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HEBREWS 11, FAITH and FUNCTIONALITY
Hebrews 11 is one of the greatest summaries on faith and functionality in existence. It moves from the nature and definition of faith, to its foundational exercise, and on to its functional exhibits. Thence it comes to Christ after so long a preparation - and God DID give a large deposition before Christ came, in terms of the words, works and ways of faith. Then this eleventh chapter moves on to the character of its use in this Christian Age, its parameters, power and principles, its basis and its brilliance.
It clashes with the faith-ectomies, the surgical removal of faith by belligerent scepticism and septic cynicism. Let this be explained as we ponder Hebrews 11.
Faith is a natural thing. To trust in your Creator is as natural as expecting your ideal manufactured car to go for long distances with minimal problems. This I find: it does, for it was bought not least for this reason. Of course it has to be well serviced, but service of the vehicle ? this is what one does in such a case. It is not an option, but an obvious correlative of owning it.
Much is done to attack creation and hence the glory of the wisdom of the Creator, but it is hopelessly in vain. It is so obvious that only the subtleties of unreasoned thought and the proclivities of pathological passion can even give it a chance to take hold, like a cancer, of anyone's mind*1. Of course, the case is much advanced by the polluted environment, in this case, millions of surreptitious sermons on TV and in schools, on the fastidious follies of unbelief in the preliminary aspect of creation.
Indeed, if Bible bashing used to be a phrase for the start of combat on religion, a taunt, now evolution-bashing has not less ground if one wanted that kind of thing. It is bashed into ears, smashed on heads, illustrated in imaginative books and thrust in imperious anti-scientific intolerance into myriads of ears, whose professional lives depend not a little on its acceptance.
Hebrews 11 being our mode of study on this occasion, we will answer this in our search of its teaching, and show its correctness in passing.
Today, our sub-topics will be from Hebrews, first the NATURE AND DEFINITION OF FAITH, then THE PRIMARY TOPIC OF CREATION AND FAITH, thirdly, THE OPERATION OF FAITH and finally FAITH IN THE PRESENT AGE.
NATURE AND DEFINITION OF FAITH
Hebrews 11:1-2 deals with the nature of faith. A simple, sample translation would be this:
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
ASSURANCE and its OVERTONES
However, this translation merely touches the surface of the terms used. The Greek term often rendered 'substance' but which could be and certainly partly refers to 'assurance' is a complex one. Its basic sense is substructure, what lies under. From this there are meanings like foundation. From Thayer's Greek dictionary we find that it also means, reality, real existence. One can see the extension, how it is made. What lies underneath, is foundational becomes an instrument of association with its field, a means of advent from what it is all about, to what is apparent and visible to the eye. Hence it comes to the idea of what is the ACTUAL as distinct from the ostensible.
After that , the Greek term (upostasis) can mean something in the field of human attitude, coming to mean firmness, resolution, we find. Thus underneath the efforts, the striving which one may SEE, is the basis of it, which is here seen in terms of the unvarying, or the vigorous, the firmly resolve character of an body's approach to some task, challenge or situation. This too is part of the function, the usage of this Greek word used in Hebrews 1.
After this, it can mean assurance, confidence. In this case, we move from the REALITY of the thing in view, to the FIRMNESS with which it is held, and the RESOLUTION with which it is embarked upon. It comes to refer to the CONFIDENCE and even the ASSURANCE which one has, being so equipped with actuality, substructural insight, foundational awareness. Faith at the first, is this sort of attitude to, being bound with things hoped for with this firmness, with this insight, and with this assurance.
Thus where FAITH is the topic, obviously this last is a part of the meaning, since the intimacy of the two terms, faith and assurance, is close. However, this in itself by no means exhausts the point. The term chosen has a background that is huge, and a basis which is clear so that it is well to look beyond the tip of the ice-berg, to what lies underneath, as we have just done.
We move therefore not only to the TONE, the assurance of things hoped for, but to the milieu, the setting of the term, assurance based on actual existence of the thing of which one is assured, in terms of an underlying view, vision, knowledge of its foundational facts.
Such is the beginning of Hebrews 11.
THINGS HOPED FOR, AND THEIR GROUND
That is faith. But why does it speak here of things hoped for ?
It is because in the human heart where the poet declares that "hope springs eternal" in the human heart (one remembers a student at one's old College who took three years on matriculation only to become a well-versed surgeon!), there is a thrust for HOPE, as for LOVE and for TRUTH and MERCY. These things may indeed be, and often are, squashed, distorted, reviled, revolted from; but not without fundamental and even pathological damage to the person who thus moves. Thus there may readily be seen to be results, as in bitterness or scoffing scorn, paranoia or sulks, skulking subversiveness, as in some -isms, violence or at least indelicacy arising like celluloid towers above the ruins (cf. SMR Ch. 3).
WHY is the human heart so liable to being lassoed by hope ? why does a thing so fragile, a construction so vulnerable as man appears to be, a life so short in an empire of APPARENT death and ruin, have such hope, when in any individual merely statistically apart, there is ample reason for concern, which can breed anxiety or even despair ? It is because the human construction has a constriction. It passes through a narrow way which relates to the fashion of its formulation; for nothing integral in a kind which transcends its visible bits and can even understand them, can be functional without being fashioned.
Systems are simply the way that what is in a given style, modus or construction, actually goes. 'Chance' is merely a name for what in a system (NO system means NO meaning and NO words to describe its wholly NON-ordered nothingness) is not directed by any special or supervening force, power or intervening agent. It suggests that as the system is, so it goes, and if you get in the way of it, too bad! It is as it is and it goes as it goes. That IS the system, and this IS its way.
Hence it is at once apparent without any refined argument (though SMR gives that for those who want it), that we hope because our systems (and they are many and various, intertwining, interlocking, interacting up to a point such as the categorical instructions permit, and constructions allow, on which it is based) demand a rational basis, or thought must evaporate, argument resign and reality be disdained. They are pointing like a star, to a birth, ours, from a systematiser. Yet some might wonder why one would HOPE in a systematiser, who could, as some dentists were shown in an extensive and carefully contrived test to appear to be, motivated by self-interest which might of course militate against the interests of the patient, or in this case, the created being called man, who has this hope.
