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ASTONISHING ASTRONOMY and the
THINGS IN THE OFFING
If you look in
Revelation 8, you find quite a little astronomical movement. The Adelaide Advertiser,
The newspaper goes into considerable detail in listing the sort of possibilities should an asteroid of the neither slight nor really large variety impact on the earth, and in particular notes that if such a body were to splash down with massive preliminary shock-wave followed by tidal wave and so on, it would move water over the Adelaide Hills, flattening what is in the way, and move some hundreds of kilometres inland. The "chance" is not great, but not negligible.
Biblically, it is not a question of chance for the One who invented astronomical objects (Isaiah 40:26), but of statement. He runs His household His own way. Owing to the trifling little matter of sin, which savages the vulnerable hearts and heads and bodies of souls and spirits of mankind, crushes children and ignores parental responsibilities, killing a few million kids in the womb for good measure because it seems a good idea or is so liberating or whatever, there has been that other trifling little matter of death, the curse on the earth and so the striving, imbibing follies of the large part of the race which seems to be running both at a loss and in order to be lost. While this delicate little situation continues to wend its happy little way in this globe, man is setting his sights into the heavens.
WHOSE IS WHAT?
It does admittedly seem just a little strange, when the earth is clearly beyond him, inequity, fraud and folly proliferating like mould in the dense jungle. It is even stranger when God who made it all by COMMAND (and man is now FINDING these in the DNA which INCORPORATES COMMANDS by which things continue to make their merry little way into this spinning orb), EXPRESSLY STATED THIS:
"THE HEAVEN, EVEN THE HEAVENS, ARE THE LORD'S;
BUT THE EARTH HAS HE GIVEN TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN" -
Now let us understand this. If a Headmaster in a School said to the students in Assembly, 'Now these classrooms are for you, but this house is for me. I have given you the classrooms, but the house is mine!" ... the students would not be under any reasonable misapprehension. The most notorious twits and the most mischievous adventurers alike would be hard put to defend the thought that what the headmaster REALLY meant was that it was a matter of complete indifference to him whether they used his home as their own, or not. It does not seem necessary to labour this point; and God is far greater relative to man than headmaster to students in a school: for one thing, God MADE both the universe and man, as if the headmaster created student and school alike - not to mention the grounds.
Yet man with a blissful seeming spiritual idiocy seems intent on disregarding the framer of all things (Hebrews 11:1-3), who actually made the visible from the invisible - and we do much the same when we create buildings from preliminary plans and commands, when we have the means at our disposal! - as if what is REALLY the case is that He either does not matter, or thrives on rebellion, or the things in a fit of abstraction from nothing when it was not there, or from something else that was not there, and not from the adequate and all-sufficient God who being there, was in a position to get it all done. (See That Magnificent Rock, Ch.1.)
Billions of dollars which might have had a good ride on this impoverished earth have been consigned as if it were some kind of legitimate exploration, to "discovering" space, while outlandish theories (cf. That Magnificent Rock, Ch.7, SMR pp. 422Eff., A Spiritual Potpourri, Chs.1-9) are 'tested' which could not stand even if supported by atomic power, when tested as to their mere logical cohesion, in advance. Thousands of cute little pieces of space debris attest this manly endeavour, floating about in space until the laws of motion and commotion make it time for them to pop down, when able, and this does not exclude those vigorous little radioactive ones. That after all, does mean that man has had a hand, his very own hand, in increasing the high velocity little oddities which move about in space, adding to the asteroids, so making his day even less likely to be unblighted where he actually is and has his domain. It might be a little different if he had actually made the earth....
The heavens, however, which have become quite a genteel little place for sporting and rorting and distant war thoughts between those on the earth, are not leaving this alone. The time is coming, and may shortly have come, when the heavens will, if you like to put it that way, strike back. More precisely, God is on record as to His intentions in this high moment of human inventiveness, when the most astute forms of torture are practised by the Chinese on dissidents, have long been practised by the Russians on dissidents, including the trifle of a few tens of millions who had to be caused to die for the cause. And that? in this case, the Communist one which was very good for the new aristocracy, who had the new advantage of not having to inherit their riches and power from former times, but could get it, brand new, from the mint of politics in their own present generation, which perhaps seemed to them more ... well, honourable is not the word, so perhaps ... satisfying will do.
Meanwhile, others kill a few million in Cambodia, or have felt called on to belt up Biafra, or add to food shortage in Ethiopia or allied lands, or in the Congo or where you might like to name, and don't let us leave out Yugoslavia, or whatever the remnants might wish to be named.
