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TAKING IT WHERE IT IS, AND NOT IN YOUR MIND
BY YAWNING GAFFES AND CASUAL FOOZLES
Mere man made a criterion is always a mistake;
Moses Bombed in Parliament and Religion Re-Made
The Australian, November
PRELUDE TO PARTICULARS TO COME
It is ever so easy to reconstruct modern medicine on the basis of various tales and ideas, and to do with the with other areas, such as the Bible.
It is unwise so to do, for to do either, you should know your story, your case, your theme, topic and particulars, or at least have a sound overview and SHOW IT!
Recently, we were told that if we had not read work of the author, Gordon Clark, we would be off base. This shocking piece of personal adventurism arrived from some Foundation, which appeared to be straying from the ONLY foundation on which the Christian can build; whilst a glance suggested there seemed to be some notion of pride in humility, an oxymoronic display, and that alas, despite this aberration from biblical standards into the names of men, which like a strangulated hernia, makes tough work for digestion.
Believe for my works' sake, said Christ, for want of better! The light must shine. It is Jesus Christ of whom we are proud, and this pride is one of glorying in Him, whose is the resource, the fortress, the power and the grace required for any good work! Off base ? because of a man who writes books, a criterion! What religion is this ? It is the truth which matters, not the name of a man, except that God as man blessing to mankind in the kindness of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Alas the extremism of the sentiment is not a little echoed by that of the subject in this regard. Let us return to mere facts.
Now it so happens that this author worked with Gordon Clark, who was Head or Chairman of the Philosophy Department at Butler University, and wrote various books. Read ? More than that, one had noted various unfortunate errors - judged by Biblical standards, which appeared in his most interesting work, which however tended at times to unbiblical extremes, neither covering all the biblical data nor the case of all the empirical data, adequately. One, for all that, felt a certain affection for his precise ways and pleasant kindliness.
Those treatments, nevertheless, one has had to work on in terms of biblical integrity, and they may be found at such places as these: Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 6, The GLOW of Predestinative Power Ch. 1, SMR pp. 268, 285, 290-292, 1009-1010, 1113, 1115. The approach, too extreme by biblical and logical standards, covers some points, skirts others. This it has been a labour to show, in the interests of the kingdom of the Lord, whose word alone rules.
The point involves one of strict and important principle, so that part of the reply which had to be made to this letter noted above, one may here present. This follows, without reference to the interlocutor concerned, as illustrative of principle when one is seeking to interpret, understand and apply the Bible, with due regard to its integrity in and of itself. The note is added for our present purpose only.
In fact, I have read several of Gordon’s books, knew him well, and worked with him at his local church, preaching while he was there, at his request; but I do not make myself a Clarkian, or of Apollos or any other, a thing strictly forbidden in I Corinthians 3: as if this or that name other than that of the Lord Himself, were a criterion of spiritual truth. I seek holiness, not a hydra.
Indeed, Dr Gordon Clark was in no small way, in Presbytery in the RPCES, instrumental in having me received from New Zealand in 1967, where as a Minister in the 1966 Assembly of the PCNZ I had stood against the denial of the bodily resurrection*1A. In fact, from a biblical perspective, aspects of Gordon’s works have been considered at times on our web site, as may readily be seen at http://webwitness.org.au/search.html, by consulting the indexes. I am satisfied with the Bible and the Lord, and with the rules He makes, as there: sow and let God give the increase, as there.
Judgment of man by the name of man, whether a matter of being of Apollos or of Clark or of (another name included) or of any other, is also contrary to I Corinthians 4:5 as is the whole idea of some summit of this kind, contrary to Mark 7:7ff.. ... the matter is not suitable for fellowship, or profitable because off course, not proceeding from the scripture as criterion, but man.
As the word of God written, the Bible has nothing comparable, nor may anything else judge.
It is the Bible which judges.
With all good will, and prayer for your development, for we must all grow in grace and in knowledge, into Him, the Head (II Peter 3:18, Ephesians 4:15) -
In the Service of that incomparable,
divine and undisplaceable Teacher*1B,
Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:8-10), worthy of all praise and fealty,
That was the end of the correspondence, because it had been based on anti-biblical foundations, things which Paul describes as 'yet carnal' (I Corinthians 3), and therefore quite irrelevant to biblical understanding. It would be like trying to understand floral arrangements by checking on dust-bins. What then is the fact ?
You can scarcely interpret Shakespeare if the opinion of some one scholar is such that if you have not read this or that other book, you are sure to be on the wrong foundation! Whose mind is in view, Shakespeare's or that of someone else ? If there is such mastery in the mind of someone else, by virtue of what is this ? of scholarship ? has it then ceased ? of intuition ? is then this person, as God, to know ? and so on. There always has to be liberty directly to find the mind concerned, through the words given. How much more so is this when the word of GOD HIMSELF, is involved (you recall, we are talking of interpretation in its integrity).
If you seek to deal with this, you can (as with some scholars - to pursue the analogy), decide that Shakespeare did not exist, or that he was really someone else and so on, and reconstruct who he is supposed to be, and then with this in view, make marvellous deductions from your theory and so on, until we come to a threesome: first you, whose mind is so creative about the bard, then the bard's words and then the image of the bard that has been created, as a ground and basis for interpretation. It becomes rather childish.
It is always necessary to go back to the primary documents, and interpret them. NO documents in the world are so gloriously, impenitently and resolutely attested by logic, by empirical evidence, by prediction and fulfilment, by continuity of theme and view, by application of these things, by blessings and cursings and by wisdom and necessity as those of the Bible. It is not a mere question of SAYING so, but if you wish to interpret, SO ACTING. As to this inimitable and inexorable, this incomparably cogent quality of the Bible: All this has been shown MANY times, starting with SMR, on this site, and may be found in the Index at BIBLE.
It is therefore fitting to compare one part with another, and the projections of principles given there, with others to be found there (rather as in mathematics, to take a different case for stimulus to the thought of the underlying point), so that YOU do not intrude. Instead, what is there is given faithful attention to enable a clear understanding of the perspective, the principles, the particulars, the overview, the intimation, the explanations and so on. This is comparable to scientific experiment, say in chemistry, where one has to check by seeing what happens, not what OUGHT to happen on the basis of this or that view, and it is then that the views may be applied to SEE IF THEY WORK in terms of what is happening before your eyes: in other words to see if they are verified.
There is no question of finding in your well-funded imagination, some kind of assembly-line of production which is mixed with what your physical eyes see, until there is some paraphernalia of philosophy and science virtually meaningless. That of course, as has been shown in earlier chapters, is precisely what has been happening in that other creation of God, the physical one, where evolutionism is constantly telling us the meaning of things ASSUMING it is true, even though it is, as there shown, the most monumentally diverse idea from what actually happens, perhaps since phlogiston bit the dust as untenable because unverified theory.
Hence one must take ALL of the Bible as one seeks to understand any part; one must take EACH part in its integrity, notwithstanding that, in order to give it solemn identity, like a lab experiment. One must be prepared to CHANGE one's understanding of any biblical principle when one finds it does not harmonise at all with ANY statement in the Bible, for this is like an unverified theory, such as evolutionism, and must be amended until this jarring ceases.
MOVING TO THE MORE GENERAL,
PARTICULARS THAT NEED CORRECTION
It is therefore with interest that one finds in today's paper, The Australian, November 29, 2005, that a certain member of Parliament in this country has been comparing the Bible with the Koran, and indicting it as a bloodthirsty (and much more) document. Indeed, there was even voiced the opinion that those who believe it to be the word of God (the term 'fundamentalist' which was used, was probably meant to have this sense, on this occasion, being disparaging) might be regarded as dangerous, in the direction of terrorists in mentality.
It is of course fittingly adding that this is not at all the case in fact, and that the idea of this parliamentarian concerning the said 'fundamentalists' (perhaps it should be written fund***, to suggest a kinship with a swear word ?) was that they were not really so, but happy hand clappers as a species. Later it was acknowledged that only some were like this, and gradually the assault on the Bible, to which objection was made in Parliament, subsided.
