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Chapter 6


LIFE -
WHAT IS IT ?

It is now time to ponder the actual realities of life in their divine and authoritative setting on the one hand, and in their observable way
of procedure on the other.
 

(Revised and extended, May 2000)
 

PART I

LIFE ? It is either in itself, eternal and uncreated, or created. The former is named God, who is what He is (Exodus 3:14, John 8:58); the latter is created, either as

   spirits, or

   material formats; or

   both of these together synthetically, with various components of conscious mind or unconscious instinct, formed and correlated in unison with the rest.

As to the created life, it is that self-mobilising design that, abundant in types, has operational fluidity within elaborate specifications which operate around a static kind. It may come in synthetic unities that involve instinct, consciousness, spirit and mind informed with will and understanding in its advanced designs.

It is often found hard to define because its elements and syntheses are subject to illusion on account of will, so that what it is recedes from what it is desired it should be, with fatal results for definition*1A. In itself, however, in the created realm, it is not really hard to define. In the infinite and uncreated life, it is of course way beyond our status, though capable of being understood by explanation from that source, when this is received. It is then that one may not merely know but glory in this, that one understands God and has companionship with Him on the classical and long presented basis, consummated in the New Covenant and to be manifest in focus in the explicit glory to be. (Cf. Jeremiah 9;23-24, John 17:3-4, 14:1-10, 21-23, I Peter 1:8,11, Revelation 21:5,3-5, 7:13-17.) See here SMR pp. 140-145, and Ch.7. This deals with the definition of life in various dimensions, and its operation at various levels.

Created life, in its highest derived and materially equipped  levels known as  mankind, may vicariously access immortality, through a designed plan of salvation, involving the Creator's self-presentation as a sacrificial substitute for those sinners who so receive Him by FAITH in Him. (Cf. I Corinthians 15:1-3, 51-57).

As to that, faith is an interpersonal bond to the dynamic transforming power of the Creator; it is an operational partnership with the Unseen shafted into the heart of man at his conversion, and thereafter activated in his growth. (Cf. Ephesians 2:1-8, Galatians 5:6, Psalm 84:7.) Its absence, since it is not an extra but the proper norm, may secure vicariously once again, or directly, erratic sickness, spiritual, moral and on occasion physical, calamity and death, the last in a form apt to its forsaken opportunities.

This can be particularly scarifying in terms of a subject, fit for the knowledge of God, but suppressing it. In this case, it is called "everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2). Amongst the inheritances of disfaith (q.v. Index),  is to eat the fruit of one's doings, surely one of the most appallingly just, and justly appalling final consequences one could imagine. To do this when it is natural is one thing; but to do it when it is supernatural, the direct result of the rejection of the magnificence and magnitude, not to say the precious purchase price, of the mercy of God, available in Christ for all who believe, THAT is horror without intermission!

Fraught with consequences, life may expressly illustrate qualities from sloth to acute industriousness, as in the sloth and the ant, from engineering creativity to verbal reflections on itself or other things, either in prose or poetry. Engineering creativity may be seen in the beaver with limited consciousness but a mode of spirit, just as verbalised wisdom may be seen in man; the former by direct creative decree, the latter through derived creative mind and a spirit designed for personal participation by man, as an abundantly activated derivative, with God Himself (see SMR pp. 348ff.).

Life, in addition to the programmed, or vitalised correlates of programming which are so masterfully, microscopically and enduringly inscribed into its material systems,

  • has what might be called, in what is beneath man in earth's creatures,

a vital engendered dynamic.

 

That is, there appears in much of creation to be manifested,

or shown capable of display, something more than programs and less than personality,

  • being less rational and more instinctive than man,
  • but yet not necessarily without a capacity to learn,
  • including response to the personality and even to a degree,
  • the principles of a human person.

 

We can readily see it, past the domain of mere cruelty, insensitivity and callow rough treatment, in horses, dogs and some birds; and less specifically than is the case for ourselves, we may see this gleam of individual life past mere program in many creatures which, nevertheless, are not without bounds of kind that contain their final competence. It may be termed the "soul" or life of the living creature*1. It is its exhibition which here concerns us.

This correlation of the engendered specific, the ingenuity of vital dynamism in some species lower than man, and its individual exercise,  can produce close bonds between some animals and man; and exquisite delight on the part of man, even when he is merely observing this close parallel to the artistic depiction of character in portraiture. This, with life, may often be seen associated, along with the mere provisions for procedure, with which each creation is equipped. In other words, there is

  • a combination of programmatic procedure and
  • ingenuity of artistic masterpiece,
  • the nature of the creation and its procedural capacities.

 

The ingenuity phase may be nil or marginal in very low creation levels, but rise to dramatic representation in others, depending not so much on their size, but on the aptitudes inbuilt.

This may lead to playfulness, highly differential relationships of individuals of a species to each other but especially to a human person. Thus one lyre bird became so friendly in a particular setting with a special lady, that it began to "read" her intentions, dismiss instinctive programmatic response, and elevate itself to the role more of sensitive companion, conscious performer and artistic hero (or heroine, depending on the gender).

Let us now however go further, to the level of rational consciousness, creative thought, capacity for worship and assessing intellect, to spirit which can

  • construe,
  • reject conditioning
  • or collapse into it,
  • rue or woo and in general,
  • act with that meaningful enterprise which may not hesitate to examine its own apparent parameters,
  • seek to overturn,
  • corrupt or surpass them, and indeed,
  • act with all that bravado or knowledge, insight or arrogance, which is so enabled by its status, as engendered BY God, FOR God.


Let us now travel, then, to mankind. This is within the compass of the spirit that has been accorded to man.

The interplays in lower levels of creation, in this regard, are most suggestive; but here for man, the arena is far wider in kind, categorically admitting of direct communication with the Creator. This however is  by no means available as a right or assured certainty; but rather, again using merely for illustrative purposes the analogy between lyre bird and lady, it is something requiring the agency of ...  discretion. Indeed, it is at the initiative of the divine discretion that there have been set terms and conditions for the admission of man to fellowship with Himself, as has been demonstrated from the first in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock (cf. Chs.1,3,5,10).

These are privileges relevant to, but not rights within the aggressive grasp of man, since his is a SPIRIT which is not merely that, marvellous as this is, but one made in the image of GOD, and thus, though derivative in kind, yet exceedingly wonderful in potential. Again, this is not some self-glorifying developmental capacity, for its wry and wretched fascination with doom under other names... is the counterpart of its blessed occupations within the imparted grace of God, when this is received according to His everlasting Gospel. Development within design provision, in knowledge, interchange and stature,  is however there, a scope for a blessedness almost unimaginable when the only actual missing link, that between God and man, is restored from its disused condition, and certainly beyond the understanding which is polluted by preference for darkness to light. And as to light, spiritually there is but one. Without it, darkness is a matter of endless hues, disused colours of calamity, scenes sequestered from all that is pregnant with life, not merely cluttered with its trappings.

Man has these marvellous advantages over the illustrious agencies of the lower creation.

