AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH January 1, 2012
Presbyterian Church following the Bible without Qualification
and Christ without Compromise by Faith
in agreement with the thrust of the 1901 Constitution of the PC of Australia
'BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW,'
A HAPPY NEW YEAR ?
some are to have it,
some are not:
there is human input and divine output,
and some are put out by their input, and remain so;
while some are enabled to enter the kingdom of heaven,
and to be occupied in, with and for Him,
till He comes (I Corinthians 11,Luke 19:13).
Are you one ? Make sure of it.
NEW DAYS AND NEW YEARS
THAT HAVE BEEN
NEW DAYS AND NEW YEARS THAT HAVE BEEN
What a privilege to be able to write above that it is the very first day of the new year, 2012!
What a wonder it will be when following the final judgment as in Revelation 20:11ff., there is simply found NO MORE PLACE for the heavens or the earth. What a place they have occupied in the old ages, and how many have sold themselves for a higher place to be gained, in imagination, within these vast walls, that began, that were made firm, that grow old (Isaiah 51:6), and that are the ultimate in ageing, and being dismissed are gone! This house goes, and it was fittingly for the majesty of the everlasting God, a large one, like a giant sheep station with just a little quarter acre house and garden on it, our earth unique amid the heavens. Its title deeds say, 'temporary dwelling place' and its cry is, Only for now!
The astrophysicist, Dr Jason Lisle has emphasised the beauty of much in the world of astronomy, just as there are sure signals that it is far from the vast age that is often assigned to it, in a current popular fashion. This myth is made, despite its endless confrontations with contrary evidence, whether in the recession of the moon, the rate of loss of earth's magnetic field, as investigated with experimental confirmation by Dr Humphreys, the cooling of the earth, the anomalous array of large blocks of configured matter and structural composition in what are deemed earliest segments of space, the concentration of salts in the sea, or the abundance of well preserved DNA, itself of relatively short duration, in allegedly ancient rocks. This imaginary earth in imaginary heavens, it is a misfit colony; for its time is short and its end is near.
It began, and is constantly degrading its energy. Man began and his genome is constantly decaying. Life began and from the start its cells are shown not only to be only vastly complex, but in them, is a language book for life construction, as it is repeatedly seen before our very eyes, constructed ever new by mini-machines and command..
The first man began a fresh year. It was the first new year. He sinned and began a new phase. He sacrificed and found a new open door to grace. He failed and had a New Flood Year, on which but few sailed to relief. The New Year of the rescued race began and it led on to the New Nation, Israel which too soon showed an old path, that of ruin, but the end was not yet. It was swallowed up in the Gentiles, in a New Exile, which has lasted nearly two millenia. Why ?They crucified Him, Israel together with Rome, and even buried the Christ who came in flesh from heaven, to offer salvation to all men (Micah 5:1-3, John 3:15ff.). That death could not hold His resurrected body did not diminish their guilt (Acts 2:24-31), though it did provide the crucial power basis of the Gospel for those who believe: heal the sick, raise the dead ? yes, and His own body also.
From this due exile, that nation has returned in a very happy New Year for Israel, announced in May 1948, and this has brought a New Age of devilish attempts to reduce Israel to ruin, shove it into the sea, annihilate it or whatever other thoughts occur to its many enemies, who evidently cannot stand seeing God do EXACTLY as He pleases, always fulfilling every particle of His word. This He will do with His spiritual panache, power and majesty (Micah 7, Isaiah 66), leading on to the final confrontation (Revelation 19-20), with manacled man, who was made free but often remains in spiritual bondage, even prizing his bonds (John 8:34-36).
Before that, there was a New Day, when the Reformation broke the bonds of a hideous elevation of man to have the power of God though in what still called itself the Church, he and his able to declare doom or otherwise by priestly power, adding a pseudo-imperial power to the humility of His Church. That NEVER elevates itself, for what elevates itself will assuredly be humbled, as will Rome according to Revelation 18-19, type and illustration of the prototype of Babylon. But its New and Sad Day which shone but darkly with the elevation of spiritual faithfulness into the cult of temporal power on this earth - was not so well represented by the One who hung on the cross for the satisfaction of the power of sin in the agony of life, for love spilt to cover it. Nor did it represent Him!