However the concept of bloodthirsty seemed to remain, and the parallel which it was desired to make to the Koran was dramatically maintained in the utterance, it seems, of this particular parliamentarian.
There is of course no privilege to parliamentarians to shoot off their mouths in glorious freedom from criticism, so that it is really necessary to apply some of the principles we have been reviewing above, to this utterance, or series of utterances, which accuse the God of the Bible of being bloodthirsty, in fact, more so than what is revealed in the Koran*1. The denunciatory parliamentarian decided that "good, old-fashioned violence" made what she called the Judaeo-Christian God "hard to bear".
This is one of those perversely ignorant misrepresentations which come from partial, superficial reading without regard to the biblical interpretation. Apart from all else, where are the references to Moses being ordered to hack people, or rip up wombs*2A ? Yet this by report was asserted in Parliament. In vain do we look in Deuteronomy 2,7 or 20, Numbers 31. Total destruction is found, as a divine judgment, but not this!
In vain do we seek from the lips of Moses some indication of horrendous brutality as a MODE in executing judgment before God, far less womb rupture as a particular order from Moses. Removal of the idolatry of the nations which led to their immorality and ruin, this is the pure purpose and exemplary judgment, but not this! Moral rule for Israel is the replacement, but it is not that! We see instructions for the removal of the realm of evil and the institution of good, but not that! Where then is this wholly alien concept and method to be found ? In what 'bible' is it placed ? There is a division between total destruction on the nations appointed for centuries for this end, and those not in this group, to be sure; but for the one is destruction, for the other some are spared; but what is found is not that, the gross assertion made in Parliament!
There is a provision of some of the results of the invasion for Israel, who are to replace the judged nations, and under some circumstances women may be taken into their midst, but the major matter is total ruin. The entire thrust is simple: remove what is judged and do it thoroughly, so as to avoid being contaminated with their idols, women or ways; for you are here as an example and a nation to show God to a severed world: such is the tenor overall, the setting and the perspective of the biblical instruction to Israel at that time, in this field. They are a loved people given a perilous task which God has deputed to them, and they themselves in replacing what God has judged, must not share the idolatries and follies of those nations, but to be exemplary and show what the Lord is.
This is seen in Deuteronomy 7, for example, ending with the notation that if they follow the nations they are sent to replace, then they too will perish. God had sent them after hundreds of years of patience with the appalling devastation of the human race which idolatry and child abuse, sexual licence and a litany of evils, to bring judgment, and never again was a race so to be used. Judged by the same standards, indeed, it was itself to endure, and that by prediction from this same Moses, a vast period of vassalage and horror (Leviticus 2;6, Deuteronomy 32), as they turned to the very sort of things they had been sent to overcome! God is no respecter of persons, and though reliable to the end for His own people, one by one, He is not taken for a ride by anyone, but corrects, whether nation or church or individual, as the case may require; but the correction of those regenerated in Him, this is that of a father for a child (Hebrews 12).
Perhaps those who now invent without ground, evidence or verification, grounds of assault on some race, may like to inherit what Israel inherited also ? But God has shown man whether by flood, or the two phases of Israel, that of correcting and that of being corrected, the necessity of seeking mercy where it MAY be found (as in Isaiah 55)!
Thus, in Deuteronomy 18 we find the reference to the One to displace Moses, the prophet of finality, to whom they must listen; just as in Genesis 3:15, it was to be through the seed, the offspring on the flesh side, of woman that the Satanic and perverse power that loves to ruin man, would be overcome. In Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28ff., Moses traces the conditions for Israel, and the results of doing what had earlier been done by the nations they replaced, things done by marauding man as if it were an exercise in power, which it is not.
The issue instead one in purity (Deuteronomy 28:9), and the whole and entire operation is to establish a testimony and an example (as in Isaiah 43:21) for the whole earth, which otherwise, as in the day of the flood, faced entire extinction as rank and evil, and to be removed. Israel failed (Isaiah 43:21, 30), but the new Israel, the Messiah (Isaiah 49:3), an Israel in whom by contrast the Lord took intensive delight, HE did not fail, as you see in the rest of Isaiah 49, and in the details of Isaiah 50-54, where both His labour and pangs to bring peace, and His peace itself, available to man, are in view.
In the end (Deuteronomy 32), Israel, long mocked and in terrible troubles because of consecutive failures and errors, impurities and lack of faith, would need divine rescue from the nations, and this God would accomplish, with many of the Gentiles delighted at the result (32:43), which of course has all now happened and may reach its final consummation shortly amid the intractable hatred of Israel in such abundant display, leading on to the predicted assault on the restored nation. The next phase, as in the twofold action shown in the parable of Ezekiel 37, has already happened also, and what follows in Zechariah 12, has also happened, with many nations having the 'solution' for Israel, as if God had never spoken. What is the next phase in assault on Israel, this mounts as storm clouds blowing darkly, gathering strength and shot through with lightnings as the Middle East, Russia and Muslim lands evince ever new adventurism.
These nations which interfere, intervene, dispose of Israel like so many assets, they never sought purity and truth for man by incarnation, being themselves but man; nor have they paid the price of restoration in the person of the Saviour for millenia announced, and in detail predicted (cf. SMR pp. 914ff.). It is God who has paid and from Him comes the solution for His property, whether in Israel or the world itself.
All this in the way of successive developments and perspective, is testable and in the utmost detail, is precisely verified. When science looks at data where they are to be found, and not at its own preconceived navel, then there is nothing comparable to this. It is said, like the creation in the first place; and then it happens, and NOTHING can or does ever stop it.
Indeed, much of the entire writing of Moses is precisely on what is RIGHT, what is JUST, what is SOCIALLY SOUND (e.g. Deuteronomy 6-27), what is to be done to enable proper inter-personal relationships and this in the fear of the God of all truth, who designed, who presented and made all, without whom there is only judgment, whether on Israel if it strays, or on others, in this unique instance of God's use of one nation to bring judgment on another and to replace it.
'Loot' is not the term, despite its taunting use in Parliament, for the ambition to attain riches is far from the objective; ripping is not to be found re Moses' directions on wombs, hacking is not to be found. What sort of thing is this which is allegedly taken by 'quoting' the Bible on Moses, when it is nowhere to be seen. Are there then some magic glasses in this case ? It is not loot but Lord which is the criterion, not concentration of wealth but correction of evil, not defiling greatness but rebuking evil; and that not as something beyond the law, but subject to it, and what has now suffered for millenia for its own follies. It is purity not power; it is precision not meandering thought which is involved. It is God, and not man.
It is He who has taken a diversity of steps, leading to the exposure of the 'exceeding sinfulness of sin' by various 'teachers', in history and by His own word, and it is He who having shown its awfulness, has shown His love by bearing it, not for anyone, but for everyone who believes. That is the criterion, TAKING the medicine; for God took the medicine for man, not that man might slander the Almighty, but be healed, whether Jew or Gentile; and He has made His parade of fact to cover the case, whether for errant thinker or baseless critic, for suppliant or the haughty. It is one door; and there are many ways of avoiding it; but the door, Jesus Christ, revealed in history and the Bible alike, does not change.
Let us then look back once more to Moses.
Indeed, in Deuteronomy, for example in 28ff., we see that the moral law and the ways of righteousness and justice are to be observed by Israel on pain of penalty also, for there is no loss of judgment on the inadequate ground that God used a nation instead of a flood, to bring an end to a civilisation too corrupt to continue. On the contrary, it is all moral: thus BECAUSE He did this, then Israel must SHOW what it was meant to show, the righteousness of God in spirit, soul and society, and receive the exact commission and the carefully defined land, among the lands of others, divinely specified. There is no global mission, to make ALL by some kind of force, submit to God! This is for Islam in its various passages in that direction, to invent, an unauthorised mimicry of what biblically is given in highly moral and directly spiritual terms (cf. More Marvels ... Ch. 4, SMR pp. 1080ff., 829ff., Divine Agenda Ch. 6).
