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A Spiritual Potpourri     12

Barbs, Arrows and Balms  2 at Obligato, and Appendix II, with 17

Impossible to Man, Open to God Ch.      2

Christ, the Wisdom and the Power of God    8

The Christian Pilgrimage Ch. 6

Message of the Words of God to Man in the World Ch. 9, *4

Let God be God Ch. 8

SMR Ch. 6, Ch. 8, Ch. 9 and pp. 582ff.

 TMR Ch. 3,

 Dastardly Dynamics ... Ch.   6 with News 87 (divine strategy and devil's lurks),

The Exodus Escape

SERMON Your Identification ? Please produce!



Repent or Perish Ch. 2

Biblical Blessings Ch. 9, Ch. 1

A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 12

News 127

The Magnificence of the Messiah

(including Note on Resurrection and on that topic, see *11 in Ch. 2 above).


Crux Cruxorum

Resurrection Irresistible

Designations in the Declarations of the Messiah

in the Design of the Old Testament





The MESSIAH: and the Design of Deity for Man


The crux of cruxes, the focus of foci, the centre of centrality, it is one. God who devised the devices, designed the designations and decreed the status quo, by laws, language and power, as it in fact is today (cf. SMR pp. 112-159), has not left Himself without a witness. We have seen this by reason (Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer), in verification
Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ) and in validity (TMR Ch. 5, Grand Biblical Perspectives Ch. 7, Barbs ...- 7, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3-4, 9-10).

There is nothing comparable; and this is cogent (The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 7 The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy, What is the Chaff to the Wheat! loc. cit.).

The design for man revealed in this witness, the Bible, is quite simple. In this, it is in maxi-contrast to the design of man, by which he lives. In that design, that combination of imagination, language and implementation of an integrally coherent body which has functional focus as well as productivity mutually of parts, there is provision for the automatic, the programmed, the semi-automatic, but also the locus for intervention either by direct will  or by will in part, and the intervention of the voluntary. In the arena of the voluntary itself, the opposite of the material, which has its own thought forms implicit in its creation, its own logical requisites and coherence-validity stress, there is design for designation. While the body has opportunity in part, and overall greatly, for access by the voluntary, the organ of volition, the spirit of man *1 has its own base and basis, volition and powers to implement.

That means this: there is a provision, by means of a working and functional design for personality*1A, for self-expression which reaches right up to the height of expression relative to the Designer. The felicity of man's intellect, imagination, power to declaim and to deceive, both  in himself and others, enable this metaphysical nicety, that man beyond the mere routine of complicated ruminations of material reality (seen here as an offshoot of the mind of God and hence while not directly ruminative, expressive of what is so) can in principle sack God from his life, but not from the World He made.

God has designed man so that he able to do this, for if not, he would not have the functionality and felicity for fellowship with God. God is the ULTIMATE in autonomy, expressing Himself indeed in His eternal Word, who incarnate is Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14, 8:58, 5:19-23, 16:15 -"All that the Father has is mine", "Before Abraham WAS, I AM" providing the divine contrast). Man however has mere intimation of autonomy, the facility to reach for it, and while not being God, yet is enabled to draw near to the power and function source he desires.

Ultimately (though there are many mediating steps available), this is God or else the Antagonist, the devil, the Satan. The latter may come in moral misfits, as an angel of light, in similitudes of virtue, or pulsating pride or in low-key imitations of normalcy, like a stuffed frog. Its deadness is however in such cases merely plausible. The alien power is always operative*1B . There is a sufficiency of power to make evil obtainable, just as there is a sufficiency of sin in the squalor of misused will, to make it desirable for many. The tests are extremely adequate! The realities have force, and the truth and misologies alike are before man, though his fall has made the latter the more easily loved, and the ready torment.

What then if man, designed so that he may designate, and in his design having designating power attached should elect to use this to spurn, even in God's own omniscient foreknowledge, God Himself, to deflect from himself, what is of God, even His sacrifice, His redemption, His salvation in Christ: that One who is duly verified, validated, ratified and confirmed by subsequent history as by that before*2, *4 ... what then ? Then man becomes a defective delinquency from design, and is in turn - following his own designation of 'deity' (whether true, but superficial and without faith, dysfunctional, or else directly false) - himself designated toward, or actually in the fitting destiny!

What then if man so moves in negation to the uttermost ?

This brings a totality of confrontation, or else again in principle, access to an eternity of a bliss founded on the fact that God is INFINITELY more creative than man, and man in himself is colossally so, though a midget compared to God, such being the grandeur of God's creation. This subordinate but impressive power accorded to man is a SPIRITUAL design testimony to the art of the Creator. 

Why however does one say of access to the divine eternity for environment on the part of man, only this:  'in principle' ? Quite simply, it is because man being not at all what he was made in that he has had ... a psychic accident, a little incident in which he effectually divorced himself from the wisdom and will of his Creator, has lost the power to understand, and tends like a car with twisted steering mechanisms, to twist anything concerning God, even if the irrationality - say as in Jonesville - is all but past credibility (Ephesians 4:17ff.).

In such affairs, his credulity is more impressive in quality than the greatest mammoth in quantity, his gullibility is like that of a frightened mouse or a rampaging bull.

In this field, erratic, errant, rebellious, he becomes a desperado, and will believe virtually anything, since his whole meaning is to be believe in God, and failure to do so robs him so notably of all and any meaning*2A, that being divorced, he will in this sense marry ... all but anything! (cf. Things Old and New Chs.  2, 5 , and Appendix).

His being cries out for meaning, for it was meaningfully created; but his divorced heart cries for the lack of it, or is inured to its absence, so that he dives like a man in 150 degree heat, into the liquid, whether it be hot or cold.

This sort of passing verification is what you expect of truth, and it never fails to evidence itself (cf. SMR Chs. 5-6,8-9, LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST).

That men of power and brilliance of intellect should in this field act in tens of thousands or even millions,  without basic thought, using tedious and flimsy tradition or superficial expedition in the midst of a mle of confusion in profusion and simplistic codes of irrationality in confusion: this is a testimony to the centrality of the fault. It is one he makes in falling from his design, of being impetuously or imperiously moved from reason itself, as he seeks the control or solution of his problem, which is by nature insoluble, since it is fundamental; for by deflection he misses all, by defection he misaligns in heart and spirit as well as in head. How otherwise could the sects from Islam to Romanism, tormented in their invalid premises and unverified protestations, their bread as body and their magical glasses and missing tablets, their unfulfilled prophecies and their flat contradictions of the prophets they affect to believe, their all powerful Allah who fails to control events and gives no verification: how else could they continue!*3

God, needing nothing and providing everything, has expelled man from his presence, just as man by lack of faith impelled towards such a result. He has however not dumped man in the rubbish bin direct, because to say no more,  He values His own productions, the more when they mirror in some kind and mode, in image, in spirit, His very own self. Autonomy is open only to the Almighty, because of the fact of His name, but a certain spirit of independence given to man for enquiry and resourcefulness, for initiative and management, for resolution and delight, directed at its source both evidences it height and evinces its created and derivative estate.

This underlying and original creation fact gives reason. It shows WHY man may at all move in his myriad moods of enquiry concerning God,  and it is a necessary condition of man even thinking about God in any coherence whatever; and that coherence depends in practice on the Bible, without increment or additive or subtractive torment: since only there is rationality and verifiability, with validity, to be found in terms of the Creator's speech*4 , and here is the full stop on authorised divine written revelation (Proverbs 30:6, Revelation 22, Matthew 5:17ff., Galatians 1 cf. SMR Appendix C and D).

Only from the very mind of God in the words of God is there security and spirituality, godliness and truth, reality and response for man's need, that is more than surmise, less than presumption, enlightening the created mind of man with the conversation and command, the direction and illumination that is available only where all is known, and the will of God in particular.

Intoxicated with his brilliance, ignoring his ludicrous divorcee status without access to absolute truth, writhing in antics of antilogies and defaming God either directly or indirectly by living in the absence of fellowship with Him who conferred this very capacity on him, not for its abuse but use, man becomes a charter for horror, a medium for murder and a context for corruption: all of which modern history exposes to the uttermost, as foretold (cf. SMR
Ch. 8),and that in detail (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5), as the end of the Age approaches.

What however could be done in the case man when he proceeded into divorce from deity ? What is to be done with a parti-autonomous design which had marred itself by the very height of its gift, through the imperious misapplication of just that measure of critical thought, analytical penetration and imaginative facility which God made to be the lot of man ?

What then of his design ? Its liberty could not be restored, without exploding the psyche itself, by its own will, since that was divorced, thus shattering the very powers of coherent conceptualisation, or leaving them so anaemic that they whirred like some misspent toy (equals philosophy, almost whirring, never concurring with all the evidence, whether that of 'science' improperly so-called, or any other aspect of the perfervid movement of man's mind).

God did then what ONLY the Creator can do. He re-invented man's psyche, his soul. How could this be ? It could be done ONLY by foreknowing man as he really is, beyond his sin and implementing the will of God to restore him by re-generation, to reality that could tune in to the directions, or know the very personal being of God.

How would it proceed ? By His knowledge, God would operate ONLY on those whom He knew to be His, in this grand redemption crusade. WHOM HE FOREKNEW, the Bible declares, THOSE HE PREDESTINATED. It is no 'interpretation' to say this, since it is written in Romans 8.

What in the last analysis, in the very founts of freedom, in His own divine knowledge, WOULD not, then COULD not come. He made new whatever did not - in the final analysis and beyond all disease, in His own ultra-pathological and intra-penetrating sight and insight - prefer darkness to light, or unfounded dubiety to manifest reality (John 3:19). His DESIRE was for all (John 3:17, Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2 cf. SMR Appendix B and Ch. 9 above), His protestations to this effect fundamental and continuously declared in His seeking for the lost from Israel on (Ezekiel 33:11, 34, Hosea 7:1, Jeremiah 17, while even enemies were sought for - Jonah 4, Jeremiah 51:9).

It was not what man would DO, but whom God KNEW: it was this that counted (cf. Romans 9:16). It is only those who God foreknew that He predestinated as Paul declares in Romans 8:29ff., and it was NOT founded on foreseen works of any kind, psychic or material, social or intellectual, imagined or real, but upon grace (cf. Ephesians 2, Romans 5), and the very gift of righteousness is by grace, indeed, it is a gift BY grace as well as a gift (Romans 5:15,17) and it is of HIS righteousness, infinite in purity and worth (II Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 61:10, Psalm 71:16)! It must be received for the glory of heaven to be relevant to the condition of regenerated man. If not ... ?

IF, said Christ, they had not heard the words and seen the works which no other man did, then they would not have sin (equals here, would not be on their unredeemed way to everlasting separation from God). This is found in John 15:22ff..

It is BECAUSE they have both seen and known Him, and yet reject Him, the very Saviour from their situation, that there is no more sacrifice for their sin (Hebrews 6, 10); but God Himself is the unique One to regenerate a design in His own image, equals man. It depends not at all on the disposition of man's will by his own desire (John 1:12, Romans 9:16), since this will is now defunct in the relevant capacity (Ephesians 2, 4, I Corinthians 2:14).

On the other hand, in the negative field,  it depends altogether, as known to God, on man's actually foreknown preference for darkness to light that he may be made over to the domain of non-deity permanently, where the meanders of the meaningless inherit their own folly (cf. Proverbs 1, 8). Christ did not come to condemn but to save the world (John 3:17). He does not however declare that their eyes they have closed in order that He might use props to open them; but rather laments as in the case of Jerusalem as they pass to destruction (Matthew 23:37ff., Luke 19:42ff.), as He did long before by His Spirit, as seen Ezekiel 33:11 and most poignantly in Isaiah 48:17ff. (cf. Massifs ... Ch . 2), for Israel.

In fact, in that very place, amazingly, it is the Lord who is SENT who is talking, and His lament proceeds as that of the pre-incarnate Christ! (see below).

God continually challenges man to believe, laments when he does not, entreats, exhorts, draws, and man most frequently rejects all of this (Matthew 7:13-14, Jeremiah 17, Isaiah 30, II Timothy 3, II Peter 2, Revelation 9), despite as in Jeremiah 1-17, the most enticing and structurally progressive entreaties. God could, but does not, just change the people and make them robots, either in principle or in practice. This manifestly He does not do, as He weeps for their folly (Luke 19:42ff.). On the other hand, man could vainly weep for his exclusion; but this he need not do in general, because he on seeing into the depths of his being, and when he sees this by divine action based on knowledge, the very truth, and repents of it, he takes what is on offer from God. And what is this ?