Since the very atoms have order, precision, precincts, orders of force and characterisability, which means systematics implicit, whether this pleases or otherwise, and the human cells have marvels of sophistication to challenge the mightiest intellect as to their formation in their own internal and relevant systematics, llinked to the operation of a uniform and directive code in conception which is the modus operandi in view, it is apparent that either man is made from a wilful and arbitrary monster, or has himself in the very nature of his culture, moving in that direction and is gaining deserved rebuke. Such more and more manifestly is the nature of his cultural world and contrived relationships in bulk.
As to an arbitrary and wilful monster which some may envisage, however, what is it to be arbitrary ? It is to have your will with inadequate thought and no justice as a criterion. A Being who acted like that would not have such a testimony of intricacy of incredibly interwoven, profound systematics which still are not fully resolved, even as an extant item available for inspection, and pervasive controls. To be wilful, such a one would need to have a will not subject to wisdom, and hence to be one where desire outruns understanding. Such a being would need to be someone's creation, since there are systematic controls, such that this can occur, one thing having demands which another part cannot meet, being fixed, limited and designated. That then is a mere creation, a part of imagination brought in, and is not the Creator.
Desire beyond wisdom means thrust beyond knowledge, with the putative result of self-destruction. In such a case, the powers exceed their management skills, and there are thus limits set up and operative in such a Being.
Thus, to have limits MEANS, when they are imposed, that you are a creation; so that this is not the Creator who could be spoken of in such terms.
Self-knowledge CAN be limited only when you are a creation, with things to explore, as distinct from the Being dependent on none, on whom all depend, so that they come not from nothing but from an adequate source, so that logic may speak and reason may operate, and thought have purpose. If you rule that out, you are out of the argument, and hence lose. If you follow it, ALL things are coherent, reasonable, explicative in kind, mutually comprehensible and attest one source (as in Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ - Bible or Blight, and Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host). To assume that a result of non-thought is to deny empirical reality.
Thought is the milieu, thought provides the rationale, and Revelation, testable and in the Bible, gives the ground for test. To suggest arbitrariness or wilfulness in view of attestation to the precise opposite in whole worlds of conceptual realism and investigation is pragmatic, but not empirical, and wilful without being wise. It is an anti-evidential splurge into the senseless, a desire divorced from reality, and cannot be rationally tolerated. And that ? it is part of the human response often found, to the reality; and where the response is similar in seeking to get rid of God, yet the result is the same: irrationality and wilfulness, arbitrariness on the part of man, with a horrendous result, equals the ways of this world. Small wonder John 2:15 says, "Love not the world...!" It is indeed gripped in appalling spasms of mistaken thought and vile violence.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
Some may wish to probe further. What, they may ask, if in great thought and much exercise of wisdom, the Creator were to desire harm to the creation because of selfish desire for satiation in some kind of perverse pleasure ? In that case similarly, the Being would be inadequate within itself, needing outside construction for self-completion, and hence limited and thus created, and hence not the Creator.
What appears then, not only from reason, as elsewhere wrought in detail and here in survey, is this. There is a series of systems which operate each at its own level, but all in different kinds of interstitial relationships, amazingly correlative; and the Creator having made these in giving, needing nothing, and in goodwill, then hope is the natural inherent consequence of this fact in the human heart. It looks for the result, for deliverance, meaning, message and way with a yearning, a desire, a hope which is endemic, and which, though subjectible to pathology, returns like a body often troubled, but more often restored.
Thus in World War II hearty hope was subject to various epidemics and as in Communism, to a barren parade of irrational systematics of its own, in this case seeking the stripping of all values, AS a value, and hence contradictorily, and this disease afflicted many, and ruled over many more. Being subjective in nature but objective in affirmation, in a world model without absolute truth but absolutely proclaimed in its terms, this disease never really removed hope by such artless contrivances or irrational antics*2.
Men still hoped, still yearned, still clamoured for deliverance, liberty, love not compulsion. Even after decades of subversive subjection and iron-clad propaganda and torture of mind and body, this palpable disease called communism, in its vicious rule, remained how it had begun, a distortion and an irrelevant dynamic, requiring force to make its fortune, and quitting by this appeal any ground in reason, obliging by 'morals' of its own, when morals were already on this model, long deceased.
Hope is not removed any more than is the heart, by blood-letting; but the attempt shows man at work by will. It is the nadir of faith, but hope still looks up.
Thus faith is the assurance based on evidential reality of things hoped for, as Hebrews 1 (cf. Romans 1:17ff.) declares. That is what it is. It is the non-pathological functionality of the human frame.
THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS UNSEEN
First, let us move to this topic by considering the pathology of faith more broadly, the correlative to physical obesity.
PATHOLOGICAL DISTORTIONS AND UNREALISTIC IMAGINATIONS,
SOME OF THEIR RIOTS,
AND THE COMMENCEMENT OF THEIR RESTORATION TO REALITY
Faith can of course be misplaced, as when people try to worship, by implication or directly, 'Nature' or even 'nature' or 'mother nature' (oddly not 'father nature' but this may be too near to the reality, however idolatrous by comparison with reality). This 'nature' business, a word or in 'mother nature' a phrase to substitute for any actual reality (as in MANY natures in a natural series of systems of vast scope and effusive brilliance unmatched in designated criteria, in human productions), what then does it become ? It is in fact one of the chief repositories of the transient thought of rebellious man. He looks about the room, and decides that the house and himself have both been built by the furniture, or the ceiling, or the floor, or the foundation, or the property, or any other systematically irrelevant and wholly ANTI-EMPIRICAL guess, which denies his own reality and that of what he sees, the former by reductionism and the latter by irrational expansionism.
Man as a mighty midget loves to parade his proclivities, and to insist on his vacuousnesses, to nurse the nugatory and to necessitate, if he could, the nebulous. His imagination, one of the chief exhibits of his spirit which is not bound but free to a degree almost incalculable, loves to add to arrogance, folly, and to rebellion a species of pseudo-rationality, always much the same, roving from this illicit extreme to that antilogy, antinomy or antic; and millions often die as a result when force is added to fiction and -isms of lunacy arrive.
His spirit can create worlds, with almost incredible freedom, although not implement the conception, populate them with beings of its own will, but not fabricate them, being limited to the processive in the lines of material things, and unable to invent spirit, such as is his own. Yet is he grateful for this ?
