The Ultimate Things
by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 1 - The Blood

"I am God... declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done" (Isaiah 46:9,10).

Note: I desire to make it clear that in all that is said in the following there is no intention of assailing people as such; setting any one nation over against another; nor descending to a carnal level of warfare. The one object is to get behind people and things to discover the spiritual factors which rule in and produce "this darkness".

When our Lord, in His parable of the wheat and tares, represented the owner of the field as saying "Let both grow together until the harvest," He enunciated a principle which lies behind and governs the entire history of this world since sin entered it. The principle is this: as the time of the consummation approaches there will be a steady but very definite process of intensification, by which the opposing issues which have been largely undiscerned or misunderstood will become pronounced and very clear. The parable also makes it clear that, although God knows from the beginning and all along which is the true and which is the false, He does not act on His own personal knowledge and destroy the evil right away. Rather does He require the process of intensification unto manifestation, so that all intelligent beings see, firstly, the nature of all that has been going on for so long, and then, by being involved in the consequences or outworkings, are able to take an attitude to the one or the other. A further feature of that parable is that the intensification unto manifestation indicates the imminence of judgment. The greater the manifestation of evil, the nearer is its judgment. But the thing to which I want to draw the fullest and most particular attention is that that which is essentially and truly of God will become by intensification the battleground the nearer we get to the consummation. This means that the nature and meaning of the work of the "enemy", which has had deceitful purpose, will become more and more pronounced.

To spiritual observers the time in which we live is, but for its horrors, almost fascinating in the uncovering development which is taking place. The true nature of things which have been powerfully working for a very long time by deception is now becoming clear to all but those who are gross in their blindness, or whose blindness is due to some grossness in their natures. The one thing which most people recognise about the present situation is its spiritual nature. That is to say, that it is not the upshot of merely political and natural rivalries, but that it is inspired by deep and mighty spiritual forces related to human life and destiny with a meaning infinitely transcending questions of material resources and territory. The very being and nature of God is involved in this situation. So also is His Son, His Word, the Church, and Christianity. But I want to get down more deeply to the nature of things, and to uncover the issues which lie behind this age-long conflict which is now so much nearer consummation. Let it be fully realised that this thing that has risen up out of the earth is not something new. Many seem to think that it is something which has sprung into being in the last few years, the home or fountain-head of which is Germany. But this is not so. Although it may be true that Germany has become a particular channel of it, and the vehicle of it in its present fuller manifestation, even there the history of it is much longer than the present regime. But the thing itself is traceable back through all the centuries and lies at the root of all the conflict between heaven and hell. It has now, in the present phase, been precipitated in a definite and deliberate declaration of an ideology (Science of ideas; visionary speculation). This ideology is

The Ideology of Blood

and this goes to the heart of everything.

Briefly, this is the position. The government of this world is to be in the hands of a people or nation chosen and destined for this purpose. Such a people must be of pure and unmixed blood. It cannot and must not be Semitic blood, and particularly not Jewish as amongst Semitic peoples. It cannot be Negro blood. It must not be Latin blood. It can only be Nordic or Teutonic - and this means German blood. Hence the hatred of the Jews and the abomination of intermarriage with them. Hence also the contempt for the Latin peoples; the despising of the Negro; the fear of the Anglo-Saxon - as the greatest and nearest rivals. This also lies behind the antagonism toward Christianity, because it is said to be of Jewish origin for one thing. But of course there is a deeper reason, as we shall see, yet one which may not be recognised by those concerned. Above all, perhaps the feature most significant is the repudiation of Christ, and the determination to supplant Him and give His place to another. Lest anyone should think that all this is of our own imagination or imputation, some quotations will be given from the writings which constitute the charter of this ideology. And let it be understood that there are literally hundreds of books by numerous German authors on this philosophy, not only by its chief exponent and high priest - Rosenberg.

Here are some specimens -
"All German education must be based upon the recognition of the fact that it is not Christianity that has brought us morality, but Christianity that owes its enduring values, to the German character." Rosenberg.

"But today a new faith is awakening: the myth (mysticism) of the blood, the faith of defending with blood the divine essence of man as well: the faith embodied in the clearest awareness that Nordic blood represents the mystery that has replaced and overcome the old sacraments." Ibid.

