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The Truth will Out
It is Always About
JOB: Tussle and Triumph
I Devil's Taste
I WILL, said Job*1. He had plenty of will. In this case, however, it was a desperate fling of will, which proceeded before FAITH came to the rescue (Job 19, is its summit), with his "I know that My Redeemer lives ... ". At first however, he was in trouble, anguish all but consumed him, agony of heart pierced him like flames from a flame-thrower, the devil explicitly was on the war path, and his task was ideological in the aching pangs of his dazzled startlement. Disaster had come in assailing groups of events, successive, impressive, cumulative and unremitting. Though the test was divine, the knowledge of this fact was not part of Job's armoury at that time!
The devil had been at work, but BY NO MEANS without the overseeing superintendence of the Almighty, whose wit and wisdom exceeded the artifices of the destroyer, and could use his malignity to bring glory to His name, joy to his saints and triumph freely to the truth. The devil, however, unenlightened and remorseless in rebellion of heart, that proud spirit, was at his own work.
It was part of the ideology of the devil that there is NO ONE and NOTHING in this world or beyond it, which is motivated by pure and actual love of God; that faith is mere procedure for getting more from God as the big supplier, and that motivation is always corrupt, if you want to use that word for self-centred subtleties at best, and self-centred actualities at last
This he made clear as he spoke in the presence of God who allowed him to cast question on the integrity of Job, indicating in habitual bedevilment that in his view, Job was on a very good thing, a sort of gold-mine in the air, a spiritual combine harvester operation, working with a great deal of flair, and never a care. The point of the devil ? Job was making hay while the sun shone, the spiritual sun, since he had learnt the Golden Way. Use God and get rich, powerful and all that sort of thing. Nothing in it, the devil implied, religion for gain, that's all.
There was nothing in it but power and satisfaction.
God held forth Job to this sodden spirit, this seduced lord of evil things, this debased character, this serpentine slitherer, this corrupt debaser and degraded degrader, depicting the great personage of old as a man of righteousness and integrity, whose paths and practice were open like a book.
No so! writhes Satan in his inward impetuosity and self-belief (to use one of the most spectacularly provocative words (or phrases if you omit the hyphen) of our time. It is one which implies the centre is indeed in the self, or the power; but omits the Maker and comprehensive sustainer of any self, or soul, to whom it owes not merely its existence, but its place with body and mind in a comprehensible universe, with interfaces which man neither made nor could make, and rationalities which proceed as surely from reason as iron from iron ore. In all things, you have to have what it takes, fairy tales alone excepted (cf. Causes 1).
Fairy tales however are integumental to modern man*2, preferring the opera, the works of his imagination, to the objectively necessary and plainly attested works of God, the divine opera, works which occur in the opera above all time, the plan and conception, the strategy and provision of God Himself, the performance in which man participates so freely.
Satan, like modern man in a general trend, looks not at all beyond himself; and in the case of man, by far the worst epidemic is that of doing just that, whether in his own person, or hers, or in the national or racial aspect. Hitler tried it at a more limited level in the gene pool, survival of the fittest syndrome which ran him and hence the impetus into World War II, a fitting testimony to its blindness - for believe it or not, to be blind in heart constitutes no panache, but merely a fecund source of problems, corruption and folly.
This the world has seen in a big way ever since, whether in pride and vainglory, delusive reductionism as in Communism (SMR pp. 925ff., News 97, Journey to God or Fantasy's Flight to the Infernal Ch. 4, cf. *4), or delusive religiosity with the false prophet secondary corruption, as in the Islamofascist furore*3, which stops nowhere but at blood. This, it is a fitting comment on the rule of passion, not purity, and the inane splendour attributed to the creations of man, the mere ideas of his mind, as if without evidence and without confirmation, and in the face of anti-verification, with the superlative of negatives, in the exactly and precisely opposite testimony of the always fulfilled Bible, EVEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST, there could be sanction by mere passion for following such inventions.
ISRAEL was categorically condemned for precisely this error, even from the mouth of Moses at the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 32:15ff.), as we shall shortly see, and the fiery Islamic furore is not different*3. How ludicrous! the Lord declared to them in those ancient times, that you should follow the new-boy gods, without ground, without confirmation, things that proceed up from the ground, not from above, and do it gratuitously, with implacable corruption, when the true and living God who has shown you in ways past all contest for so long by His power, solicitude and provisions, the place for your heart in an objective reality!
