On the road to Emmaus

They didn’t realise he was at their side.
Their disappointments, hurts would not abide
when he exposed the answers in his Word
to what confused and puzzled them, – they heard,
their hearts were warmed, their eyes were opened, saw,
and knew their Saviour was alive once more!
‘How wonderful if all this could be true!’
It is! He opens minds to truly view,
and live with him because he lives for ever:
nothing his people now
from him can sever.

He ate the fish, appeared when doors were locked.
His followers were startled, frightened, shocked;
on hands which had been nailed they looked, believed,
with joy and worship, life divine received.
For he had been an offering for their sins:
his offspring share the riches that he brings.
(cf.Isaiah 53:10-12)

Upon the cross

Upon the cross,
in agony and pain,
he was not cross,
did not complain,
but had compassion
on those who strayed
in sin’s confusion,
– and for them prayed;

then turned his ear
to the thief’s request, –
gave promise clear
he would be blest.

The soldiers shared
his clothes, but we
from hell are spared,
share glory, – he
was pierced, and bore
transgressions, shame:
repent with awe,
and trust his name.

They thought him powerless –
he chose to stay –,
no other way
to save the hopeless.

Taking our sin

‘Why, my God, am I forsaken?
Yet I know, I’m not mistaken –
sin is serious – this is needful,
for my God to save my people.’

Bleakest hour of desolation:
triune God knows separation:
perfect fellowship in rupture,
– agony for One whose nature
holy, pure finds sin abhorrent –
now the Son becomes repugnant
to his Father, – my replacement
– he bears sin and takes my punishment;

but if Christ I’d not accepted,
this on me should still be meted.

Pontius Pilate

for children
Pilate was frightened to do what he knew,
knew was the just and the right thing to do.
Pity that Pilate did not find out who,
who this man was who was holy and true.
Who is this King
who suffers for sin?
Dies to atone,
sins not his own;
causing surprise, –
his words were so wise:
worship him, Saviour, King.

The priests and the people did not give much thought
to what Jesus did, and the words that he taught;
and Pontius Pilate was puzzled, for why
didn’t he fight them or angrily cry?

tune of ‘I am so glad that my Father in heaven’

Ezekiel Part 3 (chs.14-24)

Parts 2 and 1 (chs. 1-13) below
ch.14:1–12

Idols in their hearts they’ve chosen,
stumbling-blocks that cloud their vision;
God will not accept pretending
prayer, but will remove infecting
influence, expose, recapture
wandering hearts, each idol-notion
rooted out, with real contrition.
No more cause of pain, nor straying:
they will be his people, praying.

Those who refuse, or lead astray,
will bear their guilt, be cast away.

14:12–23
Jerusalem would be forsaken,
it was now abomination.
God would always safely clasp
those who loved him, knew his grasp,
but the lives of such a few,
could not others save who do
things obnoxious, he will turn
his hand of blessing which they spurn,
to sending judgements that they earn.

When their city was destroyed,
some came to Babylon, who’d survived,
to join those whom Ezekiel taught:
but when their ways were seen, they brought
increased appreciation
of why he’d caused such great destruction:
behaviour causing shock, revulsion.

ch.15
A vine is useless but for fruit,
and if they fail, it’s gathered, thrown
as fuel on fire, – Jerusalem
bears no good fruit, and it must burn.
And we will know he is the LORD,
who always keeps his holy Word.

ch.16
God’s city called, and saved and blest,
where there had been a heathen past;
beloved, and taught, espoused and tended, –
enticed to seek out new experiences;
impoverished, and betrayed, abandoned
by those she chose to chase:
the judgement of the LORD.

But God remembers his covenant,
and a remnant remember their ways,
ashamed, convicted, their sins atoned,
repentant gentiles blessed once more.

Christian don’t be lured by lies
which bleed, degrade, and age,
wither, and waste, embitter,
faded, jaded… .

No hope of compassion, or pity, or love;
– but God, in his kindness and mercy, said, ‘Live!’
He formed, and he washed, and gifted his child;
God’s beautiful jewel, his well-adorned Bride
.

But watch! sin insinuates snares in success,
neglecting the Giver who’s saved from distress;
absorbed with the gifts, those who live as they please
are playing with danger which tempts and deceives.

Each one who is truly God’s child, he’ll chastise,
to rescue from folly, soul-sickness and lies.
But those who won’t listen, nor turn back, will taste
his judgement, disgrace, withered hopes, empty waste.

17:1–21
Zedekiah promised he would
serve the eagle (Babylon’s king),
a vine in Israel, rooted, watered;
but he rebelled and tried to bring
help from Egypt (different eagle).
God expects we keep our word
and accept the circumstances
brought by him, the Sovereign Lord.

17:22–24
One day a Shoot from Israel will
become a splendid sheltering tree
admired upon the mountain heights
by all the other trees that see
the hand of God had ruled in judgement,
but also brings forth life abundant,
bringing low and raising high, –
King to seek and not defy,
welcoming refuge he’ll supply.

ch.18
What is righteousness? A true
love and honour for the LORD
that affects the things you do,
living by his holy Word;
caring, generous and kind,
perseveres through daily grind.

Righteousness consistent, true,
whatever others, parents, do,
and not resting on the past;
– heart transformed, – the change will last.
Repent and live, new heart and treasure.
Turn from sins, God takes no pleasure
when the wicked die in judgement.

ch.19
Lamentation for disruption,
destruction,
fierce and foolish rulers captured,
lamentation for great loss:
lions hooked, and chained,
caged.
By tyranny or mere neglect
they had destroyed, did not protect.

So the vine of Israel’s branches,
once had many strong for rule,
now uprooted, dried and withered,
burnt by fire: no further fool
as king whose reign a failure.
No branch now strong for ruler’s sceptre,
until the Lord comes
to raise One fitter.

