W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
THE PURPOSE, THE PARODY and the PURITY
You see it on all sides. There is the desire, the thrust, the aspiration, the inward intimation: where is the PERFECT person, or the HEROIC person, or the gracious, noble, understanding, peaceable, trustworthy, yes and more than even all of these! Where, is there to be found, where the man of parts where the parts are less than the whole, the spirit is supreme and the nature is not only refined, but inspirational.
THAT is not the least of the
reasons why people tend to idolise football stars,
tennis stars, golf stars, singing stars, acting stars, and very occasionally,
political stars. It is one major reason why people tend to be gullible if not
credulous to the point of incredulity to the mind of the beholder, in being
gazers on the outstanding, satellites of the popular, dizzy about the elevated,
and all the time, looking for more, more … so that having been duped by Stalin,
they are yet ready for Hitler, or perhaps mesmerised
by the outstanding cruelty of the Islam from Muhammad, they are yet ready to
inflict jihad. Groping, they grovel; grovelling, they inflict, supine they
surrender, flagrant they riot, subversive they incite, delirious they destroy;
impotent they assault, useless they seek to contain the useful, and make their
own futilities the lodging place of an earth under their fast-treading feet.
Groping, they grovel; grovelling, they inflict, supine they surrender, flagrant they riot, subversive they incite, delirious they destroy; impotent they assault, useless they seek to contain the useful, and make their own futilities the lodging place of an earth under their fast-treading feet.
The Jew, or women, or
the rich, or the land-holders, or the industrious, or the pure in heart, this or
that, SOMETHING is the butt of their disordered lust and illicit cravings: they
kill, they deny, they deprive. Then, as soon as this earth is once more freed
from more oppression from their intoxicated maelstroms, inflammable, they are
seen striding with passion to the horizons of judgment, which awaits them, far
worse then death, the summit of their destiny in ruin. Earth is their shooting
site, and they have forgotten to live.
The Jew, or women, or the rich, or the land-holders, or the industrious, or the pure in heart, this or that, SOMETHING is the butt of their disordered lust and illicit cravings: they kill, they deny, they deprive. Then, as soon as this earth is once more freed from more oppression from their intoxicated maelstroms, inflammable, they are seen striding with passion to the horizons of judgment, which awaits them, far worse then death, the summit of their destiny in ruin. Earth is their shooting site, and they have forgotten to live.
Sin spews from them like a green volcano,
and arbitrary 'vision' or visions multiply as do the particles of sand in a
tempest. Reason is beyond them; grounds are lacking; they are like pilotless
planes, always aloft, always coming down, smashing as they come. The Communist,
the Romanist in his Inquisition, the warrior of Islam, grabbing this world,
these are but better known examples, for their name is legion: history is
littered with their passing, and they seek again and again to revive their
death. (Cf. Highway to Hell, News
37, Divine Agenda Ch. 6 -
News 138, Red Alert ... Ch. 16,
Beauty of Holiness Ch. 4, *2,
Ancient Words ... Ch. 9, Of the Earth,
Earthy ... Ch. 2).
Sin spews from them like a green volcano, and arbitrary 'vision' or visions multiply as do the particles of sand in a tempest. Reason is beyond them; grounds are lacking; they are like pilotless planes, always aloft, always coming down, smashing as they come. The Communist, the Romanist in his Inquisition, the warrior of Islam, grabbing this world, these are but better known examples, for their name is legion: history is littered with their passing, and they seek again and again to revive their death. (Cf. Highway to Hell, News 37, Divine Agenda Ch. 6 - News 138, Red Alert ... Ch. 16, Beauty of Holiness Ch. 4, *2, Ancient Words ... Ch. 9, Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch. 2).
What is the source of this amazing human defect, this supra-adolescent desire that attacks the mature minds, the talented, the courageous, and misleads them to follies unspeakable as their idol speaks folly, in little red books, or in other ones cemented without warrant, basis or verification ? How is it that the SANE become virtually insane, the industrious, hypnotized, the disciplined as if delirious ? What is the prompting which defiles the good, and chaining it to evil, makes some hideous idol the source of inspiration … until it passes, witless and horrible, from the globe, or else clings on, like a cat with breaking claws, to what it rips as it holds it ?
This enigma is readily understood – and what is not! – in the light of the Bible. That of course is just one more of the endless procession of verifications which is the work of truth and one of its primary attestations (cf. SMR Ch. 10).
Man is made by and for God, and without Him, he tends to look for substitutes. Since these are not and cannot be within an infinite distance of the infinite God, thus the perversion of spiritual instinct becomes as desperate and disparate from the reality as the case requires; but this does not stop the misled. With the passion and indeed the fervour which seeks AS IF for the actual, it seeks for what it can pretend, imagine, suppose, propose as the thing to be desired. It is not the effectual “desire of the nations” (Haggai 2:6-7), nor ever can be; and it is indeed the sheer disparity between what is, and what is sought as a substitute, it is this which makes virtual madness of so many sects, isms and dreams, whether in pseudo-science, as in evolutionism, or in philosophy, as in Hegel, Barth or others dealt with on this site (see Index SMR), coming with all the persistence of the cry of the starving, for good.
They are insistent, persistent; they are hungry. The CALL for food is there; but since the only supernatural for the natural, the only divine for the human, the only wisdom for the wandering or the witless, the solely veritable, validated and the verified, Jesus Christ, is neglected, rejected or scorned: therefore, the QUIETUS does not come*1 . It is sought, not wrought; the work is done, but the wonder is left, as a young man leaves virtue and follows vice.
The substitute thus gains an illicit stature, it works beyond reason on the uncovered minds and vulnerable spirits of those who, rejecting their actual base and basis, fondly dream themselves into what is merely illusory. Since idols are not themselves such a desire, in seeming to turn themselves into it, they often display themselves in a following of the love of power, money, glory and such trifles of pretension without purpose or truth. The double based result readily becomes a trip, an extraganza so intense, so profound as to make the race, in segments sometimes large, sometimes smaller, to look as if an oddity in odyssey, or a parody enacted with gravity, screened with contempt and illustrated with intemperate haste.
It soon becomes increasingly debased in mind, intoxicated in spirit, shameless in perception, a shambles in discord from reality, relaying its horrors of misperception with passion while millions die, either mentally, physically or as far as possible, spiritually.
