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WHEN "NOT ... TO KNOW"
COMES TO KNOWLEDGE
Acts1:7 with Daniel 9, Luke 21 and Revelation
The Australian, September 28, 2012
THE KNOWN UNKNOWN
There is an inhibition to detailed knowledge concerning the time of the return of Christ as Lord and King. Indeed, for the apostles, there was a prohibition as seen in the Book of Acts, 1:7.
WOULD HE, the Lord, being now
showing the power of God not only to heal
empowered over the foul and inequitable condemnation
made by the Jerusalem Sanhedrin,
equipped with startling vitality, authority and attributes,
proceed to take over Jerusalem, rule over Israel
and take dominion as was to come, over this world ?
The question animated the drive and intrigued desire of the disciples ?
Will you take the kingdom now! they asked Him.
The reply was not only negative, but implacable.
Indeed, He had ruled out such a thing as noted in John 6, following the mammoth control of bread for a huge following, Himself the ideal campus maker for those fascinated with the facts, giving fish as well, when out in the wilderness, with enough and to spare (John 6).
How would He respond to their thought of rule now ?
It was in this way. It is not for you to know the period durations or the special times, He indicated, which the Father has "placed under His own authority". To be sure, He continued, they would receive power "when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria," even to the most remote places of the earth! This donation of special power occurred days later, at Pentecost, and that same power as in Matthew 28:18-20, the Great Commission, fell to be felt by the Church, His body (Ephesians 2, Romans 12), available by promise, till His return. Thus the message came, and as He left them for His sojourn in heaven, till the message had been fully applied on earth (Matthew 24:14), two angelic messengers told them,
"Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing into heaven ?
It is not another Jesus (as in II Corinthians 11). It is THIS ONE who will return (Matthew 24:36-44).
That aspect, exciting as it is, however, is not the current focus which we have before us. Our concern at the moment is rather the fact that despite their hope that He might choose to continue, there and then, as King, as indeed many had desired of Him as shown in John 6:15, He had at that time another role to fulfil; for then, still come to its conclusion on the cross, was the anguish and the horror. He had yet to fulfil to the uttermost, His post in the role as suffering, sacrificial Servant (Isaiah 52-55). Having adopted this sacrificial service for man, in heaven with joy (Psalm 40, cf. Joyful Jottings 22-25), He did not bid adieu to it on earth, but persevered until its completion. It was not till it WAS complete, that He cried, "It is finished!," as attested in John 19:30 (cf. Hebrews 9:12, 10:10-14).
There is a time for all things, as Solomon was used to remind us, and for His spiritual itinerary on this earth, there was a time to be the sacrifice for the squalor of sin to the ends of the earth, just as there is another scheduled for His rule. The entire Gospel Age comes in between, and for that POWER was given as directed by Christ; for this, they duly waited (Luke 24:52-53), and this dynamic and profound enablement, they duly received. Acts 2 shows this advent from the Lord as promised (Luke 24:49); and it was accompanied as signal of its coverage for this whole world, with miraculous facility in tongues SO THAT people of different languages could follow the apostle as he proclaimed the facts. In this, it was almost like a UN interpreter on site. It was natural that those so hearing were staggered and felt the presence of the divine grace and power, in the language assist provided (Acts 2:7-8).
That was one impressive facilitation, a functional enablement, a divine translation service for each person who heard like a trumpet blast, but not in sound only, but with intelligence, the testimony of Jesus the Christ through the one chosen to relay it. Many more testimonials followed this testimony, including raising the dead (Acts 10), deliverance from prison (Acts 12) and many healings. This practical power, expressed in this or that gift or that (I Corinthians 12) has been provided as the Lord saw fit (I Corinthians 12:1-12). Though as so often in Christian marvels, this has been abused by deceitful workers and showmen, yet the underlying power and diversities of gifts have continued as the Lord sees fit to bestow. The power which raised Christ from the dead has been available ever since (Ephesians 1:19). Brother Yun's relatively recent book, "The Heavenly Man," shows in his experiences in China and beyond, two things in this regard.
What were these ? First, to be seen in his persecution, is the point that power to perform for Christ is not to be confused with power to achieve or promote riches (cf. Acts 5:1ff.), to secure comfort or luxury (I Timothy 2:18-20, II Timothy 2:1-13), or to divert from taking up the cross and following Christ (as in Luke 14:27ff.), for this is a power to live the life He gives and to deliver the Gospel and through it, those who hear it, while both confronting and inviting the world to a better way than the service of sin and delight in its appetites, whether political, physical, mental or cultural. Secondly, we find once more that the provision of power may be accompanied, as with the disciples, with much to suffer, as in any war. Indeed, more than this, this war is spiritual, with good hope to help; and as to weapons of mere physical power to protect yourself or impose your message on others by force, these are strictly forbidden, though heresies*1such as Romanism and Islam*1, have abused this mightily, being alien in nature from the ways of the Lord.
One must follow the word of God and not various accretions of man, false prophets by the word of Christ (Matthew 24:24), when this occurs, and not follow the diversions!
Returning then to the disciples in the site noted in Acts 1:7ff., the next step, and the provision for it, and the Gospel to present in it, and the period being characterised till His return, we are left with one salient residual fact. They had wondered if this was the time for Him to reign; it was not; but they were not given this given information on chronology for that time and day. It was special to the Father, to come a time of His choosing. UNTIL the time of the end, as Daniel had already indicated, further revelation on this point was not given (Daniel 12:6-9). The end was not yet (Matthew 24:12), and till it came there was work, not to establish redemption, already paid for, but to apply it, to disseminate its news, exhibit its life, and find the lost, to be done.
As sometimes with prophecy, something is given, but only enough for the purpose in hand. It is when the time comes that the surrounding facts make perfect commentary on the prophecy. Thus when the coming birth of a son from a maiden was proclaimed to Ahaz, as seen in Isaiah 7, with a splendour and a wonder to echo throughout time, as in Isaiah 9, and this same Son was in His very entitlement, given a series of names ending in prince of peace, of whose kingdom there would be no end (Isaiah 9:6-7 cf. Massifs of Pure Splendour Ch. 10), with other names for Him, such as the Mighty God (as of God in Isaiah 10:21), we see in His very names, elements of the kingdom of heaven to come. These Christ made visually obvious in His own works, as in His Person, confirming them to the letter; and in His verbal, therapeutic, dead-raising, always spiritually decisive power as Messiah, He illustrated it all as on so many slides, taken of some excursion.
In this case in Acts 1, it was not at that time given to them to KNOW, to know what ? It was not yet time for them to know the whole mathematical machinery, if you will, the divine address to the timing of the end, the end of the Age, the restoration of His divine rule over the earth, in a new nascency, replacing the trial of Eden with the triumph of consummation. Two words are used in the Greek concerning what was NOT given to them, then, to know. One is a general term for time, and the other a special one. It is not you to know, we might render, in line with all the other scriptures bearing on this and the dictionary meaning discussions,
"the periods of time
or the special times
which the Father has placed under His own authority ..."
The reasons for that were as clear as the reasons why the time for His death HAD not only been revealed over half a millenium before through Daniel*2, but made in a mathematical marvel of predictive history, with immense significance. In fact, the message to Daniel had been (epitomised in 9:24-27), you have had an exile in Babylon for your sins, for 70 years as announced to Jeremiah (25). Now consider: what is to come is this. There is here given to you, a vast coverage of the structure of coming history. In this, there will be not a prediction of the next 70 years, as for the Babylonian exile but something far greater down the paths of coming time.
