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The Clamour of Earth for the Blood of Heaven, Inveterate:
And the Life of God for the Life of Man, Triumphant
1 THE ENCHANTING EARTH
How angry a site the earth has become, and for how long! Revelation 12:12. The devil, unable to sustain his pre-emptive strike in heaven, cast to earth, has harried humans, sought to murder Christ as a child, accuses the elect of God day and night, and is most angry because he knows that his time is short. Just imagine actually BEING a man or woman who, after making hay while the sun shines, having piled up your millions, or billions, and having sold your soul in the process, as a valuable which was useful, when yielded to the trade, finds that death is near.
What comfort in that earthy thing, when it has no celestial connection!
As time passes, it is no more like a vast holiday coming, at the end of the student year, to a site by the beach perhaps, in which you can think and roam in mind and body, and find the stimulus of the Lord’s creation to thrill your imagination and His word to dress your soul. No! that is for the Christian; but for the earthy man or woman, it is different. As wasting faculties subside, and the fires of life burn low, as the occasional log falls off from the fireplace, some organic malfunction, some loss of vigour or gain in weight, there is an announcement, an annunciation: your time is nearly over and you judgment runs to meet you, apace.
Yet the earth has her ways. Is there not a defence ? declares an aroused devil. Why not have false prophets!
Why not erect our own religion? Find your own haven, call it what you will, his Darkness chants, and there are many who listen. In hell, the devil concludes, I’ll be there, and who’ll call that hell ? He seems to wait to see if any wimps whimper, but the macho rules.
Back in hell, however, the thought continues.
What sort of speech is there, or how might it be considered ? Is it not something like this? What shall we do ? Involve them! Then they poor deluded mortals can be MOST religious on the way to hell, so that those who come will be so pre-occupied with the rigours of fraud, that they will no more think of the true, be in awe of the authentic, busy as butterflies, dazing away their day, or flitting furiousl; and it is a short one, soon over.
A sniggering smirk erupts into a thunderous, cavernous splutter of approval.
The idea seemed good, and the world adopted it. Earthy religion! They did not see the infernal edition of the Call! Excellent! hell resounded with a disdainful triumph: work your way to heaven, exert great self-discipline in avoiding God, call your vocation religious anyway, and then when the bubble bursts… well, quite frankly that is much too late. The plan is approved, sealed, authenticated before the infernal Board, and set in motion. There is no sound or noise however echoing up to the earth from the infernal commotion; after all, it is a spiritual thing.
The Song of the Enchanter
The Song of the Evil, which thrills the soul of those who find there their style ?*1A It is not given too openly, but as in some secret societies, it grows on the deluded, until they more and more sound like the basis beneath.
The Song ? It goes rather like this.
‘You must first of all be ONE. This is an ultimate; and if in the meantime, you must be many, elaborately construct links, even with phrases which frankly smudge the real differences and give only a plausible and false conception of the division which lies underneath. After all, if you are going to follow an EVIL SPIRIT, then you cannot expect the fruits of the Spirit of God, who is good.
‘Secondly, make ‘goodness’ seem cheap, old-fashioned, especially fuddy-duddy, certainly virtuous, but then make it seem that since we have to conquer the stars and live in space, as we make this particular earth so obviously impossible, or will do so before long, we will have to have some arrogance, some indomitability before all things, including ourselves. It must come even before our own natures and anything which could be called wisdom. Wisdom ? what is that, thus goes the song, for what you need is thrust. Thrust or bust; forget about being just.
‘Thirdly, don’t be looking for order, for that only leads to God. Look for chaos, have even pop singers say things like this, “All I knew that in my productions, songs, what I needed was the most CHAOS!” Worship it. It dulls the senses, deadens the spirit, abuses thought, has the feeling of strength and the rebellion of spiritual buccaneers.
‘Do we not all agree ?’ The applause in hell is thunderous; so it might be imagined.
‘It is a good substitute for God,’ the wail of witlessness continues, ‘who after all dispenses it, being a great designer. Therefore also attack design. That only leads to the Designer. Make it appear HE has designs on you, so that it is GOOD to avoid Him, ‘escape’ His servants, and all churches which actually believe in Him.
“After all, that is a far lesser percentage than it used to be, since they now freely invent a god who likes disorder in churches, doesn’t mind if you carry on verbally in an incomprehensible way never explained, even though Paul in I Corinthians 1 and 14 made it clear that his message was to ALL churches, and that ALL things in a church must be EXPLAINED, understood, edifying.
“Just don’t worry about that! Act as if the people cannot read. They just want to be led!
“To do this, attack the Bible, or else use it as a form of belief, like a legal form, inscrutable, for others, not really to be studied and DONE! (Thus fulfilling II Timothy 3:5 in its prediction.)
‘The Bible ? Make it
appear invasive, intrusive and the work of an angry God on the one hand, and a
genteel one on the other, so that they both can go. Use the one tack or the
other, depending on the case. We trust that is obvious ?’
An infernal stare cavorts strenuously from fiery countenance of the spiritual Sergeant-major.
‘Don’t look too much at Revelation, since there as in II Thessalonians 1-2, and I Thessalonians 1, like John 3:36 and so on, you see that He can be very angry in the New Testament also, and don’t pay much attention to Deuteronomy, since there you see that He can be amazingly patient and compassionate too, and above all NEVER study both the Old and New Testaments together, for like a left and right hand, they work well in concert. You can do this by making disparaging references to history, or even dispensational sallies; for history is something which they don’t seem to like teaching too much in this country at least*1, since it interferes with MODERN indoctrination of various kinds, and in two obvious ways.
Since this speech is long, we shall continue the account in mere black print.
‘How does it do so ? Do we hear a question on so obvious an issue ? You CANNOT expect to be LEADERS of the spiritual invasion if you are so thick.
‘First, it teaches lessons which it is better to forget, if you want to conquer the stars – we have to CHANGE in various ways, which you do not need to specify as yet, since many will not like them. Just hint that they are sure to be great, since human beings are great. Vanity is as near to the heart of man as cholesterol to it, when he eats to excess.
‘Of course, this leaves you with a problem. Obviously they are NOT great nearly always, so to create a cunning lie, let them think that they will evolve into greatness, despite the present preoccupations, which you COULD sometimes at least, make to seem slight and to be evolved away. Especially don’t get into serious discussions on evolution, for since it does not happen, it needs to become a habit of thought, evacuated from observation.
