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THE TIRED WANDERING
of THE ONES
and the UNRETIRED NECESSITY
for THE ONE
Fascination of the 'One'
You get it continually, the fascination with the one. They want to have one feature, or one focus, or one dynamic or one unit or one politics or one religion or one facility or one organ. No wonder there is so much division when the woeful ones become the objects of passion, like so many football teams, competing.
Some kill for their one preference, but then they die, in the end. Some fight for it, they murder, inveigh, provide diatribes, all for the one. It is atoms, they say, but why in the world atoms would take it into their non-existent heads to develop will, they do not say, or into their non-existent minds to learn to think, they do not divulge, or to worship, they cannot imagine. So they start with theories, and are not much fussed with facts.
Others want it to be sex, and they choose one organ, or organic arena, and it proves their passionate concern, but nothing else. The body has many organs, the human being has many productions: reproduction is merely one method, and this is merely one part of it. Love lies behind it, production lies ahead of it, with the deposit of an invention incomparably more marvellous than anything any man has made, the baby. But this cycle is not all; and assuredly the only reason for living, is not making other lives (cf. What is Life for ?). Terrestrial life has its own meaning and purpose, an attribute of its design, being the most ingenious, complicated, controlled, free, meaningful, articulate, liberated, powerful, ideational thing that there is visible upon this earth, and rising to the full stature of survey and vocabulary for thought about the ultimate, and action for purposes consciously composed and construed, in man (cf. Life, what is it ?).
Some want one State to control all, with man in his midget clothing of nascent thought, KNOWING just what all other men need, want or should have. In this way, and Putin seems to be drawing near to this brink of extinction for individuality in his country, once again in peril, you need not wonder about all these things, but just do as you are told, eat as you are fed, and find expression in the plan of policy made for you. If it is not yet this, in type, it is in real danger of following in the footsteps of Communism, to a new totalitarianism, yes one equipped with a unifying religion. Putin has made it clear that he would really like to see Anglicanism and Romanism wed, and doubtless, the Russian Orthodox could peep into the mix for this glorious one. Man will make of religion one, and it will be HIS VERY OWN religion, with its own prohibitions and requirements.
Whether Russia helps this creation, or the World Council of Churches, or Anglicanism in its dying woes as the nation deserts it at home, amid its lust for Romanism (cf. A Question of Gifts Section VII), or the Bishop Swing type of explicit and contrived religious unification (cf. News 121) as a theme that seems to eclipse the question of just what you think you are unifying, there is an enormous desire for ONENESS in religion, only outdistanced by the desire that this oneness MUST NOT be Biblical, or involve the absolute sovereignty of the invisible God.
Again, there must be one dynamic, for the power back of it all HAS TO erupt in some one method, and so survival of the fittest was the so brilliant solution, except that it was one hundred per cent irrelevant; but when philosophy is concerned, this appears to be neither here nor there. HOW does not surviving or surviving CREATE something! This problem is like asking how being thrifty earns your living. If the living is there, it helps; but if you are not actually earning, it does not create purchasing power. These things are discussed often on this site, and for example in TMR Ch. 1, SMR Ch. 2, and in particular, pp. 128ff..
It is intensely amusing and highly edifying to notice that those who would like to cashier God, have in this way a NEGATIVE way of expressing the way of arrival, without - naturally enough - having anything positive to offer. After all, for the greatest of all designs (cf. pp. 211ff. SMR), if you exclude the adequate power of thought and purpose, then there is nowhere to find it. That is the reason why, ex God, it is not found, and the most ludicrous suggestions are being made as to where it may be found, in the genesis in the womb, in the self-moulding of inventive genes, in the bosom of matter and so on, as if thought had gone on vacation, and nothing even amusingly like an answer were in view: just words!
Again, there is often one domain, the material, the will, or the mental, or the spiritual depending on preference, in materialism (for the error of which see It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, and SMR Chs. 1, 3, 10), in Schopenhauer, Jung, Buddhism and so forth. It is always inadequate, it is always words without referents, it is always a burst of imagination, and never sustainable to thought; and that is precisely why nothing ever comes of any of it. It goes, people stagger after it, and it falls; and they continue anyway.
