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REDEMPTION IS FATUOUS WITHOUT FAITH,
A DERISIVE EXPOSURE OF FRAUD
AGAINST GLORIOUS GRACE:
BUT ETERNAL LIFE IS A CEASELESS GIFT
See also The Majestic Might of the Merciful Messiah Ch. 4
SMR Appendix B
FARCICAL FAITH, FEVERISH FAITH AND BIBLICAL FAITH
How CAN the Lord 'buy' a nation or an individual, who is nevertheless not brought into the kingdom of heaven, or changed inwardly ? You see such as in Hosea:
"Woe to them, for they have fled from Me!"- 7:13.
As Keil translates further, "I would redeem them, but they speak lies concerning Me!" It is therefore this, that His inclination, volition, desire concerning them is to redeem, for the power is there, the provision likewise, the wind of encompassment is ready to balm, not harm them; but they get themselves so involved with false thoughts, false gods, woeful servitudes spiritually, that are like a cluttered waterway, that there is no flow.
"They have not cried to Me with their heart when they howled on their beds!"
The divine desire to save them is manifest. The human concern and disquiet is also obvious, as they howl. Indeed, they traverse slopes, like expert skiers, they move. Yes, there has even been interchange with the Most High:
"I bound and strengthened their arms, yet they devise evil against Me ,"
This is an effrontery in the midst of an operation, a decline in the midst of mercy, a pre-occupation in the midst of an operation, a confusion amid the clarity of divine love because the heart is divided, the mind is soured, the soul is ripped apart with desire, but not for the Lord. He is the formal background; rebellion is the lurking reality. The Lord's ransom is at hand, He has poured out already indeed, much upon them, and the entirety of it is impending, like a volcano steaming and hot, but not yet blown; yet this is not to destroy, but to change the landscape by creative means.
They created their desires for gods which had not created them. Great things had God written to them in the law, but in their inward rebelliousness of spirit, they could not comprehend; they were averse and adversative. The great things of God, justice, mercy, goodness and lovingkindness, these seemed but strange to them, as a clean life does to the drugged in life.
In the case of Egypt, the Lord actually did PAY in plagues aplenty, in disciplined and diversified plagues from much of which Israel was spared, in confrontations a-many with Pharaoh leading to exact-to-specification results of his rebelliousness, in an entire illustration of His love for Israel like a son. Retained as slaves by Egypt's imperial power, abused into servility, He saw them and He acted. IF you keep my son, the challenge went, then I will destroy your eldest sons! Exodus 11:4-10).
Pharaoh himself, for all the ineradicable and indefeasible attestation of divine power and work, leaving his country spoiled and arrested, had already past the post of inherent and provocative deception, temporarily agreeing to divine command that Israel be released, until the plague was past, and then reneged, not once or twice merely! He could not stop to appraise, just as is the apparent position with organic evolutionists in multiplied cases*1; he was committed and reason could not evoke even the slightest analysis. He was embedded with his idols in his wilfulness; his sovereign power was illustrious, and his passion proved a compulsive pre-occupation, indeed an obsessive reconstruction that voided or avoided facts, so that he would defy the Almighty as if entranced. The result: he perished. Israel as a slave nation was delivered.
Much had God paid, in work and application, confrontation and fulfilment of all He said through the prophet Moses, but as in I Corinthians 10, the people though impressed and ready to move in this marvel and wonder of divine solicitude, showed in the main, a decline from hope to unbelief. When they came past the miracle of the Red Sea, past the provision for millions in water and food in the desert, both in timely manner on request through the prophet Moses, at last to the Promised Land, what response did they then make ?
Instead of entering, they sent out scouts. Instead of listening to leader, Joshua, among scouts, with his burning message, in effect, GO IN AND TAKE IT, do not rebel, they did not. They poised at the brink, like a high diver suddenly smitten with fear. Formally they were the Lord's people, but in faith they were vagrant. They would not even take what was given with so many preliminary miracles, and despite all the fulfilments from the Lord of all His strategies for them, that it became but rebellion, even against reality, even indisputable reality.