‘You will learn how amazingly easy it is to talk about organic evolution while NEVER having any to show, even though the opposition can ALWAYS have it negated in terms of scientific method. They WANT it, the ones we lead, so they have it. It is like naughty kids who WANT to go out late at night, so that the danger of dope, theft, attack, malice, riotous affairs, sex leading to crippled lives or slow death, does not worry them. They see only the fantastic escape, the delirious joys and never dream of the drab realities of broken lives, or the common banalities of belligerence against life. They DESERVE to be broken, but we who love the lie, we will not be broken. One step ahead: well remember, the only alternative is God! Need we say more ?
‘A good way to handle this sort of difficulty with facts, is to laugh at it. It is only foolish little never-get-to-the-stars people who are tricked or trapped. Use that line!
‘Then, when people are so denatured that they positively SINK into more and more unity with more and more apparently impossible other groups, move fast. Talk of the power of the assassin, the work of the terrorist, able to penetrate to the heart of a powerful country and laugh at it. Make them WANT it, this supervision by some BODY, and soon you will see results. This is so, even though the Moslem business (too clearly dangerous with its religious lusts, territorial lusts and forcible subjections in the interests of submission of some people to others who call the shots on the ground of no rational basis) will go (there are limits). Better is to come, and we are it!
‘The Roman religious saga is finished likewise, because it too INSISTS and IMPELS when it can, and the COMMUNIST one cannot prosper, since it fails to realise that because you CANNOT in the end avoid the facts of religion, for man is made for God, you MUST ADAPT them. They have been very stolid!
‘Thus you sing. These things could be looked on as necessary preliminaries – that could give such parties a sense of importance. But unity, you have to have it for peace and prosperity, since the world now has so much power that any madman can work considerable mayhem. No, these old role models for the satanic power which WILL and must ORDER people and events, will pass away; but you can use the sense of submission which they breed, to make a more charming one, a new species of submission, one you will have to hard-sell. If you can have a pope – and remember, they used to manage whole armies – via spiritually vassaled kings of course – what can you not have ? Have then ambition!
‘Seek to bring their thoughts to united nations as necessary, international power base as obvious and so forth. In that way, as with Hitler, the OBVIOUS advances will all allow much to be swallowed until it is too late for them to reverse. It is then that we can make our better search than in his woeful day, for international and FINAL DOMINANCE!
‘In case you are wondering WHY you should do all of this, well if you do not like the truth, it is best to invent the lie. Lying is not so bad really, when you get used to it, and it then becomes a power contest. If for example you could kill God, the truth would be that He is gone! See. Now WE can all work this together and then in the end, we will find who has the power without all these morals, and the creation and redemption and so on; and the power wins. You know, it is like a game.’
That is the END OF THE SONG. It has a name. The LIE SONG. You see something of its basis in character in John 8:44-45, II Thess. 2:4-10, Revelation 6.
Of course they cannot kill God since death is not available to Him, any more than rust is available to wood (cf. Acme, Alpha and Omega Ch. 8, SMR Ch. 1). That however does not alter the propaganda effect. The idea can gain some ground since when God became man in order to enable death to be broken and its reason to be covered so that eternal life could adorn the poor sinner called man, that man, Jesus Christ did die! To be sure, He meant to die, and it was only in the human format that this occurred, and that His Spirit went instantly to His Father. Yet ignorance can confuse the untaught.
That He meant to do so, to die vicariously, and came to do so is covered by cultivated ignorance, which is marvelously forwarded in the education system which, either by omitting the study of Christianity, or the Bible altogether, or treating it with frothy philosophic flummeries, while claiming children are too young to understand while they slip in their heathen irrationalities, can become like the Statue of Ignorance. There it is, holding its arms aloft, with a light of darkness, beckoning to all! And many follow its chilling death.
It could be
A Person who can die, not merely in a format, but altogether and so become extinct, of course has to be in a system which can be altered in a way effectively contrary to his life.
But God, having made all systems, and being no part of any created system, and not even being material at all, is not penetratable by spikes or atomic bombs or knives, and cannot be drugged since this is an alien substance entering a system on which you depend, and He is not created and so does not have a system on which He depends, but is just inherently alive as He wills to be, dependent on nothing*2, able to take any form, but ultimately, confined to none of the changing modes of created form at all!
It is because of His presence that anything can so much as be, or continue (Hebrews 1:3, 11:1), having rational ground for its manifestly derivative, order-containing systematics, while observably unable to create the same, no not with a thousands helps (cf. TMR Ch. 1, Secular Myths and Sacred Truths Chs. 1, 7). The ground of anything and everything created is what lacks all occasion to be invented, being eternal; and without that, eternally you have nothing, including the time by which to signify eternity! An eternal series still needs the creation of the series, moving in a system to appointed modes; and a nothing has no future in which case we should have no present.
Systems on which you rely uniformly come from somewhere or someone else, and when it is of God you speak, there is no other place or person. The rest is all created. HE DOES HAVE the power to create, and does not have the vulnerability to be created, since all depends on Him, capable of nothingness in an instant if He so desired, like paper thrown into the waste bin, thence to the furnace. Knowing all things being dependent on none, He is what He would be, capable of all survey, and does not move: there is nothing to which to move, for desire or for need. He has it all and always has had. Such power is not the issue: it is the heart of Him who has it. In Christ, this with the power attached, is clearly revealed, as in the Bible for millennia.
Kill God ? Why, as the world has been taught for several millennia, both before and after He came, whether in prospect or retrospect: He even came to earth for sacrificial death as part of a plan of salvation, and still triumphed in His eternal life, throwing off death as we throw off a cold. It makes man look so small; but then he is.
