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THE DAY WHICH HAS A SAY OF ITS OWN
THE REVIEW OF REST, CREATION AND RESURRECTION,
OVER HISTORY FROM THE FIRST,
AND ITS APPLICATION TO MODERN HISTORY
There is a progress
in the forms of expression relating to rest, and its day, and as we shall
see, there is a consistency of expression relating to rest, and its symphonic
beauty, its actual reality in the soul of man, derived from God Almighty Himself.
FIRST, THE HISTORICAL SURVEY,
PROGRESS OF FORMAT
The progress moves through such phases as these :
Resting in the Lord, the Messiah prophesied to come and to cover the invasions of evil, Himself, in human form, linked with understood sacrifice acceptable to the Lord.
Resting in the Lord, amidst a distinctive sacrificial covenant, received by faith, and consisting with a righteousness reckoned to Abraham (Genesis 12,15, Romans 4).
Resting in the Lord amidst a highly articulated sacrificial system (Numbers 6:26 - where the Aaronic blessing speaks of this). The system symbolises the offences and their cover intimately and extensively, as well as the deliverance to come, of which the 'scape goat speaks quite eloquently (Leviticus 16:21ff.).
Resting in the Lord, given poetical and deep devotional intensity of expression in the Psalms, such as : 32, 51, 84, 23, 117:6-7, 118:18-22, 145:1, 16:8. The cover of blood which atones, the perfection of blessedness which keeps, the assurance of eternity, the quietness of spirit, alert but cradled in the conscious presence of the Lord: all are there.
This combination of active and engaged faith in life, and utter assurance, despite purging sometimes needed, of eventual outcome, in the very blessed presence of Him who is both the Rock, the everlasting arms underneath and the buoyant and intimate friend is seen in David's life and words repeatedly.
Together with this, we see its review in Psalms or the prophets, concerning times past: Isaiah 63:14, Psalm 95, Isaiah 28:12-13, Jeremiah 6:16, Isaiah 30:15, Jeremiah 50:6. In the last the Lord's people are told that "they have forgotten their resting place"; just as in Isaiah 63:14, we read of Israel:
"As a beast goes down into the valley,
And the Spirit of the Lord causes him to rest,
So You led Your people,
To make Yourself a glorious name."
Isaiah 30:15 likewise draws attention to the depth and reality of the spiritual rest able to be received from the Lord (cf. Hebrews 4 - it does not change, rather its demonstrated basis becomes clearer as Christ shows personally the way and the place):
"In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be our strength."
The sad reality of course is what follows, "But you would not!" and this applies just the same to many who toy with the truth of rest in Christ, but in their theology and approach to salvation, always sought, never received, they have no rest, now as then. The word in Isaiah 28:12-13 says something not far different:
"To whom He said, 'This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,' and 'This is the refreshing'; yet they would not hear."
Resting in the Lord seen in direct line to the Messiah, like an aeroplane linked to a tanker plane, from which its 'rest' comes, so that it is assured and skyworthy. Hear for example Isaiah 11:10: "To Him shall the Gentiles seek, and His resting place shall be glorious." Compare here Isaiah 61:2-3, Zephaniah 3:17, Zechariah 9:9, Psalm 22 with 116:7 and 102:18-22. The prodigious works of the Lord at ONE TIME, guarantee these things FOR ALL TIME (Romans 5:1-11).
Resting in the Lord focussed in the epoch of Christ's return to rule the world: as in Micah 7:18-20, Psalm 72:6,3-4. See also Barbs, Arrows and Balms 16, pp. 97ff..
Resting in the Lord when HE HIMSELF PERSONALLY PRESENT, with the Cross in view, INVITES to it: Matthew 11:28-30.
Resting in the Lord visible in the Kingdom dimension as such - we proceed from Luke 17:20 to Revelation 14:13.
Resting in the Lord with manifest triumph, seeing the face of God - Revelation 7:14-17.
There is ONE GOD, there is
ONE REST; there always has been and there always will be.
SECOND, THE HISTORICAL APPLICATION OF THIS FACT
Thus: the progress is NOT from Sabbath to Jesus. That is utter confusion. Consider the case.