As to Israel in its day as showing forth the praises of God in obedience, this is thus neither a tribal religion nor one where faith is in any way connected with the impact of force. The latter is for judgment, but the soul is for life.
From and in the Bible, before, with and after Moses, the testimony is of righteousness and justice continues, and judgment and truth do not deviate, nor does there cease to be a divine intolerance after centuries, with abortion of truth, corrosion of righteousness and corruption of mankind. God is patient, but were He never to act, man would complain of ineptitude or uninvolvement, of a world where only evil rules; while when He acts, at length, after freedom has been misused as if by rote, and the carnal desires of lustful minds have indulged their perpetual fancies, like this organic evolution and the brutalities it naturally spawns amid imaginary morals and dreaming dissipations: what then ?
Why then, man complains that it is tough! Yet God has explained His way from the first*2 .
Is this so amazing ? Is it not precisely this loss which is destroying the power of the USA, corroding that of Australia and making a mockery of truth as nation after nation leaves its foundations in the God of mercy and truth, the testimony of history, and proceeds to the invention of new and evidentially unbased religions ? Is it merely some illustration of this here, that apparently even new 'bibles' can become objects of ridicule, while the nations race off the rails; and what is this novelty-making modern world expecting*3 ?
It is not to find the furrows on the other side, to be devastating; yet in fact they are, and the world is writhing and whirling in its confusion and lifeless hope, inventing new gods and transforming old ones at will, till it resembles the very nations which Israel was commissioned to replace. No, it is no more one nation which is appointed for such a purpose, as on one occasion was the case with Israel; God Himself is acting, as in the flood, directly. The scope is this time the whole world, and the method is described in detail in Matthew 24, Luke 21, Revelation 6ff..
There are more ways of one than flooding, and man is flooding his spirit with the most eccentric deviations, the most implausible and abominable, as if his passion were a rage, and sagacity were passé. It is the world itself which is in danger of becoming passé, and its glory WILL pass because of misuse, abuse and that not only of life itself, but of God and His ways, on which man's life entirely depends (as shown prophetically from ages ago, for this end of season derangement, in Isaiah 2, 24, Matthew 24:35 cf. SMR Ch. 8).
It is useless to parody or torture the truth of God; HE does not and will not change, nor does His word change. Derangement of understanding of His word is a personal thing; it alters neither the word itself, nor its eventual outcome. It is rather like misreading a medical prescription: there is no payload, except the results of using the wrong one!
Is it not the folly of making religion and belief a matter of indifference, while a secret religion of its own comes not only from this or that government or secular authority, but from the UN as it promotes the ultimate in statecraft for the rule of man (cf. Mystery of Iniquity); for it is making the creativity masterpiece, called a child, free from all rules, except a few the State secures for its own glory, free of all control (except State requirements as parents do the job for the State in the UN setting), allowing all types of spiritual folly to proliferate as it prescribes its own form of religion. This is one without the power of God as predicted (II Timothy 3:5) for this end of the Age period (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5), while the next generation destroys itself, in order to make a world a witness to hard-heartedness and soft-headedness to its own destruction!
Is it to gain employment for social workers that inveterate follies are proudly allowed to rule the child, while the nation falls into the pit of selfishness, self-esteem and self-centredness, while reality is allowed to fade and expected to yield to whatever man wants, be it ever so low ? If its whim is perverted sex as a basis for families, or even called marriage as if to use Sodom as a model, it hallows its own name, ignoring design and protection alike; or if it is instead or as well for combined religions, the true and the false, the attested and the non-attested, so that confusion will rule, vision will evaporate and targets become unobtainable, so it does as if will had control, and were a god! And to what does it lead, except to the lowest and most base of objectives, since testable truth itself has been slighted, and manifest fraud is ignored! (cf. Chapter 2 above, and its Epilogue)!
Man without God is a very prodigy of failure, where not a butt for deserved irony and a rump of forsaken reality, boiling in confusion, erupting in violence, filled with talk that is not true, attacking what is sound, void of perspective, where even in a Parliament of this nation, grave distortion is met with the mildest of rebukes.
Before we continue, then, let us notice that one option here is to turn to SMR, Appendix D, which deals with the biblical issue raised, in some detail, in terms of Christ's utterance in Matthew 5:17ff. and the terms of reference in fact in the Bible; and the other is to add to it what might now be said. We shall follow BOTH, suggesting that the reader FIRST read that, and then add what follows.
Let us then turn to the perspective in the Bible.
COMING ALIVE TO FACTS
The Bible in Genesis 15:14ff., divulges (in God's speech to Abraham) that the inhabitants of a certain land, Canaan we would call it, were so wicked that their end was to come, but not for some 400 years. Then God would deliver Israel from persecution at the hand of a land where they themselves would go in the interim, before leading them out with great wealth, and taking them where they would go. THEN God would act as would be apt with the area of Canaan, now ready for judgment.
What would be apt ? This: the land of the "Amorites", then indicated to Abraham, would BY THAT TIME be so evil that its "cup of iniquity" would be "full".
This brings up the concept of JUDGMENT on two fronts. Firstly, God would JUDGE on account of Israel, the land which would house them for 400 years, and part of the JUDGMENT would be this, that they would be paid much wealth (at last, after persecution); and then God would at last deal with the Amorites as was fitting for a nation whose wickedness had then reached its depths, heights and breadth, being complete, their corruption utter and abominable, paying them out what they deserved: a full reward. There could be little doubt, even in the day of Abraham when God so spoke, that this would be devastating, which took 400 years to reach its pit.
What then is to be said of this ?
Despite the unmitigated distortion heard in Parliament, it was not a bloodthirsty idea, an utterly twisted misconception of the events in mind. It was a matter of JUSTICE and JUDGMENT. We are helped in considering the point graphically, if we look at what is current in Australia. An Australian citizen, with a Filipino mother, has been caught with drugs which he intended to import, in Singapore, and has been given to the gallows, over the head of every type of protest and suggestion, request and appeal from Australia, whether from the Governor-General, or the PM, from the whole house of Parliament or this or that individual politician or representative, in Singapore or elsewhere: all this on Australia's and the young person's behalf.
WHAT is the main Singapore reason for wanting to HANG him, despite all of this ? It is the concept of justice, they indicate, since had the drugs been disseminated, then hundreds of lives might have been ruined. True; but then, it appears that they were not disseminated, nor was he paid.
Do you bring to the gallows the man who was plotting murder, or the murderer ?
Secondly, he had an unusual motive, to help his afflicted brother, and was not a hardened case, but apparently a once only case, with this mercy mission, certainly gravely astray, since it could harm others: and yet one signally unusual.
Thirdly, he is young, and with this first-time offence and motive, we come into the arena of MERCY, which the Bible commends as well as justice, in Proverbs 3:3-5:
"Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about your neck;
write them on the table of your heart:
"So will you find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean to your own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct thy paths."
Now Singapore certainly appears to be too slight on the MERCY aspect in view of the CONSIDERATIONS just brought to light. God is both entirely just (as in Nahum), and entirely merciful (as in Jonah 4), and continually throughout the Bible gives attestation in endless-seeming historical accounts where these principles are seen in operation, whether with Jonah's Nineveh, where the prophet was disgusted with God's vast and impassioned insistence on showing MERCY if there was REPENTANCE, or with Israel itself, where, as with the Amorites indeed, they had HUNDREDS of years with prophets a plenty, telling them of their sins.
In the case of ancient Israel, these prophets were seeking revival and restoration, for the people to show JUSTICE (as in Amos) amongst themselves, without exploitation, as well as the honouring of the God of their salvation continually ... Even car enthusiasts tend to honour their car MANUALS, and how much more reasonable is it, then, to honour the manual about yourself, if you are a believer, and Israel was ostensibly in that situation; it was so by free desire, as expressed at the end of Joshua.
God is JUST, and MERCIFUL, and in the VERY CASE this parliamentarian has raised, gave hundreds of years before acting; and in acting, He entered into a civilisation so corrupted, so evil as Ras Shamra has shown archeologically, so blatant in folly that it could almost be compared with some modern nations with same-sex marriages, exploitation, torture and the like. It had, in other words, like much of this world now, reached near to the end of the amoral, immoral, exploitative and anti-God line.
