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DATES FOR DANIEL, OF THE LORD, AND FOR YOU
Possess your possessions ? use that car in the garage, and do not walk 100 miles to your destination when adequate provision is already at hand ?
In our last Chapter, dealing with Daniel 9:24-27, and hence an overview of history moving on to the present and beyond (of which Daniel 12 has still more to tell, including the resurrection of the body as in Isaiah 26:19, I Corinthians 15), we came upon the following facts, in one of the paragraphs.
It is not now a matter of prophetically striding into the future in one league boots, each covering a year, as for the 70 year exile revealed as coming, by Jeremiah: now it would be seven league boots, each covering a seven. While this would be seven years, and from this comes the prediction of the death date of the Messiah (cf. Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2, Highway of Holiness Ch. 4, Ch. 7), the important datum stressed by Professor E. J. Young, is this: that it is a SEVEN that is specified. A numeric, it can be used to accomplish whatever task to which it is set, a point to which we shall return shortly.
Issues relating to this have been covered in some detail in: SMR pp. 886-900, pp. 943-946, pp. 959ff..
NOT DITHER BUT DATE
What we have here is the prediction of the death date of the Messiah from centuries before it happened. It is merely part of the testimony of God, written in the Bible, and fulfilled right to the third day after it, with the resurrection following it like a faithful hound, with zeal and devotion, his master. Without me, says the dog, you do not go! for I will protect you.
Death quite simply could not hold the God who made human life (Acts 2:24),, and even when He gave Himself, as in Hosea 13:14, to cover the costs of man's rehabilitation, restoration, pardon, death STILL could not HOLD Him. Indeed, it fell like the hawk on the sparrow (Isaiah 59:1-2), as sentence on sin, onto Christ the sin-bearer. It killed Him, this sentence aptly and lovingly transferred, but He broke it, persistent with the power of eternity; and the cost met, believers now covered, the enmity collapsing, He brought reconciliation to those to whom it belonged; and note this, it belonged to ALL who came in faith to receive this prodigy among all gifts, eternal life (I John 1:1-4, John 5:24).
This Doctor, not 'doctor death' but the Physician of Life, did more than cover the 'suicide' of trying to outface God without finding His mercy where He has placed it, in the Lord Jesus Christ; for He conveyed as in the conveyancing of land, the very title deeds to immortality (I Cor. 15, Titus 2-3).
There simply is no other religion based in ONE who ON EARTH did what Christ did, our dating system aptly starting in commemoration of the Great Divide, that before He did and that following, BC and AD. There is none based on anything LIKE what He did, and something of this is conveyed in Repent or Perish Ch. 2. There is none which gives a reason for the faith which nothing, both in principle and in practice, can overthrow*1 .
There is no god but the Lord who has declared Himself arithmetically, logically, personally, IN PERSON on this earth, with words testable, events in columns of predictions, like tanks moving across the landscape, impossible to pretend to be obscured, even by the dusts of errant and erratic philosophy (cf. SMR p. 973A, Chs. 1.3, 7-10).
Consider that EACH of the hundreds of biblical prophecies, extending from the point or origin for millenia, has to have the right atmosphere to cover the foreseen case, the correct sense of sequence, the parties aptly covered in their fields-to-come, accurate detail (as in the case of Cyrus in Isaiah 44-45), and precise outcomes (as in the resurrection of Christ in 3 days, not 4 or 2 or 30 or in 6 hours, for example).
ANY one of these things, in the overview from which they are sourced, attested by those very prophets in substantial conformity to one another, namely in God's own wisdom, if astray, as in any case of co-ordinated knowledge, set in a system of events, will throughout the subsequent understanding of what is to follow, leave a vast wake down the ages, of things which THEREFORE did not happen as planned, because then they COULD not.
ONLY when God Himself has the very present knowledge of all, so that He both sees what is to be as if it were present (like an author or architect, but in this case, absolutely), can this be avoided. It requires absolute knowledge, first to last; and as Paul declares it in Colossians 2, in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Do not leave this car in the garage.
Which car ? Why the communication barrier is broken; it is far better than getting some dubious (but not actual) lines from space, which experts, poring over them for a decade or two, might think perhaps came from intelligence. THIS has already come from intelligence, the same one which created a prodigy of cells in our bodies, each with enough volumes of knowledge to cover a study wall, all co-ordinated, mutually keyed for systematic co-operation in such a way that none is falsified, expectations are not ludicrous or irrelevant, for the orders which amount to precisely NOTHING except they are with the requisite precision carried out.