1) The REST in its purity and beauty, was always there, from the time Enoch walked with God, and behold, he was not, for the Lord took him, as the word says.
It was a rest safe, secure, the spiritual life seen in Enoch, and on, as clear as the day is bright; seen in David as gentle as a lamb, kind as a mother, pitiful as a father in whom perfection with all-might resides. (Cf. Psalm 103.)
2) Its focus rises in detail, but scarcely in intensity, as the works of God required, for He provided that righteousness and peace should kiss and yield fruit to man (Psalm 85:10) are elaborated. However the "kiss" had occurred already, and is message was already known to the children of peace. Christians were chosen in Christ before the world was (Ephesians 1:4), and the message of rest we have just now been tracing, finding its beauty and depth from earliest times.
3) Symbols or covenant signals of this rest are varied, but centrally they include:
a) The Sabbath.
This is commemorating God's rest from His major labours of creation, and it is passed on to man to focus this fact - so often forgotten, with His internal substantial rest to the spirit with it - the latter as today. This was an Old Covenant crux (Ezekiel 20:12), "Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. Yet... they despised My judgments... and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness to consume them" . THIS sign was thus something providing for action, and its keeping was a key and a pointer to the way of the Lord, to be seen in His image-bearers, who know Him.
The breach of this sign therefore was like casting away an engagement ring. THAT in itself was not the rest, but it was a covenanted provision of the One who in HIMSELF IS the rest. His it is, and only He can give it.
This sabbath signal, symbol, sign, requirement, it pointed backwards to creation, something in this realm entirely past - not onward to the future; and it was contemporary in action with those then living.
b) The Sunday.
Let us consider this transition.
After creation, and prediction of what He would do in judgment and in compassion in the sacrifice of Christ, God acted at the time specified for it (Daniel 9:24-27, SMR pp. 886ff.).
According to His word, God completed His greatest and most searching and compassionate work, at the highest, personal level of involvement. It is that of living a perfect life, demonstrating the divine love, practical power and compassion definitively expressed.
i) Jesus Christ, the Messiah, living a perfect life which no sin could reproach, so depicting the required standard and pre-empting any penalty. There was none for Him.
ii) His demonstration of the divine love, practical power, prophetic perfection and compassion, decisively and definitively.
iii) His bearing the sin for all who actually receive Him by faith as Lord and Saviour, according to His written word.
iv) His rising from the dead manifestly to defeat the haunting horror of death, and to authenticate the rest of His mission of mercy, both by showing His Father evidently at work while Christ's very body as dead, in raising it, and likewise in the pre-emptive power over all the affairs of men which was, and is His.
Thus Jesus Christ voided guilty judgment against Him by breaking the penalty, while vicariously bearing sin which had real penalty, and breaking that too! It was a feat that is a primary feature of the universe. It changes not at all, in this far surpassing any laws of science, which merely relate to the way His stage is managed. HE, He is the actor, and His action speaks in word and deed as nothing ever did before, or will in vulnerable flesh, do again.
v) This completed work (Luke 24) produced visible rest in the disciples, filled with consternation and disquiet, and is associated with worship (John 20).
The situation then is this:
Thus the day of rest is non-aborted, a thing from the past, it is never "fulfilled". It stays.
What however IS fulfilled is the payment and the power specific to the consummatory New Covenant. Symbolically, to ignore THIS fulfilment is not only to mock Christ's work, leaving creation as if it were in the ascendant as the just cause for rest, but completely to abort the New Covenant. It is to pretend that the travail of His soul was not constitutive of man's completed creation. How? By recall from what was due to him, through the WORK OF REDEMPTION, leading in turn to the new CREATION IN CHRIST (Ephesians 4:24), based on the old, but now restored. This, it is a work of recapitulation-restoration, and of everlasting redemption. Here is the procurement of rest. THIS, the Lord's day, is THAT day. It is the day of rest in the New Covenant. It could not be otherwise without violating the PRINCIPLES of the Old Testament and the WORKS of the New.
