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TIME, HISTORY AND TIMES
WHY is there a gap of something like 500 years from Malachi to the New Testament, from the end of the Old to the first of the New, in their subject matter ? Would it have been hard not to hear for so long, from the prophets, in new inscripturation ? Was there no word from God, for that long period ?
However, the gift of inspired words from God is no ordinary feature. It is neither a social nor a psychological fixture; it has no times to be set, except IN IT, by God Himself. HE is the author, and He speaks when He will.
Moreover, there ARE various grounds
to enable us to understand the gap, contained in the Old Testament itself, which
would have given quite sufficient encouragement and perspective to those living
in that half millenium, leading on to the incarnation, the prophecy
personalised, the propositions not only now in principle, but in active
practice from their Author, become man (cf. Isaiah 45:42ff., with Philippians
2:11-12. Indeed, there are many grounds for understanding the Lord's use of time
in the history of man. Let us investigate some of them.
THE FIRST LIGHT ON THE GAP IN TIME
Daniel 7, as shown in the volume, Highway of Holiness Chs.8-10, cf. Chs. 3-4, proceeds from some 6 centuries before Christ to the present: now! (cf. SMR pp. 902ff.). There IS historical coverage and it is plain in perspective. To be sure, WE modern-age people for our own part, have not only Daniel to give chronological perspective, and understanding in terms of the nations, empires, but also the New Testament to gain overall understanding.
Nevertheless, we are further from the time of Christ, than were those in the half-millenium before Christ, near to His coming. Yet again, when you see a GREAT LIGHT, as we have done (Isaiah 8:21-9:2), it cleans up for the mind shadows in many directions.
Daniel in his day, foretold in the Babylonian period, the coming onset of the Medes and Persians (Daniel 8), the Greeks, with Alexander the Great characterised, and Rome (Daniel 2,7); and he had it all in a series starting with Babylon, clothed in the forms of BEASTS, wild, assertive, assured, strident, not really admirable in the life of man, political projectiles, military adventurers with but little grace, and en eye for conquest (cf. The Track of Truth ... Ch. 4).
Rome (cf. SMR pp. 946ff.), this was different. First of all, it was the last lustful empire, not only in the chain, to be depicted, but to come, to arrive in its time. After it came - as it will come - a kingdom which will never pass away, that of the Lord's Christ (Daniel 7:25-27). Secondly, it was characterised as being partly fragile and partly strong. This was indicated in the imagery of Daniel 2, in which the successive empires had the alternative symbolism of a large statue, successive empires being designated as you went down from head to foot, which was the last of the four.
The image of a statue was of various metals, but the feet as surveyed by this figure and mnemonic, were made partly of clay and partly of iron (Daniel 2:33-24,41-42). This last Empire would endure in its various forms and formats, weaknesses and worldly strengths until it would fall in its religious phase (Revelation 17:16ff.), making way for the final manifestation of antichrist, the devil's chaplain, the false messiah as in Revelation 13, and forecast in Daniel 7:24, 8:20. Indeed after this, the Roman religious centre, now detached from its political base (Revelation 17:6,12-18) would be burnt (Revelation 18-19), making way for the worst possible evil made itself manifest (as in II Thessalonians 2), a sort of aftermath of Rome, an explosive upsurge of very direct evil power, now freed from the harassment and pseudo-holiness of what, in scriptural terms, is the spiritual 'harlot' (Revelation 17:1ff.).
It was this sort of synthetic religious 'worship' for which Israel had been excoriated and condemned, and in this passage in Revelation, we here see the Empire, with Romanism now stripped from it, rushing to its final hour. Thus, it can and will meet its end, not long after the demise of the city of Rome.
The venue of the horrid misnurture and misalliance, the religious and the political, which Romanism has exhibited, is specified (Revelation 17:9), and its roots way back are exhibited in the parallel title, "Mystery Babylon", which simply signifies the continuation in this empire, of the peculiar religious syntheses and appalling evils of Babylon, in a symbolic sense, is seen in the fourth, the Roman Empire.
As to Babylon, it assailed Judah, its Temple, carried away its treasures, and many of its people, imposed horrible conditions on those within it which it condemned (as seen in the book of Lamentations, reminiscent of what the Inquisition of Rome secured in dealing with vast numbers of Christians and many Jews). The 'mystery' of Revelation 17:9, invokes a special religious meaning to the description of Rome in its power. It links the famous denunciation and end which Jeremiah so vehemently prescribed for Babylon, duly fulfilled, with what is coming to the imperial might of this lingering Rome.
It means that Babylon, that of history, is here being used as a symbol and type of what this last Empire has come to display, in association with its religious passion. In spirit, Babylon is as it were, is re-invented in the Fourth Empire, the first and the fourth thus having a great spiritual likeness, verging on identity. In this line of rebelliousness against the Lord, there is a long line of blood. Such is the teaching to which God gives utterance in Revelation.
Consider the fulfilment so far.
Rome in its imperial power is famous for its invidious, virulent display of cruel self-assurance in devising ways of slowly killing Christians, such as tarring them and lighting them for the stadium, or releasing them into sites of hungered lions, for spectacle purposes. This was a part of its earlier romp, before it showed a little more sobriety, under Constantine. Rome as an empire went till 410 A.D., continued in its Eastern arm (and in some ways in the West); and the East fell in 1453 with the Turkish take-over of Constantinople. By this time, Romanism had become big news, using armed men to persecute the Waldensians, inventing the mass (cf. SMR pp. 1032ff., and in particular, 1086ff.). Its political arm proceeded with papal blandishments, pushes and punishments (such as that for Henry II, literally left out in the cold), and the name Holy Roman Empire came to apply to a group in favour of Rome's power and supportive of it.
Thus Rome 'rode' as in Revelation, the beast, the carnal imperial power; and so the world's version of Christianity and the political power of the fourth and last empire of Daniel, continued in their strange associations, in this way, until its virtual demise at the time of Waterloo. Its predicted, fragile condition was the more obvious in the so-called investiture contest, in which papal power (I do not have to protect you, says the empire, if you are difficult), and imperial power (I do not have to recognise you in the crowning, as pope, says the Romanist religious body), often clashed. For all that, this evil Empire managed to back the Inquisition, which for centuries helped to slay Christians and rob the children left by the slaughter, in ways reminiscent of Rome's earlier phase, in the first two centuries A.D..
The Church side of the Fourth Empire continued, using diplomatic force and voting power, until Hitler found himself greatly admiring the Jesuit discipline, and was not condemned during the war by the sitting pope. However, the power play was not successful, even though it was through the decision of Rome, to abandon a competing Roman Catholic political Party, that Hitler was helped into power (cf. SMR pp. 968ff., *9 ). What might have been, when this new king arose - IF he had won in World War II - is unclear. However, by this time, we are already moving to the Common Market, formally founded in 1957, the EEC, or European Economic Community, as then known.
Small or at least circumscribed were its aims; but large was its future. It was the Treaty of ROME, which instituted this body. It came later to be associated with the European Parliament in 1979, flower as the European Union in1993, in the Treaty of Maastricht. The Euro currency made its debut with 16 countries participating in January 1, 1999, to make a Eurozone.
FURTHER CONSIDERATION ON THE TIME OF THE GAP
It had to; God indicated it would become a vast centre of development, which would be subjected to a malign take-over.
Thus with Rome's take-over of the Third Empire of Daniel, that is, from the remnants of the Macedonian Empire in its four quadrants of power, left after its break-up, to the present, there has been a fourth Empire. Daniel characterised it as fragile and yet strong, with clay and iron, something thus coming and going, continuing in this form and that, a variable condition now more obvious than ever. Further, in the wrangling about the European Constitution, it has left out so far reference to Romanism, which fits with Revelation 17:14ff., in its reference to the ending of the religious arm of Rome in its political power, riding on 'the beast'. Indeed, here was foretold as now is being seen, a terminus coming to its considerable ability to DIRECT political power in Europe. This flourished early in dictation in and even through the Holy Roman Empire, with no little force, though over the centuries, variably, and then in its diplomatic and personal entourage, often in high places.
The EU is now showing a new openness to itself as a coming, self-defining pseudo-spiritual power. That is one reason why the argumentation about the European Constitution has been so fascinating, with Rome expressing disappointment that its religion was not included in the survey of that entity called Europe, in the Constitution-in-waiting*1.
The point for our present study is this: Daniel some 600 years before Christ, not only had the four empires, Babylon, Medes and Persians, Greek and Roman in place, and in sequential order correctly, but showed the extension of the last to the finale of the Age, when the judgment comes with the Son of Man (Daniel 7), receiving all power on earth.
So far the prophecy of Daniel has, in this way covered some two and one half millenia. The sense of dynamism, direction, and the continuity of Rome has been spectacular, as was, perhaps even more so, the ascription of the date for the death of the Messiah (cf. Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2). Isaiah from the 8th century B.C. had filled in far more concerning the Messiah, and the Gospel, and foretold how the Redeemer Himself and hence what He offered, would be spurned by Israel (Isaiah 49:7). This same Gospel however, concerning Him, was predicted to surge into the Gentile world, being received even by Kings, as has of course happened (cf. SMR Ch. 9).
Zechariah specialised in the time of the Restoration, when Israel came back from exile in Babylon. He spoke around the time when the rebuilding of the Temple was to proceed, as it did; and just as the High Priest and the Governor were symbols of reconstituting power, so these were used as symbols of the coming power of the Messiah, both priest and king (cf. Zechariah 3-4, 6:12). What they prefigured, HE would essentialise, and instead of two, in His plenary power, He would be One.
In Zechariah 11, the betrayal and sale of the Messiah is mentioned, along with the price for the sale, with a splendid irony. The eventual presence of Israel in its land at the end of the Age is noted, such that the wars and Jewish deliverances in spectacular manner (as in 1948,1967,1973, 1991) are forecast, these things also, now fulfilled. Next in line is a massive national repentance to come in Israel, for the slaying of Christ, on the part of many two millenia ago in that land, as illustrated and exhibited in Zechariah 12:10-13:1.Later, Zechariah presents the personal return of the Lord (Zechariah 14) to His land, after the sale and slaughter alike, of Christ had first come (Zech. 11, 21:10); and this has all transpired just as predicted.
