W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
Reading not between the lines, not the glue, but the book
We have been considering, in our last chapters, the need to look to the Lord, not His works, for His will, for understanding, for wisdom, for the total involvement and comprehension needed if one is to be a man, a woman, who is also and equally a child of God, not an orphan in the universe (cf. John 14:18) but an organ, a person with a place (cf. Proverbs 27:8!).
Useless is it to pulverise, lambaste, paste and decimate, to lasso the outposts of the universe and to smash with flashes of energy, the building blocks, to experiment with life, agonise the anguish of creation with vivisection and consider the symbols chosen for the working orders which make life march, in DNA ... IF your purpose is to 'find out' what life is for, where it is going, where it is coming from, what are its ethics. Be careful about causing agony to others! Consider your place...
Indeed, to pursue our book analogy of the last chapter: why study the glue which binds it, for do you imagine this makes the book's purpose, or is it not rather a part of its format for use ? Use for what! that is the question.
The answer is not so very far to seek. Read it. But what IS the book ? To move to the simple realities of the case, the book is fivefold. It is the ORDER of matter, which speaks of the comprehensive cohesion of the former. It is the ORDERS in life, in DNA, which speak of the verbiage, the symbolic logic, of the former. It is the AUTHOR of the Bible, demonstrated in SMR to be the word of the Almighty Creator, who must be KNOWN. It is the LIFE of God, which must be gained for man's mind, spirit and equipment. It is the CONTENT of His word, which must be learned and for that matter, His COMPANY which must be found. If you want a partial acronym for that, a nmenonic, it comes - if you allow the two 0s as symbolised by one, as OAK LIFE CO. You could of course make it, Oh! Oak Life Co., if you wished.
What then do we learn from the Oak Life Co. ? The oak suggests a combination of beauty, permanence and delicacy (as in the tassels in Sprink), a quiet friendliness to the climbing of small boys who find in its strength and easy angles a haven; the Life suggests what is needed, not existence, but abundance of life. The Co - content, company, suggests that there is a way in which one has company, that it involves actual knowledge, content, and in this case, this relates both to the Inventor of the Oak, above all, and to its denizens who populate its branches, and move now higher now more laterally, amidst its splendours, the people of God.
Moving then from the awareness of the MIND of the Maker, and the ORDER of the Maker, and the love of ORGANISATION of the Maker, the SPLENDOUR of His conceptions, the ART of His architecture, the FINESSE of His procedures, the GLORY of the beauty and the manifest evidence of His displeasure with His creation in the collisions of interest, the vacuity of knowledge, the wars of attrition without contrition, the baseness of the misuse of the equipment for pleasure or pride, the sufferings of war, the woes of this world, we find the need to interpret. (Cf. SMR Chs. 1, 8, Repent or Perish Chs. 2 and 7., News 74, 122, Biblical Blessings Ch. 7)
It is not difficult to find that the collision of such equipment as man, one with the other, in hatred and strife leading to loss of limb, shortening of life, vexation of mind, grief of spirit, is highly contrary to the art and artifice evident in his almost infinitely complex construction; for the body is the least of it, and that surpasses man's knowledge, for if he is beginning to find out its structure, that is far beneath having conceived it. Someone who plays Beethoven did not WRITE the stuff!
The mind, the spirit of man is a dimension leaving the mere art and artifice - mere ? by comparison only! - as all but nothing. To walk in enterprise, to think comprehensively, to envisage hypotheses, to imagine worlds, to test the ways of this one, to ally oneself on the one hand, with those gluttonies of spirit which depreciate all but one's fortune, fame, knowledge, ambition, not uncommon, allowing additions only which do not conflict with so base an aim, or on the other, with those ardent desires to seek and to find the kingdom of heaven: these are ambits of the human spirit which leave the mere programmatic pursuits of matter as beneath comparison, though grand their concepts and marvellous their construction. (Cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Little Things Ch. 5, SMR pp. 348ff..)
The aching void of modern mystique is simply mistake, a thing matter does not perform because it CANNOT do it. The very possibility of mistake is the end of the sedate little thought world of mere matter. Matter does; man purposes and his purposes are often awry from his means. The whole world in subordinated to man in this, that his crazed, self-important humanistic ideas, his illusionist ideals, on the one hand, or on the other, his understanding and wisdom of his place and purpose in the life of his spirit, which is back of his mind, which uses his body: these can destroy his world and make it unfit for any human life, in short order. A slight mistake ? Oh sorry!
