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Envisaging Things

1. The Fast Track and the Established Track

2. Knowing Nothing of the King

3. Words

4. The Ice People

5. The Visionaries of Light

6. Sunlight

7. The Lame Man and the Children

Allegory No. 1

The Fast Track and the Established Track.

As we read I Thessalonians 2:17 to the end, we find a passion and a love in Paul for the persons, work and destiny of those who had found Christ. 3 massive entrants to the field of life are noted. One is the word of God which they received not as the word of men, says Paul, but as it truly is, what God has declared. That's what made them clear as Christians, the word of God received concerning both themselves as sinners in need of free redemption, and God's Son, the Redeemer who is to be received as God has given Him. The second is the quietly preparing time for the return of sacrificed Son, this time as judge; and the third is the day of the Lord in which there is to be destruction, the children of the night finding the full meaning of darkness.

These things suggest an allegory. It is as if Paul were speaking, like a man running in a railway trolley, the sort which a single man may sometimes propel along the lines with a small lever which he moves to and fro to give impetus. All the time he is calling out, at times, shouting to those nearby as he passes. THE EXPRESS TRAIN, he says, is coming, so be ready. It comes with troops who will examine every man for his work, and call for his passport for life. Be therefore ready and be sure you have this, your passport. So now do many others in the name of the Lord, call to those by the line.

Some mock - saying the railway line goes on since the creation, and in any case, it evolved. Others heed, and witness to them. On further, some have built 2 storey houses over the line, and use it beneath them, as an exercise machine.

Awake say the messengers, says Paul, for these tracks were made for a purpose. You should keep occupied and keep out of the way of judgment. Others love the line and one another, and look forward to the coming of the train, saying, He who built the line has a purpose for it, and will come and take us to our destination.

Some have built houses upward beside the line, to see if they can find the one who made the line. Others bury beneath the surface, looking; while others again read a book which describes in some detail the construction of the line, its purpose and the One who made it. All of this is constantly and consistently verified.

To this Paul added, and many followed him, saying, HE never left us without a witness.

Some do tests upon the line, to see how it could have made itself, while others throw the stones found upon the line at each other, and insist that the one who made it must be made of iron, and call him Nature, and treat each other with great ill-nature, which they say is natural. They travel very fast off the line.

Earlier others were sent along the line and many followed them, and the book of the line developed, line by line; and the Owner sent His Son, about whom much has been said, and some follow Him - though others killed Him, and were surprised that the line did not move: but the book foretold all this, and that He would come back with many troops to examine the people who lived over, under and about the line. And the line is call: THE WAY OF HOLINESS.

And the people who travel it find their way leads safely on, while others treat it as a thing of wonder, though some actually hate it. And some pass away as they come on to the stations on the way, and their names wait at these stations, until the Lord come.

Allegory No. 2


I saw a man walking, and he seemed distant, abstracted, confused, tentative; though at times he would dart forward this way or that. He behaviour fascinated me, so that when I had opportunity on the ways, I approached him, asking the reason for his manner of progress, and whether there was anything he needed.

The look of mingled gloom and wistfulness with which he faced me was impactive; but the main aspect which caused the most vivid impressions in my mind was this. He was mumbling or humming or forming words with his mouth, which he did not quite speak, but which seemed to give him enormous if mournful satisfaction.

After some time, I asked him what these things were, but he seemed only to grow more poignant and in a dead sort of way, soulful, so that it seemed that his eye carried the feeling of an abyss, mingled with a sort of moody vagueness, like a hang-glider who projected himself into thin air and then found it was not only thin, but nothing; and that there was no bottom.

As we walked, talking from time to time, I asked him whether something lay upon his mind; and to this he replied: Nothing! that is what is on my mind, and it weighs more than ten things I could name for very gravity itself.

Nothing! I echoed. If nothing is on your mind, surely this is a light thing! My attempt at humour did not impress, as he only looked mournfully ahead as if the mists would never part, though it was in fact a warm and sunny day.

Nothing! He repeated. That is the whole trouble. I know in my heart that I am not nothing, but I know nothing, nothing to the point, wandering like a policeman on holiday from his beat, but not at my leisure or for my pleasure. I feel like an Autumn leaf suspended in a dust storm.

But why! I asked, why do you feel this way ? Have you committed some great crime, some unspeakable deed, have you been violent to the fragile, unfeeling to the old, abusive to the young, spendthrift with your inheritance, unclean in your thoughts, vain in your ambitions and so acquired a distaste for the world! What then is the base of all this, I pursued, feeling more than a little concerned.

Nothing! He repeated. I have no basis, no understanding and how am I better than the animals, which at least seem instinctively to have a good idea of many things! I however am equipped with this profound sense of responsibility, of standing in the universe, but the more I look, the less I find anywhere to stand. I am an enigma, a contradiction, without hope, so I wander and mutter and wonder and am anguished in my spirit to the point I often try to forget it all, but somehow, something seems to restrain me from any positive vice. Yet underneath and at all times there is a despair in my middle, like the core of a rotten apple.

With this remonstrance, I felt satisfied. It was now clear to me what I should do. Look! I exclaimed, do you know of the King? The King? Never so much as heard of one that matters to me, he replied.

That, I said, explains everything. THIS is a kingdom, and it is very wonderfully run. If you ignore the king, He gives you whatever is convenient with such an ample hand and an averted eye, as it were, that you indeed do seem to amount to nothing. You get money, to whom does it go ? You lose money, with what will you live? You get success, but what is your worth? Are not fifty gurus and goons adorned with everything whim could want... except true worth and real understanding.

Real understanding! ... he seemed mystified and almost hopeful for a moment. If I could get that, he mused, all my light uselessness would vanish.

It is costly, I replied. It means you FIND OUT where you belong, and most people do not want that. If they are clever, often they want more than the success that belongs to them, more of the praise, more of the place; and if they are not, bitterness can become an obsession. Either way, the fragile standing in the heart of men is as satisfactory as dust in a dust storm. There may be plenty of it, but it clogs the nostrils, being dirt in the wrong place.