Yet this, He indicated through Moses, in Deuteronomy, this will be your way. You will find out when instead of having your enemies flee from you in a very profusion of confusion, with victories as if you were invincible (but it is not you but your God who is invincible), YOU will be fleeing and in desolation, for it will come. This change, this categorical transmutation will come in your affairs, coming from triumph to desolation because of wilful abandonment of your tested, proven and providing God.
Such was part of the message right from Moses' day in the book of Deuteronomy, one which in Ch. 18 specified the coming of the greater than Moses, belief in whom would be categorical for blessing or condemnation, a Jewish prophet to come, to which the Psalms and later prophets give cumulative attestation of His work, His way, His being, His eternal nature, His redemption, His suffering and His triumph to come (cf. Joyful Jottings 22-25, SMR Ch. 9).
THEN AND NOW
The Jew and the Gentile
It's all the same to the corruptor
God is no respecter of persons.
If a nation, or group of nations learn to trust in itself, or its gods which it manufactures,
like a heart fibrillating before final death for the patient,
the case in outcome is the same.
Indeed, whether these be materialistically conceived as to their operation, as in the dead set of naturalistic gods of the 21st century in the 'West', or in those of the misled furore in Islam in the Middle East and increasingly beyond it, in its oil-powered, Israel-despising surge, a virtual idol of odium, so that oil becomes a source both for power and for the destruction through intoxicated passion of buyer and seller. So does the world vacillate and vociferate in an inventive medley of those who seem to seek damnation in delusion on both sides. In this delusive dynamic, the result is evil, with conflict, strife, vain boasting, empty power, emptied pockets and self-assurance, belief in the self of the man, the nation or the culture, whether in its religious, philosophic or economic aspects, or any combination of these.
The reason why Israel sticks like a fish-bone is not hard to seek. Oil wants it out, Islam wants it out in large measure in many nations of that ilk, power lust wants it out, anti-religious passion of other kinds, afraid of the fulfilment of biblical prophecy, want it out, aspiring neighbours want it out, the anti-semitic congeries want it out, the self-serving who want 'peace' at any price want it out since it is after all, to all appearance, so small, so that they too would like it out, even if with some regret.
But God has placed it in, in the fulfilment of some of His long-term prophecies*4. He instituted its restoration against all statistics, in 1948, and has sustained it against all comers, including droves of them simultaneously, ever since, as also foretold.
That nation, Israel, is itself not yet back at peace with God, so it suffers; but the day is also predicted when it will return in large measure to its Redeemer, and when its assailants will be reminded
that man is, after all, not God, and
that God does, after all, perform as
He states and for His own plan,
that man still has his breath in his
So does ascending tension proceed in the international front, bin Laden (cf. Lord of Life... Ch. 8, *1), amid his intoxicated seeking of 'glory' for Islam, showing that this, this Israel is the stirring of his passion, this, his detestation and determination to obliterate what is stopping the obliteration of Israel. SO proceeds just one more of the self-destructive shudderings of passion in this old world, like the final screechings in some old car, now near the scrap-heap, and protesting at every kilometer. It is is now increasingly bent on crashing its last on the factory gates where it was made, as if its exhaustion were nothing compared with the inanity of its driver, who has failed to maintain it, and fails to find his own responsibility for his increasing proximity to self-induced ruin.
What then do we find in our Age, yes today ? It is this. Man is doing what Israel did, verifying the word of God, the written word in that infallibly self-demonstrating word which uses the fury of its enemies to demonstrate the faultlessness of its wisdom and knowledge, since when GOD speaks, this, testable and valid, verified and victorious, virtuous and wise, is the result. It is self-demonstrating*5 in history, in detail, in continuity, in millenia, in things great, in things small, in spirit and in eventuation.
Man, whether as in ancient Israel's case, or in the current Gentile carnage and insufferable vanity, is more in line with the Satanic knowledgeable ignorance displayed in the book of Job: insidiously misled, with or without the alienating impact of explicit false religions, disadorning the earth, destructive and all but immune to instruction in the unchanging ways of the divine truth, becoming more and more arrant and unavailable to its Lord. So it was to be; so it is. The specialist in delusion, that devil and antagonist, that adversary, the devil, is just as sourly combative and loweringly low as ever.