Israel’s history 20:1– 32
Many times the LORD had punished,
when their conduct was perverse,
and he’d shown his saving mercy –
that the nations of the earth
see the honour of his name
– and might fear, and even hope in
One so mighty, feel their shame.

Exiles – if you want to pray
think about your life and way, –
are they bringing honour now
to the Lord you claim to know.

[Even Babylonians needed
knowledge of the heart of God;
knowledge of their own heart also,
need of mercy from the LORD.]

ch.20:33–44
He will purge, and he will shepherd
many into covenant bond,
turning ears to hear, respond
to his Word, and from rebellious
idol service with real shame,
bringing honour to his name,
in his promised land regathered.

They will know his power and holiness.
He, the LORD, and they his fragrance.

20:45 – 49 & ch.21
Sword against sceptre.
Jerusalem vanquished:
the whole nation on fire,
destroyed or else banished.
(Groaning and grief from Ezekiel burst.)

The LORD is against them, and those
who aren’t slain, are captured, dispersed.

The monarchy ruined, removed, not restored,
until it is rightfully claimed by the LORD,
the coming Messiah to whom it belongs.

Then judgement on Ammon for all of their wrongs
unkind and malicious, with insults unrighteous.


ch.22

City of bloodshed, and idols, extortion,
defiled by detestable deeds, and oppression:
the LORD who had taught them,
the LORD who had fed them
forgotten.

Leaders who harm,
and make many poor,
prophets and priests
deceiving, distorting
God’s law,
– whitewashing sins.
Wrath of the LORD,
must gather the dross,
to melt in the furnace,
hot city-furnace:
brought on themselves, what a tragic loss.

And no-one will urge them, or lead
back to him, pray for them, plead.

ch.23
Oholah, Samaria:
Israel fickle, flirting there,
on her LORD no more relying,
exclusive covenant denying.

Oholibah, Judah’s name:
flirting, faithless just the same –
heedless that such foolish lust,
brings destruction and disgust.

Both sought friendships with the world,
alliances; – they’re ‘used’ and spoiled:
vulgar passions, very potent,
consequences deep, important.

Children sacrificed – or led
far from God, their spirts dead,
ignorant of saving truth –
what misuse of training youth!
– (abuse).

Putting God behind their backs:
there’s no quick and easy fix, –
not a ray of hope to feel,
unless they find contrition real.

ch.24
Suffering, sieged Jerusalem:
charred in the cooking pot,
the pot burnt out;
so comes the end as the LORD had warned them.
Scorning his pleas, the rot
must be destroyed,
no denial or doubt.

Their heart’s desire, delight of their eyes
– the city and temple – removed at a stroke,
as likewise his wife had been suddenly taken,
delight of his eyes, – but it did not evoke
the usual symbols of grieving and mourning –
God wanted abstention, as all would soon groan,
unable to publicly mourn, but still grieving
and wasting – God’s Word now accepted, truth known.

The Ten Commandments

(For children)
When we read God’s great commandments,
there his will for us is seen;
we have failed, we all are sinners:
only Christ can make us clean!

Worship God; don’t make an image;
never wrongly use his name;
don’t forget, keep Sunday holy;
honour parents, – bring no shame.

Do not kill; keep marriage honoured;
do not steal; and do not lie;
do not covet, do not envy; –
these are laws of God most high.

And the sum of all is loving:
loving God with all my heart;
loving other people also:
Christ gives grace such life to start.
Tune: 87.87 Sicilian Mariners

Mystery disclosed

Colossians 1:25-2:10
People like to frighten, tease,
speculate on mysteries …
all is murky, no-one knows,
each enjoying to suppose …
Mystery of man and God:
come and see the mist removed!

Truth of wonder was unclear,
but when Jesus Christ came here,
Way and Word were both revealed,
nothing complex, half-concealed:
yet so awesome, mind can’t measure
vastness of redemption’s treasure.

Christ in me, and I in him, –
justified, and power within
to live like my Guarantor,
– though I fail, I sin abhor;
– joy and praise for what he’s done,
pressing on to glory won.

Christ: divine and man, so he
could atone and set us free;
source of wisdom, well of grace
while we struggle in this place –
treasures hidden to be found
daily, and our joys abound.
Tune: 77 77 77

Lazarus’ death

(John 11:1-44)
Why did the Lord awhile delay?
Why did he words perplexing say?
– ‘ in death this sickness will not end’?
– when soon death came to his dear friend?

Though dangerous for Christ to go,
it was not fear that made him slow.
He paused that glory may be shown,
his resurrection power made known.

His love was real in venturing there,
and seen in tears – they saw him share
their grief and love (did not expect
that Lazarus, then he’d resurrect).

They thought, if he had been there when
the fatal illness struck, Christ then
would have prevented death. (‘Too late, –
we’ll for the Day of rising wait.’)

But Lazarus rose, though later died –
to live for ever, and abide
in full and final resurrection
with Christ, – eternal, rich salvation.

And so, we know when God does not
appear to do the things we want,
it is not that he does not care,
or know; – his love will soon appear.

Principles from Psalms 1&2

Those heeding earth’s Creator stand
and flourish, under his command,
but those who boast rebellious thought
rejecting what he sent and taught
will have, he says, their day in court,
and like the chaff, the words they say
with them will quickly blow away,
their influence passing, short their day.

The great Creator sees and hears –
men’s cleverness to him appears
as folly, for their vision’s short –
imperfect knowledge, and flawed thought.
So who will listen? he informs
of wisdom that we need, and warns,
appeals, foretells, and offers grace
once purchased for the human race.

Saga – chapters 1 to 12

chapter 1  No Matter
Always, always, no beginning,
there you were before all time,
no far stars and no high mountains:
awesome, certain your design –
long before all else existing
you alone could start creating.