The antics of mankind however are by no means merely so delightful as those of a lyre-bird. Indeed, to suffer a pun, the liar bird aspect, the conscious capacity knowingly to deceive, and the subliminal willingness on occasion for many, even to allow self-deception rather than hurt, this complicates things enormously. The lust to throw off all restraint altogether, so often obvious whether at the individual level, or the national, the military in this our own generation, is another specific of the human fall, the endeavour to life though formed by God for God, without Him.

The pathologies available in the situation of man, through its misuse, are obviously extreme and banal. The deliverance from them took a divine step both extreme and excruciating. It is the wonder of it all that He bothered; but having made man for Himself, He was not left without plan, procedure or program, but from His eternal counsel before the world was created, He had the plan of salvation centring in His eternal Son Jesus Christ, incarnated for the purpose, to give His life as a "ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28, cf. 26:28, Romans 8:32ff., where those for whom He is delivered up receive all things). Available and on offer on behalf of all (I John 2:1ff.), yet it was activated for those who received Him,  was put into operation with passion and pity, power and prevailing, personal determination (cf. Luke 9:51-56, 13:33-34, 19:41-42) and  holy beauty.

It is testimony to that delightful precision of the Lord, from which all human precision takes its beginning, that in addition to the mercy and love displayed in the Cross of Christ, there was a preliminary date set for it, as shown in SMR pp. 886ff..

  • Let us then reflect. Life, in its highest synthetic masterpiece, man, that trilogy of mind, matter and spirit, may show different qualities in spirit, varying from noble self-sacrificial love leading to temporary death, right through to insidious scheming in self-advancing squalor. At this level, man's spirit is subject to everlasting rebuke. (Cf. SMR pp. 348ff..)

 

The key to the division of the gift of eternal life for called created people, and death, for blind-flying dalliers, is the Lord Jesus Chris: the sent, sacrificial, perfect self-expression of God, the exact image of His Person, who took our format, though equal with God; and as God manifest in the flesh both showed God in our midst and made manifest the bridge to Him in His eternity. This He is as that self-existent eternal life, donating eternal life to many (I John 1:1-4, 5:12-13, Romans 6:23), thus calling into being the acme of all creation: those redeemed from sin and settled in His glory as His children (Romans 5:15, 6:23, 8:18-25).

  • Created life, though individual,
  • is often subject to aggregative organisational co-ordination,
  • co-operation and interaction:
  • whether in swarms, flocks, wings, families, cities or nations.
  • In those with access to understanding,
     
  • it is subject to judgment so that
     

complex consequences can be overwhelming

to those seeking autonomy, or other irresponsibility

in the midst of their realities of creation.

The world is currently in this complex and advanced state of judgment; though it is not yet final.
The criterion however is ultimate.

Indeed, physically, mentally and spiritually, life is subject to proof and reproof, plague and infected phases, follies and fashions. Many fall to ruin in the dynamics of these degrading eddies and thrusts, whether at the level of virus - that is insertion from without of intrusive capabilities, of what multiplies within; and it is this which  may occur in philosophy, captiousness or culture; or from mere obsession. This leads to mass death at various levels, and to incalculable suffering.

 

Amidst this, the plan and Person of salvation is intimately accessible according to the Creator's word,

the Bible, through His Holy Spirit;

       so that the instantaneous transformation is the extraordinary blessing available amidst cursing,

       from Jesus Christ, the Prince of Life (Acts 3:14-21); and it is this which is the consummation offered

       in the midst of condemnation (Hebrews 2;1-3, 12:27-29).

       The condition for this divine deliverance in any particular case of a human person, is remarkable for simplicity (Acts 2:37-39, Luke 13:1-3, John 10:9,27-28, Galatians 3:1-13, II Corinthians 5:19-21); just as what it cost was astonishing for profundity. (See Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Chapters 2-3 in That Magnificent Rock; and Chapter 12 below.)

 

  • For a relatively brief definition of life, see End-note 2.

Finally, consider the following: Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:7; 3:21; John 1:1-12, I John 1:7-9,5:1-12; Romans 8. See also Ch. 15, pp. 201-208.
 
 

    End-notes of Part I

*1A The direct, comparative simplicity to be found in defining life, results from the logically accurate perspective used. The fatal foundering, in uneasy endeavours to define it, is merely one more verification and attestation of the truth of God. Without Him is writhing, intellectual, moral and spiritual, however many may be the temporary analgesics of self-promotion and other illogical fantasies which change nothing - unless it be the time of day, when judgment will come to the deluded. An accurate account of what is there in life, is straightforward in principle, when the fogs of delusion and the fog horns of intrusive propaganda are dismissed.
 

*1 The Biblical designation of the "living soul", or living creature, the designate, designed life form, the vital being, with bounds and bestowals at the uttermost level for its nature (Genesis 1:24), in the animal realm, is worthy of attention.

For the non-human, this concept may at its height comprise:

consciousness, imagination, intelligence, instinct, individuation, feeling, susceptibility to interaction, including that at the human level, reciprocity.

Some of these things could be subject to simple coding, some to instinctive parameters, some to potentiation criteria, so that they develop when the apt and appropriate calls are made. However the crucial point is this: super-added to coded devices, programmatic inputs, that is, resting with, but not entirely on the strata of codes, is the very design itself. Not to be mechanistically conceived, it yet is relayed in its integrity, just as we might do the same for our own productions. Their total and final "meaning" or message, or being, or zenith, or even their 'final character' is from our minds an input quite as significant as the means thereto; and indeed, as in great architecture, the vision, the object and the style can so transcend the individual part and, indeed, the simplistic or procedural function input, that to be unaware of it is a type of blindness! (Ask any architect!)

Here, however, the architecture is biological, physiological, anatomical, neural, multi-media and through manifold systems, contributing to the end result.

To what then does this refer in the realm of the created ? The living "soul" or creature has an energic zest, an integral character, which can either be dammed or else develop within the design modes of the construction. As with our own designs (this being the nature of that phenomenon as defined in SMR pp. 113-116, 141, 211, 224ff., 251-252N, cf. Ch.3), this has a meaning to which components minister, itself the raison d'tre, the vision's masterpiece, which being built, stands - indeed walks. The architecture, or more precisely, its inspiring genius of conception, surveys the scene, like a sculpture, arising in ascent not merely of height, but of comprehensibility, composition, the more especially to those who understand the artist's fire, his focus and his past.

As to this integral design ? The action tends to show it, even where the ingredients and their plans are too profound for detailed analysis (and what is just as important) model synthesis, in the mind of the investigator.

Where, added to all this, a curse operates (rather like a caning, a limitation or a series of restraints and constraints, or even a re-application, or placement of what is affected, in a new environment with modified powers or tasks), then the resultant adaptations are formal, functional and inter-active with other beings of various orders. These can cleave like clay to the feet.

At the next level, now specifically, man, where a spirit (cf. SMR pp. 348ff.) is conferred, as we see later in the Genesis record (2:26-27), the result is far more than merely superior to all this in the former realms of creation on earth. It now allows in fact a knowledge that can even seek to be related to the divine, and seek His dealings, to comprehend, or in some cases, consciously to co-operate with Him.

Naturally, the curse vis--vis man is accordingly even deeper in its consequences for him, as the spirit given man is equipped with amazing liberty, being made in the image of God.

