tyre is one way; the triumph of Christ is the other.
Variants do not alter the heart of each case; for the way astray is broad, and it leads in unpeaceful pretensions to their lonely loss of the God they have refused (John 15:22ff.). God is the source, centre and Saviour and there is no other (Isaiah 43:10-11). Antri-evidential illusions to the contrary are but part of the dreams which, if relied on, lead to ready catastrophe on earth, whether in body or spirit or mind! The confusions of history and politics, philosophy and precepts come from the dreams, which like their namesakes, vary enormously and can give false comfort as readily as disaster. When they concern God Himself, and when they vary from HIS way, then they are as conformable to peace and comfort as it would be if some ingenious fellow decided to put the heart in the feet, and the toes on the scalp.
What is less obviously foolish, is not wiser in fact. With God, to supplant is to die in spirit, and be lost, in every sense, just wandering, perhaps with fulminating relief to the forsaken soul, perhaps in reckless renegacy, perhaps in simple pre-occupation with anything convenient for the purpose.
The judgments of God reach back to Eden and we see the player who was active there, using man for his intolerably egotistical pursuits; and they reach on to the Cross, where they were borne for those who receive this hallowed deliverance; and then on to the horror of a reality to which many turn, the broad way, not caring for His leading, far too narrow, and led like a ship to the rocks of the jagged shore they drown in their indifference, false dynamic or whatever other form their delusion takes.
Take Rome. It rose slowly as an empire, but fell fast, lingering after its fall in its new Eastern centre, then lapsing into the Holy Roman Empire, moving through the singular efforts of Napoleon and Hitler, to new glories of infamy, to the Common Market, developing into the increasingly security conscious European Union, now stirred by Russian empire building and Chinese desires in the South of its own sphere. These are outward forms of that continuing, partly strong, partly broken Empire (Daniel 2, 7). Further, numbers of those involved in its continuing Roman Catholic nomenclature are not small, reckoned by some as being as high as one billion. All these surges and resurgences, of the elastic and enduring Rome from empire to church and from church to Community are precisely as Daniel predicted in Daniel 2, 7 and 9.
Before Romanism, both ecclesiastical and imperial in the former days of many popes (), and with it, other empires have fallen; but Rome in its unique, but fallen contribution, not yet (Cf. SMR pp. 1032-1088H). Nor is this predicted till the time specified in Revelation 17-18, when the last phases of before Christ's return, are found playing out like a gramophone left on; but many are the litters on the littoral of history before then, biblically predicted, like Tyre and Sidon, like Babylon and Nineveh, Isaiah and Nahum specialising in the latter two, yes and like Egypt. These imperial investments, lordly empires may last for a time in their imperial notions, seeking that height which belongs to God only, the self-revealing God. This glory, power, authority, is not to 'fathers' or lineage of 'teacher' or master who vie with Him as if able to pronounce judgment and teaching infallibly, when ONLY ONE is so appointed, anointed and authorised, Jesus the Christ (Matthew 23:8-10), whose word alone may be bound, even He keeping to what His Father had commanded (John 12:48-50, 20:21).
pseudo-divine status has extended to Mao, to Stalin, to North Korea in a
dizzying height of explicit blasphemy which is not merely asking for rebuke, but
panting painfully to obtain it; but God who is not mocked, whether by
pseudo-church or church persecutors, often allows the
flowers of evil to bloom, before blasting them with the hot winds of history,
that their shallow soil be seen for what it is! But let us not omit the case of
imperial Egypt, for this in its culture was grand with
many gods, naturalistic entities with such elevations of thought attached that
Ezekiel could even rebuke that empire chiding the intemperate paranoia of its
saying, "The river is mine and I made it!"
THE SPECIAL CASE OF EGYPT
AND THE PUNY SUPERFICIALITY OF SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
Indeed Egypt became a national example (Ezekiel 29:3-12), a special case of multifarious naturalism, imaginative intrusions into sober reality, dabbling with gods, with the sense of innate glory for itself, as in Ezekiel 31:1-14. Its lofty and incomparable majesty went to its super-cultivated head, and inflamed it; and its occupancy of the primacy among the nations became besotted in foolish religions, as so sharply shown in their vacuous weakness, yes non-existence and irrelevance by Moses (cf. The Plagues ...), as God used him through a mute irony, to destroy one religious fantasy of the land after another, as plagues came into the very nomenclature of the gods of Egypt!
It was divinely used to be a signal to the nations, so that never again may there be space in spiritual sanity for imaginations of such pride and religious invention as once gripped this imperial and impelling land. Despite this, spiritual sanity grows weak and wisdom is despised and stark fantasies and mysticisms now circle the globe, like satellites firing.
In fact, the prediction concerning ancient Egypt was made that it would continue indeed, after its 40 year devastation; but this would be only as a lowly kingdom, no more arch and starkly avaricious; and this naturally (because of the supernatural intervention of God) has happened to an amazing degree, for her masters have been Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, and Muslim, including the once serviceable Mamelukes, along with Turks, Ottoman imperialists, the French under Napoleon, the British in the name of order; and all this leaves a measure of independence only to be broken by the USSR*1 with its Aswan Dam and its military hardware in the providence of God, as predicted, wholly unable to make Egypt cope. With what ? Why, with the resurgent Israel, now on its way to independence through trial before conversion through the Spirit of God as in Zechariah 12. When God is against you, you do not need more foes.
