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CHAPTER 1

The Stark Reality of Remedy

 

Below is an excerpt from The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, Ch. 1, Section 2, which if desired may be read with the rest of it, starting at the beginning. Some new references are added.

It is necessary to consider, and reading the Preface of this volume first will help in this.

In the next Chapter, some more background will be given in terms of human liberty before God, indeed this is the task for the next three chapters. Within these, some burrowing into the correlate of liberty, remedy will occur, but the emphasis is on liberty. Then we shall plan to proceed to deepening the conception of the remedy which the Lord has provided, its necessity, its completeness, its beauty and its holiness.

The Junction of the Rushing Rivers
Reflection... Extension and Review... Summation and Consummation

We have now moved to the first aspect of our ascent. The high-sourced rivers rushing down from Everest, the great "I am what I am" (Exodus 3) may now be seen coming upon us, joining our search.

We have been moving up on one side of the mount in a gentle ascent. Now we shall turn, criss-crossing on our way up, dipping back for a moment, to see it all slightly differently from the other side, settling all these things in our minds as we go.

At the same time, we shall extend our view a little: on the created side, especially in space, time and biology; and from the abode of the Creator, in terms of unity and eternity. From this, having completed this movement of survey and review, we shall then be able to proceed in order to the marvellous matter of divine communication, studying this phase of the subject closely at the outset: with this, we shall be looking at the method of locating this communication. For anyone outside God, there is absolutely nothing more important than finding this communication, as it sets out the way to God Himself. It is like a map, but as many are not disposed to study it without gaining the logical view of the matter, let us ascend a little higher, until clearly this communication is seen before the eyes.

It is then that the view, already clear by that time in its outline, will be interpretable with certainty and with results of a character eminently satisfactory to reason, though by no means created by it. We are in the business of finding the map: not writing it!

Of necessity, then, some repetition will be here; but its purpose is one of summary, settling, review and extension, regarding things presented slightly differently... as in architectural drawings: now in more rapid survey, now in more detail.

Scouting on South Col1... an Elevated View

Considerations compelling one to God

In all scientific method, there is the need of a cause. When it is sought, an hypothesis is formed to provide an account, to develop the possible reason for whatever the matter before us may be. When some scientific hypothesis has been made to account for some phenomena, it is considered for what must logically follow. What are the implications, if this be so; what must be true ? Thus the road is opened for verifications - steps taken to check whether the theory does or does not work out. If the verification occurs, then the theory may be right; but if the verification does not work out, then the theory must be wrong. In that case, it must be rejected or reviewed, until its forecasts do in fact follow; until it is found to be accord with fact.

In all this, one thing must be clear: the assumed cause for the phenomena must be sufficient to produce them. If it were not, then of course the thing would not happen, and there would be no phenomena to investigate. This is known as the principle of sufficient causation. For every result in the scheme of things, you need a sufficient cause. On this is built our science. Our very minds are so adapted: if one tries to think of a cause for the way our minds work, then at once we are blocked - that is, a cause for this 'principle of causation' within the system. It could not itself be caused except by one who held such things in his power: for otherwise, we would be trying to account for it before it was supposed to exist.

What caused it, we would be asking, before such a thing as causation existed! Not a particularly brilliant procedure. That would in fact be self-contradiction, using what is to be explained for its origin, by first assuming it is squarely in operation. If now one contradicts oneself, there is small need for anyone else to do so!

Causation is inescapable as well as employed, with excellent effect, in science.

Thus we have looked first at the principle of sufficient causation
- secondly, we will consider the principle of law.

ln all physics and chemistry, in the very construction of matter, we find law. Even the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle appears merely to tell us that it is so hard to locate an electron that it will be moved in the effort to find it, so that in practice it is a hazard to locate; or to imply that matter waves do not necessitate a specific point location feature (*8). This however has nothing to do with any violation of the principle of law: it is merely telling us that the law is such that some things can not be done at the same time or in the desired manner. (This implies we are not God, but that is scarcely a revelation.)

The reason some things cannot be done... why is it so ? It is because of law, it is because it operates, not the reverse. Max Planck, in his book, The Philosophy of Physics is at pains to argue for the importance of law and cause and the precision with which law operates in the material universe. (Planck is famous for discovering various outstanding elements of atomic theory and is remembered by name in Planck's constant.)

There is a boiling and a melting point at given conditions, and all these thing do not change by chance; they are fixed and so is the impact of various conditions. Thus prediction becomes possible broadly and so rocketry gives its impressive testimony to the power of prediction available in the physical universe.

As science develops, this power increases; and so does the obvious indication of the presence of law in the physical universe: it is there, and yet again still there. Einstein was fascinated at the vast depth of law and pattern in the universe and at the Intelligence beyond our own, which this indicated. He declared (*9) this: " The scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation."

Law requires however, a cause. Is the existence of systematic regularity to be the result of nothing ? But nothing has no power to cause anything. That would be mere magic, not logic.

We are seeing where logic points us. Perhaps the cause of laws could be chance...? How would unsystematic irregularity, however, be the cause of systematic regularity! That is rather like arguing that a man won an Olympic Gold Medal because he had a fat stomach. It is like nonsense syllables, the opposite of what is needed.

What then ? A cause of systematic and pervasive laws is a law-maker. Examining the evidence by scientific method, we require a cause of laws; and that implies many qualities as a minimum.

Laws involve concepts, understanding: symbolic and physical aspects in the case of matter. Whatever else we may have to account for, this fact of systematic law in a systematic physical universe requires of us systematic input from a competent source. To have concepts, you need at least intelligence, logic, information storage. To cause them to exist in physical objects, you need mathematical ability, architectural, structural, engineering capacity; and you need power.

At once, we find a necessity for a mind and an intelligence and an imagination, and a power which is not a part of, but a cause of the physical universe. Let us put that a little differently: Matter has laws, and it keeps them. Yet it shows no power to make them, to legislate them or to construct them. The maker of matter cannot be made of matter, for if this were so, the maker would require a cause of the laws in his matter. Matter demands a cause; what is material is not self-sufficient! It does not have what it takes to make itself; nor is it enough merely to be by itself. Its cause must have this ability, however, if it is to account for matter. It cannot therefore be made of matter, being itself the creator of matter.

The consequence of this consideration... a spirit

The word usually employed for an intelligence not constructed in matter... is spirit. We have spirit; but the maker of matter would need to be spirit. The term normally employed is God. His is strictly necessary - His existence. It matters not in the least whether one chooses to believe in Him or not; He is and has to be there.

But for how long has He been there ? (Call it X if you prefer; it makes no difference what name is there; the reality is inescapable. As Shakespeare put it: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.) Suppose that at some time, t, He is there. Right: this is necessary in order to be logical. But what if at an earlier time t minus one, He (*10) were not there ? What then ? What indeed!

In that case, either nothing was there at t-1, or something not sufficient to account for the physical universe was there. Suppose it were nothing: but nothing has no past, no reality, no present and not (*11) any future. Yet this would not do: for the universe around us is here: and that would be a future indeed, from time t minus 1, with nothing! If on the other hand, something inadequate to produce this universe were there, then the universe could not come. That is the principle of sufficient causation. Thus a Spirit must have been there for all time. If at any time it were not there, or were not sufficient, then from no source could it gain sufficiency. We are, you will recall, dealing with the background to matter; and Spirit is required; and eternity is required for Spirit (cf. pp. 21 ff., 27 ff., 30 ff. supra also)

Of course, you might reason there might have been several co-operating spirits: but this will not do, if we are thinking of them as final and original beings. There would in that case have to be a system, we recall, in which they work together and a communication system; but that would require a cause; and then that cause would have to be God. In the end, there can be only one: one spirit for ever in this dimension.

That, of course, is exactly what the Bible has been saying for thousands of years. Robert Jastrow, the Director of NASA, the Space Research Centre in the U.S. has not been saying it for so long as that; but he wrote a fascinating article entitled: The Essential Elements In Astronomical And Biblical Accounts In Genesis Are The Same. In this, he showed how the universe cannot evidentially be thought of as still being created; it is there; and certain new data (*12) exactly verify the concept of an original coming to be in a vast explosion of power (*13), as the case for our universe. That however is not our point here, fascinating as such thought is. Even indeed the fact that the Director pointed out that we are led right back to God, of whom the theologians have been happily telling us for thousands of years. Now, he says, we are led there (belatedly in this generation, but interestingly) by science! : even this is not our main point. After all, Newton long ago elaborately passed in his treatises from the evidence to the Engineer and as scientist, proclaimed God; while others like Lord Kelvin and Michael Faraday strongly attested Him. What then is our point?

Simply this: matter requires a non-material cause and this requires one basic, everlasting Maker. Logically, there is simply no alternative. To escape, we have to deny both our minds (*14) and our evidence. Law is constantly present, intricately present, conceptually present, linked, aligned and available for investigation.

Mind

Our power to think involves analysis. As the famous Cambridge Professor, C.S. Lewis pointed out: It is one thing when he knocks out the ashes of his pipe, for them to fall after their manner, in effect simply obeying the laws of physics and chemistry. It is quite another for them to arrange "themselves into letters which read: 'We are the ashes of a knocked out pipe'..." (Christian Reflections,p. 64). After the style of 'cabbages and kings' in Lewis Carroll's delightful work on Alice in her Wonderland, C.S. Lewis observes: "It is as if cabbages, in addition to resulting from the laws of botany also gave lectures2 on that subject."

It is one thing to watch the particles of smoke from a pipe drift away, and to observe that they obey material laws. It is quite another to think that these particles will be able to set about giving a lecture on these same laws! The presence of law and obedience to it is one thing; analysis of laws and their expression in articulated word and definitive thought is another.

Matter lacks this power of analysis; it is analysable. What is the cause of this analytical, investigatory instrument called mind ?

Spirit

We have in addition to this power of mind, that of ignoring or even hating the power of mind. We may say: True, this is what my thinking shows me I ought to do; but I do not want to do it. We can break the analysis by action; we can break law; we can even break the very body in which these three marvels are found jointly at work: that is, matter, mind and will. We can will to do this or that and to break even the things we believe right. This, matter, cannot do; this is an entirely different power or freedom (*15).

Law is not the cause of freedom any more than chance is the cause of law.

It is best to remain logical and not magical.

The cause of it all

There could conceivably be three causes for these three things. This however, as before, would require a cause of the system in which they could co-operate and communicate. There has to be one cause of all this. It is normal to use the term God to refer to this. There can be no limit to God; for if there were, there would need to be a cause of it; and this would introduce the power behind it all. There is no limit, of necessity, to His power. He has to be eternal as we have shown. Thus there is an infinite, an eternal God. That is not new; but many lose sight of it, even if statistically they may seem to be but few of our number as a race.

The cause of the combining and the concept of synthesis

The cause of these three (*16) things is identified; and the cause of their being together, working in unison must also be faced. As before, this cause of the synthesis has to be one; and all must be forced to the beginning as one. The depth of the cause is now seen to be very great. Now observe that nothing (*17) outside the physical universe, would not affect the case - we are accounting for what is, not what is not. Something less than what we here know, would not affect it. That too would then require a cause as does the evidence of what we now see. (Interesting is the fact that chaos could not exist: if there were no continuity of anything, form would cease and so would existence. In that case, whatever might be affirmed would have to be denied; for as soon as one affirmed anything that was, that would go beyond the chaos that knows no constants! See pp. 258-270, 284-288 infra.)

Thus, that interlocking nexus of laws and form and analysis and will, all mutually unified, is as much a requirement for as is one part of it; and every part leads to God. How much more does it all! from wherever... AN EVERLASTING ALMIGHTY GOD IS NOT AN OPTION: IT IS INESCAPABLE.

Creator, creation and communication

Thus we have looked to the agent of the action of creation; and it is now time to look to the articulation of that agent, the communication of the creator. Back of creation is the Creator, and forward of the Creator is what He has communicated. Looking backward, we will now look at time space and eternity in a way which, like an arrow, will speedily allow us to come to our target: God communicated, as a proposition warranted by the evidence, one which we are logically compelled to accept.

Time, space and eternity

A little anti-conditioning exercise may prove helpful now in preventing custom from replacing thought in this subject. Let us ask a question: Will the Empire State Building construct itself (*l8)... unaided in 1000 or 1 000 000 years any more easily than in one year ? (Actually it could almost be harder because in the longer period, the processes of decay would have more time to attack any part on the way... before they would all be prepared and ready... Try leaving building materials on site...) Time gives no pattern that is not in some way written in, programmed, prepared, thought out in the first place. Builders are not paid for nothing. There must be grounds to come and grounds to stay on the part of any construction.

Dr A.E. Wilder Smith, a U.S. University Professor of eminent standing as a teacher, has pointed out that if some cards containing his initials - one per card - that is, A E W S, were to be dropped from an aeroplane over the Lake of Thun, then they would spread out in a disorderly way on the ground. True, boy scouts with purpose and intelligence might rush about, collect and order the cards... (Man's Origin, Man's Destiny, pp. 66-70).

However, someone may say: Give them time, these cards, and they will, all by themselves get the pattern AEWS and display it on the ground in a neat and orderly fashion... What then ? Does more falling time help order ? Not at all - it merely makes the more sure that what is in the system is what will appear. Thus all the cross currents of winds and so on will have more time to scatter the cards further: for these winds are not programmed to create the order in question. Will then time create order which the system does not at first possess ? On the contrary, it shows the more completely what is in the system... and what not. The scattering is more complete in time: for more undirected forces add power to disorganised dispersion. On the other hand, for new order, you need not time, as the agent, but a programming or control of forces towards the end in view... and in that connection is the little order... AEWS. You need forces programmed or controlled by intelligence and purpose. Is it not simple?

Time (*19) does not add pattern, program or purpose, or indeed power that was not there in the first place, visible to sight or in ordered or ordering assemblage. In the beginning, all the ingredients have to be prepared, assembled and set down in the order chosen... whether it be atoms, electrons, form, laws, code of life as in DNA, in the way preferred by that intelligence: basic forms of life with code and controls of one kind or another. They may then work themselves out on the prepared basis.

As to the actual order chosen, it is of interest to note that on the usual geological theory (though it is only a theory), most of the basic life forms appear suddenly (yes most!) in the Cambrian (*20) period, including highly advanced forms, complete with variety. Nor is this a late Age in the assumed sequence, but a very early one. This at once conflicts with the way in which it was imagined creatures made themselves, and the stages by which they were imagined to have made themselves, and the entire orientation in which all this was conceived. Such is life! It is however better to stay with the facts.

That, then is how the usual view of geology relates to the matter: there is this suddenness. that in turn is natural if it is a prepared assemblage. It is however a nightmare for the view that time creates things just by sticking around.

Whatever the order chosen, however: matter and life program, law and form, mind and spirit are constructions of whatever is sufficient to make them; and of course the maker makes them how and when and as slowly or as suddenly as He pleases. (We tend to do the same with our own creations, when we humans are creative: except that our limited power prevents some efforts. The principle however is there).

It is time for an overview. The forms of mind, matter, will - these are not sufficient to make themselves. What basis then for even matter with its extreme order and law-abiding quality, may be found ? It does not show a mind in it to create the laws it keeps! It is bound to keep them, no sign of creative power to the point being seen. It is not sufficient for itself. How much less so is man... who does not yet even understand his own brain, that masterpiece of miniaturised complexity... It needs a basis. As matter cannot account for itself, what does account for it, then ? It cannot be matter; must be non-matter which so answers. It may be deemed spirit, as that is the word which has that designation; and it must have mind.

LAWS REQUIRE COMPREHENSION: THAT REQUIRES NO LESS THAN MIND. THEREFORE - A SPIRIT WITH MIND IS NECESSARY.

Matter, mind, will - all require a basis which is sufficient for them. You do not get something from nothing, or from something which is not sufficient for all the results. It must be there, the cause, and it must be sufficient... or no go. Neither time + nothing, nor time + Something inadequate for all this... will do. You need indeed the cause of time itself (*21) as well as of the types of thing presented over time. For this, then, mind + will + purpose acting together is a minimum; and these things are needed, this is required before the things we see, but which cannot make their own laws, before matter - for example - can appear. This is a matter of the principle of sufficient causation, which is central to all science.

The Bible, let us remark, says - the world's most famous book this century sent into space as the only representative of our civilisation - the Bible says: "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which appear."

(That is in Hebrews 11:3... and Hebrews 11:6 tells us that "He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him". Since He is, let us be diligent.) This is of course exactly what one would be led to expect. Reason confirms what revelation provides in this vast matter.

Communication of the Creator

Nor has God allowed the freedom He made for man to be used to produce a mass of lies and injustice... and done nothing. He did not do nothing at the beginning, nor did He at the end. Let us consider this aspect (*22), let us indeed be diligent.

Truth is what God has done, and justice is what is natural to what He made. Contradict that or break the other and you declare war on God. Such war is always raging on earth: and in one sense, you might well say: It looks like it!

If God let all this be, let it alone, He would allow all He is (*22) and does to be contradicted and squashed, times without number, beyond recognition. It would contradict Himself.

Yet there is a solution. Let us think. That solution has been here and been the point for thousands of years. Godcould of course remove the freedom He has given to men: Hecould make us, if He chose, merely programmed in mind as well as in matter. He has not done so. Men tend to make mistakes, unlike matter; and even machines do not err in this: they carry out their specifications to the tune of their material components perfectly - though indeed, they do not always do what their inventors may have wished. Now this! it is merely one more illustration of the errors of men, which they have in complete contrast to matter. (In fact, as we know, some men make mistakes on purpose amidst their frustrations and evil aims. They have not only a mind, but a spirit in their magnificent masterpiece: that trilogy, that walking laboratory, called man.)

Very well: God could but did not make us have no freedom, no will, be wholly programmed, forced to be good; indeed, if we were so forced, then goodness would have no meaning - we would be a human expression of mere compulsion.

The other action that would prevent the impasse with God is this: God could remove the world. He could remove our power to will or remove us altogether. Neither of these has as yet happened, although Biblically it is true that the world is to be removed in due course, though not imminently, as Jesus said (Matthew 24:35).

These not being done - there is one other avenue. God could tell us the remedy, and allow freedom to exist, in some sense in the presence of the remedy. I am not contradicted if I choose to allow a student to learn through errors: only if the situation prevents my standards. (Cf. *7, p. 1163A; *1, p. 1174B infra.) The solution is scarcely new; nor is man; nor are his problems; nor is his refusal in vast numbers, to have any part in the solution.

SECTION 3
God Has Communicated

The ensuing pages, 44-47 provide a fuller treatment of the new elements of what has just more summarily been done; but it may be well to recapitulate and extend a little more formally, before proceeding to the answer to the pressing questions:

-What did he say ? - and Where are the remedies ? (Refer Index: Remedy.)

The point to be developed in this section however is essential, and it is this: You don't have to guess what God wants; He has said it.

Four preliminary considerations conjoin to one conclusion:

l. God, we showed, does not lie.
But men lie (so often that people sometimes make the reflection temporarily evinced in the record of Psalm 116): "I said in my haste: All men are liars..." Because of this fact and by this means, men frequently falsify reality.
Hence men in this way deny what God desired and decided (whether as His judgment or kindness...), and thus, they war on Him.

