W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
WAR AND PEACE
It was particular. Everything is particular, except to some extent garbage, but chemically, that too is particular, just not particularly nice.
God is particular. It is the case that He is as He is. He is not diversifiable by desire, or transmutable by imagination. HE IS (John ). He is not different, variable or diverse. In His grandeur is vastness of principle, intensity of purity, magnificent of morality, splendour of Spirit, unfathomable depth of wisdom, literally divine intelligence, beauty of holiness and peace so vast that the lakes are but the sketch or outline in form, the tranquillities of twilight like the still of the tropics by the beach near the quiet sea, an inkling.
As He Himself declares, "I am who I am" (Exodus ), and that is not a substitute for declaration: it IS declaration. He is underivative, invariable, distinct, incomparable, the ONLY Creator of the universe and of man, the creator of creativity itself and the destiny of all, whether for good or evil, and that in justice; and yet, and here we come to our immediate topic, that may be magnificently met and mercy peaceably presented, simultaneously. Of this Psalm 85*1 speaks.
One could imagine justice, in a figure, outraged at the sheer munificence of the Gospel. These outlandish substitutes for spirituality, these elements of mankind, to be accepted WITHOUT judgment... Outrageous! Again, mercy could be imagined to speak: This harsh rule, imposed on the wayward, it is not the best that can be. Then love is imagined to speak: There is a constructive way, there has to be. Next wisdom comes on scene, and might declare: It is to be found not in mere discussion, but in brilliant improvisation.
Now of course God does not need to improvise, since all His works are known to Him from the foundation of the world, and He is both the beginning and the end, declaring the latter from the former (Isaiah 44:6, 46:10), AS the Former! Yet in human terms, it may seem in an image, like that. To our created limits, however, God in the form of God, is in no way subject, any more than an author to the llimitations of the characters!
Nevertheless, though He has always known (Ephesians 1:4) even who are to be His, in no slightest degree does this reduce the prodigality of His pronouncement in the Gospel, its originality and its formation in the most sensitive expression of His heart, with a wisdom that dazzles in splendour.
But there are forces, like that in Judas Iscariot (identified as invested by the devil at the end - John 13:2, Luke 22:3, just as of that ilk, from earlier times, John 6:70-71), which are not satisfied with this brilliance of peace in the depths of heaven. For them, there is no yielding to this serenity in the powers of truth, the dynamics of reality, so wonderfully wrought and quietly performed, by Christ Himself, through the incarnation, display and demonstration, crucifixion and resurrection, and subsequent attestation. Such persons may AFFECT concern for the poor (as Judas did, though he was identified as a thief - John 12:4-6), yet as Jesus declared, "the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always" (John 12:8).
What is it like ? It is like protesting at the cost of aeroplanes designed to repel the invader, while enjoying yourself in luxurious living, or pleasant pastimes.
are essential things which go beyond all cost.
Cost awareness at such times is
and spiritual blindness.
There is, and always has been as long as man has been on this earth, the desire to DO IT DIFFERENTLY. It is necessary, they say, to homogenise humanity, so that they can be moulded and made (bionically renewed even, shall we say ? as The Australian's article on the topic would indicate, July 5, 01). Man has to survive, and he is so diverse and divergent, that the means of convergence MUST be found.
So they weigh in their lapse from wisdom and their humourless aerodynamics of vapid thought. That these controls must not be those of God, of this they are sure; for the peace which passes all understanding is too small for these peace-mongers whose pastime is power and whose mentality is, if not manipulation, then at the least social engineering. There must be sacrifice, it is clearly seen, but what is to be sacrificed for THE WORLD ? It is just one thing (other than God, done already): it is MAN!
After all, it is only a thing, a lump. If he has to crucify his conscience, re-make his heart, what is all of that ? It is merely an alteration, a change. Sentiment has no place. If the house has to be burnt down, doubtless engineers can find mechanical muscle or architects aerial alterations to remake the thing so that it can get along with itself, and not blow up. It is, they might urge, after all rather like growing up. We simply cannot afford being what we are any longer, so whether it be medically, or socially, or psychologically or politically or religiously, or even spiritually, though they normally omit this aspect as too hard: we MUST CHANGE. God has to be reviewed, assessed. Make one and make it nice. Look at the Bible ?*2 Certainly, they may say in their more expansive moments. Bring in the mathematicians.
