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ASTONISHING ASTRONOMY and the
THINGS IN THE OFFING
If you look in Revelation
8, you find quite a little astronomical movement. The Adelaide Advertiser,
The newspaper goes into considerable detail in listing the sort of possibilities should an asteroid of the neither slight nor really large variety impact on the earth, and in particular notes that if such a body were to splash down with massive preliminary shock-wave followed by tidal wave and so on, it would move water over the Adelaide Hills, flattening what is in the way, and move some hundreds of kilometres inland. The "chance" is not great, but not negligible.
Biblically, it is not a question of chance for the One who invented astronomical objects (Isaiah 40:26), but of statement. He runs His household His own way. Owing to the trifling little matter of sin, which savages the vulnerable hearts and heads and bodies of souls and spirits of mankind, crushes children and ignores parental responsibilities, killing a few million kids in the womb for good measure because it seems a good idea or is so liberating or whatever, there has been that other trifling little matter of death, the curse on the earth and so the striving, imbibing follies of the large part of the race which seems to be running both at a loss and in order to be lost. While this delicate little situation continues to wend its happy little way in this globe, man is setting his sights into the heavens.
WHOSE IS WHAT?
It does admittedly seem just a little strange, when the earth is clearly beyond him, inequity, fraud and folly proliferating like mould in the dense jungle. It is even stranger when God who made it all by COMMAND (and man is now FINDING these in the DNA which INCORPORATES COMMANDS by which things continue to make their merry little way into this spinning orb), EXPRESSLY STATED THIS:
v "THE HEAVEN, EVEN THE HEAVENS, ARE THE LORD'S;
v BUT THE EARTH HAS HE GIVEN TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN" - Psalm 115:16.
Now let us understand this. If a Headmaster in a School said to the students in Assembly, 'Now these classrooms are for you, but this house is for me. I have given you the classrooms, but the house is mine!" ... the students would not be under any reasonable misapprehension. The most notorious twits and the most mischievous adventurers alike would be hard put to defend the thought that what the headmaster REALLY meant was that it was a matter of complete indifference to him whether they used his home as their own, or not. It does not seem necessary to labour this point; and God is far greater relative to man than headmaster to students in a school: for one thing, God MADE both the universe and man, as if the headmaster created student and school alike - not to mention the grounds.
Yet man with a blissful seeming spiritual idiocy seems intent on disregarding the framer of all things (Hebrews 11:1-3), who actually made the visible from the invisible - and we do much the same when we create buildings from preliminary plans and commands, when we have the means at our disposal! - as if what is REALLY the case is that He either does not matter, or thrives on rebellion, or the things in a fit of abstraction from nothing when it was not there, or from something else that was not there, and not from the adequate and all-sufficient God who being there, was in a position to get it all done. (See That Magnificent Rock, Ch.1.)
Billions of dollars which might have had a good ride on this impoverished earth have been consigned as if it were some kind of legitimate exploration, to "discovering" space, while outlandish theories (cf. That Magnificent Rock, Ch.7, SMR pp. 422Eff., A Spiritual Potpourri, Chs.1-9) are 'tested' which could not stand even if supported by atomic power, when tested as to their mere logical cohesion, in advance. Thousands of cute little pieces of space debris attest this manly endeavour, floating about in space until the laws of motion and commotion make it time for them to pop down, when able, and this does not exclude those vigorous little radioactive ones. That after all, does mean that man has had a hand, his very own hand, in increasing the high velocity little oddities which move about in space, adding to the asteroids, so making his day even less likely to be unblighted where he actually is and has his domain. It might be a little different if he had actually made the earth....
The heavens, however, which have become quite a genteel little place for sporting and rorting and distant war thoughts between those on the earth, are not leaving this alone. The time is coming, and may shortly have come, when the heavens will, if you like to put it that way, strike back. More precisely, God is on record as to His intentions in this high moment of human inventiveness, when the most astute forms of torture are practised by the Chinese on dissidents, have long been practised by the Russians on dissidents, including the trifle of a few tens of millions who had to be caused to die for the cause. And that? in this case, the Communist one which was very good for the new aristocracy, who had the new advantage of not having to inherit their riches and power from former times, but could get it, brand new, from the mint of politics in their own present generation, which perhaps seemed to them more ... well, honourable is not the word, so perhaps ... satisfying will do.
Meanwhile, others kill a few million in Cambodia, or have felt called on to belt up Biafra, or add to food shortage in Ethiopia or allied lands, or in the Congo or where you might like to name, and don't let us leave out Yugoslavia, or whatever the remnants might wish to be named.
While this goes on,
seminaries instruct students against the Bible, make new christs who did not
have the goodness to exist or actually do anything, and recommend these to
their populations, churches (some but by no means all) duck issues, and find it
good for unity to do so, deny the faith and call it statemanship and the
populace increasingly is both under-fed and fed up.
NOW TO THE BIBLE
First let us gather some data in this field.