As far as possible ? But yes. Man is dead already, to God (Ephesians 2, 4), and this is a status dynamic, so that his energies become as rockets that fizzle, foozling into the seas, grand in design, minimal in result; great in consequence, but wholly inconsequential, embattled, belittling, catastrophic, gravely ludicrous in the realm of much of his politics, philosophy, sociology and pseudo-science. The ludicrous becomes normal; sages strangle reality, as they did in Christ’s own day more literally, and looking grave, enunciate continually, the garbage for goodness substitution of which man seems never to weary, taking what CANNOT be true, as if true, even while denying truth, so that one wonders how people could be rational in conduct at all, while so deluded.
That of course is the other point. It is delusion. It is not a mere lapse, nor a mere substitution, though it is all of these. Into the cauldron of heated remnants, comes the spice and flavour of the ludicrous. It is the cover for dead and diseased meat, cloaking the decay, disguising the corruption. The mind of man is not capable of substituting its gods for God, whether these be ostensibly merely human, or various kinds of impossibility, like the Hindu version (cf. SMR Ch. 10) which refuses to have any attribute, and miraculously wishes yet to be differentiated from nothing. The physicists are no better, one actually wanting nothing to get active and source us all! (cf. TMR Ch. 7).
It is penal, for it is as much the product of misuse of function, in the mind and spirit of man, as is smoking for his lungs. The cancer is not confusion in the lung, though it resembles it in the disintegration of the organized order which is its natural, supernaturally contrived habitat. In the mind however confusion is its name, and delusion is its operating system.
Not merely, however, is this disease, this spiritual pathology, this mental miasmatic delusion, to be found in religion in general, as well as other disciplines, but it is to be found in what calls itself Christian. If I were the devil, obviously the most elementary grasp of strategy would impel me, if not imperiously, then at least with panache and vigour, into the all too vulnerable forces of popular churches. Popular ? Ah there is their rub! If popular, why ? Is not that which is highly esteemed among men, abomination before God! (Luke 16:15)!
‘Here then is a chance!’
One might think in such terms if without understanding, as would be the requisite case for the devil; for his corruption is by reason of his brightness (Ezekiel 28:17). Indeed we find this, “you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness”, this being a major ground of his exclusion from the presence of God!
Seeking then popular movements within Christianity, especially those which seem to attract politicians of indifferent morals, or preachers of changeable doctrine, many might be, and are lured to find themselves in congregations replete with a multiplicity of manifest unbelievers, these for devious reasons aiming at attaining money, power and prestige, importance or sundry marvels of mind from airy sources, or from combinations of what is sound and unsound, as if potassium cyanide and warm milk were the offering (cf. II Corinthians 4:1ff., 11:1ff).. Such was the case with Paul’s reproof to Corinth, and as we see in Jeremiah 23:17-20, II Peter 2, II Timothy 3, I Timothy 4, Matthew 24:24, for example, these things are not only happening now, but are PREDICTED to do so (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
Would not the devil, then, seek to USE their weakness, their willowy alien premises, to bend them yet further, to come in with flamboyant impudence, calling it higher criticism, neo-orthodoxy, user-friendly morals (one is not aware that this phrase has been used … yet, used or not, its substance has been presented, for all that!).
Thus, in such murky depths, kindness would be turned into a PHILOSOPHY of humanism, CHRIST would be made an exponent, not the Lord, man would be made the BOSS, not the recipient, SINNERS would be made an offensive term, as in the Crystal Palace extravaganza, and so on. Thus debasing the reality, would not the devil pursue his strategy with address ? Of course, what else has he to do with his energy. Rebellion is never nice, and even against tyrants, it is not likely to be pleasant.
With kindness as its victim, however (as in the crucifixion of Christ who though MORE than kindness, the very incarnate Son of God, once for all, and all for once, was not less! cf. Colossians 1:19ff., Philippians 2), the satanic rebellion would seek to make itself so great that God Himself is forgotten, always the ultimate desire of the paranoid in extremis! The social gospel then would mature into humanism; and it did.
Is it not as in the days of Jeremiah (and the parallel CAN so readily be intense since MAN does not change in his image, his nature, GOD does not change and the temptations remain of common kind)!
Listen to the divinely impelled remonstrance (23:9-14):
“My heart within me is broken
Because of the prophets;
All my bones shake.
I am like a drunken man,
And like a man whom wine has overcome,
Because of the Lord,
And because of His holy words.
“For the land is full of adulterers;
For because of a curse the land mourns.
The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up.
Their course of life is evil,
And their might is not right.
“ ‘For both prophet and priest are profane;
Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,’ says the Lord.
“ ‘Therefore their way shall be to them
Like slippery ways;
In the darkness they shall be driven on
And fall in them;
For I will bring disaster on them,
The year of their punishment,’ says the Lord.
“ ‘And I have
seen folly in the prophets of
They prophesied by Baal
And caused My people
Also I have seen a horrible thing in the
They commit adultery and walk in lies;
They also strengthen the hands of evildoers,
So that no one turns back from his wickedness.
“ ‘All of
them are like
And her inhabitants like
“Yes in My house I have found their wickedness …”
It is quite the same in Jeremiah 7 8-11, where the Lord remonstrates incisively, derogating their degenerating and deriding their delinquency:
“‘Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit.
“‘Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal,
and walk after other gods whom you do not know,
and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say,
‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’?
“‘Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes?
“‘Behold, I, even I, have seen it,’ says the Lord.”
The parody is multitudinous, like error in a class of less than brilliant teen-agers, when a stiff mathematics examination is set. It is inventive, original, remarkable, amusing, tragic, both … But it is not right!
This may befall people within ‘churches’ which may be, to use St John’s inspired terminology, ‘synagogues of Satan’ (the possibility is undeniable, even Judas representing 8 and one third per cent of Christ’s proto-apostolic band). The forecast is equally clear (II Peter 2, II Timothy 3, I Timothy 4 cf. Revelation 13).
The purity is found only where it is right, where reality is no dream, and truth is to be discerned.
On the other hand, the reality of such modern miasmic movements is sterling verification of the principles of creation and desecration, so carefully carved out in the words of God to Israel and in their ways (cf. Isaiah 30:8-13), as a preliminary example to the world, and of prophecy concerning this Gentile surge: both (cf. News 121, 122, Joyful Jottings 8).
“Glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders” is the Lord (Exodus 15:11), and His is not merely a total contrast to these devious dealings but a focus of spiritual beauty so lustrous in its integrity as to constitute not merely a uniqueness in degree, but in kind. Objectively, here and here only in all history, is the idea, ideal and realization of what many multitudinously mistake! (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms Appendix IV, Appendix 1, News 51, Biblical Blessings Appendix IV). In Shakespeare’s King Lear, we find words indicative of a desire to ‘anatomise’ one of the fateful daughters, to ‘see what lies about her heart’. That, it was grisly.
Here, however, we merely apprehend with delight what is the opposite, the wonder of the work of the heart of the Messiah, of His hands and of His Spirit.
CHRIST the power of Peace
He is the ground of peace, for without reality and truth, there not only IS but CAN BE no peace. It is then just a question of this: into what will you next blunder ? When truth is found, however, there still might be no peace: for if one were alienated from that truth and incontinent in rebellion, then repentance must be added to the meeting of truth; just as equally, repentance would be in vain if there were no truth, and indeed, even an enormity of anomaly!
From Him also is the attunement to peace. Truth is insatiable, inevitable and inflexible. It does not alter. Repentance is necessary, for one must come to where it is, and is not born with it. But even these two are not enough, unless there be also available what attunes. Discord is impossible for the violinist who carefully modulates his tones to the standard FIRST. How can this attunement be made to the God of creation ? Is invitation enough ? Not at all, for one could be invited to dine with Her Majesty, without being equipped with appetite, teeth or custom. It DOES help, if it IS present (cf. Matthew 22:8ff.); but it is not enough.
You need also the attunement which makes you able to eat the fare provided, speak with understanding and discourse with profit. How is this to be obtained ? By the power of God which created man with communicative abilities, now operative in creating the sense of understanding, so that speech might be rounded with knowledge, and knowledge with wisdom. This power needs to open the heart better than any heart surgeon, even the heart of the entire man, and equip it with sight, not sighings, with grace, not goadings. Of this Christ spoke as seen in John 3, telling Nicodemus the need to be born again.
Yet even so, without attainment who can converse ? without being brought into PRACTICE, who could use the new gift of understanding in speech ? So there is need also for the grant of KNOWING GOD, so that the discourse is inspired by His presence, and the realities are illumined by His own speech to an eye apt, and for an ear made knowledgeable through love in action. Then may be found the love in repose to which the Christian properly comes (Zephaniah , Isaiah 33:6).
With this, however, is even more need, as the stupendous spiritual pathologies of our race show. It is to the LORD Himself that one must come, for it is He who created; and even His pity does not remove His rule, His reality and the fact that of universes there is one, of patterns for man, there is one, of Governors for man, there is One whose heart understands, whose property man is, and who respects what He has made, so that violence is not the way in, but rather the way out! (cf. John cf. Matthew 26:51-52).
Then there is peace. Being born is not a procedure by which the infant-to-be executes his own arrival; but instead, in this divinely wrought process, there are many divinely ordered elements*2, the sight of which it is well to observe, for in the reality, there is peace. It is this which Isaiah mourns in its absence in Isaiah 48:18ff.,
“Oh that you had hearkened to My commandments. Then your peace would have been like a river and your righteousness like the waves of the sea!”
Again, Christ laments as in Luke 19:42ff.,
“If you had known, even you, at least in this you day, the things which belong to your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes!”
Only in Christ is there a verified, validated, consistent, empirically supported, logically sustained*1 offer of peace, covering all the elements. It is from Him the power to perceive arrives, and in Him that it flourishes (John 3:1-7, ).
CHRIST, the power of Understanding, of Truth
Why then was Christ so fearless, in speech, in action, as likewise in their dual action together ? Consider cases.
You see this bold
authority for example in Mark 2, with the healing of the paralytic in such a
way that had he not risen as commanded, Christ’s claim to forgive sins would at
once (justly) have been deemed bogus, so ending His ministry; for with God
NOTHING shall be called impossible, and
when in terms of this biblical base, one comes in the name of the Lord, the due
expectation is performance at the level of the text! That Christ did this, and
this sort of thing – since it had to be without exception – becomes the most
obvious testimony to His authenticity, since the situations where NO failure
was possible or permissible, was in the first instance, the realm of the
Ø Again, consider His deft daring in the face of imposing social adversaries in Luke 11, where His excoriation of the hypocrisies and pretensions of the Sadducees could well lead to His murder, since it would become intolerable to the mutinous conscience, so to be confronted, exposed and brought to deserved contempt!
Gaze on the case of
commanding Lazarus to arise, which would have been a distasteful comedy had he
not risen after the four days!
Ø Consider Christ’s confrontation with the Pharisees as in Matthew 23, where with precision alike in His appeal to scripture and to fact, He demolished for all time the puny powers of pretension and the proud indignities of solemn farce in those who abused religion by departing from the living God in order to practice it!.
It was clearly because He had nothing to fear. To be fearless when fear has no basis, it is rational*3.
This is not to make Him less than human, but more than sinful. His was purity. TRUTH is His NAME and it was not possible to vary at all from it; which is one of His glories. In this, as in all things, He is what He says, and does what He is, and never is anything disjoined, the one part from the other. Another like that, it is not to be found, partly because of sin, and partly because of ontology: for what is not God is quite unable to masquerade effectually AS God, and what IS God, is quite disinclined to vary from what He is, for what He would not like to be, He would not become, and what He is become is what He has been, since always, before even the little contribution of the time series to which we humans are so accustomed, and would be. Lying is mere dissonance; failure is mere divorce from what and who He is.
Hence fearless in deed, in speech, and accurate to the last degree in the correlation of both, He both spoke and did with the same power, at whatever level, in whatever audience, in whatever test. Thus it was not possible to TRAP HIM words (Luke , Matthew ), or implicate Him in deeds (cf. Matthew 12:1-7). He would move freely from form to spirit, and yet not damage the form in the process, not heeding the traditions of men (Mark 7:7), so portentous in their self-glamorising obfuscations.
Thus He cited David who in the SPIRIT of the law, USED the showbread for necessary sustenance, since after all, THIS is what it symbolised, the divine concern for and ability to meet the needs of His people! It was only for the priests to eat, but in co-operation with the priest, David was allowed to have it, the bread deployed for its symbolic witness in dire need, as actualising the symbol! His men ATE it! God is a Spirit, and those who serve Him must do so in Spirit and in truth.