Then, as if blindness were their natural endowment, they draw a graph, or act in this way.
The Old Testament, they say, has an austere, a dominant if not domineering figure. The New Testament has a man full of compassion, sensitive, caring. We thus draw a line from the former to the latter, and not satisfied with that (for we grow UP, you see, in elevation of thought and understanding, to the very heavens, as they did too at Babel, seen in Genesis 11), we extrapolate. We continue the graph in the direction of its flow. What then do we find ? ask these artful mathematicians, these social engineers, these theological god-makers.
This we find, they continue with equal poise, ruthlessness and disregard of reality. The movement is from justice to mercy, from harsh realities to kindly compassions, from God to human emphasis. in the divine dealings. Now we find that the next step is obvious. It is from human emphasis in divine dealings to human emphasis in human dealings. We simply become a human society with vestiges of divinity, ex-God! It is so simple. Naturally, it will need DEVELOPMENT ... and for that what more natural than DEVELOPERS, as implied in the so pleasant little Earth Charter (see It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Ch. 11).
These copious and controlling carers will endue mankind with wisdom, equip him with justice, and make him sustainable with buildings of the mind, the heart and the soul. So will man survive, that beautiful and edifying, that uplifting and wise provision, survival being raised like an idiot idol in the dusk of the race. After all, for an atheist, bringing everything out of a hat, and the hat out of nothing, it IS important. Everything else is so NOTHING! In hideous oblivion of logic, they are psychologically handicapped, seeking life at all costs, and usurping it at any cost.
As the noted Article in The Australian has it, it is clear that if there is NOTHING, then the longer one can stay alive the better. One should, however, have thought this less than obvious, and many have done so. NOTHING is so uninformative, ill-equipped for ANYTHING, really, that coming from it by some sport with logic, man is not well placed for any action, let alone continuance. Its void is vacuous, its light is not a flicker and its features indistinguishable from imagination, except that the mind for it would not be here either.
Nevertheless, swarthy in
strength, they continue their weird antics, as they have from time immemorial,
indeed from Eden, advanced in the flood, when "the LORD saw that the wickedness
of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of
his heart was only evil continually" - Genesis 6:5.
TIANANMEN AND CELESTIAL CONFLICT
Turmoil comes. It comes because this nation wants
The irrationality of this ideational union does not remove its pragmatic appeal. After all, the Moscow method failed both in theory and in practice (cf. SMR pp. 862, 925-926), the fall of the Berlin Wall at last releasing those who WANTED TO GET OUT, and control is a very Communist donation: so a little of each, please ? Correction: lots of both!
And what has been said by so many with such brave intimidations ?
HOW shall we FORCE them ? This appears their unwritten, and often written speech.
How ? By the scimitar, by stolen secrets
advanced with exiled scientists from
What then ? More than these ? Is it not insanity ? A special SPIRITUAL INSANITY as Hosea indicates in 9:7, of course. It follows from rejecting the source, both logical, and psychological, moral and spiritual, of the mind of man and of his spirit, and seeking to act in its absence. That people tend to become puppets in such cases, or polluted, or dead readily follows.
? It is almost
amusing, yes, but gravely so, grimly tedious and of small comfort to the
afflicted in their varied millions who, by varied methods are oppressed, like
the women of
If such a figure is now more literally fulfillable, it is yet not the less a figure; for in man, the heart is his life, his mental-moral-spiritual capacity to surmise, devise, aspire, understand and ultimately relate to his ideological substitute for God, or if he be the Lord's, to the Lord of creation Himself.
Nor is the lust for control merely on earth.
But before we trace it to the celestial, let us look at Tiananmen.
Here there was historical
evidence of one leading figure wanting the students to remain unmolested, and
failing. This appears to have been Zhao Ziyang. Further divulgements are
claimed in a documents allegedly 'spirited out of
It is UNFORTUNATE to
slaughter, but as the papal celebration expressed in the medallion of joy at
the murders in
It is good mathematics. SO people engineers perform their weird exploits, have employed them throughout history, and this fateful dynamic of political delirium, irreligious rampage reached its quintessence when the High Priest announced something concerning Christ.
