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NEEDLES THAT PIERCE THE SKY
NEEDLESS NOTHINGS THAT PENETRATE NOTHING
The Advertiser, Wednesday, August 30, 2000, p. 39
Time for Review of our Times and Timing Errors of Thought
so that it ... does not GO!
Former emblem of the nihilistic nonentity of irrational Communism, Russia's OstankinoTower may have be demolished. Its steel cables, which would attach it to itself and the solid earth through safe connections, are in large proportion, damaged. It is in danger of falling. It may be destroyed. Former television audiences, sustained by its work, listlessly behold ... how great was the fall thereof (Matthew 7:27).
That is a concrete and steel matter.
Its meaning is a rational one. Concrete and steel are rationally built,
even if their philosophic premises, for what they represent (the glory
of Communism, its penetrating power, its knowledgeability, its operational
effectiveness, its capacity to do great things), are irrational and
It is not for nothing that dehumanising dismissal of the very origins of man's greatness, comes to nothing. Communism is dead. The Chinese variety is mere play on words, seized by profit, built on money from abroad, a rough cast seizure of power over the masses when the giant, China was exhausted in war: implemented by passion, kept in the hands of its junta, playing with contrary principles to make the thing work ... for a time. Russia worked for a time. Now it is on loans. It is not a mere matter of loans as a venture; it is loans to keep it going at all.
Needles that penetrate must be sharp. They will not need to topple from mishandling from the regions of the sewer; they will need a sound base and a real understanding, to maintain. It is not merely needless to have needles that are too sharp to penetrate the toughness of reality; it is folly. The language of reality is needed for the penetration of actuality. The force of reason is needed for the realisation of reality. The results of rationality are required for the endurance of the imagined. Imaginary worlds can stir the mind, invigorate the spirit, or depress it in some instances; but they cannot long endure when they must face the actual one, in collision.
THE LANGUAGE THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN,
BUT HOUSES THOUGHT
Even to invent an imaginary world, you need language, the conveyor belt of thought, and its intimate correlate; for what cannot be expressed, is merely latent. In expression, however, it becomes built, assessable, susceptible to communication and implementation. But language ? It is the very stuff of thought. It stirs it, and is stirred by it. We, in God's image, find it so; He indicates that in the beginning (before anything could be, and hence antedating all creation) was God, and His word was with Him, and was God. It is an indissoluble union, not mere unity. It is indivisible...
Language is impossible without reason, rationality, logic. As soon as you divorce logic, you are left without capacity to categorise, differentiate, detail and divide aspects, to correlate and cause to conspire the components, to indicate the cohesion, inform the matrix with light, disperse the conception with comprehensibility. Language without logic is impossible. It is a contradiction in terms. It is a denial of its matrix. It is far more than logic; it is only impossibly, less.
Remove reason and language collapses.
But you say, what of IMAGINARY worlds
created by C.S. Lewis, or manufactured for Lewis Caroll
for Alice in Wonderland ? Surely, you add, these are not logical. You proceed: Why Alice is forever being impressed by the sheer incredible extraordinariness of oddities in her new world. So you present.
True, but let us reply. The LANGUAGE with which she addresses these oddities and peculiarities HAS to be rational or she would fail to communicate to us the reasons why they are odd, peculiar and the manner in which those oddities are sorted out in the construction which she faces. Reason cannot be divorced from language, for if it were, the imaginary would not be constructible.
But what, you pursue, of plusher
pastures of rich folly, in which the essence of the imaginary
world created by thought, is its vexatious intractability. What if one
so makes it that it is an obstacle course and an affront to reason, and
what if indeed, it is CREATED in order to express just such a 'vision'
What then! you may exclaim.
But let us consider this, your presentation.
How carefully, in such a case, would reason have to order words, with what discipline of thought would one have to create the situation, with what differentiation of concepts would one have to labour in language, in order to achieve the vision which is to be implemented (and not some other, perhaps more ordinary one). How one would labour to show what is to be, as distinct from what in such a world, is NOT to be. Concepts must be clear or the sheer affront of the thing would lose sharpness; and, let us be clear, we are in this instance being very sharp in the concept of affront, in order to create for thought purposes, an extreme. That is the very hypothesis being made!
Hence the strain on language and thought, on reason and differentiation of concepts and conditions would be extreme; and the further one goes from actuality by imagination, the more is the demand on language in its coded forms, formats and formulae, to keep up with sheer enterprise and originality, with the counter-mundane conditions, and to express it on the one hand, or achieve it, on the other, through language denotation, demarcation and specification.
But what, you pursue inexorably for the time, if the point of the exercise were to take a leaf from the volume of Dr Goebbels, of Hitleresque fame, and you actually wanted to DECEIVE, to mislead, to tell lies with poker face, to delude and misdirect people for the sake of your own desires; and what, further, if your very desires were the disorder of freakishness, the dream of folly ? What then ? Where now this rationality of language ?
Again we must respond and return to reality, that of language. Thus: In order to deceive, it is necessary to appeal to what is THOUGHT to be reality, for as soon as the delusive picture, the freakish pigment of disturbed art is exposed as mere delusion, it loses appeal. You cannot successfully lie if you convince the victim that you are doing so. To achieve, in court or in politics, this result of deceit, the very picture of verisimilitude has to be forthcoming, while the expectant audience considers whether this is just one more folly of pride, jaunt of exuberance, surge of self-interest, and does not correspond .... yes, with the facts, the ordered, the ordinary, the achievable, the believable, the implementable facts, at all.
The stress on language and its internal logic is then exceedingly great.
You cannot have language without logic, if the desire is to communicate, or operate, to co-operate. IF you do, you are merely lunatic, or making noises; and in those cases, your effectiveness is zero. You can drive a car into a lamp-post if you will; surely: but this is not a case of transport. It is mere abuse of the thing and denies what it is there for, what it can do, and causes this to cease. If you so misuse it, you lose it. There is reason in the destruction: you have to point the thing at the post, and press the accelerator, and avoid the brake and so forth; but when this last gasp action is done, the transport facility does not remain.
You can act to kill language, and then lose it (pathological aphasia following a stroke, can do it for you); but if this is what you are aiming at, then even in the act of death, you have to follow its modes.
So with thought, the source, or co-ordinate of language: abuse its ways, and you lose it. So too with actuality more generally: abuse its ways and it confronts you. But, you say, you DO NOT lose actuality by confronting it. You confront a swamp with vision, and make it Israel. Perhaps, though the point is exaggerated if not entirely amiss; but to CONFRONT the REALITY of the swamp, with its ripples and stench, its rubbish and its decay, all going according to their own orders, all inter-connected by their principial components, all with their interactive mesh of chemistry and bio-chemistry, physics and all the rational realities of each, in the schema for all: to DO this, you have to possess some knowledge about these realities, and relate to them, and to impose by other realities, on these realities, until with reason you proceed to use some powers to transform the operation of others. In all this, in the meantime, these are VERY MUCH proceeding according to their own procedures and patterns. Reason changes the connections; but the sockets are there already.
You cannot use what is not there; and you can ignore it only on the penalty of ineffectuality.
But, you insist, my imagination is not 'there'; it is MINE. I make it. It is the variable you leave out. IF I choose to imagine the most ridiculous of things, surely there is no reason there ? And then, in language, you could put down the most ludicrous of realities, fresh from the oven of the mind, and that would breach your whole concept of rationality as indispensable. What then ?
Your imagination ? Tell me about it. Share it with me.
But no! you insist, it is private.
Do you know what is in it ?
Certainly, why it has this and that
principle and feature, and its ways of proceeding are ludicrous, but this
is how it goes.
So, I for my part insist, your imaginary world, vision, feature, focus, display, is communicable, for you communicate it to yourself. When you are challenged in your own mind, or by mine, to show how it differs from what is not, does not exist, or is different from this, you stir up your thoughts and invent concepts, coherence of the same, the modes of its life. To BE ludicrous, it must AVOID such and such principles, and operate on other ones, all speakable, all distinguishable, all to be so ordered that the nature of the vision is not spoilt, that the character of proceedings does not become DIFFERENT, let alone DIVERSE from your imagination's lust, desire or determination.