Nor is this by any means all the information given on what is to come, either for our present time, or for that of those in the period from around 500 B.C. up to the coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
Thus Daniel 11, again, in terms of knowledge available in that last half-millenium after Malachi, and before Christ came, had a major contribution to make, his predictions there moving from around 527 B.C. to the second century B.C., then darting to the finale, the bodily resurrection and the judgment (Daniel 12).
The movement thus supplies a spiritual oversight of two parallel events. One is the first Little Horn of the Third Empire (Antiochus Epiphanes), the other the Second Little Horn, that of the Fourth (yet to come). Each came from RELATIVELY small beginnings, and moved to imperially thrusting self-importance. This makes it clear that there is much in common here, between these two bearing the same name. Much is therefore to be learned from the sophisticated popular manipulation and utter religious presumption and ruthlessness - indeed, all but self-worship - of the first of this pair in the 2nd century B.C., in considering the final 'little horn', who is still to come (cf. Cyrus and Christ, Ch. 1 in Biblical Blessings ).
Thus much historical time is covered, and some areas in considerable detail, while all the Age in overall perspective has major matters noted: that is, those that concern the spiritual menu, especially where spiritual and national matters are concerned. On this, see Ch. 10, in Highway of Holiness, which supplies much in detail. In fact, as seen in Highway of Holiness Ch. 8, and Biblical Blessings Chs. 1 and esp. 2 ).
In particular we find that the 'little horn' of Daniel 8:8ff is in fact a trailer, a prelude, an index in the third Empire, for that much speaking massif of evil yet to come (Daniel 7:8,20). This he does at the end of the Fourth Empire, to which we now draw near. WE have thus in Daniel 8, the advantage of a TYPE. Because this is seen in the very phrasing of this function, in the successive Empires, we find apt instruction concerning the finale when the prototype is consummated in the latest Mark II format. Accordingly we find that 'little horn I' has his work completed in 'little horn II', one expressly held back till the scenario finishes (Revelation 19, II Thessalonians 1-2)! It is like so much in history: you get a prelude, then a pre-run, and then when all is ready, a development and a finale. So it is with the Little Horn in the settings of the Third and the Fourth Empires. By watching the former, you gain much knowledge of the framework for, the atmosphere of and the character to be found in the 'Little Horn' phenomenon as the Age ends.
Then comes into manifest power the kingdom that does not end. This replaces the striving vainglory, and peace ensues. It could have been earlier, but just as man fell for sin, so he also has in the main fallen for avoiding salvation, for the humanist or abstracted detour, for the pinnacle of man syndrome, sought by the race to the last, just as Satan put the background for it into the mind of Eve at the first.
It is a reckless, ridiculous, irrational jab at the Lord, to displace, derogate and despatch Him at least from being operative and in the way, to make of Him a contestant for man's glory, and to relegate Him to a passing phase or craze, while the madness of man reaches its last spectacular paranoia. It apes power; but acts in delusion. It exalts itself but simply abases what it is.
Of all forms of paranoia the spiritual is undoubtedly the worst, for it breaches the heart and spirit of the entire man at every level, turning homo sapiens into a sap, making what might have been a giant gum into a mere mistletoe and why ? because it does not consider from where it has come, and whose it is and why it is here.
In much the same ruse at a more individual level, we find common exhortations: BE yourself, BE your own nation, USE your own power, ACHIEVE yourself, your aim. Struggle, compete with venom, use what you can, get where you may, and bray about it. This was much the line of Nietzsche, a herald for Hitler in Germany, and in its own type of assault, almost as much a vainly self-centred craze as that of Communism with its exaltation of a sector. In both cases, the words were a parody of the deeds!*2. Neither class nor race had any sanction from history, which simply continued to glorify God as this and that compulsive, impulsive, earth-bound, humanistically naturalistic, esoterically existential, delusively dynamic-asserting philosophy showed a simple fact. Take any part of the creation, real or delusive, and magnify it to the uttermost, and it is yet merely a mode or an imagination. Modes are ways of working; and what put them there and installed their partitive significance is not to be displaced by the words of any of His works, such as man.
Thus while history is invoked, the Lord is provoked; while evidences are asserted to be forthcoming, the attestation is one: what the Bible says happens, and successive generations in rebellion live and limp to the demonstration in the laboratory of history, that imagination plus resolve plus some partial proposition about power of this or that sector, clad in propagandising propositions is mere sound and fury, accomplishing nothing ... except for one thing.
And that ? They show that bits of creation are not lord of all, nor are instructions for the schema of all things directive of any. Innovated in creation from law and imagination, they do not rule, but merely thrust and relish imaginary vainglories. Therefore, when confusing the means of their implementation, called creation, being PUT THERE, with their forms and orders and laws and capacities and incapacities (there is no do-all thing), AS put there, they languish. Some lessons take longer; yet when they try to occupy the spot of what did put them there, they eventually share the lot of what is out of place. The laws that limit continue to operate, the facilities which have assigned functions, continue to work within them, and when the mind soars to pompous pretensions, reality does not move. God beckons, but does not budge. Truth creates, but is not creatable. Reality is in place, and its nature continues. It does so because it has put things in place, without limit or control, being eternal that anything temporary might have a logical basis.
Even death to the Creator, come in the human form of Christ, does not prevent the resurrection of His very body, and hatred, envy and folly do nothing to re-order the order of the creation. Rather it shows the reality of the power in the image of God, given to the mind and imagination, the fabrication and the fashioning power given to man, even to thought, and at the same time, the limits of any creation. Combined with this comes the exposure over time, of the wantonry and unwisdom of rioting before regality, presuming when oneself created by propositions such as appear in code form in the DNA, and for propositions such as appear, verified and validated, only in the Bible*3.
Children are not fathers, and the offspring of creation in the cosmoi of mind, body and spirit, however exalted in the case of man, a synthesis of co-ordinated and assigned powers, given oversight in part through the provision of the PERSON, or soul, and the SPIRIT of man, which investigates, ruminates, rummages and reaons or rationalises according to taste and waste, do not become their own cause. Power is limited, thought becomes uplifted, the intensity of reason beckons, but the immensity of truth by which it so much as becomes available and is installed, does not yield to its delusive antinomies*4, harsh invalidities*5 or rampant unrealism. The power to do such trifling works is from God; the power to discipline is for God, and the permission to find by experience in the lab of life, the meaning of rationally insolvent insolence, is given as in Proverbs 1.
THE GAP IS NOT FOR MERE GAPING
What is needed is to be forgiven, for misusing what is given, and can have no logical basis except in what was eternally both there and adequate for all the systems and rationally construable connections which dominate the creation. Even the fevers of perfervid human irrationalism have a reason, and treason to truth does not demolish it, but simply changes the destiny man assigns himself, foreknown to God, who beyond all and in control of all, has forged and moved to interpret man's freedom and to apply the truth so that for all eternity, the 'results' sheet is there written no only in words, but in history.
History is not a force in itself; it is a page of results, overwritten with judgment, and prepared for the judgment of truth when the mists of irrationality clear before the sun of reality.
in the image of God, with imaginative and rational power, no man or group of men, no nation or 'movement' can move beyond its own limits, imposed with form from the start, and functional only because reason IN the nature of the universe (being created by the Word of God), meets reason in the spirit of man, and the one can to a point both understand and use the powers so made available. The schema, systems, syntheses of systems, penetrability by intellect and collations by kind are possible only because that to which they refer is of this nature, the probing mind of man and the probable character of what is made, meeting in the milieu of the mind of the Creator, source of both.
Therefore, it is not by the mere combination of aspiration plus power, as if man were to become either his own devisor or dynamic, source or the constructor of his own spirit, that history comes to heel, however harsh the heels of those who seek to impose their foolish dreams. Neither can they except in imagination, ascend to the office of ultimate power, since they are not its ultimate source, neither being eternal nor unlimited; nor do they gain control without that self-control which gives to them the power to be what they are. Forgetful of what they are, trying to arrive in bits from nowhere, over time or coming like the smile of the Cheshire cat of Alice in Wonderland in reverse, out of nothing into something slowly, imagining that time makes minds out of nothing, having first invented itself, and matter becomes a magnet to create imagination itself, first inventing itself, while man trudges on the untrustworthy history of quasi-creation, nothing to it*6, in rebellion against Creator, as if in love with the destiny of becoming a mere mental smudge, a red line through a red flood of blood, used like chemicals in an experiment, incorrigible, inviting doom.
Imagining the case to be different is delusion (Romans 1:17ff., II Thess. 2), and in the case of man, a devastating destructive delusion, in its ethics-free imagination (since reality is the only possible ethics, as far beyond the institution of this or that as is the space of matter from the spaciousness of mind*7). For this, here is an eventual as well as a temporary penalty for both man and his world (cf. Romans 8:17ff.). The latter is suffering and the former is everlasting separation from God, the God of creation and redemption.
Thus, amidst defamation of truth, man becomes defunct of his proper function as created: leading to the cruelties of truncated truth, desperate hope and ruthless tyranny. Yet the tyrants are also exercising tyranny over themselves, till their feints turn to fainting and their plaints to dust.
What then of the gaps in history, when God added no more to a given Covenant, the Old one from Malachi to Christ's arrival and record, and the New one after He had finished His work on which the New Covenant was based, and commissioning His apostles with authority, provided for the production and termination of what He had to say in this likewise (cf. SMR Appendix C and D) ? These gaps are simply the termination points of the laying down of the nature of the enterprise, the mode of examination and the character of results which are available. When the works (as in the Exodus and the Temple, the prophets and the reviews in the Old Testament) relative to the Covenant are complete, there is really nothing more to say at that level; it is now a matter of doing. At the predicted cross of Christ, the doing of the crucial areas, with the resurrection of the ragged body that had suffered the rage of man, was complete (Hebrews 9), so that when its attestation, review, the provisions of rules for wisdom and ways for understanding was added, and the coming events were adequately covered, then there was no more to be said.
Thus there is a most fervent conclusion to the relevant and authorised revelation in the Book of Revelation, so that adding to THESE THINGS (22:18), which include the entire counsel of God, there is judgment, as in Galatians 1 likewise. Again, if any takes from these words, subtracting, that person will be subtracted at the judgment, from the Book of life. It is as always and in particular in Deuteronomy 4 and 12, the case that when the One who made man and was there for the purpose that all constituents and synthesis and spirit as needed, should be both made and installed, this being called creation, and when the key of life turned and the whole started, so that it starts in its assigned course, and has spoken His mind, there is no more liberty for man to make the rules, change his own nature or alter the judgments upon him when folly rules.
