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THE DEITY, THE DISMISSAL AND THE DEBACLE,
THE DIVINE, THE DELIGHT AND THE DELIVERANCE:
Part II of III
ABANDONMENT AND ACCESS
WAITING, DISMISSAL ... These elements have been considered, but the latter has been so pungent and pointed, so sharp and unrelenting that it cannot yet be let go, but needs the more attention in this address, for which the title used is as above.
This week, early in November, 2010, in The Australian, one found references of an extraordinary sort, which welded together, make the thing startling.
It concerns first of all, England, yes the UK and France. Once bitter enemies, yet they have in the past co-operated to France's deliverance, indeed with the US in both cases as well, to the overcoming of vast challenge to all. Now it is decided by Sarkozy and Cameron, President and PM respectively of their nations, that there will be great co-operation even in research, and in armed assault capacity, so that what neither nation could now mount, both together may now do, even to the level of having one aircraft carrier (one actual, one projected) each, for joint action.
The other point is that France is making an enormous trade arrangement with China, including if not specialising in nuclear provisions, presumably for industrial purposes, though the two are certainly far from being unrelated.
The possibilities do not here need further exploration!
Once proudly, or better, defiantly and delightedly Protestant, the UK, freed from Peter's pence, boy bishops in Italy not bothering to come to do their job in England, though paid for it, from the fires of Smithfield when English bodies were ceremonially burnt, as from the Inquisition and all the associated horrors of priestcraft, from efforts to overthrow the kingdom by priestcraft and subtlety, is now changed. It has become European. This merely cements the job.
What Hitler failed to do, in his own way, others have done in theirs! Northern Ireland has no more mother country for her Protestantism, for her England has now a Prince of Wales, King-in-waiting who forwards Islam (specifically to President Bush on a visit), who wants not at all to be Defender of the Faith (when they knew what it was, had vision, and in much, showed it in action), but Defender of Faiths.
To defend what is antithetical, such as Islam and Christianity, to protect what is mutually exterminative in principle, to continue role as King of the land, with this treachery to the cause as so long held out, is not really to be defender of faiths, but dumper of this book, in which is to be found the wisdom of God (as at the British Coronation), the Bible, of its core and centre, Jesus Christ. As to this the Saviour, He is no more available for plastic surgery now, than when whipped and on the cross, so that His face was almost unrecognisable as man (cf. Isaiah 52:13ff.). Thus the new role would amount to this: being a deleter of Christ as necessary remedy and ransom, redemption and peace from God for man, and to occupy a new position.
In Christ you are for or against Him, and if you do not forsake all for Him, you CANNOT be His disciple, as in Luke 14:27ff... Joining a false prophet (cf. More Marvels ... Ch. 4, Divine Agenda Ch. 6, SMR pp. 1080ff.), to Him, who predicted the same centuries before Muhammad sought to remove Him as deity, redemption and truth, and so make him a prelude to his own revelation, without any demonstration at all, using force to launch his own mission in Mecca, is mere muddle.
Indeed, whilst Christ permitted Himself to be made an atoning sacrifice, and Muhammad seeks other means, avoiding the prescription of God, and the demonstration of His power: to mix with this unreasoned negation is here merely a capitulation. If you, said Christ, should you be ashamed of Me, I will be ashamed of you, when judgment comes! Enough said (Luke 9:23-26).
As to Him, HE IS THE TRUTH, as well as the life, and there is no other way to God! (John 14:6). As such, He is immiscible, but you CAN miss Him, especially by capitulation to another shepherd and another spirit from a contrary mouth (II Corinthians 11).
While therefore England officially is
political, defence mode with a nation formally noted for its Romanism, and now
even more for its secularism, and so
forging one more link
in that EU which knows not what its goals are, in terms of Constitution, but
does know it is moving to its grand destiny together (cf. His Wounds
Opened Eternity Ch. 3), and
embracing the undistinctive Europe the more totally:
there is a great and decisive change.
Not only does this world no more know the Protestant-tilted Empire of great fame and power, not only is protection no more available in no mean measure for missionaries from such a source (not that it is essential, yet it was active), but there is arising as foretold in Revelation 13, a religious approach which while spurning Rome (as the EU constitutional crisis showed), has nothing in particular in place. Power and pollution, movement astray, with guile, becomes the new look, with shorter skirts and sandals, replacing the garb of war (that is, spiritual war, as in Ephesians 6 described, with its appropriate weaponry).