Deliverance for man, and creation, centrally, is the drama of the Book,
the Bible; and the blessing of the Lord is available

  • not at all to the strong


in his strength,

  • but to the wrong in receiving the last basic work of God, and when ?
  • on their frank admission of their erroneous ways, concerning themselves, others and God Himself, reception of Him and His ways and acceptance of His plan of salvation in the Cross, bodily resurrection and covenantal grace.

In this Book, this covenantal creation, this transmission to man, this invitation, this manifestation of the love of God, this rebuke to sin: in it then, is pardon, power, purification, justification, regeneration, adoption. This is from the eternal, uncreated, incarnate Prince of Peace to whom all power is given in heaven and on earth: Jesus Christ (Amos 2:14-16, Titus 3:5 cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17). SUCH is LIFE!
 

 

*2   This leads to a second part of LIFE, WHAT IS IT ?   as immediately below.
 

PART II

LIFE- ITS DEFINITION

 

(BRIEF and in terms of the realities of Observation and Declaration in
the Bible, which, as demonstrated in this site, is the only authorised and definitive written word of God to mankind. A longer and shorter definition is provided - A, and B.)
 
 

 A - THE LONGER DEFINITION

1. LIFE on the earth (Terrestrial life) may be defined briefly as follows.

Life is an action centre, in which are reposed elements and a synthetic whole specifically related to them, existing in many exemplars which incorporate an ascending scale of features, depending on the design. So far it is like any design. Its specific additive is this: the features themselves involve -

a) highly complex organic chemistry.
b) superimposed commands from an information storage unit.
c) means of executing those commands with precision and even editing to remove the mass of possible errors, so achieving astonishing conformity to type in the manufacture or production (reproduction)  of fresh examples of a given kind over thousands of years.
d) capacity to continue in newly produced units, by means immensely variable in mode and amount, yet acutely conformist to the style of the original.
e) variable and sometimes amazing capacities in the synthetic whole, to heal or even replace parts.
f) an array, in the overall gamut of kinds, of other capacities ranging, according to kind, from those of environmental reaction, to

       response of elaborate instinctive kinds, in which the formation of bodily parts by command is mirrored by the information set in store for movement or action as a whole, by priority and ingenuity; to

 

       consciousness,

 

       self-identifying consciousness, conceptually,

 

       moral consciousness,

 

       elements of freedom involving personality, spirit and research,

 

       consciousness of God, the Creator,

 

       joint action of this consciousness and the spiritual disposing power resulting in

       alienation, distortion, desire, or other numerous responses which however all are founded in an initial creation, and a subsequent pathology, wrought through history and seen in it,

       which tends to spoil, smash or disturb the relation to reality, including environment, kindred creations and nations, while God is distanced; and

 

g) a provision by God the Creator, of a spiritual restoration and re-alignment mode, called the everlasting Gospel, enabled by the Son, Jesus Christ, in His atonement for repentant, believing sinners, as seen in history and found in the only evidentially testable book in this field on earth, the Bible: which in this case contains the commands, offers and opportunities for human life in particular. These allow its healing,  and both command repentance, and permit members of the life form, man, to become, on an individual basis, children of God. As such, they find a love which is not pragmatic, a power which is not of man, a co-operation which is not defiled by man's autonomy or arrogance, a brotherliness which results not from reproduction but regeneration.

2. Celestial Life

This is life where its source is.

bullet As the terrestrial exhibit is derivative, dependent on the programmer and super-programmer who makes the materials as well as the programs, and the programs not in dead and unresponsive matter, but in living components, so that they are supra-programmatic realities, crowned by a directly discursive, researching, probing, pondering, seeking entity which is called our spirit in the case of humans:
 
bullet so the celestial in the uttermost height, is fundamentally creative.

This creativity creates the derivative creativity of man, and the minor aspects of creative capacity in the ascending scale of designs, known as the animal kingdom*3, from which man is more divorced than are the rich from the poor, for man's essential capacities in this regard are basically conceptual, abstractive, comprehending, enabled to originate things in kind as well as degree, while relating consciously to moral life and to God.

In the celestial life, that of God who created this mini-creator man, at this level:
there is only ONE BEING, called God, with three persons who co-operate with just one Nature, that of the Godhead, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Also without terrestrial bodies are other celestial life exhibits, called angels. These are derivative, spiritual and without the bodily format of man.

In brief overall survey, this is what life is.
 

B - THE SHORTER DEFINITION

CREATED LIFE is first invisible, such as angels, and second visible, such as we examine and investigate systematically.

The former are expressive, immaterial, personal spirits, able to obey God.

The latter is a responsive variable -

  • formatted in kinds,
  • equipped with programmatic orders, means for their execution and continuation,
  • ascending exhibits moving through instinctive sets or predispositions,
  • to imaginative or reasoned individual expression,
  • some phases or units possessing consciousness, self-consciousness
  • and other varieties  of it, such as the moral, spiritual and divine.
     

Where the last is found, eternity is available through deity who set Himself in the life-form man, to give this.

Run with symbols in a variety of formats, expressive like words, it equally enables communication that rises at the highest level, to words self-made, with which to express response, desire or understanding of the environment, to other creatures or to God.

The freedom is so great  that the ultimate Speaker, God may be blasphemed by His own creation.

The love  back of it is so great that He assumed the barriers personally in Jesus Christ, increate and sinless, in order to remove them for those who repent of downgrading and receive the ultimate upgrade, to become children of God.

UNCREATED LIFE  is the self-sufficient immutable God, whose power is such that to speak is to do, irrepressible, sovereign, majestic, all-knowing, unprocessed, unprogrammed, with the hallowed, holy chasteness that does not force, and the undeterrable righteousness that judges according to truth, sinners who refuse pardon, whether the objects be visible or invisible.

The Judge is Jesus Christ who is both the mark for all creation, and the only Saviour for any of it.
 
 

C.  DEFINITION MORE SCHEMATISED

LIFE- ITS DEFINITION

(BRIEF and in terms of the realities of
Observation and Declaration in the Bible
as demonstrated in this site):
 

1. LIFE on the earth (TERRESTRIAL life)

may be defined briefly as follows.

Life is an action centre, in which are reposed elements and a synthetic whole related; and this appears in many exemplars
which incorporate an ascending scale of features, depending on the design.

So far it is like any design.

Its specific additive is this: the features themselves involve -

a) highly complex organic chemistry.

b) superimposed commands from an information storage unit.

c) means of executing those commands with precision and even editing to remove the mass of possible errors, so achieving astonishing conformity to type in the manufacture or production (reproduction)  of fresh examples of a given kind.

d) capacity to continue in newly produced units, true to type but immensely variable in mode and amount of intra-type development.

e) variable and sometimes amazing capacities in the synthetic whole, to heal or even replace parts.

f) an array, in the gamut of kinds, of other capacities ranging upward from
environmental reaction, to

i) response of elaborate instinctive kinds,
in which the formation of bodily parts by command is mirrored
by the information set in store for movement or action as a whole,
by priority and ingenuity; to

ii) consciousness,
self-identifying consciousness, typically inclined consciousness on the part of myriads of creations of the lower orders; conceptually augmented consciousness within practical parameters and interactive capacities, to

iii) conceptual moral consciousness with
extended elements of freedom involving personality, spirit and research; and

iv) consciousness of God, the Creator, with provision for
joint action, obvious or oblique, of this spiritual consciousness and the spiritual disposing power, the Creator, resulting in
alienation, distortion, desire, or other numerous responses which however
all are founded in an initial creation, and a subsequent pathology, wrought through history and seen in it,
which tends to spoil, smash or disturb the relation to reality,
including environment, kindred creations
and nations,
while God is distanced.

