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Christ's Command Capsule and
The Compliance of Reliance
Command is a constant, a continual reality in life. It is not all of life by any means; but it is structurally imposing, eventually unyielding and even in the arena of liberty, no evacuee.
Design has its commands, in whatever area of origination, human or divine, which are required if it is to meet the definitional case. It has far more; but not less.
It has its results likewise. No heavily concatenated, systematically correlated, multiply integrated, specifically functionally designable, logically operational entity can be evacuated from the term 'design' without altering its definition (cf. Light Dwells ... Design and Creation). To expect 'chance' (the absence of intrusive purpose into any given system) to create law is merely to mask import without logical import licence, a smuggling operation; to expect it to integrate relevant laws with finesse, cohesive conceptual facilitation and mathematical brilliance, is merely a contradiction in terms. The point of a domain of law and command is not whatever comes wherever, as is the case in art and music likewise: it is the spirit of the thing, the domain of the enterprise, the perspectives employed or assumed, the understanding deployed and the facility exhibited as a result.
This is the ultimate reductionism: to ignore the domain entirely when speaking of it, as if to speak of music in terms of lettuce (and even that without water or fertiliser for its crisp production).
The logic of thought itself, indeed, has its commands, and you see various endeavours in text books on logic, to orient to them, sensitise to them, avoid their rupture and ensure their operational functionality. It is not a work in some 'system' or other ... WHAT system ? It is a system in which logic and expression, articulation and mutual accommodation obey commands or violate into inanity and dysfunction.
There are in life likewise, the means of commands. The DNA is one, but by no means, all of this programming facilitator's domain. There are to be found commands which depute to various systems the orders which will instruct and advise them of the part each is to play in some commanded resolution of (procedural) mysteries leading on to an integral functionality, kind, conceptually run cohesion with integral point: these are not part of any given system, but an over-riding direction to each. They do not 'arise' from any system, each system having its own parameters, limits and investigable powers. They have none such. One good illustration is in the work of Miller, so lionised before the truth tore apart the romanticised, mysticised muddle. You do not get even protein that way, and what was obtained, is not obtained that way: for crucial considerations were left out of account. The schema was mis-stated, the facts adverse when the cards were laid on the table (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri 5; 9, *2).
Even the most monumental efforts from the highest trained specialists cannot, even with the actuality of operational life before them, create it. With millenia to try and millions to pay, they fail. This merely attests the exceeding systematic brilliance which they face; for no small amount is designated to try, and as more and more of the marvels of miniaturisation and method are unveiled, which are in life, less and less awe is evidenced as if seeing how your Maths maestro does a small part of his works, made the one still way beyond you, less impressive. It is not anything but perversity of spirit which makes it so. Man pays heavily for this wilful obfuscation, and will continue to do so, unless he repents. Further, the means of application of will are not will itself.
Indeed freedom has its commands: again they are not all, but they are foundational. As we saw in Ch. 3 above (cf. Light Dwells ... Part 8 G), the daring dumping of fundamental data concerning man is neither in any sense scientific nor logical, and must fail as irrational in style and scientistic in folly.
Man's liberties are not autonomy, as we there see, for he is surrounded by commands he did not make, and in many cases, does not like.
They are not, however, for that reason nothing, as guilt so readily attests and operational experience confirms constantly: guilt itself by no means a signal of insanity on the part of the human race but a recognition of responsibility founded on observable self-functions.
The capacity to err is not a product of determinism, which knows nothing about it; and argument on the topic itself illustrates liberty on the one hand - to err on the part of one or both, and while on the other, this occurs in the grounds of conceptual concern, which may be freely invoked in the contest (cf. Light Dwells ...Part 8 E). That is the dynamic domain involved in which the casus belli arises and is set for resolution.
