W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
WHERE THE ANSWERS OVERFLOW THE
BITTER BITS AND BETTER BASIS
What is the Place of Freedom ?
Why is there a unique resolution to this in the Bible ?
MODES AND MANNERS FOR MAN'S MIND
and the impact of the mind of god
Man's mind, say some, is not able to comprehend some of the very elements of his being, leaving him flummoxed or foolish, like an unmoored vessel; so let us not dabble, they urge, but simply acknowledge that in time we may do a little better. An air of mystery is often linked to such lackadaisical alignments; and with laxity and superficial awe, many begin to find appeal in this, even when God has long been abandoned by many such speakers and seers. The common constraints that tends to suffocate, or awakening ideas prime for anaesthetise, as investigation proceeds, appear such.
These innovative approaches however, depend on the underlying superior evaluation of sin, with its explicit or implicit but always illicit appeal, not on the slightest logical need. Indeed, they abort reason and substitute desire, as when students drink the night before examination. Further, it is while contrary to all logical requirement (cf. SMR, TMR), that this self-made problem careers across the mental and spiritual sky of many. They become spiritual cop-outs, weary with study, fading into the environment, and even this becomes fuzzy.
This is one phase where degeneracy of spirit aligns itself with easy outage. But is there not another which appears equally common ?
In this second case, it is in obtuse and rebellious myriad-form reaction - as in some physical diseases where the ramifications are both unpleasant and numerous - that there may come an ancillary mode, a divergent leap. That is, there may be a movement away from the mystery into the mastery phase, instead. Thus we come to something in one regard similar to the depression and exaltation of what some call the bipolar psychological phase; but in this changeable case before us now, it may be far nearer to the philosophical parallel. It has elements like a philosophic bipolar disease.
That is, having sought refuge in vague mystery and intellectual indolence, the next option is to seek through fiery rocketings from unreason, a substitute that has a more militant look, giving rein to thrust and passion, meeting human needs in those fields. Needs ? Yet for when you leave God, then the fire and power and movement which is meant to be governed (as in a car which actually has a drive), instead looks for outlet. In this second way of responding to the wilful absence from the Maker, there is this militant outlet. Like the first case, however, it is irrational, just comforting to elements of the human spirit, giving an outcome similar to that from organic drugs. Some things are stirred up, rationality not being one of them!
In this aggressive mode, now some nostrum, some idea with appeal may congeal from the clouded atmospherics. Ideas spring up as when a threatening wave 100 feet high, approaches from the deep! but in vain. Now man thinks he comes to the place of the flower from its arcane bower, and behold it is all so clear, even though as in organic evolution you can never actually see it, let alone smell it, or find it respond to any critical test, though compulsively, children must be taught its ways, though it be invisible (cf. SMR pp.140ff., Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3). Each new act of nothing-to-something desperation (with help from begging the question at judicious intervals), behold, It is the flower of the hour; and having been shown in bouquets, it introduces the scent of militancy (each, when it is in fashion), as if it were some new kind of marijuana. Its appeal becomes mandatory for others, perhaps young men are trained to fight for it, or university courses (in practice) depend on it for some of their results.
So man wavers very often between indolent dreams and militant means, fire and water, thrust and a superficial satisfaction; and in the entire mobilisation of dreams, there are millions of lives lost, as if there were a clerical error removing billions from the national economy. Yet in these wars of ideas, of lives, of souls, these deaths and rabid mutilations - is this RACE to be better ? KILL for it, for it is ours. Is this schema to be better ? massacre for it; or is this vision to be attractive, send millions to Siberia for it!
If this is not madness in practice, one would hate to find it defined in a yet more horrendous extravaganza of deluded man. Already it is an insult, considering much in the nations and amid them, to refer to man in animal terms. His inventions and imaginings, dreams and erraticism becomes more like the work of devils, and indeed, without such a concept, it is hard even to imagine what more COULD so possess a degrading race! Yet regress has its own journeys!
With God excluded, of course, the higher the creation, the more horrid its misuse; for it has more power, more to corrupt, more with which to erupt.
All these various endeavours to find for mankind or some other part of the creation, the ground for it neither work in logic, nor in empirical fact, so that the concept is invented that you CANNOT know, that however you come to know the 'truth', which you then proclaim as such, yet man cannot really know the truth; and even though it is flat self-contradiction, yet this is the case. Some appeal to this or that, with reason, to show that reason does not work, or does not find truth, or that there is an area that is covered, as if you could know this to be the truth, if it were so, for if ultimates are not obtainable, how know this ultimate fact (cf. SMR Chs. 3, 4, 4 Extension, 5 with Predestination and Freewill, Section 4).
So do many pout about their weakness and man's incapacity, then glory in their own capacity, as if neither thought nor speech had any meaning.
There we move from psychic compulsion to philosophical duress, as a fashion, using reason to dismiss itself, and thus removing any validity to any argument derived from such a thought-model. Thus, excluded by their own model, from truth, they then use it to include what the truth of the matter is!
This is always a common though a self-contradictory mystery, simply part of the mystery of sin that such hyper-inflated, anti-empirical rubbish should ever have been thought of, that such irrationalism should ever have been entertained by those who still in the realms of high inconsistency, wish to use reason to defend their dismissal of its burden. It becomes one more in the array of Freud, Marx and Darwin, like the three evil spirits of Revelation 16:13, who having models with ponderous forces pounding us into shape from beyond our minds, undercurrents in their seditious power inventing us, nevertheless are themselves free of these, in order to tell us about them. Marvellous to found a philosophy on your exemption from the human race!
Thus the false prophets, even in academic dress, come as propagandists of these opinions, each pushing his own model*1 for man, but none bound to it. Extolling its powers, like a new car salesman, yet they act in glorious exclusion from their own theories, in order to tell us about it, to tell us the 'truth'. They thus become walking miracles, though they deny them.
It just happens to lie in their own systems, contrary to specifications. In this way, in one act, they thus remove truth and declare it, so that competition cannot arrive; and since this is more forcefulness, it is often accompanied by brute force, as in the infamous if rather short-lived case of the USSR, as in many ostensibly democratic universities where it is more subtle but no less horrendous, or in schools, where it is mental molestation and spiritual duress, afflicting the young like hereditary diseases. But this is MADE to be inherited, by legal and immoral duress in many an educational system. .
All this is done, whether in more general or in such special manners as this, and yet some ask, WHY does God not be nicer to our fundamentally ever so nice race! Consider, if you were a wife, and had a husband who successively denied in your social realm, and in public, your name, it would be difficult. If he denied your morality, it would be more so; if he then went on to deny your existence, perhaps so that your assets could be used pleasantly for his own purposes, it would be yet more distressing; and if you loved him, the greater would be the anguish. If man does just this to his Maker, making him obscure, or innominate, or a construction, or by constriction, non-existent, is it to be imagined that this is fine, like using the formula 2+2 = 3 in your mathematics and expecting not a quaver or waver from any!
Life is not a dream, as some may notice from time to time. It has results for causes. This as shown earlier in this volume, is not only in physics but in personal involvement, though this in different ways and manners.
The results of this oversight, like any utterly foundational and radical matter, are neither few nor small. The philosophical tantrums, which whenever without the basis for all, neither can or do work, have given a bad name to philosophy; but this is only symptomatic of the disease, which embarks on the irrational, rather like a child learning to swim in the roaring ocean.
Such elements of man's intellectual history have often been considered on this site, in such places as the volumes of the sub-set The gods of naturalism have no go! and Scientific Method..., or Secular Myths and Sacred Truth, Wake Up World! for your Creator is Coming, as in SMR and TMR.
However, it is neither a matter of impenetrable mystery (as when man lulls himself to sleep in his moody brooding, and wishes just to stamp an intemperate foot), nor of simplistic subterfuge (as when he stamps his foot on others at the ideological and ideational level). When you cease to choose what is irrelevant, such as bits*1A of what is there, to account for the entirety of the thing, and move to the question of where the entirety came from, and examine it closely, as in the above references, then it is indeed entirely clear, as shown, what is man's source and basis and nature. Romans 1:17ff., in principle, points to this outcome. However there is more to it, for there is a next step. Having found that this basis IS, you need to find what is there for explanation.
Thus the testimony of truth moves you, having gone so far, as in Romans 1:17ff., to find the source of truth. Without a supernaturalist beginning, there CAN be no source, even for the claim that this or that theory IS or even could be the truth. Without the existence of truth, in the relativistic proceedings, it is rather much to expect to find, and thus to declare it! It is not here that reality is found, or could be.
The effective reality is simply in one respect, this, that you find the source, logic guiding, and then find if there is any communication from it, and having in the same way found that there is a longstanding and upstanding and indeed outstanding revelation that meets all rational criteria as to its being there, you open it up and find the extensive and intensive data so far not found. THAT leads you both in logic and empirically to the inward realities of the outward form, to the knowledge of the Maker.
It is one thing to find, in ordinary life, a missing person; it is another, if he was not in your own acquaintance, to find who he is and what he has to say. It is quite impossible for us to find out the thoughts of his heart, though we may guess, unless he tells us. When this new array of data fits all the facts, we have confirmation. When the Being is God, the realm of verification is all but unlimited*2 and there being no competition*3, at this level, we proceed to investigate, verify, validate and rest in this reality.
We WOULD simply do this, of course, were all minds disconnected from all but rationality; but since sin is part of man's heritage, there are problems if you will, in the office: there is difficulty in pride or autonomy or rebelliousness or fixations, the idée fixe, and the like, and the parade could be almost endlessly extended, There are evasions and convulsions and refusals and inventions, steamings and spumings, to prevent what some find a capitulation, namely the return to our Maker (cf. *4 in Ch. 3 above). However, these torrid events, in another figure, rather like coilings and uncoilings do nothing to protect the snake from the axe of truth, and are left futile (cf. SMR Chs. 3, 5 in contrast, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, and Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13 with SMR Ch. 4 Extension).
Movement this is; progress, it is not, except as in the case of disease, in this, that as the systems of pathology advance, THEY progress. THEY do; but the patient regresses. When regress is named progress, an art it would seem that Professor Stephen Gould*3A of Harvard found rather baffling, there is indeed a confusion that is like the epicentre of an earthquake, which while it moves things about, does not help them to progress in order and organisation. Rather, it simply takes up time and destroys much as it passes. In this, error and judgment have much in common.