 

g) a provision by God the Creator, of a spiritual restoration and re-alignment mode,
called the Gospel, His given terms,

enabled by the Son, Jesus Christ, in His atonement for repentant, believing sinners,
as seen in history and
found in the only evidentially testable book in this field on earth,
the Bible, which in this case contains
the
commands, offers and opportunities for human life in particular,
allowing its healing and members of the

life form, man, to become, on an individual basis, children of God.
 
 

2. CELESTIAL LIFE

This is life where its source is.

As the terrestrial exhibit is derivative, dependent on the programmer and super-programmer

who
makes the materials as well as the programs, and the programs
not in dead and unresponsive matter, but

in living components, so that they are supra-programmatic realities,
crowned by a directly discursive,
researching, probing, pondering, seeking entity

which is called our spirit in the case of humans;
 

so the celestial in the uttermost height, is fundamentally creative.

This creativity creates the derivative
creativity of man,
and the minor aspects of creative capacity in the ascending scale of designs,

known as

the animal kingdom, from which man is more divorced than are the rich from the poor,
no animal being equipped to find the moon by thought, or formulae by meditation;

for his essential capacities are basically conceptual, ideationally organising, principially penetrating,  mentally roving, abstractive, comprehending,
apt for survey and conspectus in symbolic terms,
 

susceptible to originating imagined things in analysed and envisaged kind
as
well as degree, and indeed,  on the prepared and authorised path,
to relating consciously to moral life and to God Himself.

 

In the celestial life at this level, there is only ONE BEING, called God, independent, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient, intractably righteous, willing to deliver those who come to Him
where He is, in the way He provides,
and able to judge,
with three persons who co-operate
with just one Nature, that of the Godhead, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Also without terrestrial bodies
are other celestial life exhibits, called angels.
These are derivative, spiritual and without the bodily format of man.

 
 

PART III
 

EXCURSION INTO LIFE

In brief overall survey, this which we have seen,  is what life is.

Now let us look to origins and eventuations for life; and in this, our aim is no longer simple definition, but to deliver understanding of the basics behind it. This gives more depth to the foreground.

A word, then,  in more detailed alignment might help here, although it is simply expository.
 
 

LIFE and THE WORD

The word of God is to be understood in several ways. Amongst these are:

v           what God says - and in detail provides according to His desire and design, His purpose and presentation.

v           the Person called the Word in John 1:1, 1:14, who became flesh.

As there is but ONE GOD, as we read in Ephesians 4:4, Exodus 20, Isaiah 43, 45, and He does not KNOW of any other, and states NO OTHER WAS FORMED before Him or shall be after Him, John 1:1 is referring to this ONE. It is not as in Psalm 82, or Ezekiel 28:9, a scathing reference to the boasting exaltation of man, as if he were something similar, god: in response to which, he is advised that he will nevertheless die like man, and will find it rather difficult to keep up the pretension when God slays him!

It is rather as seen in Matthew 22:41ff. where Christ citing from Psalm 110, makes it clear that though in the form of man, He is not of that dimension intrinsically, for David, his mighty and famed progenitor in this Psalm is calling Him 'Lord'! No, as in John 8:58, He is the I AM (as in Exodus 3:14), who enjoyed glory with His Father before the world was so much as brought into physical existence (John 17), and His glory is as of the only begotten (John 1:14), full of grace and of truth, so that to Him is an amazing prerogative, an intrinsic, an ontological marvel.

WHATEVER the Father DOES, HE DOES in the SAME WAY (John 5:19-23). Clearly if I could strike a golf ball like Niklaus, and do ALL that golf requires, not only with the efficacy but with the same style and manner, then I should be his golfing equal, and it would not be robbery for me to take equality - that is precisely what Philippians 2 is saying, that Christ, being in the form of God, did not take it as robbery to be equal with God. It was not merely some one thing: it was an issue of the BEING concerned, equality per se.

However, it proceeds in Philippians 2: He made Himself lowly, took a format like a prince accepting a post as a private in an Army, of no reputation and performed what was necessary, in dying for sin in the format and with the experience appropriate for its sacrificial purgation, judicial nullification and laboratory style neutralisation of sin, for all who received this. In another sense, it was like a rocket blasting off from gravity and overcoming it. Yet his 'blast-off' was not glorious, since sin is not; but humiliating. For all that, its power was far greater, for it did not simply strike out a power of some order : it remade life for man by creating a pathway from the wilderness of sin to the friendship of God, with JUSTICE MET, so that mercy should glory, and love be fulfilled (Psalm 85, Romans 3:25ff.).

Now these things we have considered before, but briefly present them here in order to place in our current setting, with current understanding, a point most vital for this very region.
 
 

EVERLASTING EXPRESSION

In Christ, as the eternal word of God, there is EXPRESSION - that is one of the things peculiar to words - that is not only exact, as in full accord with the Father's will and comprehension. It is also living, having that precise quality and power, authority and directive force that the Father has: it IS HIS word. Thus Hebrews 1:3 calls Him the exact image, representation of His person, of His reality indeed,  and the brightness of His glory.

In addition, it is - one speaks in a metaphor for stimulus to understanding - as if all the words that you could possibly speak were all put into one compendium, principles and procedures incorporated, all knowledge and depth included, and this expression were to be your very expressive image, and at that, were to carry your very principles, inhibitions or restraints, within it.

For us, this is not an option. We cannot create words at that level. This would be equal with ourselves in an expressive mode, more than a representative or delegate. It would be OURSELVES EXPRESS. Though we can indeed essentialise a thought, direct a thrust of understanding, be legally precise, scientifically encode our speech, or medically, enliven with imagination and cover many fields with imagery or analysis, yet we have no such magnificence as this!  We can understand something of this grandeur of God, but it is not our personal domain. As the heavens above the earth, so His expressive Being is above our particular endeavours.

God, we learn, not only has this searching expressive power pervasively and with overwhelming oversight - so beautifully seen in the vision of Ezekiel 1 where there are wheels associated with the living creatures (with one face, man), wheels which went wherever the spirit was to go; wheels within which are further wheels, and in all are EYES. These are communicative media, they see, they express the concept of intelligence and sight, of knowing and perceiving, of mind at work, of life in full regalia operative in the midst, not as a component, but exponent, moving in the scene, grasping and able to report, to express. It is presided over by its co-Creator with the Father, His word alive, with life in Himself.

Christ, who before He took that format was in eternal glory with His Father (Micah 5:1-3)

  • IS that living expression,
  • incorporating expression without omission,
  • cumulative without addition,
  • the eternal consort and co-partner,
  • the grand and magnificent yet humble and responsive WORD OF GOD.

