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News 147

SBS TV Tuesday March 13, 01



What a time! Rejoice in the Lord you righteous! Now!

Times ... in history. They all have their points, no doubt, but personally, I should rather be living in this era than at any other, save of course, that in which Jesus Christ personally strode over the terrain of this earth, and altered configurations, changed hearts, incisively cut through the diseased tissue of nations and loved people with power, purity and compassion, exposing the heart of God in the format of flesh, as His only begotten Son.

Still, HE is SOON to return; or, if you wish, His return is "near". That is just a fact, derived as we have shown repeatedly in the last few volumes, from the Bible in the realm of history (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5 and thereafter, via Index).

Since that is so, therefore there is the other end or edge of the spectrum. He is NEAR to coming back.  WHEN that happens it will be glorious. It WAS glorious when He came the first time. Both edges are especially beautiful. Now of course, if you will, this becomes the darker edge of the rainbow, but when you consider the purples, indigos, violets, deepening from rich dark blue, there is a wonder in that too. It is not too garish, it is not too brilliant - though brilliance can be bountiful to the heart; it is deep, deep with lavish enrichments. That is now.

True, there is much evil, and has long been; but it is rising like the crest of a wave (and that too, it can be especially beautiful). Let us not forget that although there is a huge potential for destruction  in these last times when His return is biblically "near", near in a way such that where the portents were NOT present (as was the case for nearly two thousand years), it was not: yet there is no less a vast reservoir of power for performance for the saints in this "last lap" down the straight. That comes AFTER ... of course, you turn that last corner leading to it. That is the tricky bit.

As we saw in Ch. 1, that is now happening in South Australia. Moving lips of concern, the Bill on Classification is showing teeth of trouble. That is the nature of things now; has increasingly been so in the past; but is now mounting to a sort of international sweat or surge of uncleanness, draped in the mantle of political need. We have our local exhibit. This threatens to be it ... Mark II (cf. Mark I, in That Magnificent Rock, Ch. 8).

You had something rather like it in Emperor worship (now of course, coming towards 'Community worship', when what it is DEEMED that PEOPLE want, becomes mouth-wise on the Web, what they MUST do. Since it implies morals, and that is of the very substance and a monopoly of religion, in ultimate values or direction, of findings for man, it is a religious matter, and since it involves socio-political commands and fines, it is a matter of religious rule, quite contrary of course to the Commonwealth of Australia rules about NON establishment of religion.

Lawyers talk, time passes, desire is there; devious alleys are found.

It goes on. But Christ continues to empower His people, and in this confrontation which is coming,  one which in the preliminary build up in Communist countries,  has already actually come significantly in the last century, the pressure gauge rises ponderously.  Just peek at Russia and consider the Gulag Archipelago of Noble Prize winning Solzhenitsyn, before turning to Jung Chang and her Wild Swans (with the little point concerning Communism in her land, 'If this is paradise, what then is hell?'- cf. SMR pp. 652, 684, 725). The Afghan women might be moved to think towards such a point (cf. News 82).

The stage has been MOST laboriously set. The action now proceeds. It is perhaps about Act V Scene 2 in Shakespearean drama as often found. If the case  is compared to the structure of Hamlet, then  he has a way to go before crying, 'Die, die, die, die ... ' with the helpful stage direction {dies}. But Horatio lives to tell the story. The Church goes on, and will, despite ludicrous imitations, some trying to make someone who is not God into God Almighty, some by thought shared seeking to be the pseudo-creator, some through community coming to the all too willing stand-in dictator and so on, with various syntheses attempted, like trying to make a skeleton with the leg bone of an ass and the head of a man... or more properly, perhaps, vice versa!

It goes on, but NOW it is going on to its prepared conclusion. The whole world is becoming such a UNITY in foot and mouth disease (at least regionally with extensions threatened), in air travel transporting exotic diseases FAST, with fast transport bearing ideas and ideologies as well as microbes with rank speed, with war making peace more and more an idol for sacrifice .... that in much, it rises like a boil to its ugly crisis.

