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Chapter  2




 and the Coverage to that Time



I   The Scope of I Corinthians 15*T


Now we may pursue the nature of this divine call, its climacteric beauty in itself, coming nearer in history as it tends always to be near to the heart of believers, just as the vacation beckons to the student for its release into elemental beauties of nature, or the dramas of sport, the wonders of relief or the opportunities for glorious pursuits, now that the disciplined requirements of concerted growth are relaxed for a season.

This however is far more than that. It is not only a relaxation from the strenuous requirements of taking up one's cross and dying daily, it is not alone the completion of one's earthly task, which after all has been a privilege and a boon as well as a concentrate of affliction and suffering for Christ, for it is the coming to the place of seeing the face of God (I Corinthians 13:12, Revelation 22:3), and being led by the Good Shepherd not only by faith, but in eternal beatitude (Revelation 7:14-17), resting from one's earthly labours, though one's works follow as the wake of a speed boat as it draws into the wharf (Revelation 14:13-19).

"And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me,


'Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.'


"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and on the cloud one sat like the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud,

'Thrust in thy sickle, and reap:
for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.'

"And he who sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

"And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying,

'Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.'

"And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God."

To maintain realism, one cites above not only the great rest from the godly labours of the people of God, the citizens of the kingdom of heaven, Christ their visa and Christ their virtue, their Redeemer and their Life, but the other side; for if a student had to repeat a year, that would be rather horrid, except perhaps the time were as with Churchill, very well spent. Yet NOT so would it be to repeat a life of arrant departure from Christ, for this would be far worse! This is the life and now it is given. It is not some other time which is needed when one meets the Gospel of Christ: this IS the time now! Yet let us continue the communion of the bliss of the end, where the love of God having redeemed, the realisation of God face to face follows when Christ returns, triumphant now over death, triumphant also then in life.

It is on behalf of the lovers of Jesus Christ, whose lives He has taken and whose sins pardoned, whose place is at His hand and whose lives are for His kingdom that this coming to collect occurs. As Christ declares in Matthew 24, there is a taking and a leaving. First ponder Matthew 24:29:32:

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

"Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

Then in Matthew 24:36-44 you see more of the atmosphere, the abruptness and the finality of the thing:

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

"But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.

"Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

This is no triumphant coming to faith, but the fruit of it; this is no event merely in this world, but from it to the heavens. As with Enoch singly, and Elijah, as one, so now ALL the people of the Lord will be taken; for the earth is then to be a scene of such heightened tribulation as marks the climax of its fever and the mortality of its pretensions (Daniel 12:1-4, Matthew 24:21).  The general resurrection is the period for that lively sentence in the book of Life, which having cancelling all sentence of a deadly sort, brings proclamation openly of what was granted within, abstracting His people from this earth, removing from its presence on this earth, the suffering of the saints, and terminating it.

It is in Him, Saviour by grace through faith, that destiny lies (John 5:19ff.). It is then that destiny unfolds, not in the lusting hands of terrestrial power models of man, but in the gracious hands of the mercy mode of the everlasting God and King who receives His people, not because of their own accomplishments, but because of His, not because of their works, but because of His own, not for exploitation, but for the destiny of the children of God. Here at last liberty has its zenith, for pain and suffering flee away and wickedness has no visa here  (Revelation 21:27, Romans 3:25-31).



Now let us  see the wonders of this theme, the coherence of its concepts, the massif which it demonstrates and the conclusions that God has set to such beginnings as those accorded to man. To do this, we give some examination to I Corinthians 15.





I Corinthians15, esp. vv. 29-58


 The Gospel is first cited and then the historical exposure of Christ resurrected. This is the basis without which there is nothing, on account of which there can be anything, and through which all things become new, first through faith (II Corinthians 5:17ff.), then in finality comes the result of that great proclamation of Revelation 12:10-12:

"Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,

'Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.'

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."

Let us pursue this in Revelation before we proceed with the proclamation in Paul.


Then is found the marriage of the Lamb, whose 'bride' is now to be found no more suffering on earth, but received in heaven, ready for the culmination of all things (Revelation 19:5-8):

"Then a voice came from the throne, saying,

"Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!"


"And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying,


'Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.'