 

WE write books, and they begin. GOD has HIS WORD, without beginning or end; for if it were merely a beginning type of thing, the current output of the divine mind, it would lack the depth of infinitude in time and character, and thus COULD not express beyond its own being: the limited for the unlimited! SUCH a person would be inferior, a mere formulation. Finitude as the exact representation and image of the infinite! It would be rather like asking an infant to express Shakespeare, but infinitely more disproportionate. However when the ETERNAL WORD of God takes the human format, then despite the limitations - such as thirst and hunger, blood that can flow... out, then there IS the infinitude of quality and being, which expresses itself, words being used, and actions and spirit, which together communicate what in His own Being, as living, He also shows.

God, then,  does not at this level have a secretary, a junior partner, or even an employe: His is the nature which both IS and IS EXPRESSED (I John 4:7-10, 1:1-4 cf. SMR pp. 1158ff.), just as, for the matter of that, we both think and speak, exist and act. Yet for Him, the glory is interpreted in truth, it is expressed with the only adequate medium in the end, that ETERNAL WORD

which consists with Him,
one God,
so that He might be send and speak,
not as a communicator employed,
but as the express, the definitive communication of God, in character, in principle,
in understanding, in meaning, in message, in precision of speech, in thrust of thought,
in love of heart, in wisdom of being,
depth of reality and personal knowledge of eternity
through experience in it, as one adequate for it.

HE, like the Father, is the first and the last, identifying nomenclature for God Almighty (Isaiah 44:6, Revelation 2:8), even where the Lord said - " I am the first and the last; besides Me there is no God!" It follows with a certainty of God Himself, that the word is of equal honour to the Father, as indeed He expressly stated (John 5:19ff.), indicating in that place,  that this was the good pleasure of the Father.

So great is the infinite affinity of God the Father and His word, that we even read in Titus 2:13-14 of this great expression: We are, says Paul and oh so rightly! "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous of good works." The Greek has: the great God and Saviour of us. It is not the great God and the Saviour: it is one identity, with only one introductory 'the'.

This is obvious enough when you realise that in Titus 2:10 we find written, "God our Saviour", which in turn is not surprising, since Isaiah 43:10 tells us that besides GOD there IS NO SAVIOUR. Whatever is the saviour in this highest, most eminent, final way is God; and of course this is precisely what Jesus Christ was called from the first (Luke 2:11, 2:30,38). Redeemer, Saviour from sin, the Christ is of necessity God, who acknowledges no other Saviour. Hence that it is God, even the great God and our Saviour who is to appear, is merely a reflection of all these things. It is HIS WORD which acts, and delivers the salvation in His own name, which naturally is above every name  (Philippians 2:9-11), AND does so with the result, that all whether in heaven or on earth should bow to Him, the Christ, confessing Him as Lord to the glory of God the Father.

This is the specific data on His return, result, reality.
 
 

OUR BEING

From such a source, we take our being; and to such a resource we may bring it. The word conducts us to the Father, and the expression went to the limit, the extent of being one of us, yet without sin, and without ceasing to be Himself who took this form as Paul says in Philippians 2, this likeness - as in Romans 8 - but in such a way that He could still say, Before Abraham was, I am! You don not cease to be yourself in other clothes, countries, or in prison. Hence it is written, NOT "I used to be"; as of a being of some similarity or relationship to God. No! I AM! is His designation of Himself before Abraham so much as tasted the earth in order to be.
 
 

FOR MAN: LIFE'S MEANING AND DESTINY

Here then is the ultimate meaning IN and FOR and OF life. Life is full of intelligence, perceptive, sensitive and has judgment. It is cursed (Romans 5; Genesis 3; Romans 8), but He took that curse on behalf of all who receive this sanction against it, by these means, thus clearing their own guilty participation by the EXPRESSION of SALVATION through REDEMPTION. This reaches as high as God, since this is where He IS (John 1:18, 3:13, 10:30), and hence He dies, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God (I Peter 3:18), so that God was IN CHRIST reconciling the world to Himself, He might become sin for us, He who knew no sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in HIM! (II Cor. 5:17ff.).

NO, here again, it is not a matter of having some relationship to it, to SIN in this case: but rather we read that He BECOMES it, or a "sin-offering", this being the concentration on the victim (cf. Galatians 3:10-13, Isaiah 53;6): for this is then covering (Isaiah 61:10), which discovers sin and meets it; and it is ours who believe in Him, and with the covering is the attribution of the righteousness of the One who defied, defeated and rose above all sin, Himself the present of deliverance (Romans 6:23), and with Himself, His righteousness... (Ephesians 1:6).

Cursed life, on the one hand, and life with the expression of God through His Son, His word Jesus Christ, within it (Colossians 1:27) - these are as far apart as sea and land, lake and desert, rain cloud and drought, and in the end, as heaven and hell. He brings TO where He came FROM (John 14:1ff., 14:23, 16:7-26), so that then, we shall know as we are known (I Cor. 13:12). Creatures - creations of God - given such association with His personal and eternal expression that we should share with Him, our Lord and Shepherd, the grand and glorious beauty of heaven, are more than fortunate.

Even if we had never sinned, the case would still be infinitely amazing: for the infinite, being personal, has encased His word in flesh that He might bring us back to a realm where, being in the created image of God, we should enjoy Him for ever. How HIS WORD has sought us, to seek and to save that which was lost; and what a WAY in which to CALL! to send HIS WORD. But what a way in which to open the door, so that being called, we might come (John 10:9) : PIN His word on the Cross of cursing (of which the mere wood is a simple symbol, the suffering being penal and plenary - Psalm 22;1), so that breaking death in full payment for the ground of its introduction, its reason and cause, He should freely grant life eternal (Romans 5:1-17).

COME, says the word, come to Me and I will give you rest; he who comes to Me, I shall certainly not cast out (Matthew 11:27ff., John 6:37). No man knows the Son except the Father, for this is knowledge of the infinite by the infinite, and such knowledge is available to us only by revelation and declaration, through the mediation of the word;  and none knows the Father except the Son, for again the infinitude of God, though clear in its power and divinity (Romans 1:18ff.), needs expression for apprehension of the heart and being.

These are parallel since Father and Son are intimately co-eternal, each infinite beyond time and over all creation (Colossians 1:15-17). HE is the first-born over it all, BECAUSE HE created it, we read, and being the Creator, when WITHIN IT, His is that extraordinary prerogative of Maker. He did not come FIRST INTO the creation, WITH its limitations of time and space (Romans 8:38-39), being creator of both; for He was busy CREATING IT! But when He chose to enter it as a man, He who was FIRST BEFORE CREATION, has priority over all creation, that basic venture prior to His advent within it. Not God, but made by Him, and for Him, the creation thus has the privilege of the divine excursion into it (cf. Colossians 1:19ff.). To His creation, the Creator come, and to it He is in short order, to return, in definitive form, as Christ the crucified and risen. He came and He will return to deliver (Matthew 24:8-10,22,30).

That is GOD CALLING. In the incarnation, He sent His word to make it effectual, not merely attitudinal, to pay and pave the way to ... home from which He came. There is a certain nostalgia for the land we never knew, but to which we are invited; for our very spirits were built for precisely this, and deep calls to deep at the sound of His waterfalls (Psalm 42:7). None fell so beautifully, or from such heights, or with such impact, or generated such a power as this: Christ crucified, yes rather risen (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri 12).