While this goes on, seminaries instruct students against the Bible, make new christs who did not have the goodness to exist or actually do anything, and recommend these to their populations, churches (some but by no means all) duck issues, and find it good for unity to do so, deny the faith and call it statemanship and the populace increasingly is both under-fed and fed up.
NOW TO THE BIBLE
First let us gather some data in this field.
Luke tells us from the mouth of Jesus Christ that when the times are nearly up before Christ assumes His next role as judge, having already performed that of Saviour and been on offer for long, certain things will happen astronomically, cosmically. Thus in , we read: "...there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven." -26 states: "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring." Note these things for they will be related to our Advertiser article shortly.
Acts 2:19-21 has this:
show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapour of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before he coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved."
To our flimsy and illegitimate probes, then, the heavens will respond.
Revelation 8 tells us closely-connected scenario which we will note in the case of verses 7-10. We find ourselves in this context at a point where there has already been "silence in heaven for about half an hour" (8:1). This was at the point where the scroll of divinely controlled and conditioned history is taken by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, as the only One worthy to bring history to its culmination (Rev. 5:1-10), and the seventh seal has just been opened, enabling action (8:1). Much prayer accompanies this scene, for the Bible states in Matthew 24, again from the lips of Jesus Christ, that the times will be severe, but for the "elect's sake" they will be shortened, those trepidatious times as the end and His return approaches (Matthew 24:3,6,22,29).
It needs to be realised that Christians, official missionary ones or other, frequently suffer acutely in their lives because of torture, imprisonment, assault on their reputations, denial of posts and the like, and the sharp arrows of trial are not for ever. It is enough, in the trial, to pass it and to pass on the precious things to those who come afterwards; but it is not for ever. Moreover, the environment is being systematically ruined, and the time is coming, as Christ said, when the situation will be unmanageable by man altogether. Hence the prayers are not unheard. It is in the love and patience of God that things have proceeded to this point at all, following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:9, Matthew 24:14, Ephesians 3:10-11, I Peter 1:7).
Thus the seventh seal is opened in heaven, Revelation 8 foretells, and there is silence for about half an hour in heaven. This is apparently a time of amazed poignancy, for there is love in God enough for all though it be refused in capricious fashion so often, as the depth of the result is being matched at least in measure, to the depth of the depravity while judgment approaches.
In verses 8-9, we find
The Advertiser article tells us that our 1 Km. Diameter asteroid would, in addition to what we have already noted, thrust up large quantities of ocean, involving hundreds of kilometres, into the atmosphere, along with the sundry items therein attached, contained or implicated in the huge explosive force and dynamism of the event, that these would over a period rain down, where not evacuated from the atmosphere altogether, that a nuclear Winter would ensue, as this would in some ways, to the point, resemble ALL the atomic bombs on earth being jointly exploded ...
First, it is interesting that there is this current interest. It is because, not doubt, there is such KNOWLEDGE (as predicted by Daniel in Ch.12, as a notorious feature of this age), and this is uncovering possibilities in a hurry; it is increasingly being realised just HOW MANY options and opportunities for small or large destruction are astronomically available, and there have been several 'near misses' in the last few years.
Secondly, our own invasion of space is facilitating this knowledge; and thirdly, perhaps our own well-known contributions to this complexity and danger, is arousing concern about what ELSE is around that may prove if not hostile, then damaging or even deranging to the earth. It is being seen more as one whole, now that it has been literally looked down upon from space-craft in the heavens on high.
All these asteroid type resultants are very close and cohesive with the account in Revelation and in Acts and in Luke. The darkening, the "star" or astronomical object which "fell from heaven" with no light-hearted jaunt in mind (Rev. 8:10), in addition to the case of "something like a great mountain burning with fire" which was "thrown into the sea" (8:8), the famines noted both in Matthew 24 and in Revelation 6:5-7), as war erupts on a systematic slaughtering basis, the blighting of the water sources (the article we mention, notes the acid-rain resulting from the contamination of the atmosphere with the fallen object and the devastating eruptions into the atmosphere from its impact) seen in Rev. 8:10, and of the rivers (8:10) all are mutually involved. The one leads to the other, and the other is as recorded in advance in this book of Revelation in which God shows what is to come to pass (Revelation 1).