Some are; but as to the world as a political, diplomatic, racial being, culturally bound, theologically unsound, energically bounding and astounding itself with the display of the powers God put in the universe and enabled him to lever out of it, what of it ? It palls at worship when it passes what is made and comes to the Maker, when passes its own constructions and comes to His word; indeed, it appals even itself as it tries to act as author of itself, without being more than an exalted ingredient, absconding from its Maker. It glows with ecstasy at itself, and invents sundry solemnities founded on itself, founded on nothing, festering vice, acclaiming murder if on a sufficiently large scale, selling soul for peace and prostituting spirit for content.
Whether matter, designed into designated components of the assembly lines of production and reproduction, whether mind with the wild whirl-wind of creative capacity not limited to this earth, or spirit, in its will and determination, resource and bewitchments, its adorations and its worships, its climates of opinion and its breaking loose from them, its cultural itch and its political hitch, its liberations and deliberations: it is what it is, and its world is what it is. Fiction does not allay its fears or become ally to its squandering.
So does it act, with its own innate functions and not others in mind, and with the interfaces of its Producer like rusting shards, so that its own use is its duty and its self-adoration, personally or racially, is its downfall, being merely the misuse of imagination for a glory which is not there. It is the child who is divorced from parents, this time divine, or invents them, because that sort does not command. Its glory is ephemeral, its virtue is viscous, its descent is vicious and its baseless propositions inane.
The only glory is that of God who is there, and put man here, a small being who imagines great things, and does little ones, who makes great commotions, but idles into absurd notions, who ruins and relents, who aspires and desires, who gambles and loses, who complains and repents, and then but little healed, fails to have faith in his Creator, far less to find freedom in redemption so that at long last, he might rove in the beauties of reality, and find butt for his imagination in the things actually there, with which faith moves as a membrane, activated by them and operative within them.
Thus it is futile to look for the author of a book within the covers of that book. They are mutually exclusive, the operational and the operated; or to look for the builder in what he has fabricated, unless of course he CHOOSES to inhabit extraneously to the construction itself, the thing made. But in that case, it is not the house at all which is the builder, but merely a convenience for his adventitious appearance at will, neither controlling him nor explaining itself; so that the case is the same. The source is always outside the result, the cause is not coalescible with the effect, and the type of agent which makes is not to be confused with the products of his wit and power, when applied to a given realm which has not his agent powers, intellectual attestation or imaginative exhibits to attest what it is. Confusion on an imaginary basis IS indeed a USE of imagination, but it is an abuse of reason.
The source of a delimited particle is not ultimately to be found in the particle, but in the cause of its particularity, and this in terms of whatever is beyond the system by which ANY such cause CAN have any such effect, which itself is a prodigious non-nothing of schematic brilliance, and rational manifestation to the ultimate point, requiring its source, the construction of its sentences in structural characteristic, the equivalent of command. The phenomenal is such because of what is not itself, but a basis for its ordered composure, myriads of limits and either systematic-sequencing or schematic placement, even to the point of conscious awareness of logic, and application of the same.
Source is not in particles and their appointed properties, but in agent and its adequate proclivities and powers.
Not to the source matériel but to the mind which articulated it, by machination made its correlates co-functional and raised the entire substructure of systematics to allow such particular cases as man, to relate in spirit to the mind that formed and to the Spirit which fashioned, to the Originator of all system, any system and the whole ordered rationality which enables rational discourse to be relevant, on ANY view or approach: it is to this that logic requires one look. It is to the thought which commanded conceptual existence, as that of conceptualisers like man, to the artificer whose thought construed, whose word commanded into existence that limits might be, and orders received, that one must look.
The evidential attestation of the unseen is continual, culminating in the spirit of man which is unseen in its own movements of hope, cynicism, spiritual scrofula and the like; for none of these have weight, architecture of geometry or units of action, but are more powerful than the devices that can be seen, since from this source comes the DESIRE to use and the PURPOSE for using those very material things. That is the second part of the definition of 'faith' in Hebrews 11. It is the roll-call of reason, the invitation to see what is happening continually, it is the document in the empirical, the case drawn up and presented, the field observation in heart, in mind and in body, and outside the body, in systems multitudinous, interlockings of no ephemeral sophistication and correlations definitionally undivorcible from design*3.
What has its components subject to reason, investigable by it, correlated in terms of it, sent into systematics, open to cause and effect at levels which no one system can account for in terms of its native abilities, and is integrated into realms of thought, spirit and organic elements in turn correlated into personal units: this is its own attestation. This is not what any one system does, by definition of any one of the systems, based on reason and observation; it is not in the realm of any one system's modus operandi as experimentally testable, but contrary to all tests, as in the aspect of information science which denies the casual mounting of information and affirms its natural loss*4 . Myriads of systems in integrated totality and unified correlation for designate ends require myriads of creations. information inputs with their provisions for plasticity within design, to the point that the designating DNA and its allies, permit. Man never ceases to be forced to see that this is in KINDS, and that endless plasticity is as contrary to scientific law as is concrete rigidity. That is just not the way life is, or law works (as explained in The Defining Drama Ch. 10).
The mind that has all nature open to its KIND of enquiry, the spirit which has instruments for moving into vast domains of ordered power by law and conceptual affinities, by logical kind and definitive correlation, these are not aliens in some oddity. They are means within a totality mutually accessible, but not exhaustibly comprehensible, as if the nature of what is made by the superior, in terms designed for the inferior, admits action, enables comprehension but distances presumption. Thus, the child does not exhaustively understand the father, though he is one who is in intimate correlation with him; and their mutual design types are readily seen in the extraordinary felicity of the whole inter-face, father and son.
So here: there is the inability to plumb the depths of our beings, but great facility in determining much about them; and it is only when we move from awareness of the minimal means and the necessary cause of it all to the awareness of that Being in personal enquiry and inter-personal apprehension, that the full evidential attestation becomes clear.
Such a result is vast in significance, and the structures enabling it are equally astounding.
It is performed, in ordinary systematics, in two stages. First, just as DNA orders our construction with conceptual dynamics set in multiple systems of supply and coherence, enabling orders to be INTERPRETED and the FULFILLED (you can order an ice-cream, and a maid can fetch it for you, but you need the kitchen, refrigerator, her willingness and her mind to catch on to the order), so the Bible, the only valid and testably and empirically confirmed book claiming to come from God in the world (cf. Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer and The gods of naturalism have no go!) issues its word to the human mind, heart and spirit.