Do you know what that was ? Look at John 11:48ff.. It was declared to be EXPEDIENT that ONE man should die for the people. Now the idea here was not that of expiatory sacrifice, for which Christ in fact came, as a criterion of His whole mission; rather, it was for murderous removal, as a sop to the dangers of Roman intervention and destruction. These, ironically, happened anyway in A.D. 70, and in great style, a desolation being made, and the city ploughed, complete with a salty end.
Now there is this contemporary Earth Charter, brilliantly named by the planners who, always needing the special food - or usually - as George Orwell put it, that pigs require for their brain work, such as dachas at the Black Sea, or in China's case, special rights to the seashore, all part of the plan, can then bless humanity with their, and its presence. It is simple. Corrupted from God, without logical base for ANY morals (cf. The Other News 19, Things New and Old Ch. 1, Ancient Words : Modern Deeds Ch. 9, SMR Ch. 4, Frantic Millenium and the Peace of Faith Ch. 1), they do what comes naturally. They RULE. There are reasons ... and if some do not feel the need of the extra material supplement, then at the least, they have the human obeisance to keep them warm.
They rule, you serve; and
the difference from say,
It can be so easy. Nothing will happen to you, and you can even make lots of money, if you do not CREATE A STIR, A FUSS. THAT, it does not help survival, that brazen and gutless god, that residue from the melt-down from mankind. Surrender merely your power of original thought, of divergent thought, of moral integrity, what does it matter ? put your spirit, yes commend it if you will, into the hands of those who know, the new cognoscenti, the rulers who are only there for your own good, in theory, and all is well. The truth is dismissed, reason is despised, God is on notice*3; and although the name is good, for it can be adapted by adept humans to refer to themselves, their government, their ideas or in the end, as predicted, the fitting end to the delusion, to ONE OF US, one of the ... rulers! Quite a thrill! like debutants at their first ball.
Truth however being dismissed, it does not languish. The chiding of words does less than nothing to accomplish the over-riding of reality, merely accentuating orally the inundation with the oceans of reality which like a flood overwhelm the lie (II Thessalonians 2:4ff.).
But Tiananmen ? Just as mercy pled in vain with judgment, and there appear from the reports to have been multiplied involvements and eventual over-ruling, and compassion fought with utility, so power blasted in reply with force to fulfil its grand mission, and mass murder was the result. This was not merely that of bodies, the number being a trade secret, though it is less so with the preliminaries of Mao and Stalin, evidently in the multipllied millions (for your own good, don't you see it!): it was the aroused assault in tumultuous power on the spirit of enquiry, and the effort for liberation from the manacles of man placed blightingly upon the spirit of man. So they acted, as if man were his own god, ex-fact, and seeking the future, acquired a past not to last much longer.
So, for comely contrast, let us move to heaven itself. There, we read in Revelation 12, there was war. Christ (Luke ) "saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." His power was evacuated from the intimacies of Job 1. GOD is not a tyrant. He allows as Christ allowed Judas Iscariot, the most amazing liberties to that son of liberty, mankind, that daughter of enterprise, that child of hope. The devil like a virus exploits the opportunities, and the ruins of history attest the futility of his leadership. In his ways, however, there is zero exculpation for man. If he follows, he follows, with body on earth in or mind in the invisible realm of ideologies, yes or spirit in debasement to the dust.
Psalm 50:20ff. exposes the feeling of it:
"You sit and speak against your brother;
You slander your own mother's son.
These things you have done, and I kept silent;
You thought that I was altogether like you;
But I will rebuke you,
And set them in order before your eyes.
"Now consider this, you who forget God,
Lest I tear you in pieces,
And there be none to deliver.
Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;
And to him who orders is conduct aright,
I will show the salvation of God."
There is plenty of rope. It is long. It is often entangled in the spirit of man, whom it limits in its confusion.
