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the curse mounts.
After 2000 years, even the bees in their sweetness,
are going wild.
The Week-End Australian,
1) THE CONTINUING CAUSE OF CURSEDNESS AND
THE KILLER CONSEQUENCE
On p. 37, one finds an
article on an AFRICAN
KILLER BEE, now the
author of thousands of death in the
It name: apis mellifera
scutellata. Its base,
Its story ? Brought to
Was it by bungle or rogue design ? It is not stated.
It is just that they were freed. Mating with other Brazilian bees, through what may have been a copying error in the DNA transfers, it produced a bee able to call an emergency of the nature of a queen's code or SIGNAL, when it was merely of the order of sentry bees. Hence masses of bees in thousands could ply themselves unproductively on the VICTIM (one lady had, it appears, some 8000 bites), as if it were a sort of total civic emergency. It is like an atomic bomb in terrorist hands, but here the terrorist, it does not know, nor does it understand. Man in 'nature' has been clever again.
It is like a drunkard with atomic weaponry at his/her disposal.
So far 1500 US people have
died as this scourge and plague has slowly sifted itself northward, up the
This reminds one that:
1) Revelation, the prophetic Biblical book, makes it clear that successive, excoriating curses are due to the earth, rebuke to wickedness in this terminal epoch of our VERY unenlightened Age. It would be amusing if it were not odious, that the Enlightenment which rescued so many from such ignorance, merely gives more the more ample opportunity to intrude in human history with a slightly different sort of darkness, darkness of soul. Chained to an educated mind, this can cover more, more readily. So we grow, but the growing pains are acute. The direction is down, the aspiration is up. It is as in Romans 7, but without Romans 8: the good they want, they fail to do, the evil they would avoid, they do and do with astounding agility and enormous ability.
That ? It is merely the visionaries, however blind their sight. As for the rest, there is greed and ambition, selfishness and callous of the soul, as before.
2) Revelation makes it
equally clear that these scourges on the earth will include the biological.
(as in Revelation 9). These attentions to vaguely wandering mankind, as it is in the main, when it is not gripped by the latest philosophical gripe, adroitly seeking deliverance from God by rejecting His mercy, are met with this end-time rash of realities brought home. You see them in Revelation 6-10, 16 especially.
3) These scourges will expose the ignorance of man, despite his superficial knowledge, proud of his attainments, in masses voluntarily empty of worship, except in millions, of what is not God (cf. Deuteronomy 32:18,21, Romans 1:18ff.)..
A case in point comes readily to mind in a rather fascinating book by a Chinese authoress, Destination Chungking, an Autobiography by Han Suyin, of her life in the days of the Japanese invasion in the thirties to around 1940. She shows considerable knowledge of English and of thought, seeks to understand the drift of things, the meaning, the hope, rejects Buddhism, Communism, Christianity, looks beyond Confucius, seems to seek for SACRIFICE, willingness nobly to SUFFER, identification with the COMMON MAN, a life for what is BEYOND ONESELF. Like the bee, however, without enough fuel, Han Suyin here seems hazy on WHY these things should be sought, with a seemingly arbitrary desire, amalgamating what she will, of what she would have, and imagining that by some magic, it would almost seem, THIS will be real.
But in life as in science, reality is not
made by wishing it.
come ? Self-realisation seems to be the cue, with these strategies of sacrifice and so on, the limits and way showers.
Realisation of what self ? what is the self ? what is its source, origin, place and dimension ? Is it to be wafted in as if by magic, some sort of self-analysing prodigy, without base, without knowledge of the producer, an atom in a sea, a cog in an industry, a particle in a storm, indicating its preferences ?
This has NO validity. Yet with scarcely a glance to Christ (except for a Christian marriage to a stated non-Christian) this went on, until in the squalor of inadequacy, these "better" hopes for "better things" were swallowed up in the miserable, mean and squalid fevers of exploiting Communism, that rabid thief of liberty, and triumphalist dictator to vision, requiring a blindness so total, that its very thought is a museum piece. Its world has no source. Its motion has no meaning. Its ways have no basis. Yet amidst all this, it has knowledge of the whole dimension of history, of life and of progress: from what ? From some cultural muddle in its middle, which neither sees nor could see, a materialistic caricature of Christianity (cf. SMR p. 862), as far from the Bible as the Pope, and QUITE as authoritative.
Moreover it has just such a basis, one hewn out of solid air. In a chaotic world of potential miraculously operating according to exact law, in a meaningless sea of motion, the Communist KNOWS all about it, though such knowledge is as far from reality as absolute truth from his system - that he MIGHT know it! Without that, he CANNOT know it; without knowing it, he CANNOT tell it or live it. It is an existential statism, founded in authority, mimicking the cry of liberty with the lordliness of pope-like requirements of SOLIDARITY and SOLD SOULS.
THAT is what those many, and often educated Chinese who were too clever to find Christ, have got instead. What a transition! What a reward for their dismissal of the only interruption in human form, God has ever made (cf. Colossians 1:19ff.). What cruelty in place of kindness, what weakness in the place of power (cf. SMR pp. 925ff., 305ff., 307ff. and Index)! What an exchange! (cf. Matthew 16:26). There, nationally, they lost what might have been gained if purging of folly had proceeded; if Madame Chiang Kai-Shek had had more success; if the Communists had not been tolerated in the interests of beating the Japanese, when they might well have been beaten otherwise, with that strong force of hope. Instead they came after the war, this additional scourge, leaving the nation vulnerable after the Japanese war with its multiplied destructions, some of which paralleled the days of the Battle of Britain, and remind of the endurance required. Then, after THAT war, exposed to fresh zealots, this time with their international conspiracy, the nation fell.
This new desolation was rather like
that of the Japanese, in their sense of national destiny: knowing all things,
and knowing nothing. Like that, it came not least from outside the country, and
not least from a man called Marx, who grew accustomed to the British hospitality
of the Public Library, before setting his chaotic consummation of irrationality
at many peoples. In much his philosophy reminds of the antics and actions shown
in the shape of curse, in Revelation 6:4. One can sorrow for this people of
Thus there is no hope in mere dreaming,
careless and futile rejection of the overwhelming and indefeasible evidences of
God in Christ; and the payment for such lassitude of spirit, it is death; it
can be personal, national, cultural and social. It can be a combination. How
Communism ? 'Scientific', it has no basis for prescription as distinct from mere description, for morals for man; anti-scientific in fact, it blasts like a raucous child, witless as its predictions fail (cf. SMR pp. 925-926), as absurd for morals, as inaccurate for fact. Filled with error, it is a laughable extension of matter, which CAN know no error!