Pathology of 'the One'
This world suffers from unification-itis, because it insists one part of the universe, or the residue when you evacuate what you can see, or the productivity of what does not produce, and not on what is adequate for ALL of these things as well as ANY of them, and for their synthesis, as for liberty, imagination and worship.
Man wants to have his one, either generatively or analytically, and will stand on his head and eat his stomach for such a result; and even takes drugs providing an illusion of it, as his unified brain and his integrated mind is poisoned into giving vapid illusions from its well-constructed midst. What is it like ? it is rather like the last flash of light as you die in a blinding aeroplane crash; but it really does not help to have done it. Drugs are a fashion which is mere fiasco.
Looking back historically, as in Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13, we found this (slightly adapted for this purpose):
The ancient Greek thinkers are so naive that they could almost without help inhabit many an academic philosophy department of today! EVERYTHING HAD TO BE originated by, or coming from, or the product of...
a) water or perhaps
b) air, or perhaps
c) change or perhaps
d) stability, static to the end, and unyielding
e) atoms (although the spaces between them would still be a problem, their origin and their capacities: but never mind, consistency of thought is the LAST THING in these musings!).
So the turgid mess called early Greek Philosophy went on its Athenian way (with apologies to those not of
, yet as it were, being Athenian before their time!). Athens
It was, as comedy, entrancing; as unsophisticated verve, delightful; but of course, in practice, absurd.
David Hume's Humorous Humian Nature was another such effort (cf. SMR Ch.3, esp. pp. 257ff.), a naturalism for man by which he could good-naturedly tell the truth to truthless nature! It was quite an epic, the destruction of which is exhibited in the reference given. But the point here is this: there is this thrust of lust, like some burning throat in the desert, to imbibe a unified water, encompassing all things, and the throat as well in its format. The mentor must be it; the will; the lifeless seed of atoms; the particles; the particulate, the invisible, the profound, the cause and the consequence, the limpidity of thought and the crass shrieking of matter, the profound wallowings of befuddled will with the incisive logician's skill! It is what then ? It is the unity of the garbage can, the shredder! But not all is shredded, though it WILL most assuredly be reduced to size !(cf. Ezekiel 28:9), when its implicit pretensions of spirit, exemptions of logic and rescensions of unrealism are as silent as they are now irrational.
Why ON EARTH should everything bother to come from air or fire or atoms or any other element or aspect of the whole diversified and multi-partitioned totality!
Why should the errors of thought reside (in man, who is so very good at this particular thing) where the directed atoms know no error; and why should will be found, where things went obviously according to a will which they did not possess, irrelevant to their operations, themselves oblivious of their servitude, not being blessed with so much as the capacity to think! and if they had it, where is the evidence! and since there is none, where is the science that postulates such things to explain what is not explicable, or for explication, since it does not enter into the data of what happens (cf. SMR pp. 80ff., 115ff., 131ff., 284ff., 307ff., 413ff., A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3) ? Just precisely where! Is this to be the end of the world, for science-philosophy (currently by many vitamised with science almost as if it were a fun fair, for serious-minded scientists, weary of the strait-jacket of disciplined thought and taking time off with a few beers!) ?
There IS A UNITY of course. It is not (and as noted, CANNOT BE) a self-sufficient unity. It is NOT the unity of the wholly disparate; for there is no unity in systematic diversity. It MAY of course be UNIFIED into an operational totality (in fact, this has been done and it deserves research - it is called MANKIND). Here the trilogy of will and mind and spirit is wedded, but not welded. It does not systematically interfere, though there can be some interaction. It is like any other invention really: there are provisions for interaction in certain respects, and there is a construction which erects certain sophisticated realms (like the old-fashioned wireless-tubes), which operate according to their own field, but provide as ingredients, what is needed in some allied field.
We look thus at the unity which,
in purpose, program, integral meaningfulness of function and synthetic totality,
is available for all realms of thought and action, in man!
What a masterpiece of provision and a designation of purpose, a ground for acclamation and a testimony to majesty, is man! It is not from man but in his making: and for this he must give account.