Let us add a figure. To stay with the Old day in terms of the New Work, it is like staying forever engaged, never married. Hence it is to mock both engagement (which had such an end in view) and marriage (which was the objective). It is to cast back in God's face His engagement ring, as in other aspects of the New Covenant, and to incur just warning in terms of the whole approach of staid unseeing, if not sightless traditionalism, refusing to move with the word of God to the destinations it had itself assigned (cf. Hebrews 10:19-29).
The blood of Christ, the rest of Christ, the release from Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the redemptive work of Christ: it is all concentrated in the New Covenant and the INEVITABLE day of rest, required from creation, is now moved to cover God's latest vast work, which moves in the locus of the blood and the restored body which alone amongst all sacrifices, rose after slaughter.
This is not day of
man; it is the day of God. This is no preference of man; it is the creation
requirement of God, vested in new High Priest's robes, those of rest through
redemption accomplished and complete.
This day, now in the New Covenant, is the prime of all days, the liberation day, the triumph day, the day of the completion of the work of God, without which all former rest would be invalidated as illusory, for the restlessness of hell would be due portion for all.
If you are zealous and jealous for the Old Covenant, then see its fulfilment in the New (Hebrews 8). Resting in Him, turn to the sacrificial triumphant emblems of the New, which has priority, pre-eminence and Christ as the manifest "worker" who both completed and declared complete the work of God in salvation. His triumphant labour is brilliant as was the first dawn in creation itself. Do not cling to the obsolete (Hebrews 8), but rejoice that it is fulfilled, its Captain in and with it, surpassing it as it required, that it might be sound in its day, and perfected in ours. This rest, indeed, has redemption and justification inherent in it, opened like a new weir, on that day.
God had His way of commemorating creation, with provision for rest according to COVENANT; and said it. He Has His way of expressing atonement leading to the New Creation in Christ, and did it; and His people from the first restless without Him, but resting as soon as He appeared on the first day of the week, carrying the whole complement of rest with Him, have added this new day, just as God here attested the completion of His new work. A rest day being unequivocally required as we have seen, its locus is now changed to the New Covenant's exhibition and declaration by Christ Himself, Lord indeed of the Sabbath. The rest CANNOT be attested now the work is done, except in the day of its declaration without mockery of the New Covenant.
Drawing back from THIS rest,
is well symbolised by drawing back from THIS day, for it symbolises the final
source of rest. Now as always the reality symbolised is far more important
than the symbol; but now as always, this symbol speaks. What does it speak
of you? ....
So far we have reviewed the historical progress of rest, and the symbols for it. It has appeared far more stable than might have been thought.
The same applies when our focus moves from the application of the symbol to modern history, in its secular thrusts and ways.
How DOES modern
in some of its key movements, relate to...
We shall look at Communism, Roman Catholicism, the Moslem religion, and the secular religion, Organic Evolutionism, and in particular, singularise Syncretism in the area of Salvation ... the idea that you and God do just fine and together "we do it"...
First, in making this excursion into the NATURE OF REST, in principle (we have looked in related ways in SMR Ch.7, Sections 6 - pp. 570ff. and 10 - pp. 611ff., and in Barbs, Arrows and Balms 16, The Rain that Refreshes), there are some modern areas we must observe.
1) COMMUNISM, 2) SYNERGISM, 3) ROMAN CATHOLICISM, 4) ORGANIC EVOLUTIONISM and 5) MOHAMMEDANISM.
These are selected in showing crucial features of REST IN THE LORD, because their various errors help to focus elements of rest, as we dissect them out; and because between them, they account, I suppose, for the greater part of the population of the earth!
We shall in this, at the
outset, employ ONE BIBLICAL STATEMENT, in its context, in which God rebuked
ancient Israel for its follies. These, as we have often seen, are remarkably
like those of many of the Gentiles now; and they have the advantage of being
DEFINED BY GOD PERSONALLY, in His Word. The statement we take is : Psalm
A - THE BIBLICAL
BASE FOR CONTRAST
"YOU ARE MORE GLORIOUS AND EXCELLENT
THAN THE MOUNTAINS OF PREY."