So we move from the eruptions, or in the other figure, the coilings and uncoilings. This phase finished however, for filibusters do not go on for ever, we find that in the double constraint of reason, leading TO the Bible, and understanding of the inward and personal data coming FROM the Bible, in the format of testing and investigation, there are propositions and personal revelations which show both the principles and the nature of God. This is found in a far more intimate and manifest manner than reason by itself could expose. Logic leads to the Bible; but the Bible leads to the innermost, allowing considerations of point and purpose and destiny and procedures to be unfolded before our eyes, concerning man and his Maker.
Not only the form, but the reality becomes clear, giving a double boost to information. The arenas are many. Today, we have a particular interest in progress TO the truth which stands. That is, the actual pronouncements and principles revealed of God in the Bible are given attention, as if a model. Unlike the partial pronouncements from bits of things, which is so common, this procedure allows us an investigation of the revelation concerning all phases of reality, without determining what it is in its innermost nature, before investigation, but instead seeking in principle to cover all things integral in their own depths and dimensions, so avoiding reductionism as simply a form of procedural blindness.
In this case, the biblical revelation, it is found that we may do this without rumble or bumble, even in a much vexed realm, throughout history. It is that of the voluntary and the compulsory, freewill and predestination, morality and determinism, as in the spirit of man which exhibits a liberty so notable in argument against God or morality or truth. It enables us to regard with both reason and revelation, and indeed methodically, without needing to bow to the concept of the over-arching constraints which are by some affirmed over and below man, in the midst of their trend to chaotic thinking as a basis. Chaos, however, explains nothing and becomes mere words, since if it were so, nothing could be consistent enough to be characterisable and our discussion would be about nothing but words, in other words.
It does not work. It is not seen to work. It does not show itself. Nothing has no potential. Chaos has no forces, for if it did, it would not be chaos, but include nameable forces in the midst of other forces of undiscernible total meaning. That is not chaos, but an unproductive assumption, which does not even account for its own existence, even as an unworkable oddity in the first place. Nor is the absence of law and order a rational source for its observable presence. Such a protestation is simply otiose.
What does work, however, as found in the Bible thus found through reason in the first place, procedurally; and thus this can be given a short review. What does the Bible in fact teach in these fields and how productive is this in explaining the challenges to the mind of man ? Let us consider briefly, so that we may progress to what is already there, and find by investigation, its nature.
THE BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
Needs of Liberty
Not only is there a logically clear and cogent presentation of the whole area of predestination, foreknowledge, determinism,, autonomy, liberty, responsibility and love in the Bible, but there is one which is by its nature, is the only one which COULD meet the empirical data and be harmonious both with itself, as a perspective and presentation, and also the data which is uncovered. Moreover, in so presenting, it exposes the resolution for man both of the underlying mixture and the remedy for his erraticism and the testimony to his origins which withstands logical assault and exposes the weakness of competitors for such a position. The Bible tells it clearly, cogently, comprehensively, without reductionism, realistically and in explanation of the developments from first base, and first beginnings*4.
Further, it gives testable information on these topics where applicable, not only empirically and logically, but consistently over time, in its testimony to truth and to life, indeed to the way for life as well.
Let us now look at the first of these matters, concerning predestination and freewill, responsibility, guilt, determinism and voluntarism. What is the fact and the biblical reality, and its survey of data effectually, in all these areas which have chafed man like a hostile bit in his mouth, for generations ?
The answer is as it has been for millenia; it is there as it has been and will be.
First, how can you get liberty, account for it in any logically defensible manner, WHEN liberty is duly given significant scope for its reality, and operability, and is regarded as so much more than a mere name, that it involves all the guilt and gloom, the hope and the answers proposed, the priorities and the principles, selected or disposed, the resistances and the relishes, the valid and the invalid, the imaginative and the realistic and the clashes between, that are to be found continually. It is easy to account for beauty when you deny it; you ignore the question. It is the same with the liberty to lampoon or praise. Deny it if you will, but it is there. Imagination reveals possibilities, will chooses them, and action and reaction are so far below the interchanges of psychic, logical and evidential thrust, that it would be like talking of metals in a display of vegetables to indulge in such romancing.
Liberty provides the thrusts against the obvious and the ignorings of the evidence which it has been its lot to provide and have presented; as to supply the insistences upon what in due course may become established, with passion and the whole array and paraphernalia which liberty often employs and must have to be more than expression of character, given in some way, and coercive. Yet the battle-grounds of ideas are by no means of a given character, nor the rational, irrational, careful, pragmatic or opportunistic uses of these things compulsive, nor yet their subversion; nor is the argumentation an illusion, however many its errors, and their correction, and the motives for this, being of various kinds.
Liberty provides the guilt in repayment for guile, the shame in response to folly, the comment on the pondering that was known to have been subverted in the presence of a better option; and being a subject is by no means the same as being subjective. Objectivity is not found excluded from a subject as if being a person MEANT failure, which is simply a mixture of terminology, not a testimony to truth. There is a way which follows evidence, and there is a way that does not; there is a twistiness that berates truth, and their is a love which delights in it. Freely castigating the way not desired, does not remove it.
Yet some ask: HOW can you get freedom ?
How can freedom be made, sustained, given meaning ? It is only the obverse of the question, How can determinism be even stated logically, when man becomes subject to it, so that truth is neither in existence nor knowable.
In one case, you accept the impasse of logic - in the latter case - and in the former, you search for the basis. Man always tends to blame because he knows from, personal experience what it is to accept or dispose of positions, present or malign them, break conscience in obvious misrepresentation, and choose or dismiss reasons for doing so, how to live in terms of truth as far as seen, and not to do so, to swerve from conscientiousness in order to avoid an undesired possible issue, and not to do so, and WHY!
These things being so, where there is its source and what can it be ?
It can only be if you are not confined in the body (if the physical is your concern); if you are not kept from reality in your mind or in what gives it operating ability, if that is the domain concerned; and if you are not circumscribed in your spirit, so that you either do not know what you are doing, or have omitted the options which are needed, because they do not come within your power, so that instead of being either a spiritistic god with powers obviously not provided to man, or a mere slave to circumstance with illusions of liberty only, you are a person with a liberty which transcends what makes you operate as a condition of being alive.
Your SELF cannot be your controller if you are to have liberty. If it were, you would simply have a character which is master and boss past all argument, and you observe the laws it has within it. This of course is nothing like the experience of mankind, which can move from one perspective to another for reasoning carefully selected, in the interests of truth; or refuse to do so, in order to be obstructively and even obsessively FIXED, preferring this.
Such is not the experience of man, though smoking or sexual unrealism or intellectual romancing confused with truth can grab the attention like a disease, and it can appeal to man to pretend that it cannot in order to avoid responsibility; and it can even come to his mind that he is doing this, and he may elect to dismiss the thought, though knowing it to be true, and so on, in a perfect rainbow of colours of conduct and codes, perceptions and truancies from truth, when convenient and so the chameleon has a remarkable array of options.
How come! You cannot account for it by denying reason, for then you have evacuated the validity of reason, and so of any consistency when you attempt to argue.
What then do you need ? You need as a minimum for liberty, which is more than an illusion, access to what understands you more than in a restrictive and delusional or illusional manner. You need objective truth, for otherwise your subjective construction can delude, deceive, limit or condition you, leaving you without ground for what you do, and hence not free. Only the truth can set you free; but even then, it is not enough for it to be; it must be available and it must be received. A fortune does not affect you by being next door. If you are under the control of misapprehension, you are not free.
Thus, you need therefore much more than the existence of truth. Secondly, you need access to this truth, beyond the limitations of your bodily, mental and spiritual being, with its vulnerability to deception, intentional or other, and such limits as make you no more than an operational object amidst others, governed by procedures imposed or constitutive. If you reject it, then you are living in an illusion, where freedom does not apply, for reality is not available. IN rejecting it however, you use liberty. But what if you are bound to reject it ? To this we return later.
That done, without this reality, there IS nothing to be free about, and mere scenarios are your substance. Your living domain becomes unfree because your use of liberty was its dismissal, and that is fatal to realism and so ongoing liberty.
Further, there is the motive of the directional truth to be considered. That is, if the supernatural truth which exists, has bad motives in dealing with you, where is your liberty, for then you are deceived, and so dumped as to liberty. If, like some nations or firms, the operational manager is secretly or actually bent simply in gaining a maximum return for some purpose which appeals to that Entity, then there lies the freedom for that authority; but not for or in you.
If on the other hand, there is love, so that the Operational Entity henceforth called God, does not seek a return for ulterior purposes, but in love gives as a matter of principle, the liberty necessary for co-operation with and knowledge of the truth, then access is real and realisable and liberty no less. This freedom must however be granted without inhibition, from the Creator, so that nothing is left out or put in to compromise this liberty and, in turn, love intended may have its due response clearly and unambiguously. Where, as in the Bible, love is proposed, then liberty is needed for its realisation, not deceit, control or mere thrust. In love given, then, that is, a love which is not merely misnamed manipulation or illusion: there the way lies open for liberty.
Freedom is the creation of what is neither under constraints external, nor devices internal, to be forced to act, or to deceive in acting. In love, there is desire to impart truth, for love and force of any kind, are opposites. Wanting to GET at any cost, is lust, not love. It is not disposed towards its object, but to itself. It is a form of self-love.
LIBERTY AND LOVE
When power is in association with love, as in the biblical case, so that NOTHING supervenes its nature and operation, then freedom can operate, being simply an element of life as given, the communication with the Maker giving objective factuality, reliable access to reality and so with the spirit of enquiry in man, facility for choice. Freedom is required for love. Love is required for freedom even to exist, that is, in the Maker. It enables human love to be what it is. It is in association with liberty, that it can make creatures who can love, by composing spirits both with the capacity and the truth for the operation. There will be limits; but you do not need to be infinite in order to have access to the truth of the Maker, or to have equipment derived from that Maker, for its disposition in terms of truth. There is the domain; this is how it comes to be, operates and has fulfilment. Cut out God and you cannot have it; but if you cut out God you cannot have mankind either (The gods of naturalism have no go! SMR).