Very well. To achieve such a result, there must be careful discrimination of concepts to be implemented from those to be avoided; of operations to be permitted from those to be excluded; of characteristics to be maintained (in order to be ludicrous) from those to be disallowed. All this must be assessable and hence expressible in such ways that the inter-relations are extant, available and maintained; originated and activated, not void of cohesion in their new life-style, lest it be some other life-style. REASON and LANGUAGE are minimal features, whether the language be what others understand or not, whether it be expressible in substitute, visual terms or not. It must be susceptible to some sort of symbolic presentation or it cannot be thought; and as soon as it is, there is language. But to maintain it, the order and differentiation of concepts and conditions must be RIGOROUSLY dynamised, with due care and organisation. The MORE ridiculous is your desire, the MORE demand is made on the conditions.
When, then, you avoid reason, you do not avoid reality. When you REFUSE to express your thought, you do not make it happen. Reality, like logic, is not subject to change. Expressions of it certainly are; provisions for it from the final, ultimate and source of reality may be; and any current reality may be removed and replaced from that source, to be sure; but while it is, it is what it is. The one with which we are as a race currently equipped runs in its appointed path. It has its appointed prowess. Certainly, the powers it provides may be used. Visions may certainly be implemented, up to the point of the powers you have, in your own domain accorded, your own reality: these are the powers you do not personally have but may exercise by knowledge. Yet neither the vision itself, whatever its form or style, nor the implementation can occur without the reality of what you are, in order to have vision, of what vision is in order that you may have it, and what the powers of man, of yourself, and of the other realities in fact are, and the relationships extant, the buttons available, the resources that can be signalled, signified and assigned.
But what are they ? They are as you see. They are as in Alexander the Great's case, marvellous and disciplined and exercised with profound thought, in part derived from his tutor, Aristotle; and they proceed to be implemented, until the Parthians cause him a bit of trouble and his immense passion is met by immense power, so that he is to marry the daughter of one of these distant races, with eventual sadness to end that operation... and sadness to end his other operations, as his troops eventually weary of his ambitious zeal, and his body of his relentless pursuits. He dies young, around 33, at a feast, debilitated from wounds imposed on his active systems and potentials.
What then ? One of the greatest CONQUERORS of all time, as far as power over people on this earth is concerned ? Yes, perhaps, but he could not conquer himself, or change reality. He merely made changes by using some of it in other parts of it, according to the powers of vision with which our race is equipped, and in the end, his mis-estimates cost him his life. He then stopped doing it. There was life, there was knowledge, there were extended opportunities, extended use made of them, and then, the limits being applied, he ceased operations.
That is sad. It is understandable.
Many do not understand until the result is understandable; and grievous.
You find the maker of sky, of needle capacities, and of the power to do the needless, to be heedless, which is simply the obverse of the power to do the needful, to have realistic vision, lasting enterprise and to avoid collision, confrontation and collapse in the face of what is. It is Creator or nothing; it is dehumanising dismissal of the language and thought of man (BY the language and thought of man, in a self-contradictory surge of existential lunacy), or the pursuit with the same, of reality to its source. It is procedure from the NON self-sufficient to the SELF-SUFFICIENT; of the derived, to its derivation;
of the derivation to the deity, who, unlike ourselves, is not dismissible with delusion, but the sole sufficient source of what does not, because it cannot, make itself, but yet is made.
WE are not eternal in capacities.
We begin. Our temporal is the result of His eternity. NO GOD can be a mere
series, for if it were, the true God invents the series. NO GOD can be
a derivative, for the derivation is from the true God. In the end, beginnings
require basis, and the basis has to be THERE. Eternity is the price you
pay for being temporal. It is not yours. It is His.
COMING AND GOING
You need to go where it is, to be real. If you do not, you are the car with the lamp-post, the needless needle in the sky, the aspiration without inspiration. Meta-religion is the religion where it is, where the specifier of specifications, the moulder of materials, the maker of matter, the inventor of human mind in its derivative correlative capacities with the other elements of the system of the universe, and the realities of God back of it, is to be found. It is the religion which is therefore testable, as the Bible is; it is the religion which moves from realities made, to the maker of the made things. It moves from the attestation of His word in our bodies, in our minds, in our spirits, in our one and only attested Book, the Bible. It sees the connection in competence, the undismissible design, the entirety of capacity in one place only.
It then comes to Him according to His word. It gains perspective. It looks at purposes.
It next moves from Him, to the made things and sees them as He made them. His principles are to be found, as well as the modalities of the things He made. HE is to be found, as well as His creation. Perspective does not reside in yourself, or your race. It resides in your Maker. It requires humility to learn (which is not something prodigious or astounding, but a form of admission of the actual case).
PRIDE in a moment can delete a needle in the sky. POWER is found only in God; for only in the Creator is the reality of human life, as well as material and biological life, of spirit as well as flesh, to be discovered. Ignore it and you are merely aspiring in spires; find Him, and you are respiring with reality. This too is testable, for the principles are written, and the results accrue, not only in predictive prophecy fulfilled, not only in principles articulated and then verified in history; but in your own life. The promises of God are personal as well as principial. They have personal results.
Thus, your own cause of being (why
you are, and hence what you are, and hence your meaning, and hence you
responsibility), this is found; and your own logic is based now in immovable
resources, verified and validated. Moreover, your own necessities of thought
are sited in their creative capacities, in the Creator not only of the
world of things, but of thought, and of spirit and of their inter-relationships,
and you then find WHAT THESE ARE.
THE ABSURDITY OF IGNORING
Come to think of it, how absurd to ignore the very things that you are and are using, in thought and logic and imagination and aspiration and inspiration, when seeking to understand. Leaving yourself out , AS TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR, is not a profound inspiration, but a delusive desperation. The fixity of law and the flightiness of imagination alike need basis and source. They are not at all alike. They proceed on diverse and even divergent principles. They proceed together. Their basis as one intricately inter-related but non-self-sufficient whole, is what is sufficient for one, for all, and for all the inter-connections. Thus is explained their derivative character: they are derived. Thus is seen their inter-relative nature: they have been inter-related from source, by design, and so are distributed in integral features, amid diversities of operation.
The material part ? this is a mere theory of the mind; the mind is a mere adjutant for the spirit. The spirit in its surveying and imagination, its desires and its choices, its rebellions and its conformities, its love and its hate: this is also based in what is adequate.
What IS adequate ? Certainly not something merely made, which wears out, and which does not make itself, but simply and observably operates as made. If it cannot make itself, then what can make it is not itself, not material at all. It is the same in architects: their thoughts precede their far more limited, and actualised, specialised creations.
With perspiration of brow, they go from one building made to the next, their creative powers meanwhile, far transcending any one building; for of necessity, if they did not, then no one building could come. The power to create is of its own nature, and diverse from the actuality of any creation. The platform precedes the construction; the mental platform the conception; the spirit, the capacity to conceive and imagine. The building is simply a product of sufficiency. The sufficiency is first spiritual, then mental, then executive. Such is the nature of that componential whole: architect of spirit and mind, plan informed with both, purpose overseeing the whole, and the material part as the simple means for it all.
Architects, however pleased with their buildings, should not forget themselves. At invoice time, they rarely do. It is wise not to forget who built you, when you are the house. There CAN be a bill, when it is defiled. There IS a bill, since all is defiled. It HAS to be paid. It is a question of resources. When the COST of defilement of life, IS LIFE; then you need the life of another. That is what the architect of man has provided. Of this, more anon.
God's creativity, then, in giving us a derivative and limited creativity, is not limited by any one creation. These are expressions of it; not conditions for it.
If the Creator's own creativity were the dual source of any such limit, and of His involvement in the systematics of such a system, then the ground, the reason for this situation would causatively need to be sought. God Himself is of necessity, unlimited. If He were not, the capacity of creation would be lost, and it would not be able to happen. Why ? It is for this reason: as limited He would not be God, so that the necessity, requisitioned by logic for an always present and sufficient source for the made, would be annulled. Not being, it could not produce. Not producing, it would leave us out. But we are not left out. We are very much left in. Here we are!