As to the context, it stresses that GOD IS KNOWN personally by His people, that He has often ACTED to deliver them in the past, sometimes in singular and even epochal ways (cf. Psalm 73:18), that by HIS power the "stout-hearted were plundered", that at HIS rebuke, "both chariot and horse were cast into a dead sleep". It refers to His DELIVERING ACTIONS, "when God arose to judgment, to deliver all the oppressed of her earth", and noting that He can USE the wicked to implement judgment where it must be, it adds that He "girds Himself with the remainder of wrath". This seems to symbolise His reserve powers to act more personally as the case may demand, even at the historic level.
Thus He has shown that it is not with many or few He is concerned, when He performs deliverance - as in II Chronicles 14:11, where the cry of King Asa was this:
"LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us , O LORD our God, for we go against this multitude, O Lord, You are our God, do not let man prevail against You!"
God was listening and acted with wisdom and power. Again, in Jehoshaphat's days, confronted with overwhelming power, while he was for his part abiding where he was meant to be, the King cried: "O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You" - II Chronicles 20:12. Again, God acted in an amazingly original way, as also He did in the case where the kings were heard because of Jehoshaphat's presence, in II Chronicles 18, when God directed the army He elected to protect, to dig ditches which were then made to bear water which came in the night, so creating the situation of which one may read, which led to a miraculous deliverance.
Indeed, as a principle, we read of such things in II Chronicles 16:9:
"For the yes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him."
Sometimes God elects, as the crucial case of the crucifixion, to have suffering for a good purpose, in that case, the evacuation of many from doom, through the shed blood of His Son; and sometimes it is used to purify, to purge or to protest, at other times as an example to others, or a cost to show the depth of His love to those to whom He sends His servants, the Christians, with the Gospel. But the POWER is from God. Indeed, that is what David says:
has spoken once,
Twice have I heard this:
That power belongs to God."
It is the same with salvation:
"Salvation is of the Lord," cries Jonah, miraculously delivered from both physical and spiritual evil. Again, says the Psalmist in 118:14,
"The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation."
That of course is just what the prophetess Miriam sang, on the occasion of the obviously divine miracle which led the milling Jews through the Red Sea, swamping Pharoah's chariots with military precision.
That then is the LORD'S WAY, the REST of those who RELY on HIM. There are of course other ways. But as to His way,
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
These are all found in Matthew 5.
This then is a distinctive and rather delightful way of life, and the Lord's power is distinctive and entire, and it is rest that one is sure of one's place IN HIM, and of one's work FOR HIM, which does not at all gain a place THROUGH HIM, since it begins when one is first OF HIM, and (John 4:14), already equipped with eternal life. Indeed, although this indeed (John 6:50-54, Matthew 24:31, I Thess.4:1ff.) involves being raised up with Him on His return, eternal life is the life of God within you, distinctively given to you as an adopted child of His through the redemption in Christ (Romans 8:16, Ephesians 1). It is LIFE LIKE THAT.
It is life which has some resemblance in spirit and character to that of Christ. It is accordingly not a snatching, seizing, grabbing kind of life. It is a loving, but pure and fearless kind of live, which keeps to the standards of God but seeks the lost, and shows a better way, which can and does in fact endure.
What however are the deformities of our selected 5 cases, noted above, which help to focus the beautiful qualities of that rest in the Lord which we are contemplating (cf. Psalm 37:7-10, which declares:
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who bring wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath,
Do not fret - it only causes harm.
For evildoers shall be cut off,
But those who wait on the Lord,
shall inherit the earth.
For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more. Indeed you will look carefully for his place;
it shall be no more".
This relates to Psalm 73, where such issues are examined, and the Psalmist, full-well knowing the options, announces this:
"Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire beside You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my hart and my portion forever" - vv. 25-26.
And what, in rest, does he declaim before this:
"You hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward, receive me to glory" - 73:24.
For these things,
you may care to compare That Magnificent
What is Life for?