So we have insistent consistency, capacity and coherence, which requires these elements as a minimum for both freedom and love. What USES this liberty having facility for the option of love, may be given various scenarios and stage-arrangements for operation, but within this, it operates with the meaning, intention and in the scope noted. You may be given flesh, and spirit, and mind, and perspective, and so operate despite various limitations. You do not need an aeroplane in order to move. It is the fact of motion at command which matters. It is the principle.
Here we come to another fact. It is when you are made by the Maker, not only with access to truth and facility for love, but in HIS image, that is with a donated power to survey with the sublimity of actual knowledge, even of the sort of way truth is, that He has, rather than having it like an inexplicable foreign language, that truth comes into play in actuality, and so makes you free. His image for a creation means a capacity to know, understand, have interchange, relationship with meaning and perception, grasp issues and see light in knowledge. It does NOT in itself mean more: that is, to be able to know a billionaire does not require you to be rich at all. To be able to know God does not require you to be eternal or ageless or infinite. If HE who IS infinite gives access, and facilities to relate to Him as He reveals in truth, then it is sufficient. Less however is NOT SO.
Hence in the biblical case, we have the ingredients for freedom, and with it, for love as distinct from lust or manipulation.
It is THEN that you have liberty. Nothing less can provide it.
ON the other side, deterministic elements always rest, in the total schema, on the possibility of knowledge that this is so, of knowing it in order to proclaim it; for otherwise it is mere self-contradiction. What is determined is not free; but what did the determining, that has the possibility of liberty.
How COULD you know the truth if you were under the sway of elements which were not excluded from control of you, in their various ambits ? and how COULD there BE any truth to know, or to be there, if nothing were beyond the flux and the functions of what is in existence, and the entirety lacked something other than this flux, a post, position, opportunity, facility and knowledge with which to evaluate and define what is there! and so enable its statement as true!
The biblical revelation excludes the inoperative possibilities regarding man, and provides the necessary functions for both love and liberty, and using both, acts consistently in what it says, desires, proclaims and propounds.
On the other hand, there is equal distancing from mere autonomy, which simply INSISTS, as does its inapposite opposite, determinism, on what it savours and values for some reason or some other. How COULD you be free in and of yourself, since your genes, education, circumstances, horizons of thought, is given, and your access to truth is non-existent when it is supposed not to be there, or is controlled or controlling past your own thought, and all its conditions and origins and conditions ?
When, and only when,
there IS truth beyond your
own being, and
there IS creation-deep competence and knowledge of the truth
residing where it is not
truth to some
other reality and conditions,
or directing it to become merely a construction and not the actual truth;
and ONLY moreover, when
this is available,
and it is not made merely as an
but made a reality
in love for you with value set upon your response,
so that capacity is not controlled by desire amounting to management of you,
is there liberty!
It is then that there is to be found just ground for realistic guilt, understanding of life and so realisation of what it is for, and what one wants. Thus the love is co-ordinate with creation, and purity of motive on the part of the Maker, correlation avenue on the part of the subject in view, and liberty in the construction of the creation.
These needs are merely reinforced by what in turn, shows the adequacy of their origin in the Original Maker. Thus if you were by yourself in charge, the limit would be what is in control of your operational felicity, your fixtures, what you are given to be, and so can be! What, to the point here, would be your ability if swollen even to one whom nothing COULD sway you, in nature, allowing you to be one who could overcome, understand and control EVERY motion or action of all, and to subordinate to your person in its own power, all things, yet freedom is not thereby obtainable even for you! What is the graound of YOUR being, mind, will, nature, characater!
Freedom is not for those who deny their Maker. It is not for makers invented by the mind of man either. It is only for the God of creation (cf. SMR), with the power and utter singularity that is the eternal source of all as distinct from the illusion that nothing is or could be, that freedom exists. Were He created, then there would only be a misnomer, a misuse of a name. We are looking ot the logical necessity of what is required as always being there. Without that, what is consequent would not exist. Nothing would remain. It has neither future nor past.
Without the eternally self-sufficient God, nothing is possible. Freedom without God is utterly impossible. The chaotic calamities of endeavours to start with this or that for no reason, taken from nowhere, and to dabble into things specially imported from time to time, to support 'development' phases, likewise from nothing, is never going to work, and is always surrounded with non sequiturs in the constructions, built on imagination and farcical irrationality. Thus constantly, in physics or philosophy, in biology or in psychology, there are new ideas to adjust, to change, mutate the scenario, original ways of originating forms, features, entities, forces, laws from nowhere.
What CANNOT work, does not work; and much work is done to show it, though not with that intention! It has been so since the early Greek philosophers, who like modern ones whether putting on 'scientific' dress or not, proposed ideas both lordly in their imagination, magical in their assumptions and illicit for outcomes*5. As has been done, so it is now done, for the theme is the same, the details alone differing: vain philosophy (cf. Colossians 2:8) is cast about in various clothes, according to fashion, but never with anything to fashion what it talks about. It is like trying to jump-start a car which is not there. The god-manufacturing sphere is another lurch in the dark.
GOD AND IMAGINARY GODS,
ADEQUATE ACTION AND FUTILE EFFORTS
You can imagine gods singly or in conjunction with others, each creating the other, and so extending to infinity on some models in their confusion; but if you do not start, at the first, there is neither backwards nor forwards for you, and so questions of sequence are meaningless, an alien import to the model.
Without this absolute reference, and absolute beginning source, eternal, you are mere fodder. How could know if you or some maker or other, were diseased, confounded with illusion mental or by physical lapse affecting the brain! and how could you have a basis to operative with fidelity ? How then could you know the truth without invasion unawares, compromise undetected and confusion of your wits ? That is even in the case where you are imagined to be given all power to act as a given being of various limitations, but with sway over others.
How could your condition even at that height, even in principle, enable you to know an available truth, this as noted necessarily involving the Creator, with all the limitations of moral, spiritual, personal, physical and mental lust and self-deception to which you would still be heir ? You still require, even if so powerful, even yet as NOT-GOD, the pure truth to be available, from beyond your self, and where it may be found; and this requires moving back for knowledge of its ways and nature, to the loving Maker, who is God and so speaks truth without desire to grasp what that Entity does not have (for the lack is nothing), and with knowledge of what is there, He being prepared to give freely, as He did in the creation, which was all gift.
It is God or no freedom.
But with God, there is need for the actualisation of liberty in mankind. For liberty, It is not enough to have it available, in principle consistent, resting on adequate foundation for reality. It is not even enough for man to be so made that he may so operate. He must be in a CONDITION, so that in effect, he DOES so operate, or the results are known with certainty, whether in time or beyond it. He must be operative in freedom, not distorted. There is the FOUNDATIONAL need for man to be free; but there is also the FUNCTIONAL need for it. Equipment needs to be there; but it also to be operative.
How does the Book of the Lord, that is the Bible, cover this ? Does it tell us that we are so stricken with sin, for example, that we are alien to life as it actually, deeply and in reality is ? Yes it does as in Ephesians 4:17-19, I Corinthians 2:14, Romans 1:17ff.. This meets head-on and in principle the problem, in its surrounding attestations, in one very clear manner. Thus unless God opens your heart and gives you gratuitously the truth, in His pure love*6, then you have no access to it, being already soiled goods and so spoiled for having the sort of being capable of free understanding. Merely having not known God would in itself be a defilement so intense, as to constitute alienation. As a truth-metre you are what you are, and not its master, and in this case fail to have the facility to find the truth, being like glasses rose-coloured, or black-tinted or whatever else might appeal, or have captured, limited or delimited you.
How can a person escape being governed by what he or she, for various reasons, IS!
That is always a part of the generic and overall problem when these areas are considered in their mutual and total situation, for resolution and understanding.
The biblical position makes a specialty of this, with an originality which like the creation itself, comes from knowledge and is testable in its internal harmony of thought and external manifestation in practice: and must be for sound testing.
Thus there is no answer without God. Neither existence nor freedom nor truth is available, just sequence observations. It is useless to pretend and to take out of another model what it provides, such as a reason for logic, or validity. In a non-God mode: imports from beyond your model are mere smuggling. What acts on a basis not opted, is entirely irrelevant. Modes of reality which do not include God, acting in terms of the operation of will, have neither basis in logic, nor for logic, and are mere obscuration of issues.
Thus, even where there IS truth available, the swaying of the will from the truth, prevents its operation as such, so that those concerned in this situation are biblically called blind, wilfully so (Matthew 15:13ff.). Accordingly, they do not meet the requirements for truth, to announce it. Remove its credentials for existence and you oust it from your model; remove your credentials for its recognition, by obscuration or desire, and the result is the same. It is the practical point that is here in view.
We are not interested in meeting the demands of some alien model, distancing itself from freedom, on the grounds that it is impossible to construct it. Take the motor from the car, and uphill it does not go. Take God from your model, and the pre-conditions for truth are gone, so that the model has to be illusion, stated without anything to state! Doing such things is as if to express love in terms of hatred. But from God, the creation of liberty is mere insulation of will from wandering, controls that invade and bringing person into existence, able to investigate, find, ponder perspective, find truth in God, and find avenue of access to mercy in God, so that pathology, distortion and invasive limits do not cramp, crimp or infect, or deny access to what is needed for understanding.
There is neither possibility nor point in such mixture of models as talking of freedom in its condition without God (a failure in the naturalistic model) as if this had some application to the Supernatural God model. They are mutually exclusive at the outset, and running through each is indeed to the point, but not trying to merge the immiscible, simply a methodological confusion. Nor is there point is having a model which has everything except operability!
Man as God could be free; but demonstrably he is not God. Man as in harmony with God might be free if the gift were given in love; but man shows no evidence as a race of being so renewed and restored, of having accepted the gift, which being constitutive, is operative once received (that is, being "regenerated" as in Titus 2-3).
Consequently man often invents theories of materialism, to avoid spiritual problems, or determinism, because he is so aware of his condition, in subjection to so many things, though they are the result of his abstraction from God, his departure and non-return to Him. So does he ensure that his philosophies in this condition cannot work, and his nations cannot agree. What is logically necessary is what is episodically found. The necessity translates precisely into history, one more verification. Man also invents gods, these being comfortable and indicative, though drawn from his mind, of its distant residual knowledge of God, according to desire of a creative god-modelling kind. Instead however, of being modelled in function, on God, man then models gods to design, as he will, and then bows to them, more recently, even making the image of himself (call it culture), sacred! This still omits what is needed, whatever may be the intention, being merely a fantasy trip away from the necessary basis.