What IS LIMITED, has a reason for it. The reason contains it; and it results in this confinement. To induce the confinement, you need the cause of such limitation, and the cause has to be adequate to do this thing. To limit the creator, you need the basis and conditions for his creation and creativity. To secure this, you have to be able to induce his system and put it in its place in the order of things, so that it can operate in this limited way. You ? Well, the power in question, the mind to the point, the operator who imposed the limit. To do that, there is thus the requirement of the causative controller of the creator; and this is merely a two-step dance. It is a way very simply of showing that you come in the end to the one who has no limits, for a series is ITSELF a limit, and requires it own limiting constructor. In the end, there is God. Other limited beings are merely creations. he is not limited. Let us talk about the One who is, who meets the specifications, not about this or that real or imaginary creation.
In the beginning there was God; for without that, there is no cause for Him to arrive. He then does not; and then neither does this world, nor do you. But you did, and so did it. He was there. In the beginning, He was there. When this universe was constructed, He was there. This is one house. He made it. He was there. Time as we know it, a patience-inducing requirement for process, this is created. If it were not, then it would limit Him; but then as before, we proceed again to the One who really IS God.
Hence to save time, we note that time is a creation. HE can have any time dimension or frame He wishes, and can overview all times, without time, if He prefers. Time is a limit. Neither its presence nor its absence impacts upon Him who made it. It is a component of this novel. For events to transpire in the sort of patience and procedure with which we are familiar, time is a mode. For overview of all possible times, there is no need of time for the creator of time, since His patience is not a condition. He does not live with conditions; but He makes them. Novelists, in their imaginary productiveness, their creations, their historical or contemporary or imaginative releases from the press of lively and active understanding, are by nature never controlled by any one time frame, and may invent many.
God who made novelists and architects,
is not limited by the time frames of novelists and architects, or the thought
limits which enable them to do what they do, and prevent their doing things
which only He can do, who is not so specialised and limited. The architect
transcends ALL his buildings. HE is their condition. Without him, no buildings.
How vain of a building to demand that the architect be like itself; it
is mere derivative from his greatness. He can have quite other thoughts
tomorrow, and change the whole style, remove functionality and love the
baroque; he can in short change the principles (but not ostracise the logic
of cohesion) which he seeks, and implement a different vision with different
premises, but still logic is shrouding and implementing his thought. His
aims differ; His means are the same. Not for nothing is the Hebrew word
for word, the one which also conveys cause and reason. It is mutual.
POWER - PERFORMANCE OR SOURCE ?
These are merely illustrations of the difference between performance from a given source of power and cohesion, thought and operational capacity: and the source itself. The source Himself of life and logic, imagination and law, limits and soaring spirits (as well, pathology being in action, of sick ones, who contravene health principles), is adequate for all, limited to none.
As shown in SMR Ch. 3, chaos is not even a thinkable term, unless it has its own required modes of operation, which are merely a jumble of mutually antagonistic laws; for as soon as you lose characterisability, you cannot even frame the concept of chaos; and as long as characterisability is in place, you have logic and language. It is merely an Alice in Wonderland situation, which is the more, and not the less demanding. Where it contradicts in principle the logic required both to think it and to state it, it is merely the car in the lamp post again. It is denying what it uses to exhibit itself and to be thought, and hence is not an operable concept.
So much of the folly of human thought without God is founded on that. It denies what it is to be a thinker, to be a speaker, a formulator; it dehumanises itself in order to construct a vision, parade as a philosopher, and yes in the end, pretends to be or to have invented, a spire in the affronted sky, a god which is the source and basis of all things, ex-power, by sheer fantasy, and then calls it what he will - natural selection, organic evolution, people power, universal thought, nature or whatever other non sublime fatuity which is functionally irrelevant...
When therefore that is not in fact adequate for what is the result, ourselves and the universe, then the construction is an imagination that is not vested with reality. In Biblical terms, it is a god which is not there, an idol which is not God (Deuteronomy 32:17 , Galatians 4:8). It is a nothing. That is the irony. So many start from nothing, nothing sufficient, mere nothings, and call them fancy names. But the ONLY nothing in view, is this: that as far as the position accorded the false god is concerned, it is not there. NOTHING they say, and nothing it is, to the point. It comes to nothing for the very simple and very good reason that there is nothing to it.
It is thus a delusion; and its results
are delusion. That is the history of philosophy without God; and when you
have God, you see the beginning and the end of all philosophy. As shown
in SMR Ch. 5, at once you find the solution
and resolution of all chronic philosophical problems; and you can even
see WHY they o their own terms, they are irresolvable: it is because they
use what they abuse, and assume what they deny, and construct therefore,
what if it were a building, would not stand. It falls. It is a needle in
the sky. It is built in pride, in order to demonstrate your freedom
from reality, or your capacity to invent reality, to communicate unreality,
or to make it happen; but it falls in ruin as an exhibition of the fact
that if you use what you abuse, you lose what you create. Self-contradiction
spells destruction. If you contradict yourself, you need not worry about
reality; you yourself are forfeit as a commencement exercise, a write-off,
a wreck. So it goes; so it has gone for long enough; and there is little
time left in the created words of God, given to man (as in Answers
to Questions Ch. 5).
THE DEADLY DE-S
Want to be a needle in the sky ?
Better be a building on a rock, when the rock is reality and the reality
is known, and the knowledge does not omit yourself, but moves inexorably
to the source, to the spirit which made matter, and for that matter, to
the mind which made mind, and to the power which prefaced your construction
with words, and requirements and reality. Better prepare to meet your God
now than latter. Needles are readily broken. Reality does not move. Temporary
reality, in creation, is conformed to code and law, to planes and plateau
of being; the eternally real God is unalterable, always what He would be,
neither limited in glory nor in plan.
The curse on the lie (announced for our Age in its force, in II Thessalonians 2:11, and expounded further in II Peter 3:4-5), on which we have expatiated above: this is not God. It is a penalty. Just as the cane is not the Headmaster, so the penalty is not the Person.
Indeed, the penalties on profusion of rebellion are not God.
The curse on creation is not God.
The history of folly is not God.
The temporary powers that be, in their temporary philosophies which do not account for reality, these too are not God.
The nations which use them, they are not God.
YOU also, and your body or organisation or group, you are not God.
GOD is Himself the One. He has spoken into the tissue of lies, of the lie, which denies Him, which presupposes that nothing is our source, in frank contradiction of logic; or that what is inadequate for the results is our source. That law came without the means, that freedom came without the source, is mere rebellion of thought, and as to that as we have seen, it is unspeakable. Assume it, and language is no more available. That is the systematic consequence. You see it formulated in Hinduism, applicable in Buddhism: the 'roaring silence' of concept of Eastern religion is not entirely inept to this sort of denuded or evaded 'divinity'. It MUST speak, for there has to be some religion to satisfy DESIRE. It CANNOT speak, for it is not there. IF this sort of god who is not there, were, though impossible, to try to speak, it could not capture the categories of thought, for it is to be beyond all. Thus it roars, in silence. It is an oxymoron of course; but alas the sharp part is not the dominant one!
In such philosophic predicaments, man uses what he abuses in order even to state it. The laws of life like the law of matter are quite clear and distinct. We need to learn more in those areas of research concerning our world, of which God has not spoken in detail; for this is our work: but we cannot learn less. What it is, must be pursued, and the pursuit cannot without violation of logic, avoid God.
Then, when we look at the speech of the Almighty, by which He distinguishes His way from what in all these things contradicts it, rather than destroying the race for its impudence and its pride, its buildings of thought based on the sand of self-contradiction, in which He vindicates His reality as truth, the source of justice in the inter-relationships of what He has made: then we find verification unlimited, vindication unassailable, validation of His powers, asseveration of His requirements.