Luke tells us from the mouth of Jesus Christ that when the times are nearly up before Christ assumes His next role as judge, having already performed that of Saviour and been on offer for long, certain things will happen astronomically, cosmically. Thus in , we read: "...there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven." -26 states: "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring." Note these things for they will be related to our Advertiser article shortly.
Acts 2:19-21 has this:
"I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth
Blood and fire and vapour of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before he coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved."
To our flimsy and illegitimate probes, then, the heavens will respond.
Revelation 8 tells us closely-connected scenario which we will note in the case of verses 7-10. We find ourselves in this context at a point where there has already been "silence in heaven for about half an hour" (8:1). This was at the point where the scroll of divinely controlled and conditioned history is taken by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, as the only One worthy to bring history to its culmination (Rev. 5:1-10), and the seventh seal has just been opened, enabling action (8:1). Much prayer accompanies this scene, for the Bible states in Matthew 24, again from the lips of Jesus Christ, that the times will be severe, but for the "elect's sake" they will be shortened, those trepidatious times as the end and His return approaches (Matthew 24:3,6,22,29).
It needs to be realised that Christians, official missionary ones or other, frequently suffer acutely in their lives because of torture, imprisonment, assault on their reputations, denial of posts and the like, and the sharp arrows of trial are not for ever. It is enough, in the trial, to pass it and to pass on the precious things to those who come afterwards; but it is not for ever. Moreover, the environment is being systematically ruined, and the time is coming, as Christ said, when the situation will be unmanageable by man altogether. Hence the prayers are not unheard. It is in the love and patience of God that things have proceeded to this point at all, following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:9, Matthew 24:14, Ephesians 3:10-11, I Peter 1:7).
Thus the seventh seal is opened in heaven, Revelation 8 foretells, and there is silence for about half an hour in heaven. This is apparently a time of amazed poignancy, for there is love in God enough for all though it be refused in capricious fashion so often, as the depth of the result is being matched at least in measure, to the depth of the depravity while judgment approaches.
In verses 8-9, we find "something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed". The Advertiser article tells us that our 1 Km. Diameter asteroid would, in addition to what we have already noted, thrust up large quantities of ocean, involving hundreds of kilometres, into the atmosphere, along with the sundry items therein attached, contained or implicated in the huge explosive force and dynamism of the event, that these would over a period rain down, where not evacuated from the atmosphere altogether, that a nuclear Winter would ensue, as this would in some ways, to the point, resemble ALL the atomic bombs on earth being jointly exploded ...
First, it is interesting that there is this current interest. It is because, no doubt, there is such KNOWLEDGE (as predicted by Daniel in Ch.12, as a notorious feature of this age), and this is uncovering possibilities in a hurry; it is increasingly being realised just HOW MANY options and opportunities for small or large destruction are astronomically available, and there have been several 'near misses' in the last few years.
Secondly, our own invasion of space is facilitating this knowledge; and thirdly, perhaps our own well-known contributions to this complexity and danger, are arousing concern about what ELSE is around that may prove if not hostile, then damaging or even deranging to the earth. It is being seen more as one whole, now that it has been literally looked down upon from space-craft in the heavens on high.
All these asteroid type resultants are very close and cohesive with the account in Revelation and in Acts and in Luke. The darkening, the "star" or astronomical object which "fell from heaven" with no light-hearted jaunt in mind (Rev. 8:10), in addition to the case of "something like a great mountain burning with fire" which was "thrown into the sea" (8:8), the famines noted both in Matthew 24 and in Revelation 6:5-7), as war erupts on a systematic slaughtering basis, the blighting of the water sources (the article we mention, notes the acid-rain resulting from the contamination of the atmosphere with the fallen object and the devastating eruptions into the atmosphere from its impact) seen in Rev. 8:10, and of the rivers (8:10) all are mutually involved. The one leads to the other, and the other is as recorded in advance in this book of Revelation in which God shows what is to come to pass (Revelation 1).
judgment is thus setting in. It has already been shown in detail (SMR Ch.8) how
the fulfilments of many things in a joint picture, and a scriptural scenario
has already happened. Now we are seeing the options available and their close
relationship to what is actually being scientifically studied, scientifically
warned about and made the subject of governmental funds, in order to lessen the
likelihood of such things. It does good at times, to look ahead a little, and
to examine the available data on steps in view, both for history to happen, and
for people to act.
Actually, although this may sound very sombre, if not gaunt, a ghastly concurrence of evil things, yet as with all trial and test, if it is put in the right hands, it is well. Tests bring out good things from what is prepared aright. Prepared though? How is this to be the case, when the heavens emit fire and in the devastation, darkness becomes the subtle comment on the spiritual life of the world: literal darkness.
First, look at the advice! In Isaiah , in a chapter dealing with "the last days" and the Lord will at length bring peace to the earth (2:3-4). Here this pleasant period is preceded by a cataclysm:
"They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily."
This has a ring of dread,
but the shied of rocks, already used in
It is in a happier environment that this occurs in spiritual places, when Isaiah 26:20-21, following the world ending account of Ch.24, declares:
"Come, my people, enter your chambers,
And shut your doors behind you.
Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,
Until the indignation is past.
For behold, the Lord comes out of His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.
The earth will also disclose her blood
And will no more cover her slain."
Christ is that door (John 10:9) who, whether seen as Shepherd or Judge, provides entry for His people. It is the rock which was CLEFT, in which a hiding place was formed, that Moses sheltered when the glory of the Lord went by Him (Exodus 33:20-23), and "that Rock was Christ" , as Paul declares of its other manifestation, in I Cor. 10. HE the spiritual rock who followed the people of Israel, the ONLY rock (Psalm 62:1-3), who ONLY does wondrous things (Ps. 72:18), the vast massif of rock on which the Church is built (Matthew 16, Isaiah 28:16), the petra, shining in splendour, deep in majesty, embedded and foundational, it is HE into whom His people must enter so that at that day, their safety is assured, their work is preserved and His purpose is consummated, as for soldiers of the Cross. THEIR warfare however is not with flesh and blood; it is spiritual (Ephesians 6). THEY do not fight with might for HIM, but 'put up their swords', as Christ told Peter: for HIS kingdom is not of this world, as HE told Pilate (John ).
Notice that the prophetic
advice is this: ENTER in and SHUT YOUR DOORS BEHIND YOU! Unlike
Yet again the advice comes,
"In the shadow of Thy wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me" - Psalm 57:1.
In other words, this acceptance in the beloved, this cover is not for the last days only, for it is a provision for every day. Yet the last days will highlight, dramatise and render urgent the full understanding of His provision, and this in turn leads to His excision of His own from the body of the world, when He comes to collect them, on His return in glory, till the world winds up its affairs in carnal compromise, gross confusion and hateful wars (II Thessalonians 2, Matthew 24, Revelation 19).
Such is the strength of the
Lord, that on the way till that climacteric end, when testimony is to the
increasingly steam-heated puffings of the world, with alienation enough (cf.
John 14:30, Revelation 11) , the saints of the Lord are blessed and refreshed
(II Cor.4:16-18, I Peter 4:13-14), surrounded in the very midst of their fiery
tests, with the spiritual rains of their Saviour (Isaiah 32:15-17, 33:16, John
Very closely allied with this is the departure of this world. It is not that it is about to leave, though its end is drawing near. It is for Christ to gather His people OUT of the world, having kept them IN the world, though they assuredly were not OF the world; and THEN the end comes, then the sheep and the goats do what is apt for those creations (Matthew 25), follow the shepherd and act the goat! Judgment then is having its day, complete after the millenium in which Christ arriving (Zechariah 14, Acts 1, Isaiah 2), the reality of righteousness in its sheer beauty is displayed.
Astronomically, however, the eventual departure of this world (II Peter 3:10ff.) is to come, a vast affair of incredible power and resembling in its magnitude, the turning of grub into pupa, or better, pupa into adult insect, for in that case also there is a dissolution within the pupa case, allowing the reformation of what is to come, which is far better, all programmed. Here the program is in the very direct hands of the Lord, when a new heavens and new earth will be produced. Its dawn is the millenium; its zenith and perfection is the eternal city alight with glory, or again, it has the pastures of beauty beside, with living fountains of water, while the waters of the river of Life may be seen traversing the city in its brilliance of light, comparable to gold in its endurance, to precious stones in its sparkle and gleams, its purity and its arresting wonder (Revelation 7:17, 21:4-5, 22:1ff.).
These are to come; but this set, it has like the grub its day and passes away. Thus Isaiah 51:6-8 tells us in sure and steadfast terms:
"Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
And look on the earth beneath,
For the heavens will vanish away like smoke.
The earth will grow old like a garment,
And those who dwell in it will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not be abolished.
Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
You people in whose heart is My law:
Do not fear the reproach of men
Nor be afraid of their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
and the worm will eat them like wool;
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation from generation to generation."
The heavens may depart, and will do so; the earth will simply grow old, like a cat growing more rigid and meeting its time at last; but with or without it, what does it matter for those who have entered into the craft which is Christ, and closed the doors behind them, so that the space may collapse and the time be no more, yet He will keep what He has created, and to Him do they come, to Him who does not go, on the basis of His everlasting Gospel which is not only fashioned from of old, but maintained in its splendour for ever; for His Kingdom is the one which shall not pass away (Daniel 7:14,27, Revelation 14:3, John 10:27-28, I Thessalonians 5:9-10; Item 17, Barbs, Arrows and Balms). As to His salvation, says Isaiah, it will be for ever. Fashioned in eternity (cf. Ephesians 1:4), it endures for the same (cf. II Corinthians 5:1ff.).
When the world goes, it is well to be in the arms of the Eternal who made it, so that His new stage productions and arenas may be accomplished with joy, and... with HIM! Does not Deuteronomy 33:27 tell is with delicacy, which is so robust: "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."