He’s different, superior, beyond comprehension.
No way to describe him, his essence explain.
True, holy, just, perfect, pure, happy, and able:
this Source-of-all-else, who’ll unconquered remain.

He is, alone, profound, divine,
but companionship within his Being
(mystery immense, sublime):
plural personalities combine,
giving full and rich contentment,
infinite, unique, transcendent,
sharing, and consulting, loving.

Unspotted splendour, brilliant Light,
scorching purity, dazzlingly bright.

What would he do,
what plans, decrees would he pursue?
What actions would befit,
his stature?
What occupation would
he choose, permit,
commit
himself to do?

He formed a scheme to use his skill,
a plan appropriate to fulfil.

Chapter 2 The Source of the Physico-Material
Abilities infinite
producing an intricate
cosmos material
physical, beautiful,
with wardens to care for it,
who could share and communicate
with this Lord supernatural,
Sustainer impeccable:
a happy relationship
with respect, love and friendship.

How wonderful that must have been,
if that display we could have seen:
the dazzling spectacular
as stars and galaxies in splendour
of detail and design and colour
and power of movement, laws and order,
burst forth, arranged;

and on one sphere
the temperature would be just right
for life to live, sufficient light
for complex photochemistry,
and so that beauty some would ‘see’ …

A beautiful construction,
of intricate creation;
a covering vegetation,
and teeming population –
abundant types of creature:
live beings, varied-nature;
and those to be the carers,
the wardens, stewards, rulers,
made so to know the Maker,
the Managing Director,
conversing, friendly, happy,
with specialised capacity
endowed, to see and wonder,
delight in this utopia.

The wardens, stewards, friends could see
the wonder of the Majesty
that had in perfect goodness made
the busy beauty, life displayed
around; with all proceeding perfectly
harmoniously, successfully.

Land for living, air and ocean.
Simple compound for solution
(body molecules’ transportation),
quenching thirst and dehydration.

The mixture, composition of the air
must complement the structure of those formed for living there.

Carpeting life-form to seed and for cover,
for food for the creatures created by order
– similar patterns but differences too,
a spectrum of life, all successful, to view:
The ‘families’ of created beings showed
design varieties with similarities,
which flowed,
proceeding from omniscient power, and pleasure
of One whose knowledge, sense and love are beyond measure.

[But later some liked the idea
that with no guiding force,
nor energy source,
chance could, on its own make appear,
in time, complex things on the sphere;
but chance is destructive,
cannot be constructive
– the thermodynamical course!]

Apart from such visible, wonderful beauty,
all life had incredible inward complexity –
atomic arrangement and chemical activity,
timed and controlled with precise interaction,
provoked by molecular shape and position,
with messenger enzymes,
and a network of membranes
forming compartments, –
necessary arrangements.

Design spectacular, far superior
(–  from which all copies originate),
incomprehensibly deeper, greater
than electronic computers that calculate
– clearly achievement of transcendent mind,
– acknowledged – they weren’t to its witness yet blind.

The sphere orbited around its sun
and regularly on its axis spun, –
perfect conditions, and around
the patterns of the galaxies surround.
Their constant lights and movements’ rhythms
help measurement of time, and travelling directions.

The steward formed by the loving Designer
from the dust of the sphere, was an under-ruler,
to supervise, enjoy, commune
with the inimitable Origin (yes, in tune,
and in his likeness, appreciating and beloved).

The other creatures, wild and tame,
gave benefit, delight, but to sustain,
support, a need for companion,
– complementing, strengthening union,
loving, comfort, no more loneliness,
multiplying fruitfulness, –
young conceived, to shelter, nurture,
so that in days of near future
descendants would both fill and rule the sphere,
and care for all the creatures living there.

So, given help, security,
and stamina, by bonds of gender:
matching, edifying, blending skills
to make each other stronger,
encouraging and sharing tasks,
with each one fittingly
fulfilling friendship’s obligation,
– no thorns, or imperfections yet
to irritate, disturb discordantly.

Beauty, peace and pleasure,
in satisfying measure
for every need,
fulfilment
in work and good enjoyment.
A perfect, clean environment,
real happiness, complete content,
and goodness, absolute
perfection, universal purity,
profound enjoyment, harmony,
no stuffiness, pomposity.

What compliment and honour
we’d give its skilled Designer,
Producer, Master-Sculptor,
Unique Originator.

And spirit helpers also served his will
created to move swiftly to fulfil
his oversight instructions, and to praise,
and love the Master of harmonious ways.

‘Infinite and Always’ – he,
spirit-servants made to be,
all with star-like purity.

chapter 3 Perfection Poisoned
But watch! a seed of malice
defiles, distorts, brings damage:
a poison penetrating,
polluting, permeating; –
a sorry tale unfolding,
a mutiny exploding,
destroying work of skill,
replacing good with ill,
and shattering the whole.

For some of his close serving angels rebel –
the spirits created for ‘heaven’ not ‘hell’ –
their Creator’s authority now they attempt
to usurp, scorn his rule, to his love show contempt.

Formed with possibility
that they could turn to jealousy,
scorn their Source-Creator – see
some so foolish – tragedy –
misled notion they’d be free,
and could steal the loyalty
of the steward-subjects: hatred,
evil blackness, sadness – putrid.

Cast from his presence, held under rein
(evil can never near him remain).

The rebels of darkness, the spirits gone bad
determined to hinder, make everyone sad,
to draw to rebellion those stewards, those friends
so like their King-owner of caring commands,
who enjoys their companionship, – he’s always kind
and loving. – They’re tricked, and bewildered, and blind.

Evil spirit, through snake-creature,
speaks, to subtly undermine
trust in words of truthful Sovereign –
certainty of love’s design
in direction, limitations
set by him. – The implications
are extensive of defiance, –
see the folly of reliance
on a lying tempter’s claim:
then they try to hide, in shame.