The captivity of communism, with its slaves, sold to matter - itself a theory of the mind, has every ground to be concerned. Materialistic, it is dependent on the mind that says so; and with that basis, there CAN be no truth in such minds, so conceived. Hence its mouth moves on the face of the waters, and its heart is elsewhere, while the free spirits are sought out, squandered or imprisoned, while economics thrusts its petty nose into the hearts that are desolate, and into the squalor that is spiritual.
We have considered this work a little, since it has much to do with the fate, nationally, of some one quarter of the population of the earth! Elsewhere they do it differently, but in essence, it is often just another guru, another blindness, another anaesthetic, perhaps more comfortable, but still an operation of spiritual sleep.
We return to Revelation.
4) While it is indeed true that it uses symbols plentifully in this record of coming events (as it states as the outset), its symbol signify such things: and not least, increasing chaos from reckless intransigence to the divine Lord; divine rebuke from the rejected source of mercy, to the mounting wings of wickedness, always flying, but never away; for there is no escape.
Sin is no more disposable than other pollution; and efforts to clear oneself without one's Creator are like moving a hill in order to get more sunshine. It is prodigiously expensive, wholly ludicrous, and a mere pretence when the sun is shining where it is meant to do so, where so few come, in Christ.
But here we may ask: Is the provision of a curse, especially one with biological 'messengers' as in Revelation 9, an extension of 'creation' ? This is rather like someone asking, Is a curse an invention ?
In a way, yes, since it is often the application of existing wisdom, to a highly specialised task: discipline! and that at many simultaneous levels... Man in his meddlesome but inept mimicry of the powers of God, pulling biological and physical levers, gaining increasing access to created programs, can be his own scourge, and 'invent' others by sky-is-the-limit arrogance, as if his particle of knowledge were sufficient to control divine affairs.
Existing programs, adventurously changed, may well be quite sufficient to vex the earth. The irony of secular humanism reaching like Babel to the heavens for one united earth, worshipping 'nature', and seeking to enthrone man over it in the convenient absence of God (Psalm 50:21-23), while opening avenues for his own destruction, reminds one of the message of the reckless humanism. Is it not nature worship and human dominance before an 'evacuated' Creator, often composing itself incidentally in race worship and hence racism, human idolatry (of THE RACE as such, humankind), secular witchcraft, maniacal magic, pride in the very flower of crazed oblivion to reality, a shimmering vacancy!
But now we progress. It is here rather worse than in the case of World War II. How ?
Firstly, it is like ignoring Hitler, rather than fighting him, regarding the 'problems' of London's bombing, as natural 'accidents', whilst scratching the head, and saying, Yes, surely all this catastrophe is MOST STRANGE, and doing NOTHING about it, except aggravating the condition in ever-increasing secession from rationality and reality, from revelation and from God (cf. Revelation 9:20-21). If it was madness to instal Stalin in the seat of partner in World War II, it is a new version of insanity to instal man as his own lord, his spirit as his own guide, amid a world-consuming spiritual aloofness to the sheer squalor which is internationally increasingly prominent, in the fruits of unreasoned philosophy. It lies rotting and the stench all but fills the earth - not least in the betrayal of the Kurds in Northern Iraq, which is merely a type or illustration; but this fruit, it is still purchased as was Stalin, for convenience.
Second, the opponent is now for this world and its unsanctioned and unsanitised ideas, increasingly clearly, God Almighty, man's Creator. This is predicted to become increasingly apparent (Revelation ).
"And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army" - and who was that ? One who had on His garment: "King of Kings and Lord of Lords", bringing to bear the "fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty" (Rev. 19:16). Otherwise, He is called, "The Word of God" (Rev. 19:13).
The result is cumulative, as Revelation shows, and the end of it all, eternal, one way or the other, depending on ONE THING, receipt or rejection of Christ (cf. Revelation 22:10,17).
The words of Hebrews 2:1-4, -29 are even more acutely a warning, if possible, now than when they were written (NASV):
What then ? It is not now as
at that former time at
Let us continue in the NKJV, at verse 22, to
The unshaken, because unshakeable things are precisely those for which so many in China as noted, and in the world now, would like to think have a link somewhere, somehow, by the millions now we see them, seeking upward, or glooming downward, alerted, subverted, dejected, rejected because they reject; not finding because looking for gods which are, and where they might not be found, while not seeking the Lord where and when He MAY be found, which is so easy a child both can and often does, find Him (Isaiah 55).
The ferocious, mistuned, massing myriads of killer bees are merely a symptom. We have had Biblically defined symptoms in similar masses, clustering in our history like bees (cf. SMR Ch.8); yet they are not heeded.
2) INADEQUATE RESPONSES TO THE CURSED
SHORT OF THE AVAILABLE BLESSEDNESS
This is the way of the curse: not the genetic research (though its parameters and assumptions are not without ground for acute concern), but for the secular hypothesis in its ultimate philosophy: "WE CAN MANAGE!" say they. Impressive ? Not when you add to the generic proposition to formulate it fully:
"WE CAN MANAGE WITHOUT GOD!" With God as a leisurely additive or an absolute exclusion, the result is the same. It is not GOD who is waited upon for His will. It IS man who is consulted for his own. He is like a runaway colt.
Much of the arousal of the 'greens' in politics, lies about ABUSE of 'Nature'. The instinct is right but the philosophy is shallow, and can indeed, at its worst, be merely a form of Naturalism, a sad bugle call and lament for the loss of truth, shrouded in the misplaced concept of loss of species. The species and all life have come from the Truth, Christ the co-Creator with His Father (Colossians 1;16ff., cf. SMR Chs. 1-3, 7, Section 4), and the loss of the spice and spirituality of THIS species, mankind, this family, this generic whole, in vast and spiritually molten masses, is the sorties of some spurting volcano spreading its ashes liberally in the atmosphere. This, a psychic volcano and a spiritual eruption, it is this which has an ash worse than the radioactive can ever manage, even in its worst of forms..
That is pollution for long; this, it is for ever.
Thus the lament of the 'greens' is not merely an issue of the abuse of 'Nature'; it is not this which is the problem, but rather the symptom of it. This indeed is rather very often a RESULT of the problem.