Therefore, so far from it being 'spiritual' , it is a departure from Him who is the Great Spirit and King of eternity, to worship the earth, to be beholden to its sacred places as if they were divine, as some aborigines may do on the one hand, and many a monistic physicist on the other, seeing supinely what is not there, as if in some way the breeze were the blower, the picture were the painter or the product were the producer; indeed as animism does more generally, and even Israel was prone to fall to. Thus in Jeremiah 2:26-27, we read:
"So is the house of
They and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets,
Saying to a tree, 'You are my father',
And to a stone, 'You gave birth to me.'
For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face,
But in the time of their trouble,
They will say, 'Arise and save us.' "
It is this incredible
blindness, way-shown by
It is then that the eternal clothing will be so beautiful, being more apparent then than now; for now it is as if in infra-red light at night that it is seen, but then, HE IS SEEN, face to face, and His light illumines all things (Revelation 21-22). Isaiah 61:10-11 tells us of this, as does Matthew 22 in terms of its absence! (22:1-14). But as to the former:
greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God,
For He has
clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom
decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels,
For as the earth
brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God
will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the
Let us revert to the sobering calamities of the falling stars. Satan is the chief, when you look at the spiritual symbolism, and indeed is called, "Lucifer" son of the morning, the light-bearer whose light was taken lightly, as he became consumed with himself, corrupted by his own brightness, a spirit readily present in the Satanic kingdom of his kind (cf. Ezekiel 28:13-17, Isaiah 14:12), and slitheringly manifested in the Garden of Eden, as Ezekiel implies, and Genesis states.
Is there not a parable here, even from computers. A document may be marvellous, but alas, not properly based, may 'disappear' in a moment through some error; and then be recovered, and so marked. So it is with the Lord's people, for ALL have sinned, and those who do not NEED redemption are unredeemed, for the Lord did not come to save the righteous but sinners, firstly, and EXCEPT you drink His blood and eat His flesh (of course, the sacrificial elements of the lamb of the Old Testament applied in words that are "life" and "spirit" by Christ to Himself as in John 6:51 to the end of that chapter), YOU HAVE NO LIFE. NONE! You are either RECOVERED, or you have spiritually UNCOVERED, and the sight is not pretty! You are either redeemed or lost. The satanic pride is like a cancer, it is not at first seen, but unless the body be recovered from this blight, the end is sure
The fallen angel however is in fatal case, and his wrath is great on the earth, for he knows his time is short (Revelation 12:7-17, esp. v.12). Meanwhile a star, another star, not the one of Revelation 8:10, which was physical and expressive of wrath and sin, but the one who is personal, falls from heaven (Rev. 9:1). It is so addressed, for "to him was given the key to the bottomless pit" - and from its surging destructiveness, of which our generation has seen much in the maiming and slaughter of countless millions, there come "locusts" of the strangest aspect. They seem like automata, yet there are elements like scorpion-esque stings which suggest life, and they have "faces" which are LIKE the faces of men.
Whether this star is Satan, which seems unsure, or a servant of God - in which case the term 'fallen' arouses some question , the star being SEEN as 'fallen from heaven to the earth' - is not to the point. It is what he does which is important, and certainly that is sufficient to mark judgment of an epochal order.
Before we proceed with this, we should note that Joel has much to say about locusts, about their ravaging plagues seen in the light of the judgments which God saw fit, after much patience, to visit on Israel of old at the physical level. These are made to represent an "army" which marches with a sort of bloodless blight, an unmatchable onslaught immune to defence, and the reference rises to the height of "the day of the Lord". After this, we are introduced as we see in Barbs, Arrows and Balms, Item 23, to the Messiah and then to what in fact became Pentecost, when the Spirit of God is poured forth and the New Testament Church Age is indicated with the free access to God, and the presence of His power in His many peoples, till the end comes, and the day of judgment, always impending, arrives.
Here meanwhile we are introduced, in Revelation 8, to the fulfilment of this archetype, to the answer to that image, to the judgment which they presaged, and the events for which they answered. The same sense of people being defenceless has added to it, the ghoulish horror of these things coming out of the specially opened pit, a bottomless one which signifies its intense evil in alienation from the Lord. The domain of the devil and the turmoil of sin is released into a world which has mocked the God who gave it safety and order, so that it may realise in its meddling aspirations for divine status, its vulnerability and the power of the Lord which had GRANTED it, even in its continuing sins, such stability to adorn its singular existence.
Thus these 'locusts' 'were given power' (9:3). Their mission is commissioned, their destruction is ordered, like viruses which are part of the curse on the earth. However, just as the people of the Lord enter into the rock, and shut the door behind them as we saw, so now, these locusts are "commanded" NOT to hurt any except those who lack the "seal of God on their foreheads". This may remind us that in Rev. 7:3 there was a stay in judgmental proceedings UNTIL "we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads". That in turn, related to 6:12ff., in which "there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood", while stars fall, perhaps asteroids, meteors of various shining sorts, a calamity of disorder to make the marked ordering of the Lord appear by contrast, to those who lives are disordered and whose faith is dead.
