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NEWS 73

GRIT AND GUMPTION ARE GREAT:
HIS GRACE IS GREATER

ENGLAND AND THE UNITED STATES -
IS  THIS NOT THE  DAY OF LAMENT!

Review and Overview of many Developments during the Century
(See also Joyful Jottings  21, 5, 14, TON 13.)
 

"WHAT DOES ENGLAND MEAN TO YOU ..."

 

England ... ? What does England mean to you ? This was the question put to the generation as the World Wars threatened the Empire, and tilted at the ... meaning of it!

England was not then that watery isle bordering the mainland part of Europe, the land between that massif  and Ireland, the place from which soccer fans can make festive but not fastidious clamour abroad, where prince and princess can divorce with multiplicity, the Pope can be visited by the highest aristocracy in the land, the Common Market claims allegiance and the Church of the nation is visited by a small percentage, but few.

England ? Back then, however, earlier, far earlier in this almost spent century, what HAD it come to stand for ? What did it seem to look like then ? What was the England of which Burns wrote, the land which, in distress and war, issued a CALL WHICH COULD NOT BE DENIED, to which brave souls from the Empire would come to help.

What did it mean, then ? What did it appear notable in presenting to the world, at that time ? Why perhaps it was notable for this: For fair play, for a sense of self-control, for free speech abundantly, for the power to present what you found and find what you wished to present, for the mists of time leading back to an antiquity in which much Christian heroism had figured, featured and fascinated, as when repentant Cranmer let his fist first be burned, the one which had once weakly signed his renunciation of truth and acceptance of the folly of Rome, when that religious body saw fit to burn him, the rest of him as well, for his allegiance to the Biblical doctrine. There was courage, character and conviction. England: it was noted often enough, as Charles Dickens is at pains to show in his Children's History of England, for vicious kings.

Yet not all were so, for young Edward VI in his saintliness and early death was in marked contrast to the streams of blood to come through the Romanist Mary, streams except that the fires tended first to dry them; to the things, the spectacles ... at Smithfield; and virtuous deeds were not few, leading to  William and Mary, and their age of tolerance mounting towards parity of people, and opportunity to invent. England, was it not the land which God delivered from the tempestuous fires of Roman power in Europe, so that the Spanish Armada, by a combination of intelligence work by Walsingham, shrewd tactics by Drake, expertise in seamanship and the storm-tossing intervention of the Almighty, was defeated, ruined, brought almost to mockery. Liberty continued to grow.

England, land of quiet villages and time-moulded ways, of sweet streams and ancient land-marks, a place of history where many a lesson is objectivised in castles, lochs and burns, in meadows and dungeons, a place of birds and bird-watchers, delight in nature, of remote fastnesses and quiet peace, where the beauty of the Lord was known, and left much in the inscriptions of history increasingly, till now ... England ? England ... the craggy outthrusts of Cornwall, the garden of Kent, the softnesses of the Lake District, so tenderly appealing to an aesthetically intoxicated Wordsworth who revelled in them, the recesses of the Highlands, the high character to be found, not perhaps so much in hills  as in populace, in the Hebrides, the touch of centuries in the ways of the people - is it all to be polluted by a foe more fatal, because spiritual, even than the outposts of Chernobyl, stealing illicit on the air, coming even more subtly ? and now coming more insidiously than that, into the life of the people and changes in its ways!

England ? But has it not meant a corner of  Europe, once splendid in its independence, insistent on the Bible, demonstrative for the Reformation, unwilling to be enslaved, mighty in battle against Hitler, in the time when crowds flocked to the churches to supplicate God for deliverance in World War II, when the threat was vast, the means to defend were small, and the placement of limited air squadrons  almost vital on a given night, to the mere continuance as a nation.

Now it means a land where Romanism is envisaged as a happy end by some in the Anglican hierarchy, even to the level of archbishop (cf. A Question of Gifts, V), who smile at Rome, having  caught something of her disasters: it is a nation which, having escaped by almighty deeds of the Lord and strong consciences and courage in the people, from religious and political servitude, now makes faces and gives grimaces, as if preparing to allow itself to be led, like some demure maiden, to the altar, where masses are formed, and bread is worshipped (SMR pp. 1088A-G.), for a bigamous marriage.