The judgment is thus setting in. It has already been shown in detail (SMR Ch.8) how the fulfilments of many things in a joint picture, and a scriptural scenario has already happened. Now we are seeing the options available and their close relationship to what is actually being scientifically studied, scientifically warned about and made the subject of governmental funds, in order to lessen the likelihood of such things. It does good at times, to look ahead a little, and to examine the available data on steps in view, both for history to happen, and for people to act.
Actually, although this may sound very sombre, if not gaunt, a ghastly concurrence of evil things, yet as with all trial and test, if it is put in the right hands, it is well. Tests bring out good things from what is prepared aright. Prepared though? How is this to be the case, when the heavens emit fire and darkness becomes the subtle comment on the spiritual life of the world: literal darkness.
First, look at the advice! In Isaiah 2:10, in a chapter dealing with "the last days" and the Lord will at length bring peace to the earth (2:3-4). Here this pleasant period is preceded by a cataclysm:
This has a ring of dread, but the shied of rocks, already used in Colorado in one missile emplacement, is in view.
It is in a happier environment that this occurs in spiritual places, when Isaiah 26:20-21, following the world ending account of Ch.24, declares:
"Come, my people, enter
And shut your doors behind you.
as it were, for a little moment,
Until the indignation is past.
For behold, the
Lord comes out of His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.
The earth will also disclose her blood
And will no more cover her slain."
Christ is that door (John 10:9) who, whether seen as Shepherd or Judge, provides entry for His people. It is the rock which was CLEFT, in which a hiding place was formed, that Moses sheltered when the glory of the Lord went by Him, and "that Rock was Christ" , as Paul declares of its other manifestation, in I Cor. 10. HE the spiritual rock who followed the people of Israel, the ONLY rock (Psalm 62:1-3), who ONLY does wondrous things (Ps. 72:18), the vast massif of rock on which the Church is built (Matthew 16), the petra, shining in splendour, deep in majesty, embedded and foundational, it is HE into whom His people must enter so that at that day, their safety is assured, their work is preserved and His purpose is consummated, as for soldiers of the Cross. THEIR warfare however is not with flesh and blood; it is spiritual. THEY do not fight with might for HIM, but 'put up their swords', as Christ told Peter: for HIS kingdom is not of this world, as HE told Pilate (John 18).
Notice that the advice is this: ENTER in and SHUT YOUR DOORS BEHIND YOU! Unlike Lot's wife, looking back on the cities of the plain, with their impending doom, fitting rebuke for their sexual promiscuity and perversity who pursued impudently these diseases of the spirit in the format of the flesh, and paying with her life: these who enter into the rock, act differently. They are to depart from the amours of the world, the glamours of the flesh and the amouries of sin. They SHUT their doors behind them. Put differently, they are crucified with Christ, the world not their centre, focus and feature, but rather a pierced and doomed place; for their lives are "hidden with Christ in God" and when He shall appear, then they "also shall appear with Him in glory" (from Colossians 3;1-3).
Yet again the advice comes,
Psalm 57:1. In other words, this acceptance in the beloved, this cover is not for the last days only, for it is a provision for every day. Yet the last days will highlight, dramatise and render urgent the full understanding of His provision, and this in turn leads to His excision of His own from the body of the world, when He comes to collect them, on His return in glory, till the world winds up its affairs in carnal compromise, gross confusion and hateful wars (II Thessalonians 2, Matthew 24, Revelation 19).
Such is the strength of the Lord, that on the way till that climacteric end, when testimony is to the increasingly steam-heated puffings of the world, with alienation enough (cf. John 14:30, Revelation 11) , the saints of the Lord are blessed and refreshed (II Cor.4:16-18, I Peter 4:13-14), surrounded in the very midst of their fiery tests, with the spiritual rains of their Saviour (Isaiah 32:15-17, 33:16, John 4:14).
DIVINE ACTION: THE WORLD DEPARTS
Very closely allied with this is the departure of this world. It is not that it is about to leave, though its end is drawing near. It is for Christ to gather His people OUT of the world, having kept them IN the world, though they assuredly were not OF the world; and THEN the end comes, then the sheep and the goats do what is apt for those creations (Matthew 25), follow the shepherd and act the goat! Judgment then is having its day, complete after the millenium in which Christ arriving (Zechariah 14, Acts 1, Isaiah 2), the reality of righteousness in its sheer beauty is displayed.