In this, then, we see both something of the significance of the LANGUAGE which is so dear and near to our own hearts, and which is WRITTEN throughout our genes in so many millions of communication units, all in code, all in one language as widely as life ranges, as befits one Speaker, not subjected to profusion of confusion, such as man has gained in his sin.

Moreover, in Christ, we find the language of the love of God in the full orbed splendour which proceeds, if need be, to justice and judgment, and has already inflicted vanity on this erring world, an environmental pageant, illustrative of our natural and sinful condition (Romans 8:18-20); but speaks of better things, a better ministry and a better sacrifice than world has ever seen (Hebrews 2:1-18, 1:8,1-3, 8:1-6, 7:25), better than which there is nothing which COULD be! His words bring appeal, impact, message, precision, instruction, definition, direction and ... if unheeded, despite the love, and despite the freedom of the offering of Himself without spot through the eternal Spirit, bring that final seal of judgment (Hebrews 12:25).

HE, the expression of God, has ALREADY taken that for all who shall receive Him, and offers this to all (I John 2:1-2)! There is no more, now, to human life but to receive it and believe, or to reject it and find that one's sins can then freely find one out, because they are in that case not merely errors, but a chosen path, a preferred darkness, an organised evacuation of light, and... of life! (John 3:17-19).
 
 

End-Note
for PART III

 

*3    The SOUL, ECTYPE and the LIFE

The Astonishing Marvel of Life

Life on earth is a designed action centre with first, elaborate coded commands, commensurate with the operational SCOPE of the design, for which this is a substructure. With this, a series of more comprehensively equipped ectypes may be watched, leading to exposure, at the last, of those enabled by reason, spirit, emotion and personality, to have fellowship with God. Ectype standards are most numerous, varied and remarkable in the lower creation; but in principle, may include individual variation within instinctive pattern, moral dimensions especially reciprocal for some lower creation, relative to man, and hence susceptibility to the workings of spirit, in man.

Ectypes, or invisible overall character criteria, designs, operatives, are not as such eternal, but perceptive, and can be appreciative of love, loyalty and kindness. These character ectypes may be called the "life" or "soul", of the creatures in such categories.

Similarly man may receive not merely impression of higher being, but equipped with the dignity of spirit moulded for such an act, may have fellowship with the infinite God, from whom eternal life comes to those who receive it, as a gift by Christ, the only way to God, as Himself the eternal expression of God.


It is He who has expressed Him to man.

From amoeba through the whole animal realm, there is withdrawal of limiting elements like blinkers, so that in specialised kinds, there is placed consciousness allied to elaborate instinct, together with higher levels of responsiveness. Design-wise, a parallel would be the use of rocks by envisaged plan, for steps on a garden track, as distinct from the same sort of rocks, featured in complex landscaping patterns, and then the same in composition: in arbours and ardours of beauty.

Thus the invisible but viewable impacts of various kinds of ectypes are found to exhibit a far greater range of designed character, and facility for individuality, than simple cases; though the programming side, as has been stressed by Denton, is ALWAYS highly complex. This could be called the de-screening of life, with successive openings to receive of its wonders, until at last, the new invisible domain of mans spirit, the culminating creation on earth, occurs.

Here and in this way, so created and equipped, man may respond to God, and this by the way which has come from God: His exact expression, Jesus Christ. It is because of sin in created life, that its overturning in the Redeemer, who covers it cost, is stringently necessary before mans uncovered spirit, fashioned for fellowship with God, can in fact realise this potential, justly called "abundant life" (cf. John 10:10).
(See Ch. 7 of Biblical Blessings - Beyond the Curse.)
 
 

PART IV

LIFE IN ITS SUBLIME PERSPECTIVE

World views are two a penny precisely because they often emanate FROM the world, FOR the world from what is OF the world, and so they lack the necessary ingredient of seeing things in perspective.


For perspective, one needs to see things from a plane, plateau or position which allows the whole to be observed in its real dimensions, rather than to be CONSTITUTIVE of  those dimensions. It is rather like moving up in the Alps until, far below you: like large mushrooms, mountains with their snow-capped summits soar in their littleness, each seen in relationship with the other, all in the overall terrain, loftily from above. It is hard to see this when one is merely on the ascending slopes of one of them. With the world, it is impossible to see what it is, when one ACTS AS IF one is merely part of it, and refuses the observation post from which its constituents may be seen. Shutting of the eyes is a specialty of this world's human denizens (cf. Ephesians 4:17ff., Matthew 13:15):
 

"For the hearts of this people have grown dull,
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Let they should understand with their hears and turn
So that I should heal them", whereas in the Ephesians passage, we read:
(of the Gentiles):

"Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God,
Because of the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their heart." Indeed, says Paul, they are "children of wrath" - Ephesians 2.

Avoiding these pitfalls, especially and indeed profoundly inappropriate for soaring vision, we simply look at things in the light of the word of God, and see by contrast how very far the mumblings and illogical fumblings customarily taught in the 'secular society' are from anything to do with life. It is the contrast which should stimulate, and help avoidance of the febrile follies of the blind, which ignoring God, speaks as if truth were nevertheless available by some sort of incantation, to the meaningless fragments of whirling men, as they depict themselves, when occasionally they are consistent even in this! For whether men invent gods, or deny all, they are no better placed. Even the inventions are culturally clammy, ideationally limited.

Let us then, aware of the Almighty, and alert to His demonstrable word, consider the wonderful scope and depth of His creation, and His awesome glory over it all.

We have the prototypes, if you will, the physical particles, like lego blocks.

Then there are the chem-types, the chemically configured, characterisable aggregations of particles which - like our own buildings, not JUST bricks and cement, have meaning and character each one, with qualities and capacities of engineered precision.

Next we consider the vital ectypes (as in *3 above), which are the characterisable entities, also brim-full of character, which live as integral wholes, from bacteria to worms to anything vital, sometimes so variable in adaptability, so fixed in limits, as kinds, brilliant designs, self-perpetuating (until the end comes, either for the design at its failure in adverse circumstances beyond its limited adaptability, or at the end of the universe as in Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 51:6, which also surely comes).

In these, as the ectype is set higher in capacity, there is a discriminating consciousness capable of individual responsiveness both to environment, and to the love or hatred to be shown by man.

Before these, in overview, is what one could call the archetype setting.

This includes a series of entities, fabrications of system and structural dynamics:

bullet

       matter and energy and their inter-relationships in generic terms and in specific ones, and hence space and all objects and influences astronomical, geological and terrestrial in their places; electro-magnetic powers and forms.

bullet

       gravitational dynamics and engagements, preserving the order of things celestial and the functions of light.

     {These things are NOT one in some monistic irrationality of contradictories, but ONE in the plan of the One who - as we ourselves show in our own creativity - puts many things in many places by DESIGN, His mind the unity, His purpose the program, His machinations the meaning of the machinery of motion and the matrix of existence of material things, as it is of the wholly diverse dynamics of mental things, and the utterly different realities of spiritual things, will and wonder - cf. The Frantic Millenium and the Peace of Faith Ch. 2, SMR pp. 348ff., and Ch.1, That Magnificent Rock Chs. 6 , 7.}

bullet          chronological time, that amazing insistence on method and procedure which God
         granted to this universe, so limited compared to Him, yet so revealing as it moves;
         and its wastage witness:

 

bullet           the degradation of energy over time, in entropy,

 

the degeneration of ectypes in time, information departing and not arriving,
the spoliation of environment with time, the resources of all three departing.
 

