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That Other Shepherd ... and the Three Frogs
13) From The Other News 5
Revelation 12, 13 (esp. verse 15), 16
That Other Shepherd...
life ? His or the Beast's ?
There is a Gulf between the Difference!
Time, Feb. 3, 1997 opens a topic that has escalated. Dealing with 'The Boris Yeltsin Blues' post-operative, it mentions the issue of power-play and international power blocs, saying -"Yeltsin's more liberal aids had hoped to move Russia further into the mainstream of international relations. Instead, Moscow is bogged down in an ill-tempered exchange with the West over NATO's expansion plans."
This past week, in mid-February, there has been some analysis in the news concerning this point. The possibility of nuclear retaliation if marauders (such as NATO) should come too near Russia's Western borders was raised; a presidential aide quashed this. Was it not merely a point of extreme concern? In any case, Russia would not start a display of force. We were left with the thought that atomic means might serve stability's ends if force were deemed used. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia might be too much for the possible transfers to NATO areas.
Obviously, there are layers within layers, views within views; but there is also tension. It is one thing to be dismantled as an Empire (even Britain suffered that with a typically stiff British upper lip); it is one thing to be financially pressed (not uncommon, though the scale of the disaster is more uncommon amongst the 'great'). It is however another to see Europe with Clinton's desire, an increasingly democratic totality gnawing at the remnant of the monolith of absolutism to her East; or so it might appear.
The issue was raised: IS NATO still the answer, the power bloc desideratum, the way things should be handled in the post-war tensions? Tensions? Would one not expect them, when one mass murderer was invoked in his country seat to help remove another, when Russia was utilised, approached, given expensive collaboration in the desire to exterminate Hitler: an error vastly expanded by masses of religiously illiterate - you could say the learned illiterati - teachers who seemed fascinated by the post-Zhukov era, and still looked for Russian style absolutism, insidiously called 'democracy', as an answer for man, by man.
Is NATO still the answer? What of the UN? What of the Western European Union? What of the military arm of the EU? The desire lingers; to some the need seems imperative. WILL man find a solution to his balance of power, deterrent, containment, freedom, discipline questions that furrow much of the collective brow? Not except in Christ (see The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, Ch.7, Item 12, on what the Bible has to say here).
However it may be timely to see the future forecast - God's forecasts are without exception accurate, and have been abundantly tested for many centuries from the Bible. This leads us to the book of Revelation, Ch. 13. Here we see an enormous international development from the heady, and head-chopping days of both Hitler and Stalin. Whilst many escaped from 19th century Europe to the U.S.A., and the Statue of Liberty beckons with a perhaps slightly dated call (in view of quotas): from the unruly impact of religious persecution, when the world force has its tie on, there will be no place to go - except to God. The test will then be pure and holy; and the time to return to, and till the return of, Christ will be short. (We see it in Revelation Ch. 19.) He Himself dealt in Matthew 24 with such matters, and with the removal of delay when the time came, for Him to re-invest the earth with His unique and everlasting presence as God made manifest in the flesh by His living Word.
It will however
be the SAME Christ, who (Hebrews 13:8) does not change; and it was to this
identical one that the angels noted in Acts 1, refer! Another effort, that
of man, a last synthesis as the philosophers might say, is however to made
as the world rushes to unanswerable disasters, in the terminal political
cancers of sin. Let us then consider this from Revelation 13.
Beasts in the Daniel-Revelation compound ...
mean political-social-psychological unspirituality vested in some being of great worldly power, normally national in complexion but capable of divesting itself of such site. Power in and over the earth is critical to the concept; and ungodly ways of manifesting it are of the essence.
Having spoken of the generic beast, the main theme for the rottenness of the End Times, when man grows nearer to interview with his Creator, as a race, Revelation 13 proceeds to tell us of another beast (v.11) - that the other beast, the one duplicitous in its appearance as a lamb, but having two horns, showing something grosser, as also exhibited by his talking as a dragon.
This one is the communications specialist, the one which makes inter-relationships an art form, and people domination a matter of method. Accordingly, it (he?) makes procedures such as the mark on the forehead and on the right hand as a test of loyalty to become likewise a means of marketing, even of such simple ingredients of life as buying and selling; and making this a monopoly, this powerful force, this devilish dynamic then uses it to exterminate non-conformists. England could be very hard on non-conformists at one time, seeking deliverance from foreign powers intruding into its civil structure, though using this more broadly in time. Here however the second beast will be an INTERNATIONAL phenomenon, with no escape to America, because this is merely part of the world which literally is now his stage.
Amongst his performances are these: he makes an image of the beast, and (v.15)
"had power to give breath to the image of the beast"
SO THAT it can do two things:
1) speak and
2) set about killing those who do not WORSHIP the image of the beast.
It is not hard to realise what is happening. This is spiritual mimicry at a decoy, deceitful level. GOD sent CHRIST to be HIS EXPRESSION on earth, equal in honour to Himself (John 5:19-23, Colossians 1:19-23, Philippians 2); and so the devil sends this IMAGE to be a kind of centre and resource and test of fidelity, expression of his 'life' and base for ... yes, worship. The devil is an awful mimic, and when lies and fraud are of his nature, mimicry is likely to be quite an outstanding, not to say an exceptional performance! If the antichrist is the devil's messiah, then this image is his face for the public: they are a tartan, a lively tartar that, so to speak, hits you in the face.
