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The Uncomprehending Darkness,
and the Deliciousness of Knowing the Light
John 1 and Genesis 1
Friendship with Genesis
In Genesis 1:1 we find that in the beginning God created. The first two letters for 'beginning' and 'created' being the same, there is an indisputable pulse of dynamic. The two go together, are wedded: the One who acts, and the Creation which is the act.
We have examined before the exact nature of the text (cf. Gracious Goodness ... Ch. 6) and its context (cf. Dayspring with the preceding reference). We have seen that Genesis 1:1 is not a part of a sequence but a bold, cardinal declaration. In the beginning, God was there and He acted. We then move to the earth which commences the sentence, so divorcing it from any mere bound connotation of a serial character from verse 1. 1:1 is not then an intimation of a sequence but a declaration of illimitable majesty. The Spirit is then seen brooding, hovering, active over the creation.
The right kind of environment is created for what is to follow, organising, ordering and constituting a system of provision. Then the desired kinds are created. Actions from verse 2 on are in sequence not only grammatically, but in the enumeration of the days, designated in ordinal notation, in a way which in the Old Testament only refers to the rotation style days, in our day approximately 24 hours in lenght. Whatever however the exact rotational time, the concept is the same.
Indeed, the numbers, first, second, third ... are even enfolded in days, real days with evenings and mornings, days that have acute correlation with their initial invention.
Thus, since light for the universe was created after substance (v. 3 is after v. 2), the first day started with darkness, not with light, so that the phrase, 'the evening and the morning' is born, and becomes the descriptive usage for the rest of the days of creation - each day has light for one part of it, and starts wth the darkness as ordered from the first, before the light came on the scene commenced without it. Thus the ordinal connotation, the nature of the action, its integral relation to the context show us that here the term 'day' is not used to confuse or to confound, but to show us what the term 'day' which we use, has as to its origins, including the sequence of day and night - but no, night and day!
How lose is that exegesis that is nothing but eisegesis miscalled! For 'ages' instead of days, we must distort Hebrew usage in the Old Testament, invent a new scope for the ordinals in such cases, ignore the birth of the phrase in conjunction with the sequence of matter and light, and ignore the fact that the account of the divine creation is showing us HOW we got what we HAVE (which is days - summed up in Genesis 2:4). It even DEFINES "one day", the literal translation of Genesis 1:5 being listed: "and evening was and morning was a day, one". That is what one of those items is, declares the cardinal, "one".
In other words, that is what we are dealing with, how it is to be understood.
If you want to have 'day' come immediately after this definition of the thing known as day, in this very context, to be something different, it would be confusion. It is abuse of text, the substitution for some thought or other of someone or other, reading and saying to him or her self: NO! I will not be bound by this definition. So comes rebellion at the outset. It is not just that it would be definitional duplication and confusion, AND rejection, but the same in a more general sense: specifying what you have in mind and then breaching your own clearly stated concept.
For such a distortion of meaning, we must also ignore that the text is using terminology consistently and persistently both here as the book of Genesis develops, in the frank usage of normalcy, while showing in the terminology of the comprehensible and the structure of the deposition of what we have, what obtains, associated with the divine actions and their inter-relationships, which led to these situations to which our common words apply. Day ? here it is, what you have and how it got here. This explains it and this usage is not only declarative, itemised in content, but actually and actively defined.
It is THUS that the heavens and the earth were created, we read in Genesis 2; it was thus that the days and kinds and light and heavenly bodies were formed; and we do not for ourselves invent a vocabulary which is other than what we have to express these astronomical happenings and initiations, these botanical, biological, structural, astronomical, illuminative, these stringencies of continuity and commands of creation in their intimate nexus, as if we are free to divorce from the uniform context at arbitrary will.
Rather with discipline we follow the word of God as given, the consistent connotational medium of the text and find out how what we have came to be here. Terms are not magically distorted in order to make a distressed document; but rather they are to be taken in the same sense in each case that the others and the explanatory character of the account require, and the retrospective glance of 2:4 implies.