There will be, the message proclaimed, 70 sevens. Not mere singular units: but sevens as building blocks. On this amplified scale, 69 of these would pass, and then in the midst of the residual, the last remaining seven, there would be an event of massive significance. It would be this: the cutting off of the Prince, and what desolation would eventually come to the earth because of that! (Daniel 9:27). Indeed, at the end, when the determinate end of the false and desolating leader would come, a fatal and desolatory result poured out on the desolator (as in II Thessalonians 1:7ff., and 2:8).
It was imperative that men see that God has all things worked out, the diagnosis of human sin, the remedy for it in His own redemption through the virgin-born incarnation of His eternal Word. As Adam at the first (Romans 5), was tested whether to continue with the Lord who made him, or be corrupted by the devil, so now man would have to stay in this polluted plight, or come to the redemption offered in the Prince of Peace.
From this, there would come the end of the matter, with all things leading to the first and final test in terms of which all mankind is to be allocated to God or from Him to premises prepared in each case, according to kind (II Timothy 2:19).
All was foreknown, and forecast, and functionally arranged, the tests times and places determinate, and the end so no less, as when an examination ends. As the first preparatory period of the prophets in Israel specialised on the Messiah to come (cf. Joyful Jottings 22-25, and the testimony of Isaiah*3), and the predicted date of His death was given, confirming who He was, in the light of His works, so that no possible excuse existed for confusion concerning the Christ, so now that He was raised from the dead, the date for His return was withheld, so that there could be no possible 'coasting' as if to await the hour with deceitful confidence.
That was precisely what God did not desire, and so withheld. The unexpected character of His coming, like the hour for the inspection of a Captain as he passed through the crew, was as essential to be withheld, as the date of the redemption was to be made manifest. Indeed, this the Lord had done, giving it out centuries before, no sudden idea, but a classical feature of the whole of history, this its hub (Galatians 6:14). The coming was an open secret, publicly proclaimed to its very date; the return was a closed book, to open when the time came.
Known to God, this was kept unknown to man, knowledgeable about divine grace and Gospel, but not equipped with omniscience before God. It was a known unknown - divinely known, humanly not given access, yet.
In Acts 1:7, two words concerning time are used by Jesus the Christ. One is cronos, the other kairos. Let's call them for convenience, chronos and kairos. The former, as in English, has a wide range of meanings, and is rather the generic. The latter signifies something special, specific, measured, determinate. Together used as by Christ, and both in the plural, so that further knowledge in EITHER of these categories is excluded, they have a joint total coverage. It could be rendered, "it is not for you to know the passages of time or the special times..."*4 Neither projections about the passing of time or the special occasions of time, the milieu of time or the special joints of particular significance, is the subject of further information. These are for the time being, kept from, scrutiny in the supervising and wise heart of the Father, not given to the Messiah in His humiliation, to divulge to man.
On the other hand, these times ARE quite definite in the mind of God. There is nothing vague or to be worked out, about them. They are kept personally by the Father in the repository of His own authority. As Daniel 12 indicates, that is the way it is, from the time of Christ's speaking, to the end. The matter is "closed and sealed up till the time of the end." Here the word used for "time" in "time of the end" is kairos. All the matters are special, even the end itself, for the various items in view, the joints. Indeed, in the Septuagint, which is a famous Greek translation of the Old Testament, this same word is used in Daniel 9:25, where included is a reference to the times being exhausted or used up, again kairos is found.
This word of significant time occurs very broadly in this whole field. Other than the Septuagint case noted, there are five cases which would help understand the full import of the words of Christ in Acts 1:7, and to these we now turn.
A LUKE 21:24
In this context, Christ is referring to the whole ensemble of major future events, in terms of His kingdom and the kingdoms of this world, and the topic moves to Jerusalem as a city. In Luke 21:20-24, its destruction is foretold (as in Matthew 24:1ff., and 23:37ff., Luke 19:42ff.), and the world-wide dispersion of the "this people" is noted as to come. The future of the city has three phases. First comes its destruction, with attendant results for the people, and then the aggressive subduing and ownership of the city by Gentiles, who will be "trampling it down" for a significant period. There again the term kaipos is used. Indeed, the other nations, or Gentiles, would trample it down, as they did, and in no mean way possess and abuse it, as relatively recently, Jordan is reported to have done, before 1967, and more distantly for example, Islamic power drives did. That goes on; but not for ever. It is trampled, but only UNTIL a certain episode is complete. The end of the trampling down by Gentiles, when a singular time period is up, a kairos is complete.
This is "the times of the Gentiles." Once this is up, Jerusalem is out of bondage. It is as simple as that in Luke 21:24.
The times of the Gentiles (kaipos in the plural) is a time unit with a certain allotment. Gentiles, then, have power over Jerusalem for a period as divinely appointed, and so Christ here indicates. THEN, when this is done, their specially significant era is past, they trample it down no more. They have had their day as in Romans 11, during which Israel has lost its prophetic function, because as in Micah 5, it rebelled against the whole central point of the prophets, the Messiah, when He came. Their case is in Romans 11, envisaged in terms of a tree in which they were a branch. Killing the Messiah, they were cut out (cf. Zechariah 11:7-12). They are to be restored to the tree, by grafting back, the tree a symbol for the entire revelatory body. In due course, then, they are restored spiritually, it being like life from the dead; but until then, they are cut off in this particular spiritual function.
They can hardly carry that out now, until they come back THEMSELVES to His yoke, which is easy, and His burden, which is light. It would be as ludicrous as having non-believers teaching in a Christian school! That restoration is to occur. But first the city comes back in terms of the GENTILE ERA being completed. It is then that Christ indicated, Jerusalem would return to Israel; and this it has done.
But THEN, when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, no more is the city trampled down.
Thus the alien trampling is only UNTIL that time, and then the case changes. That phase in the times, the kaipoi (plural) is now over. One notes thus that there are a series of times, special times, that it is like a war map, if you will, a presentation in which not places, but periods are presented for view and review. We learn both from Ezekiel 36-37 (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 11), and from Zechariah 12-14, that the restitution of their place, of their land to their inhabitancy, is one thing, and their conversion to the slain and bodily risen Messiah is another. The former comes first and the latter second as in Zechariah 12:4-13:1. This is markedly clear, the appointed and predicted order
We are currently in the interim between these two events; but the times of the Gentiles are effectually fulfilled. Now no more do they trample down the capital city of the nation which God appointed for a stated purpose (Isaiah 43:21, Deuteronomy 7, Genesis 12, 17:7-8), with a location for the service in view. The Gentiles having had no small innings, can bat there no longer. It is out of bounds, a thing the more singular in this, that for all that, they still come bounding, like leaping antelopes, as if the disciplinary era for Israel gives them some kind of right to continue for ever their boundless bounding on the site of Israel.
God has made it most manifest that this is far from so. In fact, in Isaiah 51:19-23, the Lord shows His acute awareness of their sufferings from boastful and oppressive nations and declares that He is the One
"pleads the cause of His people," a decisive advocate!
terms, speaking of a "cup" as a form of judgment to be endures, He says
of this time, then to come, but now present, that He
"the cup of trembling"
from Israel and
"the dregs of the cup of My wrath",
declaring that this
"you will not longer drink."
This cup, however, it is simply to be transferred: it is to move from the hand of Israel, to the hands of the punishing nations who have oppressed her.
"I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, who have said to you,
'Lie down, that we may walk over you.'
And you have laid your body like the ground, and as the street,
for those who walk over."