Thus we need not look at Job and sniff, thinking of this as some Mid-Eastern muddle among the big and the small. The devil's impact and task there is the very symbol of the case for modern man in his degrading ways: reductionistic or fantasising, self-assured and impassioned, set to defend and not to amend, to affirm and assert but not to listen, to destroy one another with moral-less might, while being powered by a couple of lungs which boast great things, and by a head which is brilliant in thought, and thinks delusively, as if the passion for self were the dagger to life. Satan is not limited to a body, but the spirit is the same.
It is FOR HIMSELF, that Job lives, Satan declared viciously to the Lord.
The Lord at once put it TO THE TEST! (Job 1:9-12, 2:4-6). The Lord is never One to hide, unless it be from those whose inveterate slipperiness makes them mere pretenders amid an hypocrisy too blatant to be spared, until sincere seeking should replace wills so subverted corruption, that the very cry is delusive.
This you see in
such places as Hosea 5:9-15 (bold added).
"Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke;
Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure.
The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark;
I will pour out my wrath on them like water.
"Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment,
Because he willingly walked by human precept.
Therefore I will be to Ephraim like a moth,
And to the house of Judah like rottenness.
"When Ephraim saw his sickness,
And Judah saw his wound,
Then Ephraim went to Assyria
And sent to King Jareb;
Yet he cannot cure you,
Nor heal you of your wound.
"For I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
And like a young lion to the house of Judah.
I, even I, will tear them and go away;
I will take them away, and no one shall rescue.
I will return again to My place
Till they acknowledge their offense.
Then they will seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me."
As Hosea describes it in 7:14, many had become artisans of vanity, not crying to God with their HEARTS in their woes, while even in Judah, dead formalism, symbols not illustrating but substituting for reality had become the way (Isaiah 1).
Even in Deuteronomy (32), you see the perspective of God, alien to alienating novelty, desperately seeking to subvert in the very face of the God of eternity, and His well-known and long-attested and verified ways. You see there the Lord foretelling His actions to come against fractious insistences of passion before the very evident testimony of His unchanging truth, that of His word, allied to His deeds of old. Even at that early stage, you find the forecast of what is to be in such a degraded disjunction from the living God as would surely come. Thus even His people, Israel, would be treated to the outward disgrace which their inward hearts and spirits called for.
In fact, the Northern part of the original Israel, which came to be following the civil war, would become as alien in their sins to which they would (and did) adhere, as if self-made super-glue were spirituality, and mere passion were truth. Then the South offended also, Judah by name, and even lost its most elaborate and symbolic temple, a sacrifice before the God who values spirit more than architecture, and the heart of man beyond his appurtenances and accomplishments, even those wrought in God's name. Listen to Moses foretelling it ...
"But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked;
You grew fat, you grew thick,
You are obese!
Then he forsook God who made him,
And scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
"They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods they did not know,
To new gods, new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear.
Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you.
"And when the Lord saw it, He spurned them,
Because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters.
And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them,
I will see what their end will be,
For they are a perverse generation,
Children in whom is no faith.
"They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God;
They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols.
But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation;
I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.
For a fire is kindled by my anger,
And shall burn to the lowest hell;
It shall consume the earth with her increase,
And set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
‘I will heap disasters on them;
I will spend My arrows on them."
Whether then it be Israel, in rebellion, or others, whether it be then or now, whether it be this sort of idol or that, whether the idol be spiritual or economic, psychological sooth-saying or biological fantasy, bereft of evidence, logically absurd: it makes no difference*6. The people who practise it are asking for God to hide His face, for the One who is God IS the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he who has seen the Christ HAS seen the Father, so that, to revert, if you ascribe appalling abominations to God*7, then you attribute them to His exact image Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3, John 5:19-23), which so far from Christianity, is mere double-minded blasphemy. Such is the Biblical Standard, such is the authenticated discipline to the mind of man, the verified vigour from God for the life of man, and the paradigm for his spirit and track for his path.
Ignore it ? It is the wonder of creation, after love, available truth and mercy, this liberty, that you may do that! It is however the glory of His making, that you may not so elect, but having liberty, love where love is to be found, not like the frustrated little vine tendrils, which finding no place for their encompassing, shrivel, but more like the dog whose eye finds not air, but his master's joyful response, love the Giver of the life that can love. Such is the glory of creation, in that cockpit of consciousness and summit of spiritual liberty, and so is it with man before the God of creation and the Redeemer for man.
