W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
IN NEED OF RECALL FOR SERVICING
More from the 7th century BC and the 21st AD
Slightly healed! says the surgeon, inspecting the operation's results.
The tissues have broken apart, the organic function is lost, the form of the thing is not wholly breached, but its work is not being done. Death, he muses to himself, is just around the corner, for while the operation was done aseptically, with wisdom and skill to the uttermost with 7 surgeons, yet the tissues are infected with golden staph, and the resistance is only slight.
How is it ? asks the patient. Am I healed ?
In a way, says the surgeon, but surprisingly and unfortunately, only slightly.
The patient continues for some weeks in comas and difficulties, before passing away in the night.
Watchman! what of the night ? asks the enquirer in Isaiah 21.
He repeats the question: Watchman, what of the night ?
Since we have already been told that this is a 'distressing vision' (Isaiah 21:2), and that the "plunderer plunders", indeed that "pangs have taken hold of me, like the pangs of a woman in labour", and that he was "dismayed" when he saw it, what the Lord showed him, we can be quite sure that it is no good thing to be reported "of the night".
The reply ? "The watchman said, 'The morning comes, and also the night. If you will enquire, enquire; return. come back!"
Since it is a "burden" against Dumah which is here in view, that is, a weighty thing and one hard to bear, and this amidst a series of calamitous forecasts, and devastating prophecies, and indeed the predictions proceed to Jerusalem - with an eventual restoration, and to Tyre in dismal depths: it is rather amazing to hear this offer, that they might 'enquire'. Here is an enduring solicitude, but will any heed it, even this ?
We recall that Nineveh 'enquired', indeed took such heed of the message brought by Jonah, that it repented, and it was saved for much more than a century, before its wickedness eventually caught up with it, and its desolatory future called to it. Thus, it became a literal heap in the wilderness, even she who had been mighty among the great, and a terror to the fainthearted, a sort of al Qaeda with impudent arrogance and haughty disregard for life and liberty.
What then is this that follows, in the reply of the watchman ... that
'the morning comes and then the night' ?
Together with the offer that it might enquire of the Lord, it is clear that destruction though imminent is not entirely irrevocable, or that some in the place might escape. There is room for communication, and the chief one for the sinner is that of repentance and calling upon the name of the Lord for salvation as in Isaiah 52-53, and 54, or here, in its preliminary components, with the self-same message (Romans 11, Psalm 32, Jonah).
There is still time. No efforts are useful, as in the imaginary case conceived of the medical patient at the outset in this chapter. It is pure miracle that is needed; and the Lord still DOES act miraculously in healing, at His entire discretion, and no disease is able to disable to the servants of the Lord until their mission is done, as they wait and call upon Him. It is marvellous to see, and wonderful to note, but that is the way it shows itself in practical history.
They may be tested as Job, rebuked as Peter, troubled as Paul was (II Cor. 12), but the healing suffices for body, mind or spirit, that the work be completed, be it great or small. God is not a God of subjection, but the one who is LORD, and life is HIS invention, and when it is eternal life by His donation (Romans 6:23, 5:15), through His divine grace, then there is the fealty and the faith which is the conductor for His power.
Thus in this dramatic case of Dumah, there is an offer which does not seem likely to be taken up; but the tremulous cry attributed as it were to the city, is heard to this extent, "If you will enquire, enquire!"
If not, then such a beginning of mercy is merely "slight healing" and there is no good outcome, merely the stirring of the wind in the trees, not the refreshing zephyr which refreshes; for there ARE times of refreshing (Acts 3:19-21), as the Christian awaits the return of the Lord, right through this Church Age or Age of Grace, preparatory to the transition from 'His sufferings' to 'the glory to follow' as in effect Christ is seen to denote it in Luke 24:26,39,44-48.