"It is only on one or two exceptional points that Christ and Hitler stand comparison, for Hitler is far too big a man to be compared with one so petty." Julius Streicher.

"In addition to the denominational youth and the relatively small group of liberal Christians a third Front is now coming into existence which in these days is becoming stronger and ever more clearly defined. This Front refuses to call itself Christian. It presents itself especially to the German youth as the German Faith Front, and claims that the knowledge of God based on Blood and Race is the only form which is truly suited to the German people. From the very fact that they feel that it is something essentially new and young and that the future belongs to it, large numbers of young Germans have a large readiness to accept the doctrine of this German Faith." Martin Hieronimi.

"I believe in our own divinity when millions of Germans are leagued around one Leader. I know God to be in the Force (Kraft) of our blood alone." Professor of Faith of the Völkische Aktion.

"I completely agree with the German Christians who teach that the doctrine "Love thy neighbour as thyself" is valid only conditionally. The neighbour we shall love must be connected with us by blood and race." Hans Kerrl.

"I am absolutely clear in my mind, and I think I can speak for the Führer as well, that both the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Confessional Church, as they exist at present, must vanish from the life of our people." Rosenberg.

"I am tempted to believe rather in a Germanic God than a Christian one. We are not working for the next world but for this one." Dr. Goebbels.

"The good God would not have given himself so much trouble over our German country if he had not reserved a great destiny for us. We are the salt of the earth... God has made us for civilising the world." Kaiser William II. 1906.

"We must dominate or be slaves... Let the world once more be regenerated by German genius! That is our mission in the history of the world; no power can take it from us." Karl Lamprecht.

"Remember that you are a chosen people! The spirit of the Lord has descended upon me, because I am Emperor of the Germans! I am the instrument of the Most High. I am His sword, His representative. Woe and death to all those who resist my will! Woe and death to those who do not believe in my mission! Let them perish - all the enemies of the German people! God demands their destruction - God who, through my mouth, commands you to execute His will." (Kaiser William II." 1914).

"We want to become a world-people. Let us remind ourselves that the belief in our mission as a world-people has arisen from our originally purely spiritual impulse to absorb the world into ourselves." Friedrich Meinecke.

"Germany ought and wishes to remain alone. The Germans are the chosen people of the earth. They will accomplish their destiny, which is to govern the world and to direct other nations for the good of humanity." Prof. von Seyden.

"Germany is the centre of God's plans for the world." Pastor Walther Lehmann.
It would be easy to compile a considerable volume of citations such as the above, and more may yet be called for in particular connections, but these given here will serve at least to indicate the mind behind the course adopted and being followed. The upshot of it all is just this. Here is a nation which - for at least one hundred and fifty years - has been taught from within to believe that it is an elect race, to fulfil the supreme destiny of world domination. In order to fulfil this destiny she must cultivate pure blood. Thus there will issue a people of this world, bound together by the mighty tie of blood - a common life and motive-force - having universal supremacy, with all others in subjection as the servants of this master-destiny. Such a doctrine has been preached with ever deepening fulness and strength for so long, and the sense of this peculiar superiority and Divine mission has become almost a constituent in their temperament. Let me say again that I am not attacking the German people as such, and the recognition of a very evil thing does not result in a hatred of a nation in general. God forbid!

To the spiritually discerning what has been pointed out above is full of significance, and the significance is very clear. This is what I meant when I said that the present developments are almost fascinating. We are brought immediately to several great facts which - as said before - govern the whole history and destiny of this world.

The Testimony of the Word of God to an "Elect Race"

Firstly: it is a primary truth of Divine revelation that the ultimate government of this world is - by foreordination and predestination - bound up with "an elect race", "a holy nation", "a people for God's own possession".

But it is made equally clear that it will not be one of the nations of this world, but a people taken out of all the nations and constituted a heavenly people. That nation has been in process of formation for many centuries. A great section of it is now "with Christ", and another great part is in all the nations, but in their essential new nature they are apart from the nations. That is to say, in the deepest reality of their being, because of regeneration, they are not British, German, American, Chinese; Teutonic, Latin, Semitic, etc; they are "All one man in Christ", "One new man". There is that which they all have in common which at once leaps to mutual recognition without formal introductions.