The Lord, in one sense, had PAID for them in the output of miracles, speech and fulfilment, selective differentiation between them and their captors, successful exodus from Egypt, despite a powerful army, through a series of divine provisions. In fact, God proceeded to overthrow Pharaoh, having given him multiplied opportunities on the way, hardening him as his obstinacy grew. To the Promised Land, He brought them, with multiplied marvels on the way. He had in this sense redeemed them, provided ENOUGH to evacuate them and to give them the promised land of rest as a gift. Yet they were not willing to enter.
Hebrews 4:2 sums it up (bold added):
"For indeed the Gospel was preached to us as well as to them,
but the word which they heard did not profit them,
not being mixed with faith in those who heard it."
Of whom does He speak ? As in Hebrews 3, it is of those who came out of Egypt with Moses. They would not enter into their rest, their place provided as in Numbers 14. The ENTIRE WORK objectively was done, sufficient and impending to the uttermost. In that sense, a redemption price had been made; but while it was traded in, utilised on their journey, used, it did not meet faith in their hearts and THEREFORE it did not profit. It is like the redemption in Christ. It is sufficient for all, being of infinite applicability as in I John 2:1. Applicability however is not application, as in an idle student, well-supplied with gifts, but lounging in the luxury of day-dreams.
Thus in the case of ancient Israel, if faith is not activated in all, then the payment does not profit. The procedure fails at the very point of injection. It is as if someone were about to have a shot of some vaccine, the research done, the needle ready, the steady hand of the operator poised; but the patient moves swiftly away in a fetish of fear or self-weill. As to God, He would have redeemed them, having paid enough for any and for all in the structure of things, in due time wrought in Christ; but the redemption of the individual heart, the application, it is not made automatically. Without faith, the matter is as vacant as occupation in a vacant block of land. The money is provided, as if in the hand, but they will not buy the block.
They are not internally or spiritually redeemed, which is a counterpart of faith, for just as without faith you cannot please God (Hebrews 11), so by faith, any who are Christians have been justified (Romans 5:1). There is nothing in between. God accordingly is ready to redeem, having done all, paid all, set up the entire structure for redemption, spared Himself nothing; but they are not redeemed. Vacuously they speak as if they were redeemed, they mouth the words, they conform to the ceremonies, they use the language of redemption, they may call themselves the people of the Lord, as if all that applies to such, applies naturally to them also.
Indeed, such are ostensibly as were Israel at that stage, the Lord's people; but they rebel, indeed lie about things, and do not cry to the Lord with their hearts, though they may 'howl' and make psychic noises directed towards God. They may roll out their decisions (though it is in the end from God, according to accurate foreknowledge in seeking all and finding some), as if this had done all, a wave of a superficially willing hand.
Yet it is not a 'decision' which saves (John 1:12), but the Lord. If a work of the human will is inclined to be supportive of the matter, an inclination towards spiritual sustenance, even redemption, then this is well; but
if the heart is not
if the surrender is
not accompanying it,
if the ground is
not dug up,
if the heart is not
repentant, if they are but "slightly healed"
if the soil has a
hard and unbroken layer beneath it, so that it is not ploughed up,
if it be not watered with contrition,
then the redemption, though unspeakably vast, is not applied.
"The harvest is past, the Summer is ended, and we are not saved,"
Thus in II Peter 2, they may readily have referred to themselves as 'the Lord's saved people,' and even 'redeemed' or bought, in a superficial manner, or even in a self-proclamatory one; yet they are not saved. From this, the Lord might declare with scathing irony, excoriating directness that these are those 'bought' who yet, mere fakes, deny the action, indeed the very Giver, the ambulance which came near, but into which they never entered.
They are not in fact redeemed, for their formal appearance and protestation is not accompanied, as Hebrews puts it, not mixed with faith. What they do have, often pride and presumption, is a key which WILL NOT enter the lock, though it has the name of it written on it. Hence, like Israel when it came to the promised land, they deny the Lord who bought them: who, that is, expended enough for the provision of salvation, and yet was sped away from, when the action of faith challenged the reality of the heart. Bought ? by contrary attraction to idols, only bought by vociferation, appearance, claim, not in abiding name, not by the transference of funds: for whom He called He justified, and whom He justified He glorified (Romans 8:30). Hence they denied the Lord who bought them, just as the seed of the word, falling in the parable, on hard ground, did not penetrate, despite the preparatory labour and operation.