Europe, the famed 4th empire of Daniel, has gone through its partly strong, partly fragile stages. It has been ruled directly from the first by Rome; then with its fall, with agility and some power from the Byzantium alternative; then from the Holy Roman Empire, with Inquisition to boot (for that matter, with such torture implements as the boot), has been paraded by Napoleon as he aggregated unifying power for a little while, courtesy of France, fortified by Hitler in his large embrace of the possessed lands, sirened by the Common Market, buttressed the European Union, outlined in defence strategy and posture in its Western European Union, and now, from commercial being, to foreign policied, parliament-possessing power, it moves to its investiture with a new Constitution.
Revelation, insisting on this last great Empire in the series noted by Daniel in Chs. 2, 7 and 8, has been fulfilled and more than this, done so in a highly specialised manner. Thus there were to be 10 kings who would jointly, after ditching Rome (as in the new EU Constitution, and by their secular preoccupations now cf. Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 5), act as the end of the Age came. For over one decade, following World War II, there were ten nations in the Common Market/EU.
Moreover, lest the point be lost or seem submerged, since the Modified Brussels Treaty, in 1954, till 2010, the present, there have been just 10 member nations in the Western European Union, place of strategic power and policy in common armed defence, brought in during the Cold War. It has not been 11 or 9. It was and it is, just 10. So it was to come and so it goes, and we have had more than half a century of notice. Whatever the final configuration, the testimony has already been heavily demonstrated, even to detail, as well as in direction.
There is abandonment in Europe, and especially in Great Britain to this same Europe. Many a part of Europe has had aggrandisement in empire, such as France, Holland, Portugal, Spain and Britain, but it is all Europe and now its essential unity has little loss, with England moving from the Bible, and Europe from Rome. Their seemingly delightful thrust, so appetising to the wolves of this world, and their master, is now as free as Spring, till Summer comes with its heat.
It appears more and more, as at the first in the Imperial Caesars, especially those desiring Emperor worship (many Christians showing the colour of their blood in the Colosseum as testimony of their faith in a NOT ALL IN ONE world, where Christ matters more than it does, which He is to judge), that Europe will make its own religious charms and chants. This it will do, just as it has already made its own currency and International Court of Justice and sundry other common institutions. The 10 and the pen are in common urgency for action. The powers are in growing order of ascent till the face of the place becomes august, as with Caesar Augustus, the last continuing the spirit of the first, and amplifying it.
There is thus an abandon in Europe, a liberty, a carry-on as for example from the French Revolution, an enchantment with disenchantment as some see it; and it moves it knows not where; but the Bible knows where, as its prophecy of Europe over time and in detail is fulfilled before our eyes.
There was likewise abandonment back in the day of Pontius Pilate, and of the Israel of that day, and it came only to go. It went with the end of misused liberty and extinction of love in murder, to its appointed end, though in mercy, this was not to be total! Thus Israel and its Temple were all but deleted in the space of one generation, just as its authorities had tried by murder in effect, to guarantee their survival.
Thus does irony teach truth! So does man provoke God, and attack its own deliverer! There is another abandonment coming, and a revelry into ruin: as in Revelation 13, 17-19; and this one likewise, delivers not from but to... death. The deliverance of God alone, breaches death, small surprise since He made life and can countermand as He will! (cf. I Corinthians 15).
It was Christ who was delivered UP to false judgment, the Israel of that day which did it, through its authorities, and now this world, increasingly devout in its unbelief, abandoning what was left in short order as in Europe, is doing just the same. The impact on Israel was horrific (like abandoning breathing), and the result for Europe and this world will be no less.
God is no respecter of persons, invariable in principle (Psalm 102, James 1:17); for while particular in sequencing and strategy, He is changeless in principles and practice. This world is now facing an abandonment in its own heart, and an endorsement and prolongation of the abandonment of Jesus Christ, when He was here in the flesh. It is one of vast significance and spiritual zest. It is well to be alert to it.
God is not abandoned in the sense of given up to whatever; only in being left WITH what He speaks, by rebellion. In Himself, He does not change, His knowledge MADE time, and He knows all that is in it. Indeed, as He speaks, so He does; and as He programs, so He fulfils. In the cross of Christ is the glory of what He has done, and it is
one preparation from
one advent into time,
one sacrifice, of Him who has one written word, authorised to man, the Bible.
There is one Eternal Word, living for ever, Jesus the Christ, just as there is one, His endorsed written word, the Bible, then come and to come in the apostolic testimony warranted (as in John 14-16). There is no one else, but there is one other way which increasingly is putting itself forward, one of sedition to salvation, corruption from Christ, in rumblings of rebellion, minions for murder, as the junta to come makes itself ready. The LIE of II Thessalonians 2, as of Romans 1:25, as of I John 2:22).