2. God does not, in particular, perpetrate inequity... do unjustly: for that would be untruth in relationships. That would be contrary to the truth which God composed in making man upright, or in accord with His own principles; though man is able, because of freedom, to misuse this facility.
True: Without reference to absolute standards, to reality itself, the rationale of equity is deficient for man. (This of course can easily be found when God is found.)
However at once it is evident that inequity seen in associating a punishable offence with an innocent party (e. g. you kill someone but say that someone else did) is relatively clear.
Such attachment contrary to fact and contrary to true relationship, such reversal of reality relative to the innocent and the guilty or any other parties, represents a vital contradiction of God.
God makes the form of things which inequity caricatures, trifles with or denies. He is not for what is against His word and works. If He were - His due judicial activity apart, relative to His works - He would be a sort of celestial schizophrenic, at war not only with reality but with His own constructions. Hence this - inequity - is against God. He is against it; and it represents war on Him.

3. God we said is not subject to internal war, strife, clash, fruitless tension and frustrated militancy; thwarted, aborted or dissipated might is excluded.
But men and nations on this earth are often clashing, with all the above indicia (indeed and again, so often that this almost becomes characteristic).
Hence men actualize what is contrary to the nature of God; and are in essential collision with Him in kind.
You will recall that this passes no judgment on war, given the state of the world; merely on the state of the world, given war.

4. God does not, we see worry (He wants ? He gets). In any case He knows.
But men worry (again with almost customary and characterisable concern or even anxiety).

In this, they exhibit an attitude to the creation, contrary to God's own; and since God has a will, this is in contradiction to God's personal determinations. Worry is a qualitative phenomenon available for a being with will, but one contrary to God's own nature.

It is the case that men futilely strive very often for what they continually feel essentially baulked and frustrated, even in seeking.

As for God, He does not have to fight (to take the internal case) against His 'inherited' nature; for He does not inherit; as for man, he inherits and has collisions, both within and without, expressive of anti-coordination with the determinate (definite resolved and assured) will of God.

There is plenty of reason for man apart from God to worry; but it is an aggravation of the conflict with the quality of God, for any to embark into it. It is like bacteria, following and aggravating a virus infection. That would be a possible illustration.

This then is another collision with God, at the general level.

We need not stress that God makes; men desecrate (e.g. murder, libel; and you could add lying to that list, because this desecrates the truth). We need not underscore that this is a declaration of war on God; but we had better be sure we say it.

God wants it thus - whether in judgment, or any chosen vein and purpose; men deny that it has become condemnable, whatever it may be, in lying about the fact. The term 'sin' is widely unacceptable terminology... That is all war against His way, shown by His action, represented by the case. Certainly His decisions about what to do about men are part of the situation; certainly His disciplines are there; but these too He wills. There is hence currently widespread war against, and departure from God; by governments not a few, and men, men.

You would expect the consequential worry: for beings capable of choice and alternate action, opt for what is contrary to God's will; and contrary to certain of His obvious attributes; and you would anticipate certain difficulties about discerning what to do! (God indeed is a fearful One to even try to cross, and far more, to baulk, mock, ignore or derogate.)

War with and on the Almighty is deduced. . . Either God will remove this war on His will; or else will will its remedy (and being Almighty, hence provide this same remedy with total irrepressibility). Remove or remedy. But God has not yet removed (although of course, it is true the promise is recorded in the Bible that the world and its ways will be removed - II Peter 3, Matthew 24:37, Isaiah 51:6). See also pp. 86-101,127, 316C, 327-328, 348-350, 590-594, 623-631, 683, 872-873, 1002A, 1009-1010, 1074-1082 infra.

It follows with necessity, there must be a remedy from God.

From the first contrariety-on-the-part-of-man-towards-God (call it sin would you, it is so much easier than cotpomtg)... God has had motivation and power to remove or remedy it. Guile is unnecessary and lying is out. The result must be obtained and its negation must be avoided, and by how much more, not increased! Where then is the remedy ? True, if there were none, that would disprove the argumentation. On the other hand, if such be found and be confirmed by suitable indicia, then the argumentation is independently confirmed by this result.

Your reasoning is false you say, if the remedy is not present. Agreed: but then one proposes and asserts and declares that there is such a remedy; further that it is recognizable; and finally one might add that it is compellingly so; but for shortness it suffices to show it is recognisable; which is all one needs to do.

Communication

Some people faced with such a necessity for such a remedy, might take sleeping pills or see a psychiatrist; but that merely evidences their lack of power or perception, or both or more. With God, such weakness and dullness is excluded. To the task.

If, to be realistic, you wish to communicate, doubtless you will ensure that what you want to say is essentially clear (that is if you have the ability even for this: God has). If you wish people to identify you as the spokesman for any reason (e.g. you are the boss, or she is your wife, etc.), you will ensure that what you say in some way makes this clear... once again, if you are able; and once again God is.

If God wishes to communicate, He will make it clear; and if He wants to identify Himself as the author of what is said, He will do so effectively (e.g. so that people at all interested in God, won't get Him confused with the devil, or some government, or some off-the-rails "church" or whatever else may from time to time aspire to supreme authority, without Him). If He wants to make a remedy He must, by virtue of the case communicate, and identify Himself. He must; He can; He will. It is of course true He might have preferred destruction at once, rather than any remedy; as some men do, and some seem to do in positions of power... but He did not.

Communication then will be available, will be clear, will be in His own name as supreme, will represent exactly what He wants, will give reason for acceptance as His.

This communication with remedy, then, follows from who He is.

Reason: even a child if it breaks a parent's rule, does not know of itself, what to do, to secure forgiveness and remedy; that is, if any should happen to be available (by itself, it does not even know that!). How much more does finite man need to be told BY infinite God, sinning man by almighty creator God, what to do to secure forgiveness (assuming any to be available); and what remedy there is (if any).

You cannot predict the way a person may decide that of course; far less if He is infinitely superior to you in mind, and moreover the Maker of your very basic mental constitution. You cannot. You need to be told. If you are not told, you do not and cannot know. Don't, by the way, try telling a man to whom you owe money whether and when and on what terms to forget it!; and certainly don't try telling God. (Some political associations have actually tried this toward man at least, making their own guilt illegal to consider; but I still don't recommend it for men. It savours somewhat of splendiferous conceit; and it is not even possible with God to read His mind; it is infinitely impossible to 'extract it' without His will, by which He communicates what He will.)

The motive to speak, to communicate definitely; the power to do so, we have noted. It is now enough to see where it is, this communication-with-remedy. It must be that God has spoken with clarity. Where ? that is the question. Life will assuredly depend on it, rather than on this or that human program with high arrogance leaving the offended Creator to cope... with man's callow and often callous conceptions. The coping will be man's, and yes, it already is. God's mind must be sought; His word found.

SECTION 4

Reason and Revelation

Identifying The Remedy

Now it is good here to give a caution. Certain attributes necessarily present in the dignity of God are clear; and we have noted this; but the inner plans and provisions cannot be elicited by reasoning. We have shown this above also. These must and can only be found by His expression of them. We must not aspire to predict them, any more than predict certain specific features of His willing. Just because His divine nature and eternal power are clear, let us not assume we can tell Him what to think. Just because He has not destroyed the race,and cannot be implicated in our contradictions of His obvious divine nature, so that a remedy must be available,lest man trample on His Name and nature: we need not imagine what He has to say is predictable. It is predicable to God, and not to man.

First, His is the offended life, He specifies the damages or conditions, and He alone; second, His is the mind, He knows, while we are but finite; third, He is the Creator, we the creation; fourth, we are involved in imperfection, our equipment is soiled, spoiled in part, and unreliable, even if we were mad enough to play psychiatrist to the infinite God, as if to etch forever our pride and folly before the universe, as the race of madmen.

Just because His divine nature and eternal power are clear, as Paul also affirms, let us not assume we can tell Him what to think. It is just a trifle more presumptuous, perhaps, than usual, for men to relate thus-wise to God.

Where are the remedies ?

We have the shoe... where is the foot ?

We are busily engaged (more profitable, if not yet done, than the rewards of 'profitable business') in looking about for some communication-with-remedy (CWR) from God; which forces US to check what is available for consideration, whether this be genuine, or that. It must, we have seen, be recognisable as communication from God, be explicit, not a mere mannishness of manner from sinners. Self-assertion, romancing, hope or presumption on the part of one person, does not constitute communication from another! This is if possible, more emphatically so when the topic is being forgiven for offences committed!

It may come as a surprise to "educated" people (sometimes one wonders how near the line is coming to permit identifying at least some of the "education" with "brain-washing", in that so much is so often assumed without reason; and education has fashions no less than do women's clothes)... a surprise to educated people I say, some of whom may have been brain-washed in part and thought it an inward cleansing... Yet the fact is there are few contestants for this honor of revelatory remedy. That you see is what we are forced to look for. Verification is demanded here. We must look.

Claimants to the place of settled and permanent-style revelation of the changeless God ?... few indeed of these there are. In a way, you could expect that. It is easier to talk about God, than to speak for Him. (Consider the case with your neighbour or when young, your teachers... it is easier to talk about them, than to speak for them; or to imitate them-successfully that is!) Thus people with God, don't of themselves often try it. Just now and then they may; for God we have begun to find, is very great.

Three Contestants

Moslemism, Judaism, Christianity (well Mohammedanism is so long).

In speaking of "Christianity" of course, we do not speak of all that glitters or calls itself so; but of whatever in that sphere may logically qualify for consideration as the remedial communication of the changeless God. Further, if in this sphere we relate to Jesus Christ, we will have to consider the historical one, as God is inimitable both in the mind and in the action of men; and if He indeed came as God, it is useless to talk in confused terms of ideas and contradictory schools. Either we have it or not. With anything precious, you will expect jewel thieves. Anyway, let us be perfectly systematic, and consider these fields for meeting the necessary case which activates our search.

But first, let us be assured... are there indeed no other contestants at this level, to qualify as the necessary divinely given communication about remedy in God's name?

That is our defined quest.

Dropouts

Some might plead for Confucius, in this area. But in this context he does not even really make the claim: he noted or acquiesced in a divine lawgiver spirit, but personally was trying to give a social, family and such-like behavioural rule, or note for conduct. He did not enunciate for God as God... that is, convey, as God's words - what he claimed to be enunciations from Him.

This he did not do. He did not try to speak as God or for God with God's words.

Then there is Buddha, true; but then he held there was no God, no divinity such as we have seen must necessarily be; so that it would indeed be difficult to speak in the name of someone whose power to speak, indeed to exist, you deny... Of course, some Buddhists now evidently worship Buddha... which does not improve their total case! From the unspeakable and speechless to the speaking, from the... silence back of beyond, to the apotheosis of Buddha who left so silent a legacy in this area: this is quite a development! (See more on the detail of this basic atheism with its leader mentally machine-tooled by some, into divinity of some kind: Chapter 10, pp. 995-1026 esp. 1011 ff. infra.)

Without more ado, here, however, in this sequence of thought, we need merely note this: you do not have reported speech from the changeless god... through Buddha.

HINDUISM for its part, has many gods - which is impossible, as has already been shown; and it also has them evolving and so on; which is impossible; and they certainly cannot speak as one with their quarrels and their variable developments and manifestations. (For data and work on such varied apotheoses and developments: see Chapter 10, pp. 995-1008 and Index: Hinduism.)

In this religion, we find a kaleidoscope of the speculatively unknown, possessing by no means any unitary and changeless authority... that it might distinctively and expressly record His unchallengeable and sovereign utterance. Having no such source, the religion has no such word from that source. From this source then, Hinduism, can come no such word when it does not even have the necessary God, one vocal, sovereign and solely articulate God in order that He might thus surely speak.

While it is true that this religion has some fascinating parallels to atheistic Western thought, suitably dynamised into appropriate seeming myths (as we may see infra in Ch. 3 and Ch. 10 Section 1 and supra in Ch. 1, pp. 3-10 supra), this is scarcely a site for sovereign utterance from the only God. That however is what the case requires.

Hinduism is more a philosophy and meditation and mystic myth making. Struggling with polytheism on the one hand, and trying so much as to express a silent ultimate on the other, Hinduism fails utterly to qualify as God speaking, as God to man with remedy from His sovereign splendour, even in claim; let alone the changeless, revealed, almighty and only God. (See Ch. 10, especially pp. 993 ff. for review of such non-vocal mysticism. Philosophic Western parallels such as appear in some measure, without the explicit myth aspect, are considered in Chs. 3 and 10, and pp. 850, 857-873 infra.)

SHINTOISM has, for its part, as a religion, a certain veneration for the State it is true (which may signify how things have changed for many), and for heroes (bearing some plausible analogy to some Hindu godlets) and that sort of thing: but it is not a question even of God, the only God, declaring himself and His remedy. In this highly pertinent respect, it resembles Hinduism.

The Emperor too, had some trouble in showing any almightiness after the last war, which wasn't the best for the matter in hand. From all these points, relative to our quest, there are, you see, problems...

Hitler did not turn out a very good "God" either; nor for that matter did Stalin, both of whom seem to have had certain thoughts in that direction (and perhaps more formally so, in the latter case at least, than many imagine!). Mortality having intervened unpleasantly, their gods of forces (to use the Biblical phrase from Daniel) and the forces of their 'gods' (suitably enshrined in philosophic language) lie buried with them. By the way, it is in the Bible that we read: "Will you yet say before Him who slays you, I am God ? But you will be man and not God, in the hand of Him who slays you" (Ezekiel 28:9).

It is true; these other characters too, they all die and stay very dead. We need not spend time on them. The word of the living God must come from what lives.

PHILOSOPHY, for its part, does not even agree about what it would say if it were agreed it were "God" - something which it is not at all agreed about; so philosophy goes out too... in some ways, an ideological parallel to the more "theological" Hinduism in its more abstruse moments, moving, varying, symbolising, rationalising, a kaleidoscopic pageantry of movements... of what ? Assuredly, not the word of the God . . . What then can join the contest to be called the remedial revelation of the living God ?

The three

(1) The Moslem Religion

(consult  Indexes, and more recently, More Marvels Ch. 4 with Divine Agenda Ch. 6).

(See infra: pp. 91-94, 701, 827-831, 842, 986-996, 1032-1033, 1080-1082, 1176-1186C.) Muhammad, of course did not claim to be God. That helped to this extent, that death did not destroy it all. However he did in due course make it clear that people should be forced to believe, in various cases, whatever it was he thought it would be a good idea to believe, what he said "God" had said and so on. Evidently, he opined (*23) that a sword would be good means of converting people (it does, oh voice-sore parsons, save the voice, though hard on the message of those wielding it).

Force is no remedy however; for if God had wanted to get what He wants with men by force, He need only have made them puppets; denied them will; or killed them Himself effectively! (and not so ineffectively as the Moslems did, who probably did not remove that way, more than a few millions; leaving so many over... suggesting they were not working with all power, which is something God, for His part, has). Force cannot provide the remedy, or be it; though it can speak judgment; but if it is the answer, it must prevail. Of such a kind, however, this world is not! nor has the Almighty so conducted history. So the Moslem "faith" cannot be from God. One almost feels like saying, "Sorry it is so simple." Yet one is not indeed sorry; for it ought to be simple; for that is one showing of the fact: God has made it clear.

Incidentally, one must here make the distinction between war as war, or for punishment, and war with the objective of securing 'conversion'; a Moslem specific. Force is alien to such a result, a debasing misnomer. Nor does it help the record that the 'Christ' of the Koran is biographically 'rebuilt' some 600 years after the event by the imagination of Muhammad, with his own varied new specifications, such as non-deity and variable seeming versions of... His death (Surah 4:157-158, 43:51-70). One could imagine the free marketeer Professor Friedman if he were so minded, rebuilding Marx in that way.

But as to physical force, the less subtle variety, it is no remedy for the heart and ways and wills of man. Death in particular is not a useful remedy when each party matters, and we are dealing not with justice for crime but therapy for souls. In looking for the revelation with remedy, then, we do not find it where force may be used as a criterion, and we wish to emphasise that. Judgment will come, and current instalments of it may come; but in the meantime, we are investigating the place of remedy and where it may be found! (John 3:17, on the contrary, broadcasts just this.)

There is also the question: What of the time before Muhammad the man ? We do not find a body of historical literature representing God before that time, one clearly conveying His mind to men, in this particular model... I mean the Moslem model. But since God had the motive and the power... before Muhammad - this is fatal to the claim Muhammad made. You recall perhaps the Old Testament in this connection (which the Moslems cannot have, since it does not agree with them).

You may recollect indeed that in addition to the (anticipated and, in turn, verificatory) fact that the Old Testament has a consistent and continual revelation, there is a reference to God's remedial and revelatory activities from the time sin began, within its pages and its record. This is to be expected, such an expression! On the one hand, then, the absence of such a constant and definitive revelation disqualifies (not again ? but yes!) the Moslem position; and on the other, the presence of the same in the Old Testament verifies with great and almost effusive precision, the Biblical claim both over against the Moslem and toward God. (Cf. pp. 68-70, 1002A-1003.)

Then there is the point of identification. There are with the Koran and Muhammad, no rational grounds why one should believe that God gave birth to the Koran as His diction. I am not going to descend to talk about its contradicting itself in various accounts of the creation and so on (there is such a thing as being invidious); it is just that it does not have indices which compel the view... to say no more... that God is back of it; and furthermore, God (and even this is an understatement) is inordinately distinctive. On the contrary that religion and "revelation" could equally well have Muhammad back of it, per se; and this does not only refer to the massacres and the plunders performed by this expansive "prophet", but to the rational grounds such as might, but do not in fact at all, constrain to the acceptance of his utterances as explicit oracles, as determinate communications from Almighty God.

When we, however, communicate, and wish it to be clear we said it, we take steps to identify with precision (we do this, for example, when writing cheques even when the fate of the world, or even of anyone in particular does not hang on it). Communication with identification, performed with all power has to be effective as such.

Thus the Koran falls again and irremediably. Only in total defiance of all reason could it ever be accepted. (Cf. Chapter 10, Section 1 B infra, pp. 986-993.)

Christ did say, on the other hand, that false Christ and false prophets would come (Matthew 24:5,11 - the Jews had such 'dreamers' ... Jeremiah 14, 23, Ezekiel 13-14), and this Muhammad set himself up in terms of a prophet, remaking religion. Indeed that fits also, and confirms from Christ's lips hundreds of years before, the warning against just such copying of divine diction (which of course Muhammad and the Koran are exposed to be, or to promote). It alerts us to realise afresh that if God says it, it must be clearly His. Again, you would expect such a thing, too, as that warning from Christ, as surely as He was the living word of God, as He claimed.

In fact, it shows the comprehensive and sovereign sufficiency of this Person to cover the coming misuses of the palette of presumption; it accentuates the incisive impact of His utterance (of which anon): and that is still further verification of Him. When communication must clearly distinguish itself, even verifiability becomes a verification. Due fulfilments, as have occurred and are exemplified with the Christ derogating claims of Muhammad, verify further.

What the opposition would do is demarcated in advance, in a spoken word which details the enemy moves before they can enact them. As we shall see, the 'many' (false prophets predicted by Jesus Christ, as to come) transcend merely Muhammad, who was only one, but not the facts! Relative to, and subsequent to Christ, we will find, false prophets have in fact swarmed! Muhammad however is categorised, his case is covered by Christ, and with it the scope of many such cases and their multiplication. (See Chapters 9, 10 infra.) In terms of the Bible, moreover, Muhammad is in catastrophic collision with Jesus Christ (John 14:6, Galatians 6:14), denying both His sole mediation of mercy, the crucial means, and the sole avenue to God through Him.