Yet it MIGHT have been otherwise. As we saw from Jeremiah 18, in the last chapter, Jerusalem itself was but a hand's span from deliverance (and you see it so simply in Jeremiah 17), but what did this city of stirs do, except fail to be stirred to seek the Lord. Let us recall the situation (slightly changing for our current need):
It is thus here as in Hosea 7:1, an indication to the willingness that God had, as in Jeremiah 18:7-8: for at that INSTANT that there is the change from the evil, to remedy and remove the judgment, He reclassifies what is coming, relents as the new opportunity enables. Alas, however, it was not so there. Israel was NOT healed, so that the rest of the chapter, as in 7:13 reflects this lugubrious and mournful fact in the face of the often protested divine exhortation to return to Him, and invitation to mercy (cf. Jer. 17.).
You do not have to wait until the ambulances arrive in the congested streets, as in the recent depravities of barbarism and shock tactics of amoral, and false religionists, as report suggests, in London (July 7). Man is limited, but God is not: for it is EXPRESSLY written that on the INSTANT of return, then the remedy is available to the humbled and contrite heart which in repentance and faith seeks and finds the Lord (Isaiah 55 is the tonic site here, nearby).
ENQUIRE! But who WOULD enquire, as they go like the stallion to the battle as we also saw in Jeremiah in Ch. 4 above, from Jeremiah 8:
“Everyone is turned to his own course, as the horse rushes to the battle.”
Nevertheless, if they HAD enquired, the result would alter, whether for the one, or the many, according to the case. There was after all, FIRST the morning when repentance and seeking of the Lord as in Nineveh, could occur. It was only AFTER THAT, that the night comes ... and in their case, came!
Although the illustration to follow concerned violence, and the faith is not a thing of violence, yet it will serve in format at least to illustrate the point. When Stauffenberg left his brief-case near Hitler, if the thing had been total, and the efforts more complete, and if Hitler had gone, and the forces of reconciliation and repentance (if so be) had taken over, then Berlin might have been spared its vehement desolatory horrors from Russia. For example, the British, instead of waiting, Montgomery REQUIRED to let the Russians in first, they might have come and given Berlin a more humane occupation. But it was not so.
If then we substitute for that military act, an inward and a spiritual one, so too might many a soul who is slightly healed, but not transformed, interested but not seriously enquiring, doubtful and not really believing and so not believing, for you do not begin to empty the petrol into your tank if you are not quite sure that the nozzle is in fact IN IT! so too might these souls find a very different outcome in their lives.
Let us however return from parallels of old and current, to the text in Jeremiah 8:
" ... from the least of them to the greatest,
Everyone is given to covetousness,
From the prophet to the priest
Everyone deals falsely;
For they have healed the daughter of My people slightly,
Saying 'Peace, peace!' when there IS not peace.
Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination ?
No, They were not ashamed,
Nor did they know how to blush..."
Blush ? It seems it was a forgotten art. This natural proclivity and ability to blush, it had vacated the premises, as if their muscles had shrivelled, or they had become asthenic and could not quite manage ANYTHING good.
Desire for gain had outstripped desire for God; they speak of truth but deal falsely. Shame is outrun by complacency, and statistical facts of a fallen people perhaps tend to bolster audacity, and distance the due sense of guilt. It reminds one of those who behead their prisoners, as if humanity had left them, as if hearts had shrivelled and minds had become mere puppets of false prophets.
Let us put an illustration in another way. As someone in disgust said of the Germans, from a German perspective, outraged at certain failures perceived in their society: Put someone in a uniform and he will do whatever he is told. This is the trouble with this people. In other words, this social critic felt that the German virtues had this fateful flaw, that there was a tendency to obey authority without consideration, for them to DO, to EXECUTE, and not to reflect sufficiently on WHAT would be the nature of the thing commanded!
Obedience to authority and a lack of listlessness in tasks CAN be a great national feature, and Britain showed it notably in the second World War; but it must be preceded by the knowledge that EVERY life is from God, and none can obey men except with the prior consent of his God, for men and nations command sometimes the good, and at other times the atrocities like those of concentration camps, death slums, moral abysses. ALL must look FIRST to God and only then to man, or pay the consequences, for after the morning, not only in the days of Isaiah, but in our own day, is the night!
