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ISAIAH SAYS IT: THE TIME IS NEAR
THE ENVIRONMENT OF
THE TERMS OF THE ENVIRONMENT
The Advertiser, October 18, 2003 (see *4)
See also The Defining Drama Ch.3.
Yes, God knew it then, and prescribed the portals for the dawn of the holy new
age: not hideous New Age which is merely humanism exalted, ideas without legs,
hope without logic and willowy religion without truth. The new age is to be the
gift from the OLD SAVIOUR, the One of the old rugged Cross, the One who came on
time (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4), and did
so precisely, not in any vague sense.
Vague ? Yes God is precise and invented the minds that hold precision. He does not review and change His perspective every few years. He does not say Newton for a few centuries, then Einstein, then ask for more and not find, or revise old concepts and come to dubious conclusions, later scoffed at - AS HUMAN SCIENCE DOES!
As to God, He said and it was done; ordered and it was created. You do not have to be exceptionally clever to see the stable and secure, inveterate and indefeasible source of that the massive tissue of information and executive arms, bound in a cell enveloped with inter-relations, equipped with energy production units and means of transference of information to new cells, with hidden template, the DNA and running scripts for the site, RNA, the latter quite (relatively) unstable, and unable long to endure in the unprotected scene; crafted in unity, devised with integrity, operative by one code, applying its purpose with one mind, its will with one spirit, that masterpiece of profundity, that monument to simplicity, man. You have merely to follow the evidence with the mind that does not eschew evidence, and avoid the whittling of wisdom in the subversion of logic, which marks the arrant and characterises the proud.
You do not need brilliance to perceive the linguistic point of the profound coded sequences (cf. SMR pp. 210-218, 138ff, 1-50), ordered, organised, organising, edited and complex to the bewilderment of man, who using the liberties of the immaterial (cf. It Bubbles Ch. 9, Little Things ... Ch. 5), continually tries to 'find out', often with fell purpose and predictable frustration. In this sphere, he sees, as Christ declared of such notable knowledgeability, but does not perceive; as with the religiously blind in that day, so here. Indeed, the culturally driven man KNOWS until he finds what he did not know, and then revises, renews and reviews, laughs at his former errors, and makes changes in much or little, and proceeds.
Then he 'knows' again, until pride explodes like a shoulder-held missile, and he is humbled, only to provoke the truth again, by knowing the truth he dismisses in the secular domain, wafting on the epistemological breezes which on his own models, cannot be there. If man is limited, blind man is increasingly near to being terminated by obfuscation.
Alas for some centuries now, the myth, the illusion that MAN KNOWS and is at the end of perfection in his treasured precision, becomes hidden with the glory of some new discovery.
How quickly do people forget that humanism is delusion, that there is only one BOOK in the WORLD which has vast treasuries of information on multiplied topics with statement of past, present and future which are always verified, never archaic, always illuminative as they were to some of the most original scientists the world has ever seen, who not only were leaders in their day, but disposers of vast hinterlands of new enterprise, scope and ideas. Names like those of Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, at once come to mind, and might stay there a little longer if it were not that other great scholars in science, Kepler, of Christian conviction, like Whiston, Herschel, Dalton, Joule, Dana, Gosse, Lord Kelvin, Fleming, Von Braun come rushing on as more stand for acknowledgement. Combining the uttermost distinction with godly testimony in this field, they often led the way.
The concept that God made and said, and made man and equipped him to find out (cf. Genesis 2:20), yet to do so with understanding (cf. Proverbs 25:2, Romans 1:17ff.), not with self-contradictory nescience and omniscience, tearing at each other like sparring roosters.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the honour of kings to find out. First however they must rule their own spirits, or what they find is endlessly submerged in darkness, obscured in contradiction. Minds were made and hearts and spirits, and man can find out; but if he does not first find out one thing, he is in dire, even grave danger, and his whole life, corporate or individual, is imperilled. Never has this been worse than now, since the flood (cf. News 1); for the arrogance of ignorance, that glories in its triumphs forgets its systematic errors of the past, which mount like tsunamis ignored, and pretends greatness, even omni-competence and the power to direct the globe, make its history, determine its borders and control its populace.
This gift of understanding from beyond nature which is enshrined in man, though often tormented in the anguish of self-assertive posturing with the very gift given, meaningless without it, meets the clamant demands of information science which signals no place for its arrival but from mind and purpose, and no hindrance for its departure, despite all man's efforts, as creation wears. Man who demands his divinity, increasingly, in act, shows his contrivance, his creation, in fact. Fancy a divinity wearing out! Fancy information decreases, DNA increasing slowly but surely, its departures from the original purity ... How humiliatingly realistic can you be, among the gods (cf. Psalm 82).
Nature is abused, divorced from its source, leaving man lamenting therefore his absence of 'meaning', as he breaks the bonds of the creation, and despises the power of its deliverance from that same source (cf. Psalm 2, Romans 1, SMR Ch. 5) which built its information content, composing like a great musician, all its nuances and mutualities in cohesive synchronism as is necessary, and synthetic integrity. Yet nature does not know the source of information: where is it ?
As to nature's formation in information: It knows its departure. It creaks, it groans, it ages, it slows.
It attests the deposit that made it, and made it incapable of such creation; and it spends it, that deposit, as all creations do, and must in this world. Man the sentient creation, in his rebellion invests the material universe with his own qualities, his own powers with divine additives, his own meaning with superficial contrivances, lives by imagination, forfeits the truths of verification, the method of science, and by vision of emptiness, empties himself from his past, his place and his destiny .. except for that which is the completion of the corrupt, and the end of the erratic.
It is better to know your place, than to find none; and that, whether in epistemology, metaphysics, physics or mathematics, is precisely what this world is finding (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 29, TMR Ch. 7, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3, 9, Spiritual Refreshings Chs. 6, 13, 16). However, without place in the secular void, man seeks to direct man, lead him, teach him, show him, know him. The void aspires to govern the ground! and lacks any (SMR Ch. 3, Barbs ... 6 -7, 18,19).
It wills to control and direct what it cannot comprehend, because when truth is slain, only judgment is comprehensible. So does the world in its 'maturity', its 'post-Christian maturity' act like a small child, trying to sit on a dog, unaware of what it is, or of the nature of dogs! It will direct, it will govern, it will act, it will progress ...
But where, why and how ? Why, in the UN, in NATO, in the Madrid Quartet, in the WCC, in the EU, increasingly, now this one, now that taking a lead, laying down the law and becoming almost as if LORD, which of course Stalin, on a regional scale (though much of the earth was his!), Hitler and others have sought actually to become LORD, or have their party or way made so lordly that God could only look on in admiration: in theory. In practice, they fed the worms.
They talk as if matter invented itself, its laws found from its opposite, chance, their existence, as if mind decided one fair day to allay the bareness of matter with its presence, inventing verbalisation, conceptualisation, concatenation of thought, correlation of ideas, the facility of the material for such treatment, involving a conceptual harmony in deed of the field and dynamic in the mind, and as if spirit, despairing of mind's limitations, decided one other fair day, or perhaps the same one, to adorn mental working with will, and to make errors the great new foundational fact, so that things did not have to happen, or to be analysed, but could be dumped, deleted or caricatured, either on purpose or by mistake.
But it is not so, and magic is not the origin of the universe, but God. The term 'chance' is a mere misnomer in such setting, simply signifying the absence of purpose, and not some creative masterpiece. You still need the creative masterpieces, and the concept of the absence of purpose is no way to achieve this; indeed, to use such a term is merely to illustrate your own ignorance, for being irrelevant, its use is merely assertion, as if some dimmed mind of an aged person were innocently to say, Oh yes, my dear, the garage used to be empty, yes indeed, but the other day, I went there and look, there was a car in it. I suppose the garage invented it!
No it did not, and man did not, and nothing did not invent anything, and nothing without what it takes ever made anything, nor could it, nor does it (cf. TMR Chs. 1 , 8), nor is such irrationality verified, nor can anyone do anything in this connection (cf. Secular Myths ..., Earth Spasm, Wake Up World! ). One thing from all this, however, that man finds out, is that he is liable for libel against the Lord. Fixed on 'nature', he idolises it, or part of it, gyrating groundless in thought, like a gyroscope set in mid-air, amounting to nothing in its contribution, an oddity, a thing of mirth, a ponderous pretension.
