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1. THE PRE-EMINENCE OF THE INVISIBLE
Love is not a materially observable fact. It is an invisible reality.
That means that it is of a higher order of reality than the empirical facts, the measurable quantities. These are enclosed in the envelope marked, made. Their form, gyrations and codes, programs and systems are of the order of things organised, prepared and sent. We have at some length considered these facts before, as in SMR Chs. 1, 2 and 3 . The difficulty men have in determining what is the PURPOSE of such organisation has often led them to HOPE or even to try to reason, that there is none. This is frankly an impossible position.
The presence of order, symbolic logic and the criteria which meet the definition of intelligence, as often reasoned before, but now merely alluded to (see esp. Repent or Perish Ch. 7), is the requisition for at least an intelligence. Its purposes are not alienable from it. Its assiduity and acumen, transcending our own as the heavens the earth, are not to be airily dismissed on the ground that the best paper in the test has come from a piece of wood, not a student. All such dismal dismissals of the star performer are in vain. They are merely verbal substitutes for thought (see esp. SMR Ch. 3, and A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9).
Today, we are proceeding on from these often demonstrated realities.
What surmises and devises concerning ideologies is not chance. It is not matter. It is not programmed. That is precisely why there is that species of inelegant confusion which so typifies the anguish of academia. The power to do this is personal, spiritual and concerns the spirit of man in acute disjunction from his programmatic prowess. What authenticates matter is not matter; it is not of this type. Validation is not a virtue of process. It is a subject for thought, an object for discursive embrace by spirit.
IF however the mind were not valid, much less would be its spawn, such as ideologies, such as materialism. ONLY when the mind is first assumed valid, is the ideology even conceivable as sane. To assume the mind valid is the work of validation, wholly disparate from matter. To prove that what is a process without meaning can assign meaning is merely a contradiction in terms. To act as if truth were the fruit of inability to reach it because it is not there, is indeed a sort of academic mania, to be distinguished terminologically from anything logical. It is a form of desperation so naive, and so manifestly self-contradictory that the indulgence in it is a mere expression of humour or an incubus of bravado.
One may be desperate to win a war, but one needs weapons. A gun which kills you, does not help.
Better is needed. Validity
requires two things minimally: rational use of logical forms in a way which does not
contradict itself or any known condition in which it is ostensibly or actually
operating; and a system which does not deny, but which actually in some way
REACHES absolute truth*1A. To do this, as we have earlier shown, but here merely
revise in summary, requires a capacity to be INSTRUCTED BY IT, since the
insertion of truth into a pollution or inadequacy or non-truth is a process
which is rather like putting spring water into
The reception of truth is far more demanding systematically and necessarily than the reception of data over the internet by a computer. It requires absolute reciprocity to the absolute. On the theories which deny God, access to Him, or both, this is absolutely impossible; for therein man is neither of the ilk of the absolute, nor is there available any absolute to speak if it would or could; nor, therefore, can there be any absolute divulgement, present for contemplation: the case is ruled out.
In other words, one needs, in this system of intelligible interchange, to be made by the absolute truth and for the absolute truth, to be able to receive. The relative, the derivative (from whatever, in this quaint view), MAN, he is in this sphere of thought neither subject nor directable to it. If it were there, he could not find it; since it is, on this basis, not there, he need not search.
Thus we find, on this alien principle or ideology, that the unknown receptor called man is not assessable as in the realm of absolute. It is precisely BECAUSE he is not, on this theory, that the trouble arises. Since such an ideology does not recognise absolute truth, it cannot have man made by what is not there, or for what is not there. Moreover if it is not there, in any case, it cannot minister to or be received by man. You cannot receive nothing and operate on it as if it were something. What you deny, in consistency, you must do without. That is, this is required on this basis, in argument: but of course, since as we have demonstrated, it is there, we are not all insane who put forward things as TRUE for all and sundry, but merely aware of our background which enables this.
The inconsistency of affirming in proposition, what is denied in principle is merely an example - one more - of the hideous inadequacy and distortion found in and made by what is independently demonstrably irrational. It is, in that sense, merely a verification. We meet these continually; this case is no exception.
Very well. Only those who believe in and know the Absolute Truth can consistently, without contradicting themselves and being up for total reassessment, when they come out of their spin, present things as the true perspective, understanding, scenario. Materialism is not in this happy position.
In fact, of course, quite apart from all of this, the merely programmatic is not our affair except as spectators or meddlers. We did not make it; but what we can make is thought, ideas, ideologies, concepts and imaginative splendours. This, being immediately our own product, is not in that indirect and challenged condition of being an assertion about what is often elsewhere being denied in the same viewpoint.
It is therefore far more valid to speak of one's purposes than of one's ideology, unless of course one's ideology allows for absolute truth and with reason, asserts that one has been granted the privilege of knowing this, necessarily by His own initiative, since all of our works are limited by ourselves and our own uncalibrated equipment. In fact, man without an ARTICULATE ABSOLUTE TRUTH, which God of course is, being not incapacitated by anything, since nothing has this ability to impinge on and limit Him, is limited to himself which, not being God, excludes the knowledge which He alone has.
Man must not only, however, not exclude what is necessary in order to be able so much as LOGICALLY to declare ANY truth as such; he must BE INCLUDED in what is presented by God.
He must actually receive it, as well as be in a logical position which allows for such an event.
