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and the Beauty of Holiness
11) From Beauty of Holiness
9, 13, 14
WHEN SUMMER IS OVER
with some reference to what follows
When Summer is over, and the last rose of Summer is left blooming alone; when the Church Age is over, and the last soul is taken to heaven, resurrected and conducted to the allotted seat at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb (Revelation 19), there is left an abandonment so complete, a tableau so terrible that the notorious term, Armageddon (Revelation 16:16) is merely the death rattle.
The cruelty without compunction is the end-product of the ruin without reality, visited by philosophy, endowed by hell and endured for a short time only, by the elect before their departure. The famed 666 situation (cf. SMR pp. 906ff., 967-968) is again, merely an economic variant within the total pathological picture.
It is our opportunity, this time, to look at some of the elements of this predicted time, both AS predicted and AS fulfilled, to gain more insight into our times, more caution in our actions, more preparedness in our dispositions and decisions.
FIRST - VIRUSES
During our discussion of plagues in the book of Revelation, which is allied to Matthew 24, it was interesting to reflect on some of the mechanisms. Attention in one of our studies seemed focus on influenza. This virus is often slightly different, so tending to humble the efforts of medicine to deliver the victims.
This is an important area in creation as well as revelation. A most fascinating article by Dr Jerry Bergman appeared on this topic of variation in viruses, in the Technical Journal, VOL. 13, No. 1, 1999, of Creation Ex Nihilo. Entitled, "Did God make pathogenic viruses ?" it runs from pp. 119-125.
It is well worth reading, and to our current point it indicates from extensive research and development relatively recent, in this field, that viruses are far from merely adverse, but rather play an enormous role in ecology, being aids in bacterial life, and able to transfer bacterial DNA from one place to another, being carriers in some of their functions. This of course, enables influenza viruses to vary slightly, as relevant genes are selected in a sophisticated process (some possible cartage units are rejected), and just as bacteria can transfer material from one to another, so viruses can aid this and gain variation.
That of course is additional to the simple elimination of a given strain, through the host overcoming it, and antibiotics aiding the health of the host in the process. Variant viruses may then NOT have prepared for them, antibody memory present in the human body (since the difference is not yet coded), and these may, pending the amazing work of our resistance system (a sort of non-walking biochemical wizardry of processive and progressive steps) be able to fire effectively in the human system, so leading for many, and at times, for many millions, to death. In time, they may be countered as the amazing internal, programmatic chemical 'research' proceeds in the body, and the virus being coded for action, suitable antibodies are produced in the body, so that the thing can be tagged and destroyed; but then time is sometimes of the essence!
Again, re-arrangements of genetic material may occur, or loss of it.
In the case of bacteria, strains not effective in normal nature, may acquire effectiveness when some special feature, possibly even the ABSENCE of some feature which is attacked by the antibiotic, CAN and DOES survive in the hospital environment, where its very weakness in nature, becomes a strength in the therapeutic, antibiotic environment, which it may better tolerate, lacking some interface, or being diverse in some feature (Wieland calls such 'wimps'). Such matters have on various occasions been seen in the literature from Dr Carl Wieland, included in Creation Magazine (e.g. Dec. - Feb. 1998).
Things however do as they are told. They do not in any known case, acquire new data, as Dr Werner Gitt is quick to point out, in his special field of information technology, and Wieland likewise notes in his article; and the theoretical situation is as adverse as the practical observation. The trend there is one way only, DOWN. (Cf. Second Law of Thermodynamics in Index.)
Let us however now return to viruses. Dr Bergman notes the enormous numbers of virus types and concentrations in soil and ocean water, the latter being a very new revelation. Many perform useful functions and co-exist even beneficially with hosts. Relatively slight derangements, or misplacements, as may occur more readily in AIDS, in homosexual intercourse, may readily lead to fatal diseases. Sin in one sense IS misplacement, and its spiritual actualities can often be seen in two ways: the JUDGMENTS whereby slight variations can bring enormous degradations in human life, and the CURRENT ACTUALITIES by which man opting out of divine cover for the earth, is left with one permitted to discover its potencies to a race which, like blind children, is messing with the medicine cabinet, or just ignoring the instructions.
While this can rain on the just and the unjust, like beneficial rain, it is notice to the race, as the plagues of Revelation so crucially attest, that all is not well. When children set the house on fire, it may or may not be the result of a failing smoke alarm; but they really need their parents. The racism of the human race, human racism (cf. SMR pp. 1008-1011) is such that the desire to avoid our Creator, the Father of all, is not merely spiritually pathological, but physically disastrous.
While however physical plagues are noted in Revelation in some detail, and in general attested in Christ's own predictions as seen in Matthew 24:7, where they are allied with famines and earthquakes (things considered in detail in SMR pp. 650ff.), there are spiritual plagues*1, both directly asked for and partakers in divine judgment which are far worse. To have your equipment marred is one thing; to have the control and the personality, the spirit and the mind infected is more ultimate, more tragic and in the end, a pathology which passes, if not remedied, beyond even this earth! (Mark 9, Jude, II Peter 2-3, Revelation14:9-11). The pangs of tormenting conscience to those who fall headlong into the cauldron of spurious, furious philosophy, incandescent theology fired first from hell, discordant deviation of mind, body and spirit, are worse than any spears, and Shakespeare has so well captured this both in the pity of the doctor and nurse for the insane Lady Macbeth in her deluded imaginations and tormented guilt, and in the lurid imagery which obsesses here.
The hardened can put shackles on conscience now, and inure their spirits to the realities of their robbery of themselves from their divine author, which no mythology can alter (cf. That Magnificent Rock Chs. 1, 8), and to the misuses of their lives for their own purposes, little gods lacking all but authenticity, power and truth; it is not so however hereafter. When judgment sits, as in the case where a paedophile was to be forced later to confront his former victims when of age, the truth is not escapable.
us look meanwhile at some of these spiritual horrors which come in judgment
on the one hand, and in result, on the other, of the follies of human racism,
false worship and spurious spiritual sallies in man.