Are the former things to be forgotten, when these things bring quite into our contemporary realm, the threats anew, from claims which the current Pope is honest enough to make clear, are, with the rest of Rome's teachings, NOT ABOUT TO BE CHANGED! (cf. SMR pp. 1058-1080). Is the ship of State to founder in many waters, lost this way and that, ignorant of the past, unwise for the future, dabbling in many things ?

Indeed, other spiritual adulterers are already active in their witchcrafts and liberalisms, their theological rags and radicalism, their irrational pursuits and their mouthings according to themselves (cf. Repent or Perish Ch.7), without God (cf. Ephesians 2:12), but the children of a day, worshippers at the empty house of Naturalism (A Spiritual Potpourri, Chs. 1-3, The Other News Appendix 3, News 57, 68, 71), the weird imaginary palaces of machined gods, product of man, measuring himself by himself, and taking orders for a suiting for god, like beserk tailors (II Corinthians 10:12-11:15), even making new christs, as if man could make God, and not be found out, the creature could construct his Creator, and not become foolish, vacuous, vapid and a kaleidoscopic partnership with vanity! (cf. SMR Ch.3 pp. 307ff., Repent or Perish Chs. 5,7 and non-SMR index, Eccentricity, Theological "ism-itis", Evolution).

Do not even some of the soccer occasions begin to sound like hymns swelling in enthusiasms, and does not man come to worship man as if this foundling without his Father, could be other than a mockery and a contempt, in and for and by himself, hideously surviving as if his heart were long dead, and the body were unwilling to follow... and small wonder! For while Paul, in the grip of truth and reality, in the Lord as a friend, could wish to depart and be with Christ, which is far better (Philippians 1:21-25), though tarrying a while to serve,  there are many for whom the delay of that day, with so different an end through unbelief, becomes of all things the most necessary.

Discounting judgment, they fear it (cf. II Cor. 5:9-21, where there are shown grounds enough, just as a commencement), fearing it, they remove it from their minds, but not from their planning, their conceivings. They "survive" whom others helped arrive; they continue, without knowledge of why they continue, for whom, on what basis, or in which direction. Irrational, they become centrists in self, ignoble they tend towards the end fitting.

Of the rock who begot you - you are unmindful, said Moses to Israel in his prophetic eye; and to whom else ? Is not this principle all too applicable, now...

Was not Israel of old, just the same ? Did not the prophets expose it, rebuke it, challenge and reason, exhort and cry for their land, consigned by its own vices and blindness to needless ruin (e.g. Ezekiel 16, Jeremiah 10:10ff., 9:1ff., Hosea 1-3) ? Did they not lament for it, and did not Jeremiah in fact write his whole book of Lamentations, in grievous sorrow of heart and heaviness of spirit, as he saw what had to happen when it came, for her folly, ruin her and carry off her beauty as if it were but brick-bats! Did he not weep before it happened (Jeremiah 9:1) ? Are we not also responsible to exhort, to warn! (II Timothy 4:2, Proverbs 24:11, Ezekiel Chs.33 and 18).

  • So now in England, it would seem increasingly the peril is not from a highly visible foe, but from an invisible one.
  • Courageous in crusade against Hitler,
  • though vastly misled in having one blood-filled dictator help rid her, in the person of Stalin, from another,
  • England is now involved deeply in another war, an invisible war, a war of guile and betrayal to make Fuchs' efforts seem almost infantile by comparison.

 

Religion continues with archness, liberalism raves and rants, and simple Biblical faith in the profound and glorious God is being covered with the gilt of this world, the guilt of sin and the neglect which such practices breeds.

Ah England! what empire has surpassed yours, that of Britain, in moderation and development in politics and academic freedom, in emphasis on graces and liberty for bold designs. If America has become the land of innovative energy, yet, for its part,  it seems increasingly to move in a multitude of sects and swollen psyches towards a mere confusion, a babble of religious moods, an anarchy from sound morals, a wild spree for which, alas, it is no joy to have to add, payment may shortly be required. England has faded; America has frothed over the lip of the cup and spills.

