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IS THIS THE PATH DIVINE, FOULER THAN THE RHINE ?
Has not the Rhine a wonderful history, is not its cheap transport facility a major reason why in its 1390 kilometres, one fifth of the world's chemical industries are to be found on the banks ? Is not its history traceable, its place in literature discernible and its wonder a stir to much ? Yet its assessed 6000 or so toxic substances do nothing to elevate its purity, or astonish the heart ready for joy at its sight!
Does not its pouring from Alps into Lake Constance in Switzerland guarantee a wonderful purity in those high lands ?
Not at all, for Switzerland itself has become a place for concern at impurities!
Moreover it is its course through industry and major population centres which stop starry eyed wonder, as this mighty beginning takes its place in this world, that brings to it, its so changed complexion. It serves, but how it is spoilt in its service!
So is it with man. His initial course was in purity, as the God-given talents brought to the combination of his mind and the scope for its use, his aesthetics and the wonder to meet it, his seeking of the divine and the Lord there for Him, life of rich but simple splendour. His proto-birth in heaven, that is, in the mind of the Creator, before placement in the scenic wonders of this world, was to provide an opportunity by its very nature, unrepeatable.
Yet man fell, and his 'industries' of sinful excess, personal exaltation, his devious scheming to be lord and master of his environment, his psychic resultants of ego-centrism, cultural adventurism and lordly dominance, one over many, grew like so many industries on the banks of his river of life, as it rushed on its way. At first in mighty power, it surged, then in various forms of debasement and pollution. Then it proceeded to the sea of mediocrity, yes and crime, cruelty and oppression.
Free from God ? Not at all, for the result for man was merely to be deprived of His divine shepherding. Free from restrictions ? Not at all, for he was merely freed for domination by sins, now of callow, now sophisticated blends, ruining his soul, his world and his history. It is not pretty, that. Take the present.
Are there not reportedly some two
million in Darfur, that fastness of looseness, derivative of marauding para-military
bands, favouring the government. And what does it favour, if it is not Islamic
purging ? Whatever the cause, does it curb the consequences, or allow some relief ?
Let us hear from the BBC, July 20, 2005.
Rains a curse for Sudan's refugees
By Hilary Andersson
BBC correspondent in Darfur
As evening falls across the desolate vastness of this desert, the storm clouds gather.
The Sahara's ferocious winds swirl through the camps for a million displaced Sudanese, and the people scatter. Then the heavens open and the rains begin their torrential pounding.
Most nights now across Darfur the displaced huddle in makeshift shelters, bracing themselves against the elements.
Whole families sit upright all night, as the rain pours through the reed roofs of their shacks.
The rains here are a curse in more ways than one.
Roads have become mired in mud, making it difficult for aid to get through.
And the rains have brought disease to the camps, by flushing sewage and filth into the drinking water.
Here in the hospital setting where we have 50 patients you see at least one death a day if not more
Nurse Margaret Bell
"When there is any situation of overcrowding we get very concerned about the outbreak of disease from the lack of proper water and sanitation. There is no question that we are starting to see that," said Dr Jonathan Spectre, of Medecins Sans Frontieres.
A month ago the main fear was that there would be mass starvation.
Now the World Health Organisation's concern is that epidemics like cholera may break out too. Already many children in the camps have diarrhoea, vomiting and measles.
This may be found, with more, at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3909649.stm
It appears from these figures, and those of the present, that the refugee centre has doubled in something like one year, and now its ravaged remnants face the direst of dangers, as more and more are damaged or in steps, deleted on this earth, their residences left in terror, as brazen romps of ruin come upon them from what seem demented purges.
What is to be purged ? Is it sin or races ? What religion is this, which pours chemicals, to follow the European imagery, neat into the Rhine of unrealism, as if horror knew no limits, wantonry beggared night-mare and man in the very name of God, in fact a god unrelated, dared to impound horror, that it might be a spectacle. Does he then do this, while imagining that this vast domain of depletion, lack of food, lack of comfort, the company of terror, could in any way glorify the God who made man! This is the religion of hatred, of man's autism, unable to realise any more his place in this world, and acting as if it were a plaything for vice, a prodigy for spending, a fortune to be abused and a capital to be spent!
This is but one of the plagues from Islam, which inventing a Christ whom history never knew*1, a 'God' whose 'almighty' claims are as barren as his historical record, a way without redemption, providing some works program, such as victory in war, which allegedly can bring man to multi-partite damsel population in some place or other, supposed to come to the aid of those who have specialised on earth, in afflicting others, so that victory for this unattested divinity might be obtained. Obtained ? of course, allegedly for the followers, whose outrages litter now the earth.
Are there many of this religion who do not follow such practices ?
Undoubtedly, but the claim of bin Laden that the Koran is back of it, is not by any means without foundation. Many are the passages available for the use of force now, just as it was used to found his religion in Mecca*1.