That is the prophetic picture, dependent on the Messiah whom currently Israel as a nation, has still not received. Hence that day is yet to come. Nevertheless, as in the prediction of Zechariah 11, greatly triumphant wars will be fought and won by Israel, even in disturbing times, when many nations seek to DEAL with Jerusalem, as they see fit. It will prove a great weight to them, said Zechariah, a burdensome stone. This was the prediction, and all this is the contemporary fact: the confrontations, the manipulative efforts, their failure, the endurance of Israel pending a deliverance divine, when nationally many hearts respond like a vast cannon fire, announcing things to come.
But what of the events of that day ? What is to happen when this transfer is made: what a donation of judgment is set for those who plundered and despised, wreaked havoc in Israel as if it were a sport or game, and did not repent, but hardening their hearts, sought to the end to extinguish it! What indeed, but it is exhibited in the prophets.
Consider now the "cup" which Israel had to drink. Ponder the horrors of what has befallen the Jews in pogroms and Inquisition, where Hitler merely made the pinnacle for all the torture and torment in Europe and the Middle East, inflicted on the Jews. Consider the assaults of many from false sects to opportunists surging like an express train very often. What then is the sort of procedure when the cup of sorrow is transferred from Israel to unrepentant, opportunistic and triumphalist foes! The answer to that question is likewise highly specific. As the times are chosen by God, so are the surges within them, given their place, as evil seeks to secure for itself a good time.
In Micah 7, we see the Jews returning to the Lord and His bringing of the nations, in their mode as assailants, to the point of being like serpents hiding in rocks. In Isaiah 66, the divine action appears catastrophic, as in Ezekiel 38-39. The wheel turns; but it is the Lord who makes it turn, and it is with His own power that He acts. Indeed, it is when the power of Israel wanes, that His overflows into the scene as in Deuteronomy 32:36ff., Daniel 12 in parallel to Isaiah 66:14-16, where He renders His anger with fury.
All these things are background here to our concern with the term kaipos, and its significance in Acts 1:7.
There are times, and these are ruled with precision by God. There is in particular an epoch, in total named as the times of the Gentiles. These are to end. With their ending, there is to be an accompanying fact: it is that Jerusalem will no longer be under the rule and government, control and jurisdictive power of the other nations, but will revert to the Jews, for their control. We have noted with this, that Israel itself, no great time later, will revert to the Lord and in bulk, receive this same Jesus as their Messiah, and that we now are in this interim in the interstices of the times.
One can readily see in view of Daniel 9, how this emphasis on times can occur. Thus Israel having been appointed, as noted above, 70 years in exile to Babylon, and Daniel having been anointed as prophet while there in Babylon, and given the information about the 70 times 7 which would follow, 7 for each one of the Babylonian exile, for a vast coverage of world history in basic spiritual regards, the concept of times is central to the unfolding of history. It is like a surveying excursion in which everything is measured in terms of metres. Here things are measured in times, and their inter-relation is focussed. Hence times of the Gentiles is perfectly obvious in meaning and measure, as likewise, as found in Daniel 12:9, for the same term (in the Septuagint Greek translation), kairos is used in the expression "the time of the end."
Neither does divine foreknowledge remove human freedom and responsibility, nor does sin help it. With all things in mind, and destiny already apportioned in terms of that foreknowledge, not only of events, but fundamentally in terms of each one's human destiny, and that not in these terms at all, but in terms of the disposition of the heart as known before time was, God has His own counsel (cf. Isaiah 40:13). Thus, with magnificent oversight, and in full accord with His own principles, clearly stated, He has given to each and to all, its time (cf. SMR pp. 633 - 643)..
To be sure, He may be besought, as Moses showed (Exodus 32:32ff., and Numbers 14), but all this too is foreknown, and it is the results which simply show what is to be. In all this, mercy is no misfit, for God loves it (Micah 7:19ff.), and has no desire to condemn the world, but rather that all be reconciled (John 3:17, Colossians 1:19ff.). Yet spurned, mercy at last becomes prelude to judgment.
B REVELATION 12:12
The devil has some idea of some of these matters. Thus, in Revelation 12, we read of his abortive attempt at take-over in heaven, with many angels, resulting in his casting out, a matter taken up poetically in remarkable power and strength of language, by John Milton, in his magnificent Paradise Lost. Revelation 12:12 exposes the fact that one of the reasons for the devil's wildness, is this, that he has some knowledge of time (kaipos). The point here is that HIS TIME IS SHORT, and he knows it. This helps to madden him.
He, like all else, has his time and in the total time (chronos).He has but a part; it comes and it is past, and so is the case for all that are his. Time, amongst other things, is available for deception, deviousness, deceitfulness, self-deceit and confusion, artful and dishonest alliances and horrific arrangements. It comes, but then it is gone. So used, one does not wish it well on its way! Who could in view of the devastation which fitly comes through it, as noted so eloquently in Daniel 9:27, in its latter half, as in Revelation 19 and II Thessalonians 1. But in its own special time, judgment comes.
C DANIEL 12:9
Near the end of Section A above, Daniel 12:9 was noted. Even for "the end", there is a kairos, a time, an appointed time, a phasing out of some things, and a creation of new things, as befits an end. Then in the consummation, there is to come a new heavens and a new earth, the ultimate eventuation in the series as outlined in Daniel 9:24, so grandly. Acts 3:19-21 speaks of it, as does II Peter 3, Christ Himself attesting the departure of heaven and earth.
On that point of the end, it is most significant and salient indeed, like the horn on a rhinoceros, that at the end of the 69th seven of Daniel 9:24-27, there is the allowance of half a seven, after which the sacrifice will cease. The midst is mentioned for this seven, and it is then that this cessation of sacrifice occurs.
The dominant theme is the action of God, not that of man, and the sovereignty of this same and only God of all power, authority and domain, and accordingly the "he" as Professor E. J. Young points out for Daniel 9:27, being the last word here given, and leading to utter desolation for the desolator, through the power of God, is no mean character. Indeed, it is this same central Messiah, the prince to be cut off, and indeed He WAS cut off. It was not only from the people, as in congregational exclusion, but from human life itself in crucifixion and curse (Galatians 3:10). How does HE confirm the covenant ? It is simple: by death, by being "cut off", to use the term of Daniel, He becomes the lamb slain, so demolishing any further authority or place for sacrifice. It is as a divinely appointed sacrificial finale that HE makes the sacrifice to cease. If it stumbled on for a time, it was as a result of the rebellion against the Messiah; and in a little time, in AD 70, the very possibility of further animal sacrifice was removed: for the temple itself was demolished, just as Christ's body had been! There are some arguments which have a specially obvious end; and this was one of them.
As to Christ, HIS covenant with many ("this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins," Matthew 26:28) was indeed confirmed, from the day of its prophetic depiction in Daniel, Isaiah, Zechariah, the Psalms, to that of His coming, it was in mind: at His death, and by it, it was confirmed.
As Young points out, He confirms the covenant, one already in operation. Indeed, He brings it into force, and in so doing, excludes from all legality, normality and propriety, any continuance of the purely symbolic and repetitive animal sacrifices which preceded the death of the Lamb who, as John the Baptist announced, "takes away the sins of the world," as in John 1:29. In the midst of the final seven (the 69 having be noted as finished before all this), that is in some three and one half years into it, He so liberates, taking the whole paraphernalia of symbolic sacrifice on Himself (as in Isaiah 22:24-25). How do you fulfil symbols ? It is by doing what they represent: so here.