Now you may say: why refer to Christ so soon ? but you see, in checking the objective criteria on what fails even in advance, you are alerted to topics to come from another contestant. Grounds of exclusion of the one alert the mind to the use of them by another, so that they do not exclude but include, are in fact barriers at once overcome; and their height merely designates the champion.

But first, while on the Old Testament more particularly, we turn to Judaism. We do so with utter despatch; for any one point incisively checked and decisively failed in the Moslem claim, ends it. However, it really presented several such points, each clear and each fatal; but any one point being enough, we'll spare time and proceed at once to Judaism. (For further detail, see review pp. 986-993 infra, and Index.)

Before we do so, however, it is of some interest to wonder whether Muhammad qualifies as a false Christ (as predicted for many) as well as for a false prophet.

Muhammad claimed to be the very latest, bringing express and new sanctions to to bear on the earth which had known Jesus Christ, but which now found this mouthpiece bringing definitive and defiant doctrines with no limit! In that sense, yes, he is a false Christ as well as a false prophet.

What he lacks in power and personality (himself acknowledging indeed the sinlessness of Jesus as a distinctive phenomenon!), in prophetic majesty (fulfilling no authenticating role from scripture for his part, not at all), in sacrificial scope (others died in his wars, not he), notwithstanding: he yet did seek to displace as the latest, the Christ whom the Old Testament presented as God (see Ch.'s 6 and 8-9, and esp. 286 ff., 294 ff., and 319 ff.), as both ultimate, unchanging and unsurpassable (Psalm 72, 11, 14, 17- 45:6 Isaiah 59:20-21, 42:6, 40:10-11, Micah 5:1-4, Daniel 2:35, 44, Jeremiah 33:20 ff., Malachi 3-1-6). And so Jesus Christ presented Himself (John 14:6, 9, 5:19-21), indeed as the final judge of men (Matthew 7:22 ff.). In the midst of Muhammad's claims, however, this did not figure. He neither claimed to be, could claim to be, had the power, even the self-evaluation to be... God. Doubly false, therefore, is his seeking of substitution of his own words and ways in competition with those of Christ, rather than in subjection.

There are not two Lords, two Gods; and what acts as if to displace the one who is, is a false Christ. Inadequacies for the post merely accentuate the error: challenge to and competition with Jesus Christ make any such character, in Christ's terms, a false Christ (cf. John 14:6, 10:8, 14:30, 5:19-23, Matthew 7:21-23, 24:23-26,31-32, 37,42,44,46, Luke 21:8,33,36). He declared: "I am come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive" (John 5:43). Again, "For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son: that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father... The hour is coming, in which all who are in the graves shall hear His voice, and will come forth... to the resurrection" (John 5:22,23,29).

As for the God of the Bible, He has made it clear, He has no plans of being surpassed or superseded, and having come, He does not plan to make place for another! (cf. Zechariah 11:12-17), but rather merely to allow the devastations of the diabolical to have their place for their day. Thus Isaiah 9:6, having decreed the birth of the wonder child, the Messiah, notes: "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom... from henceforth and for ever" - Muhammad is not known to Him, but only the Messiah, in the context of remedy for man; and as to the Messiah, He is both predicted in detail and Jewish... None of this does nor can Muhammad fulfil, nor did He; whereas Jesus Christ was meticulous in ensuring fulfilment of all the scripture concerning Himself (hundreds of items are involved, prophetic reference upon reference in the Old Testament - cf. Luke 24:25-26, Matthew 26:52-54, Luke 12:50, 9:51-56, Mark 15:28; and see pp. 755-769, 936-946 infra).

Thus Muhammad qualifies doubly by the authority of Christ as false; as well as through the criteria, themselves decisive, already reviewed. He is wholly immiscible with the Bible, condemned by Jesus Christ and qualifies both as false prophet and false Christ in the predictive words of Jesus Christ.

Rejected by reason as the bearer of the word of God, he is then also in conflict with the Bible, Jesus Christ, His gospel, while verifying at the same time two of Christ's rationally investigable predictions. Fatal as well relative to our quest for the bearer of the word of God, is the circumstance that Muhammad had no remedy to offer, but a hope for a future based on the pass rate for works done on this earth, (what of 49.9%?) thus failing to match the requirements that guard the eternal power and nature of God. No power to remedy is offered, only some hope of escape.

Remedy as such, however, is the only logical alternative to conflict with the very character of God, with His illimitable righteousness and power. For all these reasons, the Mohammedan religion fails to meet the test; and any use of force relative to the forwarding of that religion, whether in holy wars for its honour or other violence, is merely another rational ground of exclusion, a further violation of requirements for authenticity.

We must now see whether there is any contestant which not only offers rational grounds for credence, so identifying the speaker as God, not only avoids the use of force in the area of remedy for man's sin (as distinct from judgment on it), but actually both provides a remedy to the malady of man, his collision with God, and supplies power over sin and satisfaction for it.

Sparing time, then, but not without some amplification of review, we turn to...

(2) Judaism

Here I have sympathy. They are so very right in so many ways. They do have this concerted, consistent, age-old Old Testament with its references to revelation in a consistent and rational way from the very beginning of human sin, such as we have noted: that is truly great, meeting some necessities of the case. Indeed, here is one necessary index of authenticity. It is of course true that the Christian faith has the same Old Testament. We will therefore need to see if there are any ways in which we can separate these two contestants; for they can't both be right, in that one says the Person whom the other calls God (Jesus Christ is that person - cf. John 8:42-44), simply... isn't. And that is a fairly wide difference, when the question turns on who God is, you see.

Of course it would be quite in order to note a singular and interesting fact here. The Old Testament does talk of a time, before the Messiah (Christ) brings back Israel, when sacrifices are in, orderly, divinely prescribed; but the Jews don't now have them. Further, when sacrifices were in, they were prescribed for the Temple (*24), but the Jews don't now have such a Temple operational. It follows that either the absence of their Temple sacrifices is a discipline of God to them (more especially during their long exile from Jerusalem itself! with its Temple site); or that such sacrifices are no longer specified for them. After all, God, you recall, has all power, so that nothing He wants will fail for lack of it!

It is of course true that in the Old Testament there is reference to a time of such discipline to come (Hosea 3:4-5, cf. Leviticus 26); and that this is said to result from a kind of national spiritual adultery relative to God, a point which the prophet Hosea made in a most vivid manner, by divine direction (Hosea ch. 3, cf. Ezekiel 23).

Similarly Isaiah 65 reveals a national, obdurate provocation to God associated with His being "found of those who did not seek Me" (65:1). As to the backslidden Israel, He ascribed His not being found by "a people who provoke me continually to my face" (65:3), to "your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers" (65:7).

Deeming this nation "those who forsake the Lord" (65:11), despite their elevated spiritual past, in that "when I spoke, you did not hear" (65:12), God, with stinging deprecation, turns our attention from Israel with a vivid contrast, to the people yet to be favoured, and not hitherto so favoured, saying with alternate exultation and execration:

Behold my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry... behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed: behold my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall wail for vexation of spirit. and you shall leave your name for a curse to my chosen: for the Lord God shall slay you, and call his servants by another name (65:13-16).

To this is added a divine rebuke of monumental rigour (Isaiah 30:8-9), removing for ever any thought of Israel as such being a base for blessing. The new criterion is the Messiah Himself, and whoever will receive Him. You see there is a certain differentiation not merely between former bounty given to Israel, and predicted isolation and punishment for them; but between the judgments to fall on Jewry and the unmerited munificence to cascade on the Gentile, favouring as many as will receive it (Isaiah 53:10). Further, the climax of discipline (Leviticus 26:32 ff.) is national dispersion, from which they must return to an ultimate contrition relating to Him whom they pierced (Zechariah 12:10)... and it is God who is speaking... in the summit of their sin. Indeed, the actual historical circumstances are depicted1 with particular care.

This is the testimony of the Jewish scriptures. In estimating Judaism as a contestant, these matters, along with the earlier position of the Jews, need to be borne in mind.

Such a baneful time was to come to a nation formerly truly given to the commands of God, the Old Testament says; and the nation Israel is that nation, the word of this same book continues - this book so carefully transmitted, by Israel... and which many in other nations have now received! That, through Israel, to us! So profound is God in His ways2. Through Jewish prophets, He reveals what would befall Israel, what would come them, what would come to the Gentiles through them, and what at last would come back to them, when they should return to Him. His name? ''Our RedeemerfromEverlasting is your name'' (NKJV Isaiah 63:16 - it. added) - cf. Genesis 3:15. The necessary category is focussed and eternal! It is the reponse that baulks ...

Divisions

It is simply a matter of seeing that the book Christians and Jews have in common (that is, those who consider their past with some judicious gravity), the Old Testament, advises Israel in advance of a coming disjunction between itself and God. This breach is of great duration and maximum severity; a disjunction to be viewed together with the sight of other nations (Gentiles) receiving good news about God.

We were, you recall, trying to see how the nation of Israel could be so negatively placed relative to sacrifices, and have come to the point of its long exile from its land over a couple of thousand years, and its notable and extreme suffering in that time, just as God foretold. In passing, we have noted that God will "call my servants by another name." Now we look back to Isaiah 53 to check what this signifies. Isaiah 52:13-53:12 reveals someone to be rejected, despised and oppressed, and slain; someone to be disfigured so abominably as to be scarcely human in appearance (52:13-14). By virtue of His sacrifice for and in the place of sin for all who receive Him (*25), great results should follow. One of these was that a new sort of children would be given to this victim (v. 10): namely those who receive His life as an offering for their sin.

Par excellence, here is a remedy, one which vindicates the character of God, that divine nature which was so obvious. But then how does it apply to the Jewish people?

Well of course Jesus Christ went through this sort of horror, and the priestly formalists assisted the process; and the people, rather widely, participated in the violent removal, of the One who had secured a great name in word and deed, and claimed to be the Son of God; to be in fact this predicted Person (Luke 22:37).

In speaking of Him, Isaiah asks: "Who hath believed our report ? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ?" Speaking of the same Person - who is to be God's salvation to the end of the earth (49:6, 42:6), "though Israel be not gathered" (49:5,7); who is to be glorious in the eyes of the Lord - of Him, he says:

Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to Him whom man despises, to Him whom the nation abhors (sic), to a servant of rulers: Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord who is faithful and the Holy one of Israel, and He shall choose Thee (Isaiah 49:7).

Here is a disjunction between Israel the nation who despises what God loves in this Person; and God's honoring of this despised Person. In fact we even read of His being vindicated - in one respect - in the prolonged dispersion of Israel as a nation (cf. pp. 822-829 infra). Faith in this Person (Isaiah 53:10) is the ground or way by which He has "children" of His own in whom He takes pleasure, even though Israel the nation is to be rejected to such a point that God will indeed call His servants by another name!

Disclosures and divine definition - prediction : prescribed, performed and predicated

Now in Amos 3:4-8, God advises of a certain relation between three things. They are firstly - "the children of Israel... the whole family... brought out of Egypt" (3:1); secondly - prophetic revelation; and thirdly, His basic actions both of judgment and of annunciation, proclamation toward the people... what He is going to do.

In Amos 3:4-8, we find written: "Surely the Lord will do nothing but He reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets." You see a wonderful example of this divine oversight and overview and panoramic predictive depiction, in Deuteronomy 32; and it is similar in Leviticus 26, relative to the coming epic of the Jewish race.

Our present point however is simply this: this coverage is guaranteed to be given. Such predictive pronouncements, rich in the preceding scriptures, of such scope that they are like a surveillance in advance, these are promised for the future. This is the way the Lord undertakes to act for them. Further, the statement just quoted is declared in the most dramatic context. God compares His utterance with the roaring of lions and the blowing of trumpets in a city: high impact, eminently clear, and arresting indeed, are these, and they are... causes of response!

He proceeds to announce with the word 'surely' that He for Himself, will not act towards His people without due announcement by His prophets. Indeed it is declared with triumphant vigour and encompassing power. Small wonder, then, that Jesus Christ pointed the disciples precisely here (Luke 24:44), to the prophets, relative to His doing in history what He had done, in all its scope, in fact calling them 'slow of heart'... That is, the scriptural mode, explicitly chosen by God: forecast and fulfilment.

In one way, there is a still broader statement, though it is not couched in such intensive vigour, rather in majestic sublimity: "For lo, He who forms the mountains, and creates the wind, and declares to man what is His thought, who makes the morning darkness, and treads upon the high places of the earth, the Lord, the God of Hosts, is His name." (Cf. Amos 4:1, 5:1, 7:12-17, Isaiah 45:19-22; pp. 623-631 infra.) In this case, the recipient, or the party to whom declaration is made is "man" - to him God will certainly declare His thought.

Thus we find that while His predictions range to terminal cosmic climaxes of totally catastrophic proportions (e.g. Isaiah 24:19-23, 51:6) including specific national disasters outside Israel (Isaiah 34:4-17, and for Tyre, Ezekiel 27 - all precisely fulfilled), befitting the God of all the earth, they also proceed immovably (Isaiah 44:24-28, 51:6, 59:21, Jeremiah 26:2, 44:28, Isaiah 31:2 - cf. pp. 712 ff., 757 ff., 935 ff., 973A; Chs. 8-9 infra). By His "counsel", they are performed (Isaiah 44:25-26).

God declares to man what He thinks, you observe; and His determinate decisions, these He performs. In particular, what He is going to do to this nation of Israel is something He undertakes to declare, indeed to provide for preview. Accordingly, this He did; He told Israel what He would do, and He did it conclusively.

He has declared in this Old Testament what He would do to the nation of Israel; and He has done what He said would happen. It follows with necessity from these propositions that what has happened to them is identified. It is just what He said would happen. The predictive perspective is so exhaustive and so stringent that the meaning of the relevant history when it comes - is inescapable. There is but one place for the part of the jig-saw puzzle, and when it fits - it is then seen in its picture.

Now what is this particular piece in this case ? It is the disjunction of the Jews for the noted reasons, and God's bringing of "another nation" or indeed of "Gentiles" (Isaiah 49:6 cf. 65:13-16) to Him, calling them by "another name"; and in particular, God's bringing anyone to Him by the means of his receiving the life of the Messiah, the Christ (officially rejected by the Jews as a nation) for his individual sins. Let us take it more intimately. The Jews had to receive the life of this coming-to-be-sacrificed-Person. Now He had to be sinless in order to be a sacrifice for sin, as the Law abundantly attests (Psalm 49:7-9, Isaiah 53:5-6, Leviticus 6:6-7, 5:18, 9:2, 16:22, Malachi 1:8, 13-14, Micah 5:1-3); whereas all men simply descended from Adam, non-divine men, are sinners (Psalm 14:1-2, Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 66:2). To this end, contrition is essential (cf. Zechariah 12:10-14). For them, a sacrifice for their sin was required; but as for Him, He in Himself provided the sacrifice for sin (Isaiah 53:10).

This then is the teaching of the Jewish prophets.

Now no one else except Jesus Christ has subsequently claimed this at this level and offered Himself thus, as the Old Testament predicted. Further, following His doing it, the nation Israel received the very penal treatment described in advance, by the One who said they would not undergo such basic treatments, unless He so predicted it. Relative to the predicted result (accursed dispersion), there is only one underlying predicted cause (execration of Christ, His rejection) and with it, there is another predicted result.

And this ? It is the spreading of the good news of salvation to other nations universally. Now in the centuries before Christ came, that good news was duly prophetically identified for us. It would concentrate on this rejected Person fulfilling Old Testament Scripture (identifiable in terms of fulfilled prediction to this day, only in Jesus Christ). Concerning Him, it was as we noted, that Isaiah asked: "Who has believed our report ?"... that too was covered!

Accordingly, because anyone accepts the Old Testament, he has logically to accept Jesus Christ; for except He be the One, the Old Testament is false in claiming this basic, competent and adequate racial preview of history with its Gospel data and world resultants, or anything remotely resembling it.

Indeed, far worse, it would be guilty of ruthlessly or riotously misleading documentation of what would be the greatest hoax or swindle of all time. It would be one giving spurious credentials through false claims about a correct historical preview which in fact, in that event, would be rather a marvel of mischief, a cruel betrayal and a saturninely comic confusion of light and darkness, giving historical credence to the most powerful attestation of God in word and works ever made. It would verify in the name of the God of the Old Testament, in advance, an unholy hoax or folly.

Now relative to this very definitely fulfilled racial and Gospel history, covering the race, the Man and the Gospel: Christ (slain and resurrected - Isaiah 53, Psalm 16) is the assigned cause; and the blessed predicted consequence towards nations other than the Jews.

Prediction is predicted. Performance is predicted. Performance has occurred. This thing has happened: there is none other such. Further: the history has happened: not just items, but in the very texture of racial development, it has all cohered. Thirdly, then: the precisely predicted gospel has accurately happened, indeed following the predicted lines of the prophet Isaiah and others with a quite extraordinary fidelity, that preserves even the emphases as such! Hence the Christ is He, Jesus. There simply is no other possibility. If this Messiah were not authentic, then this whole fascinating and fantastic concordance of all these events with the predictions would have been omitted from the Old Testament preview, which it claims to make (such indeed that one error would be fatal to the divine claim). Isaiah's gospel - and that of Zechariah and the rest- is fulfilled in Christ Jesus, alone.

If this is not it, the predicted preview has failed; if it is, then He is the One previewed. If the Jews are right, in their religious base in the Old Testament, then of necessity, from their own prophets, they have crucified their own Messiah, who now is available to everyone who rightly receives Him, in terms of the gospel, the good news, the free salvation and forgiveness, announced by Isaiah, and preached in Christian churches ( as it was predicted it would be presented ) for thousands of years.

So surely as God did not omit thousands of years from the guaranteed prediction covering Israel, so surely is Christ the Messiah; so surely is Judaism a religion of error, a route failure, where the people were warned of coming sin, and still committed it.

(3) Christianity

So much for the Judaistic religion. It was a good one; but then it ended with men telling God ( and it is not the only religion that did or does that! ); and telling His Christ in particular ( admittedly just as God said they would - cf. Psalm 2 and Isaiah 49:7, 53:1, 49:5, 65:13-16 ), following an historic bent (Isaiah 30:8-10); so that it is replaced. In its place as vehicle of grace and proclaimers of covenant is... whatever it is, whoever indeed, who does follow this Christ, who does accept this Messiah (Isaiah 53:10, 65:13-16) ... the One to whom the noted things happened with the noted results to the Jews. Now that is - but a caution here, to follow the Biblical definition of the term - the Christian church.

Now let us recall that the confirmed and contemporary news of this Person is for the record, in the New Testament alone and concerning Him, the Christ who is the cardinal, the pivotal, the all-essential criterion of relation of one sort or another to God, such news had to come. Let us emphasise that Isaiah 53 for example adumbrated the very good sort of good news or Gospel it was to be; and this is exactly what it is. We have then the third part of this Old Testament predictive array in the New Testament. That is, the exact Gospel relative to Christ in the Old Testament, to Messiah to come - is just that one based on Jesus in the New Testament: Jewish prophets gave it detailed prediction and here it reposes as record!

More directly: with all other possible competitors failing to meet specifications as the explicit expression of God, we are forced to accept the Bible, in which are found the Old ( preparatory ) and the New ( consummatory ) Testaments; the one predicting Jesus Christ and His Gospel, and the other exposing and applying Him (*26). ( For detail: see Ch. 9 - Sections 1-3, and pp. 931-943, 973A infra.)