Christ approached no limit, knew no conditions, except that of His ardently assumed humiliation into the form of a servant, a man, owed no obligation, except to be what He was and is, the very living word of the living God, immutable, indisputable, but gracious and kind (cf. John 12:48-50).
CHRIST, the power of purity
His was adequate motivation (Psalm 40 cf. Joyful Jottings 22), not selective for convenience, not special pleading or predilection of the flesh, the mind or the heart; His were acute standards, like the milli-ammeter, most sensitive, and yet never dislodged for that reason – Matthew -28. Never was He hobbled for lack of adequate horizons, never mixed in motive. Indeed, His horizons were also intimate as well as boundless (cf. John 11:34-44), and His holiness expansive, like a waterfall coursing quickly over the rocky crags to the waiting plain, torrential in truth, irrepressible in coverage, yet never transgressing from its course.
His purity was free from intrusion (John 18:36), as by ice-bergs floating free in the Atlantic, for in His Spirit was no marring, in His way no obtrusion, nothing came unvetted, nothing went unknown. HIS peace could be felt (cf. John -23, ). His very Being was inter-personally transformative (John 5:39-40, Matthew 16:14-17, John 1:16 –“we have all received of His fullness”), and His life was illimitably incorruptible, both in source, in action and in culmination (Matthew 26:52-56, John ).
CHRIST, the power of beauty
§ Christ in the consistency and harmony
§ of His holiness and deeds, never divorced (cf. Luke -43),
§ of His principles and promises, never disengaged (cf. Mark -24),
§ even in the most personally challenging scenario and climax,
§ transcends the utmost on earth,
§ as a painter in his oils, may be seeking to exhibit something of beauty’s supernatural exemplar:
§ yet He perfectly explains its presence (cf. Matthew -32) in the holy heart of God,
§ expressed in His own expressiveness (cf. Matthew 7:22-23, John 5:19-23),
§ which being divine in nature,
§ is non-distorting in representation (cf. Hebrews 1:1-3, John 14:9).
As to beauty, its appeal, its call, its place is not from a mere combination of many variables, relative to many in man, sometimes achieving a consistency of mutual benefit, like a benefaction; and its ‘mystery’ is not to be attributed to ignorance, unless it be concerning the wonder of God Himself, by willful departure!
Rather is beauty a benediction, a conferment in spirit of what in site displays now this, now that element, aspect or insight into the brilliance of donation, the exquisiteness of excellence dowered with meaning, the gracefulness of graciousness in control of its environment, inspiriting a sense of wonder. But what does beauty have ? It is PRECISELY that inter-personal divulgement on the one hand, and that supernatural origination for creation, on the other, together with that spiritual enhancement to the spirit of man - which is like a Father speaking to His child, but this time to His created child - from the Creator’s munificence of expression, intimation and artistry, which is beauty’s precinct (cf. SMR pp. 431ff.). From such splendour, it has many outworkings.
It is this, however, which
provides its means, without confusion or complicity; and it is seen even in the
atmosphere of divine action as the covering of word is released into the
perception of spirit, and Christ comes to earth. It is this which is seen in
meteorological (cf. Matthew 14:29-33, Mark 4:39, Matthew 8:23ff.),
the work of
instant therapy (Mark 2),
the labour of life over death (John 11:40ff.),
of geography, pity and time (John 11:6-25),
the contouring of
history to His word, in sculptured magnificence, and yet simplicity (Luke -35),
the complexion of
compassion, judgment and exposure, seen in the same place, like wisteria
climbing over a stretched framework,
the prevailing in
precise lines of uncluttered thought, in the truth of His speech over the
optional pretenders, over aspirant arrogances (Matthew -46), His words simple in profundity, ample in access,
the detailing of
His doings in concert with His Father, bringing the mind of heaven to the
matrix of earth, whether in His birth, death, Gospel content of teaching or
parables (cf. John 8:29, 5:19-23, Matthew 13:14-17, and see SMR Ch. 9),
the facility and yet the rigour
of event collation with prophecy, the latter portending the same of Him as
certainly He would do (op.cit. Ch. 8),
synthesis aligning His personal contribution with the correct strength and savour of the whole, yet this without the strain of
imperiousness or the fidgeting of unfaithfulness (Matthew 21:1-21, with Luke
chronology, siting His work in the days of the 4th
Empire of Daniel, as in the tragic progress to glorious spiritual culmination
(cf. SMR pp. 886ff., Ch. 9, Daniel
2, 7, 9:24-27 with 7, Matthew 21 and 26),
where as King in spirit He came TO THE HUMBLING OF BAPTISM, THE ONSET OF
TEMPTATION, THE DISPOSAL OF THE DEVIL, THE PURGING OF THE TEMPLE, and THIS
WITHOUT THE IMPOSITION OF FORCE, but rather the exhibition of a zeal so mingled
with desire for good, that it past all form without deforming faith, till as
King in work, He came to the CROSS, and finished His divinely depicted labours there as He had to do (Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 cf. Joyful
Jottings 25); as also
delightful sovereignty, like a courier with
express mail, putting the plan of salvation in person into the right time for
His death precisely in the period Daniel predicted for it (More Marvels … Ch. 4), as if love had no contest with mind, or mind with
spirit, or spirit with history, but all concurred with that glorious interweaving
of design, in which form was mastered by function, and function by love. This
graced that earth as nothing else did, or could.
To hear Him, this same Jesus Christ, during this last phase of gloriously productive agony, and incisively wrought deformation (Isaiah 52:13-15), despite all this, bathing with sensitive compassion His companions on crosses, though they were criminals and He was as He is, the absolution for crime against God or man, is like the sound of waterfalls in the forest: abundant, soft and thrilling with awe.
Not merely did He cry, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” but HE KEPT IT UP*4, the smoothness of its continuance in masterful contrast with the smashing force of His enduring assassination, wrought by hatred and fashioned by envy.
CHRIST, the power of mercy
Not as a bargaining chip, like the chattering of idle birds, buying and selling things for selfish profit,
Nor as a ploy for personal peace, as with those who seek to yield to achieve gain,
Nor for social elevation, as those who pardon to procure advancement,
Nor a sop to conviction, as if to suffer evil in order to manipulate mind:
But as a necessity of life He
gave mercy and was its quintessence,
since the alternative for sinners is hypocrisy
in conformity that does not conform,
and without it, the sustainable nature of spiritual life becomes eroded to vacuity.