Since however God has made us - and we are, you recall, INTERPRETING the Bible at this point, to see what it says and to compare this with the misconception of the parliamentarian in view, then we are looking at EVENTUAL JUSTICE and JUDGMENT which, as with the gallows in Singapore, follows, and at MERCY, and to what extent this judgment could be avoided if the ways of mercy were taken.
The extent to which God went was enormous, both with the Amorite, the Ninevite and the Israelite. But when it was all over, and all avenues of relief and release, of mercy, were abused, if not caricatured and misrepresented indeed, then it was that only JUDGMENT remained. How ludicrous to talk of bloodthirstiness, the exact opposite of the entire case, when God has Jeremiah as in Ch. 9, wishing his head were a fountain that his tears could flow day and night for his people, and God solemnly warning again and again in the day of Moses, and showing the path of blessing, and sacrifice showing dramatically the entire folly of disgrace, as if you could dis-God, being His creation. How often did Moses and Joshua appeal to the people, and as you see in Psalm 105, 106, how often did God PUT AWAY His anger, knowing that they were from the dust, seeking good for them with persevering patience.
When Christ died, this was the last action to cover sin, but it was one of an immense series of divine provisions and protestations, encouragements and reviews, remissions and appeals. Do the bloodthirsty engage in such moral uplift, exhortation and protestation, seeking good only and are they slow for a few centuries here and there to act, and do their representatives want to cry and clamour with grief, day and night because of the horror which despising divine mercy brings ? And does not II Chronicles 36 show the divine action, rising up early in the morning, as it poetically puts it, and sending His prophets, but to no avail, as you see so dramatically in Jeremiah! Did He not 'multiply similitudes' as in Hosea 12:10, in order to attract their attention, as Jesus did with parables, seeking to find what was lost ?
Did He not in Hosea promise to come and redeem IN PERSON (Hosea 13:14ff.) ? and was not the entire sacrificial system a routine to reveal the intense horror of sin and the marvel of divine provision to meet it, even by death, until the prophet to come should arrive, even God in redemption!
Did not Ezekiel make it plain in 33:11, that God had no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that he should turn from his evil way, and did He not assert this 'as I live', showing the depth by His own ultimate sacrifice at Calvary, where it was shown to be true! THIS is the teaching throughout of the Bible, and the horrors of justice are so far from being desired, let alone those of injustice, or the satiation of pleasure in horror, which is bloodthirstiness, that this enormity can not readily be purged. Man must realise to what he has come when such errors of stupendous proportions are heard without decisive correction in Parliament!
The case before Moses had already been long.
Earlier, as in Genesis, the undoubted facility of the God-image in man, to become self-determinative in the OPPOSITE direction, that is evil, had bloomed its evil orchids. The flood was the divine answer. Noah could be mocked then as now; but it helped when the waters came, to have constructed an ark. It always helps to receive MERCY wherever it may be found, when you face JUDGMENT. If you neglect this, then what in this world, or out of it for that matter, do you expect ? Do you think your use of Crack and Ecstasy, yes and Marijuana (given capitals as befits ogres of oppression) will ... unhappen; or that your tobacco from an early age will be ignored, and that lung cancer, heart disease will be too 'bloodthirsty' to happen ?
That, you may rejoin, is a ridiculous adjective to use. NO ONE would dream of talking of 'bloodthirsty' in terms of the results of lung cancer, even if it involved internal bleeding, and you died in agony of a high order, over months of intense physical and mental distress.
If we are going to talk turkey, let us not be paltry in our comparisons!
No, you would not, because in many cases people THINK of it as a HAPPENING, and imagine that the construction called our bodies - most definitionally apt for the term 'designed', of all things visible - are just 'there', like a million dollars in your bank account. It just happened to arrive and so you use it. How absurdly simplistic and irrelevant to all knowledge so to imagine; for the contrivances that evidence integrality of function and unity of disposition for result when involved in myriads of systems are NEVER otherwise imagined to need nothing to make them, just the existence of order, which in turn, needs nothing to make it, coming by magic from back of beyond! Such are the illusory drunken thoughts of the mind of man without God. Not even a pencil sharpener is so imagined: WHO made it is the ONLY question (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7).
People however may indeed receive such a windfall in their bank-accounts, at times, but are never excused for such a ludicrous assumption. It becomes the cause of legal action, since it CANNOT happen. Magic does not make the million, nor give access to its integration of symbolism and substance with spending power, an intricate system with one purposive result.
A million dollars, or a body more brilliant than any human design, and more integral in more aspects for one total unity of action: these things do not happen. They unhappen, for things tend to run down, to have their brilliant designs slowly wear out, and information is found not to increase. To call for something, you need to call. Matter is never found so to call, only to respond.
We have examined this frequently and not least in our recent volume, "The Majestic Might of the Merciful Messiah: Jesus", as in SMR Chs. 1- 2, Wake Up World! Chs. 4-6 and so on, all to be found in The gods of natualism have no go! which is a trilogy.
Why then do you not find the term 'bloodthirsty' apt for such a case of blood and pain, with death slowly ? Is it because you do not think personally ? That you want to unwrap God from the package and throw Him away ? Remove the Creator and have the creation to yourself!
This is not the biblical position, and represents that strange dereliction of modern man (as Jung put it, "in search of a soul"), whose mind has died and whose 'chance' ideas make a mockery of the intensive legislation which occupies the chair of the controls of his own body, without which he could not even think.
When however you return to reason, as shown in the above works, and incidentally, to the revelation of the Bible, then you see JUDGMENT in these things. It is not an individual matter, entirely at all, as Christ showed in John 9, in the case of the man born blind:
"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
"And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
"Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
He then healed him, and they threw him out of the synagogue because they did not like to see the power of God in this man, the Messiah, and felt something else should be done! That is typical of the human race in its dealings with God, and while a few do find God and follow His JUSTICE AND MERCY, in its various dimensions (their salvation, their behaviour, for blessed are the merciful!),yet MOST go on the broad way which, as Christ put it, leads to destruction (Matthew 7:15ff.). That, since we are discussing what the BIBLE SAYS, is the position.
Is this "bloodthirsty" ? Not at all. It is judgment. To be 'bloodthirsty' implies a certain hunger, or more pertinently, thirst for blood. It pleases your distorted soul, it impacts with pleasure on your deranged mind, and brutality has a kind of appeal to your evil machinations and derelict desires.
The two are fundamentally as diverse as light and darkness.
To confuse them is inexcusable - pardonable, by mercy, but inexcusable, in logic as an error.
When therefore GOD ELECTED the flood, it was ONE WAY of purging - now think - perverse and corrupt society where each generation was like a revolving door leading to spiritual cancer, corrupt and corruptive, corrosive of good and inventive in evil, always and only in the thoughts of their hearts (Genesis 6). That was the end, except where grace provided mercy to Noah (cf. News 1).
Then you come to a later time, in the days of Abraham. Already an area near the promised land, in fact Sodom and Gomorrah, was in the grip of such evil passion as to become a byword ever since. It was a society of children (delightful as they can be) growing up deluded with sexual perversion (as you see in the case of Lot in high drama, at the level of the floor of the abyss in Genesis 18-19 - where even angels aroused sexual desire, which men tried to indulge at once!)! The generation were becoming such they such perversion and reckless self-indulgence seems to have been taken as if it were simple manhood or womanhood.
Evil was thrusting itself forward, conceivably even more than it is currently doing in those radically afflicted with the desire for grabbing God's world and making of it and of themselves just what they will, throwing the handbook (remember, we are INTERPRETING the Bible and so its ACTUAL application) into the nearest river.
What then happened to this 'ripe fruit' of Sodom, after so long a time and such a depth of depravity, so that reality was like a dream, and unreality seemed actual ?