"And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright,
for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints. Then he said to me,


'Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ "


And how splendid are these righteousnesses of the saints, whose robes have been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:13-14), that they may be white, for theirs is imputed righteousness from Christ (Romans 4:25-5:1), imparted righteousness (II Corinthians 5:17-21), as suffusing righteousness from His presence, who leads them. Now at this marriage in heaven to which He has brought them, it is this which now clothes them like sheer whiteness, the spirits of just men made perfect (Hebrews 12:13). Now are they able to shine with His sheen (Matthew 13:43), divested of sin altogether, unalloyed, triumphant through grace in His place.


This, then, the background of the Gospel and its grace, Christ's atoning death and bodily resurrection its power and grace, Paul attests, and to its consummation we have sped in advance, before continuing with His discourse in I Corinthians 15:12-28. It is in the first 4 verses of this chapter 15, that Paul makes things so transparently clear. The thing, as Machen put it, which was put into the grave, is the one which is removed from it; and that ? His body. HE was buried, and you do not bury a spirit. HE rose, and the same 'He' does not change. The burial became the resurrection, the One involved, first clad with mortality, then brilliant in immortality; and it is this which so occupied Thomas, who insisted on the physiological testimony to which Christ invited him (John 20), that all righteousness be fulfilled!


The crowds to whom Christ's resurrection was made manifest are then noted, the order of it and the accumulation of witnesses. This takes us to verse 11. Here is the common Gospel, in its base. To the results Paul now speaks, as inspired by the God who did it and so attested His works (I Corinthians 2:9-13, 14:37). We have considered then in turn, part of this already:

1.   The BACKGROUND I Cor. 15:1-28 -


2.   FILLING UP THE RANKS I Cor. 15:29

3.   LIVING LIKE IT I Cor. 15:30-34

 I Cor. 15:35-49




1.     Paul now, in I Cor. 15:12-19, deals with those who say ‘I believe’ and being chained to culture, yet want to say there is no resurrection of the dead. If not, says Paul, he is an impostor, sin still rules, destruction awaits, the Gospel is bogus, so let us be clear. Christ has risen from the dead, what was buried (1-4) DID rise and was seen by apostle and crowd of the saints alike, even by Paul as one born out of due time, whose labours for Him have followed as day from night.


 Then comes I Cor. 15: 20-28. Man was the instrument of the entire horror of mortality, death and corruption, and man, albeit God AS man, is the instrument of the entire remission and restoration, and this ? by the resurrection of the dead in that here is the dynamic over death without which there is no real contact with God, hope or glory.


Thus the




are aligned from Adam, their leader and 'father', and the





of the chosen of Christ, those who believe in Him
and receive of His bounty through grace,
it is this same Jesus Christ the Messiah murdered, resurrected, Redeemer.


Not until death itself is destroyed is His mission done, so that to redemption already accomplished  is added the expression of the ultimates in destiny in history itself. It is then that as Mediator He presents the array of triumph to His Father (I Corinthians 15:24-28), and the trinity as One, Christ in the midst of the throne, resumes and proceeds in its glory and wonder (Revelation 5:8-13, 22:3). His voluntary humiliation (Philippians 2:1-12), equal with God to become man,  is now over, but not its fruits, and it is all presented back to the Father. The resurrection has now been realised, and the necessary conditions of life eternal fulfilled.


2.    Why otherwise, asks Paul, are people being baptised for the dead! (v. 29).


    This means that there is such a passion and a zeal for the powerful overcoming in the disciples of Christ, thrusting like an army into the darkness of this world with the light of the power of Christ, that seeing people die or become martyrs as they very often did, they fill up the vacant place in the ranks, volunteering to live for Christ so that there should be no lack.


   The point: to take their now vacant places, but the purpose, it was to impel a rising army, not be spectators of a declining group! This means passion now as then, and there is no way anyone can pretend to be Christian who merely observes and puts family, friends, job, future or past, race or clan above Christ. You are a devoted disciple or none, and even smoking flax is to burst into flame. If ANYTHING conditions your love of Christ, whose is truth and purity, honesty and integrity, then Christ has TOLD you that you are no disciple of His (Luke 14:27ff.). Fall you may, but not into fiasco (Romans 6-8)!