These ones in the image of him, the Creator,
his creative powers’ pinnacle, had a sure, happy future.
But drawn to unhappy greed and rebellion,
believing the lies that were introduced to them;
so, like the sunk-spirits, they questioned True wisdom,
defying command, harboured lust for renown,
losing their life, they were all alone.

These spirits who against him turned,
what did they try to do?
The way of happiness they’d spurned,
– they now tricked others too
.
(See their scheming, snake-like, with fangs, deceiving,
harming, hurting, with sweet and sugary sting.)
Their prince implied, the Good One is
not what he claims to be;
the Maker’s friends accepted this:
fell too, – to misery.

They thought that they would find a way
to be more happy still,
and so they thought to disobey
the Great and mighty Will.
So those created to be friends
had turned to enmity.
How sad! – but see he condescends
their Rescuer to be!

The wonderful place he had made,
all-supreme in perfection,
was spoiled by this entrance of sin,
with consequent backlash remaining, – their King
said sadnesses, troubles were now to begin:
perfection of blessings he took from the place
– its beauty was then somewhat marred, and they taste
a bitter component amongst all the good,
and know they’re not living as well as they should …

He was not taken by surprise.
He was all good, but knew that lies
and pride and foolishness
would come and cause distress.

He had a plan to deal with it
to cleanse it out and heal, make fit
once more for fellowship with him, those ones he’d made
his attributes reflecting, his character displayed
– these stewards serving on this sphere
could once again enjoy communion with their Maker dear.

Of them will come, he promises,
one battered by this foe,
yet able to undo this death,
and deal the deadly blow !

See the planned solution,
almighty mind’s invention,
and merciful decision
for adequate provision:
providing for those hopeless,
and rescuing the helpless, –
escape from evil’s clutches
that cruelly flogs, and crouches
to murder all it catches.

Solution to all of this mess he directs,
but until it’s accomplished still evil infects
– restrained by his power that is good and almighty
(and much prayer that it more be restrained, in his pity),
but still causing trouble ’til fully confined.
Now, some from the ‘quicksand’, escape-mercy find, –
salvation by him they had wronged, (who’s still kind).

No hiding, or deceiving
the Holy One-in-charge.
Will many be appealing?
– but none have any urge,
or honesty, humility,
and trust in his ability,
no real desire for grace,
or life again – they need
his power to plant the seed
to make them want to face
the awful situation,
and ask he find solution.
No hiding or deceiving
the Holy-One-in-charge,
but those escaping to him,
find a hiding-place so large
.

So watch, and see the battle rage – who will the Victor be?
and who will be his followers, to final victory?

How would he do it? and what would he do?
to rid them of sadness, and wickedness too?
To force them to change would destroy what they were:
he’d show them the joy they could have without fear,
and some would reach out, – he would always be near
to those who were wanting forgiveness to hear, –
but his is the power that transforms, makes them care.

Their life was long,
though death would come along,
and illness too would wear away,
(– though not if they had chosen to obey).
So, multiplying, populating,
soon a crowd for intermarrying.
Some would seek his mercy,
and his help to please him truly
in their lives upon his sphere, –
these whose trust is clear,
share wisdom true and dear.

Unspotted splendour, brilliant Light,
scorching purity, dazzlingly bright.
Rebellion bringing blight,
and unperceived, but desperate plight,
for bad must be consumed by right.

Lord of time and King of space,
Minister of justice, grace;
Origin of all design,
Viewer from outside of time,
starting off galactic spin,
dealing with rebellion, sin,
keeping life from full decay,
teaching how to find the Way,
seeing photons when expelled
from their atoms, and propelled
onward, out, at speed of light,
(under his control and sight):
Ruler of magnetic waves,
Lord who teaches, King who saves.

One Being, perfect Light; who made good friends to share
all he would give, – they fought, – the bond he only could repair.

Created capable
of feats, with dignity:
but now these fallen special creatures view,
for marred and spoiled is all they do,
with greed, stupidity.

“It’s not enough to hear and memorise commands
– the orders of the King of planets, stars and lands –;
each one should be obeyed before the searching eyes
that pierce through all pretence, hypocrisy and lies,
and see the movement of your blood’s small corpuscles.
He views your brain’s complex, confused activities,
and comforts, comprehends your idiosyncrasies.”

Evil deceives, and makes itself seem
attractive and pleasant; it’s easy to dream,
and wander in by-ways where miseries breed,
and souls become parched and in desperate need.

Soon, how the wickedness spread and increased,
– corrupt, evil thinking and violence released;
causing the Author of good and of life
such grief in his heart at the sad sight of strife.

chapter 4 Warning, Fulfilment, and Aftermath

An end to all he’d made! – so foul
had all become, except
one only, serving, good of soul:
this one was willing to accept,
believe the prophecy, obey
instructions: for the coming day
a place immense, for safety build
before the warning was fulfilled.

None others listened, or believed –
the Monarch waited, watched, was grieved.

Then couples of each creature-sort,
came to this family, were brought.
And catastrophic was that time:
forces full with fury fell
flooding, drowning, pounding storm
changing all the rocky form,
crushing sediment pushed past,
swamping many creatures fast,
living beings petrified
in stone, like statuettes supplied
to bring to mind the great event
whose forces no-one could prevent.

Nothing could be kept alive
but some creatures who survive
in the battering stormy waves,
and the group the Sovereign saves
in their sturdy vessel; – how
they’d been laughed at, what a row,
watched with scorn by those who played,
ridiculing what was made,
mocking, sneeringly so sure
things would go on as before.

How sad, and what will happen now?
A new beginning, to re-grow,
re-populate, and start again.
Will horrid violence cease, for when
such things begin will minds remember
that once the sphere was torn asunder
to bring an end to such behaviour:
now will the place stay happier, better?

[Or will they say it all just happened somehow
and claim hypotheses as tested know-how,
– so scoff away the awesome, truthful answer.