Now let us be clear: peace IS WONDERFUL, but not at any price. Britons used never, never, never to be willing to be slaves, and in terms of that particular variety offered by dear Adolf, perhaps paid a great deal of their pre-eminence for the privilege. As someone in Spain said not long ago, Britain has not been the leader (no 'the best' it was) for 50 years. But what an admission about the time BEFORE that! However this may be, the resolve is weakening as the mighty fortresses of power, such as the British Empire used to be, ostensibly Christian, lose their controlling share, and all hell ponders wherever and whenever it may best to apply itself in the OPPOSITE of the Normanby landing for freedom, to secure its dire targets, and pleasant rapes, rapacities and glories. Whether invoking, evoking, provoking, what the Lord in His profound wisdom allows, we find and behold, this element or that of the current touch-down for slummocking betrayal and peace AT ANY PRICE.

The price will be high: the souls of men. That has always been a price to ponder for those who sold out to various false religions and States with explicit or implicit (as increasingly threatening now) emperor worship (call it 'dictator direction' now if you wish). The price is now becoming at a furious rate, ONE WORLD with ONE POWER with ONE WILL to enslave all ('liberate' was the Communist terminology, there will doubtless be a new verbal fashion show when Act V Scene V actually comes).

It is truly international. It makes the environmental pollution seem slight by comparison, but as Revelation Chs. 6-19 make clear, there will be aid divinely supplied in catching up: the world will increasingly mirror on the outside, the insalubrity within.

Clean-ups of various kinds are in view, Ireland to be subjugated so that there will be NO nation on earth explicitly committed to Christian things, making trade-offs easier; and of course, Australia has to go, in another respect:  there HAS to be an end to this independent spirit of the place, which will call on courage for liberty of thought and life. Otherwise, there is a place to publish and cry out and exhort, and you cannot have that, if you are to dictate to man. The  strategies of evil are not always understood by those who humanly implement; but it takes betrayal for such implementation.

But this is all about WHEN one would prefer to live, which in the end, is only the beginning.
When then in the history of the centuries is one's preference ? One would prefer to live now, or at the time of the first coming of Christ. This present time is so fascinating, and if the waves are destructive, the truth makes a non-pareil surfer. It controls the event. It is normal in such a case to try to 'rub him out', and this was done on Christ, who however - having planned the whole thing long before time began, in our sense, before the foundation of the earth - was duly vindicated by His Father. As declared to the eyes of many, and through the Spirit (Romans 1:4), He was devastatingly resurrected, proceeding to issue commands (as in Matthew 28:20) called the Great Commission, and to supply the spiritual power needed, by personally accompanying in that same Spirit, His people as they obeyed, and went till the Gospel filled the globe.

It is nearly full. God in the millenia since He rose, has moved mountains. The Gospe  speeds with new instruments, now the electronic, such as the Web limitation Bill here in S.A.: which is ONE reason of course why provisions HAVE to be made to limit the usse of the Web, and so in its time, limit the Gospel by such a medium as this, foul play becoming the ONLY way as always, to silence truth. This is NOT to say that those who are inveigled by this preposterous Bill (Ch. 1 supra), REALISE what they are doing: for as Christ said as they crucified Himself,

  • "they do not know what they are doing".

His charity and clarity are like the sun, like the stars, pure, perfect, joint. He even declared this with that:

  • "Father, forgive them..." (Luke 23:34).

You cannot rise above that; it is perfection.

It is also prophecy ( from Isaiah 53:10-12): for there the Messiah was predicted to

  • "make intercession for the transgressors" -

and HOW they transgressed, slaying this MORE THAN MOSES (Deuteronomy 18), this God in human form (Micah 5:1-4, Psalms 45, 2, 72, Isaiah 48:16, 43:10-11, 53:16).

It all happens. It always happens, NOTHING is EVER shown false, amongst the diversified and eminently testable Biblical myriads of divine predictions; and all things CONTINUALLY conspire to show the truth.

But to the point. It has to come, when the windows are put in the building. Window time. We need now to examine Timothy to see the structure of things, before passing to Revelation for the detail, as if flying over a mountain before descending to hike.


Timothy shows some things to the point here. In the first Chapter, I Timothy, we hear what the world is desirous of being deaf to, and hence makes so much noise (as well as for sundry other reasons). The LAW of God is STILL in OPERATION, despite the antinomian antipodes to the Bible, the virtual moral lawlessness, aggravated by mere dictation; and it remains the divine direction, despite the increasingly obvious secular hypothesis that each man is god, which seems attractive to some, until ALL men become desirous, and then the LEADER of men thinks it good to REPRESENT them and then COMMANDS them, and the results are as far from their being gods as the reality! Sin is by its very nature, deceptive.