3.    In fact, declares Paul (15:30-34), if there were no resurrection, why would I be in acute danger of my life continually! In fact, not only the risk, but the realities of his sufferings as he suffered false accusation, betrayal, beatings, these would be nonsense if the dead do not rise.


    It is perfectly hideous and useless to seek to conform to or have the pleasures of this world if Christ is in your heart; and as for association in deep and intimate terms with what are just evil persons, without Christ, remember: Evil company corrupts your life! (I Cor. 15:33). Put your life where your faith is! “Awake to righteousness and do not sin!” he proclaims, deeming it necessary since some of the gathering even at that point, simply did not know God! (I Corinthians 15:30-34).


     This too is full of exhortation for us now, where so many in so many churches not only do not know Christ, but to their shame, they sponsor pulpits where preachers do not show forth the separation from unbelief which is required in I Corinthians 5-6, and II Corinthians 6. It is not enough to say, 'I am a Christian', for believing is not in anything, but in the Gospel as outlined by Paul above, and as exposed crucially in Romans and Galatians, with Ephesians and the rest.


    It is not a verbal phrasing which is to the point, but a personal realisation and faith in the Gospel and the word of the God who did it. What! are people to be mouth-sayers not heart disciples, believing by fiasco instead of by faith! Scarcely! and no fellowship is permitted where the word of God has provided in His own authority and from His own mouth is refused (Romans 16:17, Isaiah 8:20) or added to (Proverbs 30:6), or mixed (Mark 7:7ff.). If you are above it, you are above God, and this is not the position of disciple but ruler! and misrule.


4.    In I Cor. 15: 35-49, Paul deals further with the nature of the resurrection,
and the two Heads, one God, the other sin and its exponents.


What sort of body is to be mine ? one asks, at the resurrection. Is this not shown even in nature ? Paul exclaims. Seeds lose one format to gain another, dying into a life which they never knew before their germination. Bodies, stars and grain, all differ, and there is a glory or wonder attached to each according to its kind. As to OUR KIND, it is sown a ‘natural body’, the word here not meaning ‘physical’ but ‘carnal, fleshly or sin-stricken’, the sort fallen man possesses, liable to rotting, failing and fever of mind or heart, as well as being vulnerable in texture and working. It is however transformed when it ‘germinates’, that is, when it is resurrected, raised a ‘spiritual body’, a clothing put on (II Cor. 5:1-4) to replace the fallen and temporary vehicle of flesh with the eternal cover that never fails.


Here Paul proceeds to contrast


Adam, the fleshly, the earthy with the

Christ, the spiritual, ‘the Lord from heaven’.


Adam is the first man and Christ the last;

Adam the type of the fall, Christ of the resurrection.


That is where it ends, this flurry into sin where the receivers of redemption ar concerned; for now they come to the eternal beginning that is immortal, and become possessors of divinely donated immortality, explicit before the face of the eternal God.


Just as dust is the first clothing (chemicals in it are the stuff for our bodies);

so Christ is the criterion for the last clothing for us.


As HE is so we are to be in body (I John 3).


If we are first dust-covered, we are at last Christ-covered, and there lies our immortality as believers, participants in His resurrection. Through Him, we are entrants where flesh could not come (I Corinthians 15:49).


5. In fact, I Cor. 15:50-57 declares the ‘mystery’ or secret thing now revealed, that resurrection comes in two phases. When Christ returns amid the end of the Age scenario, the trumpet resounds, and the Christians already departed from our ranks arise first, to be followed by those still living when He comes (cf. I Thessalonians 4) – and that time is soon, its criteria being met as if a train were covering the last stations on the line (Matthew 24, Luke 21). 


   Thus the Jews are back, the nations are in turmoil, rage and murder mount internationally, fear and immorality flourish as if they were bread and butter, many churches formerly sound and strong, grind to dust, international horrors come like Autumn leaves dipped in tar and putridity: not clad in beauty, they now fall foul. (Cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).


Let us review a little.


To what then has Paul come ? It is this. This corruptible flesh must put on, like new clothes, incorruption, a garment, cover or body which is not even related to death and pain; and so to this mortal body, ready to die, is granted immortality, so fulfilling the scripture,


“Death is swallowed up in victory!” (I Corinthians 15:54, from Isaiah 25:8). 