B. THE DISTORTIONS
FOR EXAMINATION IN THIS LIGHT
Yes, it is the meek who shall inherit the earth (of course, there is to be a new heavens and a new earth, but the earth is going to be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea - the alternative options are indeed more and more obviously even now running out of gas, and into storms almost indescribable). It IS more blessed as the word of God says, to give than to receive. God is like that. He likes His people generous, gracious but unrelenting for the truth. Pretending things are not what they are is of no help to anyone.
Pretending that a hospital is clean, does nothing for the patients, and being called a nice person because you let this pretence go on, is giving nothing but trouble to anyone.
But let us look at
our FIVE in ORDER.
SMASH AND GRAB, while talking about historical process
PART AUTO-ATTAIN AND SO GAIN - (personal)
PART AUTO-ATTAIN, AND GRAB (the world) AND GAIN (salvation, all being well) - personal and institutional
4. ORGANIC EVOLUTIONISM
AUTO-CREATE AND GRAB YOUR FATE
and ENTER YOUR FATE
In fact, the place
of rest in reality, is not :
- 1. an historic process helped by ruthlessness.
That is not how the universe, the creation came to be
(cf. That Magnificent Rock, Ch.1),
or will become
(cf. SMR pp. 502ff., 590ff.; Ch. 5 in Repent or Perish - STATE OF THE END; Item 23, The Teacher of Righteousness in Barbs, Arrows and Balms),
what it should be, and what God will make it to be.
- 2. Nor is it a psychological process helped by insight.
- 3. Nor is it a spiritual process, helped by contributions.
- 4. Nor is it a biological process, helped by the unknown
- god of forces.
- 5. Nor is it a moral process, helped by devoted desire, whether or not forwarded by holy wars.
Kingdom of Heaven... Chapters 2, 3, 8 and Appendix ,That Magnificent Rock,
Appendix 1; Barbs, Arrows
and Balms, Appendix IV, The Aviary
of Idolatry, SMR Index on Roman
Catholicism, Moslem, Evolution, Salvation, Creation, Redemption,
and Communism, incl. pp. 520ff.,
655-656, 925-926, 831, 468469, 707-708 , 903, 1070-1071,1088G and below, Appendix IV,
The Magnificence of the
These ways are not what establishes man/woman/child to be accepted by God.
or bringing in a step-ladder (Amos 9:2, Genesis 11:4), as if you could control the heavens and the earth, and the God who made both, and deviously, with some sort of inspiration, outwit God and land yourself in His presence, like some burglar wanting to see the Queen, and seeing prison instead.
" 'Therefore flight shall perish from the swift,
The strong shall not strengthen his power,
Nor shall the mighty deliver himself,
he shall not stand who handles the bow,
The swift of foot shall not escape,
Nor shall he who rides a horse deliver himself.
The most courageous men of might
Shall flee naked in that day,' says the Lord."
To put it perhaps
yet more crisply:
"Cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils,
For of what account is he?" (Isaiah 2:22),
"The lofty looks of man shall be humbled,
The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down.
And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
For the day of the Lord of hosts
Shall come upon everything proud and lofty,
Upon everything lifted up -
And it shall be brought low" - Isaiah 2:12.
We read in Isaiah 31:
"Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
And rely on horses,
Who trust in chariots because they are many,
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
Nor seek the Lord!
"Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster,
And will not call back His words,
But will arise against the house of evildoers,
And against help of those who work iniquity.
"Now the Egyptians are men, and not God;
And their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out His hand,
Both he who helps will fall,
And he who is helped will fall down;
They all will perish together."
Thus it is all clear, distinct and decisive. THIS is the Biblical way for man. The other way has not worked, does not work and cannot work; and God Himself works against it, allowing it great rein, though now the reins are tired, and the 'horses' of mankind are becoming stale and tired, or frenzied, and the devil knows, as John declares, that his time is short.
The Lord, when you know Him as a child of the kingdom IS RESTFUL, and has CREATED THE CONDITIONS FOR OUR REST, in salvation from sin, in guidance in life and in growth in grace. It is right and restful, real and restful, realised and restful. There is no real anxiety, for HE provides all and Himself, the shield and exceedingly great reward, is available as for Abraham, called the friend of God.