At once we wonder, CAN any then be still saved? Certainly, for Revelation 22:11 has no sooner said "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still", as if the finality of finalities is here (and it is looming, impending like a fall from a precipice), than we read a few verses later: "And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!". And let him who hears say, "Come!". And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely" - verse 17.
The former reminds one of that childhood game of "stand!" in which at a given moment, the one with the ball would command all seeking to escape to be still, while he/she would then throw the ball at the frozen participants in hope of a hit. You could not then move at all. So it will be when the doors are shut and the bridegroom has come (cf. Matthew 25:1-10). There is a time when he Great Physician operates, and there is time when it is too late. But UNTIL THAT TIME, there is always time. God loves to rescue, because He delights in mercy (Micah -20). His predestination is sure and none of His will be lost (Romans 8:28ff.).
The latter verse, Revelation 21:17 tells us of this, for all are urged to say, "Come!" even in the midst of the terminal calamities, even when the city of light is coming to its time and the denizens of darkness wail and curse. As to that, is it not singular, saddening and sobering, to reflect that EVEN IN THE MIDST OF THESE JUDGMENTS, there will be a certain terminal hardening in many, so that
outside of course those sealed, and who "come" to the Lord in the robes of repentance to be dressed in those of salvation instead (Isaiah 61:10), to which we see reference from time to time. Assuredly, the mass of the earthlings are not disposed to repent.
Thus any reading this who have not repented with a repentance not to be repented of, should do so with heartfelt simplicity to the Saviour. These should now accept Him crucified, yes rather bodily risen in His overthrow of death, no longer the curse it was, since it is paid and cancelled as a calamity deserved, and for His, covered by Him, dismissed as without sting, overwhelmed with the resurrection, and devastated with the removal of guilt in the beauty of His innocence and the bounty of His ransom.
The universe is already in pains, and these mount, and will mount; but the scenario of stars is merely a phase in the plan of salvation, an astronomical reminder and an astral act, as the ends of the worlds come upon us, but the unity and oneness of the Lord shields those who are His in this most profound of tests, and most ample of scenarios.
The world is in
multi-dimensional pains and pangs, in which conscience and ruthlessness mix,
the one wounded, the other wounding, and some in such conflict that both occur
jointly in the one confused heart. The political is now so often corrupt that
top leadership in the art of effectual embezzlement, with outstretched hands
taking rewards for their duties, extraneous and enormous, is too common for
much comment. Economically, all the banking blitzs in the world cannot trouble
His, for though even now (Time,
yet this grab is not the end.
It is merely one more trial
(cf. Revelation 13:14-18 and SMR pp. 684-685,
906ff., 967-968), amidst the fraudulent
religious clamour and claims, the false christs and the false prophets who
populate the world like locusts. It will of course lead to that tight form of
control in which finance is one means, politics another and the social spectrum
of workers may constitute a third, as the human heart is drafted for control,
control, control in the name of whatever false prophets of secularism,
naturalism, humanism, New Age religiosity, combinations and permutations among
many nations, may seem apt. Any idol will do, when the purpose is not to
The fallen star of Revelation 9:1, whose progress we are following, releases much ado for this depersonalising process, a thriving mass of 'locusts; and it is in just such terms of invasion by the unpersonal - an advance in horror on the impersonal - that this transcendental delusion mars the earth, and some seek to control all for the 'benefit' of all, and the fulfilment of their lusts.
Let us be clear: the locusts may well represent something of the bionic maladies of human construction with which mankind afflicts, nation by nation, or tribe by tribe, those vulnerable to his attentions. (Cf. No. 5, in The Other News.) Yet their compass INCLUDES the unspiritual mockery of man, which a human face on their blighted countenances suggests (Revelation 9:5-7); while their unfeeling aggression of these horrible creatures, fresh from the 'bottomless pit' is so like the sort of self-first, realise yourself, be yourself, arbitrariness and irrationality which so afflicts so much current education; and for lack of anything to be believed, of any vision or any truth, it is like a parody. It will still hurt, as does all - from Communist commissars to the antichrist himself, which aspires to what it does not have, and acts for the ruin of what might be in the wonder and in the love of God.
Meanwhile the love of God is in the most total contradiction of all these things. Not even remotely related is it, to the depersonalised 'control' of communism, the social networking substitute for spiritual reality in communalism, socialism's projection, the hideous construction of priorities and principles to assure that man moves onward and does not flounder, in superlative disregard to WHERE he is going. It becomes that madman greyhound race of going, going, and especially seeming to go, until all opportunity to be, to be what God has designed, is gone; and garbage remains. Nor is the love of God related to the 'control' already symbolised by those 'mind-affecting drugs' which roll so readily from the economising pockets of so many psychiatrists to help in the production-line formation of acceptable ... personality.