Contrary then to Tiananmen, the war in heaven had an issuance in which mercy and goodness and truth were unmolested. The devil and his angels was cast out. Without natural affinity, they now ceased to have access. The judicial payment of Christ in ransom for the price of sin, this was the repeal of the accuser's flirtation of pretence. No more could ANYONE accuse the elect, even in theory. The PAYMENT made, the power present, the plan in action, there was a divergence from the norm on earth. The devil WENT, and his angelic aides with him, earth their destination for a rage of desire.
In heaven, the CRUCIAL SLAUGHTER assuredly came to attention, was indeed central (Revelation 13:8, 5:6 -13, ). But it was accomplished on earth. It was of the SON of the Most High, incarnate in a virgin, the eternal word of God in the temporal slot in time accorded to man, the highest to the low, the greatest to the modest, the majestic to the humble, the invulnerable to the murderable, the limitless to the littleness of ... MAN! The parcel was labelled: for murder as an expiatory sacrifice, by the malevolence of social engineering, political control mechanisms, and of course, the 'needs' of survival.
It is ever the same; but this time, it was radically diverse in two respects. Firstly, it was wrought ON the greatest by the smallest, so that the power was subjected to the controls of mercy, and the principles of power were abashed and abased in the work of love. Secondly, it was a victory for mercy over judgment, but ONLY because the judgment was DULY TAKEN, but taken by the highest for the lowest, and from purity for impurity, with loss only, no gain, except this, that THOSE WHO WOULD RECEIVE IT, freely gained it.
Thus the principalities of freedom, love, mercy, pity, compassion, if you will, were secure, and the powers of justice and duty alike, were fulfilled. It was in reverse, the better for the worse. But it was profound and peaceable. ALL of the requities were reconciled in one, and from ONE came the reconciliation for any, secured by salvation, and wrought in the very midst of, yes through the HAND of evil, for the purposes of good (as in I Cor. 2:8).
The war is over. It is only the invasion which proceeds. Those who wish to follow, may do so. The enemy is riled, for his time is short as Revelation 12 intimates. Indeed, he is furious; and this is the correlate of his being spurious. Efforts to impose are the exhibit of efforts to compose what is not the truth, but a mere pious fiction, these days more and more grossly free to expose even its impiety; but in the end it will not be so. Then, as the mood swings as it must, there will be REAL though irrational RELIGION, and indeed as Revelation 13:11ff. makes so clear, there will be a SECOND BEAST, or social-political-moral-religious manipulator.
His dress ? that of a lamb. His sound ? that of a dragon.
Here is the very epitome of the false prophet (cf. Revelation ), whose end is as for all that opposes truth, to the limit: eternal destruction. That is the nature of the case. There IS no life where truth is not, and there IS no mercy where God is not; for the mercy of the universe is not found in its laws, or its form, but in its Source, the Saviour whose Gospel is the inverse of the inventions of man.
There is no other.
PEACE IN ITS SUBLIMITY, BEAUTY IN ITS TRUTH
It has and has had every opportunity to make itself work, and whether in unconscionable cruelty, its trade-mark, in heady power, its vice, with the talk of compassion or simple passion, dispassionately passionate, in sensitivity, bereft of the mind of man, and inhabited by an unholiness so profound that it becomes, as with Judas himself, a seed-bed for the horticultural marvels of the devil himself: it proceeds to its appointed end.
There is no invasive force in heaven; but power aplenty. Love is its trade-mark, written on its walls, seen in its halls, the scent of its palaces. None wants to get out. It quality is intrinsic and it is eternal.
There lies the beauty of holiness, whole-hearted rejoicing in the truth, reason in royal robes, peace in floral wonders, love in cardinal robes suggestive of blood, the mind of Christ adored, the spirit of holiness imbuing all, like the blue-green depths of the sea in Summer, plashing on the little boats that sail.
Just as the truth in its written validity is found nowhere on earth but in the Bible (cf. SMR Chs. 1,3,10 and TMR Ch. 5 etc.), so the virtue of the truth is found visible only in heaven. Then, and there, this earth gone to its just reward, the inhabitants of righteousness, itself a gift, and the denizens of holiness, find their place, duly prepared for them, just as it was earlier paid for: and the Payor ? Christ, crucified, resurrected (Romans 4:25ff.). Hence is His justice justified, and His people are justified, and being justified, sanctified, and being His, glorified in Him, as it is written of one phase, so applicable to all:
For your light has come!