Our current theme is on the obverse, the riot from rectitude and the whoredom of rebellion, that has stretched from Eden, to the Old Testament heights of unresponsive love to the Divine Deliverer, in Israel worse and increasingly aggravated tensions and troubles, to the summit in Calvary's rejected King, not in the least pathetic, but poignant for Israel, whose brio in brutality alas and alas and alas to the third degree, has so bilked them, who might have been built in beauty, and exposed them to the severe winter of woes inflicted upon them, like a shorn dog in the Arctic.
It is next, but in one topic, to the Gentile world, akin in rejection syndrome, in rambunctious and rumbustious rebellion, gaining much, growing in wonder in the testimony of truth and the effusion of beauty, only to turn, now one here, one there, now in a falling Empire now in riots of stupour infecting discipline after academic discipline, till the Gentile joins hands with his Jewish prototype, and asks for all he can POSSIBLY get, and will get, but it is an invitation of darkness, better sought than found!
After all, the thing being got, being grasped, being sought after like silver and thrust for like a rocket, panted after like water in the desert, it is the time of trouble which has not been since the creation which Christ forecast for just such Gentile conduct. It is provided first in the predictive words of Christ and the prophets before Him, and now in the newspapers in a cloud of fulfilment, rather like the coming of Winder, after Summer.
Summer ? Do you not remember the words of Jeremiah 8:20-22:
"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.
"Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?"
That was then. This is now.
It is all, then, so like Israel of old, who even when they began to seek Him, after their devastation by Assyria, served God, yes, but served other gods as well (II Kings 17:32-33), becoming conspicuous for their inveterate confusion. There was, and is, no future in that spiritual seance, seduced servility to sin's syndrome, none worth mentioning.
Thus the Gentile Europe, once liking to call itself 'Christian', but shrugging it off like Israel in the former case, now seeking a 'common destiny' that is common indeed, and religiously undefined, a collusion of colleagues in the idolatries of the day, a plurality of spiritual vagueness and vacillation, what has been its so happy result ? It is this. It has been lambasted with wars and destruction, but has not turned, just as Israel did not turn, and indeed Amos 4 shows the repetitive opportunities to return to the Lord and the repetitive rebellions in inglorious and cumulative sequence.
Now, though it is deep in calamities and has been warned for decades, it continues with more resolute vagueness, in more dissolution, as if the 'unknown' were a friend for such, and not the very acme and paragon of pollution, as if one were to seek to spend the week-end in a garbage collection, or in a tip, with expectant breath and alert eye.
Europe, the EU ? It clings to the secular and anon hideously straying religious false prophets, for additives at taste, as if nothing would please them better than to fulfil, yes for themselves, all those calamitous prophecies which are in store for this same Gentile world!
Yet His word, however hypocritical a generation, a religion or a religious phase may become, it remains. It is clear, definitive, declarative, operative and testable. It covers as it has covered, the case; and the case is filled with what it has foretold*8 Nor is this in the very slightest degree to congratulate the rest of this Gentile world: it is merely to spotlight a centre of 'culture' which once, despite much evil and mischief, especially if you include England which includes itself now in this very mulch, had some phases and locales of fealty to the Lord, but now like Israel of old, features decline with exultancy and spoliation with esprit!
Europe is set, like most of the Gentile world today, on collision course with the Bible, the written word of God, and the result is becoming apparent. Truth, broken, does not wither; but it does impact negatively on what so presumes... It is easy, so very easy to fall, and though the Lord never forsakes His own individual people (John 10;9,27-28), a church may have its mandate removed (Revelation 2-3), and a nation can decline as it declines from the divinely defined righteousness, and indeed, a world may do so. It is not that no Christians remain, but that a rotting culture and a calamitous negation of the actualities of the Lord, a departure from faith with a fervour that is the very zenith of confusion, this exacts a toll, like the 98% income tax which could be placed on high income ends in World War II.
It is like it, but the tax is higher, for death is more than percentage, being the result of denying life. In corpse, it is marked; in spiritual things, it is ... eloquent.
JOB, A PROTO-TYPE
Thus is fall, thus the doped splendour of delusive decline, thus is the dynamic which the devil loves to induce, when rocketry makes for thrust to the depths, rather than the heights, and tests failed, humanity reverses from glory to vainglory. It is so in nation or empire, in culture or world reverse thrust. Was it so with Job ? Could the devil in the case of ONE SINGLE MAN OF GOD, induce the riot of shame ? Is what is written large in the negative features we have been regarding, including our own time, to be found in smaller and more individual writing in the case of Job ?