Here is the investiture of all lies, that one should believe the lie, and here is the biblical quintessence of it all, its genesis and its doom: to deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Lord's Christ (Luke 2:26) and not some surrogate. It is coming and is all but here already.
THIS time, leaving the mystic mess of quasi-religious Communism, the power to be will have its own religious sub-junta, the Second Beast of Revelation 13:11ff). It is best understood by looking at the truth, and discerning from this pivot of human history, because it is the quintessential act of God, where things lie, have lain and will lie. Indeed, as I John so stresses, it lies with the Lie or the Lord, and there is no other way. He is One and it is many, but is defined by negation of truth, like so many failed exam papers, contrasted with what has the point. In one thing, they are together: their error is fatal, and they do not know the truth.
With this development in mind, let us revert to the study of John 18-19,
and the abandonment of Jesus Christ by officialdom at that time.
In the last Chapter, in considering first waiting, and then dismissal of pity at the last, we contrasted the blessedness of waiting on the Lord and on His word, to do it because believing it, with the opposite, NOT waiting. This latter is the negative course Israel followed in precipitately abandoning their Messiah, Jesus Christ who as in Isaiah 42:6, 49:6, is also the Christ for the world. Pity ? We considered this. In dismissing Christ in all His glory, Israel then, as this world now, has become merely pitiless on itself, as on truth, mercy and viability. It is the lure of lordship without glory, fecklessness without faith, and the trap of the false shepherd to which such heartlessness brings straying and recklessly vulnerable man.
What then did Jesus Christ do ? and what step did HE take during all this ?
What was the DIVINE INITIATIVE ? It is not always the expected, because His sights are infinite and His way unsullied, but it is always instructive, and inspires the heart. We come now to the 12th in our list in this theme of Two Ways, Deity and Dismissal, and find there are many things to be dismissed, not all bad, and many that may be retained, not all good. It is the dismissal of God that is always folly, and the delight in Him and His ways, always good.
Kings do not cry, but to God in their hearts, and God has made us priests and kings in Christ (Revelation 5:10); but they may lament with tears as did Christ Himself (Luke 19:42ff.), with that depth which only love can know, only its derogation with loss to its object can discern, as it experiences torture and travail for the lost, those wilfully so, entrapped, ensnared, misled, but willing to follow what is hollow, the sound of the voice which has lungs but no heart.
Christ did not cry to Pilate for mercy, yes, not even when Pilate angled things so that He could. Scourged unjustly, mocked calamitously with physical buffeting to add to the scorn, presented, 'Behold the Man!' by the Governor, He had a short interlude. Don't you realise, Pilate queried, that in me lies the power to crucify or release you ? The tenor of his heart appeared to be this:
Is there no communication, terror, exposure, is there nothing that you want to do or say so that the result might be affected ? You see how far it has gone already, indeed in more ways than one you can feel it, indeed the blood already has begun its fateful course from those systematic physical assaults, which you have had to bear, from the thorns of mockery of your hated crown!
So far from making a plea in terms of this world and its so-called insights, which are a torment and not the truth, a series of ripples spreading across the lake of time, with no depths, for it is but an enlarged puddle, Christ let Pilate find the perspective needed, though he did not yield to it. YOU, He declared,
"could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin."
Notice three things. Firstly, Pilate's power would not be LESSER if God had not accorded it to him for responsible use: it would not be there at all without a divine plan in the matter. Secondly, that power is not intrinsic, but dependent on God and His purposes. It is therefore not at all autonomous, but wholly accountable to God. It is not only Christ who is being (wrongly) judged, but the judge who dares USE as he will, this just claimed power to release or crucify! Thirdly, there IS sin in Pilate's use of power, but it is just that the traitor from the midst of Christ's own disciples, this turncoat, this nominalist, this two-tongued mouth, this two-faced countenance, has a yet greater sin.
Any plan for an entente between this world and its ways, and Christ and His majesty, as King not only of the Jews, but Ruler of the whole earth to come (Psalm 2), is doomed, it is abandoned, it is dismissed. No entreaty to Pilate is to be made, nor may the Christian make ... accommodation with this world, in ludicrous affairs of combination of unbelief and the Bible, as so many lecturers, teachers, schools and Principals seem, unprincipled, to do and to have done.