Blood and the Word of God

Secondly, then, the Divine revelation does make this ultimate issue one of blood; pure, uncorrupted and incorruptible blood. No one who has any knowledge of the Bible needs to be told of the great prominence given to blood from Genesis to the Revelation. If we take the Bible as it stands, then everything related to the destiny of man now rests upon or is governed by blood. There are two main features of this teaching with regard to blood. Firstly there is the sacredness and significance of blood in general. Then there is the blood which is particular and peculiar; blood which is other than and different from the blood which is common. These two things are recognised by the Aryan ideologists, but, as we shall see, how Satan does simulate the most sacred things of God! When these two aspects of blood in the Scriptures have been followed through to conclusion, the issue that emerges is that blood is a universal basis of life; but since sin entered into the human constitution, blood as in the Word of God is a representation or type of something which is other than the human life of fallen man, and it is that otherness that constitutes a people for the fulfilment of the great destiny of Cosmic dominion.

What we have in the Bible on this matter of blood can be set down concisely thus:

1. The prominence of blood in both Old and New Testaments.

2. The sacredness of blood, as seen everywhere, commencing with Cain and Abel.

3. The sacredness of blood because it is the life. By the pouring out, or shedding, of the blood, the life in it is not destroyed, though it is separated from the organism which it has quickened. The more recent branch of medical science in blood-transfusion is a powerful testimony to an underlying truth of Scripture, that life is transmitted by participating in blood-communion. Noah revivified the dead earth by shedding blood upon it after leaving the ark.

4. The blood is the nature; the essential elements of the nature.

5. The strong and repeated forbidding to shed or drink blood.

6. The blood is the instrument of a covenant. In the covenant of blood there is fellowship, inter-communion, sharing of nature, and oneness of life. (Surely this is the very heart of the Incarnation and its meaning.)

7. Blood is always God's sacred prerogative. Throughout the Old Testament there is His reservation set upon it. Particularly did He forbid the drinking of it. But in the New Testament - especially in that part where the Divine nature of Christ is most emphasised - the drinking is set forth as the only way of life. (See John 6:53.) The significance of this seems clearly to be that in fallen man there is no life, no Divine nature, no fellowship with God, but in Christ all these abound, all are reserved by God unto Him, the beloved Son, and can alone be known - as Paul puts it - "In Christ".

The Scriptures Present a Two-fold Conclusion in Relation to the Blood

But when we have surveyed the entire ground of blood in the Scriptures we are brought to one double-sided conclusion. The Bible comes down squarely and firmly upon this decision, and it is consistent throughout on the point. It is that in relation to blood there is a repudiation of one life and the appropriation of another, an "altogether other"; the "putting away" or "cutting off", and a bringing in or "putting on". One "whole body of the flesh" or "old man" is put away, and a "new man", "after the image of him that created him", is put on. The "putting away" is in judgment: therefore life is taken. The "putting on" is in righteousness: therefore it is unto life and peace.

Two Outstanding Embodiments of the Truth

Two of the outstanding representations of this in the Old Testament, which are taken up in their spiritual meaning for permanence in the New Testament, are Circumcision and the Passover. The Apostle Paul, who knew something about it, has given a fairly clear interpretation. In his letter to the Colossians (2:11,12) he says - "...in whom ye were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead."

In a passage with similar words (Romans 6:3-6) he says - "...all we who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death... We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised from the dead... so we also might walk in newness of life... knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away."

Circumcision then was a sign. It meant the putting of a divide by blood between one order of life and another. Paul makes both a statement and an implication in this connection. The statement is that Christ's death was the counterpart of circumcision and it meant the (representative) putting away of the body of the flesh. The implication is that baptism takes the place of circumcision and means identification with Christ in death and resurrection. Thus Christ is set forth as having, on the one hand, related Himself to an order that was to be put away in judgment and have its life taken from it. On the other hand, in resurrection, Christ represents an order wholly acceptable to God. We emerge from this consideration with the one all-governing principle of Israel's origin (in type) and the Christian's life, in fact; namely, that God has put a great divide between two orders of life; that of the natural man, and that of the spiritual. That divide is represented by the blood shed, the life - or soul - poured out unto death. The divide cannot be bridged, it is a great gulf fixed. The most severe penal judgments rest upon any mixing of these two. The great end in view, government of the world to come as vested in a people of one unadulterated life, is jeopardised wherever that divide is not observed and maintained. All this is so patent in the life of Abraham and Israel, the covenant-sign of which was circumcision.

