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THERE IS A REASON
THERE IS A LOVE
THERE IS A MEANING
THERE IS A LIBERTY
Freedom is a wonderful thing. yet, as presented in Predestination and Freewill, you can see if you look sufficiently narrowly, an unending seeming series of contributory factors such as social manners, cerebral inertia, fervent fancies, voluntary captivations, educative penchants both of others and of oneself, parental influences, genetic limitations, psychic vulnerabilities enlarged by fears, related to earlier events and so on, like the mutinous thoughts of the self-preoccupied.
Self ? How does one escape oneself in order first of all, to be as one would (freedom from such a slavery) and then from what one would, in that the desires may be devastating, destructive, only pseudo-constructive or plain self-indulgent; and if the self prefer a moral seeming code, then self-obliging.
Yet people will feel, without being at all insane or even unusual, guilt for their wanderings, workings or determinations to do this, as for example, lie, or that, as for example cheat, and will even remember clearly when and where and for what reason they chose such and such a course, and with what purposes or sub-purposes, or relish,, which has led to what now seems petty folly or deep seated blindness. They may even be able to trace the steps to the confusion, or abuse, or evil, and regard with appalled realism how such things could possibly have occurred, be they seemingly great or small, or with results only to be expected, or on the contrary, scarcely expected at all.
Some stride above social shame, as hypocritical, inept, wrongly founded and so on; yet are not above family shame, or personal shame, or that in terms of their religion, be it sacrosanct in their sight, or secular in pseudo-ultimacy, with only a touch of the awe from somewhere.
Even in conscience-free people (hard to find, for some are even ashamed of being so easily ashamed, or not so easily ashamed), inferiority or disdain can spread to themselves, or a moral inertia can chide their easy ways, with the psychic follow on of enervating meaningless, and ruthless passion can become rued folly.
The consequences where mania is not the case, and the mind still works, can be vast in direct or indirect guilt, hidden self-loathing or ludicrous self-exaltation, prior to the fall. Similarly, wars can be fought for little things, with some abiding weakness exploited, sometimes on militant purpose, by others, leading with many deaths and maimings to more guilt, or correct self-loathing, since the proportions even for an imagined god, the self, the society, the psyche, may be ludicrous. Guilt may be greater with some because of the disproportionate, or because for something small, great tasks were not performed. Memory of capitulation to motives impossible to justify, may megaphone its perception within the soul, and pretence that there was no freedom ( one "had to do it!") becomes impossible to maintain, despite nebulous protestations.
There is no way to account for this inbuilt moral sensitivity, if not susceptibility, on the prescribed forms, formats and functions of that slaving substance called matter, of the laws of which there is no secret. It is irrelevant to the data, as if one slipped on an orange peel, and fractured the skull, and then 'accounted' for the oversight by speaking of the sort of toothpaste one has. It is indeed relevant to the person qua teeth, but not qua feet and eye acuity.
Materialism and determinism in particular are, for the psyche, as capable agents of explanation, means for assessment, as would be poetic ability in solving abstruse mathematical equations. There inherent errors are further treated in Repent or Perish Ch. 7 and Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Ch. 2. Atheism of course has even more problems, since it tends to evoke both the above, but also has to fail in the little matter of beginnings (as if a millionaire were to tell you 'how I made my millions' and to start with the first hundred million taken for granted, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to have them by, when it is their presence at all which is to the point).
Nothing! they say, is the source, despite its flat self-contradiction, since the term indicates unambiguously that in no domain (if the scope is all things, to explain them) is there anything at all, such as a potential, or part of a system, or a system to be part of, or a future, or a past, or a response capacity to or for an inducement of this or that facility to operate). Ignoring that, it is begging the question with confusion or deception or both added.
Then they may speak of something moving in or out of being, from somewhere or something in ways marvellous for the epic poetic, but meaningless in logic. There is no way, place, system, scope or room in nothing (total case) for any development, or participation; for with what does one participate, when one is not there, or with what is it made, when it lacks in the first place, or to what could it adhere, since nothing is the case by the very model type, chosen for anything you can present. Accept ANYTHING and you beg the question, defect from you model and talk mere antithesis and antilogy. If this is voluntary, it implies and means the suspension of logic, which thus requires an inability even to argue for one's position, and so necessitates the loss of the case, and exposure of the irrationality of this model. If on the other hand, the error is involuntary, its removal removes the materialism, determinism, atheism, all bred in the same manner, by denial of principle and data, the one for argumentation and the other for explanation.