In Lord of Life Ch. 3, there is one illustration of this.
The Koran has many incitations to violence in the interests of the spread of that faith, and towards its insertion, if that were possible: a fact which fulfils the specifications of disfaith (q.v. faith), since objectively it is against the testimony which alone, in terms of logic and scientific method, stands! See these attestations in such sites as SMR pp. 50ff., 91 in the context of pp. 829ff., 987ff., 1080ff., 1186Aff., and note Koran, Surahs 3:148, 160, 4:76, 8:36-41, 9:5, 9:27-31, 9:77-46, 47:3-10, 48:22 in the above contexts.
Again, on this topic of cruelty and violence in the name of Allah, from this same chapter, we have this (slightly adjusted for this purpose). Historically now, the Taliban itself being largely mauled, the report has a crisp meaning for us.
Let us be clear. Some Arabs are Christians. Not all hate. Of course! But the authorities and the Koran and many leading Muslim clerics, and whole regimes, and several nations are on record with dire determination for the removal of Israel.
Hitler had precisely the same idea, except in this, that at the time there was no extant Jewish State, so it was the actual people, one by one, who were to be and in the case of over 6 million by oft-cited report, in fact were physically exterminated.
However there is an even closer approximation to Hitler's procedure in the Arab self-styled hatred which we are considering (limited as noted, but aggressively and defiantly nearly pervasive at high level, as also noted!). In Jerusalem young people at the crest of potential, awaiting coming adulthood can religiously be maimed by the mercies of Allah, according to the jihad concept. Merciful maiming! But some may say, But no! There is mercy, but this is judgment! Whose judgment and why ? It is Allah's judgment. Why then ? Because he does not like Jews ? or because people who notice his non-existence should, but do not, send garlands to celebrate it ? (cf. Dawn of Light Ch. 6). An infinite who does not reveal his ways to confirm them, is but a cipher.
The Middle East is a religious bomb. It has a sovereign scimitar element, which as shown from the earlier cited references, is certainly in the Koran; and often but not always there have been strenuous efforts for this to be applied. This comes into the very domain of faith, subjugation of the living in the interests of applying this religion, whether they have this concept or not! It leads to bullying of women and people, races and places.
That religion of force nearly took Europe. Putin was not in concept wholly astray in pointing out to Europe, not long ago, that what he did in Chechnya was something Europe should realise was not without ground. The menace was Islamic. It could threaten Europe also.
He was of course wrong if for that reason he was using force to liberate Chechnya, for this is not the place of force, to deal with faith. If however brigands take over a country, and subjugate with cruelty those whose lives they oppress, never having been given any mandate, but only having by vile means violated peace, then the case does indeed call for consideration in terms of humanity. What prodigy of horror now leers from such religious masks!
However this is not to be a religious matter even remotely connected to Christ, in any just sense; for Christ the crucified does not crucify. It is a brigandage matter. Was Chechnya demonstrably in this situation, with its place in the pan-Islam conspiracy of many people ? It is not easy to determine this, but it seems more than doubtful. However the principle needs watching when brigands, whether or not in religious dress, oppress a people, as does the Taliban whose introduction was force, and whose method is force and whose Muslim 'purity' relies on force, which they then attribute, to his detriment, to 'Allah'.
In a report printed in The Australian just before the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, we read this:
- Leaders of the fundamentalist movement also denied allegations by the Afghan Government that they had received support from Pakistan in the recent string of military victories in eastern Afghanistan.
- "No one helps the Taliban, only Allah."
At that, this has proved wholly inadequate in the Middle East and surrounds in the most dramatic way since 1948, on countless occasions, where the entire forces of tens of millions in very numerous nations opposing Israel, with cries of Islam, have failed DESPITE such 'help'! The Taliban doubtless would like some redress. If yours is the best football team, it is, after all, rather difficult to have them fail momentously, famously, incredibly, in compounded and varied circumstances, in small things and great, for over half a century without cease! (cf. SMR pp. 779ff., 829ff., Dawn of Light Ch. 5).
No, whether Hitler, Stalin, Taliban or other Islamic rush to power, whether Idi Amin, or other tyrant, whether the source be populist gone sour, or religious gone wild, there is no help for man in violence's aspiration for domination by dynamic, for spiritual dominion over man by force where heart cannot concur, nor mind avail. Indeed, if Muhammad liked to claim an authority through the line of Jewish prophets, then it would have been better had his work not wholly contradicted all their emphases (cf. SMR pp. 1080ff.).
As with other sects, that is, spurious bodies which draw on some things in the Bible, but seek to remove others and assert their own authority, there is no relief by power, no result by verification. In fact, the parasitic misuse of the Bible merely clouds the minds of many for whom its one and unchanging Gospel of millenia, covering all history, for God is concerned at all history, presented in symbol, then in pictorial pageant and then in the personal action of the Messiah, is their only hope (TMR Ch. 3, Barbs ... 17).