As Jesus put it, as declared in John 9: "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
The night is assuredly coming (cf. Revelation 6-8, Matthew 24), a time of such tribulation as has no parallel. The moral night associated with Islamofascism, as one columnist has called it, and that of the various rebellious factions and some of the governmental factions which in the name of ruthless violence rule without heart, as with Mugabe, with Communism with its downgrading BY individuals of the concept of individuality: indeed it comes. Blackness is the surround, and depth of obliterative folly is the atmosphere which is breathed, as the depth of the dark increases to an obfuscation that can be felt. With the USSR, the night has already come, and many the buzzards, commercial and political, who grabbed in its cover. This is a mere preliminary for the earth, a post on the way to the blackness for ever, which is apt for so much, almost a relief from its brash follies.
With the ideologies of force, in many so popular, you have barren romancing. Thus, as in Communism, what the State says, IS by definition 'right' though there is no right where you start with matter and end with self-making force, a deposit from its father 'nothing', and this magic done, itself a mere thing of push in any direction, with the like delusion inventing rising opposites as if apposite to thought, instead of representing mere violations of it, as with all the other nebulous variations of logical nescience and political ruthlessness.
For them, the night is already coming.
On this night the reader might consult with
Highway to Hell and Aviary of Idolatry. Earth Spasm ... 1 (laughing stock);
Secular Myths and Sacred Truth Ch. 8 (free among the dead, philosophic necrosis),
cf. News 94;
News 59 (naturally 'nature' does not invent itself, nor do books write themselves, not do symbols define themselves, nor does thought find itself from either barren nothingness or directed system);
Wake Up World! ... epilogue (time and eternity);
Worn-Out World and the Coming King Ch. 3 (nature and supernature);
There are realms for Disney and the ministration to children's fantasy, and realms for clear thought and logical validity. These are not the same! This needs to be remembered.
When it is forgotten, this which could be for fantasy, the amusement of a moment, becomes the obfuscation of eternity, with the precise consequences of impudent pursuit of peril, bathing in darkness as if it smoothed the skin.
The twilight is thinning into darkness; and the time is now here for the beginning of sorrows, which in some nations is not so very much seen as a beginning! To have lived in Russia or China in the last 50 years might have been quite easy if you had no morals, no concerns but your skin and your wealth; but not if you had heart, and certainly not if you had walked with the Lord. Such prongs of darkness have already given ample illustration of what is to come; but when one nation does so, to be called an evil empire by another, that is one thing. When it is international, that will be quite another; and it comes as the night draws near, and man glories in his political unities, glossing over truth and reality, in the interests of the myth.
There is NO PEACE in all this, for it is exactly as in Jeremiah's day, in that twilight before the fall of Jerusalem. When the darkness came, that great city was to be so misused that the very children and old men were abused, subjected to force and violence, and princes strung up, that delectation of horror for the sadist and for the heartless, that abyss of inhumanity for the cruel to pursue their ruthless inventions of tyranny. If the Lamentations of Jeremiah does justice to the horror, yet what was felt, rather than w written by those who suffered it!
What peace is to be found in rebellion against the Lord ? Is it in the flurrying, in secular endeavours to found new space stations in case this earth falters and wilts, perhaps for the cognoscenti or the wealthy, when this is FORBIDDEN by the Maker (Psalm 115)!
What is the use of abusing the vast
pageant of living wonders on this earth,
what profit is to be found in
breaking from the light of the Lord
It is the morning; but the night is
coming. What of the night ?
What of the blight ? What of the payment for what is not right ?
Does anyone enquire ? There is need for recall to fix the steering: does any submit and present himself for this ? Do the nations find a restoration in order ? GOOD, they cry, but know not what it is, and invent compromises for political purposes, while words lose meaning, and become conveyor belts for delusive peace, when there is no peace, and each considers the way, some in inventive duplicity, some in doubt!
Not at all, is peace found. They seek to help the poor, and bombs rain. They look for good, but evil thrives. They do not look where power and goodness together, exist in holiness which is man's desideratum and requirement, as a car may need high-octane petrol for its motor; they hope, but they do not go where it is to be found. They invent, they scuttle and shuffle; but they do not walk with the Lord. What can they expect, when convenience substitutes for reality, and trading for truth!