You can no more serve God and specious, unspiritual government when it tries to take over the Church, the beliefs of a Christian, than you can serve God and Mammon. That is the whole point of separation: you MUST put Christ first in ALL your ways, abandon all, forsake all for Him (Luke 14:27ff.). How obviously then, if this world and its ways and ideas and affairs invade the Church, you have but two options. By the reforming power of God, rid the Church of it, or leave it, which so grows to be no Church but an abandonment to folly, kinky, corrupted, slighting the majesty of the Lord (Romans 16:17, II Chronicles 19).
13) Pilate at this point became decided, if not decisive. He "sought" to release Christ. Fancy seeking to do something for which you are specifically empowered, with governmental power supplied from what was at that time the mightiest State on earth, in human terms! So do many try to excuse themselves in spiritual affairs: I HAD to do it, they cry, because if not, the Church/School/scope for service would be gone. Service ? of whom! Do you serve God who abandon His principles, loose His procedures and consort with the works of the devil, even TEACHING them in your schools as if you had an option to be two-faced, because it is an institution ? Is it not like Sir Humphreys' answers to Hacker, in Yes, Minister: Well Minister, yes and no!
There is the fine balance of opposites, of the desirable and the apposite, and there is the wobbly waffle without wisdom, which sees means above ends, as so many governments seem to be doing now, not least in Australia, as if these were all of a kind; when in fact a government of godly purpose need have no such blinking, winking and compromise. A government of integrity has no need to endorse or allow the principles opposite to its platform in order to govern. Its course is NOT to govern, except on its stated premises, and circumstances do NOT alter this, as if what is elected for one thing, may from the start, or indeed, in ORDER to begin, do something quite different, both in direction and in detail, so ditching the declaration made from the outset.
If governments fail, foiled in their own contrivances, if the people are thus misled and misrepresented in this world, yet there is no need for this to happen in the Church, where there is a mandate and commission for it NOT to happen: in Christ you see the lead required (Luke 6:46, cf. Romans 16:17).
Going one step on the false way, it is easy to find the next one, indeed it may rise like an adder from the grass, to strike the unprotected leg which strides where it ought not. Pilate, now viewed as an individual has seen the right course, is fortified in it, begins to feel not only the indignity done to the wonderful leader, Jesus Christ, but the damage to righteousness, in an awesome ache in the heart. Therefore, before Pilate, the surging populace finds manipulative tongue, that is, those with voice in the affair. As often, it is an evil voice which arises when leaders dither, as in some churches, which having erred, put on the after-burner as if not noticing it, or nod to a corrupt co-pilot as if it were an affair of nought. So with the hungry populace in Pilate's care ...
The religious leaders of Israel had an idea: spare Christ and insult Caesar. They saw the danger of baying for blood and not licking it, so they acted. If YOU do not act when given opportunity, do not imagine that the evil one will long fail to do so. It is necessary to be decisive, not abandoned, and having access to God, to USE it, fearlessly, at whatever cost.
If Pilate acted positively in his own heart, yet it was not so in history. A division occurred: he fainted into a fallacy of horror. He actually allowed the reality of Christ to be DISMISSED, ABANDONED by the people in a subtle slur, as if there were any real conflict when to Caesar should go the things of Caesar, and to God the things of God, a fact that now seems increasingly ignored by full many a church, once standing, now fallen in ruins. He finally fell when they cried:
"If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend.
Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar," John 19:12.
What specious and sophisticated nonsense! When Stalin asked Churchill how many (military) divisions the pope had, he was applying his ruthless philosophy of power, as if it came from nowhere and went anywhere. In fact, power is a quality of designated creations whether corrupt or not, and is a matter of duty or miscreancy on the part of all to whom it is for a time provided, before the judgment. If the Jews who spoke were religious, did they not know this from a myriad of lessons over the centuries! "Power belongs to God!" says David in Psalm 62:11, "twice I have heard this!" It does not belong to man, except instrumentally, for commendation or condemnation, and God Himself will intervene as He will.
14) If someone has 'power', what of it, for it is but temporary and subject to judgment, as is one's own! except the Lord pardon, in Christ's name through the faith in the sinner, by grace. Is Caesar the ultimate ? To be sure the practice of worship arose in Rome, where in Caesar, State was worshipped, as it falsely did later in Romanism, where bread was worshipped as dispensed by ecclesiastical power; but the availability of power is not the same by any means as sodden submission to it, spirit spent. Alas Pilate! the heart mourns for him. Perhaps like this, his thoughts ran.
