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THE FROTH OF
IS NOT NOURISHING
Unlimited Friday Nov 16, 2001, Nov. 20, 2001,
News Radio Nov. 21, 2001
THE WOEFUL WAY
It is of the utmost interest following Ch. 9 with its exposition of Isaiah 26:13 and reference to Psalm 56:10, to find a practical application in contemporary news, so soon! "By You only we make mention of Your name!" Other 'lords' have had dominion over us, BUT now that we are in the Lord, the thrust is, it is in Him, according to His statutes, commandments, life and presence, as in His presence indeed, that we mention Him. It is not a subject for skirmishes of diplomacy, macros of modality, tortures of linguistics or associations of ideas. There is one God, known, revealed, expressed and the Judge. There is no more.
Now let us turn to the contemporary events.
We find that President Bush, having earlier called the Moslem teaching 'good' on a mosque visit by report, now has more to say (cf. News 156 for the former).
There, is to be sure, also a more unyielding, iron-like feeling about the talk of Colin Powell on Israel. As the Guardian report of Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2001 indicates that he made "unequivocal calls for Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and to cease the expansion of Jewish settlements", this seems illustrative.
Pay back time ? The soliciting of support of Islamic groups, ones which are not specifically allied to the bin Laden push and efforts at putsch even outside Afghanistan, has been the strategic decision of the US Administration. They have imitated what was done by Israel so often, in the Old Testament days: as for example signified in II Kings 16:7 when King Ahaz*1A sought help from Tiglath Pileser of that vast, sprawling Assyrian power, one who brought him some temporary help, but lasting distress for the nation, who later were confronted by that power, the Northern part of the now divided kingdom, then to be ravaged and expatriated.
It is like the ancient but oh so contemporary seeming efforts to use Egypt by this same Israel, instead of trusting in the Lord, in its problems with Babylon, which then did in fact ruin it, take its treasures, kill many of its leaders and take captive such as Daniel, who later rose to great prominence in that Empire, before the return of the remnant to rebuild the ruined nation. Israel was small, but not so very small in those days; and the US is great but declining in the tenor of its faith, manifested in numerous major denominational movements from the Bible. These led to a split, and more than one, in the Presbyterians, one in the Lutherans, Missouri Synod, in the Baptists, and many more as may be seen from earlier presentation, have changed in this direction. (Cf. News 90, 118, 121, 152, Lord of Life Chs. 3, and 4. )
Let us however hear Isaiah 30:1- on such a topic:
"Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord,
“Who take counsel, but not of Me,
And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit,
That they may add sin to sin;
Who walk to go down to Egypt,
And have not asked My advice,
To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh,
And to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
"Therefore the strength of Pharaoh
Shall be your shame,
And trust in the shadow of Egypt
Shall be your humiliation.
For his princes were at Zoan,
And his ambassadors came to Hanes.
They were all ashamed of a people who could not benefit them,
Or be help or benefit,
But a shame and also a reproach.”
The burden against the beasts of the South.
Through a land of trouble and anguish,
From which came the lioness and lion,
The viper and fiery flying serpent,
They will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys,
And their treasures on the humps of camels,
To a people who shall not profit;
For the Egyptians shall help in vain and to no purpose.
Therefore I have called her
Now go, write it before them on a tablet,
And note it on a scroll,
That it may be for time to come,
Forever and ever:
That this is a rebellious people,
Children who will not hear the law of the Lord;
Who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things;
Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
Get out of the way,
Turn aside from the path,
Cause the Holy One of Israel
To cease from before us.”
Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:
“Because you despise this word,
And trust in oppression and perversity,
And rely on them,
Therefore this iniquity shall be to you
Like a breach ready to fall,
A bulge in a high wall,
Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.
And He shall break it like the breaking of the potter’s vessel,
Which is broken in pieces;
He shall not spare.
So there shall not be found among its fragments
A shard to take fire from the hearth,
Or to take water from the cistern.”