On the biblical model, then, where there is all the reality which scientific method, for instance requires, in terms of being operational, testable, internally harmonious and externally verified flow: there is just that particularity which truth has. Thus WITHOUT GOD, not only is there no answer for origin, explanation and coherence, but on this model, without God there is nothing at all; for if nothing were the basis, then having no POTENTIAL, it would always be what it was, which is contrary to the fact that we are here, in order that we might communicate and consider, freedom in particular. Once take the provision of the biblical model, however, and just as nothing fitted before, so now nothing fails to fit. That is the difference. Both models involve nothing; one as an ultimate base (or else simply irrationally just begging the question); the other, proceeds with nothing in the way. In this, procedurally, it has everything. Man begins with nothing and is terminal at the outset; the other begins with the eternal basis, and lacks nothing at the onset.
One has nothing as base; one has nothing in the way, everything in answer*7.
Without God, then, there is no truth. Yet, with Him, there is still just as much need for ACCESS on an operative and testable basis, as that He should be there. Inaccessible wealth does not pay the bills, or meet the need of it for functional purposes, such as outlined above. IS it accessible on the biblical model ? Yes: for not only is this so, but the Creator is keen to present the truth; nor is this merely as an academic liberality, but with the intensity of functional need for the sound operation of mankind AT ALL. Without Him, misplaced and indeed displaced man merely moves to the climax, Prepare to meet your God (Amos 4).
That fits with mankind's current condition, obviously quite capable of leading to his exit from the planet, by injudicious use by unbalanced persons, of such items as radioactive materials, whether explosively or otherwise, in such a manner as to foul the entire earth. In another testable point, the Maker, as in the Bible of truth, indicates that in His resolution of the problem for man, not only is this extremity for man a possible situation, this inability to continue to live on earth. It is more: it is man's aberration from his Founder which makes certain such extermination, unless He the Lord should in person return. That He will and is bound to do so, is sure; but the result if He did not is no less so; and the coming of judgment is equally certain. The end was bound to come (Matthew 24:22)! For this, man must be ready (Matthew 24:29-51).
Giving God the go-by necessarily would have this result in the world, despite His love, since He HAS provided the remedy, and this being ignored, defied, defiled, there is no other remedy, just as there is no other God. What results from His exclusion is not only the systematic lack of truth, but that of background, basis and power for man. Accordingly, in its missed divine dynamic, alien misused dynamic, misplaced setting, its condition is sure to be fatal. Like spreading arthritis, it moves with age.
God so depicts its mortality and its end, and gives illustration of the continuing assertive rejection of repentance and truth, even when the end is well on the way, as in Revelation 9:20-21.
When even mercy is despised, then facts do not diminish; and reality has its ways. It is better always to face it, rather than replace it. The former involves action; the latter but dreams.
This also is testable and verified: for He in His remedial action for man (not a mere philosophy but what involved, like creation, relevant action for healing of the mind, soul and spirit in mankind or its individual members) has made things clear. He indicated that the Remedy being applied in His coming as Saviour from sin was necessary (cf. John 8:24). Not only is the Creator required, but the remedy for His creation is required - note the "must" in Acts 4:11-12. Omit one or the other or both, and this leads irreparably to war and horror, and death in the unrepentant end, with judgment like a light playing on darkness, in foreboding closeness. It is in the interests of a beautiful simplicity amid profundity, that the remedy is not only His own, but Himself (cf. Matthew 20:28).
There remains however more in this liberty than its notion or initial exercise or even continuing operation on this earth (cf. John 8:30ff.). It needs to be applied.
The need is imperious and imperial, both. Thus, the conditions resultant on Christ's dismissal on the Cross, and for the mankind which largely ignores the power of His resurrection, being as they are, not only is there a certainty that left alone, man would fail even to survive on earth. It is equally sure that mercy and justice would so operate that many would be REMOVED from the scene. That is the positive side; and despite wilful calamity, this remains for some.
This impending removal*8 is not only to terminate the sufferings of fidelity, of the faithful, but the people themselves who are His; they will be taken as scouts might go on an expedition; but it is by His own creative power that this excursion in resurrection will occur, and in terms of His own long completed atonement (Hebrews 9:12ff.). It is in the fulfilment of His overall purpose; for when the operation is over and the whole world has heard the Gospel, there is no more need to extend the rapidly and rabidly increasing horrors. It is as in Acts 1:7ff., and Matthew 24:29-51.
The end comes; the Saviour returns, the earth is prepared for removal. By this time, the saints are already removed. It is as if the children were sent on to the new home at the seaside, before the movers come.
There are indeed POSITIVE RESULTS for the exercise of liberty in love, for the costly mercy that is shown in Jesus Christ. One is the blessed condition of life when at last in conversion through salvation based on the atonement of Christ, one knows God. This is the sine qua non for man, ending the extravagance of ignorance, with the condition of comradeship with the Maker. His care is however not to keep the testimony on earth for ever, for the earth does not last forever, just as it had to begin whenever God appointed. It is a construction for a purpose. Those in it have option to reject. Some are received, receiving the Lord.
Therefore, they are not deceived, but delivered when the end come (Matthew 24:14), as Christ was when the end of the atonement came, by resurrection. A good book begins and ends, and so does the Lord's dealings with creation in the test phase. It is what endures beyond which is the triumph in the salvation, new creations (redeemed people - II Cor. 5:17) made ready for a new heavens and a new earth, the consummation that follows the preparation.
Thus one of the results of the redemption needs attention. It is simply that the people saved, are to be removed as the last horrors of judgment hit the earth, and are fulfilled; and it occurs when the time comes for the RETURN of the same Saviour who prepared redemption for its people, to rule all, even what had rejected Him (Psalm 2, 110, 72), before the earth departs, even itself (Matthew 24:35). Thus He exposes in practical terms, not only the remedy for wrong, as on the Cross, but also the work of righteousness (Habakkuk 2:14), in the period before earth, like a used shed, is removed (Matthew 24:35). Nor is this mere sorrow, for what is it removed ? It is for a better, a new heavens and new earth II Peter 3), where sin has no place at all.
Liberty is like that, and so is love. Divine love pays for restoration and divine liberty makes it meaningful.
So with Christ's coming to earth AS a man, there is in the plan of salvation, the schema of action. In this, figures His coming once more, to rule and to end these beginnings in this magnificence of liberty and love, terminating the test time, and instituting the consummation. Yes, He was to come once, and He did; and He is to come once more, IN His own Person, and He will; and if it were not so, the world should not even continue to be habitable. Moreover, it is one thing to suffer rebuke or pain as it may for some outside reason befall you; it is quite another to ask for it in fallen morals, failing heart, surrendered virtue, endless law-breaking, lofty superiority to all limits, contemptuous omission of God and mulish refusal to repent.
No wonder there is a wailing (Revelation 1:4-8).
FLESH AND FAVOUR
If however 'flesh', here mankind, is so astray, and in such sin, and in such an alien relationship to the Maker whose is the truth and the power for liberty and the love, HOW CAN man find Him ? and if he is to be merely selected on some mysterious basis, so that some are remedied and find truth, and some are not, how can the truth for such choice to be reasonable, be known in the first place ? If your eyes are blind, how can you see ? if your mind is invaded, how can you understand, if the invaders are beyond your control, how can you know ?
If you are subjective ultimately, where is the object ?
Here again, the Bible not only has the answer, but insists on it with all the felicity of truth, which brooks no invasion, is turned by no assault and has the frank directness which never blushes; for there is neither need for any such thing, nor aptness in it in such a case. The biblical truth covers the case like a bear skin in the Arctic. This again is verification.
Certainly, the Bible assures us, man is in conflict now by very nature, with the truth, and tends to hold it down, so dabbling in much without sustainable result in coherence, consistency and applicability, and so is sunk in mutually repulsive philosophies, vain ideas, indolent abstractions without the rigour of reality; and in clamours because of it and the fallen foundations which tilt it. You see such a testimony in Romans 1:17ff., Ephesians 4:17ff., 2:1-10, Romans 5, Titus 1-3.
Moreover, this matter of liberty is instituted so that it is not a matter of mere attraction of the Maker to some persons who are therefore as it were, paid for, so that they might be brought in to good effect; for Romans 5 and 11 makes all that very clear. Man is NOT attractive in his present plight, being a divorcee from his Maker. While beauty has its own place, a grasping love is a contradiction in terms. It is a fulfilment of desire, of designs upon someone or body, not the provision of a heart with a surplus of goodwill and an appreciation of need that wishes to meet it. Freedom is not for subjection to force, but for election.
How then CAN the truth reach man at all ? If he is so bound, how could he opt to be free, when what is bound is the chooser! that is, himself.
Firstly, the biblical model makes it clear that God as Maker knows what He has made, both in principle and in practice (Hebrews 4:13, Isaiah 46:9-10, 44-45). Hence He is perfectly aware of what, in His creation of mankind, was wrought in such a manner that man is directly relevant to Himself and hence to the truth (which in practice, man nearly always implicitly or explicitly claims to KNOW! even if only in telling us what is possible and what is not!). God, the Creator, knows HOW to maintain the liberty in and for love.
He knows how to proceed past pathology through sin, to reality through grace,
to know what is
His, and what is not,
what receives Him
before creation itself is made,
and what does not.
He so acts in maintaining liberty. What He so maintains is the reality, and what is found is found in truth.
SOVEREIGNTY AND SOVEREIGN
God knows what He is doing. It is called SOVEREIGNTY. Some stretch this so far that there is no liberty left; but this is not true of the Bible, which is our topic, for its model and its results in this field. Love does not wallow in power, but uses it for its purpose.
On the other side, it is necessary for the sovereignty of God to be THERE, not as some summit without character, but in the manner which is its own, HIS own. It is always dangerous to abstract too much, less an impetus for a finding becomes a ground for a whole world of undisciplined thought. However, some are so keen on the sovereignty as RULE, that they forget the Sovereign who rules in His own way. Divine sovereignty and its ways is as empirically FOUND in the Bible, not propounded by imagination. Systematic theology is good; imaginative theology (it could become a new subject, as in reality it already has in some seminaries) is an entirely different matter, one more expression of human autonomy, even projecting its thoughts into the domain of the divine (cf. News 121, 122).