Not many years ago, prestigious persons were pontificating with philosophic assurance that the speed of light was a CONSTANT, did not, could not, would not change; its presence was esteemed like that of a parent, whose child found favour in his being near. A quasi-religious conviction surged in the minds of many. THIS speed, that of light, it COULD not change! ...
Then Paul Davies of the Macquarie University in NSW, in association with the work of numbers of other Ph.D. scientists, announced in 2002, years after others have long pointed out the evidence for it, that light's velocity may indeed change, just as Professor Keith Wanser (cf. TMR Ch. 7, Section E) had indicated for certain conditions of matter, where quantification came out in terms of millions of times the velocity as variation. Indeed, others noted it, and found a correlative variation in Planck's constant, and a constancy not now in c, the velocity of light, but rather in HC their multiple*1.
It appears that obstructive vortices may indeed accelerate in micro-space, but the progression of light is impeded; and at all events, decreases. Setterfield, one of the pioneers in this field, has on his web site, and has presented in the Creation Research Conference in 2003, useful historical surveys also in this field.
Thus now increasingly envisaged on many sides and various lands, the concept is that there was a run down in this orderly phenomenon of continuing dynamic of light: and that, is it not just as one would expect in terms of the Second Law of Thermodynamics ? After all, this is so and it occurs in this pseudo-religious 'c', light's velocity. Setterfield's*2 work of the resolution of five anomalies in space theory, in these terms is impressive: the slowing of the atomic clock, the increase of H, Planck's constant, the increase in atomic mass, the vast and persuasive evidence of the decrease in c, the quantization of the red shift. His web site under name, is readily available.
Solving these problems, we find the scientifically suggested scenario (that is, one which comes from the facts as they are mutually considered in their thrust and requirements, and NOT as a dictation of imagination contrary to all).
With the flash of power done, the work impelled, not in endless thrust, but in expansion of the heavens as so often noted in the Bible (cf. Isaiah 44:24): the consequences of age arrived and these impaired. Light was not exempt. As Troitskii, the Russian astrophysicist exhibited in 1987, this decrease in c is needed for the solution of a number of astronomical problems, while others like John Moffatt of the University of Toronto, spoke in terms of a needed decline of many orders of magnitude from the case at the beginning.
And so the equations for the earth's age which depend on this figure or its correlatives, were affected, potentially by millions of times, and geology's all-knowledge of radiometric dating, dependent on c, became as sure as the ludicrous anomalies*3 known for so long, of finding ONE TREE trunk going through millions of years of rock, according to its wise counsel, and illustrious understanding, or DNA preserved for millions of years, or leaves in tree trunks vastly old, or even fish with discernible gills from aeons in the past. It has all been rather ludicrous for long, and now the resolution comes where one would expect, in biblical terms. This book, attested as His word (cf. SMR Ch. 1), not least by its endless scoops in history, archeological investigation, future prediction, analysis of man, its verification ion all dimensions, in any depth: this divine word, so far from declining like c, inclines the heart to the truth, and tells it.
Age does not weary it, nor the years condemn; its light is forever.
This is the empirical fact from all testing. Its resolutions baulk at nothing, and nothing can contain it, for it discovers the meaning, the method and the results for man, before he works, and as he works, corrects him, and when he will not heed, it acts, as reality always does. It acts now! (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5), just as it worked and acted for Israel over its millenia of history, with the word of God! (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9, Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch. 10, Galloping Events ... Ch. 4).
What then ? No, the world has not gone mad, and man is not without talent, for indeed, if you consider the heights of man's talents in ANY ONE FIELD, by taking the most indefatigable and thrusting workers of all, and then select a group from each field, it is staggering what man can do. Why then is there this arrogance ? He is corrupted by reason of his brightness, as Ezekiel 28:17 put it of the lurking presence of the duplicitous tempter of man, who does nothing to render him innocent, but brings complicity to his errors, and dynamism to his follies (cf. I Peter 5).
It is because man has this lust, as he has had from the first (cf. Genesis 3:3 - you can be sure that there was a sharing between Adam and Eve before Adam leapt with Eve from the rock of security into the sea of the apparently meaningless, swirling with the waters of pride, which now grow more tempestuous, as man fails to repent, and glories in his ignorant wisdoms): that woebegone, he destroys to the last, even claiming it is a god of some kind which he makes up (cf. More Marvels... Ch. 4), just as at other times he seeks to become that god himself, and rather belatedly, to make up his world. In all respects, unbelieving man, rebellious against reality, is like a child in his father's house, determined to believe that it made itself and that he is the proper 'maker' of its ways. ALL he makes is a fool of himself; and as the world is now doing this, is it really so surprising that it LOOKS so foolish!
So the world rushes and thrusts towards not oblivion, no, but judgment. In the meantime, the message is clear: Watch for the Judge!
Today it is our privilege to begin to look in Isaiah to this warning for OUR TIME, for God does nothing by halves, and from 700 B.C. blares the warning, as from the day of Christ, and many another day. Today it is Isaiah's day (cf. John 12:38-40) and see With Heart and Soul... Chs. 4-7), at which we look.
ON THE PLIGHT BEFORE JUDGMENT
While then man continues his proud roll of arrogance, like a pilot continually doing loop-the-loops in a loopy manner, the sea roars. This is so not only literally
(cf. The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet, Ch. 6, Repent or Perish Ch. 6, Scoop of the Universe 29, Barbs ... 10 cf. SMR pp. 674ff. ),
(cf. SMR Ch. 8);
and the prescribed events unfold, such as the return of the Jews to Israel in the midst of Gentilic agitation; and they do so with appalling consistency
(cf. SMR Ch. 9, It Bubbles... Ch. 9, Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
Indeed, to take the moral situation, misuse of political office is a scandal from Japan to France, from Germany to Burma, in this way or that, while abuse of power is linked with genocide or other disgraceful abuse of human dignity, whether in the case of Iraq, or Iran, where vicious semi-secular or utterly religious domains have crossed purposes and led to the murder of millions in mutual massacre, and more yet are the bodies strewn in red as in Autumn leaves, but less beautiful.
And this ? it is in internal satisfaction of various lusts, as if man were the plaything of man! It is all derivative from the confusion which comes from ignoring that ONLY source of Kindness, Compassion, Love and Mercy, of Knowledge and Wisdom, which is fit for man in ONE: the Lord God who made us; and it is not surprising that this should be the case. Indeed, it verifies it in things little and great, intellectual and practical, historical and developmental. What develops has all the serene assurance of a tornado, like a child's examination in mathematics when he declines to study.
What this appallingly contorted race NEEDS is what it has; and what it has, it refuses to take, so it swerves to judgment, like an arrogant and somewhat drunken adolescent, with P or probationer plates on his car, one not wanting to realise that neither the car nor the road nor the mechanical knowledge is what HE has made or deserved. It is merely WHAT HE USES! The light pole that invites a closer communion in such circumstances, alas, too well symbolises man's current plight and its cause. As to impacting on the light, that is the other side of it; for man is not only fighting himself, but his God, his verified source of spiritual and perspective knowledge, his Lord, his Creator; and thus impacting on the light. It does not help to collide with it!
It is only for the time that the high tension wires have not led to incineration; for that comes; and the grace of God does nothing to reduce His power. It needs to be received with speed, relished with joy (Isaiah 55), not assaulted with calumnious incomprehension (Psalm 2), abutted with slander, caricatured with mischief and mocked with that sad relish, which sin so readily produces in its victims. The underlying sadness is that of approaching death and judgment; the underlying relish is that of rebellion and assertion of power and pride in comparative ignorance, against absolute knowledge.
The result is destiny, and the fate of the earth, in its incinerative dismissal (cf. Matthew 24:35, II Peter 3), is a parable of that for man, except in this, that the earth is done with, while man is detained for the destiny appointed: release into redemption's fullest glory, or into everlasting shame (cf. Matthew 13, 24, 22, Daniel 12).
