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ON THE MIDDLE EAST
Considerations in Couplets
PART II - THE SECOND TWO CHOIRS
THIRD CHOIR: TENOR
(because it can be very affecting)
a) In Christ is the hospice for the fallen, the inn for the stricken, the rock for the movable, the foundation for the flighty, the resource for the enquiring, the strength for the appalled, the laughter for the sorrowing, the grief for the flippant, the depth for the superficial, the height for the pedestrian, the wonder for the cynical, the realism for the sceptic, the monument for the plain, the great tree for the restless birds, the voice for the nameless, the name for the voiceless. In Him is the shadow of a mighty rock, and refreshing in a weary land (cf. Isaiah 32:1ff., 33:17ff., 28:16, 32:17ff., 27:5, 33:6, Philippians 3:12ff., Ephesians 1:17-19, 3:6).
b) Middle Justice is similarly at Calvary, focussed, featured in the disfigured features of Jesus the Christ, regal in His regicide, noble in His rejection, pure in His deprivation. Hence is the huge deficit made up, the enormous debt repaid, the element of reality met with reality, and the message of love ducted into the cooling vents of beauty. He paid what we should; He gives what we cannot; He has made what only the Creator could: peace with God for the afflicted, rest for the troubled conscience, strength for the inveterate weakness, worse then any disease, triumph for the jaded. He does it in JUSTICE, since justly, the just for the unjust (I Peter 3:18, Romans 3:25-26).
Having met the burden, carried the load, He now pardons as a matter of justice. What is paid for the repentant and received sinner, is not to be paid any more! (hence, we read this for the Christian, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and JUST to forgive us our sins, in I John 1:9). Redeemed, his life is eternal, through the justice of generosity, and the liberality of precision.
a) Middle Loom, and
b) Middle Doom.
in the Middle East, was the Loom on which salvation was woven, like the
clothes of the High Priest in Exodus; yet here the clothing is not material,
but material rather for salvation. Its substance is spiritual, but its
cloth is physical. Its pattern is godliness, its fabric is humanity. God
became man that man might become acceptable with God, know God, and seeking,
find Him at hand, available, with all ticketing done! You see in Isaiah
22, the picture of all the vestments and priestly paraphernalia, the costumes
and the implements of the covenant in the temple, hung on a nail. The nail
is cut. It all falls. Christ is the nail, so that, to change the image
but maintain the point, in Zechariah 3:9, you read this:
"For behold, the stoneThis is Isaiah 53:3-5, where for the believers whose healing He has wrought, you find: "On Him was laid the iniquity of us all. "
That I have laid before Joshua.
Upon the stone are seven eyes,
Behold I will engrave its inscription,
Says the LORD of hosts,
And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day."
b) Here also lies the DOOM of pretence and pretension, as in Isaiah 23:9:
When the LORD destroys the temple act of the antichrist, and the Armageddon acts of the nations, it will be as it is in fact, so in appearance (from Isaiah 2:12-18):
The idols of ideologies, and the idols of psychic powers, the idols of satanic helps, and of psychotic ambitions, the idols of a universe for man, of a self-made universe, worshipped as if God, followed as if Christ, the seductions of philosophy, the sedulosities of pseudo-science, all will be deposited like laundered money, in the vaults of ruin.
a) Middle Guest
b) Middle Lest
a) The Guest of the Middle East ? Christ born in the hotel room supplied - a manger, trough for eating, unfit for man, as man was unfit for Him. The unfitness for man was man's gulf of sin, cutting off the purity and power of the Eternal God. His place was eternity, ours sin. It did not fit. It was not appealing to multitudes. A manger is fine for spiritual things, the Spiritual Person who made us. Man too was unfit for Him: the measure of His wonder was the measure of our double depravity, the Fall and the result, the creation mode, defiled past recognition.
But precisely His unfitness was His fitness, for what rendered Him unfit in the world's eyes, was His fitness. His fitness was NOT to survive but to do what was fitting, which was to die that we might live.
As a result He could and did declaim: Except
you repent, you shall all likewise perish,
on the occasion of queries arising as to WHY some people died by the extraordinary and seemingly extravagant means of having a tower, as they passed, fall on them (Luke 13). For how many scores of years had it stood, and how many thousands had passed by it in safety; but on some, it fell. Suddenly it was there, when they were, and not there, and they were not there, for it fell ... on them. NOT for their special sin, Christ indicated, did this happen, but it was a sign. EXCEPT, He stated, YOU REPENT, you will all likewise perish. There is not only NO GUARANTEE as to your standing and safety, but there is the absolute certainty that what this symbolised on earth, will be your lot in after-life, when the pilgrimage is over and your totally uncovered state in sin is revealed and rubbished.
we forget Gethsemane... goes the hymn, lead us to Calvary.