TIANANMEN, FALUN GONG, THE DEVIL,
ROMANISM, THE FALSE PROPHET AND THEIR ILK
There is need to be very clear about a number of inter-related elements. While we may pursue these in sequence as we progress in our Revelation study, when this is undertaken, there is a moment when clarification and comparison can help; and this would serve well for some, for that.
The Tiananmen Papers, mentioned at times in the Press, would indicate massive, monolithic decision by central Communist authority, finally by one man indeed, Deng Xiao Ping. The distortion evidenced by the Papers, on the part of one functionary who presented an assessment of the student riots or meetings to Deng, was not on the part of money, but power, control, and the dominant continuance of the Communist Party at the helm in China. It evidently led Deng to make a negative judgment, so that the slaughter proceeded. The leading voice of mercy was dismissed, not being heeded. In Ch. 3, above, War and Peace in Heaven, this matter is examined in some depth and detail.
The thrust and counter-thrust was about power, and mercy did not win!
Power to continue the take-over of human souls was the issue. It was found necessary in this lair of lordliness, with its amusing talk of the dictatorship of the proletariat, or rule of the ordinary citizens in their lowliness, when in fact it is the dictatorship OVER the ordinary citizens. It is a very mystical thing, how the people manage to be so 'interpreted' by the Communist officials, a small percentage of the people, that they are able to know what is desired and to implement it, even when it means that the souls of men are stifled from much non-mystical expression, and indeed imprisoned for it, as some of the student leaders and brave wall-poster artisans found out!
Such repressive masterpieces of expression, such clairvoyant knowledge of the minds of their victims is indeed a remarkable achievement, the more when police are so prevalent to ENFORCE the decisions of the people and penalties so needed to ENSURE them, while loudspeakers were noted at one point in Time Magazine, as blaring in the rural areas even, to ensure that the will of the people was not forgotten... BY the people!
Communism, of course, like any foolish human system, can be subverted, indeed like all merely human political procedures. The Bible is emphatic on this fact, in Ezekiel 21:26-27, a verse we have examined previously, but now note:
"Remove the turban, and take off the crown;Who HE is becomes a matter explained in Ezekiel 34, where the Lord finds enormous dereliction of duty on the part of the pastors and indicates that HE HIMSELF PERSONALLY will come and do that work, in human format.
Nothing shall remain the same.
Exalt the humble, and humble the exalted.
I will make it overthrown!
It shall be no longer,
Until He come whose right it is,
And I will give it to Him"
This is coincident with the new heart of the new covenant (Ezekiel 37:14, 16:60, Jeremiah 31:31ff.) and the Messiah, the King (37:24), that predicted descendant from David, in whom God would be expressly incarnate (Psalm 45, Micah 5).
is the MERCY which prevailed in heaven, the devil and his angels being
given short-shrift and removed from heavenly access (Revelation 12), in
complete contrast to the case in China at Tiananmen, that watershed, or
lava-shed, more aptly! This led to CHRIST INCARNATE WHO DIED for His people;
the other to the Army, which KILLED for the people, and in so doing, killed
many of them. So expression became illegal, protest improper, cries for
reform from corruption criminal, and death was the interpretation... theirs.
BEING BOLD NOT COLD
In China, at the time, however, there appears from these Papers and other evidence, to have been a pathological fear of being overthrown on the part of the Party, which would be no party to it, and so made not the Boston Tea Party, as in the USA beginnings of independence, but the Anti-Student Assault, in the Chinese endings of independence.
Such a fear on the part of Party leaders is comprehensible, since people do not like their souls being enslaved - never did. They tend at times to act against it, as in the French Revolution, when the case, after much Inquisition and political corruption, was not far different in some ways, from that in China when the student outcry for reform and purgings of corruption occurred. In the French case, some perpetrators of evil against the people suffered, and some others in the vile passions aroused; in the Chinese one, the corruption continued, the power proceeded.
Falun Gong is a more contemporary affair in China. It is not itself a power grasp, like Communism itself, which at the first was NEVER voted in, and when freedom was at its height in Russia, was voted OUT.
It is one more testimony that human beings do not like their spirits being enslaved by other human beings, acting as gods - all the worse, when these oppressive people deny that there are any!
In truth, man on restoration to God, MUST SPEAK BOLDLY as in Philippians 1:20-212 and Acts 4:19-20, and 5:29ff.! Diplomacy is an art form designed to spare needless rufflings of feelings or confrontations; and when honest can be useful. But where truth is the criterion, to use slight or evasive words becomes a form of lie, an indirection, a compromise. These were not peripheral issues of nicety, but the fundamental issues of truth and the faith. These are no more the proper subject of parlay than is cancer, when a patient is ready to die of it, if no operation occurs. The truth must be told clearly, decisively, in case the emergency is not realised, by the 'patient'.
As we shall see shortly, Communism is in fact a religious movement, even though it encases itself in a hard case of protested atheism. It represents a dire emergency for the human spirit, here as likewise hereafter.
This need to speak frankly, forcibly and fully on the topic of the honour of Christ and the necessity to follow Him in all things, no less to the Communists than to the Priests in ancient Jerusalem (which was destroyed through its tenacity against the truth, just as Christ predicted with great sorrow in Luke 19:42ff.): it is seen further in Luke 9:25-26. What in the world is the use of gaining all the world! Christ asked, if you lose your own soul. Indeed, He indicated, if you are ashamed of HIM before men, He will be ashamed of you before His Father.
