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PITH OF SPIRITUALITY AND GLORY OF THE GOSPEL
This is a
congregation of composite character
in one volume to allow quicker reference
and major elements easier selection.
Looking back 5 years.
This was planned for publication, March 2010. Some 5 years later, publication now seems ripe for a last grouping (4) to be added to the three below.
Two new and preliminary presentations are added at the front, after the preface, and a third and new item is added in the category of Christian Apologetics below.
This work tends towards summary, encapsulation, reasonable surveys to enable prime topics to be seen readily. One element has been added as late as 2017.
It is rather like what occurs in chemistry, when you use a precipitating agent in a solution.
The first three sections, then, are as below, following the Introduction and Overview, and these are provided in three volumes.
With this volume, we reach number 234 in the set, In Praise of Christ Jesus, set on the Web.
As you can see readily, where aspects are laid out systematically, as in
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
The compass of Jesus Christ is not limited, and John makes the point in 21:25. The technical side of creation alone would be capable of almost endless coverage, but how much more the movements of the spirit of each one of mankind and the construction, understanding and maintenance of it all. What of the resolving power of the word of God, that unfailing Bible ?
Thus it is found that there is no problem of philosophy, religion or science in its basics that is not resolvable by Him and His word, for the means are provided, the perspectives, the groundwork and the logical status. They work as we investigate, and delight as they work.
Many millions of words are provided in testimony to that fact as also to what He has left for the psyche and soul, the spirit and life of man, till He comes to complete His overall mission as He both warned and promised (cf. Matthew 24, Mark 14), He would do, in the application of the Gospel of divine grace, and these by no means exhaust the prodigy of wonder which God has unleashed where the convenient eye is not shut. There is nothing comparable to the ways and wisdom of the Lord in His word, the Bible that endures; there is nothing near, far less anything which on every turn regales with connections and correlations, like a vast house in which innumerable rooms are all found under one roof, as it does.
So it is shown in this presentation of over a quarter of a century, that from almost every conceivable angle, the word of God is magnificently able, incomparable in wisdom, wrought from its Sender, the light source for man (I Corinthians 2:9ff., Matthew 5:17ff., Isaiah 59:21).
Thus Christ Jesus is indeed the source for man, the light of this world (John 8:12), so that when the rule of evil reaches its short of testing crescendo (as in Revelation 13, 17), it quickly tumbles into its end (as in Daniel 7:25-26 and Revelation 19:13ff., there being left no room for man in any body or format, sovereign rule or other attainment of man over the earth, to crush these powers (cf. Ezekiel 21:27), for as Christ so distinctively declared, "My kingdom is not of this world."
Trying to make it so is not entirely misplaced, for the salt has savour and the light must visit darkness; but it is NOT a matter of either political force or power that is provided for Christian rule before the time of the One appointed judge mankind comes! Indeed, just as Christ came breaching death (Isaiah 26:19), so in His time, the Lord will come "out of His place" (Isaiah 26:20-21) "to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity," for then "the earth will disclose her blood and will no more hide her slain." Great is that day (Isaiah 24:1-5), but it is not yet. The power for pilgrimage is present, for good, but just as Christ did not attempt to rule, but conscientiously avoided any political kingship, so His disciples are bound. If you want power, God has it; but a dominating world power is not the current consideration, but the heart. When the nations have finished, and God is ready to terminate, then and then only does it come; and it is He who does it.
Then ? Then, it is judgment that scripturally comes into the very seething midst of the ultimate follies of the human heart, in its grab for power to be as a tower which knows no truth, but loves force and convenience. Then it is divine judgment as the Word who comes in Person to do these things, as in Revelation 19 and II Thessalonians 1; and meanwhile man's attempts to be surrogate governor of all are merely apt to increase the suffering.
Source of creation without our aid, as of salvation, it is likewise He who rescues the believing remnant, at the end, and this in the judicial power which exposes all, and arrests the feeble follies of man that make his head swell as if the very devil were driving him: such is the drivel of wanton human power. Nor indeed is that ultimate and peculiar devilish oppositionism quiet, the obstructionism subdued, before the Lord returns! It takes direct assault from God to remove him from this world altogether! though the individual Christian can dismiss his efforts to capture the soul, and prevails by the grace given, to keep his spiritual soil cleansed from such hideous unholiness (I Peter 5:5, 1:7ff.) as the presence of the devil desires.
Why do the nations rage (Acts 4:25ff.). Against the Lord and His Christ they rage, against His truth and His ways, they rage, and with an incendiarist of art, at the elbow, they rage.
Indeed, the devil is furious because he knows that his time left is short (Revelation 12:12), for seeking SOME form of eminence, some subversion of voluntary powers, some seduction, or to use the Islamic term, some submission, as he deceives the nations as if they were high on cocaine. We find this in such biblical passages as Revelation 20:3, I Peter 5:8-9, Job 1. We also find it in the incalculable and explosive ease with which these self-same nations, at times appearing rational and with self-control, suddenly break out in fiendishness of which only the devil could be proud, in lies, in hypocrisy, in pretence, in pretension, in cruelty, in massacring millions with guns or starvation or psychic torture, so that it is like a form of drunkenness. When this world complains, therefore to God about its plight, it is like an attempted suicide, complaining of having a sore neck, when just in time, he is cut down from his attempt.
God alone has created the universe, likewise the freedom to be devilish or to seek the Lord, this liberty one of the glories given, and abased in a ruin of follies innumerable; and it is He who has saved with a glorious grace, so far surpassing man that it sets its wonder as the mark for him to attain (Philippians 2). This, it comes freely through His own work (Ephesians 2, Romans 5) through that love without which man is merely fodder in the end (like chaff), unable even to live on this earth. This Christ prophesied, would come (Matthew 24:22) unless He did, returning in power (cf. Mark 14:62). So too will come His rescue from the pathological power which the nations will seek to chain man, and make him conform to whatever idiocy or aberration of thought they choose, just as many have afflicted much of the race already, in murderous pulses and ludicrous pretences (Psalm 50:21-23), blighting the centuries with ostentatious power and the pride that leads to ignominy.
The eternal glory and the everlasting power are His, and His alone, and man does not share them (cf. Isaiah 2:17-22) to exult, and often has the Lord warned of this mischievous self-elevation of man. Rarely is this more poignant than in Jeremiah 9, and 13:15-23. Do it yourself kits abound, as does the money for them (cf. II Peter 2:1ff.), but mercy abounds only from God, and the light of this world is found only in its Maker, prodigious in its gift, personal in its provision, the same in creation, salvation and eventual deliverance for this globe, before its finish (cf. Revelation 21).
It is His light which this world sought and seeks to replace as the source of peace, at first in wrongful authority in Israel the nation, as in Rome the Empire, slaying Him who came to be a sacrifice for sin, and so fulfilling unaware, the great and gracious sacrificial plan of God in their very malevolence. In level after level, in army, in school, in university, in United Nations, in World Council of Churches, in the praise of false religions, the elevation of false prophets, in the changes of Constitution, in delirious naturalism*N, in parades of wisdom, in works of folly which would blight man to slavery, they proceed; and then they proceed more furiously.
Yet some ask, WHY this or that! They grumble. They will look to God whom they incessantly dismiss, disregard, seek to disregard, making nothing or deceit their source. Yet it is like vomiting from overeating. Change your way and find what is right.
If you want peace, find its Prince, and if you want a world of peace, you can first find it in your own heart (Philippians 4:7), and then find it come outwardly at last when the world comes to its restoration to His rule, as focussed in both Old and New Testaments (Isaiah 11, Psalm 72, Micah 7, for example, and Revelation 19-20, II Thessalonians 1, Matthew 24-25 in the New Testament). Man is not left to become God; he is too late to come to His place! He needs to come TO God, repentant in supplication to find the salvation offered (as in Isaiah 55); but if it be despised, to complain is like feeling insulted when given 0% for an exam which you did not sit!
Man alas as he goes astray in the imaginary greatness of his way, he is too ignorant to understand, a wilful ignorance. He is too rebellious to keep his place. He is too sinful to value salvation, far less take it. It is only by the grace of God that he ever does so, in terms both of the divine image granted him in his creation (Genesis 3), and the work of the Spirit of God (John 16 cf. Hebrews 6), penetrating the darkness and leading on the way.
When you are considering what may be done, or not, never leave out God! Nothing is too hard for Him, and the difference because of Him is that of light to darkness. Foolish indeed those who build on a humanist premiss without realising it, concerning the will and the ways of God, as if discernment past disease were beyond Him, or enlightenment amidst folly could not be achieved, to have it or to impart it. The condemnation is not that God did not act, nor that sin was too deep, but this, that when the divine and definitive light of Christ came into the world, man preferred darkness to light, darkness and its denizens. That is what God declares (John 3:19) and so very often indicates as He warns, exhorts and laments. God is not against salvation but for it, and paid for it, enough to cover all, freely sent where it is received, and with what relish is that (Luke 15:7). His eternal knowledge and foreknowledge merely assures no mistakes, no omissions, no deceit has place.
Yet in all the coming bombast of flesh and the furore of human power, direct and uncrafted, when the shutters of this world are brought down and screwed into place, as if like the Third Reich (which also did not do it), it would rule for a thousand years, when in the plenipotentiary insanity of the rampaging of evil, phantoms are imagined to be solid, and paper to be rock: then it will be known that the Lord is God. It will be as in the day of Elijah, though this was on a relatively small but decisive scale (I Kings 17); but at this coming time, it is on a worldwide scale, as Isaiah 2, 24, 66, Micah 7 and Ezekiel make so clear. The clatter and clutter of corruption will be cleared, and the temporary measures will find their end in those that are permanent, the things that remain being spiritual as was their foundation at the first (Genesis 1-3, Hebrews 12:25ff.).
So what sought to end Christ with Israel's first century ruling religious junta and Rome's imperial might, will be as powerless to subvert and secure the world, as then to secure the physical form of Christ, when His risen body took their power by surprise, showing their co-ordinated efforts puny in the face of God's long predicted resurrection in terms of Hosea13:14, Psalm 16 and the many utterances of Christ (as in Matthew 16:21, 17:9, Mark 14:62). They were told and told of His intention; but they still failed, coming like stunned children, even the guards, to report their loss.
The site of the slain body could not be lost by the devoted disciples, for whom He was the acme and Lord, ruthlessly assailed; nor could its guard be controlled by them, nor could that self-same body be found by the authorities for the purposes of gloating. Only by subterfuge could they pretend it was stolen, when in fact, not only would likely death for negligence be the soldier's lot for failure, as if boulder and guard alike were stricken, but ridicule for entanglement with a vital piece of statecraft would aggravate the impact of their lapse. Indeed, if you are asleep, it is hard to know who did what; and such was the monstrosity of deceit so disingenuously provided (Matthew 28:13). Failure can have many stories; but the truth sits alone, impregnable.
How could it be covered up ? By money, and a quiet tongue as in Matthew 28:1-15.
In fact, the guard were stricken in what alone explained it, by fear and astonishment, being like those asleep in the grip of forces astounding in character, all-controlling in type. As usual, what God said, He did; and what happened was demonstrated in very many ways over 40 ensuing days, whether to many or to few, to apostles or larger grouping, to intimates or those less so, in eating, in cooking, in meeting the scientific challenge of Thomas: I will believe ONLY if I can CHECK IT OUT with my fingers! to use modern terms for his methods. On this resurrection, the cowardly became men of might, the ineloquent became forthright, the fearful fearless, the shaking bold to the point of repeatedly controverting the Sanhedrin with its power, which from its own membership was given caution, lest in blindness they should find themselves not only fighting the apostles who condemned the murder, but God Himself! (Acts 5:34ff.). Alas, in 40 years the site of the pomp of blind self-assertion on the part of the religious authorities became that of a destruction so total for city and temple as to remind the modern reader of the effects of the atomic bomb. All was laid low.
For two millenia the power of the Spirit of God has worked on this earth, and just as Peter said (II Peter 3:9), long is the time for the completion of this period before He returns. He has been proved right.
Many are the things to be tested, invested, exposed, for good as for evil, and great is the exhibition unanswerable for all eternity of what lies in the heart of man when he is ruptured from the Lord, far from his Maker, removed from His salvation and left to pursue his own idle dreams (cf. Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 14, Jude, Isaiah 2, 24, 59). It is no party, nor is it any meaningless wandering; it is a test readied for eternity, an opportunity given in time, a testimony both negative and positive, in rebellion and reality, and great is the wonder of it.
Back of the last two millenia has been the CONSEQUENCE of the wilful killing of the Saviour by the world's greatest empire of that day, that of Rome, and by the religiously distorted leaders of religion in Israel. Great is to be the spiritual return of the vast remnant in Israel when its time comes (Zechariah 12:10ff.)
Great have been the opportunities for repentance, and often have they been used by many in many nations; but the nations now, like a world-wide Gentile version of the misuse of ancient Israel's authority in its day, are becoming hard and fast, willing to murder, to cover-up, to seek to control the events, distort the facts, run riot and seek glory, ascendency, and increasingly, to make a new idol or obliterate God, whichever proves easier. The Lord however as Peter indicates, is longsuffering, willing to lose none as the process moves to its end; and many are the indexes that with all our innovations since Jesus Christ was on earth, are flowing like a sea of blood, the return is near (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
Not every day is Jerusalem restored to the Jews, for it took some 1900 years; but this event was a signal from Christ's own lips (Luke 21:24), that then the end of the Age, would be near; and with that comes His return (Revelation 19, II Thessalonians 1, Matthew 25:31ff., Philippians 3:12-21.
Thus the lurch into horror, into which so much lovelessness has flowed from so many for so long, and the myriad-form diversions from dealing with deity, will come to their end, and great is the joy at that, for those who have waited for Him, who work for Him, who in Him find rest: (Revelation11:15,17-18).
Then when the end comes (Matthew 24:14), at last will the loss of peace through the loss of the Prince of peace be bypassed with its restoration as in Psalm 72, Isaiah 59, 11, Micah 7, with Joel 3, Zephaniah 3, Hosea 14 and Isaiah 65. Instead of turmoil, at that time, and the tidings of the ferocity of Rome, in its various phases, of Islam in its various phases, of Communism in its various phases, of mountebanks all but innumerable in their heady and unheeding ways, there comes the actual peace which is proper for man, when man is surrendered not to sin or idols or false prophets, but to the God who made him. It is not only proper, but procured (Isaiah 9:1-7, 53:1-6), and when received through that same Christ who was murdered, allowing it as a sacrifice for sin, it settles in the heart, the life, the future for those concerned, undismissable (I Peter 1:5ff., John 5:24, 4:14, 6:50ff), undimmed.
Then not only the individuals, but this world, so willing to sell itself, marked and marred in sin, is nevertheless rescued, not as THIS WORLD in its tempestuousness, but as a site where mercy is shown and the forces of antagonism are broken. It is shown as created not in vain, as a site for what was made in God's image and by His craftsmanship, as an orb where His rule has a beauty, truth, justice, kindness and peace which nothing else can approach. The false prophets (as in Jeremiah 23, Jude, II Peter 2, Revelation 13, 17-18) are now past, and fraud is no longer the coin of commerce whether in souls or psyches or spiritual squalor. As judgment proceeds, truth succeeds, like granite untouched, and love proceeds, the underlying beauty of holiness.
The spiritual scenario is profound and glorious. There are many topics which now may be considered and experienced, in looking back over some of the more salient or incisive aspects over the last few years, among the broader groupings.
THE FOUR SECTIONS
Adding Things Up, and Getting Things Down
Published January 2010
and Life in the Light of the Lord
Published February 2010
Planned for Publication, March 2010
The hyperlink takes you to this 35 Chapter bag, but in the meantime, there are EIGHT introductory or preliminary elements, as time has passed since the first three sections were provided. One postscript also appears. These
are intended to be rather concentrated coverages of some especially
The Eight Preliminary Presentations
A TIME TO REMEMBER
THE RECESSIVE ABUSE:
MAN USES HIS SPIRIT TO DENY HIS SPIRIT
IN A SPIRITED EFFORT TO BECOME A NEW GOD,
SELF-ELEVATED FROM HIS PLACE AS A CREATION!
Not nearly enough attention is given to the affairs of the spirit of man, for they are either relegated to nonsense, or elevated to a pseudo-glory that has no reality, or skipped over like a minefield, as if there were something different about what man DOES, from the selected data, at the outset. There is far more; there is nothing less.
Thus the relationship between mind and spirit is fascinating and often forgotten, either delusively, contrary to freedom from cultural clutches and preferences, or innovatively, when words and ludicrously unoperationally contrived theories make prodigious leaps in the dark, with neither any evidence, nore attention to the evidence that is there, not any sense of the logic of scientific method, where you pursue what is near, and cognate, and prima facie correlative, before making up new universes which do things never found.
Leaving aside, however, the slick and slovenly, and looking for a moment at relevant data, you can actually be aware of the mental correlatives of spiritual purposes in some detail at times. It is not just a driver-slave relationship. Indeed, one can sense the vigorous penetration of files or their equivalent in living format, by mind, as the prevailing purposes of spirit direct, correct, inhibit, embrace, stimulate the process, rather like the boss watching a secretary seek to access something. On the other hand, you may on occasion be aware of the putations of mind as it seeks to find and select. Purpose, program, direction, dealings in detail, configurations to be investigated, finales to be kept in view, all proceed with such a bustle and living thrust that it is utterly fascinating. A lot of spiritual purpose, positioning and power goes into things mentally investigable, to pursue it, rue it, rupture it, realise it, according to the nature of the spirit in view, the person active in these fields. Subterfuge is quite often used to subvert evidence, and many famous scientifically oriented cases exist, some documented in the recently published Evolution's Achilles' Heels, for example.
The mind does not force this on guilty and often guileful parties. It is USED to attend to the purpose and program in view, for which it becomes an accomplice, though at times it may leave a moral echo of disdain or disinclination; yet it is nor outright ruler, being directed in its tasks, the more so when the person in view is not confused by unresolved issues which may bring on confusion, just as the parallel thing can occur in a nation, similarly vague or concerned within.