Even now with army forces seeking to reduce religious inflammation through Islamic attempts to rule through the democracy which elected them, but to rule out any successors, there is turbulence and once imperial Egypt of pseudo-divine inheritance and thrusting glory, fulfils to the letter the word of God concerning its new role: and that ? It is to be base among the kingdoms, more like tail than head! Such is the word of God in Ezekiel 29:15-16, and such is historical fact. They match. The tartans of God always blend well, word and deed, prediction and outcome.
Pride comes before a fall, but pride mixed with some kind of divinity, be it implicit or explicit, whether some divine power read comically into 'nature' or surreptitiously hidden, that is much graver. Nature despite these human antics, for all that just continues in what it is good at, being of its own nature as invented, not inventing the major categories of creation, but subventing all pretension of making DNA or anything remotely like it, and continuing like a multi-functional apparatus, to be what it is. Things made and the making of them are not to be confused; and they cannot make themselves before they are there; and you need what IS there to have any making at all, and this eternally, to depart from nothing eternally, except that with nothing as base, there is no time at all anyway! You need God even to have sod in its delimited environmentally complex atomically varied manner. You need to face reality to get reality, and if you do not, it will still face you. Truth is like that.
So Egypt, as one of many to come, met its judgment, in this case a prolongation with a governor on its speed, so that it became subjugated by many, no more leader, a relatively inconspicuous nations, not ranked with leaders any more. It is a pointer to a widespread disease in this.
of men's minds making may be mysterious luminaries
or mysterious lights or powers or oddities, but not the Creator, and never the
Saviour, for the imperial manifesto normally omits Him altogether in the
pseudo-Egyptian, pseudo-Tyrian mysticisms and pretensions, or else places such a
being in a mixed formulation amid other moving forces. This has become more and
more fashionable since the fall of man, and moves like a hurricane now that the
end is near (cf. Matthew 24:24, Answers to Questions
Ch. 5, SMR Chs.
8, 9). The "god of forces"*2
has become in various forms, very popular, as the origin of forces is
ignored, and the laws for this and that are disregarded, the imagination wild to
fulfil the prophecy of just such things, its delusions like clouds that
settle on the mountains, hiding what they actually are.
THE VILLAS OF VICE AND VIOLENCE
AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN AS DESTINATION
Thus Egypt was one more ancient example of mystic follies, national exaltation, cultural arrogance and empty thought, ready for fall like leaves in Autumn, the more so when as there, the winds of judgment blow, as they did on the face of the imperious Pharaoh (cf. Romans 9:17). But Israel was given deliverance after 70 years with restoration as announced in Jeremiah 25.
In the very midst of its own sins, for which it had this 70 year predicted and punitive exile, and then later in the long continued exile of Micah 5:1-3, right up to the times of the end, when the Spirit of the living God anoints their eyes as in Romans 11, and the cut off branch from the tree of truth is grafted in again, even Israel, that nation is reminded of its future, for it had an expectation and still has one (Jeremiah 29:11-14, 23:1-8), and a restoration to last, UNDER Christ when it gets to this blessed condition at last (as in Jeremiah 23:5-6, Ezekiel 37:4ff., Psalm 72, Hosea 1-3, 13:14 - 14:9, where the total blessedness in the finale for the repentant nation becomes sweet indeed (cf. Jeremiah 31:23-40).
Sweet is the contentment of introduction to the grace which prevails at last with Israel, that the Lord might fulfil all His numerous promises to it and for it! and sweet is the harmony in unity among brethren, now to be extended when the terrible is removed, and the terrorisers are rebuked, the earth ridded of unrighteousness, before its own removal, mission completed (Revelation 20).
There is space for test, and space for rest; and in the end there is no space left for the removed heavens and earth as in Revelation 20:11, for their day is done. Space ? it has had it with time, long enough!
So as the millenium merges into the finale of grace for those who know their God and rest in His promises and premises anew, many abodes for many as in John 14, all things come to rest in Christ, where alone it is to be found; for HE is the door, and forceful entry forces only disruption of the deluded dynamism of the human missiles who seek illicitly to gain entry by force into a kingdom that is not theirs. How ironic was Christ's word concerning such procedures, as He reviewed the death of John the Baptist, who illustrated the people taking in their own imaginations, by force: "the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force". Such was the immediate epitaph for John! so close to Christ, John of the wilderness, beheaded by Herod, by him so violently removed from this earth.
What then of the kingdom of heaven ? Take it ? By these means ? through such an assassation! Scarcely. Many toy with it, some seek to invade it; and such were some of these whose assaults on the Lord and on His messenger were so viciously irrelevant to any such aim. In fact, those self-serving violators of things divine and human soon lost the paraphernalia of false glory, as Jerusalem was in agonies destroyed, and Israel in much dispersed. Take it by violence ? what a derision is expressed in these withering words.