The Happy New Year of the Reformation was like a vast cleansing, and it has lasted for some half a millenium, though now not only to Rome, but to all kinds of synthetic Christianities, men flock as foretold in II Timothy 3-4, in a very Unhappy New Day of dereliction of duty, misuse of the name of Christ, and soon the day of the man of sin, the dynamic of doom is to come, and that day will be sultry with soulless unspirituality, amid gutting instead of godliness; but it too will pass.
THE SLEEPY AND SPIRITUAL NEW YEARS
Amid all these New Years, New Days and things that have come, in most cases only to go, there has been one sort of New Year which has occurred in them all. It is represented in the Parable of Jesus in Matthew 25:1-3. The five wise virgins were waiting, though with others they could sleep in the night, having made provision for adequate oil for light with which to welcome the bridegroom, whom Christ also elsewhere represented as a nobleman who had gone on a long journey, but would return (Luke 19:12). In that case, his people, at his departure sent a message after him, declaring,
We will not have this man to rule over us!
It was a very costly message both from Israel (per Sanhedrin) and Rome (per Pilate, Governor), and both have had a future which tilted to disaster. In Israel's case, this is already largely past as it prepares to repent. In that of Rome, however which has increased its follies as noted, it comes to an end which wraps up in 'mystery Babylon', a vast array of equally apostate movements in the past (Revelation 17). Its New Year to come, alas, is one of astonishment to the many merchants who have profited from her (18:9ff.) as it is destroyed (cf. SMR pp. 946ff.) and they see its ruin.
The burning of this religious epicentre of the earthquake of human elevation before God, arising like vast heaving mountains, it will come; but this is merely the fate to come of a city centre. It is horrendous because of the souls of those enslaved in what it represents. But there are many other ways of having the New Day to become instead merely one of new sins, as many fall in this hour, to endless sects, strifes, murders, killing and being killed, amid a writhing multitude of man-slayers, as in Revelation 6 in its prediction of life mesmerised by death, and death-dealing!
Before it comes to that, then, remember the day of spiritual regeneration, when all things to your awakened soul and life become new! (II Corinthians 5:17). Whether for King David or for Samuel, for Rutherford or Wyclif, such is and has been a new day, now well under way!
That day, it is for one as for all who come to Him who came to us. It is the start of a Very Happy New Year, for it is close to the return of Jesus Christ (as in Acts 1), in the time assigned but kept secret to overcome hypocrites by surprise. Hypocrites ? yes, for there are many, and do you notice that in Christ's parable of the ten virgins, waiting for His return, HALF are asleep and HALF are, at least in heart, awake! Their lights shine, do not go out, and fresh oil is available. This is not a mathematical lesson but it is clear that a vast multitude of false pretenders and confused spiritual relics will be on the earth when He returns, a Happy New Year indeed for those who then, at last lifted from this increasingly forlorn and rubbled earth, are moved into the eternal heavens of the Everlasting God, to be with Him.
THE HAPPIEST NEW YEAR
A happy New Year to all, then, and find it in the Endlessly Happy New Day of Deliverance, better than Normandy and its second front, for this is the Entry to Eternal Day. But who enter ? This is the Second Birthday celebration for many, since their first Happy Birthday came when they passed out of the darkness of spiritual slumber, eyes shut, into the light of life. As Christ declared (John 8:12),
the light of the world.
He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness,
but have the light of life."
Brothers and sisters, you rejoice in Him now, but this is during the war (Ephesians 6). When it is over and the Happy New Year of Christ's return comes to stay, and we with Him, your sorrows which you endure bravely, will become the sights and you will inhabit the site of salvation, complete in the harmonious contours of heaven itself (Revelation 7), with a vast multitude who have had a Happy New Day when they also found Christ, and now are led forth by the Shepherd of souls; for there are many under-shepherds, both good and bad; but there is only one Shepherd (Psalm 23, Psalm 62).
