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Reader's Digest, April 2002
SENTENCE ON SUBSTITUTES
Personally, I do not really like coffee. The aroma can be intriguing, to be sure; but it is the effect on the stomach later that does not appeal. During World War II, there was much talk about ersatz, substitutes, and coffee amongst them, ex-aroma, was one of the topics!
Coffee speaks. So does Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière. His judicial detective work in exposing much concerning Al Qaeda seems distinguished, and Reader's Digest for April 2002 has a fascinating article on that aspect. Delightful diligence, constant application and willingness to move internationally, and co-operate are all prominent.
Using a wonderful gift, the pocket organiser taken in 1996 from the corpse of a French Muslim, killed in a gun battle with police. Its code broken, its contents open to the probing eyes of many, it led to numerous links which, with other materials pursued with relish, led to an important arrest, that of Ressam, an angry activist whose capture in turn has reportedly led to his willingness to become a government witness against Al Qaeda.
Interesting indeed is the reported, earlier reluctance of the Canadian government to follow what might have appeared at the time, to have been the zeal of one not sufficiently alert to overtones in the case which could be politically sensitive. Nevertheless, it appears that Ressam, when caught, was on his way to the work which might have killed hundreds. By courage and zeal some officers in Port Angeles in Washington State intercepted the outrage before it worked, and the tide began to turn. That was in 1999. September 11 in due course, was to come.
Now, it is stated, Judge Bruguière is acting more like a professor, enlightening American law enforcement agencies from his results of years of ardent pursuit of the Al Qaeda complex, which proved so arresting to him earlier, apparently because of its ultra-mundane destructiveness, as if all on the planet but itself and its allies, were encroaching on a life better extinguished; but if not entirely this, then at least thsi should be the 'fate' of its symbols, power and panache. Thus as earlier reported, bin Laden pines, according to evidence collected, for a world in which the 'glories' of Moslem possessions will be restored (cf. The Lord is the Light of My Life Ch. 8, *1). In view, however, of the way it has shown in many past instances of 'possessing' things, it is clear that this would be an assault on God Himself, securing for an idol of vulpine appetite for the souls and often the substance of men, a glory which is illusory (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Barbs 30).
That of course is one reason why it has not worked: what is not true may for a little surge by mere force, but in the end, despite all its writhings and contrivings, it does not because it cannot work. (Cf. SMR pp. 840, 829-831, More Marvels ... Ch. 4, The Lord is the Light of My Life Ch. 3). Currently, it lies exposed in its dereliction, stunningly for all to see. Small wonder a certain madness grips many, who want to MAKE it work! as if to operate a steam-shovel by hand effort alone, while the thing is shut off.
will not work ( Cascade ... Ch. 12, pp. 155ff.,
Impregnable Tower Ch. 1 ); but what
is the next step in the devolution of man, that profound regress to the
diabolical digression of Eden, that lust with the words, 'Has God said!'
ringing in the aspirant ears of the now yet more decisively deviating human
race ? It is the parody of life, known as the DANCE OF THE SUBSTITUTES!
THE LIFE SUBSTITUTE
Thus as the NEED for ID cards is being promulgated (quite understandably) by Judge Bruguière, for as he declares, it would give a massive advantage in the race against ruin from terrorists, this is merely a commencement. IN ORDER to SURVIVE, the human race, for so long now rather childishly fascinated or absorbed by such a profane concept, may then seek some way to stop the rot in its civilisation. It may desire to outwit the terrorist, and while it is as it ... of course, control the forces of VARIOUS kinds which may be disadvantageous to the sort of world it is going to occur to many, to create. For long, such bodies as the Council for Foreign Relations have had a world state in mind, it appears. Many have been those from Freemasonry on which have sought to find, to have wrought, some brotherhood, or call it what you will, some unity which will EMBRACE all, but all! It is to be done, in the ultimate, without God, though any assemblages of cultural, psychic or merely religious projections, assigned the name 'god' would be quite all right, though needing unification in the passion to replace the ONE GOD, in the end!
Seeking life in such a noble enterprise
the human race may then lurch. But into what ?