Could the devil, in express and intent pursuit, with all his pride at stake and his reductionist passion at work, bring down ONE SOUL ? Could he successfully reduce just one of the people of God, an outstanding example, to this return to the realm of exhaust gases by reversing the rockets of strength, into a false direction ? Could fear or desire, could false ambition or seductive inducement bring Job to his knees, not in prayer, but as a rebel in revolt ?
What then of this case of Job, when this devilish device was set against him ? The angry eye of an offended or paranoid employer is one thing; the eye of the devil, there you have the heart of the storm, and it is not the eye of the hurricane, but is most hurried dynamic that you find.
As now, all is open, and the case is clear, and is coming to pass, so then. God acted then, as He is acting now. Job did not REALISE the test, since the nature of the test forbade this, for it would short-circuit its whole intent. Man does not know now, because he REFUSES to listen. Job had a vast challenge therefore, and let us consider it more deeply.
The divine word to Satan was not different, in essence than now. The thing can be tested, and many will be purified. There is an devilish assertion ? There is a desire to bring the world down to a sickly and unspiritual mess with no real faith ? to imitate some of the current comic and TV shows, where degradation of the human image becomes the very pith and perversity the entire point ? There is desire to detach man, like a stamp from an envelope, from his place, so that instead of glory to God, there is a vacuous people open for a devilish destiny ?
Very well, let it be tested. This is the way of truth, its willingness to be tested. Such was the case with Job, and HOW he was tested. Such is the case now, and how much so many are being tested; but the heart of the method of the devil is to hide the fact that it IS a test. It is then that like an examinee sitting down to his paper, but thinking it is leisure, failure becomes inveterate and folly has its fruit.
Testing has its points. If you are an orange tree, testing your oranges to find whether they be steel girders or fluff, and if fruit, what kind, is no horrendous undertaking. If you are the tree, it is not so amazing if your fruit is found to be oranges; for a good tree in fact does bear good fruit. A tree rooted and grounded where it belongs, with the right genetic construction, which is the case with every Christian, since you CANNOT either see or enter the kingdom of heaven without being born again, and so receiving the godly spiritual parallel to genes (John 3, Titus 3:5ff.): it CAN have only one result.
The winds may tear its branches and the insects attack its leaves, but it is in an orchard where there is a limit to the test (I Corinthians 10:13-14). Oranges do not come from grape vines, far less from steel girders. There is definition, delimitation and provision.
To be sure, every tree that the Father has not planted will be rooted up (Matthew 15:13), but that is simply the obverse side of it . If HE HAS planted tree, if HIS hands have made it His own, then AS His own it will assuredly be characterisable, if not always by the inventive and wicked hearts of men, then by the fruit seen beyond flesh. It may be speckled here, or marked there; but orange trees bear oranges, and THIS orchardist knows what He is doing, not to make comfort God, but to bring blessed orange trees to their fruition (I John 3:9, 5:11-12).
There is no room for doubt, for here as elsewhere when you are dealing with the word of God, to doubt is sin, and sin obscures. Walking in the light is a thing of wonder, since THIS light is God Himself (cf. John 9:4).
Hence there is measure and grace, if also hardness to be endured.
"There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:
but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able;
and will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it. Therefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."
Tests are not to be despised, they are comrades to truth, which rejoices in them. TEST ALL THINGS! cries the apostle of truth, to the Thessalonians (I Thess. 5).
Darkness and delusion, however, it tends to hide.
Those who refuse debate, in what way are they manifesting truth ? Where the conditions are appalling and do not allow equality ? very well, this may be understandable; but on even terms ? Will debate be rejected then ? Will drab power substitute for established light ? will force substitute, even in democracy, for reality!
What is of the light, comes into it! This is a fundamental scriptural principle, which pseudo-science would do well to emulate, imitate and display!
We do not find this attitude to test, in South Australian government, in their forays into religion, in manifest breach of any provision against discrimination in religion (cf. That Magnificent Rock Ch. 8, Government Composite). Challenge to multi-disciplinary debate on the topics in view as this putsch against true religion proceeds in terms of vicious and vacuous generalisations visited on schools, it is excluded. Challenge has been made in the name of Christ to such a TEST. This however is rejected. It is receives no response.
