Thursday, December 18, 2008

Civilisation Before and After the Resurrection

I am currently meditating my way through the Bible Chronologically. The Book of Job is placed shortly after the life of Noah. Job was a man who lived very close in time to those who knew Noah, and Noah knew Methuselah, and Methuselah knew Adam. Therefore, Job would have had some knowledge of the Ancient world, before the Flood, that was very close to first hand knowledge of that Ancient World. Job writes:

8 “For inquire, please, of the former age, and consider the things discovered by their fathers; (Job 8:8)

Those who lived in that former age, the age before the flood, lived very long lives indeed, averaging around 700 to 800 years of working life. Imagine the knowledge and experience that could be acquired in a particular field if you had 700 years to practice architecture (for instance). In his book, Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation, Dennis R. Petersen identifies many ancient technologies that match or are superior to modern technologies. He also poses the question, how could the great ancient civilisations, that all sprang up very shortly after the flood, all exhibit such advanced technologies, especially in architecture and building methodologies (solving architectural problems and building problems that even today we do not have the know how to solve)? I would contend that Noah took with him a library of knowledge that was prepared by these ancients after their centuries of thought about specific fields of endeavour. No doubt, the Ancient post flood civilisations had access to copies of these pre-flood texts, and also would have talk to such as Noah and his sons about the things that they saw in the pre-flood world.

Let me posit a question. As great as the pre-flood civilisation was, and as great as the post-flood civilisations were, and as great as the modern Western Civilisation has been (though now in decline, and exhibiting evidences of decay), is this the best things will get? I do not think so. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a glorious resurrection; it was a cosmic resurrection; it was a resurrection that guarantees that all of God's eternal purposes are fulfilled in time and on earth. God's original mandate has not been withdrawn: Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28). In fact it has been underscored and expanded: 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20).

Isaiah alludes to such an era, an era that is in time and on earth:

1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. 3 His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; 4 But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist. 6 “ The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea. 10 “ And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.” (Isaiah 11:1-10)

17 “ For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy. 19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying. 20 “ No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, And their offspring with them. 24 “ It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” Says the LORD. (Isaiah 65:17-25)

It is the power of Jesus' resurrection that will bring about the fulfilment of these wonderful prophecies. In this light, Revelation 21 and 22 are essentially books for earth in time and space. They are passages about how God intended civilisation to be; about how life is to be lived under that power of the resurrection of Jesus. God's eternal purposes are set from His predestinative councils that occurred before that foundation of the world. All that God has purposed shall come to pass. He simply looks for a generation who will believe Him, and who will live out their faith in obedience to His revealed will (His Law-Word).

Irrespective of how dark our apostate civilisation may become, out of the ashes God will raise up a remnant, and shall mould a greater civilisation, and on and on, until that consummative day when all His purposes are fulfilled, and all His enemies are made His footstool, and it is time for Christ to return to receive His Kingdom in all its glory and splendour, decked with the fruits of the work that was accomplished through the cross of Calvary, and the following resurrection and ascension.

Praise God! What a resurrection!


Steve from the Alice said...

The key question for me is no longer, "Why is Christ waiting to return?" I can't tell you how much time and how many times I longed to be simply beamed out of difficult situations rather than trusting in and appropriating the full measure of Christ's resurrection grace a power which empowers me to act as I should in all areas of life.

Christ isn't 'waiting' to return. he is working to return. He, like the Father, is working, has always worked, and will always be working in the world. We, as His disciples, need to just get on with His work.

Bridge said...

Well stated!

Hadn't thought of it like that.

'Tis what I appreciate about you, Hammer, you have a sharp, logical mind. Just needed the right presuppositions to reason from.

On ya, mate.