Looking further back, then, it is the neglect of the Creator, a proud relish of power or thrust of ambition, whether personal, social or national, in despite of Him, indeed in disregard, that is pivotal. Substitute spiritualities (if present) merely aggravate the 'problem', like sand inadvertently placed in a squeaky axle or a groaning machine. Their folly and their results accord. When will it be realised more freely, if at all before the Judgment sits, that spiritual things are cardinal, that the invisible is obviously and incontestably the base of the little matter called mankind (cf. Repent or Perish 7).
Beauty is invisible and has neither length nor breadth; so is the case for courage, ambition, pride, humility, perspective, understanding and peace. Ignorance through oblivion stings. It does not sting less because it is vital; it stings more. God is not to be discounted because He is so eminently gracious, and so loves liberty that He MADE it! If He is, then it is life which is discounted, and man becomes a life at discount. That hurts. It is unnatural, unlovely and absurd; and chosen wilfully. Man in multitudes pines, repines and laments, for this or that; but this is its source (cf. SMR Ch.4).
Thus when this, the spiritual, is the site of folly, it can awaken disaster of a magnitude that bears SOME relation to the offence, sometimes crushingly obvious, though mercifully there is a vast attenuation while the Gospel spreads over the earth, showing the conditions of mercy: and these ?
What ARE the conditions of mercy ? Is
it some education ? no. Some wealth or superior grabbing
power ? no. Some pride of race and self-esteem ? God forbid. It is to humble oneself before one's God, the Creator, to accept His speech, His word, His offer, His grace, His Christ and NOT to cast the moral cords away, the spiritual bounds to the abyss, lest man should follow his own throw and join what he casts away, himself (cf. Psalm 2:1ff., Isaiah 66:1ff., Acts 2:38ff., 4:11ff., Galatians 3:1-13, John 1:1-14) ! It is to accept mercy, and hence to regard its ground and so to repent of sin and to rejoice in this (Romans 5:11), that for the believer, who receives this redemption in Christ, this simple substitution of Creator in human format, Jesus Christ, for his own penalty of death, there is no condemnation (Romans 5:1-12, 8:1ff.). Freely he is saved: yes saved.
One notes that there is very much desire for a delivered earth, a delivered environment, a delivered family structure, a delivered State and so forth: but when you present God's word of a delivered soul, through salvation by the blood of Christ, who died the just for the unjust to bring us to God, the case is different.
THAT HOWEVER IS THE FIRST ENVIRONMENT, the
psyche, the soul of man. Without that, it is like new housing estates, soon to
become neglected hovels, for the ungrateful. This is not God's way. How does
this ? God has said, and God is able to speak, and He who formed the mouth with code and contrivance, is well enough able to use His own communication, and indeed more. He SENT HIS SON who is HIS WORD, who is the perfect articulation in person: NOT as a secretary, or even as an archangel, but as a Saviour, and what does HE say ? Besides ME there IS no Saviour (Isaiah 43:10). God has come in the person of His word and done it personally.
With that sort of attention, what would you expect for the lot of man and of his place and of the creation, cursed about him with the energy of righteousness! And who is Christ but THE Saviour (Titus 1:4, , Acts 4:11-12, II Timothy 1:10, Colossians 1:19ff., 2:8) ! And what is HIS denial except the evacuation from the soul of truth, of light and of life! Is it not rather a marvel that we are still here at all; and that He waits till His Gospel has spread throughout all the earth (Matthew 24:14, II Peter 3:9), with a prodigy of pardon and of patience...
While however we are looking at responses, let us consider these, in their own arena.
1) THE EXPLOITERS (Reds and ravishers). This is seen monumentally in the happy diversion of radioactivity into the Arctic ocean by the materialist and irresponsible reds, the Communists, who see morals as an additive dispensable, and invent their own without rational ground, which makes a State so Sovereign that it plays God without the capacity, and hence even manages to foul the largest fresh water lake in the East of the vast land, which has the misfortune to bear them.
This is NOT NATIONAL; it is rather, as in China, that a particular nation inherits this particular curse. Dictators in sheep's fleeces, fleece them, and would if they could ,fleece them of their very souls. Denying them, they take them; suing their own, they deny God and corroding with corruption, execute to their own capacity, in others what they foul in themselves. It is nothing! they say. But it is not nothing which they pay, and those with them who follow them, except they return to reality and find the facts, and accept the life, the abuse of which gives them the privilege of sacrificing the very powers they possess, without which they could not even stray at all!
It is not for nothing that we have looked at China above. Nor is it racial; quite the contrary; it is a philosophical curse which eats out the heart. How timely was the massive rebuke to the inhuman seeming Russian version, from the lips of Solzhenitsyn, not least when he long ago, publicly addressed his call and cry to he Russian Patriarch of the Russian ecclesiastical system, which had learned, it seems, not a little, to co-operate with the communist regime, and as was later disclosed, in the purlieus of the World Council of Churches, long exposed and denied!
Nor is this red monstrosity the predator
alone; for there are other ravishers. However, it is this one which is
politically specialised and now runs what it ruins with a rigour which, though
for a time has pride, in the end is able to fall in its own godless confines -
like other godless dictators and humanistically dictatorial systems, before it.
Some have exploited with money; these with the power its control allows,
in a absolutist totalitarian society, where that and whatever else appeals, may be ...summoned by the great!
How incredible therefore, it might seem that South Australia, to add to its governmental follies (as in That Magnificent Rock Ch.8) of impudence against God in the field of education, now wishes to lease the management of its electrical system to a well-established inhabitant of China! And does that government have regard to individuals ? Koestler in his work, Darkness at Noon, says much on this. Like ants, the people are subjected to a Party whose ways are defined as right, though no ground for 'right' in its atheism, is ever found; a body which as God appoints itself the arbiter of what for it does not exist, the world of morals. Rather than having morals as the conditions from the mouth of God, it makes itself a god whose power and wisdom are more minuscule than that of a mosquito, and quite as much an affliction, towering over its people like an idol, and presuming where it neither understands nor can rationally speak at all, it dictates what it deletes, a mere harassment of unholiness in clothes pseudo-divine.
Thus there are the ravishers, of many kinds, typified by this one, but not limited to it. These go on their oblivious way, asserting themselves and taking what they may how they will. This add DIRECTLY to the curse, and expresses it.
2) THE OBLIVIONISTS
These simply go on, earning their keep, ignoring the issues whether personal or environmental, paying perhaps their psychiatrists, drawing their income, putting aside their assets and so forth. Why worry, do not all things go on as since the creation ? they chant (cf. II Peter 3), and as to that see further News 74, pp. 103ff.. They are like those watching an ocean wave of towering splendour, 1000 feet high, and continuing to live somewhat drolly in their ocean front homes.