Truth ? It has become almost for many a joke. History is unknown, they cry with that self-assurance of those who know all about things which cannot be known; man is unknown, they cry, with that certainty that comes from the unknown, himself; nothing is sure, they cry, with that nothingness which is really something; and morals are myth, they declare, thus passing moral judgment on such 'myths' and those wrong-headed and erroneous enough to follow this other path which has ground and basis, attestation and nothing to daunt it.
Man is a mass and veritable maze of self-contradiction apart from God.
But what does Isaiah say of such a time ?
ISAIAH ON OUR GENERATION:
for we are grouped with another that was lost!
Notice first a datum within Isaiah 66, a chapter which we have examined on numbers of occasions in some detail
(cf. The Biblical Workman Ch. 1, Excursion pp. 20Cff.;
Appendix Faith, Excursion pp. 167ff.;
Licence for Liberty Excursion;
More Marvels Ch. 6;
With Heart and Soul ... Ch. 6,
Divine Deliverance Ch. 3; Joy ... Ch. 6 ,
Biblical Blessings Ch. 3, p. 36;
News 87 *1;
Galloping Events Ch. 8 including *3).
As we have found, there is an overwhelming attestation of overwhelming power in action in the field of judgment. As in parallel with Joel 3, Habakkuk 3, Micah 7, Isaiah 59, there is an OUTRAGE, there is a DIVINE ACTION in judgment, which comes at the zenith of history, when it is confronted. At this time, and in these places, there is sometimes a specialised deliverance from threatened destruction for Israel, the sins of which against its once acknowledged Lord are focussed, and there is destructive fire that brings in martial manner an outcome for those who reject divine mercy.
In the midst of this scenario, or as a direct preliminary, we find the provocation preceding the divine action. This is in part the violation of Israel, for all its sinfulness, yet a creation of God (and the sins are generally not hidden! but emphasised in these scriptural predictions); and it is in part the horrific sins of the world.
Israel in Isaiah 59:20 is delivered by its Redeemer (and Paul cites this in Romans 11), as coming in the episodic thrust of the restoration of many in Israel to realisation, imparted by grace, that Christ Jesus IS the crucified Saviour; and so do they repent, as in Zechariah 12. In Isaiah 66 we have additional surrounds to this situation, where we find that Israel will find the land too small for its inhabitants, despite the calamities predicted in Jeremiah 30:3ff. (cf. The Biblical Workman Ch. 1), and will be born in a day (as occurred in May,1948), occasioning great rejoicing and wonder (as it did!). Indeed, as we read in Jeremiah 30, expounded in the above reference, there is to be certain reciprocity, wrought by the Lord Himself. Let us hear it:
All your lovers have forgotten you;
They do not seek you;
For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy,
With the chastisement of a cruel one,
For the multitude of your iniquities,
your sins have increased.
Why do you cry about your affliction?
Your sorrow is incurable.
Because of the multitude of your iniquities,
Because your sins have increased,
I have done these things to you.
'Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured;
And all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity;
Those who plunder you shall become plunder,
And all who prey upon you I will make a prey.
For I will restore health to you
And heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord,
‘Because they called you an outcast saying:
"This is Zion;
No one seeks her." ’
Thus says the Lord:
‘Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob’s tents,
And have mercy on his dwelling places;
The city shall be built upon its own mound,
And the palace shall remain according to its own plan.
Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving
And the voice of those who make merry;
I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish;
I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
"Their children also shall be as before,
And their congregation shall be established before Me;
And I will punish all who oppress them.
Their nobles shall be from among them,
And their governor shall come from their midst;
Then I will cause him to draw near,
And he shall approach Me;
For who is this who pledged his heart to approach Me?’ says the Lord.
‘You shall be My people,
And I will be your God.’
Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord
Goes forth with fury,
A continuing whirlwind;
It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
The fierce anger of the Lord will not return until He has done it,
And until He has performed the intents of His heart.
In the latter days you will consider it.
See the thematic and textual exegesis in The Biblical
Workman Ch. 1
See also Appendix on Jeremiah below.)
The Israel concerned in the one, as usual, who knew God, who profaned His covenant, ignored His commands, found His wrath, is in grave trouble (all as usefully outlined in Deuteronomy 32), and is then rescued in divine honour and grace, with mercy and lovingkindness, at the end, when "their strength is gone" (cf. SMR Appendix A), an event to which Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah 7 (following the Messiah's advent as in Micah 5) and Zechariah 12-14 abundantly and in unison attest).
But what are the MORAL ENVIRONMENTS in this case of Israel's restoration, already in train, one of the most epochal of all events, since the Cross, since like it, it is unique in kind, and occurs ONCE ONLY since the resurrection, which is the prelude to the coming of the King figured in Isaiah 59:20 as in Isaiah 2, Micah 4, Isaiah 11, Zechariah 14, Luke 21:24, Romans 11:25ff..
These are precisely as now; and this correlation with the unique, finds for itself the logical lot of surrounding circumstance in accord, confirmatory correlation and necessary concomitance. ONE ERROR and the 'word of God' is out. ALL knowledge and it is in, since there is no comparison and obvious need, logically also (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 2, Sparkling Life ...
Ch. 4, Barbs ... 6 -7, SMR pp. 50ff., It Bubbles ... Ch. 9 incl. *1A, and others in Remedy, index).
What then is the moral environment as attested for this period of "the latter days" ?
It is as we find it,
|when truth is an enemy of philosophy, which
asserts the truth of its denial of truth,
ostensibly in truth, in one of the greatest anomalies and indeed alogisms of all time;
|when arrogance rises above its cynicism, to
positively glow with self-assurance;
|when nothing is worshipped, and Nature is
deified, or man, or both either in essence or in word
(cf. Aviary of Idolatry, Cascade of Truth ... Ch. 10, SMR pp. 882ff., TMR Ch. 7,
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3)
|when injustice flies like a spiralling flock of
birds, filling the sky with its antics,
when murder is a method of convenience,
not only in the jihad addicts to cruelty,
but in political strife, in factional disputes, in tribal intercourse, in religious follies, in economic strivings, in land aspirations
as in the Middle East and India-Kashmir,
in securing the hold of national cannibalism;
as in Communism,
where tens of millions are simply a price in death,
for the idiosyncrasies of the ideology,
found to fail in fact,
and needing blood for support
(cf. SMR pp. 925ff., News 37, Beauty of Holiness Ch. 4, *2);
while for other false prophetic zeals,
(cf. More Marvels … Ch. 4, SMR pp. 1080ff., 829ff.),
thousands are exterminated in New York as a kind of news review
by a testy critic,
and millions pour out their lives,
as in the Iran-Iraq folly,
or the Cambodian excursion of Khymer Rouge.
Meanwhile, and in the closest parallel,
Israel is arranged by devious means by numerous nations, including the UN,
which officiates with scrupulous injustice,
through oratorical appeal,
for devastation, destruction, specious division,
while expansive murder squads operate
as if it were a sport,
varied Muslim ferocities rage
in the Middle East and beyond,
as if force were the God who is to be followed, not truth,
insurgent jihads rant,
murderers are featured on international television
as if they were pundits or givers of grace;
and all this, it is
as if it were specifically DESIGNED as that prelude so clearly
marked in Deuteronomy 32 with Isaiah 59 and 66, for the soon to come, the
impending divine intervention,
when the LORD sees that Israel’s power is gone (Deuteronomy 32:36),
and acts decisively for its deliverance (Micah 7).
Yes, it is He, for the Lord ONLY will be glorified in that day (cf. Isaiah 2:14-17):
and this entire scenario sunders the heart, abrades the
lands, searing the souls of many …
till the very heavens might weep; and man declares his way.
