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THE WITNESS OF THE WORM
and THE WINGS OF THE BIRDS
I was talking to the worm. It was not a particularly lovely worm; but then I am no connoisseur in worms, as some seem to be, or in that sort of thing.
I wished it, of course, a good morning, for that is only normal. It IS important to show that you know that it is good for the worm to have a good one of these, so one says this sort of thing. I mean, actually, it would be nice if this were to be his morning. Perhaps our conversation helped! one can only hope so. It was certainly quite a dig, we got into.
It yawned. Now it is to be admitted, that lacking lips, it could be conceived of, construed as being without the means to do this. It is that beautiful metonymic package which prevents this sort of chaff. It then spoke - to prevent unnecessary misunderstanding, it must be conceded at once that its thoughts did NOT come by means of normal words. They were ... wafted. Thus instead of spoke, told, uttered and the like, we will have wafted: one feels it is the least one can do to sustain the dignity of the worm; and on that topic of its dignity, more later.
Then it wafted: I am just worming my way along, you know.
Quite! I returned, feeling somehow gratified - it is difficult to know precisely why, but a measure of good companionship is always pleasant.
Good earth here, he continued.
Excellent! I responded.
Sort of thing to keep a worm fit, he added.
Now if I asked, For what ARE you fit ? it could be thought of as discourteous. It would have been interested to get a worm's mind view. However it seemed discretion should win in this instance.
You never find anything too rigorous, do you ? I asked gently.
Oh no! I choose my earths very carefully, the way some of you choose your pipes, or used to when they were more in vogue and the cancer sticks were less mandatory for the death wish appetite.
It seemed he had a rather low-down view of this sort of thing, and while I could sympathise and even empathise with him, I did not think it good to pursue it till I knew him better. However, it IS true that for a worm NOT to be human, and then to discern (in some way, these are things one need not pursue) that people actually throw away a good-sized portion of their lives in risk taking like this, if not in needless diseases or early death outright from some related failure: well, it might have been galling. One could understand that he spoke with some feeling.
Been thinking of turning
into anything upper class, lately ? I asked.
TWEEDY TALK AND SLOPPY THINKING
Oh! that really appals me, it said. This sort of tweedy talk about things being beckoned upwards by some ghostly character, you know, the sort of thing Hoyle talks about. It is just that: talk. There is nothing ghostly about me. I for my part am NEVER beckoned. No equipment for it! don't you know. Never could think why they talk such volumes about such things as we are.
You know, he said, wriggling confidentially towards me, and turning his ... well, nearer portion towards my ear, if I were one of those, it is to be hoped my thoughts would be more sober, more realistic. It makes me burn sometimes, as if I were some sort of flatheaded worm which had no ambition, no zest, no quest, no angst, no looking ever upward and onward to higher things, a misfit, a sort of evolutionary won't, when these people, and Hoyle is monumentally ahead of the general category, having done some outstanding work in refuting some of the sillier ideas of some of his contemporaries, these pedants and popularists talk as if ... well, ANY really outstanding worm would have other ideas.
Other ideas ? The mellow tone, one hoped, would allay too much vented of subterranean passages of wrath.
Yes, ideas of rising above my station. I am fixed, and try to do a good job aerating the earth and enriching the soil, and working continually, and all that sort of thing; and I DO have my DIGNITY! Was I born with a mind to encode a concept and conceptualise a newly equipped prodigy of some kind ?
Am I to be held BASE and well, frankly, JUST A WORM, because these things do not happen inside me. I am made to be what I am, and it is quite devastating to several of my family to be continually made to think that just because some sort of being, like yourself for example, MIGHT have wanted to exist, and IF such had managed to do so, MIGHT have wanted something like leeches for their illnesses, that therefore I should realise this, put my mind to the job, and try to invent a few upward bound parts, so that if millions more happened to arrive while I was working on my one, and the plan for the total manufactured itself somewhere, and the assembly lines could be set up in the right way with the right materials and all of that sort of thing, then perhaps my bit could have been added to those bits, and that plan that maybe flew in from the Christmas Islands (Christmas presents, aren't they?) and THEN I could have become a leech, so that they could use me.
It was, of course, as I reflected, rather a long speech. But then it was rather a long-headed idea that all the specifications and plans and programmers and positioners and processors and so on, would arrive from an unknown source. He had a point.
Nevertheless, having taught at various times, it seemed to me needful to put him right on one or two things.
What could I call him at such a time ? Old chap could sound patronising, and dear fellow would sound worse; chum could sound blithely communist, or socialist or worse, while old man was not in good taste. I settled on 'my good acquaintance', though with reservations.
My good acquaintance, with the utmost sympathy I hear your complaint; but would you allow me to add to the benefits of your morning and show that at least ONE member of my race would like to be beneficial for you, and not a blight ?
Certainly, certainly, he - she - both, it - the creation said. It is good to hear someone so involved. Delighted to learn anything you care to throw at me.
Excellent! came my rejoinder. Then you see, there was indeed a time when many scientific people thought that leeches would help certain diseases, when nowadays they would not be used so freely, no, nowhere nearly so freely.
It was just an example, he said. THEY always know.
Yes, science is a very changeable thing, I replied. It sometimes gets into ruts and will not move, and at other times, struts and will move only with enormous speed, then to find that the destination was incorrect; but there you are, that's man. Science is just him twiddling away with some of the features of the creation, and trying to find out. Some of the specialists have done fantastic work, and too often others rely on their reputations to throw beastly nonsense which makes asses of our race, if someone doesn't say something.
Well, then, he said: SAY IT!
One does, I truthfully replied.
Why don't they look around
them ? They find NO evidence of LAW, NO room for hidden creative wisdoms,
stashed away somewhere in matter. They have NO idea of the code-creator in many
cases, since it is for many a deal about the job not to seem to (as is often
reported, sometimes in detail), and yet, with a humble fellow like me, they are
not satisfied. Even when on their crazy scale which runs into so many
harassments that only faith could continue with it, they talk of millions of
years of things remaining just as they were, they still seem to think that they
surely MUST have changed, and all the neatly graded evidential cases of the
unsuccessful and successful (and quite miraculous) phases on the way from B to
A (higher grade, you see) do not appear, this does not appear to matter.
Director Thompson from his
He certainly spoke with admirable wisdom in that introduction to the Everyman Edition of that Origin of Species book, one which was so irrelevant, for it had neither evidence nor plan for the creative upthrust from which selections would be made.
Upthrust! It's appalling, I tell you.
It seemed a good moment to
let him simmer down, for one does not know the likelihood of strain producing -
well, some kind of dysfunction in a worm. One is not experienced in these
matters, affairs, concerns.
Then he nodded his front and asked me about others like Thompson.
Responding, I gave him a
few short bursts, allowing him to relax a little. Indicating that
He became very emphatic in this area, I proceeded, when he was confronted by the Burgess Disparity in anatomical design of life in these Cambrian rocks (allegedly around the earliest deposits), noting that the 'disparity in anatomical design' of life in these rocks EXCEEDS what is in our contemporary oceans, Gould proceeded in his Wonderful Life, p. 208,227, 230,233,239,249,260, with the consideration that gradualistic concepts in the face of this vital profusion of hi-tech abounding early life presented an idea, 'literally incomprehensible'. His philosophies stepped in later, but these were the facts.
Indeed, three themes to pulsate under his load of mental irrelevance which pushed its way into the mind of Gould, from errant tradition. WHY was there so much preoccupation with accounting for the movement in overall design type, when since the Cambrian, it had markedly decreased, not increased ? Secondly, why were there. Why were there (theoretically) so many advanced parts all awaiting usage, when this level of diversity is never found operational today ? Such rises are purely imaginary to the empirical eye. Where did they come from, how did they come ? Where are they now ? or their ilk ? Thirdly, what is the value of an actual mechanism which as he considers reality, does not 'choose' the most advanced, the highest or the best, but among differences with no more wit than acumen, selects the unaccountable! How does this elevate, even if elevation were the fundamental reality, not design decrease at the most fundamental level!
The simple answer of course involves great complexity of thought, for 'nature' does because it cannot make what is to be before it is there itself to do it, and it needs to be made; and that the creative procedures involve mental manipulation at the conceptual, mathematical, informational and engineering level by intelligence and power equipped with the capacities for it, and that the ways of creating what is not there from what is there, are quite different from the powers of mere imagination, fairy stories, just-so stories and the like. This creative power presents no problem; while on the other hand, the technicalities of illusion are as illusory as the project! If you insist on avoiding logic, then of course, you are left in another world where reason is taken captive.
Shale deposits in
He was obviously happy to hear these things, so I felt free to continue.
You see, I went on, it is not a question of how variable are the modes within a kind, for which there are many models in thought and in preparation; it is what makes a total innovation with its specialised co-operatives, as refined as parts for a 1940, 1970, 1990 TV, and as different and useless in isolation or combination across the lines. It is especially WHAT INCREASES THE INFORMATION. In fact, nothing but intelligence can do so, does so, exhibits itself doing so, so that the law of information theory is rather the real fact that information tends to decrease. Like any other fabricated thing, it is subject to the winds and tides of events, which do not impart information, but rather tend to dissipate the means of holding it together. Empirically, he noted that the array of design types available on earth decreased most markedly over time.
Rarely in the history of
science has there been such sloppy thinking, accounting for what does not EVER
show itself with theories which ASSUMED it ALWAYS happened, and dealing with
highly specialised cases of variation within KIND, as if they made
wheel-barrows turn with appalling assurance, into space stations. Science deals
with the observable and its necessary implications; and the observable says one
· CREATION or the production of what is from what is not itself, has happened.
· It is not found to be happening.
· In the whole arena of science, we take evidence, wait for it, act on it, apply it, verify what we conceive as we find it.
· This is the evidence, unremitting, remorseless.
· Maintenance with a measure of disrepair slowly accumulating, THAT is the record.
· That, then, is what needs to be accounted for. This is not a theory. It is a fact.
To account for what are the natures, in what is metaphorically called 'Nature', you need to outsource (in mind) the cause to what is competent. That as we always find is the same super-natural source as our own, shown in SMR Chs.1,3,10; and this is as constantly verified and as consistently validated in the whole realm of creation, as the magical accounts of what does not SHOW ITSELF at all are mere delusion, and like all delusion, remain unvalidated and unverified in the whole realm of creation. It has become a real traffic jam of thought, because the white elephant of philosophy is rampant, and the motorists are in terror, and cringe in their cars, or simply drive away. A few get through, and that is the good thing.
The worm then went on to
retort, with some of his fire and ire and irony. He agreed, but the invisible
enemy had roused him.