These vast places of early Protestant emphasis, having flourished to the uttermost, now are losing their grip through a complacency of disregard, a distancing from the obedience to the word of the Lord, a fascination for synthesis of spiritual follies with spiritual truth, while Rome, with the religion commonly called Roman Catholicism,  makes her mockery in idle traditions and presumptuous confusion of witness, exemplified in such  rigors de rigueur as crushed birth-control. Not that lax abortion is any answer; but prevention in the first place.

This population pressing policy of Rome presents  an issue conspicuous to the point that in Time magazine, one correspondent has asked, Is the pope in his policy here, a fool or a villain! Is he wanting more followers regardless, in a physical world set up for his rule, or that of his religious organisation; or merely ignorant: this seemed to be the tenor of the expostulation!

Rome too is losing regard, with its interminable  traditions of men the substitute for the doctrine of God, just as it happened in the Pharisees in Christ's day, who taught for doctrine the commandments of men (Mark 7:7), thereby making the word of God of no effect.

THE TWO SISTERS

Meanwhile, in England as in the United States, such vast treasures, in these two once great lands, have been squandered. The Lord has indeed set times for the nations to seek Him, if haply they might find Him (Acts 17:26-27).

  • "He has made of one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, if so be they might feel for and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us."


This is what we have been seeing. The trend over time is predicted and is occurring. It is all true, but it is sad, even grievous, to see the impending signs and signals of loss, wastage and decay, to see it where glory was shining in the presence of the Lord. We are not gone! they will say; but alas, the red lights are showing in the dash, and oil is perilously low!

There have been wonderful times, wonderful institutions, marvels of character and courage in both parts of the English speaking world, arising like two horns from the head of the cow where the milk of the gospel could still be found. Now grubby morals arise as if for worship, and folly is allowed in highest places like infestations, not cleaned, in a vast castle. The milk is coloured from the udder.

In the end, we are coming back to the beginning, and to where it WILL because it MUST end, to Christ.


It is NOT that England is so great, in its prodigious developments of restraint, justice and kindness; that America is so impactive, in its thrust and organisation with the winning of millions, as it might seem. It is CHRIST who  WAS, IS and IS TO COME, who is great. He ONLY. Small is the nation which confuses HIS greatness with its own; and POOR is the DESTINY of such confusion.

Years ago, in passing from the US where I had been at seminary in Philadelphia, to Australia, through England, I felt the strong evidencing of the tone of deism, of a diligent Britain which had CHARACTER and so urbanely, could be UNITARIAN whilst almost WORSHIPPING ITSELF. Even then, there seemed to be a movement for forgetting where its undoubted greatness had come from, or where it would go, without its source. And that ? It was the King of Queen Victoria (who acknowledged Him at the end of the playing of the Messiah, when she rose), the Saviour of Edward the VI, the inspiration of the great martyrs and workers of joy, like Wyclif (who was MUCH persecuted in his sharp and stinging challenge to realism and righteousness in the name of the Lord), like Tyndale, whom the outreaches of Rome evidently slew. Amidst remorseless opposition to his work, came at last the strangling one of the great liberators of all time, whose tireless seeming work in putting a good translation of the Bible into English, so vexed the mother  of the Inquisition.

And what did his work show, and what light did it throw, as it came to England and became a part of that land? It was nothing and no one other than Jesus the Christ, God manifest on earth, sin's free cure and life's eternity.

No,  England, it is not from your past or your tradition, your great characters like Wilberforce whose undiminished enthusiasm, sacrifice and perseverance led to liberation of slaves, your teaching of discipline or your elevation of kindness, that your glory comes. It is from Christ, and HIS is a glory HE does not share (Isaiah 42:8, Matthew 11:27ff., Luke 6:46, John 14:21-23); for HE is the creator and we are the created; HE is sinless, and WE are not, no, not in England, no not in the USA.