It is not all thus ? No ? Of course not, but
rather like a tornado that blots the sky, so it mounts with impressive force and
if the academic scene is a travesty in the field of religion more and more (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 5, Stepping Out ... Ch. 1, News 121, 122, 152, News 118, 51, TMR Chs. 1, 8), and in allied disciplines as needed for outage in outrage from the way of life;
if the political is invested with the plagues of self-affirmation, monetary manipulation, theft and bombast to an incredible seeming degree, with partisan interest, as seen OPENLY in the USA, becoming a matter of following the statistics for success, rather than attending to leading;
if the racial is a mine-field of explosive devices, with sensitive souls waiting, hand on the circuit, for action, and others waiting, hand on the provocation, for reaction,
if the economic is a desperation of undesirables, debts mounting to the skies, and many nations on the border of ruin;
if the entertainment world is filled with pornography,
if nations grasp for power over freedom
(as begins to loom in the case of the State of Victoria, as seen in Diamond ... Ch. 10, News 156, *2 in Galloping Events Ch. 7, and as resumes dangerously in Russia after so long a submergence, by the contemporary suppression of independent news coverage, which is close to the case in China, so that darkness may proliferate its gloom);
if child sex becomes almost a fashion,
if whole nations can seem to fall into it,
if adultery is not even so regarded by many in a whirl of promiscuity, a dizzying fall that ignores direction,
if fornication is so perverse in its properties that marriage is becoming almost unpopular, as a trend, and moreover,
if Israel is becoming increasingly a world butt, returned to its land as a prelude to the end
(cf. Luke 21:24), invested with foes, glorious in triumph, grave in suffering:
then clearly all is not well. The heart is chilled; the head is hot.
More, it is resembling the read-out in Isaiah 59:3ff. to an amazing degree.
Watch it and compare.
"For your hands are defiled with blood,
And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken lies,
has muttered perversity.
"No one calls for justice,
Nor does any plead for truth.
They trust in empty words and speak lies;
They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.
"They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
He who eats of their eggs dies,
that which is crushed a viper breaks out.
"Their webs will not become garments,
Nor will they cover themselves with their works;
Their works are works of iniquity,
And the act of violence is in their hands.
Their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
Wasting and destruction are in their paths.
"The way of peace they have not known,
And there is no justice in their ways;
They have made themselves crooked paths;
Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.
"Therefore justice is far from us,
Nor does righteousness overtake us;
We look for light, but there is darkness!
For brightness, but we walk in blackness!
"We grope for the wall like the blind,
And we grope as if we had no eyes;
We stumble at noonday as at twilight;
We are as dead men in desolate places.
We all growl like bears,
And moan sadly like doves;
We look for justice, but there is none;
For salvation, but it is far from us.
"For our transgressions are multiplied before You,
And our sins testify against us;
For our transgressions are with us,
And as for our iniquities, we know them:
In transgressing and lying against the Lord,
And departing from our God,
Speaking oppression and revolt,
Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
"Justice is turned back,
And righteousness stands afar off;
For truth is fallen in the street,
And equity cannot enter.
"So truth fails,
And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him
That there was no justice."
THAT SCENARIO, that gracious scene, that comment on humanity, it is not a generic; it applies PRIOR to the APPEARANCE of the LORD in judgment. You see that simply by examining Isaiah 59:17-20, and you notice that the Lord personally will come to Zion as in Zechariah 14:5.
Moreover, as now, so here, the case is seen on a global scale (Isaiah 66:15-16,18).
This is so also in Isaiah 24. If Israel's sins here are not delusively obscured, but proclaimed, yet the world is no better. In Isaiah 24 you see this aspect featured in the same ultimate setting, and you see fascinatingly much more.
Thus in Isaiah 24:1-2, you find that arresting
scale of operations, starting thus:
"As with the people so with the priest,
As with the servant, so with his master,
As with the maid, so with her mistress ..."
and it proceeds,
"the earth mourns... "
As Isaiah depicts it predictively, prophetically, in ghastly realism, and necessary truth:
|The phenomenon is global, intrusive, invasive, pervasive.|
Indeed, it is the consummation coming of the initial curse, as the earth grows worse, as if a compulsive obsession gripped the globe (Isaiah 24:4 - "the earth mourns and fades away").
This we find, in appalled horror that matches the case we see, "they have broken the everlasting , therefore the curse has devoured the earth." Like a car without brakes, and super-charged, driven by an immature sixteen year old, distressed, impetuous, impelled, it roars to its end. This is vastly helped by its obsessive aversion from its beginning, and from judgments which preceded (as II Peter 3:3-5 predicted would be the case in this final phase of the Age).
THE DELICIOUS CONTRAST
In the very midst of this (24:13ff.), however, we find a delicious contrast. Instead of mere mourning from all, there is rejoicing in some! Indeed,
"They shall lift up the voice, they shall sing:
For the majesty of the LORD
They shall cry aloud from the sea.
Therefore glorify the LORD in the dawning light,
The name of the God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea."
But there is cost for this rejoicing amidst gloom, degradation both physical and moral, and confusion
"From the ends of the earth we have heard songs,
'Glory to the righteous!'
But I said, I am ruined, ruined!
Woe to me!
The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously;
Indeed, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.' "
Here as in Isaiah 50-55, you see that there is a call for the mounting curse.
What is this pre-eminent call then ! It is this. Treachery has come to the Messiah on whom all hinges, all depends, on whose mission man stays or is ruined, who took the ruin (Isaiah 50, 52:13- 53:12, 49:7, Psalm 69, 109, 22) in order to supply the remedy. This is the song through all the earth (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6), and it resounds to the coastlands, while men cry, Glory to the Righteous! for it was HE who was killed, cut off, as Daniel puts it, not for Himself, and on Him was laid the iniquity of those who believe, those who would be HEALED (Isaiah 53).
This: It was glorious, it was inglorious; it was famous and infamous, magnificent and banal. In what ? In this, that the love and mercy were prodigious; the cruelty and blindness of man inveterate. The result is the Cross, and hence songs such as these echo, as throughout Isaiah! In a doomed world, set on destruction in heart and hand, there is yet a glowing glory, a suffusing joy in the hearts of many, throughout all of it, even in the coastlands, and there arising with zeal in the dawning light; and it is composed intimately together with the treachery which Christ suffered.
He, as God, is not dimmed by treachery, or ruined by murder; but climbing from the tomb, overpowering death itself, merely composes this intensity of human evil in the plan of divine salvation, so dismissing its penalty for those who receive His mercy in this way (Isaiah 52-53, 24:14-16, 22:21-25, 12, 55, 61). And this, He has done it and proclaimed it millennia before He did it, now this way, now that, and built the world with all His plans in place (Ephesians 1:4, Isaiah 51:16 cf. TMR Ch. 3, Barbs … 17, Spiritual Refreshings … Ch. 15).
So does the Gospel course in Isaiah, in and out, chapter by chapter, boldly, subtly, appealingly, poignantly, repeatedly, beautifully. The beauty here is in the most acute contrast with the developing evil of the world, rather like a last stage in melanoma skin cancer; and it is again in contrast with the sufferings of Christ which made its way open for man, freely (Isaiah 55), that surgeon whose scalpel was His own scalp, whose healing was His own hurt and whose piercing was for the body of His people.
How treacherous was the Jewish national treatment of Christ; how treacherous has been the Gentile international treatment of Christ, dabbling, trying it on, staying for a time, nation by nation, and then like England and increasingly the USA, like Holland diving into follies such as even homosexual pastors for major bodies, or 'gay' marriages which pierce the perfection of the divine plan for man, ignoring the design, with designs on His glory which He set in the field, that man might find it, and finding it, love with what he is given, not with what is lacking.
THE SHABBY SUBSTITUTES THAT BLIGHT LIKE MOULD:
THE SPIRITUAL BENISON THAT SHINES LIKE GOLD
Yet thus has man acted, this culture of collapse of century 21 becoming a medley of mindless murder, masquerading as religion, godless 'love' disenchanted with the creation, ferocity and precocity, children incinerated in the flames of false philosophy, youth astray in the turgid waters of hatred, selfishness and allied symptoms of spiritual collapse. Many drifting, and finding it hard to determine what to do, are doing it anyway, moving towards Rome, towards a bizarre Unity of Religions*4, demeaning the Christ who once was so great in their lands, playing with fire, firing their play as in much Pentecostalism with false fire (as did Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10 cf. A Question of Gifts, with Know the Lord, Know the Bible, Know His Will Section 27.) Contrary to the word of God, man treads his vexatious way, stumbling, running, falling, inhabited increasingly by the excitements of the flesh, driven with the indictments of false fire that would consume this or that nation or people or religion with human might.