The spirit of man as in the Battle for Malta in Word War II, can on the other hand be buoyant and vigorous in its underlying labour in battle, in perseverance, in immovable intention, as it soars to the uttermost human levels of desire and fire; and its outcomes are found in all but innumerable instances of courage, tenacity and sheer grit, decisions and actions entering into a tumult like light (cf. Malta Convoy by Peter Shankland and Anthony Hunter).
Into this, goes conscience, recognition of values and purposes, priorities and vision, not the less important for all the negative chatter which seeks to unman man and to make of him a mere sewer for culture; whereas he creates it. Conscience, like the heart, operates differently, depending on whether it is diseased or not. Some are cured, some are not (cf. Ephesians 2:1-10, 4:17-19, Romans 5:12-20). If darkness of understanding or wilfulness is the case, whether or not legalised into a deceptive appearance, then a certain irrationality is ready to be found, often all but staggering in its degree. It does not depend on the mind, though this may be used; it is under direction from the spirit of a man, thus making for many unexpected developments in a person's life! On this topic, one may care to review the survey in On Stand-By for example. Varieties in mind and spirit in this area are tremendous, not unlike the case of physical disease.
If on the other hand, then the spirit of a person has clear access to the commands, desires, principles and love of God, and is able to be corrected, as a ship when its position has been worked out accurately, or simply implemented, it becomes like the eyes of the head, a source of inspiration, available for action and implementation, application and discrimination.
Indeed, it is not accident that there is nowadays so much talk and often squawk about not being discriminatory; so that to be discriminating is almost deemed a sin. The difference ? in the former case, you do not allow for all the facts, because you are hung up on some. You are prejudiced, unfair and unworthy. That is the point in view. In the latter, facts are meet, data are for mental discipline, like it or not, and you follow with keen zeal as in any other field, the indications such as are available, as you seek to make the best use of what is before you, not oblivious to data, not misguided, but girded by realities given pure and just regard. In this, logic must work, and cultural compulsions and obsessions have no place. To this, justice is wed, as in the discriminatory and contrary case, it is disrupted. Confusion of these two elements is one of the diseased preliminaries in the diagnosis of a sick, slithering society. USE of slogans themselves discriminatory, is of course, an indication that a society is well on the way to sinking, except remedy be found.
Thus, pandering to undisciplined desire is one way to advance this belligerent indiscipline in a nation. Imagine if the realities OFFENDED some cultural victim of obsession, in medicine, how much easier it would be to find death in the short run!
Thus if for the sake of the behaviour of many in a given race, you tend to characterise that entire race, you can be guilty of discriminatory behaviour. If on the other hand, say in the case of a people whose record on your shores has been quite exceptionally violent, you ignore some of the evidence, this is just as blind.
Seeking a remedy for the position is the same as in the case of a physical element. If you have a weakness in a given area, it needs watching or blindness, your option takes its ready toll. Voluntary blindness is indeed an affliction, but a self-inflicted evil. Christ put it: If the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!
Just as you must seek to be fair, so you must attempt to be far-seeing, as Churchill was in the case of Hitler, and not shut your eyes in response to some social quirk. Morals without God are only an invention, a convenience, a species of self-sown preference, masquerading for what is even more significant than the extreme order of our construction. On the other hand, man's inventions are not worthy of sacred heights, for man is FAR from faring well when worshipping himself. He becomes then like a golfer worshipping his niblick. This only extends natural blindness in the whirls of hype. There is nothing objective about that (cf. News 19 on morals).
What becomes objective, is the cost and loss of confusion, wilfulness and that blindness which shuts the eyes because it is forbidden to see, as in the case of the evolutionary myth in many of its teaching phases, with results varying from unjust loss of tenure, promotion or support (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!).
THE GIANT REVERSAL
Often has the Lord remonstrated like a caring, concerned, penetrating father, with Israel (Isaiah 1, 48, Ezekiel 33, Jeremiah 17), and in the proliferating cacophony of contrary ways from Israel, at last brought the beginnings, and at times, the furore of judgment. This is a valuable illustration for the rest of our race, namely the Gentiles.
Such divine care and remonstration, pleas and challenges are a paramount feature in Jeremiah 1-17 for example.
Again, we see the Gentiles cautioned as in Isaiah 51:21-25, indeed forewarned of what their own evils will bring on them, not least their superior and domineering attitude to an Israel, itself weakened by its own departure from the Lord, as so often.
Indeed, the apostle Paul in Romans 11, not only tells these same Gentiles not to be high-minded, for the Lord in His justice may show them the same judgment as befell Israel, but declares that in fact the Lord in faithfulness to His promise (Romans 4) will restore Israel to its place from which it was taken, to its tree of faith, which by then will be one of the culminating faith in Christ, announcing that just as the earlier fall of Israel spiritually gave Gentiles a wonderful innings, so Israel's eventual restoration will be like life from the dead! He glories in the divine strategies, warning both and all, and seeking light instead of cultural occlusion of the eyes, for all. For Israel, he notes, blindness has come for a time; but that passes and they open the eyes and see, and what then to their paranoidal predators, persecutors, raising themselves to trash her (cf. Isaiah 51:21-23, Micah 7, Isaiah 59:18-20) as if it were some kind of art form or undivine right!
Again, in no small detail, Micah makes it clear that this divine action of humbling the uplifted and delivering the abased Israel in vengeance, will be in fulfilment to the gracious divine contract or covenant from the day of Abraham (e.g. Genesis 17:7-8,Micah 7:19-20), Isaac and Jacob. This went on in its power to great actions on earth as in the days of the Exodus (Micah 7:14) to accomplish this in terms of judgment at that time, long before that to come, in terms of despoiling oppressors, opportunists and wild sources of affliction for Israel, as in Isaiah 51, even those who like Edom with Israel (Obadiah), rejoiced to crush the penalised, and profit from the plight of punished Israel.
This is very familiar, and often has it been seen in this or that light or context*C in this site. However, today, we are looking at contrasts, and since one huge one is present, let us examine it from the word of God.
In the above often found scenario, then, Israel becomes an international butt, but on a vast movement of repentance and conversion to Christ, restoring their close association with the Lord (Zechariah 12-13, Ezekiel 37-39*1), justice is unleashed to a substantial extent, upon the torrent of violence, injustice and pretence mingled with pretension. No more could mercy at times seem fled from the nation (a predicted for total divorce sustained, in Leviticus 26), no more is Gentile barbarity to hold place, as if it were a plague, and no more is indulgence in Gentile follies to become an unholy cast of action, a world cultural additive. Indeed, as Ezekiel 39 reflects, far had they fallen from the example intended for them by the Lord, and indeed it was horribly polluted (cf. Isaiah 1, 43:21). When the eyes of their spirits now are opened however, simplicity resumes, power is in place, restoration reaches its culmination, and discriminatory passion ceases to find its base, being gone like Hiroshima.
Thus the time comes when the Gentile arm to punish Israel, becomes inflated, spiritual blood pressure disadorns it, it waves loftily, and people like Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar (cf. Daniel 4, Isaiah 37:21ff.), show again their class, which now others follow, brittle and fallen, ruptured and exposed. So God shows them that a mission does not supply unlimited opportunities for arrogance, that the axe is not independent, and what cuts can be cut.
In this way, we turn from Israel the pit for bear-baiting, to Israel the preserved, by the power of God, the centre of significant suffering to the focus of deliverance, the basis for nubilous confusion as its enemies regard it, to the feature of divine protection and covenantal regard. Roles are reversed. Truth is so manifest that it even seems to seep into the closed eyes, and unbelieving Gentiles gain their come-uppance for a heartless hypocrisy, amid their own sins, that is reeking to the skies.
But let us revert to the procedure a little more. After the Exodus, many were the kings who sinned almost as if it were an art form, provoking the Lord as if it were a psychic adventure and fulfilment. Amid warnings and judgments, the nation continued, the temple restored by Babylon, the end foretold, and rebuild even grander. But after great triumphs in the days of the Maccabees, the nation lapsed more and more into saucy abuse of truth and religion, the name and works of their God, who is the Creator-Redeemer as foretold (cf. Isaiah 42-55).
Thus, semi-detached Israel went on to continue in its divinely chosen way towards the day of the Messiah, born of one of them in the flesh, and manifest in their midst, whom they murdered, and whom both in the person and Pilate, and many rulers to come, Gentiles after some submission, assaulted as captives to their own cultural obsessions. But as we have just seen, it is then at last that Israel, whom God protects from extinction (as in Jeremiah 31,33), is brought to restoration (Romans 11, Micah 7, Deuteronomy 32), IN DUE TIME (Romans 11:25), some of which has already occurred.
How it stirs blind hate; for it was forecast; how much treachery, immorality, vast crime, deception is practised as if it were a sport, and how vain it is, as the skies of history darken, a huge storm more and more apparent, as feeble powers confuse opportunity to do evil with impulsion to enact it, and so prepare for judgment when the day of false barking, becomes that of true pardon for Israel and alas, judgment for those who, whatever their race, WILL NOT REPENT.
At the end, accordingly, the case is opposite to what has become almost usual. Israel moves towards the time of its national conversion (as in Zechariah 12-13), in the midst of the mercies of the once stricken Messiah (Isaiah 60) and in spirit merges with other Christians then (Isaiah 66, Galatians 3). Now at last (as in Ezekiel 36-39), a both physically and spiritually restored Israel is underwritten in practical terms, and the Lord acts with them, but not with them alone, to devastate utterly the new Sennacheribs, the new dealers with their own glory, inflated like a rubber boat that bursts with itself, too much air its fallacy, leaving them to be utterly ruined, as the Lord, returning to this planet, rules it as in Psalm 72, Isaiah 11, 65. It is important to realise that in all this NO ONE will be exalted but the Lord (cf. Isaiah 2:17, Zephaniah 3:5-12), whether Jew or Gentile: though ALL that the Lord has said of method and principle, promise and premiss will be fulfilled to the uttermost (Matthew 5:17-20).
What has changed ? Israel is NO LONGER the BUTT! The unbelieving Gentiles (and Jews left in that condition) become the focus, and what had been the bully boys become the target. Arrogance becomes like acne, and superiority like cancer. Israel is back in a humble condition (Zephaniah 3), but back and in place and grace has accomplished what might could not, while the promises of God as premisses in mathematics, but far more effectively, are fulfilled as Christ foretold and assured us, to the jot and tittle. There is no sleazy substitute for honour in the name of deep twiddles, by which the clear intent of the agreement or covenant, graciously given and reliably brought to fruition, is compromised in either of its two explicitly given parts. God is reliable, faithful, His word exalted above all His name (Psalm 138).
So now in this new situation, apparently almost just around the corner (cf. Luke 21:24), there is the butt of unbelief, specifically centred in Gentile ruminations and exaltation become ruin, but not in Israel. WHEN their day of entry into something like national faith in Christ comes, then It is the nations who are confronted and culled, not Israel. It is their ignoble self-importance and godless subtleties with deceptions all but unlimited (Matthew 24:24) which give out as the full breach of the everlasting covenant of God toward man takes effect, and the grace of option wears thin. Moving fast to their terminus are the secular species or quasi-religious powers, the coming rejected species. Wandering Jew or Gentile take up, each one his own, their places in this cacophony of unspirituality.
Thus the realm of original recensions of false gods and nameless imaginary ones*2 whose works cannot match their pretensions or inventions, becomes one of gloom, doom, differential affliction, and to their reward go the gainers of fraudulent glory, self-exalting with leaders like Hitler and now, it would seem, rustling, bustling Putin (whose nation may fit Ezekiel 38-39 as one major mover), like Mao. like Saddam Hussein of already grievous end on this earth.
Such Gentile rulers as these give or have given no appearance of concern at the displacement of multiplied thousands, the torture of endless pawns and the agonies of multitudes for their desires, with all the paraphernalia of power back of it all, showing itself whether in this or that forsaken and illogical farce, where God is omitted and nothing and man between them invent everything, though man was not there to do it and nothing has nothing to do with it. False gods may be used, idols of man's thoughts; or they may worship force and program, of no available base or basis, exiles from nothing for no reason. Small wonder the Lord showed His contempt for such approaches so often (cf. Jeremiah 2:23).
Now in this estranged focus, then, are many Gentiles with some Jewish additives, left-overs, non-remnant lostlings; but the former as base. Instead of the Lord acting in discipline on Israel, now is their national conversion to a conspicuously obvious degree. It comes when God has elected the time (cf. Romans 11:25); but it comes.
The Lord is once again heartily with them, and so as in Ezekiel 39:23,28, the nations learn that it was for sin, not anything else, that Israel lost its divinely supported position (though the Lord still kept the promises to sustain them), and that it was in that context that they had their oppressive day, like wild elephants knocking on doors with their trunks, in order to kill in a vendetta of vengeance, and lust to kill. No more is making fraud a path to temporary glory, and now has freedom, that amazing gift to man, become enshrined in its historical testimony. Freedom ? to align, wonderful! But not without your Maker, for that is a lie (as in I John 2:21-22), like any other idol, a lie in your right hand, whether literally or metaphorically.
Education then ? It has not really been a matter of taking the beast out of the boy, as one writer spoke of education, but leading the child from the pageantry of imaginary possibilities, from human clone to human clown, from devil to angel, and indeed, from sin to the eternal ways and saving strength of his Maker. Where reason is ditched in favour of dreams*3, the horrible, the tempestuous, the self-serving and the statuesquely outwardly religious may all take a bow, imposing their diseased desires on many, that their lands might be scourged by unruliness and ruined by indiscipline, saturated with self-seeking and increasingly emptied of light.
Above all, they seem to chant, at the political level, Christ must go, and so they bring by distorted desire in this cultural crucifixion, all the fraudulence and confusion of them all. If before, this or that devil could gain some access; now as in the parable, one driven out, seven worse ones are ready to inhabit the garnished residence, the unaware, the careless nation. There are many such and Australia seems increasingly deft in showing due diligence to be one of them in spirit and content, the fantasies in many of their teachings, given outrageously at the spiritual expense of those students who endure this, often in order to have a profession!
There is no substitute for God, whether in sin, the devil, in power without glory, in glory without power, in arrogance without entitlement, in sacrificial vanity, the human race your victim, whether at smaller or vaster levels; for these are parades of what is partial or perverted or both; ephemeral and lacking logical basis, what are foreigners to reality. Israel indulged its wanderlust and suffered, and the grand pivots of human destiny, as they in vacuous dreaming conceive themselves, when not purely cynical, are as they are shown to be, shooting stars that impress the searching night eye, but do not continue.
Where given special licence (cf. SMR pp. 1032-1088H), though shown up brilliantly for their faded fadiness or pretension, as in the Reformation in one case, they may continue in various forms and formats, the chameleons of history; but their end, though in stages, does not alter for all that, as time is used in parts to show their errors, and at last to evidence their factitiousness (cf. Revelation 17-19). Many are such, though in history there are prima donnas in art (cf. SMR Ch. 3, 10, Sects),
The fading glow in the grate is not the roaring fire of truth, and whether in riot or fading glory, whether in Israel of old, with its coming deliverance, or in Gentiles of our day, with their more pervasive confrontation with God Himself, there is an end. He who began the beginning of history has its issues in His own power, plan and purpose; and when it has been taught, just as it has been teaching, then the history of human lostness, closing in its various diseases, is gone with the tests concluded; and so purity prevails (cf. Isaiah 59, 11, Psalm 72), the Lord coming to rule this earth, so that zest for perfection is once more freely divinely accommodated; and praise God for that!
The present scene is slavishly following the divine prediction, with all the bluster and deceived imagination in fact as provided for in prediction (cf. II Timothy 3-4, II Peter 3, I Timothy 4, Jeremiah 23, Matthew 24:24).
If these things, evil as they increasingly became, had not happened, the word of God would have been wrong; they are happening. God never fails, when you find Him where He MAY be found (Isaiah 55), rather than by some program in an I-pad, or an I-prefer.
The word of God works as it ALWAYS done, and to His praise, this includes His immense desire to show mercy, not to be confused with foppishness, floppiness, feeble-minded or confusion (Micah 7:18-20, Ezekiel 33:11); for those are but elements of decline when some of His creation, donated freedom, misuse it for lust, and would often pass on the damage bill to others (as in the case noted first in John 9).
Overall, then, as in Romans 1, 4-5 and 11, there are phases in history,
the creation, the desecration,
the call, the national exemplar, the failure,
the preliminaries in the prophets,
the culmination in Christ,
the Gentile Age or the Age of Grace Abounding, as it may be called,
the terminus of the same with its internal and external rigours,
the return of Christ amid a very forceful confirmation of the meaning and scope of human history,
His rule, the removal of heaven and earth Mark I (Matthew 24:35),
the judgment finale and the consummation in a new heaven and a new earth
in which righteousness dwells.
So do all divine remonstrations, precise demonstrations, illustrations, computations to underline history, proceed to their fulfilment. So too do all posings, all pretences and pretensions past, all religious hypocrisy and irreligious vaunting, putting mail on nothing and expecting it to fight and putting imagination on power and expecting it to work, also figure in the dusk of departure, unable to obscure their due horror. All that at last is past.
And now ? It is good, very good to be alive, and part of this vast terrain of historical eventuation, things of so many kinds, degrees, qualities, providing so many tests and accompanied for those who know God, with so much wisdom and wonder. It is best of all to part with the renegacy and unreason, the rebellion and the unsophisticated versions of sophistry that are rampant, and to delight in the source of all delight, all truth, all liberty and all hope (cf. Revelation 11:15), who has identified Himself both in writing and action, even to the point of putting in the former, the date when His sacrificial provision for man would occur (Christ the Citadel Ch. 2).