GOD ELECTED THE CHEMICAL DESTRUCTION of the area, by THIS TIME, where mercy would merely have extended a corruption so rank, a defilement so terrible, that continuation would be corruption. God acted. Freedom had had its day and way; and then it had to pay. This was not even vengeful; it was JUST. If vengeance enters in, it is not in some paltry human sense of getting your own back. It is for the sake of the atrocities, rather like Nuremberg, which have been wrought, the defilements, the injustices, the merciless and the mighty arrogances, to bring them where they BELONG, since they are fraudulent and mere delusion, contaminating all, making a whirl-pool of destruction as long as they continue. There is an end...
As to Israel, when the 400 years were duly past, and the nation became known, namely Egypt, the one to which the Jews would go and where they would be oppressed, you recall, the one which then would be JUDGED for its sins, what happened ? In this case, it was so active with such oppression for so long that it tends to remind one of Saddam Hussein; yet despite the fact it was rather long ago, people were still people, one must recall, and still suffered terrible things in exploitation, loss of liberty and the whole gamut of indignity and oversight which is slavery ... Distance does not CHANGE the case, even if memory would like to blur it: so in the end, at the time pre-appointed by God who knows all things, the JUDGMENT duly set in. Israel was delivered by a sweep of miracles and a testimony of controlled, precisely appointed power such as this world has rarely seen, and the Empire yielded unwillingly, amidst its own loss of an army, its desired prey.
For nearly half a MILLENIUM mercy had waxed; now judgment set in. It was devastating, like lung cancer in its final era... Mercy is not another name for a new reality, but for tenderheartedness in this one, even in the midst of massive and massed provocations, not merely personal, but systematic in culture, history, inter-personal relationships, loss of morals, of principles, of rules, of meaning and of life.
FREEDOM AS THE BANE OF TRUTH
AND THE EXTORTION THAT DOES NOT PAY:
IT IS CHRIST WHO PAYS
There is in much of the human race that feeling nowadays, that there is really an optimum for man, and it is no longer this, 'Think not what England can do for you, but what YOU can do for ENGLAND!', but instead, 'Think not what you can do for England, but of what ENGLAND can do (and had jolly-well better do) for you.'
It is the WELFARE approach. You do not particularly need to WORK ? if unemployed and on social benefits. It is demeaning. You DO need every kind of concession and help, and whether because of your race, deemed unfortunate, or your place, deemed sad, you MUST be given EVERY help EVEN IF you show NO sign of being either grateful or productive with what you are being given.
This leads to corruption, whether for white or black. One Federal Aboriginal Adviser declared that the current approach was actually corrupting his people, because it removed moral endeavour and responsibility, and was so reported in the Press. Whatever race, however is involved, white or yellow or black, where this approach blossoms, there is a certain ennui which can develop, a lack of motivation, adaptation and application.
When any idea of JUSTICE arises, this is airily dismissed. Now it is true that the MERCIFUL aspect is good; but the other is lacking. God lacks neither. Realism is present, patience is richly present; but in the end, JUSTICE will come if MERCY is not opted. Now where do you find mercy ? is it not in the heart and mind and hand of the one from whom you must receive it ? It is, if in money, from the creditor. If in life, it is from the Maker.
If then people refuse MERCY from His hand - and biblically this is from the Christ whom God in HIS MERCY sent in order to remove the NECESSITY of JUSTICE, what is to be expected ? Is lung cancer to be avoided so that people can flout the way they are made because feel like it and demand that the case be so treated ? Reality is not to be invented, any more than circumvented. It is justice or mercy, and God is rich in both, whether in Genesis, when He waits 400 years, and would spare Sodom if there were ever so few righteous people in it, as Abraham found in interview with the Lord, or in Matthew and John, in the Gospels.
Bloodthirsty ? Is HE bloodthirsty who insists on the health of righteousness, waits centuries often enough before judgment, sends signals first by flood, then by destruction of cities, stopping the while when one appointed to destruction, repents, giving it some more centuries before it goes, using also one nation on one occasion, after centuries of notice, to implement judgment, while keeping His own Son for the purpose of meeting final judgment, that judgment might be no more (John 5:24) to be so devastatingly and in such unprincipled profusion so accused! Is there to be only rebellion always ?
Is love to be so parodied, and truth so twisted, is the mercy of God to be so misused and the harsh realities of what life abused means, so scarfed up! Is the love of God which did not hold back His own eternal Word from incarnation, and death, the date of which was precisely predicted centuries beforehand (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4), the intention of which was repeatedly and in increasing detail presented as the time drew nearer, is this God who expects man to LISTEN and not judge unrighteous judgment: is this One so attested, and so acting, in such depth and with such care, patience and consummate skill, in His passion for mercy, to be so paraded before unthinking parody!
What then of this bloodthirsty slander on the Lord ? It is an entirely inept designation, ignorant in its misconception, gross in its defilement. We have already noted the aspects which enter into the proper use of such a term, and they are nowhere found in the Bible. This is worse than eisegesis, using one's own ideas in acting as if to interpret a text: it is an ALIEN INVENTION, imported into the Bible like the warriors in the Trojan horse. It is not only outside it; but it is wildly contrary, wholly disparate, making the spurning of a mother's love by an accident victim seen natural by comparison. What then is to be found ?
JUSTICE: this is found, where mercy is scorned or sent home. If it means a world-wide flood, or fire as in Sodom, or invasion as with Joshua, in that remarkable and once only case in all of the divine revelation of history, when a deployed nation was the instrument of judgment to dispossess the target: it is all by divine choice. It is all justice where mercy is not taken; but the SENTENCE, as in hanging, is not illusory. It actually happens.
People are KILLED, whether young or old (as happened both in the flood and in the case of Sodom), and it is made by this TIME, very plain. The violence offered by one and another in injustice and evil schemings, in misuse sexually and in misapplication of talent, in a wholly corrupt and scheming disregard of truth and courage and love and grace and patience and virtue, this growing scorn of spirituality and godliness now comes as a judgment on the entire race.
It will come at the end of the Age. Jesus made this very clear in Matthew, including the case of those who would be murdered (as happens to millions) because they were Christians and represent what is detested as happened in the USSR, and happens with torture the instrument, humiliation and manipulation, as in China, where the desire to take over the control of such churches as are not closed, is the pagan determination. What then ? then there will in due time come a judgment where all will be regarded in the light of reality! This will be with or without mercy; it will come with the receipt of the Redeemer, or without. It is ALL real. The godless welfare State, which grabs God's designs and creation and ignores Him, this may come; but it does not rule. Even its arrogance becomes a misrule which leads to judgment as man decays in vision, meaning and principle.
Let us take the case in question, that of Joshua. This was a testimony to all ages as to what JUSTICE means; and it removed with force what had misused force, an entire race. The day of mercy being past, that of judgment arrived.
Judgment is like that. It ends a civilisation, a culture, one and all. It is best to get out of it, rather than participate. It is best to take the divine mercy; and not to loiter in any other of the perpetual evil phases of man, as with Sodom, Jerusalem indicted, or the Flood, but to find in Jesus who BORE the sin and RECEIVED the guilt so that MERCY might remove the judgment, the peace granted by Him with God.
THAT is the one God, the same always, showing in the last phase, as He predicted from the very first sin of man (as in Genesis 3, in the protevangelium*2), the fact that LOVE seeks to show MERCY and provides a METHOD in a MAN who being God incarnate, faces judgment.
This, also at precisely the prophetic time appointed, He did; and in so doing, He put the shame and guilt of those who would receive Him, upon His own head. VIctim and victor alike, thus He as God exhibits mercy, buying with His own personally received judgment for others, the mercy they might thus JUSTLY receive (Romans 3:23-27).
This same Jesus upheld ALL the law, and hence the parliamentarian is right in associating Christianity with the Old Testament as well as the new' for it is one religion. This Christ upheld it even to the point that HE freely suffered for man the things JUSTICE required, that life might be free and open and lovely and true and realistic and delightful, for those who receive Him (John 10:10).
Indeed, He also, HE wept for Jerusalem, then a nearby object for judgmernt, because it had not realised the day of the divine visitor, visitation and vicarious sacrifice which was presented not only to it, but IN IT! (Luke 19:42ff.). Thus would judgment, in another generation, be implemented where mercy was despised (John 3:19,36), and its head and centre, crucified.