The ease of the resolution merely confirms the reality of the arena (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamics Ch. 4, Little Things Ch. 5, SMR Ch. 1, 3, Calibrating Myths ... Ch. 6). All ideas resting themselves on a program have the double deficiency of being subject themselves to program, which being a set of orders is by no means the equivalent of truth, which gives understanding for orders or anything else. Again, without absolute truth you cannot gain it, so the model that substitutes relativity for reality cannot obtain it, even if it would. Hence all presentation to the point is illusory, vain and meaningless, where such a model rules, including its presentation of itself. It is self-contradictory.
For freedom to be actual, one needs first the liberty NOT to be programmed (that is, in thought, in understanding) and thus to make errors by wilful or woeful means, as is common on earth. Secondly, one needs access to ultimate truth, for without this, one is bound by oneself, the structure, functionality and conferred conditions of one's own being, its limits, its determinate character. Even if 'liberty' within this is postulated, it still is liberty to be what one is, not to know what is excluded, or to operate in a way not included. Without truth, one is merely in a synthetic series of complexities, and liberty is meaningless, subject to confines so limiting in nature and so determinate in condition that it is a choice between confining options at most, not an awareness of what might be, or even what is.
Hence the absence of access to absolute truth is the terminus of liberty properly so-called, that is option to take truth at will, or through will, as distinct from operating to one's own private satisfaction: a fulfilment of what one is, not a liberty to be what is true. The programmatic like the self-moved is merely that: not liberty but completion of a program or product is then all that is in view.
When however the necessity of God is realised (as in SMR, TMR), then this one of the antinomies resulting from the irrational exclusion of the basis of law, logic and language and the conceptual correlation of these, departs. Then liberty is very simply the power to know God and to delight in Him; or to refuse Him, with or without withering wounds and witless words. That this requires an initiative from God, the Lord Himself, since knowing an infinite being is beyond the finite in power and capacity, except it be by grace, and since sin is an exclusion agent in man, who is not born with this knowledge but needs to find it where it may be obtained (as in Isaiah 55): this in no way limits liberty. It merely channels it, just as blood being channeled through arteries, rather than preventing its liberty to reach the body, enables it.
That this initiative is in propositional form, as well as - in terms of that form - in personal sacrificial provision in the Cross predicted for a millenium before it came: this is no more an impediment than is an aircraft an impediment in gaining altitude. It is a limit in mode, but a triumph in achievement.
That God does not grant the knowledge of Him to those who do not repent of their sins and find in His analysis and provision the security and stability of truth, as in the removal of a mound of granite before an entrance, again in no sense limits liberty. It is however a profound limit to reaching it in any way but that which the God of liberty provides. This is scarcely surprising given both the nature of man and of the omission of the knowledge of God, the condition in which he now naturally exists. Indeed, that God revealed propositionally in the Bible, that sole verified and validatable testimony of words of divine and standard origin for all men (cf. SMR and Light Dwells ...Part 3, Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host), and personally in Jesus Christ, the sole precisely verified fulfilment of the place of incarnation there specified: this is not reached by the operationally effective will of fallen man. Rather it is He who finds His people, one by one, and regenerates them; and this no more reduces liberty than does an ambulance at an accident scene deny the individuality of a victim.
Man is loved by God (Titus 2-3, Colossians 1:19ff.), but being merely physically programmed, and that not entirely, while mentally and spiritually capable of profound understanding and mischief with it, and held in blinding sin, he is able to be delivered only by a divine action. That action however is not a blight on liberty, but its re-creation. It is not by force, and it is not without the relevance of the human will (cf. Predestination and Freewill and Great Execrations ... Chs. 7 and 9), but it IS without the enabling capacity of that fallen will. God continually is found lamenting or even on occasion weeping, exhorting, clamoring, claiming, revealing, beckoning, commanding and expressing His vast grief at the wayward antics and distancing procedures of febrile and fallen man (cf. Gratitude for His Glorious Grace Ch. 2, Scaling the Heights ... Ch. 4, and SMR Appendix B).