Thus Christians, in China or elsewhere, are still more dangerous than the Falun Gong, because their outspokenness is not only that of appraisal in a free speaking sally for liberty, but a response to a divine COMMAND! Hence they are also accorded the 'treatment' by the Chinese authorities, in that diplomatic intrigue,
The State ? It readily finds this upsetting and deems it a crime. It is, in some ways, rather as if the Mafia were to take to the Italian Police as subversive. In fact, in effect that is not far from what they sometimes seem to do, in such absolutist spheres and systems!
Is however Communism the WORST political system, or abuse of man, as it is alleged that Falun Gong have asserted ? Possibly not. Romanism should win the race by more than a head. If - and of course estimates are not easy - but if it is true that Mao and Stalin between them accounted for perhaps 20 millions deaths of mere persecution and compulsorily pursued 'adjustment' to their ideas (an odd form of interpretation), then this would scarcely tally against the Romanist Inquisitions, and the various Romanist adventures with various States, as in the death or submit to Rome situations with Aztec and Inca, with European and Britisher, which vexed the world for centuries, and led to various wars, as that of Pope Martin against the Hussites, the encouragement of the Crusades, one salient phase of World War I as of World War II (SMR pp. 920, 968-969), and the other involvements of diplomatic manipulation.
Some of these in turn led to long-term the exile of Jesuits from so many countries in Europe, when their work was at its height, not to mention war in the last century. Avro Manhattan documents much more in Vietnam's case, and indeed his various works such a Vatican Imperialism in the Twentieth Century deserve close reading. See also SMR pp. 968-970, 950ff., 919-921, in which various other wars are seen in train of this unholy territorial ambition.
Moreover Communism, for its part, is certainly not the final beast in Revelation 13, from Daniel 7, for that beast is manifestly most religious, even having a second beast to HANDLE that side of things, one sounding in deed very much like a dragon, but dressed up as Lamb (Rev. 13:11, cf. Matthew 7:15).
As to Rome itself, it will be removed in the final beast development (as noted in SMR pp. 946ff.). Overthrown, as in Ezekiel, this most pestiferous virus of Christianity, is tossed off. To change the imagery, she is no more needed for her spiritual harlotry (as in Revelation 17, cf. SMR pp. 946ff.), and is excluded from the body; but what a body! the body of the beast! Formerly engaged in 'riding' the beast, she is now overthrown from her place of privilege and her intrigue with this worldly powers, so often seen in the infamous Concordats, such as with Hitler's body.
Thus Communism is not the final, fatal essence of the beast (the eighth which is the beast itself as in Revelation 17:11), because the second beast of 13:11ff. is a religious specialist. In history, the parallel coverage, as always, begins to appear. Communism is so fatal a reduction of the realities of man (failing in several of the monistic errors as in Repent or Perish 7 and SMR pp. 422Eff.), that this it could never hope to do. It is like putting a cart-wheel on a Holden Commodore. It is a little too obvious (cf. SMR pp. 925-926). Romanism is not to be continued by the beast, so this too is out.
What then is IN ? What new model is to be given access for the efforts to seduce the world, corrupt the church and corrode the sinning soul of man ? What new 'glory' is to be sought, and what new folly to be bought in the spiritual supermarkets of folly by vanity on behalf of mankind, or most of it ?
THE RELIGIOUS SPECIALIST
The religious specialist beast, then, the propagator of the beast religion (Rev. 13, and see for current developments here, It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls ... Ch. 11, News Facts and Forecasts 15, News 123, SMR pp. 743, 750Bff.) has statedly all the power of the first beast. He is to bring things into array, in the novel but alas so very old, seductive schemings of the frequently raddled human spirit.
To this end at the present time, this specialisation in 'normalisation' and creation of a religion which has neither authority nor truth, but is power backed by man, in his religion of human racism (cf. SMR pp. 509, 1008ff., 1017), is rife. This is our contemporary world position. It has to be; how else would the predictions be fulfilled, which represent the considered conduct of the divine will; for it has known from before the world began, how man would end in his lusts and passions! (Ephesians 1:4, Revelation 13:5, Isaiah 46:10, Acts 13;15). History can only do as it is told, and it does it. God's control of the events, however, is not at all the same as His investing of the heart of man with the sin he chooses; it is rather a deep strategic oversight, which knowing the events, and determining the controls, specifies the outcomes in accord with the sin and its deserts, under the 'roof' of His overall mercies and seekings (cf. Acts 17:26-27, Ephesians 1:11; cf. Predestination and Freewill pp. 142ff.).
It is this second, this religious beast, this concession to the nature of man derivative as it is from the nature of God Himself, this opportunity for the devil to gain much desired worship (as in Matthew 4:9): it is this which works the wickedness of worship of an image, a mere creation, in place of the Creator (cf. Romans 1:21ff.). "Professing to be wise, they became fools," is the word of the Apostle Paul, inspired from heaven here; and in the last phase of the process, inspired from hell, we see in Revelation 13 and indeed some later chapters, the parade of the paraphernalia of corruption. Thus, as in Romans in general trend, so in Revelation in particular act, the "changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image" , a fitting end to a religion of symbolism which never touched the substance, the reality, and merely tittivated the soul of man in defiance of truth.
Thus as man wakes up a little, to the religious needs, so the devil uses this to his own devices as usual, and man 'advances' or progresses, but only in delusion, making one little mistake, he has the wrong god, the one who is merely another creation, and one of great vanity.
What then - Communism ? too reductionistic, too blatant, making truth in its alleged absence, and making hey while the gloom grows; Romanism, too repressive, too unbased, too unsound, too unspiritual, and yet chained and shackled by SOME sort of acknowledgement at least of some scriptural matters.