When the Lord gives an explicit account of the ways, days, devices and order of creation and then proceeds to use the very language of generation applied to the creation in Genesis 2:1-4, repeatedly to cover what follows in the common light of history, 'the generations of' proceeding in historical continuity, as if to create for the creation, a commonality with the information of its institution for the usage of its norms and modes after its arrival into time, with its ongoing life: when this occurs, it is not some kind of game. It is for a declarative purpose. From such a base, it is but obfuscation to obliterate the criteria of the context*1A, both in Genesis 1 and thereafter and to make fanciful 'interpretations' as far from the witness of the text as the heavens from this earth, and further, since though these are far, this abortion of comprehensibility is far into the realm of imagination, an unspeakable distance from the common light of actual, practical day.
Indeed, such all but execrable eisegesis cannot be in the interests of objective understanding, but only of an intrusive unbelief, making the patronising care of the word of God the object of philosophical henchmen, violating the vigour and the content of the text for purposes various, whether nefarious, obfuscatory, alienative, or merely misled, to reduce Christianity to some kind of cultural pet or composite synthesis with the thought of an aberrant creation as far from following the text, in many cases, as from following the Lord. To be sure, some may capitulate in weakness to the demands of society or the clammy clasp of the hand of culture, as Sampson did to Delilah in his own disloyalty to the word of God; but whatever the case, it is outside the demands of the text, the context and the continuity of Genesis.
We move on, then, to the light of common day, common kinds such as man (not species of man, or species of cattle, but man and cattle in broad open categories, but ones which cannot be broken, which is the testimony of practicality as well as pronouncement). The terms stars, man, kind, light, day, night and water, dry land having been exhibited in this initiation program, we have them all, and they function in just the way they require by their normal definition. We do not have night and day ages, nor do we have fixed species but fixed kinds, for man himself varies about a norm; nor do we have stars made of confetti, but stars such as we know. We cannot divorce the scope and the sweep of the context from its centre of gravity, by which it is tied to the earth, and originated in heavenly action.
Instead, to be faithful to the text, we proceed on in the very language of generation (2:4), now that of man in his several categories, spiritual, racial; and it is all in the dynamic grasp of divine overview and oversight, whether in institution of the kinds in the first place, including such variations as giants, or segments such as the historical groupings which show us the banal blighting of the evil, the continuation of the upright, and the eventual calling of Abraham, from his racial compartment. It is then that we find his use for the deliverance of mankind, as many as would be receptive, since blessing is not always received (cf. Genesis 12)!
It is thus that we find in total correlation the text of Romans 5:1-12, which traces things in precisely this manner from start to finish. Made, man fell; met, man was given a Gospel of grace; restored in this, his is reconciliation and restoration to victorious living in the very presence of God. It happened from one man who well; it is met by One Man who arose to overcome for all who receive Him. The background basics do not move; they are as clear as is Genesis.
It is thus that we find in total correlation the text of Romans 5:1-12, which traces things in precisely this manner from start to finish.
Only, then, a determination to dispose of the text or a measure of anaesthesia towards its content, like one drifting through beautiful countryside and too engaged in talk to see it, can well ignore the total integration of language, purpose and result in the text. Only thus can the make-believe clusters of componencies of the imagination strive or even seek to overturn the objects and objectives of the text, to inform of the generation of these things, heaven and earth and what followed, taking us from the spectacular beginnings to the ongoing results. When however this is done, this painful aberration from the rigours of reality is made, then it is no longer the word of God; for it then becomes the word of man, exactly as in Mark 7:7ff..
Indeed, as in Mark 7:9, the grievous consequence is this:
"All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition."
This chapter 1 of Genesis, like what follows, is intense in descriptive factuality, consistently explicatory, sequentially intense, correlative in all aspects and bluntly practical. We are not expected to contradict the author when He declares, "Thus the heavens and the earth and all the host of them were completed", claiming that it was not so, that it was not evening and morning with the revelation of light source in its time, but instead it was Age and transition, as if night and day, so that an Age came between the declaration of light to come, and its arrival, always starting in darkness, a bleak beginning indeed; or that it was not light which was created, but the light of understanding, or that it was not the case that God so acted, but that there was actually in the beginning a lot of other stuff around, and He just happened to find it, or any other variant to intrude man into the word of God.