 

Then in order of advanced conception and functionality specialisation, there come:
 

 

bullet

       all ectypes, prototypes, and kinds, set down like a building, man the summit in design, but also a designer, the wonder of the terrestrial, being also a creator,
the package of profundity, being also in the image of God, and able to converse, and so is to be seen

bullet

       the whole overarching nascency of history,
reaching the dimension of personally interpretable events in their disposition
and form
, results, by no means excluding the  capacity to be turned this way or that
by miracle (such as men are often so swift to acknowledge when it matters,
as at Dunkirk, and so slow when it does not, or cynicism is the mode and vogue -

"Jeshurun waxed fat, and he kicked"
is the sobriquet).


Since the world is in much, a system with archetypes of its own, miracle, though far from a rarity, is not so disposed as to crush or quash the systematic character of history's significance, man's character, the end of nations or the destruction of empires. Nevertheless, as in Nineveh's case, God being mighty in mercy, in mercy He  may render a near judgment remote, or with repentance, may even remove it (as for Hezekiah's day, in sinning Judah). He intervenes directly whenever He creates a new birth in any man, woman or child, whenever He institutes guidance according to His word, or interposes at the threshold of destruction, when asked, to enable His work to continue and grow; and if direct interposition of the divine in the affairs of man is miracle, this also is assuredly miracle.

Beyond even all of this, there are SCENARIO, SIGNIFICANCE AND SPIRITS.

Here we find the divine program-planning-foreknowledge and disposing dynamic, by which He both can and does predict in the grandest overall scope, and the minutest particular precision, alike, what He chooses to tell our race. Then He does it. This is because He has it, this power, this knowledge, this plan.

This we have seen so often on this site that it is enough for the present purpose to refer the reader to SMR Chs. 8 - 9, Biblical Blessings Chs. 1 - 2, Acme, Alpha and Omega 10,  and the INDEX for SMR.


In Predestination and Freewill pp. 142ff. (System and the World as It Is), the mode of deployment is discussed, in terms of divine intervention and systematic coherence, the latter a matrix, the former a directive capacity, often either through the direct intervention, or the judicious movement of circumstances in terms of mercy, judgment or arrest, awakening or for the ultimate obduracy, blindness.

As God is infinitely wise and illimitably deep, the book of Job, for example, explores the field with brilliant understanding and delightful irony (in a discussion of suffering Job and his knowledgeable friends). In Job's case, a deliberate divine intention to show his integrity before the accuser, through allowing an exceedingly sharp test in his exceedingly prosperous life, is seen in its historical unfoldings, together with ultimate divine intervention.

The Christian is well aware that he/she is the servant of God, and loving Him, much more than the soldier his country, is willing to suffer for illustration and exhibition of the love and will of God, knowing it is not lightly that the Lord afflicts the children of men (Lamentations 3:33), a nd that all things work together for good for those who love God, the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28ff.). If THIS is the way souls will be reached, then this is like an army assignment, but THIS LORD knows no corruption!

This then is illustrative for the sake of understanding of the area of the divinely ordered ARENA, the SCENARIO, SCENE MANAGEMENT. SIGNIFICANCE is what man may find in this, from the word of God, or through the enlightenment which God gives, as the scene shifts and the principles being as written, the practice exhibits events and the Lord makes clear their trend, meaning and comprehension.

By His Spirit He is well able to illuminate and bring discernment, as the case may require (cf. Ephesians 1:17ff.), in accord with His word. To whatever extent man is accorded this, it is divinely perfect and shown in many places in the Bible, in the most categorical of terms, so that one can, as now in our contemporary historical epoch, understand all too well - if one dare say such a thing - that is, with the utmost gravity see, the mortal developments and their lethal outcome on its way.

In this category, there are placed SPIRITS, since our meaningful, interactive and personal relationship to such things as scene and scenario is posited upon a capacity to 'read' these things, as well as experience them, so that the terms relate to us. Being in God's image as a special creation able to have fellowship with Him and receive His thoughts (Amos 4:12-13, Isaiah 45:18-19), we are able to be instructed both directly from His word -  impactively regarding salvation, in terms of its provisions and His Son, the only Saviour, and wisely from history and its relationship to His word... and to us!

Salvation brings regeneration, restoration and reclamation. This REGENERATION by divine remedy of sin (Isaiah 53, II Cor. 5:17ff., Titus 3:5ff.) and gracious spiritual creation of clear hearts and enlivened spirits, in the presence of the Designer, is now the ONLY archetypal uplift! Creation is observationally finished, information is not now producing itself by natural means. RE-creation BACK TO the divine image (Colossians 3:10) is therefore, the only systematic uplift available, as distinct from normal functioning of static or declining equipment. Not creation but salvation is the current call IN nature. The one is merely done and declining over time; the other is active and available in time.
 
 

THE CREATION IS WONDERFULLY MADE -
THE CREATOR IS ITS SOURCE,

JUDGE AND ONLY DELIVERANCE

Infinitely BEYOND ALL OF THESE THINGS, themselves comprising simply HIS work of creation, performed from His sufficiency and for His purpose, is Himself the ONLY Saviour (Isaiah 43:10-11, 44:22-23, Acts 4:11-12, Ephesians 1:10), and so  from Him comes the re-creation.  This is its season, as in former time, that of creation.  As to the latter, it is one of rich intensity and seeming immensity in scope and style, in meaning and comprehensiveness. Over it, before it, and author even of its time, is the CREATOR HIMSELF. (Cf. Ezekiel 1 as exposited in Biblical Blessings 4 and elsewhere on this site). It is not with His creation but with Himself that man must now reckon!

His oversight, understanding, fabrication and imagination in design and dynamics, intelligence and wisdom without limit or qualification, kindness and justice, salvation and judgment is past all measure, for with what would one measure what can know no surround, no imposition and no impingement! He has provided in the scenario, OPPORTUNITY, LIBERTY and SCOPE FOR SIN for those who so desire, even to the point of rebellion, even to the phase of deicide, a seemingly self-contradictory term. It is however one to be used with understanding; for it refers to the HUMAN FORMAT which the everlasting word of God, incarnate as Jesus Christ, took  so that He could through life display the life of God, and through death, bear the penalties of sin for the penitent believers and receivers of Himself as such: then, disdaining death, break it (Acts 2:24, Hosea 13:14, I Corinthians 15) and confer everlasting life (Matthew 11:27, John 6:51)..

The drab option of ignoring His salvation, as if God were incompetent or deficient in our own FINE moral sense, delighted in the denial of His truth which is what He has done, and His word which is what He has provided for our race, this is the highway to the garbage pit of history, called hell. The glorious provision of a sincere and effectual way BACK TO GOD and ON WITH THE LORD, is the masterpiece of the whole. Hence we read: "GOD FORBID THAT I SHOULD GLORY EXCEPT IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, BY WHOM THE WORLD HAS BEEN CRUCIFIED TO ME AND I TO THE WORLD" (Galatians 6:14).