It is God Himself, manifest in the flesh, Jesus Christ as the self-sacrificing Saviour who bears the sins of many to redeem them. So far from being pettishly or obstructively repellent to man, God has come in the flesh to redeem him, so loving the world. Thus in NOT coming to condemn it :His colours are forever posted. Only vagrancies and conceits of the flesh seek to act otherwise. It is then like citizens in a city who do not take the results of some sacrificial martyr who died to save it, by ignoring what he has effectively done, and proceeding by wilful ignorance, without it. That is the resultant, the residual position in such a case.

It is then quite utterly useless to blame that martyr! Christ. He was more than martyr, and less than ineffective; for though many act as if He had never died for them, proffering His sacrifice in pity (I John 2:1-2), and so never reach the point of His substitutionary sacrifice becoming personal for them, yet some awaken and receiving Him by faith, as He regenerates, become new. The design is then designated afresh, and their wills being released from pathological paralysis in the relevant regard, through the perfect and sublime knowledge of God, consummate the reception of the true and living God as Lord and Saviour: they will as they are foreknown, and are His. It is so very simple (Romans 10:9). The depths are profound; but the entry to His kingdom is simple, because it is entirely paid for, and done visibly, dramatically, historically, prophetically in foresight, empirically before the sight of many, fading not at all, and fulfilled to the last molecule of the stricken body, and to the vast impact of the One who rose WITHOUT HUMAN INTERVENTION, the first-born from the dead.

As sin is the scourge of man, so death is the cancer; but here is the cure. Some however prefer the vapid romancings of rebellion, and to die in them.

To be sure, man may so entangle himself in half-formed wishes that he ends in a state of murkish misfit, and treads underfoot the blood of Christ (Hebrews 6 and 10), but where he comes, he has an anchor inside the veil (Hebrews 6:19), and is covered ONCE by ONE sacrifice for EVER (Hebrews 9:11-12, 10:10-14). The beauty of truth always avail when one is with it, and thus if at ANY time ANYONE calls on the name of the Lord who has so given Himself, and comes to the living Christ, who has so defeated and famished death, then there is no need to hypothesise. The result is secure. The principle is without exception, that so to call and so to be saved are parts of the one reality! (cf. John 5:24, Ephesians 1, Acts 2).

The DESIGN from DEITY found in man is thus one of test and quest, following fall, and deliverance by His paying to the uttermost, as for one in His own image, the cost of reconstruction. This He did, despite over history enduring the unhallowed horror of endless rejections by tempestuous tyrants aflame with their own measure of autonomy, who like frisky horses, or intolerable bulls, bellow or caper about as if life were a joke. He waits till all have come (cf. Revelation 6:11, II Peter 3:9).

It is what you make it, in this, that if you smash the vase, it breaks; and if you place in the hands of the Creator-Redeemer, that same product, yourself, by His enduing grace, then you are bound forever, not to slavery without meaning, the lot of the licentious with spirit, but in ONE forever, and to ONE forever, of which delight,  marriage is merely a symbol (cf. Ephesians 5).

Thus all are designated, to God or from Him,  and the design is so brilliant that this is done without forcing any and with God being willing to forgive any. Thus liberty, freedom, love, truth, majesty, creation and Creator, Redeemer and redeemed, humility and reality conjoin without confusion. Destiny is the result, and it is foreknown (II Timothy 1:9ff., Ephesians 1:4).



Crux Cruxorum

It is not only a plan, a design, a designation: it is an affair of the utmost profundity of passion.

There is, in the Lord, a passion that is profound, and of this the passions that so often invest or infest the heart of man are expressions, whether in harmony or dissonance. Man is so striving, always arriving only to be searching, discontented with dynamism, that one cannot help but lament for his lack of rest (cf. SMR pp. 570ff., 611ff., Barbs ... 4).

It is possible and proper, indeed appropriate and apt for man to be a thrust of energy, but not this primarily. To thrust with a good motor against a buttress of difficulty is part of creation and can be delightful in thought and action. However to thrust as a must, this becomes obsessive and relates to the passion of many of mankind for money, for pleasure, for men or for women or in disturbed sexual harassments, for purposes of domination or tasting of life more broadly, finding its source or recourse, meat or meaning, only to ruin for both the beauty that is latent by the brutality that is patent.

Man tries to make mantras about self-belief, but there are vain: the self neither determines its birth or DNA, its ways or its kind, nor except in devastation, the time of its call to give account, at death. Self-delusion is no escape, and leads only to more restlessness. Quiescence is not the point, but knowing who one is, where one is going and why, what is expected of this monumental equipment and to what it is to be directed, what are the conditions and what is the character of what determines or incites or calls in these areas: this is the desideratum, and for rest in assertive arrogance or arrogation, or in compliant mesmerism, there is no way. Wars vent their spleen, vainglory exhibits its horrid pointlessness, and other delusions arising from the lack of God, the true and living God who has categorically revealed Himself beyond all reason and question to cavil, these too marry the heart of many, making spiritual mayhem.

Fiascos masquerading as philosophy, drive billions, and murder millions through the enslaved hands of murderous man. Many are the misfits and fevers. Restlessness for more territory, wealth, power, revenge, pride, or whatever else affects or afflicts the nations; failure of trust and reason for this; endless querulous questings for this or that undesigned and undesignated folly merely show arduous emptiness, by the abysmal pretence and pretensions of what, unlike Biblical demonstration*4, lacks all ground; while these,  with self-centred, or strife oriented competitions and power lusts between them, demonstrate with poignant virulence, the result of ignoring DESIGN, and DEITY.

One cannot however ignore destiny, that result of dumping reality, or on the other hand, finding the Redeemer, whose action satisfies justice and enables mercy in this wicked world until judgment come: and when it comes, this comes like the wind. It flies. It is untamed; it calls in truth where illusion does not wish to come. It is as in Proverbs 1!

Man's passions follow from his pathology: without God he looks like it, acts like it, wars like it, affects glory because he refuses to accord it where it belongs and squinting in philosophies innumerable, in religions unthinkable (sometimes literally, so great is the confusion), he moves to destiny for the world and the race, except where there is found the exclusion zone, and he inhabits it.

This ? it is truth and is Christ Jesus the Redeemer, who having yielded Himself for man, is available; though without Him, only a destiny so accurate to folly as to mirror it in profundity is available. Love the darkness and wallow; but for those so desirous, heaven would be hell to their invalid and preposterous desires for autonomy, for displacement of deity: and their thankless hearts remain where they point.

Man without Christ is like an engine without a rudder; and it fouls. The passion which deploys his skills in confusion and war, it is this which Christ has already shown in benignant parallel, to redeem and restore him to his place, so that loose-cannonades cease and the realistic romance of truth is found in the God who made man. It is here that one must look to see the completed design of man who, having fallen through the very brilliance of his genuine liberty, can be reached only by love and power sufficiently present in God alone.

What then of the passion of the Lord Himself ?

This passion of the Lord, it is not a mere excitation, nor does it lack fire; but its fire is not an excuse for an exercise in thoughtlessness, either moral or intellectual. There is for man from the Lord such a combination of energy and power, understanding and wisdom, felicity and function, challenge and opportunity, beauty and scope for desecration, wonder and avenues for cynical detachment from life because of scorn and sorrow (cf. SMR  Ch. 3), that clearly foolish is he who pursues his path as if the Lord did not matter and his own little self were the centre of universal operations, the height of wisdom and the depths of understanding.

The Lord, like some of His creations, carefully plans, designs and designates; but like none other, He does this in eternal dimensions, with scope for all survey, all elements and all aspects. As shown in Predestination and Freewill, summing up near the end, His works are so manifold that they delight the soul and warm the heart, instruct the mind and bring knowledge to the mind. Let us hear some of this.

 Where then is system? Here if you will, is a beautiful simplicity! The system is in one element, that the uncommitted and uncontrite are committed, as it were, to uncommitted and relentless fact; to a system with procedures exclusive of accommodation to those so placed. It is a sort of miracle of non­intervertion 154* ; a non­alignment of myriad events, processes, procedures and even purposes to the weal, to the subjective relevance of the uncommitted. It is, in a sense, perhaps almost a daring irony.

God can allow the chains of continuity to confine a situation, to mar it ­ economically, psychologically. He can allow events to preach through His systematic non­intervention where appropriate, in one sense. He can, to use a figure, allow the nature of things to "talk" to the nature of men who will not talk to God.

He can allow this over the centuries; over a family history; over an organisation; in State relations.

He can test and judge a generation by its opportunities and undertakings in using available means ­ not least, divine aid on divine terms ­ to focus the Gospel. He could send angels to 'preach; He could have a celestial television service. All this defeats a purpose of humility, service, testing, law, cause and effect; it defeats a grace and quality of God: and He does not do it.

God is not an individualist any more than He is a socialist. He prizes and can set infinite power about one individual; but He who made families doesn't stop there. There are certain types of group histories; and He tries, tests and judges these too. There are componential histories, series of correlated events at one level of a personality or society; and in His own way, He can try these too.

There is a sense in which the stones can talk. There is an order that bespeaks unaltered resolves. But with all this there is still God, greater than and still giant over His system. Indeed, without His will, purposes and creation, there is and can be no system.

The blind appearance of the orderly execution of vast moral principles comes from the blind disbelief which prevents seeing 'eye to eye' at the creaturely level, with God.

When God is known on His sovereign terms, He can conduct a man, a family, a tribe, a nation, a society through a series of events; and if we are to speak of System, then these are now interwoven into the coterie of express purposes, shall we say determined plans which move in the area of that pre­permeated, pre­penetrated and now instituted and activated system.

An author can allow his characters the 'grace' of active investigation and vivid involvement within him; or he may give them subordinate place, allowing more elemental forces155* to shape and fashion them in various ways ­ not guarding their integrity.

Now when we come to history as a vehicle of election, the situation is in one respect quite similar. We may ask why He does not apply the Cross test in some bureaucratic bustle (or regal rustle) that ensures that mathematically specifiable conditions are met in the efficient challenge, conditioning, consignment program; we may ask why infant and cannibal are not alike in the embrace of this severely rigid system, allowing no anomalies.

The thought savours of the febrile abstractionism of which we first spoke. God is not an agent for the specialist whose limited conception of some part of His work is suggested as the rationale for His whole procedure.

He has the past to consider. There has been much sown. He it is who instituted the relationship between sowing and harvest. There is little more obviously and acutely awesome in historical procedure than that relationship at the moral level. Do not the deepest dramas so often leave us aghast and yet morally replete as we see the vast consequences most subtly stealing into position ­ the results of intemperate acts, immoderate attitudes to things moderately known, arrogant autonomy or servile pretence? And is not He most of all involved? And is not He in fact most of all' as He is, in such cases forgotten?

Can we legislate by some intellectual censorship that God should not do this? Can the offended and neglected Father remain personal in appearance to those who choose system; or to put it more exactly' should He wish so to do Is not system fine fare for those who want it?

And may He not redemptively in particular, wish by the mixture of the quietness (and prophetic predictability) of His strategic movementls156* and the power of His eventual involvements157* ; the frailty of His messengers158* and the resources of the message159* for those who take recourse, in living style, to the Author of it; the suffering of His evangelising missionaries160* , and the replenishment others find through them161* ; through these and a myriad other considerations162* : may He not wish thus to reprove, to teach, to conciliate or to test by that very method of spread (in terms of a supplemental but intrinsically fitting impact) which He selects for His Gospel!

It would seem somewhat arbitrary to negate this; on the other hand, it would seem somewhat unintelligent if this were not so, for Someone with all the resources of infinitely delicate and perfect control at all stages and phases of history, as outlined in partly hypothetical terms, but substantially Scriptural elements. Redemptively, socially, personally, He has counsels which wonder may explore163* in the mutual revelations of history and Scripture; but which reason cannot condemn. {It is not merely that it has no propriety; it has not even any ground!}

Now perhaps some strong test tries the fault plane of someone's character. Has he not meanwhile been able to call on God? Or some servant of God is pinpointed in error and hurled to the dust164* . Is he not able to learn? There is solidity at ground level where professedly his feet abide165* . The ignorant falls in his way; he calls on his idols (physical, moral or mental) to help, and he is not helped. Frequently he and his hearers are being prepared to hear what God is preparing to bring to them or to their people. Sometimes the preparation is long: meanwhile the senders are judged and tested (in their relation to the God­less (this rendering of the term seems more expressive), and to the evangelising command of Christ).