The text however simply announces that the beginning shows us God, and shows us creation, and setting forth the order and the implementation of divine strategy for the incremental arrival of the objects of structure and life, leads us in the language of day, to the effects of history. In overview, Ch. 2 then tells us that THIS was the way of the creation of the heavens and the earth, all the host. If it had been otherwise, it would have said so; if there had been other primary sources, it would have said so.
On the contrary, as to the creation, this is how it happened; and since creation is in the Hebrew term, largely as in the Greek of Colossians 1, a term which implies the work of power rather than the matter of means, and is wholly distinct from 'formation', we are being told that the entire institution of what is, came from the source revealed, and in the way stated.
The entirety of origin is as declared. There are no cards under the table, or up the sleeve. Creation is the mode; God is the source; and this is the nature of everything that went into the arrival of all that is.
There were no additional means; there were no additional sources; there was God, here is the universe, that is what happened to bring the second from the first.
Above, the statement was made that we are not expected to contradict the author when He declares (as in Genesis 2:4)... ? Let us clarify that.
We are not expected so to act, IF we mean to understand His word, to do such things; though known to God for all time is the rebellion, riot or decline of man who will not accept the word of God, using either direct rejection or subtle overtones of intrusion, AS IF to accept it, while actually re-writing it in part, as required by desire.
In fact, not only does usage preclude any of these amazing inventions of innovative theology, grammatical usage, but the summation of the action in Genesis 2 and the usage of terms throughout Genesis with a consistency of normal usage, together with the fact that this is telling us HOW the creation occurred, not how it did not do so. THUS ...!
AVOIDING ALIENATION FROM CULTURAL ACCLIVITIES
Let us reflect a little from Dayspring.
CALL IT A DAY!
See That Magnificent Rock, Ch.7, Section E, pp. 174ff. A short except from this, adapted for our present purpose, is provided below.
The singular, sovereign, staccato dispersal of power, in creation matching the overpowering wonder of the Creator, is what is recorded, and as shown in these passages and similar ones,
- "DAY" does not mean DAZE, but is repetitively specified after light comes, evening and morning, with a literal force verging on the science note- book kind of fact-event notation;
- "KIND" is the eventive outcome to continue, and
- historic reality is the scene to which this scenario imposingly comes.
A measure of poetry, it may indeed contain; but poetry designed, as in great music, to hallow the event; nor is it poetical in any pre-emptive sense, it being rather the magnitude of the events, in parallel with the simplicity of the style, which evokes a sense of the poetic. In fact, the language has a certain precision and economy of style, like that of a King to his commanders. In one clear sense, its lack of substantial simile and vague if evocative assertions is about as far from the poetic as
. Certainly, there are lines ... but their matrix is unpoetic! Sydney Harbour Bridge
That these are the "generations" of heaven and earth, the originative activities, the accounts, records and reports of the way
- from who was and what was,
- to what is,
is made even clearer by the DECLARATION in Genesis 2:1-4 to that EXACT effect. "Thus" it was done, thus "finished", "all the host of them", "in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." "Generations" is likewise the term which continues to be used, of other historically specific events, such as descendants from parents. As in Luke 3, so here, the genealogical accounts proceed from the historic to the historic, and in Luke's case, from Adam to Jesus Christ. What the Bible means is not in the least doubt; and the reader is referred to the relevant SMR pages (e.g. pp. 179-196, 226ff., 482ff.), for more detail.
As in the Bible, so in other earthly history, relatively short time is repeatedly indicated by specialties remaining and rates relating to observation, here in a deftly made and acutely clear delineation of events, their basis, their development and their answer from God: it is such considerations rather than presuppositions, themselves based on the very assumptions which stand in need of support, as shown in the text of this Section, which are apt in textual interpretation. Even if someone should say, in a vague general sort of a way: Suppose God is so great that His days, although in every way to US suggesting what their context imposes, rotational days, in fact has these as thousands of years ? there is nothing to be gained.