They proceed in their various dispositions and conferences, which some attack, they seek this or that; but they do not return to the Lord. Nations which had at one time flourished in the faith, now move into the darkness of an irreligious Europe which is to have a 'common destiny' without bothering to find out what that might be!
England, that once mighty nation and empire which helped to rebuff many of the forces of blatant paganism, is now in train in this horrible irreligious whole, in Europe, and if religion is to come, as it will and you see in Revelation 13, yet it will not be worthy of the name, a cultural outfit for substitution of the will and way of man, giving to himself divine honours (as in II Thessalonians 2 and foreshadowed in Daniel 7), for the inerrant and holy way of God.
Secularism grips nations, and religion, even in schools, is increasingly subject to pagan preliminary propositions (cf. TMR Ch. 8, Lead us Not into Educational Temptation Ch. 4, Ch. 11), even pastors being willing to minister in many cases by demeaning what they stand for ... And how might this be done ? It is done by being willing to co-operate where the very educational curriculum is nothing less than a pagan and irrational blast at truth, and EXPLICITLY, in this State, places their field into the abysses of the untestable, a cultural 'thing'.
Who can stand on the sand, and build! But they do, they do...
What a preview did Jerusalem provide for our current Gentile world!
Listen to the prophet, in anguish at the prospect of devastations the more sure because they are called for, and the people do NOT enquire of the Lord (Jeremiah 8:15-22):
"We looked for peace, but no good came;
And for a time of health, and there was trouble!
The snorting of His horses was heard from Dan.
The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of His strong ones;
For they have come and devoured the land and all that is in it,
The city and those who dwell in it."
" 'For behold, I will send serpents among you,
Vipers which cannot be charmed,
And they shall bite you,' says the Lord.
"I would comfort myself in sorrow;
My heart is faint in me.
Listen! The voice,
The cry of the daughter of my people
From a far country:
'Is not the Lord in Zion?
Is not her King in her?'
" 'Why have they provoked Me to anger
With their carved images—
With foreign idols?'
"The harvest is past,
The summer is ended,
And we are not saved!
"For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt.
I am mourning;
Astonishment has taken hold of me.
"Is there no balm in Gilead,
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
For the health of the daughter of my people?"
It is then that Jeremiah cries (Ch. 9):
"Oh, that my head were waters,
And my eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night
For the slain of the daughter of my people!
He sees it as if it had already happened. The graphic future is already encased in his mind as if present. He does not need to await its happening; it is already sure! He weeps, wishing his whole head to become a reservoir, that tears might be abundant, for a lachrymose and mournful desolation, a testimony to loss, an anguish expressed. If here you see it felt in prospect, in Lamentations you see it experienced in fact!
Did he not love them, yet they do not enquire, What of the night! but rather as chargers, rush into battle; but what is the use of that, when it is against the Lord that you ultimately are setting your steed!
"Oh, that I had in the wilderness
A lodging place for travelers;
That I might leave my people,
And go from them!
For they are all adulterers,
An assembly of treacherous men.
" 'And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies.
They are not valiant for the truth on the earth.
For they proceed from evil to evil,
And they do not know Me,' says the Lord."
Valiant for the truth! They delight in lies, and wander in the twilight with the audacity of mid-day, because they have forsaken the light. They stumble and are jolted or curse, and shrug, and continue as it darkens. Yet in all this, one thing they reject, the word of the Lord, the Bible. ANY religion will do as long as it does not TELL them; for man rebels against the Lord, so that a godly man is not readily found worshipping the Lord and FOLLOWING His way, in the government of the nations.
If, said the Lord, they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them! (Isaiah 8:20). WHAT WORD ? It is the word of the law and the testimony, now completed in the fulfilment of the Messiah to the last particular and the most minute detail, pending His return*3. It isTHAT WORD! the Bible. Yet they delight in distancing the 10 commandments, even removing them on occasion in public site in USA, as if it had been the USSR. They violate the most basic and simple rules of life, and lift what they will, lose what they list, and enter the lists against the Lord.
They are ashamed of the heights of their past, as if declining in heart before in foot, to the pit.
Do they not realise that without faith you can do nothing, and unless it is faith in the objective GOD who made you, it is mere froth! Ideals ? with what basis ?