The human body is full of such discrete and brilliant provision for mass-production, mathematical unity, and energic adequacies at all levels, from cells to organs. The unity is NOT TO BE FOUND*1 however by seeing how an electron is REALLY a brain; or a nerve cell really a muscle; or a mind really a slave system, or a will, merely a delusion. How would you know, since you have one; and how can anyone EVER penetrate to the fact of delusion, if it is endemic! If you could TELL, it COULD not be endemic. If it is NOT endemic, then it is merely a possible condition, and then the nature of it, its causes and cure becomes logically possible.
Logic burrows beautifully, and when its end is found, its value is confirmed. It points to God, as we saw in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, with unerring certitude
(cf. pp. 1-62, 211ff., 307ff., 422Eff.) ;
and when God Himself is found
(and the point here is that there is more to it than a discovery per se,
since He is a person with His own ways), and
when indeed in God man finds his source,
then in fact His statements are found,
and then may be clearly seen from Him, that His word has not only declared man, but information, communication for him; and there are all things in an order so perfect, that it fills with a just awe, and a due delight.
Thus, THIS UNITY IS NOT from some ingredient. It is in the DESIGN. That is the way with all of our cases, and it is way here. It is in the mind of the designer, the creator, the conceptualisation of the constructor, the mental habitat of the maker, the spirit of the producer, the flair of the fashioner, the thought of the conceiver.
To try to ‘unify’ the penchants, principles, preferences, purposes and productions of what matches the definitive expression of design, with some particle is merely one more expression of the naturalistic fallacy. How does this calumny of logic proceed, and what does it say ? This:
- 'Because it is big, it does not need to be logical; since it is vast, it is rationally vacuous. Large scale enterprises are not subject to logic. Build the
, and you do not need to be rational or consider causality.' No ?But the invoices will be the same for such prodigies of strength and wisdom, only much larger. Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Yet this particular vacuity of thought is constructed ex vacuo, despite and indeed by MEANS of its mentality ridden interstices, its formed, finished, coherent expression of what is one only brand of thought, just as there is one only language of life, one mode of provision in its physical format, for vitality propulsion.
- This nonsense theory deploys causality in order to ignore it; it is like using an automobile to deny that they exist. Yet, goes the nursery rhyme, it must nevertheless be construed as NOTHING ELSE COULD EVER BE CONSTRUED. Nothing and grand things together, goes the rhyme, need nothing to make them so clever! In other worlds, where all is automated, it might be so; but then the spirit of man is the least automated of all things on this earth, and the mind of man the most dependent on causality for ALL of its conceptions, ingredient of vocabulary, mobiliser of grammar. Moreover self-contradiction is no way to construct anything but testimony for mental problems, or hazy daze.
- If any such things were the case, then thought would suicide and its products die with it. This liberty is mere self-contradiction of the grounds of discourse, as often shown on this site (cf. SMR Ch.3, and causation). As soon, however, as thought starts and uses the rationality of language, the results accrue and lead to God as shown in SMR Ch.1 et al.. IF it does NOT start, then there is no language, and a de-created being, not a logician, stares dumbly into space, auto-disenabled from saying one word.
GROUND OF THE PATHOLOGY
There then is our ONE, the perverse peregrination from whom is like the last antics of a beheaded rooster, as his members jab about, before death. Man insists on dying, and since in a way he still lives, then these diseases, these pathological perversions of unity, these distraught and devious departures from actuality afflict him like arthritis for a bent back. He MUST by passion have these 'ones', because the ONLY ONE who can explain all things, necessary for any, is divorced. Fallen man and unreconstructed man simply MUST have some philosophy, some religion, it seems; and this is so, naturally enough since he is made by One with the power and Spirit from which he has come; and thus when he meets this religion or that philosophy, what does he say ? As in the song: He simply must love some religion, some philosophy, and it might as well be YOU!
If it WILL not be the true one, it seems it MUST be a false one, sometimes chosen rather from ennui, brio, enthusiasm, need, rather than any more rational means. Hence some of the religions make farce seem sober by comparison, when you analyse their components! (cf. SMR Ch. 10). It is by no means because man will not think, but that in certain areas, sobriety and rationality, truth and its tidings are NOT DESIRED. Doing mathematics on a false base MUST bring confusion; and it is no less so with religion. If anything, it is worse, since this is an inter-personal decampment as well!