To FORGET THE ROCK FROM WHICH YOU ARE HEWN (Isaiah 51:1-2, Deuteronomy 32:18), to be UNMINDFUL of it, this is a work not of Israel of old, alone; it is also a work of the twentieth century, increasingly obvious, as, for this and that reason, these two once so great nations, renowned for vast revivals and dedication on the part of many to the Lord, in a living and an active faith, begin spiritually to wither. What is it like ? It is like seeing a grand crop of sweet grapes, embittered, soured and withering  with mildew. The grapes were fine. The disease is not; and quickly does it work complete itself.

It is a witless work wrought both in England and in the US increasingly. (It reminds one more and more of the two sisters whom God addressed in Ezekiel 23, namely Judah and Israel!)

Kill health, and you die. Fray the rope and it breaks.

It is time to return to the Lord. True, the antichrist will come; true, the present  Age is to culminate in an astonishing fiasco of evil and malice, folly and pretentious but empty grandeur allied with oppression.
It is coming. Yet supinely to invite it, callously not to contend, faithlessly to focus rambunctious desire instead of repentance, this is like a madness worse than mad cow disease, that so eloquent bovine warning of the apparent ease with which what had been prodigiously helpful, subtly transformed, can become merely a focus for burning, to prevent plague.

The powers for good and for evil, among the nations will be displaced by the most vicious villainy of all time, given extra pep, libido and Úlan by the devil, while confusion will arise like the polluted atmosphere, the oil spills in Sydney Harbour, the acid rain and the tempestuous weather of Europe and Canada; but these things, they are a little more than symbols. What is to be epochal, and epical, it is the confusion of soul, the pollution of spirit, the sacrifice of truth, the short-changing of reality, the living in a dream of pretence, where drugs are in turn a mere suggestive toss of the head, as NEW FORCES*1 - indeed the god of forces (cf. SMR  707ff.,877-878, 306-309, 233-234, ) - arise into more and more malign mendacity, audacity and authority*2.

Let us meanwhile reflect: it is not just

  • that this melting of the ice of the past is predicted - to employ the figure from the Arctic to remind us of how much is changing in the nations themselves, in the peoples -
  • that morality is to fall because it is predicted.

Rather and eminently, it is through and because of these things that the lesson is to be and is being ... taught. Severe is the nature of the lesson which the wildness of oracular orgies, faddish philosophies  and spendthrift manners will bring. Its whole development, like that of some world-scale boil, will demonstrate the laws of pathology, the nature of the disease and reveal, as if were experimentally, where it comes from and ... where it ends.

Lab time is nearly over. Much that is good has come, and is going; much that is evil has been seen, and mounts. Presumption concerning the Lord is rising like a typhoon, circling destructively about the lands. It is increasingly difficult to find a people who will SIMPLY DO WHAT THE LORD SAYS BECAUSE HE SAYS IT: in other words, a godly people, actuated simply out of love, loving the speech of the speaker, who is love, and because hence His words are most lovely (Psalm 119, Song of Solomon). Increasingly oblivious, much of the world is musing emptily  on its navel. Then, flaring into action, worldly religion dresses itself, and is mounting on its toboggans to zoom fast down the well-prepared and slithery track to hell. It is as if many are more concerned at creating records in getting there fast, than in the nature of the direction in which they are travelling in so doing!

Yet CHRIST continues, and the TESTIMONY is triumphant (Revelation 12:11, Luke 21:14ff.) in the midst of ravages of sin, riots of the flesh, and the interminable seeming fall of morals (cf. Matthew 24:10-12). His peace still girds multitudes, like stars in the night, a light lit by the Lord to reflect His honour, honesty and something of His glory, His word and His ways, still the same, those of Him who changes not (Malachi 3:6, Habakkuk 3:6).

It is triumphantly prevailing in truth, logic and reality, in history and fulfilment. What else ? It is the truth which He has given, and His power is with it. Yet many are tested.

Meanwhile, following Him who is invisible but manifest and manifesting His power, precepts and presence continually, His people continue, and His truth sits like King on the throne of destiny, its lips those of Christ. His smile is still towards His people; and now that the international form to supplant the follies which once Rome led, is coming closer, so that no England will remain with free shores to which one might migrate, no America will be left with open doors to honesty and integrity, and true worship: yet always in all lands, His people proceed fearlessly honouring Him, whose honour is truth, whose pathway peace even in the midst of trouble, whose aura is joy.