You enter, by the word of God, in this way. It is by faith through grace, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - Ephesians 2:8. THAT is how you enter. You contribute NOTHING. He contributes EVERYTHING. It is THEN that you learn and go and grow, and you grow as having been PLANTED (Isaiah 61:1ff.) BY HIM. Entering in this way, you are justified (Romans 4:25-5:11), and being justified (Romans 8:17, 28ff.), it is CERTAIN that you will be gloried.
You thus come into the situation of BEING SAVED. It is said that "you are in a having been saved condition" - (Greek) Ephesians 2:8.
It says this (from II Timothy 1:8-10):
"... share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works,
but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us
in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed
by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who has abolished death and brought life and immortality lo light
through the gospel."
Again, in Titus 3:5, we read:
|"Not by works of righteousness that we have done,|
but according to His mercy He saved us,
through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit."
We see how it is done, how it is not done, what is not implied and what is the assurance. We see what is not permitted, and how one is not admitted if one wishes ANY SLIGHT PART AT ALL to pay the admittance, seize or secure, whittle or whine it, combine to ensure it or swerve, connive or achieve it. it is received altogether by grace, or not at all; it is received for ever, or never.
It is predestined, it is certain, it is not subject to alteration, interruption, human force is irrelevant either to achieve it or to prevent it, though many try in both directions. As to the people of the Lord, "If it were possible the very elect would be deceived" ... but it is not possible (Matthew 24:24).
If you would like to study the grace called REPENTANCE, this is given strong treatment in REPENT OR PERISH, which is a separate volume and has a title drawn from Luke 13:1-3, which is found at the level of the door latch!
Very well, let us look at what might now appear a HEIGHTENED CONTRAST between the Biblically defined way and these others, in positive terms, as to WHAT IT IS.
The BIRTH which comes to those who are born into the kingdom of God (John 3) is not from flesh and blood or by the will of man (John 1:12).
The ADOPTION is into the family of God (Romans 8:16, Ephesians 1:3-5, 11-14), who accepts, and of which Christ is the MASTER without supplement or parallel (Matthew 23:8-10, John 13:13-14).
The ACCEPTANCE is IN the beloved (Ephesians 1:6) by the wedding garments for the invitation which is to all, though not all put it on (Matthew 22:1-14), and those who do not believe, do not suffer it; for, to change the imagery, "You do not believe because you are not my sheep" - John 10:26, even though God would have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2), for love has its own restraints. The Lord, however, knows who are His (II Timothy 2:19).
This acceptance is by a workless personal scenario (Romans 3:27-28, Ephesians 2:8-10), in which we are ourselves actually called "His workmanship". In this same place (2:1-10), we see the REASON given for acceptance and the STRINGENCY stated*1 .
The RESULT is what adoption is: you are categorically given a place you did not have and could not earn (Romans 6:23, 5:15, I Thessalonians 5:9). You are re-generated into the family of God by a seed that lives for ever and is incorruptible ( I Peter 1:23), and that "remains in you" (I John 3:9), and accordingly, you have RESERVED an inheritance "incorruptible and undefiled, and that does not fade away" (I Peter 1:4), so that you NOW HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.
THIS is what God teaches through His word. Unbelief can believe what it will; this is what is written. This is what is verified, for indeed One did come back to tell us. And what He told and did before He left, merely confirms the word continually confirmed, unexceptionally confirmed, confirmed within and confirmed without, and this without exception
FAITH is what you use constantly, since it is a first birthday present, present at birth, and what does faith do, precisely this: it accepts what is given, both in state and status, both in statute and divine sovereignty, both in power and in peace. This is what is in the household of faith: FAITH! It is a lively thing, and lives from the One on whom it relies, the objective One who speaks and acts for those who wait for Him (Isaiah 64:4-5).
