WALKING IN THE LIGHT AND KEEPING YOUR EYES OPEN
For Eyes fast Closed, Truth is Opposed:
More Humble, less Stumble
Rev. Dr. Robert E. Donaldson
WORLD WIDE WEB WITNESS Inc.
ISBN 0 9757881 2 4
When Jesus Christ told the people, as noted in Matthew 13, that their eyes they had closed lest they should be converted and He should heal them, as a prelude to the absolute devastation of Jerusalem with multiple crucifixions from the kindly hands of the Romans, who had earlier co-operated so notably in delivering just the same treatment to another of their race, who also was incarnate from heaven, that same Jesus Christ: it was no exaggeration. They lost, in rather quick succession, their place and their Lord, their hope and their Life; for the Prince of life being slain, by their own design, they became misfits in the divine design, and have shown it ever since. Rome, fittingly enough, has joined them in her various adulterous spiritual liaisons with this world and its ways, in the snugly unspiritual new European Union and in the hideous tortuousness of her Fascist preoccupations not so long ago.
Now our generation is coming into a peculiar focus, as when the sun's rays in late afternoon can lend an almost preternatural colour to the glowing scene. When this generation is exhibited, yes our own, in the texts dealing with the end of our Age, as shown amply in Answers to Questions Ch. 5, one of its principal features will be blindness. Light will be no companion of this, our world when it has whirled to that penultimate period of its existence, which we now inhabit. In fact, evil will become worse and worse, with a multitude of false christs and false prophets, just as Christ said and already we find. Indeed, they clatter, these frenetic substitutes, whether the old time (but too recent for real consideration, starting long after Christ) Muhammad, with his hand-made substitute, a 'christ' a product of imagination in violation of history, or the sects or the secular mystics, who do no less, who clamour for attention, while our current rulers of culture via educational manipulation and propaganda over the media, act with all the panache of the old false prophets of nature worship.
These things we have seen in the preceding volumes, directly or by reference. .
Let us now look further at our own generation in the light of the biblical predictions.
We find from II Timothy, Matthew and Luke that in this period, mankind will tend be nervous, touchy, blatant, bloody, gruesome, deceitful, prone to deception, with shut eyes awaiting the same sort of end that Jerusalem faced; but this time it is the end of the series, not the first phase, that is, the Jewish illustration so kindly given before the finale for ALL. This time, not Israel but this world is the bandit, and calls for the consequences, also announced by Christ in Matthew 24.
Our present point is that this being so, and the unduplicable pattern which brings the Jew to Jerusalem and the world to its knees - from which many of its leaders still give the donkey hee-haw, as if it were a throne, being now fulfilled - it is wise not just to talk of spiritual drama and power, as seems frequently to be the emphasis in the Pentecostal section, or to be so hypnotised by the concept of spiritual gifts and the like, that they can take front place, even the lesser ones, and the rules for their supervision blatantly ignored (as in I Corinthians 12, 14). In fact, it is 'spiritual things' they were told to seek in Corinth, and while no doubt this will include whatever gifts and powers and graces are needed, beyond question, LOVE is far more important, and PROPHECY (A Question of Gifts), in the apostolic declaration to that church. It was, incidentally, to be a regulation for all churches as the start of the epistle indicates.
The prophetic gift, that is now the power to apply and expose the truth in the word of God, is incomparably more important (I Corinthians 12-14, and see op. cit. ).
Pre-occupation with MY GIFTS and the like seems childish; and in I Cor. 12, we are told TO LEAVE SUCH THINGS TO THE DIVINE CHOICE OF GOD. It is not a free for all grabbage of 'gifts', but a loving readiness to serve with whatever God provides, knowing that of course there will be power, grace and favour as required, but that spectacular sights are more for children, as a way of procedure. They will come, dramas will be enacted and often are; it is not however this which is to be sought first, but the whole gamut of spiritual grace and reality, where these things reside as the case calls.
Sensationalistic Pentecostalism is just as far astray from actual scripture as is the weak-minded, knobbly-kneed tepidity of the crass humanism of Liberalism, which has driven many to seek something, somewhere, that is far better. Churches have depopulated statistically, through such liberal approaches to the Lord, who is made over by this method, as really as by Muhammad and the sects; and it is not at all surprising to find now an increasing indifference to the prohibition on spiritual fellowship with sects such as Islam or whatever else may have some prospect of 'success'.
Pentecostalism has been the recipient of many who have left straying denominations, just as in large swathes, it also by repeated exhibition of unscriptural emphasis, and de-emphasis of commands, misleads: in its own way, ignoring to such an extent the very scriptures concerning gifts as did the Liberals other scriptures concerning Israel and the power of God. False prophets do indeed abound, and whether it be denial of gifts or sensationalistic focus on them, it is all one: it is ANYTHING but the loving, gracious, believing, faithful reality from which both these extremes move as drift-wood, graying in the sun as they are baked on the river of life, which drives popular appeal. So they drift, moving to the sea and the swamps of meaningless humiliation.
In this volume, therefore, our attention to the bible will be on simply, what it says, where to go, how to go, what is happening and how to treat it, regard it, from a scriptural viewpoint, remembering that just as the 'Jerusalem' of yesterday was destroyed for its depravities, so the 'world' of today parades its pomp and hideous presumption, awaiting a similar end.
KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN! or WATCH AND PRAY, as Christ indicated in the latter part of Matthew 24, as well as in speaking to the disciples before the crucifixion. Such is the underlying message of this volume, which also specialises on Job, exhibiting that what is required is not mere speculative frenzies, focussed on man as if the water explained the heavens, but actual reality, duly confirmed and validated, as nothing else is.
This work also, however, is dealing with the other phase, WALKING IN THE SPIRIT as in Galatians 5, for keeping your eyes open is but half. If you do not know what to make of what you see, how are you advantaged, except in some things; where as in all things you need due care!
If the Spirit of God is not in you, you are not a Christian, says Paul in Romans 8; and to walk in the Spirit means NOT to be
a formalistic substitute for a Christian, or
a sacramentalist version of the idolatrous (cf. Questions and Answers Ch. 2), or
indeed ANYTHING which is not the case required by the Lord.
And that ? It is where Christ is EVERYTHING to you, first and foremost, His life your love, His word your law, His royalty your rule, His deity your inspiration, His power your resource, His wisdom your benison and His grace your basis for reflection as you move with it, of it and in it (cf. I Corinthians 1:29-30).
Chapter I THE GENERATION THAT GETS IT
IGNITION, IGNOMINY, IGNORANCE
and the LIGHT OF ENDLESS DAY
I Thessalonians 4, 5, II
exposition for panoramic view of truth and justice, love, mercy, peace and pardon
The Core of Corruption and the Power of God
Extricating from the Inextricable, and Delivering from the Mighty
II Thessalonians 1 and 2, with historical interface
Half-Healed Spiritual Refusniks
and the Candour of the Converted Soul
Word from Jeremiah, and the Final Diagnosis
IN NEED OF RECALL FOR SERVICING
More from the 7th century BC and the 21st AD
The Truth will Out
It is Always About
JOB: Tussle and Triumph
The Truth will Out
It is Always About
The Structure of Faith
and the Stricture of Assault
For yet more on Job, see the volume on this biblical book and personage:
TRIALS, TESTS and TRIUMPHS in TEMPTATION
with the book of
DEADLY DYNAMICS and the PERSONAL PROVISION
Jeremiah, the Jousts of the Adversary,
and the Joy of the Lord:
Modern Man in Perspective