Bashed, slandered, libelled, guilefully misled, mocked: yet His people continue with a truth none can break, a grace none can replace and a savour of spirit in Christ, the world cannot create.

England and her early daughter, the US In both of these, and in many other lands will remain the church of God. It is not now to be seen at all as a giant social unit, far less is it as a political power that it will continue; but as it has begun, in humility and meekness of person, in power of spirit and in grace of heart, in the love of Christ which does not grow cold, so it continues (as depicted of one special squadron of it - Zephaniah 3:8-13). Neither its Lord nor His truth can the world divorce from it, in its frothy follies and philosophic antinomies (cf. SMR Ch.5, Repent or Perish Ch.7).

The "GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL" against the church built on the only permissible rock (Psalm 62:1-3, Matthew 16:18, SMR pp. 98-99), on Jesus the Christ, received because realised by FAITH as the SON OF THE LIVING GOD, being Himself the sheer exposure of deity, indeed the One whose face, perceived in heart, reveals the Father, whose sway is over all these provocative presumptions of surging flesh. These ? they appear as merely part of His glorious plan, that through many chapters the book is written, the book of history, the laboratory book of the experiments of time, experiments in life, in morals, in philosophy, in science: ones doomed through blindness to awaken but few, but able to instruct the wise, and to delight the lovers of God, whose ways are as always, sure and steadfast, predicted in much, fulfilled in all things (Romans 11:33).

HE HAS SET TIMES AND SEASONS THAT THE PEOPLES
MIGHT SEEK HIM, IF SO BE THEY MIGHT FEEL AFTER
AND FIND HIM (Acts 17:27).

You see it now, in retrospect, these massive opportunities, these strange turnings and provisions for many, treated now this way, now that, by the nations.

Many people and peoples have had their season; to some it is coming. In ANY season and at ANY time, it is apt to seek the Lord. HE ONLY can wash. HE ALWAYS watches. He hears the prayer of faith and now as in all times (Isaiah 55, Proverbs 1, Psalm 34:6), directs the feet of His people, whether through the valley of the shadow of death or in abundant liberty (Psalm 34:17).

Liberty ? it may come and go with men, but that of the Lord, it stays (John 8:31-36), in the hearts of those who know Him (John 9:24,31-39). Its servants know the generosities of His grace and are prepared to die for the certainties of Christ, not as mere combatants in some war of flesh, but as messengers of grace to this race. And many are being found, were found and will be found; and these, they are the bonus of the demonstration, living in grace now, to find the watershed of grace in heaven, then. It goes, to the last point, according to plan. Keep therefore abreast of that plan: watch and pray. Does an aeroplane go into the wind tunnel to show what it is, or what it is not ? whose its designer was, or was not ? Rejoice therefore in all these designed tribulations if you know the Lord, and come to Him if you do not. His acceptance procedure leaves all others as nothings (John 6:37, Luke 15:10).

The trials ? They have their purpose (cf. esp. News 55; and meditate on  Romans 8:18ff., II Cor. 4:14-18, Philippians 3:10, 1:19, I Peter 3:14, Hebrews 11:25, I Peter 4:19, Colossians 1:24 ). They do not last too long. In them, it is time to glorify the Lord whose power and word is alone able to stand, while the delinquencies of this world perplex it in turmoil, and increase the aching agony of unanswerable questions, asked of it, but not of the Lord. For the world, it does not have what it takes. It did not make itself, cannot control itself. Never did, never will. Nor can those abide who were made with it.Those who trust in it are bound to failure, short-circuited to disillusion, not only that so eloquently shown by Shirley Hazzard in depicting the United Nations, in here Death of an Ideal, or in her People in Glass Houses.
No in all things. Negativity is the order of the day, when the desire is positively foolish, intellectually inept, morally improper and rationally unprincipled.

HOPE ?