Christ is His mercy dowers a governing grace, not deploying an erratic trade-in,
And activates an instrument of love, wholly alien to a mere guise of government,
Investing history with the Gospel as paid-up, till its time comes, its work is wrought, this new flood being as undesired by many, as the geological variety in its day, and in our own!
All is predicted, arranged, and provided (cf. Matthew 24, II Peter 3 with Joyful Jottings 8),
For just as the mercy of God has grandeur (Mich 7:19ff.) so too it has method (Romans -28),
And in Christ, its power is personal, liberating and enabling,
Translating truth into life, and life into love, so that all should be pure.
The power for all this is that to meet
Justice with grace,
Calumny with kindness,
Contrition with transformation and
Penalty with pardon (II Cor. 5:17ff., John 3, Titus 2-3) and
The clamour of judgment with the calm of killing (Matthew 26:52-56).
Without deformation of mission, of heart, but with hideous deformation of body,
barbs to mind (cf. Matthew 27:42ff.), and constraining victory of spirit,
the power of mercy in Christ was to despatch the irrelevant, complete the necessary and
do it with that grace which is integumental to integrity (Matthew , John 17:4, Hebrews 5:7).
On all this Micah 7:18ff. speaks powerfully, with 5:1-3 (cf. Sinners Only), as does Revelation 5:9-13.
CHRIST, the power in contest
Deflating theological wind-bags,
Exposing ecclesiastical fraud,
Making spiritual sacrifice without wilting,
Enduring unspeakable follies without writhing,
He overcame the erupting lava of blackening heat
With the cool fearlessness and constant precision
That knew neither confusion nor defeat,
And this with a mastery so colossal that it seemed free as the wind,
Yet ineffaceable beyond diamond on steel
(Luke 11:37-54, Matthew 22:15-46, 12:1-8, 9:14-17, Mark 2:8-12, 3:1-5).
CHRIST, the power of testimony
In the very midst of lethal rage, His words were still constructive, creative, compassionate (Matthew 12:9-14), and even in the incinerative judgments which had to be unleashed to thought, as a therapeutic incision, preferable to the loss of life itself! These for some would bring contrition, repentance and redemption! (cf. Acts 6). He was so composed that the pronouncements had no tinge of mere fury, nor distortion from desire. Thus, Matthew 23 starts with exposure, proceeds to judgment and ends with lamentation in acute pity, the exposure of the depth of mercy arriving in the midst of just and due darts at deviation, hypocrisy and obduracy.
Amid murderous venom, even constituted as a court, likewise, His vision knew no cloud, and the winds of circumstance could not prevail against the testimony of truth, duly related to the existing word of God written (Mark 14:53-64), the scenario of prophecy meanwhile, accurately fulfilled.
His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) exposes the very paths of peace, procedures of purity, the gleam of goodness, showing in this way the coherence of His words with life as it is intensely and meaningfully livable, not as a foray of mere fervour, as a fiasco of force, but as spiritual justice and truth, in the power of God.
Whether then, in Christ as the power of mercy, power in contest, or power of testimony, we find that the POWER TO DO, whether for us or from Him, is always allied with the injunction or need to DO IT. This applies whether the miracle be His healing, or our hearing and performing; for it IS indeed a miracle when the deaf hear and the blind see, be it metaphorical or physical by His mere word (cf. Matthew 13:10-17).
CHRIST, the power of spiritual regeneration
You see this God manifest, Jesus Christ, come to earth,
Conferring mental, spiritual and even physical life (Luke -17), where
Disorder reigned (Matthew -21),
Delusion drafted (Matthew -46 – perceive the blessing on the people in these interchanges),
Disruption held devilish dynamic (Mark 5:1-19),
Distemper reveled (Matthew 8:5-13),
Disorientation seized like a lion (Matthew 9:1-7 – notice the primacy of sin in this healing), or
Formality fluttered (Acts 6:7 – even priests forsaking their wrong leadership, for the Lord) or indeed
Connivance cluttered the heart, and injustice permeated the soul (Luke 19:1-9).
Like light in darkness, it overcomes, and is not overcome (cf. John 1:5,12,14). It can be communicated or activated, or even come to hearts where regeneration makes its stay welcome! (John 3, II Corinthians 4:6). In many, from the first, this derivative power was made manifest (cf. the apostles John and Peter in Acts 3-4, and others with them).
CHRIST, the power to bring death its funeral,
Fear its finale, Passion into its place
This is exemplified in Luke 7:11ff. (perceive the discriminating compassion for the widow), John 11:25-44 (and notice the apparently leisurely way in which Christ came to this scene, deliberately delaying for the glory of God in showing the ineluctable dynamic that could take ANY death at will – 11:4-6), and in Luke 8:48-56 (observe the apparent EASE with which He healed someone else on the way to this miracle, though not really without labour as in 8:46).
If such power is seen in raising others from that dread threshold to bodily corruption, back to life, how much more is it seen in His own raising, though physically dead, from the domain of death when sent there vicariously, this victory being the greatest of all (cf. Luke 22:39-46), since it involved (Hebrews 5:7) an anguish spiritual and cardinal; for suffering to meet justice, must justly be the suffering justice confers! and life from the dead, is then not merely from the vacating of the flesh, but from the intrusive impact of the ground of the death, namely the requirement to bear sin for all who would believe, and to offer salvation to all (Romans 8:32, I John 2:2).
This power to overthrow death is seen, just as it was prefaced by Lazarus’ raising in the very turmoil of approach to the cross, in the very eye of the tornado of judgment, as the Age ends and the dead are raised, by THIS SAME POWER OF CHRIST, incorruptible (I Corinthians 15:20-27, 50ff.). The performed is matched with that to be performed; the actualities are allied to the impending resurrection to come. It is all but inexpressibly beautiful to find this power so perfected in previous deeds, this prerogative so incontestable in purity of sacrifice to attain it in Christ (I Peter 2:22ff., 3:18, II Cor. 5:17-21), so graciously bestowable and even this, not by impending questions, but unquestionable grace (Ephesians 2:1-10).
o Here is a thrust for compassion, which stops at nothing, and which nothing stops,
o A drive for duty which anguish of heart, with sweat like blood (Luke 22) could not terminate,
o A call for responsibility which was embraced to the death (John ),
o Finding home in faith that receives it (Ephesians 2:8),
o And code in His personal completion of all that was needed, Himself both terminating justice’ demands and exterminating sin’s guilt (John with Hebrews 9-10:14, Romans 3:23ff., 4:24ff.).