How would it, since there is no response in truth to such myths as these! (cf. Lead Us Not into Temptation! and *5 and *7 below). These 17 years they have hidden from challenge to debate, in South Australia, whether at the first or at the last!
God however does not hide: there is neither need nor profit in doing so, for the light declares itself, and it is HE who is it, and whose ways alone demonstrate it! (cf. *5).
Thus, to revert to the actual conditions of our basic theme, in the case of Satan's challenge to the integrity of Job, his manifest desire to deflate, to expose, to depreciate, to slander, to bring everything down to his own level, it was not just talk: it was test; and it proceeded at once. So many may feel that their lot is intolerable; but if they are of the Lord, to some it may be given to be tested as was Job, and believe me, it is a privilege to be so selected, even if anguish can come at times, as one feels the tempest on the wings, or the dangers of high-altitude squalls and force of the violence of the high-altitude CAT come near.
The Lord is open, and does not deliver from character-making trials, or those which, at cost, expose the truth! It is in such 'experiments' as they seem to this world, but chosen cases as they are before God, that vast impacts may be made, and truth shown, whether the world should elect to open or close its eyes. If you do not fight, how then can you win ? and though the Lord fight for you, if you shut the door, how is there entrance for any ?
Truth remains till judgment day, and it is not a mere matter of events, but of eternal verifications, vindications and realities.
So the thing was tested in the case of Job. It was a SPIRITUAL allegation which Satan made against Job, and it was a PHYSICAL expression of the spiritual face which was provided. WAS it really so, that Job was an inveterate hypocrite, subtle and sedate, living on the oil of divine favour while being in fact repressive, and self-willed ?
This was easy to do, since man has a body which can suffer pain, a spirit which can suffer grief and bank balances which can suffer loss - or their equivalent. Would Job sell out for satisfaction, comfort, or even convenience, for fear, to avoid disaster seeking to sign off on his life, or for profit, or peace with prospects seemingly assured ? If so, how, and if not, in what way would it occur ? This was the test.
Job was afflicted with non-mortal disease, so vile, so humbling, as he scratched in desolation, that his 'majesty' if it had been, was debased to sub-basement levels, and his condition induced such shock in his former 'friends', that they were silent for days, as it entered into the recesses of their hearts, what had befallen the great man.
It is our joy to consider the stresses of his heart under such divinely permitted duress, and to consider the major and minor players in the affair. Before however we do so, which must be in the next chapter, there is a thought for one, and for all.
Do you recall how the disciples, when told by Jesus the Christ that ONE of them would betray Him, asked not, Is it YOU ? of each other, but IS IT I! each of himself ? (Matthew 26:22). Moreover, they asked it of the Lord, and you can imagine the deep distress and concern*9 at the unthinkable being thought, the unseverable ties suddenly exposed ? Was faith there ? The immediate concourse with Christ Himself showed the cordiality in the reality. No it was not one of them, but the one who had already (Mark 14:10) DONE IT! There was nothing mysterious about it: it was a little transaction that he had carried out, like the EU, as it decides to have nothing of Christ in its constitution.
See Job 7:2-21, where the tested saint is in the midst of woes, searching and not finding, as his platform for showing the truth is extended, and his pangs seem intolerable, injustice rife and events inexplicable. It is often so with man, when unseen tests that speak volumes, are set in a library of truth not yet accessible. There is no systematic problem with this, that you may not KNOW what the test is entirely, or more especially, WHY it is, any more than there is when an examination tests the student with this very purpose, in that the means of understanding or acceptance are to hand, but the specific answer might not yet appear.
The case of Job, like many in this world and life, was exceedingly simple ... ONCE you knew what it was. WE know from Job Ch. 1, a statement which, being an examinee, Job had not AT THAT TIME, the privilege of reading, nor yet did its thrust occur to him! The case was in FACT, very straightforward, but being unknown to Job, it would TEST him to the depths. This, it was no little test, but one which would resound in its way and result, for millenia. So in your own test, do not account it small, for though small your resources, large is the eye that sees, if not now, then shortly, and vast is the terrain for the task.
In the verses noted above, we read this in Job's worst anguish, before some light began to dawn (emphasis added to the point here in view):
"Like a servant who earnestly desires the shade,
And like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages,
So I have been allotted months of futility,
And wearisome nights have been appointed to me.
"When I lie down, I say, ‘When shall I arise,
And the night be ended?’
For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn.
My flesh is caked with worms and dust,
My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh.
""My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
And are spent without hope.