This combination, found excellent for earlier spiritual sedition, is too crimping for the final flurry of the evil one himself. He wants more spiritual lebensraum than that! As Revelation 17:3,16, predicts, the 'harlot' of Revelation 17 is tossed off her formerly prominent position of collusion with this-worldly powers, riding the beast (cf. SMR pp. 903ff., 957, 965).
As seen in the references in the first paragraph of this Section,
thus follows the divine predictions in Revelation, and is moving its foot
harder on the accelerator, for after all, with Israel back in its land
(cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5),
the time is "near" (Luke 21:24-28), so that action is CALLED FOR. This
is one cue that the actor in question definitely does NOT miss! The rate
of change in the last 60 years has been amazing; in the last 10, it has
been such that incredulity might almost seek to rebuke the eyes, had not
the thing been predicted, so that the 'hurry' is required!
It is impressive, like seeing the first atomic bomb explode: it is SO VERY predicted. With that, there was however some doubt; with this, there can be done, for the word of God has this quality, that it works, always did, always does, must because of the nature of Him who speaks (cf. SMR Chs. 1-3,10, and pp. 623ff.). The laws of 'Nature' are but the expression of His divine thought; the word of God howeer is the decisive depiction of His desire, decisions, decrees, directions, purpose and person!
As then the paraphernalia for the second beast is diligently being prepared, we find those concerned increasingly using 'religious talk' quite unlike the case of the Communists who, though they needed an implicit god for their workings of created, contrived and legally controlled 'history', did not care to acknowledge Him, who IS God. On the contrary, this, the religious emphasis, is the current direction of flow, and that of course is one more VERIFICATION of the Biblical prediction, which touches both the KIND of change and the RATE of change. When a thing is defined to be "near" as in Luke 21:28 - that is the actual personal return of royalty, the only King who ultimately matters, the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 1:1;1, I Thessalonians 1, II Thessalonians 1): there is not a great deal of time available: so this is the kinaesthetic verification.
Jerusalem is back as Luke indicated must be; the rest follows and is necessarily close at hand.
to the current flurry of history then: In other words, its RATE of MOVEMENT
is fast, and this is prophetically required.
accordingly, was too brash, it left out too much. This error is being remedied,
so that the mimicry of God, which the devil so loves (cf. Isaiah 14, Ezekiel
29), can likewise be extended. If HE, the Lord is justly worshipped, how
can the devil copy that, unless some religion is poured in ?
In it comes! Atheism is not merely irrational (cf. SMR Chs. 1 and 10), but outmoded!
Communist has tried desperately to cope, but it cannot. Tiananmen was one folly, and provides exposure, and Falun Gong 'treatment', recent reports of repression being positively ghoulish, is another. One wanted freedom and reform; the other wanted a spirit not subject to domineering puny man.
These swift strides unmask that sort of beast as inadequate. In Russia the hunger for religion after 1991 was enormous. In China, though the repression continues, report of the high Christian growth in house churches, continues. In the world, some expression is sought and is being provided by the eminently popular religious supermarkets which spring up like thorns.
As Russia fell, so China winces. She also has LEFT Communism in much of her most buoyant economic regions, but the shell remains, and the control is sought. It is fed in China by the foolish inflow of money, inventions and machinery, not to mention the theft of US secrets, and thus free countries support its iniquitous policy of suppression, wholly unconscionably, and enable its inherent inefficiency and drastic remodelling of man by political tyranny, to continue, while its own deceptive employment of a wholly other economic system mounts.
Meanwhile, old Russian Communist Gorbachev is busy with his Earth Charter, a form of Communism without Marx. The thrust here is survival for human beings on an endangered earth.
It pushes that need for everybody, to get together on a secular basis. In this, the former Soviet leader, author of glasnost and leader into Russian change, adds to the medley. So the various parts arise for the NEW MODEL (cf. It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Ch. 11, With Heart and Soul, Mind and Strength Ch. 11, Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ Ch. 9).
This plus the WCC, drifting popularist sects, Unification of Religions movements, the UN and numerous religious sell-outs points clearly to the next stage: a religion minus the core of truth, independent of God, in the service of man, and at man's direction. It is precisely in such a phenomenon that we come, in Revelation, to find as in II Thess. 2, the antichrist SHOWING HIMSELF that he is God, in the Temple. The predicted image of the beast is the predicted expression of this religion, and the "man of sin" (II Thess. 2:3), the antichrist, its eye (I John 2:18).
to him, he is on the mould of Daniel 7:8, that small appendage with the
vast appetite, that 'little horn' which grew up amid the ten, and took
over directly from three of them (cf. Daniel 7:7ff., and see Revelation
13:5, 16:13, 19:20). There is in fact to be quite an assemblage, the false
prophet and the beast, the second beast the substratum for the mouth that
... speaks, as if some form of trinity were sought, even from hell, some
Satanic fathering of some Pseudo-Messiah, anti-Messiah, with a spirit of
evil to match. (For further on this, see That Magnificent Rock,
Ch. 8 Epilogue. In
this further exposition is given concerning Revelation including Ch. 16).
THE PRIMACY OF WORSHIP
So the world moves exactly as the word of God said, and back of it is the devil - not just money, or guns, atomic warfare or tanks, planes or biological warfare: the devil himself is at it. It is a spiritual phenomenon, this rebellion against God: it has to be. God is a Spirit, and it is a spiritual mockery, a spiritual war on spirit which is made, an assault on Spirit Eternal, the everlasting God. The means matter; but the end is spiritual. Ends and aims are not one; the atomic bomb was not the aim of the war, nor was it alone its end; but chosen for its power to find the purpose in view, it was used. So spiritually, it is not at all that the power of this or that phenomenon which is sought, is crucial; but it is the result.
Thus the beast insists at ALL costs on WORSHIP of the beast (Revelation 13:15). NOT THAT ? Death! It was so in the preliminary murders and massacres that devolved around the Mass (which had to be WORSHIPPED), and around the Communist State (the will of which was not to be differentiated from rightness, this amusingly in view of the alleged absence of morals), thus also worshipped. NO ONE could alter it, and special imaginary laws of history were invented to give it a feeling of the spectacular, which, though often broken as noted above, were still an authoritative sounding thing. What began in ignorant confusion, ended in fatal collusion. Nothing worked, only the people!
Whatever seeks to take over man is a spiritual idol, and its power source is the one whose aim is just that, the devil, called "the god of this world" by Paul (II Cor. 4:14). Whatever this world and the spirit of it wants, is bound not to be spiritual, but in its delusion and contempt, it elevates itself to the heights of the spiritual and will not, cannot rest until it deludes itself into the expression of these things.
The penalties are high; the opportunities are great. The pilgrimage is a wonderful thing. Small wonder then that the 144,000 'troopers' if you will, seen in Revelation 14:1, those who did not yield as the Great Tribulation rolled on as specified at the end of Revelation 13, are received with such joy in heaven, as in Revelation 14:2,4. These are spiritual virgins, for the Bible gives no greater glory to physical ones (as in I Cor. 7). They are, moreover, the direct antithesis of the spiritual Harlot (Revelation 17:1-5), and avoiding the spiritual fornications noted in Revelation 2:20ff., with whatever other outrageous practices, and paralleling the idolatries of Jezebel, they live in the pure air of the priceless Prince of Life. This vignette in Revelation 14 supplements the other one, the tableau in fact of Rev. 7, where an innumerable multitude supplement the Jewish saved souls, among the Gentiles, all in the uttermost blessedness of divine acceptance in heaven.
W e referred earlier to Communism in terms of false religion, one contrasting with this vignette of victories in Revelation 14. The work of Lester de Koster, Communism and Christian Faith, handles this well. In this sort of vein, we see that the proletariat or commoners, are the place-fillers for the Messiah; the CLASS situation is the SIN; the overthrow of this is the overthrow of the DEVIL, and the dictatorship of the proletariat, is the HEAVEN. The LAW of Communism, we must add, though it does not work, has been imagined: that by which history has no choice but to follow on to produce a world communism; and while this failure is seen in this only covertly religious system, the movement towards mimicry of the actual situation under Almighty God with His law, is notable!
While this of course provides precisely the opposite of the case for the Marxist decidedly NON-paradise of decidedly RIFE repression in a decidedly NON-liberated situation, just as do the ways in which it comes fail to meet the case (as in SMR pp. 925-926). Yet the direction of thought is clear. GOD is to be displaced, preferably with a sort of mimicry of style, at last, which however futiely, is designed to hold some semblance of conceivability. Such is the path of delusion, a little spice in a sordid mass. Indeed, it is decidedly humiliating to be told thousands of years in advance the very character and unviability of your so intelligent schemings!
But let us proceed with the spiritual parallel which Communism provides, to Christianity.
The SACRIFICE is of the kulaks is then to be considered, that is, of the land holders who were given Siberia for payment, and prison or labour camp as receipt; though this is not strictly in the bookish version, only in that of history. The power to propel matter into man, man into politics, politics into a classless society (except for the rulers of course), and this into heaven, this law in what has to be a ludicrously lawless chaos (cf. SMR pp. 284-315C), is merely one of the side-shows to the Communist fair, this covertly religious atheism, which draws many to its execution squads, not all willingly. Without any possible access to truth, since no absolute (ostensibly) is permitted, Communist tells it anyway, and it does not happen that way, anyway.
Yet it TELLS Falun Gong as if a LORD, what to do, and where to die in many cases, by report. So you have the sense of LORD in their system too! This 'lord', he kills; the Lord of truth, brings life. They are antithetical, like heaven and hell, like verification and falsification, like God and the devil; and their source is antithetical, truth and lie, and their results are antithetical, liberty and bondage. As to the latter, it can be extended, if you want to press the image, into the lingering prisons of 're-education' and the resourceful endeavours so well exhibited by Arthur Koestler in his Darkness at Noon, and by Solzhenitsyn in his Gulag Archipelago, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, and First Circle. This becomes their version of hell.
In one sense, then, Communism too is a perversion of Christianity, using its categories and abandoning its logic in irrational insistences made to history, which does not, simply does not hear! It is a reductionism applied to Christianity, a removal of the substance in the interests of a poor, depleted and denuded caricature of it. Its smuggled in god, a mimicry who is quite inept, cannot do what the real One does; and so it fails to function. What does not exist cannot do anything; and miracles would be needed to make communism work, its laws operate and its thoughts cohere.
Miracles however are not performed for unreason, by truth; but by truth for a reason.
Thus there has been a flurry in the skies of Mystery Babylon, as Revelation 17 calls it. Communism has taken its due place in the spiritually subversive pretences of man, the political-social-spiritual-moral-economic-military complexes of power that oppress man, acting as if to imitate if not take over from God Himself! However, it was long preceded by another, and it is this other which continues in its pride of place to the end. What then is the final form for the dying folly of Mystery Babylon, that derivative and type found in ancient Babylon, that collector of religions, that idolatrous power, that earlier assailant on sinning Jerusalem! (cf. Jeremiah 25, 50-51).
What is its death mask of this 'Babylon' of seven hills ? What is the final look of the thing, before it goes, to be superseded by the beast himself (as in Revelation 17:9-10,16) ? Prior to its destruction and the final outrage of the beast direct (17:16), what is it ? and what is its name ?
This death mask of Mystery Babylon, the final form of this long standing world empire and religion dictating model, it is Rome as SMR pp. 946ff. shows. It is indeed the city of the 7 hills (Revelation 17:9). It is none other and nothing else. It has collected, after the manner of harlotry, many subsidiaries and associates to be sure, and hence the name and the 'mystery' (cf. SMR p. 729, Biblical Blessings Chs. 2 and 6), but it is for all that, its very own self. At the time of John's writing, the whole final contraption was future (Revelation 17:12); but as to our own present time, our contemporary situation, the 'ten' have now long been present. Things progress, and the word of God prospers exceedingly!
The 4th and final Empire of Daniel 7:7-8,23-25, this continues till the NEAR end, when it is displaced by the final form of beastliness itself, as in Revelation 17:14ff.. We trace it in some detail in SMR pp. 886ff., 902ff. Then this city of the seven hills is to find what it has given. Revelation 14:8 announces this salient event, and Revelation 17-18 deals with the fiery details.
It goes, being removed, the 'harlot' disestablished; but the beast itself has a little further to go. It has to take its last change of tactics, its more direct approach, and not to try to make it universal, not at all: the decision is to ENSURE that it is so. It may involve deceit, fraud, pretence, and diversion of thought by ingenious means, but the world has to be INDUCED to follow folly, so that the result can be PRODUCED. Alas as for all folly, all irrationality and all irreverence towards God, the time is merely an occasion of demonstration of the pride and price of folly, the significance of sin, the meaning of lie, and it goes with a fury which matches the folly of its intentions.
That is kept till Revelation 19, but the intensity of the efforts to CONTROL ALL THINGS IN ALL WAYS, is seen not only in the economic stringencies, so that all transactions can be monitored, in intention anyway (as in Rev. 13:16-17), but in the spiritual, the end and aim of the whole matter, in WORSHIP (as in Rev. 13:15), on pain of death. Some worship! It is of course aided by the credulous confusion, which, as so often in the FIRST stages of some inane revolution, or perhaps even some partly justified one, declares its wonder at the new thing. Thus in Revelation 13:3ff., we read that "all the world marvelled and followed the beast." Its deadly wound was healed!
Rome of course, the civic city, fell to insurgent tribes, Goths, Visigoths, Vandals, and how could it continue ? What a deadly wound! (Revelation 13:3-4 cf. SMR pp. 886ff., 902ff.). But it continued as we see in the SMR references above, in the Holy Roman Empire, and of course in its Eastern Extension, later to separate but not for a long period, and in various other alignments, of which not the least were the aspirations of Adolf Hitler, with Romanist support of an extreme kind at the very outset, indeed apparently actually giving him his place, while Rome made its arrangements for priestly submission to the State and Concordat delectable (SMR pp. 968-969). Now it is healed! Now the Europe that lost its role has regained it! This then is the sense to come, when the rule begins to grow.
In this connection it is rather fascinating to notice that the time of the predicted ten kingdoms, as for the Common Market - European Union (the relevant number noted, and detail given in SMR pp. 930ff.), is seen not only in the POLITICAL aspect as there. It is found also in the MILITARY arrangement of power, as displayed in pp. 957-958 (the 'ten' of the Western European Union, bristling with autonomy and power). In this Benelux - by treaty able to act as one - figures, as it does also in the latest expression of European unity, the FINANCIAL. As to this last, in The Advertiser, July 11, in Insight, at p. 67, we find that with Britain, Sweden and Denmark opting out of the new EURO currency, there are ten units left, Benelux being one (cf. SMR p. 930, 972). Of this development, we read this in the news report, concerning the financial unity called EUROLAND:
Communism, humanism, relativism, secularism, religious syncretism and 'multicultural'
internationalism*2, plus created
religion being moulded by many forces, are working towards a new religious
look. Though it MUST be specifically religious, Rome is no longer needed,
the beast finds; no more is it attractive to
'the god of this world', who is to have the
image of the beast direct, complete with false prophet, stuck in
the mouth of man, like religious tooth-paste, by power and authority.
REVELATION 13-14 DEVELOPMENTS
So we find in Revelation 13 and 14, the developments*3 which increasingly, we find in the news.
Thus, and this is most important, Communism, yes, it may not be quite as lethal as Romanism, but it is a religious movement, a sort of topsy-turvy pretence to avoid what it in fact affirms and requires. It is obverse religion, in which you see one side, but the facts are on the other. Romanism is perverse religion, in which one thing is written in what it acknowledges, and the opposite is done very often as so too believed (cf. SMR pp. 1042-1088H), so that it all fits into what Revelation 17 indicates as BABYLON, the MYSTERY of the same.
Though both of these movements, the Rome and the Moscow or Beijing ones, are becoming obsolete, through initial failure and later application failure, as in the birth control movement in Rome, and the non-marriage of priests, that predicted fallacy (I Timothy 4), they are part of that totality of the synthetic religious movements which have used power to insist on killing men or having them OBEY their demonstrably false prophetic dictates.
Rome remains by any informed estimate, the biggest killer, when all the features and facets down the ages are considered. It is also the death mask of Babylon, that repository of lakes of martyr blood; for represented as the harlot, Rome is also to be seen, as it is foreseen in Revelation 17, as to be removed from the total beast structure: that political, social, religious and economic totality of world rule by man over man. In other words, Rome is the place where the Bible places the END of the "Mystery Babylon" feature, one which has endured in association with Rome for long, but is not limited to it (see SMR pp. 729ff., Biblical Blessings Ch. 2).
The death mask concept, that of Romanism relative to mystery Babylon ? It is what the thing looks like when old, its appearance at its terminus, when the beast becomes not any more an era and an imposition, but the most direct possible arrogation of divine power, so that even Rome is inadequate for the task. This is so, though her efforts were long and her words set a precedent that any final beast could 'well' follow, for the temporary expediency of world rule, something expressly sought by Rome in words long written (cf. SMR pp. 912ff., 902ff.). The image of the beast replaces the Mass (SMR pp. 1046ff., 1088Bff.), and is no more idolatry than that, but more modish for the times, more obviously humanistically, idolatrously man-exalting (cf. The Other News 5, re Revelation 13:15, and the manipulation of the 'image').
After that, it is PURE beast, that is, that medley of magic and manipulation, lie and fraud, power hunger and blasphemy to which we have become accustomed (cf. Revelation 13:13, II Thess. 2:10, Matthew 24:24 with John 14:30, 8:44-47). Now, however, it is headed by more power, international commandeering of the very earth, and more potent mockery of God than ever. It will mount to the skies, as did Babel, and be brought to the dust as nothing else has been.
end is however a beginning of wonder for the Christian family, who knowing
God, are with Him when this world dominion ends, and His kingdom comes
(cf. I Corinthians 15:50ff.).
CONTRAST OF THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS
WITH THE HARROWING OF HOLLOWNESS
As one reads of these things, and in particular consults John 8 concerning the ethical and moral nature of the devil (cf. SMR pp. 590ff.), one recalls the contrast of the missionary program of Christ, its nature, its source, its sending, its modes and its beauty.
From the start the contrast is complete. Christ is the TRUTH, and the centre of it, the evil one is a LIAR and so from the beginning. Christ proceeded and came forth from God, earnest in entreaty, Himself the very salvation, and the one who PAYS (Matthew 20:28, Galatians 3); the devil seceded and went forth from heaven to earth, boiling with rage, the one who exacts and extracts (Revelation 12). The one loves to accuse (Revelation 12:10), the other loves to excuse. This, however, could not be done lightly, for it is He who has to pay the difference between performance and pardon, make up the debt by sacrifice, and ensure it is negotiable by living on the way to it, a sinless death (I Peter 2:23-25). He, as Peter there notes, did not revile, but the revilings of the devil are legion, multiplied in his accusations, often merely false and in intention far from beatific (as in Job 1:9-10), the work of a sneerer, a leerer, a purveyor of pollution, fierce and arrogant (I Peter 5:8).
Christ prayed to forgive (Luke 24:23:34), but the evil one frequently is prone even to punish when he has lured his prey (cf. SMR p. 950-952). Thus we find from Romanist, de Luca in his Institution of Public Ecclesiastical Law, personally commended by Leo XIII, that as far as 'heretics' are concerned, "The only recourse is to put them to death," since they can "corrupt others" even if imprisoned. Further, "Repentance cannot be allowed to save them, just as repentance is not allowed to save civil criminals". Such has been the savagery of presuming to judge what Christ died for, in the interests of what acts as if to put Him to death in the Mass, and insists this has every bit as much reality as the visit of Christ to death itself in history, while judging as heretics, those who cannot be co-conspirators with such a forbidden 'sacrifice" (Hebrews 10:12-14, 9:23ff.), and at that, one contrary to all effectiveness by Biblical standards (Hebrews 9:22): an ignominy for Him who insisted that NO MAN TAKES His life from Him (John 10 cf. SMR pp. 1088Bff.).
To express regret for those Romanists who applied the truth as being at times excessive, in view of
it is mere wastage of words (see The Frantic Millenium and the Peace of Faith Ch. 6).
Christ did not proceed to imprison you, if you left Him out; but went to others who would take Him in (cf. John 9:51-56). He did not requisition land for His program as the Communists did with a cruelty which was a sort of living crucifixion, sending the owners off as criminals to slave virtually unpaid for the State in maximally horrid conditions, dying by degrees; but rather declared - "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
His kingdom is giving; the distortions of various kinds, diverse, obverse, converse, perverse, amount to TAKING.
These kingdoms of force, whether Moslem, Communist or Romanist (cf. SMR pp. 1079ff., Barbs, Arrows and Balms 30), Holy Roman Empire or Hitleresque, Fascist or Chinese, as in Tibet, alas the land, do not realise one crucial thing. Man is made by God for God and THEREFORE his ultimate allegiance is to God ALONE. What seeks to get between or operate with mere force at the level of faith is an intrusion, an abuse and an evil. Where people choose to live, as in Israel of old, where God is the known ruler, that is one thing; where the people have not so sought (as in Joshua 24), it is another. Where however, as now, there is no one nation, and there is no State authorised or enabled, called or chosen for this purpose, it is merely worse than heresy: it is futile refashioning of man as if man were God. Indeed, violence concerning faith and the terrain of such conviction is like teaching a baby to walk with a cat and nine tails, scorpions or an electric screw-driver (cf. SMR pp. 1186Aff.).
These little gods act without authority and without truth, in a guise they cannot make real, and their follies of force, cruelty, compassionless flamboyance are like flames from hell. They torture and roar into the faces of men. This is the end of many, to be sure, the flames of their own follies torturing their rebellious souls; but to God be the things of God, and God knows mercy even where men may not see it. The tender mercies of the wicked, as Proverbs 12:10 declares, are however cruel.
Cruelty ? He took it. Compassion ? He has it. Knowledge of the heart of man ? He displayed it. He followers are volunteers (Psalm 110). NO ONE else ever manages that and invests a multitude world-wide with peace, while truth confirms itself and is verified on all sides. Fear and force replace genuine faith, and manipulation takes the place of loyalty and love. Not fanaticism but delight is the flavour of truth; and it has no need of force, for it speaks for itself. When all the lies are done, then the sentences will indeed be set in judgment; but what patience has God, and what love, that for centuries since the murder of Christ, while He shows so clearly He has all in control (cf. II Peter 2:19, and see SMR Chs. 8 - 9), He yet predicts and permits the endless heresies that put human power or distortion in His very own name, and abuse the glory of the Christ. Each such contender contends; none amends. All fall together. Only the word of God stands.
As to God, He is not vindictive; He is not selfish; He is sovereign and He is sacrificial and if, in the end, lies are ruled out, and those who love them must inhabit the land of their own choice, He has done the uttermost both in practice in the Cross and resurrection, and all the following miracles (cf. Hebrews 2), while in patience, allowing here this one and here that one to forsake the idolatries of the flesh, including that of atheism where the self becomes the puny god and useless arbiter, ex-truth, of truth, in hopeless confusion (cf. That Magnificent Rock Ch. 5, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 and 7, Repent or Perish Chs. 2 and 7).
His glory is not a piquish one, not a power dazzled one in which compulsion is the meaning and illiberal compression is the method; but it is something which being lovely, is loved. It is pure, without deceit, without mere force as its criterion, authoritative with the authority of truth, intrinsic and not merely extrinsic, patient with persons as persons, and willing as a person to die for persons that something personable and pure might arise from the salvation. It is just and justice being heavy, HE has personally met it (Romans 3:23ff.), so that when justifying the ungodly (Romans 5:1-12, 4:5), who come to Him, He may still be JUST.
For Him, expediency is no rule, but truth and peace in love, like a river in its splendid courses, cohering and continuing (cf. Isaiah 48:18ff.). It is, in fact in view of this love and peace like a river, this justice and truth, alas then so vastly rejected by so many, yes then as now, that He appeals in that very place relative to the prototype Babylon itself,
It is precisely this which is said in Revelation 18:4, of the finale of Mystery Babylon: "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her." On this see The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 7, for it has relevance to all idolatry, all confusion and addition to the word of God, and deals with the spirit of the thing.
It is necessary to follow in the beauty of holiness, not in the self-imposed pollutions of impurity. BE "YE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY" (I Peter 1:16), remains part of the beauty; and if anything approaching perfection is not found among the redeemed in this earth, yet a complete consecration, dedication and desire should be the testimony of every believing heart (Luke 14:27ff.). There is in that a beauty, for then the surface clean, like that of a reflector in a great light house, something of the glory of the Lord may be reflected (cf. II Cor. 3:18 and Philippians 2:15). It then can also warn the unwary, in sharp definition of light.
His is grace, and His governance is competent, complete and free. In Him, people can grow, for in truth there is no limit (II Peter 3:18, 2:1ff.).
He is in no hurry; but when the time comes, then events flow like a stream. That is, as we have been seeing, now.
more on the contrast between the loveliness of truth and the polluted complexities
of error, see
SMR pp. 582ff.,
the reader may wish to consider with interest, another treatment, in The
Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 8, where
The Spirit of Envy and the 'God of this World' are considered, in vigorous
contrast with the tenderness of truth and the beauty of holiness.
*1 Thus the locusts of Revelation 9, though bearing the name, are of an exotic and imaginative description for ... locusts. In fact, they do NOT eat green things, grass, trees, but are directed to limit their harm to selected people, in fact those who lack the seal of God on their foreheads.
The faces of these metaphorical insects resemble those of men, their hair that of women; and there is a sense of the overwhelming in their sound as of multiplied chariots, their sting in the tail like scorpions, and their very directedness, with a king in command and rule. It is the name of the 'king' which completes the picture: it is Abaddon, destroyer, the very devil in his outreach of power, puny as it is by the side of God's, yet by no means so where God is dismissed by the surly sovereignties of misled flesh (cf. Luke 19:14, where the citizens sent after the departing nobleman in the parable, one going to a 'far country', a message saying, "We will not have this man to reign over us!").
The additional fact that these non-green-eaters do not harm those with a SPIRITUAL signification on their foreheads leads the understanding to the concept that this is a SPIRITUAL plague, where the immunity is conferred by spiritual means, and the selection for assault is in spiritual terms, so that the spiritual head, Abaddon, is on spiritual game play, afflicting the vulnerable with what stings in the end, and is arrayed in the fray involving no less than a tumultuous invasion of the peace of mankind, where it is in spiritual recess, far off from the Lord.
If this be the correct analysis of the terminology of the text, and its portent, then it fits with those many direct references as in II Timothy 3, II Peter 2, I Timothy 4, with seducing spirits misleading and scorching the souls of the vulnerable, made so by NOT receiving the love of the truth (II Thessalonians 2:10). It needs to be stated however that such is the richness of the word of God that such an emphasis by no means excludes additional specifications in the plague!
The deadly thing about this felicitous phrasing, multi-culturalism, is that while RACE is indeed nothing to generalise about in terms of morals, though some indeed tend this way or that, the point being that individuals MUST not be tagged indiscriminately even if there are various national characteristics which might to some extent be discerned (high alcohol consumption is one obvious example), that is not all the 'culture' is deemed to be. On this see SMR pp. 362ff., 366ff., 374ff., 422Q ff.. In fact, religion is often fatuously put into the culture category, thereby if it were possible, killing the objective 'god' as if it were a mere pastime, making him the product of man, and not really bothering about whose product man is, since product he is (cf. SMR pp. 211ff., 135ff., 252Eff.). Making him the spawn of what does not have what is sufficient for the result is mere simplistic jargon.
Thus the efforts to invoke toleration and kindness, sometimes made 'legal' by intimidatory law, having been propagandised WITH REASON, become the surreptitious sponsors of efforts to make toleration of truth intolerable; for religion is put into the relativistic category (by absolute knowledge ? the old chestnut of folly), and so any earnest endeavour to present the truth as such, is deemed intolerant, while intolerance of such efforts becomes the side-splitting comedy of the times. How tolerant can you be when the very concept of truth is found to be intolerable; and how truthful!
See SMR pp. 946 for a swift outline of some of these matters concerning the book of Revelation.