INVISIBLE BASEBALL KINGS
Well, he mused, NATURE might NEED something to do this and that, and so something which is not made arises to become available for selection. That's the way they speak: good old Nature feels a lack, sees a chance, and invents to meet it, covering itself with glory as it imagines up the developments, flings them slowly into existence, and tosses the (now composed, somewhere, not in this world) functional and imaginative thing to the world. It is like your baseball kings.
It seemed to me that he was refreshingly well-informed for ... well, one doesn't wish to be invidious, but worms after all, are not normally regarded exceptionally highly, are they ? (One hopes this does not offend some legislation approved from the Moral Moses of the United Nations - morals ex-God, a laughable condoning of convention, torn in bits from religious bases of various kinds.) However, as the leech case showed all too clearly (though it really was rather funny, for in the days of its popularity it would doubtless have been gravely proper to receive it as wisdom), his knowledge was a little spotty.
Now THAT little lack of his was a topic best left alone, for don't you see, IF he had done so well with his admittedly extremely limited equipment, as to know so much, it would be quite improper to act as if only perfection would do, don't you agree ? After all, he was a worm, and a precious good one, it seemed to me. Hence I took it slowly, and enquired about his concept of organic evolution as resembling the baseball kings' phenomenon.
IN what way ? I asked, is it like baseball kings ?
In what way what ? he retorted. Evidently his memory was just a little subject to certain vagaries.
In what way is your invidiously treated position as a non-upgrading worm, an aid to reminiscence on baseball kings ?
Oh that! Well you see, suppose a side had one great player and several others. It had no money to purchase the services of the eminently skilful man they might like to have, and no one else, already created, wanted to join the team for ANY reason. Now in the selection process, HOW in the world would you SELECT someone who was not there, even if your selectors were so busy surviving that they cheated on income tax ? HOW ? HOW ?
His wafting seemed to drain into the nearby hills, which really wasn't at all bad for a worm.
No way, I replied perfectly frankly. Obviously (I thought, no ... clearly would do better in this instance, for the sake of good manners), clearly you CANNOT select what is not there (1). And you do not construct it by seeing how valuable it would be (2), if it only could grow to become what you want. In the case of creation, it would have to do this before you were there, to demonstrate the needs, which it would then need to realise so that without mind it could .. what ? set about creating them, so that you would be well-equipped with such creations when the time came for you to utilise them in your life. The only imaginative instrument at work in this sort of process, is that of man, who was not there at the time.
Schützenberger was very much concerned about your first point, wasn't he ? asked my supine friend, rising a little to incline his front end towards me, like an index finger - expressive little fellow.
In his own hi-tech way, yes, came my reply: that Parisian Mathematics Professor was about as outraged mathematically and in terms of artificial intelligence, as you are personally, in your affront at all this (cf. SMR pp. 156ff., and index). Dying out was all right, but how in the world did THAT invent what was to be born!
At this, the worm became
GOING UP - EXCUSE THE LACK OF LIFT!
THE INTENTION, SIR, TO SERVE IS THERE
It is ludicrous, he declared - outrageous, nonsensical and debasing, demeaning and arrogant ... It has nothing to do with it. You do NOT create by having what is NOT created do a strip-tease, or aspire to corpulence. Filling gaps of need is NOT the way to gain the things to fill them: ask any bankrupt. The way UP is NOT found in science, in ANY extant system, and hence in THE total system: the second law of thermodynamics dashing such nonsense against the rocks of fact.
One can only agree, I
smiled. The universe system has the nature and the law to go one way only,
except when intelligence intervenes. As Polish geneticist, Giertych, Head of
the Genetics Department of the
Organic evolution is making the flexibility of brilliant innovative design within kind, into the invention of brilliant innovative design, minus the inventor, and it does not work, not even when you add the mini-inventor man; without him, it is hocus-pocus, miracle by imagination. It does not do it; it does not so act; it does not show the equipment with which so to act; it shows the equipment to act in the opposite direction, and it acts in the opposite direction.
Scientifically it is an open and shut case. Logic proves first what science shows second, and life is merely one of the places where this occurs. The only brilliantly innovative thing being found in 'nature' as a working model, is the brilliantly innovative imagination of man which makes brilliant innovation come when it does not do so, from a place which is modelled in the mind, but as far as 'nature' is concerned, is never locatable. It is PRECISELY this sort of brilliant innovation which does not create anything, unless perhaps pride.
GO UP, continued my wormy acquaintance, warming to the task ? Construe and construct with more information and further interleaving of massive constituencies of thought and command ? Let things arise ? What is it all ? Pure imagination in the face of known research. Neat little ideas, and big ones and the organisation of them in the compositions which run life at the physical level, these are not stirred in non-mind, nor do extant minds make the past forms of life, by using the minds which then were not there. It is all rather painful. As Løvtrup puts it (cf. SMR p. 203),
· "It remains an unsatisfactory state of affairs that the fossil record stubbornly fails to deliver one single bit of evidence in support of ... 'phyletic gradualism' which is supposed to be a prediction of the micromutation theory."
· Grassé at another level:
BIG SCALE, SMALL SCALE, IT IS ONE
Big scale, small scale, it is one: it does not bother to show itself, and all the scientific world seems militantly seeking to uphold a student who ALWAYS fails as the ONLY one to have in the house. Perverse! that is a compliment to this disorderly behaviour.
One could not allow the poor, dear worm to become too worked up, for his obvious keen sense of duty could take him - well, too far into the earth and for good, if he smashed his equipment in his fury, so it seemed best to change the subject.
Certainly, it is not the sort of thing to which any logic relates, except negatively. But tell me, fellow creature (that took a little thought, but it seemed MOST suitable to our common base) - DO you ever feel a longing, even a jealousy or aspiration of any kind, even though the thought does NOT give wings to the equipment ?
No, frankly, he said. This time there was something about the manner of his, her ... wriggling seems too diffuse a term, with overtones not needed here, so ... well, disporting himself, herself, that made made me realise HE/SHE was trying to be tactful. This was WONDERFUL! for how many mortals don't worry about it. I know, that term 'mortal' is overcome in Christ, but the shadow of mortality hangs about the graveyards of human ambition too deeply to be despised, and so few have taken the outcome in the resurrection of Christ, that the race is going speedily to seed in so many of its morals, force-fed with viciousness from too many sources, with error in too many confusions, political, entertaining, news and quasi-news propagandas as one illustrated the other day in Time Magazine and exposed (News 81 -cf. 82, 84), that the sense of it is strong.
You seem abstracted ? said the worm.
One could understand the question in the wafting, because there had been quite a time for reflection.
Frankly, the worm continued, your race does NOT fill me with desire, and aspiration to IT is NOT something I feel called to experience. So many of your people are afraid to open their mouths about the truth, because they might lose their jobs, or their honours - some don't want their names published BECAUSE it might compromise their standing. Students bow, lecturers obey, truth laments.
But they are not all like that! I protested.
I am so glad for you, he decried, that there are SOME humans who are not cultans.
That was a new word to me: cultans. A practiser of cultic practices, or better, one submitting to cultural norms even at ultimate religious and life expense is not human but cultan. That seemed to be the idea. The performances can of course become inhuman in some of the political formats for the follies of these imaginations, as you see in Hitler's survival rubbish, master race delusions and the like. Millions died for it.
But the worm was not about to cease. He went on.
Your chilling confusions
and brave new world unbalance while you float off radioactivity blithely into
THE ASPIRATIONS OF A WORM
Aspiration ? He seemed to coil upward, almost as if thinking of striking. We've been configured from the start, he said, and so stay till the finish. Things don't arrive for selection, inspection, organisation, information, structuring and codification (well, why not! good word!) so that various needs, base or vile or other, might select them. They select nicely at their own level by competence and commerce and such like things, while the higher powers, like yourselves, rain your constructions and their pollutions on us all. No stars, no selection.
You often read, he wafted vigorously, that NATURE strove to do this or that, or foresaw this or that, or moved to cover this or that case, in a way which is frankly intellect awry and mind astray. What cannot think, cannot strive, what cannot imagine cannot draft and what cannot perform mental acrobatics cannot codify.
Let us see it do it! His whole being was coiled at this point. Let us find what is NOT to be found, perform the work which is NOT to be seen, slowly or quickly, make the new commands without mind or wisdom, or at least make a stab at a surviving variant which has more information in it than its forbears, and let us see it do better against the mature and specialised predecessor, and oust it, and we shall see what has never BEEN seen. THEN, he declared, we shall find exotic excitement at miracles of outcome with such an income that the world would be MADE! Like eternal motion, it would be a gift!
Something from nothing ? Upgrade by waiting! Wonderful, and wonderfully absent. Add to our universe and connect a suitable and sufficient system ? By all means, if it is complexly co-ordinated for the task, has intricately relevant interfaces and power supply to match for the specialised purposes in hand. But NATURE ? that is, what is now made, it is not found to be so.
In fact, for this sort of thing, this universe would need another with creative powers for the connection, and this would need God to have made both. No, this sort of imaginary 'nature' is simply like the recast virgin Mary, made to be without sin despite her obvious admission of sin in offering the sacrifices for it (Luke 2:24, Leviticus 12:2,8): it is "made" in thought, what it is not; and it does not do in life, what it is made to do, in the minds of men. Like pets, it is given a sort of surrogate existence by many, Was diddums-iddums wanting to talk to me ? 'Nature' has nothing to say, neither mouth nor mind, neither imagination nor creation. Produced, it proceeds.
I am a plain worm, the creature said, and it takes plain thought to deliver us worms from this invidious series of painful platitudes. Nature does what it was made to BE in the mind of God.
That is Nature, the one that exists ? it is found by watching what it does, the equipment it uses and the laws it keeps, but never makes. It isn't even 'Nature', for it is an environment, a series, a multiplicity and it is in a system, in which you and your ilk also breathe and live and think the wild imaginations that seem to drive you like goats before the wolves.
YOU, he declared with a sharp nod of the forward end, you can't even CREATE these things yourselves, WITH loads of imagination, endless teamwork, fastidiously constructed laboratories, millions of man hours: and that, with the thing already made in front of you to look at! Imagine that! Your imagination is beggared in the face of the imagination which made your power to imagine. While you starve it of facts, you seem to intoxicate it with desire, which nothing IN nature of things matches. It is time you all got back to God and studied what He has said in the endlessly verified book, and admired what He has done, in the endlessly intriguing creation.
It seemed to me that the worm was turning. As he proceeded with this, it seemed a good time to muse a little. I did so.
After all the creation and the creations of God are not really ... Nature. Like Luther's works (as he indicated at the Diet of Wurms, odd name, that), they are of many kinds... NATURE ? Creation is the term for its myriad multiplicities. It is not a unit of operation, or a personality to think or strive, and its ways are derivative, nor directive.
