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THE PROSECUTOR IS THE PROTECTOR AND THE INSPECTOR,
BY COURTESY OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST:
CANCEL THE CROSS AND ITS BURDEN IS YOURS
What a time is Easter, when this has largely been written! It is like no other time, for here and here alone is commemorated the advent of salvation not by the cunning of man, or the direction of political programmers, but by the issuing into flesh of God, starting at the womb, and declaring our place, and His, at maturity. That declaration from such a world as this, was met by the same murderous impulses as betray the human race century by century, and in none more than the last one.
From Zechariah 3, we see that the state of man has not changed from then till now: but his ambition is now inflamed by the wild desire to chain not only ALL men to something he invents, but to supplant God. Death is not sufficient, resurrection is to be bypassed: man is aiming at the control of the universe, very much like a baby, aiming to control the financial advisory company of his father. The results are, not surprising, especially unillustrious. Our Age reeks of death by mass murder, mass hatred, mass idolatry and massive self-trust! It was to be and so it is (Revelation 6, II Timothy 3).
Nor were the wanderers worthy of congratulation in former times, while Israel sinned its way to its prodigious, appalling and wonderful history! There is a certain prodigality about the human race, as if it raced to a finishing line, without having perceived that it is in the wrong direction, and determined not to reflect on the topic, strives the harder.
Yet through all this, whether in the day of ancient Israel as it successively fell into atrocious faults, arose for a time, then fell further as you see in II Kings for example, or now in the Gentile's day, there is but one solution, verified, unchanging, applied in the lives of millions over millenia, just, sublime and explaining all things (cf. Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host, SMR Ch. 3, 5, 10). It slipped through the grasp of Israel, misled by many, though some thousands were involved in the magnificent enterprise of the early days of the Christian Church, all the apostles being Jews also.
They killed Him, you say ? Yes, that is so; but it also the case that He and His ways are as far as man may, being processed into endless imitators, absurd in their pretension, His word is being re-written by many who did not bother to rise again after three days, His Church is being parodied by many who preach another Gospel as also predicted in the Bible (II Peter 2, II Timothy 3, Jude, Acts 20, I Timothy 4), and while the body is not now accessible to murder, the spirit of the thing is being polluted by as many bombs of belligerence and devious diplomacies, as could well be imagined! The honours, Jew and Gentile, are assuredly close to even! But the honour of the Lord is unique, all His words are verified as the occasion comes, and His ways of wisdom are being shown not only positively, but negatively; for the more they are abused, so the more is the folly apparent in an unworkable world, which grits its teeth, as they decay, and yowls with predictable pain.
The Bible remains clear, changeless and speaks to the contrite.
Even in Zechariah 3 we see the Messiah, the One at last to be received by a veritable forest of Israel, living trees the counterpart of the botanical forests they planted (fulfilling Isaiah 55:13). They however first rejected Him as a nation (Zechariah 12:10, Isaiah 49:7). Their example is worthy of reflection, for as we have been seeing, the Gentile world is making history by ignoring it, and will find a giant parallel, an equaliser in the end: for in that day of coming judgment, NO MAN will be glorified, but the LORD only (Isaiah 2:17).
Gentile vanity will match Israel's folly, in the onrush of history, in which none of the nations may ultimately take pride. Judgment is not by race but by grace, and such is the divine grace, that it is not works of pride but repentance and faith, not a man's paying of the bill for delinquency from God, but his receiving the receipt for liberation and the credit from Christ, who does the paying part, which is required. Nor is the receipt available or even relevant, except where faith lies, for the sin which He received, to bear it, is not the iniquity of all the human race, but of ALL who are to be healed, who thus believe, as you see in Isaiah 53. It is not ALL people, but all who are the 'we' who are healed! That, it is a simple fact. It is also a glorious coverage: if you do not want it, it is not there; and if you do, it is, for the Lord always knew His own (Ephesians 1:4).
In this delightful way, despite this woeful wandering of nations in this world, now as then, one by one (in the manner predicted to come in Zechariah 12:10-13:1), they come and will come from near and far, individuals, saved by grace, just as was Joshua the High Priest: people chastened if need be, but chosen through the Cross. These are the people of God from any race, as the Lord fulfils all His counsel concerning all His promises, including those to Israel and to His coming unified people, drawn from Israel in which many are at last restored, and from those of other races and nations, at last come!