3) THE GREENS
These also are painted red, in print, for the green concern does not remove the danger to their own lives, their personal environment, their psychic futures.
LOOK at what's happening to the environment! they say. And of course, it IS happening in many ways.
That however is only a result, and it is the cause which, as in medicine, must be consulted, before other symptoms declare the folly of ignoring it. It is the disease which must be cured.
It was so in
They are like a treacherous bow."
It LOOKS usable, but it reacts in use, and is worse than useless therefore, giving a merely delusive service, spattering the arrow wide of the mark, and that ? systematically!
As to Israel of old, its relationship with
the LORD COULD have been healthy! Does not Hosea also says this (from 7:1ff.):
Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered,
And the wickedness of
For they have committed fraud...
They do not consider in their hearts
That I remember all their wickedness;
Now their own deeds have surrounded them;
They are before My face."
Yes, they COULD have been healed, the WILLINGNESS was there on the part of God, and indeed it was a deep and tender desire (cf. Jeremiah 9:1 where the poignancy of the sorrow is intense). Yet THEY WOULD NOT.
(Compare this with Isaiah 30:15:
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.
But you would not..." ;
and with the words of Christ in Matthew :
HOW desolate, we have in this century seen!)
Yes here is the refreshing promised, and there is the rejection noted! It is not new. It is newly forwarded in the coming of Christ, who however was always in the bosom of His Father (cf. John 17:1-3, 3:13, 1:18, 8:58, Micah 5:1-4, Zechariah 12:10), who has always been expressive of His love and mercy; but God in Christ also has been eloquent of His judgment, for the JUDGMENT WHICH CHRIST WILLINGLY TOOK (cf. Psalm 40:1-3) is that which man actually deserved.
But what a way to show it! To take it and make it appear in His OWN distorted face and crushed head, His own agony of drawing breath while being crucified by His 'own' people for the sheer effrontery of offering salvation and healing and strength and peace and love and grace! (cf. Isaiah 52:13ff.).
You cannot credit they did it! Yet OUR nations do it all over again, refusing to listen to history, which being ignored is being repeated, this time on an international scale!
The JEWS ? They
failed as a nation, and have not the nations failed ? Jews ? despite their
failure, yet from them have come the scriptures from the prophets whom they so
often despised (cf. Isaiah 30:8!). Christ came in the Jewish format. The
apostles were Jews. They have passed on a part of the inheritance (Romans
10:1ff.), whilst rejecting its core, centre and KING AS A NATION! Yet Jewish
individuals have done multitudes of excellent things in the kingdom of heaven.
It is not being a Gentile which saves; it is coming to the redemption in
Christ; and this not as a symbol, but as an occurrence, to the living Christ,
not to some mulch of conglomerations as with the now straying Billy Graham
organisation, alive to Rome and its deplorable false gospel, as if to a
brother! (cf. the error in its basic format in II Corinthians 11 and see SMR
pp. 1042ff. and The Kingdom
of Heaven Ch.7, pp. 110ff.).
3) THE MOUNTING PROCLAMATION OF GOD
We are close to the END of the matters, the structure for spiritual things, the day of salvation, long sung, long played, long recorded and long disregarded by this world. Disregard however is not deletion, as you see in Hosea 7, as just quoted!
It may be salutary therefore to briefly review some of the modes of proclamation of what, being ignored, makes an ignoramus of this world, like a careless son of a rich man, long educated but learning nothing! While in THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL (Ch. 17 in Barbs, Arrows and Balms), we see these things in yet wider scope, for our present purpose, let us consider just these elements.
1) THE PATTERN OF SALVATION, redemption, the covenant of grace was seen in the TEMPLE and its SACRIFICIAL APPOINTMENTS. Thus the HOLY OF HOLIES symbolised the holiness of God where He takes account; the BLOOD symbolised the blood of Christ, which spoke of His willing death, and its satisfaction of the demands of justice, vicariously, in that He took what was coming to believers, had they not believed, and through their faith appointed to them a pardon. The PRIEST taking the blood to the altar, once year, in the holy of holies, stood for the CONVEYOR of the mercy, which is CHRIST, expressed in all these ways so adequately and beautifully and accurately, as in the word of God always, in Hebrews 7-10. They were the patterns; HE was the Person.
The VARIOUS sacrificial modes and requirements, exposed the various aspects of sin, including sins of ignorance, and the cover provided. So it goes on, and we have traced some of these things elsewhere (as in Barbs, Arrows and Balms 20, Biblical Blessings Appendix 1 and Ch.12).
Consider Isaiah 43:3-5:
The Holy One of Israel, your Saviour;
Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you;
Therefore I will give men for you,
And people for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you,
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the east..."
Here the sin of Egypt - containing and constraining in debasing and humiliating slavery, the Jewish people who had in Joseph brought incalculable wealth and even life to the nation - is brought into focus. Israel is in a figure, like a son to the Lord (cf. Hosea 11:1, Exodus 4:22ff.). Pharaoh is REQUIRED to RELEASE from this servitude, a people taken for the Lord. He refuses. Hence his foolish national gods are abased and explicitly humiliated, the power support, in the frog, the cattle, the Nile, the fly and their various ludicrous associated deities, a case not least of naturalism in the form of idolatry. Each 'god' of many exalted, is turned into a plague as Pharaoh successively relents to release the Jewish people, and then refuses in his reaction, so bringing curse upon curse on his land. These plagues hit, they stank, they reeked with the spurious, were riddled with the furious, were an upheaval before all pretence, from God to nature, since it was nature which many were making god.
So God destroys the credibility of the gods of naturalism and spiritism in OUR land, and shows their futility, but like Pharaoh, the academic and political 'rulers' will not listen. Their case is destroyed, while their obstinacy of obdurate rejection of the Lord continues. The chastening continues. The thing grows, the world itself moans, the environment shudders, radioactivity looms at the hand of every madman. But they will not relent. They want to go the full course as was predicted of them (II Peter 3, 2, II Timothy 3, II Thessalonians 2). This is the way it is, and is to be.
The word of God continues without relenting, never changing its course, conditions, assertions and control. It is a simple fact that nothing else over the millenia does this, and nothing but God could perform it. It is time to heed Him as many empires have failed to do, and many millions, lost in the mud of messy mediocrity amidst crushing shame, as the name to which alone man relates as God, is stored in chambers by billions, who prefer their own thoughts to those of the Maker of thought for man (cf. TMR Ch. 1, Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13, Repent or Perish Ch. 7).