And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth.
And deep darkness the people;
But the LORD will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising ...";
"Your sun shall no longer go down,
Nor shall your moon withdraw itself:
For the LORD will be our everlasting light,
And the days of your mourning shall be ended.
Also your people shall all be righteous,"
and yet again,
"You shall call your walls Salvation,
And your gates Praise."
THE LIGHT SHINES -
NOW IN WORD, THEN IN OPEN DAY
Then ? Evil has had its day, unthwarted by mere power, yet tempered from achievement of entire control. It goes on its own recognisance, unable to manage, even itself (Isaiah 59:18-21, Micah 7:15ff., II Thessalonians 2:8ff., John 13:13:27ff., Malachi 3:2ff., 4:1ff., Revelation 18-19). God in His glorious harmony, intrinsic and distributable to His people, rules (Isaiah 57:19ff.).
But HOW does He rule ? Then those who love justice, find it. Those who love Him, find Him. Peace has its proper place, as fluent in the channels which are its own. Truth is loved, as it sings, transposed, in mercy, but still itself, being fulfilled through work, Christ's own, in effective power as great as its ardent grace. There are no problems, love having solved them, and the work of the Creator has removed them as the Redeemed relish righteousness by grace (Romans 5, Revelation 21:8).
The integrity of the Lord was mobilised (John 3:16, Isaiah 58:16, Micah 5:1-3, Psalm 110, Psalm 2); and what God alone COULD resolve, all being of Him, to Him and for Him (Romans 11:33), is resolved, as by brilliant light on a fair day (cf. Revelation 21:23). It is here that it shines, triumphant, irradiating all.
following the revelatory trials on this earth (I Peter 1:7), and in the
consummatory beauties of heaven, all things tried, volition free like a
well-tuned ignition, virtue blessed like the harmonious grain of well polished
agate, now force is unnecessary, fervour lying not in the image but in the
heart; and all the tyrannies of humanity under humanism, readily translated
into demonism, are departed like the scum of roaring surf.
Seeing it in Psalm 85.
Psalm 85 is the source of this beautiful personification. In fact, Christ IS the truth, the wisdom of God and the way as well, indeed the life, that eternal life of God which was made manifest to the world (I John 1:1-4), and from whose fountain many may drink (John 4:14), and receive the donation of such everlasting life (Romans 6:23). It is everlasting in form, when the eternal tabernacle, covering, individuality-format, body is acquired in its time (like a spiritual SEASON!), at His return (cf. II Corinthians 5, I Thess. 4); and it is something for which the current events of the Christian's life are a discourse, a preliminary, a tissue of relevance (II Cor. -18).
However, in this Psalm 85, there is a movement as if the mercy and righteousness, the peace and truth of God were persons, in a figure merely, but active in discourse or inter-relation. In such a rapturous presentation, we find that Mercy and met with Truth. Truth might denounce, in all accuracy, the 'chief of sinners', but Mercy might present a 'case' for deliverance, straining like an athletic horse in its quivering beauty, to deliver yet more speed: so mercy yet more tenderness and kindness.
As if this figure is not enough, it proceeds to have Righteousness and Peace kissing, as if their intimacy of involvement, their assiduity of kind, their wonder of delightsomeness were ineffably mutually attractive.
Righteousness might well have said, NONE LIKE THAT HERE! FOR LOOK, IT WOULD MERELY POLLUTE THE PLACE FOR ALL! But Peace looks lovingly into the eyes of Righteousness, and declares, BUT MY DEAR AND DELIGHTFUL PARTNER, NONE EVER WILL BE! Righteousness, mellowed, looks lovingly at Peace, as a man might look at the devoted wife of the years, and realising the peaceable realities, concurs, then, for the sin borne is the sin torn from the breast that harboured it, so that I am crucified with Christ, yes I have been crucified with Christ, in a state of having been crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20 says this, in the Greek tense involved, and Galatians 5:24 adds to it). The STATUS is correlative to the FUNCTION. The good tree bears good fruit (Matthew 7) because its seed is now right, specifically prepared for such a result, and its environment could not be better, "CHRIST IN YOU," and it is He also of whom it is written, "LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS", so that the tree can no more be evil than a sunny day become cloudy.
