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THE BEGINNING AND THE END
GENESIS 1, EZEKIEL 1, JOHN 1, REVELATION 1
Now that Australia has set sail politically with a majority-of-one PM, who assigns to herself no religion, which implies no God, which is practical atheism, and the Constitution is being eyed by some enviously, as if jealous of the place assigned in its Preamble to Almighty God, it is well to see what it means quite simply, should the nation elect to smack the face of the glorious God of creation and salvation, orientation and strength who has in some measure protected this land, since although Christ as Saviour is not central in the Constitution, as least there is scope for that within it, and in the early days, Christianity had a very considerable recognition, just as it did in the Mother Country (gloriously not the fatherland, since fathers often use much authority, and this though not slight COULD have been far greater). There is not too much about one nation under God, or 'humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God,' in the present situation, as Australia shrugs its shoulders more and more; but there could be much less.
It is not for nothing that we are a cynosure for boat people and others with more money, for there is, in this country, less armed fight, social restraint in terms of authoritarian thrust, more productivity and more harmony than in many another land. Poor though our own performance undoubtedly in much of this is, there is yet much, derived from the constraints and teaching of a more Christian past, that has much appeal.
This may be lost in the futile omission of freedom of speech if an atheistic indifference to the propagation and preservation of the testimony of Jesus Christ is arrogantly and arrantly reduced by ludicrous Classification muddles, such as now threaten, which would reduce the Web to a socialised control unit, with fines or prison for offenders who dare to speak as the Bible does. Already Schools are increasingly required to teach the imaginations of Darwin, though his theory is long dead
(cf. Dig Deeper, Higher Soar ... Ch. I, *1A, Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 4 and Ch. 3, Wake Up World! ... Ch. 6, SMR pp. 140ff.),
and the State routinely poisons in this way the waters of youth (cf. TMR Ch. 8).
Two world wars were costly; this special version of the Australian Cold War on the biblical Jesus Christ could dash their work very readily in much! Let us then consider the wonders of the Lord as found in Genesis 1, Ezekiel 1, John 1 and Revelation 1.
In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. In the Hebrew there is an intense alliteration in the first part of this, so that it comes as a rhythmic shock, with great impact, to hear it so announced. There go the commands for the heaven and the earth; there follows those for the earth in particular; then in verse 14 we move to the formulation of the already created heavens, with its purposes stressed in this concentration of form, for the heavens, as earlier for the earth, and the stars are here involved. The three steps proceed in a beautiful planned structure.
We see the masses of matter, the marvels of the earth, those of the functioning heavens and then those of life on earth in its major categories relating to man, set in the scenario of the term 'days' which introduces us to what we know in terminology, but did not know in history: it was in evening and morning days that this happened, correlative to our week, and God rested on the seventh. That ended the circuit, so that the rest was mere maintenance (with curse or miracle, from, time to time, as the case might require). We were instructed to use the same formula, 6 days of work, 1 of rest, and many millions are they who have profited by this provision of pity and grace (cf. Isaiah 58:13-14).
God has not abnegated this, neither abjured it nor renounced it; for until fulfilment, there is no speck left out of what He has ordained in the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17-20), and salvation makes no change in creation. In fact, man is not yet fulfilled in resurrection, but continues as at creation: the shadows of things to come pass, but not the commands of creation (Colossians 2:16-17). The Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2) has changed its day, but not its way, nor was it ever to deny emergency, but to allow rest.
Many are the efforts to show procession, change of nature in God or man; but the word of God is irrevocable, true from the start and to the end (Psalm 119). As for man, the most ancient seem like ourselves in form and footprint, and many are the dashes to pretence administered by such as Professor Oxnard and Lord Zuckerman, the former noting that there is scarcely a find which is not touted as a transition, but where are they, these wonders ( cf. SMR pp. 204-207).