LEST you repent you shall perish.
a) Middle Practicalities
b) Middle Actuality
a) Ezekiel 34 shows God, disgusted with the delinquencies of false and reprobate shepherds, self-servers, impure, unfeeling, indicates that as to this work of shepherding, HE will do it Himself. The failure to seek the straying and salve the afflicted is deadly. HE will COME in His own Person and do it as it ought to be done. Thus you see in Christ the amazing bursts of healing, as if there would be and could be no limit, in Mark 1:40ff., 3:3ff., 3:9-12, 5:8ff., 5:32ff., 6:41ff., 6:56, Luke 4:40ff., 5:23ff., Matthew 8:16-17.
In this, His own virtue, power and presence were at cost, and in His discretion, enlarged in mercy as He preached the kingdom of heaven, He used this bearing the savour of His kindness, to bring relief, so that all might know there is no limit to His love. Yet there is privilege in His decisions, and this is shown equally in the case of Epaphroditus, in Philippians 2:25-27, and Trophimus, II Timothy 4:20.
Sickness of course can for example be a) warning b) rebuke c) test and d) as in Job, opportunity to show fidelity of heart, sincerity of serviceability and purity of devotion, as may also have happened in a certain way, with Corrie ten Boom, whose sickness seemed to accentuate her love in her weakness, her heart still being as it were, beaming, though the stroke so severely limited her. The Lord however is very gracious, and His good will is kindly and compassionate. He restored Job. At times, He removes someone, like Josiah, from the evil to come.
It often appears forgotten that the removal of the righteous is not the worst thing that can happen (Isaiah 57:1, cf. Lamentations, in respect to the prior removal of Josiah!).
for His work, not merely bore rebuke, overturned verbal engines of destruction
with splendid simplicity, exposed corruption and presented truth, but bore
the iniquities of those who having served, He served yet more in this.
Past all comparison, He nevertheless met all practicalities with an amplitude
inspiring and majestic, profound and limitless.
b) "He," said Christ, "who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9)
You or I may give some touch or savour of the Lord who lives within each of His children by His Spirit (Romans 8:16, 9, Colossians 1:27, II Corinthians 2:14, John 4:14, 6:50ff.). Christ however is majestic in the total coverage: seeing Him with spiritual eyes open, IS seeing the Father. Deity is exposed by deity, infinity by infinity, the profundity of God by God, who has NO ONE even LIKE Him (Isaiah 40:18, Psalm 89:6-7).
This is the Middle Actuality, for it was in the Middle East that the heights and depths were made clear; for Christ not only showed something of the Father, to those definitively seeing Him as He is (Matthew 16:17, John 6:40), through the revelation of God in the heart and the attestation before the eyes and ears (Acts 4:19-20, 5:32); He made Him manifest. This being so, it is no vision merely, but life; so that as seen with Peter in Matthew 16:22-23, this is not open highway to following oneself, having seen so. It is worship with wonder, allegiance with understanding to which it leads, with correction as from any father, as required.
It is ALWAYS the Lord and ONLY the Lord whom one follows (John 8:12).
not replace the Lord, but rather reveals Him, who IS the Lord.
a) Middle Boy
b) Middle Toy
a) It was precisely here that God sent His only begotten Son, having selected one human being to bear Him. "...unto us a Child is born, a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder ... Everlasting Father, Prince of peace, of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end" (from Isaiah 9:6-7).
Power lust, envy (Matthew 27:18, Mark 15:10), national self-preservation (John 11:49ff.) which this false motive was assured to bring to a devastating tragedy - and pretension (Matthew 23:5-6, 14, cf. Matthew 6:2): such things let priests toy with truth (Luke 11:52) or aggressively resist it (Luke 11:53-54). their treatment of Him however was not toying, but vehement, merciless and the fulfilment of the plan of God, by which their horrors of heart were exposed at the same time as the love of God, shown in His Son. Christ bore with it, bore it, and while pronouncing judgment on irresponsible unrepentance (Luke 23:28-30), also cried repeatedly, as He was dying in the protracted way in which humanity gave a preview of the ending of its own world in the agonies brought on by its sinful ways, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!" (Luke 23:34).
a) Middle Ruth
b) Middle Truth
a) It was in the Middle East, moving between Moab and Israel, that Ruth showed her ever heralded loyalty to her mother-in-law, and in so doing, found the way of salvation, and became a progenitress, on the human side, of the Son of God.