Astronomically, however, the eventual departure of this world (II Peter 3:10ff.) is to come, a vast affair of incredible power and resembling in its magnitude, the turning of grub into pupa, or better, pupa into adult insect, for in that case also there is a dissolution within the pupa case, allowing the reformation of what is to come, which is far better, all programmed. Here the program is in the very direct hands of the Lord, when a new heavens and new earth will be produced. Its dawn is the millenium; its zenith and perfection is the eternal city alight with glory, the pastures of beauty beside, with living fountains of water, while the waters of the river of Life may be seen traversing the city in its brilliance of light, comparable to gold in its endurance, to precious stones in its sparkle and gleams, its purity and its arresting wonder (Revelation 7:17, 21:4-5, 22:1ff.).
These are to come; but this set, it has like the grub its day and passes away. Thus Isaiah 51:6-8 tells us in sure and steadfast terms:
your eyes to the heavens,
And look on the earth beneath,
For the heavens
will vanish away like smoke.
The earth will grow old like a garment,
And those who dwell in it will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not be abolished.
Listen to Me,
you who know righteousness,
You people in whose heart is My law:
Do not fear the reproach of men
Nor be afraid of their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
and the worm will eat them like wool;
righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation from generation to generation."
The heavens may depart, and will do so; the earth will simply grow old, like a cat growing more rigid and meeting its time at last; but with or without it, what does it matter for those who have entered into the craft which is Christ, and closed the doors behind them, so that the space may collapse and the time be no more, yet He will keep what He has created, and to Him do they come, to Him who does not go, on the basis of His everlasting Gospel which is not only fashioned from of old, but maintained in its splendour for ever; for His Kingdom is the one which shall not pass away (Daniel 7:14,27, Revelation 14:3, John 10:27-28, I Thessalonians 5:9-10; Item 17, Barbs, Arrows and Balms).
When the world goes, it is well to be in the arms of the Eternal who made it, so that His new stage productions and arenas may be accomplished with joy, and... with HIM!
Therefore, so far from it being 'spiritual' to worship the earth, to be beholden to its sacred places as if they were divine, as aborigines may do on the one hand, and many a monistic physicist on the other, seeing supinely what is not there, as if in some way the breeze were the blower, the picture were the painter or the product were the producer; indeed as animism does more generally, and even Israel was prone to fall to. Thus in Jeremiah 2:26-27, we read:
"So is the
They and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets,
Saying to a tree, 'You are my father',
And to a stone,
'You gave birth to me.'
For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face,
But in the time of their trouble,
They will say, 'Arise and save us.' "
It is this
incredible blindness, way-shown by
It is then that the eternal clothing will be so beautiful, being more apparent then than now; for now it is as if in infra-red light at night that it is seen, but then, HE IS SEEN, face to face, and His light illumines all things (Revelation 21-22). Isaiah 61:10-11 tells us of this, as does Matthew 22 in terms of its absence! (22:1-14). But as to the former:
"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God,
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels,
For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
· So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations."
THE FALLEN STAR AND THE POWERS OF REGENERATION
Let us revert to the sobering calamities of the falling stars. Satan is the chief, when you look at the spiritual symbolism, and indeed is called, "Lucifer" son of the morning, the light-bearer whose light was taken lightly, as he became consumed with himself, corrupted by his own brightness, a spirit readily present in the Satanic kingdom of his kind (cf. Ezekiel 28:13-17, Isaiah 14:12), and slitheringly manifested in the Garden of Eden, as Ezekiel implies, and Genesis states.
Is there not a parable here, even from computers. A document may be marvellous, but alas, not properly based, may 'disappear' in a moment through some error; and then be recovered, and so marked. So it is with the Lord's people, for ALL have sinned, and those who do not NEED redemption are unredeemed, for the Lord did not come to save the righteous but sinners, firstly, and EXCEPT you drink His blood and eat His flesh (of course, the sacrificial elements of the lamb of the Old Testament applied in words that are "life" and "spirit" by Christ to Himself as in John 6:51 to the end of that chapter), YOU HAVE NO LIFE. NONE! You are either RECOVERED, or you have spiritually UNCOVERED, and the sight is not pretty! You are either redeemed or lost. The satanic pride is like a cancer, it is not at first seen, but unless the body be recovered from this blight, the end is sure.