How empty it has become! Gone the aspirations of reductionism in Freud and Jung, gone the hopes of analysing it all nicely away: it is both too costly and too futile (cf. SMR Ch.4). Professor Allan Bloom in his work, The Closing of the American Mind, does well in showing this sunset without glory, moving onto campus, where no longer is the starry eyed youthful secularist filled with ardent expectation for the wonders of "man", as he makes, and remakes, even himself. The very faculties on campus may be found (cf. SMR Ch. 4, Part 1) to cleave and wonder; the major questions recede, the mechanics of departmental control and acceptability encroach.The glory, always only in anticipation in this humanistic field of aspiration, has already departed!
Control by chemicals, money methods and manipulation come more to the fore in the psychiatric vacuum; but the robotic roles of compositional chemicals is a 3-legged motorised walking stool for the disabled. It is not life. When it is used as such, it is antithetical to the love of the Lord, a ruinous fall flashing down the jagged rocks, teaming tempestuously at the foot, a scene that is not one of peace but of tumult, where man who is not God, divines and devises what produces what he desires, or what he feels he could or even should desire, without morals, but with a pragmatism so hideous in this, that it incorporates not least, the unspoken image, the presumed desire, and scarcely knows what or why, immersed in procedure, unable to "deduce" what ought to be from what is ... but acting anyway! Palliatives in season are one thing; chemical construction of personality freeways - this is another in which the delusion is perhaps more mobile in the philosophy of healing than in the 'patient's' mind!
The love of God releases, and what it releases includes personality construction, spiritual composition in a design, a form, an image which is His, not curses but cures, not control but metamorphosis, not weakness but power, not authoritarian manipulation but the grand design by which man is made again into the image of Him who created him.
Here consider Ephesians
4:24, Colossians 3:10 - the former verse being a matter of putting on
the life what is already constructed in God's regeneration, and the latter of
constantly being renewed into this image as one proceeds. Not
here is it a question of making the thing work, making man a manipulative
medium for a nice
The contrast is complete. It is God or the devil, contrivance or conviction, purity or passion, imagination or reality, Christ or condescension by carnal and corrupt scorners who neither know nor can know the very meaning of love with its purity and splendour (cf. II Peter 3:3-4, II Timothy 3:1-5, Jude, Revelation 16:13 and see That Magnificent Rock. Ch.8, pp. 277ff., SMR pp. 750Bff.).
The kingdom of heaven, which now is, and the lands about it for the children of the covenant as they grow is pleasant indeed, as they are led towards the city itself of which they may become citizens: this is to become the kingdom of our Lord in which the tares, the weeds are no longer masquerading as crop. Meanwhile, this invisible kingdom has sway and sovereignty in the Lord, and such a Lord is He that His life is given in human form and format, with no contrivance but pangs, no dissembling of selfish power but dereliction on the cross in both expiating and expressing the nature of sin, in the eyes of the love of God.
The beauty of it is not least this: that the exposure IS the remedy. It is one overall act, both expressing in the deformations of His body on the cross, and the pangs of His spirit as He suffered vicariously for the sins of His own - and the Spirit and the Bride say 'Come!', you recall - the power, place and penalty of sin, and the power and cure. His day is also that of power in the resurrection, authenticating all, and providing the justification complete and entire, for He was delivered up for our transgressions and raised up for our justification (Romans 4:25, John 3:15-16). The payment for those sinners who shall receive it, now complete, the power is released in the domain of love and peace, and His people who love Him and one another, become a new species on the earth.
The irony is this: it is what they should have been in the first place, which they now become, without the deformities of sin. The wonder is however that the payment for the difference, in the love of God, makes people in the image of God real concerns of His. They moreover, being now redeemed, are covered for ever (Romans 5:1-11, 8:17,30ff.). Within is the splendour, and without is the wonder of God. He moves from within, creating anew, then fashioning what is born; and the kingdom of heaven, as He said, is within you - both in the spirit within, for each of His people (cf. Psalm 84:5-7), and in the midst. It is INSIDE. It is NOT a matter of "observation" (Luke -21). Events will indeed occur, but the seal of God on the foreheads of His people, which we noted earlier, is not electronic, it is spiritual. Moreover, even in David's time, He was there (cf. Psalm 16:8), who now vindicated and victorious, is here, manifest and express.
This is the kingdom of liberty, for the Lord is loved, and God IS love, and the serfdom of sin no longer enslaves, and what we are made for is now what we are; and His servants shall serve Him. With the brilliance of crystal and the wonder of the depths which may there be seen in the gems of the earth, expressive of heavenly wonder (cf. Revelation 21), there is a love which knows no bounds. As Paul, speaking by the Spirit of God, puts it,
3:17-19 (cf. I Cor. 2:9-13, II Peter -16).
The Earth Shall be Filled with the Glory of the Lord as the Waters Cover the Sea
This IS going to happen. In Habakkuk you find that the prophet is exceedingly upset by the sheer immensity of cruelty, violence and craft by which unscrupulous people slime the earth, slitheringly, bickering, netting others, netting gain, smirking with success.