Thus, the three and one half years, which appears the scholarly norm for the estimate of the length of His Messianic Ministry, being past, as taken from the Gospels, He being cut off, His death having occurred, then and therefore, there is a result. It is this: divinely recognised further sacrifice is not permissible, is not to be found (as in Hebrews 7-10), and its drying up was a matter of Christian recognition with the jolt to be expected from such a transition.
What is left is the last half of the last 7.
7 ? It is a number which can designate anything item chosen. Christ NOT being chosen in this world, took the last half seven as His own, what one has termed the Messianic seven (cf. SMR pp. 896ff., 959ff.), the whole last one, being exclusively His. Thus when they asked, as in Acts 1, whether He would there and then assume the regality and reign on this earth, they were not told what was to be done with that last unit. It was not for them to know. It would be of such length as would finish the times for acceptance (Rev. 6), for the time of His first coming became one of national rejection. Reception, by contrast, throughout the world, was a coming phase, to come, as the Gospel was preached both in Israel, and world-wide.
WHEN and not TILL then, when He had caused to be finished the great commission, when all who were in the divine mind as His had been reaped: then and not till then (as the saints in heaven, shown in Revelation 6:9-11, were told), would the testing time finish; and it is this, which, with a national scene of repentance in Israel, would lead on to the consummation. To this Zechariah 12-14 is addressed, sometimes symbolically.
Then would be the era of the Second Coming, so well illustrated in the Second Front in World War II, though that led swiftly enough, but in time to the victory. THIS one as in Revelation 19, does not take so long, because of the amplification of power.
If agricultural communities in Asia start using large equipment for some of their projects, the increment of power makes for far shorter toil. When GOD acts, let alone in wrath as in Micah 7, Ezekiel 38, the power has no limit, as in the Exodus! In Revelation 19, for example, it is seen to be cataclysmic.
The time of the end is, then, it is a kairos indeed, the issues past and the actions present.
D) REVELATION 12:14
While, however, the various phases are proceeding, and the Gospel epoch is in view, the case is exceedingly different. For long years, vile and vast persecution is suffered. Thus in the imagery which is used to convey information, in Revelation 12, we see the devil in his knowledgeable satanicity, seeking to devour the Messiah at birth (Herod proved a valuable but ultimately useless agent here - as in Matthew 2:11-18). Herod's failure - to kill the Christ at His birth, is scarcely surprising since the devil in person failed by temptation wiles, to secure sin for the Saviour and so daunt with his own vaunting, the plan of God (Matthew 4). How many DO fail when so tempted by a self-vaunting devil, and so do not conclude the excellent things God was prepared to do for, with or through them. It is intensely, indeed intensively sad to see what he makes of things, when given a chance!
Jesus the Christ, however, incarnate deity, dismissed the devil with the written word of God, as one might dismiss an assailant with a sword,making short work of the assault.
The devil failed there, in his most audacious effort; yet he does try, and trial is part of the 'game'! It has its place, so that what is made sound, given trial, passes through it like a ship through a tempestuous scene of violent storm (cf. Galatians 5). In the process, amid our race, however, many are much buffeted. Often these lead to purging and purification, when the saints are made white (Daniel 12:10), but the whiteness that is crucial, nothing can stain (Revelation 7:14), for it lives THROUGH the divine removal, through the continuing efficacy of the blood, the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God (I John 1:7ff., Hebrews 9:1-10:14)!
The devil's efforts have endured for a season, for times, and in Revelation 12:13-17, we see him like a dragon spewing out water after those keeping the rule and wisdom of God, if by any means he could swallow them up, inundate them in tempestuous waters, in his harrowing horrors; but "the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood," as in 12:16, enraging the devil, who sought a wider field among the other saints who acknowledged Christ as Lord (Revelation 12:17), not in verbal substitute for reality, but in heart.
These things followed when Israel (in the form of believers, who of course being Jewish, constituted the first vast explosion forming the Christian Church as such, as in Acts 2-3), had gone to the wilderness from the thrust of the devil. How long does this trial continue ? It is "for a time and times and half a time," Revelation 12:14 states. That is three and one half, which in turn is one half of one seven, which in turn once more, is what is left after the 69 and one half, already accounted for, are gone. Thus, as noted above, this is the end of the Messianic 7, now the entire period of the Great Commission accorded with power, to the Christian Church (not to those who use their own force - cf. John 18:36, but to active recipients of divine power according to divine modes of warfare in terms of the Gospel, which do not include physical force or threats).
The Danielic time vocabulary is thus seen in use, and indeed, there are extremely impactive resemblances between the book of Daniel and that of Revelation, the revelation to Daniel and that to John, both given much on the end things, times and phases.
E) REVELATION 11:2
This last cited reference is indirect. The time here is not three and one half, but a kind of mathematical substitute. In the Book of Revelation, you can have 42 months or 1260 or so days, as nominal equivalents of some 3 and one half years. Here is found the former, as it refers to the entire period in which Jerusalem is Gentile governed, the Church Age to the very recent past, as times are at this our own time. Trodden underfoot for this period is the temple, formerly central in the centre, capital in the capital, but now a virtual excrescence, its due date past, its symbolism sated in Christ Himself. Nevertheless, its trampling is symbolic of what the Jews have endured.
It is thus apparent that this term is used variously in the book of Revelation, and indeed, in Revelation 13:5, 42 months is used as a reference for the height of the climax, the bare rule of the beast, manifesting himself in mighty domination on the earth. Here "all the world marvelled after the beast", and his number code method of financial rule becomes enormously burdensome, scarcely letting man breathe.
One formulation which appears to cover all cases is this: ONCE it is established clearly that the last half seven, or three and one half, or 1260, or 42 months is the final segment of the 70 sevens, then the three equivalent terms, just noted, may be used from the starting point chosen in the text, to the end of the whole period. It signifies in this way, time to the end, small or great, to the terminus for the sevens. These, as noted, have assigned to them the unit in view, and here it is the Messianic unit for His own Messianic seven. It always, however, leads to the end as specified in Daniel 9:24-27.
It does not then appear possible to work out from Revelation the precise time of the final outlawry of the beast and the second (religious) beast with him (as in Revelation 13); but it is entirely possible it will be three and one half years. It is simply that the biblical data do not make this a datum, and while one may seek intelligently to guess, perhaps the greater intelligence is to realise that this particular, we simply kdo not know, and that there is no doubt a reason for that, as in Acts 1:7!
THOSE SET APART OR HOLY ONES
Fast and furious appear the final events to terminate the Age entirely. Spiritually, we learn that the Gentiles have lost the plot, in their confusion no longer either trampling down Jerusalem, and their days of lording it over the Jews, over Israel, are coming to an explosive end! Indeed, many of the Churches are becoming so looted of the lordship of Christ, that they become more and more substitutes, false offspring, not spiritual as in II Peter 2:1ff., II Timothy 3:3-5, I Timothy 4, some even advocating as fitting for pastors, those who by the apostolic word of I Corinthians 5:9 - 6:10, are excluded from the kingdom of heaven!
On the other hand, the believers in many places seem almost so underground, that the lords among the Gentiles rejoice that they have won! (as in Revelation 12:10), just before the Lord arises to CALL THEM, saying COME UP HERE! (as in Revelation 11:11-14), so resulting in their removal to Himself, as in Matthew 24:36-44, and I Thessalonians 4, and suggested in Revelation 7. There the Jewish and Gentile contingents of the Christian Church, the ONE body of the ONE Christ (Ephesians 2:15-23, Galatians 3:26-29), of Him who "fills all, in all", is to be seen, clothed in the glory of the presence of the good Shepherd.