This earth is a scene of speech, speech covers life absolutely, except for the life of mind and spirit, which merely has apt technical facilities to enable it to actualise itself conveniently in this world of flesh and spirit, mind and law. Spirit emits speech with reason, so that its understanding and overview can clothe itself with words in a code system, like that of DNA, which is ONLY ONE language in the myriads of life forms. The three are as one, in a derivative sense, just as God is three in One, in an absolute sense, The Father over all, the Word which wholly expresses Him (I John 1:1-4), and the Spirit which applies, in His infinity, these matters so great, that not only are these aspects of God: far more than that, they are PERSONS, infinitely mutual, eternally one Being, always willing for good, of which our own endowments are but one example.
The entire created universe stretches forth with unspeakable wisdom, laws and mathematics strewing their products like flowers for the mind, which we can pick with our minds, and formulate as 'scientific laws', though in fact they are God's laws, except in this, that scientific method cannot be absolute, while He is. Yet for all that, the enquiring mind finds not an order which it makes, but rather mental replicas of an order there to be expressed; for if this were not so, the laws would not work even in the mind of man!
NOT DREAM BUT DEITY
much of the question to beg by having delimited, law-governed items sitting
around without a cause,
that this became matter and slowly pulled itself up by the hair,
and then, having made
the delicious discovery
more things (though it had no imagination, all this is begging the question in
these fascinating and definitely of the order of things-to-be-done,
adding wit and
wisdom, along with mind (to be able to be cast back retrospectively in the
potential of nothing),
furnishing spirit with which to survey, understand and interlock with all these
so nicely done things:
This... for it better to use that undevious discipline of reason, to say no more!
Best to find interface for action, adequate basis for direction, ground for anything, including a beginning, end, uplift or downdraft, and to leave nothing as a source, quite alone, since reason evaporates at self-contradiction, which thus becomes a mere word-buzz, a dummy as in an infant, to quieten the need to know. You get nothing for nothing and nothing from nothing, and it is all a work of grace that in the realm of creation, there is anything at all. The entirely and eternally self-sufficient adequacy who is base to all, Creator of all, even of the liberty man so abuses, even when it brings him up to the prison of antithesis and antinomy: He remains as always, before, during and after all and any creation, called not from nothing, not to mind and without ground merely, but into being.
But let us proceed with the fairy story of nature making itself once more, or the question begging talk of its always being there, even when it shows steps in its arrival, and requires grounds for being in a delimited, defined, law-girt start, if reason is consulted, or scientific method applied..
Yet we are not quite done with the fairy stories of self-making creation. We return to the squirmings, turnings, burnings or whatever else is thought to be about things, in the degraded story of making stories upwards, as at Babel.
Thus 'it' moved by a yearning or burning or turning, or anything else that sounds good, good enough to confuse those who want to be deceived as blind, formulated itself and moved into making mind,
and went on thinking out precisely how to do this (though it had no mind with which to think), and then ?
seeing that it had to have had spirit all along to materialise its thoughts,
aspiration and will in order to give power its point and results their basis,
'it' decided to have one of those too, importing as necessary (perhaps, to be
modish, with loan money from China or Korea, or really any non-place which in
this case is all there is).
So acting, and perhaps amid the idea throwing in a reference to a teleological force (really something beyond it all with the amazing power to insert law and correlation with a brilliant competence to which man with all his wisdom cannot even approach), you get more interesting results, orphaned of rational cause.
Thus now you could have this futuristically inclined god, for that is what it is, keep on pulling things, first from nothing, then from lower orders, until it is satisfied in terms of whatever it has that impels it, that the job is done.
You might, just possibly, add the thought that the thing outside the things which impels the things to be better things has to be there to account for any things, so that it is only God with a fancy name, set somewhere, whereas the where, the positional proportionalities and laws, are with the time in which they move, themselves inventions. You get nothing from nothing, and reason requires something always for anything ever; and what is adequate, the utter sufficiency for all that will be, is its requisite.