They are not harsh; but they are holy, and they involve holiness; and there is no other remedy but that which leads to this. God is holy; and those who love Him are not on a leash like a bad dog. They follow Him.
What ignores Him and His word is not only without validity, speaking without basis on anything as if a measure could be found from the unmeasured, and ignoring what is the very condition of its own discourse; it is without meaning, and even to proclaim the meaningless is without warrant, for where truth is not known, it is useless to announce it, like some cheap political party interested only in votes. Truth has a way of its own. The word of God however confirms in super-abundance as we frequently have seen (e.g. SMR Ch. 5, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, SMR Chs. 8 - 9, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9, That Magnificent Rock Chs. 1, 8), what reason requires: that it be indeed His.
Reason sings; truth exults; verification surges; explanation towers, and this is one tower which is never lowered! In this, it is unique. And that ? It is PRECISELY what you MUST expect, from God. This too is verification of the validation. It goes on without ceasing, stretching like distant hills, as far as you wish to go. To the truth of the Eternal God there is no end, no limit.
It is this STYLE of verification
which is a separate validation. Coherence, consistency, persistence, insistence,
these are the ineffable criteria of truth. When these alone exist in one
place, it is the distinctive ensign of its presence.
THE DELIGHTFUL 'DESIRE OF THE NATIONS' (Haggai 2:7)
When we look at the Lord Jesus Christ, that vehicle of majesty, that expression of the sublime, that forecast expression definitively of God Himself (cf. SMR Ch.6, Repent or Perish Ch. 2, Barbs, Arrows and Balms Appendix IV), the living and changeless word of living and true God, and in this Christ, gaze at HIS testability, at HIS exhibition of power and control over life and death: it is then that we see it in action, as well as in word. When we look at HIS own words, spoken on earth, the very stuff of reality, and see all things conform to them, despite the many needles in the sky which He so clearly predicted (metaphorically), the many false christs, false thoughts, abuses of logic, collisions with reality, abuses of His creation: then we see the strategy as well as the sequence.
This world is a test, and if you insist on needles in the sky, that is quite needless; but the condemnation for such things is very needful. And, if this is where you are, in what you are engaged, in whatever form, format or formulae, in the pursuits of your own heart and mind, though you did not even make them: then that condemnation is yours also. It is however not to that point fatal. It is only when the very light of Christ is rejected in favour of such trivia, that there is then no hope. THIS is after all what the Bible says, following Christ's annunciation, and arrival in this world:
"THIS is the condemnation that light has come into the world, and men have loved darkness rather than light" (John 3:19)."IF I HAD NOT COME" among them and done the works (spoken the words) "that no other man did, they would not have had sin" (relative to final judgment); He indicated. "But now there is no cloak for their sin" -( from John 15:22-23). That was the message then; it is still the message now. The Lord does not change.
"And great was its fall ..." (Matthew 7:27). This is the end of what is not based on the basis provided. The higher it goes, the lower it lies, descending with even more pressure from higher aspirations on lower realms of understanding. ONLY the word of God is trustworthy; that is, you see, because it is the word of God. There is no competition. That is what reason finds; it is what reason expects; and it is God who has given us reason the facility, and reason to go with it, the attestation through it.
There IS a rock. GOD (Psalm 62) is it. What is NOT GOD is NOT it. If you know the difference between infinity and limitation, between eternity and commencement, between omnipotence and puniness, then you should have no difficulty in finding out where He is. He is not in the den of politicians, in the halls of commerce, in the anaemic outcries of academia, or the rambunctious choruses of their production managers. He is in heaven and man is on earth. He is Spirit and we are in flesh. But He has come and made it simple.
He ONLY, is it. As the word in flesh, He only did it. In the trinity there is co-operation, but the Saviour is the One who paid it. The rock ?
It is not Rome or its sinners, appointees of one kind or another. It is not Moscow. It is not Peking, awash with foreign loans and buildings, shaping its own (metaphorical) needles for its own (historical) time to come, but piercing its own hand. It is not nihilism, for from nothing, by very definition, nothing CAN come; and if it did, then it would merely show that the source imagined COULD not have been nothing, but SOMETHING not only with potential, but with adequate potential and reality to ensure that what became actual was what it is. Oh it is nothing! says the modest fellow. But we all know that in reality it was something which he performed. If someone else really did it, then that was the basis of the congratulated deed; and the modesty is not what appears, but a disclaimer matched by reality.
But somehow, the deed, it has to be done; and admiration is the testimony of reality, concerning WHAT IT TAKES. Take away what it takes, and it does not come. That is the nature of the personally signatured reality of concept and imagination, construction and code (in language or mathematics or other disciplines as well) which comes from human invention. It takes that to have it. Whoever does it, whoever pays, whoever is a team, this is what it takes.
It is very much more so of that which comes, beyond all human power, to make humans, and matter. As to the product, beyond its situation is its source. Beyond its powers is the power to make it come. This is the power of God, adequate, actual and eternal. Abuse of His provisions is not an option, without the reality of His other provisions. That way is death, which is very popular in the world, and indeed, partly by sin in the mass, partly by sin in particular, it is now estimated by the US Bureau of Statistics, one reads in New Life this month, that some 71 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, by 2010, will not be in this world, because of AIDS, though without it it would be construed that they would be here. They will die, wiped out, like a large nation. But this, it is one thing. There are many more.
God is patient; but not in vain.
He acts slowly at times; but not without impressive finality. Jerusalem
was often warned; and betimes, destroyed when the prophets had long protested
and exhorted and exhibited the truth of their words in many preliminaries.
Africa with many others can ache its way to ruin; the superior powers may
use atomic weapons to achieve much the same. It is interesting sin, for
it never knows when to stop. It can only be stopped by the One from whom
man came. If one is rich, pride awaits; if one is humble, superiority beckons;
if one is capable, attainments caress. Sin is never far away. Salvation
is very near. It is time to close. The opportunity is not like hunger,
only growing. It has a terminus, like death (cf. Matthew 25:1-10).
LIES OR THE SOURCE OF TRUTH -
A DIVINE INTOLERANCE
THAT BEGETS A NEW BEGINNING
One of sin's specialities is to derogate, to obtrude and obfuscate, to degrade or ignore the Maker.
God, however, is not mocked. He has spoken. It is man, not God who must answer.
To attribute toleration of lies to the source of truth is to attribute falsity to actuality, a mere self-contradiction. To imagine no remedy is to imagine no existence, for God has no constraints, and what has, this is not God; and what decides to WAIT in order to get what it wants is not God, for waiting in such a case, waiting that is, where contradiction of principle is involved, is mere impotence. God has never stood for sin in the cockpit of life, for injustice without remedy, fraud and lies, about us, about Him, without truth. He has never stood for iniquity without equity, to be provided in Christ (cf. Revelation 13:8, 14:3 cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17).
From the first sin, the gospel has come; to the last till He comes in judgment, to confront the affront directly with power, as before to meet the need with the bruising of body for the dismissal of guilt, the just for the unjust: the gospel remains. It has the season of prediction; that of fulfilment; that of application; that of being the source of judgment. The reason for finality is the dismissal of the remedy. THAT, Christ indicated as we have just seen, is the reason inseparably annexed to judgment. Love provides.
Mercy seeks. Goodness desires. But in the end, when every provision is alien, excluded and outcast, then so is the sinner with his sin. You, said Christ of those not receiving Him, "shall die in your sin" - John 8:24. It is difficult to imagine anything worse. So much is said on the penalty which is a horrible contempt that does not die; but what of the CONDITION! To deserve the penalty, not for something for which extenuation might arise, but because cancellation was rejected in wilfulness and pride, this is worse than any punishment, and doubtless would lie somewhere near the peak of the penalty itself!