Still the idea of a take-over is so very attractive to the sort of mind-frame which wanted to kill Christ, and wants every day of the week to change Him and change His name, and perhaps give it to the Devil’s Messiah, waiting breathlessly in the wings. As to him, he’ll come; but also go (Revelation 13-20).
of Evil, sketched above and inset, of
course is precisely in accord with prediction and stipulation in the Bible, and
you find parts of it in II Thessalonians 2, II Timothy 3, I Timothy 4, II Peter
2-3, Matthew 24, John 14, 16, Revelation 12, 19 and so on. Even the lusty
singing of the Lie Lovers is in one way, pre-recorded. The finesse, for
comparison, in terms of a rollicking triumph over all opposition and mockery of
their pretension and pride, makes even the lightning seeming Gulf War of 1991
look cumbersome. Indeed, that war was one more fulfilment
of prophecy, not least in this, that the
TROUBLE to come to those seeking to take Jerusalem, as Saddam Hussein indicated
of himself, was forecast to be extreme (Zechariah 12, 14 cf. The
Impregnable Tower Ch. 8). In this, that
Alas Hussein’s land is not the only nation involved in that subversive business, seeking to take a place God has given to one people (the Jews, whom He disciplined MOST sharply), and seize it for others, even those who already have grabbed most of the Palestine promised internationally to the Jew after World War I, and during it! (Cf. Galloping Events Ch. 4, Regal Rays of Revelation Ch. 1.)
TEEMING WITH MEANING
These things being so, and all things being of One Master, it is not surprising to find all things fit together on this basis. Even the opposition is predicted in its mode and action, detailed in its song type and degeneration, long before the onset is complete!
Thus, one of the points to be noted about God is this, that He does not alter what He has to say in His written word. No one else is in this position. Buddhism does not have a God, except what they make of Buddha, who did not believe in one; Hinduism has stacks of them, Confucianism does not really probe into it, Shintoism is to busy with ancestors, Communism likes to expel Him until they need the cash; the Koran does not provide any sign of having one who DOES what he SAYS, as noted in Ch. 10 of Great Execrations, Great Enervations, Greater Grace. Indeed, the use of force in faith has also been documented in the references there, and this as shown in SMR Ch. 1, is contrary to all reason; for it simply miscalls faith and while it may be protested that officially, this does not happen, the Koran shows that it does. History adds its multitudinous laments to the same effect, in nation after nation.
You need liberty for love and conviction for faith, and not the lashing or deadly dispatch of some criminal court, where the Islamic world seems fascinated with placing people who dare to criticise the Koran or Muhammad, when they are in their lands.
ONE of the ways in which it does this, is
· the harmony between
· the staggering claim that it is from the ONE GOD and
· the startling ways in which He always and without any exception, indifferent to the stage of history concerned, makes what He says happen, even if it be two or more millennia later.
Another is found in the basic factual specificities which He gives, as in the crucifixion and resurrection, before they happened (cf. Joyful Jottings 22-25, SMR Ch. 9), things relating to the plan of salvation, admittedly central and crucial, and hence of inordinate interest to the opposition, and yet for all that, on course and never diverted, not even in the life of Christ, clad in human format and hence exceedingly vulnerable. It is found even in the nature of the Messiah who had to come to perform a role wholly impossible without infinite power, in any case, and live beyond the power of man, and then die, doing it on time. He even had to remove His own body as well, for had it been found, God would have been wrong. How simple! Just guard it and produce it. All you needed was the power to oppose God successfully…
It was all open, stated, stipulated, and contrary to the tides of power as it then was; it was carried through, to the death and the inescapable body, it was this that fell purposefully as a sacrifice into men’s hands, only to leave them! God mocked (as in Psalm 2, where He predicted that He would so mock) their pride and vanity, their hatred and their insane paranoia, seeking to take over from God. In addition, He had to do it with chronological exactitude to fulifil the prophetic specifications! (cf. Highway of Holiness Ch. 4).
Another way in which He attests Himself, His word and His way for man, it is the unchanging word which it gives, as to what YOU must do, whom YOU must receive, and how YOU should live. (Cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17, 20, TMR Ch. 3.) It is not just that it does not change, but that it COULD not do so, being from God: it could not mutate in its statements of principle and program, and so it is made exceedingly vulnerable. ONLY ONE failure in the Messiah in His announced actions as in Mark 2, would be the end, even if at the beginning; and this condition applied to the end, even to the death. SO only one alteration of divine morality would bespeak an altered being. What God does, He does for ever. No one else is like that. It is as simple as that. There is nothing else testable, immutable, vulnerable, and precisely right at all times, whether in prospect or retrospect, in moral soundness that does not change or in fulfilment that makes changes of format or function or fortune for this or that nation, as it will. It speaks; they do. The world is subordinate; but it loves to be insubordinate: yet in its most lunging lusts, it fails to alter either the prediction or the morality of God!
If, after all, you have specified an UNCHANGING being who knows ALL things, and in particular the end from the beginning, who from Moses on shows that He plans to SPECIFY for all time, what is to be, then it is necessary for this to be CONSISTENTLY FULFILLED, if reason has anything to do with it; and this is itself one way of checking. We are not given minds in order to use them to say why we want this or that, and then to ignore their existence when our whole lives are at stake! IF God were to have to revise His words, as ‘science’ (really what people are working out) does so that in ten years a vast change is discernible in it, then He would not be God, but someone who has to WAIT AND SEE. As to Him, He prepares the way, predicts the stages, informs the distant, displays to the day when it comes; He makes patterns and programs, and then fulfils them, teaching as He goes, and finishing His work with zeal that is both loving and untutorable.
The humility before this authenticated presence which should be natural to science, once was more so, and now is less so, the more hairbrained ideas leading to the expenditure of billions of dollars, contrary to God’s always verified word and witness, while the real challenges are left but thinly approached. It is well that so many of the most original scientists have been Christians, men like von Braun, Babbage, Faraday, Sir Isaac Newton, Maxwell, and many others (cf. Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, Wake up World! … Ch. 1).
Since God claims that He is not changeable and has total survey and understanding of all that He has made, and this is beyond all creation, in the realm of its comprehensive controller, and there is only one who can be that and KNOW what is to be (because, you see, of the trouble with the others, if there were any), then His word in consistency, HAS to show no need for revision. It HAS to be without competition in quality too, and this is ONE of those required qualities. This is found in its unique validity as well (TMR Ch. 5, SMR Chs. 1,10), which accords well with its unchanging overview.
This immutability of the message to man is to be most carefully distinguished from a STATED procedure of lessons. In a University, if you have English I, English II and English III, this does not mean that they are finding out what is to be, and changing it. It is a STATED course to enable you to grasp it all in the end, by stages of instruction. So in the Bible, Moses in Deuteronomy 18 announces that his domain is to be superseded, not by rejection, but in authority, by another who MUST be received, and His various attributes are made clear from Genesis 3 onward (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17), as is the Gospel associated (cf. also TMR Ch. 3). It is the Messiah (beautifully presented in Psalms 2, 16, 22, 40 and so on, as in Joyful Jottings 22-25).