For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
But you would not,
And you said, 'No, for we will flee on horses'—
Therefore you shall flee!
And, 'We will ride on swift horses'—
Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!
One thousand shall flee at the threat of one,
At the threat of five you shall flee,
Till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain
And as a banner on a hill.
Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wit for Him.
Islam is being given most cordial and almost congratulatory treatment.
The Northern Alliance is being given bombs.
Israel is being given notice.
Thus, in tune with the toughened stance against realistic Israeli independence, leaving it a thing of such a shrimp size residue, even moving towards a sharing of the Holy City, in a sacrificial pyre of incredibly demeaned Jews, have come words of comfort for Islam, an alliance of tongue and troops alike.
Accordingly, President Bush referred in the reported speech, his formally issued Ramadan greetings, to "the holy month of Ramadan", "the holy Koran" and even cites the latter. He wishes health, prosperity, and happiness during Ramadan", in the most marked contrast to the danger of wishing anything approach godspeed to those at war with Christ (II John 10-11 - "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds").
Indeed, prayer such as occurred in a joint prayer meeting is specifically forbidden (II Cor. 6:14), prayer being the closest form of communion, fellowship in Christ: it involves an ardent and joint seeking in His specific name (Col. 3:17), or in apostasy in some vitamised mix, whichever, the answer of God (Colossians 3:17). This was covered in some detail in Red Alert, in a Grey Day with the Bright Light Coming Ch. 16.
It is not that one should assume designable evil designs in religionists who reject Christ, at a purely procedural level. They may indeed seek to have an orderly home, to be peaceable and just. The case is other. If someone rejects Christ, it is his own business; but what is His business who IS the Christ, is this, that He came to die for sinners, and those who reject Him have this: "the wrath of God abides on them" (John 3:36). Now this is in the same chapter of John's Gospel as 3:16. The offer is real, the rejection pre-empts mercy, assures judgment, as it says in the very next verse:
In neo-evangelical terms, this can be done; but then, that is just the name of a spiritual disease in this, that it does not carry out what is written, but rather like the nation that God castigated in Isaiah 29:13ff., has a rather different ... liberty :
"Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouthsIs it then to become now in the US as then, in Israel: is it to be thus with this once so near to God-fearing nation, as at its outset it tended to be ? Is the very Gospel of grace to be so violated, and the express written word of God so abolished in the doing of it, that the written forms and formulae could never be deduced from the practice of political practitioners in such works as these! Is the nation to ask for reproof, and to inherit shame ? Is the denudation of Israel to be followed by that of its erswhile sponsor, the events separated by some 2600 years ?
And honour Me with their lips,
but have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear towards Me is taught by the commandment of men,
Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvellous work
Among this people,
A marvellous work and wonder;
For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.
"Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD,
And their works are in the dark..."
the USA is NOT a Christian nation, and its Constitution appears merely
to flirt with anything so distinctive as that. However, its practice and
its tenor have been often far in this direction, and the falling from moral
principles of integrity in such places as the CIA and various presidential
moral failings in the past is only a start. If it is now going to make
OFFICIAL NOISES of confirmation, approbation and blessing to a religion
not only verbally at war with Christ (cf.
Ch. 4 above cf. Red Alert ... Chs. 2, 3), but in its very varied history, often at war not merely with Romanist intrigues or pressures such as might be seen in the Crusades, but with Christians where they could be slaughtered: it is then a nation is requesting discipline.
It is a grievous thing; this does not alter its extreme peril. It is not weapons but purity which is important; not in diet merely, but far more in heart.
It is not essentially, however, in this instance, a case of the Islamic history, but of the text. It is an anti-Christian religion. It denigrates, denies and ditches the Gospel of Christ; it desecrates the testimony of the prophets, it attacks the fundamental Christian doctrines, it is anti-Messiah, reducing Christ to a prophet of note, and ignoring the testimonies of His teachings. It adds to the Bible, and its additions are contradictory of its basic premises (cf. Ch. 4 above). It gives nothing in evidence, much in strict anti-verification, and merely evidences the accuracy of the word of Christ, which predicted such false prophets, and the continuity of His own words (Matthew 24:37,24).