In fact, since God IS in fact so great, He is not deficient like some struggling year 12 English student who has not as yet quite grasped the first elements of communication with mature... human beings (whom He created, complete with powers to communicate, supply the equipment and the first in a magnificent synthesis of operative efficiency). He is not deficient in expression: WE are His expression, though subject to sin, and with immense creativity often combined with maleficence of our own making.
If GOD wants to indicate HIS sort of days, to an uninitiated audience, who do not move in the form of God, but in the form of man, He could doubtless do it with a facility which would be just as impressive as the note-fact, act-record sort of depiction found in Genesis 1. However as a teacher-communicator, He CHOSE the form of expression which, for His audience, readers, has this conceptual character, these clear signals, this impelling context, this stage by stage inauguration, this articulation with history. He did not create His announcement so that it would mislead. He did not speak so that it would be ... misunderstood. He did not make so heavily stylised a description so that its every feature would be contrary to His intention.
His utterance is not writhed or contorted (Proverbs 8:6-8). He spoke it because, as in all His utterances, it was and is the truth. Hence what He chose for expression is what we gain for impression from the inspectable vocables, the available phrases, the situational specifications. In the end, this piece of red herring has been left around too long, and its dismissal is accompanied by NO nostalgia, indeed the nose is relieved at it! How time seems to Him is one thing; how it is expressed to us is another. When He wishes to initiate us into some new frame of reference, that is His business. To assume He is doing it by using all our data for specification of something else, however, is to assume Him deceitful or a fool. Either thought is not mere blasphemy; it is logically absurd (SMR Ch.1).
Leave deceit, deviousness, distortion and the lie to the devil; it is his domain and his skills lie there. With God, it is someone who tells us the truth (John ,32,44-45, Psalm 117). Let us leave to the devious and the delinquent, some intrusion misnamed interpretation, by which they express only themselves or their views, while defiling the name of God, in a way wholly suitable for the undoubtedly notable name of Dr Goebbels, who excelled just there. Since God is more intelligent than you or I (like infinitely more, for example), He has no trouble with covering such needs as our minds possess, and in feeding them what they rightly assess from the evidence of His words. If God is more pure than the heavens, then His truth is more settled than they. It is really just a matter in the end, of interpreting what is there (that is, in the Bible), not what is here (in your heart).
When you read your own heart instead of what someone else is saying, you enter into a complicating guessing game of chess and imaginary moves. When your assumptions act on the basis of incompetence or fraud on the part of the communicator, you merely project. This is precisely what is a deplorable waste of time when purity speaks, knowledge articulates and truth divulges itself with infinite teaching skill: when, in short, it is the word of God which we interpret. Even for the word of man, it can become mere presumption. With God, it is imposture.
As to what He said, it is so clear that clarity needs a new name for the case: it is pellucid. Impulsions of creative power created conditions and kinds, and that is the way it is founded, and finished. It may be cursed, and it was so (Genesis 3, Romans 8:18ff); and it will be finished, for its end in judgment awaits it; but that is the way that it is (Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 51:6).
(For some of the scientific data now available, see the site indicated at the outset in this end-note, in the first hyperlink above. See also That Magnificent Rock pp. 166ff., 181ff. with A Spiritual Potpourri Ch 4.)
As seen then, in Dayspring as in The Biblical Workman Ch. 7,
OVERVIEW FROM THE OVERPASS IN JOHN
How well this illustrates John 1:5.
of tradition, of culture, of the
educative mechanisms man invents,
of ambition, of generational
moulding, traditional thrusts, leading to the great flood of Genesis 6,
of such traducing of truth which
moved later to the divinely determined destruction of Israel, the deportation of
much of Judah and the infestation of the priesthood after the Maccabeans,
of corruption in its outworkings and invasive motions, to the point that the priests and religious leaders became in the main, the massively mouthing enemies of their own Lord and God, on His arrival as Messiah:
this entangles itself with the word of God.