The coach, culture, is moving rather according to the desire of the people as with Aaron of old, in his return to the golden calf, that spiritual sickness that blighted the people and led to enormous suffering recidivisim in doctrine, in behaviour, in word and in deed. Religions proliferate; religion becomes increasingly the isolate, while the pandemic pulses like throbbing flesh, Aids a mere emblem that symbolises the lust for death (as in Revelation 6).
Individuals as well as denominations
and nations join in the thrusting throng, in many cases as if the only desire
were to escape Christ, perhaps while still using His name for a religion to be
joined with other religions, with psychology, with sociology, with anything at
all, near or far from it, so long as its essential Gospel is defiled, distanced,
combined, synthesised, extradited, indicted, damned with faint praise or
dissected with faint hearts. It is as Isaiah declares so vigorously in the
predictions of Chs. 24 and 59:
for in the very MIDST of the decline, there are two attendant features of note.
Firstly, there is still vast PRAISE of the Lord (Isaiah 24:18), whether from those in Israel who already believe (and vast has been the Jewish contribution to the Church already, starting with the prophets, the incarnation of Christ and the apostles), or from those Gentiles who still believe. Secondly, there is the decline, the travesty of truth, the breach of the everlasting covenant, the sickness of spirit, the recidivism and the rebellion, swirling like an ocean that forgot its bounds.
Moreover, there is the exposure as in Isaiah 49:7, 50, 52-53, Psalm 2,22 of the travesty which led to murder of Truth and masquerading of the lying fraud which sought spiritual power by blood, not shed in sacrifice, which Christ did, but shed in self-protection, as did the High Priest, for himself, his land (John 11:48-53). Yet how that nation suffered for it! That was their error; but it is almost becoming as hard to find Gentiles filled with obedience (rather than this or that feeling), clad with the divine commands, watching and praying, as once it seemed to be to find godliness among the nation of Israel in Christ's day. Much is left of Christ's people in this world; but more appears eroded, as Paul predicted, and Peter taught (II Thessalonians 2, cf. II Peter 2, II Timothy 3).
Well did Paul warn the Gentiles to beware, and not be highminded (Romans 11) lest they fell; and wisely did he indite the word of the Lord, that it was from disbelief that Israel the nation fell, and that the same cause can have the same result for ostensibly 'Christian' Gentile nations.
As it was to be, so it is! As foretold, so it becomes fact. And that, it is as always! Such is the word of God. It is always, in this, as you would expect; and it always verifies itself, whether in clear simplicities, in deft subtleties, in all ways and at all times, with that leisurely assurance which can be afforded as provided, ONLY BY THE TRUTH.
Isaiah continues after this contribution to his enormous prediction, inter-related and consistent, on the Messiah and the evil done to Him, and the glory wrought by Him, to the earth as it approaches judgment. "Fear and the pit and the snare ..." (24:17), obtrude. Thus "the foundations of the earth are shaken" (as in Hebrews 12:27, from Haggai 2:6), and this leads to this tableau: "The earth is violently broken." So the fears of man in the atomic age are not without ground! The proliferation of the dedicated research results of some, proceeds to the increasingly crazed many, and the earth trembles as it sins, and sins as it trembles. "It will fall and not rise again" (Isaiah 24:20 cf. Matthew 24:35, Revelation 20).
Then Isaiah in 24, the prophet proceeds to expose the judgment coming, for "they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit..." It is then that "the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders gloriously" (cf. I Thessalonians 3:13, Zechariah 14:5, Revelation 20, Isaiah 2, 11, Psalm 2).
So does it end with the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, where it began, with God! For His good pleasure all was created (Revelation 4:11), and in His good time (Galatians 4:4, Daniel 9:24-27, cf. Highway of Holiness Ch. 4), He has provided salvation, both calling to remedy and giving grace. This that was to be, now is and has been for nearly two millenia: not*5 chance, not nature, not necessity, but the Creator calls, on whom all such categories depend even for meaning, basis and existence. He HAS called on us, in the Incarnation of Christ (cf. Micah 5:1ff., Isaiah 48:16 where you see the Trinity and the coming of Christ), and He DOES call us in the work of the Holy Spirit as the Gospel is proclaimed now (Isaiah 53:1, 55, 12, cf. Matthew 24:11ff.); and He WILL judge.
Mercy does not bypass its environs, the Gospel, and why should it ? The basis of that is infinitely costly to God; and the ignoring of it is endlessly costly to man; but the need to ignore it is mere spiritual rebellion, not only against the law of God, so grossly broken, but against the LORD HIMSELF, so grossly 'exterminated' as far as possible in body, though unconquerable even in His voluntary humiliation, noiselessly arising to abort the criminal code which to this day rules in the hearts of the many, who WILL NOT HAVE THIS MAN TO RULE OVER US! (as in Luke 19:14).
Being risen, He is the ultimate horror of all murderers, the victim that was, now not deleted, but despising the grave, now grave in judgment on their crime. THIS crime, it is not merely to murder, whether on the part of Israel in the flesh, or on that of the Gentile multitudes, seeking His evacuation from their hearts by a similar deletion, if it were possible: it is more than this. Indeed, it is a special case; for in this case, mercy is murdered, not in itself, since it is of God, but in its APPLICATION! It is a voiding of man's only hope. The damage is to man's deliverance! The physician thus is to be blighted; but there is no other.
So does Isaiah 24 show our hearts and ways, and express the Lord's grief, and yet also and with all this, the joy of those who find Him (cf. Isaiah 24:14ff., 51, 55).
So does beguiling reductionism with its varied partial fantasies (cf. Secular Myths ..., Spiritual Refreshings Chs. 6, 13, 16), yield
its invalidities to virtue,
its lies and deceit to reality,
and it is all before the Lord, like an open book, as always before, but now in the presence of those who will not find mercy because they lust
for the power of God, or
the place of God, for themselves or their race, or their party or their vapid philosophy (cf. SMR Ch. 3), ignoring the truth (cf. SMR Chs. 5 - 6), leaving witlessly what gives
truth is scope,
meaning its ground,
the ground its purpose,
purpose its dynamic,
liberty its very possibility,
past all programming,
and man his place, which is at His side!
That side was pierced to give man a place; but no part of Christ declines from the truth, which exactly as in Isaiah 24, 59, 66, approaches like an express train. It is so unwise to linger on the track, which in a way, is being off the track, for this, it is not the track for man to stand on (Matthew 21:44). He should be in the train itself!
See the Creation Research Tapes,
2003, in the Conference on Time, from Capalaba, Queensland, for historical
survey of the unveiling of the time mutability concepts, with correlative
historical record on the acknowledgement of variation in H, Planck's constant,
and other facets of matter's domain, data anomalies on existing theoretical
bases, and the correlation of these on a resolving basis of reason. This
resolution provides mutual
reinforcement from many spheres, as scientific method requires, on the basis of
one understanding. The influence of falling c, the velocity of light, on the earth's dating results is profound, with
enormous biblical correlation. See also *2 below.
Five fields of correlation are traced by Setterfield: the velocity of light, the quantization of the red shift, the rate of atomic clocks, Planck's constant, and variation in other constants such as atomic mass.
Meanwhile, is both pathetic and amusing, in an ironic sense, to find man so wedded to constancy in science, that some seem almost to have had a religious experience in seeing some 'constants' made variable, as if the earth should shake, the heavens fire, or the earth should vaporise (before its time cf. II Peter 3); and the slowness to accept such changes reminds one of Lord Zuckerman's sad comment on the objective integrity of scientists confronted with the need to adapt to new dimensions of knowledge. In his case, it was found in the sphere of human bones and their antiquity (cf. hi work, Beyond the Ivory Tower). It is, he found, with scientists in their emotions and desire, no different from the case with other members of our race: the quality of its life, he found, did not substantially vary whether one was concerned with scientists or others. There is no priestly caste.