Is there then no hope ? But of course. Even the extravagantly wicked king Ahab, whose court would make it hard for ANY nation to compete in folly, even he, suddenly repentant on challenge from Elijah, that great and profoundly anointed prophet, was given grace. NOT in his time would the national calamity come, though in his perseverance in folly, he personally came to his own accounting as was apt (I Kings 22 - and at that, not without a deep and personal warning from the prophet Micah, before even that happened - I Kings 22).

  • The Lord is not impersonal. He is not ruled by prophecy: it happens BECAUSE HE HAS RULED IT (Isaiah 55, Joel 2:11, Isaiah 45:23, 18-19, 43:13, 44:24ff.).

 

But who is He who did it ? but personal; and the principles of His compassion (Lamentations 3:33), even Jeremiah whose prophecies are far from harsh, showed in poignant depth, in his own person (Jeremiah 9, though after much patience (cf. Romans 9:22), they led to destruction as the Lord commanded cf. Jeremiah 1:7-10, 17:1, 19-27). Even when the case seemed hopeless, even then, the message of mercy readily obtained could come for Judah (17:19ff. with 7:16-18), for the mercy of the Lord  is prodigious (Jeremiah 3:12ff), even indeed to those indeed already judged as was Israel of the North, to whom also His appeal could still sound!

Did He not signalise it dramatically and intensely personally, in the case of the prophet Jonah (Jonah 3, Matthew 12:39ff.), sent to warn Assyria, so that the status quo changing in repentance, the result envisaged as ready to be actualised, and held in thought, the one that was imminent on the current path of the people, was tempered for a time, though the final end was the same (cf. Isaiah 37:21ff., Nahum) ? Did not Hezekiah likewise illustrate this profound mercy  in his tireless seeming zeal to bring back to the Lord those who would come, even from the North, indeed from the country of Israel which had so often afflicted his own land  (II Chronicles 30:5-11) ?

If these nations, now England and the USA on whom the Lord has given such marvels of might and mercy in their time, if they or any nations indeed, should turn even yet, with their whole hearts to the Lord, would He not hear! Has no cry come from here before ? Has He not heard - He is abundant in mercy (Isaiah 55).
 
 

NEITHER THEOCRACY, NOR AUTONOMY BUT A CRY ...

True, there is no longer a theocratic nation on earth; but it is also true that the Lord's eyes behold, His eyelids try the children of men (Psalm 11:4). He DELIGHTS in mercy (Micah 7:18, Ezekiel 33:11, I Timothy 2:1ff.), and His word has pounced beyond Jew to Gentile, so that all are encompassed from a base that is ROCK (Psalm 62:1-3, Deuteronomy 32:4,15-18,30-31,37), the same for one as for all, Jesus Christ (Galatians 1, 3:27, Romans 11). Indeed, to Jew as to Gentile, Paul in Romans 11 makes clear - the way IN for ANY is faith in Him, and the WAY OUT for Jew or Gentile peoples is unbelief (Romans 10:9).

  • He is the God who MADE this world, and created death for sin; and created a body which He raised from the dead in token of His power, evidence of His pardon and expression of His will (Romans 1:4, Luke 24:25ff., 39-42, I Cor. 15:1-4), in Christ. In that God of power and creation, resurrection and remedy must faith be put in the Son of His love, in Christ!

 

It is not a question of thinking nice thoughts, or being uplifted on the wings of aerobatics, yoga or contemplation, of doing 'good' on one's own definition -  as though God were student, and some mortal self His teacher - with closed eyes and dark hearts (Romans 10:1ff.), whether Jew or Gentile, high or low, rich or poor. It is not a question of tilting at God as if He were not the source of truth and justice and hope, as if to scrounge a world for oneself and expect HIS connivance! It is none of these things, mere idols of the heart. It is a question of COMING in faith, with an ANSWER of repentance not to be repented of (II Cor. 7:10), to the Author of life, through His eternal WORD sent to receive those who come (John 8:58, Luke 13:1-3, John 6:37).

It is still time for any, for all, for any people. As Daniel told mighty KING Nebuchadnezzar, after the dream predicting his downfall:

  • "Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity."
     