His desire to save all is repeated, and repeatedly made manifest in the scriptural coverage of history as above; His insistence that He only can save is no less clear: His initiative for this action is the same, as bright as day. It is found in the predicted Messiah and in His privileged sacrificial death, and His power is as usual shown in the confirmed fact of His forecasts as well as in their nature! This culminates in the resurrection's attestation of His deity (cf. SMR pp. 923ff., Index Resurrection, SMR Ch. 6). What however of the actual application of this salvation to the individual ?
The fact that none can come unless the Father grant it (John 6:65) is no less clear than the liberality of the Lord's will and the profundity of His work. It is in short a sovereign operation based on a foreknowledge not of works or of goodness but of those who are His, not forced, not artificially spiritually inseminated but where love reaches before the mind and knowledge of God (Ephesians 1:4).
That then, it is liberty, such as is prescribed for what being in the image of God (able to have absolute truth, and to converse on it), is defiled but not defunct. In this, one may know Him who IS God and operate with understanding and desire in His presence.
Instead, what is the option ? It is to operate in a lie, intentional or by unconscientious confusion. This is not liberty but delusion. If anyone should operate wilfully in a lie, this is not liberty but collision with reality and distortion of what one is. What cannot create reality, being itself created, has no liberty in merely battering its wings against the cage of its own containment. It cannot re-create the universe or itself. It must deal either in defiance, delusion or in spiritually upright principle with God.
When love is the motif, this is liberty indeed. When it is not, what distortion may freedom create. How may a man, except by insanity, lust for the status of deity rather than seek restoration to the actual place which creation enjoins!
It is unrealism conjoined with self-assertion; it is arrogant self-insertion in the very face of the grace of being made in the first place, able to understand, and in the second, of being offered deliverance, to be pardoned freely so that one may resume such a privilege as being restored to the image of God, and that by means of what was at such personal cost to the Creator, so that what He suffered meets the limit of human grief. He renders assistance on other terms than the balm to mere defiance. Insistence by man on such obloquy to reality, both in creation and that suffered by the Redeemer in atonement is precisely that lying irrationality where lust replaces love, and insensitivity becomes callow callousness, like that of hands unable any more to feel, because of thickened skin.
It is the assertion of what is neither true (one's own significance as a universe orderer, though not at all ordering the universe which is oneself), nor justifiable (why should one contest with God, except not to be what one is, and how could one be otherwise than by becoming God, which is a lost option - too late! and even in default, too little, for a name does not help a fool!).
The endeavour, as old as Eve, to come to parity in any power with the intrinsic aseity of God by deceit or as with the devil (Revelation 12) by force, popularity or both, is if not insane, inane. How could you BECOME eternal and infinite in wisdom and power; and even if you could, how could you love as much as that ? and even if you could, how could you do what requires divine power, and even if you had it, the matter has been done already. Creation is past. Only God is eternal. Too late the parvenu.
If you are grateful, take it; if not, the issue remains as before.
Moreover, the issue is this: that one receive what is done by love without force, and be brought back to Him: entirely by grace, for without His action nothing man does can even avail at all (John 1:12). When the fingers rot from leprosy, and fall off, it is difficult to use them; but the spirit remains.
Thus freedom has a structure and a stricture, it has a means and a way by which it may be obtained, and just as there COULD be no liberty without God, so there IS none without His action. When He acts, however, there it is to be found, in the knowledge, willingly and delighted, in the self-verifying and self-vindicating and solely valid scripture, and in its index to the way home, Jesus Christ, who came to earth to signify in person, and establish by action, the way back.
When that way being found, and the God of truth being known, one is at last in His presence as a friend and child of His finding, then liberty is complete. What then ? one is not free to BE God, since one was both born and born too late! One is however at liberty to know the truth, and loving it, and Him who first loved, to live in its vast brilliance of illumination, coherence, comprehensiveness and power, in its principles and procedures, in its wisdom and its knowledge (cf. Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ).