The "one God" whom President Bush asserts the Moslems worship, is as "revealed through the holy Koran". This gets the title! Now one would not normally refer to a diatribe against the Son of God as something 'holy', if a Christian! Christians would be affronted by any such reference, allegedly made on their behalf by a leader of the WHOLE nation. You can of course state and must if not a hypocrite, ACT on your own beliefs. That is the personal equation. However, you must not, if not a hypocrite, speak or act as if they could be wrong. If they could be wrong, how then do you believe them ? In that case, you merely have an opinion that their truth possibility is good. Is that faith ? When you ask for wisdom, for example, as James 1 advises, there is one non-negotiable necessity if you are going to get: you must BELIEVE ON MAKING REQUEST OF THE LORD, THAT YOU HAVE IT. The one who does not, is deemed by this scriptural site, to be "a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways".
You do not think there is a reasonable, a plausible possibility that you may get the wisdom: that is NOT faith. You "ask in faith, with no doubting". He who doubts, says James in this inspired passage of the word of God, "is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind."
"Let not that man suppose that he will get anything..."
"Piety" quotes Bush from the Koran, "... lies in believing in God." After all Bush notes that "the Islam that we know is a faith devoted ot the worship of one God".
This means that with goodwill and amity, cordial desire for good and after calling the teaching good, Bush is talking about what he finds in the Koran, and so appears to be calling that God which is Biblically NOT-GOD (as shown in Lord of Life Chs. 6, 8, Red Alert ... Ch. 15.
That of course must follow from having that which is anti-Christian being elevated to a 'good' teaching. In fact, News Radio, Nov. 21, 2001, in a wide-ranging survey of world headlines, indicated that there was comment on a Presidential dinner for many. The US, it reportedly indicated, is now not a Christian nation, but a Judaeo-Christian-Islamic one!
Imagine now, if Peter and John, hauled up before the priestly powers as in Acts 4, acquiesced in the demand not to speak in THIS NAME any more (Acts 4:18). Their motivation is clear: they were "greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead" (Acts 4:2). So are the Muslims. They do not accept the clear teaching of Christ crucified and bodily risen, the power of death and the substitutionary sacrifice for sin at all. It is all voided.
Is then the USA official platform even for a President who has roundly asserted that he is a Christian, to give a very different answer to the Islamic world, whose powers are sought so foolishly in order to give to the nation the peace and prosperity it desires ? Is the example of the apostles in the presence of the priests, to be like the Equator when one is living in the Arctic ? Is contrast to be the rule ? Is the rule of faith to be emaciated and thin, dim in the distance ?
Is it NOT that ANY Christian, President or other, when he CHOOSES to speak on the topic of religion at all, is to speak of the truth in such a way that no man could deny that he is doing "all things in the name of the Lord Jesus" ? Is he to become a sort of whirled council of churches propagator of froth, in his official capacity when it comes to religion ? Is evil to be called good ?
There is a word in the Bible on this also:
to those who call evil good, and good evil:
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness,
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter" - Isaiah 5:20.
There is no escape. Being a president or a teacher or a lecturer is no excuse. One pays a price for being a Christian. One can and should do GOOD TO all men, including of course those bitterly opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ; for this is the explicit teaching of God, and an expression of the love of Christ. One should seek good for all. One cannot however without grave lèse-majesté not to say disobedience, NOT speak in the name of Jesus, NOT honour Him where the case is such that there is an index. This is merely to adopt the philosophic complexion of unbelief in the mistaken concept, one must in charity imagine, that this is the same as being a wise President. It is quite the contrary, for it is then a case of becoming a disobedient Christian, if so be the President is one.