Indeed, this wintry and ironic blast sees the city of these murderers, within a generation, shown up as such, mere miscreants, delusive and deluded! (Matthew 11:12), leaving Jerusalem which they sought by evil to protect, to a ruin so vast that irony itself could scarcely wither the city to match it. What an almost matchless exhibition of the empty folly of distortional imaginations and and disproportionate lust for power!
Did Jerusalem's rulers REALLY take that kingdom by force which was dismantled by Rome, stone by stone from the temple, the site ploughed, many crucified ? To ask is to answer, and great is the depth of that exposition from the suffering Lord, who Himself would shortly add His name to that of John, as murderous minds sought to govern without the God of testimony, in the interests of the gods of survival, which even they, themselves, do not survive. As Jeremiah puts it in Jeremiah 10:11,
" The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth
will perish from the earth and from under these heavens."
It is the God who made man with the power to imagine in joy, or in unruly folly at will, that endurance is to be found, even from everlasting to everlasting, and rest. It is In that rest, now within, then to become visible and manifest in that exhibit of righteousness by the Lord in His own name and rule, that will be seen at last the untempered, unqualified, unmutilated, incorruptive and incorruptible grace, kindness, peace and purification of the Lord, that He has prepared for His people and even now brings in unqualified measure to their hearts (Philippians 4:7). In its millenial preliminary, Psalm 72 delights to express something of it, that time after the nature of Isaiah 59 and Revelation 20 as it moves on to the last Chapters.
The millenium ? site of godliness, place of restoration, pathway of the glory of God as the world finishes its course, arrested, invested, an attestation of the ways of the Lord. Here even Jersualem, snarled at and a snare for many, will shine out as the crucifixion-resurrection site of the salvation performance of God, not some god, not some place, not some grace, not some time, but in the fulness of time at the specified place, thrust in the faces of those who tried to behead not this time John the Baptist, but the very time of His rule on this earth, as if nothing sated, they could not stop.
Indeed in His own manifest regality, where understanding lies and souls rest, there will be a focus like a spotlight for man's eyes, on the singular site of His crucifixion, the unique placement of the resurrection of His body, death's defeat through love's sacrifice to substitute Himself for His subjects.
Here is the geographic attestation that in nothing is God and His love and mercy conquerable; it is ignorable only by those choosing to remain ignorant of it, with the results that unrealism must and does project, when it is mistaken for reality! Just as Eden was the site for sin's production in man, so Calvary, the site for salvation for many, is etched, not sketched, and will bare itself manifestly to the last, despite the blaring of idolatrous roars from the bastions of evil which spout against God, like displays of dynamically forced water, but make no impression except on their own supplies! (Isaiah 2, Micah 4).
Thus is the profound work of salvation made memorable during this millenium*3, not with flowers on the grave, but with Majesty in the resurrection of Him whose rule relays live and focussed, the place of His power in the very face of the ruptures of sin. To overcome the realities of deserved death like the granting of the wonders of creation is above all but God; and it is the work of the Sent Son on His divine mission, divine His source, nature and achievement.
Such emphasis is found not only in Micah 4 and Isaiah 2, but also in terms of the delightful companionship with many Gentiles seen in Isaiah 66, as in Deuteronomy 32:43, where even so far back in time , this magnificence is foreseen - but ONLY when GOD ALONE is the object of worship, the proponent of power and the entire cause and basis of the victory. POWER is of God and when He assigns it direct to His own hands, unwise is the person who would share it, reminiscent of the follies of Leviticus 10 and Numbers 16. When God acts let the earth be silent - except in due course, to rejoice greatly. It is when He acts to fulfil all His goodness, as broadly as liberty and as deeply as love, that rejoicing without intermission is due! (cf. Revelation 5).
THE ACME, NOT THE ACNE, OF GRACE
HAS NEITHER BLEMISH NOR ADDITIVE
Remember Egypt and tremble (cf. Psalm 2:10), Tyre and retire from the forefront, being content to be led by the Lord, who alone has the glory and does ALL that He says, AS He says, apportioning to many their ratings and places, functions and purposes, often stated long in advance: for great is the army sent. Moreover, it is HE does the sending, and His power is the propulsion, and His arm alone does what He holds fast to Himself, letting none glory, but glory itself be manifest in its own place, which is His own, for He IS glorious. For man, humility is not least a rational end: for
who made us (A),
who apportioned talents (B), and for the Christian,
who gave spiritual gifts to mind and soul, spirit and heart (C) ?
(as in I Corinthians 12:1-7, Matthew 25:14-30, Psalm 100, Colossians 1:15-16).
If we excel in dutifulness, was that ability not granted ? and if we fail, was this not a needless loss ? If Christ is our sufficiency as in II Corinthians 3:4-5, what is our contribution, but to receive Him and it, all from Him, so that when we are strong, then we are weak, and when weak, strong. When we are best or at our best, it is as creature, infinitely below the Eternal God. What dims is our contribution, what sustains, His.