There is a deep involvement of many causes; history, personality, braggart, rebel, weakling, the immoral, the warlike, the nation, the family, individual or clique; there are biological, intellectual, spiritual, moral components ­ with past and future; there are laws acridly objective to those glorying in the objective166* , but personally interpreted and deployed 166 with mercy and discretion to those glorying in God167* ; there is challenge and opportunity, the Gospel and missionary response or neglect ­ the last in the sent or the sender, nation, denomination' Congregation or individual saint: in the sought or the challenged.

There are high profession and small deeds ­ and there is the reverse 168* ; and there are both available at most levels: there is time and there is eternity; there is judgment for those who know and there is judgment for those who do not know and in this welter of test, challenge, sin and truth, mercy and malady, there is a comprehensive and determinate, a just and omniscient judgment for all.

In election, all this ­ and we have but touched the waters that no man can plumb ­ all this is taken into account. In fact, it is worked and brought forward in the elective grasp, that it may be taken into account.

Eternity, if we were to construe it in the familiar form of time, is a long time.

The world is a myriadfold test.

It is best to meet each us own; and yet we do well to survey the scene and avoid the glassy eye of the immoderate intellectual imagining that his thought should dominate the world.

With God, each principle is composed; and His revelatory principles do in fact manifest in spoken form certain routes of His decision. We do not aspire to project His mind; but in His revelation we notice many components which cohere. We do not find any logical difficulty.

{In fact, there is immense and insuperable logical difficulty where God is debarred from being fully personal, co-existing with irrational 'realities' which bind and limit the One who alone can lend freedom significance or responsibility justice; or where man is made as if god, so that he is lost in the profundity of his environmental, psychological and cultural mentors; or the divine is evacuated of the love which He claims, and without which there is a horrendous form of theological determinism which likewise evacuates responsibility of reality.

The beauty of the Scriptural presentation is not least in this: that it is so delicate, like surgery of the highest calibre; so tender, like a rose of the sweetest magnificence; so fearless, like sovereign authority yet so discreet, like the best of Princes: and with all this, it is so sacrificial, that nothing is relegated to the cobwebs of the unthinkable, to please a system: every facet and function of humanity is delivered from reductionism, just as every aspiration and hope is given base and meaning. It is not merely harmonious with itself, but interpretive of all. In all this, it is unique, and in this, it is an independent dynamic in the Christian apologetic orchestra.}


Thus is the wisdom which the Bible depicts, Christ applied and salvation contains.

 Moreover, this with the passion of the Lord becomes a massif of magnificence; for now is there a love which will not be denied, wedded indissolubly to a knowledge which cannot err, a vision which is never stifled, however redundant are the rebellions of mankind. Moreover, the love of the Father moves like the wind to the love of the Son, the desire for deliverance for man thrusts to the Son, and in the Son it thrusts moreover from His own individuality (Psalm 40 cf. Joyful Jottings 22-25), so that He delights to do it, and untempered by trials, He insists on His will. Thence is it wrought by the Spirit of God in the heart of man (John 16:7ff.; 3; 6 cf. All this Rot about Not Believing).

It is this will which in perfect harmony of love,  is the will of the Father in so perfect a blend that the unity of God speaks a language which is interpreted by man to the fullest only in the accomplishment of the Cross, which the nether world of wickedness, with its sinuous ties to sin,  tries to its uttermost extent to damn or damage, ruin or wreck (I Corinthians 2:7-8). Sin in this unsavoury unspiritual situation seeks to  wreak vengeance on the God of truth, and fails because in His death there is the final signature of love, and in His resurrection the final warrant of power, and in His manhood the final testimony of relevance to a life most abundant because operative not only according to design, but in the dynamic delightfulness of pursuit of what is divinely designated, not as a cog in a wheel, but as a friend, heart alight in company illustrious.



Resurrection Irresistible

This transparency of truth is covered from part of *2 in
The Exodus Escape.

From this, somewhat expanded but now revised to match this site, we then turn to seeing all in its place.
For more on this topic of resurrection, see Indexes.




Now that we have dwelt on the resurrection of Christ's body however, let us for a moment in parallel, consider the dramatic realities which can then be meditated on, like the Exodus from Egypt. Let us look this time at Palestine in the day of that bodily resurrection of Christ which authenticated Him to the uttermost, and ended the contest between the Lord and His accusers.

One can see the women (Luke 23:55) seeing carefully where the crucified "Lamb", Jesus Christ is laid in His tomb. Defilement by moving bodies results in a 7 day uncleanness (Numbers 19:11-20), and the Roman soldiers, normally with their lives at stake, would not help acts such as that! Of course, 'normally' - this implies fact. Who wants to die for a few pence ? Who would connive when Rome and priesthood alike were at maximal stretch in terms of the propaganda and the popularity of the victim!

But when we turn to fiction, official fiction to cover up the resurrection, bribery may work, after the removal of the body by Christ Himself, since after all, it was His own, and this is part of the resurrection.

If this Man who raised the dead, were to be silenced, it was not enough to murder Him. Even to Lazarus the religious officials, keen on their name and the appearance of victory rather than something far worse than a mere public relations disaster, plotted to put Lazarus to death (John 12:9-11), just as they actually did make of Christ a victim for their own survival as a nation and as rulers in it (John 11:49ff., Matthew 27:17-18).  How much more must they find the evil constraint to suppress the news of Christ's resurrection, the inexplicable event that the guards, facing death if their 'prisoner' the corpse escaped, wer so overwhelmed that they were stricken with some kind of sleep as the staggering escape happened.

Bribery was the way chosen as so often in the history of this debased race. Make up the story of disciples taking the body, even though in their sleep, as attested to clear themselves, they COULD not know this! Make up the impossible but anything seemed better than facing the impossible, as it would be, unless that aweful fact were to be faced, that from first to last Christ ALWAYS did what He said, whether in word or rapid healing before men's eyes or raising the dead, and that He had said NOT ONLY that He would be raised, but WHEN; and this, it was that very third day so often affirmed by Him for that event.

Powerless before such overwhelming power, the newly hewn tomb of Joseph Arithmathea, one made from rock,  specially upon his application, commanded by Governor Pilate for the interment (Matthew 27:57-61), this soap opera story the priestly officials concocted, despite its self-contradiction. Is truth to be a consideration when the needs of the enemies of Christ were in view ? Was a leadership which denied the obvious and assaulted the Lord to be stopped by mere fact ?

Neither before nor afterwards did the inevitable impact of such power as that of Christ, such words, such combination of deed and word by His own repeated statements, constant tests and verifications at will, fail to have two results. People believed Him, who had for so long been predicted, and the priesthood at the top level opposed Him, with tricky questions, vehement denunciations, reams of probing questions in public, repeatedly plotting what at last with the authority of the High Priest, they effected, using a traitor (Luke 11:52-54, Matthew 9:11ff., 12:1-14, 22, John 11:47-53).

The methods of corrupted power, whether in that phase of degraded Judaism, the tradition more important than the basis for it (Mark 7:7ff.), as Christ exposed and denounced it, or in Communism as in the USSR, where they even manufactured the propaganda that they had freedom of religion while killing, wounding, closing down, assaulting, imprisoning, is part of the deadly devices of the devil in any clothes, angel of light or product of the pit, in any Age. Lies are the companions of violence, the one doing violence to the body, the other to the truth, and both are sections of the same system.

Why then did they use a traitor, Judas as of course long predicted (Psalm 69:17ff. with 109, Zechariah 11), the exact sum to be used to seduce the traitor being named by the prophet,  and the irony of the price of the sale duly weighed many centuries before the event ? It let them arrest Christ in night, when the clear light of the facts were suppressed by darkness, those who sought Him for help might be absent, and He could be rushed through a denunciation program without the full force of public opinion ready to react. It was a coup.

Such is as common as dirt in the annals of power and pollution. The difference here was this, that this nation, Israel, freely (Joshua 24) serving God, with a massive and magnificent temple raised by divinely given specifications, a people whose history had been sketched in advance (Deuteronomy 32, Amos 3:7, Leviticus 26) in much and in little things alike, as this sale price for Christ, whom God had placed as an exponent of His will for mankind (Isaiah 43:21), whom He had brought from slavery in Egypt (Exodus, Psalm 77,105-106), and placed in their land (Joshua), despite their rumblings and mumblings and lack of faith at crucial times (cf. Numbers 14), was appointed to receive the Lord in human form (Isaiah 7, 9, 11, 52-53, Micah 5). What would happen was traced carefully, from His power and healings to His crucifixion and resurrection (cf. SMR Ch. 9), and what would happen to Israel likewise had been shown in advance (Isaiah 49:7, 65:13-15).

Thus when THIS misuse of power and justice, truth and reality occurred in THIS nation at THAT time, an epoch opened and another closed. The normal power and pride of evil this time met not yielding flesh and avid mind for the lie, the pretence, the barrage of contra-factual propaganda such as power often uses to disguise truth while it murders it, but the predicted resurrection of the Lord on the predicted day, after the predicted death by the predicted means for the predicted price in the predicted place.

Hence the lie had to be brought to bear. Is it another tomb ? ask some, is there some mistake ? Mistake! When the new-hewn tomb from rock of the rich man (involved in Christ's death as predicted (Isaiah 53) is COMMANDED by the guilty Governor to be the recipient of the result of his own failure to meet even his conscience (John 18:38, 19:7-16), when the most important person in Israel's history is so viewed by many, and realised (Matthew 16) by His disciples, are they going to ignore the place ? Is this the spirit even of a football crowd to their hero ? Is this insanity even to ask ? But of course, the tender delight of His followers cherishes the site as man so often does, of its leaders; but this was more, it was the Lord!

Hence they marked it well, it being a most notable premises with its own garden  (John 19:41-42, Matthew 27:61, Mark 15:46-47, Luke 23:55-56). How else ? Did not custom require spices, and how anoint a shadow in the unknown!

But what of the conspirators ? What of the priesthood ? What of those set against Christ with such vehemence, with such denunciations, with such blind traditionalism, with such entrenched power in the land, for so long and exhibited publicly as such so often ? What if Pilate tried to stop the Sanhedrin's power to act corruptly, how could they then use their authority as a power base which Rome permitted ? Why, then the priests could threaten the Governor, as if Christ were some kind of competitor king for Caesar, and he could then be relied on to be saving his neck, or averting the danger to it ... He could be MADE to co-operate, as he did.

Some things are most aptly done, if deeds of dark character, by others, making the power greater and the dangers less. Why not stir up the crowd in their excitement and veneration of authority ? This was duly done. Public manipulation of the crowd, in blood lust, excitement and the habit of listening to their religious authorities, this could be accomplished as it was, if there arose any difficulty, as it did. Blood lust, authority, pride of religion, saving face, all could be used, as they were (Matthew 27:19-24, Mark 15:10-11).

Normally, then, guards letting their prisoner escape, could simply be killed. It helped to instruct others. If however the unthinkable had happened, the awesomely consistent action of the Man of Power, and He had been raised, so that the guards COULD not stop it, being in a supernaturally induced, and naturally  reinforced stupour of horror, we re they to be blamed ? Would their story not make the  worst of their plot ? Such could be stopped by mere money. Temple treasuries were deep, before the Temple as Christ kindly foretold (Matthew 24:1ff.), was destroyed. For the nonce, they were interested in destroying both Christ and truth.

Hence they paid. It was not just that you could not entirely blame the guards, who were amazed and bewildered, and gave no appearance of mere slackness; it was that the truth MUST not be out. A story must be made; for after all, the foretold PRICE of the betrayal was already a nuisance. So the enormity of pretending the disciples STOLE the body while the poor soldiers stood back powerless - indeed slept through it and yet knew it: this was concocted.

Why however was the story so ludicrous ? There was the need for haste, since the truth is dangerous to deceit, and the truth about God is most dangerous because of who He is, and because of the fact that ostensibly the nation was actually serving Him. Yet gross distortion of reality is normal in Mafia type deeds, for which you do not need the Mafia as exemplar. They pock-mark history for many occasions!

Secondly, when God is your enemy, a lack of finesse is to be expected, and utter failure is the only option. What can you DO when the man refuses to be duly murdered and despatched!

Bribery or corrupt money change had been normal enough, since it could even buy the high priesthood! That then was the sickening way; just as others imagine the disicples were ignorant of the tomb of their desire, and the woman of the site for the embalment. Make up anything, for anything must do when truth will not do, for extraneous reasons.

Thus since there was a connivance officially, a sort of Olympic games bribery or corruption, as is reputed, for some formal gain, then the SOLDIERS, GUARDS, might not be killed, even if their charge 'escaped! What an idea! Blacken truth and live life! Excellent, this is the theme of the lost.