It produces tragedies unthinkable, sufferings unspeakable, griefs of passion, devastation of what might have been delightful dynamics and odysseys of wonder; it does not hesitate to assail the Lord when He is available for this purpose, as at Calvary; and even if, as is the case, He turned this with His divine foresight and as He in fact predicted in Isaiah, the Psalms and Zechariah, to the marvel of the Gospel, so that their murder became His sacrifice for sin: yet the thrust of lust loves to avoid all containment.
It rushes on like a frightened stallion, trampling under foot as it may, till frothing and foaming, it lags exhausted. He who made them in the beginning ... says Christ (Matthew 19), in correlation with "in the beginning" as the tonal note for Genesis 1. Yet man no more likes to keep the bounds of the text than of moral life, so eliciting from the Saviour this rebuke (Matthew 19:1-6).
The light shines, and it became flesh in Jesus Christ. It shines, has shone and will shine, ineradicable but alienable to those who prefer the darkness against which He so direly warned (John 3:16-19,36); and whether some good person is carried away in some section of its ways, like Lot in an alien culture, or whether those who err would even assault angels direct, the uncomprehending darkness has its devious and finds injurious the day, skulking in shadows in the very presence of the bright light. It pouts, it shouts, for much may be done in the cover of darkness; and it even changes the vocabulary of truth to call itself light, but it remains a dark light, a mystic dynamic, deadly from the first, without understanding, without solution, without validity, without reason and without blessings*1.
Its proponents cover the earth with their preaching*2; but it changes*3, since it never works, and its gospel is one of human glory or its facades, foci or delusive directors or directives, which being most inglorious (cf. News 82, Tender Times ... Ch. 8), and injurious, never ceases to bring tragedy out of the open highway of triumph, by simply bypassing it in the tangles of trouble, unseeing in its own lack of light.
The light shines and the darkness did not apprehend it, cognise it, gather it to itself, overcome it, receive it with that acceptance which opens the mind to a given light, so that its shining is understood, applied and internalised. Such is the declaration of John 1:3. Such is likewise the disposition of a fallen world, but the light remains and remains to this day as available as ever. As a system it is as certain of doom as the pre-flood civilisation, and glimmers of light from the Lord depart from it more and more as it enhances its escape route and glowering with dull rays, finds its last place (cf. Matthew 24:35).
It reminds one of Jeremiah 4:22-28:
"For My people are foolish,
They have not known Me.
They are sottish children,
And they have no understanding.
They are wise to do evil,
But to do good they have no knowledge."
I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void;
And the heavens, they had no light.
I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled,
And all the hills moved back and forth.
"I beheld, and indeed there was no man,
And all the birds of the heavens had fled.
I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness,
And all its cities were broken down
At the presence of the Lord,
By His fierce anger.
"For thus says the Lord:
'The whole land shall be desolate;
Yet I will not make a full end.
For this shall the earth mourn,
And the heavens above be black,
Because I have spoken.
I have purposed and will not relent,
Nor will I turn back from it.' "
Thus there is a sense of cinders and shame that must come, whether in John 1 or in Jeremiah 4, when the light is denied, the very eternal light of God, and even more so, the light that is sent and meant for man, disposed for his aid and necessary for his life, since it is derived from that same source, God Himself, from the increate and eternal God who was not only present FROM the beginning but IN the beginning.
The light of God, divine and delightful, explaining all, encompassing all that would receive it, arranging all, overseeing all, filled with solutions, effective with remedy: it is not apprehended, it is not realised for what it is, it is not embraced, taken on board, taken hold of, and it is - though infinitely intimate - yet infamously taken as alien. You see a similar verb in John 1:11, where it states of Christ, the light of the world, the world did not know Him. Here however in John 1:3 there is a sense of awe as the light (present tense) proceeds to its continuous shining, it SHINES; but the darkness in historical response to this eternal reality, one now expressed, DID not receive it into the heart, embrace it with the understanding, find its impact acceptable.
In the dénouement, the always shining light came in definitive mode as Jesus Christ, and in decisive fashion man DID not accept Him, as witness the death and the manner of it, even though this eternal life trashed the grave, as prophecy attested and evidence insisted.