Man then can know the
truth, when rightly related, in practice and not merely in theory,
But not without this!
With no criterion for evaluation,
no standard for assessment,
no guarantee against distortion,
with limitations on reception facility for knowledge receptors,
without initial proclivities,
but with filtering agilities,
input automatically becomes output,
and the product which would be truth, left alone and without promulgation,
becomes in man, the work of the producer, man.
Hence absolute truth requires importation
beyond the authority, aptitudes and ways of man
or indeed any other producer
than the source,
Indeed, the aspiration to work out the mind of the infinite,
or detail the purposes of the Almighty,
a form telepsychiatry,
is self-scrambled in inadequacy,
to say no more. (Cf. SMR p. 101.)
His speech is the only available recourse,
but it is available (cf. SMR Chs. 1, 2, 3,5, 6, 10, That Magnificent Rock Chs. 1, 5, 7, 8),
and is thus exclusive as well as competent,
a pre-condition for any final and effectual truth for man.
Thus we can indeed avoid the dilemma of the materialist quite readily, since that theory is in defiance of logic, having what is a product without a producer, and requiring of Nature what it shows no power to perform in systematic increments of information and original design, while using as a basis what is a projection of mind, useless unless it has its own logical validity, which is not even meaningful, far less donatable, by or in matter.
The MINIMAL requirement for that is a designer, for mere collections of variables are not design, but arrangements like traffic at a level crossing without lights, without roads and without cars. It is all really just illusion; as soon as you specify ANYTHING, you are required to account for CHARACTERISTICS, and the reasons for them in ways which do not stop short of what is at least equal to their demands of law and order (cf. SMR Ch. 3). The absence of the same as a ground or basis for these things is so ludicrous, that it is a marvel of the century that such things are still sometimes said.
Sustainable theories do not just propound words and say anything. You have to show that reason is not denied in system, and that empirical data are not presumed in scenario, in order to show WHY such and such a thing is to be intelligently accounted for; and if you deny intelligence, then your own is in dismissal so that you evacuated yourself from rational discourse.
So we come to the fact that the material substratum of many things, though exquisitely technical and magnificently intelligent (by the definition of the term, see p. 211 etc. SMR and consult index on intelligence) in design, is only of secondary relevance to our lives. It is a theory, and it is not possibly a true theory unless we know absolute truth, as have, by their claims, many of the most masterful and famous of scientists of all time as has been noted elsewhere (Francis Bacon, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Newton, Boyle, Faraday, Humphrey Davy, John Dalton, Samuel Morse and Lord Kelvin are merely ten which come readily to hand, but lists are available occupying book format with their descriptive data).
These have been consistent in presenting anything in this dimension, as true. Their work is not of itself necessarily any result of revelation, or certainly true; but it is not contrary to their world view, and indeed view of creation, for them to aspire to such a result! In fact, the most open possibility in their cases, could inspire to greater effort and profound expectations!
With many, this is precisely what it did, Francis Bacon for his part, being most articulate in this, founding in many ways as he did, the modern concept of scientific method.
What however without such a basis ?
Otherwise, you fail before you contend. You are excluded from the result automatically and prior to action, by your own presuppositions, your list of alogisms, your commitments of unreason, sitting prettily if emptily on thin air. Without what it is necessary for truth by your own specification, you specify in vain. (Cf. That Magnificent Rock Chs. 5 and 7. and A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3).
We are forced back to the invisible wherein lies our consideration, expectation, cogitation, in which are to be found ideals and purposes; seeing now further, that without this, logic is barren and argument self-contradictory in these areas.
The invisible (Hebrews 11:1-3) ? It is often derided (and this, with supreme irony, by invisible actions of spirit which evaluate in ways which are not merely foreign to matter, but contrary to its character, which is to do, not estimate the validity or meaning of doing). Thus, any such derision may be returned in retort at once:
SINCE YOU DERIDE WITH WHAT YOU DERIDE.
HOW DERISIBLE THEREFORE IS YOUR OWN DERISION!*1
The invisible, in fact, is the kind in which all of these things occur. It RELATES to the visible; but it IS invisible. It has no size, no dimension, no programmable code which enforces it. It is sui generis, originative beyond any stimulus, perceptive beyond any plan (cf. SMR pp. 348ff.).
ONE of the invisible things is love. Another is peace. A third is grace, a fourth kindness, a fifth beauty, a sixth logical consistency. It is immeasurable and inexpressible in quantitative format, irrelevant to code and compilation techniques.
God HIMSELF is invisible. The self-sufficient and necessary origin of our causality and being is not to be seen with eyes of flesh. If He were not, did not exist, there would be no answer to the logical demand for a sufficient cause for this material world, which evidences no power whatsoever to make itself, and would moreover have had even more trouble doing so before it was there, and the same applies to any level of matter.
God is not a product. He is a producer. His eternity is required by the fact that any SYSTEM in which He is imagined to live, His environment, would need to have been logically accounted for apart from Him.
This merely repeats the necessities at an earlier level.
His self-sufficiency results from the same constraint. If He were not so, then what would be the result ? EITHER a series of systems or episodes or entities which made the system and granted Him dependent status in it, or ONE such system before Him, and beyond these, other imagined systems or units or repositories of sufficiency for all the results, as adequate cause.