That the profundity of the author of profundity and imagination and liberty of thought and research should be discoverable (I Corinthians 2:9-13, John 16:15, 3:35, 5:19ff.) through His own presentation, this is surpassingly wonderful, and all truth parades before Him whose it is, available as required, given in grace and kept in its purity (cf. John 14:6, Proverbs 1, James 1:17). That He put His own Word into flesh that it might from eternity give immediate access to truth, to question, to questions of power, to sacred morality, to love, to freshness of resolve, to unfading glory, as well as promises and premisses, this is beyond all.
See a postscript on reported Russian action below. This has the greater interest in view of Ezekiel 38-39, and the parallel in the case of Assyria, in the past, in Isaiah 37.
See for example:
DEPARTMENT OF BIBLE AND SPIRITUAL AFFAIRS
VOL. 2, Ch. 1
ISRAEL, ZION, JEWRY, GENTILES AND GOD
This is found in the same Vol. 2, of DEPARTMENT OF BIBLE,
at Ch. 6, which is entitled -
CONFUSION, THE KING:
THE CAUSES AND THE CONSEQUENCES
Symbols, sentences, point, purpose and precision:
a review of some basics and asymmetrical assertions
concerning the place of literary and historical items
in history. It is crucial to be clear, and not arbitrary.
Doing justice to prediction and being observant of history:
you find a vitalising relish intended (as in II Peter 1:19).
DEPARTMENT OF BIBLE AND SPIRITUAL AFFAIRS
VOL. 4, Ch. 5
VOL. 7, Ch.2
DEPARTMENT OF BIBLE AND SPIRITUAL AFFAIRS Vol. 9, Ch. 10
Department of Bible and Spiritual Affairs, Vol. 11, Ch. 16
JERUSALEM STRICKEN, RESTORED
From the lips of Jesus
World Amiss, Heaven Aboard Ch. 8*1
See on this phase of Ezekiel's prophecies, It Bubbles, It Howls,
He Calls, Ch. 10. Note Ezekiel 39:23,28 in particular.
See on this fraudulences and factitious constructions, the following, for example:
See Jude, Jeremiah 23, 2:27, 10:11.
WHEN GOD IS INVOLVED, TAKE CARE
News 483, March 3, 2015
The Day of the Netanyahu Speech to the US Congress
and the Coming Days
President Obama has small respect for the appeal of Netanyahu. The fabric of the relationship between their two countries is under threat, says one of his functionaries. Threat ? When Japan decided to co-operate with Germany during World War II, was that putting stress on the fabric of its relationship with the USA ? Did it seem in some way a compromise of their mutual liberty and respect ? No doubt it did; and the fact that war happened without declaration and major US ships were destroyed emphasised the tear.
Now in that case, the war was external and obvious. There was no subtlety about it. In the case of Obama's apparent fascination with Islam, which he has been pushing in praise and co-operation, intentional and perhaps other, especially since the submissive Cairo speech, and since what at least appears the treacherous announcement that he would never fight Islam, which means that his defence of the USA is limited, we now come to a kind of Pearl Harbour. Now the most articulate and powerful enemy of Israel outside hell, Iran, specifically intent on the destruction of Israel, is to be made a partner of the USA in terms of a binding agreement between the two which involves co-operation! Israel need not be concerned, we learn. It is all really for the best, we are urged!
Why, we are instructed, the arrangements to be made, leaving a vast area of nuclear production in Iran intact or nearly so, would actually be inspected, think of that! We KNOW from historical experience how most potent these fuctionaries have been, missing nothing, never held back or held up, but treated with respect - in theory, and near to the opposite often enough in a wearisome, wary practice. It is not their own zeal but Iran's zeal to avoid them, which has been the problem, it appears. This has included evasion, pretence, hiddenness and pursuit of the principles of destruction as though passion inflamed, left no scope for reason.
It was the same with Hitler, whose many false, foolish minor decisions step by step ruined Germany, because he was infatuated with power and some of its manifestations, so losing a sense of actual strategy, not once but repeatedly, to the entire frustration of brilliant commanders like Guderion. It is a vocational danger in impassioned dictators or their equivalent. The ferocity and assertiveness, the world-wide program of Iran are not some arcane oddity, but part of the many nations which have shown the desire to rule, subordinate others. Within militancy, some even seek to capture and control, women as well as nations. Subordination is the key, victory is the way, and at the national level, whole domains have suffered accordingly, repeatedly, and do now so suffer.
To join the USA to this kind of a nation (under its current and relatively new kind of possessors), is in itself an insult to principle, to morals, to wisdom, a pragmatic policy more suitable to a political parvenu, and an inflammation of what is outstandingly evil. As the Bible says, Can two walk together except they be agreed ? Physically you might try, but the dagger is then near the backbone.
It is not a practical task. To be sure, the USA despite its many generous and high-spirited actions, has made not a few false alliances in the past, whether in effect with Iraq as it built up Saddam Hussein, or with various nations which it has armed, irrespective of their natural direction; and it has been burnt as equipment or training, as with Ben Laden, is then deployed against it. This appears one more such case at least in the making; and it is not the USA alone which has made this kind of error, though it appears to have become a specialty in waging it, but the Allies in Word War II, remarkable as was their great overthrow of a heinous regime, themselves went in that foolish direction in becoming a partner of the infamous Stalin. It was he, whom some compute to have killed, murdered, disabled, some 30,000,000 people on his way to his kind of wonder-working muddle. His follies were thus given power, and as East Europe found out, they were quite as tyrannical, as murderous, as ideologically naive and unworkably irrational*A as those of Hitler.
It is not good policy to ignore the nature of partners. It may be said that this is not entirely a partnership, this envisaged working together of Iran and the USA; and may be urged that it is walking together in the pursuit of different goals, in order to gain world peace, or some version of it in a crucial locale. However, dealing with a very major item in these circumstances can scarcely be less. Both contribute by agreement to co-operate in a synthetic plan, where reliance has to be placed on some measure of reality, reliability or workability in practice.
Can Obama rightly imagine that such a partnership in control, by agreement, leaving vast Iranian nuclear resources variably estimable as being so many months away from fruition, or less, with an expiry date of even this arrangement not very far away, is wise ? Would this be so even if subterfuge as normal, and trickery, treachery, deceit were not normatively operative in the past in supervision days, and a rupture date perhaps much nearer yet expiry one, is actually wise ? Is it then fair to its long-time friend in Israel, whom other US Presidents have actually helped, without requiring it to say that black is white, or partnership with a dynamic, deadly and genocidally minded State in its evil aspiration is not really so dangerous after all! If the White House were as near as is Jerusalem to the various arms and armies, actual or governed by Iran, would it be so confident in partnership with what both politically and religiously has a declared passionate detestation for it, as has Iran for Israel ? Would its occupant be as keen on playing about with, or doing deals with a pre-announced murderer, ready not merely to rape but to ruin the only homeland of an entire, historic people ? Is this then a case, as by report appears to have related to some of Obama's earlier career, of manipulating, or controlling, or achieving desired results at a social level using methods of cunning, or cleverness ? Are such methods desirable, are they even workable in the wider world ?
It is like bringing ten tigers*B into the palace*, and being surprised that any there are concerned about this nice step of bringing in jungle ferocity to the residence. Are they not on a leash! Do leashes however break ? Do accidents occur ? is this so when the animals are FEVERISHLY seeking to abscond and prey, and constantly make it clear that this is their desire by gruntings and growlings and roarings!
To think of such an alliance is misled; to ponder it deeply is outrageous; to seek to implement it and use it in the presence of a small and near party to the murder threat betokens an indifference, or insensitivity or a confusion so magnified, that it brings to mind the voyagings of an airline pilot who forgets the meaning of direction, going higher till CAT awaits the breach of his aeroplane.
This is a type of alliance with the power behind Hezbollah and others, set to destroy Israel from nearby borders. As a contribution to the so far helpful work of presidents of the USA, towards the abused Israel, its existence repeatedly under threat by bombastic dictators and aspiring heroes of militant Islam, on the part of one who has been extolling Islam for some time, though professedly a Christian, it is perhaps less surprising than suggesting an estrangement. Indeed, it is more yet, and since the Koran gratuitously removes the deity and redemption and resurrection of Christ in its 600 year past the date statements about Him, this new alliance or projected partnership is a blockbuster. It is like an airliner crashing into a building - or hovering about it, with complete permission. It is therefore well that the entire Congress of the USA was able to listen to what the PM of Israel had to say; and graciously was it said. Yet it made its point masterfully and necessarily. If you are on a flight to the West, and the plane is turned to the East, it is well to face that fact and not to romance about it.
The full text of the Netanyahu Congress speech in currently available on the Web, at
The Israel PM mentioned with justice various good things which Obama has done for Israel, but that is all the more reason to press the issue here*C, since great are both the scope and the character of what is being negotiated, while the nation with which this is so is no less than a deadly and declared enemy at the religious level, inflamed against Israel, seeking its obliteration. While this continues for the time to be the case, it is as useless to bypass it as to ignore cancer in the lungs while continuing to smoke.
The future for what continues to the end in seeking the destruction of what is to be largely a changed and converted Israel (Zechariah 12-13, Isaiah 66, Micah 7, Ezekiel 38-39), makes it all the more a matter of pity to avoid arrangements with current contenders for that role.
Indeed, though indirectly, this is becoming increasingly a case of the predicted act of God to deal with those who hurl Jerusalem away (you can do this by taking it, or taking it over). He speaks of this time long after His crucifixion, when many in Israel will at last repent of it, in this way.
"And it will happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples;
all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces,
though nations of the earth are gathered against it."
Indeed, their restoration by repentance and faith to their Messiah is so explicit, though foretold half a millenium before the crucifixion itself, that the prophet dwells on its detail for some 7 verses. Indeed, "it will come to pass in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." The case is clear. Israel, banished for so long amid the devastating loss of its city and temple (Matthew 24:1ff.), is back (Ezekiel 37), is menaced, is at first yet to be converted AS A NATION, to its crucified Messiah, is delivered with power assigned to its people past all expectation, is then converted, and amidst these throes of double restoration, there is an action by God, who having made the world, is readily able to deal, at the proper time, with any ravening entities in it, and in this case does so.
It is not only that He will endower the inhabitants of Jerusalem with an amazing power of victories that is of God in its thrust, as forecast in Zechariah 12, on the way to the return of Christ as in Zechariah 14, a series of triumphs which has already duly and dynamically happened, but that so obvious will the divine will be made in the end, that it is "when their power is gone" that God will demonstrate His own as in Deuteronomy 32:36-43, in long-delayed assault on arrogant, obsessive and demanding enemies, parallel to Micah 7. When the Maker of the earth has a plan and broadcasts it as settled (as in Genesis 17:7-8, Jeremiah 30-33), it is neither wise nor meek nor understanding to elevate oneself or one's nation or view to the point that you contest it. We have already seen the long (1900 year) gap, indeed a long time as portended by Peter (II Peter 3:9), fulfilled in the return of Israel to its land; and as in Ezekiel 36-37, when their lives are changed, even to repentance for Calvary as a nation, then it is like putting tyres on the steel rims of a car: now it moves! (cf. Isaiah 51:21-23, and the vast change involved). Revelation shows the final epochal movement as the Age ends. As Judgment nears, then multiple matters are settled.
God makes it clear in Jeremiah 30-33 indeed, that if you have the power to disrupt those astronomical wonders organised in the universe, then you could consider opposing Him in this. Indeed, the case would be that IF HE HAD NOT Himself organised the astronomical realities, then His determination might be stopped. It is not enough that you would need to have total power over creation to break His resolve; it would ALSO have to be true that HE would have not to have been the Creator. In other words, we are dealing with infinite powers, and He is the One whose they are, and THIS is HIS resolution concerning Israel, the promised land, the occupied land, the sinful land, the land of deliverance and divine miracle, the smitten land, the land to be evacuated for a long time, the land to be restored to those who went from it, the land which in the meantime has been the site both of the incarnation of God in His embracive mercy, and the crucifixion in its settled and hypocritical hate, of his resurrection and of His dispositions announced as to come and of His promises.
It is a show case and it also involves people, justice, mercy, illustrative through Christ's presence of salvation in all its wonder and tenderness; to be maintained with His own power, though all the nations gather, each for its own purpose, against it. It is not that Israel is great; it is a multi-purpose assignment.
It is the will of God and in the end right here is the bill of God for spiritual and corporal contest. Contesting the might of the only One who can give anyone mercy is a pitiful misuse of power, to be overthrown in that very mercy. Some will be saved and the Lord would gladly save all (I Timothy 2, Colossians 1:19ff., John 3:16-19), but not with force. That is for judgment over and finally, after such a very long time! as in II Peter 3:9.
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A misconceptions about the Cross, variable and mutually conflicting, on the part of the Koran
Pilgrims and Strangers ... 8 (Islam, attestation as false prophecy, news and prohibitions proposed, Sept. 2012);
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9,
See Divine Agenda Chs. 6
with 3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran)
and Highway to Hell - (Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in perspective, in the latter two; and in the former, futile depravities in endless ideologies such as Sudan has shown so significantly, Islam ablaze without glory).
The Wall Street Journal, as reported in The Australian, March 5,2015, lists a number of President Obama's statements or resolutions or undertakings re Israel and the US approach to Iran and its nuclear potential, and shows overall, including this last one of current intention, their chameleon character. "Netanyahu," it says, "is only guilty of wanting to speak to congress before it is handed a diplomatic fait accompli that amounts to a serial betrayal of every promise Obama ever made to Israel."
Jerusalem Post reveals that Obama said Netanyahu had been wrong before with his opposition to a 2013 interim deal with Iran, pointing out that Iran had rolled back elements of its program during that time.
Let us assume that this is correct, in fact what the President said. That appears rather like saying this: I am right because I am right.
It is not good enough. HOW is it known that Iran, with its vast subterranean (in both senses) activities and penchant for deceit and hiding, delaying, confusing , abusing, proceeding anyway, and its multiply adapted diplomatic modes, has in fact either gone backward in its proceedings since that time, or not gone back in some and forward in others, or made a deliberate pause to induce just what they are now so near to gaining. The simplistic basis on which Obama appears to have based his criticism is right if Obama is right, and wrong if Netanyahu is right. We are simply not dealing with that sort of an open-hearted situation. We shall see. But that is no basis for calling 'wrong'.
The more important issue is the reliability of Iran in such issues as with Inspectors for example (so far, near to zero), its DESIRE to co-ordinate (the opposite is the case), its capacity to deceive, its methods of hastening transition back to workable bomb production from temporary pause. In this regard, its tremendous past success in seeking to outwit, misdirect, waste time while working feverishly can be ignored only if your mind is made up because of hope, or desperation, which is not far from the mode of expression in which Obama appears to have engaged. What else ? What better ? seems to be his solace.
It would appear rather clear that Netanyahu is calling for a continuation and perhaps as necessary a tightening of economic pressure on Iran, together with a firm approach, a realistic deportment and a realisation that the past preaches the need to be decisive, all the more if the economic mode is one that can take several steps quietly. Decisive does not mean melodramatic, nor does it mean mellow. It was the US which appealed long to Israel not to act militarily when the bomb was far further off; WE will take care of you! Now it has not only failed to act effectively on the first, but breached another dimension. This is progressive default. What is needed is active thought, rigorous diplomacy, preparation of contingencies, with several nations involved, and NOT fear-ridden paralysis, as you start to revolve around the periphery of the whirl-pool. If meanwhile, the source of many of Israel's most militant and religiously zealous enemies, Islam, is exalted by Obama, the sedition of trustworthiness is nearly complete.
What else could be done on the positive side ? USA could make it clear, one might add, that it is simply not that sort of nation which would be willing to have a partnership of will and mind with a nation openly committed to genocide in Israel, supposedly the 'friend' of the USA. That this co-operative work together could spread to areas such as joint removal of ISIS, is far from visionary. That this in turn could dampen zeal in other areas, or watchfulness, is a work of common experience. That the estimate of how long Iran now has before it can build the bomb, is riddled with uncertainties because of deceit, desperation, passion, inventiveness, efforts to make gain out of enemy disinformation, is sure. Fleeing rabbit like, before failing agreements is like 1938 with the Munich agreement, but now in dynamic mode, and a failing matter no more to be pursued! Losing friends or casting doubt on reliability in such US leaning bodies as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and, in measure, Egypt is cited as one more loss from the new Iran-affinity approach, in a Wall Street Journal article, published in The Australian, March 6, 2015, under the heading, "Old US allies fear being dumped". Fraud, unreliability, these are like the vacancies left by the muscles of embrace. Commission in what is in principle as before, to be seen as worthy, as to be pursued with spirit and verve, is one thing; shadowy dealings with obvious vast danger to former friend is a spectral substitute.
Moreover prestige and opportunity come to the friends or comrades or co-workers of the mighty, and Iran is already being reported as having more involvement in the Iraq war. It is enough to have an octopus nearby as one works; it is much worse to start binding oneself to one of its arms ... or two, while saying to others: it is the only way.
Great was the cost of this sort of short-sighted empiricism, moral giddiness, when in World War II, the Allies joined and greatly helped the godless USSR government, which then went right on with its feints and killings, its morose savagery and, as it ruthlessly ruled some of Eastern Europe, disregard of persons - except the persons of its own rulers. Sure it won one war, but it lost another. Does the experience need to be repeated at vast cost to many! None, intentionally or otherwise will manage to obliterate Israel (see category 5 below), but life has a test aspect, and failure in perspective can be as helpful as in the case of a wind-thrust plane, the pilot disoriented, not knowing up from down.
THEORIES, SCIENTIFIC AND OTHER, FALSIFICATION,
MISREPRESENTATION, CONFUSION AND WHAT WORKS
For background, see
PITH OF SPIRITUALITY AND GLORY OF THE GOSPEL as marked.
See Creation Magazine, Vol. 32, No. 2, Is 'dark matter the 'unknown god'?
Astronomer John Hartnett has often spoken to good effect in this field, and its various ramifications. It seems good to pursue it a little further here, in terms of Scientific Method, concerning which see the volume on this page, "Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation' (Opus 109).