Biblically, God does everything after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11, Psalm 115); but what IS that counsel! First, however, we note that if God did not have this sovereignty, then it would not matter what He was, it would not have the results implied, and hence would verge on total irrelevance to the practical realities of human liberty.
As ultimate and inventor of time, with its limitations, however, He knows all, including beginning and end (Isaiah 46:9-11), and secures the end desired. Indeed, He IS the end, alpha and omega, in this, that He is already there, not being constrained by the limits of created temporality, and remains not at all excluded from the beginning. Time is a created domain; God is beyond it, but fully cognisant of it, and it is all as spread out before Him (Revelation 1:8, 2:8, 22:18).
This sovereignty, to be sure, must be there, in its own realistic terms, as presented by God and not by the pale mistiness of thought. Indeed, as an illustration, at this moment, in Adelaide, there is such an actual mist that you can hardly see anything, most unusual. Yet for man, such an atmosphere is most normal in the field of the ultimates, because most pathological as the Bible indicates. So God acts, for none else has what it takes to find what is lost.
Who, God asks, when He works, can negate it! (Isaiah 43:13)! He made, He knows, He has planned and He does as He will (Psalm 115). Does this however mean either a narcissistic or an invasive reality which makes all talk of human liberty elusive, illusional and indeed, delusive ?
Not at all. Those are always possibilities, according to the level of power involved, in any potentate; but possibility and actuality are separated by information, which is needed, not coalesced by counterfeit, unobservant substitutes for thought.
In the love stated (John 3, Ezekiel 33:11), for the pathology defined in the Bible, there is the certainty, we learn, that the Sovereign KNOWS all His subjects, and having given liberty, He knows its operations and so knows those who are His (I Timothy 2:19). It is not that His love is marginalised by desire, poised precariously over man, or even waits upon man, but with man as he is indeed, does He deal, in sublime integrity; for He tells us in THREE universal propositions -
He would like to have ALL men reconciled to Himself, through His remedy
SO loved the world that He acted, coming in Person
The third is this:
that He would like
everyone to be saved
It is not an intemperate 'love' that is self-indulgence, nor yet a misty one, that is variable and self-pleasing, but rather one that is amplified to include all. In its desire for good; and in its intense concern, it yet does not turn to lust to gain all. It does not envelop with indifference as in some factory assembly line, nor fail to find as better than the best of detectives. Nor does it default for lack of interest. Love in Him is elemental and through its mercies, liberty is made operational in His own way, this also. In principle as in detail, His solution is not only absolute, as becomes His Godhead, but comprehensive.
In John 3, what was the target ? the world. The non-intention ? to judge this world. The stated intention ? that it might be saved instead*9. The divine provision made for this purpose ? It was what was sufficient in His sovereign wisdom for these ends. Hence in I John 2, we learn that the remedy which God so presented in this Coming, the Messiah, is on behalf of all.
As ijn ancient Israel, the sacrifice is presented for the nation, receive it how any individual may (a point touched on in Deuteronomy 29:14ff.). Moreover, as we have seen, He desires all men to be saved (from their outcast condition, their pathological spiritual condition) and to come to the knowledge of the truth; ALL to be reconciled to Him by His Gospel; ALL to be the target of this Gospel and to come to the light of the truth, all being SO loved that their condemnation is NOT His desire, but rather their salvation.
Such is the position. Hence, as in John 3:19, in view of His attitude and action and the scope of His desire, in love, it remains that the only ground for condemnation of any man finally is this: Here is the spiritual antibiotic, divinely desired for all), and there it is rejection with a preference that lies elsewhere. THIS is the stated ground for condemnation. In these conditions, prefer darkness and THIS is your condemnation, this preference in the face of this light, brought to bear in this manner on the cross. Is there any need, then, still ? By all means, there is. It might be thought that there would be none, but the reception of this Remedy, this redemption, this reconciliation (II Cor. 5:17ff.), IS a condition. It is one not negated by the desire of God, which is in liberty and for liberty, in love.
If the human will turns around and spits, or rejects, this is the ground for condemnation: that in the very face of this totality of disposition and desire to save, SOME prefer darkness to light and so inherit it (as in John 3:36). That is all. Liberty to so say no is very simple.
To do this, however, there has to be a liberty so that the result is not a mere expression of the inabilities of a grounded will, an arrested mind and an obscured heart. How is this to be done ?
The desire is then met by the provision. As in any experiment (from the point of view and perspective of learning man), there is need to know the conditions and to see how these relate to the results. God indicates that before our kind of time began, when you have this and that presented and have to wait while all its conditions are fulfilled, in any normal operation, and before the creation itself, before man was about or beautiful in first creation or fouled in sin, before any of it, before ALL of this: God FORE-KNEW who were His own, and had indeed CHOSEN them (Ephesians 1:4). This transcends the limitations and conditions of man, but does not omit who and how he is. It considers him as he is.
How could the LORD choose in any way relevant to man himself, having liberty ?
That is the pith of it. He can do so on the basis of knowing all things about all things, and hence knowing WHO, one by one, this one or that, does prefer light to darkness, and who does not, when the Light is the truth.
HOW could He know ? That is not a problem for thought, since on this model, God has all power as Maker, all foresight as comprehending all outcomes being able to assess them in all ways therefore. It is not difficult for an author to see how all his characters will act in their domains, and with the infinitely limitless God (for what COULD limit the Maker of all! whose eternity is the basis for ANYTHING), there is no rationally conceivable problem in His understanding the ways of liberty and the determinations of mind which are made in man. It is not what happens which is here crucial, but the essence back of it (cf. Romans 9:11). He is not watching to see what sinful man would do, but knowing how man, seen before sin and creation, uses his liberty toward God, He knows each one. It is a precursor to creation, an illumination before it is brought to being. As in II Timothy 2:19, the Lord KNOWS who are His as indeed foreknows, as in Ephesians 1:4, and He works ALL things after the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11). That is the biblical model, which we are examining.
When therefore any one in history comes to fruition, and lives, exists and acts, that one, if presented with the truth, with the remedy, with the Gospel, is enabled to come and to receive it, this being duly granted by God (John 6:65). There is sovereignty about what God decides, desires and the methods of doing it. It is for Him, for Himself as He lives and has lived, to love or not, create or not, penetrate beyond sin or not, send the Saviour to die for sin, or not, be resurrected in flesh or not. Doing it, He has no slightest problem in consistency. He loves, He does, He penetrates, He pays, He shows mercy, and He having invented freedom, serves it out and takes it in, precious as the antecedent for love. Such is the biblical model.
We remind ourselves that in this, the love of God is statedly such that He would like all to avail themselves of the ransom, the payment to justice for the sins of men, so that that love and mercy might avail and there prevail. Therefore, this being His sovereign will, whatever it needs for happening, outside its own defilement and distortion, is guaranteed. All power plus an all-will situation has no technical failures.
In history, then, the truth about any given person met with the Gospel, comes out. As God knew and even foreknew, so it comes to pass; for otherwise it would not be knowledge, nor truth, but mere dreaming.
The party concerned, the one to be saved, may be aware of the truth without relish at first, and may struggle and feel penetrated by a power beyond him/herself, as is the case. But the end is sure, for after all, it is only the truth from before time, what is real in the heart, which is being exposed in time. It is not made up; for it is the truth. It is not alien but in the most intimate possible sense, what lies in the heart, past all pathology, in its own individual reality. Freedom is made, and when sin defiles its operational base and basis, God yet understands it beyond all defilement, and acts accordingly, to retain it in its full integrity, even predestining to ensure it.
Thus, this salvation is not to suborn, to shanghai, to implicitly deny the reality of liberty inherent in being PERSONS made in the image of God in the first place. Far from it, is this. Indeed, Christ, the Messiah could and even DID weep in observable practice at the sight of the scene, set for the scenario then demonstrated to come, namely the destruction of a non-responsive city of Jerusalem. It lost its opportunity (Luke 19:42ff.). It would not come to receive His remedy. So it would go to receive its judgment. Payment made was sufficient; but unused, it left judgment efficient.
That this payment covering all who would come, sufficient for and adapted to all, would involve HIS crucifixion as foretold (Psalm 22), and HIS resurrection (Psalm 16), did not alter His own personal willingness to suffer in sacrifice to secure salvation (from sin, which means death in spirit before God, if left alone, like an untreated disease). That many would come, however was an attainment of the atonement, even though much would needlessly be lost. He remained most willing. HOW OFTEN ... but you were not willing (Matthew 23:37).
That energetic delight to come and to save was shown also in advance in Psalm 40. It was shown in history as in the four Gospels, part of the Bible, signifying the remedy, the only remedy, and the necessary, the sovereignly necessary remedy for man.
So far, as we look at the divine provision of love and of freedom, it is well, clear, consistent, comprehensive. But someone might ask how COULD a sovereignly necessary remedy, granted to some by God, BE reconciled with liberty for those concerned or any indeed ? This is to mix the models. We do not operate in a cramped and crimped, unrealistic philosophic corner, but in terms of Almighty God.
As already noted, in terms of this biblical model, the sovereignty is a facet, phase of the nature of the Sovereign. It does not signify a pre-occupation with impurity, lust or grabbing things, as if to cover up for some lack, which He being God, cannot have.
Some seem to want to divorce liberty into some philosophical substitute; but that has nothing to do with the biblical model, which as in things natural, so in these supernatural, presents things as they are, whatever you may or may not have expected. You always have to check it out and see. You apply the model, not something else.
THIS sovereign has His own nature, mind and preference, His own choice and presents His own salvation in His own way for His own purpose (cf. Galatians 1). You can try to muddle even this (II Corinthians 4:1-4); but this does not alter it, since we are not here, as in natural science likewise, dealing with the sovereignty of the thinker or the investigator, but that kind of control which is found upon inspection. It is to learn the fact, in this investigation, not to force it to conform to whatever bias, that we act.
Here we are inspecting the biblical model. Hence IN choosing some and not others, with a sovereignty which in this case IS loving, so that as to God, He WOULD have all to be saved, He also is acting as He is. It is in that LOVE which is His in its inherent reality, so that nothing that is contrary to it in nature, can control anything done by God. Non-love cannot be an ultimate intention for what is so described (I John 4:7ff.). A love of maximum intensity for this world is not going to be simultaneously impervious to love,, or merely imperious to what is loved; for that would be as if a singular substance were to be complex, a mere self-contradiction.