NON-JUSTIFICATION BY FRAUD INSTEAD OF JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH
This is NON-justification by fraud instead of justification by faith. It is the sallow, shallow, unspiritual clamour of the unconverted, conjoined in name and even in reputation, like a Balaam, to the Lord; but absent in spiritual reality. It is a case of sounding brass, that may deafen the ear, but its sound is invasive, and does not enter the mind.
Provocative indeed is such rebellion, such masquerading, such illusion, such double-talk, such speechifying, such formal attestation as you see in some former evangelists, now openly lost. They in this sense deny the Lord who bought them (II Peter 2:1). The irony is awesome.
They flee from Me, the Lord says; which they could not have done unless He was near in the first place. They did not CRY with their HEARTS, He declares, even when the howled on their beds. Formal only was their place, their name, and how they used it! But faith is not present, and hence its work of justification does not occur, and the transference of the fund of redemption, offered indeed to all, and close to some, not only does not, but cannot occur. Like Israel of old, they drank of the spiritual Rock which followed them (I Cor.10), and to all intents and apparent purposes, were involved to the uttermost with the redeemed. However, faith statedly not being there, not in the mix, there was no payment or disbursal possible despite the open presence of that which was sufficient for all, and offered to all. The envelope was never opened; indeed, back of this, for such the draft was never sent.
The mail-box of faith could not receive it, for it was not there; and the Lord who knows all, sent the offer, but did not send the ransom to these unbelieving hearts. It is the MANY whom Christ disbursed the price of ransom (Matthew 20:28), not the all, for most did not come to receive it, nor were they willing, for it involves a new creation and this is too far for the faithless.
From Him "who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people," they are separated and even segregated. HE WAS GIVEN THAT HE MIGHT REDEEM, and those who fiddle with the faith may esteem themselves redeemed, to have entered into this category, yet only derisively referred to as there, by the Lord who acknowledges them as frauds; but paid up they are not. Christ has paid on behalf of all (for the payment is infinite in character and value) as in I Timothy 2, or concerning them, as in I John 2, but not in their place, where equally it is for all; but when the preposition has the flavour of IN THE PLACE OF a to emphasis, not on behalf of, as a steadfast payment and not an adequate provision (whether the good be taken or not), then as in Matthew 20:28, it is for MANY, not ALL!
How could all be paid for when it is eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12) that most miss (Matthew 7:15); or ANY without faith, since it is to be received by faith alone as in Romans 3:25! God, we there read, has set Him forth "as a propitiation by His blood, through faith"! It is not through something else. To be sure, it is a propitiation that is in view; it is by blood that it is made; it is set forth toward all, sent as for all in the appeal, but in the payment it is by one method only. It is by faith. Delete that from the equation, omit that from the situation, and it is NOT EVEN RELEVANT. It is a blocked duct. The blood never flows there!
Bought ? Israel ? from Egypt ? Yes, the price was paid. Individuals redeemed ? that is an entirely different question depending on faith, which must be mixed with the word, the word of the Gospel for any relevant action to the individual. Otherwise, this word is as for them such that "it did not profit them." It did not apply to them. The vast movements of God did all; but the tepid failure of faith admitted nothing, gained nothing, but a name for fraud.
Indeed, it gained a marring: the desolatory irony of being ostensibly and in protestation redeemed, or more accurately here, bought; but still dumped outside the truck that would have taken them inside the kingdom. Thus left without redemption, paid for in principle, but not in practice, with the heart which howled but did not come into the picture, being a form, they were as an appearance, a wafting with incense, not a coming with incentive. Bought ? yes in this, that the price was paid to cover it, but in a virtual spiritual burlesque, they lapsed into formality. That price of redemption was never transferred, for faith was not present which alone can receive it.