FURTHER CONSIDERATION ON THE ROLE OF THE AGAPE
The only door of hope is mercy, and the only way for change is by reversion to the image of God (Colossians 3:10), through a re-generation (Titus 3:1-7, John 3), which involves restoration in realism, to what man is. There is however one addition: what had been probative, as in a test, now becomes eternal when it and He who gives it is received. This is not, nor could it be from the first (except in the mind of God - Ephesians 1:4), man being created; but now it is true to the last, and the last lasts, for then "mortality is swallowed up in immortality", life from its creation in hope for man, becoming life eternal in its culmination through Christ.
Enough said, God ends the statements of each Covenant, when the work and the words are complete. There is no equivocation, alteration, consultation or change (Galatians 1:6-10). The ground is made, the operators are created, the rational ones are informed, the grace is great, the appeal is enormous, the liberty to deny and fry in fiction is necessary to meaningful bearers of the image of God, and indeed so that they may love instead of merely lurching as this or that moves in them, like eggs rolling downhill.
All this has all in place. It is this exposure and not another; this creation and not something else; this universe with mind, matter and spirit, penetrability by mind and spirit and penetrating power on the other side. History is the eventuation, the laboratory, the exhibit, the testimony that things are as bad as stated, as ruthless as is shown, as foolish as intimated, with as much scope as stated and granted; and that the needs of the fallen, which lack none (Romans 5:1-12), are as dearly met as really provided, in the Covenantal statement which reaches consummation in the cross of Christ.
Thus, just as there is a limit to what is the nature of mankind, an installation reality, a synthetic operation crowned by the spirit given man for examination, attestation, realisation, so there is a limit to the Covenant which concerns man. Each begins, each comes to its conclusion.
This has applied generically, whether in the preliminary format as in the Old, or in the consummative as in the New Testament. each part partitive, each element as inscribed. Just as each facility for variation within kind, is given whether to man or to flower, brilliantly delimited in itself as recent research continuously confirms*8, so with the inventions from man himself, there is a limit to the variation, for death arrives at length to the inventor, as to his ideas as they stray in the fray, away from functional reality.
The reality is not how long a life lives, or survives, but what it IS, and where it GOES, and what nature it SHOWS, and what is the resultant. It is redemption or rubbish, truth of fiction, lying or restoration to truth. It costs; the cross of Christ is the cost, and all that went into that climax, in planning, in presentation, in invitation, in liberation through covering that cost in accursedness (Galatians 3), freely (Isaiah 55, Romans 3), in eventuation in eternal life. Covenant and life are given freely, and there is no consultation with man as to what his form of life is to be, nor concerning what the Covenant concerning him is to be. Where man has his opportunity is in denying the truth, seeking to over-rule the Covenant, and so making an ass of himself; or in being found by God, and loving Him, fulfilling the grace of his creation through the gift of his redemption.
Thus there has been a vast input of information, both for the BC period from Malachi to Christ's arrival, and from His ascension to the present, until He comes again, no longer in NON-judgment mode, but sent UPON judgment (Psalm 2, Isaiah 11).
What then of the gaps in provision of new Scriptures ? that is, why was there a period of several centuries between the last Old Testament prophet and the first New Testament writings ?
First, when the Covenant, the word from God is down, it is extended at need till complete in its facets and facts.
What is given then suffices.
It starts and proceeds, till more is empowered, as when students might be studying first the bones, and then the soft organs in a body. When however the course is complete, the body is not changed by more words; nor the covenant by more either.
When God has finished, it is done.
Then the performance remains till what next comes: in the case of man, this was the New Testament after the Old, the fulfilment after the predictions, the payment for sin after its foretelling. What then of the Covenant ? it may superfluously be added to by man, for his own productions, lectures and the like. Indeed, he may gratuitously act as if to instruct God! (Galatians 1:9-10). But when the proclamation, intimation, review and coverage is sufficient, this having God as its author, for any phase or part of the truth, there is no more (Galatians 1:8).
That Covenant then continues like the laws of nature once composed; except that in this case, there was the prelude and the performance, the intimation and the consummation, the foretelling and the action. That is, in essence there was the Exodus in the Old, to dump servitude both to nation and to sin, and there is the provision of Calvary in the New, a dumping ground for guilt, and the eternal payment for sin in time. It was not on this occasion,in some setting in symbols, but in reality direct. In each case, it begins; and it is finished. WHEN it is finished, to continue is to meddle, on the part of man. He, a creation, can neither change his own nature nor his Covenant. Christ cried FINISHED for His work of paying for redemption (Matthew19:30). Hebrews cries finished to this work likewise (Hebrews 9:12-10:14), it being a redemptive exclusive, a divine monopoly for the grief of the cost of sin, borne by Himself, as none other could take it, bear it and break it in His own life.
As to man, then, he takes the one provision, without option when born; and he may reject the other by option, when grown. While in sin, here and now, it is not in the power of his will, being sought by God with all, it is in the responsibility of his will, known to God before time was, and this responsibility, when provided with knowledge or its equivalent, he will bear
Thus the source of his trouble, the power of choice, to invent gods or worship God, to endue himself with virtual godhood or on the other hand, to appreciate Him who IS his God - whether recognised or not making not a tad of difference to His nature, to love or to hate: this has a myriad of results. It is interpreted by God.
In rejection, this leads to a virtual kaleidoscope of optional acts within rebellion, with a myriad-form coverage of results. In the case of reception of redemption, these evils cease control of him (I John 3:9 with John 1:7ff., Romans 6 and 8);. Again, should he continue without it, whether pride and uplifted spirit be the case, or humiliation and despair, angst and anxiety, he inhabits a whirling world, a patch of dissonance, a realm of illusionism.
As God desires all that He has made to be reconciled to Himself, and that freely (I Timothy 2, Colossian 1:19ff., Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2), we see Him throughout all the Bible pleading, inviting, exhorting, lamenting and providing as often attested*9, as for example in Matthew 23:37, Ezekiel 33:10-11, Luke 19:42ff., Isaiah 48:16ff.. In fact, in Luke, Christ directly states His grief that the case in hand, then that of Jerusalem. It was this: that EVEN in their climax of opportunity, enhanced by His own importunity in calling them personally to Himself while on earth, they had not realised the way of their day. In this sad lapse, shown for so long despite so much from Him who being God, had no limits in His power, what had they done ? Alas, SO they had inherited devastation!
He WEPT. He speaks from the heart to the heart: provides the invitation, information and then ceases in the construction of covenant; but the instruction continue in His pleadings, in His movement by His Spirit to work in the heart of man; and man often senses these things, but would ignore them, suppress or distort them, being disturbed.
What then ? As eternity is too great a jewel to depend on the flicker of the psyche, God has not put restoration into the hand of man (John 1:12). It DEPENDS on the will of man but this only in the mind of God, who knew it for one as for all, each one to be His own before He invented our kind of time (John 3:19). Therefore man is responsible; but he is not operative in this (John 1:12), God having foreknown, not dwelling on the works, but the reality. The cases are assigned according to the case.
IN time, what of the results of His love for all, and His finding of some for whom He is not hell (in mind) , but life, and this without the oversight of sin, not yet committed since then man was not even created ? These are applied. Therefore WHEN God calls, while He knows the result, the response of man is not less significant but more so. HE has, if you will, removed the static in the system to ensure the reality of spirituality.
This is the MORE reason for each one of us to be very sure before rejecting the redemption in Jesus Christ. As the results are foreknown, and this is implemented in history, so the action is not forestalled, for if there were any way to win some who are lost, the God of all power has not neglected it.
He even sent His only begotten Son into this world, in the most extravagantly generous act of pity and command of compassion that could be envisaged; and as the Plan is costly, so is the performance effectual, not to grab by force, but to deliver those whom, foreknowing, He has found. Are you one ? If you say not to Christ, you certainly are not (John 3:36). Be realistic!
Be therefore very careful what you do on this earth, with Jesus Christ. Of ways to find God, the God of creation, He is the only One. God is not two-headed or double-minded, nor some Hydra. He knows, He understands, He states His covenants, He calls and the result stands; as surely as His reality has been shown, so His Gospel in truth provided and operational. Thus in John 15:22ff., it is expressly stated that had HE not both spoken and one the unique actions that none ever mirrored, they would not have had sin (in this eternal setting of RESULTS); but now, having both heard and seen, no more did they have EXCUSE.
THE LAST EXCUSE
Jesus is your last excuse.
Like the creation, it was done and its exhibits stay; but there is no addition! When a new prophet or testimony was needed, to give more information about the First or the Second coming of Christ, and His ways, then this was provided. When the topics and presentations are complete, in each covenant, the preliminary or the consummative, the affair is over. When the provisions are dismissed, so fate comes to this fatality, this refusal of the only mercy that is effectual (John 3:36).
Thus in the Old Covenant or Testament, when it was completed, there was no scope or need for more: the Lord had spoken His mind FOR that covenant and through it, shown what He desired of the New Covenant to come, to which He rather often referred (cf. Jeremiah 31:31ff., Isaiah 42:6, 55:3, 61:8, Jeremiah 3:16, 16:60, Ezekiel 37:26 - cf. Hebrews 1320). Old Testament references to it, having dealt with it and been wrought in its massive and multiple presentation, exhortation and implication, as also in its coming fulfilment and its authority, the matter was closed. When the New Covenant came, it would come, and all stated in confirmation would come to pass. The applications provided excuse in expiation, a matter of substitution of the just for the unjust in love. The basis did not change.
In the interim, however, from Malachi to the New Testament, this was the status quo, spiritually decisive, distinct and complete. It could be received or rejected. Moreover, when the people make a specialty of not listening Ezekiel 33:3-ff., the Lord may make a specialty of waiting before sending more, as He notes in Micah 2:6-18, and 3:6-7 and in principle, implies in Hosea 5:15. In each covenant, love operates, appeals are made, remonstrations and exhortations come, the basis operates. The time of application has its own status and standing; it must not be confused with a lapse or stasis.