Now our point in this reflection is one: what is it that the beast imparts to the image? In the Bible, the word for 'breath' is used, rather like that used of the people, Jews, brought back in Ezekiel 37, to their land, a biological unit; and to this is SEPARATELY given spirit, and it lives. That is of course parable; but it signifies the coming into being of what makes the return of the Jews to their land more than a physical presence.
What then is this breath given to the beast? In a book admittedly and intensively symbolical, what might it be intended to signify? We find the answer in several Biblical quarters, comparing scripture with scripture, things spiritual with the same.
The considerations most obvious appear these:
i) what the thing, the image to which breath is given, is.
ii) what it comes from, and
iii) what it does.
i) What the thing is...
The thing is a manifestation of evil, of devilish lust for conquest, control and inordinate power, centred in the person of the devil and his instruments as expressive, designed to deceive, to mislead and to obtain and display false glory which can neither last nor make the grade to the splendour of goodness, reliability, loyalty, kindness, mercy and power which makes glory so glorious as to be something to be desired. It proceeds to kill non-conformists, and has a ruthless desire to amplify its sphere of influence to both small and great (v.16), not excluding the poor.
Its ambit is not economic but personal; though its means are certainly emphatically inclusive of the economic. It is an excellent bait ... as baits go ... for collecting human rubbish in the sense of denatured persons whose life is lived for what they can purchase, sell, gain in this world. What they become in the process is decidedly secondary. Such people are primary public for the image of the beast.
ii) What the thing comes from...
The thing comes from a beast: that, as already explained, definitely involves the personal in the normal human sense, but seeks to transcend this by invoking pretentious means on a broad scale in the world. Taking the reality without the artificiality, then, there is a human base for it. Thus it is not GOD who makes this creation (His creations in life form being called 'creatures'); so that it is not in that specific sense a creature. Rather it is a result of the exercise of human CREATIVITY. However many people may be involved, it is a human production.
Now man is a DERIVATIVE from God, because he is derived from God's actions and creativity, called creation. This thing however is a derivative of man, because it is derived from man's actions and creativity, called invention. The point about the terminology is that we know what we are talking about, which is often quite useful, though not perhaps always in philosophy, which we accordingly avoid, preferring the word of God as determinant to thought; though it is assuredly true that thought attests it as it does nothing else, in the end (see The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, Chs.1,3,10).
What then is this thing? it is this. It is the derivative of a derivative. It derives from man who derives from God; and more strictly, it derives from man whose being is created by God. It is therefore a DOUBLE DERIVATIVE (a term doubtless precious or at least peculiar to the minds of exponents of that form of mathematics known as calculus).
We have therefore a double derivative, derived from man and his creativity, just as man in turn was created by God. The distance from God is increasing. This is in the mind of man which was made, with his soul and spirit, in the image of God: that is, in such a form and style as to be able in LIFE to COMMUNE or even COMMUNICATE meaningfully and ... consciously, intelligibly and personally, indeed inter-personally, with God.
What however may be said of this double-derivative image? Firstly, it is useful to consider what it is NOT.
It is NOT equipped with what is special and specific to God: Spirit, Person, with moral, spiritual and personal dimensions to consciousness. THAT is specific to the God who is ALONE, as we are told, without like, except in that He created man in His image, and made such other beings as He chose, equipped to commune with Him as derivatives.
a) there is no moral dimension to any consciousness with which it may be equipped. It does not know what is good and evil per se; it may be programmed or instilled with this or that, like Hitler youth which still could deceive the deceiver by their SPIRITS, and know what they were doing and WHY.
b) there is no personal dimension. It may be programmed super-exquisitely to be able to relate to multiply imagined scenarios, and to do so indeed in ways so sophisticated as to elicit praise from some executive-trainers, for its fidelity to the very image of 'success' and 'prosperity in this world'; but it does not possess that uniqueness called person, which is God's, and which has been derivatively represented in man.
Incorporated in this aspect or feature is this implication: God's unique creation of PERSON, such as is fit to have communion or communication with Himself, has a refreshing and altogether (potentially) delightful function and image: it is the power to transcend, to a significant extent, barriers of program, perception and performance. It can do this in thought, in action, in imagination, in invention by which normal barriers are in measure overthrown, in conception, and that either at times in greater penetration into reality in creation, and at other times in greater awareness of itself.
This is always limited, sometimes with a sort of awful hilariousness, by the megalomaniac pretensions which forget that one little thing: who MADE this power, and on whom it depends, both logically and personally, for very existence; as well as meaning, measure and power. It readily penetrated paradox is this: WHEN the source and spirit back of this person-power is recognised, and indeed KNOWN, then the use of this function can be a dream of wonder; but when it is not, it evokes the coarseness and the evil which betrays truth and rejects justice. Man or some other madness, becomes the zenith; and as zenith, it is uniformly mad in the end, by sight, as at the first, by implication.