How Revelation 7 thrills the heart as we see it all laid out, the multi-nationals unified in Christ Jesus the Lord!
In Zechariah 3, there is a beautifully simple illustration of these things, and forecast of the events focussed in the Messiah, which we have in the main, already seen to happen. The vision proceeds at once. It brings us to the DIVINE SYMPHONY IN WHICH EACH OF US IS A PLAYER.
Here we gain a picture of the coming events, fatal for many, welcome for some, and view the Gospel impact.
Let us ponder it.
I THE PROSECUTOR, THE DEFENCE COUNSEL AND THE CASE Zechariah 3:1-3
a) The Vulnerability
Satan is in action, seeking to weigh down the High Priest with the ineffaceable fact that he is a sinner. Yet the Lord meets him head-on (3:2). The disloyal opposition loves to degrade, to denigrate, to condemn. Satan however is rebuked by God, to whom, for all his
imperfection, Joshua belongs.
b) The Repetition
Against what is chosen by God, therefore, there is room for repetition of the rebuke. The High Priest Joshua is to be delivered. Satan is flouted and routed.
c) The Fact
This is not merely verbal however. What next occurred in this didactic vision ?
Joshua was given answer for his case: his garments were in fact filthy,
and that fact was revealed before the Angel, as clear as the day is bright.
How then could he be defended before the adversary, in such a state ?
II THE REMOVAL, RESTORATION AND RICHES Zechariah 3:4-7
The solution is simple (in vision, not in what it cost!).
The COMMAND (II Corinthians 4:6, Titus 3:5) in the vision, is now that these clothes be removed, and replaced with rich vestments.
The meaning is clear: the Lord has covered the High Priest's iniquity, taken it from him, and replaced it with a clean and rich life which is His own gift, the divinely resourced replacement being extreme, radical and delightful.
The new clothes, clean, are also rich, for unsearchable are the riches of Christ, and the Lord made Him to be sin for us (who believe and thus accept His sacrifice by faith as in Isaiah 53:3-6), this victorious Victim, who knew no sin of His own, so that we might be made the righteousness of God IN HIM (as Paul declares in II Corinthians 5:17-21). Credit is transferred on the positive side, debt is received and cancelled, on the negative! Such is the liberality of the Lord!
Joshua gains redress, then, being reclothed in what symbolises the gift of God, the change from debtor to riches in the Messiah in ONE DAY.
Moreover, Joshua's very head is covered with a clean turban, reminding us of Paul's word in Ephesians 6, concerning the HELMET OF SALVATION. There is a comeliness, an attractiveness about the new standing, represented by the new head adornment. Notice that "they put the clothes on him": he did not dress himself, just as is the case in Isaiah 61:10, where the speaker greatly rejoices in the Lord, for
"He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns himself with ornaments."
"Righteousness and praise" are there foretold to "spring forth before all the nations."
Amidst the angels, the Lord gives to Joshua now a place, enjoining him to walk in His ways, keep His commands, and commissioning him to conduct the work of the Lord in His courts. As Jerusalem was being rebuilt, and restored, so now the work was restored, the equipment, the commission, the responsibility and here was the sending.
So does the Lord work with each one of us, when we become His, and so does He have a place, and a responsibility. If He has 'planted', to use botanical terms, then you will not be uprooted (Matthew 15:13, John 10:27-28), for a good tree does bear good fruit (Matthew 7). The fruit does not make the tree good, but the good tree makes the fruit good.
We must not judge each other, but we are bound to put our whole heart into His will, ways and wisdom, to love our neighbours as ourselves, and to avoid wallowing in our fine clothes, as if demented. It is everlasting joy which is given (Isaiah 51:11), which awakes when this life on earth is done, to behold the very face of God (Psalm 17, 145, Revelation 22, I Corinthians 13).
III FROM POSITIVE ACTION TO ITS PRINCELY SOURCE Zechariah 3:6-9
a) The Branch Line
What has just been acted out, in Zechariah 3, is now said to be a "wondrous sign" relating not only to the high priest, but to his companions.
b) The Priesthood Replaced
What, in the symbolism of the Old Testament priesthood, at that time was re-established, being rebuilt, as the city and temple were restored after being sacked some 70 years before, was only the first stage. Much more and far better was to come.