IS THIS THE WAY TO SEEK!
Is this, this violence, this vileness, this deprivation, this depravity, is this the way to seek the face of Him who made man in His own image ? or is it not rather the way to deface the face of man, who has already defaced the divine visage of Christ, as if there were no limit to wantonry, or cap to vice!
Is not this man, who deleted almost entirely the face of Christ physically (Isaiah 52, 50), and so marred the man whom God sent, by incarnation, to our rescue ? does not man fear the vengeance for all of this ? For as the Lord says, Vengeance is mine! (Deuteronomy 32:35).
It is not for us to seek vengeance, but it is for Him; and He has His own ways as Japan learned after World War II's follies, now being given something of a face-lift in a rising Japan. Did not Germany learn that God has His ways ? Has not Britain learned something, in the loss of its enormous wealth in two World War's, wealth in no small measure gained by slavery and industrial standards in the Industrial Revolution which all but make one's flesh creep when they are pondered! Certainly Britain through Christian Wilberforce in large measure, got rid of slavery, but in one sense, slavery helped to get rid of the British Empire. How blind are the mighty, and how foolish the pragmatists!
It is likewise divine vengeance with which man trifles when as in Darfur, in the Sudan, once under Anglo-Egyptian control, but then made gloriously independent, given its own head and will, that it might lose it in these inveterate hatreds, in these inglorious episodes. Here is the new story of pollution, man preying on man instead of praying to the Maker of all, whose word is this, Love your enemies! No, says man, we will hate and gut them!
And so they proceed in the Sudan, snatching children from Christian homes in order to defile what is sacred, in infamous cruelty like that famed for the Assyrian Empire of old (whose state and fate the prophet Nahum elegantly provides, including its destiny). So have they proceeded, enslaving, seizing homes, destroying, terrorising so that people in millions flee their homes, that they might be the more terrorised.
So do they also proceed in Papua New Guinea (Irian Jaya of the past), now so ingloriously free by what has been described as a farce, the UN giving its solemn sanction to what has been reported as no more a vote than is a cobra a lover. Rather, we read, was there a pre-selected 'voting' group, a farce that could not even save face. The result however has been population transfer of Islamic people, thus slowly but surely making a largely Protestant part of the island of New Guinea, where for example many Lutheran missionaries had toiled for long and medically helpful years, to lose its identity by the transfer of Islamic peoples to the soil.
Terror and violence seem to erupt.
The testimony of missionaries, both during the missionary period of helpfulness,
and during the present one of exploitation, seizure and religious imperialism,
is not small. Thus in New Life, April 28, 2005, there is much
given under the heading,
Genocide in Papua. This reports the arrival in Australia of Rev.
Sofyan Yoman, the President of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of West Papua,
who had then just completed an Australian tour.
Here we find that "The Indonesian government is altering Papua's demographics through their policy of transmigration of Javanese Muslims into Papua. "Soon," it continues, "the Papuans will be a religious and ethnic minority."
Moreover, it relates, "Ongoing operations by the Indonesian military (TNI) against Papuan civilians are creating a climate of rear and driving thousands of villagers from their homes."
Does it not remind one of the Sudan! It is reported that the rigged plebiscite regarding integration of the newly independent nation (1961), held in 1969, with a hand-picked 1025 Papuans, then led to the UN deeming this to be "The Act of Free Choice." What is the UN now doing about this consummation of the seizure, then ? How free is freedom's negation!
The world has no answer to this world, since it is of one mind, a mind contrary to Christ, where violence and viciousness, with hollow praise, seek their pre-eminence. If the Nazi scourge is over, and the Communist dream is shown in its fallacies, though not entirely gone, if the Inquisition is largely a thing of the past and the garlands of glory seekers in Europe are currently in some recess, while the nations seek their final unity, yet the Islamic scourge reminds the world of its past follies, in these present pathetic, but ruthless escapades of hatred, hollow words and atrocious deeds.
What then is the divine vengeance which is sought when man murders so freely, expropriates, mouths his own praise and makes mischief king, power the prince and gain the motif! What indeed is to be expected when he dares and presumes to use the divine name for such abominable outrages ... ?
So does it appear for many; while now in this way, now in that, peace is mutilated, bodies are scorned, tissues are mere toilet articles, even if human, and spoilage is pandemic in whole regions of grasping pride.
Is it divine praise that is sought when unresisting victims, many of them children of God, are made the prey of those who invent gods out of mind or matter, with reputation only built by power, not reason or the beauty of holiness, some calling wars 'holy' which proliferate greed, vice and immorality as the waters cover the sea!
Does the invention of gods without glory give sanction indeed, gods without authority or the historic credentials of authenticity, gods arriving on the scene far too late, when the testimony of truth is long established, yes, mutant gods coming into newboy roles just as they did when Israel similarly fell (Deuteronomy 32:16-22) ?