Thus, further, when what is NOT GOD (Deuteronomy 32:21) becomes arrogant enough, politically, diplomatically, ecclesiastically, to PRETEND that it is (II Thess.2), adjusting words the while, then it is so sick and sodden in sin that the stuff squelches through its very shoes, and man and his representative will so grow to be even further from God, than merely being created in His image,  as man was made at the first.

Now let us be aware. It is NEAR to God to be created without sin, in His image: in the sense that fellowship is possible, wonderful, and the Creator is marvellous beyond all description like a sunset, though of course you can with Paul in I Timothy 1 too, say "eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God". It is not that God is not clear; it is rather that He surpasses without lacking clarity, because His love is of a tenderness and a height and depth, like His peace, which passes knowledge (Ephesians 3, Philippians 3). He is not AT ALL unknown to those know Him, but as to His depths of peace, love and comprehension, it is like the ocean waves for a swimmer, which go on amazingly, in breadth and depth, though they are perfectly clearly oceanic, blue and green, surging, vast.

This is the ONLY way in which the knowledge of God is (though it is proclaimed to BE eternal life to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent - John 17:3) past comprehension. Its sheer majesty, though the character of the Eternal God is most conspicuous, comprehends infinitidue, and makes it seem small, for all number in our universe, all series, all procedure, is likewise His creation.

  • The eternal  God is describable in perfectly clear terms,

for His omniscience,
faithfulness, goodness and mercy, love, graciousness,
His slowness to anger, His power and perception insurpassable,
with justice and righteousness the very foundation of His throne:

expressive, articulate, commanding,
comprehensive, directive, liberty creating,
pride abasing, the only God,
declarative, covenantal in procedure,
presenting His written and living word,
the former the Bible,
the latter His only begotten Son,
prophetically emphatic,
when necessary exceedingly dramatic,
evocative, provocative to sin, ultimate in judgment ...

and one could go on for a volume perhaps in this way. It is just that WHEN you know Him, and it is a real, vital, precise and articulable knowledge, you realise that His everlasting to everlasting magnificence, His lovingkindness, His peace are not of this or that order, but infinite.

Infinitely personal, He is without actual or assignable limit;
clearly self-declaring, He is more and more of what He declares,
like mountain ranges that go on,
known, yet magnificent in their abundance.

So it is. HE delimits the words (the Bible), and they describe Him: we who are His children by faith through Christ,  know Him: for that is what is essential and even definitive of being a Christian, IN the scope of His sovereign Son and declarative word, the Bible, as a man knows his friend. We know as one knows the morning dew, the evening twilight, the thrust of Spring, the cool of evening in the body and mind, but know as PERSONAL, VITAL and providing personal interchange.

Now this is in the area of what Timothy declares in Ch. 1:16ff., or rather, let beware of too ready metonymy, what Paul in the epistle to Timothy declares. Indeed it moves in the arena of  I Timothy 3:16, where the apostle makes the incarnation aspect equally clear, on which we have already touched:

  • "And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness:

"God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory."

"Before Abraham was, I AM..." is Christ's personal signature, as likewise in Revelation 2:8, allied with Isaiah 44:6, you find it prophetically again, 'the first and the last".

In I Timothy 6:16, thirdly,  you see that other aspect, the never ending magnificence of God, so that in the incarnation the declaration can be definitive (as in Hebrews 1:3), and we can know Him, without ever exhausting His splendour, or His splendour ever varying (as in James 1:17, ,Hebrews 13:8).

What then in 6:16 ? This: "Who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen." Ally that with John 1:12 and you have it. By grace self-revealing, by incarnation in human format, is the One who is in His own form, light unapproachable.

All this hullabaloo about man and community and the united nations and anything else that is contrary to sound doctrine in its repeated aspirations and many declarations: it is beside the point. It is pointless. In the end, it will be merely disappointing, for it was never appointed.

Then, let us look further, fourthly, to II Timothy 3:16, where we find that ALL Scripture is given by God-breathing, through inspiration, and is profitable for teaching, edification, instruction. It is not saying that all of what we do not know, is of this character; it is saying that the category which is known, famous and delivered, scripture, is of this type, and hence applicable (as in I Cor. 2:9-13, Matthew 5:17-20, Revelation 22:18-19, Isaiah 8:20, Psalm 119 repeatedly, Galatians 1, and implied in Titus 1:9 - and see SMR Appendix D).