There is nothing noticeably wrong with the classic scientific method, when it is zealously pursued, but just as one may be born again by the power and presence of God the Creator-Redeemer, so some things which fail, may be given a new look, though in fact doubly dead. That is the opposite case, here in view.
Let us ponder this phenomenon a little.
It is one thing to invent a theory which is intended to explain a presence or absence of something observed or so indicated that its presence is describable as a datum. The sophistication of your theory accurately to match and meet the data is a mark of excellence. If however your theory does not meet all the specifications of data, then it is useless, fails, for the point is explanation, not novels.
It may be that it is kept in mind, in case some variation of it will one day work, but at the time in view, it does not work, is anti-verified and as it stands, it is a failure; and may always in any form be one. In the meantime, its status is negative. Some other explanation is needed.
When however a theory which fails based on data, is desired to be kept, one may use a device. In this case, you say, IF the universe had been different, and IF things I need to make my theory work, had been present, then I would have a far better theory. That is rather like telling the hungry, that IF they had food, then their problem would be far less. True but not relevant, except perhaps to motivation. That does not invent the food.
If the theory runs into difficulties in terms of a negatived theory, such as the Big Bang, which is not an explanation of all known data or anything like it*1, a theory designed to describe how nothing produced something, except that was not nothing, a sort of shadowy illogical idea which shirks surrounding issues, then it is not DATA INVESTIGATION WITH THEORIES TO COVER, but something else. It is THEORY RESCUE PROCEDURE, TO REDUCE THE FAILURE OF A THEORY THAT DOES NOT EXPLAIN THE DATA.
In essence, as a procedure, we are then not interpreting data, resolving difficulties about its nature, covering oddities and mastering irregularities on inadequate bases, soaring to the entire coverage of events in terms of current cause, but manipulating data and then explaining the manipulated result. IF such and such things were present, goes the procedure. But science is concerned with the case where they are. You can breach this discipline readily in either of two ways. You can distort, remove, change the data, and so find a theory which explains what is not there; or you can follow the data, and pretend a theory which does not meet all of it does so, when in fact it does not. Thus either falsification or misrepresentation are the options.
That said, we simply note that nothing produces nothing; that begging the question about original things being there, does not put them there or explain them, and that imagining things make things that are not there, stop or start, is novel writing, and nothing to do with science. You have to EXPLAIN what is there, and match every challenge from aspects which you do not cover, or fail to cover because of anti-verification when the theory is under test. Result if not: simple failure, anti-verification.
Suppose however that your interest is not scientific, but an excursion into imaginative reconstruction of the universe. Then you can imagine anything you like, to satisfy your thoughts and see how many things are left out. If you want to come anywhere near to this universe, you still have to remove any aspect or feature which breaches consistency and explanation. You still have to add any which enable it. When you done all this, as in the Big Bang case, then if you still find areas unexplained, and even basic issues like ignoring the fact that if nothing EVER were all, then nothing ALWAYS would be all, when ALL covers the imagined totality, and still find it does not meet the criteria of internal consistency or external adequacy, you may and should actually come to a second conclusion. Not only is your work unscientific in KIND, when you turn to this second method of imagination as basis, but even your imagination cannot call out of nothing what will work!
Eternal Something is the only embracive coverage in terms of logic, and you need only this, that this eternal something must be adequate for ALL the results, since we are not interested in begging the question, a logical short circuit, for the production of every feature that now is. There has to be discipline of thought for any ground for any respect at all.
This is so whether the feature in view be material, physical or chemical law, mental, the existence of logic, the application of logic so that in retrospect there can be a tracing of the work done in those terms, spiritual reality including powers to imagine false theories and true, to wilfully ignore the falsity or to resolve it, matters beyond mind but working in what deploys it, your decision making capacity with all its attendant moral and prioritisation aspects, the source of ideas and the nature of creativity. These are but aspects of the sufficiency for production to be found logically in the basis. Thus there logically HAS TO BE an ETERNAL SELF-SUFFICIENT, ALL-SUFFICIENT ENTITY ON WHICH ALL OUR UNIVERSE IS BASED. Some things exist in give and take scenarios which presuppose the entirety in kind of system, a mere begging of the question, dumping of logic. Here the concern is to find what accounts for all, and hence what is not a mere part of a system, but its basis.
If you pooh-pooh logic as a method, challenging its validity, rejecting the need to satisfy it in your theories of various or indeed any kind, then you have no power to argue for or refute in terms of it, leaving the logical approach undisturbed without any competition from your now narrowed source!
There is thus no competition. So then, follow the data and attempt to explain it (not data plus or minus my ideas, or yours), and you are still in science. Follow your imagination as base, and you are out of science, but may still consider conceivable results. Fail to have these a full explanation for what is in mind, here the universe's nature and existence, then you do not EVEN meet logic in the realm of your imagination, and might as well write novels direct. Nothing will never become something if that is all there is; nor will anything ever be produced if at any time nothing is all, or in any phase or imagined phase.
In fact, following logic and explaining data, rather than inventing new worlds out of your imagination, and seeing how they would go, leads as in SMR and TMR, to the Eternal All-Sufficient Creator, and to the Bible as His word to man. This has no logical problems of consistency, but in its final outcome is a marvel of meeting every challenge, which is the way with truth. It resolves problems for failures which avoids this logical need, and makes (relatively) easy, the understanding of basic elements of human life (such as in the case of freedom and determinism), where it has a unique provision and coverage (cf. Department of Bible ... Vol.10,7, Predestination and Freewill).
One has this option: stick to the data in science, abandon what does not meet that; cease to make imagination your base, if you want to investigate scientifically, and cease to put any credence into your imagination if it comes to contradict itself or its bases or assumptions, this constituting a double failure, to BE science, or MEET scientific method, and to find LOGICAL ideas that cover the case, even if they are never found in practice, and contradict what does occur. Two splintered aircraft of aspiration then lie doomed: the scientific and the imaginative.
What remains is our God (cf. Department of Bible ... Volume 5, Ch. 6, *S). Then everything works; and while of course in such a teaching prodigy as this universe constitutes, there are lots of things awaiting investigation and ratiocination, you find there is nothing inexplicable, nothing even needfully presuppositionally assumed. You follow logic and data and come to their end, as noted above and expressed in various ways throughout these 234 volumes, and this being the model to which you are thrust in the data-logic mode, you apply it for verification at the multiple level and examine it for validity at the singular level. The former as in Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ*T , is abundantly satisfactory. The latter in that it provides what logic required, and it has the features which it prescribes, on test, is validation. There is no other such system, nor any other God; and here profundity and majesty accompany the resolutions, while outside this Bible identification (from whatever method, other ones are not here our concern), there is not even competition.
See for example
The Defining Drama Ch. 3,
The Way of Truth and the Way of Error Ch. .
Department of Bible and Spiritual Affairs Vol. 8, Ch. 6.
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS
Bible or Blight, Christ or Confusion:
The Comprehensive Resolution of Man's Intractable Problems
is Found Only in the Bible, the Word of God
A Pair of Volumes: Opus 128 and 129, of some 2.3 million words
April 16, 2015
A PREDESTINATIVE NUTSHELL
God chose His own.
When ? Before the world was founded (God can create a world of coming-and-going time at will, and "when" originates with this action, in terms of our type of time). Before that, He knew who were His own children in the coming history (Ephesians 1:4).
This He foreknew, therefore, before sin (Romans 8:30ff.), for each one.
What was His attitude to choosing ?
He, in view of the cross to come, was pleased that every single one be reconciled to Himself (Colossians 1:19-22). That was the yearning of His pure heart, a heart of love (I John 4:7ff.). But love has restraint (Matthew 23:37).
The failure of many to come, as in John 3, was despite a love for the world so intense and immense that God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, to enable freely each one (Romans 3:23ff, 5:17ff., 6:23, Ephesians 2, I John 2:1ff.), through believing in Him, to gain the ultimate category of eternal life.
If then it was despite such love and such practical, predicted, personally searing and abundant divine provisions, that those who selectively turned away from Him, did so, it was statedly because, drawn to evil, in type or placement, they had a relevant preference for darkness (John 3:19). Harnessed by its happenings, perhaps harassed by it, they were part of its holdings, light or no light; but it meant no light.
Why then did not God compel them to love Him better ? It is because forced love is mere compulsion, but love is of the heart (Isaiah 29:13, Mark 12:28ff.). God knows how to reach the heart, and His methods are marvellous (Jeremiah 17:10-18, Hebrews 6). Leaving God personally out of it is like trying to fly an aeroplane without air. He has His own principles and He applies them in His own ways. His love is inordinate but not profligate.
God is a Spirit, and those who love Him thus need to love Him with all their heart and soul and mind and strength, being neither manipulees, objects of compulsion nor servants of hypocrisy. You see such sincerity for example, in Jeremiah 31:18-20. You see, on the other hand, the displacement of heart's love through contending passion, with the rich young ruler, in Mark 10:17ff.. His eagerness, for he came running, became displaced by mournful inertia. The love of God did not separate from His holiness, just as it did not cleave from His truth or His blazing moral purity (Romans 6).
Therefore God is sovereign in this choice ("He chose us...," Ephesians 1:4), the matter settled before creation, the foundation of this very world. The Gospel is itself His sovereign choice being the only mode of access, and divinely is it given. It is filled with His own character and with nothing entangled, it shines like the moon in the night from the sun of its origination, in this case, the word of the living God. Its light is the only one that saves (John 1), and it comes from the only God, its redemption paid by the only Saviour: and God is the only Saviour (Isaiah 43:10-11), who Himself (Ezekiel 34) came as sent from heaven (Isaiah 48:15ff.), to seek and to save what was lost. Man is so encased in sin, that even in this light, that in which he was constructed, his fallen nature is negative (Ephesians 4:17-19, 2:1-12) in natural disposition and pathological response.. God however is not at a loss and is well able to penetrate this (Hebrews 6:4-6*U), and indeed before sin came, He already actually knew His own and had chosen them. He is not confused by situations, but aware of underlying reality. Such is the biblical position (Hebrews 4:13).
What then ? God chose the Gospel, the souls, the principles of choice and their application: all these, His sovereign choice. He discerns who are His, needing no help from any in doing that (John 1:12).Before time disclosed her coming heritage, deceit and deviousness, He did it, and even where it passed all bounds for a given entity, yet He continued till the end of the matter, as in heart, so in history (Isaiah 41:8-24).
He does not choose to be different, vacillatory or vapid: as He is, He acts, none His counsellor (cf. Isaiah 40, Galatians 1!); and as there shown, the apostle is to bring men to God, not qualify God for man! The universe grows and secedes; but God is the same (Psalm 102, Malachi 3:6, James 1:17). Thus we may find the outcome and the readout of His sovereign choice, when He deems this knowledge called for. His ways are the same. They do not change (Zephaniah 3:5, Isaiah 41:4). He does not abdicate in favour of the made and the fallen (Psalm 90, Marvels of Predestination and the Ways of Will, Ch. 3), to indulge their rebellion, but pursues His own knowledge, principles in place (Isaiah 40). Though with power over all, disdaining mere power, He acutely discerns those who are His own in terms of His love and mercy, His desire and the restraints of love.
And what then is the nature of this choice of His, what are its principles in point of fact ?
As in Proverbs 1, the Lord often in practice attributes responsibility for personal rejection of His free offer which mounts like the masterful wave providing salvation and eternal life (cf. Psalm 21, Titus 2-3, John 3). There in Proverbs it is with the prospective gift to be seen. In this case both the wisdom for life and the teaching that enlightens and enables are offered, both change of heart and input of understanding: it is not only gift but governance, enlightenment for the eyes and knowledge for the heart (Proverbs 1:20-24, cf. Ephesians 1:17). But in the case of Proverbs 1, God's passionate pleas are rejected, and the results then traced. The wilful failure belongs with the departing soul, the one turning away despite as in John 3, the utmost zeal for his salvation on the part of the Lord. The rupture and its cause lie with those to whom His sincere offer is forwarded, not through philosophic peculiarity, but through a marked, masterful and determined sin, born of the resistance of man as seen in his response to the God who knew from the first, before sin came to man, the differentials relevant and their assessment (Acts 7:51-53). Stephen did not muddle the issue. "You do always resist the Holy Spirit..."
Accordingly, in Jeremiah 13:15ff., there is found a particularly poignant case where the word of the Lord to the King has a depth and a grief hard to surpass, even a tenderness in view of the needless and foolish preference for the destructive darkness in the presence of the all-comprehending light; while Isaiah 48:15ff. is another, but this time surveyed in lamentation in retrospect;for God would greatly have had it otherwise, and so sought, and so lamented. Yet love is restrained, and does not become force, or leave its case for statistics (Jeremiah 13). Indeed, to forget this fact is to forget monuments of principles, regions of historical testimonies, towers of oft-repeated truth, mountains of grief and torrents of sorrowing on the part of the Lord.
As in John 3, it is in the very face of the magnificent scope and nature of His loving offer, that He faces and condemns its rejection. For HIS part, those heights are the source and the cover in view for man; for the part of many, that is their part, and so statedly THIS is the condemnation that despite such light for their plight, coming with such profound and pervasive extent and intent, many exhibit the contrary desire, evil their everlasting lair.
In John it is emphatic, that this is not some lack or lapse in His divine love (I John 4:7ff.), but precisely the contrary. It is a love which categorically does NOT have such patchiness, but gleams pervasively as recorded in the major scope of His enterprise. Rather in much and in many, it meets a special rejection in man, cut to the case, foreknown from the first, known before exhibited, assessed before seen. When such decisive and particular negative action is taken by man, God vigorously exculpates Himself and His plan of salvation in the point at issue. God loved, and this SO MUCH THAT He took this incomparable action in the realms of infinity to the target the world, sending the vastly precious and only begotten Son; and in issuing forth His everlasting place (Micah 5:1-3, John 8:58), He came not to condemn it but to save it. Condemnation was statedly no part of the originative passion (John 3:17-18). Many of mankind however, a distinctive category, John 3 goes on to relate, took evasive action (John 3:19). Foreknown as such, they did not fail so to act. As discerned before destiny, so they were.
Long before, even before our time was thrust into existence, the God-assessed children as well as those who would stumble were known to Him (Ephesians 1:4, I Peter 2:8). Accordingly, He knew where the heart lay in those cases as it flowed where it would go. Thus the will of God drew up and knew all the credentials or miscredence, and assessed and chose in terms of His own sovereign principles, and it used no manner of force, distortion or shanghaiing to grab any. Predestination appointed what foreknowledge knew, and what it knew was who were His own and who were not (II Timothy 2:19). To Him, the will of man was relevant but not sovereign (John 1:12). God approached what He would with what He would, how He would, and chose in terms of the result before He released this world into being.
Man is not recast as NOT in the image of God. The image, though distorted and defiled, is not beyond the knowledge of God and His pre-fall penetrations and ascertainments, whether this would be for the fresh waters to clean, or for the swamps to claim (as in the depiction in Ezekiel 47). NOTHING runs God, and HE works things in terms of what He states to be true of Himself and His desires, principles and purposes (cf. SMR Appendix B).
In all this the love of God desires with an enduring profusion of sensitive dynamic, while the restraint of God acts with eminent nobility and truth - for love is always restrained as to its disposition, unlike force and slavery to desire (cf. Ezekiel 33:11, Zephaniah 3:6-12, Ezekiel 20, Luke 19:42ff., Jeremiah 31:18-32, 34, Luke 15:11ff.). Yet it is neither shown weak nor fallible when its object evacuates from it: HOW OFTEN as in Matthew 23:37, is not the same as NEVER! nor is the difference minimal but mighty!
Thus, just as there are known results before creation re those chosen, there are also known principles, procedures and perspectives in the purity of the mind of God, in reaching the realities, in terms of what never changes, as shown so often and indeed quintessentially in Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, the same yesterday, today, forever. It was shown in the first choosing of His own before our time, or in the last keeping of them, the SAME love at work, whatever the sphere. In this heart, what He was on earth is what He was in heaven, and what He showed on earth is what surged in His impact and desire in heaven for man and his salvation, whether at this or that point in history, or before it began (Titus 2-3). Whether in things great or small, God has His ways and they do not change. Love and truth circulate in them, desire for good stirs profoundly in them.
It is in terms of these, and the special intensity of love which He has specified, especially in the definition of I John 4:4-7 concerning quality and character, and in the motivation expressed in John 3, and the scope of desire indicated in Colossians 1:19ff., and in logical sequence, in the foreknowledge encapsulated in predestination (as in Romans 8:30), that a divinely chosen and quite clear result may be read out an stated at any time, concerning the destiny of anyone. In a figure, it is like the result of an experiment being stated at one time in context, and the purpose of it another, and the method in yet a third depiction. This aspect and facility indeed may be found in Romans 9:8-19. Here, the choices are seen as made, their translation into history in due course assured, and this statedly concerning "the purpose of God according to election," It is for Him to know and show His elect, resulting from His finding the lost to bring home. Pleasingly, Berkhouer in his "Divine Election,'" notes the feeling and sense of RESULT often found in the field, and this is abundantly manifest, though he does not pursue its specific nature. Love has its own penetration and findings, and this should never be lost sight of.
Man in conversion and salvation is to put off the old man and, we who are saved being renewed in the spirit of our mind, and to put on the new (Ephesians 4:22ff.), finding in Christ the Head (Ephesians 2:21-22, 1:22-23). There is a transformation from what was to what is as in a birth, the regeneration wrought by God. It is not a displacement as if it were some new robot that arrived from an exchange. Washed in regeneration and renewed by the Holy Spirit (as in Titus 3), those won appear a new creation (II Cor. 5:17), one wrought in a spiritual realisation and enduring refreshment by God, now fulfilling in underlying nature the creation at the first in the image of God, though as yet, far from perfected (Colossians 3:10). Of the Christian, says Paul, they have "put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge according to the knowledge of Him who created him."