(cf. SMR Ch. 6, Great Execrations ...Ch. 7;
Biblical Blessings Ch. 15, Extended Endnote 2,
Acme, Alpha and Omega Ch. 11, With Heart ... Ch. 3,
The Magnificence of the Messiah, Endnote 1,
Dastardly Dynamics ... Ch. 11).
Indeed, with that majesty which divinity has, the Lord of the Bible even engaged in predicting even the DAY, the ordinal day on which this event of resurrection from the grave would occur, as if to laugh at, mock and deride those who imagine that the God of creation cannot handle mathematics, though his creation shows more of it than man can master or muster (cf. SMR pp. 114ff.); for whether it be in prophecy or in the observable and investigable nature of man's marvels of bodily format, and micro-biological panache, it is all one. He does what He says, and we are are of an order of product which we cannot nearly match (cf. SMR p. 211).
The Light had no shadows. Darkness without it, this was the enveloping negative aura of gloom; and despite the continuous shining of the light, the world in its darkness since the fall from the presence of God at the earliest time, found no affinity for this light when it came, incandescent in purity, yet for the better ability of human sight, expressed in human form, incarnate in unique marvel, once to live and once to die on earth, the light incapable of being held in the darkness of death, expelling it as all darkness in the other unique marvel, the resurrection, direct in the dynamic thrust of the Trinity, and with no human intervention.
The world however was not interested. Light ? What did it want with light! It could shine as it would, but received it would not be.
It was as if the Light were immiscible with the world, like an Officer among the men, other, irrelevant to many. Yet He came and they went, perturbed but not involved; for His light was intrusive of their lostness, or appeared starkly competitive with the ambitions of their lives, which they wanted to 'save' for their own use, contradistinct from the aspirations, autonomous pretension and drab desires of this world and its milling occupants. It was as if their spirits were spilled upon the earth like shed blood, lost and loving to be lost, though ruined in the program they chose, spoiled therefore, yet not being able for such a result, being incorporeal, merely vested in flesh: then were they made vapid in meaningless victories and insensate in immeasurable defeats ... The world slumbered and could not awake, like one in a coma.
Its King came and acted as prescribed, and only good was to be seen or found; but they were up to no good, and the world still claps its hands at such a prospect.
One spoke of Him as if an Officer not received by the troops, for all His liberality and nobility. Yet far from accurate would such an Officer analogy be, when it is realised that the MISSION of the light, this Word, to the world, of this Eternal One garbed in flesh (1:14) was to act as a BLOOD SACRIFICE (1:29), though in the earlier sense, when Christianity was still vigorous at the national level in Great Britain, this is precisely what a noble officer out of concern for his men, MIGHT DO, though he could not for all th at atone for their sins, merely prolong their lives!
Yet, the world did not see Him as so elevated, but rather bayed at Him like wolves, not realising the difference between sacrifice and sensuous mutilation.
It is as if we are descending, to revert to Jeremiah, going into the black darkness of unthinkable depths in some diving match, moving further and ever further from the light, discerning ever more dimly the shapes which, in the light give vitality and meaning, but in the hideous dimness of the depths, loom as objects of distress, danger and mystery, enshrouded in perils, promoting themselves in the shadowy and then deepening darkness of the watery abyss.
Or it is as if in space, beyond the past places of man's discoveries, that man in some rocket ship disdains the energy source, and lightless and de-energised in his decaying space ship, moves into realms ever more entrancing, embracing and explosive, at any moment signifying death. And why does it signify his mortality so eloquently ? It is because these things, these environments, their origin and meaning, their assignments and their modes are not understood, and this, it is because they are dark in physical light, because the man moving into these areas, is dark in mental light, since he is beyond his own powers, and dark in spiritual light since it is mere wilfulness so to DISPENSE with the light!
These are analogies. The fact is far more awesome and awful yet. It is not from mere understanding, as in perceiving the construction criteria of the universe, or not doing so, that man is now deficient; nor is it in mere absence of light, as if the poor creature were to be pitied for disqualification by birth. It is rather that being MADE by the very eternal word of GOD, he is yet unembracive of His light, unperceptive of its illumination, unimpressed with its impact, like equipment out of order, apt indeed for the light, but unreceptive because of its condition.