The predicted Jewish Messiah is predicted to be rejected by His fellows, the people who were to be His nation, as well as predicted to come; and His coming is not merely predicted by Moses and Isaiah, but by Jeremiah and indeed, as elsewhere to be studied in detail, by Zechariah and by David in the Psalms. The Old Testament is imbued with Him ( as indeed Jesus made so very clear for His part, in due course, as we saw- in Luke 24 for example) . Not merely is His stature predicted, but also His Gospel, His provision for man, and its individual application, national rejection and continued presentation over a time that would be long enough to mark out a whole new people, called by 'another name'.

Now in addition to the pure multiplicity of the predictive elements which could occupy a treatise of considerable length in itself, there is one crucial, specific content of this Gospel so openly and clearly preached predictively in the Old Testament - for our apologetic purposes. There is a further consideration in this phenomenon of the Old Testament manifesting the Messiah predictively and the New Testament applying Him; of the pre-figured Messiah whom animal sacrifices for so long preceded, but who statedly in Isaiah should in Himself come and bear sin and - as Daniel put it - " be cut off, but not for Himself "( 9:26 ).

If this is precious to the Christian, it must at this point also be essential to the logician. What then is this added procedural benefaction ?

It is this. This book, the Bible, this Gospel in particular has the added advantage at this point (in fact, it meets this added logical necessity - recall ?): That it contains a remedy (*27) for man. That as the alert reader will remember, was necessary; and now he will see- it is Jesus Christ!

Simple, isn't it ? Praise God for that. By the way, that - simplicity to the extent at least that the matter is clear, and the communication readily attestable as from God - was one more necessary logical condition that had to be fulfilled, when we decided to seek for the remedy of God, for the express and explicit communication of God. That communication, on prior grounds, we were settled and certain must somewhere be identifiable and available. It is - and it is herewith identified.

It has superabundantly met all the criteria; indeed, it has met them with a flair, an originality, a force and a fervour which has (another relevant verificatory point) the impact of high majesty and absolute power.

In other words, the way in which the case is covered, the matter is resolved, is in itself so startling and remarkable as to be an independent indication, at the level of manner and method, of the Source of the Communication. Here are, as so often, the trappings of majesty in written form.

Conclusion

The Bible

Since the Bible is independently shown to be the word of God, the communication of God - notice that it is therein claimed to be given as such (Matthew 5:17-19 (*28), II Peter 1:19-21, 1 Corinthians 2:9-13, Isaiah 59:21, 34:16, Psalm 119, Psalm 12:6-7, Proverbs 30:6, Revelation 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 12:32, John 12:48-50 with Matthew 24:35 and John 14:26; Matthew 4:4).

We find they are stringently guarded by God, these words: they are not susceptible to addition or subtraction of human thoughts. This we learn. (See Appendix D infra for review in detail.) The dimensions of the Bible (Appendix C) have unequivocally been acknowledged by the Jews for the Old Testament (cf. Romans 9:4-5), and by the Christian Church for the New Testament; and it has been closely related to the phenomenon of prophets and apostles, together with the incisive determinations of Jesus Christ Himself (Appendix D infra).

This stringent guard and prohibition of subtraction or addition to the words, this exclusion of the intrusion of thoughts of which man stands as author: it is noteworthy! You would expect that.

Possibly a man may notice, even today, that he himself is not God; and that God is great, and has made the mind, and the spirit of man, and matter; indeed that God is infinitely great. If so, he should note that to add to or subtract from God's thought - if permissible in any alleged revelation from Him - would be a certain indication that the thing did not and could not have come from God. Here again, this communication, the Bible, as precise focussing on Jesus Christ... as the only remedy... as sacrifice for sin, and as risen Lord, bearing God to the cleansed heart continually, and its possessor by His grace, to Himself: this communication is confirmed. Indeed, much that is persistently false is shown to be such at the same blow.

This is one of those continual and consistent verifications which constantly confirm the reality of that with which we deal. Multi- dimensional consequences tend to follow from what is real: it is rather like using your eyes as you walk in the real world. There is then a certain cohesion between information and exploration... a continual confirmation.

The Lord

The Bible claims to be, and is attested as the authoritative, unalterable, impregnable communication from God. What then if you have received the Bible as God's words ? Then read John 5:39-40 and there you see that just as the Bible is like a sign post3 - an especially accurate one of utter authority indeed: yet it is not in itself that salvation, but rather the word concerning it. The Bible is the exact, the authoritative word; but it is Salvation which is its vital point to show, to communicate, and to authenticate to all who will to do the will of God (John 7:17).

Now that salvation is only to be found in the One to whom the pages of the Bible point; and that one, we see is Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God (Mark 8:27-41 and Matthew 16 - cf. pp. 532-560 infra).

He is the rock which crushes (Matthew 21:44, and 1 Peter 2:6, Matthew 21:42, cf. pp. 532-560). He is the Rock on which to stand (Isaiah 28:16, 1 Corinthians 3:11, Psalm 62:2). Biblically, He as God is indeed the only Master your soul is allowed (Matthew 23:8-11, II Corinthians 1:24, John 20:28, Hebrews 1:1-3, 8, Isaiah 44:6, 8, John 8:58 with Exodus 3:14 cf. pp. 233-234 infra).

He is the Master and Saviour without whom, God says, you justifiably are declared null and void and indeed voidable by Him in your spiritual relation to God (John 3:18, 3:34-36, Matthew 22:1-4). He is the sacrifice whom you must appropriate and take personally (John 6:51-54, Matthew 26:26-28), on whom the curse which sin brings, is placed for those who bring their sin to Him (Galatians 3:10-13, 6:14, John 8:24, Romans 8:32, Acts 20:28, cf. Leviticus 4:27-28, Isaiah 53:10).

Let us interpolate to emphasise the teaching of the Bible that this curse is cancelled for everyone who believes (Galatians 3:10-13), while this sin-bearing does not apply of course for those keeping their sins, any more than in Old Testament days it applied to those not laying their hands in repentance and by faith on the sacrificial lamb or bullock - Leviticus 1; 4; cf. John 8:24, 10:11 with 10:26, Deuteronomy 29:18-20. Hence when actual remission of sins is involved, it is for many, not all - Isaiah 53:11, Matthew 26:28, that the actual cure is effected. (Cf. pp. 637-643 infra.)

And that, in terms of our quest, means a selective application of the highly focussed remedy, a sovereign donation on the part of God both in terms of method and application; but an absolutely available salvation, deliverance and peace to those who for whatever reason, desire it!

God, in this therefore, stands freely in His glorious justice and majesty: He is not the cause of man's sin, rather the provider of man's scope for wonder and glory, suffering the misuse of that prime gift of liberty by those who for whatever reason, so desire. He thus is revealed as a donor of wonder to man, while man in reverse is shown as a misuser of the same; but again, not implicated, God, as revealed in the Bible, has from the first made a provision that remedies the sickness of man, provides sentence on the sin and salvation from its presence, so Himself being free from any implication in it, but in providing the wonder it misuses, and the remedy it needs, being so misused by man. The remedy, further, now available, becomes a more perfected wonder when a new heavens and a new earth replace the current temporary structure (Isaiah 51:6, Matthew 24:35, John 14:1-3, Revelation 21).

The case, as required, we see more and more fully, is superabundantly met in the Bible, as the word of God; alone it meets it; transcendently, it covers it. It is, then, as Cambridge Professor C.S. Lewis so beautifully put it in his essay, God In The Dock, not a matter any more of seeing if God meets the case, but rather, reader, to find this: do you ?

In this, where do you stand ? He will receive all who come - John 6:37! Have you cast yourself in confidence, however desperately, on Him, His cross, His accomplishment, His compassion, His life borne back from death ? Has His remedy become yours personally ? It is appropriate, we find; but is it appropriated ? How inappropriate is the appropriate which is not appropriated!

His mercy is everlasting to you after you receive Him as He is! Now He is perfectly clearly revealed in the Scriptures. Will you receive Him by faith ?

Jesus Christ redeems in reality those who believe in fact, that He is the Son of God; that He is the sacrifice acceptable to God on their behalf (I John 2:2), the sinless substitute meeting for them, if they believe (John 10:25-28), their duly and truly meted out judgment; who believe that His integrity and validity is evidenced without limit, in ways including His rising from the dead with body unrotted - this demonstrating the irrepressible power of God Himself.

This power and viability has availability without limit to anyone outside God, indeed to everyone who receives thus the Saviour (Ephesians 1:18-20; Romans 10:9; Luke 24:27-48; Acts 2:25-40; John 12:47-50, 8:4-45; 9:39-41, 5:44-47,37-38,30-31, 9:35-38; 10:27-28; 11:25; emphasised in John 12:44-50; John 2:18-21; Matthew 28:18-20, 20:28, John 1:29, Luke 22:37 with Isaiah 53, Leviticus 16:16-21, with Hebrews 9:28, and Galatians 3:10-13).

Such people - those who thus believe in and concerning Him - receive Him as He is - which by the way, is the only way to receive Him: In truth! The Bible having been identified as what God has said, it has been appropriate then, in this way, to examine what it has to say to us, and this without delay. Let us summarise a little. As we do, let us remind ourselves of the symphonic marvels of creation, august and creative, where sin does not wholly desecrate, or judgment expose: with these great words, set to music from the book of Job, paralleled with another beauty of the earth.
 

Summary

1. You see the fact: - God is, has acted; Christ came, is God (*29), cancels sin on the Cross; is vindicated as God in His mission, by full resurrection.

2. You see the necessity to act or to have acted on the fact, for He Himself demands you come to Him (John 5:40) and intimates His desire for such a thing (1 Timothy 2:1-3, Colossians 1:19-23).

3. At some point, you as a hearer of His word, if your position is to be remedied, must come or have come to Him: that is, have received Him (John 1:12-13). In doing so, you trust Him, trust in Him: you have received Him as the Saviour actually bearing, and bearing away indeed the tyranny of, and judgment due to your sin; and you have received Him as the living Lord of all (John 14:19, Romans 14:9, John 5:26-27, 13:13, Acts 2:36). That is His position (Philippians 2:9-11, Acts 2:36). It breathes ineradicable joy (1 Peter 1:8-10, Galatians 5:22, John 16:20-22).

The Lord you receive is the Christ who actually engages to answer prayer in accord with His promises; to inspire and fire you to serve God Himself whose Son He is; and to keep you to the end of this course on earth for final awakening to the fulness of God unveiled in His presence, a God from whom you will never on any account be separated (1 Corinthians 13:9-12; John 5:25, 1 John 3:9, 5:13,14-15).

You do - or you don't - receive Him. If you do, you are a Christian. The converse... is true.

These believing people, big or small, young or old, have God Himself, and know God and are God's: relative to God their situation is remedied - relative to God who governs all things after the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11); and that remedy has been found through the communication of God (Psalm 40:6-8, Isaiah 40:9, 52:7, John 12:49, 8:45, Amos 4:11-13,2, 3:7-9, 5:4,6-8,18, 7:13,16), sent most willingly (Colossians 1:19-23).

This was written in the Bible (1 Corinthians 1:9-13, Isaiah 34:16, 59:21). It has been actualised, dynamised and fulfilled in that Jesus Christ who is the fulness of the Godhead, and in the form of a servant was crucified, and who has indeed risen in that body, and has been translated to glory, from which He came and will come, when the thrust and scope of the remedy has freely spread over the earth, impacted and imparted to His satisfaction, to the completion of His love, which bore pangs to deliver, and takes pains to deliver also the word.

As to these believing people, it is in Him and through Him they live. This they do according to that same communication, the Bible. They live in the name of Jesus and through the Spirit of God who applies the truth, inspires the mind and spirit, effects the answers to prayers, dwells within the heart of the believer, accompanies him/her and is given over to presenting Christ in His truth and power, and to giving Him the honour which is His due (John 15:16,26, 14:12; 16:7, 17:13,15, 1 Peter 1:3-9).

Speaking to those who have come to the Lord and believed in Him according to His word, Paul in writing to Titus sums up so much pithily:

For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasure, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ the Saviour that having been justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:3-7, cf. Amos 4:12-13).

General Summary - 3 Propositions

1. GOD HAS SPOKEN (*30) WITH PRECISION AND IDENTIFIABLY AS HIMSELF.

2. THE BIBLE IS WHAT HE HAS THUS PRESENTED.

3. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS HIS REMEDY AS PRESENTED IN THAT BIBLE: namely, born of a virgin; living without sin; dying - bearing the penalty of all who put their trust in Him as He is; now alive and available being resurrected unrotted - as Peter and John pointed out - from the dead (Acts 4:2, 2:31).

This Christ (and not some manufacture of man's mind) who lived on earth, through faith in Him, gives life both abundant and abundantly close to God, from whom the once believing and receiving soul will never again be separated.

We have then noted that this calls for so trusting in Him, and have itemised and verified this matter, that all may understand who have a mind to do so; and we have charged all so to do in Christ's name, and for the love of Christ who is the truth!

In all this we have given a reason for the hope that is in us; and demonstrated that this is what God is - and of course that He is - and what He has to say to men.

 

8 See Chapter 4, Part 3, infra, pp. 396 ff., 413ff., 419ff..

9 Cf. Chapter 3, Section 4 infra, esp. pp. 299-303.

10 ... as sufficient.

11 Nor has it potential; for then it would constitute something-with-potential.

12 More recent work in this field may be found at Divine Agenda Ch. 1,
and The Defining Drama Ch. 3.

The notable thing about these data was this. They related to what John Horgan in Scientific American, September 1987 (pp. 18-20) called: 'faint microwave radiation that pervades the universe', and as Jastrow pointed out: 'In 1965, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson of the Bell Telephone laboratories discovered that the earth is bathed in a faint glow of radiation coming from every direction in the heavens. The measurements showed that the Earth itself could not be the origin of this radiation, nor could the radiation come from the direction of the Moon, the Sun or any other particular object in the sky. The entire universe seemed to be the source.' That in itself made impact; but what made much more was this: 'The radiation discovered by Penzias and Wilson has exactly the pattern of wavelengths expected for the light and heat produced in a great explosion.' It is this precision which seems to bear almost the force of a pronouncement, or at least to be particularly evocative.

Now Horgan reviews critical positions on this topic in the noted September article. He notes Arp (of Mount Wilson and Las Campanas Observatories) who has some observational evidence which suggests the 'red shift', or movement in spectral properties of light propagated from a distance, does not in fact, as normally held, warrant the view that we have here a case of proportion. He argues that the Hubble relationship between red shift (shift, that is of the light towards the red end of the spectrum in such cases) and distance does not show that objects 'outside our galaxy are receding from the earth at speeds proportional to their distance.' This is one of the elements of the Big Bang view, forwarded as above by Jastrow. In certain cases, Arp holds, this does not apply, and his observations present such a possibility.

Emil Wolf of Rochester University holds that 'certain forms of coherent light, in which the waves travel in step with one another, can shift as the light propagates through space.' Arp put the view that something else was the cause of the red shift- something not the recession noted.

Such views, Horgan observes, are not generally held by astronomers. Krauss of Yale University notes that such criticisms have attacked parts of the big-bang model, but offer no comprehensive alternative; and the model itself 'explains everything very well,' he observes. That is, it allows credibly for an explosion of power beyond which, as states Jastrow, you cannot by material means probe, such was its cataclysmic character; as also the precise micro-wave radiation, and for the red shift, for example.

Krauss in so saying was also referring to a view of Alfvén, a former Nobel prize winner in Physics. He holds that long filaments of plasma (electrons and positively charged ions) spread throughout space, and that interaction breeds the energy which gives the universe the energy with which to expand, and a general type of microwave radiation, it has been shown, can result.

These critical views may have something to contribute in the long run, but presently it appears that Alfvén has not the observational base needed for his theory, relative to the plasma, merely noting some correlation between the radiation IF this were so, and what is found; whilst Arp's view may, it is held, be statistically explainable, and Wolf's theory is a particular case, whereas the phenomena are general.

It may, for example, come that the new views envisage a less rapidly expanding universe of far lesser scale, with various sources of radiation, whilst an initial spectrum of microwave continues to match exactly the cataclysmic model. The point is that at present there is inadequate observational evidence to give compelling challenge to the big-bang view; but developments in these spheres remind us once again of the evanescent character of much in the way of scientific theory. lt is sounder to build with the logical instruments which do not depend on particular spreads of recent hypotheses, but underlie and undergird the very method of such work at all times. That is the procedure adopted in this book.

Jastrow's point thus still reflects contemporary science, within its own limits, and it dwells on the cataclysmic implications of the observed radiation glow and the predicted wavelength pattern for such cataclysm, and the precision of the match. The character of cataclysm is less dependent on theory based on untested hypotheses and hence of more impact. His point is that such a cataclysm as appears so precisely verified, matches well with creation in scope. Though the antithesis of catastrophe, it has the mark of magnitude and generality. (Cf. *13 infra.)

Whether or not the evidence is ever found to be susceptible to another explanation, its current position as Ostriker of Princeton University points out, is that there is theoretical provision sufficient to account for any observed and apparent anomaly. It is always important to distinguish between what could generate a result, and what is known to do so, when the thing that could is itself not established as to its very existence. When its existence is found, then what it does perform in the sites in view, being testable, would enter into the less peripheral elements of scientific method for which observation is a crucial element of discipline.

It is interesting to note that Jastrow emphasises this: the sheer magnitude of the cataclysm which appears attested by the coherent conceptions and observations of interlocking scientific theories is such that any material procedure to peer beyond it would be prevented. It leads to an end of observation, and fits precisely with a beginning of the observable.

In the end, however, the method, though not the fact, of the institution of matter, remains veiled. What logic requires, observation coheres with, with an elegant and beautiful harmony. It is however the logic which is behind science, and indeed on which it depends - which requires the institution; of matter, and science can merely attest the consequences. This it does, in terms of its elemental principles of the conservation of matter and energy, the second law of thermodynamics and other elements which are in fact, the procedures which follow upon a finished creation. In this, it does nothing to show how it could have come, but everything to confirm that its origin is not a process of the present. As instituted, it works, and it works with laws which it has no power to institute.

Science attests what it observes: a working which does not incorporate the procedures of institution. It shows, as it were, how the car works, but it has no snapshots of the factory where it was made. That is all it could attest, except for data harmonious with this institution, such as may be be found in this case, and such as its undergirding laws reflect so elegantly, being built on the existence of structure, and its tendency to reduce its specifics (or increase its entropy) over time. This last point of course is also true of man's own creations; and in his case, there is the joy of creation, while in the universe's case, while it cannot be seen happening (just as the Bible states - it is finished), yet we have the compensation that it so greatly outstrips any production of our own. These matters will be further explored in the specific field of life, in Chapter 2.

As to this distinction between the method of institution of matter, and the the fact of its existence, it is instructive to make an analogy for simpler hold by the imagination. Thus it is rather like the case of authorship of a poem: it comes from another order (the person), and its own (created) order is simply instituted from beyond it, however rigorous it may be once it is there. Pen meets paper in a way that, should it continue without guidance, plan and care, would disturb, disrupt or even destroy the system (i.e. of the writing as first written).

Thus the facts of orthography, the character of the script and so on, do not show how thoughts came to become discrete words. That action, thought to words, is prior to the observable words themselves. These attest not how but that it was written.