After all (Matthew 27:19-26, John 11:38-48 cf. Acts 4:10), it was well known that Jesus' had mighty powers, and that His role and realm of action included a claim He would rise from the dead, as implied in His answering challenge to the high priest (Matthew 26:64), and as spoken often enough (Matthew 16:31). He statements on his appointed role from His Father, to be the judge all men (John 5:19-23) did not sit well with final desolation for Himself!

When He HAD risen, then, this was not a time for punishment for the guards; for HOW on earth or above it, could soldiers allow with no sign of molestation, people to come in and remove their charge! If they slept, it was negligence, but how would they know what happened, then! (Matthew 28:12-13). If they did not sleep, by what means did the body go, with themselves unharmed?

Were they killed in the effort to prevent it! Scarcely. Or maimed? What then was the account? Paralysed with fear at the onset of supernatural force, they were indeed overcome, but not by man; and reporting the occurrence to the priests, they were advised not to relate it abroad (Matthew 28:4). The priests themselves, however, feared what MIGHT NOW happen, since their victim was just as free as His words always made so clear, He would be.

He was gone. So too was any natural reason for the occurrence, and the testimony of the guards could fit ONLY with men aghast in horror at the imperial power of God Almighty, incapable of action, frozen in awe at the onset of what was far worse than a lightning flash, perhaps even thrust into sleep in the midst of it, so that an incoherent and gabbled account proceeds, irrational and absurd, and yet explicable only on the testimony that He had risen.

Hence neither death for the soldiers would serve for them, nor truth: an absurd self-contradictory statement that the disciples stole Him away while the guards slept would, they must have thought, simply have to do. Rome was thwarted, for what of the danger of Caesar 'misunderstanding' this king (cf. John 19:12). The Jewish leadership was thwarted, for who wanted 'loose' the One whose powers had already reached to the removal of death for Lazarus, with enormous popular appeal and result, as well might be imagined (cf. John 11:48-50)! Who would want Him, among the deleters of truth, to be threatening their position and authority, as well as their strategy. It had been deemed ''expedient" to have Him - removed, by the ecclesiastical mafia.

Yet HE WAS GONE, the power of God from His mouth fulfilled, now as always. Let us return from the machinations of the Machiavellian to the reality of truth.

Gone ? The women having traced His tomb, the soldiers having ensured its safety, the zeal of the Jewish leaders having seen to that, on the all important third day (inclusive counting, hence Sunday as the first break of day drew close, as the evangelists make clear in the Gospel), they come near.

Mary sets out in the last of darkness (John 20:1), and the women together arrive as dawn is flushing the sky, and day loomed (Matthew 28:1): then the moment came. As the sun begins to peep (Mark 16:1), so does the angel act (Matthew 28:2). With an earthquake in attendance, the angel removes the tomb's boulder which guards it, thus removing the problem of how to displace it, which had faced the women (Mark 16:3). Sitting on the boulder in conquest, the angel is resplendent. Then two angels make an announcement (Mark 16:5, Luke 24:4). Christ is not here, they are advised. It is vain to seek the living among the dead (Luke 24:5, Matthew 28:6). He is risen.

It is like Christ's statement, indicating that God is God of the living, not of the dead, and that as the God of Abraham He was in operation with that eternally alive man (Matthew 22:32). As He said, as always, so He did. HE in His Person has nothing to do with the dead, except in sacrifice. In reality, He is life eternal (I John 1:1-4), and none and nothing can daunt this infinitude of vitality.

They are amazed, told that He is to meet them in Galilee, just as He had prior to all this, announced He would do after He accomplished His death for sins (Matthew 28:7, 26:32). Without turning to the right or the left, as if in a vice with this staggering revelation, the women surge to the disciples (Mark 16:8, Matthew 28:8). There their revelation is greeted with frank disbelief (Luke 24:11, 22-23). However, this was by no means universal, and Peter and John decide to investigate, running in their enthusiasm, young John outrunning Peter, looking into the now vacant tomb and believing. Peter lumbers in, too, seeing the neatly arranged cloths that had once swathed Christ's body.

He was to see the Lord later in that day, and then doubtless, there was much to talk about! (cf. Luke 22:54-62, Mark 14:66-72; Luke 24:34). Let us then look back on the events.

  Meanwhile, the women were going about

(the tense in the Greek verb used in this part of the Bible is imperfect, suggesting a continuing itinerary, a moving about in their goings - Matthew 28:11, as indeed is seen in the case of Mary explicitly, in John 19:11-17, for she had left the tomb and was now back there, naturally enough!)  

  and perhaps had followed Mary back there. Only after Mary had been met by the Lord first (Mark 16:9), and had clung to His feet
(John 20:17 - a present imperative, signifying continuing action, explaining His request that she cease clinging to Him)

  did they also meet Him, they also clasping His feet (Matthew 26:9). Then too they were told to go to Galilee, and to tell the brethren this, for "there they will see Me" (Matthew 26:10).  

  And there they did! We can imagine with what combined astonishment and delight the two streams of joy, Mary and the other women, now reinforced by a personal meeting and grasping of the risen Messiah, would converge on the disciples. But more was to come.


As the day advanced, Jesus appeared to the disciples going to Emmaus (Luke 24:28ff.), with that delightful irony, asking what they were talking about as they walked to it. They outlined the exploits of the One they had thought to be the Messiah, and the fact that the third day had come since the crucifixion (His prediction of rising on the third day was presumably throbbing in their hearts, and warring with their hopes). THIS was the third day!

In this way, Christ was told enough for Him to respond by explaining in detail to them that the scriptures had abundantly predicted the necessary suffering of the  Messiah, before the glory which should follow, so that they should indeed expect His appearance: and then, as He broke bread for their sorrowing spirits and needy bodies, they realised from their dimness of anguish, that it had happened. He HAD risen already. This, it was HE. Their clouded brains, dimmed spirits and grieving eyes were opened. Their sorrow was met by fact!

As to those who had been on the road to Emmaus, they were amazed, their hearts burning as the simple sovereign realities of God's power and prophecies which Christ had shown them in some detail were exposed to their delighted minds. As to the women, having met Christ near the tomb, they were told that He would meet them in Galilee, just as He had prior to all this, announced He would do after dying for sins (Matthew 28:7, 26:32).

Let us see it graphically.

Without turning to the right or the left, as if in a vice with this staggering revelation, these same women surge to the disciples (Mark 16:8, Matthew 28:8). There their revelation is greeted with frank disbelief (Luke 24:11, 22-23). However, this was by no means universal, and Peter and John decide to investigate, running in their enthusiasm, young John outrunning Peter, looking into the now vacant tomb and believing. Peter lumbers in, too, seeing the neatly arranged cloths that had once swathed Christ's body. He would see the Lord later in that day, and then there is to be much to talk about! (cf. Luke 22:54-62, Mark 14:66-72; Luke 24:34, I Corinthians 15:5).

Meanwhile, the Emmaus group, moving fast to tell the disciples, hidden away in their upper room,  find the Lord has met with Peter; and then, as they narrate and share with the others following their journey,  in this time of exposure of reality, Christ now again and at once appears to them all (Luke 24:33-35). "Peace to you," He says to them, but they are terrified, imagining He must be a Spirit.

"Does a spirit have flesh and bones as you see Me to have?" He expostulates.
"Handle Me and see!"
(Luke 24:36ff.).

Then in this substantiating sequence to their amazed minds, He  eats with them.

So we move to the next week.

Thomas the enquirer, missing on that day, came the next Lord's day at normal worship, for when better than on the day of His being "declared the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness" (Romans 1:4); and he likewise was invited to prod the body of the Lord, putting His fingers where the wounds were, as he had indicated he would NEED to do, before believing. Thomas capitulated, declared,

"My Lord and my God!"

TO the Lord, even literally, "THE GOD OF ME!"

So THAT Red Sea was passed, a far greater one; and the next is the time of His return as King and Lord of Lords, when the world itself will be the site of escape, and the end triumphs will replace the turgid follies of the final Pharaoh, the world ruler who will exalt himself as if mad (cf. John 14:30-31, II Thessalonians 2:6ff.).


For the Christ who HAD to perform miracles only God could do (Isaiah 39, 35, 11), and die and rise as predicted (Isaiah 49-55, Psalm 16), as only God manifest in flesh has done, in order that He might be believed and so the plan of salvation work: the raising of Lazarus, together with the healing of the paralysed man in Mark 2, were events of test as well as testimony. Test was immediate, total and final, and involved power over life and its health, and death and its corruption absolutely. These were but examples, but there are useful to confront our minds with realities involved in such a claim as that of Jesus Christ,  in such a literary setting as the Old Testament provided for contemporary Jewry, for Israel the nation.

In the Mark 2 case, exemplary in principle of many,  in a confrontation which could not be avoided, EITHER He COULD forgive sins on earth or was bogus; and so to show the soundness of the former claim, under investigation with no little disrelish,  He banished  ON TIME AND THEN AND THERE, all thought of the latter. No healing, no Messiah. If you can run 100 metres in 8 seconds, good: do it.

In the case of Lazarus, His heart was involved. Man has a heart and God made man in His own image. Very well: could He who is the Messiah by His own claim, showing His heart as He wept, simply raise the corpse ? It had been suggested that had He come earlier (John 11), the catastrophic passing of the beloved Lazarus might have been avoided. He spoke of the resurrection, but this was future (John 11:22-27). If He IS the resurrection and the life, can He not, being present, RAISE NOW and so demonstrate His power and mandate, and illustrate the future for all who trust in Him, and if so, what better opportunity when the passion of His enemies for His own death was surging in like a tsunami ?

To be sure, there is a time for the generic resurrection of His people (as in Isaiah 26:19, when as His dead body, they arise in the drastic dynamics of the dying history of an insolent and spiritually insolvent Age). It is not at any  time, but when discretion and wisdom decree, as was likewise the time decreed for His death and made known some 6 centuries before it took effect (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4). Yet in a case like this, when THE Messiah is in THIS house at THAT time, when a close friend has passed away AND He had delayed His coming, which could have prevented the death, what then ? Is there not a unique opportunity to demonstrate the resurrection in its coming generality in this personal particularity, and to take the future through one illustration through a keywhole of one individual, to the present, and so bless all for all time, until He comes ?

Would it be done ? Would He do it ?

The problem was now and He was the Messiah (as the sisters squarely believed) and having all power, it seemed that He had let them down by coming LATE! too late. In fact, He had even delayed on purpose, so that this contretemps might lead to contradiction of death and so outface all doubt for time into eternity, where the topic is closed! Eternal life does not need it, except in gratitude as a place for the monument of grace. God's 'problems' being all foreseen, are opportunities.

That was the point. Any 'god' who cannot control life and death is mere dereliction; and the GOD OF THE BIBLE CAN and does. Let us then see it. Let's have it, as they say. That seems to have been  the place of the thought of some, and the confrontation, like it or not. Christ did like it, since He had specifically acted by direct delay, in order to produce it.

Christ in fact had engineered the situation, as part of His divine testimony, that faith might rest where it works, because it is in Him who works (as in Isaiah 64:5), without whom is no place for man or help (Romans 3:25ff.): then He used it. As with any bridge, you first prepare and collate the materials, and then set to with the building!

What then ? Christ, both wise and frank,  NEVER missed an opportunity, but on the other side, ALWAYS avoided what were merely meretricious traps. This was the former. Commanding Lazarus to come out of the tomb, where he had been according to custom, wrapped in cloth, Christ thanked the Father for His power and constant co-operation (John 11:40-42) which as in eternity, so was in time.

That was as shown in principle in John 5:19ff. and in practice now.

Lazarus could by that time of several days following death, have been left with an odoriferous body, a point protested by family in the face of Christ; but God is able to make rotting as a reward of sin, or remove it as a gift of salvation. Being here to save, not to condemn (cf. John 3:17), Christ illustrated the point by once again raising the dead.

It was this, as we see in John 11:48ff., which more than most other things, catapulted the corrupt priesthood (the high priesthood, rather like the later case with popes 'awarding' archbishoprics, could be given  for a consideration of a financial kind...) into corrupt action. If the body of Lazarus was not going to corrupt, perhaps they could help it by killing him again (John 12:10). The immense impetuosity of evil is always amazing.