Loyalty and faithfulness are truly beautiful things, and when they are unaccompanied by lust or selfishness, but wrought in, for and with love, their tenderness and toughness alike are more to be desired than many great paintings!
opposites are found in those who say, Well, when I said that ... there
were other circumstances (e.g. you were young and attractive); but
now the circumstances alter things (e.g. I cannot be bothered doing
what love does, but will please myself). How HARD it must be for
those women who are treated thus, and one must suppose, some men too.
b)Middle Truth: Christ the Truth incorporates all that is lovely and good, for the Truth in its integrity and righteousness knows no lie. Indeed, as the basis and builder of the universe, HE is the truth. It is not found without Him (John 14:6).
was He seen, murdered, here He mastered death, being its antidote through
His passion and purity, the plan of salvation and the strength of truth
(Hosea 13:14); and here in His rejection, is impurity, plans of perdition
and weakness of fabrication. The peace has been heated and treated to boiling
rage, war and untenable hopes and demands. You cannot, even in the middle,
have anything that lasts and lasts well, when it is simply ... untrue!
a) Middle Peace
b) Middle Crease
a) Peace ? It starts within. The Prince of Peace will give it when He comes. In His (often detested) absence, the Middle East is a scene of slaughter, violence, unfaithfulness, infidelity, precocious distrust, varied ambitions, wrath and casual murder.
It attests in micro form what it did to Him who is its Prince, and that not only for Israel, but for all (Isaiah 49:6); for He made all, and all are subject to Him, though some unrelentingly refuse the heart transplant from celestial sources which is necessary for ANY to find Him.
drives in fury to the folly which in turn rebuffs to the realisation that
it is time to seek the LORD. There is only one, the One who died, the King
who was murdered, but rose, the Creator who came to be sent, the Redeemer
whose very clothes were the subject of barter (Matthew 27:31,35), who will
in the end remedy the reprobate and recalcitrant rubbish as only He can,
and it requires.
No peace without purity is the principle; and the Person whose principles are peace in purity, donates the purity in, through and of Himself, and then performs the peace! (cf. II Cor. 5:17-21).
b) The crease ? It is like a batsman not out, who will not go out until the battle is won. Christ has already paid for those to be covered - and all are invited (Matthew 26:28, I John 2:1-2), and man is already paying, but the time for His coming is His own choice (Matthew 24:14), though it has numbers of His stated criteria objectively to fulfil, nearly all of which are now duly in place, in this, our contemporary world: such as the return of the Jews to occupy Jerusalem, its troubles, the world's scenario of increasing disaster, profligacy with the faith and dense intensity of squalling quarrels and wars, set in the raging waters of flooding destruction and earnest of yet more, of vast increment, as precisely predicted for the scenario being sequenced (Matthew 24:6,12,22, Luke 21:11,24-25).
Christ by His word controls all things, and His Spirit moves as He will (John 3), Christ redeeming those who are His through the Spirit who convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11), so that many receive Him who came for them (John 1:1-14), and hence, with "the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5), these people become "justified by His grace": so that "we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:7).
all is fulfilled in the world oceanic, astronomical (as in Rev. 6:12ff.,
8:10 cf. News 31, 74),
demographic, political, economic, personal, proclamatory of the Gospel
and in each way specified by Him in His word, He stays at His crease, batting,
the Church continues though many betray her, as Judas betrayed Him;
and He will come when all is ready, to the pavilion. First He comes like
a bridegroom (Rev. 19:7ff., Matthew 25, I Thess. 4), then as King and Judge
(Rev. 19, Zech. 14, Jude 14).
a) Middle Passion Flower
b) Middle Passion Hour
a) The passion flower symbolises the work of Him who in the Middle East carried out the eternally necessary, temporally triumphant work of the Cross (cf. Revelation 14:6, Ephesians 1:4, Galatians 6:14, Isaiah 51:16). It suggests the cross by its format, and symbolises the fruit, eternal life, with an all but inexpressibly delicious and fragrant product.
1) The Passion Hour of Christ is seen in the initial temptation as in Matthew 4, in which we find that MAN IS TO LIVE by EVERY WORD which proceeds out of the MOUTH OF GOD; and29.
2) the second is noted in the time when He prayed as in John 6, when the people had a false and foolish notion of His usability since free bread was available, and health, it seems, as if the secondary should be confused with the primary. Many have suffered this since, using means to interest in the Gospel, systematically, so that in time it tends to displace the gospel, and to mislead those who come. From all this, Christ was careful to be absent. Thus read in John 6:26ff., 43ff., esp. 48-51. Carnal music to create carnal sympathies for spiritual work is not the way. Spiritual things have spiritual modes.