It is interesting that no one would ever question whether a book had not been written. Perhaps it is because it is so obvious that such as work has a character, and a content, and a code on the one hand, and that it would be corrupted speedily on the other, if bits were left around; and that all the elements of conservation of its creation are in it and none of the elements of dispersion of order appear relative to the time span of the phenomenon, so that a contrary assumption would contravene all the data and explain none, as well as being contrary to all known evidence.

The consistency of the phenomenon of the book relative to personality, and its entire inconsistency with the opposite, would leave efforts to account for it differently, in its original composition, facing the massive wall of the inability of any element to conform to the non-intelligent-production theory. Where not one datum abides by a theory, and every datum abides by another, it is not merely entirely unscientific to choose such a theory, but, all its components being systematically contradicted, it becomes an exercise in random thought.

Science would never do this, in terms of scientific method, though many scientists and others do it with the universe, which contains billions of 'books' in magnificent order after long periods, systematically reproducing themselves as if they were a publishing house... the cells of the body. While these cells are not perfect, their trillions per body have an amazingly near approach to it over the generations of auto-reproduction.
As noted initially, the attribution of law production to chance is merely self-contradiction; it is in fact, a simple misuse of terminology. Systematic, integrated continuation of correlated actions in terms of coherent order structures on cohesive conceptual formulations is law; and to make 'chance' responsible for it does not really deserve even the name of a rational hypothesis; it has nothing to offer- but contradiction.

The writer of the book of the human body is not an option; He is a necessity, and this not on one or two grounds, but as we see, continually.

13 Extension on The Irruptive Concept In Creation:

Creation makes impact, when God declares matter and space: a matter of clarifying confusion about matter.

Of course the concept that the Big Bang, if such be indicated, is in itself a rationalistic substitute for creation needs setting to rest.

It is not a question of some Descartes-style 'working out' of how it all produced itself. This has been set to rest logically already. What is in view is the question of whether certain background radiation does or does not subsist, which is indicative of an enormous institution of the universe. Whether or not there is some other ground for it, something being considered acutely, the implication of the radiation would be simply that the echoes of the commencement remain. It would not at all indicate that there was no commencement; quite the contrary. It is not a question, moreover, of some necessity for this radiation to be there; for man is not so omniscient as to be able to determine what must be over time, in so complex a universe as this one. All the variables and circumstances are simply not known, to allow such ruthless certainty.

A phenomenon consistent with and heavily correlative with a dynamic institution of the universe is not necessary to prove it, for the proof is independent of it. It would merely constitute a rather interesting verification of the obvious.

The very institution in itself is scarcely a non-institution; or a description of a non-creation. Its place is then purely verificatory and it lends no grounds to gradualism in any form; except perhaps to remind us of the manifest fact that even if there had been something gradual, you still need a sufficient cause for the laws and order and form of it all, and that their institution is no more miraculous if sudden than if not.

After all, 'nothing' has no future, and something sufficient must always be there; nor can this be matter, which is itself in need of a basis for its criteria. Whether the creation, necessarily performed by the necessarily self-sufficient God, has this extraordinary attestation or not, is merely a matter of the writhings of contemporary science. It is not then a necessary attestation; it is an interesting field.

More recently an article, 'Big Bang' may be a fizzer! in the magazine Creation (pp. 50ff., September-November 1990) provides material on the strangely 'smooth' background radiation in the universe, raising questions as to why there had not been some variation and irregularity arising. These are technical questions dependent on matters at the cutting edge of modern science. Minute variations (1992) may reflect divine fiats in the flush of creation (cf. pp. 422B-C infra). However, only when, quite irrelevantly (though by no means impossibly such being the mania of man to escape God), efforts are made to institute from these wispish data some sort of necessary program of the institution of the universe, ex-God, is it pertinent for us to notice (as in the article) that the universe has enormous structures, the 'Great wall' of galaxies, and now a series of such walls, which ill-accord with any concept of self-development.

Slusher, long ago in his monograph, The Origin of the Universe (Institute for Creation Research, San Diego, 1978) showed the painful unrealities of the rationalistic mode, the similarity of spectra of supposedly most ancient and relatively recent stars - a matter to which we shall revert - the highly extraordinary and inexplicable continuity of the spirals of the galaxies on any ancient concept of the universe, the total inadequacy of a generic 'explosion' to account for the differentiae of the universe which we find, inconsistencies indeed in the Doppler effect concept of an ancient and massively receding universe and so on. Further, Slusher indicates; "If it takes as long to form such a simple object as an interstellar grain as the calculations indicate under the most hopeful conditions (that do not actually exist at all), how can the notion of huge ages for the stars and galaxies have any credibility and be taken seriously ? Effects such as evaporation, sputtering, and vapor pressure would seem to destroy any grains that might be formed"- (p. 46).

Dealing with the age of the universe, he also observes that the accelerating universe concept, with increasing speeds at further points for galaxies, relative to those at nearer points, leads to a reduced time scale, resistant (p. 10) to the time requirements of nature-myth evolutionists. That is, Slusher observes that "on face value", the velocity of recession of objects distant from the earth, increases "as galaxies reach greater distances". This "accelerating universe" concept, if correct in its geometry and in its picture, shortens time required from origin to current location. The time scale that results provides a universe 'age', one which is less than evolutionists claim even for 'our own galaxy'. This is the type of picture which results from 'orthodox' interpretation of the 'red shift' of light coming from afar; but what, asks Slusher of the cases of 'blue shift' which, on this basis of interpretation, would indicate 'approach rather than recession' for the astronomical objects displaying this ?

Similarly negative effect on the time scale often assumed comes from the existence of theoretically 'recent' cases which yet incorporate allegedly ancient, developmental materials in stars; and this despite the theoretically vast differences between the ages of the stars, on a scenario hostile to a young universe. Citing similar spectra for many stars which, on evolutionary assumptions should be among the oldest and the youngest, and considering the supposed trend for 'various heavier chemical elements' which on that basis, 'should be formed in the stars', Slusher contrasts this with the facts, noting indeed that stars that might be deemed the 'oldest' show 'abundance of the elements from carbon to barium' two magnitudes less than is the case for 'younger' stars, such as the sun, when theoretically they should be greater.

Speaking of the phenomenon of the 'missing mass', to which we shall shortly refer, and surrounded by multiplied anomalies and inconsistencies in the evolutionary concepts applied to the astral picture, Slusher notes a view of Margon (p. 43), that "we have reached an impasse, almost to the point Thomas Kuhn has called a scientific revolution." This comes from the difficulty which philosophers who happen to be scientists have, when they come into collision with the data. Indeed, Slusher (p. 48) refers to the superabundance of illusory or even contra-evidential hypotheses in terms of a fascinating quotation from Professor R. Benton, who was speaking on the imagined 'black holes'. Slusher felt this quotation could aptly be applied to the big-bang cosmogony, that entire materialistic, naturalistic, gradualistic, guessing game in which all that is needed to get the results is what is not1 found: "theoretical astrophysicists - some of the more renowned ones - are staring into a black box from which any number of assumptions can be made on the existence of things they envision from the nothingness they see."

Indeed, if taken at all seriously, amusing results come from frequently held gradualistic hypotheses on the universe. Thus (p. 8), Slusher speaks of the 'instantaneous snapshot' of the universe which the present situation presents. But, depending on actual distances, and the speed of light (the former with its models - p. 78 infra; the latter with a history in fact under enormous controversy, and affecting 'brave' time and age estimates dramatically), we are seeing events occurring in distant yesterdays, different object distances giving different 'times' to 'view'! What DID happen ? Because of entropy, the law based on observation and found in related theories of many kinds, it is not possible to reconstruct the past on this sort of information. All that can be said is that it was far more complex and highly organised then than now. Perhaps as illustration, one could conceive of trying (without other present examples to 'go by') : what a functioning appendix looked like some thousands of years before it is first seen or dug up. 'Reconstruction' into projected former times from the degenerative and rotted, disintegrated and dispersed back to the constructed and operational, when theoretically you cannot (to revert to the actual case) see what it was, becomes an exercise in imagination. If it also rejects current realities of entropy, it is a contra-evidential piece of fantasy, not even remotely related to science, or to any data from this universe. In all fairness, that is precisely what science fiction is. The impact on such considerations on logic, and vice versa is considered elsewhere...

Yet more amusing is the fact, as noted by Slusher (p. 9), that the observed appearance of thinning out of galaxies as one proceeds outward from the earth, in all directions, something contrary to any uniform conceptions, together with an apparent velocity of recession of galaxies from the earth, increasing with distance in all directions, would seem, on usual uniformitarian assumptions, to imply that the earth is firstly, 'at the very centre of the highest concentration of matter in the universe', and secondly, 'at the original centre of the universe'. While such possible implications of the data are not necessary in any sense to the concept of creation or to the Biblical statement, they form a very droll consequence in the midst of uniformitarian postulates, being considered in order to exhibit their inadequacy and inconsistency.

Cosmic dust calculations also lead to massive inputs of nickel per year to the ocean which, combined with that from terrestrial sources, as a rate, would indicate an earth of merely several thousand years. To gain current oceanic nickel concentration, that is what it would take. Moon dust calculations, mentioned elsewhere, likewise give a very young age for the system (Slusher: Age of the Cosmos, pp. 39 ff.).

Similarly, while employing such considerations as the questionably high rate of energy production assumed for qasars if they are as distant as common theory would make them, and Riemann geometry as one of various options for a young universe, as a model, a geometry which reduces the extent of space vastly: Slusher exposes the fact that overall options are considerable and argues for a coherent approach covering all the evidence. One of the main elements and most consistently called for, is a young earth. (See Origin of the Universe, pp. 19ff., Age of the Cosmos, pp. 35-37. For further data and aspects re dating, 'Big Bang', time, process, change: see Extensions to Ch. 2, esp. D, N, pp. 159-179, 252E ff.; *13 on pp. 882 ff.; pp. 971-972; 422B-C; 173 - cf. 76, and Index, infra.)

In particular, Dr Slusher points out the impact of environment on rates of radioactive decay, and citing Dudley on the radioactive atom as a 'linear resonant system, subject to parametric excitation', he notes the inability of the fixed rate of radioactive decay concept to provide reliable rates, in any case. Further, when the contemplated events stressed by Cuvier, Agassiz, Nilsson, Velikovsky et al. include a richly varied array of cataclysmic happenings, the effects might not be small in the scale, but of great magnitude; not near the in scope what is experimentally tested, but far surpassing it!

Such considerations are reinforced by the so-called 'missing mass', an enormous discrepancy between calculated mass of certain galaxies and that deemed necessary for their sustained cohesion. Fast disintegration therefore appears in order, again greatly limiting the age of the universe... for spiral they still are. Indeed (Origin of the Universe pp. 39-40), random and enormous speeds of divergent parts of galaxies inhibit any spiral cohesion at all. Time, p. 27, 28/78/94, notes the missing mass remains missing! . . . (Cf. p. S27 infra.) This, for all its vaunted hubris, the Hubble Space Telescope merely confirms.

All the phenomena confirm the concept of the second law of thermodynamics: that order and specificity do not increase over time, but attenuate, fail, fall, diminish because of the contrary forces, and that there are limits to the endurance of special features, in any merely natural system.

The point however for us is this: while the 'big bang' hypothesis is indeed, as Slusher calls it in the process of his negative analysis,'a nature myth' without observational support either in detail or in general, and as a basis for what we have ex-God, it does not even give coherent or rational account, even granted the 'arrival' of the initial 'system': yet we may exclude the slanted phrasing and return to the initial impact of the prediction of Gamow, concerning the background radiation in the universe.

Call it instead, if you will, design dynamics and relate this 'hiss' to the materially evidenced 'cradle' of design, and if so be, the impact of its formation in radiation results. Then what we do have ? Then this piece of the history of Hoyle's abandonment of the contra-evidential 'steady state' theory (which, as Slusher points out, cannot account for this radiation) in favour of the now much emphasised (and long taught) sudden institution by intelligence of life, retains its interest.

As we have shown, that intelligence, logically, is forced to the place of God. Though never more, as indicated, than an interesting addition to the necessity of creation, something which has no need of it; and while certainly subject to enquiry and question as to its actual basis, this 'background radiation' has stirred some of the density of philosophical 'science' into new desperations, not least an increasing awareness of the folly of the idea that gradually laws could arise, gradually intensely and immensely intricate correlations and mutually necessary laws and forms arise... that gradually anything could come, over however long a period, from what is quite simply inadequate to produce it. As to speed ? this simply dramatises the requirements of logic, on which we have dwelt.

Page 79 continued in the next section

Clarifying profusion - multiplying and subtracting myths

In view of the searing restraints and penetrating researches being made by so many notable scholars such as Professors Thomas Barnes, Melvin Cook and Harold Slusher, Dr. Robert Gentry, and Barry Setterfield, not to mention the rousing rational exposés made available by Professors E.H. Andrews and A.E. Wilder Smith: for those who cling dogmatically to an "old" earth, there is obviously pressure. Much pressure exists to find... some way out!

Paul Ackerman reviews some cf these developments in his: It's A Young World After All, and Dr Henry M. Morris, long Head cf Civil Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic has presented many treatments in the area. (Cf. EXTENSION D, pp. 159-179 infra.)

A solution seems to appear for those so cramped by evidence. No, they say, we want many explosive (or other) bounces about in the universe, a sort of banging-about universe. For us, there must be great swellings and contractions... (the sort that no evidence could contradict in terms of any assertion we might care to make about the age of the earth, they might add). Now Popper might agree on the wisdom of such an approach, to defend a philosophy (if all else fails): but he would certainly condemn it as unscientific, simply because it is so drafted that no test could well determine the matter... if we apply what he asserts in his books. It is then, after all, philosophy and not a scientific approach on that basis.

We must go further, for there is much more to say on this. First, the evidence is rather usually applied, in questions of science. When this appears helpful, it seems, some turn to it. Then what of the case when it does not appear helpful, as frankly it well may not, to any concept of the 'long age of earth' proponents now ? Is it then to be dismissed in favour of mere mental meanderings, the evidence for which does not have the helpfulness to exist. In fact, this evidence must be faced, the sort that is; and as such, scientific theories must rest on it. The massive universe 'breathings' concept, in this respect is per se irrelevant.

As already noted, moreover, it does nothing in reality, even to help, when it comes to the matter of the institution of matter; for the necessity of a non-material source remains as unmoved as ever, by what may recklessly be imagined as having happened, after its institution. (See also EXTENSION on BIOLOGY AND BUILDING, pp. 81-88.)

What we do know, is that the wound-up, the springy or energy-available nature of the universe is running down, and that no method of reversing the trend has ever appeared outside miracles, which being a direct interposition of personal power, do not instruct us as to the natural dimensions of power, but rather as to the creative power of God; which in turn is the only available way for the creation to occur. You do not create the things by just talking about them. You need what it takes: power, precision and penetration, construction, constraints and contrivances.

To hypothesise that at one time, matter, duly first created according to the necessities shown, may have had different, divergent, indeed contradictory properties, so that it actually wound itself up, increased its available energy, fought off its entropy, increased specialisation and so on, drafted advantageous design programs, instituted means for their retention, homogenised the whole (and far worse to imagine - it started off by inventing itself when it was not there, the brain child of nothing): this is simply to perform a feat of ignoring.

It reminds one of the way parents may sometimes affect to ignore naughty children; and for those who do not want God, the world is a very naughty world!

It ignores, this sort of hypothesis:

i) the evidence that matter does not possess this quality;

ii) that indications that it ever did possess it are lacking;

iii) that means by which, if it did, it could have done so, are lacking;

iv) that such a postulation contradicts all that is known of matter.

It equally aborts the laws of logic and sufficient conditions, by (implicitly) assuming the means necessary without acknowledging them; or it smuggles them in by semantic athletics and sputterings. If however it aborts these laws of life, logic and language - then its proponents thereby forfeit the power, in consistency, to use them in argument, indeed, so much as to present the... viewpoint at all! (Cf. Ch.'s 3 and 10 infra, 'anti-philosophy' in the Glossary, p. 321 infra, and pp. 348-350.)

These hideous exercises in inconsistency, question begging, in denying the conditions of one's own discourse, in a word, of vanity, need not detain us. They do however review for us, a procedure for subtracting myths even when they are multiplied. For those mathematically inclined, it may remind of the laws for subtracting and multiplying matrices.

Returning from this misdirected metaphysical contortion, we come back to the laws of logic, to the evidence, to the application of relevant scientific principles on the evidence, to verificatory tests; and find that the age of the earth is not known. It is not available outside revelation, but many indications suggest, as Paul Ackerman so well shows, that anything other than a young earth must fly in the face of oppressive evidence to the contrary.

This does not at all alter the fact that the possibility is by no means removed, that the pervasive seeming radiation which dealt so severely with the constant creation dream, like so much other waking evidence, may after all relate to a birth pang of the universe situation. The 'child' may simply have left this physical deposit of its creation, its full-formed arrival, however young it assuredly appears to be; such may be part of the universe's swaddling clothes. This is so even though any naturalistic follow-through has been righty and severely dealt with, not only in this work, but in numbers of areas, such as the excellent, specialised and technical monograph of Dr Harold S. Slusher, The Origin of the Universe.

In this monograph, considerations such as those of the 'missing mass', and the galactic cohesion and spiralling anomalies appear, as earlier noted; while the 'great galaxy wall' of recent discovery also opposes as does so much else, the concept of automated self-development, without a developer. (Cf. Extension O pp. 252G ff..)

And this self-development ? It reminds one of children who have learned to play with 'magic' drawings which are so marvellous that you need only to put water on blank pages and there! a beautiful picture appears. While the child may be excused for not reflecting on origins, this is scarcely so when we come to those who have discovered cause and effect!

In general, the fascination with process seems to have joined with the desire to have the Creator 'get lost' to the point that what is needed for creation, something we know in our own ardours and work all too well, is wilfully set aside. From nothing you get nothing, and for what you have, you need what it takes... from yourself or whomever else has it. Otherwise, it simply doesn't come, in thought, in fact, in matter or in mind. Argument with mind to deny mind is perhaps the best nursery myth of all.

Reverting to the evidence of material things: all the evidence merely confronts those who are weary of their Creator, and this at every turn. It is merciless, unyielding.

Only by yielding to this confrontation does man have hope of finding the Creator who is merciful, and able to redeem.

14 With our minds - an obvious contradiction.

15 See FREEDOM AND LIMITS pp. 30 ff. supra and Chapters 3, 4 and 5 infra .

16 Mind, matter, spirit.

17 That is here, a physical void.

18 EXTENSION on Biology and Building

The matter might be put in much more detail. Just to extend it to the next phase, we might set it as follows.

Let the Empire State Building construct a program for having Baby Empire State Buildings 'who' all, in turn, have baby buildings (grand-children) growing intelligently, oh yes, intelligently, logically (together with the facility to gain and use logic consciously through understanding and discipline), silently, systematically, sequentially in their parts..

Imagine all this happily happening to and through them, together with the provision of a self-repair system.

Now make further remember to make each building out of unit bricks which, in their billions are also in themselves, each one 'cities' of superb, even supreme technology, exquisite architecture (see Chapter 2 infra, on recent micro- biological discoveries and developments).