So in the New Testament, when the relevant facts, fulfilments, presentations, intimations, exhortations, reviews are complete, God ceases to instruct on this topic. When He has adequately spoken His mind, He ceases to add; for He does not twitter. Truth being His pronouncement, variation and equivocation being mere folly in His light, when it is stated, the matter is closed. What remains, however, it concerns the souls of man, not now the creation of a covenant! It is application time, both in the sense of what is stated being done, and in the other sense, of man making application according to this Covenant of the Cross for acceptance (Acts 2:21, 36-39, as foretold in Joel 2:30).
It is well to consider some of these communications and resolutions of the Lord, where the bold print is added to show the point in view. Regard Malachi 2:6ff. for example.
“ Do not prattle,' you say to those who prophesy.
So they shall not prophesy to you;
They shall not return insult for insult.
You who are named the house of Jacob:
“Is the Spirit of the Lord restricted?
Are these His doings?
Do not My words do good
To him who walks uprightly?
“Lately My people have risen up as an enemy...
You pull off the robe with the garment
From those who trust you, as they pass by' ...
"Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets
Who make my people stray;
Who chant 'Peace'
While they chew with their teeth,
But who prepare war against him
Who puts nothing into their mouths:
'Therefore you shall have night without vision,
And you shall have darkness without divination;
The sun shall go down on the prophets,
And the day shall be dark for them.
So the seers shall be ashamed,
And the diviners abashed;
Indeed they shall all cover their lips;
For there is no answer from God.' ”
Over 14 centuries, in the Old Covenant, time was used to allow distance-perspective, application inspection, exhibition, result. Such time can be and has been used for rebuke, relief, comfort, and shows enormous control, by the God of creation, as He acted as the God of information, first in general and then in the particularities of each person.
There has been a further element, indeed, in our time duration. WHEN Christ has come and shown and died and risen, and told directly face to face, and there has been wrought a work of infinite significance and astounding love and wisdom, there IS nothing more eminent. The elegance of stoppage is now total.
If then there was a pause before the Messiah came to act, with vast profusion of information, how much more is there room for one before the intimate, come as Saviour, becomes the ultimate, to come as Judge. II Peter 3:9 tells us that with a thousand years as a day in this application theme, God is being patient, not willing that any should perish. He is doing all, has provided all, has acted with an eternal wisdom and does not finish in moments, but applies the standing orders, the Covenant of the Cross, on all sides, with many intimations and expressions, all sourced in One, one God, one Covenant, one Cross, one Redemption, one Redress. The result is one, or it is lost, and perishing proceeds (John 3:16,19).
The time proceeds; the procedures do not alter; but the tempests of history attest the time is drawing 'near' for His return and judgment (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5). The time of the coming of the New Covenant was closely foretold (cf. Christ the Citadel Ch. 3). But this is not now specific, as the element of surprise is kept in the divine hands (cf. Matthew 24:36ff.).
He has made it clear that while the first coming was all as foretold (cf. Matthew 26:52ff.), in the Second Coming as in Acts 1:7ff., there is a divine desire NOT to give warning, except in general terms. If you seek it, you will find it, this is the way for the day; if you seek it with all your heart (cf. Jeremiah 29:13 with Proverbs 8:33-36 positively, and Hosea 7:14 with Proverbs 1, negatively).
Recently, an advertisement said this: If it exists, you will find it (in such and such an information source).
We could alter that for the point here. SINCE God exists, you will find Him if you seek Him.
As in Jeremiah 29:13, however, this must be done with all the heart.
The Covenant is concluded, but even in the silence, there is speech. Not only does all nature declare the glory of God in its wonder (Psalm 19), but it does so without voice. That is what is written. "The heavens declare the glory of God ... there is no speech or language. Their voice is not heard." That is, it speaks logically to the mind, impactively to the spirit, with awesome grandeur to the heart. When divine speech is added to this general testimony of the creation, heavens and earth, the result is completely interpreted, the conditions made known, the works in creation and redemption consummate.
Many are they who were persecuted, and in this application, the cost increases, the ease decreases. The information remains the same, but the experience adds in dimension, the application its consummation (Colossians 1:23). The love and mercy of Christ thus moves through many ambassadors.
To creation, there has been added the curse, so that we see the most intricate forms and functions available on earth, far beyond the powers of man, on the one hand, operative according to the kind of power in view, mental, cogitative, linguistic, legal, synthetic, and on the other the equally testable word of God, the Bible*10. The devastations in behaviour and in character of so much become the attestations of the curse. What is exquisite in beauty readily becomes offensive in conduct; what is a wonder in its construction, moves into desolatory horror. Hearts of music and grace, merriment and sensitivity, are sent to war, to the trenches, to the Burmese railway, to Auschwitz, and man proceeds even to make his own version of hell, without much imagination, but with horrible consequences, in some ways, for his victims, and in others, for the cruelty-creators themselves.
It is plain; it is stated in format, in function, to reason and in revelation. The latter brings precision of thought, excision of error, provision of information for the fallen, way for the repentant, ground of the redemption, victory at last.
Thus Christ Himself has come and done all the works for free salvation (Ephesians 2), then the silence is that of challenge, while the work in the hearts of all believers, of the Holy Spirit in comfort and power and provision of peace and joy and instillation of love, and the gifts needed for godliness, is a liaison of vast beauty and grace.
Thus the interim after the book of Revelation, the last of the New Covenant, has been on an even larger scale for us who are Christs, as now two millenia have passed, than was the gap for those later than Daniel and indeed, Malachi. Then, some 500 years notice came without addition, before Israel's vast fall and Christ's rising, which had to be from the dead, to achieve its mission. Our quietness now after all this, our period is longer and so is the destiny provision more final, because it comes to an end phase. Whereas mercy was waited for in the First coming, now judgment arises in the Second. Before an end, there is need for consideration, contemplation, testing ... It is occurring. II Peter 3:9 is in operation; but not for ever. Eternal life is for ever but its offer is not.
If Israel did not profit as a nation from 500 years, will the Gentiles profit more from 2000 ? Yet in each case there are exploits, works wrought in the power of God, in the love and mercy of God, to reach the lost, display His glory and encourage the weak. The time is well spent as a learning laboratory for the canons of eternity.
Such is popularity in its fitful moods, and human blindness in its vastness. Yet many have been won, and grain as well as chaff has become manifest as history has surged, waited, watched and proceeded.
Thus around 4 times Israel's 500 year posting from the last book before the Messiah, has now passed in the Christian era. Now for us, the details sweep into place, like the various parties in a marriage ceremony, one coming, then the next, in poised succession. There is not much poise about these characters and events, at the end of the Age (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5, SMR Ch. 8), but there is assuredly a succession of relevant events, portents of the finale.
It is in some ways like the time of withdrawing, of distancing of the waters, as if the coming smashing cannot be real, as in the prelude to a tidal wave. When that very wave arrives, however, the visible turbulence will be far greater than in Christ's day. There was salvation, repair, restoration; but now judgment. It is not well to wander. to vary the image, around the mouth of a seething volcano. Much more is to come, as Revelation makes so very clear (cf. Revelation 6-9, 13-19). Christ exhorted all to be ready, in earnest, showing self-discipline (Matthew 24:35ff.).
As they, from 500 B.C. to Christ's time, therefore were well equipped with knowledge, supplied in yet more amazing detail in Daniel, after the Psalms, Isaiah and Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others had been inspired to cover the need; so are we, who proceed from the predicted date of the Messiah, heavily informed as to the circumstances and situations and components as the end of the Age brings eternity to the foreground. He is to rule on this earth as in Isaiah 11, Micah 4, Zechariah 14, Psalm 72. But before the beginning of His rule, an evil advent is to occur after His saints are removed at His appearing (Matthew 24:36ff., I Thessalonians 4). Here is the enthralling but perilous final conflict (at the more massive level), of Revelation 19. Having first taken out His saints, then He comes with them (Revelation 19:8, 20:13ff., Jude14, Zechariah 14:5) to conclude matters in the dynamic of destiny. The evil powers get their come-uppance and Christ shows this earth the way of His glory (Psalm 2, 72).
In all this, like the waves of the
ocean, the mercy and Gospel of God has been manifest, the rest the surrounding
events. This was no gap but agape.
GAP IN THE WARNING, TO ONE AND TO ALL, BUT NEED FOR GRACE:
EVEN ISRAEL BLOWING THE TRUMPET IT DOES NOT YET HEAR
Let us look back a little for this aspect.
Now they, Israel, the chosen messenger nation, having been blessed with covenantal faithfulness from the Lord and having violated this enormously, in a way most elegantly and eloquently shown in Ezekiel 16, which almost takes the breath away with its plain dealing, were warned. Certainly, in the very end, there was to be a glorious result for some, the remnant (Ezekiel 16:60ff., Isaiah 11:10ff., Ezekiel 37, Deuteronomy 32). Yet in the interim there was warning and the majority seems set on slither. This was done in many ways, by recollection, by reflection, by exhortation, by shame, by lovingkindness (cf. Romans 2:1ff.), by metaphors and figures, by parables, as Hosea 12:10 indicates; but many would not listen (Ezekiel 33:32).
So they were ruined. But the nation of Israel did not learn, as a political entity. Thus, after 500 more years from the destruction of the first Temple by Babylon (the Northern Kingdom having already been REPLACED with aliens, imported by Assyria, to become Samaritans in their old land!), they went further. In the final and crucial examination, they did not draw back from the sins which lead to the first destruction by Babylon; instead they aggravated the rebellion and killed the Lord Himself, sent in man's format, direct (cf. Isaiah 48:16ff.). In 6 hours they said it all. They killed Him slowly.
Thus spoke the nation in its authorities, though of course not in this way, in its apostles. No, not at all.
It would be wise and good to read here Ezekiel 16, to gain awareness of the state of the case BEFORE their second ruin, the basis from which downwards, they proceeded until when Christ called, the only begotten Son of God sent as Saviour, they murdered Him in the interests of several motifs, despite His miracles of healing and marvels of personality, indeed His deity.
Firstly, the 'fellow professionals' as priests might have considered themselves in many cases (cf. John 11:47ff.), were envious. Secondly, some were afraid Rome might take Him as a competitive local king, despite every evidence, verbal and in action to the contrary, and annoying Caesar, and so lead to a further invasion or torture: or so it was said. Thirdly, their brazen hearts wanted to handle things THEIR OWN WAY.