What is the real issue then, is not some imaginary bloodthirstiness which is being invented and slanderously applied to God, the God of the Bible; for it is justice, which is ignorantly ignored in a way which suggests that some kind of unreal, perhaps welfare State, is the criterion, not SIN, set in the midst both of love and judgment.
If you want to ignore the diseases of the soul and their results, whether in the fact of suitable judgment or the gift of undeserved mercy RECEIVED (John 1:12, Romans 6:23), then you would be like one who would like to remove all hospitals, saying that operations are too bloodthirsty, and that doctors have this kind of mind. This is a gross misconception of the Bible. It is not that kind of mind at all, but one of JUSTICE and MERCY which God shows, and it is not a type, but the truth.
If you do not like it, there is no need to confuse the rigours of eventual judgment, whether wrought by Joshua or flood or fire, or in hell (Mark 9, John 3:36), with something else. Justice is like that, where mercy is derided, scorned and twisted in the mind of man, scoffing as he scorns, scorning as he fails to meet the realities: avoiding the hospital while deriding the doctor, in our parallel.
BACK TO REALITY
The Parliamentary assault on Moses, then, and the ludicrous distortion of the biblical message, even detail invented, all this is merely a symptom of confusion. That in turn in our generation is a result, not least, of a profusion of ideologies founded on air, ignorance and desire (cf. News 121, 122, SMR Ch. 3, pp. 867ff.). The realities which appear and answer on all sides the fundamental questions for man (cf. SMR Ch. 5), verified on all sides from the word of God (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9), these are not altered by spiritual slander, directed as so often, erroneously at the word of God. His NON-VIOLENCE in terms of desire, allied with the reality of JUSTICE and judgment at length and in depth where the flaw is: these need no strained relationship to the God of truth. They are fundamental, continually exemplied and in consummation, shown in the willingness to become man with all his vulnerabilities and limitations as to form, but with divine power for man's welfare preserved.
In patience He has waited. In the Moses case, it was for several centuries, He delayed, before acting. Moreover, as there shown, as in the death date of Christ, He knew from the first what He would do at the last (as in Isaiah 46:10).
His mercy is shown in the Nineveh example in the most dramatic possible way, in Jonah, and in Israel over the long centuries before its fall; and again, the temple rebuilt, there was granted opportunity for what Christ called the "day of your visitation" when He came personally with power to heal and raise the dead.
Yet in response, what did He receive ? He came, as He knew would be the case (Isaiah 49-55, Psalm 2, 22, Zechariah 12), only to be stricken with the bloodthirsty vileness and violence of Jew and Gentile alike, along with the vacillatory wickedness of the deviating Gentile judge, Pilate. Bloodthirsty ? but if anyone was, who was it ?
It seems as if it came UPON Him, and He BORE it! for the desire lusted like a vast wave, to engulf Him, to ensure their own safety from reactions from Rome, to allow the assertion of their own priestly rebellion, being theirs, and a myriad of other points, some moving this way, some that. Thus the term 'bloodthirsty' is not merely wrong, not merely contrary to reality, not merely the grossest of misconstructions, it is also the final appearance at least of propaganda, the evil of the assailant visited on the good of the victim. Thus once more is Christ made the victim, this time of the misconstruction of the entire Bible, and His entire purpose, with all of its preliminaries.
What then ?
The Jewish failure is merely the Jewish illustration of the fault, fall and failure of the human race, which with the Gentiles has been no less apparent in the invasion of churches from within, by alien follies which leave people confused, as appears here, a prey to error and ready for assault on the things of God Himself. Where churches are not physically or deviously assaulted as in the USSR and now in China, as they have been for many years, from without, they are being corrupted from within. Some stand as foretold, and these bodies do not fall; for the gates of hell will NOT prevail against the Church of Jesus, but many fall, as foretold by II Peter 2, II Timothy 3 and 4, Acts 20: and indeed so great is that fall to be that Christ declared dramatically this very thing: "When the Son of man returns, will He find faith on earth!" (Luke 18:8).
The domain of the obvious will be so cluttered with convention, contoured with illusion and driven by false desire, the world of confusion will be so strong and delusion so normal (as in II Thess. 2), that as to faith, one would have to LOOK for it, though there it will be in HIS Church, soon to be taken as in Matthew 24:35ff., I Thessalonians 4, I Corinthians 15.
As the final apostasy and folly comes to its fruition (rather like that of the Amorites, of whom God spoke, you will recall, to Abraham in terms of several generations before action should arrive), so does collapse of meaning, morals and ideology appear, and these are being replaced in what towards God, is sedition, with sedulous haste. As the time comes near for Christ to return, many will be so secreted here and moved there, that the structures of power will hardly notice their strength and the body lies dead in the street (as in Revelation 11). However, first it arises (as there), being summoned (cf. News 87, End-note 1; Acme, Alpha and Omega Ch. 5 ).
When that body, the church of Jesus Christ is gone, when as in Rev. 19, it arises to leave this world in confusion and in the ashes of rebellion, so will faith on earth be gone; and then comes His return (as clearly specified in Revelation 19, I Thessalonians 3:13), with His saints. It is then that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 11), and that 'the desire of the nations', so long suppressed for spiritual squalor's rule in their hearts, will be seen in His glory (as in Isaiah 11, Matthew 25, Revelation 19-20, Psalm 72 and so on).
Then the earth will at last be confronted before its final removal, with its meaning, so long despised, its majesty, so long overlooked, the Majesty of Him who created it all from the aesthetic to the glorious, who also subjected it because of sin (Romans 8:18ff., Genesis 3, Romans 5:12ff.) cf. Beyond the Curse).
It is then that welfare will become not something to derange, by violence, or to arrange by vileness as if man should manage man, but the direct concern of the Lord of the nations, the Prince of peace, without whom neither philosophy nor the depth of friendship, education in truth nor morals in their splendour, stability nor strength, cleanness of heart nor reliability of spirit can be found (cf. SMR Chs. 3, 10, The Love of God, Its Nature and Its Outpourings). Then will the earth cease to wobble on its spiritual axis, till its time up, when tired of vainglory and spent in its way, it departs as an old coat (Isaiah 51:6, II Peter 3), and its wicked works of yore, with it.
The time is near. It raps on the door when the Lord returns. Ashes are set as if to light the fire, and warmth departs. How has the desirable become opaque, the glory gutted in the hearts of many in a vast valley where this generation has fallen, as they followed the proliferation of spiritual fungus in their very nostrils, as if nothing smelt good except the evil, and failed to look where they were going.
All these depredations and failures now coming to such extremes as that at which one has here looked, they also are simply one more expression of the power and precision of the true and only, the living and testable God who invites survey and checking (as in Isaiah 41,43,48), and chides those who ignore the evidence! It is as it was to be, and what we see is the continuing collapse in Gentile nations, just as it happened in Christ's day for the Jews, that all might fail as Christ foretold, and none arise, except where mercy is received and truth is treasured.
As Paul declares in Romans 11, having made Israel to be illustrated in terms of an olive tree: Israel was cut out of the tree through lack of faith, but Paul exclaims, let not the Gentile boast, or be high-minded, for lack of faith can do for him what it did for Israel!
So does all the world await judgment as the very truth and justice of God is perverted in the mouths of much of mankind, and mercy is forsaken by those whose lives have been given centuries of opportunity, who now wish to be lord, in nations to be lord, whose words and ways are to be lord, and to rule mankind.
Such rule is misrule, and all the world now contorts as it cavorts, immoral, immeasurable in unwisdom, asserting itself as in the UN, only to become a waste as history has shown for the nations in the past, and for all the pretensions of man. The Lord ALONE will be exalted in that day of coming judgment (as in Isaiah 2:17, and the haughtiness of man will be abased.