Of course, in both these cases, GOD is evidentially involved, and thus the reluctance of man to face his Maker is involved. As the facts refuse to support rebellion, so the desire for constancy, found only ultimately in God, is shown up as virtual idolatry at least in potential; for it is HE who changes not, and His creation, it moves, for He so made it! It does not create itself, but it has correlations and inter-changes and mutabilities based on design, including its capacities to age and to be corrupted, as by His curse (see Beyond the Curse); and the Second Law of Thermodynamics together with the Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy, merely summarises most aptly the fact that unless you have special protection, what is made and so happens, when exposed tends to be unmade and to deteriorate.
There is only limited preservation, depending on the case. Spiritual things are not material, and the natural and proper desire and instinct for them being readily diverted to other components of the creation (as in Romans 1:17ff.), their eternity can become confused with the very distinct lack of that quality in the creation as such. It is God who is eternal, and those who are found with and in Him, as Father, Lord and Saviour; for without salvation, man is being unmade, and meets merely judgment. Not in light but in the Light of Truth, God Himself is eternal constancy to be found. So judgment remains. It is not pleasant; but its 'solution' is not to be found in 'nature'. Indeed, there is a tendency when God is forgotten, to deify this decaying sphere, as we see in Romans 1:20-25:
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen,
being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead,
so that they are without excuse, because,
although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful,
but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
"Professing to be wise, they became fools,
and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man -
and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
"Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts,
to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie,
and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." (Bold added.)
The correlation of this distancing from the deity, is often and increasingly obviously found in our own recidivist day, in immoral use of bodies, to parallel those of the mind and the spirit, alike verifying the word of God as above. But let us return to the judgment.
In THIS case, judgment has already sent the flood, and the curse is operative in the midst of the glory of creation (as in Romans 8:17ff.), and man is ill at ease, always wanting by physical or political means to create the perfection which sin hides; and in case he should forget it at all, his little world, his darling cosmos, is not only shown increasingly fraught with ultimate perils to the earth's very stability, but to have had a beginning, which no pulsation can disguise; for the energic level of that is likewise in need of origin and support, and declines. From nothing you get nothing, and from what you have, you must find the adequacy for its source. No beginning means nothing, a sadly unscientific scenario, which many another beggar would like as the source of his fortune. It is NEVER nothing; and what is found, it must first be placed! Nothing has no future; we are, and are already the future!
Man's hatred of man mounts like a tornado, and in the UN, in the little world of dying Africa, with famine, Aids and war, in the collisions in the Middle East, just as predicted, in the efforts at grandiose world government, also as predicted, man is reminded by departing liberties and needs of control, of his own fragility: these are not lessened by his ways, but vastly increased. He is under the hammer, and his sale to sin long concluded, he faces the urgent necessity to find his Maker, who is not hard to locate.
In the Bible, surpassing science in its stability of knowledge, as the universe surpasses a flickering torch, in Christ, surpassing all 'competition' as a star a moth, there is that answer (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 2, It Bubbles Ch. 8, SMR Ch. 6, Christ the Wisdom of God ... Ch. 8, Lord of Life Ch. 9, The Magnificence of the Messiah).
Facts must be embraced, not deviously avoided; destiny must be discovered, not ignored; deity must be realised, not run from; salvation from sin, meaninglessness and judgment must be received, not left for a ruined world. And meaningless ? Yes as in Psalm 1:6, this is the APPEARANCE for those who wilfully reject the crucified Christ; but it is not the reality. It appears only when you reject the truth, and hence walk in a darkness without direction. In fact, it is merely impending judgment on a state of being lost which rejects the deliverance provided, and the 'meaningless' syndrome is part of the pollution, the anteroom to judgment (cf. Christ, the Wisdom of God and the Power of God Ch. 6, SMR Ch. 3).
See also Barbs ...
15, Calibrating Myths ...
Ch. 1, and TMR Ch.
Isaiah has crafted, by the inspiration of Almighty God, the One who is, not the sleight of hand of human culture, not merely the plan of salvation, but the plan of pollution, and end where remedy is declined, and man declines accordingly. To the point of precision, as he prophesied, so it is. The end approaches, and Christ's return, as in Luke 21:28, is 'near'.
See also on this gifted and originative researcher, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 15.
Calibrating Myths... Ch. 1,
TMR Ch. 7, Section E.
See also his site at such locations as: http://www.setterfield.org/history.htm The swarming now of many diverse theorists for impelling reasons, amounting to theoretical contradiction without it, to the concept of an originally far greater value of c, is simply an empirical fact.
*3 See TMR Ch. 7, Section E as in *2.
On the broader issue of unity of religions, see News 121, 122, 152.
On a special case of trend and tendency, let us consider what follows.
Even P.M. John Howard has expressed sentiments in this direction, as a 'liberal Christian', ideas which attest the strength of this cultural clutch. As reported in The Advertiser, October 18, 2003, according to the words reported, he degraded the Biblical reality of Christ by stating this: "The nobler sentiments of Islam are just as committed to those outcomes as are the nobler sentiments of Judaism and Christianity."
The apparent point of this remark ? His stated interest in Islam with Judaism and Christianity been united, the 'world' having a common interest in this, to fight terrorism, bigotry and extremism. Notice the force in view is the WORLD (of which the 'prince', as Christ stated, has NO PART IN HIM - John 14:30). It is in ITS interest to uniting the good forces allegedly lying within these three religions to do this thing.
However with unbelievers the Christian is to avoid linkage, eschewing being yoked together. 'Religion' in the cultural sense might do many things, as a product of man; when however it is to be USED, when a presentation of God, for purposes of this world, and to be united with idolatry or rejection of the truth (John 14:6), for some common purpose which has a spiritual ingredient (such as fighting all forms of extremism), then it is apparent that God is being USED for man. In fact, man is to be used FOR GOD, as Christ made quite clear in Luke 14:27-33. You are to take up your CROSS and follow HIM, not the god of this world, not the intentions of this world, not the survival of this world's system, not the government of this world, not the prince of this world, who has NOTHING in Him.
You cannot serve both God and man; the Lord is ONE and HIM ONLY must you serve. If Christ had so united for the world's desire, then He might have accepted the rule of all of it, since then it would be HIS and He could govern it on THOSE TERMS. However He rejected in spritely fashion such a proposition, and any like it (Matthew 4), in the temptation. You CANNOT serve two masters (Matthew 6:24),
"The lamp of the body is the eye.
If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
"But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
That is the illustration of the principle, here applicable to any other attempt to serve two masters, to have two guiding principles, two ultimate contexts, two desiderata, two visions. You CANNOT subordinate the LORD to anything or anyone or any purpose, since He is LORD.
You see the same sort of opaqueness in extreme form, in I Corinthians 15. Here at one point, Paul has to cover a giant confusion, and he does it like this. There some even talked of Christ as if theirs, and yet on the resurrection declared that there was none. NONE ? If so, said Paul, Christ could not have risen, since the general rule covers all the cases. Why speak in contradictories! Is the mind inoperative, or does the heart utter gabble! Face it, this is life.
As to the general rule, this is nature; that is how it operates in sin. But God is its Maker, and the body of Christ, is that counter-Adam which brings all His to life, the universe's only because the Creator's actual breach of death in life. Just as Adam was the creation's first arrival of man, and in sin invoked death, so in Christ is the Creator's own arrival for man, who in sacrifice silenced it.
Therefore, the thing put in the tomb, is what arose (I Corinthians 15:1-4, 20-25, 50-58). On that, turns all of history, all destiny, all power, all privilege, all hope, all holiness. To disbelieve God is to confuse who is lying (cf. I John 3-4). It is to project the lie of man onto the face of God, who in Christ already in man's format suffered crucifixion. In fact, the Creator's power was in creation, and that same power will at the general resurrection convey Christ's victory, and that, in the twinkling of an eye. God does not need aeons to create or to resurrect. Christ did it in three days, matching His words with His deeds, and will do it suddenly, matching sin with either salvation or judgment.