Here come the sought, the bought who denied the buyer, the accredited who did not pay in the cheque of promise, because only faith can or will do that! The irony is particularly scathing because it places two opposite categories together in a manifest absurdity. It is rather like saying, Here comes the nation of obliterative force, spoken of one supposedly going so to act, but they jibbed, withdrew from the horses listed. They spoke and thought, but did not bother to make it true, so that the titles given and jarringly kept, merely show up the enormity, the preposterous folly of their arrogant designation, which clings mockingly to their falsified forms as backs turned, they march off in the opposite direction, into the dusk of darkness.
This is precisely what II Peter goes on to show in its Ch. 2: such people are wells indeed, with the name and the form of water productive units; but they are WELLS WITHOUT WATER, never really operative at all, only in name.
"clouds carried by a tempest for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever,"
II Peter 2:17.
It is all bogus. Wells they are, but not actual ones; wells they are named, but this is not really their function. Their name applies, but the truth to which it refers does not. They are bought in prepared provision, but they deny the buyer. The operation of faith is absent. The realities for faith are therefore absent. There is no sale, but in name; there is no place, for there is none of the necessary operative unit of faith! The blood is by grace, in place for all; but through faith, it finds place only in some, be they called, or apparently, or in name, what they may claim, or else, far from it. In that case, not purchase but what may with intensive and abhorrent irony be applied to their insidious souls and dysfunctional regimen, they have become. Wells, free, free of water. Property functioning, near them but without their entry; birds without wings, without young, without life, retaining but the name.
The very intensity of the reality, of what it cost makes such irony apt. It fits like a plunger into t a tube. The death of the only begotten Son of God, sent via a virgin's womb into humanity as one of them, yet still of course His own identical self ( a wrapped parcel does not cease to contain its contents), and so without sin (as in I Peter 2), it is here that payment lies, and becomes active. It is done in order to pay to faith through His blood the required appeasement of wrath.
It is like an entry ticket to heaven, secured by an army which assailed a nuclear armed nation in order to get it. Such cost makes the mauling of it to be the infamous thing that it is. If you will fool about with this, formalise and distance from it while putting the offer in your pocket, but the response in limbo, then it is like fouling war graves, as has recently occurred amidst the odium of violent hatred. It is desecratory, but here not just of death, but of a redeeming death, which it touts, but rorts, so making a dissembling of the sacred.
Here it is like the case of Baalam, says II Peter, one FULL of protestation and even some experience of the presence of God, but SELLING in spirit, even while in practice denying it, thus sacrificing the entirety for the possible reward. You USE it for your pleasure, not redemption. It was a sure thing for false prophet Balaam: he would be paid by the ENEMY, if he went through the form of things. Thence his affiliation with the Lord was like that of Judas, for whom precisely this applied. Where is the heart ? there is the payment. It is made, but not for the life as redeemed, but BY the life now without redemption, illicitly profiting by confusion.
What greatness is there in the testimony of the lips, concerning the power of God, as you often see from sects, whether ancient as with Rome or Islam, or more modern! What distinguishes them all ? They give the form, more or less, but not the fact.
One turns the Messiah who paid, into a figure of some goodness, under the tongue of a false prophet who denies His divine, unique and functional reality in favour of other ideas, making of himself the claimant for a later speech, another gospel, creating another Jesus, a routine that may be followed, and WAS followed in Paul's day (II Corinthians 10-11). The other turns Him into bread, and glories in it. Nevertheless, actual miracles astound by their EVIDENCING the power of God contrary to all the norms of nature. They arrest because they clearly and staggeringly attest the power and presence, the interest and operation of God; they are not mere matters of claim.
What does not evidence itself as all, that is no miracle, but a mirage. Believe Me for My works sake! said Christ (John 14), not believe what I say despite the failure of any appearance of the reality of what I say! The doing was decisive, the demonstration was incisive; the rest is divisive, but no testimony to truth. And there MUST be division for precisely such reasons (Matthew 10:34). Christ does not even pray for this world, but for the people in it (John 17:9). For the adventitious or meretricious systems of man in his imagination or own considerations, He does not pray. To have friendship with this world is to have enmity with God, says James.