In each case, you merely
have to require and exact logically that these be accounted for. You either
NEVER account for them, which is logical failure, hence removing you as a
rational component of any discussion, to the point, or you have to come to the
result: ONE has always been there, self-sufficient. NOT self-sufficient
? If it be not so, then at once, IT is in the order of the maintained,
and the maintenance has to be there, and the result is simple. IT is required to
show its cause.
and less than this in componentry
does not cover the case.
lists of art producer, sound parlayer, costume manager,
photography director, producer, director, research manager and so on ...
in films, before we see them. If they were not there, we might enquire...
in logic for logic,
from symbolisation for symbols,
in expressiveness for expression,
in code oriented manipulative genius for the same in practice,
in law or law making, for law.
For nothing, you get what nothing can contribute.
That is a matter of nothing, past, present, potential, future.
without milieu or combination,
environment of terms , task or materials,
hence without beginning,
is always necessary.
For a start has to be in other than nothing,
for its emplacement,
or it cannot happen.
We have happened, need this happening in order to be,
so that one Eternal Being has always been.
that He is immaterial,
for if He were material,
then precisely that environment of limits
and constraints, laws and programs
would be in place without Him,
and require their creator, merely forcing
us to go to God Himself, instead of
making a temporary logical way-station
of some non-rational substitute, some 'god'
of thought, construction, schema, order, principle or whatever,
unable to account for what in fact is,
being already merely in the interstices about him/it.
Any unit, system or series of systems is ALWAYS subject to rational demand for its genesis, basis and sufficient ground for existence. Name any, any compilation, any combination at all: it makes precisely no difference. For ANYTHING to be maintained without starting from nothing (which by definition excludes ANYTHING EVER, but we have something now), there always has to be a sufficiency for it before it; and the production of time in our sense, this too requires the same sufficiency, for it is not least an orderly accounting procedure for the impartation of impact of various sufficient kinds for various efficient results.
Once we get to any alleged sufficiency, we then simply need to ask on what ground it is asserted that it, or its predecessors, all in due logical array, have come into existence. Always, for any system, you need the systematiser. Otherwise it is irrational, magic suitable for children of course; but God alone is suitable for adults.
Children should be helped to see, and often in fact may see more readily than those old in cultural conditioning dark glasses. IF they have come into existence, then the source must have preceded them or the time producer, have existed without the time ingredient at all. SINCE we have time, then either at time 1 or as the cause of it, there has to be the ADEQUATE SELF-SUFFICIENCY. Then there has to be the cause of time 1 being in existence, and so time comes from the capacity to impart chronology.
There is in the end no way in which something can draw from somewhere when we go to ultimates. IT IS THERE, or it does not come. It (the universe) came so it (its producer) was there. This Producer was adequate, and at least personal in order to comprehend and institute human personality with its symbolic logic and coded quietus of compilation in this wonderful and amazing synthesis of abilities of co-ordinated capacities which we are ? no, say rather have. We ARE what contains them, or better, are what has the capacity to UTILISE all this in UNITARY FUNCTION. It is called spirit, the surveying rationality, the assessing morality, the criticising circumspection, the intelligent and intelligible communication being, bound to no codes, using many, but limited by the fact that there are many of us, there is the Producer of any of us, and there is an answer for the use to be made.
? A system, as we have seen, requires its author. What does NOT require
its author, so that it alone CAN be the rational answer to the ground over time
and for all time of existence and design and intelligence such as we see in
products and use to make our own, is this. It is a single being, not arranged
in a system requiring the extraneous to it; and One
entirely self-sufficient. That is the ONLY way it can avoid the logical impasse
of having to be produced, or contained, or limited by ...Normally called God,
He shows His presence by His works of creation, by having stopped them and by
having said thousands of years ago that He had stopped them.
And they are there, and they have stopped.
The works which go on are called history, and He calls it before it comes in regards crucial to His personal plans and purposes for man, and these are the ones which, unlike new creation, do happen. It is all very simple.
|Indeed we have earlier seen why it is necessary in such a world as this|
|that He whose actions constitute truth,|
|and whose words in concert with
His actions express it
(for He is not the subject of
another's creation, and hence is not constrained at all, nor contrary to
Himself, which would be an object of creation, bearing up)
|should have spoken.
|Spoken to what then
|to a world in such a wild deviation from His specifications of nature|
|and His designs of life,|
|as likewise from
the justice of His provisions for each according to what it does and is.
(Cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6, and 7, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, 2, SMR pp. 43ff.,
That Magnificent Rock, Ch. 5. See also Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4)
We have verified almost without limit, the truth and adequacy, accuracy and precision right to this present time, of His word. Alien to the products of alienation from Himself, and the principles underlying it, He might have removed the earth entirely; but competent in complete knowledge, knowing from the first the outcome at the last, He has provided the remedy which makes His patience consistent with His righteousness, and His brilliance compatible with His truth. To the depths of man's depravity, reaching with more than mere justice, which would end the schema and the schemer, man at cone, He spoke, intimated the remedy, propositionalised the impenetrable, even to the sin of man, gave the written and the Eternal Word in flesh, so providing remedy.
Nor was this any limited provision. Far from annulling the objective of the enterprise, in exterminating man as in the image of God, and so belying His construction and creation of him, God has provided that remarkable combination of sovereign power through His Spirit on the one hand, to penetrate to the heart of man, and on the other, a predestinative knowledge which has ensured that NONE is excluded through lack of love, just as none is included through lack of meaningful liberty. If that liberty has to be wrought in God, since man is so despoiled, so be it. He is sovereign. He knows what He is doing. So does the ultimate magnificence of God, the comprehensively creating and comprehensively redeeming God*2, take effect. (Cf. The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 4 and the predestination and will TRILOGY.)