Ideas ? with what validity ? Expressions of intention ? with what power!
With all the talk in the USA of church and State separation, do they not realise that it is ONE THING, to prevent a State from violating the realities of man's construction by setting about MAKING you believe; but it is quite another when an elected government is afraid or even unable to SHOW what the things that matter most are, or even unwilling to be removed if the people do not like it.
IF there is a set of values, and with every government there is, is there some reason why it should not be made plain ? People do not have to follow it, because it is a guiding principle; but those who lead suggest it and provide attestation of it, and are not ashamed of it, and do not mix it with Islam instead, because of social or cultural pressures, or with air, or fire, or any other element, as if the universe were their own, and its powers at its discretion.
If however the people are led as if their very humanness were the ultimate, and their will were God, is this a fitting way to lead ?
It is like allowing the child to take the wheel, because children are important.
But how does this help the child ? If a government is elected, then we are still men and women, not children, but not all have the knowledge to govern, and not all are responsible. If then a government be elected, why should it not in NON-VIOLENT ways, and without removing the personal liberties, express its mandate and show its ways. Is this not leadership ? It cannot democratically CRUSH what it dislikes, or rule to prevent what may at the next election displace it; but it can SHOW what it likes, in a democracy.
If then the government does NOT do this, then just as RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS A NATION, so for WHATEVER reason the declivity sets in, sin becomes a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34). That is one reason why the giving of educational coupons allowing people to put the money of taxes into whatever educational form they want, public or private, has virtue. It means that the government is not FORCING, as it is in the State of South Australia, the parents to take their befouled and false faith, set forth for Principals (as shown in TMR Ch. 8), and made binding, on the people, on pain of so many thousand per year if you take your children elsewhere, outside the State system. Whatever it wants itself, it is providing for liberty as well as providing what it wants. How this stands or falls logically and ultimately will be for the judgment of the government; but at least in the interim, there is liberty with its leading, and not charlatanage.
What then of the present position in some countries which teach anti-god material, whether in religious terms or not ? Do they then force it on the parents ? Not directly; but when you child is educated in this trough of false philosophy, 'enforced' was the word concerning it in this State, then is this not taking your own flesh and blood and contaminating it ? Is this not to set it in your home ?
You say, But the parents should not permit it ? Do you then given to all the financial clout to use private schools ? If not, then the coupon system has value, and at least would mitigate the vicious violence to humanity in this State's peremptory and irrational system of religious intrusion in its schools, as detailed in TMR Ch. 8.
The universities moreover have their own ways, and many are those who cannot work in Departments because of their tilt, their anti-creationist tilt, their irrational flavour and cultural tics. There are Departments which have their own ways of withholding where it does not please them, where research as Løvtrup noted, is funded differentially according to cultural preference, not in terms of scientific reality (cf. SMR pp. 203ff.).
So does society skim on the spiritual surface, slightly healed, and having escaped Hitler, yet in some ways still set about imitating that totalitarian folly, that know-all nonsense, that parade of political power, that use of governmental authority to require conformity, not merely to give a lead, on severe pain if you differ.
As the nations fall, so the night arises.
Watchman, what of the night ?
It is all in fact so clearly depicted, whether for ancient Israel by Jeremiah (with the light at the end as in Jeremiah 23), or for this world, with the night at the end (cf. Matthew 24:22, II Peter 3). The time to ensure that you are not slightly healed, therefore, is now. The time to ENQUIRE of your Maker is now. The time to find the Redeemer is NOW. In the night, no man can work. That is what Christ said, and it is what will come.
Slightly healed ? Is the head clear and the heart corrupt ?
Is the heart illuminated but the spirit foul ?
Is the body cured but the life vain ?
Slightly healed ? WW II is over, and Hitler is gone, but not the philosophies of power and corruption, empty-headed now as then.
It is like saying that your cancer is gone from your liver, but is now in your brain.
It is like saying that your mind is now cleared from one ludicrous 'ism', but has seven more, worse devils for its provision.