In terms therefore of a basic something, so that there is no need for anything to come, to have to come, to arrive from nothing at any time, or for any time with the irrationality noted; but rather there is something eternal (SE). Then you are never cut off with nothing with nothing to do to gain what you are supposedly explaining, namely what is there. Any lapse ever is as logically fatal here as lack from the first, and any supposed containment by a system merely invalidates the 'something' as relevant. The necessary is eternal by nature, and there is no escape.
This needs to be the cause; and as with the above, so with this item, if you wish to deny the relevance of causation as a principle, you cannot and even remain rational. You wish to explain causation away ? Good. Start reasoning. WHY do you wish this (supposing reason and not desire were relevant to your desire here) ? It can only be if you wish rationally to sustain a model relevant, because you cane explain how an illusion of causation is mere irrelevance. You can explain it all away, like Kant in his endeavours (for the exposure of which see Predestination and Freewill Part IV and SMR Ch 5). AS SOON AS you explain (away) causation, you have to give the cause, the reason for your action. WHY is it invalid ? What is the ground for your assertion (if so be) of the invalidity of causation ?
As soon as you expose the cause of this result, you are yourself USING the very thing you disdain. To get rid of it reasonably you have to use it, a simple case of begging the question, and it likewise becomes your own reductio ad absurdum for such an effort. It does not and cannot work. This demonstrates that.
This too is violated in any such reductionist model. Argument cannot even be relevant when all grounds for it are in principle invalidated by the desecration of logic, which of course is just one more item in any attempt at explanation, one more question to be begged in this model. It is one more item which has to be assumed, in any materialistic or atheistic proposition. This, of course, is in the arena, in addition, of the conceptual, thus what can be as such misconceived in principle, of the mental, that which relates to one's own will, in this that this can abuse it, use it, pretend not to use it and so on in ways where matter is, to make the point, immaterial to the considerations, and useless in the explanations.
In Predestination and Freewill, this being so, the solution to the actual data in the domain of the difficulty is sought and found. The presence of the self, then, is to be sought. At last, it comes tor recognition, like some distant quasar for the astronomer, who can now BEGIN to deal reasonably with his data. How free is this, once its species is understood with its weighing logically and morally and aesthetically (and so on, almost ad nauseam) of various things*1 ? Can it follow its will, or is it harassed by external circumstances - such as BELIEVE or else lose your head! in the so-called IS methodology: and this to the cut of the caliphate, which seems here a humanly conceived form of black hole, to replace Hitler's murderous zeal and Stalin's contemptible zest. This, it appears then a currently popular form of irrationality. How many Christians have been 'cleared' from the Middle East ? Each one is accountable...
Even if facing nothing of this type, and free to indulge, what are its parameters, preferences, on what are these based ? how were these intimations, inclinations derived ? Do you wish to 'explain' ? Without source (the famous and confused nothing case then), with causation ignored (and so is irrationality invoked at the outset), you are acting as if reaction were all, its components post-paid and freely available, which happens to be more nonsense, on a par with other elements of all reductionist models. It is necessary if you want truth, to deal with ALL the data and that with reason, to gain access to anything of lasting value.
Were this possible, however, and not antinomy, what could you explain in the way of freedom ? You would on any such (admittedly defective) base, be moving towards its total lack in this, that the self then becomes a conflation, a reactive reagent, a relativist regent, a service unit waiting to be served. The person is then free to do what the self desires, in view of this and that and so on.
The person is not free to be the self or the sort of self desired, for the self on this scenario, legislates, by the psychic programmatics. While endeavour for this is not the same as success with it, for what IS the self so assumed to be so marvellously responsive so selflessly to so much so readily, as if it did not even exist, and how does it consent so to be bound ? and is this true of life where apposites and opposites may the one as well as the other, meet any and every would-be moulding force!
Nevertheless, if you want liberty to assess and quest, this is not that. To have this, coordinate with guilt for the non-insane, you need some sort of character to be assigned to the self, other than that of a rather unusual sort of blotting paper.