By this time, the Gospel has circumnavigated the globe as Christ required (Matthew 24:12), and then the end comes not for this or that nation only, or group of nations, but for all nations. It comes from the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega, the God of all creation, before whom all stands or falls. If without His SPECIFIED mercy in the SPECIFIED Saviour, God as man (Micah 5:1-3), then it is without hope, as it always was since the Fall (Romans 5:1-21, Ephesians 2:12, Romans 1-2).
The only HOPE is the only REALITY which is the truth who is Christ Jesus (John 14:6), whom in kindness His Father sent into this world, and in compassion to avert the final disasters for man, in man. It is HE has borne with man, and borne sin for all who receive Him (I Peter 2:22ff., Isaiah 53:6-12)), since the coverage is not universal except in offer, and what rejects it is as uncovered as anyone whose home meets unchartered floods (John 8:24). Go it alone, and where are you going, my pretty maid, just where, my young man, just where, those whose age belies their wisdom ?
It is to a destiny worse than any gallows, for truth is the criterion, and justice the end of the misused facilities of man, the forsaken spiritual functions and the assumption of a lordly posture which would judge even God, and waylaying the facts, invent incredible distortions, as far from the Bible as the sun from the earth, darkness from light, and murder from judgment, malice from goodwill, and purity from pollution.
See the completion of this sequence in EPILOGUE to this Chapter, now named Ch. 6.
See Appendix to this volume.
Christ as Teacher Unique, Masterly, Crucial and Final, as such exclusive, needs to be realised, not merely mouthed. We do not need Protestant papacies (cf. SMR pp. 1032ff., 912ff., 950ff.).
When it comes to setting up some figure as determinative in the ways of men, it becomes more than nauseous, worse than woeful, just as Christ's words in Matthew 23:8-10 and Paul's in I Corinthians 3 make so clear. When scripture is given (I Cor. 2:9-13), it is not a man to whom we listen, but God by a man's appointed, scriptural commission, so that the word of GOD in His own right, be heard, not some ideas about Him (cf. Jeremiah 23:28ff.). THAT, it is the incomparable pronouncement and written expression, from God, of God and of whatever He desires to enunciate.
This it is, both in point of fact, that God is infinite, and in point of presentation, that this is the claim amply verified at all times, in all points, in all history, and in all departments, as so often shown in detail in this site. It hits like a hammer, cuts like a diamond, dazzles like the sun, cruises like the breakers that never cease, always coming to the shore of certainty, of history, verification, fulfilment and of explication of whatever it touches: consistent, coherent, explanatory as nothing else, and of all else.
For the present, we review, our work in the field of clarifying the concepts.
Indeed, in view of Christ's words in Mark 7:7ff., in Matthew 23 and others such as those of Isaiah 8:20 and Jeremiah as above, not to mention I Peter 1 and II Peter 1, with contrast of the rubbish in II Peter 2, we find this: that not merely is contradiction of this, the words of the living God (cf. Matthew 4:4), a matter of confrontation with Him. Addition to this word by the words of man, as if in any way comparable, this itself is but folly (Proverbs 30:6, Galatians 1, Revelation 22, Deuteronomy 4, 12) so profound as to glare like the eyes of enraged anger, hostility and hate, ineffectual, frustrated and exposed.
Thus when we hear that somebody or other has a name, is a theological wizard or head, cuts a figure of decisive kind to illuminate the darkness of man, a 'name' so that not being thus is to be unfounded, and when that name is not the name of Christ, or that of the Biblical books (which He so endorsed as in Matthew 5:17- 20): what is the result ? Such a thing is like vomiting and eating in endless rounds, beyond even the gastronomic additiveness of Roman banquets, filling with what is to be emptied, because it cannot be digested. Indeed, the matter is gross.
So vast is this method as a contradiction of the statues of the word of God that one might, at first blush, wonder if such a proclamation, if not glorification, of one particular theologian was intended as a frivolous comedy, a refrain in some taunting song to illustrate by negation of biblical constraints, what ought by contrast to be done! Was it reverse psychology, like telling a child to FALL INTO a pool in the hope that this would strengthen his unconscious poise in NOT doing so!
Was such advice, such proclamation, then some form of teaching by negation, by teaching the opposite of what is divinely required, in order to stir the mind by contrast to see what should be done!
Alas no, for it is tragedy and not farce. It is evident that it is no joke. It is a great grief that errors in this direction, even those so extreme, are not uncommon, even in some places where the Bible is given verbal assent! Is it not from this same scripture, the Bible, that we find it quite a trade for people to draw near to God with their LIPS, while their hearts are far off, like those not too near the cross!
What, after all, are mere men, however gifted, that their names be used to designate churches or theological clans! Such is often the use of Wesleyan, Calvinist, Augustinian or Lutheran.
You must not, may not and should not, indeed scripturally cannot so designate your church or your view (I Corinthians 3, Galatians 6).
You COULD say that you like some of the emphasis of such persons, but never, in scriptural mode, may they, nor their views, become a criterion for you or anyone else. You could give biblical reasons for agreeing with a proposition of any of such persons, so long as the man, the viewpoint by his name remains in the background, while the biblical teaching is in the foreground, nothing added, with no ballast nor any glory except to the Lord and His own word. Preaching is not making a CRITERION, but an application, and the one who does it does not make himself, nor may others make of him, any such thing.
He who preaches in Christ, who teaches, serves: it is Another and HIS word which alone rules. One is the creature; the other the Creator. Neither directly nor indirectly may any other rule.
The Koran, as acknowledged to some extent, in the attack on Moses in Parliament, does indeed sanction violence, and not in only this or that case, as in some one divine commission to act as a nation in judgment. This has often been seen as in Divine Agenda Ch. 6 and More Marvels ... Ch. 4 with Red Alert Ch. 16.
As to the invasion by Joshua, the Jewish case, this was preceded by some of the most astonishing and sustained marvels of all time, where a vast empire was thwarted by escaping slaves, so that divine power had preceded, authenticating itself beyond the grasp or dominion of mankind, rather than being achieved through mere domination, as with the Koran cases. There is no limit in the latter, but with the Bible, the limit is ONE case only, just as was the flood; and the divine actions are predicted, testable as prophets declare what is to be, as was the case with Jesus Himself, where any ONE failure to heal (cf. Mark 2:1-10), when He had given the word of healing, would have ended His mission.
The concept of living in glory because being faithful in battle on earth is merely part of the confusion of morality and spirituality, force and heaven, to be found in the Koran (cf. Koran 9:3-14, On Repentance, for one example involving both violence and its repayment in heaven). No tests are available, and in fact, as Mahathir of Malaysia made so clear (His Time is Near Ch. 10) , the Jew has had the victory despite the world-wide power of the Muslim peoples. That is half a century of anti-verification, simultaneious with biblical verification, in that just that result was predicted for Israel returned in Zechariah 12, DESPITE the fact that they had not yet returned spiritually to the Lord, which event is shown rather later in the same chapter of Zechariah.
The all-powerful 'Allah' construct is objectively in this realm, as weak as water, since the God of Israel, as shown in detail in SMR Ch. 9, is doing PRECISELY what He said He would do in these unmitigated triumphs of Israel against all 'odds', upon their return, as is shown likewise by the international stress and distress as people try to govern Israel with disregard of God. This was predicted in Zechariah 12, as was Israel gaining of half the city, in Zechariah 14, an event of 1948 involving the enmity of the UN, amongst others such as the massed Islamic forces.
Islam is split by the apparent desire of Muhammad to gain some sort of continuity with the Jewish prophets, having them come from God, whereas his system is so void of the central sacrificial Jewish theme, let alone its Messianic preliminary role, for the Lamb who would replace all sacrifice with the sacrifice of Himself, that it is wholly alien message to that of those same prophets, which by contradiction he seeks to authenticate with himself. This impossible effort to gain some kind of credence was replaced in practice by force, by which he gained Mecca. A house divided against itself cannot stand (cf. SMR pp. 1080ff.).