Guilt lasts if not covered. The earth of course will not do so. It is temporal and temporary and sullied. The aspirations of man are nothing compared with the aspirations of God. He has invented a system of time for us to show patience and in patience to be built; but from the first, the point of the exercise is clear. To know and obey Him, to love and follow Him, to be His creation in His image in fellowship with Him: this has been the way. To defile and default, to defalcate and agitate, since Eden, since Babel (and in its setting, the Ostankino Tower is a new one, with the same result, which symbolises the whole history of rebellion against the maker of man who makes towers): this has been the way. The remedy is always at hand (see Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17). The ruin is always at hand (see 30 op.cit.).
The end of the matter is the end of the proclamation of the gospel and the coming of the terminal epoch. We have had what Christ has termed, the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:24:7). They are going like clock-work according to His statements (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5). What remains is arriving.
Avoid thought ? by all means. That
is part of the magnificence of your construction as an embodied spirit,
that you CAN. Evacuate language of its logic, by saying so ? Well no, but
you can imagine you do, and again, you delude yourself as you do it, using
its reality to deny it. Avoid God ? By all means, but like logic, He is
there ... Avoid truth ? Of course, it is à la mode, chic
is it not ? But He is still there. To Israel God said one thing, and the
message to our Gentile Age is very similar. Let us hear it:
Confrontation with the Maker of reality is so unnecessary. He IS love. He has shown it. He DOES discipline, He has shown it. "Behold," says Paul, "the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness..."
That is the message to the Gentiles. It is of course a message to the whole group of nations CALLED the Gentiles. The Jewish NATION had received its come-uppance for renegade infelicity of mode, rebellion of heart and outrage of performance, inveterate and continued (cf. Isaiah 30:8ff.). The GENTILES were not for that reason to be regarded as sacrosanct. THEY were indeed grafted into the tree of faith, one by one (cf. Isaiah 65:13-15); but over time, the peoples who departed and lied and contrived and distorted and aborted, the churches which over time did this, they too, Gentiles or not, would receive the same cutting out as for a time, the Jews did (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 13) !
It is not, then, an individual matter at all, here. There is certainly discipline for the Christian individual, but not severance. That is not the topic at this point. The principles can be applied, but only as appropriate. Those who are Christ's in fact, like good trees, abide in Him, with whatever reminders and exhortations, corrections and censures. Here, however in Romans 11, it is specifically the nations that are in view, and the history of those nations is the scope of the concept, the Gentiles till the END (Romans 11:25-26, 31-33), just as it was the Jews till the CRUCIFIXION.
As to the Christian individual, however, let us look. You WILL BE KEPT in Him, if you come (John 10:9,27-28). There is divine undertaking (Romans 5:1-11, Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:29ff.). Nevertheless, what is fundamentally alien, is neither His nor acceptable (II Timothy 2:19). The visa however is available. But man, he often prefers to the end, to be alien. When regenerated, there is naturally, indeed supernaturally, a consequence (I John 3:9), which while not automated by any means, is as in all character, divorced from what is contrary. It is IN CHRIST, and not in one's own thoughts, that one stands, is made to stand (Jude 23) and will continue (I John 5:13).
Outside the life of Christ, when such disciplines are available within as indicate the holiness of God (cf. I Peter 4:17), it is a very different thing. Indeed, if even IN the people of God, discipline can be intense, OUTSIDE the results scarcely bear thought, as Peter implies. It is the dignity of man which is the measure of his loss; the marvel which indicates the measure of the debasement, when this is not remedied.
There is a very pearl and marvel
in man, of power to invent; and God has made it. But you cannot make it
with God by seeking to overthrow Him, whether in your mind, in your philosophy,
in your thought, in your life, in your nation, in your church or in your
heart. He is still there. Why not meet Him on good and favourable terms,
in the Gospel of truth, the testimony of grace (Romans 5:15, Ephesians
2:8), which is no lie but exposes all lies, and is the sole remedy available
to man, and costly enough at that!... "for
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Him"
( II Corinthians 5:21).
NEEDLESS NEEDLES AND NECESSARY GOSPEL FROM GOD
But this must be realised. It is useless to make needless needles to demonstrate your need of nothing. Nothing will not help you. You do not need it. You need the One who made the power to be rebellious, in order that it might show its identity in the resolution to be loving instead. Not needles but nails were His love testimony; nails which were steadfast and real, like justice, like judgment, which related to blood, to life; and which related to death, and to discipline and to reality; and which led to life, in the overthrow of that great dethroning reminder of the madness of illusion, death. God overthrows death as He made life (Hosea 13:14, Acts 3:24). He has done it Himself.
To ignore Him, in nailing your colours to the mast, is merely to make it your own gibbet. Is it not like a Gibbons gibbet ? The Decline and Fall of Me, it could be titled. But what of failing to follow the testimony which cannot go, of reason, to the God who makes it all go, and without whom it would never have gone, nor had any source for its laws, any cause for its order, or any power for its design; without whom neither matter with its order, mind with its ordering or spirit with its liberties, let only the mixture, distinct and distinguishable, without confusion, and all in profusion, could be ? What of this!
You WANT it that way ? What a testimony to the stability of your creation, that it still lets you divorce from reality with such effect, but alas, also with such effects.
You do NOT want it that way ? Needless needles of self-affirmation are not to your taste ? Then you have a way out. Also , it is a way in, and a way on. It is HIS way; and why not ? HE invented you, and the way for you as well. That is not surprising; cars come with roads, not by accident, but by incident, and the incidence of roads, a very simple matter by comparison, is of course the provision for the designation, car. For aeroplanes, air is needed. For man, truth is needed. That is the way. Fortunately for us, God is personal, and this personal Being, most aptly is loving. Is that so strange ? Love is written into all parenthood of man; and into all effectiveness of co-operation, into all the texture of friendship and into all the grandeur of history. NOT into all history !Alas no. But into the wonder and beauty of it, it is seen now in this dell, now this arbour, in this cove, on that cape. Where it is found, it sings like a chorus of 1000 birds, warbling magpies, lilting skylarks, ingenious lyre-birds.
Love by its nature, it implies the underlying ability to hate. Spawn of liberty, they are twins, but very disparate. Hate is the name of the game when God is conceived as the residue of a universe that could go and come without Him, instead of being appreciated as the sovereign of love, the loving sovereign, the lord of life, by whom alone, life can be prolonged - yes into the eternity that is His, and which by His own will, He has made available to share.
Cost ? Of course, you do not use roads without cost. You have to watch the rules, for the nature of roads is that liberty results from discipline, first, logically and with sufficient cause, to make them, and then to avoid the accidents which come from disorderly purposes, thrust in where they do not belong.
The road of life for man, the eternal
life of God, is Christ. HE IS the way. He IS the truth. HIS is the life.
It is not modules, but capacities; it is not mere law, but imagination;
it is not organisation merely, but meaning; it is not mere performance,
but vision. It is a source of light, of knowledge and understanding, and
its source is the basis of all these things. Truth is its dressing; power
is its beginning, judgment is its companion. In truth, He has spoken, as
is His nature who makes all things as He will. Moreover, as to Him, He
has nothing but giving to perform to our rebellious race, since all is
His; in sincerity, therefore, we must repent to the truth; and in truth
we must put on the truth; and in truth we must be His.
Or else, it is not nothing. It is never nothing. It is what is sufficient to produce in the beginning, and what is sufficient to reduce in the end. Truth rules; lies are desecration; lies of heart blaspheme; blasphemy is the outcry of divorce - from God.
Needles or nails ? You can reject both; but you will be with one or the other; with proud rebellion of spirit or with humble provision for need. With the Saviour or with your self or its choices, you go. It is madness or the manger. It is netherlands of invention without reality, or it is uplands of beauty with holiness. There is really nothing in between. That is where nothing fits. Nowhere. Hence it is not nowhere, but somewhere that you go. Find well your place. Remember that reality is not a provision for proud minds to opt at will; that there is a beginning and an end to the roving options of the human spirit. Its liberties do not last forever, but in the active clutch of confusion, disillusion and delusion it can go, so that although YOU are still a recognisable physical entity, your soul is seared and your mind a captive. Further, God has foreknown all things, has indeed written the whole book. He has borne all things in mind. If you depart from Him, it is no accident. HE sees to that, for in love, He would have all come to repentance and to the knowledge of the truth. SO He says, and so it is (I Timothy 2:1-3).