The NEED for such a word from the first violation and rupture of spirit, the necessity of speech and action into such a situation as that of man, becomes the OBVIOUSNESS of the ONLY word and action capable of scientific verification, and at that, incapable of the slightest comparison in kind. There is ONE REMEDY, both in the nature of remedy, and in the nature of uniqueness (cf. SMR Ch. 1), It is then investigated in detail, and has that munificence of validity and verification which jointly attest the nature of the Sovereign concerned: it is not mere PASS, but the exhibition of a scope of wisdom and knowledge past all human understanding; which is at it should be when the Creator of man is involved!
Demonstration, verification and scientific method all cohere here, as nothing else does (cf. *1A below). There is no competition. Jesus Christ is the personal invasion of this world by the Creator with His own expression, who duly was predicted to do what the record predicates Him to have done, and He still does it in those who know Him, according to His stated principles and procedures (sometimes called 'promises'), and in history without cease.
All this is merely a rapid review, a schematic outline of some of the more obvious elements of the realities which are INVISIBLE. We too have them, work with them, for them and on them. There is hardly possible ANY human being whose purposes and desires expressed in qualitative terms, are not anterior to his/her experiences with the programmatic, the material and the theoretically induced thing called the material.
Love then is the acme of this. To be loved appears quite a popular position, and to love a common one; except of course that the mere utilisation of another is not love, but selfish advantage sought by physical means and helped by mental and verbal contrivances. The thing itself is reasonably clear to many. It is not any given size, any given colour, any given weight. It is not the source of any quantifiable forces, or any specifiable optical or other characteristics. It is entirely OF and IN the realm of the invisible, and without doubt there is no more potent force within the desires and hearts and lives and purposes of mankind, than this. For it, many direct their monies, their houses, their industry.
It is variously defined however, the fanatic making it his/her attitude to whatever it is that he/she 'loves'. It may be religious and absurd, or religious and true. In general, it signifies that to which one's life is drawn with a sense of splendour, or aptitude or joyful regard. With this, but not always, since it is so easily swamped by competing considerations which do not always allow their own names to appear, it is most often associated with nobility or willingness to suffer for its object, as in parenthood, or on occasion (more rare now than once), for one's country.
says Paul, is kind, does not seek its own (advantage, possessions, affairs). It
is hopeful, bears patiently, endures. Passion is not
always so, sometimes deliberately hurting with impatience if not indeed
impetuosity what is its object. Towards this, it is often said that it has
love, but the existence of the perfectly descriptive term 'passion' seems to
make such a terminological confusion of no benefit to any, except for special
pleading, which can be left to those whom it concerns.
2. THE PRE-EMINENCE OF THE LOVE OF GOD
In fact, as we have before demonstrated, and slightly revised for convenience above, God is and God has spoken in the Bible alone, in His authorised transmission of verbal communication to man.
In this we find the importance of love to be so great that if one lacks it, it is PERFECTLY USELESS to speak with an oracular intensity which makes Hitler look kiddish, Churchill barren and angels admire. It is quite pointless to give away all one's possessions to the poor, and then, by way of bonus of earnestness, to have one's body provided for burning (presumably by those who enjoy or value this sort of thing, like the Inquisition of Rome over hundreds of years and thousands of corpses, but not Rome only, this merely as a masterpiece of example in the matter and very central) - see Babylon (more particularly here) in Index.
Love is willing to sacrifice, and is perceived in its most intense form, in the love of our Maker, God, when He sent His only begotten Son (begotten through the agency of a woman called Mary, by God Himself as in Luke 1 - it being no difficulty for the One who made all process, to act without it).
This involves a perfect apex of sacrifice (Philippians 2),
It is a vicious imbroglio; but then to help can involve such a willingness.
Not at all, however, does sacrifice EQUAL love. It may occur WITHOUT IT. It can be a devotion rendered to one's own pride, a testimony to seal one's own distinction, and have little really to do with the ostensible basis or beneficiary. It is also true that love frequently does sacrifice. Its presence or absence however is not determined by this one variable, sacrifice. That, it is simply a most useful measure of its intensity IF it is present, and something else using the name is not flitting into position.
Love seeks the good of its object, good being defined as by God, since if God be omitted, and God states that He IS love, then naturally the good which results is partial or perverted, diverted or corrupted, superficial or blind, in part or in whole. Love is willing to give, for God so LOVED the world that He gave ... Love is willing to bear, for Christ in this mission of love bore our sins, receiving them from us who are His, and has offered to ALL the facility; all who ARE His will use it. Those who want to lament, need merely to take it. Those who do not want it, have only themselves to blame. THIS is truly a universal love in that sense, that NO ONE (I John 2:1-3, Colossians -23) is excluded through ANY lack of it.