Instead of Joshua and his 'companions', the priests, in time to come was the Branch, code for the Christ (Zechariah 4, 6), the glorious One. It is He in whom all that the priesthood was meant to be, and all it could be, would at length be rebuilt in a living manner! HE would be the priesthood, the high priest, the sacrifice indeed, the victim and the victor. No more would there even be a priesthood category, for the ONE who made man would REDEEM man, and minister to Him his need. The priesthood would go because fulfilled!
How exciting was the time when the destroyed temple was rebuilt after the return from exile in Babylon in the day of Zechariah. How much more so and how lively to faith is the day when Christ BECAME the temple, having been symbolised through it, and became the sacrifice in ONE, thus removing the iniquity for believers, then, to be and to this hour, in ONE DAY. You see that in Isaiah 4:6 where there is specified the shelter and the cover, the temple to protect, and the same phrasing applied in Isaiah 32, to a MAN, a KING for whom these qualities would be HIS OWN, personally! The symbols would be fulfilled, the spirituality incandescent, the godliness sublime, in a MAN who would BEAR THE GLORY, as both ruler and priest! (Zechariah 6).
Thus comes here into Zechariah 3, the BRANCH, that branch of the House of David who was foretold, the Messiah. He is one not needing a change of clothes, but by nature above Joshua (being as Hebrews 7:26 declares, "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and ... higher than the heavens").
Indeed, Zechariah is moved quickly to show in what WAY this is so. This Branch (who as in Zechariah 6:13), will "bear the glory" has an office the reciprocal of that of Joshua. Now in perfect harmony will be the king who rules and the priest who covers, all being one person! (Zechariah 6:13).
c) The Prescription, Personally Inscribed on the Heart
As seen earlier, in the vision, the high priest had filthy garments removed. Nothing such is needed for One already lustrous with light. His action is entirely different, and in fact the reciprocal of what was done for Joshua.
What then is the work of the Branch, the line of David, the Messiah (Psalm 110), in this context.
It is this. He is to have an engraving. He does not give a prescription merely, but receives an inscription in Himself. It is the iniquity of the land which is to be INSCRIBED upon Him (we remember His being pierced, as foretold in Psalm 22, hand and foot). As a result, the Lord will remove the "iniquity of that land in one day". Just as Rome is to be burned in one hour (Revelation 17-18, cf. SMR p. 946ff.), so the atonement is worked by Christ in one day: Good Friday being our day in memorial, relating closely to the original season of His death, which in turn was precisely when Daniel 9 foretold it would be, over 500 years before it happened.
"It is finished" (John 19:30) was indeed the finish of the atonement, the resurrection completing the proof (Romans 1:1-4), so that life in its sin, being redeemed for His own, for all who by faith receive Him, yielded to blessed immortality.
IV THE NATIONAL- INTERNATIONAL SYMPHONY AND ITS CHORDS!
a) The National Result and the International Case
Zechariah 3, at its conclusion, speaks of a time of peace for Israel.
We learn later in Zechariah, as in Romans 11, that when godly faith is restored to many in ISRAEL, there is a vast spiritual awakening (foretold in Zechariah 12:10 - 13:1). This comes, as sometimes happens in Gospel revivals, with amazing scenes of repentance. It comes in the phase of this Age when Israel is back in place, by the word of the Lord restored geographically. Further, it has as foretold of this day, fought staggeringly successful wars - as in 1948, 1967, 1973, though faced with incredible horrific statistics, and expected by many, to be readily overpowered at that time.
Not yet is this last grand event of repentance leading to faith, though the preliminaries are in place, as in Zechariah 12:1-11, 14:1ff., Luke 21:24, and now at the end of the Age (Answers to Questions Ch. 5), Israel has by grace regained its national place (SMR Appendix A)..
Spiritually too, there been has for the nation, a long interim, about to end. The Christian Church started with a small minority of Israel and has spread to many Gentiles; while in contemporary Israel there is a small and DECREASING number of Christians, as the wars and horrors proceed, and the sides clash continually. When this vast outpouring of the Spirit of God foretold in Zechariah 12 DOES come, then there will arrive the ‘regrafting’ of Israel back into that still remaining ‘tree’ of faith from which it was cut off (Romans 11). That 'garden' remains to that day. The same tree in the same ground now has its branch restored, the unity becoming the subject of Paul's paean of praise to God for His masterful wisdom.