Black spot may come, but so too the Gardener's spray for it ... (Hebrews 12).
Moreover, the "spirits of just men made perfect", the new creation clothed in everlasting righteousness which now appears in its purity, it is these, their pilgrimages past, who enter heaven. No black mark remains (John , Psalm 103, Micah 7:19ff.), and love has had its way (Romans 8:29ff.), just as foreseen and pre-ordained.
"He is our peace," says Paul in Ephesians 2:14, having preached peace to those even who were far off (Ephesians 2:17), and in Him we have "access by one Spirit to the Father", whose peace is like a lake in a blessed wilderness of tree and bush, flower and bird, its shores clad with quietness and its waters a testimony of purity (cf. Philippians 4:4-6).
In HIM, therefore, righteousness and peace may kiss; nor is this all.
TRUTH springs up from the ground, we read in Psalm 85:11, and RIGHTEOUSNESS shall look down from heaven. So Christ incarnate, like a root out of a dry ground (Isaiah 53), springs up, this earth the temporary repository of the glory of God in human form (I Timothy 3:16, Philippians 2, Hebrews 1), who righteously declares it, "I am the ... Truth"! (John 14:6). Small wonder then that Righteousness looks down from heaven on such a scene, seeing that what it perceives is perfected holiness, indeed the One to be given His due after His rigours of trial and testimony, redemption and resurrection, spotlessly pure and perfectly adequate for all, basis of all eternal life by gift alone (Ephesians 2), the cover of the heavenly contingent, His peculiar people, His special group, His own.
Psalm 85 looks further: it sees guidance in Him (John 13:1ff.), the One whose embrace like that of a Shepherd whose heart covers his fold, contains His flock (Psalm 84:11, 34:18-19). "My sheep," He says, "hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give to them eternal life," He declares, adding this:
They entered by Him as the door (John 10:9), are His. They are clothed, indeed, with His garments of love, as it is written in Isaiah 61:10, "He has covered me with the robe of righteousness," so that Righteousness indeed could look down from heaven, and see purity in the protection provided, for those clad in Christ's provisions, and kept by His power (I Peter 1:4-6), "to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you."
So encouraged, they find this: that
"Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway."
So He leads them.
No orchid is more delightsome, no vast waters under starry heavens more solemn, no intricacy is more harmonious, no pattern more profound; it satisfies the mind, secures the heart, brings quietness to the spirit which receives Him as He is and what He has done, as He did it and finished it (John 19:30, Hebrews 9:12ff., 10:10ff., Romans 5 and 3). Thus (Isaiah 30:15):
"In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength,"
becomes not the sadness of the departed from His proffered presence ("but you would not"), but the experience of those who having tasted and taken His gift (John 6:51ff.), are abundantly satisfied in Him who has satisfied justice in truth, in peace through mercy (Psalm , Ephesians -19, Isaiah 53:11).
So does He abound whose
Life (intrinsic, Hebrews 7:16, I John 1:1ff.) is life (in
donation and derivation): for life we were made, and the love of the
Life is the perfection of peace and the consummation of truth to the enquirer,
who, seeing it in Person, delights more than those who abound in terrestrial
things, soon to depart, or this world, whose date with fatality is too clear
(II Peter 3, Matthew 24:35, Ephesians 3:17).
In fact, of course, God is not so easily removed by graphical tricks. First, He is there whether this is desired or not (SMR Chs. 1-10). Again, there is no such movement whatever in the word of God. In the beginning, He creates, He warns and the desecrators are removed (Genesis 6); the Gospel comes, He warns (II Peter 3:9), and the desecrators are removed (Matthew 24:37, , Mark 9).