This is the way it is seen
to go, this is the product of the equipment it is seen to have, and never to
produce. This is the nature of the laws of its composition, exhibited through
the performance criterion. When facts talk, this is what they say. Laws reflect
them. This is therefore what the laws say, just what the Bible said.
Verification is total, constant, arresting, detailed, complete. Of what ? Of
science properly so-called (cf. I Tim. 6:20), of the Bible, of creation.
EASY SURVIVAL: NO COMPETITION -
THAT'S THE WAY WITH TRUTH AND ERROR
(Blindness Takes Longer)
There is NO competition. There is NO case. This is the assessment of statement (in the Bible) and performance (before the eyes of the beholder). Imagination is not a law, and the presentation of capacities to the universe is more easily done in mind than in fact. The facts, not of the philosophies of man, which are another fact showing his inventive diversity from material nature, the facts are of one kind only, and verify only, and do so at all levels and at all times.
That, no doubt, is why they prove so very distasteful to autonomous man who is not so prone to worship his Maker, that almost endless TV propaganda is forever showing the way things would have gone if only they had done so! More realistically, as so many scientists including Gould, state: the way things went (or better would have gone) is often not even AVAILABLE to the imagination of man. The imagination, even when freed from facts, is unable to match the inventive brilliance of the Lord in inventing channels of continuity, for continuities which otherwise, as Denton notes, just cannot be seen. Hard job when the IMAGINATION itself, even freed from the laboratory and all tests, cannot manage to earn its daily bread. No wonder the worm was a little stirred.
Appropriately, who had been gaining a little nourishment in this interval, the wormy one went on...
WE WORMS HAVE HAD ENOUGH. SHOW US ANYTHING WHICH MAKES ITSELF, before it has what it takes to do it. And as to what is not there making itself, leave romance out of this. What is not there, is not able to do ANYTHING.
He was quite right, and why should he not wave from side to side as he delivered this dictum.
After all, he had borne rather
Mixing with the Young
This one followed another
time. It happened when I came upon some of the young of the family.
Grandad told us about your talk, said one of the beautifully lubricated lithe young worms in my garden.
Did he? I responded.
We have only one question now, they chorused.
And that ? I replied.
COMMAND! they said.
What about it ? I queried.
Well, there are commands in the bones, all the living nucleated cells of you people, as in the lubricated litheness of our people, in our cells; so as to orders, who gives them ?
Anyone competent would do, came my reply.
It is so dirty down here, was the wormy retort.
No doubt, I said, but you do a splendid job, and it is really admirable, your application to duty.
If WE are the subject of command, in order to BE, what is the command for us to DO, now that we ARE ?
Well, you burrow and aerate; but as far as we humans are concerned, there is now another CREATION required by the same word of COMMAND.
Would you tell us about it ?
Gladly. You see, David, like the rest of us, was imperfect. Indeed, he committed an outrageous sin, and then repented, being rebuked heavily by the prophet Nathan, and he received a discipline, though his Father still loved and cared for him marvellously. He recovered a punishment and training which was with him for his whole life, appearing now and then.
But did he sink into the dirt and fail, having fallen ? Not a bit of it. A righteous man falls seven times, the Lord sustains him.Just as God arose to make all of our brilliant designs (SMR pp. 211, 252I-N, Wake Up World, Your Creator is Coming! Ch.4, pp. 63ff.), so we intruded foolishly in the working of the bit He left to us, or the section, or better still the facility: our spirits. It is a human special. Having soiled these, we needed a cover, not of earth, as if to hide in irrational fantasies like the ones discussed with your grandfather, or immoral extravaganzas, as if being fallen made a bottomless pit the necessary and unyielding limit of decline. That cover was, astonishing as it may seem, with blood.
Blood! they chorused. They seemed dashed. They had wanted something uplifting, it seemed, and this did not immediately appeal.
Yes, but blood is a fountain of life, and its spilling is a crevasse of death, and God sent His Son Jesus, the Christ, anointed, appointed, from heaven to take the penalty of sin and so to shed His blood so that we could be pardoned with justice, and secure in that, while receiving all the love and mercy which the Creator preferred to show... (Romans 3:23-27).
To mere dirty devastating destruction ? (Romans 5:8), they enquired.
I must say, the wormy system of education seems better than ours in some ways. I was impressed with their ready vocabulary and formation of thought. Simplistic substitutes for language did not seem to be the way for them. Very pleasant to hear.
Yes, I replied, for God showed His love towards us men in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The offer is toward all, the cover to those who receive it.
THAT, they said, is a really creative initiative.
That is the case indeed. He cherished His constructions, His creations and even went so far as to desire our uplift from the dirt of degradation - except that with persons you need the personal aspect to cover the personal case and God acted for them in a personal way, but using the PLAN of salvation which covered all the aspects beautifully, just as His other plans cover the other domains of the universe in their construction and current maintenance, according to His design and will. ?
It is, at one level, almost like the second law of thermodyamics in a spiritual form, isn't it, WITH this personal intrusion to overcome the personal downward process; but it is really closely related to what is the universal fact, that what you can't make, and do manage to break, needs re-making to get it up again. It can happen with automated things like matter, by program, though that too is subject to downgrade in time. In can happen by intervention. Otherwise, it stays down.
Or, one of them added, of course, if we don't break it, then it can wear out, as you people do after 70-80 or 6 or 7 years, or whatever is the case ...
After all, I interpolated, the Fall of man, from the blessedness, through sin, to his present state as a race (Romans 5; 8:19-22) has done 3 things in this line: brought 1) degradation to his assigned universe, 2) this not least in his own physical, biological microcosm, and 3) adverse interaction between the two, in escalating mutual losses. Exposed to the gamut of his own deserts, he finds the impact of adverse law, like a tooth with stricken enamel, exposing the nerve.
Yes, added another, returning to the detail, when your genes are mutated downwards by dire assaults from cosmic rays, or when carcinogenic substances set them off limits in what you call cancer, or ...
But they seemed to be
growing into quite a conversational community - I can say that because they
were so down to earth, and agreed; so another spoke also.
The Professorial Worm
Or, he continued (although feminists might prefer 'she', but it is relatively indifferent in this case, the gender not being determined, shall we say by the pronoun, but merely the genre, worm...) - the energy supply might be degraded, available resources diminished.
You know, this professorial
sounding worm went on: you people are so prodigal in so many cases. You spew
out your forests like digestible match wood, cultivate with aggressive
determination and then wonder why your air is so polluted, your water so saline
or your resources so restricted.
You do not seem to realise that the second law of thermodynamics cannot be magically spirited away by talk.
Did talk build the
universe, human talk ? Did it reverse the degradation of energy, does it alter
the increase of entropy, the downgrading of specialised purpose-built
structures by the presence of things contrary to them, indifferent to their
welfare or organised without special provisions for their upkeep ? Does it
invent stabilisation procedures, such as occur in the splendid editorial
features built into the programs which operate in the genetic dealings in the
human body, to inhibit by careful devices, copying errors in the endless
seeming cell divisions and provisions for continuity - within age limits, also,
apparently indexed by telomeres for one thing, decidedly determined by the
Can this human talk make as is the case in the realms of matter or mind or spirit, ANY wholly original, functional and unitary design feature in ANY specialised construction or structure with ANY unitary resultant: which is essence of the precise nature of PURPOSE in ALL known cases ever testable, so that intelligence can work to the end in view, and so achieve it (SMR pp. 211, 252 E-N)? for concerted and conceptually relevant WORK is needed to perform with apt and adequate power what is not yet here in terms of the interstices of sufficient system and provision, even at its own level!
A fortiori do the constraints of each level need instituting not by fevers, but weavers. They also need integrating with the other and made realms, one of the vastest features of correlated conception that could be so much as thought of, AFTER seeing it (cf. Repent or Perish 7, Extension 1, Parts 1 and II)!
The works of each realm ?
Can human talk and yes, even when adorned with work, so much as
sustain them ? The utmost works of human intelligence when hands are added to talk, and law being recognised, is met with the other options to overcome its effects, but not its working, these can but arrest in some slight degree the deterioration which is as logically necessary in such a world of material things inspirited with purpose and activated with intelligence, as this.
We CAN do what the Creator did, but only to the minutest degree, in helping the basic things MADE NOT to go wrong, or inventing things within the ambit of what is made, as by putting material things into intelligent structures for our OWN purposes, and then maintaining them constantly to sustain those purposes of ours. Intelligence is the labourer for purpose, and imagination its consort.
Life we fail even to copy, in the making; material things we merely fiddle with likewise, splitting atoms and finding particles, and subjecting some material things to some forces made by manipulating various components of what is already created. Oh, man can be a good builder with what is there, but not a creator of the domains themselves.
No the second law of thermodynamics is merely a careful scientific formulation of the fact that what is, is not going to make itself go up, and is subject to going down, because it is made, and tends to become unmade, depending on how many of its parts are so constructed. Some are better than others at withstanding assault, the blows of fortune and the clashes of forces, which can occur when the divine tutelage permits, and contrary inhibitors are not set in place.
That would be become more apparent still if - as has happened nearly enough and often enough - some asteroid hit the earth, one perhaps with rather larger dimensions -as is predicted, or something of this sort, in Revelation 8:8-11. Things do NOT construct their internal matrices, for fun, or with nothing, nor does nothing do it, for the sake of nothing and from nothing, for there is nothing in that at all!
They do NOT automatically invent modes of conserving themselves, preventing decay and so forth. They are NOT able to invent their energic resources, with the interfaces which enable these to make them work (instead, like a bush-fire, of simply destroying them, or, like an atomic bomb, merely obliterating them); they do NOT make the symbolic logic which enables codification and program, they do NOT remove the bugs in faulty programs, and failure is NOT the way brilliant co-ordination of resources by programmed commands, occurs. You need what it takes to envisage and to institute, and if you do not have it, you do not get it. NO system without symbolic capacities, uses them. NO body without logical power, SHOWS it. WE, we are the acme of logic.
At this, there was a little sound which seemed to have the effect of a slight cough in a conversation.
Muddy, said one, you should be saying MAN is the acme. We are but worms.
When a worm turns, said the professorial one, he is different.
Maybe, said the other, but you haven't yet turned into a man.
Man! retorted the other, where is the logic in his magical moments of imagination which obliterate the realities of thought and ignore those of Nature by acting as if taking parts of it apart, and then having them interact at their leisure, would remove the need to invent all that is. It is still just one universe, and part it as you will, it does not arrive, by having bits come from nowhere and then shake hands, or arise to greater information displays by being separable in thought into domains or regions. It is merely one, or it could not interact; and being one, it does what is made to do. This is the way it behaves, and that is the reason.