These are the ones God has foreknown as His, and it is necessary to remember in terms of all His stated principles of motivation and desire (cf. Colossians 1, John 3, I Timothy 2, Ezekiel 33), that it is one thing to find ground in a soul for the coming to it in advent, as at the personal level before the world was. It is another if the Lord were to find none, and yet come and dwell there. That would be take-over, not conversion. In the forceful parable of seeking for those to come to the King's festivities, they were to seek in the highways and in the byways after the formal guests had largely turned it down (Matthew 22:10); not proceed to take as with a panzer division, using force to replace understanding, and thrust to send away truth. Repentance is real, to the depths of the soul, not an ancillary to a manipulative or mere-thrust take-over.
Accordingly, God is sovereign in His choice ('He chose us,'), before the foundation of the world. In doing so, He deployed His desire and pursued His love to find His own: that was the METHOD of His divine choice. For the human soul itself, in time, it may be rather like, in one aspect, falling in love. As such it is NOT to be confused with arising to seize (the brutal, self-serving cynic) on the one hand, nor like the self-serving devotee on the other, who sees much to be gained from such an alliance. Love is the criterion, and if this is preferred, it is not because of any robotic command, which is mere misrepresentation of primary data,and in this case, of the data supplied as well, of the model and of all point and meaning... an invention of confusion.
God Himself, who IS love (nothing contrary to it in His being as God, I John 4:7) is not governed by getting what He internally needs; since of such needs He does not participate, and if some god did so participate, then this would in fact be a mere contrivance or creation from some other body, the necessity for God as God being unchanged, free of entailment.
It was not His will to tyrannise, but to draw (John 12:32). He is the sovereign over 'sovereignty' as many conceive it, and as He is, so He does. Moreover it is by no means just the principles and the truth in election, which fashion results, however drastic the difference between these free in the Gospel and their original deserts; for consequences and sub-choices at various levels within effectual freedom, may also be fashioned for areas and arenas of history, as in the notorious case of Cyrus. This coming King as predicted through Isaiah. did not even know God, but was yet used as he was to do significant and predicted things for Israel. Even that was done, in terms of imperial deliverance for that bonded nation (cf. Isaiah 41:21-28, 44:24-45:19). Types of this kind or that, and typifications may indeed be employed by the grand moral purity and wisdom of God!*V
The Gospel which is His sovereign choice, is the only mode of access to Him as accepted; it is His and He proclaimed it entirely from His own heart, without alteration or alternation or equivocation or change (Galatians 1-6). But is there merit in the person who is found because he is found in foreknowledge with its subsequent translation into more ordinary reality ? Is there superiority in such persons intrinsically, who are known to receive Him (for He does not choose what does not! - Proverbs 1, as directly as what does, the rest a litany of loss) ? In fact, such a superiority in some could be ONLY if man in the image of God were not free but loaded like a robot or a plaything to action one way or the other, a virtual compulsion. Yet God is not forced and His frequent laments for man in this salty area, when His gift is not taken by man, reflect this fact. What in such cases is not chosen despite what might have been, is clouded in lament; for God shows magnificent restraint, partner of liberty for man.
A man is born anew through love, not law; God uses law, law can soar, but the unleashing of love (as in I Corinthians 13 for example, and stated in I Timothy 1:5), is the end in view.
If, then, contrary to the word of God, the preference of man (foreknown by God despite current sin), were not only rendered inoperative by principle because of the fall (John 1:12), but irrelevant to God Himself, even when He acts, then an X-factor is to be sought, or a sum of such items, differential in some, as the criterion, joint or singular, for selection. But to the contrary, God is both keen and careful to remove such a consideration (cf. Matthew 22:1-14). Indeed, to Him come not many of the outstanding among human persons (I Corinthians 1:26-31), and many prefer darkness to His definitive light, this divinely characterised light; and its shunning in view of this, is met by the Lord's statement of the ground of condemnation in the midst of such an impelling light. In the very midst of the record of His coming, His incarnation, His magnificence, His love, its vast nature and scope and intensive application in the Gospel. It is THIS which explains the lot of many, in daring, doughty defiance of His truth, His love, His salvation, despite all the Gospel provisions and wonder (John 3:19,36).
But when, in accord with the word and love of God, man 's essential freedom as in the image of God and expressed in principle, is seen as still relevant to the sovereign ways of God (as shown in Predestination and Freewill and SMR Appendix B for example), then freedom is not force and one thing perpetually clear in the Bible, is this that God never forces "faith". Yet dismiss the word of God and you start to become a disciple of your own (Isaiah 5:24-28), though He solicit, urge, reason and beckon. As they come, so they have gone. It is when in reality they DO come to Him, instead of making false starts (John 5:40-42), askew and astray, or using false premisses (Mark 7:7ff.), that salvation is to be seen. However, Christ lamented that those in view WERE NOT WILLING to come to Him, despite the ardent testimony of His Father-supported works and personal testimony. Indeed, He declared, "I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you." This He has known since the epoch of foreknowledge, from the first, before sin was in man or man was in this world.
It is He who recognises His own, who are free indeed of manipulation as of false force, which merely brings in the irrelevant, since force has nothing to do with faith. God is not of a morbid mind, but cites the relevant reason for rejection of some quite clearly. It is that despite the depth of the divine appeal: they WILL not come to Him (Matthew 23:37, John 5:40ff., 15:21ff.), in an adversative exclusion seen before history and to be manifested in it in due time. To the very depth of the cross, they will not come to Him, despite the decisive divine desire (Colossians 1:19ff.). That is the selective criterion of the cross, tenacious to the last, leaving cover for nothing.
There is no entanglement, for all is open to Him with whom we have to deal. In His presence all barriers to knowledge lie aside, and in His power and perspective, every deceit, deviousness is powerless, while truth has no place to be hidden as He sees beyond and before the scenes of history.
If there were merit in being prepared to come to Christ, seen in essence not in history as initial criterion, and sure knowledge, for He KNOWS His own ( Timothy 2:19, John 10:9,27-28), then the person concerned would have to possess that as a distinctive feature as part of himself or herself, whether in set psyche, hardware or other. That however is not freedom nor speaks it of responsibility in man, but a journey into the robotic or directed. God is just, and it is the dismissal of Gospel mercy which sets the way for judgment not only deserved (Ephesians 4:17-19), but merited all over again.
Moreover, the Lord knows and chooses His own in a way unique to Himself, and necessarily unique. Desiring all, He takes what may be found, in terms of capitulation not chains, surrender not herding, and so from foreknowledge's operation, knows. But what ? Surrender is hardly glorious, nor is abandonment of false claims on the part of man, meritorious. It makes the way open for correction. Nor does He make negotiations, the sheer flair of which could be gratuitously called diplomatic merit by the one yielding. The conditions are repentance, which signifies folly, error and just loss, and faith in the merit of Him who covers the cost, and it is scarcely a sign of merit to be paid for, the more when the NEED to be paid for is operative if to keep outside the gates of hell! (Luke 13:1-3, John 8:24).
When He chose before our time or world or sin even existed, when we were assembled in the mind of God but not in practical reality as created, then He saw us, knew His own, foreknew them, found there the entry and there the opportunity, to save without force and to deliver without merely overpowering assault forces. In CHOOSING His people there, it was He and not they who acted. They were receptors, He the Redeemer; and so was it foreknown.
There is no merit in being foreknown as those whose hearts in their utter freedom on the issue, yet were moved to find haven in Christ. But there is a sound of merit like a storm, in being chosen by God in the other and man-made model where there is no knowledge of why He chose a given individual, not even the principle of the matter, except this, that you breach John 3:19 and insist in retort that the act of coming as a distinctive is goodness, and hence to be avoided as a loaded option, a pre-inclined path. If a criminal pleads for mercy, is that merit ? Is it to be cited on his behalf as a ground of acquittal ? Hence unlike that case, where God is deemed to choose without reference to man's preference as in John 3:19, the coming as in essence foreknown is precisely where merit is absent, while having God choose without reference to will even as relevant, focusses a distinctive feature IN what is chosen, and this deemed so by God, whose preference is good! There rather would lie merit!
Choice by God, where human preference at all phases and in all respects is ruled out, postulates priority for the chosen. It is when it is not, in contravention of John 3:19, ruled out, but given logical place (outside ordinary history - John 1:12), in the overview of God who knew mankind after his formulation and before his creation, that all the scriptures are ready to be met. Then it is that in terms of the character, concepts, desires, love of God in its unskewed amplitude and immovable purity, that His own are found, and known as such, where mercy before time impels, response beyond the reach of sin applies, nothing is abused or confused, and truth in its reality of response is not something merely to be desired, but manifest to Him with whom we have to do.
Moreover, if there were a distinctive goodness which were preferentially on purpose implanted in some, that would not be liberty, nor would its absence induce distinctive guilt; for it would constitute a mixture of models. Model M is then a man-made deletion of liberty model, and Model-D, a God-made inclusion of it model. In the latter, guilt justly matches the misuse of liberty, the image of God is not a misuse of terms, and God's attribution of the distinctive reason for condemnation, where it occurs, is this: that despite the love which so seeks, not to condemn the world, but to the uttermost point of sacrifice to save it, this is foreknown to God, there is this preference, to cling to evil and disappear before His saving love. With this goes condemnation.
It involves a misconstruction of the love of God, "for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them," Luke 9:56, as paralleled in John 3:17. It is in essence just this, that IF they had not heard the wonders and seen the wonders, viewed His works and heard His speech, they would "not have sin," but since those concerned HAD in fact done both, as even verified and shown in history, "their sin remains," John 15:23-24. Stringent are the conditions for condemnation in view of such love as His is stated, shown and exhibited to be!
Thus it is better to keep to the word of God in interpreting it, lest one be found a liar! says Proverbs 30:6, and Deuteronomy 4:2. This, for example, makes it clear that subtracting is in the same category as adding. Add to His word, make it more or less definite on any point, rather than watching what it itself is declaring, and you face like a firing squad, the facility to become a liar, rather like a terrorist, if you so teach, holding up a plane-load by a gun, that of your own mouth (cf. Jeremiah 23:16).
What then ? In sin man is in his now natural condition insinuated into folly, and tends to be spiritually paralysed in the essential steps (I Cor. 2:14); but this is no impasse since this is not at all the site for the choice, which preceded this world; and further, when God enters any natural environment it is not a small matter, but can transform without limit what erstwhile had its limits and its blocks. Enter God, and facility in all dimensions is at His enabling.
Hence in Hebrews 6, we find much is the spiritual involvement of those who yet slip away, tasting and not eating the meat of mercy, though they have tasted of both divine power and heavenly things; and King Saul appeared the same. God DOES make a difference and we are dealing with the work of God, by God, for His own kingdom. Indeed, this even in the pathological phase of the history, whereas the divine choice was wrought without the pathological part that moved against the eternally significant action in salvation's prospect, something absent in the pre-world, pre-sin case!
Again, only in God is there that purity of heart and possession of all that is desired which, when missing, makes utilisation of others available as an opening for self-will, for some kinds of saving, or even partitive forwarding of issues under the name of salvation, aspects in fact favouring what is desired in lieu of the need for the uttermost for man.
To open a door on the part of the merely partial kind of 'saviour', (not only being without total and accurate knowledge, but without discernment of the advantages to be conferred, and their opposites), readily and frequently leads to abuse of power. In such cases inability or partiality readily becomes an opening in the 'salvation' which is provided. And how in such cases is it provided ? It is supplied for inadequacy at best, confusion or deceit at worst, including self-deceit and the turmoils seen on earth by deliverers without enduement, knowledge and self-control.
Even more, the needs of the giving heart, the salvation dispenser in the flesh, are integral to its living, if it is an incomplete power or a partial kind, not God; and what it wants if at best it be good, is contained in its restricted thoughts, its ceiling itself, ready for direct action. But what has the answer to that, but God who IS altogether good, and without need for His own lustre and life! Cutting out the preference of man, not only as operative in salvation, but even as relevant FOR IT, in the eye of God who sees below all thresholds and knows beyond even man's conscious mind, is to blow away (cf. SMR Appendix B, The Christian Pilgrimage, Ch. 3) so many scriptures as if to make it a volcanic eruption! It is to ransack and remove the nature of creation called man, in the spiritual image of God. It is to make Another who appeals, laments, implores, to be the source of hypocrisy, and one who is named and marked as responsible, to be robbed of his part, place and office in the scheme of things, as sought longingly by God, even though the result be cited. There have to be results, and they can be cited at any time, for those in the ultimate have been found before even time itself as we know it, came into being at all.
God has not taken it upon Himself to enjoy the sublimities of irresponsibility, as if He were to be condemned for arbitrariness or other choice outside man; but rather have those philosophers who refuse but do not refute the scope of the divine operation and desire, longing and thrust for all, that they be reconciled to Himself, as if God not love in decisive character, found in His word (I John 4, Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2, Ezekiel 33, SMR Appendix B). To be faithful to the text, you make the word of God its own interpreter and do not alter for conformity to the plagues of philosophy, unbased but in ignorance, immemorable except in presumption (cf. Colossians 2:8). If God wishes to speak, it is vain to chatter while He does so, and so mix words! It lacks authenticity, like static.
While it is God who does the saving, then, and not man, nor can man save at his own level what is at the same in kind, nor can the partial so perform; yet there is the second negative. It is God who is relevantly aware of the essential disposal of the image-bearing liberty of man who chooses, and not one who is not! It is foreknown before history was in natural being and polluted, and can again be known by God after that, for He is not limited.
Indeed, God is at pains in John 3 to make it clear that HE has done in His eternal power what is needed for man's salvation, in intensity of sacrificial forwarding, in application of divine love to the very base in earth, in extraordinary faithfulness in bringing the light into the darkness, in BEING in Christ the source of life and its succour; so that IF man does NOT take the gift in view, that IS the condemnation. To prefer otherwise in the light of this light, then, this IS the condemnation. It is this (John 3:19,36) which brings condemnation at the final level (as in John 15:21ff.), and through this no hope remains for the man who sees these things and does not receive the Lord. John 15 is very emphatic about these things.
The relevance of human preference so far from being not pertinent at all, in principle, is crucial, and categorical! Thus its misuse is mourned (Isaiah 48:15ff., and hence condemned - as in Proverbs 1). As autonomy, it cannot exist in sin, and in any case autonomy is God's, and the most man can have is limited to what is specifically enabled in him: freedom relative to many little things and one major one, God Himself.
Freedom requires no force or compulsion for control, and abhors it where present. It needs no invasion to expunge its choices or constitute its dynamic and address, let alone intrinsic alignment. In this, it is the marked contrary of anything like the underlying concept in a cruise rocket or any other direction control. That would simply attest man being made in some other image than that of the living God. Being a creature, he CANNOT be autonomous, but relevant to God is the response to life and its Founder in man who in the beginning was uninhibited as before God, who is by no means confused by his later pathologies.
God watches, tries and understands man (Jeremiah 17:9-10, Psalm 11) and discerns him, including his essential direction, when in His presence or related to it (Isaiah 37:25-29, 41:11, 43:1-2).
Returning from abortive freedom and fraudulent responsibility then, for God is just, and His throne is set in righteousness, while mercy goes before His face (Psalm 89), some other and imaginary image for man than that posited in the Bible is as relevant to the word of God as sin to virtue. In the present and biblically defined and exhibited one however, foreknowable and foreknown in this field, man is perfectly free, constantly confronting God to his own detriment, frequently blundering amiss despite His tender entreaties (Jeremiah 13). In His word, the Lord Himself is seen repeatedly reflecting on the needless loss (cf. Isaiah 48:15ff., II Chronicles 36) of opportunities, in such affairs, even of blessings and deliverances through such human action, now cut off.
Indeed, there is also no possession of merit for man in the divine foreknowledge of man. There is no glory in non-suicide, neither attainment in receiving the salvation worked out and in entirely in terms of Another, whose love has removed every burden (Romans 5). It is rescue, not self-realisation, for as to the latter, "the wages of sin is death," but as to the gift by grace (Romans 5:15), "the gift of God is eternal life," (Romans 6:23). To receive riches is not to create them or to create the willingness to receive them. If there were an inherent tilt in man in this issue of coming to the Lord, past penetrable disease in some, freedom would be a distorted pretence, and not itself, and man a manipulable product that contrary to reason, testimony and observation alike, would implicate God in its unbiblical thrust, elevate man the rebel until he should be moved to be a pestiferous formulation, make the Gospel irrelevant while misnaming all things.
Moreover, its imaginative categories becoming merely fantasy excursion, its testimony the contrary of what is specifically attested, exhibited, experienced and towering over history, it would constitute definition by contradiction, responsibility by misattribution and castigation for being created. It is useless to assign goodness when the will of One does it, the will of the other is irrelevant and the result festers. The actual author of any tilt in its essential differentiation would be in line for responsibility then for all evil; whereas in John 3, God defines His own part as a loving intervention without any signal of evasion of any, but with drastic condemnation of the whole human movement to the contrary of the life-saving gift, making them and not at all Himself, the source of their own exclusion. See what I have done, and what you do, and the results, he is saying, where the positive presentation is negated by man. The contrast is continual.
Yet by no means is man, because possessed of such freedom THROUGH the special knowledge of God, and the nature of His construction, to be congratulated on salvation any more than the case with someone confused and doomed in the water, is found accepting the salvation of the life-saver. Without that, nothing. It is as in Ephesians 2:8ff.. Salvation is by grace through faith and the whole thing is the work of God. Putting an end to boasting, for man, it declares itself the work of God. Man neither makes himself (Psalm 100), nor secures his own salvation (procured and paid for by another), nor possesses the will to HAVE salvation, nor has the capacity to create it.