Thus it, in turn, commands our consciences and instructs our reason with reality. We are indeed not left without a witness, either to the mind and reason, or to the heart and inspiration, concerning the purposes and to the purity of heart which makes man not a mess but a marvel.
Cars without maps and roads, or maps without vision are like a mockery.
Dispose of them, however, and you mock merely yourself!
This is one of the main forms of contemporary man's mischiefs, and it leads to being lost on a vast scale, while different sort of lostness express themselves: debate and contend, war and murder, curse and inculpate, destroy and delight in ruin, even to the point that one of the most recent examples delights in death as a furthering of its greatness, just as Revelation 6 specifically foretold, as to type. It is one thing not to fear death; it is quite another to delight in it, wallow in it, use it as a tool of exploitation and callow is the heart that so esteems life.
Power was granted, says Revelation of the culminating times of our Age, to the agent who sat on the horse, namely Death, "and hell followed with him." Not only would he kill with hunger and the sword, but "with death." In other words, death is a pre-occupation, a funereal delight, a furtherance of aims and a component of the scene like eating or breathing. It lives by dying, it moves by strangulation, its place is horror. So it was to be, and so it is, some of the Islamic militants almost echoing the sentiment verbally!
All of this appears a form of what the Bible calls SPIRITUAL LUNACY. This is what Hosea 9:7 tells us, and this is a result in the mind of an alienation in spirit which will not face facts, and so invents them; and these being only pseudo-facts, like organic evolution preached with a persistence worthy of most missionaries, become like the heads stored up in the abodes of head-hunters: emblems of arrogance and particles for pride.
These are the prophets of human racial pride, or religious renegacy, parading power and invading truth with unverified error that speaks with blood. It is much as shown in Jeremiah 13, where the prophet called on the king and queen to humble themselves in time: this being not some simply emotional extravaganza, but an exercise in realism as a change! Below we look at 13:13-18.
"Thus says the Lord:
'Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land - even the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem - with drunkenness! And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together,' says the Lord.
'I will not pity nor spare nor have mercy, but will destroy them.’
'Hear and give ear:
Do not be proud,
For the Lord has spoken.
'Give glory to the Lord your God
Before He causes darkness,
And before your feet stumble
On the dark mountains,
And while you are looking for light,
He turns it into the shadow of death
And makes it dense darkness.
'But if you will not hear it,
My soul will weep in secret for your pride;
My eyes will weep bitterly
And run down with tears,
Because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.
'Say to the king and to the queen mother,
For your rule shall collapse, the crown of your glory.' "
Faith then is not in all; but in some. It is not deployed aright in all, but in some. Reason is abused in many, and revelation ignored in multitudes, but faith and things hoped for, this realm is not touched by pathology any more than health at home, by sickness in a far country.
Faith is not limited to this, however, in its definition. It is the assurance based on actual reality of things hoped for, but it is also the evidential attestation of things unseen. That is what we next find in Hebrews 11.
Faith is attested by evidence of the unseen. The Greek word here indicates verification, attestation, demonstration, the tidily evidential. As it works with assurance like a membranous link to the things hoped for, so it deposits an evidential correlative, in things done, results gained, products wrought. This is not the only way it comes; for this is part of its very nature; but this part is self-reinforcing, for when faith is in operation, duly founded, grounded and wrought, so then it works with results which like clear airways to the lungs, realise the realities, exhibit the profundities.
By faith, the elders, we read here also, obtained a good report. Multiple examples follow in the forthcoming verses of Hebrews 11, functional indexes of the operational reality back of faith, on which it depends, the Lord Himself. So does it accrue when it is exercised in what therefore has actual reality, and hence power and ability to perform promises. Thus as reason requires reality and faith invests itself where reason points and revelation confirms, so results of this dynamic, this faith, appear just as consequences do in other realms, and attest the actualities in view, as in any field.
The difference here is not the absence of reason, but the absence of visibility; not of results, but of the visibility of the cause, of God Himself. To be absent from visibility, however, is far removed from being naked of results!
Indeed, this ocular invisibility, this is the slightest of features, since the EXACT motive of some enemy or ostensible friend is entirely invisible, and the most ingenious purely human investigations to try to find such things may mistake utterly: it is of the nature of the invisible that it works where it is, and such is the character of thought, motivation, aspiration, despair, nullification by nerves or exaltation by paranoia or reality, as the case may be. All of this is in the very ambit of man's experience, in the lesser realms of the invisible, where the visible's manipulators, managers or intruders move (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Little Things ... Ch. 5, How Great is the God We Adore Ch. 1, Dizzy Dashes, Heady Clashes and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch. 6 ).
In human society, this they do for good or evil, whether to abort design not in that changeling chance, but with the expectation of just judgment in its time, or by contrast, to avert evil in the pursuit of that goodness which being declared, is neither subject to self-contradictory naturalistic definition (since what-is can never translate into what-ought-to-be), nor to mere imagination.
As in all truth, this is self-declarative and as in all comprehending communication, here it is defined and declared: thus is it for the works and the words of God. The former constructs, the latter instructs. Both are needed, and the one without the other is worse than failure, it is a fatal fad with some, a wilful ignorance; but where oppression keeps out the word of God, then it is yet a tragic loss. It is well that God is merciful as well as just, and would have all to be saved (Colossians 1). Needs be, says Christ, that offences (causes of stumbling) come, but woe to the one through whom they come! (cf. Matthew 18:6-7).
As for all designs, the product is designate and where imagination vacuously substitutes for actuality, disaster comes like a hurricane, or in some cases, like a glacier approaching the sea with a slowness matched by its inexorable result! This current world is partly one and partly the other, disasters being cataclysmic increasingly in scale, sometimes sudden results of vast abuse or neglect, at other times, the remorseless results of cavilling with consequences, ignoring warning flares and imagining great things where great wisdom is the need.
On the other hand, the exploits of USING the design as directed, and this can be only by faith, that connection cum operational involvement with the realities of God, these become as appealing as the results of its misuse are appalling.
THE PRIMARY TOPIC OF CREATION AND FAITH
Before listing the marvels of those motivated, activated and enabled by faith in the Lord whose book is the Bible, Hebrews first, however, moves to the arena of creation, so that evidence and evidencing within the visible things, of what is beyond, above and over them, may be seen in its foundational institution. That is found in Hebrews 11:3.