Anyway, as to the ‘acme’, he continued, I did not mean that we were ABSOLUTELY so wonderful, and I include man in this, even if he does walk over us and sometimes on us. My plan was really simply to show that beings which can think, and reason symbolically, such as man, and our part is of course rather less notable under normal circumstances, are in this regard at the highest point of visible creation; and EVEN THEY do not manage to create universes, or construct new total matrices and methodologies in new domains, or even ... life! Incredible isn't it, the pride, the rational vacuity of so many with so much given them!
· If they are so utterly indifferent -
· really it is not their domain to construct universes but to rule this one; but they have failed even to rule themselves in millions and billions of cases, and they have all sinned:
· then the thought of a universe without thought, first creating thought so that it might use it, without even being a thinker equipped with the thought interface in the first place; and then deploying this invention of what was not there to invent it, to make what could use it, such as man, it is worse than nonsense. It is wholly disarticulated irrational rambling, further from science than anything that could readily so much as be imagined.
What man is utterly unable even to begin to do, is so because of what HE IS! yet he so often wants to have what is NOT EVEN anything remotely like himself, without thought, without ideational capacity at all, immune to logic, devoid of imagination, inert in fact, some primordial 'substance' to make both the principles and powers of thought, the concepts and conditions for it, then to have something made to use it; and meanwhile to have it make the universe in its upgraded steps. Yes it is to make the universe bedizened with endless designs of incredible imaginative facility and abundance - and then to disappear discretely from all such operative action, yet still be lurking somewhere without this, for convenience ...
Yes, said another. He so often wants to make God, in effect, without the name, and then to construct things by Him, without acknowledgment (SMR pp. 422Eff.).
It is the PRECISE opposite of logic, chortled a rather larger worm, achieving this effect through a strange bumpiness of the contours. When a little quieter, he proceeded, wriggling with a certain deliciousness of pleasure.
What is not there makes what is; what is, this then advances itself with what it does not have, thus getting what it does later, and then leaves what we (as imaginary observers) do have, which of course then runs down without this creation continuing, and runs down in all phases and cases where it moves at all, and always with the most excellent and obvious reason.
Now it appears, he proceeded while endeavouring to ski on his tail down a slope, that it is for this (metaphysically invalid and observationally invisible) reason, that it is modishly scientific or philosophically desirable (except for the purist who wants science to proceed FROM evidence, not to its invention in absentia) to substitute for the testimony of sublime genius, the magic of absent genies, and in this maelstrom of gods with no arms or power, the toys of the mind, to ignore the Creator, whose results abound and whose creation has manifestly stopped by ALL evidence.
Instead of all this fuss about invisible advance, as is the manner of creations in a world of this type: in fact, all the system shows itself in ever increasing consistency and persistence, as retracting and reeling as its powers shrink and its potentials are absorbed, only the power of God the same - holding its place for the history of the race, yet a while - whose word and works as always, go hand in hand little happy children.
Oblivious to advance, except in the often befuddled brilliance and artless comprehension of man and his own little works within the field of creation, it is merely and really running where it must run as its contrivances recede before adverse action. It is going down like a lift with no motor, and the gears that hold it are being fractured a little, here and there, as it falls. Yet instead of the plight of what is seen, and expressed in a most fundamental physical LAW, we begin to hear a new song, based on nothing. What then is its theme ?
Is it not this: that what is derelict becomes dynamic? The law of decay has become the law of the way ? Desecration and degradation have become regeneration, by a verbal fix, even bit as delusive as the work of any other drug. But this it does in one way only. That ? It is in the prodigies of that sublimely created but horrendously misused imagination which falls first into irrational reveries that are the very stuff of fairy tale, and then would rise as if God, to the bellicosity of inane brinkmanship with the Almighty!
For those interested in the
laws of science and in fact, however, it is noted that the world goes the way.
That, it resembles in much the way of the cut orange. It is subject to
You know, the ozone hole, skin cancers, stress and food cancers, broken homes and polished domes that dictate non-wisdom to a freed people who really do not need to do much more than feed and indulge greed, and call it aggressive self-fulfilment, and talk about reciprocity and substitute verbosity for kindness, treaties for truth, and violence for faithfulness while ignoring the faithful God who gave them the liberty to think. Moral madness and material blindness go hand in hand, like blind children. They often go on pleasant little outings together in commerce and academia.
Meanwhile the mesmerised preachers of magic, in some irrepressibly ironic way actually relate their vacuums to ‘science’, act as if in some way, the whole thing continues as always, in the FACE of the opposite testimony in reason and observation. THIS is to turn man to God, but he seems on the whole, to prefer ashes, and is magnificently clever at making them from Hiroshima on, while the cloud of the testimony, the ‘pillar of vapour’, our own special product (Joel 2:30, Acts 2:19) rises as prophetically prescribed for closing scenes of our Age.
Has this philosophy of discord, this testimony of unreason then made magic king, and called THAT science ? Has it declined the necessities of nature in the interest of nature, so that what is natural is unnatural, and what is unnatural is what is ‘believed’, lest they believe in the necessarily capable reality of the supernatural God; lest they put faith in Him who naturally contributed nature, and presented it, lest it should not be there! And He, it is He who made it run down in its whole character and face, to face man with Himself. As to man, they might well say: Only our spirits can soar, and most of these rebel.
In fact, this replacement of some scintilla for the necessary substance of reason and reality, as the Bible makes most apparent (Ephesians 4:17ff.) is an obliterative response to the created evidence of God, such as met the prophets and marred even the face of Christ (see resistance syndrome, SMR Index, and Romans 1, Isaiah 1) "more than any man".
Yet from what source does
this second law of thermodynamics, which from observation and ratiocination
reflects the fact that the lift goes down, the elevator recedes, the system
degenerates: from what site then does it come to achieve some miraculous
transformation ? By this marvellous mutation, the law becomes its
antithesis, in order now to be made a law that while it is going
down some other and more advanced system is being created for reasons
undiscernible and on grounds which drown the constitutive reality of the law,
and the little things called facts, and that even more minuscule thing called
investigative reason, on which it is built! MUST system rise BECAUSE it falls!
to what does this
down is up,
back is on,
lack is presence,
deficit is credit,
law gap is law advance,
chance is system,
regress is progress,
degeneration is construction, this yes is no,
owe itself ?
It is the enemy of reason, the divorcee of observation, the widow of science, the very embargo of grounds, the work of a magician without sleeves, who still talks about his exploits, lest he/she hear the sad music of rebellion and the poignant notes of rebuke from nature’s Almighty Author, its Illimitable Source, who created, and brought it into being with sublime inventive intelligence which attests itself as far beyond our own; and geared it up, so that in time (we do it too, but on a less grand scale), it might go down.
In quality and quantity, it needs first to go up, later to go down, and roundabouts don’t create either the power or the glory: they merely whirl. In reality, it NOW goes only down; its elevation to existence and persistence (within limits, for it ages) was of a different order to any current events, being not found at all in our era, except through the necessary work of intelligence, using what has already transpired as base, and what has been constructed, as agent in itself.
At this time, he coiled into quite a pretty little complex (you have, admittedly to gain an acquired taste for the athletics of worms), and then resting a wiggling end now more quietly on a few grains of soil, proceeded in an emphatic manner.
The transfer to this world of the product of intelligence is subject to diminution, he declared; and the Schema on which it is based and works, the same. The children of intelligence require not less, but the more maintenance, since there is more to maintain. Not all the energy of the atom bomb - itself a leakage - can help the requisitions of the products as they age, degrade and degenerate, except to continue a while, following meekly in that established routine, encapsulated in the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
As to the Maker Himself, He
even let man do much lesser things of that breed, in individual and group works
of creativity, to see how it goes in his own species of ORIGINATION. Then we
watch both these and the universe, age, losing the pristine freshness of their
beginnings. (Cf. The Biblical Workman Ch.7.) In this, they act concert, part
of the divine symphony of intelligence and wisdom - or with man, often enough,
the practice of follies extraordinary, inordinate and fatal.
He paused, as well he might, in order to re-arrange his annular externals, to get a little more composed looking, and leant on a blade of grass as if it had been an elbow.
The Ironic Testimony to Imagination
That irrational rebellion ? he continued, ruminatively, that ? It is in glaring reality a testimony to imagination, to that fascinating created gift, but it is no acknowledgment to reason, so to think: for it is merely absence of thought, equipped with words. Even the primordial 'substance' needed invention to order it into being definable and even mentionable, and hence it required, though it could not requisition, law; and that, it needed something nothing did not have! And program is NOT found to upgrade, but to maintain; and if it were, it would be the greater testimony to the original conceptual contrivance. But for the record, it is not so. It does not in fact upgrade.
Indeed, program IS found to degrade or limit, and law to attest it, and what is constantly being evacuated from what is not even there, is scarcely the resource from which to draw in order to create what has to come in order to exist, and to rise in order to have better models. Your old Ford does not, by dying, construct a new Cadillac. You don’t get either without metal being available, energy and plan. And where is all this debris of rising from falling ? where are the rubbish bins of decay, and the examples of the way up from going down! Is the laboratory nowadays a dirty word, and has science ‘risen’ into philosophy, while philosophy like discarded container unit, itself rampages in discard, to ruin!
Nevertheless the fact abides like fresh air in the forest: the upgrade requisition, like a long sought ghost, simply isn’t found; and the principles of upgrade dynamism are not found, and the metaphysics of reality in a causal vacuum is not found, but rather lies desolate like a salt-waste (cf. SMR Ch.3, esp. pp. 284ff., 264ff., 307ff.). On the contrary, the results of a creation and upgrade of which our age knows NOTHING from nature, these abound in myriads, in cells, constructions and amazing designs of fascinating originality. In these, maintenance programs ARE found, servicing the things already made; but these servitors, they too are running down, while energy yields its vitality to entropy and degradation takes it remorseless toll. Of what ? Of the deposit that is ‘nature’.
In this, he said, I take a humble but to me, most satisfying part. I know my place, since it has been accorded me, to aerate and enrich …
Oh come on! said one of the younger worms, apparently a little embarrassed at the personal aspect of this disclosure. You were talking of ‘nature’ …
Yes, said the professorial worm, turning in a very pleasant and almost lithe way to face his young interlocuteur. Nature …
Of that ? Source ? What it
takes. Talk: what it does NOT take. It is not very taking, and so wholly irrational
that it is in the end such a testimony to the Biblically declared, sin-produced
blindness which afflicts the unredeemed, that this in itself, is a monumental
verification of the Bible.
Question: HOW COULD people be so blind ? Answer: it has NOTHING to do with reason. It is a condition caused by their BEING BLINDED, and this is a process in which sin exults with the aid the prince of this world, an occlusion of light and a profusion of desire (Ephesians 4:17-18, II Cor. 4:3-4, John 14:29-31).
He wiggled an extremity towards me, and then continued.