But when you do this, there is the question of damage to be done to it by the unreasonable but potent force of custom, coercion, fear, inner disturbances, rebellion as a principle of life, obscurations by fear, ambition, hatred, blind affinity, lust for self itself or something or other else, and so on. When these pathological forces are given their intake, where is the liberty of the pathological, the unprepossessing possessed ? of the gloating, the proud or the shamefacedly sallow ? frequently being aware, often with shame, bitterness or practised and protective cynicism, later of the absurdity of the earlier condition.
Yet the guilt is present, seen or unseen, and in the most advanced cases of proud turpitude, even when all that one is and has is deemed (by oneself) rather lovely, or its too obvious features are submitted to systematic suppression, in what is a moral type self, when all is done, however crooked or crucified its nature. The memory is present of the actuating principles in former events or times, in many cases and cannot be denied, or in many cases among our race, is subject to no defence at all. Desire did it.
It is not surprising then that one finds what is missing, to supplement the ordered composition, complexity, unification, sustaining maintenance of and vital facilities magnificently multiplied in the bodily apparatus given to each one of us.
There is matter; there is mind; and never mind the chatter about matter, explanation is not in the grouping with law-bound event, nor are logic's formulations of validity and invalidity, an observable segment of its innermost consultations. There is nothing the matter with matter in its being material; but making it explain itself, or relate to what lacks its containments and acts on other bases, formed and formulated in symbolically creative modes, is mere philosophic persiflage. It lacks relatable reality, relevance, and is not to be found, like the other reductionistic manipulations of mind, performing its transmutations on matter, making new kinds of things with new kinds of information. It does not do it.
There is nothing to explain about what is happening (other than new generations of the same, slightly damaged, and the ilk), at this time, as distinct from the time of its institution. It does not happen. The only current need therefore is to explain why so many in the name of science (inept) and not of philosophy (standard), play with the unseen imaginations, and ignore the visible certitudes.
That, on the biblical basis, of course is more than easy: it is inscribed (Romans 1:17ff. for example). The case is this. The omission of normal scientific method here has a reason, and it is rebellion, not only against method, but against the One who challenges to check things out (as in Isaiah 41, 48).
It is the result of a type of spiritual rebellion which cannot stand God (as distinct from manipulable substitutes made in one's own mind, as obtrusive substitutes, amounting to nothing). The morally relevant self has a cause. It not only sets up morals à la carte, but has ruminations and reservations (variable in intensity), and a ground for its existence. It is not insane, but susceptible.
This functional self has reason and causatively based capacities of conception and perception, it has feelings and ambitions (including to look as if it had no ambition, as some kind of subversive protest against something or other) and imagination and censoriousness and amplitudes of critical complaint and potentially nobility and sacrifice, profundity and wonder. Its cause, let us not need to repeat it, this is not nothing. Its causative basis is, and must be, on the contrary, adequate moreover for its generation, emplacement, capable in every dimension and for the assembly of the various capacities in the self, and with other sufficient causes for this and that, part of a system or series of systems, physical and mental not only capable of integration - or rather, being integrated - but operational as such, and organisable in given environments such as this world, in principle, in assessments of no mean magnitude.
There is the need of causation which demands not only cause for matter itself as well, and spirit and imagination, but if these were divided, then for the system of causes and their systematic multi-application in one creation, the self, with one set of co-ordinated capacities, logical overview, feeling responses or fabrications, blinding attachments or cleared vision, all come, not pell-mell like bits of an exploded aircraft, but as machine tooled components of an exquisite creation, beyond the power of man to make, as beyond the power of any controls to fashion, since the controls constitute the impress of the maker's hand, and not the liberty of spirit which can curse it, and defy till it dies.
Thus, when beyond the more obvious and unmet needs of the reductionist models, you turn not only to the components of the case, leaving self-deception and reductionistic fantasy, you still have to find how freedom can be explained. Freedom from (these and those created things) as liberty beyond (the current condition of the self in its abstractive fantasies and functioning ferments) are no more occurring in any visible milieu, as a new type of thing, though their functions remain. There is thus layer on layer of the original but no more operative creation of these features. Slovenly thought is not a sufficient cause. Imagination is not sufficiently powerful (except in deluding people by the sheer force of utterance, but this is not a matter of force, but mental, moral, spiritual, imaginative, logical and creative competence).