Why into unity! See already the passion*1, how it mounts. It must be the unity of Asia, or of Europe, or of ... the world! Soon the ID may be too readily mis-deployed through aggressively expert technology, so that the personal tattoo may come as already more than merely envisaged in some official circles (cf. SMR pp. 906, 967ff. ). It will be so NECESSARY to control ... you know, the earth is limited, and human invention is rather less so! To survive, you see ... there are things that one must do. Yes, yes! they say in that day, as they did in that of Hitler, until it was ... too late to change - him!
Thus you get the SURVIVAL SYNDROME, or to our present point, the SURVIVAL SUBSTITUTE for LIFE.
It appears so necessary for the simplest and most profound of reasons. In the end much comes to that, the duality of this kind. It is because GOD is being mocked in the realm of substitutes for security, for life and for glory, for meaning and for hope, for ideal and for action, that the sale of the soul comes to be the necessities, as it appears to the darkness of midnight for man, of survival. This makes the sky so dark that mere darkness would seem almost light by comparison. This is no mere inadequacy of light, but its blighting as evil. It must go - and GOD must go, in this inflated scenario, because not all want Him, and there is a total desire for this world for itself, and this life, for man, without any interference, intervention or control. It is in such circumstances as these that the Idol Shepherd (vain, worthless), as Zechariah 11:17 calls that exponent, or the Man of Sin as Paul depicts the final flush of folly, so explicitly in II Thessalonians 2, arises, like a surfer from the crowd of youngsters at the beach, abreast of the crest of the highest wave.
But after all, it is only a wave in the sea. It is not the Maker of the ocean!
Ascribing the wave to himself, he is to have the insanity to SHOW HIMSELF that he is God, as Paul indicates in this scripture, of the situation just prior to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ,
This then is the life substitute, with survival substituting for living.
In the meantime, there are other substitutes which arise. Compared with the integrity of truth, they are like papier mâché copies of the picture of mountains above, squalid at their feet.
there is also the liberty substitute*2,
the love substitute*3,
the brilliance substitute
and the glory substitute.
At each we will briefly look.
SUBSTITUTE - SLOW IN COMING,
BUT ENFOLDING WITH BRAZEN ARMS
the first place, with the survival syndrome, comes the governing necessity,
and hence for the sake of liberty (allegedly to live, since without God
man is willing to sell his all to get this), liberty is lost. The residual
liberty is to be told what to do by a wiley and squalid substitute for
truth, without understanding, without reality, a sketch of a diamond retaining
only its sharpness! It may flatter but it will spatter the disobedient,
for it is an idol shepherd.
"Overthrown, overthrown,This is the divine intention regarding the human endeavour to arrest the rule of God with his own. It will go like the departing waves, but what is to come is what will never depart (cf. Daniel 7:27, What endures is what is enduring, the truth of God, and He who is the truth will Himself rule past all deception without exception (cf. Isaiah 11). For as Isaiah 60:2 puts it, "For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your arising." But who is He who is their light but the LORD (Psalm 27:1, John 9:5, 14:6), and who will be glorified but He! (Isaiah 65:13-15, Acts 1:7, II Thessalonians 1).
I will make it overthrown!
Until He comes whose right it is,
And I will give it to Him."
Of course this wonderful prophecy was said to Israel of the Light (Isaiah 49:6) accorded them, the arrow sent (Isaiah 48:;16, 49:2), to earth as man (Isaiah 9:1-7), and which for long they have as a nation rejected. This however continues only until the day of a massive turning to Him (Romans 11:25ff.) even in Israel, thus adding its component to the already long established Church of Jesus Christ; and equally surely it is applicable to the human race, some of whose kings have come, while and in this way or that, others doubtless will do so (as in Psalm 2, 110, Isaiah 52:15). Israel was chosen not as a NON human race assemblage, but as representative, selected for a purpose towards the whole race, and to exhibit what all needed (cf. Psalm 67, 73, 2).
It has been exhibited, is being exhibited, even as the divine program is released in the very midst of its current national unbelief, and it will be exhibited, as all the plans of God are fulfilled. These, they know no other destiny but performance, and He who constructed the incredibly complex machinery of the body, the colossus of condensed code that runs so much of the human equipment, having also constructed the history for the race, invests it with actuality as time comes and fruition falls, as it does to other crops. This, it is the crop of man.