What determines the sad substitute for truth ? Possibly a combination or synthesis of culture, fear in the case of suppressive religions like Islam, social fear in some cases, inertia, tradition, desire to escape, effort to have something vaguely respectable, a sense of the tiresome, a dream for the forbidden, and so on. The reasons can be as intricate as the fabric of man's personality. It is straight and finely made; but error, as man goes astray, is all but infinite. A being made in God's image who rejects God MUST have inordinate troubles, traumas, tedious pretences and multiplied gods and pseudo-gods, quasi-gods and the like, the fill the gap: the logical, the emotional, the spiritual and the moral gap.
That is why you get such inordinate follies and confusions as in the moral realm for example.
That is also why so many profess no religion at all, with religious fervour, and yet one finds key notes of their moral, intellectual and ultimate philosophy thrown in, absolutely required: even if it is only the saw that no one knows, and this then becomes an authoritative absolute truth in a universe which, on such a model, has simply no means of knowing it. Further, those who think otherwise are 'WRONG' on the rational scale in this pretence, and those who teach otherwise are felt to be misleading man, merely blaring at the unknowable: and this too, it is known in a world where such things, according to model, CANNOT be known. Man loves to escape from what may be known, and in so doing becomes very knowledgeable in his dictates, which of course are 'known'. Why ? because the direction of flow, the desire to be quit of God, is inoperable. You cannot do it; trying merely is trivialising truth.
Thus does man betray himself in the midst of his alienated moods and modes; for you cannot escape what you are by what you are, except of course in one format, by death, which is what happens in such cases, first rationally and spiritually, then physically, pending judgment.
How often do you find someone far above morals, despising religion and without any apparent footing anywhere, a free-thinker: who yet is MOST emphatic that freedom of thought is a MORAL necessity, or tolerance is an ESSENTIAL MORAL ingredient in any sound society, or that NICE people are of a mould which is agreeable to close and rich living together, or that sound politics is a matter of doing everything methodically and the like. NOTHING ELSE will do; and if you are permitted to live by this amoral sort of being, it is often within moral confines, based on nothing but required with passion. Nothing more obvious could well be found, in such multiplied human irrationalities, in this field as in all the other clamant quotas made by man for man, in virtually every realm, as a pointer to the God who, being ignored, leaves man in a sort of madness to replace Him without saying so!
ROVING WITH THE PASSION FOR THE 'ONE'
In News 100, we looked at the roving nature of the ONE passion.
ONE is just a unit in the numerical system ... or is it!
It is the lodestar, the magnet, the ultimate for so many people in so many things, the new call of the millenium, as the old call of the ages. Now it has more practical clout.
Physicists try, as we noted in Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium 13, to find a certain ONENESS. ALL the particles have ultimately to come from THIS, or to be understandable as THAT. It is ALL to be particle, or ALL to be wave or ALL to be a determinant or some other obsessive fantasy. IF it DOES not all become one, then it MUST! Why ?
If all the genders, for all the unisex obsession, ARE not one; if male and female are diverse components in the many facets of humankind, of which children are another, embryos yet another, reliability is one, unfaithfulness is another, why on earth should there be this absurd pre-occupation to JUMP the realities, which have nothing to do with philosophy at all, that there are differences of enormous functional importance in male and female, mature and immature, reliable and unreliable? What is the driving force about this compulsion for ONE!
It is interesting that it is closely linked to religion. There MUST be NO difference in creed which relates to employment. The man whose creed is for holy wars, and who may set about them, is to be viewed in some ultimately MYSTICAL way as REALLY just the same in employment prospects as some one who has a criterion of peace. The man who wishes to corrupt children, a paedophile (though here the concept of one is a little less compulsive!) as part of his religion of oneness of all things, is really to be employed just as freely as anyone else. NO! But what if it is his religion that all these things about differences are merely illusion, that what matters is the ONENESS of all human beings, and indeed of all things...