Hence in His foreknowledge, so ample, God has foreknown the reality. An architect can foresee his constructions, if very capable, however intricate, and all but walk around them in his imagination, without affronting reality. As man to material, how much more is God to the persons of mankind! On the biblical model, God is not harassed by things, as if He were a subject, as we are, of someone else's creation. In the beginning, GOD created, and from everlasting to everlasting He is God (Psalms 90-91). God foreknowing, so acts.
SOVEREIGNTY AND LOVE
LOVE being the character which is not to be dispelled, therefore it is so elemental that its disruption, corruption or defilement is not the issue. If it be disrupted, then the results of such a process are out, not desired, do not happen. Such is the biblical model.
Force as the mode of love is ludicrous. Force involves no concern with the party loved, which is a contradiction of love for that party: in THAT case, it is a mere item on the grasping agenda, no more love than the teeth of a lion, whether these be psychological or spiritual or any other kind of teeth. Teeth in tissue is no love, though the bearing of it may be; and in effect was, at the crucifixion, to use no image alien to that event!
Hence the power of God is not relevant in order to FORCE any or all to come to Him. Even little children were to be suffered, permitted to come to Him, not drafted! How OFTEN would I have gathered you to Myself, like chickens to a hen, the Messiah pronounced, but you were not willing. As in John 15:21ff., this is not a matter of some merely endemic pathology, or none could ever have come, including the apostles. Rather was it a matter of the exertions of love WITHIN ITS OWN DOMAIN, so that it did not need to be prostituted to power for its fulfilment. That is the nature of love.
Hence Christ's weeping was wisdom, not force; and repetitive had been the endeavours to bring the city to Himself freely, as when chickens respond to a hen. Indeed, in Luke 19:42ff., TWICE Christ draws attention to the fact that Jerusalem (a tragedy as He wept for it, not using power to force it to capitulate, as Muhammad did to Mecca) DID NOT REALISE what was the day of its opportunity. THAT occurred when its Messiah came; and He HAD come, and they had not done so, and so He wept.
What was most grievous to the loving heart of this Person who was and is God, was this, that hence His willingness, yes desire, for it so to come and be redeemed by His sacrificial substitution person for person, for its populace (cf. Matthew 20:28), was not met. Its day of opportunity was not a farce or facade but a reality. The Lord indeed KNOWS who are His own, but does not for that reason ignore them, but ensures they do come, and did so, as thousands in Jerusalem, despite a ruling and alienated majority, did come.
There was selection; but it was on the basis of love, its integrity and its reality.
If you do not like this kind of thing, then what alone would and could make this world work, in association with its Maker and hence the Truth, is not for you. Hence you have to face reality as it is, a renegade from the truth which being immersed in love, has your welfare at heart; but this is not for you as if a god, but rather as a person with an ensured liberty, one which you may indeed feel moving, as is not at all uncommon, to the uttermost, as the Lord in His Spirit by His Gospel seeks you out. It was foreknown and is activated. It is the truth which is thus exposed, and so well might you feel its operation, as one foreknown. What was known before time was, is now shown. What was cognised without its own corruption, before time, is applied for one as for all. None is missed who MIGHT be saved; and it is God's sovereign wish that this be so, for it is He who has made THIS the condemnation, that light (in Christ quintessentially) has come, and these have rejected it, preferring another.
Thus are some saved, but not all; but all foreknown, they are saved, time the servant, truth the master. Thus in His love, God saves some; because that is the nature of love, to find what finds it. Accordingly, the nations were said to GROPE for God, if by any means they might find Him (Acts 17:27). The quintessence, however, of the matter is found in the Gospel, whether in foreknowledge of the ways of His love and of mankind, or in the historical implementation of what is so foreknown, so that none is missed who might be found, and none is 'found' falsely, who is merely deceptive. The truth, for its part, is like that.
What however of those who do not hear the Gospel in their time on this earth ? How are they free ? Is there a contrived part for history to play, so that IF they were part of His people as foreknown, THEN they would be hearing the Gospel ? Not at all. There are just to begin, two grounds for rejecting such an hypothesis.
Firstly, In Matthew 11:21-24 we learn of cities that would have repented in sackcloth and ashes (very really repentant, in contrition), had they heard and seen what Christ (much later in history) would in fact do.
Since God in His love misses nothing through mere technicality of what is under His total sovereign control, whether to implement love or to appoint system for normal operation, it follows that some in these cities, being ready to repent, and to do so if faced with what Christ did and said in Judah, and God is no respecter of persons, then effectually before God, they would be saved. Hence they will be saved; for Christ, the Messiah is giving His finding concerning the matter, and on the biblical model, this is, as He is (John 14:6), the truth! HERE (John 15) is the test. As to those referred to, they failed it. Others with the same test would have passed it. If those in Jerusalem had NOT failed it, their sin would not have remained. Hence as to those others included in the cities noted, destroyed, these will be reached. The criterion for exclusion for John 15 is made so because of their rejection of the criterion of inclusion. THOSE others would have sharply repented, sincerely, deeply. The condition cited would there have been recited. It is the applicable one, and so when applied, it is the effective one; and in their case, it would have been effective. Not for all: this is not stated, but markedly.
HE finds it to be so, so it is so. He declares as God on earth, that they would have done so; and so this is the case.
What then ? Those who would have repented in this relevant way concerning sin and God and His desire, if hearing and seeing these things wrought by the Messiah in His day on earth, would have repented and responded to His mercy. Thus those who then did not hear, but would have done so, HAD they heard, have this result secured.
We do not hypothesise: the issue was salvation, as in John 15:22ff.. Others faced with the evidence would have met the issue. It is only because those in Jerusalem both saw and heard that there is no excuse for them. God, in His zeal, allows no fact either to escape Him, or one sought and found in foreknowledge, to be lost.
Thus, as they would have repented, so in His foreknowledge they are so seen, and hence are predestinated and will be so saved. But how ? One aspect is found in I Peter 3. Here, we learn (as in Logos Uncreated ... Ch. 7), that Christ preached to the departed spirits, and as to what He preached, this in New Testament context, was effectually the Gospel. HE preached the Gospel to departed spirits. That would simply be further positive verification of the harmony of the system given in the biblical model, in its perfect conspectus and staggering coverage of the case. These things are presented in detail in Logos Uncreated ...Ch. 7, Appendix.
Secondly, let us review further, to this point, the case in John 15:21ff.. Here again, we have the matter defined, and even more directly. Dealing with the situation of unbelieving people found in His earthly ministry, Christ made another statement of fact. IF these people then living in history, IF they had not heard what He said and seen what He did, then they WOULD NOT HAVE HAD SIN. Since the topic is eternity and where you are, stand and are to be, the whole of your relationship to God, be it saint to be or devil, this means that such conditions entail that SOME who do NOT hear and see, are NOT so judged and hence, not for lack of guilt, but of exposure, are not condemned. Certainly, they may be condemned in the end, for they may, like many of those then in Jerusalem, reject Him anyway; but the point is that it would take more than merely being sinners to send them to exclusion. In one sense at least they would have to send themselves (though in conditions thoroughly under the control of the God who created both existence and liberty, and gave love) to a negative destination. How ? Simply as in the case before the Lord, going there, because of NOT receiving this testimony which provided this only applicable mercy for them.
NO condition limits the Lord. Not only were they foreknown before conditions applied and before creation was done, but no condition can limit the Lord. What by itself in the natural situation is exclusive of certain events, is not so when the hand, the Spirit, the mind of God sees fit to act upon it. If human character is marred, if it will not work as made, it is not that God cannot erupt into it, move it beyond its sandy foundations, pipe in challenge and sound out forgotten things, stirring the heart and pulsating in the mind.
Like a volcano, the ground might not normally over thousands of years, ever be breached to form huge mountains; but this does not mean, that given either natural or supernatural impetus, it CANNOT do so. When God penetrates a spirit, a heart, then there can indeed be a tasting of the powers of the world to come, but it is not swallowed (the case as in Hebrews 6). God is not limited by normalcy or by man, or by desire for power: He HAS that already. Love is the point at issue, and this issues in liberty, where some are known to come to Him, and some do not, so that there is no escape from responsibility, where it is exercised at this time or that, in this way or that. The liberty: it is there, the correlative of love. God may in that finale sense overlook certain times of ignorance (as in Acts 17:30), but He does not overlook persons. In the end, as from the first, the issues in liberty are all found, the love finding its place, here but not there.
Indeed, there is no superiority of character as a criterion in the foreknowledge that God has of created persons (as in Ephesians 1:4 and Romans 8:29ff.), for in this domain, there is no actual creation, just what is foreknown beyond all created eventds, and no actual sin and so no actual superiority of anything, as would come from depending on the degree of sin.
Where sin is not, then innocence as in the original creation, IS.
It is WILL in the form of preference which is discerned by the Lord, and summed up in the principle of exclusion in the face of intensive divine love, as shown in the words of Christ recorded in John 3:19. It is not WILL IN ACTION IN HISTORY in its own right and competence, because of the principles of sin, noted above, and the declaration so very clear in John 1:12-13. But it is preference as known and foreknown to God. Man is not autonomous, but God ensures the reality of His liberty; for God IS autonomous, and when he so desires, as shown by His so declaring, so it is done. Thus, to be sure, the choice in history is NOT one of blood or will (John 1:12). God is the chooser, but it is His choice to make human liberty the condition for love, even if in man's pathology, it requires a knowledge ONLY GOD COULD HAVE, that is, before time.
That however is PRECISELY the nature of a model. Whatever is in it, like a cake-mix, is the position. We do not consider how a lemon cake might come out when our concern is with a honey one. What is, is. We are considering a model, not an imagination. It is as it is presented and as in any scientific study, that is valid*5, it must conform to the facts and to itself, to be considered, not to something alien, which is mere confusion of thought.
Thus not only is the biblical deposition on this far-ranging, indeed vital theme, topic and arena found to be coherent, but reaching deep into the innermost recesses of life and man, it is also continually confirmed to be comprehensive, covering needed features in law, love, responsibility, truth and mercy, giving meaning to liberty, providing mutual understanding on many themes, while extending harmonies and concurrences, in the entirety wherever we look.