Just then we came to a railway cutting in the road, and as it followed a sharp turn, I found myself looking at the new vistas opening up. There was a rather large embankment, filled with tall trees, and in the mood of thought and concern which was on us, neither of us noticed the cattle moving out of the corner of the property by which we were passing. Suddenly, 3 large bulls with the herd began to amble our way, and it gave me a thought of concern for a moment, but it was not until they took a rather stirred stance and indeed indulged in stentorian bellowing that I realised we were cut off between the track and retreat. The bellowing had temporarily made us ignore the growing sound of the train, which then, as the cattle surged forward, occupied with their own excitements and our presence, moved sharply around the corner.

If we retreated it would stir the already rambunctious mob, and might precipitate a goring; if we went on there was a track in danger of being occupied in seconds.
There are in life movements at which the true drift of one's meaning is seen. This was one. Seizing the hand of my companion rather forcibly, I made up the sharp embankment at a a run, and disappeared with great effort from the scene below, over the rocky crest.

When my companion, who had been rather dulled with his depression, realised what I had done, he was filled with indignation; and it took some time for me to explain the situation which had confronted us.

Nothing! I said, is a poor adviser, and preoccupation with it is dangerous.

He seemed excessively grateful, so that I took the opportunity to proceed in his orientation. The King, I said, whom you ignore... He interrupted: Ignore! How dare you! I ignore nothing that I see, but no king is seen by me!

You can ignore a cancer, I retorted, but that does not make it wise, or your limits a barrier against the disease.

Tell me! HE SAID: Where is this king of yours. Why, I said, in various places: but the one I need Him most, is just exactly where you are empty and like a soul dispossessed of hope and happiness. It is in my heart, the centre and core of my life that my King lives; but then he is not restricted to this, since He made the road, and owns all the properties for miles......Did you not see all those properties with 'trespasses prosecuted'. Yes! He replied but what of that?

Why, it does not say 'Trespassers Prosecuted', I replied, but rather, 'Trespasses Prosecuted', and the notices invite you to read on them what these are.

I had never looked, he said. Do you think, I continued, looking solemnly in his eyes, that ignoring what is given for instruction is a sound way to progress when your heart is sad because you feel that nothing is your companion, and nothing matters; though in your own spirit, there is a weight telling that things matter very much indeed!

He agreed, so we went to read some of the notices, going back on our tracks, so that we were now pleasantly separated from the marauding cattle.

He was utterly amazed when I showed him the place where these quite prominent notices were displayed, and there were many of them

To his complete astonishment, he read that there was an invitation to enter into this property, and that it was written in the most civil and indeed warm and kindly fashion. It interpreted the hearts of the seekers as if they were an open book, told them that they felt lost and empty because that was the truth.

The truth! He cried, in a sort of frenzy. HOW can you know the truth! It is all in the mind, and I am the sad limit to all my thoughts. I cannot get beyond myself, and if I could, where would it be? It frightens me, so that I merely continue in my moody condition.

Truth, I replied, is simply what is, and how to know it is so simple that a child could, and many children do, find it. The King is also the maker of these lands, and before our time was, He created them, and then visited them. Many loved Him, for indeed He is the most lovable person you could imagine, neither fool nor ostentatious, but quiet and serviceable, but given to expressing indignation at fools when they fail - to come to the Truth.

What is truth! My companion countered.

He is, I replied. You see He knows what is the design of everything, what its purpose, its destiny, its hope and its way. For us who are human, He has proposed such an exposure of our sins, our departures form design and right destiny, and He does it in such a spiritual way, as makes one's blood crawl with shame. The way He presents is just and honourable and holy and true, filled with meaning and apt to our condition.

Why then have I never so much as heard of it? He asked. It is possibly because it is so despised where you have been in your schools and university and professional place after that, that the view came that there was nothing in it. Nothing however is the property with which you are now possessed; it is where YOU have ended by ignoring these proclamations.

At this he was very still. "Is it nothing to you," he read, "all you who pass by!" This was a part of a book which was freely available at the Notice. "Is there any sorrow like my sorrow!" That is a lament, I told him, from the prophet Jeremiah at the destruction of Jerusalem back in the 6th century B.C., and it was poignant because he not only foresaw what was coming, being in the confidence of the King, but begged his people to avoid it. It was like that herd of cattle, I told him, and the railway line where we were almost trapped. Self-confidence and self-esteem, prized by the devil, can so blind you that you can go straight under the train in confused pride and fear. That is in effect what the people did then, and their city was destroyed, their people ravaged, and many were exiled. They became a pitiable remnant after a greatness they abused by ignoring their King; though they often spoke of Him...

What did HE care? he asked.

Care? He sent prophets galore, used speeches, allegories and pictures, made appeals, offers in he truth, gave marvellous opportunities to return, but they ignored them, put their prophet in a stinking pit, and as to their little leader, he cut the words of the prophet when they were presented to him in his comfortable house, into pieces, and threw them into the fire. Nothing! There is nothing when the truth is written off.

But that did not cost HIM unduly much! he countered.

He suffers with His people, I replied, and in all their affliction, He too is afflicted; for that is the way of love.

True, but still -

Wait! I cried. You said 'True!' and yet a moment ago, there was no truth.

It is just a saying, he replied.

Not at all! I persisted. You meant to indicate that a correct perspective was in view, and that we had it.

True! He replied...

Then we both smiled at his predicament.

You USE truth though you do not choose to acknowledge it, I persisted.

This time the humour was the happiest yet, and he laughed outright.

All right then! WHY did I ?

It is because that is the way you are made, to seek, to recognise and to act in the truth both in word and deed; and that is why you are so miserable, because in your inward being, truth rules as a principle, though in your moral being, it does nothing of the kind, so you dismiss your inward awareness, without bothering to cease to talk as if there were no truth. You are bound doubly, first in imagining there is no truth, and second in speaking and acting as if there were. If that is not confusion, tell me what is!