So you DO NOT mean that religion makes no difference! Ah, then why all this talk about it as if it were some sort of naughty thing, to have a religious preference for those whom you employ! If it applies in one field, why not in another ? Some religionists believe in making the world submit to their leader. Hitler had a religion like that, and so did Marx, although only indirectly, yet it hurt the bodies just as much! Does THAT make no difference, that your employe is continually in a state of active desire to forward whatever makes for THIS sort of world ? Did not wars arise, did not spies, did not those in high places in Germany make all the difference for a generation because they yielded to Hitler! Does what you BELIEVE then make no difference to a man, in this obsessive fantasy about oneness!
This thing, this obsession, it is itself, a type of religion, and a mystical type for which facts do not even matter. IT MUST BE SO, whatever the facts, and whatever the cost.
WHY is it a type of religion and yet so venerated with such monopolistic exclusivism by so many? Why is this so, since it is obviously absurd, as it clashes with other criteria no less desirable to many - such as a quieter and more peaceable world, reliability, integrity, the best use of resources which CANNOT be obtained by pretending what is not the same, in fact is so: WHY is it given such priority ? It is as we shall see, a subversive substitute for God, and most convenient.
The same occurred somewhat earlier in education. Children were, with Dewey eyes, to be adults, practising democracy. With Spock frocks, they were to be given licence and liberty, like adults. They were really so very human, really ONE with adults, so that it was almost wicked to restrain them or treat their immaturity as DIFFERENT and requiring INTELLIGENT adaptation in training.
Spock repented and said so, when he saw what he deemed the results of such a philosophy, and small wonder!
It is however the easy way. TREAT children as adults, MEN as WOMEN or vice versa if for some (non-unitary) reason you prefer it that way, if you will, but this mysticism has its penalties, as does everything which is contrary to reality. You can have your mysteries and your myths, but if they are not true, you pay! It is not unlike the case of the drunken driver who HAS his myth (while intoxicated) that he has new abilities or at least no impairment, until he lands in the lamp-post.
You can treat all religions as the same until you find yourself in a Communist prison, a Nazi labour camp or a Moslem harem: and does multi-marriage make no difference ? Is it REALLY true that to be one of a number of wives (which of course in passing, we note, destroys the concept of ONENESS, for there is ONE male and there are MANY females in such a case) makes no difference ? The author can never be a wife in order to find out, but one can use a little imagination. In the Western world, one wife can be a considerable problem for many; what of being one of MANY!
It is not like children, when they are growing up and need help; these are real human beings who are fully grown, in an entourage about one man. One to one relationship seems a more humble, a more realistic, not to say a more loving resolution! It is not mythical but inter-personal. Thus the domination and disposition of women by some imaginary sanctity in the male, providing for a plurality of wives, though it is true that biblically the one husband of one wife has a certain presidency parallel to the requirement of sacrificing himself for his wife, is a thing appalling to the thought, whether in this world or in an Islamic imagination concerning the next (cf. More Marvels ... Ch. 4, and allied references).
Of course all these things make a difference, and obsessive compulsions to the contrary are merely a psychic phenomenon. They have no logical place.
GETTING BACK TO THE ONE WHO IS WONDERFUL
We saw in this way that the ONE seeks to transcend all the ones, as well as becoming a lodestar passion for those who divorce from the ACTUAL ONE who alone is adequate logically, emotionally, spiritually and morally for man (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9). Indeed, it is in this very Chapter that we find these words:
IF however the mind were not valid, much less would be its spawn, such as ideologies, such as materialism. ONLY when the mind is first assumed valid, is the ideology even conceivable as sane. To assume the mind valid is the work of validation, wholly disparate from matter. To prove that what is a process without meaning can assign meaning is merely a contradiction in terms. To act as if truth were the fruit of inability to reach it because it is not there, is indeed a sort of academic mania, to be distinguished terminologically from anything logical. It is a form of desperation so naive, and so manifestly self-contradictory that the indulgence in it is a mere expression of humour or an incubus of bravado.
One may be desperate to win a war, but one needs weapons. A gun which kills you, does not help.