This is to come, but what now ? Gentiles are warned to take note of what happened to a fast and loose Israel in ancient times, its ruin in two stages, allowing just some to return from Babylon at the word of Cyrus, ruler of the next Empire. Speaking of this lesson, Paul declares (Romans 11:21): "For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
b) The National Return Spiritually
(phase 2 of the Ezekiel 36 predictive commands)
Furthermore, Paul indicates that the fate of Israel is not permanent, that the faith which acted by its absence, like a guillotine for the wayward nation, if it return to the heart of a new generation, will have the opposite effect. They can be grafted BACK into the tree of faith from which, unique among all nations, they were cut off: just as the Gentiles, some of whom preen themselves on their superiority, can be cut off, no less than the Jews were. When it comes to nations, there is no certain future; unless, of course, as with Israel, the matter is charted in advance, as it is for all individual Christians (Ephesians 1:11-13).
As predicted by Isaiah 44-45, Israel came back from their exile via Cyrus' proclamation in the 6th century BC, and were restored to their land. God there emphasises that He reveals this name of their deliverer well in advance that they may know it is He who speaks and predicts what will be!
As shown in Isaiah 49:7 moreover, they much later abhorred Christ, and indeed sacrificed Him. This, however, was not conceived by His persecutors, as it was in fact, to be a sin offering; but instead, they were reviling and seeking to bring disrepute upon Him, much as many regimes today seek to do to His followers. This, being the basis of salvation available to the entire human race, was carefully traced in exquisite detail and date, in the prophets such as Isaiah, Daniel, Micah, and in the Psalms (Joyful Jottings 22-25, Highway of Holiness Ch. 4, With Heart ... Chs. 4, 5). That is past. Their restoration to their land is also now past, for it was in 1948. Their regaining of Jerusalem likewise is past, this being in 1967 (as in Luke 21:24, Zechariah 12).
What however of their spiritual return ?
In Romans 11:23-24, Paul speaks of their case before God (emphasis added):
"And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in,
for God is able to graft them in again.
"For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature,
and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree,
how much more will these, who are natural branches,
be grafted into their own olive tree?"
In fact, Paul makes it very clear that Israel in a large measure will at an important moment as the Age comes to an end, come back to faith in the same Lord whom they crucified, just as Zechariah had for so long foretold also (Zechariah 12:10 - 13:1).
"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery,
lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
"The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins."
God, he indicates, according to Isaiah 59, is committed to a return of the Messiah to Jerusalem, of Him who is the LORD Himself - you see that in Zechariah 14:5; and it will happen as surely as the sun which rises, and more so, since its course is long, but God's course is also sure! Therefore, he declares, we should glorify Go, just as he does, for when HE says that something will occur, will be in place, when HE issues a sure call to some person or nation: it stands. His promises have no failure element, there is not any run off for runaway trucks or cars, as on the Southern expressway.
What He says, goes and continues till it gets there. Hence there REMAINS a spiritual place for the Jews, and it is back in their own tree of faith, in their own carefully handed down scriptures, in their own Messiah, whom they murdered instead of recognising, whom they slew instead of making Him the sacrifice for their sins; whom therefore they misused that they might be misused, as they have been misused. Lawlessness begets it, and the last two millenia of the history of Israel the nation, is a pageant of the same, giving and taking. The Word of God, however, brings order. This, then is the door to the END!
"Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
"For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
For as you were once disobedient to God,
yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience,
even so these also have now been disobedient,
that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.
"For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
"For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?
Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things,
to whom be glory forever. Amen."
As to the past, when Israel was cut out of the tree (cf. Zechariah 11:10-11), at the murder of Christ and soon after, the Temple itself being irrelevant and soon destroyed (by Rome), Gentile believers were grafted in. But as our Age comes near its end, as Paul foretells, this new contingent from a repentant Israel will surge into place, will be regrafted, all becoming one tree. Then Israel, restored to their spiritual place in the Lord, at last realises that the Prince they slew, is the Saviour they failed to know. How deep their grief! how long their lamentation for their error! we see in Zechariah 12:11-13:1.