Certainly the fall of the king to whom Daniel spoke, it had to come; for Nebuchadnezzar's airy Babylonian dreams had to come to terms with a reality which centred in THE KING of kings and LORD of lords. His place was not one to rule as if the universe were his, or his was no lord. His stricken conscience had yet to realise the rubbish of his delvings and return; but even at that, a sting to the heart, a realisation in the mind to some extent, some turning would help. God is keen to find, and ready to forgiven. His modes were set but the timing could be prolonged, a little. Indeed, if Nebuchadnezzar HAD COME: but as to this, it was not yet to be. What would come, would be seen.

The Lord, however, already knows His own, His plans, in this day as He did in that. He knows the responses of those who are HIS: He who knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10, Ephesians 1:4). That indeed is one of the reasons He is so free to "declare" it, the end - He knows it before it ever comes to pass, and all our ways are exposed like a landscape in time, a time-scape (Acts 15:18, Colossians 2:9, I Timothy 6:16, Isaiah 34:16) . He knows His principles of mercy, His desires for deliverance, our responses, those of any, of all, of blocs, peoples, cities. As to the wicked - those who deny or decry Him who fight against what He has to say, to give, to offer, to command, and refuse the grace of life (cf. Acts 13:41,46, Proverbs 1:20-33) ... But first let us interrupt and think of this last quotation, and let us taste it here:

"How long you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
Turn at My rebuke.
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you. {What an offer is that!}

"Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of My rebuke ..."

Read it all. It is a glowing account of seeking with reality, of pleading with propriety, of the love of God in the interstices of man, right down to Proverbs 1:33 and 8:32ff..

But again, as to the wicked, who decry, who deny, who denigrate, who do not relate, because they will not, unrighteous without reason, recalcitrant by desire: as to those who fight against what He has to say, to give, to offer, to command, and refuse the grace of life to be found only in Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:11-12, Psalm 14, II Chronicles 36, Romans 1, II Corinthians 5:17ff., I Corinthians 16:22), who sneeze at His kindnesses (Romans 2:1ff.), and pursue their own thoughtless dramas (Colossians 2:8): these we are shown, are like chaff blown by the wind (Psalm 1:4-5).

THAT is one way how He exhibits their folly. Depersonalising God in mind (cf. Repent or Perish 5,7 with A Spiritual Potpourri 12, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 14), they merely depersonalise themselves in fact. They cannot alter the facts, but rather do the facts then alter them, divorced from their divine parent, lost in the seas beyond them.

So God is well able to control both His word and history, to keep His principles and His pity, to fulfil His offers and His word! It is all from Him, directly or indirectly; He says the one, He knows the other, and He and His word are of infinite intimacy (John 17:1-3, Micah 5:1-3, John 12:48-50l, Psalm 40:1ff.).

"A prolongation of your prosperity", said Daniel to Gentile Nebuchadnezzar - if you heed, and cease from your sins - that catch-all quality! It may be this will be for a ... prolongation. It is for God Himself to determine and to act as He sees fit, but He will assuredly keep His principles and fulfil His word (Isaiah 41,43, 45:24ff.). There is no other (Isaiah 43:13, 45:20-25, I Timothy 2, Ephesians 4:5ff.).

 

TIME, GENTLEMEN,TIME ...

Even now, therefore, if in these nations so signally blessed in the Lord, so prospered, so helped and so honoured in so much deliverance, so often, there should come a ground-swell of repentance and a spring of return to the Lord, to that one Lord who has spoken from the first and will rule to the last, till judgment indeed (cf. Acts 17:22-31, Daniel 7:14, Hebrews 1, 12), might He not as with Ahab, deliver for yet a time, and might not His power and His grace be outpoured as of old!

He knows the heart, He sees the thoughts, He is able to discern, He knows hypocrisy and cringing, and faith and finding; He is a God of truth and equity, and the world that ignores Him finds its own way to be insoluble, like some refractory substance which nothing can dissolve. This is the way it is and must be for what is not true, is false and fraudulent in the end, in the face of, in the light of the truth which endures today and for ever. He has appointed time, He who knows has done it; and it will be as He said, but not because He forgot. He knows who and how and when people will turn, who will repent, and it is all in His awareness who then speaks as knowledgeable.