Returning however to the normal dream, what do we have ? It is all nicely set up now, nothing having proved a spectacular base, so long as you avoid with your roving and imaginative eyes, a definition for it: which includes this, that it is an imaginary entity which has no future, no potential, no past, no present, no power, no being real, visualised or visualisable, so that its future is such that nothing can come of it. Despite the fact that this did not occur, you could cling to it in a general sort of way, perhaps with a whimsical smile. Such smiles and similes however do nothing to get anything, except perhaps deception.
Still, people dream; so you may opt for one of those things that promote purpose, hide its name, and make it go on acting in a general sort of way, although the evidence for this does not concur, for the creation-information type of thing for nature, outside intelligence, has in fact stopped (oh please, did one see you stir in your sleep ?): just as the Bible stated that God acted in serial and dramatic fashion, and then stopped.
You can ignore the non-continuance, the discontinuance of creation of this type, although this is precisely the point, that NOTHING seems both willing and able to make these things happen now, push and pull, twist and turn as you will, so that this smuggling idea accounts for what does not happen. That by the way was the startling discovery of Professor Stephen Jay Gould of great fame (cf. Wake Up World! in Ch. 6 and 4-6), who wondered why, even in heaven's name, you get what he conceived he saw, that is: a theory to account for increments in design when a vast array of elaborate designs were perceived in an early phase, the Cambrian, and far more of them, at that, than now!
The whole unsophisticated muddle is mere mirage, words assuming things not granted, so that by bits the grants assemble till all is imported from nowhere, and a pleasant Sunday afternoon is had by all who rebel at rationality, and prefer to distance that fact in a sort of convivial riot of social intercourse, where flamboyance substitutes for anything serious.
Even to begin things, you, something, needs to be there; and to get a result it must be adequate for it. Ignoring this and using reason in words that sound as if significant, to portray what gets the goods from nowhere, is merely an antilogism, an antilogy, wrong in word and principle both.
That is simply a flat contradiction; and you can start, begging the question of cause at any point on the way up, imaging and then imagining with your God-given imagination, as much as you wish of system and meaning and susceptibility to an ordered thought-process such as you thus engage in, just as a GIVEN, although your model fails to admit it; and then you can move on, adding from the invisible pot of gold, held just out of sight, whatever else is needed, such as investigative and error-prone mind to study matter, and spirit to will to do this, such as you yourself have.
But wait! Then by your mind and spirit, rioting in unreason one step further, you might throw in a laugh at reason and law, and spirit and imagination, which has been entirely all you have used, and have laws, given such short shrift at first, suddenly put in entire control of things, even laws concerning the first base, matter, and then laugh at the Ground of Causation (an item, this causation, implicit in all your words, since even verbal definition is relying on conformity for applicability), and skip away with the universe all for your little self (or party or organisation or race).
It all makes bank robbery look minute: this, it is the universe that is mentally lured to be stolen, and of course, right in the midst of it, there are the philosophers who misuse science for such scientistic fairy tales, insisting on having them around, like nails in your tyres, each making out as error the things that expose error, as it on their basis it were even possible, since all that happens has to do so for material reasons.
Having left the domain of childish roaming (cf. Causes, SMR) we come back to what we actually do find (as in TMR Chs. 1 5 , 7), and then happen to notice the God who was actually there (He had to be from the first, for nothing has no future, and we ARE future to long ago), all along: with all the powers needed to be able to do at any time, what happened throughout all time (for from nothing comes nothing and from eternity comes whatever the unlimited power of the original wishes).
One of the things that He ordered and organised (and with WHAT marvels of conceptual, coding power as in DNA, itself a cosmos of exquisite conceptuality devised into engineering wonders), was man. Above the glorious gifts of mind, not to mention body, there was that of spirit, that roving and investigative fountain of power to will and survey, with innate facility to direct mind as to its regions for action. Just one of the powers of spirit is liberty: this enables you to rip out this page from your print-out, if you performed this task, and spit on it, as an expression of your will and mind and spirit and then mumble about God in terms negative and disillusioned, if this pleases you.
God has done the miracle of making LIBERTY even to detest Him, even for no good reason, even for a fit of all-mastering wilfulness, like that of a child. One of the best stories one has heard of that, was this one: a child, quite young, in imagination fluent, decided to climb a broom (presumably it was a stout one), in some way mounting it as a horse. Told to get off the broom, it seems that he felt his all but indefinable element of will to be crushed, oppressed or set aside. WHO was this who TOLD him, and who was he to obey!
'I won't get off the broom!' came his spectacular assertion of selfhood.