Yet if we the more rely on Him, it is to exercise an option; and if the will to exercise it be in point, then that is merely what is granted, and while it may through some folly at some time be aborted, that is our foolish contribution, while performance is through His power, for power belongs to God ( I Corinthians 4:7). Certainly Paul was a co-worker with God (I Corinthians 3:9), but by whose grace, at whose invitation and with whose tutelage ? And indeed, as grace abounded, sin abounded, but grace much more (Romans 5:17-21); for grace abounds through Christ's righteousness to eternal life, and contrary conceptions are misconceptions, like children post-mature in the womb, unable to be born.
The grant of saving grace in Christ's sacrificial substitution is like capital, and it must be first be obtained before its outcomes may be considered and plans reposed for interest on the sum; and dwelling on interest without this capital base is like dreaming. Proud or self-assurance or satisfaction in dwelling on sinful output in the light of the Lord, flecked or even fondled by unrighteousness, is in fact building up debt in the gap between works and what is divinely acceptable for the kingdom of heaven, continually; this, while seeking release! It is for those already His, the sheep, as in Matthew 25, that the good counts as sanctification; but for the 'goats' there is only blame for omission and commission alike.
Why ? it is because they rely not on Him whose perfection it is that counts, if it is received freely as given freely, and from whom the gift is granted; but rather bypassing the nature of His gift, in part or whole relying on themselves and the deeds they do, or in part, they contravene grace and exalt the imperfect. It is GOD who covers it; not man. It is HE who makes up the gap, not man (Ezekiel 22:30-31, 37:24ff., Isaiah 53:1-6, 10-11). Grace only covers the gap between performance and perfection, righteousness and loss, and Christ is the body prepared for the purpose, death its awning, resurrection its source of acclaim.
By what of insisting on making a contribution to the attainment of salvation itself ? This, in the parlance of the parable, is like silly goats. That is the way it is with them. They do not rely exclusively on the one who died to provide cover, and lives to grant it and to keep what is committed to Him against the day of judgment (II Timothy 1:12). They will not; their character will not let them; their desires will not leave sovereignty; so they shake the hoof.
In fact, no one in heaven could point out to anyone else the skill or goodness or initiative that got him there, since this is expressly excluded (Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2), and would be a denial of the divine rights of Christ who by one sacrifice obtained eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12), and this He suffered not often, let alone as supplemented by man, an awesome blasphemy on the merits of Christ and the magnificence of God, by once and alone. Hence, in making the incomparable to be comparable, those who play games with grace do not find His face. Such flirtations with elevated fancy are expressly condemned, as Christ was Romans 11:1-6, Ephesians 2, Romans 3-5. His condemnation however was for the sins of His people, while those who tamper with His grant of grace will not contain the truth which sets free (Hebrews 6, 10, John 8:30-31).
What exalts itself will be humbled as Tyre and Egypt, Babylon and later Rome exhibit (Revelation 17-18, Luke 14:7-14, Matthew 23:10-12), whether that exaltation be in the field of theological, anthropological, psychological or any of the drab imperfections of man, imperious outputs or imperial ambitions.
But what ? When a man or woman is too tall for the fall which has involved all humankind (Romans 5), sin the container unit, or the escape from it as if requiring human co-operation for its grant (contrary to John 6:29,65), so that there is a co-saviour in the sinful self, then neither is there assurance (for who can assure himself of himself as himself), nor ground for it, neither this nor submission to the sovereign program of God.
That is His alone, who having lowered Himself to the position of practical Saviour on earth, does not lower the purity of heaven by having its foundations, or those of people in it, built on non-rock, a synthetic compound with sand (cf. Matthew 7:24-27). The ONLY ROCK in view for foundation, so that you may be built, is Christ (I Corinthians 10, Psalm 62, 72:18), and He is not you or I or anyone else, or any principle or potentate. It is HIS word which defines it, Himself who is it, His will that bestows such greatness in the grant, the gift of God which is eternal life (I John 5:11-12). It is this which neither fades nor fouls nor faints (I Peter 1:5-8), its recipients having their site in heaven already allotted, and the sight of the face of the Lord ensured. It is this which is to be taken, not mistaken, so that those who take it freely are found in it, to be assured in it that eternal life is indeed theirs, through faith by grace, not through a perilous participation (Ephesians 2).
There is no room for self-exaltation, but its imperial examples, not unlike many individual ones, soar like swallows, but with less melody, burn like fire, and specialise in ashes. Part of the fall of mankind is the concept of emulous competition and vying with God, extracting power and extricating from reality, with reckless ambition and heedless of consequences, the acrid steaming of strutting heart*1.
Competition with one another, this is different, for we are all of one mould; but even here, though the practice can be blessed and not banal at all, with what is one to compete ? with attainment in excellence so that advance is made, as problems are resolved, issues are jointly fixed, collective consensus makes its episodic contribution, brilliance waxes but perhaps is followed by blind spots, while zeal does not rest for the joy of the concept of the divine mission accorded to man, and given by grant to the children of God. Glory minus vainglory is delicious; and it belongs to God. It overflows as He fills the very atmosphere of our working, but it is STILL HIS!