One well remembers utter astonishment (and rather some dismay), to go back a generation, to find a 'conservative' and famous church, using such personages as opera singers (there seemed to be a real one) in what appeared a purely professional way. Maybe it was better than appeared; but the godly use godly things in godly ways. On the other hand, we are reminded of Jude's trenchant challenge in terms of judgment to come:Relative to God, there is the godly, and the ungodly.
"Behold the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him".
3) Similarly there was that in Gethsemane as shown in Luke 22:44-45, and
4) on the Cross itself, though His purity was so profound that He went through the predicted anguish, crying, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me!, just as scripted in Psalm 22 for this now fulfilled prediction. God who knows, and foreknew, was the God who did!
Thus the God who knows and foreknew His redeemed, whom He gained by His eternal Son, also is the God who does when we who know Him are tempted; for not only does He not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear (I Corinthians 10:13), but He grants us ALL THINGS NEEDFUL for godly living, an inestimable privilege and fabulous resource! (II Peter 1:3), granting likewise that indissoluble, irremovable and clean certainty of an inheritance which does not fade away, reserved for us in the heavens (cf. II Corinthians 4:16-5:6, II Peter 1:4, Philippians 3:20-21, II Cor. 5).
a) Christ IS the good Shepherd, fulfilling what GOD the LORD said when in Ezekiel 34, He insisted He would DO IT HIMSELF (cf. John 10:10ff., 8:58, Philippians 2:5-12. Isaiah 45:22-23, where God in insisting there is NO OTHER GOD, insists equally that every knee shall BOW TO HIM; just as it is to CHRIST this is to occur, which IS TO THE GLORY of God, since He is God, manifest in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16).
Where were His first sheep - the house of Israel, in the Middle East (Isaiah 43:21, Matthew 15:27)! MANY thousands DID come to Him from that flock, however, despite the major reaction.
Other sheep He has, and these Gentiles are then being added, and indeed from earliest times in the Church, as dramatically revealed in Acts 8, 10. Even many priests came! (Acts 6:7).
b) Middle Sherpas.
Christ the good Shepherd, like the famous Sherpas, who bear loads for others, invites us to present our burdens to Him (Matthew 11:28ff.). However, even the Sherpas who make their physical contribution, these have their own load of sin, as do others. ONLY CHRIST can take THAT burden, as we climb, unimpeded the heights of aspiration in Him, and walk in the clear celestially infused air of salvation (cf. Philippians 3:12ff.). It is marvellous to press forward and upward to that mark of the high calling in Christ (cf. II Peter 2), reinforced with assurance (I Peter 1:3ff.). THIS Shepherd NEVER FAILS and all are kept to the end by Him, who come in faith and repentance to Him as He is, not as He is manufactured by midget imaginations, who do not serve the LORD'S Christ at all (Luke 2:36, II Cor. 11, John 10:9,27-28). It is simply not possible to remove His sheep from Him. He bought them (Romans 5:1-11) and they are His (Ephesians 1:6ff.).
did this role unfold in the flesh ? In the Middle East.
FOURTH CHOIR: SOPRANO
(because it awakens)
a) Middle Rose
b) Middle Doze
The garden shows the beauty of the Lord (as in Song of Solomon cf. The Kingdom of Heaven ... Ch. 11), and the desert blossoming like the rose (and what deserts and devitalised infested swamps there were), shows the symbolism of the Lord, so perfectly and horticulturally fulfilled (as also the poetic predictions, literally fulfilled, in the storm of trees that, with its spreading branches, clouds blessedly over Israel today): Isaiah 35, 55:13, cf. SMR pp. 790ff..
Despite all the wars, there is perilous spiritual sleep, for the coming of the Lord draws near, and where is it heavier than in the ... Middle East, with its warring factions alike in being wrong, differential in being with or without the initial covenant, with its unconditional aspect. ONLY in Christ is there to be an awakening, and foolish is he/she who dreams on, because of culture or race or position or Jew or pontiff or Arab or power or prestige or imperiousness, or hatred or wrath.
There is only one Sovereign, and sedition against Him, is like having sedition against your own arms. In that case, it would be called ... a cancer!