Let us cite from the exposition given in the sermon by the author, slightly extended, and its application (see the site).
I Cor. 15:12-20. The thoughtless confusion is exposed, of speaking of Christ and then acting as if there were no resurrection of the dead. Here is the absolute case of ‘believing’ and not even thinking what it is about, as if religion were of all things the most emotional, irrelevant and confused. This is merely the obverse side of disbelief, which knowing nothing of the reality of God in creation, in the new creation of one’s life, in the scriptures, not yet His power, turns off thought and gabbles. Christ rebuked such an approach (Matthew 28:22ff.).
"You err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that what was spoken to you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."
It is in such folly that liberalism had its day, just like the Sadducees of old, speaking as if the Bible meant something to them, and then immediately going back to their useless categories of thought, their truth-reduced emulsions, like dogs returning to their vomit, as Peter puts it. Similarly “New Age” may sometimes dare to refer to a “Church”; but its thoughts are man’s thoughts, and first would gag truth, so that they might speak for it. Truth has spoken for itself to ALL AGES, and does not change (cf. Psalm 102, Malachi 3:6, Matthew 5:17-20, Rev. 22:18ff.).
All such things are readily found through the simple test of the Bible. It lasts, does not need to change, speaks from the first, and informs us of what is coming to the last! How puny, or example, are the empty thoughts of the Koran, untested except in this, that the almighty Allah fails constantly to impose His will; though his people try hard enough, as Dr Mahathir this week has made so clear (see Chapter 10 below cf. More Marvels … Ch. 4, SMR pp. 1080ff., 829ff.),
This fails as it has done and must do; as likewise does science falsely-so-called, as Paul calls it in I Timothy 6, where the reference to knowledge embraces all knowledge that men tend to idolise, even their own!
Biblical Christianity however, is not, despite PM John Howard’s erroneous thought expressed this week, a matter of higher levels or lower, nor is it comparable with the Koran in this.
On the contrary, its message of justice and judgment is true and unaltered from the first in Genesis 3 to the last in Rev. 22; and such is the case with the Gospel from Genesis 3 to Revelation 22 (cf. TMR Ch. 3, Barbs ... 17). Nor does the love of God at all abate, because of judgment, since HE HIMSELF took this judgment making a clearance available to all, even to as many as TAKE HIM (John 6:50ff.). The Psalms are as full of mercy and tenderness and reprobation as is the book of Revelation, and for that matter, of John (John 3:15-19, is followed by John 3:36). In mind in the protevangelium in Genesis 3:15 is the Gospel mined by Christ, in the tomb, and manifested in His resurrection. The same love in the same plan for the same purpose of the same God for the same mankind which in the same series of sinfulnesses required the same extradition from hell, has always been operative.
Always what He has spoken of, the everlasting Gospel (Rev. 14, Ephesians 1:4) does not flit or flutter, but soars like an eagle, seeing all, imparting knowledge, providing pardon, doing it in love, but expressing the reality that without this mercy, there is no other (John 3:17-19,36).
As to judgment, it is according to truth (Romans 2:1), which being violated by surmising man, violates in the end, what is not repentant into the Father’s hands: and it does so by the way appointed (Acts 17:31, Luke 13:1-13). It contravenes mercy, but only for those whose liasion with love is blighted in the end, in the sight and mind of God, by inveterate unrepentance, vice preferred to vicarious atonement, self to salvation, doom to destiny in the mercy of God (John 3:19, Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2).
There is no other name given among men but Christ’s (Acts 4:11-12), no other Saviour (Isaiah 43:10-11, 52-53 but He, God as man, sent for this purpose), no other Redeemer (John 19), no other confirmed and validated Lord (Ephesians 4:4); and with Him NOTHING is comparable (John 7, Psalm 89:8ff., John 14:6). As the Psalmist declares in 73:25ff.:
"Whom have I in heaven, but You ?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Indeed, what is more "extreme" than the truth, and what was more potent in reaction to just his, than the high priestly body when Christ was crucified. To be the ONLY GOD is extreme, extremely true of Christ as the Lord in flesh (Micah 5:1-3), smitten and saving in the process in glorious wisdom and power, and extremely repulsive to the Muslim book, the Koran, which has no redemption, no deity come as man, no substitutionary atonement to cover His people, no free gift, no salvation by grace through faith, no love that shows God becoming man to enable man freely to find God, and to live forever with Him, based on God's own excruciating judgment, suffered for man, for as many as so receive Him.
Rather than being able to join forces in fighting extremism, Christ is the most extreme, God is the most extreme: it is always extreme for ANYONE to tell the truth AS the truth, with no option for argument, though with vast scope for reason. Collision with Christ is common throughout history, and the history of this world shows it. His principles are voided, His ways are assailed, His purity is to be combined, His words are to be synthesised, the world is to be served and not to serve Him, His love is to be compared with the insignificant by contrast, His call is to be compromised, and He, the incomparable God, is to be made a matter of levels, and the integrity of His will and word bypassed! (See Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 10, SMR pp. 582ff.).
To be sure, God at His pleasure uses imagery, as Hosea points out, in the strength of His love and seeking (Hosea 12:10); but the principles do not change. He employs and deploys preliminary impacts (Hebrews 8-10, Matthew 4:4, II Timothy 3:16), literary marvels, visionary splendours, as the case may require that man might awaken; but the word is always truth. He articulates principles from the first and insists on these to the last.
His will and His way are as infinitely separate from what is not from HIM, not His word, not His living Shepherd, His fellow, His Messiah, as you would expect from the ultimate contrast between the finite and the infinite, the sinless and the sinful, the all-knowing and the meditations of men. HE is the truth; before Him came, He declared, thieves and robbers, and after Him would come false prophets (Matthew 24:24) just as on the other hand, the prophets of God predicted Him (Luke 24:25-26,46-49, Matthew 26:53-54) whose words He expressly and meticulously fulfilled, since they were from Himself (I Peter 1:10ff.) before He came.
As to the false prophets, who did not speak of Him or from God, whose own hearts were their own, whose falsetto spiritual voices merely misled, who were legion, of these the entire HORROR in the divine eyes is expressed in Jeremiah 23. HE did not send them, He expostulates, but they RAN. They spoke in HIS name, without HIS authority.
The truth, God asseverated, is this: When HE speaks, it is the wheat; all else in this field is the chaff. HIS word breaks rock (cf. SMR Appendix D).
EVERY last point of the law and the prophets would be fulfilled, declared Christ, yes to the jot and tittle. That is because GOD having said it, GOD will DO IT. On the other hand, what HE has not spoken, HE will expose and exhibit as false (Isaiah 44:24-26); and between these two things, what God spoken and what God has not, there is an absolute contrast that nothing can merge, manipulate, synthesise or desecrate with impunity.
As to other 'cultures', other gods, gods for example without an only begotten Son, hence irrevocably divergent from the God of the Bible, there is as Paul declares in Ephesians 4, ONE God, ONE faith, ONE Lord. There is no other. Thus does culture put its clammy hands on the shoulders of Christ, and teach Him the way it goes. In the efforts last time, to have the nation served rather than serve this ONE Christ with His ONE only word and way, they crucified Him. They then were, if you will in a parallel, crucified - that is, many were literally so treated by Rome, and the city of Jerusalem was wasted to the point of infamy.
FOLLOW does not mean LEAD; and take up your CROSS does not mean LEVEL the ways. The cross hurts; its is an end, not a way to co-exist with this world, or to find common cause with false religions which have underlying realities entirely different, denying the beginning, or the end, or the way, or the mercy, or the grace or the deity of the Messiah, or the plan of salvation; and always doing it for a REASON.
Thus when Muhammad used force to institute his religion in Mecca, this was no mere accident; and when others in the liberal era, assaulted students and used force to instil their lapsed heresies (cf. II Peter 2:1ff.), this was also no accident. What is not the truth, NEEDS force of one kind or another, if it has ambitions in this world; and moreover, it loves to unite with what is alien, since its insufficiency stands in genuine need!