It is fulfilled as are all things God says, each in its series and sequence, in its pattern and profundity. It is so for one year as for one thousand, for one millenium as for three, in things political, moral, ecclesiastical, in the very of the Gospel as predicted, the Messiah, His death date, in the concentration of power in Europe, in the violence which spawns itself like fish ready to stink as the life dries out in an earth worn-out with autonomy and unwilling to repent. In all things in control, God can predict any thing which none could with less knowledge, since any series augments in its time, to divert and deviate by its dynamic any lesser author of world forecast. His word is not only truly necessary but necessarily true, and it acts like it as nothing else does (cf. SMR Ch. 1, Ch. 9, Highway of Holiness Ch. 4, News 121, 122).
Thus in the matter of Pharaoh as in all others, the marvellous blend of mercy and judgment, truth and liberty continued. God made demands of Pharaoh. They were scarcely unreasonable, since God is intensely reasonable, having made for man, his own access to reasoning. Frequently Pharaoh had more opportunities; never did he at length relent or repent. To be sure, his penchant for power and prowess, though wavering a little at times, seemed ineluctable, and he savoured it as irrepressible. Into such cases, God may indeed harden the heart (II Thessalonians 2:4-910, as when a callous hardens the palm of the excessively used hand. In His wisdom He can make use of sin, to assist sinners to forsake it, whether those immediately concerned, or those who shall hear!
For and amidst Pharaoh's folly, then, the GOSPEL of GRACE (that imperious ruler had merely to relent and repent and accept what the Lord required, MORE THAN REASONABLY!) continues also, to the end. Let us pursue the account further, for assuredly we are due to have an international Pharaoh type before long (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5, Biblical Blessings Ch. 2). The challenge of God to Pharaoh to cease acting as god to the Jews, and as inhumane suppressor of His people, this was rejected anew.
Then the eldest, the firstborn of the Egyptian households had to die, to bring forth the parallel, that if the Pharaoh responsible and in charge (see HOW important it is to choose rulers well!) WOULD not let the child-nation of God free, but continued to hold them as to the death in their slavery, then that nation would pay, child for child; the eldest died in the Egypt's families, because this nation-child of God was held to ransom. Ransom ? THEY paid it.
Nevertheless, GOD HIMSELF did not require what
He was not in this willing to provide. Thus HIS OWN SON, indeed His only
begotten Son was offered a ransom in due time, to deliver from a scourge
mightier than that of
Thus the Egyptians for all their storming and imperious wills, released despite themselves, the nation of the Jews. Yet Pharaoh, as obtuse as ever, suddenly surged after t hem, again intemperately, and perhaps furious in temper, as they were escaping: on he came, with chariots and army. He crushed them against the Red Sea. It was like a Hitler before his time. The result however was the same.
Then the RED SEA, that confining channel obstructing the final deliverance of the Jewish nation, was opened by the power of God; the sea however closed on Pharaoh as the bombers on more recent Germany.
As to the Jews, they proceeded to the available and opened promised land. Nevertheless, many did not go in! It is still so today, both for the Jewish nation, and for multitudes brought up in churches, whose spirits rise to the pungent odour of the flesh, the ambitions of mind, the tiltings of soul, the philosophies of hate, the myths of humanism, naturalism and irrationalism. In due course, those of the Jewish nation at that time, who had the faith got that land, and entered into that rest and refreshment which was their appointment. There were TWO! Caleb and Joshua; and with these, the NEXT generation! The power for this exploit of entry into the land was frankly miraculous: like that of the bodily resurrection of the Christ later, which epitomised the dynamic deliverance of God once and for all.
When GOD is in action the miraculous is His option, being merely the intrusion and insertion of His own will by His own works into whatever environment He pleases. So it was; so it is.
The desert experience of the lost generation which DID NOT go in, when they had opportunity, this provides a parallel for the Christian experience. As strangers and pilgrims in this earth, we are by faith seeking a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11, I Peter 2).
But let us return to our Exodus parallel.
The Canaan entry was to be (and under Joshua was) without compromise, just as the Christian lives with His divinely given enduement in this world, without compromise, and looks back on the death of Christ as His open door to God, just as the death of the Egyptian's eldest sons was the ransom in a picture, before.
If the Jewish national experience in ERROR is not a lesson for those who name Christ's name and yet play the fool, then words have no meaning, and minds no task! (cf. II Cor. 10).
3) THE PARABLE OF REDEMPTION in HOSEA.
In Hosea 2 you see something of this.
In this case: the prophet was called upon to do a strange thing, just as the Lord Himself would do a strange thing later, in allowing His Son to be so grossly insulted and grievously murdered (cf. Isaiah 28:16-22, 29:14ff.).
In other words, this is real, not pantomime, and the payments on the way are sometimes matters of anguish, but yet this is transformed (cf. Psalm 40:1-3, Hebrews 12:2, Luke 22:42) through the solemn joy of doing duty, a glorious opportunity, to so magnificent and loving a being as God Himself is... (cd. I Peter 4:12-14).
The prophet was enthralled with the horror of
4) THE PROPHETIC DEPICTION OF REDEMPTION
This is our next divine communication to the point.
It is seen in Isaiah 52-53, 55, Psalm 16,22,40 and elsewhere in the prophets. It involves an explicit series of presentations, with factual data to depict the detail of the case, when the Lord looked down from heaven, to behold the plight of man, and declared HIMSELF His own NAME in Jerusalem, indeed coming on an ass's colt, in highly particular form, to be sold for 30 pieces of silver and pierced in hands and feet that He should die (Psalm 102:16-22, Zechariah 9:9, 11:12, 12:10, Psalm 22:8, 14-16, Psalm 16) an act later to be repented of.
On HIM, said the prophet, is LAID the
iniquity of US ALL, those who were the "we" who were
HEALED! There is a FULL COVERAGE of those who come to Him in faith, and a FULL
OMISSION of those who did not. Hence He is to "DIVIDE THE SPOIL WITH THE STRONG" - Isaiah 53:12. Yes He was to MAKE INTERCESSION FOR
THE TRANSGRESSORS (Isaiah 53:12). Had He not done so, or performed any of His
required and predicted paraphernalia of identification and dispersal of
kindness with exhibition of power (as in Isaiah 35's predicted miracles), then
of course there would be a case of an impostor. It is so easy to tell, when the
criteria on the CURRICULUM VITAE have been predicted for hundreds and in some
cases thousands of years ahead, and require the power and presence personally
of God. The DIFFERENCE IS INFINITE (cf. Repent or Perish Ch.2, esp. pp. 41ff., Barbs, Arrows and Balms
Appendix IV, SMR Chs. 6 and 5) . If
you cannot tell then, a moron is your superior... except of course, as Christ
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them" - from Matthew .
