Ultimate Reality (edited)

In sum, the apostles spoke prophetic utterances not merely to some men, but to all men, anywhere, everywhere -- for all time.

Everything that God might do or not, when considered through the myopic lens of finite humanity, will seem arbitrary and capricious. This opinion is the same among sincere and honest believers in Christ as well, if they are indeed honest and sincere. Truly, only in the next life when God reveals, the chronology of His Epic, to a redeemed humanity will man attain the proper perspective to know the ultimate reason and purpose for His actions or His inactivity. Until then, man does best to trust and hope in grace by faith in that which he does not know nor in this life ever fully will.

God is ultimate reality. He is “the real”, the “Aletheia”, the “disclosure of that which is” of which I speak and have always, even spoken about and to – even in my ignorance – when speaking truthfully about such matters.

Christ, then, as God this ultimate reality is the only man who has not nor has never been deceived by and about anyone or anything, whether through an overwhelming miracle or all-surpassing revelation of a wondrous beauty of mind or form or powerful move of body or heart, such moves which men believe are ultimate but are not.

No, Jesus was the only man who differed from humanity in this one crucial sense (among many such senses), that He, as the ultimate, could not be deceived by the ultimate claims to ultimate-ness by any other impulse that might be offered to the world of man and of things.

We believe (God-willing in accordance with His Word) that, while the power displayed by and through the working of miracles and signs through the apostles, insofar as such men laid the foundation of the church, of which Christ is in the cornerstone and the Spirit the builder, having been successfully laid once and for all – of which even we present-day believers are a testament – that the so-called “gifts” of the Spirit, namely, prophesy, tongue speaking, healing, dreams, vision, words of knowledge and words of wisdom, are – not in their unfailing apostolic offices which were particular and enduring to certain divinely chosen individuals – indeed still alive and active in and among men even at present. For we do not worship a dead, impersonal, or symbolic idea or concept but the living God who created all things for His glory and maintains such things by the Word of His power {Heb 1:3} even unto the present, such maintenance which will continue now unto the end of the world {Matt 28:20}.

For it is the living Lord, who is also the living Word and, as Word, “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart;” {Heb 4:12} He who “always lives to make intercession for us” {Heb 7:25, emphasis mine}. And would the things that He prays to the Father for not be brought to pass, insofar as “the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does” {John 5:20}?

That the unerring, faultless, revelatory, and universal truth immortalized in divine scripture, of which went silent with the passing of the last apostle to die, John the beloved – those truths which were enunciated by the working of the Spirit through His apostles and their specific offices – has undeniably ceased.

This cannot be disputed if one desires to remain under the universal protection of the Word and Spirit, if, that is, the Spirit resides in such a one at all.

Indeed, there has not been nor will ever be any more universal truth given to man by God beyond what is written and has graciously come down to us. Truly, whether gifts or powers or signs or wonders or insights or theodicies, if they have not come through the office of an apostle, they must therefore come under the dominion of what has been written or it is to be rejected without thought or deliberation. {Roman 15:18}

What distinguishes the “word of an apostle” and a word given as a temporary gift of man to edify, admonish, encourage, or rebuke, is the office of apostleship and the universality of the truth it endeavors to express. The apostles, as apostles and working in that divinely chosen and irrevocably gifted office which, again, was for laying of the foundation of the church, speak in the universal power of the Spirit for the entirety of the church body, irrespective of place, time, and the mother tongue in which one was raised. For the honor of this office were each one of them, tortured, imprisoned, beaten, scourged, and eventually martyred, with the exception of John the Beloved who, though many attempts on his life were made, lived to a ripe old age and died by no external infliction of pain and abuse from the authorities, though much did they try.

I dare say that these modern, pompous, self-professed “apostles” would abandon whatever “faith” they profess to have the moment that even the threat of martyrdom approached them.

In sum, the apostles spoke prophetic utterances not merely to some men, but to all men, anywhere, everywhere — for all time.

But in all things, even ecstasies that attempt to delude men into their notion of truth through the emotional rapture that the ecstatic experience provokes must come under the divine order, dominion, and sanction of the Word of God and His Spirit if they are to be taken by a man into his heart and thereafter integrated into the overarching narration of his nominative I with the hope that they might bring a man to a greater knowledge of the truth.

Because, without the order and divine restraint of the Spirit who is our restrainer and the restraint of evil, ungodly chaos would run amuck. Such chaos will indeed one day run amuck when He is taken out of this world, but for now, we pray for and thank Him for His restraint.

We do not worship a God of chaos but of order, purpose, and meaning, even if such things are beyond the capabilities of our own reckoning.

To know Him is to love Him and to love Him is to rest in His sovereign will as Lord over all. To know Him is to trust Him and to trust Him is to know Him and to love Him.

How can we trust what we do not know? Or how can we love whom we do not trust, wholly and completely, not merely in the “biggest and most important things” such as the salvation of souls but in every small gesture of hand or palpitation of heart or flurry of thought that might visit a man ignorant, innocent, and unawares.

And so, too, this book must come under the dominion, trust, and divine order of the Word. If it does not, it is to be discarded and forgotten as yet another vain speculation fiddled and fumbled by the working of my mind and hand, unprofitable to both believers in Christ and also the philosophical world; a work that should thus be heaped as so much other rubbish of the dry mouths of long-toothed men and my name forgotten – if it is even yet known – among men, that name branded either heretic, fool, psychopath, liar, and in every way a deceiver of his brother to the measure and degree of which I might be deceived…

or not.