The catastrophic evidence they miss, –
‘These rocks and chemicals could surely end like this,
if steady burial, calm, for long millennia’.]

New Start
They ventured out to start anew,
repopulate and farm, though few.

The flora spread again to feed
the creatures who survived, they need
to multiply across the ground
of all the globe, spread right around.

Protection of the sphere more flawed
– and in the gaseous mantle, stored
less power to shield, protect,
so climate harsher, they detect
a shortening life-span, and some species’
numbers show no great increases,
dwindling, though they struggle, strive,
in conditions hard to thrive.

Moisture now as heavy rainfall
but with beauty-bow to tell all
never more again such flooding
so destructive, but be learning
though he waits and calls with patience,
he must one day end vile violence.

Sediment in strata, layers,
packing down, but pushing pressures
cause to heave and buckle, build
mountains, ocean valleys, filled
with the liquid off the land
at the Manager’s command.

But the Mighty One, the Lord,
speaks compassion, comfort Word:
planting, harvest, cold and heat,
will in cycles now repeat –
hard times borne, prepared for, certain
soon afresh comes new provision.

But will they share,
and for each other care?
And will they gratitude express,
for all provision undeserved?

Gradually, numbers of stewards increase,
but thoughts of their Maker’s words dwindle, or cease;
and so many ‘wardens’ stay, clinging together,
to plan to be great, and they do not consider
their duty appointed throughout all the sphere.

They planned with little thought of him
their Owner-Lord, they claim
for their own skills renown, but he
alone deserved such fame:
their works and thoughts did not submit
to him, so he confused
their speech, – ability and unity
they had abused.

Dispersal
So he who owned them all restrained them
from their proud, wrong plans.
They scattered, spread throughout the globe, to
live in smaller clans.
Communication hampered now
between the neighbouring groups:
their complex languages will show
divergences, with need of study long to comprehend,
each other’s speech, desires;
and so there is a squabbling trend,

suspicious thoughts impede,
mistrust, misunderstandings grow,
misjudgements, selfish greed,
and culture little shared –
though ancestry and Source the same –
love scarce, because they’re scared.

And evil spirits discord stir, provoke,
discouraging the fallen folk
from friendly gestures to each other,
attempts to understand a foreign brother,
nor contrite, meek approaches to their Maker.

chapter 5 Revelation – One clan group taught
The Master of the sphere and space,
the Spirit-Lord of pity, grace
spoke quietly to one who’d tell
his children, teach; so there would be
a clan prepared (his group-descendents)
to learn true wisdom, grace, commandments,
the justice of the Lord-Above,
his court-to-come, and know his love,
and all that he has done before,
and will, – his promises to save, restore;
so through this one, great good would come,
throughout the sphere, to everyone.

He heard, and believed the instruction revealed:
a covenant solemn was sealed,
forgiven, – the plan to atone dimly saw; –
and many would learn, and be blessed evermore.

So, –    He journeyed as instructed,
through many trials trusted,
he knew, appreciated, his Guide was always near,
had friendship with the Ruler of the sphere.

Life unsettled, yet a future
certain, and secure.
Sometimes faltering,
sometimes failing,
but preserved, faith in the sure
knowledge of the Source,
the Fount of life and wisdom;

but Holy anger seen, destroying,
when the evil was too great:
warning, righteousness displaying, –
let there be no more delaying,
turn from love of doing wrong.

Prepared to expect the Great Gift,
the Saving-Solution to lift,
with guilt being taken by Substitute,
a perfect One who could perfection impute, –
transforming their will to want to do well:
the Covenant-Shepherd would soon provide
but who will accept awesome grace supplied?

chapter 6 Saved – slavery
As this family developed,
but before they’d properly settled
in the landbase allocated,
there was trouble, drought severe,
and they all would then have perished,  –
none to worship, faith extinguished;
but the Rescuer’s plans could not,
end – so –
he’d arranged that such a lot
of food be stored in preparation
by a neighbouring different nation.

Just a little while before,
there’d been bitterness and squabbling,
among these ones who should know better,
should be humbled, gladly learning:

in the youngest generation
one was favoured, hatred stirred.
Then he had two dreams, both showing
all the others one day bowing
to him:
jealous, irritated siblings
sold him as a slave, deceiving
father, who was sadly grieving:
then attempted to forget him.

But this slave, though badly treated,
even jailed through lies and slander,
soon, [through working well,
and his Sovereign-Spirit giving
to him meaning of the dreams
perplexing sent to warn, fortell,
of the coming famine, drought]
rose to fame and leadership,
helped that land collect food store
to prepare, get ready for
coming time of leanness, hardship.

Then his hungry clan, came down
asking could they purchase food
and there found that their wronged brother,
[by the Sphere’s King’s great power]
had been made that people’s ruler!,
and could save them:
now ashamed of past behaviour.

Welcomed to settle there, survived,
but later, much later, the host-land’s new leader
when he saw how they’d thrived,
(– their numbers had now become great),

then feared they’d rise up, overwhelm him, take-over
his land;
so he schemed, and he killed and oppressed,
[–  the Enemy spirit still wanted them crushed,
to hinder instruction and rescue-outworking];
but the Compassionate Sovereign was always all-viewing,
and hearing their suffering, hearing their cries,
he was grieved, kind and willing, able and wise
and wanted their prayer and their trust.

Living well in foreign land,
and becoming mighty band,
– hosting-king began to fear,
chose to make their life severe:

giving out orders to kill
their babies, to weaken their will,
but one was preserved, to fulfil
the Greater King’s plan to lead back,
out from this place of bondage harsh,
to follow his Word, unoppressed, with no lack
of all that was good:
and the truth he revealed,
would shatter through darkness all over the planet,
where evil had clouded, concealed.

chapter 7 Rescue – ingratitude
A leader commissioned, instructed
by the One-Source-of-all, who had said
he would care for and help those who asked,
teaching to heed and obey.