And then ?
"IF," said Christ,
"the SON shall make you free, you will really be free!"
That the creation called man should end up an accursed, accused relic seems undesirable if you will suffer British understatement for a little! God thought so in providing His only begotten Son, available for your deliverance (John 3:16). That such wonderlands of spiritual capacity, mankind in his billions, denying their necessary source, should snip themselves from it, needling the heavens and neglecting the earth, is a profundity of sadness. Grief ? You do not like it, are not in love with it ? Then avoid it, and its causes. "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem," said Christ (Matthew 23), "you who kill the prophets ...how OFTEN I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chickens, under her wings, and you were not willing? Behold, your house is left to you desolate."
So it was. Jerusalem WAS left desolate,
and indeed very degraded and lost. So it was for 19 centuries. Better that
than for ever. Moscow used needles; Jerusalem used nails. The nails were
effective by plan to secure what needles cannot. Neither the needles nor
the nails however were justly composed in terms of reality. Irrational
in conception, they are expensive in outlay. There is only one answer.
Repent and find release from the sin which obscures, the error which confuses,
the spiritual disorders which delude and dwell with your God. He made you.
He is responsible for that. YOU deface you, as surely as you are not His;
and for that you ARE responsible. YOU are then the rebel who destroys your
own tower. But then, if love is gone, it is better so. No high thing
will insult God for ever. If it did, then love would be powerless; but
God is not impotent.
DEATH IS MERELY THE KNELL OF ILLUSION
It is to you, to all of us, that this applies, in the end. Many of us are His. We rejoice in the truth more than in millions of gold and silver. But with many it is still not so. What then remains ?
Death is merely the knell of illusion. It is life which must be sought, where it may be found (Isaiah 55); and eternal life is found just where the Eternal God is to be found, where He has placed the nails. He is found where OUR failures, blemishes, rebellions, self-centredness, system-centredness that knows no God, are to be found, borne in penalty by the only One great enough to bridge the gap, the double gap between man and God on the one hand, man's sin and God's justice on the other. But this is for those who have come, and reposed their sins on His head. Otherwise, it is merely an operation seen as through a glass, and not relevant.
The WORD of God is very reasonable;
but He does not abort. He implements, in salvation as in creation.
As He performed the one at the very first, so He performs the other to the last, and the last is drawing close, like the sun when the sky colours. It is God who does it (John 6:29, Ephesians 2:8-10).
As to that, it is WHY you must be
born again, not of philosophy, not of vague religion based on will, but
of repentance and faith, into faith that works by love, into and through
the word of God, to be written on your heart, the DNA which was beyond
all DNA's, the option refusable. But God knows who are His
(II Timothy 2:19) ! Are YOU one of these ? There are hypocrites ? yes of course, Judas was one twelfth of the affair at the first. But are YOU one ? If you are not yet His, will YOU delude yourself any longer ? Cast yourself upon His mercy and receive His Son as your life (I John 5:12-13), His word as your guide (I Peter 1:23), His command as your joy (John 16:22). It is better to be commanded by the God of love who INVENTED that magnificent and glowing beauty called freedom, and knows its meaning, than to be commanded by the resources of a creation, in whatever combination or false pattern, which neither knows nor understands.
But is the case different with you ?
Then you ARE His ? Then build on
the rock, and never depart from it, the words of Christ being like rock,
and foundation of life; and He Himself the basis of all. THAT is what He
requires. Never be found where it is different for the sake of friends
or foolishness. He is the One; follow Him; His word is His, follow it;
and His word licences ALL the rest, so follow it all! (Matthew 5:17-19,
And all of it ? Assuredly, for to omit even one 'not' in traffic, could mean death. In His life, it means discipline, and who needs that, as an extra to be sought! It is the reality of sin, the necessity of repentance, the provision of sacrifice that is SUFFICIENT, that prevails; and just as God suffices for the creation, so this action of His does the same, to cover the DESECRATIONS of sin.
It is not needles you need, whether
of drugs of the body or of the mind or spirit; but knowledge: and first
and condition of all other knowledge, if it is to be truth, is God Himself.
To know God and Jesus Christ, this is eternal life (John 17:1-3). What
else ? Without knowing God, though formed as man, you fall as worse
than the animals; for that is their portion; but then, as to you, if you
stay without, then you deny your own portion and are accountable as desecrator.
THE ONLY NECESSARY DESECRATION
BY NO CHANCE TO BE AVOIDED OR IGNORED
The ONLY DESECRATION which is REALLY
NECESSARY is that of Christ on the Cross
(I Corinthians 2:2-11, John 8:24); and that is past. What is future is founded on that. There is nothing else left. But it is adequate. Everything is adequate; it always was and always will be. God is adequate for law and liberty; His Son is adequate for redemption and return; His life is adequate for eternity; and His love is adequate for man.
There is, in this imaginary picture, one problem. IF he really WERE adequate to overcome the chosen initial inadequacy, then he would ACTUALLY NOT be, and could not have been inadequate at all, for how can that which lacks what is necessary for a given result, achieve it ? He would merely have been deprived, but equipped with what was necessary to overcome that, and so in the resultant, perfectly sufficient. THAT therefore would be merely a case of mis-definition.
SO it is with the follies of fraudulent
philosophy. If nothing really were adequate to produce something, then
it never actually WAS nothing, but a verbal illusion and deceit. If something
inadequate in any way, were the source of what requires an adequacy, then
that something never really WAS the beginning.
To get the end, you need without fail, the beginning, and it MUST be adequate. "Chance" is a name which excludes germane purpose, which indicates a system in which a result which one may desire, is found even though one did not personally do what was necessary to achieve it. Thus by 'chance' someone wins a lottery. But the MONEY the OTHERS put in was not a chance. It was actual purchasing power which they therefore LOSE, so that you may gain. This had to PRE-EXIST so that your fortune should exist, through winning.
Chance did not 'invent' purchasing power. If you pick up a pearl, the purchasing power still preceded your action.. Chance did not create it; occasions within the systematic structure of things over which you personally had no control, enabled your locus to intersect with that of the pearl (if it was moving in a hurricane) or with its locus (if it was still). That is all. This guru of the mind, this sop to the spirit of man is a continuing confusion. NOTHING is the source of nothing; operations without your consent or initiative are not thereby without that of adequate power or person other than you. What is given is what is made; nothing makes itself. It is not there to do it. Ingredients do not make cakes; if a fire overtakes a flour mill where there were a dozen eggs and sugar nearby to some of the flower, and the fire stills before the falling ingredients resulted in char, it is not inconceivable that some sort of a 'cake' could be made. But the cake is not a product without causation.
It is in fact a combination of considerations all in the system, according to the genius of the system, its inherent capacities. The cake would not by the nature of the case be nicely apportioned in all its ways; but it could resemble something one might call that, if the circumstances were sufficiently extraordinary. CHANCE however did not make the cake. In fact ingredients of a cake and conditions for a cake coincided, and materiel plus law made the cake. It is not something inherently alien to the system; it is something to which it is liable, not requiring information not already present in the system. Thus, if hungry you might wonder at the marvel; but if thoughtful, you would not regard it as a creation, merely a situation in a scenario within the systematic limits of the whole.
But lotteries ? As to the winning itself in the lottery, the number system was not chance, but carefully constructed in a highly systematic way to ensure that the arithmetic did not favour any one entry. It is not nothing but PURPOSE is the other side of 'chance'. For a given purpose, the arrival of a result, good or bad, without the engineering of the means may be called 'chance'; but this is mere delusion if you do not understand what you are really saying.
Chance is the operation of law in a system such that purposes may be fulfilled by the order and organisation of events, which either meet or disturb the purpose in view. Without that, there is no structure for the operation, but merely a meaningless uncharacterisable and in the end, non-existent arena of imagination, a testimony to confusion (cf. SMR Ch. 3 pp. 264ff., 284ff., 999). It is thus merely an intimation that the system was not MADE for the performance of your desire (as on the other hand, a pen might be manufactured, that is, with precisely your need in view). It does not create anything which is not at the first and from the outset, both its power and its perquisite, the simple information resultant of its construction. THAT must always precede.