Thus is avoided both the limitation and the defilement of littleness and prejudice on the one hand, since God does it; and on the other, any selection from among mankind for a purpose other than sharing in truth, in fellowship with Him as the truth, What might such have been ? It could have been in another situation: the self-satisfaction of the Giver, or the fulfilment of a predilection in that being, rather than transformation into truth-sharers. The case being other, the liberty is actualised. Nothing else provides this action that makes liberty; nor does another 'faith' provide it for man, being either limited to his own inadequacy, before truth is obtained so that one's defects and deficiencies and ignorances act as a filter, or presuming it is good to be chosen, without regard to the purpose of such choice! (cf. Barbs ... 6 -7, Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4), a flip of uninformed will
Liberty is no flip; it is not some existential feeling. It is solid, sober involvement with vitality and reality, with the truth, as a participant and in the marvel and the wonder of the actual God, as a child of His, adopted freely (Ephesians 1). It must express not a 'chance' or a whim, not a caprice or a resultant of some program or production-specification: but what is divinely read as availability to love. How this is wrought, it is His affair. How it might have been wrought, in full consistency with scripture is shown in SMR Ch. 8 at the outset, as in Predestination and Freewill.
What however a lot of structure was NEEDED for this LIBERTY, a broad conspectus of considerations, commanded into being, that liberty might be.
Indeed, what a lot of action, to make and to redeem!
In view of this provision, and its misuse, there comes a new sphere of command.
The COMMAND is to REPENT (Luke 13:1-3), and that command with all the provisions for salvation, is likewise by COMMAND inviolate more than any anti-biotic: that it be pure (Galatians 1:6-9). What is of God is not manipulable by man, since the gap to His infinite wisdom cannot be bridged by man, though the attestation of His wisdom can indeed be found! Nor can the one offending prescribe for the one pardoning how, why or whether he will pardon. It comes and must be received if it comes!
Command appears no less in the arena of the result of freedom: its dismantling in the servitude of inculcated habits and spiritual attitudes adverse to truth, convenient but corruptive or corrosive. Its form is judgment. This has many phases: either the plainly physical, as in disease when related directly to abuse of liberty, in temperamental depression or declivity, when resulting from mismanagement of spiritual resources, or in direct divine declaration as shown in The Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 4, illustrated for example in Tyre, Babylon, Nineveh and the relevant biblical denunciations and predictions.
To be sure, as always, command is not all: but it is not missing either. Thus mercy, as with that vile and detestable misuse of life shown by Manasseh, may arrive in time to prevent judgment, or attenuate it, and that also, by divine declaration as the heart seeks the Lord (II Chronicles 33:9-16).
As with a home, with principles, procedures, programs, designated designs and consolidated constructions, this is one part. The people whose the equipment is, and for whom it is organised, arranged and instituted: these are another. The architect is yet another participant, as also the surveying engineer, and the responsibility for the making of the schema is another function or functionary. It is time magic was forsaken: fine for childhood in some ways, if not misunderstood, but false and falsetto in tone, when one just 'expects' this or that to be done without viable and verifiable operational sufficiency!
Our present point is simply that it is not all personal, or impersonal, structural, or existential: it is partly command, and the command structure is not merely in the constructive elements of life, the organisation, arrangement, subordination of this to that principle or particular in the interests of outcome and individuality, specificity and desired feature: for it exists also for the agencies involved.
Thus man is personal*1 and when he errs or repents, he is obfuscated or illuminated , the former through pure wilfulness or sudden occlusion as he proceeds witlessly in some arena.
Indeed, this is an operation of his spirit which has such a variety and variability of approach, such diseases through misuse, that it has a vast region of its own for its action. Even here, however, there is law, principle and command. Thus the moral law (News 19) does not bend because subjectivity dislikes it, any more than does physical law, when it is misconceived, whether through wilfulness or simple ignorance. What is fitting to the body, mind and spirit of man does not alter because opinions or desires alter.