It is THIS power which the beast, try as he will, cannot impart. The smoothness of a salesman, yes; the sophisticated program-consciousness and manipulative tendresse of a diplomat, very possibly; on-line knowledge banks, of course; but what matters TO persons, FROM a person, no. That is a matter of the FIRST DERIVATIVE. THIS is the second!
c) there is no spiritual dimension. That of course is the crucial and critical element. God IS a spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth, because this is the kind of worshipper, or better the nature of the worship which God desires. He wants genuineness, and this is unprogrammable, because the program is not the work of the being itself; and in this lies the sheer magnitude, like that of mighty cliffs stretching 100 metres above the coastline at the Nullabor Plain in the Great Australian Bight ... of what?
Of this: freedom!
Abused and misused, this feature of man is a source of wonder and a path to pollution for himself and his world. It depends how it is exercised. Its availability is a thing of splendour, yet of a quiet kind, like diamonds set in rubies: magnificent? Yes, but not so that it commands your attention: it elicits it.
The thing, then, this image of the beast, is impersonal, amoral and unspiritual. That of course is precisely the direction and trend of man in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Many of the race may think that man is going nicely onto the final hour that will extend indefinitely, for the enjoyment of his genius. However in this he is forgetful: of two things in particular. Neither is man himself unchanging (though his form remains), nor is God inactive.
Man is making himself such a prodigy of deformation that his like on the earth is a bane that soon neither he nor the earth will be able to bear, as Christ makes plain in Matthew 24, with Paul in I Timothy 4, II Timothy 3 and elsewhere. This proceeds in company with the divine judgments which, though patiently distanced (II Peter 3:9), in the end are assured, as Revelation makes so plain, as man 'eats the fruit of his own doings'.
Those? they are the worst fruits of all in such a case, and entirely legitimate, because they are so possessed of the qualities of their maker, man: and this brings near the ... end.
The end, terminus, conclusion, finale: yes it comes. In this man has the beast and the second beast and the image of the beast to contend with; he is an artful fellow, man; and when without God, the art is appalling.
This then is the nature of the image and of the double derivative vitality it possesses. Christ in Luke 9:55: You do not know what manner of spirit you are of! That is, you do not realise the nature of the Spirit of God. This brings up the point that there is a DIFFERENT spirit which can come. It is that in morally mangled, spiritually polluted, glory-deficient man, apart from God. It is derived but now depraved also. THIS is the base for the programming of the image of the beast!
Programs built on such a base are like sky-scrapers built on drains and sewers and the bodies of rats in loose clay, in a cavernous area by the coast. The quasi-spirit, the double derivative declension and divorce of the image of the beast from God is a sight as appalling as that of the Niagara Falls is inspiring. It bespeaks its origin, and that? It is not attractive.
iii) What the thing does...
The image of the beast CAUSES THOSE NOT ELECTING TO WORSHIP IT TO BE KILLED.
It is possible it is not entirely successful, but this is its function, and there is no doubt it will at least have outstanding 'success', just as the pre-run of a somewhat more specialised kind did with Hitler, when only one race rather than as here, the whole human race, was involved.
It is, then, monopolistic, implacable, remorseless, egotistic, megalomaniac, heartless. That is the nature of its program.
What sort of consciousness may it have, if any? What does it do at that level? Certainly it is not human consciousness, since it lacks those elements as noted in ii), which constitute the human specialty and specificity as a creation, in the moral, the personal and the spiritual.
These, as God-derivatives, are not available at that level; these as God-image-bearers are excluded. This however is not to say that some kind of reflexive self-awareness is not possible, according to the mind, the mangled and immoral mind of its maker, polluted man. Call it what you will, it is not life in its unique height and vestment, form and magnitude. It is - if there be any consciousness at all - a mere trifle, an attestation to a derivative and reflexive form of concept conditioning made in the image of the desecrated.
May one add just one word of caution. Playing with man's form and need and nature is as deadly a procedure as there is available, outside the direct impudence of seeking to play with the glory of God. Both of these actions are endemic to the sin of man; but the point here is this: both of them reach a crescendo, like the symphonic power of some master musician, towards the end of his creation in music. The zenith of desired harmony will however, being squalid in spirit and unrealistic in mind, be the ultimate in cacophony, a fitting terminus to an age rife with such ... compositions.
At that crescendo is a building; it has taken centuries for its components to be researched and invested with synthesis. It will take very little time to declare its nature; and for this declaration to be followed by one other declaration: that of God (Revelation 19:19-20:15). It may sound a hard word, but it is entirely scriptural, and fitting. What is the end of rubbish, that is, utterly and irreversibly transformed creation which has finished ingloriously its course? It is the dustbin, the rubbish heap, or in Biblical words, Gehenna, the place of rubbish, slowly burning.
What burns? Conscience, for unlike the image of the beast, man being not double but merely a single derivative, indeed in the image of God, this is inherent in him, however misused. Conscience burns. Truth can hurt. It can harass because IT IS SO. Nothing will alter it. HENCE THE HEART HURTS, AND THE SPIRIT QUAILS, EVEN IN ITS BOASTS.