The sufficient cause of all, eternal as noted for the reason noted, normally called God, but necessarily there whatever this Being be called, could leave this sullied human self in its own exalted waters (envisaged charmingly as a lake on a mountain ?), and freedom would be as much of this world might suggest - a debased residue like cinders from fire. Much of the current world-wide political, moral and military action is capable not only of reducing the image and nature of the self to a cinder, but its world with it! While the human body acts with essentialised system and sub-system, and unified co-ordination, and the mind has access to disposing logic and the spirit to different forms of purpose or voluntary disjunction from it, the negative options are profound.
Their creation requires the information, but far MORE (and not at all less) than that: it requires the understanding at the constitutive level, such as what is volitionally open to action, and closed to frustration in this act. It needs to be competently said and done; and it was. That is why it is here. Nothing, neither in general nor in particular lairs (like a 'mind' lucky dip or a 'spirit' one or any of the multitude of equipment types required) just does not have way with it; and surprisingly to some, that is because it is not there. The capacity however to reduce to something towards nothing, it is there; and the Bible declares that this is so great, this transgressive power when misused, that only in the return of the Saviour from sin, Jesus Christ, could human life endure at all.
The deteriorating genome for man, as Professor Sanford*2 pointed out, and as has been considered not a little, is only one of the ways in which this is now found to be applicable. Sundry hydrogen bombs in the hands of demented jihadists, who expect it seems profound rewards for disruptive, destructive passions. these could also be used, as the mere spread of radioactive material. Even if you invent your god from your own merely lmpassioned mind, you do not with it invent the type of world which we have. That was done by the One who is there, and nothing, not even threats of being impaled or decapitated, can really change Him for whom all knowledge and power, beyond time and space, themselves limited and limiting creations, exist at His pleasure. The clash of pretence and pretension is always potent and eventually deadly when it is with reality; just as ignoring the all-sufficient God is never sufficient to get rid of Him, His rules, His logic, His desires, His designs, His words, just as Christ declared, saying, Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will not pass away.
The potential transience of man, amid the clouds of doom, apart from salvation to give to him remedy, rehabilitation, regeneration and redemption, is not something to be willed away; as soon as this supposedly magnificent solution to man's rebellious departure from the living God, or that one, meretricious mouldings of febrile mental manipulation, has been around awhile, apart from new look versions of the same, it vanishes like a dream, or lingers like a curse, but becomes part of the ephemera of man's misuse of creative ability to make irrational and contrived stories of this or that kind, and to hold them fast, like a toy in front of a dying child.
It does not save the child, that is the generations of man. The Maker attended to that with the necessary competence and the staggering generosity to which man can spit distantly if He will. When Christ was here, this was actually done, the saliva was real, like the transgression.
So it goes, dream and unreason, lust and depravity, moral minimisation and gross abuse or the provision of the Creator, in the Gospel, operative pad for the Bible, singularly attested.
It is thus as Christ predicted, in the Bible, which is the only book capable of verification and validation, confirmation and requirement of faith by the grounds exposed, and which also CLAIMS to be such, demonstrable*3 . It is logically important that it not only is found to be testable, but makes relevant claims*3 as to its identity and nature, so that it is not manipulable after discovery. When God speaks and renders all intelligible, and confirms the logic with the verification, it is not like a squeak in a multitude, but has the criteria and characterisation to enable its reception. This is distinguishable readily from all else, when confusions are denied entry, and rigour is applied. What then is the nature of the operational and required basis for man ?
Now, in this way, the self, or to use a more descriptive term, the soul, has a base not only for its vastly enquiring and facilitated existence, but for its astounding and amazingly varied qualities and features, diverse ways and staggeringly diverse results. Indeed, this basis covers each aspect of its being, capacities and coherence in meaning and singularity*4. Its moral sensitivities or sensibilities are explained in terms of the imprint of the Source. Needing nothing (any unexplained quiddity, set up as god, but needing something is hence really not the ultimate cause, but merely a misplaced conception), the spiritual Source and Creator grants grace at will. The enormous desire so often met in many, to APPEAR moral (or nowadays, in an inverted bowing to the same theme in perversion of spirit, to appear IMMORAL for kicks or self-importance or whatever cause), to have some place at least in the realms of the moral*5 (defined at will increasingly) is readily explained; and so also now is this whole milieu with its operative basis, methods, complexity, conceptuality and basis.