You CANNOT well look beyond the visible to the invisible source until you HAVE the visible. This little trinket, the multi-disciplinary universe, did it come on one fine day when being nothing, it thought it ought, having no mind ? or was it forced into being by nothing, which having no power, thought it could and then most magically did make it , though it does not exist ? or what other antinomy is in view, what other antilogy is being treasured in children's stories for the unsolaced!
Did some system create all the others, from its own limitations, did some repository of a logic which was not there, make people able to deploy it by an inadvertence, when it literally forgot itself, and was the entire creation a mistake on the part of a mind which was not there, when it did what it could not do! Not obviously, not actually.
Did some systematiser make systems ? What else ? You don't get figs from star thistles, as Christ pointed out, and you don't get thought from inanimacy. Did something that was not there make itself from nothing and then set to work ? Another antilogy. Did something adequate that was always there and hence did not need to 'arrive' just act according to its power ? What else, since you have either nothing or something, and if something specifiable and systematic, then before that, its causal array to produce it; or else of course, magic, which is just another name for myth, like organic evolution, when what shows no power is assumed to have it, and what is one system, is to be made the lord and author of all!
Did the something adequate have the mental and spiritual resources to comprehend its creation of what uses just such powers ? at least is this so, or that effect will have no adequate cause. So what is left ? It is left that the things which are seen were not made from things that are visible. Phenomena do not have their source in phenomena, and what meets the eyes' capacities for seeing was not made by eyes or atoms or other visible items, but by what can and does conceive of these things, and order action to create what has the power so to overview some elements of the visible.
In other words, the worlds, as Hebrews 1 declares, were framed by the word of God. This word is fascinating. It means that the worlds were artificed, manufactured, built, established by the word of God. In addition, there is a prefix to the Greek word which suggests a certain interweaving and inter-location and inter-direction so that it is an assemblage of mutually relative parts which comes forth from creation.
It is spoken and it is done. That is the emphasis from Genesis 1, and it continues in John 1:1 (cf. The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 10).
When we speak, it is a word; and the word has power precisely as we have relevance to the voice of our command. Order your hand to your chin, and your nervous system, musculature, and thought-to-biota interface enables it to be done. Order the universe to disappear and it does not do so. Your thought and your word are of a limited interface dynamic, and where you exceed the one, you do not get the other, the creation of action or other elements being conditional simply on your having the power to do what you conceptualise and command.
You CAN, then your word DOES. There is nothing mystic about this. Thought and conception, clothed in language, show the desire, and if the power is there to implement it, then the command and the result are correlatives. You ask, it does. You speak, it happens. That's that.
When there is as we have been showing, necessarily NO LIMIT to the agent, the one who acts, then whatever He SAYS, is what is done. All the spanners (for repair, as in our body's defence system, and healing procedures, commanded into existence by DNA which is commanded into existence by speech, of which it is the words), these are there; all the spurs (for action, by which your desires have chutes for letting out thought), these are there, and as to the motivational texture, it is present. This multiple assemblage of the cognitive, the conceptual, the command, the commodities and the interace, it is all there, and being exquisitely correlative, the one part to the other, and the whole in its integrity to such results. they happen.
It is more wonderful yet. The motivational texture, the realm of operative felicity to make your words ABLE to become deeds, this itself is a multiple system, coming beyond system into personality.
This is the area and indeed the arena of spirit. You may resolve to love or to hate someone, and sometimes the balance is fine, and at times a love-hate relationship may be specified. You may discard such a thing with a ping or illuminative thrust from conviction and the invisible understanding, so that you SEE that this is ignoble and adolescent, unwise and merely a tempestuous substitute for temper. Thus you abandon this POSSIBILITY within the realms of the invisible spirit, on the grounds of IDEALS which are invisible, but expressible. The invisible is the source, basis and bottom of you for blight or good.
Here personality resides, and here spirit, of which personality is the outcome, works. Here imagination and cogitation, testing and conceiving, considering and correlation OF invisible things, like love of truth, of courtesy, of fruitfulness, or of self, these abide. This is their arena and here the power to move in that arena in full conscious awareness, is found in man. He may imagine himself bound, but to do this merely illustrates his freedom, for if he were bound by forces of inscrutable, unrevealing and compelling character, he COULD not know this. He would be a resultant of such dynamics, and not participate in awareness of their institution and bases, AS being bound. Even if he happened to 'hit upon' the fact, without being able to know them, it would in itself be a mere part of his being bound, and it could not be known as to its truth or otherwise. Indeed, only when absolute truth exists CAN it be known; and models like this which exclude it, do so to their own immediate negation.
They are wrong. Go back.
These higher level things, like spirit, being invisible, are in the domain of the invisible, but not of God per se, for His domain is not MERELY invisible but that of FABRICATING the visible, and our domain is to have been fabricated, and then, being as the Bible aptly declares, in the image of God, that is fit for fellowship with Him, not alien by construction, we thus have the entry point for knowing God as He also has specified it.
He did not have to do this. Yet to have what is able to consider, contemplate, meditate, grasp, understand and reason, and NOT to provide a door for fellowship would be to do an evil to the made, making frustration its field and abortion its way of life. We have already considered such gods, and their impossibility. On the contrary, the door is DECLARED in that only logically viable expression of the mind of our Creator, the Bible and its prophesied historic outcome, the Lord incarnate as Jesus Christ; and this door (John 10:9) may be entered on express conditions, the chief being that you come without adding anything and leave what was without express regret. What you enter involves that what you leave is left!
These actions, this coming and entering, they involve FAITH, for if you do not believe in a door, how would you ever enter it!
They also involve repentance, for if you have formerly failed to enter, how could you hide your guilt! and if you did not know God, it is not that He is unwilling to receive you, being good and giving, but that you were unwilling to come; and being without God, you were like a car without a manual, giving yourself to servicing to every vacuum cleaner company, or window cleaner, and not knowing what you are, being in a shocking state by confusion and misapprehension, misapplication and misguidance.
Having then seen, in Hebrews 11:1-3, the nature and definition of faith and of the universe in which it operates, and something of the stature, status and majesty of the God who made it relative to this faith, we come to see examples of its exercise, attestations of its reality, testimonies to its truth, empirical results of faith's rational reality, essential godliness and spiritual ultimacy.
Such is Hebrews 11:3.