THEN, let us come to the CONTRAST:
you do not need to assert or gain your importance (by grabbing or adding to your saved status, or toppling others to gain theirs), or so to obtain what you did not get, since God and God alone is the giver (James 1:17, Romans 11:33, Matthew 6:31-32, 7:7-12, Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7). Indeed this is in line with just what James says (4:1-3, 1:17): What is the underlying genesis of fightings and wars? Ask and get from God; and if you ask for your lusts, then you do not receive, lacking faith. WAR has a basis in people not getting what they should from where they should, and then trying to force it.
WHAT DO YOU DO? Being a child of God, you ACT like it, WORK like it, LOOK like it, FEEL like it. In particular, you don't look to "Nature" or "historical process" or to "moral works" or "biological motions, commotions or magic" as your base. History is going not to inept, deceitful Communism, by some historical magic that is not seen, just as biology is not going by some magic process, or society. Not by juggernauts of steel, stealing the show, but by the strength and salvation of the Lord, exceedingly costly to HIM, comes the Kingdom of God.
It is not manipulable
by self-serving "good" morals as payment in part or whole (I Peter 1:18-19),
or shameless "bad" ones,
but presidentially institutionalised by the sacramental sovereignty of God, and in and through Jesus Christ who is Lord, and who said,
The wilful failure to act on what He said, leading on to His professional murder, need not now be shared by ANYONE, for EVERYONE is called upon to repent and receive Him, believing in Him and operating by faith according to His word, neither adding nor subtracting. The murder is past; to retrace it spiritually is unwise (cf. Hebrews 10:29, John 3:18-19, 7:17).
It is time to follow the ONLY WAY that works, with the ONLY PERSON ON EARTH (who came and returns) who SAVES in the ONLY GOSPEL ever given, the everlasting Gospel, which has the power of God, in the love of God which never fails (Romans 8:28ff.).
It is really a matter
of noisy carnal charabancs, trailing inglorious clouds of clamour and confusion,
amidst strife and disorder awaiting judgment that is just; or of the grace,
power and love of God, ministered not by the children of sinful man, but
by the incarnated Saviour and everlasting Son of God, the brightness of His
glory and the express image of His Person.
For Biblical information
on the depth and extent of the love of God in these things (and God IS love
- I John 4:7ff.), see The Kingdom of Heaven, Ch.4.
The fulfilment even of symbols is intense and beautiful. Hence right on the Passover Evening, Christ is betrayed and taken, illegally tried and sentenced. The record is clear. This was the PRIVATE time of Passover for the families, and the judgment was likewise, but improperly a nocturnal hiding. Thus, on the night of the Passover, He is arrested, tried, and assaulted. The day following that, is the Sabbath, as shown by their intense desire to have Him away before then, from the cruel scene. Then the public lamb also is slaughtered and offered; and so with Christ, the "Lamb of God" was He. Symbol is fulfilled with precision.
We see in Mark the clear tracing of steps to this day, after laying of the body in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (Mark 15:43-47), the women note where this tomb is. Then, "when the Sabbath was past" (Mark 16:1), and indeed "on the first day of the week" (John 20:1), the women duly proceed to the place they have noted. The crucifixion was on "preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath" as Mark noted (15:42). John 19:14 also notes that "it was the preparation day of the Passover".
As Gleason Archer so well explains in his "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties", pp. 375ff. (cf. 327ff.), the term "preparation day" simply means the Friday, in this case of the Passover week. Archer points out that the term (in the Greek where it appears) paraskeuh has "already by the first century A.D. become a technical term of Friday, since every Friday was the day of preparation for Saturday, that is, the Sabbath." (Italics added.) In Modern Greek, he adds, the word for "Friday" is likewise paraskeue. Thus the private eating of passover had already occurred, as with the disciples, so with others. On this following day of the actual butchering very slowly, of Christ, it was also the sacrificial lamb for the ALTAR which was prepared (Leviticus 23:5-8).
Hence while the private
Passover lambs were being prepared, Christ also was being "judged", and when
the public sacrifice came on the next day, so He was hung for slaughter,
viewed as if sin itself, and ‘offered’ once for all (Hebrews 9:25ff.). Now
the very Temple is UNAVAILABLE to the Jews, since it is NOT NEEDED (cf. SMR