Oh, remember that my life is a breath!
My eye will never again see good.
The eye of him who sees me will see me no more;
While your eyes are upon me,
I shall no longer be.
"As the cloud disappears and vanishes away,
So he who goes down to the grave does not come up.
He shall never return to his house,
Nor shall his place know him anymore.
"Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Am I a sea, or a sea serpent,
That You set a guard over me?
"When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
My couch will ease my complaint,’
Then You scare me with dreams
And terrify me with visions,
So that my soul chooses strangling
And death rather than my body.
"I loathe my life;
I would not live forever.
Let me alone,
For my days are but a breath.
"What is man, that You should exalt him,
That You should set Your heart on him,
That You should visit him every morning,
And test him every moment?
Will You not look away from me,
And let me alone till I swallow my saliva?
"Have I sinned?
What have I done to You, O watcher of men?
Why have You set me as Your target,
So that I am a burden to myself?
Why then do You not pardon my transgression,
And take away my iniquity?
For now I will lie down in the dust,
And You will seek me diligently,
But I will no longer be."
This desolation, so deliberately and delightfully vanquished on sound and revealed ground, which like the desolation, is as deep as the soul of Job, is in the valley. It yields as do mists to the undisclosed sunlight, now brilliant for a space upon the earth, as we see in the famous Job 19, where he KNOWS that his REDEEMER lives, and will come to the earth, where Job will see Him with his own eyes, for death will not consume him nor will the worm have the last word, and the light will overcome the darkness.
This rill of the will is most instructive, and reminds that an objective faith - one in the OBJECTIVE GOD is what matters; and within that, crucial to mankind, is faith in the OBJECTIVE REDEEMER who alone meets the need of man, as of logic (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 2, The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy, and in REASON, REVELATION and the REDEEMER).
While Job's gifts of speech ("I will speak...") were virtually phenomenal, it was God's speech which delivered him.
De facto fairy tales are so prolific that one wonders how some can wear a straight face as they enunciate them, sometimes in the name of 'science', which in such cases has descended to the pit of delusion, where philosophy super-added, as customary from the ancient Greeks till now, becomes a sort of religion on wheels, a fantasy for fact, a cover for thought, as irrelevant as irrational in the realm of its insertion. It is rather like inserting a donkey into a racing stable, and disguising the hee-haw by loud noises, such as many make as they seek to cover up the disastrous fact.
Whatever the state of 'science', or man's organised knowledge, with scientific method for its platform, there is this illicit additive which comes into play, the more when society is in delusive mode, for nothing is exempt from folly when it grips a man's heart. Paul attacked this dissembling folly in one age, and the exposure carries over to all forms of knowledge.
Knowledge falsely so-called is the game plan (I Timothy 6:20), to invade truth, as Satan sought to invade Job. Whatever is exalted, tends to become top-heavy, and to sink into folly as surely as the pregnant clouds bring rain.
On these topics, see the following, for example.
Secular Myths and Sacred Truth,
The gods of naturalism have no go! Chs. 3, 5, Appendix 2,
TMR 1, 8 with 7;
Cascade of Truth ... Chs. 6, 3 ,
Delusive Drift ... Chs. 2, 7, with Victory Ch. 8, esp. *4, (and the applicability of the phrase in I Timothy 6:20 to much in modern science, inter alia, which becomes a sub-category of knowledge falsely so-called, that is science falsely so-called),
SMST esp. Chs. 6, 7, 8,
Deliverance from Disorientation Ch. 7, Ch. 2,
Earth Spasm, Conscience Chasmm, and Renewal of Life... Chs. 1, 7,
News 111 (demythologising demythology
cf. SMR pp. 374ff
252H-I, 422Eff., 999-1002C,
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3.
On this prophetic error, imitative delusion and unprofitable dragnet which afflicts many both directly and indirectly, in fact a massive fulfilment of the word of Jesus Christ, see the following references on this site. As in Matthew 24:24, which specifies just such a vast blast of religious delusion under the name of false prophets, so in 2005 there is after much time flowing steadfastly into the rear, the perfected fulfilment.
It is as Jeremiah said of the false prophet syndrome, the illicit misuse of the name of the Lord, the use of a 'vision of your own heart', in His name, the use of idols for inspiration and delusion for a highway, in his extensive exposure of this ungodly phenomenon, this highway to doom, this outfit of audacity, "in the latter days you will consider it perfectly". These, they are the days of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31), when the time becomes ripe for the Messiah who shall rule on this earth (Jeremiah 23:6ff.). It is in this explicit perspective that the prophecy is made.