The truth, I pursued, is simply this. The King DID come to die for His people, and THAT, it is personal concern; and He announced beforehand when He would do it, and in what people and where; and what would happen to His people when they rejected Him where He came, and this happened; and that others would believe, including kings, and this too happened, and that his people would at last come back to their land; and this happened, and fight fantastic wars against foes of overwhelming numbers, and this happened; and win: and that happened too.

He also told that other peoples would degenerate morally and that the whole way would become cluttered with famines and revolts and wars and psychological tensions and so forth, and that the people who believe in Him would be riddled with traitors, and have to continue in smaller numbers and amidst more and more persecution.

That too happened. All the time, those who are His tell others as I am telling you, that this is the Truth; and this is why we speak of the truth, even when some do not believe there is any, madly asserting it to be true that there is no truth. Every time they open their mouths they lie, and then they wonder whey they feel, shall we say, uncomfortable within, when they pause for thought; though many do not, since Walkman and other technical devices can distance thought.

WHERE! He suddenly asked, is this GATE that one must enter, in order to be in the presence of the King, and so keep His rule and know the Truth. There I cried, for even as he spoke a gate appeared as if from a mist. Seeing it, he entered, and on the gate were written these words:
"I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE, NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT BY Me!"- John 14:6, and at the foot of the gate, these:

Oddly enough, at that very moment, my companion disappeared from my sight, as the mist seemed rather oppressive at that hill, and he seemed to be received into the kingdom, the only sound I heard being this, strange cry of joy and gladness, as if a child had found his parents in a large apartment block, when surrounded by a teenage mob. 'Truth!' came the words, 'at last the truth!'

Though somewhat shocked by his sudden translation into a spiritual life, I was glad I had pointed out the way to him. It is a shame to have such a gate and so many too blind to see, too drab to look and too self-assured to realise what is the power of the King, for those who seek with all their hearts.

Then I saw a large river, and there seemed to be a band of angels moving like wind over it, and they rejoiced as if a mother had found her lost child, and the sense of delight and rapture as so surpassing that I temporarily forgot where I was. Then it passed ... 'More joy in heaven over one sinner who repents', I thought... Ah to be there! In truth that is the end of all perfection.

So I continued on my way, the King in my heart, and His book in my pocket, feeling anything but empty.

Allegory No. 3


'The man with the words!,' he said. It was apparent that there was some sale, some material about words in the city. The words man! It sounded modish. English, we read is becoming a vast new language with perhaps 70% of new electronic materials in that tongue - electronic tongue?

I thought and saw a road, made of words. It was rather like peacock feathers, all interwoven with tiny segments of this and that word or phrase or order, command, direction or description. It rose up and turned in upon itself, bits here and there in sizeable arrows of words, until it became a sort of cyclotron of words, rising up, rearing itself and contorting until it became hard to know what any of the words were saying.

Such is the way of life for a world which will not read, contorts, cavorts and confronts and will not look. It literally blasts into existence as unlivable.

Then the words seems to float aloft, and became in time a tornado, swirling and enhancing its power to destroy, until it threatened the earth. Aspirations in words were becoming the destruction of the earth where man lived.

Then there appeared a new look. Some of the words began to smooth themselves out, and to find a mouth, and the mouth had a mind and the mind a Spirit and the Spirit was God, and they were His speech; and they were ordered from Him, and in the vision, they renewed themselves on the road, and the pieces were cohesive and the words legible, and it said: I AM THE WAY. And within that, in the pieces which now fitted so well, were many orders and directions and corrections for man, and indicators and loving tendernesses.

Then the words became one, and a face appeared, and it shone like a fascinating splendour, and it spoke with its look and the words moved with it, and from it and for it; and it was the Christ, the word of God express, expressive and eternal; and He stepped from the heavens and came to the earth and walked on it, and the words moved like arrows from Him, and obeyed Him like hands and feet, and the ocean was stilled, the waters were quiet, death blushed and disease found its master.

And the Word walked and talked, and showed marvellous lovingkindness, but never varied its prose, its poetry and its precision; until they who lived on the earth decided to crucify it, and it bled, and its compassion was still crying, 'Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing'; and He kept crying thus. And His form died, and He rose to return to the mouth of God, and to the everlasting heart of God, and to the Spirit of God within Him, for He had issued from Him who loved His Word, and His Word loved Him; and the Spirit moved in a beauty no words of ours can without Him describe.

He, God had spoken, and the Word is prepared, ready to return, to manifest in strength what He had shown in compassion. This same Jesus Christ is ready; and He will come.

Did we not say, The Word walked and talked, and showed marvellous lovingkindness, but never varied its prose, its poetry and its precision. They who lived on the earth decided to crucify it, and it bled, and its compassion was still crying? But for those who are His, His intercessions do not fail, till He comes for them, face to face. Death failed before Him; for death could not hold Him: Handle Me and see! He told them. Life opens with Him. He is for Life, and Life is for Him.

It is well with the word. How is it with you? THIS word is the word of God, and He came to earth in flesh, born from a virgin through the overshadowing power of the Holy Spirit, and it could not be clearer; and our cells our full of words, and our mouths, and our books; but the word of God made the mouths and the spirits and the power to make books. He has spoken and put it in a book, a divine library called the Bible, as well as personally putting His expression in flesh, just for us.

If we choose to reject it, it is still there; and if we judge it, it still judges, and if we falsely judge those who faithfully present it, it still judges those judgments. Yet if we love Him, we know Him. We know Him with words, and through His Word, by His Spirit; and those who love Him not, He says, do not love His words. What God has spoken is not available for change. That is the tornado which trifles with words. It sweeps the earth with a radioactive broom.

Words, words, words! But this is the word that did. It is done. The Word finished His work of creation, as He has finished His work of salvation, covering all who shall ever receive Him as He is; and it needs to be acknowledged, accepted : HE needs to be accepted.