What is man for ? what is life for ? what is the point of the systematic sub-structures, the avenues for thought, the means of implementation ? Is it to survive ? as if a fountain pen had no thought other than not to wear out ? Not much of a pen. Is it to be great ? as if a car had not thought other than beating any other bomb on the road ? Not much of a conveyance, risky too.
Man is for precisely what the Maker has declared. It is not a matter - to revert to our book analogy - of reading the glue, for its mission is cohesion of the system, not the comprehension of the purpose of the book. For that it is necessary to READ IT!
of course are pure marvels of enterprise, showing in their imagination
the scope and wonder of the creation which is man, in their brilliance,
but work for all that, like fools, failing in wisdom like flies that
flit. How can such people possibly contain so much ability and agility
of mind, and yet be blind ? It is a disease called sin, and we considered
it at some length at the end of Ch. 6, in
It blinds the eyes of the mind where the Maker is concerned, rather in the way that a divorcee CANNOT because he/she WILL not consider the other side, the nature of the case, only the nature of the DESIRE! It can groove itself in to the mind until its eyes are so closed, that sight is gone in this area. It is in a sort of spiritual spasm.
It is a generic proceeding for those who are at war with their Maker; for their war does not remove Him, merely their sight.
These things we have seen in SMR Chs. 1, 3, 10, in TMR Ch. 6, in Repent or Perish, in Licence for Liberty, in A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9 and elsewhere.
For the moment it is a question simply of survey. Thus the Author of the Book, the Creator of the Universe and incidentally, of man, must be KNOWN. How can you do this ? First, you need to consider His WORKS, as in the two orders noted for life and matter; and of course you should consider the ORIGINALITY at the same time in man's mind and spirit and the constructive magnificence required to both conceive and create that. All this is as in Psalm 8, and Psalm 139, the scope of His works and power. Then you need to KNOW Him. The architect's plans show HOW He is going to fulfil a PURPOSE. WHAT THAT PURPOSE actually is, however, may in some measure be gleaned, in some cases; but when it comes to a universe, you need help! You must know Him.
To do that, there are two major avenues. What He is and what He has said.
For the former, you need the latter. It is often so. If you ignore what someone actually SAYS, it is always harder to get to know the person! Indeed, it could be conceived that if you ignore the words of a person, you are not really interested at all in knowing that person! That would seem a fair inference. Articulated, comprehensible speech is set aside, straight from the spirit and personality, and you affect to want to know this person, while yet ignoring that! Sincerity in such a case would seem to have eluded you.
the saga of the feathers, their lengths, the stages, the provisions to enable it to live while those various shafts of multiply interlocking functional feathers were brought into their aerodynamic functionality, in various stages of the young bird's programmatic growth patterns, the hooks and barbs among them, with the use of the bird's beak to integrate such things; and thus, with these came
It is not necessary to meet Dan True as an egg protector so that one may live for the dual reasons that firstly, one is not an eagle and secondly, in most cases at least, one did not lack parents. It is however necessary to meet the one who will INCULCATE WISDOM as to the purpose of life, for a human being. The ability to conceive must be met by the agility to learn. You need not to read the glue, or between the lines, presumptuously imagining either that you can work it out (what with your mind, at work on his by some sort of tele-psychiatry perhaps ?), or that it does not matter. The precision of your construction needs to be met by the precision of your knowledge of what you are alive to do.
You need actually to read what is ON the lines. This may seem highly unphilosophical, and in gross danger of providing the answers when the object is to know your Maker; but for all that, it works. The provision of answer is never suitable for rebels; but it is suitable for those who seek knowledge. It is, after all, not so very unusual to read what an author says, when you want to know what he means, is it ?
Life however is not a game, far less one of obstructive obstinacy until the form of life departs, ungeared and ungoverned, as might that of some sick eagle who never found his purpose, never heeded the parents and so messed the matrix of so very many provisions.
Our link, for mind and spirit, is to mind and spirit, and it is pre-eminently clear. Identified as before, as the alone valid and validated, testable and verified Bible (SMR), it must now be seen to require utilisation. It must be read with understanding, applied with wisdom and used with that harmonious relationship to one's Maker which is called love. That, it is in the last resort, more than harmony; but it is not less!