5) THE FACE AND PAYMENT OF REDEMPTION -
Gospels report it, lives declare it, promises kept fulfil it. Many Gentiles, in this their day (cf. Romans 11, esp. vv. 25ff., and The Biblical Workman Ch. 3 esp. End-note 1, and Ch. 1) have come, just as there will be an onrush at the end, of the Jewish people also, to add to those who have already been individually elected from this people. To this jewel, the Messiah, we come, all must come (cf. Isaiah ), to Him whose resting place is
This jewel of many facets, redemption is fully contained in the Redeemer, who is Himself sent in the savour of the plan of salvation, so that God Himself, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one Being, three persons, co-operating with intimacy, glorious expression of unity for the Church, the family and the heart ("unite my heart to fear Thy name" - Psalm 86:11, that 'fear' or reverence which is CLEAN - Psalm 19:9)
Christ, the express image of His Person and only begotten Son of God (Hebrews 1:1-3, John 3:16, Colossians 1:15-17), firstborn BECAUSE creator of all things, without whom nothing that was of the made variety, was ever made John 1:1-3), the brightness of His glory, has come and those who come to Him who came for them, are His. He knew them before the world was invented (Ephesians 1:4), found them, finds them, will find them till all is complete (cf. Revelation 6:9-11).
The Maker of serial time, the time which passes, has as a small thing, the removal of all barriers from the knowledge of all that is to be; and indeed, it must pass before His eyes, who works all things after the counsel of His will, not to despoil them of their natural significance, nor yet to abdicate before the mere stage which he Himself has constructed for His own purpose. So He came, better than a creation from SPACE, as men so effetely seek to find; HE CAME AS THE CREATOR OF SPACE, more lofty than the very heavens, which He Himself has formed (cf. Psalm 102:24-28).
He was seen, indeed in the form of a man,
Jesus Christ, an intimacy and humbling as beautiful as the greatest sunset or
dawn, yet high in dimension, more extraordinary in kind:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory" –
I Timothy (that OTHER - and indeed, it is truly remarkable HOW MANY 's are pivotal in many books of the Bible, as it happens).
Just as He is attested, so men are diverted by
carnal and captious caricature, as if God were willing to DO it but fouled up
the communication part! (cf. Matthew 5:19-20, I Cor. 2:9-13).
The world ? It is in this doubly guilty,
firstly in sin, and then in rebellion against mercy to be delivered from it. There is no excuse; but WHO would WANT one! And this
world's guilt increases as the Gospel is swelling to flood tide
throughout the earth now (cf. John -31,
16:8-11), as it was to do, was commissioned to do by Christ (Matthew 24:14,
28:18-20). There is pardon as Micah puts it:
And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage ?
He does not retain His anger for ever,
Because He delights in Mercy.
He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities" - (from -19).
But if any one wants to avoid it, so be it. Avoidance of mercy is instigation of damnation (cf. John ).
4) BEING WHERE THE BUZZ IS
What then of the killer bees ? These are a rather minor foretaste. The whole environment in its downgrade is a more liberal index to results. It is however the cosmos of the human soul, now in billions, each with its 'worlds' of vision, understanding and realisation, its powers of perception, conception and its capacity to endure and deliver duress, that is the chief victim of sin. Its capacities appear highlighted in the environmental disasters which, in their nature, CANNOT last ... forever. There is not nearly enough environment to suffer such things for any long duration, without divine intervention (cf. Matthew 24:21-22). Therein will lie - and for many millions are already beginning to lie -
such as has not been since the beginning of the world
until this time,
no, nor ever shall be."
The flood is
not noted here, but is addressed in Matthew 24:37 as an explicit reference
point, for the scale of tribulation. How then was the great world flood not
WORSE than what is to follow ? For this, there may be two reasons: 1) it was
more sudden, not a question of enduring a cyclotron of growing developments so
much as simple drowning over a few days of watery encroachment that rose to its
early climax, for the extinction purpose in hand.
2) it was not cumulative in rendering the situation long-term unendurable, however many dinosaurs and other creatures may have died as a result of the vast climatic changes that were to encroach, even when preserved for repopulation at the outset, and however many died at the onset of the flood itself. There was a vast change, very probably for the worse in climatic extremes, actions and reactions; but for all that, we have now 6 billion... people.
The worst things lie embedded in the souls of mankind, like those 8000 stings found embedded in the flesh of the old lady addressed ... by the killer bees. They, the embedded sins, kill the emotional vitality, the moral reality, the responsibilities of thought and spirit, the kindness of kinship, the environment of spiritual grace. They LEAD to horrors unthinkable. You do not NEED to read horror stories; just read the newspapers of Africa and Chechnya and Solzhenitsyn on the Gulag Archipelago, and begin to imagine the ravages and ruins visited on many; and then consider those who collapsed morally before the Communist man-eating machine, that engorgement of horrors, which seeks to break down the spirit into a sort of meaningless pulp of ex-personality, all in the interests of the State, whoever that is, or may be, or might be.
It is the death which is spiritual which is so devastating, and it is not limited to violence; for vileness can come in the midst of luxury no less; even if its woes shout with the shrieks of the tortured.
There are many ways to spiritual ruin. They are well trafficked. Does nobody care for the insane delusion that is destroying the chief resource of the planet: the human soul! We preachers of the Bible, testifiers of Christ, do indeed care; millions of Christians do; but the percentage planted by the Lord is exceedingly small (cf. Matthew - "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted"). It is exceedingly sad to watch it happen.
While people, churches and even some Church schools sell out for advance and advantage (the infamous SA Circular to Principals cites an R.C. school concept of teaching evolution in school to avoid shock out of it! - rather like giving AIDS in hospital, to avoid difficulties with the outside world later), souls are lost, often destroyed by compromising churches. These teach not losing your life for Christ, but rather, fulfilling it; not separation from rebellion against Christ on the part of pseudo-Christians, from rebellions such as having female elders or homosexual preachers*1, but collaboration.