What a marvellous thing then! There is no love so broad, so deep or so effective. It is wholly knowing, so suffering no illusions, and is willing to die for the unlovely (Romans 5). WHAT dies is the only begotten Son of God, who in His eternal companionship with His Father is not only pure, but in the form of God (Philippians 2 cf. Questions and Answers 12 pp. 165ff., Things Old and New ... Ch. 2, pp. 39ff. ). To so act with such a pedigree, better such an eternity of blessedness and power is from the extreme to the extreme. It is extreme in kind, in direction, in extent, in plan, in overcoming aversion, in giving, in totality.
it is the love of God (see also Spiritual
Refreshing for the Digital Millenium in
several chapters, 9-12, on this topic).
We have seen the wonder of God's INNOVATIVE GOODNESS. This is characteristic, like the pressure of a vast dam on the walls of the containing structure. He juts forth with love, with liberty, with intelligent provisions. He is no formalist and detests ceremonialism and formalism, as from Isaiah 1 alone one can see, with incredible clarity! He is active and compassionate and ready to hear the heart which is ready to speak the language of repentance and use the furnishings of faith towards the covenantal*3 provisions which He has, in His order and extraordinary loveliness, provided (Psalm 34:6, 33:18, 50:14-15, 86:5, 145:18, 102:2).
Some do not like this. It may SEEM very noble and highly human to do what one likes without any regard for anything, like love-ins in the sixties, and bellowing mini-mediocrity now in the musics and works of madness which so frequently are little more than an advertisement of the exuberance of which life is capable - if it be not killed - for a short time when it abandons... anything!
Driving is the same; for a time you can do almost ANYTHING. It is a relatively short time.
Now as to this innovative
goodness which God has and which we are in Isaiah 58 and Matthew 5-7, drawn to
seek, it is NOT the same as lawlessness. Far from it.
CHRIST PAID the requirements legally extant by law, for sin. Law encodes what
is the case, truly or falsely. With God, it is truly. Christ was NOT willing to
have 12 legions of angels come to His assistance when He deliberately and
knowingly went to
(in both senses:
1) the date assigned (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4), and
2) appointment, since it had to be done, as in Isaiah 52-53,
cf. SMR Ch. 9).
IF HE DID, He exclaimed, HOW would then scripture (the predictions and principles and requirements and promises concerning the pardon and power and peace through the Messiah) be fulfilled (Matthew 26:53).
Discipline as well as desire (expressed so poignantly in Hebrews 5 and Luke 22:41ff.), program as well as purpose, law as well as liberty, all were there. Christ submitted to it all. He did not break law, He did not assert Himself like a flamingo at dance. He did His duty, He met the criteria, He fulfilled the conditions, He demonstrated what He had asserted, and in the form of man showed what He wanted, did what man needed to be accepted again by His Maker.
It is assuredly written in Galatians 3:24 that the law was a tutor, but now that Christ has come we no more need a tutor. However, for what purpose do you hire a tutor ? Is it not with a view to learning something ? or if one's father appoints one, is it not that one should be taught ! Hence the TUTOR has imparted principles as well as the ceremonial, the sacramental, the festal aspects of the Old Covenant. The principles do not change. In fact Christ Jesus the Lord said this, NOT A JOT OR TITTLE shall pass from the law and the prophets TILL ALL IS FULFILLED. The concept that something will pass, even though not fulfilled, is merely to ignore both the purpose of tutors and the realities of Christ's speech!
And for how long is this condition to apply, from the mouth of Christ, that all be either fulfilled or binding ? It is "till heaven and earth pass away"! Despite the abuses of mankind, this is not the situation at this time! God's morals do not change, the historical realities do not alter, nor does the thing which is good alter, nor does God mutate. Holiness is not adventitious, but closeness to the deity through His appointed ONLY Mediator (I Tim. 2), and ONLY authorised written word to mankind (II Timothy , Rev. 22). Free and guaranteed eternal salvation (Romans 5:1-11, I John 5:12ff., John 10:9,27-28) does not make His morals blink, but is inveterate with His truth, radiant with His reality, enveloped with His grace; nor does love hesitate to delight in His ways, words and nature it (John 14:21-23 cf. Romans 3:31). Love does not demolish the household, but wisely uses it. Service does not secure salvation but is ignited by it (Psalm 104:4). His beauty does not cultivate brashness but meekness.
No there is law and liberty, there is the spontaneous and the innovative in love; but there are also the moral certitudes of the Maker, and the spiritual principles and indeed, there is HIMSELF, who never changes.
As the Psalm 89 states,
Moreover God does not change: if He did, it would not be God as noted in SMR pp. 29ff..
He also states this in Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 and many other places.
Law is ONE of the ways of expression of changelessness in the mode chosen.
BUT MERE LEGALISM, mere
conformity to law without love, is soulless and dead; and it is precisely this
legalistic licence, this liberty to follow law to the
end of the earth and even add to it, and be blind to its POINT and to its PURPOSE
which, we saw in the last chapter, God cordially detests! Against whom did He
speak with more vigour than the Pharisees, and
against what more than the procedure of the Sadducees, Pharisees, religious
lawyers (Matthew 23:13Luke 11:52),
who neither entered in nor suffered those who would to do so, misusing the 'key of knowledge' for their own corrupt and perverted spiritual purposes!
"In vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men", He chided,
quoting the unchanged and true word of Isaiah in chapter 29.
"This people," He also cited, "honours Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me."
"All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition."
He went further than this! by stating that they were making "the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down" - Mark .