The old body was carnal or dust-type, type A, and fell. Such is the Greek term, for it points out not the fact that it was 'physical',  but that it was carnal. This is the emphasis and the meaning. It was allied to divorce from God after it fell (Ephesians 4:18), alienation from the life of God, from which believers were rescued. Now is the time for the radiance of reality to be implemented in individuality and performed in the likeness of Christ's own resurrected body.


There is a word for physical, fusikos, and there is a word for carnal, yucikos,  and it is the latter which is used with respect to the first body which arrived for mankind at the creation. The first man, mangled that situation.


By contrast Paul has already shown his point in 15:43-44: it is not a carnal but a spiritual body (pneumatikos) which is now dowered and empowered. The 'last man', the culmination and glory which the prototype failed to find, is He who grants it, having first broken death to provide the way to it, first in Himself, and from Himself, as God the Son, for those who are His. Such is the nature of the resurrection body.


Thus we are not talking about the physical becoming non-physical but about the carnal, the creation from dust, vulnerable, yielding to the bodily accoutrements, which the spiritual realm possesses and gives. The topic and indeed, here the theme is that body eternal in the heavens to which Paul refers in II Corinthians 5, when he states he does not simply want to be divested of body, as if naked, but clothed over with his new body, which awaits him by divine fiat, just as the first one arrived in the same way.


Now as the apostle elucidates the 'mystery' (I Cor. 15:50,58), the profound wonder in and from God, he applies the word of Hosea 13:14, where God Himself undertook to be the destruction of death by personally ransoming His children who believe.

"I will ransom them from the power of the grave;

I will redeem them from death.

O Death, I will be your plagues!

O Grave, I will be your destruction!

                                     Pity is hidden from My eyes."


Thus has He removed for His own that shocking sting otherwise awaiting man at his earthly terminus, Himself the divine exit from the condemnation of hell, the dire and duly deserved prospect. By the resurrection of His condemned body He has acted, replacing ours and granting life beyond death, triumphant over it.


So was it to be from the word of the prophets, and so as always God has brought it to pass, now in the perfect life and power of Christ. And this, it is not for indulgence but duty in love. Sin it was which has betrayed us, and the law of God shows up just what sin is; but here is the deliverance, wrought by Christ, patterned in Him and provided for believing man, in very body, just as we in spirit are now thrust in His truth in life.



6.   The last verse of I Corinthians 15:58 like those preceding, features realism not notional superficiality.


Corrupted lives, where sin has bitten and patterned itself, thus become agents of steadfast,  immovable service in Christ, suffering, fearless, featuring and focussing their divine Master, knowing that their labours, however little valued by man, are of great value with God. Now are they directed to securing for those to be found among men, deliverance from the corruption and mortality which is man’s sin-ridden lot. Such is not in vain, but the very life of Christ at work.



Is THIS your passion, or self-indulgence,

life-immersion in the earthy, the soul's own choice
for its own fulfilment, glory or will ?


Is it tittivation or activation, virtue or a world of flesh, vanities and moralities that please yourself, as if you were god and God your vassal ?



Awake, says Paul, to righteousness!


Tepidity is horrific to God as you see in Revelation 3, a thing to be spat out. Let truth be your passion, love your dynamic and grace your garment, integrity a delight, not in poetical dream but practical action! Such is the charge to us all from this letter to Corinth, and wise the one who heeds. God did not make us to be deluded by folly, but to be delivered in grace by dynamic, its costs borne by Himself, its gifts borne to us who receive Him.







The time is ripe to consider therefore, since many decline as foretold, from the faith (II Peter 2, Jude, II Timothy 3, II Thessalonians 2), a matter of terminology, so that what has long been a clear index to the faith, might not be confused, or people misled by it.


What is an EVANGELICAL ? Like many terms (Communism tried to use the term 'democratic' of itself, in a way which deceived few as the modern variety of the Inquisition, a secular one this time, bared its fatal fangs), this one is desired by many. Its root however simply refers to the Gospel, and since this is not available to be manufactured by anyone for any purpose, but is a specific to the Bible, it is best not to confuse issues by abusing terminology, but to keep it clear.









of SCRIPTURE, the word of God inspired in all truth,


of CHRIST JESUS, the eternal word of God, incarnate,


o      in the love, mercy, truth and grace of God;




  through the CROSS OF CHRIST made available
in gracious and grand scope for all,
and effectual  in application for all believers
(Romans 8:32, Isaiah 53:4-6, I John 2:1-2, I Timothy 2:6),


   authenticated by the BODILY RESURRECTION, and   
   received through grace and faith alone; and


¨  The GIFT to them of EVERLASTING LIFE.