How glorious is the wisdom of God who over the millenia has played this vast celestial symphony, on earth! How profound is His wit, His kindness, His patience, how superb His fashioning of events so that even when sin seems a certainty to make cacophony, HE makes a symphony beyond all! How faithful is His performance of what He says.
c) The International Drama
In this way, the drama comes near to its last stage.
In Romans 11:25ff., Paul marvels at the wisdom of the Lord in making this vast unity, drawing from Jew and Gentile alike, even in these historical proportions and with sudden awakening in the nation, the people who are His own. The two branches, Jew and Gentile Christians, thus become one people, one special nation, together, the Lord's! Then the "bride” of the Lord, ONE BRIDE, as in Revelation 19:8, is complete (as is seen to be coming in Revelation 6:11, where the saints in heaven are told they must wait through the last times on persecution on earth have ended, and until therefore the full number of God's chosen people is complete!).
Into heaven, following the resurrection therefore, the "rapture" or seizing of the saints in deliverance as He sends for us, a glorious summons which alone unites all the saints of all ages, thus all the people of God come. There, in a figure, the marriage is consummated BY the call to Him into heaven (Matthew 24:36ff., I Thessalonians 4, I Corinthians 15:57ff.). In form, it is like A WEDDING FEAST. Indeed, in a spiritual sense, it is that.
Then the bride, those in fine linen white and clean as earlier noted in Revelation 19, comes back with Christ from this glorious event. Heaven has been the reception; surely the best ever for any wedding! The matrimony is spiritually complete. Now comes the return to this sphere, so that the earth may be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (as in the Messianic Ch. 11, of Isaiah). Such it was to be, and so it will be.
Do you not see that here is the Spiritual Pentagon, presided over
by One Christ, unchanged and immutable
(Hebrews 13:8, John 8:58, Romans 8:38, Psalm 102) ?
One Tree (Romans 11),
One Gospel (Galatians 1),
One Bride Called Up (I Thessalonians 4, Matthew 24),
One Wedding Feast (Revelation 19),
One Return with Christ (Revelation 19, Zechariah 14, I Thessalonians 3:13),
with One Lord: JESUS CHRIST! (Revelation 19).
Therefore remembering these things, complete your time on earth with joy, knowing that your labours of love, of integrity, of honesty, of warmth of heart, of mercy, of plain spiritual saltiness are not in vain in the Lord. All things have their fruit!
We find, then, that ALL the SAINTS come now, the wedding over, WITH the Lord (I Thessalonians 3:13, Zechariah 14:5, Revelation 19), as the vindicated Lord of glory assumes His rule on earth, before this orb is finally annihilated (II Peter 3), and heaven supervenes.
These stark events await us, and let us who believe in this same Messiah, the key to history and the foundation for faith, as did that ancient high priest, Joshua, follow Him in His ways , rejoicing in Him in the midst of various trials, knowing that the Lord God has appointed us not to wrath but to obtain salvation (I Thessalonians 5:8-10, I Peter 1:5ff., 4:12ff.), which is the appointment to end all appointments, guaranteed by the God of Creation through that great work of Redemption (Ephesians 1:11-13).
d) The Heart of the Loving God
THERE is the heart of the Redeemer, that just as He loves to dress us in clean clothes and a turban of truth, so He endured scorn, scoffing, spitting and repudiation in the midst of His divine love and miracles, knowing that by His knowledge, this penal experience on our behalf, we who receive the report, are justified (Isaiah 53:9-10, Romans 5:1). In this way, those clothes are made freely available to us (Isaiah 61:10, 55:1-4). Thus, to us comes the gift of eternal life with the same hand by which He gives His leading in the way He chooses for us, step by step, to the very resurrection from the dead (those still on earth being at that time instantaneously transformed into the same risen image). The dead in Christ and all remaining in Him, are then raised incorruptible.
Such a life and such a gift as that is a far cry from following the cultural norms of this world, for these are as garishly ungodly now as ever they were. Indeed, if possible, they are further from God, progressing with a vast satanic intoxication as mass media swing the unthinking, the rebellious and the unmoored into a rumbling, riotous snarl of nations and cultures. It is becoming like an interminable traffic jam. Having forsaken the highway of truth, they are finding the byways are not built to bear the traffic!
The remedy: it is as it has been for millenia, in the Master, the only Saviour, who performed as and when required by prophetic prediction, and sent forth His Gospel into a world which has performed as and how He predicted, and does so with its own peculiar mixture of venom and vigour. This it does till the day comes when, all being ready, the BRIDE is taken from it, to Himself.