The word of God, then, to which we must consciously look with our created minds, able to work in the world with rational understanding because the God who made the one made the other, and able to look to God because the One who made our spirits is a Spirit, to which domain we, though derivative, are by creation transported, this clearly speaks. It tells us that the framing of the universe is the reason for its being framed.
From the One ultimately adequately equipped, and eternally there and so never needing to 'arise', from this source comes the entire field of delimited design, designated control, manipulative management and this with the liberties of thought and the aura of imagination. By His word came it all.
Thus came the whole connection and all the agencies and scope for implementation which this world contains, and in man, it is itself built for building. Man is made to make. Its sources are to be found in the resources of that ultimate Builder of the Universe, Instituter of its connections, Fabricator of its composure, the Inventor of the orderly laws and constitution of matter, directive but no mere duplicates, and of all with the artifices of ingenuity and the correlations of integrity; and it is sent from the Deployer of minds and the Source of spirits who has no limits to His scope nor abutment into His fields.
Thus the word of God tells us what reason itself commands; and it speaks with pith and power. It testifies of things past, present and future, it gives edicts concerning nations, principles and powers, it exhibits heights and depths of history and succinctly sums up wonders of human perseverance against evil powers, triumph over apparently impossible conditions and achievements of testimony and courage. This, moreover, it is not to glorify man, who in this is impelled by God, but to shame folly, expose unbelief for the self-bleeding weakening and imposture that it is, by comparison. Such exponents of the divine way and wisdom through faith, it is affirmed are those "of whom the world was not worthy" (Hebrews 11:38). So too does it bring light to the pilgrimage which is man's life on this earth, whether he chooses to recognise this or not,
The word of God thus makes without limit, and the things made are not the magic source of their own realm, but ingredients for the implementation of His thought who, being eternal, needs no cause, but is rather the undelimited source of all causation, declaring, I AM WHAT I AM; without whom there is nothing, nor can any series substitute, since its potential and potencies alike, themselves, require cause (cf. SMR pp. 307ff.); nor can any 'given' thing be imagined without need of cause. Since nothing cannot produce it, the Author or the authorised at any time, only eternity can, and to that, only self-sufficient is the Eternal One, dependent on nothing on whom all depends.
Accordingly, what organs of sight can see is not derivable from any visible realm, but from the word of God; and what is to be seen is not other in that it stands visible to sight, for eyes may be seen, but rather in this, that it cannot see, which is mere field, but is the scope for such sight. Yet the visibly seen and seeing, these are they correlatives of the vision of the invisible God.
Thus the universe is so framed that the organised arrangements, construction and framework, components and their sub-structures, elements and their logical base, correlations and intimations of beauty and goodness, darkness and evil, choice and corruption, did not at all depend on the arena 'just there', nor did a system by magic make other systems by afterthought; but it depends on Him who being there, had what it took to give what came. In its liberties, love becomes meaningful and may be found; or hate; and in its imagination, nobility may arise, or chicanery. Man is in the image of God who being good only and ready to give, is unakin to corruption though kindred to creation, being beyond its apex in the absolute dominion of deity. Liberty however is not bound, and in its purvey corruption may come to nestle.
As to God who made liberty, He needing nothing and doing all, is not bound; and man by contrast, being derivative in liberty, and having chosen sin, is in the bondage of sin, though he might be free. Faith is the connection to freedom, and love is the path of progress, yes and faithfulness is the changeless nature of the God who speaks, and it is done, who forecasts and it is, who judges and it is done, who provides salvation and it is dowered, empowered and immovable, like Himself (John 10:27ff.). He even invites man to come to Him (Matthew 11:27-30). He even invites sinners to come to Him (Matthew 9:13). Such is His nature that being love, He loves to show mercy, in fact, delights in it, giving being His godly joy, and restoring His godly creativity at work on the human frame amiss (Micah 7:18ff., Ezekiel 33:11).
THE OPERATION OF FAITH
By faith, we read, then, the elders obtained a good report. They were usually together in collaboration, although sometimes God used an individual in a vast panorama of faith, like Abraham to come from Ur, or Joseph to go to Egypt (and become Prime Minister, showing pardon to his aggressive and disloyal brothers, as a type of Christ), or Daniel to lead a nation while being impeached soullessly by the envious, and coming out of the sealed den. This was a type of the resurrection of Christ after false charges and envious priests, deluded people and disastrous demagogues had done their appointed work (cf. Acts 2: 23).
That is described in Acts 2 as follows.
"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know - Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death,
because it was not possible that He should be held by it.
"For David says concerning Him:
'I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
"Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.
"This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
"Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
Thus although In loneliness, the functionaries of faith, the courageous champions of obedience moved by the power of God have shown the reality of God without the companies of man, each as a functionality operator, in terms of the power back of the faith, the One who acts in response to it: yet often they have moved together. The former situation tests courage, character and resolve; the latter may test love and grace and humility. This pilgrimage is full of tests, as well as behests and bequests!
Thus, as to unison, how mightily at work it is seen in Acts 4, when in that marvellous unified prayer of extreme fellowship, they showed the love of God with His power, and this in a combination not merely of mind and matter, spirit and desire, but in a correlation of persons. In the felicity of faith in the one God who over all, directed all, as the ensuring chapters of Acts show, they both moved and were moved.
Indeed, this is the New Testament counterpart of the list in Hebrews 11, of the work of the people of God in times BEFORE CHRIST; for here in the book of Acts is the expression of those who AFTER CHRIST worked by the power and in His presence of Him who resurrected, yet gave revelation and power, resource, wit and wisdom. This indeed is for the period which He has appointed (as promised in Matthew 28:18-20), before He comes back after the tests of this world and its inhabitants. And then ? It is with judgment this time, the final outcomes for the rejection of the redemption oft the Cross.
To this feature, moving into our own contemporary realm, one plans to return. It is a foreground for the background of principle shown in Hebrews 12-13. For this, the 'cloud of witnesses' for which the Old Testament, is a preliminary (11:28-12:1ff.); is now. Indeed, we ourselves to the very last day before Christ returns (as in Acts 1:7ff., Matthew 24), are to become a new session of the empirical, showing what is wrought by the God in whom faith resides, as a bird in the hand of its trainer, departing with blessing where sent.
After denoting many examples, Hebrews 11 sums up functionalities of faith in 11:33-39.
It speaks of those ....