Now that the work of redemption is complete, as foretold and fulfilled,
now that the evil is accounted for and the God of all truth has shown His hand forever, paying the price of justice,
making up Himself the gap between His standards and ours while love acts,
in Jesus Christ, granting redemption from man's evil and sin, free but on His own terms, the avoidance of this same God of creation is to insult Him, and disparage the infinitude of His grace and justice:
now the more ludicrous are these Ďother lordsí which man invents.
With what is domineering, rogue man
left ? for now it is simply seen that it is
not God's evil, but man's which is
to be considered,
not force but faith which is in
not strivings of sinners with
Now this is done, and attested in history to the uttermost detail,
we need no lunges of lust, and parodies of peace.
The need is simple: abandonment of force, adoption of faith, love for one another and justice and truth with mercy where they belong, in the very landscape of history and this with a repentance as vast as the Himalayas, for sin as deep as the depths beyond the oceans, to the core of this earth.
THERE IS ANOTHER AND A BETTER WAY!
What then do we find ? It is this.
Redemption is God's own key to purity, for so far from being ready to live with sin, as final author of man, as if this were acceptable rather than immediate removal of such follies of intransigence and art-works of rebellion as have become endemic in man, such fouling of principle and breach of virtue, He has of His own self presented the solution to man's madly misused freedom. How has He done this ?
He has shown His heart of purity in the path to peace, the Cross where HE in Christ's format (II Cor. 5:17ff., Philippians 2), suffered rather than endure either
1) man's destruction, amply deserved
2) man's mere continuance without
the cover for corruption,
Without this, God would have been implicated in making such a universe, where such liberty could have such consequences, where total power and understanding could contrive a result of such dire parody and pollution of His own glorious ways. But now, those who reject Christ can live with their imaginary gods of power and vehemence, gods which destroy but do not redeem, gods where the evil has no cover and the rottenness no provision, where mere human effort is to work in the midst of ruin, the very caricature of the divine glory.
They can have it; but they cannot have this world. Their brief seizure to come, both a spiritual fit on the part of the antichrist to come, and a dynamic of woe, is the last post without sympathy for the frothy broth and starry hypnotics of man.
Long have they tried in the foothills of folly. They try, now Islamic, now Nazi, now Romanist, now Communist, with its god of forces skilfully managing to make history follow rules brought from nowhere, like this world, spawned in its magnificence from nothing much at all, which in turn came from nothing at all; and then failing to act as prescribed anyway! (cf. SMR pp. 925ff., Aviary of Idolatry), but they prevail not at all. Their mythology is pathetic, and man's susceptibility to such illusion is poignant, as follies corrode and fiascos corrupt, till the very splendour in man's creation, becomes rottenness, amply shared with the victims of all such regimes, and the ruins which they constitute and help to create.
At times, such systems of spiritual squalor, soar like the Challenger rocket, about to do great things; but then, like that Rocket, it sprawls helplessly, energy without guidance, into the sea of things past, and idle dreams. For a moment, with some, their shadow of corruption seems about to become the wand of domination over this world, but they dip as they pass, their own ludicrous corruptions and inhumanity making them not the leader but the appalling sink of mankind. Some are leaders in it, some are led; but their ways and works, their writings and their practices, speak for themselves. Those deceived by such things are not wise.
But God is wise.
Will the Sudan ever be forgotten ?
Will the rape of Russia and then of Berlin be obliterated from the mind of man ?
Will Auschwitz ?
Will Papua ?
Will any of the perversions of Christianity
such as Romanism, in
their consistent violence, be
forgotten*2 , of those who dare or have dared to use the name of the Saviour in their own deluded precincts, not having enough of power or virtue, to attract without Him!
Will those who hearing Christ say that His kingdom is not of this world, otherwise His servants would fight (John 18:36), imagine that in any sense HE can be captured again to be ANY part of ANY movement, Romanist, Islamic or other, which blatantly has relied on force to invade faith and seek to capture it! Has not the rather sharp lesson of the cross with nails that pierce the Saviour, at all become clear and unconfused for such, who impale others, and wound rather than receive wounds, in their bombastic misuse of His name ... ?
Will moving populations to Auschwitz or to Papua, or to Siberia, really instruct anyone in anything but the deviousness of man and the delusion which thinks that demographics, anti-Jew or anti-Protestant, can provide peace, purity or truth! that cruelty without cap can cope with reality, as if devils were directors and God would ever suffer their insufferable follies to grip the globe.
They soar only to fall; they fall only to fail; they fail only to become history in hysterics, philosophy in short pants, panting for breath as it dies, having slaughtered so many thousand, ten thousand or millions; but yet man in myriads refuses to believe the redeemer, or to face the necessity of reconciliation with God ON HIS TERMS. These, infinitely costly to Him, are not casually displaceable by man.
What would you expect!