He did not sacrifice Himself by breaking his 'bread' formed body in the Last Supper, and was entirely a man, so equipped with no double body. He did NOT die then, and DID die on the Cross, manifesting both of these things through observation, available to all. So let it be. The rest, intentionally or not, when it involves alteration of or addition to the Christ or to His salvation, becomes idolatry, dealing with a god who is not the God who is there. Thus, presenting what relates exclusively to God as if it were something else, formatted not in what was first made in His own image, man, but in a vehicle made by the mind of man, and denied in the word of God, is void and object of divine wrath. What is not God in Himself, but in all appearance differentiable from God by necessity, even when placed next to Him, by His own hand, is in obvious contradistinction from Him.
It is not surprising therefore that both of these sects - that is bodies of beliefs which focus not a little on Jesus Christ, but place Him outside the realm of biblical depiction - have a conditional salvation. It depends on works and alms in the one case, and faith in the bread as to be worshipped, in the other, so that priests need to get in between the ONE and only mediator between God and man (I Timothy 2:5), and mediate some kind of eventual or hoped for or questionable and to be discovered salvation!
THE SAVED PERSONS OF EPHESIANS 2
Salvation is not like that. It is through faith, in God, through the only mediator, Jesus Christ, I Timothy 2; and the entirety of the blood operation, the sacrificial dying on behalf of others by the sinless One who is God in the flesh format for this purpose, so received, is a matter of eternal redemption. It is ONCE MADE, and efficient, sufficient and eternal (Hebrews 9:12-28). This is emphatically repetitive in the word of God.
What then ? So act in faith, and you so gain in eternity (John 5:24). So sure is this, that if ever you do the one, you have the other (Romans 8:29ff.). If ever by faith through grace you become a believer ex-works as entry qualification entirely, and with assurance and guarantee, thereon (Ephesians 2:1-12), then you become a piece of HIS workmanship, as one who is already saved with an inheritance (Ephesians 1:11). As in Romans 8:30, once justified (Romans 5:1), you enter into a cycle of conveyance which nothing can then interrupt, which is attested likewise in John 10:9,27-28, where such is the result of entering by faith the door into the pastures and place of God, through Saviour Jesus Christ.
Such persons, joined not to a factitious or false Christ, remade, unbiblical, "another Jesus," as Paul puts it in Galatians 1, by another Spirit, with another Gospel, but to the Lord's Christ (Luke 2:26) not only have life everlasting (Romans 6:23, John 6:50-54), biblically given and historically operative, as if it were some mere phrase, but shall live forever, death abolished and immortality brought to light (Titus 1:1-2). These will be raised as His on the last day (I Thessalonians 4, John 6, John 11:25-26).
For this, you need the function of faith in Him, which takes without spies or fears, what He offers, and the fact of grace. The whole thing, as Ephesians 2:8 declares, the whole of salvation in its effectuality, is a matter of being saved ones, those so placed because of an operation which is by grace, and through faith.
Directly, then, in Ephesians 2, we see how whole saving enterprise from God is wrought. We learn there, that the whole matter, salvation by grace through faith, this totality, is NOT OF YOURSELVES. So certain is it, from the foreknowledge of God, made secure in the making fast of predestination, that it does not even depend on you, far less someone else coming in as the maker of some other Jesus (which the Koran does) or some other Gospel (which Romanism does cf. SMR pp.1032-1088H). It is a work of God (John 6:29), that you should so believe. That work done, faith taking its saving object, the living and bodily resurrected Jesus Christ, the appointed judge of all men (Acts 17:31), there is a transformation wrought by the Holy Spirit, a new birth, and His seed remains in such persons (I John 3:9). Many are born Jones or Smith, and their seed in unchangeable in principle, within them. THESE are born children of God and His seed remains in them. That is one reason why those who so believe have eternal life and need to know this (I John 5:11-12).