IN all this one perceives the necessity of love from the heart, the useless vanity of mere legalism, but also apparent is the hearty concord Christ has with all the word of God written, and His assurance that every least part of it will be honoured by God. Indeed, it should be honoured, the teaching, by us, for He says, those who teach and DO the last of the commandments will be great, whereas the greatest breaking the least of the commands and so teaching shall be called least (Matthew 5:17ff.).. If ANYTHING shows the importance of what God has said, and the fact that it is not a matter of mere licence to do what you please and call on God to be pleased, this does.
Moreover, II Timothy 3:16
refers us to all scripture for profit and edification, for even the Old
Testament ceremonies and depictions are pictures of vital value, and often
these in terms of their fulfilments shed mutual
light. The principles however remain, like God's concern to have children
recipients of the covenantal seal, as in Colossians 2:11-12. If God changed his
views, doubtless He would say; but what He has created, man, and how He views
Him in covenant, this is not subject to human mutation as if to invade the mind
of the Almighty and tell Him where to change.
(Cf. Questions and Answers 9, 11, News51, End-note 1.)
Many do not seem to realise the position; but the fact is that all the word of God in its principles unless fulfilled, is indicative of His will.
It is not hard to follow. There are no more picturesque and preliminary scenarios of sacrifice and priest and temple worship. It is simple. There is law, certainly, as against the once death-penalty receiving but now kingdom excluding practice of fornication or adultery or perversion. There is law, again, in the clear teaching that women may not take the AUTHORITY positions in churches, though this of course does not in the least exclude them from the highest order of counsel (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 10 - 11).
One has deliberately chosen the sort of thing which it is now commonplace to disregard, in this context.
It is useful to look at one's own generation in considering the faults of others. But why the latter ?
is the point. This volume is concerned with the Middle East, and we have been
pursuing Christ's exposure of hypocrisy and insistence on the word of God, and
in particular we note that the DEEP THINGS of the law must be honoured, justice and mercy, as well as whatever else is
unfulfilled (Matthew 23:23). MERCY is a MUST, POVERTY OF SPIRIT is ESSENTIAL,
LOVE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS is indispensable, obedience to the word of God (John -23) is in fact a criterion of LOVE.
That is what Christ said.
4. LOVE AND OBEDIENCE
We have already noticed that hypocrisy is eminently, almost pre-eminently unattractive to the salient goodness of the Lord. Conformity for ulterior motives is therefore OUT, in this regard. But what of conformity (as to traffic rules) in the interests of the (in that case presumed, with the Lord assured) wisdom of the propounder, for the good of all ? Certainly, when God speaks it is well to listen; better to love; necessary to do; the utmost to love and obey. It is the height of glorious devotion to obey OUT OF LOVE, trusting that in keeping the commandments, one is really, because of the love and wisdom of the Father of all (in beginning the race), doing one's best for all. By this we know, says I John 5, that we love the brethren, if we love God and keep His commandments. That is faith. This is also essential; and love without faith is like a libel suit against a bride to be, as a preliminary to marriage.
However, the LOVE which is to impel (and we all readily understand that a wife drudging with stern feelings to help the family is most different from a joyous loving householder whose infectious resolution and goodwill inspires) is what matters MOST. The devotion TO THE TRUTH (love rejoices in the truth, I Cor. 13) is natural to the divine love. The truth is, after all, Christ the creator with His Father.
In loving devotion to the truth, with due regard to the most vital matters, and a constant brotherly kindness, but without loss of the rules and principles, but rather with a fluent understanding of them (like a good driver), one is to avoid both legalism and the squalor of intractable delinquency, antinomianism and the like. Paul states this (Romans ):
On the contrary, we establish the law."
The things which were the scaffolding, of course, are gone.
The building ? It remains.
"IF anyone love Me," said Christ, "he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him" John . You will notice that Christ in common with His Father, is the guest in the heart of such a person: both come and work jointly, each with the other, one God - the Father insisting the Son be honoured just as He is (John 5:19ff.).
But - "He who does not love Me does not keep My words, and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me" - John .
one desires to know what the Lord wants, there it is. If one loves Him, that is
the way to show it; but what does merely copy this, it is known to God.
ANYTHING which does not LOVE is already in breach of the first commandment, and
whatever is USING GOD for its own purposes, is already its own idol, in breach
of the first commandment and of the first law of
5. LOVE AND SALVATION:
SALTATION NEEDED IN THE MIDDLE EAST
It is then NOT the self-orientated, the self-generated, the self-dependent which is permissible in the love of God. This as already noted, rules out all the major religions in the area.
It is not the legalistic, nor is it the innovative in badness, the idolatrous which concocts without divine authority; nor is it what defies what attests itself over the millenia and in Christ the Lord.
It is not the idolatrous with bread, or with wine, or with Pope or with Mary.
It is not the propounding of a new God which is needed, or the additions to His rules, or the attention to them as if this could save one. It is LOVE which is to be the attitude to rules, born of LOVE to God born of gratitude for His grand majesty, great justice, enormous mercy, procedure sin pardon, ransom provision in Christ, breach of death, pure gift of eternal life, vicarious atonement, assurance of salvation, imponderable peace. The invisible God with the invisible things like peace and love, gratitude and joy, is at work.
For man to work in any part FOR our salvation is folly, and diversified methods of doing it is a tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee affair, leading to endless strife, and fury without end or hope of end; for there is neither truth nor justice in it at all.
It is love for the Lord, salvation from the Lord, obedience out of love to the Lord, and care for one's fellow men since the love of God is such, without deviating from His word, or worshipping this world, its processes or people which is required.