Cancers kill; they do not help. If you want help from God, do not by any means cultivate such spiritual cancers. AS to the SLEEP, see Matthew 25:1-13, where pure formalism is seen not only hopeless, but deadly; and consider Isaiah 29:10 - in the necessary context of 28:16. As to awakening, the coming of the Lord draws near, and a careful reading of Matthew 25 may prove of vital importance to some reading this presentation. If so, may the good Lord whose mercies endure for ever, bless you.
a) Middle Ceremony
b) Middle Cemetery
The only chestnut about seminary and cemetery is not this.
a) No, rather that ceremony is the calling of the birds, as in Revelation 19:17-18, for the supper of those whose rebellious minds, fractious spirits and deadly delusions lead them actually to make war with the Lord (Rev. 19:19), an action in spirit not novel (Micah 3:5, 5:1-3).
b) This middle cemetery represents, or rather betokens the graves of the massed multinational invaders of Israel, in their multitudinous and self-assured splendour, predicted for the period of the restoration to the land and to the Lord, of many of the Jews. Ezekiel 39:13-15 shows this gruesome but fecklessly generated result of human arrogance, greed and rapacity.
Where does this occur ? Why in in the land of Israel and its vicinity, that marvellous target, now that the Jewish people are no longer so dependent on other lands, where the kindly pogroms could be used so abundantly for enrichment and terror, by those within them. Now the land itself, returned to the Jews, is the target. Those targeting it, however, in this case, the divine retribution being duly complete on Israel (as in Zechariah 11), will themselves provide a target for the wrath of the Almighty (as in Ezekiel 38:1-18, esp. 18).
We read also in Micah 7:11-15 of such developments, compared there to the glorious deliverance executed in the days of the Exodus. The Lord has left the world much freedom; but as to the world, it is not Lord, a fact it learns from time to time with much pouting, doubting, mutual clouting and flouting of laws, which nevertheless, being divinely energised, continue just the same.
Jousting with God is the end of it, and of those who turn their natural flamboyance of aggression into unmitigated conceit and harsh conquest (Ezekiel 39). This direct assault, affront and embattlement of those protected at this time and in this place by the word of God can have, and does have only one result. Appalling destruction for the invaders, deluded in auto-pilot, not considering or concerning themselves with the word of God,and His various intentions, or indeed with humanity to boot!
The ONLY CONQUEST which really matters, is that of sin in the heart through the redemption, purification, regeneration, purging and presence of the Lord. It is better to have one's spirit in the right stated and position, than to conquer any city, as Proverbs tells us. Otherwise, conquer what you will, you are yourself conquered as you conquer, and a victim however many may be your victims of passion and pride.
the end, the results will be as newspapers, as in the beginning. See A
a) Middle Seed
b) Middle Greed
a) The words of the Lord Jesus Christ have stunned the earth, shattered the sequences of sin, exposed the depths of depravity, apprised man of what may be apprehended, amended, regenerated, never extenuated, always holy in love, pure in heart and merciful in disposition. The Sermon on the Mount towers like the Rocky Mountain Chain, the ransom pours out like Niagara, and the sanctification projecting its shadows on the lake of peace, reflects the mountains of God's righteousness.
It is this word of God by which man is born again, sanctified and stirred to faith, strengthened and led; and it never returns to God void, but effects its determinate purpose (Isaiah 55). Like the words of the prophets, Christ's words were from the site of the Middle East, though commanded in heaven (John 12:48-50).
Matthew 5-7; 23; 7:15-29, 13:18ff., 20:28, I Peter 1:21-25, 2:2, James
1:18, John 12:48-50, Psalm 119.
b) Middle Greed
Satan, that adversary of illusion, devil of delusion, aspirant with autonomy defiled by expectations ransacked from empty cupboards, was indeed greedy (Revelation 12). As Christ was born, he instituted a work which Hitler continued. Children were to be killed, Jewish children, children who could CONCEIVABLY be the King for whom the wise men came, in admiration for worship.
Pictured in Revelation 12, like a dragon waiting to devour the new born child, he used Herod to execute his purpose and the children. Priests with their envy, had also a greed for status or place or position or power. Pilate had greed for position, tenure, security, stability in his rule, safety, it seems. The High Priest feared that Rome would intervene and trouble the region if Christ stayed alive; they killed Him and Rome invaded and destroyed Jerusalem and exiled Jewry anyway.
So does lust not endure, except in tatters.