There is nothing wrong with tall trees, their heights admirable. It becomes wrong when those concerned delight in tallness, invent grounds for it, insert wrong bases and erratic beliefs, so that their moment of maximum output falls from serviceability to sanctimony or worse, to self-sufficiency, and reliance on the very self which God created, not for its own self-worship or self-praise, implicit or explicit, nor for its own self-belief. That, it is normal for the oppressive idols, vanities in the heart: yet it is not given for these things, but for His companionship and delight, that the joys everlasting might endure in sound ground for them, basic and assured, and clear skies above them. What joy is life when it is lived in His divine presence!
The very arrival of fitness is divine, it is a fitness grant, whether biological or spiritual. The survival of spiritual fitness is by gracious enablement, built on the non-survival of the old person as such at all (Galatians 6:14, Galatians 2:20), and founded on the confounding of all such nostrums that rely on themselves at all for salvation. Meanwhile, the assurance of spiritual fitness and sufficiency as a personal ingredient breathes a lie; for what is sufficient for the duties of man before God (II Corinthians 3:3-6)! Paul remonstrates on this foolish misconception. GOD ONLY is sufficient for the work of God, God the base, the power, the presence, the peace and the ransom.
Without God Himself personally known, served, worshipped and delighted in, as giver both of biological and spiritual life alike, to those who receive these, the latter born both of water and of the Spirit (John 3:5), it is like a man of flesh, with a robotic heart, or with a computer-head. The polluted must first be divested, the supernatural grace invested, and then the works of industry and pateince proceed as character develops from its newly created base, found as foundation upon conversion to Jesus the Christ (I Corinthians 3:11). As to the latter, being BORN is coming into the type of being that inherits the kingdom of heaven, not the presumption of fashioning it. What is born can grow up, but not without being born.
It is certainly not tall stories about endurance becoming the creator, or fighting with strength being its birthplace, or the care of books being their writing, or the grace of God being by co-operation and the congress of desires or dynamic (Galatians 1:6-9, Isaiah 43:10-11) with Him.
Repentance is the pre-requisite (Luke 13:1-3), and it involves forsaking ALL, but especially the strength and possessions of all kinds of the sinner, for even so much as discipleship! It is precisely as Christ states (Luke 14:27ff.). Forsaking ALL does not mean leaving yourself in charge, for you come to FOLLOW HIM! (John 10:27-28), nor serving as public relations officer, nor negotiator (Galatians 1:10), as Paul points out, indicating that such a post would make him NOT the servant of God at all.
Indeed, as Lord (Luke 6:46), what does Christ declare ? It is this. Forsake ALL or you not only will not be, but CANNOT be His disciple. You would be of a different seed, breed, on a different basis, and unknown to God as friend.
Thus it is not a matter of transferring anything, but ceasing to rely on anything or anyone but Him, who did the works, whose works at His own hand and hands save, and are finished (Hebrews 9:12 - 10:14), once and for all. There is no limit to folly; but reason does not follow it, nor revelation mix it with its divine definition. The word of God breaks rock, including the rocky ideas that seek to supplant, substitute or add or subtract to or from it (Jeremiah 23:28-29).
When it comes to trust, it is the fool who trusts in himself (Proverbs 28:26), in his own heart, whether in much or in little (I Corinthians 3:10-23). Add anything to being saved persons by grace, and you subtract the Gospel (Ephesians 2:1-12).
Even the salvation through grace by faith, even this whole body of work, is "not of yourselves." Why ? It is because it is the gift of God. You do not work for a gift; otherwise it is not a gift, as Paul emphatically points out in Romans 11. Not only is it not of yourselves, but the reason why it is not and cannot be is this: that being the gift of God, any such concept of self and its scurrying or securings is excluded. God and man are not the same, but He is infinite and we are finite. Error here is infinite in kind.
The self is not God and it is from Him exclusive of any additive or synthesis, input or outcome that salvation comes. IF it is received, then according as the root, so the fruit; and even the planting, that too is of God (Isaiah 61:3). Indeed, "every plant that My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted," (Matthew 15:13).
IS RUSSIA MOURNING NOW THE LOSS OF THE USSR
AND TRYING TO BUILD SOMETHING MORE DREAMLIKE THAN EVER, BUT NOT FOR ITS VICTIMS
The whole international drive of the USSR, to conquer, just as it is now paralleled in the Islamic thrust, characterisably in its international impact, is merely one more imperialism.
Both of these epic, totalitarian adventures have been based on some unverified concept of divine or pseudo-divine operation, put into operation by very human dimensions of force and brutality, both seemingly made in much, impervious to humankindness. And this ? it is through fabricated, philosophic or internally inadequate and often contradictory propositions. Thus you cannot start the universe and history with anything at all, for it has to have its basis, eternal or not, and if not, then there is none, for nothing has no power and if ever all that is present, then always that does not change. But we are here. So is and always has been, our Maker (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!).