It is like saying that a child is no longer a problem in class, but yet spends night in the derelict drifts of drugs. It resembles the case where someone is no longer unsure of his ideals and ideologies, his aims and purposes in this life. No longer does he live for his own self, for he is willing to follow society wherever it leads, though he has no idea where that would be, nor any notion of what 'good' is for man or beast, while it drifts as one in a boat with some 'captain', who has no idea of reef or chart, island or fresh water. Following the leader is no good if his leading is by glimmer and not by God, by people and not by truth, by electioneering skills and not by reality, by tilts and not by truth.
Already the vain cultural theories do not work (cf. Ch. 4, *2A above, SMR Chs. 3, 5, The gods of naturalism have no go!). Soon the invalid thoughts will be followed by the vicious realities, and as so often in the last hundred years, the philosophies of violence, with whatever efforts to deny them which they invoke with feeble eloquence and devious devices, in double-minded contradictions, yet they will bloom with their evil flowers (cf. Wake Up World! ... Ch. 6, News 94). This floral display ? It amounts to this, that it is a reverse process, the final deflowering of mankind, and the display is a ruin. It comes as man makes his preparation to meet his God (as in Amos 4), in confrontation, by ignoring what comes, and hoping what threatens, will dissipate like the mist of his own vague thinking.
Using the power which ONLY GOD can make, to think rationally, to will, to use liberty, he abuses it and with it would confront his God! Good-night! The night is yet young ...
But for some it is still time to enquire, and for them, by faith adopted by the God of creation and redemption, the only one rationally attested and historically verified, it is time to be healed, not healed slightly, but MADE WHOLE, as the Lord unites their hearts to reverence and worship of Himself (Psalm 84). It is for them no more the case that they have closed their eyes and shut their ears, as in the days of Jesus on this earth the first time, lest He should heal them. They look in faith to the Lord and HE HEALS them, and makes them the very children of God by divine adoption in the name of the Redeemer.
It is time to be redeemed, for this world is already past redemption in its own way and spirit, and is to depart. It is with God, not with man, that man needs to deal, and if governments are muddied and muddles, it is no occasion for those in their lands to treat them as gods, but time to look beyond them and as reason requires, as faith demands, to trust in their God*4.
As Isaiah put it (45:22-23):
"Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
"I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath.
He shall say,
‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength.
To Him men shall come,
And all shall be ashamed
Who are incensed against Him.
In the Lord all the descendants of Israel
Shall be justified, and shall glory.’ "
It is well, then, to walk in the light of the Lord, and to keep open those eyes, for there are many wolves who eye you (Matthew 7:15ff., Acts 20:27ff.), many whose eyes are mixed in vulgarity of mind, body and spirit, divorced from God, allied to the misuse even of His name, rogues in spirit, using woollen garments in case any might mistake them for what they are not, pastors and people of the Lord.
As to their way, its name is deceit (as predicted in II Peter 2), and its overcoming is the Lord; but it is necessary to know Him. For that, the path is plain, repentance, reception of salvation through His ransoming crucifixion, realisation of His grace and utilisation of His power available from His bodily resurrection and living presence, for the life He accords to you, in His service. It is to be watching His written word, the Bible, more than any red or green light as you drive, your spirit seeking at all times with longing for this, as for Him whose it is, better than any bank balance, prodigious banquet or human accolade: for herein is wisdom, and there is light, and in this is the favour of the Lord, without whom, and whose living presence, man is but as a dead person walking.
Validity has no other place to rest. See -
TMR Ch. 5,
Repent or Perish Ch. 7,
TMR Ch. 3,
Barbs ... 6 -7).
Starting as the truth, this proceeds where no competition exists, for nothing else either does or can achieve consistency and validity (cf. SMR Ch. 5, 10). See also:
It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, esp. *1A,
Repent or Perish Ch. 7, pp. 152ff.;
Christ the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 6;
A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 1-3;
Little Things Ch. 5,
Great Execrations Ch. 9.
See SMR Ch. 8 and Indexes on Jesus, Christ and Bible (prophecy).
See Answers to Questions Ch. 5 , *2 above, and SMR Ch. 9.
See SMR, TMR, REASON, REVELATION and the REDEEMER, REMEDY ... and THE GODS OF NATURALISM HAVE NO GO!