It is the facility in terms of the moral in this, that the Creator of the self did His work in the way that seemed good, and the exquisite systematics and speech enshrined in even the directions for our physical beings show that every detail matters; and so does its treatment. One human is far more a diligent creation than a thousand air monsters, movers, flight providers! It is now more and more customary not to do justice either to the wonder of each person or to its needs for correct maintenance. Futile flights of imagination readily substitute for functional use of reason, if only the issue be vital enough. Life becomes more and more as a principle, chained to depravity of morals, abortion of understanding, cavillings like grit in the eye, subversions of the obvious, assault on well-being or other life, a complex of weird ambitions and devastating deeds, amplified by atomic power, and mocked by the scimitar, the claws of the bear or the silent monsters of the mechanised deep.
So maintenance of our uniquely brilliant visible equipment, that of each one, may be voided or avoided or aborted. But it still needs it! Distancing of thought or action for this at the deepest level will not alter the personal cost of ignoring such considerations, whether in philosophically induced carelessness or any other, or amid the genuine guilt which might well be found in using amiss not only equipment, but the marvellous working ability in many domains, with which one is dowered at birth, prepared in potential, in principle for practice.
But freedom ? Is this to be an illusion of pandemic proportions, its presence, desirability or attainability ? Will lordly attitudes to the underlying capacities, preoccupation with this or that segment, actually dismiss the carelessness about maintenance, as of some brilliant method of measuring with sharp edges were permitting to become blunt, with a shrug... Does a shrug save it ? maintain it ? get necessary results. Even feelings in some areas are now made gods, reason is specifically there rejected, purpose dismissed and money dispensed according to this negligence and the psychic god, the personal feelings, can come to be called in some way ethical or even moral! 'Gods' thus stump about the earth, some of them not to be upset in any way, even this or that law invoking it, and people must be trained if need be, not to offend; because it is offensive to offend.
This circle continues like a meaningless merry-go-round, and the offence to those who are supposed to have been offensive to someone or other, some exalted psyche, anyone in this or that way, is one way only. Who gets in first, saying, 'This is offensive!', since the one offends the susceptibilities of the other, and the offence of the other, implying condemnation or criticism, is equally likely to offend the one deemed guilty of offence. In principle, this continues till the entire folly becomes not only apparent, but hilarious, its unholiness and unwholesomeness apart. Like grape vine tendrils, deprived of support for their climb, the persons divorced from God are logically apt to place this or that quality of God in other things, the normal situation in idolatry. They can never bear the weight. Nothing else is near to infinite power or knowledge such as to make body, mind and spirit in man.
The reason why loss in and for man, even in hits productive equipment, whatever the reason for it, matters; and this too is explained readily on the same basis. You are not only made, but made for maintenance by the basis of your institution, you Creator. In fact, there are now known to be amazingly commanded, scripted or programmed provisions in what (amusingly) used to be called junk DNA, for correction and oversight of possible programmed errors as cells are copied and new generations of people arrive by the sheer wonder of transmission of the plans and their directions. These relates to their susceptibility to be FOLLOWED out as new (houses ? ) little persons are created. You need equipment to DO as well as command, and a more than facile co-operation between the two, the symbolic and the laborious. You need it at the first, to get it; and to the last, to maintain it. Is it not enough to be given a magnificent sports car, that you despise its maintenance and pretend no one actually gave it!
What sort of results would this envisage, likewise, the pretence it was someone else when the actual source is indubitable! People often ask, Why did God do this or that! with frowning brow. But how on earth He has the patience to endure the combination of hypocrisy, irrationality, mercilessness from one to the other USING HIS created equipment, deceit, pretended morality, this is the moral question! The answer is His lovingkindness, not blindness. They do differ like light from darkness (cf. Amos 4, Jeremiah 7:11ff., John 5:14).
Let us review.
First, a word on method. One may start with reason. It is not a presupposition here, but normal usage, following rules for validity. It is a test of its competence and coverage in that case. Does it provide answers for man ? Is it a gift which has appointment with information ? To gain THIS information, USE it. This we do, for example, systematically in SMR, and we find it leads inexorably to the almighty God and then to the Bible, a step at a time. This is then verified, and thus the concept is validated. Its inner contents are then tested, both for quality and for kind, so that the alliance logic requires is in this empirically sustained, and that with the flourish with which truth is ultimately endowed, when it is followed.
