Thursday 9 April 2009

From Eternity To Here - A Marriage Made in Heaven

The title refers not only to Frank Viola's new book "From Eternity To Here" but also to a piece of music which I called "The Door".
In 1988, long before Delirious....actually Martin Smith came over to spy us out in Emsworth that year....long before Wembley Stadium, long beforeToronto...I got this instrumental fragment. I used to play it at the end of meetings...and people just stared at me quizzically.I was wondering what to do with it. Soaking had not been invented....well, rediscovered as a form...I mean David in the Bible did a lot of soaking with his harp.
In the end I felt to put it on Early Harvest CD2 roughly at the point of moving from the 2nd level to the third level. Yes, Early Harvest is this blog in liquid form! On 2 CDs. Some people prefer their tablets, some their liquid capsules. But generally, if you like the blog, you'll probably get on with the Cds.
Interestingly "The Door" was played live together in the studio with Mike Thom on the other keyboards.I think we had the chords to one cycle but nothing else.I know the central bit was winging it and we recorded it all in one take.
This week I started reading "From Eternity to Here" and I was so taken with Chapter 1 :The Hidden Romance of The Bible -that I could practically hear "the Door" in the background. I was going to ask Mariette Stott if I could do this in our meeting...but it wasn't flowing...but this is what I suggest. Chapter 1 of Frank's book is written in text form...but I'm going to break it up into poem form. Read this to yourselves while listening to the music. Then take your laptop to church and do the same with them. Enjoy!

The Door - Extract from Early Harvest CD2 by A.Christopher Welch copyright AC Welch 1990 administered by No Name Ltd. Compressed sound for internet use.

Frank Viola From Eternity To Here -

Chapter 1

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know.
—Ephesians 1:18 NASB
Before the beginning, she was there.She is the most ele­gant woman in the universe. She is as ancient as God. She existed before angels. Her origins reach further back than antiquity itself. Yet she is forever young.

The word stunning fails to adequately describe her.

She is as beautiful as the face of God. She is beyond captivating. She is hypnotic and magnetic.

Most of us have never imagined the glory that she carries. Just a glimpse of her matchless beauty could win your heart and possess your being. She is incurably attractive.
This woman defines liberty; she embodies freedom. And she was made for love.

She stands at the very heartbeat of God's eternal purpose.

She is His highest passion. His holy obsession, even.

She is thepurpose of the very creation wherein you and I stand. And your Lord is out-of-His-head in love with her.

Yet despite her beauty, she has been utterly neglected. She has been forgotten. And with rare exception, she has been veiled to most of us. Herein lies my motive in writing the first section of this book: to give her center stage.
God's Ultimate Passion
From the beginning, God has had a secret.

Before time, the Almighty shrouded His high and holy purpose in a mystery.

And He hid it in His Son.

For ages, no one knew what that purpose was. It was deeply hidden in God. It was a secret—the secret of the ages (Rom. 16:25; Col. 1:26; Eph. 3:4-5, 9).

Adam walked with God, yet he didn't know the mystery.

Abraham was the friend of God, yet he didn't know the mystery.

Moses was the prophet of God, yet he didn't know the mystery.

Neither did David, Isaiah, nor Jeremiah.

The mystery was not only veiled to mortals, it was hidden from angels as well. Gabriel and Michael didn't know it. Neither did Lucifer, nor his demonic hosts (1 Cor. 2:7-8; Eph. 3:9-10).


Why did God keep His purpose a secret for so long? Presumably because He didn't want His purpose to be thwarted prematurely.

God's purpose embodies His dream,

His passion,

His very heartbeat.

So He kept it veiled until the time became full.

Old Testament authors first proclaimed the sacred mystery in stories, types, pictures, and shadows. But although kings, prophets, and sages proclaimed it,they did not understand it.Then one day it happened.God pulled back the curtain and

revealed the secret.

He chose a man named Paul of Tarsus to unveil it to the world (Col. 1:25-29; Eph. 3:1-11). In Paul's letters, espe­cially Ephesians and Colossians, the apostle speaks of this mystery with great fervor. He virtually exhausts human language to convey its incomparable depths and unfathomable heights. Paul, along with other apostles and prophets of Century One, were "stewards of the divine mystery" (1 Cor. 4:1; Col. 1:25-26; Eph. 3:2-9).

On the day that God lifted the curtain and let the secret out, His enemy froze with terror.