He was most tender (Deuteronomy 32:11-12, Psalm 106, Jeremiah 9), and He was so in Christ the Redeemer (Luke ); but justice could not be dammed up forever, when mercy was foreclosed (man madly casting aside its provisions - Luke -44, Jeremiah 24). Tragedy is inevitable when the resources of heaven in its brilliance of conception and intensities of compassion, is written off in the ebullience of pride and the evanescence of vanity on earth (Jeremiah 13:16ff., Matthew 23:37, John 3:17-36). It is ever the same.
Christ did not come to JUDGE the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. In this role, He in His compassion is rigorous, and in His mercy vigorous; but the dismissal, though its very name and nature was passionate pollution on the cross, even though no PERSONAL vengeance but rather forgiveness freely flowed from Him in His perfection of pity, and radiance of purity: it is the same. "He who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." Why ? Because that is the case with sin; and when a sinecure free from salvation is sought, then tragedy is wrought, in this or that testament.
It is vain to manipulate or rather, seek to alter the word of God. Christ in compassion was indeed filled with an extravagant liberality of mercy which is its very nature; but this despised, here seen in its beauty of holiness, unmixed, then the cleansing purity of justice, instead of meeting Christ in His compassion, and this now by His own will (cf. Revelation 6:16; 19), rains in torrents upon the uncovered soul.
The movement from the Old Testament to the New in this regard, is from preparation to consummation; prediction to fulfilment, from joy in prospect to joy in retrospect, from judgment in hold, while beauty adorns the earth in the Messiah, to judgment restrained while the Gospel surges: and thence to judgment unleashed, where pardon is despised.
The capsule of compassion
is never to be confused with some change in the rigours of justice; and the
beauty of the cross is not to be mingled with the duty to self, that it never
repents, conceives itself too good to die with Christ, and invents for itself a
vanity, like the idols of old, in which its place is secured in its own right,
partially or in whole. For such, Christ did not die; since they 'see', they
remain blind (John ). It is IN THAT SENSE, that the
"For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind."
This blindness, sustained, has no cure, for if people turn from the truth after receiving knowledge of it, removing themselves from the wholly and holy sacrifice for sins, then "there remains no longer a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries" - from Hebrews 10:26-27.
It always did (cf. Numbers
16, Genesis 6). It does so still (II Peter 3:9ff.). There is no other way. The
principalities and powers cannot alter it; the holy beauty of God has it thus.
Mercy is proffered; pardon is offered; justice is never abated, but it can be
diverted through faith in the wonder of the work of Jesus Christ. There is no
other Saviour; and this Saviour is full of savour, for no sin remains: Christ
takes all, and His people are in Him, and He in them, until the day when "the spirits of
just men made perfect" attest the form of favour in unending light.
"For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."
First you make much of your love of the LORD; and then you make RELATIVELY little of your love for His word, as if His mouth could be torn out, but it is not put quite like that. In fact, it has the air of sanctity, so that it may be declared roundly, by such practitioners, "I do not make myself guilty of bibliolatry."
It is rather like a Naval Lieutenant (capitalised for his capital self-assurance) declaring in the presence of his ratings, "I give my submission to our Captain ONLY. I for my part, do NOT, repeat NOT, bow to his words."
Court martial would not be likely to take long.
There may be such a crime as bibliolatry, in which some poor soul literally worships the words, and DOES NOT, repeat NOT, go to the Lord for salvation, as specifically indexed in John 5:39-40. It is 'may be' since the FAILURE to COME to the Lord, while dwelling on the words that are written, just like failing to take an antibiotic while praising its powers, is not the same as WORSHIPPING them. It is in fact disregarding them!
Such a thing as idolatry is conceivable, to be sure; but the point in Christ's words is this, that they affect great affection for the words, and yet fail to follow them. It is quite simple.
It is also quite fatal.
No less dangerous is the misuse of such a pathological preoccupation as if its diseased estate
idolatry - it may or may not, being basically distancing from the words; and
b) departure from that error is a trip purchased only by superseding those words: HIS!