That is one side. On the other, the BREACH remains for its assessment.
It is a continuous joy that the bride is still here; and there is none excluded by God but those who PREFER darkness to light, in the very face of the LIGHT, the Light of this world, who has come as John 1 declares, incarnate into flesh. Reject Him and you despise your own mercy. This, the stated condemnation is more than fair: it is liberality itself, a joy to minister and a delight to know, being the very word of the sovereign God, whose kingdom is not cruel, but kind, whose way is not witless, but wise, whose peace is not temporary, but permanent, whose life is a gift, and He paid for it; and it is eternal.
Yet before the wedding, there is the challenge, there are the bans.
Let us then return to this dynamic.
As noted in the last Chapter (6), there is a strong move to fulfil the prediction of Paul, that in these last days of our Age (as the events and verifications confirm quite clearly - cf. SMR Ch. 8, Answers to Questions Ch. 5), there will be a preoccupation with myths. How starkly has this been fulfilled!
The myths of
v the superman,
v the super race,
v the super-process, of dead Darwinism
or those forlorn and more recently proliferated pulpy parallels,
ike a rocket grounded in a swamp, and decaying,
with a crew confounded ever since Darwinism died*1; or of Communism*2 ,
v the super-prospects*3 ,
v the super human race in the inveterate humanism which continually seeks to rise from the sensational failures of the past century, of
v the super-religious dreadnoughts to inspire terror*4:
these are propounded in many variants, with new and unverified gods two a penny, either acknowledged or smuggled in through vacuous philosophy*5.
Force is their normative flavour, and with most if not all, the way they proceed. If anything were ever to become a laughing stock, it is this absurd pre-occupation with MAKING what you want by mere FORCE, irrespective of the reception you get! Force where wisdom counts is like an electric shock: admittedly the electricity COULD have been useful, if deployed where it works, and in the channels appropriate; but as mere unleashed power it is a blight. This, it is the biblically despised realm of the 'god of forces' (cf. SMR pp. 49, 233, 809, 877-878, 911, 1077, 707ff.). The Bible NEVER allows force to become relevant to faith: you believe ? you do not ? You are APPEALED to, but faith is in truth, not in form! Even Christ died, rather than dynamise by mere direction (Luke 19:42ff.).
There is judgment, to be sure, for truth does not deny itself; but force is not a criterion of faith: it is at most an expression of accident, such as is reached by headlong blight through flight into what is there, but not perceived! Man prefers his imagination, and in droves shuts his eyes, spiritually, while driving at high speed! (cf. Matthew 13:14-15). Alas, such inventions as these, neither deserve nor gain any prize...
Such myths and alien forces have been most numerous and some have been considered not only in *7B and *3A of Ch. 5. above, but in Secular Myths and Sacred Truth, Wake up World! ... Chs. 4-6, and many other places on this site (cf. *5). The unlikelihood that myths would so prominently feature in a culture so advanced (Daniel 12 indicated the thrust of knowledge which was to come into the world's culture harbour), is to be set against the fact that this has been predicted, and much of the entire scientific establishment is running at the level of God and nature, precisely on myth, just as their forefathers did, back in the days of the kings of the then declining State of Israel, in the days of the Old Testament prophets.
The Bible says what is in the mind of God for us to hear; and whether or not man chooses to hear it, if he lives long enough, he sees it! It happens. Meanwhile, in myths he is surrounded, the non-grounded, ill-founded, never verified desire of flesh divorced from truth, immune to evidence (cf. Proverbs 1), set in its paths.
It is a sickening arena of irrational philosophy, which like bacteria, invades where it may, and uses like viruses, the equipment, as with cells, already in place to proliferate itself (cf. The New Vikings, TMR Chs. 1, 8). Thus is man USED, and in his abuses of others, he is himself abused, misleading he is lost, and lost he speeds away. Poignant, it is yet obstinate; and calamitous, it is yet not heeded by the many whose way is no broad, they seem to imagine it has no edges!
He has foretold it all.