So is greed and self-regard disregarded, and so is holiness perpetually effective. Christ rose, greed unable to snatch the eternity of His life (Acts 2:24), which continued past death, like skiers finished their downhill slope, and whistling past the finishing line. (See SMR Ch.6, The Kingdom of Heaven ... Ch. 8.)
this was in the Middle East, and one is tempted here to think of it in
this extremity of folly, as gone West. Certainly, like mankind more generally,
it is denatured (cf. Ephesians 2:1-10, 4:17-19).
a) Middle Distribution
b) Middle Retribution
a) Here came the reticulation if you will, the spreading vastly of spiritual waters, representing the Holy Spirit as in Ezekiel 47, coming from the altar, now from the Cross which supplanted its symbol at Calvary. In John 4:14 we see the woman at the well offered inalienable waters, the very rivers of eternal life, and in 7:17 all offered waters that flow as if from the mountains, outwards and on.
Distributed freely, they bring balm and beauty to many.
b)Middle Retribution is seen from Psalm 2, 110, 72. Here the petty pretensions of improper power and carnal desire, laced with the liquors of self-satisfaction and blind departure from the light of life, which is Christ, issue in the only other option, rebellion from the Lord. Oh what a pain to serve Him, Oh how difficult to 'understand theology', Oh what trouble to go to church, to be a member of a team, to follow the word of God. Oh how insufferable it all is!
So they rebel, and their battalions lack all power. Merely present for this world, they are bereft in the world to come, which, after all, IS the Lord's. The stern lessons even in this earth, as it meanders to the falls over which it is so soon to project its journeyings, not at all prevented by its sheer size (but it is small), are not to be lacking in decisiveness. The world has had long to show that it can be the creator, judge and eternity provider. Having merely fed itself folly, and poison to its young, it reaches the terminus of all patience and the retribution of all arrogance as seen in detail in Psalm 2, Ezekiel 39, Zechariah 14, Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 24, and finally, II Peter 3!
central scenes ? In the Middle East.
a) Middle Need
B) Middle Breed
The NEED is for Christ as King. He WAS in the Middle East in that capacity. HE WILL return there shortly. In His absence, there is NO presence to fill that need; though the efforts to do so are being multiplied in many bodies, academic, social and political, in desperate hope and certain and assured failure, as ever.
These are the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. Oh what a kingdom that is! Its King has already shown the mettle of His love, His constancy, loyalty, reliability, redemption, and those born of Him (John 3), do indeed see and enter into His kingdom, though multitudes of scholarly scribes have failed, do fail and will fail (Luke 11:52ff.), clusters of ecclesiastics too proud to follow the purity of His word (Matthew 23), and armies of those misled (II Peter 2;1, Matthew 24:24).
Those who are His, however, are a royal priesthood, a special people (I Peter 2:9), seed of the sublime, secured by the Saviour, born by the Word (I Peter 1:22-23) and the Spirit of God (John 3:3-8, Titus 3:5-7), having on their hearts the inscription of truth, fools for Christ, emboldened in the faith, encouraged in peace, relentless in their heritage which is CHRIST, Christ in you the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
This priesthood without an altar, this royalty with a King, this people of peace entered into the Kingdom paid for by the atonement, activated by the resurrection, to be consummated as in Revelation 20-22: they are His.
The beauty of it is this. It is not some arrogant clan securing special privileges and rights by superior money, place or attainment (I Peteer 1:17ff.). They are the REDEEMED, and the one who redeems, it is HE who pays for entry into this College of Sanctity, this Arena of Artlessness, this Temple of Truth, where He rules according to His word.
With what does He pay ? With His blood (Colossians 1:19-24). Works wrought are HIS (Romans 3:25ff., Ephesians 2:1-10).
Where did He pay ? In the Middle East.
Matthew 12-13, and The Kingdom of Heaven Chs.
2 and 3.
a) Middle Light
b) Middle Darkness
a) Christ the light of the world (John :1-14, 9:5, 8:12), while on earth in human format, SHONE in the Middle East, moving into Egypt, Galilee, Judah, Syro-Phoenecia, but never far off. There is not other light than that which is the genesis of man, the culmination of his pilgrimage, the associate of his sanctification, the brilliance of his salvation.
b) If however you want another one, and in fact there is no other, then of course the prized light you may be cherishing, is in fact darkness. Its other name is not quite so important for you as its other origin and destiny, indeed, its other nature. When the light which is in you is darkness, Christ stated (Matthew 6:23 cf. II Corinthians 11:1-4,13-15), HOW GREAT IS THAT DARKNESS!