Thus, then as now, it would almost seem not possible for the mass either of people or of the nations to regard GOD AS GOD. They want to invent manipulable sovereigns, gods in name or fact in their eyes, who are to be worshipped or obeyed, whether in fallacious 'laws' which never work as laws should, or in foul persons, like Hitler, Stalin and Mao, for whom murder appears a mere way of life. What of these ? It seems these are they who live by death (Revelation 6), or in terms of naturalistic entities, which are endowed with all that gods have. Alas nature is so dumb; it is in its construction that it is a marvel, not in its voice. It is literally dumb, and it never shows itself being made, though man goes near to madness to prod it to do so*11.
They make gods, but the matter is encrypted in philosophy, so that what begins with nothing, or by magic, continues on its merry nothing way, accumulating all for no reason. This in turn is investigated in its manners as an operative universe, and found to be penetrable by reason, and to have laws assessable by reason, intelligible to the intelligent in its modules. So they disparage the carriage and kill the King, or His servants, or seek to blow their minds with enforced, mythical instruction (cf. Secular Myths and Sacred Truth).
This wild, youthful fantasy rules many hearts, and precisely as in ancient Israel, it is accompanied by the BURNING OF CHILDREN (Ezekiel 16:20-21, 36, 43), this in our time, not literally, but in mental poisoning, moral outrage, and spiritual malfeasance which educational authorities appear to love to operate. Thus it comes in prescribed teachings, moulded in the flights of fancy, sometimes called curricula, that detach persons from their actual base, and make them into a sort of spiritual flotsam and jetsam,
Thus are they prepared, as if to be ready to be carried away by any new paranoid philosophy, or the will of its makers: which is the present situation. Evolutionism, naturalism, secularism, mysticism in variable injections, molestation of logic, existentialism, trivialisation of truth: all these things become more and more mandatory*12. For whom ? for the young. And in this State, what if people want to pay large sums to avoid this ? Not at all: their private Colleges must be just as exclusive in the realm of fact, just as prejudiced and have just as much involved in the assault on scientific method, as are the Government Schools of the State*13.
To what then does this lead ? It is a close parallel to the annals of Hitler for conscientious folly, as a type, determined, delusional, prescribed, conscripted force in farce, education in delusion, without rationality as a permitted resource for rebuttal in science, or decision out of it. If it comes with less obvious violence than in the cases of Hitler and Stalin, and their own versions of State control, yet it comes with no less vileness. Freedom evaporates; debate is refused. The evil arises, and it is seen from above; and in His time, He will act, as now He sends messengers in His grace, warning, appealing.
One pities not only the students, but those who so provoke the Lord, for He is full of counsel.
Then as now, though God's property they seek to divest His powers and assign them to what He has made, whether 'nature' or themselves, and many even to invest His name with their own authority, to infest with idolatries of the mind and will, seeking self-interest, whether 'national self-interest' or other, with no practical knowledge of God in vast tracts of humanity. It is coming very close already, at this very hour, to the position in Revelation 13, where a SECOND BEAST arose to support and succour the work of the first beast. This, it was a religious specialist beast, and its office was to aggrandise the first one. This in spirit and in principle, is that. It is moving swiftly now, like a champion in the last set, which however is set for an end to the delusion, and a loss for the lordly. When it comes to God, there neither is nor can be any question of loss: the LORD has the power from creation to judgment, over the lordly; and can rescue the meek who seek.
Now, therefore, we have had 2000 years (against their 500 who awaited the Lord following Malachi), or a little less since the New Testament books could not begin to be written till Christ had been murdered, and these have passed without new biblical revelation. But we do not need it.
Even more than was the case with those in the Old Covenant awaiting the Messiah in the New, we do not need it; for WE have THEIR entire example, in the preliminary prophecies that went before, those concerning Christ Himself, all this which they at that time lacked. That is, we have what happened at the first, in the middle and then at the end, to consider, and the long range prophecies of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Deuteronomy and the Psalms, for example, as well. We have had longer; there has been more; and it is also more decisive for the whole world.
Indeed, WE have been given the Son of God as our criterion and centre, core and grand vision, come in the flesh, not only in word; and we have seen the further results of idolatry, and of obedience, very notably in the case of Britain and the USA, which though far from ever being perfect, had significant movement of millions towards the Lord, and had elements of Christianity in their culture at the deepest level. This was far more so as they grew, until more recently these have been thrown off as in ancient Israel, and like them, these nations are losing more and more of their very basis, their shield and their foundation.
It is well to consider the divine attitude to this 'harlotry', at whatever level, turning from God at the first, though belonging to Him (Isaiah 24:4-6), or after covenant, after agreement.
A treatment of much of this is found in Ezekiel 16:
"How degenerate is
your heart," says the Lord God,
If then we in our New Testament Age have had long to consider, not only have we had more on which to be based, than those who awaited the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, but we deal the elements are now ultimate! We have moreover many nations to consider as the principles of the word of God are applied!
Indeed, to take one more illustration, there is Israel, blowing the trumpet*14 which yet it does not hear itself! It is back as foretold, it has had amazing victories against amazing odds, as foretold, it has become an international incident continuing and a heavy burden to the nations investing themselves in its 'care' as foretold; half of Jerusalem was first taken as foretold; then it all became a capital for Israel, in its own possession as foretold (Luke 1:24) ... but why go on. This has been dealt with in some detail more than once*15. The point deserving attention: while it is suffering from its continued lack of faith in the foretold Messiah of the Old Covenant, now the centre of the New Covenant, it has as it has to have, maladies and traumas as well as deliverances (cf. Leviticus 26). It is getting them. The adversative powers build not rapidly to the foretold climax (Micah 7), when God perceives that, being returned, their power is gone (Deuteronomy 32:36ff.).
Israel is a trumpet of evidence for the truth of the Lord's testimony concerning it and all, over the millenia since some 1400 B.C., to the end of the New Covenant. It does not seem as a nation to hear what its own trumpet portends; but then the nations arise like bees in scalding humour, to obliterate with canny devices (like the mercy ship which shipped in inflammatory revolutionaries bent on the destruction of that small Island of Island in the Islamic surrounding seas from Morocco to Pakistan), with strong demands as those from the US Secretary of State, as if newly elected Israel's President, by invasions as in 1948, 1973, of their appointed land"*, by intimidations, by read-outs of judgment as from the Australian PM, as from the EU, as from anyone who wants it would almost seem, to be anyone.
In The Australian (June 4 : Hypocrisy Makes Life Worse in the Mid-East, Brendan O'Neill), there appeared what in some ways was an excellent article deploring this hypocritical, blinded-to-its-own-self band of flaring critics of Israel's defence. Such discernment is not to be found in the majority ... In this, it is declared that
"The moralistic armada is a physical manifestation of the shallow Israel-bashing that has become utterly unexceptional and uniform in respectable Western circles in recent years
combine the narcissism, self-promotion, pro-interventionism and,
ultimately the pro-imperialist bent to the anti-Zionism that is now widespread in polite society."
As it was to be for Israel, so in excruciatingly detail, it has been*16.
It does not hear ? neither do the other nations, in general.
History is coming to its End of Age days.
CHRIST REMAINS THE CENTRE, THE CYNOSURE,
THE REASON AND THE REDEMPTION:
He is the Word of God who Did the Work of God
There is nowhere further to go; symbols have already been replaced by fact (Hebrews 7-10), and Christ having come and done all, will return with precisely the same certainty as He first came. Indeed, this First Coming with such aplomb, that no one ever has been able in anything to show any flaw or fault. This has proved not even possible, despite His being required to meet the crushingly difficult mandate, testimony to His authenticity. It is rather like saying that you are the designer of some enormous sophisticated aircraft, and to prove it, making one on the spot. Forecasts, prophecies, requirements concerning Him, which demanded the reality of God for performance, and were never shown to have failed, either in aborted miracle undertaken, or in fallacious forecasts concerning any detail of His life: these could never be unearthed.
He appeared full of grace and truth, as the only begotten of God might be expected to be (John 1).
If there had been ANY in this realm, things falsifiable, diminutival, derogative, derelictive, or derisible, the detractors, the envious, the professional accomplices to His murder would have leapt on them like hungry Jaguars.
That is the nature, logically, of divine healing of the incurable and raising from the dead. Acting on multitudes of various intractable diseases, THEIR dismissal, by His hand, He presented a sight for sore eyes for the afflicted, and a site for murder for the envious, the ambitious and the degenerative religionists, for whom form was function and code lay in the traditions of men (cf. Mark 7:7ff.).
It was no easy test, and it should constantly be remembered that any ONE failure in any ONE of the many confrontational or directly stated miracles would have ended His ministry: GOD makes no failures. Being God as man on earth is about as easily and readily testable as anything could be. To His power there is no limit; to His word there is no answer; to co-ordinate both before man is as easy as making $∞ per week. That is without limit. Only God is so.
His actions were also of this kind (Matthew 4:24, 8:16, 12:15, 15:30, 19:2, 21:14, Luke 6:17 etc.), though the weakness of man was not excluded (Luke 19:28, Matthew 4), for it was an incarnation, and not a mere appearance, much less significant in impact.
Since all tests failed, that is His detractors could triumph over Him in nothing in word to be broken or deed to be foozled, in any assignable assault on His name or power or claims, and worse still for his enemies, the more the tests the more the power and finesse shown, they found that only death would remove His dangers to their inordinate ambition and self-preserving fears. That is why they killed Him; there was no other way. He had to go, for in Him the kingdom had come.
Both professionals and peremptory partisans of a fallen priestcraft were dashed to ruin by their very hypocrisy and fraud. The more they challenged, the more He answered both in word and in deed; and the more He answered, the more obvious it soon became that He was the Messiah, precisely packaged and performing as prescribed in the prophets! (cf. John 11:48). Try as you will, when you seek to overthrow God, failure in not an option; it is a necessity. You could ask the vainglorious USSR, if it were still around to answer!
When in this you strive, you but the more show Him alive!
As it was, all they could do was leap (and it WAS a leap - Mark 14:61-65) on Him when He being clearly asked, clearly replied that He was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God. Truth was the only vehicle for their murder machinery of heart (and this weapon was forecast by implication in Isaiah 53:9), and it could not be dispensed with, dismissed or shown up, except for what it was; for all things prophetically required of Him, He did, and the more He did them the more they hated Him, he more they hated Him, the more they asked till they became in effect like laboratory assistants to show that Christ is God!