This is all as it was to be, and it is what may be an almost maddening datum for the devil to deal with, that not only the nature of these moves to delude, the work of false prophets in whatever dress, but some of their specific thrust is itemised in ancient prophecy. It is rather like the case of an inveterate smoker who, being told of the nature of the suffusing deposit to spoil his airways, now sees it as described. Yet for years he poured scorn on any such concept, being intoxicated with liberty. Let us consider this further.
Not only is the SEQUENCE proceeding from this world's unbelief traced in Romans 1:17ff., right from the originative folly of rebellious thought, the bemused bewilderment and passion mixed, to the perversion of spirit alienated from God and vainly giving worship or its equivalent where it is quite ludicrous to present it. This begins; but with this is noted that sadly correlative perversion of body sexually which tends to follow, and from this the prophetic text describes, as the itemisation moves on, the coming of those spiritual spats and unhealing hatreds of stressed delinquents from the God of truth, mercy, justice and glory. The cyclotron advances, with age, to become even more spectacular in what it produces.
The nature of the cause for all of this is stated with great clarity as Romans 1:17ff. gets under way. We have there revealed what is the spiritual zeitgeist of the cultural continuum, the sway and thrust of the spirit of the Age, the whole age of desisting fromliving God and deceasing from Him, in deadening sin. The text proceeds with an attraction that follows, as a race keen for unrighteousness, for kicking the moral and spiritual heels like a well-fed pony, and a certain stubbornness of rebellion, which has a whole will-waste domain of its very own. In our own State, for example, one successful candidate for government office had a list of desirables which might well have made Sodom blush, at its sheer moral effrontery. It is hard to see how it could have been surpassed by that inglorious city!
Like space-time at the physical level, a just delimitation, we have will-waste as a generic pathology in man, which can be overcome ONLY by the power of God, in mercy, restoring the warped, calming the misled passions and bringing peace within (Isaiah 53, Romans 2-3, Ephesians 2, 4). For this world now, this does not come, because man will not return to God, and despising both His precepts and His principles, and flaunting rebellion as if a fairy with deft wand, he shows to all the folly of his way by its results.
The WILL will not have this 'man' to reign over us; and great has been the waste of life in foolish, and sometimes splendiferous pride, such as preceded World War I, perhaps more notably than anything else: pride of human race, of national place, of commercial power, of scientific achievement, of surviving usefully and advancing in some belligerent way, to unspecified futures, like a child driving a car ever nearer to a sea-side cliff, while rejoicing in strength, and witless of cost.
Man, we see written in Romans 1:17ff., is in the style of a wrestler, seeking to HOLD DOWN the truth, and to do so in UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. He has a motive, a zest, a quest, a production, and in this milieu, his race is increasingly becoming a product of its own engineering: not as to potential and grace, but in contra-design delinquencies which constantly breed ever-new, but oh so old in spirit, eruptions like a volcano being primed by atomic blasts in its vicinity.
The result ? it is not surprising, once you identify the cause!
The remedy: it is as it has been for millenia, in the Master, the only Saviour, who performed as and when required by prophetic prediction, and sent forth His Gospel into a world which has performed as and how He predicted, and does so with its own peculiar mixture of venom and vigour, till the day comes when, all being ready, the BRIDE is taken, and the BREACH remains for its assessment. It is a continuous joy that the bride is still here; and there is none excluded by God but those who PREFER darkness to light, in the very face of the LIGHT having come.
This, the stated condemnation is more than fair: it is liberality itself, a joy to minister and a delight to know, being the very word of the sovereign God, whose kingdom is not cruel, but kind, whose way is not witless, but wise, whose peace is not temporary, but permanent, whose life is a gift, and is eternal.
Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 4,
Wake Up World ... Chs. 4-6,
Bon Voyage Ch. 2, *2A.
On this, visit:
SMR 965, and see with that the Communist failures scientifically in pp. 614, 925, 971, and the enormities in Highway to Hell, Aviary of Idolatry, News 37, 97, 98.
Consult on this phase: *3A and 7B in Ch. 5 above.
More Marvels... Ch. 4,
Divine Agenda Ch. 6 and indexes;
SMR pp. 50ff., 90ff., 829ff., 1080ff.,
Lord of Life Ch. 3.
News 82, 121, 122,
SMR pp. 660ff., 671ff., 683ff., 732Bff., 750B,
Journey to God or Fantasy's Flight to the Infernal esp. Chs. 2-3,
Highway to Hell, Aviary of Idolatry.