If God had not penetrated to reality, past the distorted and pathological will of subsided man; if God had not sovereignly resolved to be loving, self-sacrificial, just, paying the price of His desire for all men (I John 2:1-2), patient and stark in His incarnation and crucifixion, turning the hatred of fallen man into the occasion of his salvation, murder becoming the base for substitutionary sacrifice (Acts 2-3, I Corinthians 1); if He had not invented the route of salvation and the integrity of its payments (Romans 3:23ff.), so that mercy might be magnified and justice overcome without distortion; if He had not put thought into action, and action into adequacy: if the Almighty had not made a way for the last ravings even of the human race, rescuing the unlovely and hearing the cry for Him: then in vain the hope of man and the plight which propelled him to hell. He would have been swallowed up as a cicada by a strong wind.
Let us then rejoice in the depth and adequacy, love and mercy, justice and reliability, wonder and glory of God, and by no means allow the debasing of His name, as though He were not desirous of bringing ALL to salvation, did not so love THE WORLD, but only part of it, or failed to provide for the same an adequate ransom available by reception (Romans 8:32ff.), angels in heaven still rejoicing when one last one comes home, brought with all the zest that love has for what it cherishes in the drastic magnitudes of its kindness (cf. Titus 2-3, Isaiah 49-55).
A loving God has made a loving Gospel at a cost correlative to such love in such a divine Being, given the clearest result and this is freely received by those who are His own, and so they are known, and for them He has prepared an abiding place with eternal life (John 14:1ff., II Corinthians 5:1ff., I Corinthians 15). There is no merit for man in accepting a life saver for his spirit and a source of resurrection for his body, for merit lies vicariously in the superb reliabilities and gracious marvels of God. It is (cf. Ephesians 2; 4:17-19) like being cut out of a car wreckage in which you are dying, or found in a desert where you vital fluids are at breach point, or being rescued when disoriented, deranged, doomed; but there is wisdom in it! As to God, He is love as well as light (John 1, I John 4:4ff.), and the consequences of its dismissal, remain (John 3:19,36).
Foreknowledge occurs where the unchanging character of Christ (Hebrews 13:8, Luke 19:42) is seen manifested, where neither sin nor superiority applies, where freedom vents itself, in heaven liberally, just as it is aided on earth by continual clusters of grace; and in the imagination that things are utterly different, there is mere transmutation of truth, of Christ Himself! Our God is a very great one; there is no other; and His understanding in infinite. Nothing is to be deemed too hard, even the salvation of the possessed soul or the maddened mind, even if its condition is gross beyond all human recognition. It is the prostitution of love to obtain 'results' where not love but other power is the source that is utterly excluded, as seen most poignantly for example in Jeremiah 13, where tenderness is left to rot, and a valiant hope and offer is not taken up.
You see the same divine penetration into a heart evidently not converted in the case of King Saul, who prostrated himself and long prophesied, so that they asked: "What is this that has come to the son of Kish ? Is Saul also among the prophets ?"
You find it in the decadent case of Balaam, who made staggeringly accurate spiritual predictions
of no small salvation weight,
while yet cited as baneful, misled and opportunistic
and making fatal dealings (cf. Numbers 24:17 with Jude 11).
It is wise never to forget the actions of God personally, when surveying the norms.
Like the colour of light, freedoms instituted by the power and presence of God are numerous, varied in format, bared in a magnificence that man could not make. That is one reason why man cannot
and does not make man.
He has another source both in logic and invention, one adequate from the first,
not needing to invent itself from nothing.
Thereby man comes not by begging the question,
which is no fit power for origin,
but by the Eternal Life of the Everlasting Father of spirits,
God of creation and Author of redemption,
which is adequate:
covering both creation and maintenance, function and fall.
So for the time, man is and persists.
In and for man, there is
freedom TO do various things or avoid them,
freedom FROM another variety of entities, to which compulsion may not extend,
freedom FOR things numerous and conditions multiplied
within the domain of man and his various available environments,
freedom in an essence of categories for which man's gifts, faculties
and facilities enable him,
freedom to deny forces and functions
whether natural, psychic, moral, immoral, confrontational,
irenic or seductive,
or to affirm them,
to dissociate from or associate with them,
to submit to them,
this whether in terms of cajolery, or weakness more direct,
or to enthuse or confuse concerning them, dismiss or to war on them;
freedom to seek or to deny God, to seek Him or to deny Him.
In God, there is the ground for all these things, the meaning and the significance;
and the completeness of the logical coverage of every aspect of all these freedoms,
however much dispersions may impact,
is here uniquely assured. Nil obstat, as the Latin tag has it,
God supporting, accounting and activating, His light in all these things;
He may act to compel, impel, impact, invite, surround with the very atmosphere of newness of life,
empower, impose, enable, liberate, enlighten, succour, draw or encourage.
Meanwhile, man may may repent or make light of it (Matthew 22, Proverbs 1, Luke 13:1-3).
See Repent or Perish Ch. 7.
April 20, 2015
Original and Reverse Engineering
See also Step Ten
New data constantly manifest themselves and call for acknowledgement in their place, when the hallucinations of organic evolution are being exposed from time to time.
When you want to make something out of nothing, and then claim it is a natural thing, you must first evacuate yourself, since manifestly you were not there before made. Then you need to rid yourself of all the encumbrances and pretences, such as cause and effect and substance, since neither of these is nothing. Next evacuate logic from the situation, since that is an ultimate organisation of systematics and semantics and symbolics and their assignations or denotations. Then remove stories based on the presentation of logic, and hence traced in a logical seeming way, since these rely on what is not there in the model. With that done, there is nothing left; but since this is the preferred base, it is a just one. This can do and does nothing.
But by contrast the results of ACTUALITY, which includes such elements, whether used prospectively or retrospectively are very different from this, because the causes are adequate for the result which, once seen in its widest application is just and due. It is called creation and at our own level, we are involved in it continually.
But let us proceed to the new work exhibited by Alex Williams in the latest edition of Journal of Creation, Vol. 20 (1), 2015.
Williams was a co-author with Hartnett of Dismantling the Big Bang, and his articles appear always of great interest (see pp. 108ff., of the Journal.)
Now when you cannot do a thing going forward on a given model, as with the nullity model above, or any of its equivalents, it may occur to see the end result, as now, as in living cells, and consider what they have that the non-living ones do not have. Indeed, you could consider what on partial dismounting, a living cell would face to be restored to where it was. In fact, to use the terms of Alex Williams, you could concentrate on WHAT LIFE ISN'T, the title of the article.
What then, given merely the systematically correlated, brilliant receptacles of order and method, mathematics and functionality which are the entities within the living cell, let us see these without their covering membrane, the sac in which they are placed; except that it is no mere sac, but a selectively porous membrane, the cell wall, strengthened against ready dissolution, yet enabling interaction with elements outside, while effectively exclusive of the the disintegrative effects of total exposure. As to that, Williams spends time on the disruptive effects of water in the domain of the so-called Brownian movement, and shows its enormous power when in relevant areas of an uncovered set of cell constituents, to disrupt, disperse, destroy. Indeed, he gives a very short time for this disruption of the unclad cell (that is, of all the merely imagined contents of a cell without its membrane, of a potential cell, as yet uncovered). Speaking ,then, of enormous capillary forces in action Williams gives the figure for the time in which, to survive, an uncovered collection of parts would to gain that cytoplasmic membrane. It is measured in pico-seconds which units are in size, one million millionths of a second.
Imagining therefore achieving this last step in the imaginary but needed construction of a cell, there is found to be no way this highly specialised membrane can relevantly form. It would need to cover the imagined-into-place highly sophisticated series of working bits ready to live, astonishingly contrived, with correlative conceptual reality, and this in a time inconceivable by natural means not found. There is, just as for the one, so for the other, a bloc. With the membrane, there is no way by natural processes such a select contrivance could so quickly form, so that an absolute barrier to progress from conceptually constructed objects, namely the contents of the cell that is not yet there, can be covered. The cell, even with contents given, may be imagined to be but is never seen to be constructed by 'nature', let alone before she is there to do it. Moreover, time is a fatal constraint. The contents, even if given, are simply breached. The membranous cover is required too fast, while yet necessary, involved and complex in type for minimal action. In terms of cell construction, water is a chief component and there are such devastating forces in view.
Hence concludes Williams, "The physical properties of water require all the machinery of life to be encased within strongly constructed cell wall with all necessary properties and no weak spots, on a picosecond time scale. Water thus sets a secular threshold for cellular origin that excludes all scenarios other than Genesis style fiat creation."
It is always so in the end when you try to treat as naked of conceptual power, what lives in a way which exhibits concepts, their application and their methods. Blast mind and you make its products orphans. It is the same with skill in general. Try to make a moron a master and your underlying concept is foolish. It is not time but the species of symbol and assigned meaning which cannot be accomplished by thoughtless matter. Assuming it otherwise, does not appear a fit way to overcome the difficulty, rather like assuming you are out of debt when the interest bills start to arrive. Omitting fact is no way for science to proceed, but its very opposite. SHOW it and then seek to find why it happens. Pondering what is never found to happen and what lacks the means is a vacation from the discipline of science and a reversal of its testing process. It is toying with mental myth, ignoring mental criteria and a pre-occupation ruled out by failure in application.
April 23, 2015
NATIONS, NOSTRUMS AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
There is no Place of Equilibrium for This World Outside Christ Jesus
Who was To Come, Came and is to Come
In a book entitled The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World (Sir Edward Creasy), the author at one point indicates that in the case of one war (p. 139), "it was clearly for the good of mankind," that the great nation would prevailed in a bitter series of wars, did so. In this particular triumph, history was moving in the right direction, because THAT particular and decisive outcome in Europe and Africa was for the best, gave best value, produced the most apt consortium of victors. It would be a snug fit, a realistic result, a good set up, progress.
It was what seemed the settled assurance of this broad reaction which was striking - as if this world were a thing, entity with a proper progress, a right set of outcomes, a better destiny to be fought and wrought for, one which enabled its true and proper character to be gained or preserved. It could in this way almost seem like someone growing up, and following a feasible, yes an advantageous path. Worldlings seem so to view it in the narrow encompassment of their orientation, even to plan accordingly, though in Creasy's case, his general position is Christian. Was this however a largely cultural result ?
It sounded rather like someone telling a lad to eat up, work hard and be strong; with complete assurance. Things would look up, tidy history was moving to its desirable results, and we could smile at the cost on the way: all would be well. However, this plan failed, and to do what comes naturally has led to most unnatural horrors wrought in the last century in iron clad millions, as if man were a grass hopper plague afflicting the fields of prime movers who destroyed them. There is as much confidence to be held in endless betrayals of man by his febrile and futile oppressors in philosophy, propaganda and force, as for any advance other than the pit, where millions many literally rot amid the revelation of what happens when you turn, with whatever misled confidence, from God. Whatever hope any may have had of progressive reaches of heights for humanity being reached, as a race, are traded in for unspeakable depths, moribund machinations and treacherous violations, clad with the mantle of hypocrisy, having no meaning but the assault on God by relentless rebels, often dressed to trick, as they move towards the dénouement when deity finishes the tests, brings final exposure to the truants from truth and judgment to the relics of the race, who through disbelief have categorised themselves with the tares (Matthew 13:24-30). Such has its own climax (cf. II Thessalonians 2, Revelation 13). Fit for its doom, it receives it.
In fact, there is for this world a right way, and that can only be that set forth by its Creator, which is as far from the One who bears overwhelming testimony to both His creation and His manual concerning man in it in the Bible (cf. SMR, TMR). That way is as near to the ways of this world as a grass-hopper is to being able to consume it, all of it. The spirit of lustful grabbing, slaughterous wildness, sophisticated cruelty, ruinous exploitation of things immaterial, material and moral, ideological hallucination and indifference to reality, except in bearable doses, is so strong that it is perfectly apparent why Jesus declared that He did not pray for the world (John 17:9).
Enthralled with its cut-throat, cut-cost and savage rush to ruin, as though it were a thriller*W, this type of spirit moves to various more or less fragile settlements, while invented religions, which have no authority to support them but that of man, his scimitar, hammer, sickle or other implement of non-reason, give revelation of brutality and irrelevance for any sustainable values - except for this careering world itself and its fallen spirit. These bid fair to govern his heart, often giving strength to the callow, callous and the catastrophic (cf. I John 2:22). World War I invents new nations in the Middle East, and now in the midst of the Moslem wars, as in no small measure they are, they begin to dissipate while new aspirant nations join the fray, or take new spoil, and the democratic West allows itself to be drawn into co-operation and concessive negotiation with Iran, despite its thunderous and much expressed desire to remove Israel and Jews, this being indistinguishable from ideational genocide seeking outlet in blood, ideological hatred and declaration of war on God (cf. Jeremiah 31:35ff.), 33:15ff., Micah 7, More Marvels ... Ch. 4).
The USA and some have a New Order to think about, and Europe has a joint or common destiny, while many Moslems have in mind an international caliphate (read 'rule of their preferred religion by force,') as if having defeated all efforts at doing what you believe, such a despotism arises inventing itself as a religious movement: for force is not productive of faith. Communists nominally have their heaven on earth, which seems to have been far too bashful to appear in the bashings and slow killings to get the most out of people, before they were deprived of needed food, and dropped dead from forced labour. Agreements have been made, continue to be made as if trust in God had no part, and the faith that was so important when the British Empire, for all its many faults, brought measures of order which are now becoming harder and harder to find, even of agreed basics in life, by furious hatred, were made spurious. Such provisions are now a memory for many of the nations that enjoyed its opportunities, as even hosts of churches and morals dive like an ancient Spitfire, with crucial engine trouble.
So does the tedious jumble of confused contest proceed as predicted in Psalm 2, cited by Peter in the prayer following the second arrest of apostles (Act 4), covering the period not only of the murder of Christ itself, but that in the very midst of the judgment to come (Acts 2:27ff.). Indeed, the entire Church Age and its fearful finale (cf. Revelation 18-20) is so characterised with its coming culmination. Why do the nations rage," the Psalmist asks, and why do the people plot vain things: for the Lord is to set His Christ over all! as David predicted in that Psalm, as in Psalm 72, 110, Isaiah 2, Micah 7. Meanwhile there is test, and many suffer while others seek to exterminate the Christ, as now. The 'judges' (Psalm 2:10) who command atrocities and seek to revoke, remove or ruin the kingdom of heaven are a little late in their furies, since Christ in His saving mission has already prevailed, paid for the pardon of sin to those receiving His peace, and leaving a morass of lies and bewilderment amid those who having killed, could not keep Christ, has shown power to delete death. Just as He will Himself judge, so has He borne judgment for those who are willing to receive reconciliation with God. This world abhors, as did Israel (Isaiah 49:7) Him, but does not overcome, while they keep trying, as their slaughter and folly are successively exposed till the day of account comes. The children of light continue to overcome, pending Christ's return in judgment, But how ? It is through the "blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony," Revelation 12:11.
There IS a place for the kingdom of heaven, and it has never changed, including at the outset the due application of the sermon on the Mount and in the last, the need to love your neighbour as yourself and your Creator with all your heart. Why split with its source, or try to teach Him who died that we might live, Jesus Christ, as if impressed with His murder and determined now in many places, to kill members of His body as if they were lice on cattle, working brutalities intended to seize imagination, provoke fear and surrender, as if life were a matter of avoiding swinging steel, or receiving its impact! Meanwhile Russia assails a new already Ukraine, incredibly brutalised by the USSR before it, leading the way to thousands of dead as if this were a matter of no apparent consequence as what already has a large portion of the globe, wants to misuse a part with a varied past, but none worse than the mistreatment by the USSR, which made of imposed suffering a name, ready for a Ph.D., and pain a property of life as far as it readily could.
The Kingdom of Heaven versus the variably imagined New World Order (whichever one moves from time to time, and whatever exploitation mixes with any new model) is no even contest, and though there thus IS a wonderful way for the world to go, it is increasingly despised, resisted, revoked, ridiculed; and the more it stands alone in the testimony of reason and truth, mercy and love, demonstration and verification, the more these are dismissed, as though useless. Meanwhile, showing its futility, the wild travails trumpet themselves in angry war and warring hearts which have no rest because they resist the truth, and its source, either making new gods, new ideologies instead, or simply hay while the sun shines. Darkness however is coming where as in its smaller model, in Nuremberg, so in the end the assessments are divinely made (Matthew 25, John 5:19ff., Acts 17:31), before the oppressions, distortions, false accusations are ended, the meaning of the pretences of man exposed, and the repositories both of rebellion and unreason given their due and righteous ruin (cf. Isaiah 2, 57:19-21, 59:15-21, II Thessalonians 1).
There is no point of equilibrium for this present world.
Another way of putting this ? This world has no place for rest. It has not changed since the fall, but its errors are aggravated.
Many remained blind at the precisely predicted first coming of Christ to settle accounts with sin; many now remain wilfully deaf to the numerous and vast signals that His coming is near! (Answers to Questions Ch. 5). Unless remedied, this bids fair to become a deleterious deafness, not for a city, Jerusalem, this time to be delivered when faith comes (Zechariah 12-14); but instead, it is for all who partake of its artificial avoidance of God, in the whole world (Revelation19-20). What remains is Christ according to the Gospel (Matthew 24:35), and at last, a new heavens and a new earth in which dwells righteousness, where sin has no more chance to devastate, be delinquent or breed disasters.
Some nations seem to play little leading part in these changes, though in weakness, they may help them; while others may even have two parts in the unsublime oratorio, during a short period, almost in simple sequence - even if, the more they change, the more they remain the same.
Thus Germany in effect tried high technical development and organisation, with inherent trust in the survival of the fittest thrust at work in many deluded minds, and a strong traditional discipline, and thus failing at the first, turned instead to a racial strength (with mythological extras), where morals had no place at all, and vulgar violence was brandished, even making some effort to change the Bible, and make a new religion to fit in more harmoniously with their dreams. The irrational notion of survival of the fittest as creator of the fit was pursued with passion, including massive and varied eliminations from this world, of the unfit, the ranks of which in pathetic irony, the Nazi Party was soon to join. What happens happens, but not without reason; and much that happens stands ready not for acclaim but for judgment.