The fallen angel however is in fatal case, and his wrath is great on the earth, for he knows his time is short (Revelation 12:7-17, esp. v.12). Meanwhile a star, another star, not the one of Revelation 8:10, which was physical and expressive of wrath and sin, but the one who is personal, falls from heaven (Rev. 9:1). It is so addressed, for "to him was given the key to the bottomless pit" - and from its surging destructiveness, of which our generation has seen much in the maiming and slaughter of countless millions, there come "locusts" of the strangest aspect. They seem like automata, yet there are elements like scorpion-esque stings which suggest life, and they have "faces" which are LIKE the faces of men.
Whether this star is Satan, which seems unsure, or a servant of God - in which case the term 'fallen' arouses some question - the star was SEEN as 'fallen from heaven to the earth', is not to the point. It is what he does which is important, and certainly that is sufficient to mark judgment of an epochal order.
Before we proceed with this, we should note that Joel has much to say about locusts, about their ravaging plagues seen in the light of the judgments which God saw fit, after much patience, to visit on Israel of old at the physical level. These are made to represent an "army" which marches with a sort of bloodless blight, an unmatchable onslaught immune to defence, and the reference rises to the height of "the day of the Lord". After this, we are introduced as we see in Barbs, Arrows and Balms, Item 23, to the Messiah and then to what in fact became Pentecost, when the Spirit of God is poured forth and the New Testament Church Age is indicated with the free access to God, and the presence of His power in His many peoples, till the end comes, and the day of judgment, always impending, arrives.
Here we are introduced, in Revelation 8, to the fulfilment of this archetype, to the answer to that image, to the judgment which they presaged, and the events for which they answered. The same sense of people being defenceless has added to it, the ghoulish horror of these things coming out of the specially opened pit, a bottomless one which signifies its intense evil in alienation from the Lord. The domain of the devil and the turmoil of sin is released into a world which has mocked the God who gave it safety and order, so that it may realise in its meddling aspirations for divine status, its vulnerability and the power of the Lord which had GRANTED it, even in its continuing sins, such stability to adorn its singular existence.
Thus these 'locusts' 'were given power' (9:3). Their mission is commissioned, their destruction is ordered, like viruses which are part of the curse on the earth. However, just as the people of the Lord enter into the rock, and shut the door behind them as we saw, so now, these locusts are "commanded" NOT to hurt any except those who lack the "seal of God on their foreheads". This may remind us that in Rev. 7:3 there was a stay in judgmental proceedings UNTIL "we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads". That in turn, related to 6:12ff., in which "there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood", while stars fall, perhaps asteroids, meteors of various shining sorts, a calamity of disorder to make the marked ordering of the Lord appear by contrast, to those who lives are disordered and whose faith is dead.
At once we wonder, CAN any then be still saved? Certainly, for Revelation 22:11 has no sooner said "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still", as if the finality of finalities is here (and it is looming, impending like a fall from a precipice), than we read a few verses later: "And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!". And let him who hears say, "Come!". And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely" - verse 17.
The former reminds one of that childhood game of "stand!" in which at a given moment, the one with the ball would command all seeking to escape to be still, while he/she would then throw the ball at the frozen participants in hope of a hit. You could not then move at all. So it will be when the doors are shut and the bridegroom has come (cf. Matthew 25:1-10). There is a time when he Great Physician operates, and there is time when it is too late. But UNTIL THAT TIME, there is always time. God loves to rescue, because He delights in mercy (Micah -20). His predestination is sure and none of His will be lost (Romans 8:28ff.).
The latter verse, Revelation 21:17 tells us of this, for all are urged to say, "Come!" even in the midst of the terminal calamities, even when the city of light is coming to its time and the denizens of darkness wail and curse. As to that, is it not singular, saddening and sobering, to reflect that EVEN IN THE MIDST OF THESE JUDGMENTS, there will be a certain terminal hardening in many, so that "the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk" - outside of course those sealed, and who "come" to the Lord in the robes of repentance to be dressed in those of salvation instead (Isaiah 61:10), to which we see reference from time to time. Assuredly, the mass of the earthlings are not disposed to repent.
Thus any reading this who have not repented with a repentance not to be repented of, should do so with heartfelt simplicity to the Saviour. These should now accept Him crucified, yes rather bodily risen in His overthrow of death, no longer the curse it was, since it is paid and cancelled as a calamity deserved, and for His, covered by Him, dismissed as without sting, overwhelmed with the resurrection, and devastated with the removal of guilt in the beauty of His innocence and the bounty of His ransom.