Paul is NOT advising people that if they can ever find the jolly thing, and Good Luck! they will find it of this eminent and ineffable character. He is rather saying that since it is clear what it is, famous as in Psalm 119, Isaiah 8:20, 59:21, then it is important to use it with this in mind. It is not a space controller in Cape Canaveral telling the astronauts that if ever they get to hear anything at all on the communication channel,  and are clear whose it is, then good luck to their endeavours! then that is it. That is meaningless. The word of God is not meaningless (Proverbs 8:8), but commanded (John 12:48-50). It is well to obey. Space is kindly compared with wilfully flouting righteousness and avoiding mercy! (cf. Hebrews 12:25, 10:31).

Thus Timothy lays down the law, or Paul does so! categorically in I Timothy 1, and supplies these other features of foundations, in other parts of these two marvellous epistles, given from God.
As he says,  what he speaks is to be taken as commanded from God (I Cor. 14:37). It is not a suggestion or a surmise!

But let us return to the law in Timothy 1. Foolish talk mounts on the topic, Paul indicates here. But the fact is, the apostle under the inspiration of God, declaims, that the law is FOR WRONG DOERS: whether sodomites or whatever. That contravenes the spirit of our Age, which like Sodom is asking for, and WILL GET its come-uppance for its wildly imperious folly, on such topics, when judgment sits and the thoughts of men are exposed, like cancers and leprosy in many cases. How ? Why ? GOD HAS SAID, that is how and why, and this specific point is found in I Timothy 1:10. But whatever the nature of the offence, be it ungodliness, murder of fathers, profanity of whatever kind, there is one answer: IT IS AGAINST THE LAW OF GOD which CONTINUES without limp or latch key, to be what it is, insurmountable, indispensable, ineluctable. IF you want this sort of thing, it is AGAINST you, says the apostle in I Timothy 1:

"knowing this, that the law is not made for the righteous person, but for the lawless ... for sinners, for the ungodly ... for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars... and if there is any other thing which is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust."

  • The divine law remains comprehensive and commanded.


  • IF you do not sin, the law does not oppose you. If ... ?


  • But ALL men are sinners.


  • Hence the law is necessary and sin is actual, and although its simple sovereignty is BROKEN in the heart of the forgiven Christian, law applies where sin is found in its unredeemed folly rules; and grace is yet more abundant, not to license it, but to oppose and overcome it (Romans 6). Having met the cost, and provided the dynamic in the hearts of those who KNOW God, grace reigns in life (Romans 5:17).


  • It was NEVER the way to heaven to KEEP the law, since none succeeded, as Paul makes so clear in Romans Chs. 3,5,8;  but it was always, and still is necessary to obey, as Christ makes monumentally plain in John 14:21-23, in the CATEGORY OF LOVE! Love does not dig the salvation, but it illustrates its reality. Obedience of man is no part of the salvation of God; but it is every way relevant to the actuality of the job. Saved is saved to serve, for sanctity and in Christ the indwelling monarch, lord, the God of all flesh and creator, eternally with His Father and the Spirit, ONE GOD. Where He is, sin is not in control (John 8:30ff.).

It is simplicity itself when you believe and follow Him.

IF you love, you WANT to follow, and HENCE WANT to know His will, which does NOT alter morally, though ceremonial sacrificial elements are fulfilled (Hebrews 8-10). You are COVERED as His, LOVING as His, and hence earnestly desire to follow His will, His word, His law. With David and Abraham, you are justified by faith (Romans 4:24ff., 5:1, Psalm 32), already;  but with them likewise, you are God-fearing as Peter requires so wisely (I Peter 2:17), and God ?
He does not change (Malachi 3:6, Psalm 102:26ff.).

Do not therefore confuse SALVATION with SANCTIFICATION (I Thessalonians 5:23ff.). Faithful, says the apostle there, is He who calls you who also will do this. Grace saves; love insists on sanctity. It was always so from the first dealings of grace. It does not alter (Romans 4). The power is supplied (Matthew 28:20, Ephesians 1:19, II Peter 1).

The last days, in Timothy, says the apostle Paul, have various criteria (and he spells them out, as if a newspaper NOW! in I Timothy 4, II Timothy 3 and so on), and low estimates of what is written are to be among them, people being supercilious, tending to mere forms of religion, not knowing its power, consciences seared as with a hot iron, forbidding to eat meat, marriage and the like (as has long gone on, but had to appear in the TOTAL CONSPECTUS of the OTHER signals in simultaneity, for the end to be shown "NEAR").