Thus we are told that as the end of the Age of the New Covenant, of the Gospel, draws near, there will such a flurry and hurry of the drug of false prophecy, that even though in Jeremiah's own day, there was a plague of it, THEN (which is our 'now'), it would be PERFECTED. Then would come to be, if you will, the last croaking cough, the rasping intake of decaying breath, then would the evil of this fraud become prolific, so that even the madness of Jeremiah's time would be surpassed, and the depths of spiritual depravity which he so exactly depicted of his own day, would find a masterpiece to surpass it. If the pit had seemed endless then, in the 'latter days', this religious prolifacy would reach its peak, its very Everest!
As it was said, so it is. As God declared, so man performs, as if bent in submission, desiring nothing so much as to fulfil what the Lord said; and such is the majesty of the Lord, that it is of His enemies that He speaks with such accuracy, millenia ahead. Indeed, in the day of Jeremiah, Jesus the Christ had yet centuries before He came, and the New Covenant of which Jeremiah spoke, over half a millenium to arrive on this earth; and the end of that Age had to come through millenia. But it has come! If God says it, it comes. It has come and it is here, now.
More Marvels ... Ch. 4, Divine Agenda Ch. 6, SMR pp. 1080ff., 829ff, and the various indexes.
Consult on this topic such items as the following.
It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls ... Chs. 1, 10
and Highway of Holiness Ch. 6,
with Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 1 (Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah medley - HH 6 Gog and co. ),
It Bubbles ...
Ch. 11 (place in modern history,
Gentile lurches, UN),
Ch 2 (children, lands and scape-goat),
The Defining Drama Ch. 10;
News 53 (and 'all the nations' in Zechariah 14 ... today),
which may be read with His Time is Near Chs. 4, 10;
Red Heart, Dead Heart and the Pure Heart Ch. 10
(Israel and the calling of names),
Of the Earthy, Earthy ... Ch. 13 (the UN and Israel ... and others! and unity moves)
The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 4
(divine movements on Jerusalem over time, on the empires, in the world)
Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 2 (no clone for Israel)
Great Execrations ... Ch. 4 (man and God concerning Israel,
cf. The Biblical Workman Chs. 1, and 3),
Israel Blows the Trumpet, that Yet it does not Hear Ch. 1
(God and Israel, God and man ... conclusion with God is not only logical, but terminal destiny:
meanwhile Israel blows the trumpet, but does not come).
Divine Agenda Ch. 8.
See Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer, and in particular
What is the Chaff to the
Chs. 3 and 4.
See Aviary of Idolatry, Highway to Hell, SMR Ch. 4, Ch. 10.
SMR pp. 179-195, 234,
Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming Chs. 4, 5, 6,
The gods of naturalism ... Ch. 9
Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 13, 16,
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3,
News 57, 59, SMR pp. 159, 315Bff.,
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3,
Earth Spasm ... Ch. 1, News 81,
Calibrating Myths ... Ch. 1 incl. *1,
Stepping out for Christ Ch. 10 ;
Christ, the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 8
Repent or Perish Ch. 2
See the following on this theme.
Answers to Questions Ch. 5,
What is the Chaff to the Wheat ? Ch. 10
(recent developments towards the final format),
Highway of Holiness .. Ch. 10 (comprehensive outline Babylon,
Rome and Daniel-Europe),
The Bright Light ... Ch. 2, *1 (list of references).
Three Anzas, One Answer Chs. 2, 5 (quo vadis - Europe, you have been coming a long time);
The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 4,
Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 10
Biblical Blessings Ch. 1 (overview of development)
The Grating Grandeur ... Ch. 2 (overview of some modern developments
of the 'empire' No. 4 of Daniel),
Dastardly Dynamics Ch. 4 (and Empire disposition) with 10
(some survey of developments),
Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch. 1 ,
Christ, The Cumulative and the Culmination Ch. 4,
Outrageous Outages ... Chs. 3, 5 (Europe and the UN)
His Wounds ... Ch. 4, *5 (survey of relevant past),
Beyond the Crypt ... Ch. 1.
On this stretching of the very tissue of the soul,
and the response in the depths of the faith,
far beyond, in the heart,
enlivened by the sustaining power of God: see Crosses and Losses.