Worse however is it than even this; for if equipment were merely defective for normal operation, and could perhaps be fixed, we might read of the predicament of this world with some interest or even excitement, to see if perhaps it might have itself in some way fixed before utter disaster should blight it once and for all. In this case, however, as we find in increasing force from the Gospel of John, so far is it from being pitiable from not being able to be fixed, it is pitiless on its own people, for not WANTING to be so, disdaining the light as a foolish child his father's mercies (John 3:19,36).
In all this, of course, there is hope; but not for this world. It not only DID not receive Him, relinquishing its much prized darkness, but WILL not do so (John 14:30), since the world has its own culture, its own vitiated vision which, however irrational (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!), is yet kept like a privileged son, its life never reasoned through, since in its stultification, it has nowhere to go, while it is always kept on, like some petted prig, never working, always a burden, maintained by the family.
Hope then ? Where is this to be found ? It is found in a minority (Matthew 7:15ff.), in those who unlike the systematic whole of this world in its cast of thought, its vast negative empyrean, the deep in its dimness, DO instead receive, embrace, find affinity with Him, have set in their torches, the batteries of truth, and in their sockets, the globe of realisation. This, however, it is not to the glory of the few, but to the glory of the God who gave and gave and gave: creation, hope, Gospel and restoration, even in the midst of an uncomprehending darkness; and in rescuing ANY, He does it ENTIRELY HIMSELF (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:23ff., John 1:12).
How wonderfully comforting it is to find that one is not a member of an aristocratic and privileged few, but a part of those found from the byways, and not where they would have been expected! (John 1:11-12).
This is the extension of the message of John 1:10, as in the parables of Matthew 22 and Luke 13, and in particular 22:9, where search was to be made in the highways and byways, even hedges, for those who would come, and coming become children of God! (cf. Luke 13:23).
What could be better: a loving God, a living Word of God who also IS God, whose beauty lies in humility, whose majesty is in truth and whose equity is in reality, with a company whose life is from Him, like those not on life-support systems in sickness, but on life instilling spirit in health! a body of those who love Him, who do not seek to secure a position, having been given it already, or to contain their greatness, having been crucified with Christ already (Galatians 5:24), but who in the love of the light, soar not anomalously to dark dimness, but to an intensity of light which yet does not scorch, and a profundity which yet does not terrify.
UNDER WAY IN THE DARK
The world by the irrationality of its philosophies (cf. SMR Chs. 3, 5, 10 and The gods of naturalism have no go!), and the insistences of its ways, which lead to political action and hence to wars, confused ideals and inclinations, enhanced passions from false prophets like Darwin, Freud and Marx (cf. Aviary of Idolatry and Mystery of Iniquity with Highway to Hell, and DIvine Agenda Ch. 6), has made its own grave. It is like those who pay for their funerals before they come, so that when they come, they will be covered.
The world however is not covered, and nothing can cover its funereal ambitions, since it realises not, it does not COMPREHEND because of its inexorable darkness from its invariant will, that it is to death it consigns itself, being deluded into the doctrine that it will make its own light, This it does, though the world runs but down, and while it would be its own source, yet its birth and death cycle continues in disdainful disregard of such pretensions.
Hence its darkness is its doom, and its negative verification is continual, escalating and proliferating, so that the power of the Age and the puniness of the philosophies, the pulp of the false prophets cause but damage to its movement, and disaster to its ways.
Hence come the predicted fears, the concerns, the distresses, the wars and the worries, the self-seeking and the increasingly witnessed surrender to whatever it is (cf. SMR Ch. 8), which can TAKE them where they want to go, but do not relish to arrive: which is somewhere good without God. This design for destiny however is a contradiction in terms; for without God, nothing is good (cf. News 19); there is only the amorphous satisfaction of the meaningless (cf. SMR Ch. 3, Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 8, Wake Up World! ... Ch. 5, ), and the dark drivel of the dynamic without understanding which comes when the only light there is, is witheringly dismissed (cf. SMR pp. 313ff.).