Will a lie live ? Will force make truth ? Will murder sanction sanctity!
God is merciful and true, and neither author nor Father of world dominion enterprises, or regional control movements, expanding intemperately and sinning deviously in self-serving mouthings; but rather is He author of the judgment which all these will receive. Vengeance, we recall, from His mouth, "Vengeance is mine!"
Did you think I was altogether such a one as YOU!
He scathingly asks, in Psalm 50,
advising return to Him,
the alternative to jostling with truth being a death suitable for the spirits of men, in the exclusion zone relative to the Almighty.
Would man impugn God ? He will see soon enough the strength of such mockery, for it is nothing else that so tars and libels its Maker, as if creation had a conscience and a justice denied its Source!
Consider the fate of the irresistible seeming Pharaoh in Egypt, in the days of the Israelite Exodus, as divinely attested not only in Exodus itself (Chs. 14ff.), but in Psalm 78 and 105. Using his own power, he forbad Moses to see him further, with nine plagues down, and one to come. No he would NOT release the cheap economic labour, or disband the controls so useful over Israel. That, it was flat!
In fact, the Pharaoh would indeed not see Moses again, being ready to perish in the field, as his army was swamped by direct divine intervention! This was one way in which the Red Sea became a Dead Sea of another kind, a collection of the corpses of the irresistible!
More is later dealt out to Egypt as its seduction of Israel, now free and in its own land continued. Thus in Isaiah 31, we read this exhortation to Israel:
"Now the Egyptians are men, and not God;
And their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out His hand,
Both he who helps will fall,
And he who is helped will fall down;
They all will perish together."
HOW Egypt was to fall at Carchemish, and then at last, after much longsuffering spread over something close to a millenium, God announced this enduring result for Egypt (Ezekiel 39:15-16):
"It shall be the lowliest of kingdoms;
it shall never again exalt itself above the nations,
for I will diminish them so that they will not rule over the nations anymore.
"No longer shall it be the confidence of the house of Israel,
but will remind them of their iniquity when they turned to follow them. T
hen they shall know that I am the Lord God." í "
As He declared some 2500 years ago, so it has been.
The same is true of Babylon, allowed to savagely smash into Judah, while God as Jeremiah announced beforehand, had plans duly executed for the return of His own people, some 70 years later, as seen in Ezra and Nehemiah (Jeremiah 25). In Jeremiah 50-51, you see one of the vastest indictments on the grandest of scales, of any nation, directed against Babylon, who having been permitted to act as discipline on God's own people, Israel, were about to be buried into an object of antiquity, its very ruins undiscovered in the heaps of the desert, for a vast period.
You see some of the prophecies to this effect in Jeremiah 51:49-57 (bold added):
As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall,
So at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall.
"You who have escaped the sword,
Get away! Do not stand still!
Remember the Lord afar off,
And let Jerusalem come to your mind.
"We are ashamed because we have heard reproach.
Shame has covered our faces,
For strangers have come into the sanctuaries of the Lordís house.
"Therefore behold, the days are coming," says the Lord,
"That I will bring judgment on her carved images,
And throughout all her land the wounded shall groan.
Though Babylon were to mount up to heaven,
And though she were to fortify the height of her strength,
Yet from Me plunderers would come to her," says the Lord.
"The sound of a cry comes from Babylon,
And great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans,
Because the Lord is plundering Babylon
And silencing her loud voice,
Though her waves roar like great waters,
And the noise of their voice is uttered,
Because the plunderer comes against her, against Babylon,
And her mighty men are taken.
"Every one of their bows is broken;
For the Lord is the God of recompense,
He will surely repay.
And I will make drunk
Her princes and wise men,
Her governors, her deputies, and her mighty men.
And they shall sleep a perpetual sleep..."
God is not mocked. Imperious political and religious systems try continually, but fail as often.
What is contrary to the heart of God receives its due come-uppance, and if so much in this world has the liberty to choose such false gods and find their outcome in mind and in matter, much more do they reach their due and true conclusion, with finality, when the assessment notices are out, and the grand, divine assizes are in process
before the face of the imperiously
before the minds of the grasping,
when seditions are exposed and
spirituality shows again its face,
unclouded by the spiritual pollutions and depravities of unkind man.
Meanwhile, as in any climax, the pace exceeds itself, while now calamities multiply, calumnies vex and sadism is surpassed in callow brutalities and greedy sanctimony, in gluttony for dominion, corrupt power and merciless living. Contrary is all of this fatuous fanfare and perfervid hatred, contrary to the heart of God, whose love is shown personally to the uttermost in the foretold cross of Christ.
Not His is the love of licence; but His desire is
for the restoration of the tainted souls of mankind,
grant by grace alone
HE Himself has suffered as He for a millenium said He would*3, He has delivered as for millenia He foretold He would, and this not to provide judgment for man, but that man might escape the due consequences of forbidden follies (Isaiah 66:19ff., 53:1ff., 55:1-6), passionately pursued in many, as if their very lives depended on arsenic, or their well-being on suicide.