Moreover, what we have is running down (cf. Waiting for Wonder Appendix, TMR Ch. 1), far from eternity; and you cannot have things for no reason, without forsaking reason, in which case, you cannot rationally even argue. Further indeed, if you want to invest your propositions with something of divinity, you need to make a compelling case, void of internal clash and external non-verification, for duping among men is common and long has been, on all fronts (cf. Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13, Chapter 10 above, More Marvels ... Ch. 4, Divine Agenda Ch. 6). You cannot for example appeal to Jewish prophets as your forerunners, men of God, as did Muhammad, and then completely overlook their central sacrificial motif, disclosed in proay of Holiness Ch. 4), WHO IS GOD, the Saviour (John 8:58, Isaiah 45:22-25,Philippians 2:9-11phecies and principles both generic and particular, as in the death date for the Messiah (Highw, Hebrews 13:8, Malachi 3:6). There is none other but God who saves, Christ bearing the very name (John 1:29, Acts 4:11-12, John 4:22, Philippians 3:20), and this focus of salvation is the statement from those very Jewish prophets (Isaiah 43:10-11, Isaiah 49:55).
But what of the USSR, which has died, to take that case. It went bankrupt. President Putin is using its energy resources plus what one close lieutenant of his, in finance, once declared the swindle of the year, in getting some of them into his own hands. Hence money is not so much now a problem, in that enormous chunk of the earth's surface. USA and Britain helped it out of certain defeat in World War II in a mutuality of folly, which was paid for in the following decades, and is being paid for in part, even now. That it helped them is not to the point: it was a nascency and they had the power to enable it, and they did.
The new Russia appears to have an implacable, cruelty insensitive, power sensitive President who as noted in past Chapters, is busy seeking for the new totalitarianism to bury liberty in parts of the Ukraine, despite the rapine and lustful sequestration of resources in former times by the USSR, as if to murder twice. The latest revelations in The Australian, July 23, 2014, concerning the suggested philosophic basis, something Merkel of Germany seemed to hint at, fits to perfection both in terms of the direction of flow biblically predicted, and in the realm of what may yet become decisive results.
Incidentally, Merkel's comment after interview with him was this: that he lived in a world of his own. Just what that world is may have a pointer in terms of a philosopher of history, apparently prized in the Kremlin.
The purport to our point is this (The Australian p. 12).
There appears to be a "cadre of Russian ultranationalists advocating a "Eurasian heartland" dominating the world." Its "high priest" is named as Aleksandr Dugin, political author, prominent radio commentator, and prolific author. Also a professor of sociology at Moscow State University, he is said to exercise something of a "quasi-monopoly" over national tonings in Russia. And strong are those tonings, and ambitious the intonings, in the best way of the imperialists of history, to which we have in this Chapter been giving attention.
The matter is given attention is a work, Russian Eurasianism: An Ideology of Empire, by Merlène Laruelle. A major premiss is this: a new ideology is being sought by Russia. Dugin is said to be "filling their minds with a new hate-ridden totalitarian ideology whose consequences can only be catastrophic in the extreme, not only for Russia, but for the entire human race." He is reported to be noted for his recent demands that Ukrainians must be "killed, killed, killer," which appears rather more than the killer instinct which sin so often as we have seen, breeds like bacteria in the minds of those disdaining the biblical gospel, when they are in power.
Last time, the totalitarian USSR did the same thing to Ukraine (one valid reason why it is neither just nor safe to recommit it to Russia, as if in reward for those atrocities, to surrender it despite its will otherwise, to the USSR residue, Russia, still seemingly more than flirting with this imperialistic mode). It did violate, rape and dismember it in Stalin's day, by famine, taking its produce, and letting it starve. Other means including Siberian exile, with work till the body prepared drops. This, then, the new thrust appears nothing new except in name, certainly not in method. Dugin's own work extends to the volume, The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia, a work of 1997. It is noted that this is freely used amid security and military officials. Is there to be a Napoleon from the North ? Certain Ezekiel 38-39 speaks of an insurgency concerning God the ruler and Magog the place.
It puts Russia into a well fitting site, where the far North is in view, and frantic leadership.
Ideologically, it is apparently becoming somewhat amid the ludicrous machinations of Marx with his thesis, antithesis, synthesis concepts, based in matter which is not susceptible to such finesse, the idea drawn from Hegel in a spiritual theme. This developmental dynamic, however, had to have the potential for such developments from the first, or they could not happen, a point he omits. It is just another begging of the question, a norm in naturalism and its wedlock partners in mysticism.
Building up a Hitleresque case in a sort of latter-day Mein Kampf, it appears, Dugin is said to depict Russia as "the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois, anti-American revolution," moving of course to some kind of glorious destination for it, as for Hitler with Germany, lacking ground and reason.
It appears to resemble a sort of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity battle cry, such a Napoleon failed (not by very much at times) to implement. One trouble in the French case was that once the ogre of fighting to win and to be glorious for yourself or your nation becomes as if a god, then such seemingly mindlesss militarists turn on each other, a work at which Stalin appeared a masterpiece, not only with Trotsky's fate at the handle of an ice-axe, but in the case of myriads of anti-composure possibilities for power, dealt death, which - the power, not the death - Stalin preferred for himself.
What then of the current case in this vast historical, anti-rational dreamland ? The victim proposed for these new heartless hallowings is the "Atlanticist New World Order."