"who through faith subdued kingdoms,
"stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire,
escaped the edge of the sword,
out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle,
turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Women received their dead raised to life again.
And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance,
that they might obtain a better resurrection.
"Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword.
They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy.
They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
"And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us,
that they should not be made complete apart from us."
FAITH IN THE PRESENT AGE.
It is important to realise that the absence of faith is useless as a functional test case, and the absence of the One to whom faith may in functionality be directed, is another equally void procedure. Fearing to drive a car is as fatal for transportation as is failing to have one!
There have been many examples of faded substitutes for faith, and dysfunctional names for missing ingredients, in our own time; and this author has again and again had to testify to falling churches in four countries as to politicians and their entourage of the folly of moving without regard to God, or in relativistic humanistic codes of conduct based on nothing, models in themselves a self-contradiction, mere uses of power to control, on the part of those who having forsaken God, act as if in His place!
This was not and is not the church of Jesus Christ, who disdaining shame and acting in His name according to His word, worked marvels in a world freed up for testing, and now increasingly fused up in confusion, for its daring enterprises of disfaith and its disastrous dealings in the merely directive.
Often has God provided that answer of His lips (Luke 21:14-15), to individuals, committee or assembly, that healing of the body as one has been propelled into His service. At some times, this has been with many, at others almost alone but for Him. Either way, has one been sustained by His power, guided by His wisdom and allowed to suffer by His exposure before many , for testimony, just as an airship may be exposed in the sky, whatever the comfort of the pilot!
For Christ, one must be prepared to suffer, just as must a doctor who dealing in disease, can hardly expect to be surrounded by the glorious and ensconced in the salutary! The Cross was not an investment company, nor was crucifixion a contentment maximisation medium, as some seem, by their actions and sometimes their doctrines, to imagine! Vast healing have been wrought in modern times as by Elsie Salmon (SMR p. 339) and in Kwa Sizabantu in South Africa (Things Old and New Ch. 3, *1A); and this is in itself marvellous; but much less so than the help of the presence of God and the power of His leading, which being directly personal and spiritual, is much more affecting, just as art is more to the artist than the operations of machinery.
Battle is not for bliss of body (Ephesians 6); and in this battle, already won in redemption, resurrection and prophetic fulfilment, but still needing ceaseless care in testimony and love, there is adequate scope for the most diligent, the most ardent, the most enthralled, to meet the demands of discipleship, which like the blessing of His building in one's heart, are all promised! (Ephesians 2:19ff., 3:16ff., 4:15ff., Colossians 1:9ff.).
Meanwhile the End of the Age approaches with that skilful navigation which faith always finds from the Almighty, to its appointed devastations and derelictions, before judgment. These are to include many of the churches, so-called (as in II Peter 2, I Timothy 2,4, II Timothy 2-3, Jude, II Thessalonians 2), and this has been a spectacle of interest to watch. First many left the Old Testament in part, then the New, then the actual nature of Christ, the bodily resurrection: indeed the author as a student and minister was able to witness first-hand all of these profound pollutions in various - in fact, four - countries, at high levels and at lower ones.
Next, the basis belittled and the Bible scissored, its very message censored, or at times even censured, the church-residues, fabricators of false christs, these the ecclesiastical counterparts of the time of Christ, who murdered Him when His flesh was available for this purpose - as in mind for Caiaphas, seen in John 11), did their next act.
And that ? They began to unite. Stripped residues decided to make up a new body, as it were, without bones.
If the Bible is libelled, why worry about bits of doctrine! it might be thought. Now the Lutherans are making hand-shakes - at least in one major world body of them - with Rome on justification by faith; the Uniting Church looks past its blighting of Biblical morals in the case of perversity in preachers' very lives, to a similar unity; the Anglicans, 78 million of them are cited as if a playing card, and being touted as very close to union with Rome. As to that body, we learn that it looks at the results of a commission on the Anglican union topic; and so it goes on.
What had been seen, is now becoming invisible because of blindness, and when this becomes spiritual, what matters most becomes unseen, as if one were driving in the dark without lights. What had been wrought is being undone because of faltering faith and festering pathologies of spirit, precisely as foretold as the prelude to judgment and the return of the Lord.
Whole nations, their churches losing the fidelity many once had, such as*5 Britain and the USA, are growing strangely different, and power politics and unity of spiritual foes of the past in fragmentary phrases of the present is becoming a welcomed addition to a fainting world, setting up its men as mentors and its thoughts as masters. So is coming the ultimate outcome as in II Timothy 3, before the whole thing being nicely united, the antichrist pushes out the unifiers who now are so passionate, and takes over the machinery of integration with ease! At the political level, the case is not far different; for the movements of churches is readily reflected in the available politicians and their number bases, and what fear does not erode, rumbustiousness and rambunction can elide, until the slide makes for a unity of fear.
That becomes soon a prison of dictation, as the rulers assert their numbed vision and take their unchaste hands to their immoral ends (cf. II Thessalonians 2).
Faith ? it sees all this and believes and receives that same spiritual relish and reality which abides, though the world depart, and the mountains be moved into the midst of the sea (Psalm 19). It looks with eager expectation to the return of the One who in taking humanity, showed what it should be, and in dying, what it may through pardon become, in resurrection the power to do it and in word, the way of life to follow. Nothing changes here; when the worlds depart, God remains, immovable, uninured, relentless in truth, glorious in faithfulness, creative to infinity, noble in majesty, gracious in spirit, kind at heart, merciful in disposition and strong in work. When one has been paid for by the death of the testator, and this one is resurrected, there is an addition to assurance, as wide as the ocean, high as the heavens and beautiful as the Summer seas.
This, the beauty of holiness in the Lord, then leaves nothing to be desired. It is for this we were made, and in this we live.
See The gods of naturalism have no go! and
Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation
See, for example:
Tender Times for Timely Truth
The Grating Grandeur ... Ch. 2; SMR pp. 925ff.;
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 6 (and Hong Kong, and the movement of nations in the last century a concern),
with News 97, 98, News 37.
Dig Deeper, Higher Soar, Divine Glory Delights the More Ch. 2 ,
The Wit and Wisdom of the Word of God, the Bible True to Test
Ch. 2 esp. *1, Ch. 7,
SMR pp. 112-116, 141f., cf. pp. 211ff., 224ff.,
Little Things Ch. 3 (esp. *3),
Christ's Ineffable Peace and Grace Ch. 5; History, Review and Overview Ch. 5 .