Time went on. He then came into the kitchen to ANNOUNCE that he would not get off the broom, having done so in order to make the announcement. This is all in the system of will, of liberty, which can be misused like most other things*2 .
Leaving aside, however for the moment, the uproarious joke, one which apparently has been seen in its outré folly by a researcher of such scholarly distinction as Sir John Eccles *3, of 'nature' prodding things into being, wafting things into the light of day, unreasoned, remarkable, integrated, extraneous to desire, irrelevant to reason, of naturalistic folly, let us ponder a little. It is not only that there is no ground for ANYTHING in monism, which must import from nowhere, or beg the question and just have what is to be accounted for, causality committing suicide (whereas in fact it has no such ambience). The case is worse. It is not only that there is in monism, in atheism, in organic evolutionism, no possible cause for the operation. There is, in addition, no earthly reason for the construction, whether of this organ, functionality, reality, synthesis or adventure into realms of wonder. That is on that basis... Getting going is one thing; getting better is another. As to even that, where is the littoral littered with the rubbish bin failures, incoherent in action, failed in function, amateur beginnings ?
Indeed, when you start your operation with a void for reason, and then attempt to give reason for your reasoning, you are sailing into the whirl-wind of flat contradiction, a spectacle indeed, but self-destructive. If reason could not abide, not being found, then reason is irrelevant where it was not found, and not to be extraneously made an entrant in a model of contrary presuppositions. You are then sailing down and out, to be reminded at length of the necessary floor to the sea on which you are placed, which you have chosen to ignore, but which finds you out just the same. Undeniable system is the coded basis of all known life (in DNA); and to postulate without basis and interface, either the answer (without ground, which is neither logical nor scientific), and that as from from non-system, is merely to add blatancy to irrationality. It is vain to relate to such things.
Thoughts of things inventing themselves in a situation where there is not even anything to compete, or to give ground, or to achieve, so that the origination is mere magic, both in theory and in practice, being contrary not only to information theory*4, but to any logical reality, is a mere game, a word-play to substitute for the thought which language always implies. In such games, what is not makes what is, and what is of no special kind manages to move sublimely in new systems not in the old, and to do so continually until all is created: all these things coming if not casually, then casuistically from nowhere in their day, so that innovation is without call, just as its powers are without ground, and the point without thrust.
Back to reality then: dreams are for the night. This is day.
NOT EVASION BUT ACTION
GOD has announced what is wrong with man; set it in historical account; detailed it in chronological, personal and national histories; provided for it in systematic schedules through Israel, through which God dowered the prophets and the Old Testament. He personally answered the gap and the problem for man in Jesus Christ; foretold it to make it inescapable when He came and did humanly undo-able things as a matter of course. This was done not with vainglory, but with the hampering format limitations, miracles apart, of man: He did it by coming in as one of us, yet without our disease called sin. In this, He did not use His powers for His ease or for His escape from the trials of man (Matthew 4), for whom He became thus not only ransom, in death, but leader, in life.
In the date for His death, God went to the pains of setting it all out systematically. This meant that when there came and duly passed, a 70 year exile for Judah, for its sins (far better than eternal exile from heaven, for lack of answer to sin, which would make any heaven more like hell, to be practical), the Lord used this as an arithmetic basis for a vast coverage of history way past the arrival of the Messiah to pay for sin and extend eternal life to man, with brilliant modesty, and glorious grace.
Thus God predicted the exile of 70 years, as it were, to put man in the zone, the area, the fluency of omniscience, in his apprehension of the work of the Lord; and then set it in sevens, instead of units, thus to cover centuries, and at the end of this, or after 69 of them, came the death. That arrived in this last of the 70 sevens. It is in this that the Messiah works, and has His advent. It is in the midst of it, that the sacrificial stoppage occurs, signifying thereby the REASON, for this end to the divinely authorised symbolic sacrifices: namely, that when the reality is done, you need such symbols no more.
Worked out in detail as to the point at which the 69 sevens should start, to the point at which they ended, with due regard for the stopping of sacrifices as shown in the preceding chapter, we come to a death date in the vicinity of what is now called A.D. 30 (months have to be taken into account, in history, in terms of the events for the start and to end the period).