The universe is already in pains, and these mount, and will mount; but the scenario of stars is merely a phase in the plan of salvation, an astronomical reminder and an astral act, as the ends of the worlds come upon us, but the unity and oneness of the Lord shields those who are His in this most profound of tests, and most ample of scenarios.
The world is in
multi-dimensional pains and pangs, in which conscience and ruthlessness mix,
the one wounded, the other wounding, and some in such conflict that both occur
jointly in the one confused heart. The political is now so often corrupt that
top leadership in the art of effectual embezzlement, with outstretched hands
taking rewards for their duties, extraneous and enormous, is too common for
much comment. Economically, all the banking blitzs in the world cannot trouble
His, for though even now (Time
· in which some conceive that the software IS the money - "the distinction between software and money is disappearing" being one view -
· in which the monetary visionaries are already beginning to make of money an electronic digital PROCESS, so that it is depersonalised into an authorised emblem, and one is dispossessed in a schematised manipulative process, enabling ORDER and CONTROL to be paramount, and CHANGE readily performed at ANY level:
yet this grab is not the end.
It is merely one more trial (cf. Revelation 13:14-18 and SMR pp. 684-685, 906ff., 967-968), amidst the fraudulent religious clamour and claims, the false christs and the false prophets who populate the world like locusts. It will of course lead to that tight form of control in which finance is one means, politics another and the social spectrum of workers may constitute a third, as the human heart is drafted for control, control, control in the name of whatever false prophets of secularism, naturalism, humanism, New Age religiosity, combinations and permutations among many nations, may seem apt. Any idol will do, when the purpose is not to worship God.
THE LOVE AND THE
The fallen star releases much ado for this depersonalising process, this transcendental delusion mars the earth, and some seek to control all for the 'benefit' of all, and the fulfilment of their lusts. Meanwhile the love of God is in the most total contradiction of all these things. Not depersonalised 'control', already symbolised by those 'mind-affecting drugs' which roll so readily from the economising pockets of so many psychiatrists. Gone the aspirations of reductionism in Freud and Jung, gone the hopes of analysing it all nicely away: it is both too costly and too futile (cf. SMR Ch.4).
The love of God
releases not curses but cures, not control but metamorphosis, not authoritarian
manipulation but the grand design by which man is made again into the image of
Him who created him (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10 - the former verse being a
matter of putting on what is already constructed in God's regeneration, and the
latter of constantly being renewed into this image as one proceeds). It is not
a question of making the thing work, making man a manipulative medium for a
The contrast is complete. It is God or the devil, contrivance or conviction, purity or passion, imagination or reality, Christ or condescension by carnal and corrupt scorners who neither know nor can know the very meaning of love with its purity and splendour.
The kingdom of heaven, which now is, and the lands about it for the children of the covenant as they grow is pleasant indeed, as they are led towards the city itself of which they may become citizens, this is to become the kingdom of our Lord in which the tares, the weeds are no longer masquerading as crop. Meanwhile, this invisible kingdom has sway and sovereignty in the Lord, and such a Lord is He that His life is given in human form and format, no contrivance but pangs, not dissembling of power but dereliction on the cross in both expiating and expressing the nature of sin, in the eyes of the love of God.
The beauty of it is not least this: that the exposure IS the remedy, the one act both expressing in the deformations of His body on the cross, and the pangs of His spirit as He suffered vicariously for the sins of His own - and the Spirit and the Bride say 'Come!', you recall - is also the day of power in the resurrection. The payment complete, the power is released in the domain of love and peace, and His people who love Him and one another, become a new species on the earth.
The irony is this: it is what they should have been in the first place, without the deformities of sin. The wonder is however that the payment for the difference in the love of God makes people in the image of God real concerns of His. Within is the splendour and without is the wonder of God. He moves form within, and the kingdom of heaven, as He said, is within you - both in the spirit and in the midst. It is INSIDE. It is NOT a matter of "observation" (Luke -21). Events will indeed occur, but the seal of God on the foreheads of his people, which we noted earlier, is not electronic, it is spiritual.
This is the kingdom of liberty, for the Lord is loved, and God IS love, and the serfdom of sin no longer enslaves, and what we are made for is now what we are; and His servants shall serve Him. With the brilliance of crystal and the wonder of the depths which may there be seen in the gems of the earth, expressive of heavenly wonder (cf. Revelation 21), there is a love which knows no bounds. As Paul, speaking by the Spirit of God, puts it,
Ephesians 3:17-19 (cf. I Cor. 2:9-13, II Peter -16).