It was not only then, in 'times of yore' as modern man likes to reflect dismissively in his anti-historic intoxication with a future equally witheringly boding in fury to become a past indeed not to be desired; it is just as much so now. Indeed, the Prince of this world then, enshrined in Pilates, Sanhedrin and Pharisee, in Herods and ultimately in that drab spirit, the devil, the adversary of man, is the same as now. Now he has grown a moustache and beard, if you will, and might to some look a little different; but his curriculum vitae is the same, the purposes and proposals and powers are not mutated.
Disaster is yet another 'd' that goes with him, as shown in the very texture of our misdynamised history as a world, and as a race (cf. News 122, News 87).
The uncomprehending darkness
rejoices in hope of what is dark, and calling it light, ineffectually seeks for
good, and finds evil; and seeking for stability, it finds scattering. What is it
like ? It is like light
striking a rippling surface, shimmering; but this light, it is but darkness, and
it is the cloud of incomprehension which builds to become a typhoon, with the
sea and wave roaring as predicted (cf. What is the Chaff ... ?
Ch. 5), and literally as well as figuratively, adorning the truth of the Gospel by the extreme accuracy, in things spiritual, in things physical, of its forecasts (cf. the sea and the waves roaring, Luke 21, its current impact documented in in SMR Ch. 8 , Repent or Perish Ch. 6, and News 123):
Philosophical confusion mere attests it; political mayhem merely expresses it; intractable passions merely exhibit it. It is a sort of dark fire, which while it burns, does nothing to illuminate. Quite to the contrary, it brings new dimensions to the incomprehensible, through the wilful exclusion of light.
Note: See the next chapter, 10, for more on the intense parallel of Genesis 1 and John 1, with emphasis on the John 1 section, in order to ponder the significance of the words and the meaning of the terms more distinctly by the comparison and to see the jewel like conformity of scripture with scripture as here illustrated.
For an interesting ecclesiastical decline in this field, see Answers to Questions Ch. 8.
This is in line with the vast denominational declines of the past century, fulfilling the scriptural index concerning these matters as noted in Secular Myths and Sacred Truth... Ch. 3 with its various references. While it is always sad to see decline, forecast decline has this relief, that the Lord knew it, said it and in fulfilling it, is proceeding with that wisdom which despises pretension, insists on reality and gives no support from this world for His kingdom. What moves into its own majesty quickly finds either corruption rife or rampant, deterioration into lines askew, and humiliation; and in spiritual things, the greatest of humiliations is to be touted in this world, or have accord with its futile thought forms.
It must be borne in mind that when individuals have their weak points, that is one thing, and one looks to the Lord to help them to conquer them; but when a denomination classifies its errors, and authorises its decline, then there is a formal adjudication which makes of fault, default, and of weakness, a mandate which can in no way be accepted, when the Lord is other and requires faithfulness. The time to contend is at the outset as in Jude (cf. News 43, 88), and the way to victory includes this, to have no more harmony with unfaithfulness and no more solidarity with it than Christ did with the Scribes, the Sadducees and the Pharisees (cf. Matthew 23, and 24:11-12,24 with II Peter 3, II Thessalonians 2).
Christ’s degree of fellowship with these caught in spiritual delinquency can be discerned in Matthew 23! The response is first as prescribed in Jude and exhibited in the confrontations by Christ (as in Luke 11, Matthew 22), and then if no remedy is to be found, as prescribed by Paul in Romans 16:17, and II Timothy 3 (cf. Separation 1997). In short, if they will not return to the word of the Lord, then the Christian must instead seek fellowship with those who do; for in avoiding fellowship in such cases as scripturally required, on has no other option.
See, for example, Tender Times ... Ch. 8, The gods of naturalism have no go! News 122.
See for example TMR Ch. 8, Lead Us Not into Educational Temptation, Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3.
*3 Cf. SMR pp. 226ff., 419ff., 422Eff., 315Aff., Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic ml.