A sign-wonder immeasurable –
fire-unconsuming,
revealing his power, unique,
pure, and holy, unchangeable,
existing from always, Ruler divine
Revealer of truth, –
come now to rescue, and save them from bonds.

No end or beginning,
he always has been, and ever will be,
existing the same,
both in nature and name.

Their Mighty-One-of-Faithful-Promise
cared and heard their groans and anguish,
sent requesting their release,
that their slavery must cease.

Many wonders, – warning sign,
but that king will not resign –
Mighty-Shepherd, hearing ‘No!’,
orders, ‘Let my people go!’

Warning wonders:
spirits of rebellion perform some bedazzling surprises,
but the Knower-of-mysteries alone is supreme
– his wonderful signs surpass, and restrain,
and can’t be prevented or thwarted.

Stubborn king preferred to dare,
would not believe, and did not care.
When suffering calamity, pleaded, promised freedom, –
promises he always broke, (mistaken ‘wisdom’),
resisting turning.

This stubborn, stiff-necked rebel’s foolish pride,
ignored, rejected warnings, truth denied,
and so a frightful punishment, divine-administered death,
was then applied.

[For those who heard, believed prophetic-word, –
a special mark to spread around each door,
symbolising life and substitution,
obedience for protection,
from the blow of life-cessation.]

A creature killed, its life-blood shed:
as substitute to die instead;
and teach of One to come ahead:

A greater One would die like this
to bring to many lives the kiss
of life, escape from well-earned wrath,
of him who made, and gave them breath:
sufficient, sacrificial death.

So the slave-masters sent them away
away to return to their land,
sent away in fear at the wrath and power
and command
of this Omnipotent Ruler who spoke his will,
and wanted his people returned to him still.

The human king regretted, pursued them in vain:
the people enslaved were redeemed, –
they passed through the waters,
that bounded the lands,
the waters drawn back,
but later released back to drown
pursuers rebellious, who hated, desiring
further enslavement and work.

Then journey through barrenness, time to be taught,
tested commitment, obedience true sought:
deceptive nostalgia, when things were quite tough,
distrust that their Rescuer would help them enough.

Don’t look behind through tinted glass,
and paint untruthful rosiness;
don’t look ahead in fear, and fret,
the Rescuer’s powerful love forget.

Don’t moan and groan, be quiet and wait,
stand firm, let muttering words abate.
Look up and think about the One,
whose power and mercy have been shown.

Move on as he directs, but do
not fear the things unknown to you.
A life of faith must always lean
upon the Guardian, though unseen.

Taught by symbols – pictures showing
how deep the problem had been growing.
Just as a shadow shows the presence,
of the substance that produced it,
so these symbol-signs foreshadow
grace substantial that will follow.
Sacrifices, rules for eating: –
these activities prompted thinking,
was their living clean to view?
and their failings did they rue?
was their worship real and true?

But his people grieved him much,
for their murmuring was such,
many did not enter in
promised land because of sin:
wanderings long ’til rebels had gone, –
grumblers had forfeited rest,
their children brought into the place,
the place of provision,
the place of instruction,
that pointed ahead to
a coming age, perfectly best,
when the sphere would be cleared
from the evils that now still infest.

chapter 8 A place to enjoy – disobedience

They settled in the place he chose, –

the Holy-Maker-of-the-throne
explained he must now judge, remove
those living there who would not own
his lordship, spurning righteousness,
their lives becoming worse and worse,
– the sphere’s stewards must realise
they could not live just any way,
refusing to submit and pray,
despising justice, choosing lies,
and pleasure, not responsibility,
abusing others’ needs, security:

to such, he shows, their day arrives,
a judgement comes to all such lives.

But, –
his covenant ones did not themselves
continue to obey as taught, and heed in holy fear;
although receiving kindness, care,
instruction clear; –
no excuses for neglecting,
presuming on his love,
rejecting.

So – the gracious Provider some favours withdrew;
their weakness they felt, his chastisement they knew;
they realised their folly, and cried out in haste
that he would please come, help, and halt all the waste
from conquering fearful incursions
of neighbouring clans and surrounding foe-nations.

He strengthened their leaders, and helped them resist.
How long would they then, in obedience persist?

They asked for a king like other close nations,
but did not consider the full implications,
and vulnerability, pride-limitations,
of popular leaders, unless they indeed
were serving the people, and truly would lead
in giving submission to the Monarch supreme.
King-leaders were given to teach and remind:
their Maker, their King soon would come, – would he find
trust and obedience? He’s coming to save,
but will look for respect to the laws that he gave.

chapter 9 Banished, but then Return to Wait …
Often leaders increased in greed,
proud and unscrupulous, they no longer lead,
in a way that is helpful and needful to those
under their banner, forgetting who chose
to give them their life and their power and task,
and in their own glory, not his, these rogues bask.

Then, the people drifting, lolling
in their pleasures, unaware,
or with no care,
for the needy, for compassion,
for the undeserved provision
of the Great-One, they ignore
his instruction,
no intention
to give honour, and submit –
worshipping as they see fit.

He cannot allow all this stench to remain,
polluting his land, making vile again.
For they were to live as his servants to show
his ways so the clans around will know,
be prepared for his coming as one of them, Saviour,
and wait for, and trust in this coming Redeemer.

Then the One who rules the cosmos,
unconfined, observing all,
sees all those self-centred, haughty
who ignore his words and will,
and who choose a formal reverence,
worship acts with no heart substance,
no acknowledged full submission,
no repentance or contrition,
no awareness of the glory,
power and awesome pure authority
of the Ruler-of-the-spheres,
who from time to time appears
now and then; but soon as Steward-child,
to save them, will come forward.

In the end these ones so blest
he left to bear a stark conquest
(though those who cruelly on them leapt
would know the record’s also kept
of all their malice and their greed).