In fact, however, matter,
mind and spirit demand God as your book correctly and rigorously demonstrates
(SMR Chs.1,3,10). Science, history and life in
every field verify, verify, verify with an intensity and a correlation quite
systematic, like military commanders bent on destroying the enemy, as the
multipartite details reveal themselves; and quite uplifting it is, for on the
wholesome side, it is with the precision of medicine bent on delivering that
the realities smile at reason and glorify God.
Indeed, I responded, all of this talk in the arena of life merely verifies what God says in the Bible. HE made it because He has what it takes; that is both HOW it happened and WHY it COULD happen. It SHOWS in verification all the criteria of what is PRECISELY CONTRARY to all this, in all known laws of procedure in this universe. Reason is verified in all phases. What NON-NATURE, SUPER-NATURAL spirit, not allied to matter with its implanted, contrived laws, what this invented was invented because creativity and rationality and law-making were at work from that sufficient SOURCE: ONE capable of all that in the first place, so that ANYTHING whatever of a derivative, and law-implanted character, COULD BE. There is no LAW of creation in Him or us: creation is the input.
You get what you come from. NOW that it IS invented, and called the universe, with man equipped with a derivative capacity helping him so much as UNDERSTAND, yet NOT to create the same, with his limited though remarkable donated capacity in this respect. The universe does what the product of CREATION does. It does not create at its own ordinal level. It continues within the bounds and with the conferred powers of the system, with its limited maintenance and comparative vulnerability. So does man, though his is spirit.
Man in particular, showing every day of his life the realities of creation in intellectual and imaginative creations of words and devices, and often enough to over-crowd the globe, in the procreations that arrive from the creation of masculinity and femininity: he is a living exhibit of how he got here in two ways.
First, in man the power to create and its genesis is exhibited for all to see, the invisible grasping the visible and bringing thought to material light, from the resources which can err, do soar and can bring into perspectives that are not visible, the things that are to become visible. Secondly, in man the LIMIT of what he CANNOT create is likewise present, as if to teach the nature of proportionality. According to what you have, you can do: neither more nor less.
A baby does not write E=MC2 , and Einstein does not create a universe (indeed, by report he had considerable doubt whether his intellectual inventions - now subject in the mental world of errors, to thoughts of review - would lead to the dismantling of this part of our own!). Without creation things just go down in this world of ours, visited as it is with the remorseless realities of degradation unless there is an intervention at the appropriate level of creative power.
As for the second law of thermodynamics, so well formulated by that brilliant Christian physicist, Lord Kelvin in the last century, it notes that this is the way it is. It is all Biblical, all verificatory, and of course, it all follows from that that excellent reason which the Lord saw fit to donate, but which is so abused that if it were a child, it would lead to social service officers coming to the door with great address.
It takes a lot to make some
people understand, because of the spiritual blight of the god of this world and
the state of the heart (Isaiah 1 is so dramatic here) ; and as Revelation 9:19-20
clearly shows, some merely RESENT their lessons, and prove intractable in
defaming truth and ignoring the whole of the lessons of logic; and with them,
similarly despise or resist many appeals to the heart and concern for the soul,
to the life which is in them, and which is readily enough used, in moving from
God. They RESENT where the mere change of a letter would make it REPENT. But
that letter ? autonomy, pride, the roving eye, the swelling heart, the untamed
spirit, the blather of man as king and so on, it is a big letter, writ large in
the skies, along with other pollution.
But what of this intractability in defaming truth ? what of this servility in holding with the magics of irrationalism, divorced from the very validities of logic, and hence even the authenticities of thought with which to state ANY case: what of this blind addiction to what the Bible calls ‘the lie’ (II Thessalonians 2:10-11) ?
Indeed if God did not sustain them by a sufficient CAUSE of competent control, their capacity so much as to invoke the neglected grounds of law and order would depart, just as the universe WILL depart as the word of God said (Matthew 24:35), just indeed as the Lord Himself said, the living and incarnate word of God.
Yes, replied one of the early worms that had been out for some time in the field: we all know that things are down, go down, and come up not by imaginary beckoning in minds that have no hold, but from constructive facilities adequate for the task, on pain of death of logic (Repent or Perish7, SMR 3): but haven't we strayed ? We were hearing about the way blood could raise, and this has so intrigued me that I have been waiting through all this talk about what is so obvious, to hear what is far less so. Please man, do tell us about the blood you mentioned, as being able to raise the sinner, remove the impediment to life, and produce something more like creation in some way. I need to understand more about this than I have done so far.
HOW does blood raise anything ? they asked.
Not any blood, you remember, I replied; for it seemed that in the discussion that they had, quite understandably, lost sight of some of the message.
No not just any blood, I resumed, and not as a substance, but as the expression of life SHED, or given, or sacrificed - judicially and judiciously, as indeed graciously and lovingly. It was effective simply by REMOVING THE GUILT and REPLACING the life spoiled with the life eternal (Romans , , 5:1-11), which is the beautiful thing about this trial: failure can reap success.
That seems rather illogical, doesn't it ? a very little worm asked.
Not at all! murmured his elder brother worm. You see HE does the work to renew, to procure pardon, and the SAVED SINNER gains the result, which is a rebuilt life. That is what lifts up. Simple.
It really is, I replied, delighted in his aptitude, and beginning to revise my thoughts about worms upward yet again. After all, it seemed to me better to be humble and lowly, like these worms, though without backbone and the arms of courage, yet to have the heart to be conscientiously correct, at whatever cost, towards the truth.
Thus refreshed, I continued. Not only is it this: raising (ours) by His falling, and redeeming in the process, through supernatural purity and power and plan and purpose, just as is displayed in the already imparted ways of the universe with its codes and laws and interfaces innumerable for all kinds of functions to inter-relate; but there is also another lovely thing that comes with it.
What is that ? Asked a deliciously lowly little worm (Proverbs , Matthew ).
It is this, I responded. He
did it, and was a redemption for those who receive Him as Paul says in Romans
3:25ff., so that in forgiving us He might be JUST! How be just if you wink at
unjust ? How overlook if it is THERE, and assessment thus grows unsound and arbitrary ? BY taking the guilt, He COVERED the case, so that He might be JUST AND the JUSTIFIER of the person who believes in Him, as Redeemer, death breaker and sovereign over sin, liberator and Lord.
That is indeed simple, said a thoughtful worm, supporting his front-end on a little outcrop of earth. He is just being just in raising our injustice by satisfaction of its wrong, to the realm of right, from darkness to light, purging it, paying for it, and … I suppose really, putting the redeemed people INTO the light and raising THEM FROM their injustice, to His acceptance.
Well done! I cried. Rather have brave worms than worm-like, down-trodden hearts of men, that cling to the dust of philosophy and her rewards!
Eyes they have, but they see not! muttered one of them (Matthew , Psalm 115:5-8).
They MUST see this, said
the first worm.
Closed Eyes or Repentant Hearts
Not with their eyes closed, as Jesus indicated, came my response.
How does it happen ? asked an older wormlet. The diminutive indicates that one felt a certain essential youthfulness about them, which, with their being very uninhibited and decidedly lowly at the same time, was quite refreshing.
We have first to repent, I responded. God IS a Spirit and our spirits need to be genuine about this. If we want God, well; if we merely want relief, not well. God is not an instrument, but personal, and He is not to be misused, and abused the way our own lives have been; for there is not a person amongst our race, other than the Sent One, Jesus the Christ, who is not a sinner.
HOW do you repent ? asked a medium sized worm.
Well, you hate the dirt of weakness, confusion, delusion, profusion of little errors and small heart, and you turn from it as you would turn from a radioactive pile in your back-yard.
With speed, completeness and loathing ? asked a smallish worm.
Just that. If radioactivity is your life and your dream, you wouldn't do that. If it is your loathing and your detestation, then you would. But that is not all. What if the winds tried to blow your heart back again ? So you repent and put your trust, like a vase on a secure mantelpiece, in the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being there, receives it; and indeed, He is operative in turning our hearts to Him (John 6:65). Willing for all (I Tim. 2:1-6), He is duped by none.
That is very safe! said the lowly worm.
That is His business, I continued; ours is so simple. We repent and put our trust in Him, and accept Him for what He is. WE are creations; He is the Creator, the very word of that ONE and only God who created through this, the eternal word of God, His endless companion from everlasting to everlasting (John 8:58, Colossians 1:15ff.). We come home, and once we come home, why there it is, and the garden gate is locked, so that nothing can sever us from home any more.
But don't you DO anything ? asked the older worm.
Of course! I replied. We go out and work in the fields, but ALWAYS and ONLY with HIM, who is stronger than all, and so faithful that He gave His own life - a wonderful shepherd (John 10:11,17-18).
Mightn't you get hurt ? asked a worm who had recently been stepped on, and still seemed a little bruised.
Oh yes. We might even be put to death, but only when that is the right time and place, and the path of service for our Lord.
Don't you MIND that ? asked a peculiarly wriggly little one ?
No. Actually it is a great honour to give one's life for the Lord; and in the service of the brethren, and for the impact of His name, as He works in love, sometimes He finds that necessary. He has other worlds, and will have a new heaven and a new earth (II Peter -13), and if our hearts are right, then what does it matter ? Paul indicated that he would rather "depart and be with Christ, which is far better" (Philippians ). He stayed on to be of service to his brethren, and what a service that was. Of course, he was put to death after his magnificent decades of loving, consecrated and beautiful service for the Lord, wrought amongst the people of Christ, and in winning ever so many to His side.
Didn't HE mind ?
Not really. He was glorifying the Lord, and since Christ was with him, it was just a simple matter of going to be where HE was instead of having Him, by His Spirit, coming to where Paul was. He actually put it like this: "And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!" (II Timothy 4:18). This is entirely true, and it has been with me like gold, these 40 years.
as to Paul: indeed, earlier came this declaration: "I am already
being poured out as a drink-offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord,
the righteous Judge, will give to me, on that day, and not to me only, but also
to all who have loved His appearing" - II Tim. 4:8.
The Other Command
What was this OTHER COMMAND, then ?
FIRST, then, there was that of creation: The LORD SPOKE, and IT WAS SO. There is the language in the DNA, remarkable thing but quite comprehensible when, and only when, you see WHO was speaking it. WE have MANY LANGUAGES. In HIS coding for all life, GOD HAD ONLY ONE. HE was not divided, but WE were, for our sin (Genesis 11; cf. SMR pp. 252J-K).
Yes, so you were saying, and man fell into his odd bits and pieces of silliness and sin, and gained his odd bits and pieces of language, for then it was to some extent - given his language specialised equipment, a matter of understanding and creating his own symbols OUTSIDE himself - under his own control.
He messed even that, for
the judgment on him was itself because of his sin (Genesis 11).