It seems rather like a James Bond sort of novel, with devastating consequences, while readers are captivated with clutter, stirred by adventure and wonder what will happen next. Literally, in the present case with Russia, the Lord knows! In fact, in Ezekiel 36-37, we see the return of restive Israel in the gracious, promise-fulfilling work of God, then their return to the Lord as in Zechariah 12, in specific repentance for the cruel murder of Christ, who yet became an effectual sacrifice for sin, and the only one given to end its power; and then, we find for this newly returned Israel (as now, for it has forged and foraged to a certain measure of stable government since 1948), a festering interest on the part of other nations. All this has duly happened, as if it were on a program for an opera; but this exposure is one of the opera of God, and hence is even more sure!
What then follows ? Next violence is predicted in Ezekiel 38-39, and lust is seen to come from the North, Israel a target, with a variety of congregating nations, seeking a vast impact for loot and power, such as this Dugin seems to find so fascinating, as did Stalin before him, and Napoleon before that, and Nebuchadnezzar before that, and Sennacherib before that, and the devil in person, before that from the first in Eden, mirrored in Tyre.
This is not a tradition, for many are the mixtures of nations and bits of them over time in the area, of rules and counter-rules. But its theme is! It is a dream, an aspiration, as is the scriptural label for such.
I have a dream, I have a dream, they say, we find this in Jeremiah 23, but the Lord has not sent them and they speak only from their own mouths. Their end is sure in this impersonation, distorting dynamic of desire, founded in man, linked in horrid confusion to some god of their own, often not specifically acknowledged, let alone rationally identified. This Dugin approach appears from the article in The Australian of July 23, to have this element, this pseudo-divinity which afflicted Tyre to its destruction, just as did the useless fiascos of naturalistic idols in Egypt, in its day. The actions in history exposing such have not been few, nor have the biblical prophecies precisely fulfilled, against such philosophic and religious marauders into the domain of truth. Without ground, without verified truth, they come, dreams with totalitarian legs, without basis but a certain yearning, as if spirituality being unhooked from the train of God, left at last miserably to fall downhill till it crashes into the rocks providentially provided. Such is the manner of the things, odiously repetitive, cleverly varied, but ultimately the same.
Such is the case it appears, as presented in another work, one by James Heiser on Dugin and his ideas, entitled "The American Empire should be Destroyed," published in 2012. Here there is attributed to Dugin's view, a certin telos, his ending phases, the enchanted forest at the climax. It is cited as the End of the World. Naturally in this, it is indicated, "through the Russian people will be realised the last thought of God, the thought of the End of the World." IN these, it is thoroughly normal for the deceived to become victorious at the end, in the dream, and to be a tragic mess in history. It is quite a diversity but scarcely diverting.
This is precisely the sort of pseudo-divine mentality which we have been somewhat extensively reviewing in this Volume 7 of our series of the work, The Department of Bible ... Again and again we see the ungainly, philosophic, imaginative, irrelevant dream which seeks to harness anything of God to the dreams of man, as if to say, Arise up O god, and follow me!
He does not do that. It works the other way not because of some last thought in spectacular manner arriving from the domain of nowhere with no basis and no verification and no logical ground, but because Mighty is He who Executes His Word (Joel 2:1). This concerns the living, verified, validated, the inescapable, the capable, the omniscient God of the Bible, who said He would send and sent the Messiah (Isaiah 48:15ff., John 1). This concerns the undertaker for history (Ephesians 1:11), who repeatedly declares what He will do and how and why, and then does it as part of a minimal credential presentation, that the meek might believe, the weak find refuge, and the rational find reason, for indeed, He INVITES people to reason with HIM! (Isaiah 1).
The last thought of God on mankind is the Gospel (Galatians 3), which is the same in essence as one of the first thoughts revealed in the Bible, namely that through a human being God would overcome the entire power of evil and the Director of Evil Machinations, the devil, who brought down the first pair, rather the way what appears a Russian built missile brought down an international flight, from Russian controlled areas inside an invaded country called the Ukraine. God however is able to raise from the dead, and dealt with mercy though generations have died, releasing Christ from death and making of Him, the imparter of immortality, as predicted in Isaiah 26:19.
Breaching death, His saving thoughts for man and his reconciliation with God involve no last thought. God is not a nut case doing intellectual calisthenics which people guess at for ghostly reasons which are sure to provide for their own ascendency in the end. He is the living God who shows His life by His deeds in creation, inscription in the DNA and allied quarters, His predictions, His personal appearance on this earth, His overcoming of such vulnerability with His own omnipotence, and the conformity of all things physical, terrestial, celestial, to His word, repeatedly like Christ the Lord, exposed, and amply confirmed. It is His way (Isaiah 41, 43, 48).