Dejected, and ashamed, and weak,
how many then would truly seek
his help, and mercy,
honour truly
the Holy One of Eternity?

Torn away from their precious place,
shaken, and puzzled,
impotent to help their case.
But, at the promised time miraculously returned,
sobered, their deceptive idols spurned,
acknowledging their Covenant Lord,
enjoying,
and awaiting
more of promised grace outpoured …

chapter 10 The Solution Materializes
One day the King divine becomes
himself one of these special ones
that he’d created to be friends,
[but friendship broken ’til he intervenes –
no hope until he draws them back, redeems].
He came, as one of them, except
no seed of evil, perfect, kept
from all pollution and corruption,
[real birth, miraculous conception] –
for only so could he rescue them …

Source of all, miraculously,
as a physical warden-creature
teaching truth infallibly; –
he himself will heal the rupture,
and become the sacrifice –
necessary justice-price.

This Spirit Great, a steward-body takes,
and all his majesty a little while forsakes,
is nursed and cared for, suffers for their sakes,
– confined , and yet, he still communicates,
has fellowship continual with his omnipresent Father,
and they are one:
the complex nature of this awesome Being is far higher
than we can ever comprehend.

Finite cannot understand the infinite, plural in his unity,
and becoming finite, steward, though from all eternity.

He came as a helpless young of their kind
– an infant in body, and learning, and mind.
He grew, and was good, kind and wise, teaching clear,
preparing disciples; the time was now near,
when he would accomplish the purchase divine,
right justice satisfied, stupendous design,
so they could be free to escape evil’s grip,
return to their Lord, give their tyrant the slip,
re-finding that happiest service, release,
with safety, and hope of a future of peace.

This One has kindness undeserved,
and now this goodness has appeared
that brings in peace and resolution
of troubles beyond computation,
to rescue those who want to be
good, in true sincerity.

Who can comprehend sublime
Being, who alone can solve
utter devastation, loss
with complete ability, resolve?

Exquisite grace: this Champion came
with righteousness to cover shame.

Amazed at his manner of teaching –
so clear, so simple: the Son,
without all the fog of traditions,
to tell them the message had come.

Miraculous signs that were clear
for all to observe and admire,
but yet only those
who loved him chose
to trust him with awesome fear.

Their system of rules he refused,
– for they had made many confused;
the truth which his Father’d revealed
beneath steward-rules was concealed.

Many heard, but the meaning they missed,
else they would have welcomed, and kissed
the Son, but they hated his claim,
rejecting his wonderful name:
his life and his teaching now showed up their shame,
but many recoiled from admitting to blame.

He spoke to the needy and lost,
and witnessed whatever the cost,
not harshly to stir them to hate, –
but they killed him outside of the gate.

He died, he let them kill him, – appalled
were his followers, friends, – confused,
though he had told them and warned, to expect
and trust, be prepared for the outcome correct;
for the plan had not failed, but was being fulfilled,
even though he had had to be beaten and killed …

Hatred, hatred deaf and blind
for the One so good and kind, –
hatred that will not consider
this transcendent One they murder.

Mockingly they hail him King,
words that scorn his truth they bring,
‘Look he dies, he cannot save!’
No! to save, – his life he gave!

Hour ordained by prophecy, –
pivot-point, not tragedy, –
Love almighty lets it be
many enemies to free.

And maybe even some of these who hurl abuse,
will later come to see,
the glory of the One they hated, and repent,
and know forgiveness, peace and full content.

Symbol curtain torn,
the barrier’s gone
–  reconciliation won, –
he died instead of everyone
accepting him, confessing sin.
They then will never have to bear
the stroke that is their due
in perfect justice fair:
the stroke fell willingly upon this One.

Stupendous, – few perceive the power:
history’s defining hour!

How many joke, make comedy,
shrug off as triviality,
accuse, make fun so foolishly. –
Watch! how he loved and died!
– now lives once more, for ever !

Observe, be astonished,
solution accomplished
for stewards long banished,
and dead
to life of the spirit,
but now they the merit
can share of their Substitute-Head.
The punishment they had deserved,
on him was out-poured, for he served
all those who’ll be sorry, receive;
He was perfect, and could not deceive,
so his death could save those who believe!

He died while young, his death achieved
rich purpose: not the end;
and through his suffering we’ve received
new Life as grace had planned.

The Saviour bound – he let them bind
his powerful arms, to be
the Rescuer, – they, with closed mind
accused, illegally.

These leaders then had to decide:
“Who is this One we face?”
but they let prejudices guide,
unfairly judged his case.

What kind of King had been foretold?
How had he lived and taught?
To all his teaching, truth revealed,
who would give careful thought?

The schemes of evil spirit-rebels squashed,
disarmed, their plans had gone awry,
their hatred of the Steward-Son back-fired,
for thus the deadly blow he could apply!
Their hold, accusing of the wardens’ guilt,
was broken as the perfect blood for such was spilt:
but on the spirit-rebels judgement full will fall, be felt.

Death, what hatred, cruel, real;
real the tomb and strong the seal;
but –    genuinely, from the grave
raised again, equipped to save …

chapter 11 Rescue-Applied, awaiting completion

And so, the death that had so disappointed
was overcome!
Though some degree of difference,  for immortality begun
had changed his visage,
his supernatural abilities weren’t now so veiled.

Friends and followers,
astonished viewers,
see him with them once again:
feeding, – real his body, standing with them,
felt, and touched, no ghostly vision,
teaching for a little longer; then
leaving for a time,
to oversee, from spirit’s realm,,
and supervise,
until return to finalise.

Still working by his Spirit, though unseen
reminding hearts and minds of what has been,
what had been done,
accomplished, sure,
and what will be in fulness, all completeness,
soon.