Russia has acted twice, perhaps less obviously, in short sequence also, first trying a godless agenda, where only the leaders were to use pseudo-divine creative powers, whether at the legislative, executive or any other level, obsessively ignorant of people and their significance as individuals, though each one of the commissariat was an individual with whatever manoeuvre, mastery or duplicity seemed required to gain or keep or apply power. Such was the godless, moral-free trend, which nevertheless, scorning morals became their chief allowable source, in a clumsy divine take-over by what has perhaps never been less divine and more devilish. In their ideas, neither the arrival of anything nor the relevance of logic in principle in their accounts of origins, had any basis while deception and ravishing abuse of the people was an assumed and much demonstrated art form, to aid international advantage. This failing in the USSR, as did the Nazi confusion in Germany, after the deaths of tens of millions, the land turned to a quasi-totalitarianism as now, with a similar survival scenario and a threatening brutality for others, held in reserve, it appears, for best advantage. This is made to loom like ships in the mist, as if mystiquely and through blood once more, to seize what it will, force thus the evident substitute for faith and wilfulness for wisdom. It is not new in type, but it is one more example of the one people having two closely related items to sing in the oratorio of desired history, as it surges into sentence time, rapt with its irrationality and blind with its delusions.
May 22, 2015
THE ANGRY SWORD AND THE ANGLING LINE
Isaiah 28:16 - 32:2
There is a time to be patient, a time to act, a time to judge, a time to relent,
a time for restoration and a time for teaching.
All are shown in the multiply faceted history of Israel,
from the call to the culmination.
There is the appeal, the fishing mode as in Jeremiah 16:16ff., which occurs in the era of the Gentiles also, centred in the Gospel itself (Matthew 4:19, cf. Ezekiel 47:20), and how often did the Lord so exhort and appeal, drawing them to come home, back to their Creator, Redeemer, and yet He was not heeded! (Jeremiah 13:15ff., Isaiah 48:15ff., Jeremiah 17, Matthew 23:37)! There is also the day of judgment, both partial and preliminary, and final and inescapable (cf. Amos 4, Revelation 19-20), both on Jerusalem and on the world. Love pleads; judgment assesses. Mercy can indeed interrupt the application of truth in judgment, but it does not distort, suppress or supersede it without acceptance by the sinner (cf. John 8:34).
Let us then orient ourselves further from the Bible in this field, lest confusion extend its wares.
I The Irreplaceable Foundation Isaiah 28:16
II The Call for Obliterative Judgment 28:17-29
III The Coming Messianic Mercy
As to the first, this is touched in the above verses, like light commandeering darkness and using its former place to pour out the wonder of its glory, so that to the foundation stone that is precious of 28:16, we add the Lord's reference to "His work, His awesome work, and bring to pass His act, His unusual act." Then in 29:14ff., we add this: "Therefore, behold I will again do a marvellous work among this people, a marvellous work and a wonder," quite contrary to their own perishing wisdom.
These references are but glints and glimmers of the glory which is to come, as recorded in prophetic detail a little later in Isaiah 49-55, where indeed unusual is the expression on earth of the divine unselfish, yes vicarious and loving action of leaving passion. It was one leading to the salvation of many among men, as it exploded its core, thrusting to the very cross of the Messiah. It centred is found the undying testimony of a death where love, shielded by mercy, met justice for the many, to the fullest extent.
Meanwhile, these glories to follow in Old Testament prophecy, noted here, expounded more or less there, sometimes acutely, opening to sight in the Psalms, seen as coming to fulfilment not only in peace and pardon but the institution of a whole generation of believers in the Messiah (Psalm 22:30-31, Isaiah 53:8ff.), a special generation lifted beyond the mere generations of the flesh, coming by spiritual regeneration (cf. Jeremiah 31), Isaiah moves back as the Lord leads him, to the desultory and degraded situation for which this is the eventual remedy, seen festering in Israel. So it is found as we move onwards to the Messianic words of Isaiah 32.
In more detail, in Isaiah 28:16 to the end of 29, receiving the victorious foundation stone with its vast personal stability, suddenly like a vicarious blow, 28:17-18, we find there is associated with this profundity of mercy and wonder given to Israel (and to mankind as in 42:6, 49:6), a sweeping away as of puss on a wound. "The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies," and "your covenant with death will be annulled," words highlighting the mimicry in evil of what should have been good, namely a covenant with LIFE, one hallowing to focus the refuge of life!
The precious foundation for all human life is indeed irreplaceable, and replacement for this, whether in ignoring or bypassing is thus a covenant with death. In 29:19, this folly is contrasted with the continual wisdom of the Lord, careful, brilliant, effectual, for He is "wonderful in counsel, and excellent in guidance," having both made the natural and retained His supernatural power to anoint it, supervene and provide remedy for the human colossus of failure and misplaced self-confidence as in man, even when it also is disdained. Like an actor studying a part, man pursues his false dreams, but as one awakening from a horrendous dream, and finding reality little or no improvement, so in his spiritual drunkenness, man finds reality little if any better!
IV The Ruinous
and Wilful Replacement Program is Void.
It Is like burning Raphael Paintings for Warmth, but Infinitely Worse
The theme is pursued internationally in Isaiah 30. Egypt, your new saviour ? It possesses and is no foundation: "Therefore the strength of Egypt shall be your shame," Isaiah 30:3. In their calamities, not from the Lord did they ask advice; so that "trust in the shadow of Egypt shall be your humiliation," 30:3. It is not as if God had not shown in compassion like a vast rainbow placarding it in the earth! "In returning and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be your strength," for the matter was dismissed - "but you would not."
As in Matthew 23:37, it could not at the operational level be simpler. Here, take this spiritual anti-biotic! NO! I am not willing.
Is it to be imagined for one second that God deliberately made sure they would not because they could not ? Such ascription of meaningless torture to the Almighty is nonsense; for not only is HE ONE, He unites the hearts of those who have wandered when they return to wisdom (Psalm 85:8-13, 86:11).
It is like drinking alcohol. At the first it is voluntary, and then compulsive. So at the first, before creation was, God knew His own, where salvation was, and not mere crushing by overpowering, and these attest it in time. When however; but when the drunkenness of sin came (Romans 5), then it was only in His saving presence that the disease disrupted, the dynamic prevailed; but prevail it does where the heart finds as before God, the splendour better than the sin and repents. Without this, what was long foreknown is then foreclosed, and the whole apparatus of sin in its tired and drab defeat endures.
IV The Misplaced Rest in Restlessness
So wanton however and far-reaching was the rejection in rebellion sustained of the unusual act of the Gospel (Isaiah 28:21, 52:7 - 53:12), and so polluting is sin in the first place, and so vast are the reaches of joy and peace in the heart of the Lord, so that "the humble shall increase their joy in the Lord", (Isaiah 29:19), and "those also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who complained will learn doctrine," that deliberate divine action is graciously taken. Thus the Lord resolves to take a singular step. Just as in the New Covenant case, the wrath of God is a lively force on those who reject redemption, so here, the prophet Isaiah is told to go and write it in a book, or on a tablet, "that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the Lord, telling the prophets, CEASE FROM BEFORE US!" (bold added).
Therefore there is to be no restoration of the glories of Israel, as if vindicated, nor any distinctive elevation of its ways, for as in Jeremiah 31:31ff., a whole new covenant is to come, the fold fulfilled and complete, and in this the Gentiles will also have their place, all in one, one in all. To be sure, Israel will come back at the end, to its own land as in Ezekiel 36-39, Micah 7, Luke 21:24, but not with panache, though with vast relief and wonderful welcome, as it completes its first cycle in the path to the Messiah, and finding Him at last in its own land (Zechariah 12) sees the end of the atrocities of those who have hated her, a finale enacted with divine power (Isaiah 66, Deuteronomy 32, Zechariah 14).
Often similar have been the ways of the Gentiles before Christ's judicial culmination in His return. Averse, perverse or both they toured the ways of truth like drunken tourists, and found no joy there, just interest (John inadequate for salvation, but sufficient for damnation, John 3:36). They have perverted, diverted the Gospel, often after some acquaintance or even application; and the world moves into the free space kept for meaninglessness, as it departs increasingly from its Creator-Redeemer.
Israel has a special history amid all this, and largely before it, though it punctuates it in a way that leaves many nations frustrated and exposed (Zechariah 12:1-0, 13:1). While there is one Gospel for Jew and Gentile, they come to it by different ways; for the Jew it is in steps, for the Gentile, direct; but to both it has now long come, like a lapping tide, its tidings ignored.
The glory is in the Saviour to whom eventually some come; and it flows from Him where and how it will. Indeed, looking ahead from Isaiah 30:8, we find by 30:18, that there is a divine justice which has a way, and a glorious bounty which nothing will baulk. "Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you, and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you... blessed are those who wait for Him."
Wonder of forgiveness is to come (30:19), even to the wandering nation of Israel, a veritable centre of weeping (consider the day of Babylon and then that of Roma!), but to them will the cleansing mercy come, when they cry to the Lord for HIS deliverance and mercy, for the truth rejected and the Messiah disdained as foretold (Isaiah 49:7). ,
"For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem:
you shall weep no more.
He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry.
When He hears it, He will answer you."
Despite the divine disinclination to glorify what is often an obstreperous people, yet the Lord loves them and WILL glorify the things said and sent, and the eventual focus in the light of salvation, at its very centre in Christ (32:1ff.), who is Himself the shadow of a mighty rock in the land, in a land indeed weary. Thus "the work of righteousness shall be peace and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever," 39:17 (as in 53:1 - 55:4), with Him as Lord and Commander, eternity in the gift of those receiving the divine righteousness as a gift forever adequate (cf. Romans 5:17-18, 5:1-12, 10:9).
So will the reassurance come to the nation so long prisoner, repressed, domineered and sneered over, a people prisoners of hope (Zechariah 9:12), whose particular enemies God remembers, who says, 'The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me," (49:14) be reassured,
"See I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands,
and your walls are continually before Me.
Yours sons shall make haste, your destroyers
and those who laid you waste shall go away from you."
So does the restitution begin to proceed, and advance (cf. Isaiah 51:21-23). It is not of what is found in the first place, but of what is displaced and brought back to its place. It is not of what is freed on institution, such as the Christian Church (Isaiah 61), but of what is continually bound. Isaiah 49:26-27 gives one of the many references to the power as in the Egyptian Exodus which God will use in doing so, restoring the captive from the erstwhile captor, itself now in confrontation with Almighty, and "drunk with its own blood." It is here in THIS way that all flesh shall know that I, the Lord, am your Saviour, and your Redeemer the Might One of Jacob."
Thus both WHAT is to be known and HOW it is to be known are clearly depicted, in war not peace, supernatural thrust to overturn the assailant and a vast slaughter, neither spiritually beneficial neither directly nor indirectly, but loaded with history changing rebuke for the oppressors of Israel. It is the Israel relevant, the one of "waste and desolate place". this is its character; but for all that, "the land of your destruction will even now be too small for its inhabitants." As to the kingdom of heaven, the word is opposite and apposite, "yet there is room"!
The topic and ingredients are defined continually as by the ticking of a watch, and the phase here conerns the period following the Messiah.
V The Messianic Prelude for Israel
But let us look back to the type, to the rehearsal.
What a rehearsal for the eventual coming to rule of the Messiah, was Sennacherib, yet this, not in glory but shame. It is like a thumping theme. In Isaiah 30, after the passage on the grace and mercy of the Lord coming in its time, we have in 30:27-33 an account of the devastating dynamic that deals superabundantly with the daring devices of that rabid and ostentatious, God-demeaning King, wild with ambition and self-elevation (cf. Isaiah 36). That nation would be hit "with the indignation of His anger and the flame of a devouring fire."
Indeed, when again we come to the end of this type of confrontation, "the breath of the Lord is like a stream of brimstone," scarcely the comfort of the Gospel, where the indignation is already borne on the Cross, not left seething in the land! You have the same ludicrous distortion by many in the case of Isaiah 66, where like an atomic bomb exploded at last where evil desert asks for it, there is a vast assault on the forces of resistance, issuing in a flow of blood, not of Christ, but of the invasive enemies of His land, of the people now largely converted (Zechariah 12:10-13:1): it is this which is to be found. The one case is eternal rest; the other is extended rebuke and devastation, and the recipients are those vastly repentant on the one hand, and everlastingly enduring on the other, in rebellion. If this vast contrast does not register, words have no meaning.
Again, following the earlier case in Isaiah 30:33, we come amid reminder that there is none but God who may be absolutely trusted, and that the "Egyptians are men and not God," Isaiah 31:3, to the more pressing confrontation with Assyria, for "then Assyria shall fall by a sword not man, and a sword not of mankind shall devour him, and he will flee from the sword, and his young men shall become forced labour." Indeed, it is as in Isaiah 37:21ff., where the battle remnants lie stricken by the power of God in their mass grave, ready to be surveyed by Hezekiah's delivered, pre-Messianic eye.
The word of the Lord concerning Sennacherib as in 37:17ff., is like that in Revelation where the living Word of God comes personally to impart judgment with the same protection, this time at last to the whole body of Christ, with His militant thrust of scouring ruin. When that time comes, whether in the prelude concerning Israel, or in the universal case just mentioned, it will be known who is the Lord (cf. Ezekiel 39:30-33)! It was the same in the case of Egypt's attempt to kill the Exodus! It was shown and therefore known. The entire pursuing army simply drowned as God moved in the maritimes against heartless oppression and grand display.
Grace is not another name for abandonment of judgment, but waiting, working and offering, providing peace and power and not changing for the sake of sin. It is not the eventual capitulation God so that all might be saved, and thus all lost. It is not the removal of the category of sin, or the containment of corruption (Ephesians 4:17-19). It holds back judgment till deliverance is effected, at least for the remnant, and pays for what is to be found.
Accordingly, often do you find this finale phase of judgment as in Isaiah 59:15-21, 63:2-3, 66:12-15, Deuteronomy 32:36-43, Micah 7:15-20, Ezekiel 39:17-20). In this last case the comparison of the scope and scale, nature and point of the divine confrontation, the humiliation of the smitten and the exaltation of the Lord, the enduring ignominy of the crawlers into rocks and the fulfilment with this finale of the circuit of compassion in the confines of execution is even made a matter of explicit comparison (Micah 7:15) to the earlier case in the Exodus, where an entire army was eliminated in one action. It is best not to argue with God, His word or His will or His ways. He made the earth and it is His; and He appoints it as He will.
Thus a substantial remnant of Israel is to be found in spirit and in heart, along with others coming to faith throughout the Gospel Age (Zechariah 12:10ff., 66, Isaiah 49:6), and the world will be lost (Matthew 24:35).
As with many a firm, there are two base features - the site/equipment on the one hand, and the function/purpose on the other.
Israel is not markedly different in this respect. God set up the site from among His possessions, and knew its purpose. Both of these, the He stated and defined in detail. When it comes primarily to the purpose, there is one type of act more prominent, and when it comes to the purpose ON the site, there is another priority. The failure, indeed, for Israel to receive it, becomes crucial (cf. Micah 5:1-5).
When however it IS a matter of the site (as in recent terms, in the matter of the Twin Towers in the USA, to draw a parallel), God deals with site-safety and preservation also, as He sees not only fit but fitting. Sometimes He creates such a contrast between the ways of Israel's enemies who had subdued and abased it, and the way in which, in counter-assault, that He ensured that their roles were REVERSED (as in Isaiah 51:21-23), that a certain mockery of the mockers is not lacking! Yet as in Leviticus 26, in its predictions, there was to be a long period of exile, so there has been, through unbelief; and as in Deuteronomy 32, Ezekiel 36-39 et al., there was to a return in grace and faithfulness to the assigned land, so there also has been. It is after this return (Ezekiel 36-37), that the site security reaches its height, in divine use of power to overturn the invaders, assailants, proud and arrogant despisers of the race and the land. He defends the land (Zechariah 12, Ezekiel 38-39, Micah 7); and in fact does rather more.
What then ? God has delivered the land of Israel; and He has done it very often (cf. Ezekiel 20), often despite their ways, and sometimes successively, describing some of these cases prophetically first. He may do this with a view to later points and uses*1; God is very deep. On the other hand, He has at times deliberately let the land go for a period in instructive challenge to the people. He has brought back the people to the land after a long period, and instituted for that land in that purpose, an inviolable status, not for incursions and raids, but for existence. He has thoughts in view (cf. Ezekiel 38-39), and even spells out some of these in the most direct fashion, using land as a teaching aid! (cf. Ezekiel 39:21ff.).
That is as predicted, in Luke 21:24, Micah 6-7, Ezekiel 36-39, Zechariah 13-14, Isaiah 42-49, 66, for example, and in a certain profundity, in the end of Chs. 30-31,33 of Jeremiah. The people have a certain future, which involves the land, so that latter comes with it. This involves military overthrow with vehement and gross effect, for the insatiable invaders, and the lovers of ignominy for Israel, which indeed had enough for which to suffer. Much of the military scenario has already been meticulously fulfilled and makes up some of the most momentous dramas of modern history (1948, 1956, 1967, 1973). The complete fulfilment comes in due course when the spiritual prelude makes that fitting (Zechariah 12-14)*X.
Neither site-control nor people provision and purpose for the site, is the same . They are totally different questions analytically. There is Gospel promise as to all, a universal premiss, and the land promise to some, the broadcasting site and the people who are to do it. They relate, but have different criterion, modes of working, tools and impact agencies. To confound, to use Shakespeare, the two elements is where confusion has its masterpiece.
James, in Acts 15, uses Amos 9:11 to point to a new temple, that of faith, and a new use, that of the new covenant, to explain the raising up of "the tabernacle of David which has fallen down, and repair its damages, and repair its ruins." This in the Amos text was to lead to the relevant "possession of Edom and all the Gentiles."