How does that ride with Titus 3:10 ? Assuredly, not on the same horse! and at that, not going in the same direction. There are limits to togetherness, and in the old days, that sort of thing became what was called 'drawing and quartering'. Because it cannot be done, the body split, a nice little device of torture and death almost simultaneously.
Such religious bodies suffer no rebuke
to members of their own coldly commandment-breaking societies
but rather call for
It is time to return to the Lord, to seek His face and to keep His commandments (John -23).
My own former denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, has now long collaborated with the Presbyterian Church of Australia with its long-standing PRACTICAL allowance of rebellion re the matter of female elders (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 10-11), and equivocating re Scripture, with Confessionalistic moves (1991 - cf. The Biblical Workman Ch. 8) in direct defiance of its Biblical foundations of 1901. In much, the General Assembly moves of that year made the Westminster Confession an ultimate, sinking some of the glory from the Lord which had blessed this Church, into the practical lordship of a species of theology, the splatter of mere Calvinism which, for all its excellent features in many things, including the 'five points' (cf. The Biblical Workman op.cit.) lapses on the extent of the love of God for the lost (see below).
Further, although already equipped with a beautiful allowance for the extent of the panorama of the LOVE OF GOD, in its Declaratory Statement, the PC of Australia in 1991, quenched this, declaring it added NOTHING to the Confession, so reverting to the unbiblical extreme which alas, is one of the deficiences of strict Calvinism, concerning not God's sovereignty, but love's extent! It was on THIS provision concerning the love of God, that the Australian church became a union at all; and now this is defiled.
To all of this, the PC in America came with full fellowship and pastoral interchange! Indeed, a similar move from an allowance for the scope of the love of God to the lost was made in the RPCES in 1967, when this author joined it, and indeed as a CONDITION of being in it; but this disappeared when the RPCES denomination was simply swallowed up in the 1980s by the PC in America, coming in as naked, accepting what was there! So have two churches defaulted on this point (cf. Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 7, Great Execrations ... Chs. 7, 9 The Glow of Predestination ... 4, The Christian Pilgrimage Ch. 3, Beauty of Holiness Ch. 2, Outrageous Outages ... Ch. 9, Christ's Ineffable Peace... Ch. 2 and index on Calvin).
After years of this developing fellowship
from the far-off
Long before, one had taken action to warn the
(Update: In fact the thing is now more formalised, but not at all improved! - see Answers to Questions Ch. 8. Indeed, bound as acceptable, and even with some preference, are things impossible to derive from the Bible, concerning Genesis, a breach of the very essence of Presbyterianism and its Confession which will not have bound anything not deducible strictly from the Bible; and options are as much 'bound' as anything else - they are given status and place, and become nodes of authority. With preferred unbiblical option, it is even, if possible, worse!)
With warnings and protestations given over years, with this enormity on creation, it was surely time to be gone.
It is rather like that splendid poem of Burns,
which refers to the call of
It is time to DO what God says and to MOVE from what insists on teaching otherwise, doing otherwise, what REFUSES to conform to the clarity of the commandments.
THIS ? it is no great feat that His people
are called to: it is simple obedience (see The
Obedience ? It is not some love-free, lifeless, robotic activity of the spiritually deceased. Quite the contrary: it is the loving and distinctive expression of love when the One loved is God. THAT is PRECISELY what the Lord Himself DIRECTLY teaches, in words both categorical and astringent, both refreshing and real (John -23). THAT is where HIS DEITY comes to the fore. You are not obeying a great teacher, too big for his cap, or a great leader, too great for his camp: you are obeying, when following the words of Jesus the Christ, GOD HIMSELF (Titus , John , -23, Philippians 2:1-10). HIS name is above every name that can be named. HE is the SAVIOUR, whereas NO ONE is to be Saviour but GOD! (Isaiah 43:10). Will 'religionists' then NOT bother about God ? NOT if their religion is the result of knowing Him, of being in fellowship with the Father, in the Kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians ). Be assured, evil communications corrupt the way of life, and this is true in theology no less than in other phases of life (I Corinthians 15:33).
For mere man, yes, a condition of total dependence and obedience of mind is folly, and mindlessness; but not so when the man is GOD AS MAN, and the author is GOD HIMSELF! THEN NOT to obey is a form of spiritual insanity in the end; and that, it is a mellow terminology! (cf. Hosea 9:7).
Mindlessness is a name not least for what might be thought of as the soulless, 'depraved in mind and deprived of the faith' as Paul puts it (cf. II Timothy 3:8. in one of the translations). If obedience has a name as if mindless, it is not least because of the countless millions who have yielded often heartless obedience to dictators, AS IF to God, to men of the stamp of Hitler, Mao and Stalin, losing their souls in secular humanism, or obsessive petty substitutes, lost to the grandeur of the true God. The papacy is in precisely the same position, especially as may be seen in the Jesuit vows to the pope, requiring absolute obedience to HIM, while the papacy is issuing unauthorised recensions, alterations, additions to the gospel, an action both strictly forbidden and in fact expressly inheriting curse (Galatians 1).
It is NOT the people who fall, as if in some way the affair were personal, but the DISEASE TO WHICH THEY FALL VICTIM, which is the point. Like cancer, it is not in one sense a comment on the victim; it is the RESULT which brings at the physical level, what here comes at the spiritual. It is HENCE a thing of shame, for remorse, for immediate repentance. NOT to obey God in PRINCIPLE and in INSUBORDINATE PRACTICE, as if one were above Him, makes it worse: it is a form of deviousness in the end.
Still, perhaps to be rescued, nevertheless those who dabble in this reaction against reality, for whatever cause, are in dire peril and the words of Jude apply with precision :
"And on some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling ..." That, then, it is like trying to rescue a comrade in the midst of a bombardment, within the confines of a mine field, during a writhing war.
Indeed, a person's OWN SELF can occupy this spiritually insane (Hosea 9:7 gives the sense of that word) substitute for the living and changeless Christ. A man's - a woman's - yes, even a child's SELF fulfilment can be as god to the soul (cf. Isaiah 26:13); but God, as Isaiah there makes clear, is to be known ONLY by His own name - not that of the dictator, the self, the priest, pope or politician (cf. Acts 4:11-12). As to name, there is no other. As to God, there is no other. As to man, except for Christ, God in human form, he is neither eternal in his beginning nor sinless in His endings. ONLY Christ, once and for all, of all men, is that (cf. Revelation 2:8, 5:13, 22:1-6, 7:16-17, 1:18-19).