This as shown in the references at the beginning of this Chapter, taking account of all the relevant points, leaves us with a prodigy of reckoning, so that anyone who can think about alternatives and other options, can begin to conceive the cost required for such exactitude in preliminary understanding, with vast the ramifying result for any error of thought at any point on the part of the basis, the wisdom. Yet it has stretched its predictive ambit in the Bible, not to a year or century, but at times to millenia, with accuracy.
Source for this, can readily recognise the entire mastery of earth's history that has to lie back of this. Such recognition supplies what is at the outset, great enough to devise our introduction to intelligence as such, even as a topic for analysis! The fact that the birth place, the miracles of healing, the authority and the power were all foretold as well, a cosmos of considerations before they even occurred, a realm for investigation before it even became available in history, these things and much more (cf. SMR pp. 939ff.): this provides an ordered and investigable whole which at the empirical side, is without counterpart; nor could it be matched, unless the matchless Maker of all chose to present yet more.
Indeed, this He has already done, for upon the application of scientific method to these empirical areas (SMR pp. 931ff.), followed by the application of logical categories to the task, there is no further room for manoeuvre. Powers are themselves products, and what they survey, historical antecedents likewise to our day.
Each one of the required data used by the prophets to act as an identikit for trial, for identification is up for review - for people were not then fools more than now, and when your whole life has been settled on an event, as with Simeon, forecast as utterly destiny-determining, you do not waive your mind around, like the stuffed arms of a clown. You LOOK! Will the Christ do more than this man has done! asked some, who having in mind the campus of conditions for identifying the Messiah, saw them one by one fulfilled.
With inveterate and ruthless enemies, Christ had only to fail in any ONE of the predictions concerning Himself, to be fatally injured as Messiah intendant, just as would occur should He fail in any one of the things He purposed and declared Himself about to do, an expected result had the power of God not surfaced on earth, to perform the same.
Power and precision alike tested before the wolves of watching, triumphed, not once as they had to do, but continually and without intermission, both in things as circumstances and as exploits: and these could not be breached, even by sophisticated intellects, designing minds and professional envy. They could remove Him only by death. SO this they did, completing the depiction, not only of their own intractability, which had caused the nation so much trouble already, but of the predicted 'abhorring' of Him which was to come, and His desolatory sacrifice.
We are faced with admission or outlawry: whether in brain and its ways, mind and its logic, spirit and its demands for origination, so that it is not coerced by anything, and yet can cohere with the entire physical structure in understanding, and so have access to truth unbound, with a rigour which demands acceptance or irrationality. This in turn, if opted against, becomes a decease of arguability, since to subject reason itself to exclusion notices or irrelevance, is to do so by argument, which is illicit at once, when that is the model. There is simply no path for reason defiance (that is, not of such nonsense BY reason, which is the case, but of reason by man, as he argues on, as if unaware of the suicide).
Rigour and vigour in life, or its components, down to the least particle, up to the greatest synthesis, and over all, to its unitary capacity for comprehension, self-identification and by reason, ascription of necessary minima for the necessarily eternal source of delimited substance, acute mind and capable volition unbound by mere impetus: this is a constraint which ceases nowhere. It applied personally and to a point in Christ, but its testimony never ceases in the realm of creation, despite its subjection and wing-clipping because of sin, as in Romans 5, 8:17ff., Genesis 3 cf. Exodus 3-12, and tabled in The Curse Then and Now.
Even in discipline, such as is the other side of this amazing series of concentric spheres of created and often integrated being, when one sees not only the utterly brilliant exercise of mind beyond that of man by vast measures, the extraordinary profusion of exquisite beauty, the lofty heights of glorious morality, the intensity of self-sacrificing love, even here, where man's fall smites: there is just the garden left to its weeds, and the world left to its uncomfortable results of exclusion of truth. The one side shows the glory of creation, mind, masterfulness, innovations unimaginable, in a profusion of thrust approaching the infinite, just as in space there is an articulation of forces, powers, wonders, and laws overall to astonish, even stagger, a concentration of spirit in the life of man; and the other shows the dereliction of curse, aridity, acridity, degeneration, wear, tear, even in the human genome*5, like equipment left outside its wraps, ready for raps.
It is as the Bible declares: wonder has created with wisdom.
Liberty is one such creation -
for man is made in the very image of God
as the orientation discipline which in things great and small
the creation and the desecration,
the provision and the excision,
that other glory, the solution BY God, the Gospel:
and this in the same creative vein as gave origin to the universe itself, and man in it.