It is all one in principle as you see in Romans 4, always faith in God, repentance into salvation, sacrifice to cover sin, first animal, as pageant of pictorial illustration, then Christ as the fitting cover, God as MAN for man, covenant and calling. What then would one expect ? God who made mind, did not make it in order that it be not used, just as you do not make wheels for a car in order that they should not turn. Anyone can CLAIM that God said this or that, but ONLY GOD can prove it!
This He does,
Ø firstly in announcing what He has to say,
Ø then in calling attention to the fact that without competition only He can make history FOLLOW what He says,
Ø then in advising of the coming in PERSON in format as a man,
Ø then all the details needed to identify Him when He came,
Ø then requirements so profound that only God could meet them,
Ø then the date at which the highest requirement would be met, dying for sin and rising from the dead,
Ø then in defeating all endeavours to keep the corpse captured, then in sending His Spirit, all as announced in the Old Testament (e.g. Joel 2 quote in Acts 2), performed in the New,
Ø then in directing the course of
history, the persecution of His Church, as foretold (cf. John 16:2, Matthew
10), the numerous false prophets (Matthew 24:24), the sensational ending of the
Age and so on, as traced in SMR Ch. 8, Answers to Questions Ch. 5 and often elsewhere.
What more then ?
Ø Then, with the added irony that man is BROUGHT LOW just as he seems to be sailing high with all his knowledge (Daniel 12) and predicting this (Matthew 24:22), God keeps spread out the same Gospel. Judgment is required for sin, Christ bearing it for those who receive Him; and as the world does NOT receive Him, as a system, so systematically it is harrowed, harassed and unholy, till even its devotees become less than fascinated by those (to them) awful ingredients, the facts of mortality, enhanced by hatred, malice, trickery, treachery and the like, till the new powers for which man longs and sacrifices his peace, become the new ingredients of shame.
Ø But God, He does not change; His word does not change; His Gospel does not change. It does not need to do so. When you have the truth, that is the way of it and verification of it: one MORE verification. Indeed, Isaiah puts it like this: To the law and the prophets. If they do not speak according to this word, there is no light in them (Isaiah ). Paul declares that even if he, an apostle, gave a different gospel, he too would be accursed! (Galatians 1).
How could it be otherwise, since there is one God, and His plan involved His eternal Word, incarnate!
That too follows, and not only is the Gospel is forbidden to change (Galatians 1, Proverbs 30, Revelation 22, Ephesians ), but if it did, it would be fraudulent and inconsistent. It does not. It does not have to. When you know all, all you need to say is the fact. All history can do is confirm it, continually, without cease. The word of God laughs at history with its portentous solemnities as it held all destiny in its hand; and at times, it is almost as if history joined in the laughter, and laughed to scorn and to shame, the children of men who elevate themselves to the heavens, but reach to the nethermost points of contempt in their shameless deeds and (always for some ‘good’ cause) vain cruelties. Such shame, born in pity and ending in despicable destiny, is seen at the national level in Ezekiel 32:17ff., at the personal in Daniel 12.
IV TEAMING WITH THE TRUTH
What is now needed is this: to look at some of this unchanging truth, this grace of God in the Gospel and consider its consistency and sweep, as becomes and is fitting for the God who made man in the first place, and did not do so without knowing the end, and that it was worth it all!
For this purpose, let us look at I Corinthians 15.
First Paul declares the Gospel which focusses the ONE WHOM God sent, the WORK He did, the BREACH of death itself which He then performed following His other earlier miracles, this being the authentication of His call, claim and status, wrought at the date prescribed centuries beforehand (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4). He gives His NAME, Jesus Christ, the Saving Messiah. Long did the world wait, long attend the prediction, but it came at the time stated, neither before nor since, and since the Prince of Peace was dispatched as far as man could do so, His peace is not found in the nations, nor will it be till His return, as He has declared (Matthew 24). What God does, He performs without compromise; but then so does mathematics. If it is wrong, it does not work.
In this Corinthians chapter, the apostle then proceeds from the bearing of sin by Christ, to the consideration of the nature of the RESURRECTION. Death is a fatal sort of thing, but not final, any more than birth; for with that, though it is marvel and wonder, it does not end motherhood, for something more is available, in more children. Here something more remains, in judgment and eternity. Human life is a beginning, wrought by God with precision to the infinitesimal, and its end, it is as extensive as the beginning is intensive; and He has made a provision is for it to be endless as life where vitality and reality do not separate.
Yet this cannot be so without Him, for HE ALONE is endless, leaving time a mere creation, like the twiddle of the dial, and indeed as in Revelation 20, as its time comes near, the heaven and the earth flee away, no place being found for them, any more than a Sunday School platform, erected for an anniversary celebration in a church remains when the testing time of presentation is past!
When a Personal Being is in control of life, and made it, it is not too difficult for that Being to manage its manifestations and overcome this or that: though in this case, sin or rebellion against God Himself being the sin, so that many both have acted and do act as if He were absent, there is a payment of grand scale for remedy. Why is this ? It is because man, in so spoiling life completely as with an unserviced car, required a lot. It is (relatively) easy to make a new one (like a new car), but intensely laborious to re-create the smashed one.
Love is interested, for man is not matter, being instead of a wholly different order which instead of mere servitude, has capacity that can strike a law, break it and enjoy it all the more if it understands it. This he has for a time, rather than follow the flatly directive leader, as with the contrivances of matter within (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7, It Bubbles …Ch. 9, Galloping Events Ch. 7, News 152, 100).
Because of divine concern, it was Christ Himself who had to come to bear the problem and in Himself, attest the solution, life that is incapable of further death (as in Revelation 1:18-19). This He promised (as in John 3:16), the method He outlined (as in Matthew 20:28), and the prophets who went before also indicated the phases of it (as in Luke 24:25-26 cf. Isaiah 12, 322, 42,49, 50-55, Hosea 13:14, Psalm 2 and so on, covered in specialised studies earlier – see scriptural and topical indexes).
Here in I Corinthians, then, you see that the Gospel does not concern itself with YOU as the centre, but with God as your Creator and Saviour. You NEED HIM, and if you do not desire Him, then you do without Him, and this, with the appalling consequences of so regarding your own life, and deploying it in your own interests.