Hence when these spiritually rebellious turnings from the true and living God, to substitutes occurs, it is like a cracked voice, a polluted spring, a dry ocean bed. It is indeed ungainly, gross and anomalous. Hence obedience whether in the case of the Jesuits' vows, or the "inner self" idolatry type IS indeed a HORRIBLE THING. Jeremiah said it in his day (-31), and it applies to this no less:
"A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely,
and the priests bear rule by their means;
and my people love to have it so:
and what will you do in the end of it ?"
But let no one imagine that due and holy obedience is of small value or lustre. It is a lovely thing ONLY when it is absolute, ONLY to GOD! It is selective, it is apt, it is unique, as God is. It is to the Creator who knows the human heart, who loves it and died that we might live in abundance (John -11), according to that blessed design in His own image (Ephesians -24). It is more than fulfilment: it is truth.
Thus there is all but endless room for driving skill of the most personal character, WITHIN the rules or orders of road safety. In general, it does not depersonalise driving, but rather assists its personal effectiveness when such rules are kept.
How much more does living obedience to the living God enable life. You LOSE your life, to gain it ..Indeed, woe to those who seek to save their own lives!... for as to these, "he who saves his life, shall lose it," as Christ declared, Matthew , just AFTER rebuking Peter. And for what did He rebuke him: for trying to direct HIM as to the plan of salvation in a way contrary to His divine will and marvellous kindness on and to the Cross, an action not lost on a repentant Peter who is "also an elder" - I Peter 5:1-3, advising ALL elders NOT to be lords over God's heritage, but examples to the flock.
Seek your own fulfilment, save your own life ? It is Christ who does that, and His will is not susceptible to synthesis, or syncretism. HE ? He is the I AM , and there is none other. That, incidentally, is why the Jehovah's Witness call is so excruciatingly horrible, for they presume to USE the NAME of Jehovah, who is Christ, in denying to HIM what HE IS! Never was a mental contraption so creaky, a joke so appalling as this dead humour. It is Christ who is Jehovah's Witness, for it is HE who IS Jehovah, and He has COME to show it that we might KNOW it.
Here see I John 1:1-4, Ephesians 4:4, Isaiah 45:21-25, 43:10-12, 44:8, John 1:1-14: there is but ONE GOD, and the rest ? mere inflated subjects for irony and rebuke, those who will die - as in Jeremiah 10:11 and Psalm 82:6. THIS, it is but one variant of the distortion, the disease and the cancer which denies to God His name, and to man his obedience. It grabs works versus Ephesians 2:1-10, Matthew 7:21-23, and sacks the Lord's Christ (Luke ). It is not, however, Christ who will go. Objective and undismissible He remains, but not in the life concerned!
Save your life ? It is not merely amiss, futile but deadly, then, and this by His own word, whether it be by works of the body or the mind, the spirit or the aspirations of thought (cf. Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2:1-10). It is the SAVIOUR who saves your life and not you; and FOR His saving it, you love Him who first loved you (cf. I John ). It is HE who pays your fine, for your transgression if you come to Him by faith (Hebrews -15), just as He made the rules.
To obey Him is far better than to "obey" doctor's orders, for He is far more than the doctor of the soul:
He is the KING of the universe, eternal in life and without beginning. Those who demean HIM, like Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and Christadelphians by their doctrine, merely demean themselves as false witnesses, for He IS and to deny it is not merely an eager act of irrationality, but of doom (cf. SMR Ch.6, Repent or Perish Ch.2, SMR pp. 582ff., That Magnificent Rock Chs. 2-3).
To obey Him is wisdom - it enables wisdom, just as removal of cholesterol enables better blood flow. HE, by His Spirit, is like the sap in the vine. To restrict its flow is neither wise nor needful, merely constricting the coming of what is required for abundance of life. The clogging of disobedience may seem innovative and a matter of initiative: but look at history! Initiative is of two kinds: the one that kills by folly where wisdom is needed, and the one that looks IN WISDOM to what is sound and just, honourable, honest and true, and WITHIN THAT, with good understanding, bright illumination and deep comprehension.
It is, moreover, it is, wisdom intimately allied to the love of God, for without that, since GOD IS LOVE, you really are an ALIEN! As to that love, it does not suggest YOU reconstitute God (if it were possible, and many act mindlessly as if it were) or YOURSELF. HE is what He is, and you become what He makes you (John 3:3-8). AS THAT, you can be as original as you please. CONTRARY to it, is mere cancer of soul.
What then ? Obstruction of His life in you by other preoccupations, and even worse, by rebellion, is mere folly. It is destructive. It spoils life. It foils abundance.
In this obedience there is often a flow of refreshing, for God apportions, gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him (Acts ). He ENABLES and even ENNOBLES what is His in you (cf. II Cor.3:18), and what is required, He provides. ALL have that spirit who are HIS (Romans 8:16ff.), but as you WALK and WORK UNDER HIM, His is the supply and His is the fire and in the Lord, that Spirit, is liberty! It is NOT a paradox. It is not strange that if you try to sew on a 3rd arm you are in trouble. It is not strange that if you keep your arms the way they are designed, you have more liberty. It is the very essence and primer of understanding!
In the fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING OF WISDOM. Ah! but what then grows in the fellowship of Him!
God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him ? This means that it wells and surges, or acts with liberty in those who are on the road of reality, in the ways of truth, following His will as written, and His call to service as HE apportions it (cf. I Cor. 12:4-6). It is HE who apportions (cf. Acts 13:1ff.).
Refreshing ? Like an ocean swim in the heat: it does not remove the heat, but it is delightful all the same, rejuvenating, strengthening, invigorating, blessed and beautiful. It reminds one of Romans and of Isaiah 32:17, with 33:14-22. We have trials (I Peter 4:12ff., but rejoice to meet them, for if you are His HE is with you in them (cf. Acts , Matthew 28:18-20, Col. 1:27). And as to the example of the apostles, just look at their answers to "authority" (Acts 3:8ff.,18ff., 5:29ff.)!
From this, we
learn ? It is not the sting but the wing that is the thing! the wing of
faith in the skies of truth, which are God's.
For such things, see 1) A
Spiritual Potpourri, Chs. 10-11, A Question of Gifts *17,*18, pp.103ff., Joyful Jottings 1, Scoop of the Universe 43; and 2) The Kingdom of Heaven... Ch. 7, End-note 1, and Ch.3
with Scoop of the Universe44 and Swift Witness 3 .