Better is needed. Validity requires two things minimally: rational use of logical forms in a way which does not contradict itself or any known condition in which it is ostensibly or actually operating; and a system which does not deny, but which actually in some way REACHES absolute truth*1A. To do this, as we have earlier shown, but here merely revise in summary, requires a capacity to be INSTRUCTED BY IT, since the insertion of truth into a pollution or inadequacy or non-truth is a process which is rather like putting spring water into
. It is already polluted. Your processive equipment would be in the way unless you were yourself wholly aligned to, and able to process truth without deviance or incomprehension. This of course would require you to be made for it or by it, or both. Lake Baikal
The reception of truth is far more demanding systematically and necessarily than the reception of data over the internet by a computer. It requires absolute reciprocity to the absolute. On the theories which deny God, access to Him, or both, this is absolutely impossible; for therein man is neither of the ilk of the absolute, nor is there available any absolute to speak if it would or could; nor, therefore, can there be any absolute divulgement, present for contemplation: the case is ruled out.
In other words, one needs, in this system of intelligible interchange, to be made by the absolute truth and for the absolute truth, to be able to receive. The relative, the derivative (from whatever, in this quaint view), MAN, he is in this sphere of thought neither subject nor directable to it. If it were there, he could not find it; since it is, on this basis, not there, he need not search.
Once and for all, we thus come to God in order to able so much as to make meaningful discussion of truth at all, and to avoid assumptions of total insanity for the race, which of course would likewise remove from argument, those who held to the view, for who wants to hear from someone self-designated as sane, in terms of reason and truth!
To find Him, we need His word, to find that we have no trouble (SMR Ch. 1), since there is only one book which on the one hand, surpasses all human power for compilation and expression in terms of knowledge of future and past, validity and its exhibition (cf. TMR Ch. 5, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -7), and yet is opaque to all devices to dismiss it, merely standing firm over the centuries as this and that scientific or philosophical marvel bursts like some temporary rocket in a fire-works display, with fading starlets alighting in, but not enlightening the night, into which they merge.
There is only one PERSON associated with that book, who in His person, power and products, including His own predictions, stands unique in history; and yet integrates so precisely and minutely with ALL the words of that book, while equally exhibiting its full scope and meaning (cf. SMR Ch. 9): that whether it be man or book, it is one. Just one!
One and one are one. How is this ? One book and one exponent of it, an empowered original to perform its requirements, exhibiting personality without defilement and truth without opportunity for overthrow in all company over all ages: these two are one. In what sense are they not two then ? In this sense are they one: ONE is the word which shows, the OTHER is the Person who KNOWS, and together their unity is phenomenal, intimate, infinite. They are exponents, one in word format, the other in human format, of God. Since God who makes persons is not less, Christ the eternal word of God incarnate, is personal. His revelation is direct; whereas that of the written word is indirect.
Yet it still conveys truth to the mind of man, built for just this purpose, and able to understand truth BECAUSE made in the image of God, whose word constitutes truth. As to Him, His words and deeds stand undivorced by multiplicity in collision, unspoilt by inherited psychic warping or frustrated desires, inept designs or systematic limits.
In other words, two implements of expression, one with the intimacy of thought and language, the other with the infinite intimacy of person to person correspondence, He being the exact expression of His Father: that is, the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ, these, one leading to the Other, the Other leading on with the one (cf. Matthew 5:17-20), jointly as one, show God.
There ends the quest of unrest, there is the terminus for the misspent passion of imaginary and inadequate, unverified and invalid gods, whether of mere force or mere pretence, subjects of fiery imagination: there reason prevails, and finds revelation to match; there the power given man finds the empowered provisions of God, and there is rest (cf. Matthew 11:27-30).
WEARY WORLD IN ITS FAR-FLUNG,
AND COMING KING IN HIS JOY
There is more to explain than the nose, toes and clothes of a pianist, the outward trappings. The whole stature of man, the integral marvel of design, involving mind, matter and spirit, and all the realms to which he is party, and their synthesis with respective interfaces of incredible brilliance and contrivance, his whole imagination and spirit, his thrust and his 'must', his intimations and their verifications, his thought and its coherence with itself (when it is duly disciplined), with the material and spiritual universe, when it explores with reason and verifies with evidence: all this requires an inordinate base.