CHRIST, the power not only to integrate, but to actuate, activate and actualise
We see this in different ways,
Ø in Matthew 17:14ff. with the centurion;
Ø in John 6:26-27 with 6:67ff. with disciples;
Ø in Mark 1:16-20 with fishermen;
Ø in John 1:35-42 with seekers, in -51 in meeting the need of the discriminating;
Ø in Matthew 19:23-29 where results follow the following, but do not induce it;
Ø in John 11:39-44 in the delicate domestic tissue of friendship and fatality, the latter annulled;
Ø in John 20:11-19, in the gentle meeting of grief with power, apt to the case;
Ø in John 21:15ff. in the restoration from the affliction of the dutiful, the stricken peace of the confused, and
Ø in the whittled liberty of the saddened as in Mark 3:7-12,
now equipped the munificence of mercy, amid the multitude, through His restoration of spiritual integrity and blessedness to those afflicted often far beyond the body!
In many such ways, Christ could and did
Communicate as the organising original (John 1:3),
Provide profundity its life and its meaning (John -12),
Regenerate by image restoration (Genesis , Colossians 3:9-10), not mere manipulation,
Correct not just by source code, but by the Spirit and the Source itself, Himself the dower and the donation as well (Colossians , Titus 2), so
Providing in patience the mind of God to the heart of sin (John , ).
CHRIST, the power to be beyond comparison
This is shown
Ø In invulnerability to mischief (Luke -3),
Ø whilst being accessible to sacrificial duty (Luke -38),
Ø In intimating immortality in the very presence of murder (Luke -43), and that where He wrought in the very midst of malignity,
Ø In precision work, like filigree with art, in executing ALL the prophetic signals which served both as identikit to show His authenticity, and testimony, to illustrate the love of God (Matthew 26:54, Luke 22:35-38, Matthew 21:1-11, 26:31ff., Luke 22:35-38),
and seen in Him
Ø As duller of debunkers (Luke -70), Himself
Ø Terminus for all truth, as its Source (Matthew -23, -29, John 14:6).
CHRIST, the power to provide
Whether it be wisdom, or glory, or peace, or tax, whether instruction or awe, Christ showed His undimmed disposition to provide. It occurred through compassion ON THE JOB as the people followed His teaching and healing, and in Himself as He taught and wrought (Mark 6:34, Luke 9:11, Matthew 14:13ff.), through kindly personal instruction (Luke 10:39, 41-42), stimulating ascent to the heights (John 3 with Nicodemus, for all his astute learning!), as with the scintillating shaft of light at the transfiguration (Matthew 17). There was to be seen Christ personally giving the sense of glory in the very valley of death, telling His disciples after so close an interview with heaven itself, of the dirt and drama to come in the cross-purposes of the religionists and elders, leading to the cross (Mark 9:9-13).
He provided even the temple tax with such ultimate discretion and amazing knowledge, that a fish, the first to be caught under direction by Peter, contained the necessary money, thus allowing the law to be kept on the one hand, and the power and position of Christ as the “son of the house” to be maintained through the obvious divine intervention in making such a provision! (Matthew 17:24ff.).
He met discernment with encouragement (Mark -44) readiness with illumination (Matthew -58, -17), and yearning mixed with faith with unmixed acceptance (John -42), that being all things to all, He should fail none.
CHRIST, the power to deride
The Lord Himself would, on this earth, deride evil without mere negativity, detest without merely corrosive hatred; He would invest what was divested, when the soil was prepared, with the seed of truth. In this way, we observe that in Matthew 23, the excoriating excision of the tumour of pride from the Pharisees was not the beginning, but rather nearer the end of His ministry.
Had He not before then, instructed Pharisee Nicodemus with tremendous good humour, happiness of speech and penetration of teaching John 3 ?
Did He not tellingly intrude into their complacency as seen in John 5:38-41, pointing in spiritual therapy the way to the truth, the truth of the way and the necessities of conversion ? Had He not crowned the day with the centrality of the Cross (John 6), to make the feeding of the 5000 on the previous day, not a mere eat fest, but a demonstration through physical miracle, of the physical miracle to come, that of His resurrection after His death; for how would He, being sacrificed Himself, raise them up (John 6:50ff.), if He were not first Himself raised, and who could teach, who could not likewise do! for here are universal procedures, and their need was for the leader to provide not only the love, but the power to implement it.
Did He not first tell them decisively of the meaning of His coming, and going, and of the nature of the evil which many of them were about to commit! (Mark 12:1-11)! Was not Nicodemus, selectively, having drunk in the truth, to become ready, though a Pharisee, to be exposed to maximal social ostracism and ecclesiastical fury, if no more ? How would this be done freely ? It would be by his accompanying the body of Christ, entombed by one who had personally asked for it, in order to have it buried in his OWN TOMB! (pre-pared like pre-paid funerals, John 12:38ff.)! More, Nicodemus gave some hundred POUNDS of myrrh and aloes, as well! Thus the surgical knife, where the evils had lasted in many areas for centuries, did not cut too soon; yet it could not lie undisturbed, for judgment comes at length, as it did come, first to Him and then to those who had so excluded truth and power and wisdom, light and love, healing and grace from their very own midst.
Nor are these alone, even in this OUR DAY, for
Christ from time to time (Luke 11) shone like a bright light penetrated to the very depth of the corrosion of truth in the pseudo-religious heart. The culmination however was not at first.
When however the time did come for total excision of all excuse for double-mindedness, two-faced conduct and heavy-hearted weariness in religion instead of vital life in the presence of God (cf. Malachi 1:13, 2:17), then the words did it.