He has provided, instead of judgment, in measureless mercy, in a fountain of grace, a profound sufficiency for all; but it flows only where it is received, like water from the reservoir, only where the tap at the end of the line is OPEN.
Never does it reach the finally obdurate hearts, nor does it even relate to them, which seeing the tap, squeeze it off the harder, or to those who in the end will defile His name and scorn His pardon, through intemperate faiths, alien to love, things of destruction, not construction, of desecration, not recreation, formed of man's endless 'efforts', not of God victorious labours, religions which make man his own destiny maker, as if in his pollution anything could lift him to the purity of heaven, or to the glory of God!
Man must be lifted, and the lift is present; but it lifts NOTHING which is not on it. It is the foundation laid in Jesus Christ precisely as foretold (Isaiah 28:16), and it is this which lifts (Ephesians 2:6, Colossians 1:13) into His very kingdom.
As to that, it is even now more glorious than all the mountains of prey, the survivors who lose morality, and forego immortality in order to live in the lusts of this world, captured and capturing, vaunting their powers, their morals or their immorality as it takes caprice and fancy to do (The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 2);
but then, when the weeds are out, and the sun of righteousness shines past all test, when the crypt is forgotten and the script divine is fulfilled to the uttermost, comes that wonder in which felicity and sanctity join with peace and glory to bring man where he belongs, to that for which he was made, even intense and immense fellowship with the Lord, God Almighty Himself. It is then that he will see His face (I Cor. 13, Revelation 22).
In the face of all of these things, it is scarcely surprising that as to the one who does not believe, being drawn to his own quartering, the wrath of God abides on him (John 3:36); and why ? It is because light having come, man prefers darkness to it (John 3:19), and defiles with imagination that very heart which is being sought and offered pardon. It is like someone in a concentration camp refusing relief, dismissing freedom and despising the messenger of liberty. There are a great number in this position to this very hour. For such one prays, not for this world, but for its misled denizens.
And many of these, as if the destruction of their own unwarranted lives were not enough for the realms of divine wrath - for none of us has made himself nor has nature managed it in its various limited and delimited bounds of creation*4 - continue in abusing the human race: some in false teaching, as in many nations including our own in many schools and universities where in many aspects truth has no freedom, but tradition rules in much; some with bullets of a more physical sort.
In all this lust for glory, this humanism with mysticism, of one kind or another, do they then imagine that the ghoulish impositions on man will really bring greatness by force ? by deception ? by misnaming tyranny and misusing man ? Truth abused in the name of submission, Islamic or academic, in the very fever of -isms, and hence misnamed, being in fact folly that does not itself submit to the God who made us, and gave access to truth, without whom it could not so much as be*5: this is not the way to glory but to shame, like all other shams that cannot stand, and use the tyrant's power to induce their desired strategies.
Beyond the crypt, vainly pre-empted by millions, by Islamic, Romanist, Communist, humanist force, there remains the divine script
has worked and
continues to work in all details over the millenia,
comparable to none,
equalled by nothing but God Himself who gave it:
there remains the divine control of history as there specified, till all nations face the finale, the Maker of freedom which man so murders so often in so many cultures and climes, that many forget it is theirs, while they abuse it to the uttermost, by perverse will and discordant disharmony with all truth.
This too God has both stated analytically of fallen man (Ephesians 4:17-19, 2:1-12, Romans 1:17ff.), and declared to become subject to an acute extreme as the Age comes to its close, and His return nears (II Peter 2, II Timothy 3, Matthew 24, II Thessalonians 2).
Then He acts as truth, and judges, just as, on His first advent, He as truth declared it, and was crucified for it. Then He gave Himself, not having come to condemn the world, but to save; in the end of the Age, He comes, the Gospel of grace having gone to all races and nations, having already provided salvation, to judge.
What then do we find ? It is this.
This Creator of freedom for man,
this Giver of grace,
this Life Eternal which broke
death (I John 1:1-4, 5:11ff.),
covering the penalty of sin by
sinless in format,
it is He who divides all nations into sheep and goats (Matthew 25).
As to the sheep, there is one door for entry to this fold, Jesus Christ, Mediator alone (I Timothy 2, Hebrews 9-10, 2:1-3, Acts 4:11-12).
Murdered, not murderous is He whose face was scorned in savagery, just as was the faith He gave, ground with dynamic diligence and restless scorn into the ground. Yet it rises uncrushable as air, immovable as mountains, and retains its glorious durability and fragility alike, the latter as if orchids would hide their faces at it. It does this while, as in China, as in Russia in recent times, many have both shown a desire for war on it and sought to extinguish it, in subtle and gross ways alike.