It is to be reaped, as Matthew 24:29-31 with 13:37-43, so clearly declares for us. The seed has long been out (Isaiah 55:11-13), and all the growing phases are of intense interest (cf. SMR Ch. 9 with Ch. 8, which shows in some detail what was to and has come to pass). They reach an end.
But what of Israel ? THEIR Messiah, though deleted as far as the nation was concerned at the time (cf. Isaiah 49:7), being delivered, resurrected and returning to rule, will do so, and the cry of the desolators is overpowered by the surge of splendour of the coming King, whose first instalment was to tell the truth, to heal, to suffer and to die, to rise and to return to heaven, and whose second is the exhibition of majesty with tenderness, truth with mercy and power without mere panache (Isaiah 35, 52-53; Isaiah 11, 2, Micah 4, 7, Psalm 73). But with all this, comes judgment according to truth, since truth though in the most intimate alliance with mercy, one God, does not abort when mercy is neglected! (Psalm 2, 110, Isaiah 11).
All these things have been predicted, and the first phase complete, the second is presenting its credentials for a incoming office that looms like a mighty liner, near a smaller pier, docking (cf. Answers to QuestionsCh. 5, Luke 21).
Meanwhile there is the adversative government of man. Man in his Babel suit is always on the make, on the move, on the mountain in his imagination, even when in the deepest of pits, stuck in the most unforgiving of mires. To be sure there are lulls, mountains of faith arise, whole nations move lithely up the rises, and morals seem to become binding; but ere long, the rise falls, the nations swell into choppy disorder and the vision is nationally lost. Such is the prediction, that evil men will arise and evil itself will become more and more conspicuous. Such it was to be and so it is (Matthew 24:11-12, II Timothy 3:1-9, 13), until the world writhes in its own insidious and pseudo-superman, a mere base note in the symphony of history, one indeed of incredible loathsomeness, seeming to some for a moment, to ring in the heights.
you are going to get the LOVE SUBSTITUTE, in lordliness of one kind or
another. You see it in detail in Revelation
13, what is to be, in fact. Its unlovely flower is like the gingko tree,
which announces its presence, so that one can scarcely believe that a tree
would be planted with such an evil odour; but it is. Yes the symbol of
malign sovereignty is to be seen readily enough; and the substance is increasingly
apparent (cf. SMR pp. 750Bff.,
Other News Appendix 1).
AS BONNY AS A BLAST FROM IRAQ
The BRILLIANCE SUBSTITUTE is a misuse of mind, as the love copy, a blight of heart.
In this case, the sheer spectacle of man, given by God, the creative capacity, on the one hand, and the mental parallelism to the nature of Nature, to allow inventions that have power, gives intoxication to man's spirit. I MUST BE GOOD, he intones, or MY SCIENCE must be marvellous, or MY PHILOSOPHY must be ingenious and so on. There is nothing too good for the none-so-clever-as man people. Humanism raises its head like a donkey bellowing (and they SOUND as if they thought it was fine stuff, arresting, remarkable), and bellows.
In all this is mere vainglory. Inflated man is merely using the car it was given on the roads already made. It should be a case of worshipping the Maker of the facilities; but this is soon forgotten while man, like arrant 'teen-agers not yet grown to appreciate what they use, bestows on himself all the accolades that are the just and due property of God. II Thessalonians is only its arrogant acme and final zenith, inverted however, so that what seems like the heights of heaven, fast approaches the depth of hell (II Thessalonians 2:4,7-8). Shortly after this eccentric elevation, the exponent of divinity, the false and idol shepherd, the ersatz, the fictitious and factitious arrogator of splendour, is consumed by the personal advent of the Truth, Jesus Christ (cf. Revelation 19, II Thess. 1).