Not Caesar's friend, you say ? The words may have echoed in his heart. THAT is as it may be, but assuredly the risk of a swollen psyche, a mad mind, an inventive spirit, a dominating folly could read it that way. Yes, these people could so twist Caesar as to make it look as if this Jesus, a man of love, healing power, gracious disposition, who expressly refused the crown when it was offered, were in fact some kind of an aspirant to political power! The peril is very great...
So he capitulated, he became abandoned.
Always remember Pilate if ever you consider capitulation into abandonment of spirit.
Here Pilate abandoned principle for practice, and practiced folly. He winced, he flinched, he gave in, and principles being dismissed, pity was left wounded in the sun of danger.
Now Pilate leads Christ into the public eye: "Behold your King!" he declared, with such a mixture of subdued admiration (for Him), horrified contempt (for His persecutors) and woeful expectation, that his aroused heart must have smitten him, with perilous awe. Crucify Him! cry the mob leaders. The drama has moved, near to climacteric, first they are to behold 'the man', but now 'Your King'. From the heights to bathos he proceeds, with subtle thrust.
"Shall I crucify your King!" asks Pilate, as if to appeal to any lurking realism in the people, for here was such a Man and King as he had never seen, and they were in danger of losing far more than a national treasure. Were they indeed playing truant with their very religion and heart and soul ?
Here the people dismissed Christ's regality, along with reality, and inherited a bad dream, to last for the nation until they say of Him, as He TOLD them, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Luke 13:35).
16) "Then he delivered Him to them." Crucifixion it was, except for the notorious washing of his hands which did not reach to the affair in his heart. Later, subdued, abandoned, he let his heart have momentary respite, for when they demanded he remove "The King of the Jews" from the heading for the cross, he refused, saying, "What I have written, I have written!" Thus Pilate at least dismissed attempts to rename Christ (John 19:21-22), so that as in some churches, so-called, at least the NAME remains! This alas is not for the purpose to derogate churches, but to warn them, and to seek an end to derogating Christ by arrogating His glory to the fallen tongue, nominality nurtured, abiding illicit in a misled administration
Here was the smitten failure of a governor quietly, though marginally, assuming his power, so soon before abandoned, and TELLING them what was to be. There was not much danger in that; so this, the smaller step he would take. This reminds me of a time when I was speaking to some independent Baptists about the need to deliver the children from the governmental assault on their minds in scientistic, anti-biblical instruction, only to receive a sodden lecture that one must take whatever little things one could, and not confront! Alas others also lapsed during action, and suddenly withdrew from the group at work.
Is this not a Pilate pollution! if the children of God will abandon their children to folly, let them answer for it, for whose children are they who are so abandoned! But if they are to be steadfast, let them speak boldly as they ought to speak, being so instructed (Ephesians 6:20).
We have access to God in Christ, we who are Christian believers, and there is to be realised the immense, the inordinate contrast between service of Christ and of this world. This increasingly is finding itself religious, in a slanted phase: stirred a little, like Pilate, doing a little, like Pilate. Yet such service is not of Christ, but convenience: from religion, rather extorting an additive, than discerning a cross to be taken, except for others. But Jesus the Christ said this, TAKE UP YOUR CROSS. He did not mean your neck-piece. It involved forsaking all, not magpieing.
In conclusion, then, let us reflect on the division between what is, but SHOULD be abandoned, and the following of Christ, in the field of religion, and State or other undue intrusion into it.
Indeed, religions of religiosity, whether secularised, sanitised or transcendentalised,
present an abuse of
the original thrust
They exult the
act as if to mangle
the conscience, mind and awe of the spirit of man,
You see the beginning in the world, in Genesis 3, the type in Daniel 9:27, the proliferation in Matthew 24:24, the atmosphere at the end, in Daniel 12:2, Revelation 16:12-14 and the terminus in Revelation 19:20, 20:7ff..
That, it is a terminus devoutly to be avoided.
Let us who follow the Lord and His word then, be on our guard, not ignorant of Satan and his devices, dismissing compromise, fearless and well grounded, serving the Lord with confidence, and answering with conviction. Access to God is infinitely better than access to income, capital, social acclaim or any other alien feature.
It is to God one looks for what is needed, not to man, be he never so filled with his own religiosity. When you glorify the Lord, you find in Him the rock unshakeable, the resource unquakeable, by anything this earth or heaven has to offer.
Do not therefore Pilatise, but abide in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be faithful in these last profoundly testimonial days, and moreover, rejoice in His praise as you go!
In the next Chapter, DV this series will be completed.