Whatever the nature of the system, of its information specifications by which whatever is to occur can occur, this must precede its operation. Be it bicycle or sports car, Tiger Moth or Concorde, what operates does so within the confines of what is there, made, apportioned, provided with system, equipped with interface, interactive according to program, be it within the atom, the molecule, the biota, the brain; and even in the spirit of man, that giant of liberty, that frame of glorious fruition of the very capabilities of God, so that one may survey scheme, invent systems, evoke symbolism, transfer thought to action and vision to thought, discover ideas, implement ideals, change ideals: even there, is structure.
Even the spirit of man: It is not SO free that it cannot operate; it is not SO designed that it can make itself different. It is not programmed in the manner of inflexible matter; but it IS assigned specifications which, although as far above man's power to create as heaven above the earth, are aligned to symbol, equipped with significance measurement facilities, oriented in and to faculties, prone to verbiage construction, reception and interaction BY significance, suitable for survey of the significance of the scheme of things indeed, and its very tendency to a mania of self-importance and dissidence from God, this itself is merely the pathological mark of its inherent constructed powers, to dispose its will to reason or unreason, but always short of madness itself, the ultimate mental pathology, to do so with the form of reason.
But even at the level of man's own constructions (as distinct from the construction that is man), there is much system, and only adequate system works.
If you want symbol construction, you need a symbol knowledge and understanding first of all, then a knowledge of how to implement some degree of automation in the use of symbols to referents, so that they not only signify but achieve the thing signified; then you need a system in which all this can happen, and does happen, and will happen. It is then that one must realise that the more the components such as thought and liberty, semi-automation and partial knowledge on the part of those involved (such as men, in order to be created himself), the greater the capacity required in the creation, to separate all the symbolic and operational components so that they do not collide, confuse or defuse the situation you have in mind. The AVAILABLE components of liberty must not invade the DISPOSABLE components of power. What is provided (like the FACILITY to be ABLE to learn to walk), can in due time, or else in total automation (like breathing, in its essence), operate without special supervision. Much may operate with ONLY supervision, such as the desire to do good.
These things are susceptible to pathology, making people double minded, or weak willed, or guilty of deception or self-deception; that is one of the disorders which are inherent in such magnificent powers of disposition of things. The folly of forgetting one's Maker is an inherent potency of this construction of desire in symbols, this manipulation of hope in words, this investing of will with operational capacities in life itself. It does not of course remove God, any more than hatred removes an opponent. It does however enable a thought world to exist which, however abused in logic, is present in the orientation of the mind.
In this way, man is indeed in the image of God, capable of doing things wholly beyond the other creation in material format. He has the spirit of enterprise and independence to such a point that inanely, he can even forget he was born, will die, and that his equipment is built to specifications, which in turn enable and are the basis of his own ability to specify ANYTHING which could mean ANYTHING. Only something of extra-material, spiritual origin could so mis-invent by will, and seek to sustain by desire, such folly. It is not of any value for survival, since it upbraids reality, and insists on what is debunked, generation by generation as fashions change (cf. SMR Chs. 3, 5, 10). It is the misuse of marvel; but the marvel is not born of misuse; for first of all, like everything else, it must BE there.
Pathology and Imagination
The pathology of man's spirit: It is the conceptual sports car doing spiritual wheelies, and the angel being ogre, by the height of its prowess to do good, doing evil. This is verification of man's Biblically apportioned status. IF he be in the image of God, THEN you would expect this capacity for self-disposal; and IF he be creation of the Creator, then you would EXPECT this facility for self-deception, since there is in this case the liberty that MUST, if liberty indeed, have powers of self-determination THROUGH the likeness to the Lord, which if MISUSED would lead to alienation and abuse. SUCH powers in the Lord are as we have seen, necessarily good (God cannot lie, as we have shown).
In man, however, BECAUSE he is a creation, there is not that self-contradiction which would imply a LIMIT set, which would be applicable at the level of the Lord. Self-contradiction in one not made, but infinite and illimitable implies a condition, a divorce between word and deed, a clash or clangour, a battle of components, or a dismissal of performances that the Being has made, a tension of parts, and this is not possible where nothing is given, and all flows as the Being wills, the very constitution or nature of the Being, lacking anything whatever which comes from any source or situation. He is what He wants to be, does what He wants to do, and achieves what He wants, executes what He desires and desires what He executes; for there is no system to contain, to constrain, within in the interstices of His being, or without, in the environment of His existence. Except for His action, there IS no environment.
There being no limit to His power at ANY level, there is never occasion to wait for His wishes in a way which intimidates, exploits or abases His nature, principles or being. Even an imaginary erratic desire to do this 'for the fun of it' would imply a dissatisfaction with what He has done or said, or both, or their inter-relationship, and with His being, what it is as it is.
What then ? To lie for One who is Almighty, eternal, is to abort your reality's product with your words, making a collision of aspects of your being, hence a self-contradiction which neither guile can hide, nor inferiority occasion, in the all-sufficient basis of all. War on one part of your being from another part or aspect means, for the infinite, demolition, quite simply; limitation of nature and power. Collision in the internalities of the infinite - Spirit not matter - means annihilation. This is not even possible for the Almighty for whom the limitations of time and change in a system awaiting developments are aspects of delimited creation, not of Himself. Always what He would be, immutable, His principles His own, and owned by Him, He is beyond our time, growth means and developmental involvements, for there is no environment for God!
Lacking nothing, He needs nothing, and contributes only. His offices are gifts; His deliverances are truth.
Such defective devices as lies and fraud are but the works of flesh, of desire inflamed to be what it is not, to taste what it has not and so on. Neither in word nor in deed is He adverse to Himself. God, as indeed the Bible declares, CANNOT lie. This is the expression of His limitlessness, that He does not deny Himself, nor can anyone nor anything make Him do so. What He is, is, and nothing changes that. (Cf. SMR pp. 580ff., 43ff., Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6; and see Exodus 3:14.)
Man is far otherwise. There is environment for his body in his mind, for his mind in his spirit, for his spirit in its construction. If then, MAN is to be in the image of God, it cannot mean that he IS God, for God is eternal; so there MUST be the limits which the prior existence of God entails. Yet there is the disposability within those limits, of the mind of man, through his spirit, such that he can present to himself the desires of his heart, and indeed invent ideologies and frameworks of thought and the like, and even rationalistically deceive himself despite the folly of many of them, that they are to be followed.
(Cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 12, 14, 16; SMR Ch. 3; Predestination and Freewill; SMR pp. 14ff., 348ff., 23ff.) Example: BE yourself, for there is nothing better. Such a philosophy!
The silly self
But the self ? What is it! Is it in fact the centre of the universe, did it create it, does it understand reality ? If it were the highest thing available, then there would be no truth, for its very environment of mind, spirit and body, the system in which it is placed is not evaluatable; to measure by a measure unmeasured is not measurement. It is mere activity. Thus man can propose the ludicrous and folly it with a straight face, even though it is vain and indefensible. He can do it by MOOD, because he feels like it; through POWER LUST because it gives him capacity to do whatever madness pleases him, and abort conscience, for a time, and in measure (as with Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's tragedy). It is a tragedy when any good thing is ruined, when that thing is more than thing, and is person. There are consequences to personal things which ARE personal. In the image of God is a great opportunity; and it can wreak havoc, and bring vengeance from man and Maker when it is fouled.
But man ? He has to be constructed with all this power, unique in the world, of mind, spirit and body, in its integration and mutual specifications, allowing this and that to be oblivious of control, some things available for control, and other things in vast limits, under more distant control. He has to be able to spawn and scorn thought, equip other minds, formulate and feature, focus and supervise, create and consider, yes, let us repeat, to oversee the entire structure and schema of things with symbolic means of thought and spurring capacities of spirit. It is true he frequently makes a mess of this, but he is operational in that area, functional in that arena.