Man continues without superman, and the litter on the littoral of the most ancient to the most modern times refuses to expand into testimony of failed attempts, all being fully operational; or into transitional clarity, as if multiple systems were enabled to make grossly complex changes in perfect functional array, spitting out fantasised wonders on the way. Empirically, both lack.
On the contrary, for man, as for sin, the more it changes, the more it is the same; for God has shown enquiring man that there is in the non-coding DNA a large provision for control, information about information (information itself being never found in practice without the work of intelligence); and modifications within environmental changes are beautifully provided for. Things can be turned on, as it were, in the car of man, but they are there to BE turned on, and it is still ... a car.
It is because there IS a creator that there IS rest. Flustering non-verified concepts do nothing but make the mind of man sick, and create nothing. As Isaiah 26:3-4 declares:
"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength."
In Ezekiel 1, we find the Designer. Here there are vast wheels, with inner wheels within them, and in these are eyes, and the wheels were related to wings in living creatures, and where they went the wheels with their eyes travelled too. Thus there is symbolic reference to the fact that it is a CREATURE which is made, that there are categories of creature, that each one has a series of contrivances for operation, and each one has programmatic provision for intelligence in design with practical outcomes.
Each one can move and the equipment moves with it, and in the equipment are many eyes, sensors, mobilisation techniques, controls. SO it is in the marvel of divine brilliance, that the human body, brain and with this, the human person, the spirit of man is able to direct himself with all this on board, to effect that which comes to his mind (cf. Dig Deeper, Higher Soar Ch. 2, Lively Lessons in Spiritual Service Ch. 5, Journal of Creation Vol. 24(2), 2010, pp. 13ff.).
"Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went,
because there the spirit went;
and the wheels were lifted together with them,
for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels."
The spirit led, the means followed; the spirit decided, the structure followed. The spirit of man is his discursive, deciding, dreaming and resolving power, and for any man to forget this, is to be of no known address: LOST!
Yet beyond that, over all, sits the Lord of creation (Ezekiel 1:4ff.), whose design is here shown for His creation which, without Him is a mere intelligence product without intelligibility, and hence a fastidiously made mess. Such is man in the 21st century, as he wars to survive, and forgets the point of survival, uses the best equipment in the world, in material format, his own body, and breaks it like so many oceanic breakers writhing to the shore, in his inert follies and broken mind, wilfully corrupt, endlessly corruptive. Some even make a religion out of it, to kill and prevail for some religious or secular idea or other, from their own minds.
As a policy, it does not work, since the work of design which God made, is prepared for leading and purpose from the God who made it: without Him, it is like a Boeing 747, with no pilot, hangar or runway. It runs amok, as man is now doing lavishly in lordly fashion, often pretending he knows what he is doing, but ruining as he runs.
This is very wonderful; and the wonder of God is more and not less than this; for far more than this, Creator and Designer of man and the universe around him, is He Himself, Maker of man and His other products, for creation or for censure (cf. Romans 8:17ff., Exodus 7ff.)
In John 1, we learn yet more: that back of all the work of intelligence and design, yes and creation itself, is one called the WORD, who was with God and who was God (as He is, since God does not change). In the Bible there is precisely ONE God (Ephesians 4:4, Isaiah 44-45), who created man and all things. This Word as in Philippians 2, has the status of God, and hence as in John 8:58 Christ declared that before Abraham existed, HE WAS, but He said it in the signature mode of Exodus 6:4, "Before Abraham was, I am."
Christianity is built on this revelatory fact, just as creation is built from God. Not only was it built with intelligence, wisdom indeed (cf. Proverbs 8), but it was built by the Trinity, the Father who propounds, the Son who expounds and the Spirit who applies; and Father and Son, since in heaven there is no gender, are also Sender and Sent, and Speaker and Word.