Yes, following that, SECOND, the other COMMAND is REPENT! (Acts 17:30) ; and it is not just to 'bad' men but to "all men everywhere"; and the other NEED is a CLEAN HEART, as David put it in Psalm 51, after the episode mentioned earlier. Read it, for it shows the way, expressive of repentance:
But he was already a man of God, wasn't he ?
True, but the SAME cleansing which comes in the BEGINNING of spiritual life, is given freely at any future time (I John 1:7-2:2), although of course, with the COMMAND that we should be regenerated when we become Christians, there is a new birth. This brings a new nature, so that the new way is NOT the same as the old, and its now liberated and cleansed desires are different, its devotion transformed, even if we sometimes err this way or that. You perhaps have read II Cor. 4:6.
Oh yes, that's the one you told grandpa, something like:
it in this way: "Thou hast given a commandment to save me,
For you are my rock and my fortress" - Psalm 71:3.
Isaiah 1:6 says: "Wash yourselves and make yourselves clean," while Revelation shows you where to do it, for it reveals, this:
Even more, Titus 3:5 shows this:
I John flatly states:
BE! and BE CLEAN!: lovely commands, mused a little one.
Yes, it is all by command: creation, salvation, and within either, it is what we are given, for what do we have, as Paul says, what we did not receive, and as James adds, "Every good and perfect gift is from above" - 1:17. Where in the world else, would it come from, except beyond it! It has to GET here first, and then the speaker of it all, God puts in place what it pleases Him to put, and it pleases Him to put a clean heart in many, even in ALL those who believe in Him, through the very explicit and highly definitive expression of Himself in His Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3, John 8:58), sent - for the purpose of life, to show it, and for sin, to cover it - into this world.
COMMAND, CLEANSING and
CONFIDENCE, the big three, shone a happy little front end.
They are vital elements, to be sure.
It must be strange being a man, I mean, all that loveliness available, and all that filth found, while we are in the filth, but help create the loveliness above the soil.
We are TOLD, commanded if you will, to THINK ABOUT, MEDITATE on the things that are pure, lovely, noble, virtuous (Philippians 4:8).
whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just, whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things."
Fancy burrowing into the silly fading things of this old creation, when a new creation in the heart is available! spoke a quiet and hitherto silent worm.
That, I am afraid, is to be a worm by choice, not creation.
They were so gracious about that, but to them, being worms is a splendid occupation. In a little, I continued.
Earth binds their thought, their hope, their dream, people of this world, not pilgrims passing through: it is rather like childhood, and never wanting to grow up; but this, quite the contrary, applies to anyone full-grown or not: it is to be clean, and THEN to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, a truly transforming knowledge.
You mean, like those people who look on glorious sunsets and paintings and gardens, and drink in the loveliness, are stirred by the grandeur, thrilled with the peace ?
More than that: for our God, being alive, does more than appeal to our taste for what is wonderful and virtuous and true; He moulds like a sculptor, transforms like a painter, moves on us like a wind, surrounds and abounds in us so that even after He has made us new creations with clean hearts, He builds up character and inspires understanding and so moves upon us with the beauty of holiness that it is like a skyscraper being built.
That is HIS affair, though I love to watch Him work; but for our part, we keep our feet on the ROCK, and it is HE who is that rock (Psalm 62:1-3, Matthew 7). He who trusts in Him will never be ashamed (Isaiah 54:10, 28:16, 45:17, 54:17, Romans ). We who know Him, walk by faith as children of light, and step out on the highway of holiness (Isaiah 35:8, Ephesians 5:8), led by the Lord (Psalm 23), in the army of righteousness (Song of Solomon 6:4, cf. Isaiah 59:19), guided by the Lord (Psalm 32:8), living by His word, and led by His Spirit (Romans 8:11-14), girded by His strength (Ephesians 6:12-13, 3:16), operating by faith which works by love (Galatians 5:6).
Well, we must wriggle away, said the worms. Thanks for cheering grandpa up, and are we glad we don't have to worm our way into ROCK!
No, you can't, I said.
Nothing can worm its way into Christ, and that is just ONE of the reasons why
those who are built on Him, never have trouble with foundations. HE is the
author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1).
The Light and Site of Eternity
I was looking at a
particularly impressive robin redbreast, and his waistcoat almost seemed like a
covering of the heart, as if the heart were covered with the blood, a symbol of
redemption, and showing it outwardly to all, he provided a testimony to truth.
As I mused, my thoughts were interrupted.
I heard, said the magpie, what you were saying to the worms. We've had a magpie council after some of us talked to you, and they wanted me to put a few questions.
Why ? I asked, innocently.
What you people call academic interest.
I am happy to see you conceive of this as genuine enquiry and not the interest on funds set aside to enable departments to grow bigger.
Well, that's just the sort of thing which exercises US! she said.
How ? I asked, intrigued.
IS it really true that some people who are cynics, sad in blistered heart and cunning in contrived games, are beyond the pale ?
By which, presumably, I retorted, you mean, HOW SINCERE and DEEP and REAL is the love of God, to which people may respond in sincerity and simplicity ?
Precisely, said the magpie. You have it just as I should have put it.
Truth does not merely concern the accounts settlement process, and the repentance procedure, the faith acceptance and the mercy in action, I said. It concerns no less the STATEMENT of God's motive and the EVIDENCE of His heart given in His actions.
How ? the magpie replied, evidently enjoying the mimicking of my brevity.
Sinners are about as lovely as muddy waters, I began.
That's my whole point, said the magpie. HOW COULD God love such things ?
Sometimes; at other times their own fulfilment seems the main thrust of their lives.
But some do.
It is amazing what parents may sacrifice, it is true; and that not only in battle, but in the long years of self-deprivation to advance a youngster, and to help the little one grow mature and godly.
But GOD ? he questioned, HE is so perfectly pure. For Him, the purity was here the problem.
And THAT! I replied, is - to use your word - PRECISELY why He is so able to love the unlovely.
Isn't that a contradiction in terms ? asked her younger brother, who had somehow intimated himself into the conversation.
Of course not! replied his sister, now suddenly illuminated in some way.
What is PURITY all about, she queried ? It means that there is no pollution, nothing foreign and alien to what we have in mind, mixed with it, spoiling it. If God is the source and centre, the original and definition of love, then a PURE love would be even more loving. There is not a contradiction in the strong giving to the weak, the triumphant giving victory to the lost or the gracious providing for the unloved with the resources of eternity and infinity.
I suppose not, said the younger brother; but I guess one sees more of pure selfishness than pure love.
No doubt! replied his sister, but in each case the purity is for what is in hand. You can have pure or diluted poison, and pure, concentrated or weakened vitamins for that matter.
Part of what love is, I declared, is this: it BEARS with what it seeks, it PROVIDES for what is lost, it ELEVATES what is down, it does NOT merely seek selfish satisfaction from its own thoughts about its own pleasure.
Did not Christ love like that! she exclaimed.
But there is more to His love, I said quietly, as they were pondering.
It was effective love, despite the many who reject it. Those who receive Him, being loved by His power and purity, and covered by His blood, are also changed by His original creative power to become godly, and then there is the whole family of God in its conditions of grace and love, lovingkindness indeed. The purity of His heart is buttress to the purity of His word: for it too is "seven times purified", "like silver tried in a furnace of earth" (Psalm 12:6). He keeps His own with promises so pure, perfect, great and precious (Psalm 12: 7, cf. II Peter 1:4).
Well, said the youngster, I should like to hear about it all in a ... he paused, in a coherent way, from start to finish.
I must say, said his sister, it WOULD be good to hear that in addition to efficient commands, there is a loving heart, back of it all.
Very well, I concurred.
Let's think of a short, mini-conspectus, just for you.
NEXT, we will come to the EXCLUSIONS, the requirements, the requisitions necessary to be effective on behalf of such love.
at last, we come to the REST, those who, despite the exclusions on
inferior salvation, which does not in fact save, exclude themselves from this
magnificent structure, the plan of salvation and the salvation of the plan,
purposed in love and performed with patience.
1. The Love that Impelled
Now here it is simply a
matter of seeing what God has said, and what He has done.
Very well: in Romans 5:7-8, we read this:
But said the older of the young magpies, what if He felt differently later ?
It seemed to me that she may have been seeing that attractive gleam in magpie eyes, by her stage of life, and perhaps she felt the gleam could turn readily enough to another, in these early meetings. The question was natural enough.
It says, I continued, immediately after this:
having now been justified by His blood,
we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
when we were enemies, were reconciled to God
through the death of His Son,
much more having been reconciled,
we shall be saved by His life.
but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received the reconciliation...
"For if by the one man's
offence, death reigned through the one,
much more those who receive abundance of grace
and of the gift of righteousness
will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ."
Like an aircraft collision, said the younger one. If you miss when on head-on collision course, by a few millimetres, how much more will you be safe when flying without that impending smash!
And if the PURPOSE was to avoid it, I pursued the theme, when there was the evil desire of an enemy to deal with: if in other words, He moved to avoid the collision with a deranged pilot in the other plane, and successfully did so, how much more will the now created friendship between the parties, guarantee better things to come. And of course, since ONE of them is God, how much safer again it is, for HE is satisfied, and so justifies those who are NOT satisfactory, by being taken in Christ as the satisfaction in their place. We who believe are "JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD" (5:9) , the symbol and signifier of His life, so that we are "SAVED BY HIS LIFE" (), which being complete and entire, and of the uttermost breadth and timelessness, is an absolute guarantee for ever and ever.
When, I proceeded, HE has it in order, NOTHING and NO ONE can alter it. Hence as Paul says, NOTHING shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. WHAT HE HAS PAID FOR, NO ONE can snatch away (John 10:1-11,27-28); NOR will they perish. No power in any place, of any kind or any concurrence of dynamics, CAN THEN DO ANYTHING. Whom, says Paul, He justified, THESE HE ALSO GLORIFIED (Romans 8:17,28ff.). "Who is He who condemns ?" asks Paul (Romans ). "It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." "Whom," says Paul," He justified, "THOSE HE GLORIFIED" - (Romans 8:17,28ff.).
Yes, concurred the young brave, WE ARE JUSTIFIED FREELY, and not only that, it is THROUGH His grace, not our works that this happens; and not only so, but it is BY THE REDEMPTION THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS, and more than that, it is a redemption which is SET FORTH AS A PROPITIATION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, and not only that, it is BY FAITH, and more still, it is so pure that it expressly has this CONSEQUENCE, that THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY THAT ANYONE COULD CONCEIVABLY BOAST, since all had absolutely NOTHING to do with it: it being a gift by grace.
HOW, she asked ... how in the world did you know all that ?
I was listening, here and there, he said. It is all there in Romans 3: 24-27 anyway, apart from Romans . THAT is HOW He justifies freely, and is a justifier of the person who believes in and receives His gracious works. It SAYS SO. I CAN read, you know, and anyway, a good deal of it I heard when they were talking.