The Lord tells him that JUDGMENT is to come; that in the interim the JUST will live by HIS FAITH, in that the aim of self-aggrandisement is one way of handling things, and faith in that which is to be, and in the One who will make it happen, and in His ways and provisions and plans: this is another. In that the completion of the picture of the pageantry for this earth, and the purity is not yet: therefore it must be waited for: and in that the waiting is for that which the eyes do not yet see, it must be done by faith.
"Though it tarry,
wait for it;
because it will surely come" - Habakkuk 2:3.
THE RADICALITY OF UNREPENTANCE TOWARDS
THE SPIRITUAL BEAUTY IT STEADFASTLY REJECTS,
EXPOSED IN ALL ITS UNSPARING UNSPIRITUALITY:
WHILE THE PROVISIONS OF THE LORD FOR THE PEOPLE OF HIS
PATIENCE ARE REVEALED FROM GLORY TO GLORY ...
Like buds and flowers, like Winter and Spring, so
the developments proceeds with ever new perfumes, unfoldings of loveliness, and
in the end, unspoiled beauty in the peace of His presence.
The sort of transmutation, radical change, which really happens is the one to come. It WILL come, and its extent will be UNIVERSAL, its cover to the earth of the magnitude, dimension and obviousness which meets the eye when one surveys a scene at sea.
The waters COVER the sea: it is not a hill there, a dale there, in terms of water, but hill and dale OF water WITHIN the water. It COVERS things. THAT is how complete the wonder is to be.
In Isaiah, where in Ch.11, where this phenomenon to be is also dealt with, we find that the matter extends to the animal kingdom, so that deadly enemies of nature, or extreme vulnerabilities as of the child by the asp, will vanish. "They will not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain," says the Lord. The reason is this: that "the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." There, then, it is again, written.
Now does this mean that no one will do any wrong ? It does not seem so: for "with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth". True, that might apply to the overall result and not cover individual reproofs, but it also states, "He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes neither reprove after the hearing of His ears" in verse 3. This does give the impression of a continual constancy in maintaining the right. That implies that there is still something to put right.
Hence when in Psalm 72 we read of the king whose name is to endure in wonder and praise while sun endures, which is way past Solomon, the King of whom it says, "Prayer also shall be made for Him continually," and "His name shall endure for ever.. and men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call Him blessed," we find also this - "He shall deliver the needy when he cries; the poor also, and him who has no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy: He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in His sight."
This suggests that the situation is not mere perfection (and the 'mere' does not diminish it, but rather allows for ACTION in securing it).
It appears rather like a coffee grinder. However rough and individually tough the beans may be, the coffee grinder gets into them and they are DEALT WITH, until beans are no more and only coffee remains. The grinding prevails, if we may so say, over the beans as the waters cover the sea, and if any bean should seek to prosper in individual tyranny, mocking others and seeking to elevate itself at their expense, it will have nothing left of which to boast.
In other words, there is A RIGOUR of RIGHTEOUSNESS coming in which unlike the present, the subtle and the sly, the silly and the striving will not make it into the Hall of Fame. For there will be intervention, deliverance, action and rectification. It will be FAST.
How long is this period in which righteousness will prosper and deliverance will be as automatic as is the justification of typing when one sets the button to call for it ? Since a thousand years is EXPRESSLY in this terminal period set as being 'as a day', brave indeed would be the one who would seek to quantify here. It could be 3 months, it could be less. Children can be born making a new generation at any time; symbols must be allowed for; the final analysis of NOT KNOWING is jealously guarded in the words of Peter just quoted. It will be LONG ENOUGH for these NEW CHARACTERISTICS to be apparent.
No MORE will the HUNGRY be left, the RAPACIOUS be enlarged, the curse be confused with justice rather than judgment, and the survival of the fittest be the immoral madness of a spiritually exhausted race, where to be just is to be exceptional.
The other aspect to emphasise is this: THIS will be through ONE CAUSE. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, will personally be present, not as an offer of salvation as selective emphasis, but as the King whom so many for so long in so many places and in so much weariness of spirit have rejected that they might rule within to their own doom.
NOW HE WILL RULE whether chosen or not: not, it is true, within the hearts of the obstinate, but over the dealings of men, not only in that invisible and wonderful deliverance all Christians know, but in the macro, in the gross and outward forms also. The non-prosperity of sin will be sky-written over the earth; it will be inscribed and apparent everywhere.
It appears that the Lord - whose mockery was in two stages:
1) that He did not come down from the Cross, or use His power for Himself, and
2) that when He left, He did not makes His servants rich and oppressive, as the world admires, but allowed them to be not greater than their Master:
will now show the face of sovereignty to the rebellious in heart. Like mountains appearing on the horizon, righteousness will dominate the scene.
There will simply be nothing to mock. After all, a couple of thousand years of it is a fair time for testing purposes, while the Gospel travels to the end of the earth, and the splendour of the Lord is in Spirit, while oppressors continue to make their billions and trillions by chicanery. Not that wealth MEANS oppression, but the two are not rarely in consort like husband and wife, the one feeding the other.