It may be that all this last word business, this new dream, this variation on an unoriginal theme, the fireworks of febrility and the acme of unreason, using religious entities for devious exploits, will not last long. The USSR had from 1917 to say 1991, a little over 70 years, the time of exile of Israel in Nebuchadnezzar's day. Indeed, this new thing so resembles Nebuchadnezzar, parading his soul with content on the walls of Babylon, reflecting on himself with satisfaction, that it helps one see the integrality of history. The assaults on God are to have a veritable storm of false prophets, Jeremiah indicated in Jeremiah 23:20, along the line of the false christs and false prophets predicted by Christ (Matthew 24:24). The time for this end of the Age phenomenon ? In view of Luke 21:24, it is now, or imposing itself soon, in that it is "near", to use the word of Jesus Christ on this topic. Things hurry to meet divine specifications. Unlike the words of false prophets such as we have here, His words and works coincide.
On recent developments in Russia, see also Department of Bible... Vol. 5, Ch. 8, Vol. 6, Ch. 3.
ON the 'god of forces' see SMR pp. 707ff., and index. This phrase and phase is found in Daniel 11:38, as the rising sweep to the brooding antichrist power proceeds.
Below is an excerpt.
Daniel's 'god of fortresses' - the 'personification of war', as Professor E.J. Young puts it ... Three predictions that fulminate like radio-active cancer tracers.
These advances in technology, in fact, fit into another prophecy - that of Daniel (12:4): that knowledge(1) would increase, while international travel(2) (*20) would boom.
These too were to be signals for Christ's return. That is startlingly fulfilled in executives - and others - flitting across the skies and earth and seas, in tourist travel (Queen Elizabeth II suite with butler, some 90 days, was cited at some $400,000 to secure); and in the explosion of knowledge which now occurs at a rate quite unprecedented. Computers are of course heavily involved in the knowledge explosion, and in turn form part of it. Just as the acceleration of the atomic cyclotron equipment moves particles and helps power for war, virtually deified in the Communist use of political and social conflict as the very means and essence of their 'dialectical process'... so computers accelerate the accumulation of knowledge.
The former point - the near deification of war (3) for many decades by one of the super-powers, which it has set forth quite systematically as a very means of 'life' in theory and in practice, as an essential principle of its very existence - this itself fulfils another prophecy: though we seemed merely to stumble on it, in considering the computer as an aid to the predicted Knowledge Boom! The Russian missionaries have long sold the doctrine of their warfare throughout the globe, almost an ultimate in incitation to arms by aims, whilst the mother country has profited in vast technical enrichments through stolen secrets and sequestered talents. And despite such theft, in its atheistic folly, it now wallows...
How ignominious is this current position of the State which told God to get out, bag and baggage! Satan however may yet ignite the residues, while Russia is fed for the time, from international aid. Communism, in this phase, is close and intimate with the Darwinian 'survival of the fittest' cult ... so irrelevant to creation; for it has to explain arrival (see Macbeth: Darwin Re-tried, a lawyer's analysis of the term and its connotation).
The intriguing aspect before us, however, is this: the communist doctrine of striving, warfare and programmed forces accurately fulfils the prediction of Daniel 11:38-39, in terms of the coming antichrist. As E.J. Young interprets this scripture in his commentary on Daniel, concerning the 'god' the coming evil power will worship: 'He is a god who is characterized by fortresses or strongholds. In other words, he is the personification of war... For religion, he will substitute war, and war he will support with all that he has...' In knowledge and the gentle art of this so developmental war ... the stage is being set. So the trio, knowledge, travel and war philosophy stridently stride the earth, clamorously calling for their synthesis of destruction. Perverted purity becomes a prop for destruction; for virtue and vigour, investigation and interest become in evil perspective, a calamitous company. And the ''god of fortresses''?
As far as the former U.S.S.R. is concerned, the Red Army is reported (January 16, 1992), in the Adelaide Advertiser as greatly concerned at the prospective division of armed forces in the new Commonwealth of Independent States, seeks nuclear power for itself alone and is holding a meeting of many army officers to examine the situation, while putting much pressure on President Yeltsin to secure for them a monopoly on nuclear arms, citing the danger of their division among the other (satellite, independent, subsidiary ?) States. Some days earlier, an Army Major declared that Gorbachev should be put on trial, evidently for treason, while characterising the failed putsch leaders as heroic rather than seditious.
The philosophy of war is not about to commit suicide... It has long been pampered not only in Russia but in other Communist States, being part of the underlying ideology of that corrosive system of hate. Nor is it the only exemplar of strident force, amorally mouthing its cadaverous cunning.
This was published in Edition 3 of SMR, 1997, the first edition 1992. New look god of forces is well exhibited as in the news item in *1 above.
See on and around the topic of the millenium, the following Chapters.
Sparkling Life ... Ch. 10,
News 124 (overview of relevant -isms);
Little Things ... Chs. 9, 10, 1
Outrageous Outages ... Ch. 11 (preliminary),
Ch. 1, p. 20 (moderation has many marvels),
SMR Appendix A, pp. 502ff., 750Bff., 727ff., 732Bff.,
Department of Bible ... Vol. 3, Ch. 10, Vol. 2, Ch. 10, Ch. 1,
Light of Dawn Ch. 6 (at Problems of Changing),
News 45, Part 2 (limits of fidelity on licence to change);
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 17, 18 (disentangling furs),
SMR Chs. 8- 9 expository reference, );
Galloping Events Ch. 8 esp. *1.