Thus Matthew 23 is perhaps the most surgical of all utterances! With this surgery finished, as seen in Matthew 24, Christ launched into the history to come, there depicting the times of pressure, trouble and testing, the proliferation of the Gospel, the rejection, resentment and resistance of this world, the judgment signals of His coming (as He would come, and assuredly will come – Acts 1:7-11), and the impact which would follow, when His coming at length occurred (Matthew 24:45-51). In all this, Christ made it clear whether in healing, raising the dead, rebuking the lofty, that what He said, was an intimate and closest companion of what He did! The word of God and the work of God are indivisible! Even His mercy in all its wealth, does not prevent just judgment, but merely transfers the guilt! (cf. Isaiah 53:4-6, where the ‘healed’ are those who sins He has borne!).
In the Old Testament, we see, or rather hear God’s therapeutic thrust in Malachi 2:17, exposing to the air of healing, the frightful flaws in the merely religious:
v “You have wearied the LORD with your words;
v Yet you say,
v ‘In what way have we wearied Him?’
v In that you say,
v Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD,
v And He delights in them,’
v Or, ‘where is the God of justice ?’ ”
In Christ’s own mouth, you
find, in Matthew 23, such scalpel wounds as these:
woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of
heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those
who are entering to go in.
Ø “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers … you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves… Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”
But He would invest what He divested, when the door for it opened …
Thus His friend Peter, although summarily rebuked when he almost strayed into the papacy for a few seconds (Matthew 16:22-23), failing to be the FOLLOWER but sounding for a nonce, like the Master (a lesson which a millennium has not managed to din into papal ears today, despite Matthew 23:8-10, ‘all of you are brethren’ ONE being Master, and I Peter 5:1-3 – ‘NOT as lords!’), and needing yet more rebuke (Luke 22:61), still had recompense, release and investment.
With what then was he invested, this Peter ? It was with a commission to FEED the Sheep and Lambs (John 21), in the same spirit as came in the word of God in Ezekiel 34, when God Himself indicated that HE WOULD DO THE PASTORAL WORK HIMSELF, since none was willing to be tender, compassionate, concerned and genuinely kind! Hence Christ, the Good Shepherd in fulfillment, God as man so caring, deputed to others (cf. John -23) some of this work, as under-shepherds in His name.
Yet there is more.
CHRIST, the power to surpass all limits
You see this in a word in John 3:33-36.
God did not give to His only begotten Son, the Spirit by measure, and He was indeed FULL of grace and truth (1:14), the increate God encapsulated in the form of man, which God first made in His own image, before planting Himself within it, for man’s salvation, instruction and deliverance. This however as is most emphatic, is only for these, as many as believed in Him (cf. John -13), born by His own will and power. In John 1:10-12, you see the same stress found in Matthew 22:10ff., in the parable, for God is willing enough to expand the compass of His purchase, though He has known His own from the first (Ephesians 1:4). This practical restraint of love is as far from its demise for any as is the West from the East. His is passion for salvation (Micah 7:19ff., Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2), and none has anything but shame for His rejection. Nothing limits the love of God, but it is not polluted with lust, and its purity is illimitable likewise.
¨ This surpassing power, this limitless capacity is His
¨ Not by the laurels of emulation, indeed He told them, HOW can you believe, who receive honour from one another! (John 5:44),
¨ But by the ontology of actuality (John ),
God, sent as meant, incarnate as intended, express and expressed as foretold
(Micah 5:1-3, Psalm 45, Zechariah 12:10, 2:8, Hebrews 1, Colossians 1)’
It is His -
¨ Through the eternal force of the genuine (John 11:40ff.),
¨ The artless composure of the authentic (John ),
¨ With the very demeanour of God (John -23, ),
¨ The grace of sheer goodness (Acts ),
¨ The incorruptibility of reality (Matthew 4:4).
Is it to be a matter of overcoming death in others, in Himself in the body, fear or trouble, trickery or treachery, of demonstrating truth in the heart of hostility, of achieving wonders before hating eyes, of speaking words with which millennia cannot tamper, of opening physical or spiritual eyes long closed ? He is able to do it, and He did it. The BEST test of power, it is the doing of it, and He did it, so can do it, and being truth, will do, as always, precisely what He has said (cf. John 14:1ff.).
Is it to comfort the foreigner, and heed sensitively what is being said (Matthew 15:26ff.), to meet the outcast and bring courageous comradeship to his side (Luke 19:1-10), since the Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost ?
Or was it to remove the sense of limitless arrogance which long tradition may breed, on the other side of things ?
Then in all
this, we find Him so active as in Mark
7:7ff., cutting out the callouses of convention with
the steel of truth. Neither is He tireless, as if not man (John 4:6), nor
unable, though tired, to bring to pass a miracle both personal and social, in a
hostile land, that of
His resources are infinite, so that on another occasion, the healing first one unknown, who had to identify herself, and then one dead, in short order, is merely the vigour of attainment, not the distress of incapacity! (Matthew 9:18-26). Nothing stumped Him, stymied Him, re-styled Him, tooled His instruments anew or disturbed His sure knowledge, sweetness of disposition or capacity to conquer cavil and contrariety alike, without self-assertion, pride or personal disdain (cf. John 8, where sorely tried, He yet turned the conversation to the very heights of salvation, as in John 8:31ff.), and all this, with unanswerable charge and address, because of truth and righteousness (John 8:45-47).
CHRIST, the power of restraint
And why and in what was there restraint ?
Not for compromise,
or by negotiation,
but as love He was restrained, for love IS restrained.
Not to seize but to enable and ennoble liberty, He acted,
avoiding the parody of Communism and its philosophical allies,
as likewise that of the spirit of Islam, to come later, but present already in type, with its ideological comrades.
Not by force, implicit, or explicit, but by truth, verifiable, veridical, virtuous, operational, testable in word and deed, He acted.
Not by mere inducement, or arbitrary ‘ism’ or erratic vision, as if reward were the truth, and motivation were material, selfish or unspiritual, a mere relocation of evil in religious terms,
but by the unveiling of reality and its performance in one seamless robe of realism,
What He said, He did. What He claimed, He performed; what He advocated: this was His own operation. He had power for it, wit for it, wisdom for it and heart for it; and He did it.
Never once did He in anything STOP doing it! Nothing wavered from the truth, for His feet did not wander, though His heart was sorely tried (cf. Hebrews 2 and 5). In, by, with and as the Truth, He operated, His native land never exiled from His heart, turned from His mind, truncated in its flow or turbulent with other motives (John 17:1ff., 8:29). Without lie, He acted, since God CANNOT lie, being One and free, and without self-contradiction in word and deed (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -7, Repent or Perish Ch. 2, SMR Ch. 1): in truth is and was His native land, domain, nature and life.