What then COULD he say, in such a post as his ? This: that he seeks the civil liberties to be honoured in his nation, since this is the law, that no one should start hating another, that each should show mercy to all, and that no one should start acting on the generalisation that because some Moslems are actively seeking by violent means, the downfall of the USA, that all are. He should however insist that unless religionists of ALL kinds are willing categorically to affirm that they will NOT for the sake of religion seek to harm or destroy US property or citizens, and that in these matters the US law is above any violent requirements that may be inserted or found in any religion. Those unwilling to affirm this should seek a country where their violent beliefs are welcome, and indeed there seem to be many such lands.
It would be quite possible to go further. He could say that he judges no one's heart, but that where any religious book enjoins violence because of religion, he personally is against it, just as is the law of the land, and that for his part, he is committed to peace because of Christ, which is his own personal master, and because of Him also, he has goodwill for all; and that he has a peace within which needs no violence, and a love from Christ. It is because he holds it true that he so acts, and this is the very basis of his life. That would be a minimal testimony rather than a maximal one.
It is quite amusing to reflect that some time ago, one member of a legislative body was COMMENDED because he (allegedly) left his religious commitment out of the House, when he came in. What sort of a hypocrite does that imply, if it were the truth of the matter ? Do you believe in such a style that the faith is detachable ? It is however not good if detached. If your 'faith' is such that you cease to believe, or cease to act on it, then it is definably dead ?
James, again, tells us that faith without works is dead, and that the one who does not have a faith which issues in spiritualities accordant with it, thematically, is in a way of fake, not faith. The tang of salvation is not a CONDITION of salvation, but an expression; and it is a sure expression. It is not a question (see fruit-root*1) of judging your Christianity by your, or someone else's assessment of your fruits. We are not good enough assessors for that, and God only knows the heart. You can tell the false by their words, when they are prophets, since then they have to speak, and clearly antithetical conduct sustained is not a Christian mark; but "judge not" booms in Matthew 7, and this is the correlative of checking on the false by their fruits, and seeing the good from theirs. This is not a licence to judge, since that is specifically excluded in the same chapter; it is however a ground for solicitude, and for exhortation when the case is clear and sustained.
Faith does work.
You are saved without works (Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2:1-12), but not without faith (Romans 5:1, 3:35), and faith works (James 1-2).
It works the mouth.
He, says Christ, who is ashamed of Me, of him I shall be ashamed in the presence of the Father and the holy angels (Luke 9).
This nation, the US, has long been floundering in falsities of religion, and in this is beginning more and more to resemble the ancient Roman Empire before its fall. Make it never so ludicrous, if it is believed, it is honoured, and the pantheon swells*2. With such mockery, God is not pleased. It is NOT a question of using force to deprive of privileges, or public office to bring advantage to the persons of one's own faith, by sedulous inequity. It IS a matter of righteousness exalting a nation, and if people in the interests of 'national security' are willing to trade in truth and its clear expression at EVERY level of public and other life, then it is a nation committed to squalor, selling purity for persistence. This becomes unworthy to persist, for indeed (Acts 17:26ff.):
“ ... He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’Thus each nation has opportunity; and the USA has had large opportunity, so that during the middle and late 19th century, revivals of Christian religion were so enormous that they could capture the headline news, shut down business in towns, lead to days of continual repentance and restitution, produce changes that raised the level of the nation, and godliness that came like sunlight into the dark. Nor did it lack strong testimony from the Pilgrim Fathers on.
"Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Bold added.)
NO nation, whether Britain*3 or the USA, or Australia*3 for that matter, is immune by tradition. It is not a cultural enhancement that brings peace for ever. There is trial and test for all, and not only for sportsmen! You raise the barrier, you rise, it is well. You lower it, you fall, you want to survive, not revive: it is not well. You are helped by the testimony of the past, and looking to the Lord only for the future; but in the other case, your whole case is vulnerable. It is not a matter at all of surviving; that is childish. Man is constantly being murdered in single cases, in hundreds, in thousands, in millions.