Meanwhile they plotted the death of what was hopeless as the theological excursions in which the forces of antipathy, scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees, had indulged, at times vehemently (Luke 11:52-54), often deviously (cf. Matthew 22). If they could not even touch the mouth of Christ, or defame His power, could not catch Him in boasts incapable of fulflment, but only found the word and the deed to match like a sonic boom to the speeding aeroplane, then it was to them now necessary to remove as far as might be, His existence! Alive, He was infallible, intolerable, untouchable, giving always upon test, more of His best, leaving gaping holes where traps were set, as if they were splinters, and the great among them as if they were spineless or ignorant.

Atheism is ever set to murder, in principle, since it seeks to despatch God, and cannot, Christ and meets the unassailable, and the more it pushes, the more it is downcast; and here this method, shall we call it, was used,  the practical method, the delete key, to see what it might do. They were desperate men, for themselves, their priesthood, their irreligious and distorted religion, their pride, prerogatives and their nation, which without the power of God, they could not envisage being blessed, but only hurt by One of Christ's power, appeal and presentation in word and deed. Their lack of faith led to murder, and in the national arising with them, to that of millions in the end, just as was the trend of the prophets in their many exhortations, laments and predictions (cf. Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 32 cf. Grand Biblical Perspectives Chs. 3, 4, 5).

Goodness, if a man could raise the dead, inspire the multitudes with a lordly lucidity and a penetrating, even pungent exposure of evil as well as demonstration in deed and spirit, of good (Matthew 23, Matthew 5-7!), what hope could mere surrogates of spirituality have! HE must GO! When His commanding presence showed no pride, but ultimate surrender to the will of Him who sent Him (John 8:29, 12:48ff.), with whom He claimed an affinity of intimacy that only God could have (John 5:19ff.), and then proceeded to illustrate the principles with practice, they would embark on the removal of this regality, the impeachment of this truth and the murder of this light.

It did not help them. Truth is to be revered, and ultimate truth with ultimate worship (John 14:6). Working against it, is working against yourself! In truth, you are living, whether in psychic explosion against it, or not: reality does not move.

The situation is not new. Over-competitive competition must go its way, it is impelled, it  yearns to be implemented, whether for Mafia or pseudo-church, or commerce: it is common. Such is lust that knows not love.

What then of the powers that then were ? Stricken in conscience, overpowered with fact, powered with soldiers and satisfied that whatever 'powers' the Messiah might have, they could not reach out from the grave, though with some sneaking thoughts perhaps at that to the contrary, they washed their hands of the ugly business (Governor Pilate did so literally), and sought to get on with NOT having the whole world go after Him (John 11:48).

It was that prospect that seemed a catastrophe to them, just as the fulfilment of the predicted return of Israel to its land*5 is now so viewed by many of Islam (cf. The Open Door, the Closed Mind ... Appendix); but it was not so, just as it is not so. The word of God has its way, its wit and wisdom, and affronting God and confronting it leads to no good thing (cf. SMR pp. 582ff., 92ff., Ch. 1, 10, Acme, Alpha and Omega ... Ch. 8). It never has done so, can do so, or will do so. The witness of history is like that of a bull with a red rag of rebellion. Sometimes it delays, but in the end, the charge is made; and the cost is not small as many a nation, many a people and many a race may attest. Of these, the Jews are not the least! (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 10, Three Anzas, One Answer  Ch. 2).

The running after Christ of vast multitudes, the turning of this world to this its Captain, had it happened: this action was one which would have avoided countless wars, dismemberments, ravages, rapes, rapacities, ruins, squalls of squalor, plagues and burnings! Religion that loves itself (cf. Romans 10) is no better than anything else where love is so limited as to ignore reality, and serve prejudice. Yet reality always hits at last.

So with such enemies, so agile, so willing to kill, so destitute of truth in the actual contest when it counted, confronted with such pervasive, public and overwhelming power from One apparently of little account, and unaccountable in human terms (cf. Matthew 4:24, Luke 4:40, 6:19), those who could see themselves as potential losers, or else their office, or their nation by their misunderstanding: violence exploded. The vile and irreconcilable set the weather vane for generations of unrepentance. Yet it helped not at all. Desperation needs deity, and against Him, makes all the worse the result.

Christ simply did the inviolable. In His ministry now as always, He spoke the unanswerable and in action guaranteed His validity, and this not being enough for this so often squalidly insatiable world, Jewish, Roman, Romanist, Islamic, sect or squalid secularity, has left it without excuse.

Inexcusable, it grows more so. As prophecy is fulfilled de rigueur, as in the eventual unmasking of a murderer, so this world, many a nation in it now disregarding the Christ once held high in their midst (cf. Chs.  5 and 6 infra ), finds its guilt and seeks in guile to avoid it; but it will not go. The world goes, and is going to its destiny, but the guilt will not go.

What does go is order and decency and vitality and understanding and brotherly love and grace and  vision and harmony because in error there is no limit, though truth is one; and the world slithers like an old horse on a muddy slope, towards its polluted dam.

The contest between man and God grows ever nearer to its ultimate confrontation, this time not in the absolute failure of man to produce the killed body of Christ, who had abstracted it by personally walking off with it in resurrection that left the soldiers in confusion, the priests in contrivance and the powers that were, snubbed as by a refused proposal of marriage: that of Christ and death.

It reached its index situation when Christ was here; and the confronted priesthood reacted to His irrevocable power.

What COULD they do ?

There was nothing in truth, so they unwisely responded  from the otherwise inexplicable situation, with rigidified unbelief in what they could not dismiss, and attempts (as in Acts 3-5, 12) to dismiss the power which continued after the resurrection.

So much did this declare itself, that now was built the church which swept through Europe, though with much suffering, like a healing breeze.

But what of the present, this product of history when God met the world in it, and it wanted Him left for dead, and failed ? It co-operated blindly with His plan as announced for a millenium by killing Christ, who came thus to be made a sacrifice, the thing in detail granted as if to mock the wild folly of imaginary wisdom, and rebuke the unbelief of a world as slow as a dreaming old draught-horse and as confused as a sleeping sloth on trying to awake, but in vain. The more they worked, the more His word worked, and that with its customary, never excepted, precision!

Now history, moving to the end of the Age of the Gospel, bemoans its ineptitudes and continues them. Without truth, this world is permanently and necessarily askew, and the more its power grows, as in any similar situation, the more its lack of wisdom appears.

The confrontation, human and divine, is to be between the forces of this world, duly increased in knowledge as Daniel 12 foretold, which by organisation and deft sophisticated sallies,  will seek to control all by directing life or providing death, not just to Lazarus this time, not moreover to Christ who being risen is out of reach: but to those who follow Him or even remind it of Him in any way (as even now in some areas of China).

It is as it was to be, as all is.

Nothing changes. The situation of the resurrection, and its outcome, as shown in detail in  SMR Ch. 6, is as inevitable as history to come, the former test publicly declared for over a millenium (as in Psalm 2, 16, 22, Hosea 13:14, Isaiah 26:1 with 53ff.), and the present one in detail likewise,  for another two!

Such is the action of God.

This having duly been wrought in word (cf. Matthew 16-17), and then in deed,  in the very faces of the powers of this world, with the publicly declared Gospel from the same ancient era, now fulfilled with it, only shame remains, as it did remain for Israel in its day with Christ.

For it, this led to exclusion from Israel, an event almost unbearable; and this it was which came, following like a dog at the heels ... for Israel. With it, there came the devastation of that same loved Temple, that symbolic representation of the salvation of Christ: this too was to come (Matthew 34:1ff. Daniel 9:24ff.), and it surely came.

As they failed to remove the Christ, with the love of their temple ceremonies ahead of their point, so they lost the temple itself; and the nation which subtly and subversively they had sought to save, this was dispersed as they proceeded in the midst of the red zone of error continually.

Such is truth. It talks. History hears it. In this case, it was foretold history in every aspect, and it was foretold precisely as a testimony for times to come; and these ? they are now!

Now the nations, in a marked case in Holland, in a sad falling away in England, in a massive declivity in the USA, in endemic allegiance to false prophets in the Middle East rather broadly*3, as in many surrounding areas here and there, in much and in little, are falling as did ancient Israel, to a whole circus of invention and squandering their inheritance and opportunities alike,  on nothing.

Meanwhile, what has been done to Christ is as demanding of repentance for all, not because of the doing of it merely, on the part of any one race, for more than one was involved; but because of the NEED for it, for what hate performed, and love enabled, that crucifixion, now as ever. Without sin, it is not needed; because of sin, it is; and because of rebellion it is refused. It is one thing to dethrone God in one's heart, but it is another to defile the opportunity and ignore the necessity of atonement. The guilt leaps to heaven, and is reflected to earth; but it will not repent of its deeds (Revelation 9:20ff.).

That which is needed, it is not the glory of man, but that of God; not the wonder of sin, but the necessity of its overthrow.

It is not the effrontery of seeking to outface God, but the opportunity to seek His face in meekness, not the ignoring of rationality and revelation


in the validated and verified confines of the Bible,


in the crucified body of Christ,


in the implications for man of his infidelity
and the harrowing unholiness of a sin
which can never come to God
without reconciliation based on sacrifice at His own will,
and without the holiness of God Himself, as a gift:

but only in the reception of both it and of Himself.

God must be found where He may be (Isaiah 45, 55), and this is where He has come; and while indeed, He is to return to this same place, Jerusalem restored in readiness as He foretold (cf. Luke 21:24, Zechariah 14:5, Revelation 20), yet it is no more as a sacrifice (Hebrews 9:12-28). The time for that was at the foretold date, around A.D. 30, from Daniel; and the time to receive it is now (as in II Corinthians 6:1ff.).

Each one of this race on earth is now confined to meeting the mastery provided to complete the design called man, in the meeting of his spirit with that of God, and the restoration of his standing to the Rock of redemption (Psalm 62) who is GOD ONLY (cf. I Corinthians 10); or the restless demission of design in dereliction.

There are no substitutes, secular or ecclesiastical.

It is repentance or ruin, Christ or chaos. The chaos of course, as is its nature, is actually just the misplacement of some things ready for correct purpose, when this is not being provided. Sin secures the omission, and sentence provides this corrective, whether now in the reception of Christ of that sentence, or then in the obtaining of it without Him, for each soul that insists on the morbid shame of defying God and refusing the defilement He suffered in Christ, in order to retain it! (cf. Daniel 12 as it ends).

When the purpose is life, however, and the darkness is preferred, then the situation becomes not merely snafu, as WW II had it, but sedition of spirit to the point that no provision can deliver the smitten psyche, or save the soul (John 3:19,36).

It is all designed from Genesis 3:15 to Revelation 22,


from the match for the folly of man's fall in his exclusion,
to its counterpart in his opportunity for re-inclusion
with the Lord by the work required in justice and mercy (as in Romans 5:1-18);


from the bypass of a spiritual life, the failure of light in man's sin
to its re-lighting in Christ's salvation;


from its accurate depiction,  in advance
to the very terms of the Gospel (SMR Ch. 9) centuries before the price was paid
by Christ as sacrifice, on time as is God in all things (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4);


from the weakness of man's spirit in its seduction, 
to the power of God as promised in the lives of His people.

It is so from this to Christ's return as lightning from East, flashing to the West (Matthew 24:27) when the world has reached its inordinate woes and finds its come-uppance call at last timely (in God's eyes, though never in its own).

Thus alone has God waited (as in II Peter 3:9), rather than demolishing out of hand the world which is so filled with wantonries unthinkable, lies intolerable and deceptions inimitable: for the remedy first promoted, predicted, is now performed, published, applied. God is not mocked by a world in collision with Himself; rather He is in mercy prolonging the period before its judgment, with the remedy presented by millions and received by more, till the necessary judgment sits.

The Gospel was designed and is alone effectual and valid  (The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy), covering the price of sin, the demands of justice and the categorical differentiation between what is of God and what is not so, by divine action verified and justified, ratified and confirmed in heart and history, logic and law, with singularity and sufficiency*4.


It was foretold.


It is empowered (as in Romans 1:16).


It works.


It does not war and create the power-devastation conundrum now facing man.


It gives to sin its name and to reclamation its reality.


It gives this world the power it needs, and shows its background for millenia, never moving -
like a gun levelled at the target.

The target gallops in all directions. Nothing saves it. Mercy is misinterpreted as challenge and folly as cleverness. But the resurrection part of the design, like all the other expressions of a power which nothing but God can explain, seen in its entire designed setting, has nothing in this world to cover it, challenge it, meet it, but evasion as senseless as deadly.

Death is so deadly, when God is not in it. That is the way of it; that is the reality which nothing moves; but the stone moved, the Rock that split for sin was restored intact, the literal body arose uncorrupted and the metaphorical body, the Church, rose to exhibit it;

and that is the inception of the Christian Church

and not only the end of any excuse,

but the beginning for millions of eternal life (cf. I John 1:1-4, John 6, 5:24, 4:14).