Further the law of repentance does not change; and it is a COMMAND. Thus there are domains of liberty and command, free expression and true or false impression and the harassment of reductionists could as well be directed at one field as at the other. The mere fact that some functions and facilities are visible is virtually irrelevant: it is what is made of what is seen, whether with the mind or with the eyes, that matters; and unless the validity of mind be granted - involving access to absolute truth - there is no foundational security for matter either. In fact, the very decision to debate or seek, to twist or turn, it is all invisible.
As with a voice, there may be resultants; but the content, that is not visible, nor is the creation assessable, nor is the facility to overview and survey, with or without mixed motives, visible; nor is the decision to revolt from God or not to do so, visible; nor is the idea that it is only the visible that is actual, visible. It is all mere reductionism which relieves itself of the burden of scientific investigation by ignoring the realm in view.
While this is a comment on the direction and principles of the will involved (cf. Matthew 13:14ff.), it is not one on the field in view.
Nor is the immediate and the response realm in thought or will by any means all for us here to survey.
There is another domain of command, that is less obvious, and often takes time to be manifested throughout history (cf. Bon Voyage! Chs. 1-4, Walking in the Light ... Ch. 6, SMR Ch. 9, Dig ... ... Ch. 2). It is this.
While the crass may say, Power comes out of the barrel of a gun! the fact is that the power of the gun can stimulate the power of the human spirit to invent with mind as provided, in a world correlative in logic to it, as provided, so that for example atomic bombs can humiliate the gun. It is in the end not the bomb but the spirit stirred to create it that has the power to respond, to think, to outwit, to construe, to overview. The best militarily heeled are by no means assured of the victory; and the 'impossible' odds are stimulus to their being overcome - when the spirit is there!
The military hardware may appear intimidating for a time; the man who makes the plans in the end, has more wit; and in the interstices of the duplicities and complicities of man, no one mechanism rules. Yet man himself is under the Maker of HIM as such! He is the 'gun' then, if you will, and it is he who is then answerable to HIS OWN MAKER, who has the wit, the inventiveness, the brilliance to respond and to deal with his unhumble antics.
It is from God that the power comes as David so sagely is moved to remark (Psalm 57).
On the way, man may be moved, as in the case just noted, to imperiously chant his Nazi way over Europe, or to use brilliance in Norway in the heavy water campaign, only to have it overthrown by daring and courage in an attack on the site; and courage may arise, people seeking the mind and help of God in Britain in many churches for the nation, ostensibly committed to God. It may confront the affront of mere power; and it did so in this instance. In the midst, Churchill construed the case and gave his speeches, which inspired and fired many.
This is but one slice of the entire construction; but it is there.
In the end, it is the spirit of the enterprise which gives to it its character, and in its character lies its contribution, for good or evil. This spirit as in the case of David, in his relationship with God UNTIL Bath-Sheba, may be one of enterprise, morality, beauty of holiness, kindness and courage, directed all in the interests of the Creator-Redeemer by one of His children as then; or it may be as in Stalin, built on folly and playing the executioner to millions as the folly was impressed on the nation and on other nations. In the end, it is the spirit of it which makes the waves, by which it is estimated; and the spirit of it is interpretable in propositions and principles, true or false - false in such cases*2.
History catches up. In some cases, as in that of Nineveh, centuries may elapse; new horrors may intrude; but the stresses and sanctions yield at last and the realities obtrude, like rocks as the seas churn, made evident at length. Then man seeks to cover up the rocks, treacherous though they be shown to be; and he does this lest the realities appear and his vulnerability, responsibility and openness to divine and just judgment appear too obvious, postponing the aweful day! He invents ever new systems, Earth Charter the child of Communism and secularity (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 11), for example, seeking ever new ways of concocting an appeal or an appearance which will beguile while history is hoped to become at last subject to the domain of the human spirit, without God.