He has done what it takes; it is for
you to take what He did,
v and receive Christ who did it,
v who defines the revelation of God
v and exhibits the nature of God in the name of God, being God as man.
That is who He is; reject Him and you have no God, that is, as your friend.
The plan is simple, like the case with some other wars, but costly, also like them, and far more so than they; and it is triumphant, never resorting to force where faith is the way, and never treating man’s faith and heart as a mere dominated thing. Love however is twofold in those who are Christ’s, for you do not come to the God who IS love (I John 4:7ff.), without it! and it delights in finding like treasure, the will of God, and then doing it, with the fidelity of a well-shot arrow and the cherishing joy of a hearty appetite.
In I Corinthians, Paul then proceeds to consider the nature of the resurrection. Before we proceed, let us see the outline in I Corinthians 15. We have considered Step ONE, so far.
SEEING THE DEVELOPMENT IN I CORINTHIANS 15
a) the Dynamic Difference I C. 15:35-38
b) the Difference in Form I C 15:39-41
the Divine Difference I C 15:42-49
When you are healed, you are strong.
When you are strong and grateful,
Then you are energetic for your Saviour,
Knowing the value of His life,
Of your own work for and in Him therefore,
And that it is valued by Him.
STEP TWO -20-28
Let us take the thrust of this and see it with some of its implications.
HOW, Paul exclaims, can some of you who use the name of Christ be so stuck in the philosophy of naturalism, of futility, or so confused that you speak as if there is no resurrection! Have you not thought at all ? IF there is no resurrection, this is not some vague philosophic premiss, but a denial that Christ rose, for the general covers the particular. If that were so, then all preaching of Christ would be meaningless, indeed fraudulent, the operation futile, and this frail life of the flesh would be used in ways which leave it worse than nothing. People who do good, would suffer, and the evil become rich as is normal, whereas it would be uninstructive to any, a mere misnomer.
However, this is not so, and it is not for this reason that people allow the follies of this world and seek to do good. It is because there is in man something more significant than the means of life: it is life itself, and its Maker is the most significant of all. It is necessary to consult with Him! The finding is not obscure (cf. Spiritual Refreshings … Ch. 5).
STEP THREE -28
Then it is that finding and realising
past urbane patter, that Christ has indeed risen from the dead, one finds a
Captain of the Vitality Industry who has already won, and one is to follow when
the date is ripe, just as He came when the date was ripe and right (cf. Highway
of Holiness Ch. 4): for with God, everything is
in its time, its place, its sequence, its situation, as ordered with counsel
and prepared with wisdom. In so doing, He has provided a pattern and a triumph.
Death has caused innumerable tears, and many a broken heart; but it is not the
end when the Lord of life is concerned, as He is. It is a beautiful part of His
amazing accomplishment that the very way in which justice was satisfied (for
God is just cf. Barbs… Appendix 3, SMR Ch. 1), is the mode of expression of love, that
the seemingly impersonal is the height of the personal, His call to come the
pinnacle of pity, while the implementation of deliverance is the tower of
mercy, and the pathway of peace is the expression of truth
(II Corinthians 5:17ff.).
Thus it is necessary to understand the beginning in order to appreciate the end!
Christ is the leader of those to be resurrected in Him, just as the first man, Adam, was the leader of those to die with him in his fault of sin, transmitted inexorably to the human race (cf. Romans 5). Adam is the first man, when God commenced the race, and for terminal purposes, Christ is the LAST man, for in Him manhood finds not merely perfect expression but the ONLY deliverance available, and that both of and by God. By sending His Spirit, He endues those who are His, who come to Him in faith with repentance of heart, with a life which does not end.
However there is more than a minor technicality in the chronology. The case is this: First sin with its death, then resurrection with its triumph; for when Christ comes not to save but to collect, this in its time, then those who are His rise to meet Him who broke the death barrier, with its double boom of death and judgment. Christ came as Messiah to accomplish this free salvation (as in Romans 3, 5) and He does not finish this total schema until the death treatment is finalised, not only in the principle, by removing the guilt of sin for believers, but in practice, by restoring their lost bodies, in a form fit for eternity.
STEP FOUR -34
If it were otherwise, why on earth should people be baptized with the conception of filling up the ranks of the departed Christians with new recruits, bent on the same eternally significant task, bringing honour to the memory of those who fought the good fight in the name of Christ! Why indeed, for some less cause than eternal life in the beloved God, should Paul spend his entire converted Christian life in constant danger, so that it is not too much to say that he “dies daily”! (On this, see I Corinthians 4 and II Cor. 4, for no little detail of what that means! Those who are Christians should KNOW from personal experience… You cannot be alive without knowing it, whether spiritually or physically.)
If there is no life to come, why not just sink the shaft into pleasures and profits, meaningless, unsure, unsafe and vain, or do the dance of the derelict as you see in so much of the wild orgies of gurus of the microphone! Why put value into what lacks it ? Why not show your frustration in such ways as those, like rockets lost to the control tower, spinning wildly before disintegration! Why not even show resentment while you are at it, one might add, and debase yourself willingly, to add to your guilt ?
However company enough of that type is available, the last word in practical cynicism, and in its unbelief it both spoils itself and infects what shares life with it! (Cf. SMR Ch. 3.)
STEP FIVE -49
Suppose we investigate the ramifications. Someone might ask, What sort of a body then do they have, those resurrected ? You may recall the scribal terrors who asked Christ whose wife a woman would be, who on earth had 7 husbands. The answer was that in the resurrection and indeed in heaven, there is no sexuality. It is not a physically procreative site.
THIS, our life on earth, is a test, that to come is a triumph, not wrought by us, but made available to us. This is clothed in the temporary, that is fitted for eternity. It is rather like considering a joy flight on earth, and contrasting this with a space probe set to go for 30 years; except that you have to extend that to infinity! and the company is God.
Comparisons and principles ?
First there is the DYNAMIC DIFFERENCE. Take a seed, Paul declares. It has one form, as a seed, when it is potential, and another when it is actualised, as grain on its waving stalks. One little thing is transformed into a staggering beauty.
Then, there is the DIFFERENCE IN FORM. Flesh, or if you like, the format of things created, the creation, it has different clothing for its form. Birds, fish, man, all possess significant differences in structure and operation. Not only so, but there is the terrestrial, on earth, and the astronomical, in heaven, and there is a ‘glory’ or beauty and special set of properties provided for diverse created objects.