If then you want these things, you need what it takes to invent them: they are high beyond all system, they relate to system, but are not its pawns; they are limited by system, but are not captives, except of their own misuses of system. If you want this, you need to set about inventing it, its inter- and intra-systematics for total operational functionality.
You ? Let us be frank: what is needed is the One who, unlike ALL men who are sinners, HAS the requisite knowledge, the One on whom it depends, namely God. You need the power to make spirits, to make systems of liberty and compulsion, of automation and semi-automation, of personality subsistence and personality insistence, to enable its action and to enable its nature.
There is structure and sub-structure, mentality and personality, reason and irrationalism available at will. There is result in confinement in madness itself, when the realities are abused beyond bearing, like wheels askew, or in that spiritual insanity which, with brutalised brio, enquires of itself, whether it be God, and will do what He has done; and does not, and lives and dies in spiritual squalor; or again, in that spiritual suppression which imagines that it is hopeless, and refuses to consult the realities of the testimony of truth, as if it would burn. In frantic fear, dispirited ennui, in contorted lust for escape, it labours to be absent where truth is present, when it is that very failure which may do the burning, in guilt and erosion, until shame is the sheer precipice will to which will comes, and over which, in its depravity, it must fall.
No, as to the Creator of all this, it is not of man who makes the system, the liberty and its co-ordinates and correlates, capacities and powers, resources and realities; it is He of whom in this setting we now speak, the God of capacity, the constructor, the creator.
Chance therefore has exactly nothing to do with the One with whom we have to do; but it may have something to do with our receiving things for or against our purposes*1. Whatever these may be, it is in vain if our purpose is that chance will create a universe. No universe does not arrive at anyone's door as a universe, by transfer. Nullity does not become actuality by accident, what is not there cannot be transferred and transferability does not exist in nothing.
Before chance can operate, you need the universe for its operation. It does nothing. Chance is a mere terminological provision for action unforeseen, purposes met without action on the part of one, for resultants which accrue without prior knowledge, but not without prior reason. It is merely an instrument correlative to purpose in concept, and not an usher of what is from what is not. The system always has to have that; a sufficiency. (Cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3, 4, 8, 9, SMR Ch. 2 esp. pp. 15ff., 252A-N, Ch. 3, 10, Stepping Out for Christ Chs. 2, 3, 10, Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming ... Chs. 4, 5.)
Chance is a word; system is a fact. Chance is a concept; creation is a performance. Chance deals in correlatives; creation makes them. Chance signifies the limits of a system; creation makes the system.
Meeting what you had not envisaged as a consequence of what you have not made is one thing, which some call chance; having the thing there is quite another which demand relevant action. A causeless universe cannot operate, for every characterisation is causal in concept, implying action according to what is so outlined; nor can it be caused without characterisable adequacy. Even magic must have the 'powers of magic' and the personalities of performance, whatever delusion may be in its midst. Not magic however, not the concept that what is is made from what is not, not the stark denial of all logic, this is not the need. What is required is the pre-existence for always, so that it can BE at all, of what is adequate for ALL things so that they, in turn, can be at all. What they have, it has in pre-eminence, over them as any creator has to be, with the roving power to make with knowledge what the result exhibits in capacities.
What then ?
What is adequate for law is NOT LESS than a lawyer, thinker; what is adequate for liberty is NOT LESS than detachability from law,
within its confines, which makes it meaningful to dispose action by will, rather than be meaningless. Liberty without meaning is not liberty, but action merely. Liberty implies purpose, option and therefore understanding. To these it is ATTACHED. This therefore must be made. It must be made by what understands it so well, that this is a work of its nature. What, in turn, is needed for explicitly mental operations in the face of the cliffs of material reality and spiritual opportunity, is a system of analytical involvement apt and just at that cliff face; and what is needed for that is a system to secure inter-relationship of symbol and significance; and what is needed for that is a imaginative and intellectual operation of system construction, meaning attachment and executive alignment, and what is needed for that is the whole discipline of symbols, language and thought, practical capacity and inter-relationship of the whole.
What is needed for sin is the opposite.
It is what is adequate to DETACH the systems of false thought, false action, false emotion, false choice from the hardened base of custom,
and RE-ATTACH them, remade and remodelled back to operational efficiency,
to the true source which made them, sustains them
and gives them meaning, cohesion and integrability.
What is needed for that is the power and resource of the Maker; and what is needed for justice to flow into the operation is a cover for the cost. Remedy is required, sustaining justice and truth, but changing the fiasco of sin.
What is required is a meeting of justice and resource adequate to pay; and what is needed to provide this to the creation is the Creator who alone even KNOWS what is involved, and has no LIMIT which could detach His remedy from its result.
only One such, who meets justice, is long heralded, death date foretold
(Highway of Holiness Ch. 4),
purges the affront of sin and for eternity covers the clash with God, in
the interest of love,
the means of paying the charges,
which for man are death.
|The word of necessary truth|
|thus provides the action of impervious remedy|
which cleanses the collision of fractious sin
with almighty holiness.
|Cited from the first,|
it is unchanged to
|so that never was their sin without cover,|
|affront without remedy,|
|breach of divine principles without purpose, provision and meaning,|
|rectification for all time announced even into time.|
What is GIVEN for this evil, outrage and
collision, then is Christ,
and what comes to HIM, He will not cast out (John 6:37). The Lord made
ONE language in the symbolic systems of life, ONLY ONE; He made ONE type
of being in His image, in man, ONLY one. To fit for His immediate presence
there is only ONE standard, just one; for anything else would merely eternally
foul. That HAS then to be HIS standard, and that is obtained ONLY by RECEIVING
it, and having Him apply it, first in the patiences of life, and then in
the consummation of heaven, the completion of the mode. HIS standard is
Christ: His word sent, His word meant, His word melded in flesh, available
to flesh, overcoming flesh, bringing the saved sinner back to God, the
speaker who started the book of life, in DNA, in spirit, in mind, in matter,
It was sharp, the concept of salvation. It was sharp, the way, it pierced.
Needless to say, needles pierce, but do not cure; they pierce the sky, but must first be found on earth. Their purpose may be to vaunt; but their end is to vacate. They are sharp; but not as sharp as thought. They look up, but not high enough, for God is above all. It is not building sharp things into the heavens of desire which brings peace and love and unity and beauty and truth; it is going back to the beginning and finding the source and resource, and discovering what He wants and will do; and being thankful that He has not destroyed us all long before this; and coming home where we belong, in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91), and abiding there, in the cleft in the rock, the place hewn out by Christ, for us to stay, by His side. Small ? Of course, we are but creations. Great ? Supernaturally, for we are created for Him, and when we come, there is love; so that in heaven there is nothing that offends. HE ? He has borne all that for the re-born (Isaiah 53:1-6,10). In heaven, their way becomes perfect (Hebrews 12:23).
What we must do here is explain that 'may'. For the Christian, although things may indeed arise without his action, like a pearl being found for which his purposes were not the preliminary, and which he did not create, there is a further dimension of relevance which, quite explicitly, is not operative in the case of the non-Christian.
The promises of God to His people involve this: "All things work together for good for those who love God, the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8). Therefore the existence of MERE chance in the sense defined (not a constructive entity, but an alliance or alignment of events producing what is not designed by the human being concerned, who then may use this portmanteau term so mischievously maligned by so many into a capacity, when it merely reflects action without our purposes assigned), is not relevant. The power of God to foreknow and to act is such that if ANY ONE THING were allowed to happen without any supervision at all, then that ONE THING could, for example, kill Christ before the Cross (as was threatened for the nearby Nazareth cliff, in essence, on His visit to His home town); and thus anything could be subverted which God wanted, so that prediction would be impossible, protect ion implausible, meaning evacuated.
Since this is not so (Psalm 1), the Christian does not talk of chance without great care; and many of us would not include the term relative to our ways. There is the mind of the Maker who knows how to mind His business, which includes us, who are His.