Declarations of the

Pre-Incarnate Messiah

in the Design of the Old Testament

Now we turn to the word of salvation's design that God gave for man, in the Old Testament, focussing on this occasion, on the speech of the pre-incarnate Messiah, so like that on earth, as found in the prophets, and with this, seeing in passing the powerful provision of the salvation which God insists on supplying, as alternate to judgment. In doing this, we shall plan to look first at the arresting context of Christ, pre-incarnate, speaking in Isaiah 8, as cited in Hebrews 2:13, to which we are directed by I Peter 3:14.

DO NOT FEAR, says Peter, citing Isaiah 8:12, and this, it leads us on in that speech from the Lord, to 8:18, cited in Hebrews as spoken by the Lord (Heb. 2:13), in His brotherly capacity, as God become man and leading man to salvation. This is exceedingly arresting, to find such an attribution from the book of Hebrews, but with the facility, accuracy and functional felicity of the Bible, we find it precisely so.

In Isaiah 8:11, Isaiah states that

"the LORD spoke thus to me ...  saying,

'Do not say, "A conspiracy" concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats.' "

In fact, Jeremiah was regarded, when his time came, as what in WW II would be called a quisling, a traitor, aiding the enemy or co-operating with him. In fact, of course, like Isaiah, he simply told the people the word of God which cited Israel for sin and announced that Babylon was going to be used as an agent for their correction, as a suitable reward for the enormities of iniquity of which for so long they had unrepentantly stood guilty. Jeremiah added that they should therefore realise that their safety lay in going to Babylon until the 70 year punishment of the Lord was over, for then they would be safely returned. This exile duly happened, though many in disobedience reaped the fruit of fighting their discipline instead of being willing to follow it. Thus,  in the crisis, as the time of attack drew near, Jeremiah was placed in a well, and despised.

There are times when we must realise that discipline is coming, and taking it in good part and heart is required; for otherwise, sin added to sin grows with interest (cf. Hosea 8:7). One can sow the wind, as that prophet declares, and reap ... the whirl-wind. God is not mocked.

Isaiah too from further back in time, had warned Israel; but they would not hear. In fact, at that stage, as seen in Isaiah 7, Ahaz, king of Judah, had been offered an extraordinary opening by the Lord, when confronted in impending battle, by Israel and Syria at that time. Isaiah told him from the Lord, that he could ask going upward to the heights, or downward to the depths, of the LORD, what he would. The Lord would act for him.

So said the prophet. But that is opportunity ... what of the handling of it by the King ?

Ahaz, faithless, hedged and did not ask, as if to ask would be presumptuous, when in fact it was arrogant to decline the offer of the Creator, the Redeemer without whom he could not even draw breath! The result as seen in Isaiah 7, was twofold.

Firstly, the local enemies would fail in due course, but Assyria, then a proud and powerful, a terrible and cruel empire, would assail the nation. Secondly, the Messiah would come, but when ? That was left to Daniel to declare; but it would in fact not help erring Judah to escape the invasion to come; and after that of Assyria, to be aborted by the pleas of Hezekiah when the time did come, would come that of Babylon, as Isaiah went on to show in Ch. 13. That time, as seen in Jeremiah, there would be no abortion, and the ruin would come from the hand of Babylon.

It is there that the link with Jeremiah, long before the time of that latter prophet, arose.

Let us then return to Isaiah and in particular to the account of the Messiah, pre-incarnate speaking there. To do so amply, we turn to the context before this, in Isaiah 7.  That is the Chapter dealing with Ahaz foozling of the divine offer, and the coming of the Messiah via virgin is the amazing event there depicted. In fact there is a special name given to Him.

It is this: GOD WITH US, Immanuel: this would be the name of the virgin-born child, a prodigy of amazing proportions to match the divine offer, rebutted by Ahaz, but kept by the Lord (cf. SMR pp. 770ff.).  The prophecy of Isaiah then moves to Ch. 8, which we have been considering, and its reference to a 'conspiracy'. Do not call it that! the Lord advises, and fear nothing! In other words, there is no conspiracy in counselling to follow the Lord, and realise what is coming to chastise evil thoughts, actions, dealings and corrupt statecraft. The penalties come, but conspiracy it is not; it is level-headed transcription of the word of the Lord.

It is the LORD of hosts, says Isaiah 8, he and not popular, public opinion, who is to be hallowed (Isaiah 8:13). It is He who will provide in HIMSELF (as in Isaiah 4:6 with 32:1-4) a safe haven, a sanctuary indeed; but this same Lord will be a rock of offence, a stone of stumbling both to Israel of the North and Judah of the South, because of their relentless sin. In other words, salvation is coming, but it helps nothing where rebellion persists.

BIND UP THE TESTIMONY, the charge from the Lord proceeds (Isaiah 8:16), and seal it among My disciples, even that  word of Him who "hides His face from the house of Jacob", because of the spiritual pollution (cf. Isaiah 1!). Now the Lord Himself comes into sight as one of the brethren, as He continues to give His word to Isaiah.

"Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given Me!
We are for signs and for wonders in Israel
from the LORD of hosts who dwells in Mount Zion."

This is the Lord speaking to Isaiah, in one message that continues, and in the midst of it He reveals, as in Isaiah 7 the 'Immanuel', God with us, that it is He Himself who will be present with His disciples, on this earth. There we saw the birth, here the action as in Isaiah 9, we will see the growth of His kingdom from the same beginning in incarnation, as seen likewise in Micah 5:1-3 and Psalm 40 (cf. Joyful Jottings 22-25). .

We knew He was coming (cf. Psalm 102:16-17, Psalm 72, Zechariah 12:10 and 3:8-11), but now we see Him in the midst of considerable hostility and unbelief, gathering together His disciples on earth, when He actually comes as Messiah. It is not surprising in view of the treatment accorded Him as revealed in Psalm 22, and the enmity shown to the Messiah, as shown in Psalm 2, all prophetic Psalms from around 1000 years before He came. THAT, it is the signature of God Almighty, as He proceeds to handle history like a little dog on a leash! To be sure, man sins but the Lord KNOWS how to deal with the ungodly and to have His own way in the end, without which heaven would like vacant of mankind!

It is the Lord indeed who speaks, whether Ahaz chooses to act on His power, and offer, or not; and whether the Jewish priests chose to crucify or obey Him when does come personally. That alters nothing of His identity; but the identity and its rejection alters much in the result! Let us then look further in the New Testament at this same emphasis on belief.

Just so was the word of Jesus when incarnate: "I and My Father are One," something that led to people setting about stoning Him, as making Himself equal with God. They saw the meaning well enough, but not its correctness, just as Ahaz had missed his own opportunity centuries earlier through a kindred lack of faith. Both when the Lord as incarnate was as in Isaiah 7-9 predicted and when He came, the powers that were in Israel, were duped by duplicity, fouled by false motives and blind in their understanding of the Lord.

Moreover, when He came, He challenged them for that very thing, as indeed did Isaiah before (Isaiah 6), the New Testament rebuke being as seen in Matthew 13:14-15..

He and His disciples, indeed, there they were! as He declared prophetically in Isaiah 8:18.

So Christ declared this, that "no one comes to the Father, except by Me" (John 14:6), and "This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He sent" John 6:29, yes THAT was the saving work, and again, "For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38). Thus as to His disciples, many wise man had desired to understand what He told them, and failed, but to them it was given to them, the 'children' that were with Him (Matthew 13:16-17).

Of these He enquired after the resurrection (John 21:5): "Children, have you any food!"

As to the blindness, further, of many, this He said echoing the spirit of Isaiah's words,

 "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me
except it has been granted to him by My Father" - John 6:65.

"Here am I, and the children whom the LORD has given Me," says the pre-incarnate LORD in Isaiah 8:18. "We are for signs and wonders in Israel..." Signs and wonders indeed they were when His incarnation via the virgin and His work of healing and helping, witnessing and working wonders was in full swing. Indeed, as we read in John 8:31, at the time of Christ's coming to the Feast of Tabernacles when many were gathered in Jerusalem, "When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done ?"

Wonders were indeed the marvel of His day. One sees how the testimony simply kept augmenting in this way, not by flamboyant attention-seeking, but the opposite, for Christ often told those healed not to spread the news: it could lead to His being mobbed by patients! His work was greater than this, though this was part of the sympathy and empathy.

Thus it is instructive to read in Matthew 4 of a wonder and the way it was done in the midst of unbelief, precisely as it is amid unbelief that the pre-incarnate Messiah speaks in Isaiah 8 as we have seen.

"So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine.
And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum.

"When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death."

                 "Then Jesus said to him,

'Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.'

       "The nobleman said to Him,

'Sir, come down before my child dies!'

       "Jesus said to him,

'Go your way; your son lives.'

      "So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.
       And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying,
      'Your son lives!'

      "Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him,
      'Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.'

       "So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him,
       'Your son lives.' And he himself believed, and his whole household.

       "This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee."

Isaiah 8 continues with the LORD speaking, making it clear that in the midst of WHATEVER culture, State or ecclesiastical, it is the law and prophets, the word of God which rules, saying this in 8:20:

"To the law and the testimony. If they do not speak according to this word,  it is because there is no light in them."

That is so reminiscent of Matthew 5:17-20 with its complete stringency concerning the very slightest part of the word of God, its certain and guaranteed fu lfilment and weight, and its most immense significance, so that it will be HONOURED by God, and done. To teach and do these commandments, said Jesus the Christ, will make one great in the kingdom of heaven.

The stringent certitude of Isaiah 8:20 (NO light in them if they do not speak according to this word) is mirrored when the Messiah, there speaking before incarnation, declares that to break the LEAST of these commandments and teach men so, is to be LEAST in the kingdom of heaven. Thus the pre-incarnate speech and that when Christ was on earth, these are a model of similarity, just as the signs and wonders tag is precisely what came to pass when Christ did gather His disciples.

Moreover they are for "signs and wonders from the LORD of hosts", precisely in accord with Christ's words in John 8:29, when He "ALWAYS" does what pleases His Father, and applied Isaiah word at Ch. 6 regarding blindness in those who would not open their eyes and look, as seen in Matthew 13.

Thus not only were they for signs and wonders, and not only were they thus from the LORD of hosts, but they were so in the midst of a recalcitrant people, Israel of that day, with Ahaz like a prototype! We now move on to Isaiah 8:19ff..

Having set up the CRITERION of judgment, the word of God, since it is HIS and HE is judge, the word continues in Isaiah 8 to the contrast of the anguish and angst that is to come (8:21-22), and the contrasting great light which shining, is to bring, again via the child to be born, the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father His status, the Prince of Peace His task, the One who as man, God incarnate, will have an endless kingdom. This is found in Isaiah 9:1-7 (as exposited in detail in Bible Translations 20).

So is the Isaiah 8:18 reference, attested in Hebrews 2, as belonging to the pre-incarnate Christ's speech in prophecy fulfilled, seen implanted between Isaiah 7 and 9 and their glowing Messianic references. Indeed, this sequence proceeds to Isaiah 11 and the Messiah's rule in regal grace, yes even the descendant on the mother's line, of King David, as in Psalm 72, 45;  while in Isaiah 12, it is found to bring in free salvation, like free water (often sold in those days, and here in line with Christ's own words, when He came to this world, in John 4:14, 7:37-38). It is this which He confers, as we there find in Isaiah 12 as in John 4 alike,  on those who by faith draw on Him AS revealed and in accordance with His word which is the ultimate criterion, barring nothing.

In Isaiah, before and after this focus of revelation,  4:6 and 32:1ff., we see the LORD as the tabernacle itself, as the shadow of a mighty rock and shelter from tempest. In fact, it is in Isaiah 28:16 that we find Him again a rock, a sure foundation, and that he who believes in Him will not make haste. He ? It is He who is a tried stone, a  precious stone, he declares, and as in II Samuel 22:32, "Who is God but the LORD ? and who is a Rock except our God!" This then is the precious and tried stone to be laid in Zion. It is in Isaiah 22 that we see His tabernacle role expanded, for under the figure of the leader, Eliakim, He is given as in Zechariah 3 and 4 in parallel action, the role of One on whom all the temple implements are hung, and who, robed and garlanded with this grace, and thus with what it represents,  is like a nail CUT OFF.