Just as created life has already vast differences in function, form and format, so there is yet more diversity, and that also within some forms of life. Is it possible then to be surprised at the Master of multiplicity when He brings sublimity to the seed of the human, in its time! HE has shown who He is and what He can do in Christ, in the prophets, in the past; He has plighted Himself to what He will do in the future and done it in Himself in our format, the test vehicle, as man might think, though sovereignly assured, nevertheless showing in the flight the power of its launching.
Thirdly, there is the DIVINE DIFFERENCE. Thus man is “sown in corruption”, to preserve the thought of a seed, but adding that of sin, and “raised in incorruption”, in which form it is now without the facility and functionality of sin, death, decay and decline. Likewise, it is sown in dishonour, raised in honour, in glory indeed, while its early weakness, so manifest in the terrors of this world, leads to its being raised in power.
When it is “sown” or placed upon this earth, it is FLESHLY, and earth in the sense that its physical componentry was derived from the chemical elements on earth, used in the construction, if you will, of the human tower*3. It is of the order of those programmatic physical bodies, those sustainable minds and those created spirits, to take the case of a man, which are spread out for continuity at that level. It is raised a SPIRITUAL body, however, in which the contrast is not only seen with the sinful and temporary thing that was, but in the eminence of the closeness to God, as a direct correlate of God, a child of God drawn close, created but recreated, as in spirit, now in body; and now not merely IN His image, but sharing His companionship without default.
It is still a body, for it is not the natural which is contrasted, as an order, but the human type of format within it, both liable to sin and to mortality. It is a spiritual body.
Yes as a body, it is one contrasted with its earlier confinement to its place within its particular relationship to the natural orders of our sphere, here those which involve decay, attrition, yes and contrition very often. Now, with the availability of God through the Gospel in place, this new body becomes lost in a new intimacy, raised not only from death but to life that is consummate, unconditioned by considerations of weakness and woe, one in which it is now of the spiritual order, where God is seen face to face. Man does not cease to be created, but he does cease to be conditioned in any way by his fall.
Not in a little was this accomplished. Let us review the thrust in time.
The first Adam was what ? a living being. There is a contrast now however to be fully realised. There is the Second Adam, another new thing on the surface of this earth. This ? It is not some extension of Adam, but an invention of God, the placing of His everlasting Word incarnate in flesh, via a woman for the format. It is Jesus Christ. There are the two pivots: Adam, natural order, plus sin adds to death. Jesus Christ, supernatural and celestial order, divine indeed, plus plan of salvation by Him, adds to eternity with a body of individuality not lost, but sustained.
Lose your life, said Christ, and SAVE IT! (Matthew 16:24ff.). Give up your temporary hold for yourself, and gain an eternal blessing in life, from Himself, able to give it, having paid for it in justice, given Himself in grace, and so achieved the perfect blend of mercy and holiness (cf. Psalm 85:10ff.).
In this sense, as Christ now applies this life through His Spirit, the first man became a living being, the second Adam became for man a life-giving Spirit (cf. Romans 5, 8).
The First man was of the earth, EARTHY, the second man is the LORD from heaven. We have not been left in natural hands, but supernatural ones have come to the rescue. The image, form, format, nature of the first man is what came to us, in our earthly equipment; the image of the heavenly Man, is what awaits. As I John 3 puts it, what He is, is what we are to become, since He has broken death as man, and provides life from God for man, which endures. His resurrection is the laboratory model. We follow on. God makes the difference.
STEP SIX -57
This brings up an important point. We CANNOT, constituted as we are, inherit eternity, in some merely natural way. It is to be in our resurrection format, just as our trial life was in our fleshly format. Flesh with its heritage of ills is not the only natural thing, the only nature that God creates! There was nothing merely natural about Christ’s resurrection, nor was it limited in any merely natural way, when upon this earth. Thus “flesh and blood” CANNOT inherit the kingdom of God. To BE THERE, you have to HAVE WHAT IT TAKES.
How is this to be done ? Paul now divulges a crucial aspect of the truth. We shall not all, who now live, die. Often has this author considered the sheer delight of skipping the death that is still waiting, and being transformed on the spot, and lifted to the life celestial in the general resurrection. It does, in a purely imaginative way, remind one of skiing! Certainly, says Paul, SOME will be in that position, for Christ is to come as He did as a babe, now a King, at a TIME.
In other words, there is to be a generation when some will be changed on the spot, transformed and transmuted; for when Christ comes, this is the order of events. As I Thessalonians 4 tells us, the dead in Christ, those already passed on from this earth, these will be resurrected first, then those who remain at that time, Christians still alive on earth will follow in that divine thrust known as the general resurrection. HIS ? It was particular. This ? it is general.
The transformation is to be instantaneous, announced by trumpet, far better than those wailing air-raid sirens of the endless procession of wars on earth; and then ? Then the “dead shall be raised incorruptible”. We hear of incorruptible people on earth, and marvel with joy if they seem honest all their lives, though there is not one who is without sin; but this to which the Christian through Christ’s labours is heir, it is not mere failure to fall into some specially vicious moral pit, some clear-cut and manifest failure. No, it is to be FREE from FALLING altogether.
“We shall all be changed” as is clear, for since there is no man who does not sin, it is given to men to die once (to be raised in immediate, spectacular instantaneity for those alive at His coming, or this following waiting before He come, yet still in His spiritual presence – Philippians 1:23), and after that the judgment (Hebrews 9). What then is it like, this change ? It is rather like putting on an overcoat (the image underlying II Corinthians 5), so this “corruptible must put on incorruption” , and not only so, but this vast human enemy, the seal on sin, death itself, it has to go. Thus this “mortal shall put on immortality” so that no more is it accessible, this death, this vulnerability, this fatality. It is like putting in a space suit, so that the cold is excluded, but this in an order of life which is categorically different, not just in degree, but in kind.
“We shall all be changed” as is clear, for since there is no man who does not sin, it is given to men to die once (to be raised in immediate, spectacular instantaneity as above, or this following waiting before He come, yet still in His spiritual presence – Philippians 1:23), and after that the judgment (Hebrews 9). What then is it like, this change ? It is rather like putting on an overcoat (the image underlying II Corinthians 5), so this “corruptible must put on incorruption” , and not only so, but this vast human enemy, the seal on sin, death itself, it has to go. Thus this “mortal shall put on immortality” so that no more is it accessible, this death, this vulnerability, this fatality. It is like putting in a space suit, so that the cold is excluded, but this in an order of life which is categorically different, not just in degree, but in kind.