Thus, in John 11, we find one declaring that if His popularity and following went on then the world would be His! or more precisely, in view of anaesthetising unbelief, "everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
Notice here that the 'place' of personal power comes in priority, before the need of the nation.
WE have had all this as a prelude, then the Cross, the resurrection, the ascension, the power of the Holy Spirit, the false christs and prophets, as foretold (Matthew 24:24), the follies of the nations, the massive falling away (in my own life-time, the change in the form of deterioration morally, nationally, in probity and heart seems almost immeasurable, serpents replacing servants, wolves in sheep's clothing all but the norm, with pollution the new principle of quasi-probity cf. SMR pp. 650 - 691).
Moreover, with this has been the spreading of Gospel to the nations as programmed and predicted in Matthew 24, the turmoils and the natural upsets, famines and starvations. Indeed, as far as false christs and false prophets are concerned, they have been in gala proportions as if there were a contest to be the most polluted Age that ever was; and we look down the barrel of the shot-gun of natural disorder, astronomical impacts, radioactive madness, uncontrolled desire, corruption at the head of governments, like lice on a dying body. What we see is merely one more cannon ball, and a stock behind.
The time has been long, but the antecedents have been vast. Thus the historical 'laboratory session' after Christ, in the work of His servants, has gone on a while, but not without vast intelligence of the nature of the results. God is the God of information, whether in DNA by contrivances and mathematical-engineering devices (the latest, electrical means in the DNA for find and correcting broken spots*17), or in biblical inspiration and revelation. The one is to construct; the other is to instruct.
Thus the constructed is instructed; but what if it will not hear ? Then it will not be told (Hosea 5:15-6:3); but as in the case of John 15:21ff., SINCE the message has been presented, then the excuse of ignorance is out, and there is no more excuse. That is the impact from the very lips of Christ.
God in love makes marvellous exceptions and in mercy is ever so tender; but if tenderness and ransoming cost are diluted, distorted, dismissed, despised, made derelict in a woeful and wilful mind (Hebrews 6:4ff., 10:26ff.), so that they have "trampled the Son of God underfoot," and His blood is counted "a common thing," defilement occupying the heart, there there remains no more sacrifice for sin. Nor is there any way that the truth will bend.
There It is only mercy which can attend, seeing through the mist to the substance, if by any means any may be snatched in time from the fires of guilt and ungoverned dissidence from truth. It is then that John 3:19 applies, and remember this comes straight after John 3:16-17, the way to avoid judgment through the personal action of God:
"And this is the condemnation that light has come into the world,
and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil."
Yet let someone's deeds be dark as night, there is still hope, help still attends; for it is ONLY when the deeds lead to denial of mercy, resistance and reckless rejection of the mode of MERCY, the way of faith without works (Titus 2-3), that the excuse fades away. Then there is excuse no more, but only the brooding wrath of God (as in John 3:36). That is part of the glorious message of Isaiah 5, and 55:
"But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
Here you see that the 'we' who are HEALED, that
is believe in Him, are the "us" whose sins He actually bears away (cf. Micah
7:19ff.)! There are no others. Those healed by His stripes, vicariously covered
by what He had to endure in their stead, it is these and these alone whose sins
are borne. If He has healed you, solaced your soul, covered you by what He
endured on behalf of your peace, if He was in particular bruised for your
iniquities, so that ou become part of the 'we', than this you remains, and then
of you it is to be said, "the Lord has laid on Him the
iniquity of us all." It is not then universal, but universal for one
sector, segment, part, partition, set of people, those whom He has in heart and
life and soul and spirit, HEALED. Outside the circle of operative faith, there
is grace to save. inside, there is no fear of any loss! (John 14:6).
Again, in Isaiah 55 you have this, to complement that message:
"Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
"Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
"Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.
Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
A leader and commander for the people.
Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the Lord your God,
And the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.
"Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon."
The abundance of the spiritual waters that wash, refresh and convey the truth inwardly, are as in John 4:14 and 7:37, and they are free entirely (Romans 5:15), even open to all who drink (cf. John 6:50ff.), that is, receive His substitionary sacrifice on their behalf, as in their own place, and take it so to heart, believing in the Lord's Christ, who came from eternity in heaven, went to sublime sacrifice in substitutionary horror on the cross, and rose in entirety, body preserved, from death, who has sent His Spirit and available by faith, with those who are His, leading those who serve Him.
What then, our inheritance from the God of all information is wonderful, awesomely complete in kind and character, and so it endures till we meet Him face to face (as in Revelation 21-22 and I Corinthians 13), so that while now, spiritually we bask in the beauty of it all, then we live in its visible reality. There is no spiritual inheritance which can take this away, because it is too costly to acquire (I Peter 1:3ff.); for it is free, the cost being paid by Jesus Christ, in the love of God, and available to all who call, in faith, in His grace, since He knows, the Lord knows His own (II Timothy 2:19, John 10:27ff.). If you call on Him as He is, without the transmutations of idolatry and in faith, then you so identify. HIS sheep hear His voice, and if you do, you are one of His! (John 10:3,16). Then you will never either perish or be snatched away! (John 10:27-28), having entered Him as the door (John 10:9).
These things being so, then as it was to be, so it has been, the information is replete, the way is discrete, the invitation is concrete, the abyss yawns; but let it sleep. It is very deep, but deeper by far is the love of God. It is very strong; but stronger by far is the power of God. It is very forceful in grasp, but more potent by far is His keeping power. Truth is the voyage of adventure incomparable, the way of life unvoidable, and those who set forth on it as redeemed, have everlasting joy on their heads (Isaiah 51:11). Come right now, so act, or having so acted, rejoice, for sighing and sorrow will flee away (cf. Isaiah 51:11, John 16:22, I Thessalonians 5:16,Philippians 4:4). Let them go in their day; and for now, do not retreat, or beat the wings in emotional disoarder or distress: trust in Him completely, for all things are possible for him who believes (Mark 9:23).
A LONG TIME TO WAIT, A LONG WAY TO GO:
BUT IT HAS ALL BEEN TIMED
Time to wait ? Now, it is nearly over (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5). Therefore let the Christian rejoice in this also, that His coming is NEAR :that is the biblical word for this case, with Jerusalem back in Israel's hands - as in Luke 21:24ff. which shows the restoration of Israel as a certain key to His return being "near". Let us remember this, and DO the rejoicing, notice the hostility of the world both to Christians increasingly (unless they 'submit' to a false, unbiblical christ), and to Israel, for it, that intolerable emblem of divine function and forecast in their very midst)
Let the unsaved awake, for they have a spiritual cancer which though the movement seem slow, has the capacity, unlike other cancer, to declare itself suddenly at the judgment. What have I done ? one asks. Have you known God, have you found your Creator in the days of your youth, or rather awaited what you guess or hope, against truth, logic, evidence, verification, validation, confirmation ? *18
What then is this, but driving at 60 miles per hour on an unknown track and expecting to live! How can you then live if death is your course!
'I have no pleasure in them':
"While the sun and the light,
the moon and the stars
Are not darkened;
"And the clouds do not return after the rain;
In the day when the keepers of the house tremble,
And the strong men bow down;
When the grinders cease because they are few,
And those that look through the windows grow dim;
"When the doors are shut in the streets,
And the sound of grinding is low;
"When one rises up at the sound of a bird,
And all the daughters of music are brought low;
Also they are afraid of height,
And of terrors in the way;
"When the almond tree blossoms,
The grasshopper is a burden,
And desire fails.
"For man goes to his eternal home,
And the mourners go about the streets.
"Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed,
Or the golden bowl is broken,
Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,
Or the wheel broken at the well.
"Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
And the spirit will return to God who gave it."
When it comes to the Lord's approach, not to what He details for understanding, but what He considers for perspective in waiting time, then a thousand years are as a day. That is what Peter tells us in II Peter 3:9. In that sort of setting, we have so far waited some two days, and Peter IN THAT VERY CONTEXT told us to consider this time line, this brand of time. That was the patience required. Thus it has as a matter of fact been some 2000 years since Abraham received His covenant from the Lord, which flowered in Moses into the entire Old Covenant, through Jew to you (or if you are a Jew, through Jew to Jew). Now it is about this length of time for the New Covenant.
One was for preliminary, structural setting, some time after the flood in the new era of rescue; and the other is from the culmination to the consummation, from Christ in His sufferings to Christ in His glory, as He Himself distinguished the two elements concerning Himself (Luke 24:25-26). Moreover, Peter told them of this need of patience, in this setting, in the context of the Lord's longsuffering and compassion, that He is not willing that any should perish, and HENCE waits His time. That is what that verse presents. Indeed, it is just as it was in the wait for the arrival of Christ, in the fulness of time (as Galatians 4:4 calls it), this being at the exact point in the listed 70 times 7 years specified to enable His death at the end of 69 of them (cf. Christ the Citadel Ch. 2), in that simple and clever mode of presenting it. They had their wait, and with WHAT preliminaries; and we have ours, a greater wait for a greater glory (in that the complete is greater than the partial), at least in its fulfilment.
It all has meaning, as that arithmetically precise prediction concerning the date of Christ's death indicates; and many and deep are the counsels of the Almighty. Indeed, from this alone, we know that the various antichrists are far too late to be in the running as messiahs, since HIS DATE was in the vicinity of A.D. 30, beyond all question, from Daniel 9.
As to that, His coming as Messiah for salvation, It is rather past that now! but it is not past the time of opportunity to find what is better than any time, namely ETERNAL LIFE (John 3:16). That sun does not set, nor does its dawn fail. In fact He has already come and done what no other did or could or would!
Time however now passes, and will soon be past as the time of clear and direct opportunity, in response to His importunity (cf. Matthew 22:1ff.). Indolence in the face of the call reminds one of Lot's wife, looking back. Rejection reminds of Judas, looking askance.
in my own time, with involvement in
World War I in that my earthly father fought in it,
in World War II in that it fumed
about my school days;
in the Korean War in that it
shattered the peace;
in the Cold War in that it heated
the environment and allowed man's adventurous instincts
in one and in all,
there has been a twisting and a turning enough to disjoin very limbs.