We also declare:








PAUL in I Corinthians 15 is seeking to re-orient those whose cultural background made their realisation of the resurrection timid and pallid to the point of virtual non-existence. His word is needed today as people who wish to receive Christ and follow Him, are hunted down by the packs of hunting dogs, called neology, or in many cases, modern theology, being rather exports from philosophy, wolves in sheep's clothing, that particular detestation of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:15ff. and see SECTS; Impossible to Man, Open to God   Ch. 3 - overview,  and ERRORS for broader coverage). 


PAUL again in Acts 20, as he proceeds to what was his well-realised coming imprisonment (Acts 20:11-14), tells the elders from Ephesus of the coming decline and effort to snatch souls from the Shepherd (Acts 20:26-31).



"Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock,
among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers,
to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

"For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you,
not sparing the flock.

"Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things,
to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears."


Peter deals of the final days of our era, in II Peter 2, part of which is shown below:


"But there were also false prophets among the people,
even as there will be false teachers among you,
who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

"And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

"For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;

and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;

and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8(for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds) -

"then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

"and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

"But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption,
and will receive the wages of unrighteousness ...

"For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness ..."

Such deceive and do not believe, use their words but do not stand for the purity and reality of the God-given Gospel in all its simplicity and its profundity , and to stand with them, have fellowship with them or to be in the same Church with them is a lack of discipline with tremendous loss the portent. It is better to do as one is told in Romans 16:17 (see Separation).


The Gospel however is what Paul HAD ALREADY preached at the time of writing Galatians (Galatians 1:6-9), and the addition to the THINGS which John depicts in Revelation is certainly possible, but only on condition of the wrath of God (Revelation 22:18-10); for what is at all imagined ? Is it that since Christ had to DIE to deliver, that it does not matter if we TRY to alter what is given, to act as if God found it too hard to put down the realities which cost the death of His only begotten Son, so that He really needs help in revealing the thrust of His will, the nature of His deeds or the scope of His offer! Man provides this from the grandeur of the wisdom which he creates, and the understanding which he lacks!


If this is not spiritual lunacy, the term would need a new name; nor is it limited to our own Age, but as Israel came near to its drastic destruction, so was it the same, as in Hosea 9:7, where God castigates and exposes those who fail to heed, but yet propound as if they were prophets, what He has not given them to say.


Micah puts it like this (Chapter 3), that as they profitably chew with full mouths, they yet have them empty of what He has said, for HE DOES NOT PUT INTO THEIR MOUTHS, while they faithlessly proclaim their own hearts. The castigation of Ezekiel 34 applies; but God is one, and His Gospel is one, and His salvation is one, and His truth is one, and it is His, which Christ displayed in Person, and His written word provides in proposition. To invent for God is to change God, and since He does not change, it is aptly called 'the lie' (II Thess. 2); and to worship such a god is simply idolatry.


There can be no compromise, any more than compromise is possible with those proclaiming 2+2 = 3.99, or for that matter, -1; for it is not a question of the constructions of imagination, but the nature of history in which God has placed man, and as Man from above, has placed free salvation. The ways of the false and the true are contradictory, in spirit as in substance.



Christ spoke  what His Father commanded (John 12:48-50),
to be condemned by those who hate God (John 8), He, "a man who told you the truth" (8:40);


Yet many in simple fraud speak as circumstance commends itself,
to be commended just as they commend themselves, their own arbiters,
preaching their own ideas in His name  (cf. II Corinthians 10:14-18, 11:1-15).



So far from joining their variable ways,


Christ lacerated their pretences and pretensions (Matthew 23),


at whatever cost.



SO far from allowing them in His midst for fellowship in the kingdom of heaven,
Christ declared that unless you were more righteous than those eminent religious figures,
for whom their own traditions and cultural accretions (et al.!) were fixtures,
then you WOULD BY NO MEANS ENTER THAT KINGDOM (Matthew 5:17-20, Mark 7:7ff.)). 