It is required in the
A Little Methodological Survey
In other words, if you follow reason and affirm truth, there must BE truth for you to affirm it. It is no use affirming something to have a quality which your own presuppositions delete in advance!
Your model cannot consistently preclude truth while you as if asleep, affirm that it is true. Mere reaction is not truth, but a happening without the capacity to evaluate. Conceived of in a world of simple events, transpirings and occurrences, it is irrelevant to the necessity back of any attempt to affirm truth, as distinct from occurrence.
A good preliminary to this point is found in Secular Myths, Sacred Truth Ch. 7, as included inset, below. (See also SMR Ch. 3, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -7). This refers to the nature of preliminary assumptions, their legitimacy or otherwise and results.
This may take the form of excluding the SUPER- natural because the NATURAL is the god of the heart. Thus it is felt by some, or intuited, that it MUST be natural because this is captivating, limiting, manipulable, without control, merely a challenge. This being desired, the supernatural, despite its inescapable, its ineluctable rational requirement (cf. SMR, TMR,Repent or Perish), produces fear, apprehension, guilt, unsteadiness on the well-known feet, a desire to escape, resist or repel and so on. It is just that the natural becomes the worshipped thing, the ultimate and it is MADE so by someone whose denial of absolute truth makes it absolutely impossible to make any absolute statement about anything, except of course, because of desire, and in all caprice against reason, in the case in hand. Supernatural must be out because it is not the NATURAL. Naturalism is the god (as in Aviary of Idolatry).
Again, the commands of this god may be presented as needing to deal with things that repeat themselves (the way, in significant regards, individual man does NOT). We have already seen the fallacy of that, but it does in a pinch.
Or instead, the appeal may be to things you can measure. This produces logical positivism, the inane appeal to a standard which can be measured, as the ONLY ground for the view, while this very criterion itself is in nothing which can be measured, and hence excludes ITSELF at once.
Further, the appeal may be to things visible, though the thought about it is not visible, for no one has even begun to show, the length, the colour, the weight or the contours of abstract thought. The fact, as in a tape-recorder, that methods of imprinting RESULTS of the thing may be found, has nothing to do with it, itself, any more than the artistic production in an opera, the temper, the thought, the penetration involved, is in any way comparable with the recording mode which simply produces a method of conveying the RESULT of such thought (cf. SMR pp. 316Dff.). Thus the appeal is by invisible things to remove the legitimacy of invisible things. The desire is not visible; the philosophic background to it is not visible, the inward love of rebellion is not expressible in visible terms and so on; nor is error's concept visible. (See It Bubbles ...Ch. 9.)
So the invisible, for invisibly construed reasons, must go; and the logic of that is also invisible! if the invisible is invalid, then the invisible contention is so likewise. If you commit suicide, your life is not available for conflict. Remove your grounds, and you are homeless, without base.
Again, the appeal may be this: YOU CAN CHECK IT IF YOU CAN SEE IT.
However many physical things can only be inferred by their results!
Are these too to be disallowed ?
This is merely inconsistent. Does ocular range make logical validity ? Does a particular kind of existence, itself merely a theory of the mind, exclude all others ? This is irrational ideational apartheid.
The CORRECT approach on scientific method is NOT to have such exclusion zones for evidence and attestation, but to approach ALL things with ALL hypotheses, and to use the exacting procedure upon them without prejudice.
SUPERNATURAL means, what do these portend ? They imply that the coded, sequentially contrived, material world, and the analytical, logically contrived mental realm, with the willing, disquisitive world of what seeks to account for will, all this, has a source which is not itself for the very simple reason that in NONE of these realms does the extant thing do the job of creating itself. There is continuity by plan and program, that is all. The thing is not found to be inventing itself.
End of Excerpt
Since reason cannot allow truth to be affirmed when a model excludes it:
as if a cog were to aspire to detail the design, its purpose or the nature of design;
as if an 'occurrence' were to define occurrence and its structure, origin, nature and character, abstracting from the scene of its setting like a lecturer taking sabbatical, to discourse
objectively on what that setting is; or
as if an illusory error-free world of material reality
were to explain the character of probing hypothesis, and show
why an opponent had committed error! in not following the desired monistic model,
and thus must have existed in some way outside
the system affirmed,
even while allegedly within it
(since matter cannot err, in a model of mere occurrence: occurrence does not err, it happens);
as if a performance were to evaluate the character of the principles which promote it,
or in general, the merely involved could step outside its frame,
and objectively evaluate its existence,
or the relative could lay claim to the absolute when, by model hypothesis,
it is not there:
and other enormities of self-contradiction,
there are results in the field of validity.
What are these ? Since SUCH a model excludes truth as knowable, hence it violates validity at the outset, removing the grounds of its own discourse.
It is also irrational, since having so removed by mere will the grounds of its discourse, it refuses to employ reason where it leads, but instead leads reason where it has to go to conform to the imagined, self-contradictory model. Reason molested is irrationality.
Not so is the case when such a model is not taken, but one follows reason, as in SMR, to the necessary result in deity. This is shown in Ch. 1 of that trilogy, and furthered in Chs. 3 , 5 and 10, while confirmed in verification in the other chapters. In passing, it is is noted that attempts to evacuate causality itself from legitimacy
since they use what they attack, so that if successful, they must fail.