BUT when you belong to the Lord, keeping your lamp burning, not IN ORDER to be saved, but BECAUSE you are saved (as in Matthew 25:1-10, Ephesians 2:8, Titus 3:5ff.), being, if you want to change the imagery, fruit-bearing BECAUSE good trees, and not vice versa (as in Matthew 7), and good trees not because naturally good (like having naturally 'curly hair', if you want analogy for that), but BECAUSE PLANTED BY GOD (Isaiah 61, Matthew 15:13): THEN there is a RESULT. It is to give attention to His word as to love letters, as to the sunset, as to the mountains, the marvels in peaking summitries of dash and daring, bare-headed among the clouds, which themselves move mysteriously and with wonder.


But come! you say, What in the world has Timothy, or the pastoral epistles of Paul to the same young man, have to do with ... the ... Euphrates ?

This. It is WHEN you have all this foundation in order, that quietly and joyfully (YOU know ?  "the meek shall increase their joy in the Lord! and the poor among men shall rejoice" - Isaiah 29:19), you just watch what He is doing, alert to His word. No drama can touch it, no wonder compete that mortal eye can see. His word rules; the world may fool, but He is wise. Developments are precise, and though He is marvellously patient, they are in the end, quite sure. They will not fibrillate. When they come, one watches, alert and assured.

Thus when we read in the guide, and find on the TV that TURKEY is planning some 22 dams on the Euphrates, and consider this with due respect to the STRUCTURE of Timothy, we quietly turn to the SIGNIFICANCE of this in terms of Revelation 16:12-16. THIS is a development on a foundation, an item in a book, in a chapter of the book, not just some fragment of paper that, scattered by rainy winds, arrives on the doorstep.

After all, it has to happen, as is ALWAYS the case with prophecy. It is near. Things are moving as we have seen in some detail, at the gallop level. WHEN you gallop, the scenery changes at speed, the trees are coming, and are then history, next the stones or rocks are bypassed, the road is considered, the slippery parts avoided, the turns made in the ecstasy of rural peace. There is peace. There is movement. Things change, although still the same, till judgment: they change their face...

So the Euphrates which appears rather in the heights of Turkey in its source, and moves on towards hungry - correction, thirsty - Iraq and Syria. These nations appear decidedly UNIMPRESSED with the aqueous impresario from Turkey. It is intrusive, invasive, inept, aggressive ... One speaker refers to it as a crime; there MUST be consultation. It is a regional affair. But, says another, Turkey is close to NATO, high in esteem in the West. It looks grim, the feeling is.

  • IF then the dams proceed,
  • and the Lord could as well use any of hundreds of modes to fulfil this His prophecy, and one cannot but opine that the unexpected is often the mode! but the result is the same, that superb mark of the origin of all human originality!
  • but IF ... it goes ahead, then results accrue.

The Aswan dam in Egypt was to be wonderful, the Communistic gift, the mark of the times, and impact of power on the desert and all that, beneficent if not entirely benevolent, as Russia armed Egypt ready for her massive defeat in 1967: though of course, not being at all divine, without any knowledge of that coming defeat at the time, and unwisely ignoring the Biblical predictions about the behaviour of Israel, with divine backing, upon its long delayed return to its homeland of old, its appointment from the days of Abraham. To ignore reality is unwise. To ignore its source is folly.

Was the Aswan dam so wonderful ?

One remembers reading of the loss of silt, the infestations of this and that kind, the trouble to fish, to agriculture and so on. Loss of water as in the Murray River system here in Australia, can lead to problems indeed. Now billions may be required for our own Victoria-to-South Australia river system, with its damming and its agricultural demands, not to mention the throats of Adelaide, not a little dependent (though this particular throat of mine,  has a preference for tank water in view of the Murray ... usage, and counter-attack with chlorine and so on).

So it was in Egypt ... problems! (as significantly expressed in the prophet Isaiah, 19:3-8, cf. News 14).  In water-works in their grandeur, care and restraint is needed, and foresight better still. In our Australian case, now one manufacturer is suggesting (together with a $100 million offer to help) the supposedly 50 billion dollar work of bringing Northern waters to our South, and having more millions of people. Dangers in that need not for the moment be enlarged! It is enough that river systems can be played with, by all means, with all results. You need to watch that. When human systems are played with, as with coy cloning and that type of brilliance, you will need to watch it more. Life is not biology; biology is a vehicle of life.