It is a matter not of continuing to be something undelicious and wicked, self-believing or in some other way debased, putting your own little universe as the object of faith when there is neither glory nor power adequate for such an exercise, such a self-centred irrationality, waiting for judgment and an awakening not always pleasant. It is what you ARE which matters.
Is it good that rats proliferate and continue ? They might think so, but laws of hygiene are a limit for them! So with humans. It is not HOW LONG you survive on this earth which matters, but what you ARE and BECOME on this earth which matters. It is in the end a training, trying, testing and pilgrimage time. You can ruin it, and do ruinous things in your time, for a long period. Someone can scream for a longer or shorter time: it is not a special benefit if it be longer ...
When a NATION falls to the level of surviving as a principle, let alone a spurious principle of national greatness, that is a symptom that its fall may be imminent*3. Indeed, many of the nations have been behaving in just such a way, and parts of the nations alike, with civil and tribal wars along just such lines; but they fail and fall. It is spiritual squalor and rational absurdity so to act. It is better to be worthy of CONTINUING than to continue. This world will itself pass. It is useless to worship the track; it is better to win the race. The race is not accorded to the swift or to the strong in the end (Amos 2:13-16), but to those who live in the OWNER of the estate where the track is, and do His bidding, find out His will, love His peace and follow His truth.
Otherwise, there is continual clash which though hand join hand (Proverbs 16:5, 11:21), cannot escape judgment.
History is littered with it; the littoral of the oceans sighs for it; the skies weep for it. Wisdom is not found in this earth, but in its Maker. He has plans; let them be done. He is love; let us love one another. Militancy in martial arts is not the way. Use of martial power to crush is not the way. Overcoming evil invasion may be necessary; but it is a repulse, not a way of life.
To live by power, whether national or internationally contrived, is mere foolishness. Power is never the answer. It is as a means, even then, only proper when it is in the hand of God, and faith in Him makes its use proper, not as often in Islam, to SUBDUE people, but to subdue sin. It is this which is the enemy. It is Christ who is the answer. Man is so devoted to making his own, that the combination or synthesis of gods, or the combinations of attitudes found in this or that religion or religions, is only part of his inveterate trend to dispel truth and live by his wits*2.
Pitting your wits against God, against the truth is a sorry and squalid scenario. It neither should win nor can. It is an exaltation of human pride which is always brought low, sooner or later; and as man learns of God, in Christ, there is hope, and there alone. Since man is now moving fast to amalgamate his international powers, synthesise his religious attitudes, provide international highways for his finances, exposure for all his ways by satellite or electronic means, he is amassing ever more reason for wrath to come. It is not in the lowest common denominator of agreement that life is found. It is to go as it was given: according to specification, biological, spiritual and mental. The lowest common denominator of the illusions of man is an insanitary and insalubrious fiasco, coming fast.
The speed of its coming and the nature of it are alike precisely as predicted. The plagues and reproofs found in Revelation are not few, and come in series of enormous woe. We are reaching the heightened times of the end by biblical definition (Answers to Questions Ch. 5), and these times have to be 'shortened', since such is their moral depravity and military intensity that to continue long in such a mode is not even possible (Matthew 24:21-22). It is an igniting of many fires which will burn.
Meanwhile Israel is now being more actively menaced by the USA in a directive mode: obey or else! This is increasingly the tenor of it, so that its former helps are now, as noted with concern before the September 11, 2001*4 attack on it, being compromised and the little nation which God has propelled back to its land for a purpose, is marching faster and faster to that international furore and assault, and that divine repulse so long and in so many biblical places, predicted. It is almost like watching a motion picture, as you read Ezekiel 38-39 for one, with the newly returned people, viewed with a hostile greed by many neighbours. (Cf. SMR Appendix A, Ch. 5, *2 and *4 below, and see Bible Verse Index.)