It is not a question here of how high you are; it is one of total exclusion at the entry point!



Christ came to divide by truth, not to harmonise by moral decrepitude


or by double-meaning phrases (Matthew 10:34-29).


It is a profoundly sad thing, that people can give to themselves, and others pay them to give, what is mere commotion and plagiarism. It is not SOME OTHER JESUS, SOME OTHER GOSPEL or SOME OTHER SPIRIT, says Paul in II Corinthians 11, which is to the point, but the actual one. Satan, he cries, can transform himself into an angel of light. Indeed, the initial popularity of Hitler (with some) and of Mussolini (with many), gives political illustration well enough. If you do not, however, take the Lord at the beginning, but use and abuse His name for your own, or your own ecclesiastical culture's desire, then how do you expect to have Him at the end who has warned of wolves in sheep's clothing!


What is it like ? It is like buying a new car, and then carefully failing to put in oil, and wondering what is the matter. This in fact, to the author's understanding, is precisely what happened to one man, who did not seem to consider the needs, or was unwilling to meet them, for his car. It is not the resemblance of the thing to which one must come, but to that very thing, and when it is God who is in view, to change or ignore what He has said, is to fool with mere imagination. Repentance is not to doing it your way, but His, not to your ideas, but His vision, not to your inclination or advance according to your own featuring, but to His; and it is not to self-esteem, but to worship of Him, as He is, and not as you substitute, making gods of the heart, to fulfil your own desires, be they 'moral' or intellectual or political or cultural.


Truth will still triumph over such, but they are not in it. That day of His coming will still shine in its brilliance, but light hurts darkness, and it flees away; nor is its end glorious, but abysmal, as befits trifling with the truth, gutting the Gospel or polluting purity given in mercy, wrought in holiness, achieved through agonies and demonstrated for all time and to all people as a gift.


In the Gospel of God's grace, it is indeed part of its message that at the end of the Age, there will be a vast turmoil of dissipation in many things called 'churches'. In particular, we see this in II Thessalonians 2, for here the climax of horror comes on the scene. Just as the concentration camps came on scene, so vast defaults in any kind of accountability harass many into a new servitude, often in the name of a promised liberty, mere words in vapidity, messengers of rapid decline. Indeed,  this is happening at a rate which resembles that of the impact of Aids in Africa, and not there alone. That too is part of the tribulations and plagues foretold for the end of the Age.


Yet the spirit and reality of the Gospel and the government by grace, of the way of the cross, when HIS redemption on the cross becomes a payment, while your taking up your own cross becomes a life of service and discipline in His presence by His Spirit according to His word: this does not change. His kingdom of heaven does not have trifles for visas or pretence for passports.


With God, there is no deception, for He is the One before whom all things are open and manifest (Hebrews 4).


In the Gospel, there is an outcome for man,

not some figmentary race,

some dream body


always developing

but never showing it,


always ahead

but lagging behind in grotesque turmoil,


always delinquent from the divine,

wanting to be what it is not

refusing to be what it is

and thence to be healed;


always decrying its sickness

seeking to blame some segment

- the defectives for Hitler,

- the rich with Stalin,

- the Jew with Fascism,

- the enemy of the State, with China,

- some political partisan in the spectrum with politics -

but refusing to see the sin of all

or the salvation for any.


Yet this has come already,

one Christ for any man, woman or child

and it will consummate history

when delusion sees the truth with its eyes -

as did the generation in the day of Christ in Jerusalem,
whose walls were taken down, stone from stone as He said (Matthew 24).


Our generation as rarely before

sees truth on all sides

drawing in its net

as predictions romp home after millenia of waiting.


Just as they did when Christ first came,

so they do now,

braying and straying;

and it will be completed by the King

whose crown of thorns, jammed on by Gentile or Jewish soldiers (Mark 14:65, 15:16ff.),

whose buffeting and saliva coating was wrought by Jews,

but whose resurrection was wrought by the divine power which first sent Him,

then deployed dynamic as He worked (Luke 11:20),

till He attested love in His willingness to pay (Matthew 26:52ff.)

in conditions of contempt, the cost from which none is exempt.

His resurrection*1 did nothing

to prevent the full realisation of what man is,

for His death bore it; but it did show the consummation of power for man.