There is only one proper course: it is this. To repent of sin and seek the remission of sins form the blood of the Lamb: NOT from the dragon that looks like a lamb, of which Revelation 13 has spoken. No: but from the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world, but whose time came and who was crucified at Calvary. There is the GOOD shepherd, there the only name worth anything for redemption, for it is the name God gives to His only begotten Son; and that is the price of redemption, the place of redemption and the value of it.
It is infinite. No program can produce
it. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, says I John 1; but
if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and
to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Then you are restored to being
a true first derivative; a created creature at peace with his Creator;
but far better than this ( I John 1:1-4, 3:1-3), a child of God. Perfection?
It is His. It is inherited in eternity.
The Provision of God
A doctor once said to me, You have
done well, for you have the parents with the right genes! Being very amusing.
However, here the case lies deeper: to come to the Saviour who brings you
to the Father, so that you become a child of God, THIS is a matter of more
than human genes. HIS seed, says I John 3:9, stays in you. Be therefore
reconciled to God and read as you move - II Corinthians 5:19-21. There
is only one God: more is neither available nor desirable. There is only
one way and there is only one life which has fellowship with Him; and this?
It is eternal (John 3:16-17). Christ we there read did not come to condemn
but to save. If condemnation comes, then He came first. Then come first
to Him, now.
14) From That Magnificent Rock, Epilogue:
Never! Say the secular arm of the Materialist Missionary Headquarters! We would rather die than admit it!
That, Nature echoes, is what you will surely do, when you worship the production and ignore its Producer.
But no! The Unhallowed Headquarters send out expeditions, experts in discovery. Yet their Captain Cooks of astral and nuclear affairs, of cells and secularism seem more cooks than explorers. Nothing they find! 'Nothing!' they report. "Oh!!" says the Philosophy Farmland, we shall see about that. "Nothing' now," it says, " that is a very pregnant answer, filled with meaning!" They try; but their case is provocative of mirth. God is not mocked.
HE can laugh too!
"Let us break their bands in pieces," echo the ancient words of Psalm 2 as the nations sought to be loosed from the Lord and His anointed. Actually, it says they plot, take counsel "against the Lord and against His Messiah" (emphasis added). Peter cited that at Pentecost, relative to the murder (civil, judicial, injudicious) of Jesus Christ. The murder goes on in effigy in many, many nations.
Yet they look. They seek for the natural
way to make 'Nature'! They grind. They scour - even the depths.
Seeking in the Wrong Place
Snorkelling in the depths they look for it, diving, striving, manoeuvring, twisting, writhing, conniving, aspiring, squeezing, cavorting, contorting, they declare scenarios of magic, sing operas of the imagination, coax particles, fling flares in the night. They stare, snoop, salute the hidden powers of 'Nature'.
Meanwhile she - or he - better it, remains unmoved. It yields no creation, has contributed no floor show. It remains for ever what it was before: blind, obedient, contrived, controlled, an assemblage that spends itself.
To all this massed and writhing effort, it makes no effort, for it has none to give; no satisfaction will it provide.
In the simplest terms, it does with icy stare what it was made to do, and no more responds to this ardent entreaty of naturalistic philosophers who happen to be scientists, than does a rock to a love song. It has no heart for it; for it is not - emphatically, decisively and if need be, derisively not - the creator. It is a book written, a car framed: of the making of cars, it has no knowledge. Of the writing of books it has no knowledge. None of them do.
That is the nature of creation. Outstanding it may be, and indeed is, but it does not change its response and ways any more than do the laws of logic, however much the learned may invade logic, making themselves irrational in the process. And the result of this as always - 'Nothing' which has no now been given a knighthood. (See Models and Marvels, Ch.7 in That Magnificent Rock; and in SMR, Ch.2 Supplement pp.S1-S34, and pp.315A-316G, 329-332H, 348-349E and 421-422W; and Nothing, Irrationalism and Nescient Man, in the SMR Index.)
We should proceed a little further in our Psalm - 2.
But the Lord says this of this murder so re-wrought in the Blight Lights of the Gentile Spiritual Follies Show - "He who sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall hold them in derision." You see the humour ? Naturally it is grim humour, when murder is involved. God's patience is the real miracle, that He holds out the Olive Branch, just as He said He would to all who will come (John 10:9). If you have not come, come! (Matthew 11:28-30). It is high time!
But as to the vain search in 'Nature' for a hand to make it, without the Head... ?
Nothing is the sonar echo. Not here! It cries.
Indeed, this eloquent silence where God is not to be found reminds one of a former epoch in history. It held a singular episode.
Elijah (I Kings 18) having upset the King of Israel considerably by his "no rain" forecast in the Lord's name, indeed given in terms of God's answer to entrenched national sin in this case, at last appears. In man's eyes perhaps the lack of rain had been as painful as the lack of man's righteousness had been in the eyes of the Lord. More, it was covenant breaking sin, for the people had freely declared whom they would serve with both Moses and Joshua, then seeking to mix God with nature in various ways, according to the symbols of the time.