God has instituted self-discipline in creation by virtually unimaginable brilliance, diversification, prodigality like the spending of a billionaire, rich in invention, undiscommoded by any difficulty. here unifying all creative direction to the physical, by the logical and the unitary in the field of the linguistic, there giving exhibits of such a series of optional systems, all endowed with power and purpose, that it all but stuns merely to follow this diversification with innovation, together with the precision of continuation.
Thus, at the lower level, even at the bottom of the oceans, we find the bacteria in the deep sea gorge, there being ridges with vents. The crack where special bacteria form a crust over the vent region, can be extremely hot, emitting deep waters vigorously; but these bacteria can act even here, turning poison into food. In addition, by coating certain other creatures, they can protect from heat those strange creations, which tend to filter certain chemicals, so providing within themselves, food for more bacteria. In such ways, there is provided a method of diminishing and controlling the poisons which otherwise would do more than re-stock the seas chemically (Answers in Genesis, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2010)!
Proceed aloft now, and there is the same wonder and sophistication, more aesthetic now, as we watch the superbly sophisticated flight of the seagull in a headwind, and consider what a computer version would have to do to get anywhere near this largely unconscious manoeuvring ability, this instinctive series of adjustments and the will and perception to want so to act. At that, it would not have life.
There is discipline lying back of liberty. The gift is wrapped in life.
God has given discipline for man likewise, by instituting the curse, under which the whole creation labours, as the Second Law of Thermodynamics pounds away, whether at the human genome, or the consequences of misuse of equipment. That miraculous healing still abounds (though often pretended only) on the other side is, with the Gospel which enables its special feature at God's own discretion, is part of the richness of His mercy.
Three disciplines occur. First there is that inherent in creation, that it might work with such marvels of concentrated provisions so synthesised and animated with life; second, there is that of the reward for desecration. That comes in steps. At the outset, there is the initial curse on severance from faith's trust and so ability to walk with the Lord. The suit of man who would find God unsuitable however continues, and now there is constant provocation to the Almighty, by devious diversions and scattery wanderings. Thirdly, sin becomes systematic, even invading the resource of mercy. Thus, now on the increase is mystic naturalism which increasingly invades what are often still termed Christian Churches, some very wealthy, merely using the name of Jesus Christ as a binder for neologies of ill-fame. These are virtual stealers of copyright, spiritual plagiarists, and why ? because there is only one name which has such appeal, force, basis and reason for faith! Theft is of the precious!
Yet there is another positive discipline, that is action of sustained concentration bringing good. It is that of the cost and power of cure for those who receive the self-disciplinary sacrifice of the vicarious death of Jesus Christ, in Gospel terms and so become children of God. Here too there is discipline (as in Hebrews 12), but like the creation itself, it is filled with understanding, and without curse, for in the Gospel is the cure for curse (Galatians 3). To be sure, the cost is paid already, once and for all (Hebrews 2, 7-10); but the offer continues, as does the efficacy, which in patience God proceeds to provide, even amid the ghoulish ghastliness of the massifs of sin erected in increasing pandemonium by our race. It is done in quiet planning offices; in massive murders in the field; even in India, against Christians increasingly, thousands of instances coming as if to challenge the current ascendency in militancy, which many in Islam seemed moved to seek.
All this goes on; and the Lord proceeds undeterred, until the number of His chosen people is complete (Revelation 6).
God has provided on all sides, giving what is good to those who receive it, and managing the universe as it wears down, ready for dispersal as in II Peter 3, but still apt for judgment, on the one hand, and adoption of children by God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, on the other. To Him who died, all authority is indeed give (Revelation 1:18ff., Matthew 28:18ff.); and it is He who gives or withholds. This is done, even with personal individuality: as in II Corinthians 12, where Paul is seen troubled by a 'thorn in the flesh', which the Lord prefers to leave, as it was a simple way preserving one so gifted in so much for so many, from simple big-headedness, a foul thing, thus mercifully prevented.
Similarly, there is prohibition on knowing the next date, that for the return of Christ in glory; for we are only told what is NEAR it (Luke 21), and the criterion inescapable for that is Jerusalem, restored to Israel itself back in its land for the event: this, amid much more. This too involves discipline, for it is easy to reveal what would help, and hard to watch with wisdom to see when the ripe time is present (cf. John 16:12). When the completion of the annals of the Almighty, the provision of His handbook arrives, then as in Revelation 22:18ff., to add is mere impertinence, an additive to impotence, leading to wreckage.