However, to return to water: if Turkey proceeds with its 22 dams in the upper reaches of the Euphrates and the Tigris, then it is not at all impossible that not only will less water irrigate the passions of the Middle East, or more bluntly, that more thirst will increase the sense of regional outrage, but the Euphrates will suffer. Its being multiply interrupted, dammed, used, will be likely to lead to certain difficulties as it wanders on to its mouth(s). It will tend to ... dry.

Revelation 16 now: "Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the greater river Euphrates, and its water was dried up ..." . In this divinely directed act, told some 2 millenia ago but the all-knowing God,  there is a purpose. It is declared as follows: "so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared." Asia is evidently not going to be left out of the anti-God bash at Armageddon.

Yes, Armageddon, for there is an impressive and most interesting element in this Chapter 16 of Revelation: it is precisely here, in this particular chapter,  that we learn of that massive conflagration called Armageddon.

The hill, or mount of Megiddo features wrath. Rome is destroyed about this time (see SMR pp. 946-957, 1061ff.), as we see in Revelation 16:19ff.. It is not a good time to linger! (cf. Matthew 25:1-10). Things mount to crisis proportions (Rev. 16:21). They proceed to specialise in Rome as in Rev. 17-18. They culminate in Rev. 19, where we see the purpose of the confluence of nations in the arena of conflict: in Rev. 19:19 we find this, that it is to make war on the Lord, that they gather! At least, they are getting more open about it! Israel would be a good place to begin, and that is where we find ourselves, at Megiddo!

In other words, the Euphrates is cool in character as it begins, no doubt, being high; but hot in portent, as it descends into dams, and damage, and its environs move on to the arena of time, when the battle stupendous comes to a climax, man versus God.

Yet how silly! you say ? But of course. However, that is the way of it, you see, because when man, a vulnerable vehicle of creative wonder from God, becomes arrogant and self-obsessed, his resistance is down, and the diseases are up, and there are players not benevolent in the game - lawless is the word - and they do not THINK for a reason. It is because their consciences are seared, their hearts blind, and they act in a kind of moral, lawless vacuum.

That is the nature of this disease which leads, in its final confrontation, to the DELUSION of the one called "the man of sin" in the Bible, the one who shows himself that he is God, as we have often noted, in II Thess. 2, and is destroyed by the BRIGHTNESS of the Lord's coming. It is like eyes. If you are not protected, dazzling reality can blind you. It dazzles when it confronts, as we see in I Tim. 6:16, when man dares to confront. One must come to where it is, to use the language of John 1:14 ... led forth. It is Christ who has done this. That alone is where the meeting place is to be found, in peace (as in John 14:6). It is pure folly to imagine; it is necessary to know, to know what God shows, and to come where it is to be found (as in Isaiah 55). There is nowhere else to go. What would you expect ? You see it in science and in all knowledge. There is right ... and wrong. The Creator is not LESS Himself than His creation is His!

But man! He is not backward in confrontation, either with the word of God, or the Son of God, and when the time of LIBERTY in the Lord comes to its phasing interface with the Lord's own confrontation with the confronters, who have had, let us face it, TIME (indeed, in compassion as in II Peter 3:9), they have had millenia: then the poignancy yields to the precision, and judgment is composed ... amongst the decomposition. You see that in the last verse of Isaiah 66, in Mark 9, in Revelation 19-20, in John 3:36.


Sad! infinitely sad, one could almost say. Everlasting pity! is the phrase that comes. But then! there is NO WAY THAT ANY PERSON can be lost, as far as love and power are concerned, as we saw earlier in this volume. It is only the everlasting night of the lovers of darkness (John 3:19).

But be solaced! they get what their heart abides, and abide with it; but the heart of God, what pains, what pangs, what anguish, "in all their affliction, HE was afflicted" (as Isaiah 63 puts it): what inconsolable agony when He, as Saviour, cried under the burden of borne sin, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken ME!" as predicted in Psalm 22 and fulfilled on the Cross, duly reported to all without complainant surfacing to divert or  to defile the truth. What MORE ? What less would love do! And look again at Timothy!