Creation is stilled, salvation is provided. Degeneration proceeds, carefully denoted as are all the laws of matter, and grades of life. The information here also does not grow: the word of God is written, and the way was ONCE delivered in Christ, that many might follow it (Jude 1-3). It is laid down in the Bible, just as His life was laid down in history, that He might take it up again.
 

  • THIS it does not decrease;


His way does not alter;
His call does not YET cease,
for this is its time, as earlier was the day of creation.
 

  • THIS, it is the day of salvation, the immortal magnificence of immortality,


brought to life by the resurrected Christ.
 

  • It is this word which does not degrade,


does not slow,
does not lose energy,
knows no entropy,
stands out like the sun in the heavens.
   

  • It is this which alone intervenes with dynamic upgrading of vital equipment,


crucial pardon for deliberate downgrading of the spirit,
and does it while it is still called today:
no process, it is a divine intervention that takes its own, by its own way,
in Him who is its head.


While this 'world-view' may be startlingly unoriginal, and entirely obvious, yet its basis is provided from the heights of divine revelation in the Bible,  that irrevocable and unteachable word that does not cease to instruct hundreds of generations; and it is presented here in order to assist contrast with the derelict and falsetto frenzies of a dying race, grabbing at vapours and ignoring facts, manufacturing myths and pretending it 'science', garbling reality with desire, a people without God, without hope, without covenant, a race which in vast proportions, ignores, denies, derides or dismisses the logically irresistible realities in terms of which it so perversely derides and dismisses.

It need not be so; but largely it is. Why ? It is because the covenant which God made in the power of His grace, the scenario of the PLAN OF SALVATION and the exposure both of sin, and of judgment on the cross, is tossed aside like some unwanted friend.

It is very like the notorious case one hears of a child in Prince Edward Island, in that delightful Scottish sector. Clinging in mid-air on a broom, the little one was asked to "get off the broom". The request, while undoubtedly rational, reasonable and understandable, was not received with infant relish. Indeed, there arose such a determination NOT to obey, to manifest individuality and personality (or whatever other or else), that the child found a certain action quite necessary.

Dismounting from the broom in an adjoining part of the premises, he went on fabulous mission. HE would TELL THEM! Coming into the kitchen, he declared, "I won't get off the broom!"

To him, the announcement of intention did nothing to remove the fact that in order to make it, in its full drama, he had ceded the point. So man now makes his inane declarations against the Lord, and His creation and salvation, when it is only because of these that he is ABLE to make them! In using them anyway, he is getting off the broom in order to announce this great, this gallant, this grand importance:
I WON'T BELIEVE IN YOU!

Even meaning would not arise without God, merely insignificant reaction, the meaningless fragments disporting their tongues in a whirl of feeling of whatever. Far less would there be any possibility of TRUTH in making such a statement, for there would be, and could be NO TRUTH where there was merely a fling of fragments. No perspective of reality COULD be found because it would NOT BE THERE. Relativistic involvement in the domain of detail does not confer absolute capacity in the realm of reality. THIS requires both what IS absolute and KNOWLEDGE THROUGH HIM, so that one is not in the domain of reactor, reciprocally engineered in a schema, but informed observer, outside the domain of mere occurrence, beyond a world view of only events...

These, assessable by reaction, not by reality, found in their impacts, not in their truth, have nothing to say. (Cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 7, and SMR Ch.3.) They cannot even say that there is or is not anything to say. Saying is besides the point with points. Truth is irrelevant when occurrence is the limit.

That 'knowledge', therefore, futilely assumed where its conditions are rejected and lie unused, is not found where its source is despised, or created in mental antics. Rather knowledge of truth is made available for the mind which  is forced by reason to the Bible ((properly, though irrationally, it may simply shy away - SMR Chs. 1-3,10), by the word of God there found and by the Son of God whose excursion to this earth has in itself revealed both the nature of man, and the meaning of life, from God. This He has provided for man with a munificence which is superbly evocative, even in its words and form, of the greatness of the Lord. Deeds and words are in that match in all things that befits omnipotence and the original and source for all.
 

       Unchangeable, always what He would be, illimitable, merciful, infinitely expressive and expressed in His eternal word, omnipotently Lord of all scenario, who even declares this one in advance and challenges man to match it (Isaiah 41,43,44,48 - cf. Beneficent Brightness or Baneful Broth 19, and Chs. 12, 15 -16 below, 1-3 above):  God has mocked our pretensions, and exhibited the smallness of groaning sin in the curse under which creation labours.

       Yet He has mocked no less the power of death to alienate, by bearing it and breaking it with justice, that those who receive His Son, sent from His eternity as the Word of God, to man's form, should have no fear of death and live in the glory of the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Hebrews 2).

       The date long waited after He announced it (SMR pp. 886ff.); but it came and Christ died precisely on time.

       The Gospel as announced in increasing detail for more than a millenium before, likewise came on time, and persists as predicted (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17, and SMR pp. 755ff.), was rejected by the Jewish nation as predicted, and received by many of the Gentiles as predicted, and now the nation of the Lord, Israel, is back as predicted, and Jerusalem is theirs, as predicted (SMR loc.cit.), menaced by many nations as predicted, the Jews not yet as a nation returned as it is predicted they will return in large numbers, to the Lord. Hence, as the Bible make so clear (Deuteronomy 28ff., Levicitus 26, Zechariah 9:9ff., 11:9-12, 13:6, Isaiah 49:7, Micah 5:1ff., 7:1ff.) their distress. But these things have an end. 

  • As the time of His coming as Saviour was long, well announced, and precisely; so now the day of His coming as King is well announced and with the criteria of epochal maturity noted in detail, so that we know when it is NEAR (Luke 21:24-28, Matthew 24 cf. SMR Ch.8). So now the time long waits as He indicated it would (II Peter 3:9, Matthew 24:9,14ff.), the Lord providing in writing in His word, a large program before it should come). It transpires like breathing, comes like a train, hastens now like Autumn when the cold arrives.

 

It will not however last forever, this scenario. It too has an end.

Heaven and earth, after the final dispositions of judgment, will be flung away as Isaiah 51:6 and Christ (Matthew 24:35) and Peter (II Peter 3) tell us. It is not forever, this pilgrimage: but GOD IS. Blessed are those who know Him, and find Him where He is to be found. Are you one ? LIFE without eternal life is like a tragic play - it ends where one would not wish to see it. Real ? yes, but blighted and terrible. Eternal life is the perpetuity of the knowledge of God, found in Christ, issuing in the form of eternity, that blessed tabernacle for our spirits who are His, which like the resurrected body of Christ, displays the infinity of divinity in both His mercy and His plan, His power and His purity, His wonder and His love.

When one considers what life is, it is advisable to ensure that one has it. Eternal life is however not gained without repentance (Luke 13:1-3), and truth is present only when it is received (John 14:6).


God is personal, and without the knowledge of Him, on His terms, by the blood and sacrifice of His Son, there is only that preference for darkness which is the very decrepitude of life and scene of abiding death.

It is, really, time to get off the broom

and to acknowledge

that it was not a good idea in the first place.

Negation of the grounds of creation, by a creature, is a negative so profound, that when it is developed, it makes Gary, Indiana's vision of pollution as one found it some decades ago, seem almost like Alpine purity by comparison.