Let these 'bricks' have enormous internal activity, duplicating themselves as required through a... clay code, placing themselves, aligning themselves, grouping themselves according to kind and sub-category, with every ornamental contrivance and adjustment 'thrown in'; and let them do this while higher and higher levels of co-ordination continue to deal with communications and the more general needs of floors, air-conditioning, telephone connections, inter-com and outgoing calls, all coded and inter-connected according to each special and specific requirement.

While all this occurs, let there arise the further flourishes of providing specialised services from photo- (or in this case rather geno-) copying equipment, and the like, with due provision for lighting (of course), heating and movable wings to the structure, these dextrously made available, thereby facilitating different dispositions of the plan, according to need, from time to time. Let all this appear, all involving organisation and co-ordination on an ordering device, for successive waves of inter-departmental construction, utilising the while proper serial-construction without blockages, stoppages or disruption, while providing, energising and securing maintenance, singly and in floors, on wings and for synthetic totals, severally and jointly, by automatic processes.

Further - for we have not yet covered the human body, through familiarity so readily dismissed by the conventionally blind: now have myriads of these 'brick-units' contain the plans for the entire building - each one (via the genome - which is in fact in each living cell, outside blood cells, in man).

Yes, let each of the billions upon billions of bricks contain plans for all the other bricks as units and for the whole; and then make agreeable mixtures from merging plans to form macro-'cities' from within (populations), these 'arising'... as larger buildings with varied exterior in multiple phases (the buildings have a limited but fascinating variation among themselves)... occur, buildings which appeal to each other.

Perhaps you would rather try to accomplish all this yourself ? After all, matter does not have the mind it needs. Then you do it all. Having done it, give next to each of these buildings the scope to select, each one, its own, for the formation of new buildings by a joint sharing of the plans, you having thoughtfully made the buildings delightfully different, although substantially similar. Now finally give to each building the power to tell you that you do not exist.

If you do this, it would show you how intelligent you are. It might do more: it help you to see some inkling of the patience of God and the provocation of man, to perceive that the phrase 'grace of God' is not a sanctimonious expression but a practical reality.

Work participation can do wonders for a sense of reality; actually doing things at times can make a person realise what is being done! But as you sought to constitute a sufficient cause for these consequences, it would indicate clearly that these bricks... they require not intelligence merely, but genius at work in the provision of such plans with such consistency and such continuity, demonstrating such conceptual acuity in their perspicuity and functionality: and how much more in their multiplied, co-ordinated language, their inter-brick intercom!

Using the image of bricks, we have brought to the fore some of the intimate realities of life which are too easily taken without analysis, simply for granted. That is precisely what science and intelligence and logic may not do. Logic does not permit such an indulgence, a luxury. Life involves a summation, a series, an integration, a totality, an adaptability within programmed limits of body, a consciousness at our level, a power of discrimination, of analysis, of imagination and a power of disposition of the will. These are disposable within a body, and the body for its part is composed, structurally, of cells.

Let us reflect more directly concerning them. Of these, each cell that lives (except, as we have noted, the blood cells) has a complete plan of the necessary designated units (a design) for all the parts, all their inter-relations, all their operations, all their co-operations, all their synthesising, all their self-repair services, all the sequences of auto-repair between parts, phases; and this while the whole continues to function (like a car with mechanic on the running board, snooping within, as you flow on). The plan also has provision for all their growth series (for, to continue the new image, these cars grow - same make, but a larger scale - as they travel), for all their correlations with myriads of components, and all their programs for reproduction with another such design in operation.

The total cells of all kinds are around 100 trillion per body; the code units per cell, run into the billions. You could multiply the code units per living cell by the living cell population to get an idea of the scope of the total, integrated operation. Each cell has the plans, to use Dr Denton's analogy, as if for 'the city of New York': energy production, entries, co-ordination. Your body, sir!

Language too must be created, operated and maintained, and as Professor Murray Eden of MIT points out: this is beyond anything conceived or known or perceived, even to maintain such a language by chance. (See also Chapter 1, pp. 3-10, and Chapter 3, pp. 270-294.) Each cell is estimated to require the equivalent of hundreds of volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica for its data; and this is duplicated billions of times in the cell assemblage; while the whole is co-ordinated and operated by invisible means, and that over thousands of years, being provided with strong editorial correction and adjustment for conservation of characteristics. This also, is included...

Easily explainable, given a language creator, operator, maintainer who is also an engineer, mathematician, organic-chemist-cum-code-contriver and matter-maker. Not so with a sequence buster, chance, but with a sequence maintainer, intelligence; not with a code disperser, chance, but with a code creator, imagination; not with a cause that is amorphous, inarticulate, insensitive to code-engineering, to language and assembly line work, to computer concepts; but with an inventor of these things... this is the call of the evidence and of logic. (For further development, see Chapter 3, and 1 loc. cit., and the FIRST EXTENSION, Chapter 1 on The Language of the Matter.)

You may ask computer operators, for any disenchantment you may need, to reinforce you for Professor Eden's point on the nature of language. The slightest forgetfulness is apt to produce the greatest 'bug', and failure in mental application can become the bugbear of your life. These little 'bugs', imperfections in code, inadvertencies, slips, inconsistencies, omissions, seemingly at times utterly trivial, may devastate all operation. The nature of code is concept-in-action, and concept requires thought. (See pp. 132 ff. infra for analysis and observation studies on code.)

Two more points could usefully be here addressed. The first is this. Let a number of upgrading, interweaving programs be indeed constructed by a sufficient cause, divinely. Then why not simply have this work ? In theory, by all means, it could be conceived. In practice, it would merely magnify the requirements for creation: you would have need for a series of programs which 'unfold' over time, with changing members, merely developing the greater input. You would also need of course, if we are doing more than developing romantic interest in novel-making, to have some evidence of the enfolding systems of programs relating to things to be, but not yet in operation.

In short, just as a baby must have programs for its stage, phase and development, programs which are to be encoded, and conserved for future babies when they come, and just as these programs will not be operative, to the extent they are baby-specific, for the adult, so there are series, sequences and inter-relations of age-specific programs or their equivalent. (The operation of the tonsils may be a case in point, relative to developmental needs of a baby or very young child. Its glandular contribution may later cease; but each phase needs governing, stage by stage.)

Growth of the child and youth similarly requires provisions for a balanced and symmetrical inter-relation of the engineering of limbs, as they grow, so that the various proportionalities adjust to the altering size, bone, sinew, form, configuration, while there is also maintained a reasonable operational efficiency. For all these multitudinous and delicate tasks, you need what is hidden to be stored against coming need.

If now, there is imagined some super-coded container for many sorts of things, developing across barriers into each other, this would merely vastly augment the patterning, designing, the hiding of designs, the storing of innumerable potentials against times thousands of years hence: all this bearing no advantage, merely the functional burden of carrying it about for future generations. What is wholly amazing and marvellous in design storage for the same one child during his / her growth into adulthood: this would now, in this surrealistic imagination, have to be multiplied ad nauseam in all sorts of containerisation, in a manner so inefficient conceptually, so lacking in thought as to be yet more amazing. It would be as if a Volkswagen had jumbo-jet specifications on board, while carrying momma to market.

If we had evidence of such programs for other types of things, on an A becoming a B, then that would become a fact. In the lack of fact, it is idle speculation. It is not merely so, but as we have indicated, it is gross imposition on the facts.

Thus, if this were the case, it would simply greatly complicate the initial need for intelligent input at a yet more complex level. If we also had evidence that A's in fact turn into B's, then we should have reason to look for such programs. As neither of these cases is actually observed, this mythical case is merely useful in showing that such a concept merely complicates the requirements: enhancing the necessity for the operation of the Creator, but of no other logical relevance.

The other point worthy here of note is this. Someone might argue, saying: 'You are picturing buildings in your exhibition of the enormity , the magnitude, the magnificence, the intelligence operative in creation." But that is analogy! Of course, it is so with buildings. Naturally, if we merely saw steel girders swinging day by day, an utterly and ridiculously simple thing compared with the construction of the body from the gene-to-genius level, from the babe to adult level: we should at once look for a cause; and if we saw these being placed, day by day, in right structural order, floor by floor, we would not require education to know it was not chance. 'If we saw the code of an electrical system cunningly being contrived and concepts implemented the-while, in ways surpassing our best finesse and concepts, and then noticed demisting devices for certain wings of the building where conditions rendered these helpful for viewing (the view being good in these places), and astonished, then saw computer networks being inbuilt, with electronic wizardry all integrated between the offices of this (say government) building... if I saw all that, what then ? Then you would be wasting your time trying to convince me that someone of intelligence and purpose was back of it. That would be wholly superfluous. But this is so with buildings. At the moment, we are dealing with life. What then ?'

Now of course this is not, in terms of our presentation, even like arguing by analogy; for the principles have been exhibited over and over again, and this is merely an illustration. In principle, we are noting a generic fact that the nature of logic and work and construction and energy, and of the second law of thermodynamics, is in every case such that this happens, this non-magical causative necessity. Research is rewarded by it, theory is based on it, interfaces between instrumentalities rely on it, inter-connecting workable theories act on it, logic proceeds with it. This is simply the case. Life means organisation and drafting, integrative components of functional design - not a holiday from reason, reality or causation. It is merely irrational to confuse the two.

{Incidentally, Lord Kelvin was one who insisted on the integrity of reason in all its fields,
it may interest the reader to follow this aspect in That Magnificent Rock Ch. 1, pp. 8   -13.}

You get out of the order of what you put in, or what was put in and what was an earlier input. A sufficient cause is needed for each result. When it comes to buildings, we need no education, because we do it, and know it, and the sort of thing Schützenberger put so well in the Wistar international symposium on mathematical and biological sciences, obviously applies. Systems do not naturally inter-connect with fruitful advance, if they actually are wholly chaotic, unprogrammed, unsystematised in their inter-connections.

That is what he found; and small wonder, in his computer work with artificial intelligence that he did find it. The genetic base does not gain from the consequences to the adults who precede. There is removal not gain. The two systems of coming-to-be and departing this life are not inter-connected systematically, any more than the removal of building demolition by-products is systematically connected to the arrival of new bricks.

In the case of buildings, this realisation is stimulated by the ludicrous anti-nature character of any hypothesis to the contrary. It is not hard to see that even if you got the steel girders, suitably made of stainless steel, or steel appropriate to endurance, and even if you had them keep that way while you 'managed' without system to have the cement come and mix itself, and the wiring 'arrive' and untangle itself, and so on, you would not in fact keep things in this inter-relatable condition for long, because of the wear-and-tear, the dissipative effects of natural forces.

Intelligence, effort, thought and purpose are all needed, with knowledge and planning of rather a high order, to keep these miraculously arrived things in condition to be used and so forth. We dismiss as magical nonsense unsystematic systems, indeed as a contradiction in terms.

Such however is the mystique, the sense of the nebulous invented by generations of misty thought, wishful thinking, vague philosophising and other inventions of escapist imagination, that the application of such general principles to the particular area of life, is treated as if it could somehow be avoided...

These principles are however of general application in every phase of observable reality, part of human affairs, ramification of logic (see Chapter 3 infra, and chapter ten, for development here in more detail; also Chapter 4).

To imagine that logic lapses in biology, that reason departs in physiology, that causation suffers accident and expires in genetics, that mind is irrelevant in microbiology is not merely contrary to the way scientists actually are obliged to act, always using mind... even philosophers employing the same in all their squirmings (you can't invalidate mind with the assumption that yours is quite sound as it seeks to do so!): this is a species of magic.

Certainly it is the very stuff of much evolutionary 'thought'. (A modish example occurs in (*28) of Ch. 2 infra.) Yet this modish trend does less than nothing to alter the fact. This is mere breach of thought, observation and of scientific method, which starts which the observation (however it may be found - by movement from one observation through instrumental means, or more directly) and proceeds to the accounting process, seeking to discover its ground.

Thus when we come to vital things, to biological things, to physiological affairs, to genetic structures, we are merely moving into a field with its own special features, but not into something which gives something for nothing, any more (or less) than is the case with any other field. Nor are we such babes in physiology that it resembles an advance to the surface of the moon (which, incidentally, keeps just the same laws as is the case elsewhere, such that, for example, the extremely thin layer of moon dust, contrary to some evolutionary time-measured concepts, is at variance with projections some had held for so 'old' a body in such circumstances).

Physiology has for generations been studied like any other field and the existence of magic is not observable, the suspension of reason is not a subject of accredited research, the dismissal of causation is not found here any more (or less) than is the case anywhere.

The use of a building analogy for the general and indeed generic principles of thought, observation and inter-relation of events and objects in this world is not at all an argument from analogy. On the contrary, it is an application to one field, of irrational contrivances being seriously considered, or implicitly assumed (both illogically and contrary to observation) in another. It shocks by legitimate application and exposure. It is a stimulus to erratic thought to return to self-discipline, to novelists not to masquerade as scientists and to scientists not to engage in day-dreaming in the name of science. As Pierre Grassé put it, in the special case of mutations: There is no law against day dreaming, but science must not indulge in it (Evolution of Living Organisms, p. 103. Grassé is a past-president of the French Academy of Sciences.)

We may indeed go significantly further. This is because, as we shall see in more detail (e.g. Chapter 2 infra), the cells are the subject of intricate, linguistic codes, their chemistry, as Dr Wilder Smith points out in his work, The Creation of Life, involving a series of dimensions of order and programs. These indeed run into billions of units of data, per cell, as Time adds (pp. 64 ff., August 7, 1989). What follows is this. The analogy to buildings is simplistic in that it grossly under-rates the actual difficulties, complexities, challenges and character of the situation in biological life... in cells, in organic operating systems! In that sense, the challenge is useful, for it merely underscores the a fortiori element of the case. If in a simple, non-code type operation in building, certain imagined doings are Disneyland spectaculars, having no logical force in reality: how much more so is this, when the case in fact brings in areas enormously surpassing the the building illustration, yet still in our consistently vindicated etiological system, our causal universe!

This is no work of professional appearance for the crowds; it is a component in the crowds; it is reality, but it is treated with all the sleight of hand of a conjuror, as if appearances, here words, could atone for the fact that this is mere mystification with symbols, contrary to all law, causation and interface requirements, all observation and all coherent, rational thought which relates to it. An expedition into contra-factual fancy, it deserves only the contempt kept for other regressive debasements, into which adults sometimes fall, mistaking romancing for reality.

If a simple building operation makes decisive impact, what should the actual and far more impressive facts do! It is time to look at reality, and to follow Him.

Wilder Smith (see (*22) Chapter 2 infra) brings out the interesting point that it is no mere matter of order, even of the spatially variable order. You can put atoms in a given arrangement, but there are still variations in their spatial relationship, three-dimensionally, which can have significance. Beyond that dimension, there is a fourth - the super-imposition of code specificity. There is, he notes a code-conveying specificity superimposed on the "macro-molecular stereospecificity".

The chemistry is not only variable in the spatial configurations, but on top of that, there is code significance, another dimension of meaning exhibited by the formations provided. There is economy in that there is multi-purpose function; there is compression. We also seek our own form of compression, for example, in the field of computing, in modems, where by using symbols in more than one way, we impose additional significance on the situation, and achieve faster results by preparing more intellectual forethought about our symbols.

This language phenomenon which (see Ch. 1, Section 1, Part B and EXTENSION) implies rationality, requires thought and exhibits conception; it is an added constraint on the reality of life processes, compared with our imaginary building example. The irrational case of the building having 'babies', as an exposure of misplaced ideas in the more exotic areas, is a dream of simplicity compared with a coded program for having literal children, able to have children and so on, self-repairing and creative!

A tribute to system is found in an additional point exhibited in the Time article noted. The interconnective elements between the genes in the chromosomal structure, once thought not to be so systematic relative to code, now appear more likely to enshrine in themselves, yet further coding about elements of the total systematic structuring of what is to be 'made' from these genetic 'factories'. There is a sense in which, just as an energy output section of the cell-city is now localised in the picture, as an editorial section deals with copying and the editing of copy errors, so there is a department concerned with macro-structuring, genetic interconnection.

We are, then, in one cell, seeing a cytological city which Denton compares say, with New York, miniaturised. Indeed, as Dr Denton points out in his Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (p. 250), cell cities always come only in sophisticated models; there are no signs of upgradings in a series, in the cells of life, wherever found, in whatever, or as whatever. All are marvels of magnificent technology and codal communication.

Our building analogy, as an expression of basic principles in a form more customary to our experience, has therefore greatly increased our awareness of just how much more sophisticated the actual case is than that in the analogy. We have, in fact, a systematic partial equivalent of the builder on site, silently, compartmentalised, like so many computers in a multi-processor function, exercising provisions for this and that error, development, contingency. It has everything but his intelligence, but as a construction, it requires concepts greatly surpassing the best he can contribute, be he never so good!

Thus the pursuit of the analogy provides an entirely additional dimension to challenge the mind and incite reason to do her duty and see not mere serial construction, but in effect, coded programs of exquisite sensitivity and inter-connective conceptual continuity, in one language, the language of life, emitting instructions.

What do we in fact find? Not the mere construction but the language, and its programming; nor this alone, but provision for the continuity of those programs; nor only this, but a brick-by brick, that is cell by cell containment of this program in its whole draft in an information sequence which has been compared to hundreds of volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica, per cell, with provision for pro-creative procedures issuing in more such biological and intellectual buildings : This is what we in fact find.

The code which directs the erection of such a series of self-replicating buildings is, moreover, so to construct in its task, that the final buildings are fit for the exercise of a free spirit, rendering equipment for the executive who is to make use of the utilities supplied. (Cf. earlier references noted under 'freedom'-index.) Man is given a sophisticated maze of ultra-cultural utilities, in which to deploy his creative imagination, ask his questions, assign his desires and consider his position. In strict causality, what is its basis - this magnificence and this magnitude for man ?

What is operating here then, in the construction of this provision ? What minimally is required ? Required for this result is a profoundly integrative intelligence, apt for sequential operations enshrining conceptual design, of which these are the implements. We ourselves do something similar, though profoundly less complicated, when we use, say, letters (one element), punctuation (another, two integrating systems of symbols) and paper (first to be made, in another system with its own sources, resources and requirements, and delivered at the right place and time), and ink, to make this visible (which requires others sources, resources and system, where it is needed in the right flow, amount, consistency and so on); and design, using our imaginations.

Together with this, when we write a book, we create it in the first place, use thought re the purpose and design, concepts by which to make into expressive executable format those design criteria, and formatting by which to render all this suitable for implementation by the executive wing. Here - say, it would be the publisher who, of course, has his own sources and resources, which are in turn to be integrated with the needs for the ultimate arrival of the formatted, conceptualised, verbalised design. Indeed, materialists routinely confuse the paper, letters, symbols, or the transmission with the concepts, the product transmitted . . . and its production (cf. p. 999 infra).

The various means and implements are co-ordinated by strongly creative intelligence such that there is, if you like, a superimposition of purpose and design on means and order, a selection and a constraint. The order does not constitute the design, but is a method base, with many others, for its implementation. We know the existence of the features by their fruits, the activity of the ingredients/participants by their codal/creative interplay and their education by their ability to use the one code (here, say English), which it takes intelligence to learn and thought to operate.

Our use of computers is increasingly highlighting, through the thoroughly exacting and minutely insistent requirements of programming, what is really involved in the semi-automation of such constructions, and in the mental constraints required for multi-processing. These are the ingredients, staggeringly wonderful in the creation, but wholly understandable in principle, for even we continually act in mini-kind, with creative enterprise; and it is impossible to pretend we do not know what is required. Each species of action and agency, when automated, merely the more exacts the concepts to encode it, which, systematically integrated with added directive symbols and contrived power, proceed to perform each action, all actions, and the synthesis of actions.