Again! surely not ? but so. In I Timothy 1:12-16, just before the revelation of the wonder, the declared, the knowable wonder of God, whom to know and Jesus Christ His Son IS life eternal, comes the FRANK admission of Paul. I, he says in effect, was a VIOLENTLY ARROGANT MAN (margin), and an enemy of the church. His resurgences of persecution (of the Church) made him perhaps to the ancient mind, like Himmler or Stalin, to the modern one. He had not of course had the scope they have had, and abundantly used;  but the words are there: violently arrogant...

Nevertheless,  God in converting him, gave, says Paul, a PATTERN for all; for it shows this, that the LONGSUFFERING of God could be shown to all. He COULD REACH ANY! Hope is therefore for all who live. What do we conclude ? Do not then worry about this and that evil, but instead come to the Lord who knows how in all our affliction, to be afflicted, but does NOT stoop to keep soiled linen AS soiled. He cleans it. That has to be considered.

Recently we had many loads of washing delivered by an emergency, to our home. It lay overnight, but my concern was that it be washed. It was, next day, for hours and hours. That is the way of it, by illustration. Delivered to him, to Christ as Saviour, the clothes of the heart, the spirit, the mind, these are washed. They are THOROUGHLY washed. It is better than surgical cleanliness.
It continues, powerfully supported, constantly insisted on, always efficacious, paid once, done for ever, so that if any man sin, he has an advocate as I John 1:7-2:2 tells us, a barrister, and the washing is with blood, or if you want it put in principle, the payment is the death of Christ (as in Colossians 1:22-23), bringing about that reconciliation, that rapprochement, that mutual peace, which is found when the crime is covered, the sin is atoned, the evil is broken.

It is thus that pardon means power, that salvation incorporates in its very tissue, deliverance from the sovereignty of sin (as in John 8:30ff., Romans 6, that beatific chapter). It is thus that the failure of Romans 7 becomes the triumph of Romans 8: in Christ.

Hence, then, there is joy. It does not MATTER what you have done, not done: IF you come in faith to Him as revealed on earth, depicted in God's own word, and repent on the way (essential as in Luke 13:1-3, cf. Luke 17), then CHANGE is the result, and CLEANSING is part of it (John 6:37, Titus 3:5-7).

The Middle East is getting hot; but HE, He provides peace that no middle or east or west, or north or south can penetrate. It will in a time which is now near, be DEMONSTRATED with power, as for so long it has been EXHIBITED in life in the people who know Him. It will rule. Folly has always been sad; then it will be abased, for ever.

This folly which so parades in history, it  was only pollution, a pall of smoke. Look up and away to the Lord (Hebrews 12:1). The diamond of clarity, the superb eternity of the everlasting God, immiscible, immutable, beautiful for holiness, worthy of praise as of simple fact, the origin of human love, and its criterion, judge and inspiration, the persons of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, manifested in much, light in all: it remains past all the smoke, making it like some conflagration on the plains, as one sits on the Alpine Splendour, in the midst of the light of the Lord.

LIGHT! it is SOWN for the righteous (Psalm 97:11), and "in His light we shall see light" (Psalm 36:9). Indeed, "Now are you light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light" (Ephesians 5:8), because these can say, "the Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear" (Psalm 27:1), and with delighted desire,  "Send forth Your light and your truth, let them lead me!" (Psalm 43:3), knowing this also, that "He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday" (Psalm 37:6).

  • This is so, for it is HIS light which is set in the heart;  it is HIS grace which judges, having passed sentence on Himself; and it is Fatherly care which vindicates His servants (Isaiah 54:17). Yet again we find this, "To the upright there arises light in darkness" (Psalm 112:4), since the Lord is ever at hand. Further, with the Psalmist the Christian can say,


  • "As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
  • I shall be satisfied when I awake with Your likeness" -

Psalm 17:15, cf. Philippians 3:21, I Thessalonians 5:9-10, Romans 5:1-11, John 10:9,27-28.

Not darkness but light is the coming inheritance and destiny of those who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul in Philippians speaks of our CITIZENSHIP BEING IN HEAVEN, and in Revelation 21 you find the depiction of the harmony, the solidity, the solidarity in Christ, the brilliance, the preciousness, the peace, the fruitfulness, in the city of God. There is an inheritance for those whose resurrection (II Cor. 5:1ff., I Cor. 15)  is to the majesty of His glory. It is the everlasting pity, or the everlasting city, the commonwealth of God, exclusive of sin, imbued with the beauty of holiness.