That is one reason why self-satisfaction is so deadly and appalling. To be satisfied with rubies for diamonds might be at least comprehensible, if perhaps reprehensible; but to be satisfied with the sinner who has been CREATED in the first place, in purity and truth, and is now pleased to be what he/she is, when the restoration is free, is a form of pertinacity so profound as to stagger the spirit. It is like seeing a polar explorer, with ropes extended to pull him from the the crevasse, the abyss, smilingly putting up his hand to wave, while with the other he lurches into the beyond. The rope is extended, and was sent from the Lord when He visited the Middle East.
a) Middle Necessity
b) Middle Obesity
a) It is necessary to repent where Christ died, at the Cross. You do not need to visit the site, but to sight the significance. There is, under heaven, given to man, NO OTHER NAME whatsoever, by which he MUST be SAVED (Acts 4:11-12). Some may love to be in the interstices of the gullet of the shark of insufferable superficiality, ignoring the profundity of the Lord, in His being, His work, His word and His love. So be it. The necessity is no less for it. Equations in mathematics do not depend on your will; it is only the result which will accrue from the exercise of your will. The equation goes right on.
b) This is that sort of fatness of heart which impedes motion, renders exhaustion ready to hand, occludes vision and restrains worthwhile action. You will not OPEN your eyes, said Christ, lest you should see with your eyes and hear with your ears, lest you should understand with your hearts and turn, so that I should heal you. (He had it in the third person, but it applies in the second to all in His view in this declaration!)
the heart of this people dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes..." came the word of God through Isaiah (6), as the many recommendations from Ch. 1 and on, were unheeded, and judgment set in, like a mist on the sea, obscuring its face, removing the sight of its beauty, increasing its dangers, and covering its depths. "Their heart," says Psalm 119:70, "is as fat as grease."
a) The Assyrians found it as their king boasted of the gods he had subdued, and sought to put the Lord in that category, as shown in Isaiah 36-37. Devastation instead of triumph was his lot, faced by the godly Hezekiah, and with the words of the prophet Isaiah, his doom. Egypt found it not once! but again and again, being indeed relegated to the post of secondary power, from a distant time (as in Ezekiel 29:13-15), such as it has since occupied. Babylon fared worse (as in Isaiah 13) being assigned to virtual oblivion, a thing for archeologists, a memento for tourists. Israel inherited the lot when it crucified Christ, its city becoming a mirror of the devastation for them, allotted when they killed their King, their Shepherd and their Protector.
Calamity still rules as noted above with the fitful and indeed increasingly incessant wars in the region, because of false religion and unrepentant hearts.
b) There are ways, however, in which calumny may be worse than calamity. The latter may be visited on a Job, but calumny from the mouth, defiles. He who spreads slander is a fool, says Proverbs.
When the High Priest accused Christ of blasphemy for telling the truth, and ordered execution when His words as well as His works attested quite clearly who He was, as did the date as often noted on this site, then this was calumny. It was a reversal of truth not merely; it was not only a refusal for it: it constituted a condemnation BECAUSE the truth was told, a REJECTION because He could not otherwise be faulted. As the prophet Isaiah foretold so many hundreds of years before it all happened into history,
"And they made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death,Notice that BECAUSE. DO violence, SPEAK deceit and perhaps you will escape; but Christ as the truth was killed BECAUSE of it. THIS, it is rejection autonomous, sovereign and scurrilous, profound and reaching to the depths of hell. It lacks all light and inventing darkness, calling this profundity of pollution, the light while extinguishing the light that is, as far as in it lies.
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was nay deceit in His mouth."
How unpleasant then, how searching if not indeed searing, for these priests to find that their victim was victorious; and what pangs of conscience must have been suffered as they whipped the apostles and were appalled at the healings in the name of Christ that simply continued (Acts 1:1; 3), for the name was not at all hurt, but rather amplified, so that there is NO OTHER NAME, but this, to which all must bow. In Him, the Father also is bowed to, for THIS, it is His SON!
events of calamity and calumny in the Middle East make it not surprising
that it is in inveterate wars and fearful calumnies, this one or that asserting
a) Middle Exodus
b) Middle Impetus
a) Here in the Middle East came the Exodus from Egypt, and there TO Egypt from the Exodus for a moment of Christ, so that His slaying could be on time, and for the reasons assigned, not in any mere infanticide madness of the King Herod. From here went the Jews in the days of Titus; and from the world TO this site, came the Jews by the Million, out of this world and to their destiny.
b) Middle impetus of Jews to Jerusalem is the obverse of the Exodus, and hiher have they marched, sailed, flown, tramped, wandered, in little groups, in masses, in individual cases, in rich ones, in poor, in displaced ones, to wars, to deaths, to agriculture, to the cultivation of roses as predicted, to the presentation of forests, as predicted, while their brother Einstein in the flesh, helped the bomb (by his equations rather than by his pressure!) which helped the war to end, and Jews therefore the more freely to return to their homeland. As in Isaiah 42, they came; as in Ezekiel 36-37, they have come, and as in Micah 5 have they arrived and as in Micah 7 will they be delivered, not for their own sakes or glory, but for the Lord's own name's sake, as there seen, and as in Ezekiel likewise.