He gathers, calls, recalls
the stewards to his side,
to come, be reconciled,
for now propitiation has been made,
for he, the sinless Lamb has died,
sufficient death to pay for all wrong-doing.
He counts as righteous all who will repent,
makes new, a people of his peace.

And he, himself, his Spirit came,
the Spirit of the Saviour-Prince
came to illuminate, convince,
and live with each who took him in, –
the Spirit of the mighty King
to stay, remain to strengthen them within.

They long to reach that happy place,
but now the difficulties face
of living in the tainted sphere
among all those who choose to sneer.

They often fail, and need his frown,
to see their faults, their folly own,
and ask he work on in their living:
so they will be prepared, – to see him.

Their Saviour watches, from his throne,
and intercedes, for he has known
what it is like to live down here,
and he protects and holds them dear.

He knows their longings and their weakness,
and helps them in their sanctifying progress,
and all their failings he forgives.

“I see by faith what he has done.
I see my Teacher, holy One,
now risen to live, the work accomplished,
alive to give, sin’s victory vanquished.
He is my Lord, my All, I own
his rule and care, my heart his throne.”

And now the reconciling word –
that disobedience, debt incurred
can be wiped out by grace –
is spread abroad, so his embrace,
can be received by any who
belong to any clan right through
the surface of the sphere.

But many hate to hear, reject,
and like their chosen life and sect,
and do not want to think or turn:
the messengers revile and spurn.

And so the messengers push on, to find a further clan or place
which has not heard this Word of grace,
nor of the coming judgement.

“Why do the nations rage? why is the King defied?
Why do they plot in vain, and cast his perfect laws aside?
Rebels, accept his law,
tremble, rejoice, adore.
Hurry! there’s refuge in his Son,
eternal rest begun!”

Sad death in their spirits all stewards had known
(since succumbing to sin and lies that were sown
by the prince who had fallen from serving the King).
Now the Saviour had suffered, to quicken and bring
new Life, regenerate, create faith in him,
to clear their perceptions to see truth, desire
his mercy and holiness, the love he’ll inspire.

The ones who believed
and received,
when made new,
drew together, felt union, they gathered to hear
the Words he’d had written to teach and to cheer,
encouraged each other in kindness and faith,
in hope, perseverance through all, ’til their death
would take them away from the bad that still is
to the place that is glorious, as the whole sphere will be
when he finally deals with the evil they see …

… until he returns once again before long,
– until then he will wait so that all may be told
that the way is now open, return to the fold
of the Owner divine, while yet there is time,
for one day he’ll burn up all evil, the sphere
itself will be changed, and the perfect appear,
for ever to be as befits such a One,
Creator of everything, Conquering Son,
– to be as first made, before trouble occurred,
rebellion absurd.

Quarrels, and disasters, war:
still the hope of most no more
than this damaged, finite life;
and despite frustrations, strife,
they dejection drown, pretending,
thoughts suppress about th’unending
Lord, and judgement (no absenting).
Do not realise they’re rejecting
love, support fully sustaining.

Some try the life ascetic,
their bodies some afflict.
Some trust in scientific,
or moral systems strict.
Some lean upon some leader,
or even on themselves;
some cast restraint asunder, –
and misery ensues.

Mirage  – for this confusion,
can’t lasting help afford;
a full and free solution
is from the only Lord.

So, –  neither legalistic
philosophy can save,
nor licence fatalistic:
but sovereign, unearned love.

The snake-prince and his followers bad,
though facing future fire, are glad
to trouble, hurt, – they can’t destroy
but make things very hard, annoy,
those in the Rescuer’s mighty care,
but all the hardships that they bear
are used to mould them, and prepare
them for the holy place,
by liberating love.

And like a snake so sly he lies,
or like a lion roars to scare.
He loves to harm all that is good:
his days are numbered, don’t despair,
– resist him, for this Spirit come
to help, is infinitely strong.

Prince-opposer, like a dragon,
still inspiring evil passion,
hatred,
– there’ll be no mistake, –
failure for the fallen-snake,
evil will not win – it’s certain,
Holy Lord will conquer Satan!
Triumph, joyful jubilation
– inexpressible salvation!

For schemes of evil’s hour
evaporate when power
of purity directed
to conquer as elected, –
usurping prince ejected,
and sent to endless flame
by One of fearful Name
who burns the old away,
and new creation’s day
dawns full of health and interest –
no fear, no tear, no conquest
now possible for ever;
unending good, and never
repeat of such a sadness,
this sorry tale of madness.

His coming may seem long-delayed,
we may not think it near;
but soon his power will be displayed,
his enemies will fear.

Though they scoff and say things still go on, the same –
many scoffed while those few waited long, but flooding came.
By his Word this sphere will disappear,
made new, – the Day is drawing near;
we will see the home of righteousness.

All evil, and all who remained in it, gone:
for ever to be where they chose to belong,
to bear their own punishment just, for their wrong;
but those who have turned to him, sorry for failure,
receiving the mercy he’d purchased, so dear,
delight to be free of the evil that clung,
defiling their purity: glory has come.

Full Renewal and Always
And so, A wonderful place for eternity:
no problems, no pain, nor futility;
no frustration in nature,
where tooth and claw
attempt to catch a morsel more
in the struggle to live that before existed.
But now all that strife and curse that persisted
since first they revolted, is past, for the sphere is burned.
He has made it anew,
like in the beginning, – it’s perfect right through;
and all there are happy, in work and in worship,
with him their good Ruler, in honour and friendship,
contentment, good freedom,
no exhaustion, no boredom.

O, the riches of his wisdom,
– deep and infinitely wise;
perfect knowledge, rich and splendid:
who can fully realise
how profound, complete his judgements,
how unsearchable, how wise? –
ways that we can never fathom,
bringing glorious surprise!

Source, Sustainer of the skies;
giving breath, and life and mercy:
glory be to God so wise!