Such a confusion is all but
incredible, and it is only the knowledge of the blindness imparted by
rebellion, an alienation from the very life of God as in Ephesians 4:17ff., I Peter 2:8, that can give rest to the enquiring
mind, wondering HOW could anyone confuse THIS with THAT! Where it is mere
cultural conformity to the evils of the Age, of course, the Biblical teaching
can readily return, and the one in error be cleansed.
and those of GOD, direct and declared,
Such a tag is not to be desired. The word of God is to be desired. It is not in heaven, mouldering through failure to air it; it is not in hell, innocuous in hopelessness: it is not there that it finds its mission. It is on earth, produced, provided and incisive like a sword (Hebrews ), the testimony of the power of God both in its purity and in its performance, immutable and immiscible, grand in its security, secure in its grandeur. It is not a marred sword, cutting bluntly; it is a sharp one, cutting precisely; it is not marred, but remarkable; not ineffectual in its incisions, but effectual in what it has, cutting into any tissue, soul or mind or spirit, irrevocable, irresistible in truth, the very word of God.
What then ? The removal of straw men is necessary, when dealing with the facts. Implicit mockery of the testimony of truth may liberate from its confines; but then, its confines are those of Christ, whose religion it is, whose book it is, and whose splendour did not fail to confirm what He has Himself confined: WHAT HE WANTS IN WHAT HE SAYS. You are not to obey Him in a love which is the very product of disobedience, but in one which as He demands, is not ashamed of the confines of His speech, the performance of His will so declared, in which you are servant not master, spoken to, not speaker, directed not directing. Here lies the truth Himself, this given by His Spirit: Luke 9:26, John 12:48-50, John 14:21ff..
See I Peter 1:24-25, 10-12, II Peter 1:19-21, Isaiah 59:21, 34:16, Psalm 119 which indicates the rehearsal of all the words of God by the Psalmist in his meditations and worship, Matthew 5:17-20, I Corinthians 2:9-13 which provides testimony both of the wording provided and the substance revealed, Revelation 22:18-19, John 14:21-23, which makes it clear that the keeping of His words IS an index to the love towards HIM, Acts 4:25, where David's words are what were spoken from the mouth of the Lord, Isaiah 44:25ff., 45:18-19, Jeremiah 23; and refer to the above two book references, together with Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium Ch. 16.
The words Christ has spoken are to JUDGE, and the concept that they can be dismissed is already close to judgment! It is to take the criteria of Christ and remodel them, as perilous a proceeding as any other impudence against the Almighty, whose word rules, and who rules with His word (John 12:48-50, Joel 2:11). It is to appeal to a revised document in the judgment in a case, by re-writing the law and so telling the judge of a new way for him to work. Even if it were not contrary in concept to what is constantly written, it would be an arousal of belligerence to the 'system', which intolerable to man, would be infinitely more so to the speaker of the words, when He is deity Himself.
Indeed, in Jeremiah 23 we find this, that false prophets speak in the name of the Lord, and true ones gives His words, so that of the former He says this:
they had stood in My counsel,
And caused My people to hear My words,
Then they would have turned them from their evil way
And from the evil of their doings."
Celestially invisible, inaudible, adulterated words do not do this, being those of false prophets. The effectual words are HIS, the declaration of Him who is invisible to the world that is visible, confirmed by His Son in visible format, persistently and insistently working with and demanding the entire integrity of the words given: and this in total and dramatic contradistinction from any others. These as He emphasised, have the quality concordant with the claim (Matthew 5:17ff., 24:35, 4:4, 12:48ff., Matthew 26:53-54 cf. I Peter 1 and II Peter 1, with Isaiah 34:16 as above).
DREAMS! these are the butt of the terminal tidings of Jeremiah, arresting the follies of his day, lamenting the desolations they portended, in their effectual derogation of the words of God, which are HIS! Dreams of 'new light' ? IF it is the very word of God, precisely as given, because it is His, good; but if it is some philosophical overlay, some new dimension added, some graphical extrapolation of imaginary trends, which is mere addition when all is said and done, then this IS PRECISELY what Jeremiah is given in God's name to characterise as the work of a FALSE PROPHET. If it is written, so be it, as Christ made clear to the devil; but what is added in succulence of spirit, turgidity of heart or entrepreneurial action of the mind of man, this is mockery of truth. God is not mocked. The Jews found that. The Gentiles are finding that.
Let him who has ears, hear.
God has said it.
To Journey to the next Chapter, use this link.