Satan never saw, dreamed, nor thought that such a thing could be possible.

Although God revealed His mystery in the first century, it remains a secret to many Christians today. The Holy Spirit must open the eyes of His people in every generation for them to grasp it.

In this way, the great prayer of Paul in Ephesians 1:17-23 is still being answered.
The divine mystery has everything to do with the woman I spoke of earlier.

This amazing lady fills the pages of Holy Scripture.

She shows up

at the very beginning of the Bible;

she appears all through­out the middle;

and she's there at the very end.

The Scriptures give us in exalted view of this woman along with her immaculate Husband.

Each book of the Bible pulsates with her fragrance.
The Eternal Drama
In Genesis 1 and 2, the Bible opens up with a woman and a man.

(Chris Welch/Mark Stibbe insert)Jesus ministry began in a wedding

In Revelation 21 and 22, the Bible closes with a woman and a man.

The Bible opens up with a wedding, and it ends with a wedding.

It opens with a marriage, and it ends with a marriage.

It opens with a boy and a girl and it ends with a boy and a girl.

Your Bible is essentially a love story

In fact it is the greatest love story of all time.

It is the classic romantic tale. Those who know me well can tell you that I'm a huge fan of love stories. My favorite movies are romantic films. These films have the power to evoke strong emotion, even pulling tears from the eyes of their viewers. Yet the most powerful love story that any human has ever crafted pales in comparison to the epic romance that runs throughout your Bible.
Please pay
attention to this next sentence:

Every love story that the minds of mortal men and women construct, every love story that has made its appearance in the pages of human history—whether fiction or nonfiction—is

but a reflection,

a pale image,

a faint portrait,

a scrambled version of the sacred romance of the ages.

God has authored the most incredible love story ever written. It is a story that has set the standard for all romantic literature to follow. Every great saga follows the story line of the hidden romance contained in Scripture. But none can trump it.

You and I were born into such a romance, the romance of the ages.
The heavenly romance that I've been speaking about begins in Genesis 2. Let us now revisit day seven of God's creation and watch the drama unfold.............

Folks...this is just the first chapter:From Eternity to Here by Frank Viola published by David C Cook at ISBN 978-1-4347-6870-4. Now available.

It is 3 stories in one"The first is the story of a God who is an ageless romantic,driven by one consuming pursuit.The second is about a God who has sought since eternity to have a resting place,a habitation,a home. And the third reveals a God from another realm who visits planet earth to establish a heavenly colony that will give Him visible expression." Frank Viola-Introduction-From Eternity To Here.


lydia said...

Wow that was beautiful Chris - I should have guessed you were a wonderful pianist!!!!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Thanks Lydia Joy! Don't say that too loud though my concert pianist friend on facebook...Graham Fitch may be listening. Truth is I am a guitarist doing something like two finger typing on the piano.I just try to do what I do well. This recording studio track was something else though! it really flowed.

Dan Bowen said...

After being quite literally sickened seeing Mark Driscoll's views on Song of Solomon this week (inadvertantly viewed) this is like nectar to my soul. I can't express my love to a cold, emotionally stunted Father who works through laws and rules. I want to learn HOW to love in the most intimate sense possible. I want to learn how to love with tears pouring down my face as "waves of love" pour over me. THAT'S how we'll stop sinning! THAT'S how we will live these mysterious "holier" lives!! Love. Ahh!! Thanks Chris!!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Thanks Dan.Means a away accessing by mobile.slowly.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That reminds me of all kinds of things that I learnt reading "Ultimate Intention" by DeVern Fromke. God's plan from all eternity to have for Himself a family, a bride, a body and a house. God's desire to express Himself perfectly through a united, incorporated group of people made in His image. And then, the earth-shattering, heart-lifting, vision-raising realisation that this plan is what I am caught up in the middle of!!

We - you, me and everyone purchased by Jesus' blood - get to be a part of this bride the Son has been pursuing through all eternity - a part of the Father's family, and the Spirit's habitation! Redemption is a grand theme, but this theme for which redemption is merely a getting-back-to-the-point is awesome!!

I think all kinds of dots are being connected in my head and in my heart - now to dwell in the revelation and let it grow and take shape :)

Chris, thanks for sharing the music and the quote from the book.

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Liked all your comments but really liked this "Redemption is a grand theme, but this theme for which redemption is merely a getting-back-to-the-point is awesome!!"

Glad you enjoyed both. Would really recommend the book.