This they have done, whether by faceless bureaucracies, who domineer and call for crimes unspeakable, or in the militias who seek a damnation unthinkable, for whom one can even have pity, so blind are they, as they ruin the lives of suffering remnants, and make into gaunt hulks, those once children, left in squalid climes and sites. These their deeds are chilling to the hearts that watch, as in Darfur or Papua, and with less control, in Israel, and consider their deluded dealings, lustful indulgences, murders monumental, the assassins merciless as machine guns.
THERE IS A CALL TO
THIS KINGDOM, TO SPIRITUAL ARMS,
NOT ABHORRENT TO MAN BUT HIS FULFILMENT
Jesus Christ, amid all this, having provided the neglected solution, the resources squandered by millions, the divine grace, calls yet to one and to all. The face of God, never beheld where there is scorning to the end (Hebrews 12:14, Revelation 21-22, John 14:9ff.), history's only attested script its witness, covering remedy from the first and until the last, meeting the demands of goodness from the first, and paying for the redemption which alone can satisfy holiness in a world of aggressive defiance against God: this remains for the pure in heart, and who can MAKE PURE, as He! (I John 1:7ff., Isaiah 1:18, 55).
The Bible, that script, showing the only attested Redeemer, seen in ways so prodigious to mind and heart, fulfilling all to the letter, and ordering all to the letter of His own words to this day (SMR Ch. 8), has mercy and bite.
In mercy, it offers, but in bite it tasks the relentless soul with its consequences (Proverbs 1), which all do well to ponder.
This same Jesus, will return again (Acts 1:7ff.), and having received His own people (I Thess. 4, Matthew 24), will come to judge and rule. He, who with all prophecy fulfilled as now very nearly is the case, is retained in heaven till the grand regeneration of all things is at hand (Acts 3:19-21) will proceed to the locus where this world, in its travels, meets His coming. It is an appointment which this world is not willing to keep; but as with the dentist, the time comes. Just as teeth will out, so truth will be in!
More than any oceanic vortices, as vast waters collide and suck down in the whirl-pools resulting, will be that day, and who can face it!
Malachi 3 puts it:
" 'Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,'
Says the Lord of hosts.
"But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refinerís fire
And like laundererís soap.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver..."
Again, in the next chapter we have this:
" 'For behold, the day is coming,
Burning like an oven,
And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,'
Says the Lord of hosts,
'That will leave them neither root nor branch.
But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings ...' "
God never loses His temper. One famous tennis player recently declared that he would win if he did not lose his temper, and that the war in his head would come out one way or another. It limits, that. But the Lord NEVER does it, and in truth and justice, in integrity and peace, He brings this loving warmth to the end, even when judgment is the topic; for it is He who being love, loves to the end, and when judgment must proceed, is the One who foreseeing it in the case of the city of Jerusalem, WEPT! (Luke 19:42ff.).
It is man who is distempered, and who, amply provided for, distempers in dynamics unthinkable to this day, himself the first and his societies and nations the next, as the rot spreads apace.
Thus in large measure have humans
delving into deadly dynamisms,
chewing up the human race
like besotted adolescents on drugs,
intoxicated by power
present or hoped for ...
It is as Paul foretold in II Timothy 3, and Christ in Matthew 24,
evils mounting, iniquity abounding,
false christs and prophets like lice,
false religion vice.
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
"For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money,
boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,
unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving,
slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having a form of godliness but denying its power.
"And from such people turn away!
"For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
Depraved and deprived of the truth, is the translation of one version, in what follows, concerning these. That, it is the ultimate deprivation, and no vitamins can remedy it!
Yet there is no glory in being inglorious, or creating what is so;
and what though the whole world be gained,
is the loss of their own souls, to fiasco,
a recompence, for that which now
having no base, will never stand,
and abusing all mercy,
can receive none!
There is another kingdom (cf. The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 2),
that with blessings brings blessing,
and not defilement,
and not arrogance,
and does not presume by force to thrust a belligerent faith into the broken faces
of those about to be slain.
It is this other Kingdom which in divine mercy awaits
and made kin to it, as Mediator,
the face divine,
of that Spirit sublime,
that God who became man:
not to grasp a world already His (John 17, I John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:15, John 1:3),
but to provide escape from all its vile ways (Hebrews 2:1-3),
as foretold by the good men of God
who showed these flurries of fatality
in prophecies exact and ample,
but also in Him who enduring the Cross
at the time appointed (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4)
did more than declare,
for He met
fatality for man, and covered sin for all who receive Him
in the faith which is the spiritual bond
for mind, and heart, to the Maker thus to be found.
This He suffered
not to execute minions but to be executed for millions,
not to ravage humankind,
but as commissioned to die for sinners,
to bear the stripes of those
who deserving exclusion from God in utter humiliation,
yet would believe in Him,
offering to all this prodigy of pardon.
What are those stripes which heal 'us' in Isaiah 53 ?