Of course not. If people want to talk out in the open, then we can hear in the open!
She seemed a little crestfallen. Hmm!
Then suddenly she cheered up, for it appeared she had learned somewhere, entirely by heart, from Titus 2, and it seemed now to her that she could see how this fitted in with the rest.
Ah! she mused, I know. In Titus, it says this: "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 our Saviour."
Yes, I used that one the other day.
You did, she smiled.
The strong cries of Christ
(Hebrews 5:7) as in anguish He faced in human format the unspeakable loathing
of the sin He would soon have to bear on the cross, a vast doomed weight of
horror, accounted to Him so that our books could be cleared: these were a
measure of His love.
Love moves through the thick of the densest barriers to deliver. He did that, and the entire perfection of His holiness suffered in a way past all comprehension, as both holy in compassion and wonderful in purity from eternity He took this travail in time, blotted out from consciousness even of His Father's presence, in just completion of His vicarious suffering, His substitutionary sacrifice.
I think it would have been fun to have come storming down from the cross, and to have lacerated those perky little puddles of pollution who rejected and scoffed at Him even while He was suffering that they might be freed.
But how would you lacerate a puddle ?
Much as I would a pudding.
But a puddle is watery and not susceptible to tearing.
Splashes are a sort of tearing.
I think we could avoid the metaphorical puddle and continue, my words came reassuringly.
His DEATH SATISFIED the demands of justice, and
· the life that satisfied, JUSTIFIED the repentant beneficiaries, to enable a just account to be stable, sure and certified, which nothing could break, His whole life covering the whole life of the sinner (Romans 3:25, 5:1, Titus 3:7, I Peter 2:23-25; Hebrews 10:10,14, 9:12-15, John 10:9-11,27,-28, Romans 8:29-39, I Thessalonians 5:9-10, Psalm 85:10-13, Psalm 17:15).
· His LIFE THEN SWALLOWED UP DEATH IN ETERNAL VICTORY (Isaiah 25:8, Acts 2:24,32ff., 3:14-21),
· granting ETERNAL REDEMPTION
· as a DONATION (Hebrews 9:12-156, 6:17-20, Romans 6:23, 5:15), and one so utterly free from any addition of ours, that the very idea of such a thing is HERESY IN PERSON if anything could be (Galatians 3:1-13, Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2:1-10).
2. The Exclusions
HOW, asked the young
magpie, could ONE cover MANY ? THEY have many lives, He but one!
It was - what is your name ?
It is Sharp Eye, replied the youngster.
It was, then, the Son of God, an infinite Being, who paid the price; and when an INFINITE LIFE is given to cover FINITE lives, there is enough and to spare; but indeed, not ALL have come, so that ONLY those who come are covered, and only their sins did He bear, though freely enough for any did He offer to all!
Wasn't that just a little bit chary ? asked the older one, whose name I discovered to be Clear View.
Not al all, I responded, in all clarity and charity. Is our uncle to put a cheque for $50,000 into your back pocket when you are walking away from him, or into your hand when it is stretched out ?
I see what you mean, it would be wasteful, she glistened - (you see, the words were conveyed by various means and her sheen of coat was quite remarkable, and it somehow seemed to be the broadcasting unit to reach my mind at this time).
Worse, how throw money about like that, when it is INTENDED to go where it is PROPER to place it and nowhere else. You CAN'T pay for sins that are still in the heart and grasp of the sinner, because they are then not free to be dismissed. In this way, you see in Isaiah 53, there is a group of people called 'we' , and you must see that these are BOTH the ones who are HEALED and whose SINS HE BORE. Borne sins are knives removed from the heart, and the heart is healed. Unborne sins are sins still with their daggers in the spiritual mitre valve, and the heart is ruined, not redeemed.
Tell us about what was needed in the Saviour then, they both asked.
Ah! I replied, the EXCLUSIONS, yes.
Take the blood, the blood of Christ, by which Christians are redeemed (Ephesians 1:7), so gaining eternal inheritance (Ephesians ), in terms of the One who WORKS all things after the COUNSEL of HIS OWN WILL (also Ephesians 1;11). Blood signifies life given in death - as in Leviticus , and in the sacrificial system (Hebrews -23). Greater life than that of animals, a greater sacrificial offering than those had to be made to cover the realities of the ruin of man. You don't buy a Cadillac for the price of a paper aeroplane!
His sacrificial, atoning, reconciling, sin covering death, then, it was not just ANY death; for the life that covers must be perfect, else how should it cover (II Cor. 5:17-21).
It is not ANYONE'S death; for the person who covers life's pollution, must be life's source, imparting anew life's vitality and purity from the foundational realities without loss of any kind (John 5:19-22, I Peter 1:23, Matthew 11:25-27, Colossians 1:19-21).
And it is not ANY resurrection, for the One who rises from the grave must rise on behalf of ALL His people (I Cor.15:20-22,47-49,53-54, Isaiah 26:19), bringing us back not merely from condemnation but into the very presence of our Father, eternally equipped (II Cor. 5:1ff.).
It is not ANY victory which He achieves in this way, for
it must be demonstrated victory over sin
(I Peter 1:23-25, Romans 1:4), one which on the paths towards death, as in the midst of life, had the purity and the self-control and the patience and the power and the authority and the pleasing character before the Father which marks it out as wholly perfect and wholly intact, a life which indeed covers not merely in a judicial way, but in a vital way, what is to be restored, and constitutes the avenue of its coming (Heb. 6:18-20).
This life must proceed from eternity to eternity, to carry its recipients to the presence and to the face of God: from God He comes, and to the very heights of God He carries, having suffered the just for the unjust, to bring us to God (I Peter 3:18, John 5:19ff., I Peter 5:3-4, I Cor. 15:422-49, Micah 5:1ff., Psalm 45, Hebrews 1, Philippians 2, Hebrews 1:1-3, 2:10-18, 5:7-8, 6:15ff., 7:25-27, 9:11-15, 10:1-19). This, I noted, is how we come to bear the "image of the heavenly" for the Lord form heaven is well able to endue us, made in a now marred image of God, with that created but pure perfection, prepared in heaven after pilgrimage, which is fit to be with Him for ever. In the heights of His glory, there is no empyrean above, but coming as God the word, and for God, He, the Lord returns with us to God, our home, so that in the splendour of His eternity, He takes us, the children of day, to the know God face to face (I Cor. 13:11-13, Rev. 22:3-5).
In this way, God, authenticated on earth (I Tim. ), dispels doom in destiny, opens heaven, and leads there the redeemed past all judgment, all end, and all dubiety, delivered to a destiny with God (Romans 1:4, Revelation 5:9-14, I Thess.5:9-10).
But what, they both sang
simultaneously, in one of those glorious warbles which seem so vital, so
zestful and yet so melodious, what of the rest ?
3. What of the Rest ?
What, they continued, of those who DO NOT come? What of the EXCLUSIONS of those who REJECT His remedy, DESPISE His blood, wipe their feet on His salvation and mock at His tears ? or indeed, simply deny having any INTEREST in the ... whole matter, with superior smirks, smiles or grimaces, pouts, petulances or slippery airs, sliding about like eels in the lakes ? what of them !
Young ones, I confided, I am going to ask you to state JUST WHAT you mean, for it will be speedier than my answering any POSSIBLE overtone or intimation you MAY have in mind.
Well, how is love to be called love, that doesn't work ? How is God to be called wise if His plan is frustrated ?
That, they smiled, will do for a start.
How easy is your first request, I responded, to answer from the Bible. God SO loved the world that WHOSOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. THAT is the nature of love. It is generous to oblivion of all competition in giving; it is wise beyond all clatter, in directing, and unpretentious past all hypocrisy in BEING love, not a disguised form of GETTING. Love rejected is NOT frustrated, for IF it is love, it HAS self-control, so that to defile its rejection by mere power is to be acknowledged as past the bounds of all that could be called love.
Yes, but what if the one loved, and soon to go to hell for peremptorily rejecting that remedy coming in the letter of love (John 15:22-24), because it was a NECESSARY remedy, and the ONLY remedy, as potent as unique, but also as UNIQUE as potent: what if the person was in a pouting mood at the time, and then would have been sorry 24 hours later ? Is that wise ?
To pout and have moods is NEVER WISE. To be rejected through a slight and passing mood is not wise either, but it is not God who so acts. Those whom HE called, we read in Romans 8:28ff., HE FOREKNEW. GOD ALWAYS GETS HIS MAN, WOMAN - HIS CHILD. He WORKS all things after the counsel of His own will.
But it is terrible to think of them in hell.
Yes, indeed, it is loathsome, and it is something to wish for, that they had taken the cover provided. But to land in hell, you HAVE to be utterly fixed on preferring darkness to light in the very eyes and mind of Christ, who knows all things, way past mere history, and has known and foreknown His own before this poor old world so much as existed (Ephesians 1:4). Further than that, God does not go.
C.S.Lewis put it so decisively in his little sketch, The Great Divorce, when the essence of it is this, that they CANNOT STAND the light of heaven, as their imaginary bus trip is taking them for a peek, and so want to get to hell out of there. Light is NOT their preference, and like bright light to tired old eyes, it is a painful experience, like that of a divorcee in the presence of her former husband, perhaps.
Why are SO MANY so slow to come then ? and why did God not do something to bring them in ?
Something ? Prophecies and power in bundles and swathes throughout history, the Christ Himself, the very eternal Son of God in human form, showing and speaking and conversing and personally covering for the lost, the hewly found, and inviting and being so empathetic, that He really did find Himself oppressed in all their tribulations, just as He indicated in Isaiah 63:9 - afflicted in their afflictions. You read Hebrews 1-5, and can still ask me that ? What MORE COULD He have done! What He did is staggering to the last degree.
Well, He could have twisted their arms a bit more!
Perhaps offering them a secure income for life, if they would come ?
No! but making their condition more obvious.
Their condition! That could hardly have been more obvious to them and to all in the last two millenia than in HIS BEING MADE TO LOOK LIKE THAT ON OUR BEHALF (Isaiah 52:14, 53:5,7ff.). IF THAT, that synthesis of biological butchery, spiritual oppression and psychic chiding on the Cross in segregation, humiliation, separation and crushing physical, mental and spiritual anguish is not a picture of our sinfulness, since THIS IS WHAT IT TOOK THE PERFECT CHRIST TO BEAR IT, then what is it! And if THIS is our state, which He figures in meeting justice' claims on us, where are we and who are we to hinder His salvation!
True. I guess it is just sin which is so .... utterly deceptive.
Yes. In fact, quite briefly: just as the plan of salvation provided what was necessary, so its absence makes doom necessary, unspeakable deprivation and everlasting contempt. A preference for pollution is worse than mere pollution: it is like a love affair with dirt, a funereal courtship with a coffin.