But some are asleep even in heart, who name Christ, who await deliverance, or who have a sense of good to come. They are not wrong in the good to come, but many falsely imagine it is for them. Therefore to any such, the word is this:
Make your Happy New Year a reality by turning it into a Happy New Life by awakening from sleep, before the 'bridegroom' comes; for many will be shut out, because they were not founded on a rock in their spiritual homes, while they slept.
Why did they not provide for eternal life, oil ever available for all purposes ? It is because lacking the light of life, their makeshift bits of oil ended while they slumbered into spiritual stupidity. Why was this so ? It is because as sinners we have no wisdom without the life in the salvation of the Lord. They, too late, wanted to grab what must be eternally supplied by the divine Giver, and having merely token oil about the house, did not have a guaranteed supply, so that their lights went out.
They became careless slumberers in war, inert when each day is precious. Make it not so with you, but go if not already, where there is eternal supply (John 7:37ff., 4:14), and it will indeed be what I wish you all, a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR. Then your watch will be luminous, and for the day, you will be indeed awake with your light shining. Put your trust in the Lord of hosts, not a 'host' of man's making, for His words are life and they are Spirit as He defined the whole matter (John 6:47-62); for He is the living God and not movable by man in anything; and He, being man (Hebrews 2) is in heaven (Acts 3:19ff.), and not on earth. Yet soon He WILL be! Make peace with God through the blood of Christ, sacrificed, His life for yours, and so become adopted by Him whose resurrection day is the prelude to the Day of His Return (John 6:47, 54-62, 5:24, 4:14), first to resurrect His redeemed people.
Remember, that happy and most blessed day comes before the judgment of all. It is when, this past, that God who has made so many happy new years in the past, despite the slumbers of man, when dead to the light, MAKES ALL THINGS NEW. New already in heart and spirit to HIS people (II Corinthians 5:17ff.), then there will be given an experience like that of birth, more like that of new birth, when the devastated world on which so many have set their feet as a foundation, in its very form and fashion passes away (I Corinthians 7), so that only air remains, and yes, not even that (II Peter 3, Matthew 24:35). That, it is by the edict of Christ, the ONLY Master spiritually given to men, in the name of the only spiritual Father there is, the Father of spirits (Matthew 23:8-10). Man ? he proposes, God ? HE disposes! (Proverbs 16:13). It goes, but our God remains, and we who are His, with Him. Imagine to be with Him as His adopted child!
It is, in this life, all or nothing, and happy is the New Year in which 'nothing' becomes 'all' as your inheritance (Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:32), reserved with the new body to come for it, in heaven (I Peter 1:3-8, II Corinthians 5). It is then that in maximal felicity one finds, like a child new born into a new world on a new day, "Behold, I make all things new!" (Rev. 21:5).
As to God, He is very reasonable (Isaiah 1:18), for though your sins be as scarlet, He makes them white as snow, as your Saviour and resident President; and as to all of us, we are very responsible (Luke 19:11-19). There is indeed an attention deficit, but not as currently imagined for the wayward who love to rebel not merely from man but from God. Needed ? it is the attention of being in heart, AWAKE! like the wise virgins, knowing whose you are, what is His will and, having made provision never to lack oil, proceed with the DOING of the same will of God (Matthew 7:21ff.). It is not too hard ... (I John 5. 3-6), for
is he who overcomes the world
but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God ?" -
not of man's making, but of a virgin's birth, not of man's thought, but of the biblical account, not to join in a salvation job with you, but as sole Saviour by His blood, and sole Lord by His power. You find truth in the Trinity, in Him who sent, Him who came and Him who applies it to the heart, the very Spirit of God (John 16, II Corinthians 3:17ff.).
May God bless you in the coming year, and may your light so shine that men may see your good works and glorify God.