They are those of Him who was delivered up
for 'us' all, the one and the other the same, He the Redeemer for His people.
Thus He made Himself the receipt for their ransom (Gal. 3, Matthew 20:28),
offering freely, and paying for the redeemed,
whose redemption is eternal (Hebrews 9:12), just as His life is
(I John 1:1-4, 5:11ff., John 5:24, 6:50ff., 10:9, 27-28, Romans 5:1-11).
This, it was limited not by the scope of His love, which is infinite (Col. 1),
but by the relentless unrepentance (John 3:19, 36), of the lost,
devoted to their lostness,
so that there are those who find in the end from Him
who desires nothing but mercy where it may be found,
nothing but judgment,
as those who reject its peace in the Prince of peace,
whose it is.
The lake of love has no limits,
and the sovereignty of God is not an exclusion zone as if it had these;
but it is in the knowledge of Him
who desiring all
violates none, and calling His own,
that salvation is to be found.
This He achieves,
while leaving those immune to life,
heedless of His call to mercy,
to suffer the death which so
enchants and enthralls them (John 3:36, Ezekiel 33:11, John 3:16-17).
More Marvels Ch. 4, esp. *4,
SMR pp. 829ff. , 1080ff.,
Lord of Life Ch. 3 (and force), 1081ff. (and faith); ;
cf. OVERFLIGHT 1 (and the Koran's musings);
News 138, His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch. 3;
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8 (in perspective), see also *1,
DVA 6, Highway to Hell
(Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in perspective, in the former; and in the latter, futile depravities in endless ideologies such as Sudan has shown so significantly, Islam ablaze without glory),
Divine Agenda Ch. 3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran);
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 4, 7
(with the other three major conspiracies towards the ultimate);
See for example Divine Agenda Ch. 6, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 14 .
*3 See Joyful Jottings 22-25.
*4 See The gods of naturalism have no go!
*5 See Barbs ... 6 -7, for example, of which what follows is an excerpt, revised and extended for our present purpose.
First, if I could not be absolutely sure that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour, the required Saviour for all, in terms of spiritual necessities for life, and the due and just Judge and Lord of all men, I neither could nor would preach, whether in this land or in any of the others where I have done so.
It would seem an imposture, an imposition and a waste of time. 99.9999999% sure would seem an impudence, if one were preaching. If God has spoken, that is it. If not, that is it. If one cannot tell the difference, that is extraordinary; but that is covered in the Bible in terms of Ephesians 4:18-19 and Romans 1:18-19 (the AV has "hold" but the Greek here is more clearly given Greek dictionary renderings, 'hold down, suppress, restrain' ).
2nd: If all were relative, then it would be a self-contradiction to affirm this as absolutely sure; since that would instantly disprove the proposition in its very presentation.
3rd: If nought were absolute, then the statement of this as absolute fact would constitute equal self-contradiction.
4th: If all man did were necessarily subjective per se, then the statement itself would disprove itself likewise in its very utterance. Antinomies abound touching numerous points for the proposition in the negative.
5th. To know anything to be true, you need past your own register and regimen, to reach absolute truth. Otherwise your own conditions, circumscription of powers and relativities of interaction preclude it: it is just what you see and find. In addition, you need an absolute truth which is not only knowable, but willing to be made known, since nothing you merely find is beyond yourself.
Since as we demonstrate in SMR, God is personal, and reveals His mind in the Bible, and is willing to make truth known, indeed insists on it as one might expect for those creations, ourselves, able to understand and seek it, then this resolves the problem insuperable without Him and His word, which would make man's statements self-defeating, whether positive, negative, neutral or anything else, concerning the truth.
If therefore at the positive level, one is asked, Can you prove God ? the task is not hard, not least consisting in removing, like weeds, philosophic devices. Reason attests Him, validity demands Him, grace enables it, revelation attests it.
One has proved this in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, and has added some 103 more volumes more or less allied, to that trilogy, ranging from Predestination and Freewill to The Other News.
See further at
What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3, 4, and in outline at
Sparkling Life in Jesus Christ Ch. 4, *1,
with TMR Ch. 5, esp. SMR Chs. 3 and 5.
If the question is, How then can you be sure? The answer is clear. It is first negatively as therein shown, that nothing else is logically tenable, valid and non-self-contradictory. Second, positively, it is that validity, being shown to attach only to a self-revealing God and action within that framework, moves to God and His certifiable and verifiable revelation in the Bible without logical competition in that field. That once identified, expresses itself beyond all that reason could relevantly ask, yet fully in accord with it, to verify, confirm and validate what logic requires in the first place.
As to your question therefore, Can we be absolutely sure of anything?: First by faith I believe what you ask to be so, YES, one can; and secondly by reason one finds on investigation that it is a self-verifying matter by means of the actions of the One to whom logic indefeasibly directs. Hence the answer is a double affirmative.