It would thus seem that nature of the wonder of this glory of the Lord covering the earth as the waters cover the sea is not that heavenly magnificence where sin has no place, and efforts at wrong no chance. It is then that all hearts are as pure as the dew on a Winter's morning and the beauty of holiness is hallowed in the heavenly air. Rather the millenial fact is a RULING in the midst of mankind which PUNISHES evil quickly, effectively and continuously, DELIVERS righteousness and sets it in authority, and MAINTAINS a peace and a tang and savour which is never penetrated...
As Isaiah says in 26:10, EVEN IN SUCH A SITUATION, when favour is shown to the wicked, yet "he will not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will be deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. Lord, when Thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they will see and be ashamed for their envy at the people." The fire indeed is going to devour them, we read. Here we see in its fulness,
"This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men have loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
As to the fire of judgment, that does happen at the end of the millenium when, despite this majesty, so little valued, and this power, so incapable of overthrow, and this justice, maintained with rigour, there is an epochal uprising of jealous hearts. Of this John speaks in Revelation 20, and that is the end of this Phase 2:
· implemented righteousness.
· (In Phase 1 which is now, righteousness does abide and bless, and is imputed righteousness to the saints. In Phase 2 however, it is implemented in the scene itself, and visible to the external eyes, covering the world like waters, as well as springing up in the heart of the righteous with joy).
What more the Lord does in the Millenial Lesson Time is His business. It is hard to deduce all possible matters with certainty, for while the Lord will perform all His word, He does not conform to the philosophising of "senior year students" who may presume even to instruct their teacher. Of this, however, let us be sure - NO ONE WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD IN VAIN, with faith. Equally truly, the Lord may abstract from the earth, BEFORE this manifestation of His righteousness, all who are EVER to be His, foreknown before the foundation of the world, and duly predestined; and indeed, with the marriage feast of the Lamb past, it is hard to imagine how there could be any "born out of due time" in the following earthly exhibition of His righteousness in the millenium. Certainly all that pertains to the wedding in its broad general outlines is by that time, past: the bride herself has already been taken. She did not leave an arm or a leg behind; nor was she married in stages. In vain have pounded the unspiritual formalists, who carried the sign of the lamp (Matthew 25), but failed to have in it any oil. Alas, they shall never enter in.
ALL these principles will be kept, but let us leave to the Lord the expression of the day, to Him whose mercy is ever sure and who alone does wonders (Psalm 72:18). As the Psalmist also declares, "Thou art the God who does wonders" (Psalm 77:14). Like a child going down rapids with his father in a canoe, thrusting and swaying, but careering with consistency and grace, so is the joy in His presence interpreted as we travel along His paths, always fresh, depth upon depth shown to us. As to Him, His ways do not change and His principles are sure.
Thus, when you are dealing with the author of a book - or being dealt with by him, it is unwise to TELL Him, you must simply wait and see. When the work is that of the Lord, how surely will all the principles enunciated by God scrupulously be kept, in the present, in the future and always; for His word is seven times refined, and to the jot and tittle will be performed, in the depth of His wisdom and the wonder of His counsel. This is one of the most delightful features of the Lord: He is so excellently deep, and His knowledge is surpassingly splendid; yet as to His word, it is surer than rock, more steadfast than any citadel, more pleasant than any stream, more exalted than any mountain, and in the end, love so suffuses it, majesty so upholds it, with mercy so rushing like mountain streams from it, and purity so adorns it, that it is
So will the millenium in its time, be fulfilled, but not without the end lash of the luxuriating souls, who surrounded with the mercy and grace of the Lord in a righteous realisation of His power on earth, will STILL want to rebel (Revelation 20:7-9), always wanting "another", deceptive, devious and duplicitous, pampering to lust and careless of heart. So the time of peace ends, and the war that literally ends the earth arises, for at this time, the stage itself "flees away", and the confrontation ends in the consummation.
Accordingly, when indeed
all this is over, Phase 1 and Phase 2, the Age of the
"they went up and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them...and I saw a great white throne, and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away: and there was found no place for them" - Revelation 20:9,11.
It is THEN that "the books are opened" and "another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works... and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
That is the end to the consummation leading from terrestrial history to celestial history. THEN you see that those WRITTEN in the Redeemer's book of life (and eternal life is available ONLY as a gift, Romans , -31) are given life (John outwardly verified), and for the damned, the criterion is what they have done. That is also found in Matthew 25 where the sheep ARE sheep and are rewarded for good actions; while the goats ARE goats, and their sins are expressly remembered against them.
course KNOW THEIR SHEPHERD (John 10:9,27-28). Millenium or not, the heavens
departing and the old earth thrown away like an old garment, or new heavens and
new earth: in this, it is all one (Isaiah 51:6, 65:17). HE is always the same,
His faithfulness greater than the sun, His life with a splendour of
magnificence that requires no show. For all that, there is plenty to see, and the conveyancing
of history continually - commanded like the heavens, is declaring the glory of