Thus the abuse of the human spirit, so important and so characterisable in its ways, instead of showing what may be done in the face of mere wilful force, with the backing of God, may become itself one of the warrior arms against truth, and so become not a way out and on, but a way into the mesmeric muddle of forces from which it might have climbed. Through sin, in other words, what was a subject, can become more nearly an object of the forces it neither understands nor equips itself to face wisely. Instead of resisting, it can capitulate; instead of overcoming, it can succumb to mere means.
The means, then, are just that. Man is an ensemble, potentially equipped with unity of thought, and in principle able to find the basis of thought and the power for life: though he normally defiles this in unbelief's numerous deficient patterns ... *3.
When means are chosen to interpret or implement plans, thoughts cogitations, intimations, visions and so on, they are just that. Means and ends differ; and one large diversity is this: that the end may choose other means more apt for the purpose! There is the enterprise, the initiative, the drive, the cognition, the imagination and the understanding (or pathological lack of it).
Man tends to an utter confusion not least because not only does he divorce from God, who in His very being grants to man the purposes for his existence, but in using his divinely accorded purposive power equipped with initiative, he constantly construes means and ends in a convergence driven not least by the weakness of rebellion, and the conflict with reality. Then wars (of words or scimitars or thumb-screws or atomic bombs) break out, as the purpose which SHOULD be chosen is contested, and often the means for this are organised with regard to the estimation of proper purposes in the first place, which being problematic because of the pathology of man's alienation from his God, are in themselves matters of argumentation, uproar and deadly hatred or contempt.
In all of this, spirit and purpose is prior in kind to means, and history although complex because of the inveterate guile of sin and guilt of its domain, tends because of the very conflicts with reality involved, to breed results. Tyrants fall, tyrannies are shown contemptible, vain words are exposed and vile force is exhibited without the passion of performance, for what it is. Naturally cover-up and contention arise as various nefarious designs and purposes seek their own glory, for the future or to 'cover' the past; but the truth does not bear assault in the end. Judgment from the Author of man has its final assizes over-arching in grandeur and accuracy the pulsations found on this earth, as waves come and recede, their foaming shame a wonder to many, though still attractive to some.
In the meantime, the structure and survey of celestial command associated with the purposes and spirit of man is more inveterate than man's rebellion.
Not only does history regard the
prior passions with its sagacious wit, but God Himself
When it came to the matter of the
Messiah, on which history turns as a pivot,
Without this being so, NO
predictive, planned result
could be achieved, for there would
History itself is subject to command, not so that liberty is lost, but rather its meaning exposed. Judgment is to make up the difference. Thus, those who have suffered in righteousness for good purposes will not, in Christ, be discomforted when the purposes of GOD are finally fulfilled, liberty embraced, love consummated and lostness accorded where in the end in God's sight, the heart so desires ... There are no prisoners in heaven; if there were, doubtless their hearts would make it for them a very peculiarly repugnant hell.
Truth however does not bend. It is love that bows, mercy that contrives, grace that avails, and God's purpose that prevails.
As God declares in Jeremiah 51:29, concerning just one of His targets in history:
"And the land will tremble and sorrow; for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation..."
More generally, in Isaiah 14:27, we find this, as we do in history, the words and works coinciding:
"For the LORD of hosts has purposed; and who will annul it ?
His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back ?"
This applies at times against enemies of enemies, often against Israel in discipline, as notoriously exhibited in Leviticus 26, where the successive waves of divine discipline are outlined millenia in advance (with major parallel in parts in Deuteronomy 29-32), just as they came to be! It does not matter of what race you are, when you fool with God!
There is in the work and word of God a certain precision. Whether it is cursing or blessing, promises or precept, it works, it happens. The word that created the universe is the same one*4 that promises and articulates premises. Christ as seen in Matthew 5:17-20 not only made this a matter of honour and realism, that God performs His declared will, but that every jot and tittle would be fulfilled. When the importance is infinite, the means chosen are not little!