The plan is like that of an architect. Year by year the building progresses, and one sees with ever heightened precision, the things on paper put into politics, and into history. The Bible is having what may become for its prophetic depictions, their ultimate translation: that into the realm of biddable contemporary history. This is very readable.
The future yawns, and the aeroplane of man's endeavours yaws into the abyss. Our purpose is not to judge, but to point out the extreme peril, and to seek that this series of errors by many, be remedied.
It is well that there is always that ONLY NAME by which man may be saved (Romans 10:9, Acts 4:11-12, 2:21, John 10:9,27-28).
It is well that it is SIMPLE, not complex.
is well that one must call on the name of the Lord and be saved, even Jesus
the Christ, who, having come, is not to be jettisoned conveniently from
time to time, politically, verbally, morally or spiritually. He and His
words remain, and the man who builds on that rock is wise. He need not
fear the storm, nor need the woman, yes nor the child (Matthew 7:24ff.,
*1A A Spiritual Scenario not to be Desired
It is interesting that Ahaz being beaten by Syria, and needing aid from Tiglath-Pileser, went to meet him in Damascus, more and more involved in the pagan intercourse, accepting, embracing it. While in Damascus, why did he not see - for he was in the way of evil so would he not see ? - a pagan altar. Ah! said he, Syria beat me (small wonder in view of the moral decline and idolatry in his land, and his own faithlessness - II Chronicles 28:4,19, Isaiah 7), so why not sacrifice to their gods, for perhaps they will help me! Soon he was shutting down some of the sacred rites, spoiling its implements, using the idolatrous altar in the temple of the Lord. He combined it all, a synthetic surgeon of the soul, cutting here, adding there.
Thus does playing with the power of pagan deities bring familiarity with their ways, tend to breed contempt for the sublime purity of the truth, and provoke
the Lord. "For the LORD brought
Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for
he had encourage moral decline in Judah and had been continually unfaithful
to the LORD" - II Chronicles 28:20. The moral decline of perversion and permissiveness in the US has long been notable, not perhaps in comparison with many another ‘developed’ country, but in terms of its past. Now this more direct spiritual unfaithfulness sets in, like winter rain, creating bogs, and the cold of coalitions with antichristian forces, specifically and formally such in their Koran, so bringing icy conditions leading to incident, accident and breach of the national good on a vast scale. To fail to warn in such a case would be callow or cold itself.
As to Ahaz, his equivocal spiritual stance and posturing before the Lord and his prophet Isaiah, seen in Isaiah 7, represents a masterpiece of subversion, a wonder of woeful and devious verbiage. He ? He was too pure morally to ‘tempt’ the LORD by … believing Him, when HE offered a glorious deliverance by HIS OWN POWER without addition from any, through the word of the prophet. So he brought the censure:
It is the church of Christ
and not some other body, and the kingdom of heaven and not some illicit
structure, which will endure (Daniel 7:25, Matthew 16), and even it will
be tested, purified and walk by faith, not by sight (Daniel 12:7-10, Revelation
12:11, Matthew 24:9, John 15:19-21).
Contribution 13 (JJ 2) , Pitter-Patter
of Prophetic Feet Ch. 8, Light
of Dawn Ch. 1, Lord
of Life Ch. 7; and
SMR pp. 520-532.
Facts and Forecasts 8
and co., 13 - symphony and
seditions - two heady heads, 14
; Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ Ch. 9
- glamour, stammer, hammer ... flitter and glitter; Spiritual
Refreshings for the Digital Millenium Ch.
3 (the soporific self, and the unity glide, under the sedation
of sin), The Frantic Millenium and the Peace of Faith Ch.11
- twigs and towers; deadly d's;
Repent or Perish Ch.
5inventions in mind, gender, politics ...
See Joyful Jottings 19, 5, The Other News 14, Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming ... Ch. 3, That Magnificent RockCh. 8.
See Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 3, Lord of Life Ch. 4.