That time is growing perilously close to our present phase, as the end is approached, like a vast cliff into which those moving headstrong, butt their heads in foolish and feeble folly, enraged with their fraud and foolishness, naming what is not there, and worshipping what has no reality at all! (cf. Deuteronomy 32:15ff.)
The period of time in which children - in this State for example, but this merely as a token of what is often happening elsewhere - have been indoctrinated with the zeal of a Hitler Youth Camp, and the expectations of wonder which always fails to come from an evolution which is NEVER seen to happen or to leave indisputable evidence in any pore of the universe, and which is ludicrously confused with science, of all things (cf. Scientific Method ...) , is already a long one. It is like a forcible dose of continual antibiotics. In this case, however, the BIOS which is harassed, to which the education is antipathetic, is LIFE itself, and the antibiotic is a corrosive move to death. With no PROVISION for argument, refutation, even if the young were gifted enough to prevail against the cultural compulsions, and with limited, if any, provisions for non-evolutionary scholarship from the works of some of the world's leading scientists, allowed in the schools of the Government, and exams, for all, tilted to such myths (results without assignable causes, confidently conveyed, as here), the children are abused constantly.
The UN anti-discrimination provisions concerning religion, are violated continually; for the equipment and provisions for those who do not follow this delusion are discriminatory in the extreme. Thus, the prejudice and impoverishment of resources, teaching and other, suffered by young non-conformists in this framework are colossal, traumatic often, and a coup d'état for merely prejudicial paganism or philosophic dictatorship, in the educative realm (cf. Mystery of Iniquity).
There has indeed been an education revolution, and as former Prime Minister, John Howard, has in effect attested*5 so clearly and well. Thus, he declares, even the history syllabus in the new-look school productions is so slanted, omits so much, leaves so little provision for such major forces in our background as the curriculum substantially omits, that the use of this discipline for education is foiled. How find the results of causes in history, and learn from it, he urges, if the causes are so selectively treated that one is lost from reality! His testimony rings true! But this is merely a new additive to the old drugs of so much for so long, all but incredibly governing private schools as well! As a former Principal of one of these, one feels a sense of the horrific that any could even possibly agree to such unscholarly dictation! That is here, in a supposed bastion of freedom. More of this kind, we shall shortly come.
Let our thoughts move to China. This is politically devoted to atheism, so that non-State-controlled churches are notable for going underground, and the remarkable book by a Chinese leader, already noted, The Heavenly Man, a best seller, composed with Paul Hattaway, gives searing testimony to the extent to which this anti-Christian thrust goes to its deadly end. The East is by no means alone, though its methods are somewhat different, as seen by contrast, in such sites as News 121, 122. Europe recently had enormous trouble in seeking to define itself or its mission, and having toyed with making ancient Greece and Rome a criterion, and having (in accord with prophecy, as in Revelation 17:1-4,12-16 cf. SMR pp. 946ff.) refused to acknowledge the religious entity of Romanism, not at all actually catholic, but located very particularly, it was left bereft. What were they, this Europe ? What was their historic criterion ?
In answer to this question, they could only affirm that they had a common destiny. It is, however, even for a common or unique a destiny, important to know first what it is and only THEN, to commit oneself to it if it is deemed right!
Thus the two witnesses of Revelation 11*6, the Church in its aspects of showing the rule of Christ in hearts, and its testimony to truth, first shown in Zechariah 4, are indeed coming near to the time when they appear (superficially, and not underground) to lie dead in the streets, as in the prediction of Revelation 11:7-9. This comes just before their call to the Lord and the union in heaven (Revelation 19:9-14). If the Gillard Government - we have a 'leader' now apparently, instead of a Cabinet who leads, though there was no popular election for one - in this land proceeds with its rifling of liberty from press and even reasonably popular Web sites, it will have gone a long way towards this suppressive result! It is when the Bible itself, its teachings and preaching, its principles and its text, may not, without violence to freedom, means of life or opportunity, be cited and applied, that the rule of misology*7 and anti-Christ will become apparent.
It is then that you find as in Daniel 12:7 that the power of the "holy people" will be shattered*8, and of course by this end time, this will include both Jew and Gentile, all of one Lord and one Messiah as in Zechariah 12-14. Yet though this eventual thrust and lust then seems to have prevailed, outwardly in governmental institutions and the ways of the rule of mere force, yet the gates of hell assuredly will never prevail against that Church which is founded on the Rock of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16), and its counsel is mere abuse of force.
As it seems about to end all testimony, then the Lord gives it what it deserves, and removing His own people abruptly (as in Revelation 11, and Matthew 24, with I Thessalonians 1), as in clearly the ground for an aircraft about to land, He Himself then returns, having exposed all deceit, treachery and satanic endeavour, catching it in the very act (as in Revelation 19:19ff.). Thus when power in external dynamic seems in the hands of the one, and truth with the people of the Lord, and the former to squash all in its lustful thrust, it is then that the Lord strikes the heart of the rebellion, expansive in its paranoia, and ends its day.
Thus, the Lord God who IS the truth, will act as in Daniel 12:1ff., as in Isaiah 66 and Revelation 19, as in Micah 7.
Here lies one of the basic ingredients for the concept of the darkness before the dawn! It is when only faith in the God of all truth and comfort remains, that this same God removes what is ruinous and casting desolation on what makes desolate, on the desolator (Daniel 9:27), it is He who transforms the scene for His people, from dissavour to delight (Revelation 19-20). The time comes when
"the kingdoms of this world have become
the kingdom and our Lord and of His Christ,
and He shall reign for ever and ever",
Meanwhile, as the storm mounts before the lighting strikes and the rout of the riot of evil is wrought in seething judgmental splendour, much is revealed, as all are tested. The appearance as the Age is ending is of crushing; but the reality is like lavender or mint crushed, most fragrant, for the truth of love and the love of truth appear, in the source and ONLY Truth Himself, to Him allied in heart, for Him fearless in faith, and by Him vindicated in reality.
Such an end leads to such a beginning (II Peter 3), as makes the heart rejoice, for as with the first birth (to come for us for a while, as babes to grow up) and the second (regeneration, to enable us to go with God for ever), so the new heavens and the new earth leave aside all transience, and the Lord Himself is the Temple (Revelation 21-22).
It is an hour now, when Christians must generally recognised acutely that these times are perilous. Here and now, there abound illusionist phantasms of thought, these becoming common, with follies of airless thoughts abounding, idols innumerable, demons unleashed in multitudes, the more able or the more seduced becoming exponents to those who do not as yet even believe in them, death becoming a way of life, to impose it on others (as in Revelation 6). Meanwhile, ideological madness, like a rotted steak with salt and pepper added from illusion and desire, self-made morals and monstrous ambitions, becomes the food on which the young are fed and the more aged are given as an allowance.
It is necessary now to keep in mind that what is culturally common is far more obviously wrong and far more often, than once was the case, that intolerance of truth is becoming a mode for making liberty a means of crushing it, by being selective about what is allowed. Thus the day for any complacency about the nature, character and direction of increasingly similar societies - some fonder of force than others, yet all tending to wreak more havoc - is well past. This is examination time, and you will, if a Christian, surely be examined.
This is the time when pilgrims and strangers, knowing God and known to Him as His, find testing as if it arises with the sun, and challenge, as if it inhabited the sunsets. In such a world as this, it is indeed an honour to be a pilgrim and a stranger, for in any sense to be involved in it as lord or king or god or guide or master, would be insufferable, a profundity of horror. Thank God therefore, Christian, that there is a way of escape to refuge that has been available for the millenia, since man was made (cf. Hebrews 6:19, 2:1-3, John 10:9,27-28 cf. Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed ... 17).
Meet then the hour with the power of the Holy Spirit, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that the little time of the devil is nearly over (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5), and that confrontation is becoming inevitable. Do not lean to your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), but like Daniel, continue in what is right at any cost, determined and decisive; and God give you in faith, rest in the midst of the challenge, since both its purpose and its result is glorious.
Just as a myth, such as organic evolution (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!) may be defined as what has a result with no adequate cause, which is nevertheless confidently affirmed, so a heresy has its own definition to reveal its own character.
Where a religion, after the day of Christ on earth
and the Bible,
the One in incarnation and resurrection, the other in inscripturation,
uses His name and attributes various features to Him,
not identical to or limited by what these same scriptures denote,
then we have what is forbidden
. It comes to one of three basic kinds. It concerns either
another Gospel (one which does this or that, or
refuses this or that,
another Spirit (focussing on this other christ, gospel or centre - John 16:5-15).
All three of these accretions are forbidden by Paul, and exemplified by those noted in II Corinthians 10-11, people making themselves the criterion, or their knowledge, provisions, instructions or persons. In such case, he regards these as "deceitful workers" and "false apostles."
It is therefore not surprising if such heretical errors are found in bodies which have slain thousands if not far more, tortured many and asserted power and propriety, seeking to be in total control of those whom they rule, and regions which they do not. This has nothing to do with the Christ of the Gospels, the four divinely granted accounts from the time within living memory of His time on earth. Attempts to characterise Biblical Christianity by such actions are merely failing to use one model, and talking of another in a confusion of terms. Christians have suffered, in fact, in large numbers at the hand of those who have followed such religions. On this see Ancient Words ... Ch. 14, and Divine Agenda Ch. 6, with More Marvels ... Ch. 6.
On jihads, Jews and Jesus, see the Appendix I to this volume.
On Romanism more fully, see SMR pp. 1032-1088H, and on Islam see such sites as these:
For Islamic texts re violence in faith areas, see The Defining Drama ... Ch. 6. For an extraordinarily good account of this area, see The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades, by Spencer.
For coverage of Islam, see such texts as
More Marvels ... Ch. 4, esp. *4,
SMR pp. 50ff., 62ff., 829ff. , 1080
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A misconceptions about the Cross, variable and mutually conflicting, on the part of the Koran
Lord of Life Ch. 3 (and force), 1081ff. (and faith), Outrageous Outages ... Ch. 5;
His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch. 4; 3
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8 (in perspective), see also *1,
See Divine Agenda Chs. 6
with 3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran)
and Highway to Hell - (Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in perspective, in the latter two; and in the former, futile depravities in endless ideologies such as Sudan has shown so significantly, Islam ablaze without glory),
cf. Overflight in Christ Ch. 1 (and the Koran's musings);
1493 (esp. Britain and sharia);
News 138, Beauty for Ashes Chs. 4, 7
BARBLISS 5, Acme ... Ch. 9 , Great Execrations ... Ch. 3, SMR p. 1O88D - three major religions in some ways in concert, astray.
News 138, Beauty for Ashes Chs. 4, 7, SMR pp. 1074ff., esp. 1079, 1081ff.
(These latter show this religion, with the other three major conspiracies towards the ultimate - why conspiracies ? It is because men conspire, or breathe plans together for a control, rule or oversight not ordained by God: these are breaths of man, and the breath that matters is that of God, in and by which all scripture is inspired by Him (II Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 8:20), in the Book of the Lord (Isaiah 34:16), the Bible, and sustained and implemented by Him (Matthew 26:54ff.). Other ideas for rule are always unruly, since they always tend to use power for what neither reason nor truth compels.).
PP 8, app., PP 11, 4, 11, 5 (national character and character of Islam).
See also SMR pp. 822ff., 986ff., 1O88D.
The date is cleverly but accurately shown in Daniel 9:24-27. On this, see for example:
SMR 886ff., 943ff.;
Mini-Messages with Maxi-Point ... Ch. 10 (short treatment of death-date prophecy concerning Christ), as in
Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2,
The Christian Prescription Ch. 2.
On Isaiah and the teachings and forecasts of this prophet of the Lord, see such sites as With Heart and Soul ... Chs. 4 - 7. with additions as there shown.
It is perhaps a little unfortunate that the AV rendering, in Acts 1:7, is in terms of "times and seasons." While it is possible to put it that way, the crucial KAIROS word in fact is second in this listing, and tends as "seasons" to be hidden from its impact in the entire vocabulary of the Bible in this field. The two terms could here be rendered something like periods of time and special times, and that preserves the point. It is these which are not for the disciples to know yet.
Kairos is, as we see, frequently used in this sense, and has a special background in the Bible. 'Seasons', as translation, does in older English quite well to convey the meaning; but in modern terms, and in terms of usage, something along the lines of that above italicised, does help.
John Howard, as cited by The Australian on the front page, September 28, considers the following concerning a new and indeed revolutionary history curriculum being pushed for schools: it is a matter of revolutionary in both senses, one might note.
The Western heritage for this, our land, he declares, in this document, is "conspicuously absent from the history curriculum" and further:
"The curriculum does not properly reflect the undoubted fact that Australia is part of Western civilisation; in the process, it further marginalises the historic influence of the Judeo-Christian ethic in shaping Australian society and virtually purges British history from any meaningful role." This declaration was delivered at the inaugural Sir Paul Hasluck lecture at the University of Western Australia. Indeed, this speech is readily available on the Web at
Because it provides what in the main is an
intelligent, well-thought out and informed coverage of the direction and
omissions of the history curriculum proposed for this land, and characterises rather well the
nature of the result, to be given to students unless some marvel intervenes, it
seems good to cite a section of it. In this, there is only one qualification
which deserves immediate note.
SELF-BELIEF AND FAITH IN GOD
It is this. The concept of 'self-belief', in this case applied to a civilisation or culture or approach in and for a nation, has become almost
as popular as Coco-Cola,
as ubiquitous and evolutionary myth-making
exercises at students' expense,
as baneful in application as lessons on personal aggressiveness, which some even teach!
John Howard may in using this term, in this case indeed tend to mean that there is a lack of a sense of meaning and value, confidence and appreciation on the part of some nations, in what has become the way of their own people, but the choice of terms needs attention. However, because of frequent use of such a term, and its normal reliance on the self as such, it is better to deal with this issue first, not allowing due charity to mar due clarity.
In fact, there are two ways you can trust. You can trust in yourself, and invent your own gods, cultural icons, psychic values, aesthetic abstractions on their own philosophic base, including freedom, significance, origin of delimited things and so on. This includes adopting those provided by contemporary or other aspects of the history of the nation, or of something within it, all of this just as a personal desire exercise. In this case, YOU are the centre, the chooser, the appreciator, and the whole point is to satisfy yourself. The result could be called self-belief in the sense that any god or gods or other foci are what YOU decide will be the case. It is entirely subjective, however much you find good about it. Thus you or your appointee rule.
The other way is to find the God who made us, show the unique rationality, validity and verification of HIS self-attestation, and He being so, worship Him because it is so. Truth is self-selective, in this, that the alternative as I John 2:21-23 declares, the lie. It is so called in Romans 1:25 and II Thessalonians 2:11, "the lie." In I John 2, indeed, rejection of this divine appointment for salvation, Jesus Christ, is the very heart and criterion and essence of lying. It is its focus and exhibit!
On this aspect, the truth of Jesus Christ, only begotten Son of the only God, and the requirement of His word, the Bible, see:
It Bubbles Ch. 9, *1A,
Deity and Design ... esp. Section 8, and
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST.
SMR pp. 316A-Dff.,
Repent or Perish Chs. 2 and 7,
Let's Be Reasonable, for God
What then ? If it involves hardship, you accept that, or death, you accept that. He is Lord, like it or not. Now it is true, that it is you who surrender to Him, repent before Him, and have in one sense, chosen this day whom you will serve (the challenge put by Joshua to the people of Israel, as seen in Joshua 24:15ff.). Yet the provision of WHAT you believe in and WHOM you come to trust is not what might be made as in a supermarket: that is, the best available to satisfy yourself, for your self-assigned purposes, in your own fundamental singularity. It is here that precisely, which has NOTHING to do with the issue. It is not here q question of your imagination or concoction, in any way at all. It is what is revealed as objectively the case, rationally unavoidable and a confrontation to be faced that is here in point. Anything less has nothing to do with Christianity.
In fact, unless you are willing to take up your cross daily and abandon all to and for Him, not only do you not conform to what a Christian is, but fail to become what one has to be in order to be termed a disciple of Christ. Without that, said Jesus Christ, "you cannot be My disciple." It is categorical exclusion. Where God is concerned, always and over all time and beyond it, there is no other, and attempts to proliferate gods, invent them, have an alternative goddishness, is as excluded as God Himself, exclusively, is God and the ONLY GOD (cf. Ephesians 4:4).
As to Jesus Christ, that is His opinion, and Christianity is about Him (Luke
14:27ff.). This fact, and the One who livingly imparts it, involves repentance, and not mere relish.
It is a matter of regeneration, and not
mere envisagement of what YOU want. God is there, whether you want Him to be, or
not. It makes precisely no difference to who He is and what He is, whether you
believe in Him or not. It simply puts you with the facts, or against them: BUT
in so doing, you meet with and come to know, the living God, OR NOT.
HOWARD'S BASIC ASSESSMENT ON THE HISTORY SYLLABUS
This having been said, the extraordinarily good assessment by John Howard on elements of change in our society, and what amounts to extreme government proselytizing, without even acknowledgement of these dark phases of improper ignorance in their teaching program, needs attention. It is, in most things, in the political area, a gem, a thing rare!
That is why it is given in part below. The decades of myth-making heyday that have preceded this latest denudation of truth and realism in our land as in many another, in favour of indoctrination in schools, have not been in vain. People have become so accustomed to hearing due authority and all that, telling it all "like it is" with such unfounded confidence for so long, that almost anything is possible. Future denudation of truth becomes like a smile, or rather here, a smirk. Indeed, it reminds one of Solzhenitsyn's First Circle, and the totalitarian efforts of a depicted USSR to make the obviously ludicrous to be affirmed as part of the breaking down of all resistance.
The following excerpt from Howard's speech, then, is worthy of great attention, as to its assessment of direction of cultural flow and educative pre-occupation.
The draft history curriculum released by the Commonwealth Government will be implemented in most states by the
latter half of 2013, it sets out a framework for what students will learn through to Year 10 and must be taught in what
will now be a compulsory subject. Also outlined is the curriculum for those who choose history in Years 11 and 12.
It is good that history will become a compulsory subject to Year 10. It is also good that there will be more emphasis
on Indigenous history which must include a frank but objective assessment of past mistakes. Asian history will
be more prominent, and no one can argue with that. Although it is a bit of a myth that we haven’t been taught much
Asian history in the past. When I sat the modern history examination for the New South Wales Leaving Certificate in
1956 I answered questions on both China and Japan.
Beyond those praiseworthy features there is much about the curriculum that I find unbalanced, lacking in priorities and
in some cases quite bizarre.
The curriculum does not properly reflect the undoubted fact that Australia is part of western civilisation; in the process
it further marginalises the historic influence of the Judaeo Christian ethic in shaping Australian society and virtually
purges British history from any meaningful role.
The teaching of history is meant to explain what happened, why and what lessons can be learned from the past. The
structure of this curriculum will not facilitate this occurring.
The laudable goals of enhancing the teaching of indigenous and Asian history could have been fully achieved by the
curriculum’s authors without relegating or virtually eliminating the study of influences vital to a proper understanding
of who we are as a people and where we came from.
It is a fact that the modern Australia is a product of western civilisation; the Judaeo Christian influence is a reality and
the British inheritance self evident. We cannot properly understand our nation’s history without fully recognising that
this is the case.
The curriculum’s treatment of human rights is ultra legalistic, as if they were first discovered by those who wrote the
United Nation’s Charter, in 1945. The recommended study of political thought and movements, more generally as
well as with application to Australia, is slanted to the progressive left view of the world – with the most egregious
example being the perpetuation of the leftist myth that it was Gough Whitlam and not Harold Holt who brought down
the White Australia Policy.
Beyond a study of the two World Wars, momentous events of the past 100 years such as the rise and fall of Soviet
communism and the economic globalisation of recent decades, which has lifted hundreds of millions from poverty, are
treated in a piecemeal fashion and not given the prominence their importance commands.
That our Western heritage appears to be so conspicuously absent from the history curriculum reflects a growing retreat
from self-belief in Western civilisation. It is as if the West must always play the villain simply because it has tended to
enjoy more power and economic success than other parts of the world since 1500.
If it is thought that I exaggerate, have a look at the curriculum for Years 10 to 12 dealing with the 20th century. Students
are invited to choose a study of one nation from each of two lists. Incredibly, Australia and the United States
are in list one along with Germany and the Soviet Union – and this is for the period 1905 to 1945. The rationale for
grouping Australia and the US with Germany and Russia is that they were “Western nations beset by crises and that
shared the following historical experiences; involvement in World War I, challenges to their democracies from ideologies
such as Fascism and Nazism.”
Such a grouping justifies the description of bizarre. Neither Australia nor the United States faced any internal threat
from Nazism or Fascism during that time. Self-evidently, those ideologies would only have affected Australia if
Germany had been victorious in World War II. Also, when in that period did Russia, apart from the interregnum of the
Provisional Government under Alexander Kerenskey – which lasted from February to October 1917 – enjoy anything
approaching democracy? Didn’t the revolution take Russia from the absolutism of the Tsars to the dictatorship of the
The purging of British history from the curriculum is particularly blameworthy. The influence of British institutions
on Australia is a fact not nostalgia.
Magna Carta, parliamentary democracy, the language we speak – which need I remind you is now the lingua franca of
Asia – much of the literature we imbibe, a free and irreverent media, our relatively civil system of political discourse,
the rule of law and trial by jury. Indeed, some of the sports we play, these are all owed in one form or another to the
How these institutions developed and the individual and community struggles involved, is our history as much as it is
British history. We cannot know the modern Australia well without having a proper understanding of the British story.
How can young Australians ever be expected to understand how fragile and hard won the rule of law is without knowing
a little about the English Civil War?
Noel Pearson, enjoys wide respect as a forthright, articulate Aboriginal leader. One of his great strengths is that he
speaks of Aboriginal issues in the broader Australian context. He once had something to say to me about the British
influence on Australia. In a long, impassioned and thoughtful letter, written to me as Prime Minister in 2007, subsequently
published, he said that Aboriginal Australia and the British inheritance were the two great formative influences
on our nation. For him, both were critically important to what he saw as a fully reconciled Australia.