See Creation magazine,
March-May 2007, re the analysis of Dr David Kaufmann, pp. 47-50 on information
science, and for that of Professor Gitt,
The Desire of the Nations Ch.
Epilogue. See also
Little Things Ch.
3 (esp. *3),
Beauty of Holiness Ch. 4, Dancers ... Chs. 3, 5.
In the first cited case, that of Dr David Kaufmann, a scientist with bio-science doctorate and master's degrees, there is an impressive description of the human body as the perfect or rather the 'ultimate machine'.
This short compilation proceeds as follows:
"The human body is a carbon-based, chemically fueled, force-liquid-and-air cooled, bipedal, communicative, photochromatic, binocular, cellularly self-replicating,
self-diagnostic, self-repairing tissuewise, multidextrous, continuously adaptive,
computer-controlled, biodegradable exhaust system machine,
capable of short and long-term memory with conceptual retrieval and integration
and precision decision-making and creativity - truly the "Ultimate Machine"."
This helps focus the powers man has been donated. It would surely appear that he was simply seeking to draw attention to the multiple marvels of the body, and the remarkable superiority to machines; but there is more to be found as we probe into such an approach; and it is worth while to do so. Indeed, he himself mentions more than a machine-analogy, but it is sound to separate and extend this aspect of the whole.
If we define a machine as a creative construction capable of fulfilling repetitive tasks by prepared means with appropriate parameters, or even one capable of doing so with assigned and delimited tasks, fashioning outcomes as directed, then of course the human body is in much machine, but in much not. This is not to defuse the excellent phrasing of Kaufmann, but to indicate the further elements that adorn the package, the person and the mind of man, and the categorical arrangement which features this.
Thus the body has psychic interchange provisions, as with psycho-somatic medical matters, to take but one; and the mind has not only machine capabilities, but in addition to any virtual machine elements, it is dirigible by and co-ordinatable with spiritual direction so that it can act in harness or sympathy with the human spirit. The spirit of man, capable of decisions, adoption or adaptation of principles, rejection of truth or passion for it, author of worlds that do not come but come to mind, of persons who do not live, but whose lives are literary compilations, susceptible to flights into the area of the divine, and thought at the most elemental levels of reality, capable of communing with God on His own terms, of love and hatred, disjointed irrationalities at will and humble rationality with desire: this is of course no machine but a personal equipment, the very essence of what personality is, and of which that feature is the manifestation.
Thus the externality of a person is a personality. But let us proceed.
The spirit of man, in company with his vital mind, can thus avoid, deny, reject, rebel against and despise commands, orders, constructive injections and restorative procedures, or invent means for the body which make it an adjunct to the health of the latter.
What then ? Man's body is the ultimate machine ? It is the ultimate marvel in material creation, being welded with mind and annealed with spirit, a virtual machine in much, and a project for personal power, where mere machines neither care nor dare nor could either dare or care to come.
To put one aspect of this in musical terms, we might think of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, and delight in its arranged variabilities; but it surpasses mechanical production even in the most rigorous approach to music, for the play of personality and emotion, the soft dexterities of artful decisions and graces, these bring it, as in the Overture to Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream, to another realm. In the latter, the whisper which suggests tenderness, the pipings which evoke fairy-like analogies, the repetition which suggests mini-pomp, the evocations of romance and adventure in gentle sounds, the composition of the whole, the artful and variable relegation of some things to enable others to take the primacy: this and far more is function of spirit, of comprehension, of undirected tenderness and imaginative scope.
Kaufmann of course would be far from depreciating such things; it is just the matter of words that we use; and when we use them, this allows us by differentiation to draw attention to the fact, with some emphasis, that what is listed that is truly like a virtual machine, is the merest beginning of what is far greater, and in the same unity called man.
It would be forgetful if we did not pursue the point that the very animations of man, the vitalities and the comprehensions, capable of mischiefs as with much that is remarkable, are yet site for the knowledge of God. It is in this alone that any USE can be found for man, any POINT or any PURPOSE, as a construction. Otherwise, daft and dangerous, he often makes as far as possible hell for others in the unmitigated lust for immeasurable results, to which an undisciplined spirit often leads him, to the tune of the agony of millions.
This more design-laden entity, by definition, than any other materially visible structure known to man (cf. *3 above) just as it defies construction without God, so defies understanding with the same omission. Just as the creation by God is demonstrable (cf. TMR Ch. 1, SMR Ch. 2, Wake Up World! Chs. 4-6, and The gods of naturalism have no go!), so the desecration of the design is a necessary consequence of what has spirit, when it so wills. History is the pulpit for its follies, as the theatre for its wonders; and in the relationship to God, the ages and phases of man's march are judged (cf. The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 4).
Here is pomp which is humbled; here is (comparative) liberty which brings as in the Elizabethan era, enormous facilities of creativity, here is educational/military pride, which brought devastating rebuke because it lacked in the Germany of Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler, that devotion to God which sees past survival and its rush to rule, and does not reach that surrender to Him from whom came the Sermon on the Mount, which would have made surrender to others unnecessary.
That such a spirit with such a mental facility should reside in something which in some ways is rather like 'the ultimate machine' is in itself, an expression of the giant facilities of imagination which the Lord so readily uses, challenging us to consider His works, and watch our ways, to repent of our works and seek His, to live in them with His working in us, as the Father of spirits, in the fascinating image-of-God production, man, which needs not only creation, but revelation and not only revelation but redemption.
Failing this, the place for man is as with that of some of the nations. It is the all but insufferable environment of rebuked rebellion, in the very world where endless light is to be taken through a work already accomplished, a payment already paid to cover all who are His, in terms of an adoption known from before time, and offered with heart to all, and a love which makes the evil hatred in which man without God so readily festers, one that is real or virtual, a chosen abscess and a deserved call, in dereliction of Him who became derelict that we by faith might be disciples and children of God, through the eternal word of God become flesh, Jesus Christ (cf. SMR pp. 582ff., 611ff., Ch. 1, The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 10).
See also SMR pp. 23ff.. Some have misused these concepts, a matter requiring vigilance.
News 121, 122,
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3,
The Pitter ... Ch. 2,
The Wit and Wisdom of the Word of God ... Ch. 6,
A Question of Gifts,
News 156, Red Alert 13.