But let us revert to some of the preliminaries as you look at human life, a vignette amid the vast areas for investigation. First, there is the one profoundly brilliant, ordered, organised, spelled out side of it, with the symbol-significance or word-work correlation included (as in DNA), a mental phenomenon, allied to the engineering, the architectural and the verbal. It has to be copied to cope. That vast action of precision has to have all its parameters guarded, and proceeds, not without any error, but in a way which is POSSIBLE because of the safeguards. So in each generation is man made anew, the same (or this time, somewhat tarnished) before our feasting eyes, and errors though limited by specialised editing, do not lack with each vast quantity of information thus followed into action.
In addition, provision is needed for understanding and comprehensibility, and thus basis for truth, not only concerning what is programmed, and increasingly able technically to be read by man (1); but also needed is what is written (2), testable, verifiable, providing truth and not relativistic rumblings, stumblings, presumptions and preludes to thought merely. Thus you find directions to matter to make a new generation, a prodigious work, and to mind, to give directly intelligible coverage of the case, the personal for the personal, wisdom for the wise, advice for the empty, help for the hopeful, and material ruthlessly to scorn, for the mockers.
The provision for inspection is and must be not only reproductive functionality, but at another level, possess logically adequacy in any explanation. Here is the underlying need to cover the full case, for this is permanent (2), not merely a matter of generation by generation for some thousands of years, as noted. It has to be put there if it is to be maintained; explained by means of what is intelligible, logically coherent, expressibly and impressively located and functional not only in action, but in truth, if truth is to be known, and therefore logically statable.
Truth must be there to be expressed, and for presentation, be expressed from the able source, unlimited in conception, unimpeded in status, comprehensive in comprehension. Truth cannot be expounded from what excludes it, as in any relativistic model. Such modelling is mere mess on the floor. If you want to build, explain, present what endures critique, your material must be sound, and edifying because of valid edifice. It cannot be thrown in as if mind, available to argue, were in some way stultified at this level.
Something else then is to be found, then ? What is this ? It is direct speech (2) from the ONLY one who knows the actualities, realities, coherences, is absolute, without whose eternal existence nothing extant could be, and nothing would be all - that is, no creation, nothing to show, and nothing would be all that was left, and being what it is, you would logically be back in mere confusion. It is the mental and spiritual direction, encouragement, revelation, intimation, organisation, exhortation of the Maker that is found when reason is followed, and with all patience from the Lord, it is able to be and is verified, validated. As product of God, like the body and mind of man, so the mind of God is expressed incomparably. What is found ? what is declared ? and to what does history bear record ?
He is good not only at programming. In this impartation, and the degradation of the self, the soul, the psyche, the very spirit of man is acknowledged without joy, his condition and position is exposed, and with this, with that mercy which is the reasonable basis of all our own (when it IS shown!), there is given the address of the crash repairer, the spiritual skin-graft specialist, the spiritual cancer physician, Jesus Christ, Son of God, human incarnation of the divine, remedy for man. Such is contained in what reason indicates and enquiry may test.
He did not charge bills, but as God in human form, paid for the cost of forgiving the sin (capacious terms of what displeases the Maker and forfeits wisdom) which is the underlying malady. This removes the guilt and provides the grace (unmerited kindness) which enables restoration to the grace, power, wisdom and workings of God.
Part of the revealed mercy is this, that not only is there provision for the actuality of morality, what it is without confusion, exposed, like paper grown soppy in the rain, to be replaced with clear imprint, but the vitality of spiritual heart, and the understanding of a taught spirit, is enabled. Thus one may not only DO as one will but WILL as one wills, and become a new self, a restored soul, as in Colossians 3:10, revived, cleansed and corrected (Titus 3:1-7) to the image of the One who created you. THAT, it IS freedom. It is even referred to as repentance to salvation not to be repented of (II Corinthians 7:10).
It is not a matter of earning the opportunity (as in tennis tournament play-off matches to decide who may enter the main draw). As Paul declares in Romans 3, no such opportunity to boast is provided. Then why does God save anyone ? It is, He declares, because of love (John 3). Whom would He like to save ? It says in Colossians 1:19ff., that the answer to that is this: EVERYONE, whether on earth or in heaven! and He even repeats the "by Him" relative to Christ as providing the reconciliation, the ground for pardon, just as, in this Colossians passage, He expands from earth to heaven in a most emphatic, all-encompassing way. THAT is the scope of this divine desire, where, to be sure, force is contemptible, irrelevant, and mercy with integrity is a wonder.