Thus His children wait for His coming, with expectation, as at the first, they awaited His coming to save.
This time, it is not to have Saviour die for us, as in A.D. 30 area, when people like Simeon were waiting with eager expectation (Luke 2:25ff.), but to judge the world. This commences by His coming to collect the 'wheat', that is what God has planted by His own grace and Gospel, and task the chaff (what insists on being separate from Him), and proceeds by His coming with His saints (Zech. 14:5, I Thess. 3:13, Revelation 19).
He comes, when He is ready with His saving work in order (Revelation 6, II Peter 3:9), using at that time for judgment, His power to prevail over the coming deterioration into devilry at a potent international level; and He becomes both incisive and decisive, as in a far different way in the incarnation, and then again, in His declarations and miracles, and thirdly on the cross-plus-resurrection agenda of finality. At the first, He came to this orb to seek exclusion from judgment by the Gospel through His own personal work, now paid for; at the last, it becomes a scene of judgment (I Thessalonians 1), since much has refused what He offered in His own pangs and appalling suffering. He did not suffer for nothing, but for a vast horror of man-misled.
When, then, when is this coming for His own ? Revelation 19:8 shows the scene in heaven, when He has come for them, so that they are here together with Him, succeeding verses exhibit what succeeds this. As Christ showed, as may be found in Acts 1, this date is only able to be known by events; and it is so known, but ONLY AS NEAR (on which see Answers to Questions Ch. 5, SMR Ch. 8-9). The thrust now is that when it comes to judgment, part of the point is to have the subjects unable merely to practice a more profound hypocrisy by trying to make moral things add up in some way, about the expected time of the return of Christ. That is excluded. You cannot tell; but He, it is He who will tell, just as He foretold His own death-date in flesh, the judgment time when it rings, like the fog-horn on a misty morning near the ocean, and rocks. As God says in Proverbs 8, speaking with His Wisdom: "All who hate Me love death." Yes, He will tell it by doing it.
There is no alternative Maker; if you don't want this one, you can rely on other things made if you will; but they have no place for you. They are environment and not God. You can rely on other people, but they are a conscious part of your environment, neither ground for your own conscience, being merely like yourself, or for your journey in life from Source to judgment, withi unmuddled and unmuddied mercy thrust out to meet you, like a garland at the end of a bike race: but this, kindly, is before then, so that THAT end will not be!
The simplicity is salvation as provided by the One, whom not to know is to meet disaster like a typhoon, where you sail on a sinking boat, and face the elements with an insouciance more akin to madness than mastery, an ignorance ludicrous, or a false hope devious (cf. Matthew 7:15ff., 21ff.). The facility is the Gospel as similarly provided and paid for. There is the harbour unexpected, adequate, felicitous, the escape (Hebrews 6:19). It has been around since the first (cf. Barbs ... 17), and endures to the last (cf. Revelation 22:17). But the judgment comes. Its delay is not weakness but strength. For some things, some waiting is the epitome of mercy. God is One who delights in mercy (Micah 7:19ff.).
The date for that is reserved in the mind of God. The day when its application is no longer available, is also known to God. It is time to be realistic: for what is it to ignore mercy with a careless unreasonableness, and an empty case! (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 2). To call upon the name of the Lord is wisdom (Proverbs 1, 8); for He has in Person, already called on us, and been given a treatment so ghoulish as to expose the necessities of man, who however he may cover it up, slopes away from God like a precipice, in self-indulgence, self-will, self-centredness, plain selfishness, the splendour of self-admiration AS A RACE, with such items as humanistic mysticism, monistic irrationality*6, or any other cranky and undisciplined notions which may infest him (cf. SMR Chs. 3, 10). It is not a gift of one's so special self to God which is so obvious as His gift of His most precious, sovereignly sent, lovingly meant, sin-breaking Son (as in I John 4:10).
That is the real place of meeting of God and man, God as man, for man that He might return to God who made him, not in the funereal situation of judgment-appointee (appointment coming), but in the triumphant one of salvation-grant accorded, in person, through faith where it works. And where is that but in Him who having given it in His own way (just as He gave creation), now passes on the gift of pardon and peace, with love to those who so receive it (John 3:16ff., Colossians 1:19ff., I John 3,5, Isaiah 52:7).