To do this, you need to examine your relationship with Him. Since ignorance is normal, to more or less degree, because of the sin disease, which warps the mind, distorts the spirit and disturbs the very power to learn such things, it is necessary to read the Gospels, and realise that the Christ is not some religious figure, but the provision of God for man's restoration to harmony with Himself. It is necessary therefore to find, a matter of no singular difficulty in the Gospels, that life must be gained at the spiritual level, as by an absentee, like light for a dark room. The possibility of light might occur to one through opening the windows, or the door or both! However, its PRESENCE is what is needed, not its possibility! Life is more than thought, though not less. Action is required.
For this you need to GAIN THE LIFE, and this has been provided by the most amazing of methods. For the unreconciled and rebellious entity known as mankind (that is, when it is outside its Maker's will and does not know Him, as is his now inherent condition - Psalm 51, Romans 2-3), it is necessary for each one, like the egg that became the eagle, to deal with the Maker personally, as that eaglet did with Dan. You need His care, word, knowledge, acquaintance and really, His friendship. You are made able to have it, need it, and it is provided, at a cost.
Unlike most of the costs of this world, this is PAID FOR by another. The other is the Maker, who has concern for His creation, and for the quality of things, but not to the extent of abandoning heaven in order to institute hell and share it with the rebellions of man. That would help none. Rather than this, He has sent a message in a man, and the man is the message, and His words constitute a covenant or solemn agreement for and with and towards man. The message, Jesus Christ, worked and lived and loved and there was no end to His power or compassion, but with these rejected, there comes an end for this world, to His judgment which not implemented at once, was left till the last chapter of the book. (In the Bible this comes to be almost literally true, though it is mentioned often earlier, in that Revelation 20-21 deals with both judgment and the passionate provision of the gift for life, and as life, eternal life for man, right till 22:17! fittingly a mere 4 verses before the Bible finishes its declarations, terminates its offers and its presentation of the will, work and way of God).
Christ, the message, was also the messenger. Isaiah 42:6 tells us that HE IS the covenant (cf. With Heart and Soul, Mind and Strength Chs. 4ff.). However, although His words are crucial, because they show who He is, what are His purposes for man, and how to co-operate with Him as a child of God (Matthew 7:21ff.), and of course, like other specifications, they are very precise (Matthew 7:15ff., John 12:48-50, Matthew 5:17-20), and they MUST be LEARNED (that is surveyed, considered and understood): His LIFE is essential from the outset. This brings understanding, like the work of Dan with the eaglet at various stages, running him along with various contrived tests and provisions to enable his growth without his parents. In this case, it is the SPIRITUAL PARENT who has been left, and it is the SPIRITUAL GIFT which is needed to re-establish contact in this pilgrimage.
Hence one must find, accept, acknowledge, receive, actually TAKE the life of Christ. It was given in two ways, most obviously at the outset. One is this: death haunts sin, for sin, severing from the benign blessedness of God, calls for it when life that is eternal is in view. He died that we might live. He bore penalty that we might be actualisable as friends of God, not condemned as enemies (Romans 5:1-21). However He also rose from the dead, just as He raised many and healed myriads from the incurable diseases which afflicted them, so creating a furore, which with His words and covenant, alienated many, and brought many to life.
It is necessary to RECEIVE that life (John 5:12, I John 5:12-13). It is not a thought, though thought can consider it. It is a life. It is a combination of spiritual wisdom, power, presence, love, peace and joy which are the expressions of friendship, fatherly love, princely power (Christ is the prince of peace - Isaiah 9). In receiving it, you need to repent of the sin disease which has obscured the light (Luke 13:1-3, I Corinthians 7:10), and ditch the sin onto the One who was crucified, a potent image of the dereliction that sin brings, which He vicariously accepted for all who receive Him. God is ardently longing for the deliverance and restoration of His returning people, and it is His power which both provides and prevails (cf. Micah 7:18ff., I Cor. 1:30).
Thus we have looked at the ORDERS, the AUTHOR, the KNOWLEDGE and the LIFE. There is now the CO, or company with content. Cardinally, this is with Him. That relates first to prayer, talking TO Him, and communion with Him; then to ACTION in concert with Him, and with His children.
you can walk about the 'factory' and no more try to make it make itself,
and no more wonder how the people were manufactured by the program in order
to make steel and electrical components, spirits, minds and employments
contracts in some programmatic whole, thereby seeking as endlessly as in
absurd futility, for the ludicrously misconceived. The factory never makes
itself. Its owner makes it. Try talking to Him!