Now man is becoming sensitive to himself, by a means called 'culture'. which now, as a thing, is all but worshipped. But what IS culture ? It is just what you do, as a people, or have as a person, in terms of knowing this and that and preferring the other. It is just a form of self-worship on the part of man to bow to culture. He bows to himself as centre, cynosure and meaning. It is to God, however, the Maker, and not to one's pathological fantasies expressed in pollutions like those of Ezekiel 16, that one turns; and it is His name alone which is to be hallowed. Alternatives are idolatry, and their formulation is blasphemy.
Man himself, his culture his goal, god, guide, centre or even cynosure for worship ?
But it is not so in reality. This is fantasy, the fruit of philosophical phantasmagoria, of psychic euphoria, of unrealism stretched so tight and fine, that it is in the realm of the invisible, the incoherent.
I say, one has experienced all these wars as spectacles, as declivities of one sort of another. Thus in the Cold War, the passionate delight in being delivered from Hitler in order that 'that bad man' as Churchill regarded him, might be destroyed, leading to other bad men like Stalin being featured and befriended, people of mass murder to their name, and deliberate starvation featured in their curriculum vitae, becoming allies: this was succeeded by a plant of evil fruit.
In even one respect, it lasted for over 45 years, subjugating many peoples, this Cold War.
What then ? The powers of mass murderers in the USSR, were aided in a woeful and brazen folly, to break a mass murderer in Germany. Integrity was sacrificed along with millions in World War II, as glories sought for supremacy, or pride menaced. It is as in ancient Israel when they sought aid from Egypt, instead of from the Lord; but Isaiah 31:1-3 had a divinely given comment on this brilliant idea! What does the prophet say of these, let us enquire, that we may apply it with good reference to our own time and alliances, whether with the USSR not so long ago, in its Communist phase, or with China to an increasing degree in goods now, though it has the same type of record, or a similar one based on the same species of motif ?
It is this:
"Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots,
because they are many;
and in horsemen, because they are very strong;
but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD! 2
"Yet He also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back His words:
but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of those who work iniquity.
"Now the Egyptians are men, and not God;
and their horses flesh, and not spirit.
"When the LORD stretches out his hand,
both he who helps shall fall,
and he who is helped shall fall down,
and they all shall fail together. 4
"For thus has the LORD spoken to me,
Just as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey,
when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him,
will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for their noise:
so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion,
and for its hill.
"As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem;
defending also He will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it."
The first part of this speaks against amoral alliances, spiritually blind sorties, for speaking of the powerful land of Egypt as it then was (abased since, as foretold - Ezekiel 29:13-16, and many have been its conquerors), as a basis for help. God reminds the people that the Egyptians are "men and not God," and as to their cavalry, "their horses are flesh, and not spirit." Fancy relying on fallen and godless sinners, by biblical definition (cf. Deuteronomy 32:38ff.), when the faultless and unfailing God is available!
To play such games with life is irresponsible.
At the end of this passage in Isaiah, however, notice the Lord's gracious intention to deliver His people (Isaiah 31:4-5), which He did, in the first instance, in the famed devastation of the Egyptian army: a work done by God and not by man and again at Carchemish. Alas, in World War II, our culture, our civilisation was no wiser than was ancient Israel in this, following the lead of its own 'Egypt', that is in this case, the USSR.
That is just as now there is what would appear to be some bowing and scraping before the nuclearly nicely situated China. But this is unnecessary, as is the current Government's desire to integrate this land of Australia more and more with its Northern neighbours, as if in a very ecstasy of culture dilution, so long as that culture to be diluted is what it has been, which is to no small extent, in basic principles at the very first, was Christian.
No so now, and the decline is like that of water poured out of a jug: not only is the level falling fast, but the jug is limited, and this abasement of what made this land so desirable to so many that they pour in legally and illegally - so raising house prices for the poor, in the multitudinous nature of it, under current pressure - becomes a mere unconscious masochism. Indeed, it is near the ultimate in ingratitude. It is not that immigration is per se wrong; it is that the principles of the country are being eroded, what had made it so distinctive that it is so attractive; while the children are being burnt in the fires of false teaching, mandated, required, with palpable and demonstrable truth excluded by name!* Such is LAW in South Australia.
These things relate to our present topic, of time, history and times in that the GAP of 2000 or so years since the last scripture was given in the Bible, till now, is also a similar period since Christ came to this earth; and the parallel for our time, with that of ancient Israel is surpassingly apt, each Age ending in designate judgment. THAT special nation slid, some awaiting the coming of Christ, who came at the precisely appointed time as in Daniel 9. It was to find that He acted by what happened a generation later, if it was not found before, in the complete and utter devastation of Jerusalem, and their ensuing loss of this their land, which had seen and witnessed such deeds against the Christ. If any still did not wake, then the slumber was but the more perilous (cf. Matthew 25:1ff.).
It was then that He paid for His plan, and became our Saviour; for He is the Saviour of all men, especially of those who believe (II Timothy 4:10). Many do not avail themselves of the offer, but it is still there. We, the OTHER nations, now await His coming, not this time, in order NOT to judge the world (as in John 3:17), but now in its due time, as appointed, precisely in order to do just that. Judgment awaits.
A SHORT TIME TO COME
As Paul declared (Acts 17:31):
"He has appointed a day
on which He will judge the world in righteousness
by the Man whom He has ordained.
"He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."
It further relates to our topic of time and times, in this, that just as greater is the scope of the provocation now, in that the whole world is expressly confronted with the revelation of Jesus Christ, with the entire Bible, so is the impact of that judgment to be greater upon this world. It is no small thing (cf. Isaiah 24, 51:6, Revelation 20, II Peter 3). When all is done, the form and fashion of things is coming to pass away. Creations, unless linked to eternity through deity, have their time! It passes (I Corinthians 7:31).
Time amid these times, is moving. It leads first to the removal of the saints, while the war specifically against God waxes and is crushed (Revelation 19, II Thessalonians 1), the peoples having been given AMPLE time in MANY modes of choice, civilisation, religion and philosophy to try out their try-ons with God. In rebellion and spiritual stampeding, aplenty, they have proliferated, moving like lowing cattle, wild buffaloes or circling wolves, from time to time. This culminates, and leads to the arrival of Christ (as in Acts 1:7ff., Zechariah 14:5, Isaiah 59, Isaiah 11, Micah 4) and His rule over a quietened world (Psalm 2, Micah 4, Isaiah 11), so that it might know what it means to have the whole earth filled with the grandeur and majesty of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11, Habakkuk 2:14), while as in (Isaiah 11:4),
"He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth
and with the breath of His mouth shall slay the wicked.
"Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
and faithfulness the belt of His waist."
Thus, while AT LAST this earth finds its paragon, its ordained Ruler (cf. Haggai 2:7), One who is neither deceitful nor braggadocio in aspect, neither self-interested nor unjust, neither philandering with philosophy nor servile to evil, and thus finds judgment uncomplicated, there comes a final revolt (Revelation 20:7-10 cf. 12:7ff.), as if to SHOW that whatever you do for the wicked, give a fine environment, kindness, help, it will not change the heart so set (as in Isaiah 26:10). All these lessons are fit for eternity, where all having been demonstrated (Ephesians 3:10, Ezekiel 39:23,27-28), there is peace for the believers in the Just One, Jesus Christ (Acts 3:14-15). This morbid revolt being extinguished (Revelation 19-20), judgment ensues, and the world, this present universe has no more place to be found for it (Revelation 20:11). It is over. So it goes as in Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 51:6, II Peter 3.
It is good always to be with the Creator. Acutely magnificent as this heavens and earth undoubtedly are (cf. Psalm 19), yet a new heavens and a new earth is to come (II Peter 3, Isaiah 65, Revelation 21:1.
Like school when holidays come, like war when peace comes: IT IS OVER!
The TIMES of Daniel, 70 in number, are then at last fulfilled (cf. Highway of Holiness Ch. 4, Christ the Citadel Ch. 2); and that 'fulness of times' of which Paul speaks in Galatians 4:4 in terms of the coming of Christ being long past, therefore, the next step comes: TIME IS UP! The vast tract is complete; the time line is filled up; the times are over and the time of the Lord has come into its fulfilment, the kingdom of heaven is in force, without force, but in the sense that it runs like the waters of the river, in peace. It comes to that fruition, fulfilment and consummation in spirit and essence, expressed in Revelation 11:15: "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
This reminds us of the word of Isaiah 48:16-19!
"Come near to Me, hear this:
"I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I:
and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, has sent me.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
'I am the LORD your God who teaches you to profit,
who leads you by the way that you should go.
'O that you had heeded my commandments!
then your peace would have been as a river,
and your righteousness as the waves of the sea:
Your seed also would have been as the sand,
and the offspring of your bowels like its gravel:
his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.' "
There the Trinity speaks with longing, with no languid or postulatory distance, but with heart and desire, of the lost opportunity as did Christ in Person, as seen in Matthew 23:37ff., Luke 19:42ff.. This is God speaking, in these verses, through the lips of that same Jesus Christ. He does not direct to the breach of the image of God in man, but works through it, and when it is found, redeemed, ah what a finding is that (cf. Luke 15:7).
You will never have His like again among men as in the very form of man, for there is NO ONE like Him, the living God, and what He did, He did ONCE for all (Hebrews 9:12-10:14).
You WILL however, this time without any permission from man, such as a rescinding motion re murder, have the SAME JESUS again. Nor will you again have Him in the former situation, where He DID NOT come to judge the world (as in John 3:17). This time it is precisely His work to DO the judgment. The converse applies.
Blessed are those who awaken as from a sleep (cf. Matthew 25:1ff., II Corinthians 6), and realise the mockery of God is certainly a commonplace in culture, but neither is this action wisdom nor the pronouncement of truth. Maybe there will be some ruling that culture MUST be preserved very shortly, or something to that effect there assuredly will be (Revelation 13). Indeed, in the insistence on anti-verificatory religion in science, current in many places in the organic evolutionary cult*, there is already an instance of such a veneration of idle, idol culture. This, however, is muddled thinking, unenlightened darkness, fury against reality. And that ? it is skating not on thin ice, but on air.