The curriculum dwells heavily on human rights, but in a fashion which suggests that the source of human rights is to
be found in the United Nations Charter, the Declaration of Human Rights and various legislative enactments both in
Australia and around the world. These are important legal codifications of human rights but are anything but the full
story. They represent no guarantee that human rights will be observed. History, including quite recent history, is replete
with examples of fine sounding words, even in constitutions, being swept aside, and human rights trampled upon,
if the domestic as well international political will, as well as the capacity to protect them, is absent.
The proper human rights story cannot be told without a context which traces the evolution of the concept of individual
liberty from early time, dealing with practices such as slavery, and how it ended, as well the most horrific instances of
human rights violations such as the Holocaust. After all the most basic of all rights is the right to live.
I have always respected the secular tradition in Australia, but this tradition is in no way in conflict with a full and objective
understanding of the extent to which the judaeo-Christian ethic has moulded our society. Indeed, Christianity
has often reinforced and inspired many of our most important secular ideas and values, including freedom of speech
and freedom of association. The curriculum does not reflect this.
There is some irony here. The more zealous secularists in our midst justify pressure to exclude, progressively, the
Christian religion from the public space by invoking the mantra of the separation of Church and State, in seeming
ignorance that the very foundation of that important principle is to be found in the injunction of Christ in the Gospel
according to St Matthew when he said “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God, the things that
Another illustration of the bizarre is to be found in the Year 10 curriculum which is the final part of the compulsory
course. In it students are required to do what is called an in-depth study of one of three aspects of globalisation from
1945 to today: the options are popular culture, environmental movements or mass migration movements.
Now I looked at that, and I read it several times and I thought to myself: since 1945, what has been the most significant
element of globalisation that has really affected the world and Australia?
Surely it has to be economic globalisation? Surely it’s the fact that the spread through market forces and more open
trade, of economic growth to countries like China, India and other nations in our region, has helped liberate literally
hundreds of millions from poverty? It’s a process that is set to continue transforming the global balance of power and
remains the key to eradicating poverty in places like Africa.
It’s also why the future of our country is so closely intertwined with that of China and the North Asian region. One
of the reasons we dodged the bullet of the Global Financial Crisis was our enormous resource trade, particularly
with China. The other reason was, of course, the excellent fiscal condition in which the Coalition left the Australian
economy in 2007.
By the year 2030, the majority of middle class people in the world will live in the Asia-Pacific region. This is an historic
trend and it’s the greatest shift in the locus of economic power since the Industrial Revolution.
Yet as historian Greg Melleuish has pointed out, for some extraordinary reason, those who wrote this curriculum, in
their infinite wisdom, believed that ACDC and Kylie Minogue are more important to an understanding of the globalising
world since 1945. And I say that with much respect to a talented entertainer.
This is in part a reflection of a modern trend to give higher priority to imparting abstract research skills than actual
knowledge. It is an approach that assumes it is more important to identify the on-line secondary sources for the Norman
Conquest than to know what that was or when it happened.
But what’s the use of these research skills if students have no understanding of what to look for? What’s the use of
teaching abstract themes if students don’t understand how they connect or why they’re important?
In its treatment of political thought and movement, in the past 100 years, the starkest evidence that the curriculum
lacks prioritisation is that there is no discrete study of the rise and fall of Soviet communism. Surely the fall of the
Berlin Wall, and the associated end of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe leading to the disintegration of the Soviet
Union itself, which finally put paid to any notion that the command economy model could work, has been the most
momentous development to touch the ebb and flow of political ideologies since the end of World War II.
There is reference to these events, but only in country specific studies that will in no way provide the prominence and
perspective they deserve, and moreover the arrangement of the curriculum means that students will not be required to
study these historic shifts. It will not allow for analysis of the impact of other political and economic philosophies, or
of other nations, and their leaders, on the former Soviet system. Then that might have invited acknowledgement of the
roles of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II. I get the impression that the draftsmen of this curriculum
would not have wanted that.
The curriculum is repeatedly unbalanced in the choice of subjects which have an obvious political context.
It’s impossible adequately to teach any country’s history without touching on political issues. That’s only proper. But it
is imperative that balance and objectivity are scrupulously observed. One can have no objection to the progressive left
view being reflected in the curriculum provided it is balanced with other views. This is not the case with this curriculum.
For instance, in Year 9 students are given the option of learning about the “progressive ideas and movements” of the
Nineteenth Century. The ideas which feature are socialism, imperialism, nationalism, egalitarianism, Darwinism, capitalism
and Chartism. Not one mention of conservatism. Not one mention of liberalism, which is extraordinary given
that the western liberal tradition is pervasive both in Australia and similar countries.
In the same context students will study the reasons why one key idea emerged and/or developed a following. Naturally
the example suggested in the curriculum is the influence of the industrial revolution on socialism. Where is the
counter balancing example?
In Year 11/12 one of the electives is workers’ rights. Students will learn about the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the influence of
Chartism as well Engels and Marx. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will be studied, so will the International
Federation of Trade Unions and their methods to advance workers’ rights. Once again where is the balance?
Where is the elective inviting a detailed study of free enterprise, including the central role of private property ownership?
Surely that should be included in any balanced study of our social history. In areas such as this the assumption
of the curriculum is that wealth will always be there and scant regard need be paid to its generation.
Students can learn about the Harvester Judgment, the introduction of pensions, and workers’ rights, and there can be
no objection to that, but where, for example, is the reference to the decisive rejection in the late 1940s of attempts to
nationalise Australia’s banking system. If successful those moves would have fundamentally altered the direction
of the post World War II Australian economy. And as for the role of small business in the history of the Australian
economy – not a mention.
Its coverage of modern Chinese politically history inexplicably stops at 1976, two years before Deng Xiaoping introduced
liberal economic reforms that would dramatically transform China’s economy, although some reference is made
elsewhere to China’s contemporary economic performance; once again however the context is wrong.
I am sure it will astonish you all to know that students will not be required to do a detailed study of the mainstream
history of Australia between 1750 and 1918.
Let me explain why. The study of Australian history
On the Church identity of the Two Witness (cf. Zechariah 4:11-14, the base), see The Frantic Millenium ... Preface, and Alpha and Omega ... Ch. 5.
As the Bible may be demonstrated to be the word of the only God, so what denies it and insists on its demise practically, its marked limitation, or even removal from a place in education and learning, application and testimony, becomes a work in misology. Freedom keeps the ship in some balance, for then prejudice may be freely challenged, and the irrational exposed, even if some prefer it anyway. When liberty itself however is removed, whether because of feelings said to be aroused, or on any other ludicrous pretext, as if were an absolute truth that relativism is true, itself an antithesis, then the result is scarcely human. What is crucial to man as man, becomes tangled with a mode of government, which does not hesitate to play God, without having His facilities! This is, for man, similar to an abortion for a babe. To ALLOW it is not merely unseemly, but through politics, a form of racial suicide. Beware, therefore.
Such is the end which some of these subversive seeming projects imply, for then freedom of speech is made so selective as to be a mere name, seductive in confusion. It is then that the rule of misology becomes a mischief for which payment may be swift and furious.
On the exhibition of the Bible as the word of God, as required by logic, see:
SMR, TMR, Design and Deity..., for example, the latter especially in Section 8 on validity, as also TMR Ch. 5, and with these, in the special field of verification,
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST.
See Appendix 2, to this volume.
See also Gratitude for His Glorious Grace
Ch. 1 as marked,
Excursion into Eschatological Environment.