NOTHING will prevent His purposes, His principles or His mercy from reaching where the waves of it flow. Nothing will make mockery seem sound or pretence pious. It may be some future revival will delay judgment. It will not be some further insult to the Lord, some offering of other gods and other ways, as if some new folly made the past ones better! (cf. Jeremiah 3:12-20, 2:11-13, 27, II Peter 2:1-3). The Lord is there and ready; the peoples are here and ... who will repent among them! The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him (Psalm 103), respect, revere and love Him, wish to obey and follow Him, delighted in being created, enabled to rejoice in Him more than in all things, whose grandeurs and glories are like His mercies, inimitable (Psalm 145, 103, I Timothy 6:16), and who has chosen to reveal Himself and to do what is necessary, in His everlasting Son, Jesus Christ.

To add to His way of salvation is scornful contempt; to subtract is everlasting folly, and to ignore it is the pride of ages, self-trust in a manufactured article of the Almighty, who made us free to turn away, and paid the penalty for all who return. In that land of deceit, what is left!

It is time to repent.
 
 
 

NOTES


*1 Romanism, the religion which rather than being catholic, has centred in Rome,  has held centre state in the heresy dramas of this world for long; but she will be displaced (Revelation 17:5, 8-17 cf. Biblical Blessings, Ch.12, pp. 21ff., Barbs, Arrows and Balms 20, Extension, Section 2, pp. 150ff.); just as she had to wait for her time, in the sifting of the nations and their claims, the heresies and their place, for her little hour of power in the shadow of the tower - of Babel, of that mystery Babylon of which she is a part, indeed a death-mask, as explained in the above references.

*2 What is coming is not at all unclear, as often expounded, as in SMR 750Bff. (for 731), Biblical Blessings 2, SMR 502ff.. It is developing, it has develop, it will develop till it is ripe.

It is an imprisoning cage with strutting avine megalomaniacs preening paranoid, their feathers, idol birds that cannot fly, for whom no pretension is too great, devious jays, deceitful and delinquent in truth, duty, responsibility and self-control (II Thessalonians 2:1-12, Revelation  13; 17;19; 12:11ff.), filled with pomposity, they deliver on ruin; empty of understanding, they can at last leave only one option: destruction of the race, or return to God. And as to that ? it is not to ANY God, but to the God who has created, who has spoken , who has declared from long ago all these things that should be, why it should begin, this decline and deviation, and how it will end, and indeed, why it should do that! (See Daniel 7, 11, Revelation 13-17, 19-20, Isaiah 14:12ff., Ezekiel 28:6ff., Genesis 3, II Thessalonians1-2; Matthew 24, Luke 21; cf. SMR pp.750Bff., Repent or Perish Chs. 5,7, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17, 18, 30, Appendix 1; with Appendix 2, 4. )

God has left history to unravel its frequently inglorious self, till each folly and Bible-abusing fashion, philosophy and empire fails. This goes on in essence, until every airy aspiration is exposed as mirage, each witless endeavour is manifest as fatally in error, the 'superb' adventurism  as bleak wastage, the bulging bombast as prelude to puzzled  bleating and all the seeds of artful fancy of this race, as arrogant options of the  mind, bypassing the word of God to their eventual, certain and necessary end.

So the bath of iniquity which, despite some revivals, was prelude to Jerusalem's destruction before Babylon (read Isaiah 59! and the eventual end of the matter, as there stated...), this is a close parallel to the polluted ablutions of a misled world, millenia later. What came to one nation, now comes to every nation. What hit hard the people appointed for the praise of the Lord (Isaiah 43:10ff., 21), and later hit harder still when the King was crucified, awaits a world increasingly weary of His truth, salvation and Lordship (cf. Isaiah 63, Matthew 24:24, Revelation 19:19).

Polluting the springs of truth near their source, befouling faith, inventing calamity, bending justice, pontificating in truth-free philosophy, a warring world departs from its only hope in God who made it, from His salvation, Christ the sole Redeemer, to smell the abyss, with a passion as if it were daffodils.