THIS is the power and the wisdom of God, Christ Jesus (Philippians 2), who for us men and women, children, became flesh that with severed flesh, that He might give in flesh the requirement of love, the medicaments of mercy and the requisition of justice, on our behalf. HOW OFTEN would I have gathered (cf. SMR Appendix A)… if ONLY IN THIS YOUR DAY, you had realised! (Matthew 23:398, Luke 19:42ff.), He cried; but He did not crack, either the whip of tyranny, or the truth.
Love has restraint, and He showed it; love has power to provide, and He provided; love does not hesitate to provide itself, and it was Himself whom He provided! (Matthew 20:28, Galatians 3, II Corinthians 5:17-21). History was and is the attestation of His power, the power of the Gospel (Romans 1:16), the verification of His way; geography sings His praise as the Middle East inflames itself about the very site of His crucifixion, unable to settle, to resolve its woes, settle its griefs or find its basis, without the One to whom it, with all, must come, before peace finds there its place.
WHEN this happens, as so long prescribed in the word of God which Christ so unremittingly backed with His own word (Matthew 5:17-19), HE will first have come. As God always does what He has said, right down to the date, so now, though the date be hidden the signals are not (Luke 21:24,28).
In a little, they will think for a moment that they have it, that they have achieved some statuesque peace in the name of freedom or prudence (I Thessalonians 5:1ff.), but it will not last. The words of the ‘little horn’ are to be pompous (Daniel ,8 – ‘the mouth’), but arrogance will not achieve actuality (cf. Biblical Blessings Ch. 2). Christ’s kingdom has lasted in hearts and spirit among many, and then manifest, it will last in place and peace for its time of exhibition and vindication on this earth (Habakkuk 2:14, Psalm 67, 101); and to this, in testimony in advance, all things proceed just as indicated (cf. SMR Chs. 8 -9).
Moreover, just as the word of
God has declared, there IS no peace for the wicked (Isaiah 57:19-20), so it is;
and as it has shown His peace to His people, so it is and it will be. Many hunt
NOTHING in history, in geography, in morals (cf. Matthew 24:14), in turmoil (cf. Matthew 24:21ff.), in test (cf. Matthew 24:24), religious, military and economic (cf. Revelation 6), is left undone, which ought to have been done, in terms of the unlimited licence, indeed the limitless wisdom of Christ, the very expression of God, eternal, before time, with the Father, equal with Him by nature, sent by mission.
The scope for verification and divestment through evidence of error is vast; the errors are nil.
*2 See for example SMR pp. 476, *6.
In turn, in The Biblical Workman, Appendix IV, are to be found some of the phases and features AFTER this birth!
*3 It is also revelatory in style. Thus in Isaiah 29:9ff., you see a basis in virtual farce, though gloomy is the fun, where there is an official failure, a social failure and a spiritual failure all in one. It is depicted that the book of the Lord is brought to sundry people, to see who could impart understanding, or even have it, in its terms, of its text. To the learned it goes, but asleep in the ponderous pontifications of tradition, or the obtuse imperceptiveness of the formally damned, the scholars decline to interpret, saying, “I cannot; for it is sealed.”
Off to the unlearned, perhaps more frank and free, goes the prophet in the vision, or the envisagement. Can they interpret, understand ? But no, says the unlearned, “for I am not learned”.
“In that this people draw near to Me with
their mouth, and with their lips do honour Me, but have removed their heart far form Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the
precept of men,
· “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden. Woe to those who seek deeply to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who sees us ? And who knows us ?
· “Surely, your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay; for shall the work say of Him who made it, He did not make me ? Or shall the thing formed say of Him who formed it, He had no understanding?”
Paul reverts to this in I Corinthians 1 concerning the Gospel, replacing with its divine simplicity the pretentious striving without light, of the many obfuscatory obstructionists and obscure ponderers, for so long. Into this category go the traditionalists, in fact simply adding their philosophies in terms of former uninspired writers, to the scripture, and so obscuring its witness, like false witness at a trial, when one additive can foul the whole before the judge, in this case the reader! So does Christ speak with unlimited liberty in Mark 7:7ff., despising their additions and traditions, in that they are placed in parallel with the word of God, as if man could become a co-author of the word of the Lord.
In our present context of thought, Matthew 23, like Luke 11:53ff., there is such an exposure with such a mocking but authoritative lash, such a disparagement with grief, climaxing in 23:37, a stripping naked of false and foolish practice with clinical precision, that you see just the same spirit of truth and compassion, that WILL not be baulked, as in Isaiah 29. These scriptures speak as one, but it is the One who here speaks in the flesh, who does it in His own name. To be sure, His words were commanded (John -50), but He likewise is declaring these things for His own part, in the full strength of deity (as in Matthew -22, 27-28, 333-34). Truly He did not speak as the scribes! (John , Luke , Matthew , Mark ), but in word, as in deed, knew no limit to authority, to power, being unimpugnable in speech as in action (cf. John ,46), willing to be confronted but outfacing all in all things, always.
This, then, the intimate parallel between Isaiah 29 and Matthew 23, is not only one of the all but innumerable resonances in the Biblical text, being likewise of one spirit, but it is also here the word of the One who claims to be that very God (John 8:58), and so consistently, insistently, and yet in personal humility (as becomes the authentic) acts and speaks as He.
Not however in strident elevation, but in authentic grace, He does His work in full acknowledgment constantly of the collation of work with His Father (e.g. John ). When then He declares, “but I say”, it is singular; but then God is singular for He is One, and in that One is the One sent and the One who sends (Isaiah 48:16), one Being, two Persons, one the declarative, one the declaring. What is declared then, is here not only word, but Person, the very exhibition and expression of deity who, being One, can have no other person so to declare in His own name, or offer His own life or His own redemption (cf. Isaiah 43:10-11).
There is no other Saviour but God, and it is He (Luke , Isaiah 53:6-11).
*4 The ‘saying’ of ‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’ is in the imperfect tense, and so it is actually ‘was saying’ cf. John 15:25, Matthew 27:18, Psalm 69:4 with Joyful Jottings 25). It was a continuing pity in continued utterance, a plea that proceeded over time, for His Father to forgive such treatment of His only begotten Son.