It was quite like the present, which repeats without apparent blushing. The Gentiles are like the Jews in this, repeating these items of national history at the international level. Surely no flesh will glory in the presence of the Lord. Those who think the opposite should have learned this by now. Neither would Hitler win by racial superiority nor will the Jews today, and in this one must take some issue with Ben Gurion in terms of what is often elsewhere rather a magnificent book (ISRAEL, p. 846).
It is easy to see how a trend to such a view can arise in the midst of incredible seeming adverse numbers in the Middle East conflict; but the very Jewish prophets themselves are full of admonition on this point. It makes little SPIRITUAL difference in this regard whether the trend is to HARM others or to HELP oneself. The spirit of man is of crucial importance to the God of the Bible. Thus we find:
But we must revert to Elijah and the Israel of that ancient time, and complete the picture.
The King of Israel meets with Elijah, giving him the view that it is the prophet who is the enemy of Israel. Not so, says Elijah, it is you who, with your fathers, have sinned yourself into this situation with your nature worship. What then was to come! Sent of God, Elijah was happy to prepare a test which could impact on the eyes of the king who would not apparently listen otherwise, despite the wonders earlier wrought in Israel. We are all aware of the cyclotronic effect of passion, whether of this or that kind, when misdirected.
Let there then be a test, making the thing if you will, scientific in a laboratory sense (as negatively, we have been finding also in our century, for ever-heady but never-ready naturalism). Try it out! See what responds. This was the historic call which Elijah fearlessly made: a test on the top of Mt Carmel. To that high arena, then, went the nature prophets and the people, with Elijah and the King.
The report of the action is well known. The Israelites had imported the pagan "god" Baal - as the Freemasons did much later, into one of their secret names. This Nature "divinity" was worshipped amidst lust and depravity in those times: was it not ... 'natural' to forget your Maker, misuse the equipment He had made and to do it your own way?
This they did, religiously. It as very like the present, with irreligious religion.
The priests of Baal, like our high-placed evolutionists, in the pay of the State then as now, sought to attract the attention of the Nature - "god". They leapt, called, cried, entreated, cut themselves, the Bible records, much as, in theoretical parallel, they do to this day with State funds to these unavailing ends. ( Løvtrup you may recall, levels just such a charge against the continuity of selective academic support for adequately discountenanced Darwinian style research). Indeed, "they called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, 'O Baal, hear us!'"
"But," we find, "there was no voice, no one answered."
Elijah taunted them: "Cry with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened!"
So they cried louder, extorting contortions from their bodies, but no answer from 'Nature' or its secret gods, goddishness or other elements, could be heard. Denton with others appears mystified following his lucid survey of the scene, as well he might be; for there is no answer from that ground, nor has there been, nor can there be. Løvtrup for his part continues his protest at wasted funds to validate Darwinism, as we saw, holding that research could better use the funds where philosophy is no longer domineering science.
Silence was the only answer of which that Baal was capable. Then as now, the world was a production. It is vain to seek to be coquettish, to fascinate or entreat it, to extort from it with contortions physical or metaphysical, what is beyond it. The made is not the maker. It is only the Producer who can speak, and to man's mind He has spoken in recorded words. Other words are desired; but they do not speak, neither may they be found, nor their trace, their laws, principles or parallels. Logic declines now as then to pack up and depart for the sake of those who, at their pleasure, still wish to use it (cf. Chs.1,3 SMR).
Now we do not need a fire from heaven: we have already had Christ from God, the Word which the Father speaks, put into flesh, according to the stated program and with the stated identikits, which we have found in Chs.8-9 of SMR, continue to this day, throbbing with vitality, in the arms of history.
Then as now, they look for help from Nature, but there is none. They merely molest it and, with all their excited childishness, in the embrace of simple philosophy, many imagine that by examining the particles of ink with which, as it were, Nature was written, they will divine the mind of what is in fact, the Creator.
He has already however used words. The particles of the ink reveal nothing but particles of ink - or sub-atomic particles, or wave-particles, or particulate waves, or equations within equations, and fragments within fractions. It goes on. There is here a branch of physics which when not mystically misemployed has its place. The atomic bomb at least keeps them in touch with the concept of beginnings and ends - though more particularly the end. There is one: it will surely come, just as man did, and he will endure for a season, according to plan.
Similarly in language: the letters of speech contain much interest - but they are only symbols. It is what they signify that matters. It is not to magnify the letters but to see the purpose they serve, that matters essentially; and this matters altogether. There is no matter in matter that matters as much as this matter.
But let us now return to the Psalm 2. We were looking at the peoples esteeming God not to be allowed, seeking to banish His ways as if they were bonds: as indeed restraints of construction often do seem when the construction is being employed for a purpose contrary to design. That is the nature of the case, but to be fair, it is not really the case with nature, for this is a contrary to nature intrusion into nature by what has been given a nature which can molest even nature itself ... though within limits, which in this century have been tested rather severely. As with children, again, the testing impacts negatively on their own bodies, their own lives , their own prospects.
The "bonds" of God ? As men scoured the depths in search of the meaning of, means for, origin of Nature in Nature, like a Ph.D. student examining ink instead of the meaning of the words before him - they met merely nothing, Nothing (if you prefer, and it seems that some do ...), not anything. It is then time to return to the writer of the scenario for the spirit and mind and body of mankind; to the Author of the book, who has already shared the scenario, and with punctilious care, never broken, has constantly performed it (as Joel notes in 2:11 - Strong is He who executes His word).
How aptly Paul undercuts all this writhing and barren effort to find in Nature what made it:
Then as now, rejecting the Designer, they have designs on the design, which is man. They lust to reconstitute him his kind, more agreeably to their wishes.
Yet this Design will not connive with them, no, not though 400 priests of Baal cry louder, as in the case of Elijah, not though 1000 reductionist Hitlers and his co-partners in social metamorphosis who continue in various camps to this day, right or left, should stomp on its flesh, pollute its mind or aspire to dominate its spirit; not though a million Maos compose their simplistic, reductionist manuscripts for the blind. Never has the world been more incompetently confident, more asininely inventive.
But what is the word of the Lord Himself, the Maker who calls ? It is this word of God only, which stands and endures for ever, and with a just authority, demands attention, action and acceptance.
Quiet like evening gloaming, beautiful like the golden gloaming which quietens while one listens to its deftly penetrating voice, the word of God says this:
"I am the door. He who enters by me shall be saved."
It is not words about words, but life
and health and peace, whose object is God, who made mankind subjects who
could think, and asks them to examine their thoughts, as He will examine
their ways. The beginning is God, who is also the end of it: therefore
repent and seek Him while there is time, and our current time has the nod,
till it is wound up, like a fishing line, and this world is taken away.
The Three Frogs
The Book of Revelation also gives indices for the ungodly myths of our day. Thus we find in Revelation 16:13, three highly mobile and doubtless, as is normal in such cases, voluminously communicative FROGS which come out of the mouth of the 'dragon', a symbol for Satan in his worldly vestments. They are 'unclean spirits' which seem to have such flexibility of passage that they come not only from the mouth of the dragon, but from that of the beast of political pomp and pretension that seeks the worship of man, and from the false prophet, whose austere duty would appear to be to 'interpret' the unclean. We have much of this, and doubtless it will soon have its own archbishop.
It is quite possible this refers to our three hopping heroes of the last hundred years, the liberators of thought from God by the unclean irrationalities which appeal to those who desire to be bound by them: namely, the outpourings of Marx, Darwin and Freud. This is quite a table of naturalism, in fact. Marx sought to gain genesis and meaning from the structure of things: but their structure did not create them, and this applies equally to his mental militia which studies, almost as if with Buddha, the navel of matter to see if its head can be found there, and meaning assigned to it. This has a certain fraternity.
Darwin tried to gain vital genesis and meaning from the flow of things, and projecting unconfirmed extensions: but their inter-relation did not create them.
Freud, a little more forward, sought to gain glints of human genesis or meaning, from the drive (and shuffle of things in the reedy reaches of psycho-somatic broad waters): but the drive did not create them.
Indeed, Jung combined drive and flow in his own way, reaching again from 'Nature', as he sought in 'Nature', the nullity for source which it possesses. He probed more factually then Freud into ... the screws and pulses of the thing, for the meaning/direction of the engine. But the pulses did not create the thing that pulses.
(See for all these things in more detail, SMR, Chs.2,3,4,10, esp.303ff., 750Bff.; and Index on the 3 names in view.)
Alas, in the syndrome so constant and consistent, the frantic engineer forgot the factory, the diagnostician of motor troubles forgot the plans, the sketches of machines in his sales talk, confusing drawings with construction, just as the accident analyst ignored the creation of what had the accident. The accident in the end is neither the design, the creation nor the law of life. It is rather the breach of it!
So do the frogs of Revelation leap,
so well symbolised these or their like, hopping into the (mental) houses
of men with their raucous and atrociously unintelligent croaking, as if
to laugh at the pretensions of houses built in swamps.
The Free Fogs
Whether, then, in 1) biology, 2) psychology, 3) sociology, 4) politics or 5) physics, one and the same result obtains as man peers into the 'profundities'.
There is nothing of genesis there. As to the ceaseless callow substitutes, each one doesn't work; it can't even be made to work. (Cf. SMR Chs.4, Sections 1-3, with Ch.7, pp. 611-631A and Ch. 5.)
On the other hand, in each of these categories there is an overwhelming attestation that verifies the Biblical statements, as has been exhibited in SMR continually and in considerable detail, and amplified in some respects in the present work.
Indeed, the categorical testimony of Genesis, competitively, is overpoweringly irrefutable, significantly testable, verifiable, applicable. That is, the acuity and accuracy of all verifiable components leaves organic evolutionism with no place as a serious contender, competitor, in terms of scientific method, or logic more generally. How much then depends on the 'g', whether it be as in Genesis, or merely genesis! - on the source, the substance of the power, the sufficient cause.
There is a way for each of these five fields in this area, that is right; none of them is self-creating or liable in itself for this result. Rules and principles, laws, personal, moral, political, sociological, physical apply. They must be kept in mind, in heart or in use, not applied artlessly or heartlessly: or else the thing doesn't work. Indeed, what they portend must be met; and at that meeting, what He wills must be found, and HE must be found. Otherwise it is rather like silly children, spoilt in many cases, playing without wisdom, with the father's equipment.
There is a way in the ultimates for each of these five fields that is explicatory, and without antinomy: and indeed, just as none of them is self-creating or available in itself for this result from itself and its world, so none is available for autonomous manipulating. Yet it is tried!
It is like a baby in a womb, wanting for the sake of self-expression (or self-respect?) to smash out of it... Created by God in His image, we have as a race a natural desire for finding out and exercising. Yet as to proceeding to forget ourselves as if we were non-derivative, it is quite as foolish as is the custom of making ourselves central, and wondering what on earth (or beyond it, for that matter) possesses things, that they DO NOT WORK OUT!
If however they WERE to begin to work out in this more ultimate sense, that is the case when indeed it would be true: the womb is the tomb. Men should subtly be gulled, deceived; but this excuse we do not have. Each field fails to find its ultimate rationale within itself or its world. Nevertheless, with neither excuse nor extenuation, the race as a whole is tumbling that way now in this century, ever faster. Yet this speed is not progress; soon there will be no speedway on which to ... travel.
Furious, frantic or even frenetic efforts are being made. Firstly, this is to circumvent those laws and secondly, to re-create them either directly or by inventing subtle scenarios for quasi-geneses of man's invention. Yet these lie like so many Junkers bombers in the Battle of Britain, trailing clouds of vainglory, on the beaches, or on the high seas of philosophy, futility or poignant regret.
We are made, all of it and all of us, by direct fiat of the Almighty whose grandeur tolerates significant variability within kinds, physical, social, psychological and biological (just as is the case with differences between faces); but no pretence of creation is or has proved to be defensible, outside the Creator. (Cf. SMR Chs.1,3,10). The fact that this is not the name normally given to it does not alter the fact that substantively, this is what is being pursued, wholly in vain.
It is time to repent. As Ezekiel put it to his own people in the name of the Lord to the people of his own day: Thus says the Lord God: "Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts" (Ezekiel 13:1-2). Confusion and delusion mislead many; but as with motor accidents alas, the result does not differ in blood...
God brings the people to the end of imaginings and twistings. He announces (Ezekiel 12:22ff.):
Now finally, as then for the first 'innings', that of the Jews, there is a diminishing residual time allocated to folly, false prophets and to a people, now a whole world indeed of all races, conniving with such persons, replete with their fashionable irrational nostrums.
The word of the Lord will be done, the time is increasingly ripe by every facet and phase of Biblical authority, even to the pinpoint of the doomed and arbitrary denial of the last judgment, the one which preceded, that of the flood.
The word of the Lord will be done in termination as in creation. Things have gone on, long, the circuits of ideas in all 5 dimensions have been covered more than once; with magnificent foolish thrusts and querulous galaxies of thought. Opportunities have been multiplied, delusions have been spawned, barren marvels have led in all but endless seeming circles and circuits of fantasy and murder: increasingly by the million in the latter, as corpses, and in the former, as books.
Return to the Lord, and He will turn to you: for the hand that created the universe in macrocosm, is ready to create a new flood, that of the outpouring of His Spirit (Isaiah 32:17) on each who receives His gift of repentance, His gift of the forgiveness of sins, of the Saviour whose vicarious sacrifice secures for all who come, an atonement, a peace, a reconciliation.
As Paul puts it: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us... that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" - Galatians 3:13-14 has this for the flock to whom it was written, for the Christians who have appropriated these things by faith.
For them, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new... He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him," Paul continues in instruction to the Christians. This way is open.
Time however has its limits.
Thus as Peter reminds us,
"Where!" they contemptuously declaim, "is the promise of His coming!" This they do while the whirlwind of the contemporary express train passes station after prophesied station in fascinating but awe-ful precision (see Chs.8-9 SMR). These words they utter without seeing the irony of it: THIS is the spiritual situation predicted and these are the words predicted for it; yet they speak them like someone with delirium tremens.
He does it because he can no other. There is no pleasure in such a fate; but those who pursue it, will find it can run faster than man. Their moves are foretold in kind.
It began; it will end; it will be assessed.
This is the final assessment: the world has been warned and faces extinction:
those who come to the remedy, the Redeemer are responding to a better Ark,
one of eternal strength, prepared before it all began (Ephesians 1:4-5,
I Peter 1:2, Revelation 13:8). These are washed with something better than
water (I Peter 1:19, 3:21); for all the waters in the world would never
wash away what dirties them.
The pollution of our oceans is symbolical as well as substantive. The depths of humanity are suffering a profound, forceful and indeed forcible pollution, secondary to what preceded it.
The consequences are out of man's depth: it is time to turn to the Lord in repentance and to seek righteousness according to His word, and salvation according to His diagnosis and prescription. There is no other: nor is there any other name given to men, under heaven, by which they must be saved (Acts 4:11-12).
A first step is this: to restore freedom and to employ scientific method; a second - cease playing god to other humans; a third, buy the truth and do not sell it. The fourth: settle the sediment of sin and cast this burden on the Lord, who came to take it, leaving no excuse.
Concerning the Australian Constitution of 1901, see News 10 and News 18. Excerpts are provided here for convenience.
1. From News 10, in The Other News:-
A trend is being considering in which the people are
moving from the Bible and resting less in what God requires than in what the people seem to want, and their own preferred concepts to require. (A Question of Gifts, pp.47ff.)
Certainly, the form of sound words was far nearer in Australia than might otherwise have been the case; and its majestic realities wrought much in the ways of the nation, legally, morally and culturally, despite the rampant paganism which sought, like a cornered fox, to run in among the chickens with murderous intent.
In fact, Australia had its reference in its Constitution to "Almighty God", in the first paragraph, "humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God" - but does it so rely ? and did not Victoria in the 1851 Constitution, for example, make Christianity the "preferred religion"!
Sundays were days, to a significant civic extent, of rest. Various moral adventures, or more precisely immoral ones, were less than mainstream; and what is sometimes referred to as hypocrisy, could better and more objectively be styled an expected standard of morals, and a British background in spiritual emphasis which, however much it may have been - and was - flouted, was nevertheless an unavoidable presence, and often an unspoken bar for thought and conscience. In the days of Menzies as Prime Minister, such emphasis was considerable, for example. Though form alone is no adequate norm, the form of sound words serves at least as reminder, not least of the meaning of freedom and the power of truth; and when they are the word of God, their power is intrinsic and searching.
A land of restraint, without dictators, with some rein on banana republicanism, freelance history re-writers, government by wildness in the wilderness, with an intense love of freedom: it had much in the way of blessing. It is not only the skies and the shores in which we might look for beauty; and cancers can be worse than physical. Not that it was by any means a Christian country; but it had a substantial relish of it.
It is now time to add to this excerpt: This is not a fancy for nostalgia but a recognition of the immense distance covered in this land, as it has developed in pride and carelessness, fearing more and more skin cancer and adolescent violence than Almighty God, who has the answer for both.
2. From News 18, the next excerpt is taken, dealing with the divorce from the spiritual, increasingly evident in the nation. It is not a new idea. Its old results litter the earth.
Dealing with the pomp and circumstance
given to the "law" of survival, of spiritual selfishness, of irrational
weediness which reaches for a meaningless life which merely continues without
regard to quality, to God, and is hence mere vitalised rubbish, we proceed:-
SPIRITUAL LIFE: AN EXCURSION INTO REALITY
It [the concept of survival as basic, a belief] is based on that unchaste and illusory dream of the absence of God, and is accompanied by the absence of blessing. Wars erupt as independence, self-fulfilment, national, regional or sub-regional are passionately sought, in whole strata of society, becoming the be-all and end-all. Indeed, such pompous and unlovely follies show significant power to end much in this sin-afflicted globe, as in the lives of millions already slaughtered, amid such visionless glorification of the ways of death, such acrid substitutes for spiritual life.
Life depends on its source and origin; and so long as the mythical attribution of life to what is non-life, of design to no designer, of law to chance, of spirit to matter, of mind to magic continues, and God Almighty, mentioned in the constitutions of both the U.S. and Australia, is actively mocked in the drugged philosophies of morbidity, of power-play, casuistry, evolutionism and death, so long is society not healthy.
Says the Lord in Proverbs 8, speaking of His wisdom: "ALL WHO HATE ME LOVE DEATH." Man is engaging in vast numbers, then, in a funereal courtship with death, as if the verification of the word of God in this case became an all-consuming passion. All-consuming ? is arithmetic to interpret the term!
The separation of church and State is not the separation of God and State, at least in terms of the Constitution of this Commonwealth of Australia. The assumption that God is to be excluded when His blessing is formally and officially sought in the Constitution is bizarre; and we return necessarily to the simple fact that scientifically there is need for objectivity, not secular prejudice. [Let us now add to this excerpt, as below.]
It would seem that in the blinded eyes and bound hearts of many, "without established religion" (cf. p. 198, *1 supra) in the State, means: in express de-recognition of God Almighty. (Indeed, it can become excuse for the confused or even surreptitious advent of an irrational creed masquerading as devoid of religion, while living on its vitals, and creating its own.)
Hence what we have called the "cult
of the forbidden" (cf. p. 238-9, *6 supra)
is the more exposed as merely a rugged invasion by innovative irrationalists;
and the necessities of scientific method must cease to be derailed by blatant
prejudice, while the heart of logic is stopped by this humanist sniffing,
making all things relative, but never to God; making man the measure of
all things but himself unmeasured; knowing no basis, but instituting a
cryptic religion which makes man a prodigy of pettiness, the basis of a
truth which neither, in that case, exists nor could be found. For all that,
we are told what it would be if it could be with nauseating repetition
and acrid irrationality, like breathing in and breathing out. It is time
to awake to the facts.