19 The concept of an infinite series of material universes, whether they be deemed successive over time, or spread over space, is perfectly irrelevant to these reasonings. They lack ingredients for their causation; and if 'they' had the self-sufficiency of God, being spirit, then we would have simply a manipulation of terms. The facts would be unchanged, as would God. (Parallel efforts to abort or thwart or escape from God, in a similar way, have already been considered under FREEDOM AND LIMITS supra. Necessities are not altered by proliferations or contrivances; necessities, when met, remain as they were, and we end where we have done.)

20 An era held to be next to the very earliest base in the long sequence of ages drawn up by hopeful theorists for the earth.

21 You need equally the cause of space. For further on causation, see e.g. pp. 2-16 supra and Chapters 3; 5, 1; 9 Section 4, pp. 836-884; and pp. 255-292, all infra.

22 SUMMARY TREATMENT (esp. relating to 'what He is'). God is in no way or sense intra-systematic; for any system depends on the self-sufficient and necessary cause that comprehends not merely its existence, but the thought behind it. It is by virtue of this that it is able to become a 'system', in practice expressing the conceptions which a self-sufficient mind would have as an output. God, the Creator has none thus to stand behind Him, contriving His 'system'.

Hence, there can be no question of internal squirmings or writhings such as are the case with sick men and women, seeking for this or that frustrated desire through quirkish means, having words and deeds at variance, in expression of conflict. There can be no conflict internally in God, for if there were, He would be at war with Himself, in some or other degree, and that portends a constitutive limit of one constructed thing versus another, which is another name for a constitution. (Cf. pp. 580ff.,  592 infra, and pp. 30ff. supra.)

But who made that ? At once, you have implicitly demeaned God into a creature by such concepts and considerations, to that which is within what-is-beyond... it. You are speaking of a creature, something poured into specifications, taking what is 'given'.

Hence whatever God says and wills is the expression of an almighty being, not afflicted with a divided heart or will, contrary to itself, or contrary to the creation He has made, since He made it for His all-knowing will, a will itself subject to no 'maturing', since He has no potentiating system to mature; for that exists in a deployed system.

What He may be, and Biblically is, is contrary to what, in His creation, is contrary to Him. If He were not, then He would be at war with part of Himself, contrary to His self-sufficient, unimpedable self. Because He is contrary to this, in particular the injustice, lies, fraud, caricatures of Himself, as to the voiding or avoidance of His donations in the form of talents and so on, therefore, we saw: there must be removal or remedy. There is not yet at least the former, and on looking for the latter, we have found it abundantly confirmed in practice, as it is also logically required.

It is important to realise that truth is what God has pronounced and performed, there being no other absolute marking point, or criterion, or perspective. Justice is the fitting relationship between God and each, and each other, of the rational beings He has made.

Both the truth and the justice of God are offended against multitudinously in man's war with God. As remedy for the offence, an act of pure grace, explicit divine communication is the only source in such a world. The only supernaturally provided, publicly accessible, enduringly presented, utterable testable, amply verified exhibit is, and remains: the Bible. Elsewhere in this work, the historical necessities relating to Jesus Christ, whom in any case the Bible depicts, predicts and exhibits, are presented, a separate study. (For example, see Chapter 6, cf. Appendix C.)

An ultimate failure to accept this person, the sole Saviour, carries the burden of an an implicit blasphemy against the integrity of God, or an explicit rebellion against Him; or both: just as blasphemy itself constitutes rebellion of heart, head or both.

More extended treatment

(More especially relating to the point of the words, "Let us consider this aspect," in the text). The reader may now look at the treatment below, untroubled by the greater detail. We have shown earlier (e.g. pp. 19-43 supra) that God is entirely self-sufficient, truthful and free of self-war. Hence all distorted or distorting joys (distorted from and for what ? He made the form and the spirit), debased means and vainglorious ploys to deceive (deceive whom ? He made the truth) are contrary to Him.

Neither constitutive requirements of Him, nor immature, premature nor wistful vagrancies by His all-knowing spirit (He makes the paths) can exist in His beyond-Time knowledge and free preference for what He is, and what all must be. Creation does not add to His completeness, and in nothing is He dependent on it psychologically, emotionally, socially, morally or personally, having analytically and actually conferred on it all its components, its compositional synthesis, its potential, significance and setting; similarly sustaining them. Exhaustively His product, creation has nothing to contribute to His completeness in any sense; on the contrary, it is complete in Him, and incomplete, without Him.

For such a Being, then, nothing given can exist, for the simple reason there is no one to give it! All depends on Him who for all time and beyond time (cf. pp. 21-35, 38-42 supra) knows all. Even internal constituents are not data for investigation; for nothing is given, nothing develops, since there is no extraneous program; beyond time, He is what He is. The self-declaration is not by means of inherited or manufactured or dowered constraints. The scriptural designation is so magnificent: "I am that which I am" or "I am" ( Exodus 3:14, John 8:58). There is not system reference or limiting space or time reference. Autonomous existence is His necessarily monopolised prerogative.

Man is far otherwise; and this not merely by reason of that unique eternity of God. Without being thus, man nevertheless does contrast with and contradict by the use of his spirit, the very nature of God. God does not worry; but man in common forms does his, even specialising in it. God does not lie (pp. 29-35 supra, cf. pp. 43-46, 313-315, 380-386, and 578-585 infra); while this man does, to astonishing degrees, even moving in advanced stages into self-deception, a marvellous expression of the profound spiritual (if here debased) character of a person. God makes justice (cf. pp. 41-47 supra) what it is; man deforms and defiles it, even knowingly, and at times he performs injustice with gloating arrogance, glorying in himself as he does it. God does not make war on Himself; man does. This is not to condemn war per se. It passes no judgment on a particular war (possibly defensive to protect vulnerable persons)... given the state of the world; merely on the state of the world, given war.

This riotously and calamitously clashing world is clashing not merely with itself - in collision with itself and its justices - but with the entire character of God. It takes, most frequently, without asking (from God) what is given; and it gives what it will, often without asking God or man. It clashes with the peace, righteousness, truth and justice of God, spoiling itself, misusing itself, frequently despising its designs (from God), and designing ways of distorting its designs of body, mind and spirit. And for this ?

Destruction is the easy divine option apparent. Of course, it has not been used, though many partial destructions have met the race. On the other hand, remedy is not too hard... and destruction being withheld, remedy must demonstrably be present in the case of derivative dependents, having no power to force their Creator to deny Himself.

Wholly unimplicated in the His contradiction, utterly unforced of necessity by His creatures, God who makes freedom possible and meaningful for His creation, for man: by remedy thus expresses the alternative to destruction. Certainly it shows patience and ingenuity; and so indeed does much else in His works.

Not destruction (not as yet total destruction for the race on earth), but remedy is in this way provided; and God's standards are maintained with freedom, however marred by sin, it may be. It is defective, but not rescinded. What cover then is there for the unspeakable gap between God's standards and this fallen race, systematically in violation ? Christ's atoning sacrifice allays just anger, implements purity, placards remedy pending judgment - gives mercy a path towards all (cf. Romans 5:15-18).

Invading and investing the human scene of such contrary calamities as freedom permits (and which, being of such great value, freedom is permitted to bring): God meets the liberty He allowed, without aborting it (John 3:16-17).

Ordered, organised and now confronted, without evacuation of his meaning, man in his measure of limited freedom (he is free to rebel against his Creator who is the ultimate basis for freedom for man as pseudo-autonomous): man, then, as a race meets divinely expressed remedy instead of mere earthly destruction. There is a personal meeting of a personal matter. (See Index also- 'Apologetics'.)

It is thus that the divine program proceeds, with the unimaginable but readily communicable deposition called revelation. (See pp. 44-47 supra.)

Chosen by God, therefore, and necessarily so, revelation is to be studied to discover His mind and will in the matter... of man. Wholly unavailable to philosophy, it is inspectable by the eyes, it is heard with the ears, and response is made to it by the human reader within the plan and scope of the sovereign God... who knows full well how to implement even that masterful magnitude called freedom. (See also Chapter 5 infra, and a more formal treatment on pp. 44-47 supra; and Ch. 8, Predestination before Prophecy, 634-643, *(27), p. 92 and Appendix D, pp. 1165 ff., infra.)

23 The Quran (Koran) in the translation of Muhammed Zaffrula Khan (1971) states (p. 30, from Surah II): Fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but transgress not. Surely Allah loves not the transgressors. Once they start the fighting, kill them wherever you meet them, and drive them out from where they have driven you out; for aggression is more heinous then killing. (Sic). But fight them not in the proximity of the Sacred Mosque unless they fight you therein; should they fight even there, then fight them: such is the requital of these disbelievers. Then if they desist, surely Allah is Most Forgiving, Ever Merciful. Fight1 them until all aggression ceases and religion is professed for the pleasure of Allah alone... (It. added.)

The cause of killing is removed upon the removal... of 'disbelief' of those who possessed this particular relationship towards the visions of Muhammad. The Battle of Tours, in 732 A.D., was one place where the violence of religious drives was halted, before Europe, in dire peril, could be engulfed. Again, Surah VIII shows Muhammad, stirred by contrary religious action, advising: ''Make war on them until idolatry cease and God's religion shall reign supreme'' (refer p. 1081 infra).

Similarly, Sydney Cave in his work, An Introduction to the Study of Some Living Religions of The East on p. 212 gives Surah IX. 5 of the Koran as follows (italics added):

When the sacred months are passed, kill those who join other gods with God wherever you shall find them; and seize them, besiege them and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush; but if they shall convert, and observe prayer, and pay the obligatory alms, then let them go their way, for God is gracious, merciful.

Such a 'god' would appear also to be profitable in some circumstances where religions meet in a vortex, and power is in the arm of some, not others.

The historical impact of Moslem 'forced conversions' is no more ambiguous than is this directive above. It is not an aberration of some unauthorised segment of the 'faith', but actually written in its 'scriptures'. (See pp. 987, 1080-1082 infra.)

On topics in relation to this religion: see Index - Moslem. See also Divine Agenda Ch. 6 with
More Marvels
Ch. 4.

24 Leviticus 16, Exodus and EXTENSION 2, pp. 822-829, esp. p. 824 infra.

25 This follows and fulfils the practice of the Old Testament covenant. In this, a person might receive... say a Lamb for his sins, for a sacrifice in terms of various specified trespasses (e.g. Leviticus Chs. 4 to 7, and Exodus 12, Psalm 51).

26 God then, eternal, almighty, righteous and truthful has authored the Bible. (See also Appendices   D,   C.) That Bible focusses Jesus Christ as remedy for sin, remedy for ruin, as victor over evil and death; and it addresses men in His name for action, requiring repentance and reception of his Christ in His claims; in His place as God manifest in the flesh, in His Person. The One who admits members of our race to life in the Spirit of God under His own name as Redeemer, gives entry indeed to everlasting life (cf. I John Ch.'s 1 and 5). He is available to those who come to Him and who, in view of His invitation (John 6:37) are thus His by adoption (Romans 8:15-16).

These have been justified (Romans 4:25, 5:1, Titus 3:7) by faith in Him, as that wholly authoritative Lord, who knows all things, and who works all things after the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1:11).

Thus it teaches and so it is.

This in itself does not for some, initially, however clearly cover the Biblical statement on what it teaches about itself. Identified is one thing; characterised is another. Being God's word, then, what does it say about the way it says it ? Identified, how does it define and depict its task ?

Obvious ? Yes, in that the God whose we are, and who has all power, and who makes expression from His own Person, will be superbly, infinitely adequate and not violate His truth (and He IS the truth). Yet for all that, the human mind can be remarkably dulled by cultures and conceptions long running riot; so that we will investigate in some detail the self-designation of the Bible in APPENDIX D, more for completeness than for need. (See also Chapter 9, Daniel File, Part 2; et al..)

27 EXTENSION on: A Simplified Schema (with focus on suffering q.v.)

At this point, a simplified schema, a swift list of stopping points in the hike, may prove useful. A point of departure for this brisk walk (rather like an Autumn hike in the cold over the long trails of Summer), one which commends itself for its pith, is the film, The Hiding Place, based on the book of Corrie ten Boom.

This redoubtable and justly famed Dutch resistance leader had the exterior of an abundantly straightforward and tender-hearted daughter of an elderly, lovable and loving watchmaker. Hiding Jews in a carefully contrived, and architecturally brilliantly conceived shut off part of the house, an invention among walls and levels, the family were at last exposed, despite earlier kindly police 'ignoring' of the heroic efforts to spirit away the persecuted Jews, on an underground route.

The book recounts the horror of Ravensbrook, the suffering, the callous indifference to the suffering of her father, who, rather than have his offered freedom, would not give his word to help the Jews no more. On the contrary, said he, when offered a specious freedom, when need knocks at my door, I will open. Jews would by no means be ignored or disregarded.

With such a blank contrast of light and shade, evil and virtue, kindness and cruelty, constructiveness and destructiveness, the story allows us to listen in to a camp conversation amongst the abused and harassed, over-worked and dragooned inmates.

While people were being marched off to death, were being struck for being sick and too feeble to lift, disregarded, burdened with forced labour under inhumane and even inhuman conditions, the question arose: Why ? We listen as the prisoners address themselves to this aching thrust to their troubled bodies.

A former first violinist of a major European orchestra was there... with hands now ruined for the skills so painfully learned, and no doubt so much appreciated by concert audiences. Why ? came the question. In Corrie ten Boom's own mind would have been the knowledge of the cruel, heartless way in which her own father had been allowed to die... and so on.

If, said one of the speakers in the film, if God is good, why does He not stop this: if He is all-powerful, He can; if He is also good, He will.

He has the power, so why does He not use it ? This was the question.

The immediate answer of course is this: He does, but not as you might expect. Give it however some thought, and what is found is this. Freedom, something many Chinese and Eastern Europeans, many Latvians and Estonians and Lithuanians would cherish if they could get more of it, it seems: Freedom requires certain results. If we are not to be programmed like computers, set like alarm clocks to 'go off' at this and that, but rather are free to do good or evil, then we have shame and guilt and accusations: things which all races practice, whatever they say.

We also have results. Thus if you do evil to me, that may affect my teaching and so you may do harm to students; and if they are impatient, then they may do more evil to themselves. If a father is a drunkard, there must be effects on his children; and similarly, if he is a bankrupt and so on. True, the children may work and escape; but the waves! the currents, the results tend to come. If Hitler may not do evil, then you may not do good. If he may not hate, then you may not love. With freedom, you have all; and without it, none of these things are free to happen.

If you are not suicidal, then you will appreciate having life, the opportunity to express yourself, find the way of life and follow it.

The cost of this open door to good, is the open door to evil.

If God made things, people, in order to get pleasure out of hurting them, then 'He' would have an appetite for something obtainable best by creating and spoiling what He made. But if God had such a need, a vacuum in His life, He would not be self-sufficient, but making things to make up for things that were not there, but which He would like to the there. To do evil to His creation could not be the objective, unless He had unmet needs, so that what they were constituted to be, became a butt for 'divine' appetite.  Even if it were deemed a matter of mere caprice, it would then be implied that THIS was a vacancy in His self-sufficiency, so that 'He' thus indulged desire that required  us of creation fulfil His whimsy quotient, or whatever. The case is not altered in the least by such additives to the imaginary 'needs'.

That could not be God, but only the product of someone who would have given Him that sort of constitutional inadequacy, creating bounds in Him which were bonds, limits defining dissatisfaction, dependency on what was not Himself; so that He would neither be ultimate, nor the ultimate, but constituted as an interactive agent in a system of give-and-take, a creature.

God cannot be like that. Making freedom, He opens the door to love and hate, good and evil. If then, hate and lies and injustice come along in great power, as they do, and the human race is nearly full of it (oh, there is much good too, but we are dealing with the dark area, the 'problem' area), then does God make the race suffer this evil, and be spoiled ? That He would work good simply by desire, not need, this is one thing; that He would work evil, spoliation of His creation by need, working one thing and attacking it gratuitously, all as one, this is another. If He wishes to share His wonders with others, this is His option. If He were to wish to violate His own works or word, this would be self-contradiction, outworking of internal violation, apt for self-contradictory beings, but not for One whose will and being accord, nothing added or subtracted, the only and ultimate autonomous being! Self-violation is assault on self, and hence dissatisfaction with it, and hence inadequacy in it, betokening a created status.

Such contradiction would be a contradiction in terms, a specious imagination of no relevance to reality.

What then of a system where human liberty is created, allowing love and nobility, if likewise their obverse, desecration and lies ? What will become when the evil assails the good, His word, and His works are compromised by other works of His ?

Will He tolerate evil to rule ? Of course not, for then it would be true that He had the power to do good, and did not use it, and this, that He suffered what HE would not do, to be done so that the system of His creation became an engine of what was against His personal desire, whose power is unlimited. HE would be contradicted not only in word, but in work, not only in work, but in system. Since self-contradiction requires no other contradiction, such an imaginary 'god' may be dismissed by reason at once.

He COULD destroy it all ? but where then is His foreknowledge,  which embraces with other knowledge, all things, having limits in nothing, while He  Himself imposes limits for each, which in turn,  work towards the creaturely definitions of His products ? Destroy all things ? He did not actually do so, for if He had, this writer would not be now typing; but I am!

What then ? He could rebuke it, but this in itself would not remedy it. Protest is not solution! Therefore, in such a matter, one can see this, that He issues a remedy. If not, then He accepts the rule of evil, sinking to creaturely status, an exploiter, making 'Him'  (impossibly) not good and self-sufficient, or (impossibly) not all powerful, a mere product. That would be the same as non-existence, and this is no resolution, but mere impasse that teaches us the necessity that the remedy be there. Psalm 50:16-23, with II Peter 3:9, trace this logical fact. Needing nothing from creation, God does no evil to it. It follows that He DID issue remedy, and He holds it out till His good pleasure deems the matter concluded! What then of this remedy for which we are logically driven to look ?

This remedy must include something about forgiving us, for we all fail this way and that. That can only be found if God speaks. Now the only basic religions which show God speaking in so many clear words (not man talking about Him) are: those of the Jews, the Christians and the Moslems. As to the Moslems, their Koran contains areas which allow forcing people to 'believe' in what they call "Allah". But if God were interested in using force relative to believing and acting with Him or not, then freedom would have no place, so that then HE would be responsible for the evil. Further, Muhammad, their leader, makes up a 'Jesus', some 600 years later, calls Him sinless but wants to bypass Him. This is hardly historical. Indeed, there is no reason to believe any of it.

Again, it has no remedy: you work out, as told, and maybe, just maybe, you will make heaven. It depends, it seems on the pass mark. What if you just fail and someone elsejust makes it: will a total fate depend on a little difference. This is no remedy. It merely reflects the problem. Indeed it intensifies it, both affronting justice and minimising mercy.

The Jews, for their part, have themselves passed on to the rest of the world their Scriptures, which are in fact what the Christians call - the Old Testament. This is some 39 books, as the Jews say, and in it you find that someone called the Messiah (that, in their language, Hebrew, stands for 'Christ') will come to earth, being God, and die for the sins, the evils, accepting the punishment, the curse deserved by those who have done wrong, who come and receive His pardon on this basis. He would rise from the dead, and in the end, His kingdom would rule the world, which, in turn, would be removed and replaced with one in which truth, love, goodness, mercy and justice are ruling, through this Christ, this Messiah.