When all this has happened, the prediction of Isaiah will be fulfilled, “Death is swallowed up in victory” (Isaiah 25:8). In fact, this with Isaiah 26:19 shows the case that Christ is to cover, envelop and provide for those who are believers who have passed on, for “My dead body shall they arise”. So did the prophets show these things; but it is only when the appointed one, the anointed one, the Messiah has done them that it is necessary to indicate with new detail the whole implications and schema involved.
In view of these things, it is good to reflect with Hosea 13 (in the testimony beforehand by some 7 centuries, of that prophet) that in this way death can be addressed, apostrophized:
“O death where is your sting! O grave (or hell) where is your victory!”
Death, it must be clearly recognised by the Christian, is no longer an issue. Like going to school, you have to do it; but in this case, except Christ Himself should return before you die when it is all concentrated: it passes. The time comes, sooner or later, when this phase is over, and the eternal life continues in the presence of the One who with this marvellous plan of salvation, instituted life with confidence, and concluded it with this triumph.
· It does not belittle sin: that DESERVES death.
· It does not compromise with it either, for holiness is mandatory, and that out of love, for as in households, dirt does not help anything.
· It does not disperse love, but diffuses it, for God is able to life those who fall.
What then is left ? Thanks, that is what is left. Thanks be to God who GIVES us the victory, Paul exclaims; for all required is DONE ALREADY, and we, we need to accept it and receive Him, thus having a current and spiritual transformation (as in II Cor. 5:17ff.), in preparation for the physical aspect to come, that is, as Paul puts it in Romans 8, “the redemption of the body”.
v So does all the plan of salvation, the scope of earth and heaven, the love of God, the justice of God, the judgment of God, the gift of eternal life, the nature of the resurrection, the order of things, all cohere. It is not a life without meaning, telling us that this is so on the part of people without meaning whose meaning assessment therefore must likewise and in the self-same way be without meaning, and hence irrational,self-contradictory and arbitrary nonsense.
v We are not in this logical impasse. Logic works so well because God who made us, instilled it both into us as workers, and into the inanimate as the worked. It all works*4 because One God made the design for the analysable and the analyst in one Mind, His.
v We are not left with mere stuff thrust into our necks by arrant religionists, materialists or other plagues, on pain of the severance of the same; for how then would mind test with what it is given, instead of being merely sedated! Is sedation any way to live ? or die ?
v It is the mere precursor to death, unless you are awakened! (cf. I Corinthians 6, Isaiah 42:18ff.).
The Australian, January 27, article by Jonathan King, Historian.
From experience, he forms the view that there is “a small politically correct brigade bent on changing Australia in its own image.” Although, he affirms, many NSW students must do a mandatory 100 hours in history, they rarely hear of important leaders and achievers leading to the development of the nation (he specifies a group in view). There is more. “Not surprisingly, students’ ignorance of our history is becoming so appalling that one school leaver thought Gallipoli was a surfing beach in Queensland, another thought it was where we defeated Hitler. Few even know when, now or why their continent was settled.”
The author found a similar phenomenon in the Education course he took, where he had to OPT for a SPECIAL individual course (taken alone) in order to get the History of Education, which proved utterly fascinating. There was so much talk on the elevated conceptions of those most advanced (i.e. now), that the follies of much of our educational system, with its downgrading of literary precision, vocabulary and grammar, high achievement and its survival emphasis, is left as a sort of standard, as if the Twin Towers in New York, in their present state, were the last word in architecture, because so recent.
It is intensely understandable, this tendency to avoid the former things. To study the past requires principles for evaluation, whereas in fact many simply make themselves or the current state or stage of their culture, the criterion; and it stirs thought on good and bad points, emphases and results in the past and stimulates application to the present. All of this is good or beneficial towards objective understanding, and that is a positive enemy of a delusive revolution in thought, which comes to this, that what is, is good, and can be made better, and is always better than what was.
This simplistic self-adulation leaves the teacher of English for example, more than appalled: for the comparison of the high level of literary craftsmanship and critical skills demanded formerly, with the current stresses, at times resembles a comparison of Gothic Cathedrals, or the British Houses of Parliament, with a 50 story air-conditioned, geometrically blocked sky-scraper, awaiting Al Qaeda’s next emulous move.
Truth is not content to be the content of the current state of a man’s or a culture’s mind. It requires the knowledge of God, and a means of assessment, that is above and not in the prison of a mentality so circumscribed, that current man can scarcely even survive, and seems in many cases so pre-occupied with this ‘art’, that rats might seem for many a suitable comrade in arms.
This is not to downgrade contemporary man at all, but to summon to the bar of thought, the cultural sleaziness which is downgrading his conceptions, and to highlight the need to turn from the servility for which, many private schools, positively proliferating in this nation, try to provide some relief.
After all, if you are going to bring the race to its knees, it is best to keep them off them, at the outset! If however the interest is their deliverance, it is a far better thing that they use them, and that ? for kneeling, not before the monster fabrication of arrogant human racism, but before the living God*5, its source, and doing so minus arrogance, that enormous plus which is for man a major minus, making the USA’s national debt in trillions, seem as nothing by comparison.
An excerpt here from Light of Dawn Ch. 3 should provide further perspective and data to the point.
Thus in I Corinthians 15, we find not that there is to be a body which is
· fusikos (1) and one which is
· pneumatikos (2) , but one which is
· yucikos (3) and one pneumatikos.
Not the natural, but the nature of life as it is, it is which is to go. The yuch not the fusis is to become obsolete. Things do not lose the state of being created in a realm, an order with a nature donated to them, in order to become spiritual, as far as the body is concerned, we find therefore in I Cor. 15. Rather it is the natural man, which is paralleled in this chapter by such expressions 'in corruption' (I Cor. 15:42), 'in dishonour' (I Cor. 15:43), before we find our interest in v. 45, "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
It is not therefore a natural order which is to be omitted (as in 1 above). It is not this term concerning 'nature', which is used in his exclusion. Rather, it is the term depicting a debased, dishonoured and potentially carnal body which is to be omitted. It is not a body of individuality and coherence, reality and distinguishing features which is to go; it is one which is inherently susceptible to decay, pain, mortality, corruption and death. Hence we read later (I Cor. 15:50): "... corruption does not inherit incorruption."