Such is the ultimate theme of His desire, a chaste desire, one not forcing issues where force does not relate, nor treating them trivially where heart does (cf. Isaiah 48:15ff., Proverbs 1, Matthew 23:37).
Why then does He not do it for all ? (cf. Matthew 22:1-14). It is the wilful lack of the garments of grace, required not only to lie around, but that they be PUT ON! (Matthew 22:11ff.), and if put on, then prized as does occur when this is done (cf. Isaiah 61:10).
What then ? We come back to the data as at the earlier points: it is because the human soul, psyche, soul, mind, CALL it what you will, for this remarkable institution has a will of its own, and it may DENY (as in love, people often do, towards others) any desire for such love, grace, pardon, forgiveness, wonder; it may simply prefer its present state (cf. Proverbs 1) and turn away (cf. Hosea 11:1ff).. It is easy to say NO, and where human preference is negative, then we find in John 3:19, in the very face of such positive divine desire for restoration that is then the actual and adequate ground for condemnation (saying 'no' is a lethal option). It is not hidden (cf. John 3:36).
If you are too high to lower yourself to go through the exit door from a prison of self-dominating sin, then surely the Lord has not only given you opportunity, but paid for it enough to cover all that is ever to be used, enough for any (I John 2:1ff.); It is not allocated where it is not desired, but it is adequate if it were, so that God can be, and is called "the Saviour of all men, especially of those who believe," as in I Timothy 4:10. Some in the first and last analysis wish to slip away. What then ? so for these, their sullied sanctity (that is, the ability to continue as you are, preferring this self to a restored one) takes action and assumes responsibility for the result. Thus, sin may, for a time, hide God from you (John 1:12); but it does NOT hide you from God, who knew His own at the uttermost expression of love, from the first (Romans 8:29ff.).
Many who refuse Him now, note results and then ask WHY of their pangs, as if their refusal were irrelevant! But that is mere blindness. Sow and reap.
God even secured the certainty, as in the Bible, of ensuring no mistakes to be made as to destiny of individuals (remember the parallel principle in the editing of gene copies as a precaution against error, physically), by ascertaining who were His own before man was even created (as noted in Ephesians 1:4), or thus had even sinned; and He
foreknew all results and ensured no mix-ups
through the means of what is called predestination (Romans 8:29ff.),
based on the foreknowledge,
itself based on the
seeking love and divine desire for reconciliation
As Christ was (on earth), so God is (in heaven*6), and the triune God who sent His only begotten Son to earth, is the same One whose Word and Spirit, three Persons, one entity, moved in the beginning to know who were His own. Sin can convert liberty to fixity, indeed, but it cannot hide the essence of the soul, seen before institution into action, by the God who made it, and made it free, so that man could decline to obey, being subverted satanically, in wilfulness coercible. Thus there is a double grace, not only to present the opportunity to be saved, but to penetrate the darkness of sin to ensure that for no merely technical reason is it missed. So each is responsible, and God makes barrier to preserve liberty from lust and mere generic pathology. God misses none who might be found, takes none who would enter hypocritically. It requires faith, which is not available in faulty models.
His adequacy is profound. God does not, if you will, have any shortage of spiritual ambulances, indeed the fleet is all of one, and what is ready for call, is called.
So the problems of the programmatic, the fixed and the free, the personal and the meaning of it, the nature of man and his destinies are all resolved, with nothing unexplained, and it is done when the entirety of all is considered, and not simply parts, when the entirety of the Bible is considered, and not just parts of it. It must be acknowledged here that this is perfectly consistent. Always solutions to the relevant questions come from this source, and in this the deposition of the Bible is unique, Christ and His word without comparison. There are no rationally sustainable*7 competitors, and this supremacy is only fitting in the Lord and His word. It is also even further verification. It is His; He gave it. It functions in beauty and completeness for confidence.