Yet he has his little day, the red heart of lust and oppression combining with the dead heart with lustreless eyes, dim to fate, failed for future, oblivious of destiny, funereal in scope. He indeed had predecessors, an unlovely list being available.
this way, man without God experiments with races, like dear Adolf, with
political systems like delightful Stalin, with genes now, and clones, so
that nothing can be withheld from him (to use the language appropriate
to the intoxication, from Genesis 11:6, that former Babel fixation). His
brilliance dazzles him and he forgets that he has no idea on earth where
he is going, why he is going and on the nature of his quest. What may be
therapeutic for some purposes, and may be available with great restrictions
for some things, becomes a lure and a lust, for man to be in control ...
yes, yes ? ... of all things ? Ah! so the spiritual stomach swells and
gets too broad for the breeches with which he rides.
becomes fat, just as Israel did of old, and he kicks, like his predecessor,
so that Jew or Gentile, all alike are gone astray. Consider therefore Deuteronomy
“But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked;
You grew fat, you grew thick,
You are obese!
"Then he forsook God who made him,
And scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods they did not know,
To new gods, new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear.
Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you.
“And when the Lord saw it, He spurned them ..."
The mangling of majesty with the dysentery of desire leads to death for one as for the other, so that all stand condemned (Romans 1-2). As now man, in his second innings - the Gentile era, now coming quite decisively to its close (cf. Luke 21:24), with the restoration of Jerusalem to the Jew - with face guard and shin shield continues to produce the tongue to the truth, and the hands to the ears to the Lord, impelling himself with false pride and foolish vanity, in fact more like a pop gun pointing at a robber, he becomes a terror only to himself. So is he confirming in Gentile day what was found in that of Israel in the past, finding in spurious glory only this, that the real glory has departed, and then even the spurious glory does not remain, but abandons them in its own shame.
In Israel's ancient times, Hosea in 10:1-8 expresses it:
Israel empties his vine;You see the same thing in Ezekiel in an intensely moving passage, in which the prophet is shown the squalid substitute for worship and the beauty of holiness, in spurious worship, furious obsessions and gross deceptions, using as deities mere emblems of the creation. Step by step the glory of the Lord is seen departing, first from the inner place, then from the Temple, and then it moves distant from the city, abandoned to itself and its foolishly secured fate. (See Ezekiel 1:3, 6:3-4, 8:6-13, , 9:9-11, 10:4, 18, 11:2-3,22-25).
He brings forth fruit for himself.
According to the multitude of his fruit
He has increased the altars;
According to the bounty of his land
They have embellished his sacred pillars.
Their heart is divided;
Now they are held guilty.
"He will break down their altars;
He will ruin their sacred pillars.
"For now they say,
'We have no king,
Because we did not fear the Lord.
And as for a king, what would he do for us?'
"They have spoken words,
Swearing falsely in making a covenant.
Thus judgment springs up like hemlock in the furrows of the field.
The inhabitants of Samaria fear
Because of the calf of Beth Avenue.
For its people mourn for it,
And its priests shriek for it—
Because its glory has departed from it.
"The idol also shall be carried to Assyria
As a present for King Jareb.
Ephraim shall receive shame,
And Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.
As for Samaria, her king is cut off
Like a twig on the water.
"Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel,
Shall be destroyed.
The thorn and thistle shall grow on their altars;
They shall say to the mountains, 'Cover us!'
And to the hills, 'Fall on us!' ”
It is so, this comparison with the trend of this whole world today, right down to the indifference to the divine, through which they stray and say,
"The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land" (Ez. 8:12), and on this they now would 'improve', so that they would rather resemble those in Malachi, saying,
who does evil
Is good in the sight of the LORD,
And He delights in them" (Malachi 3:17b),
"We call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up" (3:15),
and again, as in Zephaniah 1:12, where the Lord undertakes to punish those who are "settled in complacency, who say in their heart, 'The LORD will not do good, nor will He do evil.' "
It is then that the glory substitutes are impounded, compounded and finally confounded, and we have looked at this in Benevolent Brightness 82, and its outcomes somewhat in 87. They aspire to conquer now, not the earth only but the heavens (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri 1-3). They leave their own nature (cf. Things Old and New Ch. 4, News, Facts and Forecasts 8, Repent or Perish Ch. 5), only to be submerged subversively in nearly any imaginable folly, fecklessness, recklessnes, like the spoilt children of the rich, idly captious; but they pay, alas, oh they pay!