Indeed in the DNA there are millions of words, as if 1000 volumes had been written of specification for man, of how he is to be made, and how the symbols are to be applied. The coding is complex, brilliant, miniaturised, now discovered to have a triple capacity to command in staggeringly clever format, enabling ready adaptation within the basic structure (hence the accurate word in the Bible, KINDS).
This Personal Expression of God, this living Word of God, better than any photograph, His exact likeness who does what He does in the same way (John 5:19ff., Hebrews 1), giving voice to His will, became man, and became a sacrifice for sin, and became tormented by the hatred of God by reckless, racking man, acting like driven wrack. Yet in the very midst of this hatred, He excelled in love, forgiving those receiving Him as the Word of Salvation, even seeking pardon for what they did WHILE they were doing it: crying out in agony and love in a cherishing mixture, "Father, Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Luke 23:34 shows that He kept on calling this out for a season, on the Cross. He calls still, though not still on the Cross, standing ready at the door as in Revelation 3, ready to enter and offering pardon from guilt, grace of living and a new life in His presence, despite the dumped past. There is, says Isaiah 43:10-11, NO SAVIOUR BUT GOD, and so this, the WORD OF GOD incarnate, 'made flesh', is found paying in Person the penalties of sin, and providing in Person the glories of restoration in reconciliation to God Himself (II Corinthians 5:17ff.).
THE HISTORIAN and
THE BEGINNING AND THE END
In Revelation 1 and 22, as in 4:11, we, we find out more about God, the Almighty, that He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End of all creation. This also we find, in 2:8, that this same unique name is given to Jesus Christ, the word of God incarnate (as in John 1:1-14). What then does this Word have to say in this book, called The Revelation of Jesus Christ, from its first words. Identifying Himself as the First and the Last, as He who was dead and now is alive for evermore ?
Jesus Christ tells John "the things that are and the things which take place after this." The entirety is hermetically sealed with the seal of God (Revelation 22:18-19); for just as the Gospel is sacrosanct, the prescription for the sin of man from the Great Physician of souls (Galatians 1), so is the history to come. For this historian is different from any other in this, that He tells not only what is the case, but what is to be the case, a future historian as some are historians of war in the past. Here however we see much of wars in the past, present and to come, and of blessing, peace and power from and in the Lord to appropriate, and the conditions of use of all that He has given.
Such a Holy Historian is priceless, just as such is the Holy Saviour! He indeed not only tells the first and the last, the beginning and the end, but IS it! (Revelation 22:12-17). In what way is this so ? It is in this: that there is no beginning without Him, and it is from His mind that the very possibility and then the actuality of the beginning comes. God speaks it, and the living and eternal Word of God, like a powerful executive on earth, but He is in heaven, causes it to be done, since His is the power to implement what is spoken.
On earth, some have much power to speak and do; in heaven to God belongs all power to speak and to do, as the Sender and Sent. It is the triune God Himself who is the Beginning and the End, and the Word of God in particular. The end ? without Him what end could there be but a jumble of worn-out equipment, in a collapsing world as its order, like that of an old car, wears out eventually, this sooner, that later (just as chimneys are all that are left in ruins, but these ARE left somewhat longer).
What a hellish, a devastating and devastated situation that would be! However, He who is the beginning, the first, is also the last, so that it is at His word and idea, that the end comes. It was a staging before eternity, this world, a magnificent one; but the permanent house is yet to come when the trials and work is past (cf. II Corinthians 5:1ff., I Corinthians 15:50ff.).
Then this mortality must put on immortality! It is fine with me, for the love and longing for the God of beauty and peace and truth and reliability, of faithfulness and wisdom and creation and salvation is so intense that to put on the mode of living which becomes eternal in the heavens with Him is a glorious wonder; but to have it, being bodily resurrected as a child of God is far better yet. With such a Father, what a sonship! as I John 3:1ff. shows. Moreover He is love, so that in His intensity and immensity of power, is yet the tenderness of fatherhood, now that in heaven itself, the sad wraps of sin are things of the past because of His work as Saviour.