In fact, that is just what
Proverbs indicates: "He who sins against Me, wrongs his own soul.
All that hate Me love death!"
This sort of pollution preference is worse than mere ordinary squalor, for it is a rejection of spiritual help, hygiene and holiness, for those slippery slopes that pit-mouth to the bottomless pit; for it has no foundation, and its losses are eternal.
It is worse
than mere lying, for it would make the Lord a liar by lying about the Lord (I John -23, 4:3-5, ): for let's see it
through. If you BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be saved.
If you DO NOT, then you are REJECTING His personal testimony, becoming HIS JUDGE, and doing so in mere folly without logic, contrary to all reason, truth or righteousness. Where COULD that all land except in a bottomless pit, a foundation-free swamp of squalor seething with unspiritual contempt, like an algae bloom declaring to all its pollution (Daniel 12:1ff., Isaiah 66:24). Polluted as a swamp (cf. Ezekiel 47:11), in one aspect, yet in its fierceness, it burns freely like fire, with its ineffaceable confusion of effrontery with reality.
Into heaven, no unrepentant liars come (Revelation 21:8); but all who will may take of the water of life freely, while it still called "today" (Revelation ).
Those whom you would have called 'the excluded', might more clearly be thought of, it seems to me, as the precluded: for they have become their own undertakers, preventing love by rejection, restoration by a preferred spiritual consumption which they regard as health.
It is, I concluded, looking affectionately on these lovely birds, an exercise in absenteeism.
It is only DESPITE LOVE that this comes; and HE WHO CAME did so in fulfilment of love; God IS love and the whole of hell's resources is too small even to influence one to its midst, for whom the love of God is dear or desired with all the heart. Love is profound but not unsound; and the beauty of His holy impulsions is not what denies the image of God with which we are made. Not breaking with ruthless power, but awakening with gracious entreaty, He prospers in His chosen paths; and past all that, He knows His own.
They flew with such a lovely touch of friendliness out to the sea, dipping their wings in mock salute, but with such a cheery look in their laughing eyes as they went, that it quite gripped the heart.
While they were advancing, a mist arose over the sea, a sudden shower, then a rainbow, slightly diffused from the mist, yet clear for all that, overcast with the loveliness of creation, like a fresh painting that somehow arose from its frame and entered into the very framework of reality. The birds were winging exactly through the rainbow's arch as I watched, and then up and on, and on. The picture was beyond the collation of colour and form; it was a message of lowliness, wonder and thrust.
First, it was necessary to HAVE mercy, signally symbolised after the Flood by the rainbow (Genesis , -15). Without mercy, as without food, there is little to have. You starve in the second case, in the body, in the first, in the spirit. It must be clear, as with the rainbow in its bright colours; it is massively meditated, as with the range of those colours, and vast in enterprise, as in the scope and height of the rainbow, but perfectly applied, as where the rainbow touched down softly on the earth, to the vision beholding it.
Its arch is like one to fly through, not above, as if divine, not misaligned, as if unconcerned: it is the entry to glory, and its covenant of mercy is now substantiated on earth, but yet from vastest reaches of heaven itself than a mere rainbow, in the coming and crucifixion, the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. After that, one rises as if on wings, one course lifted and uplifting, to the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:3,13-14), knowing there is a vaster and yet more glorious height to reach, but only through the entrance which is the constant reminder and continual arch of glory, of victory - HIS!
Such thoughts came to mind as the birds flew through the archway, with its mistiness of wonder, clarity of beauty and boldness of design, like the plan of salvation, in company as a brotherhood, with understanding as becomes a flighted path.
So it was refreshing (Isaiah 40:31), for -
They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up with wings as eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
While our magpies are soaring past the entrance-arch of the rainbow, we think of Philippians 3:13-14, in which we read that "forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Philippians is a glorious book. It is filled with inspiration, exultation in the Lord, not showy and vainglorious, but sacrificial and spiritual, exaltation of the Lord, with that sort of exuberance of which the archway spoke, and that uninhibited thrust of the winged warblers, as they passed through. As to them, they remind me of the words I seem to recall reported, those of a medical doctor concerning the passing of his Headmaster father: the magpie carolling seemed to him as if all the trumpets were sounding for his forbear, on the other side!
Philiipians! Not only does it have
1) the stepping out
audaciously for Christ,
in life or death (Phil. 1:20), like those soaring magpies, through the arch,
and with the loveliness of the azure of heights above, so long as Christ is
glorified in the body; but with it,
2) the abundance of praise in the expression of Christ, the form of God His eternal habitat, so that while equality with God was for HIM, nothing to be grasped for (Phil.2), He yet bent Himself willingly on His saving mission, coming to terms not only with earth, but with sin, and with obedience to death so that His is a name above every name;
3) the disdain and even
contempt for anything less than Christ in all the riches and wonders of this earth (3:8);
4) the upward thrust to the mark of the high calling in Christ, moving the eyes to the plane to come and the path to reach it (3:13-14),
but there is even more.
5) In the end of Ch.3, verses 20-21, there is a further and a vast intimation of the irrepressible, all-vanquishing power of God, who, when the time is right, as at the creation, now in the resurrection will USE IT:
citizenship is in heaven;
from which also we eagerly await for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
who shall change our body of humiliation,
so that it may be fashioned like His glorious body,
according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself."
What then do we learn here, and in allied places in the word of God ?
WHERE do you
Citizenship ? Heaven.
WHAT are you
waiting for ?
The return of the triumphant Christ, His mission of sacrifice long finished, His patience for the gospel to circumnavigate the globe amply and even abundantly fulfilled, and His reign in righteousness coming like the dawn.
coming in that day, for you who believe ?
A refashioned body, on the format of His own resurrection (cf. I John 3, Phil. ).
required to get this ?
POWER, the incomparable power which can SUBDUE anything and everything to HIMSELF.
WHAT sorts of
things then would NEED to be subdued for this result ?
DECAY and CORRUPTION, IMPERFECTION and the LAW OF DETERIORATION.
WHAT power is
sufficient for this ?
That of the Creator, who made it in the first place, now enduing it with an eternity of endurance, fitting for the endurance of life.
Are you able
to quote the place Paul speaks of this power, in more detail ?
It is in II Cor. 5:1, where he noted that "if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
does this have ?
Why this: that we have an overall covering, so that "we shall not be found naked" (II Cor. 5:3).
something God still has exercise some part of the plan of salvation to
accomplish, or is it all in hand, on hold, prepared and in readiness ?
"He who has wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also has given to us the earnest of the Spirit" - II Cor. 5:5, and IF this body is dissolved, THEN we HAVE in readiness a supernaturally conceived, contrived and constructed body, eternal in the heavens (5:1). It is prepared for us; we are being prepared for it; and HE has GONE to prepare such a place, not only its individual habitat, but its holy totality of scene (John 14:1ff.).
Thus the TOTAL and ABSOLUTE power of the Creator suffices
· for the TOTAL TRANSFORMATION of our bodies, despite the sin which preceded, and the atonement being called for;
· for the divine WORKS required to enable it, these having now happened: the covering is complete (Isaiah 61:10, Ephesians 1:6), and God has wrought it all for us who believe and shall believe, and us for it,
· without any further considerations, our habitat to be, eternal in the heavens, themselves are to be shaken and indeed replaced, till the pure and perfect peace and plan of God is expressed in the new heavens and the new earth (II Peter 3:12-13, Hebrews 12:26-29).
· to keep what is committed to Him against that day (II Tim. 1:12) since He has "saved us and called us with a holy calling , not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" - II Tim. 1:9-10.
the general resurrection is the TIME to receive this, the thing awaits nothing
The power, authority and necessary precedents of planning are complete and perfected.
Thus this power of God suffices likewise to dismiss the curse, since Christ bore it, as also to institute a new heavens and a new earth (II Peter 3) in its time; and this, it is one in which righteousness dwells. Then no more is the PHYSICAL attrition and the BIOLOGICAL deterioration. It is then that the redemption wrought is the redemption manifest: the goods paid for are then the goods delivered. Already, we have delivered to us who believe, the EARNEST or DEPOSIT of the Spirit (Romans 8:16, Ephesians 1:11-14), which Paul indicated, worked in him mightily (Colossians 1:29); and already, the LAW of life in the Spirit, has replaced the sovereign rule of the law of sin and death, in the regenerated lives of those who know the Lord (Ephesians 1:19, Romans 8:1-11).
NOW all that, being spiritually subdued since Christ has satisfied justice for the elect, and vitally overcome, since moreover, Christ endured with patience and overcame EVERY temptation, it now awaits the exposure of the result at the end of the vast historical trials and the completion of the exposure of sin, throughout history, manifested definitively in their precise depiction on the Cross, and soon to reach their final exploits of rebellion!
It is at that coming time of unleashing of what is prepared, and that final exposure of all that is in the hearts of men, like the Normanby invasion of 1944, that the wasting universe is replaced by the heavens of purity and uncomplex purpose, where righteousness rules, life in its undimmed beauty is found and the travesties of sin are positively excluded (Revelation 21-22).
For that (Philippians -21), what will be exercised ?
POWER to subdue ALL THINGS, things spiritual which are in need of overcoming because of sinful distortion, things mental which are in need of burnishing because of sinful confusion, things physical which are in need of enduing with uncursed transformation, so that death is no more the constant reminder of sin, nor degradation of energy and form, its embellishment; for the former things are passed away.
The laws of creation - of this present world which is passing away, its limits and its deterioration as it grows old like a garment (Isaiah 51:6) are then replaced with the laws of the new creation, already foreshadowed in the life within, for the Christian, who can speak with Paul of "Christ in me, the hope of glory" - Colossians 1:27.
Thus for the Christian, these things to come, they are not new in TYPE, but only in dimension. Already, we experience His joy, rule, power and testimony within ( I Peter 1:3-9): then it will be visible to all - outside as well (Matthew -43). Soon we shall be called to the wedding feast of the Lamb (Matthew 21:1-10, 24:30ff., Revelation 19:7-14, II Thess.1:10, Zechariah14:5) and to the coming with the Lamb, who is the lamp of the universe, the dimness of which is strikingly contrasted with the brightness of its Creator, the Saviour of all who come to Him by faith (Titus 2:12-14) .
for Christ is a walk on a way of unspeakable beauty, remorseless truth,
uncompromising duty, a call to immovable faithfulness, and within it is the
delicious friendship of the only perfectly pure and purely perfect man who ever
was: God Himself, in human format. In this way are the redeemed, not perfect
people, but people covered, called, being transformed, regenerated, being
polished to the proportions of holiness. As to this way, its passage is upward,
within (Matthew 11:27ff., Luke , John 14:9): the gift
of God by the word - this also - of His power, and the mediation of His