That too is precisely the language of Daniel 9 concerning the Messiah: Prince though He is, there is nothing for Him. Such is man's treatment on the one hand, and His gift to man on the other: it is ALL GIFT! As in Isaiah 53, however, though He had no children of His own, yet "He shall see His seed" because those who, "by His knowledge" as sin-bearer, He redeems, become a new line, an incredibly numerous group, though small in percentage terms in the human race, over time, a new KIND of person, according to kind (Colossians 3:10), and His own.

All that is His is loaded on Him, all the blessings and power to bless; but with this, He is as sacrificial lamb, cut off, as of course Isaiah 49-55 proceeds to show in even greater detail with the Gospel attached categorically.

In Isaiah 40, the mighty God on earth, the lambs in His arms, is seen once more as there is call for the cities of Judah to awaken to the fact that God with us has come, "Behold your God ..."

In Isaiah 42, we see Him again, Himself AS the covenant, not presenting it but BEING it, the very living, lively and categorical word of God; and that He, the personal focus which is utterly profound, He is the salvation of God to the ends of the earth, to Gentile as well as Jew. In fact, in Isaiah 49, we find that it is TOO SMALL a thing for Him merely to save the elect in Israel: to the Gentiles will He shine. Isaiah 50 moves to the METHOD, showing the tearing off of beard and the horrors of defacement proceeding, while Christ, vulnerable and tested because in the format of man, being fearless in the midst of His acute travail, experiences all the increments of this, as we move to Isaiah 52:12 and on to 53 to that shown in Psalm 22.

In fact, not merely is the Lord set in human form, and regarding His 'children' as disciples, but He experiences more than fellowship: the load, burden, blight and judicial impact of sin is His (Isaiah 53:6), something which releases those who are "healed" by His stripes, because He will "justify many" (Isaiah 53:10).

Christ as the salvation of God appears thus very often, and with this or that emphasis, and indeed is discernible in Isaiah 12:2-3, 26:1, 42:6, 49:6, 33:6, 51:5, 52:7-53; 60:18, 62:1 as in Psalm 85:9, 27:1, 132:16, Jonah 2:9, II Samuel 23:5. Not in all of these cases are Messianic direct, but it is in most so; and the emphasis on salvation, now generic, now specific to the Messiah, moves like a light that burns, gleaming now in this, now in that realm, as the Messiah is focussed for salvation. This ? It is as its method, messenger, performer, payor and Redeemer.

Indeed, it is as we have already begun to see, the Lord, the Messiah who Himself directly speaks in Isaiah as in 8:18, and surrounding verses. Focussed and featured so often, and in this Chapter seen speaking personally, seen here in action as in 7 and 9 in birth, and present as "God with us" and "the Mighty God", here He actually shares His experience before the event, with us. That the New Testament confirms precisely this is again exactly what one learns to expect: WHATEVER, to the jot and tittle as Christ declared in Matthew 5:17ff., and ALL as a criterion, of this word, as the pre-incarnate Christ affirms in Isaiah 8:20: this is the path of wisdom, of power and of fulfilment.

Nor is this all. Not merely is the salvation of God focussed in this same Figure and Spokesman, but He speaks expressly in the Old Testament in TERMS OF HIS ROLE as Redeemer, as Saviour, as coming for just such a purpose to this earth.

We find such speech in Isaiah 8, 48:12-49:4, 50:4-9, 61:1-9, 63:1,3-6 as in Psalms 2, 16, 22, 40, 110*6 (in this case, only the recipience of speech in direct terms on the part of the Son), and Zechariah 3 and 11, and implicitly with the Father in Hosea 13:14, as in Proverbs 8, Exodus 3:13-14.

Indeed, as we see from Philippians 2:9-10, it is He who speaks also in Isaiah 45:22ff., just as He is heavily focussed is Isaiah 48:16, where though it is the LORD, AS the SENT ONE, who speaks directly for His own part, yet the entire trinity is directly presented in its infinite mutuality of involvement.

This in turn is precisely like II Corinthians 13:14, Colossians 1:19ff.,2:9, Philippians 2,Matthew 28:19.

It is indeed entirely parallel in Isaiah 45:22, for here is the SAVIOUR Himself (intensely and personally present and critically operative as sin-bearer to that end, as seen in Isaiah 52-53) declaring that one must look to HIM to be saved and that there is no other. In this while the entire trinity as God is the One whose word is spoken, it is indisputable that the Word who became flesh is personally speaking amid the words, the Saviour Himself who here in Isaiah 45 directs to Himself for salvation: for there is no other way (John 14:6, Isaiah 43:10-11), no nor will there ever be any other (Isaiah 59:16-21, Isaiah 9:7, Daniel 7:14,25-27) for there is no other God (Isaiah 43:10-11, , 44:24-45:9,14,19,22-23)


whose word is for ever and


whose Gospel is immutable (Isaiah 59:16ff., Galatians 1, Ephesians 1:10),


as is He (Psalm 102, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8, I Peter 1:22ff., Isaiah 40:8,14)


whose word never changes as it is HIS!

Always does His word enshrine His wisdom, and even when an old covenant becomes the New Covenant, it is by fulfilment of what was old in what is new, the latter predicted in the former, and this predicated for all time (Revelation 5).  Indeed, before time HE IS (Proverbs 8), and time is but His invention of a pressuring, delimited situation for man and His entire creation (Romans 8:38-39), a test cup and a pilgrimage centre, a site for illustration, portent and prophecy, for opportunity and rebuke, for salvation and for termination when its time is fulfilled (Isaiah 51:6, II Peter 3). It is the site for resurrection and regality from the majesty of the Lord, all else failing (Ezekiel 21:25-26, Matthew 24:21-22) and from this comes the general resurrection and in due course, the general inspection and judgment itself.

In fact, as Isaiah is moved and inspired to write it,

"Cease from man whose breath is in his nostrils for of what account is he!"

(Isaiah 2:22 - cf. Biblical Translations ).

It is thus EVERY KNEE which will bow to the Creator of man and all things (Isaiah 45:23), who is a "just God and a Saviour," so that there is "none besides Me." It is He who will "sprinkle many nations" as we see just before the blood is depicted in being shed sacrificially in 52:13, 53.

Unique as God, as Saviour, as in the very manner of the salvation, in redemption, in depictions of the details of these actions in time and place, in body and spirit, and for a full measure, even providing direct broadcast, as it were, pre-incarnate in these many places in the Bible, of His thoughts and experience as Saviour, so readily and profitably and harmoniously to be compared with the words of Christ in the New Testament when He came: this is the One who knows the end from the beginning and declares it (Isaiah 46:10).

Indeed, it is one thing to give indications of the time and place and mode and manner, the birth place and the harrowing, the rejection of the Messiah by Israel, of the content of the Gospel to come and of the reaction of the Gentiles and with this much more; but it is another dimension, something requiring far more knowledge, to broadcast as in these sites in the Psalms, in Isaiah and  Zechariah, the thoughts of the Saviour to come, in preparation, even in occupation on the earth, as His work to be done, is foreseen. It is rather like receiving a postcard, not from a friend in a far nation, but from God in a far off time, millenia away, concerning what He is GOING to do and WHERE He is going to do it, and WHAT He will be experiencing and saying, ahead of time.

He speaks now as then, and has had the position in the mind and heart of God as "slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). Centuries do not move Him, but He moves them; and His heart is as before incarnation, as after it, and His knowledge can as well be projected from 1000 years before the crucifixion, as during it. Moreover, it is this same Jesus who as pre-incarnate, the very same in mind and heart as when incarnated, who as the eternal Word of God (John 1:1,14) who took part in predestination, so that His explicit and definitive expression of God is PRECISELY in love as it is shown to be when He is on earth. God never changes.

As "the God of the whole earth" (Isaiah 54:5), in all time therefore, He is the sole source of the everlasting and only saving Covenant, into which the Old and former covenant is merged by fulfilment as in Hebrews 7-10. Indeed, it is Christ who IS the Covenant (Isaiah 42:6). There is no other God, no other salvation, no other One to predict and forecast all His plans and fulfil them, with no other way, and no other Redeemer, but the One to redeem in the Godhead itself (Isaiah 48:16), so sent and so empowered as Messiah: it is He and He alone to whom man must look to be saved (Isaiah 45:22ff.).

Through Him only is peace in God to be found (Isaiah 9:7), because this is the assigned path, the incarnate payor, the Redeemer who came, and to whom man must come that He might both know and love God, thus exhibited and manifest in His very midst. As He has come to us, so we to Him must go.

This in turn is as in Exodus 3:14 where with Exodus 6, you see the LORD the Redeemer, revealing Himself in this heavily characterising name "I am", and this He does with this potent capacity as a specialty, as He prepares to redeem Israel from Egypt, as a national deliverance, just as in John 8:58, you see the Lord Jesus Christ using the term 'I am', not only as something apt for and applicable to Himself, but in His own name, in a sentence! Before Abraham was, I AM! This name is inseparable from Himself, and can be used without indirection of any kind, as He speaks as a Person. It is here as in Isaiah 45 that the Lord as Saviour and Redeemer speaks. It is in the entire fulness of the Godhead that He speaks, but it is He who directly imparts the speech, being Himself the One who pays, conveyor of the deliverance in His own body, spirit and mind, heart and blood as incarnate.

It was thus that His day, His time of achieving redemption was rejoiced in by Abraham, He declares, as the day of onset arrived for His advent as Redeemer arrived, so that whoever shall call upon His name will be saved, in all nations, as God of the whole earth (cf. John 5:24).

You see in Isaiah 49, the Lord Himself, the Redeemer who is incarnate, Jesus the Christ, speaking to state that "He has made My mouth like a sharp sword" and the word spoken to Him as hidden in the shadow of His hand is then shown. It is thus.

"And He said to Me, 'You are My servant, an Israel in whom I will be glorified.' "

Unlike the smitten and cursed Israel of Isaiah 30:8ff., always astray, here is the ONE AND ONLY prevailer with God, the only Israel in whom He will be glorified by obedience, by sacrificial action and by as His own salvation (42:6, 49:6). Alas for Israel, with the covenant broken, and the curse in operation as foretold in the two-mountain declarations of Deuteronomy 27-28, and now applied as in Zechariah 11:10-11, which gives the prophetic account some half a millenium before the historic action, of the betrayal and sale of Christ Jesus: that nation is so far from being the saviour that its wreckage attests its failure (as in Leviticus 26), so aptly and accurately foretold so often.

But that new Israel in which the LORD will be glorified, how different! This is the incarnate Christ Himself, the I AM. Here is no murmuring , as shown so prominently  in Exodus and Numbers, on the part of the nation Israel, to a degree which drove Moses almost to desperation and certainly to a desperate act in frustration and indignation, one which cost him dearly (as in Numbers 20:10).  Rather the case, as in Isaiah 50, is the entire reverse: for here we see the pre-incarnate Christ, the eternal Word of God declaring,


"The Lord GOD has opened My hear, and I was not rebellious,
nor did I turn away. I gave My back to those who struck Me,
and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard:
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting."

The two 'servants', the one from Adam, the other from the Lord, these contrast as infinity to some small number, and in much as plus and minus.

It is the ONLY ONE who saves who is the Saviour and the only One is He who is the covenant and has the word put in His mouth (as in Isaiah 49:2) and who PERFORMS IT!

It is, in short, His "own arm" which brings salvation (Isaiah 59:16) for there was "no man" as repeatedly asserted in Isaiah (as in 41:28ff., 51:18ff., and here in 59:15ff.). Only God can save, only God is the One who performs, functions and bears the sin, and has the righteousness, which indeed He puts on "as a breastplate" (59:17) in acting as Judge. Perfection, as in a spotless lamb, alone can save, and being cursed as is the lot of Israel the nation, until its time comes (as in Ezekiel 36ff., Isaiah 49 in its flow on, Micah and Jeremiah), is no commission as saviour!*7   In fact, as seen in Isaiah 51:16, it is ONLY because God has put His word, His salvation into the mouth of the Servant who prevailed, that He resolved to create the earth and the heavens at all.

Here is seen the same as in Isaiah 49:2, and this time the foundational reality of the triune creation is discerned. ONLY because of the plan of salvation would there so much as BE a creation. Only in the Saviour, who is the ONLY  GOD (Isaiah 43:10-11), is there this plan, this design, fulfilled. It was first framed, then fulfilled, and then applied. Its place is assigned as its nature is designed, and designated are those to be found. Such is the work of God (cf. John 6:29), to be believed, received as FROM and IN GOD HIMSELF!