How is Israel to do this ? It is by the expansionist, religious thrust based and symbolised in the temple but essentialised in the Gospel; and to this James succinctly refers. How did the blessing of Abraham (Genesis 12), relate to the nations, the Gentiles ? It was, as progressively revealed, through the Gospel, a new covenant in a new "tabernacle". The one that possesses the nations is that fit for them, as in Isaiah 4:4-6, 16,4-5, 42:1-9, the King who is given as a covenant (Isaiah 49:8), the instrument of righteousness for the peoples (Psalm 22, 89:19ff., 72:8-20).
Less succinct is the delighted reference of Zechariah 12-13 to the most explicit conversion of a multitude of Israel to the Gospel, focussing on the Messiah whom they slew and their coming repentance for that action and dismissal which led to so much for so many, in its inversion of blessing into cursing.
Thus the people in this case first return to the land as in Ezekiel 36-37, that the spiritual transformation and faithful fulfilment may be made, and after many remarkable wars as in Zechariah 12, leading on to that vast thrust in the land to conversion to Christ, proceed where that conversion has come, to the expansion of all it has stood for, into the world where the Lord becomes Lord for whole multitudes. It is then able to co-operate with and as part of the Christian Church as in Isaiah 66 and Micah 5.
But this is not all. The actions in view occur in a place (Zechariah 12:6), incisively defined, from the time when it was a cup of drunkenness (12:2), to a place of missionary action (Amos 9:11ff.), a place of contrast of past and present because of stipulated spiritual dynamic in the very heartland of conversion. The surrounding peoples, we read, about Jerusalem are there, but Jerusalem "shall be inhabited in her own place - Jerusalem", 12:6, not failing to remind us what that place is.
But let us return to the locale of James' citation, namely Amos 9, and proceed to the end of the Chapter following this. After the temple figure, which James notes and applies, we have the land mass. "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, when the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of gapes him who sows seed: the mountains shall drip with sweet wne, and all the hills shall flow with it."
Indeed, summing up, He says: "I will plant them in their land," which as we have already seen in Zechariah, is noted in contradistinction from neighbours in theirs. Thus the second entailment, the site, comes to complete the first, the purpose, and it enables its reinforcement.
Thus the site comes into its own, the purpose already launched into its vast course in the Gospel, and this is to be when ? After the vast national conversion which so incisively descends from above into the hearts of so many of the inhabitants, the land comes into focus in its sense of continuity as in the pattern of Ezekiel 37, and relevance to the entire historical plenum which is revealed. Back by grace (Ezekiel 36:22) to the special site for their service they come, to the purpose concerning themselves, and after its fulfilment in vast thrust symbolically while the people is out of its land and debarred from it (9:11-12), now in open face, as a nation, they show as such in example what they had first to attest (Amos 9:13-15). The parts of the theme and the essence of the drama, all attest by this stage the fulness of the plans, and wonder of the conceptions, the endurance of the patience and the elements of the sheer splendour of it all, to the uttermost. In all this now, Christ is exalted over the many streams, now all come to Him (cf. Ezekiel 37:24-28).
God is like that. He is very reliable, faithful; you can be assured of and in Him!
IV Never Time for Replacement Theology,
or Defacement Theology:
when Salvation Meets Slaughter
Each Context Needs Fidelity,
As to site assault, that lustful aggression, Assyria has supplied it in type, with all the vigour of Pharaoh-like unabashed passion, and meets its end with emphasis on the spiritual violation, as we proceed to the spiritual sequence to the Messiah; King Hezekiah has supplied the prelude warning in the type-antitype realm; the nations first in forays specified against Israel to which the Lord gives in the end a torrent of blood that is not His (Isaiah 37; 36-38). In the end, as they seek as if endlessly to crush what He has appointed, and to discipline further what HE has disciplined, they move past a preserved Israel, and then positively seek to overthrow Him direct, whose word they assaulted and whose Person seemed not to great to multitudinously attack.
Thus is it in Revelation 19:19, where in their dissolute perversion and angrily irrelevant power, the nations aspire to meet the Omnipotent, and to overthrow the Almighty. If they long seek to afflict what God appoints to its place for His many purposes (cf. Genesis 17:7ff., Isaiah 43:21), then it at last becomes thinkable to meet in conflict their own Maker, the Appointer of place, so meeting the might of God Himself.
Meanwhile Ariel, Israel itself (Isaiah 29) is brought to judgment in its earlier day: "You shall be brought down; you shall speak out of the ground," 29:4. Equal to a pestilential dream will be its plight; but she will be delivered out of it (29:22-24). This name has abruptly defined the erring Israel before its calamities were changed at last to triumph in Christ: "the lion of God." Its history and nature are well-defined and unique, a desolation of the exalted following its arising, and a restoration of the displaced, coming at length to the Gospel. It is in fact meaningless without their specifics and nature exceedingly as so often, exposed. There is no other such collection of entities, of elements, of items, but this, so well typified and defined. Any attempt to make it fit another cultural episode, another people, let alone one defined in terms of light and grace, is not only vain but a violation. Nor is there any other God than He who enunciated the purposes for this called people (Isaiah 43:21, Deuteronomy); and it has all along been in the efforts to grab the land, an assault on the word of God and so on Him who speaks, so that the culmination is only 'natural'.
The cultural captivity of what is sometimes a fever in the Church and sometimes a captivity in what used to be it, but now has changed as culture sweeps up like a plague to kill, has gone far since 'liberal days' in daring to confront the word of God where it speaks, as if it were a stuck record, and different aspects of diverse matters could not be with profit considered, each in its case. It is rather like someone fascinated with the landing wheels of a giant aeroplane, always noticing its landing," but never noticing in what country or for what purpose!
Back to their land at length come the blind people, the servants of God who are blind as they come (cf. Isaiah 42:14-25), occupying themselves in what is presented as virtually a dedicated deafness, making their name adverse and their dysfunction in the will of God for them, in glaring contrast to the assignment! Yet in grace, the captives of the mighty, they will now be removed from the oppression (49:25), and the erstwhile oppressors will come to be those whom the Lord (49:26) "will feed with their own flesh," as He restores their former victims.
What then, "Israel" can mean the Christian Church (Galatians 6:16), but only by a leap (I Peter 2:9ff.), where ingredients attest this figurative liberty, as in any imaginative presentation. Making its data contrary to normal in any context, requires the stimulus for this approach, the warrant for so interpreting a figure. Otherwise avoiding defined contextual content resembles obsessive compulsion to flirt with fancy and invent the very speech of God, however little this is realised.
This becomes a sidestepping of the actual point. It is as in Isaiah 29:9-14, where in a figure, even given the word of God they somehow invent means to sheer off any hope of knowing its meaning. There they ran with it; here they run from it. In either case, it goes!
So it is, then, with the variable use of figurative speech, not dependent on context for its meaning, but rather violating it. It brings us to that the horrid applicability of Mark 7, which here comes to play: "their fear towards Me As in their forsaken paths, they get honour from one another (John 5) in terms of tradition, so the position of the word of God becomes a mere suggestion for the wise!
It is then that an often splendid inheritance, as in some Reformed Churches can become all but a tilt of pride, as Israel is attacked by a derelict theology found in misplaced, misled or even misnamed churches, and a profound brutality puts forces allegedly of God into collision with His stated wishes (cf. Department of Biblical Studies ... Volume 5, Chs. 4 and 5). Such as make these errors might do well to study Isaiah 51:22-23, and to put fidelity to the word of God, in all its subjects and allusions and particulars and changing scenes in terms of inviolable principles of promise and power, before the honour of men and the abeyance before tradition, whether realised initially, or not! What is written is what is to be interpreted: not what is written in! Israel is certainly replaced as in Romans 11, in its due and appointed work and privileged mission, by the Christian Church while it continues in unbelief following the State crucifixion of Christ. Paul would not have us ignorant that it THEN, at a certain TIME, returns to its lost status, just as surely as it was breached. While it is not exalted in and for itself (none is, but Christ), its degradation, destruction and exile is cancelled, its pardon is achieved (Zechariah 12) and its place is defended with enormous power coming to a confrontation with those who got too accustomed to downgrading it as if the task were theirs, and destroying it as if they were awful handmaidens of some crazed philosophy.
This fabrication which can lead from such fascination with a negative phase, as in the insistent inward thrust and exclusivist pre-occupation found in Replacement Theology, is commonplace. It occurs where an occasional mode is replaced by a monopolistic constraint, and Israel, a fallen nation, is replaced by a Christ-exalting one (the New Covenant Church), even often contrary to context, in a facile habit frequently as if by an apparent compulsion, an area of action seduced into a pseudo-automatic selection of this phase as if eternal, an almost routine obsession.
So it becomes the traditionalistic bypass; but it is not alone, as noted above. It is able at times itself to be replaced by the its opposite. In this Israel, instead of exalted, is glorified, its way exalted, and in that case, contrary to Isaiah 30, you find that you gain Defacement Theology! The symbolic past then becomes the repressive present, or the divine rescue of Israel from oblivion, transmorphs into the assertion of greatness, while the wonder due to the atonement becomes somewhat smitten with that not so due to its earlier proponents, whether in animal sacrifice or symbol. Whatever tends to downgrade the authenticity of what biblically always exalts Christ differentially, must be watched (Galatians 6:14). What exalts Christ is fidelity to His word.
Yet nothing is to be permitted to subdue the word of God, whether it is the exaltation of one nation or its debasement with equal violation of contextual force for a given reading; far less an ignoring of gross and crucial features, such as the explicit teaching of the word of God in any case, or the principles which it has laid down. Neither adding to it nor subtracting from it (Deuteronomy 4, and 12, Proverbs 30:6) is the best way to do this, since God knows what He is doing. It is, after all, HIS word. If anyone wants to find out what God is thinking and declaring, read it, but do not add what the context lacks, or swim into fanciful waters, where it is found more attractive.
In so setting His word above all His name (Psalm 138), God shows two things: the exquisite intensity of His regard for His word, with all its heights, depths and scope, stability and truth, and the unfailing faithfulness of His love (James 1:12) as in Romans 8 and Ephesians 3, where it is more brilliantly important than the entire physical universe (John 3. Jeremiah 30, 33). If anything therefore approaches becoming a mull-headed lack of concern for accuracy in rendering this phase of Bible teaching, this may readily become multi-dimensional failure, ready to mount assault, attack, as now with many, not only on the unholy nation that comes to repentance in God's own time, but on God Himself, thus coming near the ultimate in ultimate misdirection.
DBSA is the acronym for Department of Bible and Spiritual Affairs,
an extensive and recent set of volumes.
Numbers refer first to volumes, then to chapters within the volume noted.
DBSA 4 the acme of uselessness: desecration: in the wonder of unwisdom unfolds,
force now freely but futilely used to replace reason in creation
DBSA 8,14 Try Making the World ... How would you proceed ?
DBSA 8,15 Trying Making Man.
DBSA 9, 2 The Irrevocable Testimony of Creation
Ordered Overview of Creation, Desecration, Salvation and Judgment
DBSA 10, 15 Putting it all together when it is not there!
Exercises in futility: the basis of the organic evolutionary tragi-comedy,
like a circus Punch and Judy show, mistaken for an actual household.
Also see Fourth New Chapter above.
DBSA 5,9 Apologetic Method, Direct Reason to Revelation
with Aporchestra (RDRIBCA - formal title of method here used in Biblical Christian Apologetics)
Also to the point is THE BRIGHT LIGHT AND THE UNCOMPREHENDING DARKNESS Ch. 7, recently extended. It deals with reason and faith.
Possess Your Possessions (PP) Volume 10, 1, Lord and Man -
The Sort of Sovereignty that Every Man Should Want
DBSA 8,7 When God says Love, He means It
DBSA 11,1 Rejoicing in the Sovereignty of the Inimitable God
PREDESTINATION AND FOREKNOWLEDGE MORE GENERALLY
PP 10,6 Esau is in no et cetera class - here we see the Magnificence and Scope of the Mercy of the Lord,
and His Gracious Foreknowledge and Predestination. Chapter heading: Rejoicing in the
Eternal Truth and Great Mercy of God.
DBSA 6,10 The Will of Man in the Grandeur of God
DBSA 9, 5 What God would have! and prefers not to force, being love!
DBSA 9, 6 Predestination and creation,
DBSA 10,7, Predestination
THE LITTLE MATTER OF ISRAEL AND ADJOINING AGENCIES
DBSA 5, 5 - The Little Matter of Israel, 10,14 Israel, the UN and the US
DBSA 6, 15 Israel the Wonder worked with Authority,
in process of resurrection, the best to come within the heart,
just as Christ did it in one, having a body in view (I Cor. 15),
with no sin to delay its fulfilment of rot-rejection.
DBSA 7,2 Give Israel its Place ... is it to hard to realise ?
DBSA 8,1 Directions from God to Man - the Special Case of Israel
DBSA 9,1 Distinctive Beginnings to a Late Flowering Autumn of Grace
for the believing remnants of h all nations
DBSA 9, 10
THE CASE OF NO GRACE
Internationally Recognised Genocide ?
News 483 appears above.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN DEAD, DISINTEGRATING
AND CULTURALLY CAPTIVE SOCIETIES
and FREEDOM TO DIE, BE FINED, TORTURED OR DISRUPTED
DBSA 6,2 The Price of Freedom and the Necessity of Liberty in this present world
DBSA 8, 4 Ethnicity and the City - the emotional riot and the recess of reason
What Bids Fair to become a Contemporary Illustration
DBSA 5, 8 Ukraine in lock step to the national gallows ?
DBSA 8, 10
A Little More Schnapps ? or is it Vodka ?
News August 30, 2014
The Times is cited in Feb 14, 2015 Edition of The Australian, p. 11, and in this is further report,
to be direct, on the bamboozlement program, earlier cited in terms of a Russian training instruction manual for armed forces. You move a little, destabilise a lot, use verbal and territorial, military and deft motions to mislead, upset, bring no peace, until your prey gradually becomes more inert, manipulated into confusion, and falls like a stricken ox. That at least was the general kind of scenario cited.
Now under the heading Maskirovka (aptly, MASK + irovka), what was at one time a Russian name for hide-and-seek becomes transmorphed into more adult usage - in a pejorative but military sense. In the Times article, the definition is cited from a Russian military encyclopedia, thus: it is
"complexity of measures, directed to mislead the enemy regarding the presence
and disposition of force, military objectives, combat readiness and operations."
It is one thing, however, to fight with effort to overcome by subtlety, but quite another to move towards becoming an enemy of truth when a state of war is not even acknowledged. Thus, many movements proceed in the realms of hidden forces, apparent diplomacy, negotiations and minor invasions and maxi-lies, while the hypocritical appearance of peace-seeking is mere cover for actual violent aggression and impact of a depersonalising thumb, where truth is dressed up and trussed up, and finds no place. Small wonder the kingdom of heaven - "My kingdom" as Christ declared it so very rightly, is "not of this world."
You can have a hundred this worlds, and yet add nothing but evil in such arenas. True, some nations have had significant impact from the Gospel and one Empire used the name of the Lord, in terms of the Bible and the Protestant faith, for many years, but all now lag, and some leap away.
In the end, as in Revelation 19, the Lord Himself brings the remedy in Person, so that "the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever," Revelation 11:15. History meanwhile is divinely used to show how to His divine rule there is no alternative, with a deliciously deft hand, exposing the very evils of the great, to underline the point, over and over, till it is the aggressive manipulators and power seekers who become confused, misusers of man, rejectors of grace, awaiting the judgment of God, except they repent - as did Nebuchadnezzar.
THE PLACE OF FORCE IN RELIGION,
MASQUERADING AS FAITH,
WITH THE MULTI-PARTITE TESTIMONY OF ISLAM
GIVEN SPECIAL REVIEW,
THE BIBLE MEANWHILE SHOWN
TO LACK ALL COMPARISON ON A LOGICAL BASIS,
ITS COVER FROM THE FIRST TO THE LAST,
FROM SIN TO PROMISED AND PERFORMED SALVATION,
FROM CONSCIOUSNESS TO SPIRIT,
ALL CONCEPTUALLY CONSISTENT AND ITS WORD
COMPREHENSIVE IN COVER
DBSA 4, 2 Exposing Review of Many Features, including the above,
and the tendency towards religions of irrationality where the truth is not to taste.
DBSA 8,8 Underlying Islam is the Koran, and in this and the conduct of Islam through the 1400 or so years of its existence, it is possible to misalign it, and to be blind to essential features, which are not unusual in the pathways of man. Variable ways of handling it, do not dismiss its well-attested base.
DBSA 10,1 So many are biting and kicking, closing down lives and mouths,
in order to rule this little globe.
Islam for example has many modes, and many seek to justify this or that one of them. The identity of God, however, past all tyranny, and of Jesus Christ the only Saviour, past all reconstructionism and plastic surgery worse then any cartoon, and subjection of the human spirit to the power-play of man, with merely mysterious authority, is not up for grabs. His word rules as nothing else does, could, or has done, and will do so, till all the chameleon play of man is over, and the stark reality of His truth is all that is left. It is HE who does it, and attempts to vest it in this or that body do not last, for all that at this or that time, they swell with hope to become the very last thing! They do not last. God outlasts every one of them from first with Adam to last in the antichrist as in Revelation 19, and in the meantime He as always, does just what He says in His word, the Bible, that distinctive directory for history and life.
A small citation from this Chapter may help one to find what is being sought.
In the end, virtually every folly of mind and force of arrogance will have been used in efforts to show the world, rule the world, instruct the world, take over the world, subdue the world in myths, like Darwinism (cf. Secular Myths and Sacred Truth), over the passing millenia. When God calls a halt in no halting manner, it will all have been attested and shown up in the laboratory of history, its claims and its actions able to be displayed as mismatches, and its follies discernible in the outcomes; while truth, never damaged but always as revealed in Christ Jesus, from millenium to millenium, prophecy to performance, as now but then yet more amply, will be seen in the overarching vision of history, as what has been reliable, if rather rarely used by any nation, in all things verified and justified.