The Jews' scriptures say all this, and add (Isaiah 49:7) that the Jews will reject their own Messiah, the Christ, and will be scattered all over the world, at last being brought back to their own land (which happened in 1948). They also say (Amos) that God will foretell to the Jews what He is going to do with them.

Now all this has happened, and God did foretell that the good news of this Christ would be given, preached, taught by people who were not Jews; and indeed (Isaiah 65:12 ff.), God stated that He would call His servants by another name. The Jews would not accept Christ, and God would not accept them, until they did!

Therefore, it follows that the Christ who has happened must be the One foretold. Otherwise God would have left out all this long and painful part of the Jews' history. However it has all happened, just as He said. Therefore Jesus is the Christ, based on the Jews' own scriptures. His people are naturally enough called 'Christians', which is 'another name', no longer... Jews. The Old Testament therefore is not an option instead of the New, but requires the New; and both are the divine remedy inscripturated.

This leaves us with both the Jews' scriptures (the Old Testament) and the New Testament of the Christians as the statement of the remedy, of necessity. God has indeed not left us without a witness! Unchanging, the remedy spans the millenia (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17, News   87, Dayspring).  Indeed, the Christians accept both of these, the one which told of the Christ who would come and the one, the New Testament, which told of what He did when He did come.

Finally, it is of interest, in so vast a topic, to consider what may have been the particular aspects of divine wisdom in such a seemingly unredeemable situation as that in the Ravensbrook concentration camp, of which the book and the film speak.

Corrie ten Boom herself, at the end of the film, makes a short address. In this, she indicates what to her is a crucial demonstration-lesson aspect of the whole matter. For her part, it has shown that God is able to reach to the deepest situations of apparent hopelessness, what the world might call - deepest hells. He is able to reach down, she declared with the voice of experience, the experience of the personal God whom she knew before, during and after Ravensbrook in the decades of her ministry following the war: He can reach down so far there is no further to go. Nothing is too hard.

Now her own release was evidently a result of a mistake on the part of the Germans: not so on the part of the Almighty. Her release enabled the vision, so strongly forwarded by her sister, a victim of Ravensbrook who after callous treatment of her physical weakness, succumbed - to be fulfilled. Indeed, her sister's vision was fulfilled in a grand international and buoyantly obvious style, as thousands were helped by Corrie's patient works of rehabilitation, teaching forgiveness and being forgiven in and through the Redeemer, the only Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

He had continued when Hitler was done. Indeed, we might add, the might of Hitler, so grossly disproportionate in character as it seemed, to that of Corrie ten Boom in her incarceration, confinement and humiliation, ended in his suicide and her release. He ceased to afflict the earth; but Corrie continued to bring, in Christ Jesus' name, a blessing to many. We count it strength to endure; and in this case, her experience in the long hours of her life, her observation of the fulfilment of prayers and the continuity of the companionship of Christ, His morals unchanged, His grace always sufficient - it was this: it was His strength which so enabled her.

That is lesson number one from Ravensbrook. His power is sufficient in all circumstances.

The second lesson appears to be this: the sister, Betsie, died under duress (but not without the love and closeness of her sister, Corrie, not without hope, without vision, not without constructive plans for the future, plans which in essence were to be realised in the grandest manner).

Thus one Christian was delivered amidst suffering, to declare the power of God, to implement vision, be given victory and help others to victory: to proceed in Christ's love and through his sovereign power in the midst of any circumstance, to find the hurt and to help them, and with his believing pilgrims, his disciples, testify of Him.

This, pitying and praying for the bullying guards, considering their end and state, which illustrates for the contemporary world, the wonder of Christ. This practically illustrates the wonder of Christ.

In her sufferings, there was highlighted the grace and love of Christ. It was shown in this aspect, as well as in the other, in integrity and for all to see. Both sisters wished to serve Christ: one did in word and work, the other not lest in suffering, pity and forgiveness. Paul put it that he was filling up what remained of the sufferings of Christ, clearly in that he was practically demonstrating the reality of the love of Christ, in seeking and in the way he sought, in Christ's name, to bring full, free and perfect salvation to sinners (Colossians 1:13 with 1:24-29, cf. Philippians 1:29).

What of such suffering ? First of all, for the Christian, it is willing. (Acts 5:41). Nothing then can banish this, debase it: if the heart believes, though the furnace blaze, the grace is sufficient, the thing endures, the grandeur is not lost.

That is the second lesson. Important ? So important that, in the case of Betsie, this is very close to that of Job (consult Bible book of that name). His suffering was explicitly allowed in order, using his integrity, to demonstrate to the accuser, that in his sincerity and not opportunistically, he loved God. It was not for gain that he was godly.

Thus, to take the case of Corrie who also suffered, though not then to death: before she was in prison, someone who was an onlooker of her life reflected or received the testimony that Corrie was contented. Very well, that content was not a mere function of a stable and spiritual home, parental love and security and so on. Poor and harassed people cannot, then, with any justice look at the blessings of being godly at the simply human level, and say: Oh yes, if I had all that, I would be godly too. And again, the mouth and folly is exposed which would have said: if she were to suffer, then she would cease her "godliness". She did (suffer) and she didn't (cease her godliness).

Nor is it for the exceptional alone. Many were shown to be seeking and finding the Lord in those horrific conditions; and even amidst them, qualitatively, the ten Boom's could testify to this, that they lived continually in a kingdom of grace and love and forgiveness (*28), which no horror could invalidate, over-rule, blot out, even from their hearts. They were, in the end through His grace, impervious, kept by His power, accorded His presence, living with God in such a way that the world did not control them, could not dictate to them, was not as real to them as was its Maker; nor were they impractical; rather empowered by, through and for God.

The history of the human race is multiform and manifold: such trials and demonstrations as these are not lost. As the world watches sport and often makes sport of religion, experiences and testimonies like these become one more, a practical, experiential and qualitative verification of the promises of the Bible.

Such things are only some of the results of such things as Ravensbrook: another one? It is this. In such exhibitions of Christian strength and composure, there is a rebuke to the tinny, the tinsel glamour of wild-eyed human systems; one by one, yes from the days of the persecutions by gladiator and lions, by making Christians suffer by being tarred and used as amphitheatre lights, through the Roman Catholic Inquisition and to this day, the spirit is there, the courage endures, the testimony continues. The passing parade of the unstable philosophies of man, and their political counterparts, so many 'WRONG WAY' follies in the very face of the light of Christ, are shown by contrast, both in principle and in practice, to be unstable, vapid and vaporous, follies without logical or practical power or value.

The precious and inspired words of Job echo throughout the vault of history, and it is timely to hear them (Job 19), set to music from Handel. We can imagine Corrie's  feelings and the thrust of joy in her faith, when liberated from her task of suffering; and how often Christians find just this, whether in faith after trial or by faith within it, as timelessly expressed by Job (Ch.19), and in part heard from "The Messiah":

"I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last upon the earth;
and after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
that in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!"

When man will not cease what brings corruption, then Christ suffered that man might be rendered incorruptible (cf. I Corinthians 15:22-24, 50-54); knowing this, that IF we died with Him, we shall also live because of Him ... if we are faithless, He remains faithful: He cannot deny Himself" ( II Timothy 2:11ff.). If people deny Him, HE also will deny them!

28 For Kingdom of Heaven, refer Index

29 EXTENSION on: THE TRINITY. (See also Chapter 7, Section 4, pp. 532-560 infra.)

God is One.

That is one of the basic premises of our earlier demonstration; and Paul in Romans 1:18-19 notes that this is manifest, His divine power and nature.

To some, the mode of His existence, the form in which He consists is subject to a priori ideas: that is, they simply assume He must be like this or like that. Not only is this assumption, it is also a matter of a personal kind, since God is a person; thus it quickly becomes presumption. If you told me how I think, what my motives are, how I resolve things, based on your own ideas, that too would be presumption. Christ's judge not! has much to do with this (Matthew 7:1). There are areas beyond our sure knowledge; and if this applies between one of us and another, how much more is it the case when the Person is the Almighty!

It may seem nice to some, that God would be unable to have company in Himself, that He should be conceived as a sort of isolate. This to them might satisfy some inner desire for the design of God: I say 'design', for that is what it then becomes, the design for Him! of some human thinker...

Now His works show the minimum He can be; but His form and thoughts are His own wholly. That, we have reasoned, is one constraint forcing us to realise that if He had not spoken, we could not know whether we could be or how we could be forgiven, or in what way to co-operate.

Thus, in divulging (for God is a Spirit as has been shown from the first) how He exists and what He thinks, God tells us. Even among ourselves, it is so; much more so with One whose form is hidden from our eyes, being spiritual.

If then God tells us that His form does provide internal communication, is this a matter for chagrin or surprise! After all, if it did not do so, He would be so limited that we should, as a race, as a kind, have the advantage over Him! We should know something of fellowship, internal racial relations, communication, consultation, the exuberance of mutual involvement and so on, but He would not! He would have to make us, to learn this most basic datum.

It would, then, be a strange desire on he part of any man that God should have a design which excluded such things, a capricious insistence as well as a presumptuous insistence on the part of any man... to so denude the Almighty as to render us in this, His superiors, rather than containers of what He donated, expressing in created form, something of the uncreated love.

It would also involve that of necessity He would have to learn what He did not know, when He created our august... race; and that would show a design deficiency in Him, since this is a mode of fellowship among our own kind, and there is but one of Him! Potential in Him would be realised through us; not just action in His character, but development of it. As shown elsewhere, potential implies its placement in a system, and this in turn, implies the placer and maker of the system, who then would be God.

For God to have to learn such an ingredient of life would be to make Him circumscribed; but by whom! Since He is God, nothing can circumscribe Him, condition or limit Him. It would be both, therefore, a bizarre and an inconsistent wish to have God without internal consultation, communication, counsel and fellowship.

When we read the Bible, as in Isaiah 48:16, Zechariah 3:8, Psalm 45, Colossians 1, Exodus 20, Ephesians 4:4, Revelation 1 and so on, we find two things very quickly. God is one and God is not unitary. One is the number of gods there are; and singularity is not the way He exists. He is not a community, it is true; He is not a society, very surely. He is what He is, as He says. We have to learn the mode of existing and consisting, what we are told of the nature of God in His form.

He is an internal fellowship, for the Son has fellowship with the Father and the Father has fellowship with the Son, and the Spirit proceeds from both, as John 15 exhibits. Our society is based, as is indeed our capacity to hold counsel within ourselves (yes, give exhortations to ourselves), on a potential for fellowship of one kind; and God's form provides for a fellowship of another, but not wholly dissimilar kind. We are not infinite; He is. We are in His image, but He is neither biological nor multitudinous, like us. His form of fellowship from eternity is one of a being who is one being, whose consisting is always a collaboration of personalities, persons who differ nothing in nature, but differentiate significantly in function.

One expresses, one is the expression; one sends, one is sent; one is the speaker, to use that form, one is the spoken. Now we speak and have what is spoken; but in the Eternal One, His expression is a lively person. He does not initiate His speech, for that being is always present. we, being created and partial, do initiate our speech. God's speech to us may be sent; but the full expression of God, this is part of what He is, is never sick, does not die, never ages and is in involvement with the Father in a way so ageless and intimate, as requires knowledge of God to begin to understand.

WE are prepared to discover new coastlines; we do not pre-specify their contour; and we must logically be ready to discover the form of God! In the Bible, He tells us what we need to know. In this, there is no slightest difficulty of reason; it is simply that, if in other things how much more in this, it could not have predicted it. In the end, God must be known. Our purpose is to show where He is to be found; the finding follows, and is a personal rather than a merely logical step. Logic exhibits where the truth is found; it is God who provides it!

We have looked at some of our perceptions, rendered possible by our construction as 'image-bearers' of God, correlatives at the derivative level, in terms of fellowship and company. Now we shall consider some of the things we have in interpersonal relationships which relate more to authority and representation.

This, in ascending order, we could have a representative (like an M.P.), or an ambassador (one of many which a country may field), or a special envoy (sent, for example by a President entirely to represent him in a land, or for an issue in process or in progress), or a brother, as in some companies, Smith Brothers, where there is not merely the combination of talent, but of genetic background, family background, emotional background, background in many toils and adventures and intimate acquaintance, each with the other's actions, motives and involvements. This may be somewhat limited; but often it is comparatively open, and the more so, as the brothers are pure in heart, honest in intention, clear in industry and fortified by common ideals.

Beyond this, perhaps, there is the representation of a son. In this case, an aged king has a young prince. Not merely was the prince carried in his arms when young, not alone has he shared many things, the father has tenderly considered and construed and sought to give a good completion to the young man's education, providing for his house to come and seeking with singular attention his good in all things. Not only does the son share (it may be, and where there is integrity and truth, it may well be) his father's ideals, but the father has tended to nurture the son's perceptions of these things. A tenderness of involvement tempered by an awareness of the young man's individual identity and responsibility plays upon the scene, like the flickering of the flames of a fire. Friendship may also contribute, and shared dangers and overcomings.

Each has watched the other: the one, as one developing, the other as one contributing to that development and meeting his own challenges and confrontations without.

When then, in such a case (and it is true we are, and advisedly are construing the case where such a natural and supernatural harmony exists, as it indeed may) the father sends the son to war, or to work, or to a mission, there is more, far more than is the case in the sending of an ambassador or even a special envoy or legate.

There is something of the father in the son; there is no mere fortunate harmony or at any rate harmonisation of elements of ideals and purposes and points or view or perspectives: no, there has been a formative involvement, a prizing of things together, a sharing of both perceptions and of energies which anoints the matter.

The son, in such a case, represents the father in heart and in strength and in ideal. He is becoming, as we describe this special case, a natural case if only people would follow the truth together, more and more of an image of the father.

Now there will be diversities, of course; and as well that this is so. For the father, in the earthly case, is both partial and special. But in the area of the divine, the Father is wholly the source of all creation, and the Son is wholly and eternally involved in the Father, as a person who embraces and displays the Father, involved in all His works, such as creation (John 1; Ephesians 3:9).

Thus, in the Trinity, where gender is irrelevant, for ''they neither marry nor are given in marriage''- the angels; and God Himself, He is Spirit: there is the eternal companionship, the everlasting sharing, the ever young realities and there are the ever old relationships. It is not sequential but operational. It is this Son, this Word, this Lord (Zechariah 3:8) who is sent, appointed and anointed for the task of being on earth the Messiah, the Christ, the plenipotentiary and prince through whom the Father is seen, so that He who has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9). This is the character of the Biblical exposé, exposition and expression of the state and stature, the form and function of the Son, of whom it most understandably says: "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does no have life" (1 John 5:12).

That is why Peter's illumination by which he was able to see the revelation of Christ's position and office (Matthew 16:13, 16-17) was so crucial that Christ would build His Church upon it (Matthew 16:18). The 'petros' or stone as Peter was there called, would be used as an expressive medium, Peter would be a testifying witness.

This is what must be seen (cf. John 6:40, Matthew 16:17), Christ as He is, providing salvation, for faith to be focussed on the right object, on God via reality, not via obscuration or distortion. This, the Son is the only one (John 3:16) and no other way, of course, is even conceivable (John 14:6, cf. John 10:8, Matthew 24:23, 24, 27, 31, Galatians 1:6-9, Revelation 22:18, noting "these things"); for we are dealing with God as He is; and only as He is may He be received with any value by man (cf. John 4:23). Even a medicine is not useful in pretence, whatever words and labels may be used. It is the reality which matters, it alone, in the truth. Placebos do not perform what only the power of God can do.

The 'Petra' (a different word), 'living rock', on which Jesus Christ said He would build His church is not 'petros', 'a stone', Peter... who in addition, in that very context and on that very occasion, proceeded to seek to dissuade Christ from dying on the Cross - basic Gospel, being rebuked, "Get behind me Satan", because of the temptation he was forwarding, the error he at once committed, at the highest level! No, nothing like that was the Petra, the rock on which the church was built. It would have been dead long ago if that were its base. The words applied to Peter, petros stone, and to the foundation of the church, petra, rock, diverge in form and basic meaning: ignoring words and their meaning is no way to interpret them - as contextually dramatised!

Rock, petra, the church's stated foundation (cf.1 Corinthians 3:11) and Peter Petros, the words denote the Biblically immovable Christ, God, and verbally and factually movable Peter. It is what Peter saw and said, which, as Jesus pointed out, itself came by revelation from God, which is the crucial truth. There is available for man's salvation (cf. Introduction vii, supra, and index under 'rock') no other rock and God says so (Psalm 62:1-2, Isaiah 44:9, 26:4 in 1:20, Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 18:30, I Corinthians 10:4, 3:11). This is the foundation of the church, and God says so. Woe to the man who puts himself or his church or his will or his views or his ideologies or philosophies into that place ... reserved for the Son, whom to have is eternal life (I John 5:12) whom to know, Him and His Father, is eternal life (John 17:1). As Christ said, "If God were your Father you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself but He sent Me" - John 8:42.

Blessed is the man who knows the Lord: the man who, with John (l John 1:1-4) can savour the reality of knowing the Son and living thereby that eternal life which was with the Father and which was revealed to us. Thus "he who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him" (1 John 5:1); and such remain the very children of God (1 John 3:9). As Christ said, He shared the glory with the Father before the world was (John 17:3); but God will share this with no one who is not the eternal and uncreated God (Isaiah 42:8). Seize it then? Those who 'take' it, take but air. Those who take those who take it, take but a snare. Those who take the Son have thus and therefore the Father;... God himself bearing testimony that He is the only rock, over and over, He is the One He expects us to rest on (Father and Son, cf. Isaiah 11:10, Matthew 11:28), He the everlasting Rock, He, the eternal God is our refuge (Deuteronomy 33:27), "the sure foundation laid in Zion" (Isaiah 28:16)... (See Index: 'Rock', 'Peter' and 'Petra'.)

To contest this, to contest His own place and prerogative, it is merely to request the destruction, of an avalanche, which crushes to powder (Matthew 21:44)!

This is the Biblical testimony concerning the Trinity in the facet of function... the salvation of men, and this is how and why it is utterly crucial to deal with that Son who shows the Father and not to add to or subtract, and in following Him, to put confidence in none other (Matthew 23:8-10).

Love embraces broadly, but faith rests on the Lord; for salvation is of the Lord as Jonah testified after his frightful fears were gone, and he was delivered (Jonah 2:8-9, Psalm 3:8, Revelation 5:9, 12, 13, 7:9).

Faith rests on nothing else but the Lord Himself (Jeremiah 17:5 ff., Acts 4:11-12), in Him whose goings are from everlasting (Micah 5:1-3); and it accepts the appointed, anointed, everlastingly co-equal Word who portrays with precision the Father (Hebrews 1:1-3). It is He who is the outshining of His glory, who always is His word (John 1:1-4), to whom Thomas says, "The God of me", or "My God" (John 20:28), of whom the scripture says, "Thy throne, O God" (Hebrews 1:8), who came to earth (Colossians 1:19-21), filled with all the fulness of God, in bodily form (Colossians 2:9) so that He could chide the unbeliever - "If God were your father, you would love me for I proceeded and came forth from Him" (John 8:42) - saying indeed, "before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58, Exodus 3:14): Deity available (John 14:9).