Look even further, along these same biblical lines. Thus there is even more freedom. If NOW you wish to be His, it is by the work of His own influence, and conviction (John 16), and there is no possibility that HE wants you OUT while you want IN, for in the last resort, even before time, it is you and not God who excludes, even though the sullied soul may turn from Him now (John 1:12) by its spoiled and spurious situation. What may be secret even to man is not secret to God before whom all things are manifest (Hebrews 4:13, 13:8). He is not confused by the heavy spiritual breathing, into misdiagnosis, but knows His own, by light inexcludable and operates by grace, restraint, understanding lest any be lost needlessly or found merely factitiously!
As Watson well notes in his Body of Divinity, faith is the taking of the gift, not the basis for it! The basis is one only, in one way only, and with one donation only, as in Hebrews 12 and Ephesians 2, yes in Romans 3 and Galatians 3-5. Freedom has its genesis in God, and its understanding, and there is no other site for it, or citation for its recovery but that unalloyed from God, who alone meets or can meet the conditions of its loss, the reason for it and provide the impetus for this, because God IS love as I John 4:7-10 tells us and assumption contrary to His word is presumption, false and fraudulent.
In the ultimate, the end which is known from the beginning, It is man who buffets God (in this respect), not God who buffets man; for in Christ, the Lord was actually buffeted in the scenes prior to the crucifixion, in proceeding to the act of paying ransom for sin in redemption, the just for the unjust to bring us to God (I Peter 3:18). Yet much dross needs to be left behind if you leave the errors of hearts and their attachments, so that many wanting vaguely a liberty only distantly sensed, bypass the very way of it and to it and through it, as if hypnotised, cradled in the unloving arms of the corruptive army which despises liberty and demands satisfaction, now, as it will and how it will. Such is sad for the psyche and ruinous for the destiny, unless time be left for repentance, and as to that, just consider the case of King Manasseh (II Chronicles 33:10ff.).
God is very patient but never gulled; and in love He laments but does not force. Some may even be made aware of His drawing and moving on the soul like a vast cloud of brightness, for when God is acting He is not limited, and the infinite God makes no small difference to any situation, even the impossible becoming possible, but NEVER does He debase His love to mere desire, or abandon its morality and beauty for the sake of statistical results (cf. Hebrews 6,10). Playing about with His love, as in slightly parallel human cases at times, may lead to loss, but receiving His grace and redemption is infallible in its inheritance (I Peter 1:5ff., Ephesians 1:11, John 10:9,27-28, John 5:24, II Timothy 4:8, Romans 5, 8), for so has He said and so has He done. It is one of the wonders of the soul from His hand, which continue now as at the first, even as prophecy (e.g. Luke 21:24 concerning Jerusalem) indicates that His return to rule is growing near.
God is always up to date, even concerning the return of Israel to Jerusalem, to a site no more trodden down by other nations, freed from the trudge of such drudgery. By THIS return shows, now in operation, He declared when on earth, one could know that HIS return is near. When these things BEGIN, He stated, the ending of the interim time comes close. They have begun.
Look therefore to the end and consider what all this clarity has to tell you. As Jesus put it, let the one who has ears, hear.
*1 See for example SMR pp. 332Gff., at 315A.
*2 Professor J.C. Sanford, Emeritus Professor, Cornell University, as in his research and work, Genetic Entropy.
See for example:
SMR, TMR with Chs. 4, 5 and 6 above, and
Department of Bible ... Volume 11, Chapters 4, 17, 21),
Department of Bible ... Ch. 11,
The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch 7.
The claims of the Bible itself are considered in such sites as SMR Appendix D, Parts 1 and 2
See for example
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS
Bible or Blight, Christ or Confusion:
The Comprehensive Resolution of Man's Intractable Problems
is Found Only in the Bible, the Word of God
A Pair of Volumes: Opus 128 and 129, of some 2.3 million words
*4 On this moral theme, topic, reality, see News 19. The Spiritual Singularity, or more aptly, the spiritual Source, or more usually in nomenclature, God, is able, and disposed to create man with his unique and potentially comprehending spiritual powers and lineage. This covers not only the case but the unique nature of the case, among the visible on this earth (cf. SMR pp. 332Gff., History, Review and Overview Ch. 5, Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 1).
See for example News 19.
Turn for example, to Micah 5:1-3, John 5:19ff.,
Colossians 1:15ff., John 8:58, 8:29, Hebrews 13:8.
See also SMR pp. 532-560.
SMR pp. 50ff.,
RELIGION, RELIGIOSITY AND REALITY IN CHRIST.