In short, reason followed in a way that does not, as in monism and determinism (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7), preclude truth itself, is the only logical avenue of research.
This then leads as shown in the SMR trilogy, and as therein demonstrated, to the necessity of God, to the certainty of His self-revelation and of His conferring of the same outside human conditioning as a participant in it, and basis in it in the chapters noted above, especially.
That in turn leads to the Bible, which alone meets the logical criteria; and which by verification validates your use of reason. Thus what began as uniquely rational, for all models which act on the basis of revealed and obtainable absolute truth, ends as uniquely verified, since few are the religions which assert humanly unpenetrated divine diction of a systematic character (cf. SMR Appendix D), wholly divinely delimited doctrine; and no other religion has the outrageously obvious tests to verify, that the Bible has, or anything in the most remote way comparable. This is of course just what the Bible says (Isaiah 41, 43, 48).
Further, NO other religion meets the demands of reason in terms of claimed revelation, as shown in SMR pp. 48ff. and elsewhere.
In such a way, you show for Christianity, in terms of the Bible, a situation unique both in being religious and rational, on the one hand, and then, both religious and validated, on the other. Its validity is entirely unique; its rationality the same. It is not reason which disavows it. Such negativity must come from other sources than this!
See on this theme also, Christ, the Wisdom of God and the Power of God Ch. 6.
It may be of value to some readers here to consult SMR pp. 316Dff., where the fatal human facility for confusing tings transmitted with the transmissive process has been exhibited.
*2 See Beauty for Ashes Ch. 4, esp. *2, and consult for neglect of this, use of force where faith alone dwells, or both, as in Muslim and many other 'faiths': More Marvels... Ch. 4, cf. Divine Agenda Ch. 6, Red Alert Ch. 10. *4; with the need for and lack of redemption (cf. It Bubbles … Ch. 9, Dastardly Dynamics … Ch. 1, SMR pp. 50ff., Highway to Hell, Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8).
This term may need a little explanation for some. It is to be seen in a broad setting and development in Barbs, Arrows and Balms 13, but its basic meaning is not difficult.
It is simply the adjective from 'covenant'. We use the latter term sometimes in terms of international or inter-company or inter-personal relationships. It means a solemn, formal and binding agreement, in which there is an element of personal fidelity, of special commitment of a mutual character. It may be devised by either party, both, but is accepted by both.
It is used
much in ancient history, and hence in the Bible which as
It could often be a binding requirement of a conquering power, in addition, as well as a major document or provision for peace, so that most serious consequences being avoided, this harmonious and grave commitment might stand.
In the Bible, it is in major regards to be found in terms of the Old Covenant (or Testament) and the New Covenant. In each case, God is the propounder, we are the offenders. God however is the gracious provider whose covenant is offered, freely as in Isaiah 55, Romans 3, 5, and faithfully, from the resourceful Creator in whose love there is yet repository for humans, sinners though they be, but not without that other innovation, regeneration. (Cf. Romans 8, I John 3, John 3, Titus 3:5-7, Hebrews 9:14).
Indeed, further, Hebrews implies the concurrence of concepts of covenant and testament or will, and speaking of Christ as GIVING by His testament, through death, it makes clear that what is given is nothing less than eternal life (Hebrews 9:15-16), eternal inheritance, as in John 10:9,27-28, 6:51ff., 4:14, Romans 8.
In other words, the covenant is in one form a will, in which the testator makes His mind clear for those who receive its provisions. With us, it is from our Redeemer that we receive the provisions, He as a brother who bore in the flesh what was due, and in His Spirit suffered unspeakably, justly deriving for us the gift He provides (Romans 3:24-27), being just and the justifier of those who believe in Him (receive, accept, trust, come to, appropriate Him according to His covenant).
By this covenant, those who receive it in fact now receive the cover of the blood of Christ (Matthew 26:28), the sign of sacrifice and indeed what was poured out in it; and they receive this by faith, as a cover, a provision for peace, thus allowing the accounting of His work to our accounts, and our lives to His restoration (II Cor. 5:17-21). Blood is representative of life, as the body of the spirit which activated it, as it was employed in redemption. It is by faith because it is more than the body and blood which comes: it is Christ whose body and blood it was, which epitomised, and was the mode of sacrifice.
In fact, much
sacrifice preceded this Cross of Calvary (cf. Luke 11:53-54), but its end,
culmination and instrument was in the judicial separation of Christ from His
Father, the aweful accrediting of Him as a criminal,
and the transfer of guilt to Him : On Him, says Isaiah 53:3-6 of those healed
by Him, was placed the iniquity of us all. (See Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium 14 on the Lord’s
Supper, that signal symbolism of sacrifice, recasting
the mind to
In so receiving His blood, we are simply receiving, then, Himself AS sacrificed, and His work AS sufficient, and His love AS there portrayed, and His sufficiency AS stated for now and for ever (cf. John 3:16, Galatians 6:14, Hebrews 6, 8-10).
covenant, in which it is eminently a matter of "Christ in you the hope of
His Spirit (Colossians 1:27, II Corinthians 3:18ff., Col. 1:22), there are many
provisions or promises (cf. II Peter 1:4), and many aspects of the way of life,
which those who love Him follow as the driver in the brilliant lights of
passing cars, follows the white lines on the road. So far from harassment, they
are safe conduct procedures, fashioned in love, used with joy.