The scope for testing is immense, as are the results, and homogeneously perfect. It reminds one of a distinguished mathematics and science teacher who, seeing a student's product in examination, remarked that it was all right. His meaning ? 100% There is nothing wrong with it: that happens. It happens here!
In considerable and at times almost total contrast is the experience of what, being divorced dynamically and spiritually, from its source, is neither placed as created, nor functioning as originated, nor drawing spiritual strength as designated, nor dynamised as designed. Naturally, and in image one could consider if it were possible the experience of a severed branch lying near the vine in the midst of fertiliser meant for roots and decaying with other rubbish.
The very presence of system would be the more obnoxious, perhaps, because it not merely did not agree with its own condition, but was obviously meant for something else. What might make it the more galling would be the simple and not especially difficult to comprehend fact that the severed branch is near other living branches. These are not cut off, and it could see, if branches had that facility - which in common with many of mankind, of course, they wilfully do not, except that with the branch it is endemic, not epidemic - that the gear about it, was was not only unsuitable to it. It was what they needed. Indeed, it was what it might and should also have needed...
What a mischance! the disoriented clipping could muse, in contravention of actuality!
Thus the concept of 'chance' becomes popular, for although it is merely in this sequence of thought, the absence of purposive command in any intrusion into a given system, series of systems or situation, yet it is glorified into god-like proportions as a way of life. This in one sense and one aspect, it very nearly is FROM THE PRIVATE PERSPECTIVE of the sufferer, the cut off branch in our imagery. Thus the fertiliser for the roots burns the leaves, the water for them, makes soggy and smelly the leaves, the cultivating between rows makes smashings which for the living vine are not so. For them, these stirrings are constructive for growth. The loosening of the ground and removal of weeds makes for better roots.
What is designed however, is not designate for cut branches!
So with man. When he elects not to receive the commanded, commended Gospel for the re-attachment to God, then the events not being in the manner of design, either for himself as created or as fallen and available for redemption by grace through faith, then he is as the Bible declares in Psalm 1, "like chaff which the wind drives away." This is not a lack of design, but an unremitting severance from it. This is the gift for man, and here is the culmination of the cry for autonomous liberty.
He can refuse. It is part of the FACILITY of the system that he may; for when you come to persons, though they are IN a system which may enable implementation of what is willed, they are not OF a such a system. It does not in itself remove liberty, but rather extends its field of operation: merely facilitating it when it is used as designed.
Thus the illusion of 'chance' and the consciousness of abandonment, so common in some blues songs and depressive states, including cynicism and systematic scepticism (cf. SMR pp. 255-266, 292ff.), becomes something that can bring a desolatory comfort to the discomforted, as if to avenge them on their follies. It does not however make it so: it is merely the distress signal of the abandoned, whose abandonment is wilful, as well as actual.
God being very deep, however, this is not the final state. Thus the consciousness in such cases is a symptom and also a symbol. It signifies confusion, diffusion of strength and dislocation of place.
The place by grace can be changed. It is equivalent in power to the work of the bodily resurrection in Christ, and it means the revitalisation of what is (spiritually and hence crucially) dead. This requires both the meeting of justice in judgment, for God is not variable or untrue*5, and the will to pardon, which is enshrined in the Gospel (cf. TMR Ch. 3, SMR pp. 582ff.). When this barrier is removed, this separation is serviced, this exclusion is remedied, then there is a natural but supernaturally engendered awareness of newness (II Corinthians 5:17ff.), indeed that "all things have become new".
This is so when life is restored to what was in the spiritual and dynamic realm of meaning and experience, effectually dead. In one way, it is like an electric light globe not attached to its socket. In some ways it closely resembles the one that is: it is just that there is no light, or warmth, or brilliance or dynamic. When there is, it is entirely different.
Command has instituted systems,
including that of life, and the facility of spirit.
Command has met the
violation which man has contrived, of the liberty
command is to repent and enlists the point that one MUST be born again.