Since the Lord wants all (Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2), and has provided ransom sufficient for all, apt for any, then it is ONLY YOU who can stand in the way. How is this done ? by being, in the last essence and as before the God who knew the reality about you before the world began (Ephesians 1:4),
either that you
were one wanting God at all costs and any challenge,
or else, one
desiring in the end to be alone from the divine, free from God,
But you say, how is this glorious that my Creator so might have shut me out ? It is so because he does not bring you screaming into heaven since then your independence is violated, your will is ignored, love becomes irrelevant and GOD IS love (I John 4). That is therefore out of the question. As John 3:19 puts it, the condemnation, the exclusion has one criterion: the light which is definitive of God, the Christ, has come into the world and these have preferred darkness. It is not visited upon you, though it is God who ultimately brings it to pass in terms of this criterion, very surely; it is you. God SO loved, and did NOT come to judge the world. He came instead that it might be saved. This being so, the Gospel is a thing entirely of grace, for any, for all; and as 3:19 expounds further, the direction of the matter as before Him who knows and determines, is on a criterion exclusive of His disjunction, and controlled before His love, by your own.
For this reason, it is better to repent and to cant and complain.
It is not as if it is all fraudulent: as if you are made in the image of God and yet are a mere puppet of sin, irrelevant before giant forces! Pretence is irrelevant, but the word of God says the will of God is for all, and that in the very light of His desire for all, YOURS is the condemnation if you do not come, and the reason does not very: your preference was your exclusion notice, as foreknown to God and in reality and sincerity, indeed reluctance, applied (Ezekiel 33:11).
He makes sure that the condemnation comes from but one source: LIGHT has come and in all truth you prefer darkness.
THE BUCK STOPS AT YOUR OWN DESK
You are miffed ? How could He do this to you ? That is mere confusion. He has not done it to you but you to Him. If it be not so, and you feel jilted or denied, then salvation is near. Simply enter. You do not want to ? then what is the cry about ? You feel He made sure that you could not in eternity ? That would contradict what He constantly says, that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that he should turn. He exhorts to this!
Why pass the buck ? It is at your own desk that it stops. His foreknowledge guarantees that there is no mistake about you; and if you feel there is, then execute action and come, for it is not He who blocks, but rather He makes perfectly sure, because of His own passion that all might be saved. If it is your will that statedly is the problem, then, draw near to God and tell Him that you are sure you want Him, and repent of your slow progress in coming, and of all your oblivion of God or distaste or indifference or shelving of issues divine, but that in all reality, wish to enter. What then ? He who comes to Him "will certainly not be cast out," (John 6:37).
Judge nothing before the time, declares Paul, inspired by the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 4:4-5). Do not be based on your own imaginations, but on the word of God; and when it declares to you the will of God and the way of the Lord and the cost of your being able to come, as paid entirely by Him, without any of your works, then believe it. That is where faith comes in: in conjunction with the word of God. The rest is rebellion. You do NOT know, if not a Christian, what is the result, and so in all meekness and humility apply as directed and enter by faith, as the Lord would have you do (Matthew 23:37, Luke 19:42, Isaiah 48:15ff.).
It is indeed the heart of a little child which does not make false issues but the more readily discerns the acute simplicity of it all. He or she has not yet learnt the tricks and fouled in the traps as older ones tend to do. Indeed, except you enter as a little child, the kingdom of heaven, you cannot enter at all. Providing a reason for the faith is not to be confused with HAVING it. Trust then in the Lord, with all your heart, do not lean to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. In Him, the Saviour, when you have found Him and received Him by faith according to His word, it is there for the taking (Proverbs 3:5).
As we saw in our study of Hosea, it is anything bogus which becomes merely appallingly evil.
Come or not. Remember the school game with the blindfold ? they hide, and then you declare it, Coming ready or not. Are you then coming whether you feel you have what it takes or not ? After all, if you have faith in Him, to receive His ransom, then the readiness is to take it! You do not make it! How glorious that you CANNOT be shut out except through your own actual preference, a thing if it be really so, is ready to be shown so that you are found, without delay, without dithering; for this is no bureaucracy, but God who can act in the twinkling of an eye, and at the resurrection of those justified in Him, WILL consummate His action (I Corinthians 15:57ff.). NONE will then snatch you from His hand, and you will certainly not perish. You may trust Him or not; but if you do, there is a bounty blissful and a a trade-in of sin for salvation.
This is not only the work of God as great, but the Lord as glorious.
Secular Myths and Sacred Truth,
Beauty for Ashes..\smr\bookmap.html Ch. 3,
The gods of naturalism have no go! Wake Up World! ... Chs. 4-6, for example,
with SMR Chs. 1-2.