Alas for the world and its keepers and lovers,

for what they did, is what is their own desert,

and what they mocked, is their own due butt,

and what was displayed,

 as He was set  to bear sin,

and proceeded in the long anguish of bearing it,

is the payment sin requires,

so that their own actions become the type of their own destiny

who but manhandle their own mercy,

whether now or then,

in despising Christ .


And how is He not despised,

whose life is mocked into nothingness,

whose claims are ignored into oblivion,

whose word is despatched with haste,

and whose salvation is esteemed a trifle!


So it was to be, and so it is

as the train of truth comes to its final resting place,

where with it may rest those who have loved the truth,

and not forged lies as their own Gospel,

or follies as their path:

whether moral follies care of their own creation,]

self-made auditors

who believe in themselves

or their culture

or their  own creations,

or immoral follies care of their lust.


God has not changed His mind, since time is a mere creation and history has chains

which dominate its finalities and determine its limits (cf. Acts 17:26ff.),

and the word of God has foretold its way,

shown its type and provided for release from its duress.


T-DAY, Truth Day, Triumph Day, releases,

this time in magnificent creation afresh,

not something novel,

but man remade, live restored in power, removed in purity,

taken in comradeship to the home of that haven who made it,

God Himself, the resurrection the culmination of the cross,

and the end the fulfilment of such a beginning,


with no less power, but even more consummation,

as that distant vision, itself glorious, becomes the present intimacy

and the blessed of the Lord, behold the face of God,

of Him who has redeemed them.  




Over  more than three millenia such has been the progress of His word, never changing its declaration, never altering its claim, but reaching that culmination in the Gospel, so long foretold (cf. TMR Ch. 3, Barbs ... 17), so utterly fulfilled in every detail (cf. Joyful Jottings 22-25, SMR Chs. 8-9), so that this, the word of God rules even where the unruly put their stamp, and His mercy continues even where harsh pollutants defile what were once churches, but now become elements of verbal ruin.


It was to be; and so it is. The mercy of God, unchanged, remains available, and He misses none who are His, for He has foreknown them, and seeking for all, He retains those in whom His love has place (Colossians 1:19ff.), even weeping for those who recalcitrant, will not relent on their wilful blindness, their fitful ways or their self-declared righteousness, deliverance and works (Romans 10, Luke 19:42ff., Ezekiel 33:11). 


You will get no change out of God: it is cash payment, His in total, His ransom (Matthew 20:28, Galatians 3), or it is a case of insufficient funds, your case if you reject Him.


How great is His grace such that IF ANYONE COME TO HIM, that one will not be cast out (John 6:37)! His word is clear on His attitude and approach (Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2), and none can come and be denied!


It is this which makes not least, the glory of the Gospel, that it is not stratified for privilege, but filled with an exuberance of love, nor yet is it under the patronage of man, for if any come, it is by the grace of that God for whom repentance is a start, grace a gift,  ransom His payment and resurrection with all His other miracles, before and since, His signature.






See ...


Great Expectations Ch.     7;


Barbs, Arrows and Balms Appendix 3
Biblical Blessings
Ch. 15, Extended Endnote 2,

Acme, Alpha and Omega ... Ch.  11, HEART  3    
The Magnificence of the Messiah, Endnote 1


Dastardly Dynamics Ch.  11,

SMR Ch. 6 and  Index,

The Kingdom of Heaven Ch.  9, Section 14,

Joyful Jottings   25,

A Spiritual Potpourri   15, 16,


Stepping Out for Christ Ch.  5,

Things Old and New 2, Excursion 2A;

LIGHT Ch.   3;

Dizzy Dashes, Heady Clashes and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch.   2;

and New Zealand Ch.    6

Spiritual Refreshings Chs.  5, 6,


Ancient Wisdom, Modern Deeds Ch.    8 (on resurrection and Lazarus, yes and both with Jerusalem); contrasting Greek bodily terms)

Let God be God Ch.  -  2


*T I Corinthians 15 text may be useful here to some. It follows, with verse numbers inserted, and paragraphs. While the AV English here is old, the version is good and clear as you ponder it.

Chapter 15

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.


 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.


12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.


20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.


24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.


29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? 30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. 33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.


35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:


43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.


51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.