Some are brought near to God as they begin to open their eyes one way, some another. Thus the author of brain, a matter which Sir John Eccles who researched and studied heavily, finds to be of a uniqueness and complexity that is singular and extraordinary, sui generis, assisting individuality of a vast significance, pointing clearly, as he perceives, to the Creator of mind, itself a functionality far transcending the mere brain, an instrument of use*7: it is He who may, in such a way, open the eyes of mind to see the obvious in the pure thrill of the innovative magnificence. Here is a glorious instance of His never-half-baked brilliance of conception, and overmastering functionalities. As in working, so in deposits over time: the things work, they are not subfunctional, but designated to DO.
They do not come, whether single-cell or multiple, high or low, in staggering profusion of waste-paper basket rejects; no not one. Complete, they appear. Appearing they act. Staggering in innovation, they attest their cause in what has this felicity: a contrived cosmos of interlocking, but sometimes separable and staggering free agencies, some capable of sustaining discourse with the Deity Himself, once redeemed and restored to the original condition of His image, before it was distorted by sin. And what an adoption is that: to be a child of God! forget the rest! Here is the treasure for which all else may be sold.
Here is a Being of thought and ideas, imagination transcendently penetrating, mobile in marvel, faithful to the death, brilliant in life, everlasting in being, sufficient in power, overflowing with wisdom, incandescent in love: to know Him, and Jesus Christ whom He sent as Saviour for the world, taking sin from those who do not keep it but donate it to Him, finding life in Him, what is this but life eternal. It starts in a fallen world, and is not felled by it, since it does not trust in it. It is precisely as Isaiah 51:6 put it.
"Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath:
for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment,
and they that dwell therein shall die in a similar way:
but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished."
Some see first the One who both knew what to do and why, that He is also the author of history, and the authority on what will be, and so softened, begin to think.
Having this equipment, body, mind and spirit, It is an opportunity not to be lost, so possess your possessions in history, as a person, as an individual, as a thinker, as an examiner of evidence, as created by what is adequate for the point. It is He who, with the interface of His own thought to bring not nothing, but what you are in its logical power to probe His other works, who is worthy of government. It starts within; it will move till this very earth is so filled with the knowledge of the glory of God, that it becomes like the waters that cover the sea, not this time in drowning, but in glory.
He is there. His gift is there. It may be taken.
Failure to do so, is to leave the car in the garage, while seeking to walk over white hot stones for 100 km, and not even believing in cars.
See: II Corinthians 10:5, Romans 1:17ff., Deity and Design ... esp. 8, Religion, Religiosity and Reality in Christ, LIght Dwells with the Lord's Christ, Who Answers Riddles and Where He Is, Darkness Departs, for example.
Licence for Liberty, esp. Ch. 1,
Deity and Design ... 2 , Christ Incomparable Ch. 2, especially;
SMR 384ff.; 4, Bon Voyage Ch. 2,
Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 2,
Bewilderment ... and the Beauty of Christ's Holiness Ch 6,
History, Review and Overview Chs. 4-6,
The Defining Drama Ch. 2,
Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 4.
The case is subject of an article in the Journal of Creation, 24(2), 2010, pp. 83-86, and the much garlanded Professor concerned is Sir John Eccles. The coverage is by Dr Jerry Bergman, whose own broad education included 9 degrees with two Ph.Ds. Eccles is noted as one of the world's leading neurophysiologists, with vast interest in the brain, and depth in the field of research. The irrelevance of merely reductionist endeavours, to account for the naturalistic erection of brain and mind with it, and the whole realm of the capacity for consciousness and thought, from the standing start of mere dreams, imaginations, with no basis for the advance, no ground, no point and yet vast productive consequence is dismissed as mere rambling. If it be called science, it is merely above itself.
See in these areas of conscience, consciousness and spirit:
Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Chs. 1, 2, 3.
See on information, its nature, nurture and production, its law:
The Desire of the Nations Epilogue,
Little Things 3 (esp. *3),
Dancers, Prancers ... Chs. 3, 5,
Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch. 4,
Thy Word is Wonderful Ch. 5
See work of Dr John Sanford of Cornell University as in Reflections ... Ch. 6.
See Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Christ Incomparable Ch. 2.
See SMR pp. 316D-G. See references in this field, in *3 above also.