That base does not grow old, since time is His conception, and age a perquisite of the product, such as man, and his material universe, and his philosophies. They age and creak, like old rocking-chairs, always moving cyclically back and forth, never moving! (cf. SMR Ch. 3). The resolving power of the word of God never flinches, always clinches (cf. SMR Ch. 5), and nothing ever even embarrasses His word, which ploughs on like a liner in the oceans, moving with majesty over crest and trough, unperturbed. Storms come, and it continues; and horrors arise, and they are predicted; the impossible, the impassable comes, as in this generation, and man groans. But no! The word of God has already said it, that the time would come when, unless those days were shortened, divinely truncated, MAN COULD NOT LIVE ON THIS EARTH, growing old in his days, in his environment, in his wickedness and in his reception of patiently retarded, but eventually arriving ... DIVINE JUDGMENT.
The world with ways and wisdom of man grows old; but the freshness of God is the same, His ways are eternal. Thus, when the Eternal ONE first came to this earth, it was as per predicted plan, in order to manifest the love and power of God, in healing, speaking, exhorting, in miracles, in crucifixion, in summoning death and defeating it in resurrection, providing pardon in making that Gospel by these means, which was predicted by Isaiah (cf. SMR pp. 755), centuries before; and in His doing so at the time forecast by Daniel, He exercised that precision which is apparent when the deeper interstices of human production are considered.
God does things with majesty, and when He came as Majesty, it was in humility, presenting to the sinful arrogance so readily besetting the rulers of man, an example, an astonishment (Isaiah 52:13ff.) and an appeal which our God-made natures naturally feel. He carried it to the ultimate conclusion, and being ultimate, made a triumph of the conclusion in a new beginning for man by defeating the ultimate enemy, death, with ineradicable life. Thus He so moved even when it is a matter of being murdered in human format, to cover the duties on human sin, at the bar of justice (cf. II Cor. 5:17ff.).
However, if you prefer, you can elect to follow a purpose-driven life in which you are the issue in all practice, a self-fulfilment driven life, a chauffeur driven life in the car of carnal success: achieving your personal goals, putting God in the back-seat (back-seat drivers are notoriously unwelcome to the driver in front, when offering explicit advice), you can minimise concern at sin and maximise self-satisfaction, you can indulge in spiritual effrontery and not worry too much about anything once you are set and chauffeur-driven to the mating of your purpose in life with a religious glow of saying a sweet little prayer. Then, if you will, you can engage in mystic communings with whatever answers to such sub-covenantal ramblings, to your very heart's content. You can even congratulate yourself on your 'success' in spiritual terms, on BEING so contented, and make a new Gospel of convenience-store shopping for God.
However in all these things, it is but one more little one, the one of MY CHOICE, MY CHOICE LIFE and MY COVENANT in whispers and communings, not God's covenant in the Gospel with discomfort (as in Psalm 73), contrition (as in Psalm 51), in which it is YOU, YOU, YOU and not a cultural object of blame or religious contrivance of shame which is invented, it is you who are guilty, cleared by the blood of Christ and restored in a miracle of kindness, to become a slave for Christ, and not to 'reign as kings' as Paul put it to the too complacent Corinthians.
There is no winning on the paths of human construction, a way by your sincerity and purpose, desire and thrust, to achieve elimination of the bitterness of the pill which heals. And that ? It is first being SMITTEN with a sense of sin (John 16:8-11), then being PARDONED by the blood of Christ (Romans 3:23-27), at His mercy, then of being crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20, 5:24 - a rather odd sort of additive to the 'fulfilment' ideas, whether these be spiritual, moral, practical or material).
In short, if the CROSS OF CHRIST is not central, then what you get is, as far as the Gospel is concerned, ANOTHER ONE (as in II Corinthians 11). However there IS no other, so you get precisely nothing (Galatians 1:6-9).
We find that here too there is the human desire for inventing yet one more one, ONE OTHER GOSPEL than the true one. Yes it comes even in Gospel terms, in making a new Christ rather than a regenerate YOU, a solaced saint rather than a redeemed sinner, one accepted by man, but not by God, stroked by the psyche but not surrendered to the Prince of Life. He did not die for our fulfilment, but for our redemption. The more abundant life which follows that is not the product of little prayers, saint worship, bread worship, ecumenical oneness - but the purchase of Christ, inhabited by Him (Romans 8:16, Colossians 1:27), strengthened by Him (Ephesians 3:16), obedient in principle to Him (John 14:21-23, Luke 6:46, Matthew 7:21). Instead of oneness with the psychic, cultural world, where nothing REALLY matters, such as whom you marry, it involves oneness with the living God, whose word so matters, that man is to live by every word of it.