It is a matter for repentance, not in words only but in heart and in mind and in spirit. It is a question of receiving that guilt-cancellation which the word effected for all who come to Him, by being put to death; and that power, which the word made effective for all who receive Him, by His delightfully direct bodily resurrection; and that presence which is His, rendering unspeakable joy.

He has it covered: He has paid. Are you covered? This is not a good place to be naked.

Allegory No.4

The Ice People

There were called the Ice People, except for the coal. That was a matter of chilling and grime, which never seemed right, but that was the nature of the family. There seemed to be tunnels inside them, like Artic paths, bluish and with mini-crevasses, as if to mark the fragmented character of their thoughts, for these tunnels went right through them, as in paths, where the heart would be, if it were not ice. They also coursed through the head, like cables of ice, sometimes plaited.

The odd thing I noted about them was this extraordinary habit of simply walking right through one another, using these channels or cleavages, and they acted as if this were the most natural thing in the world. This continued, except for the visits to the coal mines, which seemed so unfitting for ice people, except that it was grimy ice, or icy grime; but whether the ice became sullied through the visits, or whether they made the visits because it seemed natural for such spoiled ice, I could not tell.

The coal mines themselves were quite unusual. Instead of pieces of coal with many faces and surfaces built on surfaces, they appeared to be books, with grey page on grey page, and instead of being turned, they were prized open, and then despite the dirt natural to coal, they had an iridescent sheen, which mixed with the blackish grey, seemed somehow vulgar and pretentious; but for all that, the family seldom seemed to stop moving into these coal fields. I noticed that on their return, they always seemed colder, with a sort of blackish-blue.

It appeared to be a kind of library into which they delved, though how it helped them I could not discover. After a while, I approached a younger member of the family, asking what they did. Oh! he (or she, or it - for they were remarkably alike) said, We are delving for information, for this is the Information Age, and inside the mine, deeper down, are the furrows for Coal TV and Coal Internet, which we find useful; for it seems to make our rather indistinct grayishness to become blacker, and we feel this gives us a more settled character. As he (or she) spoke, I noticed a slight dull flash in the area where the heart would have been, had it not been turned into a thoroughfare, and it seemed that he( or she) flushed with a rather deeper kind of mottled black, as if some twinge of conscience were hit.

One of them however seemed to have a sudden desire. We were passing a fine looking orchard, and the desire gave wings to the thought and before long, this one of the family turned before my eyes into a small tree. Business calling me away, I left with some astonishment this morbid scene, only to return in 18 months. I happened to sight the orchard, for it had been a fine one, but to my disappointment and regret, it seemed shrunken and old. Finding the tree which had appeared before my eyes from the wishes of one family member, I asked it what had happened; for by this time, its death seemed more to the point than any kind of life.

Nothing much! It replied, and indeed, for its own part it had decidedly grown. But your fruit! I exclaimed.

What of it? It countered.

It is full of worms and black spots, I protested.

Ah that! It is quite natural, it replied. After you left, I found it nice to be more settled than the rest of the family, and to have something more lively than ice to live with, for it is so brittle and so cold and endless seeming. My own fruit turned out to be strange and rather different, and as those who bought threw away the stones, more trees like me grew, until much of the orchard had these fast growing little trees, and it seems that a change came over the other trees.

As I looked at some of them, it became quickly apparent that a botanical epidemic had spread, an arboreal disease, for they no longer had sheen, and their fruit was spotted and useless also. At that moment, an aeroplane flew over with a long trailer which said, Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Oh, that's always coming, said the tree. But there seemed quite a little squadron of them, and the next trailed this, A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor ca a bad tree bear good fruit.

At that I looked up and saw another tree which had a sign, I AM A CHRISTIAN TREE! set beside it. Turning to it, I asked how this came to be, and it said, Ah that is because I am always cross!

But that is not the meaning of the Christian cross, I replied somewhat sharply, for there seemed such an air of confusion that it was like an evil dream. How should I know what it is supposed to be, said the tree; for I am very busy producing my fruit, and finding more nutriment for my worms, which are really quite nice ones, and it is unusual to some to find meat in their fruit.

Then another aeroplane flew over, trailing this: Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and throw into the fire.

And a nearby plane rolled out this: Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. And another with this: Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

As I looked, a strange fire grew out of a corner of the orchard, and in moments it had spread, the little trees with their weak wood burning remarkably well, and another plane, this one a helicopter moving more slowly, moved by with the trailer:

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

Even as I read, I had to move quickly, for the orchard with all its workings was being incinerated before my eyes. It seemed sad, since the Ice Person, who ... which turned into a tree had seemed set for better things; but was always too busy remembering the coal mine, and consulting the memories, which seemed somehow stored in a rather large canker on its trunk, and responding to the leafy whispers of surrounding trees, which it appeared to value above all else. It never seemed to possess that combination of exuberance and vitality, settledness and growth which is so attractive in a good orchard. Among the ashes, however, I saw protruding a piece of coal which seemed to have somehow oozed out of the trunk canker of the tree, and on it in greyish lettering appeared these words: I have come so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. It seemed to have been on the point of being taken into the library kernel, but I did not know where it came to. At any rate, it had failed to penetrate, and the tree lay in ashes.

From ice to ashes! I reflected, from brittleness to busyness: a sad tale. Yet in the far corner of the orchard I saw two trees which seemed somehow apart, and which the fire had not consumed. Indeed, they had a stable, strong and fragrant air, so that I moved around the outskirts of the now declining fire to see them. Around them was a thornbush, and it is shone red in its early Autumn colouring, seeming somehow splendidly innocent of all the fire and disease; and I saw that someone had shaped some of the thorns into a Crown, and it shone more brightly than the fire had done, and interwoven with the crown were leaves plaited into a sentence I could just make out, and it said this:

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. The trees seemed somehow to have formed an arch, as of triumph, over these words and over this crown, and I saw that the trees possessed hearts, very deep and strong, and were abundant in sap and seemed coloured by the sunlight on the thorn bush, and produced their leaves in their season; and their fruit was very sweet.

Allegory No. 5

The Visionaries of Light

I love walking along the seashore, and one day at dusk as I did so, I saw approaching me some of the most remarkable looking people. Whether they were male or female, I could not tell, and it reminded me that in the resurrection, they are neither male nor female; though some seem a step ahead these days, which for our time, is really a step backwards, for it bruises the creation to distort it. Then however that is the realm where reproduction in flesh is past.

There was however about their persons a sort of luminosity which appealed to me greatly. Their eyes had a slight suggestion of sadness, but not such as signifies unhappiness so much as an acute sympathy for a world increasingly in ruins. It had with it a mellow sweetness which, for all that, was accompanied by no small robustness of disposition.

As we talked we saw some of that hollowed sandstone in which channels appear and move in various directions into which, if one is daring enough, one may enter, perhaps to see the sea surging on the far side, in through some occasional pool into which it may reach on occasion. Then it seemed to me that as we discussed matters, it was as if I were moving into just such channels within their personalities, which were exceedingly open, without inhibition or fear entirely.

Before long, we entered the toiling breakers, and they were inclined to move speedily through the heavy surf to the quieter waters beyond and to swim about there with the utmost relaxation, almost as if it were their native element. Asking them of this freedom, I found their answer stimulating. They were, they said, without fear of sharks because of their equipment (Philippians 4:13). This, they divulged, was a certain electro-magnetic field which they could create by pointing a device; and this confused any sharks with its energy and direction (Isaiah 35:8-10). That, thought I, is exactly what you yourselves are displaying all the time, a purposefulness and an assurance of what you are about, as if you were soldiers in array (Ephesians 6). Fear God, came the thought to me, and nothing else! (Philippians 4:6). When you are with Him, and He with you, anxiety is superfluous and peace inherent, being an outgoing of His presence (John 20:19,21).

Nevertheless, they entered into the billowing surf which had an element of wind stirring it into more than playful curves, and showed no less delight in its power. That they said, is the power of God in even the most boisterous times of life (Romans 1:16, I Corinthians 1:19,24), and with this, comes one's sufficiency (I Corinthians 3:5); while the foaming white is like the surging magnificence of the purity of Jesus Christ that folds and encompasses one (Matthew 28:19-20,John 14:21-23).

Back on land, we mounted a steep cliff, and from this we saw while mounting the huge, misty upthrust of the spouting of whales, spuming from the intimacy of the sea, like the upthrust of the inward waters of life given by Christ, they remarked (John 4:14).

At the top of the headland, we saw the splendour of the dying sun caught in the midst of clouds which seemed not so much to interfere with it, as complement it: We know, said they, how in all things to be content, seeing that the circumstances of the day are penetrated by the light of life. As the whole sky lit up with sheer brilliance before softening into the myriad hues of its individuality of hillocks and humps of light, there was a turning to a redness of depth: the blood of the Son of God who died speaks in these sunsets, they observed.

Though at first it may seem to contrast with the power of God in the surging whiteness of the surf, the power that animates our planet is linked to the sober realities of what it means, at the end of the day, and this is what it meant to the Saviour to redeem His own people from the sea of circumstance (Galatians 6:14). Accordingly, the sunset is grave and quiet, yet splendid and spectacular, encompassing all before us, dominant and yet retiring, in peace showering meaning on the receptive. The peace was arresting, as were the words of Jesus (John 7:46).

What however was strangest was this, that even as they talked, they seemed to gain such an empathy for the light, and its meaning (Ephesians 1:17), that they merged into the radiant beams; and as these grew more gentle as night approached, they moved away as mysteriously as they had come, walking in the light (Ephesians 5:2,8). True children of light, I reflected, to it they belong and in it is their going and coming, they indeed sit in heavenly places, and are translated into the kingdom of His dear Son (Ephesians 1:3, 2:6).

Some people find translation difficult (Colossians 1:11-13); but when it comes to the language of eternity, spoken by Jesus Christ from His Father, there is an ultra-world assistant who helps (John 14:17-18), so that it seems simple; but it is necessary to walk closely with Him (James 4:8).

At that moment, the sun set. Yet, I pondered, when it is ready, it will rise again (Acts 1:7-8); and though it is already risen elsewhere (Acts 3:19-21), it will rise again here with all the freshness and beauty of reality, for those who love its appearing (Hebrews 9:26-28).

Allegory No. 6


Of course it was apparent to me that he was a thinking man - that is, if he was a man. It seemed that he had a peculiar robustness which in a way was like that of an old-fashioned farmer (and this is not anachronism, for it is merely a fact that modern farmers tend to have more computers, mechanisation and cost analysis in this country, so I look to days of yore to deliver my impression to you). There was also about him an openness which allowed no deceit, a frugality with words and an appetite for discussion.

A fine day! I observed. Cloudy, he replied, but fine enough for a discussion. The state of the land is enough to discuss, I replied with what I hoped was some conversational expertise, for if anything is likely to find out how a man thinks, politics, religion and morals are there for probing.

In what way? he asked.

Debts, delinquency, propaganda-based education system, unhearing political ears and reckless godlessness which is becoming a sort of mandate, a test of orthodoxy in the new style, came my response.

He looked at me sharply. Then you are not an organic evolutionist, a naturalistic sympathiser with 'anything always went because of a glorious exuberance in what wasn't there, , so let it do so now' school? Of course not! I replied. You insult me with such a suggestion; or are you also... probing?

To this he did not reply, but his eyes watered and his gaze fled towards the sun, which was that day rather often in recess, so I hoped no permanent damage would occur to those light blue ocular units with which he was gifted. As to second sight, that was another question.

Things do not get better... he mused. Look at the earth, filled with tension, debate, hostility, unmercifulness, unkindness, loathing, distrust, deceit, wars, rumours of them, killing, threats of it, numbers of religions at each other's throats, the Moslem fundamentalist right acting to reduce women into a saddening measure of seclusion and the political right doing a tight-rope walk between absolutism on the one hand, and popularism on the other, while the Left has left us in debt to the eyebrows.

It could be better, I allowed, still probing for his real principles.

Evolution, naturalistic, scintilla to soul, atom to allegory, mite to man evolution: it is a farce, he continued with a wry smile.

Undoubtedly, I replied.

But why do you now say so? He queried. Better! That was the idea. They like to forget that now, in a sort of writhing torment of mythology. But that was the thought: man had come from nothing by getting better, and Oh! there were such good reasons for it, none of which has ever worked nor has any ever been validated logically even as to possibility. Never mind! It had happened, would happen, and that was why we should join with Hitler with the ruthlessness, or the American freeway with the ruthlessness, or the South Australian State Education system with the ruthlessness of cutting out what we do not want and doing it our way. It is sure to be best in the end, for that is where the power is , and this is how it is being used; and it stands to evolution it must be for the best.

The American freeway? You refer to that democratic land of opportunity?

I do, he said. It is true that it has had great merits that have in some aspects at one time led the earth, but with these have come the endless indoctrination of evolution, survival of the fittest, the upward way by cutting throats, exploiting advantage, the misuse of power, both financial and political, until - though it is worlds above Communism with its harsh impersonalism: it is in need of revival back to a land of morality, cutting dead with evolutionism and all it has stood for.

Freedom itself, I replied, is basic; but indeed to misuse it in the name of naked power is neither free nor moral.

It is however common as dirt, he responded, stepping for the moment onto a stray beam of sunlight and travelling quite free of charge, so far as I could se, somewhat nearer to the Son upon it. This, he did as if it were quite natural; and it proved quite heart-warming, so I made a note of it, since it is easy to grow cold in the world of such increasing iniquity, precisely as the Lord Jesus predicted it would be.

Better! he exclaimed, as we seemed to come deliciously near to the source. That was what they said: natural it was and indeed naturally it would come. It didn't work; it never did, it never does. It gets worse without cultivation, and at that sort of thing; you have to cultivate it the right way. Pouring on psychological fertiliser - Realise yourself, Be yourself, Indulge yourself, Cater to yourself, Fulfil yourself... this does nothing good. If the self is so good, why not show it! If not, why cultivate it! It is not naturalistic ruthlessness which is needed, but spiritual power; and that involves a trip to the Source.

The Bible, I declared, now sure of my man, though there was a strange far-away look in his eyes, and he seemed to be looking at some land very far off... had it right as usual. We came from the celestial factories of God, the hand of God, the power of God, the fabrication of God, indeed the personal oversight of God by His thinking and speaking and doing in accord with Himself; but we have drifted far off, in pride unspeakable trying to attribute it all to ourselves, our system or to some combination like mad children without their parents, playing at being adult.

The house is in ruins! he cried.

At this point, I found myself being eaten, and objecting to the apple that was engaging in this process, put myself on-line and reversed the program: somehow the poor computer had got mixed, and it had it eating me instead of vice versa. That of course is the trouble with evolution: it does not produce, but its fallacious naturalism does reduce, and we are eaten by its reversals.

The Bible, I continued remorselessly, had it right.

Undoubtedly, he said. First, it had us made as a design, to be reduced if we erred, either individually or nationally or racially; but accompanied by mercy and by the means for it. As a race, we acted up. Then it had us to run down socially and personally, duly exposed; and indeed this was in the end to be the case in the entire world, unless we kept to the design counsel and the Counsellor. And of course in all these ways we went astray, as if programmed; though if there is one thing I admire about man, it is the possibility for not being programmed, despite the fact that sin is a wonder whiz kid at programming people till they look like sub-animal fragments.

Then, he pursued the point, came louder and clearer the offer of redeeming not the situation - for that is going its way - but people of our race. That was put on line, and then the offeror was killed, though that was confirmed as part of the remedy; and then some took it. However, it is not popular. We are so wonderfully made that self-worship is understandable, even if insane. Fancy worshipping what you neither control nor create. It is time they worshipped the Creator... high time!

It is rather like the paper in a novel worshipping itself instead of appreciating its author, I put in.

Precisely! he responded. The Bible had it right: downhill after design and its creation. Evolutionism had it wrong: uphill by self-creation. That is a work of verification. Evolutionism now wants to abandon the uphill bit, but the simple fact is that this was supposed to be how it got here. Getting uphill by going downhill is an odd sort of verification, so now they try to worship Nothing, which of course isn't there for the purpose. I tell you there is no limit to the irrationalities of this moment. Like all irrationalism, however...

At this point, I interrupted eagerly: it will destroy in the end!

God will destroy, he said, but not without a wonderful power assist from man in the interim.

At this point, such a wonderful look of reflected splendour entered his pale blue eyes, and he said to me, Well, back to Mars!

To Mars? I questioned. Yes, he continued, I have a little job there to talk to some of the people who imagine there are or were or should be or could be Martians. They get it by imagination, marshalling the thoughts with a sort of rigor mortis. I shall enjoy watching them look for a consolidated civilisation of some kind of life. Their disarray when they fail for the umpteenth time will be a good time to help them to think.

At this, he slowly merged into the light, so that it was difficult to tell if he were trying to do an impersonation of a Turner painting, to be a luminary El Greco or just to get into a huddle of happiness at the journey before him. Give my good wishes to the sober in heart, he called, to the thoughtful in spirit. Tell them it is time they came to the Lord, he mouthed, on further departing before my wondering eyes. Then a strange thing happened.

The whole shaft of sunshine on which he was resting seemed to chortle, then quite extravagantly to heave and shimmer with a sort of candid joy; but I noticed on the ground where he had been standing, some remnant of dew, as if tears had been shed within the joy, for the race which stood on this earth. And then, most remarkable of all, I saw a spot of blood among the dew, and it seemed to have a sort of micro-dot which expanded and interpreted itself, like a magnifying hyper-link for an image on the Web, and what it said I hesitate to repeat.

But do! came a whisper which seemed to be nearer to the Son. So I shall - after all, why not! If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. People get so sensitive to sacrifice nowadays, though millions are sacrificed, sometimes with torture, for this or that evil purpose. Sacrifice, His! The Light that blended, superintended, amended - that died for darkness and then arose to penetrate it. Christ, Jesus, the historic one! That... but I then realised that my companion was gone.

Allegory No. 7

The Lame Man and the Children

I met a man limping, and asked him how this came to be. His eyes seemed to scour inwardly through his being, before he replied. "The lame", said he, "shall take the prey." That is Isaiah 33:23, and as it came from those resolute lips, it seemed as if the deficiency he had and the proficiency of which he spoke, somehow merged.

"I beg your pardon!" I replied politely. "Listen," he whispered, for there was about him an atmosphere almost of communicating a secret, as if he were afraid swine might enter into something precious.

"It is better to enter into the kingdom of heaven lame than to laugh your way to hell in all idiocy of useless health and self-reliant strength, as if the mortal gave to itself immortality or finality. THAT," he added, "is living the lie!"

"But how does this apply?", I asked, now thoroughly engrossed.

Suddenly a flame soared out from his eyes, which temporarily had been saddened, and he stated with a peaceful kind of brilliant clarity:

"The Earth Shall be Filled with the Glory of the Lord asthe Waters Cover the Sea!"

His whole being seemed to relax, and a stream of pure waters appeared beside us, which led back to a spring welling up with such bountiful determination and such a sense of flush joy that I temporarily ceased breathing. He however continued.

"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."

These things he declared before swimming quietly in the streams which had earlier come beside us, and there his lameness did not seem to count. Pausing on a rock nearby, which seemed specially shaped to allow him ease and comfort on it, he continued.

"In that happy time, a sort of celestial invasion of the earth, nevertheless the completion of the picture of the pageantry for this our world, and the purity is not yet: therefore it must be waited for: and since the waiting is for that which the eyes do not yet see, it must be done by faith."

His eyes seemed to take on the deep and shimmering blue of the stream as he added:

"Though it tarry, wait for it;
because it will surely come" ..."

This I knew came from that delicious book, Habakkuk - 2:3.

"When," he added, "when it comes, then my heart now tested by this body, will be in flower, and the scent of His beauty will be overwhelmingly like a flower garden in Spring. You know," he continued, "what Habakkuk was told:

'The earth shall be covered with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.' "

He paused with a look of such utter expectation on his face that it shone. "This," he resumed, pursing his lips with a sort of savour as if he were eating some tropical fruit, "is the Millenial Transmutation. 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."


"Now we Christians have transmutation within, then it will be revealed in the external world. Certainly there is no advanced transmutation of any other design revealed in the past - only designs which incorporate multiple features. Then we shall see the features of the face of the Lord who made us, translated into more obvious lines upon this earth."

He proceeded, with a kindly pity in his eye, for his condition so far from dulling his perception, seemed if anything, to heighten it.

"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. It will be like the flood, but not water that destroys: rather beauty that ennobles. THAT is how complete the wonder is to be."

"But where does it talk of these things!," I challenged him, for it was of interest to see if his base was stable.

"Oh, Isaiah 65," he said dreamily, "where the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed, and no more shall an infant from there live only a few days, where the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in Jerusalem, nor the voice of crying, where they shall not build and another inhabit... where the Messiah will reign on the earth just as Psalms 72:2-12 and 67:3-7 show He will." Suddenly he seemed as if he could not contain himself longer, and he spoke like one in authority.

"In Isaiah 11," he declared with an all but inimitable combination of tenderness and grave justice, "where this phenomenon to be is 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. Those elements of the curse will be redeemed for this earth... then."

His face now relaxed, and he continued meditatively:

" 'They will not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,' says theLord. 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 actually achieve any enduring any wrong ? ," he asked. "It does not seem so: for 'with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity forthe 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 thehearing of His ears" in verse 3. This does give the glow of a continual constancy in maintaining the right. That implies that there is still something to put right. It also indicates that right it will be made, and then!

"Hence when in Psalm 72 we read of the king whose name is to endure in wonder and praise while sun endures, and of the righteous flourishing in His days and abundance of peace until the moon is no more, which is way past Solomon, we find also more. We are indeed led to 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'; but there also we find 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."

"What sort of figure or image occurs to you, to describe such things!" I exclaimed with enthusiasm, for as he spoke, these words seem to be written on the clouds above as if by an invisible machine soaring aloft. To this he responded:

"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 one 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. It will be ground."

At this, he rested a little, and suddenly seemed to be bathing his crippled leg in pink waters which spilled over blue terraces that looked like ice, but which were warm with a strange feeling of penetrating vitality. Gratefully, I bathed in these as he spoke. When the pain of his leg subsided, in these waters of life, he continued.

"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."

"Will this last for long, before heaven itself, and the place of posting for the refuse-niks comes?" I asked.

"How long is this period in which righteousness will prosper and deliverance will be as automatic as is the justification in word-processing, when one sets the button to call for it ?", I pursued, warmed by the waters to his theme.

"How long?", he asked meditatively in return, his eyes on the strange lights dappling the skies as if to remind that this is a phenomenon of light, which has its own ways.

"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 three 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 from II Peter 3:8-10. 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."

"But what will be the focus, the crucial features," I pursued.

"The aspect to emphasise there is this: THIS will be through ONE CAUSE. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, will personally be present, not as an offer of salvation as a selective emphasis, but as the King, as He 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 skywritten over the earth; it will be inscribed and apparent everywhere. In this way, the configuration, emphasis, exhibition, tableau: it will change.

"True to form, many will lie low, unimpressed by righteousness, undrawn by truth, uncomforted by peace, with hearts like granite, and morals like tar, they will outwardly conform but inwardly writhe. Their anguish however will not mould the earth, nor their fingers fashion it in any way.

"Then His righteousness will be vindicated in external rule, as now it is in inward peace for those who heeded His words, 'Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and heshall make peace with Me', and 'The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness,quietness and assurance forever', and again, 'Mercy and truthhave met together; righteousness and peace have kissed', in Isaiah 27:5, 32:17 and Psalm 85:10."

"His wonderful compassion allows the feeling of weakness at the present time, in the face of this world's gallivanting to horror, showing by experiment the utter folly of its ways," I offered.

"It is in a more depraved dimension than even this," he resumed. "In fact, it appears in this light. For long, the Lord bore mockery in two stages. Firstly, it was in this: that He did not come down from the Cross, or use His power for Himself, when derided for His sacrifice, without which none of His mockers had any hope at all. It was secondly in this: that when He left, He did not make His servants rich and oppressive, as the world admires, but allowed them to be not greater than their Master.

"When however He returns, and has taken His own people, and comes like a conquering General to the place of His sacrifice as one gathers from Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14, then He will show the face of sovereignty to the rebellious in heart. Like mountains appearing on the horizon, righteousness will dominate the scene. The trial and testimony are all but past. Now is the time to manifest outwardly to the outward.

"There will simply be nothing to mock," he pondered musing. Yet his words now seemed to thunder, and his eyes projected two shafts of light which seemed to reduce all history to a small size, like trees put back to the nuts from which they grew; and there were people old and young, men and women, boys and girls, hurrying and flurrying, with notices tied to their necks; but I could not read what was on them, though the handwriting seemed similar for all.

"After all," he continued with a more gentle smile, "a couple of thousand years of intellectualistic illusions, metaphysical mimicries, of grandeur and chest-thumping delusion on the part of the self-righteous...it is a fair time for testing purposes. These things have been 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.

"Thus 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. That is for heaven itself. It is only 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..." At this, he mused with a sort of quietus, as if the whole earth were still.

"The Lord's power now is amidst suffering," he declared; "for as Paul says, we are like sheep to the slaughter. It demonstrates His love and His gospel; and He does deliver His people with this purpose in view. Then however it will show itself in a sheer wonder of righteousness, for the vast test is then past."

"Doesn't Isaiah say still more on this topic," I queried, stimulated by the shrinkage of history his words had begun to portray.

"It is 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 he 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 the reality displayed in its impactive 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.

"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."

"But what more will happen then?", I asked, "to the people".

At this, he seemed to ponder, with a strange musing, as if his whole being were drawn into the scene to which he went on to speak.

"In the beginning of mankind's world," he reflected, "man was equipped with the wonder of the glory of God as a present reality. Through tests did follow, man had a great power through resource, though recourse to God.

"In accord with this scenario, the engineer specialist in evil, Satan was free to put his pitiful case, his appeal to innocence in man, to achieve its guilt, to desire in woman to achieve its pollution, and so to infiltrate and intrigue the mind of man. Man fell.

"In this latter time, however, in the millenium..."

"How?", I asked fascinated, "how does it differ?"

"It differs in this," he resumed. "In this millenial period, the devil is effectively hobbled, indeed he is disabled for its entire duration. You see, by then man's power of spirit is - unless he is redeemed - far less than it was in the beginning; for at the first he had not yet fallen."
"So man is weaker, the devil is weaker?"

"Precisely," he continued. "His chief adversary is in pains, and man in general is in chains to sin. The situation is now very different, but there is now possible a new test," he mused, and as it seemed to me, more poignantly.

"The question then is this: Will human nature by itself, surrounded with mercy, environmentally new-charged, manage to do well this time? Will a kind of celestially enabled humanism secure a place and triumph in blessedness in the millenium?

"Far from it. The nature of man fallen, though freed from the environmentally crippled scene he developed for himself, the sad scene which he has created or called for or both, and even though freed from that potent adversary, the devil ... it has no intrinsic good. The form, the image of God in man is defiled, and no unrenovated relic of man can save himself. The testimony to those in heavenly places is complete then," he mused. I noted his Bible open at Ephesians 3:10, and marked at Revelation 20:8-9.

"What else happens in this twilight that precedes the everlasting dawn?" I asked.

"What more the Lord does in the Millenial Lesson Time is His business. It is hard to deduce all possible matters with certainty; we do not know what some will do, but of this be sure - NO ONE WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD IN VAIN, with faith.

"We do not know what some may be permitted to do, or every square inch of the sequence in the scenario. Yet Biblically, till the moon is blood and the sun darkness, the arm of the Lord is open and beckoning (Acts 2:17-21). That is the apostolic teaching. BUT IT COMES! IT COMES!"

"To what do you refer?" I asked.

"It comes when "Too late!" thunders through the riven air, when no more the doors will open, when faith no more enters the injured heart of fallen man. Already rejection of the Lord spells doom at His own return, and there is no exception to that! Do you not recall we spoke a little time ago about imputed and implemented righteousness, of the current offer that changes one's state and status within, and then of the external display of righteousness in the millenium? These were phases 1 and 2 of righteousness on display, on line if you like. Few took the first and many will make light of the second.

"When indeed all this is over, Phase 1 and Phase 2, THEN the book TELLS us this - "they went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints, 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. THEN you see that those WRITTEN in the Redeemer's book of life - for eternal life is available ONLY as a gift, as Romans 6:23, 3:20-31 indicate decisively - are given life (John 5:24 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.

"Sheep of 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."

As he spoke, some children came cavorting like magpies, in a very ecstasy of voyaging and darting and exploring, and waters flowed from the heart of a large tree which clapped its branches, though I noted it had been nailed on some of the main ones, and scarred; and these branches were like hands, while the children bathed in the waters, and climbed in it.

Suddenly they glowed white as if lit up by the sun, and I saw on their foreheads the name 'Jesus is Lord'; and I looked and beheld the form of the man who was lame, who seemed to join them, as they vanished, for sheer brilliance of the light.

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