The glory of spurious brilliance departed, the gory gutlessness of evisceration by mere power continues to cover the earth with blood, as for Israel, exposed in Ezekiel 8:17, Isaiah 1:21-23.
Is it not as classically exposed in the address to the King of Tyre (28:17),
heart was lifted up because of your beauty.
You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendour"
or as in the AV, "by reason of your brightness".
The brightness is the belittling of the beauty, since it became self-assured, self-founded and since it is God donated, it became merely a confusion and a confounding. This, instead of grace abounding! The joy is this, however, that the true glory is not sullied by the spurious exhibitions of the false substitute, and to anyone who calls on the name of the Lord, in faith, receiving Him as He is and His work of salvation freely as it is given, will be saved (John 6:40,47,50-54, Acts 2:21, 37ff., John 10:9, I Thess. 5:9-10, John 5:24, 3:16, Galatians 3 and 5, 1:6-9, Romans 5:1-11). Who then cares for the follies of evanescent splendour, when it is already a mere shadow on the lung, in a driver doomed to crash in weakness, though for the moment he races, wilfully oblivious of his condition.
was Israel in its judgment phase, and so is the Gentile world in its own.
So much for the contemptuous despising of Israel. The world does but join
it; and as to it, it will be that many in it will arise and come, and there
is to be a deliverance from the Lord, to make His point, that it is He
who governs the course of the nations, and deals with delirious delusions
of splendour in Jew or Gentile, as He will*4
At the same time, He gives and has given to the nations those opportunities to find in Him their glory, in Him their beauty, and in phases over history, much has been wrought, many kings and nations have felt intimately the thrust of the truth; and though the world will in its end assert its own dull brightness, lax unloveliness and lifeless life, a mere adornment in flesh that misses the wonder of the creation and the joy of the Creator, in His lustrous exuberance and faithful love, many are they who from its disappearing portals have proceeded to enter the Gate of Glory. Who is this and who is this Gate ? It is as in John 10:9 that of the lowly shepherd, whose commencement is never begun, since His endurance has been forever (Micah 5:1-3), whose advancement is merely the restoration to Him of the glory He yielded that man might be shielded, and whose work is truth.
The Son of Man, the incarnate God, Jesus Christ the only Saviour available, is the only One needed and the One in whom is all splendour, not for doting self-elevation, but for serviceable securing of His people, to be His flock who is most wise, and His joy who is most splendidly glorious in the midst of humility, holy in the midst of power and personal to His people, whom He created persons, and makes sons of God.
See Isaiah 51:11, Ezekiel 34:11-16, John 10, Ephesians 4:24, John 3:1-5, I John 3.
Acme, Alpha and Omega:
Jesus Christ Ch. 1 (actual);
Frantic Millenium and the Peace of Faith (FM)
2 (actual and commonly suggested ... antidotes); - AAA9
- glamour, stammer, hammer ... flitter and glitter; REF
3 (the soporific self, and the unity glide, under the sedation
FM Ch. 11 - twigs and towers;
News, Facts and Forecasts (NFF) Ch. 8 - sham, shame and co.;
NFF 13 - symphony and seditions - two heady heads,
NFF 14 - deadly d's;
Repent or Perish Ch. 5 inventions in mind, gender, politics ...
(spiritual - political - economic surrealism, and reality, and various modes of escape from efficacious unity, where it belongs), and with this,
It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Chs. 10, 11, 5, 4,
News, Facts and Forecasts 13, More Marvels ... Ch. 10 (spiritual);
earth charter, religious summits and UN - CALL 11, NFF 13,
Things Old and New Epilogue, Joyful Jottings 1, Tender Times for Timely Truths Ch. 2; TMR 7 , Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 9 (noting and leaving the mish-mash of many dynamic disunities and frustrated fabrications of unity, to find the actual unity).
See also SMR pp. 750Bff., and 743. and The Other News Appendix 1.
See on this topic, Licence for Liberty esp. Ch. 1, and also freedom in the indexes.
See some of the obnoxious obfuscations, for example, in Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium Ch. 9, incl. End-notes 1 and 2.
See The Biblical WorkmanCh. 1 *3, and Ch. 3 *1. See also SMR pp. 623ff..