The result is liberty, because one
cannot BE God, but has liberty as what one is, man,
It is when the child wants to grow up into God that the trouble comes. WE grow up and our parents grow old. God does not grow old, and our growing up can and should be into eternal life, which does not grow old (Psalm 71, 145, 90, John 6, 11:25-26, 4:14, 5:24, Revelation 22); where God remains the Father and Christ in the delightful grace of deity, is as a brother, object of worship and as incarnated, delight for the heart and comfort for the spirit (Hebrews 2, Revelation 21). The Father and the Son have both wrought the salvation of the redeemed, the Son executing the Father's will, yes and with this, God being One, HIS OWN! (Matthew 11:27, to which we look further, DV, in the next Chapter).
The command capsule of Christ,
though many were His sufferings, vast was His humiliation and subtly engineered
was the case for the caste who sought His ruin: it is intact and in truth,
impervious. Death ? He has risen. Slander ? His word prevails in history to this
hour (cf. SMR
Ch. 8). Ignominy from many falling 'churches' - it was foretold and in many of the details of it! Perseverance of His saints, continuation of Israel, restoration of Israel ? All as foretold. He is indeed the leader and commander as Isaiah declared in foretelling His incarnation (Isaiah 54, 48:16).
God has done it again: what He created, He has redeemed. Creation is finished; the provision for re-creation is finished, and soon the re-creation itself, that profound application of the awesome magnificence of the plan of salvation, will likewise be complete (cf. Revelation 6:9ff.). Then it will seem but a little while; for when the end anoints the eyes, the beginnings appear in their patterns, and the river of life in its routes is more clearly observed.
Let us however consider again man's severance option.
Discarded branches are so by their own will. As to God, He would have all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2, Colossians 1, I John 2:1-2). He has paid enough for all, and although it is not assigned to all, since He has known before time who are His, it is not by any exclusive rejection through shortage or short-circuit of His saving love that this is so. The condemnation, He declares, it is because light has come - even the light of Christ as outlined in John 1-3, and men have preferred darkness (John 3:19).
He is quite clear: THIS IS the condemnation, that this has happened; and THAT IS the light, even He who came. Thus He declared, if He had not come among them and spoken the words, done the deeds that no one else had done, they would not have had sin - that is, that fatal and fateful version of it in the context, which means severance from God to the uttermost and to the end.
Yet He did not COME to condemn that world, but that it might be saved (John 3:17). The negative results exists, as does garbage: but this is never the point of the exercise, any more than it is when one prepares a meal.
That God alone knows, understands and can heal this dark state, it is natural for the supernatural. It is HIS power that made it. That man may reject, it is natural to the liberty granted. That anyone may come at any time and be accepted is sure (John 6:47). If one does not, it is quite ludicrous to blame God.
If on the other hand, one does come, it speaks for itself, as it is written: "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8).
Again, notice this: "A good understanding have those who keep His commands" - Psalm 11:10, and that, it includes going where the pardon is when you slip (I John 1-2), when you have at last become one of His children; and seeking where the strength is when you are weak (II Corinthians 1 and 12), and where the wisdom is when you are bamboozled (James 1), and proceeding to praise God for His goodnesses to the children of men (Psalm 146-150, 73).
See for example:
Ch. 3 above, Calibrating Myths ... Ch. 6, It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, esp. *1A, Little Things ... Ch. 5.
Ch. 9, esp. End-note 1
See for example:
of Idolatry, Delusive
Drift ... Ch.
98, TTT 8;
GGMMMM 2; SMR pp. 925ff.;
On Stand-By, SMR pp. 422E ff., SMR Chs. 3, 10, Acme... Ch. 9, Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 3 - the soporific self, and the unity glide, under the sedation of sin, News 100, News 116, Repent or Perish Ch. 5.
SMR Chs.8-9, p. 973A, 931ff., The Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 4 and index: Bible.
See on the power and nature of this:
History, Review and Overview Ch. 4, Calibrating Myths ... Ch. 6, Swift Witness 6,SMR Appendix D and Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4.