This impetus, like the restoration of Jerusalem, naturally, is one of the necessities of the end so that its programmed operatics should be in place, each part as assigned. The impetus is like that of flood waters rising, and the result will be in the Lord's own intervention, such as Micah foretold. This will be one of the greatest dramas of all time, allied to the Exodus, but more impressive in this, that the action will be direct without inference, a herald and warning intervention as the end nears like an express train.
does history work towards Armageddon with the impetus of the Niagara River
as it moves in the last few hundreds of yards to the Falls. As noted in
Revelation 16, 19, this is supernaturally excited, by the devil. It is
moreover part of the Lord's plan, for those who outwit Him, do not exist.
See Isaiah 44:24ff..
a) Middle Seed (Tiny)
b) Middle Destiny
Forced you say ? But then this has forced you to consider it, perhaps!
a) The tiny seed of faith is sufficient to move mountains into the midst of the sea, obstacles to the work of the Lord into oblivion, when it is in Christ, and the one so exercising it, does not doubt what He asks in the Lord (cf. II Peter 1). So see Mark 11:23-24.
Christ will return as Judge to Jerusalem, the victim as Judicial, the Ruin,
as Regal, the Reject as Ruler, the Stricken as Saviour, the Despised as
Adored, the 'blasphemer' as the LORD! (See Zechariah 14, Isaiah 2, Micah
4.) THIS is the destiny for the Middle East, and there will be an ability
of the most apparent enemies of yore, in His presence, to be numbered as
this or that nation (as in Isaiah 19). In Him, there is peace, power and
deliverance, according to His word. HIS people are at peace, because HE
is their peace (Isaiah 27:5, 32:16-18, Ephesians 2:17-18, Philippians 4:4-8).
a) Middle Hushing
b) Middle Blushing
a) When Christ the Judge appears, there will be tingling ears and multiplied fears (Matthew 25). The goats, by nature awry, are noted for their omissions, the sheep for their performances. The gap is covered by the Saviour. So He calls all peoples to Himself. In the end, as in Revelation 20, there is the book in which are written the names which are His. It is to be noted that in Revelation 13, ALL whose names are NOT written in this work, will follow the beast. It is not that this flame of evil fire can inveigle so well, but rather this, that those who are not divinely kept, must fall.
b) The Middle Blushing from the presence of this King, is an irremediable phenomenon. Freedom was offered as in the parable of Matthew 22, where the people who were NOT first called (the Gentiles) were then asked to come freely, since those who were first approached (the Jews) were too busy with their own affairs to come to the wedding of the King's son. The man who CAME, but did not bother to use the appointed robes, was excluded in horror. Where grace is the coin of acceptance, to gate-crash is fatal.
KING ? His return immediate locale is the Mount of Olives, and this, as
you have foreseen, is in the MIDDLE EAST.
THE CHOIRS HAVE COMPLETED THEIR COUPLETS
IN VARIOUS TONES AND SONGS.
IT HAS BEEN A LONG DAY IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
The night is coming when no man can work (John 9:4). It is time, whatever your race, culture, nation or religion, to seek the Lord, if you have not yet found Him, and to find in His word the promises to faith, and to use them, coming freely and without payment as in Isaiah 55, Romans 3:23ff., I Peter 1:17-21, Galatians Chs. 3 and 5, Titus 3, Romans 5:15, 6:23, Titus 3:1-17.
As to lords of the spirit, like the Middle East, for such a position, there is ONLY ONE. He sends the Spirit from the Father, but there is ONE ENTITY, ONE GODHEAD, and there is ONE WORD, living and to judge. There is nowhere else to go, no other place to come, nothing else to enter, and from none else is the departure so fatal.
He has come for you; you must come to Him, knowing this, His love is overall, toward all, for all, for there is no difference - all have sinned, and His offering is freely available to all. That it is not so received by all is manifest. Never blame HIM for your OWN indifference, for HE is available, for the time, as for some two thousand years. This time should be long enough. It is not after all time but heart which is in question.
If you have come to Him, walk with Him, follow His word, feed on it, and fail the vultures who would as in II Cor. 11, oppress, demanding this and that. If it is what Christ has done, receive it. If it is something else, look to Him. When you are entirely in the ONLY ONE sent for you, then there is nothing else to be concerned about: