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The Core of Corruption and the Power of God
Extricating from the Inextricable, and Delivering from the Mighty
GETTING THE POWER IN PLACE
NOT IN THE LORD: IT IS THERE ALREADY,
BUT IN ONE'S REALISATION!
In the last Chapter, we have had occasion to dwell in no small way on the power of God. It is precisely this which is to be so ignored, abashed, quashed, squashed, deleted, expatriated or set in diminuendo by the religious of the last days, as we see clearly stated in II Timothy 3. As it was to be, so it is.
People for generations, and this with increasing swagger and aplomb, have sought to be religious and yet secular, and later, fervent and yet existential, as if their fervour were a thing in itself, rather than a devoted dynamic in the presence of the objective, eternal and all-faithful God of glory, whose historical acts fill the earth, whose creation sits in its parameters, kind by kind, to this day, each category a continuity with the spice of variety, like man himself (cf. The Defining Drama Ch. 10).
In fact, the power of God is as obvious as His control of history, attested by the abundant ease with which all His words are fulfilled, whether from a year or a millenium beforehand (cf. The Pitter ... Ch. 4, SMR Chs. 8 - 9 ).
It is as manifest in the RESULTS of its exercise, whether in kind or control, as in the profundity of its limitless scope, whether in things ontological, logical, archeological, astronomical, historical, principial or verificatory of the word which He has seen fit to inscribe in the Bible. Nothing ever fails in what He says, nor does the practical limit His word, nor does His word fail to delimit even this, as well as the intellectual structure of harmony which is apparent in the correlations, beyond the curse, which exhibit even to the mind of man, the intensity of His creation exercise (cf. REASON, REVELATION and the REDEEMER, and CELESTIAL HARMONY FOR THE TERRESTRIAL HOST).
Results without causes cannot come, as we have often seen, and the denial of causality denies the nature of speech itself, with its causative categories implicit in all its descriptive characterisations (cf. Causes), BEING A LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY (not to vapid speech, for you can call birds air if you want to do so, without changing birds or air, but to accomplish without irrationality) - such is the divine attestation even at this level).
What of the power of God then ? Many, failing to realise it, and being blind even while visiting the optometrist, like those seeking glasses to help their sight while their eyes are tightly closed, will inhabit and invest the churches, only to become misleaders and false prophets, if their gifts run that way in obverse format!
They do not realise the creation and THEREFORE CANNOT realise the resurrection, either that of Christ, despite what Luke justly calls infallible proofs*1, and are far from being even able to contemplate the general resurrection to come, while judgment becomes for their paralysed understanding, merely a form of cultural clatter, not an act of God: except perhaps they come into the squalls of life, and begin to realise that God is One to be called on when man cannot, and HE CAN.
Thus, the power of God in practical living is denied to them, His miraculous control of health, for example, so that while He may indeed reveal the parameters of a Job, and is not committed to health per se, having great depth in His dealings, yet when it is apt in His sight, as in the case of Peter and Paul, and abundantly in His own life on earth*2, and more recently in such a case as that of Elsie Salmon*3, He can and frequently does show the vast sweep of simple power in the realm of health as in any other.
Power ? It is power with intelligence, working with wisdom, overarching all natural processes as the sky the earth, that of the Author dealing with His books, not to divest them of order, but to invest them with that thrill and grandeur of imagination, and that quality control which, while unpredictable, is predictably His own, and only that! If His characters, given that miraculous and naturally unaccountable reality of freedom, of liberty, misuse it until its broken axles merely bring pain and servitude, perform their pollutions and diminish the grandeurs of His actions, like those looking through a telescope from the wrong end, this is part of His plan, that all things become manifest, and that the works of men be shown for what they are, good or evil, and every way being tested, shows its colour and condition*4.
It is this same power by which the saints live; and it is this which ensures that all things work together for good for those who love God, the called according to His purpose. It is this power which, not making comfort the criterion, yet invests man who loves God with the comfort of His friendship as He performs His mighty works, and which will bring about that post-creation investment which shakes the death out of the format of man, and raises the dead, this time in bulk, His people, as on the day of Christ's ministry on this earth, one by one. Just as He raised Lazarus and the son of the widow of Nain, and as with Elisha and Elijah in their raising of the dead, death an emblem of curse, a consequence of sin, and not a barrier to God who made it: so does He act categorically concerning it at the end, as with the creation at the beginning.
Thus Paul writes in this context as follows, in Philippians 3:17ff..
"Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk,
as you have us for a pattern.
"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping,
that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction,
whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame -
who set their mind on earthly things.
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body
that it may be conformed to His glorious body,
according to the working
by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself."
The grand sweep of this power, to what might it be compared ? Is a horse renowned for speed ? Then do we not look for its accomplishments in this race as in that ? If a tennis player has gifts and strategy, gumption and wisdom, does his or her work not appear, and do not challenges find a compatriot, so that they become friends and victories accrue with a splash of energy and vigour, while the time for mastery is ripe!
How much more then does the power of the Maker of the liberties and love of man exercise His power, whether to curse or to bless, whether in control of history or institution of galaxies, whether in the static safety in the midst of such immensities attesting His limitless dynamic and energy, of this earth, which because of Him, amazingly continues in its solicitude for man, despite its tininess and the curse, while the results of the follies of its denizens strike the shore of time, like relentless, and disregarding waves, now crashing, now thrashing, now quieter for a season.
It is exercised in the creation of those tiny, limited, tied up powers, in their microscopic brilliance as shown in DNA, in their staggering wonders as in the enormous speed of the beating of the wings of insects by programmatic modes, as in the majesty of its scope, in the cohesion of its components ontologically, logically and practically, in the interventions as with Israel in supreme and constant detail (cf. SMR Ch. 8), in the fulfilments in the destinies of the Gentiles, right down to their increasing empty pride and humanistic and meaningless mysticism, in the devilish efforts to derail the church, so that it might run on a different line to a different destination, yet this without taking it over, merely removing something of the erratic errors of many whose hearts are liberated for passion not purity, into factions and breaches. The church however, minus many enclaves of sedition, proceeds, stricken but triumphant, betrayed but not braying, rather constantly and consistently proclaiming the pure word of God, pardon by grace, provision by power and life by wisdom in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
All this was to be, is and continues.
The power was not limited, but shown according to purpose, when He came to this earth and as foretold in precision, to do just what was to be done by One who as God, was eminently testable by man; who not only met every intellectual challenge, every health problem and every personal test with a beauty of majesty and dignity, but performed miracles as some breathe: this was the top of the arch of the preliminaries, where the Creator showed in personal presence the power with which He had made us and the world, the universe and all things, moving as it were, from photograph (His written word) to personal presence.
This same divine dynamic is shown in blessings and love inconceivable, until, like the DNA, it is exhibited to the eye, from His mind; and in the curse inveterate, where He is disdained, His love minimised, His power blasphemed and man's puny pretensions set up as a delusive substitute.
It is shown to the height in the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, in the promises attendant on this for His believers; and to the depths in the cursed contentions of murderous mankind.
It is revealed even in man's frustrated delvings for dynamics not where it mischievously imagines, or not controlled as it hopefully seeks, as this vastly misled race wallows in mouthings of vacuous wisdoms absent from their vain renegacy, and in its miseducation of the young, so that even some scream in their sports, as if to intimidate, as if it were that the curse was comely, or contention were glorious.
It is shown in providing access while so many regress, in the simplicity of that access in the Gospel, in the complexities of man's writhings in disdain and depravity, far from God, exhibit A of its own baneful spree, inglorious pretension and resultant misery.
It is also, however, to be shown, in the development of that thing man loves, because he is made for and by God: namely leadership. It is this which is to come, when the power of God impacts on the humanistic, pseudo-mystic mirage called the man of sin, that epic of iniquity which is to bloom like Baudelaire's fleurs de mal, an evil harvest of floral folly. Man loves to find that god-like stature of victory, of triumph, of the invincible, the inveterate, the glorious simply because it is there, it is his source which beckons him back; but he, divorced from it, secretly looks for it where it may not be found.
Thus Mao laid all but insane claims with his little Red Book, because man was manipulable, and being officially divorced from God by a ruthless and murderous regime, became available for deception, and so was the duping dreadful nor was the case much better with Stalin, preparing to change the laws of nature in the days of Lysenko, until he found he could not; nor was it improved with Hitler, preparing to bring an unknown dynamic in racial power, into some kind of pseudo-divine apotheosis.
This dynamic of
linked to the desire
for the divine,
accompanied by a thrust to avoid God
becomes the setting for the next great exhibition of power, following the Return of the Royal King, Jesus Christ, and indeed is working in that context.
It is to this that we look in this Chapter, with II Thessalonians 2 able to carry us there, as we move from the 4th chapter of I Thessalonians, the 5th and the 1st of II Thessalonians in our last chapter, to this core site of corruption and disruption, showing what it is which is the working of iniquity. Like a boil it has its cause, and its rising, its pain and its pollution, its corruption and its sensitivities, its arising to a head: and that head is called the man of sin, the antichrist in his epoch.
To this topic, we now turn and it will show the power of God, as do all the others.
GETTING THROUGH THE NECESSARY DEFILE!
For this preliminary work, we turn to Touchdown!
(adapted and extended for our present purpose - it now carries its own end-notes *1A, *1B)
There is MUCH to be
done before that day, as attested in II Thessalonians; but there is much that
NOW HAS BEEN DONE, by our day, so that the time is now near. It is wise to watch
your way then!
That DAY does not come, however,
until history passes through the necessary defile,
the chronological pass to the time;
and its conditions were are are stringent.
It is also true,
indeed, that the current
nearness to fulfiling these very conditions after some two millenia since Paul,
makes the entire result the more thrilling to the mind and stirring to the heart.
II THESSALONIANS 2
This time it is the apostle PAUL who provokes clarity in the midst of the disciples. He speaks with a deliberation of emphasis which has the mark of authority and need. He tells them "concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him" - exactly the case in Matthew 24, this! That they should not be
- "soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come."*1A
- "will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed,
the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God ...",
- sitting in the temple declaring that HE IS GOD!
He exhorts them further,
- "DO YOU NOT REMEMBER THAT
WHEN I WAS STILL WITH YOU
I TOLD YOU THESE THINGS?" (2:5).
For the time, then, there is a brake, a restraint, an inhibitor. There is an hiatus, a lapse, a distancing of that divine day, the day of the Lord, that day of fearful scrutiny, drastic action, where patience having had its perfected work, yields to the decisive edge of devastation, where freedom having finished its findings, is met by fact. It is not yet.
This day CANNOT yet come, says Paul, for it is being actively withheld (II Thess. 2:6).
Truly the "mystery of lawlessness" is already at work, he proceeds, but the One who restrains will CONTINUE to do so, until removed from this brake function - until "taken out of the way".
It is only when the brake is off that the car runs fully downhill. Whatever this mystery that this maledictory malady, this devilish disorder may be able to contribute to the picture which God reveals in the laboratory called human history, it is not able to do its utmost yet.
Frantic and horrible as its devious applications of undivine dynamic may be, and are, yet there is to come a yet more final version, where restraint being actively WITHDRAWN, the heart of evil will be exposed as by a brilliant light. Before its judgment, in a sense, therefore, it judges itself by being allowed for a short time only, to show its final features, as if a Raphael were limning his lines, and only at that final time, FINISHED the picture! There is to be a finish, the apostle reveals; but its time is not yet, but was to occur long after his own day.
Paul proceeds to detail the sort of thing to come WHEN this malignant phenomenon arrives, like a cancer having started in the lings, now moving to brain and heart.
Peter gives no dissimilar exhortation in II Peter 3:9, where the REACTION of wondering JUST HOW LONG it would be before the end, is even placed in principle in its spiritual setting, which relates to the Gospel reaching the whole world, in the love and the longsuffering of God. The actual end will come soon enough! It will not come however till various structural features are complete; and the chief is the declaration, intimation, publication and multiplication of the GOSPEL presentation until the world is about saturated with it (Matthew 24:12).
In one sense, what is called post-modernism by some*1B, is merely one of the symptoms of this saturation coming to its final stages. When you shrug at lung cancer, you are inured; and so no less for the GOSPEL of divine grace, this apotheosis of apathy and this frenetic fantasy of complicity, two diverse features, walk together in confusion to their appointed end.
In the meantime, Paul gives instructions about how to behave relative to this coming climax of evil. In his day, it was not yet, so it is to be treated as decidedly future and steps taken to prevent impatient and pre-emptive action before its time.
it is forbidden to act precipitately; the era had not arrived: the forces at work for the case to come were not at that time allowed their necessary activity. THAT CHAPTER qas exclusively for the future, the peak for another day in the mountaineering of the pilgrimages of the saints.
It is not NOW, the apostle declaims, but THEN. The ERA is not yet culminating into its cup of horror. The CONDITIONS are not yet consummate in their vicious finality, and of course, the CONDUCT correlative to that coming crisis ... is not yet.
THEREFORE, the apostle instructs, Get on with the WORK of the kingdom and do not be "shaken" in mind as if the time were already apparent, immediately impending like a storm whose clouds suffocate the earth (II Thessalonians 2:2). IT IS NOT YET TIME for the final air-raid shelter and escape. IT IS TIME, instead, to CONTINUE in your tasks.
What, again, could be clearer? It would be difficult to know. It is explicit, concise, with various outcomes in the ensuing words of II Thessalonians.
In other words, there is a path to the day of the Lord, there is a way in which one must go, travel and proceed. It is useless to be meeting the final fever while the patient is yet asleep, even if moving strangely. Again, there is a defile through which the world MUST pass before the day of the Lord with its vast blessings to some, its final exposure for others, can arrive. The "mystery of iniquity" is indeed already working, and it will work; but it is restrained for the time being, in the day of the apostle as he writes of things then present and to come. When it comes will be time enough to meet it, and indeed, to be met by the Lord in His delivering dynamic, when He comes.
Such is the message in no small measure.
An Eschatological Excursion
There are different translations here, and two major dictionaries present different read-outs. One would have it, like the NKJV, the day "had come", while the other with supporting material in Greek usage, would have it that the day is referred to as 'impending', 'threatening' for the particular tense of this verb here used - and this is the sense of the rendering made by the AV.
According to one famous dictionary, the sense for this tense is said to be "prop. as it were, to stand in sight, stand near'. That is the 'proper' or literal meaning in view. Perhaps it is simply a question of something right up with you, caught up with you, come upon you, and in that sense, present; and Thayer's New Testament Greek dictionary is stressing the sense in which the concept of present is in view - pressing itself upon you, hence impending or even threatening, a meaning found in Liddell and Scott's massive Greek dictionary, as one major case also, for enisthmi.
As has been noted, it scarcely likely Paul would be thinking some would take it the day was fully realised, as judgment manifestly was not present, indeed things were far from it! Rather the sense is this, that the day of the Lord is not yet looming in intensity, at the brink, peeping over the horizon with suffusing storm clouds, rapidly building.
In either case, the message is that they must not be preoccupied with the day of the Lord as if it were thrusting itself upon them; standing in or over them; upon them:
there is MUCH TO COME FIRST!
That the main relevant part; nevertheless, let us simply summarily note the aspects of the case for "at hand", the AV translation.
1) The word in the preceding context is "quickly" not "soon" as the AV renders. It is "be not quickly shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ were at hand." That is the precise shade of the adverb. Keep this in mind.
2) What they are to avoid happening to them quickly, then, is that they should be troubled in mind. A state of anxiety and suspension, uncertainty is to be avoided, one that could take them quickly.
Let us place these two points together.
Are they really to be conceived of as genuinely thinking that the day of the Lord has come, the DAY OF THE LORD? Are they anxiously to ponder whether that fateful hour is NOW HERE, the one so clearly set out in the Gospel, in the teaching of the apostles, as one in which CHRIST returns for His own, and then COMES IN JUDGMENTAL MODE, killing the beast and arresting his armies with destruction (Matthew 24, Revelation 19)!
Is this to be conceived of, in anxious mode, in sudden spurts of thought, as being PRESENT! Is there some doubt about its presence or absence ? Did an atomic bomb land and we did not notice; are we to have anxious thoughts whether we are ransacked... The setting is fearful apprehension, and analysis of what after all, needed little analysis, leads not to their having a current sense of all being overpowering in condign, actualised and personal arrest in the arraigning advent of the Word of God, fatal in judgment on the reeling earth! (cf. Matthew 24:26-31, Revelation 19).
It is not this at all, but rather is it apprehension. They are fearful of what might come, surmising of the unknown, pre-occupied perhaps with the impending, surging and about to strike. It is the anxiety of uncertainty, not the experience of certainty which is in view. They are to stop worrying about the end in the middle!
3) If it were a question of the day of the Lord actually being PRESENT, then the Christians would be ABSENT, in the first instance, as taught by the Lord in Matthew 24 (noted above). Are the apostles then gone, taken with Christ, who would take one from two in a bed, leaving the non-elect ? Is that a question of some difficulty to the church to which Paul was speaking, in Thessalonica ? Was it too hard to find out if they had been evacuated from earth ? Has Paul gone ? Is he not writing to them from the world beyond ?
Is this, then, Alice in Wonderland or fact that is being considered ? If not a dream, then "at hand" is the concept, and not that of now "present". What is troubling them in perplexity and with sudden bouts of imaginative dread is this: IS IT ABOUT TO HAPPEN! Only this can stand with security in such a setting.
4) Further, even if they had such considerable confusion on the nature of the day of the Lord as such an hypothesis on their part would imply, namely that it had come already, then the teaching of the apostle might be expected to MAKE THEM SOUND ON SO BASIC A POINT, not to be talking - relevantly but without essential correction of their misconception as such - of the PRECEDING STEPS.
If the inferno had struck or the deliverance were complete, either way, we would expect talk of what is OCCURRING on the day, not on its preliminaries. If the question is: Do you have leprosy ?, then while the preliminaries are not out of order for some thought, yet the SYMPTOMS NOW APPEARING are the point!
You test for these first, and provide rebuttal, if there is no leprosy, first of all, by simply showing that what its symptoms are, remains absent. If it is NOW that the question is, then the works of the present, the nature of the case for the day itself is the criterion, not its mere preliminaries.
On the other hand, if the topic is, as clearly appears, the considerable danger of an impending and threatening (meanings found in the dictionaries) DAY of the Lord coming (that is the word following the point in the context), then the listing of all that has to happen first is most relevant, is a direct removal of the misconception, is good teaching, pertinent and apt teaching, leaving nothing out of place.
Such sound teaching is to be expected from a master-builder of the church (I Cor. 3) , when meeting widespread confusion and misconception on such a topic as the Day of the Lord being imminent. This in fact it covers the former beautifully, but in any conception of the latter being actually present, it reaches very little in its fundamentals, and rather would resemble discussion of taking vitamins, when an artery is cut!
5) Thus Paul goes on to say that this day will not "COME", unless... this and that happen. The immediate term used in the negation of the confusion, is NOT COME. Now if it were necessary to distance the day from COMING, then WILL NOT COME UNTIL would be the expected wording, just as it is found. To be sure, if they thought it actually present, then it would also be relevant to distance it, but the more obvious and immediate rebuttal wording expected would rather be: The day of the Lord will not be PRESENT until... or WHEN it is present, you will know!
The point is that all things, contextual, logical, scriptural in teaching point in only one direction, whether because of absurdity, normalcy or mode of handling teaching, be the considerations.
Further, it should be noted, talking of the general scriptural context, moreover, that in Matthew 25:19, the parable told by the Lord envisages a "LONG TIME" passing following His, the Messiah's departure from the earth, BEFORE HIS RETURN. In the same line, the one leaving his servants, goes on a journey to a FAR COUNTRY, certainly implying in those days, what ? a long time. In fact, kingdoms had to fall into a very riot of international war, morals had to decline precipitously and characterisably, fear had to rise to an acute dimension nationally and internationally, famines had to grow widespread, horrible sights had to abound, a plethora of false prophets and christs had to sweep into the kill, the vultures circling.
All this is seen in Matthew 24 and Luke 21.
All that was in the interim, before it could actually BE.
Moreover, Jerusalem (Matthew 24:2, Luke 19) had to be destroyed and rebuilt (Matthew 24:15, Luke 21:24) so that the dominion of the Gentiles over it would cease, and hence the Jews had to return to the Israel from which they were to be ousted.
It would be a LONG TIME indeed, before Christ would return. Such that anxious imaginings and thoughts that "My Lord delays His coming" might be expected to arise (as in the parable exposing this attitude, in Matthew 24:48).
The parallel is of course to be found in II Peter 3:9, where the same emphasis is given in the context of the Age to the end (this being here the terminology), that a day in that setting is as a thousand years. We have had two such items so far!
A mere form of godliness without its power (II Timothy 3) predicted for the "last days" of the era could also then be wholly expected just as surely it had to come into the pseudo-Christian body which would be then left, surging amongst the church (II Peter 2) like waters from a burst dam. That same church, however, to be invaded with false teachers, making a para-church of no means dimension, devilishly disaffected in heart but still illicitly naming Christ, would not fall to its destruction, being kept by the power of God; for the gates of hell will not prevail against it, by divine authority (Matthew 16).
It is indeed ironic that a false church should so use this fact to boulster up its own devices; but it is so, past all pretence, and will be to the end (cf. Revelation 11). Such ironies in history abound, as many act to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. After all, a test to be worthy, needs to be a good one, and mere rote and form have to be viewed with care, as truth is sought with discrimination. If it is so in politics or commerce, how much more is it so in things spiritual, that direct territory of the thought and life of man.
Nevertheless, the fraud and the ‘damnable heresies’ of II Peter 2’s prediction, will proceed in a morass of evil such that "the love of many will wax cold" as Christ stated (Matthew 24:12) of this enveloping trial that would grow in profundity at and to its maturity. That dynamic of dashing horror was to come, false teachers to proliferate, and come it has, fulfilling the word of God to the jot and tittle as always. It is now here; but it was not so then, when Paul wrote. ‘Apostles’ now proliferate like storm clouds; but nothing of this sort could attain power while true apostles prevailed in dynamic and personal presence. It took time for this development.
All that ? Yes it required long time. That the days might suggest to some that these events were coming near, is entirely understandable, if somewhat superficial for the time, in view of what had to happen. That this great day, with such a surround and preliminary, with such historical foothills leading up to its mount, should be thought actually present however, labours not merely in the area of the ridiculous, as noted earlier, but it fits as little in the apostle's context as in the Scriptural setting. It would be talking of Winter in Spring.
For all that, choose as you will, and take no account of the reasoning: it is still true that II Thessalonians is teaching that there is a considerable scope for time as the mystery of lawlessness reaches it height, and that it would be sheer foolishness to act as if there were impending a vast alteration in the order of things such that one might cease one's normal, godly action. That is the basic thrust of the passage, which some might seek injudiciously somewhat to attenuate, but in vain.
It is NOT YET. Much HAS TO HAPPEN first, so KEEP ON GOING AS NORMAL.
Finally, let us dwell on the fact that Peter in II Peter 3:9 makes it clear that there is a qualitative as well as a quantitative side the matter of when the Lord actually comes. It is a special characteristic of God that He is compassionate, not willing that any should perish, and that the word should go as a testimony bringing the Gospel to all the earth (Matthew 24:14). It is only then that we hear from Him, these words: "Then shall the end come!"
There is, then, arrest until this geographical distribution of the Gospel is accomplished. Peter gives light on why. That same Gospel is to move pervasively, invasively throughout the farthest reaches of this terrestrial globe before any thought of coming, the coming of the day of the Lord, is to be entertained.
So far from dwelling loomingly off the coast, at the time of the apostles’ writing, it is not yet in the meteorological picture at all. It is just that IT WILL BE, in its time. Such was the case when Peter, when Paul, wrote, exposing the mind of Christ in the matter. In the last days, therefore, is something future indeed as in II Timothy 3, and its characteristics have to be spelled out, since it is a novel thing to find, in its time and occasion, when history reveals that side of its face.
First, then, it is for a testimony; for as the Bible states through the apostle Paul, God has not left Himself without a testimony, He is not mute; as Isaiah 45:18-20 declares from the Lord, He, the Creator of all has not spoken in a secret place ... "I declare things that are right!"
Revelation is apt, adequate and public, in abundant provision, and when things happen, has not the Lord spoken clearly in the basic structure, and is He not thus verified in His power of control, wisdom and power! (cf. Isaiah 41,43,48, Amos 3:7). That is the point here.
Secondly, the compassion acts as a constraint, a restraint on terminating things, the longsuffering holds back the finale until it must wait no longer. That is what II Peter 3:9 makes so very clear. In the context of HOW LONG, the apostle Peter makes an indication that for the Lord, 1000 years is as a day. THAT is the immediate context (I Peter 3:8). A delay of 1000 years is not at all to be gasped at, therefore, should it arise. There is, then, MUCH TO BE DONE and for a LONG TIME, before the Lord comes.
That, of course, was THEN.
NOW, in our far later day in the epoch, nearly all is done already. It STILL does not mean that second guessing the exact moment (and it could still be decades), one abandons godly living in some heart-stricken form of arresting excitement; one continues rather to abound in the work of the Lord in all wisdom as instructed (Matthew 24:45ff., I Corinthians 15:50-58). There is however one beautiful addition which is for the present, and this not by some present revelation, for there is none to the church past Revelation, only clarification and understanding in terms of the principles and precepts given (which in turn means real wisdom and living communion with the living Lord, with provision for guidance just as He sees fit in His word and its promises, as shown in A Question of Gifts, pp. 95ff (*16)., 104ff.).
No it is no new doctrine; it is the old doctrine APPLIED. And this ? WHEN you see these things come to pass, Christ said, that is the plethora and the fabric of coincident events noted, THEN LIFT UP YOUR HEARTS. Why ? Because of this: THEN you know that your redemption (of your bodies, Romans 8:23, cf. Hebrews 9:12-15, 10:10-14, I Peter 1:17-19) is DRAWING NEAR!
Notice, even THEN, it is only DRAWING NEAR, yes, impending, at hand! Because the period to unravel in history then shows itself complete by the presence of the criteria of the end of the Age, then indeed you have reason to do ONE THING.
What is it that this is ? It is that now you lift up your hearts, but not your heads, as some do when making a golfing or tennis shot. Keep your head down, apply yourself to the end; but now that the end by its own developments revealed in the Bible, is in fact near, rejoice!
In patience therefore as Christ put it, possess your souls! Vigorous and vital should our work be until the curtain falls, however delightedly we hear the moving of the strings in their folds, drawing, drawing, now indeed impending.
See Let God be God... Ch. 4.
Let us now proceed on from the expanded excerpt.
III THE UNNECESSARY NOTIONS AND
THE DEVIOUS DEFILEMENT
We have largely been concerned with II Thess. 2:1-3, though the verse 7 has contributed. In so doing, we have met the "mystery of iniquity".
is that profound, abysmal, dynamic, deadly, devilish thrust which has ways of
Now here, now there, it puts forth its squadrons, now moving some
to despair, devil worship, lostness that is like darkness felt,
to obfuscatory disorders, the very stuff for psychiatrists to analyse, but not to cure,
to degeneration, pride of nation, of psyche, of situation,
in a diversity so programmed that it can again, deceive.
For when some say, It is a matter of weakness! then as with Hitler, it shows in its response, for its own season, a vicious but decaying strength; and when as now, many seem to be so fascinated by themselves and their own time in history, that all else seems insignificant or hardly worthy of attention, and so refuse to learn from history, then it can envelop them in the same old ways in its confused disorders which rise like a huge breaker to its summit, as if aspiring to the very heavens in dreams innumerable, many wanting to travel in its tunnels; but in a moment, so much that arose so proudly, is gone.
Great is the devastation that goes with it, as in World War I and its national prides, World War II and its racial pride, or the Cold War and its ideological profusion of confusion (cf. Aviary of Idolatry).
Returning now to the text in II Thessalonians 2, we find that in verse 8, there is the apotheosis of this 'mystery of iniquity'. That is, just as the PROCESS of this mystery is statedly WORKING, like any other disease, so in the end, when the time comes - and we have dwelt on that! - there is the principal party, the leader ...
He is the one who -
grasping at air, and thinking within himself as if he were the arbiter of thought
and the creator of life, subjectivistically intoxicated and logically aloft in the clouds
of reflected light, which he confuses with his own -
takes a stand.
What is that stand ? It is as the LAWLESS ONE. Above all law, bound by nothing, he fails to perceive that this would eliminate him entirely, since bound by nothing has neither limit nor delimitation, so that his very constituent parts and organic whole would cease to exist.
Instead of being 'God' (as in II Thess. 2:4), which he likes to show to himself as his estate, he becomes sod.
God is bound by His desire and illimitable as to that, being who He is - I am who I am - freedom beyond all constraint, constrained by His own will, derivative from nothing, dependent on nothing, and He does not need to dream. Man however when he would be illimitable, merely removes the constrictions and constructions which make him so much as be. He IS derivative. Such dreams are deadly, and in the end, it is not to nothing but to judgment that they aptly lead. So it is in this case, as in many which preceded it on a smaller but still deadly scale.
Such types of former dictators have defiled, been devious, been deluded, been unjust, unaware of the sanctions of the Just One and the situation of their own being. Their notions have been as unnecessary as noxious, their flapping as noisy as notorious, and their grandeur as specious as unspiritual. Many, not holding out from their evils, as Daniel did, instead find themselves subjected to a devious defilement instead of a drastic end, and the whole tends to cavort like some gigantic vortex, leading only down, down ...
IV THE DIVINE DEFILADE
As then, to this evil leader to come, the consummation of Napoleon, Hitler, Mao and Stalin and many before them, the epic apex of evil for Europe*5, to be, not God but sod is his final quality.
That is, this may be said if the term 'sod', morally apt, can be physically consistent with the destruction which quite aptly comes to his vaguely wandering former mind, for he is to be destroyed as the Lord returns, "by the brightness of His coming."
How is protection gained from this MAN OF SIN (II Thess. 2:3), this SON OF PERDITION, so conceived in that he is like someone BORN from the world of the lost, his mother! It is obtained by the provision of the Lord. This enfilade, by which the power of evil, the devil ultimately, has desired to cover and take this world and its ways in lofty fire, to decimate and overcome all opposition (as in Revelation 13, 17): it is met by the defilade of the Lord.
As is becoming to Him who BECAME MAN so that we might find GOD, it is HIMSELF who is the protection and cover from such high-minded fire. On HIM is laid the iniquity of all whom He has ‘healed’ (Isaiah 53), and in HIM, who is our peace, is the power to be found to resist the unrepentant fire of the furious (cf. Luke 21:12-15, Matthew 10:19-26, 28:18-20, Luke 10:19ff., II Timothy 4:3-5,17-18). The object of this power is not comfort of body, nor yet ease of life, and far is it from dedicatedly fostering self-indulgence; but it is for the performance of the works ascribed to each (cf. I Corinthians 12:6, Acts 7:10, Matthew 14:12), the sustaining of godly living (II Peter 1), and the reflection both of the sufferings and the power of Christ, bringing ever anew to this falling, failing world, the one testimony that it needs above all (Philippians 3:10), the Gospel of grace, found in one place only, the Lord Jesus Christ and His coming, achieving and gift to man.
When all else seems stricken (as in Revelation 13), so that financial controls for example become what they even now threaten to be, enormous bases of information and inspection enabling supervision of transactions, of which money is only ONE ASPECT, thus bringing enormous power to bear for the ideological dictators of the day, the Hitler finale, the Mao consummation: then HE COMES!
When the heart that goes with the claw is exposed, then clawing ceases, and the Lord of mercy and compassion returns, just as He came the first time, when the guilt of sin threatened to extinguish man in his immoral and unspiritual mud, when He Himself bore sin for all who call by faith upon Him.
As He came to be blighted the first time, vicariously for believers who thus RECEIVE what He offers, pardon and propitiation (Romans 3:23-27), so the second time, when all mercy has been expended for an AGE, one of thousands of years, then it is for the next part of the vast unfolding plan of God. Then it is to blight, to fight, to finish the power of the evil, and to wind down its fatal and fateful aspirations, to the level of the earth where they belong, delusional dynamic now exposed for its darkly deceptive self.
Its appearance of glory departs with the Lord's own arrival (II Thess. 1:7ff., 2:8), His return in that everlasting glory which was to be shown in the coming to follow, that grand completion of the task, not this time of reconciliation, but of recompense, as Christ declared (Luke 24), and was affirmed (Acts 1) later. We recall that He marvelled that they had not realised from the scriptures that this two phases were to be, and taught them from those same scriptures, what they began to see in fact before their very eyes, in the first instalment of the resurrection of His body (Luke 24:44-49).
This glory of the Son of Perdition was no glory, and stands as barefaced effrontery before that eternal glory of the Son of God, who humbled Himself to do His work, moving from the eternal to the temporal to perform, to gain and then to grant the victory for man, as many as received Him.
This alone is the endurance that glows and shows itself; but while man strives, he falls and fails, giving short shrift in millions to the God of grace. To many a trivial and empty glory draws, like the suction to the whirl-pool, when one is near, and does not resist.
It is a base and fallen glory, that of the Son of Perdition; but how it beckons, as do other quaint delusions of man, when the universe seems ready to be exploited by a godless race, except for those rescued by that same Gospel of grace and presentation of pardon which Christ has enabled, so that God might be just and the justifier of the one who believes in Him (Romans 3-5).
When it is done, like a two car head-on collision, when the finale is played and the last Quarter is over: then what was real endures, and the fabrication appears just that, misspent fabric, ashes. Those who are the Lord's are protected, His name is protected by His great action in atonement, His love is protected by His spiritual power to bring home His people, His mercy PROVIDES protection by being freely offered, and eternity is protected, for its new inhabitants are not flesh and blood, the distempered relics of sin, but new bodies, eternal in the heavens (II Cor. 5:1ff.), of which His own resurrected body is the foretaste, the trailer and the depiction.
It is for this reason that we can see the massive thrust of Christ's statement to Thomas: HE has SEEN and then believed; BLESSED are those who, not being present personally to inspect the physical fact of the resurrection*1, yet believe! (John 20:27-29).
V THE VIEW FROM THE TOP
We notice now that just as there is a correlation between the "mystery of iniquity" which is "'already at work" and its final head, like that on some slowly developing boil upon the skin of man, so also there is parallel and functional relationship in this further feature also. The Lawless one comes "according to the working of Satan", and it is done, with that degenerate renegade (cf. Revelation 12), "with all power, signs and lying wonders". Just as it has a head at the end, so it has a WORKING in the interim, a deviously lying, a wittily woeful thrust into the arena, like the smell of a swamp which arrives when you pass and leave down the car window, or of rotting mustiness.
Such is man at his inane height, like a donkey insisting on having his own brayings recorded, near to the disk of the nightingale's performances or the magpies exultant warbling!
Thus there is a fitting rising to supernatural proportions in this contest, even on the side of flagrant sin; and this is not really to see who is stronger, though a deluded devil could imagine it, but to SHOW what is the heart of things for all eternity. Moreover, there is a result; for the Lord's eyes TEST; as with Job, He tries; and though He knows the result, by open exposure in history, it will thus be revealed to all for all time. Accordingly, He provides opportunities for nations and for men (cf. Acts 17:26ff., Acts 2, Ezekiel 28-29). All things are manifest to Him (Hebrews 13), as all history (Isaiah 46); and they will be MADE manifest to all, for God is not only the God of power, but of wisdom and truth, and nothing is left out. All will be revealed from the laboratory of history as from the mouth of the Lord.
Thus, just as in II Thessalonians 1:11 (cf. Ch. 2 above), we find the working of all goodness, so here is the working of the mystery of iniquity; and just as we have the revelation of the lawless one, so the manifestation of Christ came (John 1:1-2), and will come (II Thess. 1:8); and just as in 1:11 we find "the work of faith with power" so here in II Thess. 2 we find the evil mimicry and mockery, the "working of Satan with all power, signs and lying wonders."
On the one hand is true righteousness, vicarious atonement, substitutionary sacrifice, and on the other there is a dynamic to deceive, thus alleviating any need actually to provide. Like so many dictators leading on to a latest exhibit in Mugabe, for example, you have emptiness both of rhetoric and of stomach, in the end, for many. Dreams built on air, do not stay up. It is like para-gliding without the wings, but NOT without the earth below!
Thus you see in this iniquity realm, its nature, its working, its dynamic, its mode, its ethics, its contribution, its characterisation and its end. It is the work of mockery, of mimicry of the divine, but without the love, the power or the implements. It is a rat in evening dress, at a mannequin parade. While it does not impress, it has a way with its teeth, of gnawing into the hearts of the fearful, and appealing to the scummish instincts which sin breeds, in the aspirants for greatness.
Again, we have an illuminating contrast in II Thess. 1:11-12 and 2:10-12.
Like the gleaming sunlight on the alpine snow, directly receiving the manifest light from afar, there is the positive dynamic of the fulfilling of all goodness in those who are the Lord's as He, residing in them, WORKS His graces and kindnesses, thoughtfulness and enlightenment, and by His might, brings on to the scene, "the work of faith with power". Then, in devious, dark and drab contrast, there is a negative parallel, a created concept, mere meretricious power, vying striving, which seeks to emulate truth and reality, in vain. This, it has its own quality and destiny.
In the positive case, there is FAITH and divine POWER and GOODNESS, "that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (cf. II Thess. 1:12, 14).
We find the AIM of a mutuality in divine grace, of the Giver moving graciously with the one to whom it is given, so that the glory which is and always has been may be manifest in rescue, redemption and release.
Grievously but temporarily and temporally, we find contrasted with this, the REJECTION of the love of the truth, with the result, not of an enduring and cumulative process of development in the created nature that is man's, or of the divine consequences of its potential rightly used: but a sharp result.
This ? It is an ACTIVE DELUSION. In other words, refuse food in anorexia, and there are processes which can readily set in, including that of disease. Here it is certain, for the absence of light means darkness. The delinquency even from the mercy of the Lord, offering only in one way, naturally enough, HIS OWN (for which of you likes to be told how to show mercy by the recipient!), means that the divine dynamic on the one hand, and the breach of design on the other, move to but one end. Destiny is drab where truth is excluded, the truth of creation, redemption and grace.
It is not merely defective and deficient; it is efficient. In the end, as fitting to such, GOD gives an active delusion.
On the one side, it is that there might be that gracious and loving mutuality noted, and the glorification of the glorious One; but on the other, it is "that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Moreover, coming to one having rejected truth, the delusion acts like a spiritual cancer, so that "they should believe the lie." It is, one notes, THE LIE. It is not something or other, or this or that factual error; it is the essence of error which comprises WILFUL rejection, the WORKING of iniquity, the SPIRIT of lawlessness at the highest operative level, that is, toward the true and only God (I John 2:22). It has a DESTINY which is according to truth, and in this case, to its absence by exclusion (cf. John 3:16).
While GOD superintends and is alone ABLE to implement these things, man being too sick to 'choose God' (Romans 9:16, John 1:12ff.), yet these are the principles; and what sin precludes, God enables*6, working in His own goodness, for nothing is hidden for Him, and with God nothing shall be called impossible.
HOW could it be ?
There is a limit ? HE places it. There is an exclusion ? HE makes it. As He wills to be, He is, and what He provides, is incapable of resistance, for it has its limits, God-given, while GOD has NONE! If He desires freedom, shall it not have its perfect work ? or if love, then is it not itself, without distortion or disturbance from its own nature!
Just as, moreover, the lovers of the Lord rejoice in Him, so those burdened with the workings of the mystery of iniquity (which becomes successively less mysterious as its goods are found to be, as they are bound to be, rotten), "had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Disillusion does not always disenchant, and even when it does, it does not in itself provide atonement.
That comes from the divine dynamic which incarnates and conquers, which convicts and converts; and any lost in the deadly perils of spiritual pollution, as in the sects, from Islam to Romanism, from the multitude*7 of little outlets to rejection of Christ while using His name to the New Age astral-ites: any may seek Him where He is to be found.
That, it is first at the incarnation, then at the perfection of purity in His life, then at the Cross of substitutionary sacrifice, and then in the resurrection of the body which could for all the troubles imparted in the impact of nails, be digitally investigated, just as He could eat with a mouth once smitten. The God who can heal and raise the dead, is not in the least limited by the depredations of man, even when He makes, as He did make, His body vulnerable in order to be available for vicarious sacrifice so that love being fulfilled with justice and mercy alike, any who receive it might be saved.
Thus, again, you find after Paul's reference in 2:13-14, to their sanctification through belief in the truth, by the power of the Spirit, as part of the salvation to which GOD CHOSE them "from the beginning" (II Thessalonians 2:16, cf. Ephesians 1:4,11) there is a certain fact. What is already given to them is "everlasting consolation", that divinely delightful free gift.
Now that. it does not stop, yet it is strange how in the face of all these clear words of eternity for the believer, there is an unending stream of those who seem to want to know better, and receive worse. But the thing is sure, and is so stated twice even here in II Thess. 2:13 and 16. How people will often squirm as if the last thing they wanted was the FREE GIFT, which depends on NONE but God! (cf. Ephesians 1:11).
Within this realm, we find that everlasting consolation is contrasted with "all unrighteous deception", just as "that they might be saved" is the foil for this, "that they all may be condemned". Faithful is HE who calls you, says Paul, in I Thess. 5:24, WHO ALSO WILL DO IT.
How strange it seems, that some who doubt not the power of God, at least in appearance, doubt His willingness and power to save what He has paid for and to keep what is committed to Him against that day (Romans 5:1-11, II Timothy 1:12, Romans 8:32), despite multitudes of promises to this effect! Even here in the space of three chapters there are three separate statements of this fact.
It is parallel to, but not in the same deep realm, those who do not even see the power of God; as is the failure to realise that the power of God who MADE man can readily work, whether in HEALING all, as again and again you see in the work of Christ in multitudes, or raising any, or indeed ALL who believe. It is like being accustomed to digging with a spade, and relentlessly and foolishly failing to realise that when you have a front-end loader, or a bob-cat, or indeed a vast earth-moving monster, then what had seemed out of all question can not only be accomplished, but that with relatively little effort and with great speed!
necessary to see the autonomous dimensions of deity,
that they lack limit, and are infinite.
Being and character, it is His own,
illimitable in knowledge, boundless in comprehension,
incapable of temptation in His form, as God,
so that He is alterable by nothing,
transmutable by no development,
the eternal foundation and One
for whom all things are subservient, known and assured,
needing nothing, donating all.
¨ We must move from space, which He created,
from our time which He invented,
from geometry which is a quality and feature of matter,
to the infinite and eternal creator of all these magnitudes (thus limited),
and qualities (thus delimited, as by the One who placed them INTO being).
¨ God is Spirit, and creates, having no bounding constraints.
He is who He is and knows His will beyond and over all time.
It is necessary to see the autonomous dimensions of deity, that they lack limit, and are infinite: His personal Being and character, it is His own, illimitable in knowledge, boundless in comprehension, incapable of temptation in His form, as God, alterable by nothing, transmutable by no development, for whom all things are subservient, known and assured, needing nothing, donating all. We must move from space, which He created, from our time which He invented, from geometry which is a quality and feature of matter, to the infinite and eternal creator of all these magnitudes (thus limited) and qualities (thus delimited, as by the One who placed them INTO being). God is Spirit, and creates, having no bounding constraints. He is who He is and knows His will beyond and over all time.
We must move from space, which He created, from our time which He invented, from geometry which is a quality and feature of matter, to the infinite and eternal creator of all these magnitudes (thus limited) and qualities (thus delimited, as by the One who placed them INTO being). God is Spirit, and creates, having no bounding constraints. He is who He is and knows His will beyond and over all time.
When HE acts with the power by which He is able to subdue all things to Himself (Philippians 3:20-21), as He will at the resurrection, as He did in the creation, in the incarnation, in the resurrection of Jesus Christ with no human intermediary, it is not as if it were a massive event beyond Him who is infinite; but rather a massive event characteristic of His power.
When likewise, He destroys the son of perdition, the man of sin, the final epic of the saga of that working of iniquity, that men might believe the lie, it is not some contest of doubtful outcome, any more than it is one of unknown origin.
Its outcome is that the Creator uncreates to the extent (II Thess. 1:9) and in the manner He pleases, when in all due love of truth and righteousness, justice and peace, pardon and mercy, He has done all fitting, and that with a passion that became personal to the uttermost in that His eternal and personal WORD, became man that man might at last find God.
When the imposter has neither the beyond time infinity, the all might, the omnipotence, the omniscience, the control or the knowledge of the future, beyond what is given, and chooses to seek to avoid even that, as do millions of his unfortunate servants, then destiny and dynamic alike are certain. He goes as he came; but not in the same... style! All the words and works of God are persistent, consistent and invariant in enactment; all the words and works of the imposter, and the dynamic, that working of iniquity which is his aura, they do not come to pass, whether politically, philosophically or historically*4. That difference is like that between black and white, star and cinder; except that it is also infinite.
We have seen
something of the ways of evil,
and their repetitive devastation, desolation and folly, as they occur.
they arise, they thresh,
then they themselves are threshed, and threshing about, are exposed.
all by fantasy, they fall,
they aspire, they fire, they are extinct;
they speak, they mar, they go, undesired.
Let us however systematize a little. This will help us to keep
all in perspective, as we walk in the Spirit, watching our way.
Those who do not know the Lord, do well to open the eyes!
Thus the criteria concerning the way of iniquity are:
1) condign judgment, its end; but no less
2) qualitative defectiveness, so that its reality is of its own type,
created, deficient, proficient in imitation, deceit and lying,
self-deluded, wilful in vagrancy, a disease awaiting its result.
3) dynamism in degree, in power and activating processive work,
like virulent cancer, moving in the approach to the end
by methods characterisable,
rather than merely surmisable,
horrid, more than intriguing.
It is like an aircraft approaching the runway upside down.
4) subjection to sovereignty, overseeing the mode, the permitted impact
and the nature of the result, without distorting it,
but rather the more amply exhibiting it, for what it is (cf. Isaiah 37ff.).
These things have intrinsic qualities, contain developmental modes, have a driving dynamic and destiny, coming duly to match the contrary and wilful, opposite drive and character and the arrested eternity in a rottenness, which goes its way.
They contrast with the sublime consummation of godly development, completing the planned program in a voluntary perfection, granted as gift, achieved in reality and application by grace only, according to truth, through the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Here too the destiny is deliberate, matching the work which went before, both to reconstruct and redeem, to recreate and regenerate, to inhabit with holiness and to drive in the highway of its beauty.
As to the negative, it is well illustrated by smoking tobacco. Here too there are the criteria of the motives, attitudes, ingredients, results and the liability to a direct dynamic of destruction: cancer.
If you are not sure whether you are called, then CALL on the name of the Lord and you will be saved, and call in faith, for if you do not trust Him, what is to be found ? But if you do, what is to be lost! (Acts 2:37ff.). HE is to be found (Isaiah 55), where He is, and this involves where He came, what He did and why: the Cross of Calvary, not as some still suffering Saviour, but as the One who declared rightly and obviously, It is FINISHED (John 19), as the One who rose bodily and will return to rule shortly.
He is to be found with a humble and contrite heart; for if you want to contest with him in your pride, why worry ? But if your realise your place and state, then how would you be otherwise than contrite in heart! (Isaiah 66:2). The very arrogance of inventing your way without submission and enquiry from your Creator, whose word has impacted the earth more than asteroids and tsunamis in power, better than physical light in its presence and more cogently than any theorem in its conclusions (cf. The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy, REASON, REVELATION and the REDEEMER).
He provides eternity through His entry into the temporal, so that by His payment to justice, with the motive of mercy, in the lordship of love, He might make a user-interface so simple that children may and do often use it to perfection! There is nothing of darkness in Him who is the light, and by His light He is readily found, for He has written His specifications for salvation, acted the works needed, HIS OWN (Galatians 3), and provided by His Spirit the wonder of application.
If then you see your sin, repent; if you repent, receive; and receiving Him, believe, for He has already done it. There is NOTHING you have to do to achieve or attain this salvation. It is there for the asking; but when you ask, remember this, it is not a profit-motive matter. It is provided so that you might be filled with His goodness which this world hates, and that you might fulfill all the good pleasure of His will. After all, if your whole aim is to please and serve yourself, why worry ? But if it is to serve Him, why not apply! He is very gracious and pitiful, and listens well!
On these topics, the reader may wish to refer also in SMR pp.
743ff., 750Bff., with
502ff.. before consulting the other index, including such items as
Answers to Questions Ch. 5, and Little
Ch. 6. Moreover, the novel, THE MOON SOON, deals in dramatic and personal style with this arena of events and forces, with this atmosphere and series of attitudes, with the psychic underlay and the diabolical features, coming to its due conclusion: set in scriptural foundations.
Great Execrations Ch. 7;
Biblical Blessings Ch. 15, Extended Endnote 2,
Acme ... Ch. 11,
With Heart ... Ch. 3,
The Magnificence of the Messiah, Endnote 1,
Dastardly Dynamics ... and Immovable Faith Ch. 11,
SMR Ch. 6 and Index,
The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 9, Section 14,
ASP 15, 16,
STEP 5, TOAN 2, Excursion 2A;
REF 5, 6,
AWME 8 (on resurrection and Lazarus, yes and both with Jerusalem); contrasting Greek bodily terms - GBG 2 ;
and New Zealand DDHCBIT 6, FM 4
See Calibrating Myths ... Ch. 7,
Christ, the Wisdom of God and the Power of God Ch. 8
Victory Ch. 2
See SMR pp. 339ff.
See History, Review and Overview Ch. 1,
Beyond the Crypt ... Ch. 1,
Journey to God ... Ch. 2,
Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch. 13.
The Pitter ... Ch. 4
SMR Chs. 8-10.
Christ, the Cumulative and the Culmination Ch. 4,
The Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 1 with
Highway of Holiness Ch. 10
(comprehensive outline Babylon,
Rome and Daniel-Europe),
Of the Earthy, Earthy or Celestial in Christ Ch. 1 ,
Outrageous Outages ... Chs. 3, 5 (Europe and the UN)
His Wounds ... Ch. 4, *5 (survey of relevant past),
Biblical Blessings Ch. 1 (overview of development)
The Grating Grandeur Ch. 2
(overview of some modern developments
of the 'empire' No. 4 of Daniel),
Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. ANZAS 5,
Beyond the Crypt ... Ch. 1
What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Ch. 10
(recent developments towards the final format).
The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 2, *1 (list of references);
With Heart ... Ch. 10 (comparisons and concepts)
Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 4
Marvels of Predestination Chs. 3, 6 *2,
Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 4:
News 122 (with man, will and wandering in view, 'chance' and choice, and the entire spirit of man);
Great Execrations ... Chs. 7 and 9,
The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 3;
Sparkling Life... Ch. 4 (and the divine purity, sovereignty and aseity),
The Christian Pilgrimage Chs. 1, 3 including Appendix (scope of divine grace).
See for example,
Aviary of Idolatry, Highway to Hell,
SMR pp. 1032-1088H,
More Marvels... Ch. 4, Divine Agenda Ch. 6;