WHERE IMPOSSIBILITY FADES,
BECAUSE DIVINE POWER PREVAILS
AND CLARITY CLAIMS THE GROUND
Such is the biblical model. It is impossible to achieve the respective places of liberty and predestination, let alone determinism, yes or autonomy without the basic ingredients of the Gospel. If the atonement was necessary (given the nature of sin and the Creator), then also is liberty necessary for love; and the verified God just such as He in fact is, is needed to ground it so that it is genuinely operative and not mere illusion or delusion. That however is not an exaction on the biblical model. It provides ground for it! God IS like that. Love IS like that. Liberty IS as it is shown to be. It is as authentic in prospect, once disease is overcome, as is law; as is love; as is mercy and as is kindness.
This DOES cover the vast circle of situations and intimations and activations in man, leaving nothing out, putting nothing in as an afterthought. From its basis to its convergence in reality, it covers all. It is like a physicist seeking to gain understanding of aspects of the universe. For long he could not figure out how to merge issues in one harmonious totality, to make sense together of all the specifications found; then he finds what was stopping him, what had been omitted, what misconstrued. Then, he finds it all fits, mutually reinforcing, each element the other. Einstein looked for just such an overall totality of perspective by which to join various physical features, including electro-magnetism; but failed.
In the areas of our concern, we look for what holds all together, and find it where God is, giving from what has been written these thousands of years, answers long sought by many, but nestling in the Bible all along. The word of God is like that. It is like light to the feet, to the mind of man, with kindness added.
So does the word of God answer riddles.
Moreover, the totality CANNOT work together, on any other coverage of these areas on any other basis which may be found anywhere. You need these very ingredients , unique amongt all that is there, to gain liberty and love and responsibility and guilt and height and depth and meaning and truth's availability for man, without which he is mere reactor in essence. In the biblical model you have them. SUCH a God is found nowhere else, nor is provided such a record, nor have we found any other being with such a testimony, showing what is required and providing it, presenting just such a remedy as man needs for rest and reality, comprehensibility and even rationality in his conceptions.
It is all there. It is all, in unique and perfect wisdom, to be found in God; and the more it is tested, the more it answers unswervingly, meeting any objection, or criticism as if it were so light as to be unreal, or invalid, with an ease that in the last analysis, truth always has. It is not always easy to find, but when found, it has its own ease in meeting what lacks the crucial ingredients of reality, showing: this IS what it is, how it is, and that is WHY it is found and works with unique facility when investigated. It places personal things in personal hands, with personal meaning, without scamping law, but rather affirming it, or liberty, but rather insisting on it, without turning man into a god, but despatching such thought, or into an irrational runt or whimp, but providing him both with standing, and the reason for its fracture, with ground for its recovery.
From this are explained or readily interpreted in site, the areas and arenas of suffering, imagination, intensity of conviction in things fundamental or ultimate, devilishness and the opposite yearning so often attested, directly or indirectly, for goodness, truth, justice, majesty, wonder, due reverence; as for worship and its diversionary substitutes. Man in revolt against God has of necessity such an instability, refusing every rock*10, seeking every fluidity of folly, making up nostrums for, within themselves, inventions of thought, lacking base, and power to show their relevance as much in practice as in principle. Man makes his idols as Isaiah 44 shows: he seeks to warm his hands by the fire, he chisels its outline; but it does not do anything, except satisfy an inward urge. It has no place in function or logic or reality or testability. It is vain, as are all idols, repeatedly biblically denounced, idols both of heart and hand (cf. Ezekiel 14), so that 'a vanity' in translation may refer to the very term of IDOL.
Repeatedly man over history has made his own ground for suffering, by ignoring, misnaming or de-naming God, in a way already noted in the parable about the provocative husband, above. Suffering comes in one way, parallel to the case of not brushing your teeth when young. There are pangs and results because of principles and realities. Ignore them so cleverly; but they do not ignore you! There are suffusions of folly or its opposite, with results coming from many sources, as different areas of reality, mental, spiritual, moral, reverential, are praised and practised; or violated. As to violation, it becomes analogous to children setting fire first to this class-room on some dark night, then to the records room and then to the fuel tanks.
Despite the glee of misconceived liberty, results are both numerous and multiply caused. When the Principal considers the matter, more results still are to be expected.
Setting fire to the things of God is like setting fire to your tyres (if it were possible), while travelling in the car. Results are of many dimensions, never nice, and if you felt in querulous mood and mode, then you would have plenty to complain about. If you choose to sit in the car where the inflammatory is occurring, what do you expect ? If the flow of godless words is constant, why not resist or remove yourself. It is necessary to avoid spiritual torpor and moral indifference, if you expect to find dreams and not nightmares.
There are results in cities and in families and in nations and in businesses, as in the life of individuals. No, you cannot just ignore the fire: you have to respond, for non-response is TYPE of response for which you are answerable. But suffering has been a topic often before. The biblical basis to life leaves the basics explained, the types of grounds which are operative, and the predicament of man leading on to resolution in the remedy of God, painfully apparent. There is no phase excluded (cf. Logos Uncreated ... Ch. 7, Predestination and Freewill).
Suffering is but one of the ingredients that can come to city or nation or race or individual or family, as it moves towards preferring the profane to the spiritual, is caught up in it or does not sever itself from it, becomes inured to it or capitulates. The situations resulting can arrive in due time, on the grand as on the personal scale. Degradation, whether as in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, found applicable in the human genome with no small effect, as elsewhere (cf. Waiting for Wonder, Appendix, TMR Ch. 1): this is another. Things made tend to lose their specificity in time; energy tends to move from availability to entropy.
The pangs and pains and problems of both heart and hearth, the world itself, are being suffused like an oppressive gas, with increasing obviousness, the unreliable and often recalcitrant rioting of the human spirit, now brinking on the rim of the volcano of once more seeking to have the whole world godless. As at Babel, so is it now. As what was there attempted, was overthrown at discord and weakness (Genesis 11), so will the present godless rush (with a few allied idols) be condemned in principle and practice (as in Revelation 19, II Thessalonians 2).
Such spirited raciness into surrealism, unreality on the part of modern civilisation, in phase after phase abandoning itself to the impossible*11, not only however has a prescribed destiny (in Europe they speak now of a "common destiny", but they do not mean this!). As well, it is often found allied to a mental procedure making the confusion of method and mindlessness the more fatal. Hitler is one remarkable instance of profound systematics (in deadly practice), and horrible confusion in mind.
With him and his hypnotised land, as in much it then was, the concept of superiority in power as a grant of race, did not work, just as the equally invalid efforts of Stalin and his Marist toy, power to be granted by a selected form of conflict, also failed ignominiously after little more than 70 years. There is a complexion of forces, of realities, of principles, of just pangs and pains which meets man; and without the key to its understanding, he impacts on, or is crushed by reality in the end. Mankind's rampant endeavours to use some aspect of what is before us, in the universe, to explain or to control all the other features and foci always in the end, become almost comic: this, with whatever additives of tragic sorrow, at last (cf. SMR Ch. 4 Extension). That is basic to the progression of empires forecast in Daniel, each failing in the grandeur of its folly*12, till only one is left.
This, it is, "the kingdom which will not be destroyed," as in Daniel 7:14. This is the Kingdom of God and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15, 22:1-5).
As to the the Powers that be, if they do not meet the other rages or enterprises of man, they are yet left to the hand of God as so often predicted of empires and fulfilled, in the Bible (cf. The Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 4). You see this distinction dramatically in Jeremiah 37:6-10. Even the King God had appointed to invade recalcitrant Israel of that day, had auspices to attack elsewhere, yet would he come (Ezekiel 21:18-27). Even if wounded men were all left to destroy Jerusalem, yet they would arise on their elbows and fight!
The evocation in the spirit of man, of many different, divergent and dangerous threats to its own integrity, as he acts to sack the presence of God in his life and his mind, leads to further confusion when this, his basis and source is ignored. Conscience may still operate in part. Hopes for better perspectives are always at work. This means that the provocation to God is not entirely a dissolving to the bonds of human nature, though result this is still strong; but there is a residue of longing, perhaps undifferentiated, perhaps explicit, yet usually far-off from the simple avenue to truth.
Nevertheless, it may teeter on the brink of truth, held back by the aweful and fundamental preference for that darkness which is ANYTHING either seeking or being used to replace God, expressed in Jesus the Christ, the light of truth. Where the truth is not found, its substitutes are so varied (like so many lies, almost without limit), and held with such conviction (a nervous reaction, often, to the avoidance of truth with the conscience suppressed or deadened), and its actual or virtual worship is so strong that it leads to endless seeming clashes. Clash with the truth and strong is the thrust to clash with your own heart, head, ideas, associates, and to find marvellous ways of distorting, with truth, much that depends on it! It becomes like a bent billiard cue, where everything suffers from the tilt, despite your careful aim.
The warpings resultant are many. Often they feature misrepresentation, false claims, false titles, false religions, impostures and frauds as the tight-rope course is taken between longing or lust, and unachieved reality. In the process, false hope, false passion, pathological fantasy is bred with such zeal that wars readily result, not only for sustenance or riches, but for achievement of one dream or another, whether a force-distortion of Christianity*13, the force-exhibition of Islam (cf. More Marvels ... Ch. 4, The Divine Agenda, Ch. 6), or of any other agency. This includes what is ostensibly so very attractive, so very reliable (purportedly) in the widespread realm of invented religion, based on nothing but desire, which heralds hope and brings submission, subversion and force as its rule proceeds; and this often with a vigour and brutality hard to understand, except for the simple fact.
Which ? It is the simple fact that when you work without the heart as given, the meaning and the relish and the recourse and the God who made you, and do so in whatever subversive, rebellious or delusive manner, with whatever deceptive or deceived measure of sincerity, THEN this very displacement means this: that vast repercussions are certain. The whole circulation of ideas, ideals, hopes, conscience and conscientiousness, realism and vision is then tainted, twisted, and when it gains vigour, it becomes as corruptive and disruptive as it was designed to be gracious and loving, understanding and vigorous, in the truth, as in the love for it and in it and of it. Remove the heart of the matter, in God the Creator, and you are left with the suffusings of ooze.