The Passover took up all these elements and made them the basis upon which Israel was corporately brought on to the ground of covenant. In the Passover for the first time we have recorded the details of God's covenant means. (Exodus 12)
1. The Lord commands the choice.
2. A lamb.
3. Without blemish.
4. A male.
5. Of the first year. (Faculties co-ordinated, settled. Features determined.) Typical in qualities. Representative in selection.
6. The blood, put on the two side posts and on the lintel of every house, made a circle around every passer through. It was a circumcision in suggestion.
7. "When I see the blood (token of My covenant with Abraham) I will pass over you"... etc.
8. The flesh of the lamb to be eaten, reverently, as an indication of that intercommunion which the covenant secured.

Thus, the ground of judgment was removed, and the ground of fellowship in life provided and occured. This is taken up in the New Testament, and its spiritual values are represented in the "Communion" or "Lord's Table". "The new covenant in my blood."

The Issue Joined - Methods of the Adversary

Now, all this is very much in line with our outset. Right through the history of this world there has been a persistent and bitter antagonism to this testimony to the blood of the Lamb. It has taken various forms, but behind all there has ever been the recognition on the part of spiritual and cosmic forces of the significance and implications of that blood. It is no less a question than that of the ultimate control and dominion of the entire cosmic order. Something over a hundred years ago this antagonism assumed a certain form in Germany. It has become known as "The Higher Criticism", or "Liberal Theology", or again "Rationalism". The Word of God was dethroned from its place of final authority and made subject to the enthroned reason of man. Thereafter nothing escaped the destructive activity of this intellectual pride. The Word once robbed of its authority, nothing was safe. So the Person of Christ was stripped of deity; the blood of Christ was called "the gospel of the shambles"; in fact, everything that God had exalted was abased, and the way was cleared for the exaltation of what God had abased. Humanism - the doctrine of man's essential goodness, virtue, and glory, gained a free course. Psychology - the science which rules out the supernatural, and accounts for everything on the ground of man's mind or soul, making him his own Saviour and Lord - secured the reins of direction. Thus the principles of Babel and Babylon took possession in the religious and theological kingdom. "Let us make us a name." "See this great Babylon which I have made!" All this has resulted in a most conspicuous fulfilment of a passage of Scripture which runs thus -
"..because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved... for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11).
The "lie" in this case is the false blood ideology, and this brings right into line with that judgment which must come upon those who stand in the way of God's eternally determined end with regard to His Son. But the tragedy is that this basic antagonism to the blood of the Lamb as back of rationalistic theology has gained a strong foothold by the same means in all parts of the Christian world, through Britain and America. It will therefore not be possible for God wholly to take sides. These latter countries will suffer judgment, and their real enemies will be - not ultimately Germany and Germany's allies - but the religious leaders and followers who have given an open door to spiritual forces the one object of whose age-long and relentless activities is to secure the dominion of this world as against the Lordship of God's Christ.

Whether this present phase is the final one is not for us to say. There may be a respite. But some things are certain. This is something in advance of anything ever yet. This thing is clearly heading up to the whole world coming under a single domination. It does not take years now to change the whole face and aspect of the world government. This final issue is bound up with the blood of God's Lamb. Satan hates that blood. It is the greatest menace to his world-kingdom. Truly spiritual people will have an ever deepening appreciation of the meaning and value of that blood. The blood is the life, the incorruptible life. It constitutes a people of a heavenly order, and challenges all mixture, bringing ever and always into conflict with "the world rulers of this darkness".

"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels going forth to war with the dragon; and the dragon warred and his angels; and they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him. And I heard a great voice in heaven, saying, Now is come the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accuseth them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe for the earth and for the sea: because the devil is gone down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time." (Rev. 12:7-12).

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