There is no more redemption from Israel than from the rest of the world, as you see so clearly in Romans 11 and throughout the word of God (cf. The Biblical Workman Ch. 3, *1A, Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, Jesus Christ, Defaced ... Ch. 4, Massifs of Pure Splendour ... Ch. 4). Alas for it, that nation is itself a major focus of delayed salvation! (Israel ... Ch. 1, The Face of God ... Ch. 4).

 Indeed, it is only because of this one salvation with this One who is of the Godhead, that ANYONE of or in any nation or culture or historical phase can be  saved; for God has foreknown and predestinated all, alert for ever and knowing who are His in His divine splendour, in the Gospel of grace and the presidency of wisdom.

HE is One. The word of God is from one mind, one Being and is of one kind, and while it has delicious and delightful variation of method of presentation on purpose (as shown in Hosea 12:10), yet the concepts and the content are of an equality of kind which is both majestic and practical, noble and discerning, declamatory and hortatory, tender and triumphant, truculent and piteous, and His meaning never alters, though it grows as the depiction moves from Moses and  Genesis record, to John and Revelation consummation.

Again, we can even see a sequence of presentation as to emphasis in this pre-incarnate Christ speaking in the Old Testament.

1. Thus in Isaiah 8, in the context before of 7 and afterwards of 9, it is of the incarnation that the emphatic and dramatic focus is made.

2. In Isaiah 48-49 (and in 48:17ff. the words of Isaiah's prophecy so greatly resemble those of Christ our mouth as seen in Matthew 23:37 and Luke 19:42ff.), the emphasis is on the glory of His salvation offered to man.

3. In Isaiah 61, 63 (the former cited of Himself directly and specifically by Jesus Christ as seen and shown in Luke 4, when He spoke in the synagogue at Nazareth), we see the Messianic glory of the transformation that is worked by this His way, through Him, of Him and for His kingdom, His name and His people.

In this phase, then, of Old Testament prophecy, here covered more in overview for the perspective involved, but much of which may be seen in more detail in the multiple work on Isaiah in this site (cf.  With Heart and Soul, Mind and Strength  Chs. 4, 5, 6, 7 and the accompanying further references as shown in With Heart ... the Book). The Psalms also speak, and something of this is available in Joyful Jottings 22-25.

Thus is

the design in the plan of salvation,


in the procedure of emplacing it in the Bible,


in the prophets,


in the fulfilments, in their intensive correlation, as


in the prediction-performance assembly line of God

fulfilled in content, in history, in concept, in performance,
as in thrust and in application

There, moreover, what is to be is declared in advance (cf.  Amos 3:7),
and what is the way for man, is shielded from all disintegration.

This is so,  even when the Cross of Christ is part of the action;


for the resurrection follows,


the presented power of the Holy Spirit follows that (cf. Luke 24, Acts 1-2),

the affair of Israel follows that in

their expulsion from their land,
destruction of their temple,
fulfilled return *2 and
triumphant wars against vast and disproportionate numbers (Zech. 12),


 while the devastation amid the Gentiles in their atrocities and departure from faith, and the pregnancy of the Age in waiting for its Saviour

all proceed precisely as foretold (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5, SMR Ch. 8).

Moreover the coming of kings to sympathy with the faith is not omitted (Isaiah 49:23, 52:15), and what declines, first rose as rise it did (Isaiah 49:6), as in the British Empire and the early days of America, not to mention its thrust into Africa and Europe.

Indeed, all of this is like a great, a vast cathedral, in time but not of it, built in space but not limited to it, in which God speaks and does, like a stage and a setting for a play not comic, but tragic, yet triumphant in the overcoming of the anti-design declamations of heart and mouth of mankind, and the overpoweringly patient and sure muting without mutation, of this fracas as each word of God duly comes into effect.

The design of salvation has been written (cf. SMR Ch. 9), its focal Person smitten, its power irreducible, its peace incomprehensibly vast, being elemental and of God, its joy ineffaceable even by torture and death, which this world has accorded it in millions.

Its  destiny for those saved, is as clear as the original DNA composition, wrought in wonder, taught in truth, invoked in action and constructed this time, not in mere creation, wonderful though this is, but in consummation: that of re-generation, both now of the spirit of man, and then in  its counterpart in a new heavens and a new earth, in the regeneration of all things, the finale (Acts 3:19-20).

Wait for it, it will surely come as have all the rest (II Peter 3:9, Hebrews 12:25-28, Habakkuk 2:2-4, Romans 8:18ff.).

There is no curtain, nor is there any night there.




See on this topic, the following:

SMR pp. 348ff., 1-70, 611ff., 620ff., Ch. 4, Sections 1-2,

Barbs...  Appendix 1; Little Things Ch. 5;

Overflight in Christ Ch.  2,  *1, It Bubbles ... Ch. 9

Joyful Jottings   5, 6; JJ 25-26 (man as encapsulated spirit ),  News 71;

Licence for Liberty Ch. 4, Chs.   1,  6, (in the scope of its use and the pageantry of its performance, for good and for evil),

News 111, 122, 153,

Great Execrations Ch.   6 (man and autonomy, alone, in the nations),

Grand Biblical Perspectives Ch.  2;

Scaling the Heights, Scanning the Depths ... Ch.   6 (the nature of spirit, in man,  and the work of the Spirit of God in both Testaments);  

The Wit and Wisdom of the Word of God, the Bible True to Test Ch.     2 




All this Rot about Not Believing (Ch. 12, A Spiritual Potpourri), and Deliverance from Disorientation Ch. 8, SMR Ch. 4,
Stepping Out for Christ

Ch. 9




SMR pp. 590ff., 501,  

Joyful Jottings 9Dastardly Dynamics Ch.   6,
and  Satan's imaginative ways,
25 assaults on the divine plan, battles against the Lord;
The Christian Pilgrimage
Ch.   9 devices of the devil.



*2  Many are the items in this field, but the following are evocative, provocative to unbelief and instructive to those interested in the empirical impact of laws beyond those natural, but readily able to subdue, direct or use them, as is the case of any who, having power beyond a system, can intervene at will without in the least destroying the system. The obvious picture is that of a child who, having a wonderful train set, can without spoiling it at all, but rather adorning it, intervene at a corner to stop or on the other hand, if he will, promote the fall of the train.

See SMR Chs.   8 and    9, The Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 4.


Israel    1, It Bubbles ... Ch. 10Christ Incomparable ... Ch.9. Journey to  God or Fantasy's  Flight to the Infernal Ch. 6, and Defining Drama 10, with Bay of Retractable Islands  19, exhibiting Israel and this world, whether in its ultra-racial biological and bile-driven scenario, or its confused sedation to reality and even identity, nomenclature and pricking dream bubbles in The Open Door, the Closed Mind ... Ch. 8, with its Appendix.

Further see -   Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch. 10, , in addition to Overflight in Christ  Ch. 6, on the thrust of satanicity to the end, Israel a stepping stone for some, to the abyss; while note that  in the coverage of  His Time is Near Ch. 4, there is found the flash of pity with the flush of judgment, aligned precisely to the end.

More broadly on ratification, see also *4 below.



See SMR Ch. 3, with Ch. 8 below.



1) On Islam, see the following.

More Marvels ... Ch.     4, esp.  *4

SMR   pp. 829ff.,

Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A

Lord of Life Ch.  3 (and force), 1081ff. (and faith), Outrageous Outages  ... Ch.   5

His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch.    4    3

Stepping Out for Christ Ch.    9,  

Tender Times for Timely Truth
Ch.    8 (in perspective), see also *1,

Divine Agenda Chs.    6 3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran);

Highway to Hell (Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in perspective,  in the former;  and in the latter,  futile depravities in endless ideologies such as Sudan has shown so significantly, Islam ablaze without glory),
Overflight in Christ Ch.
  1 (and the Koran's musings);

News 138Beauty for Ashes Chs.    4,   7

Jesus Christ, Unfazed ... Ch.   5, Acme ... Ch.  9 ,
Great Execrations ...
Ch.   3, 
SMR p.
1O88D - three major religions in some ways in concert, astray.


News 138Beauty for Ashes Chs.    4,   7,   SMR pp. 1074ff., esp. 1079, 1081ff.
(These latter shows this religion, with the other three major conspiracies  towards the ultimate - why conspiracies ? It is because men conspire, or breathe plans together for a control, rule or oversight not ordained by God: these are breaths of man, and the breath that matters is that of God, in and by which all scripture is inspired by Him (II Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 8:20), in the Book of the Lord (Isaiah 34:16), the Bible, and sustained and implemented by Him (Matthew 26:54ff.): other ideas for rule are always unruly, since they always tend to use power for what neither reason nor truth compels). 

See also SMR pp. 822ff., 986ff., 1O88D.


2) On Romanism and what may be grouped with it, see the following.

 Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed: Barrister of Bliss   Ch.    5, esp. *2,

 Acme ... Ch.  9 , Great Execrations ... Ch.   3, 

SMR pp. 912ff., 1032-1088H,  p. 1O88D - three major religions in some ways in concert, astray,

Three Anzas, One Answer Ch.     5,

The Frantic Millenium ... Ch.    6 (News 101);

Secular Myths and Sacred Truth Ch.   8,

Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 14,   

Acme, Alpha and Omega ... Ch.    3, News 101,

Massifs of Pure Splendour ... Ch. 6.


3) On Communism's delusions, and some associates, see

Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch.   8;
The Grating Grandeur ... Ch.   2; SMR  pp. 925ff.;   

Beauty for Ashes Ch.    6 (and Hong Kong, and the movement of nations in the last century a concern), with News 98, News 37, News 97.


4) On broader movements astray in spiritual designs and misconstructions, see

Repent or Perish Ch. 5, *1

which lists sites and topics such as Earth Charter and the W.C.C., and that Chapter itself.

See also on sects - Things Old and New Chs.  2, 5 , and Appendix.



See for example:





SMR, TMR esp. 1, 5-7



The Bright Light ... Ch. 7

What is the Chaff to the Wheat Chs.   3 and   4,

It Bubbles ... Ch. 9 *1A.


See also: Chs.   8 above and   11 below.



On this, for example see:

The Divine Face  ...  Ch.    3
 1, It Bubbles ... Ch. 10

Three Anzas, One Answer  Ch. 2,

Galloping Events Ch. 4,
Christ Incomparable
... Ch.9.
Journey to  God or Fantasy's  Flight to the Infernal
Ch. 6, and
Defining Drama
with Bay of Retractable Islands  19, exhibiting Israel and this world, whether in its ultra-racial biological and bile-driven scenario, or its confused sedation to reality and even identity.


The case of Psalm 110 is of special interest in this respect.

Thus it commences with the LORD of David, the Redeemer,  saying to the Lord who is to come, "Sit at My right hand till I make Your enemies Your footstool." This word continues from Father to Son, in the trinitarian splendour, in which the humiliation of the Messiahship of course figures as in Psalm 40, where the body prepared for the Lord from heaven, is to replace animal sacrifice in the manner of Isaiah 53 (on which reflection is made in Isaiah 66:3).

The people will be volunteers in the day of His power, as indeed in dramatic fashion were some of the  disciples to become apostles were, responding freely to the free call of Christ from their boats. The order of Melchizedek, explained fully in Hebrews 7, is that of the Christ as man on earth, since He came from no background in earthly priesthood, such as tribe of Levi, and appeared thus suddenly on the scene, with power over the ordinary priesthood (as in the case of Levi, as it were yet in Abraham's loins).

This power being that of the Messiah, the Lord on earth as in Micah 5:1-4 and Psalm 2, the One in whom man must trust, as in God alone (Jeremiah 17), thus "He shall judge among the nations", again as in Psalm 2 and Matthew 25. By that time, the word of the Father to the Son is no more directly reported, as it was from verse 1 to verse 4. Yet this merely accentuates the intimacy of those early verses in which we share the communication as those to whom in this way, it is reported.

The concern is this: to what extent in this particular Psalm may it be correctly be said that the Messiah speaks as pre-incarnate ? Actually, the word "You" is the sole point of contact in this. It is not, "He is a priest forever," but "You are ..." Thus we as it were overhear (as again in Psalm 2), the LORD speaking to the Messiah and addressing Him in the Second Person. Strictly, this is not a word of the pre-incarnate Christ so much as a hearing of what is heard by Him from the Father, as entry into the conversation on the part of ourselves, hearing the record, and so becoming through the written word, auditors of the divine conversation, in which the Son is the recipient.

This then while not strictly an audition of the Son speaking, it is an audition of what met the ears as it were, of the Son, in the second person singular 'you', and hence an entry into the Messianic experience in His own self.



On this, see It Bubbles ... Ch. 10, SMR Appendix A, and The Biblical Workman Ch. 1.