Many are drawn to this kind of recidivism, without realising where they drift, since the popular and populous culture is so strong; but it is in the end, merely a collision with Christ. That stone however has the propensity to crush to powder. REDEMPTION is the message; the REDEEMER is the agent; the FREE GIFT is the insistence; salvation without works as a condition is the entry; FAITH is the embrace, the OBJECT OF FAITH is Christ (cf. Acts 4:11-12, Galatians 3-5, Romans 3:23-27, Ephesians 2:1-12, Hebrews 11, Romans 5:1,17). It is not some OTHER Christ, or other Gospel or other Spirit, said Paul in II Cor. 11. It is THIS ONE.
Flirting with gods is unwise; worshipping in your own 'way' what is NOT GOD, whatever the false prophets may call it (Deuteronomy 32:21) provoked Him to anger, as He declares. Not knowing the Rock who begat you, He admonishes Israel, led to His spurning Him (32:18-19). Being so unmindful of the only Rock for man that there is, who has spoken and done and distinguished Himself before His people, led them out of Egypt and into the Kingdom, is a spectacle of profound unspirituality; and to Israel He promised as a result, "I will heap disasters upon them."
You see something of these in a world in breach of the everlasting covenant in Matthew 24! and they accumulate and intensify until the climax, the return of this same Christ for His people, when the wheat and the tares are distinguished, according to what they are, His sowing or that of the devil (Matthew 24:8,11,14,24-26,29-31,45ff., 13:29-30,36-43).
The true God does not mix with creation as a component, only as Lord. His contradistinct and prodigious power and glory are as clear now as in the days of Elijah, when the contest was dramatic and final (I Kings 18:20ff.). In fact, it was the same SORT of contest when Christ was made an object of investigation to see if He would break a concept of the Sabbath, rather than to admire His divine power in healing as He would, without any exception, any disease (Mark 3:1ff.). No wonder He is recorded here as having been angry at such unbelief in the actual God, such desire to USE God for reprobation, for containment, neatly, rather than to serve Him with reverence (Psalm 89:7).
He is so pure that ONLY HIS OWN sacrifice could clear man; so powerful that EVEN DEATH could not hold Him (Acts 2:24-28); so personal that impersonation by others who do not recognise Him, is a form of plagiarism which He utterly discountenances (Jeremiah 23:16-17. II Corinthians 4:1-6, 10:1-5, Ephesians 2:20ff.). BE NOT UNEQUALLY YOKED WITH UNBELIEVERS is not only a command, it is a necessity. What, asks Paul, what communion does light have with darkness ? That is the apostolic challenge.
Unbelief in Christ is the criterion (as in I John 4:3ff., 5:9ff.). The truth is ever diverse from the dream; the principles ever stand on other foundations, with other implications and other manifestations, other works and other programs shown in the past, wrought in the present. The word of God is seven times refined, and never contradicts itself; for God does not change, and His mind is in no need of development, far less from the hand of man (Romans 11:33, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 102:25ff.).
Spiritual ambitions need spiritual parameters, principles and these are as singular as God is, as secure as God is, as select as He; and mergers in such cases in spiritual works are disastrous from the first, the cost coming at the last. To a very large extent, both England and USA were at their greatest when their lands had the impact of Christ at the greatest degree, with minimal reliance elsewhere; and this too, it is no accident. FAITH not merely is to rest in God only and to live by His every word in faith reliant on Him (Matthew 4, Psalm 62:1,5), but to give glory to God ALONE, since it is fitting for Him; as likewise it leads to work for Him in the intimacies of His special grace and power.
To attest Him and Him only in faith, having His blessing, exalts Him, so that HIS name is behind HIS actions in response (Psalm 71:16, Jeremiah 17, Psalm 78:35-37, Romans 1:21, Isaiah 48:16-22, Numbers 20:9-12). Thus is He glorified, not in the combination of darkness with light, and floating islands of spirituality in space, with the house on the rock..
Indeed, this emphasis on giving HIM ONLY the glory is instructive, since it was for precisely this reason, in one cardinal lapse, that Moses was excluded from bringing the Israelites into the promised land. There could be no OTHER in the equation of faith. Let us hear it, how he erred:
" 'Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?'
"Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.
"Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.'
Faith in utter purity of faithfulness to God is the need, since He is what He is, and mixture in philosophy or religion merely confuses the truth, abuses the reality, contuses the mind and disparages by implication the glory of the actual God. It makes allies of the enemies of God, and dealings with what the Bible in reality calls the devil (II Corinthians 6:15), the summit of co-operation in spiritual tasks. It is not wise. Faith has its own criteria, and ways.
But what of the converse ? of dilettantism in spiritual affairs ? Following along with false prophets alas becomes as wild as it is woeful, more perilous than any atomic bomb; for that is merely an exposure to force. When however you offend God, it is exposure to truth; and when in addition, you do so in flamboyant contradiction of His own stated principles, you are in danger of toying not with the creation, but with the Creator. It is best to realise this, and to desist at record speed!
*5 See Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Chs. 9, 13, SMR Ch. 3, and Repent or Perish Ch. 7, from which last the following quotation is here provided for convenience.
Progress? Up the 'scale' of life? There is need in all progress for a number of additional features at the verification level.
Each time a cell-membrane 'arises' to make life environment proofed or covered, so that it may exist, or any species of 'improvement' over barren matter, there is not merely an event but an advent. One fallacy in the folly of the mere 'arising' of symbolism-performance-synthesis, contrivance-code-command integration, of worlds of new being with laws of their own, vitality of their own, characteristics of their own, characteristic features of their own, is this: it calls for what is not there to operate, to provide what is. While this is called 'chance', it is merely a tag for absence.
The farce of myriads of originations of codes, contrivances, quality, synthesis, imaginative modellings by the billions, of cohesion, systems, multitudes of inter-systematic syntheses, co-ordinations, co-operations, combinations, creative adaptations, applications and so on, almost for as long as one would care to write - of all these entities DOING IT, BEING, ARISING without an originating agent is obvious; but let it be said.
When a whole canvas displays just such things in its domain, with no signs of forsaken canvases on the way, we know this: an artist is at work - or a program devised in conjunction with one, which in the end, comes to the same requirement.
The reason is simple. When exhaustively the criteria of creation are displayed, it is farcical to act as if this were not the case - being obtuse, obfuscatory and obstructive. Quality called for is quality supplied, and in this domain of the world of creative thought, there is its characteristic expression requiring for the powers displayed, the a priori capacities.
When thousands, nay millions of pictures in a vast gallery 'arise' in concert, and they are moved - the movement 'arises' - to form part of an incredibly brilliant whole, being a kind of artistic mosaic, and then re-assembled to form other wholes, then we see something analogous to monocytes, small cellular aggregations, then trilobytes with their amazingly 'advanced' eyes, near the first, together with subsidiary styles of art, now shown in diversifications, at times indeed in divertimentos, of mutual involvement.
If these pictures were, each one, to live, and even reproduce within 'kind' specifications (found by seeing what happens, and then by investigated how it is done), we would see at work a creative artist in the world of life - a world of multitudes of domains, all synthetically correlated, all nevertheless individual.
The requirement is now architectural as well as artistic, supra-technical as well as creative, supervisory as well as original and originating.
According to the kind, calibre, quality, control, co-ordination, coded programming, diversification-allowances and constraints, allowances and limits, facilities to vary within these, to the breadth and scope of product differentiation and on the other extreme, integration, so is the call, the constraint for designating the cause, the base, basis, agent, artist, architect, mathematician, maestro - the creator.
There is simply no relevance to discussing nothing as the base, when the criteria, characteristics, codes and consequences are of a type exhibiting a sufficiency for these actions. Intelligence is what produces correlated, integrated, systematically conceived and coherently workable consequence, does so characteristically and not merely episodically. Products are results of its exercise. Domains are spheres of its influence. Worlds (that is, arenas of many domains, with laws, styles and conditions uniquely appropriate as a milieu for action and a provision for it) - these are structures of its main, with wisdom, art, brilliance, creativity, originality and qualities so numerous they would merely bemuse the reader: these are the field of its operations - with word power, command power, construction power, co-ordination power, wit and cleverness, it makes these worlds.