'Flesh' is characteristically used in such contexts by Paul to mean the abased, spiritually diseased and inherently depraved, the sinfully lost, the adventurist-style divorcee from God, and its associates (as in Romans 7:18,25, Galatians 5:17 - where 'the flesh lusts against the spirit'). To be sure, this is sarx in these cases, but yuch, the soul, is its correlative, its parallel, the specialised expression of which sarx is the generic.
'Flesh' as such is something created, but the term tends to suggest especially in Paul, quite simply its fallen state, and what this implies in various contexts. 'Soul', being that which is to be saved, potentially at the first susceptible by donation to eternal life, but alienated from this and so settled in 'flesh', is not inherently at all evil. However, in this domain, dimension, historical situation, it is depleted of its proper vitality, dynamic and desire, and can with passion indeed, pursue what is far other, often with self-righteousness, to show the disease in intensively spiritual terms, where whoredom and the like does not so much appeal.
As Thayer points out in his Greek Lexicon (one which is distinguished by considerable flair for words, and far from wooden), Paul might have used fleshly (sarkikos) instead of yucikos (3 above), but appears to have used the correlative to 'fleshly', instead of that word itself, because quoting from Genesis 2. There, he had just used 'living soul' (Genesis 2:7 - 'living soul' employing yuch swma), and he continued in parallel without change.
Of course, it is not for us to guess why Paul used any given word, but the continuity of terminology, using what he quoted before as to vocabulary, in pursuing the theme, would normally be regarded as sound technique, lest confusion arise, and people begin to wonder whether he had changed or adjusted slightly the topic. In this way, no confusion is even possible. In that sense, Thayer's point is a just one.
It is, then, the dishonourable, the corruptible, indeed the corrupted which is to have no part in the kingdom of heaven, and this is what is declared in I Cor. 15:50, explicitly in the context of terms used. The addition of 'blood' in this verse, is merely a metonymy, the extension of the nature of things fallible, corruptible and mortal, and in this case defiled and degraded, into its human format more fully. THIS, the apostle instructs us, is to be replaced by what is a body immortal, incorruptible, honourable, free from defilement or its opportunities, its scope or its doom, its degrees or its character entirely.
In fact Paul is at enormous pains to exclude two things: any thought of impurity continuing in any degree whatsoever into the eternal state, and any conception of evaporation of nature, so that it ceases. There are, he declares, asseverates, pronounces with depth and continuity, DIFFERENT SORTS of bodies. He proceeds through a sort of litany of physical components of nature. This is used as a ground for the differentiation of types of body applicable to man. It is not that the natural is gone; it is that the corruptible is annulled. It is not at all that there is cessation of distinctive natural character, but there is a DIFFERENT one. It is one comparable to the current realm of nature in one point, that it is of a diverse but analogical sort.
Indeed, 'foolish one' he expostulates of the would-be confused person, unable or unwilling to realise the point (I Cor. 15:36ff.). To what does this constitute a part of the reply ? It is to a putative question:
· "How are the dead raised, and with what body do they come ?"
· His answer:
· "Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies.
· “And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain - perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies ...
· “So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power."
It is apparent therefore that the apostle exceedingly degrades any concept of NO body, or some odd sort of body which is really not a body at all. It is the precise opposite which he pounds, expostulating extensively, crisply and dramatically against any such misconception. It is the same SORT of thing in this, that there is a decisive, individual and distinctive relationship between the one and the other. The difference is NOT a loss of information, form or reality, but a specific and highly specialised increment of excellence, indeed a replacement of the inglorious trend and type with the glorious type, both as intimately related as bodies, however, as are seed and grain. This is his message.
The evil susceptible is EXCLUDED from heaven (I Cor. 15:50). It is not even relevant. There has to be a profound and total change of the nature of the being for it to be clothed with this species of immortality body. THAT is why it is called for; its destiny would not admit anything less. The difference is categorical, not in the realm or domain of the body, as body: THAT is the thing which is invariant in CATEGORY. The change, however, within that conceived category, it is absolute, from the downward to the upward, from the degraded to the restored, the ordinary to the extraordinary, the ugly to the beautiful, the vulnerable to the invulnerable, the judged to the acceptable, the bordering on dysfunction, to the endlessly functional.
Its difference, divergence, diversity, it is in an entirely and far more delightful direction, then, than mere alteration; but still in the style and form of BODY. It is still the species within the category which is at point; but the celestial species is above; the terrestrial is fallen below and sinks yet more to judgment.
The celestial: It is a glorious species of body for a glorious realm to be inhabited ONLY by people whose 'flesh and blood' defilement type bodily and spiritual domains are replaced by a spiritual body type involvement, parallel to the personal change made.
Thus the LORD (I Cor. 15:48-49) imparts in this way a body to those who are 'heavenly', adapted, regenerated and called, justified and to be gloried (Romans 8:29ff.). As Paul declares, it is "eternal in the heavens" (II Cor. 5:1ff.). As people are predestinated, so their bodies also are to be are secure, like their destiny itself (I Peter 1:4-5), and as to this, it is neither fading away, not defiled, incorruptible and reserved in heaven for those who, being His, are kept by the power of God to salvation to be revealed in its consummate artistry and completion in heaven, though now already so sure on earth (Romans 5:10-11, John 10:9,27-28, Romans 8:23, I Thess. 5:9-10, I John 5:12ff.).
It is from this that the apostle is led to advise us that 'flesh and blood' paralleled by 'corruption' in the same sentence, cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
It is precisely then that he tells us a mystery, in which there is to be a twinkling of an eye change, and it is one rather a parallel to the Genesis 1 revelation of the creation by the word of God, as reflected by Paul in II Cor. 4:6, where he wrote:
· "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ",
while further declaring of the Christians who are so indeed,
· "Therefore from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh... Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away: behold, all things have become new" - II Cor. 16-17).
Thus fleshly modes of knowing ANYTHING are replaced by a universe of discourse, of vitality, of spirituality in which, like children taken for the first time into an airplane ride, the contours of actuality come with staggering impact on the new-born eyes.
*4 See Repent or Perish