Here then is another unity craze, to grab the gospel and make it different for human convenience, presenting yet one more fabricated unity, among unbelieving and even idolatrous 'churches' . Of such things you so often hear; not of dying into life, and living as one alive from the dead (II Corinthians 5:15).
It is not at all that nothing matters but purpose or will or sense of satisfaction; everything matters, for you should love the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind and strength, with ONE LORD, ONE GOD, ONE GOSPEL, dying DAILY, yes each one day, and seeking to follow the commandments which after all, are choice and to be desired for those whose Father gave them. The commandments do not save, to be sure, unless you think of that to BELIEVE and to WASH and in love to FOLLOW what He directs; but salvation has a love-engendering passion as its product. HE WHO loves Me, said Christ, keeps My words. Yes he seeks to keep EVERY ONE of them.
Do you wallow in weariness at having to fill up your petrol tank, AND watch your oil, AND check your power-steering fluid, AND look at your brake fluid level, AND keep your eyes on the road, AND attempt to follow the RULES of the road, AND watch your mudguards AND so on ? Hardly. Do you then find it too onerous to do this ONE thing: live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God.
NOT to save you, but in the love of BEING and HAVING been saved, so you do (II Timothy 2:19). Is it not good to have such a design as this which we all possess ? and to love the God who made it, and to delight in Him who saved us ? If then you are saved, do not wilt, do not let the arms hang down, but work for the night is coming when no man can work. Watch your way, for there are many stumbling blocks; keep the word of God - for example it matters MUCH with whom you work in partnership (II Corinthians 6:14ff.), whom you marry; and only God fully understands the colours that become ONE in the new tartan blend, that is marriage. He moreover FORBIDS marriage to unbelievers, with whom idolators such as those afflicted with Romanism, are to be numbered (cf. SMR pp. 1042ff.).
Living in Christ is a phenomenal gift of abundance, in which due care is solemnised, love is a passion, truth is a desideratum magnificently available, joy is a stream coming from within by His Spirit, peace is a profundity and abiding, not merely in some sense of presence, but BY FAITH in your Saviour from sin and Keeper from death. It is in Him who died ONE time only, to bring you ONCE to heaven, by His ONE offering for sin (Hebrews 9:12-10:14), effectual at ONCE when you receive Him who thus died for you and rose physically from the dead, that He might in the resurrection, confer also on your pardoned soul, covered for life (cf. Romans 5:1-11, John 10:9,27-28), that ONE new body which is His ONE FOR ONE gift, from His own power over the grave.
THIS ONE IS WONDERFUL; but the other one is a matter of woe, woe and more woe. When it comes to God, substitution for Him is not only an atrocity in distortion, a malignancy against truth, but a one for One desecratory transaction in which, like Judas, the salvation that offers becomes the shame attained.
It is not this, but His substitution for YOU, that counts, received by faith, through His death, activated by grace, through His resurrection, intimated by His Spirit, so that you are moved by mercy, motivated by gratitude and abide in Him, and in His words, loving the privilege of being amongst the children of God, just ONE of the children of the ONE God whose ONE Gospel has brought you to integrity of heart, and bought for you eternity of life.
As to that, eternity is the culmination of time for the children of God,
a timely eternity at the return of the Coming King, when resurrection is
fresh like dawn, transcribed from the Master to the Redeemed,
and the lustre of vacation in virtue, when rest in the presence of God
replaces war for truth and the work of testimony.
What testimony ? that of the Cross of cancellation,
the marvels of power available to man, through pardon and restoration,
that God is particular,
is personal, programs at will, and has in His sights that glorious next step,
the End of the Age with His own appearance as for so long forecast:
just as Christ told the high priestly party with such clarity,
courage and assurance (Matthew 26:64ff.).
In what way did He tell them ? Like this.
" 'Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!'
"Jesus said to him, 'It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you,
hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power,
and coming on the clouds of heaven.' "