Direction-wise, it is like reversing a car, in your garage, when it is perfectly fine to do the exact opposite and go forward! The more precise the design for going forward, the move calamitous ignoring this fact, and going backwards. So there are appointments: not superficial, but not negligible; for God is very deep, and has His own ways of bringing out the empires and the families, and giving or withholding power and wealth, and then using it the more to abase the false direction (cf. Psalm 107). It happens on the micro-scale; and on the macro-scale, it is not only to be found, but as in Daniel, whole empires and their succession are predicted, so precise and with such oversight is the matter governed. Often it is the penalty of pride and presumption, that what is happening without divine intervention, but without restraints on assault by various forces, animate or other, simply proceeds, leaving the divine irony of having reaped what you sowed, and even seen the tracks where you sowed! (Psalm 1:4-5). If you are so great, then analyse your own fate, may become the theme, and be reflected in the type of situation that develops, in many cases.
It is one more verification. In all these different types, types predicted, cases predicted, themes outlined. Thus we gain merely the expected or declared result of the model, or both, and this in a continuity which, though this be but a small portion of the total given in the Bible, yet is deep, its outcomes matching reality, expectation and confirmation as normal in the realm of verification, so that these are not only striking, but have the staggering impact of reality, once it is realised.
The suffering can be didactic, tinged with stimulus and concern, with danger warded off for a time. Thus, God in Amos 4 traces a series of events in this line, moving towards two results. One comes in a cumulative procedure as various divine calls are ignored by ancient Israel in that case, and successive challenges are placed in a sequence, like unspoken warnings, mingled with mercy. The other is this; PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD (Amos 4:12-13).
There are times when things are so direct that it comes in spirit like a visit on the part of some not especially desirable student to the office of the Principal. When the Principal is the God who made life, then we are in another dimension; but in principle, it has much of the same savour. In essence. Here invention meets authority, and imagination meets truth. To be sure the analogy is imperfect because so are Principals; but the nature of the case is so far beyond such differences, they do not obscure the them, but rather the better inform the mind.
While nothing else, as shown earlier, CAN meet the requirements in our review of the topic of love, liberty, determinism and responsibility, this biblical depiction meets it so overflowingly in so many areas without cease, that it is like a flood, when a vast reservoir is suddenly opened, and its spilled contents cover the whole landscape.
While biblical revelation has been progressive since the first, yet it has not changed, since God does not change; but as creation came in six days, so revelation has come in various parts, all complementary, harmonious and increasingly explanatory. Just as its forecasts have become functions in history, and its principles have received verification both in thought and in action, so does the impact of Rock continue, appealing, revealing, statuesque and yet also in the image, dynamic in power (cf. Ch. 2 above).
Now this model is in outline finished, except for the return of Christ and associated events, and it is so in that the acme of salvation in Christ has already come, and the Gospel, now complete in its fulfilment, is out. Accordingly, in the Age of the Gospel, there is nothing more to come except extensions and fulfilments, such as the due arrivals of foretold presumption on the one hand, and the detailed and specialised fulfilments of remaining prophecies on the other, the latter now before our very eyes, continuing at an enormous rate as at no time since Christ was on this earth. This is duly leading to a drawing near of the Judgment of the Judge, the Just One (Acts 3:14). This time, it is not of men about Him, but of Him about man. Be therefore ready!
having been judged by man,
the responsibility in turn,
having borne all for all concerned,
and offered to all with the heart so manifest,
and having presented
this grace in the Gospel,
of judging man.
So the theme and the history together, now proceed toward the final judgment.
When that comes, it is from the Book of Life, where salvation has been achieved, or that of judgment, where it is not, that results come from record (Revelation 20:11ff.).
Where man wants to be self-contained, or contained by a God-substitute, so be it. As Revelation 22:11 puts it for this stage: "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still."
Just as this is the finale of all that was foreknown and has operated in fulfilment, so this judgment alone now remains, the books opened, that of life, mercy and covenant in Christ, and the other of works, that fallacious pretence, as if this could make amends to God, when the worker is not reconciled to Him, and has neither valued His Gospel enough to receive it, nor the One crushed beyond the form of man in sacrificial service for our salvation, sufficiently to accept His presentation of life for life! So it has gone out; and so it comes in.
As life came, and the Messiah came, so judgment comes, and both in truth. It is wiser to find mercy; better to find life from its source; and more realistic to worship the Maker of life and the Disperser of salvation, while the opportunity rests (as in Proverbs 1). Remember the tears of Christ, the lament for a wilfully disposed Jerusalem, which thus inherited not a King at that time, but ruin. It did not act. Judgment then did so. Some 1900 years followed that devastation of ancient Jerusalem, before as predicted (Ezekiel 36-39, Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 66, Micah 7), they could even return to a portion of it. That as in Ezekiel 37ff., and Micah, however, is merely the prelude to the fulfilment of promise.
It awaits in the area of Israel, the massive turning to Jesus Christ predicted for it, and for Jerusalem in particular (Zechariah 12ff.); just as history awaits the finding of the last fields of the Gentile believers (Revelation 6:9-11), who all must be brought in, as in a great vessel, waiting till all relevant are aboard before leaving.
It is the work of love to invite man to come, repenting, receiving, believing, to the Lord, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, and not to linger in the Sodoms or the Romes (Revelation 18:4), or the Babylons or the other cities of destruction, academic, social or civic, sites of ruin, or takeover. It is great to belong to the family of God (John 1:1-14). There is a door. You must first enter (John 10:9, Acts 4:11-12). His name is Jesus Christ. The Gospel concerning Him remains as ever (Galatians 1), as does He, as does the love of God, as do the results of its evacuation by man (John 3:19,36). There is now no bar; but there is an end to opportunity. It is not yet (Revelation 22:17, Isaiah 55). Like the day beginning in dawn, setting in glowing finale, the end comes (Matthew 24:14).
Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 9, incl. End-note 1
(esp. programmatic psychology and its ilk),
Marvels of Predestination ... Ch. 7, including *1;
News 80, 44, 98, SMR 4;
Bon Voyage Ch. 1; Highway to Hell;
Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Extension 1 ;
The True God has God ... Ch. 2,
See also SMR Index under Freud and Jung; NEWS 51, 52, 152, 166,
Lord of Life Ch. 5, Red Alert Ch. 1 ;
Beauty of Holiness Ch. 2 (human psychiatrists).
SMR pp. 925-928.
On bits, and 'bittism', a reductionist ploy that does not match the entire reality of integrality and final quality, see the following.
Message ... 5, 4,
Christ Incomparable ... Ch. 2,
The gods of naturalism have no go! 14
Evidence and Reality Chs. 2, 5, 6, 7
Impossible for Men, Open to God, Ch. 3,
Dig Deeper, Higher Soar ... Ch. 1,
The Kingdoms of this World and the Kingdom of Christ Ch. 8,
The Holocaust of Morals and the Coming of Christ the King Ch. 3,
Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 1,
God's Gift of Grace in Jesus Christ Ch. 7,
Holiness, History, Review and Overview Ch. 5,
It Bubbles ... Ch. 9,
Spiritual Food and Drink Ch. 4,
Repent or Perish Ch. 7,
Possess Your Possessions Chs. 3, 3, esp. *2, *3.
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS
Bible or Blight, Christ or Confusion:
The Comprehensive Resolution of Man's Intractable Problems
is Found Only in the Bible, the Word of God
See SMR pp. 1-62 for example. See also Ch. 10.
See for example Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming, Ch. 6. In background see also Chs. 4 and 5.
See the SEVEN VOLUME SET
the Predestination and Freewill Heptad, its formal name:
ON PREDESTINATION and
LIBERTY and NECESSITY,
RESPONSIBILITY, DUTY and CREATIVITY.
Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13, SMR Ch. 3, Ch. 4 with Extension,
The Defining Drama Ch. 3,
Christ, the Cumulative and the Culmination Ch. 9,
Cascade of Truth, Torrent of Mercy Ch. 6,
Lively Lessons in Spiritual Service Ch. 5,
Dig Deeper, Higher Soar Ch. 1.
Goodwill and all knowledge and power is the minimal requirement in God for freedom to exist for His creation, man. The question may arise whether goodwill would be enough, rather than such a wonderful entity as love. However, goodwill covers the grace and sincerity, the reliability and the desire, and assuredly these are all necessary for the case in view to be effective; but love provides much more. In this case, the payments necessary are entailed. The love must be adequate assuredly, but that in the biblical deposition, which is SUCH that God gave His only begotten Son to bear the sin and guilt for those to be freed, those receiving Him, His form being ruptured by death before He ruptured that to bring relief and rejoicing to His children: this condition for liberty is met to the uttermost! There are no ties nor limits where truth is concerned.
See on verification and validity, such samples as:
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS
(a large, multi-phase work).
TMR 5, 7 , It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, esp. *1A (method),
The Bright Light ... 7,
Repent or Perish, Ch. 7, pp. 152ff.; Ch. 2;
Christ, the Wisdom ... Ch. 6; Barbs ... 29, 19;
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3; SMR 3,
Little Things Ch. 5, Wake Up World! ... Ch. 5, End-Note 1A,
Tender Times ... Ch. 11;
Barbs ... 29, 19;
TMR 9, Grand Biblical Perspectives Ch. 7,
What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3, 4 (method); 10, 11,
Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny Sections 2, 3, *3, 8.
See on this topic, Answers to Questions Ch. 5 and SMR Chs. 8-9.
See further, on the nature of the divine love, such sites as these below.
These provide a useful group on the vast extent, intense reality and scriptural teaching on the love of God:
SMR Appendix B, and
The Glow ... Chs. 4, 8, 1,
The Christian Pilgrimage Ch. 3,
Great Execrations ... Greater Faith Chs. 7 and 9,
To Know God ... Ch. 1,
Keys to the Comfort of the Kingdom Ch. 7,
Helpless Hitches ... and Divine Dealings Ch. 2 ,
The Open Door ... Ch. 1.
Ch. 2 above.
See Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 9, *1 and *2, Barbs ... Section 6 and Section 7, SMR Chs. 3-4,10., Ch. 4, Extension.
*12 See for example on different facets:
Logos Uncreated ... Ch. 7, Appendix, The Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 4, SMR pp. 886ff., 901-930. Daniel's prediction of the death-date of the Messiah to come over half a millenium later, is to be found in The Christian Prescription Ch. 2, for example.
See Ancient Words ... Ch. 14, SMR pp. 911ff., 1032ff..