The violence from many in Islam which we are now seeing - and the Pan-Islamic Alliance has been most vociferous in its booming against Israel - is indeed not contrary to the Koran. The God who has given an inviolable and never erroneous attestation over the millenia, in the Bible, however, has limited the judgment by using Israel as a judgment just once, as with Joshua, just as the flood was used just once, and varied city destructions as predicted; and the very restoration of Israel according to plan, to their own land amidst victories wrought against overwhelming seeming opposition and obstruction has been used for similar testimonial purpose, just once in the last 1900 years! THAT, that return, Christ indicted, would indicate that the Gentile era was over: or more particularly, Israel's restoration as governor of Jerusalem. It has happened; and we are there.
With God, the strength has been illustrative of judgment, not a way of life. That having been broadcast to the world, which certainly has HEARD, as these parliamentary words attest so well, God has shown His mercy in Christ, who bearing the JUDGMENT HIMSELF, has forbidden all use of force for the sake of religion (John 18:36, Matthew 26:52ff.), judgment being impactive on Himself.
Force being the only testable weapon of Islam, since nothing is testable with no positive verification open, and this is failure: it is using force in various parts and portions, with a desperation borne of hopelessness.
Moreover, force was NEVER with Israel permitted to be used in terms of faith, as if it had any bearing on what was to be believed, for it was judgment, not inducement, that it served. It did not point the gun and ask for the faith, or sweep with the scimitar and demand 'conversion', a thing most horrendous and wholly irrational. To try to make the USA dump Israel, the apparent intention of al Qaeda, a thing of faith, for the sake of peace is merely an illustration of the subordination of truth to violence, not merely HOW MUCH violence being the question, but FOR WHAT PURPOSE!
On Violence and Faith, Israel and the world, see SMR pp. 1186ff., at *3.
In fact, godless cruelties are quite common apart from God, such as those al Qaeda seems to practise with some relish, like beheading, blasting indiscriminately into social areas and so on. In times past, it was little better, though it is hard to beat such assaults as these, and their pleasant enterprises into the whole science of degrees of death and the time for the eventual agonised result, and the place...
Thus, in times past, such horrors of slow anguish were not uncommon. in the Bible there is record of a number of godless hordes who similarly do atrocities such as these Islamic ghastlinesses of today, and scimitars of yesterday. For example, to take the Parliamentarian's word 'rip', this does indeed occur concerning some godless actions. It is best to be precise.
Thus, in order of occurrence, there is in Kings 8:12, a reference to the man of God, the prophet of God dealing with the question of ripping up pregnant women, an atrocity hard even to imagine, unless of those on drugs, of false religion or foolish chemical distortions, wrought voluntarily.
Here the prophet Elisha is IN TEARS at the THOUGHT of what will in fact occur to Israel, because of a SYRIAN monarch, whose bloodthirsty proceedings were a basis of the saint's tears, and who would so deal with the prophet’s own much loved land.
Tears are not the same, however, as evil joy, or intention. That would seem not very difficult to establish!
If you cross the traffic without lights and do not look, then in the long run you are likely to suffer, and your mother and father may weep for you; but they are scarcely the cause. It is your own wilful blindness. This is a result foreseen, and the way in which godless nations would treat Israel, when it forsook the Lord, were their own! This merely illustrates the point.
Another reference to this godless sort of action (and Hitler took it rather further in his 'experiments' with Jews), is to be found in II Kings 15:13. Here a short-term king in a wicked country, full of idolatry and forsaking God by ever increasing degrees over centuries, near its end, reigns for one month. A usurper killed him, interested himself in killing others in attacks, and ripped open wombs. It is difficult to see how a rotten land in a rotten mess doing rotten things by a murderous king in some way has something to do with the God of the Bible; except in this, that He gave to man the marvel of liberty, which he has perilously misused, and in such misuse, there is at times, seemingly hardly any stoppage.
The Cross of Christ is the way out of the syndrome of sin, and in this God in mercy showed the way out of such infamous deeds performed the one on the other, and out of the judgment which, being against atrocity, can be decisive in the end. In doing this, His own passion to deliver from such evils is manifest in this, that He SUFFERED the guilt and penalty of sin in His own Being (as in Hosea 13:14, Acts 20:28, Matthew 20:28, I Peter 2, I Timothy 3:16). This is the precise OPPOSITE to blood-thirstiness, when He became the butt of that very thing, for the sake of those to be delivered from it, by this action and experience of His. Indeed, in the very midst of the reference in the prediction of this event to be found in Isaiah 53, where He Himself will bear the sin, we learn a new datum.
“By His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.”
As in the road case, it is useless to blame the maker of the wilfully blind; it is even more an exercise in flamboyant futility to blame the One whose passion to deliver from sin and its outcomes, in love brought on Himself the anguish of sin. It would be infinitely worse than blaming a rich millionaire who gave away two million to a nephew, only to find that he used it to hang himself in style. Many ensure their just condemnation by hanging the hanging, if you will, that is, not giving a hang for the death of Christ and God’s love and provisions, as in John 3:19,3:16.
Next comes Hosea 13:16. Here Israel, the Northern section, as distinct from 'Judah' is told of what will happen to them, in the very face of the divine love and mercy, because they acting as rebels, are morally in rebel territory, far from God, where such ways resulting from and in the ferocities of unprotected mankind, can readily occur; and in this case, it is known that they will occur.
It is always necessary to distinguish between the Creator and the creation, however, between man and God, and not to imagine that what is going to be done by man to man is the sin of God, when it is the sin of man. Even an earthly father is not to be held guilty if his son murders, or becomes a Saddam Hussein; much less God, whose hatred of folly and the cyclotron which sin brings into action, sin from sin, is made clear in His hatred of ALL sin. Punishment comes where and how it will, whether from insane hands, inane false religionists, evil men or whatever other source is in action. As Psalm 1 declares, the wicked are like the chaff which the wind blows away. In due time, judgment comes, and sin means in the end death, which may come suddenly, as in Sodom, delivering from worse horrors in maimed lives, after due and often exceedingly long warning.
If you choose wickedness, then the ways of the wicked are over you like thick dark clouds; but then it is you who choose the cloudy terrain. God advises otherwise.
The next case is in Amos 1:13. Here we find that one of the ACCUSATIONS from God against a country called Ammon, is their atrocity in ripping up the wombs of women with child!
For such things, they were as punishment to go into captivity, king and princes alike, for example. So do we there read. When God CONDEMNS and punishes such godless actions as ripping open wombs, do you in some strange way want to accuse Him ? Are the judges of Nuremberg guilty of the crimes of those whom they condemn ? Is there no limit to error and false talk! The Bible has its own standards, and if you are going to discuss it, it is well not to confuse news with views, and views of the mind with the data of the text.
See News 87, Calibrating Myths, Manufacturing Dreams and Keeping Faith Ch. 6, Dayspring and Barbs... 17)
*3 See on this:
Repent or Perish Ch. 5 inventions in mind, gender, politics ...
Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 15,
Secular Myths ... Ch. 3 (spiritual - political - economic surrealism, and reality, and various modes of escape from efficacious unity, where it belongs), and with this,
Divine Agenda Ch. 6 (specialising on religion miscalled demanding faith by force and the pathos of power's puny imprint),
The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 6 (world movements that cry for what is coming, the Judge, Jesus Christ),
The Frantic Millenium Ch. 2 (actual and commonly suggested ... antidotes, incl. survey of many supposed unities, from the particulate to the social);
Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ Ch. 9 (glamour, stammer, hammer ... flitter and glitter, and the unity that counts);
Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 3 (the soporific self, and the unity glide, under the sedation of sin),
Dastardly Dynamics Ch. 10 - Glory that is yet no glory, and good that is no good in the welter of political options, and spurious secular identities that are not one but many; and News 152, wide-ranging, including UN; Divine Agenda Ch. 3 (sums three absolutist religions including Communism, Islam, and considers an Anglican trend towards new religious 'unity',
Impossible to Man, Open to God Ch. 4 (the giant declivity of quasi-church mutation in South Australia);
FM 11 - twigs and towers; News 116 - sham, shame and co., cf. News 132;
News 121 - symphony and seditions - two heady heads, News 122 - deadly d's.