In reality, the Lord IS good, as you find when you know Him. Rebellion is surreal, a fantasy. It appeals broadly; and the way, that way, IS broad; but it leads to destruction.
It is possible to be possessed. Dostoevsky wrote a book, The Possessed, which shows not a little of the phenomenon in one of its guises. If one is possessed by God, then this is well, since it is in that case, benevolent, beneficial and a work of benefaction, apt for one in His image, restrained in its beauty and entire in its understanding. To possess however, this is another option, it might appear.
What might one possess ? Sometimes, what is possessed is possessive, either through a psychic kink, so that one might rely on it, or through a behavioural oddity, so that it has a measure of control. This is being possessed by one's possessions. On the other side, if instead of being self-possessed, one were to possess as in the Lord and for Him, what is apt for living with His vitality and exuberant loveliness, then that is well. It is conducive to His glory, making one more available for His commissions.
Time ? It is good to possess a good comprehension of it. It is a rule of temporality, imposed by God, in a special system which He has made our own. It demands patience, exacts penalty very often for infraction, despises fractiousness, loves development, deplores magic, insists on due diligence, is not penurious, gives ample scope, yet is not delighted in the dilatory. In other words, here is a created theme and force which it is well to realise. It has a mode of imparting character as one of the dynamic forces and formats used by God.
Time is for birth, life and death except the Lord return before one goes (as one fervently hopes will be the case, personally, DV), so that He might be served the more; and it is for teaching lessons, inducing patience, deploring lust, exhibiting reality. God has set it in small items called days, from the first, using the vocabulary in one integral setting from the first to the normal light of pristine day, right from Genesis. He has continued time in larger items called centuries, in times of this dispensation, through Adam, through Noah, delivering some from the destruction which consolidated, incessant wickedness calls for. He is sure in the end, to bring all of this into line: for time has had its say, and He will have His about the day, the days and the times man has employed. Thus when it came to the predicted coming of the Saviour, God used a time schedule as a sort of stop-watch to indicate precisely when Christ would die (this being the operative ingredient for salvation), in Daniel 9, Now time pends, impends, while man contends; but it comes for all that, precisely when the divine stop-watch, so to speak, meets its target (cf. Isaiah 14:27).
The Lord has mocked at it as something to be feared, in the details of Daniel 11, showing in advance tiny specks of events, because of their contribution to the whole atmosphere and story unwinding. Time is occasion for fear ONLY when its Maker is given no time, and is left, abandoned, by those whose souls abandon them.
Time to be young, to be in the midst, to be old, to be aged, to be wise, to be reduced, to be abounding: it is all there, but it MUST be received as from the Lord's hand, and not from circumstance (Psalm 107). THAT is for the wicked as Psalm 1 so eloquently establishes. The way of the righteous, those appointed by the Lord who receive HIS righteousness as a gift (like receiving clothing - cf. Isaiah 61:10, Matthew 22:1-14, arrayed on the bride by the bridegroom), this is known to Him. It is neither given a free hand or a high mind: God is in charge of it, whether in the time of the imprisonment of Joseph (AFTER being betrayed by his brothers - for the Lord really USES time! what a test!), or of his elevation and rule.
It is timely to have time for God. He does not fail.
"He never fails."
Failure is something alien to the nature of God. It is great to have Him with one, all the time (Zephaniah 3:5, Habakkuk 3:6).
"The Lord is good,"
"a stronghold in the day of trouble;
It is good to be known, the ultimate identity answer, in the very presence of God (cf. Revelation 2:17, 22:4, John 10:27ff., 14:1ff., I Corinthians 13:12).
On Europe and its development over time, see Let God be God, Ch. 8.
On the Constitution and its aspects and argumentation concerning it, see for example:
Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 5, His Wounds ... Ch. 3,
Christ, the Cumulative and the Consummation Ch. 4.
See on Communism, for example:
Aviary of Idolatry, Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 5,
News 37. 44, 69, 97 (the exploiters, the fanciful,
the Communists, the self-directing do-godders and the realities), 98,
News 150 - Taiwan,
The Grating Grandeur and Aggrandisement of Man,
and the Meekness of the Majestic Messiah Ch. 2
Beauty for Ashes
Hong Kong, and the movement of nations in
the last century a concern),
Tender Times for Timely Truth
SMR pp. 925ff., 971-972;
Beauty of Holiness
(war and force, rising downwards, Tiananmen and truth),
Ch. 4 (liberty, Tiananmen, worship and its direction in time, its terms and code of truth); History, Review and Overview Ch. 1,
Impossible to Men, Open to God Ch. 5
See also Lord of Life Ch. 8.
See for example:
The gods of naturalism have no go!
Deity and Design ... Section 8,
Secular Myth and Sacred Truth.
See also TMR Ch. 8, and *4 below.
See for example, Lights and Perfections in the Lord Chs. 8 and 9.
See also 'Freedom' in the index.
Creation Magazine, No. 2, 2010
The use of electrical impulses to check out flaws in the engineering hardware, in the precise mathematical context of the construction, amid its chronological sequence necessities, amid the layer on layer of intricate information arrangement, including information about the use of information (), merely explodes in the face of what seeks to secure a 'scientific' hypothesis for one complex of conceptually investigable criteria in magnificent and correlative array, by assuming a source with no power to explore or conceptualise such matters. It is comparable to seeking an hypothesis for the lunar landing in terms of the kinetic properties of moon dust. It has no relationship to anything but a tired mind in an apostate spasm derelict in logic, extraneous to science. It is methodological madness, in this, that ALL that is to be looked for, is devastatingly ignored, and what is by no means to be sought as a basis, an area for base, is what alone is sought.
Science this is not; and when you add the consideration that it can never be tested as to occurrence, in a laboratory, since it NEVER happens, you have the antidote for boredom, as if a commercial executive was found making decisions by tossing up coins.
See: SCIENTIFIC METHOD, SATANIC METHOD
AND THE MODEL OF SALVATION
This is as in Romans 1:17ff., where creation likewise comes from viewing the creation, as if a car came out of studying its parts, or a multi-systematic, intellectually penetrable whole came from what has less than the mind of a moron, and that too came from nowhere in particular! Its lack of interface, except in some kind of mystic poetry, is total.
Yet they call this science...It is simply a matter of taking it all for granted, matter, time, space and evidential capacities to evaluate included. The confusion between envisaging steps, and having a stair-case, and the power to make floors at each level from nothing is not science, but a concession to myth in the name of humanism, mysticism or madness.
Science is the furthest possible distance from such irrationalism (cf. SCIENTIFIC METHOD, SATANIC METHOD AND THE MODEL OF SALVATION),
its kudos for practical WORKS, being treacherously and irrelevantly transferred to its popular and almost commandeered nihilism in essence, whatever names for the consistent non-events which anti-illustrate it. It never is seen to happen... It has no basis. It is observationally inoperative and logically invalid. See *18 below.
See SMR pp. 332Gff., Evidence and Reality Chs. 3 and 5; Earth Spasm... Ch. 1,
The gods of naturalism have no go! 13, 18,
Waiting for Wonder Appendix, The Wit and Wisdom ... Ch. 2,
Alpha and Omega: Discount That and You've Got a Muddle in the Middle Ch. 2,
Wake Up World Ch. 5,
Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Chs. 4, 3 and 2 and *5 above.
See *5 above, with *6 and *18, for example, with TMR Ch. 1 and 7E. .
For example, see the Chapter noted below, with its references.
To Know, To Show, To Act:
The Glorious Quality of Divine Foreknowledge, Predestination and Love
See *6 above and *18 below. See also SMR.
See Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Chs. 4, 3 and 2 . See also *7 above.
Billions committed to space to look for intelligible communication and communicators, when we have intelligent communication so vast, so exotic, so doubly and trebly intricate, that it is a marvel of logical condensate, symbolic sophistication and effectual administration. The fact that it is finished as a construction and so can never now be seen, merely confirms that nature does not make itself, nor does anything else make itself before it is there, and whatever is there does not come from nothing, but only from adequacy (cf. Causes). Linguistic facility in our own visible construction assembly lines, making children at the physical level, is almost surpassed categorically in this, that in ourselves we possess the facility not only to watch language in operation, but to learn languages, with all their nunaces, and even because of a combination of imagination and cogitation, intelligence and discernment, to invent them.
This is like machine tools in comparison with machines, and more so, more elevated yet, since it is in the variable domain of mental construction, not merely a more advanced tool. Yet man does not listen, but rushes off into phases of space, when the massif is the human race amongst things visible, since its proven powers, demanding an adequate and eternal source of sufficient power and intelligence, need to followed up, not in space but in mind, in spirit and in responsible thought and action. That this leads directly and uniquely to the Bible is shown in SMR and other volumes. See Search.
See *13 below. That the government could insist that its scientific barbarism be made mandatory, excluding rational discussion with reasoned results, and even prohibiting the only schema, scientific presentation which meets the data in view without exception, while their own preference fails multiply, is a confusion so great, that it has a certain, potential annihilatory force on many, in ethics, closely related to reason, rationality, closely related to conduct, reliability, which is forced into submission or revolt, by these fables. It leads to deviousness, just as casuistry did. Indeed, this is a twenty first century case of casuistry par excellence; for the human spirit when wafted from its foundational basis, is susceptible to many infections.
See for example SMR pp.140ff., TMR Ch. 1.
See TMR Ch. 8, for example, and Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3.
See Israel Blows the Trumpet and Yet It Does Not Hear 1.
See for example SMR Ch. 9 and *16 below..
Red Alert Ch. 10, Part 2 and Outrageous Outages and the Courage of Christ Ch. 6
re Israel and its pushers and plunderers in its wanderings.
See also Cascade of Truth ... Ch. 4 (Jewish solution)
Galloping Events Ch. 3 (Jews, gibes and the like: broad biblical survey, including Romans 11, which may be used with survey aspects
Red Alert Ch. 10, Gracious Goodness and This World in Disorder EPILOGUE,
Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 2 (Swedish frankness on anti-Jewish European feeling, Zionism and racism, US decline), Divine Agenda 8.
See further. HIS WOUNDS Ch. 3, *8 on force.
See News 19. See also History, Review and Overview Ch. 5.
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS
Bible or Blight, Christ
The Comprehensive Resolution of Man's Intractable Problems
is Found Only in the Bible, the Word of God
See also Deity and Design ..., The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy.